Vital Lacerda

On Mars is the latest game from designer, Vital Lacerda, with art by Ian O’Toole (who both worked on Lisboa and Vinhos). Players are chief astronauts for one of a number of enterprises who want to be a pioneer in the development of the biggest, most advanced colony on Mars. The game supports 1-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in 90-150 mins.

“Following the success of unmanned rover missions, the United Nations established the Department of Operations and Mars Exploration (D.O.M.E.). The first settlers arrived on Mars in the year 2037 and in the decades after establishment Mars Base Camp, private exploration companies began work on the creation of a self-sustaining colony.” [source]

The goal of the game is to contribute the most Opportunity Points (OP) to the development of the first, self-sustaining colony on Mars that is independent of any terrestrial organization. This is achieved by completing missions. After a total of three missions have been completed by a player, the game ends, and points are tallied to determine the overall winner. At first, players will be dependent on supplies from Earth and so will often travel between the Mars Space Station and the planet’s surface. Over time, activities will shift to constructing mines, power generators, water extractors, greenhouses, oxygen factories, and shelters as the colony expands. Managing the supply of water, air, power, and food will be vital to survival.

The On Mars Kickstarter campaign, run by publisher, Eagle-Gryphon Games, has already achieved 6x its funding goal with over 6700 backers, and the campaign will end on Friday, May 3rd, 2019. There is only a single pledge level to obtain the entire game which includes all stretch goals. Estimated delivery is expected in October of 2019.

Stronghold Games is starting 2019 off with a bang, and has announced 5 new games coming soon in the new year.

Ganz Schon Clever is a fantastic (BGG #295) roll and write game from wunderkind designer Wolfgang Warsch, which took the gaming world by storm last year. In Clever, 1-4 players roll dice in order to fill in spaces from 5 different tracks. Each track has checkpoints which allow bonus fills on neighboring tracks, allowing for some amazing combination moves. Ganz Schon Clever was nominated for the 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres award, but unfortunately for Mr. Warsch, of the 3 (!) nominated games he designed, the only win that year was Quacks of Quedlinburg. The new english version coming from Stronghold Games will be called That’s Pretty Clever, and is expected to release in April 2019.

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.

Eagle-Gryphon Games has launched a new Railways of the World (ROTW) expansion – Railways of Portugal – on Kickstarter. Designed by Vital Lacerda, with cover art by Ian O’Toole, this expansion is for 2-4 players and uses the same rules as other games in the ROTW series with a few important exceptions.

What’s new and different?

Although the base rules and mechanics are the same as previous ROTW titles, a few distinct changes have been made:

• Access productive islands via Maritime Connections
• Black cities can only be added at the start of the Industrial Age and via Urbanization
• Close cities on a tight map that demands careful and tough decisions, leading to significant player interaction
• Major Lines that require intermediate connections
• New Operations cards and concepts are included
• Goal Cards replace Baron Cards

What’s in the box?

• A 375 x 617mm game board
• Goal Cards (10)
• Operations Cards (34)
• Player-aid Sheets (4)
• Rulesheet

Kickstarter backers will receive a free 3-card promo pack.

Note: The Railways of the World base game or Railways of Nippon standalone base game are required to play the Railways of Portugal expansion.

The Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal and will be running until January 21, 2019, 4:00 AM CET.

Watch some Dice Tower coverage of the Railways of the World series.

Stronghold Games has begun taking pre-orders on more than a handful of games due out in the next couple of months.

Two of the new games available for pre-order now, AuZtralia and Terraforming Mars: Colonies, were reported in Dice Tower News recently. Bryan Drake also sat down with AuZtralia’s designer, Martin Wallace, to learn more about the game. Stronghold Games has proudly added AuZtralia to its Great Designer Series. Terraforming Mars: Colonies is the fourth expansion to the hugely popular, Terraforming Mars. Only 500 copies of Terraforming Mars: Colonies will be available for pre-order, so act fast.

Also available for pre-order are two Friedmann Friese games, Fortune and Fool!

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 Edition Kanban: 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!

 

Eagle-Gryphon Games is currently running a Kickstarter project to fund Lisboa, a new game from designer Vital Lacerda in which players will “reconstruct the great city of Lisboa after the 1755 earthquake, tsunami and fires.”

On November 1, 1755, Lisboa suffered an earthquake of an estimated magnitude of 8.5–9.0, followed by a devastating tsunami and 3 days of raging fires that nearly destroyed the city.  Lisboa is a game about the reconstruction of the great Portuguese capital city after a series of terrible catastrophes.

In rebuilding the city, players will make use of the Royal Builder, who works with the architects to build Lisboa anew, while the Marquis will provide aid in the development of commerce. The King will provide players with political help in re-opening the beautiful new city. But the true reason you are rebuilding the city is not for greatness, or even fame or fortune. As a nobleman or noblewoman of Lisboa, your primary motivation is the acquisition of Wigs–a most important trading commodity of the Era, and the means of scoring points in the game. 

A copy of the game will include:

  • Gameboard
  • Rulebook & Player Aids
  • Player Boards
  • Goods Tokens
  • Coins
  • Plans
  • Public Buildings
  • Large & Small City Tiles
  • Scoring Tiles
  • Royal Favor Tiles
  • Clergy Tiles
  • Cardinal Meeple
  • Political Cards
  • Ship Cards
  • Decree Cards
  • Rubble Cubes
  • Treasury Marker
  • Meeples & Tokens in Player Colors
  • Starting Player Tile
  • Clergy Tile
  • Rubble Bags

This project is set to fund on Thursday, December 15, 2016.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page.

vinhos deluxe

On January 29, 2016, Eagle-Gryphon Games is releasing Vital Lacerda’s classic game of winemaking in a deluxe version, known as Vinhos Special Vintage.  This new edition will be bringing new game play and a lot of extras to this very popular and extremely strategic board game.  The official press release follows:

Vinhos (Portuguese for ‘wines’) Special Edition is a trading and economic game about wine making. Players are Portuguese wine makers developing their vineyards and producing fine wines to achieve maximum profit.

vinhos board

“Designing a new version of my first game ended up being a very enjoyable and completely different process,” says Vital Lacerda. “After all, I had a game with more than 5 years of play testing by thousands of players around the world. I knew I had to make modifications to the rules and board complexity while at the same time I had to deliver the same deep and complex game players have known.”

This new edition features completely new artwork from Ian O’Toole, an improved set of rules, and an additional, simplified version of the game. To support this second game, Vinhos will feature a double-sided board so both versions – the simplified and the original – can be played. This version also brings new additions: 30 new actions and scoring tiles, a greater number of cellars, wineries and oenologists (wine experts), a new region to play, plus the Advertisers expansion and the Madeira Island expansion. Special vineyards and wineries plus a 5th property round out the Deluxe additions to the game.

Vinhos Special Vintage will be released on Kickstarter January 29th, with a 3rd Quarter delivery date for the US and most of the world.  For more information and to support this project, visit its Kickstarter page here.