Klemens Franz

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.

DLP Games has announced the new bag builder game Altiplano, from Orleans designer Reiner Stockhausen and artist Klemens Franz. Altiplano promises to be a complex strategic game taking place in the Altiplano plains of South America. 2-5 players work to collect and organize goods, some of which are not immediately available or usable to each player, since players start with unique resources and roles. Not only are the resources tight in Altiplano, but storage and delivery of goods can be extremely important and highly competitive.

You can read more about Altiplano on the DLP website, however if you are not fluent in German, get ready to let google translate for you. The game is expected to release in Europe at Essen Spiel, in October 2017.

MFG3509-c

Looking Games is bringing you a new gateway game for 2-5 players. In Isle of Sky: From Chieftan to King, the players are chieftains of 5 famous clans in Isle of Skye, one of the most beautiful places in the world. The players are trying to build their kingdoms and score as many points as possible.

In each turn, each player places two tiles in front of him and specifies a price for other players. The other players can choose whether or not to buy the tiles – if no one buys it, then the seller must pay the price and lose money. Players must use all their wagering and speculation skills to come out on top.

But in the end, it’s not the richest player who wins, but the player with the best kingdom, scored by the scoring cards. The game comes with 16 scoring cards, but only 4 are used in each game, so each game is different.

Isle of Sky plays in around 45 minutes, and it’s a gateway game for the whole family. The game is illustrated by Klemens Franz. The game will contain:

  • 1 game board
  • 16 Scoring cards
  • 72 landscape tiles
  • 1 cloth bag
  • 5 score markers (wood)
  • 5 bag markers
  • 5 player screens
  • 1 round marker (wood)
  • 1 start player marker
  • 80 coins

If you’re looking for a new gateway game with tile-laying, betting, and commodity speculation, then keep an eye out for Isle of Skye, coming out this summer!

orleans

Tasty Minstrel Games is back on Kickstarter, this time raising funds for Essen 2014 hit Orléans. Set in medieval France, Orléans is a worker placement and resource management game with a twist. Dubbed “bag building”, players take actions to seed personal draw bags with additional worker tokens. Every round, players draw a number of workers from their bags and take actions based on what they’ve drawn.

“During the medieval goings-on around Orléans, you must assemble a following of farmers, merchants, knights, monks, etc. to gain supremacy through trade, construction and science in medieval France.”

orleans 2

Orléans comes in two flavors: a basic edition with standard cardboard components, and a one-time Kickstarter exclusive deluxe version with metal coins and stickered wooden discs.

If you’re interested in backing Orléans, head over to the Kickstarter page for all the details. For more information and to get our opinion, check out the Dice Tower review of Orléans.