Fantasy Flight Games
The forces of darkness may sleep, but they never die. Sooner or later they all return. In Elder Sign: Omens of the Pharaoh the evil in question is Nephren-Ka, a pharaoh so vile his successors expunged him from the history books. Unfortunately, that makes figuring out how to defeat him a bit harder. The big theme and challenge in Omens of the Pharaoh is the travel between two locations: Cairo and the excavations at Dashur. You only find the knowledge you need at Dashur, but to recover from the dangers of the dig site you must return to Cairo. Only the trip costs time every time, and if you’ve played Elder Sign you know time is a luxury you don’t have.
Even the King of the Savannah has problems – like other lions competing for food and territory. In IDW’s Roar: King of the Pride each player controls one pride of lions and they all want to rule over all the animals in Africa. They have to balance food supply and new cubs to grow their pride while also expanding their territory. There’s hidden objectives to consider as well as a mysterious deadly threat approaching. To be honest, I don’t see where the 14+ age recommendation is coming from, but from the brief description Roar sounds like it’s going to be a fun area control game.
Orange Machine Games
Don Eskridge’s name is a seal of quality for games of hidden agendas and deduction. He did The Resistance and Avalon. Now he has a new game on Kickstarter with Orange Machine Games, and Black Hole Council sounds more intricate and even more interesting than Don’s other games. The players are members of the titular council and decide about the future of planets: Will they be settled, taxed, mined, conquered or simply thrown into the black hole? Each player has their own agenda what should happen with each planet and try to negotiate and bribe their way to a profitable outcome in the council. It’s been a while since we saw a negotiation game. You don’t want to be too obvious about your agenda because the other players can not only sabotage you in negotiations, they also profit if they can guess it in the three deduction rounds. The combination of negotiation of hidden identity and deduction game, plus the fact that your “identity” is not simply your team membership but has five pieces of information to deduce, means we’ll be watching this game closely.
Scythe fans, this is probably the best news you’re going to get in 2018. The third and final Scythe expansion The Rise of Fenris will have an eight mission campaign. It has elements similar to a Legacy game, with a progressing story and secret game changes to be uncovered, but it will be fully resetable so you can enjoy it as often as you like. The new things introduced in the campaign will also work as expansion modules that you can mix and match into your non-campaign Scythe game. With eleven modules, that’s a lot of possible combinations. Everything will be compatible with the two previous expansions, but it looks like they won’t be required.
This news is of interest for our German readers: Frosted Games will release a German version of Alex Berry’s High Treason: The Trial of Louis Riel (English version 2016 by Victory Point Games). The German title will be Hochverrat: Der Prozess gegen Louis Riel 1885. This is a breed of game we don’t get to see very often: a courtroom game. Two players act as prosecution and defense, respectively, of Louis Real, who stands accused of high treason for leading two rebellions of the Métis people. The game is based on historic events that make for a fascinating read in their own right. More important for us is that High Treason allows you to select and manipulate the jury in ways you might see in courtroom dramas. Us German gamers can be happy to have easy access to this game soon.
That’s something we didn’t have here for a while: news from Smash Up!. Alderac’s first preview of 2018 is a new base card from the coming expansion That 70s Expansion. The Mean Streets are quite mean indeed: any action played there gives other players a chance to buff their minions. That’s going to be a fun base to fight over.
This week’s featured photo was taken over the rooftops of Cuzco, Peru. The city was originally built by the Inca, when the Spaniards conquered it they replaced the buildings with their own architecture, but maintained the basic structure of the city. This photo was taken by Nicolas Rénac. Thank you, Nicolas! (The roofs of Cusco, Nicolas Rénac, CC-BY-SA, resized and cropped)