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New Game Round-up: Return to West Kingdom, Relive Panic at the Castle, and Reimagine Troyes

W. Eric Martin
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Board Game: Paladins of the West Kingdom
• Designers Shem Phillips and S J Macdonald have shifted the focus of their next Garphill Games release from knowledge to knights, with the second title in their "West Kingdom" trilogy being Paladins of the West Kingdom and with Renegade Game Studios co-publishing this 2019 release. Here's a summary of the setting and course of the game:

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Paladins of the West Kingdom is set at a turbulent time of West Francia's story, circa 900 AD. Despite recent efforts to develop the city, outlying townships are still under threat from outsiders. Saracens scout the borders, while Vikings plunder wealth and livestock. Even the Byzantines from the east have shown their darker side. As noble men and women, players must gather workers from the city to defend against enemies, build fortifications and spread faith throughout the land. Fortunately you are not alone. In his great wisdom, the King has sent his finest knights to help aid in our efforts. So ready the horses and sharpen the swords. The Paladins are approaching.

The aim of Paladins of the West Kingdom is to be the player with the most victory points (VP) at game's end. Points are gained by building outposts and fortifications, commissioning monks and confronting outsiders. Each round, players will enlist the help of a specific Paladin and gather workers to carry out tasks. As the game progresses, players will slowly increase their faith, strength and influence. Not only will these affect their final score, but they will also determine the significance of their actions. The game is concluded at the end of the seventh round.
Notes Phillips, "It's sometimes difficult to use the BGG classifications to describe a game. I chose 'Deck/Pool building' as one of them, as each round you will get to draft 6 workers. 2 will come from your chosen Paladin and the other 4 from a selection available to all players. So you are in a way building a pool of workers to use that round. There's a lot of combo building and immediate rewards that can trigger each round as well. So while you might start with 6 workers some rounds, you may end up using twice that by the end of the round." I agree that our classifications are sometimes difficult...

Board Game: My First Castle Panic
Fireside Games is ready to enlist children in the preservation of a kingdom thanks to the March 6, 2019 release of My First Castle Panic, a version of Justin De Witt's Castle Panic for 1-4 children ages 4 and up. Here's an overview of the game:

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Like its predecessor, My First Castle Panic is a co-operative game in which players work together to defend their castle, but this game removes the reading requirement of the earlier one and fosters the development of educational skills, such as identifying colors and shapes, problem solving, and turn taking.

In the game, monsters follow a single path toward a single, large, eye-catching castle, which is protected by one wall. Each step toward the castle is identified by a color and a shape. Players hold cards in their hands with cute defenders who also have a color and shape. When a card is played that matches the location of the monster, that monster is captured and thrown in the dungeon. Tension builds as more monsters are placed and move along the path toward the castle. If the castle is destroyed, the players lose; if it still stands when all the monsters are in the dungeon, the players win.
Board Game: Claim
Board Game: Feudum
• Also coming in March 2019 is a new North American edition of Scott Almes' card game Claim from Deep Water Games, with a bonus Ghosts faction being made available as a pre-order bonus.

• In a profile in the Columbia Business Times, Feudum designer Mark Swanson says that he's been working with "3D modeler Scott Ryan and miniatures painter Bruce Monson to develop artisan versions of some of the pieces in the game, namely three-dimensional vessels and castles. After seeing the potential, I decided to unveil these upgrades in a Kickstarter campaign in early 2019 in a mini expansion called Feudum: Rudders & Ramparts. The deluxe components may be used to play a military variant of the game or be enjoyed solely for their beauty." Swanson also mentions that his next game is in the early stages:

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"Feudum used several mechanics such as action programming and area control, but I'm developing a new game that uses another one of my favorite mechanics called worker placement," he says. "Feudum was set in medieval times, but this one will take place during the late 1800s in the Pacific Northwest in the United States. I don't want to reveal any details just yet, but, like Feudum, it will feature a working economy. I'm partial to games that involve planning and resource management."
• In early December 2018, Sébastien Dujardin teased Troyes Dice on Facebook, noting that this Pearl Games release is "nearly finished". Troyes Dice will be demoed at the FIJ game fair in Cannes in Feb. 2019 ahead of the game's release later that year. (He also noted that Troyes 2, which had been added to the BGG database in mid-2018, will not be published after all, but print-and-play files are available on the BGG game page.)


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