Spiel 2014 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 International Toy Fair in Nürnberg each February. While Spielwarenmesse 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 2014, which takes place October 16-19. 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. Listings for some smaller publishers show all titles released since Spiel 2013.

Details about the Spiel 2014 Preview:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading. This information is pulled directly from the game pages in the BGG database, so as those pages are updated, this Preview will be updated, too.

-----• 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.

-----• 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.

If you're a designer or publisher with information to share – or if you have details about an upcoming Spiel 2014 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: Asmodee
• Hall-booths 3-B108, 3-H115 & 3-H116
51. Board Game: Witness [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:630]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 4
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Witness is set in the world of Blake and Mortimer, a Belgian comic series started in the 1940s by writer/artist Edgar P. Jacobs. In the game, which is playable strictly by four players, you each represent one of four characters and your goal is to solve mysteries or crimes by sharing information with one another — but you are quite restricted in how you can share information!

Witness includes 64 cases for you to solve, and each case starts with an explanatory scene or image or both that someone reads or shows to the group. Each player then looks in his personal casebook to find information available only to his character. Players randomly decide who shares information first and in which direction, e.g., player A might whisper information to player B while player C talks to player D. Next, B will share both his information and A's information to C while D talks to A.

After two more rounds of the most inefficient crime-solving system ever created, players read the conclusion of the case, which might offer additional information or another visual, then they each individually answer three questions about the case, with the group scoring one point for each correct answer for a final score ranging from 0 to 12.

Other Information: • Price €30

• Separate English, French and German versions are available.

• The initial information from one case within the game:

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Board Game Publisher: Asylum Games (Board Games)
• Hall-booth 3-P107

• In addition to what's listed below, at Spiel 2013 Asylum Games will have the 2013 releases Banjooli Xeet and 21 Mutinies Arrr! Edition (both discounted from 2013 prices) as well as 1911 Amundsen vs Scott.
52. Board Game: 15 Dias: The Spanish Golden Age [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:5450]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 8
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Spanish
Description:

On March 31st, 1621, King Philip III of Spain, also known as Philip the Pious, passed away. He had rarely acted as a true ruler, having entrusted all authority to his favorite, the Duke of Lerma. When the young prince Philip IV succeeded to the throne, a new competitor arrived at court, the power-hungry Count of Olivares. Although the Duke of Lerma had been compelled to leave the court, after falling from favor and being accused of massive corruption by his own son, his family hoped to hold on to power at any cost...

15 Días: The Spanish Golden Age is set in this context of backstabbing, treachery and palace intrigues. Who will become the new "Valido"? Would you betray your own next-of-kin to obtain the grace of the King? All of this, and much more awaits you in 15 Días: The Spanish Golden Age, a card game full of history and intrigue, no regrets, betrayal, and above all ambition.

Other Information: • Price €20
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Board Game Publisher: Axel
• Hall-booth 3-S112
53. Board Game: Altaria: Clash of Dimensions [Average Rating:5.25 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Polish
Description:

Altaria is an island drifting in space that can be accessed through portals from different dimensions. Three enormous altars situated on the island give power over all dimensions to those who take control of them.

In Altaria: Clash of Dimensions, each player uses three of ten characters to try to capture all of the altars placed in the center of the game board or the portal that belongs to her opponent. The game consists of seven rounds, and each round is divided into three stages. In each stage, a player gets action points (APs) that are used for the skills of one character. With the help of these APs a player can relocate the character, attack the enemy, or place a unique token of power on the board. Each token can change the course of events in the game.

The modular board has removable components that provide players with a number of starting combinations and make it possible to play a unique game from the very start.

An interesting feature used in Altaria is the passing of the tokens of power. After a few stages of the game, they disappear from the board which makes the game more dynamic and constantly changes the situation on the board. Try to make the most of the skills of your characters, outwit your opponent, and be a better tactician.

Other Information: • Price €30
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Board Game Publisher: Backspindle Games Ltd.
• Hall-booth 1-F132

• In addition to what's listed below, at Spiel 2014 Backspindle Games will again have Guards! Guards! A Discworld Boardgame (€30) from designers Leonard Boyd and David Brashaw.
54. Board Game: Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2213]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The fast-rolling, hard-hitting, body-slamming, neck-crunching, chair-smashing, table-slapping dice game for 2 or 4 players...

Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice is a two-player dice game (with optional rules for four-player tag-team play) based on the popular world of professional Mexican wrestling, or "Lucha Libre" (a.k.a. free fighting). Players start with 21 points of health (or 18 in a tag-team match) and roll custom dice to try to either reduce the opponent's strength points to zero to win by a knock-out (KO) or hold the opponent down on the mat for a "count of three" to win by a pin.

The player sitting near the 'red' corner of the wrestling ring uses 4 'red' wrestling dice, the player near the 'blue' corner, the 4 blue wrestling dice.
Each player also has a HIT die and a PIN die.

Players begin by each rolling their own set of 'wrestling dice' at the same time, trying to ensure that they land in, or touching the wrestling ring.
The results of HITs, BLOCKs, COUNTERs, and MISS rolled are played off against each other then the HIT dice can be rolled to see what damage they did. i.e Drop Kick, Forearm smash, Table slam etc. Damage is recorded on the Strength Score Card of the player being hit.
If a player rolls two HITs in one round, instead of rolling the HIT dice twice, they can take a chance on the Luchador! die once which may result in their wrestler's trademark moves and inflict much more damage on their opponent.

Any PINs rolled in a round may be re-rolled, once only. However once an opponent is reduced on their strength to where they are pinable, the PIN die is held until after the HITs have been inflicted then the PIN die is rolled. If PIN comes up, the 'three count' begins. The player being pinned has three attempts to save, using their wrestling dice or lose the match.

In a tag-team match players have the choice of trying to tag-out to regain slight strength, but it can also cost them..., if they fail to tag and get dragged back into the ring by their eager opponent.

Other Information: • Price €30

• Says Backspindle Games' David Brashaw, "We are flying in a limited supply of copies of the second edition of Luchador for Spiel", with the game otherwise being available in December 2014. This edition includes advanced rules with individual strengths and weaknesses for wrestlers as well as rules for "Free For All" matches, "Cage Match" events, and "Tag-Team Brawl".

Components included in the second edition
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Board Game Publisher: BakaFire Party
• Hall-booth 3-R112, with Japon Brand overseeing sales at Spiel 2014
55. Board Game: Aristo-Maze [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:7712]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 80 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Japanese
Description:

Legends are that a long time ago an emperor built a secret catacomb that housed all the treasures that he had collected. No one knew where this catacomb lay, and it remained as such until three hundred years later when the news of its discovery was delivered by the Imperial Capital to the public.

In Aristo-Maze, players are influential aristocrats who are now given the chance to seize some of the legendary loot for themselves. You must hire teams of adventurers and send them into the dangerous trap-filled catacombs to bring back your fortune. The game is played over three rounds, with each round following these phases:

  • Providing Phase: Players reset the round and receive new funds.
  • Investigation "Inquiry" Phase: Players bid on which catacomb floor they wish to take a peek at; if they are the highest bidder, they can look at what lurks in that area.
  • Recruiting "Organization" Phase: Players secretly bid on which characters they wish to recruit to become part of their party.
  • Exploration Phase: Players secretly choose how far they wish to delve into the dungeon, then resolve the effects of the monsters/traps they encounter which will give them VPs if they survive.

Whoever is able to gain enough VPs from surviving their encounters is victorious!

Other Information: • MSRP €40, discounted to €32 for sales at Spiel 2014.

• Rules available in English and French.
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56. Board Game: OWACON [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:3469]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Playing time: 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Japanese
Description:

The world is in ruin. Humankind is but a distant memory, and only now have you awoken. You are an automaton in possession of several fragments that once held the will of the human race. The other fragments lie in the hands of your fellow automatons. You must investigate and piece together these fragments so that you alone may fulfill the final will of humanity.

Code of Nine — first released as Old World And Code Of Nine or OWACON — is a card-based board game in which the goal is to puzzle together long-gone memories. Players battle for victory points (VPs), but what will generate VPs is decided by eight so-called memory cards that are dealt at the start of the game, with each player getting to look at only two of these.

Each round, players choose actions that gain certain items such as coins, books, statues or legacies, or perhaps to peek at the other players' memory cards.

After five rounds, the score is calculated, and whoever has the most points wins.

Other Information: • MSRP €35, discounted to €28 for sales at Spiel 2014.

• Rules available in English, French and German.
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Board Game Publisher: Beautiful Disaster Games
• Hall-booth 2-C119
57. Board Game: Assault on Doomrock [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:1478]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 150 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Description:

Assault on Doomrock is a co-operative adventure game set in a humorous fantasy world. Players start the adventure by generating random heroes from two cards. Combinations like sadistic paladin, stinky warrior, frustrated mage or impatient rogue are only few of the possibilities.

The unique party of heroes will venture forth into a randomly assembled world map. While gaining crazy abilities, and searching for gold and ridiculous items, heroes must face three increasingly difficult encounters. These battles play out in a grid-free, highly tactical battle system that uses character positioning, dice and ability cards.

The goal of the game is to defeat the third epic boss encounter. In order to do that, heroes must carefully exploit the map to grow as powerful as possible before they run out of time.

Feature highlights:

  • Fully cooperative board game, with card driven artificial intelligence.
  • Variable heroes and scenarios, generated from over 300 cards.
  • Grid-free, highly tactical battle system, with dice allocation planning phase.
  • Fully randomized adventure on the world map, with quests, events, shops and rewarding exploration.
  • 6 Heroes with 8 random traits. 74 unique ability cards. 70 item rewards.
  • 9 possible battle encounters, each with their unique artificial intelligence deck, which gives over 30 battle encounter combinations.

Other Information: • Price €45, and it appears that if you want a copy, you had best preorder through the publisher, as noted in this Indiegogo update, as supplies will be limited. As noted in that update, "these copies will include all the promos available".
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Board Game Publisher: Believe In Games
• Hall-booth 1-G170
58. Board Game: Monster Chef [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 15 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Who's able to complete the best monstrous recipes faster and get the most stars from customers? Who's completing his chef's goal to grab the bonus stars?

Monster Chef, a game for 2-4 players, lets you mess with opponents' recipes when your plans aren't taking the right path...

Other Information: • Price €15
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Board Game Publisher: Bézier Games, Inc.
• Booth 1-G147
59. Board Game: Castles of Mad King Ludwig [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:67]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 90 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

In the tile-laying game Castles of Mad King Ludwig, players are tasked with building an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bavaria...one room at a time. You see, the King loves castles, having built Neuschwanstein (the castle that inspired the Disney theme park castles) and others, but now he's commissioned you to build the biggest, best castle ever — subject, of course, to his ever-changing whims. Each player acts as a building contractor who is adding rooms to the castle he's building while also selling his services to other players.

In the game, each player starts with a simple foyer. One player takes on the role of the Master Builder, and that player sets prices for a set of rooms that can be purchased by the other players, with him getting to pick from the leftovers after the other players have paid him for their rooms. When a room is added to a castle, the player who built it gains castle points based on the size and type of room constructed, as well as bonus points based on the location of the room. When a room is completed, with all entranceways leading to other rooms in the castle, the player receives one of seven special rewards.

After each purchasing round, a new player becomes the Master Builder who sets prices for a new set of rooms. After several rounds, the game ends, then additional points are awarded for achieving bonus goals, having the most popular rooms, and being the most responsive to the King's demands, which change each game. Whoever ends up with the most castle points wins.

Other Information:
• Price $60, with a preorder available on the Bézier Games website for pick-up at Spiel 2014.

• For details on the gameplay, check out the Castles of Mad King Ludwig preview on BGG News.

• A German edition of this game is also available from Bézier Games under the title Die Schlösser des König Ludwig with a different preorder page.

Ideally you can build a better castle than this one...
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60. Board Game: One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:341] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 7
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak is a fast game for 3-7 players in which everyone gets a hidden role, each with a special ability. (No plain "villagers" here!) In the course of a single morning, your village will decide who among them is a werewolf...because all it takes is finding one werewolf to win!

Daybreak includes eleven new roles, and it can be played on its own or combined with the original One Night Ultimate Werewolf game; when combined, you can have up to ten players in a single game.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at Spiel 2014 to coincide with a concurrent Kickstarter campaign.
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61. Board Game: Subdivision [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1955]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 13 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Subdivision mimics the city-building feel of Bézier Games' Suburbia, but differs in scope as now each player has been allocated a specific area in which to create the best possible subdivision, filling it with residential, commercial, industrial, civic, and luxury zones, while balancing various improvements to the area, including roads, schools, parks, sidewalks, and lakes. By the end of the game, each player will have created a unique, custom neighborhood with areas that interact with each other, hoping to outscore the competition by having the best subdivision.

In the game, each player starts with a subdivision player board and a hand of hex-shaped zone tiles. A parcel die is rolled to indicate the type of parcel where a zone tile may be placed, and all players simultaneously place one of their tiles. If a zone tile is placed next to existing zone tiles, those existing tiles have the ability to create new improvements, which may also be placed at this time. Those improvements provide money and points, while slowly covering up as many parcels as possible. Players pass the remaining zone tiles in hand to their left, then someone rolls the parcel die once again. This continues until only one zone tile remains in hand, which is discarded.

Players then play another round, but at the start of the second, third, and fourth rounds, players first check to see whether they've achieved bonuses, which give them extra cash or allow for extra activations of certain zone tiles.

After four rounds, the game ends, and scores are tallied, with players gaining points for parks being adjacent to other tiles, sidewalks passing through as many different zones and improvements as possible, schools ranking the best in the city, and zones connecting to the highway that runs around (or through) your subdivision.

Other Information: • Price $50, with a preorder available on the Bézier Games website for pick-up at Spiel 2014.

Subdivision debuts in the U.S. in August 2014 at Gen Con, but Spiel 2014 will be the game's first appearance in Europe.

• For background on the game, check out Lucas Hedgren's designer diary on BGG News, which includes comments from yours truly following two playings of the prototype.

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62. Board Game: Vollmondnacht: Werwölfe [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:213] [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 10
Playing time: 10 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

No moderator, no elimination, ten-minute games.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a fast game for 3-10 players in which everyone gets a role: One of the dastardly Werewolves, the tricky Troublemaker, the helpful Seer, or one of a dozen different characters, each with a special ability. In the course of a single morning, your village will decide who is a werewolf...because all it takes is lynching one werewolf to win!

Because One Night Ultimate Werewolf is so fast, fun, and engaging, you'll want to play it again and again, and no two games are ever the same.

This game can be combined with One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak.

Other Information:
• The French and German editions of One Night Ultimate Werewolf have sorta kinda been available in Europe, but not really, so Spiel 2014 will serve as their coming out party for the public at large.
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Board Game Publisher: Big Fun Games (Board Game)
• Hall-booth 1-D148, with Swan Panasia hosting sales of this game at Spiel 2014. Member of Taiwan Boardgame Design.
63. Board Game: Cat Hiding DX [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 3 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Chinese
Description:

The basis of Cat Hiding DX — with the "DX" standing for "deluxe edition" — is Cat Hiding, a memory game in which each player starts with a hand of three cards; each card has three cat pictures, such as the face, tail or paws. A 4x4 grid of matching cards of each cat picture are placed face down. The active player plays a card from her hand, then flips three cards in the grid face up. If these cards match the card from her hand, she scores it. She may then attempt to match a second card from her hand, etc.

Cat Hiding DX includes components for five variant editions of the game, including a new type of target card and cat dice.

Other Information: • Price ~€15; to preorder a copy, visit the TBD Spiel 2014 Geeklist.
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64. Board Game: Who Am I? [Average Rating:6.03 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Chinese
English
Japanese
Description:

The game is played with cardboard figures, called UPUP figures.

Background:

UPUP figures lost their identities! They must find out who they are but only by asking each others questions.
Players hold two UPUP figures in each hand facing towards other players so that they can't see the identities of their own figures.
Players take turns in clockwise order and do one of the two actions:
(1) ask any one player if he/she sees any specific color OR letter in everyone's left OR right hands;
(2) claim one UPUP figure's identity (both color and letter must be correctly identified)
The player who manages to identifies both his/her figures wins the game!

Other Information: • Price €8; to preorder a copy — and supplies are more limited than for most Spiel 2014 releases — visit the TBD Spiel 2014 Geeklist.
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Board Game Publisher: Blackrock Games
• Hall-booth 3-P106

• Blackrock Editions is taking preorders for both Prohis and the deluxe edition of Haru Ichiban on its website, with a discounted price if you get both games.
65. Board Game: Haru Ichiban [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:2131]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
Dutch
English
French
Description:

In Haru Ichiban, or "The Wind of Spring", two apprentice gardeners compete to use this wind to their advantage to create harmonious patterns of their blossoms upon the lilypads.

Each gardener has eight flower buds numbered 1-8, with three of those buds being in hand at the start of a round. Sixteen lilypads are placed in the 5x5 pond, with one of them turned to its dark side.

Each gardener simultaneously chooses a reveals a bud, with the player with the lower number becoming the Little Gardener and the other becoming the Grand Gardener. In order:

  • The Little Gardener places one of his colored blossoms on the dark lilypad.
  • The Grand Gardener places one of his colored blossoms on the lilypad of his choice.
  • The Little Gardener moves one lilypad to an adjacent space, possibly moving other lilypads at the same time.
  • The Grand Gardener flips one unoccupied lilypad to its dark side.
  • Each gardener takes a new bud.

As soon as a gardener creates a specific pattern with blossoms of his color, he scores points: 1 point for a 2x2 square, 2 points for a horizontal or vertical row of four blossoms, 3 points for a diagonal row of four blossoms, and 5 points for a row of five blossoms. If the gardener has fewer than five points, the gardeners reset the board and start a new round with three buds of their eight; if the gardener has five or more points, the game ends and he wins!

Other Information: • Price €35, with this being a limited edition of 300 copies with wood components

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66. Board Game: Prohis [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:3780]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 6
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Description:

In the United States, during the 1920s, the Volstead Act forbids the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. Nevertheless, prohibition is going to represent a gold mine for smugglers who dare to challenge the authorities. From the hooligan to the respected politician, many people have tried their luck on this lucrative market, yet it remains a dangerous activity since the agents of the prohibition — the Prohis — roam around...
- In Prohis, each player embodies a smuggler who tries to make a fortune by transporting illegal goods — a highly precarious activity since the other players have the opportunity to check your cargo or even seize it if they find suspicious items.
-
- Each player starts with an Inspector, a Captain, and a hand of four cards, with the deck being comprised of legal goods, illegal goods, and Lieutenants. Four cards are placed face-up on the table. On a turn, a player either draws 1-2 cards from those on display or from the deck, or attempts to smuggle a convoy of 2-4 cards by placing them on the table face down.
-
- When smuggling, each other player gets the chance to throw a cargo controller at the smuggled goods, with the highest valued controller taking charge of the inspection. The cargo mover can try to bribe the controller to make this trouble go away, but if that doesn't work an Inspector, the highest rating, can look at three cargo cards, a Captain two, and a Lieutenant one. If the controller reveals an illegal good, the owner of that card gets to seize all of the cargo, placing it and her controller in her warehouse; if all the goods are legal, the shipper claims the cargo in the warehouse and the controller in hand. If a controller awaits among the cargo, then this informant has been revealed and the inspection fails.
-
- When the deck runs out or players all pass on drawing cards, the game ends, with players scoring $4k for each illegal good in the warehouse, $1k for each legal good, and $1-5k for controllers in hand and in the warehouse. Illegal goods in hand cost money, and whoever has the most money wins.

Other Information: • Price €15, with a goodie being added to the purchase at Spiel 2014
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Board Game Publisher: Blue Cocker Games
• Hall-booth 4-A118
67. Board Game: Medieval Academy [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:723]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
Description:

"Squires, welcome to Medieval Academy, the place where you'll be trained to become a knight. You'll have to master the arts of Jousts and Tournaments, complete dangerous Quests, and polish your Education. You'll also have to serve the king, and show that you have a sense of Charity and Gallantry. Only one of you will be knighted by King Arthur, so it's time to show what you’re capable of." —Father Advevan Nicolus Emilius, chairman of the Medieval Academy.

In Medieval Academy, a "family+" game, each player takes the role of a squire who wants to outdo the others in the different training categories to score Chivalry Points. To achieve this goal, during the six turns of the game, the players must wisely draft the cards that are the most useful to them and play them at the right time to move their discs up the training tracks.

At the end of turn VI, the squire who has the most Chivalry Points wins the game and is knighted by King Arthur!

Other Information: • Price €30, with (possibly) a special convention goodie: a new board with expansion rules that can be downloaded in French, English, German and Spanish from the Blue Cocker Games website.

• In early October 2014, publisher Alain Balay passed along word that he's not sure whether he'll have enough goodies for the fair, so he's offering a discounted price of €25 with a guaranteed goodie for those who want to preorder ahead of time; to preorder, write to contact[at]bluecocker.com.

• While the published game includes rules in English and French, German and Spanish rules are available on the BCG website. Adds Balay, "For Essen , I'll also print few hundred German rules."
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Board Game Publisher: Blue Mana Games (BMG)
• Hall-booth 2-D107
68. Board Game: Monster Hero Academy [Average Rating:5.05 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 10 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Welcome to Monster Hero Academy! In this 30-minute game for 2-6 players, you and your friends play as academy teachers. You will select the best student to partake in a major test every season and gain reputation as they excel in it. Gain the most reputation by the end of the year, and you'll be crowned the Teacher of the Year!

Monster Hero Academy features a drafting mechanism in which each player chooses the best student to represent him. Players also guide their chosen students with numbered cards, which determine the score to earn the rewards in every test. But choose wisely as the numbered cards you select each turn will be removed from the game!

Other Information: • Price €15
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Board Game Publisher: Blue Orange (EU)
• Hall-booth 3-N107

• In addition to what's listed below, at Spiel 2014 Blue Orange will feature new multilingual versions of Chickyboom (€25), Flash! (€18), and BraveRats (€10).
69. Board Game: Dragon Run [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:4826]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
French
Description:

In Dragon Run, the players have just raided a dragon's keep, picked up a bunch of loot, and awakened the dragon. Now it's time to flee, ideally making it out with both our treasures and our lives.

On each turn, a player can either advance boldly, flee cautiously, or cry like a baby. If you advance boldly, you draw a card from the location deck, which holds three types of cards: one that allows that player to either redraw or stop, one that grants new treasure from the treasure hall, and (of course) the dragon. If you draw the dragon, you lose one health point (out of two), the dragon calms down (i.e., it loses one temper point), and the location deck is reshuffled. If you're injured twice, you die and are out of the game.

When fleeing cautiously, you first discard a treasure worth at least one coin, then roll a d10. If your roll is higher than the number of cards in the location deck, the dragon calms down, then you reshuffle the location deck; otherwise you must draw a card from the location deck just as when someone advances boldly. Your sacrificed treasure is still lost.

When you cry like a baby, you don't draw a location card, instead discarding a treasure worth at least two coins. Having shown your obeisance to the dragon, the turn passes to the next player.

Players start with four treasure cards; while some cards are worth 1-5 coins, others provide a one-shot potion or a talisman that stays in effect until the location deck is shuffled, which ends the round. Gameplay lasts from 5 to 8 rounds. Each player has a unique power that can be used once per round: the thief can steal cards from opponents, the cleric can heal opponents in exchange for treasure, etc. If the dragon loses its final temper point, the game ends and whoever holds the most valuable treasure wins; if all of the adventurers are charred to death first, then the dragon wins instead!

Other Information: • Price €20, with preorder being possible through the Blue Orange Games website.

• English rules and a printout of the cards in English will be available at Spiel 2014.

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70. Board Game: King's Gold [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:4490]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

The Caribbean islands were once a lawless cove run by merchant marines transporting stolen treasures. When news reached the King that these pirates were amassing great riches, he ordered a cut of their loot.

Now in King's Gold, it's your turn to be a pirate, and you must try to pillage ships and other pirates along the way. How far will you go to deceive the greedy King and become the richest pirate on the coast and at sea? On a turn, the active player rolls the five dice up to three times. If a die shows crossbones, it's locked until the end of the turn; otherwise, a player can roll or leave dice as he wants. After he stops, he takes or loses gold as follows:

  • 1 coin face + 1 cannon: Take this many coins from the box, then place this many coins in the King's pile.
  • 1 coin face + 1 skull: Steal this many coins from the player of your choice.
  • Coins on all five dice: Take all of the coins from the King's pile.
  • Skulls on all five dice: Take all of the coins from another player.
  • Cannon on all five dice: Take all of the coins from the box, ending the game.
  • 3+ crossbones or any non-scoring combination: Place three coins from your stash in the King's pile.

When all sixty coins in the box have been removed, the game ends and whoever has the most coins wins.

Other Information: • Price €15, with preorder being possible through the Blue Orange Games website.
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71. Board Game: Sushi Draft [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:8842]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 5
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Italian
Show More »
Description:

Sushi Draft is a fast little card game that looks good enough to eat! Over three rounds, players draft plates of sushi and collect sushi points, which are drawn randomly. The player with the most diverse menu gets dessert!

Sushi Draft includes a deck of 32 sushi cards (8 ikura, 7 ebi, 6 maguro, 5 tamago, 4 kappa and 2 "wild" triples) and 18 point tokens (three each for the five types of sushi and three for dessert); the point tokens range in value from 1-5, with the more plentiful sushi dishes being worth more points. At the start of each round, players shuffle the cards and receive a hand of six cards. Players simultaneously draft a card from their hand and reveal it, placing it on the table. They then keep one card, pass the remainder to a neighbor, and draft and play again. Once everyone has five cards in front of them, players receive point tokens. Whoever has the most sushi of each type draws a point token of that type at random; if players tie for the most of a type, however, then the player with the secondmost of that type draws the token instead. If all players are tied, then no one scores for that type of sushi. The player with the most types of sushi scores a dessert token at random.

After three rounds, players tally their points, and whoever has the highest score wins!

Other Information: • Price €15, with preorder being possible through the Blue Orange Games website.

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Board Game Publisher: Blue Orange Games
72. Board Game: Wakanda [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:5785]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 15 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Dutch
English
French
German
Show More »
Description:

Every one hundred moons, members from different tribes gather to sculpt new totems. The totems they create represent the values of their family, village, courage and culture. The tribe that makes the most prestigious totem poles wins the contest...

In Wakanda, players compete to create valuable totem poles, but the value of the poles is determined as much by where they stand as by what's in them. Each player starts the game with three headdresses. Six of eight village tiles are placed in a row, with three of the tiles tilted 90º to show that they're out of play; each tile has a unique scoring rule on it, and that rule will apply for all of a player's totem poles if he acquires that tile.

On a turn, a player first draws one totem pole from the bag; the game includes 21 totem pole pieces: one eagle, two chiefs, three tomahawks, four animal skins, five teepees and six suns. The player then either places one of his totem pole pieces on an available village tile OR places one of his headdresses on an existing totem pole to claim it; in the latter case, he places this tile in front of himself and tilts the next village tile in line (if any) to make it available for play.

Once all six poles have been claimed, the players tally their score based on the rules on their tiles, e.g. score 3 points per animal skin on all of your poles or score 2 points per piece for your tallest pole. High score wins.

Other Information: • Price €20, with preorder being possible through the Blue Orange Games website.


• Purchase at Spiel 2014 includes the goodie Wakanda: Three Little Coyotes, the rules of which are as follows:

Quote:
At the start of play, place one coyote token on each of the three starting village tiles. At the end of each player's turn, if possible he must move a token from one unclaimed tile to another unclaimed tile. When a player takes a tile with one or more tokens on it, he places these tiles on the table before him. At the end of the game, in addition to their other scoring each player scores 0, 1, 4 or 9 points for having 0, 1, 2 or 3 coyote tokens.

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Board Game Publisher: Board&Dice
• Hall-booth 2-C108 & 2-C109, which is the stand for Boardgames4U, a Polish games site run by Kuźnia Gier.
73. Board Game: Dice Brewing [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:3459]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Polish
Description:

Dice Brewing is a dice-building game in which you manage resources and brew beer to become the beer master.
The players become brewers whose goal is to acquire the resources needed to brew many new beer recipes and then gaining the rewards that come with brewing them - gold and mastery points. To do so, each player uses their player board and two location cards (marketplace and black market) to develop their resource pool and stock their storage with certain tokens that alter the course of the game. The player who has the most mastery points at the end, wins the game.
Players will have to prove themselves by brewing various styles of beer, acquiring specific malts and hops, as well as enhancing the recipes with ingredients that will make your beers stand out. But that's not all... The Apprentices will be able to compete with each other directly, making their lives harder by using some unrefined methods!

Players manage their resources by way of 6-sided dice in 4 different colors:

  • Light malt: yellow dice
  • Dark malt: black dice
  • Hops: green dice
  • Skill: blue dice, which allow for additional effects on recipe cards and resource dice.

Players can influence the luck of the dice through a variety of cards that allow them to replace the dice, increase the value rolled, receive extra dice, buy special ingredient tokens, and buy action tokens - which can affect opponents or provide additional dice manipulation.

When a player collects the correct number of dice with the proper value, he can brew one of the available recipes and gain points, gold, or another effect. Players can also enhance recipes by throwing in additional ingredients to earn a bonus (more gold, more points).

Other Information: • Price €18, with an extended version with "special mats for all players and 6 additional special effects cards" for €22 and change on the Board&Dice website.
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Board Game Publisher: Bomba Games
• Hall-booth 2-E116
74. Board Game: Amber Route [Average Rating:5.77 Overall Rank:9480]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
English
German
Polish
Description:

Amber Route is a journey to the land of Slavic beliefs, monsters and magic. In this game full of surprises, you will embark on a dangerous adventure, leading your caravan through the uncharted territories. At every step you will face lurking evil creatures, traps, and ancient magic. Plan your moves carefully, protect your amber, expand your retinue, and try to reach the destination as quick as possible.

In this game you must take care of your escort, amber, and power cards — all while keeping an eye on your opponents. During course of the game, you will encounter monsters, ghost, deadly traps, thieves, and other sorts of evil. All encounters are resolved via dice, but each is resolved in a different way. On your turn, you must choose one of the following actions:

  • Move and explore the place you have reached
  • Hire the escort
  • Buy the power cards

Whatever you do, keep a lookout for your opponents don't sleep; they just wait to stab you. You must remember one thing: Be quick or be dead in your quest for amber. Good luck!

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75. Board Game: Black & White [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:5396]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Polish
Description:

War is in the air. Two feuding nations after a decade of a very fragile truce assemble their armies: Her Majesty Susanna from Thargaton with troops in black uniforms to the west and Cardinal Nicodemus from Vesani with white-robed religious fanatics to the east. Both leaders try to secure the most strategic parts of forty-kilometer-long strip of no man's land. There are heavy fights to gain control of the old forts that survived the war of the apostles. Who is going to outmaneuver the enemy? Who will use their troops most efficiently in this mortal battle? Play this quick war game and find out.

Black&White is a two-player block war game that takes place on a hexagonal board that may be customized by terrain tiles. Before the game, each player builds his army using available troops and also assigns the leader. Each side of the conflict has nine different units from which to choose. The choice is not simple, however, as only a proper balance between various types of infantry, cavalry and artillery will make for a strong army.

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