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BoardGameGeek News

To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, please contact BGG News editor W. Eric Martin via email – wericmartin AT gmail.com

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Game Overview: Birdie Fight!, or Color Your Nest the Right Way to Win

W. Eric Martin
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In May 2016, ahead of my trip to Tokyo Game Market, I published an overview of ButaBabel from designer Yuo and design circle Kocchiya. Since I'm headed to TGM once again in May 2017, I thought I'd do it again, this time looking at Yuo's card game Birdie Fight!

In fact, this game is slightly more than a card game given that it contains ten scoring tokens that are laid out to define the boundaries of a 5x5 grid. Each player has a hand of cards, with the cards coming in four suits numbered 1-7; one card is placed in the center of the grid to start play. On a turn, you place a card from your hand adjacent to a card already in play, and when the game ends you'll still hold one card. That's it!

Oh, wait, there's that small detail about how to score and win — you know, that detail that drives everything else that you do. At the end of the game, you determine which color has the highest sum in each row and column, with tied colors being ignored Raj-style; in each row, that highest color scores the points shown on the token sitting at left, and for each column, that color scores for the token above it. The card that you hold shows your color, and you score all the points that the color has scored, in addition to 1-7 points to match the value of the card you hold. After two complete rounds, whoever has the highest score wins.

Birdie Fight! includes rules for solo play in which your score equals the points scored by your color minus the points scored by all three other colors. Yes, you're one small bird up against an unfriendly world, so you'll need to set your enemies against one another to do well.

Image by Suzanne Sheldon


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Thu May 11, 2017 11:59 pm
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Game Preview: Taiwan Monsters Brawl, or Lining Them Up and Knocking Them Down

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Games originate from many sources, and I believe (although I can't now find the source again) that Hung-Che Lin's Taiwan Monsters Brawl from Chiaos Creative originated from Lin seeing the monster-rich artwork of Chiaos Tseng and wanting to create a game to bring that art to the game table. If that story isn't true, it should be.




In the game, 2-4 players each take charge of one of eight legendary monsters — with a brief history of each one included in the rulebook — and in each round of the game you all call dibs on a new piece of land, strip that land of its resources, then (in all likelihood) take a swing at one another to dislodge an opponent from its land to claim that turf for yourself.

Combat is dice-driven, with everyone getting a baseline of dice with which to attack, combined with a puzzle of sorts as you want to fill lines on your monster board with runes in order to supersize your attack. You can use runes to give you a free reroll, to upgrade dice, to draw spell cards, to collect chi to power spells and recharge runes, and to use your ultimate ability, which is unique for each monster. Choose, collect, roll, pummel...score?




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Wed May 10, 2017 2:22 pm
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Game Overview: ReCURRRing, or The Art of Spinning Your Wheels

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I love card games. If I had to choose between card games and any other type of games — heck, between card games and all other types of games — I'd choose card games. Each hand is a mystery, a puzzle of sorts to figure out, a hand of tools for you to cut and extract other players from the game. You pick up that hand of cards, and it's like dozens of other hands that you've held before, but this one is slightly different, just as you know the hands of your opponents are all slightly different, and you have a fresh challenge in front of you.

The game's on the table, yes, with the cards showing who's winning right now and the scoresheet showing who's winning in a larger sense, but the game is also above the table, with you trying to figure out what others are trying to do, with you pondering what they can do. Good card games involve hand management, a term we record in the BGG database, but they also involve risk management and deduction and bluffing and pressing your luck and memory — so many skills come into play in a game created from the simplest of components, and hundreds upon hundreds of these games exist. So much variety, all at the whims of their creators.

ReCURRRing from the Japanese design/publisher group team SAIEN is yet another of these creations, with this being a shedding game, a game in which you want to rid your hand of cards before anyone else, and while you and I have seen dozens of games like this before, we haven't seen precisely this game, with its simple twist of you being forced to pick up whichever cards you play over — a small change that puts your head in knots as you ponder how to stay in a round and make progress and somehow, unbelievable as it might sound, give yourself a shot at winning.




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Tue May 9, 2017 3:05 pm
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New Game Round-up: Titles at Tokyo Game Market 2017 – Path to Yaaru, z3r0d4y, Spirit of Totem, and Korocchi!

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I'm headed to Tokyo Game Market in mid-May 2017, so I've been compiling a (short) TGM preview of titles to which (you and) I might want to pay attention. This preview has only a few dozen titles on it — just a smattering of what you can find on the Game Market website — but since I don't speak Japanese, I've tried to highlight titles that I might actually have a chance of playing. Here are a few of those games, with (I hope) more being added to the list over the next week:

Tomoki Motohashi's z3r0d4y, a.k.a. Zero Day, from Takoashi Games is a one vs. many design in which the admin tries to beat the 1-3 hackers and the hackers (assuming there's more than one) try to defeat one another while also besting the admin. In more detail:

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In z3r0d4y, the admin aims to fix vulnerabilities in a computer system before hackers steal too much information.

The admin wins by acquiring a certain number of progress tokens based on the number of players, and to make progress, the admin must perform "operations" multiple times successfully while avoiding interference from hackers. To do so, the admin will rely on timing and must secure sufficient credits.

Each hacker wants to steal information before others can do so (and before the admin fixes the vulnerability, of course), and once a hacker steals a certain amount of information tokens, they win the game immediately. To do this, they need to gather information, interfere with the admin's operation, and install virus proxies.




Path to Yaaru is the latest from Fukutarou, designer of Wolf & Hound, Familiar's Trouble, and Festival of Thousand Cats, through the publishing circle Fukuroudou. Here's a short description of the game from the designer:

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Path to Yaaru refers to the Egyptian heavenly paradise of the Fields Of Aaru.

This is a card-drafting game set in Ancient Egypt in which you head to Yaaru, the promised land, with help from the Egyptian gods. The card-drafting system has a twist in that you may not freely pick any card. Hence, while advanced players may plan deeply beforehand to control the later stages of the game, beginners may simply focus on the current state and pick from the smaller choices. Who would be the first to Yaaru, passing the obstacles alongside the path?

With cute illustrations, the game should appeal to a broader audience. The game is published in Japanese, with English rules available online.

Spirit of Totem is a card game from Junction+ that debuted at Tokyo Game Market in May 2016 and will be present again in May 2017, with this card game being available with either full-sized (88mm x 63mm) cards or half-sized (63mm x 44mm) cards. That option isn't something you see every day — although Blue Cocker Games had a quarter-sized(!) version of its new card game ARGH at FIS in Cannes — but it's something that can happen more easily in Japan, I suppose, given the possibilities of short-run publishing that the prevalence of name cards makes possible.

As for the gameplay, here's a summarization of the English rules:

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In トーテムのこころ (Spirit of Totem), players attempt to create a totem pole from cards before anyone else. Most cards depict one or three color-coded spirit icons at the top of the card, with the colors being repeated at the bottom of the card as well; a few cards picture a thunderbird, and these cards are used to top a totem or cast a spell.

Each player starts with two cards in hand, and on a turn first draws one card, then plays or discards one card. When they play a totem card, they can start a totem or add to a totem — but when adding to a totem at least one of the colored marks on the card being added must be placed in the same column as the card being covered, even if this means the card being placed doesn't line up exactly with the card below. If the top card shows red, yellow, blue, and you want to add a yellow, brown, blue, then you can line up the yellow marks or the blues, but not both.

When a player plays a thunderbird, they can cast one of the four spells in play, after which that spell is placed face down until all four spells have been cast, after which they're all revealed once again. The spells are "Wind blows left/right", "Zap", and "Gift". The caster of the wind spell chooses a height above the first level, then all cards at the level and above are shifted one column left or right, depending on the wind. If parts of a totem have no support, then those cards are discard. Zap removes the top card in a player's totem, and Gift requires each player to pass one card in hand left and the other right.

As soon as a totem consists of at least four cards and the top card is centered with the bottom card (regardless of the positioning of the intervening cards), the player can top the totem with a thunderbird card to win the game. If the player has an earth totem on top — that is, a card showing the same spirit icon in all three spots, then the totem doesn't need to be aligned to be topped with a thunderbird.

トーテムのこころ also includes rules for solo play, with the player needing to build totems of 7, 8, 9, and 10 cards without the use of spells in order to win.




Korocchi! by conception's Shimpei Sato is one of those real-time pattern-recognition games that most everyone I play with hates, possibly because I'm usually good at them and leave others starting at their socks. Hmm, hope that doesn't sound too conceited. Something in my brain clicks for these designs, and I've played a lot of them, and as I've learned time and again, if you do anything long enough, you do get better at it. In any case, here's a description followed by a video showing the traditional "pause-pause-pause-pounce!" effect:

Quote:
In Korocchi!, you try to find the correct card that is determined by two (or three) unique dice, and whoever touches the correct card first score points. Each of the two dice in the basic game has two pieces of information:

• Color die: Shows you the outside color and inside color.
• Shape die: Shows you the outside shape and the inside shape.

Three different creatures (cat, bat and obake) are depicted on the cards, with these creatures appearing in three colors. Each card depicts one large creature in one color holding a tiny creature in another color. By pairing the two dice, you know precisely which one card to touch from all those face up on the table.

For an additional challenge, you can roll the third die as well. The faces on this die might just show that you play as normal scoring one or two points, or it might show the shapes or colors being reversed — which means you need to look for the opposite card (sort of) instead.

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Mon May 8, 2017 3:22 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Card Heroes Flow Alone in Land, Air, Sea & Skyways

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• After a false start in February 2017, Gamelyn Games has rejiggered the bits and pieces of Scott Almes' Heroes of Land, Air & Sea — moving components for the fifth and sixth player to the expansion, for example, while consolidating all expansions in a single box — and launched again, garnering more support in a single day than the previous project had seen in two weeks.

As for the gameplay, you represent one of eight fantasy races that's beating on another fantasy race, or possibly several of them. I'm probably overlooking a few details, but that description will get you started. (KS link)

Battle for Biternia from Chris Faulkenberry and Stone Circle Games covers similar ground, with players in this MOBA-style board game each taking a team of four heroes, then beating on one another and destroying towers and crystals. (KS link)

• Polo Schlemmer's Card Castle from SHEL Games also features knights, wizards, and whatnot, but the gameplay is more akin to War and Slap Jack, with players slapping the cards to win rounds of combat. (KS link)

• We'll leave such medieval happenings behind thanks to, conveniently enough, The Flow of History, a Jesse Li civilization game from Moaideas Game Design in 2016 that Tasty Minstrel Games is releasing with new art and a supplementary Deluxified™ version that includes metal bits and other upgrades. A search of the USPTO database doesn't bring up a filing for Deluxified, but perhaps the database isn't updated immediately or that TM is more decorative than real. In any case we've now moved from past to present... (Indiegogo link)

• If you're prefer to build something smaller than an entire civilization, you might look at Jeffrey D. Allers' Skyways from Eagle-Gryphon Games, a city-building game that takes the tile-laying mechanism from Allers' Heartland and has you instead building city blocks, most often pairs of blocks that are connected to one another via a skyway. (KS link)

• For another take on city-building, we have Card City XL from Alban Viard of AVStudio Games, which starts you with a single building — City Hall — from which you will place other buildings — residential, commercial, leisure, etc. — while working toward whichever of the five victory conditions you chose at the start of play. (KS link)

• To create something even smaller than a city, you can go with The White Box from Jeremy Holcomb and Atlas Games, which functions something along the lines of Emperor's New Clothes, except that it describes exactly what it's offerings: a game design workshop in a box, with lots of generic game components being paired with a 128-page book of essays about game design. (KS link)

• Designer Martin Wallace closed Treefrog Games to concentrate on designs that others would publish, with APE Games taking charge of development for Moa, a game in which 3-5 players play as bird species in New Zealand who must defend the land against mammalian attackers such as dogs, weasels, and rats, with each of those mammals attacking in their own way. (KS link)

• More traditionally game-y combat comes in Dead Man's Doubloons from Jason Miceli and ThunderGryph Games, with piratey players taking simultaneous actions to move their ships and captains to steal loot from one another and find yet more loot on an island that they've all just happened to land on at the same time. (KS link)

• Brandon Young's Code Triage from Brando Gameworks hits notes familiar from other games, with players needing to coordinate care in an emergency room to avoid the three ways of losing. Can you make it to the end of your shift, after which it's all someone else's problem? (KS link)

• In 2016 we saw Not Alone from Ghislain Masson and Geek Attitude Games, with one player being an alien creature that tried to take control of others. In 2017, we have the unrelated game Alone from Andrea Crespi, Lorenzo Silva, and Horrible Games in which a single player is the hero who's getting picked on by everyone else, with that hero seeing only tiny bits of the map at a time while the masterminds plot terrible things. (KS link)

• Let's end where we began this week, but in space! Galaxy of Trian: New Order is, as the name suggests, a new version of 2014's Galaxy of Trian from Seweryn Piotrowski and CreativeMaker LLC features eight alien races that are beating on one another, with players trying to control planetary systems (which come into play through double-sided triangular tiles) to get resources in order to grow bigger and beat harder. (KS link)


Buy game parts by the pound!


Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM
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Sun May 7, 2017 1:05 pm
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Five Tribes Welcomes Fifth Player in Whims of the Sultan

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Practically since the day it was announced, people have wondered why you can't play Bruno Cathala's Five Tribes game from Days of Wonder with five players — which, of course, ignores the small detail that you are not playing as one of the tribes, but rather as someone who manipulates the members of those tribes for your own benefit.

No matter — Cathala and Days of Wonder have finally righted that numerical wrong with the announcement of Five Tribes: Whims of the Sultan, which bears this description:

Quote:
The Sultanate of Naqala continues to flourish, and the new Sultan has founded five fabulous cities to take advantage of this time of prosperity — but these cities have attracted more competitors than grains of sand in the desert and the fate of the Sultanate will once again lie in the hand of the five tribes and the powerful Djinns.

Five Tribes: Whims of the Sultan contains all the components needed to play five-player games of Five Tribes and introduces new fabulous cities tiles. Visiting these cities gives players opportunities to win glory as they fulfill excessive requests from the Sultan by completing "Whim of the Sultan" cards. Fierce competition is to be expected, as controlling these tiles can be a major contributor to a player's final score.

Five Tribes: Whims of the Sultan, which carries a MSRP of $30/€25, will debut in June in Europe and at Gen Con 2017 in August in North America. You can download the rules in English, French, and German from the Days of Wonder website.


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Fri May 5, 2017 2:06 pm
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New Game Round-up: A Trilogy of Revivals — The Thing, The Ruhr, and Cartagena

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• In February 2017, USAopoly announced the formation of a new designer collectibles division called Project Raygun, which is intended to pair licensed properties with modern creators to produce collectibles, prints, plush, and other items, including tabletop games. Details on the first such game have been revealed, with Project Raygun partnering with the collectibles company Mondo for a board game adaptation of John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing.

The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31, a game for 4-8 players, bears a description that will likely sound familiar to anyone familiar with the film:

Quote:
It is the start of the bleak, desolate Antarctic winter when a group of NSF researchers manning the claustrophobic, isolated U.S. Outpost 31 comes into contact with a hostile extraterrestrial lifeform. Bent on assimilating Earth's native species, this being infiltrates the facility — creating a perfect imitation of one of the Outpost 31 crew. The staff frantically begin a sweep of the base, desperate to purge this alien infection before escaping to warn McMurdo Station that somewhere, out there in the frigid darkness, something horrible is waiting.

In the hidden identity game The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31, you will relive John Carpenter's sci-fi cult classic in a race to discover who among the team has been infected by this heinous lifeform. Play as one of twelve characters as you lead a series of investigations through the facility using supplies and equipment to clear the building. The tension mounts and paranoia ensues as you question who you can trust in the ultimate race to save humanity!

The game will be released in two forms, with the standard edition hitting retail outlets in October 2017. The deluxe edition, which is limited to 1,982 copies, will be sold exclusively through Mondotees.com; this edition features different packaging artwork by Jock, a Mondo print, an enamel pin, and two additional sculpted movers: the Norwegian character and the Palmer Thing.

Leo Colovini's Cartagena, first published in 2000, has long been one of my go-to introductory games because when you boil down the gameplay (which is pretty basic anyway!) the game is Candy Land with hand management. You want to get your pirates to the end of the track first, and to move, you play a card and move a pirate of your choice to the next empty space on the track that has the same symbol as the card played.

Simple, yes? Except that the only way to get more cards is to move backward, and that's when things get complicated. No one wants to move backward when you're supposed to be moving forward, and watching people come to grips with this basic challenge gets me every time. You see them make less-than-ideal moves — inefficient choices, you might say — over and over again, then they start to piece together how to do things better. The lightbulb is on, and it keeps burning brighter as they learn why you might not want to take all three actions on a turn or how to bait someone to take moves that will help you in the future. Like nearly all Colovini games, Cartagena is heavy on player interaction since me occupying one space enables you to jump farther down the track — yet I have to occupy spaces, so how can I keep such assistance to a minimum?

In May 2017, Rio Grande Games will release a new version of Cartagena that includes the base game, components to play Cartagena 2. The Pirate's Nest, and multiple variants. (Piatnik has already released a German version of the new Cartagena in Europe, and In more detail:

Quote:
The game includes eight double-sided game boards, and to play the base game you use only six of them. Use more boards for a longer game, or fewer boards (and possibly fewer pirates) for a shorter game. To replicate Cartagena 2, you can flip over three or more of the game boards to create a secondary path that's separate from the first one. Now when you place pirates in the sloop, you can use an action to move the sloop to the start of the second path — and with two paths, you have a harder time making huge jumps from start to finish.

"Morgan" is a variant in which players can now draw cards by moving an opponent's pirate ahead, drawing one or two cards when the pirate stops at the first space that contains one or two pirates; this variant and all others can be used in any version of the game. With the "Filibusters" variant, whenever someone plays one of the twelve cards with a dark background, everyone other than the active player must discard until they have at most seven cards in hand.

Finally, the "Black Magic Woman" variant introduces special powers to the six symbols on the card, and when you play a card, you can use it for pirate movement like normal or use the card' power. You can play two parrots as if they were any other symbol, or use a lantern to look at the top four cards and keep one of your choice. With the gun, you steal a card of your choice from an opponent's hand, with them getting one free draw in return. The treasure chest symbol lets you pick up the treasure chest from the space where you stand, most likely drawing cards from the deck as a bonus, but possibly suffering a snakebite that will have you running back for rum to help you forget the pain!

• Clay Ross at Capstone Games has announced a Gen Con 2017 release date for Thomas Spitzer's The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade, a new version of Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890, which was originally released in 2012 by German publisher Spielworxx. Here's an overview of the game, and what's been added to this edition:

Quote:
In The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade, the second game of Thomas Spitzer's historic coal trilogy, you are transported to the Ruhr region in the 18th century, at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Coal, after being discovered in Haspelknecht, is in high demand as cities and factories throughout the region are in need of this coveted resource. The Ruhr river presented a convenient route of transportation from the coal mines. However, the Ruhr was filled with obstacles and large dams, making it incredibly difficult to navigate. Trade coal for valuable upgrades and plan your route to victory along the Ruhr!

In more detail, the players transport and sell coal to cities and factories along the Ruhr river in the 18th and 19th centuries. By selling coal to cities and factories, players acquire unique progress markers. In the beginning, players have access only to low value coal. By selling coal to certain locations, players gain access to high value coal. In addition to selling coal, the players build warehouses, build locks, and export coal to neighboring countries in the pursuit of the most victory points.

This game includes the standalone expansion The Ohio: 1811-1861. In this game, players transport and trade goods along the Ohio River during a time when Ohio was granted statehood and became heavily populated as its industries flourished. The Ohio is played in a manner similar to The Ruhr, but with new and additional elements.
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Thu May 4, 2017 11:39 pm
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New Game Round-up: Deck-Building Comes to Dungeons & Dragons, More Dead Welcome Winter, and Rambo Assaults Your Tabletop

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• I'm a week late to the party on this news, but Catalyst Game Labs has announced the development of a Dungeons & Dragons-based deck-building game called Dragonfire. Here's a short description of the game:

Quote:
In Dragonfire, players choose from a number of races — from dwarf to elf, half-orc to human — while assuming the quintessential roles of cleric, rogue, fighter, and wizard. Equipped with weapons, spells, and magic items, players begin their adventure along the famed Sword Coast, then expand to other locales across the Forgotten Realms, such as Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter, and Waterdeep in future expansions. Along the way, players level up their characters, opening access to additional equipment, feats, and more. Join the quest, and build your own legend!

Catalyst's Randall Bills is blogging about the development of Dragonfire, which is based on the game engine seen in 2014's Shadowrun: Crossfire. Dragonfire co-designer Jay Schneider has posted on BGG about general changes about a few changes from the original game, but the biggest question for most people is why Dragonfire is for 3-6 players while Shadowrun: Crossfire is for 1-4 players. No word on that yet.

While not yet announcing a release date for Dragonfire, Catalyst does state that it's "sending multiple releases to print simultaneously with the base game. These additional releases will include such expansions as: Wondrous Cache, a Magic Items deck; Heroes of the Sword Coast, a pack of new character cards that introduce additional classes and races; and Encounters: Dragonspear Castle, the first of our storyline expansions that will include a selection of Encounters, Magic Items, and Market cards, along with a new Adventure that will advance the storyline. Future releases, in addition to those listed above, will include campaign boxes that will not only provide additional materials to enjoy, but will move forward the meta-plot adventure that will weave through Dragonfire." Catalyst also states that another Shadowrun: Crossfire expansion is in development.

Plaid Hat Games has announced a new expansion for its Dead of Winter series that allows for up to eleven people to feel uneasy about one another. Here's an overview of Dead of Winter: Warring Colonies, which is designed by Colby Dauch and Timothy Meyer and which lacks a public release date at this time:

Quote:
The Dead of Winter: Warring Colonies expansion includes 15 new survivors, 50 new crossroad cards, 43 new items, and 11 new crisis cards, many of which can be used with either Dead of Winter base set. However, to play either the warring colonies variant or the lone wolf module, you need both Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game and Dead of Winter: The Long Night.

In the warring colonies variant, which is for 4-11 players, unique main objectives set two colonies against each other as they battle for territory with a new fighting system that includes tactics cards, bullet tokens, and 12-sided combat dice. New and terrible joint-colony crisis cards force cooperation and coercion every round. New simultaneous turn mechanisms and a sand timer keep things moving at a brisk pace.

With the lone wolf module, which can be used with the warring colonies variant or on its own, one player is on a team all by themselves, hiding out in their lone wolf den and carrying out missions that effect both teams.




Christopher Batarlis and Jim Samartino of Everything Epic Games have announced a licensing deal with Creative Licensing and Studiocanal for the original trilogy of Rambo movies, with a January 2018 launch date being set for a Kickstarter project to fund Rambo: The Board Game, the development of which is currently in progress. Here's what the publisher says about the design for now:

Quote:
Rambo: The Board Game is a thematic, cooperative, tactical, miniatures, scenario-based campaign game that allows 1-4 players to experience the events they remember from the film as well as embark on new, never-before-seen missions.

The game provides sealed "legacy-like" mission envelopes that gradually expand the game as each mission is completed. Each mission tells a story and takes the players on a unique adventure to various locations to save POWs, escape a military prison, raid a jungle encampment, defend a secret air base, survive a treacherous jungle, and more! Missions unlock new equipment and tactics to help players customize their experience and allow for high replayability and great tactical strategy. Taking actions and engaging in combat is done without random dice, but with a card-based system in which the player is in control and where every choice can be life or death!

To set up, players choose from an iconic variety of special forces characters each with highly detailed miniatures, including, of course, John Rambo, Col. Trautman, other members of Baker Team, and other companions that Rambo teamed up with over the years. Each hero has unique abilities and customization options that make them valuable during missions. You control how to approach the mission: Do you go in guns blazing? Or do you take a more stealthy approach? Perhaps you set a trap for the enemy? It's up to you to decide and lead Rambo and his team to victory!

Body oil not included
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Wed May 3, 2017 1:05 pm
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New Game Round-up: Solve Crime in Detective: City of Angels, Return to Between Two Cities, and Don't Perish in Hunger: The Show

W. Eric Martin
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• I thought that I had posted something about Detective: City of Angels from Evan Derrick and Van Ryder Games, but alas I only tweeted a cover. Time to fix that oversight with an overview of this 2-5 player game that will be Kickstarted in Q3/Q4 2017 ahead of a planned release in 2018:

Quote:
Detective: City of Angels, set in the dark and violent world of 1940s Los Angeles, is a game of mystery, deception, and investigation for 2–5 players. Most players will step into the shoes of LAPD homicide detectives, hungry for glory and willing to do whatever it takes to successfully close a case, even if that means intimidating suspects, concealing evidence, and hiring snitches to rat on their fellow detectives. One player, however, will take on the role of The Chisel, whose only goal is to stall and misdirect the detectives at every turn using bluffing, manipulation, and (often) outright lies.

Detective: CoA uses the innovative ARC (Adaptive Response Card) System to create the feel of interrogating a suspect. Suspects do not simply give paragraph-book responses; instead The Chisel carefully chooses how they will answer. When Billy O'Shea insists that the victim was a regular at Topsy's Nightclub, is he telling the truth or is The Chisel subtly leading the detectives toward a dead end that will cost them precious time? Detectives can challenge responses that they think are lies but at great risk: If they're wrong, The Chisel will acquire leverage over them, making the case that much harder to solve.

Detective: CoA includes separate, detailed casebooks for both the detectives and The Chisel. Each crime is a carefully constructed puzzle that can unfold in a variety of ways depending on how the detectives choose to pursue their investigations. As the detectives turn the city upside down, uncovering fresh evidence and "hot" leads, hidden suspects may be revealed and new lines of questioning will open up, creating a rich, story-driven experience.

Inspired by classic film noir like The Big Sleep, the works of James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential), and the video game L.A. Noire from Rockstar Games, Detective: City of Angels is a murder-mystery game unlike any other. Will one detective rise above the rest and close the case on L.A.'s latest high profile murder? Or will The Chisel sow enough doubt and confusion to prevent the detectives from solving the crime?



• Other titles in the works from Van Ryder Games include Hostage Negotiator: Abductor Pack 8 (due out at Gen Con 2017), Saloon Tycoon: The Ranch Expansion (which gives each player a ranch board to develop), and The BIG Score, a drafting/press-your-luck game in which you first complete small heists while working your way toward the namesake score at game's end.

• In July 2017, you'll have a new way to place yourself Between Two Cities with the Capitals expansion from Matthew O'Malley, Ben Rosset, and Stonemaier Games. This expansion, like the base game, accommodates 1-7 players, and it consists of landscape mats that give each city a unique layout, districts that give a majority bonus for connecting certain tiles, and civic building tiles that should be adjacent to two specific tile types. Advance copies of this expansion will be available at the 2017 UK Games Expo.

• Also debuting at that convention will be Pim Thunborg's HUNGER: The Show, a Survivor-style board game from Polish publisher PHALANX in which players simultaneously reveal location and action cards each round on a deserted island with the hope of collecting food, finding raft parts, stealing from others, and catching thieves.

• French publisher Superlude Éditions announced a new edition of Hinata Origuchi's Colors of Kasane in 2016, but the title never made it to production. Superlude has now stated that Kimonos, with new art by Naïade, will appear in Q3 2017.

• Another title appearing from Superlude at the same time is Chawaï, a 3-6 player game from Bruno Faidutti about which little has been announced: "Dive into a lagoon in Chawaï and try to bring back the most delicious fish before your fellow fishers can."

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Tue May 2, 2017 1:05 pm
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Origins Game Fair 2017 Preview Now Live

W. Eric Martin
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BGG's Origins Game Fair 2017 Preview is now live for your viewing pleasure, and while these convention previews normally start small and grow immensely in the weeks leading up to a convention, in this case the 2017 preview already contains 95 titles on it and the Origins 2016 Preview topped out at 110 titles.

What does this mean? Did I somehow hunt down a greater percentage of the titles showing up at Origins 2017 than in previous years? What's more likely to be the case is that a larger number of games than in 2016 will be on hand when Origins opens on June 14 in the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The number of titles being released each year seems to be ever-increasing, and since Gen Con and SPIEL are already packed to the gills, I'm guessing (but open to being wrong) that publishers will spread out their new releases to Origins as well so that everything doesn't get buried in the rush.

If you're a designer or publisher who plans to have new titles on hand at Origins 2017 — whether new releases or prototypes of games to be released in the near future — and your titles aren't on this preview, please email me at the address in the BGG News header and I'll add your titles to this list.

BoardGameGeek will be at Origins 2017 for all five days, and we will livestream game demonstrations and designer interviews from the show for far too many hours each day. We will set up demo times based on what's listed on this preview (and information about other future releases), and I'll publish the interview schedule on Friday, June 9, which is the last day I'll update the Origins 2017 Preview. Only six weeks until we're live in Columbus — yikes!
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Mon May 1, 2017 7:30 pm
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