Hey, you know two more things coming to Thunderstone Quest with the Back to the Dungeon expansion? Swarm Monsters and Diseased Wounds. The former are monsters with some dice roll element in their mechanics to represent the different sizes a swarm might have. The latter are a new type of wound… because being wounded wasn’t painful enough? The worst part about Diseased Wounds is not even the disease. It’s guys like this card preview to interact with them
Many games can technically be played in two players, but they don’t really work as well. Two player spin-offs with the same theme and similar but adapted mechanisms are often the way bring those games to the smaller gaming table. From Kosmos those games are typically called Das Duell (The Duel). The next example of this will be Imhotep: Das Duell, the two player version of Phil Walker-Harding’s game of building monuments along the Nile. Many things sound similar to the 2016 game, but one notable difference from the short description is that the players each work on their own monuments. We’ll have to wait and see, but so far Kosmos never disappointed with their two player game adaptations.
Good news for Legends of Andor addicts! Michael Menzel may not be designing new legends but the series is nevertheless going strong. Die verschollenen Legenden (translated: The Lost Legends) will bring three new legends designed by Dorothea Michels and Matthias Miller. The new legends will confront the players with an Ice Demon and an ancient Earth Spirit and send them off to discover a secret in the Grey Mountains.
And another new Kosmos game. Roll for Adventure by Matthew Dunstan and Brett Gilbert (Elysium, Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time,…) will be a cooperative game where a group of heroes must find the fabled power stones, create a magic amulet and drive the Dark Lord away from their homelands. No information how they’re supposed to do that yet. Given the title, it seems a safe bet that it will involve dice.
Room 17 Games
In most fantasy games goblins have exactly one role: supply a steady stream of experience points to the heroes until they reach level three or so. But those little, green guys have families, tribes, a culture… okay, not much of a culture, but they have one. In Room 17 Games’s Miremarsh players will have the opportunity to slip into the role of some goblins as they compete to be the next Goblin King. They have to prove their evilness in the titular swamp, so they set out to kill unicorns, kidnap babies and cause general havoc through resource management and dice rolls. Oh, and to survive, ideally. I almost stopped mentioning the quality of miniatures in Kickstarter projects because every other game there has them. The ones in Miremarsh stood out to me because of their sinister and yet strangely adorable style. Just like the rest of the game: super pretty.
FryxGames / Stronghold Games
Another story that continues is Terraforming Mars, and it even continues into the future and the past. The first coming expansion is Prelude, going into the corporations’ past. With the small expansion each player starts not only with their corporation card but also with a Prelude card that shows the reason why this company was given the Mars project – together with a yummy start bonus. The second expansion sends us deeper into the outer solar system. The moons of Saturn and Jupiter are not that hard to reach now, and they promise riches for our future. So why not expand there in Colonies?
Fantasy Flight Games
Mansions of Madness is going mobile. No, not to play on your phone. In the next expansion Horrific Journeys the new scenarios put you on a train, an airship, or a cruise ship. Don’t think you’re going to have a relaxing vacation, though! Especially the cruise ship scenario is going to be a new challenge: some of the investigators are in fact Deep One hybrids, and they’re not really there to solve any mysteries. This traitor mechanism works similar to the Insanity cards already in the game, only that some players have a different victory condition from the start. Safe travels!
What this year needs are more Stefan Feld games. Fortunately, HUCH! have one in their autumn lineup. It’s called Forum Trajanum and gives players the chance to govern a colony of the Roman Empire. Besides making their own colony rich and powerful they also have to contribute to Emperor Trajan’s building projects. This being a Feld game, it’s safe to say you’ll have some tough decisions to make where you allocate your resources.
Cryptozoic’s coming game Wallet has little in common with other board or card games. There is no board, and while there are cards they are used in a decidedly unusual way: you put them into and take them out from the titular wallet. You’re on the hunt for victory points, but finding the most valuable cards in its many pockets and zippers is not everything. Having money in more than two currencies, or having more than one ID card, makes you illegal and thus a loser. Some cards you find will alter those conditions or have other effects, so I guess pretty much anything might happen. Exactly what you’d want from a party game.
At first glance Gizmos‘ marble dispenser looks like an imitation of Potion Explosion. And maybe the component was inspired by it, but Gizmos is its own game. The marbles you take from the dispenser represent different kinds of energy that you, a genius inventor, use to create your crazy yet useful gizmos. Gizmos is an engine building game where all the little things you build have special effects and abilities. Some let you convert energy from one form into another, others let you take more energy when you take the right actions, and more. You are hunting victory points, and big chain reactions from your machinery are the way to go. Not to mention that creating them is always satisfying!
Tony Boydell’s Snowdonia, a game about building railways in Wales, is a very popular worker placement game. No surprise with its simple rules, engaging game play, and a bunch of expansion scenarios to build railways around the world. Now’s a good time to get into Snowdonia if you haven’t yet, because NSKN Games are kickstarting a Deluxe Set. With high quality components, including all official scenarios plus a completely new one, including a ton of promo cards, it’s really all you could ever want from this game.
This week’s photo shows the Caye Caulker in the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world. It’s a very special time for the reef right now, it was just recently removed from the list of endangered world heritage sites, thanks to Belize’s conservatory efforts. The photo was taken and shared by Falco Ermert. Thank you, Falco! (Caye Caulker Split Belize aerial, Falco Ermert, CC-BY, resized and cropped)