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Welcome New Factions to the Woodland, Survive on Mars, Prepare for a Siege, and Return to the West Kingdom

Candice Harris
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Board Game: Root
Patrick Leder, Cole Wehrle, and the creative team at Leder Games have cooked up yet another savory Root delight: Root: The Marauder Expansion, which I'm thrilled to announce is coming to Kickstarter (KS link) on February 23, 2021:
Quote:
Root: The Marauder Expansion introduces two new factions and new gameplay options:

• The Warlord is both charismatic and terrifying. He rules over a vast horde of warriors recently arrived to the woodland and is interested only in its domination. To help speed his conquest, he lights massive fires which can spread throughout the woods and destroy the buildings of other factions. The Warlord also interacts with crafted items, which he can plunder from players. These items increase his strength, but also cause him to develop an increasingly fearsome monomania.

• The Stone Seekers are strangers to the Woodland, here only to recover the scattered and lost relics of an ancient civilization. The Seekers work to establish way-stations across the woodland and form alliances with other factions in hopes of recovering their relics more quickly. They will often find themselves deep within enemy territory as they search for their relics. Thankfully their finely crafted armor makes them difficult to dislodge.

From gallery of Cole Wehrle
image posted by Cole Wehrle

Both of these factions are suitable to Root's two-player game, bringing the total number of two-player factions up to five without the use of bots.

Root: The Marauder Expansion also introduces a new level to the conflict for the woodland: minor factions! These small factions can be used at any player count and introduce surprising new power combinations as well as a chess-like tension to lower player count games of Root.

Finally, The Marauder Expansion also includes a new set-up draft system suitable for both casual and competitive play.
In true Leder fashion, Cole, Patrick and Joshua Yearsley have already posted a few designer diaries (Designer Diary 1, Designer Diary 2, Designer Diary 3) sharing Root's backstory and fascinating insight on the development of the The Marauder Expansion. I'll try to contain my drool as we await updates from Leder Games.

Board Game Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon Games
Board Game: On Mars
Vital Lacerda and Eagle-Gryphon Games are sending us back to Mars with a new co-operative expansion for On Mars called Surviving Mars, which is targeted for a Kickstarter campaign around May 2021.

There aren't too many details available yet as you will notice from the brief description below, but I love the idea of having more heavy co-operative game options to play. It also seems like a great way to ease players who might otherwise be intimidated into Lacerda games. Here's what we know:
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Surviving Mars is a short story expansion to On Mars made in four chapters with four different modes of play, and it uses elements of the Paradox digital game by the same name.

 
Draft cover posted by the publisher

The short story is called "Alien Invasion" and contemplates the following Chapters and modes of play:

Chapter 1 - The Invasion - 1 vs All - 3 to 5 players
Chapter 2 - Outbreak - Co-Op - 2 to 4 players
Chapter 3 - Power Shortage - Co-Op - 2 to 4 players
Chapter 4 - Monolith - Solo - 1 player
Board Game Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
Board Game: War Chest
• In 2020, I fell in love with Trevor Benjamin and David Thompson's Undaunted releases (Undaunted: Normandy and Undaunted: North Africa) from Osprey Games. In true Candice-fashion, I ended up ferociously digging around BGG to see what else they designed, which led me to discovering the abstract, bag-building strategy game War Chest from AEG and the same dynamic designer duo, which also became an instant hit with me.

Naturally, I was pumped to hear that War Chest: Siege, the second expansion for War Chest, is available for retail pre-order and will be released in March 2021. Here's the description of the Siege expansion from the publisher:
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Not all battles are fought on the open field. In many cases defenders hide behind the thick walls of mighty castles. Now is the time to prepare for siege! As castles grew larger and stronger throughout the middle ages, new ways evolved to scale, knock down, and even undermine their walls.

Board Game: War Chest: Siege

In War Chest: Siege, you will be confronted with fortified locations. Fear not, though, as you have siege towers and trebuchets at your disposal and hardy sappers to both build your own fortifications and undermine your opponents'. Can you successfully return to the battlefield with your war engines in this ingenious and engaging game of tactics and strategy?
In more detail, the Siege expansion comes with four new units (shown below), fortification coins, and fortification map cards. During set-up, you randomly select one of the six map cards to determine where the initial four fortifications will be placed. The fortifications aren't units, but can be attacked like units.

The Sapper, one of the new units, allows players to build additional fortifications throughout the game. The other three new units (Siege Tower, Trebuchet, War Wagon) introduce siege weapons and tactics to War Chest to further spice things up.

From gallery of candidrum
From gallery of candidrum

From gallery of candidrum
From gallery of candidrum
New unit card images provided by David Thompson

From reading the Siege expansion rulebook, I can already tell the addition of siege weapons/tactics and fortifications will add a lot of variety and refreshing, new choices to War Chest — and with the added bonus of minimal, additional rules to learn. I'm very much looking forward to playing this!

Board Game Publisher: Garphill Games
Board Game: Architects of the West Kingdom
Board Game: Paladins of the West Kingdom
• Two new expansions are coming in 2021 for the ever-popular West Kingdom Trilogy games — Architects of the West Kingdom and Paladins of the West Kingdom — from designers Shem Phillips and S J Macdonald and publisher Garphill Games.

In the Works of Wonder expansion for Architects of the West Kingdom, players compete to build wonders as described below by the publisher:
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In Architects of the West Kingdom: Works of Wonder, builders from far and wide have travelled to partake in the King's latest endeavor: five glorious monuments to beautify the city. However, not just any architect can be entrusted with such a task. Only those of influence and charitable reputation shall receive this great honor. Will you accompany the Princess as she surveys the projects, or rally support from the elusive Profiteer?

Board Game: Architects of the West Kingdom: Works of Wonder

Works of Wonder introduces an extension to the main board to hold the new Contribution/Consequence Cards and keep track of players' Influence. Players compete to construct the five Wonders, while gaining support from the new Princess and Profiteer tokens moving about the main board. Also included is an entirely new solo system with six unique opponents against which to compete.
In the City of Crowns expansion for Paladins of the West Kingdom, players will seek support from noble allies as described below:
Quote:
In Paladins of the West Kingdom: City of Crowns, noble allies have responded to the recent attacks against our borders. Only through careful negotiation and diplomacy will these dukes, barons, counts, and margraves offer the aid we so desperately need. Will you be able to muster enough support to once again defend this great city, or will you crumble beneath the weight of indecision and apathy?

Board Game: Paladins of the West Kingdom: City of Crowns

This expansion adds new extensions for both the main board and player boards. Players have a new attribute to manage and new actions available on each turn.
In either case, I'm looking forward to hearing more about both of these expansions since I've enjoyed my plays of the base games!
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