Bag Builder Game

Schmidt Spiele has announced the first expansion for their Kennerspiel Award winning board game, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, called Die Kräuterhexen (The Herb Witches). Quacks blew up the board game world when it hit in 2018, not only for being a simple yet engaging push your luck bag builder, but because it was super-designer Wolfgang Warsch‘s THIRD nomination for Spiel that year, joining The Mind and Ganz Schön Clever. In Quacks, players pull ingredient tokens from a bag and add them to their cauldron, knowing that too many cherry bombs will make the cauldron explode. When a player stops, they earn points and money to buy new ingredients. Kräuterhexen adds a much requested fifth player to the game, as well as higher value pumpkins, new ingredients such as the variable value “fool’s herb”, and the ability to request help from the witches. Players are given 3 Witch’s Pennies, which are worth points at the end of the game, but can be spent to get special powers, such as the ability to drink a potion after blowing up the cauldron, or reducing the drop advance price to a single ruby. Look for Die Kräuterhexen later this year, and for more information and images check out Schmidt Spiele’s webpage here. No information is currently available for the English version, expected to come at a later date from North Star Games.

Also from Schmidt Spiele and the ludological deity Wolfgang Warsch is the just announced title Die Tavernen im Tiefen Thal (The Taverns in Deep Valley). This dice game takes place in the deep valley, where players need to attract new wealthy patrons, hopefully gaining enough money to expand, and go for the big fish – the nobles. Is it better to focus on a nice tavern, or to keep the beer flowing to keep the regulars happy? And which expansions are the best to build first? Players need to choose the correct dice, and develop their personal deck of cards. Five included modules allow each player to set their own difficulty. Given Mr. Warsch’s track record, Tavern should be an interesting game.

The winner of the 2018 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel award, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, has an English edition coming to retail soon from North Star Games. Quacks is a combination push your luck and bag builder  board game from master designer Wolfgang Warsch (Ganz schön clever, The Mind), in which 2-4 alchemists draw strange ingredients from a bag to add to their cauldrons. Using the correct good ingredients can earn you money and fame, allowing you to buy better ingredients, however one ingredient too many can blow up your entire potion. Players need to know when to cut and run with the potion they have, and when one more draw from the bag can outweigh the risk of losing it all.

The Quacks of Quedlinburg should hit retail stores any day now, and you can learn more about this award winner on North Star Games web page here.

We have some interesting Kickstarters this week on the eve of Essen, so lets get down to it.  First on the list is along the same lines as the White Box Kickstarter in that it is more for board game design as opposed to an actual board game.  It is simply called the Board Game Creative Kit, and is specifically designed to allow for you to create a high quality prototype of your game.  Included in the box is first, the box, and to be more specific, a blank white box in the standard square size, allowing you to design your box cover art on it.  Inside the box you will find punch board after punch board of tokens in every shape, dice in multiple colors, player pawns in multiple colors, wooden tokens, and even several different sized boards and player screens.  Basically anything your could possibly need is most likely inside this box.  There are also stretch goals that add more players in the form of additional tokens, and even additional player colors can be added like pink.  So if you need some supplies to prototype your next game, check out this Kickstarter.

Next we have a quick and quirky little card game called The Mennonite Game Card Game.  The Mennonite game is a game about connections, more specifically how can you connect one person to another?  An example example is finding out that someone was your ” brother’s roommate’s sister’s ex-boyfriend’s high school teacher“.  So in this card game you will be doing the same thing by playing out cards to create various character connections to you in your bid to create a tree of 10 different connections before anyone else.  In the game you will be drawing connection cards and event cards, with the connection cards being the currency you use to purchase the character cards to add to your character tree.  Event cards are cards that give you one time use special abilities allowing you to break the rules here and there to give you an edge.  You will draw 4 cards and play as many as you want to build out your tree, first person to be connected to 10 characters is the winner.  The fun in this game will definitely lay in the people you play with as the connections you form on the table will be crazy and weird, to find out more information check out the Kickstarter page.

Up next is the 236th version of Munchkin, and that is Munchkin Starfinder, based on the fast selling new RPG of the same name.  If you have played Munchkin before then there is nothing new here other than the theme.  For those not in the know, Munchkin is a game where you are racing to get to level 10 first, but there any many, many ways for your opponents to mess with you so expect heavy resistance in levels 8 and 9.  This card game is the epitome of take that and so if you don’t enjoy inflicting pain, or are able to take it, then you might want to look elsewhere.  For those who can handle it, or just want to expand their Munchkin collection, check out the Kickstarter page.

Following that is a new cooperative, bag building game called Tabula Rasa from Kid Loves Tiger Games.  In Tabula Rasa you are champions fighting back the malevolent forces of the world and trying to complete quests and increase your power and reputation to be able to eliminate the evil.  As was previously mentioned, this is a pool building game where you are going to be drawing crystals from a bag, and it’s those crystals you will use to perform actions.  You will use these actions to move around the board, collect treasure and power-ups, fighting the minions of the boss, and synthesizing new crystals to be able to more effectively use your powers.  And it’s those powers that bring in some asymmetry, each player has a power associated with each gem, and having those different powers means each character will play slightly differently.  Once enough quests are completed or the threat becomes too high, the final showdown begins, if you are able to defeat the final boss then you win.  So if a cooperative bag building game sounds your speed, check out the Kickstarter page.

And last but not least, we have the dice, worker placement game Monster Lands.  In this worker placement game you are trying to gain the most glory in order to be crowned the new king, but to do that you are going to have to defeat monsters and re-conquer the land.  You will have to build up your clan to be fighting fit, by recruiting warriors, equipping them with weapons and items, and sending them off to do battle.  Your dice pool is going to be determined by your clan strength as well as the mercenaries that you have hired, and it’s these dice you will roll and use to acquire everything you need.  Place on the main board to get items items or more mercenaries, get some more gold to pay those mercenaries, or send a mercenary fully loaded out to battle.  As you defeat monsters you will gain more glory and your clan will become stronger, be the strongest after 6 rounds to be the winner.  You can find out more about this game on the Kickstarter page.

DLP Games has announced the new bag builder game Altiplano, from Orleans designer Reiner Stockhausen and artist Klemens Franz. Altiplano promises to be a complex strategic game taking place in the Altiplano plains of South America. 2-5 players work to collect and organize goods, some of which are not immediately available or usable to each player, since players start with unique resources and roles. Not only are the resources tight in Altiplano, but storage and delivery of goods can be extremely important and highly competitive.

You can read more about Altiplano on the DLP website, however if you are not fluent in German, get ready to let google translate for you. The game is expected to release in Europe at Essen Spiel, in October 2017.