• At Spielwarenmesse 2014 — the annual toy and game fair in Nürnberg, Germany — my cameraman John K. and I recorded dozens of preview videos of games just out on the market or due out within the next nine months.
One of the most mysterious, or rather less talkative, publishers on hand at the show was Hans im Glück, which had sent out little information about its three releases prior to the show. In German game forums, HiG representatives said that they wanted to retain an element of surprise, said that they want folks to come to the show to see what was on display, so I did just that. In the video below, HiG's Reiner Haberl gave me a rundown of the Brügge: Die Stadt am Zwin expansion for Stefan Feld's Bruges. A couple of notes about this expansion: (1) Z-Man Games will release it in English, and (2) it contains a revised "Engraver" card for all those who feel the original in the base game is overpowered.
• Hans im Glück's only standalone game at the show was Helios from designers Matthias Prinz and Martin Kallenborn. Haberl gave me a rundown of this game, which has a lavish spread of bits for those who love to decorate their tables while playing. Lots of little details to this and that, but the overall concepts seem clear and immediate. Time to update the description on the BGG game page!
• And it wouldn't be a new year without a new expansion for Klaus-Jürgen Wrede's Carcassonne. The 2014 model is Carcassonne: Schafe und Hügel, and it adds three new elements to the gameplay: the sheep and hills listed in the title, along with vineyards that boost the power of the monasteries.
• Over at the HUCH! & friends stand, only a few of the games had completed components and artwork on hand in time for the fair, so we shot only two videos with HUCH's Katrin Reil, who seemed incredibly blasé when announcing that we faced a great catastrophe in Lauge Luchau's Xalapa should we fail to divine the proper patterns in the time allowed. (Apparently she was ill for roughly two weeks prior to the opening of Spielwarenmesse, so she was probably just happy to be on her feet once again, great catastrophe or not!)
• The other HUCH title for which we recorded an overview is Kinjiro's Zombeasts. I'll confess that I'm still not clear on the flow of this card game; not sure whether I'm being fuzzy-headed or I just didn't ask enough of the right questions. Ah, well, better luck next time!