Rio Grande Games
Rio Grande Games has a long list of new releases coming up. We have previously talked about Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invastion and Roll for the Galaxy: Ambition, expansions for the two for the Galaxy games. There will new editions of popular older games as well, namely Transamerica, Cafe International and Bohnanza.
Elfenroads almost falls into the new edition category as well, but it includes some new parts, too. The box contains the beloved elf race game Elfenland and its expansion Elfengold. On top of that it will include the all new Elfensea, as far as we can tell a standalone game in the Elfenland universe. It’s mostly similar to Elfenland, but uses a different board and at least some different means of transportation. Going by the title, you can expect to do much more traveling on and over water. At least for now, the Elfenroads box seems to be the only way to get your hands on Elfensea, it’s not listed as an independent new release on the Rio Grande page.
The first all new game is Alan’s Adventureland by Alan Ernstein, where up to four players build a theme park. Each player works on one of the neighborhoods in the park, places like Animal Kingdom and Sky World, and wants to get the best attractions into his part of the park. During the game, your objective is to please the Review Board and its unique preferences how the park should be arranged. At the end of the game, you also have to pass inspection by the park’s owner, who wants to see big rides, preferably in clear view from the entrance and the parking lot to attract customers.
Next, we have Joshua Balvin’s Oktoberfest. You might be familiar with that Bavarian tradition of a huge, two-week fair where pretty young waitresses serve beer in liter steins. Beer is what the game is about as well, the players are brewers supplying the tents of Oktoberfest with beer. They bid for the privilege to supply a tent and score points for supplying the most beer of a kind to a tent during the game.
In Tin Goose by Matt Calkins, players run their own airlines in the early days of commercial aviation, buy planes, manage routes and have to deal with random but mostly unpleasant events disrupting their business.
Very little is known so far about For Crown & Kingdom by Dave Mansell, all I can give you is Rio Grande’s own description: “The king lies weakened on his deathbed. His Majesty has but days to live, and has failed to produce an heir. Any of the local barons could be next in line, as long as they are able to gain the approval of the people. Each has set off on a heroic campaign around the kingdom. They vie for fame, for glory, and for the crown!”
Finally, Transeuropa is a new edition of Transamerica. Just like you do there, you build your network of tracks across the continent, one piece at a time on every turn. The first player to connect his five cities that way wins the round, to win the game you collect points over multiple short rounds. It seems the rules are unchanged between the two games, Transeuropa will simply give you a new map to play on.
Alderac / Artipia Games
News from Dice City: building a Merchant Guild is an excellent source of resources, it collects some from every harvest location on the same row. Those merchants are really useful to have around.
Matthew Riddle’s new card game Wharfside continues his Fleet series where the other Fleet games ended: at the quay. The new standalone game puts your business in the harbor where you pick up different kinds of fish from your ships to complete contracts. The problem is that you don’t really want to complete those contracts because they give you a nice bonus while you are working on them, and that bonus goes away when you complete the contract. On the other hand, contracts are worth victory points only when completed, so you’ll have to make some tough decision. Wharfside is quick enough to learn and play, but still has interesting tactical decisions to make. And starting at only $11 plus shipping, it’s one of the least expensive boardgames I remember seeing on Kickstarter, at least if you live in the right countries. The offer for us Europeans is a good deal worse.
Fantasy Flight Games
We’ve seen several previews for Eldritch Horror: Strange Remnants already, Fantasy Flight’s cooperative save-the-world-from-the-Old-Ones game. In most of them, we mentioned that the new threat you will face in this expansion is not one of Cthulhu’s colleagues but a sinister constellation of the stars: the Syzygy. When it inevitably occurs, a Portal opens and whatever you may find on the other side threatens to devour the world – at least there we’re on familiar territory. The latest preview tells you more about the Syzygy, and what you might do to prevent the end of the world.
It’s easy to lose track of all the dungeon-themed games Fantasy Flight are (re)-publishing. Cave Troll is the one where each player control both a party of heroes to collect gold from the dungeon, and some monsters to get in the other heroes’ way. Although set in a dungeon, Cave Troll is not a dungeon crawler but an area control game; the treasure in each room goes to the player with the most heroes there when it’s time to score the board. This week’s preview shows an example turn to give you a much better idea how to achieve that.
Last week we only saw a teaser picture, now it’s official: FryxGames will release an expansion to their game Fleets: The Pleiad Conflict. In Fleets: Corporate Lords the corporations competing to exploit the Pleiades cluster will develop more distinct identities. Every one of them not only gains a special ability but also a unique escort ship. And they may need that added protection, because cruising between the stars now is a neutral pirate fleet that will attack everyone they can get their lasers on. Also new: the Trade Convoy, bringing resources to whoever they visit, and the option to build operation bases. I’m curious to see more detailed previews soon.
German publisher Kosmos will release three new, interesting games for this September. The first continues their very successful Legends of Andor series of fantasy games with a new standalone game. In Legends of Andor: Chada & Thorn two players, in the roles of the titular characters, must cross the island of Silverland to reach the boat that will take them to Andor, to safety. Working together is their only chance to escape from their mysterious pursuer. Four different adventures await, and if that’s not enough there is an option to play a “variable game” that sounds like a random travel route that awaits the two adventurers.
Giant, time-traveling zeppelins. Three words, and I already want Steam Time, a new game by Rüdiger Dorn (Istanbul, …). Time-traveling zeppelins is what the world ended up with when, in 1899, mysterious crystals and temporal anomalies started appearing around mystic places like Stonehenge and the Pyramids. These crystals can power all kinds of new, exiting machines, including the time machine, and their appearance sparked a race to find lost knowledge and buried treasures by simply being there when they were lost and buried in the first place. With zeppelins, did I mention that?
Klaus Teuber, creator of Settlers of Catan, and his son Benjamin Teuber have designed a game together, and it doesn’t have anything in common with Settlers. In Tumult Royal the players are greedy, arrogant nobles who only want one thing: more statues of themselves. Each round, they only have a few seconds to grab food, tools and marble needed for their next monument. But if they don’t leave enough for their starving people, they will rise up against and punish the greediest of them.