It is with a very heavy heart I report that we have recently lost a giant in the industry, Darwin Bromley. Darwin started as the co-designer of Empire Builder (1982), one of the first popular route connection games, and founded the company to distribute it, Mayfair Games. Later, Mayfair was almost single-handedly responsible for bringing European style board games to the U.S., distributing the English versions of Catan (then Settlers of Catan), Agricola, and many many others until Asmodee bought the company in 2016. Numerous outpourings have come from the gaming community, best summed up by famed Munchkin artist John Kovalic, who called Darwin’s passing “the end of an era.” I know that my life would be very different if Mr. Bromley had not made all those boxes, now in my shelves, available and popular on these shores. Thank you Mayfair Games. Thank You, Darwin Bromley.
2016’s A Feast for Odin took the gaming world by storm, not only because it was the latest farm building, feed your people masterpiece from Uwe Rosenberg (Agricola, Caverna: The Cave Farmers), but also because of its unprecedented number of worker placement slots (60+), and brilliant integration of Uwe’s new tetromino placement mechanism (Patchwork, Cottage Garden). Z-Man Games has just announced the first full sized expansion for Feast for Odin, The Norwegians, and it adds more of what we loved in this worker placement magnum opus. First, Norwegians adds more worker placement slots – There are now more ways to breed animals, craft, trade and hunt, as well as a fifth column of actions. These new actions come on several new boards tailored to the player count. New actions come with new tiles, and Norwegians comes with 95 new goods tiles, from elk and pigs to horses and antlers, as well as 6 new special tiles. Additionally, Norwegians comes with personal artisan sheds, small boards which provide individual player powers, such as better whaling or wood storage, helping further to guide your strategy: something especially useful in a game with so many options. And of course, the expansion comes with new islands to explore, and updates of the old islands, incorporating the new rules and tiles. Read more on Z-Man’s website here, and expect A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians in stores at the end of 2018.
Not one to slow down on release announcements as of late, Lookout Spiele has another announcement for Agricola fans even after the reprint of Farmers of the Moor. Joining the long line of expansion decks and following on last year’s Artifex deck, the Bubulcus deck is set to arrive in October. It brings more cards, more farming, and more fun, and completes your updated collection to boot! As described in the (translated) announcement:
“120 new cards, of which 60 training and 60 small purchases, give the game even more variability and variety. Of course these cards are also balanced according to the “power values” of [Agricola] and adapted to the graphic update of the new edition of the basic game of 2016.”
Of course more cards are always welcome, and those who have been interested in the past deck expansions have more reason to be excited for this one as it matches the updated art of the new version while also complimenting the previous addition. For those who are just recently getting into Agricola, both decks mentioned in this article are good easy upgrades to what you already have if you’re not already looking at Farmers of the Moor. So whether you’re new to the whole Uwe Rosenberg farming extravaganza or if you’re looking to complete your collection, be sure to check out the Bubulcus deck at your favorite retailer come October.
Agricola, one of the great classics of the Eurogame genre, was originally released in 2007. It was reprinted as a revised edition with new rules, art, and cute little ‘animeeples’ in 2016. But Agricola: Farmers of the Moor, one of the more popular expansions, was not given the same treatment at that time. Lookout Games has now released the expansion with the matching updated art and pieces.
Agricola: Farmers of the Moor steps up the misery on your farm a notch from the base game by requiring that you keep your family warm in addition to feeding them. But it’s not all starvation and pain, you have the opportunity to expand your farm by converting forests and peat bogs to arable land, and even better, you get some cute little horse meeples to add to your paddock. If you have the 5-6 player expansion for the base set, the expansion has everything you need to add the expansion in for all six players.
If you didn’t get quite enough medieval farming with the base set you bought in 2016, Agricola: Farmers of the Moor is available now. See the Lookout Games page (German) for more details.
Asmodee Digital continues to up it’s game by entering into a partnership with Playdeck. Four games that will immediately be transformed under the new brand are Ascension, Twilight Struggle, Summoner Wars, and Agricola. Notice that these games aren’t new to the app space as they have been previously under Playdeck, but now they are under Asmodee Digital’s control. Will we see new updates or additional versions of the games in the future? Well we won’t know until Asmodee tells us about it. You can download the games from your respective app stores, and check out each of the links above for more information on the individual game apps.
The UK Games Expo has announced national tournaments for Catan, Carcassonne, Pandemic, Splendor and 7 Wonders to be held at the popular convention June 2-4, 2017. Additionally, Agricola Regional Championships, Ticket to Ride and Mage Wars Arena National Championships, as well as the Hey Thats My Fish Galactic Tournament are returning. The list of events for the UK Games Expo can be found here, and includes information on how to sign up.
Mayfair Games has just announced two new games and an unexpected expansion to a game. The games are Portal of Heroes and Saboteur; The Duel, the unexpected expansion is for Agricola, and that’s to raise the player count from 4 to 6. The Agricola 5-6 player expansion will be the first to be released and will be on store shelves this month, containing all the needed bits and pieces to play the game with up to six people. It will also include 48 new occupation cards, all which take into account the higher player count so that a 6 player game will still feel like Agricola. This is surprising in that it seemed Caverna was poised to make Agricola obsolete, but with the flurry of new expansions as of late it seems now to be the other way around.
Next is Portal of Heroes, a set collection and action point allowance game where you are trying to score at least 12 power points in order to end, and hopefully win, the game. On your turn you have three actions to take out of four possible options, take a pearl, clear and refill the display, place a character on your board, or activate a character on your board. To activate the character you will have to play the pearl combination they need, and it’s these characters that will grant you points and other special abilities to help you win the game. Once you reach the threshold of 12 points the end game will be triggered, and whoever has the most points at the end of the round is the winner. Look for this card game to hit shelves in January of 2017.
Lastly is another game in the Saboteur line and that is Saboteur; The Duel, a two player version of the “bigger” game. The goal remains the same of being the one to make it to the gold, but now as a two player game you are trying to sabotage your opponent instead of one person being a saboteur. You can break their tools, collapse their tunnels, or even play locked doors in their path to keep them from their goal. But remember, while messing with your opponent is good, you still need to make it to the gold first! Look for this two player card game on store shelves in January 2017 as well.
WizKids just announced that they will be partnering with Lookout Games, original publisher of Agricola, to bring to the market six new expansions to the game. Agricola is a farming game designed by Uwe Rosenberg and is highly regarded, even with the majority complaining about the feed your people mechanic. So wanting to expand it is a good idea to keep the game fresh and offer new content to veteran players. However, these aren’t going to be expansions in the traditional sense, they are actually going to be called Upgrade Kits which do more to bling out your game than expand it’s content. Don’t get me wrong though, the kits will include brand new cards designed by Uwe Rosenberg himself, but the bulk of the pack is going to be pre-painted minis to replace one of the families in the game. Thus if you get all six you will have replaced all the colored discs representing the families with painted minis, bringing a whole new table presence to the game. Look for these to hit store shelves in the beginning of 2017.
DIGIDICED, creators of high quality board game apps for Patchwork and Le Havre Inland Port, are bringing yet another Uwe Rosenberg 2-player game to the small screen, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small. The board game itself took the big game Agricola and trimmed out portions of it like the crops and feeding your people and focused closely on the animal husbandry portion of the game. The digital port of the game will bring that same gameplay to your phone as well as offer some very nice features in the form of cross platform compatibility for online games, a playback feature so you can learn from other people’s games, and a strong AI to play against when going solo. Having personally played the Patchwork app and loving it, I can’t help but be drawn to this app with it’s excellent art, and previous track record of well playing games. You can read the full press release below from DIGIDICED, check out the teaser trailer on Youtube, and look forward to the release of the app this summer.
DIGIDICED Set to Release Uwe Rosenberg’s Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small on the App Store, Google Play & Windows Store
BERLIN — June 23, 2016 — DIGIDICED is proud to reveal that Uwe Rosenberg’s award-winning two-player board game Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small will soon come to Android, iOS, and Windows devices!
In Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small, the player is the owner of an old farmstead with a bit of land. However, a neighboring farmer happens to have a competitive streak — so all bets are off! Both players (human and CPU) must use their wits to acquire and manage both resources and livestock over eight rounds — while attempting to strategically deploy buildings — in a mad dash for farm and fortune.
At its core, Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small is a competitive 1v1 ranch-themed board game. Like previous DIGIDICED releases Le Havre: The Inland Port and Patchwork, it supports cross-platform multiplayer worldwide — allowing Android and iOS players to challenge each other based on their skill (and not which device they happen to own at any particular time).
How to Play
In Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small, each player has three workers that are sent to a nearby village market to acquire resources/livestock. Each of the 16 locations in the market serve a unique purpose — raising livestock, producing resources, or allowing the player to purchase structures. Players take turns placing their workers throughout the market, with each location only capable of supporting one worker per round.
Before players can start breeding animals, they will first need to make sure pastures are fenced. (No one wants their animals to escape!) Once fenced, each pasture can support two animals; special structures (such as a trough or stalls) can be purchased from the village market to increase the amount of animals each pasture can hold. Players can also buy additional plots of land to expand their ranch. At breeding time, all that’s left is to place two animals of the same species in the same pasture — and they’ll take care of the rest 🙂
“We’re thrilled to be working with Uwe Rosenberg once again,” says Felix Dreyfus, CEO of DIGIDICED. “In Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small, every decision matters — even if players can’t quite finish their opposing farmhand with a single blow! Adapting Le Havre: The Inland Port and Patchwork in cooperation with Uwe Rosenberg was a dream come true for everyone on the team. Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small is a great license to work with, and it only strengthens our partnership.”
- Experience another faithful boardgame conversion from the studio behind Le Havre: The Inland Port and Patchwork.
- Engage in exciting 1v1 cross-platform multiplayer matches against players from all over the world.
- Focus on breeding the largest and most varied livestock.
- Use the Playback feature to go over your best games and learn new tricks from the pros.
- Stay on your toes and try to beat the challenging AI.
Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small will be available on the App Store, Google Play and Windows Store in Summer 2016.
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Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small
Based in Berlin, DIGIDICED specializes in developing digital versions of well-known board game licenses. The studio’s goal is to deliver high-quality apps of the board games we all know and love. All licensed games have cross-platform multiplayer modes and can be played on iOS, Android, and Windows 10. The small team of board game fanatics includes: Felix Dreyfus, lord of the business stuff and game programmer extraordinaire; Simon Gratwohl, “arch tech wizard” and server architecture keeper; Alexander Ommer, social peacekeeper and quality assurer; and Patrick Soeder, honorable graphics sensei and artistic vision keeper. For more information about DIGIDICED, please visit www.digidiced.com
Mayfair Games has announced three new products for Agricola. There will be 2 new versions of the hugely popular Agricola, as well as an expansion, arriving throughout 2016.
First up, in May, is a revamped base version of Agricola for 1-4 players featuring an updated, streamlined version of the classic game by Uwe Rosenberg. This version will feature a ‘greatest hits’ deck of cards comprising of the best cards from the base game and expansions – newly revised for this version.
Later in 2016 we will see the Family Edition – acting as a gateway to it’s big brother. Designed for more casual players and families, this version also accomodates 1-4 players and promises to play in under 90 minutes and features no cards, providing a more streamlined experience.
And then finally, in late 2016, we will see a 5-6 player expansion which adds wooden components for an extra 2 players to your base game, making it play up to 6 players, as well as even more handpicked cards to add even more variation to your game.
There are plans to make the new, revised cards available separately for those players of the existing versions.