Board Game Expansions
A new expansion is coming to the popular Whistle Stop from Scott Caputo and Bezier Games. The Rocky Mountains Expansion will bring, well, mountains, to the pick up and deliver train game, with a 3D mountain board. The Rockies hold great rewards for those that can scale them on the way west. The expansion also contains special tiles, 2 new train routes, 2 new towns, gold nugget tokens, more end tiles, 9 new upgrades and 6 new shares. You can read the full press release here, and look for the Rocky Mountains Expansion in stores this August.
Thames and Kosmos has recently announced a ton of new games and expansions releasing in the coming months.
Word Slam Family, a more compact version of the 2016 Inka and Markus Brand hit Word Slam, is coming in September. Players try to get their teammates to guess a word, using only the 105 explanatory cards in the game; talking, signing and emoting are forbidden. Teams word simultaneously, and the first to get the word correct earns the point. Word Slam Family replaces the classic die and timer with an app, and the box itself becomes the screen between the teams. World Slam Family should arrive in September 2018.
Mercado by Rüdiger Dorn (Istanbul, Karuba) has 2-4 players purchasing valuable items from the great market. Players draw coins from their bag, and place them face down at market locations, competing with others for the same goals. Players who have paid all the necessary matching coins can take the location and gain reputation. Market boards can bring privilege or seals, or some can introduce counterfeit coins into a players bag. Look for Mercado in July 2018.
In Drop It, 2-4 players drop circle, triangle, square and diamond pieces of their color into the slots at the top of a large vertical board. Points are earned for hitting higher locations and special targets, but the pieces can bounce around a bit, so aiming is tricky. Additionally, if pieces of the same color or shape touch, they earn no points.
The EXIT series of escape room games have received well deserved accolades over the past year, including the Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel award in 2017. These games are self contained, one use, elaborate puzzle games driven by code wheels, puzzle books and props, which often involve the destruction of pieces while finding solutions. Six games in the series are already available, and now four new EXIT games are coming – Dead Man On The Orient Express and The Sunken Treasure are due out in July, while The Sinister Mansion and The Mysterious Museum should arrive in October. Due to the secret nature of the EXIT games, not much else is known about these games other then the titles.
Imhotep: A New Dynasty is a new expansion for the 2016 Spiel Nominee Imhotep. Imhotep had players mining and shipping their stone blocks to various locations, building pyramids, obelisks and temples for points. The new expansion adds 5 new locations, new market cards, gods and chariots to the classic. God cards add a bidding and betting element to the game, allowing players to secretly predict the outcome on various locations, earning rewards if they are correct. A New Dynasty should be available to purchase this August. \
Dark Heroes is a new expansion to the classic Legends of Andor. Winner of the Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel in 2013, Legends of Andor is a cooperative fantasy quest game with strong puzzle and strategy elements. Dark Heroes adds 4 new hero boards with dice and standees, and allows up to 6 players to overcome the original challenge. Dark Heroes is scheduled to come to stores June 2018.
Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) has announced the newest expansion to the popular dice-driven Cthulhu game Elder Sign, Omens of the Pharaoh. This expansion adds an Egyptian Mythos to the struggle, as players try to combat the evil despot Nephren-Ka. Omens of the Pharaoh also adds a new mechanism in the form of Relics, powerful items which can be used to bring discarded dice back into play. Some Relics even work in combination with each other for more powerful effects. You can read the full press release regarding Omens of the Pharaoh on Fantasy Flight’s webpage here.
Also announced from FFG is the newest unit for Star Wars: Legion, the T-47 Airspeeder. Legion is FFG’s new ground battle miniatures game anchored strongly in the Star Wars universe, joining the space battles of Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: Armada. The beautiful new T-47 comes with the famous Mo/Dk Power Harpoon, which does minimal damage on its own, but can be used to pivot a targeted vehicle, potentially spinning the target to expose its weaker side. You can read the full press release here.
Z-Man Games has posted more details about the upcoming expansion to their 2015 award winning game The Voyages of Marco Polo. The Agents of Venice Expansion contains multiple independent units adding to the gameplay, and this update gives more details on the City of Venice module. Players can add trading posts within the city of Venice, starting with the large palazzo at the bottom of the new board, then expanding outward along paths. Using a mechanic similar to the “Khan’s Favor” space in the main game, players can place a die in Venice, but each successive die needs to be higher or equal to the die played previously. Players can therefore make it difficult for others to build in Venice by playing higher dice. As a teaser, Z-Man notes that the Companions Module, which includes extra helpers with special powers, contains the Gondolier, which allows players yet another opportunity to place trading posts in Venice.
Read more about the City of Venice Module from the Agents of Venice Expansion on Z-Man’s website here.
Days of Wonder has announced that they will be releasing two Small World expansions. These expansions will bring five of their existing expansions into accordance with the latest expansions of Small World such as River World and Sky Islands.
The first expansion will combine all the races and powers of Be Not Afraid and Spider’s Web and will come with a tray to store them.
The second expansion will combine all the races and powers of Grand Dames, Cursed!, and Royal Bonus and will also come with a tray to store them.
Masters of Disguise, the first expansion for Age of Thieves (2016) ,is coming soon from Galakta Games. Age of Thieves is a simultaneous action selection game where 2-4 players control one of the master thieves in a clockpunk universe, each with unique powers, trying to break into the emperor’s palace, steal the prized jewel, and escape without alerting the guards. Masters of Disguise adds 2 new characters and new rules and mechanisms. Players can travel through the sewers to the Undercity, and use Burglary cards to further plan their turn. There are even new scenarios included to play through with your thieves.
Wanted: Rich or Dead, also from Galakta Games, pits 3-5 players as famous cowboys in the old west. Players secretly select where on the map they want to travel, in order to steal supplies, gamble or gain abilities. However, if 2 or more cowboys end up at the same location, a shootout occurs, and players then need to pick cards specific to their characters, in order to survive the fight. The last cowboy standing with the most cash wins the game.
Both Age of Thieves: Masters of Disguise and Wanted: Rich or Dead are coming to stores in December 2017. Read more about these games on Galakta Games’ website here.
Z-Man Games has announced an expansion to their 2015 award-winning dice placement game The Voyages of Marco Polo. Agents of Venice adds two different modules to the game, as well as the ability to insert a 5th player, more contracts, city cards, goals and 5 new characters.
The City of Venice Module adds a board representing Venice in the 13th century. Players can build trading houses in Venice, earning benefits similar to those in the rest of the world, but must work their way up, earning one palazzo at a time. The Companions Module adds friends you meet on the road. These companions give special abilities and benefits to the player, but companions have their own agendas, and their bonuses only last for a single turn. Players will need to pick and choose the friends which give them the best ability for use at that single moment in the game.
The City of Venice Expansion should be available in early 2018. You can read more about the expansion on Z-Man’s website here.
Friedemann Friese is taking the new Fabled games model into the Power Grid universe with a new expansion Power Grid: Fabled Expansion. The expansion will be released by 2F-Spiele, 999 Games, Giochi Uniti, and Rio Grande Games.
This latest expansion works for both Power Grid and Power Grid Deluxe base games. The expansion includes two presorted Fable Decks which will introduce new mechanisms to the games as players work through campaigns using the maps of USA, Germany, Europe, or North America.
Each fabled campaign will have players playing three consecutive games on the same map. When playing with two players, players will use the “Against the Trust” rules. In each game players will reveal cards in order as the conditions for those cards are met, which those cards adding twists to the game.
Examples of actions that trigger the reveal of new rules include:
- Reveal in Phase 3: Buying Resources… When a player buys coal for 7 Elektro or More
- Reveal at the end of a game… when the players have already revealed card 6
- Reveal in Step 1 or Step 2… when the players have already revealed card 4, and there is a difference of 10 or more between the numbers of 2 adjacent power plants in the current market.
Power Grid: Fabled Expansion includes 30 Fabled cards and 6 rules cards. The expansion does not change player count or length of game, with the game still playing over 120 minutes with 2-6 players aged 13 and up. The game requires a copy of Power Grid or Power Grid Deluxe to play and is scheduled to release in November 2017.
A Fabled History
The first game in the Fabled line, Fabled Fruit, introduced the fable deck of cards which introduce new and developing gameplayover time. The game starts in a simple state, but as you play through the game new rules emerge and deeper mechanisms develop. The Fabled game system is fully resettable, unlike most legacy games. Fabled Fruit ended up making the 2017 Spiel des Jahres Recommended list.
This year Friese is also releasing other titles based on the Fabled system including Flee, Fear, Fortress as well as The Lime Expansion to the original Fabled Fruit title.
Power Grid has it’s own storied history. Power Grid was the updated release of the Friedemann Friese crayon game Funkenschlag. The objective of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power when someone’s network gains a particular size. Players mark claim the rights to to power a city and then develop pre-existing routes between cities for additional connection, bid against each to purchase the power plants through an always changing power plant market that they use to power the cities in their network, and finally buy resources to power those plants.
When released in 2004, Power Grid began a multi-year award winning streak. Awards won include:
Z-Man Games announced a new mini-expansion for Uwe Rosenberg‘s most recent magnum opus, A Feast For Odin. The new expansion has 2 new double sided exploration boards, allowing players to travel to Lofoten, the Ornkey Islands, or even Tierra del Fuego. Each board has more spaces for points, bonuses or plundered goods, and the Ornkey Islands even comes with a bonus weapon card to boost hunting or trading. Read more about the mini-expansion on Z-Man’s website here.
Tea and Trade from Z-Man Games will be the first expansion for Uwe‘s hidden gem, Fields of Arle (2014). Fields of Arle is a true Rosenberg gem, complete with multiple resource types, space to clear fields and build structures, tons of different spots for worker placement, and of course the need to feed your people. Often regarded as one of Uwe‘s best, Fields of Arle was a 2 player only sleeper hit, now playable with 3 using the new expansion. The Tea and Trade expansion will unsurprisingly add tea as an upgradeable resource to the lands of East Frisia. Tea has the unique property of invigorating your workers, making them act as if they were more skillful then they are, and can even allow workers to act twice. A new action, digging ditches, makes draining the moors and clearing peat bogs easier, and can make the land more productive. Finally, a new harbor board allows you to take to the sea, trading and upgrading your resources or collecting more food from the bounty of the sea. Read the full press release about Fields of Arle: Tea and Trade on Z-Man’s website here.
Czech Games Edition has announced several new games and expansions coming in the next few months.
Pulsar 2849 is a new space based euro game from Vladimír Suchý (Prodigals Club, Shipyard). 2-4 players explore space, build megastructures and discover alien technologies, using a unique dice drafting mechanic. Each round, players roll dice and sort them according to value, and draft with each number corresponding to an action in the game. Expect Pulsar 2849 in Q4 2017.
Tash Kalar: Arena of Legends by Vlaada Chvátil has a new expansion coming, Etherweave. This third expansion brings a new faction and a new mechanic. Warp Effect allows a player to manipulate time, using the effect of a not-yet-summoned being right now. Be careful and do not destroy causality – once you use the effect, there are serious punishments for failing to summon the future being. Expect Tash-Kalar: Etherweave in Q4 2017.
Adrenaline, the 2016 hit FPS simulator by Filip Neduk, also has an upcoming expansion, adding a sixth player and several new elements. Adrenaline: Team Game Expansion promises a new player character, simultaneous team play, a new poison damage mechanism, and character specific weapons and gadgets. The new expansion is due to hit the streets in Q1 2018.
Finally, CGE has announced a digital version of their mega-hit game Codenames. The new computer version promises online matchmaking or play with your friends. CGE also promises the already large word list will be easily expandable. Additionally, a Codenames Gadget App is available for iOS and Android from CGE, providing random key cards and a timer. Interested players can sign up for future news about Codenames Online here.
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