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: Queen Games
• Booth 5-30 & 10-16

• Other titles due to be present at Spiel 2011 include:

Alhambra (new box – not sure whether the game play differs at all)
–Games released earlier in 2011: Lancaster, Mammut, Paris Connection, and ShowManager
– Reprints of a number of games, including Shogun and Chicago Express

• The languages listed for each game will likely change as I suspect each title is multiligual, but don't know that now. I will update these listings once I receive additional information.
326. Board Game: Lancaster: The New Laws [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.58 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Lancaster: The New Laws introduces 18 new laws for the Lancaster board game on which the players can vote. These law cards can replace those in the original game or be mixed with them.

Other Information: • MSRP $20 (new, lower price on the sellsheet that I received on Oct. 6, 2011)
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327. Board Game: Res Publica [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:3261]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

In Res Publica you are the will of the people, guiding five ancient civilizations to greater heights of power and technology.

Each turn, the active player makes a trade offer... and each player in turn responds in kind. Using the cards and the information gained through the trading process, players work to acquire five identical people cards in order to build a city (which increases the number of cards you can draw each turn) or five identical technology cards in order to build a monument (which garners end game victory points).

At the end of the game, players total the points achieved via cities and monuments and the one who has the most wins.

Other Information: • MSRP $30
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328. Board Game: Samarkand: Routes to Riches – Family Connection [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

Family ties are established even tighter now. Being merchants, the players equip their sons and daughters with goods and gems and send them out to travel the trading routes. The only thing still missing is the adequate partner. Which marriage is most promising?

Components:

20 caravan children - 10 "sons" boards and 10 "daughters" boards
15 neutral goods markers
67 - gems (in 5 colors)
10 coins
10 son/daughter markers

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329. Board Game: Sparta [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:8086]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

In the strategic game Sparta, set in 228 B.C., you will relive the fascinating experience of skillful Spartan and Achaean warriors. Will Sparta seize power, or will the Achaeans maintain their stance?

Designer Yannick Holtkamp developed this strategic game at the age of 12. Still at school at age 14 in late 2011, he is enrolled as a science student at the University of Düsseldorf.

User summary:

The game is played on a 10x10 grid. Each player starts with a row of eight fighters on their side of the board. In the middle rows of the board, there are eight cities - each player owns four of these.

Each turn, a player may move one of their fighters up to two squares in any direction, changing direction between the moves if so desired.

If the fighter ends its turn in one of his own cities, he is promoted to a hero, and may move up to three squares on future turns.

If the fighter ends its turn on an opposing city, the city is conquered; it now belongs to the player that conquered it.

If, after the move, there are pieces trapped in between two opposing pieces, they are captured and removed from the board. Pieces are trapped if they are between pieces of the other side along a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row without a vacant square in between.

The game ends if one of the following happens:

  • One player owns all cities. That player wins the game.
  • One player has only one piece left on the board. His opponent wins the game.
  • Both players have only one or two pieces left on the board. The player with the most cities wins the game.

Other Information: • MSRP $33
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330. Board Game: Wallenstein (second edition) [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:533]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

The 2012 rerelease of Wallenstein tweaks the 2002 title from designer Dirk Henn and publisher Queen Games, while including two new expansions.

The setting and game play of the two games are mostly the same. In 1625, the Thirty Years' War is underway, and military leaders like Albrecht von Wallenstein and Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim are roaming the country, fighting for land, and trying to establish the best of everything for themselves. The game lasts two "years," with players taking actions in the spring, summer, and fall, then possibly suffering from grain shortage and revolts in the winter before scoring points for the year. After two years, the player with the most points – with points being scored for land and buildings under one's control – wins.

In each of the "action" seasons, ten action cards are shuffled, then laid out, with five face-up and the rest face-down. The five bonus tiles (which provide extra money, grain, or armies) are also laid out. Each player then secretly assigns one of his county cards (or a blank card) to each of the ten actions on his individual player board, in addition to bidding for player order and choice of bonus tile.

After revealing that round's event card and determining player order, players carry out actions in the order determined earlier, revealing which county is taking the current action, then revealing the next face-down action, thus giving players some information about when actions will occur, but not all. Taxing a county or taking grain from it can increase the chance of a revolt during winter, but without money you can't deploy troops or build palaces or churches and without grain you increase the chance of revolt.

Combat and revolts are handled via a dice tower in which players drop army units and peasants (colored wooden cubes) into the top of the tower and see which ones emerge in the bottom tray (representing the fighting forces for that combat) and which get stuck in the tower's baffles to possibly emerge in the future.

Wallenstein includes two expansions: "Emperor's Court," in which a player's army tokens that fall from the dice tower at the start of the game become courtiers who compete for favors (special actions) from the emperor; a player can convert armies to courtiers during the game, and whoever has the most courtiers in the court's entrance hall each turn gets first shot at the favors available. "Landsknechte," which can be used with "Emperor's Court" or on its own, consists of a set of four cards for each player stacked in a particular order. If after determining turn order, a player controls counties in four different regions, he removes the top card from the stack, then takes one of the bonuses (such as money or armies in the tray) shown on the newly revealed card. This stack resets after winter ends.

Other Information: • MSRP $80

• I initially listed the 2002 version of Wallenstein in this Preview, but the 2011 publication includes two expansions and some tweaks to the rules of the original game.
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Board Game Publisher: Quined Games
• Booth 5-41
331. Board Game: Alba Longa [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:3049]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

Early Italy, 600 BCE – Five city states are vying each other for superiority in the region: Roma with their Roman inhabitants, Velletri with the Volscian inhabitants, Reate with their Sabin inhabitants, Veii with their Etruscian inhabitants, and Alba Longa with their Latin inhabitans. Each player controls a city state and tries to be the first to have 16+ population and 10 monuments. This city state is destined to be a glorious power of the Ancient World!

A game of Alba Longa offers a fine combination of dice selection, city management, and worker assignment (inside your own city), and is spiced up with the ingredient of city combat (soldiers and heroes)! Inside the box are three big variants – Assisi, A Job Well Done, and Spoils of War – which can be added and combined at your will and which add even more longevity to this game!

In prototype form, under the name The Great Pyramid, this design was one of four winners of the 2009 Concours International de Créateurs de Jeux de Société, a design competition run by Centre National du Jeu in France. Here's what the jury said about the game: The Great Pyramid is rich with an astonishing number of possible strategies but manages to convey the clarity of the whole mechanism. The choices offered to the players are numerous and present a contentious interaction too rare in this kind of game.

Other Information: • Designer Graeme Jahns wrote a designer diary for Alba Longa that ran on BGG News on September 1, 2011.
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Board Game Publisher: R&R Games
• Booth 5-100 (R&R Games won't be present at Spiel 2011, but Ticked Off's designer Ted Alspach has a booth for his own Bézier Games and will have copies of the game on hand)
332. Board Game: Ticked Off [Average Rating:5.73 Overall Rank:8120]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 10
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In each round of Ticked Off, players are shown a category, then take turns making claims of how many items they could list in that category.

Seems straightforward – but naturally there's a twist! Once all but one person has passed on increasing the target bid, a second category is revealed and each player then lists as many items as possible – but from only one of the two categories. Players then compare answers and mark out duplicates, scoring one point for each unique answer; the bidder scores two points for each unique answer, but only if he meets his bid. In addition, each player scores additional points if he listed more answers than the number bid.

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Board Game Publisher: Rallyman
• Booth 5-59

• In addition to the Rallyman: Dirt expansion, Jean-Christophe Bouvier will have copies of the fourth edition of Rallyman (€40). Despite this being the fourth edition, Bouvier explains on BGG that the game changes involve production issues – smaller cards, cardboard markers instead of plastic, etc., all to adjust the final price point for larger distribution – rather than changes to the actual game design.

Preorders are possible via the Rallyman.fr website for pick-up at Spiel 2011 or delivery via mail after the show ends.
333. Board Game: Rallyman: Dirt [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.12 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 9 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Experience a new game, played on dirt, asphalt, snow, and combination stages!

Rallyman: Dirt, produced in an edition of 1,500 copies, adds new terrain to the Rallyman basic game and requires the basic game to play. Dirt rallies are characterized by sliding, double down shifting, track sweeping, river crossings, and new tire choices – soft tires and gravel tires – to help you improve lap times. These tracks will require all your skills with the Micro Rally Car to be mastered!

Other Information: • MSRP €30; preorders are possible via the Rallyman.fr website for pick-up at Spiel 2011 or delivery via mail.
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Board Game Publisher: Ravensburger Spieleverlag GmbH
• Booth 11-01
334. Board Game: Casa Grande [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:2987]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Casa Grande players try to develop well-located building lots in order to construct large and tall buildings on them. Opponents can use your buildings for their own purposes, and the final result should be one large magnificant house – "casa grande" – after another.

Casa Grande is played on a game board that shows a square grid for the building area, which is framed by a track. At the start of the game, each player receives a number of building blocks and differently-shaped platforms. Each player also receives five bonus points and one pawn, which is placed on the track.

The game is played in turns with some elements being similar to Burkhardt's own Kupferkessel Co. At the start of his turn, the player rolls the die and moves his pawn forward on the track as many spaces as the number rolled. By expending bonus points, the player may move his pawn further. Then, the player must place one building block on the board in the column or row corresponding to the space on the track where his pawn is located. If he now has the building blocks needed to support one of his platforms, he may place that platform on top of the building blocks. If he does so, he gains an amount of money (Casa Grande Lire) based on the size of the platform and the level at which it was built.

After a platform has been added, building blocks may be added on top of the platform. If another player builds on top of your platform, you gain a number of bonus points. You also gain bonus points if your pawn ends its move on a corner (in which you don't get to place a building block). If a player accumulates nine or more bonus points, he receives nine Casa Grande Lire, but loses the bonus points.

The game ends at the end of the round in which a player has placed his last building block. The player who has collected the most money wins.

Other Information: • Price €27
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335. Board Game: Das Elektronik Labyrinth [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:5525]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
German
Description:

The wicked witch Grimelda has cursed the wizard Akata and imprisoned him in a magic book. As you are brave adventurers, you venture into the magic labyrinth to free the wizard – but you cannot do this without the help of its inhabitants. Visit the inhabitants and bring them certain items. You will receive coveted magic stones as a reward! The first player to fill his magic key with the magic stones and return to his starting field wins. But beware! Danger lurks everywhere...

In Das Elektronik Labyrinth, designer Reiner Knizia marries his facility for electronics in board games (e.g., Wer war's? and Die Insel) with Max J. Kobbert's long-running Labyrinth series of games from Ravensburger.

The basic game play is the same as in The aMAZEing Labyrinth. The board has a set of tiles fixed solidly onto it; the remaining tiles slide in and out of the rows created by the fixed tiles to make up the labyrinth. One tile stands outside the labyrinth, and on a player's turn, he takes this tile and slides it into a row, moving all the tiles and pushing one out the other side of the board, which becomes the piece for the next player to add to the maze.

After inserting the tile, the player may move his pawn. Each player starts on a corner of the game board and must reach the starting location diagonally opposite. If he manages to do so, he gains a number of magic stones. A player can also acquire magic stones from the inhabitants of the labyrinth. If a player lands on an inhabitant, it tells the players what item it desires. A player who finds the item, with items being scattered throughout the labyrinth, can deliver it to the inhabitant for a reward. What's more, an inhabitant may give a visiting player a treasure chest to be delivered to another inhabitant, also for a reward.

In order to complete his magic key and free the wizard, a player needs fifteen magic stones. The first player that returns to his starting location with a complete key wins.

The game comes with a "book" containing electronics. This book takes care of all the interactions with the inhabitants of the labyrinth. Whenever a player interacts with an inhabitant, he pushes the corresponding buttons from the book, and the book will respond by telling the player his assignment, reward, etc.

Other Information: • Price €37
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336. Board Game: Elfer raus! Master [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

The card game Elfer raus! Master uses the same basic game play as the decades old Elfer raus, but adds a few twists. The game is played using a deck of 103 cards, consisting of:

  • 84 number cards, numbered 1 to 21 in four colours;
  • 15 connection cards;
  • 4 jokers.

There are also seven bonus cards used in scorekeeping.

At the beginning of the game, the eleven of each color is placed in the middle of the table in a column. The other number cards and the jokers are shuffled together, and each player receives a number of those cards as well as a number of connection cards. The goal of the game is to play all of your number and joker cards by building a grid – four rows, each from one to twenty-one.

Each turn, you may play up to four cards from your hand. If you cannot play a card, or don't want to, you draw one card from the draw pile. The cards must be played according to the following rules:

  • You must place a number card next to a card that is one higher or lower of the same colour and that is already on the table. So, the red twelve must be placed next to the red eleven, and the red thirteen must be placed next to the red twelve (or in front of the red fourteen). So, the red thirteen cannot be played if neither the twelve nor the fourteen has been played unless you use a connection card.
  • Alternatively, you can use a connection card to place a card above or below a card with the same number and a different colour. For example, if the green row is above the yellow row, and the green nine has already been played, you may use a connection card to play the yellow nine in the yellow row. The connection cards are not part of your hand, so they don't count toward the maximum of four cards that you may play during a round.
  • A joker may be placed instead of any other number cards. If a player has a number card whose spot is occupied by a joker, he may exchange that card for the joker.

If a player completes a segment from one to eleven or from eleven to twenty-one, he receives a bonus card.

The game ends when a player has played the last card from his hand. Then, points are counted:

  • Each bonus card is worth 11 points.
  • Each number card that a player still holds is worth as many minus points as its value.
  • Each joker that a player still holds is worth 11 minus points.

The player with the highest score wins.

Reimplements:

 
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337. Board Game: In Deutschland unterwegs [Average Rating:5.75 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In In Deutschland unterwegs players use an electronic tiptoi pen (not included) to travel through the German landscape and visit as many of the predetermined locations as possible. Each player has different locations to visit, but they share vehicles – and going faster won't necessarily be better. By answering questions about the geography of Germany, players can earn extra points.

The game is played on a board that shows a map of Germany, with several cities connected by roads. At the beginning of the game, each player receives six destination cards. Two car pawns are placed at the start location at the center of the board.

Now, the players take turns moving one of the cars one space along one of the roads. If a player moves a car onto a city, a player who has the matching destination card may play it. If the destination card is played, the player whose turn it is gets to answer a question asked by the tiptoi pen. If he answers correctly, he gains one point; if he answers incorrectly, his left neighbor gets a chance to answer the question correctly for one point.

Next to cities, a car can also end on an intermediate space, which may have a special meaning:

  • Swift ride: The player gets to take another turn.
  • Question: The player gets to answer a question from the tiptoi pen for a point.
  • Joker: The player gets to play one of his destination cards, as if the corresponding city has just been visited (which also triggers a question from the pen).

The game ends when a player has played all his destination cards; that player scores one point. A final question follows which allows all players to score additional points. Then, each player adds the number of destination cards played to his points. The player with the highest total score wins.

Other Information: • Price €20
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338. Board Game: Rette die Million! [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Rette die Million! is an adaption of a quiz show in which participants compete in teams of two and start with €1 million in forty bundles of €25,000 each. The two-player team is confronted with two categories and chooses one of them from which to answer a multiple-choice question. The first four questions have four answers, the next three only three answers, and the final question only two answers.

The guessers must wager all of the money they have on each question, and they can divide their bets on multiple answers if they like – but one answer must have no money applied toward it. They keep whatever money was bet on the correct answer and lose everything else. If they run out of money before all eight questions, they're out of the game.

In a two-player game, one player is the quizmaster and the other the guesser. When the round ends, they switch places, and the player who keeps the largest sum of money wins. With more than two players, the player split into multiple teams; each team gives answers for one round, one player from another team is the quizmaster, and everyone else hoots and hollers whenever the first team goofs up and loses money.

Other Information: • Price €33
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339. Board Game: Schnappt Hubi! [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:3549]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In the cooperative deduction game Schnappt Hubi!, which uses an electronic device similar to the one in Wer war's?, the players explore an old house by building a 3D-labyrinth of "broken" walls in the first phase and chasing a ghost in the second.

Each player starts with his figure – a red or yellow mouse or blue or green hare – in one predetermined corner of the square house, which features a 4x4 grid of rooms that lacks any walls at the start of the game. The players find out which kind of walls are in certain directions by pressing one of four "arrow buttons" of a "compass" device with a built-in AI (to ensure that each game will have a different house). Walls come in four types: One that allows all animals to pass through, one with a mousehole that allows only mice through, one with a hole in the top that only hares can jump through, and one that's solid and impassable. The players build those walls, creating step-by-step a 3D-labyrinth. The goal of this first phase is to find the "magic doors", which can be opened only if there is an animal on each side.

Once the players find the magic doors, the ghost "Hubi" appears. The device gives hints to the players, allowing them to deduce where Hubi is so that ideally they can eventually chase it out of the house.

Schnappt Hubi! includes three difficulty levels, with a "timer" running in the hardest level that ends the game after a certain number of moves.

Other Information: • Price €37
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340. Board Game: Tom und Tina: Die geheimnisvolle Maske [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

A "point and click" adventure played in reality.

This is an interactive audio drama presenting the first adventure of Tom and Tina (two kids, about 9 and 12 years old).

The player (or the team of players) interacts by touching the material of the game with an electronic pen - the Tiptoi (not included in the game).

The Tiptoi narrates the aventure of the two kids and the players either decides what to do in critical situations or directs where the two kids should go and where to look for clues and hidden items.

The material consists of a house and its surroundings. The house can be "opened" to examine the rooms inside. Directional arrows are used to guide Tom and Tina through the adventure.

During the adventure the players will play about 10 mini games to succeed in the adventure. These minigames can also be played separately from the main adventure.

Other Information: • Price €33

• Co-designer Heinrich Glumpler notes, "A sad detail: It is currently completely unplayable for non-German speaking people."
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Board Game Publisher: REBEL.pl
• Booths 4-311 and 4-312 (with Portal)
341. Board Game: City Tycoon [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1508]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Polish
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 – preorder information with discount for multiple games from Portal/REBEL.pl.
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342. Board Game: Drako [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1012]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Polish
Description:

Drako is an asymmetrical game for two players, with one player leading a team of three dwarves who are experienced dragon hunters and the other playing a red dragon that has spread terror amongst local peasants. The dwarves have managed to trap the dragon in a shady valley at the foot of the mountain where it lives – apparently dragons can't resist the smell of freshly slaughtered sheep – but despite being in chains, the dragon is still young and ferocious, providing the dwarves with the difficult task of killing it without being killed themselves.

Each player has a unique deck of cards, and each card has symbols on it to indicate possible actions. The dragon can move around the game board, bite, shoot fire, fly (in a limited way), and defend itself from attacks; the dwarves can attack with their axes, shoot crossbows, move individually or in groups, protect themselves with shields, and cast nets.

Each player can have up to six cards in hand, and managing these cards and maneuvering their characters on the game board are the keys to victory. Has the opponent run out of defense cards? Can the dragon nip the strongest dwarf and take him out without opening himself up to attacks from the others? The dwarves can attack the dragon's wings to keep it from flying, chop its legs so it can't move, and cut its throat to prevent it from breathing fire.

If the dwarves kill the dragon before it breaks from the trap – that is before dwarves run out of cards – they win. If the dragon survives or defeats the dwarves, he will manage to free his trapped leg and fly away, triumphing over his opponents.

Other Information: • Price €25 – preorder information with discount for multiple games from Portal/REBEL.pl.
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343. Board Game: K2: Broad Peak [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
K2
Language:
English
Polish
Description:

K2: Broad Peak is an expansion for the mountain-climbing game K2 that includes a double-sided game board, tokens and new rules. The game board features the twelfth-highest mountain in the world, formerly known as "K3" and now typically called "Broad Peak" due to the length of its summit.

Broad Peak gives you two very different challenges to undertake, which are based on the historical achievements of Polish mountaineers on Broad Peak in 1984. Both challenges have their own game boards and rule changes to make them individual game experiences.

The first challenge is "Race to the Top", a quick and thrilling game in which the game lasts three fewer days than normal, players have no tents, and the deck contains fewer acclimatization cards. Also, the board just has fewer places to climb, so watch your step!

The second challenge is "Traverse of Broad Peaks", which is more strategic and a little longer than the base game. The board shows three tops of Broad Peak and mountaineers can earn additional victory points for traversing all of the mountain and for reaching the top of each of the three peaks – which is very difficult to do, especially since the mountaineers have only one tent with them.

You need a copy of K2 in order to play K2: Broad Peak.

Other Information: • Price €19 – preorder information with discount for multiple games from Portal/REBEL.pl.
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Board Game Publisher: Red Glove
• Booth 9-56
344. Board Game: Ristorante Italia [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1599]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Italian
Description:

In Ristorante Italia, each player owns an Italian restaurant, a restaurant that he wants to make better than everyone else's in order to have the most points at the end of the game. To do this, a player must set up the menu, draw recipe cards, go to the town markets to collect needed ingredients, improve and enlarge the restaurant, improve the staff's cooking skills (as indicated by the cook-o-meter), and otherwise do whatever is necessary to have the most exemplary restaurant in the city.

Ristorante Italia lasts four phases, with each phase being comprised of three rounds. In each round, players can perform two actions from this list: draw recipe/wine cards, buy ingredients, buy rooms, take a "personal touch" cube, buy a bonus card, or buy a cooking training course. Special events during the game include VIP visits, culinary reviewer visits and the final National Cooking Contest, in which players will compete with their best recipes.

To achieve victory, players can follow an economic strategy – focusing on a menu which provides a strong revenue – or a quality strategy, in which the restaurant features special recipes matched to unique wines. Both strategies can lead to victory, and a balanced strategy can also be a good idea.

Ristorante Italia, scheduled for release in October 2011, can be played in two versions: Recipes for Novice Cooks (lighter version) and Recipes for Great Chefs (complete version).

Other Information: • MSRP €50; available for €40 at Spiel 2011, and you receive free packs of card sleeves if you preorder the game. Federico Dumas has posted preorder information on BGG.

• Note that Red Glove will have separate English, Italian and German editions of ''Ristorante Italia'' at its Spiel 2011 booth. U.S. publisher ElfinWorks will sell copies of the English version at Spiel, and Red Glove's Federico Dumas expects ElfinWorks to distribute the game in the U.S. prior to the end of 2011.
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Board Game Publisher: Repos Production
• Booth 12-56

• The 7 Wonders: Catan Island mini-expansion can also be purchased at the Kosmos booth (12-17).
345. Board Game: 7 Wonders: Catan [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.17 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
German
Description:

7 Wonders: Catan is a mini-expansion for the 2011 Kennerspiel des Jahres winner 7 Wonders that pays homage to the SdJ poster child The Settlers of Catan. 7 Wonders: Catan debuted at Spiel 2011 with all funds collected from sale of the expansion being donated to Aktion Deutschland Hilft.

Other Information: • Price €2 minimum – all funds collected from the sale of this expansion will be donated to Aktion Deutschland Hilft, an association that Settlers of Catan designer Klaus Teuber chose for this purpose.

According to Repos' Thomas Provoost, this expansion "was a happy nightmare because we wanted to include the spirit of Catan in a wonder. We have tested and played lots of versions, some including sheep, wheat, roads, and so on."

"It was a real challenge as some versions were too difficult or did not work at all, but I think we succeeded," he continued. "The costs are the same or close, and there is the thief, the harbor, the first settler and the knights. I hope people will enjoy the tribute to this great pillar of modern games!"

"I would like to thank very much Carol and Sebastian Rapp from Kosmos and of course the Master Klaus Teuber himself for following us in this crazy Belgian idea."
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346. Board Game: Ghost Stories: Black Secret [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.61 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Expands:
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

The cooperative game Ghost Stories often has players on the edge of their seats with uncertainty over whether their monks will be able to protect a village against the many aspects of Wu-Feng that threaten it. With Ghost Stories: Black Secret, the players will face an even more powerful dilemma: Wu-Feng himself.

Yes, the player count for Black Secret is 2-5 (instead of 1-4) as one player will take on the role of Wu-Feng and harass the monks in a more direct manner than they've experienced previously. Wu-Feng now chooses where the incoming ghosts will be placed on the individual monk boards. Instead of placing the ghost on the board, Wu-Feng can use that ghost to power colored spells matching the color of the ghost or to bring new figures in play that scour the catacombs underneath the village; these figures are searching for the remains of Wu-Feng by digging in the dirt located there, and should they find the three icons required, the shadow of Wu-Feng descends on the village to fight directly with the monks.

To aid the monks in their fight against this more devious incarnation of Wu-Feng, they have access to blood mantras, special abilities that come in different levels to adjust for the difficulty of play. With the level 2 mantra, for example, when a monk loses a life, the Qi token is placed on the mantra. When two tokens are on the mantra, one monk of the players' choice gains a Qi. With the level 4 mantra, all tiles will be de-haunted when it triggers.

Other Information: • I previewed Ghost Stories: Black Secret in detail in April 2011 on BGG News.

• On Sept. 13, 2011, Repos Production announced preorders for Ghost Stories: Black Secret, with 666 copies (ho ho) being available at Spiel 2011. The preorder pack comes in a Classic edition (€30, with the game and a goodies pack: a signed print, a new curse die and Steven Qi-Gal, a new Wu-Feng incarnation) and a Totally Evil edition (€35, which adds a T-shirt to the lot).
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Board Game Publisher: Revision Games
347. Board Game: MANIA! [Average Rating:5.23 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Finnish
Description:

Description from www.revision-games.com:

MANIA! includes several different games, which can be played either separately as a single game, or why not even all of them in the order presented below. The games are quick to play and easy to learn.

MANIA! is well suited for a warm up-game to start a gaming night, to get everyone on a party mood or to lift the spirit between longer gaming sessions. MANIA! is fun for the whole evening for casual party players and for serious strategists as well.

Game includes:
220 cards
rulebook (in English and in Finnish)

Rulebook includes following rules:

KleptoMANIA!
Steal the stacks of cards from your friends using the special attributes on the cards. The stacks grow larger as the game advances and the player with the largest loot wins.

PyroMANIA!
Construct six buildings and burn down the other players' houses before they reach the goal. Red and yellow cards represent fire, blue cards extinguishing and green cards buildings.

NymphoMANIA!
Help the male characters conquer the only female in the game. The player with the finest catch wins. It's the time for pickup-lines from the heavens or to sabotage the chances of other men.

BusinessMANIA!
Manipulate the stock value of the character's companies and buy the best shares for yourself. The stock market can surprise you and the share value of an unwary player can crash.

MemoryMANIA!
A classic with a manic twist. This game is suitable for all players, regardless of age or gaming experience.

CartoMANIA!
Chart the grid made of the cards. The best areas go to the player with the most tactical play, but the player with the most valuable treasure will finish strong.

HyperMANIA!
Get rid of your hand as soon as possible. In this game, you will be able to play multiple cards in a row, but be careful not to trap yourself.

---

MANIA! is the sum of many small games. The same cards work as the basis for a variety of games. MANIA! is suitable for both party players and for those who have been gaming for longer. These fast-paced and easy games have been sharply seasoned with special cards and humor.

Other Information: • Should I still be adding titles to the Spiel 2011 Preview in the middle of the event? Not sure, but here's this one.
 
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Board Game Publisher: Rightgames LLC
• Booth 7-05

• In addition to the titles below, RightGames will sell the game expansions listed in this preview under Stolitsa Design Group (link) for Evolution: The Origin of the Species and Potion-Making: Practice. (The expansions are listed separately because they are published by Stolitsa and not RightGames; unfortunately, I can't shoehorn them into the same box.)
348. Board Game: The Enigma of Leonardo [Average Rating:4.86 Overall Rank:10580]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In The Enigma of Leonardo, players try to collect keys by creating patterns in the cards before them on the table.

To start the game, deal each player ten cards. Each player takes five of these cards at random, places them in a + pattern, then turns them face-up; the other five cards form that player's hand. Each card has two of twelve symbols in the upper-left corner.

On a turn, a player replaces one card in his + with a card from his hand, moving the first card into the + of his left-hand opponent in the same location; that opponent discards the card that was in that location. If a player creates a horizontal or vertical line of cards which each feature the same symbol, that player takes a key card showing that symbol. (A player can claim a particular type of key only once.) If all five cards in a player's + show the same symbol, the player can claim any key card that he does not already have. The first player to collect seven key cards wins.

The Enigma of Leonardo includes rule variants featuring additional ways to play.

Reimplemented by:

Other Information: • Price €10 (discounted for Spiel)
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349. Board Game: The Enigma of Leonardo: Quintis Fontis [Average Rating:5.04 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Enigma of Leonardo: Quintis Fontis is a specialized version of "The Enigma of Leonardo" designed for hardcore players, for those, that considered the core version too simple. Designed for those players, that enjoy strategic planning and quick thinking.

QF is played using the same cards as the core set – each card has two symbols on it, there are 12 different symbols altogether. Most of the cards are identical to the ones in the core set, while others have different symbol combinations on them. The set also includes a few special text cards (action cards).

The goal of the game is the same as in The Enigma of Leonardo, to collect Secret Keys, by making sequences of identical symbols but this time the game is played on one big field. The field itself is made during game play, the only restriction being its size – 5x5 cards. The first card is placed in the middle of the playing field, players then take turns at playing cards, increasing the field. In the end, the first card that was played might not even be in the middle anymore, it could be on the edge.

Players can not only play cards on empty spaces, they can play cards on top of each other and can even replace cards from their hands with the ones on the playing field. The only condition is that the cards being replaced must share a common symbol. This playing mechanic allows for more complex combos, by careful planning, one can gradually replace all the cards on the field with symbols that the player needs.

Just like in The Enigma of Leonardo, in QF players receive Secret Keys when they successfully make a row of cards with the same symbol. But now you can get symbols not only for 3 cards in a row, but for four and even five identical symbols. Qunitis fontis actually means – “the fifth symbol”, when translated from Latin. Rows can be made horizontally, diagonally and vertically just like in the core game but now you can receive the same key more than once by first making a row of three symbols and then adding cards with the fourth and fifth symbol.

But it sounds much easier than it actually is. The game now uses a special counter-marker called “veto”. After playing a card, the player may choose to move the marker on any card (even the one he just played) on the playing field. The next player cannot play any cards that share a symbol with the marked card. It’s up to the players to decide should they move the marker each turn or keep it in one place blocking a certain symbol combination for the entire game.

Another new addition to QF are the action cards. There aren’t much compared to another expansion of the game The Enigma of Leonardo – Novem – but they can alter the flow of the game. With these cards you can steal symbols from your opponents and prevent them from gaining new ones.

The player who successfully collects seven Keys is the winner. If the deck is used up and no one has collected seven Keys, the one to collect the most is the winner. In case of a tie a key gradation has been provided.

QF is basically a harder version of The Enigma of Leonardo: the rules are different but the cards used are practically identical. Meaning you can try playing The Enigma of Leonardo using QF or vice versa. It will be a slightly different game, but it’s still possible.

Reimplements:

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350. Board Game: Evolution: The Origin of Species [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1621]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Russian
Description:

In Evolution: The Origin of Species, players do the work of nature, putting animals into play and evolving them trait by trait to help them survive and thrive. Each player starts with a hand of six cards that feature an animal on the back and one or two traits on the front.

Each round consists of four phases. During Development, players take turns playing one card from their hand either as an animal (face-down) or as a trait on one of their existing animals (face-up and tucked under the animal). Traits include Carnivorous, Camouflage, Sharp Vision, Swimming, Poisonous and Communication; if a card has two traits, the player chooses which trait the animal acquires, hiding the other trait under the animal. Once a player passes during this phase, he can no longer play cards.

During Food Bank Determination, a player rolls 1-2 dice (possibly adding two to the total) to determine the amount of food available for the round.

During Feeding, players take turns acquiring one food cube and "feeding" one of their animals. Some traits give animals special abilities that can be used during Feeding or at other points during the game. Animals can also be carnivorous, allowing them to attack one other animal to feed – although that animal might have a defense like High Body Weight or Tail Loss that allows it to survive. An animal can't take more food than it needs unless it has fat tissue, which allows it to store food for future rounds.

During Extinction and Draw, any animal not fully fed dies; the owner takes that animal and all traits and stacks them in his personal discard pile. Each player then receives new cards in hand equal to one plus the number of live animals that player has.

When the deck runs out, the players conduct one final round, then score points. Each live animal is worth 2 VP, and each trait on a live animal worth 1 VP; some traits (Carnivorous and Parasite) provide bonus VPs, but make it tougher to keep an animal alive. The player with the most VPs wins.

By combining two sets of Evolution, you can have up to eight players in a game.

Other Information: • Price €17 (discounted for Spiel)
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