Euro Game fans rejoice, for publisher Eggertspiele, artist Chris Quilliams, and designer extraordinaire Alexander Pfister (Great Western Trail, Mombasa, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King) have announced their new game for Essen Spiel 2018, Blackout: Hong Kong. In Blackout, 1-4 players work to restore order from chaos in a future Hong Kong, where the electrical grid has been massively overstressed to the point of failure. Players start by rolling dice to randomly select which 3 of the 6 resources in the game will be available for the round. Next, players select 3 (or 4 with an upgrade) cards, which are placed facedown on their player board. These cards are revealed, and can place control cubes on the board, gain resources, spend resources, give abilities, or provide objectives. Objective cards are then scored, after which players can scout neighboring territories. Scouting is dangerous work, and gives an alternative way to collect needed resources, but players need to assemble cards from their hand to form a team with the required qualifications for the scouting token. Regardless of the outcome, one of the team will be injured, and will end up in the hospital, taking that card out of action. After scouting, players can use money to purchase new cards from face-up lines next to the board. Finally, in clean up, extra cards are discarded from the side of the board, and excess food and water are sold for money. Players score points for territories they control, and can refresh their hand of cards if they have 4 or less. When refreshing, players take back into hand whichever pile on their board is the largest. At the end of the game, money converts into points, and most total points takes the victory. Blackout can be played traditionally, solo, or as a 5 chapter campaign.
For more details, check out Eggertspiele’s website. Look for Blackout: Hong Kong at Essen Spiel 2018 October 25-28.
Eggertspiele has released a press release unveiling its new logo in the wake of being acquired by Plan B Games. Now inside Plan B Games Europe, Eggertspiele will be branding themselves as a publisher of “medium to heavy complexity European strategy games”. As part of their rebranding, Eggertspiele have updated their fox mascot Jeffrey into a more contemporary, cleaner design. Eggertspiele is the German publishing house behind such modern classics as Mombasa, Camel Up, Village and Great Western Trail.
For more details, you can read the press release on Eggertspiele’s facebook page here.
Each year the International Gamers Awards are given out to the multiplayer and 2 player games that are deemed the best for that year. Some notable previous winners are games like Twilight Struggle, Agricola, and Terra Mystica. All highly rated and well respected games, so the nominees for this year are the cream of the gaming crop. One note is that while this is the 2016 award, the games eligible are those that have been released between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. And the nominees are;
GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – Multi Player category
Blood Rage – Eric M. Lang, Guillotine Games / Cool Mini or Not
Codenames – Vlaada Chvatil, Czech Games Edition
Food Chain Magnate – Jeroen Doumen, Splotter Spellen
Grand Austria Hotel – Virginio Gigli & Simone Luciani, Lookout Games
Isle of Skye – Andreas Pelikan & Alexander Pfister, Lookout Games
Mombasa – Alexander Pfister, Eggertspiele
Nippon – Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro & Paulo Soledade, What’s Your Game?
Pandemic Legacy – Rob Daviau & Matt Leacock, Z-Man Games
Quadropolis – Francois Gandon, Days of Wonder
T.I.M.E. Stories – Peggy Chassenet & Manuel Rozoy, Space Cowboys
GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – 2 Player category
7 Wonders Duel – Antoine Bauza & Bruno Cathala, Repos Productions
Patchwork – Uwe Rosenberg, Lookout Games
Raptor – Bruno Cathala & Bruno Faidutti, Matagot
Star Wars: Rebellion – Corey Konieczka, Fantasy Flight Games
Trambahn – Helmut Ohley, Lookout Games
Interesting fact, 9 out of the 15 titles being nominated are in the top 100 of games in the entire BGG database. To see the list as well as previous year’s winners you can head on over to the International Gamers Awards website.
The committee for the Spiel Des Jahres or “game of the year” has announced this years nominations for the three awards they issue each year.
Spiel Des Jahres
The nominees for the main award are fairly diverse. Codenames the hit of Gen Con 2015 is a surprise to almost no one who has been paying attention. Having already infiltrated the mass market stores it is hard to deny that this clever little deserves to be on this list. Imhotep just came out in Germany in March of this year and has not had an English release yet. Looking to provide a family weight game involving strategy and a little bit of take that has it fitting in nicely. Karuba the final nominees is game maker HABA’s first foray into games intended for older audiences.
They have additionally give five honorable mentions
Kennerspiel Des Jahres
Nominations for the Kennerspiel or connoisseurs category is filled three massive hits from this year. With Both Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and T.I.M.E Stories being in the top 30 games of all time on Board Game Geek it is not surprising that either of those was nominated. The first nominee Isle of Skye is only ranked 250 on BGG but has a solid pedigree behind it. Having been released by Lookout/Mayfair Games this highly strategic tile laying game provides a lot of opportunity for very intricate strategies to come into play. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 shot up to the number one spot on BGG within 2 months of its release. Widely regarded as one of the best implementations of the legacy concept by designers Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock and being widely regarded as one of the best selling games within the last year this was an obvious nomination. Finally we have another legacy style game with T.I.M.E Stories which has already had three expansions released and more announced this promises to be a great cooperative legacy game which can be played in decent sized chunks.
The three honorable mentions were quite well regarded as well
Kinderspiel Des Jahres
The Kinderspiel which often is the category that surprises the most has fewer surprises than normal this year. With at least one title that is a reimplementation of a well known game for the older crowd in this group. Leo Muss zum Friseur which as already won the Austrian children’s game of the year for 2015 is a great little press your luck game. Stone Age Junior is a clever reimplementation of the older game Stone Age designed by Marco Teubner. Finally is Mmm! which is a great little cooperative game well suited for introducing a child to the cooperative genre.
We have 3 new R & R games releasing in October 2015.
Players are hungry little goblins, trying to gobble up as many stones as possible to score points. Be a clever goblin and eat up the most valuable stones, but don’t be too greedy…. a stuffed goblin is a slow goblin! The more stones you gobble, the bigger you get, and the fattest goblin wins!
Gobble Stones is family strategy game. It plays 2-4 player and it’s for ages 10 and up. It will take 30+ minutes to complete a game.
Rome: City of Marble
Influence and direct new construction of the expanding metropolis through shrewd development of the city’s districts. Construct various civic buildings: Temples for worship, Baths for health, Theaters and Arenas for arts and entertainment. The more you build, the more you gain Imperium, the measure of real power and influence in Roman society.
This a tile-laying game for 2-4 players, ages 14+, and it will take around 60 minutes to play.
Trading goods reaped from your plantations, you acquire shares of companies based in Mombasa, Saint-Louis, Cape Town and Cairo. However, the value of a company is only as good as its sphere of influence. So expanding into new territories is vital if you want your investments to pay off. Players start with an identical hand, but acquire new and more powerful cards from the rotating display throughout the game.
Will you collect diamonds or opt for clever bookkeeping? Will you play aggressively by expanding companies and pushing back others, or will you sit on the fence and jump in at an opportune moment? Perhaps a little of everything!
This is billed as a tense Euro-style strategy game which plays 2-4 players, ages 12+ with a 90 minute play time.