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Alexander Pfister Prepares CloudAge, While Capstone Readies Iberian Gauge for Another Run

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: Capstone Games
Board Game Publisher: Nanox Games
Given the lack of conventions in 2020, many game publishers are hosting their own events in order to shine a spotlight on their newly released games and upcoming titles. U.S. publisher Capstone Games, for example, hosted "Camp Capstone" the weekend of August 15-16, 2020, and in addition to having live playthroughs of its July 2020 release Ride the Rails and the upcoming 2020 releases Curious Cargo, Renature (which I previewed here), and New York Zoo (preview video from BGG here), Capstone revealed two other future releases.

The more unexpected of these two releases is CloudAge, a 1-4 player game from designers Alexander Pfister and Arno Steinwender and new Austrian publisher Nanox Games. Here's an overview of the setting and gameplay:
Fifteen years ago, the mysterious secret society "Cloud" sabotaged countless oil production sites to destabilize the world. The resulting environmental catastrophe had disastrous effects on the entire planet. Now, years later, you travel above the dried-out landscape in your airships, searching for a better life. You visit cities, send out drones to collect resources, and battle Cloud militia.

An innovative sleeving mechanism makes a new, more immersive, form of resource gathering possible. Players try to predict which cloud-covered terrain will contain the desired amount of resources, or where additional actions are possible. Resources allow players to develop useful upgrades for their airships, or attract new crew members.

Board Game: CloudAge

CloudAge is a mix of engine-building, deck-building, and resource management. The campaign system makes it easy to start playing quickly, with new elements being introduced into the game as players progress through the chapters. While you play, you also experience and help guide the story. If you prefer, you can also play standalone story spin-offs as single scenarios.
Pfister notes that CloudAge is lighter than Great Western Trail and Maracaibo and heavier than Isle of Skye, making the game something like a "Kennerspiel Plus" in his words.

The German edition of CloudAge will be co-published by Nanox and dlp games, with dlp games additionally having an English-language edition of CloudAge that it will distribute in Europe.

"Camp Capstone" closed with an interview with Pfister about CloudAge, with some details about a Maracaibo expansion in the closing minutes:

[Update, August 18, 2020: Arno Steinwender is co-designer of CloudAge, but his name is not included on the initial box design, something that publisher Nanox Games told me it's correcting.]

Board Game: Iberian Gauge
• Capstone Games also announced the third title in its "Iron Rails" game series, a series that started in 2019 with a new edition of Tom Russell's Irish Gauge and continued with the aforementioned Ride the Rails. This third title will be a new edition of Iberian Gauge, another Tom Russell design, which Winsome Games first released in 2017. Here's the typically brief Winsome summary of the game:
Iberian Gauge is for 3-5 players, and stock ownership is an important factor in this game, with each shareholder expanding the railroad. There are five railroads in the game, and leased track, stock value bonuses and connection bonuses add to the drive for expansion. Most cash + stock value wins this game, which lasts about 90 minutes.
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