Michael Korson


Time to get those pesky liverymen back in line!

Tasty Minstrel Games has released ‘Wards of London,’ a new expansion to their hit game ‘Guilds of London.’

‘Wards of London’ introduces several new mechanisms for ‘Guilds of London.’ Veto tokens allow players to stop neutral liverymen from messing up their plans. Coin tokens now allow players to pay costs without discarding valuable cards. New plantations increase the variability from game to game and many new guild tiles are also added. Finally, components and rules for a fifth player are also included.

More information can be found here.

Not THAT game for a throne!

Renegade Games has announced a new expansion for its Eternal: Chronicles of the Throne deckbuilding game. Eternal: Chronicles of the Throne Gold and Steel Expansion requires the base game to play and adds gold, weapons, markets and double-influence abilities as new mechanics. The expansion comes with 88 cards, 4 market trays, 1 sentinel token and, of course, a rulebook.

The expansion is expected to be available in 2020. More information about this upcoming expansion release can be found here.

What hero doesn't enjoy the occasional flutter?

WizKids has announced that Three Dragon Ante Legendary Edition is now available in North American game stores!

Inspired by the card game of the same name from the Dungeons & Dragons universe, players ante gold into the pot, hoping to win that gold back by successfully winning three-card gambits. Each player starts with 10 gold and 6 cards. At the start of every round, players will play a single card and reveal simultaneously, with the high card determining how much gold each player must ante for the current gambit.

Players than take turns playing a card from their hand, possibly triggering that card’s powers. The cards in front of a player make up their ‘flight’ and cards have significant effects on the result of a gambit. Once each player has had a turn, the player who played the strongest card that round becomes the leader in the next round. After three rounds of play, the gambit is scored with the player with the highest total strength in their flight winning the gambit and taking all the gold in the pot. If, at the end of a gambit, at least one player has no gold in their pile, the game ends and the player with the most gold wins!

As an added, players can integrate Three-Dragon Ante Legendary Edition into their D&D campaigns to settle dispute, make some extra gold, or just pass the time while resting at the local tavern!

More information can be found here.

Oh, and Italy too!

Race to the railway platform and cue up that Beatles’ song! Days of Wonder announced today a new map collection/expansion for its venerable ‘Ticket to Ride‘ franchise: ‘Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 7 – Japan!’

This new map collection comes with an over-sized double-sided board (the longest of all the map collections so far) on which players can construct their railways across the archipelago of Japan or the hills and valleys of Italy. Of course, each map comes with its twist off of the classic ‘Ticket to Ride’ rules, creating a unique experience!

On the Japan map, a cooperative element is introduced, bringing with it a new challenge for players. Certain routes are reserved only for high speed bullet trains, and once completed, ALL players may use them to help fulfill their destination tickets. However, the player who contributes the most to the construction of the bullet train routes receives a larger bonus at the game’s end.

Over on the Italy map, a new ferry type is available as well as the map being divided into regions. Players who connect to cities in each of the regions will score bonus points at the end of the game.

‘Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 7 – Japan’ is designed for 2-5 players and requires the trains and train car cards from either ‘Ticket to Ride’ or ‘Ticket to Ride: Europe‘ to play. In addition to the over-sized board, the expansion comes with 16 bullet train miniatures, separate 50+ destination card decks for the Japan and Italy maps, progression markers, 10 ferry cards, and rule books for each map.

This expansion will be available at this year’s Essen Spiel, after which it will be released first in Europe in November, followed by a North American release in January.

More information can be found here.

Fans of Strong Narratives in Board Games Rejoice!

dlp Games has announced that their upcoming stand-alone game ‘Orleans Stories’ is available for pre-order, with pre-order and pickup available at this year’s Essen-Spiel convention.

For 2-4 players aged 12 and up with a game length of 60-180 minutes, ‘Orleans Stories’ is set in the same universe of ‘Orleans‘ and incorporates the familiar bag-building mechanism from it, while adding a storytelling experience where players will go through multiple eras and face various challenges. The game includes two stories, The First Kingdom and The King’s Favor, each with different conditions and rules. The First Kingdom allows for more variability on strategy and when to leave an era, where in The King’s Favor players progress through the various eras together and must complete certain tasks within a given time frame or suffer elimination.

More information can be found here.

Just in time for your wallet to have recovered after GenCon!

Time to start looking in the couch for loose change! Board and Dice have announced that in September they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to publish a deluxe master set version of Yedo.

Originally published in 2012, Yedo is a thematic worker placement game set in 16th Century Japan during the Tokugawa Shogunate. Players play as heads of competing clans trying to gain influence with the Shogun by managing resources and performing missions to gather prestige points, while also thwarting the efforts of their rivals.

The Deluxe Master Set for Yedo will include the expected updated components with extra polish based on years of player feedback. Specifically, the updated components for the Deluxe Master Set will include: i) a bigger box that will contain all new components; ii) borderless cards with new artwork; iii) custom wooden screen-printed disciples; iv) a updated version of the classic Yedo board; v) new double-layered clan boards with new art and designed for better play and vi) updated and deluxified versions of game components, tokens and coins.

More excitingly, this deluxe set will also include new, extra content created specifically for the Deluxe Master Set by original designers Thomas Vande Ginste and Wolf Plancke. This new content will include the ability to create your own preferred game experience based on your play style and the preferences of the other players by modifying facets of the game such as length, difficulty level, and interaction type. Additionally, two new modules entitled ‘Specialist’ and ‘Teahouse’ will be included.

Watch for the launch of the Kickstarter on September 9th, 2019 to learn more details (including the practically mandatory bevy of Kickstarter stretch goals) for this exciting new edition.

But no Ian Malcolm? Why!?!

Mondo Games and Restoration Games today announced that they have acquired the license rights to add Jurassic Park to their Unmatched head-to-head skirmish game system. This splicing of DNA will allow players to pit iconic dinosaurs against the heroes of the film in epic battles, using a initial pair of two-player sets and a solo-hero pack that will be released in 2019-2020.

Unmatched: InGen vs. Raptors will be the first two player set released and is scheduled for a late 2019 release. Sattler vs. T-Rex and a solo expansion featuring Dr. Alan Grant will follow in 2020. Each character deck featured in these upcoming releases will be designed to represent the personality and characteristics of its on-screen counterpart, and no two heroes (or dinosaurs) will battle the same way. Unique maps featured on the game boards will allow players to designate specific terrain to either replicate scenes from the film or direct their own. Finally, players will be able to mix and match heroes and maps to create a customized play experience, just as they would with other Unmatched sets.

All three packs will feature illustrations from Oliver Barrett, who has illustrated other entries in the Unmatched series. It should be noted that these Jurassic Park Unmatched entries will replace the previously announced Jurassic Park: The Chaos Gene game, which will no longer be under development.

To summarize: God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs, God creates Man, Man creates dinosaur board game!

Winners of the 2019 Spiel des Jahres Awards were announced today.

The Winners, along with the runner-up nominees are:

Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year):

Just One (Ludovic Roudy and Bruno Sautter)

Also Nominated were Werewords and LAMA.

Kinderspiel des Jahres (Children’s Game of the Year):

Valley of the Vikings (Marie and Wilfried Fort)

Also nominated were Go Gecko Go! and Fabulantica.

Kennerspiel des Jahres (Connoisseur – Enthusiast Game of the Year):

Wingspan (Elizabeth Hargrave)

Also nominated were Carpe Diem and Detective: A Modern Board Game.

Congratulations to all the winners! You can find the original announcement here.

Fun fact: the literal translation of the German name for ‘Wingspan’ is ‘flap’ (at least, according to Google).

"What's with that rubbish? It doesn't even start with "I wish!"

River Horse, who moves the stars for no one but has previously published Jim Henson’s Labyrinth The Board Game and Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal The Board Game, once again invite players to once again choose down with Jim Henson’s Labyrinth The Card Game, based on everyone’s favorite 80’s fantasy musical.

Labyrinth The Card Game is essentially a family-weight trick-taking game, based on medieval era card games (but of course, things aren’t always what they seem to be). Players must work with their partner to win hands and claim mastery over the Labyrinth (or at least find their way to the center). There are also more advanced rules that add elements such as having to follow suit (It’s not fair!). The game features 80 tarot-sized cards with original art by Ralph Horsley based on the original character designs of Jim Henson and Brian Froud. No clear indications as to player count, but should be at 4-players based on the game play description.

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth The Card Game is currently available for pre-order from River Horse and should arrive some time this year. More details can be found here. Dance magic, dance!

The OP (formerly known as USAopoly) has announced that it will be releasing another popular IP-themed game in Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising. Death Eaters Rising is a cooperative card and dice game based on the fifth film (or fifth book, if you prefer) ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ and is scheduled to arrive in stores and Diagon Alley this fall.

In Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising, each player assemble a team of allies from the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army and Hogwarts to face off against the growing power of the Dark Lord. Players can start off with familiar heroes such as Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, Sirus Black, and Dumbledore and may be able to recruit otheres such as Snape, Ginny Weasley, Alastor Moody, and Hagrid. Players then must battle Death Eaters such as Peter Pettigrew, Bellatrix Lestrange and Lucius Malfroy for control of key locations, like the Ministry of Magic, Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade Village, before finally facing off against You-Know-Who himself.

Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising is designed for 2-4 players ages 11 and up with an estimated playtime of 45-60 minutes. In addition to being the third Harry Potter-themed game from The OP released this year (which includes Scrabble: World of Harry Potter and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defense Against the Dark Arts), this game appears to be the third installment of an unofficial ‘Rising’ trilogy of games that include the earlier released Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War and Star Wars: Dark Side Rising.