Splotter Spellen is a publishing house known for some of the most deep, strategic board games loved by the community, such as Roads and Boats, Food Chain Magnate and Indonesia. Unfortunately, the company is also known for small print runs, and several of their older games have become very difficult to obtain. Well one of those classics is coming back, as Capstone Games has just announced that they will be reprinting a 20th anniversary edition of Bus (1999) by Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga, one of Splotter‘s earliest games. In Bus, 3-5 players build routes with buses, trying to deliver as many people as possible to their destinations. Players can achieve this goal by expanding their routes, buying more buses, or even expanding the city to include more destinations. No official date was given, but keep an eye out for this classic.
Capstone Games is partnering with Winsome Games on a new line of games they are calling the Iron Rails series.
“The Iron Rail series from Capstone Games features games centered around investing in and building railroad networks with a focus on a specific geographic region in the world. Player interaction, route building, and stock investments are key features of the Iron Rail series.”
The first release in the Iron Rails series will be Winsome’s 2014 game, Irish Gauge. The Capstone release of Irish Gauge will maintain the original game play, but with a completely updated look featuring the artwork and graphic design of Ian O’Toole.
Irish Gauge supports 3 to 5 players, with a play time of about 60 minutes. Irish Gauge is expected to be released in the third quarter of this year. You can learn more about the game on its BGG page.
In Pipeline, players start an oil company business and focus on building an efficient pipeline network for their refineries. It’s designed by Ryan Courtney, with artwork by the incredible Ian O’Toole (known for Nemo’s War, and Vinhos). Pipeline is published by Capstone Games, and is intended for 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays in about 120 mins.
“The refinement of oil has long been part of the government-controlled energy sector. Amassed with an incredibly complex and inefficient system of refineries, the government has felt the severe pressures of worldwide demand and the ever-increasing global standards for refinement. Unable to keep up with demand, the government has only one option: privatizing the oil industry.”[source]
While constructing their pipeline, players focus on hiring experts that provide valuable benefits over their competitors. They also manage the logistics of purchasing and selling refined oil in various markets. A carefully crafted, interweaving pipeline network is the key to end game victory.
Capstone Games is ready to ring in the new year with two new games coming in January.
Magnastorm is a 2-4 player tactical board game that uses a sci-fi theme and resource management to help players on their way to victory by creating suitable mining areas on the planet. Players perform actions, buy influence, manage their resources and keep an eye on their opponents to time their moves perfectly to achieve victory. At the end of the game, players receive a card that can be beneficial in future games, changing up the replayability. It is for ages 12 and up and has a 70-100 minute play time.
Fuji is a cooperative dice game in which players roll simultaneously and secretly behind screens, much like in Roll for the Galaxy. Players must use their dice and terrain cards to move to a safe village and escape the lava of Fuji. But you can only move if you match the requirement on the terrain card better than your opponent. It is a 30-60 minute play time for ages 10 and up.
Capstone Games is bringing the second edition of Alexander Huemer’s 2015 Euro game Lignum to North America this summer. In Lignum, 2-4 players compete to run a 19th century lumber mill as efficiently as possible. Players need to secure the best land, hire contract workers and continually update and maintain equipment. The second edition also includes the “Joinery and Buildings” expansion, including a double sided board.
Successful Kickstarter zombie microgame Bitten is coming to retail soon from PlayGrim Games. In this fast social deduction game, 2-4 players have 5 minutes to gather enough supplies to leave camp, or they need to discover which among them has been bitten. If time runs out, the bitten player gets to eat the group. Bitten comes with 21 Action cards, 7 Item cards, a Soundtrack card and the rulebook. Bitten is due for release June 21, 2017.
It’s that time of year again, the Dice Tower has announced their nominees for the best games of 2016. These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2016. You can see previous winners along with this year’s nominees and their pictures on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year. And now, your nominees:
Best Game from a New Designer (The game has to be the designer’s first or second published game to qualify for this award)
Lots of games to go through so lets get right to it, first on the list is a new creation from Seth Jaffe and Tasty Minstrel Games called Crusaders. The object of the game is to spread the influence of your Order far and wide before the king begins to fear your power, and disbands them all, ending the game. You will accomplish different actions through your own personal rondel of different actions and action cubes you move using a mancala mechanic. Throughout the game you will be upgrading the spaces on your board, building buildings, and doing all you can to spread your influence. Be the greatest order of them all before their collapse, and you will be the winner. Look for this game in September of this year.
Next from TMG is an import in the form of Okey Dokey from famed designer Hisashi Hayashi. This is a cooperative game of animals trying to put on a show, a music show. Each player will have a hand of cards and they need to play these cards down in a 5×10 grid. The difficulty comes from the placement restrictions and the fact your can’t tell anyone what you have, but you can drop hints. Look for this small game on store shelves in September.
Next is the reprint of the train stock market game, American Rails. In American Rails you are a wealthy capitalist managing a portfolio of stocks and bonds in six different in game rail companies. You will be negotiating, trading, and expanding these companies in order to gain the most money. Whoever is richest at the end will be the winner. This reprint should be hitting stores in May of this year.
Also coming in May from Capstone Games is the latest edition of Xanadu, a highly interactive card game. Like a lot of games the object is to gain the most money, but to do that you need to sell buildings. But to build those buildings you need to send workers to other buildings to gain resources, which you can do on your own cards or your opponents. You can even sabotage your opponents, making this a rather cutthroat game.
From Z-Man Games we have a new game announced called Valletta that will be coming out in July. In the game you are building a town in the baroque era, utilizing a deck building mechanic to get you resources and perform actions. In this game you don’t buy new cards, you build new buildings and you will get new cards that strengthen your deck, pushing you closer to victory. But like all good deck building type games, at some point you have to turn from resource generating to turning the resources into the points needed to win. Check out the preview on Z-man’s site to find out more about this new game.
Next is a game coming out very soon, and that is Oktoberfest from Rio Grande Games. This is a card game all about serving beer to thirsty patrons during Oktoberfest. There are twelve tents in the game and you will be playing down patrons in those tents trying to buy up the right beer out of the 6 available. When a tent closes the most recent beer bought there will score, giving the most points to the majority holder of that beer. All twelve tents will never be closed so you have to time things right to reap the most points and emerge the winner.
Coming soon from Pandasaurus Games we have the latest social deduction game called Red Scare. This is all about the FBI exposing the communists out to bring down our way of life. You will have to investigate and accuse those you know and expose their darkest secrets, and maybe you have some secrets of your own! Look for this game to come out in September of this year.
Finally, also from Pandasaurus Games, is the trick-taking style card game called King’s Life. In this game the king has a hard life, and so to keep himself from going nuts he alternates his days of royal duties with days of completely goofing off. It’s your job as part of his court to make sure he is able to both fulfill his duties, and party hard. Not much else has been said about this game, so we will have to wait for more info as the September release date approaches.