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: WizKids
• Hall-booth 1-F117

• In addition to what's listed below, WizKids Games will hold HeroClix side events (with the type and schedule to be determined) on Thursday, Oct. 24, the HeroClix European National Qualifier on Friday, Oct. 25, and the HeroClix European National Championship on Saturday, Oct. 26, with the winner of that championship collecting lots of loot, being dubbed the 2013 HeroClix European National Champion, and winning a seat at the 2014 HeroClix World Championship, which will be held at Gen Con 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

• As is its habit, WizKids Games will have a couple of convention-only HeroClix items for sale: for DC HeroClix it's the Trinity of Sin and for Marvel HeroClix, it's Shuma-Gorath, complete with an articulated eye. Ideal for a carry-on item for the trip back home!

526. Board Game: Star Trek: Attack Wing [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:1097]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 99
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

Star Trek: Attack Wing is a tactical space combat miniatures game, featuring pre-painted ships from the Star Trek Universe.

By using the FlightPath maneuver system* (licensed from Fantasy Flight Games), players engage in exploration and combat, traversing sprawling Star Trek space maps made available via an in-store Organized Play program. As commander, players have the ability to customize, upgrade, and assign famous crewmembers to their fleets, which feature ships from the series' prominent empires and forces as well as special stats and abilities, and unique maneuvers on separate Combat Dials.

Star Trek: Attack Wing is a standalone game which uses the core rule set of FFGs' FlightPath game system with a Star Trek twist, but is not compatible with other FlightPath games from FFG. The FlightPath maneuver system used in Star Trek: Attack Wing is based on the original game design by Jason Little.

Other Information: • In addition to the base game, WizKids Games will have eight expansions for Star Trek: Attack Wing (with more due in the final months of 2013):

Gor Portas Expansion Pack
I.K.S. Gr'oth Expansion Pack
I.K.S. Negh'Var Expansion Pack
I.R.W. Valdore Expansion Pack
Kraxon Expansion Pack
R.I.S. Apnex Expansion Pack
U.S.S. Enterprise Expansion Pack
U.S.S. Reliant Expansion Pack

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527. Board Game: Trains and Stations [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:5496]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Description:

Game description from the publisher:

It is the height of the Steam Age and the whistle of the Iron Horse harkens the boom of small towns across the country into major hubs of transportation and economic growth.

In Trains and Stations, a new take on train games, players must make deliveries, develop buildings, and profit from their decisions while working with and against other players. Will you focus on establishing mining operations in an attempt to gain a monopoly on coal, silver, and gold? Or perhaps you will focus on laying tracks across the landscape and helping other players move their goods—taking your cut, of course. Every game will evolve differently with unique twists and turns as you control the movement of goods across the game map!

Other Information: • MSRP €35

• The German branch of Asmodee is distributing Trains and Stations in that country and will also have the game available at its booth (3-B108).

• Designer Eric M. Lang will be demoing and talking about Trains and Stations in the Asmodee demo booth (3-K106) each day of the convention from 13:30 to 14:00.

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Board Game Publisher: Wonder Games (I)
• Hall-booth 2-C101
528. Board Game: Conjurers [Average Rating:5.44 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

"After the king’s death, your country is at civil war, and the mayor of your town seeks the most powerful conjurer to lead the troops against rival armies from neighbor towns. You know that if you could prove yourself worthy of leading these troops, fame and wealth would follow. By assembling the most powerful army of mythological creatures equipped with rare artifacts, you will beat the other conjurers in town."

During the twelve rounds of "Conjurers", the conjuring players and their assistants struggle to gather sufficient resources to purchase powerful items and magical artifacts. Simultaneously, they need to build up their armies of mythological creatures in order to wage war against increasingly powerful beasts and rivaling conjurers alike. The conjurers will have to fight at the mythological battlegrounds of Olympus Mons, Valhalla, Shangri La, Garden of Eden, and Duat in order to force the defeated creatures to be summoned to future battles at the conjurers' demand. Time is of the essence, each turn is valuable, and faulty decisions can cost you dearly.

"Conjurers" takes place in a mythological universe and is a game of priorities and strategy, which allows for a high degree of diversity from game to game. So buckle up, and prepare for an intense and challenging experience from start to finish.

Game description:

"Conjurers" is a strategy board game based on five different mythologies: The Biblical, the Egyptian, the Greek, the Japanese, and the Norse. The objective is to collect the highest number of points, which are all counted by the end of the game, after round 12. Points may be gathered through creatures, artifacts, and resources. A player may choose a strategy of striving for one or more of various point bonuses, such as an Abundance Bonus, which is unlocked by controlling a large number of creatures within the same mythology by the end of the game. It is therefore possible to disrupt the plans and strategies of the opponents throughout the game – if you succeed in figuring out their strategy.

"Conjurers" is a worker placement game, which consists of 4 phases, each with 3 rounds. At the start of each phase new actions are unlocked. The primary actions are to:

• gather resources
• buy items and artifacts
• hire assistants to get more actions
• attempt to gain control of a mythological creature by defeating it in battle
• collect feed for your creatures
• sacrifice creatures to gain resources and optimize your army
• duel the other conjurers

Each player starts with one conjurer figure, one assistant figure, and three level 1 creatures in their armies. If a player allocates the conjurer figure or the warrior assistant to one of the mythological battlegrounds, he or she may choose any creature, level 2 – 5, from the given mythology and fight it. If the player defeats the creature, he or she collects it, and it becomes part of that player’s army. A conjurer can only bring three creatures from the army into each battle. The fighting creatures are chosen at random after the player has declared which mythological creature he or she is attempting to defeat. Optimizing your army is therefore vital if you wish to try to collect the higher level creatures.

Please note that "Conjurers" is a worker placement game; the battle sequences are rather brief, and it is the strategic decisions on point combinations and player interaction which is at the heart of the game. Good luck, and enjoy.

Other Information: • Price for Spiel 2013 €45 (was €55)
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Board Game Publisher: Wotan Games
• Hall-booth 2-C118

• In addition to what's below, Wotan Games notes on Facebook that it plans to have a playtest version of King Arthur's Noble Knights at Spiel 2013 and possibly a version of Excalibur.
529. Board Game: Camelot: The Build [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:8371]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Camelot - The Build is a game of medieval interior design with all sorts of dubious stratagems, dirty tricks and subtle ploys designed to challenge all ages and types of players. The game has only three rules, allowing everyone to understand how to play it and win.

Camelot - The Build — having only three rules, a playing time of a half-hour, and bright, humorous graphics — it is the first title in "The Camelot Chronicles", a series of easy-to-play games with a target of three rules, maximum playing time of one hour, and universal playability and appeal.

Other Information: • Wotan Games notes on Facebook that copies of the printed game "are being airfreighted over from China at astronomical expense", so the game should be available at the show.
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Board Game Publisher: yonjuni games
• Hall/booth 3-Q101, but only on Thursday and Friday (15:00-17:00) in space shared with Blast City Games and Mondainai. Sounds like a small publisher party!
530. Board Game: DubbelYatzy [Average Rating:6.36 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Swedish
Description:

DubbelYatzy is based on the Swedish version of the classic dice game Yahtzee (Yatzy in Swedish) or Kniffel, but whereas Yatzy uses normal six-sided dice – with players rolling to achieve combinations like a full house, a straight and "lots of 6s" – DubbelYatzy includes special double dice, with a smaller die inside each larger transparent die. You still want to achieve combinations with your die rolls, but now you score a combination each with the inner dice and the outer ones. Thankfully, you have some wiggle room when shooting for combination targets as you roll six double dice, but use only five outer and five inner dice when scoring combinations, with you choosing each five as you wish.

DubbelYatzy uses standard Swedish Yatzy scoring rules, which are somewhat different from Yahtzee rules, but can also be played with international Yahtzee or German Kniffel scoring.

The playing time is 15 minutes per player.

Other Information: • Price €10; you can preorder through the yonjuni website.
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Board Game Publisher: Ystari Games
• Hall-booth 3-B108 as Asmodee serves as this publisher's distributor in Germany, so it's organizing demos and sales at Spiel 2013. In addition to that main demo area, Asmodee has a smaller, secondary demo area at 3-K106.
531. Board Game: Myrmes [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:457]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

In Myrmes, originally shown under the name ANTerpryse, players control ant colonies and use their ants to explore the land (leaving pheromones in their wake); harvest "crops" like stone, earth and aphids; fight with other ants; complete requests from the Queen; birth new ants; and otherwise dominate their tiny patch of dirt, all in a quest to score points and prove that they belong at the top of the heap, er, anthill. After three seasons of scrabbling and foraging, each ant colony faces a harsh winter that will test its colonial strength.

In game terms, each player has an individual game board to track what's going on inside his colony – that is, whether the nurses are tending to larvae or doing other things, where the larvae are in their growth process, what resources the colony has, which actions are available to workers when they leave the colony, and so on. The shared game board shows the landscape outside the exit tunnel that all colonies share; after exiting this tunnel, workers ants can move over the terrain to place pheromones (which gives them access to resource cubes), clean up empty pheromones (to make space), hunt prey (by discarding soldiers) or place special tiles (but only if they've developed the ant colony).

The game lasts three years, and at the start of each year three season dice are rolled to determine the event for each season: extra larvae or soldiers, more VPs for actions, and so on. Within each season, players can spend larvae to adjust the event for themselves on their personal player board. (Put the kids to work!) After adjusting the event, player allocate nurses to birth larvae, worker or soldier ants or to use them for other actions. The worker ants then do their thing, working within the colony itself (although only one colony level is open initially) or traveling to the outside world to hunt prey (ladybugs, termites, spiders), lay down pheromones (which later lets them claim resources on these spaces), place special tiles (like an aphid farm or sub-colony), or clear out pheromones left by ants from any colony. After harvesting, nurses who didn't tend to births then take additional actions, such as opening a new tunnel that only your colony can use, clearing a new level within your colony, or meeting one of the six objectives (capture a certain number of prey, build special tiles, and so on) laid out at the start of the game.

After three seasons, players must pay food to get their colony through winter, losing points if they can't. Whoever has the most points after three years wins. All hail our new ant overlords!

Other Information: • Yes, this game is already available, having debuted at Spiel 2012. So why am I listing it in the Spiel 2013 Preview? Because Ystari Games plans to have a corrected set of tiles for Myrmes, along with a mini-expansion for the game, available at Spiel 2013. Here's a note from Ystari's Thomas Cauët explaining what's going on:

Quote:
Everything is on the way and corrective tiles+mini expansion will be done during summer. We will face difficulties to distribute them, so it will be three ways:

- BGG will get a part for the BGG store at Essen, and they will sell at minimum price (which is 2.5 I guess), money you are donating to BGG
- at Essen, you can ask freely for the tiles at our booth
- the Ystari store on the website will have the product around Essen at a price of 0, but there will be standard shipping costs

This mini-expansion previously appeared in issue #2 of Ystari Magazine (PDF, page 23).
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532. Board Game: Prosperity [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1655]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

You're the leader of a great nation which is currently expanding. Over the course of the seven decades covered by the game, you will have to invest in infrastructures and industries, provide your country with energy and invest in advanced research in order to remain competitive.

But prosperity has a price. You owe it to future generations to leave them a healthy world. Pollution lurks, but will you be able to limit it?

Prosperity has players building up their countries on a grand but abstract scale, with them needing to balance concerns over energy and ecology with the constant need for capital and the long-term goal of prosperity points.

The game starts with 24 tiles available, half on the energy side of the shared game board and half on the ecology side. Two tiles on each side are placed on levels 1-6, with the players each having two research markers – energy and ecology – that start at level 1. Each player has an individual game board with color-coded spaces for tiles, a pollution track, and tracks for energy and ecology. A stack of 36 tiles – with tiles arranged by decades: the six from 2030 on the bottom, then the five from 2020, and so on to the five from 1970 – is set up during the playing area.

On a turn, a player draws the top tile from the stack, then everyone resolves the symbol highlighted on the tile:

  • Energy – for a positive value, earn money; for a negative value, lose money or increase your pollution
  • Ecology – remove or add discs to your pollution track
  • Capital – earn money for each capital symbol on the tiles you own
  • Research – advance one research marker one space for each research symbol on tiles you own
  • Prosperity – score points for each prosperity symbol on tiles you own, but only if your pollution isn't maxed out

Once everyone has done this, the active player takes two actions, repeating an action if desired. The possible actions are:

  • Take money.
  • Remove one pollution marker.
  • Move forward one space on one research track.
  • Buy a tile, with the amount owed being based on whether the tile is energy or ecology and the level of your corresponding research marker. If you buy a tile of the same level, the cost is €100; if the tile is of a higher level, you pay €100, plus €100 for each level; and if the tile is lower, you pay a flat €50.

Players have limited space for tiles on their individual boards, especially since the tiles and spaces are color-coded, but players can cover existing tiles, if desired, losing any benefits (or penalties) in the process. Some parts of the individual board are off-limits to new infrastructure until you first provide transport; toll roads, highways and even train systems have drawbacks of their own, but ideally you'll be able to build your way past those trouble spots without causing too much pollution.

When the final tile is drawn, that player finishes his turn, then everyone scores: twice for their energy and ecology levels, one for capital (with money being converted into prosperity points), once for research on both tracks (with points for those researching the most), and once for prosperity. Whoever tallies the most prosperity points wins!

Other Information: • MSRP €33

• Separate French, English and English/German editions of Prosperity should be available at Spiel 2013.

• Co-designers Reiner Knizia and Sebastian Bleasdale will be at the Asmodee booth to sign copies of Prosperity, perform double-dutch, etc. on Saturday from 14:30 to 15:00.
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533. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:560]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

Spyrium is set in an alternate world, an England set in a steampunk-based universe. Players build factories, needing workers to manage the production of a commodity previously unknown to us called "Spyrium". Producing Spyrium in one factory, then processing it in the next results in victory points (VPs) for that particular player. Alternatively, Spyrium can be purchased, but the material is rare and expensive, and players are constantly scraping for money.

Only those who from the beginning of the game manage to increase their regular income or their base of permanently employed workers (who can be used again and again to raise money) will be flexible enough to get their hands on the important end-of-game buildings to generate many VPs.

The circular nature of the game is flexible as each player can decide for himself when to move out of the placement phase and into the activation phase. With the two tracks in the game, those involved with delivery during the worker phase can then be used to raise money, to purchase an adjacent card, or to work on their own in an idle factory. All of these things are important, but in the end only the player who has dealt best with the lack of money, workers, and Spyrium will win.

Other Information: • MSRP €29

• Ystari Games will also have copies of Spyrium with English rules and with German rules.
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Board Game Publisher: Yū-gen Roman
• Hall 3 – booth O-101, in the Japon Brand booth
534. Board Game: Donburiko [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:7704]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Japanese
Description:

Players in Donburiko (ドンブリコ) need to grab acorns while staying out of the ponds, as acorns don't appreciate spending lots of time in the water. (The game's setting comes from the children's nursery song "Donguri Korokoro" (どんぐりころころ), in which acorns roll down from the hills into the ponds, first excitedly playing with the loaches – a type of freshwater fish – only to then pine for the mountain left behind. The last line of the song: "He cried and the loach didn't know what to do.")

Each player starts with a few chips, each worth a point. The 16-card deck – which consists of two loaches (worth 0), four ponds (worth -1 or -2) and ten acorns (worth 1-5) – is shuffled, then a number of cards equal to the number of players are laid face-up. Each player receives a hand of 3-4 cards.

On a turn, a player either places a card from his hand into one of the columns or claims one of the columns. When placing a card, he can lay it face-up (taking one chip from the bank) or face-down (placing one of his chips on the card); when taking a column, it must have at least two cards and at most six.

After taking a column, the player sums the cards in that column, with a loach turning the negative ponds positive and with two of the acorns worth either 1 or 5 at the player's discretion. If the column's sum is between 0-6, the player takes that many chips from the bank; if more than 6 or less than 0, he pays the difference to the bank. This player is then out of the round, while the others continue to play cards or take columns.

A round ends when no columns remain, columns with only one card remain, or someone scores 6 chips from a column; in the latter case, the round ends immediately, and no one else scores anything. Players then start a new round. When the bank empties or a player has 20 or more chips, players complete the current round, then the player with the most chips wins!

Other Information: • Price €10

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Board Game Publisher: Z-Man Games, Inc.
• Hall-booth 3-K103

• In addition to what's listed below, at Spiel 2013 Z-Man Games will have English-language editions of Ginkgopolis: The Experts (also available from Pearl Games), Dungeon Petz: Dark Alleys, and a reprint of the Agricola: World Championship Deck - 2011.
535. Board Game: Blueprints [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:797]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

In Blueprints, players are architects who must use different colored dice to build three different structures from blueprints, with the dice providing different advantages to you. In the game, each round progresses like this:

  • Discover your blueprint.
  • Each turn, choose a die and place it in your building.
  • Reveal your building, tally your points, then discover who wins the awards and prizes.

After three rounds, players tally their awards and prizes to see who wins. Who will be the best architect?

Other Information: • Price $30
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536. Board Game: Bruxelles 1893 [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:269]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 50 − 125 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Bruxelles 1893 is a worker placement game with elements of bidding and majority control. Each player is an architect of the late 19th century and is trying to achieve, through various actions, an architectural work in the Art Nouveau style. The most successful building yields the most points. Each player can also create works of art to increase his score.

The action board is modular, with not every player having access to each action each turn. Some actions cost money – acquiring high-quality materials, building a level of your personal house, finding a patron, creating a work of art, selling that art for money and prestige – while other actions are free but can potentially cause you to lose one of your workers; these latter actions include acquiring low-quality materials, activating your patrons, visiting the stock exchange, and taking one of the actions with a cost. Once everyone has passed on taking more actions, the round ends and players have an art exhibition during which they can sell works. After this, players receive prestige points or bonus cards based on the symbols they've placed their workers next to on the action board.

After five rounds, the game ends and players score bonus points based on their architect level, their bonus cards, how well they've completed their work, and their money on hand. The player with the most points wins.

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537. Board Game: Carcassonne: South Seas [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:828]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 35 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Carcassonne: South Seas keeps the familiar tile-laying gameplay of the original Carcassonne, with players adding a tile to the playing area each round and optionally placing a token on the tile to claim ownership of...something. Instead of the familiar cities, roads and farms, however, players in Carcassonne: South Seas use their meeples to gather bananas, shellfish and fish, then ship those goods to traders in exchange for points.

Carcassonne: South Seas is the first game of a new series titled "Carcassonne Around the World".

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538. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:225]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 20 − 80 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Glass Road is a game that commemorates the 700-year-old tradition of glass-making in the Bavarian Forest. (Today the Glass Road is a route through the Bavarian Forest that takes visitors to many of the old glass houses and museums of that region.) You must skillfully manage your glass and brick production in order to build the right structures that help you to keep your business flowing. Cut the forest to keep the fires burning in the ovens, and spread and remove ponds, pits and groves to supply yourself with the items you need. Fifteen specialists are there at your side to carry out your orders...

The game consists of four building periods. Each player has an identical set of fifteen specialist cards, and each specialist comes with two abilities. At the beginning of each building period, each player needs to choose a hand of five specialists. If he then plays a specialist that no other player has remaining in his hand, he may use both abilities of that card; if two or more players play the same specialist, each of them may use only one of the two abilities. Exploiting the abilities of the specialists lets you collect resources, lay out new landscape tiles (e.g., ponds and pits), and build a variety of buildings. There are three types of buildings:

  1. Processing buildings
  2. Immediate buildings with a one-time effect
  3. Buildings that provide bonus points at the end of the game for various accomplishments

Mastering the balance of knowing the best specialist card to play and being flexible about when you play it – together with assembling a clever combination of buildings – is the key to this game.

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539. Board Game: Ricochet Robots [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:623] [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 99
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Ricochet Robots is less of a game and more of a puzzle, which explains why there's such an odd number of solutions possible. There's a four-piece modular board that forms a large room with walls spread around the board. There are also color-coded targets on boards. Placed on top of the surface are four robots. The idea for each turn/puzzle is to get the like-colored robot to a randomly selected target. The trick is that once a robot starts moving, it will continue to move until a wall or another robot stops it. Therefore, players are seeking a sequence of moves for the robots that will enable them to move the required robot to the target in the fewest moves.

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540. Board Game: Russian Railroads [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:71]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 90 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In Russian Railroads, players compete in an exciting race to build the largest and most advanced railway network. In order to do so, the players appoint their workers to various important tasks.

The development of simple tracks will quickly bring the players to important places, while the modernization of their railway network will improve the efficiency of their machinery. Newer locomotives cover greater distances and factories churn out improved technology. Engineers, when used effectively, can be the extra boost that an empire needs to race past the competition.

There are many paths to victory: Who will ride into the future full steam ahead and who will be run off the rails? Whose empire will overcome the challenges ahead and emerge victorious?


Game Summary
Each player has their own board, with space for factories, and 3 rail tracks (to 3 different cities). On each track, use a track token to mark the progression of your rails (different colored marker for each type or rail). Some interesting twists:
- The different track types must be built in a specific order (black, gray, brown, natural, white). Later tracks may never be advanced further on the track than the earlier tracks.
- On each track, as the track head advances, you cross several thresholds that provide awards: the ability to start a new color of track, victory points, bonus tiles, etc.
- Each track line can have one (two for the first rail) engine(s) associated with it; the size of the loco(s) determines how far down the track you actually score VP.

The central board has (almost) all the locations for placing workers. Each location requires 1-3 workers (of one player; played all together). Players, who start the game with 5 workers (or 6 workers, in 2-3 player games), will take turns using a location. These provide a variety of abilities, for example:
- advance 1 or more track heads by 1-3 spaces
- acquire an engine or factory; engines are allocated to rail lines, while factories (the reverse side of the tile) are placed on your factory line.
- earn 2 coins
- take 2 temporary workers
- jump ahead in turn order
- acquire an engineer, which has a unique power and becomes a worker-placement location only for you

Each round ends when all players have passed on placing/using workers. Then, score VP for each track and factory line. On each track line, only spaces as far down the track as the loco level will score. Each track type scores VP for every space from its track head back to where the next color of track starts. Track types built earlier (e.g. black) score less/space than later tracks (e.g., white). On each factory line the position of the purple industry marker(s) show how many VP are scored.

After 7 rounds (or 6 rounds, in 2-3 player games), the game ends; most VP wins!

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541. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:501]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends is a game played by masters of magic. Two to four summoners encounter each other in the Tash-Kalar arena, either in teams or each on his own, and prove their skill and strategy in a short but intense battle. By clever deployment of their minions, they create magic patterns for summoning powerful beings, and then use those to destroy their opponent’s forces or to prepare patterns for the ultimate legendary beings.

The game includes four different factions, each with a unique deck of beings to summon and one deck of legendary creatures. Players take turns placing their common pieces on the board, and if they succeed in creating patterns depicted on one of the cards in hand, they may play it. When played, the card summons a particular being and allows the player to perform an effect described on the card: a giant destroys neighboring pieces, a knight moves through enemy pieces, a warlord orders previously placed pieces to move and fight, an enchantress converts enemy pieces to player's own color, etc. After that, the player discards the card and the summoned being turns into a motionless piece which may be used in patterns for summoning other beings – or even be awakened and moved into combat by the effects of other cards.

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends offers two game modes. In the standard mode you score points for fulfilling various quests set by the Arena Masters: controlling certain points or areas of the arena, destroying a number of enemy pieces in a single turn, performing a certain combination of summonings, etc.

In melee mode, your only goal is to entertain the crowd. You do that by destroying your opponents and making them beg (i.e., making them use the catch-up mechanisms) and by summoning legendary beings. After all, people want to see a dragon! Both modes can be played as a two-player duel or as a team game with teammates sharing pieces and legendary cards, but with each controlling his own faction. (The game includes a duplicate of one faction in a different color.) The melee mode can also be played as a fierce free-for-all battle, but don't expect alliances; to achieve a good score, you need to destroy all opponents evenly as you track points scored on each opponent separately, and your lowest score is your final score.

The rules of Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends are simple and easy to understand, but as you start to discover the tactics and are able to anticipate the opponent's moves and patterns, it turns into a real clash of wits.

Other Information: • Price €35

• Separate English and German editions of Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends will be available at Spiel 2013.

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Board Game Publisher: Zoch Verlag
• Hall-booth 3-J108
542. Board Game: Finger weg! [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:9463]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Every answer is correct – with one exception from which you'd better keep your "Finger weg", that is to say, hands off. Otherwise, the high tension will overload and the fuse will blow!

Each round in Finger weg!, one of 287 cards in seven categories is placed into a special device — the "fuse box". This card shows one task or challenge and eight answers, one of them being false; the fuse box hides this information behind small sliding gates for each answer.

On a turn, the active player announces which one of the answers not yet chosen is correct. All of the other players now either join him in this opinion or quit the round. The player then moves the slider, and if he was correct, all players who haven't yet quit benefit — but maybe he was wrong...

Players who quit the round cannot rejoin for later answers, giving up any additional profit for each subsequent correct answer, so the main challenge of the game is to quit at the right time.

Finger weg! includes a 48-page booklet of facts and background about the tasks.

Other Information: • Price €40

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543. Board Game: Geistesblitz 5 vor 12 [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2338]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

The quick-playing reaction game Geisterblitz takes on new shape — and includes new shapes! — in Geistesblitz 5 vor 12.

In the original game, five wooden items sit on the table waiting to be caught — a white ghost, a green bottle, a cute grey mouse, a blue book, and a comfortable red chair — and the item to be grabbed depends on what's shown on the card revealed that round. Geistesblitz 5 vor 12 increases the challenge by including nine objects in five colors. Each round, a player reveals a card that shows three of these objects, and the player who grabs the object that has neither the same shape nor color appearing on the picture keeps the card — unless, that is:

  • An object on the card is in its original color, in which case you must grab this object.
  • And if an owl appears in the picture, you must name the object instead of grabbing it.
  • And if the ghost appears with a clock, you must give the time on the clock instead of doing anything else.
  • And if the magic mirror shows up, none of the other rules apply and you just need to grab whichever object is reflected by the mirror!

When the card deck runs out, whoever has collected the most cards wins.

Other Information: • Price €18

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544. Board Game: Polterfass [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:4334]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

The innkeeper of "The Wild Boar" tavern is a sly old dog! While he treats humble guests who don't ask for much to free rounds, for hard-drinking boozers he closes the tap and keeps the cool brew for himself.

Polterfass is a dice-rolling game without dice! Yes, the dice have been replaced by small beer barrels, and the active player each round is the innkeeper who shares his brew with players who keep their requests modest.

The game includes nine barrels — two of them being special ones — that are rolled out of a die cup. The normal barrel bases show numbers, while the special barrel bases show symbols that allow the innkeeper to double other values or cancel them. After each roll, only the values/symbols of "standing" barrels count.

After the active player has rolled for the first time, the other players secretly place cards with numbers in front of them. The active player then decides whether to reroll, change the values, or end his turn. Once his turn ends, the guests reveal their cards and sum them. If the innkeeper's total is less than this sum, he wins this round, keeping all the beer for himself while the guest with the highest card actually loses points! If the innkeeper's total is higher, each player scores the value of his played card, and the innkeeper keeps the rest.

When one player has at least 75 points, the game ends, and the player with the most points wins!

Other Information: • Price €18

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545. Board Game: Sauschwer [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:13852]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Sauschwer is an estimable estimation game in which everything revolves around weight. A baby hippo is certainly heavier than a 10-liter bucket of silver – or is it? And what if we add enough grapes to the silver to produce 100 liters of wine? Or 1000 tennis balls? Or...

Each of the 188 playing cards in Sauschwer asks for the weight of a person or one or more objects. On a turn, the active player estimates the weight in his mind and places the card next to one end of a seesaw scale. After that, he places a wooden pig on the side of the scale that he thinks is now the heavier side (adding the "weights" of all cards on both sides in mind). If at least one other player doubts that guess, all players bet on one side of the scale being the heavier one. The result is often close and surprising, and the players who guessed correctly earn victory points.

Other Information: • Price €18

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546. Board Game: Schmatzspatz [Average Rating:5.93 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 4 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

The breakfast worms are coming! Twelve hungry baby birds stretch their wide-open beaks into the air. Will the busy parent birds manage to get enough food for all of them?

In Schmatzspatz, four wooden birds sit on the edges of the circular rotating "board in the box", each with a worm in its beak. In the middle area are twelve hungry little birds with open mouths. A symbol die determines the sector of the board where the most hungry baby birds are. The player now decides which one of these birds to feed and tries to rotate the board to move one of the adult birds to the right position.

The turning board occasionally blocks the feeding, however,so the players must remember these "blocked" positions. When the worm can successfully be fed to the bird, the baby closes its beak. If the players manage to feed all the baby birds before running out of worms, they win the game together.

Schmatzspatz includes a competitive version in which each player tries to get rid of his worm supply first.

Other Information: • Price €30

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547. Board Game: Vaca Loca [Average Rating:5.73 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

Party in the Milky Way! All the extraterrestrial creatures have let their body parts whirl around and crisscross in outer space. When the head, body and legs of the same creature have been revealed, the quickest player catches hold of it. Vaca Loca is a high-speed reaction game for a super-terrestrial rush of adrenaline!

Vaca Loca – "mad cow" in Spanish – contains 60 square tiles, with each tile showing the head, body or legs of one of twenty different alien animals. Place these sixty tiles face down on the table, then shuffle them. One by one, each player reveals a single tile. Whenever the third tile of an animal is revealed, players race to place their hand as quickly as possible on the head tile of that animal. The fastest player collects the three tiles of the completed animal, placing them in front of him. Anyone who places his hand on an incorrect tile receives a "planet token", which is worth -1 point at the end of the game. Whoever ends up with the most points wins!

Other Information: • Price €20

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548. Board Game: Zicke & Zacke: Ran an die Federn [Average Rating:5.88 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Description:

It's eggactly high noon, and the chickens Zicke and Zacke have started a feather-trimming duel. Starting rump to rump, they flutter in opposite directions, but since they're running around the chicken yard in a circle, they will meet soon enough with loud clucking. Whoever manages to jump over the other adorns herself with a new tail feather — but the more the young chickens puff up their feathers, the slower they strut around. And the worms, who are skillful enough to flee time and again, also make for lots of stops during the race.

In the end, only the chicken that pays attention to closing her memory gaps will fill her rump with feathers and win by a beak.

In Zicke & Zacke: Ran an die Federn, thirteen face-up tiles lay in a circle around 13 face-down "yard tiles" that have the same pictures on them. Two players (or two teams) take turns moving the two chickens; each chicken needs to move to the space where a worm awaits, the worm being as many spaces ahead as the number of feathers not on the chicken. The player reveals a yard tile, and if it matches the space where his chicken's worm stands, he moves to that tile, then advances the worm the appropriate number of spaces, then tries to reveal that tile; if he reveals the wrong yard tile, his turn ends. If he manages to jump over the other chicken on his turn, his chicken gains a feather, but each feather slows a chicken down, making it harder to zoom around the chicken yard.

The player or team whose chicken gains four feathers first wins.

Other Information: • Price €20

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