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New Game Round-up: Support Art, Rewrite History, and Fight a Second Second Hundred Years' War

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: La Stanza
• Sometimes these BGG News posts serve as notes to myself as much as an introduction to games to you, gentle reader.

In a Feb. 2018 post, I listed several games scheduled to be shown at the annual Portuguese convention LeiriaCon in March, including the Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade title Humanitas from Dutch publisher Quined Games. That title was later renamed Journey Through the Renaissance, and in August 2018 the title become La Stanza, which appears to be the final name given that Quined released the cover shown at right in early December 2018. In addition to the EN/FR/GE/NL edition from Quined, publisher PYTHAGORAS will release the game in a Portuguese/Spanish edition.

As for the gameplay in this 60-90 minute, 2-4 player game due out at some point in 2019, here's an overview:

La Stanza is a fast-paced board game in which players take the role of patrons of the arts sponsoring the most brilliant creators of the time and commissioning the best works of art, all while creating more wealth and increasing their social status and prestige.

On their turn, players move their "Patron" through the different rooms to recruit the characters that better serve their interest along the way. Characters increase the strength of the different actions players may perform in the room they end. Commission the best artists, rediscover the light of the arts, invest in new discoveries and trading routes, promote the culture, build universities, gain the trust of Kings, and create the new wonders of the Renaissance.

La Stanza is played in continuous rounds that result in dynamic turns and a challenging game play. Enlighten the new world and become the most prestigious patron of the Renaissance!
Board Game: The Perfect Moment
The Perfect Moment is a tiny game for 1-2 players from Michael Brown and Button Shy that funded on Kickstarter in November 2018 and is due out in February 2019. Here's a rundown of the gameplay:

Everyone has something about their past they desperately wish they could change: a terrible loss, that missed opportunity, the greatest of mistakes. If only you had known that that one tiny detail would make all the difference. If only you could do it again, everything would be different now. But if you WERE given the chance to rewrite history, would be brave enough to take it? Could you face the unknown and its unforeseen consequences? Could you fight fate to create the perfect moment?

In The Perfect Moment, players race to rewrite history in their favor using a deck of only 18 cards. Players use equipment, exploit paradoxes in the time-space continuum, and author their own revision of the past. Featuring a clever multi-sided card system, every card is used by both players based on what they can see. Equipping that card for yourself may just give your opponent the ability they were looking for. Every turn, players activate up to two revealed cards, which each have special effects. After the effects are resolved, the player can optionally score a card to earn up to 3 points depending on how closely they match it. The first player to 16 points wins. It takes careful planning and a bit of luck to avoid failing like you have so many times before. This time will be different.
A Las Vegas Gone Wrong expansion also exists for this game, and its six cards replace one of the three sets of cards in the base game — bank robbery, relationship, or big event — for a very different playing experience.

Board Game: The Perfect Moment: Las Vegas Gone Wrong

Board Game Publisher: GMT Games
• Someone mentioned my blindspot for historical games in a Dec. 2018 comment, and this game is a huge example of that: Imperial Struggle from designers Ananda Gupta and Jason Matthews and publisher GMT Games, a game that has existed in the BGG database for two years and which I only ran across for the first time the other day. In October 2018, GMT posted the still-in-progress game board shown below, and despite the game having more than met its P500 threshold, no release date has yet been given for the game. The GMT game page has more info in case what's listed below doesn't give you enough to go on:

In 1697 the Sun King, Louis XIV, emerged from a decade of war with his Continental ambitions still unsatisfied. Meanwhile, King William III of England sat easier on his new throne than he ever had before. With the Spanish succession crisis unresolved and looming, there were no illusions that the new century would be a quiet one. But neither France nor England could have anticipated the tumult of the years to come: a Second Hundred Years' War, during which these two tenacious adversaries would compete fiercely and proudly along every axis of human achievement. On battlefields from India to Canada to the Caribbean Sea their armies and fleets would clash; in the salons of Paris and the coffee-houses of London the modern world's politics and economics would be born; and finally a revolution would rock the foundations of society – a revolution that could have ended not in blood and terror but in a triumph of democracy and liberty that might have transformed the world beyond imagining.

Imperial Struggle is a two-player game depicting the 18th-century rivalry between France and Britain. It begins in 1697, as the two realms wait warily for the King of Spain to name an heir, and ends in 1789, when a new order brought down the Bastille. The game is not merely about war: both France and Britain must build the foundations of colonial wealth, deal with the other nations of Europe, and compete for glory across the span of human endeavor.

Imperial Struggle covers almost one hundred years of history and four major wars. Yet it remains a low-complexity game, playable in a short evening. It aims to honor its spiritual ancestor, Twilight Struggle, by pushing further in the direction of simple rules and playable systems, while maintaining global scope and historical sweep in the scope of a single evening. In peace turns, players build their economic interests and alliances, and take advantage of historical events represented by Event cards. They must choose their investments wisely, but also with an eye to denying these opportunities to their opponent. In war turns, each theater can bring great rewards of conquest and prestige, but territorial gains can disappear at the treaty table. At the end of the century, will the British rule an empire on which the sun never sets? Or will France light the way for the world, as the superpower of the Sun King's dreams or the republic of Lafayette's?
Board Game: Imperial Struggle
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