Meople News: The Lost Fleet to Venus

Aaaand we’re back from our brief Easter vacation, much more relaxed and slightly more tanned. Yes, tanned. We went outside. I’m as surprised as you are. But obviously we also played boardgames aplenty, including those long ones that don’t see the table very often, like Roads & Boats. But now we’re back from Cornwall and normal service will resume. I hope you enjoy the extra-long news post!

Alderac Entertainment

In their series of Japanese Games brought to the English-speaking world, Alderac has announced Lost Legacy, a set of three card games by Seiji Kanai and Hayato Kisaragi. In each Lost Legacy game, players hunt one piece of a starship that crashed on their planet generations ago. The game is very similar to Kanai’s Love Letter, so each round you draw one card, discard one of your then two hand cards and apply its effect. It’s quick, easy, and frequently eliminates players, which doesn’t bother us for a change because one only game takes minutes. Different from Love Letter, however, the game is not won by the remaining player with the highest card. Instead, when all cards have been played there is a round of guesses where the starship is, so paying attention to your opponents’ action has a higher priority here. There will be three games in the series, titled The Starship, Flying Garden and Whitegold Spire that all include different cards and can be shuffled together for a larger (and longer) game. If Love Letter was just a bit too random for you, this might be your game.

The rulebook for Doomtown: Reloaded is now online. It has many things in common with other collectible card games / expandable card games, it seems to be on the more complex end of the genre and adds an additional twist to deck-building: in addition to their other attributes, all cards have a traditional poker suit and value. At some points in the game, especially when entering a shoot-out, you will have to make poker hands from your cards and the better hand wins. You will really want to consider that when making a deck. And if you’re lazy to read the whole manual just for a quick overview, here’s an introduction to the game system.

Fantasy Flight Games

Another classic American-style boardgame is getting a Fantasy Flight facelift with DungeonQuest Revised Edition. It’s not a surprise that DungeonQuest is a pure dungeon crawling game, up to four adventurers make their way through a very random dungeon in search for treasures. The best loot awaits in the lair of the chronically unhappy dragon Kalladra, but you can only win the game by making it out of the dungeon alive – and waking sleeping dragons might not be your best bet for that. The revised edition does what Fantasy Flight has done with most new editions of classic games: streamline the rules, make the game quicker to start and faster to play with less searching for special rules. At the same time, the dungeon is deadlier than ever before to keep things tense, and a new rules variant, Torchlight, lets you reveal more of the dungeon before you decide on where to go. Close cooperation with Jakob Bonds, the original DungeonQuest‘s designer, should make sure that this new edition stays true to the classic despite its changes.

One of the new factions in the Hammer and Hold expansion to Warhammer: Diskwars are the dwarfs, stout defenders of their mountain kingdoms. The latest preview post has an in-depth look at them. They are tougher than most other armies, some can still attack while pinned by other disks, and some damage anyone who dares pin them down. Not an army I would wish to face.

Black Fleet (Image by Les Maitres du Jeu)
Black Fleet (Image by Les Maitres du Jeu)

Space Cowboys

Sebastian Bleasdale’s (Keyflower, …) next game, Black Fleet, will be published by French publisher Space Cowboys. Each player will control three different ships, a merchant ship that does trade for money, a pirate ship to plunder opponents’ merchants and a navy ship to sink other pirates. The goal is to earn enough money with your ships to complete six missions, the last of which is to pay ransom for the governor’s daughter. The game looks amazing like only the French make them, with brilliant art and beautiful plastic ships. (via Les Maitres du Jeu)

After the success of civilization game Nations, will publish Nations – The Dice Game later this year. Created by Rustan Håkansson, one of Nation‘s four designers, the dice game will include all of its big brother’s features, but play much faster because each age takes one round only. The dices main – or maybe only – use is resource production.

Karma Games

German publisher Karma Games is looking for funding for their game Green Deal on crowdfunding platform Startnext. Green Deal is an economic game where you lead a big company, but as it is set in 2050 sustainability and public opinion are just as important for your success as pure profit is. It promises a high degree of interaction, you can cooperate with other players or sue the pants of them, and has no element of luck at all. Also, the whole game is bilingual German/English, a goody I wish more German crowdfunding campaigns would offer.

Treefrog Games

I had never heard of Doctor Grordbort before, but it sounds like it’s pulp fiction to the highest degree: a series of graphic novels about the exploration of the solar system, in the same style that the British Empire explored the world. It’s all about going to other planets in beautifully retro-looking spaceships, subduing the natives with ray guns and looking dashing the whole time. That is the world Martin Wallace enters with his newest game project, Onward to Venus. Up to five players will travel around the solar system and colonize planets at raygun-point in this “Strategic board game of inter-planetary conquest for Boys, Girls and Fully Grown Humans”.

Greenbrier Games

Miniature war games are not usually my cup of tea, but Greenbrier Games’ Kickstarter campaign for Heavy Steam definitely has my curiosity. For one, it’s not a regular move-minis-and-shoot game, it has a strong element of resource management in how you allot steam in your giant steam-powered battle-robot that is more important than maneuvers on the board. And then, like I just mentioned, there are steam-powered giant battle-robot miniatures. I don’t even know which part of that sentence I should emphasize, except that it shouldn’t be “giant miniatures”, that just sounds weird. There are miniatures and battles involved, but with the big role that resource management plays, there is a certain eurogame influence in it as well. It sounds like a good mix.


Inka and Markus Brand (Village) have a new game with Ravensburger. In Burgenland, which may be named for the Austrian state but more likely just means Land of Castles, your job is to build all sorts of buildings in the courtyard of eleven castles. To build in each castle you pay with different card combinations, and space is very limited everywhere. Building in the right place, at the right time grants you profitable bonuses. The game is marked for nine years and up, so it’s more of a family game, but knowing the Brands it should entertain gamers as well.


Do you ever play collectible card games and think “gee, this is fun, I just wish I had more piles of cards to take care of”? Now, don’t stop reading, because Matthew Abbott might be on to something with his Armada, a space battle CCG where each ship has its own deck of cards, representing systems on the ship. Each ship is played with its own hand of cards, and you win by killing the other guy’s ships. It doesn’t seem to be, like Abbott says on the Kickstarter page, a deck-building game because the deck is built before the game, but it still sounds like a good idea. If the cards are good, making multiple decks that synergize could be an interesting new challenge. Armada is also not a CCG where you blindly buy booster packs, for everything you buy you’ll know what cards are inside.

Agricola meets Werewolves in Black Forest, a new game on Kickstarter. In daylight, all players work together to improve their quaint Black Forest village before the next harvest. But at night, someone turns into a werewolf and goes around eating other villagers. The night phase works with a card drafting system similar to Seven Wonders, only that some cards kill people and you can’t be sure if those were played by the werewolf or a harmless villager with no other options in his cards. It’s a combination that I imagine will work very well.

Duiker Games

The Dutch East Indies is the first Kickstarter project by Martin Looij. His game is not one of the heaviest on Kickstarter, he himself calls it a family game, but it is certainly one of the largest, with a huge board and wooden ships that can actually hold all the wooden cargo they transport. Trading and cargo transport is one way to get rich in the East Indies, but it’s not the only one, you can opt for a life of piracy instead – maybe not your best option when playing with your kids. You can also upgrade your ship in different ways and trade with different goods between the islands’ natives. It does sound like something fun to do with the family.

The photo of the week, taken by Jeremy Reding, shows the Buddhist temple grottoes at Yungang in Shanxi Province, China. Thanks for a great photo, Jeremy! (CC-BY-SA)

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