Meople News: Saloon on the Moor

Stonemaier Games

There is an unexpected expansion for Stonemaier Games’s Viticulture in the making, and the creator of 40 new Visitor cards is Agricola designer Uwe Rosenberg. The way Jamey Stegmaier tells it, Rosenberg over-performed and delivered 64 new cards instead of three or four when asked if he’d like to design “a few cards”. And quickly as that, what could have been a small promo pack became a full-blown expansion. Viticulture: Moor Visitors Expansion – not a typo but a pun on Rosenberg’s Farmers of the Moor – is available for preorder now from a list of retailers.

West of Africa (Image by Spielworxx)
West of Africa (Image by Spielworxx)

ACD Blackfire / Spielworxx

Martin Schlegel’s West of Africa, winner of last year’s Hippodice game design contest, is the latest game on preorder from Spielworxx. The Canary Islands had been mostly ignored by the European powers all through the Middle Ages, until Spain rediscovered them and their agricultural potential. Players in West of Africa may control one of the islands as alcalde and exploit it as well as they can, selling the goods they grow and starting colonies to make their island prosper. Before each round, players pick some cards from their personal deck, pre-selecting their actions for the round. They should consider the other players’ options when doing that, because their actions might make the selected cards useless.

GMT Games

If you’re waiting for a new game in the rare category of very heavy single player games, then you really want to watch Gene Billingsley’s Mr. President, the heaviest game for just one player I’m currently aware of. The latest preview post gives a very detailed look at the first round of being the POTUS, and reading it you understand quickly why US presidents tend to age a lot in office. There are so many things to keep track of, so many decisions to make and so much stuff to deal with, you might actually be happy not to be reelected. And then still start a new game right away, there are so many moving parts that you’ll never play two games that are even a bit similar.

Cool Mini Or Not

A  dungeon crawler is Cool Mini Or Not’s latest kickstarted excursion into the world of Arcadia. Masmorra: Dungeons of Arcadia lets up to five players enter the randomly created dungeons underneath. There they fight monsters to gather XP and learn new skills, until one of them reaches the maximum level. Unusual for a CMON game, only the heroes are actual miniatures, the monsters this time are represented by dice. Whenever a monster spawns, you roll the appropriate dice and get one of six monsters to face. Each hero has their own selection of skills that can be upgraded for XP, and you don’t have to follow a fixed path when getting upgrades, so you can try different strategies with the same hero. Although Masmorra is a fully competitive game, one thing you can not to is attack your opponents directly. But you’ll have ample opportunity to mess with them in other ways.

Van Ryder Games

Pretty much all tile-laying games I’ve seen over the years had one thing in common: you placed your tiles in two dimensions, side by side, flat on the table. But no longer will we be thus confined! Van Ryder Games’s Kickstarter project Saloon Tycoon throws off the shackles of two-dimensionality, finally you can lay tiles in three dimensions. While everyone in the West is out searching for gold, you’re building your saloon back in town, to take the money off them as soon as they come back. The different parts of your saloon can go side by side or on top of each other, either way they’ll generate income for you and give you more options what to do on your turn. On top of that – hehe, on top, see what I did there? – players have secret objectives how to build their saloon for extra points and the chance to attract influential citizens to their establishment for some more extras. Or they may end up with Outlaws making their job hard. Saloon Tycoon is more than just a simple tile-layer.


A new game Alderac dice game will be in stores this summer. Dice Heist, a small and light game, is going to be about international art theft, and the player who pulls off the most daring heist for the most valuable painting wins. If the dice let him, of course. That’s all we know for now, you use dice to steal art, but we’ll tell you more as we find out.

Mystic Vale (Image by Alderac)
Mystic Vale (Image by Alderac)

In another new Alderac project players fight for a noble cause: save the Valley of Life from a curse that has been placed on it. That’s a job for the druids. The players of Mystic Vale, in the role of those druids, fight the curse and try to restore the valley. But caution is needed, the curse has the power to corrupt the unwary. Mystic Vale will employ an innovative card crafting mechanic that lets you put mostly transparent cards into a sleeve together to create your own card from the printed areas of all of them. Using transparent cards is, in itself, not new. Gloom has been doing it for ages. But there the cards only stack up on the table, you don’t play them as one card. So Mystic Vale is doing something new, and I want to try it right now.

Fantasy Flight Games

Every time we hear anything new about Elder Sign: Omens of Ice things only get worse in the North. This new preview shows how important supplies are, and just how tight your time limit will be. The time is especially problematic when playing the tougher Winter mode: after 7 days, you will all die. But that’s not the worst. We finally get to see the new Old Ones we’ll be up against, too. And they are not the friendly kind.

Everything about Star Wars: Rebellion is about a struggle between two factions, the Rebels and the Empire. How does that translate to playing with more than two players? That’s the subject of this preview post. When two players control a faction, they split responsibilities. One becomes the Admiral, controlling the space forces, the other the General, controlling ground forces. Other tasks are split between them as well. To make this arrangement work, the players on a team will have to communicate very well.

Ravensburger / alea

We already talked about The Castles of Burgundy – The Card Game, a card game adaptation of one of Stefan Feld’s most popular games. But that’s not the only card game treatment of a Ravensburger / alea game coming this year, and the other one is a bit weird. This second game is Broom Service. In Broom Service – The Card Game players will once more fly around and deliver potions picking safe cowardly or risky brave actions. Just like the original game the card game is by Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister. What is weird about it is that Broom Service itself is already based on the card game Witch’s Brew, so we’re now getting the card game based on the board game based on the card game. Anyone care to make a dice game out of that? Just to make it clear, by the way, this new game is not identical with Witch’s Brew, it’s an all new game based on the same mechanic.

IGames / Ares Games

Ukranian publisher IGames have partnered with Ares Games to bring their Behind the Throne to four new languages: English, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. Behind the Throne is a quick card game where different secret organizations compete for control. They do that by bringing influential people under their control, in whichever way works, and building card sets from them. Completed sets give them special abilities they can use to control more cards. Light, but with some engine building, always a good combination.

Levuka, a historical port town in the Fiji archipelago, is the subject of this week’s featured photo. It looks more modest than many other World Heritage sites, but as the first colonial capital of Fiji it’s no less historically significant. The photo was taken by Simon Davies and shared with a CC-BY-SA license. Thank you, Simon!

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