The big news for this week: Spiel and Kennerspiel des Jahres have been announced. Spiel des Jahres 2014 goes to the camel racing game Camel Up by Steffen Bogen (eggertspiele / Pegasus Spiele) Kennerspiel to Rüdiger Dorn’s ruby hunt in the bazaar Istanbul (Pegasus Spiele). Congratulations to publishers and designers, and may you make many more great games!
Surprised Stare Games
Now we know a bit more about that new Snowdonia expansion we mentioned last week. There are two new scenarios, one is the already mentioned German Bockerlbahn designed by Sebastian Bleasdale. The other, by Snowdonia designer Tony Boydell himself, is more sinister. The Necropolis Line scenario lets you rebuild the London Necropolis Line, transport a dead guy to his eternal rest and build a grave for him. Mr. Boydell, you have a twisted mind. The expansion will be called, with somewhat less imagination than its content, Snowdonia: The Necropolis Line & Neuhauser Bockerlbahn.
Days of Wonder
You can now preorder Bruno Cathala’s Five Tribes from Days of Wonder, as well as check the rulebook before you do so. It’s a pretty interesting implementation of a Mancala-like game: you pick up a handful of meeple from one tile, and then you drop one of them on an adjacent tile, and another one on a tile adjacent to that one and so on. Last meeple has to land on a tile that already has a meeple of that color. Then you pick up all the meeple of that color, and if the tile is empty you take control of it. The meeple you pick up can be used for special abilities, and there are some more details to keep in mind. Like the djinn you can bind to your service, beautifully displayed in this Facebook preview. All that with the typical great look of a DoW game adds up to a very nice package.
Historical Games Factory
Here’s a decidedly non-historical game that Historical Games Factory will bring to Essen this year. The players’ characters in Heroes are mighty wizards with power over the elements as well as over armies of creatures. Players roll dice as quickly as they can to roll the combinations that activate their creatures to move, attack and use their special abilities, so you might imagine it as Escape: Fantasy Warfare and expect it to be a really cool game.
Indie Boards and Cards
Flash Point: Fire Rescue, a firefighting cooperative game by Indie Boards and Cards, is due another expansion, and Flash Point: Call of Duty – I’m not sure if they’ll be able to keep that name – really ups the stakes. The two sides of the new game board let you deal with an airplane fire and a subway station disaster, with some new effects to make your mission tough. All this will be available in shops, but if you back the Kickstarter project you can score some extra goodies, including an alternative basement and attic for the Extreme Danger expansion and the new Fire Prevention Officer.
In another preview post about Imperial Settlers, Ignacy Trzewiczek elaborates on the different factions. Not only will they all play differently, they will all score differently, too. The Romans, for instance, are builders, and they score points for their buildings or by paying stones for points. The other factions’ scoring is equally tied into their strengths. Having four factions that are this different from each other will make me want to play a lot. I’m just happy I don’t have to balance those factions, I’m sure that took a while.
Saying bye to this villain will not be easy, even in a game called Say Bye to the Villains. Jingoro the Wild Dog triples the trait modifiers on all Thug Situation cards. I have no idea whatsoever what that means, but on a card that is against me, I have an intense dislike for the word “triples”.
And because card previews are fun, there is one for Lost Legacy as well. The General seems very powerful to me, not only because you can exchange your hand card but because you can put a bad card back for the next player to draw. If there are cards that may make you lose instantly, like Love Letter‘s Minister, you can really mess with people.
Asmodee / Marabunta
Claustrophobia is no longer a two-player game about human specialists and demons fighting in underground tunnels. With Furor Sanguinis it is now a three player game about humans, demons and a single, reptilian squamata soldier – the third player – fighting in underground tunnels. At least we assume he’s alone, there’s only one new miniature in the package, together with all other materials for the third player, some new room tiles and six new scenarios. The cover looks pretty sweet, too.
This week’s featured photo shows the interior of the Church of the Nativty in Bethlehem, Palestine. It is said to be built on the site of birth of a certain Yeshua bin Yousef, better known today as Jesus. The photo was taken by Chris Yunker and kindly shared with a CC-BY-SA license. Thank you, Chris!