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Portal Games Delivers Expansions Galore in 2019 for Detective, Robinson Crusoe, Stronghold, 51st State, and Alien Artifacts

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: Portal Games
During SPIEL '18, Ignacy Trzewiczek of Portal Games held a seminar in which he announced some of the titles coming from the publisher in 2019. My notes from this seminar are a bit haphazard as I had had only a few hours of sleep the night before and was hitting a wall. Sitting down was my first mistake!

Probably the biggest news from this seminar is that the second edition of Trzewiczek's Stronghold: Undead, previewed as far back as SPIEL '16, will be released in 2019. What's more, this item is no longer an expansion for the second edition of Stronghold, but instead a standalone expansion, meaning that it is compatible with that game while also being playable on its own. The setting of this item remains the same as when it first appeared in 2010:

The Necromancer leads an undead army toward the stronghold walls. A powerful artifact lies within the stronghold. A magical item imbued with immense energy. The Necromancer's powers are weakening, and his magical essence is fading with each passing moment. He will regain his powers if he manages to take the castle by storm and claim the artifact. Thus, if the undead army succeeds in breaching the stronghold within eight turns, it will capture the artifact and attain victory. If not...well, if not, the Necromancer's powers will fade completely and the undead army will turn to dust.

Stronghold: Undead includes a new board with new paths to siege the castle, undead mechanisms, and more ways for both sides to secure their victory!
Board Game: Stronghold: Undead (Second Edition) – Kickstarter Edition

Board Game: Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game
• The other splashy item from the seminar was the announcement of Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game – L.A. Crimes, which unlike the original Detective base game is set in the 1980s instead of in the modern day. Here's an overview of this expansion, which is due out in the first half of 2019:

Detective: L.A. Crimes, the first campaign expansion for Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, consists of three separate cases that come together to form a full story. Travel to sunny California, and delve deep into the drug-filled Los Angeles of the 1980s. Experience being an L.A. detective, and realize that sometimes, like detective Foley from Beverly Hills Cop, you may need to stretch the laws a bit to suit your needs. Try some controversial methods to solve your case, all the while battling with the red tape of bureaucracy. Use all-new mechanisms of stakeout and observation to learn more about your suspects. The choices are yours, but are you willing to cross the line?
Asked how this expansion would work given the lack of an online Antares database in which to submit your findings, Trzewiczek gave the time-honored answer of "Wait and see". At least that's what I have in my notes...

Board Game: Detective:  L.A. Crimes

Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – Mystery Tales
Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales was first announced at SPIEL '17 as Robinson Crusoe: The Lost City of Z, but this expansion for Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island has grown beyond that initial offering. Here's an overview of what's in the box, which is due out March 2019:

Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales is the second big expansion for Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. Unlike its predecessor, it not only includes a campaign (titled "The Lost City of Z") in which you follow great explorer Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett, but also a full set of rules and components that can be played with the base game of Robinson Crusoe, along with two standalone scenarios.

Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales introduces ten new characters, the new deck of event cards, three new decks of adventure cards, new beast cards, new mystery cards, and the new mechanism of sanity that you can use in the base game of Robinson Crusoe to change it into a game of dreadful stories! Additionally, the expansion includes five missions that form a long and epic campaign: "The Lost City of Z".
Board Game: 51st State: Master Set – Allies
Board Game: Alien Artifacts: Breakthrough
• Other items coming from Portal Games include 51st State: Master Set – Allies, another item due out in the first half of 2019:

In 51st State: Allies, the second expansion for 51st State Master Set, you discover new ways to ally your factions! Cards now include a new alliance mechanism that grants you new unique bonuses and features. Will you try to unite the factions of the 51st State, or are you going to be a lone wolf? Will you create powerful combos between your allied cards? Finally, do you plan a welcome party for the three new factions that have crossed the wasteland and joined in the fray? Allies introduce Steel Police, Uranopolis, and Sharrash! With them, you will discover new ways to dominate the wasteland!
• You might notice a running theme with these announcements so far, a theme that continues with Alien Artifacts: Breakthrough, an expansion for Alien Artifacts that contains at least forty new cards, allowing for many new card-driven combos. As with the expansion above, Breakthrough is due out in the first half of 2019.

Board Game: Tides of Time
• On top of all this, on November 1, 2018, Portal Games plans to open preorders for a "loot box" that contains promo items for six titles in its line-up. Yes, more expansions!

Trzewiczek noted that Portal would have more announcements on January 26, 2019 at its Portalcon event, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the company. That said, he warned people not to expect a new giant game from him in 2019, with the focus for the year instead being on supporting and expanding their existing game lines. In that vein, he announced that Detective would be appearing in Chinese, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish editions in 2019, while its SPIEL '18 release Monolith Arena — which hits the U.S. in November 2018 — will have Czech, French, and Spanish editions in 2019.

For a last bit of news, Trzewiczek said that Tides of Time would be released in a digital format by Asmodee Digital "soon".
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