Meople News: Provosts, Trains, and Caravans


With Daddy Winchester by Sylvain Aublin Huch! will release a quick bluff and auction game this spring. The titular Winchester patriarch has died, and his beneficiaries must now split the inheritance. There are 19 plots to be had, and the distribution is to be done by auction. Whoever is willing to pay the most for a plot gets it, the money is split evenly between the others. What makes this procedure fun are the different reasons for an against specific plots. Mines can be super valuable, or they can be trash. Plots along the the rails and the river might make you extra money if you can get trains and boats to stop there. And everything might contribute to your completing a shared objective or a secret objective, the latter being where bluffing becomes important. Picking the most valuable plot from all this won’t be easy, but Daddy Winchester is light enough that anyone can try.

Space Cowboys

The original worker placement game returns! Space Cowboys will publish a new revised edition of Caylus titled Caylus 1303. The basics remain the same – especially the ever annoying provost, who might not activate all your workers, is still around. New is a variable board setup that should make the early game more interesting and a number of characters you can temporarily call to your side to gain their special ability. Looks like an excellent update to a deserving game.

Renegade Game Studios

Renegade Game Studios are currently kickstarting Warp’s Edge, a solo sci-fi game by Scott Almes (Tiny Epic Anything, …). Warp’s Edge is a bag building game that sets a lonesome space fighter pilot – you – against an alien mothership and its defense fighters. Don’t worry too much, though. If you fail, you get a couple of retries. Tokens you draw from your bag let you attack the aliens, activate your skills, or purchase new tokens to put in your bag. When your bag is empty your ship will warp back to the beginning of the fight. All the aliens will be back as they were the first time, but you’ll have more tokens, more knowledge what awaits you, and a shiny new skill card you earned by warping. There are limits to your warp drive, though. Fail to destroy the mothership too often and it’s game over. The Warp’s Edge story book will have different missions for you to despair over. And if that sounds good to you, you might like to hear that Warp’s Edge is the first game in Renegade’s Solo Hero Series. There’s more to come.

Side Room Games

Black Sonata is a uniquely themed solo deduction game: You wander through 1600s London looking for the mysterious Dark Lady from Shakespeare’s sonnets. But that was 2017, many people should have found her by now. It’s time to ramp up the challenge. The new expansion The Fair Youth has options to also track the Fair Youth, of equal sonnet fame, to deduce Shakespeare and the Dark Lady’s rendezvous place, and to track some more challenging versions of the Dark Lady. If you’re looking for a solo brain challenge, this is it.

Rio Grande Games

Dominion started the deck-building genre. It will probably still get expansions when the genre ends. The next one – number thirteen, if anyone’s counting – goes to the zoo. Dominion – Menagerie has thirty new Kingdom Cards with rather useful animals. Horses, and dogs, and who knows what else you’ll find in those cages. That’ll add… what.. another few trillions of possible game setups if you have all the expansions? I’m not even exaggerating here!

Nevada City wasn’t built in a day. That’s way too long. Two hours should do it in Nevada City, the new worker placement game by Alan Ernstein (Inca Empire, Palenque,…). As one of the city’s founding families you’ll put your relatives to work – supported by hired workers when you can afford them – to gather resources, build the city, and protect it against everything from dangerous travelers passing through to natural disasters. Sounds like a bunch of rebuilding things might be involved, too.


From birds to butterflies. Elizabeth Hargrave, designer of Kennerspiel des Jahres 2019 Wingspan, is working on a game about monarch butterflies. In Mariposas four generations of your butterflies spread out across the board. At the end of three seasons you score points for your monarchs’ location. More points wait along the way for encountering flowers and other insects. If Wingspan is anything to go by this will be much more difficult than it sounds.

Kolossal Games

Are you looking for a unique, new twist on worker placement? Kolossal Games and Scott Almes will deliver just that with Almanac: The Dragon Road. The players in this game are merchants traveling with a caravan through the fantasy land of Baeloria. And the thing about caravans is, they travel. Every round in Almanac: The Dragon Road you’ll find yourself in a new location. Some standard actions are available in most locations, but each stop also has special options. Also, different places will have different special rules for worker placement. Where the caravan goes is also in the players’ hands. At the end of every round you’ll bid for the right to decide the next destination. The savvy merchant will go where the goods in their stock are in demand. In any given game you’ll only visit six of the seventeen locations, so every trip will be a different experience. And if all this sounds good you’re going to love the next part: The Dragon Road is the first game in a planned Almanac series. The rulebook says The Dragon Road will be compatible with other games in the series, so it seems like you’ll be able to combine them in some way.

Vesuvius Media

Trains are probably the number one theme for boardgames. There are so many train games, and new ones keep coming. The real surprise, though? There are not only new train games, but fresh ones. Vesuvius Media’s Pacific Rails Inc. lets you build your railway with a very cool worker placement mechanism. Your workers go between two action spaces. You still only get one of the actions, but for every one of your workers already next to the action you pick it gets multiplied. The game ends when the players make a connection from east coast to west coast, but the winner is whoever has the most points at that point. Means to score include laying tracks and building telegraph stations, but in Pacific Rails Inc. even lobbying congress is an option. If you can afford to. Congressmen are expensive. There are more intricacies to the game mechanisms. It’s probably best to have a look yourself.

This week’s featured photo, taken by Jørn Eriksson, shows the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda. The park has some of Africa’s highest mountains, beautiful glaciers and waterfalls, and is home to many endangered species. Thanks for sharing this beautiful photo, Jørn! (Rwenzori Mountains, Jørn Eriksson, CC-BY, resized and cropped)

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