The Networks is a set collection game for 1 to 5 players that plays in 60 – 90 minutes by Gil Hova with art by Heiko Günther and Travis Kinchy. Each player is trying to collect the Stars and Ads pneeded to get Shows. Ads produce the most money when placed in the proper time slot and Stars will give their best performance when they have the perfect conditions. As Shows age, they’ll lose viewers (points at end game) so the player will need to manage their line-up, canceling older shows and sending them to re-runs to make room for the newest shows. The player with the most points at the end of five seasons is the winner.
The Networks: Telly Time expansion features nine genres, three of which are new: Chat Shows, Quiz Shows, and Kids Shows. Chat Shows grant a special power upon Development that allows the player to rotate all of the Stars and Ads in one of their time slots to their good sides. The Quiz Shows grant a bonus at the end of each season, letting the player exchange up to 3 viewers for $1M each. Kids Shows have no special power but can get the player a lot of viewers for a low cost and can be stuffed with Ads. The expansion also introduces a new “noughts-and-crosses” way to get genre bonuses. All together, this expansion provides 59 cards and 35 plastic chips in a tuck box. This expansion does require the base game to play and is fully compatible with The Networks: Executives expansion but is only partially compatible with The Networks: On the Air expansion.
To see the preview of The Networks: Telly Time and The Networks: Executives, watch the video from GAMA here. You can see a review of the base game here.
In another time, another future seemingly none too distant from now, governments have been mostly abolished and overcome by Mega Corporations. The fragile balance of control is being broken by four major media conglomerates, but who will own each conglomerate and the companies they’ve overtaken remains to be seen. In New Corp Order, now on Kickstarter, up to four players carefully take stocks in conglomerates and, through clever play and the help of consultants, manipulate the control over smaller companies in the hopes of owning and scoring them. Designed by Miguel Bruque, with art by Heiko Günther, the game is suited for ages 12 and up and plays in 30 to 45 minutes.
“As the top executive of one of the world’s leading MegaCorps, your task is to improve the brand awareness of your company through the wise manipulation of the 4 biggest Media Conglomerates. Infiltrate their structures and use that influence to your advantage, even if that means playing one conglomerate against the other. After all, the prize is big: The World.
New Corp Order features a rules system that is very simple but offers deep tactical play. You can learn and teach the game in 5 minutes, but it will take you time to master all the possibilities it offers!”
There’s a particular elegance to the design which makes New Corp Order unique, and it’s rooted in it’s Ticket to Ride-style card drafting. Players must draft shares in order to do anything, as they allow placement and control of their corresponding color on the board. However, just because you sometimes place or move units of that color doesn’t mean you own them and that depends on cat-and-mouse tactics in order to ensure that the board state, your shares, and captured pieces are aligned in your favor in the end. As of writing this, the game is funded and steadily unlocking stretch goals that add better components to an already thoughtfully-designed game. If you’re interested in learning more about New Corp Order, check out their Kickstarter campaign for multiple video reviews, rules explanations, print-and-play files, community feedback, and updates.
Grail Games have announced a few games they’ll be publishing by prolific designer, Dr. Reiner Knizia.
Yellow & Yangtze
Yellow & Yangtze, the sister game to Tigris & Euphrates, will be released in 2018. The game is set in the Qin Dynasty (part of modern day China) along the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. It sees the rival states of Qin, Chu, Qi, Yan Han, Whei, and Zhao battling for supremacy in 221 BC and is beautifully illustrated by Vincent Dutrait. Yellow & Yangtze supports 2-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 90 mins. The designer has improved and tweaked the game play of Tigris & Euphrates so that while Yellow & Yangtze will have a similar feel it will be its own “beast”.
Game play details according to the publisher:
In Yellow & Yangtze, players build civilizations through tile placement. Players are given five different leaders: a Governor, Soldier, Farmer, Trader, and Artisan. The leaders are used to collect victory points in these same categories. However, your score at the end of the game is the number of points in your weakest category. Conflicts arise when civilizations connect on the board. To succeed, players’ civilizations must survive these conflicts, calm peasant revolts, and grow secure enough to build prestigious pagodas. [source]
Coming in Q1 of 2018 is Criss Cross, a roll-and-write game illustrated by Heiko Günther. This is a custom dice game played over 12 rounds where 2 dice are rolled, and players write the symbols in adjacent squares on their scoring sheet. Groups of symbols in columns and rows score points. While all players share the dice symbols the placement of these will vary across players. Criss Cross supports 1-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 10 mins.
In Stephenson’s Rocket, players take on the role of rail barons in 1830s England. They can invest in railway lines, transport passengers, build up local industries, and compete for the honor of becoming the most prestigious rail baron. Illustrations are by Ian O’Toole.
On September 15, 1830, the age of the railroad began with the opening of the first line between Liverpool and Manchester. The locomotive that ruled those rails was George Stephenson’s Rocket. With a top speed of 45km/h (28mph) Rocket, was the most advanced engine of the day, and its arrival marked the beginning of the modern railway. [source]
Stephenson’s Rocket supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays between 60 and 90 mins.
In King’s Road, players are nobles attempting to gain power and influence in the king’s provinces. As the king travels along the road in his provinces, he will allow the most influential noble in each region to govern in his stead. Over time the most favored noble will win the game.
King’s Road is an area-majority game. Each player has identical decks of eleven cards. On a turn, players simultaneously select the three cards they will play, and in what order. To win, players not only have to influence the king as he traverses the land, but attempt to read the minds of their opponents.
King’s Road re-implements the game Imperium, previously only available within game compendiums. [source]
This game is also illustrated by the great, Vincent Dutrait and supports 2-5 players, aged 10+. Game play length is around 30 mins. King’s Road is currently available at retailers.
Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road
Unlike the prior games in this list, this one is not designed by Dr. Knizia but by Gerhard Hecht with art by Franz Vohwinkel. The core mechanism will be “open deck-building” with players trading spices along the Silk Road from Asia to Europe. The game supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 45 mins.
According to the publisher, the game plays as follows:
In the beginning, each caravan consists of three cards that are spread out vertically so that the top part of each card is visible; each card stands for a caravan member with different abilities.
On his turn, a player performs only one action, choosing one of the cards on top of the three caravans and executing one action shown on that card. Then the card is put at the back of its caravan. To use the same caravan member again, a player must first use all the other cards on top of that caravan row. [source]
Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road will release in Q2 of 2018.
Australian publisher Grail Games is headed to Kickstarter to bring you the 5th game in their ongoing Mike Line collection – a series of small games that pack a big punch – and this time it is an oldie, but a goodie: Reiner Knizia’s Circus Flohcati. This popular filler card game – which plays 3-5 players in about 15 minutes – will be reprinted featuring all new artwork by artist Heiko Gunther as well as a bit of extra polish on the rules to bring the game closer to Knizia’s original vision.
In this game, players must outdo one another by putting on the greatest Flea Circus show in the world. Circus Flohcati uses a combination push your luck set collection and card drafting mechanics in which players attempt to build up the best possible hand of cards – that will allow them to combine sets of three of a single suit and possibly even a game ending gala show (1 set of 1 card from each different suit) – by drafting cards from the center of the table. You can always draw more cards to give yourself more to choose from, but be careful: If you draw a card that matches a suit already on the table, you’ll get nothing at all!
Unfortunately, Grail Games only possesses the rights to distribute the game within specific countries, so the project is exclusively limited to backers from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia & New Zealand.
Check out the full campaign here.
Mirror Box Games brought along their long awaited game Chaosmos. Chaosmos showed up at GenCon 2013, successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2014, and should be delivering soon. It is a hidden information strategy game where cards are held in players hands as well as envelopes that can be accessed by landing on planets. Players will be looking for the Ovoid and trying to retain it till the last turn of the game.
Chaosmos should provide unique game play and is described by the publisher below:
The universe is about to collapse, and your final hope lies in an ancient mysterious artifact, the Ovoid. Whoever controls this “cosmic egg” can shape the birthing of the next universe according to their own agenda. Players are secret agents from a handful of surviving worlds, zipping from planet to planet in special “amnion suits” that allow for interstellar travel, space combat and planetary landings.
Each planet has its own envelope of cards. When you arrive on a planet, you decide which cards you want to take and which to leave behind. Knowledgeis the most powerful resource in the game, and being able to predict the cards your opponents possess at any given time is a powerful advantage as you build up a handful of weapons, tactical gear, vaults and traps, as well as cards that counter your opponents’ cards. The best players will keep their hand fluid, constantly changing tactics while they search from world to world for the Ovoid or find a safe place to stash it.
Balance your hand of cards, spend your turn actions wisely, and cleverly use your special alien powers to stay one step ahead of your opponents. When the Chaos Clock reaches zero, only the player who possesses the Ovoid will become master of the new universe.
Cheapass Games showcased Stuff and Nonsense in which you and your friends tell the tales of your great adventures while actually all you did was hide around London collecting antiques. But watch out, Professor Elemental is trying to catch you to show you are a fraud.
Stuff and Nonsense is an adventure game with no real adventuring. You and your friends are globetrotting explorers. Or so you claim. Actually, you are all liars and cowards, and despite your assertions to the contrary, you’ve never left London.
Lord of the Fries Superdeluxe Edition also by Cheapass Games and currently on Kickstarter made an appearance as well.
You’re a Zombie working in a fast food joint, and you must build combo meals from a hand of random ingredients. That’s the story in Lord of the Fries, one of Cheapass Games’ most beloved games.
If you like Arthurian lore and cooperative games then be on the lookout for Albion’s Legacy by Lynnvander Productions. Albion’s Legacy is a successful Kickstarter project that should be releasing soon. With a central board of Castle Camelot, modular hex tiles to explore, colorful character standees, custom dice, and more Albion’s Legacy is sure to bring out your inner knight.
Albion’s Legacy is a cooperative adventure board game for 1-4 players in the CORE box and up to 6 players in the DELUXE and EXCLUSIVE boxes. The game allows players to participate as one of their favourite Arthurian characters ranging from the legendary wizard Merlin, the famous Lady of the Lake, the brave Sir Lancelot, and the great King Arthur himself. These heroes will champion all that is good in 90 minutes as the players travel across the realm of Albion and face dangerous roaming threats, mythical beasts and deadly encounters.
Collect lore-enriched relics, artifacts, weapons and special awards under a heated deadline while solving some of the most famous historical and mythical chronicles of the Arthurian legend.
Artana has a Kickstarter project running for Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents. Designed by Dirk Knemeyer and wonderfully illustrated by Heiko Günther and Jessica Riola Tesla vs. Edison tries to be historically accurate and includes many of the famous people from the time period it is set in.
Tesla vs. Edison is a light-to-medium weight strategy game for 2-5 players. You are an investor who teams up and creates a company with one of the exciting, visionary inventors leading the nascent electric light and power industry of 1880s and 1890s America.
Your inventor, along with other famous people of the period that you hire as employees in your company, work together to claim electric projects across the United States, advance your company’s technology, engage in propaganda wars with the other companies, and buy and sell stock from your and your competitors companies.
Tesla vs. Edison plays quickly and provides interesting decisions while telling the exciting story of the birth of electricity.
Artana is new publisher and successor to Conquistador Games, Inc. which had some successful Kickstarters itself.
Above and Below is a new 2-4 player storytelling game by Red Raven Games and is now on Kickstarter. Designed and beautifully illustrated by Ryan Laukat who brought us other great games like The Ancient World, City of Iron, and Eight Minute Empire: Legends.
Description from the publisher:
Above and Below is a mashup of town-building and storytelling where you and up to three friends compete to build the best village above and below ground. In the game, you send your villagers to perform jobs like exploring the cave, harvesting resources, and constructing houses. Each villager has unique skills and abilities, and you must decide how to best use them. You have your own personal village board, and you slide the villagers on this board to various areas to indicate that they’ve been given jobs to do. Will you send Hanna along on the expedition to the cave? Or should she instead spend her time teaching important skills to one of the young villagers?