• Alderac Entertainment Group has passed along a brief description of the third title in its "City-State of Tempest" game line that I covered in this BGGN item on March 27. For now, the Phillip duBarry design is titled Courtier, and here's a game overview:
The social elite of Tempest live in a world of power, intrigue, and alliances that can often shake the very foundations of the city's society. In Courtier, you move within these circles of social power to further your goals. Work with established courtiers to gain influence and stymie the rise of your rivals as you attempt to earn or cheat your way into their world.
In Courtier, 2–4 players compete for recognition in the royal court. Your mission is to act as an influence broker, manipulating the levers of power and granting favors to important supplicants. You accomplish this by influencing key people to act at your behest.
Play influence cards to gain sway over a key courtier, or play power cards to manipulate the board in your favor. Control each of the courtiers listed on a given petition, and you earn victory points for completing that request. Bonus points can be earned from cards and abilities. The winner is the player with the highest score at the end of the game.
• Following the release of Biblios – an updated version of Scripts & Scribes – by IELLO, designer Steve Finn is back with another self-published design – Scripts & Scribes: The Dice Game. Here's a short description of the game, which is due out June 2012:
As a medieval monk, you are charged with increasing the prestige of the abbey’s collection of historical and sacred texts. By acquiring the resources for manuscript illustration and reproduction, your abbey produces and sells its valuable works, thereby bringing in finances necessary for maintaining a fine abbey. Will you succeed in making your abbey the most prestigious of all?
The goal of Scripts and Scribes: The Dice Game is to acquire gold and to collect resources – scrolls, manuscripts, pigments, quills, ink – to exchange for gold. The game is a dice version of Biblios and follows the same basic theme, but with interesting changes due to the use of dice. As in Biblios, players compete in five different categories and the values of the categories change during the game. In addition, depending upon the dice roll, there may be many or few auctions during the game in which players auction their resources for gold or auction gold for resources.
For a more detailed game description, head to the website of Doctor Finn's Games.
• Gryphon Games has announced a new title from Richard Borg and no, it's not yet another version of his Command & Colors system. (We had that announcement yesterday.) Instead this release is a "fast-paced card game" titled Cowtown, designed for 3-6 players and playable in 30 minutes. Here's a two-line description from the publisher:
All the cows have left the nearby ranches and headed down to Cowtown for a little "cow"-rousing – but it seems that things have gotten a little out of hoof, and now you and your fellow cowpokes need to get these herding heavies back in line. You will need to make the right moooooves to corral these cows before udder madness prevails in Cowtown.
I need to go lie down now.