“Your hands are dirty, the back is aching and the clothes are sweaty, but your work for today is finished! The new mill looms proudly in front of you and the soft groaning and fluttering of the blades sounds like a choir of angels in your ears. Soon the golden wheat of your fields will be ground to valuable flour which will earn you a fortune. “
In Expedition to Newdale, 1-4 players each take control of a
starting coal mine, a player board, and have a hand of 5 cards. Each turn starts by revealing an event, which
not only alters the play for the round, but also dictates how many workers
minimum a player has for the round. Workers come in 4 colors, making planning
for actions tricky. Players then place action tiles on action spaces, both on
the main board and on their personal board. These tokens are numbered from 1-4,
and set the order of actions their workers will execute. After planning the
turn, more workers are drawn from the bag, which could make previously
impossible actions completely doable, adding a push your luck element to the
game. Finally, players execute their planned action tokens in order from 1 to 4,
spending workers if they have them. However, if not enough workers became
available during the random draw, some actions may go uncompleted.
Players will need to plan ahead, push their luck, and set up for a plan B to be successful in Expedition to Newdale. The game itself comes with 3 double sided boards, 4 player boards, one communal action board, over 220 cards, and tons of tokens. Look for Expedition to Newdale to debut at Essen Spiel in October, with full release to follow at the end of the year. For more details, check out Lookout Spiele’s webpage here.
Tybor the Builder, set in the Kingdom of Longsdale like in Oh My Goods, is a card game where you are using cards for multiple purposes. In the game you will have a hand of 5 cards that you can play as a worker, discard as a builder, or play as a citizen. If you play it as a worker then the value of the card is all that matters and will stay in front of you in your tableau until they are used. If you discard the card as a builder you will build one of the buildings in the public display, discarding enough workers to equal the strength needed to build the building. This is important because it is the buildings that will give you points in order to win the game. Finally if you play the card as a citizen you will benefit from the special power that the card has. After a set number of rounds and playing and drawing the game will end and whoever has the most points is the winner. Also included in the game are chapter goals which represent different parts of Tybor’s life that can be included to give more variety to the game through additional scoring chances.
Tybor the Builder – On Behalf of the King adds in three new modules to the game, adding more variety and replayability. In the King Class module you will find orders, similar to the chapter goals of the base game, that can be fulfilled in order to earn more points. In The Councilmen module you have a new type of citizen that can settle in your town, and he will score you a point for each set of different colored perks that you have at the end of the game. And finally there is The Mystery module, this adds in mystery stones that at the end of the game count as a wild symbol for scoring. Add all three or just a couple into the game to help change things up and refresh the game. Look for the game to be released in October of this year on Lookout Games’ website, but if you happen to be going to Essen you will be able to snag a copy there as well. Check out the Lookout Games site (German language) for more information.
Lookout Games announces NEOM, a city building game designed by Paul Sottosanti. In NEOM, players are city planners who build the city in stages, one generation at a time. Players must plan with an eye for the future when they plan their city. NEOM is a tile drafting, tile placement, and simultaneous play game. Players will begin their planning with a starting city tile and an empty tableau to build their future city. Each city will also begin with three anchor buildings that provide many benefits to the city. Each generation, players will draft tiles to place in their city, providing power, resources, services, industries, and other features every growing city needs. Once all the tiles are drafted, player plan and place their drafted city features. Once placed, the tile can not be moved, so the road system and feature location must be carefully considered. Each generation, more powerful buildings and feature are available IF players have provided their city the means to build and use them. Misfortune also awaits in the tiles, especially for those cities whose city planners did not provide sufficient emergency services. After three generations, city planning is complete and the cities are scored. The player with the highest score is the winner.
NEOM plays 1-5 players, ages 10+ in about 45 minutes. Contents include 6 city boards, 150 tiles, 85 good tokens, 65 coin tokens, 1 scoring pad, and a rulebook. The European release of NEOM is expected in October of 2018 and in North America shortly afterwards.
The domain of the mountain may have once belonged to the Dwarves in Caverna, but no longer. New races are moving into the caverns with Caverna: The Forgotten Folk. This expansion from Lookout Games introduces eight new races to the game: Trolls, Mountain Dwarves, Humans, Elves, Dark Elves, Goblins, Pale Ones, and Silicoids (a creature that eats rocks). Each of these races have their own special abilities and sometimes special rules that require changes in strategy. For example, the Pale Ones are humans that have lived so long in the caves that they can grow all their food in the caves. Mountain Dwarves can build their caves over the edge of the player tableau. Elf do not need pastures or fields and can keep animals and crops in the forest, but they have to pay workers rubies to work in the caves. Luckily, they can grow jewels like fruit. Keep an eye out for the Halflings which are only available in a promo. Each of the new races also comes with four unique furnishings but any race can use. Caverna: The Forgotten Folk will be available in Germany at the end of October and before Christmas in North America.
Life in the fishing village of Nusfjord, in Norway, is about to become a bit more interesting. Lookout Gameshave announced the upcoming release of Nusfjord: Plaice Deck which aims to provide more variety to the base game. Nusfjord was designed by Uwe Rosenberg (known for Agricola, Bohnanza, and A Feast for Odin) with art by Patrick Soeder. The game is set 50 years ago in the village of Nusfjord where players are trying to develop the harbor and surrounding landscape, grow their fleet of ships, and satisfy the local elders while keeping their competition at bay. Nusfjord supports 1-5 players, aged 12+, lasts between 20 and 100 minutes, and the Nusfjord: Plaice Deck expansion requires the base set to play.
The expansion simply adds another 45 cards which is used as a 4th deck (the base game has 3), as well as two more additions. There’s the architect, the first woman on the Council of Elders, who is put under the oldest pile at the start of the game. If you win the pile then she joins your business and provides a random building to be put into play and then allows you to do construction straight after that. The expansion also comes with 25 metal coins, in a gold appearance, and which matches the Nusfjord imprinting.
Nusfjord: Plaice Deck is expected to release in October of 2018.
“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.
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.
“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.
Uwe Rosenberg and Mayfair Games have announced Caverna: Cave vs. Cave, the long anticipated 2 player version of Caverna: The Cave Farmers. Along the lines of Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small and Le Havre: The Inland Port, Cave vs. Cave takes the core mechanisms of the original, and trims them down into a streamlined, 20-40 minute, 2 player experience. Players use worker placement to mine for precious materials, explore deeper into their cave, and build a cozy home using grain, flax and building materials. Cave vs. Cave comes with 24 room tiles, 12 action tiles, 12 goods indicators, 7 walls, boards and tokens for 2. Cave vs. Cave is due to be released June, 2017.
One of Uwe Rosenburg’s classic games is finally coming back into print courtesy of Lookout Games and Mayfair, and that game is Le Havre. The game itself plays very simply in that on your turn you have two actions you can take, grab a stack of goods being offered, or activate one of the many buildings on the board. The buildings will allow you to sell goods, upgrade goods, and even use the money you gained to build new buildings or ships. After seven turns the round is over, your cattle and grain will increase based on how much you have, and then you have to feed your people. After a set number of rounds the game is over and you get one final action to maximize your money, and whoever has the most is the winner.
This game is highly rated on BGG and has also been long out of print, with copies on the second hand market getting as high as $160. Luckily with this reprint the price to acquire this game will come down to something more reasonable, so look for it on store shelves in the new year.