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Origins 2013 News Round-Up I: Asmodee, Asmadi and IELLO

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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From gallery of W Eric Martin
While Origins 2013 is still ongoing as I write this, my participation in that convention is over, so I thought I'd round up the news items that I tweeted during my two days at the show. In case you don't follow me on Twitter or catch the retweets on my Facebook page, here's the first part of a two-part summary, with additional information added to the mix in some cases:

• More titles debuted at Origins 2013 than I had originally expected, although some of them were debuting only in the U.S., having been previously released in Europe. The list of debuts includes Legendary: Dark City, Augustus, Bruges, Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island, Zooloretto: The Dice Game, Black Spy, Targi, Via Appia, Kingdom Builder: Crossroads, Titanium Wars, Innovation and Innovation: Echoes of the Past (from IELLO – see below), You Suck, Ultimate Werewolf: Inquisition, Guildhall: Job Faire, Thunderstone Advance: Starter Set, and 1775: Rebellion (although primarily for Kickstarter backers).

Board Game: Innovation
Board Game: Innovation: Echoes of the Past
• U.S. publisher Asmadi Games has now made a deal with French publisher IELLO so that IELLO's English-language versions of Carl Chudyk's Innovation and Innovation: Echoes of the Past can be sold in the United States. Previously Asmadi's version of these games were the only ones licensed to be sold in the U.S. – although Asmadi had imported copies of the IELLO version to sell on its website – but now both versions can sit side-by-side on retail shelves, giving people the choice of the "pretty" version or the "functional" version. (That said, IELLO is one year behind Asmadi in its releases, so if you want the Figures in the Sand expansion, your only choice for now is Asmadi's.)

• In other news from Asmadi Games, Chris Cieslik plans to release Carl Chudyk's 4X-light Impulse as well as the third Innovation expansion at BGG.CON in November 2013. (I filmed an overview of Impulse at the show and will post that once the file has been edited.)

• Asmodee had only eight to ten copies of Paolo Mori's Spiel des Jahres-nominated Augustus on hand – with the game having a general U.S. release of (wait for it) August 2013 in time for Gen Con – and those copies were gone within ten minutes of the exhibit hall doors opening on Thursday. (I'm just glad I headed there first with money in hand and snagged the next-to-last copy. I've played seven times recently on someone else's copy and didn't want to wait to see the owner again to play more. I'm still torn between this and Hanabi as the SdJ winner, but I think Augustus has the edge.)

• Stefan Brunell at Asmodee says that a fifth expansion track for Formula D will arrive at some point, but given the delays involved with getting out track #4 – Grand Prix of Baltimore & Buddh – he's not even going to suggest a release date.

• Asmodee had the four current tin-box editions of Frédéric Henry's Timeline series on hand, and Brunell said that the company planned to release a U.S.-specific version of the game at some point.

• Brunell also mentioned that Seasons: Enchanted Kingdom is only the first expansion for Régis Bonnessée's Seasons, which might come as a surprise to precisely no one.

Board Game: Rise of Augustus
Board Game: Timeline: Events
Board Game: Himalaya
Board Game: Shafausa
Board Game: Helvetia Cup

• Bonnessée is also planning a new edition of his Himalaya, previously published by Tilsit, to be released by his own Libellud, with Asmodee providing distribution as it does for other Libellud releases. This new edition will be set in the Seasons universe, so expect the artwork to be gorgeous, as with everything else Libellud does.

• Asmodee has signed a deal with Swiss publisher Helvetia Games to bring both Shafausa and Helvetia Cup to the U.S., and if I recall correctly, I believe that Brunell expects to have them available in time for Gen Con 2013. These new editions will have rules only in English instead of in four languages.

• Asmodee plans to release a giant-sized version of Antoine Bauza's Takenoko to tempt players with cute overload.

• Speaking of giant-sized games, Belgian publisher Repos Production is preparing a giant-sized version of Bauza and Ludovic Maublanc's Rampage in order to run demo games at Gen Con in August 2013 ahead of the game's release at Spiel in October. I got to play on a (regular-sized) prototype version at Origins 2013 and had a blast, despite us messing up several rules and not having the right number of meeples in the right places. If you're worrying about those details, though, you're playing the wrong game; in Rampage you just need to cause as much damage to the board and the other monsters as you possibly can, while not knocking too many meeples out of play since (1) you won't be able to eat them and (2) if you miss too many meals, you'll suffer damage or give the other players a bonus. I'll post a more detailed description of the game in a future post.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
Asmodee's Pierre Poissant-Marquis prepares to cause damage in Rampage
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