UK Games Expo is the premier event in the UK where all aspects of the gaming hobby are represented under one roof. It will run on Friday, 1st June to Sunday 3rd June 2018. The UK Games Expo Awards were developed and introduced in 2007 to recognize the achievements of manufacturers and publishers of eligible games in a variety of game genres.
This is a shortlist of the games nominated in no particular order.
Best Abstract Game
Best Children’s Game
- BrainBox People at Work (The Green Board Game Company)
- Don’t be a Donkey (John Adams Leisure Ltd)
- Rhino Hero: Super Battle (Habermaass GmbH aka HABA)
Best Family Game
Best Miniature Range
Best Miniature Rules
Best New Accessory
- Big Book of Battle Mats (Loke Battle Mats)
- DMB Games Resin Dungeon Tile Core Set (DMB Games)
- Blood Red Skies – Aces Accessory sets (Warlord Games)
Best New Boardgame (American-Style)
Best New Boardgame (Euro-Style)
Best New Boardgame (Strategic Style)
Best New Card or Dice Game
Best New Expansion
Best Party Game
Best Role-playing Adventure
Best Role-playing Expansion
Best Role-playing Game
Origins is one of the biggest conventions in the US for gaming, and they have been giving out their awards for the best each year. The different categories include family games, role-playing games, card games, game accessories, board games, collectible games (CCG, TCG, etc.), miniatures, and finally a Game of the Year. Some of the past winners include great games like Codenames, Imperial Assault, and 7 Wonders Duel, so you know bad games aren’t getting these awards. But that’s enough background information, here are the nominees for the 2017 Origins Awards:
Family Games (6 Nominees)
Role-Playing Game (10 Nominees)
- 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents (designed by John Wick, Mike Curry, Rob Justice, Mark Diaz Truman, Jesse Heinig)
- Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
- No Thank You, Evil! by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain and Monte Cook)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight (designed by Tim Flanders, Corey Konieczka, and Sam Stewart)
- Shadowrun-Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs (designed by Raymond Croteau, Jason Hardy, James Meiers, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, R.J. Thomas, Malik Toms, Thomas Willoughby, CZ Wright, and Russell Zimmerman)
- Symbaroum by Järnringen and co-published by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Martin Grip, Mattias Johnsson, Mattias Lilja and Johan Nohr.
- Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jenna Helland, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
- Star Wars: Edge of the Empire-Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight (designed by Blake Bennett, Tim Cox, Jordan Goldfarb, Sterling Hershey and Monte Lin)
- The One Ring: Horse: Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7 (designed by Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Francesco Nepitello, and James Spahn)
- Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Ed Greenwood, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K. Reynolds, Matthew Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter)
Traditional Card Games (8 Nominees)
Game Accessories (4 Nominees)
- Blood Rage Organizer by The Broken Token (designed by Greg Spence)
- Dungeon Morph Dice Adventurer Set by Inkwell Ideas / Q-Workshop (designed by Joe Wetzel, Dyson Logos, Matt Jackson, Shane Knysh, Tim Ballew, Dave Millar, Sigurd Johansson, AJ Stone)
- Flip ‘N Tray Mat Case by Ultimate Guard (designed by Adrian Alonso)
- Improved D Total by Gamescience (designed by Dr. A.F. Simkin, Col. Louis Zocchi, Frank Dutrait)
Board Games (10 Nominees)
- Blood Rage by (designed by Eric M. Lang)
- Clank! by Renegade Games (designed by Paul Dennen)
- Cry Havoc by Portal Games (designed by Grant Rodiek, Michael Oracz, Michael Walczak)
- Feast for Odin by Z Man Games/Asmodee (designed by Uwe Rosenberg)
- Islebound by Red Raven Games (designed by Ryan Laukat)
- Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight/Asmodee (designed by Christopher Burdett, Anders Finér, Henning Ludvigsen)
- Scythe by Stonemaier Games (designed by Jamey Stegmaier)
- Star Wars Rebellion by Fantasy Flight (designed by Corey Konieczka)
- Terraforming Mars by (designed by Jacob Fryxelius)
- World’s Fair 1893 by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games (designed by J. Alex Kevern)
Collectible Games (5 Nominees)
- Yu-Gi-Oh Breaker of Shadow Booster by Konami (designed by Konami Digital Entertainment)
- Pokémon XY11 Steam Siege Booster by Pokémon USA (designed by The Pokémon Company)
- Magic the Gathering: Kaladesh Booster Pack by Wizards of the Coast
- Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Booster Brick by WizKids (designed by WizKids)
- Cardfight Vanguard Fighters Collection by Bushiroad
Miniatures (5 Nominees)
- Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team by Games Workshop
- Konflikt ’47 by Warlord Games (designed by Clockwork Goblin Miniatures)
- Dragon Rampant by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine
- TANKS by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine (designed by Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates)
- Dropfleet Commander by Hawk Wargames (designed by Andy Chambers and David Lewis)
In their latest newsletter, Stronghold Games announced two new releases that will appear in stores on May 25, Piratoons and Animals On Board.
Piratoons is a game with “a great theme, awesome art and unique components, realtime fun, plundering, and a satisfying spatial puzzle.” In Animals On Board, players will experience a game with “charming animals, that is super easy to learn, and with much more depth than you’d expect.”
In June, Stronghold Games’ Envoy program, Knights of the Stronghold, will be officially demoing Piratoons and My Village at local game stores around the country. Piratoons will have its demo events on June 4 and 5, so check in your area for game stores hosting this event.
Finally, Animals On Board has received a prestigious Spiel des Jahres Recommendation for 2016. More information about this and the other recommendations can be found here.
For more news on the above items, or to subscribe to Stronghold’s newsletter, visit their website here.
Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games has released a newsletter full of news for 2016, beginning with the announcement that he plans to leave his regular full-time job to give 100% of his attention to Stronghold Games. He hopes to make this move before the end of the year.
Following this is the announcement that Stronghold Games’ Pocket Line (including Diamonds) will be expanding to include Bear Valley (Carl Chudyk) and Stellar Conflict, a fast-paced space combat game with real-time elements set in the Among the Stars Universe.
Stronghold also announces further summer 2016 releases to include their first pirate-themed game, Piratoons, City of Spies: Estoril 1942, and The Pursuit of Happiness. Additionally, Stronghold discusses their podcast, Board Games Insider, co-hosted by Stephen Buonocore and Ignacy Trzewiczek, and the progress made in 23 episodes so far.
For more details on this year’s upcoming titles, visit the Stronghold Games website here.
Stronghold Games has announced that they will be bringing a new game from Swedish game company FryxGames entitled Terraforming Mars. Designed by Jacob Fryxelius, Terraforming Mars is an economic, territory-building game in which players compete over a period of generations (rounds) to earn the most victory points upon achieving the terraforming of the planet Mars. Stronghold will be hold the worldwide rights to the game in the English language, and worked closely with FryxGames starting in early 2015 for the final development and fine-tuning of the game.
The official press release is as follows:
Terraforming Mars takes place in the 2400s when the conditions on Earth compel humanity to make Mars a habitable planet. Corporations are competing to transform Mars by spending vast resources and using innovative technology to raise the temperature, create a breathable atmosphere, and make oceans of water. As the transformation of the planet progresses, more and more people immigrate from Earth and opportunities for science and progress increase.
The players in Terraforming Mars each control a corporation with a specific profile and starting conditions. These corporations compete to contribute to the planet’s transformation, to advance human infrastructure throughout the solar systems, and to reach significant milestones and awards. The transformation takes time, however, and each round of the game represents a generation. The corporation that has accomplished the most when the planet becomes habitable wins the game.
While the board for Terraforming Mars is a compelling map of the planet, the most notable feature of the gameplay is the 200 unique project cards. The projects represent early terraforming achievements, such as introducing plant or animal life, to monumental ones, such as hurling asteroids at the surface, mining the moons of Jupiter, building cities, or establishing greenhouse gas industries to heat up the atmosphere. Balancing income, projects, resources, and timing is critical to your success.
The development of Terraforming Mars has been a family affair for FryxGames based out of the southern tip of Sweden near Malmö, across from Copenhagen, Denmark. The company consists of four brothers out of a family of ten brothers, six sisters, and two game-passionate parents. Even though only four brothers are formally in the company, most of the family is involved in the games they produce—from game designing and testing, to illustrating and translating, or general input and support.
The release of Terraforming Mars continues the commitment of Stronghold Games to partner with publishers globally, bringing their great games to North America and the rest of the world, as well as to continue to publish great euro-game designs. This title brings together two of Stronghold’s strongest commitments, engaging space games and satisfying euros for serious gamers.
Terraforming Mars will be printed at Ludofact Germany, the leading printer of hobby games in the world. The tentative worldwide release date is the third quarter in 2016, and Stronghold Games anticipates copies to be available for Gen Con. MSRP for the title was not available at press time. In addition to Stronghold Games, FryxGames has licensed the game in Polish to REBEL.pl, as well as in German with a partner that will be announced very soon. No partner on planet Mars has been found yet, but Stronghold Games remains confident that it will serve all English-speaking Martians very well.
For more information about this release, visit the Stronghold Games website or the game’s pages on BoardGameGeek.com.
Stronghold Games and eggertspiele have just announced a strategic partnership whereby Stronghold Games will co-publish all future eggertspiele tiles in English for the North American market, effective immediately.
This is not the first time that these two companies have collaborated on a project; the most recent evidence of this is in Stronghold’s recently released Porta Nigra, as well as Time ‘N’ Space (2013), and Milestones (2012). Stronghold Games is currently in the process of releasing the award-winning Village line of games, also from eggertspiele. These games will be released between April and June of 2016.
“We are very excited by this Strategic Partnership with the world-renowned company, eggertspiele,” said Stephen Buonocore, President of Stronghold Games. “This strengthens our commitment to bringing great games from Europe to North America and the rest of the world.”
“Joining with Stronghold Games as our exclusive North American partner for English was an obvious extension of the existing relationship between the companies,” said Peter Eggert, President of eggertspiele. “Stronghold Games has been a great partner in the past, and their growth over the past several years will strengthen both brands around the world.”
Through this new partnership, Stronghold Games and eggertspiele will begin with three new titles: Animals On Board, JÓRVÍK, and Great Western Trail.
Below are the official press release descriptions of these three upcoming games for 2016:
- Animals On Board:
You have an ark, and you want to take as many animals on board as you can. Unfortunately, a guy named Noah claims all animal pairs for himself. However, you can gather a herd of three, four or five animals of a species, which is even more valuable! But forming a herd usually requires you to get a pair first… When the arks depart, will you have the most valuable Animals On Board? Animals On Board is an easy to learn, fast game with lots of tricky decisions. Street date: April 2016.
- JÓRVÍK – designed by Stefan Feld:
You are a Viking Jarl gaining prestige by trading goods, holding big feasts, funding pillages, commissioning craftsmen, and hiring soldiers to defend the city against recurring invasions. JÓRVÍK is a reimagining of Die Speicherstadt (2010), where players utilize a simple yet brilliant worker placement and bidding mechanism to build up their trading empires. JÓRVÍK will include two versions: A streamlined base game and an advanced game, which adds into the game the rare expansion formerly called Kaispeicher. Street date: Q4’2016
- Great Western Trail:
You are rival cattlemen in 19th century America, herding cattle in a circular trail from the south of Texas to Houston, where your cattle are then shipped by train earning you money and victory points. Hire capable staff, such as cowboys to improve your herd, craftsmen to build your cattle posts, or engineers for the railroad line. Upon each arrival in Houston, have your most valuable cattle in tow. The winner will be the player who manages his herd best, and exhibits good timing in mastering the opportunities and pitfalls of the circular trail. Street date: Q4’2016
More information on these two companies and the announced partnership can be found on the Stronghold Games and eggertspiele websites.
Portal Games continues to release quality games with its latest announcement: Five Families, an expansion for the award-winning Legacy: the Testament of Duke De Crecy, a game in which players are managing the affairs of their wealthy, aristocratic families in pre-revolutionary France.
Portal Games released the following today in a press release:
Portal Games announces Five Families – an expansion for the award winning Legacy: the Testament of Duke De Crecy
The first expansion for Legacy from designers Ignacy Trzewiczek and Michał Walczak.
Gliwice, Poland – August 31st, 2015. Today, Portal Games announced Five Families, the first expansion for the award winning Legacy: the Testament of Duke De Crecy. This expansion by designers Ignacy Trzewiczek and Michał Walczak adds a new dimension to Legacy through the introduction of unique Families.
Five Familes allows the players to trade new family members and traits to the other players in exchange for their Favor, a new resource. Favor tokens are used to purchase new, powerful actions. Each family is unique and the individual family members offer powerful abilities to the player willing to trade their Favor. Additionally, Five Families adds new Patrons with unique scoring options, Birth Events with more drama, and a Daisy Track for a new solitaire challenge.
“Legacy has always been a thematic game that provokes players into telling jokes, and trash talking each other – with marriages, and having kids with ugly or greedy husbands being a fuel for pure fun. With this expansion I wanted to add even more of this discussion – and that’s how I came up with the idea of players offering their family members to the other players during something like a matchmaking phase! It worked from the very first play test – laughs, funny comments and each player praising his family members as a best choice for a husband or wife. This is hilarious phase and adds so much interaction and table talk to the base game!” says designer Ignacy Trzewiczek.
Legacy the Testament of Duke De Crecy is for 1 to 4 players, ages 10 or older and takes approximately 60-90 minutes to play. Five Families is an expansion which requires the base game to play. The expansion includes 105 cards, an action board, 60 Favor tokens, and a rulebook. Five Families will debut in October at Essen Spiel and will be in Europe retail distribution in October. Distribution in USA will begin in December. MSRP will be $25. For more information you can visit the Five Families page on our website at http://portalgames.pl/new_en/all-game-list/five-families/
About Portal Games
Portal Games is a publisher of award-winning games such as Imperial Settlers, Stronghold, Pret-A-Porter, Legacy, and Neuroshima Hex. Founded in Poland in 1999, Portal Games has developed into one of the most renowned European game publishers and design teams. Their commitment is to produce only the highest quality Board Games That Tell Stories.
Stronghold Games and Portal Games are teaming up to release a 2nd edition of Stronghold. Originally released in 2009 and designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek, Stronghold has players taking on the roles of invaders and defenders in a sprawling asymmetrical castle siege.
“The game board represents the stronghold itself, as well as the surrounding terrain from where the attacking forces launch their siege against the walls of the stronghold. The defender has a small number of soldiers manning the walls, while the invader has an infinite legion of attacking creatures. A desperate fight takes place every turn.”
The second edition promises to streamline the rules, shorten gameplay, and improve the components. The board itself will be bigger and feature brand new artwork. Look for Stronghold 2nd Edition to make an appearance at Essen 2015, and hit store shelves in late 2015.