Fantasy Flight Games
After last week’s preview at the high level workings of Civilization: A New Dawn and its focus bar, this week it’s time for a deeper dive. What exactly do you do when you resolve a card from the focus bar? This preview talks about military actions you use to attack barbarians and, yes, other players. There is still a dice involved when you attack other players, but both attacker and defender have enough ways to boost their outcome that it shouldn’t feel like battles are completely random – just a tad uncertain.
In The Art of War Sun Tzu said “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” That quote holds true in Fantasy Flight’s Battle for Rokugan because you’ll never be sure what your enemies are going to do until they knock on your front door. All planning for the round is done with face down combat tokens on the board, so you can see where your opponents are going to act, but you won’t know what they are planning. Invasion, assassination, diplomacy … or maybe it’s a bluff token and they won’t do anything.
What sort of people walk around a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland? The weird sort, that’s for sure. This preview for Fallout introduces the five player characters. Being a Ghoul never sounded appealing before – but being healed by radiation in a nuclear wasteland? That’s useful for sure!
Fighting against rising water is a very different challenge from fighting against diseases. It needs very different specialists as well. In Pandemic: Rising Tide you won’t meet old friends like the Dispatcher or the Medic. Instead, you’ll work with people like the Carpenter and the Pump Operator. Another new feature in Rising Tide are the objective cards that set different goals each time you play. You might have to drain all the water from some regions of the board, or to complete specific dike projects. Or you might have to increase the population in a region. That last one will be a bit tricky, because you may have to remove your population cubes again when water cubes are added. If you were wondering if Rising Tide is different enough from Pandemic to justify owning both, that sure sounds like a yes.
How did this take so long? King Kong is one of the great, city-destroying monsters, only rivaled by Gozilla in fame and destructive force. And yet, he only joins King of Tokyo and King of New York in 2017. The King Kong Monster Pack includes the Giant Ape himself, his Evolution cards to use with the Power Up expansions, and the Empire State Building and Tokyo Tower for him to climb.
Iello / Masked Scorpion
Breaking codes is not easy. The codes the two teams have to break in Decrypto aren’t in the Enigma league, but it’ll be a fun contest between one team using their code and the other trying to break it. It goes something like this: one team draws four word cards, invisible to the other team. Then one player on that team draws a number card, for instance 2-4-1. He has to say three words, related to the second, fourth and first of their word cards. Those hints should be obvious enough that his own team mates can guess the right numbers. But they shouldn’t be so obvious that the opposing team can break the code and guess the right numbers on one of the next messages. Decrypto feels a bit like Codenames in being a fun, quick team guessing game, but by rules and mechanisms it’s entirely different.
Holy Grail Games
Set collection is one of the most basic game mechanisms, but nevertheless very exciting games are built around it. Museum, the lastest Kickstarter by Holy Grail Games, is one of those. Each player is curator in their own museum and wants to score points by exhibiting sets of artifacts from the same region or of the same type. That is easier said than done, however. For every exhibit card you play into your musem you must pay the price by discarding more exhibit cards into your personal discard pile. Those cards are not lost, you can still play them into your exhibition right from the discard pile – but now, so can everyone else. Cards in anyone’s discard pile are up for grabs, the only extra cost is a prestige token you must give to the original owner. Add to that some random events from newspaper headlines, personnel you hire with different special abilities, patrons to please with your collections, and a public opinion that will turn against you if you bury too many exhibits in your discard pile. You end up with a game that is pretty quick to pick up, light enough to work as a family game, but with enough going on to keep experienced gamers interested as well.
There is always crime, and there are always criminals thinking they can outsmart their pursuers. That, however, is not likely when the pursuer in question is Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective. The new collection of ten cases for the detective game by Space Cowboys promise to have some the most challenging yet. Carlton House & Queen’s Park introduces the two titular locations as new locales to investigate and some of the hardest and longest cases for the players to solve. Unfortunately, we’ll still have to wait until early next year before the game is afoot again.
This week’s featured photo shows the gardens of Lumbini in Nepal, an important Buddhist pilgrimage site and supposed workplace auf Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. This photo of the momentous site was taken by Vyacheslav Argenberg. Thank you for sharing, Vyacheslav! (2007-11-0826, Vyacheslav Argenberg, CC-BY, cropped and resized)