imperial assault gencon 1There’s no doubt that Fantasy Flight’s upcoming release of Imperial Assault is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. We were able to obtain some pics of a live demo that was going on at Essen.  Nothing like wetting everyone’s appetite!

imperial assault gencon 3


magic strategy board

An advertisement during the Pro Tour: Khans of Tarkir broadcast teased viewers with a graphic that read, “Magic: The Gathering, Strategy Board Game” and showed a release date of 10.16.14 at Essen. No other information is available at this time but we’ll keep you updated. Being as the release is scheduled on the first day of Essen Spiel it shouldn’t be too much longer before we get more news! Stay Tuned…


hobby world

Hobby World has put out a comprehensive press release for Essen 2014 detailing which games they will be showing off at their booth.  Being the largest publisher in Russia their games are definitely worth giving a look.

Hobby World at Essen 2014

It’s that special time of the year again — the long-awaited Essen show is upon us! October 16th-19th Essen becomes the center of the world for all boardgamers. Hobby World is totally going to be there! We will be located at the same place as we were at last Essen — Hall 1, Booth E151.


Hobby World is presenting a lot of exciting new titles this year:

Second Front, the expansion for trending forward World of Tanks: Rush

— Critically acclaimed strategy game Viceroy, that already got petition on BGG, asking us to “publish it internationally NOW!”

— Hilarious party game Spyfall

— Re-invented edition of the legendary Vampire Mafia

— exciting railway adventure Moscow to Paris

There will be seven games to play at our booth, and there will be a bunch of games to buy! Please see the short description for every game we present down below.


With every purchased Hobby World’s game you will receive a huge set of special promos: 4 outstanding tank cards for each of four World of Tanks nations, 8 Cathedral location cards for Spyfall,  “Essen”and “Happy Train” cards for Moscow to Paris. That’s 14 cards! It is your only way to get these cards, as they are not included in original game boxes!

We are also bringing free game catalogues, art postcards and other goodies to the Essen show. Please mind that we are overloaded with all this boxed happiness, but quantities are limited. Be quick, or all that you’ll get will be the expression of our love. It is the only thing that is unlimited and it always will be!


Besides games and promos we are preparing lots of surprises and we are inviting special guests. One of them is Hobby World’s very talented artist — Uildrim. She is the creator of magnificent art for Berserk: War of The Realms, Hollywood, Viceroy and many, many other Hobby World’s games. She will be at our booth… hm… if she hurries up and gets her visa in time!  🙂 This is your perfect chance to get your favorite Uildrim’s art signed and also to see her at work.

Come and see how a new masterpiece is created. Uildrim will be doing a live drawing session right at out booth. The process will be shown at a huge plasma screen. On top of that, we will give away free postcards, designed by Uildrim. Yes, you can take the postcard and ask her to sign it too!


You will be able to play and purchase our great new arrivals and Hobby World’s classics right at our booth. Please note that our latest releases – Viceroy, Spyfall and Moscow to Paris – will have Russian boxes but all other contents of these games will be in English. We’d like to consider them ultra-rare-special-Essen editions and their quantities are very limited.



A beautiful strategy game set in Berserk universe. As a viceroy, you build the “pyramid of power” — a political system based on laws and individual talents of hired characters. Each law and character card in Viceroy is unique.

After watching preview videos about Viceroy, boardgamers started a petition at BGG, asking us to publish the international edition of Viceroy as soon as possible. And so, we are bringing the first limited print run of Viceroy to Essen. Be the first to get your hands on Viceroy — a game that can become a major hit soon!

Players: 1-4
Age: 12+
Playing Time: 45 minutes 

Here is what’s all the buzz is about:

Rahdo Runs — Through preview of Viceroy:

Scott “Tox” Morris (Crits Happen) — Preview:

The informal BGG petition to bring Viceroy to North America:




In each round of the game all players get cards with the same location: a casino, a travelling circus, a pirate ship or even a space station. However, one of the cards says “Spy” instead of a location. Then, players start asking each other free questions, trying to guess — who is the spy. Questions may be: “Why are you dressed so strange?” or “When was the last time we got a payday?” or anything else you can come up with. The spy doesn’t know which location he is at, so he has to listen carefully. When it is his time to answer — he’d better create a good legend!

At any time during a round, a player may accuse another player of being a spy. If the spy is uncovered all other players score points. However, the spy himself can end a round by stopping the game and announcing that he understands what the secret location is. If the guess is correct, only the spy scores points.

After a number of rounds of guessing, suspicion and bluffing the game ends and the player that scored the most points is victorious!

Players: 3-8
Age: 12+
Playing Time: 15 minutes


A deck building game based on hugely popular World of Tanks online game. In World of Tanks: Rush you take on the role of a tank squad commander. You lead your tanks into battle, defend your bases, call for reinforcements, and receive medals. The main idea of this deck building game is to select cards from the hundreds available to form a strong squad.

We are happy to announce World of Tanks: Second Front — the first expansion in World of Tanks series. It will be showcased at our booth. Second Front adds the nation of Great Britain, 12 achievements, the 4th special base for every player, a new play zone, and 2 new card abilities.

Players: 2-5
Age: 10+
Playing Time: 30 minutes


You are invited to an exciting railway journey in Europe — from Moscow to Paris, from Rome to Berlin. Build your own routes, play wagon cards and watch your opponents!

Moscow to Paris is a quick and easy to play card game. Four city cards are revealed and placed for all to see. Then players try to match wagon cards played besides cities to wagon cards that they play in their own areas. There are also special cards and cities that bend the rules. You can even add your own city to the game! A traveler that visited the most cities will win the game!

Players: 2-4
Age: 8+
Playing Time: 30 minutes




Rule Hollywood like a boss — hire superstars, choose scenarios and make the movie of your dreams! Hollywood is a quick, fun and very thematic game. There are a lot of different specialists to add to your movie: Producers, Sound Engineers, Director Assistants and even Makeup Artists! Different cards bring varying benefits, but they are always connected to the movie-making theme. Hollywood was successfully funded on Kickstarter this summer.

Dice Tower approved:

Players: 2-6
Age: 10+
Playing Time: 30 minutes


Berserk: War of the Realms is a tactical card game of skill and strategy. This is our best-selling game for lots of good reasons. If you still have not played this — you are missing all the fun.

Berserk is a wargame in which players use cards instead of miniatures. This streamlines and speeds up the game. Both players deploy their cards on the battlefield face down. Thus the opponent cannot see the other player´s army. Then both players turn their cards over and the battle begins!

Did we mention that the art here is top-notch yet? Yeah, Uildrim is one of Berserk’s great artists! Come to our booth and get her autograph!

Players: 2
Age: 13+
Playing Time: 20 minutes

METRO 2033

This game is based on the post-nuclear Metro 2033 universe created by a very famous Russian writer and journalist Dmitry Glukhovsky.

Lead one of many factions in battles for control of what used to be Moscow underground, or Metro as we call it here. Manage your scarce resources — pigs, ammo and mushrooms, vote for new laws together with other players or land devastating attacks on them. But no matter what you do — always be ready to fight back mutants emerging from the dark!

Players: 2-6
Age: 12+
Playing Time: 60 minutes

vampire mafia


We are presenting the re-invented classic: Vampire Mafia — the secret identity party game. Some may say that Vampire Mafia is inspired by the famous Werewolf, but it is quite the opposite. Mafia appeared in the USSR in 1986 and later emerged in USA in a much softer form as Werewolf.

Vampire Mafia is the true Russian mafia-like game, based on a few decades of players’ feedback. It includes the most interesting cards and scenario variants, extensive guide for the moderator and… masks!

Yes, that’s right: plastic masks are added to every base copy of the game. When you “wake up”, you see blood-hungry vampire masks all around you. No faces. Be prepared for the challenge: come to Hobby World’s booth to see the game the way it is meant to be played!

Vampire Mafia will be launched at Kickstarter at the end of October. If everything goes as planned, it will be delivered to backers next year. However, you will have the exclusive chance to see and play the early version of Vampire Mafia already at this Essen!

…Did we mention that Vampire Mafia is set in a unique setting, where vampires are good guys but are ready to spill the blood and vampire hunters are the forces of evil? Well, there it goes!


DV Giochi has announced three new releases which will be available at the Essen Spiele Game Fair this October.  They will be at booth3 – E106.  They have announced firm dates for European availability being starting at Essen.  But US dates are slated to be somewhere around December-January for Dark Tales and they haven’t specified dates for BANG! The Valley of Shadows.  Both releases look rather promising.

Additionally they have announced:

As usual, in Essen we will also show the winner of the Lucca Comics & Games contest “Best Unpublished Game 2013-2014”: Playa Pirata.

dark tales

Dark Tales

Dark Tales is a card game for 2-4 players, ages 14 and up. This game is inspired by classic fairy tales, retold in a dark style. The land of Dark Tales is populated by disturbing creatures and sinister characters. The interaction between cards and magic items is the key to success: a character, an event, or a sword used at the right time can determine the fate of the game! Thanks to the many setting cards, the items you collect change their power from game to game.

The cards are tarot-sized and perfectly emphasize the gorgeous illustrations of Dany Orizio—an Italian illustrator already well-known and appreciated in Italy and abroad.

Designer: Pierluca Zizzi
No. of players: 2-4
Ages: 14+
Artwork: Dany Orizio

Language: Italian and EnglishContents:

  • 48 playing cards
  • 6 setting cards
  • 8 gold coins
  • 4 swords
  • 4 armors
  • 4 magic wands
  • 66 victory points tokens
  • rulebook

Dark Tales – Snow White Expansion

The first expansion, Dark Tales – Snow White will be released at the same time as the base game.

With Dark Tales – Snow White, you will experience one of the greatest classic fairy tales. From the spooky Prince to the mysterious Dwarves, from the Glass Coffin to the infamous Poisoned Apple: in the world of Dark Tales, new characters and special items appear to create new and unexpected combinations. By adding this expansion to the base game, you can explore different plots and unexpected endings!

Designer: Pierluca Zizzi
No. of players: 2-4
Age: 14+
Artwork: Dany Orizio

Language: Italian and EnglishContents:

  • 24 playing cards
  • 2 setting cards
  • 2 gold coins
  • 2 laced bodices
  • 1 comb
  • 1 poisoned apple
  • 2 burning shoes
  • 33 victory points tokens
  • rulebook.

The Valley of Shadows

BANG! The Valley of Shadows

To all BANG! fans: BANG! The Valley of Shadows is finally coming!

By popular demand, the long-awaited English edition of Udoli Stinu—an exclusive expansion released last year in Czech Republic only—will be available in European shops starting in October. Rattlesnakes, tornadoes, ruthless “bandidos”… new characters and surprising new cards will join those fearless gunslingers who would dare enter the Valley of Shadows.

Designer: Emiliano Sciarra et al.
No. of players: 4-7
Ages: 8+
Artwork: Alberto Bontempi

Language: Italian and EnglishContents:

  • 8 character cards
  • 16 playing cards
  • rulebook.

tash kalar

As has been previously announced Czech Games Edition will be releasing an updated version of Tash-Kalar at Essen.  They have finally revealed what all this update will be bringing.  The meat of the game remains the same but they have focused heavily on improving the visual aesthetics.  With a major overhaul coming to the flare and task cards.  That being said everything looks much better overall.  They have also made a big push to upgrade the physical components quality as well.  Moving to a much thicker cardboard for all of the cardboard components.

In making this change they are able to present a much more refined look without sacrificing compatibility.  They have emphasized that the expansion that will also be released at Essen will be compatible with the old components.  But they will still be offering an upgrade kit so that owners of the current game can have continuity in their parts.

To read the full announcement head over to Czech Games Edition site here.

Picture From Scott's BGG Profile

Picture From Scott’s BGG Profile

From the designer of Valuspa and Kachina Scott Caputo a very insightful blog post has been posted on League of Gamemakers blog.  As someone aspiring to design a game one day it can be a little daunting thinking about trying to do your game pitches to publishers.  Scott talks about the fact that after having published Valuspa he went to Essen with expectations maybe a little too high.  This post is about what he learned from pitching his games and the feedback he got and didn’t get from some of the publishers he was dealing with.


Often it is not until you take a broader perspective on the things you ahve learned that the lessons truly sink in.  For Scott he talks about the experience developing that broader perspective so that he could improve upon the games that he presented to publishers.  He doesn’t say it but it is possible that some of the things he heard initially were not as positive as he took them out to be and were more people being nice.  While others were maybe a bit more direct and while it was not as pleasant hearing the raw message in the end it was likely more beneficial.

I would strongly encourage you to head over to the League of Gamemakers blog to read his story here.

hellweg board

The following press release was written by someone who’s first language is not english.  It is in regards to the newest release by designer Michael Schacht for his new game Hellweg Westfalicus.  It is slated to be available at Essen.  Please read the press release below for full details and a description of the game.

„Spiele aus Timbuktu“ is back again!

Since 25 years Michael Schacht designs games. The anniversary year is a good opportunity for a big celebration.

That started in february with the anniversary game „HAN“.

At the „Internationalen Spieletage“ fair in Essen will be now published „Hellweg westfalicus“ which celebrates a second anniversary as well: 15 years of „Spiele aus Timbuktu“.

This small publishing project run by Michael Schacht originally offered games to tinker. Over the time a collectors box, expansions and „real“ produced boardgames as special editons competed the portfolio.

With „Hellweg westfalicus“ now gets a special edition released that is a moderate economic game for 2 to 4 players from 10 years on. The Westphalian Hellweg is a more than 5000 year-old road between Duisburg and Paderborn and was up to the Middle Ages of great importance for trading.

From the box: „Buy goods at low prices and sell them for maximum profit! On offer are salt, beer and ironware. If you wait too long, you might get a good purchasing price but only for what is still left. You can create trade routes with the help of coaches and thus supply distant towns. The player who owns the most money after 12 rounds wins the game.“

„Hellweg westfalicus“ is a boardgame for 2 to 4 players from 10 years on, duration 30-60 minutes

Content: 35 cards, 90 wooden tiles, 45 coins, 1 gameboard, 1 rulebooklet (german and english)

Publisher: Spiele aus Timbuktu, Agentur Vielfalt (1F 103)

Already part of the game is the expansion module „Warehouse and Privilegies“ for experts.

At the fair in Essen „Hellweg westfalicus“ can be found at the booth of the „Spielbar“ (Halle 1F 103) for the anniversary price of 25 €.

Exclusive expansion, surprise packs and playing with the designer

All buyers of „Hellweg westfalicus“ will get at the booth of the „Spielbar“ (hall 1F 103) additonally an exclusive mini expansion and a surprise pack, as long as the stock lasts.

More events at the booth are planned, for example „playing with the designer“ and a big raffle with a lot of prizes, where everyone can take part. The main prize is a visit by Michael Schacht at the home of the winner for a together game evening (Germany only).

The exact schedule of the events will be communicated later.

spiders web

Days of wonder has announced their newest expansion for Small World “A Spiders Web” with this expansion comes three new races (Ice Witches, Skags, and Slingmen) and three new special powers (Copycat, Lava, and Soul-Touch).  This expansion also features a plastic storage tray which allows for storage of all the badges and tokens from not just “A Spiders Web” but all of the recent expansions for the game.

spider components

Additionally they are releasing the “Royal Bonus” expansion which until this point only be available through their Small World 2 Kickstarter campaign.  This expansion also features three new races (Fauns, Igors, and Shrubmen) and three new powers (Fireball, Aquatic, and Behemoth).

Finally two long out of print mini expansions will be coming back into print.  Necromancer Island

In Necromancer Island, one of the players assumes the role of a dreaded Necromancer who inhabits an island in the center of Small World’s central Lake region. He captures the souls of all Race tokens lost to conquests, using them to progressively spawn Ghosts who invade the surrounding Regions. To make matters worse, his Powers grow as his reach across the land increases. If the Necromancer succeeds in bringing all of his Ghosts into play, anytime before the game’s end, he wins!

and Leaders of Small World

The expansion consists of 24 leader tokens that are neither a race nor a power. When you pick a new race, you can opt to buy its leader. The leader acts as an additional race token. The leader, however, disappears as soon as the race goes into decline. Also, the leader is brave, which means that he can only be staying at regions that are not immune.

Leaders can be held hostage for ransom. If the ransom is not paid, the leader counts as two victory points at the end of the game for the player that captured the leader.

All of these expansions will be available from retailers starting in November and “A Spiders Web” and “Royal Bonus” will be available at Essen.
royal bonus

For the complete press release you can visit Days of Wonder’s website.

essen game

ESSEN at Essen…what the whah?!?

Get your head around this if you can. LudiCreations are running a campaign on Kickstarter right now, in which they plan to fund a game about selling games at the Essen trade fair, which will be on sale at the Essen trade fair! We are unsure if this will rip the space-time continuum.

In this euro-style game for 1-4 players, you take on the role of a board game publisher that is exhibiting at the world’s most famous trade fair. Designed by Harry-Pekka Kuusela, it is playable in 30-60 minutes, and can be played with up to 8 players by combining two copies of the game.

“I have put many years of my life into this game and can’t wait for players to get their hands on it. With your support I will be in a booth at Essen selling ESSEN, a game about selling games at Essen!” – Harry-Pekka Kuusela

In ESSEN, which is beautifully illustrated in pixel art and contains a plethora of inside jokes and references for board gamers, you have to make decisions like any publisher has to make – about staffing, managing your money, creating buzz, and much more! Each player board is themed after a certain type of board game publisher (eurogames, ameritrash, wargames, RPGs), with the reverse side showing even more types of games (abstract, children’s games, party games, LARP) for even more variety.

“I love meta—games about games, books about books—so ESSEN appeals to me. The logistics of balancing sales and income, future visitors and current buzz: it’s a bit of a brain-burner, too, but I like this sort of thing. If you like games about games and you’ve been to gaming conventions, this game may really click for you.” – Jonathan Liu from GeekDad

Last year the Spiel game fair had 156,000 visitors & 828 exhibitors from 39 nations. Right now you can back the campaign which allows you to take over a booth and outsell them all to be the best publisher in ESSEN! If you can’t come to Essen, then let ESSEN come to you!