Pandemic

Eggertspiele has announced Era: Medieval Age, a new game from designer Matt Leacock.  Not only is Era being pitched as a spiritual successor to Roll Through the Ages, but also, the first roll-and-build game.

In Era, players will be using three-dimensional pieces (churches, farms, mills, castle walls, etc.) to build up medieval towns on their personal boards.  The dice represent different classes of medieval society.

“Era: Medieval Age is made even more challenging as players interact with each other in ways such as extortion, scorched earth, and, of course, disease!”

The other piece of the announcement is that Era: Medieval Age marks the start of a series of roll-and-build games from Matt Leacock and Eggertspiele.  No specifics were provided about other games, but Era is planned to debut at Gen Con later this year.

Era: Medieval Age is designed for 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up.

An invasion of barbarian tribes can certainly feel like pandemic to the Roman world.  Matt Leacock and Paolo Mori have teamed up to bring the Pandemic gameplay to Ancient Rome.  In Pandemic: Fall of Rome, players are members of Roman society employing Roman legions to defend against invading tribes.  Plays may also convert members of a tribe into Roman soldiers. Rome survives to continue its long history is they can defeat all the barbarian tribes, whether by absorption or eradication. Rome has five barbarian tribes threatening its borders: Huns, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, and Anglo-Saxons and Franks.  Each invading tribe follows their migration pattern that eventual leads to Rome. Pandemic: Fall of Rome will also feature a Solo Play mode and a challenge mode for season Pandemic players.  The tribes are represented by wooden cubes like all pandemic games, but the Roman legion tokens are legionnaire shaped meeples.  The game will include custom dice for resolving battles with the invading hordes.  Pandemic: Fall of Rome is available for pre-order now with a projected release in Q4. Go to Z-man Games to learn more about Pandemic: Fall of Rome.

Z-Man Games celebrates a decade of curing diseases with a special 10th Anniversary Edition of Pandemic. Steve Kimball, Z-man’s Head of Studio, made sure that this edition of Pandemic would be something truly special.  First, the game comes in a custom metal box shaped like the early 20th century first aid kits.  This beautiful case is a fitting display item, and it comes special gaskets that will allow you to mount it on the walls of your game room.

Second, at long last, each of the Pandemic character roles has a highly detailed plastic figure. These are based on the 2nd edition character designs and have been painted in a wash to bring out the details. Next, like the 1st edition, this edition will include wooden cubes and wooden cure markers screen printed with the virus symbols.  Keeping with the vintage look of the game box, the game will feature all-new art and graphic design throughout.  The role cards have been converted to large ID badges complete with updated character art from the second edition, profile data, and even fingerprints.  The gameboard is bigger, and custom screen printed Petri dishes round out all the fine touches and upgrades to this popular game. As a bonus, there is even an offer of pre-painted figures while supplies last for pre-orders.  Read about more about this edition or Steve Kimball’s inspiration for the special edition at Z-Man Games.  You can see Pandemic 10th Anniversary on display at GENCON and in stores in Q4 this year.

The Spiel des Jahres nominees for 2018 have just recently been announced (see Dice Tower News article here), and for the first time since 2010 the judges have awarded the “Sonderpreis“, literally a special award. The recipient is the innovative Pandemic Legacy Season 2 by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, published by Z-Man Games. Pandemic Legacy Season 2 uses amazing new mechanics and devices, and blends them with an engrossing story taking place 71 years after the original Season 1, creating a game “all future legacy games will have to be measured” against. Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy Season 1 were both nominated for Spiel des Jahres awards in 2009 and 2016 respectively.

For more information, check out Z-Man Games press release on their website here.

Asmodee, which has the largest catalog of games under it’s wide umbrella thanks to it’s partnerships with Days of Wonder, ZMAN Games, Fantasy Flight, Catan Games and more, has announced it’s Modern Classics line. This new category is for games that are easy to get into yet offer tremendous depth and make for excellent staples in any new or existing collection. The titles in this series together cover a wide range of mechanisms and modes-of-play and each one is considered a gateway of it’s respective genre. As stated by Asmodee in their announcement:

“Modern Classics refers to a small group of pioneering titles that have left a lasting legacy on the board-games market and have stood the test of time to remain preferred gateway purchases in a constantly changing landscape of products. […] Each of the highlighted titles is easy to learn but hard to master, making them well suited for any gaming situation that you might encounter. The Modern Classics range consists of the following games: Ticket to Ride Europe, Catan, Carcassonne, Dixit, Pandemic, and Splendor.

While this really is just a matter of showcasing for new customers, the games chosen here are, I feel, irrefutably ‘Modern Classics’ and deserve to be called as such. These quintessential games also cover a lot of ground as well, certain to prepare even the newest of gamers for the great many strategy games that lie beyond. Just with these six games there’s card drafting, network building, tile laying, set collection, storytelling, cooperation, trading, and resource management game mechanisms. Hoo! The question I have now is, will there be any more games added to this list in the future? Only time will tell.

Vlaada Chvátil’s fantastic civilization building game Through The Ages now has a digital version available. Through the Ages is easily considered one of the best board games of recent history, having its newest edition ranked at #2 on BGG. Czech Games Edition has made the mobile app available for both iOS and Android. You can read the full press release from CGE here.

Along the same vein, Temple Gates Games and Rio Grande Games have announced a digital version of Roll For The Galaxy. The popular dice game version of Race For The Galaxy hit the board game world by storm in 2015, and has consistently been at the top of the charts. The digital version will be made available for iOS, Android and Steam, and is being designed by Keldon Jones, who was responsible for the AI on the Race for the Galaxy app. You can read the full press release here.

Z-Man Games has announced the new 2018 Season of Pandemic Survival. Pandemic Survival is the competitive team version of the award winning cooperative classic, pitting teams of 2 against the same scenario: same roles, same cards, same infected cities, same situation.  Tournaments are held across the glode, leading up to the World Championships, with the grand prize being a trip to any city on the Pandemic map. For more information on the 2018 Survival Series, read the full press release here.

Z-Man Games has announced details about the latest iteration of the award-winning Pandemic series of games, Pandemic: Rising Tide. In this new cooperative game by pan-legend Matt Leacock and Splotter Spellen great  Jeroen Doumen (Food Chain Magnate, Roads and Boats), players must battle the incoming seas instead of disease, to prevent flooding in the Netherlands. Blue cubes represent water coming inland, and players construct hydraulic engines in connected regions of water to pump the cubes out to sea. Take control of hydraulic engineers, sanitation workers or builders, building and repairing dikes to control the movement of water. Construction of massive hydraulic structures can earn great reward, as you make one of the seven wonders of the modern world.

Read more about Pandemic: Rising Tide on Z-Man’s press release here. The game is due to hit game stores in late 2017. It should be noted that for each pre-order of Pandemic: Rising Tide, Z-Man will be donating to hurricane relief efforts.

The UK Games Expo has announced national tournaments for Catan, Carcassonne, Pandemic, Splendor and 7 Wonders to be held at the popular convention June 2-4, 2017. Additionally, Agricola Regional Championships, Ticket to Ride and Mage Wars Arena National Championships, as well as the Hey Thats My Fish Galactic Tournament are returning. The list of events for the UK Games Expo can be found here, and includes information on how to sign up.

nautilion

October is a big month for Z-Man Games with no less than 5 new games or expansions being released, so lets quickly run through the list.  First is a new addition to the Oniverse in the form of Nautilion, a one to two player cooperative game where you are trying to save the Happy Isles from destruction.  To do that you have to pilot your sub to the enemy stronghold, but along the way you have to recruit additional crew to be able to defeat Darkhouse.  Get there with your entire crew before Darkhouse’s minion can reach the Happy Isles and you will win!

experimental-meds

Next is an expansion to Pandemic: The Cure called Experimental Meds, which adds a couple new modules to the game.  First is the addition of a fifth disease to be cured, meaning you will have to work a bit harder to be able to clear them all out.  Next is a mechanic called Hot Zones, this is where dice are rolled that change the rules in some way, often making you job just that much harder.  But lastly you find some help in the addition of 8 new characters to the game.

feast-for-odin

Next is Uwe Rosenberg’s latest worker placement type game called A Feast for Odin.  This is a euro game on the heavier side where you are vikings trying to be the best viking you can be through trading, hunting, raiding, pillaging, and plundering.  Then you will need to arrange all that plunder onto your boards like a Diablo backpack, and then later convert those spoils into precious victory points.  This game has already been reviewed by Tom and Melody and has garnered a Seal of Excellence so you know that it is worth checking out.

amazonas

Next we have the latest installment in the Carcassonne series with Carcassonne Amazonas, taking the game to the jungles of the Amazon.  You will be building out the forest like before and looking for animals, fruits, and visiting villages you find in the forest.  But be careful, there is a race going on so you can’t let your opponents get too far ahead of you on the river, because the first one out ends the game and gets bonus points.

iberia

Last is the latest Pandemic board game, and that is the limited print run of Pandemic: Iberia.  This game takes Pandemic to 1848 on the Iberian Peninsula as you fight back against the spreading diseases of the time and the lack of infrastructure.  Some new aspects of the game include purifying water to prevent placement of disease cubes and building railroads to help travel quickly.  Can you stop the diseases before they spread too far?

Look for all these games to be out in the month of October.

Image From leacock.com

Image From leacock.com

Matt Leacock, creator of Pandemic, spoke with Alex Fitzpatrick from TIME.com about board games. In this interview Matt answers questions about his history and how he got started in board game design, discusses a bit of background on Pandemic, his most influential game, and about play testing.

I love learning histories and fun facts about my favorite games and their designers, and Matt Leacock certainly fits that bill. For example, in this interview Matt talks about while at a booth in Germany, with self-published copies of Pandemic, he got invited to A Gathering of Friends by its host Alan Moon.

If you’re interested, read the full interview on TIME.com here.