Fabled Fruit

Friedemann Friese is at it again with another “F” named game in the Fable Game system, this time using deck building, or rather…deck unbuilding? Fine Sand, coming soon from Stronghold Games, is a deck deconstruction game where players are competing to build sandcastles from the materials around them. These materials are represented by a starting deck of 30 cards, depicting anywhere from sand and stone to structures. Players will spend basic materials to build the structures, which in turn removes the cards from the deck and makes it more efficient at the same time, ramping up an engine until someone triggers game end by removing most of their cards.

“Fine Sand uses the “Fable Game System” introduced in Fabled Fruit, and in addition to a stack of starting cards, each player receives a presorted stack of Fable cards. With these cards, you change your card stack from game to game. Continue to play, or reset and play the game again with the same or different groups. Fine Sand includes an addictive solo campaign!”

It’s quite a fascinating system, a little sleaker than it’s fellow deconstructing title Valley of the Kings, that really turns the genre on it’s head and may prove to be the most impressive Fable Game yet. Even tried-and-true concepts like “trashing” cards have been twisted a bit, since constructing cards already removes them from the deck, trashing instead gives the card to the player on your left – gumming up their system! With the Fable cards, each players starting stack of cards will change from game to game, adding variety and demanding a different approach each time you play. If you’re interested in learning more about Fine Sand, keep an eye on Stronghold Games’ website. While it doesn’t have a product page just yet, it is on their release schedule and certainly they will have more information and updates the sooner we approach it’s retail release date.

Friedemann Friese is taking the new Fabled games model into the Power Grid universe with a new expansion Power Grid: Fabled Expansion. The expansion will be released by 2F-Spiele, 999 Games, Giochi Uniti, and Rio Grande Games.

This latest expansion works for both Power Grid and Power Grid Deluxe base games. The expansion includes two presorted Fable Decks which will introduce new mechanisms to the games as players work through campaigns using the maps of USA, Germany, Europe, or North America.

Each fabled campaign will have players playing three consecutive games on the same map. When playing with two players, players will use the “Against the Trust” rules. In each game players will reveal cards in order as the conditions for those cards are met, which those cards adding twists to the game.

Examples of actions that trigger the reveal of new rules include:
  • Reveal in Phase 3: Buying Resources… When a player buys coal for 7 Elektro or More
  • Reveal at the end of a game… when the players have already revealed card 6
  • Reveal in Step 1 or Step 2… when the players have already revealed card 4, and there is a difference of 10 or more between the numbers of 2 adjacent power plants in the current market.

Power Grid: Fabled Expansion includes 30 Fabled cards and 6 rules cards. The expansion does not change player count or length of game, with the game still playing over 120 minutes with 2-6 players aged 13 and up. The game requires a copy of Power Grid or Power Grid Deluxe to play and is scheduled to release in November 2017.

A Fabled History

The first game in the Fabled line, Fabled Fruit, introduced the fable deck of cards which introduce new and developing gameplayover time. The game starts in a simple state, but as you play through the game new rules emerge and deeper mechanisms develop. The Fabled game system is fully resettable, unlike most legacy games. Fabled Fruit ended up making the 2017 Spiel des Jahres Recommended list.

This year Friese is also releasing other titles based on the Fabled system including Flee, Fear, Fortress as well as The Lime Expansion to the original Fabled Fruit title.

Power Grid has it’s own storied history. Power Grid was the updated release of the Friedemann Friese crayon game Funkenschlag. The objective of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power when someone’s network gains a particular size. Players mark claim the rights to to power a city and then develop pre-existing routes between cities for additional connection, bid against each to purchase the power plants through an always changing power plant market that they use to power the cities in their network, and finally buy resources to power those plants.

When released in 2004, Power Grid began a multi-year award winning streak. Awards won include:

The German Game Prizes, awarded to top games by Essen Spiel since the late 1970s, have been announced for 2017, and well deserved congratulations go to Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius. Runners up in order include: A Feast for Odin, Scythe, First Class, Kingdomino, Robber [Raiders] of the North Sea, Fabulous [Fabled Fruit], Captain Sonar, Magic Maze, and Competition [Quest] to El Dorado.

The winner of the German Children’s Prize is Ice Cool by Brian Gomez. Click here for the press release from Spiel.

Having previously garnered success with co-published titles 504, Fabled Fruit, and Fuji Flush, Stronghold Games and 2F-Spiele announced 6 new jointly published games releasing in 2017, including:

  1. 3 games in the Fast Forward series of games, all designed by Friedemann Friese utilizing the Fable system introduced in Fabled Fruit.  Fear will be a hand-management game about chasing ghosts, Fortress will be a bluffing game about becoming king, and Flee will be a cooperative game about running from monsters.  The games supposedly forego rule books, so that players can begin playing immediately and discover new rules as they play.
  2. an expansion for Fabled Fruit, the progenitor of the Fable system.  Fabled Fruit: The Lime Expansion adds 20 new locations and the eponymous limes.
  3.  a new solo-only game, Finished!.  Friedemann Friese previously designed the hit solo game Friday.  In Finished!, the player is trying to sort a deck of cards to not fall asleep at work (which is more than a little meta).
  4. a reprint/update of 2007 game Felix: The Cat in the Sack entitled Felicity: The Cat in the Sack, a game about acquiring cats, but not bad cats, and not dogs or rabbits, either.

All of these games are set to release in October 2017, with the third Fast Forward title coming in November 2017.

Stronghold Games has announced details on the Fast Forward™ Series which uses the new Fable Game™ system first introduced by Friedemann Friese in Fabled Fruit.

Fabled Fruit was the first in the series, and Stronghold has announced that Fortress will be the second game using the Fable system.

A great Fortress looms in the distance… and it must be yours! Accept the challenge against all others to conquer the Fortress! FORTRESS is a game about risk taking, out-witting and bluffing your friends to become the dominate ruler of the kingdom, and second in our Fast Forward™ Series .

No rulebook reading is necessary in the second game in the series. Put 2-4 gamers around a table and discover constantly changing rules while playing the game. Similar to Fabled Fruit a pre-sorted deck of cards slowly introduces new rules to the games. Through 12 games of Fortress gamers can explore the entire set of rules. Each game takes approximately 15 minutes. Once complete it can be reset to be played once again by the same group or a new set of gamers.

Fabled Fruit was the first of the Fable games, now referred to as the Fast Forward Series. In the series a game starts in an initial and very simple set of cards and rules but as you play through the game system both the mechanisms and gameplay evolve.

Playing through the game multiple times each play changes the game slightly. Unlike Legacy games the game is never permanently altered. At any point you may easily reset a Fable game from the beginning either after playing through the entire set of cards or at any point partway through the game.

Awards

Fabled Fruit, the first in the series, was shortlisted on for a variety of awards:

  • 2017 Spiel des Jahres Recommended List
  • 2016 Golden Geek Most Innovative Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Family Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Card Game Nominee

Origins is one of the biggest conventions in the US for gaming, and they have been giving out their awards for the best each year.  The different categories include family games, role-playing games, card games, game accessories, board games, collectible games (CCG, TCG, etc.), miniatures, and finally a Game of the Year.  Some of the past winners include great games like Codenames, Imperial Assault, and 7 Wonders Duel, so you know bad games aren’t getting these awards.  But that’s enough background information, here are the nominees for the 2017 Origins Awards:

Family Games (6 Nominees)

Role-Playing Game (10 Nominees)

  • 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents (designed by John Wick, Mike Curry, Rob Justice, Mark Diaz Truman, Jesse Heinig)
  • Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • No Thank You, Evil! by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain and Monte Cook)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight (designed by Tim Flanders, Corey Konieczka, and Sam Stewart)
  • Shadowrun-Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs (designed by Raymond Croteau, Jason Hardy, James Meiers, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, R.J. Thomas, Malik Toms, Thomas Willoughby, CZ Wright, and Russell Zimmerman)
  • Symbaroum by Järnringen and co-published by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Martin Grip, Mattias Johnsson, Mattias Lilja and Johan Nohr.
  • Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jenna Helland, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire-Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight (designed by Blake Bennett, Tim Cox, Jordan Goldfarb, Sterling Hershey and Monte Lin)
  • The One Ring: Horse: Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7 (designed by Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Francesco Nepitello, and James Spahn)
  • Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Ed Greenwood, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K. Reynolds, Matthew Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter)

Traditional Card Games (8 Nominees)

Game Accessories (4 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage Organizer by The Broken Token (designed by Greg Spence)
  • Dungeon Morph Dice Adventurer Set by Inkwell Ideas / Q-Workshop (designed by Joe Wetzel, Dyson Logos, Matt Jackson, Shane Knysh, Tim Ballew, Dave Millar, Sigurd Johansson, AJ Stone)
  • Flip ‘N Tray Mat Case by Ultimate Guard (designed by Adrian Alonso)
  • Improved D Total by Gamescience (designed by Dr. A.F. Simkin, Col. Louis Zocchi, Frank Dutrait)

Board Games (10 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage by (designed by Eric M. Lang)
  • Clank! by Renegade Games (designed by Paul Dennen)
  • Cry Havoc by Portal Games (designed by Grant Rodiek, Michael Oracz, Michael Walczak)
  • Feast for Odin by Z Man Games/Asmodee (designed by Uwe Rosenberg)
  • Islebound by Red Raven Games (designed by Ryan Laukat)
  • Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight/Asmodee (designed by Christopher Burdett, Anders Finér, Henning Ludvigsen)
  • Scythe by Stonemaier Games (designed by Jamey Stegmaier)
  • Star Wars Rebellion by Fantasy Flight (designed by Corey Konieczka)
  • Terraforming Mars by (designed by Jacob Fryxelius)
  • World’s Fair 1893 by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games (designed by J. Alex Kevern)

Collectible Games (5 Nominees)

  • Yu-Gi-Oh Breaker of Shadow Booster by Konami (designed by Konami Digital Entertainment)
  • Pokémon XY11 Steam Siege Booster by Pokémon USA (designed by The Pokémon Company)
  • Magic the Gathering: Kaladesh Booster Pack by Wizards of the Coast
  • Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Booster Brick by WizKids (designed by WizKids)
  • Cardfight Vanguard Fighters Collection by Bushiroad

Miniatures (5 Nominees)

  • Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team by Games Workshop
  •  Konflikt ’47 by Warlord Games (designed by Clockwork Goblin Miniatures)
  • Dragon Rampant by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine
  • TANKS by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine (designed by Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates)
  • Dropfleet Commander by Hawk Wargames (designed by Andy Chambers and David Lewis)

Effective immediately, New Jersey based Stronghold Games and Germany based 2F-Spiele entered into a strategic partnership for Stronghold Games to co-publish, in English, all new future 2F-Spiele titles. Stronghold games have released many games including “Survive: Escape From Atlantis!”, “Core Worlds”, and “Space Cadets” (plus many, many others). 2F-Spiele is known for “Power Grid, “Fearsome Floors”, “Felix, the Cat in the Sack”, and a personal favorite of mine “Friday”.  The two companies worked together on the 2015 hit “504” which creates 504 different games from the 9 modules contained in the box.

Two giants in the gaming community, Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games and Friedemann Friese of 2F-Spiele, have both expressed excitement in this project and what it could mean for both companies moving forward. What this means for hobbyists in North America and the rest of the world is they will see an almost simultaneous English release of 2F-Spiele games, while maintaining the high quality components both companies are known for.

To kick off this Strategic Partnership, the following titles will be co-published by Stronghold Games with an expected street date of October 2016:

Fabled Fruit (Stronghold Games title) / Fabelsaft (2F-Spiele title)

While living in a bountiful forest of amazing fruits, players will try to be the first to quench their thirst by making the most delicious juices. Various forest dwellers will help players in a variety of ways. Fabled Fruit is being debuted as a “Fable Game” which Stronghold and 2F-Spiele describe as:

A new and unique concept in game experiences, where the gameplay changes over time. The game starts in an initial, simple state, but as you explore deeper into the game system, the mechanisms and gameplay will evolve over time. Unlike in a Legacy game, however, the game is never permanently changed. This Fable Game will remain just as playable on the 20th play as it was on the first plays of the game.”

Fuji Flush (Stronghold Games title) / Futschikato (2F-Spiele title)

Fuji Flush is a 15 minute, easy to learn card game in which you try to get rid of your hand of cards before any other player. Work with other players to beat cards other players lay down, or play the highest card to beat your colluding opponents.