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New Game Round-up: Java and Attika Return in New Garb from Super Meeple, and Northern Pacific Rides Again

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Java
• I traveled to Cannes, France in late February 2018 to broadcast game demonstrations from the Festival International des Jeux, but I spent most of the time in the BGG booth, which gave me little time to discover things in passing — which might be why I missed out on two titles coming from Super Meeple in 2018.

The bigger title of the two is Cuzco from Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling, a title already known throughout the gaming world as Java. On Facebook, Super Meeple's Charles Amir Perret wrote: "The game will be named Cuzco, the main city of the Incas. We changed it to stick to the original idea of W. Kramer and M. Kiesling; it makes more sense for the trilogy to go for the Aztecs, the Mayas, and the Incas. They changed to Java because Ravensburger asked them for that. The designers are very happy to go back to their original idea."

Cuzco is due out in France in May 2018, with distribution of this English- and French-language version in the U.S. coming via Surfin' Meeple. Says Perret, "We have also a partnership with other distributors that will release the game in their language: Maldito for Spain, Conclave for Brazil, dv Giochi for Italian, Tendays for Japan, Surfin' Meeple for China, Abysse Corp for France. These distributors will distribute all of our future games. Some countries such as Germany, England or Poland, we don't know yet as we don't have a partnership at the moment with one distributor."

Board Game: Cuzco

Board Game: Attika
• The second Super Meeple release — Marcel-André Casasola Merkle's U.S. Telegraph, which is also due out in May 2018 in an English/French edition — is another reprinted classic that's being transported to a new setting, with the original game being Attika, which Hans im Glück first released in 2003.

According to Super Meeple's Charles Amir Perret, "We have changed the theme to stick better to the mechanic. The game will take place in the U.S. in the 19th century, when the first transcontinental telegraph was built. Each player will develop their own city to participate in the telegraph construction." Perret specifies that no rules have changed in the game itself.

From gallery of Photodump

Board Game: Northern Pacific
• To continue the theme of new editions of out-of-print games, Rio Grande Games will release Tom Russell's Northern Pacific in 2018, with this game having first appeared in 2013 from Winsome Games in an edition of probably no more than a few hundred copies. Here's how the game works:

Players start the game with one large investment cube and three small investment cubes in hand. The game board shows the United States from Minnesota to Washington; game play starts in Minneapolis/St. Paul. On a turn, a player either places one of their cubes in a city (other than Seattle) that hasn't yet been reached by the train or builds track. If they build track, they choose one of the railroad lines exiting the city where the train is currently located and place a locomotive on it to show the current endpoint of the railroad line. Track has directional arrows on it, and a new train line can never move against the arrows or back to a city that the railroad has already visited.

When the railroad visits a city where players have placed investment cubes, they retrieve those cubes and take additional cubes from the supply: one new cube if they had a small cube in the city and two new cubes if they had a large cube.

When the railroad reaches Seattle, the round ends. Players tally the number of cubes in hand and records this number on the "good investments" track; they record the number of their cubes still on the game board on the "bad investments" track. They then reset the board as at the start of the game, then begin a new round. After three rounds, whoever has made the most good investments wins; if players are tied, then the tied player who has made the fewest bad investments wins.

You can play a single round of the game to determine a winner, if desired, or you can play new rounds with no recorded score, with a player winning the game if they win two rounds.
Board Game: Northern Pacific

Board Game: Fist of Dragonstones
• In 2018, Stronghold Games plans to release Fist of Dragonstones: Tavern Edition, a new edition of Bruno Faidutti and Michael Schacht's bluffing and bidding-based game Fist of Dragonstones, which originally appeared from Days of Wonder in 2002. Here's a rundown of what's changed from the previous edition:

The rules of Fist of Dragonstones: Tavern Edition have been updated from the original Fist of Dragonstones to improve gameplay, including the introduction of the King's Favor which should speed up play. The game includes more than seventy special character cards in the game, compared to 25 special characters in the original game. Some of these special characters can be saved for later use in the game. Artistically, the game has been re-imagined in The Dragon & Flagon universe.

Board Game: Civilization
• UK publisher Gibsons released a new edition of Francis Tresham's Civilization in February 2018 with no apparent changes other than to the cover graphics.

Board Game: Civilization
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