Renegade Games has secured the rights to bring the 2016 Essen release Planet Defenders to a wider audience. Originally a release from EmperorS4 Games in Taiwan, Planet Defenders is an interesting twist on the euro mechanics of games such as Splendor and Century: Spice Road. 2-4 Players control the three Defender Robots on a 3×3 grid of planetary cards, using Battery Cubes to move the defenders according to three movement cards. When a defender is moved onto a planet, the planet gives an ability to convert batteries into larger, colored Energy Cubes, or to convert between Energy Cube types. Additionally, the goal of the game is to spend Energy Cubes to clean up derelict Robots in space, claiming these Robot cards for points. Players can also purchase Technology Cards, which give the player more conversion abilities between the cube types. When two of the four piles of derelict robot cards are depleted, the game ends, and highest score wins. In the new Renegade release, the Robot Defender standees will be replaced with high quality miniatures.
Planet Defenders is due to be released in Fall 2017, and plays in 30-60 minutes. You can read Renegade Games’ press release here.
Capstone Games is bringing the second edition of Alexander Huemer’s 2015 Euro game Lignum to North America this summer. In Lignum, 2-4 players compete to run a 19th century lumber mill as efficiently as possible. Players need to secure the best land, hire contract workers and continually update and maintain equipment. The second edition also includes the “Joinery and Buildings” expansion, including a double sided board.
Lignum is due for release in July 2017.
Successful Kickstarter zombie microgame Bitten is coming to retail soon from PlayGrim Games. In this fast social deduction game, 2-4 players have 5 minutes to gather enough supplies to leave camp, or they need to discover which among them has been bitten. If time runs out, the bitten player gets to eat the group. Bitten comes with 21 Action cards, 7 Item cards, a Soundtrack card and the rulebook. Bitten is due for release June 21, 2017.
Days of Wonder has just announced the Whims of the Sultan Expansion for Five Tribes, finally allowing for a fifth player to join in manipulating the tribes in Bruno Cathala’s popular euro-style game.
Days of Wonder’s Five Tribes game feature players manipulating Assassins, Elders, Builders, Merchants, and Vizier tribe members around the villages, markets, oases, and sacred places that make up Naqala. Despite the fact that players are manipulating tribes, not actually representing one of the five tribes, gamers have long mocked the game for maxing out at four players. The new expansions remedies this and allows a fifth player in on the fun. Whims of the Sultan will include all the necessary components to play five-player games.
In addition to the components for five players the game also introduces Fabulous Cities tiles. Visiting fabulous cities gives players opportunities to win additional glory points as they fill the requests from the Sultan by completing Whim of the Sultan cards.
Either expansion module can be played alone with the base game or along with the already released Artisans of Naqala expansion.
- 6 tiles
- 15 wooden tribe meeples
- 8 camels
- 1 tent and 1 player’s turn marker
- 22 Whim of the Sultan cards
- 2 Djinn cards
- 1 bid order track and 1 turn order track for 5 player games
- 1 pad of scoring sheets
- 1 summary sheet
The game is scheduled for a June release in Europe and and August Gen Con release in North America.
There’s an interesting take on castle building in Castle Dukes, a new game on Kickstarter from publisher Medieval Lords and designer Dominic Michael H. Castle Dukes is a Dexterity, combined with Euro, type game for 1 to 4 players that will play in anywhere from 25 minutes (single player) to 60 minutes (4 players).
The game is played over 9 turns with each turn being comprised of 3 phases: Room, Build, and Guest phases.
On turns 4 and 7, check the top right corner of the Guest card for a Fire icon. If there is one, the Dragon has appeared and will attack everyone! Draw 5 Dragon Damage Chits from the drawbag and choose to resolve an amount of it based on one’s castle Defence/ Offence. If the Dragon did not appear during turns 4 and/or 7, it will definitely appear the following turn (turns 5 & 8 respectively). On the last turn of the game (turn 9), check for 1 final Dragon Attack.
There’s a ton of reviews up on the Kickstarter page. Even better yet, the game has already funded with only, as of the time of writing this article, 11 days left in the campaign. There’s a bunch of KS exclusive content and a number of add-ons available. You can visit the Kickstarter page here to read more as well as fund the project.
August Games announced the kickstarter project Dragon Brew, from designer Daniel George (Order Up, Road Kill Rally) and Artist Mac Hillier. In Dragon’s Brew, players enter the fantasy world of Brumancia, where war and conflict have been replaced by competitive beer making. Dragon Brew is a medium weight euro game in which players use worker placement and card drafting to build estates, harvest grain, quest for ingredients and try to brew the best fantastical custom beers. The winner is the player to amass the most victory points after three years of brewing. The game comes with over 200 wooden pieces, more than 300 cards, tokens, coins and a huge variety of stretch goals.
The Kickstarter project continues until March 3, 2017 and can be seen here.
Fryxgames has announced Hellas and Elysium, the first expansion to the critically acclaimed Terraforming Mars. The expansion includes a double sided game board giving two new areas of Mars to colonize and terraform. Elysium is the opposite side of the planet from where the first game took place, and includes lowlands ripe for ocean, mineral rich land, and the famous peak of Olympus Mons. Hellas includes the southern pole of Mars and has the enormous Hellas crater, ready to be transformed into a gigantic 7 hex lake. Also in the expansion are new placement bonuses, milestones and awards. Hellas and Elysium is due to be released summer 2017. For more information, visit Fryxgames here.
The highly rated, economic game Concordia is getting a few more maps added to it’s lineup. The new maps are Gallia, which covers the areas of modern UK and a chunk of mainland Europe, and Corsica, a small island off the coast of Italy. While these new maps provide some fresh terrain for you to build your empire on, they do come with some changes that will mix things up. On the Gallia map you will start with only your land colonist, meaning that you will have to build into the harbor cities before you can venture out on the water. Meanwhile Corsica is a very tight map meant for only 2 to 3 players, increasing the level of competition at those lower player numbers. Both of these will be packaged in one unit and will be going on sale in the next couple weeks.
Splotter Spellen is known for their crunchy euro games like Food Chain Magnate and Roads & Boats, so fans of those types of games will be happy to see two of their popular titles getting reprinted. The first game being reprinted is The Great Zimbabwe, a euro game where you are building a trade based civilization in ancient Africa. In this game you want to build monuments to the gods you choose in order to win, but each god is different to build for and offers different benefits. So in order to build your monuments you have to build a trade network to be able to get the supplies you need for the construction. Build the most extravagant monuments and you will be the winner. Look for this game to be back on shelves in October.
Second is the economic game Indonesia, one all about controlling both the production of goods and their shipment. It is all a balancing game to make the most money as you acquire the production of goods, then transport those goods to cities that want them. But be careful, you still have to pay the ships that carried your goods, even if that results in a net loss in profits. So do your best and make the most money and you will be the winner of this game. Look for this game to be on store shelves in November.
Flock, a new AEG release coming this winter, is a game about growing impressive bird colonies for 2-5 players. You start with a few birds in your flock and through action selection, you expand your Ornithological Empire by feeding, hatching, and building nests. But it is not so easy as other players are vying to feed and grow their own families from the same pool of action cards. It is a tense struggle to balance how many of your birds accomplish the tasks necessary to provide for your flock, while at the same trying to maintain dominance over other bird populations.
AEG has a history of packing deep and strategic gameplay in a small package (Love Letter, Guild Hall, Istanbul) and it seems that Flock will be no different. The artwork is whimsical, the theme is fresh and interesting, and the components are cute and well-crafted. The art style is reminiscent of the great Waggle Dance, a game about building a bee colony, and I for one am excited to see another medium-weight eurogame about growing a colony of animals.
Two eagerly awaited games are soon to be released and available for pre-order now from one of the industry’s top publishers: Stronghold Games.
First up is Dark Moon a game of deception and betrayal in space. Dark Moon is based on a game called BSG Express designed by Evan Derrick that was released as a print an play game. BSG Express quickly became a hit and is said to be the most downloaded PNP game on BGG. Stronghold Games kept Evan Derrick as the designer for Dark Moon which also includes art by Evan and Viktor Csete.
You are a crew member on a deep space mining expedition to Titan, the dark moon of Saturn. During a routine excavation, an “incident” occurs whereby some of the crew become infected with an unknown virus, and become paranoid, deceitful, and violent, trying to destroy the others.
At the start of the game players are divided into two groups: Infected and Uninfected. Each player will know which team they belong to but will not know about the other players affiliation. Uninfected players simply need to survive till the end of the game to win and the infected players secretly attempt to destroy them. This game provides all the paranoia of Battlestar Galactica (BSG) in a fraction of the time and from all accounts I’ve come across so far it is an exceptional game.
Dark Moon plays 3 – 7 people and takes 60 -75 minutes. It should be available from you FLGS/OLGS on June 24th 2015 so if you’re interested keep an eye out or pre-order it today.
Next up is La Granja, which made its first appearance at Essen Speil 2014 published by Spielworxx and was a huge hit. La Granja is designed by Michael Keller (II) and Andreas “ode.” Odendahl and includes beautiful art by Harald Lieske.
In La Granja players will control small farms on the island of Mallorca. Over 6 rounds players will expand their farms by adding fields, farm expansions, market barrows, and helpers while earning victory points by delivering goods to the nearby village.
La Granja is a fascinating game that requires careful planning. Timing and speed is crucial. However, successful players must cope with the uncertainty of events during the game. The player who has earned the most victory points at the end of the game is the winner and new owner of the La Granja estate!
La Granja requires 1 – 4 players to carefully plan and time their actions, keep watch on other players actions, and adjust strategy based on cards and dice. La Granja is considered to be a very approachable and streamlined euro that has already seen great success so no doubt this game will do very well for Stronghold Games. It is one of the most anticipated games to come out of Speil 2014 so if you’re interested definitely keep an eye out for it in July 2015 at your FLGS/OLGS or pre-order it today.
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