Worker Placement Games

Last year Shem Phillips and co-designer Sam Macdonald released Architects of the West Kingdom, the first game in a new series.  Now the designers are back with the second installment in the series, Paladins of the West Kingdom.  Architects had players building a town and its cathedral, while Paladins has players spreading the faith and defending the town from outsiders.

In Paladins of the West Kingdom, each player has a set of 12 paladin cards which provide workers, temporary attribute bonuses and a special ability for the round.  The players draw three paladin cards at the start of each round, select one to use, return one to the top of the deck and the other to the bottom.  Each player also has a personal board which is used to gather resources, increase attributes and score points.  Players take turns using their workers to perform a variety of actions, like recruit townsfolk, fortify the town, commission new monks, and attack or convert outsiders.  Some features from Architects (e.g. debt cards) return in Paladins; however, several new features are introduced, like suspicion cards which could lead to penalties from the Inquisition.

Like Architects and Raiders of the North Sea, Paladins features artwork from The Mico. Paladins is for 1 to 4 players.  There are a couple of different pledge levels, as well as, some additional promo cards included for both Paladins and Architects.  You can find out more about the game on its Kickstarter page.

Roll Player (2016) by Thunderworks Games and designer Keith Matejka is a fantastic (BGG #234) dice placement game which themes around creating a classic d20 RPG character. Now the company has announced 2 new “Roll Player Tales” in the same universe, Lockup and Cartographers.

Lockup: A Roll Player Tale by designer Stan Kordonskiy (Dice Hospital) is a worker placement game taking place within a fantasy prison, originally funded on Kickstarter in 2018. In Lockup, 2-5 players need to assign members of their gang to sections of the prison and collect resources, all without attracting the ire of the guards, who are not beyond searching their quarters and confiscating their goods. Each round, the most powerful characters in a section get the prime resources, and can build the best items. After 6 rounds, the most powerful gang emerges victorious.

Cartographers: A Roll Player Tale by designer Jordy Adan is a roll and write game, where players need to fill in their map sheet according to the Queen’s edicts. Exploration cards tell the players what polyomino shapes and terrain types to draw each round. Scoring cards communicate the Queen’s will, and tell what will score. Cartographers encapsulates the joy of drawing old RPG maps on graph paper, filling in forest, mountain, water, and even monsters, trying to earn the most points in 4 seasons.

Both Lockup and Cartographers are expected to deliver to stores in July 2019. For more information, check out Thunderworks webpage on Cartographers, and the Kickstarter page from Lockup.

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia (2013) was one of the early award winners to come from Stonemaier Games, and the studio has just announced the first expansion, Euphoria: Ignorance is Bliss. In the original Euphoria, players used dice as workers to manipulate the three factions in the Euphoria world: the Euphorians, the Subterrans and the Wastelanders. The numbers on the dice represent the intelligence of your workers: higher numbers allow them stronger actions, but in this world, you want dumb workers, because the smart ones run away. In Ignorance is Bliss, by designers Morten Monrad Pedersen and automata-masters Nick Shaw and David Studley, the once lofty Icarites, who lived among the clouds selling bliss, have now descended to the peons, imposing a new way of life. For more information, keep an eye on the Stonemaier website here, where they will continue to provide more information on this expansion all February long.

Now on Kickstarter from Quick Simple Fun Games is an engine-building worker placement game in which 2-5 players compete to get the most ore and thereby the most money with Ore: The Mining Game.

Players explore the mines for materials, create contracts for cash and reinvest into business developments or building assets. The player with the most successful business at the end of the seventh round wins.

There are seven rounds with three phases: Tasking Phase, where players assign workers to mining, contract work or business development; Collection Phase, where workers collect resources and go deeper in mines; and Business Phase, where players fill contracts, call back workers, add new contracts and advance to the next round.

The base set will come with 30 miner meeples, 32 mine cards, 64 mini building cards, 120 money cards, 40 contract cards, 150 resource cubes and tokens.

You can find more about the Kickstarter here.

2016’s A Feast for Odin took the gaming world by storm, not only because it was the latest farm building, feed your people masterpiece from Uwe Rosenberg (Agricola, Caverna: The Cave Farmers), but also because of its unprecedented number of worker placement slots (60+), and brilliant integration of Uwe’s new tetromino placement mechanism (Patchwork, Cottage Garden). Z-Man Games has just announced the first full sized expansion for Feast for Odin, The Norwegians, and it adds more of what we loved in this worker placement magnum opus. First, Norwegians adds more worker placement slots – There are now more ways to breed animals, craft, trade and hunt, as well as a fifth column of actions. These new actions come on several new boards tailored to the player count. New actions come with new tiles, and Norwegians comes with 95 new goods tiles, from elk and pigs to horses and antlers, as well as 6 new special tiles. Additionally, Norwegians comes with personal artisan sheds, small boards which provide individual player powers, such as better whaling or wood storage, helping further to guide your strategy: something especially useful in a game with so many options. And of course, the expansion comes with new islands to explore, and updates of the old islands, incorporating the new rules and tiles. Read more on Z-Man’s website here, and expect A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians in stores at the end of 2018.

After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, Trickerion: Legends of Illusion is back on Kickstarter to raise funding for its first major expansion – Trickerion: Dahlgaard’s Academy. In addition, a Kickstarter-only Collector’s Edition is available.

Trickerion: Legends of Illusion is a thematic, medium-heavy Euro-style game of rival stage illusionists. You play as a Victorian-era magician vying to gain the most fame. To accomplish this, you assign your team of apprentices and specialists to various tasks, using worker placement and simultaneous action selection.

Euro fans have generally had very positive reviews of the base game and anticipation is high for this expansion content.

Restore the academy, become the rector

In the expansion, four new magicians make their appearance, trying to crack the mysteries of Dahlgaard’s Manor. This dilapidated old manor is a key new location in the game and holds powerful secrets. Use your abilities and tenacity to renovate it to its former glory by adding classrooms and practice areas, improving your skills and teaching your students tricks. Perhaps you will find Dahlgaard’s hidden library, learning some well-kept secrets in the process.

As an extra bonus, you have added a new member to your crew – your Protégé – whom you can groom as you like using customizable abilities. Build your Protégé’s skills enough and s/he could become your most valuable crew member.

Blinged-out Collector’s Edition

Publisher Mindclash Games is offering a complete Collector’s Edition of Trickerion, which is only available during this Kickstarter campaign. For those who already own the base game, don’t feel left out! You can pledge for a Collector’s Edition Upgrade Pack.

The Collector’s Edition includes everything we’ve ever released for Trickerion: the base game with a revised rulebook, the Dahlgaard’s Gifts add-on pack, the Dahlgaard’s Academy expansion, two sets of metal coins, and more to come. The Collector’s Edition will come in a large, uniquely numbered box with alternative artwork – it will look amazing on your gaming shelf! The Collector’s Edition will not be available in retail.

Finally, for all of you soloists out there (like me), an out-of-the-box solo mode allows you to compete against Dahlgaard’s heir, a corrupted magician.

 

Interested? Head on over to the Kickstarter page to learn more.

Take a look at what the Dice Tower has to say about Trickerion: Legends of Illusion.

Everyone’s favorite altruistic archer is about to grace our tabletops again as Final Frontier Games announces the launch of their upcoming Kickstarter project – Robin Hood and the Merry Men!

In this latest offering from the makers of Cavern Tavern and Rise to Nobility, 2 to 4 players will assume the roles of various rogue heroes in a mission to defy the unjust rule of the nefarious King John and to outwit and outmaneuver the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham and his cronies.

The game plays out over a series of rounds, each consisting of a Merry Men phase and a Hero phase. Players take turns assigning their loyal followers during the Merry Men phase, collecting resources and setting traps to ambush Royal carriages. While it may be tempting to simply rob all the resources you need be careful, a push-your-luck system ensures that no good deed goes unpunished and you may end up with your followers being sent to the dungeons for their crimes!

The Hero phase offers you a chance to rescue prisoners and/or take part in various attacks, competitions or even sending envoys to King Richard updating him of your progress. Once each player has completed 5 rounds in this fashion, the player with the most victory points and therefore the greatest Hero of the land is declared the winner!

The campaign is set to launch on February 21st, 2018 and offers both a standard and deluxe (non-retail) version of the game at separate pledge levels.

 

Z-Man Games announced a new mini-expansion for Uwe Rosenberg‘s most recent magnum opus, A Feast For Odin. The new expansion has 2 new double sided exploration boards, allowing players to travel to Lofoten, the Ornkey Islands, or even Tierra del Fuego. Each board has more spaces for points, bonuses or plundered goods, and the Ornkey Islands even comes with a bonus weapon card to boost hunting or trading. Read more about the mini-expansion on Z-Man’s website here.

Tea and Trade from Z-Man Games will be the first expansion for Uwe‘s hidden gem, Fields of Arle (2014). Fields of Arle is a true Rosenberg gem, complete with multiple resource types, space to clear fields and build structures, tons of different spots for worker placement, and of course the need to feed your people. Often regarded as one of Uwe‘s best, Fields of Arle was a 2 player only sleeper hit, now playable with 3 using the new expansion. The Tea and Trade expansion will unsurprisingly add tea as an upgradeable resource to the lands of East Frisia. Tea has the unique property of invigorating your workers, making them act as if they were more skillful then they are, and can even allow workers to act twice. A new action, digging ditches, makes draining the moors and clearing peat bogs easier, and can make the land more productive. Finally, a new harbor board allows you to take to the sea,  trading and upgrading your resources or collecting more food from the bounty of the sea. Read the full press release about Fields of Arle: Tea and Trade on Z-Man’s website here.

Renegade Game Studios had previously announced that they would be the English language printer for the Spiel des Jahres nominee Raiders of the North Sea from Garphill Games. In a new press release, Renegade has stated that they will expand this partnership to include all the games of the North Sea Trilogy, including the campaign expansion.

Raiders of the North Sea is a unique worker placement game, in which players gain an action for placing their meeple, but also gain a second action by picking up a new meeple. The meeples on the board come in three colors, and the spaces on the board are color limited. Add a great viking theme of building armies, collecting crew and pillaging outposts, and you have an excellent game, worth of the Spiel nomination.

Shipwrights of the North Sea is a card game where 2-5 players collect artisans and resources, racing to be the first to construct their viking long ships. Various nefarious characters can be recruited to help the player succeed or hinder their competition.

Explorers of the North Sea is a tile laying, pick up and deliver game for 1-4. Players sail their vikings in plastic boats from island to island, picking up livestock, raiding villages and constructing outposts. Points are awarded for sets of collected items, and for completing islands by playing tiles.

The North Sea Rune Saga is an expansion which ties all three games into one large campaign for those brave enough to live the full viking life.

All of the North Sea Games are designed by Shem Phillips, and include gorgeous artwork by Mihajlo Dimitrievski. Look for the trilogy of games from Renegade in Q4 2017. You can read the full press release on Renegade Games’ website here.

key to the city

Key to the City – London is the next game in the series of games dubbed the Key line, and it looks pretty good.  From the early pictures and description of the game it looks to be similar in play to the Keyflower game.  However, instead of building out your farm and producing goods, you will be building out your borough of London and connecting everything together in order to generate points.  There will be different types of tiles that will allow you to score points for the number of meeples on a tile, the route connections to that tile, and there are even tiles that can be upgraded twice.  As a neat little piece of eye candy, tiles that are upgraded a second time get a 3D standee of the landmark placed on the tile to indicate it has been upgraded.

As a lover of the Keyflower game I am very much looking forward to a new game in the same vein, and with all the changes it should differentiate itself from Keyflower enough to warrant having both.  Look for this title to be on store shelves later this year.