Alderac will release a new edition of an iconic game this summer: Junta. It seems to be a plain new edition, no fancy changes to the rules. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I think Junta could do with some updates, but many fans enjoy it as it is, so I’m not going to nag. If you don’t mind betraying your closest friends and sometimes have a group of exactly seven people to play, because that’s how Junta works best, then this will be your chance to get your hands on a famous modern game.
Also coming this summer from Alderac is Rumpelstiltskin, a two player micro-game where all you have to do is guess your opponents secret name. Each player has a deck of ten cards, five of which start in his hand. The bottom card of a player’s draw pile shows his true name. Playing cards from your hand lets you take actions, for example look at your opponent’s hand cards, change cards in your deck and so on. Some cards let you guess at his name, and if you get it right you win. There are only ten cards in each deck, so excluding the wrong guesses won’t take so long, but a reaction card might still snatch victory away from you.
And the last Alderac announcement for this week: a new Smash Up! expansion. This one, however, will be special, because we all get to decide which new factions will be in Smash Up: It’s Your Fault. You can submit suggestions up to May 11th, afterwards the top 32 will go through an elimination phase until just four remain, they will be in the expansion. My idea is probably obvious: Meeples! With support of other popular game pieces where copyrights allow, from the Black Queen of Chess to the Love Letter Princess. If you like the idea, go vote Meeples.
In the near future – okay, not that near, but not so distant either – brave workers fly their spaceships out to the asteroid belts to mine valuable resources. That’s your job in Periorbis, a new Kickstarter project by Perihelion Games. You have to hire different specialists and get them out to the asteroids, let them do their job and then secure space on a transport ship to get your resources back to Earth. All that takes place on moving asteroids, predicting the orbital movement is an important part of the game.
Fantasy Flight Games
In Fantasy Flight Games Forbidden Stars, a strategy game in the Warhammer 40.000 universe, setting up the game is already part of the game. When assembling the Herakon Cluster, the field of battle, where you place your home base, which other planets you place around and what objectives you hide there sets up your strategy for the game. In the same preview you see the basics of Forbidden Stars‘s command system: you can always see where your opponent is planning to act, but not what he will do. Orders in each sector also form stacks, and if your orders are lower in the stack you can not resolve them until your opponents take theirs from the top.
Cool Mini or Not
Cool Mini or Not are spreading out from very big box games with lots of plastic minis into other types of games like Queen’s Necklace, a small card game by Bruno Faidutti and Bruno Cathala originally published in 2003 by Days of Wonder. As one of the court jewelers, all players try to sell valuable gems to the queen and her courtiers who will help the players with their special abilities. This new edition is not simply a reprint, the game mechanics will remain the same but new characters will join the original cast.
In a few weeks, Lookout Games will release a new two player game by Helmut Ohley. Trambahn lets create one of the first tram systems ever, and all it needs is a deck of cards. Every card can be a stop along a tram line, a passenger, or simply serve as money. Hand management will be an issue, because stops can only be placed in lines of matching color and only with increasing values. Creating more lines will cost you money, because you need a train for each line, and having too few stops in a line will be worth less points, but you have to deal with the cards you get.
Days of Wonder
A new purple tribe of meeples, the Artisans, arrives in the desert of Five Tribes in The Artisans of Naqala.Their specialty is crafting magic items, some of which are simply worth points while other have strange powers you may use to win the game. The Artisans bring new tiles, their workshops, new djinn and new components that make movement on the board more difficult. A game with many meeples gets an expansion that adds more meeples, what’s not to like about that?
Our photo of the week shows one of the most recognizable hills in Europe: Mont-Saint-Michel in France. Or sometimes in the Channel, when high tide cuts it off from the mainland. The photo was taken by Gilad Rom and generously shared with a CC-BY license. Thank you for this gorgeous photo, Gilad!