eggertspiele are currently looking for funding for Dolmen, a new edition of Thomas Odenhoven’s 2005 strategy game Die Dolmengötter. In this purely strategic game – no luck involved – your druids place stones on paths between stone circle construction sites, and gaining the majority around one such circle allows you to build one of the eponymous dolmen there. But the majorities change quickly, and having your dolmen on top of the pile when a circle is completed is worth way more points than being buried at the bottom. The new edition on Spieleschmiede will have new art and components and, for a handful of euros extra, three expansions, two of which add new elements to the game while the last one allows solo play.
Pearl Games’ Essen release for this year offers a different take on that whole civilization building game thing. Deus, is much lighter than the typical epics that take you from the stone age to your own moon base and is mainly built around cards. When constructing buildings on the shared board by playing those, they go to your own stack of cards of that color and all cards in the stack are activated, presumably for powerful effects on the board. Alternatively, you can sacrifice hand cards to the gods and win their favor in the form of other actions influencing the game. Okay, so it’s not so much a civilization building game but more a card game with a civilization setting, but the card collection mechanic sounds fun, forcing a decision if and where you specialise.
Here’s another preview card for Lost Legacy, Seiji Kanai’s deeper game in the style of Love Letter. The Shadow Thief is a sort of spymaster than can look at anyone’s hand or riffle through the trash, and if she just so happens to find the lost legacy everyone is looking for, you immediately win the game. Not bad, I’ll have three of those, please.
The very popular and very good fantasy strategy game Terra Mystica by Feuerland Spiele (and others around the world) will have an expansion soon. Nothing big, “just” six new factions, a new game board and new end game scoring tiles to add to the base game in Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice. The new factions are not bound to one of the seven terrains of the base game. Instead, Ice Maidens and Yetis may pick a terrain to turn into frost, Dragonlords and Acolytes have special abilities that can turn any terrain into a cozy volcano and Shapeshifters and Riverwalkers simply don’t feel like they should be restricted to any one terrain at all. Terra Mystica is already hugely replayable, adding some more factions to pick from will extend the fun even more.
I love reading Ignacy Trzewiczek’s blog posts. He’s funny, observant and just a little bit ranting when he talks about a subject he enjoys. Which is pretty much all the time, since he blogs about boardgames, and he’s a game designer. So I had fun with his latest preview for Imperial Settlers as well, where he reveals that the four factions in the game will all play entirely different from one another. The short summary is: Romans are builders, Barbarians have tons of workers and use them to hassle other players, the Japanese are master traders and the Egyptians use dark magic to win the game. Only it sounds much better when Ignacy says it.
Rio Grande Games
I really enjoy stories with time travel and alternate history stories, so the latest project by Donald “Mr. Dominion” X. Vaccarino and Rio Grande Games has me instantly interested. What would happen, for example, if the ancient Egyptians had discovered America? If the Industrial Revolution had happened a few hundred years earlier? You play Temporum on a board showing the possible timelines. With cards that grant you wealth and influence you travel through time and bend history to your will. By collecting influence in the different time periods you can control how history flows, thus gaining more influence down the line, until you are the sole ruler of your home time and your competitors never even existed.
LudiCreations will have a new game in Essen this year, a game about spycraft, secret documents and martinis. Your mission, should you choose to play intel, is to infiltrate an embassy during the ambassador’s reception, steal any secret documents you can get your hands on and finally escape with the documents in your helicopter. As befits a game of spies, this is a game about bluffing, counterbluffing and making life hard for enemy spies, because you’re not the only one looking for secrets.
Tile laying and treasure hunting are the key terms in Gold Ahoy! by Stephan Herminghaus, a light two-player game available from Lookout Games (or Mayfair Games in the US). Each of the 36 tiles shows water, sandbanks and a treasure chest, and when all the tiles are laid out at the end in a 6×6 grid, you want most of those treasure chests connected to your side of the game by the waterways. The only thing you can not do is exceed the 6×6 grid or extend the map towards your opponent, everything else is fair game.