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New Game Round-up: Sell Goods and Goats on the Dark Road to Hogwarts

W. Eric Martin
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Board Game: Merchants of the Dark Road
• At GAMA Expo 2020, Brent Dickman of Elf Creek Games shared a few words with me about Merchants of the Dark Road, a design by Brian Suhre for 1-4 players that plays in 60-120 minutes and that's currently scheduled to hit Kickstarter in April 2020. Here's an overview of who you are and what you do in the game:
Quote:
After half a year of daylight, we must now prepare for the dark season. The roads will be treacherous but they will still need to be braved by a select few in order to keep our cities thriving. In Merchants of the Dark Road, you are one of these brave few merchants that travel the dangerous paths between cities. While the job is perilous, fame and fortune await.

Discover the capital city where most of your actions will take place using a rondel action system. Collect and produce items to add to your caravan, or sell these items to local heroes and hire them to travel with you. Manipulate the market price of items, visit the back alley sellers, or delve a nearby dungeon for magical items to gain the potential for even more coin and notoriety.

Gather lanterns to ease your passage along the dark roads as you guide your caravan to distant villages. Deliver goods and heroes to the best destinations and gain fame for your bravery! Balance the money you earn with the height of your fame because your final score after a number of game rounds will reflect the lowest of these two values.

After all, what good is a purse full of the coin if the people don’t sing songs about you, and what good is a song with an empty mug of ale?
One of these brave few merchants that travel the dangerous paths between cities? Sounds like a game about modern times, although I wouldn't have thought that even two weeks ago when I first heard about the game.

Board Game Publisher: BoardGameTables.com
• U.S. publisher BoardGameTables.com has teased a set of three small games in its newsletters, with Mountain Goats being a reimplementation of Stefan Risthaus' Level X from 2010, GPS being a reimplementation of Hartmut Kommerell's Finito! from 2008, and Sequoia being an area-majority game for 2-5 players that plays in ten minutes and that publisher Chad DeShon describes as "Can't Stop meets Las Vegas".

Level X and Finito! were both part of Schmidt Spiele's "Easy Play" line, which ran from 2008 to 2012, as was Big Points, which BoardGameTables.com revamped and released in early 2020 as Bites.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
From gallery of W Eric Martin
From gallery of W Eric Martin

Board Game: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle
• U.S. publisher The Op (formerly USAopoly) has announced that it will release a second expansion for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle titled The Charms and Potions Expansion, with the primary draw of this item possibly being Ginny Weasley as a new playable character that will allow you to have five wizards at the table at the same time. Here's what else you'll find in the box:
Quote:
Enhance your experience with charm abilities to aid you as you battle new villains, such as such as Pansy Parkinson and Marcus Flint, and encounter even more challenges. Trouble is brewing, so only by working together will you be able to protect the Wizarding World from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named thanks to the new spells, items, and allies you'll find in the four new packs of content.
The Charms and Potions Expansion is due out "soon", whatever that might be, and The Op also plans to release Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle card sleeves that you can use on this title or really whatever game you want given that we lack a Department of Magical Law Enforcement in this world.

Board Game: Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Charms and Potions Expansion
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