As you game-minded people know, the Spiel in Essen is two weeks away. For those of you lucky and/or smart enough to be going, I'm sure you'll have an awesome time full of gloating to those of us left behind.
But, because we love board games, we decided to do a review of games we were interested in playing. When I looked at the 19-page GeekList, I felt overwhelmed, so I decided to act as if I was at the Spiel. I took note of the games that caught my eye because of box art or name or designer or whatever. Some games I researched, others I didn't. Sadly, a lot of the games did not have a ton of information available on them, which is when I decided to play "design the board game based on the box art" and made it all up in my head. I'm not sure how Chancellor came up with his list; he probably rolled dice. In any event, these are some of the games we're excited about.
Part 1 Video
Part 2 Video
Part 3 Video
If you want to peruse more upcoming games, check out Eric Martin's super long list over on his Spiel 2013 GeekList.
I've added the games we're interested in to this list. I used the BGG descriptions (something we should've probably read beforehand). I figured that would be more useful than us rambling on some more about what we like.
Oh, and don't forget: you can always check out our video game reviews on our other [geeklist=162661]GeekList[/geeklist]. Hopefully, we'll be able to review a lot of the games from this list soon!
In Amerigo, the players help Amerigo Vespucci on his journey to discover new land. The players explore the islands of South America, secure trading routes, and build settlements.
The actions available to players are determined through the use of a specialized dice tower, which has appeared in the Queen titles Im Zeichen des Kreuzes and Wallenstein. At the start of the game, this tower is seeded with action cubes, which come in seven colors, with each color matching a particular type of action. During the game players will drop additional action cubes into the tower – but some of these cubes might get stuck in the floors of the tower while other cubes already in the tower are knocked free. Thus, players need to play both tactically – taking advantage of the actions currently available in the best way possible – and strategically – using their knowledge of which actions do what to play well over the course of the game.
The game board is composed of nine, twelve or sixteen tiles, depending on the number of players. Players sail their ships through the landscape created for this game, landing on islands to plan and build settlements, which then supply resources and allow the player to earn victory points. Players might want to invest in cannons to protect themselves from pirates roaming the waters or acquire progress tokens to gain special advantages.
Many Russian tales speak of the character of Baba Yaga, the ogress witch who lives in a house with chicken legs. Fortunately for them, children always find unexpected allies and manage to escape her. Will you prove as fortunate?
In Baba Yaga, you need to escape the claws of the hideous Baba Yaga. To do so, however, you need to collect the ingredients for your three spell cards, and to do that you need to search the forest while Baba Yaga searches for you.
To set up the game, place nine Baba Yaga tiles in a cross to form a flight path, then place the 16 ingredient tokens face down, with four tokens in each section of the cross. Each player starts the game with three spell cards, which must remain hidden. On a turn, the active player reveals her top spell card, which shows four ingredients, then starts searching for these ingredients in the forest, turning over tiles one by one with a single hand and hiding those she doesn't need. While she does this, the other players take turns moving the Baba Yaga figurine one step at a time along one branch of the flight path, then back. If Baba Yaga completes a circuit before the player finds the ingredients, she must place her spell card on the bottom of her stack; if she finds the ingredients, however, she gets to cast the spell on the card, lengthening or shortening the flight path, swapping the location of ingredients, requiring fewer ingredients next time, forcing an opponent to play in a distorted position, and so on. The first player to complete her three spells wins!
Baba Yaga includes variants for younger players, more experienced players, and those who want the chicken-legged house to be constantly on the move. In the two-player game, the single opponent does all the moving of Baba Yaga, but must swap hands with each move, keeping the inactive hand on her head.
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.
Oranges or lemons or both? Create a new plantation or extend an existing one? Collect landscape tiles or rather build onto a finca in order to cultivate the most points during the next evaluation?
Citrus provides players with new challenges, and little is left to chance. The moves are simple, but the decisions are tricky. Players build citrus plantations for points, yet in order to build, it's essential to harvest your plantations from time to time as this is the only way to bring new income into your account – but when is the timing right? And most importantly, which plantation should you harvest, thus taking it out of the race for the important points during the finca scoring?
Citrus is a tile-laying game for 2-5 players ages 10 and up with a playing time of about 50 minutes. The game contains a simplified family variant as well as a short version of the game. Citrus is particularly suitable for two players.
Coal Baron – or Glück Auf in German, after a greeting German miners use when wishing one another luck – has players sending meeple miners underground to dig tunnels and acquire coal, which comes in four levels of quality and which is used to fulfill contracts.
The game lasts three rounds, and in each round players take turns placing their workers on action spaces; you can go on a space occupied by another player, but you need to place additional workers in order to do so. Each player has an individual elevator shaft, and he'll need to use workers to extract coal and bring it to the surface, while also competing for contracts and scrounging for cash in order to do everything else that needs to be done!
Cornish Smuggler allows players to assume the roles of Smugglers in 18th Century Cornwall. Buying and selling goods for gold while employing a network of local characters, secret knowledge, hidden locations, bribes, dirty tricks and a healthy dose of cunning to evade the attentions of the customs officers and the other players.
When selling goods, players can choose how much to sell them for; making a choice to either increase their reputation and influence in the community by selling cheaply, or maximising their profit by getting the best price possible. An increased reputation allows a player to transport their contraband more easily and evade customs, but to win the game they must have the most gold out of all the other players. However, the higher the price goods are sold for, the stronger the customs forces become…
Smuggling in Cornwall was rarely performed by just one person; rather large swathes of the community were often involved. In Cornish Smuggler, players must build a smuggling network by employing characters; each with a unique ability, cost and affect on a smugglers reputation within the local community.
When smuggling goods, the choice of which goods to buy is key. Players can choose to buy big bulky goods, which are hard to fit on board ship (goods and ships are all different shapes and sizes) or smaller more easily transported goods which are worth far less.
Also, different sized towns will offer different prices for goods. Smaller towns offer a lower price, but with a lower risk. Larger towns offer better prices and allow smugglers to sell more goods, but the risk of do so is (generally) much greater.
The customs forces in Cornish Smuggler will move around the board dependant on what the players do. Landing, moving and selling goods merits their attention although players can also move customs by spending influence or utilising secrets. Luckily all Customs can be bribed meaning that once you've bought them they will remain 'your man' until the end of the game...or until another player pays them more.
Although starting off fairly underfunded and under supported, as the game progresses the Customs Officers will get steadily stronger, harder to bribe and more numerous. As such, it gets harder and harder to smuggle goods effectively, secretly and profitably so each game has a clearly defined end point that is visible to all players
Discovering secret tricks can help a players cause, and there are secret storehouses that can be hired out where you can stash your goods, hiding them from Customs and protecting them from being seized.
There are many possible paths to victory in Cornish Smuggler. Players will have to adapt their strategy to accommodate the actions of the other players, employ the right characters, buy the right goods, discover the right secrets and make the right deals.
This game is about real things that happened to real people in a real place, thus creating a directly relatable experience between 21st Century Cornwall and Cornwall at a time when the community was experiencing significant poverty and exorbitant taxation. As a result, smuggling wasn’t necessarily seen as something that was illegal, but rather as something that was ‘fair game’ and as such was taken with an often light hearted view.
What this game is:
Dodging the Law, employing the local vicar, building an network, discovering and using secrets, renting out the mayor's wine cellar, getting rich, a surprisingly accurate historical representation.
Where is the term "spumante" used? What is included in the "Frankfurter Dreigestirn" ("Frankfurt Triumvirate"]? What does it mean to "destem" grapes? In Das Weinquiz, wine lovers can show their competence and learn even more things worth knowing about wine.
Return to a bustling Plymouth Harbor in 1572 as an aspiring Elizabethan captain making preparations for three exciting voyages to the Spanish Main in search of fame and fortune! As captains, players will have to plan their missions and provision their ships accordingly.
Francis Drake is a race to see who can set sail and reach the Spanish Main first. The riches of the Aztec and Inca Empires await these swashbuckling captains. Many tough decisions must be made before each voyage:
How many crew members, guns and trade goods will be needed? What supplies will be needed to reach deep into the Caribbean? Will a stronger galleon be needed to attack the treasure fleets? Can special charts from the Spanish Admiral and Governor help? Will the Queen or rich investors back the voyage? What information can the informer give? Will Drake himself be available to guide the voyage? Who will get the use of the golden hind? Each new voyage has its own challenges to overcome, but the captured gold, silver and jewels should greatly please the Queen. Get ready for the voyage of a lifetime!
In Galapagos, players move around the island searching for new species of turtles and trying to stay one step ahead of everyone else. With good planning and some luck on the dice, you'll collect more turtles than anyone else and triumph on this whirlwind island tour.
During set-up, players arrange the island tiles, then place five or six turtles on various tiles, depending on the number of players. Each player places his character token on the island and takes five color dice.
In each round, all players simultaneously roll their dice, then arrange them in the order they want to use them. Whoever first completes his planning grabs the sand timer in the center of the board, starting the timer for everyone else to finish their plans. Once time runs out, this player moves his character on the island, moving it to an adjacent space matching the color of the first die in his plan, then moving it again, and so on – ideally picking up lots of turtles along the way. The other players take turns in clockwise order. A player who lands his character on a corner space can move to either adjacent corner space (as long as he's placed the correct color in his movement chart).
Players add turtles to the board to bring the total available to five or six, then start a new round. Once all the turtles have been collected, the game ends and the player score for the turtles they've collected: 8 points for a set of six differently-colored turtles, and 1 point for each other turtle. Whoever has the highest score wins!
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.
In Glastonbury, the players are witches and wizards who shop for ingredients for their magic potions. Your token moves around the perimeter of an array of ingredient cards, and you pick one from the row or column where you stop. The number on the card you pick dictates how many spaces you move on your next turn.
To score points, you need to collect sets of four matching ingredients; if you have only one of a particular ingredient, you'll score penalty points instead. The scoring rules can be made more complicated if the players desire, but for most the basic rules are satisfying. A touch of memory is involved since you can see only the most recently chosen ingredient on your stack of cards.
Glastonbury is a new edition of the 2001 release Kupferkessel Co. with the game now allowing for up to four players instead of being strictly a two-player game. The game includes additional ingredient cards and new spell cards that allow special actions.
Hotels is a Monopoly-like game, but this time you're investing in hotels. Buy your land, construct the main building and you're ready to start earning income. When you have a bit of extra money, you can start extending your hotel. Make room for extra patrons, and provide them better recreational facilities. Compete with other hotels on your block for vital "entrances" where customers will stream through the doors. The best thing about this game...the hotels are all three-dimensional!
The towers go up, the towers go down – that's the flow of the game in Ka-Boom, and whether you want the towers to stand or not depends on whether you're the master builder for the round or a saboteur aiming to cause destruction.
At the start of the game, players lay out the 26 tower tiles, with one large tile in the center of the playing area and the remaining tiles placed randomly around it. Each tile depicts a stacked arrangement of blocks as well as a point value. On a turn, the master builder takes the sixteen tower blocks, flips the sand timer, then starts building whichever towers he wishes, with each tower being built on the tile that depicts it. Each other player is a saboteur and has 2-10 ammunition dice that she tries to shoot at the towers with her catapult (which is more like a tiny teeter-totter really). If she knocks over a tower, great! No points for the master builder, although he can use the fallen blocks to rebuild if time remains. If an ammunition die lands on a tower tile, the builder can't build on this tile; if he's started building on this tile but hasn't finished, he must stop and move elsewhere.
If an ammunition die lands with the "Ka-Boom" symbol face-up, nothing happens. However, if a second die shows this symbol, the player who shot this die gets to slam her fist on the table once; if the ensuing earthquake knocks over towers, too bad for the builder. One player has a giant ammunition die, and this can cause an earthquake all on its own, but saboteurs can't cause more than one earthquake a round.
When the sand timer runs out, the master builder claims any tiles on which he has correctly built a tower that still stands. The next player in clockwise order then becomes the new master builder. As soon as a player reaches 16 points, the game ends and he wins!
As Grade Two monastery initiates in Karesansui – the cutthroat game of Zen gardening – it will be your great honor to tend the Masters' rock gardens. Each morning the Grade Ones arrive with rocks they've gathered, then haul away the rocks that you don't need anymore – but there aren't enough Grade One initiates to go around, so there will be competition for the best selection of rocks. The Grade Ones will give their new rocks to whoever gives them the fewest old rocks to haul away.
Keep in mind while creating your garden, however, that certain combinations of rocks must be avoided! Every afternoon, the Feng Shui Masters come by to check your work. You'll receive demerits for any forbidden combinations – but you'll also receive demerits for your laziness if you don't add new stones each day, so you must find a balance.
The Masters' final evaluation will come with no advance warning. The Initiate who has the fewest demerits will advance to Grade Three, while the one with the most demerits will be kicked down to Grade One, joining the others in the daily search for new rocks...
In Kohle & Kolonie, which is set in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the players run small coal mines in the German Ruhr area (Essen, Hattingen, Bochum, Witten) during the age of industrialization. They need to modernize these mines so that when these smaller mines are merged into larger ones, they can be prepared to take control of the auction and therefore the larger mine. Additionally, players have to ensure the availability of workers for their mines, while also constructing and caring for a railway system that comprises infrastructure in the mines. Finally, if players don't invest money or workers in their mines in order to secure them, they increase their chance of suffering a mining accident, which will lead to negative fallout when it comes time to bid for consolidated mines. Whoever best manages these tasks wins.
Take a trip to the 1930s when you are a landowner in one of the fashionable vacation resorts on the Warsaw-Otwock rail line. Compete for vacationers arriving by train. Earn money from festive Polish and Yiddish vacationers, then invest it in lots covered with pine trees, cheap cottages, comfortable villas, and luxury pensions. The higher the standards you assure the guests, the richer the vacationers you will attract – but don't underestimate the less-demanding tourists who will come even in bad weather. Anticipate trends and invest your capital at the right time to become the most respected figure in the Letnisko-Falenica community.
Letnisko (Summer Resort in English) depicts the development of summer resorts along the Warsaw-Otwock railroad in the second half of 1930s. In the game you buy parcels, build resorts, accommodate holidaymakers, earn money and upgrade your cottages to villas! Each of the three resort types provides a different number of victory points at the end of the game. The game features a simple, family-friendly worker placement mechanism in which each player starts with two family members (action tokens) and one house. In turn we alternatively send tokens to one of the available fields (actions). After all the action tokens have been placed, the tokens return to their respective players with the benefits of those actions.
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.
1870 – Somewhere deep in Texas, the rearing of Longhorn cattle from northern Mexico is booming. It has now become a major source of income for the Texan farmers, while at the same time attracting cattle thieves of all kinds.
In Longhorn, the players assume the roles of two particularly feared outlaws: Eagle Perkins and Jessie Artist Byrd. The aim of the game is simple: to steal cattle (and a few gold nuggets, if possible) to see who can amass the most money by the end of the game — or who can get his opponent arrested by the sheriff!
The fast-rolling, hard-hitting, body-slamming, neck-crunching, chair-smashing, table-slapping dice game for 2 or 4 players...
Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice is a two-player dice game (with optional rules for four-player tag-team play) based on the popular world of professional Mexican wrestling, or "Lucha Libre" (a.k.a. free fighting). Players start with 21 points of health (or 18 in a tag-team match) and roll custom dice to try to either reduce the opponent's strength points to zero to win by a knock-out (KO) or hold the opponent down on the mat for a "count of three" to win by a pin.
The player sitting near the 'red' corner of the wrestling ring uses 4 'red' wrestling dice, the player near the 'blue' corner, the 4 blue wrestling dice. Each player also has a HIT die and a PIN die.
Players begin by each rolling their own set of 'wrestling dice' at the same time, trying to ensure that they land in, or touching the wrestling ring. The results of HITs, BLOCKs, COUNTERs, and MISS rolled are played off against each other then the HIT dice can be rolled to see what damage they did. i.e Drop Kick, Forearm smash, Table slam etc. Damage is recorded on the Strength Score Card of the player being hit. If a player rolls two HITs in one round, instead of rolling the HIT dice twice, they can take a chance on the Luchador! die once which may result in their wrestler's trademark moves and inflict much more damage on their opponent.
Any PINs rolled in a round may be re-rolled, once only. However once an opponent is reduced on their strength to where they are pinable, the PIN die is held until after the HITs have been inflicted then the PIN die is rolled. If PIN comes up, the 'three count' begins. The player being pinned has three attempts to save, using their wrestling dice or lose the match.
In a tag-team match players have the choice of trying to tag-out to regain slight strength, but it can also cost them..., if they fail to tag and get dragged back into the ring by their eager opponent.
Madeira is an island officially discovered early in the 15th century by Portuguese seafarers. Madeira, the Portuguese word for wood, refers to the dense forest that covered its wild, fertile landscape. This, and its strategic position far into the Atlantic Ocean made the island one of the most significant Portuguese discoveries. Madeira served as a “laboratory” for what would become the Portuguese Empire.
Wheat plantations were the first means for survival on the island. After that, when D. Henrique decided to increase the economy of the Empire, sugar became the core business of Madeira. Once sugar started coming from other places in the world, such as Africa and Brazil, profits from sugar were no longer enough, and production of the very famous Madeira wine became the most important economic product of the island.
Players try to adapt themselves to these constraints, working to find better fields for farming the right goods and for obtaining precious wood, essential for erecting new structures in the cities and for building ships. In turn, the ships are crucial for trading in foreign markets, as well as for taking part in new expeditions to discover other countries. Madeira has been established just as it was in the original administrative division of the island under 3 captaincies (Funchal, Machico, and Porto Santo), where the ultimate goal is to develop the Island, gaining the most prestige under and for the Portuguese Crown.
The Crown of Portugal has a series of requests regarding expeditions, urbanization, opening trade routes, increasing wealth, and controlling the guilds on the islands. Three times during the game, the players gain prestige for fulfilling certain requests by the Crown. At two other times, the Crown requests that the islands change the focus of their agriculture due to the changes in the world.
Players must carefully choose the correct timing to show their achievements. Too early and you don’t gain as much prestige, too late and you risk someone else stealing the best opportunities. Will you have what it takes to excel in all of these endeavors? Beware, wheat may become scarce, money is never enough, the population is hungry, and the shadow of piracy looms large….
Help! Lava is coming!! In Mauna Kea, you're exploring a previously unknown volcanic island in the South Pacific with your research team when suddenly there's a terrible roar: The volcano has come to life! Now, you must find as many artifacts as possible and bring them, along with your researchers, to the rescue boats at the coast. If you plan your ways cleverly and have a little bit of luck, you'll survive the volcanic eruption as the rescuing hero!
Each player starts the game with a team of 3-5 researchers (depending on the number of players) and a set of randomly selected terrain tiles that collectively have at least five movement points; the more jungle spaces on a tile, the more movement points it provides. On a player's turn, he must play all of his tiles in any order he wants, either placing them on the game board to expand the terrain on which players can move or spending the movement points to move his researchers to orthogonally adjacent spaces (1 point to enter jungle, 2 points to enter water, 16,000 points to enter mountain — actually, you can't enter a mountain space). If his researcher enters a space with an artifact, he then drags that artifact with him as he moves. If his researcher reaches a boat, he fills as many seats as possible with artifacts, then hits the water. Sorry, chumps!
At the end of his turn, he draws new tiles — and if he pulls a lava tile from the bag, he places it on the board immediately. Lava flows away from the central cone, with each tile indicating the side of the volcano from which it flows. If lava hits established terrain, it covers that terrain; if it hits researchers and artifacts, it covers them, too. Players continue taking turns until someone has no researchers left on the island, whether due to them leaving the island or donning a lava blanket. Everyone else takes one final turn, then players score, collecting 3 points per saved researcher, 1-3 points for each artifact, and -1 point for each empty space on the boats they used. The player with the highest score wins.
In the advanced game, players don't return tiles to the bag when they use them for movement points. Instead they start the game with four action or task cards in hand. They can play as many action cards as they wish on a turn to help their researchers cross mountains, swim faster, or helicopter to safety, but they have only four for the entire game. The game now ends when a player has no researchers or no tile remain in the bag. In addition to their other points, players now score for completed task cards, earning points for specific combinations of artifacts or for taking a certain boat. Again, the player with the highest score wins.
In Nada!, you want to claim as many matching dice as possible – until no matching dice remain, that is, at which point you can yell "Nada!" to claim what's left.
In each round, you start by taking six white dice and six orange dice, with each die having six different symbols on it. Someone rolls all the dice in the center of the table, then players race to be the first to yell out a symbol that is on at least one white and one orange die. If correct, the player collects all the dice showing this symbol; if not, the player collects nothing and sits out the next turn. Once a player has claimed dice, this player rerolls all the remaining dice. If no match can be found, the first player to yell "Nada!" and cover the dice with her hand claims all the remaining dice. Players tally their scores – one point for each die collected – then play another round. Whoever has the highest score after three rounds wins!
Nada! includes variant rules for two other games. In one, the players use all 36 dice at once, playing as above but most likely scoring more points each time since more dice will be in play. The round ends after all dice of one color have been claimed, and the player who collects the most dice wins.
In the other variant, players start the game by secretly drawing 8, 12 or 16 dice from the bag (with the number based on the number of players). On a turn, each player chooses 2-4 dice from his stock, then all players roll their dice simultaneously, claiming dice as explained above. The players take back any unclaimed dice, then choose 2-4 dice again for the next turn. Once a player has no more dice in hand, the game ends, and the player who has collected the most dice wins.
Harbor life, merchant ships, and boxes full of valuable goods in the heyday of the Hanseatic League – this is the setting for Nauticus from designers Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling. Each player runs a shipyard and tries to assemble ships of various sizes in order to ship goods with those same vessels. Time is short as each action can be executed only once per round, assembly of the masts and sails must be precisely coordinated, and the goods can be shipped only when the ship is complete. Thanks to the customized action wheels, everyone is always involved in the game's rapid sequence of actions.
Whoever builds the biggest ships and ships the most valuable goods will be the winner in the end.
All those carrots look so tempting that you might just snatch them – but what if the wolves have been expecting exactly that, a greedy rabbit just like you? You never know...
In Om Nom Nom, during the game you will roll dice, which will represent various kinds of prey. By clever play of your hunter cards, you will try to eat the prey and thus gain victory points. At the end of the game the winner will be the player with the most points.
The game consists of 3 rounds. Each round is divided into 4 phases – roll, play, score and cleanup. During the "Roll" phase one of the players rolls all the dice. After rolling the dice are arranged on the game boards. During the "Play" phase all players will play all 6 of their predator cards one by one. When everyone has selected their first card, they are revealed simultaneously. This is where the action happens. Did You manage to guess what everyone else will play? Were You the only one brave enough to sneak Your mouse after the cheese? Or did You like everyone else play the wolf, because no rabbit surely could resist that amount of carrots. During this phase, players resolve all their played cards by capturing dice and cards of other players. During the "Score" phase players score points for captured cards and dice. And during the "Cleanup", when all 6 cards have been played, players gather all their cards back in hand and a new round can begin. At the end of the third round, player with the most points is the winner.
After one hundred years of life, the Panama Channel still is one of the most important and impressive engineering achievements of modern times. Built in 1914, it had a very important military usage at the time and in the following years. Commercial usage is nowadays the core business of the Channel. Its economic impact is really immense and it developed the region and also the entire trading shipping world. Ships became of two types after the advent of the Canal: the ones that were too big to traverse it and the standard sized ones, which have the limit of the Panama Canal. These are called PANAMAX ships.
Panamax is a game with an original dice (action) selection mechanic. On their turn, players remove a die from the movement, load or characters area and try to perform the better actions. Timing is crucial - when to move, grab the better contract, sell the highest profitable bond, hire the right character,is very important to make the most profit out of your actions. Money is the goal of the game as it is, in a modern final analysis the main purpose of the existence of the Canal itself.
In the game, players are companies established in the Free Zone of Colon and they will try to find a way to negotiate contracts in order to use the ships that are arriving in both parts of the Canal. Ships are coming from both U.S. coasts, China and Europe, and they represent an opportunity of making money. If one can deliver containers into a ship, this ship should traverse the Channel in the most possible efficient way. Players have ways to get the locks opened and closed, get better contracts, invest in the stock market and hire the best characters to help them.
Panamax is an economic game for gamers, with simple rules and a very interactive way of making movement through the Canal, ship and deliver goods for profits. A volatile market in which players can make investments is also present and a competition for the best ship and the best way to make money.