city building

Days of Wonder would like to announce Yamataï, a new board game themed in a legendary far-eastern kingdom that is governed by the majestic Queen Himiko.  This new board game is designed by Bruno Cathala and Marc Paquien.  What follows is a quote from the official press release from Days of Wonder:

In Yamataï, players have to complete a delicate mission: build the most prestigious city of the kingdom! To accomplish this ambitious task, players transport various resources through the islands of the archipelago and collect Culture Tokens or raise buildings and monuments. Recruiting specialists and using their powers will constitute a decisive strategy for each builder to ultimately obtain Queen Himiko’s favors.

The game rules are simple and easy to learn and players will be making choices that include:

  • choosing the right Fleet Tile in due time to obtain resources and useful powers
  • carefully observing other players’ actions
  • following numerous paths to victory to become the master builder

A copy of the game will include:

  • 1 lavishly illustrated game board
  • 4 player mats with meeples
  • 80 wooden boats carrying resources (bamboo, wood, stone, clay, gold)
  • 10 Fleet Tiles
  • 28 Building Tiles (21 Standard Buildings and 7 Prestige Buildings, each represented with wooden figures)
  • 7 Mountain Tiles
  • 34 Culture Tokens
  • 8 Sacred Ground tokens
  • 73 Coins
  • 24 Prestige Point Tokens
  • 18 Specialist Tiles

Yamataï is a game for 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up and plays in 40 to 80 minutes.

The entire press release is available to read HERE.

For more information, please visit

The Colonists is the latest game coming from Mayfair games, and this time it’s a heavy weight city building type game.  In The Colonists your goal is to have 100% employment, so you will have to build houses to attract population, then educate that population, and then develop jobs for them.  This is accomplished through worker placement on a central board and further tension is added with the fact that resources are limited, so you have to keep a sharp eye on your spending.  The game comes packed with a sort of scenario system as there are four eras you can build your cities in, or you can play over a campaign starting in the earliest era and progressing along to the next after each game.  There are also different levels of complexity included for each so the game can be anywhere from 30 minutes for beginners, to 180 minutes for veterans of the game.

So if you are in the mood for a nice, crunchy, heavy weight euro, look for The Colonists on store shelves this month.


Renegade Games has partnered with the Finnish publishing company to bring to the american market Honshu, a city building card game.  But this game isn’t like other city building games, and this is because the main mechanic of the game is trick taking and then using the cards from the trick to build your city.  The selection order and what cards will be used to build your cities is determined by the trick with the winner picking first, and the available cards being the ones played that round.  Cards will have many different types of terrain on them like forest, lake, fallow, or even a factory of some sort.  If you manage to connect a factory to the resource it needs you will get a resource cube, which you can then use to boost your card value when playing a later trick.  At the end of 12 rounds you will count up points, forest and lakes are straight points, cities score based on the largest one you have, and each supplied factory will score you points as well.  Most points is the winner!

This game reminds me a bit of the Trick of the Rails game in that it uses the base of a trick taking game, but then uses the winner of that trick to spring board you to another level of gameplay.  I am looking forward to this hitting stores in the near future, you can read the press release below for more information.

Renegade Game Studios and to release Honshu in North America

San Diego, CA (Nov. 17th, 2016) — Renegade Game Studios™, the premier publisher of original games has partnered with, a leading Finnish publishing company, to release a Honshu, a city building card game, in North America.

After a successful launch at Internationale Spieltage in Essen, there has been increasing demand for the title in the American market.
Honshu is a map-building card game set in feudal Japan. Players are lords and ladies of noble houses seeking new lands and opportunities for fame and fortune.

One game of Honshu lasts twelve rounds, and each round is divided into two phases. First, map cards are played in a trick, and the player who played the highest valued card gets to pick first from those cards played. Then the players use the map cards picked to expand their personal maps. Each player must expand their personal maps to maximize their scoring possibilities. Manipulating your position in the player order is crucial for mastering Honshu.

“We are always on the lookout for games that are incredibly easy to learn but offer a deep and fulfilling experience. Honshu fits this description perfectly. ”  says Renegade President Scott Gaeta.  “We are excited to bring this elegant game to our fans in North America thanks to the wonderful team at”

Look for Honshu at friendly local game stores in North America and online.  Honshu takes about 30-40 minutes to play and is for 2-5 players ages 8+.   You can visit: for more information about our games and the designers we work with.

Colony, a new city building game from Ted Alspach, Toryo Hojo, and Yoshisa Nakatsu and Bezier Games, Inc., is available for pre-order and will be coming to Essen 2016! Check out this description from the press release:

In Colony, each player constructs and upgrades buildings, while managing resources to grow their fledgling colony. In a clever twist, dice are used as resources, with each side/number representing a different resource. Some resources are stable, allowing them to be stored between turns, while others must be used right away. Buildings provide new capabilities, such as increased production, resource manipulation, and additional victory points. Using dice-as-resources facilitates a dynamic, ever-changing resources management mini-game while players work to earn victory points by adding building to their tableau on their way to victory.

Each game of Colony is different depending on a limited array of buildings and modular options such as trading or attacking. Markets and dice-as-resources are not terribly new mechanics, but Bezier Games is no stranger to terrific city-building games, such as Suburbia, and I’m sure this newest game will be a big hit at Essen this year.

12 realms bedtime

12 Realms: Bedtime Story is recently funded on Kickstarter and Spieleschmiede, but Giochix would also like to announce that it is on Giochistarter as well.  These campaigns are all going to be combined to fund the production of the game, and Giochix states that if they reach the mark of 3,000 Euros on Giochistarter, they will add the Italian translation of the rulebook (as the one currently available is in English).  The project includes the last 12 Realms expansion as well as the base game and other expansions.  See the Giostarter project here.

bomarzo board

Another announcement from Giochix is a new game by designer Stefano Castelli called Bomarzo.  In Bomarzo, players will take the role of feudal lords of the Orsini.  They will be managing one of the four minor fiefs: Collepiccolo, Castelvecchio, Montenero or Mompeo, trying to earn the esteem of the lord of the land.  There are “monsters of the park”, however, supernatural forces that can make or break your task of developing your fief.  Turning these forces to your advantage and developing the best fief will lead you to victory.

Bomarzo is a game for 2-4 players and plays in about 60 minutes.  To back this project, visit the Giochistarter page or the Kickstarter page.

town center

Last year a deceptively simple and quick 3d city building game came to Kickstarter and found great success. Designed by Alban Viard and called Town Center  it has players building and develop their cities using cubes of different different colors to represent different types of modules that can stack on top of one another according to building rules. It garnered a lot of praise and eventually added some expansions. Now it is back on Kickstarter for two new expansions one called Beaune and one called Turku.

town center bits

Beaune has players building on a map with a walled city surrounded by vineyards. Elevator cubes (black cubes) must be built in the center. The Turku has two seasons a summer and a winter. During the summer the river that flows through the center of the city divides the two halves but during the winter the river is frozen so the two parts are considered one.

I haven not had the chance to play Town Center yet but I have heard good things about it and it is in my must try list. If you interested in the game the base game as well as other expansions can be included.

Town Center: Beaune/Turku can be found on Kickstarter here.


dice city

By decree of the Queen, there needs to be a new capital!

The Kingdom of Rolldovia is in turmoil. Her royal highness the Queen, has decreed that there will be a new capital, after the old one was sacked by hordes of barbarians and bandits from the south. As leaders of one of the country’s influential noble families, players vie with each other to establish their provincial city as the best home for Rolldovia’s new capital.

Those who enjoy city-building games rejoice!  Those who love dice games rejoice again!  AEG and Artipia Games announce Dice City, a city-building, dice-crafting game in which players will be seeking to gain the approval of the others in the kingdom.  To promote your city, you can create strong armies, construct wondrous buildings, or open up trade routes.

Dice City is a “dice-crafting” game, in that the locations in your city act as the changing faces of your dice each turn.  The goal to winning is to manage your city and its natural resources wisely.

The game will contain:

  • 4 player boards
  • 20 dice
  • 149 cards
  • 93 tokens
  • 4 player aids
  • 1 rulebook

Dice City is for 1-4 players ages 14 and up and plays in about 45 minutes.  The game is scheduled for release in October of 2015.  For more information about Dice City, check out its page at AEG’s website here.

Samara by Cwali is worker placement game with a very cool time track mechanism. It’s designed by Corné van Moorsel and filled with fun illustrations by Philip Kustov. In Samara you will place your workers to build buildings, improve skills, build strength to become better workers, and getting new workers.

Travel back through history to a small settlement, named Samara (it’s a Russian megacity nowadays), where you lead your builders. At the start they can only build a sandcastle, cave or huts. For more complex buildings, they must invest time in skills, strength or getting new workers. Special projects, such as the Bridge, Barracks or School, give you advantages or hurt all your rivals. In the end you want to have the most prestigious buildings. Will you be the best foreman of SAMARA?

The board is in three pieces, the main board where buildings, tools, training, etc. are placed and two separate time track pieces with 6 months each on them. The time tracks will be placed at the bottom of the main board and will slide along during the game representing time passing.

Each turn players will place their workers on the months currently in the same column of the tile (representing buildings, training, etc) they want to take. This way each action will take a certain period of time. Additionally each row of tiles cost a certain number of workers so each tile has a cost in workers and time.

At the end of the round the time track boards slide down and any workers that are on slots that don’t match up to the board become available for placement again. This is a novel approach to represent time passing in a game and it looks like it will give players the feeling that time is passing.

Samara plays 2 -5 in about 40 minutes and is currently running on Kickstarter and Spieleschmiede (a German crowdfunding site) simultaneously. Funds from both sites will apply to stretch goals.

This game has some unique mechanisms with the time track and that alone has me intrigued. Add in the artwork, the fact that it is easy to learn/teach, making it family friendly, but looks like it would be hard to master and my finger is hovering over the back button. If the game sounds like it would be one you are interested in you should head over to Kickstarter here or Spieleschmiede here and check it out.


Already perfected your city in Machi Koro?  Are you ready to take on Millionaire’s Row?

IDW Games has announced their latest expansion for the popular card-and-dice city-building game, Machi Koro, entitled Millionaire’s Row.  This new expansion features 13 all-new, powerful establishments to use to embellish your growing city.  When added to the base game and the Harbor expansion, your game of Machi Koro can now include more than 30 establishments!

This new expansion contains:

  • 20 Major Establishment cards
  • 60 Establishment cards
  • 2 Base Game Starting Establishment cards
  • 4 Base Game Starting Landmark cards
  • 3 Base Game Major Establishment cards
  • 28 Renovation tokens
  • 1 Expansion Game rules

Machi Koro: Millionaire’s Row is an expansion that requires the Machi Koro base game and is fully compatible with the Machi Koro: Harbor expansion.

Machi Koro is a game for 2-5 players ages 10 and up and plays in approximately 30 minutes.

The release date for this expansion is June 30, 2015.

Explore a massive cavern and build your new village above and below ground in this storytelling/town-building mashup board game.

Ryan Laukat and Red Raven Games brings a new board game to Kickstarter that combines city-building elements, worker-placement mechanisms and storytelling into one game: Above and Below.  In this game, players take on the role of a village leader trying to grow a new town after the previous village was destroyed by barbarians.  Interestingly, a network or caverns lies beneath the site for the new village, and players will become engaged in the storytelling aspect of the game as they explore it.  Players will send their villagers to work on varied tasks such as exploring the cave, harvesting resources, and constructing houses.  When exploring the caverns, players will be reading from a book of paragraphs as the story unfolds, creating a new story every time you play.

A standard version of the game is available through this Kickstarter as well as an Expanded Edition, which will include all stretch goals and will only be available through the Kickstarter and select conventions.  Above and Below is for 2-4 players.

To find out more about this project, visit its Kickstarter page here.