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W. Eric Martin
• Two years after the game's German-only debut, Ravensburger has now released Reiner Knizia's BITS in a multilingual version with rules in English, German, French, Dutch and Italian.
• Steve Jackson Games has announced two new items for release in August 2012: Munchkin Zombies 3: Hideous Hideouts, which adds double-sized dungeon cards that warp the rules of play for particular types of zombies and other cards, and Cthulhu Dice Metäl, which is not afraid to use an umlaut incorrectly in order to bring the appropriate amount of metalness into being. Cthulhu Dice Metäl is being released in bronze, pewter, and nickel with neon green ink versions, and the die is heavy enough to kill a small mouse, should you need to use it for a secondary purpose.
• Dice Hate Me Games has published revised rules for Cherilyn Joy Lee Kirkman's Carnival that should answer everyone's questions about what to do if the deck runs out of cards, if you can't take a certain action, and so on. Rules can be downloaded from DHMG's Carnival page.
• Dice Hate Me Games has also announced that it's picked up Darrell Louder's Compounded for release in mid-2013, with the latest version of the game being available for demo at the Origins Game Fair, May 30-June 3, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio, along with advanced copies of VivaJava: The Coffee Games and future DHMG releases Take the Bait and Soapbox Derby.
Compounded is a game about building chemical compounds through careful management of elements, a fair bit of social play and trading, and just a bit of luck. In Compounded, players take on the roles of lab managers, hastily competing to complete the most compounds before they are completed by others – or destroyed in an explosion. Some compounds are flammable and will grow more and more volatile over time; take too long to gather the necessary elements for those compounds and a lot of hard work will soon be scattered across the lab.
Although Compounded does involve a fair share of press-your-luck tension and certainly some strategic planning, the most successful scientists will often be those who strike a good trade with their fellow lab mates. Players are able to freely trade elements, laboratory tools and even favors – if there is truly honor among chemists!
• Spanish publisher nestorgames has released Stephen Tavener's Web of Flies, a strategy game in which each player has a team of spiders – with each spider's strength represented by its leg count – and they want to take out the opposing team. Each turn, a player must capture a fly or enemy spider, with a spider able to move over friendly pieces and empty spaces in order to capture only those spiders of the same strength or weaker. When the game ends, whoever has the most eight-legged spiders (or seven-legged, six-legged, etc. in the case of a tie) wins.
• ICv2 reports that Fantasy Flight Games will release Dungeon Fighter in August 2012. As previously noted on BGG here and over here, original Italian publisher Cranio Creations is handling the English-language production of the game, with FFG providing distribution in the U.S. For details on the game play, check out Andrea Ligabue's Dungeon Fighter preview on BGGN from October 2011.
• For this post's Kickstarter item, I'll point out Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities, a "hex-based tactical board game set inside a gladiatorial arena" from Adam and Josh J. Carlson and Chip Theory Games. From the BGG game description:
Players have a very clear objective: Eliminate the opponent's champion. Champions start the game in the arena but are inactive and defenseless. They will not fight until the crowd is behind them. Each player takes turns drawing, playing and moving gladiators from their "hand" and assisting them with tactic chips.
Based on opponent's moves and play style, each person will need to adjust their strategies. Defend your champ, take over and hold the crowd favor areas, assault opponent's champion, cover deployment zones, eliminate tactictions to reduce enemy options, fight beasts to gain crowd favor, the list of tactical possibilities is endless.