W. Eric Martin
• With Dominion: Dark Ages due to debut at Gen Con in mid-August 2012, designer Donald X. Vaccarino has started to preview a few cards from the set, starting with Graverobber, Poor House and Sage and continuing with Feodum, Cultist and Ruined Market. As he's noted on BGG, Vaccarino plans to post previews daily through August 10.
• Designer Alban Viard has announced a second edition of his Town Center, released earlier in 2012 in a 80-copy edition. For this second edition, he's replaced the wooden cubes – which players needed to stack and which were therefore a bit wobbly – with 2x2 LEGO bricks, which has also resulted in the board being bigger as well. Says Viard, "The second edition will contain 132 LEGO bricks (even those to track the money), four player boards, a cotton bag and a box." (What do 13,200 bricks look like when placed in a pile? Like this.) This edition of Town Center costs €20, and if you're interested, you need to preorder by contacting Viard (firstname.lastname@example.org), whether you'd like to pick up the game at Spiel 2012 or have it shipped to you.
• U.S. publisher Cryptozoic Entertainment has posted a preview of its 3012 deck-building game, highlighting its post-Mayan catastrophe setting and showing off more of its weird graphic look.
• English rules (PDF) for Martin Wallace's The Doctor Who Card Game are available from publisher Cubicle 7 Entertainment ahead of the game's release in August/September 2012.
• Phil and Matt Eklund will have a new title out from Sierra Madre Games in October 2012, with the game showing up at Spiel 2012 as well. Here's a rundown of Pax Porfiriana, which retails for $25 in the U.S.:
Pax Porfiriana – Latin for "The Porfirian Peace" – refers to the 33-year reign of dictator Porfirio Díaz, who ruled Mexico with an iron hand until toppled by the 1910 Revolution.
As a rich businessman (Hacendado) in the turbulent pre-revolutionary borderlands of the U.S. and Mexico, players compete to build business empires of ranches, mines, rails, troops, and banks while subverting opponents with bandidos, Indians, and lawsuits. Each turn goes as follows:
1. Income Phase: Collect one gold per Income, Extortion, and Connection Cube in play. If Depression, pay one gold for each card in play (includes Partners and Enterprises in your Row, and all of your Troops).
2. Action Phase: Perform three actions, such as play new cards, get new cards from the market, speculate on cards in the market, buy land, or redeploy troops.
3. Discard Headlines: Remove any Headlines (i.e. cards with the Bull-Bear icon) that have reached the leftmost position in the Market.
4. Restore Market: Restore the Market to twelve cards.
Four "scoring" cards (Toppling) are in the game and their effect depends on the current form of government. The government can change if troops are played and as a result of other cards. The form of government also influences different production values of the game, such as how much mines produce. Players win by toppling Díaz, either by coup, succession, revolution, or annexation of Mexico by the U.S. If Díaz remains firmly seated at the end of the game, then the player with the most gold wins.
Pax Porfiriana includes 220 cards, but only fifty cards (along with ten for each player) are used in a game, so no two games will be the same!