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New Game Round-up: Running Rebooted Robots in Robo Rally, and Expanding Mysterium and Haspelknecht

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Richard Garfield's new version of Robo Rally from Avalon Hill and Hasbro is slowly leaking out into the marketplace, which is something of a surprise to Garfield himself as he notes in this BGG thread about the differences between this 2016 version and older versions of Robo Rally. Here's a summary of what differs in this version; for more details and an explanation from Garfield as to why he made these changes (and what changes he made that Hasbro didn't implement in the published version), head to the previously linked thread:

• Players each now have their own deck of twenty cards, with the same cards in each deck. On a turn, a player draws nine cards from their deck, programs five of the cards, then discards the rest. Two cards says "Again" and repeat the action programmed in the previous slot; one card says "Energy" and gives a energy cube which you can use to buy options.

• Since each player has their own deck, the cards no longer have priority numbers to determine who moves first. Now movement order is determined by whoever is closest to a transmitter on the game board.

• Players start with a hand of three option cards and five energy. Each option card has an energy cost, and you can purchase additional option cards for the cost of two energy each. Players can earn energy by programming it, by being the first to a pitstop, or by starting their turn on a pitstop.

• When players are damaged, they no longer receive one less card for each damage (or have one of their program registers locked) at the start of a round; instead they receive damage cards that will be shuffled into their decks. "Normal" damage from the board or a robot laser gives you "spam" damage. When you program one of these cards, you remove it from play at the appropriate time and replace it in the register with the top card from your deck. Surprise! Other types of damage exist, with a Trojan horse granting you two spam, a virus infecting nearby players, and a worm forcing you to reboot, which gives you even more damage. By playing the damage, though, you remove it from your deck.

Quined Games and Capstone Games are teaming up for Haspelknecht: The Ruhr Valley, an expansion that adds two new "challenging" modules and 21 new development tiles to Thomas Spitzer's Haspelknecht. This expansion is due out late April or early May 2017.

• In February 2017, Ares Games will release Wings of Glory: WW2 Battle of Britain Starter Set, with this standalone game from designers Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia allowing players to recreate duels between Axis and Allied planes in the skies over Britain in mid-to-late 1940.

Libellud will release a second expansion for Mysterium in 2017, with this item consisting of six new characters, six new locations, six new items, and other items yet to be revealed.

Mayday Games has picked up Thorsten Reichwein's Five Seals of Magic, first released in 2014 by Hobby World and Igrology, and plans to Kickstart a new version of the game in February 2017. For an overview of this game, here's a demo video that BGG recorded at SPIEL 2015.
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