Meople News: Gloomy Chaos Spectaculum

Atlas Games

It is in the nature of card games to be easily expandable, and transparent card games are no exception. I’m obviously talking about a Gloom variant: it’s Cthulhu Gloom that will be expanded with Unpleasant Dreams, adding the perils of the Dreamlands to the already dangerous setting. But dangerous is good, right? We want our families to die in misery and insanity. The 55 cards have new modifiers, events, Untimely Deaths and everything else Cthulhu Gloom has to offer, plus two cards of a new type, the Unwelcome Guests. They move from family to family and count as a family member while they are there. I can already think of all new ways to annoy my fellow players.

Spectaculum (image by eggertspiele)
Spectaculum (image by eggertspiele)


The rules for the Reiner Knizia game Spectaculum are now available for download from the game page. As a rich sponsor you invest in entertainers from four different medieval travelling shows, going from village to village building their reputation. Sponsoring the entertainers is pretty much the same as stock trading: you sponsor or release them for their troupe’s current value and hope that in between that value changes in your favour. Unlike most stock games, the change of a troupe’s value in Spectaculum is completely independent of supply and demand but is determined by their success – or lack thereof – in each village they reach. The shows’ movement through the kingdom is a group effort, each player may move every group, so you want to take care where you guide the troupes you have a stake in and get rid of your assets quickly when they are moving into a region devoid of fun and humor.


Information is coming up about the post-apocalyptic Mayan deck-builder 3012. In the preview post you not only get some examples of the unique illustration style but also a first look at the mechanics. Your task is to build your little group of scouts into a proper army of your tribe with heroes, allies and weapons and then take them into the field to fight encounters. Encounters where the Kraken is considered small fry, so you better come prepared.

White Goblin Games

The first Essen 2012 announcement from the Goblins – with more promised very soon – is a Scott Caputo game with artwork by Pierô. For the moment, we have nothing except the cover picture and the name Völuspá. Völuspá is the icelandic name of a prophecy concerning the end of the world. That would make the one-eyed guy on the cover Odin with almost 100% certainty. You’ll know more as soon as we do.

Saqqara (image by White Goblin Games)
Saqqara (image by White Goblin Games)

Announcement number two: Saqqara by Shem Phillips. Saqqara, Wikipedia tells us is the necropolis of the ancient Egyptian city Memphis but the cover looks very polis and not necro at all. The only other thing we know is that Saqqara will be a “tech-tree game with unique mechanisms”. And we like both those things.

Make-believe Games

Democrazy is a game about which we haven’t discovered much yet except that it will be available in Essen. Here’s some info about the mechanics: it’s an area control game where areas confer special powers, and, new in this kind of game as far as I’m aware, players can form coalitions to have area majorities and get access to those powers.

Fantasy Flight Games

We had a look at the Corporations turn in Android: Netrunner already, and now we’re looking at the flip-side of the coin. The Runner’s turn. The basic turn structure is not so different: draw cards, play cards, make money to finance your hacking gear. The rig is where Runner and Corporation differ: while Corporations build their structures with servers and firewalls to protect their agendas, the Runner builds his rig with hardware, offensive programs and ICEbreakers. His goal: to enter the Corporations System, bypass their security and steal their agendas.

This sounds like another fun one. Relic, a game set in the Warhammer 40.000 universe, building on the system of Talisman. If you don’t know the Talisman system, it goes like this: every player takes the role of a hero roaming the landscape – or the Antian Sector in Relic – defeating monsters and completing quests, collecting powerful gear and levelling up. When he feels up for it, he goes defeat the Big Bad or dies trying. And now we do all that, only against Tyranids and Chaos, fighting our way to the final confrontation inside the Warp Rift.

The photo of the petroglyphs in Tamgaly, Kazakhstan was taken by Jonas Satkauskas and shared with a CC-BY licencse.

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