Euro Game fans rejoice, for publisher Eggertspiele, artist Chris Quilliams, and designer extraordinaire Alexander Pfister (Great Western Trail, Mombasa, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King) have announced their new game for Essen Spiel 2018, Blackout: Hong Kong. In Blackout, 1-4 players work to restore order from chaos in a future Hong Kong, where the electrical grid has been massively overstressed to the point of failure. Players start by rolling dice to randomly select which 3 of the 6 resources in the game will be available for the round. Next, players select 3 (or 4 with an upgrade) cards, which are placed facedown on their player board. These cards are revealed, and can place control cubes on the board, gain resources, spend resources, give abilities, or provide objectives. Objective cards are then scored, after which players can scout neighboring territories. Scouting is dangerous work, and gives an alternative way to collect needed resources, but players need to assemble cards from their hand to form a team with the required qualifications for the scouting token. Regardless of the outcome, one of the team will be injured, and will end up in the hospital, taking that card out of action. After scouting, players can use money to purchase new cards from face-up lines next to the board. Finally, in clean up, extra cards are discarded from the side of the board, and excess food and water are sold for money. Players score points for territories they control, and can refresh their hand of cards if they have 4 or less. When refreshing, players take back into hand whichever pile on their board is the largest. At the end of the game, money converts into points, and most total points takes the victory. Blackout can be played traditionally, solo, or as a 5 chapter campaign.
For more details, check out Eggertspiele’s website. Look for Blackout: Hong Kong at Essen Spiel 2018 October 25-28.
Lookout Games have announced the publication of the second expansion to the 2016 Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King. Isle of Skye: Druids is designed by the game’s original designers, Andreas Pelikan, and Alexander Pfister, with art by Klemens Franz. In Isle of Skye, players are chieftains of famous clans who are trying to build the greatest kingdom, in the form of laying tiles, scoring as many points as possible.
“One cannot win the struggle for dominance over the island without powerful allies. As every wise king knows, power is not measured in strength and gold alone. Having the support of the spiritual leaders of the country can be the decisive factor. Win the druids over to your cause, and harness the power of their mystical sacred sites for your benefit!” [source]
Unlike Isle of Skye: Journeyman, Isle of Skye: Druids doesn’t add any new mechanisms but instead splits the buying phase into two buying sessions. In the first phase, players can buy tiles from other players (as per normal), but in the second phase they’ll be able to buy from the dolmen board. These are normal, landscape tiles but they may have a tablet or scroll on them. Tablets grant special effects until the end of the game while scrolls follow the usual rules of the game. New scoring tiles have also been added.
The expansion retains the same player count, 2-5, as the base game and plays in roughly 60-75 mins. According to the Lookout Games website, Isle of Skye: Druids is expected to release either August or September 2018.
Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a new skirmish map for Imperial Assault, The Nal Hutta Swamps Skirmish Map . Taking place on the homeworld of the Hutts, this new map will be available as a tournament skirmish, and comes on a 26×26 beautiful neoprene playmat. The Nal Hutta Swamps Skirmish Map should be available now, and you can read the press release here.
In a report of current projects, Czech Games Edition has listed That’s a Question!, the new party game from Codenames developer extraordinaire, Vlaada Chvátil. That’s a Question! has 3-6 players use color coded cards and interrogation to try and predict how someone will answer. All players bet on which answer will come up, tallying their progress on a scoring board. Look for That’s a Question! in September 2017.
Hawk Wargames has announced the second edition of their highly regarded 27th century wargame Dropzone Commander. Hawk Wargames has stated the update is intended to bring more balance, and allow every unit to be playable. Expect Dropzone Commander second edition in Q4 2017.
Steve Jackson Games has given some more details about the upcoming digital version of their classic wargame Ogre, being designed by Auroch Digital. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of this futuristic tank battle classic, the early screenshots look true to the original. You can read the press release about Ogre digital here.
An expansion to Mayfair Games‘ Spiel winning tile building game Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King has appeared in some distributor’s pre-order lists, and confirmation has come from the designers. Isle of Skye: Journeyman Expansion adds mighty warriors, cunning merchants, and swift heralds. Players can turn agents, flip cards and fulfill missions, while trying to avoid being thwarted by their opponents. Isle of Skye: Journeyman is expected in stores November 2017. A brief description is available on Alliance Distribution’s web page.
Steve Jackson Games has made a number of announcements about games releasing in August 2017 in their Daily Illuminator Newsletter.
Firstly, Munchkin Gets Promoted 2, the second collection of Munchkin Promo Cards, is coming to stores. This expansion contains 15 hard to find Door and Treasure cards.
Munchkin Booty is getting a Guest Artist Edition, featuring art from Tom Siddell. Tom is best known for his web comic Gunnerkrigg Court, and brings great humor to the already fantastic Munchkin Booty.
Steve Jackson Games will be bringing Alexander Pfister’s award winning card game Port Royal to the US. In Port Royal, players vie to hire the best people, form the most lucrative shipping empire and amass the most wealth. Players can draw as many cards as they like on their turn, but in this push your luck mechanic, if you push too hard you get nothing.
The winners of the prestigious Spiel Des Jahres and Kennerspiel Des Jahres have been announced.
Codenames by designer Vlaada Chvatil published by Czech Games Editions won the Spiel Des Jahres (German for Game of the Year). This team party game has seen great success thus far having one a number of Dice Tower Awards as well. Having already picked up placement in Target stores this award can only aid in its uptake with the non-hobby gaming public. This win was not overly surprising as a result of the overwhelming popularity seen by the aforementioned items.
Isle of Skye: From Chieftan to King by designers Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister Published by Mayfair Games/Lookout Games won the Kennerspiel Des Jahres (German for Connoisseur Game of the Year). This game has received critical acclaim from many within the gaming community. This win was more surprising as a result of the competition it received from both Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and T.I.M.E. Stories.
For more information you can visit the Spiel Des Jahres awards pages for Codenames here and Isle of Skye here.
Mayfair Games has officially announced the upcoming release from designer Alexander Pfister (Port Royal) entitled Oh My Goods! This is a card game in which players take on the role of medieval craftsmen striving to produce tools, barrels, glass windows, and many other goods, and must achieve the title of most efficient, profitable business owner in your village. Players will have many decisions to make, such as whether to produce a higher (and sloppier) quantity of goods, or aim for the highest quality of manufacturing.
Oh My Goods! is for 2-4 players ages 10 and up and plays in 30 minutes. The game’s street release date is June 2016. For more information, visit Mayfair Games’ website.
Congratulations to Colt Express for winning the 2015 Spiel des Jahres award! Colt Express is designed by Christophe Raimbault and published by Ludonaute/Asmodee.
The Spiel des Jahres is German for Game of the Year and is awarded by a panel of German speaking board game critics for the best family style game.
In addition to the Spiel des Jahres two other awards are given out. They are the Kennerspiel des Jahres (connoisseur game of the year) for best heavier game and the Kinderspiel des Jahres for best children’s game. This year’s winners are Broom Service designed by Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister and published by alea for the Kennerspiel des Jahres and Spinderella designed by Roberto Fraga and published by Zoch for the Kinderspiel des Jahres.
Winning one of these awards is a great achievement for a board game and is quite often accompanied by a large increase of sales. Congratulations are in order for all of the winners as well as the nominees that didn’t win. For the full list of nominees and recommended games you can visit the official site for each award:
Spiel des Jahres
Kennerspiel des Jahres
Kinderspiel des Jahres