Spiel 2011 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Spiel, held in the town of Essen each October, is one of Germany's two major game conventions, the other being the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in February. While Nuremberg is a trade show – and therefore strictly business – Spiel is open to the public, drawing roughly 150,000 people over four days. Hundreds of new games will be introduced at Spiel 2011, which takes place October 20-23. This preview covers games that publishers plan to release at Spiel or in the months leading up to it. In most cases, these games will be new for most Spiel attendees. For some smaller publishers, I've included titles released since Spiel 2010.

Details about the Spiel 2011 Preview: While this Preview might appear to be a standard Geeklist, BGG admin and superhero Daniel Karp has modified it to present games in a manner useful for Spiel attendees and for anyone researching information about games that will debut at the show. Specifically:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading.

-----• If a game appears in multiple versions, typically due to it being in different languages, then each version will appear under its own publisher. I will endeavor to note such things in the "Other information" section below a game's description.

-----• This information is pulled directly from the game pages in the BGG database. Thus, as those pages are updated, this Geeklist will be updated, too. Yay, automation!

-----• Not all of the information on a game's page is included. We want to provide enough details to let you decide whether to investigate further.

-----• If you subscribe to this Preview, you will receive update notices whenever an item is added or edited.

-----• As with a regular Geeklist, if you don't care to read about a game and are logged in, click the red X to hide the game listing for both now and future visits. Please choose "Personal" for the reason when doing so. You cannot hide a publisher due to this Preview's special nature. (Publishers are added automatically as game versions are added, so there's no item connected to those publisher listings that you can hide.)

-----• As more details emerge, I will add publisher booth numbers, preorder information, game designer and artist signings, and much more.

Note that this information has been cobbled together from dozens, nay, hundreds of sources, many in languages that aren't my native tongue, so inaccuracies may have crept in despite my best efforts. I will update game pages as I receive additional information, and your fellow BGG users will undoubtedly do the same, thereby keeping this Preview as up-to-date as the BGG database itself.

If you're a designer or publisher with information to share – or you have details about an upcoming Spiel 2011 release – please send me Geekmail or email (wericmartin @ gmail.com). I'll respond as best I can given the tidal wave of data flowing through the game world in anticipation of the most exciting game convention in the world: Spiel!
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Board Game Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
• Booths 6-100 & 6-417 and 12-01 & 12-06
301. Board Game: Mutant Meeples [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1868]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Just outside Meeptropolis, several meeples on a camping trip are attacked by a swarm of giant radioactive butterflies. As a result, they all gain super speed and one other unique superpower, turning them into...Mutant Meeples!

The city of Meeptropolis has long been in decay, with crimes happening one after the other all over the city. The city council has asked YOU to put together the best possible team of Mutant Meeples to serve as protectors for their fine city.

Mutant Meeples is a puzzle game in the vein of Ricochet Robots in which players are looking to find the shortest "path" to get their meeples to the scene of the crime before any of the other players, using a clever combination of Mutant Meeples and their unique superpowers and super speed. If you're the fastest to the scene of the crime, you add a meeple to your super team; the first player to fill his super team with Mutant Meeples wins!

But there's a catch – once one of your meeples has reached the scene of the crime, he no longer participates. (After all, he’s already "made the team".) This gives players who have fewer meeples on their super teams more options, and provides an additional challenge to players whose super team is almost full.

Mutant Meeples contains a huge 22" double-sided board, eight custom super-powered Mutant Meeples, and much much more.

Also included is the expansion:

Mutant Meeples: Sidekicks allows for more variety in Mutant Meeples thanks to two new super-powered meeples – Nacho Fast and SwapMeet – that can be used in place of those in the original game, as well as tiles that modify both sides of the game board, making them easier or more difficult to match your cranial capacity.

Other Information: • Scheduled for publication in 2012, Mutant Meeples will be on display and playable at the Bézier Games booth during Spiel 2011.
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302. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Fall 4 – Al Capone [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:1298]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld, the fourth title in the Mystery Rummy series, introduces some elements of Canasta with players scoring bonuses for collecting complete sets. Sets have varying numbers of cards in them, from Mike Heitler with four cards up to Al Capone with eight.

The four types of gavel card make cards accessible everywhere: "Agent Meeting" searches other players' hands, "Eliot Ness" searches the deck, "Search Warrant" looks in the discard pile, and "Raid" allows you to take an opponent's already melded cards, provided you have at least three melded. All these mechanisms help make completing entire sets for their bonuses something you can reasonably strive for – while also putting you on guard against your opponent doing the same.

Other Information: • Price €10; release date – September 2011
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303. Board Game: Onirim [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:716]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 2
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

You are a Dreamwalker, lost in a mysterious labyrinth, and you must discover the oneiric doors before your dreamtime runs out – or you will remain trapped forever!

You may wander through the chambers of dreams, hoping that chance will reveal the doors, or you can linger in each type of room. In both cases, you will have to deal with the slithering Nightmares, which haunt the hallways of the labyrinth.

Onirim is a solo/cooperative card game. You (and a partner) must work (together) against the game to gather the eight Door cards before the deck runs out; you can obtain those Door cards either by playing cards of the same color three turns in a row, or by discarding (under specific circumstances) one of your powerful Key cards. In both cases you will have to decide the best use of each card in your hand and carefully play around the Nightmares. Those cards are hidden in the deck and will trigger painful dilemmas when drawn...

Basic Deck:

  • 8 Door cards - two each of red, blue, green and brown
  • 10 Nightmare cards
  • 58 Labyrinth cards:
    • 16 red chambers: 3 keys, 4 moons, 9 suns
    • 15 blue chambers: 3 keys, 4 moons, 8 suns
    • 14 green chambers: 3 keys, 4 moons, 7 suns
    • 13 brown chambers: 3 keys, 4 moons, 6 suns

Three mini-expansions, all standalone and compatible with one another, are included with the basic game:

  • "The Towers" introduces a new type of card that allows more searching and deck manipulation, while also imposing an additional victory condition.
  • "Happy Dreams and Dark Premonitions" adds evil time bombs that will impede your progress at predictable moments of your quest as well as helpful but unreliable allies.
  • In "The Book of Steps Lost and Found", you must find the eight Door cards in a randomly given order and may remove discarded cards from the game to cast powerful spells that will help you complete this difficult task.
Other Information: • Price €8; release date – September 2011
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304. Board Game: Pictomania [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:721]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 9 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Pictomania is a drawing game in which everyone is both drawing and guessing at the same time, giving a chance for those who excel only at one or the other skill to crush the dreams of other players.

Pictomania lasts five rounds, and at the start of each round, you set up six randomly drawn cards on card racks visible to all players. Cards are double-sided, come in four levels of difficulty, and include seven related words on a single side. In addition to a set of guessing cards, scoring tokens, marker and drawing board, each player receives one symbol card and one number card, which together indicate which word or phrase on the revealed cards that player must draw. Bonus tokens equal to one less than the number of players are placed in the center of the table.

Players simultaneously look at their cards and start to draw. While drawing, they can also watch what others are doing and place a guess card on that player's stack. Only one guess per player is allowed, and once you make a guess, you can't change your mind. Other players will ideally be playing guess cards on your stack, too. Once you have finished drawing and guessing – and you're not required to do either – take the highest-valued bonus token from the center of the table and take no other actions. Once the final bonus token is claimed, the round ends.

One by one, players reveal what they were drawing and the guesses that others made. Those who guess your word earn one of your scoring tokens, with early guessers earning more points, while those who guess incorrectly have their card placed in the center of the table. Once all the guesses are resolved, you determine the black sheep – the player who made the worst guesses. If a single player has more cards in the center of the table then anyone else, then his bonus token (if any) counts as negative points. What's more, if no one guessed your word, then you throw away your bonus token, scoring nothing for it. You sum positive points for the round (a bonus token scored, and scoring tokens from the words you guessed correctly), then subtract points for the black sheep "bonus" and all the scoring tokens you didn't give away to determine your final score for the round, which could be negative.

Reset the bonus and scoring tokens, set up six new cards, hand out the symbol and number cards and start another round. The player with the highest score after five rounds wins.

Other Information: • MSRP €30
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305. Board Game: Quest: Zeit der Helden – Der dunkle Kult [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

In the first expansion for Quest: Zeit der Helden, the heroes experience a completely new adventure against a dark cult that holds the land in its grasp.

In Quest: Zeit der Helden - Der dunkle Kult, four new heroes are ready for the adventure, with two of them solving problems in a completely new way – through cunning and negotiation. Together with the new game mechanism "Dialog", Quest: Zeit der Helden now offers a much deeper gaming experience. Even the heroes' antagonist, the Questmaster, has four new archenemies at his disposal – but they all are dwarfed by the gigantic dragon entering the battlefield.

With each adventure, the strength and power of the heroes grow. Players can even use their heroes from Quest: Zeit der Helden - Angriff der Orks and continue their journey. (Quest: Zeit der Helden - Angriff der Orks is required to play Quest: Zeit der Helden - Der dunkle Kult.)

German description on pegasus.de:
Der Kult von Kronmar herrscht seit 1.000 Jahren mit eiserner Faust. Gegründet als Bollwerk gegen die Heerscharen der Hölle, ist der Kult heute ein Sinnbild für Unterdrückung und Sklaverei. Doch noch immer lauern die Dämonen im Dunkel und zerren an ihren stetig schwächer werdenden Fesseln. Zeit, dass mutige Männer und Frauen sich erheben und endlich die Tyrannei beenden.

Abenteuer:
Die tote Stadt, Larissas Schicksal, Freund und Feind, Brennender Fels

Translation:
For a thousand years the Cult of Kronmar ruled with an iron fist. Established as a bastion against the hordes of hell it is now a symbol for oppression and slavery. But the demons still lurk in the darkness and fight against their ever-weakening chains. It is time - time for brave men and women to rise up and end the tyranny.

Contains 4 adventures: The dead city, Larissas destiny, friend and enemy, burning stone

Other Information: • Price €25; release date – October 2011
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306. Board Game: Santiago de Cuba [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:557]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
German
Description:

Welcome to Santiago, the second largest city in Cuba, home of legendary rum and birthplace of the revolution! The chaotic streets hum with the sounds of bustling crowds and busy commerce. Cargo ships constantly arrive and depart from the port. Demand is continuous, if unpredictable, for a supply of local products such as exotic fruits, sugar, rum, tobacco, and cigars.

In Santiago de Cuba, your business card says "broker", but in reality you're a shady wheeler-dealer who arranges deals with the locals and with corruptible officials to move goods and meet the demand of those ever-present cargo ships – and your ability to procure these goods is only as reliable as your "connections".

At the start of the game, nine locals – the Cubans – are randomly arranged on a path around Santiago, with the port being the tenth location on the circuit. Each Cuban has a different ability: e.g., give a player two tobacco, give a player a good of his choice, force opponents to give you something, give money or victory points (VPs), and seize a building or allow a player to use a previously seized building. What are these buildings? At the start of the game, twelve buildings are randomly placed on the game board in four color-coded groups (white, yellow, etc.) of three. As with the Cubans, these buildings give players a special ability when used: convert tobacco to cigars, change VPs to money or vica versa, increase the value of goods delivered to the ship, render a Cuban inactive for the next round, and so on.

Players will deliver goods to seven ships throughout the course of the game. The demand for each ship is determined via a die roll; the active player rolls five dice – one for each type of good – then chooses four of the values rolled to represent demand for goods of the same color as the die.

All players share a car and travel around the island together. On a turn, the active player can move the car to the next location on the path (whether Cuban or port) for free, or pay one peso for each spot moved beyond that. After taking a Cuban action, the player then must move his player piece to a building of the same color as the flower on that Cuban. If he takes an action in a building owned by someone else, that player earns 1 VP. (One Cuban allows a player to use the same building where his piece is currently located.)

If a player moves to port, players take turns delivering all goods of one type to the ship to meet demand, adjusting the demand dice as needed. A player earns 2-4 VP for each good delivered; a player doesn't have to deliver goods. If the ship's demand isn't met after everyone delivers or passes, the VP bounty per good is increased by one and the ship remains in place – unless the value was already at 4 VP, in which case the ship sails. In this case, or when all the demand is met, a new ship comes into port with new demand values.

After seven ships have sailed, the players earn 1 VP for every three goods still on hand, then tally their VPs. The player with the most VPs wins, with ties broken by goods remaining, then money.

Each game poses new tactical challenges for the players, thanks to ever-changing combinations of buildings, Cuban inhabitants and demand for goods.

Other Information: • Price €23

• I previewed Santiago de Cuba on BGG News, although admittedly much of that preview (sans images) is presented above as the game description.
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307. Board Game: Village [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:75]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Life in the village is hard – but life here also allows the inhabitants to grow and prosper as they please. One villager might want to become a friar. Another might feel ambitious and strive for a career in public office. A third one might want to seek his luck in distant lands.

Each player will take the reins of a family and have them find fame and glory in many different ways. There is one thing you must not forget, however: Time will not stop for anyone and with time people will vanish. Those who will find themselves immortalized in the village chronicles will bring honor to their family and be one step closer to victory.

Village is a game full of tactical challenges. A smart and unique new action mechanism is responsible for keeping turns short and yet still tactically rich and full of difficult decisions. Also unique is the way this game deals with the delicate subject of death; as a natural and perpetual part of life in the village, thoughts of death will keep you focused on smart time-management.

Paraphrased from Opinionated Gamer's review:

Each player’s turn consists of taking a cube and then taking the action of the area they just took the cube from. The board has multiple different zones with specific attributes, a market, a travel zone, a crafting zone, a church, and a council house. Many of these offer multiple options, so even if you take a cube from the crafting area, you can get an ox, a horse, a cart, a plow, a scroll, or convert wheat to gold. Each zone is seeded with cubes of four colors plus black cubes which serve as curses, there are lots of turns per round. Some areas offer short-term scoring, others offer long-term scoring, and still others offer only end-game scoring. The round ends when there are no cubes at any location. The game ends when either the village chronicle or the anonymous graveyard is full.

Other Information: • As of Sept. 21, this game will now appear with both German and English rules.

• That said, the status for this game's appearance at Spiel 2011 has been downgraded to "anticipated but uncertain". Wolf Wittenstein at eggertspiele says that if the game doesn't make the show, "a bunch of splendid prototypes" will be on hand with which to demo the game.
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308. Board Game: Werwölfe: Klassische Filmmonster [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 5 − 68
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Ultimate Werewolf: Classic Movie Monsters is an expansion that includes six all-new roles, including The Blob, Frankenstein's Monster, Teenage Werewolf and more. For instance, The Blob slowly oozes across the village, one player at a time; if everyone in the village is part of The Blob, that player wins! Frankenstein's Monster gets special powers from other players as they die, becoming a great asset to the village as the game progresses. Teenage Werewolf is so excited to be a werewolf that each day he must say "Werewolf!"

This expansion is fully compatible with Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition, Ultimate Werewolf: Compact Edition,Ultimate Werewolf, and Ultimate Werewolf: Deluxe Edition.

Other Information: • Price €4; release date – October 2011
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309. Board Game: Werwölfe: Kreaturen der Nacht [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 5 − 68
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Ultimate Werewolf: Night Terrors contains six new roles that all impact the nighttime of Ultimate Werewolf.

First is the Insomniac. Here's a villager who just can't sleep at nighttime, try as he might. The good news is that in his hazy non-sleep time, he learns if one or both of his neighbors was up during the night doing something. He's not alert to know if it was indeed just one of them or both, and if only one of them which one it was, but he knows if someone was up and about during the night. Each night. It might be a werewolf out looking for prey. It might be the helpful Seer who is trying to find werewolves. Or it might be any other number of nighttime active roles in the game.

Much more alert at nighttime is the Beholder. She wakes up the first night and sees who the Seer is! What she ends up doing with that information is anyone's guess, but hopefully she'll figure out how to help the village and prevent the Seer from being lynched by the crazed mob.

And then there's everyone's favorite numerically-aware goth, The Count. He's got his spreadsheet open, and he's, well, counting all night. He knows how many werewolves are on each side of him in the village because he counted. "One Werewolf. Two, two scary hairy werewolves...ah ha ha ha. Three, three three evil lycanthropic werewolves...mwa ha ha ha."

Possibly the most mysterious creature of the night is the Thing (that goes "bump" in the night). This nasty, furry, slightly smelly creature is helping out the village by bumping people in the wee hours of night. What will those people do with the information garnered from the Thing? What is the Thing's ultimate purpose?

But not everyone is out to help people at nighttime. There's a new werewolf in town, though she's a little...sleepy. The Dreamwolf takes it easy, not bothering to wake up with the other werewolves unless one of her sister werewolves is killed. Then she's all about taking out her revenge on the village. Watch out!

Finally, the most feared night monster of all, the Bogeyman, rounds out the roles in Night Terrors. Take too long at nighttime and the Bogeyman gets to kill someone. He kills indiscriminately, with a winning condition that totally fits his role.

Other Information: • Price €4; release date – October 2011
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Board Game Publisher: Piece Craft
• Booth 4-102
310. Board Game: Asrus [Average Rating:5.51 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 10
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

ASRUS is the first game from the new Korean game publisher Piece Craft Games.

It is a light filler where players play number cards to be the closest to the target number without being the same distance away as any other players. Points are awarded based on the difference between the winning card and the target card.

From the game box:

ASRUS is an acronym for Astro Ludus, which means 'Game of the Stars'. In the vast universe players make own way toward the star. To approach the star as close as possible, each player should predict other's strategy, make own strategy, and show each strategy at the same time. Just fall into the world of ASRUS there is the coexistence of the beauty of stars and the fierce psychological warfare! Simple rules, cute characters, and glass stones twinkling like stars will enhance the enjoyment of hte game. In addtion, the skill of calculation and memory can be developed. Strategy, prediction, and chance will lead you to a victory.

Contents:
77 cards
100 glass stones in 3 colors
1 portable pouch
1 rule booklet in English

Other Information: • Price €15
 
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311. Board Game: Figure Grand Prix [Average Rating:5.65 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
German
Japanese
Korean
Description:

It's the world's first figure skating board game! Represent your country in the Figure Grand Prix. Who will be the figure skating queen in this competition? Enjoy all the thrill and excitement of figure skating with this board game!

Players control skaters from 6 different countries. There are 2 rounds of play - a short program and a long program. Each skate routine is started by a jump and ends with a spin. Players draft sets of cards to perform their routine for the most points they can.

Contents:
72 Cards
1 Game Board
5 Player Markers
5 Player Tokens
1 Starter Marker
1 Die
1 Scoring Book(30 Sheets)
1 Rule Book(in Korean, English, German, and Japanese)

Award:
Won a Prize @ 2010 Korea Boardgame Create Competition - organized by KOCCA and MCST

Other Information: • Price €25
 
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Board Game Publisher: Pigphone
• Booth 4-123 (Japon Brand)
312. Board Game: CryptidsTV [Average Rating:5.82 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
French
German
Japanese
Description:

CryptidsTV, a new type of party game, challenges players to create new television shows, with them taking part in all aspects of a show's production meetings – drawing, talking and being creative – with the aim of getting their show on prime time. Part of the challenge comes from being presented with two separate concepts drawn from separate card decks – for example, a liquid creature and a fad that appeals to kids – and figuring out how to merge these concepts creatively into a single creation.

Each player takes one role card and reveals it to indicate his role for the game. The assistant director distributes pens and creation sheets to players.

In each round, the director randomly selects one Cryptids card, such as "vehicle creature", then everybody must draw a creature representing this category within one minute. The assistant director redistributes the drawings among players (with players not being allowed to look at them), then the director randomly selects one Show card, such as "The creature is able to communicate and converse with humans! What is the secret behind it?" Each player then makes his presentation using the caption and drawing in hand.

Players then vote on the winning presentation by simultaneously pointing to the show they thought best, with the director breaking ties. The winner is selected to air on prime time, with the player who drew the cryptid receiving the prime time tile, and its reporter receiving the prime time host tile. Everyone gives them a round of applause.

Play four rounds total with 3-6 players, and only three rounds with seven or more players. End the game by kibitzing over the suggestions that were botched and didn't merit air time.

Can be combined with the material in the sequel CryptidsTV 2.

Other Information: • Price €24

• Available at the Japon Brand booth (4-123)
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Board Game Publisher: Portal Games
• Booths 4-311 and 4-312 (with REBEL.pl)
313. Board Game: The New Era [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:418] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Polish
Description:

Four factions have grown and their boundaries widened. The conflict is not to be averted. Blood will soon be shed. The Mutants Union is the power that made rocks roll and attack, and the other factions responded quickly. The New Era begins, the era of war...

The New Era, a standalone expansion for 51st State, contains more than 80 new cards and a new fifth faction: The Hegemony, a violent band of criminals. New rules for direct interaction allow players to invade each other and sign deals with opponents' locations. New options and decisions have opened for players. The game is aggressive and even more engaging than 51st State.

The New Era is another Portal game in the postapocalyptic world of Neuroshima, a new piece of the award-winning series containing such titles as Neuroshima HEX, Neuroshima HEX: Babel 13, Neuroshima HEX: Duel, 51st State, Neuroshima RPG and Neuroshima Tactics (available only in Polish as of 2011). The New Era presents the highest standard of production with wooden components, a new victory points board, and polished and improved iconography.

The New Era can be combined with 51st State or played on its own as a standalone game.

Integrates with:

Other Information:
• Price €30 – preorder information with discount for multiple games from Portal/REBEL.pl.

• Portal has produced 500 copies of The New Era: Spiel 2011 Promo Pack, a seven-card pack that can be used with either The New Era or its predecessor, 51st State (or both). Anyone who preorders The New Era receives this pack for free; Portal will bring all remaining copies to Spiel 2011 and give them away with each purchase of The New Era for as long as they last.
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Board Game Publisher: Post Scriptum
• Booth 9-09
314. Board Game: Artè [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Italian
Description:

In Arté, the players represent important tycoons of the 19th century, who love medieval art and architechture.

To follow their passion, they find in Alfredo d’Andrade the perfect collaborator to restore old buildings or edify new ones, respecting the style of former centuries.

During the game, you will challenge your friends in a hard competition to find money, materials and workers to realize the artworks you desire, by asking new projects to d’Andrade, and cooperating with architechts, artists or builders.

Use at best the available actions to realize the best artworks and gain more victory points than your opponents.

The Play of the Game

Arté is played over a series of rounds. During each round, every player will take turns assigning his or her Tycoon (and possibly Foreman) to a circle on the Activity Board. Rounds continue in this way until a player completes his or her last Project and there are no more Project Tiles left in the stack.

Starting in the Second Round, on your turn you must move your Tycoon Pawn to a different empty circle on the left side of the Activity Board. You cannot leave your Tycoon on the same
circle, or on another circle in the same row!

If you have activated your Foreman, you must place it on an empty circle on the right side of the Activity Board - or move it to a different circle if it is already on the board - on your turn.

You may use your Tycoon and your Foreman in any order you choose each turn.
When you place your Tycoon Pawn or Foreman Pawn on a circle, you immediately follow the instructions on the space to the right of your chosen circle.

After you complete any Tycoon or Foreman actions on your turn, you may spend Resources to complete any Projects you are working on. Once all players have had a turn, the round
ends and a new round can begin.

The End of the game

If you have no incomplete (face up) Project Tiles in front of you at any point during your turn, and there are no more Project Tiles left in the stack for you to draw, the game will come to an end. Finish playing your turn as normal.

This is your final turn for the game. Each of the other players then takes one final turn. After all players have completed their final turns, the game is over and it’s time to add up your score!

Other Information: • Price €15

• Post Scriptum's Mario Sacchi says, "I'll have only a few copies with me."
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Board Game Publisher: Quantuum Magic
• Booth 6-332
315. Board Game: Existenz: On the Ruins of Chaos [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:7258]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Over the hammering noise of your steam powered airship, you hear a distinct and frightening roar. Your opponent has summoned a fearsome Stygian dragon! The scaled beast glares furiously at your army marching below, diving in for a brutal and bloody kill.

In response, you rekindle the Chaos spark smoldering in one of your berserkers by channeling the power of your energy crystals. She lunges towards the majestic beast – a clash of fury and fire that brings further ruin to an already shattered world. Have you bought your faction enough time to reach sanctuary, or will you suffer defeat at the hands of your pursuer?

Welcome to Your Existenz!

  • Combine strategic use of playing cards with tactical positioning of your playing pieces on the gameboard.
  • Enjoy playing with a powerful deck of cards without spending "big bucks on boosters".
  • Choose from four scheming factions, each with its own flavor and mechanics.
  • Brawl with your friends in exciting team-battles, in battles royal, or during (un)Organized Play events at your local game shop!

Existenz: On the Ruins of Chaos is a strategy card game in which epic battles are fought on a game board. The game is played by two or more people, each controlling a life base: your faction's floating bastion of power. Fighting off your opponents, you try to escape from the center of the boards towards the safety of the outer rim.

You use energy crystals to fuel arcane technomantic rituals in order to protect your life base, or to obliterate your enemies. These rituals allow you to control creatures of tremendous power and create constructs of awe-inspiring size. The magic arsenal of cards in your deck allow you to manipulate the course of the game and deliver deadly combos.

Other Information: In its July 2011 newsletter, the publisher notes: "The release of the board game is planned for the end of October 2011. We hope to be ready for Spiel, but we are not sure about this yet."
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Board Game Publisher: Queen Games
• Booth 5-30 & 10-16

• Other titles due to be present at Spiel 2011 include:

Alhambra (new box – not sure whether the game play differs at all)
–Games released earlier in 2011: Lancaster, Mammut, Paris Connection, and ShowManager
– Reprints of a number of games, including Shogun and Chicago Express

• The languages listed for each game will likely change as I suspect each title is multiligual, but don't know that now. I will update these listings once I receive additional information.
316. Board Game: Alhambra: The Magical Buildings [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.36 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Alhambra: The Magical Buildings, a promotional item from Queen Games for Spiel 2011, consists of six new tiles – one in each of the six colors of buildings – that are placed in the bag with the other tiles at the start of the game.

When drawn, they are placed for sale as with any other building. What's different about these buildings is that no direction is up, so when added to a player's Alhambra, the tile can be turned and placed in any legal position based on all the building rules except orientation. During scoring, these magical buildings count as a building of the appropriate color when determining majorities.

Other Information: • Free with the purchase of any Queen Games title at Spiel 2011.
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317. Board Game: Castelli [Average Rating:5.91 Overall Rank:6253]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
(neutral)
Description:

In Italy during the Middle Ages, it is of paramount importance to build castles at attractive locations – but unfortunately other landlords are also trying to gain power in the country.

In the strategy game Castelli, the players gradually develop their influence and try to collect as many raw materials as possible. The game board is a grid which alternately shows production areas and spaces for tiles; these tiles show a player color and number, e.g., red 4 or blue 2. A production area grants its building materials or silver to the player with the highest combined value on the adjacent tile edges. The tiles start face-down, and each turn, one of them is revealed. During their turns, players can rotate the tiles, thus influencing who gains which building materials, which are subsequently used to build castles.

With the unusual turning mechanism of the tiles, every player has the power to distribute the raw materials between himself and the other players on each turn. Building castles then results in victory points, depending on the positions of the villages and cities – and that's what it's all about if you want to become the most successful landlord!

The two expansion modules included – "Dilemma" and "Battle" – can be combined freely with the basic game. They increase the challenge and time of play gradually. The game also includes material for a "Castelli tournament" in which four players play in pairs simultaneously.

Other Information: • MSRP $60
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318. Board Game: Fresco: The Bishop's Favor [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

Fresco: The Bishop's Favor, a promotional item from Queen Games for Spiel 2011, consists of 25 small tiles and rules.

At the start of the game, these tiles are placed face-down, randomized and placed one per fresco tile on the game board. Whenever a player completes a fresco tile where the bishop is currently located, the player claims both the fresco tile and the favor tile – which is revealed and grants an immediate reward of paint (red, blue, yellow), money (1 or 5), one VP, or one mood improvement.

If a player completes a fresco tile where the bishop is not located, the favor tile is removed from the game face-down with no benefit for anyone.

Other Information: • Free with the purchase of any Queen Games title at Spiel 2011.
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319. Board Game: Kairo [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2969]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
German
Spanish
Description:

In the bustling market of Cairo, traders build their stalls and try to entice customers with attractive goods, with each customer bringing money that the trader can then use to expand that stall or establish new stalls.

To set up Kairo, players first take turns placing three colored stalls (out of six) on the game board. They also take three stall cards (which highlight one or more sections on the game board) and one coin of each of the six colors. Five colored customers start at particular locations on the game board, with the sixth customer placed to the side. On a turn, a player either:

  • Draws two cards (face-up or face-down stall cards or market barker cards).
  • Moves a customer to a stall of that customer's color.
  • Plays a stall card; then builds a new stall, expands an existing stall, or moves a blocked-off stall.

The active player can choose to move any customer, and that customer will move to the closest stall (measured on orthogonal paths) of the same color. Additionally, this player can choose to play one or more market barker cards to "call" the customer past one or more stalls, presumably to bring the customer to that player's own stall. If the active player owns the visited stall, he receives one coin of the stall's color for each tile in that stall; if not, the active player receives a one coin commission while the owner receives the normal payout. This customer is then swapped with the customer off the board.

When building a new stall, a player cannot place it in the same region as another stall of the same color. Regulations! Restaurants must be placed in an area designated for them, while all other stalls must go in the market area. When expanding an existing stall, the player must pay one coin of the same color for each tile in the enlarged stall. By expanding, you can earn more coins when customers visit, create longer paths to opponents' stalls, reserve area in which to expand further, and (most importantly) earn victory points. You score VPs each time you expand, and if your stall is the largest (or tied for the largest) of that color, you'll take one or two medals that provide a VP bonus.

Once the expansions run low in one or two colors, players can only build or expand. Once everyone has finished building, the game ends, with players earning VPs for the medals and money they have in hand. The player with the most points wins.

Other Information: • MSRP $60
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320. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:329]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

In Kingdom Builder, the players create their own kingdoms by skillfully building their settlements, aiming to earn the most gold at the end of the game.

Nine different kinds of terrain are on the variable game board, including locations and castles. During his turn, a player plays his terrain card and builds three settlements on three hexes of this kind. If possible, a new settlement must be built next to one of that player’s existing settlements. When building next to a location, the player may seize an extra action tile that he may use from his next turn on. These extra actions allow extraordinary actions such as moving your settlements.

By building next to a castle, the player will earn gold at the end of the game, but the most gold will be earned by meeting the conditions of the three Kingdom Builder cards; these three cards (from a total of ten in the game) specify the conditions that must be met in order to earn the much-desired gold, such as earning gold for your settlements built next to water hexes or having the majority of settlements in a sector of the board.

Each game, players will use a random set of Kingdom Builder cards (3 of 10), special actions (4 of 8), and terrain sectors to build the map (4 of 8), ensuring you won't play the same game twice!

Kingdom Builder FAQ - please read before posting questions in the forum.

Other Information:
• MSRP $60

• In case you needed more of an incentive to pick up this game at Spiel 2011 (or avoid the trouble now of picking up every little game element later), Queen Games has a promotional item for the convention: Kingdom Builder: Capitol. This small punchboard consists of only two capitol tiles and rules. If the harbor or oracle (or both) are in play, then you place a capitol on the section of the game board containing those locations. At the end of the game, you earn 1 gold for each of your settlements built within two hexes of a capitol.

Kingdom Builder: Capitol is free with the purchase of any Queen Games title at Spiel 2011.
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321. Board Game: Lancaster: The New Laws [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Lancaster: The New Laws introduces 18 new laws for the Lancaster board game on which the players can vote. These law cards can replace those in the original game or be mixed with them.

Other Information: • MSRP $20 (new, lower price on the sellsheet that I received on Oct. 6, 2011)
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322. Board Game: Res Publica [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3212]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

In Res Publica you are the will of the people, guiding five ancient civilizations to greater heights of power and technology.

Each turn, the active player makes a trade offer... and each player in turn responds in kind. Using the cards and the information gained through the trading process, players work to acquire five identical people cards in order to build a city (which increases the number of cards you can draw each turn) or five identical technology cards in order to build a monument (which garners end game victory points).

At the end of the game, players total the points achieved via cities and monuments and the one who has the most wins.

Other Information: • MSRP $30
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323. Board Game: Samarkand: Routes to Riches – Family Connection [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.38 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

Family ties are established even tighter now. Being merchants, the players equip their sons and daughters with goods and gems and send them out to travel the trading routes. The only thing still missing is the adequate partner. Which marriage is most promising?

Components:

20 caravan children - 10 "sons" boards and 10 "daughters" boards
15 neutral goods markers
67 - gems (in 5 colors)
10 coins
10 son/daughter markers

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324. Board Game: Sparta [Average Rating:5.69 Overall Rank:7932]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In the strategic game Sparta, set in 228 B.C., you will relive the fascinating experience of skillful Spartan and Achaean warriors. Will Sparta seize power, or will the Achaeans maintain their stance?

Designer Yannick Holtkamp developed this strategic game at the age of 12. Still at school at age 14 in late 2011, he is enrolled as a science student at the University of Düsseldorf.

User summary:

The game is played on a 10x10 grid. Each player starts with a row of eight fighters on their side of the board. In the middle rows of the board, there are eight cities - each player owns four of these.

Each turn, a player may move one of their fighters up to two squares in any direction, changing direction between the moves if so desired.

If the fighter ends its turn in one of his own cities, he is promoted to a hero, and may move up to three squares on future turns.

If the fighter ends its turn on an opposing city, the city is conquered; it now belongs to the player that conquered it.

If, after the move, there are pieces trapped in between two opposing pieces, they are captured and removed from the board. Pieces are trapped if they are between pieces of the other side along a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row without a vacant square in between.

The game ends if one of the following happens:

  • One player owns all cities. That player wins the game.
  • One player has only one piece left on the board. His opponent wins the game.
  • Both players have only one or two pieces left on the board. The player with the most cities wins the game.

Other Information: • MSRP $33
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325. Board Game: Wallenstein (second edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:514]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

The 2012 rerelease of Wallenstein tweaks the 2002 title from designer Dirk Henn and publisher Queen Games, while including two new expansions.

The setting and game play of the two games are mostly the same. In 1625, the Thirty Years' War is underway, and military leaders like Albrecht von Wallenstein and Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim are roaming the country, fighting for land, and trying to establish the best of everything for themselves. The game lasts two "years," with players taking actions in the spring, summer, and fall, then possibly suffering from grain shortage and revolts in the winter before scoring points for the year. After two years, the player with the most points – with points being scored for land and buildings under one's control – wins.

In each of the "action" seasons, ten action cards are shuffled, then laid out, with five face-up and the rest face-down. The five bonus tiles (which provide extra money, grain, or armies) are also laid out. Each player then secretly assigns one of his county cards (or a blank card) to each of the ten actions on his individual player board, in addition to bidding for player order and choice of bonus tile.

After revealing that round's event card and determining player order, players carry out actions in the order determined earlier, revealing which county is taking the current action, then revealing the next face-down action, thus giving players some information about when actions will occur, but not all. Taxing a county or taking grain from it can increase the chance of a revolt during winter, but without money you can't deploy troops or build palaces or churches and without grain you increase the chance of revolt.

Combat and revolts are handled via a dice tower in which players drop army units and peasants (colored wooden cubes) into the top of the tower and see which ones emerge in the bottom tray (representing the fighting forces for that combat) and which get stuck in the tower's baffles to possibly emerge in the future.

Wallenstein includes two expansions: "Emperor's Court," in which a player's army tokens that fall from the dice tower at the start of the game become courtiers who compete for favors (special actions) from the emperor; a player can convert armies to courtiers during the game, and whoever has the most courtiers in the court's entrance hall each turn gets first shot at the favors available. "Landsknechte," which can be used with "Emperor's Court" or on its own, consists of a set of four cards for each player stacked in a particular order. If after determining turn order, a player controls counties in four different regions, he removes the top card from the stack, then takes one of the bonuses (such as money or armies in the tray) shown on the newly revealed card. This stack resets after winter ends.

Other Information: • MSRP $80

• I initially listed the 2002 version of Wallenstein in this Preview, but the 2011 publication includes two expansions and some tweaks to the rules of the original game.
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