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Spiel 2012 Preview
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Spiel, held in the town of Essen each October, is one of Germany's two major game conventions, the other being the Nürnberg International Toy Fair in February. While Nürnberg is a trade show – and therefore strictly business – Spiel is open to the public, drawing roughly 150,000 people over four days. Hundreds of new games will be introduced at Spiel 2012, which takes place October 18-21. This preview covers games that publishers plan to release at Spiel or in the months leading up to it. In most cases, these games will be new for most Spiel attendees. Some smaller publishers show all titles released since Spiel 2011.

Details about the Spiel 2012 Preview:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading. Click on a game's name to head to its dedicated page to see more images, read the forums, and so on.

-----• If a game appears in multiple versions, typically due to it being released in multiple languages, each version will appear under its own publisher.

-----• This information is pulled directly from the game pages in the BGG database. Thus, as those pages are updated, this GeekList will be updated, too. Yay, automation!

-----• If you subscribe to this Preview, you'll receive update notices whenever an item is added or edited.

-----• If you don't care to read about a game and are logged in, click the red X to hide the game listing for both now and future visits. Choose "Personal" for the reason when doing so. You cannot hide a publisher due to this Preview's special set-up.

-----• Publisher booth numbers, preorder information, game designer and artist signings, and more will be added once that info comes available.

-----• As he did in 2011, Peter Feigl has once again created an Android app for use at the Spiel game convention in Essen, Germany that makes use of the information on this preview. You can download the app from this link, and Feigl is answering user questions and posting updates in this BGG thread. (He notes that you can also email him – craven AT gmx.net – with questions or problems.)

Note that this information has been cobbled together from dozens, nay, hundreds of sources, so inaccuracies may have crept in despite my best efforts. I will update game pages as I receive additional information, and your fellow BGG users will undoubtedly do the same, thereby keeping this Preview as up-to-date as the BGG database itself.

If you're a designer or publisher with information to share – or you have details about an upcoming Spiel 2012 release – please send me email (wericmartin @ gmail.com). I'll respond as best I can given the tidal wave of data flowing through the game world in anticipation of the most exciting game convention in the world: Spiel!
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Board Game Publisher: Brain Games
• Edgars Zakis at Brain Games notes that all four new games at Spiel 2012 – Air King, Central Market, Construction Zone and Food Chain – can be purchased together for €30, compared to individual prices of €10 and €12.

• Booth: 7-04
76. Board Game: Central Market [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:6266]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Central Market is a strategic bidding game with a twist; instead of raising their bids, players try to lower them – but only to a certain level. Players receive cards that depict various kinds of vegetables, which players may then try to sell. The selling is tricky as you must set a selling price for the items – and while naturally you want the price as high as possible, other players can offer lower prices. The number of products that can be sold each round is limited, so only the players who set the lowest prices will be able to sell something and (maybe) earn a profit.

Each player holds several action cards that can be used during the game to influence your chances of selling products or ruin the selling by other players. At the end of each round, any profit earned is transferred into victory points, and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Other Information: • Price €12 (see the publisher listing for a bulk discount on multiple games)
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77. Board Game: Construction Zone [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:7593]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

In Construction Zone, each player is trying to construct new buildings. Each turn, players have access to resources; the basic ones can be taken easily from a draw pool, but you may also trade them away for advanced ones. At any time on your turn, you can also construct one building. To do so, you must play a certain number and combination of resources, then take (construct) the corresponding building.

Construction is a bit tricky, however, as at any given time only three buildings are available for players to construct and any player may construct any building. Thus, you may be collecting resources for one building, but another player manages to construct it first, forcing you to readjust your plans. The first player to construct a certain number of buildings (depending on the number of players) wins.

Other Information: • Price €12 (see the publisher listing for a bulk discount on multiple games)
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78. Board Game: Food Chain [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:8567]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

By playing cards in Food Chain, players create natural food chains, hunting and eating in the forest and competing against one another for the best dishes.

In game terms, each player holds four cards in hand, and four cards are placed in the middle of the table, which represents the forest. The card deck has twelve different types of animals/objects, in addition to special cards like the hunter, who can hunt any other card, and angry bees, which scare cards out of the forest. Players take turns in clockwise order and can choose one of five actions each turn:

  • Hunt the food to create natural food chains
  • Eat the food
  • Leave the food
  • Swap one card in hand for one in the forest
  • Pass by discarding a card and drawing a new one

The game ends when the deck runs out, and passing is the only option available to all players; alternatively, the game ends when one player has lost all of his tokens to opponents. All players then add up their points from the top-left corner of each card, and also each token scores one point. The player with the most points wins.

Other Information: • Price €10 (see the publisher listing for a bulk discount on multiple games)
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Board Game Publisher: Capstone HK Ltd.
• These games are located in the "Greater China Pavilion" run by Swan Panasia.

• Booth: 5-42
79. Board Game: Godzilla Boom [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 99
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Chinese
Description:

Nothing more for now that the Godzilla Boom name and the detail that the design is a party/card game.

Other Information: • Price €8
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Board Game Publisher: Cardboard Island Games
80. Board Game: Dash! A whimsical race through Singapore [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:6263]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Dash! is a racing game with a twist. The rules are easy to learn, and it combines the tactics of timing your movement and special abilities with a light dose of strategy. It’s fun for the family and for regular gamers looking for something casual with a moderate challenge!

Move faster by using better combinations of race cards, but manage them well – or you might run out of cards before the finish line!

Race through three districts in Singapore, or stop along the way to experience the rich sights and culture of the city.

By moving more quickly through the first couple of districts, you can get better power-ups. No one wants to come in last and be left with nothing.

Seize the chance to shock your friends and family with a big bang, or leave behind a trap for them to trip over. Probably, they’re also plotting to do the same to you.

Dash to the end of the third race, where the winner takes all! Will it be a close finish amongst the players with the most power-ups, or will the last player take advantage of the chaos to sneak in and win the game?

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Board Game Publisher: Chaos Publishing


• Booth: 7-102
81. Board Game: Medieval Mastery [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:6719]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Medieval Mastery is a board game of tactical conquest based on the feudal system that existed in Europe throughout the Middle Ages. Set in France, during a time of turmoil, each player assumes the role of a provincial lord as the country erupts into a war of succession. Send your brave knights forth to conquer the surrounding lands in an all-out struggle to claim the throne!

Medieval Mastery incorporates area control, hand management and modular board design as well as variable player powers and phase order. The rules include alternate gameplay variations. This, coupled with a modular game board and a random combination of crowns, orbs and sceptres, means that no two games will ever be the same! In addition, the number of components included allows for up to three games of varying sizes to be played simultaneously!

Other Information: • Price €30

• For details on the game's development, check out Radcliffe's designer diary on BGGN from July 2011.

• Designer Miles Radcliffe notes, "I am currently learning German in an attempt to better demo the game at the fair...we'll see how this goes." He later wrote to say, "[A]lthough I doubt I'll be confident enough to demo the game in German, we will still have two fluent speakers to help demo the game. We will have two demo tables at our booth: one for German/English speakers and one just for English speakers. There will be five of us running the booth over the course of the event (each taking regular breaks)."
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Board Game Publisher: Clever Mojo Games
• Clever Mojo Games won't be at Spiel, but Polish publisher LocWorks will have CMG titles available at its booth, with preorders available through LocWorks' online store. In addition to the titles below, LocWorks will have Alien Frontiers (€40) and Alien Frontiers: Faction Pack #1 (€8).

• Booth: 4-230
82. Board Game: Alien Frontiers: Factions [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Alien Frontiers: Factions adds a number of items to the Alien Frontiers base game:

  • Ship and colony tokens for a fifth player.
  • Factions (thus the name), with each faction providing its owner a special ability and new orbital facilities under his control.
  • Agendas, which are hidden objectives that allow a player to earn bonus points at game's end or when the agenda is revealed in-game.
  • New Alien Tech cards, such as the Lunar Tunneler, which will allow its owner to pay one fuel to receive an extra ore when using the Lunar Mine. This card's discard power will send all ships docked at the Lunar Mine to the Maintenance Bay, which can be useful when the Mine is clogged with high-value ships.
Other Information: • Price €20
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83. Board Game: Sunrise City [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1408]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In the tile-laying game Sunrise City, players build a city with zone tiles, bid for control of those zones, then place building tiles on the city zones to their best advantage. Each round the players use role cards to grant them special abilities in the various game phases. Points earned during play move score tokens up a ten point track. Players score one benchmark token if their score marker overshoots the star at the top of their score track but earn two benchmarks if their token lands on the star by exact count.

Thus, Sunrise City is not a race to score the most points; it's a contest to grow the city in a manner that will earn you the right number of points at the right time to maximize your benchmarks. After three rounds, the player with the most benchmarks wins.

Other Information: • Price €40
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Board Game Publisher: Clicker Spiele
• Clicker Spiele notes on its website that it will have many games at special prices at Spiel 2012.

• Booth: 9-37
84. Board Game: Old Town [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2577]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

In Old Town, the players are trying to recreate an old ghost town as it looked in the late 19th Century. Remnants of the town are still visible, but where exactly had the Saloon been located? The players must try to collect all available information about the 19 building sites and see whether they can complete the puzzle. A few surviving gold diggers are around to contribute information, but their memories aren't always reliable! This was, originally a desk top published game designed by Stephan Riedel. If you like problem solving games then this game could be for you.

Other Information: • Price €35

• Labeled Old Town 2 Neuauflage on the Clicker Spiele website, with only 250 copies in this edition.

• Note that while this is listed in the BGG database as a second edition, Joe Huber's article on the history of Old Town makes it clear that this is more like the eighth edition. We'll have to get the versions for this title straightened out at some point...
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Board Game Publisher: Conquistador Games, Inc.
• No booth at Spiel 2012; see below.
85. Board Game: Road to Enlightenment [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:5032]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Road to Enlightenment gives players control of great scientists, artists, philosophers, religious leaders, politicians, and military leaders, bringing them uniquely and individually to life. You play as one of the great monarchs from 17th and early 18th century Europe representing one of the seven top powers of the era: Austria, England, France, Poland, Russia, Spain, or Sweden. Your objective is to be recognized as the most prestigious monarch by producing the most admired art and culture, lead the continent in scientific innovations, spread or resist the spread of Catholicism, and attempt military expansion beyond your historical borders. All of this is accomplished by marshaling 134 historical "luminaries" – important historical figures covering every relevant domain of human achievement during the period.

The luminaries are rated in between one and seven different areas of endeavour: military, politics, religion, ideas, science, art, or wealth. Additionally, each luminary has a unique Action, Enhancement, or Response based on their real historical achievements to be brought to bear in service of your nation.

Consider the difference between Rembrandt and Vermeer: Both are important and wonderful artists, but in the real-life Dutch Republic, Rembrandt was famous and well-patronized, composing hundreds of celebrated portraits in his career. Vermeer was obscure and produced an order of magnitude less art in his career. In Road to Enlightenment, Rembrandt has higher ratings and gives you a benefit every single time another luminary is removed from the game, reflecting the influence and nature of his portraiture. On the other hand, Vermeer provides only a modest benefit to reflect the limited impact his career had at the time.

Invading other countries in the 17th century was a complex mix of cultural, religious, and logistical considerations. These have all been baked into the various territories on the map, making it quick and easy to make decisions around where to try to attack:

  • You can attempt to invade only those territories that have your nation's colour on the top of the circle. Those are the only nations that could have even possibly successfully invaded that territory in real-life.
  • The number associated with each nation's colour indicates how difficult it would be to successfully conquer. In the case of London, it is very difficult for Spain, France, or Sweden to conquer it.
  • The religious symbol in the lower left corner lets the player know whether the territory is primarily Catholic, primarily Anti-Catholic (Protestant, Russian Orthodox, and other Christian branches), or primarily Islamic. If it is successfully invaded by a nation with a different religious affiliation, it has an impact on the continental struggle between religions.
  • The lines connecting into London, and the anchor with an "A" in the lower right corner, indicate which territories need to be held by a player before they have access to attack. The anchor with an "A" indicates that any player who already owns another Atlantic port territory is connected and could choose to attack over the water.

With Road to Enlightenment, all of the intricacies related to managing military expansion have been baked into these easy-to-use board mechanisms.

In order to create a game that simulates the battle between nations for prestige – covering war, politics, religion, science, and art – while focusing on many of the diverse people of history, we've mashed up aspects from wargames, Euro games, deck-building games, and statistical sports simulations. While it is an eclectic mix, this broad spectrum approach to the game's design enabled this diverse and richly detailed set of conditions to come together in a game that is epic in scale but doesn't take all day to play.

The full game is for 3-7 players; the pocket version is for 2-4.

Other Information: • Designer/publisher Dirk Knemeyer has noted on BGG that while Conquistador Games will not have a booth at Spiel, "we are offering to bring copies of the game to Essen for pick-up [by] purchasers. If you are interested in this, please email bill (at) cqgames.com. He will set up for payment and work out the logistics with you."
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Board Game Publisher: Cranio Creations
Preorder information for past and future items from Cranio Creations is available on its website.

• Booth: 9-60

• Booth: 9-57
86. Board Game: 1969 [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:2907]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Italian
Description:

1969 is a push-your-luck style game in which players take the role of the leader of a particular nation's space program attempting the first successful lunar landing mission.

Each turn, players use their income to hire scientists to research technology to improve their chances, hire spies to slow other players down, purchase cards to influence their missions and their competitors, or attempt easier, preparatory missions. Players gain victory points for performing well on prep missions, attracting famous scientists to their cause, and of course, how far they got on the moon landing mission.

The core of the game are the mission tests, which consist of rolling five dice. Dice have success, neutral, and failure results, which add to your success rating, do nothing, or subtract from your success rating respectively. The total of your successes will determine the points earned from the mission and whether you'll get a bonus on the final lunar mission. Die rolls can be affected by technology and your success can be affected by having scientists researching relevant techs and card play (from a player or their opponents).

1969 combines simple dice mechanics with elements of resource management and even some light engine building to make an interesting light weight experience. There are some mechanics of player interference (meaning players can disrupt each other's progress) but these elements may be avoided if desired.

Other Information: • Price €40
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87. Board Game: Like: The Social Game [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:9621]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Italian
Description:

Challenge your rivals to the very last Like! Grow your reputation! Get the most Friends!

In Like: The Social Game you play as a User of Status, the most popular social network in the world.
Become the Troll — that irreverent provocateur — and challenge the other Users by tagging them in embarrassing posts.
Make your Fans comment by launching them in the Discussion and hope in "Like" results.
With the help of your cards and your Profile Superpower, try to get the highest consensus from your Fans to win the Discussion.
By spending Fans you earn during the game, you can buy new Friends and grow your reputation.
Make your Profile the most popular on the web, and show off the greatest number of Friends.
The winner of the game is the player who first owns 4 Friends.

CHALLENGES - Duel with other Users to the last Like and grow your popularity!
ALLIANCES - Help other Users to win particularly difficult challenges-in exchange for a reward, of course!
RHYTHM - Join the action at any time and press your advantage. Timing is everything!
IRONY - Take the roles of the most embarrassing personalities of the Web - do Nerd, Cheerleader, or Emo mean anything to you?
FUN - Develop more and more effective strategies and combos, and leave your adversaries astonished!

Like - The Social Game aims to bring the ‘Y Generation’ (used to social life on the internet) to share a game experience around a table, showing them how ‘social’ can be a real game experience, more than a virtual one.

This is a boardgame with few rules, which could entertain the players by providing them a fun night. Timing, luck and light strategy will mix up, creating extrememly engaging games. Any player can play cards from his/her hand anytime, even if it's not his/her turn. This may scare most experienced gamers, being afraid of chaotic gameplay. Anyway, each card must be declared, so there won't be any ambiguous situation.

No doubt it is a risky choice, but it is intended to go beyond the traditional boardgames world, involving the broadest casual gamers community.
Give it a try... You may Like it.

Other Information: • Price €25
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88. Board Game: Sheepland [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1904]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Sheepland is set on the beautiful island of the same name, where for centuries the population has taken care of sheep. While inexplicably working in the same field, two to four shepherds try to move sheep into the right areas to score points. During a turn, you must take three actions, chosen from these possibilities:

  • Move your shepherd
  • Move one sheep
  • Buy one terrain tile

You must move your shepherd at least once during your turn, and you can't take the same action twice in a row without moving the shepherd between.

Six different terrain types are available, with five tiles of each type and increasing costs (from 0 to 4 dinars) on those tiles. When you buy a tile, you're not claiming land on the game board, but rather investing in that type of landscape as that's where you expect the sheep to end up grazing. At the end of the game, you score 1 point per tile of a terrain type for each sheep in a region of this type; you also score for coins still in hand.

The map on the game board shows regions separated by roads: three regions of each terrain type for a total of 18 regions. Numbered "rest stops" lie along the roads, with each rest stop between exactly two regions. Shepherds move from one rest stop to another, with the first movement being free and all others on the same turn costing 1 coin. When you buy a terrain, you can purchase the top tile of either of the two terrain types next to your shepherd. When you move a sheep, you move one sheep from a region adjacent to your shepherd to the other region adjacent to that piece, i.e., you lead the sheep across the road to a greener pastures – well, greener for you, if all goes well.

Each time you move the shepherd, you place a fence in the rest stop from which it started moving, making that location off-limits for the rest of the game. During the game some regions become inaccessible, and if they are full of sheep, naturally there's a rush for the tiles. The lone black sheep in the game, which is worth two points, serves as a semi-random element, possibly moving to an adjacent region each turn while still being movable by shepherds as long as it's not fenced in.

After twenty fences have been placed, you end the round so that all players have the same number of turns, then you count up the points.

Other Information: • Price €30
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Board Game Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment
89. Board Game: Doctor Who: The Card Game [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:3733]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans – The list of threats is endless and no place in the universe is ever truly safe from danger, but there is one man who has made it his mission to defend the defenseless, help the helpless, and save everyone he can: a mysterious stranger, a force of nature who has seen his own planet die, a madman with a box.

In Doctor Who: The Card Game, players act as the Doctor and his companions to defend specific locations while sending the Doctor's enemies to conquer locations your opponents are trying to protect. Each player starts the game with one location, and cards in the deck consist of attackers, defenders, locations and support cards. To start a turn, you draw two cards, pick up any cards banked from a previous turn, and take the three cards passed to you earlier by the player on your left. You play or bank cards until you have only three in hand, then pass those to the player on your right and end your turn.

Attackers target specific locations and earn points for the player wielding them if they're in play at the end of the game. Defenders try to remove attackers so that the location owner scores points for protecting the location. Support cards provide different abilities, such as enlarging your bank or providing time points (which can be used to draw additional cards). Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins!

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Board Game Publisher: Cubiko Games


• Booth: 9-118
90. Board Game: Foundation [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 2
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Foundation is an abstract two-player game in which players place their pieces onto a grid board. Points are scored according to the number of existing pieces in contact with the piece already played, irrespective of color. Additionally, the four corner spaces and the central square are marked with a dot; pieces played over these dots score one extra point.

Each player has 14 pieces: straights, zig zags, "U" shapes, and corners of varying sizes. The pieces must be placed right side up, which is indicated by a groove carved into the top of the pieces. This often leads to difficult decisions needing to be made as to how to get the majority of your pieces onto the board while maximizing the points scored for each piece and also preventing your opponent from getting his pieces onto the board.

Scoring is recorded using wooden pegs and one track for each player with 0-9 & 0-50 holes in the border of the board. For each piece left at the end of the game, two points are deducted from a player's score.

Other Information: Price: £20
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91. Board Game: Steeplechase [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 10
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Played on a wooden board with wooden horses, jockeys and fences, Steeplechase has you trying to win a steeplechase event by outbluffing and outguessing your opponents. You race along the track to the finish line jumping hurdles on the way. Each round one player picks a disc with a movement number on it for all the players at the table. Each other player then gets to either play the disc he was given or attempt to get a better disc by swapping with another player. If you land on a hurdle, though, you can't move!

The first player across the finish line wins.

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Board Game Publisher: Cwali
• If you want to reserve a copy of Tweeeet or the Tweeeet/Tricky Wildlife package, email Corné van Moorsel (info AT cwali.nl) with your name, the items you want, and the day you expect to come by. Van Moorsel is also adopting an interesting pricing policy for Spiel 2012, with every other game in print selling for €25. Pick up any two games, and the price is €39; three games cost €50, while four games cost €60. He shows off most of the games available on the Cwali website.

• Booth: 12-24
92. Board Game: Tricky Wildlife [Average Rating:5.77 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Tricky Wildlife, each of the players is a wildlife manager who's trying to keep many different animal species in his wildlife park, while also preserving the food chain of predators and prey and helping endangered species.

The food chain of animals has top predators who eat the lower predators, who in turn eat the next species down the "animal pyramid", who in turn eats the lowest prey – for example: Sharks eat Penguins, Penguins eat Fish, Fish eat Shrimp. Missing a prey animal means that the higher animal type starves, which gives you penalty points as a wildlife manager. Thus, you want to maintain all species in your wildlife park, especially the rarest species as they give you prestige points.

In each of the eight game years (i.e., rounds), you can add 1 or 2 animal groups to your park; each group first consists of 1-4 animals of one species. When you attract them to your park, these are young animals. They can grow old and die naturally after five years, but to do this they need enough prey to feed on during their lifetime. Otherwise they starve. At the same time, higher predators in the food chain can eat these animals.

An animal's age is shown by its location on your lifetime track, which uses four sticks to divide the track into five sections (i.e., years). After each year, you shift your rightmost stick to the leftmost side, which ages all of your animals by one year.

When you don't have all four different species, you gain one penalty point per missing species (and higher level animals may starve). If you have the most (or second-most) of an animal which was rare before, you score 1-2 prestige points. After year eight, you add the number of your animal groups to your prestige point total to calculate your final score.

The challenge in Tricky Wildlife is to balance your desire for prestige points with the need to preserve your complete food chain.

Other Information: • Price €39 (sort of) as Tricky Wildlife can be purchased only in combination with Tweeeet, which costs €25 on its own.

• Designer/publisher Corné van Moorsel says that the production run of Tricky Wildlife will be 200-300 copies, depending on how many he can make in the short time remaining prior to the opening of Spiel 2012.
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93. Board Game: Tweeeet [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:3322]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

It's spring, and robins and bluethroats are migrating to their summer habitat. These two types of birds must reach their breeding ground in good shape by eating berries and bugs to gain energy on route – but flying costs them energy.

In Tweeeet, each player is a bird and belongs to the robins or the bluethroats. The landscape tiles build a migration route from south to north. In this landscape are empty spaces (grassland), impassable spaces (lakes), and tree spaces, which hold the birds' food. Each turn you move to a new tree space, and the number of spaces moved equals the amount of energy lost. But you eat the food in the tree where you land – eating a strawberry brings 2 energy points, purple berries 3, a caterpillar 4, and a beetle 5 – so each turn your energy level goes down (because you fly) and up (because you eat).

Birds of the same type (robins or bluethroats) can speak about tactics together if they are within a "crow flies" distance of six spaces from one another. When they're seperated by 7-9 spaces, they may only twitter, and when ten or more spaces apart, they may only flap their wings.

When the surviving birds reach their breeding ground in the north, birds of the same type flock together. Once all birds are in their nests, you calculate the average energy level of your team to see which team is the strongest in the end.

Online Play

Other Information: • Price €25

• Love the food miniatures designed by Phanee Jaiwan! I might be mistaken, but I think sometimes Corné travels the world looking for appealing components, then designs a game around the bits...


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Board Game Publisher: Czech Board Games


• Booth: 9-21
94. Board Game: Czech Pub [Average Rating:5.48 Overall Rank:8990]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 60 minutes
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Czech
English
German
Slovak
Description:

Welcome to the Czech pub!

Enjoy the pleasant environment of this classic Czech pub and assume the role of a local drunkard. Drink your fill, and in the meantime while you are waiting for your order, steal some beer from other guests or tell them a spicy story.

In Czech Pub your goal is to drink as much alcohol as you can to score points – by playing cards, mind you, not drinking real alcohol – while also managing your drunkenness as it can limit your possibilities and may even get you thrown out of the pub. Cheers!

Other Information: • MSRP €25, but discounted a bit for sales at Spiel 2012.
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95. Board Game: Journalist [Average Rating:4.68 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Czech
English
German
Slovak
Description:

Morning in an unfamiliar room. Hotel. Headache. Buzzing phone. Roaring chief editor: "Where is the promised article? Where are you messing about?" Tangled language. Your gibbering voice can't stop this onslaught. "I don't care about your excuses! Get up and do something! I want to have a damn good story on the table right away. Otherwise you're fired!" Bashing phone resonates in your head even in the shower. Cold water slightly helps, and after a while you go into town to find something that will satisfy your boss.

In the game Journalist you assume the role of a reporter who writes articles at the last minute, then needs to deliver them to the editor. First, every player prepares a city on his own game plan in which the game takes place. During the game, you are composing words from letters and putting them on your own game plan. You must carefully plan where you put the letters to get more points or some other bonuses. The game is played simultaneously with a sand timer measuring the time. Thus, you are always pressed for time and must quickly work with your imagination and count with maze-like structure of the city which limits your possibilities.

Can you write a quality article and deliver it to the office earlier than others?

Other Information: • MSRP €30, but discounted a bit for sales at Spiel 2012.
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Board Game Publisher: Czech Games Edition
• In addition to what's listed below, CGE has noted that it will release at Spiel 2012 Galaxy Trucker: 5th Anniversary Edition, which is "a big box full of everything a dedicated trucker needs – the CORE game with BOTH expansions and EXTRA stuff! A limited number of copies will be available." This special edition will cost €90. CGE's Petr Murmak has noted on BGG that the anniversary edition's "extra stuff will be available also to longtime fans. At first we will have them in Essen, but they will be also available another way."

As of Oct. 3, 2012, you can preorder Galaxy Trucker: 5th Anniversary Edition, which is available only in English, for pick-up at Spiel 2012. Preorders must be picked up by the end of Friday, Oct. 19, 2012.

• In addition to what's listed below, the Player Order Board will be available as a promotional item for Last Will and Bonus Pets for Dungeon Petz.

• Booth: 4-310
96. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Czech
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion is just as big as the Big one: New tiles, new support team to be hired to enhance your shipbuilding experience, new ship classes, including huge IVB ships.

Yes, you may also fly round IV, and you can be sure the cards are extra nasty there – especially the intruders that board your ship, wander around, and eat or blow up your stuff, unless your heroic crew beats them. Wait... that's a different game, right? Aren't we speaking rather about Space Alert now? Well...it seems this "let's board a ship and eat its crew" mode spreads pretty fast in the known universe these days, as with this expansion, it can happen also in Galaxy Trucker.

Other Information: • Price €30

• Bonus "Even-Steven" cards will be available for Galaxy Trucker as a promotional item at Spiel 2012. As described by the publisher: "These handy little cards help you balance the odds during a game with players of widely different skill levels. You can even out the playing field by giving handicaps to skilled players or bonuses to newbies."

• You can place a preorder for copies of Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion in either English or German on the Czech Games website. Preorders must be picked up by the end of Friday, Oct. 19, 2012.
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97. Board Game: Goblins, Inc. [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:1613]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Croatian
English
Description:

Goblins, Inc. is a corporation dedicated to building unstoppable giant doomsday robots, and it's looking for a new Boss. Do you have what it takes?

Team up with your greed-driven fellow goblins and build the ultimate doomsday robot. Meet other teams in epic battles and blow them up, but always remember, only one goblin can win because there is no "G" in team work!

The game plays over two rounds in which you partner up with each of your fellow players to try to build the ultimate giant doomsday robot – but the other players don't know which hidden agendas you must complete to impress the Boss! During the four phases of the round, the teams take turns designing, building and piloting their robots in order to destroy the other team and get one step closer to becoming the next Boss of Goblins, Inc.

Other Information: • Price €35

• Bonus cards – specifically two new Hidden Agenda cards and one new Blueprint – will be available for Goblins, Inc. as a promotional item at Spiel 2012.

• You can place a preorder for copies of Goblins, Inc. in either English or German on the Czech Games website. Preorders must be picked up by the end of Friday, Oct. 19, 2012.
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98. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:18]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar presents a new game mechanism: dynamic worker placement. Players representing different Mayan tribes place their workers on giant connected gears, and as the gears rotate they take the workers to different action spots.

During a turn, players can either (a) place one or more workers on the lowest visible spot of the gears or (b) pick up one or more workers. When placing workers, they must pay corn, which is used as a currency in the game. When they pick up a worker, they perform certain actions depending on the position of the worker. Actions located "later" on the gears are more valuable, so it's wise to let the time work for you – but players cannot skip their turn; if they have all their workers on the gears, they have to pick some up. 

The game ends after one full revolution of the central Tzolkin gear. There are many paths to victory. Pleasing the gods by placing crystal skulls in deep caves or building many temples are just two of those many paths...

Other Information: • Price €40

• You can place a preorder for copies of Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar in either English or German on the Czech Games website. Preorders must be picked up by the end of Friday, Oct. 19, 2012.
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Board Game Publisher: Days of Wonder
• In addition to the items below (and whatever older games it has on hand), Days of Wonder will likely have Halloween Freighter for sale at Spiel 2012. This "limited edition Train & Station Set" consists of 45 pumpkin-bearing freighter cars and three orange stations, and it retails for €10/$12. In case this item doesn't make it to Spiel 2012, the official release date is the week of October 29, 2012 – just in time for Halloween.



• Booth: 12-68
99. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:3521]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 7
Playing time: 20 minutes
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

The Knights of the Round Table must assemble once again to protect King Arthur's kingdom from numerous threats. But wait – these aren't the knights of old, but rather their children. Can these newcomer knights prove up to the task of tracking the dangers out there and putting a stop to them before it's too late?

In Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game, the players (mostly) work together to complete quests before the danger level of a quest gets too high.

In game terms, the quests are represented by five types of cards, with each card showing 1-3 swords, as well as a number from 2 to 5 or a question mark. These cards are shuffled together with Morgan le Fay cards (which curse the players when they appear) and Merlin cards (which remove some aspects of the curse) to form the rumor deck. Each player receives a secret loyalty card at the start of the game, with at most one person being a traitor to the cause. On a turn a player either:

  • Reveals a rumor card.
  • Attempts a quest.
  • Accuses a knight.

To reveal a rumor card, the player flips it onto the top of the revealed stack of cards. If it's a quest card, players try to keep track of the total value of cards from that quest, with ?s each worth as many points as the number of ?s revealed of that quest. If a Morgan le Fay is revealed, players can no longer speak to one another; in addition, Morgan twists the values of some cards or removes some from play. Merlin allows players to speak once again.

Players are trying to stop quests when the total value is 11, 12 or 13. Any lower, and they arrived too soon, wasting time; any higher, and they arrived too late. To attempt a quest, the player points to the top quest card and says, "It's time." The player then reveals all cards in the deck. If the sum of that quest is 11-13, then the players receive 1-3 white swords, as shown on the quest cards. If lower, they receive one black sword; if higher, 1-3 black swords. All other quests are checked to see whether the players were too late, then the stack resets. A failed quest rewards the attempter with a special bonus card for later use.

Once three swords have been claimed, whatever the color, a player can choose to accuse another player of being traitorous to the cause, winning a reward if correct and a penalty otherwise. If the players collect seven white swords, they have stopped Morgan's forces and win. If, however, they collect seven black swords first, then Arthur's kingdom falls.

Reimplements

Other Information:
• Price $25/€23

• On its preorder page for Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game, Days of Wonder notes that you'll receive two bonus cards – one Merlin, one Morgan – in addition to the game. Now, I'd presume that these cards will be available at Spiel 2012 as throw-ins if you buy the game there, but I could just be the traitor and trying to mislead you...
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100. Board Game: Zug um Zug: Deutschland [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:2214]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Zug um Zug: Deutschland is a stand-alone game in the Ticket to Ride series. Over the course of the game, players collect cards in order to then claim routes on the game board between two cities. Ideally the players create a network of routes that connect the cities showing on their secret ticket cards. Players score points both for claiming routes and for completing tickets, with incomplete tickets counting against a player's score. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.

Zug um Zug: Deutschland, published solely for the German and Austrian market, consists of the same map as Ticket to Ride: Märklin – with the game now set at the turn of the 20th century – but the game does not include the passenger mechanism from Märklin in which players scored additional points by moving passengers from city to city. In addition, the numbers of destination tickets and train cards differ slightly between the two games.

Other Information: • Price €35
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