Voyages of Marco Polo

“Marco Polo set out from Venice in 1271 and spent the next twenty-four years traveling and proving his skill as a merchant. Seventeen of those years he spent in China as an ambassador of Kublai Khan, embarking on missions throughout the Mongol Empire and seeing parts of the world most Europeans could scarcely imagine at the time. Will you continue the legacy of one of history’s greatest travelers?”

Z-Man GamesThe Voyages of Marco Polo (2015) by Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini was one of the biggest hits of that year, earning recommendation from Kennerspiel des Jahres and shooting to the top 50 on BGG. Marco Polo used clever dice placement to collect resources, fulfill contracts and travel across Europe from Venice to Beijing in a glorious point salad of eurogamer goodness. The game featured tight money and resources, along with player characters that all felt wonderfully overpowered.

Attention all Marco Polo fans, Z-Man Games has just announced a sequel to this classic, Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan, featuring the same design team of Luciani and Tascini. Marco Polo II has the same basic structure as it’s predecessor, with players using their dice as workers to activate action spaces, collecting resources, finishing contracts, and traveling across China. Players can once again use previously occupied spaces by placing their die on top of the growing stack, paying hard cash for the privilege. Additionally, jade now enters the game as a new resource, allowing manipulation of the markets. Players can join various guilds to open new travel routes along the map, opening shortcuts.

Look for Marco Polo II: In the Service of the Khan in 2020, and for more information, check out Z-Man’s website here.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Z-Man Games is making sure to get the small things right an isd releasing a series of mini-expansions available immediately.

Terra Mystica
The new Terra Mystica mini-expansion introduces four new town tiles, a new scoring tile, and a new bonus card create new goals for players to try to complete. All new special terrain tiles for each faction will give new bonuses and abilities when placed.

Carcassonne: The School
“School is in session in Carcassonne!”
The Carcassonne: The School expansion, originally released in 2011,  has each player competing to complete the various roads leading up to the school. Once the road is complete, the teacher will get paints the next time something is scored, regardless of what is scored and which player scored those points. Once each of the roads is complete, there are enough students and the teacher will stay put for the rest of the game.
Carcassonne: The Festival
In The Festival mini expansion for Carcassonne, players have the ability to withdraw a meeple. When a player lays down the festival tile, they choose between placing a meeple normally or withdrawing a previously placed meeple from another feature.
A Feast for Odin
The Feast for Odin mini-expansion has players traveling through two new exploration boards providing more options than before. Players will now be able to sail to the archipelago of Lofoten or travel to Tierra del Fuego. Players will find new opportunities to generate income and obtain new bonuses.
Voyages of Marco Polo: New Characters
Four new faces are being added to The Voyages of Marco Polo. Each character will feature a new game-bending ability. This mini expansion also introduces the gifts mechanic to the game. Gifts will grant players bonus goods and occasionally allow players to take extra actions.
Beyond Baker Street
The Beyond Baker Street expansion will introduce several new characters to the game. New character cards allow players to take on the roles of Dr. John Watson or Sherlock’s brother Mycroft. Moriarty will enter the game as a new possible suspect.
Sylvion: Below Ground
The land itself will join in the fight with the Ravage in a new mini-expansion for Sylvion. Sixteen new terrain cards will be available to occupy battlefield spaces. While Swallowers will use up Tree and Fountain cards, Owls will allow players to draw two cards from the Defender deck.

Z-Man Games has posted more details about the upcoming expansion to their 2015 award winning game The Voyages of Marco Polo. The Agents of Venice Expansion contains multiple independent units adding to the gameplay, and this update gives more details on the City of Venice module. Players can add trading posts within the city of Venice, starting with the large palazzo at the bottom of the new board, then expanding outward along paths. Using a mechanic similar to the “Khan’s Favor” space in the main game, players can place a die in Venice, but each successive die needs to be higher or equal to the die played previously. Players can therefore make it difficult for others to build in Venice by playing higher dice. As a teaser, Z-Man notes that the Companions Module, which includes extra helpers with special powers, contains the Gondolier, which allows players yet another opportunity to place trading posts in Venice.

Read more about the City of Venice Module from the Agents of Venice Expansion on Z-Man’s website here.

Z-Man Games has announced an expansion to their 2015 award-winning dice placement game The Voyages of Marco Polo. Agents of Venice adds two different modules to the game, as well as the ability to insert a 5th player, more contracts, city cards, goals and 5 new characters.

The City of Venice Module adds a board representing Venice in the 13th  century. Players can build trading houses in Venice, earning benefits similar to those in the rest of the world, but must work their way up, earning one palazzo at a time. The Companions Module adds friends you meet on the road. These companions give special abilities and benefits to the player, but companions have their own agendas, and their bonuses only last for a single turn. Players will need to pick and choose the friends which give them the best ability for use at that single moment in the game.

The City of Venice Expansion should be available in early 2018. You can read more about the expansion on Z-Man’s website here.

international game award

The 2015 International Gamers Award nominees for general strategy games released between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 have been announced. The nominees are grouped in two categories—multiplayer and two-player games.

The multiplayer nominees are:

Game Designer Publisher
Aquasphere Stefan Feld Tasty Minstrel Games/Quined Games
Deus Sebastien Dujardin Pearl Games/Asmodee
Elysium Matthew Dunstan and Brett Gilbert Space Cowboys/Rebel pl./Asmodee
Five Tribes Bruno Cathala Days of Wonder
Hyperborea Andrea Chiarvesio and Pierluca Zizzi Asmodee/Asterio Press
Kraftwagen Matthias Cramer ADC Blackfire Entertainment
La Granja Michael Keller and Andrea Odendahl PD Verlag/999 Games/Stronghold Games
Orleans Reiner Stockhausen Dlp Games/Tasty Minstrel Games
Panamax Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade HC Distribuzione/Stronghold Games
Quartermaster General Ian Brody Griggling Games
Roll for the Galaxy Wei-Hwa Huang and Thomas Lehmann Rio Grande Games
Voyages of Marco Polo Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini Hans im Gluck/Z-man Games

 

The two-player nominees are:

Game Designer Publisher
Baseball Highlights 2045 Mike Fitzgerald Eagle/Gryphon Games
Fields of Arle Uwe Rosenberg Feuerland Spiele/Z-man Games
Patchwork Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Star Realms Robert Dougherty and Darwin Kastle White Wizard Games
Star Wars Armada James Kniffen and Christian T. Petersen Fantasy Flight Games
Wir Sind das Volk Richard Sivel and Peer Sylvester Histogame

For more details on the nominated games, and on the nomination committee members please go to the International Gamers Awards website here.