Fantasy Flight Games
The previews for Star Wars: Rebellion continue, this time with a look at combat. When Empire and Rebels meet, combat takes place on two independent battlefields: in space and on the ground. Battle is still fought with dice, but the Tactics Cards your leader in the system may draw play a bigger role – a good leader with the right tactics can win against a superior force. Also in this preview is the first look at the Death Star, a special space unit for the Empire player that can not be destroyed by regular means. It also can blow up a planet with one shot, which is bad news when they find the Rebel base. There’ll be no combat then, just … poof.
The Upkeep Phase, however you call it in any given game, is often just boring bookkeeping. I’m not saying Star Wars: Rebellion‘s Refresh Phase will be super exciting, but you do make some interesting decisions. Which new units to build is one of them, and it depends on the systems you control. Not every system can produce all your units. More interesting still is that, in the Refresh Phase of the first four rounds, you recruit a new leader for your side. We know already how important those guys are, so pick wisely. Almost as a side note, this preview also reveals that the Empire may be able to turn a Rebel leader to the Dark Side and make him or her their own.
Another Star Wars: Rebellion preview goes into the basic asymmetry of the game It’s not only in the different units and missions both sides have, it goes much deeper than that. The Rebels are complete underdogs, they start with fewer systems under their control, a smaller fleet and fewer resources. And there’s no real way for them to catch up, either. But to win the game, they don’t need a military victory, all they need is to prove that the Empire can wipe them out. If they can just survive long enough, that’s enough to show the galaxy that resisting the Empire is possible, and that’s a victory for the Rebels.
Days of Wonder
One type of building in Days of Wonder’s coming city building/tile laying game Quadropolis will be monuments. They score big points when placed next to parks, shops and public services, but just as many negative points next to harbors and factories. Where you place things is very important in this game. Apparently, so if where you get your games from: while Quadropolis comes with all the monuments you need to play, you can get a range of local monuments as game launch promotions, different per country. Collecting them all will be a challenge for the most ambitious collectors.
Forget traveling around the world in 80 days. The newest bet between members of the Club of Adventurers is to visit and explore eight legends, from Atlantis to the Yeti in the Himalayas, in 75 weeks. Placing cards in the eight locations represents players collecting knowledge about them. But that knowledge will only be converted to points for five of those locations in each scoring round, and you can influence which ones by playing cards in the club house – the same cards that would score points somewhere else. Like most Ravensburger games Legends will be a family game, but looks tactical enough to be enjoyed by everyone.
Tasty Minstrel Games
In the latest Tasty Minstrel project on Kickstarter, players enter the criminal underworld of a nameless fantasy city. Each round, they go out robbing together – they roll the loot dice – and then fight how to split the loot. A player can grab as much loot as he wants from the pile, but if another player thinks the share taken is unreasonable, they can steal everything back. The sharing goes on until all players took some loot, then it’s time to spend what you got. In the market they buy cards for their loot that give them a useful special ability for the next round. Between the unusual sharing mechanic and the engine building with the cards, Thief’s Market sounds like a very cool and interactive game but still quick and easy to learn.
Action Phase Game
Dreamwell, a Kickstarter project by Action Phase Games, is a charmingly odd game about children finding their friends inside the Dreamwell, the place where dreamers go when they get lost in their dreams. The friends you are currently looking for are shown on your hand cards. To find them, you have to move your two pawns on the 4×4 grid of tiles so they stand on the two creatures shown on the friend card and one of them also stands on the terrain shown. To get them there, you turn the tiles so their doors point in the direction you need, and you use the special ability of the last friend you rescued. It’s really all about finding the best way to go from place to place, a classic optimization game and a race to rescue seven of your friends first.
This week’s featured photo was taken by Neil Thompson. It shows the site of Butrint in Albania, that was a Greek colony, then a Roman city and later a bishopric. Controlled by the Byzantine empire for a while, then occupied by Venice, Butrint was abandoned in the late Middle Ages because of marshes forming in the area. Today Butrint is an archaeological site with ruins from all periods of its varied history. Thank you for the photo, Neil! (Photo license: CC-BY-SA)