Kolossal Games’ sandbox western adventure Western Legends will soon enter its final chapter. The second expansion Blood Money is now live on Kickstarter, and if there was anything Western that Western Legends didn’t offer yet, it’ll probably be in this box. More risk, more reward, more legendary stories… the chance to win as a real estate tycoon. Also, Blood Money will have different game modes that emphasize different parts of the game, including one you play exclusively on the Buzzard Gulch town board. If you had any western legends left to tell, here’s your chance.
Catalyst Game Labs
Listen up science fiction fans. Catalyst Game Labs, working with Hugo Award-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, will release a cooperative press-your-luck dice game based on Rusch’s Diving into the Wreck. The game by the same name will put you in the roles of the novel’s protagonists as they dive into an ancient wrecked spaceship much further from Earth than it has any right to be. You’ll make your way from encounter card to encounter card using a handful of dice and scarce resources you scavenge along the way. That’s not much to go by, but it’s safe to assume there’ll be nasty surprises waiting for you.
Based on the adorably vulpine web comic Fox Matters – unfortunately for me, only in Polish – Gindi will release a cooperative board game. Fox Matters the game will be simple enough to learn: the brave fox knights are faced with some manner of problems and, after planning their approach, play cards in a time-limited phase to contribute the icons needed for a resolution. That would be too simple, so to make matters more interesting you can only play your cards if they match symbols on the card before, so the order of cards is essential. Still not difficult in theory, but a short enough timer will make it tense in execution. And don’t forget the added value of Fox Matters: you can introduce all your friends to Beata Smugaj’s fox knights in their castles of cheese. As far as I can tell, they’re virtually unknown outside of Poland, and that’s just wrong.
Asmodee / Studio H
Hagakure, the Book of the Samurai, is the eponym of an ultralight trick-taking game by Studio H. Numbers from one to twenty-seven are in the deck once, with the lower half being villagers and the upper half samurai. The highest card takes the trick, and the only rule what you can play is that on a samurai you have to play another samurai. That’s almost all of the rules, but there are two extra details. The three old fool cards have no numeric value, but if there is more than one of them in a trick then the last fool takes it all. Also, each player has five special power tokens, one of which they can use before each round. Putting it all together, Hagakure is a very light game indeed. But you know what they say about trick taking games: very light might be right.
Stefan Risthaus’s Arkwright is a heavy strategy game about the English industrialization. It’s a great game, but you might not always have the three to four hours to play it. That’s particular problem can soon be solved with Arkwright the Card Game. Currently on Kickstarter, the card game keeps the theme and the core activities: build factories, employ workers, replace them with machines, get rich in the process. All of that is streamlined to the point that you can play Arkwright the Card Game in two hours or less. It’s not quite as heavy as its big brother, but the card game will still require plenty of strategy to win.
When Matthias Cramer’s Glen More returned as Glen More II: Chronicles that was a big upgrade already. The original game about growing your Highlands clan was great, but the added replayability of the eight chronicles made Glen More II even better. Why stop there? Glen More II: Highland Games adds three plus one more chronicles. Feasts & Follies adds end of round scoring that you pick in secret, but players who guess what you’re going for may beat you at your own game. Sticks & Stones lets you train athletes for the Highland Games and gain great bonuses for winning. In Plan & Prosper you’ll have buildings that you don’t just pick up and place, you’ll pick blueprints that you later build on top of other buildings, adding another layer of planning. What about the plus one? That’s a shiny, new solo mode by Automa Factory that supports all eleven other chronicles.
This week’s beautiful photo of a once beautiful place was taken by Arian Zwegers in Tyre, Lebanon. According to legend, the Phoenician city is where purple dye was invented. Thanks for sharing this photo, Arian! (Tyre, mosaic street, Arian Zwegers, CC-BY, cropped and resized)