Daniele Tascini

“Marco Polo set out from Venice in 1271 and spent the next twenty-four years traveling and proving his skill as a merchant. Seventeen of those years he spent in China as an ambassador of Kublai Khan, embarking on missions throughout the Mongol Empire and seeing parts of the world most Europeans could scarcely imagine at the time. Will you continue the legacy of one of history’s greatest travelers?”

Z-Man GamesThe Voyages of Marco Polo (2015) by Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini was one of the biggest hits of that year, earning recommendation from Kennerspiel des Jahres and shooting to the top 50 on BGG. Marco Polo used clever dice placement to collect resources, fulfill contracts and travel across Europe from Venice to Beijing in a glorious point salad of eurogamer goodness. The game featured tight money and resources, along with player characters that all felt wonderfully overpowered.

Attention all Marco Polo fans, Z-Man Games has just announced a sequel to this classic, Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan, featuring the same design team of Luciani and Tascini. Marco Polo II has the same basic structure as it’s predecessor, with players using their dice as workers to activate action spaces, collecting resources, finishing contracts, and traveling across China. Players can once again use previously occupied spaces by placing their die on top of the growing stack, paying hard cash for the privilege. Additionally, jade now enters the game as a new resource, allowing manipulation of the markets. Players can join various guilds to open new travel routes along the map, opening shortcuts.

Look for Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan in 2020, and for more information, check out Z-Man’s website here.

Board & Dice has announced Trismegistus: The Ultimate Formula, the newest heavy euro from designer Daniele Tascini (Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar, The Voyages of Marco Polo, Teotihuacan: City of Gods) & Federico Pierlorenzi, to be released in October 2019.

In this game, 1-4 players will try their hand at the mysterious art of alchemy and compete to prove their infinite wisdom and become the successor of the greatest alchemist ever: Hermes Trismegistus. Over three rounds, players will draft dice of three different colors from six different dice pools, and then use the potency of their drafted dice to transmute metals into gold, perform experiments, invent artifacts to move up on four mastery tracks.

According to Board & Dice, Trismegistus will be about as heavy as Teotihuacan, perhaps even with “a bit more crunch,” and will play in about 90-120 minutes.

To learn more about this upcoming release, visit Board & Dice’s page here.

For those of you who don’t think there’s enough going on in the base game of Teotihuacan: City of Gods, you’re in luck! Later this year the first expansion – Teotihuacan: Late Preclassic Period is being released by Board & Dice.

This modular expansion provides you with even more options to enrich and expand the game experience. Now players gain asymmetrical powers, which provide a unique benefit. Another module introduces a prestigious fourth temple that allows players to unlock powerful permanent abilities. There are also variable effects that impact each season and eclipse as well as new engineering techniques and renewed plans. All modules are compatible with one another and can be enjoyed together or individually.

The expansion has been developed by Daniele Tascini, Rainer Åhlfors, Andrei Novac and the solo adaptation by Dávid Turczi, Rainer Åhlfors. The expansion is set for release in August, 2019.

Watch some Dice Tower coverage of Teotihuacan: City of Gods.

Board & Dice, who recently merged with NSKN Games, made several expansion and reprint announcements recently. One of the company’s recent hot games (BGG #223) is Teotihuacan: City of Gods, an impossible to pronounce, but critically acclaimed rondel-driven worker placement game in the Aztec Empire by designers Daniele Tascini and Dávid Turczi (Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar). Just announced is Teotihuacan: Late Preclassic Period, a modular expansion coming at GenCon 2019. This expansion adds asymmetric player powers, a 4th temple which unlocks powerful abilities, seasonal effects before eclipses, and new variants of some of the rondel boards.

Dice Settlers, the recent dice driven civilization building game by designer Dávid Turczi, is also getting a modular expansion – Dice Settlers: Western Sea. This expansion adds 17 new custom dice, envoys, enclosures and advisors to the game. The advisors are particularly interesting, as each one adds its own unique die and special ability. As the name implies, Western Sea also allows players to sail and fish along the shores. Look for this expansion at Essen 2019.

Finally, Board and Dice are coming out with Exodus Chronicles by designers Rainer Ahlfors and Andrei Novac, a reimplementation of their popular space opera game Exodus: Proxima Centauri (2012). Proxima Centauri is a 4X game complete with all that entails – hidden movement, bidding, tech trees, politics, and engine building both literal and figurative. Exodus Chronicles promises to be a new streamlined design, not simply a reprint, yet still including the two expansions Edge of Extinction (2015) and Event Horizon (2017). Look for Exodus Chronicles later in 2019.

Council of Four was originally published in 2015 by Cranio Creations, and designed by Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini but in early 2018, CMON will be bringing it back to tables everywhere in an updated version with new art, a new box size, and their signature attention to detail. Oh, and of course, miniatures.

Council of Four has 2-4 players taking on the roles of rich merchants seeking to build lavish emporiums within cities in the Three Kingdoms. These Three Kingdoms are ruled by the Councils, each consisting of Four nobles. These Councils are, as might be suspected, easily corruptible and have a very fluid membership, thanks to wealthy merchants such as yourselves. You have to gain permits and build emporiums in the most lucrative locations to win, but don’t neglect the Emperor, as he allows you to build without permits.

With 4 different actions you can take on a given turn, 4 ways to score points, and 8 possible configurations of the modular board, the game offers differing strategies and a variable setup, two things that often lead to a great deal of replayability.

The game plays in 40-75 minutes, and is on the lighter end of the scale, is good for new players, and the new version looks great with pleasing art and well-sculpted minis.

international game award

The 2015 International Gamers Award nominees for general strategy games released between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 have been announced. The nominees are grouped in two categories—multiplayer and two-player games.

The multiplayer nominees are:

Game Designer Publisher
Aquasphere Stefan Feld Tasty Minstrel Games/Quined Games
Deus Sebastien Dujardin Pearl Games/Asmodee
Elysium Matthew Dunstan and Brett Gilbert Space Cowboys/Rebel pl./Asmodee
Five Tribes Bruno Cathala Days of Wonder
Hyperborea Andrea Chiarvesio and Pierluca Zizzi Asmodee/Asterio Press
Kraftwagen Matthias Cramer ADC Blackfire Entertainment
La Granja Michael Keller and Andrea Odendahl PD Verlag/999 Games/Stronghold Games
Orleans Reiner Stockhausen Dlp Games/Tasty Minstrel Games
Panamax Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade HC Distribuzione/Stronghold Games
Quartermaster General Ian Brody Griggling Games
Roll for the Galaxy Wei-Hwa Huang and Thomas Lehmann Rio Grande Games
Voyages of Marco Polo Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini Hans im Gluck/Z-man Games

 

The two-player nominees are:

Game Designer Publisher
Baseball Highlights 2045 Mike Fitzgerald Eagle/Gryphon Games
Fields of Arle Uwe Rosenberg Feuerland Spiele/Z-man Games
Patchwork Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Star Realms Robert Dougherty and Darwin Kastle White Wizard Games
Star Wars Armada James Kniffen and Christian T. Petersen Fantasy Flight Games
Wir Sind das Volk Richard Sivel and Peer Sylvester Histogame

For more details on the nominated games, and on the nomination committee members please go to the International Gamers Awards website here.