The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases Nov/Dec 2011
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:

Oct/Sep 2011
Jul/Aug 2011
May/Jun 2011
Mar/Apr 2011
Jan/Feb 2011

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: Eclipse [Average Rating:8.08 Overall Rank:10]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 1,958

Eclipse
Design: Touko Tahkokallio (Aether, Politix)
Specs: 2-6 players, 120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 2,535 wishlists, 627 owners

[Previous List: #1 (1,480)]

Eclipse is an epic space empire-building game; each player attempts to make his interstellar civilization the foremost in the galaxy. There are elements of exploration, technology development, and combat--which involves ships designed by players over the course of the game. Despite its epic scope, the game features a number of "euro" game mechanics. Even with six players, the game purports to finish in less than three hours.

Release Notes: This game has just been released in North America by Asmodee Editions. However, the game is already sold out at most major game stores. A second printing is expected in April.
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2. Board Game: Ora et Labora [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:47]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 1,253

Ora et Labora
Design: Uwe Rosenberg (Agricola, Le Havre)
Specs: 1-4 players, 120 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 1,665 wishlists, 412 owners

[Previous List: #2 (994)]

Ora et Labora (Latin for "pray and work"), is Uwe Rosenberg's latest big-box game, and will share a lot of similarities to Le Havre and Agricola: Farmers of the Moor. Like Le Havre, this game will have a large number of two-sided, upgradable resource chits. However, resource collection will involve a rondel mechanic. Each player will have his own Monastery player board, which can be cleared of forest and moors for both resources and more space. You can then extend your monastery with buildings, and use your worker tokens to take advantage of them--or even use your opponent's workers to get him to use his buildings for you (for a fee, of course).

Release Notes: This game is available in Europe through Lookout Games. Z-Man Games will be doing an English-language version for North America, which should be available right around the end of the year.
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3. Board Game: Dungeon Run [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1684]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 811

Dungeon Run
Design: Mr. Bistro
Specs: 1-4 players, 90 minutes, Age 9+
Stats: 1,160 wishlists, 349 owners

[Previous List: #4 (932)]

Originally a print-and-play game, Dungeon Run is a fast-playing dungeon crawler in which players must fight their way through to defeat the boss--but only one player can escape with the treasure. Players choose to what extent they will cooperate, knowing that only one of them can emerge victorious. The dungeon and its inhabitants are assembled randomly as the game progresses, allowing for varied play.

Release Notes: This game from Plaid Hat Games is now released and readily available.
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4. Board Game: Dungeon Petz [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:86]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 778

Dungeon Petz
Design: Vlaada Chvátil (Through the Ages, Dungeon Lords)
Specs: 2-4 players, 90 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 1,222 wishlists, 444 owners

[Previous List: #8 (703)]

Dungeon Petz takes place in a world established by Chvátil's earlier game, Dungeon Lords. In this game, players play the role of imps who are raising monsters for use in dungeons. While the games are mechanically very different, both share an aspect of simultaneous action selection; here in the form of blind bidding for turn order and number of actions. This is a worker placement game in which you must place your imp worker to gain various "petz", obtain resources to feed and grow them, and display them in "beauty contests". The Petz themselves are illustrated turning dials, whose vital statistics change as they grow and evolve.

Release Notes: This game is available in Europe from Czech Games Editions. Z-Man Games's English language edition should be arriving in stores as I type this.
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5. Board Game: Rex: Final Days of an Empire [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:398]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 764

Rex: Final Days of an Empire
Design: Bill Eberle (Dune, Cosmic Encounter), John Goodenough (Tide of Iron, Talisman), Jack Kittredge (Dune, Cosmic Encounter), Corey Konieczka (Battlestar Galactica, Runewars), Peter Olotka (Dune, Cosmic Encounter), Christian Petersen (Twilight Imperium, Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation)
Specs: 3-6 players
Stats: 774 wishlists, 10 owners

[Previous List: #9 (649)]

Rex is based on the classic Avalon Hill game Dune, an epic game featuring negotiation and conflict which of often cited as one of the games that popularized the concept of variable player powers. Unlike Dune, however, this game will be based in the world of Twilight Imperium. The Emperor of the Lazax Empire has died, leaving numerous factions competing for power in the sprawling city of Mecatol. The game will come with a number of optional rules and variants, allowing for more varied gameplay.

Release Notes: This Fantasy Flight release appears to have been pushed back from the original time frame of Q4 2011, but no further estimates have surfaced.
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6. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 718

Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts
Design: Thomas Lehmann (Race for the Galaxy, Phoenicia)
Specs: 2-5 players, 45 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 731 wishlists, 13 owners

[Previous List: #14 (564)]

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: The release window for this game from Rio Grande is Spring 2012.
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7. Board Game: Mage Knight Board Game [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:8]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 663

Mage Knight: Board Game
Design: Vlaada Chvátil (Through the Ages, Dungeon Lords)
Specs: 1-4 players, 150 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1,159 wishlists, 496 owners

[Previous List: #10 (626)]

In Mage Knight, Chvátil brings an adventure-style board game to a world commonly associated with the miniatures game of the game name. Players move their pieces around a hex board that expands as the game progresses, fighting monsters, undertaking quests, finding allies, and leveling up. However, this is largely a card-driven game, as each player has his own deck from which he'll draw a hand and play actions. By allowing players to modify their deck as the game goes on, Chvátil introduces some deck-building elements without making this a deck-building game.

Release Notes: This game from WizKids is now released and should be readily available.
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8. Board Game: Wok Star [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1148]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 624

Wok Star
Design: Tim Fowers
Specs: 1-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 886 wishlists, 262 owners

[Previous List: #13 (567)]

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 that probably won't be available until 2012.
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9. Board Game: Empires: Builder Expansion [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 575

Glenn Drover's Empires: Builder Expansion
Design: Glenn Drover (Railroad Tycoon, Age of Empires III)
Specs: 2-6 players, 10 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 625 wishlists, 50 owners

[Previous List: #12 (578)]

This is the long-awaited expansion to the game formerly known as Age of Empires III, that has since changed its name to Glenn Drover's Empires for licensing reasons. The expansion will feature a new type of specialist, the Builder, who can be used to either increase victory points scored in the New World or lower the cost of building tiles. Additionally, there will be 20 new building tiles available, and the game will include a new variant that allows players to be specific colonial powers, each with a different starting setup.

Release Notes: This expansion from Eagle Game is now arriving at stores.
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10. Board Game: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.84 Overall Rank:36]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 536

Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
Design: Adam Sadler, Daniel Clark (Android, World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game), Corey Konieczka (Battlestar Galactica, Runewars), Kevin Wilson (Sid Meier's Civilization, Arkham Horror)
Specs: 2-5 players, 120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 538 wishlists, 2 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (403)]

This new version of everyone's favorite dungeon-crawling game features a more manageable box size, as well as a number of gameplay improvements. The game's long play time has been addressed with a faster setup time, shorter scenarios, and natural stopping points within scenarios. Campaign rules introduced in Road to Legend will be incorporated into the base game. Line-of-sight rules have been simplified, and new player aid cards will be included that reference effects and conditions. There will be more options in choosing and creating your hero, and experience points have been added to allow for the hero's growth.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight is expected in early 2012. A "conversion kit" for those with the original Descent will also be available for sale.
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11. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:338]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 501

Kingdom Builder
Design: Donald Vaccarino (Dominion, Dominion: Intrigue)
Specs: 2-4 players, 45 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 1,290 wishlists, 789 owners

[Previous List: #5 (882)]

The idea of this game is that you're trying to expand your settlements across the world so that they can generate the most gold. In each turn, you play a terrain card that determines where you can place your 3 settlements for the turn. Building in certain places may earn you more income or special abilities, or may help you satisfy one of the Kingdom Builder cards. The strength of this game may be in its replayability: in each game you randomly select 4 (of 8) terrain boards, 3 (of 10) Kingdom Builder cards, and 4 (of 8) special action tiles.

Release Notes: This game from Queen Games has been released and is widely available.
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12. Board Game: Power Grid: The First Sparks [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:582]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 493

Power Grid: First Sparks
Design: Friedemann Friese (Power Grid, Power Grid: Factory Manager)
Specs: 2-6 players, 60 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 973 wishlists, 480 owners

[Previous List: #17 (506)]

This stand-alone game about growing your clan in the stone age is roughly based on the mechanics of Power Grid. Here, instead of bidding on power plants to power cities and make money, you are bidding on tools to feed new clan members and make food. The game features a modular board, and the play time should be significantly less than Power Grid. The game also adds Knowledge, cards that you bid on to gain special abilities. The tools cards will provide you with the food you need to make your engine work, but the amount of food they produce will depend not only on the efficiency of the tool card, but also the terrain on which your clan members occupy, making strategic expansion that much more important.

Release Notes: This game is available from 2F-Spiele in Europe and will be available from Rio Grande Games in North America. The official release date for the Rio Grande version is January, but there's some speculation that some copies may arrive in late December.
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13. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.14 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 491

Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion
Design: Vlaada Chvátil (Through the Ages, Dungeon Lords)
Specs: 2-5 players, 90 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 501 wishlists, 10 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (391)]

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 will be released from Czech Games Editions in Europe, with no American publisher listed yet. No release date has been announced, but sometime in the first few months of 2012 seems reasonable.
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14. Board Game: Battle Beyond Space [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:2926]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 472

Battle Beyond Space
Design: Frank Branham (Dia de los Muertos, Warhamster Rally)
Specs: 3-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 478 wishlists, 6 owners

[Previous List: #20 (474)]

Battle Beyond Space reenacts a single giant space battle, with 60-80 ships controlled by multiple players blowing each other up. After nine rounds, victory is assessed by how many opposing ships a player managed to destroy, as well as territory claimed by your remaining ships. Each player will have a unique alien power to use in the battle. The entire game takes less than an hour to play.

Release Notes: Z-Man's release of this game has been delayed due to their recent agreement with Filosofia. There's no announced release date; it should be out sometime in 2012.
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15. Board Game: Dark Darker Darkest [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1905]
 
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 465

Dark Darker Darkest
Design: David Ausloos (Get Nuts)
Specs: 2-5 players, 120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 471 wishlists, 6 owners

[Previous List: #22 (429)]

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: The target date for this release (which does not yet have a publisher) is Essen 2012.
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16. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:25]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 461

X-Wing
Design: Jason Little (Blood Bowl: Team Manager, MLB Sportsclix)
Specs: 2 players, 20 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 464 wishlists, 3 owners

[Previous List: #24 (413)]

X-Wing is a tactical spaceship combat game based in the Star Wars universe. In this 2-player game, one player controls the Rebel Alliance and their fleet of X-Wing fighters, and the other the Empire, controlling TIE fighters. All miniatures in this game are fully painted, and their statistics are indicated on their bases. This is a scenario-based game in which each mission will have different setups and different objectives for each player.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight is expected to be released in early 2012.
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17. Board Game: Omega Centauri [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:3063]
 
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 457

Omega Centauri
Design: Nigel Buckle (Celtic Quest)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 476 wishlists, 19 owners

[Previous List: #21 (457)]

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 sometime in 2012.
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18. Board Game: Super Dungeon Explore [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:645] [Average Rating:7.11 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 456

Super Dungeon Explore
Design: Chris Birkenhagen, John Cadice, Deke Stella
Specs: 2-6 players, 90 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 791 wishlists, 335 owners

[Previous List: #23 (418)]

This is a dungeon delving game that draws its inspiration from Japanese fantasy RPG video games, such as Final Fantasy. The game is said to have a high "nostalgia value". Players take on the role of a stereotypical fantasy adventurer, and must all the monsters and spawn points to win. On the way, players can acquire weapons and loot, as well as level up their stats. One player takes on the role of monsters, and must defeat all the heroes to be victorious. The game comes with a number of unpainted plastic miniatures.

Release Notes: This game from Soda Pop Miniatures is now released and should be readily available.
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19. Board Game: Wiz-War (eighth edition) [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:404]
 
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 447

Wiz-War
Design: Tom Jolly (Drakon, Cave Troll), Kevin Wilson (Sid Meier's Civilization, Arkham Horror)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 469 wishlists, 22 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

This is a re-imagining of the classic 1983 game Wiz-War. Wiz-War is a tactical combat game where players take on the role of wizards trying to steal treasure from other wizards and bring it back to their base. The game features a large number of diverse cards, that give the wizards enhanced ways to navigate the dungeon, lay traps, and attack their enemies.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight Games is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2012.
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20. Board Game: Stone Age: The Expansion [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 444

Stone Age: Style is the Goal
Design: Bernd Brunnhofer (Stone Age, Saint Peterburg)
Specs: 2-5 players, 75 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 701 wishlists, 257 owners

[Previous List: #19 (489)]

This is the first big expansion to the dice-rolling worker placement game Stone Age. In "Style is the Goal" players will have the opportunity to turn their raw resources into ornaments and jewelry for additional victory points. Board overlays will accommodate the new actions. Additionally, the game will include the previously-released "New Huts" mini-expansion (from Spielbox), as well as pieces for a fifth player.

Release Notes: This game has be released by Hans im Gluck in Europe and will be released by Rio Grande in North America. Rio Grande expects to have this game out by mid-January.
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21. Board Game: Core Worlds [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:321]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 435

Core Worlds
Design: Andrew Parks (Parthenon, Ideology)
Specs: 2-5 players, 60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 704 wishlists, 269 owners

[Previous List: #18 (492)]

In this deck-building game, cards are drafted from the middle instead of bought from common piles, much like Ascension. However, Core Worlds manages to avoid some of the chaos of other drafting games: it isn't a simple affair of dump your hand, see what you can grab, and move on. In Core Worlds, you have to spend your limited energy to deploy stuff from your hand, and then use that stuff (which goes to discard) to conquer planets that are available, which give you more energy for later. Alternatively, you can spend energy to draft new equipment into your discard. Excelling in this game requires careful management of your energy, the number of actions you have, and keeping a close eye on what your opponents can and can't do.

Release Notes: This game from Stronghold Games is released; you should be able to find it on store shelves.
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22. Board Game: Star Wars: The Card Game [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:217]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 433

Star Wars: The Card Game
Design: Nate French (Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game), Corey Konieczka (Battlestar Galactica, Runewars)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 441 wishlists, 8 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (357)]

Star Wars: The Card Game is a scenario-based cooperative game in which players take on the role of a Rebel strike team, who must accomplish their mission before the Imperials discover the location of the Rebel's hidden base. Cards can be played to the Space Zone, where they defend the Rebel base, the Attack Zone, where they engage with Imperial troops, the Reserve Zone, where they aid other deployed cards, or the Mission Zone, where they try to achieve the Rebel objective. The Imperial faction is simulated with a separate deck that is unique to each mission, and features varying Imperial strategies.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight will be released sometime in the first half of 2012.
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23. Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 – India & Switzerland [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 420

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 2 - India & Switzerland
Design: Alan Moon (Ticket to Ride, Union Pacific), Ian Vincent (Fruit Bandits)
Specs: 2-4 players, 45 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 513 wishlists, 93 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

This new expansion to Ticket to Ride includes two new maps on a double-sided game board, along with the associated destination tickets and rules. The India map, designed by Ian Vincent, adds an additional scoring option where you can score bonus points for making a round trip on one or more of your tickets, using different links (that may or may not involve the same intermediate cities). The Switzerland map, designed by Alan Moon, is a reprint of the 2007 expansion Ticket to Ride: Switzerland.

Release Notes: This game from Days of Wonder is just hitting store shelves in Europe. The game should be out in North America in early January.
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24. Board Game: The Guns of Gettysburg [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:1065]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 411

The Guns of Gettysburg
Design: Bowen Simmons (Napoleon's Triumph, Bonaparte at Morengo)
Specs: 2 players, 180 minutes
Stats: 412 wishlists, 1 owner

[Previous List: Just Missed (396)]

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 will eventually be released by Simmons Games, but the release date is unknown.
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25. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1558]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Cyclades: Hades (393)
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1989: Dawn of Freedom (317)
Walnut Grove (311)
Virgin Queen (303)
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Khazad-dûm (300)
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