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Portal Games Expands Detective, Robinson Crusoe, Imperial Settlers; Offers a New Vienna Connection

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Vienna Connection
Polish publisher Portal Games hosted its annual Portalcon event the weekend of January 25, 2020 during which designer Ignacy Trzewiczek presented an overview of the company's 2020 release schedule.

We've already heard about a few of these titles — Detective: Season One and Stronghold: Undead, both covered in a Nov. 2019 BGG News post, and Empires of the North – Roman Banners, covered in a Dec. 2019 post — but Portal Games has much more in the works, such as Trzewiczek's Vienna Connection, a standalone game inspired by the game mechanisms of Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game:
In this game, players take on the roles of CIA agents sent to Europe in 1977 during the Cold War to investigate the mysterious death of James Werner, an American citizen murdered in Vienna. The international plot involves various secret agencies, and players will travel around Europe visiting a dozen destinations and discovering secrets.

Vienna Connection, although inspired by Detective, is a standalone game with new rules and game mechanisms that bring the spy theme to life. Players will manage resources (such as informants, bribes, and pieces of information), decode reports (including secret messages, codes, and wiretapped conversations), and will have to outsmart enemy spy agencies.
Board Game: Detective: Signature Series – Dig Deeper
Detective will also see the release of Dig Deeper, the first case in the Detective: Signature Series from Portal, with this case being written by Rob Daviau. From the publisher: "The story transports players into an American town in the 1970s where their goal will be to solve the mystery of the death of a local politician."

Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – The Book of Adventures
• Trzewiczek's Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island will receive an expansion, co-created by Joanna Kijanka, in Robinson Crusoe: The Book of Adventures, an almanac that consists of new scenarios ranked by their level of difficulty, complexity, and theme, with scenarios suited for every potential audience — from playing with children, to creating a fun family experience, to suffering really heavy scenarios as experienced players.

Board Game: Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North – Barbarian Hordes
Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North will receive a second expansion, designed by Kijanka, in the form of Barbarian Hordes, with each of the two new barbarian clans having their own unique card decks. One clan consists of pirates who sail the sea on their abundant rafts, while the other clan is full of robbers who sabotage other clans and demand ransom.

The original Imperial Settlers game will also receive an expansion from Kijanka, specifically a meta-expansion titled Rise of the Empire that introduces an open-world campaign setting. Here's an overview:
From game to game, players' empires will advance, reaching new eras, goals, technologies, discoveries, and provinces. (You don't need to play the campaign in a set group of co-players as each empire can develop at its own pace and represent different stages of advancement.)

This meta-expansion includes 220 new cards divided into three types: Provinces, Goals & Achievements, and Technologies & Discoveries. In addition Rise of the Empire shortens gameplay from five to four rounds.
Board Game: Imperial Settlers: Rise of the Empire
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