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: Alderac Entertainment Group
• In addition to the titles listed below, AEG will unveil a surprise game at Spiel 2012 about which it's revealed only minimal information, including the following details in its October 2012 newsletter:

• It is a card game.
• The designer is not from North America or Europe.
• The few people who have seen it consider it a contender for awards.
• It features the image shown at right.
• It does not promote hair growth or hair non-growth. (More specifically, the game is hair neutral.)
• It does not come packaged in a sheep's stomach or the stomach of any ruminant.

So many possibilities!

• Booth: 5-28

• Booth: 5-47
26. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:406] [Average Rating:6.99 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The "shufflebuilding" game Smash Up starts with a simple premise: Take the twenty-card decks of two factions, shuffle them into a forty-card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents! Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play – pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience.

During play, Base cards (each with their own difficulties and abilities) are in play. You attempt to have the most power on the Base from your minions when the Base is smashed. Sounds easy? How easy is it when an opponent's Alien-Ninja decides to Beam Up your minions to other Bases - flat out Assassinate them? What about when the Pirate-Dinosaur player Full Sails in and releases King Rex to stomp your minions into the ground, or when the Wizard-Zombies use their Mystic Power to create an Outbreak, suddenly flooding minions onto the Base from the discard pile? Or what if you faced a Zombie-Dinosaur player instead and he created an Outbreak of massive beasts all at once?!?

When a Base is smashed, each player in first, second and third place scores points. Fourth place? Sorry, bro – try harder next time.

With eight different factions, Smash Up includes dozens of combinations to try. Pirate-Aliens play different than Ninja-Aliens, for instance. Which will you use to smash up your opponents?

And did we mention the dinosaurs have laser beams?

Integrates with:

Other Information: • AEG's Todd Rowland says that the English-language version of Smash Up will be available at Spiel 2012. A German-language version has been licensed, but it's unlikely to appear in time for sales at Spiel 2012. Update: Pegasus Spiele is publishing the German version of Smash Up, and it lists the game with an October 2012 release date on its website, so I've added that version of the game to the Spiel 2012 Preview under Pegasus.
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27. Board Game: Thunderstone Advance: Root of Corruption [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Designed by: Show More »
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 60 − 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Following on the heels of Thunderstone Advance: Caverns of Bane, Thunderstone emerges into the deepest trouble yet. The tunnels under the fortress at Cheah Dell are clear. The lost dwarven kingdom of Caligin is reclaimed. And the djinni lich, Mowtil, has been defeated, sealing the portal of black flame into Tala. The adventurers have collected three more Thunderstones, and Doom's full plans are revealed. He has corrupted the heart of Tala, Dun Ordha. A monstrous army marches on the capital city, even as the final Thunderstone is revealed to be held by King Caelan himself. Can the adventurers race ahead of an army to save the city from a siege outside the walls and sickly corruption within?

Thunderstone Advance: Root of Corruption, the second expansion for Thunderstone Advance, introduces new challenges and an all-new way to play: co-op! It also features ruinous sin incarnates, vicious scavenger gnolls, thrall summoners to bring back memorable foes, seven new heroes, six new monster groups, fifteen new village cards, and a new poster map board that creates options for co-op play using existing cards and rules! What's more, all Ambusher cards from Towers of Ruin and Caverns of Bane have been reprinted with updated graphics to increase visibility.

Other Information: • In its October 2012 newsletter, AEG stated that this expansion would be available at Spiel 2012. Pegasus Spiele will release a German version of this expansion (listed here in the Spiel 2012 Preview) in December 2012 and will likely demo that version at the show, should your language preference swing more toward a Germanic bent.
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Board Game Publisher: alea
• In addition to the titles listed below, you can be sure that 2012 Spiel des Jahres nominee Vegas, designed by Rüdiger Dorn and retailing for €25, will be all over the place.
28. Board Game: Bora Bora [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:92]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Stake your fortunes in the mysterious island world of Bora Bora. Journey across islands, building huts where the resilient men and women of your tribes can settle, discovering fishing grounds and collecting shells. Send priests to the temples, and gather offerings to curry favor with the gods.

In Bora Bora, players use dice to perform a variety of actions using careful insight and tactical planning. The heart of the game is its action resolution system in which 5-7 actions are available each round, the exact number depending on the number of players. Each player rolls three dice at the start of the round, then they take turns placing one die at a time on one action. Place a high number on an action, and you'll generally get a better version of that action: more places to build, more choices of people to take, better positioning on the temple track, and so on. Place a low number and you'll get a worse action – but you'll possibly block other players from taking the action at all as in order to take an action you must place a die on it with a lower number than any die already on the action.

Three task tiles on a player's individual game board provide some direction as to what he might want to do, while god tiles allow for special actions and rule-breaking, as gods are wont to do. The player who best watches how the game develops and uses the most effective strategy will prevail.

Other Information: Update, Sept. 11: Not listed on Ravensburger's Spiel 2012 releases, so based on previous comments from alea's Stefan Brück, look for this one to be playable only in a near-finished pre-production version.
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29. Board Game: Saint Malo [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1571]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 9 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Developer Stefan Brück at alea describes Saint Malo as "a light, dice-rolling strategy game in which the players draw their own city buildings, walls, and people on wipe-off boards".

In more detail, in Saint Malo players roll five dice to gain various resources; combinations of dice create enhancements like characters or buildings, which can provide additional victory points, money, or special actions, such as altering the outcome of a die roll. Players draw symbols for their holdings on erasable boards showing a grids of their cities to create individual towns. Players could build storehouses on particular squares, for example, then place a merchant nearby to gain money each turn. Another important character is the soldier; players must acquire these to defend themselves from pirate attacks that can decimate their towns.

Saint Malo rates a 2 out of 10 on Alea's difficulty scale.

Other Information: • Price €25
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Board Game Publisher: AMIGO Spiel + Freizeit GmbH


• Booth: 11-22
30. Board Game: Auf die Nüsse! [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:7753]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

What's going on in the forest? The squirrels' nut storehouse is empty and must be refilled quickly – and before the thieving raccoon David comes along and steals it.

In the family game Auf die Nüsse!, players slip into the role of small squirrels, who roll the dice and skillfully place their characters on the board to collect as many nuts as they can and sort them in their storehouse by variety. Each player has a set of cards with differently-sized nut storehouses and 15 squirrels of one color. On a player's turn he rolls the dice and must combine a white with a green die and place a squirrel on the appropiate field. You can repeat this several times, but if you roll a field with a squirrel, your turn ends.

If you think you have placed enough squirrels, you send them into the forest; if you have two or more squirrels in one of the lower forest areas you may take the nut card from the display and put it into your storehouse. Other player's squirrels move up in the forest. In the upper fields you need three or four squirrels, but there's also a wider range of nuts. On a special field the thieving raccoon David awaits; he helps steal nuts from other players' storehouses.

The game ends when the deck of nuts is exhausted. The player who has collected most victory points in his storehouse wins.

Other Information: • Price €20
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31. Board Game: Bohn To Be Wild! [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2955]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 7
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Bohn To Be Wild!, a standalone title that celebrates fifteen years of the classic Bohnanza card game, players want to do what they've always done: Plant beans in their fields and sell them for as many coins as possible, while trading cards with other players to get around the restriction of not being able to rearrange cards in your hand.

Bohn To Be Wild! mixes things up, however, by including eleven new types of beans – including Jamaica, helmet and horse beans – rules for solo play, and special "wild" beans. Unlike the original German Bohnanza, this game allows for play with up to seven players.

Other Information: • Price €10
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32. Board Game: Dragons [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:2139]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Seven Dragons, players start with a secret goal color from the seven colored dragons and a hand of three cards. The Silver Dragon is laid on the table as the starting card; at this stage it is a wild card. The playing cards feature domino-like colored panels in the same manner as Aquarius, an earlier game design from Andy Looney.

On a player's turn, she draws one card and plays one from her hand. Cards are laid so as to connect matching colored panels. The deck also includes Action Cards such as Move a Card, Zap a Card, Trade Hands, etc. The used Action Cards form a discard pile, and the top card of this pile dictates the color of the starting Silver Dragon; once the discard pile has started, the Silver Dragon is no longer wild.

The first player to create a connected territory of seven panels matching her dragon color wins.

Reimplements

Other Information: • Price €7
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33. Board Game: GeoFlag [Average Rating:4.59 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Flag Frenzy!, players try to match flags on cards in their hands with flags on the table, emptying their personal card deck before anyone else can.

Flag Frenzy! consists of 49 flag cards and 8 continent cards (two each of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas); each flag card shows eight flags, and any two flag cards have exactly one flag in common, similar to the cards in Catch the Match and Spot It!

Game play differs from those titles, however, as two cards are placed face-up on the table at the start of play while the remainder of the deck is distributed evenly among the players. All players take two cards in hand, then everyone simultaneously tries to play onto the face-up cards by spotting the matching flag and giving its country's name when playing the card. With a continent card, the player has to name a flag on the continent being played.

After playing one or two cards, the player refills her hand. The first player to play all of the cards in her deck wins.

Other Information: • Price €10
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34. Board Game: Heimlich & Co. [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1222]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

The game board in Heimlich & Co. is an oval movement track, with points allocated to the various spaces. Seven differently colored "spies" are placed on the board. On a player's turn, he rolls a dice, then moves any combination of characters forward that number of spaces. The newly-moved spies then score points based on their new location. However, the trick here is that each player's color isn't known until the end of the game, so players are encouraged to deduce which color belongs to whom.

Heimlich & Co. includes advanced rules which allow players to score more points at the end of the game for correctly guessing everyone's identity. ("Heimlich", by the way, is a German adjective meaning secretly and slyly, so Heimlich & Co. translates as Clandestine and Company!)

Other Information: • Price €20
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35. Board Game: Meins! [Average Rating:5.34 Overall Rank:9219]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Each year the members of the "Hunters and Gatherers Society" set off in friendly competition to search for the most unusual exhibits. In the end, the competitor who makes the most of the available opportunities and shows the most valuable collection will be pronounced "Collector of the Year".

Over the course of Meins!, players try to get hold of valuable exhibits in order to expand their private collections. On her turn, a player first takes three "means of procurement" cards from the display; these may be used to secure exhibits worth victory points (VPs) in endgame scoring. When a player takes her third exhibit, the current round ends, and all players must discard part of their means of procurement. After three rounds, players tally their VPs for each exhibit and possibly collect bonus cards. The player with the highest total wins.

Other Information: • Price €7
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36. Board Game: Rabe Socke: Halli Galli Junior [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:8463]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Halli Galli Junior is a speed action game in which players must ring a bell when they see two clowns of the same color.

During set-up, each player receives cards with clowns in nine colors. Most of them look happy, but some are unhappy. Hold your deck face down; deal one face up in front of you. As soon as you see two happy clowns of the same color, you hit the bell. If you're correct, you pick up all the played cards and put them into your deck. If you're wrong, pay the other players one card each. If you run out of cards, you're out. When only two players are left, they play until one of them hits the bell, then they resolve that and the player with the taller deck wins.

Reimplements

Other Information: • Price €13
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37. Board Game: Schotten Rennen [Average Rating:4.85 Overall Rank:9904]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Schotten Rennen, part of a line of combined dice-and-card games that publisher AMIGO Spiel introduced in 2012, is all about strutting your stuff while competing in kilts!

In the traditional Highland Games, the Scots have to prove their worth in various disciplines such as rock throwing, log lifting and barrel rolling. During the evening celebration the heroes are celebrated with bagpipe music, dancing, and a few rounds of a fun dice game.

In Schotten Rennen, as in the Highland Games themselves, players also try to get from start to finish. Only this time they need to use dice to finish the course. Each challenge card must be overcome by using the dice. Your kilt and strength will not help here though. Here you need to take risks and hope for lots of luck.

Whoever completes the course first wins!

Other Information: • Price €10
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38. Board Game: Spuzzle [Average Rating:5.09 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Spuzzle, you must be the first to finish your five puzzle projects!

Each player chooses a project on the board and the puzzle set corresponding to that project's color. Then, each player prepares the twenty puzzle pieces (five sets of four pieces), each representing an animal.

To play, each player draws a card from the deck. If the picture is an animal, the player places on his project one of the pieces corresponding to the animal. If the card is the monkey, the player removes one piece of his choice from one of his project's incomplete puzzles. If the card is a Spuzzle card, all players play a piece on the animal of their choice in their project. The first player to finish all five of his puzzles wins!

Other Information: • Price €20
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39. Board Game: WÜRFELmania [Average Rating:5.06 Overall Rank:11019]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Can you stack six dice on top of each other within thirty seconds? Who can be the first person to roll a triple? Can you name as many state capitals as your roll? Know what arachibutyrophobia is? Arachibutyrophobia??? DICEcapades – which includes a mixture of dice games, physical challenges, artistic creations, and trivia questions – doesn't involve just the luck of the dice, but also the smarts of the roller!

Other Information: • Price €25
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Board Game Publisher: Among Meeples


• Booth: 4-231
40. Board Game: Colonies [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:5096]
Designed by: Show More »
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The thriving colonies of Zel'var are the destination for many adventurous souls who choose to leave the solar system and good old planet Earth seeking a new life and good fortune – but not all find what they are looking for. Many become disillusioned, discontent even, and turn to pirating the prosperous trade routes between the five planets, much to the regret of the colonies' leaders, who have great need of the trade income in order to advance technologies and create jobs for the newly-arrived colonists.

Colonies is a game of resource management in the far reaches of space in which the players compete to dominate in trade, politics and technological development. Each player controls the administration of a planet with access to a unique resource. In order to win you need to collect the most colonial credits by trading resources, upgrading your technologies, keeping your trade lanes free of pirates, and perhaps pushing the council's decisions in the right direction.

At the begining of each turn, players receive an income of their own resource. The council meets each turn to vote on how to handle an occurring event. The outcome can reward those willing to put in an effort or punish those who are not. Players may do well to form alliances in order to sway the vote in a favourable direction.

The resource income and the colonists that arrive each turn – sometimes in large numbers, sometimes in small – are used to make advances in five areas: Community, Military, Commerce, Influence and Industry. Following the council's vote, players take turns to either upgrade these areas or activate one of them to grant asylum to pirates in exchange for resources or hunt them for bounty, sell resources for Credits, make trade agreements more beneficial, or produce additional resources. When everyone has had three such actions, the players receive and pay resources according to the trade agreements, and any colonists that players have failed to employ turn to piracy, preventing players from getting income from their trade agreements next turn unless preemptive action is taken.

Colonies lasts ten turns, with players earning victory points (VPs) from colonial Credits and technology advances. In the end, the player with the most VPs wins.

Other Information: • MSRP $87/€67, but discounted to €45 for sales at Spiel 2012.

• Tina Christensen, one of the six designers of the game, says "Three of the designers will be presenting Colonies at Spiel 2012 in Essen, Germany. Come talk to us and play the game with us. Buy the game and we'll be happy to sign it."
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Board Game Publisher: AOP (Aquariums of Pantheon)
• This game (and likely other older titles from AOP) are located in the "Greater China Pavilion" run by Swan Panasia.

• Booth: 5-42
41. Board Game: Zombie Town: The Christmas Evil [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Chinese
English
Description:

Zombie Town: The Christmas Evil, an expansion for Zombie Town, introduces new items, characters, locations, and zombies. Like Zombie Town, gameplay is similar to Bang!, with each player choosing a character and using various weapons, items, and character abilities to fight off zombies and outlive the others.

Other Information: • Price €12
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Board Game Publisher: AoS Team
• For the Age of Steam and SNCF maps, booth 10-66 – but only on Thursday morning between 10 a.m. and noon, after which Viard turns into a pumpkin-stuffed bratwurst.

• For Town Center, booth 4-411, hosted by Ludibay.
42. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Las Vegas and Korea (N&S) [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
French
Description:

Age of Steam: Las Vegas and Korea (N&S) is another pair of expansions for the Age of Steam board game, with new maps and new rules for each setting.

In Las Vegas, players visit the famed gambling town, trying to build their network as usual while also paying attention to the money on the board.

In Korea (N&S), the cost to build track varies depending on which side of Korea players build upon – but in the wealthy South, there are more cubes to deliver than in the poor North. Delivery between North and South becomes more and more difficult as the game progresses.

Other Information: • Price €50 (for this, Age of Steam: Tibet and Cyprus and SNCF: The Moon / Mars, as well as a €5 coupon toward Town Center).

• This set has a print run of only eighty copies. Preorders can be placed with designer Alban Viard at ageofsteam2012@gmail.com for pick-up on Thursday morning at the booth listed above.
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43. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion: Tibet and Cyprus [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.17 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Age of Steam: Tibet and Cyprus is another pair of expansions for the Age of Steam board game, with new maps and new rules for each setting.

In Tibet, players may enroll sherpa discs to help them deliver cubes through otherwise impassable mountains.

In Cyprus, a three-player only map, one player will play the Greeks, another the Turks, and the third the UNO (United Nations Organization) forces. Each player has his own particular strengths and weaknesses.

Other Information: • Price €50 (for this, Age of Steam: Las Vegas and Korea (N&S) and SNCF: The Moon / Mars, as well as a €5 coupon toward Town Center)

• This set has a print run of only eighty copies. Preorders can be placed with designer Alban Viard at ageofsteam2012@gmail.com for pick-up on Thursday morning at the booth listed above.
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44. Board Game: SNCF: The Moon/Mars [Average Rating:6.42 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.42 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Both maps in SNCF: The Moon/Mars – an expansion compatible only with the first edition of SNCF and not with Paris Connection – are spherical. Track can be built to the edges of the map, with that track connecting to the corresponding number on the opposite side of the map. Both maps include special building instructions and end-of-game conditions.

Other Information: • Price €50 (for this, Age of Steam: Las Vegas and Korea (N&S) and Age of Steam: Tibet and Cyprus, as well as a €5 coupon toward Town Center)

• This set has a print run of only eighty copies. Preorders can be placed with designer Alban Viard at ageofsteam2012@gmail.com for pick-up on Thursday morning at the booth listed above.
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45. Board Game: Town Center [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:2715]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

In Town Center, players build a city – in particular, the town center. They add cubes on their personal board and try to arrange them as best as possible in order to score the most victory points. Each cube represents a different type of module. Flats, shops, offices, generators, lifts, car parks, town hall can be built and stacked during the course of the game. Each module generates influence on adjacent land and on cubes directly below or above.

Each round, players will gain two cubes of different colors through a non-random mechanism, build them on their game board, then eventually stack them in order to make towers according to the building rules. If the players have done their job well, some modules will be able to evolve, becoming bigger in three dimensions. The last phase is an income phase in which players gain money from the shops and parking lots if they are supplied with electricity.

The bigger and higher your city is, the more victory points players will have at the end of the game, which lasts ten rounds – but do not forget to provide electricity to all your flats, shops, and lifts to make them more efficient.

Town Center is the second title in designer Alban Viard's "Small City" trilogy, Card City being the first.

Other Information:
• Price €20

• Available in booth 4-411 from Ludibay, not from the vaporous AoS Team booth on Thursday morning.

• For this second edition of one hundred copies, designer Alban Viard has replaced the wooden cubes – which players needed to stack and which were therefore a bit wobbly – with 2x2 LEGO bricks, which has also resulted in the board being bigger as well. Says Viard, "The second edition will contain 132 LEGO bricks (even those to track the money), four player boards, a cotton bag and a box." (What do 13,200 bricks look like when placed in a pile? Take a look to the right.) This edition of Town Center costs €20, and if you're interested, you need to preorder by contacting Viard (ageofsteam2012@gmail.com), whether you'd like to pick up the game at Spiel 2012 or have it shipped to you.
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Board Game Publisher: Arclight
• Distributed at Spiel 2012 by Japon Brand; preorder information for Motto Tanto Cuore is here.

• Booth: 4-123
46. Board Game: Motto Tanto Cuore [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 50 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Japanese
Description:

Roughly translated box back

"More Tanto Cuore" is a new series in the Tanto Cuore line. "Tanto Cuore" is a deck building game in which players are masters of a house, and use their small deck of "love" cards to employ cute maids, and gradually expanding their decks. "More Tanto Cuore" enhances this with a "worker placement" mechanism. Each round, players choose one each of the available high class maids to get help from. High class maids' assistance is needed to be able to help out with Food, Decorations or Cleaning errands.
Once the game ends, players account their Food, Decoration and Cleaning cards. Certain maids are also worth victory points by themselves. The player with the most Victory points has contributed best to the upcoming party, and is declared to be the Most Delightful Master.

Other Information: • Price €40

• English and German rules are typically provided with purchase by Japon Brand at Spiel.
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Board Game Publisher: Ares Games


• Booth: 12-42
47. Board Game: Aztlán [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3239]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In the mythical land of Aztlán, four tribes strive to survive and prosper under the scrutiny of the gods themselves. Peaceful coexistence brings wealth and prosperity to all, but the fearsome Aztec gods favor those who are mighty in war and bring to them their subdued enemies as cruel offerings...

Only one of the four tribes will be granted the right to stay in this blessed land when the Time of Exile comes at the end of the Fifth Age of the Sun. Guide your tribe to build the mightiest empire through the Five Ages, win the favor of the gods, and become the greatest ruler in the land of Aztlàn.

Aztlán can be played by three or four players (or two players with the "Aztec Gods" variant). In a multi-player game, each player guides one of the four tribes. A game is divided into five stages, called ages; at the beginning of each age, each player secretly chooses one of his power cards, and then one at a time places a certain number of his tribe pawns in one of the territories on the game board, which is divided into five different types of territory: deserts, terraced fields, jungles, mountains/volcanoes, and cities. The power card chosen for the age indicates the strength of that player's tribe and identifies one type of territory (of the five different types). The greater the domains of that player, and the greater the number of territories of that type included within them, the higher the victory point score.

If a territory is disputed by several players, the strongest tribe may defeat the weaker ones – but war is not the only path to victory and peaceful coexistence with the other tribes sometimes brings greater rewards. At the end of the fifth age, the player who scores the most victory points wins. His tribe rules Aztlán, while the time of Exile befalls his opponents!

Other Information: • Price $50, with preorders open on the Ares Games website through October 12, 2012.
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48. Board Game: War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth [Average Rating:8.55 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.55 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

What if the Keepers of the Elven Rings had used their Rings of Power to challenge the might of the Dark Lord? What if the Balrog had risen out of Moria to bring fire and fury to the lands of the Free Peoples? What if the Council of Elrond had decided differently regarding the Fellowship of the Ring?

With Lords of Middle-earth, the first expansion for the War of the Ring (second edition) board game, players may explore these possibilities together with many other ones to create fresh gaming opportunities and new strategies.

Important personalities, previously featured in the game only through Event Cards, are represented by specific figures and rules. New Characters include Elrond, Galadriel, Sméagol, Gothmog and the powerful Balrog of Moria, as well as alternate versions of Gandalf, the Witch-king and the Mouth of Sauron.

New special Action Dice are included: Elven Ring Keepers dice for the Free Peoples player and Lesser Minion dice for the Shadow player. New versions of all the Companions of the Fellowship of the Ring are also included, to play the optional "Council of Rivendell" rules.

As an added bonus, figures for Aragorn and Gandalf the White are provided, accessories to the game that fans have been eagerly awaiting!

This is your chance to forge the destiny of an age...

Other Information:
• Price $30, with preorders open on the Ares Games website through October 12, 2012. If you preorder, you're guaranteed to get a Treebeard promotional figure and character card, described here on the Ares website. (This character will also be available at some later date through the BGG Store.)
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Board Game Publisher: Argentum Verlag


• Booth: 5-64
49. Board Game: Desperados [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:4222]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Everyone knows that on the U.S. frontier in the days of the Wild West, a person could work hard as a settler who establishes a hotel or saloon or as a prospector who mines for gold and other treasures – or a person could try to take the easy way out by robbing all those who did the hard work.

In Desperados, players are card sharpers, highwaymen or bank robbers who want to "earn" what they need to live out the rest of their lives in comfort. Well, most players fall into that category, but one takes the role of marshal and tries to keep the other players honest.

During set-up, a money tile is placed in each bank, a poker tile in each city without a bank, and a stagecoach in a randomly-determined city. Each outlaw starts in a city, and the marshal has both a marshal token and a number of sheriffs equal to the number of outlaws, with these tokens starting wherever the marshal places them.

The game lasts five turns, with five movement cards played by each player in each turn. Each player has an individual hand of movement cards, including a "Saloon" card that allows a player to stay in the same location. The marshal moves the stagecoach, moves each sheriff (or leaves them in place), then the marshal and the outlaws alternate laying five face-down movement cards. If an outlaw wants to take an action in a city – robbing a bank, a card game, or a stagecoach – he must show his location card to the marshal, then place his wooden disk on that location.

Once all five movement cards have been placed, the players all reveal the first card and move their tokens. If the marshal is in the same city as an outlaw, that player is jailed and loses all movement and action for the remainder of the turn; that player also loses that movement card for the remainder of the game. If an outlaw is in a location with his action disk, he can take that action – as long as more outlaws are present than sheriffs. (Players pool their money, so there's no dispute over which outlaw robbed a place.)

Once players finish their five movements, they pick up all their movement cards, the marshal replaces stolen tiles (and adds a second stagecoach in the second turn), and a new turn begins. If at the end of the game, the desperados have collected $4,000 or more per outlaw, then they win the game; otherwise the marshal wins as the outlaws – despite stealing huge amounts of funds – have not secured enough funds to guarantee their livelihood in their golden years.

Other Information: • Price €35

• Says Argentum's Roman Mathar, "We will have a giveaway at the fair!"
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Board Game Publisher: Artipia Games


• Booth: 4-407
50. Board Game: Among the Stars [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:275] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Among the Stars takes place in a war-ravaged galaxy where the warring alien races have declared peace in the wake of a threat with the potential to destroy them all. An Alliance is established to build space stations throughout the galaxy in order to promote trade among the races, strengthen diplomatic relations, and defend against this impending threat. Each player takes the role of one of those races trying to build the greatest space station. Through card drafting, the players select locations, and use these to build their station, scoring victory points based on the placement. The construction lasts four years, and alien race with the most points at the end wins.

Other Information:
Among the Stars: Ambassadorial Shuttle is a promotional set of two location cards available at the Artipia Games booth.
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