We’ve seen many different ways to terraform Mars in FryxGames’s Terraforming Mars now. Now we get a little insight who we are and why we do it. ThorGate is one of the corporations working on the Mars project. A high power energy producer on Earth, ThorGate specializes in Energy on Mars, too: they start the game with a minimal energy production already going, and they pay less than other corporations to produce more energy.
Gryphon and Eagle Games
I didn’t see this coming: Xenon Profiteer, a new Kickstarter project by Gryphon and Eagle Games, is a deck deconstruction game, the opposite of a deck-building game. You run a chemical plant that extracts Xenon from the air. Air, of course, is messy stuff that contains miniscule amounts of Xenon and tons of other elements. Your goal is to add air to your deck and then refine it, discarding all cards that are not Xenon, and end up with only Xenon in your deck. With the Xenon you can complete contracts for victory points and money, with money you can buy equipment to refine air more effectively. It’s a simple idea, but how it turns deck-building on its head sounds very neat.
Sierra Madre Games
We’ve just reviewed Greenland last week, and today we learn that preorders for the second edition are open at the Sierra Madre Games web site. But that’s not all you can preorder. There’s also the Greenland prequel Neanderthal, with somewhat similar mechanics but set a long time earlier. Then there’s the Collector’s Edition of the Sierra Madre classic Pax Porfiriana, a card game about profiting from the Porfirio Díaz dictatorship in late 1800s Mexico – or about overthrowing the dictator, if that’s more convenient, you have both options. Finally, there’s Pax Pamir, another game set in a time and place us average Central Europeans know little about: as a 19th century Afghan tribe leader, your people are caught between the expansion of the Russian and British empires, and when either of those two or the Afghan home team manage to control the region, the tribe with the most influence on that empire wins. I’m not what you’d call a history buffs, but I enjoy those games with settings that were never used before but that are not wargames.
Fantasy Flight Games
When Sun, Moon and Earth align with the center of the universe, then a gate will open to a terrible place and humanity will be devoured. That’s the threat of Strange Remnants, the next Eldritch Horror expansion. Instead of fighting an Old One, you race around the world to protect Earth from the effects of the constellation. The priests of ancient civilizations knew this would happen one day, and they hid the secret how to stop it in their holy places, from Chichen Itza to Stonehenge to the Moai. You’ll visit all those place.
A Relic expansion wouldn’t be complete without new characters, both working for and against the good of mankind. Halls of Terra comes with three new characters: an elite Space Marine, a battlefield “nurse” and a warp navigator. They also get a new Nemesis to fight in Abraxis Synethi, a Chaos Space Marine commanding demonic war machines.
Historical Games Factory
We haven’t been showing all the art previews for the Kickstarter edition of Historical Games Factory’s Theomachy, but every now and then I just can’t help myself. Meet Ghatanothoa of the lovecraftian Nightmare pantheon.
Indie Boards and Cards
In the original edition by La Mame Games, Coup: Guatemala 1954 was set in Guatemala just after the government was overthrown by the CIA. The setting is different in Coup: Rebellion G54, the new edition Indie Boards and Cards are kickstarting, but other than now playing in a dystopian near future, the game is the same. Each game, you pick five roles out of the twenty five available. All players get two role cards – there are enough of them because there is more than one card per role – and the game can start. On your turn, you claim to have the card for one of those roles and then take that role’s action. You don’t have to actually have the card, but if you get caught lying you have to discard one of your cards, and when you have none left you’re out. This base mechanic is similar to Bruno Faidutti’s Mascarade, but the game is less wacky and more strategic. To start with, you generally know your own roles, having two lifes to lose lets you play a bit more confidently and you don’t keep switching roles all the time. It’s still a light game, but it does have more meat and has stronger player interaction, especially with some of the card abilities.
Blankenburg, a city of 20.000 inhabitants today in the center of Germany, is not the first place you’d think of for the setting of a game. But Peter Schultz, designer of Builders of Blankenburg, did think of it, and is looking to Kickstarter to fund his game about building the city. The city’s structures are build from plan cards, but to build them you need materials you get from an auction or, more expensively, the market at the end of the turn. Your buildings should supply you with two things: money to keep building and prestige to win the game. But Blankenburg is a small city and you’ll run out of space soon, either ending the game or forcing you to tear down older buildings. And since nothing is ever easy in boardgames, visitors and random events give you more to think about.
Plaid Hat Games
Over at Plaid Hat Games, the previews for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn continue. This week, the hero in the spotlight is Coal, the Lord of Iron. He is not especially sturdy, but with his special ability and his unique card, he can really dish it out.
This week’s featured photo was taken by János Korom and shows the village of Hollóko in Hungary, a historic village that is virtually unchanged since the 1800s and on the World Heritage list because of that. (Photo license: CC-BY-SA)