Solarius Mission is a space-faring eurogame from the creators of La Granja, Michael Keller II and Andreas “ode” Odendahl. It’s unique for being a 3X game, exhibiting all the features of the 4X genre minus the “eXtermination” (or combat), making for a relatively peaceful space epic as players expand, exploit, and explore the galaxy. Unfortunately, Solarius Mission saw a limited language distribution in 2016 via Spielworxx, although it still impressed many players with it’s familiar mechanics from La Granja and those inspired by Ora et Labora. Fortunately, Flying Lemur Games has announced that they’ve partnered with Spielworxx and obtained English language rights for publishing and they plan to start via Kickstarter, improving the components while they are at it. As described in their press release:
“This is a big game with lots of components – dice, cubes, tons of cardboard, minis, and cards – so we are pleased to be bringing it to Kickstarter within the next few months,” says Mischa Harris, CEO of Flying Lemur Game Studio. “And, we’re going to do it right, with a deluxe version to really make it pop on the table.”
This is excellent news for people around the world that have been waiting to play this game, especially fans of La Granja and deep, brisk eurogame sensibilities. Solarius Mission is a game that really deserves to see a wider audience, being a member of a small club of space-themed games that lacks interstellar conflict yet still keeping the gratifying sense of technological progression and discovery. It’s nicer still that this game will go through Kickstarter first, as the visuals of the first edition were frankly simple and lacking and could use the deluxe treatment. If you are interested in Solarius Mission and it’s upcoming Kickstarter, keep an eye on the Flying Lemur Games Twitter page for announcements and dates.
Two eagerly awaited games are soon to be released and available for pre-order now from one of the industry’s top publishers: Stronghold Games.
First up is Dark Moon a game of deception and betrayal in space. Dark Moon is based on a game called BSG Express designed by Evan Derrick that was released as a print an play game. BSG Express quickly became a hit and is said to be the most downloaded PNP game on BGG. Stronghold Games kept Evan Derrick as the designer for Dark Moon which also includes art by Evan and Viktor Csete.
You are a crew member on a deep space mining expedition to Titan, the dark moon of Saturn. During a routine excavation, an “incident” occurs whereby some of the crew become infected with an unknown virus, and become paranoid, deceitful, and violent, trying to destroy the others.
At the start of the game players are divided into two groups: Infected and Uninfected. Each player will know which team they belong to but will not know about the other players affiliation. Uninfected players simply need to survive till the end of the game to win and the infected players secretly attempt to destroy them. This game provides all the paranoia of Battlestar Galactica (BSG) in a fraction of the time and from all accounts I’ve come across so far it is an exceptional game.
Dark Moon plays 3 – 7 people and takes 60 -75 minutes. It should be available from you FLGS/OLGS on June 24th 2015 so if you’re interested keep an eye out or pre-order it today.
Next up is La Granja, which made its first appearance at Essen Speil 2014 published by Spielworxx and was a huge hit. La Granja is designed by Michael Keller (II) and Andreas “ode.” Odendahl and includes beautiful art by Harald Lieske.
In La Granja players will control small farms on the island of Mallorca. Over 6 rounds players will expand their farms by adding fields, farm expansions, market barrows, and helpers while earning victory points by delivering goods to the nearby village.
La Granja is a fascinating game that requires careful planning. Timing and speed is crucial. However, successful players must cope with the uncertainty of events during the game. The player who has earned the most victory points at the end of the game is the winner and new owner of the La Granja estate!
La Granja requires 1 – 4 players to carefully plan and time their actions, keep watch on other players actions, and adjust strategy based on cards and dice. La Granja is considered to be a very approachable and streamlined euro that has already seen great success so no doubt this game will do very well for Stronghold Games. It is one of the most anticipated games to come out of Speil 2014 so if you’re interested definitely keep an eye out for it in July 2015 at your FLGS/OLGS or pre-order it today.
The history of the automobile is a popular theme for board games. This month, Spielworxx is proud to release famed designer Matthias Cramer (Lancaster, Helvetia, Rococo)’s take on the concept with Kraftwagen.
The rulebook introduction sets the mood nicely
By the year 1928, Germany possessed a dense road network where combustion engines had triumphed over electric or steam engines and where cars were produced via assembly lines. Manufacturers began producing more affordable vehicles for the broader population.
Each player begins at the helm of a fledgling car manufacturer. By advancing the technology and proving their designs, each player hopes to come out on top as the demand for new and improved automobiles grows. Time will have to be balanced between enhancing a car’s engine, body and earning prestige for your company. Cars must be released to market to satisfy buyers, but designs can also be proven on the race track by entering your prototype into the fledgling Grand Prix.
Research in the game involves not only improving your technology and increasing efficiency, but also acquiring soon-to-be-famous automotive engineers such as Ferdinand Porshe, Rudolf Diesel and Carl Benz.
Matthias Cramer has a proven track record creating interesting games, so Kraftwagen definitely deserves some attention. A quick look over the rulebook shows an action selection mechanism very similar to Cramer’s 2010 game Glen More…getting ahead of the pack ensures you can pick the opportunties you want while the players in back take turns until they catch up.
The game is for the typical 2-4 players ages 10 and up. And playing time is a reasonable 75 minutes. If Cramer’s other games have captured your interest, keep an eye on Kraftwagen.