Spiel 2015 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Spiel, held in the city of Essen each October, is one of Germany's two major game conventions, the other being the International Toy Fair in Nürnberg each February. While Spielwarenmesse is a business-only trade show, Spiel is open to the public, drawing roughly 150,000 people over four days. Hundreds of new games will be introduced at Spiel 2015, which takes place October 8-11. This preview covers games that publishers plan to release at Spiel or in the months leading up to it; listings for some smaller publishers show all titles released since Spiel 2014. Some details:

-----• 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.

-----• 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.

-----Please refrain from posting "Which booth?", "What's the price?" type of comments since they trigger subscription notices. 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 hundreds of sources, so inaccuracies may have crept in despite my best efforts. I will update game pages as I receive additional information, and 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 2015 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: Academy Games, Inc.
• Booth 3-Q120, which is the location of Schwerkraft-Verlag, which will serve as a distributor for this item at Spiel 2015.
26. Board Game: Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion [Average Rating:8.48 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.48 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

After more than three years of development, Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front - Solo Expansion revolutionizes solo tactical play. Instead of AI units being individually programmed as in past games, AI units utilize a unique emergent behavior and agent-based logic. Each situation is evaluated and the AI implements the best course of action using available resources and unit assets. Even veteran CoH players will be challenged to hone and adapt their playing styles in order to overcome the AI!

In the Conflict of Heroes Solo System, players no longer track APs, but must make a Unit Spent Check after every action. The higher the cost in APs an action was, the higher the probability that the unit will be spent. Now a player must decide if he will augment his action with APs or increase his chance of keeping the unit fresh!

Each Firefight has its own Mission Track. A Mission Track is a series of events that are triggered if the Mission Marker lands on an event's space. Certain orders advance the Mission Marker 1, 2 or 3 spaces, so the game is different each time you play. The firefight ends immediately when the Mission Marker lands on or passes the last space of the Mission Track.

Note: With a bit of adapting, this expansion can be used with 1st Edition Conflict of Heroes.

Note: The base game 2-player scenarios are NOT playable with solitaire rules "out of the box"; solitaire scenarios need additional elements (mission track etc). So additional homebrew tinkering is needed to adapt an existing 2-player scenario for use with the solitaire system. But the solitaire expansion comes with many (new) scenarios, and the Firefight Generator expansion permits creating solitaire scenarios.

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Board Game Publisher: Act in games
• Booth 3-P104, which is the location of Blackrock Games, which is the seller of this item at Spiel 2015.
27. Board Game: AYA [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:8154]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
French
German
Description:

Welcome to the world of Aya, the goddess of water. You will embark on a journey up the river to seek out nature's treasures and marvel at the variety of landscapes and animals that emerge as you glide along. Be clever and cooperate for the best photos so that you can share your incredible journey! Create and discover a new world each time you play with family and friends.

In Aya, you have to cooperate to connect as many landscape tiles and animal photo tokens as possible to arrange a chain of dominoes placed upright one after another. At the end of the game, they will fall onto each other, each one toppling the next – in a cascade effect – to reveal the ultimate number of landscapes and animals and bring back the greatest photos. Working as a team, the players try to score as many points as possible.

Other Information: • Price €30, discounted to €27 and signed by the authors if preordered through the Blackrock Games website; preorder two different new games to receive a €4 discount.

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Board Game Publisher: ADC Blackfire Entertainment GmbH
• Booth 2-D139, in space shared with Spielworxx
28. Board Game: Cthulhu Realms [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1304]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 25 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Cthulhu Realms, each player tries to reduce their opponents to insanity or have more sanity than their opponents when the deck runs out.

Each player starts the game with a small deck comprised of initiates, goons and followers. Five cards from the deck form a row of available cards on the table; with more than two players, place three available cards between each pair of players.

Each turn, you start with five cards in hand, playing those cards in order to put locations into play, boost your own sanity or reduce that of others, collect conjuring power to acquire new cards, and remove cards from the game. You can use the power of your locations once each turn. At the end of your turn, discard any cards still in hand and all entities and artifacts that you played.

If you lose all of your sanity, you're out of the game. If you're the only one at the table who's still sane, you win. Otherwise, the game ends when the deck runs out and whoever has the most sanity wins.

Other Information: • Debuting at Spiel 2015.
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Board Game Publisher: Adlung-Spiele
• Booth 3-E115
29. Board Game: CardArt [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 20 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Description from the publisher:

With as few cards as possible, try to portray a concept while everyone else tries to guess what it is. Whoever gets it first by calling it out receives points, as does the player who successfully portrayed it.

In more detail, in CardArt the players can use the cards as they like: laying them flat on the table, keep them in upright position, or any position they think are helpful to get the concept across to the table to the other players. You can even move them on the table and in the air. With the person card Luca, for example, it is easier to portray a racecar driver in his car or a parachuter under a slightly bended card. The only limits are with the imagination of the players...

Other Information: • Price €7
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30. Board Game: Manimals: Serengeti-Park Hodenhagen [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 10 − 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Sarah and Dinah are standing totally amazed in the zoo in front of the sea lions. Something is laying next to a rock with feathers on its back? "Does a sea lion have feathers like a bird or does it have fur like a dog?" Suddenly somebody claps their hands and the duck that was hiding behind the sea lions flies off quacking. Relieved, both of them laugh at each other after seeing that the sea lion doesn't have any feathers after all.

In Manimals: Serengeti-Park Hodenhagen, players compete to find as many animals as possible with a certain characteristic. To start play, shuffle the animal cards, then spread forty of them on the table so that everyone can see them. Flip over one card, see the characteristic identified on this card, then race to pick up all animals that feature this characteristic. Once everyone has finished picking up cards, check all the cards collected to see whether anyone made a mistake; if so, that player must return the mistaken card and one correctly collected card.

Players repeat this process six more times, first laying out three more cards from the deck each time, then they see who has collected the most cards and won!

Manimals: Serengeti-Park Hodenhagen includes rule variants that allow for play with children as young as four.

Other Information: • Price €7
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31. Board Game: Nimmit [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 10 − 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Show More »
Description:

Description from the publisher:

One player turns over all the cards as quickly as he can. At the same time, the other players collect as many complete animals (that consist of three parts each) as they can in the given time.

But since the time pressure is high in Nimmit and the parts of the animals look quite similar, players can easily mess it up.

Other Information: • Price €7
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Board Game Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
• Booth 3-K107

• In addition to what's listed below, at Spiel 2015 AEG will have Epic PVP: Fantasy, which is listed under co-publisher Fun to 11.
32. Board Game: Automobiles [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:656]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 − 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Drivers, start your engines! Will you cross the finish line first? Now is your chance to find out!

Automobiles is a deck‑building game in which the fun is cubed — because instead of using cards to build a deck, you build with your collection of cubes. These cubes not only allow you to race your car around the track, but they also allow you to improve your handling, optimize your pit crew, and boost your speed, all of which are your keys to victory!

The goal of the game is to cross the finish line first! You accomplish this by customizing your race car and surrounding yourself with the best crew. Your race car and crew are represented by a collection of cubes garnered from various options available to you. Starting with the same small set of cubes, each player builds their collection as they play the game. Use these cubes to enhance your performance, train your pit crew, and ensure your race car runs as effectively as possible. Be the first to cross the finish line and watch that checkered flag wave!

Designed by David Short, Automobiles is the third title in AEG's Destination Fun series! Continue your travels in the acclaimed Trains and Planes board games.

Other Information: • Designer David Short has contributed an Automobiles designer diaryto BGG News that details the development of this game. An excerpt:

Quote:
New idea!!! A racing game where the track has multiple lines of color with various lengths of dashes. Each dash represents your speed basically. The slower speeds will have really really short dashes, so even with many cubes you will only move a short distance. The higher speeds will have really long dashes so each cube will take you a long distance. There will be cards on the side of the board to upgrade your car to various things, like letting you pull out more cubes, or being able to recycle your cubes faster (shuffle). Various cards will have actions like turn one cube into the color of another cube. Or move as many spaces as you have white cubes in your discard pile. Or buy as many cards as you have yellow cubes in your discard pile. Also perhaps each cube is worth one dollar in order to buy new cards (move used cubes to your bag). And then perhaps there is also straight up money cubes and they're worth more obviously. Now, I'm going somewhere.

Rules: English (PDF)
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33. Board Game: Dice City [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:932]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Kingdom of Rolldovia is in turmoil. Her royal highness, the Queen, has decreed that there will be a new capital after the old one was sacked by hordes of barbarians and bandits from the south. As leaders of one of the country's influential noble families, players vie with each other to establish their provincial city as the best home for Rolldovia's new capital. You must choose your city's path in gaining the approval of all others in the kingdom.

Dice City is a "dice-crafting" game in which the locations in your city act as the changing faces of your dice each turn. Use tactics and strategy to press your claim!

You each have several ways to promote your city; create strong armies; construct wondrous buildings; or open up trade routes. The secret is to manage your city and its natural resources carefully to make the best of your fortunes.

Other Information: Rules: English (PDF)

• MSRP $40, and available for preorder from AEG through Sept. 28 for pick-up at Spiel 2015.

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34. Board Game: Epic PVP: Fantasy [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:3317] [Average Rating:6.62 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Epic PVP: Fantasy is a head-to-head battling card game. At the start of the game, each player chooses a class deck and a race deck, then shuffles them together to create unique character combinations, such as a Human Paladin or Goblin Druid. Each combination creates unique tactics and strategies to use when you battle.

The goal of the game is to defeat your opponent by reducing them to zero life. Players do this by playing moves that act as both attacks and blocks as well as with special cards and abilities granted by the player's choice of class and race.

During a turn, a player adds cards to their "aggression pile", then chooses how many cards to draw from their aggression pile into their hand. The player uses the aggression provided by the cards that remain in their aggression pile to play move cards to block incoming enemy attacks. If an attack isn't blocked, the player takes damage, specifically one damage per unblocked enemy attack. Then all the moves played by that player become attacks for the opponent to deal with on the opponent's next turn. There's more to it than that, but those are the basics...

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35. Board Game: Flock [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:14203]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Lead the most impressive flock through feeding, nest building, and hatching. Selecting the actions is simple, but when one bird flies, so do all the others! Can you time your actions to take advantage of when the flocks fly?

During the game Flock, players try to expand their flock with the goal of scoring the most victory points after three rounds of play. Victory points are scored by controlling the action cards at the end of each round. Also, be sure to have enough tasty worms to feed your birds at the end of each round, or otherwise they will fly away. Will your flock be on top of the pecking order?

In more detail, players start with three of their eleven birds in front of them. Six nest, egg and worm tokens are placed on the side for each player. On a turn, a player can either place a bird on one of the six action cards or activate an action card on which they have at least one bird. When you activate an action card, you can remove birds from the card — possibly paying worms, nests and eggs as well — to take the action shown, such as removing two birds from "Feeding" to get three worms. Spent birds are returned to your personal pool of resources, while other spent resources are placed on the side. Each player in turn order does the same with this action, then whether they used their birds or not, all birds are removed from this action card, flying away to the players' personal pools.

When the "Dominance" card is activated, the dominant player adjusts their pecking order on the initiative track, then everyone else flies their birds from that card to the other action cards. When "Competition" is activated, which is possible only when enough birds have landed on it, each player spends a nest and worm for each of their birds (removing them if this isn't possible), then flies their birds to other action cards. Players then score points for having the most or secondmost birds on a card and for the birds left in their pool.

After three rounds, the player with the most points wins!

Other Information: • Available for previewing at Spiel 2015 ahead of its anticipated release in November 2015.

Rules: English (PDF)

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Board Game Publisher: AMIGO
• Booth 3-H103
36. Board Game: 3 sind eine zu viel! [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:4689]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Hold back or hurry forward? In 3 sind eine zu viel! (3's a Crowd!), no player escapes this question as they decide which cards to play when.

To set up, place the start cards in the middle of the table, then deal a deck of twenty cards to each player. Each player draws a hand of eight cards from their deck.

On your turn, play one number card from your hand into the display on the table. Each card you play has a certain place in the numerical sequence. If you add the fifth card to a row, you must take one to three cards from the display (depending on the position of the card you played), and place them in front of you, sorted by color. If you have one or two cards in a color at the end of the game, those earn you positive points; however, if you had to take a third card of that color, they earn you negative points instead. Both during and at the end of the game, you can earn bonus points for having cards in many different colors. The game ends when each player has played a total of eighteen cards. The player with the most points wins.

Other Information: • MSRP €8
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37. Board Game: Elfenland de luxe [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:2957]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 45 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Description from the publisher:

Elfenroads combines the previously released Elfenland and Elfengold, along with the new Elfensea.

In Elfenland, young elves have to pass a very special test before they are accepted as grownups. All elf girls and elf boys receive a map of Elfenland, and they have to visit as many famous towns in Elfenland as possible, using the common types of transportation: dragons, unicorns, giant pigs, elfcycles, troll wagons, magic clouds, ferries and rafts. These types of transportation, however, are available in limited numbers and can be used only in specific regions. Thus, an exciting race starts among the elves to find out who will make the best use of the available transportation. The one who visits the most towns wins.

Elfengold, an expansion for Elfenland, adds gold coins to the game that players use to bid for the Travel Counters and other new items. It also adds Gold Value Tokens to the towns that indicate how much gold players earn for visiting a town. Two magic spells and a new obstacle — a Sea Monster — are included as well as two round cards to allow for longer games up to six rounds.

In Elfensea, as in Elfenland, young elves have to pass a special test before they are accepted as grownups. The same rules apply in Elfensea as in Elfenland, except as described in the rules. The game board map is different, and the common types of transportation — dragons, unicorns, giant pigs, magic clouds, whales and rafts — differ somewhat as well. As in Elfenland, these types of transportation are available in limited numbers and can be used only in specific regions. Thus, an exciting race starts among the elves to find out who will make the best use of the available transportation. The player with the most points wins.

Other Information: Rules: German (PDF)

• MSRP €50
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38. Board Game: Gipfelstürmer [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:7008]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Whoever wants to overcome the footholds and foothills must be the first to get two of their pawns to the summit. This requires two things: a little luck with the dice, and the opportunism to be at the right place at the right time. In your struggle to reach the top, your opponents will jostle you toward the foot of the mountain. You can do the same right back, but you can also use a chain reaction to shimmy your way to the top.

In Gipfelstürmer, which translates as Summiteer but should perhaps be titled Footholds and Foothills due to the author, each player tries to reach the peak with their five mountain goats. On your turn, you can roll dice up to three times. At the end of the turn, you look to see if you fulfill the requirements to move one of your mountain goats toward the summit.

Each path up the mountain has its own dice combination. The closer to the peak, the larger the required dice results (from three-of-a-kind and small straight to full house or five-of-a-kind), and the narrower the paths. In spaces of the upper half of the game board, there is room for only one mountain goat to stand. If you reach an occupied space, you may push one of your goats there one space toward the peak; on the other hand, you push one of your opponents' goats back toward the valley. Whoever can get two of their mountain goats to the summit first wins.

Other Information: Rules: German (PDF)

• MSRP €20
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39. Board Game: Karma [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:12204]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Karma, each player is dealt three face-down cards that he cannot look at and that remain on the table in front of him. He is dealt six more cards, chooses three of those for his hand, and places the remaining three face-up onto his table cards in three separate stacks. One player begins by placing a card or cards of the same value from his hand onto the table face-up to create a discard pile. The other players in turn must place onto the discard stack a card or cards of the same value that match(es) or exceed(s) the value of the top card of the stack; or else, pick up the stack. Until the draw pile is gone, players must draw at the end of their turns to maintain a hand of at least three cards.

All of a player's hand cards must be played before any of his face-up table cards, which must in turn be played before any of his face-down table cards. A few cards allow players to break the foregoing rules. The last player with cards loses the game.

Karma is based on the public domain card game, Palace.

Other Information: Rules: German (PDF)

• MSRP €8
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40. Board Game: Kerflip! [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:8491]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

KerFlip! is a fast-thinking word game that rewards you for making anagrams from a group of letter tiles faster than your opponents can. At the beginning of each round, players simultaneously drop a predetermined number of tiles onto the board, then quickly flip them all ivory side up. (The fronts of the tiles are ivory, while the backs are orange.) At this point the round is a free-for-all, with players racing to call out one word each. If the last player is taking too long to call a word, any of his opponents can "hurry" him by starting the timer; if he doesn't call out a word in 15 seconds, he busts, scoring nothing.

Once every player has called a word for the round, they score points in the order they called out the words, so the first player who called scores first, the second player second, etc. The first time a tile is used – that is, while its ivory side is face-up – the tile is worth 10 points. Once it's been scored, flip (or "KerFlip") it to its orange side, reducing its value to 5 points for all other players who used it in the same round. Some tiles, identified by a small number in the bottom right corner, are "premium tiles" that award players cards with bonus point values.

At the end of each round, return any unused (ivory) tiles to the draw pouch and sweep all used (orange) tiles into the collection chutes in the game box. The game lasts 15-20 minutes (about 10-12 rounds) depending on the number of players (2-4). To clean up at the end of the game, pick up the game box and gently shake it to funnel the tiles into a collection cup under the board.

Other Information: • MSRP €20
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41. Board Game: Der kleine Rabe Socke: Das große Rennen [Average Rating:6.57 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Who can get his vehicle over the finish line first in Der kleine Rabe Socke: Das große Rennen? Along the way, you need to pass carefully because skillful lane changes are required in order to avoid unforeseen obstacles.

In more detail, each player drives one of the five racecars along the curvy racetrack through the forest. On your turn, roll both dice, then reroll one of the dice if you want to. The result on the number die moves your car forward along the racetrack; the result on the action die allows the nimble racecar drivers either to move an obstacle on the track, which you otherwise would have to avoid, or to make a lane change — to shift to the inside lane of a curve, for example. The good news: A lane change can be made before, during, or after the number die's movement. The game consists of two laps, and whoever first completes the second lap wins the big race.

Other Information: • MSRP €19
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42. Board Game: Die Portale von Molthar [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:2162]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

The portals of Molthar have opened! The players travel through the portal into a world of a type that you know only through folklore and fairy tales. By collecting magic pearls and trading them in a timely fashion for fantastic and powerful character cards, you draw ever closer to victory — but only the one who first manages to gather twelve insignias of power will save Molthar and win the game.

At the start of Portal of Heroes, four pearl cards and two character cards lie face up in the middle of the table. The rest of the character and pearl cards are set nearby in separate decks. Each player receives their own player portal and places it face up in front of them.

Each turn, you can take three actions from a menu of four options: Take a pearl card into your hand, replace all of the pearl cards in the display, place a character card on your portal, or activate a character. You can perform any of the four possible actions multiple times, and in any order. To activate a character, you must play a specific combination of pearl cards from your hand onto the character card. Activated characters grant you power points, diamonds, or special abilities. Once you have activated characters this way with twelve or more power points then that round becomes the penultimate one. Whoever has the most power points at the end of the game wins with diamonds acting as a tie breaker.

Other Information: Rules: German (PDF)

• MSRP €10
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43. Board Game: Privacy Quickie [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.10 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 5 − 10
Playing time: 35 minutes
Suggested ages: 16 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Privacy Quickie, each player receives several YES and NO answer cards, and the question cards are placed number-side-up in the middle of the table. At the beginning of the round, the start player takes the topmost question card from the draw deck and reads the question whose number corresponds to the number on top of the deck. For example: "I have taken a test drive before I was even allowed to drive!"

Each player answers honestly, but secretly, by placing a YES or NO answer card face down in the middle of the table. Each player must now guess how many players have answered YES. Jot each player's guess on the scoresheet in the proper column. Shuffle the answer cards briefly, then reveal them. Anyone who guessed exactly right gets three points; anyone who was off by one gets one point. Record the points on the scoresheet in each player's left column. The game ends after 15 rounds, and whoever was best able to assess their fellow players, and thus earn the most points, wins.

Privacy Quickie includes three hundred questions and can be played as a standalone game or used as an expansion for Privacy, Privacy 2, or Privacy: Scharf wie Chili.

Other Information: Rules: German (PDF)

• MSRP €10
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44. Board Game: Römisch Pokern [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:6775]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Latin
Description:

Roll dice as in Ancient Rome, trying to form the highest possible Roman numerals from your results. But don't be too quick to roll for the highest value because "Alea iacta est"; the dice might no longer form a valid Roman numeral. What's more, the results you roll must be placed in ascending order on the scoresheet.

In Römisch Pokern, each player gets six action cards. On your turn, you first roll a die. After each roll, you must decide whether to stop or to continue by rolling an additional die. You may continue to roll as long as your results can still form a Roman numeral. If you end your turn with a valid number, this number is noted in your column of the scoresheet. You can decide in which of the seven rows the number gets written. The only restrictions are that the numbers must be in ascending order from top to bottom, and you cannot repeat a number.

If you rolled an invalid number, or the number is already in your column of the scoresheet, your turn ends. All is not lost, though! You can still use your action cards to turn a bad roll into a good one; however, you must make this choice carefully because each action card still unused at the end of the game provides bonus points! The game ends when someone has seven numbers in their column of the scoresheet, and the player with the most points wins.

Other Information: • MSRP €10
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45. Board Game: Sarkophag [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:8750]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Reckless researchers have opened one ancient sarcophagus after another, and in so doing have rudely disturbed the peace of the resting mummies. Now the addlebrained, musty fellows are roaming throughout the catacombs, and they turn out to be surprisingly affectionate. With a little skill and a fragrant whiff of tactics in this trick-taking game, you can completely avoid taking too many of these scatterbrained guys home in your luggage.

In Sarkophag, each player has ten cards in hand. Each round, each player plays exactly one card. The second card played determines whether subsequent cards in the round must be higher or lower than what was led. Whoever plays the highest/lowest card (depending on what that second card determined) takes the "trick", collecting all the cards played. If, however, a player cannot follow the rule — for example, having only higher cards in hand when supposed to play a lower card — they take the trick.

Whoever takes the trick is cursed with a few mummy heads; however, they also start the next round. The game ends as soon as all ten tricks have been played. Now each player counts the little mummy heads on their cards, and the player with the fewest mummy heads wins.

Other Information: • MSRP €8
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46. Board Game: Speed Cups: Fan-Edition [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Speed Cups: Fan-Edition consists of six different color-coded booster packs for Speed Cups or Speed Cups², with five different cards in each booster. The cards were created by fans of the game and were selected from among 1,200 submissions for inclusion in this set by designer Haim Shafir and publisher AMIGO Spiel.

In Speed Cups, each player receives a set of five plastic cups, each a different color; a deck of 24 cards is shuffled and placed face down in the center of the table next to the bell. One player flips over the top card, which depicts colored objects – trains, birds, cups, etc. – stacked vertically or horizontally, then everyone tries to recreate this colored sequence with her own set of cups. The first player to do slams the bell, revels in the soul-brightening "ding", then (if correct), claims the card. Someone then reveals the next card, and the players start shuffling cups once again.

Other Information: • MSRP €2 each booster
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Board Game Publisher: Among Meeples
• Booth 7-D104

• In addition to what's listed below, Among Meeples' Troels Vastrup notes that a "very limited stock" of its 2012 release Colonies will be available at Spiel 2015.
47. Board Game: Among Nobles [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:2882]
Designed by: Show More »
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 90 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Establish the most powerful and prestigious family dynasty through marriage alliances, warfare and intrigue in feudal Europe.

Among Nobles is a card game where players establish and expand a family dynasty in feudal Europe. Each player starts with a married couple, the ancestral lord and his lady. Throughout the game new family members are added through birth and marriage. Three generational changes occur where the oldest generation perishes due to old age.

The players take turns activating one of their characters or couples. An activation lets you pick a series of actions in a horizonal row on the character. Since a wife’s actions are added to her husband’s, activating couples can be more efficient than activating single characters.

Players advance their influence in the game by waging war, earning gold and expanding their family. As the game progresses, more powerful nobles come into play. Red nobles are commanders: strong on warfare actions. Blue nobles are devout: strong on piety actions. Yellow nobles are tradesmen: strong on commerce actions. Green nobles are negotiators with special abilities or intrigue actions.

Gold is used to buy extra actions, pay for wedding feasts, muster armies and pay for the education and finer upbringing of male heirs. Armies are used to wage war, bringing riches and prestige back from distant provinces. Prestige points are a measure of your influence on society. The player with the most prestige points at the end wins the game.

While most daughters get married off to other families, the sons continue your family’s bloodline. Games can be won and lost because of the right or wrong marriages.

Other Information: • Co-designer Troels Vastrup says, "Three of the designers will be [at Spiel 2015] for chats, signatures, meet&greet, and of course game demos."

Rules: English (PDF)

• MSRP ~€40, selling at Spiel 2015 for a discounted price of €30.

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Board Game Publisher: APE Games
• Booth 7-G115
48. Board Game: Arcadia [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:7821]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Step right up to play Arcadia, APE's card game of theme park construction. Compete with fellow park owners to build the amusement park of your dreams. Hire builders, inspectors, and other professionals to add rides, shows, midway attractions and shows.

Experts in various fields can get attractions built even faster. Start with a simple teacup ride and add charming carousels, roller coasters, acrobats, shooting galleries, and even a "Meet the Characters" restaurant!

Other Information: • Price ~€15

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49. Board Game: Spirits of the Rice Paddy [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:2222]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Ancient Balinese legend describes a host of powerful spirits who help poor rice farmers achieve success. These farmers have long used a sophisticated irrigation system to organize rice cultivation by integrating religious devotion and social responsibility with traditional farming methods. Even modern farmers seek to placate the spirit world in their quest to produce an abundant harvest.

In Spirits of the Rice Paddy, players must compete with fellow rice farmers to construct and tend rice paddies. Oxen can build walls and remove large rocks. Ducks can be employed to eat harmful pests and fertilize the fledgling crops. Weeds must be kept at bay. Most importantly, water must be conserved and released with the greatest of care. With a little luck, all that back-breaking labor will pay off in the end. The good news is that the spirits are eager to assist, granting many special abilities, blessings, and magic. The farmer who produces the most rice over seven rounds wins the game.

Other Information: • Price ~€50

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Board Game Publisher: Apokalypse Inc
• Boot 7-I112
50. Board Game: Ophiuchus: The Thirteenth Constellation [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:12580]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Italian
Description:

Ophiuchus is composed by 27 title cards and 13 cards representing the 13 constellations.

Players, in turn, will place a card next to another card in order to form horizontal or vertical sequences of symbols corresponding to the drawings on the constellation cards. The goal of the game is to accumulate more points than other players.

Other Information: • Price €21
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