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New Game Round-up: Plaid Hat Welcomes Specter Ops, Mayday Games Plans for New Viceroy & Petersen Games Reveals Theomachy

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Specter Ops
• As anyone who has ever attempted to design a game knows, games tend to change between their origin and their publication (should they get that far), and sometimes they change even after they've been announced to the public and seemingly immune from large-scale changes.

Witness the announcement of Specter Ops from Plaid Hat Games in mid-November 2014. This title, designed by Emerson Matsuuchi, entered the BGG database as a two-player-only design under the name Cipher Ops with Nazca Games as the publisher. Now the title will accommodate 2-5 players, although the heart of its design remains the same as in the original design. Here's an overview of the game's setting and how it plays:

A secret agent of A.R.K. has infiltrated a top secret Raxxon facility, attempting to complete three mission objectives before they escape — but they are hunted by genetically modified Raxxon Hunters. Players can choose which side they wish to join.

Specter Ops is a sci-fi, stealth ops game of hidden movement that's similar to Scotland Yard. Players are trying to locate/capture a mysterious agent, who keeps track of their sneaking via a private map. The other players take control of unique characters who must use their wits, abilities and technology to help them hunt down this infiltrator. Items like flash grenades, scanners, and the like are at the disposal of this covert agent.
Board Game: Viceroy
• Yuri Zhuravlev's Viceroy from Hobby World debuted in Russian in April 2014 and in English at Spiel 2014 in October, but the game will be more widely available in English come March or April 2015 thanks to a new edition from Mayday Games. Mayday is considering a new cover for the game as well as icons to aid color-blind players, but otherwise plans to make no changes to the design. Mayday also notes that the first printing of this new edition might be limited: "We are pushing up against a busy time of year for production anyway AND with Chinese New Year looming on the horizon we are printing this in Russia, too."

• Continuing in that same vein, I recently featured an overview video of Peter Burley's Kamisado Max in a Spiel 2014 round-up. Katrin Reil from German publisher HUCH! & friends now tells me that the game will also be released in the U.S., most likely in 2015, thanks to a deal with an as-yet-unannounced publisher.

Board Game: Teomachia
• And with still more in that vein, Sandy Petersen of Petersen Games has noted that in conjunction with Polish publisher Fabryka Gier Historycznych he plans to release an English-language version of Theomachie from the design team of Bylina, Kwapiński and Wasilewski under the name Theomachy. What's more, in this new crowdfunded edition that will be targeted for a Spiel 2015 release, Lovecraftian pantheons will be added to the game, at FGH's suggestion according to Petersen. From an FGH press release:

The design works on the game are still in progress, but what we can announce now for sure is the introduction of some novelties to the game, among others, three completely new mythologies – the Egyptian one and two pantheons related to the Cthulhu Mythos – Great Old Ones and Outer Gods. In the design of these factions our team is being helped by Sandy Petersen, the author of the legendary role-playing game Call of Cthulhu and the board game Cthulhu Wars.
Apparently this game was on display in prototype form at BGG.CON 2014, but I saw only the suitcase-sized Cthulhu Wars. Anyone want to chime in if they got a chance to check it out? As for the game itself, here's an overview:

When gods fight, the blood of simpletons flows freely. Theomachy lets you become one of the ancient gods and spend one hour playing the lord of a group of devoted followers. You have one goal and one goal only: Annihilate your foe's believers and thereby move yourself one step closer to absolute power.

Drafting prayer cards and power cards allows you to slowly build your might. Using those cards, you send your followers into battles, build temples, and inflict terrible curses on the unfaithful. You face a tough decision in every single hand: Should you put your own power on the line to help your believers win their battles, or should you turn your back on them, sending them to a certain death? If no god yields, hurricanes will face off with deathly plagues, tempests will extinguish walls of fire, and the ranks of the faithful will grow smaller every second.

Once you get rid of your opponent's last prophet, it's time to rest and listen to the cheerful song of your people. You have won the clash of gods.
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