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New Game Round-up: Yet More Feld in 2013, A New Expedition from Kramer, Rossi's Road Rally & Steding's Five Points

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Bruges
• Don't have enough Stefan Feld designs coming your way in 2013, despite alea's Bora Bora and Pegasus Spiele's Rialto being on the release calendar? Well, you're in luck as German publisher Hans im Glück has a Feld design of its own due out this year, a 2-4 player game for ages 10+ that plays in sixty minutes titled Brügge. A brief on the game:

Bruges in the 15th century – culture and commerce flourish and make the Belgian Hanseatic city into one of the wealthiest cities in Europe.

In Brügge, players assume the role of merchants who must maintain their relationships with those in power in the city while competing against one another for influence, power and status. Dramatic events cast their shadows over the city, with players needing to worry about threats to their prosperity from more than just their opponents...

On a turn, a player chooses one of his cards and performs an action, with seven different actions being available. In principle, every action can be used with every card – but the color of the card determines the strength of the chosen action, e.g., blue cards provide additional workers (one of the resources). All of the action is geared toward the gathering of prestige, with the most prestigious merchant winning in the end.
A side note for those in the U.S. who travel to Europe for Spiel or other occasions: Stop in Bruges if you can as the city is gorgeous, and while in town head to the Groeningemuseum to see Bosch's "The Last Judgment", which is gorgeous in a whole different way.

Board Game: Bora Bora
• Speaking of Bora Bora, alea's Stefan Brück notes on the Spielbox forum that the game is going to production in ISO week 4 (i.e., the week of January 21) and should be in stores in Germany by ISO week 6 (mid-February) And in case you're not aware, the German rules (PDF) were posted on Ravensburger's website on Jan. 15, 2013.

• Wolfgang Kramer's Expedition, which had evolved from his earlier design Wildlife Adventure, is evolving once again under the auspices of publisher 8th Summit, which plans to release Expedition: Famous Explorers in December 2013. The publisher hasn't released details about how exactly this new version differs from earlier ones, but a summary of what's new is included in this description:

Expedition: Famous Explorers is an updated version of two award-winning Wolfgang Kramer games – Wildlife Adventure and Expedition – with a new theme: discovery and exploration. Players lead three expeditions to various locations by placing arrows on a map. When an expedition arrives at a location that matches either a location card held by that player or a public location, that player scores that card by placing it in front of him.

Expedition: Famous Explorers retains all the core rules of earlier versions of the game, but adds optional advanced rules that allow players to score additional points based upon purchasable Explorer and Assistant cards. Another game mechanism introduces Secret Locations.
Board Game: Five Points: Gangs of New York
• At the 2011 NY Toy Fair, U.S. publisher Mayfair Games included the Andreas Steding title Five Points in its catalog, but the game didn't appear in print later that year. The game was included in the Mayfair offerings once again at the 2012 NY Toy Fair, as mentioned in this BGGN post, with a release date of Q4 2012 or early 2013. Well, your opportunity to control hordes of angry New Yorkers doing an imitation of the Axe Gang is nearly upon you as Mayfair has now set a May 2013 release date for Five Points: Gangs of New York. Here's an overview of the game:

The name "Five Points" evokes images of poverty, rampant crime, decadence and despair. That's true. The Five Points area of New York in the mid-1800s was a lurid geographical cancer filled with dilapidated and unlivable tenement houses, gang extortion, corrupt politicians, dance halls and drunkenness and gambling. This was a place where all manner of crime flourished, the residents were terrorized and squalor prevailed. This is the setting over many decades through the nineteenth century.

Five Points: Gangs of New York is a game of struggle for political control of Manhattan in the mid-19th century. As the leader of a powerful political faction, you manipulate gangs and influence politicians behind the scenes to seize control. Effective use of your resources will gain influence, win elections, and let you control the destiny of New York; fail and you will be less than a footnote to history.

Several tools lie at your disposal if you have the strength to acquire and use them. Your loyal rabble will execute your will. Controlling districts with your rabble could give you access to a limited number of important buildings: Tammany Hall, Board of Elections, 5th Ward Offices and many others. Your control of these buildings may provide influence and special powers. Bid for control of election-influencing manipulations that may swing the vote.

In Manhattan, your burgeoning political machine may affect politics in America's great city for over 100 years. At the heart of this machine are the gangs of New York who enforce the will of the bosses and determine elections before the first vote is cast.
Board Game: Road Rally USA
• Mayfair also announced the March 2013 release of Road Rally USA from designer Carlo A. Rossi, who like Feld also has two other games coming out in early 2013: Im großen Zauberwald and Ab in die Tonne. Here's a summary of the goal and gameplay:

Do you feel the need for speed? If so, Road Rally USA has you covered! Simply pressing the accelerator is not enough, as you must be efficient, managing your fuel and coming in first at your optimal checkpoints to maximize your score. Thus, you need to race and maneuver to be in the proper position when scoring your checkpoints.

Try as you might, it's impossible to maintain the lead throughout the race – and truth be told, while being first at the end of the race helps, placing first at your scoring locations is even more important. Every turn someone could trigger a scoring point. Where will you be as you and your opponents control which checkpoints will score and which get bypassed?

Each racer plays from identical draw decks, playing multiple cards of the same color to provide a boost of speed. Beware as you may reshuffle your deck only at gas stations along the way, and when your hand or draw pile are depleted, you are in for trouble. Race smart and bring home the gold!
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