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New Game Round-up: Summoning New Ways for War, Riding and Robbing the Rails & Dining Anew on Old Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Plaid Hat Games plans to release the Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set in August 2014, with the set combining existing factions in a new way:

Summoner Wars is a fast-playing, action-packed 2-4 player card game. Players take on the role of Summoners: powerful beings who harness the power of mysterious Summoning Stones to lead their race to conquest on the war-torn planet of Itharia. These Summoners wield terrible magic on the battlefield, freezing their foes in place, draining their enemies of power, and even bringing rains of fire down from the heavens. But most notoriously, they summon their great race's hordes of warriors to the battlefield, to clash in the never-ending struggle for supremacy.

Summoner Wars: Alliances Master Set, a big box starter set for Summoner Wars akin to the Summoner Wars Master Set, features eight complete faction decks and can be played on its own or combined with other Summoner Wars products. All sixteen factions in the SW world are represented as each new summoner is a hybrid of two existing factions, blending the themes of the two factions and expanding deck-building possibilities.
• Following the 2013 release of Lewis & Clark, French publisher Ludonaute returns to the U.S. west in the 19th century for Christophe Raimbault's Colt Express, due out in October 2014. Here's an overview of the setting and gameplay:

On the 11th of July, 1899 at 10 a.m., the Union Pacific Express has left Folsom, New Mexico, with 47 passengers on board. After a few minutes, gunfire and hurrying footsteps on the roof can be heard. Heavily armed bandits have come to rob honest citizens of their wallets and jewels. Will they succeed in stealing the suitcase holding the Nice Valley Coal Company's weekly pay, despite it having been placed under the supervision of Marshal Samuel Ford? Will these bandits be able to work together, despite only the richest one of them coming out on top?

In Colt Express, you play a bandit robbing a train. Your goal is to become the richest outlaw of the Old West. The game consists of five rounds, and each round has two phases:

• Phase 1: Programming Each player plays 2-5 action cards on a common pile, face up or face down depending on the type of the round.

• Phase 2: Action The action cards are performed in the order they have been played. Then comes confusion as a player's best laid plans may not pan out due to mistakes and oversights!

The game takes place in a 3D train in which the bandits can move from one car to another, run on the roof, punch the other bandits, shoot them, rob the passengers, or draw the Marshal out of position.
• German publisher franjos plans to release a new version of Alex Randolph's Die Heisse Schlacht am Kalten Buffet at Spiel 2014 in October. I've always loved the Ravensburger cover of this game — which is a decent filler with lots of "Screw you!" potential — as that lobster looks disturbingly excited at the prospect of becoming someone's dinner.

• Not to tease you all, but Japanese publisher One Draw and designers Seiji Kanai and Hayato Kisaragi have a new version of Lost Legacy coming out in 2014, presumably debuting at the Tokyo Game Market on June 1, 2014. A rough translation of Lost Legacy: 百年戦争と竜の巫女 seems to be "The Poor Detective and Conspiracy Castle", and like other Lost Legacy titles this is playable both on its own or in combination with other LL titles. Okay, I'll confess this was totally a tease...

• Along the same lines, the deck-building game Heart of Crown — or more specifically the reimplementation of that game Heart of Crown: Fairy Garden, although they can all be combined — has a new expansion coming titled 六都市同盟, or "Six City Alliance". Designers of Japan, why must you tease me so?
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