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COVID-19 at the Gaming Table IX: Expansions for Carcassonne, Hadara, and Deep Blue; UK Games Expo 2020 Is Off

W. Eric Martin
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Board Game: Deep Blue
• Not all of the material covered in posts like these was made specifically in response to the COVID-19 virus, but since many people are not able to meet with their regular game groups, this feels like a good place to highlight such material, such as "The Captain Returns" scenario that designers Daniel Skjold Pedersen and Asger Harding Granerud have created for their 2019 Days of Wonder release Deep Blue.

Pedersen tells me that the goal was to make this scenario playable without the need for additional components: "We have been working on the scenario since last December, so that decision is not related to Covid-19, but I am the more happier with it now that a lot of people are stuck at home without access to printing facilities."

"The Captain Returns" is a scenario for 1-3 players that you can download from the BGG game page. Says Pedersen, "I have taken a lot of inspiration from my fellow Dane Morten Monrad Pedersen and his team's Automa work over the years. Morten always talks about creating bots that push up against you in key interaction points. In Deep Blue, those interactions are happening on the market row of cards where the Captain will remove cards from play and add gems to the bag, and they are happening racing for scouting spots on dive sites and the initiative to dive."

Board Game: Oriflamme
Board Game: WineIQ
• Somewhat similarly, Studio H has released two-player rules for the 2020 French game of the year Oriflamme that you can download from the BGG game page in English and French.

• Swiss publisher Helvetiq has followed its COVID-19 version of Bandido (covered here) with a print-and-play version of its 2016 trivia game Wine IQ.

Board Game: Carcassonne
• German publisher Hans im Glück has released print-and-play expansions for two games.

In Carcassonne: The Land Surveyors, available for download here in English and German, surveyors roam the land, changing the value of roads, cities, and monasteries when they're scored.

More specifically, you'll create a stack of surveyor tiles for each of these three landscape features, with one tile being active for each feature and one tile being the next in line. When at least one feature scores points for any player, you resolve everything based on the currently active tiles, then you place those tiles on the bottom of their stacks, making the next-in-tile of each type the active tile. Some tiles give you bonuses, others penalties, so time the scoring carefully while the surveyors are on your side!

Board Game: Carcassonne: The Land Surveyors

Board Game: Hadara
• With the timely Hadara: The Plague Doctors, downloadable in English and German here, each player gets access to two doctors who bring things both good and bad to your world.

After the "carving of a statue" action in phase A, you can choose to take the doctor of the matching Epoch, I or II, and place it on a color of your choice on your game board, regardless of whether you have cards of that color or not. For the remainder of the game, you cannot add cards of the plague-stricken color to your board. The plague doctor in Epoch I is worth 12 VP, while the one in Epoch II is worth 8 VP on its own or 13 VP if you have both doctors.

Board Game Event: UK Games Expo 2020
• In late March 2020, UK Games Expo moved its 2020 show from May 29-31 to August 21-23 — but now the 2020 show has been cancelled for good, with the next UKGE taking place in 2021. Here's an excerpt from the announcement:
Quote:
Since making that announcement we have been monitoring the situation with regard to the current Covid-19 virus pandemic. After long deliberation and with great reluctance, the directors of UK Games Expo have decided to cancel the 2020 UK Games Expo. This decision has been made after considering national advice and government directives with regard to the Covid-19 virus pandemic, the expected closure of large venues and the probable duration of the infection. We reached our conclusions following consultation with sponsors, show partners and our venues.

We consider that a cancellation at this stage maximises the chances to both protect the health and well-being of all our attendees but also the financial viability of our exhibitors and the UK Games Expo itself and gives the best opportunity for attendees to recover any secondary costs. This allows us the best opportunity to hold a successful show in 2021.
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