Days of Wonder

Did you know that roll-and-write games were invented in the 4th century BCE?  Okay, maybe not.  But, Days of Wonder and designer Sébastien Pauchon (Jaipur, Jamaica) are publishing, Corinth, a roll-and-write game with a theme set in the 4th century BCE.

In Corinth, the players are traders using the dice to acquire resources and deliver goods to the market.  The active player rolls nine dice, then the dice are grouped according to value and assigned to different levels of the common harbor board which depicts the various actions.  Additionally, the active player can spend gold to roll additional dice that only they can use.  The current active player gets first choice of which group of dice to take and then mark the corresponding action on their personal sheet.  Subsequent players get to choose from the remaining dice pool.   The number of dice the player takes from a given action location on the harbor board dictates the number of resources they acquire, or goods they deliver to a given location.  In lieu of delivering goods to a particular market, the player can choose to take the value of the dice at a give location and move a steward along a path around the market (represented by lines on a grid) in order to gain resources, goods or additional bonuses.  At the end of their turn, the player may spend gold to construct a building, which can provide additional bonuses to future actions or end of game scoring.

Corinth appears to have a little more player interaction than the typical roll-and-write game, since players may want to take dice from a given location in order to prevent other players from completing spots/bonuses on their boards.  Corinth has an estimated play time of 20-30 minutes, and is for 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up.

The game is due to be released in March for Europe and May for North America.  You can read the full press release from Days of Wonder here, or visit the publisher product page here.

Even in today’s market where there are more and more games to choose from than ever before, Days of Wonder releases still feel exceptional. Their quality control to deliver sweet and beautiful family-weight games is second-to-none and they’re always bringing something new to the realm of “gateway” weight games. Their newest title, The River, follows this trend bringing an interesting blend of tile placement, resource management, and worker placement in a quick, clean, charming package. Designed by Sébastien Pauchon and Ismaël Perrin, it plays 2 to 4 players and is expected to be available in time for Essen this October, later to hit retail in November. As described in Days of Wonder’s announcement:

     “In the game, you embody pioneers embarking down a river in search of a new lands to settle. As you explore the untouched frontier, you will have to work twice as hard to manage your workers as they start to settle down along the way. The player with the most impressive settlement will be declared the winner!”

I’m excited to see such a blend of mechanics enter at this gaming level, because I feel that there needs to be more gateway worker placement games than Stone Age that can do something a bit new with it. While resource management itself is nothing revolutionary, how that interacts with the tile placement here is unique since new tiles have to progress down the titular river and they cover up resources you’d been using up until that point. Deciding which tiles to pick at what time is just as important as where to place workers, and on top of that there are buildings that can be bought and reserved much like the cards in Splendor. There is a good mix here, and it’ll be a highlight of Essen to see how well it’s received. If you’re interested in learning more about The River, be sure to check out Days of Wonder’s news post and also their product page which features the full rules in 6 languages!

An update to our story that Eurazeo had placed it’s stake in Asmodee up for sale – the unknown potential buyer has been announced. Released in a statement on Friday, Eurazeo is in discussions with PAI Partners, one of the largest private equity houses in Europe based in Paris, France. The sale, if it were to go forward, would have to go through an approval process as per French law and could be finalized by the end of 2018. The deal could mean a return of up to four times Eurazeo’s initial investment! We’ll post more information as the story develops.

Days of Wonder has announced plans to release Ticket to Ride: New York. The new release is a stand alone Ticket to Ride game and features a shortened version of the game using taxis instead of trains.

Welcome to the Big Apple! Enjoy the sights from Times Square to Brooklyn, and all over NYC. Admire the stunning view from the Empire State Building or take a walk through scenic Central Park!

Designed for 2 to 4 players, Ticket to Ride: New York features a much smaller map then previous Ticket to Ride games, and with fewer starting pieces the game will play in just 10 to 15 minutes.

The game features Alan Moon‘s familiar Ticket to Ride rules including scoring points for completed tickets and for connecting cities, with bonus points given for connecting popular tourist destinations. The game ends when one player has two or fewer taxis left in their supply. Starting with only 15 taxis at the beginning of the game, players will find themselves down to two and ending the game much sooner than in a traditional game of Ticket to Ride.

For players eager to prepare for their first game Days of Wonder has already released the rules. Players can also take a look and hear Tom’s thoughts on the game by checking out his video here.

The game will include:

  • One board map of New York City
  • 60 plastic taxis
  • 44 Transportation cards
  • 18 Destination Ticket cards
  • 1 rule leaflet
  • 1 score pad
  • One pencil

Ticket to Ride: New York will be released July 2018 in the U.S. exclusively through Target stores.

Ticket to Ride
Designed by Alan Moon, the original Ticket to Ride game was released in 2004 and is considered a staple entry point into the board gaming hobby. The game won the coveted Spiel des Jahres, along with many other awards including:

 

According to Reuters, the board gaming super-giant, the 800 pound gorilla, Asmodee is investigating a sale to an unknown buyer. Asmodee, the France based company owned by private equity firm Eurazeo SE, is currently worth an estimated 1.5 Billion euros (almost 1.8 billion US dollars). Among other things, Asmodee owns the board game companies Fantasy Flight Games and  Days of Wonder, F2Z Entertainment properties Z-Man Games and Plaid Hat Games, and the French publishing rights to the Pokemon Trading Card Game and Wizkids!. This includes the rights to some of the most popular games on the market, such as  Catan, Ticket to Ride, and X-Wing. The identity of proposed buyer(s) has not been disclosed at this time, pending further deliberations. For more information, you can read the original Reuters article here.

Asmodee, which has the largest catalog of games under it’s wide umbrella thanks to it’s partnerships with Days of Wonder, ZMAN Games, Fantasy Flight, Catan Games and more, has announced it’s Modern Classics line. This new category is for games that are easy to get into yet offer tremendous depth and make for excellent staples in any new or existing collection. The titles in this series together cover a wide range of mechanisms and modes-of-play and each one is considered a gateway of it’s respective genre. As stated by Asmodee in their announcement:

“Modern Classics refers to a small group of pioneering titles that have left a lasting legacy on the board-games market and have stood the test of time to remain preferred gateway purchases in a constantly changing landscape of products. […] Each of the highlighted titles is easy to learn but hard to master, making them well suited for any gaming situation that you might encounter. The Modern Classics range consists of the following games: Ticket to Ride Europe, Catan, Carcassonne, Dixit, Pandemic, and Splendor.

While this really is just a matter of showcasing for new customers, the games chosen here are, I feel, irrefutably ‘Modern Classics’ and deserve to be called as such. These quintessential games also cover a lot of ground as well, certain to prepare even the newest of gamers for the great many strategy games that lie beyond. Just with these six games there’s card drafting, network building, tile laying, set collection, storytelling, cooperation, trading, and resource management game mechanisms. Hoo! The question I have now is, will there be any more games added to this list in the future? Only time will tell.

Days of Wonder will be releasing the Through the Jungle and Desert expansion for Memoir ’44 in April of 2018. This will be the second installment of Memoir ’44’s new Battle Map series following the 2018 release of The Battles of Khalkhin-Gol. The jungle and desert expansion will include two new decks of combat cards, six pre-printed standard scenarios, punch-board tokens, and two pre-printed Overlord scenarios.

Lead your men through the merciless jungles of Burma, trying to escape the Japanese grasp or rush to Rangoon before the British forces evacuate the city on the jungle scenario. Then, change the terrain and fight the very first tank battle between US and German forces in the sands of North Africa, where Stuart and Panzer clash in the middle of the desert.

Jungle scenarios can be played separately, or can be played as a campaign with each scenarios results impacting the scenario that follows.
In addition to the Burma, Rangoon, and North Africa locations, Overlord scenarios will have teams fighting at Henderson Field in Guadalcanal or conduct a desert battle marking the beginning of the second battle of El Alamein.
Through Jungle and Desert has been designed for 2 to 8 players. Two players will take on the six standard scenarios, and up to 8 players can take on the two Overlord scenarios. To play at least one copy of the base Memoir 44 game is required as well as the Pacific Theater and Mediterranean Theater expansions. To enjoy the full experience Days of Wonder are also recommending using the Terrain Pack and Equipment Pack expansions.
While players will need to wait until April to pick up a copy, Days of Wonder have already made the rules available on their website here.

Days of Wonder has announced that they will be releasing two Small World expansions.  These expansions will bring five of their existing expansions into accordance with the latest expansions of Small World such as River World and Sky Islands.

The first expansion will combine all the races and powers of Be Not Afraid and Spider’s Web and will come with a tray to store them.

The second expansion will combine all the races and powers of Grand Dames, Cursed!, and Royal Bonus and will also come with a tray to store them.

 

Ticket to Ride: First Journey (U.S. and Europe) is a new member of Days of Wonder’s flagship game family, aimed at younger children and junior gamers.  While physical versions of First Journey have been available since last year, the game is now available on iOS, Android, PC, and Mac.  The digital adaptation supports both U.S. and Europe maps through Pass-and-Play and solo games against the AI.  Read the full press release from the publisher with links to available downloads here.

The universe of Small World by Days of Wonder is expanding again. In the latest expansion by original Small World designer Philippe Keyaerts and T. Alex Davis 3-6 players will take flight to inhabit islands in the sky. This expansion is scheduled for a release at Esenin October, followed by a December release in North America

Seven new races and powers will be available in the new expansion. New races as well as all previously released races will now have the opportunity to fight to control additional territories in the sky.

It was a lovely spring morning; Giants were getting new tattoos and the rest of the Small World  inhabitants were preparing for another day of conquest. An eerie silence settled on the lands as a huge shadow glided over forest and mountain. Had the Wizards accidentally given their flocks of sheep flight again ?

All eyes turned to the horizon as an archipelago of Sky Islands floated over Small World… and realization dawned at the same time as the sun. New lands meant new riches! Within a few hours, the most enterprising races were swarming up a Giant Magical Beanstalk and a Stairway to Heaven on their way to wealth. The battle for the Sky Islands had just begun…

Featuring a double sided board, players will choose to add two or three islands in the sky with the new board as well as utilizing the original board which will be set for one fewer player (example – the original board would be set for 3 players if playing a four player game).

Access points via beanstalk and stairway are created between the Sky Islands and the regular board in different regions. A race standing on one of the access points can attempt to move into a sky island space with a matching symbol. Control all the regions on a Sky Island and gain an additional coin at the end of your turn.

The full ruleset is already available for download.

Box contents will include:

  • double-sided game board
  • 7 Fantasy Race banners
  • 94 Matching Race tokens
  • 4 Lost Tribe tokens
  • 5 Zeppelin/Burning Region tokens
  • 5 Trade Pact tokens
  • 3 transformed Drakon tokens
  • 2 Lightning Bolt tokens
  • 2 Cannon tokens
  • 2 Access point to Sky Islands tokens
  • 1 “END” token
  • 1 Summary Sheet
  • rules booklet

A storage tray is included in the expansion to hold new races, powers and tokens.

Award Winning Franchise

While only 8 years old, the game already has 16 expansions, which makes sense given the popularity and critical success of the game. The original Small World game won many awards when released in 2009 including:

Small World has shown up on many Dice Tower Top 10 lists, including:

Games Best for 3 Players– People’s choice #1
Top 100 Games 2015 – Eric Summerer #8