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Spiel 2015 VII: Antarctica, CVlizations, Motto, KLASK, Game of Trains, Sly Dice and Voilà!

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• German publisher Argentum Verlag releases one game — usually something largely tactical — annually, and for Spiel 2015 that title is Antarctica from designer Charles Chevallier, who dropped by the BGG booth to present an overview of the game. (Should you prefer a written version of this overview, check out this Aug. 2015 post from BGG News.)

• Designer Jan Zalewski wrote a nice designer diary about the origins of CVlizations from Granna, a game modeled on the look of Granna's earlier CV with players trying to choose actions not chosen by other players in order to do well.

• Each time I looked at the cover of Motto in the run up to Spiel 2015, I thought it was a party game, despite it being from Reiner Knizia. Turns out that it's a quick-playing, set-building card game, which Granna also released in Essen this year. Okay, something for me to look for next year, I suppose, in addition to whatever dozens of other new games will be on hand.

• The "Trehgrannik" attribution on the cover of Game of Trains from Brain Games means "trihedron" in English, and that title is used by designers Alexey Konnov, Alexey Paltsev and Anatoliy Shklyarov for their collective work.

The short description of Game of Trains is "special power Rack-O", and I'm sorry to learn of this description only weeks after Spiel is over as this also sounds like something up my alley. In case it isn't already apparent, I can spend lots of time working on the Spiel 2015 Preview, yet have little idea of what the games actually are — even when I edit their descriptions, as I did in this case! Maybe next year?

• Dice games are often about creating combinations of numbers, and Jerry Haerle's Sly Dice from Brain Games sort of works along those lines — except that you can also lie about which combinations you've created.

• A Roberto Fraga design will almost always feature some kind of physical interaction — pieces can't just lie flat on the table! — and Voilà! from Brain Games lives up to my expectations, with players being challenged to stack acrobat blocks to complete tasks but without knowing how much time they have to do so!

• I wouldn't call this a demo of Mikkel Bertelsen's KLASK so much as a meandering through the game with some idea of what you're trying to do. What happened is that we got ahead of schedule several times during Spiel 2015, so we'd pull in a random designer from Hall 7 or open up something that one of us had picked up just to show it off to folks at home.

In the case of KLASK, apparently Aldie had purchased a copy to include in the dexterity game hall at BGG.CON 2015, so Beth and Katherine broke it open and sort of made up their own rules before the next scheduled game demo.

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