Stronghold Second Edition

Ignacy Trzewiczek’s Stronghold is an iconic asymmetric game. The attacking player controls the invading monster hordes, the defending player the valiant defenders behind their walls. More players are not an option. The defender’s walls give them a great advantage, and to win they only have to keep their walls unbreached for seven rounds. To balance the scales the attacker has full control over the pace of combat. The more he does before the assault at the end of each round the more time the defender has to prepare, too.

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Azul: Summer Pavilion

Three years ago began the success story of Michael Kiesling’s Portuguese mosaic games. Azul was one of the great successes of 2017, Spiel des Jahres Winner 2018, 2017 Golden Geek Best Family Game, and a number of other nominations and awards. An expansion or sequel was guaranteed.

That sequel was Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra and was somewhat less popular. I can’t speak for everyone else, but personally I found the placement rules counterintuitive, entirely opposite to Azul’s rules and game board that make it perfectly clear what you can place where.

Now we have the latest installment of the series. As you’ll see in a moment Azul: Summer Pavilion is closer to the original game again, but has its own new twists. For better or for worse? We’ll see. One thing outside of the game mechanisms sets this new Azul game apart from its two predecessors: You’ll create a mosaic that didn’t exist in the real world. King Manuel I died before work started on the pavilion he envisioned and the project was scrapped.

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Decrypto

I’ve been talking about this game every time we mentioned word games recently. It’s about time I told you more about it. I’m talking about Decrypto, a word game by Thomas Dagenais-LespĂ©rance. It sounds like a regular word game like many others at first. One player gives hints about words, other players on his team try to guess the words. We’ve seen it before. So what makes Decrypto stand out? Allow me to introduce it!

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Crystal Clans

Why would anyone fight for crystals? Maybe because they are shiny. Maybe because of their powerful magic. Or maybe you just can’t stand the thought of another clan getting them. One reason is as good as the other. Crystal Clans hints at a rich setting with its clans’ personalities expressed through special abilities and the units each clan fields, but the setting doesn’t go beyond those hints, not even to tell us why those crystals are so important.

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Werewords

Werewords is a new game from the ever popular Werewolf franchise. Unsurprisingly, it is a hidden identity game. Equally unsurprisingly, given the name, it’s a word game. And if you think those things don’t mix, like I did, think again.

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Wingspan

So, you build engines from shiny, new metal parts? That would make you a mechanic or an engineer. You build them from bits of old engine? A game show candidate, maybe? Engines from bamboo and coconuts, you say? Why, hello there, Gilligan. You build engines from birds? Then… um… I don’t know… I guess you’re about to receive an angry visit from PETA, if not the police. You’re also a peerless genius of a mad scientist. Or you might just be playing Wingspan, an engine building game by Elizabeth Hargrave and this year’s Kennerspiel des Jahres winner.

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Carpe Diem

Year2018PublisheraleaAuthorStefan FeldPlayers2 – 4Age10 – 199Time45-75StrategyLuckInteractionComponents & DesignComplexityScoreCarpe Diem. The fish of the day, as they say in Latin. It’s an[…]

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L.a.m.a.

Lama is the German word for llama. No big conceptual leap there. L.a.m.a. is, at least in Reiner Knizia’s vocabulary, an abbreviation for “lege alle Minuspunkte ab”. Discard all minus points. You could translate the title by its abbreviation, but then an eventual English edition would be called D.a.m.p., and whatever depiction you pick for that would be much less adorable than the crazy llama L.a.m.a. has. And so the international publishers have stuck with the adorable tylopod.
Linguistics lesson aside, L.a.m.a. is a small box card game that is nominated for the Spiel des Jahres this year. Not at all bad for a relatively simple shedding game and worth a look what makes it special.

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Just One

Year2018PublisherRepos ProductionAuthorLudovic Roudy, Bruno SautterPlayers3 – 7Age8 – 199Time20StrategyLuckInteractionComponents & DesignComplexityScoreIt’s often one little twist that makes the difference between yet another[…]

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