W. Eric Martin
• Clown Standoff is a tiny game from designer Ludovic Barbe and publisher Artipia Games that reimplements Barbe's 2013 Pan T'es Mort (although the games seem identical to me, so I'm not sure what's changed, if anything). In any case, here's a rundown of how clowns settle their differences:
The circus show went really, really bad, and now the clowns are blaming each other...by throwing pies! And the clowns' code dictates that whoever remains clean the longest wins the argument.
Clown Standoff is separated into two phases. Phase one is a trick-taking phase with simultaneous card selection. Each player has cards 1-6, and four times players each lay down one card; tied cards are eliminated, then the highest card wins. The one exception to this: If a 1 and a 6 have both been played, then the 1 card wins the trick. All winners keep the cards they used to win the tricks, then they move to phase 2.
In Phase 2, six "Pie Throw" cards are in the middle of the table: five "Dodge" cards and one "Hit" card. Starting with whoever has the most cards from phase one, players then take turns as follows: They can draw a card; or they can discard one card from the ones they collected in phase one to shuffle all face-up Pie Throw cards, then draw one; or they can discard cards equal to the number of players who are still in the game to pass their turn to the next player.
If a player draws a Dodge card, nothing happens and the remaining cards move to the next player. If a player draws a Hit card, that player is out of the game; after this, all Pie Throw cards are again shuffled to form a deck, and the player with the most cards from phase one starts a new turn.
The last clown standing wins!
• To double up on the clown coverage, White Goblin Games has an equally quick-playing game from Inon Kohn titled Clown Face for players aged four and up. An overview:
The Chief Clown shows three cards with different images to confuse the other clowns. After the third card is shown, all other clowns use the three cards to determine where to put their hands. The first clown placing their hand on the right combination gets all cards.
Score as many cards as you can to win Clown Face. Are you quick enough to become the new Chief Clown, or are you the clown everybody laughs at?
• Modiphius Entertainment will launch a Kickstarter campaign for Kung Fu Panda: The Board Game in Q2 2016. Expansions for Matt Leacock's Thunderbirds game from Modiphius are due out in June (Tracy Island), at Gen Con 2016 in August (Above & Beyond), and at Spiel 2016 in October (The Hood).
• In early Q3 2016, Mayfair Games will release English-language versions of Fréderic Moyersoen's Saboteur: Duel and Johannes Schmidauer-König's Die Portale von Molthar, which will be titled Portal of Heroes.
• If Ravensburger were to release Kramer and Kiesling's Memory: Das Brettspiel in English, what would you suggest for a name beyond simply Memory: The Board Game? You can check out the game page for a description or watch this video that BGG recorded at Spielwarenmesse 2016.
• Columbia Games plans to fund a second edition of Tom Dalgliesh's Dixie: Gettysburg card game on Kickstarter in the first half of 2016.