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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: NSKN Games
• In addition to the titles listed below, which will mostly be available only for demo games, NSKN Legendary Games will have Andrei Novac's Warriors & Traders, a Spiel 2011 release which bears a €45 MSRP.

• Booth: 6-205
326. Board Game: Exodus: Proxima Centauri [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:965]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

After a devastating nuclear war, six human factions are seeking shelter in the Centauri system. On the verge of extinction, the humans are saved by a superior civilization, allegedly the Centaurians, and each faction is given a fresh start on a new planet. Thus the exodus of humanity seems to have ended on the planets orbiting the star called Proxima Centauri. When the Centaurians announce their departure, the struggle for power commences once again.

In Exodus: Proxima Centauri, the six factions fight for dominance in an epic empire-building game, striving to build a new human empire on the ashes of the Centaurian civilization. Each player will build his own space fleet of customized ships and conquer new planets, fight the Centaurian Resistance and the other players, negotiate and vote for political decisions, research Centaurian technologies, and much more.

Other Information: • On Sept. 10, 2012, NSKN's Andrei Novac said on BGG, "We'll probably bring to Essen just a few demo copies. It all depends on the shipper and the weather, but most likely there won't be any Essen pick-up. In case this changes, we will post updates."

• And here's the update: As of Oct. 10, 2012, Novac reports, "We can now officially confirm that Exodus will be available in Essen. There's a new perk on our IndieGoGo campaign for Essen pick-up, but we'll also bring a lot more than demo copies to the fair. The only difference between Essen buy and Essen preorder through IGG is that the IGG pledges will have the promo cards and mini-expansion inside the box."
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327. Board Game: Warriors & Traders: Italia [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.07 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Warriors & Traders: Italia, a mini-expansion for Warriors & Traders, comes with a new map depicting medieval Italy. Players can choose to lead Rome, Naples, Sicily, Tuscany, Venice, Genoa, Sardinia or Milan to fight a fratricidal war to dominate Italy.

Other Information: • Price €20

• Available in an edition of only fifty copies.
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328. Board Game: Wild Fun West [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:5739]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 4 − 8
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In the card game Wild Fun West, players strive to build a small town in the American Wild West, bidding every turn for the building of their choice, be it a Post Office, a Saloon or a Jailhouse. The goal of every player is to construct four out of the six buildings listed on his objective card.

Each turn, players receive money from their professions, then use the money to bid for new professions and to cast votes on the buildings to be added to town. The professions employed by a player influence the income of that player as well as the income of the player on his left, making the game fun and unpredictable. Every profession has up to 4 abilities, banning other professions from the game, adding a bonus for bidding on a specific building and providing extra income if some specific building/profession card is in the game.

There are 12 Character cards from which the players can choose, each with a special ability, adding to the game diversity.

The game ends as soon as the town includes four or more of the buildings listed on a player's objective card, that player being the winner of the game.

Other Information: • On Sept. 10, 2012, Andrei Novac of NSKN Legendary Games said on BGG, "[W]e're trying to get it to Essen, but we're on a tight schedule. In a few weeks we'll know more, but now it's likely that we'll only have demo copies in Essen."
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Board Game Publisher: Numbskull Games
• Patrick Stevens from Numbskull Games sent me the following note: "I won't personally be there, but my partner Dietmar Gottschick will be running it. All our releases except Popular Front will be available and in German for the first time! There should be some sneak previews as well." I've asked for clarification as to which titles will be there and which games might be previewed – seeing that Numbskull has several titles listed as forthcoming in 2012 and 2013, including Prepotent (at right). If I receive details, I'll update this listing accordingly.

• Booth: 5-108
329. Board Game: Divided Republic [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:3020]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 16 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The presidential election of 1860 was one of the most critical in the history of the United States. With civil war looming as a near inevitability, the challenge was to find a way forward after years of degenerating political discourse in the increasingly divided American electorate. In the end, after months of contentious campaigning between four (!) major parties and over a dozen smaller ones, the election was won by the Republican dark horse candidate, a little known Illinois politician named Abraham Lincoln who hadn't even been the first choice of his party's senior leadership.

Divided Republic is a card driven two to four player game representing the last calm before the storm that was to become the American Civil War. Players represent the four major parties (Constitutional Unionists, Northern Democrats, Republicans, and Southern Democrats) and attempt to win the presidency by defeating their opponents with dirty tricks, platform speeches, and the manipulation of key historical events. All the while, President Buchanan interferes, radicals riot, and the country continues the downward spiral toward civil war. If one party wins the election by achieving the necessary 152+ electoral votes, or wins in the case of an electoral tie thrown to the US Congress, history may well change. Nevertheless, there is always the chance that the population of South Carolina will finally explode into open rebellion and secede, ending the game, at which point everyone loses!

This is a light to medium weight game with intense player interaction, card-driven play, and a play time of about 2-3 hours depending upon how events proceed. There are even a few laughs along the way as the mudslinging between parties heats up. Literally anyone can win - it's not simply a cut and dry Republican victory. This is a different kind of US election game, a game where there are not two, but four parties, set in a period when candidates did not generally campaign for themselves, and run in an era when the Republicans were still liberals and the Democrats were the vanguard of traditional American conservatism.

Other Information: • See note in the publisher's section about this title and others from Numbskull Games.
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Board Game Publisher: Nürnberger-Spielkarten-Verlag


• Booth: 5-39
330. Board Game: Land unter [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:669]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Players are dealt a hand of 12 from a deck of 1-60 (the remainder go back in the box for the whole game), and then lay out marker cards that show the other players the strength of their hand. Another scoring deck of 24 has values of 1-12; two cards from this deck are laid face up.

Players choose one card from their hand in secret and reveal them simultaneously. The highest value played takes the lowest scoring card, which goes face-up to a pile in front of you. The second highest takes the other card likewise. Remaining cards are discounted. Then look at everyone's face-up deck: the highest scoring player turns one of his or her marker cards over! (The original game had cockatoos becoming cuckoos; this edition is themed on lifesavers). At the end of a round, players score according to their markers cards that they managed to save (cockatoos or life-savers).

There is a further twist! Players then pick up all their playing hand, and pass it clockwise. So as each round commences, you are using the cards previously used by your neighbor! Are you smarter? Can you make a better fist of the same hand your neighbor had? Play out rounds until all players have had each hand. Top score wins.

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331. Board Game: Qwixx [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:659]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Qwixx is a quick-playing dice game in which everyone participates, no matter whose turn it is. Each player has a scoresheet with the numbers 2-12 in rows of red and yellow and the numbers 12-2 in rows of green and blue. To score points you want to mark off as many numbers as possible, but you can mark off a number only if it's to the right of all marked-off numbers in the same row.

On a turn, the active player rolls six dice: two white and one of each of the four colors listed above. Each player can choose to mark off the sum of the two white dice on one of their four rows, then the active player can choose to mark off the sum of one colored die and one white die in the row that's the same color as the die. The more marks you can make in a row, the higher your score for that row. Fail to cross off a number when you're the active player, however, and you must mark one of four penalty boxes on your scoresheet. If you mark off the 2 or 12 in a row and have at least five numbers marked in that row, you get to also mark off the padlock symbol in that row, locking everyone else out of this color.

When either a player has four penalty boxes marked or a second color is locked, the game ends immediately. Players then tally their points for each color, sum these values, then subtract five points for each marked penalty box. Whoever has the highest score wins.

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332. Board Game: Sticheln [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:559]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In the trick-taking card game Sticheln, players seek to gather points by taking certain suits, while avoiding the negative points in other suits. At the beginning of each hand, each player selects one card from his hand, which becomes his "pain" suit. The face value of all the cards from that suit he takes will be negative points. Positive points are won by taking any other card not in your "pain" suit; each of these cards, however, is worth only a single point. Players need not follow suit if they don't wish to, but every card not in the suit led (except for the precious zeros) is considered a trump card, with the highest, earliest-played trump card taking the trick.

Some versions of Sticheln allow for up to six players, while others (3rd and 4th version) include cards to allow up to eight players.

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Board Game Publisher: Odynaut Games


• Booth: 4-321
333. Board Game: Cavemen Playing With Fire [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:7887]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
Dutch
English
German
Description:

After their latest journey through time, the Odynauts have landed in the Stone Age. In this world, they are confronted with cavemen who revere fire above all else. Because not all cavemen have yet discovered how to make fire, some try to steal it from the others. The Odynauts see a challenging game in all of this, but being their usual selves think it would be more fun to put out an opponent's fire rather than to steal it. Can you navigate safely through enemy caves? Can your cavemen outwit their stronger opponents or overpower their weaker ones? Can you be the first to put out an opponent's fire?

Cavemen Playing With Fire is a strategic two-player card game. The goal is to be the first player to put out one of her opponent's three fires, which in game terms means taking one of the opponent's three fire cards.

To play the game, each player receives an identical deck of 25 cave, fire, and caveman cards. Players use the cave cards to create a playing field on the table with three fire cards for each player at each end. In turns, players place cards and take action. They walk and fight among their own caves and those of the enemy to try to reach one of the enemy's fire cards. The cavemen cards are ranked, and some have special abilities. Lost cards can return to the drawing deck, but to do so a player must lose certain cards first. Losing these is tricky, though.

Other Information: • Price: €10
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334. Board Game: Chipleader [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:8105]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
Dutch
English
German
Description:

The Odynauts are a competitive race of aliens that prosper from the feeling that winning brings them. The one place on Earth where lady luck truly smiles at you is the casino. The Odynauts decided to take the gamble and spread out to the foremost gambling cities on our planet, from Macau to Monte Carlo and from Las Vegas to Amsterdam. They turned the casinos upside down and won at every game the casinos have on offer. Slot machines were cleaned out and poker tournaments were won. The casino bosses were not amused and quickly banned the Odynauts from their casinos. To still their voracious appetite for winning, the Odynauts have made their own casino game. Casino chips are bitten into pieces and slot machines are stolen. All these well-known items from the casino form the basis of new and unique game: Chipleader. The Odynauts challenge you. Are you brave enough to accept their challenge? Are you a smart gambler and do you have the strategic insight to score the most points in putting casino chips back together? Can you protect your chips from your opponents' attacks?

Chipleader is card game for two to four players. The goal is to collect as many points as you can with strategic gambling and by making casino chips before four different casinos have been visited. Players have to protect their casino chips against their opponents' attacks in an effort to become Chipleader.

Casino chips are made with chip fragment cards of different colors and values. Every chip fragment card has a quarter of a chip depicted on it. Four chip fragment cards can form a casino chip and only when a player has formed such a chip can she place those cards on the table. The value of a complete casino chip placed on the table can increase or decrease with the use of Odynaut face cards. By playing these cards, a player's opponents can even entirely eliminate the value of one of her chips.

To obtain chip fragment and Odynaut face cards, a player has to make sets with five types of "gamble-suit" cards. Five suit cards are randomly placed face up alongside each other on the table. This row of cards is called the "gambling row". Each player also receives three suit cards at the beginning of the game. A set is created whenever three, four or five suit cards of the same type are aligned in the gambling row.

Other Information: • Price: €12
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335. Board Game: Rule the Roost [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:7912]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
German
Description:

Life is a game! So rings the Odynaut motto. To survive, in other words, the Odynauts must keep winning! And now, they have descended on our planet looking for new games wherever they can find them. On a seemingly innocent and charming little farm, the Odynauts are witness to a high stakes strategic game in which hens are the coveted prize. The roosters seek to draw as many of them in as possible with their charms. A sly fox is sneaking around the coop for a delicious meal, while the farmer is on a mission to catch him in order to protect his precious little hens. The Odynauts, of course, see a highly entertaining game in all of this. Are you the biggest, baddest rooster? Or are you just the smartest one?

Rule the Roost (a.k.a. Hennen Jennen) is a funny and nerve-racking farm-themed card game for two to four witty players of all ages. The goal is to become the leader Rooster of one or more barns and to collect as many chickens as possible for points.

Throughout the game each player tries to obtain a majority in one or more of the three barns with her own rooster cards by placing these cards under the barn cards. For each barn in which a player has the majority of roosters at the end of the game, she receives one point for each of the chicken cards present. Players should try to have as many chickens as possible in the barns in which she dominates by either placing her own chicken cards there, or by banking on others doing so.

But beware! Danger is lurking. Players can prevent an opponent from having the majority of roosters in a barn or collecting chickens in a barn by throwing eggs, playing fox cards or famer cards because foxes have chickens on the menu and the farmer is eager to move roosters from one barn to another.

Other Information: • Price: €10
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Board Game Publisher: OKAZU Brand
• Distributed at Spiel 2012 by Japon Brand; preorder information for Trains and Trick of the Rails is here.

• Booth: 4-123
336. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:229] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Japanese
Description:

In the 19th century, shortly after the industrial revolution, railways quickly spread over the world. Japan, importing Western culture and eager to become one of the Grand Nations, saw the birth of many private railway companies and entered the Golden Age of railways. Eventually, as a result of the actions of powerful people and capitalists, many of these smaller companies gradually merged into larger ones.

In Trains, the players are such capitalists, managing private railways companies and striving to become bigger and better than the competition. The game takes place during the 19th and 20th century in the 2012 OKAZU Brand edition, whereas the 2013 AEG/Pegasus edition is set in modern times, with bullet trains, freight trains and more. You will start with a small set of cards, but by building a more effective deck throughout the game, you will be able to place stations and lay rails over the maps of Osaka, Tokyo or other locations. The trick is to purchase the cards you want to use, then use them as effectively as possible. Gain enough points from your railways and you will ultimately manage the most powerful railroads in modern Japan!

Trains is the first title in AEG's Destination Fun series! Continue your travels in the acclaimed Planes and Automobiles board games.

Integrates with Trains: Rising Sun

Other Information: • Price €50

• German rules are typically available from Japon Brand with purchase of a game.

This post on the OKAZU Brand website mentions a bonus Northeast U.S./Germany map that will be available at Spiel 2012, then available for download later by those who purchased the game earlier.


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337. Board Game: Trick of the Rails [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:3654]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Japanese
Description:

Trick of the Rails, themed on the rise of the American railway period, combines 18XX-like portfolio management and a trick-taking card game. Players collect stock certificates and make the companies more valuable by laying the rail network.

The game alternates between stock rounds and operating rounds. In stock rounds, the cards played become shares for the players. In operating rounds, the cards played become track for the companies. The companies get trains, which determine how many track cards they can count for their profit (the trains have costs as well, which may lead to companies not making any profit at all) and in the end, players simply count the value of their shares and highest value wins.

Other Information: • Price €12
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Board Game Publisher: Österreichisches Spiele Museum e.V.
• The annual games companion from Österreichisches Spiele Museum will be available at Spiel 2012 for €5 in both German and English, and based on previous years it will likely contain capsule descriptions of 500-600 games that are due out or were already released in the second half of 2012. (The cover image, by the way, is an homage to Gustav Klimt.)

• Booth: 9-14
338. Board Game: Level XI [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Level XI uses the components and basic rules of Level X and can be played only in conjunction with the base game. Now your playing pieces can be placed on this supplemental board in addition to the tracks on the main game board. The pieces are not moved here, but they stay where you once placed them - however, you may remove them for other use at any time giving up your position.
The playing pieces on the highest spaces of the Level XI board earn you special points at the end of the game – and you can even score for more than one marker. Beware: you may miss a playing piece you placed on the supplemental board for the regular tracks - but if you are too late for it, the best spaces will be occupied there.

Other Information:
• Price: Free!

• In case you're not familiar with Level X, published by Schmidt Spiele in 2010, here's how to play:

Quote:
In Level X, each player has six playing pieces that he tries to place at the end of the movement tracks on the game board in order to score victory points (VPs). The tracks are labeled 5-10, and they are 2-4 spaces long.

On a turn, you roll four six-sided dice, then place them into groups of 1-4 dice with each group ideally totaling from 5 to 10. If you make such a group, you can either place one of your playing pieces on the first space of the track matching that number or advance your playing piece on that track until you reach the final space: the X. Whenever you first land on an X, you take a VP token worth a number of points equal to that track's number. If you are already on an X and roll that number again, you take another token. Only one playing piece can be on an X; if someone else lands on an X that you occupy, you remove your playing piece from the board and can start down that track again later.

If you collect one token of each value (5-10), you take a bonus card, with the first being worth 15 VPs and the others worth 12, 9 and 6. When all the bonus cards have been claimed or three of the VP token stacks are empty, the game ends. Whoever has scored the most points wins!
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Board Game Publisher: Pandasaurus Games


• Booth: 9-108
339. Board Game: Lost Valley: The Yukon Goldrush 1896 [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:1947]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

"Gold, Gold, Gold – A Ton of Gold" – this was the Seattle headline heard 'round the world announcing the discovery of great stores of gold in the Klondike. This was the beginning of an exodus of would-be prospectors dreaming of a better life, a chance to escape the toil caused by the financial recessions and bank failures of the 1890s. Gold rush hysteria was pulsing through the veins of the country and tens of thousands were willing to risk it all for the chance to have it all.

Lost Valley is a game about the Klondike stampede that rushed North and about the grueling journey that these would-be prospectors undertook, traversing Steep Mountain passes with heavy loads through severe weather and with ever-dwindling resources.

During the course of the game, players must explore an ever-expanding lost valley in hopes of discovering a gold vein in a mountain, a virgin forest to provide timber, or a fishing spot along the river to provide food. The map will be different each time you play, so you never know what lurks around the corner. As you set out from the outfitters with everything you own strapped to your back, you must balance carefully the resources that you need. Of course you will need tools, dynamite and timber to extract mountain gold, but you'll need to make sure you have room for food, rifles and fishing poles to help you survive in the wilderness.

In addition to expanding the player count to 2-6 (from 3-4) and shortening the playing time, the second edition of Lost Valley rebalances the gold nugget distribution; provides a third path to victory; and (thanks to the included expansion modules) allows players to build canals, learn new abilities, and stake claims on gold mines.

Join the Stampede

Other Information: • Says co-designer Roland Goslar, "We'll have one or two tables with rough handmade prototypes. We will test all new mechanisms and I'm sure that we'll do some changes through the fair." He adds, "We will be located in the partner-lounge of Heidelberger, propably booth 9.108."
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Board Game Publisher: PD-Verlag


• Booth: 9-34
340. Board Game: Antike Duellum [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:664]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Antike Duellum – previewed at Spiel 2011 under the name Casus Belli – is a two-player strategy game based on modified rules from Mac Gerdts' Antike. The game includes two scenarios: Punic Wars (Rome vs. Carthago) on one side of the board, and Persian Wars (Greeks vs. Persians) on the other. The goal of the game is to be the first to gain nine ancient personages (Kings, Scholars, Generals, Citizens, Navigators).

Examples of modified rules from Antike:

  • Modular layout - when a player founds a city, he chooses whether it produces Iron, Marble, or Gold
  • Over 20 event cards, which provide more variety in the game
  • Town walls for individual protection of cities
  • Each "Know-How" costs a different amount - for example, inventing the market is more expensive than inventing the wheel
  • A new Know-How for trading goods with the bank
  • Higher costs for legions and galleys - they are first recruited from the bank to the personal supply (paying gold)
  • Easier rules for conquering cities with no movement of units
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341. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:56]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 100 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Two thousand years ago, the Roman Empire ruled the lands around the Mediterranean Sea. With peace at the borders, harmony inside the provinces, uniform law, and a common currency, the economy thrived and gave rise to mighty Roman dynasties as they expanded throughout the numerous cities. Guide one of these dynasties and send colonists to the remote realms of the Empire; develop your trade network; and appease the ancient gods for their favor — all to gain the chance to emerge victorious!

Concordia is a peaceful strategy game of economic development in Roman times for 2-5 players aged 13 and up. Instead of looking to the luck of dice or cards, players must rely on their strategic abilities. Be sure to watch your rivals to determine which goals they are pursuing and where you can outpace them! In the game, colonists are sent out from Rome to settle down in cities which produce bricks, food, tools, wine, and cloth. Each player starts with an identical set of playing cards and acquires more cards during the game. These cards serve two purposes:

  • They allow a player to choose actions during the game.
  • They are worth victory points (VPs) at the end of the game.

Concordia is a strategy game which requires advance planning and consideration of your opponent's moves. Every game is different, not only because of the sequence of new cards on sale but also due to the modular layout of cities. (One side of the game board shows the entire Roman Empire with 30 cities for 3-5 players, while the other shows Roman Italy with 25 cities for 2-4 players.) When all cards have been sold, the game ends. The player with the most VPs from the gods (Jupiter, Saturnus, Mercurius, Minerva, Vesta, etc.) wins the game.

Other Information: • Designer Mac Gerdts has noted on BGG that Oppida: Cities of the Roman Empire will not be available for purchase at Spiel 2012, but will be on display in prototype form. In his words, "It is too hard for a small publisher to handle two games in one year."
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Board Game Publisher: Pearl Games
• On Sept. 28, 2012, Pearl Games opened preorders for its Spiel 2012 releases, with separate preorder options depending on whether you want English, French or German versions of the games. If you preorder both games, the total price is €55 instead of €58. The preorder deadline is October 16, 2012, and Pearl's Sébastien Dujardin says, "25 Ginkgopolis T-shirts will be distributed at random among preorders."

• Booth: 4-319
342. Board Game: Les Dames de Troyes [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
French
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In The Ladies of Troyes, the women make an appearance in the form of three new Character cards that you can include in your games. A new action allows players to move their guard along the ramparts in order to access one of 16 new activities outside the city. Each player is represented by a new purple die (representing the head of the family), which cannot be bought by other players. The head of the family can carry out civil, military, or religious actions — your choice!

The Ladies of Troyes also includes 27 new Activity cards and six Event cards to add still more variety to the game!

Other Information: • Price €23 (see the publisher info for preorder details)

• A German language edition is also available from Pearl Games, while Z-Man Games will be releasing this expansion in English (and that version is listed elsewhere in this Preview).
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Board Game Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
• As is its tradition – and through necessity really – German publisher Pegasus Spiele will have multiple booths at Spiel 2012. Booth 12-01 and 12-06 showcase the party, family, and gamer titles, while booth 6-417 – run in partnership with Steve Jackson Games – will be jam-packed with all the many Munchkin releases. Booth 6-100 is the Pegasus clearance booth, while booth 5-02 highlights 2012 Kennerspiel des Jahres winner Village (co-published with eggertspiele) and a giant game of Pictomania.

• Booth: 12-01

• Booth: 12-06

• Booth: 6-417

• Booth: 5-02
343. Board Game: Belfort [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:217]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Welcome to the Tasty Minstrel universe! Put your Elves, Dwarves and Gnomes to work in the Village and Guilds of Belfort to collect resources and build up the city!

Elves collect wood from the forest while Dwarves collect stone from the quarry. An Elf and a Dwarf together can collect Metal from the mines, and either one can collect Gold. Build buildings in the five districts of the pentagonal city and hire Gnomes to run them to gain their special abilities.

Belfort is a worker placement game with area majority scoring in each district as well as for each type of worker. Buildings give you influence in the districts as well as income, but taxes increase based on your score so the winning players will have to pay more than those behind! Manage your resources and gold well, choose your buildings wisely, and help build the city of Belfort!

Other Information: • Price €40, although possibly not available for purchase at Spiel 2012 as the release date has been moved from October to November 2012. Pegasus' marketing director Michael Kränzle says that copies will be on display, and they will possibly arrive in time for sales at the show.
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344. Board Game: City Tycoon [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1505]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In City Tycoon players assume the role of businessmen investing their own capital in expansion of the city. Their main purpose is to increase the standard of living, and thus the happiness of its citizens. They have within reach a whole range of projects that the city council wants to achieve, but which lack the funds. By skillfully selecting plans, using available space and deciding which projects their money should be spent on they will be expanding the city and competing for the title of the most people-friendly company.

During play, the game board is expanded by players laying down tiles, with each tile representing a piece of the city, a district that might need to be provided with electricity or water in exchange for receiving some benefit. Some of the tiles require a supply of luxury goods; others generate them; others give only points of happiness, such as the hospital.

Resources are common, and each of them can be bought by players from power stations and waterworks. These resources, however, are not unlimited and their use must be well planned. Keep in mind, too, that you must pay opponents when transporting raw materials through districts they own.

Game play in City Tycoon passes through four stages, and in each of them the buildings get larger and more impressive while at the same time requiring more resources and giving better benefits. Players quickly notice the relations between them and may choose several possible strategies to develop their investments, for example, focusing on making money, constructing scoring buildings to the exclusion of all else. Each of these strategies has its pluses and minuses, and the actions of other players might force you to expand in new directions and change your tactic.

Other Information: • Price €35, although only on display at Spiel 2012 and not available for sale as according to marketing director Michael Kränzle Pegasus Spiele is working on new artwork for its publication of the game.
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345. Board Game: Duckomenta Art [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1253]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Masters Gallery, players are art critics and gallery owners at the same time, trying to pump up the value of certain artists before cashing in their works. The works of five artists – Vermeer, Degas, Renoir, Monet and Van Gogh – are in play. Each player starts with a hand of masterpiece cards, and on a turn you play one on the table to show a stake in the fate of that artist; some masterpiece cards include special actions that allow you to play a second card, draw an extra card, increase the value of a certain artist, or have everyone play a masterpiece card at once.

When a certain number of works from one artist are on the table, the round ends, and each work from the most well-represented artists are sold for $1-3. Masters Gallery lasts four rounds, with players receiving additional masterpiece cards prior to new rounds and the value of an artist's work increasing based on past performance. The player with the most money after four rounds wins.

Masters Gallery depicts classic works of art on its cards; Modern Art: The Card Game, which features identical game play, uses "modern art" along the lines used in designer Reiner Knizia's Modern Art board game.

Other Information: • Price €13

Duckomenta Art combines duck-filled artwork with the gameplay in Knizia's Master Gallery. Inspired? Insane?
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346. Board Game: McMulti [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:1234]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Crude: The Oil Game, players take on the role of oil company CEOs, seeking to expand their companies into multi-national energy mega-corporations. Just as with real world energy companies, player will setup facilities for oil drilling, oil pumping, oil refining into gasoline, and gasoline selling to the consumer... all of which are represented by actual plastic pieces placed on the board! Players also speculate by buying and selling oil and gasoline barrels in both the domestic and foreign markets... again represented by actual plastic barrels in their playing area!

However, the changing economic climate, as well as sudden world news events, will challenge players to keep a long-term strategic view of the world energy markets. The first player to reach a corporation value of $750 million is the winner!

Crude: The Oil Game is not only a great simulation of the global oil markets, but with almost 300 plastic playing pieces, it is a sight to behold! Known as McMulti when it was printed in Europe almost 25 years ago, this great game is finally back in print after many years!

Brought back into print in 2012 by Stronghold Games, Crude: The Oil Game has been a highly sought-after ("Grail") game. This is an early Euro-style game – before Euro-style existed! – which accurately simulates the market forces and elements of the oil and gasoline markets at all levels of production, including oil drilling, oil pumping, oil and gasoline buying and selling in the domestic and foreign markets, oil refining, and finally gasoline selling to the consumer.

Other Information: • Price €40, although possibly not available for purchase at Spiel 2012 as the release date has been moved from October to November 2012. Pegasus' marketing director Michael Kränzle says that copies will be on display, and they will possibly arrive in time for sales at the show.
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347. Board Game: Munchkin 7: Mit beiden Händen schummeln [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.81 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Munchkin 7: Cheat With Both Hands replaces Munchkin Blender and Munchkin 7: More Good Cards, which are both out of print. More specifically, Cheat With Both Hands reprints Munchkin Blender, but with the brown fantasy Munchkin color scheme instead of the original purple and white; this set has also been renamed Munchkin 7 as the original Munchkin 7 had reprinted many of the cards in Munchkin Blender but also had a few original ones. These original cards are available in the Munchkin Monster Enhancers booster pack.

Thus, the combination of Cheat With Both Hands and Munchkin: Monster Enhancers are complete replacements for the combination of Munchkin Blender and Munchkin 7: More Good Cards.

So what's in the set? A lot more monster enhancers and item enhancers, too. There are several new low-level monsters to help you get easy kills – until somebody takes that Sock Puppet and turns it into the Ultra-Rare Extremely Sneaky Sock Puppet With Extra Cheese...

Part of the Munchkin series.

Other Information: • Price €13
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348. Board Game: Munchkin 8: Echsenmenschen & Zentauren [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Munchkin 8: Half Horse, Will Travel is a 112-card expansion for Munchkin that adds two new races to the game: Centaur and Lizard Guy. A myriad other new cards are included, such as race/class enhancers (Elite, Legendary, and Elder) and monsters (Gecko On The Telly, Centaurpede, and the Knight Mare).

The name for this expansion was selected via a contest. Users were asked to submit entries, and the Steve Jackson Games staff chose "Half Horse, Will Travel" – submitted by Michael Shore – as the best entry.

Part of the Munchkin series.

Other Information: • Price €13
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349. Board Game: Munchkin Axe Cop [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:3965]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Munchkin Axe Cop is a simple, lightweight multiplayer "take that" style card game. Cards represent character abilities, items, monsters to fight, and cards to make monsters harder to defeat (for monsters other players are fighting) or easier to defeat (for you). Every time you defeat a monster, you go up a level. The first player to level 10 wins.

This is a core set for Steve Jackson's Munchkin game, based on the hit webcomic by Ethan Nicolle (age 29) and his brother Malachai (age 6). It can be combined with other games in the series.

The game doesn't have any new mechanics and should be easy to learn for anyone who's played one of the other Munchkin games. Hirelings are included and are called allies. There are four classes: Cop, Man, Soldier, and Warrior (which is identical to the class of the same name in fantasy Munchkin). This set also has powers; there are seven of them with two cards each, for a total of 14 cards. The mechanics of powers are exactly the same as in the other Munchkin sets that have them.

Several Santa monsters are included, as well as two new monster categories, Alien and Robot, which currently aren't recognized in any of the other Munchkin games.

It's not necessary to know anything about the Axe Cop webcomic in order to enjoy this set.

Part of the Munchkin series.

Other Information: • Price €15
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350. Board Game: Munchkin Beisst! 1+2 [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:2193]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

It's the World of Dorkness!

The Munchkins are now vampires, werewolves and changelings. Bash through the haunted house and slay the monsters – the other monsters, that is. You can't slay your fellow munchkins, but you can curse them, send foes at them, and take their stuff.

Munchkin Bites! is a standalone game, which can be combined with other Munchkin games. With illustrations John Kovalic, you'll see Igor, Gilly, and all the other Dork Tower characters in their munchkin-vampire finery, so bring along your Coffin (+3!) and wield The Sword Of Beheading People Just Like In That Movie. Face foes like the Banshee, the Heck Hounds, and the dreaded Were-Muskrat. Smite them all, and be the first to Level 10...

Part of the Munchkin series.

Munchkin is a satirical card game based on the clichés and oddities of Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing games. Each player starts at level 1 and the winner is the first player to reach level 10. Players can acquire familiar D&D style character classes during the game which determine to some extent the cards they can play.

There are two types of cards - treasure and encounters. Each turn the current players 'kicks down the door' - drawing an encounter card from the deck. Usually this will involve battling a monster. Monsters have their own levels and players must try and overcome it using the levels, weapons and powers they have acquired during the game or run away. Other players can chose to help the player or hinder by adding extra monsters to the encounter. Defeating a monster will usually result in drawing treasure cards and acquiring levels. Being defeated by a monster results in "bad stuff" which usually involves losing levels and treasure.

Note: The Dutch first edition and German second edition include the first expansion for this game, Munchkin Bites! 2: Pants Macabre.

Other Information: • Price €25
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