Meople News: South American Zombie Sea Monsters

Portal Publishing

Don’t you all know that moment? When the rules for a game you’re excited about are first revealed? Without further ado I present to you: the Convoy rulebook.

Le Petit Poucet (by Libellud)
Le Petit Poucet (by Libellud)


I don’t know what happened, but Libellud dropped from my RSS reader earlier this year and I didn’t notice. Bad Google Reader, no cookie! What, Google Reader requires cookies? Okay, you win this round! Anyway, that’s why I’m bringing up this post from March now, the art there is just too beautiful not to show.  We already knew about Seasons looking gorgeous, but the other games presented here can hold their own. I’m especially in love with The Petit Poucet (Google Translate assures me that would be Tom Thumb in English), a cooperative memory game of escape through the forest from an evil ogre. I don’ even care that it’s likely a kid’s game (recommended age: 7+), I want it for the art.

Twilight Creations

Two new games are coming soon: Zombies!!! The Card Game is yet another zombie themed game – we had a bunch of those recently, but I never get tired of the setting. As usual, you can’t defeat the endless hordes, your only chance is to escape to the helipad. Cards in this game are double-sided – yeah, I know, all cards have two sides, but these don’t have just the game’s logo printed on one side, they have an effect on the front and a location on the back. Zombies!!! The Card Game should not be confused with the 2001 game Zombies!!! available from the same publisher and also using cards, but it’s not Zombies!!! The Card Game.

The Current Number of the Beast – sounds like a game about verifying phone numbers, but it’s a demonic dice manipulation game with Satan and all his friends and family. Like 556, the Friend of the Beast and 663, the Neighbour of the Beast. That last one doesn’t make sense, because the Neighbour of the beast would obviously be 664, the odd numbers are on the other side of the street. Given the numbers and the fact that there are dice, connections start to emerge. For the children’s sake, they didn’t include A Fun Night With the Beast – if you really want to know the number for that tired and dirty joke, send me a message.

Nevermore Games

The rulebook for Chicken Caesar is now available from the game’s page, just in case you’re not sure if aristocratic roman chicken politics are your cup of egg nog.

And the next project is already in the making: Ben Rosset’s Mars needs Mechanics. You’ll all be engineers competing for a spot on the Royal Society of Space Exploration’s 1873 expedition to Mars. You must have read about it in the history books, that mission was a huge success. So maybe it wasn’t, but Mars needs Mechanics has the potential to be a huge success: a card game to build steampunk devices for a competition to become the Astronautical Engineer on a Mission to Mars. I’m totally into that, and very curious what they mean by “mechanics that emphasize timing to collect sets of components”. How do you get timing into set collection?

Giant Settlers of America (photo by Mayfair Games)
Giant Settlers of America (photo by Mayfair Games)

Mayfair Games

It’s not exactly news, but it’s also too good to pass up: Mayfair’s Giant Settlers of America, a supersized convention edition of Settlers of America.  The game board has 216 square feet, the wooden pieces weigh more than 150 pounds. That’s about 20m² and 70kg for the SI part of the world. Guys, can you bring this thing to Essen this year and reserve a spot for me? I want to see how I’ll play games when I grow old and my eyes get worse.

Fantasy Flight Games

The Descent: Journeys in the Dark preview we’ve all been waiting for: how will campaign play work in second edition? Well, the campaign is split into two acts. In the first act, you complete three out of five possible quests. After the Interlude, you complete three of ten Act II quests, based on which quests you did in Act I and who won them. And inside each quest you have two encounters and the outcome of the first may influence the second one. Is it just me, or does this sound like a first attempt at creating a fractal board game? I’m not complaining, all those choices should mean lots of replayability, but I do get a bit dizzy thinking about it.

Alderac Entertainment

I’m getting the feeling that the Smash Up (Paul Peterson) have taken us from the most straightforward factions to play to the more complex ones. Pirates and Ninjas were moving and killing, that’s simple concepts. The Wizards did everything to speed up your game, powerful but not quite as simple. And now the Tricksters come along with cards that act as traps for your opponent. And also with some killing, you won’t get anywhere without some killing.

Aztlán Pawn Prototype (photo by Ares Games)
Aztlán Pawn Prototype (photo by Ares Games)

Ares Games

To the left you see a prototype of Aztlán‘s Aztec pawn. I’m still trying to decide whether I’ll call it a Meeptec or an Azmeep. Either way, the meeplo-american style looks great, I hope these pieces make it into the final game and don’t turn out too expensive to produce.

Z-Man Games

The wait for Alcatraz: The Scapegoat in the US is finally over: Z-Man Games is bringing it over. Of course you could import the Kuznia Gier edition before, but this makes it easier for you. If you’re curious about the most vicious cooperative game ever, check our review for all the details.

Dice Hate Me Games

The first project for 2013: Compounded by Darrell Louder. As a lab manager in a chemical lab with rather peculiar rules of work, your job is to manage your base elements, trade them with other player and finally assemble them into compounds. And don’t think for a moment this might be a relaxing job, some elements grow more volatile over time and might blow up your lab.

Rio Grande Games

The next Dominion expansion is coming, and it’s called Dark Ages. Apparently your financial success in Prosperity had gone to your head, you went totally Wall Street with all that money and suddenly it’s gone. I couldn’t possibly put it better than designer Donald X. Vaccarino:

Times have been hard. To save on money, you’ve moved out of your old castle and into a luxurious ravine. You didn’t like that castle anyway; it was always getting looted and never at a reasonable hour. And if it wasn’t barbarians it was the plague, or sometimes both would come at once, and there wouldn’t be enough chairs. The ravine is great; you get lots of sun, and you can just drop garbage wherever you want. In your free time you’ve taken up begging. Begging is brilliant conceptually, but tricky in practice since no one has any money. You beg twigs from the villagers, and they beg them back, but no one really seems to come out ahead. That’s just how life is sometimes. You’re quietly conquering people, minding your own business, when suddenly there’s a plague, or barbarians, or everyone’s illiterate, and it’s all you can do to cling to some wreckage as the storm passes through. Still, you are sure that, as always, you will triumph over this adversity, or at least do slightly better than everyone else.

The central theme of this set will be trashing and upgrading, but I’m not sure of you can upgrade your way back into riches. (via BGG News)

Czech Games Edition

The Czechs have made some truly amazing games in the past, and it doesn’t look like they’re stopping. Tom Rosen of the Opinionated Games tried some of their prototypes, and all three sound great already. Especially Mayan Ages (working title) can’t be available soon enough for me.

Surprised Stare Games

Snowdonia, the game about building rails up a mountain in Wales in Winter (that season gets a capital W around there), not only sounds like fun, it also looks great now. I would love to show it to you, but you’ll have to click through: designer Tony Boydell has marked the photo as All Rights Reserved and, whether intentional or just because it’s a default, we respect that.

Chip Theory Games

To finish the news today, we have two Kickstarter projects. To start, there is Hoplomachus – The Lost Cities. A strategic gladiator battle game, I’m not entirely sure if I should categorize this as a wargame or not. You do move your gladiator counters around the hex fields of the arena, and your gladiators do get killed, but I think most wargamers would still see this as a boardgame. Your different types of gladiators have different abilities, each side has champions that hit even harder and wild animals may enter the arena and randomly savage everyone.

Caliope Games

Tsuro of the Seas doesn’t keep its ancestry a secret. If you never heard of Tsuro, it’s a very simple tile laying game where each tile extends the path your standing and you have to move to the new end – as does every other player whose path you incidentally extended as well. The goal is to not run off the edge of the board. You can see Wil Wheaton get his ass kicked in playing Tsuro here. Tsuro of the Seas adds a feature to the original Tsuro: sea monsters. Everything is better with sea monsters, right? They are just like zombies. They move around randomly and eat ships they encounter.

This week’s banner photo was taken by Alistair Young and shared with a CC-BY license. It shows the Bridge of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Thanks, Alistair!

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