Spiel 2013 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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Spiel, held in the town of Essen each October, is one of Germany's two major game conventions, the other being the Nürnberg International Toy Fair in February. While Nürnberg is a trade show – and therefore strictly business – Spiel is open to the public, drawing roughly 150,000 people over four days. Hundreds of new games will be introduced at Spiel 2013, which takes place October 24-27. This preview covers games that publishers plan to release at Spiel or in the months leading up to it. In most cases, these games will be new for most Spiel attendees. Some smaller publishers show all titles released since Spiel 2012.

Details about the Spiel 2013 Preview:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading. Click on a game's name to head to its dedicated page to see more images, read the forums, and so on.

-----• In most cases, if a game appears in multiple versions, typically due to it being released in multiple languages, each version will appear under its own publisher.

-----• This information is pulled directly from the game pages in the BGG database. Thus, as those pages are updated, this Preview will be updated, too. Yay, automation!

-----• If you subscribe to this Preview, you'll receive update notices whenever an item is added or edited.

-----• If you don't care to read about a game and are logged in, click the red X to hide the game listing for both now and future visits. Choose "Personal" for the reason when doing so. You cannot hide a publisher due to this Preview's special set-up.

-----• Publisher booth numbers, preorder information, game designer and artist signings, and more will be added once that info comes available.

Note that this information has been cobbled together from dozens, nay, hundreds of sources, so inaccuracies may have crept in despite my best efforts. I will update game pages as I receive additional information, and your fellow BGG users will undoubtedly do the same, thereby keeping this Preview as up-to-date as the BGG database itself.

If you're a designer or publisher with information to share – or if you have details about an upcoming Spiel 2013 release – please send me email (wericmartin @ gmail.com). I'll respond as best as I can given the tidal wave of data flowing through the game world in anticipation of the most exciting game convention in the world: Spiel!
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Board Game Publisher: AMIGO
• Hall 3 – booth H-103
26. Board Game: Galapagos [Average Rating:5.34 Overall Rank:14905]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Galapagos, players move around the island searching for new species of turtles and trying to stay one step ahead of everyone else. With good planning and some luck on the dice, you'll collect more turtles than anyone else and triumph on this whirlwind island tour.

During set-up, players arrange the island tiles, then place five or six turtles on various tiles, depending on the number of players. Each player places his character token on the island and takes five color dice.

In each round, all players simultaneously roll their dice, then arrange them in the order they want to use them. Whoever first completes his planning grabs the sand timer in the center of the board, starting the timer for everyone else to finish their plans. Once time runs out, this player moves his character on the island, moving it to an adjacent space matching the color of the first die in his plan, then moving it again, and so on – ideally picking up lots of turtles along the way. The other players take turns in clockwise order. A player who lands his character on a corner space can move to either adjacent corner space (as long as he's placed the correct color in his movement chart).

Players add turtles to the board to bring the total available to five or six, then start a new round. Once all the turtles have been collected, the game ends and the player score for the turtles they've collected: 8 points for a set of six differently-colored turtles, and 1 point for each other turtle. Whoever has the highest score wins!

Other Information: • Price €20

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27. Board Game: Käse Würfeln [Average Rating:5.24 Overall Rank:14920]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

The player mice in Käse Würfeln want to stack cheese as high as they can. Why? Why don't they just eat the cheese? That's not the issue here – let the mice do what they want!

On a turn, a player rolls eight six-sided dice up to four times, keeping dice between rolls if desired. After finishing, she claims a number card if she's rolled that number on that many dice; e.g., if she's rolled a 4 on four dice, she claims the 4 card. After claiming a card, she either starts a new stack with that card as its base or places that card on top of another card she already has – but only if that card is lower than the top card of the stack.

If a player takes a 1 card, she can place it either glass case side up on top of a stack – closing that stack (since nothing can be placed on a 1) and protecting it from being stolen – or mouse side up; a mouse side-up 1 can later be placed on a stack, and a player can have only two of these cards. When a player closes a stack with four, five or six cards, she takes a bonus card from the table, with earlier claimed bonus cards being worth more points.

If a player can't take any cards, she takes a gift card, which she can spend on a later turn to rotate a die to show a particular face. A player can hold only one gift card.

When three of the number stacks are empty, the game ends immediately. The player with the most stacks claims a 12-point bonus card, then players tally their points. Each closed stack is worth the product of the largest number in the stack and the number of cards in the stack; each open stack is worth the sum of the cards in the stack. The player with the most points wins!

Other Information: • Price €10

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28. Board Game: Pharao Code [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:8141]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Pharaoh Code, you're trying to claim as many scarabs as you can by solving the aforementioned codes. To set up the game, you divide the number tiles into four piles based on the number of scarabs on them, with more scarabs typically signifying larger numbers. To create the number pyramid, you lay out one tile with four scarabs, two tiles with three, and so on.

On a turn, one players rolls the three dice – an octahedron, a decahedron and a dodecahedron – then all players try to use the four fundamental arithmetic operations to transform the numbers on two or three of the dice to match one of the numbers on a tile. For example, amongst the cards on the board is a 72 and you rolled two 8s and one 1; you can calculate 8 x (8 + 1) and the result is 72. As soon as a player has reached a target number, she takes that tile off the game board, then flips the thirty-second sand timer. Everyone else can grab one tile during this time, then once time expires the players must demonstrate how they reached the number in question. If a player calculated correctly, she keeps the tile face-up; otherwise she flips it face-down as a penalty.

Players then fill up empty spaces on the game board, then roll the dice again to start another round. As soon as a row cannot be filled, the game ends. Players then tally the scarabs they collected, subtract penalty scarabs, and see who has the highest score.

Other Information: • Price €20

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29. Board Game: Pipifax [Average Rating:5.24 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Pipifax, players need to find animals in the wild, and the first player to find an animal in all four sections of the wilds wins the game.

To set up, take the 24 animal tiles – which come in four colors with six animals appearing in each color – shuffle them face down, then place them in groups by color. On a turn, the player rolls the die, then turns over a tile of any color to try to find the animal that matches what's shown on the die. If she fails to do so, her turn ends; if she does find the animal, she rolls the die again and tries to find the matching animal in a different color group. This process continues until either she fails to find an animal, thereby ending her turn, or she finds one animal in each of the four color groups, in which case she wins!

Other Information: • Price €8

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30. Board Game: Speed Cups [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:3334] [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 6 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Haim Shafir's most famous game design, Halli Galli, includes one of the best-known game props in existence: a bell. Players both young and old love to hit the bell after spotting a winning combination, so it's no surprise to see the bell return in yet another Shafir design: Speed Cups.

In this game, each player receives a set of five plastic cups, each a different color; a deck of 24 cards is shuffled and placed face down in the center of the table next to the bell. One player flips over the top card, which depicts colored objects – trains, birds, cups, etc. – stacked vertically or horizontally, then everyone tries to recreate this colored sequence with her own set of cups. The first player to do slams the bell, revels in the soul-brightening "ding", then (if correct), claims the card. Someone then reveals the next card, and the players start shuffling cups once again.

Once all the cards have been claimed, whoever holds the most cards wins!

Other Information: • Price €16

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31. Board Game: Word on the Street [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1606]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 10
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Word on the Street, players – either individually or in teams – try to claim letter tiles from the game board.

To set up the game, seventeen letter tiles (all the consonants in English other than j, q, x, and z) are placed in a strip down the center of the game board – the median strip of the street, if you will, which has two "traffic lanes" on either side of it. On a turn, one team is presented with a category such as "types of fruit" or "something a player is wearing", and that team has thirty seconds to come up with an answer in that category, then move the letters in that word toward their side of the game board. Any letters in the word that are not on the game board are skipped. If the answer were "pineapple", for example, the team would move P, N, P, P and L.

If a team moves a letter off the game board, it has claimed that letter and that tile will not move for the remainder of the game. The first team to claim eight letter tiles wins!

Other Information: • Price €25

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Board Game Publisher: Ares Games
• Hall-booth 3-C123

• In a press release, Ares Games notes: "Several of our authors — including Simone Romano and Nunzio Surace ("Gremlin Project"), authors of Galaxy Defenders; Roberto Grasso, author of the forthcoming Dino Race; and Roberto Di Meglio, co-author of War of the Ring — will be present at the booth through the show." I'll be looking for information on Dino Race while in Essen. Gotta keep lookin' to the future. No time to busy myself with these tired old Spiel 2013 releases!
32. Board Game: Galaxy Defenders [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:998]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Galaxy Defenders is a sci-fi cooperative, tactical battle game in which 1-5 players fight together against an oncoming alien menace. Each player takes control of one or more agents with unique powers to defend the planet from the alien invasion. Gameplay revolves around a tactical combat system, using custom ten-sided dice. Each player sequentially plays his Agent turn and then one Aliens turn. Players carry out their turns [agent and aliens] in clockwise order until the last player finishes his Aliens turn. Once done, the game passes to the Event phase that will bring the players to the next round. Players may choose up to five agents:

  • Marine: Coming from U.S. Special Forces, the Marine is an excellent soldier who can manage different combat situations, especially multiple enemies.
  • Biotech: The Biotech is the most technologically adept agent in service. He can use Nano-Technology to heal wounds or control war drones.
  • Infiltrator: A deadly and stealthy agent. This lethal specialist prefers hiding in the shadows. She has fast movement and good short-range combat ability.
  • Sniper: A silent sharpshooter and expert in camouflage and ranged combat. The sniper has average movement and excellent long-range firepower.
  • Hulk: The Hulk was a successful mercenary and now is one of the best agents; although slow, he enjoys an extraordinary resistance to damage and has high firepower.

There is no "Alien player" in Galaxy Defenders; instead, the aliens are controlled by the game system itself, through an artificial intelligence system based on two types of cards:

  • Alien cards, which define the behavior of each different alien and detail its skills and combat abilities.
  • Close Encounter cards, which are used at the beginning of each alien turn to determine which aliens activate.

The combination of a unique AI for each alien species and the uncertainty about alien activation in a turn provides a realistic simulation of the chaos of battle and a sophisticated challenge for the players. Since having more agents brings more alien activations for the aliens, the turn structure allows the level of difficulty to scale dynamically based on the number of agents in play. If agents die during the game, the system "recalibrates" the difficulty to a reasonable and enjoyable level, so you still have a chance to complete the mission.

The battle for Earth will be carried out in a series of twelve missions organized in a completely story-driven campaign. Mission events influence future games in two different ways:

  • Each mission has multiple endings, and the outcome of any mission will change the flow of the story.
  • The agents gain experience during the missions. This experience transforms a good soldier into a perfect Galaxy Defender agent with multiple skills, basic and improved tactics, and the ability to use new devices, improved human weapons, and Alien technology.

With the downloadable Galaxy Defenders: Alien Mind variant, you can transform the game into a competitive affair, with one player becoming the alien mastermind and controlling the alien army and the card in play, attempting to thwart each mission undertaken by the Agents. To do this, the alien player completes his own game objectives, obtaining new "alien signals" that can be teleported onto the battlefield. This variant, which allows for play with up to six players, can be used in a single mission or for a whole campaign of Galaxy Defenders. Using Alien Mind may increase the game difficulty and is suggested only for expert players.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Spiel 2013 and on display in its final production quality, but since backers of the Kickstarter project won't receive their games until December, copies of Galaxy Defenders are not available for purchase.
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33. Board Game: Inkognito (2013) [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1503]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

The goal of each agent in Inkognito is to complete a mission, together with his partner. At the beginning of the game, however, players don't know which mission they must fulfill!

In the standard four-player game, each player guides one of four secret agents. The four characters are allied in pairs: Lord Fiddlebottom and Colonel Bubble are always partnered against Agent X and Madame Zsa Zsa. Each of the four agents is represented by one of four different figures, with different builds: tall, short, fat, thin. Only one of them represents the actual character controlled by a player. The other three figures represent spies which are friendly to him and that are trying to confuse the opposition.

On a turn, a player shakes the Phantom of Prophecy randomizer to determine his three available actions, e.g., moving on a land route or a sea route. The player moves his figures, trying to reach spaces already occupied by the other players' figures or the Ambassador. When figures are in the same space, the current player gets the right to "ask questions" and inspect some of the cards of that player. By deduction and a logical process of elimination, he can draw conclusions as to the identity and intentions of the other players.

The first goal of every agent is to discover which of the other players is his partner. This partner has the other half of the "code" indicating his secret mission. After discovering (or thinking he has discovered) the real identity of the other players, an agent must trade his secret mission card with his ally. This will reveal the final mission and what must be done to complete it. If either agent on a team completes the mission, both he and his partner win the game.

There is another character with an important role in the game: the Ambassador. He can be used to get clearer information about the other characters. Everyone wants to meet him because he is well-informed and can be useful to accomplish your purposes, but he can also help your rivals, so do everything you can to keep him far from them.

The 2013 version of Inkognito from Ares Games raises the maximum player count to five by allowing someone to play the Ambassador and move it during his turn. He can still gather clues when the other players question the Ambassador during their turn, and the other players can still gather clues from him. The goal of the Ambassador's player is to know everything about the other characters, guessing their identities and builds. If the Ambassador achieves "perfect knowledge" before a team accomplishes its secret missions, he wins the game.

Other Information: • MSRP in the U.S. is $40; Ares hasn't passed along a price for Spiel 2013.

• Available in English and German editions from Ares Games, in French from IELLO (although I'm not sure whether IELLO will have copies at Spiel 2013), and in German from Piatnik (3-D108), which is also producing the Czech and Hungarian editions of the game.
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34. Board Game: Sails of Glory [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:1384] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Italian
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Sails of Glory is a series of games that recreates naval combat in the Age of Sails (1650-1815). Based on the game system used in Wings of Glory (formerly Wings of War), Sails of Glory uses miniatures, cards and board game mechanisms, with a special deck of maneuver cards representing the different movement capabilities of each vessel. The game will be supported by a range of painted and assembled 1/1000 miniatures.

Players will choose their maneuver cards in secret, then reveal them all at the same moment. The card features arrows to be put in front of the miniature, then the latter is moved on top of the arrowhead. Several options on the same card are available depending on the wind and, with advanced rules, the sails used. After all ships moved, guns are fired from the sides of the miniature to targets in range.

The Wings of Glory game system has been modified and expanded to accurately represent battles at sea between the large sailing ships of the past centuries. The first series of Sails of Glory will be set in the Napoleonic Age. If the game is successful, in the future Sails of Glory will be extended to cover other historical periods, such as the Age of Discovery, the Middle Ages and ancient times.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Spiel 2013 and on display in its final production quality, but since backers of the Kickstarter project won't receive their games until November, copies of Sails of Glory are not available for purchase.
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35. Board Game: Wings of Glory: WW2 Airplane Packs [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.92 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 99
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

Single-plane blisters with one 1/200 model plane, assembled and painted, and its deck of maneuver cards.

Re-Implements:

See Also:

Other Information: • MSRP in the U.S. is $15; Ares hasn't passed along a price for Spiel 2013.

• Series 3 of the WW2 Airplane Packs (Focke-Wulf FW-190, Spitfire Mk.IX, North American P-51 D Mustang and Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate) reaches stores in October 2013 and will be available for purchase at Spiel 2013, both from Ares Games and from Heidelberger Spieleverlag (1-B105), the game's distributor in the German market.
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Board Game Publisher: Argentum Verlag
• Hall-booth 3-E103
36. Board Game: Yunnan [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:1350]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Yunnan — home of delicious Pu'er tea. For more than 1,000 years, the tea dynasties have provided this sought-after good via their horse caravans to faraway Tibet. The Tea-Horse Road — a network of paths and roads leading through the jungles of Yunnan, across the steppes of Sichuan, and over the peaks of the Himalaya — is the traditional travel route of the tea traders.

In Yunnan, players control the fate of their tea dynasties. Their main goal is to establish a broad and secure trading network to deliver the tea to the farthest provinces, doing it better than their opponents. The main work behind the scenes is done in Pu'er, their home location: New traders need to be trained, better horses need to be acquired, and a good number of border passes need to be requested to be able to reach the farthest provinces.

Mere trading is not enough to beat the competition, however. Great social influence and a prestigious tea house may come in handy to propitiate the province inspector. Bridges provide shortcuts, and trading posts in faraway places secure one's own path along the Tea-Horse Road.

Yunnan is well-suited for players who like tactical development games. Due to the interleaving game mechanisms, the players are involved at all times. The great variety of available actions allows for different strategies. Only the player who calculates well, goes against the proper opponents, and reacts to the actions of others swiftly and adequately will win this game, which includes no elements of chance.

Other Information: • MSRP €35, but discounted to €30 for sales at Spiel 2013.

• Previously I had listed this game as including rules in multiple languages, but in fact Argentum will have separate German-only, English-only and French-only editions, with Italian rules being available for download separately.

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Board Game Publisher: Artipia Games
• Hall/booth 1-D137
37. Board Game: Among the Stars: The Ambassadors [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

In order to assist in the construction of their space stations, each race has formed a team of ambassadors to visit other space stations in need. These ambassadors are willing to offer their services and strengthen the bonds of the newly-formed alliance.

These ambassadors are introduced in the game with the addition of a fourth action that allows the players to invite them to their station and make them part of their Council. Each ambassador comes with a different ability, based on his race's strengths and capabilities. However, there is limited space in each player's Council so they have to choose wisely who they are going to invite.

Among the Stars: The Ambassadors is a boxed expansion for Among the Stars featuring more than 150 new cards. Apart from the Ambassador cards, it includes more than twenty different new Locations, new Objectives, a new Alien race, new Conflict sets (to replace the original one, rather than mix with).

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38. Board Game: Archon: Glory & Machination [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1849]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
French
German
Description:

The land of Cardis has been ruled for many years by King Rhodrig. Cardis is a rich and powerful kingdom controlling all neighboring provinces, which provide valuable resources. All this wealth attracts warlords and raiding parties who more than often launch attacks against the kingdom. So far Cardis has stood against such attacks but with heavy casualties. Thanks to the support of wealthy Archons, the kingdom gets rebuilt so that Science and Arts can flourish once again. At the same time new soldiers are recruited and the army prepares for the inevitable moment when the kingdom will need to be defended once again.

In Archon: Glory & Machination, players are powerful Archons who support Cardis in order to win King's favor. Players use their influence on their Courtiers and on various figures of authority (Magisters).

Each game consists of three Seasons. For each of these Seasons, the King issues different demands that players must fulfill in order to score Victory Points. Each season consists of 3 rounds during which players use a card-driven worker placement mechanism to perform various actions that will allow them to gather resources and income, recruit soldiers and, rebuild the city, and acquire scoring cards (Science & Arts). They will also have the chance to train Elite Warriors to assist in the city's defense. After nine rounds, the game ends and the player with the most Victory Points wins.

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39. Board Game: New Dawn [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2341]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

And the story continues...
Twenty years after the Alliance was formed, the cost of constructing new space stations is becoming unbearable.
In order to improve the economy, the Alliance has decided to rebuild and recolonize some of the planets and space facilities who were abandoned during the war. By activating them once more, the Alliance is hoping to acquire the much needed funds and resources.

In New Dawn – a thematic sequel to Among the Stars and part of the Among the Stars Universe series – players take the role of Alliance officials.
Their assignment is to explore and revive a galactic sector. By developing various technologies and dispatching ambassadors, each player has the chance to visit abandoned planets, military facilities and space stations and establish bases to maintain control. Competition is fierce, and each mistake in maintaining control can cost dearly...

Both New Dawn and Among the Stars: Revival are compatible with the Among the Stars: Miniatures Pack accessory, which brings even more thematic elements and a great look to your games in the Among the Stars Universe.

It is a... New Dawn. Will you be part of the solution, or will you be part of the problem?

Other Information: • Available for playtesting at Spiel 2013 ahead of its forthcoming release.
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40. Board Game: Shadows over the Empire [Average Rating:6.00 Overall Rank:5151]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The King is dead! Cardis has fallen...

After a long siege, the empire of Asmidan has conquered Cardis and the Conclave of Law has been sent by the Emperor to establish the new rule. The city is in disarray and several factions struggle for power behind the scenes. The former Queen is using her influence to gather allies in an effort to help her son claim the throne. The Order of the Coin — a group of wealthy individuals — wants to rise to power ensuring the gold keeps flowing. The Asmidan's Church desires to seize control of the newly conquered city by using the feared Inquisition to sway whoever opposes it.

In Shadows over the Empire, players take the role of leaders of four factions in a struggle for control of Cardis. They must influence various personalities and have them do their bidding. Loyalties are constantly changing and great allies become mortal enemies in a city filled with desire for dominion. Who will prevail?

Other Information:
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Board Game Publisher: Asmodee
Games from A to Z
• Hall-booth 3-B108 for Asmodee's primary booth and demo area
• Hall-booth 3-K106 for the smaller, secondary demo area

• Asmodee is both publisher and distributor, so it has both its own titles for sales and demo at Spiel 2013 in addition to titles from publishers it distributes in Germany. In addition to what's listed below, the titles and publishers that Asmodee will feature at Spiel 2013 includes the following, with some publishers also having their own booths:

Cool Mini Or Not
Zombicide (MSRP €75)

Days of Wonder
Relic Runners (Spiel 2013 Preview link)
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 4 - Nederland

Hobby World
Berserk (Preview link)

Lautapelit.fi
Eclipse: Ship Pack One (Preview link)
Nations

Libellud
Dixit 4 (Preview link)
Seasons: Enchanted Kingdom

Obey the skull!
Lookout Games
Agricola: Noch mehr Ställe für das liebe Vieh (Preview link)
Bremerhaven
Caverna
Karnickel
Náufragos: Die Schiffbrüchigen

Ludically
Dungeon Twister: Das Kartenspiel (Preview link)

Lui-même
Skull (Preview link)

Marabunta
Ascension: Aufstieg von Vigil (Preview link)

Repos Production
Concept (Preview link)
Mascarade
Rampage
Sag's mir! Familie
Sag's mir! Filme
Sag's mir! Personen
Sandwich

Treefrog Games
Die Hexen (Preview link)

WizKids Games
Trains and Stations (Preview link)

Ystari Games
Prosperity (Preview link)
Spyrium

Z-Man Games
Pandemie
41. Board Game: Ascension: Aufstieg von Vigil [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:1102] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Ascension: Rise of Vigil is a deck-building game in which players acquire cards from a central pool, then place those cards in their discard pile to be shuffled into their deck for later use; creatures also show up in that shared card pool, and players can combat them to earn victory points (VPs) and possibly other benefits, such as the ability to remove less useful cards from their deck or to banish cards from the pool that others might find useful. The game ends once all the available VPs have been claimed or the shared deck of cards runs out.

Ascension: Rise of Vigil, part of the Ascension deck-building game series, is both a standalone game for 2-4 players and an expansion that can be combined with any other Ascension game to support up to six players.

Rise of Vigil introduces treasure cards to the game system, with all treasure cards in this set being "Energy Shard". When a treasure card is drawn from the shared deck, you place it in the empty space in the shared pool, then continue to draw until you reveal a hero, monster or construct to cover the treasure. When you acquire or defeat that top card, you also gain the treasure, which is added to your deck like hero and construct cards. When you play a treasure from your hand, you immediately draw another card from your deck; more importantly, you can use the energy on these cards to activate special powers on certain heroes, constructs and monsters. (Non-treasure cards can also provide energy, but they are usually worth VPs whereas treasure is worthless aside from the energy.) Energy available on a turn can be "spent" more than once, so if you have, say, two energy, then you can power up all cards with an Energize cost of two or less.

Other Information: • MSRP €35
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42. Board Game: Berserk: War of the Realms [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:4742] [Average Rating:6.42 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 40 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Berserk is a fantasy card game that was invented in 1993 and published in Russia in 2003. Since then it has become the most popular collectible card game in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. In the ten years of its existence, nineteen expansions for the game have been published. Today there are over 4000 different cards, featuring unique illustrations created for Berserk by various artists throughout the world.

Berserk: War of the Realms, the second English-language edition of the Berserk tactical card game, consists of six 30-card ready-to-play decks and 63 cards for customizing. You should start by looking at the comic strip, which explains the rules basics. Begin your first battle, using the Complete Rules as a reference!

Other Information: • MSRP €40
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43. Board Game: Cardline: Globetrotter [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:3473]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 7
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

Like its predecessor Cardline: Animals, players of Cardline: Globetrotter want to rid themselves of cards as quickly as they can, with the first player to have an empty hand winning the game.

The game includes approximately 100 cards. Both sides of each card depict a country, while only one side of the card includes information about that country's size, population, GDP, and CO₂ emissions. For each game, players decide before playing which of these four country traits they'll compare.

At the start of the game, each player places a number of country cards on the table in front of her with the characteristics hidden. One card is placed in the center of the table with its characteristics revealed. Players then take turns placing a card from their tableau in a row on the table; a player can place a card between any two other cards or at either end of the row. After placing the card, the player reveals the characteristics on it. If the card was placed correctly – that is, with the particular characteristic in numerical order compared to all other cards on the table – the card stays in place; otherwise the card is removed from play and the player takes another card from the deck and adds it to her tableau.

The first player to get rid of all her cards by placing them correctly wins. If multiple players go out in the same round, then everyone else is eliminated from play and each of those players are dealt one more card for another round of play. If only one player has no cards after a bonus round, she wins; otherwise play continues until a single player goes out.

Other Information: • Available for demo games in the Asmodee booth. Why? The German version of the game won't hit the market until Q2 2014, and since the Asmodee branch running this show is German (no surprise there), it doesn't have French pr English copies on hand for sale.
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44. Board Game: Continental Express [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:5430]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Continental Express, players add train cars to their station in the hope of fulfilling objectives and maximizing the value of their secret contract. To start the game, each player chooses one of two contract cards dealt to them; these contracts require players to collect icons of a particular color or groups of like-colored icons or icons and company tokens of differing colors.

Players then take turns drafting cards from three face-up rows; the card on the end of each row costs nothing, the card in the middle costs $1, and the card closest to each of the three decks costs $2. Players start with no money, however, and the only way to get some is to draft it – but naturally that means you'll be forgoing other cards. If a player has train cars matching one of the three face-up objective cards, he can choose to discard those train cars and claim the objective – and since the objectives have the icons that satisfy contracts, you'll probably want to do that.

In addition to train cars and money, players can draft characters, taking the special action of a character when he drafts one. Actions include things like taking a train car of your choice from the card array, stealing all money from one player, and taking a company token of the color of your choice. The card decks also include two events, and those cards flush either the objective cards on display or the smaller cards that players draft.

When a player claims his fourth objective, each other player takes one more turn, then the game ends. Players tally the points scored for their contract (if any), their claimed objective cards, and any money still in hand. Whoever has the highest score wins!

Other Information: • Available for demo games in the Asmodee booth. Why? The German version of the game won't hit the market until Q2 2014, and since the Asmodee branch running this show is German (no surprise there), it doesn't have French or English copies on hand for sale.
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45. Board Game: Dungeon Twister: Das Kartenspiel [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:4256]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 15 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
German
Description:

Dungeon Twister: The Card Game is a two-player-only take on Dungeon Twister with the entire game converted into cards. As in the original game, players in Dungeon Twister: The Card Game build a team from the characters and objects available to them, then head into the maze to try to navigate the hazards by using their action points each turn to move, rotate rooms, collect items, and combat opponents, making their way to the opposite side of the maze while avoiding – or taking out – the opponent's characters along the way.

Before starting the game, players choose a scenario card that details the number of rooms in the maze and the number of characters and objects each player uses. With the scenario cards, players can learn the game progressively, starting with the easiest scenario – which uses 2x2 rooms and starts each player with two characters and two objects – and moving into more difficult scenarios from there.

Other Information: • MSRP €23
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46. Board Game: Hotel Tycoon [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:16753]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Hotel Tycoon, first published as Hotels, is a Monopoly-like game in which hotel tycoons try to buy and build the best hotels in the world and compete for guests. The game caters two to four players, ages eight and up. An average game lasts about 90 minutes.

Players try to buy and build the best hotels in this game, earning the most money or bankrupting their opponents. A successful hotel consists of three components: the land on which it's built, the hotel buildings, and the entrances by which guests arrive in the hotels. All three components need to be bought separately with in-game money. As in Monopoly, money is earned by players who end up on one of the entrances of your hotels, after their dice roll. The more luxurious the hotel, the more money a guest will earn you. Money you can use to build extensions to your existing hotels, buying new entrances or pay other players when you arrive at their hotels.

The game consists out of cardboard, three-dimensional hotel buildings, recreational grounds and entrance stairs that can be placed on the large game board.

Other Information: • MSRP €35

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47. Board Game: Hyperborea [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:577]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 50 − 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

The mythical realm of Hyperborea was ruled by an ancient civilization that used magical crystals as their main source of energy. With time, the Hyperboreans became greedy, and their search for power in the deep made the crystals unstable, causing earthquakes, mutations, droughts and floods. Hyperboreans just dug deeper, and only a few wise mages, foreseeing the inevitable, built an unbreakable magical barrier. When the unharnessed magical energy was unleashed from the deep, the Hyperborean civilization was destroyed in a single day, only the magical barrier preventing the disappearance of life from the whole land. The survivors living in the small outposts outside Hyperborea were now sealed out by the barrier. The knowledge of crystals was declared forbidden it was because too dangerous, or simply forgotten.

Over centuries, six rival realms were born from the ashes of the Hyperborean civilization: the militarist Red Duchy; the Emerald Kingdom and its death-delivering archers; the Purple Matriarchy fanatically worshipping the goddess of life; the skilled diplomats and merchants of the Golden Barony; the Coral Throne with its efficiently organized society and finally the secluded and enigmatic Celestial Reign.

The fragile peace between the different realms was not intended to last. One day, the magical barrier suddenly collapsed. A whole new land stood in front of the six kingdoms, still haunted by the old Hyperboreans turned into harmless but ominous ghosts, full of ruins to discover and cities to explore. Each realm is now sending its best warriors and explorers to Hyperborea in order to achieve dominance over their rivals, but which will prevail? Brutal strength or deep understanding of science? The discovery of valuable artifacts in the lost ruins or the retaking of long, lost cities? Only you, as the leader of one of the factions, can lead your people to the ultimate dominance over Hyperborea!

Set in a mythical land of the same name, Hyperborea is a light civilization game for 2 to 6 players that takes 20-25 minutes per player. The game begins at the time when the magic barrier protecting access to the mythical continent of Hyperborea suddenly falls.

Each player takes the role of the leader of a small kingdom situated just outside the now open to be conquered and explored land. Her kingdom has limited knowledge of housing, trade, movement, warfare, research, and growth, but new and exciting powers are hidden in Hyperborea. During the game, this kingdom will grow in numbers and raise armies, extend its territory, explore and conquer, learn new technologies, etc...

The game's main mechanism, which can be described as "bag-building", involves you building a pool of "civilicubes". Each cube represents specializations for your kingdom: war, trade, movement, building, knowledge, growth. Grey cubes represent corruption and waste, and players will acquire them by developing new technologies. (Power corrupts by its own definition, and the more complex a society becomes, the more waste it generates.) Each turn, players draw three random cubes from their bags, then use them to activate knowledge (technologies) they own.

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48. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:110]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 40 − 200 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

From the humble beginnings of civilization through the historical ages of progress, mankind has lived, fought, and built together in nations. Great nations protect and provide for their own, while fighting and competing against both other nations and nature itself. Nations must provide food and stability as the population increases. They must build a productive economy. And all the while, they must amaze the world with their great achievements to build up their heritage as the greatest nations in the history of mankind!

Nations is an intense historical board game for 1–5 players that takes 40 minutes per player to play. Players control the fate of nations from their humble start in prehistoric times until the beginning of World War I. The nations constantly compete against each other and must balance immediate needs, long-term growth, threats, and opportunities.

Gameplay introduction

Players choose a Nation and a difficulty to play at, similar to the Civilization computer games series. After the growth phase, 2 historical events are revealed, which the players will compete for during the round. Then players take a single small action each, in player order, as many times as they wish until all have passed. Actions are:

  • Buy a card
  • Deploy a worker
  • Hire an architect for a wonder
  • Special action provided by a card

Players each have individual boards that represent their Nation. There are many ways that players affect, compete, and indirectly interact with other players. But there is no map, no units to move around, and no direct attacks on other players.

When all have passed, there is production, new player order is determined (every position is competed for), the historical events happen, and if this is the last round of an age, the books are scored. At the start of a new round, most old cards are removed and new ones are put on the display.

Victory points are gained and lost during the game, and also awarded at the end of the game. The player with the most victory points is the winner.

See 'More information' below for link to rules, etc.

Other Information: • MSRP €50

• Versions of Nations are also available in English (Lautapelit.fi), French (Ystari Games) and Italian (Asterion Press).

• Co-designer Rustan Håkansson will be at the Asmodee booth "a lot of time" to demo Nations and talk about the game, according to an Asmodee rep.
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49. Board Game: Náufragos: Die Schiffbrüchigen [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:1233]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
German
Description:

You've been shipwrecked on a deserted isle. Do you have the wits to survive until a rescue ship arrives? To make it, you'll need to build a camp and explore the interior to reach the summit. From there, you will scan the horizon for sign of a nearby ship. Only then will you be able to make a signal and get rescued! If you are rescued, your tale will be told around the world — but only if you have the best tale to tell! Of course, if you are not rescued, no one will hear your story...

Náufragos (a.k.a. Castaways) is a competitive collaboration game about four castaways who are stranded on a small island. They must collaborate to improve their shelter, gather food to eat and wood to keep the campfire burning, and figure out how to advance to the interior of the island, as only from the vantage point of the highest spot on the island will they have a view of the vast ocean – and even more importantly, a view of the ship on the horizon that promises rescue! The players must manage their time in order to deliver a signal to this passing vessel – but even if they're all rescued, in the end only one player will win, that being the one who writes the best story at the end of the game, the one who lives and retells the greatest adventure from all the survivors, the one who has collected the most story points.

Other Information: • MSRP €40
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50. Board Game: Skull [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:396]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

Edited description from Bruno Faidutti's write-up of the game in his Ideal Game Library:

Skull & Roses is the quintessence of bluffing, a game in which everything is played in the players' heads. Each player plays a face-down card, then each player in turn adds one more card – until someone feels safe enough to state that he can turn a number of cards face up and get only roses. Other players can then overbid him, saying they can turn even more cards face up. The highest bidder must then turn that number of cards face up, starting with his own. If he shows only roses, he wins; if he reveals a skull, he loses, placing one of his cards out of play. Two successful challenges wins the game. Skull & Roses is not a game of luck; it's a game of poker face and meeting eyes.

Skull & Roses Red features the same gameplay as Skull & Roses, with the only change being alternate rules that allow each player to control two biker gangs. Both Skull & Roses Red and Skull are playable on their own, with each game containing six different biker gangs. Each Skull or Skull & Roses set can be combined with another to allow for games with more than six players.

Other Information: • MSRP €15

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