Orleans

Orleans

Thing-building games are still going strong. Deck-building games are the most popular of the bunch, but dice-building games and bag-building games have lots of fans, too. With Orleans one bag-building game has made the Kennerspiel des Jahres nominations this year and it really represents the cream of the genre. To become the most successful leader in medieval France, you need tight management of the followers in your bag.

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Broom Service

Broom Service

Potion delivery is big business. A bit like pizza delivery, only with more magic, and on broomsticks. That is your business in Broom Service, but the competition is tough and you won’t have time to let your brooms cool down before the day is over. So keep a close eye on what your opponents are doing and use your witches and druids to deliver the most potions before the game is over.

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Elysium

Elysium

Usually, when a game tells you to create your own legend, it doesn’t mean you should kill the people participating in it. But when the game is named after the Greek underworld for heroes and demigods it was predictable that they would have to get there somehow, and the usual way is dying. But at least they will contribute to your legend and maybe help secure your place on Olympus.

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Rococo

Games about making dresses are a tough sell. Between games about conquest, economic success and survival, tailoring just doesn’t compare. So to stand out, a game about making ballroom gowns needs to excel in other areas. Having well linked games mechanics and a new take on deck-building might do the trick for Rococo.

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Istanbul

The second nominee for this year’s Kennerspiel des Jahres, Istanbul makes you run around the bazaar district of the titular city in a desperate search for rubies. Why rubies, you ask? No idea, to be honest, but as the game progresses it turns into a frantic search for your lost assistants, anyway. Leaving your assitants behind to work, then gathering them up again and leaving them somewhere else, that’s the core of Istanbul.

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Concordia

The Roman Empire has always been a popular setting for games, so Concordia is not innovative in that respect. But it is a game by Mac Gerdts, so you know it will not be a run-of-the-mill, nothing-new-to-see-here game. Gerdts’s games are special. But even by the high standards he set with Antike, among others, he has outdone himself with Concordia.

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The Palaces of Carrara

The city of Carrara has been famous for its marble since Roman times. It’s been used, by people who can afford it, all over the empire. In The Palaces of Carrara, you don’t take it quite so far, the furthest your marble travels is about 100km down the coast. But you wouldn’t want it to go further, anyway, because that short distance already gives you enough to consider if you want to win in this game, because for a game of only about 60 minutes, it sure keeps you busy.

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Bruges

Bruges

Stefan Feld is at it again, exploring the possibilities to combine luck and strategy in one game. This time, his exploration takes him to Belgium, the city of Bruges to be precise, where you build canals, work on your political career and, most important of all, make influential friends. But even those friends will have a hard time helping you when dice and cards are not your friends.

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Village

Village

Village is a medieval countryside life simulator. Only it cuts away the boring 99% of it and lets you make the decisions that shape your fameeply’s lives. Should the new kid learn a craft? Go into politics? Maybe go and see the world. Everything is possible, and everything might earn you a spot in the village chronice – or in an unmarked grave.

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K2

K2

Mountaineering is not much used as a theme in boardgames. After trying K2, I really wonder why because it’s tense, exciting and deadly. There are no empty moves here, every turn has important decisions. A worthy nominee for Kennerspiel des Jahres 2012?

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