Virginio Gigli

GenCon 2019 was immense and amazing, but has now wrapped up, closed her doors and bid us “adieu”. I was inspired to chime in with a couple picks from the show that really stood out for me among the crowd.

One of the best euro games of 2016 was the exceptional Lorenzo il Magnifico from Cranio Creations and designers Flaminia Brasini, Virginio Gigli, and Simone Luciani. I was able to see a demo for the upcoming card game based on this gem, Masters of the Renaissance by Simone Luciani and Nestore Mangone. In Masters, players still collect resources to buy cards from different tower “levels”, like the original, but now all cards have production ability: in other words, when production is initiated, players collect resources from all of their cards. Additionally, a “market” comprised of a 3×4 grid of colored marbles gives another, easier, source of resources. Players choose any row or column of marbles, and every marble in that line generates its own resource based on its color. After players gain their loot, they push a new marble into the line, bumping al old one from the back. Two things make this market both clever and diabolical: First, clear marbles exist that give no resources at all, clogging up the rows. Second, the resources generated at the market go to a separate storage area, which is severely limited in capacity. This card game version of one of my favorite board games retained the look and feel of the original, added unique mechanisms, but still felt elegant and simplified. Masters of the Renaissance is due to be released at Essen Spiel 2019, this October.

image from BGG

I was particularly impressed by Time of Legends: Destinies by designers Michał Gołębiowski and Filip Miłuński, a joint effort between Lucky Duck Games (Chronicles of Crime) and Mythic Games (Joan of Arc). Destinies is an app-driven fantasy exploration game for 1-3 people which takes place in the same universe as Mythic’s magnum opus Time of Legends: Joan of Arc, and even uses many of the same small scale miniatures as its big sister. In Destinies, players take on the roles of villagers living around the epic stories and battles from Joan. Each player is trying to be the first to fulfill their character’s hidden destiny. The cards in the game, including the character cards, have QR codes in the corner (those black and white checkerboard scanner boxes we see all the time), and scanning a card into the game app leads to context sensitive progression in the game – scanning an item uses it, scanning a character interacts with it, and scanning a weapon fights with it. This system is what made Lucky Duck’s Chronicles of Crime such a fantastic and intuitive story telling game. The game app additionally controls the map, made up of a grid of square cards, in a way reminiscent of the recent blockbuster Journeys in Middle Earth. If that wasn’t enough to make this a magnificent game, Destinies uses an elegant dice system I haven’t seen before for challenges, wounds, and level progression. Three colored stat tracks are on the player board – Knowledge, Strength and Agility, and wooden disks are placed on values along these tracks. To run a test, fight a creature, or even interact with characters, players roll dice, and count how many of these disk values they pass with the roll – this is the number of successes the character achieves. Items can add disks to the tracks, wounds can move the disks to higher, more difficult positions, and experience allows player to buy more disks. Time of Legends: Destinies is scheduled to have a Kickstarter campaign in September 2019.

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.

Eggertspiele has announced a new title for their catalog – Coimbra.  Coimbra is designed by Virginio Gigli and Flaminia Brasini and is illustrated by Chris Quilliams.  Coimbra is a set in the Portuguese city with the same name during the Age of Discovery (15th – 16th century).

As one of Coimbra’s oldest houses, your role is to seek prestige with the monasteries, universities, and fund explorations.  To do this, player’s will draft dice each round that can be used in multiple ways and taking dice can affect turn order, income, and the cost of bribery .  Whoever can optimize the use of the dice and the constant change of synergy with the monasteries, universities, and expeditions will be the winner.

Coimbra is a designed for 2-4 players and takes approximately 60-90 minutes.  Coimbra pre-orders will open April 16, 2018 and it will be released on August 2, 2018 at GenCon.