Here I am again with news from Italy. My city of Modena and nearby towns have been shaken hard by an earthquake in recent days – the last big shake, as of this writing, registered a 5.1 three days ago – but now we all hope the big dragon under the "Pianura Padana" plain has gone to sleep again and it's time to rebuild!
I want to thank everyone who has sent me messages or has sent help to the destroyed villages/towns.
Some news, accidentally, is not so new now anymore ...
Ares Games: Micro Monsters
Ares Games has published a first set of "advanced rules" for its latest release, Micro Monsters. The armies of the Autogators and Bigbears armies are featured in the first part of "Micro Monsters rEvolution" (PDF), as the advanced rules are called, and rules for the other two armies will follow soon. Try it, and enjoy playing this tiddlywinks game as the ultimate microwarrior!
Cranio Creations: 1969
I received an early version of the rules for 1969, so I can tell you something about this game.
May 25, 1961 – the newly elected U.S. president J.F. Kennedy holds his speech to the nation by tapping several crucial points, one of which is the conquest of space and more precisely of the Moon: "No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space." He promises that by the end of the decade, an American will set foot on the moon. This sets off a race to conquer space between the countries with the most advanced space technology.
The goal of the game is to be able to send man to the Moon before 1969 (and before other players).
The game will include the usual tons of cubes (used as scientists), cards and something more. During a turn, you can get income (according to the turn), hire scientists (used for research) and intelligence cards (used to slow down opponents or speed up your missions) and take part in a mission. The success of a mission depends on your research and on intelligence cards played by you and opponents and you get Prestige Points (PP) according to the result.
Some scientists can give you PP or take them away at the end of the game.
The game, from a reading of the rules, looks promising. The choice of which scientists (as there are several different kinds) and where to use them seems to be the challenging part of the game, combined with the use of intrigue cards. Of course the rules are still being developed, so I hope to be back with new info soon.
Ghenos Games: Swordfish
I also received an early version of the rules for Swordfish, which – as you might expect – is a game is about swordfish fishing.
I know this game has involved more than two years of development, and it looks like a deep game with a nice theme. You have to hire captains and men, acquire a fishing boat, some fuel and bait, and race for the best fishing areas. You have to consider the weather and finally find the right harbors where to sell your swordfish.
The game board displays different color-coded fishing areas with different supplies of fish, and when fishing you actually "fish" for counters from colored bags. Having more boats in close fishing areas interferes with your ability to catch.
Harbors have limited fish demands and offer different prices; boats and captains also cost different amounts in the different harbors. The best fishing areas are located in the north, but in the south you find the most remunerative harbors. Swordfish looks like a game with a lot of planning, with everything paying out in victory points in the end.
Once the rules are nailed down, I hope to be able to bring you a real preview.
During the Roman Empire, gladiator combat was the most popular form of entertainment. Fighters from all parts of the Empire were included in the shows, including female gladiators, wealthy Roman citizens, and in some cases, even aristocrats! Now the time has come for you to gain the immortal glory of the Arena. Fight for your honor, fame and for your life!Gladiatori
is a card-driven game in which each player assumes the role of a gladiator in the Ancient Roman Empire.
Simultaneous action selection drives figure movement on the board. Combat cards give energy to the character actions and are used as hit points. Characters are customizable, and each player has to choose his deck composition and character skills, and participate in the auctions for Arena items. In the end, the winner will be determined by victory points – or simply by being the only one left alive!
From reading an early version of the rules for Gladiatori, it looks like a nice and quick card-driven combat game. The game lasts twelve combat rounds, which are divided in six turns with a rest action every two combat rounds.
The main idea of the game flows around the choice of keeping cards in hand (for more energy to perform better actions) or putting them on the table as hit points (for a greater possibility of sustaining damage). To prevent damage, the card set has hit points that have to be discarded (removed from the game). Since cards are both actions and energy, removing cards means losing some possibilities, which means that damaged characters fight worse.
During the rest phase, characters take their played cards (not the discarded ones) back in hand.
Characters are identified by skills used to fight better (strength and dexterity) or to recover better (endurance). Blood points and speed points can be used to perform or move better.
Variety in the combination of cards, the item cards and the gladiator abilities promise a wide range of possibility and customization. Of course we need to try the game for a real preview. I hope to be back again on Gladiatori soon.