Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) has a lot of things going on right now including the release of a new game, Embark. Designed by Philip duBarry (known for Eminent Domain: Battle Cruisers and Revolution) and developed by Seth Jaffee, the game is set in the Harbour-fantasy universe (as you can see from the art style). It can be played by 2-5 players and the game lasts about 15 minutes per player.

In Embark you load various boats and send them to uninhabited islands to explore, colonize, and mine them. You’ll need to load your boats with voyagers who take on the roles of explorers, miners, and colonists, based on the berths you assign them in the boats. Boats only launch when they are full. There is also room for a Captain who can do any of the 3 jobs. Your opponent can also assign warriors to your boats who displace your voyagers and take over their job. The game ends after six rounds of assigning voyagers and launching boats. The victor is the player with the most points. To add some spice to the game there are Talent cards, which are drafted at the beginning of the game, which gives each player a unique ability throughout the game. A release date has not yet been set.

In other TMG news, the Deluxe Gentes Kickstarter campaign was a huge success and they’ve opened up late pledges up until April 15th.

They’ve also updated their approximate game availability for March and April:

DLP Games has announced a new family card game for release in Spring 2018.

In Moorea, players are inhabitants of the South Seas island trying to build the most impressive buildings and collect the most valuable treasures. Do you build canoes to travel around and gain seashells for the longest chain, or do you invest in tools, wood, and bamboo to construct buildings?

Moorea is a family game designed by Reiner Stockhausen with art by Klemens Franz with 165 cards and is intended for ages 8 and up.

In addition to Moorea, DLP will be releasing some new tiles for Orléans. This small tile pack will contain three new buildings: Opera, Cathedral, and Statue.

Both Moorea and the Orléans tile pack are scheduled to be released in Spring 2018, though no specific release date has been set yet.

You can find more information on the DLP site.

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.

Tasty Minstrel Games has been pumping out games for a number of years now. They’ve been behind such hits as Eminent Domain (via an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign), the US distribution of Orleans, and the popular Scoville (to name only a few). They’ve reported having raised over $2.5 million on Kickstarter to fund 26 individual hobby board gaming projects.

Well, you can now own a piece of the pie. Tasty Minstrel is offering investment opportunities via website Microventures. With a variety of different incentives offered to encourage people to invents TMG has also provided a shap-shot of the compay. Below are some of the perks being offered:

$150: TMG Certificate of Stock Ownership (Cardboard with embedded metal coin, not used for legal purposes)

$400: Two copies of Flip City and Harbour to share with friends (One of the benefits of owning a game company is easily giving gifts to your gamer friends, and TMG wants you to experience this)

$700: Hoodie featuring company mascot, Dargon

$1,000: One in-stock large box game of your choice

$1,500: An additional in-stock large box game of your choice

$2,500: One Deluxified copy of Crusaders after Kickstarter campaign

$5,000: Name included in a thank you with all investors at this level in the first game launched after the fundraise

$10,000: Producer credit on one future game of your choosing

$25,000: Executive Producer credit on three future games of your choosing, a copy of every game currently in the warehouse, and each game released for the next three years

To find out more you can head over to the investment page by clicking here.

Upper Deck is getting ready to release another new game, this time it’s a drafting game called Dungeon Draft.  Not much has been released about it yet but I imagine it will be similar to Lost Legends as you will be drafting cards to outfit your hero with better gear to fight monsters.  The game will come with 200 cards and boasts only a play time of 30 minutes for 2 to 5 players.  Look for more information to come out as the game’s release in September comes closer.

Next is the second big expansion to a hot game, and that’s Orleans: Trade and Intrigue.  This expansion will include “new place tiles, a new “beneficial deeds” game board, a new and challenging set of events, and trade contracts. The “Intrigue” introduces ways to hinder your opponents’ progress or even allow you to take over your opponents’ achievements.”  Look for this expansion to hit stores in September of this year from Tasty Minstrel Games

Last is not a game but dice for use in your games, well, maybe for use in your games.  These are the Polyhero Dice – Warrior Set, dice that are shaped like the different pieces of equipment a warrior would have like gauntlet d10s, a helmet d12, or a sword d6.  They may not be the best rolling dice, but they are highly unique looking dice, and they come in a case that can hold 90 sleeved cards.  Look for these on store shelves soon from Game Salute.


Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) has finally released Orléans into mass market in the Americas.

Orléans, designed by Reiner Stockhausen, is a “bag building” game in which players will throw tiles into a bag and draw them out randomly to do various things. Players use worker placement elements to try and score the most victory points from a long list of available options. Many elements of the game such as Scholars, Knights and Craftsmen, must be combined in the best possible way to meet your strategy for victory.

“One thing I like is that, while the core of the game is reasonably complex, it’s not gussied up with lots of extra little bits. Each of the eighteen rounds of the game is very simple: reveal an event tile, quickly assess the farmer track, then everyone draws their tokens and plans their actions. After that players take turns performing actions, then the event is resolved. Obviously given how popular some games are that have ninety-two different phases in each round my view is in the minority, but I still think a nice clean system is a plus.” – Dan Blum, Opinionated Gamers


Orléans was first published by dlp games in 2014. It achieved immediate acclaim, getting nominated for three Golden Geek awards and the Meeple’s Choice award for 2014. After its Kennerspiel 2015 nomination, Orléans has become an incredibly sought after product. Getting the game outside Europe was difficult.

Earlier this year, TMG picked up the game for a deluxe Kickstarter version with high quality, larger components (reviewed by Tom Vasel here). TMG also gained the distribution rights to publish in the USA, Canada and Australia. Their retail version of the game has finally arrived and is in stores now. According to their most recent mailing list update, TMG has sold out of all their first print run of the game, so act fast if you want to get a copy!

“Orléans by nature is an engine-building game because you are trying to get your machine working. What workers you get is what makes your game extremely interesting. Let me start out by saying I really enjoyed this game. Wow. Yes the theme is the same old get resources, get workers, blah blah blah. I don’t care about that, I focus on this game straight up on the mechanisms because they were so clear on how they worked. …The fun I had playing this. This is amazing. It’s one of the few times where the theme wasn’t relevant to me because I had so much fun just getting my engine together and working. … High thumbs up for me, this is a game that I enjoyed quite a bit and look forward to playing many more times over the coming years.” – Tom Vasel, Dice Tower. Revew by the Dice Tower can be found here.

The edition now on sale will be the standard edition. There are a few changes to the game, most notable the bathhouse tile (which is often listed as being too powerful and has a few suggested fixes put out for it). TMG has said in the past that there are no plans to put the deluxe edition out for sale to the mass market. You can pick up Orléans here.


Those of us here in the states know about the WBC or the World Board gaming Championships that happens in Pennsylvania each year, well before you can win the world you have to win your continent first.  EuropeMasters is the board gaming championship for all of Europe and Canada and featured 29 teams vying for the title.  Teams consisted of 4 people and they played 4 different games with each individual’s win getting their team 5 points for a possible max score of 80.  There were prizes for first, second, and third as well as the best individual performance.  The four games played this year were Five Tribes, Deus, ZhanGuo, and Orleans.  After all games were played the results were as follows:

1st Place with 65 points – Brettspielteam Hamburg (Germany); Jan Ruess (16 points), Sebastian Moises (14 points), Dennis Johannsen (18 points), Mika Seidel (17 points)

2nd Place with 59.5 points – Steppe Nomads (Finland); Oskari Vuorio (15,5 points), Johannes Rimpiläinen (11 points), Iridian Kiiskinen (18 points), Juuso Lähdekorpi (15 points)

3rd Place with 58.5 points – Poslední Naděje (Czech Republic)l; Mario Babunek (15 points), Mailan Horák (9,5 points), Karel Kozmik (16 points), Ondřej Demel (18 points)

Overall Best Individual with a perfect score of 20 – Robert Oestreich from InTeam (Germany)

international game award

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:

Game Designer Publisher
Aquasphere Stefan Feld Tasty Minstrel Games/Quined Games
Deus Sebastien Dujardin Pearl Games/Asmodee
Elysium Matthew Dunstan and Brett Gilbert Space Cowboys/Rebel pl./Asmodee
Five Tribes Bruno Cathala Days of Wonder
Hyperborea Andrea Chiarvesio and Pierluca Zizzi Asmodee/Asterio Press
Kraftwagen Matthias Cramer ADC Blackfire Entertainment
La Granja Michael Keller and Andrea Odendahl PD Verlag/999 Games/Stronghold Games
Orleans Reiner Stockhausen Dlp Games/Tasty Minstrel Games
Panamax Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade HC Distribuzione/Stronghold Games
Quartermaster General Ian Brody Griggling Games
Roll for the Galaxy Wei-Hwa Huang and Thomas Lehmann Rio Grande Games
Voyages of Marco Polo Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini Hans im Gluck/Z-man Games


The two-player nominees are:

Game Designer Publisher
Baseball Highlights 2045 Mike Fitzgerald Eagle/Gryphon Games
Fields of Arle Uwe Rosenberg Feuerland Spiele/Z-man Games
Patchwork Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Star Realms Robert Dougherty and Darwin Kastle White Wizard Games
Star Wars Armada James Kniffen and Christian T. Petersen Fantasy Flight Games
Wir Sind das Volk Richard Sivel and Peer Sylvester Histogame

For more details on the nominated games, and on the nomination committee members please go to the International Gamers Awards website here.

On Monday, June 29th, the Vienna Games Academy released the winners of their 2015 game awards and they are as follows:

Spiel der Spiele/ Game of Games:
Mmm!, Designer: Reiner Knizia, Artist: Andreas Resch, Publisher: Pegasus Spiele

Spiele Hit für Kinder / Game Hit for Children:
Crazy Coconuts, Designer: Walter Schneider, Artist: Vincent Kim, Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Fliegenschmaus, Designer: Dietmar Keusch, Artist: Kai Pannen, Publisher: Haba
Push a Monster, Designer: Wolfgang Dirscherl & Manfred Reindl, Artist: Claus Stephan & Michael Hüter, Publisher: Queen Games
Schatz Rabatz, Designer: Karin Hetling, Artist: Johann Rüttinger, Publisher: Noris Spiele

Spiele Hit für Familien / Game Hit for Families:
Cacao, Designer: Phil Walker-Harding, Artist: Claus Stephan, Publisher: Abacusspiele
Drachenhort, Designer: Reiner Knizia, Artist: Franz Vohwinkel & Nora Nowatzyk & Walter Pepperle, Publisher: Ravensburger
Hamsterbacke, Designer: Francesco Berardi, Artist: Oliver Freudenreich, Publisher: Amigo Spiele
Loony Quest, Designer: Laurent Escoffier & David Franck, Artist: Paul Mafayon, Publisher: Asmodee

Spiele Hit mit Freunden / Game Hit with friends:
Bermuda, Designer: Carlo E. Lanzavecchia, Artist: Oliver & Sandra Freudenreich, Publisher: Huch! & friends
Broom Service, Designer: Andreas Pelikan & Alexander Pfister, Artist: Vincent Dutrait, Publisher: alea
Ludix, Designer: Niek Neuwahl, Artist: Klemens Franz, Publisher: Piatnik
Ugo!, Designer: Ronald Hoekstra & Thomas Jansen & Patrick Zuidhof, Artist: Franz Vohwinkel, Publisher: Kosmos
Vienna, Designer: Johann Schmidauer-König, Artist: Michael Menzel, Publisher: Schmidt Spiele

Spiele Hit für Experten / Game Hit for Experts:
Orléans, Designer: Reiner Stockhausen, Artist: Klemens Franz, Publisher: dlp games
Progress: Evolution of Technology, Designer: Andrei Novac & Agnieszka Kopera, Artist: David J. Coffey & Kristi Harmon & David Szilagyi, Publisher: NSKN Games

Sonderpreis 2 Personen / Special Award for 2 player games
Patchwork, Designer: Uwe Rosenberg, Artist: Klemens Franz, Publisher: Lookout Spiele / Mayfair

Griffin Scroll:
XCOM: The Board Game, Designer: Eric M. Lang, Artist: Grafiken aus dem Computerspiel, Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games + Heidelberger

spiel des jahres banner

The 2015 Spiel des Jahres, Kennerspiel des Jahres, and Kinderspiel des Jahres award nominees have been announced. To view the official announcement, as well as view a list of all those that were recommended in each category, you can visit the official Spiel des Jahres site here.

Spiel des Jahres

Colt Express, Machi Koro, and The Game

2015_coltexpress 2015_machikoro the game

Kinderspiel des Jahres

Push-a-Monster, Schatz-Rabatz, and Spinderella

2015_pushamonster 2015_schatzrabatz 2015_spinderella

Kennerspiel des Jahres

Elysium, Orléans, Broom Service

2015_bromservice 2015_elysium 2015_orleans