Z-Man Games

Z-Man Games has announced the next game in the Oniverse series of games, Aerion by designer Shadi Torbey featuring art from Élise Plessis. The Oniverse is most famous for its flagship game Onirim (2010), the popular 1-2 player card game of pattern creation, door collection and inevitable reshuffling, as well as its successors Sylvion (2015), Castellion (2015) and Nautilion (2016). Aerion continues the theme of 1-2 players trying to collect a series of goal cards, this time by building 6 airships by collecting the best blueprints, resources and crew. Resources are collected by rolling 6 dice, using specific combinations to create your materials. If your roll does not make a resource you need, you can discard cards to reroll – but like Onirim, if you run out of cards in the resource decks, you lose the game. Again following on the success of Onirim, Aerion comes with 6 mini expansions changing the challenge slightly each time. Aerion comes with 133 cards, 6 dice, 16 tokens, 1 scary wooden pawn (remniscent of Onirim), and the rulebook. For more information, you can read the press release from Z-Man Games, and look for Aerion at your FLGS in Spring 2019.

Z-man Games has announced a new game called, Miaui (MEOW-ee), from designer Bruno Faidutti.  The theme is based on anthropomorphic cats fishing in a lagoon.  Miaui appears to be a light, family-friendly card game for 3-6 players aged 8 and up.

“As the tide changes on the island of Miaui, it’s time for the fishing festival! Dive into the depths to catch the most valuable fish for the evening feast.”

Miaui is played over twelve rounds. Each player has a hand of cards, numbered from one to twelve.  The number on the card represents how deep you are willing to dive in the lagoon when you play it.  In the center of the table there are three cards which represent the available catch for a given round.  The “catch” can range from valuable fish to negative jelly fish.  Each round players choose one card from their hand and simultaneously reveal their choice.  The highest card played dives deepest in the lagoon to get the card at the bottom, whereas, the lowest played card takes the top card.

Read more about Z-Man’s new game.

Z-Man Games announces a fresh new take on the classic Carcassonne game: Carcassonne: Safari.    Instead of building the French countryside surrounding Carcassonne, players will build the wilderness of Africa with savannahs, bush, animal paths, baobab trees, and watering holes, all teaming with wildlife.  The wildlife is key to scoring in Carcassonne: Safari.  Unlike traditional Carcassonne, scored points are not based on size or length of a controlled area.  Instead, scored points are based on the number of different animals in the scoring area. A safari is certainly more interesting with a larger variety of animals.  Bonus points are scored for each bird in a scored area.  Boabab trees, like the cloisters in the original Carcassonne game, need to be surrounded before being completed. However, boabab trees do not score any points.  Instead, they provide the player controlling the baobab tree animal tokens when placed and additional animal tokens when completed.  Players can use the animal tokens to increase the scoring of bushes and paths by discarding a token to increase the number of animal types scored in the area by one.  Animal tokens can also be used to create watering holes.  Every player can contribute to any watering hole by adding their animal token to the watering hole as long as it contains a different animal than one already there. Scoring encourages the completion of watering hole because each new tile placed to expand the watering hole scores an increasing number of points. Lastly, this game features two ranger vehicles that reside just adjacent to the safari tiles.  Players may move the ranger vehicles as part of their move.  Placing a tile beneath a ranger vehicle scores additional bonus points.  Carcassonne: Safari is the fourth game in the Carcassonne Around the World series which already features Carcassonne: Amazonas, Carcassonne: Gold Rush, and Carcassonne: South Seas.  Carcassonne: Safari is available for pre-order now and will be released in late 2018.  Go to Z-Man Games to learn more about Carcassonne: Safari.

 

Since Mayfair Games folded their hand earlier this year, we’ve been slowly learning the fate of the games in their catalog.  Now, we have some clarity on Lords of Vegas.  Z-Man Games will take over publishing for the Lords of Vegas line of games, which includes the base game and the UP! expansion.  It appears that Z-Man will start by selling the existing Mayfair stock of games.

“James and I are thrilled to have Z-Man continue the legacy of Lords of Vegas,” says Mike Selinker, the president of Lone Shark Games and co-designer of Lords of Vegas. “When we were presented with the opportunity, many people from Asmodee and Z-Man told us how much they loved and played the game. So it was a no-brainer. We think our fans will like what Z-Man plans to do for Lords of Vegas in the coming years.”

Perhaps the biggest part of this news for existing fans of the game is that the designers and Z-Man will continue development of the ‘Underworld’ expansion, which had been in the works with Mayfair.  Personally, Lords of Vegas is one of my favorite games, so I am glad that it gets to continue on with a publisher like Z-Man.  Hopefully Z-Man will take the opportunity to improve the production quality for future editions of the game compared to the Mayfair version, and possibly revisit the 1950’s era aesthetic.

If you are not familiar with Lords of Vegas, it is an area influence game, with plenty of push-your-luck and the kind of high stakes you would expect from a Las Vegas casino-building themed game.

You can read the full Z-Man announcement on their website.

Z-Man Games has announced The Great City of Rome, designed by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert. The game is for 2-4 players, ages 10+ where players compete to design and build the greatest city in the world.

The game requires players to make meticulous plans, dedicate their workers and gather sturdy materials. First, travel to the Emperor’s court to gain blueprints and materials and use emissaries to earn the Emperor’s favor. However, use the emissaries wisely. The more time spent sweet-talking the Emperor, the less time there is to gather resources and materials

During each round, players reveal a set of building cards, each with their own attributes, as well as flip one of the six unique action strips. Using their emissaries, players claim spaces on the action strip, carefully choosing the placement to earn the right to claim the best building cards or maximize the number of actions they can take. After the emissaries have been placed, players draft building cards, resolve actions and construct buildings in order from closest to farthest from the golden Emperor pawn.

Now that you have your blueprints, workers and materials, it’s time to build the city! City planning requires the careful arrangement of housing, utilities and amenities to make the city’s residents happy.

After drafting a building card, you can place the building into your play area, creating a maximum of a 4×4 grid of buildings. Carefully arrange your residential areas with nearby public buildings and add in aqueducts and temples to make a civilized, balanced city and score the most points to win.

Game contents: 86 Cards, 39 Coins, 33 Influence Tokens, 18 Point Tokens, 6 Brick Tokens, 6 Action Strips, 8 Wooden Pawns, 1 Scoring Pad, 1 Rulebook, 1 Summary Sheet

You can pre-order your copy of The Great City of Rome today. It will be released in early 2019.

Z-Man Games has announced Narabi, a cooperative card game for 3-5 players.  The cards in Narabi range from 0 to 9, along with blank cards.  Each player receives a subset of the cards, along with a “restriction card” which governs how the cards can be swapped with other cards.  Players can ask each other yes or no questions in an effort to deduce the various movement restrictions and arrange the cards in numerical order in as few turns as possible.

“In Narabi, numbered stone cards will be randomly sleeved together with restriction cards that control how a stone moves. Players must exchange stones, working toward the correct arrangement one move at a time while still following the rules on each stone.”

With numerous card combinations and rule variations, Narabi appears to offer varying degrees of difficulty in a relatively quick playing card game.

Z-Man’s announcement indicates that Narabi will be available early 2019.  You can learn more at the Narabi product page on Z-Man’s website.

Z-man Games has announced a light, quick family game. In Party Bugs, players will attempt to control a wild cockroach disco party. Keep your party under control by shooing the big pests to your opponents’ side of the dance floor and keeping the smaller bugs close by.

Each round, players will take turns playing a card face down in front of them. Then, the cards are flipped and new bugs join the dance floor. The player with the lowest-value card will take a bug already dancing around the disco ball. Once everyone has taken a card and no more bugs are on the dance floor, the new bugs can show off their moves. Players have thirteen rounds to try and push the biggest, most annoying bugs over to their neighbors while taking the smaller, less disruptive bugs for themselves.

“Going to a costume dance party, of course, requires a costume! Costume stores for cockroaches have limited options and these party bugs grabbed the thirteen most popular for the party. Showing up to a party in the same costume is frowned upon though. If a cockroach shows up with the same costume as another, both bugs will leave the party and go home in embarrassment.”

Party Bugs is a 15-minute party game for 2-6 players ages 8+. Z-Man Games is taking pre-orders for this zany incect-palooza now. The game will be released in late 2018.

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.

An invasion of barbarian tribes can certainly feel like pandemic to the Roman world.  Matt Leacock and Paolo Mori have teamed up to bring the Pandemic gameplay to Ancient Rome.  In Pandemic: Fall of Rome, players are members of Roman society employing Roman legions to defend against invading tribes.  Plays may also convert members of a tribe into Roman soldiers. Rome survives to continue its long history is they can defeat all the barbarian tribes, whether by absorption or eradication. Rome has five barbarian tribes threatening its borders: Huns, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Vandals, and Anglo-Saxons and Franks.  Each invading tribe follows their migration pattern that eventual leads to Rome. Pandemic: Fall of Rome will also feature a Solo Play mode and a challenge mode for season Pandemic players.  The tribes are represented by wooden cubes like all pandemic games, but the Roman legion tokens are legionnaire shaped meeples.  The game will include custom dice for resolving battles with the invading hordes.  Pandemic: Fall of Rome is available for pre-order now with a projected release in Q4. Go to Z-man Games to learn more about Pandemic: Fall of Rome.

The Hills & Sheep Expansion from Z-Man Games expands the world of Carcassonne with new tiles and options. Players must grow their flock, gain the high ground of the hills and cultivate a vineyard in this expansion

“The wind blows, ruffling the long, green grass covering the rolling hills. The sheep slowly graze across the field as the shepherd watches over his flock, always on the lookout for wolves. Outside the monastery, monks tend to the vineyard and prepare the ripe grapes.”

Your shepherds watch over your flock of sheep as it grows. Be careful! If you wait too long to return your flock to the stable, wolves may attack. After placing a field tile, you may choose to place a shepherd and immediately draw out of the cloth bag. If you draw a sheep token, you increase your flock. However, there are hungry wolves hiding in the bag and if you draw one of them, your flock will scatter and points will be lost.

Hill tiles are elevated with another tile facedown beneath them. During scoring, a meeple on a hill will break a tie and claim the points. Vineyards placed around a monastery increase its value. However, since only a completed monastery can claim the bonus points from the vineyards,  sabotage from other players is a distinct possibility.

You can pre-order your copy of this expansion now. The release is planned for Q4, 2018.

The Dice Tower has made a lot of videos about Carcassonne over the years. Check out some of them out here.