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To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, please contact BGG News editor W. Eric Martin via email – wericmartin AT gmail.com

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New Game Round-up: Field a New Ogre, Knock Blocks in Kaboom, and Create Your Own Boss Monster

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• Designer Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games has announced that sometime in 2016 SJG will release a new "Ogre 6th Edition" in the same scale as the Ogre Designer's Edition, but it "will include only the Ogre map (exactly the same as the one in the ODE), the Ogre rules, and a generous helping of counters to play them". Follow the link for more on this release (the details of which is still in the works) as well as a link to the 6th edition rules, should you feel like proofreading.

• Want more expansions for Boss Monster? Designers Johnny and Chris O'Neal from Brotherwise Games now invite you to create your own as they've taken the Boss Monster card templates and uploaded them on DriveThruCards so that you can create your own or admire (and order) cards created by others.

Looney Labs has moved the release date of Uglydoll Loonacy from April 15, 2016 to March 11, 2016 due to the unusual problem of its manufacturer finishing production far earlier than expected.

• Publisher Blue Orange Games plans to release two quick-playing Roberto Fraga designs to the U.S. in 2016, with one of those — the mad-dash test tube-matching game Dr. Eureka — having first debuted at Spiel 2015 from sister company Blue Orange, and the other — the mad-dash building game Kaboom — having hit Europe first in 2013. Thanks to those debuts, you can watch overview videos of both titles now: Dr. Eureka and Kaboom.

Fireside Games has floated info about a July 2016 release from co-owner Justin De Witt titled Dastardly Dirigibles. Here's an overview of the game from the publisher:

Quote:
Professor Phineas Edmund Hornswoggle, famed airship builder, is retiring and you are an engineer competing to inherit the Hornswoggle factory!

Dastardly Dirigibles features tarot-sized cards that are played in a constant action format in which each time a part is added, ALL players MUST add the SAME part – which may replace an existing one. Build your airship from different parts of nine beautiful suits, while also using special cards to your advantage or to thwart your opponents. The round ends when the first airship is complete — but you score only the suit used most in your airship. The player with the highest score after three rounds wins!

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Mon Feb 8, 2016 5:17 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Falling Through Time into a Past Filled with Electable Turtles

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• As Dustin Schwartz noted in late January 2016, a new year has brought a tidal wave of crowdfunding projects for games both new and not-so-new, such as the deluxe edition of Vinhos from Vital Lacerda and Eagle-Gryphon Games, which one might describe (to invert a phrase) as old wine in a new bottle. (KS link)

• Other items in the category of returning old faces includes The Walking Dead: All Out War, a miniatures game from Mantic Games that pits human survivors against one another as well as against the zombie hordes that reside within Interstate 85. (KS link)

• The combination of miniatures and old faces is also at play in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past from designer Kevin Wilson and publishers IDW Games and Pandasaurus Games. I recall working at K&K Toys in upstate New York in 1990-1991, and one of the hot items that year was TMNT figures (SKU 556555). We would receive shipments from HQ weekly, and whenever we got new boxes of TMNT characters they contained at most one April O'Neil character per 24 figures in the box, which was never enough. Now you don't even get that... (KS link)

• Another game fitting in that same category is Argo, which Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget originally designed in the mid-2000s and which publisher Flatlined Games picked up in 2013. This is Flatlined's second attempt to dock Argo at port, and with a KS goal one-fifth the size of its previous attempt, chances look good. (KS link)

• Miniatures are also found in Todd Sanders' Aether Captains, a one-vs-many design of a zeppelin captain defending against sky pirates that was originally a print-and-play design and which MAGE Company and Ninja Division have pumped new air into for a large-scale production. (KS link)

• A different type of miniatures can be found in Fabulous Beasts, a self-published design from George Buckenham and Alex Fleetwood that blends dexterity-based stacking games with digital tools that automatically handle all of the terrain-based modifiers, turn-based scoring modifiers, and evolution-inducing super-tools that come into play when you crossbreed sharks and eagles, as is demonstrated in the overview video that I recorded with them at Spiel 2015. (KS link)




• Beasts of a different sort await in Dreamwell, which features, well, dreamy artwork from Tara McPherson on a Nick Little design from Action Phase Games in which you need to find some mysterious looking friends. (KS link)

• An otherworldly experience is also at the heart of Karmaka from Eddy Boxerman and Dave Burke of Hemisphere Games as players start the game as dung beetles and attempt to climb the karmic ladder in order to achieve transcendence first. Yes, a race for enlightenment, which is when you learn that racing is futile! (KS link)

• Mattox Shuler's Control from Keymaster Games is based on a similar idea of people traveling through the ages, with the players being time travelers who have somehow fallen into a rupture in spacetime and are now competing with one another to fuel their way out of the time ditch and abandon everyone else in karmic nowheresville. Okay, this is not a real time-travel game, but I suppose this makes sense. (KS link)

• Speaking of falling in a hole and feeling lost and hopeless, Tomas Rawlings and Wonkette's Rebecca Schoenkopf attempt to recreate (sort of) the U.S. election process in Elections of US America Election: The Card Game. If you don't want to act as manager for any of the real 2016 candidates included in the game, you can instead try to land Cthulhu in the White House because...well, why not? (KS link)

• Along similar lines is Greater Evil: The Political Bullshit Game from Jacob Bofferding and Shawn Roberts, with gameplay along the lines of Bullshit fancied up with special power cards that function like commercials from super PACs that pretend like they're not under your control but really are. (KS link)

• For another take on powerful factions within the U.S. electorate we have Richard Gurley's Redneck Invasion, in which players control a faction such as hipsters or soccer parents and try to exert influence over the culture of the town that they all supposedly share and call home. (KS link)

• More overt conflict comes into play in Ken Whitehurst's Polyversal, a 6mm science-fiction mass-combat miniatures game from Collins Epic Wargames that's set "in a plausible-future Earth" in which tanks and recon vehicles roam rubble-filled streets and make it difficult for the rest of us to drive to Target. (KS link)

Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM
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Mon Feb 8, 2016 3:30 am
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New Game Round-up: Monsters Evolve in New York, Geister Comes to the U.S. & Spies Get Trickier in Russia

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Brian Yu's Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister! from Mattel won the Kinderspiel des Jahres in 2014, but despite that success and many requests for an English-language version, the game seemed destined to remain a German-only title.

Gears may turn slowly at huge corporations, but sometimes they do turn and the now renamed Ghost Fightin' Treasure Hunters will be released in the U.S. by Mattel in July 2016. This release will bear an alternative cover from Pierô that matches one of the earlier iterations of the cover art, something I highlighted in August 2013 thanks to a great article from the artist about how he and Yu started working together.

• In addition to that title, Mattel plans to release a new design from Marc André of Splendor fame. Here's an overview of Sail Away:

Quote:
In Sail Away, a bunch of Caribbean merchants of questionable repute (i.e., the players) race to pack their ships with goods from the local islands, then move them out — all the while hiring pirates and using any means necessary to get ahead of the competition.

Okay, not much in the way of details for now, but it's a start. Mattel's Nick Hayes notes that the published version is only for the German market right now, but it might contain English rules in addition to German ones. If not, he says, "at the very least we will upload English rules to BGG".

IELLO expects to release King of New York: Power Up! in Q2 2016, so now the monsters in New York can evolve alongside those in Tokyo, should you choose to mix-and-match monsters from one games to the next. What's more, the publisher's description notes that "a new challenger joins them: Sharky". The cover art shown at left is preliminary. Here are sample cards shown in the IELLO catalog:




Wait a sec — Kong's card references Tokyo. What's going on? Let's check out the description once again: "Captain Fish, Sheriff, and their fellow monsters now have two unique sets of evolution cards for both King of New York and King of Tokyo." Well, okay then...

• Alexandr Ushan's Spyfall has been, shall we say, somewhat popular since its debut in 2014, and at Spielwarenmesse 2016 I was able to get an overview of Spyfall 2, which original publisher Hobby World plans to release in Russia in 2016 and doesn't plan to release elsewhere before the end of 2016.




• As for the image in the background, you can see the Master of Orion: The Board Game image more clearly in this tweet I sent from the fair:




Aside from the info above, I know nothing else.
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Fri Feb 5, 2016 3:01 pm
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More Dominion Among Rio Grande Games' 2016 Line-Up

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• In what comes as a further blow for those who were sure that their Dominion storage solution would be sufficient following the unexpected announcement of Dominion: Adventures, Rio Grande Games has announced that the Dominion empire will expand yet again with the release of, well, Dominion: Empires from designer Donald X. Vaccarino. Here's a thematic overview of what's featured in this set, along with a few gameplay hints:

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The world is big and your kingdom gigantic. It's no longer a kingdom really; it's an empire — which makes you the emperor. This entitles you to a better chair, plus you can name a salad after yourself.

It's not easy being emperor. The day starts early, when you light the sacred flame; then it's hours of committee meetings, trying to establish exactly why the sacred flame keeps going out. Sometimes your armies take over a continent and you just have no idea where to put it. And there's the risk of assassination; you have a food taster, who tastes anything before you eat it, and a dagger tester, who gets stabbed by anything before it stabs you. You've taken to staying at home whenever it's the Ides of anything. Still, overall it's a great job. You wouldn't trade it for the world — especially given how much of the world you already have.

Dominion: Empires, the tenth addition to the game of Dominion, contains 96 metal tokens and 300 cards, with cards you can buy now and pay for later, piles with two different cards, and Landmarks that add new ways to score. VP tokens and Events return from previous sets.

RGG owner Jay Tummelson notes that the release date for Dominion: Empires is May 18, 2016.

• Other titles forthcoming from Rio Grande Games include Tiffin in Q2/Q3 2016 from Rael Dornfest and Jonathan Hager, the description of which relays much in the way of inspiration and little in the way of gameplay:

Quote:
Every day in Mumbai, the bustling financial capital of India, hot lunches are hand-delivered to employees in workplaces across the city. These home-cooked meals, packed in tins called tiffins or dabbas, are picked up and whisked off by bicycle to the train station to be sorted, loaded onto a train car, unloaded, routed, and delivered (again, by bicycle) to recipients at work. Tiffins are carried by multiple dabbawallas, each of whom earns a share of the delivery fee. Out of the over 100,000 lunches delivered every day, only a few tiffins are misplaced every year.

Tiffin is a game based on this experience.

• Yet another Rio Grande title on the horizon is Kane M. Click's Coal Country, which bears a similar release date and this description:

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Coal Country is rife with corruption, with the many mine foremen "influencing" various aspects of the mining industry in a number of ways. As the boss of your mining company, it's your job to sit at your desk and plot where to send your most influential foremen. By successfully influencing the price of coal, permits, utilities, and construction, your company can expand and boost the profitability of its operations. Your job as boss is made all the more difficult by the ever-shifting nature of the markets, from turn to turn, round to round, and game to game. It is your responsibility to determine when — and how — to act in order to capitalize on a potentially beneficial marketplace. If your mine is not built wisely and safely, a share of your company's profits will be lost after the end-of-year visit from the mine inspector. The mining company that has the most money at the end of the year wins.

• Other titles coming from Rio Grande Games in Q1 2016, according to its most recent newsletter in Dec. 2015, are Dave Mansell's For Crown & Kingdom, Matt Calkins' Tin Goose, and Alan's Adventureland from Alan D. Ernstein.


• Also in the Q2/Q3 2016 timeframe, RGG expects to release Martyn F's Epoch: Early Inventors (which was originally going to be self-published. German publisher HUCH! & friends is releasing new editions of Kris Burm's GIPF and YINSH in the first half of 2016, and Rio Grande will distribute these titles (and future GIPF Project releases) in North America. Santa's Workshop and Joshua Gerald Balvin's Oktoberfest are both due out Q4 2016.

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Wed Feb 3, 2016 6:45 pm
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New Releases from F2Z Entertainment: Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu from Z-Man, Dead of Winter: The Long Night from Plaid Hat, Junk Art from Pretzel & More

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• The biggest news for hobby gamers from Spielwarenmesse 2016 is the soft announcement of Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu from designer Chuck D. Yager and publisher Z-Man Games.

Sophie Gravel of F2Z Entertainment, owner of Z-Man Games, told me that Yager based the design on the gameplay at the heart of Pandemic, with Pandemic designer Matt Leacock then working with Yager to provide development and polishing. In short, players are investigators who want to seal four portals before creatures of unspeakable horror are unleashed or the investigators themselves go insane.

I describe this as a "soft announcement" because this is all the information available for now, with Z-Man Games planning to officially announce the game on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2016.




• As noted in late January 2016, designer Rob Daviau has delivered SeaFall to publisher Plaid Hat Games. A new look for the box was on display at Spielwarenmesse, but the box itself was empty and even the back cover was blank, revealing nothing that isn't already known. (I previewed SeaFall in Nov. 2014 after playing one game on the prototype and interviewed Daviau about the design.)

Gravel from F2Z Entertainment did state that SeaFall will debut at Gen Con 2016, so you can start marking off the calendar if you wish.




• Before PHG gets to SeaFall, though, it will first release Dead of Winter: The Long Night at Origins Game Fair 2016. This title is a standalone expansion to Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game from designers Jonathan Gilmour and Isaac Vega. Again, this title hasn't been officially announced, so that's all the info I have for now.

The cover shown below is a non-final mock-up that probably won't be used, according to Gravel, since at first glance it appears to be a black-and-white version of the DoW cover and therefore doesn't stand enough on its own.




• The F2Z Entertainment label Pretzel Games debuted in 2015 with the beefy (as in massively heavy) Flick 'Em Up!, with that title having a soft launch at Origins 2015 and officially debuting at Gen Con 2015.

In March 2016, Z-Man Games will release a version of Flick 'em Up! with plastic components — with the figures and houses being the same size as in the original game. This version is aimed more at the broad market thanks to its $35 price tag compared to the $70 MSRP on the original, but note that the original version will still be available for those who want to knock wood.

As for the feel of the plastic versus the wood, I can't report on that as we had a lot to cover in our one-hour meeting. Co-designer Gaëtan Beaujannot took one shot, blowing away an innocent cactus, but then he had to split so that I could start said meeting.




• As for what's new from Pretzel Games, that would be Junk Art from Sen-Foong Lim and Jay Cormier, with this title scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2016 in a separate Pretzel Games booth. Gravel says that as with Flick 'em Up! in 2015, Pretzel will feature a giant-sized version of Junk Art at Gen Con 2016. As for what the game is about, here's an overview:

Quote:
In Junk Art, players are presented with junk from which they must create art. Thus the name.

Junk Art contains multiple ways to play. In one version of the game, players pile all of the wooden parts in the center of the table, then are dealt a number of cards, with each card depicting one of these parts. On a turn, a player presents their left-hand neighbor with two cards from their hand. This neighbor takes one card in hand, then takes the part shown on the other card and places it on their base or on other parts that they've already placed. If something falls, it stays on the table and the player continues to build on whatever still stands. Once players have finished playing cards, whoever has the tallest work of art wins.

Gravel says that her original intention for Pretzel Games was to release high quality, all-wood games — one title per year — that would bear whatever MSRP was appropriate given the costs of the material. She says she's been somewhat surprised by the success of Flick 'em Up!, but perhaps some of its success is due to precisely what others might view as a drawback — its craft-like appearance that looks nothing like a standard game.




• Speaking of being crafty, the reception that Flick 'em Up! received inspired Gravel and the Z-Man team to go even further with Matt Leacock's Knit Wit, the packaging and components of which were on display at Spielwarenmesse 2016. Having the Leacock name on the box no doubt makes it easier to experiment with the graphic design and presentation...




• Another graphic design experiment will be seen in Caravan, an Emerson Matsuuchi design due out at Spiel 2016 that will be presented with two completely independent looks. The Spice Road edition and Crystal Golem edition will feature the same gameplay — that is, they're the same game — while having different covers, component artwork, and settings. As for details of the gameplay, I've got nothing as the official announcement will come later.

Having two different covers on Pandemic Legacy was Gravel's idea as she wanted to allow players to be able to run independent games with different groups and better track which game was which. For Caravan, she wanted to go even further, with one game receiving a Eurogame gloss while the other has a somewhat anime-inspired fantasy setting.

Caravan was originally intended to be a release from Plaid Hat Games, but both the PHG crew and Gravel agreed that it fit better as part of the Z-Man line so that's how the game will be released.


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Mon Feb 1, 2016 3:20 pm
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New Game Round-up: Martin Wallace Visits Via Nebula, Libellud Reveals Hidden Signs for Mysterium & Witches Fly Again in Broom Service: The Card Game

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• What's this? A fantasy-based Martin Wallace design from Space Cowboys? Yes, at first glance Via Nebula — a 2-4 player design due in Q2 2016 — isn't something I would have expected from Wallace, but once you get into the meat of the gameplay below, it's easier to imagine:

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Crafters, builders and carriers — your help is needed to dispel the mists of Nebula! The people of the valley will reward you handsomely if you harvest and exploit our many resources, open paths through the mists, and help our settlers build new structures. Cooperate temporarily with other builders in order to create paths and share goods, but do not forget your own objectives. Will you have a statue erected in your honor on the Nebula City plaza?

A game of Via Nebula starts with a board showing a hexagonal grid, some production sites with a few available resources on them (wood, stone, wheat, and pigs), building sites in various areas scattered over the whole board, and a lot of mist.

Turn after turn, players have two actions at their disposal from these options: They may clear the mist of a hex to create new paths of transportation, open new production sites, open a building site in a city, carry resources from any production site to their own building sites, and, of course, achieve a construction. Resources and paths through the mist may be used by all the players. This initially induces a kind of cooperation, but eventually other players will take advantage of your actions!

To achieve a construction, you fulfill a contract on one of your cards. You start the game with two contracts, and four more contracts are available for all players to see and use on a first come, first served basis — and that's where the cooperation abruptly stops. Additionally, most contracts have special powers that are triggered on completion.

The game ends when a player finishes a fifth building. Opponents each take two final actions, then players score based on the number of cleared hexes and opened production sites and the point value of their contracts, with a bonus for the player who ended the game.

What about Route 666, another Wallace/Space Cowboys design that was originally announced as a 2015 release? I'll see whether I can get an update on this while attending the Spielwarenmesse fair in Nürnberg, Germany this week.

• Hey, speaking of Spielwarenmesse, here's a short summary of Broom Service: The Card Game, coming from designers Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister and publisher alea, with this title due out in April 2016 in Europe and in June in the U.S. This design is not Witch's Brew, the precursor to the Broom Service board game, but something else entirely:

Quote:
Broom Service: The Card Game focuses on the brave/cowardly mechanism used in the Broom Service board game.

Okay, not much to go on there. The game consists of 160 cards (witches, goals, victory point tables) and takes five minutes per player. What's more, alea developer Stefan Brück notes that Broom Service: The Card Game includes "some separate expansion cards for the board game". Exactly what those cards are and how this game works is something I hope to find out in the next week!


• Another Spielwarenmesse preview item will be Mysterium: Hidden Signs, from Oleksandr Nevskiy, Oleg Sidorenko, and Libellud. Here's all the info I have for now:

Quote:
They thought the secret of Warwick mansion had been solved and the spirit had found peace, but now new signs have emerged that were previously hidden. New suspects, places, and objects that do not fit into the picture — and the presence of the ghost is strong once again.

In Mysterium: Hidden Signs, the spiritualists must return to the old mansion and investigate these disturbing visions. Will they understand all the instructions this time and give the ghost its final rest?

• In non-Toy Fair news, in 2016 Stronghold Games will release an English-language version of City of Spies: Estoril 1942 from designers Gil d'Orey and Antonio Sousa Lara. To learn how to play this hidden placement game, check out this overview video that I recorded with d'Orey at Spiel 2015:

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Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Bézier Games Sells America, Libellud Visits More Loonies & NSV Invites Existential Despair

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• Like Fauna or Terra? America from Bézier Games reworks the game system at the heart of those Friedemann Friese designs to, according to co-designer Ted Alspach, "make it more accessible and fun than its more serious lineage". Here's an overview of gameplay for those not familiar with the game system:

Quote:
• In which year was Close Encounters first in theaters?
• Which state gets the most snow each year?
• How many albums has Madonna sold?

It's likely that you don't know any of these facts, but you might have a rough idea, and that's good enough because America is a party game in which being close counts. And what if you have absolutely no idea what the answer is? Take advantage of your friends who do know. And if you realize that no one (including you) seems to know what the answer is, you can bet against everyone!

In America, which includes almost one thousand questions covering more than three hundred topics, each player uses their knowledge of pop culture, food, products, games, sports, and United States history to score more points than their opponents. If your opponents know something that you don't, you can leverage their knowledge to your advantage, scoring more than them with clever play. The cards have full color clues to help you, as well as interesting factoids for every question in the game.

As for changes to the system, Alspach says that the length/distance bar has been removed, with each "region" now being exactly one U.S. state. and no ocean or non-USA regions being part of the game. The title and picture on a card relate to the year, number and state on that card, although Alspach adds that "the state isn't tied as closely to the topic as it was in Terra". All answers are singular, that is, the number or year are not a range but only a single numeral. The game board is double-sided, with the reverse side having unlabeled U.S. states.

As for the scoring, America features new "No Exact" and "No Exact or Adjacent" squares for the two bars and the "states" section. As Alspach explains, "Players get 3 points if there are no cubes on the correct answer ('No Exact') and/or 7 points if there are no cubes on the correct or adjacent answers ('No Exact or Adjacent')."


• German publisher Nürnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag has only one new title for the first half of 2016: the somewhat tragic-looking Life Is Life from Lorenz Kutschke. Here's an overview, which I've summarized from the rules:

Quote:
Every player starts Life Is Life with five life cards, and things only go downhill from there.

To set up a round, shuffle the sixty-card deck, deal ten cards face down to each player, then place ten cards face up on the table in four rows, with the rows holding 1-4 cards. The deck consists of animal cards, with nine giraffe cards, eight bear cards, seven each mole and goat, and so on down to three mouse cards.

On a turn, a player either swaps 1-4 cards in hand with the face-up row that contains the same number of cards or knocks on the table to signal the end of the round; when a player knocks, each other player can make one final swap or also knock. Players then compare cards in hand to see who holds a majority of each type of animal. If a player holds more giraffe cards than each other player, for example, then that player keeps one giraffe card (worth 9 points as nine such cards are in the game) while all other giraffe cards are discarded. (A player can hold a majority by having one card and no one else having any cards.) After all animal types are compared, whoever has the most points loses no life cards; whoever has the fewest points loses two life cards; and whoever has a total between these extremes loses one life card.

Alternatively, if during a round a player collects all four cats or all five rabbits or pigs in hand, that player can end the round immediately, with all other players losing one life card.

If a player runs out of life cards, they're out of the game. At the end of a round, shuffle the cards and play again. Whoever last clings to life wins!

• With the Spielwarenmesse fair opening in just two days, I'm still adding titles to BGG's Nürnberg/New York 2016 Preview, such as Libellud's Loony Quest: The Lost City, which adds more complications to the already involved (by comparison to Doodle Quest) design from Laurent Escoffier and David Franck. Here's a sneak peek at what you'll find inside:

Quote:
The Arkadia tournament is now over, but the king's exiled evil brother Vadoor has caught the five adventurers and is sending them far away. To save the kingdom, our heroes must begin by fleeing a pirate ship. During their escape, they will find the legendary sunken city of Spectra, inhabited by a hitherto-unknown, ancient tribe of Loonies who appear to have come from another galaxy. Where will this new quest lead our adventurers?

In Loony Quest: The Lost City, the first expansion for Loony Quest, players discover five new worlds and strive to master the previously unseen challenges of this 32-level content pack! Travel through secret passages that let you reappear in another location on the level. A 3D-pyramid spaceship turns up the fun factor of the new levels and brings a new angle to the original Loony Quest game, boosting replayability.

New special stages and more bonus and penalty tokens add up to even more fun with the players around the table!

What does this pyramid look like, by chance? Well, like this:

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Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:02 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Embrace the Chaos or Find Your Zen

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• Publisher Cool Mini Or Not had a banner year in 2015, raking in over $8.7 million in pledges across five projects, and the publisher is out the gate in a hurry already in 2016 with XenoShyft: Dreadmire, a standalone follow-up to XenoShyft: Onslaught, its co-op deck-building title. Designer Michael Shinall has accomplished two goals with this set: 1) expanding the game mechanically by way of a cycling weather deck that triggers additional card abilities and 2) balancing the difficulty curve that Onslaught players experienced in a way that can be backported relatively painlessly. (KS link)

Letiman Games is bringing you Dirigible Disaster, a frenetic real-time co-op with a quirky sense of humor in which players are tasked with keeping a dirigible afloat as disasters strike left and right. If that sounds somewhat like Red November transposed into the skies, that's because designer Daniel Grek drew inspiration from that Faidutti/Gontier release of yesteryear. When I hear "dirigible disaster", my mind automatically goes to this posh movie scene. Could this game be a retelling of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from the perspective of Baron Bomburst? (KS link)

• Somehow I can't seem to shake this bad analogy I've cooked up in which rival publishers snapping up the rights to all the out-of-print Reiner Knizia designs on the market is the new space race. Indeed, the good doctor seems to be in the middle of a renaissance. This time it's Grail Games bringing back fan-favorite and former SdJ-recommended title Medici. The game, originally published over two decades ago, was the second in Knizia's famed "auction trilogy". Vincent Dutrait is on art duties this time around, taking the torch from another legendary illustrator, Franz Vohwinkel. (KS link)

• If you were to compare games by number of dice relative to the box size, King's Forge would probably rank near the top of the list. The 2014 Game Salute title from designer Nick Sibicky recently received an updated second edition (scheduled to hit store shelves two days ago on Jan. 22) and is also getting a new expansion, King's Forge: Glassworks, which adds glass as another resource with which to craft items in the smithy of the titular Adolphoson Sedgwickson III. (KS link)

• Most games designed with an educational thrust will cause gamers to back away slowly, but Martin Looij is both a game designer and a scuba diver, which may mean that Scuba breaks free of that dangerous reef. Looij is bringing the game to market under his Keep Exploring Games imprint, which has one of the coolest logos I've seen. Managing your air supply is a unique take on the infamous "feed your people" mechanism, balanced by the zen experience of spotting underwater wildlife. (KS link)

• Probably the last theme you'd expect to find in a tile-placement game is communal beard braiding, but the KS landscape never ceases to surprise. I'm talking about Beardsmith from HaleFire Games and designer Benjamin Hale. Things are bound to get hairy when up to six stylists all compete to leave their mark on one unfortunate dwarf's beard — even if that means adding some gum to prevent the other stylists from getting all the glory. Who knew that the barbershop could be home to such a cutthroat experience? (KS link)

Pocket N30N City RUMBLE from Booyah Games and designer Davy Wagnarok is refreshing in that it's clearly throwing back to the heyday of arcade games, but without crutching on 8-bit graphics. This is, of course, a pocket version of N30N City Rumble, which was crowdfunded in August 2014. Booyah has teamed up with Level 99 Games to offer crossover content, with several fighters from the World of Indines putting in an appearance. (KS link)

• The award for most unorthodox title of the week goes to Gob'z'Heroes. Where orcs signal a serious tone in fantasy, goblins have always been the silly half-siblings, and this two-player tactical board game from Skulls Mini and designers Fabien Friess and Antoine Roffé amps that silly up to eleven. You have major stats (movement, strength, stamina) that matter in this duel, but you can really bring the vinegar with maneuvers like "Good Joke" or "Acid Fart". (KS link)

• Sometimes, when you find a game you like, you'd rather spend a chunk of change upgrading that game's aesthetics than sinking that same amount of cash into purchasing another game. That's what Cynthia and Chris Landon of Meeple Source are banking on, anyway — likely a safe bet, considering their five previous successful KS campaigns. Rather than simply offering a wide variety of generic resources, they've grouped them into efficient upgrade kits for a variety of popular games. (KS link)

• The thread linking Club Zen and Don't Get Eated is that they share a designer, which is why they're being bundled as a two-fer in "The T.C. Petty Experience", a campaign from Dice Hate Me Games. It's a unique approach to marketing; come for the intentionally ironic faux-celebrityism, stay for the games (or, if you're an art junkie, the illustrations of Adam Rebottaro and Kwanchai Moriya, respectively). Club Zen promises a new and relaxing approach to worker placement, while DGE is remarkable in that it has salvaged the much-maligned spinner from the tabletop slag heap and given it new life. (KS link)



Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM
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Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: SeaFall Lands at Plaid Hat, Days of Wonder Establishes Monuments & Indonesia Returns to Print

W. Eric Martin
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• Designer Rob Daviau says that he has delivered the final version of SeaFall to publisher Plaid Hat Games. As for when the game will actually be released, well, I'll be visiting the F2Z Entertainment booth at Spielwarenmesse this week in Nürnberg, Germany (F2Z being Plaid Hat's owner), so I'll let you know what I find out.

• For the release of Quadropolis in March/April 2016, Days of Wonder plans to celebrate with the publication of several promotional monument tiles. Monuments — which are used only in the game's expert mode — are rare buildings that earn you victory points when placed next to parks, shops, or public services in the city that you build, but cost you points when placed next to harbors or factories. To use one of these tiles, replace the monument tile in the base game that bears the same ID number as the promo tile. (Monuments with the same ID number cannot coexist in the game, even if they have different final letters.)

The four tiles below — Monuments of the World — will be available as part of the prerelease program in the U.S. and through retail stores in Europe. What's more, each market in which the game debuts (Korea, Spain, Belgium, etc.) will have a unique promo tile of its own featuring a real-world monument from that country.


• Dutch publisher Splotter Spellen has opened preorders for new editions of Indonesia (first released in 2005) and The Great Zimbabwe (from 2012), with those titles due for release at some point prior to Spiel 2016 in October. Indonesia co-designer Joris Wiersinga has clarified some of the changes to this new edition in a BGG thread; for The Great Zimbabwe, the publishers state that "We will include thicker wooden pieces. Other changes are not yet confirmed."

• Along the same lines, Asmadi Games is taking preorders for Mottainai, Red7, and Innovation, games that are already on the market, but Asmadi is judging the market for versions of its games that include "100% plastic cards", versions that generally cost twice as much as the far-less-hip paper versions.

Blue Orange Games co-owner Thierry Denoual notes that BOG will release a new edition of Claude Leroy's Gyges in 2017.

• To continue the stream of Antoine Bauza tweets, here's a small mention of an expansion being in the works for 7 Wonders: Duel:

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Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:03 pm
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Portal Games Cries Havoc, Revives 51st State & Takes You to Mars

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• Polish publisher Portal Games is hosting Portalcon 7 on Jan. 23, 2016, and as part of that event designer Ignacy Trzewiczek is announcing titles that you can expect to see from Portal in 2016, with three of these titles being 51st State: Master Set, Cry Havoc, and First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet.

Details about these games are minimal right now. First Martians, for example, is based on Trzewiczek's Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island, but set on the planet Mars, with players facing "the hostile Martian environment and a whole host of new adventures and challenges".

Cry Havoc — from designers Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, and Michał Walczak — is "a card-driven, asymmetric war game set in a brutal, science fiction setting". (Cry Havoc was born as Battle for York, and Rodiek has an overview of the design on his Hyperbole Games website.)

51st State: Master Set is likely a collection of all things 51st State, but exactly which things will have to wait until later — possible when Trzewiczek runs through his announcements at Portalcon 7, which he plans to share via Periscope. For now (and always), though, you can experience this teaser video. (More teaser videos below.)





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Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:03 pm
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