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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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Matagot Prepares Monuments, Meeples, Cattle, Escape Rooms, Panicky Submarine Operators and More

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French publisher Matagot has been in business for more than a decade, and in addition to releasing a tall stack of new games for 2016, the company is also reorganizing its catalog to present its games with a clearer identity: Titles for hardcore gamers will go in the XL format used for Kemet or the large square format used for Barony and will be targeted at players aged 14 and up; gateway games for ages 10+ and family games for 8+ will fit in certain sized boxes with a color identifier and with each box size having a specific price range; and a kids' line that is currently available only in France will expand in 2017 and be available on the larger market.

• All of those details are more relevant for its distributors and retailers, though, so let's start seeing what info is available about Matagot's upcoming games, leading off with Cyclades: Monuments, a small expansion for Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc's Cyclades that consists of ten monument miniatures and ten associated monument cards, with each of these new buildings giving you a unique power.

Christian Martinez's Inis has been under development for five years, according to Matagot, and the game will finally debut in 2016. I recorded a video overview of the game at Spielwarenmesse 2014 on the most hideous table ever used by man when the game was being called "Brenn". While the specifics of the game have likely changed since then, the goal remains the same: Fulfill one of the three victory conditions (leadership, land, religion) before anyone else.




• The Cathala/Maublanc design team is also responsible for Dice Stars, a pocket-sized release for 1-4 players in which they add a certain number of dice to a dice pool, then take either all dice of the same color or all dice of the same value in order to score in various ways.

Millions of Dollars from relative newcomer Jeremie Kletzkine is a hidden role game with no elimination and non-random distribution of roles in which you try to negotiate with (and trick) others into giving you the biggest share of the available loot.

Dice Town, another Cathala/Maublanc design, receives an expansion of its own with Dice Town Cowboy, which adds three new cards to the base game along with a game board and fifteen cows. Now players can use Aces that they roll to retrieve cattle from the great outdoors, but if you don't protect them, opponents can steal them away from you.




Room 25: Escape Room from designers Guilaine Didier, Gabriel Durnerin, and François Rouzé adds new room tiles and a VIP character who needs escorting to the Room 25 base game, but in addition it features a new "Escape room" mode that functions as escape rooms do in the real world as players must solve riddles in order to find the exit within a limited time.

Cédric Millet's Meeple Circus takes an act common to gamers the world over — piling up your meeples and making them perform unusual acts while everyone else is setting up the game — and turns it into a game of its own.

• Finally, we come to the wackiest title of the bunch, and wouldn't you know it, Roberto Fraga is co-designer. What a surprise! The game is Captain S.O.N.A.R, and together with Yohan Lemonnier, Fraga has created an engaging team experience. Here's an overview:

Quote:
At the bottom of the ocean, no one will hear you scream!

Get on board a state-of-the-art submarine and team-up against another underwater team. Every role is important, and the confrontation is merciless. Be organized and communicate because a captain is nothing without his crew: the Chief Mate, the Radio Operator, and the Engineer.

Captain S.O.N.A.R is a cooperative game in which two teams fight each other and try to destroy the opposing submarine. The game can be played in two modes: turn-by-turn or simultaneous. Each captain sets the course of their submarine, while the other crew members ready the weapons, make sure the engines are up and running, and spy on the opposing team. By launching a torpedo in the right spot or making a mine blow at the right time, you can deal damages to the opposing ship. Multiple maps are included with varying levels of difficulty.

I've played the prototype twice when it was titled "Polaris", both times as captain when we had three players on each team, and had great fun. Like Fraga's Doctor Panic — which is now due out February 2016 in Europe and similarly soon in the U.S. — Captain S.O.N.A.R feels like an event game, something that you want to break out at a convention.

The video below of the prototype being shown at a French convention gives you some idea of what's going on in the game, with the captain calling out directions as their submarine moves through the water; the radio operator paying attention to the opposing captain to try to track down where that sub might be; the first mate powering up your radar, torpedoes, and other equipment; and the engineer doing something I can't fathom since I played with only three on a team!



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Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:00 pm
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Game Previews from Spielwarenmesse 2016: Imhotep, Kerala, Smugglers, Glupschgeister, 90 Grad, and BANG! The Dice Game – Old Saloon

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Let's check out a few more game overview videos that BGG recorded at Spielwarenmesse 2016 in late January, noting while doing so that you can find all 59 (and counting!) of these videos on the Spielwarenmesse 2016 playlist on BGG's YouTube channel and on the individual game pages in the database.

• Designer Phil Walker-Harding has a number of releases hitting shelves in 2016, including the Egyptian-themed building game Imhotep from KOSMOS, with players serving as architects who are also tasked with loading materials on transport boats and getting those boats to the building sites. Sounds like Egypt's unions weren't strong as those employee responsibilities should be better delineated...





• When I first looked at the components image for Smugglers from Klaus and Benjamin Teuber, I didn't get how it worked, figuring that I'd need to see the game in action to really understand it. Mission accomplished!





• Kirsten Hiese's Kerala: Der Weg der Elefanten is a tile-placement game in which the elephants themselves tell you where to place the tiles — well, sort of.





• Whatever you feel about the game, I'm excited to have learned about Glupschgeister because it led to interesting discussions about translation issues, both with Katarina from KOSMOS and with Sabine and Emily from AMIGO, the latter of whom was born in Canada, so she drew on her native English language background to pull out "bug-eyed" as a decent translation of "glupsch", although she said that term still wasn't ideal. Even so, I invite everyone to now welcome one another by yelling "Glupschgeister!"





• Gunnar Kuhlencord's 90 Grad has been released in a few editions since its debut in 2000, and now Clemens Gerhards has released a beautiful wood version of the design, but "beautiful wood version" is pretty much synonymous with Clemens Gerhards so that shouldn't be a surprise.





• Italian publisher dV Giochi plans to release an expansion for Michael Palm and Lukas Zach's BANG! The Dice Game in 2016, and as with many expansions these days, BANG! The Dice Game – Old Saloon consists of multiple modules that can be combined with the base game individually or in any combination.

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Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:00 pm
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Details on the 2016 Models of Agricola

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As I noted in early 2015, designer Uwe Rosenberg and publisher Lookout Games have been revamping their 2007 release Agricola, a game that is arguably one of the two most important releases in the past decade (the other one being Dominion). As Lookout's Hanno Girke wrote in Feb. 2015:

Quote:
Agricola is 8 years old now. There are many cards in the original edition that are never played. Cards that sit on your hand like a lame duck and block that spot for an exciting card.

There are lots of cards that define your strategy in a negative way, as you'll never play them. Which leads to a "real" hand size of approx 2-4 cards each.

We don't like that. Uwe wants the game to be open for all players, to reduce the luck in the card draw. Therefore, his idea is to eliminate weak cards and to replace them with power cards from expansions. We need a tournament standard that's good for the next decade.

Now Lookout's parent company, Mayfair Games, has revealed some details of what you'll find when the new version of Agricola is released on May 20, 2016:

• To start, the game includes wooden components for 1-4 players, instead of 1-5. At Spielwarenmesse 2016, Mayfair's Larry Roznai said that the primary reason for this change (as well as for some of the other changes made) is to hit a $60 MSRP in order to make the game more accessible on the market. (The previous edition of Agricola from Z-Man Games retailed for $70.)

• The Agricola base game will include, to quote from a Mayfair Games press release, "a 'greatest hits' collection of cards from the original game and its expansions, newly revised and updated for this edition". This change addresses the problem that Girke described above. Hundreds of cards have been added to the Agricola system since the game's debut, so it makes sense to revisit the introductory set of cards that new players first encounter. Exactly which cards will be included from which sets has not been detailed.

• The Agricola base game will no longer include the "Family Variant" that removes the Minor Improvement and Occupation cards from gameplay and instead has players using only the actions on the game boards. Instead Mayfair and Lookout will release the Agricola Family Edition, which once again has components for 1-4 players. Roznai said that by removing the cards, Mayfair could present a far more affordable, introductory version of Agricola for the mainstream market, similar to what Mayfair did with the Catan: Family Edition. Agricola Family Edition will be released in 2016 at some point following the new version of the Agricola base game.

• In Q4 2016, Mayfair and Lookout will release the Agricola 5-6 Player Extension, which includes wooden components for two additional players as well as "even more cards handpicked and revised by Uwe Rosenberg".

• As Girke has promised in the past, Mayfair and Lookout will sell the new and revised Agricola cards on their own so that those who already own the game can get the updated material without needing to buy the base game once again.

•••


Somewhat related to this announcement is a question for you:

Poll
Should the 2016 edition of the Agricola base game receive its own listing in the BGG database?
Yes
No
I'm not sure
Bacon!
      1986 answers
Poll created by W Eric Martin


I ask this question because based on BGG's current guidelines, this new edition of Agricola should receive its own listing. It has a different player count with different cards and no family game. This isn't a question of whether one new card or tile qualifies something as a different game. Clearly the components differ from what's been available in the past!

Yet this is still Agricola. If you know how to play any of the earlier releases, then you'll be able to jump into this one with nothing new to encounter other than the text of the cards, which might have been new to you anyway given how many cards are included in the base game. It's the same, yet different.

The current BGG listing for Agricola includes editions that contain the Z-deck and the X-deck, and using current guidelines, those editions should have been broken out on their own as well (although one of those editions predates the versions system in the BGG database).

So what to do, what to do? Any suggestions that might encompass this release and all the strange Kickstarter titles that include a half-dozen bonus doodads and fancy upgraded editions that may or may not include additional game material and whatever else publishers might dream up in the years ahead? Publishers have the ability to change every aspect of a release large and small, and ideally we want to provide users with all of that information in usable and useful way, so I welcome your ideas on how to do this.
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Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:25 pm
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Game Previews from Spielwarenmesse 2016: Happy Pigs, Sea of Clouds, SOL, World Monuments, Risky Adventure & Mighty Monsters

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• Time for another round-up of some of the game preview videos that BGG recorded at Spielwarenmesse 2016, starting with Kuraki Mura's Happy Pigs from IELLO. I've played the original Swan Panasia release a few times and will confess that after reading the rules I initially didn't expect much from the game, but in practice I found it grossly entertaining. I guess that's why we need to actually play the games before rating or reviewing them...





• Théo Rivière's Sea of Clouds, also from IELLO, is a quasi-card-drafting game of air pirates who want to get what all pirates want to get: A renewed annual contract with the Starz network that guarantees 3% on the back end for DVD sales and merchandise.





Queen Games was showing a half-dozen titles that it plans to release in 2016, including Piero Cioni's World Monuments, which from the description seems to fall into that midweight family game category that Queen targets with many of its releases.





Risky Adventure from Anthony Rubbo and Queen Games takes a familiar setting — adventures exploring for stuff in the jungle and desert — and forces you to take more risks during the gameplay itself.





• Designer Desnet Amane first released Dungeon Guilds through his own Moaideas Game Design studio in 2013, and now Queen Games has picked up the title design and has upped the monster quotient 100% in Mighty Monsters.





• I previewed Pierre Buty's SOL from Catch Up Games after taking an early look at the rulebook, and now you can see (a prototype of) the game board for yourself to imagine how characters will be scrambling over the terrain in search of the treasure of the God of the Sun.

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Tue Feb 9, 2016 6:33 pm
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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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Links: The "Z" in WizKids Now Stands for Zev, and Hasbro and Mattel Talk Merger

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• On Feb. 3, 2016, WizKids Games announced that Zev Shlasinger will "head up its expanded Board Game operations".

Shlasinger, for those who don't know, founded Z-Man Games in 1999, and as noted in the WizKids press release he had an "eclectic publishing philosophy" that led to Z-Man releasing a wide variety of material over the years, from widely-regarded titles like Pandemic and Tales of the Arabian Nights to more obscure releases such as Castle Merchants, Gheos, and (one of my favorite light card games of all time) Escalation. He was willing to take chances by throwing lots of titles at store shelves all at once to see what stuck, and while that led to many titles disappearing under the waters with little fanfare, he also gets credit for introducing the classic Japanese games Fairy Tale and R-Eco to the U.S. market.

Shlasinger sold Z-Man Games to Sophie Gravel, owner of Filosofia Editions, in 2011, but he continued to work for Z-Man — which over time became a brand within the larger F2Z Entertainment — as someone who would acquire and develop new titles. Shlasinger left F2Z in early 2016.

At Spielwarenmesse 2016, I spoke with Gravel about Shlasinger and F2Z Entertainment parting ways. In general, as the years progressed his desire to publish all types of games all at once all the time contrasted with her more reserved approach to long-term development of individual games and game lines. Shlasinger wanted to do more along the lines of what he had done in the past, so in the end they decided to part ways. To quote from the press release:

Quote:
"I plan to continue to bring original and unique ideas to market with the help of the WizKids team," said Shlasinger. "They are very serious about building a board game business and are not afraid of good, fun, original ideas. In addition, WizKids has an amazing portfolio of licensed properties to enhance their board game presence in the industry. I think our combined qualities make a formidable team."

BloombergBusiness reports that Hasbro and Mattel "have held talks about merging". In more detail: "Hasbro approached Mattel about a potential transaction late last year [2015], and the companies have held on-and-off-again talks about a deal, the people said, asking not to be identified as the situation isn’t public."

Okay, that's still not much detail. Any deal might be subject to antitrust review given that "If combined, the companies would have probably about one-quarter of the market in the U.S." There's no truth to the rumor that I just started that the combined company would be called HazMat.

• Following the (possible) ruling of chess being forbidden by Islam, we have a report of 32 "foreigners" being busted for playing bridge in Bangkok. As noted by the Bangkok Post:

Quote:
Finding score books, but no money, police initially speculated that the foreigners were gambling, but transferring cash later between bank accounts. Bridge club officials tried in vain to explain bridge is played only for points...

While they found no financial evidence of gambling, police charged the group with possessing more than 120 playing cards that were not produced by the Excise Department, in violation of Section 8 of the Playing Cards Act of 1943.
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Sat Feb 6, 2016 8:38 pm
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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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Game Previews from Spielwarenmesse 2016: Pegasus Spiele — The Great Chariot Race, Camel Up Cards, Animals on Board, Yeti & Much More

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Hoo boy, did we record a lot of videos at the Pegasus Spiele stand during Spielwarenmesse 2016? And despite recording as much as we did during that time, we still didn't cover everything as some forthcoming games had nothing more than a box cover to show (which didn't stop us a couple of times) and others were German-language licenses (that we've probably covered from the original publishers) and still others were new but we just didn't have time. We did what we could.

• To start with, here's a teaser for a Matt Leacock title that Pegasus plans to debut at Spiel 2016 in October, a 2-6 player design titled The Great Chariot Race that has components similar to those in Roll Through the Ages. How exactly this all works is not yet public knowledge, but here's what we have for now:





• New items come into play and your tailoring students become more experienced in Rococo: Jewelry Box, an expansion by Louis and Stefan Malz for Rococo.





• As has been the case with many games this season, Steffen Bogen's Camel Up has been carded, shrinking into Camel Up Cards, with players effectively recreating the dice in the original game with cards from their hand.





• Another title that's experienced the board-to-card transformation is Glück Auf from Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling, which will appear in 2016 as Glück Auf: Das grosse Kartenspiel.





• The exact contents of Istanbul: Brief & Siegel, the second expansion for Rüdiger Dorn's Istanbul, are still being developed, but this video presents an overview of what you'll find here — or possibly in another expansion down the road.





• If the portion of floor space devoted to a game is any measure by which to judge — and it usually is — Benjamin Schwer's Yeti is the family game being pushed the hardest by Pegasus. Ideally someone will be wearing a full yeti costume at Spiel 2016 and posing with passersby.





Animals on Board from designers Wolfgang Sentker and Ralf zur Linde, which Stronghold Games will release in the U.S., has a clever cheeky concept at heart, something to which the term "fridge logic" readily applies.





• Finally — at least in this space as BGG's YouTube channel has more — we have the brilliant two-player card game Elements, first published as Khmer by the designers in Team Saien. I've played the original ten times, and it's such a clean, simple design, yet so engaging in how it plays, with each player trying to get into the other's head.

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Thu Feb 4, 2016 4:35 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:

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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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