Wolfgang Warsch

Stronghold Games have announced a new game designed by Uwe Rosenberg (known for Agricola) called Second Chance. Players fill in a garden, represented by a 9×9 grid on a sheet of paper, based on the shaped flower tiles which players draw as a group. While players initially start with a unique tile, the rest of the game has players drawing two tiles then filling in one of the commonly drawn tiles on their sheets. If players cannot fit the tile on their sheet, they’re eliminated from play. The last person standing is the winner. Second Chance supports 1-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in 10-15 mins. Art for the game is by Max Prentis (also known for Boldest).

In Subtext, players try to communicate with one another by drawing hints about the word on their card. At the start of the round, the dealer looks at the word on their card, adds it to the cards to be dealt to players, shuffles, then hands out the cards. The dealer then draws the picture matching the word and tries to get their “partner” to guess the word from the picture without the other players getting it right. Points for the dealer and partner are scored only if they’re the only ones to guess the word and recognize each other as a team. Other players score points for incorrect guesses. It’s designed by Wolfgang Warsch (known for The Mind, and The Quacks of Quedlinburg), with art by Studio Muti. Subtext is for 4-8 players, aged 10+, and plays in 20-40 mins.

Terraforming Mars: Turmoil will also be released from Stronghold Games but will be done as a Kickstarter project. Read Corey’s recent report from GAMA for more information.

If I told you there was another social/party game on Kickstarter, you might not be too excited.  But, what if I told you the game was co-designed by award-winning designer, Wolfgang Warsch?  Designers Wolfgang Warsch (The Mind, Illusion and The Quacks of Quedlinburg), Alex Hague and Justin Vickers have teamed up on a new game called, Wavelength.

Wavelength is a team based guessing game, whereby, a hidden target is established between two points.  One member of the team is trying to get the other players to guess where the target, or bullseye, is located.  They do this by drawing a card which presents opposites end of a spectrum, for instance, hot and cold or rough and smooth.  A clue is given in attempt to relate the location of the bullseye within that spectrum.  Players then discuss how they think that clue relates to the position of the target between those extremes, while the opposing team can “suggest” how they think the clue relates in an effort to make them second guess themselves.  The active team then turns a dial (7.5″ rotating wheel) to select a spot on the spectrum.  Varying points are awarded based on how close they are to the target.

“One of the really unique things about Wavelength is that it’s played entirely IN THE BOX. The cards, dial, and score tracker all slot into the box’s tray, and you just…pass it around.”

The Kickstarter campaign for Wavelength has a single pledge level of $29 for a copy of the game.  The campaign is being run by Alex Hague, who has completed several successful campaigns for the game, Monikers.

Schmidt Spiele has announced the first expansion for their Kennerspiel Award winning board game, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, called Die Kräuterhexen (The Herb Witches). Quacks blew up the board game world when it hit in 2018, not only for being a simple yet engaging push your luck bag builder, but because it was super-designer Wolfgang Warsch‘s THIRD nomination for Spiel that year, joining The Mind and Ganz Schön Clever. In Quacks, players pull ingredient tokens from a bag and add them to their cauldron, knowing that too many cherry bombs will make the cauldron explode. When a player stops, they earn points and money to buy new ingredients. Kräuterhexen adds a much requested fifth player to the game, as well as higher value pumpkins, new ingredients such as the variable value “fool’s herb”, and the ability to request help from the witches. Players are given 3 Witch’s Pennies, which are worth points at the end of the game, but can be spent to get special powers, such as the ability to drink a potion after blowing up the cauldron, or reducing the drop advance price to a single ruby. Look for Die Kräuterhexen later this year, and for more information and images check out Schmidt Spiele’s webpage here. No information is currently available for the English version, expected to come at a later date from North Star Games.

Also from Schmidt Spiele and the ludological deity Wolfgang Warsch is the just announced title Die Tavernen im Tiefen Thal (The Taverns in Deep Valley). This dice game takes place in the deep valley, where players need to attract new wealthy patrons, hopefully gaining enough money to expand, and go for the big fish – the nobles. Is it better to focus on a nice tavern, or to keep the beer flowing to keep the regulars happy? And which expansions are the best to build first? Players need to choose the correct dice, and develop their personal deck of cards. Five included modules allow each player to set their own difficulty. Given Mr. Warsch’s track record, Tavern should be an interesting game.

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.

The winner of the 2018 Spiel des Jahres Kennerspiel award, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, has an English edition coming to retail soon from North Star Games. Quacks is a combination push your luck and bag builder  board game from master designer Wolfgang Warsch (Ganz schön clever, The Mind), in which 2-4 alchemists draw strange ingredients from a bag to add to their cauldrons. Using the correct good ingredients can earn you money and fame, allowing you to buy better ingredients, however one ingredient too many can blow up your entire potion. Players need to know when to cut and run with the potion they have, and when one more draw from the bag can outweigh the risk of losing it all.

The Quacks of Quedlinburg should hit retail stores any day now, and you can learn more about this award winner on North Star Games web page here.

Pandasaurus Games announced the release of Illusion, by award winning game designer Wolfgang Warsch.  Following up his success of The Mind, Wolfgang challenges players in Illusion to correct assess color proportions across a selection of card depicting colorful abstract art. Each round begins with starting color card and an arrow card depicting the change of color proportion each subsequent card must display.  Players draw new color cards and insert them in the order directed by the arrow card. The player who detects the error in sequence properly earns the arrow card; if an error is declared incorrectly, the player who placed the last color card gets the arrow card.  The precise portion of each color is labeled on the back of each card.  The player with the most arrow cards are the end of the game is the winner.

Illusion plays 2-5 players, ages 8 and up in about 15 minutes. Contents includes 12 arrows card (three each in yellow, red, green and blue) and 98 color cards.

Pandasaurus Games is also bringing Qwinto to the American market. This popular roll and write game by Bernhard Lach and Uwe Rapp has been a hit in the European market since 2015. In Qwinto, one player rolls one or more of the dice (colored purple, yellow, and orange) and announces the sum.  All players enter that number on their scoring pad in one of the colored rows matching the colors of the dice rolled. Two rules must be followed when placing a sum in a row: all numbers in a row must increase from left to right; and no number can be repeated in a vertical column. Points are scored based on how many fields are completed in each row and which numbers are in scoring positions.  The player with the most points wins.

Qwinto plays 2-6 players, ages 8 and up in about 15 minutes. Contents includes three dice (orange, yellow and purple), scorepads, and pencils.


Look for Illusion and Qwinto at GenCon and in stores this August.

Pandasaurus Games has announced three new games coming out in August: Qwinto, The Mind, and Nyctophobia.

Qwinto, by Bernhard Lach and Uwe Rapp, is a roll and write game for two to six players and takes 15 minutes to play. In Qwinto, all players play simultaneously. Each player has a score sheet with three rows in three different colors (orange, yellow, and purple) and there are three dice (one of each color). Each row will contain mostly circle fields with a few pentagonal fields. The active player rolls one to three dice (their choice) and each player will choose whether to add the rolled sum to one available field on their score sheet. There are only three rules for writing sums on the score sheet:

  1. The chosen row must be the same color as one of the rolled dice.
  2. The numbers in the row must increase from left to right (leaving blank spaces is allowed)
  3. No duplicate numbers may appear in a single column.

Any player may choose not to write a sum on their score sheet without penalty unless they are the active player; the active player must mark one of the miss-throw fields if they choose not to add the rolled sum to their sheet. The game ends when a player has filled two rows on their score sheet or when any player has filled in their fourth miss-throw field. Players then score points equal to the number in the pentagonal field for each completed column, points equal to the right-most number in each completed row, and one point for each number in each incomplete row. Each miss-throw is negative five points. The player with the most points wins! For more information, check out The Dice Tower reviews here.

The Mind, by Wolfgang Warsch, is a team experience for two to four players. Players are attempting to complete levels by placing their cards collectively in ascending order, but here’s the catch – the players are not allowed to communicate in any way to indicate what cards they have. The game includes numbered cards 1 -100, level cards 1 -12, life cards, and shuriken cards. Players will try to complete 12/10/8 levels for 2/3/4 players. For each level, the players will be dealt a number of cards equal to the level number (1 card for level 1, 2 cards for level 2, etc.) that are kept hidden from the other players. Then, all players will try to place their cards one by one on the discard pile face up in ascending order, not knowing what cards are in the other players’ hands. If a card is placed that is higher than one still in a player’s hand, that player will call a stop, the players will lose a life, and then the level will continue. The players also have shuriken cards, that can help them make it through a level. As long as all of the players agree, a shuriken card can be used to allow all players to discard their lowest level card, which then becomes public knowledge. The game ends when the players have successfully completed all of the levels or if the players lose their last life. For more information, check out The Dice Tower reviews here.

Nyctophobia, by Catherine Stippell, is a cooperative horror-survival game for three to five players that plays in 30 – 45 minutes. Up to four players will play as the Hunted and a single player will be the Hunter. The goal of the Hunted is to make it through the forest maze to their car and survive. The Hunter will win if any of the Hunted die. Sounds fairly simple, right? Here’s the hard part – all of the Hunted players wear black out glasses so they cannot see the board and can only navigate by touch.

At the beginning of the game, the Hunter (the only player who can see the board) will set up the board based on the scenario (axe murderer or mage) and give the players the general direction of their car (north, south, west, or east), but the Hunted don’t know where they are starting in relation to the car. On the Hunted player’s turn, the Hunter will assist the Hunted by placing their hand on their player piece. Then, they can explore the surrounding spaces next to their player piece. After exploring, they’ll decide on a direction to move. This may cause them to pick up rocks that they can later throw to distract the Hunter, bump into another Hunted player allowing them to coordinate and better determine their location in the forest, or run into the Hunter, taking damage. Each Hunted only has two health. The Hunter uses a deck of cards to determine their movement on their turn, but has certain rules they must follow, such as heading towards any noise markers (from thrown rocks) on the board.

There are two versions of the Hunter: the axe murderer and the mage. The ax murderer can chop down trees to get to the Hunted faster while the mage can manipulate the forest, moving trees and rotating the entire map, to confuse the players. To see more, check out the GAMA 2018 video here.