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New Game Round-up: A Trio of Space Cadets, Desperados Moves from Darts to Dice & Friese's Future Funken

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Space Cadets: Away Missions
From gallery of evilone
• In addition to Space Cadets: Away Missions (a 1-6 player standalone co-operative game due out Q4 2014) and Space Cadets: Dice Duel - Die Fighter (an expansion for the team-based Space Cadets: Dice Duel, U.S. publisher Stronghold Games has yet another Space Cadets item on its release calendar: Space Cadets: Resistance Is Mostly Futile, an expansion for the original Space Cadets game from Brian, Geoff and Sydney Engelstein that includes new missions, new enemies, and new ship upgrades that should be out for Spiel 2014 in October.

WizKids Games plans to release Quarriors! Light vs. Dark on June 18, 2014, with this item being both an expansion for Michael Elliott and Eric M. Lang's Quarriors! dice-building system and a standalone game.

Board Game: Funkenschlag
Board Game: Power Grid
• We've already had news of a deluxe edition of Ticket to Ride on its tenth anniversary and I suspect we'll see something similar for Memoir '44 before the year is out, but those aren't the only games that debuted in 2004. Witness the announcement from German publisher 2F-Spiele of Freidemann Friese's Funkenschlag Deluxe: Europa/Nordamerika, a revamped version of Power Grid (Funkenschlag in Germany), which is itself an updating of the 2001 release of Funkenschlag.

Funkenschlag Deluxe: Europa/Nordamerika will feature the same gameplay of the other games — purchase resources to fuel power plants that you purchase via auctions to supply powers to cities in a network — with this game having "two giant-sized maps (Europe and North America), completely new power plants, a new resource type (natural gas), new wooden pieces for resources and player tokens, and new plastic coins as currency". The release date is October 2014. To date only a German edition has been announced by 2F-Spiele, but not to worry as editions in other languages will surely be announced prior to this game's debut at Spiel 2014. Right? Right?!

Board Game: Desperados of Dice Town
• On his blog, designer Bruno Cathala explains (in French) how Desperados of Dice Town evolved from his terrible ability at darts. A translated and edited excerpt:

When I had a real job, every lunchtime with my buddies we'd drink coffee and organize small competitions amongst ourselves. For years we played foosball, but the table was removed — not profitable enough, too much space occupied — and an electronic dart game installed. At first, the game left me cold as I saw it as a game of pure skill, one in which I didn't feel competent enough to compete. It was more like a test, which was not fun.

Then I discovered the rules for Cricket! You use only the 20-19-18-17-16-15 and central sectors. Three hits in an area closes it for you, and once closed if you hit it again, every opponent who has this area "open" takes penalty points. Because the useful areas are scattered on the dartboard, you can adopt an offbeat strategy to play against those more skilled, trying to load the areas strongest to you.

Then we removed the darts as I thought it would be cool to take the same principle of play and adapt it to a game, and that's how the first prototype was born. Simple. I wanted to replace the pure skill of the game with luck — although given how I play darts, it works out the same — so the darts were replaced with dice. The relevant sectors of the dartboard became the 2-3-4-5-6 faces of the die, with the last face being a "dart" face, a strike. Three darts = three dice rolls on a turn. A variety of fun cards would allow for offbeat strategies and give you choices on which dice to keep or reject and voilà.
Voilà in early 2011, mind you, with the game taking a while to make it to print and picking up a Dice Town dressing along the way, which is all to the good if you're a Pierô lover like me.
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