san juan

Villages of Valeria is a fast,  fun action-selection tableau building game which released last year to praise for it’s solid mechanics and family-friendly depth. Nobody would fault you for confusing this game with Valeria: Card Kingdoms, given they inhabit the same fantasy universe, but they are totally different, easy-to-learn and solid titles in their own rights. Villages of Valeria uses the leader/follower action mechanism made popular by games such as Puerto Rico, San Juan, and Race for the Galaxy, yet it did a good job of filling a niche as a gateway game to those giants. Now it’s first expansion, Landmarks, is up for funding on Kickstarter and it seeks to twist that mechanism enough to make the game stand-out from the crowd. As described on the campaign page:

“With Landmarks, if you cannot or choose not to follow the lead action, you can build a landmark as your follow action. Landmark tokens do not count as Buildings, but at the end of the game, the player with the most of each type of Landmark will earn victory points! Increase your Landmark holdings, leverage the new Buildings, attract the new Adventurers, and show your rivals what a proper village looks like!”

Now instead of being seated with the decision of taking a worse action by following another player’s lead or doing nothing, you can discard cards for points! Huzzah! The landmarks, along with the new buildings and adventurers which interact with them, will broaden strategies and make choices crunchier, much to players delight. In addition to the expansion, the Kickstarter also allows for newcomers to buy the base game and a nice new box to put everything in. If you’re interested in learning more about Villages of Valeria and it’s  first expansion, check out their Kickstarter page for in-depth descriptions, video reviews, and updates.

Race for the Galaxy is a very popular economic style card game that has several expansions to it as well as many fans, so a new game in the same universe will have a leg up on other games.  That new game is Jump Drive, a re-implementation of the older game The City, with a theme switch to put it firmly into the Race universe.  The game will have a San Juan type economy where anything you want to build will have to be paid for in cards.  Some cards will enable you to be more efficient with building, others will get you points, while others will get you special abilities.  Rio Grande Games has said that the cards and interactions will be similar to the larger Race card game so that you can use Jump Drive as a launching point into the bigger game.  So be on the lookout for this game when it hit’s store shelves in January of 2017.

dtawards

The Dice Tower released their 2014 Gaming Award nominee list. Here’s the official press release:

April 21, 2014

The Dice Tower Network is proud to announce the nominees for the best games of 2014. A jury of more than fiftyy Dice Tower staff, prominent bloggers and reviewers went through all the games released in English in 2014, and chose the five best in each category – with ten games nominated for best game of the year.

The winners of each category will be announced on June 26th, at the Dice Tower Convention in Orlando, Florida. Congratulations to all the publishers and designers who were nominated, and we hope that gamers will have a list of truly excellent games to seek out and play.

See the complete listing with pictures at http://www.dicetowerawards.com

Best Reprint

* Ca$h ‘n Guns, 2nd Edition – Asmodee/Repos, Ludovic Maublanc

* Doomtown, Reloaded – AEG, Dave Williams & Mark Wootton

* Medina – Stronghold Games, Stefan Dorra

* San Juan, 2nd Editions – Ravensburger, Andreas Seyfarth

* Ticket to Ride, 10th Edition – Days of Wonder, Alan R. Moon

Best Party Game

* Ca$h ‘n Guns, 2nd Edition – Asmodee/Repos, Ludovic Maublanc

* Clusterfight – Game Salute, Sam Liberty & Kevin Spak

* Good Cop, Bad Cop – Overworld Games, Brian Henk, Clayton Skancke

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

* Strike a Pose – R&R Games, Sébastien Decad

Best Artwork

* Abyss – Asmodee, Xavier Collette

* Alchemists – CGE, David Cochard

* Battle of the Five Armies – Ares Games, Lucas Graciano, Jon Hodgson, Fabio Maiorana, Francesco Mattioli, Ben Wootten

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games, Henning Ludvigsen

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games – Thomasz Jedruszek

Best Components

* Arcadia Quest – Cool Mini or Not, Eric Lang, Fred Parret, Theiago Aranha, Guilherme Goulart

* Colt Express – Asmodee / Ludonaut, Christophe Raimbault

* Star Wars: Imperial Assualt – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Splendor – Asmodee / Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Two-player Game

* Battle of the Five Armies – Ares Games, Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello

* Dice Masters – Wizkids, Eric Lang, Mike Elliott

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Warhammer 40K: Conquest – Fantasy Flight Games, Eric Lang, Nate French, Brad Andres

Best Cooperative Game

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game – Upper Deck, Danny Mandel, Ben Cichoski

* Pandemic: the Cure – Z-man Games, Matt Leacock

* Shadows of Brimstone – Flying Frog, Jason C. Hill

* Witness – Ystari Games, Dominique Bodin

Best Strategy Game

* Five Tribes – Days of Wonder, Bruno Cathala

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek

* Kanban: Automotive Revolution – Stronghold Games, Vital Lacerda

* Panamax – Stronghold Games, Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Expansion

* 7 Wonders: Babel – Repos Productions, Antoine Bauza

* Cyclades: Titans – Matagot, Bruno Cathala, Ludovic Maublanc

* Mice & Mystics: Downwood Tales – Plaid Hat Games, Jerry Hawthorne

* Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice – Z-man Games, Jens Drögemüller, Helge Ostertag

* Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture – Stonemaier Games, Alan Stone, Jamey Stegmaier, Morten Monrad Pedersen

Best New Designer

* Splendor – Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Heroes of Normandie – IELLO Games, Yann and Klem

* Paperback – self-published, Tim Fowers

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Family Game

* Camel Up – Z-man Games – Steffen Bogen

* Diamonds – Stronghold Games – Mike Fitzgerald

* King of New York – IELLO – Richard Garfield

* Splendor – Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

Best Game from Small Publisher

* Medieval Academy – Blue Cocker Games, Nicolas Poncin

* Paperback – self-published, Tim Fowers

* Run, Fight, or Die! – 8th Summit and Grey Fox Games, Richard Launius

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Most Innovative Game

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Golem Arcana – Harebrained Schemes, Jordan Weissman, Seth Johnson, Michael Mulvihill, Brian Poel

* Tragedy Looper – Z-man Games, BakaFire

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

Best Theming

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Castles of Mad King Ludwig – Bezier Games, Ted Alspach

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game – Upper Deck, Danny Mandel, Ben Cichoski

Game of the Year

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Dice Masters – Wizkids, Eric Lang, Mike Elliott

* Five Tribes – Days of Wonder, Bruno Cathala

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek

* Kanban: Automotive Revolution – Stronghold Games, Vital Lacerda

* Splendor – Asmodee / Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller