Meople News: Hot Rod the Sheepdog


Saint Malo, alea’s city-building game with pens and erasable game boards is running into some delays and will only be available in fall, certainly in time for Essen this year.

Hot Rod Creeps (image by Cryptozoic)
Hot Rod Creeps (image by Cryptozoic)


I didn’t see that one coming: Hot Rod Creeps, a really rather creepy looking racing card game. Your deck is your tank and you may play cards from your hand or directly from your tank and, presumably, when your tank is empty that’s a really bad thing. You may also take cards from the common Nitro deck that make you go like your tail was on fire, but have unpleasant side effects like burning through your tank or destroying your addons. Oh yeah, addons, no racing game would be fun without upgrades and some ways to screw your opponents. It all sounds terrific, I’m just not down with the illustration style as shown here. But that’s a matter of taste.

Fantasy Flight Game

After all the previews, it’s now available: Descent: Journey in the Dark.

We’ve had a lot of game design theory about Android: Netrunner already. This week, we’re getting to the meat. Android: Netrunner is an asymmetric game, the Corporation player has different goals and actions than the Hacker player. This week’s preview looks at the Corporate players turn, how he scores points from completing agendas, builds his corporate structure and how he deals with Hackers trying to mess with him.

I’m not a fan of games that already have expansions the moment they are published, but I’ll forgive the X-Wing Miniatures Game just because the expansions seem to only make the game bigger and don’t add completely new game options or extra special cards. Packing 200 X-Wings in the base game would hardly be practical. This preview post talks about the expansions, but also about squad building in the game.

Z-Man News

More news about Clash of Cultures (Christian Marcussen): there are four different kinds of cards that strongly affect the game. Event Cards happen when your cities reach certain mood levels,  Objective Cards give you opportunities – peaceful and military – to score additional points, Action Cards allow you a special action when you play them and the Wonders bring great power to the player to construct them. That all sounds very easy and straightforward, almost surprising in a civilisation game.

Cubicle 7

Finally, details about The Doctor Who Card Game by Martin Wallace. Every player can play locations in front of them that other players can then attack with the Doctor’s enemies from Cybermen to Dalek. The owner, in turn, can defend his locations with the heroes of the most recent season of the TV series: Amy, Rory, River Song and the Doctor himself. I don’t have any objections mechanically, but I really think the Doctor would have wanted his game to be a coop game, it just goes better with the tone of the series.

Khitan (image by Gigamic)
Khitan (image by Gigamic)

Gigamic / Envie De Jouer

Khitan is a new abstract strategy game by Ludovic Chabry. It’s played with hexagonal tiles on a hexagonal board. Tiles have a different color on each edge and move by turning around one of their corners. If, after a turn, you touch an enemy tile on an edge with a matching color, that tile is captured. So far, the two different game modes are the same, the difference is how you can bring new tiles into play – the second mode has some potential to go on forever if you don’t plan your attacks right.

Pegasus Spiele / Hall Games

Pegasus Spiele is taking over the distribution for everything Hall Games, including the popular Stefan Feld game Luna as well as Rüdiger Dorn’s coming game Il Vecchio. Il Vecchio (The Elder) sounds like it’s Lovecraftian, but the name refers to Cosimo de Medici in who’s time and city the game is set. Every player takes control of  a florentine family and starts collecting followers and money to take control of the surrounding provinces, but also collect important favours from florentine nobles, a task that needs the travelling Mediators to succeed.

The new Stefan Feld game takes you to another Italian city: Venice. Rialto, is a card-driven game with character cards that let you take different actions around Venice. You’ll get additional options from using buildings in the city, and in the end your goal is to have the most councilmen in districts that are especially valuable – meaning they have many bridges because  this is Venice.

Asmodee / Matagot

Here are some photos of Kemet, the upcoming Egyptian mythological strategy game by Matagot. The plastic miniatures are very detailed and look great, and the board looks awesome as well. I’ll be needing someone to paint my minis, though, if I do it myself they’ll look like Ronald McScarab …

Pegasus Spiele / eggertspiele / Stronghold Games

There is no need to wonder about he upcoming Milestones any more, this video explains everything:

Thanks a lot, rahdo.

Tartan Grizzly / Ghenos Games / elfinwerks

We got some extended information about how Swordfish plays, and it looks like a great strategic and economic game with a bit of luck involved, but that is at least partially manageable. Remember, your goal is to be the king of the local swordfish fishers this seasons, meaning you bring the most and biggest fish home. How do you do that? As a local fisher, you first hire captains and crew in a port, then rent a ship to send them out on. The currency you use are victory points, so you might as well consider them money. You also buy fuel and bait for your fishing expedition. Then all boats go out to sea. A lazy weekend fishing trip is free, but if you want to go places fast you spend fuel tokens to get there. After that comes the unmanageable part of luck: weather may make fishing in some areas impossible and even disable your boats, leaving them to be salvaged. If your boats survive, you may go fishing: depending on which area your in, you draw your catch from a different bag with different distributions of fish inside, so depending on the  market situation and where your competitors are fishing, you might want to go to a different place. And all the fish you catch can be sold at the port for changing prices. That’s the very very quick tour through Swordfish. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Golden Egg Games

About a month ago, we first discovered Fallen City of Karez:

The first game by Golden Egg Games and Elad Goldsteen is also about politics and growing your city, but in a slightly different setting. The Fallen City of Karez needs a new ruler after it’s rebuilt, and as the master of one of the guilds you’re in a prime starting position for that office. Unfortunately – and obviously – so are the other players. You want to rebuild the city and keep it safe from wandering monsters, because city growth benefits everyone, but you want it to benefit you more than anyone else. And somewhere in there, you may build your own private dungeon, a fun activity many games with a medieval or fantasy setting neglect.

Now the game’s Kickstarter campaign is in progress.

Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill (image by StrataMax Games)
Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill (image by StrataMax Games)

StrataMax Games

It’s not a setting you’d expect for a game that is not a kid’s game, but here it is. In Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill you take the role of a sheepdog in charge of a flock of sheep, and you compete with four other dogs to bring your sheep to the highest pastures with the greenest grass and the best scores. But the flocks are mixed between all colours of sheeple – yes, this game has sheeple – and instead of moving a flock upwards you can also make them encounter the wolf, or one of the shepherds who then takes and scores all sheep of his colour before they can go any further. Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill is one of those games with simple rules but tense gameplay and deserves being funded just for that. There are only 4 days left on the campaign, so if you want to back it you better hurry.

 The photo of the week shows Himeji-jo, a 17th century Japanese castle. You wouldn’t guess from looking at it, but it’s a wooden structure under the white plaster, quite unlike European castles. The photo was taken by Nicholas de St. Germain and shared with a CC-BY license.

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