Gateway Games

Plan B Games is bringing a new expansion to Century: Golem Edition! Eastern Mountains, designed my Emerson Matsuuchi, works much like Eastern Wonders for those familiar with Century: Spice Road where players will explore the Carvania Mountain ranges and establish a trade network. Of course, this expansion will resemble the Golem Edition artwork, illustrated by Chris Quilliams and Atha Kanaani, utlizing manga inspired art. This expansion is now available for pre-order along with its playmat.

For more information, visit Plan B Games’ website here.

Nintendo Switch is not currently a haven for playing modern board games, with available options topping out with titles like Othello and Monopoly. Yet, the hybridization of being able to play both at home and on the go with a Nintendo Switch could be a game changer with the right titles…

Enter Carcassonne – Asmodee Digital announced that it will be bring the fan-favorite Klaus-Jürgen Wrede game Carcassonne to the Switch platform during the winter quarter of this year, and while Carcassonne is already available digitally, the Switch platform has advantages that many gamers will find appealing over a phone app or Steam-based computer game. For one thing, the Switch screen is much bigger than an average cell phone, and physical Switch physical games are easy to trade or share. Also, players on the whole are more likely to play local couch co-op on a TV screen via a console, rather than on PC.

For those unfamiliar with the game from 2000 that started all of this excitement, check out its BGG page, but here is the quickest summation: Carcassonne is an easy to play, hard to master tile-laying game for 2-5  players in which over the course of 30 minutes or so you will be making decisions on to best control and influence the outcomes of different areas of tiles. Placing on the road as a robber, or cloistered away as a monk are two of the roles players can assign their people (called meeples) to in order to score the most points across the southern France landscape and claim victory!

But the Nintendo Switch and designer board game pairing likely does not start and end with Carcassonne…

quoting Pierre Ortolan, CEO of Asmodee Digital,

“Carcassonne is the first Asmodee Digital title of many to follow on Nintendo’s platforms.” 

Thus leading one to believe that Asmodee Digital would likely bring over the other titles that have already been crafted digitally on other platforms, such as: fellow gateway game Ticket to Ride, award-winning Terraforming Mars, and recent mega-hit Scythe. With these titles stemming from a single developer, it would already be a solid foothold for modern board games on a current generation video game console, and it would be easy to envision makers of other digital board game implementations also porting over their creations, such as: Alhambra, Kingdom Builder, Splendor, or Small World.

As a fan of digital board gaming, watching the video on Paste Magazine’s article got my meeple heart beating hard to lay down some farmers for the win.

 

Ticket to Ride players are about to have a new entry point into the classic train network building universe with Ticket to Ride: Germany. This time potential railroad tycoons will use an illustrated map of late 19th century Germany to lay the foundation for their tiny plastic train empires. European customers and conductors can pick the game up in June, while North Americans can catch the caboose in August at Gencon.

Players can collect valuable Passenger Meeples from cities around the board to score points. This mechanic was also seen in the Märklin Edition of the game. In addition players will want to connect destination cities on both short and long routes to gain victory points.

Unlike the past few expansions, this game will be a complete entry point into the Ticket to Ride line, with everything needed for 2-5 players to play inside the box. Contents include:

  • A map of Germany
  • 225 colored Train Cars
  • 110 Train Car Cards
  • 89 Destination Tickets Cards
  • 60 Passenger Meeples
  • 1 Cloth Bag
  • 5 Scoring Markers
  • 1 Rules Booklet
  • A special Globetrotter Bonus Card.

The Popularity of Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride has been the entry point for many gamers. Just a few of the Dice Tower Top 10 lists that include Ticket to Ride include:

The original Ticket to Ride has actually been included in over 30 of the Dice Tower Top Ten lists. With such strong pedigree and a history of popular expansions, Ticket to Ride: Germany is likely to make a splash when it enters the market later this year.

cranio creations logo

Fresh off the presses come three new releases from Cranio Creations, the Italian publisher responsible for Dungeon Fighter and Steam Park.  Keeping their target audience in their crosshairs, Cranio’s 2015 trifecta are all light-to-medium games with striking artwork and manageable playtimes.  Beyond that the games are quite different.

unusual susp

Unusual Suspect, designed by Paolo Mori (Augustus, Libertalia) is a light party-style game of deduction that explores perceptions and stereotypes.  It plays in thirty minutes and features some cartoony artwork.  You can find Tom’s review here.

The Tower of Monster is a quirky dexterity game with some eye-catching components, including some distinct player pawns and a four-story tower with windows to stick your fingers through.   Designers Simone Luciani (Tzolk’in) and Antonio Tinto (Egizia) teamed up for this one, and it sports whimsical artwork by Valentina Moscon (Dungeon Bazar).

council of 4

Finally, Council of Four is the weightiest game of the bunch:  a family Euro about Renaissance-era merchants jockeying for position with city councils and attempting to situate their emporium in the most lucrative location. It was designed by Luciani e Tascini (The Voyages of Marco Polo) and the artwork is by the prolific Arnaud Demaegd (Caylus).

Check out Cranio’s press release here.

 

TICKET TO RIDE UK

Get ready for the newest installment from a true titan among train games! Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 5 will include a double sided map for the United Kingdom and Pennsylvania as well as new train card and stock share decks that will introduce players to exciting new economic and technological challenges. Ticket to Ride United Kingdom is designed for 2-4 players and is an expansion to the existing popular game series, so you will need one of the stand-alone Ticket to Ride games to be able to play.

TICKET TO RIDE MAPS

Curious to find out more? Check out the full press release below, or visit the Days of Wonder website here.

Days of Wonder announces new Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 5 – United
Kingdom Map Expansion
Also includes the Pennsylvania Map

Los Altos, CA; Paris, France – August 25, 2015.

Today, Days of Wonder announced the upcoming release of the 5th volume in the Ticket to Ride Map Collection – United Kingdom. With this new map designed for 2 to 4 players, players will need to develop their technologies to be able to extend their network over the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland during the 19th century. The double-sided map also features the board of Pennsylvania, a state full of railroad history where players will invest in railroad companies to achieve victory.
The United Kingdom map comes with a complete new Train cards deck including additionnal
Locomotives, and Technology cards such as the Mechanical Stoker or the Thermocompressor
that will allow players to develop their Technology level and build faster trains and claim long
routes. The Pennsylvania map comes with 60 “Stock Shares” cards representing the great
railroad companies of Pennsylvania. On this map, claiming a route also allows a player to invest
in a company – having a majority of shares in a given company allows to score extra bonus
points at game end.

“The new Technology system in Ticket to Ride United Kingdom is really challenging”, says
Adrien Martinot, General Manager at Days of Wonder. “You need Locomotives to buy
Technologies, but you also need them to claim vital routes on the map. Finding the proper
balance between your Technologies and the expansion of your railroad network is the key to
victory! On the Pennsylvania map, the challenge is different, but still, you’ll need to make sure to
make the best investments in order to win”.

Ticket to Ride United Kingdom includes a double-sided map: the United Kindom map is
designed for 2-4 players and includes 116 new Train cards, 57 UK Destination Tickets, and 47
Technology cards. The Pennsylvania map is designed for 2-5 players and includes 50 Tickets
and 60 “Stock Shares” cards. Both of these maps require the trains from either Ticket to Ride®
or Ticket to Ride® Europe.

Ticket to Ride United Kingdom makes its debut at the Essen Fair in Germany in October and will
be available in game stores in Europe shortly after. It will be available in the rest of the world in
November.

titan series

Gateway games – the fun, easy-to-learn games that suck people into the hobby, are a very important part of growing the board gaming hobby. In order to make games accessible to anyone, Calliope Games has decided to create The Titan Series. From the Kickstarter:

The Titan Series is a line of gateway games—casual, family-friendly tabletop gamesbeing created by some of the best game designers (“Titans”) in the world. Each a legend within the gaming industry, these Titans are responsible for such wildly popular games as Magic: The Gathering, King of Tokyo, Shadowrun, MechWarrior, HeroClix, Quarriors!, Risk Legacy, and many more.

titans

Their plan is to release nine (or more) gateway games over the next 3 years. If you back the entire project, it will average around $16 per game – significantly less than the $30 retail price that they’re aiming for. Calliope is also relying on the backers to help with the game creating – honing the rules, choosing art, and voting on names.

Currently, the first three games (coming out in year 1) are:

  1. A worker placement game by Zach (Golem Arcana, Got ‘Em!) & Jordan Weisman (BattleTech, HeroClix, Shadowrun) with bidding, bluffing, and deduction
  2. A risk management game by Paul Peterson (Guillotine, Smash Up) where you move and manage your dice along pathways
  3. A party game by Richard Garfield (Magic: The Gathering, Netrunner, King of Tokyo) where you get points for responding the same way as other people

Calliope plans for year 2 to have games by Eric Lang (XCom: The Board Game, Quarriors!), Seth Johnson (HeroClik, Golem Arcana), and Mike Selinker (Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Axis & Allies, Betrayal at House on the Hill). Year 3 will feature Mike Elliot (Dice Masters, Thunderstone), Rob Daviau (Betrayal at House on the Hill, Heroscape, Risk Legacy), and Mike Mulvihill (BattleTech, Shadowrun). Additional games will be unlocked in the stretch goals.

If you’re interested in the Titan Series, check out the Kickstarter here.

 

how to serve man

In Gateway Games’ new Kickstarter project, How to Serve Man, aliens come from the stars…but not to conquer us or even push us to the next stage in evolution. Instead they come because, face it, we’re delicious. The title refers to the famous Twilight Zone episode in which a carelessly left alien book is studied by human researchers, only to find the same wordplay for the English “to serve” exists in the alien language as well.

The theme takes a pretty humorous turn after the people-harvesting…turning the experience into a competitive game show right out of Iron Chef.

From the kickstarter page:

The fires are lit, the silverware is polished, and the humans have been harvested…it’s time for everyone’s favorite Cosmic Cooking Show, HOW TO SERVE MAN!

Step into the shoes of an intergalactic Chef competing against other Chefs in a knock down, no-holds-barred Cooking competition! The featured ingredient for this contest… Human Beings!

Impress the Celebrity Judges with your culinary prowess while making sure your ingredients don’t run away. Do you have what it takes to beat out your friends to become the champion of Space Kitchen Arena?

In this light worker placement game, you will gather resources, cook them up, and combine them to create Dishes to present to the Celebrity Judge panel. Impress the judges and you will earn bonus points for future Dishes, and those judges will help shape your overall cooking strategy.

The Chef that earns the most points, while dealing with the inevitable hazards of outer space, wins!

To Serve Man is Gateway Games’s very first game. The goal is $20,000, with stretch goals to unlock more ingredients, judges, and more. Over $7,000 has been raised, with 29 days left to go. The game requires the typical 2-4 player count, takes about 60 minutes to complete, and is listed for ages 1o and up. Follow the progress of the game at the kickstarter page, or check out the company blog.