Aaaaaand we have a winner. Two winners, actually. Spiel and Kennerspiel des Jahres have been awarded. Spiel des Jahres is Michael Kiesling’s Azul, Kennerspiel is Wolfgang Warsch’s Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg. So sad, I was rooting for Ganz Schön Clever for Kennerspiel. But it would still be one of Warsch’s designs, anyway. Congratulations to the winners!
Plaid Hat Games
With Stuffed Fables Plaid Hat Games introduced the idea of a cooperative game that uses a book as the game board. Every page brings new story, new events, new rules. Stuffed Fables was a very kid-friendly game, but the concept works for any kind of game. That brings us to Comanauts, a new game that is similar to Stuffed Fables but intended for a more mature audience. Comanauts makes us enter the mind of comatose Dr. Martin Strobal. He invented a source of clean energy to power the whole planet, but then something went horribly wrong and instead of clean energy he created a singularity that’s now eating the world. And he put himself in a coma. Since he’s the only person who knows how to turn it off, we’d better be quick about waking him up.
Space Cowboys / Asmodee
Asmodee Germany have announced a new Space Cowboys release on their website. Orbis is going to be a tile placement and resource management game. The players, each of them a god, are in a competition to create the best world from the lost lands floating through the ether. Those lands are inhabited by potential followers that will help you add more fertile lands to your world. Some of those lands come with juicy scoring bonuses, too. But you can’t just grab whichever tiles you want, there are restrictions on the tiles you can add in a region. Every tile you already have will make the next one harder to pick.
We were wondering if Expedition Luxor by Rüdiger Dorn and Queen Games would be an expansion to Spiel des Jahres nominee Luxor by the same designer and publisher. Turns out that it isn’t. It’s not even mechanically related, just set in the same “theme world”. You’ll hunt for new discoveries in Egypt, placing your adventurers on tiles to claim discoveries for yourself. Only the last adventurer on a tile gets to claim it, so expect some competition.
Hans im Glück
Carcassone Around the World goes to Africa. Carcassone Safari takes you to hunt lions, monkeys and elephants – only with the camera, of course! Watering holes are of particular interest since all kinds of animals assemble there. The ranger jeeps are another special in this episode of Carcassone. We don’t know what exactly they’ll do, but somehow they can give you more points or make your opponents go to beautiful places. Presumably places they didn’t want to go.
A tile placement game of building pipeline sounds neither new nor exciting. Fortunately, Capstone Games’ Pipeline will have a whole lot of game around this familiar core. Pipeline will have a strong economic part with trading crude and refined oil, you’ll hire experts to bring a variety of benefits for your company. And connecting all those mechanism will be your pipelines on the game board. We didn’t get to see the rules yet, but from what we know now Pipeline will likely be quite a complex game. And fun, too. Not bad for a pipeline builder!
Since 1983 heroes have been hunting for the Crown of Command. Talisman is the godfather of fantasy adventure games, and it’s still popular enough to have new editions, expansions, and spin-offs into other universes. For Talisman‘s 35th anniversary Pegasus Spiele is making some new spin-off games, the first one being the family-friendy Talisman: Legendary Tales. Very unlike the original Talisman, Legendary Tales is a cooperative game. The heroes must work together to find the five talismans before the forces of evil can. Heroes have special abilities, and to have any chance at success you’ll have to be clever in using those. You can upgrade those abilities through a bag building mechanism. That’s a lot to work with in this spin-off. Hunting those talismans will be exciting.
Some time after the apocalypse enterprising producers of alcohol try to escape from the shanty town they currently call home. The only way is to have more money than everybody else and buy the only spot on a hot air balloon. That’s a check on the quirky theme for Moonshiners of the Apocalypse, the first Kickstarter by 2Fat2Fly Games. And the gameplay doesn’t disappoint, either. To make that money the moonshiners explore the town, scavenge for resources and use them to construct buildings for their trade: Moonshining. That all would be nice and easy if it weren’t for the drunkards. Those guys hang around Shanty Town and only want one thing: your booze. Your only way to get rid of them: defeat them in a drinking contest.
Most great fantasy stories about a hero’s rise from humble beginnings to their ultimate destiny. Or, in some cases, to their ultimate fall into villainy. Call to Adventure, the new Kickstarter by Brotherwise Games, lets you craft this path for your own heroes. Starting with cards representing your Origin, Motiviation, and Destiny you gather more cards to write your story. Trait cards show your heroes character, challenge cards must be overcome with a throw of the rune stones – which are way more cool than dice, I have to say. Cards you earned may also help you with the acquisition of future cards. At the end, there’ll be a winner by points, but all players will have created a unique hero’s journey. As an extra goody the Kickstarter includes the first expansion based on Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles. Maybe you can use the game to create the third book? (Sorry, Pat, I’m just teasing!)
Red Raven Games
The story of Near and Far continues underground. The first expansion to Ryan Laukat’s story-driven adventure game is titled Amber Mines, and one of its new features are the titular mines that heroes can explore and hunt for treasure. That’s not all that is new, though. There are new threat cards, a general store for all your shopping needs, and Magic. Capital M. Heroes can gain powerful spells on their travels. All the above comes as expansion modules that you can mix into Near and Far in any combination.
Tim Fowers (Burgle Bros., Wok Star,…) is back on Kickstarter together with first time designer Jeff Krause. Their project Sabotage sets a team of one or two spies against a team of one or two villains in a battle of stealth and deduction. Stealth is the spies’ part. They move around the 4×4 grid to find and disable the the villains’ doomsday devices. The villains have to deduce from the information the spies must give them where the spies are and shoot them before they succeed. To pay for their actions both parties must use the dice they rolled. Both parties level up during the game and improve their capabilities. The setup looks a bit like Captain Sonar, with the two teams separated by the game box transformed into a view screen. The difference is that Captain Sonar has the four same roles in both teams, in Sabotage all players in one team have the same roles. It will be just as tense a game of cat and mouse.
Steve Jackson Games / CMON
A Munchkin game with CMON’s high quality miniatures? That’s a match made in heaven, and it’s coming next year in the shape of Munchkin Dungeon. We don’t know details, but it’ll follow the Munchkin formula of “kill monsters, take their stuff”. This being a munchkin game, it’s safe to assume that you’ll throw sticks and stones at your fellow players as well. I’m looking forward to some of those John Kovalic illustrations becoming 3D sculpts. That will be glorious.
I have a hard time finding a category for Mercado, Rüdiger Dorn’s new game at Kosmos. With coins you draw from your purse you try to buy things to give you prestige. Fine cloth, jewelry, that sort of thing. The merchants selling those goods have very specific prices. If they want three silver coins they won’t accept gold. You only draw three coins at a time, meaning you’ll rarely be able to pay something at once. Instead, you make down payments on things you might like and hope that no one manages to pay the full price before you. It’s a bit press your luck, a bit gambling – it sounds fun, but I don’t know what to call it.
This week’s featured photo shows the Temple of Apollo Epicurius. The name translates to Apollo Who Wonders If His Allergy Meds Are Working. The temple at Bassae was built in the 5th century BC and then forgotten until the 18th century. Accordingly, it is a very well preserved example of the era’s architecture. The photo was taken by Carole Raddato. Thank you for sharing, Carole! (The Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae, Arcadia, Greece, Carole Raddato, CC-BY-SA, resized and cropped)