Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek‘s Polish gaming paradise, has announced a slew of new expansions for 2019 at the Essen Spiel currently going on in Germany.
51st State: Allies is the second expansion for the popular Imperial Settlers variant game 51st State (2010). In Allies, new mechanisms are introduced to ally the factions together, gaining unique bonuses and features. Additionally, this expansion adds 3 new factions to the game – The Steel Police, Uranopolis, and Sharrash! Play to unite the varied factions in the Wasteland, or take control as a lone wolf, the choice is yours.
Breakthrough is the second expansion for Alien Artifacts, the 4x card game released last year. Breakthrough includes “new threats uncovered in the famous Discovery, and new challenges for the space faring factions”. This expansion includes 20 new technology cards, 10 new ship cards, and 10 new planet cards, from the expand category. “Humanity solved the mystery behind the alien technology, and is ready to seize its powers!”
Fans of the award winning 2012 game Robinson Crusoe (#40 on BGG) may need to sit and take a deep breath. Mystery Tales, the second expansion for this thematic cooperative survival game, is coming in 2019. Mystery Tales includes a campaign game, The Lost City of Z, as well as a slew of components which can be added to the base game. This expansion includes 10 new characters, and 300 new cards, including new beasts, a new event deck, new mystery cards and new adventure decks. The game also introduces a new mechanism of SANITY, which can push any game of Robinson Crusoe into the realm of gothic horror. Also included are 5 new scenarios in the campaign, as well as 2 new general scenarios.
Stronghold: Undead is the stand-alone expansion to the acclaimed 2 player game Stronghold (2009), and just like the original, this expansion is getting the second edition treatment. Once again the Stronghold is under seige, with one player attacking and the other trying to survive the onslaught. This time though, the deadly Necromancer throws his unflinching forces against the walls, and each player has 8 turns to break through, or to repel the invaders.
L.A. Crimes is the first expansion to the new hotness, Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game. In Detective, players use a unique combination of web pages, internet searches, information cards and props to solve an intricately crafted detailed story of crime and greed. The expansion has 3 new cases taking place in sunny California, in the crime riddled Los Angeles of the 1980s. The expansion includes 2 new mechanisms – observation and stakeouts.
Finally Portal Games is prepping a magical Lootbox, with 6 unique mystery promos. Pre-orders for the Loot Box start on November 1. For more information on this, and all the announcements, check out Portal Games’ press release here.
Fantastic news for anyone lucky enough to attend the Essen Spiel Game Convention in Germany at the end of the month – Board game publisher Pegasus Spiele is once again hosting a fantastic game night, this year taking place Thursday October 25 and Friday October 26, from 7pm – 1am. The event will include a library of over 50 games for lend, including such hits as Azul, Reef, Sagrada, and many more. Additionally, new and notable games from associated publishers Plan B Games, Eggertspiele, Frosted Games and Portal Games will be available to play, such as Blackout: Hong Kong, Camel Up 2nd edition, Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, Monolith Arena, Detective, Men at Work, and several others. Guests of honor this year include 2018 Spiel des Jahres winner Michael Kiesling (Azul), Roberto Fraga (Captain Sonar, Dr. Eureka), and Yohan Lemonnier (Captain Sonar). For more information and schedule of events, check out Pegasus’ announcement here.
Portal Games has announced that Monolith Arena, from designer Michał Oracz (Neuroshima Hex, Cry Havoc), will be available on October 24, at Essen Spiel 2018. Monolith Arena is a fantasy, hex based, arena combat game for 2-4 players. Players pick one of 4 factions, The Harbingers of the Forest, the Guardians of the Realm, the Dragon Empire, or the Lords of the Abyss, each of which come with 35 unique hex tiles. The tiles are drawn into a “hand” of 3 each turn, at least one of which much be discarded, while the others can be saved or played. Tiles represent banners, units and runes, placed on the hex board to fight or modify nearby units, or represent orders, allowing already placed units to move, fight, or push others. Tiles vary greatly in which direction they can target, how many targets they can affect, how fast they enter battle, how hard they hit or how tough they fight. Advanced players can play with Monoliths, comprised of 3 stacked, hidden tiles in a plastic structure, which can unfold into the component tiles, given enough space on the board. If a player manages to destroy their opponent’s banner, they emerge victorious. Otherwise, game play continues until the last tiles are drawn, which can trigger a final battle, and the end of the game. Read more about Monolith Arena on Portal’s website, and look for the game at Essen on October 24.
Portal Games will be releasing Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game on August 2nd at Gen Con 2018. However, if you can’t wait that long or don’t think you’ll be able to pickup a copy wading through a sea of gamers you can pre-order the game directly from Portal Games and have it shipped directly from Poland to receive it in July.
“Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game is a fully co-operative, immersive, detective experience. This is a game of wits and deduction, a full game night experience – a single game session can last up to 3 or more hours. It is also rules-light, meaning, that the most powerful tool at your disposal is your team, your imagination, and your own mind.” [source]
In this story-driven game, designed by Przemysław Rymer, Ignacy Trzewiczek, and Jakub Łapot for 1-5 players, the group plays as Antares National Investigation Agency members. Together, you tackle five different cases and solve them in order. The detectives need to use an online database which they access at a website provided by Portal Games. Each case affects the next and together they form a campaign that puts your detective skills to the test. At the end of each case there’s the option to “save the game” so that you can continue play at your next session. Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game plays in about 2-3 hours and is aimed at players aged 16+.
Those who pre-order the game (of which there are only 1000 pre-order copies) will receive bonus content which will be revealed over 4 weeks. Currently, an additional case, investigator, and consultant have been revealed.
Earlier this year, Portal Games announced that it’s hit game Alien Artifacts was getting its first expansion Alien Artifacts: Discovery. Portal just announced that, in conjunction with the release of Discovery, they will be releasing their second print run of the game in French and German with plans of a Spain and Portuguese edition in the near future.
Portal Games have announced many new releases for 2018 at their games convention, Portalcon.
This is a new fantasy, battleground, board game designed by Michał Oracz, creator of Neuroshima Hex! Monolith Arena gets its namesake from the Monolith which serves as each player’s headquarters. There are various factions, which all have unique abilities and units, and the faction headquarters also has unique abilities. Each player seeds their Monolith with three tokens which activate when the opponent damages the Monolith and the player exposes the top token. Each time the Monolith is damaged the next token is revealed. The game plays over a hex-based board, supports 2-4 players aged 10+, and plays in roughly 30-40 mins.
Monolith Arena is expected to release at Essen Spiel 2018.
Detective: A Modern Crime Game
Don your fedoras and your raincoats, and cue the moody lighting as you take the role of a detective! No, wait, don’t do that because it’s not the 1920’s anymore. In Detective: A Modern Crime Game the players are placed in a modern setting with access to 21st century tools to solve the case. The game is a story-driven, cooperative game which includes 5 scenarios that can be played as a complete campaign. Each case is represented by 35 cards.
Detective: A Modern Crime Game has 1-5 players taking the role of investigators for the government agency, ANTERES, who have access to an online database to aid in their investigations. The database has information about suspects, witnesses, and documentation from arrests and trials. Players also have access to the investigation manual and can even use real world resources such as Wikipedia, Google Maps, and other available resources.
Detective: A Modern Crime Game is designed by Przemysław Rymer and Ignacy Trzewiczek and is expected to release at GenCon 2018.
Imperial Settlers: Amazons
The all-female, warrior tribe of the Amazons will be featured in the third expansion for Imperial Settlers. The Amazons use elements of the deck-building mechanism to modify the deck during play by discarding reconstructed faction cards from their deck. They also get bonuses for building their cheap faction cards which allows them victory through conquest or construction bonuses.
Imperial Settlers: Amazons supports 1-4 players, aged 10+, and is expected to release during the second half of 2018.
Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire
The third Empire Pack for Imperial Settlers includes fifty new cards to allow players to expand their base factions and conquer faction cards of their opponents. Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire adds borders which are placed between each pair of players.
The game will be part of an early launch kit to be released May 2nd, 2018 but will see official release on May 16th, 2018.
Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales
This expansion adds a new campaign titled The Lost City of Z, where you follow great explorer, Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett as he tries to find the enigmatic city. It also includes a full set of rules and components that can be played with the base game of Robinson Crusoe.
Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales introduces new characters, beasts, and Mystery deck cards and adds a new mechanism of Horror and Sanity with dangerous and Cthulhu-like stories.
The expansion support 1-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 90-180 mins.
Alien Artifacts: Discovery
Humanity has discovered something by accident. It is a mysterious resource, hidden deep under the surface of a distant planet. The race for wealth and new opportunities begins.
Alien Artifacts: Discovery is an expansion to the popular Alien Artifacts, 4x card game. It adds a new type of card, Alien Resources, and new types of ships and planets. A total of 50 cards is added and helps move the storyline forward of the base game.
Alien Artifacts: Discovery is designed by Marcin Senior Ropka and Viola Kijowska, supports 1-4 players aged 10+, and plays in 45-90 mins. The game will be part of an early launch kit on March 7th, 2018 and will see full release on March 21st, 2018.
Portal Games is planning for a busy start to the year with a pile of expansions and retail launch kits ready for players. Alien Artifacts, Robinson Crusoe, and Imperial Settlers will all have new content being released in the first quarter of 2018. Portal Games had already announced a slew of new expansions for 2018, but now players are getting release dates and details of additional in store event kit surprises.
Imperial Settlers by designer Ignacy Trzewiczek and artist Tomasz Jedruszek will receive an expansion deck of cards, We Didn’t Start the Fire, on May 16, 2018. The new empire pack introduces the concept of conquest to Imperial Settlers. Contesting introduces borders to Imperial Settlers. When a player completes a conquest they move the border between empires and can take the left-most faction from their neighboring empire and built it into their own empire. The empire pack will include 50 new cards and support all previous factions.
Portal Games is also planning for the release of a retail support kit for Imperial Settlers prior to the launch of We Didn’t Start the Fire. Releasing on February 2nd, 2018, the In-Store Event Kit will help retailers planning for local tournaments. The retail support kit will include three cards for each of the original 4 base factions that feature a panoramic layout. The three cards in each faction can be placed side by side for a seamless and massive view of the world of Settlers. The kit will also include an Imperial Settlers playing mat (23″ x 13″) to be used as a prize in local tournaments. Winner of the 2014 Golden Geek for best solo game and now almost four years old, Imperial Settlers continues to build a fanbase of players.
By accident, humanity discovers a mysterious resource hidden under the thick crest of one of the planets. The race for the wealth and new possibilities begins!
The expansion introduces the Alien Resource card which will allow players to harvest additional resources from planets and gain new abilities. The Discovery expansion will add 50 new cards to the game, including planets, technologies, ships, Alien Artifacts, and Alien Resources.
An Early Launch Kit will release on March 3, 2018 for brick and mortar stores. Participating stores will receive 10 copies of the expansion, 10 promo materials, and an Alien Artifacts poster. Most importantly, participating retailers will receive the expansion a full two weeks before the official release date.
Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
will see the The Lost City of Z
big box expansion in 2018, but prior to that players will have the chance to travel through time with Robinson Crusoe though an In-Store Event Kit on March 21st, 2018. The In-Store Event Kit will allow players to take part in a new time travel themed scenario. The kit will include:
- a new scenario about time travel
- 8 unique player characters
- four sets of custom wooden pieces representing the food resource
- one poster
The game has also appeared on a number of Dice Tower Top 10 lists including:
Portal Games was one of the stars of the show at GenCon 2016 with the highly asymmetrical area control game Cry Havoc. Players took completely different strategies playing as either the inventive Human Military Complex, the destruction-oriented Machines, the mystical almost euro-stylings of the Pilgrims, or the native omnipresent Trog. Now with the recent release of the first expansion, Aftermath, Portal Games has been filling the inter-sphere with goodies showing off its new addition. First, Portal has put up a beautiful gallery of images from Cry Havoc: Aftermath, showcasing its gorgeous art and elegant, functional graphic design.
Secondly, Portal Games has always been very close with the fans, and Portal Games founder and number one cheerleader Ignacy Trzewiczek has been known to keep dialogs going online, getting new ideas from the people who play the games the most. Ignacy has recently posted a blog describing some of the best moments where game design came directly from we, the public, the fans. For an interesting read, the original BGG threads that led to the Blog are referenced here.
Portal Games has announced a plethora of new games and expansions for 2018. As it is apparently 2018 in Poland (I did not fact check this, it might still be 2017) many of the mini-expansions announced are available now.
First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
Now available in both Europe and North America, Portal Games describes First Martians as the most anticipated game in Portal Games history. Strong pre-orders make it hard to argue that fact. Based on the adventure gaming engine from Robinson Crusoe, digital apps do a lot of the heavy lifting in First Martians. Portal Games announced new content almost exclusively driven by the app for 2018:
- First Martians rules Almanac in PDF form
- 7th stand-alone Removal mission release
- Community created content delivered via app
- New app features
- Tutorial mission
Portal Games also plans to release a new Epidemia mission as well as an in-store event kit.
First Martians is getting a new mini-expansion, in this case a set of extra ROI tiles. This mini-expansion is available now.
Robinson Crusoe gets a pair (and a half) of big announcements. The first is that Robinson Crusoe is getting a companion app! The game isn’t getting any easier, but it is getting additional content as the app will add new events and new adventures to the game. Portal Games also describes the app as allowing players “to choose a theme for each scenario.”
The second big announcement is that Robinson Crusoe is getting a second big expansion. Similar in size to the Voyage of the Beagle expansion from 2013, the Lost City of Z expansion will also follow a single explorer. Players will follow Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett on his expedition through the Amazon in search for the Lost City of Z. Lost City of Z will add Horror and Sanity into the game, add new characters, beast and a mystery deck. The game adds 5 new missions for an epic campaign.
To tide you over until the app and expansion come out Portal has released another mini expansion – Herb Garden and Pen cards. This expansion is available now.
It’s never too early for new content. Alien Artifacts was just released this week, and already Portal Games has accounted a forthcoming expansion. The Alien Artifacts: Discovery expansion moves the storyline of the game forward and introduces Alien Resources to the game. The small (but not mini) expansion adds a total of 50 new cards to the core game.
Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire is the third Empire Pack of Imperial Settlers. Empire Pack’s don’t add new factions to the game, but always add new mechanics and an expanding selection of cards to integrate into the core game. Portal describes the new expansion as adding new cards and increasing the replayability of the game.
Imperial Settlers is getting a Diplomacy mini-expansion which is available now. The new expansion adds two double-sided tiles that add new rules for player interaction through diplomatic mean. The double sided tiles are Declaration of War & Mobilization and Golden Route & Confiscation.
Neuroshima Hex will also be getting an expansion in 2018. The Iron Gang Hexpuzzle Pack is an expansion for the Neuroshima Hex! 3.o base game that will introduce puzzles on the hex board that will need to be solved. The expansion will be playable both solo and competitively with other players. The expansion will include a bonus army tile for the Iron Gang Army Pack.
Monolith Arena – A Fantasy Battleground Boardgame
Speaking of Neuroshima Hex… Portal Games is also introducing new games in 2018! Michal Oracz, creator of Neuroshima HEX, has created a fantasy battleground boardgames. Wage war against your opponents on a familiar hex board. Five factions will each have unique abilities and unites, along with literal monoliths looming large over the battlefield.
Monolith Arena has an estimated playtime of 30-45 minute for 2-4 players aged 10 and up.
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
But wait! There’s more! Przemyslaw Rymer and Igancy Trzewiczek have designed a board game that tells actual stories. A modern crime boardgame, Detective will focus on stories inspired by true events. Sleuths will have a variety of modern tools at their disposal including checking the internet, investigating clues and pouring over the facts. A variety of high quality components will be introduced over 5 unique scenarios. Detective plays out over 90 minutes for 1-4 intrepid investigators aged 14 and up.
It’s shaping up to be a big 2018 for Portal Games!
Portal Games has announced the newest expansion group for Neuroshima Hex 3.0, the Iron Gang. Iron Gang specializes in chain attacks, spreading webs of iron across the battlefield. Units can cast a chain attack, drawing a line of destruction between units and damaging those in between. Additionally, units can cast ranged nets, which can hinder enemies, although are not very durable. Finally, who can resist the “chick on the bike” unit, riding across the battlefield wreaking destruction, and increasing the initiative of her allies.
You can read the full press release from Portal here.
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