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.
Rob Daviau and Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks announced the forthcoming release of Betrayal Legacy, based on the Betrayal at House on the Hill game at PAX Unplugged today. Betrayal Legacy will be released under the Wizards of the coast Avalon Hill brand. Betrayal Legacy is scheduled to be released in Q4 2018.
Rob Daviau helped create the original Betrayal at House on the Hill in 2004 while working full time for Hasbro. Risk Legacy was the first of Daviau’s Legacy games and created while he was still at Hasbro. They were followed by his designs of Pandemic Legacy, Seafall, and Pandemic Legacy Season 2, none of which were Hasbro releases. While Daviau was off perfecting the Legacy concept Betrayal was also growing, receiving the Widow’s Walk expansion in 2016 and a Dungeons & Dragons re-theme as Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate in 2017.
Betrayal Legacy will take the concept of the original betrayal game, exploring a haunted mansion, and add permanent changes and a multi-game story arc that define the Legacy concept. At Pax Unplugged it was announced that the new game will feature a prologue and a thirteen-chapter story that will take place over multiple decades. Players will represent members of a specific family, with some characters aging within the story arc and possible family descendants making appearances.
About Legacy Games
Legacy Games are games where player choices permanently alter the state of the game. Alterations the game might include placing stickers on cards or the board, permanently destroying game components, opening sealed game packages, and more. Legacy Games follow story arcs that result in the changes taking place over a campaign resulting in a copy of the game that cannot typically be reset as a new game at the end of the campaign. To fully play through a second campaign of the same game requires the purchase of a second copy of the game.
Pandemic Legacy was the second Legacy game released, and currently is the highest rated board game on boardgamegeek. Aside from the popular acclaim it received on the site, it was also the winner and nominee for many awards, including:
Both Eric and The People ranked it as the best game of 2017. Tom, Eric, and The People have all placed Pandemic Legacy on the list of the Top 100 Games of All Time.
Z-Man games has begun releasing details of what has happened following the pandemic that broke out in Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.
The world is on the brink of total collapse. Already devastated by a terrible plague, much of the globe has gone dark. Small groups of survivors struggle to keep the world alive, but their efforts are no longer enough. The world needs leaders to rise up and find the way back from the brink of extinction. That task has fallen to you. You must find a way or nobody will. You are humanity’s last chance.
Following the format of the many Pandemic games that preceded it, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 again brings two to four players into a high stakes legacy format co-op situation.
Taking place 71 years after the final events of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, humanities very existence continues to be in peril. Only a few known cities still exist at all, and are now being supplied by floating stations in the ocean known as “havens.” For three generations survivors have lived on these havens, but with haven supplies dwindling it’s your job to set foot on land and save whatever cities you can to stop the end of civilization as you know it.
Over a year you and your team search for answers to questions that still surround the plague, while at the same time trying to maintain a supply network. Like in Season 1 and other legacy games, actions in each game will carry over and impact future games, forever altering the world of Pandemic Legacy.
Cities will rise, cities will fall. Characters will learn new skills and gain scars from the horrors they experience. Through the game new rules will come into play and each new development will affect your group’s journey.
Journey from the Havens to Distribute Supplies
Your team has grown up in the havens your knowledge of the mainland is very limited. The plague has devastated the world you great grandparents knew, and cities have no hope of developing a cure. The few cities that remain need your supplies.
Instead of removing disease cubes, you now must add supply cubes to ward off future plague outbreaks. Balance your time and focus between balancing more cubes with distributing them to the cities that need them most. Drawing infection cards results in cities using supply cubes. You will need to constantly deliver new supplies in order to avoid the city becoming infected. Cities that become infected are a critical threat to you and to your team.
Characters entering a city infected with a plague run the risk of being exposed to it. There’s no guarantee that exposure will lead to any detrimental effects, but it will always be a threat. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when to risk exposure and when to play it safe, letting the infected city fend for itself.
The World Has Changed
The world players find at the beginning of Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 has altered drastically. At the beginning of your first game only a small portion of the earth is visible, with access to only the few surviving cities still on the grid. On top of supplying cities you’ll need to explore a world lost to darkness. Make discoveries, encounter new dangers and face new challenges on your search for answers.
With so much infrastructure lost, you’ll have very limited communication, diminished medical technology and a loss of air travel. Sail from port to port, but once on land travel will be slow.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a stand alone game that does not require having played Season 1. Prepare time this fall to save the world with a sneak peek at Gen Con 2017.
A Legacy of Awards
The original Pandemic Legacy has won many awards on the way to the top of the BGG rankings, currently ranked the highest rated game on Boardgamegeek. Selected awards include:
The game also took home an armful of 2015 Dice Tower awards including Co-Op Game of the Year and 2015 Game of the Year.
Z-Man Games has just launched a beautiful new redesigned website here. Of particular interest on the website is an interview with Steven Kimball, head of Z-Man Games. Z-Man has gone through a lot of changes in the recent year, including acquisition of their parent company, F2Z Entertainment, by the game giant Asmodee, and the more recent merging of Asmodee’s Windrider Games division into Z-Man Games. In his interview, Steven looks at his history with Z-Man Games, and where the studio is heading in the future. As a further teaser, the interview gives just a few tasty tidbits about the upcoming Pandemic Legacy: Season 2.
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.
Asmodee is continuing its expansion in the board game world by entering into exclusive talks to acquire F2Z Entertainement. F2Z is the publisher and distributor of labels like Z-man Games, Plaid Hat, and Filosofia which include power house titles like Dead of Winter, Pandemic Legacy, and Carcassonne. Asmodee is looking to continue increasing it’s international presence as well as strengthen it’s growing portfolio of excellent games. On the other side, F2Z looks at this deal as an extension of the close business relationship they have had with Asmodee up to this point. While there will no doubt be harbingers saying this is the continuing doom of the board gaming world, I think this can open up new doors for both companies. Here’s hoping for the best to both companies during these talks, and we will see the results in the coming months.
Below is the full press release from Asmodee:
Asmodee in exclusive discussionsto acquire F2Z Entertainment Inc., publisher of the Pandemic line, Dead of Winter and French and English rights to Carcassonne.
Guyancourt, France; Rigaud, Quebec, Canada; July 22nd 2016 —
The Asmodee Group has announced today that it has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire F2Z Entertainment Inc.
In line with the acquisitions of the worldwide rights to Dobble/Spot-It!, Days of Wonder, and Fantasy Flight Games publishers, and more recently the set-up of Catan Studio, these exclusive discussions with F2Z Entertainment Inc. emphasize Asmodee’s strategy to strengthen its intellectual property portfolio and international presence. Closing of this acquisition is expected to take place in the coming months.
Created in Canada in 2002 by Sophie Gravel, F2Z Entertainment Inc. has become, over the years, one of the most worldwide renowned publisher & distributor of modern board games, with key owned brands such as Pandemic (over 1 million units sold), Dead of Winter, and also publishing rights for evergreen games (Carcassonne for French and English version, Catan for French version).
Stéphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee Group said: “I am delighted to enter into these exclusive discussions with F2Z Entertainment, which is, for us, the natural nextstep of a strong and long-lasting partnership built over the years with Sophie Gravel and her teams. Through this acquisition, we will continue expanding our IP portfolio with fantastic games and incredibly innovative studios such as Z-Man Games, Plaid Hat Games and Filosofia. This will also enable us to increase our presence on the global game market.”
Sophie Gravel, CEO of F2Z Entertainment added: “As we are close to celebrating 15 years of success with F2Z, we are proud to announce these exclusive discussions with Asmodee Group, a key partner since the beginning of our adventure. This deal is in the direct continuation of our close business partnership and will provide the best environment for our iconic games to reach their full potential and help our studios to continue publishing amazing games.“
Asmodee Group is a leading international games publisher and distributor with operations located in Europe, North America, and China. Asmodee’s best known titles, either published or distributed on behalf of key publishing partners, include Catan, Ticket to Ride, Splendor, Dobble/Spot It!, Star Wars: X-Wing, 7 Wonders, Dixit, Takenoko, Abyss, Timeline, Jungle Speed, and The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow. In some European countries, Asmodee also distributes trading card games such as Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Asmodee has headquarters in Guyancourt, France.
About F2Z Entertainment
F2Z entertainment is a publisher and distributor of modern board games based in Canada. Through its studios Z-Man, Plaid Hat Games and Filosofia, F2Z publishes worldwide hits such as Pandemic & Pandemic Legacy, Dead of Winter, Mice and Mystics, Carcassonne in French and English, and Catan in French.
F2Z has just announced the next game in the Pandemic line, and this time it’s going to be a stand alone collector’s edition game. Pandemic Iberia takes place in 1848 on the Iberian peninsula, what is now modern day Spain and Portugal, and so in this game you are not only fighting against the various diseases of malaria, typhus, cholera, and yellow fever, you are also fighting the fledgling infrastructure of the time. Thus this edition of Pandemic will no doubt feature some new mechanics as you have to help develop the railway system as you go around distributing clean water to those affected by boat, carriage, or aforementioned train. As a fan of the Pandemic series and a huge fan of Pandemic Legacy, I am very much looking forward to find out more information and for it’s release in the fall of 2016. You can read the full press release from F2Z Entertainment below and check out the reveal video on the Pandemic Facebook page.
For immediate release
April 28, 2016
F2Z Entertainment, proud publisher of the brands Filosofia, Z-Man Games, Pretzel Games and Plaid Hat Games, is very excited to officially present the next entry in our beloved Pandemic series: Pandemic Iberia! In Pandemic Iberia, the year is 1848, and diseases are spreading fast under the burning sun of the Iberian Peninsula. Take on the roles of a nurse, a railway man, and a rural doctor, among many others, and work as a team to push back the new threats that are malaria, typhus, cholera, and the yellow fever.
From Barcelona to Lisboa, travel by carriage, by boat, or by train, and help the Iberian populace by developing railways and distributing purified water in this new version of Pandemic. Discover a unique part of the world during the historically significant time period that is the construction of the first railroad in the Iberian Peninsula called the Spring of Nations.
Being a Collector’s Edition, note that this game will have a one-time only print run! Pandemic Iberia is set to be released later this year, in fall 2016. More details to come.
The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category. And the nominees are:
BEST BOARD GAME COMPONENTS
BEST CO-OP GAMES
BEST FAMILY GAMES
BEST GAME ARTWORK
BEST GAME EXPANSIONS
BEST GAME FROM A NEW DESIGNER
BEST GAME OF THE YEAR
BEST GAME REPRINT
BEST GAME THEMING
BEST PARTY GAME
BEST SMALL PUBLISHER GAME
BEST STRATEGY GAME
BEST TWO PLAYER GAME
MOST INNOVATIVE GAME
The winners of the 10th annual Golden Geek Awards were announced this Monday, and both the winners and runners up were outstanding titles deserving of the reward. Pandemic: Legacy, the smash hit of 2015 which swiftly climbed the top games list, collectively walked away with 4 awards, including Board Game of the Year! Congratulations for Codenames and Mysterium for winning their most appropriate categories. I’m VERY surprised that 504 did not win most innovative title, but I suppose that’s a discussion best left to the BGG forums.
Hit the link to view the full list, including the RPGGeek and VideoGameGeek winners or, if you’re curious who came close to podium finish, click here to view the full list of nominees.
While the biggest convention and awards may belong to Essen and the Spiel des Jahres, France has it’s own mega convention and awards with the Cannes Games Festival and the Golden Ace awards; and they have just released the 2016 winners. There are three categories that a game can win in, Game of the year, Youth, and Expert, and they mirror the Spiel in weight of the game in each category. Game of the year is the middle of the road game, something that is not too heavy but not too light, Youth are games for younger kids that are still great all-around games, and Expert are the heavier games for those seasoned players. So without any more delay, here are the nominees for each categories and the winners:
Mystery Animal – Emely Brand, illustrated by Thies Schwarz and published by Haba.
The Game with a Thousand Names – Pampuk, illustrated by Inti Ansa and published by Oya.
Master Fox – Frédéric Vuagnat, illustrated by Catell-Ruz and published by Superlude.
WINNER — Master Fox
7 Wonders Duel – Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala, illustrated by Miguel Coimbra and published by Repos production.
T.I.M.E. Stories – Manuel Rozoy, illustrated by David Lecossu, Benjamin Carré, Pascal Quidault and published by Space Cowboys.
Pandemic Legacy – Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, illustrated by Chris Quilliams and published by Filosofia.
WINNER — Pandemic Legacy
Game of the Year
Mafia de Cuba – Philippe des Pallières and Loïc Lamy, illustrated by Thomas Vuarchex and published by Lui-Même.
Who Pairs Wins – Stephen Glenn, illustrated by Jessica Lindsay and published by Le Scorpion Masqué.
Mysterium – Oleg Sidorenko and Oleksandr Nevskiy, illustrated by Igor Burlakov and Xavier Collette, published by Libellud.
WINNER — Mysterium
One thing to note, not all games listed will be available in the US as this is a French award and so the games just need to be released in France.
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