This summer will be great for fans of Alderac’s Lost Legacy card games. You remember, the one that plays like Love Letter in that play one of your only two cards every turn and the last player not eliminated wins. Or the one holding the highest value card. Only that Lost Legacy is not about wooing the princess but finding artifacts from a spaceship that crashed in ancient times. That game. This summer, there will be two new boxes of it, each containing two card sets to either play alone or mix with any other set for a more epic game. Lost Legacy: Second Chronicle will contain the sets Vorpal Sword and Whitegold Spire, Third Chronicle has Sacred Grail and Staff of Dragons.
Fantasy Flight Games
When Imperial Assault, Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars dungeon crawler game, came out last year, we all knew there would be expansions. Everyone who tried the game will be happy about that. Here is the first expansion now, Imperial Assault: Twin Shadows. If Fantasy Flight follows the pattern they established for Descent, the game Imperial Assault is built on, then there will small and large expansions, and Twin Shadows sounds more like a small one. There are four new missions that can be used as side missions for the base game’s campaign or a as a mini campaign in themselves, but no new full size campaign. There will also be two new Skirmish missions for squad battle games, new heroes, new map tiles and new everything. Star Wars fans will be happy to learn that the new missions are set on Tatooine and some of your new enemies will be Tusken Raiders. Maybe we’ll even encounter a sarlacc?
With Forbidden Stars Fantasy Flight will release a new game set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Four of the universes warring factions (Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, Orcs and Eldar) fight over the Herakon Cluster, a newly accessible cluster of stars where ancient treasures might be waiting. Each of the factions uses their own units and command cards to fight for their objective tokens, but all use the same two step system of commanding their armies: players place command tokens in a shared pile in each system, and commands are then resolved in the order they appear in the stack to move units, collect resources or take command cards. More details will soon be revealed in detailed previews.
Terraforming Mars will not be purely a game of working together to, you know, terraform Mars. You all work towards the same goal, but you want people to know your company did it best. That’s where cards like the Giant Ice Meteor come in. it gives the planet a big injection of heat and water, and just incidentally flattens your opponents’ greenery. What’s not to like?
Plaid Hat Games
Specter Ops: Shadow of Babel pits an agent of ARK, looking for secret mission objectives, against Raxxon hunters defending the compound. The agent relies on stealth and can move mostly unseen by the hunters. But what do the hunters have to use against him? Well, thanks to technology and genetic enhancement they do have a few tricks of their own. Like the Beast from this preview, a creature more wolf than man that can smell the enemy agent when he is nearby and race on all fours to catch up with an escaping agent.
What would a castle be without some secret passages? Not as much fun, and that’s why Secrets, the expansion to Ted Alspach’s Castles of Mad King Ludwig, will let you build secret passages in your castles. But not only that, you’ll also be able to build defensive structures like moats to make rooms inside your castle more valuable, and a bunch of new rooms, too. Those new rooms will have “dozens of hidden swans” and, not having played Castles of Mad King Ludwig I have no idea what that might mean. Can someone enlighten me?
Feuerland Spiele will start a line of lighter games this year under the name Blue Label. The first Blue Label game will be a German edition of Ancient Terrible Things, a dice game originally by Pleasant Company Games. Players in Ancient Terrible Things are going down a river that is full of things both ancient and terrible, and in each encounter they have to roll the right combination of dice to loot the valuable secret, and if they fail they will awaken a Thing. Different types of token to use in encounters steer the game away from a pure game of luck, but nevertheless it is lighter than Feuerland’s usual fare.
3D Total Games
If you had a chance to go to school of magic, received your belated letter via owl from a certain institution, would you go? Would you be up for all the dangers of studying there, like accidentally summoned trolls because you have no idea what the spell you just cast does? Before you decide to get on that train, you can try how well you would do at such a school with 3D Total Games’s second Kickstarter project Wizard’s Academy. In this cooperative game for up to six players, you have to defend your school against all sorts of magical mayhem, some of which you may accidentally have caused yourself. Wizard’s Academy uses a magic system where, initially, you don’t know what spells you will cast. You pay two glyphs to cast, and then you check what they actually do – and you might just summon a troll to add to your troubles when all you needed was water to douse a fire. Bit by bit, you’ll discover what each glyph combination does, but if you make a mistake you may have to shuffle some spells and painstakingly rediscover them. Magic is fickle. I like the idea a lot, it should create just the right amount of chaos.
Queen Games’s latest Kickstarter project has some very interesting mechanics to offer. Thematically, it’s not so new: in Queen’s Architect – I like the little word play with the publisher’s name – you play a marauding architect, traveling the kingdom and building buildings to catch the queen’s attention and eventually build her new palace. The game mechanics are what makes it fun. Your main resource in Queen’s Architect are your craftsmen, the team of workers doing the heavy lifting for you. Each building site needs a different set of them, and after a few projects they will usually leave your employ. Before that, their skill level will go up and down with every project, so they score a different number of points for you each time. As the architect, you pick your actions walking along a rondel, so you won’t have access to all your actions each turn. That will give you some things to consider while playing.
Steve Jackson Games / Renegade Game Studios
Renegade Game Studios and Steve Jackson Games will partner up to release Munchkin Trading Cards, a collectible card set based on the eternally popular Munchkin games. Apparently, this will not be a trading card game but tradeable cards, some of which you can use in your regular Munchkin games. So there will be plenty for collectors, like sketch cards, autographed cards and guest artists. Expect the cards this fall.
franjos Spieleverlag is looking for fans for Domus Domini on German crowdfunding platform Startnext. Startnext uses a two-step system where a project has to collect a number of fans first before the funding period starts and you can spend money on something. Domus Domini is still in the first phase, but not for long. The game is a big step for franjos because it will be their first gamers’ game. The objective of the game is to manage a medieval abbey to supply food to the builders of the abbey church of Cluny. To do that, you improve your abbey to be more productive and compete with your opponents who delivers the most food. Delivering the most is good because it scores the most points, but on the other hand it gives you the least money to invest in your abbey. Domus Domini is a game by Heinz-Georg Thiemann, designer of Planet Steam. This new game will be lighter than Planet Steam was, but still give players a lot to sink their teeth into.
This week’s featured photo, taken by John Williams and shared as CC-BY, shows one of the rare industrial World Heritage Sites, one of the boat lifts of the Belgian Canal du Centre. These lifts, built in the late 19th and early 20th century, are the oldest ones still in original working condition. Thanks for the great photo, John!