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The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases - Nov/Dec 2012
Doug Faust
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With the myriad sources of game news coming out of hundreds of publishers, large and small, it's difficult for even the informed gamer to know which releases to look forward to. This list is an attempt to aggregate what the BGG community as a whole is anticipating, omitting my own personal biases as much as I can.

This is a list of games sorted by what I call the "buzz score", that is, the number of wishlists the game is on minus the number of owners that game has. Most of the time, this will highlight games that are not yet released, but games may stay on the list after their release depending on how much people want them, and how quickly people have bought them. Obviously, games must be in the BGG database to be considered, but after that, there are no criteria beyond wishlists and owners.

I will post an updated version of this list about every two months. Here are some previous lists:

Sep/Oct 2012
Jul/Aug 2012
May/Jun 2012
Mar/Apr 2012
Jan/Feb 2012

There is also a subscription thread for this Geeklist series. If you wish to receive a notification when I post future versions of this list, go over to The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases - Subscription Thread and subscribe.
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1. Board Game: Clash of Cultures [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:128]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 1318

Clash of Cultures
Design: Christian Marcussen (Merchants & Marauders)
Specs: 2-4 players, 240 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1550 wishlists, 232 owners

[Previous List: #2 (1134)]

Clash of Cultures is an epic civilization game in which players lead their culture from a tiny village to a dominant world power. The game has many of the trappings that civ-game enthusiasts have come to expect, including a technology tree, exploration on a modular game board with a randomized setup, and erecting buildings and wonders in your cities to aid your economy, culture, and happiness. The game purports to take only about one hour per player, which many may find to be a more reasonable time frame than all-day affairs like Civilization or 7 Ages.

Release Notes: Prerelease copies of this game from Z-Man Games were available at Essen. The street date for this game is December 12th.
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2. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 1191

Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts
Design: Thomas Lehmann (Race for the Galaxy, Phoenicia)
Specs: 2-5 players, 45 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1229 wishlists, 38 owners

[Previous List: #3 (1117)]

While Alien Artifacts is technically the fourth expansion to Race for the Galaxy, it is part of a "new story arc"--the game must be played with the original Race for the Galaxy, but cannot be played with any of the other expansions. This expansion features new role cards for a fifth player, and the usual assortment of new planets and developments. Additionally, the expansion contains a number of "alien orb" cards that can be explored by the players, as well as a new Explore role card that allows them to do so. Players must balance building up their own tableau and exploring the mysterious Alien Orb.

Release Notes: Rio Grande lists this game as a December release, but there's some question as to whether they'll make that date.
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3. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:43]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 886

Suburbia
Design: Ted Alspach (Ultimate Werewolf, Start Player)
Specs: 1-4 players, 90 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 1435 wishlists, 549 owners

[Previous List: #13 (578)]

Suburbia is a tile-laying game in which each player is trying to build their own suburb, which will provide them with both income and population (points). Tiles are selected via a draft mechanic--they become cheaper if they were revealed longer ago. When placed, tiles can score based on tiles that they're adjacent to, tiles that exist in your suburb, or tiles that exist in all suburbs. There are variable goals that are randomly added into each game to provide an additional source of points--some of these goals will be private, and others will be public so that anyone may achieve them.

Release Notes: This game from Bézier Games was available at Essen. Retail copies should be making it to distributors right now.
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4. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:17]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 882

Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar
Design: Simone Luciani (Sheepland, Urbania), Daniele Tascini (Sheepland)
Specs: 2-4 players, 90 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1805 wishlists, 923 owners

[Previous List: #5 (799)]

Tzol'kin is a worker placement game that prominently features a number of large interlocking gears on the game board. Players place their workers on one of five smaller gears; the workers will be rotated around each time the main wheel it turned. In general, the longer a worker is able to stay on a wheel, the greater the benefit will be when you decide to remove him. In this way, players can receive varying amounts of wood, grain, corn, and gold to perpetuate his civilization, as well as crystal skulls, which can be offered to the gods (on another gear) for big victory point bonuses.

Release Notes: This game is now available from Czech Games Editions in Europe. Rio Grande is doing North American distribution, and copies should be available by the end of the month.
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5. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.29 Overall Rank:2]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 859

Terra Mystica
Design: Jens Drögemüller (The Scepter of Zavandor), Helge Ostertag (Kaivai, Galaktico)
Specs: 2-5 players, 100 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1474 wishlists, 615 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (312)]

Terra Mystica is a building game in which you're trying to build the various buildings on your player board to increase your income, Hansa Teutonica style. The higher-level buildings have increased costs and require you to replace lower-level buildings, which will send the lower-level buildings back to your board and thus increase your income in some ways, but decrease it in others. The game encourages players to get in each other's way, as there are significant bonuses for being next to an opponent. Turning this all into points is the tricky part, because while some of your points may come from having an impressive city during endgame scoring, most of your points will come from performing certain actions during certain turns, taking roles that may not be as beneficial income-wise, or using your special ability. There are 14 distinct races each with their own special ability, that really define how you play the game.

Release Notes: This game is now available from Feuerland-spiele in Germany, and will be available from Z-Man Games in North America in the spring.
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6. Board Game: Star Wars: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:220]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 792

Star Wars: The Card Game
Design: Eric Lang (Chaos in the Old World, Warhammer: Invasion)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 836 wishlists, 44 owners

[Previous List: #9 (695)]

Star Wars: The Card Game is a tactical 2-player game in which the Rebels and the Empire square off in a series of battles determined by the players. Before each game, each player will choose a number of objective cards, which will determine which cards will go into their play decks. Each objective card represents a pivotal battle, to which each player will commit cards to try to achieve or prevent the objective from being achieved. The Rebel player must achieve 3 of its objectives before the Death Star dial reaches 12, which the Empire wins when the dial reaches 12--which will happen faster if it achieves its objectives.

NOTE: Originally, this was billed as a cooperative game by Nate French and Corey Konieczka, but after "going back to the drawing board", this is now being released as a 2-player competitive game by Eric Lang.

Release Notes: The new release date for this game from Fantasy Flight is the 4th Quarter of 2012--it's now listed as "on the boat".
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7. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game: The Lost Legion [Average Rating:8.86 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.86 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 778

Mage Knight Board Game: The Lost Legion
Design: Vlaada Chvátil (Through the Ages, Mage Knight Board Game)
Specs: 1-5 players, 240 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 832 wishlists, 54 owners

[Previous List: #16 (495)]

In the first expansion to Mage Knight Board Game, players will find new scenarios as well as an assortment of new terrain tiles, spells, artifacts, actions, enemies, and all that good stuff that one might expect from an expansion. Additionally, a new Mage Knight, Wolfhawk, will be introduced, that can be played as another character choice or can be included to bring the player count to five. The signature addition in this expansion, however, is General Volkare, an "end boss" type of enemy that can wander across the terrain and wreak havoc amongst our heroes.

Release Notes: This game from WizKids will likely be available in January 2013.
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8. Board Game: Dark Darker Darkest [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1866]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 757

Dark Darker Darkest
Design: David Ausloos (Panic Station, Get Nuts)
Specs: 2-5 players, 120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 765 wishlists, 8 owners

[Previous List: #8 (716)]

Dark Darker Darkest is a cooperative horror game in which a virus is quickly spreading throughout the world and turning the entire population into zombies. Players take on the role of "urban survivors" exploring the house of Dr. Mortimer, which allegedly contains an antidote to this virus. The game features modular gameplay with a strong exploration element. Players must overcome obstacles, extinguish fires, and fight zombies to make their way through the house. The game does not have a "dungeon master" player; all players are on the same side.

Release Notes: A yet-unannounced publisher will be producing this game, which is on target for early 2013.
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9. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:104]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 732

Mice and Mystics
Design: Jerry Hawthorne (Heroscape, Battleship Galaxies)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 7+
Stats: 2040 wishlists, 1308 owners

[Previous List: #1 (1438)]

Mice and Mystics is a cooperative dungeon crawl game. Players take on the role of heroes who have been turned into mice, who are trying to save the kingdom. There is no dungeon master for this game; enemy units and obstacles are controlled by the game's mechanisms. The main resource in this game is cheese, which players can expend to perform special actions, or save up to advance in level. The game encourages players not to dawdle on their quests, as the longer they wait, the harder future encounters will become.

Release Notes: This title from Plaid Hat Games should now be available at game stores.
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10. Board Game: Wok Star [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1149]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 702

Wok Star
Design: Tim Fowers
Specs: 1-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 971 wishlists, 269 owners

[Previous List: #10 (679)]

Wok Star is a realtime cooperative game in which players take on the role of restaurant chefs, working against time to fulfill the culinary desires of an endless stream of customers. A 20-second sand timer measures the amount of time you have to meet a customer's needs before he eats free. Each player has a different role in the restaurant, and these players must spend dice in different combinations to prepare ingredients.

Release Notes: This game has been available in very limited quantities from the designer's website at www.wokstargame.com. Z-Man Games will be doing a larger print run, but probably not until 2013 (probably May/June).
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11. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:12]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 651

Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island
Design: Ignacy Trzewiczek (Stronghold, 51st State)
Specs: 1-4 players, 75 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 1315 wishlists, 664 owners

[Previous List: #12 (602)]

Robinson Crusoe is a cooperative game where each player takes the role of a castaway on a deserted island. The game is scenario-based, so plays of the game will have various end-goals. Each player will have his own specialty, but they must all work together to gather food and supplies, as well as deal with threats that could derail the entire operation. The game will incorporate exploration mechanics, which will allow players to find new places on the island that may benefit them. The game purports to provide a variety of ways to address each scenario, making it difficult for players to agree on the best path.

Release Notes: This game from Portal is now available in Europe. The North American edition from Z-Man Games will be available in March 2013.
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12. Board Game: Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients [Average Rating:8.56 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.56 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 589

Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients
Design: Touko Tahkokallio (Eclipse, Walnut Grove)
Specs: 2-9 players, 120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1044 wishlists, 455 owners

[Previous List: #4 (813)]

This first expansion to last year's mega-hit Eclipse features a number of mix-and-match rules modules that can be added to the game. Thematically, a race called the "Ancients" has entered the fray, and players must deal with this new threat as well as with their neighbors. The new rules modules are Rare Technologies, Developments, Alliances, Ancient Homeworlds, and Warp Portals. Additionally, this expansion adds 3 new player races to choose from, and allows for games of up to nine players.

Release Notes: Rise of the Ancients is now available from a number of publishers in Europe. Asmodee will be doing the North American edition, and they cite December 19th as the release date.
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13. Board Game: Myrmes [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:294]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 580

Myrmes
Design: Yoann Levet
Specs: 2-4 players, 75 minutes
Stats: 1053 wishlists, 473 owners

[Previous List: #21 (450)]

In Myrmes, each player is responsible for the growth an prosperity of an ant colony over the course of a year. Players will send their worker and soldier ants across the terrain to gather resources and hunt prey, or keep them at home to expand and enhance the anthill. In the meanwhile, players must tend to and feed their larvae. Each season will present a new set of challenges, with winter being the ultimate challenge: be sure to have amassed enough food or face starvation.

Release Notes: This game is now available from Ystari in Europe. Rio Grande is doing North American distribution, and copies should be available by the end of the month.
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14. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:378]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 558

CO₂
Design: Vital Lacerda (Vinhos)
Specs: 2-5 players, 90 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1076 wishlists, 518 owners

[Previous List: #6 (772)]

In CO₂, players take on the role of global energy companies, each trying to meet the world's ever-increasing demand for energy, while at the same time meeting mandates to lower pollution levels. Players will invest in different types of eco-friendly energy generation, but when those technologies are insufficient for the demand, they will have to spend precious Carbon Emission Permits to be able to fall back upon existing fossil fuel production units.

Release Notes: Preorders of this game from Giochix in Europe and Stronghold Games in North America have been sent out. Stronghold's street date for this title is December 19th.
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15. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:1057]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 522

The Guns of Gettysburg
Design: Bowen Simmons (Napoleon's Triumph, Bonaparte at Morengo)
Specs: 2 players, 180 minutes
Stats: 524 wishlists, 2 owners

[Previous List: #20 (468)]

This is a wargame based on the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War, and will feature mechanics similar to those used in the designer's previous games, Bonaparte at Marengo and Napoleon's Triumph. Instead of the typical hexes and counters, units in this game are represented by linear blocks. The game will allow for either single-day scenarios or the entire three-day battle.

Release Notes: This game will be released by a new company called Mercury Games. The company intends to launch a Kickstarter project for the game in December or January, and will deliver by July.
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16. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:213]
 
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 508

Archipelago
Design: Christophe Boelinger (Earth Reborn, Dungeon Twister)
Specs: 2-5 players, 90 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1118 wishlists, 610 owners

[Previous List: #18 (488)]

Archipelago is a game based on imperialistic colonization. Players attempt to discover and colonize a chain of islands, making friends with the natives and utilizing them to build up an economic engine. However, if you over-exploit the native population, they might revolt, making everyone lose. The game encourages negotiation, as bribes can change hands to secure turn order or goods production. Players will be randomly dealt hidden game-end conditions; as soon as one of these conditions is met, the game ends and players will score bonus points for all items listed on each player's end-game card.

Release Notes: This game should now be available by both Ludically in Europe and Asmodee in North America.
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17. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 480

Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion
Design: Vlaada Chvátil (Through the Ages, Dungeon Lords)
Specs: 2-5 players, 90 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 741 wishlists, 261 owners

[Previous List: #7 (728)]

This follow-up to Galaxy Trucker: The Big Expansion will feature new tiles, new ship boards (including a GIANT IVB ship), and a new "support team" to aid you in ship construction. Additionally, encounters where an enemy boards your ship and starts to destroy everything from the inside out have been added.

Release Notes: This expansion from Czech Games Editions and IELLO is now available in Europe and should be available in North America by January.
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18. Board Game: Omega Centauri [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:3034]
 
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 442

Omega Centauri
Design: Nigel Buckle (Celtic Quest)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 460 wishlists, 18 owners

[Previous List: #21 (458)]

This game was originally called "Ascendancy" and later "Alien Ascendancy". In this space-based civilization game, each player will take on the role of an alien race during the fall of the galactic empire. Players can create new buildings, construct and move space fleets, and research technologies. The game also features an extended "long game" that adds in more technologies and racial powers.

Release Notes: Spiral Galaxy Games will release this title, but they're now aiming for Essen 2013.
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19. Board Game: 7 Wonders: Wonder Pack [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 432

7 Wonders: Wonder Pack
Design: Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders, Ghost Stories)
Specs: 2-8 players, 30 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 435 wishlists, 3 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

The Wonder Pack is a small expansion to 7 Wonders that will include 4 new wonder boards that can be mixed and matched with the original. The new wonders include the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, Abu Simbel, and the Mannekin Pis (which is a revised version of the Mannekin Pis board that was previously available as a promotional item).

Release Notes: This game from Repos Productions and Asmodee has "no solid dates" per Asmodee.
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20. Board Game: Bora Bora [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:92]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 423

Bora Bora
Design: Stefan Feld (The Castles of Burgundy, Trajan)
Specs: 2-4 players, Age 12+
Stats: 427 wishlists, 4 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

The 15th game in the Alea big-box series will be another Stefan Feld design, and like The Castles of Burgundy and Macao before it, it will revolve around clever manipulation of dice. Here, players roll 3 dice, and one-by-one place them on a number of actions that are available. The higher the die you place, the better the action will be--but you cannot place a die on an action unless its value is lower than any die already placed on that action.

Release Notes: This game from Alea/Ravensburger should be released in early 2013. It's unclear whether they're going to distribute in North America themselves or contract with an American publisher.
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21. Board Game: Sturm Europa! [Average Rating:8.89 Unranked]
 
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 420

Sturm Europa!
Design: Michael Tan
Specs: 2-3 players, 120 minutes
Stats: 426 wishlists, 6 owners

[Previous List: #24 (427)]

Sturm Europa! is a strategic-level wargame that simulates the action of the entirety of the second World War in Europe. Armies are represented by wooden blocks, whose identities are not revealed until engaged in combat. The game has card-driven elements, but plays more like a traditional wargame than a typical CDG. A tech tree allows players to customize their battle plans. The game allows for 2-4 hour scenarios, or a 12-hour full game simulating the entire war.

Release Notes: Academy Games will publish this, but the release date is unknown.
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22. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:56]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 419

Roll for the Galaxy
Design: Wei-Hwa Huang, Thomas Lehmann (Race for the Galaxy, Phoenicia)
Specs: 2-5 players, 45 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 423 wishlists, 4 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

This dice game is supposed to emulate a lot of the feel of Race for the Galaxy, but be more accessible, shorter, and of course, revolve around dice rolling. Different types of worlds (novelty, rare goods, genes, alien, military, etc.) will have different colored dice that will each have a different mix of faces that reflects that type of world's strategy. It is rumored that this game will feature over 120 custom dice.

Release Notes: This game from Rio Grande Games is scheduled to be released in Q2 2013.
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23. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – Millennium Falcon Expansion Pack [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.34 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 410

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game - Millennium Falcon Expansion Pack
Design: Uncredited
Specs: 2 players, 20 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 426 wishlists, 16 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

This expansion to Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game includes a detailed miniature of the Millennium Falcon, along with its card, cards representing its pilots and crew including Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian, various cards representing its equipment and maneuvers, and all requisite counters and tokens needed to use this piece with the base game. The Millennium Falcon is larger than miniatures from the original game, with a base measuring 80mm x 80mm instead of 40mm x 40mm.

Release Notes: This expansion from Fantasy Flight Games is scheduled to be released in early 2013.
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24. Board Game: Space Cadets [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:749]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 391

Space Cadets
Design: Brian Engelstein (The Ares Project), Geoff Engelstein (The Ares Project), Sydney Engelstein
Specs: 3-6 players, 90 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 608 wishlists, 217 owners

[Previous List: #23 (439)]

Space Cadets is a cooperative game in which players take on the roles of officers on a Star Trek-esque starship bridge. One player is the captain, making decisions and providing support for the other players. The other players can be the helmsman, the engineer, the weapons officer, the shield officer, or the sensor officer. Each player has his own minigame, a task that can involve dexterity or memory elements, that determines how the ship functions in his particular area. These tasks are timed, so players only have time to pay attention to their own areas and the captain's instruction. If the players perform well enough to execute the captain's plan, you may emerge victorious.

Release Notes: Preorders of this game from Stronghold Games have been sent out. Stronghold's street date for this title is December 12th.
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25. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1551]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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