camel up

Fantastic news for anyone lucky enough to attend the Essen Spiel Game Convention in Germany at the end of the month – Board game publisher Pegasus Spiele is once again hosting a fantastic game night, this year taking place Thursday October 25 and Friday October 26, from 7pm – 1am. The event will include a library of over 50 games for lend, including such hits as Azul, Reef, Sagrada, and many more. Additionally, new and notable games from associated publishers Plan B Games, Eggertspiele, Frosted Games and Portal Games will be available to play, such as Blackout: Hong Kong, Camel Up 2nd edition, Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, Monolith Arena, Detective, Men at Work, and several others. Guests of honor this year include 2018 Spiel des Jahres winner Michael Kiesling (Azul), Roberto Fraga (Captain SonarDr. Eureka), and Yohan Lemonnier (Captain Sonar). For more information and schedule of events, check out Pegasus’ announcement here.

Long out of print Speil des Jahres winner Camel Up (2014) is coming out with a new edition from Eggertspiele, due out at Essen Spiel 2018 (October 25-28). Camel Up (and there is no controversy around the name of the new edition, it is decidedly Camel UP) is the light betting game by Steffen Bogen centering around racing camels. The colored camels move haphazardly with the roll of their corresponding dice, carrying competitors in the same space along for a ride. The new edition adds Rogue Camels to the mix, strange racers who run the wrong direction around the track, and can also carry your favorites backwards. Look for completely new art and a beautiful new resigned Pyramid Dice Roller in version 2.0 of Camel Up. For more information, check out the Eggertspiele page here.

Eggertspiele has released a press release unveiling its new logo in the wake of being acquired by Plan B Games. Now inside Plan B Games Europe, Eggertspiele will be branding themselves as a publisher of “medium to heavy complexity European strategy games”. As part of their rebranding, Eggertspiele have updated their fox mascot Jeffrey into a more contemporary, cleaner design. Eggertspiele is the German publishing house behind such modern classics as Mombasa, Camel Up, Village and Great Western Trail.

For more details, you can read the press release on Eggertspiele’s facebook page here.

Meeplesource has started their third Kickstarter Campaign, offering a gorgeous collection of printed wooden upgrades to many popular and new board games. Highlighting the offerings are large 32mm custom meeples for the highly anticipated upcoming legacy city building game Charterstone. Ink and Remover tokens for the upcoming Hardback are present. The classics are supported with custom bits for Carcassonne and its many expansions, as well as new printed meeples for Catan. Red Raven Games are being well represented in this Kickstarter with upgrade kits for Islebound,  Above and Below, and the upcoming Empires of the Void II, each keeping Ryan Laukat’s unique art style. New Colt Express and Camel Up wooden bits are also being offered.

Check out the Kickstarter Campaign here, which will continue through June 1. The items are expected to deliver October 2017.

zev zman

Board Game enthusiasts will not be a stranger to Zev Shlasinger, the founder of Z-Man Games (publishers of huge hits such as Bruges, Camel Up, Pandemic, and the US publisher for hits like Agricola and Carcassonne).

He announced today, on his Facebook page, that he was leaving Z-Man Games.

“This is a note to let everyone know that as of Jan 15, 2016 I will no longer be working for Z-Man/F2Z Entertainment. A long chapter has closed in my life but I am confident that a new one will begin soon.

So this isn’t a goodbye, as I expect to stay in the industry and plan to explore my options to that effect.

Onwards and upwards!”

About Z-Man

Z-Man Games is a company incorporated in 1999 in the USA to produce games. The headquarters is in Mahopac, New York, nearNew York City. It is named after its proprietor, Zev Shlasingera. Z-Man games is presently owned by F2Z Entertainment.

Z-Man has three upcoming titles for September, the smallest of which supports 8 players.

Monster My Neighbor (20 minutes, 3-8 players) is a twist on the evergreen hidden-role genre that involves a small hand of action cards for each player. “As the cards keep getting exchanged, the identity of the monster remains vague. Will you guess who the monster is?”

Next up is an expansion for Camel Up (30-45 minutes, 2-10 players with expansion), which many will remember was 2014’s Spiel des Jahres winner. The expansion, dubbed “Supercup,” will consist of four modules which both lengthen the game and add new options to its betting mechanic.

Lastly, Dark Stories (1 of 3) (20 minutes, 2-15 players) is a new English edition of Holger Bosch’s 2004 game Black Stories; no word yet as to whether it’s a strict translation or if the cards have been updated or incorporate any of the previously-untranslated expansion content. Two more volumes will be printed according to BoardGameGeek, so we can hope to see either or both of those things eventually.


The Dice Tower released their 2014 Gaming Award nominee list. Here’s the official press release:

April 21, 2014

The Dice Tower Network is proud to announce the nominees for the best games of 2014. A jury of more than fiftyy Dice Tower staff, prominent bloggers and reviewers went through all the games released in English in 2014, and chose the five best in each category – with ten games nominated for best game of the year.

The winners of each category will be announced on June 26th, at the Dice Tower Convention in Orlando, Florida. Congratulations to all the publishers and designers who were nominated, and we hope that gamers will have a list of truly excellent games to seek out and play.

See the complete listing with pictures at

Best Reprint

* Ca$h ‘n Guns, 2nd Edition – Asmodee/Repos, Ludovic Maublanc

* Doomtown, Reloaded – AEG, Dave Williams & Mark Wootton

* Medina – Stronghold Games, Stefan Dorra

* San Juan, 2nd Editions – Ravensburger, Andreas Seyfarth

* Ticket to Ride, 10th Edition – Days of Wonder, Alan R. Moon

Best Party Game

* Ca$h ‘n Guns, 2nd Edition – Asmodee/Repos, Ludovic Maublanc

* Clusterfight – Game Salute, Sam Liberty & Kevin Spak

* Good Cop, Bad Cop – Overworld Games, Brian Henk, Clayton Skancke

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

* Strike a Pose – R&R Games, Sébastien Decad

Best Artwork

* Abyss – Asmodee, Xavier Collette

* Alchemists – CGE, David Cochard

* Battle of the Five Armies – Ares Games, Lucas Graciano, Jon Hodgson, Fabio Maiorana, Francesco Mattioli, Ben Wootten

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games, Henning Ludvigsen

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games – Thomasz Jedruszek

Best Components

* Arcadia Quest – Cool Mini or Not, Eric Lang, Fred Parret, Theiago Aranha, Guilherme Goulart

* Colt Express – Asmodee / Ludonaut, Christophe Raimbault

* Star Wars: Imperial Assualt – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Splendor – Asmodee / Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Two-player Game

* Battle of the Five Armies – Ares Games, Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello

* Dice Masters – Wizkids, Eric Lang, Mike Elliott

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Warhammer 40K: Conquest – Fantasy Flight Games, Eric Lang, Nate French, Brad Andres

Best Cooperative Game

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game – Upper Deck, Danny Mandel, Ben Cichoski

* Pandemic: the Cure – Z-man Games, Matt Leacock

* Shadows of Brimstone – Flying Frog, Jason C. Hill

* Witness – Ystari Games, Dominique Bodin

Best Strategy Game

* Five Tribes – Days of Wonder, Bruno Cathala

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek

* Kanban: Automotive Revolution – Stronghold Games, Vital Lacerda

* Panamax – Stronghold Games, Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Expansion

* 7 Wonders: Babel – Repos Productions, Antoine Bauza

* Cyclades: Titans – Matagot, Bruno Cathala, Ludovic Maublanc

* Mice & Mystics: Downwood Tales – Plaid Hat Games, Jerry Hawthorne

* Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice – Z-man Games, Jens Drögemüller, Helge Ostertag

* Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture – Stonemaier Games, Alan Stone, Jamey Stegmaier, Morten Monrad Pedersen

Best New Designer

* Splendor – Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Heroes of Normandie – IELLO Games, Yann and Klem

* Paperback – self-published, Tim Fowers

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Family Game

* Camel Up – Z-man Games – Steffen Bogen

* Diamonds – Stronghold Games – Mike Fitzgerald

* King of New York – IELLO – Richard Garfield

* Splendor – Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

Best Game from Small Publisher

* Medieval Academy – Blue Cocker Games, Nicolas Poncin

* Paperback – self-published, Tim Fowers

* Run, Fight, or Die! – 8th Summit and Grey Fox Games, Richard Launius

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Most Innovative Game

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Golem Arcana – Harebrained Schemes, Jordan Weissman, Seth Johnson, Michael Mulvihill, Brian Poel

* Tragedy Looper – Z-man Games, BakaFire

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

Best Theming

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Castles of Mad King Ludwig – Bezier Games, Ted Alspach

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game – Upper Deck, Danny Mandel, Ben Cichoski

Game of the Year

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Dice Masters – Wizkids, Eric Lang, Mike Elliott

* Five Tribes – Days of Wonder, Bruno Cathala

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek

* Kanban: Automotive Revolution – Stronghold Games, Vital Lacerda

* Splendor – Asmodee / Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller


spiel banner 2014

Announced here, (use your browser translators) Russian Railroads won the DSP awards.  The following were their top 10 list:


As mentioned above, you can visit the site here for more details.



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Spiel des Jahres 2014

Last week’s Dice Tower Awards went so well that it’s not surprising that other organizations have jumped on the bandwagon of naming a game of the year. No hard feelings though, I’ve heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

But seriously, the Spiel des Jahres (German for Game of the Year) is probably the most important award of gaming. Without this award, the gateway greats that introduced most of us into this hobby (like Ticket to Ride, The Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Dominion) may not have reached the level of popularity that they currently have. And now, joining that list of classics as this year’s Spiel des Jahres winner is Steffen Bogen’s Camel Up. This game about betting on racing camels beat the other well-received nominees’ Marc Andre’s Splendor and Concept by Gaëtan Beaujannot and Alain Rivollet.

The other big award that was given out was the Kennerspiel des Jahres, which is given to the best strategy game. Rüdiger Dorn’s Istanbul, a game about trading rupees with the help of your assistants in the Turkish city formerly known as Constantinople, won this award over Mac Gerdts’ Concordia, and Rococo by Matthias Cramer, Louis Malt and Stefan Malz.

If you’re interested in any of these games, the increase in publicity from these awards often causes them to become more widely available. For example, Z-Man Games has announced that they will be releasing Camel Up in North America before the end of the year.

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The Kickstarter Gold Rush

The theme of the old west is deceptively popular. On one hand, western themed games don’t seem to rake in nearly as much funding in Kickstarter projects as the zombie genre. Zombicide consistently makes well over a million dollars per campaign, and other recent games within the genre also are impressively well-received. For examples, check out the Kickstarters for games like Zombie 15’, Escape: Zombie City, and even smaller games like We Are Dead.

On the other hand, the article with the highest view count last week (other than the Spiel des Jahres announcement) was about the new western themed game on Kickstarter Wanted: The Outlaws. At the time of writing, the small game has been a modest success. Last week, Tom Vasel reviewed Spurs: A Tale in the Old West, which was another successful Kickstarter game. In an interview with Sean Brown, the president of Mr. B Games, he seemed surprised by how well the Spurs was selling. So, although these games may not receive the funding and press that more popular and bloated genres do, it’s worth noting that a lot of gamers are still interested in finding the next Bang!
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What’s New with the Dice Tower?

1. Sometimes we have to admit things about ourselves that other people may not like. Case-in-point: Tom Vasel loves destruction. Last year when Board Game Breakfast first took off, Tom’s initial opening sequences in videos were innocent enough. He would do something simple, like pour milk in a bowl of dice or Ticket to Ride trains. As time went by, those cheap thrills weren’t exciting enough. He began to boil Memoir ’44 army men over the stove and smear jam over Marvel Dice Masters cards. Some people have not taken it so well.

In last week’s Board Game Breakfast, Tom defended his “misuse” of components. While Tom has talked about his component drops in previous videos, his most recent explanation does an excellent job of describing why he cooks his components, as well as his views on the value of games. You may not agree with what he says, but it is an interesting argument. Also, he’s probably never going to stop. So at the very least, if Tom ever invites you over to play a board game in the morning, you know that you probably shouldn’t let him make you breakfast.

2. Tom Vasel hosted a special Q&A segment this week, and a lot of the questions he answered focused on the big events that would be coming up within the next few weeks. Perhaps the most exciting event to look forward to is Gen Con, which will be taking place from August 14 to 17. You can look forward to a lot of previews of new games and interviews with designers, similar to the content that the Dice Tower offered during Origins Gaming Convention last month. In the more immediate future, the long-awaited Top 100 lists from frequent Top 10 and Miami Dice co-host Sam Healey and Zee Garcia will begin to be recorded this week.

Speaking of Top 10 list, a few hints were given about what to expect within the next few games. The Top 10 Fantasy Games was already recorded in front of a live audience during the Dice Tower Con. Other upcoming Top 10 include the top Queen Games and the Top 10 Milton Bradley games. Also Tom’s lips are still sealed about a Musical Episode that he’s been hinting at for a long time. Forget turning components into sandwiches, if you’re looking for game-related spectacle, you should keep a look out for that episode.




Istanbul Wins Kennerspiel 2014

Camel Up has won the Spiel des Jahres 2014 and Istanbul won the Kennerspiel des Jahres.

camel up
Camel Up is designed by Steffen Bogen and published by Pegasus Spiele / Zman Games.

In this camel racing game, players bet on who they think will win.  The earlier bets are placed means more winnings if correct.  Dice come out of the pyramid tower one at a time moving the camels and giving players time to bet.

Camel Up is for 2 to 8 players, ages 8 and up and a play time of 30 minutes.


Istanbul is designed by Rüdiger Dorn and published by Pegasus Spiele / AEG.

In Istanbul, each player is a merchant in a bazaar.  As you work your way through deciding what to buy, you drop your assistant to handle all the fine details.  In order to use that assistant again, you have to swing back and pick him up.  The first player to collect five rubies wins the game.

Istanbul is for 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up and a play time of 50 minutes.