Meople News: The Silent Sky

Alderac

Building a more successful guild than the other players is only part of your problem in Alderac’s Edge of Darkness. The city being under constant threat from the Blight doesn’t exactly help, either. Unless, that is, your guild is the one successfully defending the city. Huge reputation boost. The latest preview post explains how you go about defending the city. Support the City Watch!

Matagot

Xi'An (Matagot)
Xi’An (Matagot)

At some point in our boardgaming career we’ve probably built all the great monuments of Europe, some of the Americas, and Egypt about five times over. We didn’t build all that much around East Asia yet. It might be about time to take on one of the big projects in China. No, not the Great Wall. The Terracotta Army of Xi’An. Xi’An is also the name of the Matagot action selection game where four players compete for prestige in building the terracotta warriors. They all draw their action cards from identical decks, but they’ll only use half those cards for their actions. The other half determines turn order each turn. You only have four cards per round, but how you use them won’t be an easy choice.

Phalanx

UBOOT The Board Game merges some popular boardgaming trends: it’s an app-driven real time game with miniatures. Not many miniatures, mind, but the entire board you play on is a “miniature” submarine. Note the quotes, the thing is actually quite big. It’s a cooperative game, but it’s anything but peaceful: the submarine you crew is a WW2 attack sub. The one thing you’ll do in this game is go to war. If that doesn’t put you off then this is a very tense game, and as stressful as they come. That app, by the way? One of the things it does is serve as an actual periscope. I think this is as close as you can get to virtual reality while still playing a boardgame.

Voodoo Games

Of the many things you get to do in games my favorite is probably exploration. Explore unknown places, meet their inhabitants, develop a story. Isles of Terror, on Kickstarter by Voodoo Games, is a huge temptation in that regard. You take command of one of the four factions, each with different game options, and explore the isles. There are many things to do there, and most of them can turn into victory points: have adventures, complete missions, help your faction progress or even raid other players. That last one only in the competitive variant, of course. All the while you have a story advancing, either as a single game scenario or as a longer campaign. Mechanically, resource management is an important part of Isles of Terror. Driving the action is a simple yet effective action selection mechanism that doesn’t let you take all types of actions together the way you might like. Sounds awesome. Looks real pretty, too.

Isles of Terror (Voodoo Games)
Isles of Terror (Voodoo Games)

Fantasy Flight Games

None of the Great Old Ones are easy to grasp for our tiny human brains. Even among them Nyarlathotep stand out as a mystery. He has many cults around the world worshipping him, but they all know a different Mask. That will be the big challenge for the players in Eldritch Horror – Masks of Nyarlathotep: They’ll have to take different approaches in their investigation, depending on the Mask they are chasing.

Cave Wolf Games

Did I ever say I was tired of zombies as a game theme? Maybe I was wrong. I can have one more zombie game, not because I suddenly like zombies again but because Cave Wolf Games’s Dead ’til Dawn could be awesome. As a hidden identity card game it shares some traits with classics like Werewolves and Bang!, but gets rid of the most annoying feature of those games: player elimination. Any player that dies turns into a zombie with a new victory condition – mostly involving the death of other players – and they can still win as one of the shambling dead. Players don’t fall neatly into factions, either. They all have their own goals. Some of them are to kill other players even before you turn into a zombie. There are approximately two dead bodies worth of cards in the game, characters, equipment, random events – you’ll find a different zombie apocalypse every time.

Hans im Glück

One of the great failures in naming things in the human history: New Found Land. Despite the terrible name finding new land is a pretty big deal. It’s not surprise at all that a Race to the New Found Land broke out. Is’s not simply a race to get there first, however. It’s a race to explore, colonize, trade and overall make the most of this new land for your King back home. Play time and recommended age point to a medium heavy game that Hans im Glück will present at the game fair in Nürnberg. Shame we won’t be there, but I hope we can get a look at this soon!

Inside the Box Board Games

NewSpeak (Inside the Box Board Games)
NewSpeak (Inside the Box Board Games)

In a near future dystopia of NewSpeak heroic hackers hope to help everyone else to overcome the people in control of everyone’s perception of the world. But they have the problem every dystopia resistance group has to face: the opressors can listen in on their communication. Any attempt to coordinate an action will give away their plans. That’s why NewSpeak is a code breaking game. The Hackers communicate using a pre-arranged code card: A list of words assigned to the different places where they could meet up. Using this code they have to arrange for most of them to be at the same placce in order to overcome their oppressors. The catch is that even with the code they can’t be too obvious because the Moderator players have a list of all possible codes to consult. They just don’t know which one you’re using. Don’t make it too easy for them. A great mixup of games like Spyfall with ideas from Petits Meurtres & Faits Divers (dt.: Ein bisschen Mord muss sein, no English title).

Gamewright

Matt Leacock doesn’t let us go anywhere. The Island? Forbidden. The Desert? Forbidden. And this summer it’ll be Forbidden Sky, the third game in the series. What little we know for now comes from the trailer video by publisher Gamewright: we’ll be up in the sky defying storm and lightning. At a guess, Forbidden Sky will probably keep the basic structure of its predecessors. You’ll have a few actions per turn that you use to move, trade items with other players, and use character special abilities. Then you’ll draw cards that make the game do bad things to you. Beyond that its anybody’s guess what will happen. I can’t wait to find out!

Renegade Game Studios / Dire Wolf Digital

Clank! The Mummy's Curse (Renegade Game Studios)
Clank! The Mummy’s Curse (Renegade Game Studios)

Be vewy, vewy qwiet. We’re wobbing dwagon lairs. Clank! players know that noise is the enemy, whether it is in a dragon’s lair, a submarine, or a spaceship. Don’t expect that to change in Clank! The Mummy’s Curse. In March you may start to rob the pyramid on a new game board, collecting new artifacts – and being chased by an all new mummy wandering around. Oh, and there’s still a dragon. If it was easy it wouldn’t be profitable, right?

WizKids

WizKids’s newest boardgame is available since last week: the English version of Lancelot. It’s one of those games that sound simple. All players walk clockwise around the board seven times, whoever has the most virtue points wins the heart of Queen Guinevere. Obviously, it’s not that easy. How often and where you stop along the way is up to you. All the stops have clear benefits, but being tardy and arriving back at the Round Table last means you get last pick of a powerful ally for the next round. Easy rules, yes. Easy decisions, no. Just the way we like it.

This week’s featured photo is a panorama of Durham in the United Kingdom. It shows both Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral. It was taken by Flickr user ADTeasdale. Thanks for sharing! (Whinney Hill panorama, ADTeasdale, CC-BY, resized and cropped)