Klemens Franz

WizKids has announced a new worker placement game called Age of Dirt: A Game of Uncivilization. In Age of Dirt you are the leader of a prehistoric tribe trying to keep your group together and hopefully grow it to be the best in the valley.

Each turn you will take one of three possible actions. One, you can send out members of your tribe (workers) to collect resources or produce more tribe members. This is done by placing the workers in a box associated with a particular area (forest, mountains, plains, love tent). Two, you can recall all the workers in a given area by taking the contents of the associated box and putting them into the “The Passage.” The Passage is similar to a cube tower, in that, some of the workers (and possibly a predator animal) can get caught on shelves inside the tower. The workers that fall out of the tower will provide resources to their respective leaders. Players will have the option of also tapping one of the shelves of the tower to possibly dislodge more workers, but with the added risk of providing more resources to other players or possibly discovering the predator, which will kill workers. The third action is to utilize the resources you’ve collected to build inventions (ongoing benefits), increase the size of your cave (more workers), or repair your tools.

Age of Dirt appears to be a light-hearted take on a worker placement game. And hey, who doesn’t like a cube tower? Age of Dirt is for 2-5 players and is expected to be released in the October time frame.

Click here to read the full WizKids announcement.

Your bear park is expanding … because the grizzlies are coming! That’s right, some of the biggest bears on earth will be making their new home in your park. Their habitats are going to be huge though, so do your best to ft them in any way you can! And with a bigger park, you’ll also need to give your guests a way to get around: that’s where your brand new monorail system comes in. [source]

If you’ve ever felt that your Bear Park needed more bears, and a better way of getting around the park to see them, then the Bärenpark: The Bad News Bears expansion is for you. Designer, Phil Walker-Harding, has added two new modules which can be added to the base game independently, or in combination with each other. Bärenpark is a tile-laying game, where players build their Bear Park in their open park areas by adding attractions and facilities to their parks while trying to accumulate the most points in doing so.

The first module adds a new challenge in the form of Grizzly bears, who need more space than the bears from the base game and make the puzzle of laying tiles more difficult. A new park area is also added, to bring the total available building space to five park areas. The second module adds a monorail that can be added to the park which enables customers to experience the natural behavior of the bears without disturbing them. Monorails add a 3rd dimension to the game board as they’re built by placing towers, in a “zig-zag” pattern, across green areas. Finally, new achievements are also added to create new challenges for expert players.

Expect Bärenpark: The Bad News Bears to feature art by Klemens Franz with its release in August of 2019. For more information, read the original announcement at the Lookout Spiele website where you can also get an advanced look at the rule book.

Capstone Games has announced it is partnering with Frosted Games to publish Watergate, a 2-player game from designer Matthias Cramer (Lancaster, Glen More). Featuring artwork from Klemens Franz, Watergate is a historically themed card-driven game whereby one player is a journalist trying to connect informants to the President, while the other player is the Nixon administration trying to cover up evidence and make it to the end of the presidential term. Each player will have a unique set of cards for game play.

Capstone’s announcement indicated that the game will include historical notes and context for all of the game’s cards. The game is listed for ages 12 and up, and plays in 30-60 minutes. Watergate will be available starting at Gen Con.

Lookout Games have announced the publication of the second expansion to the 2016 Kennerspiel des Jahres Winner, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King. Isle of Skye: Druids is designed by the game’s original designers, Andreas Pelikan, and Alexander Pfister, with art by Klemens Franz. In Isle of Skye, players are chieftains of famous clans who are trying to build the greatest kingdom, in the form of laying tiles, scoring as many points as possible.

“One cannot win the struggle for dominance over the island without powerful allies. As every wise king knows, power is not measured in strength and gold alone. Having the support of the spiritual leaders of the country can be the decisive factor. Win the druids over to your cause, and harness the power of their mystical sacred sites for your benefit!” [source]

Unlike Isle of Skye: Journeyman, Isle of Skye: Druids doesn’t add any new mechanisms but instead splits the buying phase into two buying sessions. In the first phase, players can buy tiles from other players (as per normal), but in the second phase they’ll be able to buy from the dolmen board. These are normal, landscape tiles but they may have a tablet or scroll on them. Tablets grant special effects until the end of the game while scrolls follow the usual rules of the game. New scoring tiles have also been added.

The expansion retains the same player count, 2-5, as the base game and plays in roughly 60-75 mins. According to the Lookout Games website, Isle of Skye: Druids is expected to release either August or September 2018.

Lookout Games have announced an expansion to Caverna: Cave vs Cave called Caverna: Cave vs Cave – Era II: The Iron Age. Cave vs Cave is a shorter, 1-2 player version of Caverna: The Cave Farmers (which is not compatible with this expansion), where each player has dwarves excavating the side of a mountain to create living space and dig for precious metals. It’s designed by Uwe Rosenberg with art by Klemens Franz and plays in 30-60 mins.

In this expansion 4 new rounds are added where iron is added as a new raw material. Iron ore must be mined with donkeys before it can be processed into iron bars, and then, into weapons. There are also 21 new facilities, an extended cave plan to allow for the new buildings, and thus 8 new building sites, and the addition of a score block. The 4 new rounds follow the 8 rounds of the basic game (known as the first epoch) but for those who want to get straight into the expansion, a Quick Start variant has also been added which starts in the Iron Age (the second epoch) and provides for a shorter version of the game.

Fear not Uwe Rosenberg fans! This does not mean that your opponent will raise up a dwarven army and send them hurtling into your cave in a bloodthirsty attack. The designer has promised that no direct confrontation will be allowed in this expansion.

According to the Lookout Games website, Caverna: Cave vs Cave – Era II: The Iron Age is expected to release October 2018.

Lookout Games have announced a new tile-laying game called Gingerbread House, by Phil Walker-Harding (designer of Barenpark, Gizmos, and Sushi Go Party) with art by Klemens Franz (known for Agricola, Le Havre, and Clans of Caledonia). Players take the role of witches who are building gingerbread houses and are having trouble with those pesky, fairy tale creatures eating bits of it.

“Once upon a time a witch lived alone in her house in the depths of the forest. Her favorite hobby was baking yummy gingerbread; in fact, she loved gingerbread so much that she built her entire house out of it. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one who loved it! Rude fairy tale characters passing by were eating away her walls, windows, and doors! One day, the witch decided that she’d had enough of them all helping themselves and, paying attention to which types of gingerbread these greedy intruders liked the most, she came up with an idea on how to get rid of them once and for all…” [source]

Now its time for the witches to lure those creatures, capture them, then … get their opinion on which witch’s house is the best. The witches know that different fairy tale creatures like different types of gingerbread so they’re trying to get a diverse range of them lured into their houses as well as accomplishing other goals.

At the beginning of the game all players start with 15 domino-like, double tiles with two gingerbread symbols on each, as well as a house plan. Each player takes a turn placing a tile on their 3×3 house grid where placing the tile over a symbol provides gingerbread and special actions. There will also be “Joker” tiles and staircases which only occupy a single spot on the grid. Tiles may also be placed over existing tiles to form a 3D structure. Having the tallest structure, completing orders by discarding sets of gingerbread, and achieving other special conditions all grant Victory Points, which are required to win the game.

Gingerbread House is designed for 2-4 players, aged 10+, and plays in 30-45 mins. According to the announcement on the Lookout Games website its expected to release in September 2018.

Newton, from CMON, is set in 18th Century Europe where players take on the role of students. The game, designed by Simone Luciani and  Nestore Mangone, supports 1-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in about 90 minutes. Art is by the renown Klemens Franz.

“The 18th Century is a time of unparalleled advancement in science and technology. The world is being settled. Great thinkers and philosophers are penning their seminal works. New inventions are being created daily. Many eager young students long to be the next Newton, or Copernicus, or Galilei. But who will add their name to the list of greats and be remembered throughout time?” [source]

Cards are played from hand over 6 rounds in order to perform actions where players attend Universities across Europe, visit cities, work to earn money, research using dusty tomes, and train their own students. Their goal is to become the greatest mind of that time by having the most Victory Points.

Newton is set to release on November 30th, 2018.

Related: Dice Tower Interviews designer Simone Luciani

In 2017, Renegade Game Studios and dlp games released Altiplano, a bag-building game from designer Reiner Stockhausen.  Renegade has announced that Altiplano will be getting an expansion, Altiplano: The Traveller.

When you are visiting alpacas in the South American highlands The Traveler will provide more resources, locations and a public trading point for assets.  The expansion is designed by Reiner Stockhausen, along with Louis and Stefan Malz, and features more artwork from Klemens Franz.  The estimated release date for Altiplano: The Traveler in North America is October.

You can read Renegade’s full announcement here.  The game page for the expansion on the publisher’s website can be found here.  The original base game of Altiplano received a Seal of Excellence from the Dice Tower, and Tom Vasel’s review can be seen here.

Altiplano, the highly anticipated follow-up bag building game from publisher DLP GamesOrléans designer Reiner Stockhausen, and artist Klemens Franz, has a new publisher for North America. Renegade Games will be bringing this Essen 2017 sell-out to North America in Q1 2018. Altiplano uses the popular bag building system made popular by Orléans, coupled with management of scarce resources in the high plateaus of South America.

For more information on Altiplano, check out Renegade Games’ webpage here.

First on the list of upcoming games is the latest is the ever growing genre of Roll and Write games, and that is Harvest Dice from Grey Fox Games.  Play is simple for this one, roll all of the veggie dice and pick which vegetables you want in your garden or fed to your pet pig.  At the end you will score veggies based on what the market wants as well as points for a well fed pig, most points is the winner.  These quick and easy games thrive on fast play times and easy replayability, and you should be able to find this one on store shelves in November of this year.

Second is a new one from Stronghold games called Noria, a first design from Sophia Wagner, winner of the Spiel des Jahres fellowship in 2015.  We don’t know much about the game yet except for that it looks to be a euro-style game with an innovative “wheel building” mechanic.  Similar to how the rondel is built and changed in Crusaders, this multi-layered wheel will have different actions and abilities in three rings so that you actions can be highly customized to your strategy.  You will be using these actions to discover islands, build out your empire, and bribe politicians with hidden knowledge you find.  Another aspect worth mentioning is the excellent art by Michael Menzel and Klemens Franz, elevating the possibility that this game could be something special.  Look for it to hit stores in January of next year to find out.