Following in the steps of Asmodee, Passport Games along with GTS Distribution have announced an exclusive deal to only distribute Passport Games product through GTS. This means that anything released by Passport Games Studio, Funforge, Splotter, Granna, Rule & Make, and ThunderGryph will now exclusively be supplied by GTS. The step was taken in an effort to better control the value of the product from publisher to retailer and to better support retailers, and hopefully it will be able to do just that. But since GTS is one of the largest distribution companies in the US, I don’t think anyone will have to worry about games disappearing from shelves. You can read more about the deal in the press release below.
After studying several changes in the North American marketplace in recent months, we are pleased to announce that Passport Game Studio products will be sold exclusively by GTS Distribution. We are confident that through tighter management of the distribution model, we can preserve the value of our products at the retail level for years to come. This arrangement is the best strategy for long term success for us and our retail partners as it ensures the highest possible value of products we represent in the marketplace, while delivering the best level of support throughout the entire inventory, marketing, and sales process.
Key changes for core hobby retail:
- Passport Game Studios will remain as a GTS brand, focused on bringing their partner studios’ games to the North American market.
- The GTS Distribution sales and marketing teams will handle all communications and services to hobby retailers for Passport-branded products moving forward.
- Passport titles in the U.S. are now exclusive to GTS Distribution, and will continue its international partnerships moving forward.
Passport’s partners and their titles include:
Funforge: (Tokaido, Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time)
Splotter: (Food Chain Magnate, Antiquity)
Granna: (CV Line of Games)
Rule & Make: (Hand of Fate Ordeals, T2029: Terminator 2 Board Game)
ThunderGryph: (Tao Long, Dead Man’s Doubloons)
Passport Games made a new announcement that they will be turning Kingsport Festival into a card game. The goal of the card game is still the same, with players being the high priest of some unspeakable evil that they are trying to resurrect. You will be working towards the summoning of your god while taking over the city and fending off the attempts of investigators to stop you. Play for this game is no doubt going to be similar to the original game, but everything will be contained on cards and so will have a much smaller footprint on the table and on the shelf. The dice you roll are also different, opting for symbol dice for direct resource generation instead of the original sets of d6’s you had to place on different spaces. In the end the question remains the same, will you be defeated, or mankind?
You can see a bit of the game in action from the trailer on Passport Games’ YouTube channel, and then patiently wait until February to be able to purchase it.
Splotter Spellen is known for their crunchy euro games like Food Chain Magnate and Roads & Boats, so fans of those types of games will be happy to see two of their popular titles getting reprinted. The first game being reprinted is The Great Zimbabwe, a euro game where you are building a trade based civilization in ancient Africa. In this game you want to build monuments to the gods you choose in order to win, but each god is different to build for and offers different benefits. So in order to build your monuments you have to build a trade network to be able to get the supplies you need for the construction. Build the most extravagant monuments and you will be the winner. Look for this game to be back on shelves in October.
Second is the economic game Indonesia, one all about controlling both the production of goods and their shipment. It is all a balancing game to make the most money as you acquire the production of goods, then transport those goods to cities that want them. But be careful, you still have to pay the ships that carried your goods, even if that results in a net loss in profits. So do your best and make the most money and you will be the winner of this game. Look for this game to be on store shelves in November.
Have you ever wondered how to get to the top of the sky? In a Funforge and Passport Games September release Hop! players are striving to be the first to get there. It’s not simply a race though. Any player reaching level seven triggers the end of the game, but the player with the most points claims the victory. To earn points, you must help others overcome challenges and climb high with you. The hardest choices will be who you help, and how you can limit the points they earn helping you.
Interesting choices in a family game isn’t the only reason to want to know more. The game comes with high quality pre-painted miniatures and the art is done by Marie Cardouat, the same artist from Dixit. Keep an eye out for Hop! later this month.
Passport Games will release 5 new games this December and in January.
Tokaido: Matsuri Expansion
Matsuri is an expansion that will bring new cards and tokens to the game. With this expansion, the players will live the Japanese feasts and festivals. These cards will modify the way each section of the road will be played.
This won’t transform the game but it will add even more depth and strategy to it in the same way that Crossroads did!
Tokaido: Matsuri will release in December.
The next four games will be releasing in January.
Ever wanted to reset the clock? Now’s your chance! Have you ever wondered who you would have been if your life had gone differently? How would you direct your life if everything were up to you? Would you be a world traveler, a magician…or just a lazy bum?
‘CV’ means curriculum vitae – your resume – and in the dice and card game CV you will lead a character through his entire life, making many choices about friends, relations, jobs and activities. Everything is possible: a dream job, new relationships and skills. You can be whoever you want!
Gameplay is built around the Yahtzee-style dice rolling and rerolling system. On their dice, players are trying to roll sets of symbols that allow them to acquire cards; each round these cards give benefits of some kind, such as new symbols and special abilities. At the end of the game, each kind of card scores points for the player.
CV plays 2-4 players, for ages 10+ and plays in 60 minutes.
NASA’s 1970 Apollo XIII mission has captured imaginations for decades due to its unbelievable dangers…and even more unbelievable triumphs. Against incredible odds, engineers at NASA overcame disasters of every kind to bring the entire Apollo XIII crew back to Earth safely.
Apollo XIII tells the whole story of the mission through a “card driven” system, which traces the story and features all of the disasters that plagued the mission. The players will need to manage these events if they hope to ensure the survival of the crew and return them to Earth safely.
Apollo XIII is a cooperative game. Your group must coordinate their actions, or you will not finish the mission. But, there is also an optional “Competitive Mode” game at the end of these rules, if you want an extra challenge!
Apollo is for 2-5 players, ages 13+ with a playtime of 45-75 minutes.
In a distant time – so far in the future that either global warming or technical progress is so advanced that windmills are going swimmingly in the Antarctic climate – the rising sea level and increased resource consumption has driven mankind to increase investment in polar research. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research sees an increasingly creative interpretation of the Antarctic Treaty System.
Your objective in Antarctica is to develop research centers in Antarctica and to mine resources – for research purposes only, of course. The sun orbits Antarctica counter-clockwise, and each ship it thaws moves on for scientific progress. At the end of the game, victory points for all kinds of majorities are granted. Will your consort be the one that gained a fortune…er, has done most to rescue mankind?
Turn order is determined by the sun. Whenever it shines on one of your ships, you may erect buildings, recruit new scientists, build more ships, or do scientific research. The game ends when all buildings have been erected, or when one player has placed his last scientist.
Antarctica is for 2-4 players, ages 10+ and will play in 45-90 minutes.
Valskyrr expands Mistfall with a campaign system in different ways and some of the features can also be used in the classic game variant.
Legacy Feats: A new deck of special Feats that can be purchased by any Hero. Use these abilities to sharpen your keen edge or supply your Hero with a little bit of what is not usually their forte.
Setting Cards: As your Hero Develops, so do the Mists. The expansion pack comes with a small deck of cards that will randomize ways in which each subsequent Quest will become harder, as the relentless Mists, aware of your presence, will push back, trying to stop your advance.
Elite Enemies: The Valskyrr will also come with an alternative version of one type of Enemy from each of the three groups (Wildlanders, Borderlanders and Undead). When introduced by a Setting, these will succeed the Regular Enemies in their respective decks, making the most basic footman of your Enemy a greater challenge to face.
Epic Villains: Just like the Regular Enemies, some of the biggest and baddest evildoers will receive an upgrade. The expansion will provide you with a final battle that will truly feel like a worthy conclusion to an epic tale.
This expansion is for 1-4 players, ages 14+ and plays in 30-120 minutes.
Passport Game Studios has announced three titles will be released at Gen Con 2015 in Indianapolis, IN. Exodus: Edge of Extinction, Pocket Imperium, and Warehouse 51.
Publishers description below.
Exodus: Edge of Extinction
Exodus: Edge of Extinction is the first expansion to the critically-acclaimed Exodus: Proxima Centauri, and is already enjoying a rating of 9.1 out of 10 on BoardGameGeek.com. Edge of Extinction continues the base game’s wide-spread conflict, as six splintered factions of humanity race against time and each other to develop new technologies and forge questionable alliances. Fleet commanders will be able to command larger fleets and implement new strategies in their efforts to assert their superiority. Of course, they’ll also have to watch out for the new strategies implemented by their foes!
Exodus: Edge of Extinction gives players dozens of additional cards, as well as new card types, including “Combat Cards.” These add a new layer of strategic depth to the game, allowing for more intricate strategies than in the base game alone. The game’s designers, Agnieszka Kopera and Andrei Novac from NSKN Games, will be at the Passport Game Studios booth throughout the show to demo the expansion and base game.
Time: 120 minutes
Pocket Imperium is a pocket-sized 4x space conquest game from Passport Game Studios partner LudiCreations. With a box measuring in at 5” x 7”, this game may be small, but it packs in a lot of strategic choices. A massive print-and-play success, the fully published version will be available for sale for the first time at Passport Game Studios’ Gen Con booth.
In Pocket Imperium, players represent the leader of one of four different spacefaring races. They will have to compete against the other races to explore the galaxy to find resources, expand their fleet with newer, stronger, and faster ships, and ultimately conquer their foes by engaging in open warfare. But the other leaders will work against them, claiming planets for themselves as they ready to topple empires and claim space for themselves. Pocket Imperium is a 4X microgame, where each phase of the game is, in itself, a game. This allows for games to move quickly, and players who can avoid extermination will last the longest.
Time: 30 minutes
Warehouse 51 is a brand-new game from designers Bruno Faiduitti, Sergio Halaban, and Andre Zatz. Co-published with partner FunForge (Tokaido, Samurai Spirit, Quantum), Warehouse 51 is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated games of Gen Con 2015.
In Warehouse 51, players represent multimillionaires hoping to add artifacts from the now-broke US Government’s Warehouse 51 to their private collections. Things aren’t always as they seem, and those wishing to own these ultra-rare items may not know what they’re getting themselves into. After all, there’s a reason why the government kept these items locked away in a nondescript warehouse for so long…
Warehouse 51 pits players against each other with a cutthroat auction mechanic. The millionaire who can accumulate the most valuable items, while avoiding the perils that accompany these mythical artifacts, will come out ahead.
Time: 30 minutes
Press Release – For Immediate Release
Passport Game Studios Expands Distribution On Global Scale
New Distribution Agreements Bring Popular Titles To Asia/Pacific, U.K., E.U., and South Africa
Auburn, Washington, April 29, 2015: Passport Game Studios has officially gone global. The Washington-based board game publisher, currently best-known for bringing titles such as Tokaido, Samurai Spirit, Kingsport Festival, and Quantum to the English-speaking North American market, have entered into new distribution agreements to make some of their best-known titles available in select markets worldwide, including the U.K., European Union, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Japan.
New distribution partner Esdevium will begin distributing titles such as Kingsport Festival, Provincia Romana, Venetia, and Ace Detective to retail stores across the U.K. and European Union. Hobby Japan will bring Tokaido and Samurai Spirit, among others, to the country that so greatly inspired the games’ designer, Antoine Bauza. South African distributor SkyCastle is bringing a selection of co-published titles from Stratelibri and Funforge to store shelves. Finally, Good Games in Australia and PixelPark in New Zealand will bring some of Passport’s enduringly popular board games to stores across the Pacific.
“Passport Game Studios has always been about bringing the world’s best tabletop games to brand new audiences. With these new distribution agreements in place, gamers all over the world will have the chance to experience these titles, many for the first time. We couldn’t be more excited to introduce to the world to our games!” said Richard Dracass, Vice President of Operations at Passport Game Studios.
In the weeks to come, more games will be added to Passport Game Studios’ international agenda. Certain titles which were previously only available through Passport’s North American distribution channels, such as those from co-publisher NSKN Games, will be made available in English to select markets around the world. Additionally, Passport Game Studios’ partner Argentum Verlag, creators of international hit Hansa Teutonica, has also agreed for its titles to be made available to Asia-Pacific audiences through Passport’s new global distribution channels.
Passport Game Studios is an independent board game publisher based in the Pacific Northwest. Since the company’s founding in 2012, Passport has partnered with a selection of hand-picked companies to publish over 30 English-language titles for gamers in North America and beyond. The company’s mission: To provide the best tabletop games in the world, to the gamers who love to play them. For more about Passport Game Studios, visit http://www.PassportGameStudios.com.
The Passport Games newsletter has announced that three of their games are available in stores:
[redacted] – a game of spycraft and bluffing set during the Cold War.
Progress: Evolution of Technology – a technology building card game in which players build technology for their society beginning in the ancient world and progressing to the modern era.
Versailles – players work to build and decorate the palace of Versailles and earn the favor of King Louis the XIV.
Also mentioned in the newsletter, you can read interviews with the design teams for all three games to get a more in depth look at the design process. Find the online version of the newsletter here and be sure to check your friendly local game store for these releases from Passport Games.
Passport Games has announced the January release of two Andrei Novac titles, Versailles and Progress: Evolution of Technology. Both games will make their US debut after first being published by NSKN Games out of Romania, where Novac is both founding member and executive manager.
Following these, Passport Games will also publish Hansa Teutonica in February. The game, previously released by Z-Man Games in 2010, will now lead off the recently finalized deal to bring all of Argentum Verlag’s games to the US, including the new Hansa Teutonica: Britannia Expansion.
You can read the article here.
First up is Gear and Piston, a game about building automobiles in 1888. From the announcement:
In the game, each player builds an automobile prototype by taking actions in different locations. You may patent brand-new parts in the Patent Office, look for rejected, volatile pieces of machinery in the chaos of the Junk Yard, try to gain an edge through the Back Alley, and finally build your prototype in the Workshop. All this just to please the two investors who are doing the rounds of the different engineering outfits, and who will be evaluating your rickety mess of an automobile. Good timing, keeping an eye on your competitors, and even a dash of luck are all you need to succeed in this business.
In Byzantio, players take on the role of a house vying for control of the throne. They will use all manner of actions, from Diplomacy to Espionage, to take control of the necessary imperial cities to win the game and the throne. From the announcement:
In the 11th century A.D. the empire is torn between four factions, two of them provincial, military aristocracies (the houses of Comnenid and Phocas) and two of them urban, secular aristocracies (the houses of the Dukes and Angels). It is 1025, and the emperor Basileios II has ascended into the heavens without providing for an heir. In Constantinople, representatives from the most important aristocratic families vie for their favored to inherit the Emperor’s ring and throne.
Progress: Evolution of Technology was Kickstarted earlier this year and is finally getting its much anticipated US release in January. Progress is a card game of civilization building that focuses on the growth of technology from one age to the next.
Unlike other civilization games, Progress focuses on a single aspect of civilization building: researching technologies that help a society advance. The 210 technology cards in the game are divided into three ages (Ancient, Middle Ages, Industrial) and three types (Military, Science and Culture). With every advancement on a path, you gain easier access to its more advanced technologies and you’ll end up opening the door to the next age.
[redacted] was a very popular title at recent conventions and will be available again in January. This game is all about intrigue, betrayal as players act as spies at a reception gathering intel during the Cold War.
While interacting with each other, the players seek to interrogate, steal or injure when they can. With a double-blind interaction mechanism that never really lets the tension ebb, a skilled agent will need to do a lot more than see through a bluff if they want to win.
In Versailles, players compete for the favor of King Louis the XIV to become his new chief architect.
On every turn, a player moves their workers through a network of locations. Each location provides valuable resources, or a way to spend those resources on tiles. These tiles represent parts of the palace, its surrounding gardens, and decorations and technologies to bolster gathering and building abilities. A unique movement and location activation system requires clever workforce management, which makes every move count and makes every game tense right to the end.
Up next are February releases. First is Yunnan, a game about tea trading on the Tea-Horse Road in Tibet.
In Yunnan, players control the fate of their tea dynasties. Their main goal is to establish a broad and secure trading network to deliver the tea to the farthest provinces…and doing it better than their opponents. The main work behind the scenes is done in Pu’er, their home location: New traders need to be trained, better horses need to be acquired, and a good number of border passes need to be requested to be able to reach the farthest provinces.
However, mere trading is not enough to beat the competition. Great social influence and building a prestigious tea house may come in handy to sway the province inspector. Bridges provide shortcuts and trading posts in faraway places secure the own path along the Tea- Horse Road.
Hansa Teutonica, a game of trading between Germanic cities in the 13th to 17th centuries, is getting another print run!
Players compete for wealth and prestige as merchants in the Hanseatic League. Players may set up a network of branch offices in as many cities as possible in an effort to expand their base of power, but they must also develop their talents and trading skills if they wish to be the best and take down the opposition.
In El Gaucho, players are cattle barons sending their gauchos into the Pampa in South America to collect the best looking cattle.
Gauchos exercise their abilities at the dice rodeo. The better they do during training, the easier they’ll catch cattle in the field. Players must be smart and get in their opponents’ way with mean tricks — snatching the most valuable cattle from under their noses, or swinging a lasso to abduct their animals. Back at the ranch, players must sort their cattle and assemble them in herds in order to sell them for as many Pesos as possible!
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