Spiel des Jahres
Asmodee is celebrating the 7th anniversary of 7 Wonders, originally released in 2010, with two new mini expansion packs.
The first expansion pack, 7 Wonders: Leaders Anniversary Pack Expansion is an expansion to 7 Wonders: Cities, which was released in 2010 as the first 7 Wonders expansion. This anniversary pack will include at least fifteen new leaders to include in games of 7 Wonders. Characters from history will include Gorgo, Cornelia, Enheduanna, Roxana, and more. 7 Wonders Leaders added Leader cards to the base game. At the start of every game, each player drafts a hand of four leaders and can pay money to play one leader at the start of each of the three Ages.
The second expansion pack, 7 Wonders: Cities Anniversary Pack Expansion, is an expansion to the 7 Wonders: Cities expansion, which was released in 2012. The expansion pack will include at least fifteen new cities. City cards will include a memorial, customs, counterfeiter’s office, smuggler’s cache, and more. 7 Wonders: Cities was the second expansion for 7 Wonders. City cards were a new type if card in the game and aggressively increased the interaction between players in games.
7 Wonders & Many Awards
When released in 2010 7 Wonders was an instant hit, finding both popular and critical success. A sample of awards includes:
The game continues to make regular appearances on Dice Tower Top 10 lists, especially those focussed on higher player counts. Dice Tower Top 10 appearances include:
Ticket to Ride Designer Alan Moon appeared at the Dice Tower Live Show at GenCon 2017 to announce that the next Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 6 will explore France and the Old West.
Dive into thriving French culture during impressionism and the Industrial Revolution; street cafes, “Starry Night”, Paris Boulevards, and Notre-Dame. The French railroad system is a blank canvas just waiting for your masterful strokes. However, before you can start claiming routes, you’ll need to lay the track! Watch for your opponents, though, because they might claim the route you just spent so much time building…
Ticket to Ride France takes players back to the era of impressionism and the Industrial Revolution. On this map no path is certain, as before claiming a route you first need to built the tracks and choose the colors that will be needed to actually claim the route with your trains. This mechanic is completely new to the Ticket to Ride franchise.
Ticket to Ride France follows the traditional choice of draw train cards, draw route cards or claim a route. In this expansion when a player draws train cards they also choose a route of track bed to add to the board. The board includes endless options for routes, but placing track bed for future routes will cut off many other route options other players may have wanted to lay beds for and the laid piece will also determine the color of the train cards that will be required for the route.
The flip-side of the map crosses the ocean to take players to the Old West for a map that holds up to 6 players. Each player will claim a home city their network will start from. The first route you claim must extend out from your starting city. All subsequent routes must also connect back to your home city or cities you have already built connections to. There will be no more reverse route building — you can never claim routes that aren’t already connected to your network.
Once a route card is completed a player can take one of the three city tokens they start with players can play two additional cards to claim the city.
After a player claims a route, they may place one of their city markers in either of the cities in the just completed route by playing a pair of cards of the same color (Locomotives can be used to replace one or both of these cards). Each city can only have one City Marker so two players cannot both con- trol the same city. Players will need to choose routes carefully, as every time a route is claimed that leads to a city controlled by one of their opponents the opponent will be the one to score the points.
What’s in the Box?
Volume 6 box contents include:
- Maps of France and the Old West
- 64 Track Pieces
- A new set of trains
- 18 Cities
- Alvin the Alien Marker
- Tickets & Rules for each Map
Rules are available now for both the France and Old West maps. The expansion will be available at Essen in late October and in early November in North America.
Released in 2004, Ticket to Ride is one of the biggest selling modern board game, and one with a rich legacy as an award winner. A select list of awards includes:
The original game continues to make regular appearances on the Dice Tower Top 10 Lists:
- Eric placed the game at number 2 on the list of Games Every Player Should Own
- Both Eric and Tom placed the game at number 2 on the Best Games of 2004
- Tom placed the game at number 14 and Eric placed the game at number 49 on the Top 100 Games in 2015
Z-Man games has just announced they will be releasing Gaia Project, the spiritual successor to the wildly successful Terra Mystica. Gaia Project will be released later in 2017 and will be available for gamers to see at GenCon 2017.
The galaxy lies in the distance, full of planets full of resources waiting to be claimed by spacefarers. Your people have finally developed enough technology to head out into the cosmos and reach for the stars. Similar to Terra Mystica, Gaia Project once again invites up to four players to forge galactic empires of their own.
Fourteen unique factions will come in the game with each player taking one faction to claim planets, increase production and develop technology to colonize planets before your rivals. Grow your empire and you’ll unlock abilities and new technologies to dominate the galaxy.
Creating New Galaxies and Federations
Featuring a modular board, players will be able to create a new galaxy for exploring every time they play. Once the galaxy is constructed players need to immediately start producing the resources necessary for exploration. Only through successful good production will you have the resources necessary to power your way through the galaxy. As your tiny empire grows you can upgrade existing resources like mines, invest in your research engine, or develop your own federation to help keep your planets aligned.
Even if you manage to claim a planet before your rivals, you will still have to deal with the unforgiving environments on these new planets. Choose what planets to make habitable wisely or you’ll waste the scarce resources you’ve collected.
Starting on the Cutting Edge
You’re not starting from scratch in this game. When the game begins all fourteen factions have already developed the technology to travel between planets. You’ve also mastered the ability to terraform planets, altering the environments enough to create the conditions necessary to sustain your specific faction.
Even with this amazing technology your faction can develop further. Something you’ll need to do faster than your opponents. Investing in research will be critical, whether it be something that can boost your economy, your scientific output or your terraforming ability. Creating Quantum Intelligence Cubes will help you extend your reach beyond the planets merely adjacent to your position. With Navigation Research you can increase your range to reach distant planets that appear as mere specks.
Among the many worlds you will encounter are the Transdim Planets. These purple planets contain critical resources, but unlike other planets they cannot be built directly upon. To claim these planets you must initiate a Gaia Project. An investment in a Gaia Project grants you Gaiaformers. These powerful machines can be placed on Transdim planets to begin resource extraction.
A successful Gaia Project allows you to claim a planet that would not be suited your faction without having to go through the costly terraforming process.
A Legacy of Success
Gaia Project builds of the legacy of Terra Mystica, currently ranked as the 6th greatest game on Boardgamegeek and the 5th greatest strategy game. Terra Mystica also allows up to 4 players to represent one of 14 different factions as they terraform landscapes in competition with other factions. Terra Mystica was a big winner when it was released in 2012 and through the 2013 awards season. A selection of awards include:
The Dice Tower Top Ten Lists still include Terra Mystica on a frequent basis, including these appearances:
- The 2017 Top Ten from 5 Years Ago list had Eric placing the game at #2 and The People ranking the game #2.
- The 2015 list of the 100 greatest games had Tom listing the game at 39, Eric listing the game at #19 and The People ranking the game at 15.
- Eric ranks the game as the 7th best Long Game.
Stronghold Games has announced details on the Fast Forward™ Series which uses the new Fable Game™ system first introduced by Friedemann Friese in Fabled Fruit.
Fabled Fruit was the first in the series, and Stronghold has announced that Fortress will be the second game using the Fable system.
A great Fortress looms in the distance… and it must be yours! Accept the challenge against all others to conquer the Fortress! FORTRESS is a game about risk taking, out-witting and bluffing your friends to become the dominate ruler of the kingdom, and second in our Fast Forward™ Series .
No rulebook reading is necessary in the second game in the series. Put 2-4 gamers around a table and discover constantly changing rules while playing the game. Similar to Fabled Fruit a pre-sorted deck of cards slowly introduces new rules to the games. Through 12 games of Fortress gamers can explore the entire set of rules. Each game takes approximately 15 minutes. Once complete it can be reset to be played once again by the same group or a new set of gamers.
Fabled Fruit was the first of the Fable games, now referred to as the Fast Forward Series. In the series a game starts in an initial and very simple set of cards and rules but as you play through the game system both the mechanisms and gameplay evolve.
Playing through the game multiple times each play changes the game slightly. Unlike Legacy games the game is never permanently altered. At any point you may easily reset a Fable game from the beginning either after playing through the entire set of cards or at any point partway through the game.
Fabled Fruit, the first in the series, was shortlisted on for a variety of awards:
- 2017 Spiel des Jahres Recommended List
- 2016 Golden Geek Most Innovative Game Nominee
- 2016 Golden Geek Best Family Game Nominee
- 2016 Golden Geek Best Card Game Nominee
It’s official folks, the winners of the Spiel des Jahres awards have all been announced. The winner for the Spiel des Jahres, game of the year, is the tile laying game, Kingdomino by Bruno Cathala. This game beat out the two other games, Magic Maze by Kasper Lapp and Race to El Dorado by Reiner Knizia, to win the title. Kingdomino is an easy to learn and easy to play game, but comes with some nice decision making, and fits well into the family friendly atmosphere of previous Spiel des Jahres winners. The game is available now so check out your FLGS to get this now award winning family game.
Also announced today was the winner of the Kennerspiel des Jahres, connoisseur/expert game of the year, which is EXIT the Game, a room escape series from Kosmos. This beat out the first Kickstarter game to be nominated, Raiders of the North Sea, and the fan favorite in other awards, Terraforming Mars. As of right now there are three EXIT games released with more having been announced, so check out your FLGS to grab a copy today.
As for the Kinderspieal des Jahres, kids game of the year, that was announced as Ice Cool last month, so you can see our previous article to find out more about that game.
The winners of the Spiel des Jahres and the Kinnerspiel des Jahres have yet to be picked, but they have chosen the Kinderspiel des Jahres winner. And the winner is Ice Cool.
Ice Cool is definitely worthy of this title as it is a very fun dexterity game that works for adults and kids alike. In the game you have one person being the hall monitor, trying to keep everyone in class, and everyone else are students trying to sneak away for a snack. You will be flicking your weeble-wooble like penguin around the board trying to go through the doors with your color fish on them. The more fish you collect the more points you get, and for the hall monitor, the more students you catch and take their ID from, the more points you get. After everyone either gets their fish or the hall monitor catches everyone, the player being the hall monitor switches and you play another round. Once everyone has been the hall monitor once you count up points, and the most points is the winner.
Days of Wonder has just released the award winning game Jaipur as an adaptation for mobile devices.
Now players can pick up mobile devices and tables to adopt a role as one of the most powerful merchants in Rajasthan in this two player game. Buy, trade and sell commodities for profit while using camels to cash in on end game bonuses. Win two out of three rounds to claim the title of the greatest merchant in the capital of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
The game is now available for mobile devices and tablets both in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store:
Asmodee and Days of Wonder have released a trailer for the app: YouTube Trailer.
Designed by Sébastien Cauchon and originally released as a small box card game by GameWorks SàRL Jaipur received much early critical success, including making it to the prestigious 2010 Spiel des Jahres recommended list. The game has also made the Dice Tower’s People’s Choice list for Best Games of 2009 and Eric placed it on his list of Top 10 Asmodee Games.
The 2017 Spiel des Jahres award nominees have been announced. The “Game of the Year 2017” will be selected on July 17, 2017 in Berlin. There were several other games that made it to the jury’s “recommendation” list and they can be viewed on the official announcement here.
Game of the Year 2017 (Spiel des Jahres)
Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Prestigious tile laying for 2 to 4 crowned terrain planners
Publisher: Sit Down !, Distribution: Pegasus Spiele
Cooperative shopping house break for 1 to 8 hectic heroes
Deck building in the jungle for 2 to 4 fast treasure hunters
Children’s Game of the Year 2017 (Kinderspiel des Jahres)
Publisher: Queen Games
Fast-paced treasure hunting for 2 to 4 sensitive pirates from 6 years
Publishing house: Amigo Interlaced snips for 2 to 4 ice-cold schoolchildren from 6 years
Publisher: Iello, Vertrieb. Yikes! & Friends
Adventurous journey for 2 to 4 clever scouts from 6 years
Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year 2017 (Kennerspiel des Jahres)
Congenial Knobeleien for 1 to 6 (our recommendation: 1 to 4) creative cryptologists
* “The Abandoned Hut”, “The Secret Laboratory”, “The Grave Chamber of Pharaoh”
Plentiful plundering for 2 to 4 walkers-worshiping Vikings
Image from the English 2nd Printing
Planetary project development for 1 to 5 climate changing corporate boards
Z-Man Games has announced plans to distribute Michael Schacht’s new game Smile
. A card game for three to five players, Smile has players working in an environment where all sorts of critters have escaped their enclosures. Players will use lightening bugs as bait (critters love lightning bugs, obviously) to catch more lost critters than their opponents, while being careful to avoid capturing wild critters which will give players negative points.
The light is falling and time is growing short. There’s no telling what sorts of trouble your critters will get into if you don’t find them soon. Gather your lightning bugs and round up the best critters in Smile, arriving soon!
Game play unfolds over ten rounds. In each round players will unveil a number of critter cards equal to the number of players. Players then choose, in order, to stay in the round by placing a single firefly on the lowest value creature or to drop out of the round. When dropping out players take the least valuable critter still available, though gaining the many fireflies possibly now associated with that card. Deception and push your luck elements are in play as each firefly committed brings you closer to a valuable critter while at the same time depleting your store of lightning bugs. Drop out early and stock up on bugs for future rounds and make a dramatic comeback or take an early lead!
Additional rules add to the challenge. If you end up with two critters of the same color in the top-left corner you remove both from the game. This can come in handy for getting rid of negative point critters, or perhaps you can force an opponent to lose two valuable cards?
Ticket to Ride players are about to have a new entry point into the classic train network building universe with Ticket to Ride: Germany. This time potential railroad tycoons will use an illustrated map of late 19th century Germany to lay the foundation for their tiny plastic train empires. European customers and conductors can pick the game up in June, while North Americans can catch the caboose in August at Gencon.
Players can collect valuable Passenger Meeples from cities around the board to score points. This mechanic was also seen in the Märklin Edition of the game. In addition players will want to connect destination cities on both short and long routes to gain victory points.
Unlike the past few expansions, this game will be a complete entry point into the Ticket to Ride line, with everything needed for 2-5 players to play inside the box. Contents include:
- A map of Germany
- 225 colored Train Cars
- 110 Train Car Cards
- 89 Destination Tickets Cards
- 60 Passenger Meeples
- 1 Cloth Bag
- 5 Scoring Markers
- 1 Rules Booklet
- A special Globetrotter Bonus Card.
The Popularity of Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride has been the entry point for many gamers. Just a few of the Dice Tower Top 10 lists that include Ticket to Ride include:
The original Ticket to Ride has actually been included in over 30 of the Dice Tower Top Ten lists. With such strong pedigree and a history of popular expansions, Ticket to Ride: Germany is likely to make a splash when it enters the market later this year.
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