W. Eric Martin
• Yesterday I posted about titles coming in the first half of 2018 from German publisher HUCH! Today I'll cover a few games coming in the latter half of the year, with them most likely debuting at SPIEL '18 in October. Note that all images are preliminary, non-final images from a catalog, so they're low quality and possibly not representative of what the games will look like upon publication.
The highlight title of this batch is Forum Trajanum, the second game from the design team of Stefan Feld and Michael Rieneck following 2017's Merlin from Queen Games. Forum Trajanum is for 2-4 players with a playing time of 60-90 minutes, and here's what we currently know about this game:
Emperor Trajan plans to have a monument built for eternity: the Forum Trajanum. It is supposed to become the biggest and most glorious Emperor's forum that the Roman world has ever seen — not only in order to demonstrate his success as Princeps Optimus in an imposing manner, but also to foster the well-being and the fame of the honorable citizens of Rome.
In Forum Trajanum, each player governs a Colonia, founded by Trajan himself, and thus is the head of one of the highest-ranking cities in the entire Roman Empire. While the players try to optimally develop their own Colonia, they should not fail in supporting the Emperor's building project to the best of their abilities at the same time. The player who is most successful in doing so will — after expiry of their term of office — be admitted to the small circle of illustrious and mighty personalities surrounding the Emperor.
Man, that placeholder image is blurry! How about this other image from the catalog instead? Personally, I welcome the idea of games being served under decorative silk cloths...
• Before working on this game's write-up, I will confess to not knowing who Alexander von Humboldt was. Here's the Wikipedia summary for those in the same historically ignorant boat as me: "Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science." With that background in mind, a game titled Humboldt's Great Voyage starts making more sense. Here's an overview of the design from Remo Conzadori and Nestore Mangone, this being a 2-4 player game due out in Q4 2018 for which we have only a preliminary cover for now:
In the 19th century, Alexander von Humboldt was considered the second Columbus. His first great discovery journey to and across America led him from the Amazon jungle all the way to the White House. The knowledge he gained not only opened up a new way of viewing nature and its relationships, but also made Humboldt the most famous man of his time besides Napoleon.
But the measuring of the world goes on: As venturous young scientists, players in Humboldt's Great Voyage follow Humboldt's legendary expedition route all across the American continent. Using the "mancala" principle, they travel in stages from one location to the next, collect the objects they find, and ship them to selected personalities all over the world in order to make the findings they obtained available as quickly as possible to a public hungry for knowledge. Who will succeed in making a name for themself among the renowned scientists of the 19th century and be admitted as an associate member of the Academy of Sciences?
• Outback from Michael Kiesling is a dice game that currently bears this brief description:
The zoo animals want to go back to their wildlife habitat. Kangaroo, koala, platypus, emu, and lizard — all of them are in the Jeep, ready to go! Players in Outback want to populate the outback and build many different populations. With dice luck and tactics, you try to fill your board and collect as many points as possible.
• Fred Horn's Fenix is a two-player game that has only a thematic description for now, which doesn't tell us much since Horn typically designs abstract strategy games:
In Fenix, two armies fight against each other. The battle of the two kings, their generals and soldiers is a matter of life and death — but Fenix is different from other strategy games: Here, the battle is not automatically lost when one of the kings has been defeated. Why? The phoenix-bird is immortal; if he loses his life, he rises again from the ashes. The cycle starts all over. The king is dead? Long live the king!
• Haste Worte? is a party game from Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling that's been in print for more than twenty years, so given the current state of the market, you should not be surprised by the announcement of Haste Worte? Das Würfelspiel, albeit from designer Hartwig Jakubik instead of K&K. Changing this party game into a party dice game allows for the publisher to include rules in English and French in addition to German, widening the potential audience. An overview of the game;
Haste Worte? Das Würfelspiel transforms the long-lived communication game into a dice game. The dice determine the category in which players need to find the right words, but watch out! The terms you find do not necessarily give you points — the other players can challenge you for the terms! Only if you think carefully and constantly keep an eye on the other players can you rake in points and win the game.