2016’s A Feast for Odin took the gaming world by storm, not only because it was the latest farm building, feed your people masterpiece from Uwe Rosenberg (Agricola, Caverna: The Cave Farmers), but also because of its unprecedented number of worker placement slots (60+), and brilliant integration of Uwe’s new tetromino placement mechanism (Patchwork, Cottage Garden). Z-Man Games has just announced the first full sized expansion for Feast for Odin, The Norwegians, and it adds more of what we loved in this worker placement magnum opus. First, Norwegians adds more worker placement slots – There are now more ways to breed animals, craft, trade and hunt, as well as a fifth column of actions. These new actions come on several new boards tailored to the player count. New actions come with new tiles, and Norwegians comes with 95 new goods tiles, from elk and pigs to horses and antlers, as well as 6 new special tiles. Additionally, Norwegians comes with personal artisan sheds, small boards which provide individual player powers, such as better whaling or wood storage, helping further to guide your strategy: something especially useful in a game with so many options. And of course, the expansion comes with new islands to explore, and updates of the old islands, incorporating the new rules and tiles. Read more on Z-Man’s website here, and expect A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians in stores at the end of 2018.
The domain of the mountain may have once belonged to the Dwarves in Caverna, but no longer. New races are moving into the caverns with Caverna: The Forgotten Folk. This expansion from Lookout Games introduces eight new races to the game: Trolls, Mountain Dwarves, Humans, Elves, Dark Elves, Goblins, Pale Ones, and Silicoids (a creature that eats rocks). Each of these races have their own special abilities and sometimes special rules that require changes in strategy. For example, the Pale Ones are humans that have lived so long in the caves that they can grow all their food in the caves. Mountain Dwarves can build their caves over the edge of the player tableau. Elf do not need pastures or fields and can keep animals and crops in the forest, but they have to pay workers rubies to work in the caves. Luckily, they can grow jewels like fruit. Keep an eye out for the Halflings which are only available in a promo. Each of the new races also comes with four unique furnishings but any race can use. Caverna: The Forgotten Folk will be available in Germany at the end of October and before Christmas in North America.
Uwe Rosenberg and Mayfair Games have announced Caverna: Cave vs. Cave, the long anticipated 2 player version of Caverna: The Cave Farmers. Along the lines of Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small and Le Havre: The Inland Port, Cave vs. Cave takes the core mechanisms of the original, and trims them down into a streamlined, 20-40 minute, 2 player experience. Players use worker placement to mine for precious materials, explore deeper into their cave, and build a cozy home using grain, flax and building materials. Cave vs. Cave comes with 24 room tiles, 12 action tiles, 12 goods indicators, 7 walls, boards and tokens for 2. Cave vs. Cave is due to be released June, 2017.
Courtesy BGG user Kataclysm
Keith Burgun has published an article on his personal blog, keithburgun.net: Thoughts on Game Design, in which he presents his perspective on Eurogames–namely, why he believes that many Eurogames are simply better suited as solitaire game experiences.
Burgun begins by defining Eurogame as “a term that loosely refers to a system-oriented, often highly deterministic boardgame, usually coming out of Europe.” He then describes this type of game as one that, contrasting with the popular term Amerit(h)rash, does not concern itself with a strong theme or storyline. Instead, it focuses on helping players develop a “machine”, or game engine, that drives the game and presents players with interesting decisions to make.
One reason Burgun believes Eurogames to be a strong solo-player experience is due to a common lack of true player interaction; in short, many Eurogames are often dubbed “multi-player solitaire.” He goes on to explain that even though it is possible to thwart the progress or limit the decisions of other players in a Eurogame, much of the focus is on one’s own progress, engine-development, and point accumulation.
Burgun points out that one reason for a smaller number of solitaire games on the board game market could be that setting up a board game to play by oneself can seem strange to most people. He also draws some connections and comparisons to digital versions of board games and how they are used for solo-player gaming experiences. Burgun finishes his article by encouraging board game designers to focus more on solitaire experiences in their game designs.
To read the article in full, read it here on Keith Burgun’s blog.
Announced here, (use your browser translators) Russian Railroads won the DSP awards. The following were their top 10 list:
4. LOVE LETTER
5. CAMEL UP
7. LEWIS & CLARK
9. GLASS ROAD
As mentioned above, you can visit the site here for more details.
The International Gamers Awards have announced their slate of finalist nominees for 2014 in the two categories they give awards in for general strategy. The multiplayer strategy category features some of the big name games of the last year running from July 2013 to June 2014. Titles like Caverna, Russian Railroads, Concordia, and Freedom the Underground Railroad among others have been named. In the two player strategy category titles like Battlelore (second edition) and Pagoda have been named.
The IGA’s do give awards for historical simulations as well but those are awarded for a different time period running from January to December of each year.
To see the full list of nominees and how the voting process are conducted visit the International Games Awards website.
The 2013 Dice Tower Award winners were announced today over at The Dice Tower. Game of the Year was awarded to Caverna (with Bruges, Trains, Concordia, Eldritch Horror, Freedom: The Underground Railroad, Forbidden Desert, Pathfinder: Adventure Card Game, Rampage, and Russian Railroads also being nominated). You can visit the site here to view all the nominees and winners in a broad variety of categories including: Best Game Theming, Most Innovative Game, Best Small Publisher, Best Artwork, along with many others – including Best Cooperative Game – a new category this year.
2013 Dice Tower Awards Winner – Best Game of the Year
The Dice Tower Awards has been around since 2007 and is comprised, presently, of a panel of over 50 people in the board game industry. Ironically, Tom Vasel (owner of The Dice Tower) only provides tie-breaking votes. “It’s important to me that people realize this is not about me. The purpose of these awards are to recognize the best-of-the-best as seen by those in the industry – publishers, designers, and other podcasters/reviewers”
There will be a podcast and video released tomorrow (Tuesday 7/7/2014) that will be focused on the awards. You can visit The Dice Tower for more information.
Tom had the following to say: “In a year filled with so many good games that voting was surprisingly tough, we are happy to present a slate of unique, entertaining games that will appeal to gamers everywhere!”