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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: Schmidt Spiele


• Booth: 11-03
451. Board Game: Bumm Bumm Ballon! [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:4488]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

To set up Bumm Bumm Ballon!, you place a colored balloon inside the wood frame, pull out the wooden rods, then get ready to go! Each turn, a player rolls the die, which determines how far to press in which rods. With every push, the tension mounts – who will cause the balloon to burst?!

Other Information: • Price €27
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452. Board Game: Dog Royal [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:4317]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 35 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

Dog Royal plays like its predecessor Dog in that the object of the game is for a player (or team) to move his (their) tokens from home to the target area as quickly as possible. Tokens are moved in a clockwise direction along the track on the game board according to the value on the cards played. The first player or team to move all of its tokens to the target area first wins.

What distinguishes Dog Royal for Dog are two twists: First, Dog Royal includes a number of special cards not present in the previous game. You can move 1-7 spaces, switch the location of two tokens, draw one token to another like a magnet, equal the value of the card previously played, and more.

Second, each of the four tokens controlled by a player bears a symbol – king, knight, citizen, jester – and each such token has a special power. The king, for example, cannot move more than seven spaces on a turn, so all cards with a higher value cannot be used to move the king, but the king cannot be bumped off the track by any token other than another king. (Players can choose to keep the symbols face-down and treat all tokens the same, if desired.)

Other Information: • Price €18.50
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453. Board Game: Der Kleine Prinz: Planetenwanderer [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In Der Kleine Prinz: Planetenwanderer, the serpent and its evil helpers – the darklings – are darkening one planet after another, bring the residents misfortune. The players must help the little prince find the darkened planets in space and get rid of the evil power of the snake. Whoever has a good memory will find the planet with the help of the gyroscope has a good chance of breaking the power of the serpent and winning the game. Hurry, though, as the snake is already gathering its forces...

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454. Board Game: Qwirkle Cubes [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1607]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

Qwirkle Cubes is a sequel of sorts to Qwirkle with the goal of the game being the same as before: Create rows and columns in which the tokens all match either in color or symbol in order to score points. Each time you add tokens to the playing area, you score points equal to the rows/columns that you create or add to. Close out a row by playing the sixth token in it, and you score six bonus points in addition to whatever else you score for the turn.

In Qwirkle, the pieces have a colored symbol on one face and are otherwise blank, but in Qwirkle Cubes the tokens have six faces in the same color, with each face having a different one of the six symbols. On a turn, you:

  • Roll as many cubes from your hand as you want.
  • Play cubes from your hand to build color lines and symbol lines.
  • Draw and roll replacement cubes.

All the cubes are visible, so players can better judge their opponents' future moves – notwithstanding their rolls, mind you. The game continues until no more cubes remain in the reserve pool and one player has placed all of her cubes. This player scores a six point bonus, then the player with the most points wins!

Other Information: • Price €26
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455. Board Game: Rondo [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:3010]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
German
Italian
Description:

In the abstract strategy game Rondo, players try to score as many points as possible by placing tokens on numbered spaces on the game board, with the board consisting of two concentric rings of numbered spaces and multiple spokes connecting these rings and the center of the board. (The game board is double-sided, with different values on each side.) The numbers come in five colors, and players start the game by drawing two tokens (also in five colors) from a bag and placing them on a rack, thereby hiding the color of the tokens from other players.

On a turn, a player can either (1) play as many tokens as he wants in a continuous chain, with the first token being placed next to an occupied space or the center space, then drawing one token from the bag or (2) drawing two tokens and placing none on the board. A player can hold at most five tokens on his rack.

When a player places tokens, the color of the token must match the space being covered; he immediately scores the points shown on this space. A player can choose to place a non-matching token face down on a space in order to reach another space, but he scores no points for the face-down token. Alternatively, a player can play multiple tokens of the same color on a matching space and score the listed number of points for each token placed.

The game board has a number of dark grey spaces on it. The game ends at the end of the round in which all of these spaces are occupied or a player cannot draw enough tokens to complete his turn. The player with the most points wins!

Other Information: • Price €29
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Board Game Publisher: Seraphim Publishing Co., Ltd.
• This title is located in the "Greater China Pavilion" run by Swan Panasia.

• Booth: 5-42
456. Board Game: The Pioneer Card Game: Chapter resources [Average Rating:10.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Chinese
Description:

In the mid-nineteenth century, the players lead their families into a new world, using a hand of cards to explore, develop, moderate the climate, and conduct other activities. In The Pioneer Card Game: Chapter resources, each player receives his own hand of cards, places them all in an order that he speculates will lead to good results, then executes these cards sequentially. Compete with opponents for resources and incentives, and lead your family to a new world...

Other Information: • Price €6
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Board Game Publisher: Show Enterprise
• Distributed at Spiel 2012 by Japon Brand; preorder information for Chicago is here.

• Booth: 4-123
457. Board Game: Chicago [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Japanese
Description:

In Chicago, set in the United States during the age of Prohibition, the players are gang bosses who fight to control the city of Chicago. They try to earn money by controlling the areas of Chicago and building casinos and moonshine stills. Once Prohibition is lifted, the player with the most money wins – but before that happens, the player with the most money is arrested (like Al Capone) and half his funds claimed as punishment. Thus, you need to be second in order to win!

Other Information: • Price €40

• English and German rules are typically available with purchase from Japon Brand at Spiel.
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Board Game Publisher: Sierra Madre Games
458. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:392]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Pax Porfiriana – Latin for "The Porfirian Peace" – refers to the 33-year reign of dictator Porfirio Díaz, who ruled Mexico with an iron hand until toppled by the 1910 Revolution.

As a rich businessman (Hacendado) in the turbulent pre-revolutionary borderlands of the U.S. and Mexico, players compete to build business empires of ranches, mines, rails, troops, and banks while subverting opponents with bandidos, Indians, and lawsuits. Each turn goes as follows:

1. Action Phase: Perform three actions, such as play new cards, get new cards from the market, speculate on cards in the market, buy land, or redeploy troops.
2. Discard Headlines: Remove any Headlines (i.e. cards with the Bull-Bear icon) that have reached the leftmost position in the Market.
3. Restore Market: Restore the Market to twelve cards.
4. Income Phase: Collect one gold per Income, Extortion, and Connection Cube in play. If Depression, pay one gold for each card in play (includes Partners and Enterprises in your Row, and all of your Troops).

Four "scoring" cards (Toppling) are in the game and their effect depends on the current form of government. The government can change if troops are played and as a result of other cards. The form of government also influences different production values of the game, such as how much mines produce. Players win by toppling Díaz, either by coup, succession, revolution, or annexation of Mexico by the U.S. If Díaz remains firmly seated at the end of the game, then the player with the most gold wins.

Pax Porfiriana includes 220 cards, but only fifty cards (along with ten for each player) are used in a game, so no two games will be the same!

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Board Game Publisher: Sir Chester Cobblepot
• Located in the Giochi Uniti booth at Spiel 2012.

• Booth: 5-08
459. Board Game: Collapsible D: The Final Minutes of the Titanic [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:4647]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Italian
Description:

April 14, 1912, 11:40 p.m.: In the dark, cold waters of the Atlantic ocean, the transatlantic RSM Titanic, during its first journey, sinks after a crash against an iceberg. The block of ice opens a hole in the right side of the hull and after two hours and forty minutes the Titanic is doomed.

One hundred years after those happenings, Sir Chester Cobblepot offers a refined board game that celebrates the unforgettable heroism and determination of the passengers on that English transatlantic. More specifically, our main characters are the survivors of the last lifeboat lowered into the water, the collapsible D.

The idea for Collapsible D: The Final Minutes of the Titanic comes from the mind of the Italian author Gianluca Santopietro. In this game the players are on board the Titanic during the night of April 14, 1912, starting at 11:40 p.m. when the ship collides with an iceberg; each turn represents ten minutes in real time. Each player controls a passenger of each Class and a member of the Crew. Each character has a different starting point, an attempt to recreate the exact location where they were on the ship, thanks to historical research led by the author in cooperation with history experts on the Titanic, such as Claudio Bossi. Thanks to an intuitive movement system, players will move their passengers through the ship, trying to reach the lifeboats on the dock.

Meanwhile, the water floods in quickly and the risk of drowning is very high. Each saved passenger grants victory points, and the player with the highest score wins.

Other Information: • MSRP €60, but discounted to €54 if you preorder via the Sir chester Cobblepot website by Monday, Oct. 15 and pick up the game at Spiel.
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Board Game Publisher: Sit Down!
• Booth shared with Ludonaute, Ludocom and Le Jouer.

• Booth: 5-59
460. Board Game: Karnag [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:3499]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

AIM OF THE GAME

Obtain magical points (MP) by preventing evil creatures from invading the human world. These creatures come from the underwater Ker-Ys city.

PREPARATION

  • In turn, the players place all elements of the game area (wall ruins, swamps).
  • Four creatures are introduced in the game and will progress from the door (in the centre of a glade) towards either side of the game board (representing the druids’ path surrounding the glade). Creatures’ moves are pre-defined and happen automatically.
  • The players place their team of three druids whose role is to prevent the creatures from invading the human world.
  • Energy markers are set at the start level and the knowledge track markers are set under the tracks.
  • The pile of Power cards is shuffled and placed near the board.

THE GAME

The game consists of a defined number of rounds (depending on number of players). Every round is composed of the following phases:

  1. The creatures progress. The creatures already on the board progress towards the side of the board using a totally automatic way of moving. New creatures (1 to 3, depending on a dice roll) arrive on the board and start to progress too.
  2. Preparation of the Action tiles. The six Action tiles are shuffled and placed one by one forming a line, face up. These tiles represent all possible actions, each tile being separated into a major and a minor action. The number of places available on the tiles depends on the number of players.
  3. Choice of actions. Each druid team carries out 5 actions a round, represented by Action markers. Players, in the reverse order of their position on the score track, choose their actions one by one by setting their Action markers on the available places on the Action cards. Actions can be: moving the druids (they only move on the path surrounding the glade), setting a magical stone (a magical stone is set at the intersection of the magical beams emitted by two druids looking at the glade, this costs energy; the magical beams do not cross obstacles), capturing creature(s) (a druid may capture a creature in front of him with his magical beam; this costs energy but gives MP and sometimes special properties), progressing in knowledge tracks (to increase the capacity of moving, or to increase the influence at the druid council, for ­instance), preparing magical beverages (to increase knowledge but also to recover energy), moving a magical stone (it is possible to move a magical stone), acquiring Power cards (they give special powers, such as allowing the magical beam to pass through a wall), and influencing a creature (allows to move a creature).
  4. Actions are performed. Actions are performed marker by marker, from left to right, starting with the major actions before doing the minor ones. If the same colour of marker is encountered a second time on the same action, this action is not carried out. The actions on the next Action tile are then carried out and so on, until all major or all minor actions have been performed. Then, the players come back to the stopped action to perform it. Druids must inform the council about all their actions. After they have set a stone, captured a creature, or prepared a magical beverage, druids are placed at the druid council. Any druid can start from the council to enter back the path, but he can also stay at the council to influence it and gain MP at the end of the round.
  5. Activation of magical stones. At the end of each round, all stones that are aligned and of the same colour automatically become menhirs. MP are attributed to the corresponding players and depend on the distance between the stones that have been transformed, as well as their position in the glade. Menhirs have a special property that will be activated at the end of the game.
  6. Druid council. At the end of each round, the influence of each druid team on the council is evaluated. Players receive as many MP as their number of druids at the council. In addition, the team in majority can increase his knowledge in one of the knowledge tracks.

Then, a new round can start.

END OF THE GAME

The game is finished after 5 or 6 rounds, depending on the number of players. In addition to the MP gained during the game, players receive MP according to the magical stones still on the board and the Power cards still in their hands.
Also, the final menhir layout is important and can afford MP according to two different scenarios. If the central door (from which the creatures come) can be completely shut in by drawing a connecting line between menhirs, then MP are attributed to the players for the menhirs they have placed in the glade. If it is not possible to shut in the central door by connecting menhirs, then MP are attributed to the players for the creatures that they have captured.

THE WINNER

The winner is the player with the highest MP score.

Other Information: • Price €42 – but only €40 when preordered through the Sit Down! website, with a free six-card extension (normally €4) and free T-shirt added to the mix.

• Sit Down!'s Didier Delhez says, "The designer Pascal Cadot will be on our booth for dedications."
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461. Board Game: Wiraqocha: The Way of the Feathered Serpent [Average Rating:8.15 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.15 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Wiraqocha: The Way of the Feathered Serpent is a small expansion that consists of six tiles, four cards, 2 tokens, 4 player screens, new stickers and rules, with the materials introducing new ways of playing Wiraqocha.

Other Information:
• Price €17 – but only €15 if preordered through the Sit Down! website, with preorders starting sometime in July 2012.
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Board Game Publisher: Smiling Monster Games


• Booth: 5-42
462. Board Game: Jagdfieber [Average Rating:6.01 Overall Rank:6688]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Jagdfieber ("Hunting Fever") is a light-hearted card game in which you need to play your cards cleverly in order to capture precious prey. But beware! Your fellow hunters may be tempted to steal from you, ending the hunt sooner than you might expect. At the end of the day, captured cards score points for you, but hunters who are caught during the closed season and cards that remain in your hand will reduce your score.

Each player starts with a hand of one hunter, two wolves, three rabbits, three carrots and one closed season/carrot. On a turn, each player secretly chooses a card from his hand, then they reveal the cards simultaneously. If someone played a "closed season" card, than all hunters played are placed in the prey pile of those players. If not, hunters each capture a wolf (starting with the "Hunt starts here" card and going clockwise), place that card in their prey pile, then return their hunter to their hand; any hunter that can't capture a wolf is placed under its owner's hunting lodge (a play area in front of each player).

If any wolves remain, they each capture a rabbit (again starting with the "Hunt starts here" card and going clockwise) and are then placed in the "easy prey" section of that player's hunting lodge; if a wolf doesn't catch a rabbit, return it to its owner's hand. Rabbits are handled the same as wolves, but they hunt carrots (and not themselves!), moving to "easy prey" if they eat and returning to their owner's hand otherwise. Cards in a player's "easy prey" section are captured before a similar card played by that same player during the current turn; if a card is not captured while in the "easy prey" section, it's moved to that player's prey pile at the end of the next turn.

If everyone still has at least one card in hand, move the "Hunt starts here" card one space clockwise and play another turn. If at least one player has no cards in hand, each player scores their prey pile, with hunters worth -4 points and all other cards worth 1-4 points. Players then reclaim their cards and play another round. After four complete rounds, the player with the most points wins.

Other Information: • Price €13.50

• This title was included on the Spiel 2011 Preview and will be out at Spiel 2012 in a second edition with "an updated and improved rulebook that now also features three languages (German, English and French)", according to a representative of publisher Smiling Monster Games.
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Board Game Publisher: Sphinx Spieleverlag


• Booth: 9-31
463. Board Game: Shark Attacks! [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:5598]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

In Shark Attacks!, each player owns a beachfront hotel, and business is good as long as the tourists who come to the hotel spend a lot of time swimming in the water. They enjoy their time, spread the word to others, and word about your fine establishment gets around. Unfortunately, the beaches are visited repeatedly by sharks – and if a bather gets injured by a shark, well, naturally your visitor count (and subsequent business) will be injured as well.

Thus, you want to send as many swimmers as possible into the water when no sharks are about – and if sharks do happen to be swimming nearby and eager to taste a tourist or two, you need to ensure that as many swimmers as possible come out of the water unharmed. You'll receive points for both satisfied swimmers in the water and those who flee successfully from sharks.

Shark Attacks! is limited to a production run of 500 copies.

Other Information: • Price €15; available for preorder through Sept. 23, 2012 for €10 with pick up possible at Spiel 2012. (Shipping is also a possibility.)
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Board Game Publisher: Spielerei
aufRUHR! can be purchased at booth 10-66 in addition to the publisher's booth listed below.

• Booth: 12-26
464. Board Game: aufRUHR! [Average Rating:5.57 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 4 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In the strategy game aufRUHR!, the players represent mayors who compete with one another while also needing to cooperate to improve the general state of a unified Ruhrstadt and to realize the most valuable projects. The overall goal of the game: Becoming the new Paramount Mayor of a unified Ruhrstadt, and bringing together the 53 towns of the Ruhr region.

The game board is unusual in that it's an irregularly shaped jigsaw. Each player can place developments on adjacent spaces and stand for election by all the players to become temporary paramount mayor. (You cannot vote for yourself.) The successful candidate gets a paper hat to wear and can reward different sorts of developments – which might affect the election next term. Players can use bribes (which score victory points for the recipients) or the threat of scandal to induce other mayors to collaborate with them. Money takes the form of coal – as the Ruhr region contains a significant coal field.

aufRUHR! was developed as a project by architecture students at the Berlin University of Art as part of the Ruhr being the European capital of Culture 2010 and was published in a limited edition in time for Spiel 2010. (Essen is one of the cities of the Ruhr.)

Other Information: • Price €35
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Board Game Publisher: Spielworxx


• Booth: 12-16

• Booth: 6-800
465. Board Game: Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890 [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1495]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Until the second half of the 18th century, most people thought that larger barges could not navigate the Ruhr River. However, the convenient route meant that attempts were conducted to transport the coveted coal resource along the river at the beginning of the industrial revolution. The first coal barges reached Kettwig in spring 1770. A little while later, barges reached the Rhine mouth at Ruhrort. The empty barges were drawn upstream by horses afterwards.

However, the Ruhr was not generally navigable in this time. Large dams at mills and low dams for fishing were common. At these spots the coal had to be transferred from one barge to the next. This decreased the quality of the coal considerably – sometimes only "coal dust" reached Ruhrort. Only the building of 14 locks between Witten and Ruhrort changed this.

The Ruhr remained an important route for coal until the end of the 19th century. At that time the railway superseded it.

In Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890, 2-4 players transport and sell coal along the Ruhr river in Germany as profitably as possible. Progress markers are helping them. The position of each player's Ruhr barge is most important; the player furthest upriver is allowed to conduct his action first in each phase of a game turn.

Other Information: • Price €69, although the game can be preordered for €59 before its release in mid-October 2012.
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Board Game Publisher: Splotter Spellen


• Booth: 5-45
466. Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:481]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 − 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
German
Description:

The Great Zimbabwe is a game about building a trade based civilization in ancient Africa. It has been inspired by the old kingdoms surrounding the Great Zimbabwe, a world heritage site in southern Africa. Far into the previous century, colonial governments denied that a civilization that produced such impressive monuments and beautiful artwork could have been African in origin. But of course, this civilization was African, and the country of Zimbabwe itself was proudly named after this impressive cultural heritage. As always in our games, we have used this history for inspiration; however, first and foremost we wanted to create a highly playable and replayable Splotter game, so in many cases we took liberties with historical names, periods and artwork.

In the game, players strive to build the most impressive monuments to one god of their choice. They can choose this god themselves-- each of the twelve gods offers a unique blessing, but each also requires a different amount of work to win the game. Building the monuments is done by developing a logistics network stretching across the region. Through this network, players produce and obtain ritual goods to raise their monuments and bring honour to the god of their choice.

Here's the flavour text from the rules:

The Mutapa king struts into the village, followed by a bunch of young warriors herding cattle. “Oondabezitha ”, he addresses the assembly of kings, “I have brought twelve heads of cattle for the ceremony tonight”. The others seem to shrink in stature as he speaks. The star of the king of Mutapa is clearly ascending. They have not brought nearly as much cattle themselves. “Soon, we will all be praying to Obatala”, murmurs one of the older Kilwa traders. “The Mutapa will be raising their godless monuments sky-high. Perhaps it is time for us to resort to some magic of our own”. Then the sky breaks into a thunder and a torrential rain pours down on the assembly. The men scramble while the plains fill with water. The ceremony will be wet tonight...


The Great Zimbabwe is a logistico-economic game in which players are tribal leaders in Africa trying to please the gods by building monuments.

Buying technology, building craftsmen, gathering resources and worshipping a god are among the many decisions necessary to win in 'The Great Zimbabwe'. But the main way of getting there is building and developing a network of monuments. The higher the monuments, the closer the players will be to victory, but players must balance many subtle aspects of the game. If they develop their economy, if they worship a powerful god or if they use a lot of technology, they will need to score more victory points.

Clever use of turn-order manipulation, economic development in an almost close environment, scarce natural resource use and logistical optimization to deliver goods from craftsmen to monuments: You only get one action per turn, so be smart! 'The Great Zimbabwe' is a race for victory, in which you decide how far you want to go and at what speed. Then other players' decisions change everything...

Other Information: • Price €75. Says Splotter's Jeroen Doumen, "Too many pieces in the box..."

• Splotter has a preorder page for the game on its website, but this is only for those who want the game shipped to them, not for those who want to pick it up at Spiel. Notes Doumen, "It'll (probably) ship the Tuesday before Essen."
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Board Game Publisher: Steffen-Spiele


• Booth: 11-50
467. Board Game: Kulami XL [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:2816]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Kulami, a two-player abstract strategy game, is played on several wooden tiles of different sizes, which are put together in a random fashion to form the board. Players place their pieces on the squares on the tiles. The placement of the previous piece dictates the rows in which the next piece may be placed.

The goal is to claim as many tiles as possible by occupying the majority of squares on a tile. Bonus points can be gained by completing rows or areas.

Other Information: • Price €69

Kulami XL is a larger version of the Kulami game that Steffen-Spiele released at Spiel 2011 with "exquisitely crafted XL-wooden panels and 25-mm diameter glass marbles"
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468. Board Game: Pescado [Average Rating:6.31 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

A shoal of colorful fish tumbles onto the table. The players cast their nets. A handful of dice is all they need to catch the fish. The player who throws matching colors can land one of the coveted medallions with a fish trio. Which additional dice can players throw? Which trio is the easiest to catch? A fisherman's luck helps, but only risk-takers and strategic throws of the extra dice will help players land the biggest haul in their nets.

Pescado is a fast-moving and entertaining dice game – not everything is left to chance.

Other Information: • Price €18.50
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469. Board Game: Soluna [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:7323]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Spanish
Description:

Soluna is a simple and fast-playing brain teaser for two players.

The game consists of twelve double-sided discs; each disc has one of four space-themed symbols (sun, stars, moon, comet) on one side and a different symbol on the other side. At the start of play, the tiles are scattered on the table, creating twelve stacks that are each one tile high. On a turn, you take one stack and place it on another stack that is either (a) the same height or (b) topped by a tile with the same symbol. Stacks cannot be divided. Players take turns until one player cannot make a move; that player loses the game and the other player wins.

Soluna is nearly identical to the earlier Bruno Faidutti game Babylon, but the double-sided discs create a new starting set-up for each round. The first player to win four rounds wins the game.

Reimplements

Other Information: • Price €12
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Board Game Publisher: Steve Jackson Games


• Booth: 6-417
470. Board Game: Castellan [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2274]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Castellan, two players work together to build a castle. Finely-detailed wall and tower pieces link together to form courtyards, and the player who finishes a courtyard claims it with a Keep, scoring points for that courtyard equal to the number of tower pieces surrounding it.

In more detail, each player starts the game with two decks of cards: a wall deck and a tower deck. Each card allows a player to play the components shown on it, with the wall deck cards always depicting at least one wall (and some combination of walls/towers) and the tower deck cards always depicting at least one tower (and again some combination of walls/towers). On a turn, a player can play as many cards as she wants, but she draws only one card at the end of her turn. The goal is to create courtyards – and subdivide existing courtyards – while keeping your opponent from doing the same. Players have the same cards in their decks, so the challenge is all about what to use when. The game ends when all the castle pieces are used up, and the player with the most points wins.

Two different pairs of Keep colors are available in the two versions of Castellan, so with two copies of the game – and the right combination of bits – up to four players can play.

Other Information: • Available for demo games.
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471. Board Game: Munchkin Apocalypse [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1648]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Munchkin Apocalypse is a core set in the Munchkin series with an end of the world theme that includes natural disasters, zombie takeovers, Armageddon, alien invasions, nuclear war, etc. And while this is still a standard Munchkin game where you try to level up by killing the monsters, stealing the treasure, and stabbing your buddy, there's a new "Seal" mechanic that significantly changes the gameplay.

Seals are a reference to the biblical seals of the Apocalypse. They can be opened and closed, although it's typically more difficult to close them. Once seven Seals are open, the game ends immediately, and the player with the highest combat strength (excluding levels) is the winner. The Seal mechanic adds a sense of impending doom to the game, meant to mimic the sense of impending doom for a real apocalypse. It also tends to create situations where the group works together to close a Seal in order to prevent a player from winning via the Seal mechanic. So there is more teamwork than in a regular Munchkin game.

The balance of the deck is also different than the other Munchkin sets. There are a lot more Disaster cards, which are equivalent to traps and curses, so bad things tend to occur more frequently. Also, there are more monsters, especially high-level monsters. To offset this, however, there are more item enhancers and high-bonus items. It's been stated in the Munchkin forums that Munchkin Apocalypse is harder to play and is intended more for seasoned Munchkin veterans.

Munchkin Apocalypse has four new classes but does not have races, powers, or other "thingies". It includes Undead and Shark monsters, which follow special rules.

The game comes with 180 cards (92 Doors, 76 Treasures, 12 Seals). The Seal cards are a different size than the regular cards--they're square and are shorter but wider (2.75" x 2.75"). The included d6 is orange with lime green pips, similar in color to the orange dice in the +6 Bag o' Radioactive Munchkin d6.

Other Information: • While due out in November 2012, this will be on sale at Spiel 2012. No idea of what the price will be...
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472. Board Game: Ogre: Designer's Edition [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:677]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 3
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

OGRE and its sequel G.E.V., are tactical ground combat games set in the not-so-distant future. In 2085 A.D., armored warfare continues - faster and deadlier than ever. Hovercraft, tanks and infantry slug it out with tactical nuclear devices. But the most feared weapon of all needs no human guidance. It's a giant cybernetic tank called the OGRE.

The basic OGRE game gives one player a force of infantry and armor, and a command post he must defend. The other player has only one unit - but it's an OGRE. It's an even match. Advanced games allow solitaire or multi-player action, with OGREs on both sides.

Microgame #1 in the Metagaming Microgames series, and the original release of Ogre. Origin of the Ogre/GEV Family.


This is an entry on RPGG:
GURPS Ogre includes character and vehicle descriptions, a future timeline, a discussion of the world of the Ogres, and the Armor Unit Combat System, a quick way to resolve battles involving player characters and get back to the roleplaying!

Other Information: • In its Oct. 11, 2012 Illuminator, SJG notes that Ogre line editor Daniel Jew will be at Spiel 2012 to show off the Ogre Designer's Edition. In a Kickstarter update, Jew clarifies that he will have prototypes of "2-D and 3-D counters (including Ogres!), and reduced-sized map samples".
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Board Game Publisher: Stragoo Games


• Booth: 9-12
473. Board Game: Mafia City [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:3281]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Bloody hands strangle the city. Beneath the illusion of sophistication there is ever a savage fight for power. As always, the law serves the greedy, corrupt politicians favor the most persuasive, and the local police and feds alike share the profits like so much sweet cake.

As the head of your Mafia family in Mafia City, you struggle for control of the city against others like yourself. Each part of the city plays a role in your plans. Actions must be swift and merciless. Underestimate no one. One wrong move is unforgiveable.

Through a shadowy hitman you instill fear – but around that iron fist, a velvet glove. You must dance the social dance, pulling strings among the elite. Dance well and you'll be well placed to execute your plans with ruthless precision...

...this city will be yours!

The goal of Mafia City is to be the first player to gain a certain number of victory points – that is, proof of your power over the city. Victory points are gained only by controlling locations (i.e., parts of the city). As the head of a mafia clan, each player fights for control over locations by sending his Mafiosi into locations, playing his action cards effectively, using the effects of locations under the players control, and using special characters that appear in the game to his advantage.

Other Information: • Price €25 (at most)
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Board Game Publisher: StrataMax Games


• Booth: 4-210
474. Board Game: Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:5671]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

In Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill, each player takes the role of a sheepdog and uses card play to move flocks of sheep up the hill to the shepherds. The higher a player's sheep gets before meeting its shepherds, the more points he will score. The player who scores the most points wins.

Each player has shepherds to place on the board and sheep to place into flocks and move. Flocks often contain sheep from many players and cooperation can be key to moving a flock into an advantageous position. But how long will this helpful, peaceful pastoral scene last when the cards require players to take actions for other players which can include placing opponents' shepherds in lower scoring areas and moving flocks that do not contain their own sheep?And a hungry wolf ever lurks in the background...

A deck of cards is used by the players to take actions such as placing shepherds, putting sheep into flocks, moving flocks of sheep, and moving the wolf. It is these cards, with their requirement to manipulate other players' pieces, that drive the decisions the players must make in the game and guarantee a high level of interaction among players. Each player also has a Sheepdog wild card for use once per game.

Other Information:
• Price €35

• StrataMax Games is taking preorders for Sheepdogs of Pendleton Hill on its website, with the first 400 preorders receiving a free "Essen exclusive" Wolf booster deck. Says StrataMax's Max Michael, "We printed only 400 of the Wolf Booster Deck – first come, first served."
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Board Game Publisher: Stronghold Games
• In addition to the titles covered below, Stronghold Games will have most of its previous releases on hand for sale at Spiel 2012, with roughly €10 knocked off the MSRP for each game – e.g., Robert Abbott's Confusion will sell for €40, discounted from €50.

• Stronghold Games will also have a number of "Spiel Specials" – larger discounts for purchases of predetermined bundles of new games. Stronghold's Stephen Buonocore has neither determined the bundles nor the prices for these bundles as of October 8, 2012.

• Booth: 12-86
475. Board Game: Article 27: The UN Security Council Game [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1678]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Article 27: The United Nations Security Council Game gets its title from – yes, you guessed it – Article 27 of the United Nations Charter, which includes these two provisions:

1. Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote.
2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.

In this negotiation game, each player represents one member of the UN Security Council and will both present and be presented with different proposals.

In each round, one player acts as the UN Secretary General, presents a proposal to the Council and presides over a negotiation period that lasts no more than five minutes. The proposal will affect five issues – military, currency, etc. – in various ways, and each player has a secret document for the round that tells him how a change in each issue will affect him. All players openly negotiate on what they need in terms of points and bribes in order to vote for that proposal.

After at most five minutes, the Secretary General closes negotiations by banging his wooden gavel, then players vote yes or no on the proposal. Any "no" vote kills the proposal, as in the United Nation's actual Security Council – but vetoing a proposal costs a player points, so he might prefer to look for deals that will enable him to say "yes". The Secretary General scores a bonus when his proposal succeeds, so he and others who will benefit might be willing to negotiate to make the proposal sweet for all.

After each player has served as Secretary General once (twice in a three-player game), each player scores based on bribe money on hand, points scored from proposal cards, and how well the player fulfilled the secret agenda card he received at the start of the game.

Other Information: • MSRP €45, discounted to €35 for sales at Spiel 2012.
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