Meople News: 504 Ambitious Phoenixes

Rio Grande Games

Without much information about its contents, we learned last week that Rio Grande Games will release an expansion for Roll for the Galaxy, the dice-based spin-off to Race for the Galaxy. All we know for now is that this expansion is called Ambition and will introduce “new factions, new dice, new tiles, and more”.

Fantasy Flight Games

A new preview for Fantasy Flight Games’s Relic: Halls of Terra introduces the new locations added to Relic with this expansion. Players can now visit mankind’s ancient home, arriving either through Luna or Titan and then able to travel on to Mars or of course Holy Terra itself. Some of those locations allow players to affiliate themselves with one of the Empire’s political factions, each offering different rewards, and some especially lucky players may find themselves in front of the God Emperor’s throne.

Leaf Pile Media

In Champions of Hara, Leaf Pile Media’s first Kickstarter project, the world of Hara is about to be torn apart by its own energies. Only a champion, summoned from the furthest corners of the universe, might be able to balance those energies. Champions of Hara is an adventure game where players travel the different parts of Hara to defeat monsters and use their energy to attune themselves to the energies of the world. They use abilities and spells that need the right energy alignments, making some of them work together well and others not so much. The more attuned you are to the energies, the more of your characters special abilities you unlock. There is a player versus player part to the game as well, you can attack your opponents just like you can attack monsters.

IDW Games

IDW Games keep growing their collection of popular intellectual properties they have boardgame deals for. The newest one is Powers, an award-winning series of superhero graphic novels that recently started as a TV series. In the first Powers game, players will be investigators hunting a criminal with superpowers. To defeat the villain, they have to figure out who it is and come up with a plan to defeat him. Villains will include criminals from the series, with special abilities taken from there.


I’m getting the feeling Friedemann Friese, designer of such gems as Power Grid and Fearsome Floors, is trying for a world record in most games designed or maybe most games packed in a single box. His latest project, titled 504, has exactly that many games in the box. That’s not as exaggerated as it sounds at first, but it’s still plenty exaggerated. There are nine modules in 504: wargame, pick up and deliver, production, network building, exploration, racing, majority, stocks and one module of “various”. Each game, you pick three of those modules. The first determines how to win the game, the second how you generate income and the third adds some sort of flavor. So you might play a game where the goal is to reach a certain numbers of cities first (racing), you make money from having a large empire (wargame), and you’ll be able to buy special cards for a fixed price (the “various” module). Friedemann posted a list of what the different modules will do on BoardGameGeek. 504 should be available in Essen this year, and I’m very curious to try it already. Obviously, there will be some combinations that work better than others, but as a whole this sounds like a lot of fun.

Plaid Hat Games

Ashes: Rise of of the Phoenixborn is an upcoming card battle by Plaid Hat Games. The basic idea is similar to many CCGs like Magic: The Gathering, players each have their own deck of cards, constructed ahead of the game, to battle their opponents. However, Ashes is not a collectible game, you get everything you need to play in the game box – although you can be pretty sure expansions are coming. Unlike similar games, Ashes uses a dice-based resource mechanic where you pick the dice you roll for resources along with the cards for your deck. This basic box will contain six pre-constructed decks and a total of 247 cards to build your own decks and play draft games.

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn (Image by Plaid Hat Games)
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn (Image by Plaid Hat Games)

 Ravensburger / alea

Andreas Pelikan, designer of Witch’s Brew, has created a new game in the same setting with Alexander Pfister. In this new game, Broom Service, players don’t mix potions from ingredients, they just deliver them. Broom Service uses an action selection mechanic that is not quite the same as Witch’s Brew‘s, but has similarities. Players select some of their role cards to hold in hand per round. When playing a card, they choose the brave action or the cowardly action. The brave action is more powerful, but if one of the following players holds the same card he can steal the action. Only the last player picking a card’s brave action actually gets to take it. Alternatively, players can take the cowardly action, which is weaker but can’t be stolen from them. I can see how this simple mechanic could be a lot of fun.

Clever Mojo Games / Game Salute

Sunrise City, a clever city building game with tile placement, auctions and role selection by Clever Mojo Games, has been around since 2012. Unfortunately for some only in English. A new crowdfunding project on Spieleschmiede wants to change that and translate both Sunrise City and the expansion Sunrise City: Nights to German.

North Star Games

Evolution by North Star Games claims to be the first game to accurately depict a dynamic ecosystem. Not being a biologist, I couldn’t possibly comment. What I can comment, however, is that controlling the evolution of your own species of animals, equipping them with offensive and defensive traits to survive in said ecosystem, sounds like a lot of fun. This Kickstarter project is to produce a second edition of Evolution and an all new expansion, Evolution: Flight, that lets your species ascend to the sky – if they have the energy.

Asmadi Games

Carl Chudyk’s Glory to Rome is a very popular card game, and considered to be Chudyk’s best. So if a game is labelled as Glory to Rome‘s successor, that’s a good reason to pay attention to it. Mottainai could hardly be more different thematically. Instead of an empire, you’ll create souvenirs in a Buddhist temple. But the new game keeps the core mechanic from Glory to Rome, having different functions for every card. If you want to find out for yourself if Mottainai is a worthy successor, you can download a print&play version from Asmadi Games’s website.

This week’s featured photo was taken by David Stanley and shared with a CC-BY license. It shows the tomb of King Konmin, a 14th century monument near Kaesong, North Korea. Thanks for sharing, David!

Leave a Reply