W. Eric Martin
• Belgian publisher Repos Production has released information and an image for the next 7 Wonders expansion from designer Antoine Bauza, the 7 Wonders: Wonder Pack. While the set is still in development and the details of the wonders themselves are not set in stone – albeit under discussion in this thread by those who tried it out at a Belgian game festival – here's what is known about this expansion:
As the name suggests, 7 Wonders: Wonder Pack
includes new wonders for use with the 7 Wonders
base game, with the wonders in question being:-----
• The Great Wall of China, with the owner being able to build the stages of this wonder in any order (since the wall is, of course, a long horizontal wonder and not a primarily vertical one)-----
• Stonehenge, with the amount of stone you have being important during its construction-----
• Abu Simbel, in which leaders can be buried and mummified for bonus points-----
• Manneken Pis, which is a revised version of the 7 Wonders: Manneken Pis
wonder first released as a promotional item at Spiel 2010
• Reiner Knizia's Carcassonne: The Castle - Falcon, an expansion for the two-player Carcassonne: The Castle game that's been in the works for years from Rio Grande Games, will likely not appear in print from that publisher given that the owner of the Carcassonne license – Hans im Glück – is no longer partnering with RGG. On Twitter on Nov. 13, 2012, Knizia noted, "CarcCastle Falcon. After continued delays on publisher's side have given up on this. Working on making freely avail. No promises!" (HT: Tim K. for asking Dr. K. about this)
• Madeira: Pearl of the Atlantic from Portuguese designers Nuno Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade has yet to see print from Italian publisher What's Your Game?, but that hasn't stopped them from dangling another design in front of BGGers. Here's an overview of Vila Rica, which does not currently have a publisher or release date listed:
Vila Rica is a game about gold-mining in 18th-century Brazil, when Bandeirantes (explorers) started to travel through the country and discovered a new region of "black gold" along the way. The "sugar rush" was coming to an end in the northeast part of the country and near the "city to be" of Vila Rica, a whole new region of precious metal was suddenly one of the most important suppliers of the old world. Hundreds of thousands of men came from everywhere once word spread, and a number of small but relevant locations started to grow near Vila Rica.
Most of the wealth in Europe had its origins in the colonies of that time. Brazil, for example, was the number one provider of gold, and Portugal lived a prosperous long time from it. Some people maintain that the industrial revolution was in part financed by the metal that came from Brazil.
The game of Vila Rica is played with cards. More than a simple game about mining, it requires that players combine actions to develop the region by building essential infrastructures like houses, stores, farms, churches and roads. Players build their path to wealth by keeping in mind the changing characteristics of the region, the moves and needs of other players, and the common good of the vibrant and prosperous Vila Rica.
• Passport Game Studios, a Seattle-based publisher that's publishing Trajan in the U.S., has announced two new titles for which it has acquired exclusive distribution rights in North America: Antoine Bauza's Tokaido from French publisher Funforge and Carlos Moreno Serrano's Kalua from Spanish publisher HomoLudicus. No release dates were mentioned in the announcements, but Funforge's Philippe Nouhra has said, "For our US folks, the game should be available before Christmas in the retail stores."
• Designer Larry Harris, Jr. has announced the next title in the long-running Axis & Allies line from Avalon Hill, but this time there's no Axis in sight because the action is moving a few decades into the past. Yes, Axis & Allies 1914 World War I moves the A&A action to an entirely different era, as is evident from this game description:
This is not World War II. Progress during "The War to End All Wars" was measured by yards, not miles. The Italians were on the side of the Allies, while Turkey – then at the center of the Ottoman Empire – was one of the members of what was known as the Central Powers. Imperial Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire were the two other main Central Powers.
The major Allies, sometimes referred to as the Entente, consisted of the British Empire, France, Italy, the United States, and Imperial Russia. The alliance included other historical members, but they more or less fell under the command and control of one of these great powers. In fact, had General Pershing not insisted that its integrity be maintained, even the American army would have found itself as simply being replacements for French and British.
Axis & Allies 1914 World War I puts players in charge of one of the major powers, each with its own infantry sculpt; other sculpts represent the artillery, tanks, aircraft, and naval line-up of either the Allies or the Central Powers.
As designer Larry Harris notes, "While playing this game, you will quickly realize that this is not World War II. There are no massive sweeps across continents with blitzing armored divisions and aircraft. Instead, there are a series of determined offensives resisted by equally determined armies dedicated to holding the line. You will find that your depleting resources of men and artillery must be deployed with great thought and efficiency. You will be fighting pretty much the way man has been fighting with each other for thousands of years – only this time the ability to kill your enemy, and for him to kill you, has become intolerably efficient."
This description comes largely from designer notes that Harris posted on the Harris Game Design website. David Jensen from AxisandAllies.org has pulled together Harris' answers to various questions about the game, such as the inclusion of special rules for the Russian Revolution, how neutral powers enter combat, and what's included on the game board.