Fantasy Flight Games
Very few people would consider more Star Wars games a bad thing, even less so when it’s a different genre of game, not another space combat game on a different game. Fantasy Flight Games’ next announcement of a new Star Wars game delivers in that respect, Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a tactical miniature game in the style of Descent: Journeys in the Dark: up to four heroic Rebel players take their heroes into a mission against the single Imperial player on a modular game board. Playing in a campaign, the Heroes collect new equipment and skills, the Imperial Commander also buys new ability cards to keep the heroes on their toes. Sounds familiar, but that’s not a bad thing in this case. Unlike Descent however, Imperial Assault has a second game mode. In a Skirmish two players each control a squad of miniatures and compete more directly to complete one of six Skirmish Missions.
When a game is successful, keep expanding it. The second expansion for Fantasy Flight’s Eldritch Horror is already on the way and leads you into one of Lovecraft’s most famous stories, The Mountains of Madness. A new board in Eldritch Horror: Mountains of Madness lets you travel to Antarctica and unearth the secrets of the Elder Things – or at least unearth the expedition that tried to unearth said secrets. The Elder Things are also one of the two new Old Ones in this expansion, opposed by eight new investigators on the players’ side.
Queen Games are kickstarting Neptun, the newest game by Dirk “Alhambra” Henn. The Neptun in question is the Roman god of the sea, not the planet, and accordingly the players take their merchant ship for a spin around the Mediterranean Sea. As Roman merchants, their goal is to fulfill contracts for deliveries over most of the known world, with the one difficulty that they must make deliveries in the order of their contracts, not the order that would be most convenient. Planning their routes well is one part of the game, the other is making the bast possible use of gold and the Gods’ favor.
An uncharacteristically light game is coming from Ystari with Dominique Bodin’s Witness. Based on Blake and Mortimer, a 1940s Belgian detective comic with touches of fantasy and science fiction, Witness makes the players into detectives themselves and gives them 100 cases to solve together in its rather idiosyncratic way. Each player starts with some bits of information that he is then allowed to share with exactly one other player, who is then allowed to share both their pieces of information with yet another player and so on, with strict rules who may communicate with whom. At the end of a round, players score points by each answering three questions about the case. It actually sounds less like a deduction game and more like the kids’ game Telephone where you whisper a sentence from one kid to the next around the table and giggle about what arrives in the end. Due to the rules on how to share information, Witness only works with exactly four players.
Two likely Essen releases from Dutch publisher Quined Games were announced this week. Not much is known about The Golden Ages, except that thematically it’s about building a civilization. But it doesn’t seem like the typical, epically long civilization building game, listing mechanics tile laying and card drafting and a playing time of 60 minutes. Also, most of those other games don’t mention the great works of art your civilization might create.
The second game, Massilia, is a dice-based action selection game. Each color of dice stands for a different action, and when you pick a die on your turn you may perform that action once for each pip showing on the die. You do that to increase your reputation as a merchant in the market of Massilia.
Mr. B Games
I’m not yet tired of everything to do with steampunk, especially not if it’s a new worker placement game with a steampunk theme like Mr. B Games’ Clockwork Kingdom. While there are no huge innovations over other worker placement games, but the Kickstarter page gives the impression that Clockwork Kingdom mixes familiar element into a very good game with many different options. There are the familiar limited action spaces to compete for, other action spaces that only benefit the player with the majority of workers there, there are four different types of workers with superior skills at specific jobs and to mix things up some actions deal in random cards. And all that, only to find out who will be the new ruler of the kingdom.
Room 25 is a Matagot game from last year that casts you into a deadly TV show, also called Room 25. The participants are all trapped and desperately trying to escape from a prison with no exits – except maybe, just maybe in the rumored room number 25. Which won’t be easy to find, especially considering that one of your fellow players may be secretly working against you. Appropriately for the whole TV show thing, this year there is Room 25: Season 2, an expansion with new rooms and two new characters on the show: the adventurer and … the psychopath. Because nothing spices up a TV show like a murderous psycho.
This week, in our series of UNESCO World Heritage Site photos, we have this photo of the Auyán-tepui, the plateu of Auyán massif in Canaima National Park, Venezuela. Incidentally, the Auyán also has Angel’s Fall, the highest waterfall in the world with a free drop of more than 800 meters. I would recommend not going down there in a barrel. The photo was taken by Rafael Estrella and shared with a CC-BY-SA license. Thank you, Rafael!