Plaid Hat Games
An aerial combat miniature game with birds instead of planes is a first, so the rules how you control your bird in Plaid Hat’s Tail Feathers deserve a close look, too. We already knew from the last preview that you’ll have to announce the direction your birds will move in advance by tilting them to that side. But you’ll still leave your opponent(s) guessing where exactly you will move to, because you may use different templates for the actual movement, as this new preview explains. It’s a pretty cool system, it finds the middle ground between announcing your intentions and leaving your opponent in the dark. And leaving your opponent in the dark over where you’re going is good, because next you’re going to attack, as this preview explains. And combat can’t be boring when the rules contain the term Death Spiral.
Finnish publisher Lautapelit.fi are working on an an expansion to their flagship space 4X game Eclipse. (That’s 4X as in eXploration, eXpansion… um… eXploitation aaand… probably eXclamation, because whenever I play those games there’s yelling involved. Anyway, you know what I mean.) The expansion Shadow of the Rift introduces a number of new concepts like Time Dilation and Evolution – that’s some pretty heavy stuff to put in game rules, I’m very curious how they’ll do it.
Alderac / Artipia Games
It’s been a while since we shared a Dice City preview card with you. Here’s the latest one: the Blacksmith. Having him around is great for your armies, he makes each army location stronger.
Small publisher Fragor Games only releases one game a year, for the Essen fair. But that one game is always popular, because their games are always fun and because they tend to have outrageously nice ceramic game pieces. This year, their game is A Game of Gnomes, an adventure game about gnomes going into the world looking for adventure. And mushrooms. We’re completely in the dark about the game mechanics still, but apparently you will be able to take your gnomes down the river on a leaf boat or up into the mountain looking for adventure, but you’ll also be able to trade in mushrooms for victory.
The new hidden identity party game by Lui-même is titled Mafia de Cuba. In it, the players are members of the Cuban mob and have been entrusted with the godfathers valuable cigar box, the one with the false bottom to hide diamonds under. As they pass the box around the table, they may be tempted to take some diamonds for themselves from the box. Of course, when the godfather returns for his box, he’ll notice the theft and try to track down who stole them with his faithful henchmen. The thief will quickly find himself at the bottom of the ocean, but if the godfather accused the wrong person he’ll lose his honor. With the cigar box to steal from. the game sounds a little more elaborate than the classic Mafia / Werewolves games, but it seems to follow the same general flow.
Matagot are about to release the first expansion for Kemet, their strategy game in ancient Egypt. Ta-Seti will bring four expansion modules from which you can pick what to add to your game. The big one is the lost and now reappeared city of Ta-Seti that you can send your Priests to discover, but there are also new monsters to recruit for your battle, new Divine Interventions and a new color of Pyramids.
German publisher HABA are well known for their excellent kids’ games, probably the first games many budding gamers ever play. What they have not been known for, so far, are games for older players and the whole family. Until now, that is, because this year they expand their program into that direction. It starts with Adventure Land, an adventure game by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling for ages ten and up. The name does give it away, you will send your adventurers to different places in the land to have adventures and defeat the dangerous fog creatures to earn the King’s favor. There’s nothing yet about the game’s mechanics, but it comes with three adventures, so at least we know it’s a scenario-based game.
Second HABA game for older players is a Rüdiger Dorn game for ages eight and up. In Karuba, players build paths across the island of Karuba on their player boards. They try to collect as much treasure as they can along the way, but also to be first at the temple in the center of the island, where the biggest treasures await. Everyone plays at the same time, so there’s no downtime, but you want to keep an eye on the other players to see when it’s time to race for the temple.
The last HABA game for older players (also eight and up) is Spookies by Stefan Kloß, a dice game where players climb as high as they can in a haunted house to collect spookies. The description says that risky dice maneuvers may take your further away from victory, so I suspect Spookies to be a push your luck game. Those three are not all new releases from HABA, of course, they have many more coming, but for a lower age bracket.
Capsicum Games will have a new card game in Essen this year. Unlike most card games, Siggil doesn’t simply use a stack of cards, it arranges cards in an elaborate pattern called a siggil on the table. Might be a bit of a pain to set up, but what comes next sounds good. Most of those cards are regular cards from seven suits with values of one to seven. Players take those cards from the siggil to their hands. But the purpose of the siggil is to bind seven Spirits and removing cards from the siggil will, sooner or later, release them. When that happens, players may recapture the spirits by playing the right combination of cards. Whoever captures the most spirits during the game wins. Building your hand strategically and releasing spirits at the right time seem to be the important features of the game. It’s a quick and sort of light game, but untying a siggil to your benefit should take a bit of planning.
Nine years after the original game, Corné van Moorsel in on Kickstarter with Factory Funner, an updated and “funner” version of his Factory Fun. The goal is still to build a factory with connected machines, each of which takes one or two input materials of different colors and creates material of another color. That output can, in turn, be connected to another machine as you try to build a network where all your machines somehow feed into each other for points. Changes from the old game are supposed to make the game easier and deeper at the same time. Among other changes, Factory Funner is played on hex spaces instead of squares, but on a smaller board, with some changes how machines and reservoirs can be connected.
This week’s featured photo, taken by Martin Nikolaj Christensen, shows a house in the town of Christiansfeld, Denmark. Christiansfeld is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for being a planned community founded by a Protestant church, with a plan following the church’s ideals. Thank you for sharing this photo, Martin! (Photo license: CC-BY)