Smash Up, Paul Peterson’s shufflebuilding game – shufflebuilding because you shuffle two decks together, unlike deck-building where you put cards together more freely – is taking shape. This week saw two previews introducing us to the pirates, one of the eight factions. With their fleet of pirate ships, they are the most mobile of the factions, zooming from one base to the next whenever needed – presumably in order to score points, but we don’t know as in place of the rulebook is still this – it’s good to see you guys at Alderac are having fun!
White Goblin Games
This year’s Essen release Congo – Expedition to Africa 1884 is no longer Congo – Expedition to Africa 1884, it is now Expedition: Congo River 1884. The name was changed because designer José Rivero has another game in the making with some mechanic and thematic similarities, but set in Asia, and the Expedition title will tie them together.
Days of Wonder
Remember when I said how vicious the Go East scenario for Small World Realms will be? Well, that was before I read about Crops of Power. The map in Crops of power will hold six special powers on the map, and the race controlling most areas around this power will gain that power. On top of their normal power and whichever other powers they might also control. Depending which powers are available, this will be more than plain nasty – as will all the choke points between them.
Another thing we’ve all been wondering about is answered in the comments: how many scenarios will require Small World Underworld? And the answer is that out of the 12 scenarios, eight will work with Small World, two with Small World Underworld and two with both together.
Micro Monsters, the first family game by Ares Games, is out since yesterday. Micro Monsters is a modern take on the good, old tiddlywinks where you jump plastic chips around the table by squeezing them with other plastic chips, enhanced with different special powers per player and an enemy warp gate to hit and destroy.
A few months ago, I got very excited about Ystari Games releasing a new edition of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (Raymond Edwards,Suzanne Goldberg, Gary Grady), the most famous and popular game about the famous detective. Someone has heard my begging back then, and an English version will be available through Asmodee. It’s been twenty years or so since I played this game, so you can imagine how giddy I am. (via ICv2)
With City of Horror Nicolas Normandon reimplements his own survival horror game Mall of Horror. While many basics remain the same, enough things have changed to make the game feel fresh: the city map is variable, there are 20 new characters, the supply of action cards is slowly depleted over the course of the game. You still get to vote who to throw to the zombies, though, so all is as it should be. (via ICv2)
Fantasy Flight Games
Just like the first edition, the second edition of Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Adam Sadler) lets one player play as the evil overlord, opposing the players. This weeks preview shows us what the evil overlord can do and how he does it. Of course he gets to control his minions, but he also has more direct ways of throwing wrenches in the heroes’ plans.
When Corey Konieczka’s Rune Age was released last year, we all knew what would happen: it’s a deck-building game, of course it would have expansions. The first one actually took a bit longer to arrive on the scene than I expected, but here it is: Oath and Anvil. Rune Age‘s scenario based design was a with fully competitive and cooperative scenarios was a new and successful idea, and there is more potential in it. Oath and Anvil has two new scenarios, the competitive Quest For Power and the all-against-one Ascent of the Overlord. Especially the latter one sounds exciting, I enjoy asymmetric games like that. With the money-grubbing dwarves and the warlike orcs, two new factions are also included, there’s basically everything you’d want from a Rune Age expansion.
Dale Yu of the Opinionated Gamers has a detailed explanation of the current state of Friedemann Friese’s Fremde Federn – I’m going to wear out my F key writing this – his newest game project that is stitched together from pieces of the top ten games on Boardgamegeek and then brought to life with a surge lightning. I’m not kidding, that was actually FF’s premise in the design of Fremde Federn. Except for the lightning part, he may or may not have used lightning. Read more about the game from Dale, there’s nothing I could add to what he says.
Coming in June is Sheepland by Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini, a shepherding game for ages eight and up, but after reading the rulebook I’m pretty sure that older players can enjoy it as well. You move your Meepherd – shepherd is harder to make into a Meeple neologism than I thought – across the island of Sheepland – capital: Sheepsburg – and try to herd sheep into the four types of terrain before fencing them in. At the same time, you invest into those terrains and score points at the end for every sheep on a terrain you invested in. Come to think, this might be a complex way of scoring already for an 8-year-old, maybe Sheepland is aimed at older gamers who are not afraid to admit they’re playing with sheep.
Defenders of the Realm: Battlefields by the famous Richard Launius (and incidentally with artwork by the even more famous Larry Elmore) is on Kickstarter. The setting in Battlefields is similar to 2010’s Defenders of the Realm, but Battlefields is a game for two competing players or teams, not a coop. Everyone competes for supremacy on the three current battlefields with their minions and heroes, victory on a battlefield bestows a reward. The Kickstarter project is already funded, but it’s never too late to get into it.
It’s been a while since we had a look at Kickstarter projects that were not affiliated with a publisher, so here’s two for you to check out.
Colossal Cave is a card game inspired by the likes of Fluxx, but with the randomness toned down and the theme turned up: players are adventuring in the Colossal Cave, looking for treasure and trying to make it out alive. The game plays with the simple method of “play one, draw one”, and a lot of “take that” against the other players.
MEGAcuire is a tribute to Sid Sackson’s legendary Acquire, in honour of its 50th anniversary this year. The board is bigger than Acquire‘s ever was, but that’s not all that’s changed. The board is now hex-based, making the topography of your companies more interesting. Despite the author’s assertion of the opposite, I am still slightly worried about licensing troubles looming ahead. I sincerely hope MEGAcquire will be considered different enough from the original to avert that because I’d really like to see this game in stores.