The 31st annual European Boardgames Championships [EuropeMasters] were held on October 26th, 2019, at the Spiel in Essen, Germany, with 38 teams participating from 12 different countries, a new record. Nine games were nominated for play in March 2019: Gùgōng, Solenia, Crown of Emara, Key Flow, Underwater Cities, Everdell, Coimbra, Carpe Diem, and Newton. From this nomination list, four games were selected for the tournament: Gùgōng, Solenia, Coimbra, and Newton. The committee stated that in selecting the games for play, they look for different gaming mechanisms as well as the play time for the games.
There is a complex schedule for the tournament with so many teams involved. According to the Championship’s Pressmap, “Per round each player individually can earn up to 5 points by winning the game at his table. The maximum team score is therefore 20 points per round. And a maximum of 80 points throughout the whole tournament.”
For 2019, the team Brettspielteam Hamburg from Germany was the overall champion with 67 points, followed closely by teams Das Team mit dem Paukenschlag (also from Germany) with 64 points and Za pet minut (from the Czech Republic) with 62 points. In addition to the team winners, there were individual winners: Ondřej Demel and Michal Konfršt, both from the Czech Republic, and Thomas Winheller from Germany.
If you are interested in learning more about the European Championships, be sure and check out the tournament’s website here.
I was lucky enough to be able to prowl around the GAMA trade show this past week, and have collected some early stories from some of the designers and publishers present. So without further delay, here are some of the stories I found interesting at GAMA.
Designer Keith Matejka talked about Fiends & Familiars, the next expansion for Thunderworks Games popular dice placement game Roll Player. Fiends are small cards attached to the initiative row, which give players a disadvantage when taking the more prized positions, but can be banished by using charisma tokens. Familiars give players 3 more spaces for dice placement, and unique player powers. Also in the expansion are two colored dice, very flexible in placement but only showing up to 4 pips. The Kickstarter for Fiends and Familiars is scheduled for Summer of 2019.
Breaking Games showed off Dwellings of Eldervale by designer Luke Laurie, a complex worker placement engine building game with unique player powers, miniatures, resource collection and card play. Special workers can be earned, and monsters on the board can be a source of both conflict and reward. Dwellings also includes a mechanism allowing players to have a worker “settle down”, and create a permanent dwelling on the board, represented by placing a great roof piece on the meeple. This worker is now lost to the player, but generates unique resources and abilities. Dwellings of Eldervale is expected to come to Kickstarter this summer.
I was able to look at a new, as yet unnamed, variation on an escape room game from the geniuses at Cranio Creations (Newton, Lorenzo Il Magnifico). The game is composed of a cardboard box frame, the size of a standard square board game box. Cards slot into the top of the box. The sides of the box have open windows to peer down, through which one can see the cards, revealing objects and clues. An app tells the player how these objects relate to the story, and how to react – is. Remove a certain card, peer down a certain hall. Look for this innovative puzzle from Cranio in the coming year.
Smirk and Dagger games founder Curt Covert discussed the Cutthroat Caverns Anniversary edition coming this August. The new edition will include the core set with new art and tighter rules, but will be fully compatible with the rest of this classic game. Concurrent with the new release will be the digital Cutthroat Caverns app, which includes several AI opponents, each with their own evil agenda.
Stayed tuned for the second half of breaking GAMA news coming soon.
Cool Mini or Not has a big batch of new products coming very soon. Announced via press release, CMON has updated their release schedule to show a large number of titles all being available for retail in time for Christmas. With such a wide variety of games suitable for players of all preferences, it’s safe to say this is one publisher ready to please for the holidays. The following list of games are all slated to release on November 23rd:
Narcos, the cooperative board game based on the hit Netflix original, pits players as characters from the show trying to manage a growing narcotics empire.
Newton, one of the hottest euro-games of the year, has players take on the role of young scientists following in the footsteps of the greatest minds of 17th century by traveling Europe, studying, earning money, developing new tools for the pursuit of knowledge.
Both versions of Railroad Ink, a striking roll-and-write challenging players to build networks on an ever shrinking dry-erase board of options. Each version includes two unique expansions, and both versions can be combined to mix up the options and the fun.
The Grizzled, Armistice edition, is the new CMON re-release of the favorite cooperative game now featuring a campaign mode and pre-painted miniatures.
Victorian Masterminds, on the other hand, is an exception and is instead slated to release January 25th, 2019. The hotly anticipated game from Eric Lang and Antoine Bauza where players take on the roles of famous villains attempting to realize their nefarious plans is only a few months away yet I’m positive the wait is well worth it. Of course all dates listed here are subject to change, which is par for the course as many of the titles listed here have had their street dates revised at least once before. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these releases, or further release updates from CMON, be sure to check out their website for announcements and details.
“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.