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Links: Westeros Reimagined, China Heads North & Days of Wonder's Digital – and Cardboard – Success

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• In mid-May 2012, at the Days of Fire and Ice weekend that celebrates all things Game of Thrones, U.S. publisher Fantasy Flight Games will debut the new A Dance with Dragons scenario that "imagines Westeros as it appears in the fifth book of A Song of Ice and Fire." In more detail:

Quote:
With 42 alternate House cards that feature the characters relevant to this period of Westeros' history, A Dance with Dragons is a special, expert-level, six-player scenario that immediately thrusts players into a grim struggle for survival. After a brief alternate setup to reflect each House's position in Westeros, you'll quickly be forced to forge new alliances and discover new strategies.

The scenario will appear as a print-on-demand expansion later in 2012 for those unable or unwilling to make the trek.

• German publisher Franjos now has a total of 36 additional puzzles available for Eric Solomon's Black Box +.

• For March 2012, the new map in Michael Schacht's "12 Months of China" project features the Arctic Ocean. Yes, you'll now be playing oil wells and ambassadors(?) on the ice above the Arctic Ocean as well as in the countries and territories that surround the ocean – and as with the earlier Venice map, China: Arktika can be played with as few as two players. China: Arktika, along with the other versions of China and many non-China games from Schacht, can be played online at his website.


• Schacht is also beta-testing a version of his Coloretto Amazonas for online play at Boardgames-Online.net. Unlike the published card game from 2005, the online game is for two players only, players start with a few cards in their tableaus to jumpstart game play, and ten cards are removed randomly from the deck to ensure some surprises as to which sets can – and can't – be completed.

Valley Games donates $2,438 to the Royal Canadian Legion to honor the 2,438 backers of the D-Day Dice Kickstarter project.

Days of Wonder's Eric Hautemont is interviewed at length by Ben Kuchera on The Penny Arcade Report about how gamers drove the sales of the Small World and Ticket to Ride apps – and how those sales ended up driving sales of the physical games. An excerpt:

Quote:
The company followed Small World with a digital version of Ticket to Ride, released early last year. The game was once again developed in-house, with the graphics and presentation being treated with great care, and the $6.99 app quickly became another huge success. Sales of the board game jumped 30 percent.

The model doesn't end there, as Days of Wonder then released a version of the game for the iPhone. This version sold for only $0.99. In a surprise twist, the release of the iPhone version of the game caused sales of the more expensive iPad version of the game to quadruple. So gamers were making an impulse buy of the iPhone game, liking it enough to want the $7 iPad version, and they would then decide they wanted to own a copy of the actual board game to play with their friends.

By the time the iPhone version of Ticket to Ride was released, Days of Wonder saw an astounding 70 percent jump in sales of the physical board game.
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