Anatolia is the first expansion for MAGE Company’s tile placement game Höyük. The inhabitants of the early settlements move forward into a new era, and the clans have to take the new opportunities to win. Anatolia brings three new achievements of civilization, and at the start of the game each player picks two of them to score extra points for at the end of the game. To create a Water Supply System, you must place water drop tokens on five connected houses of your color. Artifacts can be placed on top of two-storied houses and are the only achievement that scores when partially completed. Two score from a Fest (celebration), you must collect five cards matching five Fest tokens you collected. Höyük: Anatolia is currently on Kickstarter.
Alderac / Fun to 11
Alderac gives us a look at basic mechanics of Epic PvP, a cooperation between them and Fun to 11 where you shuffle a deck of goblin cards and a deck of bard cards and take your Goblin Bard into battle against other players. The preview explains mechanics on the Basic Strike card that will be in all decks. The card has a Block Value on top to use defensively, an Attack Value on the bottom to use offensively, and an Aggression Value in the corner, giving the cost to play this. Aggression will be your main resource in Epic PvP, and managing it well is important to win. I hope the next preview tells us where to get the stuff. Epic PvP is now live and burning through its stretch goals on Kickstarter.
Small Box Games
Without any information about the game, Small Box Games’ have posted an art preview of Soulfall, coming soon. I don’t know what the game is about, but looking like this, I can play it.
Discoveries (Cédrick Chaboussit and Ludonaute) will be a cards-and-dice little brother to Lewis & Clark by the same designer and publisher. Again, you’re joining the famous Lewis and Clark expedition exploring the east or North America. In Discoveries, however, your goal is not to reach the Pacific Ocean first, but to collect the most knowledge along the way: draw maps, encounter native tribes, record new animal species. You need dice to do all that, but there is a more strategic mechanism than just roll and use the results – no details yet what it will be, but it will probably be good. The native tribes you encounter make different actions available, giving you different options every game.
I don’t get why some games go on Kickstarter without including the rules there. It’s really hard to decide whether you want to fund a game or not without knowing what it is about. Unlike some others, however, Rusty Scioscia, creator of My Metropolis, was able and kind enough to let us see a draft of the rules, so we can give you a quick overview and maybe help you decide. In My Metropolis, your goal is to build a city. The resources you need for that you basically earn gambling: you place tokens and workers on the numbers one to six, and if the active player rolls a number you have a token on, you produce what the token says. That sounds a lot like pure luck, but looking at the other players may actually improve your results: the active player may be able to change his roll with special cards, so betting on numbers he will likely pick gives you better odds. When you have the resources, you use them to build on the shared city board. Building a foundation lets you take more betting tokens for your production, but building floors on top of the foundations gives you more workers and victory points. The fun is that you can and should steal buildings from other players. To build a floor on another players foundation, you have to pay that player, but you take the betting token from his foundation in return. A player with more than one floor at the top of a building, however, can secure that building for himself by topping it with a management floor, on top of which nothing can be built. Different types of action cards will further heat up the action on the board. My Metropolis is a lighter game, but it sounds nicely interactive, with a good dash of “take that”. The only downside is that, right now, all the Kickstarter options ship only to the US, but that might yet change, or we can find other ways to get games to Europe.
With Lumis: Der Pfad des Feuers (Path of Fire) Kosmos is going to release a game in a rare genre: abstract strategy games with a team play option. Lumis is from the family of games where players have to connect their two sides of the board, in this case by playing color cards to place Fire Towers on the board which can then be connected by Fire Stones. In the 2vs2 team variant, your goal remains the same, but you have to get there together with your partner, and you’re not allowed to communicate.
Fantasy Flight Games
Only about a week remains until XCOM: The Board Game will available in stores, at least in the US. The companion app for all common operating systems can be downloaded already. Time for one last preview on the cooperative alien defense. Three of the four player roles were explored in previous posts, but we know nothing about the Chief Scientist yet. His role is a very strategic one, he picks research projects to spend resources on that will, once finished, turn the tide of the battle. At least if they can be used for their best effect, because depending on the aliens’ strategy and other factors, research projects will be more or less useful in any given game. The Chief Scientist also handles the Salvage retrieved from dead aliens and has to make the tough choice how best to use it.
Anyone who’s been to Arkham has encountered the Sheldon Gang or the Order of the Silver Twilight, two secret organizations (secret for very different reasons) with a strong hand in the city’s fate. Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham allows investigators to become members in both organizations. Membership has its benefits: additional missions, tasks that can be skipped by members instead of rolling dice for them, and more. Also in this week’s preview, you can meet some of the new investigators from the expansion.