Druid City Games
Let’s deal with the confusing part first: the publisher is Druid City Games, but the game is Sorcerer City. Much less confusing is that Sorcerer City by Scott Caputo (Voluspa, Whistle Stop,…) is awesome from the moment you start reading about it. It mixes deck building and tile placement in a real time game, and even the tile placement part on its own is more complex than you might be used to. The tiles you place may have three different types of goals and completing them gives you four different currencies that have different uses. Try to come up with the best solution for that with a time limit, and flipping and placing one tile at a time. One of the currencies is simply straight up Prestige (victory points). Money buys you new tiles ot mix into your pile for next round. Influence gives rewards for having more than the other players. Finally, Raw Magic can turn into any of the other currencies, but you pick which at the same time as the other players. And on top of that you get spells to help you build your city and monsters getting in your way. “Take some well-known game mechanisms and mash them together” is a common strategy to create new games, but I can’t remember when the result sounded as appealing as Sorcerer City.
It’s another week before Funforge’s Kickstarter of Monumental. A good time for another preview. This week we see the Egyptians under Ramesses II. Like all the civilizations in Monumental they have unique strengths. In their case, it’s building wonders. They have other skills, but building wonders is their skill. And with Ramesses as their warlord aggressive expansion becomes another way of building your civilization back home.
Quined Games have two new releases coming soon. The first is Carson Cits – The Card Game, a card game adaptation of Carson City. (Yes, I know, that explanation was superfluous, but the sentence was too short without it.) Unlike Carson City, where all players build a town together, each player in the card game builds their own city. Buildings in their city score points in different ways, character cards help you out in different ways, and a trick taking mechanism determines who goes first each round.
The second new release is La Cosa Nostra – Guns for Hire, an expansion for … yeah, okay, it’s pretty obvious. What Guns for Hire adds to the game are gangsters that you hire each round to help you out in different ways.
Imagine for a moment that Australia had been discovered a few (hundred) years later. Imagine further that when we arrived there the Old Ones were a tangible threat hanging over the continent. Finally, imagine that you still want to exploit the rich, natural resources found there. All that puts you in the middle of AuZtralia, a game by Martin Wallace thematically inspired by his own A Study in Emerald. Despite the rather out there theme AuZtralia is an intense strategy game. Build railways, mine, farm, and build up your military because sooner or later the Old Ones will awaken. This honestly looks like one of Wallace’s best.
Another classic is making a return in a new edition by Z-Man Games: History of the World. Conquest and control are what the game is about, but it’s not a wargame as such. It’s all about area control. You score points for controlling territories – or for just being present, which gives you fewer points but you can spread out your troops and score in more regions. How many points a region is worth changes over the course of the game. Sometimes you can get into an attractive position and dig in there before the rush starts. It’s so simple in theory…
We all know that everything looks great through the rear view mirror of nostalgia. That’s why so many people are looking forward to Restoration Games’s remake of Fireball Island. However, no amount of nostalgia can cover the fact that the original Fireball Island, despite all its action and three-dimensional glory, was a simple race to the end with not many decisions along the way. So, nostlagia aside, when something isn’t as cool as it can be it gets fixed. The new Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar will make you rush all over the island to collect the most valuable treasures, with a strong press your luck mechanism that punishes you for not leaving the island in time. Nostalgia is good, but mixed with some well-applied modernization it’s even better.
Intrigue-hungry dynasties of awful people rising to political power is not an exclusively modern problem. The Borgias turned their influence and ruthlessness into a popehood! And they intended to hang on to that power, which is where Cesare Borgia comes in. The son of Pope Alexander VI. was the family enforcer, eliminating opposition through intrigue and violence. In the game by Frederic Moyersoen, Arno Maesen and MAGE Company you travel around doing jobs for Cesare Borgia. To get the skills required you collect skill tokens through a tile placement game. So you have the tile placement, the jobs to complete with the tokens you collect, and the travel to get from job to job quickly. Cesare Borgia doesn’t sound like it will be a hugely complex game, but you will have enough layers to keep track of.
Planet Icaion is unique in the galaxy because of the giant crystal that struck the planet a long time ago. This crystal bends the very laws of physics to the point that it has five islands floating around it high above the ground. With the latest magical advances the people of Icaion can first set foot on those islands – and obviously immediately struggle for control over them. This struggle is the object of Mysthea by Tabula Games. As powerful champions players not only fight for control of the islands, they can move the whole damn things for a strategic edge. Mysthea combines area control with hand management and open conflict between the players, only to force them together to fight powerful monsters occasionally. An explosive mix in a truly imaginative setting.
This week’s featured photo shows one of the medieval villages with the tower houses typical of the Upper Svaneti region of Georgia. This beautiful photo was taken by Flickr user Panegyrics of Granovetter – not their real name, I guess. Thanks for sharing, Pan! (15183, Panegyrics of Granovetter, CC-BY-SA, resized and cropped)