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New Game Round-up: Recon for Arctic Scavengers, Rewind 20th Century Railroad Growth & Repos Releases in 2015

W. Eric Martin
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• Despite much doubt about the issue since it released a new edition of Robert K. Gabhart's deck-building game Arctic Scavengers in 2013, it turns out that Rio Grande Games will indeed release Arctic Scavengers: Recon, an expansion that adds new tribe leader roles, new mercenaries, new equipment, and new levels of player interaction to the base game. Arctic Scavengers: Recon bears a $30 MSRP.

In addition to this expansion, Rio Grande Games plans to release Arctic Scavengers: Base Game+HQ+Recon, a boxed set with a $50 MSRP that combines the new Recon expansion with the original Arctic Scavengers title from RGG (which was packaged with the HQ expansion). No release date has been given for either title.

• In addition to two previously announced Bohnanza-related items — Bohnanza: Ladies & Gangsters and Bohnanza: Princes & Pirates — Rio Grande Games will release Bohnanza: Bohnaparte & High Bohn, which combines two expansions that it had previously released separately: Bohnaparte and High Bohn Plus.

• Rio Grande Games has also announced the signing of, but not a release for, 20th Century Limited by Jeff and Carla Horger. Here's a rundown of the game's setting and what you're trying to do:

20th Century Limited condenses the history the American railroad into a sixty-minute game. Players take on the roles of the great railway robber barons as they set up small railroads, turn them into larger rail lines, then sell them off and start all over again. The spread of the North American rail system can happen on your game table in about an hour as the network develops in a fashion similar to the historical model.

The game possesses the simple route-building mechanisms that were used in Transmaerica. The placement of pieces is easy to understand, and this simple feature is livened up by the Rail Line cards that dictate the placement of rail segments to recreate the various historical railways of America. The second piece of the puzzle are the Demand cards that serve as a pseudo pick-up-and-deliver system. Players are able to choose what path suits them in the game. You can go for the fulfillment of demands or you can try to build the great rail lines that shaped America. Everything from the Santa Fe to Boston & Maine and many other memorable lines are represented, including the game's namesake: the New York Central Railroad.

Even the famous individual train routes are included in the game as bonus cards. Being able to create the Kansas City to Florida Special is worth a lot of points but at the expense of time as there is little other reason to link up Kansas city and Miami. Perhaps you have decided to become a tycoon and concentrate on getting a bonus for creating large routes, or maybe you will value your independence and not sell many of your railroads at all.

20th Century Limited is simple to learn and simple to play but possesses interesting choices and allows for multiple paths to victory.
• In my Spielwarenmesse 2015 post about what's coming from Repos Production in 2015, I neglected to mention Concept XL, which is a 75x75 cm rubber and polyester playmat due out June 2015 for use in classrooms or other situations in which you want to let more eyes view the game board at one time. You'll need to supply the cards from the Concept base game or just create your own concepts for others to guess, in addition to supplying pieces of some sort to use on the playmat.

Thomas Provoost from Repos mentioned at Spielwarenmesse that they had many requests for such an item from educators and others, and from seeing the crowds around Repos' own giant Concept board at Spiel, I can believe it. The energy from such a crowd is amazing, and you're not competing so much as all working together to defeat a challenge.

• In addition to the playmat, Repos plans to release Concept: The Teaching Tool, which it describes as a free "computer-based teaching tool" to assist teachers in learning how to use the game system in class to "allow your students to learn, communicate, and broach certain topics in class".

Ca$h 'n Guns (second edition) Expansion: The Cop, scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2015, is an expansion for Ludovic Maublanc's Ca$h 'n Guns (second edition) that debuted at Gen Con 2014 that includes four new guns, new loot cards, and new unique player powers. What's more, this expansion includes one element present in the original Ca$h 'n Gun$ game: role cards that place one player in the role of an undercover policeman who has infiltrated the criminal underworld. Over the course of the game, this player must try to sound the alarm before everyone has finished splitting the loot.

• Repos Production has released many versions of Time's Up! and in September 2015 it will unveil Time's Up! Kids, a version of the game that lasts only two rounds — one with descriptions, the other with only miming — with cards that feature images and no text, allowing for kids as young as four to play.

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