Meople News: Aztec Cardinals

Days of Wonder

The scenario previews for Small World Realms just keep getting better: the latest one, A Dig Too Far, lets you follow in the footsteps of the dwarves of Middle Earth. You remember, the ones that dug too deep and unearthed the Balrog. I’m not sure if there are Balrogs here, but why you might discover is not much better. If only the riches weren’t so tempting…

Realms is now also available for preorder. I hope that doesn’t mean there won’t be more previews. Before you get all excited and preorder, remember that you need at least one of the base games Small World or Small World Underground for this.

The Forking Path

The Doom That Came To Atlantic City – I got interested in this just from the great title. Afterwards, it only took the words “Great Old Ones” and “Keith Baker, designer of Gloom” to get me hooked. The story is quickly told: a whole bunch of Great Old Ones just happen to wake up at the same time and all congregate on Atlantic City where they all try to open gates to their home planes as quickly as they can. Going by the photos on the Kickstarter pager, The Doom has something of a reverse Monopoly – the board looks similar at the moment, but you tear down houses instead of building them. But don’t worry, it doesn’t seem to be any sort of Monopoly clone: Monopoly never had cultists to sacrifice, alternative victory conditions, Great Old Ones or Great Old Meeple sculpted by Paul Komoda.

Pandasaurus Games


Tammany Hall
Tammany Hall

Another Kickstarter project, Pandasaurus is looking for your support to bring back Doug Eckhart’s Tammany Hall. Tammany Hall has been unavailable for some time, which has made a lot of people unhappy: it’s one of the most sought-after recent games, and only 500 had previously been produced. You compete with the other players for the mayor’s office, an office you can only achieve by pondering to the various groups of immigrants that can bring you the necessary votes.

Fantasy Flight Games

Not only one but two news items about Donald X. Vaccarino’s Infiltration this week. The preview post has everything about items to help or hinder you and also brings some great examples how a turn really plays out. After looking at that, you’re ready to check the rules.

The current series of Descent: Journeys in the Dark previews also continues: the focus this week is on character classes and archetypes, how they are related and which role they play in the game.

Not everything from Fantasy Flight is looking at projects we already knew, however. Here’s a completely new one for you: King of Ashes is an expansion to Cadwallon: City of Thieves. King of Ashes lets you explore the shadowy corners of the city deeper than ever before, and they hold all new opportunities for you, including ways into the legendary catacombs under the city.


White Goblin Games

Another new project is coming from the Goblins: Richelieu by Olivier Lamontagne. Any game with the French cardinal’s name as the title can only be about court intrigue, of course, and Richelieu is just that. Players send out their agents to take part in intrigues for and against the cardinal – or maybe both, there’s no need to be picky – and gain prestige from their successes. But the cardinal is jealous, and if there is one thing he cannot have then it’s a more accomplished schemer than himself: any player who passes Richelieu on the prestige track loses his hard-earned renown immediately. Do you already feel that rush of helping an opponent succeed in his machinations, just to push him past the cardinal and into oblivion? Because I do.

Alderac Entertainment

Alderac is really getting into the whole preview business. Great for me, game previews are the easiest thing to write about for the news. After last week’s look at pirates in Smash Up, this week we’re interested in their worst enemies. The Ninjas. Unfortunately, ninjas speak Japanese and Smash Up is proud to be a very, very realistic game. Yeah, you guessed it, both previews are in Japanese. At least the cards are readable without more language education than I received, and so we know two things about ninjas at this point: they are masters of disguise and camouflage and they excel at killing.

But Alderac has much more in store for game enthusiasts: the rules for the first two games in the Tempest setting are online. Courtier, as the name suggests, plays at Court where you compete for the Queen’s favour so she might accept your petitions. You need the right combination of courtiers to talk to here before she’ll consider your petition, and the courtier’s favour goes to the player with the most agents sucking up to them. All courtiers also belong to a coterie, a part of the court and area of the board, and in a second layer of majority considerations having the most agents in a coterie lets you use a special ability to further your goals.

Mercante is, at least for the most part, more honest. Rich merchant families all try to make profit by buying goods in the harbor, selling them in the market and fulfilling contracts for extra money. But the economic game is only mostly honest, you also have the option to steal from opponents whose security is too lax.

Mage Company

After so much intrigue, how about a lighter game? Wrong Chemistry (Yiannis Altanis) fits the bill. From a set of hexagonal tiles and black and white wood tokens you have to build the elements from your cards, while all the other players are trying the same with the same pieces. The elements you want to create are mostly fictional and all wrong – although I could to with a bit of extramovium per day, that would be very right for me. Wrong Chemistry is now on Kickstarter.



There was a long silence about Rui Alípio Monteiro’s Trench, but it’s still alive and moving: you can now preorder it at a new price. Trench is an extremely nice looking abstract game for two players  where the titular trench in the middle of the board plays an important role.

Ares Games

The name Leo Colovini usually gets boardgamers to sit up and listen – his name is on the box of Inkognito and other games of the same caliber. Now the same name will be on the box of Aztlán, a game about up to four Aztec tribes fighting for territory in the mystic land of Aztlán. Each tribe’s strength differs from phase to phase and you can’t be sure how powerful your enemies are. Bluffing is, obviously, a core mechanic here.

 Ape Game

This card game has been around various conventions for years now, at least according to Ape Games. I didn’t have the pleasure of trying it yet. But it’s finally becoming a real product: Kill The Overlord. The title is a bit misleading, though: the Overlord is mostly the person doing the killing, not the one being killed. He sends out his executioner to kill another player, but the executioner is easily distracted and misguided: everyone sends her from one player to the next, hoping they won’t be the one with no useable cards left when she knocks on their door. The game sounds light yet very fun, and the art is beautiful, too.

The rather intimidating photo of a shark was taken by Allan Lee and shared with a CC-BY license. Thank you, Allan!

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