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Spielwarenmesse 2020: Ravensburger Teases The Castles of Tuscany, Harry Potter Strike Dice Game

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: alea
Lincoln Damerst and I spent our first day at Spielwarenmesse 2020 filming game overviews for publication on our BGG Express channel on YouTube, and one of the titles that will probably most excite BGGers is one of the titles that we learned the least about, this being The Castles of Tuscany from Stefan Feld and alea.

Board Game: The Castles of Tuscany

As at Spielwarenmesse 2019, when Ravensburger showed only a cover for its new version of The Castles of Burgundy, at this show Ravensburger showed only this cover and the one below with no other details about the games being posted.

Ravensburger's André Maack recorded a short, mostly teasery overview of The Castles of Tuscany and said that the game will probably be available in Q3 2020 and that it has some resemblance to The Castles of Burgundy — which was already what I would have expected given the title of the game and its designer.

As for the other alea title being displayed, it's a relaunching of Andreas Seyfarth's Puerto Rico, the exact contents of which were not revealed. Yes, alea already re-launched PR in 2013 with an edition that contained two expansions, but the idea behind the re-launching of the alea brand in 2019 — the twentieth anniversary of the brand — was that all currently available titles that alea would continue to make available would be repackaged with the new look, so here it is:

Board Game: Puerto Rico

This new edition will have two versions — a German one and an English/French one — with these versions announced as being available in Germany, France, and the UK in Q4 2020.

Board Game: Strike
Another Ravensburger title that might be of interest is Harry Potter Strike Dice Game, this being a combination of Dieter Nüßle's Strike and Impact: Battle of the Elements. When I wrote about Impact in 2018, I noted that "The arena is smaller as Ravensburger no longer has the box size of the original Strike in its product line".

Two years after Impact was released, Ravensburger is re-adding that box size to its line to accompany a range of German-language-heavy party games, so it seemed like a good chance to bring Strike back to market with its original bounce-friendly arena, while adding elements of Impact to tie in with the Harry Potter IP that Ravensburger is also using in a line of jigsaw puzzles.

Board Game: Harry Potter Strike Dice Game

For those not familiar with either game, here's a description of the newest title:
In Harry Potter Strike Dice Game, players roll dice into an arena to attempt to cast spells and win dice back from the arena. As long as you have dice in your reserve, you still have a chance to win...

In more detail, each player starts with the same number of six-sided dice, and one die starts in the arena. On a turn, the active player rolls a die into the arena. If no die faces in the arena match, the player can end their turn or roll again; if the player rolls an X (or hits any dice that then show an X face as a result), those dice are removed from play; if two or more dice have matching non-X faces, then the player casts the spell matching the die face, then recovers those matching dice from the arena (unless the spell says to do something different).

If you run out of dice, then you're out of the game. The last player with dice wins!
The spell effects seem to differ from those in Impact, with one spell requiring you to remove from the arena only those dice that don't form the spell, while another makes you pile the remaining dice in the arena into a single stack to give the next player less of an opportunity to make a match.
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