Stronghold Games is bringing out a new edition of Diamonds, the popular trick-taking game for 2-6 players designed by Mike Fitzgerald. The second edition includes redesigned player cards, redesigned player aids, as well as the Thief mini-expansion. The new player cards have eschewed the black border look in favor of a more traditional, easier to read visual design, while maintaining the splash of color in the middle of the card.
Gameplay remains the same. Each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades) has a corresponding suit action that triggers when a trick is won, when a player does not follow the suit that was led, and at the end of a round of ten tricks for the player with the most cards of each suit. Players collect diamonds (acrylic crystals, not the suit), first into their showroom and then moving them into their vault. Diamonds can be stolen from a player’s showroom, but not from their vault. At the end of the game, diamonds in showrooms are worth one point and diamonds in vaults are worth two points. The Thief mini-expansion adds a rotating thief token and changes the suit action for clubs. The new suit action allows the player triggering the action to take a diamond from the showroom of the player with the thief token in front of them.
Diamonds second edition is scheduled for a September release, however Gen Con attendees will get an early opportunity to acquire the new edition of Zee Garcia’s #1 card game (as of this Top Ten from 2016).
Egizia: Shifting Sands, being published by Stronghold Games, is now live on Kickstarter. The game promises to give us not only a new, updated edition of the game, but also includes the classic game as one of its Kickstarter exclusives.
The classic Egizia was set in ancient Egypt, as is the new game. In both games, players are attempting to fulfill requests from the pharaoh in order to earn victory points. The new edition of the game, Egizia: Shifting Sands, introduces two new monuments to the game, the Colonnade and statues.
For more information on this classic game with new twists, check out the Kickstarter page here.
Stronghold Games has launched the biggest and most strategic expansion to Terraforming Mars on Kickstarter: Terraforming Mars: Turmoil. This expansion is not for the faint of heart. It is considered an Expert expansion delving introducing the struggle for political control of Martian society.
Players will have delegates they can assign to the various political parties. The party with the most delegates becomes the ruling party in the next generation, establishing its own policies for the generation and granting the first player in the party a Terraform Rating. Each party confers a ruling bonus to the party leader and the ruling policy effects everyone. Meanwhile, global events impact Mars, the terraforming corporations, and political parties. These global events can be forecasted, so players can plan ahead to influence the next rising political party to deal with the event. Politics can be brutal: despite the bonuses players may receive in the ruling party, everyone loses 1 Terraform Rating each generation.
Contents include 5 Corporation Cards, 16 Projects Cards, 31
Global Event Cards, 2 Reference Cards, a new Terraformer Milestone Tile, 6
Policies, a Global Events Boards, a Terraforming Committee Board, 35 Player Delegates
(7 in each color), 14 Neutral Delegates, 1 Dominance Marker, and rule book.
The Kickstarter comes with a number of Promo contents as funding
milestones are reached. The first promo
content, 5 Dual Layer Player Board, may be of special interest to those who
have not purchased upgrades to their game yet. Additional promo projects and corporation
card have already been announced.
The Kickstarter campaign for Terraforming Mars: Turmoil runs
through May 2 with a delivery in November 2019.
To learn more, check out the Kickstarter
The next big title from Stronghold Games has a deluxe edition now on Kickstarter! From designers Bobby West and Alan R. Moon, the esteemed creator of Ticket to Ride, comes Aftershock – a competitive area control game for 3-to-5 players. The story goes that the San Francisco Bay area has been rocked with earthquakes so you are trying rebuild infrastructure and repopulate the city in relative safety in spite of the destruction. What comes from this is a drafting and hidden action selection game mixed with a little bit of route building to create something that may sound familiar, but is all-together different than anything on the market today.
“In Aftershock, players will spend money to acquire planning cards, which are used to increase population, build bridges, and determine where aftershocks occur. Spend money wisely to acquire aftershocks that will allow you to move people into and out of the demolished areas. Planning and careful negotiation are essential in order to maintain your population and score your best-planned cities and bridges.”
There’s a bit of mind-gaming to this one that makes it really click. While the actions you can take are public and bought from one another (drafted in a way that may remind of Isle of Skye), the targets of those actions are hidden and victim to turn order, which will lead to a lot of twisted thinking as you try to anticipate where your opponents will go so you can take advantage of their situation. You can see that Alan Moon touch to the game in the drafting and route connections, but can see that this collaborative effort has brought about something much more intriguing than his older network-building fare. This Kickstarter campaign is also an excellent opportunity to get the deluxe version of this game for the same price as the standard retail version post-release, so if you’re interested in this one be sure to check out their page now to see a full rules breakdown, Previews, FAQs, and take advantage of this deluxe offer.
Designer, Sophia Wagner (known for Noria), has players exploring the Iron Valley in The Boldest. Each round, 2-5 players form 3 groups of heroes who portion their power to form the strongest groups. Cooks get new adventurers, with special abilities, to join factions who venture out to defeat mechanical monsters, retrieve artifacts, use helpful items, and lead their faction to glory.
In Farben, 3-5 players associate a color with a word, then tell a story of why those two are connected. To win at Farben, players must remember who best assigned which color to specific words, with more points being scored as more players remember those associations. Apolline Jove has designed a vivid, storytelling game in a minimalist style.
Fields of Green: Grand Fair
Fields of Green, inspired by Among the Stars, has 2-4 players take on the role of farmers trying to expand their property and business. The expansion, Fields of Green: Grand Fair, adds a 5th player and a solo play mode. A new module, called Attractions, adds Attraction Mats such as a Carnival Ride, Dancing Contest, or Beer Festival, which adds variety to scoring options in the game as each one has different requirements to operate. Awards, is also a new module which adds goals for players to achieve. New locations and equipment also expand the game. The expansion is designed by the original game’s designer, Vangelis Bagiartakis, and is expected to release on February 6th, 2019.
Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games was a recent guest on the Board Game Gumbo podcast when he was asked by a viewer if Terraforming Mars was going to receive the Legacy treatment. Stephen confirmed that Jacob and Issac Fryxelius are 100% working on the Legacy version of Terraforming Mars. Now, Stephen cautions that the project is still very early in the works and it might not be seen until 2020 or 2021. What a legacy game of Terraforming Mars looks like is anyone’s guess, but the generations will undoubtedly have a more personal feel. We will just have to wait and see.
CO2 (2012) is a well regarded (BGG #585) heavy worker placement game from designer Vital Lacerda (The Gallerist, Vinhos, Lisboa), and Stronghold is bringing the remastered CO2: Second Chance to stores this March. 1-4 players take on the role of corporations trying to make the planet a greener place, correcting the pollution made standard in the 1970s. The second edition includes a new rulebook and iconography, a more balanced gameplay, a new events deck, and upgraded wooden components. Stronghold has stated that this edition will be printed once, then not reprinted, so get it while it is available.
Astro Drive is a “fast paced card driven spaceship racing game” from designers Mikko Punakallio (Dokmus) and Max Wikström (Space Freaks). 2-4 Players secretly pick movement cards from their hands, then simultaneously reveal. The cards have an initiative number, determining who moves first, movement points, compelling their ship to move forward, and control points, allowing side to side wiggle. Players also have a limited number of energy cubes, which can be spent for either 2 extra movement or control points. Players race over map tiles, avoiding crashing into obstacles, until someone crosses the finish line. Expect Astro Drive in stores in April 2019.
The Violet Morass is a new expansion for the skirmish board game Space Freaks (2017). In Space Freaks, 2-4 players combine different body parts to create the perfect team of freaks, then lead them into the arena for battle. The Violet Morass adds 2 new arenas, the perilous waters of the planet Azorax 5, multiple new head and body parts, as well as some terrifying equipment. The Violet Morass is tentatively scheduled for an April release.
Another anticipated expansion is the Meteo Expansion for the card driven bicycle racing game Flamme Rouge. Flamme Rouge has 2-4 players controlling the speed of their 2 person team up and down hills and around bends, trying to manage cards and jockey for position most efficiently. Meteo adds weather and wind management into the mix, adding more options into this strategic racing game. The Meteo Expansion for Flamme Rouge is expected in stores February 2019.
Two new products are slated to arrive soon from Stronghold Games – Friedmann Friese’s Futuropiaand the Piece of Cake expansion for Kitchen Rush. The former new game from prolific designer of F-named games, Futuropia is described as a “luck-free” economic game where players compete to build an ideal civilization – one where citizens no longer need to work but instead have enough food and energy to live in leisure for the rest of their natural lives. It’s a fun theme with some serious science fiction roots not entirely divorced from it’s predecessor, Power Grid, which is certainly reason enough to have a piqued interest. Futuropia allows for 1 to 4 players and takes roughly 90 minutes to play.
“To ensure you always encounter new challenges, we offer multiple game set-up variations, which create a variety of gameplay situations, ensuring new experiences and replayability. The solo game offers you an option to learn the mechanisms and processes of Futuropia before you play it with other players. See our hopeful future in…Futuropia!”
Kitchen Rush: Piece of Cake is, on the other hand, simply an expansion to the frantic real-time cooperative game slash restaurant simulator. It adds plenty more new options to the game, including board extensions, desserts, mini-orders, and a new hourglass for use as a specialist worker. Kitchen Rush is excellent and challenging on it’s own, but if perhaps you find it a bit stale or would like to broaden the types of actions in the game, Piece of Cake is there for you. Both products are scheduled to release to retail in January of 2019, so if you’re interested in either of these items be sure to check out your favorite store to pick up a copy.
Friedemann Friese is at it again with another “F” named game in the Fable Game system, this time using deck building, or rather…deck unbuilding? Fine Sand, coming soon from Stronghold Games, is a deck deconstruction game where players are competing to build sandcastles from the materials around them. These materials are represented by a starting deck of 30 cards, depicting anywhere from sand and stone to structures. Players will spend basic materials to build the structures, which in turn removes the cards from the deck and makes it more efficient at the same time, ramping up an engine until someone triggers game end by removing most of their cards.
“Fine Sand uses the “Fable Game System” introduced in Fabled Fruit, and in addition to a stack of starting cards, each player receives a presorted stack of Fable cards. With these cards, you change your card stack from game to game. Continue to play, or reset and play the game again with the same or different groups. Fine Sand includes an addictive solo campaign!”
It’s quite a fascinating system, a little sleaker than it’s fellow deconstructing title Valley of the Kings, that really turns the genre on it’s head and may prove to be the most impressive Fable Game yet. Even tried-and-true concepts like “trashing” cards have been twisted a bit, since constructing cards already removes them from the deck, trashing instead gives the card to the player on your left – gumming up their system! With the Fable cards, each players starting stack of cards will change from game to game, adding variety and demanding a different approach each time you play. If you’re interested in learning more about Fine Sand, keep an eye on Stronghold Games’ website. While it doesn’t have a product page just yet, it is on their release schedule and certainly they will have more information and updates the sooner we approach it’s retail release date.
Fool! is a card-shedding and trick-taking game where player attempt to get rid of their cards without playing the lowest card. The player who plays the lowest card has to sit out the next trick, losing the opportunity to get rid of a card. Players score negative points for cards left in their hand, and positive points if they got rid of all the cards in their hand, unless they play the lowest card in the last hand which earns them nothing. Fool! plays 4-8 players, ages 8+, in about 15 minutes.
Fortune is the forth game in the Fast Forward Series and uses the Fable Game system. These games do not require an understanding of the rules beforehand. Instead, the cards are pre-sorted and the rules of the game are explained on the cards as they are played. In Fortune, the player with the highest score wins the game, but gaining the highest numbers may not be enough. The trick is to get the right bonuses for the big payoff. Fortune plays 3-5 players, ages 10+, in about 15 minutes.
Calimala was originally published last year Blackfire Entertainment in both German and English editions, but it may have been difficult to find here in North America. Stronghold is republishing the English only edition this year. In Calimala, players are members of the guild of cloth finishers and merchants in Republic of Florence during the Late Middle Ages. Players assign their employees to produce and trade cloth and gain prestige by delivering their good, contributing to the construction of buildings, and sponsoring artwork. The player with the most prestige at the end of the game wins. Calimala plays 3-5 players in 45-75 minutes.
Lastly, Stronghold Games is republished Kanban: Automotive Revolution as a Limited EditionKanban: Driver’s Edition. Stronghold has also included Kanban, designed by renowned designer Vital Lacerda of Vinhos, The Gallerist, and Lisboa fame, in their Great Designer Series. In Kanban, players are managers in an automotive factory seeking to impress the factory manager by establishing the most efficient assembly line. With each promotions come more capabilities to be more efficient. The players with the higher productivity points, demonstrating the most effective use of workhours, at the end of the game is the winner. Kanban plays 2-4 players, ages 12+, in 90-120 minutes. Stronghold does not plan to reprint this game again in the future!