This news item gives us the geek shivers in a good way: Vlaada Chvátil’s fantasy boardgame Mage Knight will produce an offspring with the Star Trek series. WizKids’s Star Trek Frontiers is, as we understand it, developed by Andrew Parks (Canterbury, Core Worlds, …) based on Vlaada’s Mage Knight. Instead of a powerful hero recruiting an army to explore and conquer the world you will play the Captain of a space ship recruiting and training a crew. In the period the game is set – debate is still going during which period of the Star Trek universe that might be – the Federation has a tenuous alliance with the Klingon Empire, so chances are you’ll be able to pick ships from both sides. The game will contain multiple scenarios for cooperative, competitive and solo play and be available early next year.
I never considered that being called the village crone might be something you’d want, but I guess if you are a witch it’s a badge of honor of sorts. At least, that’s the reasoning in Fireside Games’s The Village Crone where up to six witches compete for that dubious honor. To win, they all try to advance their witchy schemes by casting spells on the villagers and make them fall in love, turn them into frogs or whatever else seems fun right then. Spells need ingredients, and a big part of the game is strategic placement of your familiars to gather them for you. It’s hard work, being a witch, but at least there’s no risk to be burned at the stake.
Space station Theseus just isn’t getting any safer. With the second expansion Theseus: The Dark Orbit – Hunters another faction joins the struggle on the station. The Hunters try to avoid open conflict, they operate from the shadows and use their opponents’ equipment against them: they can steal upgrade markers and bonus cards, hack enemy cards to use them and activate their own cards remotely. They’ll also have the unique ability to voluntarily leave the station and move outside with their space capsules. The expansion was designed by the base game’s designer Michal Oracz with Theseus fan Andrzej Sosnowski.
One of the big new things the Corporate Lords expansion adds to Fleets – The Pleiad Conflict are operation bases. Each player gets one of them, to be built in a system of their choice. Your base is a very important location for you in this expansion: getting one of your fleets back to the base immediately repairs two points of damage and restores three points of energy to that fleet so it will be ready for duty again much sooner. Building your base is expensive, so you better be sure that you can hold on to the system you call your home; You can rebuild your base somewhere else, but doing that a lot will quickly bankrupt you.
A new edition of Castle, a game by Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget originally published in 2000, is coming from Finnish publisher LudiCreations. Players in Castle try to rid themselves of all their cards before the other players by placing them in one of the three areas of the castle: in the courtyard, on the wall or outside. Cards represent different characters and have restrictions where and how they may be placed as well as special abilities when they are played. Using those abilities to be able to meet other cards’ restrictions is how you win this game. The LudiCreations edition will add new characters and a new dungeon area for them to be placed in, so the game will be bigger than in earlier editions.
Czech Games Edition
Czech Games Edition will bring a big bag of new things to Essen this year. Of course they’ll have Vlaada Chvátil’s word game Codenames, introduced at Gen Con, available, but that’s only the start.
With Galaxy Trucker: Missions there will be a new expansion for Chvátil’s Galaxy Trucker that imports elements of the Galaxy Trucker mobile app back into the tabletop game. The missions are a really cool innovation in the app, they spice up your trucker life with things like special cargo to transport. Heavy cargo slows down your ship, wine bottles have a tendency to break and reduce your profit, you can’t have crew quarters next to radioactive cargo, that sort of thing. One more weird mission even gives you points for losing the most pieces of your ship while still finishing the race. Also new in Missions are Supercards, special adventures you will have to prepare your ship for if you want to survive them. Getting all that into the tabletop game will be pretty cool, and the expansion will contain missions from the app as well as new, never seen before missions. (By the way, since we’re talking about it: the Galaxy Trucker app is the best mobile implementation of a boardgame I have tried to date, it’s really great.)
Another expansion for a Chvátil game is Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends – Nethervoid. This expansion adds another faction to the arena battle game that sounds different from the games other factions. The Demons of Nethervoid use the Gate, one of the pieces they summoned into the arena they bestow extra power upon. It doesn’t change their basic summoning rules, but other players should be wary of the Gate.
And, because Vlaada’s output is just that big, there will be a new edition of his civilization game Through the Ages. This edition, titled Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, will still be played roughly like the older edition, but have many small and not-so-small changes.
Finally, there will be The Prodigals Club by Vladimír Suchý. As real Victorian gentlemen, the players have discovered that the lower classes get to have all the fun and decide to join them. As gentlemen of the time were wont to do, they enter a friendly wager about who can destroy his social standing the fastest. There are three competitions in the game: to lose an election, to lose all your worldly possessions and to lose the favor of high society by offending everyone around you. A quick game has any two of those competitions, a full game all three at once, and your actions in pursuit of one goal also influence the others. If the theme of losing everything you have sounds familiar, that’s exactly what you do in Suchý’s Last Will as well, and while The Prodigals Club is its own game, there are rules to combine it with Last Will.
This week’s featured photo shows Igreja de Sao Salvador do Mundo in Olinda, Brazil. The church with the ocean in the background is pretty, isn’t it? The photo was taken by the Prefeitura de Olinda, the Olinda administration, and shared with a CC-BY license. Thank you for sharing!