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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: Winning Moves
• Winning Moves stopped having a regular booth a few years ago, but designer Hilko Drude said that his local game store, Spieleburg, would have a stack of Tricky Bid on sale in its booths, including the one near the main entrance at 12-14. I'm sure the other titles will around at the vendor stalls, too.
426. Board Game: Miss Lupun…und das Geheimnis der Zahlen [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:7679]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Players in Miss Lupun...und das Geheimnis der Zahlen start each round with ten number tiles (0-9) and four task cards, of which they must keep three. These task cards feature challenges such as "Have two of the same number in row 5", "Have the tiles in a row sum to more than 10" and "Have the tile on B2 be larger than the one on C4".

Each turn, a player places one tile on an empty space in the 4x6 grid on the game board. Once the board is filled or two players run out of tiles, the round ends. Players reveal their task cards and keep those that they've achieved. After a certain number of rounds, the player who has collected the most cards wins.

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427. Board Game: New Scotland Yard Spurensicherung: Das Spiel [Average Rating:5.40 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In New Scotland Yard: Crime Scene, there has been a murder in the heart of London and New Scotland Yard's team of Crime Scene Examiners are investigating the case. There are six pieces of evidence to find, and the race is on to locate each one before the crime scenes are contaminated and the evidence is lost forever.

First, you must collect the forensic test equipment you will need for the investigation. Then, racing around London, you must find where each piece of evidence is located. Visit the scenes, study the clues and perform forensic tests using the tools included in the game. This may sound easy, but speed, a keen eye and attention to detail are essential to success. There is multiple evidence in each location and you will need to use your forensic test equipment with skill and accuracy to ensure you get the correct results.

Once you have successfully determined the location of all six pieces of evidence, return quickly to Scotland Yard and present your findings to the Detective Superintendent ... but be quick, the police are counting on you.

Other Information: • Price €20
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428. Board Game: Poker Carré [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Poker Carré, players add cards to a grid and try to create sequences of at least four numbers (e.g., 1-2-3-4), sets of at least three cards of the same suit, and sets of at least three cards of the same value.

Why is this difficult? The deck consists of 49 cards – seven suits of seven cards numbered 1-7 – and each player starts with a hand of four cards, while nine cards are randomly laid out in a 3x3 grid. On a turn, a player adds a card to the grid adjacent to at least one card already on the table, with the restriction that at least one of the adjacent cards must have a value exactly one higher or one lower than the card being played. That player then draws a replacement card. Once all the cards have been played, tally the points; the player with the highest score wins.

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429. Board Game: Tricky Bid [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:6417]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Tricky Bid is a trick-taking game in which half the cards in hand will be used for bidding and the other half for tricks.

Before each trick, each player takes turns placing a card face-up on the table, which represents his bid for that trick. The player who leads then plays a card, and each player follows suit if possible, with the highest card on suit (or the highest trump, if one was played) winning the trick. The cards in the trick are thrown away, however, and the winner of the trick keeps only his bid card and all other bid cards of the same color. Since bidding is done in turn order, all but the starting player can decide to join in on a bid (by playing a card of the same color as the lead player, thereby raising the stakes) or start a bid in a new color.

Players score points based on the bid cards they collect, and the player with the most points after each person has dealt once wins the game.

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Board Game Publisher: Winsome Games
• Booth 10-66, but only on Thursday morning from 10:00 to 12:00.
430. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Great Britain [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

The Age of Steam: Great Britain expansion – a fresh, new take on the classic game Age of Steam – is played a large, three-section map covering Wales, Scotland & England and includes special rules for shipping between countries in Great Britain.

Age of Steam: Great Britain is one of the two games and seven expansions from Winsome Games released at Spiel 2011.

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431. Board Game: Baltimore & Ohio: Norfolk & Western Railroad Expansion [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Eddie Robbins' Baltimore & Ohio: Norfolk & Western Railroad expansion adds another railroad to the base Baltimore & Ohio game and the components consist of a player aid and the Norfolk & Western Charter, Stock, Track cubes, Valuation counter and Coal counters.

Baltimore & Ohio: Norfolk & Western Railroad is one of the two games and seven expansions from Winsome Games to be released at Spiel 2011.

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432. Board Game: Baltimore & Ohio: Robber Barons Expansion [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Eddie Robbins' Baltimore & Ohio: Robber Barons expansion, which consists of industry moguls and a Robber Baron card deck, adds a completely new dimension to Baltimore & Ohio by means of special cards that can be auctioned off which give their owners special benefits.

Baltimore & Ohio: Robber Barons is one of the two games and seven expansions from Winsome Games released at Spiel 2011.

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433. Board Game: Baltimore & Ohio: Technology Level Seven Expansion [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Eddie Robbins' Baltimore & Ohio: Technology Level Seven expansion extends the game into the 1940s and includes the Tech 7 Capital Equipment deck. This simple expansion not only extends the endgame but completely changes the game arc and timing. Seasoned Baltimore & Ohio players may find themselves rethinking how they expand companies and when to start new ones.

Baltimore & Ohio: Technology Level Seven is one of the two games and seven expansions from Winsome Games to be released at Spiel 2011.

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434. Board Game: Colorado Midland [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:5444]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

David V. H. Peters' Colorado Midland is a somewhat co-operative railroad game set in the gold & silver mining region of the Colorado Rockies. The sharpest railroad executives vie for the maximum return on their investment in this business game; the game objective is to connect cities with the railroad.

Colorado Midland is one of the two games and seven expansions from Winsome Games to be released at Spiel 2011.

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435. Board Game: Rising Sun Railroads [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:6519]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Eddie Robbins' Rising Sun Railroads is a no-luck, rather cutthroat game that covers the creation of the railroads in Japan from 1870-1915, with the help of the British, Germans, Swiss and Americans. The game objective is to connect cities with the railroad.

Rising Sun Railroads is one of the two games and seven expansions from Winsome Games to be released at Spiel 2011.

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436. Board Game: SNCF: Germany Expansion [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

David V. H. Peters' SNCF: Germany provides specialized rules to reflect the creation of the railroads in Germany. SNCF: Germany includes a two-section map of Germany and features an additional action choice that players can perform on their turns as well as a different endgame condition. By balancing company expansion and adding to your portfolio, your goal is to earn more than your fellow rail barons over the course of the game.

SNCF: Germany is one of the two games and seven expansions in the Winsome Games 2011 Essen Set and is fully playable with Paris Connection, the Queen Games version of SNCF.

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437. Board Game: SNCF: Iberia Expansion [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
German
Description:

David V. H. Peters' SNCF: Iberia expansion provides a completely new venue with some extra rules to the game, placed in Spain, Portugal, Andora and Gibraltar. SNCF: Iberia includes a two-section map of the Iberian peninsula and features additional rules on building tracks and endgame scoring. By balancing company expansion and adding to your portfolio, your goal is to earn more than your opponents over the course of the game.

SNCF: Iberia is one of the two games and seven expansions in the Winsome Games 2011 Essen Set and is fully playable with Paris Connection, the Queen Games version of SNCF.

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438. Board Game: Wabash Cannonball: Nickel Plate Expansion [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.75 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

The Nickel Plate Road expands Harry Wu's base Wabash Cannonball game with the addition of the famous New York, Chicago & Saint Louis Railroad, aka Nickel Plate Road.

The Nickel Plate Road expansion is one of the two games and seven expansions from Winsome Games to be released at Essen 2011.

This game expansion requires the original Wabash Cannonball / Chicago Express game and can be played by 2-6 players.

Expands:

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Board Game Publisher: Wise Games
439. Board Game: Trench [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:4886]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Portuguese
Show More »
Description:

Trench is an abstract strategy game for two players based on the trench wars of World War I. Unlike most games, in Trench the 8x8 grid board is diamond-shaped; each player sets up his army on opposing sides of the "trench", which divides the board into two. As hostilities between the armies commanded by the players grow, each attempts to seize control over the trench in order to take full advantage of its strategic potential, hoping thus to breach the opponent's defenses and capture the most valuable and important pieces.

From the Soldiers to the General, each piece being subject to specific maneuvers, all will have to cooperate in order to be able to occupy the trench, invade the enemy's territory, and vanquish the foe. The army that manages to survive after two battles wins the game!

Other Information: • Hoping to update this game description as it's currently a mess.
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Board Game Publisher: WizKids Games
• Booth 4-208
440. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.15 Overall Rank:8]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

The Mage Knight board game puts you in control of one of four powerful Mage Knights as you explore (and conquer) a corner of the Mage Knight universe under the control of the Atlantean Empire. Build your army, fill your deck with powerful spells and actions, explore caves and dungeons, and eventually conquer powerful cities controlled by this once-great faction! In competitive scenarios, opposing players may be powerful allies, but only one will be able to claim the land as their own. In cooperative scenarios, the players win or lose as a group. Solo rules are also included.

Combining elements of RPGs, deckbuilding, and traditional board games the Mage Knight board game captures the rich history of the Mage Knight universe in a self-contained gaming experience..

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441. Board Game: Quarriors! [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:443]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Players take on the roles of Quarriors - mighty mystical warriors who have the power to capture dangerous quarry from the untamed Wilds! They must conjure the mysterious powers of Quiddity, cast powerful spells, and summon their creatures to battle if they hope to overcome rivals and earn their rightful place as the Champion!

Quarriors has the frenetic excitement of a dice battle game, with an added ‘deckbuilding’ twist: players customize their dice pools during the game using resources generated by their rolls.

Quarriors takes the best of deckbuilding games without the tedium of shuffling. Take a typical deckbuilding game, add the speed and fun of dice and in 60 minutes you’re on your second or third game trying unique strategies against your opponents.

Alternate Description of Quarriors

In Quarriors, each player plays as a Quarrior competing for Glory in the eyes of Quiana, the Empress of Quaridia. Each player starts with an identical set of 12 dice in their dice bag. At the start of the game, Creature and Spell dice (Quarry) are dealt at random to form "the Wilds" in the center of the table. As play progresses, players roll their dice to attempt to summon Creatures, cast Spells, and harness the magical power of Quiddity (the in-game resource) to capture Quarry from the Wilds to add to their repertoire and into their dice bag. Players draw and roll 6 dice a turn from their bag, making that controlling bag composition is key to victory.

Quarriors is a fast-paced game where players must strategically balance their choices each turn. Do I use my Quiddity to summon Creatures in the hopes of scoring Glory or should I spend it all to capture more powerful Quarry from the Wilds? Players must outmaneuver their opponent's through strategic Spell use, the acquisition of powerful Quarry, and ultimately, by striking down opponent's Creature in combat. If your Creatures survive until your next turn, you will score Glory points and move closer to victory!

Other Information: • WizKids' Justin Ziran has told me that the company will have German copies of Quarriors! at Spiel 2011.
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442. Board Game: Quarriors! Rise of the Demons [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Quarriors!: Rise of the Demons features 20 new custom dice and 19 new cards and combines innovative corruption mechanisms with the introduction of the Demonic Overlord, Basic Corruption Quiddity and Corruption Spells! Attempt to flood your opponent's bags with corrupted dice to slow them down or gather your forces to purchase Demonic Overlords from the Wilds to pave your way to Glory.

Other Information: • Scheduled for release in the U.S. in November 2011, but on the docket for sale at Spiel 2011, according to WizKids' Justin Ziran.
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443. Board Game: Star Trek: Fleet Captains [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:217]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Star Trek: Fleet Captains, designed for two or four players, is set in the "Prime Universe" of STAR TREK (as seen in the various TV series and movies up to Star Trek: Nemesis) and is more adversarial in nature when compared to Star Trek: Expeditions. Each player takes the role of a faction (or race) from the universe. In the base game, the choices are Klingons and Federation. Each faction has a number of ships (on Clix dials similar to the Heroclix line of components) of varying ability and with a corresponding “size.” Fleets of ships are drafted to a given size total which reflects the victory points required to win. Thus, larger fleet sizes lead to higher point (and longer games).

Players then “shuffle build” a deck of command cards. Choosing four decks from a set of ten decks per faction. Each deck has a unique flavor or theme, with corresponding major characters. For instance the Klingons have a deck themed around larger ships and imperial domination and Gowron is a central character. The four decks chosen will help to set the player’s strategy for winning.
The ships chosen have physical stats like weapons, shields, engines, and sensors. They also have mission totals for science, influence, and combat missions. These determine the kinds and numbers of each kind of mission cards the player draws to form a mission deck. Completing missions gains the player points, which will win them the game. Missions could be as simple as damage an opposing ship that is larger than your own (combat), to as complex as claiming the spaces connecting your command post to your opponents (influence). Thus a player’s chosen ships sets the types of missions they will need to earn points and the deck they build determines the way they will complete missions.

Points can also be earned for non-mission actions such as destroying a ship or building a starbase.

The game itself plays out on a randomly built board of hex cards, called sectors that start the game unexplored. As each ship progresses through the sector, the cards are turned face up, revealing what is in that part of the sector (a Class-M planet, a Class-J Nebula, empty space, etc...). There are additionally random events that can occur when exploring, which usually correspond to a single episode of a series (for instance one encounter is “trouble with tribbles.” Some of these encounters also give victory points.

Overall, the game can best be thought of as playing out an entire season of Star Trek with the conflict between players representing the major story arc and the turns, missions, and random encounters representing individual episodes. Players will move their ships, explore space, complete missions, play cards to upgrade their ships (and staff them with famous and not so famous crewmembers), or boost their stats in combat. Combat, while important, is not the sole path to victory, with the mission cards being the primary factor (some of which will encourage combat). The style of game will depend heavily on individual player decisions, but no matter what, it will feel like Star Trek.

Other Information: • Co-designer Ethan Pasternack wrote a designer's diary for Star Trek: Fleet Captains that ran on BGG News in September 2011.
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Board Game Publisher: Ystari Games
• Booth 12-07

• Le Scorpion Masqué's Christian Lemay will be at the Ystari Games booth to demo Québec, which is being co-published with Ystari.
444. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:9]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 60 − 200 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
French
Description:

The galaxy has been a peaceful place for many years. After the ruthless Terran–Hegemony War (30.027–33.364), much effort has been employed by all major spacefaring species to prevent the terrifying events from repeating themselves. The Galactic Council was formed to enforce precious peace, and it has taken many courageous efforts to prevent the escalation of malicious acts. Nevertheless, tension and discord are growing among the seven major species and in the Council itself. Old alliances are shattering, and hasty diplomatic treaties are made in secrecy. A confrontation of the superpowers seems inevitable – only the outcome of the galactic conflict remains to be seen. Which faction will emerge victorious and lead the galaxy under its rule?

A game of Eclipse places you in control of a vast interstellar civilization, competing for success with its rivals. You will explore new star systems, research technologies, and build spaceships to wage war with. There are many potential paths to victory, so you need to plan your strategy according to the strengths and weaknesses of your species, while paying attention to the other civilizations' endeavors.

The shadows of the great civilizations are about to eclipse the galaxy. Lead your people to victory!

Other Information: • The Eclipse: Supernova expansion will be available through Ystari with purchase of Eclipse. Note that Ystari has only the French version of the game.
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445. Board Game: Olympos: Oikoumene [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Olympos: Oikoumene is a small set of modules for Philippe Keyaerts' Olympos that can be used only with the base game.

In the base game, players spend time (the game's currency) to take actions, with the choices being expansion or development. Expanding brings new settlers onto the game board, while development takes place on the game's discovery board, with players either buying new scientific discoveries – such as medicine or phalanxes – or building architectural wonders. Each discovery brings you new powers, such as an upgrade in military strength due to the phalanx, and each wonder earns you points.

Olympos: Oikoumene consists of new Discovery tiles (to be mixed with those of the base game with some being discarded before play), new Wonder tiles (ditto), and five objective tiles. Two of the five objectives are randomly chosen prior to the start of the game, and whichever player first meets the stated objective claims the appropriate tile, which is worth 3 VPs at game's end.

Other Information: Olympos Expansion contains twenty tiles in all, and a bonus discovery tile will be available at Spiel 2011.
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446. Board Game: Sherlock Holmes Détective Conseil [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:79] [Average Rating:7.80 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 8
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

Have you ever had the desire to walk the streets of Victorian London with Sherlock Holmes in search of Professor Moriarty? To search the docks for the giant rat Sumatra? To walk up Baker Street as the fog is rolling in and hear Holmes cry out, "Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot!"? Now you can! You can enter the opium den beneath the Bar of Gold, but beware, that may be Colonel Sebastian Moran lurking around the corner. You can capture the mystery and excitement of Holmes' London in this challenging and informative game. You, the player, will match your deductive abilities against your opponents and the master sleuth himself, Sherlock Holmes.

In Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, you are presented with a mystery to solve, and it is then up to you to trace the threads of evidence through the byways and mansions of nineteenth century London. You will interview suspects, search the newspapers for clues, and put together the facts to reach a solution.

Why were two lions murdered in Hyde Park? Who is responsible for the missing paintings from the National Gallery? Who murdered Oswald Mason and why? These are just a few of the cases that will challenge your ingenuity and deductive abilities.

This is not a board game: No dice, no luck, but a challenge to your mental ability. The game has been thoroughly researched for Holmesian and Victorian accuracy so as to capture a feeling of that bygone era.

Other Information: • I asked Cyril Demaegd why Ystari will release this new edition of Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective only in French. Is this due to licensing issues or the challenge of creating versions of the game in multiple languages? His answer: "The challenge. For this version we decided to rewrite a lot of things, and I think it is difficult to translate everything. We've got to do it from scratch and it's a huge amount of work." As for a new English-language version, he said, "Maybe. Depends on the sales and the demand."
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Board Game Publisher: Z-Man Games
• Booths 9-28 & 9-68
447. Board Game: Dark Minions [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:3191]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Hordes of dark minions have descended upon the countryside, eager to secure their reputation as a scourge on mankind. The despicable evil marauders attack everywhere in search of conquest. The citizens are helpless and will soon be overwhelmed. Death and destruction awaits all those in the path of the evil ones.

In Dark Minions players represent those forces of evil as they try to pillage and destroy towns. Each turn, the players typically roll three dice and may use the resulting numbers to attack Towns to win Vanquish Points (VPs) – the further along into the game, the more VPs the Towns are worth. Players also attempt to capture Towers in order to level up experience (which enables the player to roll better dice), to re-spawn dead minions from the graveyard, and to "purchase" the services of the various Overlords. In the end, it's all about VPs and the first player to 40 VPs in a four-player game wins.

The advanced game adds 15 Minion Overlords, each with a unique special power that may affect the play or the outcome of the game. They patiently wait to enter play and wreak their terrible havoc. Using their abilities wisely is one of the many keys to victory.

Dark Minions includes a small expansion called Demon Lords that adds more Overlords, a special town tile, and a special die – making for many ways to mix up the game play!

Other Information: • MSRP $40

• Designer Alan Newman wrote about the lightning quick history of Dark Minions in this designer diary on BGG News.
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448. Board Game: Feudality [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1860]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

A long time ago in Europe, ages were pretty dark. The distribution of wealth back then left a lot to be desired. Greedy people banded together to take things from other people so that the rich could get richer and the poor could have even less. Twas ever thus. Step into the middle of the normal state of human affairs as a Baron or Baroness somewhere almost in Europe a long time ago. Thanks to your birth you have a lot of little people working to make you richer, and you, in turn, are doing your best to make your king even more prosperous. If you do things right, you might someday be king.

Each player starts with a Fiefdom Management card, divided into 64 squares (49 of which can have tiles played on them. Into four of these squares you deploy your Keep, in which you will put your fortification of some sort, and your soldiers. Elsewhere in your land you deploy assorted resource gatherers and buildings in an effort to grow, prosper, and score victory points. Along the way there may be wars, invasions, tournaments, taxes, and a lot of other nonsense.

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449. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:45]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

In Ora et Labora, each player is head of a monastery in the Medieval era who acquires land and constructs buildings – little enterprises that will gain resources and profit. The goal is to build a working infrastructure and manufacture prestigious items – such as books, ceramics, ornaments, and relics – to gain the most victory points at the end of the game.

Ora et Labora, Uwe Rosenberg's fifth "big" game, has game play mechanisms similar to his Le Havre, such as two-sided resource tiles that can be upgraded from a basic item to something more useful. Instead of adding resources to the board turn by turn as in Agricola and Le Havre, Ora et Labora uses a numbered rondel to show how many of each resource is available at any time. At the beginning of each round, players turn the rondel by one segment, adjusting the counts of all resources at the same time.

Each player has a personal game board. New buildings enter the game from time to time, and players can construct them on their game boards with the building materials they gather, with some terrain restrictions on what can be built where. Some spaces start with trees or moors on them, as in Agricola: Farmers of the Moor, so they hinder development until a player clears the land, but they provide resources when they are removed. Clever building on your personal game board will impact your final score, and players can buy additional terrain during the game, if needed.

Players also have three workers who can enter buildings to take the action associated with that location. Workers must stay in place until you've placed all three. You can enter your own buildings with these workers, but to enter and use another player's buildings, you must pay that player an entry fee so that he'll move one of his workers into that building to do the work for you.

Ora et Labora features two variants: France and Ireland.

Other Information: • Price $70
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450. Board Game: Undermining [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1798]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Undermining, players dig for resources on an alien world, making the best of the actions available to them to achieve short term goals (such as obtaining particular resources) while upgrading their Universal Mining Vehicles—UMVees—and fulfilling contracts in the long term. To win, you need to earn more "star bucks" than anyone else, and you earn those by completing contracts, upgrading vehicles, finding alien technologies and having resources on hand at the end of the game.

Upgrading your UMVee also provides it with special abilities that can come in handy throughout the game.

Undermining is a highly interactive game, with player actions sometimes benefiting and sometimes impacting the future actions of others. Competition for resources is important, of course, but using open tunnel spaces to get where you need to go—and blocking those spaces from opponents—is also key. Players can still move through other UMVees, but doing so costs battery power, and managing your batteries—which allow extra actions—is another important aspect of playing well.

Undermining comes with a double-sided game board, with player interaction being significantly different from one side to the other. With a random layout of resources, UMVee upgrades, contract variability, and one-off special bonuses from the finding of alien technology, no two games of Undermining are ever the same.

Other Information: • Price $45

• Designer Matt Tolman detailed the history of Undermining in this designer diary on BGG News.

• Tolman will be at the Z-Man Games booth to sign copies, demo game play, demonstrate his UMVee noises and otherwise make his presence known in the universe from 9:00 to 12:00 on Saturday and Sunday during Spiel 2011.
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