Finding out how the ghost of Warwick Manor died is tough. If you don’t know Mysterium, it’s a murder mystery game with a strong streak of Dixit. The ghost of the manor tries to convey how he died to the assembled spiritualists, but he can only communicate in cryptic pictures. Like I said, tough. But not yet tough enough, that’s why there’ll be a second expansion called Secrets & Lies. It will do the obvious – add more cards in all categories – but there’s another addition. With this expansion, you can replace the murder weapon deck with a new deck of cards showing the tragic story how the ghost died, which should be harder to figure out. Harder or not, the important bit is: more Mysterium!
Fantasy Flight Games
At first glance A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch looks like a re-skin of classic Settlers of Catan. Sure, you’re playing in the icy north of Westeros, the Desert has been replaced with inhospitable Ice Fields and the robber is now called Tormund Giantsbane, but the whole thing looks like regular, old Settlers. Not so, fortunately. Catan veterans will feel right at home, but there are additions. Each player will have a hero in the game, and that will give them a special ability. There’s also the constant threat of a Wildling invasion that the players have to prepare for. An invasion is obviously a bad thing, but the game is not a total loss. If the invasion happens, then the winner is the player who has the most guards on the wall right then. Without the invasion you still win with ten victory points. This is much more interesting than just writing Game of Thrones on the box.
Hans im Glück / Z-Man Games
Hans im Glück and Z-Man Games will release the German and English version respectively of Majesty, the new game by Splendor designer Marc André. As the king or queen of the realm, you want to build the most prosperous kingdom of them all, this time using cards representing buildings in your kingdom and other cards to put workers in those buildings. We all know that the most important bit in kingdom’s economy is grain to keep everyone fed, and so the first building we see in the previews is the Mill. Expect to see more buildings soon, and then expect another great Marc André game as an Essen release.
Plaid Hat Games
Somehow we missed the Crystal Clans clan preview last week, so I guess we’ll have to introduce two new clans this week. First, there is the Meteor Clan, a scholarly people that predict the future from the stars. Their Predict ability is a mind game: you predict which kind of Battle Card your opponent is going to play in a battle, and if you’re right you get a reward. But you make the prediction out loud before your opponent chooses a card, so your prediction might well influence his choice. This week’s previewed clan, Flower Clan, has an entirely different strategy. They avoid fight altogether, either putting enemies to sleep or sending them home without a fight. But don’t underestimate them, their bumblebee-riding warriors are fierce.
Matagot have announced their Essen release Okanagan: Valley of the Lakes with the video trailer below. They describe the game by Emanuele Ornella (Oltre Mare, Hermagor, …) as a gateway tile laying game. While discovering/creating the beautiful landscape of Canada players have to watch for the resources on the tiles, because they want to place their buildings in a way that allows them to complete their objectives. By the description and the recommended age of ten and up I’d say we’re looking at a slightly more complex tile laying game than Carcassonne.
In this week’s featured photo you see the Chapel of Nossa Senora de Baluarte a the eastern tip of the Island of Mozambique, considered the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere. The phot was taken by and kindly shared by Stig Nygaard. Thank you, Stig! (Island of Mozambique, Stig Nygaard, CC-BY)