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Pegasus Spiele Makes Old Games New, with Santo Domingo, 4 Seasons, Sheep & Thief, and Port Royal: Das Abenteuer beginnt...

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Santo Domingo
• Large established publishers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of game pitches over the course of a year, but sometimes the farm league system — a.k.a. self-publication — is still the route by which games are discovered and (re)released by these publishers.

Witness three recently announced games from Pegasus Spiele, the first being Santo Domingo by Stefan Risthaus. In 2015, Risthaus released the two-player game Visby through his own OSTIA Spiele brand. In Visby, each player has their own set of eight action cards, with players simultaneously revealing their choice for the turn to get wares, ships, points, etc.; as is often the case in such games, you need to figure out what your opponent might do and either do it first or take a counter-measure. In addition to the base game, Risthaus sold an expansion pack that would allow for up to four players in the game (or six players if you added two packs).

Now Pegasus has put the components for all six players in one box, with Klemens Franz handling the art and design of Santo Domingo to move the action to the world of Port Royal. Santo Domingo is due out in April 2017.

Board Game: 4 Seasons
• In 2016, Pegasus Spiele released Elements, a rethemed version of team SAIEN's excellent two-player game Khmer, which they had released through their Saien brand in 2010. Now Pegasus will release Saien's 2010 title Dazzle as 4 Seasons in April 2017, with Dennis Lohausen providing the artwork, as he did for Elements. Here's an overview of this two-player game, using the categories from the original game:

Each player fights over four categories — pure, dawn, spiral, and faith — that correspond to four colors; there are 12 cards with the value 1-3 in each category, and the cards are dealt so that each player has a mix of the same value cards in their deck, with some cards being secretly removed from play.

On a player's turn, they present two cards from their hand face up. The opponent takes one of those cards and places it on their side of the board, adding to their power in that category; the other card is added to the score for that category at the end of the game. Players alternate turns until all of the cards have been distributed, then players see who has the most strength in each category. The winner of a category wins all the points in that category, and whoever collects the most points wins the game.
From gallery of W Eric Martin
Yuichi Sakashita's Sheep & Thief is a charming card-drafting and -laying game for 2-4 players released in Japan by Power9 Games in 2014, and now Pegasus is bringing the game to a larger market with the same title and furrier art courtesy of Wee Yee Chong.

In the game, each player has their own pasture in which they tend sheep and in which robbers hang out waiting to snatch those sheep. In each of three rounds, players first draft a hand of five cards, then take turns playing one card in their individual pasture until they've all played four cards. (The fifth card becomes part of your starting hand for the next round.) When you lay down cards, you need to connect roads and rivers, while adding new sheep to your pasture, using a dog to herd those sheep to safety, or playing thieves in order to snatch sheep from other players. At the end of the game, you score for having sheep, long rivers, and paths that connect to one or more of the towns on the edge of your pasture.

Sheep & Thief is due out in March 2017, and please note that the cover image shown is not final.

From gallery of W Eric Martin
• Speaking of Port Royal, in Q4 2017 Pegasus Spiele will release Port Royal: Das Abenteuer beginnt..., which introduces a campaign mode to Alexander Pfister's Port Royal, similar to the Longsdale in Revolt expansion for Oh My Goods! that Pfister and Looking Games released in 2016. Here's an overview of this expansion, noting that like the cover shown at right, this will need updating prior to its publication:

At the beginning of the game, someone reads the prologue of the scenario to be played, then before the start of each turn, players reveal order cards from an event deck that might require the collection of certain crew members or trade with certain ships; players might receive a bonus for certain actions during the turn. Order cards have a time limit, however, after which new cards are played from the event deck, and the end of a scenario depends on which orders have been executed.

Port Royal: Das Abenteuer beginnt... can be played either competitively or cooperatively.
And to connect this title further to the three above, recall that Port Royal originated as Händler der Karibik, released by the Österreichisches Spiele Museum in 2013 as one of its annual releases to promote Austrian game designers. Small games can grow quite large when a publisher shines a spotlight on them...
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