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Blue Orange to Feature Angry Dragons, Totem-Happy Tribesmen, Greedy Pirates & Draftable Sushi

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• In a June 15, 2014 BGGN post, I mentioned the Bruno Cathala/Ludovic Barbe game Dragon Run, and now I can share details of the game courtesy of publisher Blue Orange (né Jactalea), which plans to debut the game at Spiel 2014 in October. Here's a rundown of this press-your-luck fantasy game:

In Dragon Run, the players have just raided a dragon's keep, picked up a bunch of loot, and awakened the dragon. Now it's time to flee, ideally making it out with both our treasures and our lives.

On each turn, a player can either advance boldly, flee cautiously, or cry like a baby. If you advance boldly, you draw a card from the location deck, which holds three types of cards: one that allows that player to either redraw or stop, one that grants new treasure from the treasure hall, and (of course) the dragon. If you draw the dragon, you lose one health point (out of two), the dragon calms down (i.e., it loses one temper point), and the location deck is reshuffled. If you're injured twice, you die and are out of the game.

When fleeing cautiously, you first discard a treasure worth at least one coin, then roll a d10. If your roll is higher than the number of cards in the location deck, the dragon calms down, then you reshuffle the location deck; otherwise you must draw a card from the location deck just as when someone advances boldly. Your sacrificed treasure is still lost.

When you cry like a baby, you don't draw a location card, instead discarding a treasure worth at least two coins. Having shown your obeisance to the dragon, the turn passes to the next player.

Players start with four treasure cards; while some cards are worth 1-5 coins, others provide a one-shot potion or a talisman that stays in effect until the location deck is shuffled, which ends the round. Gameplay lasts from 5 to 8 rounds. Each player has a unique power that can be used once per round: the thief can steal cards from opponents, the cleric can heal opponents in exchange for treasure, etc. If the dragon loses its final temper point, the game ends and whoever holds the most valuable treasure wins; if all of the adventurers are charred to death first, then the dragon wins instead!

Charles Chevallier's Wakanda seems to take a page from his Cappuccino in terms of being a rules light stacking game, but instead of having all of the components laid out for observation, you're going to draw them one by one, then claim a stack when you feel the time is right. An overview of this October 2014 release:

"Wakanda" means "magic object" in Sioux. Every one hundred moons, members from different tribes gather to sculpt new totems. The totems they create represent the values of their family, village, courage and culture. The tribe that makes the most prestigious totem poles wins the contest...

In Wakanda, players compete to create valuable totem poles, but the value of the poles is determined as much by where they stand as by what's in them. Each player starts the game with three headdresses. Six of eight village tiles are placed in a row, with three of the tiles tilted 90º to show that they're out of play; each tile has a unique scoring rule on it, and that rule will apply for all of a player's totem poles if he acquires that tile.

On a turn, a player first draws one totem pole from the bag; the game includes 21 totem pole pieces: one eagle, two chiefs, three tomahawks, four animal skins, five teepees and six suns. The player then either places one of his totem pole pieces on an available village tile OR places one of his headdresses on an existing totem pole to claim it; in the latter case, he places this tile in front of himself and tilts the next village tile in line (if any) to make it available for play.

Once all six poles have been claimed, the players tally their score based on the rules on their tiles, e.g. score 3 points per animal skin on all of your poles or score 2 points per piece for your tallest pole. High score wins.

• I previewed Takahiro's Sushi Draft on BGGN prior to it being available outside of Japan at Spiel 2013, and in that Sushi Draft preview I wrote:

Takahiro's Sushi Draft from Japanese publisher KogeKogeDo is, believe it or not, one of two sushi-drafting card games to be released in the recent past, the other one being Sushi Go! from Australian designer Phil Walker-Harding and his Adventureland Games.
Funny thing — Gamewright picked up Sushi Go! and released a new version of that game in June 2014, while Blue Orange has picked up Sushi Draft and will release a new version of that game in October 2014. Here's an overview of the game:

Sushi Draft is a fast little card game that looks good enough to eat! Over three rounds, players draft plates of sushi and collect sushi points, which are drawn randomly. The player with the most diverse menu gets dessert!

Sushi Draft includes a deck of 32 sushi cards (8 ikura, 7 ebi, 6 maguro, 5 tamago, 4 kappa and 2 "wild" triples) and 18 point tokens (three each for the five types of sushi and three for dessert); the point tokens range in value from 1-5, with the more plentiful sushi dishes being worth more points. At the start of each round, players shuffle the cards and receive a hand of six cards. Players simultaneously draft a card from their hand and reveal it, placing it on the table. They then keep one card, pass the remainder to a neighbor, and draft and play again. Once everyone has five cards in front of them, players receive point tokens. Whoever has the most sushi of each type draws a point token of that type at random; if players tie for the most of a type, however, then the player with the secondmost of that type draws the token instead. If all players are tied, then no one scores for that type of sushi. The player with the most types of sushi scores a dessert token at random.

After three rounds, players tally their points, and whoever has the highest score wins!
King's Gold from Stéphane Maurel, the final new title due out in October from Blue Orange, is a quick-playing dice game for 2-6 players in which you want to separate the king from his gold:

The Caribbean islands were once a lawless cove run by merchant marines transporting stolen treasures. When news reached the King that these pirates were amassing great riches, he ordered a cut of their loot.

Now in King's Gold, it's your turn to be a pirate, and you must try to pillage ships and other pirates along the way. How far will you go to deceive the greedy King and become the richest pirate on the coast and at sea? On a turn, the active player rolls the five dice up to three times. If a die shows crossbones, it's locked until the end of the turn; otherwise, a player can roll or leave dice as he wants. After he stops, he takes or loses gold as follows:

• 1 coin face + 1 cannon: Take this many coins from the box, then place this many coins in the King's pile.
• 1 coin face + 1 skull: Steal this many coins from the player of your choice.
• Coins on all five dice: Take all of the coins from the King's pile.
• Skulls on all five dice: Take all of the coins from another player.
• Cannon on all five dice: Take all of the coins from the box, ending the game.
• 3+ crossbones or any non-scoring combination: Place three coins from your stash in the King's pile.

When all sixty coins in the box have been removed, the game ends and whoever has the most coins wins.
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