Tigris and Euphrates

Grail Games have announced a few games they’ll be publishing by prolific designer, Dr. Reiner Knizia.

Yellow & Yangtze

Yellow & Yangtze, the sister game to Tigris & Euphrates, will be released in 2018. The game is set in the Qin Dynasty (part of modern day China) along the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. It sees the rival states of Qin, Chu, Qi, Yan Han, Whei, and Zhao battling for supremacy in 221 BC and is beautifully illustrated by Vincent Dutrait. Yellow & Yangtze supports 2-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 90 mins. The designer has improved and tweaked the game play of Tigris & Euphrates so that while Yellow & Yangtze will have a similar feel it will be its own “beast”.

Game play details according to the publisher:

In Yellow & Yangtze, players build civilizations through tile placement. Players are given five different leaders: a Governor, Soldier, Farmer, Trader, and Artisan. The leaders are used to collect victory points in these same categories. However, your score at the end of the game is the number of points in your weakest category. Conflicts arise when civilizations connect on the board. To succeed, players’ civilizations must survive these conflicts, calm peasant revolts, and grow secure enough to build prestigious pagodas. [source]

Criss Cross

Coming in Q1 of 2018 is Criss Cross, a roll-and-write game illustrated by Heiko Günther. This is a custom dice game played over 12 rounds where 2 dice are rolled, and players write the symbols in adjacent squares on their scoring sheet. Groups of symbols in columns and rows score points. While all players share the dice symbols the placement of these will vary across players. Criss Cross supports 1-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 10 mins.

Stephenson’s Rocket

In Stephenson’s Rocket, players take on the role of rail barons in 1830s England. They can invest in railway lines, transport passengers, build up local industries, and compete for the honor of becoming the most prestigious rail baron. Illustrations are by Ian O’Toole.

On September 15, 1830, the age of the railroad began with the opening of the first line between Liverpool and Manchester. The locomotive that ruled those rails was George Stephenson’s Rocket. With a top speed of 45km/h (28mph) Rocket, was the most advanced engine of the day, and its arrival marked the beginning of the modern railway. [source]

Stephenson’s Rocket supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays between 60 and 90 mins.

King’s Road

In King’s Road, players are nobles attempting to gain power and influence in the king’s provinces. As the king travels along the road in his provinces, he will allow the most influential noble in each region to govern in his stead. Over time the most favored noble will win the game.

King’s Road is an area-majority game. Each player has identical decks of eleven cards. On a turn, players simultaneously select the three cards they will play, and in what order. To win, players not only have to influence the king as he traverses the land, but attempt to read the minds of their opponents.

King’s Road re-implements the game Imperium, previously only available within game compendiums. [source]

This game is also illustrated by the great, Vincent Dutrait and supports 2-5 players, aged 10+. Game play length is around 30 mins. King’s Road is currently available at retailers.

Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road

Unlike the prior games in this list, this one is not designed by Dr. Knizia but by Gerhard Hecht with art by Franz Vohwinkel. The core mechanism will be “open deck-building” with players trading spices along the Silk Road from Asia to Europe. The game supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 45 mins.

According to the publisher, the game plays as follows:

In the beginning, each caravan consists of three cards that are spread out vertically so that the top part of each card is visible; each card stands for a caravan member with different abilities.

On his turn, a player performs only one action, choosing one of the cards on top of the three caravans and executing one action shown on that card. Then the card is put at the back of its caravan. To use the same caravan member again, a player must first use all the other cards on top of that caravan row. [source]

Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road will release in Q2 of 2018.

tigris pieces

Tigris & Euphrates offers you the chance to make your name great.  Monuments, civilization buildings, and wonders may stand as proof of your greatness as a leader– but they do not guarantee victory.

Fantasy Flight Games has released another preview article for its upcoming re-release of the classic board game Tigris & Euphrates.  In this preview, the advanced gameplay for this edition is introduced, which will include a second game board (on the reverse side of the original) and the ability to build monuments, four new civilization buildings, and wonders.

tigris map

Monuments allow a player to flip farms, temples, settlements, or market tiles over and place a two-color monument atop them, with one color matching the tiles used to build it.  An adjacent leader of the same color next to the monument will receive a victory point every turn.  Monuments cannot be destroyed, but they can be taken over.

Advanced civilization buildings can be built as well: a red library, black palace, green market hall, and blue granary.  These buildings can be built atop a horizonal or vertical line of three or more tiles of the same color, and award the leader of that kingdom 2 points instead of one for each tile of that color placed.  These buildings can be destroyed in the process of creating a monument or wonder.

Finally, a wonder can be built atop a cross of five tiles of the same color and cannot be destroyed. It grants a king in the same kingdom one victory point of any color, effectively strengthening your weaker spheres as long as you control the wonder.  Other players will undoubtedly strive to take control of your wonder, so you must be prepared to defend it well once built.

This new edition of Tigris & Euphrates is scheduled for release during the second quarter of 2015.  For more information on this article and the game in general, visit the preview article here.

A lot of news is pouring out of GAMA Trade Show 2015 in Las Vegas this week, not the least of which coming from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG).

Company Updates

FFG made a big announcement at the end of 2014 that they would be merging with Asmodee.  Christian T. Petersen, CEO and founder of Fantasy Flight Games, said this about the merger and the rapid growth of FFG: “By joining forces with Asmodee, we’ll be able to continue that growth, expand our international marketing capabilities, and create additional career opportunities for our terrific staff. Most importantly, we can do this while staying true to our vision of creating great products for the global hobby games market.”  This week, FFG explained that this merger will allow them to forego much of the distribution and marketing of their products, leaving them more room to concentrate on game development.

To the gaming industry (and American retail in general), it is no secret that the West Coast port delays over the last half-year or so have been detrimental to game companies and distributors to bring products to store shelves.  FFG commented this week that these delays have become very severe since the summer of 2014, and it will take months to clean up the backlog.

FFG relies on its Organized Play events to bring gamers together with their games.  FFG states the following about this program:

Organized Play is your portal to connecting with other passionate players who play the games you love. Our goal is to help players join a global community and create memorable and exciting game experiences all over the world.  Seasonal Tournament Kits are the foundation of Organized Play. With three four-month seasons each year (Spring, Summer, and Winter), players can find a large variety of tournaments, game nights, and leagues at their local stores. Seasonal events are a place for newer players to experience organized tournaments and experienced players to try a new army or strategy.

As of the GAMA Trade Show this week, FFG has shipped over 25,000 organized play kits.


Game Updates

FFG recently announced their reprinting of the classic Reiner Knizia game Tigris and Euphrates.  This week, FFG stated that this reprint will include the original game as well as new game options.

Another announcement this week included FFG’s collaboration with Dragon Shield to make Matte Sleeves for their games.

What’s the latest update on the success of the hit game release, X-Com?  As of this week, the first print-run has already sold out.

FFG will be releasing multiplayer and a new DLC for Battlelore digital in a few weeks. They will also be releasing more material for the physical game of Battlelore 2.0 in 2015.

Some excellent news reported by FFG this week was that they had renewed their license to design and produce Star Wars licensed games for years to come–including the license for Star Wars Episode 7.

Along these lines, FFG had the upcoming Imperial Raider expansion ship for the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game on display at the GAMA Trade Show this week, as well as much news about their two latest hit games set in the Star Wars universe, Imperial Assault and Armada.

Star Wars: Imperial Assault Updates

FFG stated that Imperial Assault has been their biggest release in the company’s history.  The first wave of mini-expansions for the game, including such mini-expansions as Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the Rebel Troopers, were released in stores this week on March 18.

What’s more, FFG announced the first official full expansion for Imperial Assault, Twin Shadows.  This expansion will come with C3PO, R2D2 and Boba Fett.

Star Wars: Armada Updates


FFG’s upcoming space miniatures game, Star Wars: Armada, focuses on recreating epic capital starship battles from the Star Wars universe.  The ships from Wave 1 were shown at the GAMA Trade Show, and Wave 2 was also announced, including the Imperial Star Destroyer, Mon Calamari Cruiser and Imperial Raider.  A third faction, Rogues and Villains, will also be a future release, including the famed Millennium Falcon.

A New Game Announcement

Finally, this enormous volume of FFG news from GAMA 2015 finished with one final announcement: an upcoming game entitled Forbidden Stars, a Warhammer 40,000 space combat game.  At first glance, it is reminiscent of a full-scale space conquest game like FFG’s classic hit, Twilight Imperium 3. It will be a game for 2-4 players in which you can play as the Orks Eldar Chaos or Imperium.

This is the news from FFG as of Wednesday, March 18, from the GAMA Trade Show 2015, and there will likely be much more to follow.  Continue to follow us for more information on new releases and updates at GAMA 2015.