W. Eric Martin
• U.S. publisher Fantasy Flight Games has announced the third (and most likely last) expansion for its Battlestar Galactica board game: Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak Expansion, due out Q3 2013. Here's an overview of what's in the box:
The Battlestar Galactica, humanity's last beacon of hope, falters and crumbles. A tenuous solidarity between human and Cylon wavers under overwhelming desperation and doubt. For those seeking the promise of peace, a single vessel guards the future. The Demetrius, guided by unknown forces, plots a course through the stars – a course for home. Many would oppose this vision of the future. In this desperate time, both human and Cylon are driven to take matters into their own hands. For some, this means risking everything. For others, this means mutiny.
Battlestar Galactica: Daybreak Expansion brings humanity's plight to its gripping climax. With two supplemental game boards, twelve new character sheets, thirty new Crisis cards, twenty-five new Skill cards, and much more, Daybreak invites players to undertake desperate missions, struggle under the constant threat of mutiny (through the addition of a Mutineer card in the Loyalty deck that can affect either human or Cylon), and bargain with Cylon Leaders driven by motives of their own!
Daybreak also includes rules and components for an optional Battlestar Galactica experience titled "The Search for Home", featuring a new endgame and a new game board for the Demetrius, the sewage processing ship that becomes the fleet's best hope of salvation.
Why do I suggest this is the final expansion? Well, when an expansion "brings humanity's plight to its gripping climax", where else do you go from there? (Besides, what can top being aboard a sewage processing ship?!)
• Designer Andrew Parks is becoming publisher Andrew Parks with the the expected release of Parks' Canterbury in Q4 2013 from his Quixotic Games design studio, which previously only created games for other publishers. The game will include rules in English and German and hit Kickstarter for funding on May 1, 2013. Parks summarizes the game as follows:
Toward the end of the 6th century A.D., King Ethelbert of Kent established the old Roman city of Canterbury as his new capital. In Canterbury, 2 to 4 players represent Saxon Lords who are charged with building the city into a prosperous capital. The Saxon Lords must use the city's meager starting resources to build up the 25 districts of Canterbury and provide key services to its citizens.
The key services are (in order from most basic to most prestigious) water, food, religion, defense, commerce, and culture. As new structures are built in the city, the city grows more prosperous. While each Saxon Lord jealously guards his or her own prosperity and achievements, they all benefit as a whole from the growing prosperity of the city itself. When the city reaches the peak of its prosperity, the game ends and the player with the most individual prosperity wins.
Parks provided more details about the game in an April 2013 press release: "The game is inspired by city-building video games such as SimCity and Caesar III, and new options become available for the city as the players provide services to new districts. As new structures are constructed, the city also grows more prosperous. Each time a player receives points, the city also receives points, and this determines the amount of wealth available to all the players to launch new building projects. Although the game is competitive in nature, the players all benefit equally from the growing prosperity of the city itself."
He notes that the game is luck-free other than the determination of starting turnorder before the game begins. "Each session unfolds differently based upon the decisions made by the players as they build the city together," he writes. "There are a multitude of strategies available as players seek to gain control over each other's districts and simultaneously provide the most of each particular service to the city. Each session promises a different experience and a brand new city when the game is complete."
• French publisher IELLO plans to dip its toe into the Kickstarter waters with the superhero miniatures game Guardians Chronicles from designer Frédérick Condette. IELLO has posted a rules summary of sorts on the game's Facebook page, and I've summarized the material below:
Guardians Chronicles is a superhero-themed miniatures game in which you play as one of the members of the Liberty Patrol or as the group's archnemesis, Professor Skarov.
To set up, the Skarov player arranges the nine double-sided game board tiles into a 3x3 grid, with his control room in the center space. Each player takes her character sheet, miniature and 7-10 action cards. These characters enter the grid on one of the side tiles and need to advance around the square – confronting minions and traps along the way – in order to achieve whatever objectives are in place for this game, such as thwarting a nuclear missile attack.
Each turn, the hero players play 1-2 action cards; each card shows both a special power and modifiers to that hero's inherent statistics – movement, attack, defense and mental – and the played cards can be used for either the special power or the modifiers. Each hero player has four actions in a round, and the players can play in any order they wish; the actions are move across the base, attack an enemy, or use a special power on a played action card or the hero's character sheet.
Professor Skarov then receives a number of action points based partially on the heroes' actions, and he uses these to activate himself, his minions, or his robots, with these figures also performing move, attack, or special power actions.
As the players complete (or fail to complete) objectives, the newspapers report on who did what, and the sum of those reports determine who comes out on top.