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New Game Round-up: Beware False Parents in Coraline, and Book Animals in Stampede

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• If someone had Coraline in the "which media property will next be licensed for a board game" pool, you can now collect as WizKids has announced a December 2019 release date for Coraline: Beware the Other Mother, a co-operative game for 1-4 players from Andrew Parks that bears this description:

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Coraline tells the haunting tale of a young girl's journey to an alternate version of her life, and her heroic return to reality. Now, you can bring this iconic story to your tabletop!

In Coraline: Beware the Other Mother, players assume the roles of the Ghost Children who were captured by the Beldam (the Other Mother). Now they are trying to free Coraline and her parents from the Beldam's evil clutches. They will confront Mr. Bobinsky and his jumping mouse circus, fend off the Other Father on his mantis tractor, wrestle the pearl ring from Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, and steal the Skeleton Key and Snow Globe to ultimately set Coraline free. The players all win or lose the game together as a team! But be careful! The Beldam will thwart your plans at every turn. And be quick! When the button shadow eclipses the moon, the Beldam has won the game and Coraline is trapped in the Other World forever!


• A bit farther out from WizKids is Stampede, a 2-6 player card game from Jeroen Geenen that will be released in March 2020. An overview:

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Stamp collectors: The most dangerous game. They're polite on the surface, but truly cunning strategists underneath.

Featuring colorful art and simple symbology, Stampede plays quickly and elegantly as players plan efficient moves to complete their stamp collection. You must fill your album with new stamps, search for the best trades at the exchange, and swap stamps with your opponents at just the right moment to complete your collection. Your goal is to collect five of the same animal or nine distinct animals to stamp out the competition!



• Continuing in the vein of lighter games, in 2020 Fisher Heaton Games plans to add two new titles to its line of "Analog Apps", quick-playing, single-mechanism games designed to feel like you're playing a phone app, with its 2017 title Intelle being retconned as the first title in the series.

Christopher Yoder's TANGL is a 1-6 player game in which players are given a mismatched set of heptamino and hexamino pieces, then race to build a rectangle-like shape with as few corners as possible. In David Abelson's WAYK, 1-2 players move robots through the stasis rooms on a spaceship to awaken as many passengers as possible and get them into escape pods before the ship is destroyed.

• In addition to releasing Underwater Cities: New Discoveries and Monster Baby Rescue! in English, as noted recently, Rio Grande Games has picked up two other SPIEL '19 titles for release in English: Uwe Rosenberg's Robin of Locksley, which is coming from new German publisher Wyrmgold GmbH, and Queenz from Bruno Cathala, Johannes Goupy, and Mandoo Games. (I recorded an overview video of Queenz in August 2019 should you want to know more about the game.)

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New Game Round-up: Sail to New Islands in Concordia, Then Attempt to Return Tiles in No Return

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• I'm sure that you've been eager to hear more about what I'm looking forward to at SPIEL '19, and if that is indeed the case, here's an overview of the second title on my "must have" list: Marco Teubner's No Return: Es gibt kein Zurück! from German publisher moses. Verlag

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No Return: Es gibt kein Zurück! ("There's No Turning Back!") is played in two phases, with players collecting tiles in phase one, then scoring their tiles in phase two. People move into phase two at their own pace, and once you go in, you're there for the rest of the game — which might not be long!

The game includes 132 tiles, specifically two sets of tiles in six colors, with the tiles being numbered 1-11 in each color. Each player starts with eight tiles in hand, and you can discard and redraw once before the game begins. On a turn, you either (1) discard up to four tiles in the your hand from the game, then draw that many tiles from the bag or (2) play one or more tiles from your hand to a color on your board, then draw that many tiles. You can play tiles of only one color, and all the tiles played must be equal to or less than any tiles of that color you already have in play. You place these tiles in descending order, and you can build at most six rows during the game, one of each color.

Whenever you want, you can switch to phase two. Once you do this, on a turn you either (1) discard up to four tiles in the your hand from the game, then draw that many tiles from the bag or (2) clear tiles from your play area to score them. To do this, choose one or more tiles in your play area of only a single color, starting with the lowest valued tile (or tiles), then sum the tiles you want to score. You must then "pay" to score these tiles by discarding tiles of one color from your hand that sum to this same amount or higher. The tiles you discard from your hand don't have to be the same color as the color of the tiles you're scoring. Remove the tiles you paid from the game, and place the tiles you've cleared face down in a score pile. Refill your hand to eight tiles at the end of your turn.

As soon as someone draws the final tile from the bag, you complete the round so that everyone has had the same number of turns, then the game ends. A player's score equals the sum of the tiles that they've cleared minus the sum of the tiles they still have in play. (Tiles in a player's hand are discarded.) Whoever has the highest score wins!
Chunky tiles + simple rules + somewhat controllable randomness + press-your-luck elements + a shared pool of resources that will likely lead to drastically different styles of play with different player counts = a "must have" title for me. We'll see whether my expectations hold up once it's actually on the table!




• In 2018, German publisher PD-Verlag released Concordia: Venus as both a standalone game and an expansion, with one of the maps differing depending on what you purchased. PD-Verlag had promised that in 2019 buyers would be able to acquire the map they didn't get, and now it's making good on that promise with the release of Concordia: Balearica / Cyprus (for those who purchased the Venus expansion) and Concordia: Balearica / Italia (for those who purchased the Venus base game).

This expansion features the Balearic Islands off the coast of eastern Spain, with players starting the game with no capital city and two ships at sea. It also includes a fish market that can be used as a variant with any other Concordia map. An explanation:

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As a new commodity, fish replaces the ordinary bonus units you usually collect when playing your Prefect. The bonus is doubled up to two fish in provinces that have failed to produce in the last round. Sell your fish on a separate fish market where you can get either goods, cash, or special actions in return. The fish market offers an extra layer of planning ahead, and new challenges for the experienced Concordia player.

Designer Mac Gerdts shows off Balearica at the Modena game fair


• French publisher Matagot has informed me that it will have the French (and English) versions of Stonemaier Games' Tapestry for sale at SPIEL '19, whereas German publisher Feuerland Spiele — which has been Stonemaier's partner on German versions of Wingspan, Scythe, and other titles — won't have the German edition of Tapestry available until July 2020.

Why the difference? Blame Wingspan, which won Kennerspiel des Jahres in July 2019. In a Sept. 12, 2019 Facebook post, Feuerland notes that (in my translation) "Due to the success of Wingspan, we currently have high investments in production, which will be paid off only in the Christmas season." As a result, Feuerland Spiele has launched a preorder campaign for Tapestry since production for that game needs to take place prior to Christmas. Those who preorder will receive a discount on the price and are promised the game six weeks ahead of its arrival at retail.

In other Feuerland Spiele news, Frank Heeren was interviewed by Würfelmagier.de in September 2019, and he revealed that Feuerland will release a German version of Barrage in 2020. Heeren also mentions that details on what's in the Wingspan expansion will be revealed on October 2, 2019, and if production and shipping goes as planned, he hopes to have a small Wingspan promo item at SPIEL '19. Oh, and another mini-expansion for A Feast for Odin featuring a new island. Details on the SPIEL '19 news starts about 21:00 minutes into the video. (H/T: Christoph Post of Brettspielbox)
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Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Rebuild Rome, Revisit Boomtown, and Ready Yourself for The 7th Citadel

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• At Gen Con 2019, designer Dávid Turczi spent hours at the event tables teaching people how to play Rome & Roll, a co-design with Nick Shaw that UK publisher PSC Games plans to Kickstart in October 2019 ahead of a 2020 release. Here's a summary of the game:

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Rome & Roll is a heavy roll-and-write board game in which 1-4 players compete to craft an empire. Draft from a pool of custom dice to collect resources, construct the town, and organize armies. Political alliances, the colonies, and even the Gods all have a part to play. Imperii Gloria!

—Draft the dice to match your needs: roll, draw, and win!
—Play one of seven unique character classes, ranging from merchants to military leaders, with a wealth of different strategies to deploy.
—Take advantage of four possible scoring avenues: construct buildings, trade resources, conquer unruly colonies, and renovate the Roman road network.
—Make political alliances and call on the Gods.
—Raise armies and invade settlements as far afield as Egypt and Spain.
—Build roads and manage unruly provinces.
I spoke with Turczi about the game at Gen Con 2019, and he said that the "roll-and-write" description might be deceptive because although players do indeed roll dice and write on their personal player board (as well as on the shared Rome board), the game is more of a combo-driven, engine-building game, with players starting slow, then ramping up quickly as they gain bonuses and use other players' dice.



Co-designer Dávid Turczi (on left) listens to a question at Gen Con 2019


Looney Labs notes that Doctor Who Fluxx: 13th Doctor Expansion, originally announced for mid-2019, is on hold for now: "Many of you have been asking when our 13th Doctor Expansion Pack will be coming out. We wish we could tell you, but we still don't have approvals from the BBC. But we CAN tell you that there was a chance it wasn't going to happen at all because we were going to lose the Doctor Who license altogether. And we CAN tell you that, thankfully, that is not happening! Doctor Who Fluxx will live on until at least summer 2021, which means we will definitely be making the expansion pack at some point. We just don't know when."

• On Facebook, designer Bruno Cathala teased a new edition of Boomtown, a.k.a. La Fièvre de l'Or, a co-design with Bruno Faidutti that first appeared in 2004 before being re-released in a pirate-themed Polish edition in 2012.

Cathala notes that they're reworking the game for a new edition in 2020 from French publisher Lumberjack Studio.

Non-final imagery from Jonathan Aucomte


• In February 2020, Alderac Entertainment Group will release Tiny Towns: Fortune, an expansion for Peter McPherson's Tiny Towns co-designed with Josh Wood that brings something new to this world:

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The smaller creatures of the forest have created a civilization free of predators, and they look to you as mayor to guide their growing and thriving town. However, the area is small, and resources are scarce. The clever use of limited resources will determine the most successful tiny town.

In the expansion Tiny Towns: Fortune, the creatures of the forest have found a way to trick each other into thinking shiny bits of metal have arbitrary value. It's very useful — so much so that you can use this thing called "money" to get other creatures to give you almost anything in return for the right number of shiny bits. If only earning money weren't so difficult!



• This post has focused on titles due out in 2020, but here's one that probably won't see release until 2021: The 7th Citadel, this being a sequel of sorts to The 7th Continent from designers Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter and publisher Serious Poulp. Here's an overview of what we know about this game at the moment:

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The 7th Citadel will take place in a new unique "Dark Fantasy" world whose gameplay will be significantly enhanced compared to that of The 7th Continent.

In The 7th Citadel, a solo or co-operative "choose-your-own-adventure" exploration board game, you choose a character and begin your adventure on your own or with a team of other explorers. Inspired by the ''Fighting Fantasy'' book series, you will discover the extent of this wild new land through a variety of terrain and event cards. In a land fraught with danger and wonders, you have to use every ounce of wit and cunning to survive, crafting tools, weapons, and shelter to ensure your survival.

As with its predecessor, ''The 7th Citadel'' features an easy saving system so that you can stop playing at any time and resume your adventure later on, just like in a video game!

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Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:00 pm
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New (Old) Game Round-up: Terraforming Dice, Joining the Mob, and Starting a Mutiny

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Despite my efforts to survey everything I can about upcoming game releases, I know that I miss lots of game announcements. Here are a few such titles that I didn't notice when they first came to light, but which aren't yet released. They're still newsworthy!

• In May 2019, Reddit user timbonicus posted an overview of a Terraforming Mars dice game that they played with designer Jacob Fryxelius of FryxGames at Sthlm Tabletop Expo in Stockholm. Fryx hasn't mentioned this design in its SPIEL '19 info, so don't look for it in Essen!


Image from imgur


• Italian publisher Pendragon Game Studio lists 15 Men from designers Emanuele Briano and Alessandro Ciceri as an August 2019 release, yet the game doesn't yet seem to be on the market. Here's an overview of this 3-5 player game:

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In 15 Men (on a dead man's chest), a group of dangerous old sea dogs will dispute control of a sea vessel and its precious treasury. Who will win out in the end? The brave captain and his faithful companion, or the mutineers?

15 Men is an intrigue game in which the players carry out their roles in secret, while the captain tries to keep control of the vessel with the help of his guards and faithful sailors. During the game, each player tries to corrupt the sailors who have not yet taken a side, and each sailor has a unique ability that the one who corrupts them can use to change the cards on the table.

Once all the doubloons have been spent, some pirates might be killed in a gunfight, then the team with more victory points takes control of the vessel, sending everyone else to the plank and the sharks waiting in the water below...

• In a July 2019 Facebook post, CMON Limited announced a partnership with IDW Games to release a Dragon Ball Z tabletop game in 2020. From the announcement:

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Leveraging IDW's creative partnership with Toei Animation and CMON's masterful work in game design and miniature production, Dragon Ball Z Miniature Mayhem will be a fast-paced, dice-driven, battle royale.

Players will get to create their dream "what if" showdowns as many of the iconic heroes and villains will face off against each other in an effort to determine who's the strongest fighter in the universe.



• In August 2019, designer Andreas Steding tweeted the following, noting that Hansa Teutonica is being redesigned as a game about Chicago mobsters:

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Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Climb Blocks and Mountains, and Avoid Falling Through Space

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• Yes, I'm still catching up on games announced during Gen Con 2019. Publishers, please share info with me in advance and slap an embargo date on that press release! Then I can prepare posts in advance and not be doing this six weeks later.

In any case, during Gen Con 2019 Deep Water Games announced that it had picked up 7 Summits from designers Adrian Adamescu and Daryl Andrews, a title that had originally been announced from Mayday Games. An overview of the setting and gameplay:

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In 7 Summits, players take on the roles of a team of world class mountain climbers. By the effective management and use of drafted dice, players upgrade their equipment, advance in skill, and ascend the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.

At the beginning of each round, the first player rolls the dice, then each player selects dice to use to either climb a mountain or improve their equipment, i.e., unlock abilities to aid your way up the mountains. Mountain climbing can be dangerous, so try to make it to plateaus before bad weather hits! Each round, a new weather card is drawn, with the weather affecting one mountain — or possibly all of them!

Once the final weather card has been drawn, the game ends and whoever has the most points wins.
Love the Kwanchai Moriya cover that amps up the vertigo and heightens the feeling of hypoxia. Blarg!

• Somewhat along the same lines, at least thematically, is The Climbers: Family Edition from Holger Lanz and Simply Complex, with this version of The Climbers coming with fewer components for a faster playing time and a $40 MSRP, which is important since this item will be exclusive to the U.S. retail chain Barnes & Noble. Publisher Clay Ross notes that this edition of the game includes a special two-player variant.

• I've already posted about Tony Boydell's Lux Aeterna — a 6- to 12-minute real-time solitaire game of not falling into a black hole that will debut at SPIEL '19 from co-publishers Surprised Stare Games and Frosted Games — but the cover image wasn't complete at that time, so I'm showing it off now. You can find a soundtrack for the game here.

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New Game Round-up: Digging Up More Root, and Expanding The Big Book of Madness

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• In its April 2019 Kickstarter campaign for Root: The Underworld Expansion (KS link), which adds two new factions to the Root base game, publisher Leder Games offered an add-on item titled "new automated factions". Those factions have now been upgraded to a complete product — Root: The Clockwork Expansion from Benjamin Schmauss and Cole Wehrle — which bears a Q4 2019 release date and this description:

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Root: The Clockwork Expansion allows players to square off against four fiendishly automated factions. Insert a faction to round out a low-player count game or team up for co-operative play! Compete against the:

—Mechanical Marquise 2.0 - Dodge her marauding patrols as you try to stop her from completing her building tracks.
—Electric Eyrie: Shore up the Woodland's defenses against this fearsome invader. If they go unchallenged, the Woodland will soon be flooded with their forces.
—Automated Alliance - Police these radicals and raze their bases before a little uprising turns into a massive rebellion.
—Vagabot - Hunt the dastardly Vagabot across the many clearings of the game or attempt to court him with items.

• Another expansion sort of along the same lines is One Night Ultimate: Bonus Roles, which collects all of the extra characters created for the various One Night Ultimate titles from Bézier Games and puts them in a single box that will debut at SPIEL '19 in October.

IELLO has announced that The Big Book of Madness: The Vth Element, the long awaited expansion for Maxime Rambourg's 2015 release The Big Book of Madness, will debut in February 2020. This expansion includes two modules that can be used independently or combined, with "phobia cards" being madness cards that include a permanent constraint on the holder while the "Dark Matter" module adds the "Vth Element" along with the Dark Book, Dark Curses, Dark Monsters, and new magicians.


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Ticket to Ride Heads to Japan and Italy in New Map Collection

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For the fifteenth anniversary of Alan R. Moon's Ticket to Ride, publisher Days of Wonder has already released Ticket to Ride: 15th Anniversary Special Edition (a new edition of the base game with translucent trains) and Ticket to Ride: London, and now it's announced Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 7 – Japan & Italy. Here's an overview of this new expansion:

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Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 7 – Japan & Italy includes a double-sided game board — the longest yet in the Map Collection series — that features Japan on one side and Italy on the other.

In the Japan half of the expansion, some routes are reserved for the Bullet Train network, and once such a route is claimed, it can be used by all players to complete destination tickets. To claim such a route, discard a number of cards equal to the length of the route with all the card being the same color, then mark the route with a single Bullet Train miniature; instead of scoring points for such a route, advance your marker on the separate Bullet Train track as many spaces as the length of this route. At the end of the game, whoever has contributed the most to this shared project receives the largest bonus, with the player who contributes least being penalized.

This game board also has a small inlay for the Tokyo subway system, so players are effectively working on two networks at once. You might have a ticket that lists a city outside Tokyo and a station with Tokyo, and you need to complete a route from that other city to Tokyo, then from the central Tokyo station to that particular subway station.




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In Italy, the game board is divided into regions, and players score bonus points based on how many regions they connect in their network, with three regions — Sardegna, Sicilia, and Puglia — counting as two regions in your tally. If you have separate networks, then you score each one separately.

The board also introduces a new type of ferry route. On this game board, all gray routes are ferry routes, with these routes having 1-4 spaces marked with a wave symbol. To cover a wave symbol, you must play a locomotive or a ferry card from your hand (in addition to the other cards needed to claim this route); a ferry card is a special type of card that can be drafted on its own on your turn, and it contains two wave symbols, so it can be used on its own to cover two symbols on a route.

The player trains and game cards from Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe are needed to play this expansion.



Rules for both game boards are live on the Days of Wonder website. In a press release announcing this expansion, Moon says, "With this expansion, players will discover two very big maps. However, while Italy does really play big, Japan feels very fast and small because of the Bullet train variation. I hope that means it has something for everyone!"

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 7 – Japan & Italy will debut at SPIEL '19 in October ahead of a retail release in Europe in November 2019 and in the North America in January 2020. This expansion retails for US$40/€40, and the Italian market will have a special edition of the game in which the countries highlighted on the box are flipped. Smart idea!


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Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:33 pm
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New Game Round-up: Stock Goods in Adventure Mart, and Explore a Qwixx Remix

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• BGG's SPIEL '19 Preview is nearing nine hundred titles, and we still have six more weeks of announcements ahead of us. Many of these new games are spinoffs of existing titles or game lines, as with Jumbo's Spies & Lies: A Stratego Story, which I previewed recently, and the "new" "board game" Qwixx On Board from Steffen Benndorf, Reinhard Staupe, and German publisher NSV.

I credit Qwixx with being the title that kicked off the roll-and-write trend, and this game for 2-4 players seems to retain that element of play, although details are sketchy for now:

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Qwixx On Board features rules identical to Qwixx, with the addition of a game board in which players want to move their pawn forward, occupy spaces, tactically cross out numbers, avoid misrolls, and bring about the end of the game, point by point.

• Publisher Palm Court ran a Kickstarter (link) for Wavelength — a mind-reading-ish party game from Alex Hague, Justin Vickers, and Wolfgang Warsch that features the coolest cover artwork ever — in early 2019, and now Asmodee North America has picked up the game for distribution in the U.S. in Q4 2019. For details on the gameplay, check out my preview from PAX Unplugged 2018.

IELLO has set a December 2019 release date for Heroes of Stalingrad, a design by Yann and Clem of Devil Pig Games that was funded on Kickstarter (link) in April 2018 and finally making its way to market.

• In other IELLO news, the company has a game in the works titled Flying Goblins about which I can do no more than point to this cover image from Tomek Larek in January 2019:




• While at UK Games Expo at the start of June 2019, Rory O'Connor and Michael Fox from Hub Games checked out a prototype of Adventure Mart, which designer/publisher DigiSprite had just launched on Kickstarter (KS link). O'Connor was so smitten with the game that he signed it for release directly from Hub Games, with the title to debut at UK Games Expo 2020 in June. Here's an overview of the game, which Hub plans to demo at Gen Con 2019 and SPIEL '19:

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Adventure Mart is a deck-building store management game set in a modern, high fantasy world in which 2-4 players compete to create the wealthiest store, selling powerful and exotic stock to a host of strange and diverse customers and hiring unique and talented employees to help out!

In more detail, each player takes on the role of an Adventure Mart manager, setting up shop in a new town near the latest dungeon to be uncovered and competing for the business of adventurers from the local guilds. The game takes place over the course of five days (turns). Each day, players can purchase new stock to improve their store and deck, hire employees to help secure sales and interact with other players, and initiate sales with customers.

Adventure Marts never stay open for long, though! They pop up where they're needed, make as much money as they can, then move on to a new location. This means that after a week of competition with the other players, your stores will be liquidated, then the player with the most accumulated wealth wins.

Demo at the UK Games Expo 2019 (image from van00uber)
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Mon Sep 9, 2019 1:00 pm
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New (Old) Game Round-up: Explore Reefs in Malaysia, Cruise in the Mediterranean, and Ditch Work in Argentina

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• At the start of each year, I bring my inbox to zero — well, zero-ish — but as the year progresses and the needs of convention preparation and coverage overtake everything else, my inbox fills up with all sorts of random game-related items, such as this June 2019 announcement of Reef Stakes, an independently released card game that few on this site will ever see in real life. Here's an overview of what's going on in the game:

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Reef Stakes is the first marine-themed, role-playing card game in Malaysia. Designed by young professionals in the conservation workspace, the game is designed to mimic real-life stakeholder relationships, introduce some of Malaysia's most iconic marine species, and highlight threats to coral reefs. The game goes along two tracks: nature and development.

To begin, each player chooses one of six roles (conservationist, developer, natural resource manager, tourism operator, politician and fisherman) at random. Each role is assigned three specific missions to achieve in the game which corresponds to priorities in real life. For example, all three of the conservationist's priorities are related to nature while the tourism operator is interested in both nature and development.

Seven cards are distributed to each player. The building up of the game revolves around a "rock" card where players build in either the nature track or the development track (level 1 to level 4). To win the game, players have to play all three specific mission cards (level 5) on the board. However, since some priorities overlap, players have to communicate, work together, or even sabotage to place their best cards on the table. Sabotage comes in the form of scenario cards that thwart the advancement of a track.
• Another item that I've had open in a browser tab for months, confident that I'll write about it some time, is Bienvenue à bord, a design by the "Tokyo Boys" team of Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc, and Théo Rivière that was released by "publisher" Capitaine Meeple — and I put publisher in quotes because Capitaine Meeple's primary business is cruise organization, with its initial cruise taking place in March 2019 around the Mediterranean Sea. Cruise attendees received a copy of this two-player game as part of the cruise package. Here's an overview of play:

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As cruise organizers in Bienvenue à bord, the two players must manage the reception of travelers in the cabins of their boat.

Each round, one player is the dealer, drawing three cards face up, then splitting them into two groups. The other player chooses one group for themself, while the dealer receives the remaining group. Cards are of three main types:

—Cabin cards allow you to "open" one or more cabins on your boat, with cabins existing in three levels; once you've opened a cabin, it's now ready to receive passengers.
—Passenger cards must immediately be placed into open cabins. Each placed passenger gives a certain number of positive or negative victory points (VPs) or a specific symbol; additionally, each passenger wants a certain level of cabin, and the bonuses vary depending on whether this requirement is fulfilled.
—Objective cards give endgame points based on various criteria.

After each of the five rounds, one of four "stopover" cards is revealed and resolved. Whoever has the most of a certain element — passengers, open cabins, etc. — receives 6 VPs. When the game ends, players receive additional points based on symbols they've collected and objectives they've met.
The next Capitaine Meeple tour takes place Oct. 18-25, 2020, so if you aren't attending SPIEL '20, yet are still in the vicinity, you can go on a cruise instead.

Lunes is a solitaire game that was released in late 2018 from designers Aibel Nassif and Julián Tunni and Argentinian publisher Super Noob Games, and in concept it seems like the bookend to Friedemann Friese's solitaire game Finished!

In Finished!, you're at work laying out all your projects (cards) on the table bit by bit, trying to get everything in the right order before you run out of coffee. In Lunes, Spanish for "Monday", you're trying to avoid getting caught by your boss so that you can cut out of the office once you finish the essentials for the day. In more detail:

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In each round, you move your peg through the corridors of the office (which is a modular board), and your boss will perform movements through an AI comprised of action cards and automated movement. Before you can leave the building, you have to reach the printers and get reports to deliver to your colleagues, who will then cover your escape and reward you with useful objects to achieve your goal.

You may play on predetermined office maps with specific difficulty levels, or you can let chance be the architect of your next office.

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Sun Sep 8, 2019 1:00 pm
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Collect Tiles Once Again, This Time for Azul: Summer Pavilion

W. Eric Martin
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Have you tiled everything in your household yet? Probably not, but you can't blame your lack of tiling on designer Michael Kiesling and publisher Next Move Games because they're doing their utmost to ensure that you will never want to stop tiling, following up the 2017 release of the multi-award-winning Azul and 2018's Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra with the next standalone game in the series — Azul: Summer Pavilion.

Let's start with the thematic setting to get you in the tiling mood:

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At the turn of the 16th Century, King Manuel I commissioned Portugal's greatest artisans to construct grandiose buildings. After completing the Palaces of Evora and Sintra, the king sought to build a summer pavilion to honor the most famous members of the royal family. This construction was intended for the most talented artisans — whose skills meet the splendor that the royal family deserves. Sadly, King Manuel I died before construction ever began.

In Azul: Summer Pavilion, players return to Portugal to accomplish the task that never began. As a master artisan, you must use the finest materials to create the summer pavilion while carefully avoiding wasting supplies. Only the best will rise to the challenge to honor the Portuguese royal family.



The basics of Azul: Summer Pavilion will be familiar to anyone who's played either earlier title: Draft tiles, whether from individual factories or a central location, then use those tiles to complete features on an individual game board. The difference is all in the details:

• The game lasts six rounds, and one of the six colors of tiles is wild in each round.
• Whenever you draft tiles, you can't draft the wild color — but if one or more wild tiles are present in the factory you've chosen or the central location, then you must take one wild tile along with your chosen tile(s).
• The first player to draft tiles from the center becomes starting player for the next round, but loses points equal to the number of tiles claimed.
• All of the tiles you draft are placed beside your game board instead of immediately being played on the board.
• Once all the tiles have been drafted, players take turns placing one tile on their board, with the "cost" for that tile depending on where it's placed. Each board depicts seven stars, with each star having spaces for six tiles, with each space showing a number from 1-6; six of the stars are for tiles of a single color while the seventh will be composed of one tile of each color. To place a tile on the blue 5, for example, you must discard five blue or wild tiles from next to your player board (with at least one blue being required), placing one blue tile in the blue 5 space and the rest in the discard tower. You score 1 point for this tile and 1 point for each tile within this star connected to the newly placed tile.




• If you place a tile that completes the surrounding of a pillar, statue, or window on your game board with tiles, you immediately take 1-3 tiles from the central supply (which starts with ten tiles each round) and place those bonus tiles next to your board.
• You can carry over at most four tiles to the next round, with you losing 1 point for each tile you discard without playing.
• At the end of six rounds, you score a bonus for each of the seven stars that you've filled completely. Additionally, you score a bonus for having covered all seven spaces of value 1, 2, 3 or 4. You lose 1 point for each remaining tile unused.

As in the original Azul, the backside of the player board allows you more freedom as to what to place where, although this might entail the freedom to hang yourself as was sometimes the case when you ended up needing the same pattern in a row or column. Specifically, the backside of the Azul: Summer Pavilion game board lets you choose to make multiple multicolor stars (but with only one tile of each color) or multiple stars of the same color.

Azul: Summer Pavilion will first appear in an English/German edition, with the game debuting at SPIEL '19 in October.

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17 Comments
Tue Sep 3, 2019 4:06 pm
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