Spiel 2013 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Spiel, held in the town of Essen each October, is one of Germany's two major game conventions, the other being the Nürnberg International Toy Fair in February. While Nürnberg is a trade show – and therefore strictly business – Spiel is open to the public, drawing roughly 150,000 people over four days. Hundreds of new games will be introduced at Spiel 2013, which takes place October 24-27. This preview covers games that publishers plan to release at Spiel or in the months leading up to it. In most cases, these games will be new for most Spiel attendees. Some smaller publishers show all titles released since Spiel 2012.

Details about the Spiel 2013 Preview:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading. Click on a game's name to head to its dedicated page to see more images, read the forums, and so on.

-----• In most cases, if a game appears in multiple versions, typically due to it being released in multiple languages, each version will appear under its own publisher.

-----• This information is pulled directly from the game pages in the BGG database. Thus, as those pages are updated, this Preview will be updated, too. Yay, automation!

-----• If you subscribe to this Preview, you'll receive update notices whenever an item is added or edited.

-----• If you don't care to read about a game and are logged in, click the red X to hide the game listing for both now and future visits. Choose "Personal" for the reason when doing so. You cannot hide a publisher due to this Preview's special set-up.

-----• Publisher booth numbers, preorder information, game designer and artist signings, and more will be added once that info comes available.

Note that this information has been cobbled together from dozens, nay, hundreds of sources, so inaccuracies may have crept in despite my best efforts. I will update game pages as I receive additional information, and your fellow BGG users will undoubtedly do the same, thereby keeping this Preview as up-to-date as the BGG database itself.

If you're a designer or publisher with information to share – or if you have details about an upcoming Spiel 2013 release – please send me email (wericmartin @ gmail.com). I'll respond as best as I can given the tidal wave of data flowing through the game world in anticipation of the most exciting game convention in the world: Spiel!
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Board Game Publisher: (Self-Published)
• See each game listing under this publisher heading to know where to find each title in question.
1. Board Game: BancoBanco [Average Rating:6.08 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

BancoBanco is a colourful card game that can be played with 2-4 players. Each player starts the game with four banks and four vaults in the colors red, green, blue and yellow. All the players also have a personal vault where they can save their precious cards.

The game is played with two types of cards: point cards and Banco cards. The point cards have a color, value and 1-3 symbols. These cards are used to score points or to invest in the banks. The Banco cards, which have a color and a bonus, are used only to close a bank. A player's turn has three phases. First, the active player can steal a card from an opponent by asking for it (color, value or a combination of both). Second, the player takes two actions, which can be playing cards on a bank and/or vault, saving cards in the personal vault, taking your personal vault to your hand, or burning cards. Finally, the player brings his hand back to five cards.

The goal of the game is to score as many points as possible in the vaults and secure these points by closing the banks. When a bank is closed, all players must close their vault of the same color, so no points can be scored anymore. When all vaults are closed, the game ends and points are counted.

Other Information: • Price €15, but available via preorder for only €10; to preorder for pick-up at Spiel 2013, email your name, number of copies desired, and pick-up day to designer/publisher William van Schagen at info@bancobanco.nl. The deadline for preordering is Wed. Oct 23, 2013 at 12:00 because at that point Spiel has just about started...

• Hall-booth 2-E102

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2. Board Game: DuCo [Average Rating:5.90 Overall Rank:8735]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In DuCo, players score points by playing cards so that colored icons lie next to one another. If you match color or shape, you score; match both, and you score more; match special symbols, and the bonus points will roll in. Some icons will match any color or shape, giving you more opportunities to score. The options for where to play grow each turn, and the first player to reach 50 points wins!

Too simple for a veteran BGG user? Don't count on it until you've tried the alternative game modes that adds new different strategic elements to the color-matching madness!

Other Information: • Price €10

• Hall-booth 2-D105
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3. Board Game: Machina Arcana [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:3080]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Machina Arcana, players take on the role of explorers who are investigating an ancient subterranean complex of unknown origin. They face monsters inspired by H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos in a steampunk setting. The adventurers collect equipment, interact and utilize their environment, fight monsters, and immerse themselves in the rich narrative elements.

The complete story is broken down into different scenarios that represent a self-contained game. All of these scenarios contain chapters, each with its own narration and specifics. The objective of the game is to progress through the tale and face the endgame at the finale of each scenario.

The main goal behind Machina Arcana is to provide players with a chilling game that can never be played the same way, mechanisms that enable varying strategies and approaches, and an extensive framework that combines everything smoothly. The game scales by default; there is no need for special conditions based on the player count. As the story progresses, so does your gear. But beware! If you are too slow, horror might very well prevail and devour you whole...

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Spiel 2013 ahead of a Kickstarter campaign.

• Hall-booth 2-F105

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4. Board Game: Piwne Imperium [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:9837]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 3
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Polish
Description:

In Piwne Imperium ("Beer Empire"), players run their own brewery, managing resources and raw materials, growing barley (which players can transform to light and dark malt) and hops, brewing beer to match recipes, developing equipment and production lines, and (of course) selling their products on the market by investing in advertising and gaining "Brand Points". The game includes event cards that influence the game in various ways and provide opportunities for interaction between players.

Other Information: • On display and available for demonstration at Spiel 2013 ahead of its Nov/Dec 2013 release in Poland with a MSRP of approximately €35.

• Hall-booth 2-F105
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5. Board Game: Ready to Rock! [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:6870]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 9
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 9 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Ready to Rock! is the first party game set at a concert, and everyone wants to be the first rocker who reaches the stage. To maximize the concert feel, pictures taken at real concerts are used on the cards and guitar picks are the player pawns!

While Ready to Rock! is a pure card game, it also uses mechanisms of placement games. The rockers play their route cards, which represent the audience, then they move in different directions through the crowd so that in each match rockers will reach the front row through different paths.

Moreover to advance in every gig, rockers must obstruct other players' progress, perhaps pushing others back by using a special card or blocking their way with a wall card. What creates walls at a concert? Obviously the Mosh Pit, the Hell's Angels, and the Headbangers! A rocker once blocked should not despair as he can always change the direction of the crowd to open up new paths to move in other directions. In addition, Body Surfing might help you pass the obstacle and run toward the stage!

In the game, each rocker starts with four cards and can draw one card each turn. During his turn, he can play at most two cards. Cards are divided in three types: routes and walls – which have already been explained – and instants. The latter are bonuses he can use for himself (e.g., if you get "beer", then you can draw two cards, or with "flashing tits" a player can use three cards in a turn) or against one opponent, such as "ear plug" (which makes him skip a turn), and "smashed beer" (which makes him discard two cards). There are also "Ready to Rock!" card, special cards that activate one of the stage cards to generate unforeseen effects on all rockers: "special guest" forces every rocker to draw one card, while "shitty weather" makes everyone discard one card and "fire explosion" muddles everything up by rotating all the path cards 180º.

Ready to Rock! is a game with a unique real setting and is easy to learn, although some strategy tips are essential to win the game. Given the content of some cards, the game is not suitable for children: for instance, in "lots of beer" there's a guy drinking two beers at once and in "flashing tits" a girl shows her tits to the entire stadium. It's perfect, however, by the age of 14!

Other Information: • Price €14.50

• Hall-booth 3-O100
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Board Game Publisher: 1-2-3-Games Éditions
• Hall-booth 1-C143, which is the location of European publisher Blue Orange (formerly Jactalea).

• In addition to what's listed below, 1-2-3-Games Éditions will have its 2012 release Docker (€10), along with older titles such as CirKle Duo228, CirKle WOM, TEXsTORY, ToTem, and yet others with interesting forms of capitalization.
6. Board Game: Chicago Stock Exchange [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:8063]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Who will be the best trader in Chicago Stock Exchange? Players trade in goods, seeking to keep the best-valued goods for themselves while ruining the values of those held by other players.

To start the game, shuffle the 36 tokens — which depict six types of goods — then place them in nine stacks, with the stacks in a circle. On a turn, the active player moves a pawn 1-3 stacks, then takes the top token from the two stacks adjacent to this pawn. He keeps one token for his own holdings and sells the other, lowering the value of that good by one. (Wheat starts with a value of 7, and the other goods start at 6.) When only two stacks remain, the game ends and players tally the value of their holdings to see who best judged (and manipulated) the market.

In the expert version of the game, the active player can move any number of spaces clockwise around the stacks, but must stop if he reaches a stack topped with the same type of good as that of the stack from which he started his movement.

Other Information: • Price €10

• Only fifty copies are available at Spiel 2013.

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Board Game Publisher: 2D6.EE
• Hall 1 – booth F-168
7. Board Game: Lembitu [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:8717]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Estonian
French
German
Show More »
Description:

It's the dawn of the Livonian Crusade, and Estonia is being conquered by several nations. The Danish forces of Valdemar the Great are arriving from the West. The Crusaders, led by Bishop Albert, are crossing the borders from the South. Vsevolod, Prince of Novgorod, is attacking from the East. There's only one hope for Estonians: Lembitu, the leader, who is brave enough to fight against all the conquerors.

Lembitu is a co-operative board game inspired by the events of the Livonian Crusade in Estonia. Players are in the role of generals, fighting against conquerers and initiating rebellions. Actions can be used for movement, fighting or uprisings — but as each player has only a limited number of actions, they must plan carefully. The direction and speed of enemy movement is decided by dice, but the enemy's ultimate goal is to reach Paide. If they don't reach it within a fixed amount of turns, the players win.

Other Information: • Available for demo games and playtesting at Spiel 2013.
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8. Board Game: Roundhouse Kick [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Estonian
Description:

It was a plan, as foolproof as it could be for escaping the most secured prison in this country. And it worked – until you decided to rest in an abandoned barn without knowing it was the meeting place for all the nearby villains in their ultimate quest. The battle between you and them was short but fierce. It was a battle with no survivors...only legends.

In Roundhouse Kick, each player is an escaped prisoner who must fight several monsters in an abandoned barn. In each round all players roll the dice and try to kill as many monsters as they can because the monsters are worth points. After the players attack, though, the monsters fight back. The game ends once all the monsters or all the players are dead.

Other Information: • Price €20
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Board Game Publisher: 2F-Spiele
• Hall/booth 3-L103

• The promotional card for 2013 is Power Grid: Taxes, depicted at right. Taxes? Who wants to add taxes to the game?! The government, that's who. Well, and all those who benefit from the taxes collected, so pretty much everyone to be honest, even though they don't even realize it sometimes.

As for how you acquire this card, here's an explanation from the BGG game page: Power Grid: Taxes is available "for a donation at the 2F-Spiele booth during Spiel 2013. The donation is for the children's group Knaddeldaddel, a small playgroup for 1- to 3-year-old children in Bremen. For more info (in German), please go to Kindergruppe Knaddeldaddel e.V."
9. Board Game: Frieses Wucherer [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:2404]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Landlord is back! This first work of Friedemann Friese from 1992 has never lost its appeal with gamers worldwide, and now you may at last blast buildings, kill tenants, and cause trouble for your fellow players.

In Friese's Landlord you are all ruthless landlords trying to earn as much money as you can. All sorts of tenants move into your houses: the family, a man with a dog, sometimes even odd ones. All tenants dream of getting a premium apartment, but most often you offer them low rent flats. But beware of squatters! With the help of various action cards you try to get essential advantages or defend yourself against mean attacks, at the expense of your fellow players if necessary – or even the poor tenants!

Friese's Landlord includes 120 full-colored cards with new tenants, brand-new coins and a fully updated rules sheet.

In the end, the player who squeezes the most money out of his tenants still wins!

Other Information:
• This game will also be available in English as Friese's Landlord from the 2F-Spiele booth. French and Spanish editions are due out in October 2013 from Edge Entertainment.
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10. Board Game: Fünf Gurken [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:4163]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Five Cucumbers is a trick-taking game with the goal of NOT winning the last trick!

It's not easy. You have two choices on your turn: Take over a trick by playing a equal or higher card or you must play your lowest card. It is not enough to keep a low card in your hand for the last trick as you will also need some high cards for taking over key tricks.

The player who wins the final (seventh) trick screwed up and must take cucumbers. Each player collects their cucumbers at the end of a round, and if a player has more than five cucumbers, he is out of the game; five cucumbers is the most you can have! In this way more and more players are excluded from the game until the final two are playing for victory!

Five Cucumbers is a modern variant of the trick-taking game Agurk, which is well-known primarily in Scandinavia. We are excited to bring you our new version!

Other Information:
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11. Board Game: Funkenschlag: Australien & Indischer Subkontinent [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.06 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Power Grid: Australia/Indian Subcontinent is a pair of expansions for Power Grid!

Australia does not have a single connected power network. Only in the populated regions, mainly in the south east, are several cities connected to each other. Because of this, players may connect to any city for a connection cost that's generally higher than normal. Australia does not use uranium for its power production, but it does mine huge amounts of the material to sell to other countries. This offers a completely new game element, even for experienced Power Grid players!

• The Indian Subcontinent is always in danger of suffering huge power outages if the players increase their networks too quickly. Additionally, the players must buy their resources on a limited resource market, which does not always guarantee enough resources for all players.

Other Information: • Versions in non-German languages will be released by other publishers. While Rio Grande Games won't have a stand at Spiel 2013, 2F-Spiele has come to an agreement with RGG and will have 150 copies of the English-language version of Power Grid: Australia & Indian Subcontinent for sale during the convention. If those run out, gibt es immer die deutsche Erweiterung.
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12. Board Game: Futterneid [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:9508]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Futterneid, the final game in Friedemann Friese's Friday Project, is all about the snacks lying on a table at a game night. To prepare for play, group all the stuff on the table into five groups. Give each single snack a value depending on the calories, after which each player adds a secret value modifier and the game starts. On a turn, take exactly one piece more or less than the previous player or steal from anyone's unsaved snacks. In the end, players reveal the modifiers and count their score.

Futterneid can be played as a "normal" game without real snacks, but the game comes packaged with five snack bowls and bears a universal "add snacks as achievements to any game" rule, so why not indulge?

Other Information:
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Board Game Publisher: 8th Summit
• Hall-booth 3-S118, which is the Passport Game Studios stand
13. Board Game: Ace Detective [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:5999]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The year is 1941. Within eight months, the United States will join in the war raging in Europe and brewing in the Pacific. However for the moment, the lives of most Americans continue in relative peace...unless you live in the City by the Bay.

In San Francisco crimes, mysteries, and good old-fashioned murder present unique challenges to detectives and residents alike – especially if you happen to be a detective investigating a dirty backroom deal inside a neon lit nightclub, or a future criminal plotting against a spouse under a flickering streetlamp. It is up to you, the players, to create the story.

Ace Detective – which features color and black/white artwork from the grand masters of detective pulp Black Mask Magazine – is a noir storytelling card game that rewards imagination and the turn of a good tale. Play your cards right, tell your story, and be rewarded with the plot points needed to place clues on the suspects of the crime. But be careful as everyone in this gritty city is competing to tell his or her own story...

...to become the true ace detective.

Other Information: • Price €30, with a €5/€10 discount if you reserve copies of two/three games from Passport Game Studios, which handles distribution for Ace Detective.
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Board Game Publisher: ABACUSSPIELE
• Hall-booth 3-E108 for everything that ABACUSSPIELE has to offer.

• Hall-booth 1-G124 should you care to check out the special 2013 Spiel des Jahres-celebrating, Hanabi-playing booth.

• In addition to what's listed below, ABACUSSPIELE will once again have an animal promo to add to Michael Schacht's Zooloretto. What will it be this time?! Leeches? I hope it's leeches.
14. Board Game: Airlines Europe: New Bonus Connections [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.26 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Airlines Europe: New Bonus Connections is a mini-expansion for Airlines Europe that consists of two new bonus connections:

  • Berlin - Moscow (+4)
  • Ankara - Paris (+5)

To use these bonus markers, you place them next to the destination city, as with the markers included in the base game.

Other Information: • Free! Now printed on thick cardboard to match the base game components instead of being available on the ABACUS catalog, as was initially the case with this expansion, as seen below:

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15. Board Game: BANG! The Dice Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:429]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
German
Description:

In the U.S. wild west, the eternal battle between the law and the outlaws keeps heating up. Suddenly, a rain of arrows darken the sky: It's an Indian attack! Are you bold enough to keep up with the Indians? Do you have the courage to challenge your fate? Can you expose and defeat the ruthless gunmen around you?

BANG! The Dice Game keeps the core of the Bang! card game in place. At the start of the game, players each take a role card that secretly places them on a team: the Sheriff and deputies, outlaws, and renegades. The Sheriff and deputies need to kill the outlaws, the outlaws win by killing the Sheriff, and the renegades want to be the last players alive in the game.

Each player also receives a character card which grants him a special power in the game. The Sheriff reveals his role card and takes the first turn of the game. On a turn, a player can roll the five dice up to three times, using the results of the dice to shoot neighboring players, increase the range of his shots, heal his (or anyone else's) life points, or put him in range of the Indians, which are represented by nine tokens in the center of the table. Each time a player rolls an arrow, he takes one of these tokens; when the final token is taken, each player loses one life point for each token he holds, then the tokens are returned to the center of the table.

If a player collects a trio of Gatling symbols on the dice, he fires one shot at everyone else and rids himself of Indian tokens. Who'll get his shot off first? Play continues until one team meets its winning condition – and death won't necessarily keep you from winning as long as your teammates pull through!

Other Information: • Price €19

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16. Board Game: Hanabi Deluxe [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:227]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Hanabi—named for the Japanese word for "fireworks"—is a cooperative game in which players try to create the perfect fireworks show by placing the cards on the table in the right order. (In Japanese, hanabi is written as 花火; these are the ideograms flower and fire, respectively.)

The card deck consists of five different colors of cards, numbered 1–5 in each color. For each color, the players try to place a row in the correct order from 1–5. Sounds easy, right? Well, not quite, as in this game you hold your cards so that they're visible only to other players. To assist other players in playing a card, you must give them hints regarding the numbers or the colors of their cards. Players must act as a team to avoid errors and to finish the fireworks display before they run out of cards.

An extra suit of cards, rainbow colored, is also provided for advanced or variant play.

Hanabi was originally published as part of Hanabi & Ikebana.

Other Information: • Price €60

• This deluxe version of Hanabi comes in a wooden box with high-quality tiles replacing the cards and chips in the standard game.



Update, Sept. 9, 2013: ABACUSSPIELE has passed along pics of the production samples for the box and tiles to be included in Hanabi Deluxe:



The publisher also mentions that versions of Hanabi Deluxe in other languages might be forthcoming...

Update, Oct. 7, 2013: As ABACUS' Matthias Wagner notes in the comments below, only 500 copies of Hanabi Deluxe will be available at Spiel 2013, with more being available at the end of the year from German retailers. (And yes, other publishers will likely release this version themselves.)
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17. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:526] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 15
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Ricochet Robots is less of a game and more of a puzzle, which explains why there's such an odd number of solutions possible. There's a four-piece modular board that forms a large room with walls spread around the board. There are also color-coded targets on boards. Placed on top of the surface are four robots. The idea for each turn/puzzle is to get the like-colored robot to a randomly selected target. The trick is that once a robot starts moving, it will continue to move until a wall or another robot stops it. Therefore, players are seeking a sequence of moves for the robots that will enable them to move the required robot to the target in the fewest moves.

Other Information: • MSRP €33

• Includes eight double-sided game boards and the oh-so-precious silver robot.

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Board Game Publisher: Adlung-Spiele
• Hall-booth 3-E115
18. Board Game: Der kleine König und seine Freunde [Average Rating:6.67 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 3 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Czech
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

The little king and his friends want to paint a pretty picture for his aunt on her birthday, but they've misplaced all the pails of paint. Help them find the paint so that they can paint their colorful picture. Who will collect the most colors?

Der Kleine König includes simplified rules so that children as young as 3 can play, while the standard rules are for ages 7 and up.

Other Information: • MSRP €7

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19. Board Game: Light Line [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:10334]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 8
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Spanish
Description:

Connect it fast and call it out! So many colorful lines with yet more still to come.

In Light Line, players need to keep track of the lines without missing any possible connections. Is it possible to continue the blue line, or would it be better to use the red one? Maybe the green line is more promising and can be scored together with the black one? Creating long lines — and best of all, multiple lines at the same time — creates the best conditions for victory. Who will find the longest line(s) in the shortest time(s)?

Light Line includes basic rules that require players to only extend a line for children aged 5 and up, while the standard game in which players compete in real time is for ages 7 and up.

Other Information: • MSRP €7

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20. Board Game: Zweins [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Take "two" and "one", and make it "twone"!

In Zweins, cards adorned with pictures are flying onto the table and everybody tries to find one compound word made out of two cards. You might see a leg and a sphere, for example, and combine them to create "football"; a mobile phone and a mouth could combine to "phone call". Who can come up with the most double words?

Zweins includes rules that allow children as young as six to play, while the basic rules are for players aged 10 and up.

Other Information: • MSRP €7

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Board Game Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG)
21. Board Game: Canalis [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:4353]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In the wake of one of Tempest's namesake storms, a new area near the city-state has opened up for development. Your faction looks to you to carve out your power in this new area.

Place canals to connect your buildings to resources and to the harbor. Ensure the peasantry looks to you for employment. Improve the prestige of your work by placing scenic gardens. And wouldn't the Senate Annex look most aesthetically pleasing right there, where it completely blocks the view of your opponent's building?

Canalis is a game of building a new district in the City-State of Tempest, arranging the canals and placing buildings in such a manner as to benefit you the most. Players use a mixture of card drafting and tile laying to build the district, and each player's secret missions keep the outcome in doubt until the last card is played.

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22. Board Game: Cheaty Mages [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1883]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The card game Cheaty Mages puts you in the role of a wizard who has come to watch and bet on monsters fighting in an arena. Of course, you have all of your spells to help the monsters you've bet on win (or harm the monsters fighting against yours) – but then again, so do all of the other players, too! What's more, judges line the arena during combat and if players push things too far with their cheating spells, a judge might intervene and dispel – or even eject – the fighter! Who will walk away with the largest pile of gold?

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Board Game Publisher: alea
23. Board Game: Las Vegas [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:489]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Developer Stefan Brück at alea describes Las Vegas as "an easy, dice-rolling, fun-and-luck game with a lot of interaction and 'schadenfreude'". Who doesn't love schadenfreude? (Well, other than those being schadened, I suppose...)

In more detail, Las Vegas includes six cardboard casino mats, one for each side of a normal six-sided die. For each mat, players draw money cards until at least $50k is showing, but the amount may end up being a lot more, making that casino more desirable.

Each player has eight dice of a different color, which they take turns rolling. When you roll your dice, you can choose to place them on the relevant casino cards; for example, a die showing a 1 will be placed on the casino mat marked "1". You must place all dice of one number on one casino in your turn. All players take turns doing this until all the dice have been used. Finally, the player with the most dice on each casino card takes the money associated with it. In case of a tie, the next non-tied player takes the highest-valued money card at that casino.

Las Vegas rates a 1 out of 10 on alea's difficulty scale.

Other Information: • In the alea forum, alea's Stefan Brück notes that the publisher will have a prototype of a Las Vegas expansion on hand at Spiel 2013. This expansion is scheduled for release in Q2 2014, along with another "right" novelty. Here's Stefan's note in German in case I'm missing nuances or clues to what might be coming:

Quote:
Auf der "SPIEL" in Essen werden wir kein neues Spiel präsentieren, sondern "nur" den Prototyp der Erweiterung zu Las Vegas, die dann ab nächstem Frühjahr - neben einer weiteren "richtigen" Neuheit - erhältlich sein wird.
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Board Game Publisher: AMIGO Spiel + Freizeit GmbH
• Hall 3 – booth H-103
24. Board Game: Arche Noah [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:9954]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

With a name like Arche Noah, it should come as no surprise that you want to collect animals in pairs.

At the start of the game, players receive one animal card face down from the shuffled deck; the deck includes ten types of animals, with cards numbered 1-4 for each type. The player looks at this card in secret, and takes 10-12 purple chips and 2-3 green chips, depending on the number of players.

Each round, animal cards are revealed equal to the number of players. In clockwise order from the starting player, each player bids a number of purple chips, then starting with the high bidder (going clockwise from the starting player in case of ties), each player takes one animal card and places it face down on his stack. If a player discards one of his green chips, he takes two animals instead, stiffing whoever comes last in the round!

After all of the animals have been claimed, players reveal their collection. Pairs of the same type of animal score the sum of their numbers; if you have all four animals (two pairs), you receive 3 bonus points; if you have an animal which is not part of a pair, you lose points equal to its number. Each pair of purple chips is worth 1 point.

After tallying the points, players shuffle the cards, refill their purple chips, receive one animal in secret, then play another round. At the end of that round, players score again, this time receiving 1 point for each green chip still in hand. Whoever has the highest total over two rounds wins!

Other Information: • Price €8

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25. Board Game: Flash 10 [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:8111]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Wolfgang Kramer's Flash 10 is a quick-playing take on the Rack-O game system, with players trying to arrange cards in numerical order – but doing so all at the same time.

The card deck includes 120 cards, twenty showing a thunderstorm and the other hundred numbered 0-99, with each card ending in 0 or 5 showing a lightning bolt. Someone shuffles the deck, then each player receives ten cards face down, which they place in a row in front of them. Playing simultaneously and as quickly as possible, players reveal these cards (without rearranging them), then start taking cards one at a time from those scattered in the center of the table and placing them on one of the ten cards in front of them, thereby creating stacks of cards as the game progresses. If a player draws a thunderstorm card, she can place it on any stack.

As soon as a player has ten number cards in ascending order from left to right, she yells "Stop!" and ends the round. If she's correct, she scores 10 points, plus 2 points for ending the round. Each other player scores points for the number of cards in order starting from their left stack. In addition, each card with a lightning bolt (whether in order or not) is worth 1 point, while each thunderstorm card is worth -1 point. Players then shuffle the cards and start another round. Whoever reaches 50 or more points first wins!

Flash 10 includes two variants. In one, players can end the round even if they have one or more thunderstorm cards in their row. In the second, players use nine cards instead of ten, and they must arrange their cards in ascending, then descending order with the fifth card in the row serving as the turning point.

Other Information: • Price €8

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