Essen 2013 solitaire games
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This list has been culled from the official BGG list... Spiel 2013 Preview

Keep in mind this list is meant for my own benefit. I'll add more details if I have time, but, alas, I don't expect I will.

I plan to use this on the next episode of the 1 Player Podcast. If you know of any other Essen 2013 games that support solitiare play, please feel free to add to this list and if possible, include the link the list mentioned above.

I am probably missing a bunch of games, especially co-ops that don't specifically mention solo play but can easily support it.
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1. Board Game: 12 Realms [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:6936]
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/152350/item/2730823#it...
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Siegfried, Snow White, D'Artagnan, Red Riding Hood, and the other heroes of the twelve realms are being reunited for one last great adventure. The Dark Lords have joined forces to completely conquer and subjugate all the known Lands, and only the combined efforts of all the greatest heroes can halt their nefarious plan.

12 Realms is a fast, lighthearted cooperative miniature game for 1 to 6 players. All players must band together to stop the Dark Lords' overwhelming hordes from pillaging the 12 Realms. Individual invaders can be defeated by using each hero's different talents, but to vanquish the Dark Lords you must claim a powerful artifact.

In their quest to stop the invasion, the heroes can travel together between different lands, or they can try to single-handedly defend a Realm. Each of the 12 Realms is an individual land, with different treasures and events, and populated by unique creatures.
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2. Board Game: 7 Days of Westerplatte [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3472]
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A cooperative wargame!

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The German battleship Schleswig-Holstein began the bombardment of the Polish Military Depot on September 1, 1939, at 04:48. This symbolic event marks the beginning of the Second World War. For seven days, the 235 defenders in the Polish forces bravely fought the overwhelming German army.

7 Days of Westerplatte is a cooperative war game. The players incorporate the roles of Polish commanders who work together to confront the German army and win the game. Stukas's raids, land troop attacks, and battleship and howitzer bombardments are the biggest threat for Polish forces, and to hold back the attacking German troops, players must use land mines, mortars and rifles, while also remembering to rebuild the defensive structures and keep their morale high. Will you manage to defend the Depot for seven days, or will you succumb to the enemy's crushing power
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3. Board Game: 8 Masters' Revenge [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:4665]
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Only a few fighters have made you eat dust. Coincidentally, one of them is standing in front of you right now, ready to fight. Your hands rise into an impenetrable guard. Your time has come to take revenge!

In the fighting game 8 Masters' Revenge, you are a martial arts master and you want to beat your opponents, strike after strike. Your only weapons are your two hands, represented by the two cards you have in play. Find the weak point in your opponent's guard to deal damage to him. As soon as his "health" marker reaches the last space of his life track, he is out of the game. The last surviving player wins the fight!
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4. Board Game: The Battle of Red Cliffs [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:8295]
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The Battle of Red Cliffs is a revamped edition of Tien Zi Que, the Mahjong card game, for 1-9 players. Like Mahjong, each game plays over several rounds as players collect sets of cards. What makes TZQ/BRC unique is that when players collect sets, they save a card from each one to form a Master Set that is used for scoring at the end of the round (when one player has five score cards). Players want to make sure the cards they save will score well because if they don't score enough points to get to the next score level, they will fall back to the previous one.

Players can also "Peng" to form a set at the beginning of any player's turn, use Command cards to gain a unique advantage, and play in teams of two or three to add to the fun.

Reimplements

Tien Zi Que
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5. Board Game: Blocks in the West [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:4570]
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Only solitaire in that you are playing both sides.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/152350/item/2788975#it...

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Early in the morning of May 10, 1940, under the Codeword Danzig, Fallschirmjäger from the 7th Flieger Division and 22nd Luftlande executed surprise landings at Den Haag, on the road to Rotterdam and against the Fortress of Eben Emael in order to facilitate German Army Group B's feint advance in Belgium, while the main attack was conducted by stronger Army Group A led by seven panzer divisions from the Ardennes, through a terrain believed uncrossable to armor units. France and the UK reacted immediately, activating the Dyle-Breda Plan, and thus committing their best forces directly into the trap. Then in June the evacuation of Dunkirk was a partial success, but the battle for France was over with an astonishing German victory. Four years elapsed before the Western Allies would come back to the continent and thus finally defeat Germany.

Blocks in the West (BITW) recalls, in game form, the most decisive battles fought in the European Theater Front from the invasion of France until the collapse of the Nazi regimen in May 1945. BITW is a game of World War II conflict simulation at the operational level. Although based on historical events and battles, the players in command of the two factions can modify the evolution of World War II on the Western Front. The game is recommended for two, three or four players: one/two control the Western Allies and the other one/two control Germany and Italy. The game is imminently suitable for solitary play: the single player just controls both sides. In this case, playing with Fog of War is mandatory.

Developed on a wooden blocks and cubes system over an astonishing 124x87cm full-laminated multicolor map board, Blocks in the West includes no paper components other than the manual. All of the over 900 wooden/plastic components/stickers have been created by the best Italian artisinal industry and painted A buratto, a technique usually adopted for painting car parts and accessories. In terms of scale, a hexagon is approximately 44 miles (70 km) across, a game turn is one month long, and a full-strength counter represents a major military formation (normally a corps) of ca. 30,000 men, 300 Tanks or 300 planes depending on the unit type, equipment, nationality, etc

The rules are divided into three major sections which can be learned one at a time. The basic game rules introduce the basic concepts and enables players to start playing the game without too many rules to remember. Then the advanced game rules provide more specific and detailed rules for an enhanced realism, such as the use of fuel and the advanced production system. Finally, for those players who want to get the best out of the game, optional rules can be added as desired; these include Technology Research, Strategic warfare over German factories and U-Boot Campaign in the Atlantic Ocean, Amphibious Invasions, and Parachute Assaults.

Blocks in the West can be played standalone or combined with Blocks in the East
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6. Board Game: Bremerhaven [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2968]
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Game description from the publisher:

Bremerhaven is a clearly structured but complex economic game about the famous harbor town in the north of Germany. Each player builds his own unique harbor and tries to reach the highest combination of money and prestige by the end of the game.

Each round, players are trying to get the most influence on the action fields they want to use. Since you place your influence cards face down, you have to watch closely what the other players might want to do. (You can even place more than one card on one spot.) The options are varied: Get a new ship with new goods into your harbor, close a new contract, change the values of the four different goods, improve your influence card-hand, expand your harbor, buy a new building, or simply rise in the nautical ranks to get more money. But you have to be careful: Every ship and every contract will stay in your harbor only for a short while. (The transporters and trains are waiting!) If you fail to coordinate the incoming and outgoing goods, you might have to pay penalty for not fulfilling a contract!

Bremerhaven ends after a defined number of rounds, and the rules include both a short version and solo rules. Visually the game will be in the vein of Le Havre.
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7. Board Game: Buccaneer Bones [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:5107] [Average Rating:5.87 Unranked]
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Sail your fleet of galleons to the Murky Isles, hiding place for some of the greatest pirate treasures ever buried. Roll the Buccaneer Bones (landlubbers call them "dice") to send ships out to sea. When you reach the island, you get a special bonus just for being there. But the best part is the treasure! Find the treasure and bring it back to port, then set sail again. The first pirate to bring back three treasures claims the title of "Scourge of the Seven Seas"! Arrrr!!!

Each player in Buccaneer Bones starts with six ships on the six numbered ports of his player mat; each ship is in a sailing lane that consists of a port, a sea space, and an island. On a turn, the player rolls four dice, then rerolls as many as he wants; if he now has a pair, he advances the ship matching the number rolled one space (from port to sea or from sea to island) and if he has a three-of-a-kind, he advances the appropriate ship two spaces (from port to island). When a player has a ship on an island, he receives a bonus:

When on islands 1 or 6, he rolls one extra die; on islands 1 and 6, he rolls two extra dice.
When on islands 2 or 5, he can add or subtract one from a rolled die; on islands 2 and 5, he can do this twice.
When on islands 3 or 4, he can reroll any number of dice one extra time; on islands 3 and 4, he can reroll two extra times.
When a player has a ship on an island, if he has a three-of-a-kind matching that island number, the ship grabs one treasure, then returns to port.

If a player can't advance a ship, he can place his first mate (1) as a scout on an island to grant himself that power on his next turn, (2) as a thief on a treasure owned by a player with more treasure than him, giving him a chance to steal it next turn if he rolls any three-of-a-kind, or (3) as a defender to remove a thief on one of his treasures.

The game ends the round that a player collects his third treasure. If he's the only one with three treasures, he wins; if multiple players have three, then the tied player who has more ships farther from his ports wins.

Buccaneer Bones includes a couple of play variants, including rules for a solo game.
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8. Board Game: Carnival Zombie [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1482]
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The ancient manuscripts talk about a Leviathan, a huge creature lying on the silt bed of the lagoon on whose back the city has its foundations. All manuscripts agree on its eternal sleep and they all tell that the beast will wake up one day, shaking the city from its muddy roots, smashing the vitrified stilts on which the city stands, and crashing it into the seething sea where the monster will rise. The ancients say, however, that there will be signs; it is written that the Venetians will feel the tremors, that they would therefore save themselves from the monster, who will recover his freedom by plunging into the waves a deserted city.

But there were no signs. What ancients did not know is that the Leviathan is not alive. For centuries, the city lived and prospered on the back of a corpse. That corpse, though, is now awakening – and with it the dead arise from the lagoon...

In the cooperative game Carnival Zombie, players lead a group of characters who are fleeing on terra firma from the terror that has emerged from the lagoon of Venice. This group of characters must make its way through hordes of rotting "Infected" to leave the city, and players need to rush as the Leviathan upon which the foundations of Venice were built is awakening. Thus, it's only a matter of time before the city sinks in the dark waters of the lagoon.

Each game is divided into several nights and days. During the nights, players hide in trenches behind the barricades to resist the attacks of the Infected. During the day, players move through the city, which is shaken by tremors. The Infected are drawn by the groans of the Leviathan in the abyss to help their master free itself from the rotting stilts that nail it to the silt bed.

Players have several ways to get out of town, but little time to do it – and their path is hindered by the bosses, the most implacable servants of the Leviathan. If the players do make it out, they can assess their skills – and set a goal for next time – by counting the points scored during the game.
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9. Board Game: Castaways [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:951]
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You've been shipwrecked on a deserted isle. Do you have the wits to survive until a rescue ship arrives? To make it, you'll need to build a camp and explore the interior to reach the summit. From there, you will scan the horizon for sign of a nearby ship. Only then will you be able to make a signal and get rescued! If you are rescued, your tale will be told around the world — but only if you have the best tale to tell! Of course, if you are not rescued, no one will hear your story...

Náufragos (a.k.a. Castaways) is a semi-cooperative game about four castaways who are stranded on a small island. They must cooperate to improve their shelter, gather food to eat and wood to keep the campfire burning, and figure out how to advance to the interior of the island, as only from the vantage point of the highest spot on the island will they have a view of the vast ocean – and even more importantly, a view of the ship on the horizon that promises rescue! The players must manage their time in order to deliver a signal to this passing vessel – but even if they're all rescued, in the end only one player will win, that being the one who writes the best story at the end of the game, the one who lives and retells the greatest adventure from all the survivors, the one who has collected the most story points.
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10. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:11]
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Following along the same lines as its predecessor (Agricola), Caverna: Cave Farmers is a worker-placement game at heart, with a focus on farming. Players begin the game with a farmer and his spouse, and each member of the farming family represents an action that the player can take each turn. Players can also expand their family while running an ever-growing farm.

Caverna: Cave Farmers is a complete redesign of Agricola that substitutes the card decks from the former game with a set of buildings while adding the ability to purchase weapons and send your farmers on quests to gain further resources. Designer Uwe Rosenberg says that the game includes parts of Agricola, but also has new ideas, especially the cave part of your game board, where you can build mines and search for rubies. The game also includes two new animals: dogs and donkeys.
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11. Board Game: Countdown: Special Ops [Average Rating:5.33 Overall Rank:12564]
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This looks neat. It sounds like it has a campaing mode where you can level characters. The game play sounds interesting.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/152350/item/2669261#it...

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In this 100% modular game you and your team mates are in charge of a special ops team with a special mission! Find hidden bombs and dismantle them, help hostages into safety or take out terrorist leaders. To start your first mission is easy: randomly take a mission card on the first level (level green). A single mission takes only 30 minutes of play + 5 minutes to prepare if you play it realtime. If you have enjoyed your first "training on the job" - hopefully with not too many casualties - many, many other game modes are available for you to try out. So why wait and start up your first mission with COUNTDOWN.

Choose from one of these game modes:
- NEW SINGLE MISSION: did you fail, you can try out a single mission with a different location and different misssion goals;
- LEVEL UP: did you succeed, you might want to try another mission on level 1 or if you have a smart team a mission on level 2 (orange level) might be more challenging...
- SCENARIO PLAY: have you succeeded in a mission on level 2 you can choose to try a level 3 mission or try out your first scenario; a scenario game consists of three missions which are played with the same team of OPS and are of increasing threat level, going up all the way to very heavy enemies and situations; your support cards might help you and your team mates in very difficult situations;
- HINTS FOR CREATIVE PLAYERS: did you enjoy a few missions you can create your own mission or campaign? Now you can create your own single mission or campaign: for example by combining mission locations, goals, threat levels, etc... or make your own series of missions; and real creative players create a new mission set up themselves;
- TRAITOR MODE: yes, we have created a competitive game mode in this COOP game, which increases the tension significantly; now some of the players have different goals and as a result mission is going to be real tough; for the patriots the task is to find the traitor fast.

Develop your primary skill, but don't neglect your attack power, defense power and other skills if you want to stay alive in this thrilling new game.

Available in October, introduction at SPIEL'13 in Essen (Germany). Only available at The Game Master in Hall 3, E-100. Real time video demo available throughout the fair for 1000 players.
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12. Board Game: Desktopia [Average Rating:6.09 Unranked]
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This house of ours – we don't understand the laws of motion of the giants, or remember when we came to the floor, or know when the light will be shed from the ceiling, but this is our house. Here we tame wild monsters, create streams of sparks, storm the heights under the ceiling, and set off into the unknown of the outside. Here we are at war with each other, upholding the principles of the Great Orders, and each table of this house is a place for our battles. We, the people Nastola!

Desktopia (or Настолье, meaning "the country on the table") is a disc-flicking game for 1-4 players that can be played on any flat surface. Each player controls one of four Orders of Nastola: unpredictable Fire, indomitableGrass, resourceful Metal and sinister Dust. Each order has unique powers, and the discs can eliminate or paralyze opponents, capture artifacts or strengthen one of your own units. Components on the table can be incorporated into the game as obstacles or goals.
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13. Board Game: DubbelYatzy [Average Rating:6.04 Unranked]
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DubbelYatzy is based on the Swedish version of the classic dice game Yahtzee (Yatzy in Swedish), but whereas Yatzy uses normal six-sided dice – with players rolling to achieve combinations like a full house, a straight and "lots of 6s" – DubbelYatzy includes special double dice, with a smaller die inside each larger transparent die. You still want to achieve combinations with your die rolls, but now you score a combination each with the inner dice and the outer ones. Thankfully, you have some wiggle room when shooting for combination targets as you roll six double dice, but use only five outer and five inner dice when scoring combinations, with you choosing each five as you wish.

DubbelYatzy uses standard Swedish Yatzy scoring rules, which are somewhat different from Yahtzee rules, but can also be played with international or German Yahtzee scoring.

The playing time is 15 minutes per player.
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14. Board Game: DuCo [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:9530]
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Item for Geeklist "Spiel 2013 Preview"

20 minute set collection pattern matching game...

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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!
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15. Board Game: Dungeon Roll [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:1863]
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The Dungeon lies before you; you’ve assembled your party of hearty adventurers and have a few tricks up your sleeve. How far will you go to seek glory and fame? Will you risk losing everything?

In Dungeon Roll the player's goal is to collect the most experience points by defeating monsters, battling the dragon, and amassing treasure. Each player selects a Hero avatar, such as a Mercenary, Half-Goblin, or Enchantress, which provides them with unique powers. Then players take turns being the Adventurer, who boldly enters the dungeon seeking glory.

The Adventurer assembles their party by rolling seven Party Dice, while another player serves as the Dungeon Lord and rolls a number of Dungeon Dice based on how far the Adventurer has progressed through the dungeon. The Adventurer uses Champion, Fighter, Cleric, Mage, Thief, and Scroll faces on the Party Dice to defeat monsters such as oozes and skeletons, to claim treasure inside chests, and to revive downed companions with potions. The Adventurer claims treasure by taking a token at random from inside the treasure chest-shaped game box.

All this fighting in the dungeon is certain to attract the attention of the boss: The Dragon!

When three or more Dragon faces appear on the Dungeon Dice, the Adventurer must battle the Dragon. Defeating the dragon is a team effort, requiring three different companion types. After three rounds, the players add up their experience points and retire to the inn to celebrate their exploits and to plan their next foray into the next deadly dungeon!
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16. Board Game: Escape: The Curse of the Temple – Quest [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
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Escape: Quest includes two new expansion modules – Quest Chambers and Character abilities – for Escape: The Curse of the Temple that can be used individually or combined with any other modules for the base game.

Quest module: In addition to activating gems, players now need to complete special quests before they can leave the temple. At set-up the quest tiles are shuffled separately, and 1-3 of them are then shuffled (unseen) into the deck. This means you never know what challenges you will face.

Character module: Each player plays one of six different characters: Doc, Mechanic, Discoverer, Dark Priest, Muscleman, Mentalist. Each character comes with two unique abilities, and at the start of the game you pick one.
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17. Board Game: Factory Fever [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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Factory Fever plays in the warehouse of the Factory Fun factory. Instead of building the machines in your factory, now you must store the products in the warehouse, which is a very different task. What's more, you must store products of the same type in a group or have them connected by conveyors. These products are both dangerous and extremely heavy, so for safety reasons you must not drag them more than once, and all products of one type must be together. Building conveyors helps to connect similar products.

You know which products will need to be stored, but you don't know when and in which combinations, so you must anticipate the future by holding different good options for stocking the goods. The pillar in the middle of your warehouse is as annoying as it was in the factory (Fun) halls.

When your warehouse is finally filled, the game is complete. If each of the six different goods is stored in a single group, you are doing well. For one product that task is easy because you have to store that type of product only once (i.e., 1 tile). The very dangerous product you should place at the wall, and for the mixed product you decide at the end which product type it is. The conveyors should not have dead ends (to the walls or pillar). Each error results in 1 error point, so try to have the fewest errors.

For a new challenge, the B-sides of the boards get used. The player with the best score on the A-sides gets the hardest difficulty level B-side warehouse, and so on.
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18. Board Game: Gladiatori [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:9106]
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Special Edition release of a game that came out last year.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/152350/item/2830623#it...

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During the Roman Empire, gladiator combat was the most popular form of entertainment. Fighters from all parts of the Empire were included in the shows, including female gladiators, wealthy Roman citizens and in some cases, even aristocrats. Now the time has come for you to gain the immortal glory of the Arena. Fight for your honor, for fame, and for your life!

Gladiatori is a card-driven game in which each player assumes the role of a gladiator in the Ancient Roman Empire. Action selection drives figure movement on the board. Combat cards give energy to the character actions and are used as hit points. Characters are customizable, and each player has to choose his deck composition, character skills, and participate in the auctions for Arena items. At the end, the winner will be determined by victory points – or simply by being the only one left alive!

This is not the usual fast, face-to-face combat game in which you attack opponents with a roll of dice. It contains many strategic and tactical aspects, and no luck factors (other than in the solo game). Customization of characters makes the combat always different: Your gladiator may be strong against some opponents and weak against others. Let's start finding your way to win!

Gladiatori Deluxe is a limited edition version of the game that includes eight metal miniatures — four gladiators and four animals (dog, wolf, bear, lion) — and a revised 2.0 English-language rulebook with the other languages being available online.
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19. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:190]
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Glass Road is a game that commemorates the 700-year-old tradition of glass-making in the Bavarian Forest. (Today the Glass Road is a route through the Bavarian Forest that takes visitors to many of the old glass houses and museums of that region.) You must skillfully manage your glass and brick production in order to build the right structures that help you to keep your business flowing. Cut the forest to keep the fires burning in the ovens, and spread and remove ponds, pits and groves to supply yourself with the items you need. Fifteen specialists are there at your side to carry out your orders...

The game consists of four building periods. Each player has an identical set of fifteen specialist cards, and each specialist comes with two abilities. At the beginning of each building period, each player needs to choose a hand of five specialists. If he then plays a specialist that no other player has remaining in his hand, he may use both abilities of that card; if two or more players play the same specialist, each of them may use only one of the two abilities. Exploiting the abilities of the specialists lets you collect resources, lay out new landscape tiles (e.g., ponds and pits), and build a variety of buildings. There are three types of buildings:

Processing buildings
Immediate buildings with a one-time effect
Buildings that provide bonus points at the end of the game for various accomplishments
Mastering the balance of knowing the best specialist card to play and being flexible about when you play it – together with assembling a clever combination of buildings – is the key to this game.
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20. Board Game: Gnominia [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Item for Geeklist "Spiel 2013 Preview"

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Have you ever tried to manage a community of gnomes? This is quite a difficult task as they are hard to control and they usually do whatever they want.

Gnominia puts the players in charge of managing a village inhabited by gnomes and have them competing with other villages. The first player who manages to gain 20 trophies is declared winner.

A game for 1-4 players with a dynamic set-up which allows for ever-changing experiences, Gnominia is a dice interpretation of the deck-/pool-building concept made so popular by games such as Dominion or Ascension. Every player starts with an identical set-up for his village and can activate the various buildings using a set of three dice. During the game, various cards may be purchased to modify the village, allowing for different dice results. Players can also hire mercenaries, found guilds, upgrade their buildings, complete missions, and cast spells in order to gain trophies and win the game. All of this in frantic twenty-minute game...
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21. Board Game: Guilds of London [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:1098]
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Overview
London: The biggest, most important and richest city in England in the late medieval and early modern periods.

The Guilds played a major role in the lives of London’s citizens, controlling the way in which trade, manufacturing and business was conducted in the city. The members of the guilds were rich men, who were appointed to the most influential positions in the community and wielded immense civic power. The chief representative of the Guilds became the Lord Mayor of London, and the leading delegates of the Guilds became his Aldermen. Other members of the Guilds were the burghers of London. The Guilds ran the city and controlled its commerce; each had its own Hall and its own Coat of Arms. Representatives of the Guilds met at the Guildhall to discuss the great issues of the day.

In Guilds of London you will place your liverymen in strategic Guilds, building your power base, so that you can achieve the status of Master in many of them. You will also have the opportunity to spread your power into the commercially valuable Ulster or Virginia plantations. Control of each Guild will provide victory points and additional actions that you can exploit, so that you can control the future development of the city.

A Bit More Detail
Players’ resources in Guilds of London are:
- liverymen, represented by cubes in the player’s own colour, and
- Guilds of London cards, which players use to take actions.

The game is played over a varying number of rounds, dependent on the number of players. In a typical turn, a player will use cards to hire liverymen, to move liverymen to/from Guild cards, and to emigrate liverymen to the plantations. At the end of a turn the player will draw a number of cards, which can be boosted by actions during the turn.

The Guilds of London card deck is made up of 21 cards in each of five suits. While every card can be used to hire or move a liveryman, each has special ability available at a cost. Most card abilities are themed to the specific suits: scythes (common guilds) are for hiring, crosses (church guilds) are for card-drawing, compasses (artisan guilds) are for moving, anchors (maritime guilds) are for the plantation and crowns (noble guilds) are special effects.

The guilds, themselves, are represented by colourful square cards that are set out, adjacent to each other, to form the playing board; in the 1-2 player game, all of the Guilds used (24) are set out from the start; in the 3-4 player game, a starting set are placed and more come into play as the game progresses.

Control of a guild is determined at the end of each phase (3 rounds, for 1-2 players) and each round (3-4 players), if a Guild contains a number of pieces equal to or greater than the number shown on the card. This number is between 2 and 7 dependent on the power of the Guild. Winning control of guilds gives players bonus actions, as well as awarding victory points. The Beadle (a neutral piece) can also be found amongst the Guilds and his presence may help players to win control of the Guild he is visiting.

Players can also earn coin cards that give bonuses at the end of the game.

Players can take as many actions as they like in one turn, as long as they have the cards and resources! The order in which players take their turns is important, because control of Guilds is worked out at the end of a round (3-4)/phase (1-2) when all players have had a 1/3 turn(s). The player with the most victory points at the start of the turn is the starting player for that round, and the other players take turns in descending order of victory points.

At the end of every three rounds (called a ‘phase’) players also count up their liverymen in the plantations; the first and second placed players receive a bonus. In the 3-4 player version, further Guild cards are placed so that the board grows during the game.

At the end of the game, players receive bonus points for their coin cards to add to the victory points gained during play. The player with the most victory points is the winner.

** PLEASE NOTE: THE EARLY IMAGES ARE FROM THE PLAYTEST COPIES **
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22. Board Game: Das Labyrinth des Pharao [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:8063]
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In Das Labyrinth des Pharao, players are graverobbers who want to go as deep inside a pyramid as they can, preferably discovering chambers that contain treasures along the way.

Each player starts the game with 28 identical tiles and a 5x5 grid representing a pyramid. Players each add the same tile to the grid each turn, slowly creating (if all goes well) a winding labyrinth inside the pyramid. When a player places a tile that shows one or more scarabs on it, he can choose to place a treasure marker on one or more scarabs. By the time that the third tile is placed, each player must decide which entrance to the pyramid his figure will take.

The game ends once the 5x5 grid is filled. Each player counts the length of the corridor that extends from his starting point, scoring one point for each space in this path. In addition, the player scores two points for each treasure that's surrounded by four walls as long as at least one of those walls abuts the corridor walked by the graverobber. Whoever has the highest score wins!

Das Labyrinth des Pharao includes rules for solo play as well as an advanced variant in which treasures are worth 1-3 points depending on their color, with this point value then multiplied by 1-4 depending on where its shared wall meets the corridor. The deeper the treasure along the path, the more points it's worth.
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23. Board Game: Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:480]
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It is 1729 in pre-revolution France, a time when the aristocracy has all the power and the means to rule the country. As a wealthy, well-educated aristocrat, you have travelled the world and had the fortune to enjoy your life to the fullest – but you see that history is about to change course and you know that in order to stay strong, your family must prepare well. You need to find new allies. You must absorb smaller families and use their potency to strengthen your kin. You have to arrange wise marriages, nurture strong connections at court, obtain titles, build mansions, and find the right spouses for your daughters and sons...

Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy enables you to build a powerful dynasty in 18th century France as you step into the shoes of a French noble and compete for lasting honor. Over three generations, you – a resourceful patriarch or matriarch – will attempt to create a lasting legacy by establishing a house with ties to many different wealthy and powerful families from France and abroad (Spain, Italy, Russia and other countries).

This card game offers endless possibilities. Each time you build a family, you write a unique story, bringing to life the diverse relationships between parents and their children, between cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces. Whether you are looking for the best husband for your only daughter or a suitable wife for one of your two sons, whether you are looking to add new blood to your family by marrying into foreign nobility – you will be working to make your family rise in status through prestige and wealth, new skills and abilities.

In Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy – known previously as Nobles of Paris and winner of Ducosim Spelontwerp in 2009 – you will find 75 spouse cards with unique traits, more than twenty secret missions, nine titles, and nine "contribution to the family" cards. This all culminates in a highly thematic card game that will satisfy players who enjoy exploring many different paths to victory.

Legacy is a worker placement game in which you take actions to improve the standing and/or wealth of your family. You will expand your family, creating an ever-growing tableau, the family tree. You will need to balance the three 'currencies' in the game, Prestige (converts to Honor points at the end of each generation, of which there are three), Income (your income which converts to hard cash at the end of each round, of which there are 9), and Friend cards (which are actual connections/friends, and are the only way to marry into wealthy/famous families, and can only be received through actions, such as marrying a woman who brings some of her social contacts with her).

Prestige, Income and Friend cards can be gained and lost. You can, for example, lose some prestige by marrying someone infamous or lose some Honor points (i.e. reputation) by asking friends for money. There are also numerous actions you can take that will affect one of the three 'currencies' detrimentally, such as bribing someone to get a title (for which you need to pay, but also in the loss of friends who felt they deserved that title, and not you), or the maintenance of a beautiful new park you have built for the people (losing you income). Finally, you can also take actions that result in the loss of some of your social contacts (friends), due to jealousy, or people simply no longer wanting to be associated with you.

These currencies are carefully balanced by the male and female friend cards in the game. Generally men will give you income and possibly prestige, but will cost you a dowry/wedding costs. Women, on the other hand, will give you connections (new friends you can choose from the current socialites (cards lying open on the table) and possibly prestige, and will sometimes even earn you a dowry!

The card interactions allow for multiple different paths to success, but you must choose your road strategically, planning out where you want to be headed, else you will be left behind in the dust by those with greater and more successful plans than yours.
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24. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:115]
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On November 30, 1803, the United States purchased Louisiana from Napoleon. U.S. President Thomas Jefferson decided to send two explorers – Meriwether Lewis and William Clark – to discover this huge terra incognita.

Lewis & Clark is a board game in which the players manage an expedition intended to cross the North American continent. Their goal is to be the first to reach the Pacific. Each one has his own Corps of Discovery that will be completed by the Native Americans and the trappers met during the journey. He has to cleverly manage his characters and also the resources he finds along the way. Beware, sometimes frugality is better than abundance.

Lewis & Clark features dual use cards. To be activated, one card must be combined with another one, which becomes unavailable for a while. Thus, players are faced with a constant dilemma: play a card or sacrifice it. During the game, each player acquires character cards that enlarge his hand, building a crew that gives him more options but it needs to be optimized as he will recycle his cards more slowly. This new "handbuilding" mechanism fits strongly the historical background.

Since the aim of the game is to be the first on the Pacific coast, the timing and the opportunistic use of the other players' positions are crucial.
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25. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:655]
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his game should not be confused with Reiner Knizia's children's game (Lord of the Rings) with the same title, or with his very different two-player Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation.

Lord of the Rings is a co-operative game where the object is to destroy the Ring while surviving the corrupting influence of Sauron. Each player plays one of the Hobbits in the fellowship, each of which has a unique power. The game is played on a number of boards: the Master board indicates both the physical progress of the fellowship across Middle Earth and the corrupting influence of Sauron on the hobbits, and a number of scenario boards which detail the events and adventures of particular locations. Progression across the boards is determined by playing cards (many of which represent the characters and items of Middle Earth), and the effects of corruption are represented by a special die. The game is lost if the ring-bearer is overcome by Sauron, or won if the ring is destroyed by throwing it into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom.

Lord of the Rings - Limited Edition

A special edition limited to 500 copies in the English language and 250 in German published by Sophisticated Games and Kosmos in November 2001. The Limited Edition has a silver 22 carat gold plated ring, pewter Hobbit playing pieces, and a signed and numbered John Howe print. Box signed by Reiner Knizia.
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