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New Game Round-up: Giza and More Steam from Mayfair, First Look at Drako & Sails of Glory from Ares Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
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• In addition to the recently announced Age of Darkness expansion for The Rivals for Catan, Mayfair Games has released details on two more forthcoming titles, both with a U.S. street date of January 18, 2012. Yes, we're already looking ahead to treats in the new year, skipping past the hundreds of titles preparing to rip through our consciousness at Spiel 2011 and making a plan for other days. Well, some of us are anyway.

First is Giza: The Great Pyramid (3-4 players, 90 minutes, MSRP $35), first announced at NY Toy Fair in February 2011. Here's a game description from the publisher:

Pharaoh is worried! His tomb at Giza is behind schedule, and he fears it will not be done in time for his funeral. He is offering great rewards to the faction that contributes the most work on his pyramid in the next ten years. If your people work the hardest and work the smartest you shall earn Pharaoh's favor!

In Giza, the Great Pyramid you are the leader of one of four factions vying for Pharaoh's favor. You have ten years to outperform the other factions and contribute the most to his great pyramid, earning eternal gratitude and glory. You shall need to balance your labor! Farm and fish to feed your people. Sweat and struggle with the back-breaking labor of moving the giant stone blocks into place. Task your folk with the creation of exquisite artworks to beautify Pharaoh's eternal rest.

My main reaction: Need more detail. We still have a few months, though, so there's no rush.

Second is Steam: Map Expansion #2, which mirrors the first Steam map expansion by having a four-panel map on one side of the game board – Great Britain in this case – and a pair of two-panel maps on the reverse side – California and China. Morgan Dontanville is once again the designer, and the retail price is $24.

• Eric Price at Japanime Games, which will have Japanese-language versions of Tanto Cuore: Expanding the House and Tanto Cuore: Romantic Vacation for sale at Spiel 2011, says that the publisher is working on English-language versions of these games, with Expanding the House expected to be available in December 2011 and Romantic Vacation most likely in March/April 2012.

• Italian publisher Ares Games has announced a new series of games similar to its forthcoming Wings of Glory – the relaunch of the Wings of War series from designers Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia – with the action taking to the water this time. From the press release:

The game, to be called Sails of Glory, will recreate naval warfare in the Age of Sail (1650-1815). The Wings of Glory game system will be modified and expanded to represent accurately battles at sea between the large sailing ships of the past centuries.

Created by Andrea Angiolino and Andrea Mainini, Sails of Glory will merge miniatures, cards and board game mechanics, using the same intuitive system of Wings of Glory, which features a special deck of maneuver cards to represent the different movement capabilities of each model. The game will be supported by a range of painted and assembled 1/1200 miniatures...

The first series of Sails of Glory, scheduled to be released in Summer 2012, will be set in the Napoleonic Age. "If the game has the success we expect, in the future Sails of Glory will be extended to cover other historical periods, such as the Age of Discovery, the Middle Ages and ancient times", added Christoph Cianci, CEO of Ares Games.

Andrea Angiolino, co-author of both Wings of Glory and Sails of Glory declared: "Since the first release of Wings of War we were convinced that this game system could be used also in completely different settings. For years, the development was focused on the games of aerial warfare, but fans of the game created several variants on their own, inspired by famous animated cartoons, movies and books. With Sails of Glory, thanks to the creative contributions of Andrea Mainini, for the first time this is done in an official product, backed by the same attention to playability, historical accuracy and beautiful miniatures of the original game", he said.

"It was very interesting to develop the Sails of Glory mechanics with Andrea Angiolino. The distinct character and the deep different behavior of a big sailing ship compared to a XX-century airplane allowed us to reinvent the game and to find innovative ideas, but keeping it coherent with the logics and principles that inspired Wings of Glory", commented Andrea Mainini.

• The English-language edition of Friedemann Friese's Fauna from FoxMind is now available or should be in retail outlets any day now. This version of the game uses Imperial units on one side of the game board and metric units on the other, so as long as you're not mixing players from both sides of the measuring divide, you should be able to play.

Asmadi Games plans to release Innovation: Figures in the Sand, a second expansion for Innovation that is currently in development, at Gen Con 2012. Asmadi's Chris Cieslik says this expansion will have the same number of cards as the original game.

IELLO, which is releasing a graphically-enhanced version of Innovation in time for Spiel 2011, plans to release its own version of Echoes of the Past (the first Innovation expansion) in Q1 2012 with an IELLO-ized Figures in the Sand for Spiel 2012.

• Designer Ignacy Trzewiczek has been posting images and short descriptions of the seven cards in The New Era "Spiel 2011 promo pack" on the Portal Publishing website. (He's also been posting them on The New Era page on BGG, but I'll be scooting them into a separate game listing at some point.)

• Łukasz Woźniak regularly reviews games in Polish in a video format, and for his first attempt in English, he talks about Adam Kałuża's Drako, a Spiel 2011 release from, so this video serves as a preview for all those interested in learning more about the game:

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