Meople News: Look out for the Atlantean Ginkgo

Z-Man Games

Atlantis Rising has been announced quite some time ago, and that it will be released for Gencon this year is also not quite news anymore. But apart from it being a cooperative game, very little was known about how to play so far. Well, not any more. We now know that Atlantis Rising will feature different player powers – always nice in cooperative games – but the main mechanic is worker placement. Cooperative worker placement, in my opinion, was just waiting to happen. It’s a good idea and makes me excited about the game. Atlantis Rising attacks you from two sides: not only natural desasters, the Athenians are also coming, so you better hurry and get that island afloat.

We also get the promised news about Clash of Cultures, starting with the full colour cover and this quote by the game’s designer Christian Marcussen

Clash of Cultures is a civilization game where each player leads a civilization from a single settlement to a mighty empire. Players must explore their surroundings, build large cities, research advances and conquer those who stand in the way. The game features a modular board for players to explore, 48 distinct advances, 7 mighty wonders, and loads of minis and cards. The winner will create a culture that will be remembered and admired for millennia.

Gryphon Games

Fantastiqa, the newest creation by Alf Seegert, who you may know from Trollhalla or Road to Canterbury, takes you on a deck-building journey through the realm of fairy tales. Starting out with your cat and your spatula you subdue mystic creatures who will in turn help you with the conquest of other creatures. Once your unlikely group of monsters has grown enough you can embark on quests that may have had an intimate encounter with the alliteration fairy but will make you win the game. The Kickstarter campaign is currently running. Oh, almost forgot to mention: Fantastiqa has greeple! That’s right, gryphon meeple.

Milestones (image by eggertspiele)
Milestones (image by eggertspiele)


Eggertspiele announced their next game this week: Milestones by Stefan Dorra & Ralf zur Linde, currently in the running for Spiel des Jahres together with Eselsbrücke. You’re building roads and milestones along them, houses and market places with your actions and resource income controlled by a round track you walk along. It’s got two out of four paws on the eggertspiele complexity scale, so you’ll do a bit of thinking but won’t be spending the whole evening in deep concentration. Just like previous eggertspiele games, Milestones is a cooperation with Pegasus Spiele in Germany.

Stronghold Games

Staying with Milestones for a moment, it also shows up in Stronghold Games’ release schedule as a September release.

Other items on the schedule include US editions of White Goblin games, most notably the first two Revolver expansions Ambush on Gunshot Trail  and Hunt the Man Down, and of CO2 by Italian publisher More on that in a moment. Coming in October are also the long awaited new edition of Crude: The Oil Game, an allegedly realistic simulation of the global oil market first released in 1974. I assume realistic simulation does not mean that the game is aborted in the middle of everything because we’ve run out of oil, though. The final October release Article 27: The UN Security Council Game, a negotiation game by Dan Baden set in the UN Security Council. The prospect of a new pure negotiation game has me more stoked than you can imagine.

Further out – retail date November, but still marked as Essen releases – we get the Core Worlds expansion Galactic Orders (that we went into more detail about a few weeks ago) and the very weird cooperative game Space Cadets (with more details here)

Stronghold Games & Fantasy Flight Games

The legal mess about the Merchant of Venus reprint has finally been resolved. Remember, Fantasy Flight Games and Stronghold Games had both been granted a license to reprint from two different parties that both believed to have the right to do so. This week both companies announced that Fantasy Flight Games will do the reprint with creative input from Stronghold Games. This solution was reached in a peaceful agreement. In any other industry, we’d be looking at a legal battle that would feed lawyers for a decade, I’m glad that can still be avoided in boardgaming – no one would want to wait that long for the reprint.

CO2 (image by
CO2 (image by

I can’t quite chain games and publishers together from the start of the post to the end, but this week it almost works. CO2, that we just mentioned in Stronghold Games’ release comes from Italy. A board game that deals with global warming and clean energy is both a good indicator that awareness of the subject is increasing – except in US right wing media – and a great way to get even more people thinking about it. In CO2 you’re running an energy company with the goal to a) increase output and b) reduce polution while still c) turning a profit. No one ever claimed saving the world was easy…

Also from we get Gladiatori a card driven bloodbath in the arena. You build your gladiator by selecting cards for your deck, buy weapons at the great auction and then bash each other’s head in with a simultaneous action selection mechanic.
Having Spartacus running on the TV in the background is optional but recommended.

The final game that will make it to Essen is The Doge Ship, and the title tells you all you need to know. The Doge wants a ship, you will build it. But at the same time you have to build gondolas to earn money – this is Venice, after all, what else would you build? – and barriers to protect your shipyard and the city, presumably from flooding.
The Doge turns out to be no better than any other customer you’ve met: what he wants on his ship can change every round – as can the prices for the actions.

If you’re going to Essen this year you can even save a bit of money on the shipping for all three games and preorder to pick them up there.


The pretty cover we shared last week for a Lookouts boardgame was, as it turns out, not for a boardgame at all but for the Lookouts comic book. That’s not bad, but not quite what we were hoping for, either. However, Cryptozoic tells us that a Lookouts boardgame is coming at some point, but release dates and other details are not yet available.

Alderac Entertainment

We’ve seen everything from Thunderstone Advance: Caverns of Bane now except the most important thing in a Thunderstone game: heroes! The Skinshifter Clawhand might become my new favourite way to rid myself of diseases. Coming soon: Thunderstone Advance: Caverns of Bears

We weren’t quite done with monsters in Thunderstone, either. In everything descending from D&D, Trolls have the ability to regenerate, grow back whole body parts if they have to. It makes them quite a nuissance to kill. How do you put that in a deck-building game like Thunderstone? Easy: when you dont kill them, they stay right where they are instead of going under the monster pile. Fully recovered on the next turn.

Dice Hate Me Games

A trucking pick-up and deliver game, coming soon from Dice Hate Me Games with the slightly unwieldy title The Great Heartland Hauling Co. You’ll travel around the central US, pick up cargo cubes that hopefully still fit on your trailer and deliver them to far-away places that have a higher demand and thus a better price for them.

Ginkgopolis - this week's mystery. (image by Pearl Games)
Ginkgopolis – this week’s mystery. (image by Pearl Games)

Pearl Games

On Pearl Games’ Facebook feed this week we discovered the 19 red building for Ginkgopolis. No mention what Ginkgopolis is, why it has red buildings and why one of them should be number 19. But we’ll hopefully know more soon.

More concrete information is available on The Ladies of Troyes (Les Dames de Troyes), the first expansion for Troyes. All that information is in French – from French boardgaming website Tric Trac – but between my school French and Google Translate I can tell you this: Les Dames de Troyes will have 5 modules that you can add all at once or individually. There will be new cards, new dice and new rules for outdoor activities – funny story, that one: the towers and ramparts on the Troyes board were only intended as decoration, but apparently they inspired the designers to this module of the expansion where you move guards from one tower to the next.


  This week’s amazing banner photo shows Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia, an 11th century orthodox church that is a UNESCO World Heritage site together with the other churches of Mtskheta. The photo was taken by Paata Lipartelian and shared with a CC-BY-SA license.



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