Germany

Spielworxx has launched a Kickstarter for a Die Macher, a landmark heavy euro-game about the German electoral system and designed by Karl-Heinz Schmiel.  Originally published in 1986, Die Macher has been republished several times, updating the rules, political parties, player supportability, and variants for faster play. The last version published was in 2006, and the popular game for die hard Euro enthusiasts has been hard to find.

The Kickstarter campaign offers fans of the game a limited opportunity to add the game to their collection. Die Macher: Limited Edition will be available for direct sales after the Kickstarter campaign, but it is unlikely to go into distribution for sale by retailers.

Die Macher: Limited Edition includes additional rules improvements designed by the original designer, Karl-Heinz Schmiel and developed by the Spielworxx team.  Like the later editions, the Limited Edition supports 3-5 players, but only advances through four German federal state elections in the standard game.  For players who want to dive even deeper into the election campaigns, there is an expanded game which covers seven elections, as in the original edition of the game, that is included as well.  This edition also features all new art by long-time game artist Harald Lieske (The Castles of Burgundy, Puerto Rico, Power Grid, Dominion, and many more).

Die Macher: Limited Edition plays 3-5, ages 14+, in about 3 hours.  Contents include 4 Federal State Boards, 1 Media/Party Base board, 1 Popular Opinion Board, 42 Popular Opinion Cards, 1 Party Program Board, 56 Party Program Cards, 1 Poll Board, 10 Poll Cards, 16 Federal State Cards, 40 Shadow Cabinet Politician Cards, 15 Donation Cards, 1 Marker Board, 5 Party Markers, 4 Double Markers, 2 Ballot Box Markers, 150 Playing Money Bills, 10 Players Aids (5 English/5 German), 1 double-sided scoring pad, 100 Party Rally Cubes, 25 Media Markers, and 45 Tracking Markers.

To learn more about Die Macher: Limited Edition, go to the Kickstarter campaign, which runs through July 11.  Delivery of the game is expected in November 2019, though a limited number of the copies may be available at Essen and BGG Con if they are ready in time.

R&R Games is releasing a new strategy game in October called Ulm that features a unique action selection mechanic.  In the game the town of Ulm is prospering, even as the construction of the cathedral is not yet finished, and people are looking to make their mark.  You will do this during the game through card play, moving your barge farther down the Danube River, and gaining influence in the different areas of the city.  When you can do these different actions is based on the action tile grid, which is a 3×3 grid of randomly seeded tiles with the different actions on them.  On your turn you will take a tile and push one of the rows, and then the three tiles left in that row are the three actions you get to take.  There are special rules for which rows you can or can’t push, but that is the crux of the action selection, knowing which way to push the tiles to get the actions you need.  At the end, when the cathedral construction is complete, the player with the most points is the winner.  Look for this game on store shelves and October, and then maybe you will be able to play a game about where you live.

BAD NAUHEIM

This weekend in the Bad Nauheim area of Germany, Pegasus Spiele is co-organizing an event called BAD NAUHEIM SPIELT! where people will have the ability play all sorts of games at the Sprudelhof, the largest center of Art Nouveau in Germany .  Admission will be free and if the weather is nice a lot of the gaming will be happening outside, and with a library of over 500 games being brought in from Pegasus Spiele, there won’t be a shortage of games to play.  Also of interest will be some national tournaments being put on for the games Istanbul, Village, and Mage Wars, as well as a qualifying tournament for Krosmaster Arena.  So if you have time and are in the area, I recommend stopping by.

The 26th century: humanity has discovered a new planetary system.  The first settlers have arrived.  Workers and mining companies are building factories and extracting resources.  In this era of development there is an urgent need for transportation and trading.  It is up to you to plan routes for the transportation of food, people, resources and goods.  Building up a supply network is difficult because of the ongoing changes in the planetary configuration.  Find ways to plan your network in the best and most efficient way.  Only with the best strategy will you be able to compete with the others and establish a successful supply network in the new world.

Thomas Neu of Neobite Games is currently running a Kickstarter project for his new competitive card game, Space Pioneers, a game with a unique combination of planning, interacting and solving missions and secret tasks.  The goal of the game is to establish supply flights within the newly discovered planetary system by planning the best routes.

Space Pioneers is for 1-5 players ages 8 and up and plays in 20 minutes.

For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

terraforming mars

Stronghold Games has announced that they will be bringing a new game from Swedish game company FryxGames entitled Terraforming Mars.  Designed by Jacob Fryxelius, Terraforming Mars is an economic, territory-building game in which players compete over a period of generations (rounds) to earn the most victory points upon achieving the terraforming of the planet Mars.  Stronghold will be hold the worldwide rights to the game in the English language, and worked closely with FryxGames starting in early 2015 for the final development and fine-tuning of the game.

The official press release is as follows:

Terraforming Mars takes place in the 2400s when the conditions on Earth compel humanity to make Mars a habitable planet. Corporations are competing to transform Mars by spending vast resources and using innovative technology to raise the temperature, create a breathable atmosphere, and make oceans of water. As the transformation of the planet progresses, more and more people immigrate from Earth and opportunities for science and progress increase.

The players in Terraforming Mars each control a corporation with a specific profile and starting conditions. These corporations compete to contribute to the planet’s transformation, to advance human infrastructure throughout the solar systems, and to reach significant milestones and awards. The transformation takes time, however, and each round of the game represents a generation. The corporation that has accomplished the most when the planet becomes habitable wins the game.

terraforming mars board

While the board for Terraforming Mars is a compelling map of the planet, the most notable feature of the gameplay is the 200 unique project cards. The projects represent early terraforming achievements, such as introducing plant or animal life, to monumental ones, such as hurling asteroids at the surface, mining the moons of Jupiter, building cities, or establishing greenhouse gas industries to heat up the atmosphere. Balancing income, projects, resources, and timing is critical to your success.

The development of Terraforming Mars has been a family affair for FryxGames based out of the southern tip of Sweden near Malmö, across from Copenhagen, Denmark. The company consists of four brothers out of a family of ten brothers, six sisters, and two game-passionate parents. Even though only four brothers are formally in the company, most of the family is involved in the games they produce—from game designing and testing, to illustrating and translating, or general input and support.

The release of Terraforming Mars continues the commitment of Stronghold Games to partner with publishers globally, bringing their great games to North America and the rest of the world, as well as to continue to publish great euro-game designs. This title brings together two of Stronghold’s strongest commitments, engaging space games and satisfying euros for serious gamers.

Terraforming Mars will be printed at Ludofact Germany, the leading printer of hobby games in the world. The tentative worldwide release date is the third quarter in 2016, and Stronghold Games anticipates copies to be available for Gen Con. MSRP for the title was not available at press time. In addition to Stronghold Games, FryxGames has licensed the game in Polish to REBEL.pl, as well as in German with a partner that will be announced very soon. No partner on planet Mars has been found yet, but Stronghold Games remains confident that it will serve all English-speaking Martians very well.

For more information about this release, visit the Stronghold Games website or the game’s pages on BoardGameGeek.com.

Stronghold eggert

Stronghold Games and eggertspiele have just announced a strategic partnership whereby Stronghold Games will co-publish all future eggertspiele tiles in English for the North American market, effective immediately.

This is not the first time that these two companies have collaborated on a project; the most recent evidence of this is in Stronghold’s recently released Porta Nigra, as well as Time ‘N’ Space (2013), and Milestones (2012).  Stronghold Games is currently in the process of releasing the award-winning Village line of games, also from eggertspiele.  These games will be released between April and June of 2016.

“We are very excited by this Strategic Partnership with the world-renowned company, eggertspiele,” said Stephen Buonocore, President of Stronghold Games. “This strengthens our commitment to bringing great games from Europe to North America and the rest of the world.”

“Joining with Stronghold Games as our exclusive North American partner for English was an obvious extension of the existing relationship between the companies,” said Peter Eggert, President of eggertspiele. “Stronghold Games has been a great partner in the past, and their growth over the past several years will strengthen both brands around the world.”

Through this new partnership, Stronghold Games and eggertspiele will begin with three new titles: Animals On Board, JÓRVÍK, and Great Western Trail.

Below are the official press release descriptions of these three upcoming games for 2016:

animals

  • Animals On Board:
    You have an ark, and you want to take as many animals on board as you can. Unfortunately, a guy named Noah claims all animal pairs for himself. However, you can gather a herd of three, four or five animals of a species, which is even more valuable! But forming a herd usually requires you to get a pair first… When the arks depart, will you have the most valuable Animals On Board? Animals On Board is an easy to learn, fast game with lots of tricky decisions. Street date: April 2016.

    jorvik

  • JÓRVÍK – designed by Stefan Feld:
    You are a Viking Jarl gaining prestige by trading goods, holding big feasts, funding pillages, commissioning craftsmen, and hiring soldiers to defend the city against recurring invasions. JÓRVÍK is a reimagining of Die Speicherstadt (2010), where players utilize a simple yet brilliant worker placement and bidding mechanism to build up their trading empires. JÓRVÍK will include two versions: A streamlined base game and an advanced game, which adds into the game the rare expansion formerly called Kaispeicher. Street date: Q4’2016

    great western

  • Great Western Trail:
    You are rival cattlemen in 19th century America, herding cattle in a circular trail from the south of Texas to Houston, where your cattle are then shipped by train earning you money and victory points. Hire capable staff, such as cowboys to improve your herd, craftsmen to build your cattle posts, or engineers for the railroad line. Upon each arrival in Houston, have your most valuable cattle in tow. The winner will be the player who manages his herd best, and exhibits good timing in mastering the opportunities and pitfalls of the circular trail. Street date: Q4’2016

More information on these two companies and the announced partnership can be found on the Stronghold Games and eggertspiele websites.

spielt

At the Essen Spiel 2015 this past fall, many attendees, especially those from abroad, expressed some frustration at not having enough designated gaming areas, tables, or any open area in which to game.  Many resorted to playing in their hotel rooms on their beds, hoping not to lose too many pieces from the games.

Dice & Mystics, a prominent German board game guild, has discussed this issue amongst its members and has decided to come to the aid of Essen Spiel-goers this coming fall of 2016.  The guild is offering their gaming space in Bochum, 15 to 20 minutes away from the Spiel, to anyone who needs space to try out their newly-acquired gaming treasures.  The facility is well-lit, and provides table and an atmosphere conducive to comfortable gaming.  Food and soft drinks may be consumed on the premises as well.

The guild requests that anyone interested in using the facility to please contact them to make an appointment in advance, as space is limited.  The gaming hall will be open from 4:00 PM to midnight, and use of the facility will be free-of-charge.

Registration for use of the facility is open until August 10, 2016.  To contact the guild for more information or to register for facility use, visit their guild page here.

Who Dice & Mystics are

Dice & Mystics are a constantly growing board game guild on BoardGameGeek and are listed on NRW Spielt, a German platform which provides information on gaming events in North Rhine Westphalia. We are not a club but an informal group of board game and RPG lovers without membership fees, officials or obligations and no rules except those of common courtesy and open-mindedness. Our aims are good games, good company, and lots of fun. We hold game sessions on a regular basis. Our core group meet in Bochum, NRW, Germany. All ages are welcome. We speak German and English.

All the games we play are privately owned. We operate exclusively by our Game Host System (nicknamed the GHoSt) which means you can bring your own game and play. You are expected to allow anybody to join you and you are very welcome to join in at any other game, provided there is still room for one more player. If you do not have a game to bring along, you can simply come and watch and maybe join in anyway. Our Dice & Mystics group will always be present.

We have spacious well-lit rooms with large tables, generously made available to us free of charge. You can bring your own food and (soft) drinks and borrow cutlery etc. from the kitchen (provided you also wash up). There are a small pizza parlour and a kiosk for drinks, sweets etc. practically next door and delivery services nearby.

florian racky

The Hamburg Game Designers Award is a prestigious award provided by the Spielwerk Hamburg game designers build in northern Germany.  This year, more than 50 entries were submitted to this game design competition from designers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  The award was given to Florian Racky, a 44-year-old German designer for his minimalist card game Prince and Princess.

According to the official press release, “„Prince & Princess“ is a micro game for 4-10 players, consisting only of 18 cards. Players secretly take the role of courtly characters who strive to acchieve their own personal goal before the prince and the princess have their royal wedding. It is a game of hidden roles, bluffing and backstabbery that plays in 15 minutes.”  Prince and Princess is being closely examined for publication in the near future.

“The Spielwerk Hamburg is amazed by the creativity of all participating designers,” reports Shaun Graham, founder of the Hamburg Game Designers Guild and creator of the Hamburg Game Designers Award.  “It is a delight to see this vibrant community of designers growing. Therefore, we are eager to announce the next Game Designers Contest at the beginning of February.”

For more information about this award and Spielwerk Hamburg, visit their web site here.

mega civili

Civilization games have a long and storied history in tabletop boardgaming and continue to be a popular genre.  Be it ancient earth-bound cultures to space-faring aliens, players can’t seem to get enough of building their legacy from the ground up.  Luckily, Pegasus Speile is bringing us the biggest civilization game ever made, suitably titled, Mega Civilization!  The press release says this about the game:

Mega Civilization has already made the headlines at SPIEL’15. It contains up to 12 hours of strategy with 5 to 18 players, more than 2.000 tokens and 1.500 cards and one game board which is 2 meters long – mega on the outside, mega on the inside.

The wooden box weighs 10 kilograms […] and contains not only a lot of gaming materials but also a well elaborated and balanced board game. The authors John Rodriguez and Flo de Haan spent over 15 years perfecting the rules.

Mega Civilization is available exclusively through Pegasus Spiele Premium Stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.  All other buyers can find it at the Pegasus Spiele online store.

ladybugs box

Selecta has released some fantastic children’s games over the years, including Viva Topo! (a favorite in my house!).  Now, thirteen great children’s games previously released by Selecta are now being published by Pegasus Spiele, featuring a whole new box design illustrated by Anne Pätzke.

ladybugs comp

This new design features new, loving illustrations that will greatly appeal to children.  Additionally, a colored dots-scheme for the background of the game boxes will reflect the age-level of the game: green (from 3 years old on), blue (from 4 years old on), yellow (from 5 years old on) or red (from 6 years old on).  The games will still feature the same excellent wooden figures from Selecta.

Pegasus Spiele has announced the first four games of this new series release:

  • Viva Topo! 
  • The Ladybug’s Costume Party
  • the nominated Zoowaboo
  • Bouncing Bunnies

These new games from Pegasus Spiele will be presented at the Internationale Spieltage SPIEL in Essen from October 8 through October 11, 2015 at booth GA-31.

For more information on the new design and release of these children’s games, visit the announcement on Pegasus Spiele’s news page.