Days of Wonder

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects (2006) is a highly regarded game from designers Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc. Unfortunately, this edition from publisher Days of Wonder has been out of print for some time, and is on many a gamer’s grail list. Well fear no more, for Mojito Studios has announced a Kickstarter project for a new edition of this elusive classic, complete with gorgeous art from Miguel Coimbra. In Cleopatra, players take turns collecting stacks of cards from a market, collecting resources in order to purchase large chunks of the famed Cleopatra’s palace. The Worshipers of Sobek can be enlisted to help, although their bonuses come with a penalty. Accumulated corruption needs to be mitigated during the game with treasure scarabs. In this new edition, not only are the famously overproduced pieces of the palace lovingly redesigned, but the designers have included 2 new expansions, compatible with both the old and new editions. The Cult of Sobek includes Sobek miniatures and player aids, while the Whims of Cleopatra involves a giant die and bonus tiles. An upgraded deluxe edition of the game is also available with magnetic pieces, metal corruption amulets and plastic pyramids to store your accumulated goodies. The Kickstarter for Cleopatra and the Society of Architects continues through May 27, and the game is expected to deliver in March 2020.

We recently experienced how Ticket to Ride could be just as fun trimmed down via Ticket to Ride: New York. Well, on the heals of it’s success, Days of Wonder has announced Ticket to Ride: London.

TTR: London will be a standalone game similar to it’s New York predecessor. It will be a bit bigger than the New York map and feature new bonuses to achieve.


In this fast-paced Ticket to Ride game, players race one another to claim the most important bus lines and complete their Destination Tickets, connecting Districts in the capital of the United Kingdom. The elegantly simple gameplay of this stand-alone version of Ticket to Ride is ideal for both beginners and seasoned players.

You can find out more by reading the official press release here.

Days of Wonder announced Memoir ’44: New Flight Plan, a new expansion to their popular Memoir ’44 board game. Memoir ’44, designed by Richard Borg, is a historical board game where players participate in famous battles which took place in World War II such as the battles at Omaha Beach, Pegasus Bridge, Operation Cobra and the Ardennes. In this expansion, players are able to deploy air units to turn the tides of war.

“Air supremacy was a constant challenge during World War II. In the Battle of France, the Luftwaffe’s powerful Stukas were a key component to the German’s blitzkrieg strategy that led them to victory. Over the English Channel, the heroism of RAF pilots saved their country from an invasion. In the skies of Kursk, Smolensk and Stalingrad, many Soviet pilots defended their land against German bombs. And when the Allied forces landed in Europe, it was under a constant aerial cover of fighters, fighter-bombers, and bombers. At that time, Allied air supremacy was at its pinnacle.” [source]

Fighters, fighter-bombers and even bombers join the fray to support troops on the battlefield. While this isn’t the first time airplanes make an appearance in the Memoir 44 system, Memoir 44: New Flight Plan does add many new tactical options and is compatible with all existing scenarios in all theaters of operation. The expansion includes 21 new scenarios, and 16 plane models (including a larger B-17 model).

For more information on the expansion, check the Days of Wonder website. Expect it’s release in May of 2019.

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.