Meople News: The Duke’s Escape to Venice

This week is Kickstarter week in the Meople News – we have other things, of course, but many, many Kickstarter projects as well. And I wouldn’t want to hold any of them back until next week, because by then there will be more projects. Is now a good time to panic that I will never be able to back them all?

Treefrog Games / Cubicle 7

This had been going around for a bit already, but here’s the official announcement now: a Doctor Who card game – I presume no one here needs an explanation who the Doctor is – by Martin Wallace, coming to you from Cubicle 7 and Treefrog Games. I’m just curious about the phrase ” players battle to save the universe and disrupt each other’s plans” … we compete to save the universe while preventing others from doing the same? Doesn’t that sound slightly counterproductive and against the Doctor’s preference for just having the thing saved?

Alderac Entertainment

At the moment, Alderac is easily surpassing Fantasy Flight Games with the number of preview posts. I’m not complaining, though, I’m excited about these games. First of all, the Smash Up previews go on with the Alien faction. No one can tell me these weren’t inspired by Mars Attacks, but it’s a natural fit for the mood of Smash Up. And just when you thought you were safe, here come more aliens!

The Thunderstone Advance: Caverns of Bane previews are also in full flow, with more treasures and the weapons needed to conquer them. But who is that Bane person, anyway?

And because good things always come in threes, Nightfall: Dark Rages reveals two new cards as well. Is it just my impression, or do the card texts get longer with every expansion?

Venise du Nord (photo by Asyncron)
Venise du Nord (photo by Asyncron)


The photo to the right has shown up on French publisher Asyncron’s Facebook page this week and is the first I saw about La Venise du Norde (Venice of the North) by Sébastien Dujardin, planned to be released in time for Essen this year.

From Asyncron’s website (translated):

Bruges, 1452.
You are a wealthy citizen from a prestigious part of town. You build workshops to produce lace, luxury clothing and jewelry. Can you sell your goods at the central market? Or would you rather export them through the port of Damme?
You also want to build the most beautiful bridges over the canals of Venice of the North and have the greatest masters of their craft working for you.
Venice of the North is a game of commerce and management for 2 to 4 players aged 10 and up.

Who would have thought it, writing boardgame news actually helps me scrap the rust of my French. I tried Fief, another game by Asyncron, in Essen last year and if Venice of the North is of the same quality you should make absolutely sure to stop at their booth in Essen and check it out.

Small Box Games

The first Kickstarter project is not exactly new to regular readers, we talked about Tooth&Nail: Factions before: a very, very good looking card game by John Clowdus about the conflict between six anthropomorphized animal species. Now it’s on Kickstarter and making good progress towards its funding goal.

Queen Games

Queen Games seems to be very happy with the success of Escape… from the Temple Curse  and Edo: Tokyo 1603 – 1868 on Kickstarter. At least they are currently running their next project there: Urbanization (Johnny Ebsen). Your goal in Urbanization is to feed and house your people, attract industry to your city, make important inventions and generally outgrow your opponents’ cities. As an added bonus, shipping is a bit cheaper to many countries than is usually the case with Kickstarter projects.

Fantasy Flight Games

No, Fantasy Flight Games is not running Kickstarter projects… yet. They just ended up between the Kickstarters by coincidence. If you have been following the previews for Descent: Journeys in the Dark, you got to see a lot about how the game works for the heroes. But there is always one more player in a game of Descent: the Overlord (There was supposed to be a thunder here, but our sound effects guy is sick). This week’s preview goes into gory details about the Overlord’s life, how he can now chose a character class himself, how he levels up and how to make the heroes’ lives a living hell.

APE Games

Another Kickstarter project we had previously talked about that is now alive: Kill the Overlord. It may look cute with its Japanese style illustration, but don’t be fooled: your goal is to get the other players killed before they do the same to you. As Kickstarter boardgame projects go, Kill the Overlord has a very modest goal of $6.000 and already offers stretch goals at levels where other games are not funded yet.

Bowman Tiles from The Duke (image by Catalyst Game Labs)
Bowman Tiles from The Duke (image by Catalyst Game Labs)

Catalyst Game Labs

And another really interesting Kickstarer project: The Duke. An interesting new idea in an abstract strategy game, your game pieces are tiles with different moves on both sides. After every move with a piece, you flip it to the other side, changing your options for the next move. There’s a bit of luck involved because your tiles are drawn, not picked, and you might just end up without anything you wanted. But that’s just a strategic challenge that you have to learn to deal with.

2F Spiele

 Fremde Federn, Friedemann Friese’s 2012 project where he set out to cannibalize mechanics from BoardGameGeek’s most popular games, is basically done. The manual is now in the hands of a professional manual writing person and I’m beginning to wonder if we might even be looking at a pre-Essen release here. I’m very curious how this worker selection, deck placement, action building game will turn out.

Privateer Press

I’m still a big fan of cooperative and just as much of semi-cooperative games, the kind where players have to work together or lose together, but nevertheless not everyone can win. Level 7 [ESCAPE] combines that mechanic with a theme I enjoy almost as much: survival horror. You and your fellow players are imprisoned in the deepest and most secret laboratory of Subterra Bravo, and your only hope is to escape right now, before the base goes into complete lockdown. But Level 7 is also where they keep the monsters, the abominations, the vilest of creatures. And they are all after you…

Not all World Heritage Sites are cultural, many are also important nature reserves. This photo, for example, was taken by Hjalmar Gislasoin the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Virunga is the first national park in Africa (established 1925) and is well known for it’s very diverse ecosystems and it’s population of mountain gorillas, one of the largest remaining in the world. (CC-BY)

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