Origins Game Fair 2016 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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The Origins Game Fair takes place June 15-19, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio, and this Geeklist highlights titles that, to the best of my knowledge, will (1) debut at Origins 2016, (2) be newly released just before the convention, or (3) be available in demo/preview form.

To add titles to this list (or send me general game news for coverage on BGG News), please write to me at wericmartin AT gmail.com. Thanks!
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Board Game Publisher: Indie Boards & Cards
51. Board Game: Aeon's End [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:393] [Average Rating:8.11 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

The survivors of a long-ago invasion have taken refuge in the forgotten underground city of Gravehold. There, the desperate remnants of society have learned that the energy of the very breaches the beings use to attack them can be repurposed through various gems, transforming the malign energies within into beneficial spells and weapons to aid their last line of defense: the breach mages.

Aeon's End is a cooperative game that explores the deckbuilding genre with a number of innovative mechanisms, including a variable turn order system that simulates the chaos of an attack, and deck management rules that require careful planning with every discarded card. Players will struggle to defend Gravehold from The Nameless and their hordes using unique abilities, powerful spells, and, most importantly of all, their collective wits.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its debut at BGG.CON 2016 in November.
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Board Game Publisher: Killer Snails
• Booth 152
52. Board Game: Killer Snails: Assassins of the Sea [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Killer Snails: Assassins of the Sea is a deck-building game in which the players are scientists collecting predatory cone snails that prey on fish, worms and other mollusks. The type of snail determines its strength and the type of prey eaten, and the snails produce different peptides. To win the game, the player must build a venom arsenal of the correct peptide toxin combinations- much as the marine biochemist who co-created the game does. The winning combination of peptides always changes as it is drawn at the beginning of each game.

In addition to a starter deck for each player, cards may be purchased from a card market. Cards with scientific events ranging from "research", which provides a peek at part of the solution, to "tsunami", which shifts all the prey cards on the table, offer strategic opportunities for victory. Additionally a variety of predators may be deployed to attack the competition's snails. The game offers a dynamic play experience in which players have to react and adjust their strategy accordingly

To win Killer Snails: Assassins of the Sea, you must out-strategize your opponents to build a venom cocktail that matches the venom cocktail created at the beginning of the game. This game was designed in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History.

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Board Game Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment B.V.
53. Board Game: Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:6065]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is a collectible card game based on the hit TV series' own collectible card game. It plays differently in the beginning of the show, but nearly identically in the later seasons.

Players each have 8000 Life Points, and the last player with those points remaining is the winner. Players summon (play) monsters (cards) to the play area, and must sacrifice (discard) the weaker monsters to summon stronger monsters. Magic and trap cards are played to boost your monsters, weaken your opponent's monsters, and otherwise give yourself an advantage.

Other Information: • MSRP $10
 
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Board Game Publisher: KOSMOS
• Booth 745

• In addition to the titles listed below, Thames & Kosmos will have new editions of the older titles Tally Ho! and The Rose King, along with its Legends of Andor line, Steam Time, and Tumult Royale.
54. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:378]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Imhotep, the players become builders in Egypt who want to emulate the first and best-known architect there, namely Imhotep.

Over six rounds, they move wooden stones by boat to create five seminal monuments, and on a turn, a player chooses one of four actions: Procure new stones, load stones on a boat, bring a boat to a monument, or play an action card. While this sounds easy, naturally the other players constantly thwart your building plans by carrying out plans of their own. Only those with the best timing — and the stones to back up their plans — will prove to be Egypt's best builder.

Other Information: • Following Imhotep's Spiel des Jahres nomination, Thames & Kosmos has moved up its release date in the U.S. from August to June 21. What's more, the publisher is shipping a "limited quantity" of Imhotep to Origins 2016, so the game will be available in the U.S. for the first time at this show.
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55. Board Game: Smugglers [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:10923]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

To bring the best youngsters into the business, the smuggler boss is holding a contest, with the candidates being challenged to move a sack filled with contraband through an opening in the fence.

More specifically, in Smugglers players form the "sacks" used for smuggling out of modeling clay and hide their contraband within. The sacks are then rolled down a 3D path, with a die roll determining which hole in the fence the player needs to try to squeeze through. The player whose bag fits through the hole and who has the largest sack now checks the smaller bags, possibly taking the contraband hidden within. Who will prove to be the best smuggler?

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Board Game Publisher: Lock 'n Load Publishing, LLC.
• Booth D402
56. Board Game: Hollow Cell [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Distant Reaches of space hold a planet whispered in tales to frighten children, to threaten criminals and sway tyrants. The horrible truth is that the planet is the last hope before all out war for entire species that struggle to coexist within the Hedonix empire: the planet wide arena of Hollow Cell.

Hollow Cell is an easy to play, fast paced, arena game designed by Garret Herdter. Take up the challenge as one of 18 unique warrior races. Draw hands of hollow cell cards to either equip on your character or play to damage your opponent. Roll dice both in defense and attack while you dodge deadly planet wide events sent by the Hedonix watchers to speed up the match.

Take cover in builds and raid forgotten caches of weapons and armor to best your opponents in an all out free-for-all battle where only the luckiest and the most skilled will survive to claim victory!

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57. Board Game: Platoon Command [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Platoon Command you take the role of a platoon leader, guiding your platoon into combat in order to capture critical battlefield objectives. Platoon Command is a quick-playing game that uses cards for combat, command and control, fog of war, and attrition. The mission objective is to gain Objective Points by controlling areas of the battlefield. You accomplish this objective by issuing orders to your command group, three rifle squads, and specialized personnel.

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Board Game Publisher: Mayday Games
• Booth D1001
58. Board Game: Dead Man's Draw: Captain Carcass [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:904]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 10 − 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Dead Man's Draw is a simple and strategic card game of risk and reward for 2 to 4 players. Players take turns drawing cards and combining their special abilities to plunder the most loot without busting their entire hands.

The core of your turn in Dead Man’s Draw is all in the flip: pulling the top card off the deck and using its special ability. Your turn isn’t over until you say it is, though. You can keep pulling cards as long as you like – until you play a card of a suit already seen, at which point you lose everything. Knowing when to stop and "bank" your cards is the biggest decision you make in Dead Man’s Draw, but being too timid lets braver opponents pass you up with bigger, more profitable turns.

The cards’ special abilities are key to success in Dead Man’s Draw, and they build off of each other. Each suit in DMD has an effect that the player can target when they flip a card of that suit.

Anchor – Keep everything you drew before the Anchor even if you bust.

Cannon – Destroy one card an opponent has previously banked.

Chest – Double your haul by banking as many cards directly from the discard pile as are in the river when you bank the Chest – but only if you also bank a Key.

Hook – Play one of your previously banked cards.

Key – Enables the Chest special.

Kraken – Oh no! You’re forced to draw at least two more cards.

Map – Draw three cards from the discard pile and play one.

Mermaid – No ability, but worth more points (Mermaids are numbered 4-9 instead of 2-7).

Oracle – Look at the next card before deciding if you want to play it.

Sword – Steal an opponent’s previously banked card and play it.

Many of these work well together, like using a Hook to re-play a Sword from your hand to steal an opponent’s Chest to go with your Key – racking up huge points by playing abilities well and not solely through the luck of the draw.

As soon as the deck is depleted, players total up the value of the highest card they’ve banked from each suit. High score wins.

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59. Board Game: Garbage Day! [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:4183]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

There's an epic battle of wits being slyly waged among you and your roommates. No one speaks of it, or even acknowledges its existence, but when it comes to taking out the garbage, it's all about the art of the dodge. In the pursuit of avoidance, each dexterously stacked banana peel represents a small victory. That candy wrapper hidden in the deep recesses of your room is a silent success. But the greenish milk carton you secretly stashed under your roommate's bed, that was a stroke of genius! That is, until you get caught making a mess while everyone else pretends they would never be so childish — as to get caught. Be careful and be cunning because only the champion can gloat in a hammock while everyone else lugs out the trash on garbage day.

In Garbage Day, players take turns stacking garbage cards one at a time onto the overflowing garbage can, or stashing garbage cards in their rooms. But once a player's room gets too full, they must clean it by stacking all the cards from that room on top of the garbage can, very carefully, one by one. If garbage cards fall off the garbage can during your turn, place them in your overflow pile. If your overflow pile gets too big, you're eliminated from the game. If all other players have been eliminated, you win!

Other Information:
• Many expansions — Dorm Room, Smelly, Office, and Family — are available along with the Garbage Day base game.

• MSRP $20 for the base game and $8-9 for each expansion
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Board Game Publisher: Mayfair Games
• Booth D700
60. Board Game: Agricola (revised edition) [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:303]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Updated and streamlined for a new generation of players, Agricola, the award-winning and highly acclaimed game by Uwe Rosenberg, features a revised rulebook and gameplay, along with wood pieces and components for up to four players.

The 17th Century Was Not an Easy Time to be a Farmer. A game for 1-4 players ages 12 and up; play time is 30 minutes per player. Amazing replay value. The Agricola base game is a revised edition of Uwe Rosenberg’s celebrated classic. The game is designed for 1-4 players, features improved all-wood components and a card selection from the base game as well as its expansions, revised and updated for this edition. Players begin the game with two family members and can grow their families over the course of the game. This allows them more actions but remember you have to grow more food to feed your family as it grows! Feeding your family is a special kind of challenge and players will plant grain and vegetables while supplementing their food supply with sheep, wild boar and cattle. Guide your family to wealth, health and prosperity and you will win the game.

Other Information: • MSRP $60

• In addition to highlighting this new version of Uwe Rosenberg's classic, Mayfair Games will hold an Agricola National Championship U.S. Qualifier. Here's a description of this event from the publisher:

Quote:
For the first time, Mayfair Games will be running Agricola U.S. Pre-Qualifier Tournaments. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday there will be pre-qualifier tournaments in which you will play three rounds. This will be followed by a U.S. Qualifier Tournament on Sunday. The winner of the Origins U.S. Qualifier will receive a 2016 Gen Con badge and a seat at the final table in the U.S. National Championship game at Gen Con 2016. The Gen Con winner will go to the 2017 World Championship (location TBD)! Participants must be a permanent U.S. resident and 18 years or older.
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61. Board Game: Costa Rica [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:3572]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Different sets of exotic animals, different terrains, and the omnipresent danger of mosquitos await in the jungle of Costa Rica, and the player explorers are here to collect sets of rare and exotic animals to rescue them from poachers. Collecting as many as you can of one kind is valuable, but having one of each kind can be beneficial, too. Just avoid being bitten too badly by the mosquitos!

In Costa Rica, all player take part in an expedition, with the active player of a turn deciding where to go and exploring a new tile. In clockwise order, each player must decide whether to leave this expedition and collect all of the animals seen so far, or whether to remain with the group to (hopefully) collect more animals later? Once a player does leave the current expedition, they remove their pawn from that group, collecting nothing else from it.

Other Information: • MSRP $35
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62. Board Game: Fight for Olympus [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2340]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Fight for Olympus, two players battle for control of Olympus by pitting demi-gods, titans, and soldiers against one another.

In game terms, players face off on opposite sides of a game board with each player having six spaces for playing cards: three for military conflict, two for control of power discs, and one for control of resources. On a turn, a player plays as many cards as desired by paying the cost of each card — that is, discarding cards of the proper colors that match the cost of the card being played — then placing the card in an empty slot on their side of the game board. Many cards have powers that take effect when played.

After playing cards on a turn, each card does damage equal to its strength to any opponent's card on the other side of the game board. If no opponent's card is present, then with military power the player does damage directly to the opponent, swinging a pendulum of strength in their favor. If you reach a total of 7 on the pendulum, you win. Your troops can also grant you an additional card at the end of the turn (three instead of two) or tokens that make it cheaper to play cards.

Instead of winning via military, you can instead win by having all six slots on your side of the board filled with cards at the start of your turn.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its U.S. retail release in July 2016.
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63. Board Game: Oh My Goods! [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:706]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Oh My Goods!, first released as Royal Goods, players are European craftsmen during the Middle Ages who produce tools, barrels, glass windows, and many other goods. Only if you make clever use of your production chains will you have the most victory points at the end of the game.

Other Information: • MSRP $15
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64. Board Game: Steam: Map Expansion #5 [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Description from the publisher:

Steam: Map Expansion #5 delivers a way to store your precious cargo in one place, with this box coming with two maps in its hold: India (3-5 players) and Southeastern U.S. (2-6 players). In addition, it comes packed with a variety of mini-expansions that can be played with your other Steam maps. New Action Tiles — The Surveyor, The Midnight Express, The Local Payoff, and Corporate Charity — can be added to your games to change the dynamic of previous maps, while the Gray Market Goods expansion adds a level of mystery to your goods supply and creates dual goods.

Steam: Map Expansion #5 includes the previous mini-expansions that were found only as promos: Demanding Suppliers, City Growth Special Contracts, and the Five Way Town as well as more track tiles, new complex hard curve tracks, and a Universal Display board to be placed beside your expansion maps rather than having to play your expansion on top of the original board.

Finally, in addition to a box that's designed to hold all other Steam expansions, Steam: Map Expansion #5 includes an updated omnibus of all the previous expansions' rules with more in-depth examples.

Other Information: • MSRP $45
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Board Game Publisher: Mr. B Games
• Booth 108
65. Board Game: Days of Ire: Budapest 1956 [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:1606]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 60 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

It's 1956, and waves of protest in Poland are once again showing cracks of the Eastern European communist bloc. Emboldened by these signs, students and intellectuals in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, organize a protest of previously unseen magnitudes. As the communist leadership sweeps in to kill the movement in its tracks a violent response is provoked, thus sparking the Revolution of the 23rd of October.

One player takes charge of the Soviet forces trying to shape the headlines to his liking and uses the militia and snipers of the State Protection Authority to stop the revolutionaries at all cost. The other player(s) (from 1-3 opponents) co-operatively play as the ringleaders of the revolutionary forces collecting resources (represented as icons on their cards) and recruiting other fighters to ensure the revolution's events end up in favor of their side, while fighting off tanks and soldiers in this exciting, historically inspired card driven game.

Days of Ire: Budapest 1956 is played over seven days — the last week of October 1956. The Soviet commander plays headline cards at the beginning of every turn, gathering Command Points and triggering effects that sometimes help, sometimes hinder the revolutionary effort. This card-play, reminiscent of well-known card-driven wargames (CDG) such as Twilight Struggle or Labyrinth: War on Terror, is what drives the tempo and the strategic thrust of the game. The other player(s) form the revolutionary side. They collect cards and fighters for two reasons: to resolve events for boosts to their side, and to fight off militia, snipers, and Soviet tanks in a drastic fight for survival. They have to manage their positions while spreading across Budapest, carefully dividing their actions as a team and always keeping an eye on their morale lest they run out of cards. This team-playing aspect — reminiscent of highly successful cooperative games such as Pandemic — guarantees ease of access to players who would otherwise be more intimidated by a traditional CDG.

If any of the revolutionary ringleaders suffer too many wounds, or if they fail to resolve enough events by the end of the game, history changes and the revolution falls. But if they keep the streets of Budapest free from oppression, the revolution lives on, to fight another day.

Historical Note: In real life, the revolution succeeded, and Hungary was free for less than a week. On the 4th of November, the Soviet forces quickly recaptured the country, but that is a subject for a different game...

Other Information: • Available for demo games and previewing at Origins 2016 to coincide with an ongoing Kickstarter funding campaign.
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66. Board Game: Prospectus [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:5111]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 120 − 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Prospectus, players are mages trying to earn the most money by trading potions in the Kriztus potion exchange. As mages, players can of course see into the market futures to gain an edge in their trading. However, your skills at this are somewhat limited, as things will not always go according to your predictions. The game makes use of a unique and eye-catching crystal ball mechanism (inspired by the cube tower in Wallenstein, Shogun, and Amerigo) ensuring no market prediction is a sure bet!

Also beware, each mage is armed with an array of spells that can affect the market in unpredictable ways, thwarting the other mages' plans! Clever and timely use of these spells will turn the markets in your favor, while frustrating your opponents' plans.

In addition to the potion market, the High Council also has its own demands and interests in the markets. However, due to their immense power, they have been banned from the trading floor, and must purchase their potion directly from other mages. They will be a good source of income for the mages, and reward the markets if they get what they need; but beware, they'll also do their best to crash the values of those potions they fail to receive!

The mage that is able to earn the most money through cunning investments, shrewd spell-casting, and timely sales to the High Council will be the most successful potion trader and win the game!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its retail release in July or August 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: NSKN Games
• Booth 138

• At Origins Game Fair 2016, titles from NSKN Games are available at the Passport Game Studios booth.
67. Board Game: Simurgh [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1922]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Simurgh is a game for 2-5 players who become heads of powerful clans in a fantastical world where humans and dragons live, hunt and go to wars together. As a head of a powerful family, each player will breed mighty dragons, make use of their special abilities, gather resources and try to make their house the most powerful by gathering the most Power Points. The game is played in a sequence of turns, with each turn allowing a player to perform 1 Main Action and any number of Free Actions. As a Main Action, a player will usually place a worker on an Action Space.

The workers (collectively known as Vassals) come in two types: Spearmen – young warriors of each house, and Dragonriders – noble warriors and hunters gifted with their own Simurgh steed. On their turn, each player will place one of their Vassals on an empty Action Space to gain resources, exchange their assets for Power Points, add new Vassals to their house or breed a new type of Simurgh.

During the game, players will collectively build the board by drawing and placing Action Tiles, each either providing new Action Spaces (some allowing any Vassals, some exclusively the Dragonriders), or creating an opportunity to score points for combinations of specific dragons in a player’s possession. When all the scoring spaces are filled with tiles, the game ends at the end of the round and Power Points are tallied.

Other Information: • MSRP $65

• This game debuted at Spiel 2015, and now Passport Game Studios is releasing it for the U.S. market.
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Board Game Publisher: Obscure Reference Games
• Booth 941
68. Board Game: Overlords of Infamy [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 60 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Overlords of Infamy, you take on the role of an Evil Overlord with a personal goal of making your subjects as miserable as possible, while other overlords are doing the same to their subjects. You accomplish this by harvesting a variety of materials to complete myriad Nefarious Plots ranging from "Steal Candy from Babies" and "Make Everyone's Socks Slightly Damp" to "Blow up the Moon!" and "Divide By Zero". All the while, an annoyingly righteous Adventuring Hero from the Kingdom of Good crusades around trying to thwart each Overlord's plan. You'll find that your actions have consequences as the World's tension builds up and culminates in random global event that can either be catastrophic or beneficial. And if that isn't crazy enough, the other Overlords will be committing acts of espionage against you! Complete your plots, stave off the competition, and repel the Adventuring Hero and you just might be denounced the Overlord of Infamy!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: ODAM Publishing
• Booth 946
69. Board Game: The Shared Dream [Average Rating:8.82 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Of Dreams and Magic: The Shared Dream is a cooperative board game for 2-4 players. In The Shared Dream, players take on the role of Anima, special people who can make their dreams (and nightmares) real in the waking world. All of the players have awoken to find that they all had the same dream and parts of it (good and bad) are coming to life. The players must re-experience their shared dream in the waking world while avoiding or destroying the nightmarish creatures that have sprung from that same dream.

In game terms, the players must follow the instructions on the chosen "Shared Dream" card in an attempt to prevent the nightmares from that dream from spreading to the innocent sleepers of the city. This generally includes traveling through the city to find clues, destroying shadows and reavers, and taking on a nemesis born from the shared dream.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: OKAZU Brand
• Booth 228, which is the stand for Tasty Minstrel Games.
70. Board Game: YOKOHAMA [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:168]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Japanese
Description:

Once Yokohama was just a fishing village, but now at the beginning of the Meiji era it's becoming a harbor open to foreign countries and one of the leading trade cities of Japan. As a result, many Japanese products such as copper and raw silk are collected in Yokohama for export to other countries. At the same time, the city is starting to incorporate foreign technology and culture, with even the streets becoming more modernized. In the shadow of this development was the presence of many Yokohama merchants.

In YOKOHAMA, each player is a merchant in the Meiji period, trying to gain fame from a successful business, and to do so they need to build a store, broaden their sales channels, learn a variety of techniques, and (of course) respond to trade orders from abroad.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at the Tasty Minstrel Games stand ahead of a Kickstarter funding project in late June 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: Osprey Games
• Booth 538
71. Board Game: The Ravens of Thri Sahashri [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1453]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Ravens of Thri Sahashri is a two-player cooperative card game. One player is playing the girl Ren who has lost her memory; the other is the detective trying to repair it. The game is about trying to communicate as well as possible by simply the choice of cards. (Note: "Thri Sahashri" is the buddhist term for a trillion worlds combined, which in this case means "the other plane".)

Of a deck consisting of cards of five colors and numbered 1–5, the Ren player draws four cards and keeps them face down. The goal for both players is to ensure that when the hand ends, the playing field has cards of these colors and these colors only.

Each round, the detective draws as many cards as he wishes from the shuffled deck, putting them on the playing field according to the marks on the cards. The deck also contains ravens, which when drawn will "eat" any discarded cards of that color and threaten to take them out of the game.

When the detective player is done, the Ren player picks one of the cards in the playing field and puts on the leftmost still "incomplete" hidden card. A hidden card is complete when that card plus the cards placed on it total 7. (The fourth pile, however, should total only 5, according to the Japanese poem metric "dodoitsu" that goes 7-7-7-5.)

Once all four hidden cards are completed, the round ends and unless the playing field has exactly the colors represented among the hidden cards, the players have failed. The game is played for three hands, but in the final hand, one hidden card must be completed per round, lest the players fail. Players also fail if the deck runs out or if all five Ravens are drawn.

Other Information: • MSRP $22
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Board Game Publisher: Outer Limit Games (II)
• Booth 945
72. Board Game: Tau Ceti: Planetary Crisis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:9092]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Over the past millennium, a mysterious signal enveloped the galaxy. Like a subliminal force, the signal led various alien races toward the star system TAU CETI. Many civilizations were already on the brink of collapse, and had already left their deteriorating home worlds behind in search of resources, peace, and solidarity.

As new civilizations arrived in the TAU CETI system, they settled among the planets, terraforming them into more hospitable worlds. With this mass migration a new alliance was quickly formed, known as the TAU CETI Authority, which encouraged diplomacy among the different cultures and emerged as the new economic power.

Trade began, with each civilization utilizing their strengths and comparative advantages to maximize productivity. Heralded among the civilizations, a sense of friendship, economic prosperity and peace enriched the star system.

But all is not well. Soon after forming the alliance, unprecedented crises afflicted the colonized planets, causing civil unrest and economic disharmony. The fragile new alliance’s existence is now being threatened! The most skilled Command Ship captains and emissaries from each race are being called upon to assemble a team of specialists, explore the star system for answers, and restore stability before all is lost.

Tau Ceti: Planetary Crisis is a 1-5 player semi-cooperative game centered around an economic engine, asymmetric powers, and strategic manipulation. Tau Ceti tells a story of a newly formed alliance between several alien factions in a time of galactic declension, who compete for influence as they lead their civilization through a crisis-ridden star system.

With multiple paths to victory, you are free to Explore the mysterious outer reaches of the star system for knowledge, Recruit Specialists to help you resolve crises, exploit opportunities through Trade, Buy/Sell commodities as the market fluctuates across planets, Complete Missions for money, Build Orbitals and Defend them against enemies, Acquire Exotic Technologies, and Upgrade your starship's systems for greater advantages as you navigate the cosmic environment.

Tau Ceti has all the elements of a 4X game, but allows you to advance at your own pace with à la carte advanced rules, and can be played in 1-2 hours. Your goal is to have the most galactic points (GPs) by the end of the final round. The various ways you can earn GPs are;

  • Resolve Crises
  • Build Orbitals (controls sectors, produces resources)
  • Accumulate Wealth (TAU)
  • Retain Specific Specialist/Crisis Cards
  • Achieve Battle Victories

Earning GPs require both strategic and tactical planning. The player who is able to assemble the best crew, play to their strengths, mitigate threats, exploit opportunities and manipulate resources to their advantage will succeed and lead the Tau Ceti Authority into the future!

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of its anticipated release in Q4 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: Passport Game Studios
• Booth 138
73. Board Game: Quartz [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:2877]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Dwarves are among the bravest, determined and hard workers creatures you can find. Especially when they are searching for crystals in a new mine.

In Quartz, you belong to a group of dwarves who has just discovered a new mine on their land. Excited by the discovery, you decided to make a bet. Everyone will explore the mine for five days. At the end of each day you will sell in the city, the crystals you extracted during this day. At the end of the fifth day, the dwarf who earned the most money will become the only owner of the mine.

Following along the same lines as its predecessor, Ouro de Tolo, Quartz is fast and tense game of push-your-luck and risk management in which the players, acting as dwarven miners, try to secure the best crystals for themselves while keeping their "colleagues" at bay. Each turn a player has three choices:

  • Extract a crystal, i.e., pull a crystal from the bag.

  • Play a card that brings him advantages or causes problems for opponents.
  • Leave the mine for that workday and cash in sets of crystals collected that day.

Some of the main differences to the previous game are that now theres is only 5 rounds, you have more strategic actions and every card is worth victory points at the end of the game, it's possible to save up crystals from one round to the other, whenever two unstable crystal explodes you get experience tokens that will save you later, and a set collection that can double or sum more cash each round.

What do you say? Will you accept this challenge?

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Origins 2016 ahead of the game's retail release in August 2016.
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74. Board Game: Salem [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:4996]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 7
Playing time: 90 − 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

The year is 1692. In an atmosphere of pessimism and charged paranoia, the citizens of Salem are at the mercy of demons – not demons of the soul, but demons of the mind. What began as a devout Puritan community devolved in a matter of months into a people torn apart by fear, lies, and fanatical orthodoxy. The residents of Salem quickly discovered that they could find Hell all around them.

Salem incites the atmosphere of paranoia that held the village of Salem captive. Players act with the assumption that there are witches among them (and, in this case, there will be). Each player controls six residents of Salem, three of whom are witches. Game play is simple: try to rid the village of witches and keep the identities of your own residents secret.

The game plays over the course of four rounds representing the four months (June–September 1692) in which the hysteria was at its height. Each round has two parts: a Witch Hunt and a Witch Trial, followed by hangings (the dates of which correspond to the four actual hangings that took place in Salem that year). During the Witch Hunt, players send residents to jail and provide alibis for their own jailed citizens. At the end of each round all jailed citizens stand trial. Players then collectively decide who is hanged and who is spared. The player who is most successful at discerning witches from villagers wins!

While the story surrounding the Salem witch trials has become something of a legend, every character in this game is based on a real person whose life was directly touched and in some cases torn apart or taken away by the events surrounding the Salem witch trials. Extensive research has been done to craft the real-life stories of all 42 residents in the game.

While this game focuses on the people and events specific to Salem, Massachusetts, similar witch hunts were taking place as far north as Maine and as far West as Connecticut. Surely, the devil had come to New England.

Other Information: • MSRP $45

• Passport Game Studios notes that designer Josh Balvin will be at their booth on Friday and Saturday during Origins 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: Plaid Hat Games
• Booth 738
75. Board Game: Dead of Winter: The Long Night [Average Rating:8.05 Overall Rank:148] [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Dead of Winter: The Long Night is a standalone expansion for Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game that introduces the Raxxon location where horrible experiments will spill out into the town unless players can contain them.

The game has players at a new colony location trying to survive with new survivors against brand new challenges. Can you handle being raided by members of other colonies? Will you explore more and unravel the mysteries of the Raxxon pharmaceutical location to find powerful items but release stronger enemies? Or will you upgrade your colony to help it better withstand the undead horde? These are all choices you will get to make in this new set, and if you want, you can mix in the survivors and cards from the original set to increase the variety even more.

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