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To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, please contact BGG News editor W. Eric Martin via email – wericmartin AT gmail.com

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New Game Round-up: Previews at Gen Con 2016 — New Doom, Tickets for Tots, and Inventing Bit By Bit

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• The pre-Gen Con 2016 announcements continue, with Fantasy Flight Games announcing DOOM: The Board Game, an adaptation of the Bethesda Softworks and id Software, for demo at the convention ahead of a Q4 2016 release.

Now, FFG released Doom: The Boardgame by Kevin Wilson and company CEO Christian T. Petersen back in 2004, but the publisher notes that aside from the asymmetrical play and a customizable Invader deck, this new design from Jonathan Ying is almost completely new: "It is designed capture the feel of the video game's most recent incarnation, complete with fast-paced action, aggressive combat, relentless suspense, and even Glory Kills that allow marines to swiftly execute wounded demons and recover damage at the same time."




• Another pre-Gen Con 2016 (sort of) surprise comes from Days of Wonder, this being Alan R. Moon's Ticket to Ride: First Journey. I say "sort of" because this title is being released exclusively at the Target retail chain in the U.S., and Target initially had an embargo date for July 31, 2016 — the day that the game will go on sale (MSRP $35) — but a few Target stores released the game ahead of time, so now Days of Wonder has published details on the gameplay:

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Ticket to Ride: First Journey takes the gameplay of the Ticket to Ride series and scales it down for a younger audience.

In general, players collect train cards, claim routes on the map, and try to connect the cities shown on their tickets. In more detail, the game board shows a map of the United States with certain cities being connect by colored paths. Each player starts with four colored train cards in hand and two tickets; each ticket shows two cities, and you're trying to connect those two cities with a contiguous path of your trains in order to complete the ticket.

On a turn, you either draw two train cards from the deck or discard train cards to claim a route between two cities; for this latter option, you must discard cards matching the color and number of spaces on that route (e.g., two yellow cards for a yellow route that's two spaces long). If you connect the two cities shown on a ticket with a path of your trains, reveal the ticket, place it face up in front of you, then draw a new ticket. (If you can't connect cities on either ticket because the paths are blocked, you can take your entire turn to discard those tickets and draw two new ones.)

If you connect one of the West Coast cities to one of the East Coast cities with a path of your turns, you immediately claim a Coast-to-Coast ticket.

The first player to complete six tickets wins! Alternatively, if someone has placed all twenty of their trains on the game board, then whoever has completed the most tickets wins!

My understanding is that Ticket to Ride: First Journey will be available for demo games at Gen Con 2016, but not sold there. We'll see!




• Finally (for now) is Legendary Inventors from Frédéric Henry and Bombyx, with this design sounding similar to Henry's The Builders in the way that players apply the skills of their workers, but now all players both compete and cooperate to finish building things. Here's an overview of Legendary Inventors, which will be available for demo at Gen Con 2016 ahead of its Q4 2016 release date:

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Lead a team of history's greatest minds to glory in Legendary Inventors, a game in which 2-5 players each captain a group of four inventors working to bring their knowledge to life by creating useful objects to improve the world. Compete against rival teams to patent inventions and work to improve the knowledge of your inventors. The inventing team who has patented the most inventions or who has the smartest inventors wins.

In more detail, the game takes place over three ages, with each age representing a different period of technological advancement and those inventions becoming more complex in each subsequent age. On a turn, you either send one of your inventors to work on an invention or refresh your inventors to make all of them available again. When you send an inventor to work you apply that character's skills — Albert Einstein has a starting skill of four Physics, for example, while Johannes Gutenberg has a starting skill of two Mechanics — against the needs of the invention, marking off what you've done with colored cubes.

When an invention is complete, the three players who have contributed the most reap the rewards of its completion! Players can choose to acquire and patent the invention by placing the invention card face up in front of them, or they earn reward tokens to upgrade their inventors, gain extra victory points, and even add additional knowledge to an invention.

As soon as all but two inventions in an age are complete, that age ends and a new one begins. After the third age, the team of inventors with the most victory points wins!

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Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:09 pm
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New Game Round-up: New Mansions to Explore, Digital Cards to Purchase, and Tasty Cupcakes to Save

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• Pre-Gen Con 2016 announcements continue from Fantasy Flight Games, with the revelation that Mansions of Madness: Second Edition from Nikki Valens, based on the original Corey Konieczka design, will be available for purchase both at that show and through other retail outlets.

The big news of this new edition is that the role of the Keeper — a player who would control monsters in the game and work against everyone else — has been replaced by an app, thereby allowing for fully cooperative play, in addition to solitaire play. To quote from the announcement: "Throughout every game, the app generates an entirely unique map, full of differing items to utilize, monsters to confront, and events to endure. Instead of the map being fully visible from the start of the game, however, the app obscures the majority of the board in shadows until you endeavor to explore further."




Stone Blade Entertainment has announced the August 1, 2016 launch of Ascension VR, which it describes as a virtual-reality deck-building experience. This experience can be demoed at Gen Con 2016, and here are more details from the press release:

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Bringing the tabletop world into the digital sphere by connecting players from all over the world into one virtual space, Ascension VR uses 3D fully animated avatars and showcases social elements including spatialized voice chat, avatar lip sync and avatar animation triggered by real time player movement. Players can battle for supremacy regardless of what platform they're on, whether mobile or PC and from a variety of VR headsets.

For new gamers, learning to play is as easy as if they were sitting around a real table together. Ascension VR features a full single player tutorial, as well as single player AI modes. Fans can play with up to three AI opponents to build familiarity with the cards, or dive right into multiplayer to learn with friends.

More solitaire play!



• As it has done for the past two years with Red7 and One Deck Dungeon, at Gen Con 2016 Asmadi Games will debut an "instant game", this being Save the Cupcake by Asmadi owner Chris Cieslik. A description:

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In Save the Cupcake, one of you has a cupcake, while the other one desires to crush the cupcake in the most epic way possible — by rolling a ball down a hill to run it over.

The Defender of Cupcakes will hide the cupcake in one of many possible locations at the bottom of the hill. The Crusher of Cupcakes will roll four balls down the hill, through an elaborate network of fruit-themed pathways. The Defender and Crusher must cleverly use these pathways to meet their ultimate cupcake goals!

• In non-Gen Con 2016 news, Gamelyn Games has revealed the cover art for Scott Almes' Tiny Epic Quest, a 2017 release that can be demoed at Gen Con 2016. Okay, nevermind — everything is about Gen Con these days!

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Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:15 pm
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New Game Round-up: Cosmic Thrones Encounter Westeros, Invaders Arrive in Érin, and Thieves Invite Suspicion

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• The sixth season of the Game of Thrones television series has ended, but before too long players will have a new way to re-enact all the struggles of that show thanks to Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne, a Q4 2016 release from Fantasy Flight Games credited to Bill Eberle, Peter Olotka, Greg Olotka, and Justin Kemppainen that takes the game systems from Cosmic Encounter and transports them to the world of Westeros.

FFG plans to demo Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne at Gen Con 2016, with the game scheduled for a Q4 2016 release. Here's a preview of how CE has been transformed:

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In Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne, which uses the game systems from Cosmic Encounter, you and your friends each command one of the Great Houses of Westeros, pitting iconic characters against each other in epic battles and schemes. Negotiate, bluff, forge alliances, threaten your rivals — use every tool at your disposal to spread your influence, establish supremacy, and claim the ultimate prize: the Iron Throne!

In more detail, each turn centers around the resolution of an encounter between two players. These encounters can result in hostilities, startling conquests, and the spread of influence, or they can result in the formation of temporary alliances. And though only two players in any encounter will be the "active" players, your friends might offer you their support — or turn around and offer it to someone else.

Win enough of these encounters, though — and find the right ones to lose — and you might find yourself in position to seize the Iron Throne. The goal of the game is to spread five of your influence to your opponents' House cards and take the crown for yourself.

• I just highlighted the fab 1960s art of Ta-Da! in early July 2016, and here's another title bearing the same retro look: Suspicion from the design team of Forrest-Pruzan Creative and publisher Wonder Forge, with this title being available for demo games at Gen Con 2016. An overview:

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You are a jewel thief, and you've been invited to the mansion of someone who doesn't know that you engage in such nefarious doings. While at that mansion, you're going to try to nick as many jewels as possible, but *gadzooks* the mansion turns out to be filled with jewel thieves who are all trying to do the same thing. Can you out them publicly, while staying unknown yourself and bagging a nice collection of gems?

In Suspicion, ten characters start on the perimeter of the game board, and each player is secretly one of these characters. On a turn, you roll two dice, then move the two characters shown (or characters of your choice if you roll a joker). After this, you play one of the two action cards in your hand, and carry out one of the actions on that card: stealing a type of gem in the space where your character is located, moving any character, asking someone else whether their character can be seen by someone on the board, and so on.

Gems come in three types, and when one of the piles is empty, the game ends. Everyone guesses who is which character, then all identities are revealed. For each player you've guessed correctly, you score 7 points; for each set of three different gems, you score 6 points; and for each individual gem aside from the sets, you score 1 point. Whoever has the most points wins!

• To continue with the theme of the past returning in new forms, I present The Arrival, which new German publisher Game's Up describes as a revamped version of Martin Wallace's Mordred, which was first released in 1999 by Wallace's Warfrog Games. (Note that the cover image shown is not final.) This title will debut at SPIEL 2016 in October, with rules in English and German. Here's an overview of the setting and gameplay:

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In a time long forgotten, the cruel Fomori rule over Érin, the green island. They praise their king Balor, who reigns from his fortifications in the north with an iron fist. Old paths and ruins spread over the island's face, which will be called Ireland many generations from now. But new tribes arrive at the island striving for permanent presence. Who will control Érin's fate over the next centuries to come?

Each player in The Arrival represents a tribe leader who tries to gain predominance over the mythical island of Érin while pushing back the demon-like Fomori. But the players are facing a dilemma, for spreading too quickly means becoming more and more corrupt and strengthening the Fomori in their power...

Over 4-6 rounds, the players determine their resources by means of a unique game mechanism, which will be used later on profitably. During a first phase (Earning Phase), players draw four cards, each showing three sections of different resources. Two of these sections are gradually blocked by the player, thus leaving one section. The resources shown on this section are the ones the player gets. During this phase, they have to decide which section is the best one; while the upper section of the cards offers many resources, it also results in unwanted Corruption Points. The middle and the lower sections offer fewer resources, but also less Corruption.

After that, the Action Phase takes place and the players must use their resources wisely while having the choice from different kinds of actions in order to get Fame Points.

The game ends when a certain number of rounds have been played or somebody reaches the corruption limit.

The winner is either the one with the highest amount of Fame Points or the one with the fewest Corruption Points. This depends on the scene of the board at the end: Do the tribes (players) control more locations on Érin than the Fomori do — or is it the other way around?

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Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:09 pm
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Asmodee in Negotiations to Acquire F2Z Entertainment

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Following Asmodee's acquisitions of Days of Wonder (BGG News story) and Fantasy Flight Games (story) in 2014 and the worldwide English rights to Catan (story) in 2016, many people have wondered which domino in the hobby game industry would fall next.

The answer turns out to be F2Z Entertainment, the Canadian publisher/distributor that owns the Z-Man Games, Filosofia Éditions, Pretzel Games, and Plaid Hat Games studios. Asmodee and F2Z Entertainment aren't strangers, having worked with one another over the years, with Asmodee distributing F2Z titles in France, Germany and elsewhere in Europe, while F2Z has distributed Asmodee titles in Canada. (This is the basis for the "partnership" referred to in the quotes from the press release below.)

Asmodee has issued the following press release about the deal, and Asmodee North America VP of Marketing Aaron Elliott told me that it can give no other comment at this time since the discussions are still under way. (The "exclusiveness" referred to in the first line of the press release means only that no one else is competing with Asmodee to acquire this company.) Here's what has been made public to date:

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The Asmodee Group has announced today that it has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire F2Z Entertainment Inc.

In line with the acquisitions of the worldwide rights to Dobble/Spot-It!, Days of Wonder, and Fantasy Flight Games publishers, and more recently the set-up of Catan Studio, these exclusive discussions with F2Z Entertainment Inc. emphasize Asmodee's strategy to strengthen its intellectual property portfolio and international presence. Closing of this acquisition is expected to take place in the coming months.

Created in Canada in 2002 by Sophie Gravel, F2Z Entertainment Inc. has become, over the years, one of the most worldwide renowned publisher & distributor of modern board games, with key owned brands such as Pandemic (over 1 million units sold), Dead of Winter, and also publishing rights for evergreen games (Carcassonne for French and English version, Catan for French version).

Stéphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee Group said: "I am delighted to enter into these exclusive discussions with F2Z Entertainment, which is, for us, the natural next step of a strong and long-lasting partnership built over the years with Sophie Gravel and her teams. Through this acquisition, we will continue expanding our IP portfolio with fantastic games and incredibly innovative studios such as Z-Man Games, Plaid Hat Games and Filosofia. This will also enable us to increase our presence on the global game market."

Sophie Gravel, CEO of F2Z Entertainment added: "As we are close to celebrating 15 years of success with F2Z, we are proud to announce these exclusive discussions with Asmodee Group, a key partner since the beginning of our adventure. This deal is in the direct continuation of our close business partnership and will provide the best environment for our iconic games to reach their full potential and help our studios to continue publishing amazing games."
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Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:00 am
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New Game Round-up: Crowing in Detroit, Building on Other Planets, and Drawing Like Lightning

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• I've mostly been working on the Gen Con 2016 Preview the past couple of days — 340 game listings and counting! — and in the process of doing so, I've added a few new game listings to the BGG database, such as The Crow: Fire It Up!, which Upper Deck Entertainment will debut at Gen Con 2016 ahead of its retail release. Here's an overview of the gameplay:

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In a world without justice, one man was chosen to protect the innocent! On Devil's Night in the Motor City, play as Eric Draven as he dishes out revenge against the gang that took his life and the life of his fiance, Shelly, in The Crow: Fire It Up!

As Eric Draven, the player uses the aid of Officer Albrecht, Sarah, and the mysterious Crow to track down the Motor City Gang and stave off their reign of terror, while the opposing players portray members of the vicious gang consisting of Tin-Tin, Funboy, T-Bird, Grange, Myca, and Top Dollar spreading fires and mayhem throughout the city as they seek to lure the undead avenger out of the shadows and take him out!

Victory Point Games plans to release the Reiner Knizia design Planet Rush in 2016, and while the game description is brief, the title is tagged as a reimplementation of Knizia's Tower of Babel, a 2005 release that I just happened to play again this year after a decade's absence from the gaming table. This design fits the Knizia model of seeming like not a lot is going on, while in fact everything is intricately linked. Here's the short description from VPG:

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It's the age of the next great space race and you are competing to see who will control the newest earth-like planet. Can you build the greatest planet structures and prove you have technological mastery over the planet?

Planet Rush is a fun euro game of bidding and building. You take control of one of five corporate factions, each bidding to contribute the most to the colonization of the planet. The one who builds the most on the planet wins and gets to claim majority ownership of the world itself!

• On a related note, VPG announced in July 2016 that it will relocate from California sometime in 2017, and at that time it will cease in-house production of its print-on-demand titles, moving instead to full production in China and external warehousing. Some of its titles have already made the jump to full production, but not all of them will, so act now or risk having to scour for used copies later.

Wonder Forge will debut three new games at Gen Con 2016, with these titles being available exclusively from the Target retail chain in the U.S., and I have details on two of them for now, starting with Really Bad Art:

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Really Bad Art is what you're making in this party game, but not because you're a terrible drawer, no — only because you have exactly six seconds to see what you're supposed to draw, then draw it!

Each round, each player secretly takes a card with two phrases like "lack of confidence", "quality of life", "constructive criticism", or "yikes!", then draws a representation of one of those phrases based on whichever color was chosen. Those cards are then shuffled with a dummy card and laid out next to the game board, after which everyone secretly votes on which piece of art corresponds to which card. Guess correctly, and you score two points; have others guess your phrase correctly, and you score one point.

Rounds continue until someone has scored thirty or more points and won the game!

Stick Stack from Brad Ross and Jim Winslow is another incarnation of players needing to place things on top of other things, which really should be the title of a GeekList, if it isn't already:

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You don't want to be stuck with sticks in Stick Stack, so try to place them as carefully as you can on the wobble tower in the center of the playing area.

Each turn, you either draw a stick from the bag or choose one of the sticks in front of you (in case you had collected any on an earlier turn), then you place that stick onto the tower — but when you place it, the colors on that stack can touch only matching colors on the crow's nest or on other sticks that have already been placed. (If a stick slides onto other colors later as the tower tilts and wobbles, that's okay, but you need to match when placing!)

If any sticks fall off the tower on your turn, collect them and place them in front of you. When all the sticks have been placed onto the tower or when the tower falls over, the game ends immediately. If you caused the tower to fall, you don't collect any of the sticks, but you do score five points (which isn't good). Every player scores one point for each stick in front of them.

If anyone has eleven or more points, the game ends and the player with the lowest score wins. If not, play another round!

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Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:05 pm
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Codenames Wins the 2016 Spiel des Jahres; Isle of Skye Claims Kennerspiel

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Codenames from designer Vlaada Chvátil and publisher Czech Games Edition has won the 2016 Spiel des Jahres, Germany's game of the year award, which is intended to highlight an outstanding design that would be ideal for German families — and if you happen to belong to a family of some other nationality, there's a good chance that you'll enjoy the game as well.




The 2016 Kennerspiel des Jahres — an award aimed at game enthusiasts who are ready for something more challenging or involved — goes to Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King from designers Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister and publishers Lookout Games and Mayfair Games.




Congratulations to both winners!
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Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:17 am
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New Game Round-up: Summoning a Genie Before Collecting Wood and Building a Habitat

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Following the release of The Pied Piper in Q2 2016, Purple Brain Creations will publish its next Tales & Games series in September 2016: Tiago Damey's Aladdin & The Magic Lamp, a 2-5 player game that IELLO will release in the U.S. Here's an overview:

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The sorcerer has sent you, a street urchin like Aladdin, into a cave to look for a magic lamp that lets you call upon a genie's favors. However, the cave also encloses fabulous treasures sorted into three chests. If you're not too greedy, this could be your chance to become rich!

In Tales & Games: Aladdin & The Magic Lamp, a turn has three phases during which everyone plays simultaneously. First, choose how many chest cards you want to draw and from which chest. Then, call out to the genie by being the fastest. Finally, if you haven't been too greedy, draw chest cards while avoiding the scorpions.

The game ends when a player draws one of the three sorcerer cards and closes the cave.

• Harald Mücke of Mücke Spiele says that he's releasing another five hundred copies of Alexander Huemer's Lignum in July 2016 ahead of a new edition of the game that will be released in Q2 2017 in German and a language to be announced later by Mücke Spiele and in English by Capstone Games. This new edition will have "minor adaptions and rule optimizations", and an expansion will be available, with this item being sold separately for those who already own the original game.

Habitats is the next release from Cwali's Corné van Moorsel, and in this tile-laying game players each build their own wildlife park without cages and fences, with each animal wanting to have certain habitats around it, but with those habitats naturally having a tendency to conflict with the desires of other animals nearby. Van Moorsel has stated that he plans to Kickstart Habitats in July 2016.

• At UK Games Expo 2016, designer Peter Burley released a new edition of his long-lived, million-selling game Take it Easy! through his own Burley Games. This new "Daffodil" edition of one thousand copies includes double-sided game boards with the original Take it Easy! design on one side and a daffodil pattern on the other. For this side of the game board, each player has four additional tiles that include wild card stripes, allowing for (potentially) more matches when they're drawn during play.

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Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:00 pm
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Links: Leacock in Time, Awards in Passing, and Women Not in View

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• Designer Matt Leacock was featured in a June 30, 2016 write-up in TIME in the magazine's "American Genius" section. The article gets a few details wrong — Leacock self-funded the publication of his 2000 title Lunatix Loop, not Pandemic — but it's a nice summary of Leacock's career arc to date.

The really strange thing is that the article doesn't include a picture of either Leacock or Pandemic. What's up with that?! We'll just have to settle for the old-school game references in the article title...

• In May 2016, Nicolas Ricketts — curator of The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York — highlighted the breadth of Sid Sackson's works, unpublished prototypes, and correspondence held by the museum.

• On The Cardboard Republic, Erin Ryan surveyed the cover art of new releases in the top one hundred games on BGG from 2009 to 2016 and concluded that "You are more likely to see a sheep on the cover of a board game box than you are to see a group of women". An excerpt:

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On average, only 5.1% of games released within a year of making it onto the BGG Top 100 featured women alone. No games featured a group of characters made up primarily of women. Groups of predominantly men or men alone (i.e. without women) made up 74.4% of the sample. Groups containing an equal number of men and women came in at 20.5%.

But okay, like above, that’s an average. A more telling (and, thankfully, more hopeful) picture shows how representation has changed from 2009 to 2016.


• The 14th annual Japan Boardgame Prizes have been announced, with the seven-member jury selecting Alex Randolph's Mahé — a modern edition of his Die heisse Schlacht am kalten Buffet — for the U-more Award aimed at beginning and family gamers.

In the Voters' Selection category, Libellud's edition of Mysterium took first place, edging out The Voyages of Marco Polo, Karesansui, Deep Sea Adventure, and Patchwork in close voting.

• In older award news, the nominees for the 2016 GRAF LUDO were announced in early June 2016. This award is intended to highlight aesthetically pleasing design in games, and the nominees for 2016 in the family category are The Bloody Inn, Celestia, Game of Trains, Gum Gum Machine, Mysterium, and Die Wände haben Ohren, with the last title being a complete mystery to me and something lacking from the BGG database.

GRAF LUDO nominees in the children's category for 2016 are BauBoom, Die Drachenzähne, Die Helden von Kaskaria, Insekten Hotel, My First Stone Age, and Spookies.
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Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:00 pm
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New Game Round-up: Spiel 2016 — HUCH! & friends Challenges You to Build, Sail, Coerce, Fight, Destroy Dragons, Gain Life Energy, and Devote Years to a Mystery

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• Time for another look ahead at late 2016 releases from a German publisher that will be highlighted at Spiel 2016, this time showing off a few of the items from HUCH! & friends, starting with Skibe from Viking-lookalike Arve D. Fühler:

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In Skibe, players assume the role of a tribal chief in the days of Erik the Red.

Erik has ordered the building of ships for the purpose of sending the bravest Vikings to Greenland. The players build longboats, supply them with provisions and equipment, and try to bring as many Vikings of their own tribe as possible on board. Will the ship stand up to inspection by all tribal chiefs? And which tribe will be best represented on the ships in the end?

Adrian Adamescu's Rival Kings — the cover of which is not final — presents us with a setting, but no gameplay details:

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In Rival Kings, two royal families compete for the country and its people. High-ranking personalities prevent the members of the opposing family from using their subjects for their own purposes and from erecting valuable buildings — but everything comes at a price. Who will lead his family to fame and honor?

• I'm not sure whether Cards: Die Partie deines Lebens from Renè Haustein and Mathias Spaan qualifies as a game or not, but it's close enough from the description to merit entry, possibly simply from something that pushes the envelope of what a game might be. An overview:

Quote:
Cards: Die Partie deines Lebens is an unusual card game, one in which you have to master crazy tasks and tricky riddles. You play on your own, and the game can take weeks, months, or even years to complete. Each card provides a new challenge that works its way into the player's life. Only when you fulfill the condition on a card may you reveal the next one.

Cards: Die Partie deines Lebens contains fifty cards, and as soon as you have fulfilled the last card, you have completed the game.

• Continuing in that vein of games about which we know v. little, let's look at all we know of Touria from Inka and Markus Brand and Michael Rieneck:

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In Touria, Princess Tara has decided to marry – but not just anyone, of course. She expects a lot from her husband-to-be: Heroic deeds and precious gifts are a must.

A group of bold adventurers set out to pit themselves against dragons, dig up gems from the haunted mines of the country – and make a good deal from time to time, since the father of the bride demands an appropriate price for his daughter's hand. Touria's dancing towers show the heroes the way, so the brave men and women go from one adventure to the next. Brave women? Of course – or have we forgotten to mention that Tara's handsome brother, Prince Talan, is also of marriageable age?

Günter Burkhardt's Ulm offers even fewer peanuts with which to build a gameplay trail:

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Ulm is at its heyday. The construction of the Ulm cathedral has not yet been completed, but the city is already wealthy and prestigious.

In Ulm, players try to expand their spheres of influence and to make optimal use of the hustle and bustle on the marketplace around the cathedral.

• The description for Dave Grigger's Ankh leaves much to the imagination, but it does posit a strange theory about gender politics in the afterlife:

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The key to immortality: When the female pharaoh holds court in the dark chamber, even the toughest mummies become unhinged. The petulant ruler distributes her favor and, at the same time, also the prospect of new life energy. But even if you've just been highly esteemed by the old Egyptian monarch in Ankh, you might fall into disgrace in the next moment.

• Danger of a different sort awaits in Michael Xuereb's Clonk!, which once again defines dwarves almost entirely by a desire to get dirty:

Quote:
The dwarves are loose in Clonk!, with many valuable crystals to dig up from the cursed mine, but a sinister danger is lurking in the dark corners. Who will manage to collect the most valuable load in their wagon and exit the mine unscathed?

Tatsu, which will also be released by designer John Yianni's own Gen42 Games, features backgammon-style dice rolling and piece movement with each player trying to eliminate all of one type of the opponent's pieces from the game or knock all of the opponent's dragons off the board. Amazingly enough, we have video overview of this game thanks to Yianni showing it in advance at Spiel 2015:

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Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:00 pm
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Crowdfunding Round-up: Treasures from Taiwan, and Pages from Pierô

W. Eric Martin
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• Let's lead off this crowdfunding round-up with a project that will probably expire before most people see it: Far East War 1592, from Imjin Creative, in which 2-4 players "are divided into Japan and China/Korea factions, with each side trying to conquer the target provinces of their rivals. Players alternate moving around the action rondel to perform different actions such as recruit forces, assign generals, march armies, initiate battles, etc. With careful planning on the action rondel, tactical movement and assignment of troops and generals, and a bit luck in dice roll during battles, players should revive the vivid history in the Far East War."

If nothing else, you now know about one more of the hundreds of new titles that will be available at Spiel 2016 — assuming that the game funds, that is. (KS link)

• If time has run out on the project above, perhaps you'd instead prefer another game from the same part of the world, such as Taiwan Monsters, which is on Chinese-language funding site Zeczec.com and which is a complete mystery to me, although it looks purty and is already funded. (Zeczec link)




• No? Then how about Bubble Tea from Li-He Studio's Aza Chen, designer of Cat Tower, Doggy GO!, and other adorable games. In this real-time game, each player has nine bubble tea ingredient cards, someone rolls the ingredient dice from the bubble tea container, then everyone races to put the right ingredients in the right cup card. (Zeczec link)

• How about yet another Taiwanese project, this one being the more-accessible-outside-of-Taiwan Guns & Steel: Renaissance, a standalone expansion to Jesse Li's Guns & Steel from Grail Games and Moaideas Game Design. This game plays like the original, with players laying cards face down as resources or face up to use their developmental power, with the long-term goal of acquiring wonders, taking all of the space age cards, or stockpiling VPs. (KS link)

• Joost Das' Hylaria from FableSmith is a party game in which players divide into teams, then each receive two image tiles face down in front of them while three tiles are placed face up on the table to start a storyline. On a turn, you try to communicate what's on your tiles to your teammates — perhaps through a code you've created earlier — then you take a tile from in front of any other player and add it to the storyline. If the storyline now has three identical tiles in it, your team scores every tile up to the one just played. Collect enough tiles, and your team wins! (KS link)

• Designer Mitsuo Yamamoto and publisher Logy Games were on Kickstarter in 2015 with the stacking game Moon-Sun-Angel, and now they're back with a different stacking challenge under the name ACTOP: Ancient Construct Tower of Philosopher. In this 2-6 player game, players take turns adding a polycube and a balance stone on a 3x3 space (that must be kept clear in the center to create a chimney-like structure), with players scoring points based on the size of the piece they place and using the balance stone to mess with the next to place. When the polycubes have all been placed or someone knocks over the tower, the game ends. (KS link)




• The letters in the game title ABXY will likely trigger thoughts of video games past, and that's the intent of this design from Jack Rosetree and Broken Games, which pits two players against one another in creature combat with two of the A, B, X, and Y actions being secretly chosen by each player each round. (KS link)

• Designer Chris James of Stratus Games has used Kickstarter to fund the first four years of Casual Game Insider, a mainstream-friendly quarterly magazine about tabletop games sold in game stores and newsstands, and he's back to fund year five, with the focus once again being casual games that can be taught in ten minutes and played in under an hour. (KS link)

Bad People carries the tagline "The Party Game You Probably Shouldn't Play", yet here designer Mike Lancanster is, trying to get you to fund a party game in which you vote on which of the players involved would be a terrible phone sex operator or would have the fewest people at their funeral. I suggest that you probably shouldn't play it. (KS link)

• We'll close with a game-related item that might be of interest to a few folks on this site: Pierô's Artbook 10th, this being a tenth anniversary retrospective of the artwork of Pierô, who debuted with Une Ombre sur Whitechapel — which most people will know under its reprint name of Mr. Jack — then became a hot commodity in 2008 thanks to his eye-catching work on Ghost Stories.

Pierô's Artbook 10th from ilinx édition will include 80-120 pages depending on the final funding total, with text in both French and English and a foreword by Ghost Stories designer Antoine Bauza. (KS link)




Editor's note: Please don't post links to other Kickstarter projects in the comments section. Write to me via the email address in the header, and I'll consider them for inclusion in a future crowdfunding round-up. Thanks! —WEM
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Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:42 am
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