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SPIEL '19 VII: Overview of the 2020 Line-Up for Matagot, Kolossal and Grail Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game Publisher: Matagot
Board Game: Giants
At SPIEL '19, I spoke with Magali Moreno for an overview of titles coming in 2020 from Matagot, Kolossal Games, and Grail Games, the first two of which have the same owner: Arnaud Charpentier, who also owns Surfin' Meeple. Most of these descriptions are brief, but consider them bread crumbs for future announcements.

• Let's start with Matagot, which will release a new version of Fabrice Besson's Giants under the name Rapa Nui, with the game having new art and new components, presumably not skinny cylindrical "logs" that constantly roll off the game board.

Board Game: Race for the Galaxy
Board Game: Boomerang
• The second edition of Tom Lehmann's Race for the Galaxy is already out in English, and Matagot will release a French version of this new edition in 2020.

• Grail Games released Scott Almes' Boomerang in 2018, and now with Grail under new ownership having a partnership agreement with Surfin' Meeple, the title is moving to the Matagot brand. A new version of this draft-and-write game will be released with slight changes to the gameplay. In addition, a new edition of the game will be released with European landmarks (and I would presume different gameplay elements) replacing the Australiana of the original game, and other editions might follow.

Board Game: Kemet
• Now that two large expansions exist for Jacques Bariot and Guillaume Montiage's KemetTa-Seti and Seth — Matagot is working on version 1.5 of the base game's rules to update and streamline everything to get people playing more quickly.

• In an as-yet-unnamed family game, you are a kitten who is going through different scenarios in order to improve your skills. I feel like I need to repeat this so those who need to know about this game don't miss it: You are a kitten who is trying to improve your skills across multiple game scenarios.

Board Game: Inis
• A big box game coming in Matagot's expert line could be described as "Inis in space" and it bears the provisional title "Beyond the Gates". This Christian Martinez design is set thousands of years in the future, with players sometimes fighting, sometimes building foundations, and sometimes activating portals to share knowledge.

Monster Soup, due out near the end of 2020, will have you groping in a bag for ingredients to complete your soup. I do not recommend eating that soup.


Board Game: Almanac: The Dragon Road
Board Game: Almanac: The Crystal Peaks
Kolossal Games will start 2020 by delivering on Kickstarters already finished — Papillon, Omen: Heir to the Dunes — and launching new crowdfunding projects along the way, leading off with a late 2019 KS campaign for a game series from Scott Almes: Almanac: The Dragon Road and Almanac: The Crystal Peaks. Here's an overview of how they work:
Each round of the game is played on a different page in the game book, with each page representing a unique location with a special twist on worker placement. Combining rich narrative and intuitive yet unique game mechanisms, every game is a new adventure!
Board Game: Reload
François Rouzé (Room 25) and Jean-Marc Tribet have a 2-4 player game that Moreno describes as "Battle Royale meets The Hunger Games", with Kolossal aiming to Kickstart this in January 2020. Reload features video game-style art and plays along the lines of a first-person shooter, with players competing for fame by fighting and doing weird things. Here's a rundown of the game's setting:
Reboot, replay, reload: In the near future, the military-industrial complex has developed remotely operated battle androids for planetary exploration in hostile environments. Because these clones take on the faces and memories of their controllers, military laboratories are looking for applicants with specific skill sets. Seeking to build robust teams for the next missions, selected individuals are put to the test on a special training island. In order to fund the expensive program, military companies have teamed up with media moguls to create and promote broadcast competitions live from the island training grounds. Thus was born "RELOAD", the biggest TV show on the planet.
Board Game: Ruination
• March 2020 will see a KS campaign for Ruination, a Travis R. Chance design that Moreno says is "Genghis Khan meets Mad Max, with minis". (She's got a flair for such statements!) A short take on this 2-4 player game:
The Khan is merciful. The Khan is wise. Without the Khan, The Wasteland would be no more than its name. Each horde rallies behind its totem. Some for the favor of the Khan. Some for their own glory. We are the lucky. We are the saved.

Ruination is a 2-4 player area control and civilization game set in post-apocalyptic Eurasia. Using an innovative action system, players will gather resources to acquire advantages from the wreckage of the world before, bolster their armies with powerful Exiles, and march across The Wasteland to war. Only the strongest and most canny horde will rule beside the Khan in this new world.

Board Game: Medici: The Dice Game
Board Game: Chu vs Han
• Grail Games has only two forthcoming titles at the moment, and I've already covered both of them in BGG News posts: Reiner Knizia's Medici: The Dice Game and Tom Lehmann's ChuHan.

I love David Harding's editorial choices and art direction at Grail, so I'm hoping for even more good things down the line...

Update, Nov. 10: I should have written "only two announced forthcoming titles", but alas I didn't. Here's an update on what's coming from Grail Games from a Nov. 2019 newsletter: "Over the next 12 months, Grail Games has more great games planned, including two new additions to the Medici family of games, another brand new Reiner Knizia design, and ChuHan, a 2-player card game from designer Tom Lehmann."

Update, Nov. 14: Grail Games was not purchased by Surfin' Meeple or Charpentier and is still run by David Harding; rather the two companies have a partnership agreement.
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