The newest game from Quined Games and designers Paulo Soledade and Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, two men behind Nippon, Madeira, and Panamax, is now on Kickstarter. La Stanza is a tactical area movement game where 2-to-4 players move about a 16th century mansion collecting and enlisting the help of characters in order to specialize in a few key tracks of influence for points. The theme is a bit odd to say the least, because the characters are paintings, but then you can hire…the paintings, and you’re hiring them to do better at religion, or politics, or…sailing, all without leaving this house. However, theme aside, this is really close to (but not quite) a rondel game like Antike or Trajan, and that is awesome!
“A 16th century mansion is the setting for this game, you’ll acquire paintings of well-known individuals, like William Shakespeare or Michelangelo. Each of these paintings will give you a special action in one of five rooms. You need to have these paintings in your personal supply to perform the corresponding action.”
It’s hard to get that impression about this game at first, because this area movement mechanism is layered beneath an attractive classical look. Yet it’s there and very well implemented, as you will have to manage where you go to pick up resources (characters) to strengthen specific actions they’re tied to within other rooms (areas of influence), and you can only move clockwise 1-to-4 spaces each turn. Oh, and money and space are tight, so you’ll have to be very careful what you pick up and where you land, and you’ll need to specialize in only a few areas to do well while your opponents do the same. What’s more is that Quined Games has definitely given this game a look worthy of a deluxe edition with metal coins and custom wooden pieces, and that’s precisely what is available only during this Kickstarter campaign. If you’d like to find out more about La Stanza, be sure to check out the campaign page for the full rules, updates, and community feedback.
Arraial is a tile-laying game where players create a diverse party and compete to attract visitors.
“Arraial” is the name given to traditional Portuguese summer celebrations during which people take to the streets eating, drinking, and having fun in the old neighborhoods that are bedecked with arches, colorful balloons, popular music, and the aroma of sweet basil.[source]
In Arraial, players take turns placing tiles in their neighborhood with tiles which fit perfectly with previously placed tiles. The central board, from which players obtain their tiles, rotates, which means that a player’s position at the table has an impact on game play.
Tom Vasel really enjoyed the game, even though he was unsure of it when it debuted on Dice Tower Tonight, and you can see his review to see why he said, “The game is fast, it’s simple, it’s fun. I actually like it better than Uwe [Rosenberg]’s entire trilogy. I like it better than Cottage Garden, Indian Summer and Spring Meadow. I just like this one alot.”
If you’re fortunate enough to make it to Essen Spiel 2018, you can get Arraial from Portugese publisher Mebo games, and from Pandasaurus Games early next year.
The 2015 International Gamers Award nominees for general strategy games released between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 have been announced. The nominees are grouped in two categories—multiplayer and two-player games.
The multiplayer nominees are:
Tasty Minstrel Games/Quined Games
Matthew Dunstan and Brett Gilbert
Space Cowboys/Rebel pl./Asmodee
Days of Wonder
Andrea Chiarvesio and Pierluca Zizzi
ADC Blackfire Entertainment
Michael Keller and Andrea Odendahl
PD Verlag/999 Games/Stronghold Games
Dlp Games/Tasty Minstrel Games
Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade
Panamax is coming in October from Stronghold Games. An overview video has been released for nautical eurogame.
In Panamax, players represent companies established in the Colón Free Trade Zone, the largest free port in the Americas, at the entrance to the Panama Canal. Players will negotiate contracts to use ships that arrive at both entrances to the Canal, coming from the USA, China and Europe, which will enable them to profit from the cargo and ship movement. Players will deliver containers onto ships, move ships through the Canal by opening and closing the locks of the Panama Canal, obtain better contracts, invest in the stock market, and hire the best people to work for their companies.
Panamax utilizes several original game mechanics. The highly interactive ship movement system requires players to move their ships through the locks of the Panama Canal, which will also push other players’ ships through the canal simultaneously. This ship movement must be done as efficiently as possible, while not providing too much benefit to the other players’ ships. There is also a die-based action selection system, whereby players remove dice from the movement or cargo loading areas to perform actions. Timing and efficiency of a player’s actions in Panamax is crucial to victory.
After one hundred years in service, the Panama Canal still is one of the most important and impressive engineering achievements in modern times.Built in 1914, it held a prominent role in the deployment of military vessels during WWI and in the conflicts that have followed. Nowadays commercial usage is the core business of the Channel; its economic impact is profound and has not only developed the region, but in fact helped define shipping throughout the world.
In the wake of the Canal’s opening hull designs were influenced accordingly; ships fell into three categories, those that could travel through easily and in groups (Feeder class), massive ocean going ships too big to enter the Canal (ULCV or Ultra Large Container Vessels), and the new standard – designed to the maximum limits of the Panama Canal. These ships are called PANAMAX.
Panamax features several original mechanisms that blend together; an original dice (action) selection table, pickup-and-deliver along a single bi-directional route, a chain reaction movement system – “pushing” ships to make room throughout the Canal and a level of player interaction that is part self-interest, part mutual advantage and the freedom to choose how you play.
On their turn, players remove a die from the Action table to select Contracts and Load Cargo or Move ships until the pool of dice is emptied ending the Round. Over the course of three rounds these actions are blended during the turn to create a logistics network which each player uses to ship their cargo, minimize transportation fees and increase the net worth of their Company. Each Company has a limited amount of Stock that the players can purchase in exchange for investing – receiving a dividend each round. The questions for the players will be which companies are likely to yield higher dividends?
There’s more to explore and several ways to win, but we ask that you join us at the table and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal with a session of Panamax!