Meople News: Masters of the Epic Bird

Fantasy Flight Games

One of the big challenges in Fantasy Flight’s New Angeles is to keep the peace in the city. Or at least to keep the rioting to an acceptable minimum. We never expected that to be as easy as it sounds, and the latest preview post goes into a lot of detail just how not easy it is. There are different states of unrest in the districts, from protests to strikes to full-blown outages. None of them are very profitable. And once you get Human First protesters or Orgcrime in a district you want to exploit, things get really hairy. But you have a response for this worst case scenario: your corporate security. They can drive undesirables out of a district they control. But they can’t be everywhere. You’ll need a good plan to meet those production goals.

The Corellian Conflict, first expansion to Star Wars space battle game Armada, will add long term strategy to your list of things to worry about. Ships and squadrons that survive a battle after destroying an enemy gain veteran status and gain powerful special abilities to use in future fights. You will have to consider this in your strategy, maybe take bigger risks to create a veteran unit, or take more care to protect your veterans. All ships can attain veteran status, but only unique squads can. That’s why you get more of those with the expansion. Have fun flying around with Rogue Squadron.

Citadels (Image by Asmodee)
Citadels (Image by Asmodee)

Windrider Games

There are many new districts with new, special abilities in the new Windrider Games edition of Bruno Faidutti’s Citadels. You have gold but need cards? A visit to the Smithy can fix that. If your problem is the other way around the Laboratory is the place to go. And they are not even the best. The School of Magic is counted as whatever type of district you benefit from with your chosen role, that’s pretty damn useful. Of course, all those fancy districts are tempting targets for other players to attack. Having the Great Wall doesn’t prevent that, but it does make them pay for it. You never had that many choices to build your city.

Cryptozoic / Hobby World

I don’t know about you, but the space colonization video game Masters of Orion has eaten a rather large chunk of my youth. And now it looks like it will take another bite out of my life, because there’s no way I can ignore Masters of Orion: The Board Game by Cryptozoic and Hobby World. Designers Ekaterina Gorn and Igor Sklyuev made the board game as a tableau building game: each round you add cards to the four solar systems under your control. You obviously need to manage your resources to build the best structures in your systems, and you want the best structures to win. Or sets of matching structures, that works, too. Or you could attack your opponents, because this is not the kind of tableau building where you don’t have interaction.

Lookout Games / WizKids

Didn’t see that coming. WizKids and Lookout Games have entered a partnership for WizKids to produce six Agricola expansions next year. Each of these expansions, or Agricola Upgrade Kits, will include plastic miniatures for one player to replace the traditional Agricola pieces, plus new cards unique to each pack. Completionists wanting all possible cards for their Agricola will probably be upset to find them spread across six packs.  If, on the other hand, you buy them for the minis having the packs like this makes sense: if you only ever play in three players, you only buy three packs instead of one big pack, half of which you’d never use. Either way: Agricola expansions!

Historical Games Factory / REBEL.PL

We saw a very early prototype of science fiction survival game Nemesis last year already, and it was tense and creepy then. We didn’t manage to try it again this year, but I imagine it has only gotten better since then. It also moved on from a simple prototype with handcrafted pieces to a design prototype that looks ready for production, as you can see in this Facebook album.

Czacha Games

If you’re looking for a game that does something new and cool with cards then a Carl Chudyk (Innovation, …) game is always a good bet. His The Bird Told Me To Do It is on Kickstarter by Czacha Games, and it does, you guessed it, something new and cool with cards. Cards have branches and birds on them, and the birds on each card tell you to do something like draw cards, score cards or move cards in the tree around. When you play a card you extend a branch with it, and then you do what all the birds along the branch tell you to do, from the trunk to your new card. Then you will score points – or someone will, points go to the player holding the plumage card for the color of bird you just played. If you played smart, then you took that card just now because a bird told you to do it.

Look at those meeples holding things!!! (Tiny Epic Quest, image by Gamelyn Games)
Look at those meeples holding things!!! (Tiny Epic Quest, image by Gamelyn Games)

Gamelyn Games

I will talk about the game Tiny Epic Quest in a second, but there is one detail about it we all know I cannot ignore: ITEMeeples. They are meeples, but with little holes in their hands so they can hold items like swords, shields, shovels and pan pipes. The world doesn’t even deserve this much awesome. Oh, and the game sounds great, too. It continues the Tiny Epic series by Scott Almes and Gamelyn Games. This time we’ll get a tiny, epic adventure game where your meeple adventurers travel the lands to complete quests collect points. Each round is split into two phases. In the day phase you do the traveling and score points by putting your three adventurers in the right pattern on the map. At night you go and have adventures in the locations where they ended up, using a push-your-luck dice mechanic. If you succeed, your adventurers win items – you know, to hold in their tiny, epic meeple hands. Like the other Tiny Epic games, Tiny Epic Quest does not have a whole lot of rules, but does sound a whole lot of fun.

NSKN Games

It’s not often that a publisher advertises an expansion as a final expansion to a game. But that’s exactly what NSKN Games are doing with Event Horizon, a coming expansion for their space 4X game Exodus: Proxima Centauri. But I can see why they’d call it the final one. What else is there left to add after an expansion that has ten distinct modules, all of which you can mix and match into your Exodus game? Leaders for your factions, jump gates, random events, the Centauri people fighting back when you exploit their planets, everything that could happen is in there. And there are two new scenarios as well, one that you play cooperatively or semi-cooperatively and another one that mixes things up with timed events. That’s a lot of new Exodus to enjoy.

Overworld Games

I was surprised to see that Leaders of Euphoria: Choose a Better Oppressor is not a Stonemaier Games project. It is based on their Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, after all. But I’m excited that its coming from Overworld Games. Their hidden identity game Good Cop, Bad Cop that this new game is mechanically based on is great. Them partnering up with Stonemaier should yield an amazing result. So, Leaders of Euphoria is a hidden identity game. Two teams each want their leader to be the new leader of Euphoria, and the easiest way to achieve that is to identify and exile the opposing leader. What is special about this game, even compared to its predecessor Good Cop, Bad Cop,  is that exiled players are not eliminated from the game. They form their own team and can still win together by eliminating one of the leaders. That lets everyone stay in the game, but it has another effect as well. The more players you exile before you find the enemy leader, the stronger this third team becomes. Being trigger-happy will come back to bite you.

The location from this week’s featured photo will be familiar to most boardgamers: the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. A place so beautiful that you can literally take a photo of a random corner and it’ll look good. Point in case at the top of the page. This particular photo was taken by Rolf Kleef and kindly shared with a CC-BY-SA license. Thank you for sharing, Rolf!

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