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Build an Island in Anno 1800, Get the Tracks Right in Switch & Signal, and Prepare for New Adventure from KOSMOS

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: KOSMOS
Time to survey the games coming in the latter half of 2020 from German publisher KOSMOS, starting with Anno 1800, an adaptation of the Anno 1800 PC game from Ubisoft by designer Martin Wallace. This design is for 2-4 players, takes 120 minutes, retails for €50, and is due out in October 2020.

Here's a summary of the gameplay:
In Anno 1800, you continuously build up your own industry to develop your home island.

Board Game: Anno 1800

Ship fleets allow for lively trade and the development of new islands in the Old and New World. You have to fulfill the wishes of your own population. While the inhabitants are initially satisfied with bread and clothing, they soon demand valuable luxury goods. You must plan production chains sensibly and keep an eye on the specialization of your population. The goal: A wise distribution of farmers, workers, craftsmen, engineers, and investors — but the competition never sleeps and can snatch the new achievements from under your nose at any time! Who can create the most prosperous island?
Board Game: Anno 1800

Switch & Signal is a 2-4 player co-operative game from David Thompson, who is best known for War Chest and the Undaunted game series, all of which were co-designed with Trevor Benjamin.

This title is a solo design from Thompson, and it's a more developed version of a game under the same name that he released online in 2014. In Thompson's words, "At a super-high level, the overall description of the two games would be about the same (co-op trained themed, pick-up-and-deliver, etc). The actual specific rules changed quite a bit in regards to how actions work, the board was completely reworked, etc." Here's an overview of the 2020 release from KOSMOS:
Who is best to keep track of things? There is an incredible amount of traffic on the rails! It's pretty relaxed at first, but the more trains that are put on the game board, the tighter it gets. Has the course been set correctly? Is the train really on the right route? Is the signal green?

Board Game: Switch & Signal

The railways run at different speeds in Switch & Signal, so players have to coordinate well to transport goods to their destination without wasting time. The journey goes across Europe, North America, and Canada. Thanks to simple rules, the game can start right away. Time is running out...
Blätterrauschen ("Rustling Leaves") from Paolo Mori is KOSMOS' entry into the roll-and-write genre, and it bears this short description:
For every season — spring, summer, autumn, and winter — there is a themed game sheet with different rules. The numbers on the dice reveal the side lengths of the area marked on the game sheet. In this area, a forest symbol is selected that is included in the scoring. Whoever collects the most points wins.
Board Game: Blätterrauschen

Board Game: Adventure Games: Die Akte Gloom City
Board Game: Adventure Games: Grand Hotel Abaddon
Board Game: Die Legenden von Andor: Die verschollenen Legenden "Düstere Zeiten"
Board Game: Catan: Starfarers – 5-6 Player Extension
• The Adventure Games series is continuing with two new releases: Grand Hotel Abaddon, due out in September 2020, has you investigating strange events in an old building, while Die Akte Gloom City ("The Gloom City Files") tasks you with solving a crime noir thriller.

Die Legenden von Andor: Die verschollenen Legenden "Düstere Zeiten" contains three new legends for the Legends of Andor base game, while Catan: Sternenfahrer – Ergänzung 5-6 Spieler allows for up to six players at a time in a game for Catan: Starfarers. Both of these titles are due out in October 2020

• Other titles coming from KOSMOS in the latter half of 2020 include German-language versions of the following:

Board Game: Paris: La Cité de la Lumière
Board Game: Greenville 1989
Board Game: Escape Tales: Low Memory

—Florian Fay's Greenville 1989, a 2019 release that originated from Sorry We Are French
Escape Tales: Low Memory, a Jakub Caban and Bartosz Idzikowski design that Board&Dice released in 2019
—Jose Antonio Abascal Acebo's Paris: La Cité de la Lumière, which Devir debuted in 2019 (video overview from SPIEL '19)
The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle from Kami Mandell and Andrew Wolf, which The Op first released in English in 2017

• Finally, the children's game Dodo from Frank Bebenroth and Marco Teubner was shifted from an early 2020 release to October, but since the game was on display at the Spielwarenmesse toy fair in January 2020, we can show you the game — and its incredibly wobbly dodo egg — in action:

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