area control

Blue Orange Games has two new games that will be released at this year’s Gen Con.

First is Blue Lagoon designed by award winning game designer Reiner KniziaBlue Lagoon is a set collection games with an area control mechanic.  Players manage settlers to explore the islands, collect resources, and build villages.  Points are awarded collecting resources and colonizing the islands.

Blue Lagoon plays 2-4 players, ages 8+, in 30-45 minutes.  Contents include game board, 24 wooden resources, 8 wooden statuettes, 20 wooden villages, 120 settler tokens, 1 linen bag, score pad, and rulebook.

Next, Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc have teamed up again to design Scarabya.  Scarabya is an area enclosure game with a tile placement mechanic.  Players are competing archeologist on their own dig site (player board) attempting to place tiles around the golden scarabs on their player board. Each gold scarab enclosed is worth the size of its enclosure, up to four points.  The challenge is that the tiles to create an enclosure come in different shapes, is drawn at random, and is played in order.  All the players draw and place their tiles concurrently and the game continues until the last tile is drawn and played or discarded. The player with the most points in golden scarabs at the end of the game is the winner.

Scarabya plays 1-4 players, ages 8+, in 15-20 minutes.  Contents include 4 sets of 12 tiles, 4 sets of 4 boards, 4 sets of 8 rocks, 4 frames, 72 scarab tokens, 12 mission cards, and rulebook.

Lean more about both these games at Blue Orange Games.

If you love the smell of burning cottages in the morning, you’ve finally got the chance to burninate the universe with your favorite one-armed dragon in in Trogdor!! The Board Game. Fans of the web comic series Homestar Runner will get their fix of mayhem and destruction in a new game designed by James Earnest of Cheapass Games and the creators of Homestar Runner.

Starring Trogdor, the game is for 2 to 6 players who will cooperate to use the Wingaling dragon and cultist helpers to destroy the kingdom of Pleasantry by burning the cottages… and villagers. The playing field is a set of tiles laid out randomly each game. The players assume the role of the cultists who want to help Trogdor achieve this destruction.  Each of the cultist ‘creepos’ has a different player power, such as moving in a different directly or taking a unique action.

Does this sound too easy?  Well, there are also knights that are there to protect the villagers and make it much more difficult to torch things freely.  Burninating the universe  takes 30 to 45 minutes, making burninating much faster than most other methods of destruction.

The Kickstarter includes multiple backer levels that provide upgrades from wooden meeples to plastic minis and several options for deluxe (very deluxe!) storage boxes.

See the Kickstarter page and the BGG entry for more information.

Play as a street gang building an empire in Neon Gods by Plaid Hat Games. Start your business, recruit your gang and hustle on the black market. Beware of cops who’ll do anything to shut you down and opponents who’ll do anything to invade your turf. Neon Gods is a colorful play on 70’s and 80’s style in an alternate reality of a future 2009.  Control your territory and build your illegal empire so you can edge out your rivals. The game is for 2-4 players ages 14 and up and will play in about 60-120 minutes. You can pre-order now and the game will be available later this year. You can also check it out at the Plaid Hat Games booth at GenCon 2018.

Condottiere has recently been added to the Z-Man Games catalog and is being re-released with new art, upgraded components, and new rulesets.

In Condottiere, players assume the role of ambitious leaders of wealthy Italian city-states who have hire the Condottiere of assert control over other regions of Italy.  The various strength of the Condottiere, ranging from the lowly foot soldier to the elite cavalrymen, are represented by cards in each players hand, and the players commit their Condottiere to battle in each region by bidding their cards.  The highest bidder (strongest army) wins the region but all cards bid are expended, so hand management is key.  Some cards have special features that change the results of the battle and should be committed wisely to achieve a surprise victory. The first player to control three adjacent regions or five total regions is the winner.

The iconic art style from the 2007 edition of Condottiere is preserved in the new edition with original artist Tomasz Jedruszek returning to update the artwork.  Additionally, the new version will include not only a modern ruleset, but also the classic ruleset for fans of the original game and a 2-player variant ruleset.   The new version will include new larger board and reminder icons on the special cards to aid in gameplay.

Learn more about Condottiere at Z-Man Games.

In another time, another future seemingly none too distant from now, governments have been mostly abolished and overcome by Mega Corporations. The fragile balance of control is being broken by four major media conglomerates, but who will own each conglomerate and the companies they’ve overtaken remains to be seen. In New Corp Order, now on Kickstarter, up to four players carefully take stocks in conglomerates and, through clever play and the help of consultants, manipulate the control over smaller companies in the hopes of owning and scoring them. Designed by Miguel Bruque, with art by Heiko Günther, the game is suited for ages 12 and up and plays in 30 to 45 minutes.

     “As the top executive of one of the world’s leading MegaCorps, your task is to improve the brand awareness of your company through the wise manipulation of the 4 biggest Media Conglomerates. Infiltrate their structures and use that influence to your advantage, even if that means playing one conglomerate against the other. After all, the prize is big: The World.

New Corp Order features a rules system that is very simple but offers deep tactical play. You can learn and teach the game in 5 minutes, but it will take you time to master all the possibilities it offers!”

There’s a particular elegance to the design which makes New Corp Order unique, and it’s rooted in it’s Ticket to Ride-style card drafting. Players must draft shares in order to do anything, as they allow placement and control of their corresponding color on the board. However, just because you sometimes place or move units of that color doesn’t mean you own them and that depends on cat-and-mouse tactics in order to ensure that the board state, your shares, and captured pieces are aligned in your favor in the end. As of writing this, the game is funded and steadily unlocking stretch goals that add better components to an already thoughtfully-designed game. If you’re interested in learning more about New Corp Order, check out their Kickstarter campaign for multiple video reviews, rules explanations, print-and-play files, community feedback, and updates.

If you missed the Kickstarter for Wendake last summer, you are in luck because it will now be available this fall.

Wendake, designed by Danilo Sabia and illustrated by Alan D’Amico and Paolo Vallerga, is an action selection, area control, and resource management game.  Set in the Great Lakes Region during the Seven Years War between the French and the English (1756-1763), the war is but one obstacle to the Native American tribes of the Huron Nation striving for prosperity. In Wendake, players are chiefs of a Native American tribe managing all of the most important aspects of tribal life. Each tribe has their own special abilities their chiefs can use throughout the game.

The core of the game is the action selection mechanism.  Actions are taken on a grid of tiles where players activate a row, column, or diagonal, taking all the actions in that line.  Afterward, those action tiles are flipped over to reveal new actions to choose from.  The available actions are constantly cycling, and over the course of the game new actions to add to the grid become available allowing better choices.   Tribal prosperity is scored on the economic, military, ritual, and mask tracks that are paired.  Players only score on the lowest of each paired track, so a balanced approach is necessary for victory.  The player with the highest total score is the winner.

Wendake plays 1-4 players, ages 14+, in 1-2 hours, and it is available for pre-order now.  Pre-orders from Renegade Game Studios can be picked up at Gen Con, August 2-5th, 2018, while pre-orders from your Friendly Local Game Store will be available this fall.

Kolossal Games and designer A J Lambeth have brought their asymmetrical area control / pattern matching game Kami-sama to Kickstarter. Kami-sama plays 2-4, each of whom picks from 8 Kami, including the Kami of the River, of Fear, of the Moon, of the Wind, and the Kami of Death.

Play involves action selection cubes, management of villagers via card play and a beautiful round player board, all with art from Gong Studios (Aeon’s End, Charterstone, Kitchen Rush). Kami place shrines in villages according to their specific pattern, thus earning the favor of the villagers. But beware, for successful players will strike a balance between nature and the village, as focusing on either comes with harsh penalties.

The Kickstarter for Kami-sama continues through March 11, and is expected to deliver in October of 2018.

Francis Fukutama might have declared The End of History in his 1989 essay, but apparently Z-Man Games didn’t get the notice. Z-Man games has announced they are releasing  remastered edition of the 1991 Avalon Hill classic History of the World by designers Gary Dicken, Steve Kendall and Phil Kendall. The game is scheduled for a late 2017 release.

Once again players will will take control on the grand scale that made the original game a classic. Running from the very dawn of civilization to the 20th century through multiple epochs, players will need to spread their empire across the globe. Fierce battle and unpredictable calamities will test even the most veteran player, but those who score the most points will be remembered throughout history.

The remastered edition maintains gameplay from the original title while adding a newly illustrated board and new components.

Gameplay

Played out over 7 rounds and running from the ancient 3000 B.C. Sumerians to the pre-WW1 Germany each player will control a new rising empire. At the end of every epoch players will score points for all of the units of their color on the board both from the current empire they control as well as any previous empires units they controlled that remain on the board.

During each of the epochs players will marshall armies and send them towards the very edges of the known world, head towards unoccupied territory or battle with other players. New terrain will score points, but control all of a single colored region and you’ll be rewarded even more greatly. Success in invasions will be determined by dice rolling. The invader rolls two, the defense one, and whoever has rolled the highest individual dice value claims a win.

Invading territory won’t be the only path to victory. Each empire has unique abilities in addition to whatever armies they start with. Secure resources, build monuments and use all of your empires traits to your best advantage in order to score points.

A History of History of the World

Originally published by Ragnar Brothers in 1991, History of the World has worked it’s way through several english iterations. Compendium Games re-released the game in 1992, Gibsons Games in 1993 followed by Avalon Hill in 1993. An 8 year break took place before Avalon Hill/Hasbro released the game again in 2001.

The universe of Small World by Days of Wonder is expanding again. In the latest expansion by original Small World designer Philippe Keyaerts and T. Alex Davis 3-6 players will take flight to inhabit islands in the sky. This expansion is scheduled for a release at Esenin October, followed by a December release in North America

Seven new races and powers will be available in the new expansion. New races as well as all previously released races will now have the opportunity to fight to control additional territories in the sky.

It was a lovely spring morning; Giants were getting new tattoos and the rest of the Small World  inhabitants were preparing for another day of conquest. An eerie silence settled on the lands as a huge shadow glided over forest and mountain. Had the Wizards accidentally given their flocks of sheep flight again ?

All eyes turned to the horizon as an archipelago of Sky Islands floated over Small World… and realization dawned at the same time as the sun. New lands meant new riches! Within a few hours, the most enterprising races were swarming up a Giant Magical Beanstalk and a Stairway to Heaven on their way to wealth. The battle for the Sky Islands had just begun…

Featuring a double sided board, players will choose to add two or three islands in the sky with the new board as well as utilizing the original board which will be set for one fewer player (example – the original board would be set for 3 players if playing a four player game).

Access points via beanstalk and stairway are created between the Sky Islands and the regular board in different regions. A race standing on one of the access points can attempt to move into a sky island space with a matching symbol. Control all the regions on a Sky Island and gain an additional coin at the end of your turn.

The full ruleset is already available for download.

Box contents will include:

  • double-sided game board
  • 7 Fantasy Race banners
  • 94 Matching Race tokens
  • 4 Lost Tribe tokens
  • 5 Zeppelin/Burning Region tokens
  • 5 Trade Pact tokens
  • 3 transformed Drakon tokens
  • 2 Lightning Bolt tokens
  • 2 Cannon tokens
  • 2 Access point to Sky Islands tokens
  • 1 “END” token
  • 1 Summary Sheet
  • rules booklet

A storage tray is included in the expansion to hold new races, powers and tokens.

Award Winning Franchise

While only 8 years old, the game already has 16 expansions, which makes sense given the popularity and critical success of the game. The original Small World game won many awards when released in 2009 including:

Small World has shown up on many Dice Tower Top 10 lists, including:

Games Best for 3 Players– People’s choice #1
Top 100 Games 2015 – Eric Summerer #8

Gamelyn Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its new big-box game, Heroes of Land, Air & Sea, from designer Scott Almes of Tiny Epic fame.  From the Kickstarter page:

Heroes of Land, Air & Sea is a 4X style board game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) for 1-6* players that plays in 2-3 hours (30m/player), and features 80 highly detailed miniatures and over 30 constructs!  *Plays up to 6 players with the deluxe expansion.  It is easy to learn, simple to play, and won’t take up your entire weekend.

The game promotes simple gameplay (players only take two actions per round) and bucket-loads of miniatures and cardboard constructs for the visual and tactile appeal.  There are add-on options to have the miniatures pre-painted as well.  The base game comes with four different factions, while the Deluxe Expansion for 6 players, Order and Chaos, adds four more.

Players will be vying for control over a fantasy realm by exploring an enormous board, building castles and towers to cement their influence and collect resources from the land, and of course, battling with the other factions through Tactics cards.  Each X also comes with its own victory condition, meaning players may be able to choose their style of play, or at least the best way to race to victory.

The campaign is set to end Monday, June 5, 2017, and delivery is projected for March 2018.  Much more information can be found on the Kickstarter page here.