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Spiel 2011 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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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 Nuremberg International Toy Fair in February. While Nuremberg 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 2011, which takes place October 20-23. 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. For some smaller publishers, I've included titles released since Spiel 2010.

Details about the Spiel 2011 Preview: While this Preview might appear to be a standard Geeklist, BGG admin and superhero Daniel Karp has modified it to present games in a manner useful for Spiel attendees and for anyone researching information about games that will debut at the show. Specifically:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading.

-----• If a game appears in multiple versions, typically due to it being in different languages, then each version will appear under its own publisher. I will endeavor to note such things in the "Other information" section below a game's description.

-----• 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!

-----• Not all of the information on a game's page is included. We want to provide enough details to let you decide whether to investigate further.

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

-----• As with a regular Geeklist, 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. Please choose "Personal" for the reason when doing so. You cannot hide a publisher due to this Preview's special nature. (Publishers are added automatically as game versions are added, so there's no item connected to those publisher listings that you can hide.)

-----• As more details emerge, I will add publisher booth numbers, preorder information, game designer and artist signings, and much more.

Note that this information has been cobbled together from dozens, nay, hundreds of sources, many in languages that aren't my native tongue, 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 2011 release – please send me Geekmail or 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: Irongames
• Booth 5-92

• In addition to the new titles below, Irongames will have Porto Carthago (€30), the second edition of Peloponnes (€30), and Peloponnes expansions on hand at Spiel 2011. The Irongames website has a discount bundle for PAX, Pergamemnon and Porto Carthago for €45 through Octboer 18, 2011.
226. Board Game: Pergamemnon [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:10336]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

They were the most powerful nations of their time: the Carthaginians, Romans, Hellenes, Egyptians and Persians. Pergamemnon assembles all of these peoples for an epic showdown. Each side may also conjure mythical creatures in order to influence the battle in its favor to gain the victory. Pergamemnon is a deck-building game of direct conflict, with clashes between the most powerful nations of antiquity – thus including plenty of interaction!

Other Information: • Price €13
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Board Game Publisher: Isensee Verlag
• Booth 10-49
227. Board Game: Aktienrausch [Average Rating:6.01 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Players in Aktienrausch buy and sell shares in six different companies in order to make money. Cash is represented by cards which do double duty: in a dividend round, the money paid to the different companies for their stock is played out in an unusual way to determine the dividend payments. Another key aspect of the game is deciding when to take profits as cash and when to put it in one's Swiss bank account: cash is necessary to buy stock but the Swiss bank account balance is what wins the game.

Other Information: • Price €5
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Board Game Publisher: Japanime Games
• Booth 9-103 (with Cardhaus, its parent company)
228. Board Game: Tanto Cuore [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1149] [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Tanto Cuore is a Japanese deck-building card game which has a mechanism similar to Dominion.

Each player plays as the Lord of a mansion and hires maids to fill out their house to become the King of Maids! The end goal is simple enough, the player who has the most Victory Points at the end of the game wins! Players acquire Victory Points by employing a variety of maids and "Love" cards that allow for different strategies. You can even employ Private Maids that stick around to use their special powers each per turn! Some give you a bonus, or affect your opponents in a negative way. But beware, your opponents can make your maids sick or give them bad habits, affecting your maids in negative ways and decreasing your Victory Points!

The game art is in the Japanese anime style and uses the theme of maids commonly seen in anime! All of the cards, dividers and manual fit into an easy to transport box so you can easily take the game with you wherever you want.

Other Information: • Price €40

• Not new, per se, but the English-language edition is new for 2011 and Japanime Games/Cardhaus will have a couple of the expansions/complementary standalone games (Tanto Cuore: Romantic Vacation and Tanto Cuore: Expanding the House, both in Japanese only) in addition to the base game. Japanime Games will have English rules for these two items, and as noted in this BGG News post Japanime Games is working on English-language editions of these two releases.

• Japanime Games will have a German-language printout of the rules for Tanto Cuore.
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Board Game Publisher: Japon Brand
• Booth 4-123 (with three Tanto Cuore items being available through Japanime Games/Cardhaus in booth 9-103)

• When I add a game to the Spiel 2011 Preview, the alphabetizing system uses the publisher name from the version that I add – which means that the games available from Japon Brand are scattered about the Preview under their own publishers since JB is a distributor, and not publisher, for most of these titles. Thus, I've grouped everything in the one listing below so that you don't have to search all 16 pages (and counting) to make sure that you've seen everything.

• Japon Brand has a Spiel 2011 information page on its website.

• To preorder titles from Japon Brand for pick-up at Spiel 2011, email Japon Brand's Nobuaki Takerube at bqy10447@nifty.com; include your name, titles desired, and day when you'll pick up the games. While the Tanto Cuore games are being promoted at the Japanime Games booth, you can preorder them for pick-up at the Japon Games booth.
229. Board Game: Shakespeare CARDUTA [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

Shakespeare CARDUTA is a simple card game based on the traditional Japanese card game Hyakunin Isshu (100 Poems by 100 Poets), which uses one hundred ancient Japanese short poems. "CARDUTA" is a made-up word from "card" and the Japanese word "uta", which means "songs".

The full set includes 48 word cards and 48 word-and-picture cards, with the cards containing quotations (and half-quotations) from Shakespeare's plays. For example, a word card might read "No profit grows where is no pleasure taken.", while the corresponding word-and-picture card reads only "where is no pleasure taken", with the picture giving a clue to the first half of the quote.

To play, lay out all the picture cards face-up on the table. One person draws a word card and reads the first half of it; everyone else looks for the matching picture card, with the first player to pick up the correct card claiming it. The next player then draws a word card, etc. The player who claims the most picture cards wins.

Shakespeare CARDUTA is also available in two half-game versions: a Tragedy Set and a Comedy Set, each with 24 word cards and 24 picture cards.

Other Information:
• Price €10, for either the Comedy or Tragedy half-set. Each contains 24 word cards and 24 picture cards, while the full set contains all 96 cards.

•••

In addition to the Shakespeare CARDUTA half sets described above, Japon Brand will carry the following games at Spiel 2011, which are grouped below by publisher. Clicking the game name brings you to that page in the BGG database; clicking "preview" brings you to that game listing in the Spiel 2011 Preview.

——Arclight
Blanc Noir (€30, preview)
Dynamite Nurse Returns (€40, preview)
Idol Project (€40, preview)
Kemomimi Panic (€30, preview)
Kunitori! Kessen: The Battle of Moegahara (€30, preview)
Kunitori! Tenka: Is the World on Fire? (€40, preview)

——Broccoli
EndBreaker! SCG: Build & Break (€45, preview)
EndBreaker! SCG: Build & Break - AmatsuKagura (€45, preview)

——DTP Publishing
Shakespeare CARDUTA (full set for €19, preview)

——Kanai Factory
Master Merchant (€10, preview)

——Kings Plate (self-published)
Kings Plate: Classic (€160, preview)
Kings Plate: Card Game - Series 1 (€16, preview)
Kings Plate: Card Game - Series II (€16)
Kings Plate: Card Game - Series III (€16)

——OKAZU Brand
String Railway: Transport (€24, preview)

——Pigphone
CryptidsTV (€24, preview)

To preorder titles for pick-up at Spiel 2011, follow the instructions in the publisher heading above.

•••

Japanime Games, owned by Cardhaus, will have the English-language edition of Tanto Cuore (€35, preview), as well as the Japanese-language expansions/standalone games Tanto Cuore: Expanding the House (€40, preview) and Tanto Cuore: Romantic Vacation (€40, preview).
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Board Game Publisher: Jira's Games
• Booth 9-21
230. Board Game: Space Bastards [Average Rating:5.93 Overall Rank:6322]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Czech
English
German
Description:

Space Bastards is a science-fiction game in which players try to occupy several small planets with their five races of aliens, which have varied relationships between each other. Players try to manage and effectively use those aliens' relationships – whether to eat opponents, create new alien babies, trade goods, and so on – to their advantage for profit. Races are also determined by their size and shape, and planets are too small for everyone...

Space Bastards is probably the first game with a relationship management system. Relationships – that is, defined relations between two races of aliens – are connected to the game actions of the players. Players use these relationships to occupy planets and have a majority there. Relationships are: Love (born new alien - Bastard), Hungry (eat enemy alien bastard - enemy is removed from the planet), War (shot enemy alien bastard which dead body will fill the planet), Trade, Friendship, Migration (traveling by spaceship), Mutation (transform to a different alien) and Political propaganda (changing the relationships).

Space Bastards is a game in which you can enjoy and observe the picturesque aliens as small animals in an aquarium – while siccing them on your opponents, of course...

Other Information: • Price €23, if you come to Jira's booth and shout "Space Bastards!!!"
Otherwise, €1,000,000.

• Only 300 copies available.
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Board Game Publisher: Le Joueur
• Booth 5-59

• In addition to offering discounted prices for purchases on Thursday morning – a nice idea to encourage early sales and game buzz – Le Joueur is taking preorders for pick-up at Spiel 2011 for the games listed below as well as other items. Cité, for example, is only €25 via preorder instead of €35, while Sandwich is reduced from €10 to €8.50 and Déluges is cut in half from €30 to €15.
231. Board Game: Cité [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:7091]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

In this fledgling city, things have yet to be built, and opportunities to carve out a commercial empire abound. However, in order to erect the city's largest districts, you'll have to be a shrewd negotiator and a wise spender.

Cité includes wood cubes, metal nuggets, pieces of fabric, stones, and more to represent the resources and tiles of different sizes to represent buildings. A building brings you resources and has special effects on other buildings in the neighborhood.

In each of the seven turns, you collect resources, possibly exchange them with the other players, and build new constructions. All other rules, namely the effects of buildings, are written on the tiles.

Each neighborhood tends to specialize in a few resources, but to undergo new construction you will need a little bit of everything, so there are many trade-based interactions between players. Cité illustrates the workings and limits of mainstream economic theory like the Hecksche-Ohlin model and improves your negotiation skills.

Everybody plays at the same time, so you never wait, making Cité quite quick for this category of game.

Other Information: • Price €35 (discounted on Thursday morning); preorder info with discount in the publisher box above.

Cité was available in extremely small quantities at Spiel 2010, and only sixty copies have crossed the Atlantic to the U.S., so I thought it worthwhile to include the game in this Preview.
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232. Board Game: Déluges [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:9249]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

Déluges, the board game! At 20,000 BC, Earth knows the end of an ice age, characterized by a meltdown and a major rising waters. During this period, which ends around 6000 BC, the sea level rises almost 130 meters.

The goal is to develop your civilization before it is swallowed by the waves. To develop your civilization, you must distribute, collect and share resources with other players. But if the players overexploit the resources and develop too quickly, they impoverish the land, the water will rise and the play area will get smaller. Additionally you can take the competing populations and force them to work as slaves, but you must also work to keep your population from turning into fanatics or becoming enslaved. The players earn points for both how developed their civilization is and how sustainable it is.

Other Information: • Price €30 (discounted on Thursday morning); preorder info with discount in the publisher box above.

• As with Cité, Déluges was released in extremely small quantities in 2010, so it merits a full entry for this Preview.
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233. Board Game: L'Aventure c'est dur [Average Rating:5.87 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Catalan
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

The kingdom of Fayrune finds itself in terrible peril. Peasants are in uproar over the Dragon scouring the countryside, burning crops to the ground, and leaving naught but an enormous singe-mark where crops meant to feed the realm once stood. Worse still, the Dragon is never sated and has now taken to devouring livestock.

With his knights on the run, the King issues a final, desperate plea to those who would slay the beast, promising his daughter's hand in marriage as a reward.

In L'Aventure c'est dur you are one of those brave/foolish souls who have stepped forward to travel across the land and attempt to slay the Dragon. First, you must play "Land" cards, each of which specifies a distance, to travel one hundred miles (80 with five or more players) Milles Bornes-style and reach the Dragon's lair. Once there, you use "Combat" cards that have accumulated in your hand to try to exhaust the Dragon's hit points and the princess' hand.

Other Information: • Price €10 (discounted on Thursday morning); preorder information in the publisher box above.
 
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234. Board Game: Sandwich [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:4241]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Catalan
English
French
German
Description:

In the card game Sandwich, you want to prepare the best sandwiches possible – well, the least disgusting ones anyway – with the ingredients you collect.

At the start of the game, each player is dealt nine ingredient cards face-down; ingredients range from the traditional (tomato, cheese) to the more unusual (mussels, melon). Each player stacks these nine cards face-down. At the same time, they each take the top card of their stack and reveal them in the center of the table. Each player then grabs one card that he desires, possibly his own. This process is repeated nine times, giving each player nine ingredients that they "chose".

Each player then creates three sandwiches, each containing three of their nine ingredients. The players give one sandwich to three neighbors on the left (dividing them differently in a three-player game), so that everyone has three sandwiches in front of them created by other players. Players then take turns "tasting" the sandwiches on their plate, reading the ingredients aloud, then stating which one sounds best (worth 3 points for its creator), which is second-best (2 points) and which would be left on the plate (0 points).

After three complete rounds – nine sandwiches total – the player with the most points wins.

Other Information: • Price €10 (reduced on Thursday morning)

• Preorder information in the publisher box above.
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Board Game Publisher: Kaissa Chess & Games
• Booth 4-308
235. Board Game: Souvlaki Wars [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:3099]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Greek
Description:

In Souvlaki Wars, players are owners of Greek restaurants serving traditional greek fast food like "souvlaki" and "gyros". They try to attract new customers, making sure they can serve them in time, increasing their fortune and fame at the same time.

Of course, this is easier said than done as many things can go wrong while trying to serve a customer: People change their minds, orders go wrong and restaurant owners try to sabotage each other.

Can you become the most successful Greek restaurant owner?

Souvlaki Wars is a light family card game for 2-4 players. Players draft new customers and try to serve them with food cards they draw at the beginning of each turn. This way they earn the money and the reputation each customer represents. However, before they have a chance to do so, cards with "Unforeseen Events" are played by every player, affecting the game in many different ways like altering the order in lines, adding more customers, decreasing the opponent's reputation etc. And of course, each player has to take into consideration that the customers are served on a first-come basis. If someone's order can't be fulfilled, everyone behind him will have to wait another turn...

The first player to reach a certain level of money and reputation is declared the winner.

The game is going to be published by the Greek company "Kaissa Chess & Games" during 2011. It is going to be bilingual, having text both in Greek and English. Its international debut will be at the 2011 Spiel Essen fair.

- Winner of BGG's Greek Guild's 1st Game Design Contest in the category: "Best Game"

Other Information: • Price €15

• Designer Vangelis Bagiartakis wrote a designer diary about Souvlaki Wars for BGG News in October 2011.
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Board Game Publisher: Kanai Factory
• Booth 4-123 (Japon Brand)
236. Board Game: Master Merchant [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:4132]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Japanese
Description:

A merchant's job doesn't consist of simply sitting around and earning money. Sometimes they need to sell their shirt to call for help from others. Sometimes they need to banter and fight for prices. And sometimes they have to swallow their tears and abandon all they have built. If you can overcome these hurdles, earn the trust of people and build up a fortune, then you will be a true master merchant.

Master Merchant is a "hand-building" card game along the lines of the "deck-building" genre started by Dominion, except that players have no deck – only a hand of cards and a discard pile.

Players start with a hand of two cards: "Steal one gold from all players with four or more gold" and "Buy a card from the town". On each turn a player can play up to two cards from his hand, either face up to gain a card's effect or face down to gain one gold.

The "town" consists of ten different types of cards, which cost 1-4 gold. All cards played and purchased go into a player's personal discard pile, which is open information to all players. If a player starts his turn with no cards, he picks up his entire discard pile. The first player to get eight gold or eight different cards wins the game.

This game's setting is same as Mai-Star, which is from the same designer, artist and publisher.

Other Information: • Price €10

• Available through the Japon Brand booth (4-123)
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Board Game Publisher: Kiehly
• Booth 7-106
237. Board Game: Moeraki: Kemu [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 25 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Moeraki - Kemu is about the rivalry between two Maori tribes on the southern island of New Zealand: the Matau (hooks) and the Manala (birds).

The game is played on a diagonal grid, with the players playing pieces on the intersections. The basic game is played as follows:

At the start of the game, the first player places the neutral Moeraki-ball on one of the nine central intersections of the board. After that, the players take turns placing one of their own pieces on the board. When a square is on the board is completely enclosed by pieces, the player who has the majority (normally 3:1, but it can be 2:1 or 3:0 next to the edge or the neutral Moeraki-ball) claims the field and places a tribe marker on it.

The game can be won in one of four ways:
1. Tahuna (beach): A player wins if he has enclosed a field with four of his own pieces.
2. Awa (river): A player wins if he has a piece on each of the intersections on one of the diagonal lines from one edge to another edge.
3. Ara (road): A player wins if he has a piece on each of the four intersections on one edge.
4. Marae (holy ground): When all the fields in the center have been claimed, players count the number of tribal markers they have got on the board (markers that are on the edge and that have been claimed with a 2:1 majority count only half). The player with the most markers wins the game.

The players win several matches, until one of them has won the pre-determined amount of matches.

In the advanced version of the game, both players receive a Maori-Tane (warrior). Once during the game, a player may place the Tane on the board instead of a tribal marker. When he does so, all he chooses a direction. Any fields between the Tane and the edge in that direction cannot be claimed; any markers already present are removed.

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Board Game Publisher: KOSMOS
• Booths 12-17 & 12-20
238. Board Game: Die Fürsten von Catan: Finstere Zeiten [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 60 − 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

The Rivals for Catan: Age of Darkness, a 90-card expansion for The Rivals for Catan, includes three separate theme sets that can be used with the base game:

The Era of Intrigue – You will witness the confrontation of followers of new and old beliefs and take part to determine Catan's spiritual balance. "Religious Dispute" causes both players to lose cards; Churches and Temples minimize losses; Temple cards strengthen your access to your own draw stacks. Church cards lure opposing heroes and earn gold. With a Church and a Temple, you may build the Great Thing stead and end the conflict.

The Era of Merchant Princes – Using the "Commercial Harbor" and the "Merchant's Residences", decisive buildings in the struggle for trade advantage, players try to control Catan's commerce. "Maritime Trade Monopolies" and the "Master Merchants" enhance trade ships. "The Shipbuilder" reduces the building costs of ships. Dominate trade using clever card combinations!

The Era of Barbarians – Use Castles, Border Fortresses, the Strategist, the Caravel, and new heroes to fend off both the barbarian attacks and your rival's efforts to dominate your holdings.

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239. Board Game: Gregs Tagebuch: Stinkekäse [Average Rating:4.84 Overall Rank:10930]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 30 − 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Move your mover – either Greg, Rowley, Fregley or Manny – around the game board. Depending on where you end up, you’ll be playing different categories. In Who Said What all players will secretly write down an answer to a question like if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Go through the answers and try to guess who said what. Correct answers move you closer to finish. But wrong answers can give you the cheese. Try to get rid of it as fast as you can.

For 3 or 4 players, ages 7 and up.

Contents: Game board,4 movers, game cards, card box, cheese piece, game die, rules

-From the Publisher's website

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240. Board Game: Die große Baden-Württemberg Quiz-Reise [Average Rating:6.20 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 60 minutes
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Quiz about the German state Baden-Württemberg. Categories include City & Country, Dialect & Tradition, Arts & Culture, Politics & History, Economy & Science, Sports & Leisure.

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241. Board Game: Helvetia [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:719]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

The cover and name might have you thinking trivia game, but Matthias Cramer has something else in mind for you in Helvetia.

You and your fellow players run small but busy mountain villages in the Swiss Alps where you work, build and trade. But life isn't only about work. Your village baker longs for a partner, and the farmer's son has his eye on the dashing woodcutter in the neighboring village.

So let the wedding bells ring and marry off that farmer's son in the village of another player, thereby earning you additional income. And surely your village baker will find a woman from a neighboring village to move in with him. Before you know it, their offspring will be new citizens in your village.

Your goal in Helvetia is to build new homes, bring culture to your village, and sell essential goods at market. Whatever strategy you choose, this village life won't be boring – especially in the villages that grow and thrive!

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242. Board Game: Der Hobbit [Average Rating:6.10 Overall Rank:2660]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
German
Description:

The Hobbit is a novel that tells the tale of a diminutive hero that, with the help of a group of stalwart dwarves, sets off to infiltrate Smaug’s lair in an effort to plunder the dragon’s vast hoard of treasure. Now it's your turn to take on the roles of the dwarves, aiding Bilbo in his monumental quest to defy the odds and become a legend...

The Hobbit is a board game of adventure and treasure for 2-5 players. On his quest to the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo Baggins will need assistance and guidance from his stoic dwarf companions. As one of these dwarves, it is your responsibility to aide Bilbo on his journey and ensure that you recover the treasure that is destined for you.

Conceived by acclaimed designer Reiner Knizia, The Hobbit features elegant game play, combining strategic card play with the unpredictability of dice rolling. The objective of the game is to be the player who accumulates the most treasure by the end of the adventure. Treasure is won through Adventure Cards, which are drawn when Bilbo enters an Adventure Space. Adventure Cards present players with a challenge that can be overcome by using the game's custom dice.

Bilbo's dwarven companions have three stats that influence their ability to complete Adventures: Cunning, Strength, and Initiative. Cunning allows the player to re-roll dice when resolving Adventure Cards, Strength provides a number of axes to Adventure checks, and finally Initiative determines which player draws the Adventure Card first and how many shields they will contribute to battle.

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243. Board Game: Linq [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1462]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 4 − 8
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

US-edition

Creator (original version): Erik Nielsen
Publisher: Endless Games

From Publisher Website: 4 Cards... 1 Pair... 100 reasons why you SHOULD be right. It's not a word game. It's not a strategy game. It's not a bluffing game, yet all three of these elements are combined in this uniquely simple, excitingly fun, and extremely addictive game: Linq. The object of the game is to guess which two players are the Linq. If you are the Linq, you must think like your partner, and connect with them. The only problem is... You don't know who your partner is!

German edition

artwork: Sebastian Wagner
editor: Andrea Meyer
publisher: BeWitched-Spiele
game length: ca. 45 minutes

Linq combines bluff elements with associative gaming. 4-8 players ages 10 and up try to find their ever changing partners by associating freely to their LINQ-words. An intuitive scoring mechanism shows who was best able to linq with the others in the end.

The game contains 58 card pairs with nearly 700 words, 4 question marks, wooden pieces for counting points, a 12-sided die, and the rulebook.

French edition

artwork: Pierre Lechevalier (aka Piero)
publisher: In Ludo Veritas

Two spies have to meet each other. All they have in common is a password.

All the others players are counterspies triyng to identify and confuse them.

The game contains 2 * 50 spy cards with 10 words each (500 different passwords ),
10 counterspy cards, counters, rulebook

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244. Board Game: Mein Hundequiz [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Translated game description from the publisher:

What do you know about dogs? In this exciting trivia game, you can put your knowledge to the test and learn new and interesting things about dogs.

How does a dog's sense of smell compare to that of a man? What does a puppy get out of playing with a squeaky toy? The exciting questions and multiple choice answers in Mein Hundequiz are complemented by brilliant dog photos.

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245. Board Game: Rapa Nui [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1475]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Translated game description from the publisher:

Plunge into a mysterious culture at the other end of the world - Rapa Nui, Easter Island!

Become a powerful tribal chief and decide which valuable tribe members will next serve your village: loggers, priests or hunters and gatherers? Or would you rather erect an impressive stone statue more valuable than anything else?

The game system is refined and novel: Take one card from the general display and reveal the card lying underneath – which could be disastrous for all! Only those who make the right decisions and win a little favor from the gods will lead his tribe to eternal glory.

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246. Board Game: Scheibenwelt: Ankh-Morpork [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:362]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 11 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Martin Wallace and Treefrog Games present Ankh-Morpork, set in the largest city-state in Terry Pratchett's Discworld. Lord Vetinari has disappeared and different factions are trying to take control of the city. Each player has a secret personality with specific victory conditions, which means that you're not sure exactly what the other players need to do in order to win.

The action takes place on a map of Ankh-Morpork, with players trying to place minions and buildings through card play. Each of the 132 cards is unique, and "the cards bring the game to life as they include most of the famous characters that have appeared in the various books. The rules are relatively simple: Play a card and do what it says. Most cards have more than one action on them, and you can choose to do some or all of these actions. Some cards also allow you to play a second card, so you can chain actions" (Wallace).

A team of artists have recreated the city and its residents for the cards, game board and box, with Bernard Pearson coordinating that team. Ankh-Morpork has been sublicensed to Mayfair Games for the North American market and Kosmos for the German market.

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247. Board Game: Die Siedler von Catan: Aufbruch der Händler [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:2470]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In the late Middle Ages, trade flourished in Europe. Economic groups like the Hanseatic League, the Welser and Fugger families, and merchants from Northern Italy established trading posts and factories in all of the important cities throughout Europe. These businesses provided the population with goods of all kinds, such as fur from the north, cloth from Flanders, wine from the south, and spices from India. The most important commodity of all was salt. In the Middle Ages salt was highly prized it was used to preserve food.

In Catan Histories: Merchants of Europe, you are a powerful merchant! Start your trading posts in three cities. Recruit new merchants and send them to distant cities to establish trading posts and expand your interests. The more trading posts you have, the more commodities are at your disposal which you can sell profitably in foreign
cities. To ensure that your commodities arrive safely at their destination, you must open up trade routes and equip caravans. You win the game if you are the first to deliver all of your commodities to foreign cities.

Catan Histories: Merchants of Europe is a twist on the 2010 release Settlers of America: Trails to Rails from designer Klaus Teuber and publisher Mayfair Games. Game play is similar in both games: Players start with three locations on the game board, collect resources depending on a die roll, spend resources to move and build, and branch out to new locations with a long-term goal of delivering goods to opponents' cities. The first player to deliver all of his goods wins the game.

Instead of being played on a fixed game board showing a Catan-ified map of the United States, Die Siedler von Catan: Aufbruch der Händler is set on a Catan-ified map of Europe – which isn't a surprise given that Kosmos is a European publisher. Instead of moving from east to west to mimic the settling of the U.S. by Europeans, players start in the middle of Europe, namely Germany.

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248. Board Game: Star Wars: Angriff der Rebellen [Average Rating:4.92 Overall Rank:10587]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Star Wars: Angriff der Rebellen, the crucial battle against the Empire is about to begin, and countless space battles await you. Can you face off against a TIE Fighter, a Star Destroyer, or even the Death Star itself?

During this mission you'll encounter many allies, such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo or Yoda, who can aide you in exciting dice duels. Whoever can defeat the strongest Imperial spaceships at the end of the game wins.

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249. Board Game: Turmbauer [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:3251]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description: In the game of Cornerstone Essential, players build and climb their towers, working together in teams or in a head to head race to reach the top. Each turn players build by strategically placing blocks, gaining a better vantage point for the Climber or blocking an opponent. Players will test their dexterity and mental ability as they try to outmaneuver their opponents and beat them to the top. With every move the game gets more exciting as the towers grow taller and the structure more unstable.
Can you reach the top before it falls?

Re-implements:

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250. Board Game: Wer bellt denn da? [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Wer bellt denn da? is a 2011 release along the lines of Lach and Rapp's earlier "Top3" series from Kosmos. Players reveal three cards showing various dog breeds and are then confronted with a dog-related question, such as

• Which breed is most popular among Germans: Dachsund, Golden Retriever or German Shepherd?
• Which of these dogs needs more outdoor play space?

Place the dogs in the correct order and you earn points. Whoever knows the most about dogs – or uses their intuition the best – will howl with victory.

Other Information: I did mention that we're aiming for comprehensive coverage, right?
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