Here’s a character preview for the coming Cthulhu Gloom expansion Unpleasant Dreams. Matching the title, the new family has their home in the Dreamlands, and while the family has no mechanical influence on the game, the characters are perfect to start the Gloom-typical depressing stories of demise. Also in the preview are two Unwelcome Guests, the new type of character that moves from family to family and makes it just a little harder to get your family from this life to the next.
Thunderstone: Root of Corruption will bring back some familiar faces. And familiar other things, for those monsters that don’t have faces. The Thrall Summoner has the power to summon a bunch of Old World monsters to fight in his stead, and since they are random you’ll never know if you’re about to get two cards for the price of one or about to have your face eaten. Good times, I tell you. And if Thrall’s are not bad enough, there are also the Minions, corrupted humans that all hand out curses like they were Halloween candy.
There is a new preview for Nightfall: Crimson Siege as well, showing a new hunter card. Dealing damage based on the length of your chain might take some preparation to pull of to best effect, but it sure seems worth it.
This mini expansion everyone who preordered 51st State: Winter might just hint at things to come in the future of 51st State, there is a whole new feature in these cards. Reaction Cards grant you a bonus every time an opponent takes a specific action – for example, you might receive an extra worker every time an opponent uses two workers to gather specific resource. This is a completely new kind of player interaction in the 51st State series, it’s not likely that it was invented only for a free preorder bonus.
Pegasus’s Essen booth will have a special extra available this year: the Village Customer Expansion – no word what exactly is in it, but the name suggests new Customer tiles. I wonder what new things could possibly be on those. Anyway, the special thing about the Customer Expansion is that the 5 Euro you pay for it go to the Albert Schweitzer Kinderdorf Hessen e.V., an organisation to aid and support children and their families in tough living situations. No deductions, the whole money is donated. Also add the Pegasus booth, you’ll be able to try the coming Village expansion (working title The Brewery). We’ll have a closer look when we’re there.
Another new game that will be available in Essen from Pegasus is Die Zwerge – Das Brettspiel (The Dwarves – The Boardgame), based on the fantasy novel series by German author Markus Heitz. It doesn’t come as a surprise that you’ll take the roles of dwarves. Your mission is to work together and save your world from various threats, including old favourites like Orcs and Trolls. The scenario cards change the victory conditions and make sure the game is fresh every time. At the Pegasus booth in Essen you might also be able to snag one of the 444 Collector’s Editions of The Dwarves.
More Legends at War previews! This time, we get a look at the first game mode: Pantheon Skirmish. In this mode you pick only six cards from one pantheon secretly, then you go through one battle against your opponent’s six cards, and at the end you have a winner. Quick and violent. Ragnarok Skirmish is no less quick and violent, but instead of picking your cards from one pantheon you get to draft cards across multiple mythologies and build wild mix decks. The Pantheon Campaign mode gets us back to playing only one Pantheon, but now the game goes over three battles. You start with only level one characters, but between battles you can upgrade them by sacrificing captured enemy cards.
Philippe Keyaerts, designer of the Small World series and others, had a look at Robo Rally and found it lacking. At least that’s what I read from the Kickstarter project page of Twin Tin Bots. You’ll control not one but two robots here, and you’re not racing them around the factory at night, you’re collecting valuable crystals. The robot control concept from Robo Rally is still present, you create a program with cards that your robot will execute, without mercy or error correction. You won’t have to deal with luck in Twin Tin Bots, every turn you have all the programming options available. Easier than Robo Rally. But each turn, you may only change one step in one of your robots’ programs. Much harder than Robo Rally for sure. You have to plan ahead many turns. Nevertheless, Twin Tin Bots will play in about an hour.
Kosmos / Mayfair Games
A new expansion for the new Catan card game The Rivals for Catan / Die Fürsten von Catan is coming in German and English. Just like the Age of Darkness expansion before, Age of Enlightenment / Goldene Zeiten is really three expansions in one pack. The Age of Prosperity is all about the cultural development of your fiefdom and adds your people’s happiness as a new resource. The Age of Explorers puts your lands next to the sea and lets you set sail to discover new lands or get robbed by pirates. Finally, The Age of Sages adds the titular sages as exceptional individuals with wisdom as a new resource to the mix. The three parts of Age of Enlightenment complete what Klaus Teuber refers to as “the reform of the Catan Card Game”, but that doesn’t mean this will be the last expansion. In fact, I don’t think it will be.
White Goblin Games
One of the Essen 2012 releases by White Goblin Games, Nieuw Amsterdam, will not make it to Essen after all. According to the White Goblin press release, the game missed the flight from the factory to Europe – so production is finished and the problem is purely logistical, preorders should be shipped soon. There will still be copies to try at the White Goblin booth, of course.
This week’s featured photo was taken in the Socotra Archipelago by Flickr user(s) Gerry & Bonni and shared with a CC-BY license. The Socotra Archipelago, a part of Yemen, was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 for its large diversity in both plant and animal life. And it’s a beautiful place, too.