Meople News: Night falls on the Aztec Lands

Better late than never, isn’t that what everyone says? We apologize for the delayed Meople News this week, but a horrific case of the meeple flu, or maybe a light case of the bubonic plague, has caught us at the Meeple Cave. At least that didn’t happen during the Essen week, or we would infect the whole world…

Alderac Entertainment

This interview with Nightfall designer David Gregg is an interesting read in general, but to top it off he explains the new Summon mechanic from Crimson Siege at the end. Summoning doesn’t simply put a bunch of similar minions into play, it lets you draw Ghouls from the Summon deck. Every time you summon, you may find different Ghouls. Sure, it’s a more randomness, but it’s also more fun to summon Ghouls and see what claws its way out of the grave. Talking of Summoning: this is not a card I want to be on the other end of.

Ares Games

Aztlán (Leo Colovini) is, at the very basic level, an area majority game with added bluffing. Each age, you select a hidden power card before anyone moves their pawns. The power of that card is a multiplier to the number of units in an area to determine your combat strength, making combat perfectly deterministic – if you anticipated your opponents’ power correctly. New and interesting is what happens after the fight: you decide if you kill off the enemy, rendering them harmless, or leave them alive to strike back but draw a prosperity card as a reward, giving you other advantages. The decision to kill or let live also adds some interesting diplomatic options, e.g. begging. Have a look at the rulebook for more details. I don’t think there will be anything “simple” about Aztlán.

Legacy: Gears of Time (Image by Floodgate Games)
Legacy: Gears of Time (Image by Floodgate Games)

Floodgate Games

Hooray for time travel. Especially in board games, where the theme allows some very interesting mechanics. Take, for instance, Legacy: Gears of Time. You travel back and forth in time introducing technologies to the timeline – completely ignoring pesky little things like time paradoxes, you’re not the Time Police, after all. You only try to profit from all that time travelling by having the most influence on those technologies at the end of the round. If no one got there and invented it first, because one of the interesting things you can do with time travel is introduce the same technology earlier in the time stream, making the original, later discovery worthless. Hooray for time travel. Legacy: Gears of Time also has a really nice look, proven by this Facebook gallery.

Small Box Games

While we’re still waiting for the rules for The Valkyrie Incident to be posted, there is already some art and a gameplay overview (second comment on the photo) on the Small Box Games Facebook page. It will be a two player deck-building game that is more war-like than usual, your deck is your army and each round you go to war with with your opponent over location cards. We’ll tell you more as soon as we know it.

Make-believe Games

Another game from my recently favourite category of games has shown up on Kickstarter: games with a strong negotiation component. In Democracy: Majority Rules by Mark Rein-Hagen your goal is nothing less than political power, gained in the best tradition of democracy. By cutting deals with everyone that, between all of them, leave you in the best position. I don’t know what you were thinking. Democracy: Majority Rules lets everyone play at the same time, explores the principles of influence in a democracy, and accommodates large groups of players. Go and vote for it. We’ll tell you more about this one very soon.

Days of Wonder

No new rules or anything on the two Ticket to Ride items this week. For one, Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries is coming back. The originally Scandinavia-only edition of Ticket to Ride was so popular it saw a world-wide release after all, and now it turns out to be popular enough to come back to stores all over the world, too. Item number two combines perfectly with that – and with all other editions – especially now in October. The Halloween Freighter Pumpkin Train set. Because sometimes, it’s just about the fun.

This week’s photo shows the iron bridge at Ironbridge Gorge near Coalbrookdale in England is the world’s first bridge of this style. The whole Ironbridge Gorge area is one of the earliest areas affected by the Industrial Revolution and a World Heritage Site because of that. The photo was taken by Kristian Thy and shared with a CC-BY license. Thanks, Kristian!

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