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SPIEL 2016 Preview
W. Eric Martin
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North Carolina
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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 business-only trade show, SPIEL is open to the public, drawing roughly 150,000 people over four days. Hundreds of new games will be introduced at SPIEL 2016, which takes place October 13-16. This preview covers games that publishers plan to release at SPIEL or in the months leading up to it; listings for some smaller publishers show all titles released since SPIEL 2015.

Details about the SPIEL 2016 Preview:

-----• This Preview is organized alphabetically by publisher, with games ordered alphabetically under a publisher's heading. 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.

-----Please refrain from posting "Which booth?", "What's the price?" type of comments since they trigger subscription notices. Publisher booth numbers, preorder information, game designer and artist signings, and more will be added as 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 2016 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: (Self-Published)
1. Board Game: The Exiled: Siege [Average Rating:7.66 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 5
Playing time: 90 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Expand your city and face unending waves of savage enemies or lead natives to victory over foreign invaders.

In The Exiled: Siege, players become outlaws who have been given a chance to atone for their crimes. In order to prove their loyalty to the ruler, they have to colonize new lands in the name of the King. They start building their city with a few inexperienced fighters and shabby buildings. By expanding fortifications, buildings and siege engines as well as by training armies, they gradually strengthen their dwelling. Unfortunately, the new land is full of aggressive natives who are ready to use any means necessary to expel the colonists. Innumerable hordes of barbarians supported by horrifying monsters and brutal war machines are eager to flood the city walls and kill the defenders to cleanse their land of foreign influence.

The goal of the Defenders is to survive all waves of enemy attacks and gain the King's forgiveness. The goal of the Attacker is to conquer the city and chase the colonists away from his homeland.

The game can be played in two different modes: In the first mode one of the players becomes the Attacker and the commander of the natives, while in the second mode all players become the Defenders.

Other Information:
• Booth 2-C110 as Board&Dice is serving as worldwide distributor for this self-published title.

• Price €80

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2. Board Game: Galaktisch Taktisch Gut [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 4
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Aliens are planning to secretly take control of the earth. Humans who get to know about this can try to stop them. The players bet which side is stronger in the end to score points.

In Galaktisch Taktisch Gut, each player holds two cards. One player draws two cards and passes two cards to any other player, who then discards one of these, revealing it only to the player who gave it to them. In addition, the active player can play an action card and execute its special effect.

When the draw pile is used up, each player makes a bet on whether the players hold more alien or more human cards in their hands. All players who guessed correctly, win — unless everyone bets on the aliens, then the player who holds the alien leader wins.

Other Information: • Booth 6-D103

• MSRP €15, but discounted to €10 for sales at SPIEL 2016.
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3. Board Game: Green Box of Games [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 5 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 5 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The Green Box of Games is a game system in a box. Designed to be like a deck of cards for board games, it contains a set of standardized components that can be used to play a myriad different games, both traditional games like Ludo, Checkers and Backgammon as well as adaptations of popular modern games like Catan, Carcassonne and Cartagena. In addition, truly original games have been developed for the box, and you are encouraged to create your own games as well.

Other Information:
• Booth 1-D109, which is the location of Aporta Games

• For details on the games that can be played with the Green Box of Games, head to the publisher's website.

• Price €20 without the box and €25 with; if you preorder from the publisher for pick up at SPIEL 2016, the prices are €15 and €20 respectively.

Skyline, an adaptation of Andreas Seyfarth's Manhattan
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4. Board Game: Hypergrid [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2
Playing time: 10 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Czech
Description:

Hypergrid is the ultimate action-driven abstract game of sandbox tactics for two players from 7 y.o., takes ca 16 turns per player to play.
Place 2 tokens on a turn, combo their effects, create more lines than your opponent, rule the GRID!
Three principles only to follow and five special effects to master… more complex game of tic-tac-toe with less rules than game of chess that puts two in a battle of wits with no luck involved and opens more than three dimensions to explore endlessly! ... a smaller 3x3 grid of colorful stacks makes HYPERGRID a challenge like no other.

Players gain points for each newly created line of three chips of the same elements (colors) on a 3x3 grid. Each player starts with six chips in each of the five elements, and on each turn a player places exactly two tokens. When an element is placed on at least two chips underneath, the player can use its elemental effect. When a player can no longer place a chip, the player with the most points wins.

COMPONENTS : Play-mat, 65 chips (13 pcs in 5 colours), 9+2 6-sided dice, 2 quick reference cards, user’s guide.

Other Information: • Available for previewing and demo games at SPIEL 2016 at booth 2-F152 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 16:00 and at booth 4-A116 on Sunday from 13:00 to 15:00.
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5. Board Game: Incorporated [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:5702]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 80 − 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 16 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Incorporated is a strategy game of economic warfare, a simulation of modern-day markets, economics and politics.

Incorporated places you as the CEO of a multi-national corporation whose aim is to profit no matter the cost. You acquire smaller corporations in global stock markets, borrow from debt markets to finance your investments, use superpowers like a pawn to invade third world countries and take their oil, lobby the governments to grant you more subsidies and compete with other mega-corporations for leadership in market share.

Uncontrollably, the world is not in its most stable state either. Chances of a global economic crisis or geopolitical power shifts may ruin your investments.

The game is set in a complex and dynamic global economy, where profitable industries, interest rates, global growth and geopolitical landscape change constantly and the scepter of an economic crisis always present. Players must analyze and influence these new trends. The world's superpowers may compete for world dominance but you care little about the grand chessboard, except when your profits are concerned!

Other Information: • Booth 7-G111

• Price €50

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6. Board Game: Magecraft [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:4985]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Offland is a world where hundreds of races live together. It's not easy to keep peace between hundreds of races, so every ten years, each race sends its best mage to the ruins to participate in Magecraft. Only the winner of this competition receives the magic gems as a prize, with this mage's race dominating the land for the next decade. Now the competition starts again; who shall rise and who shall fall?

Magecraft is a bag-building game that's suitable for 2~4 players. As a player in Magecraft, you learn spells, build a mana pool, and collect mana gems. Whoever collects twenty mana gems in their score area first wins! An additional copy of the game is required to play with 3 and 4 players.

Other Information: • Booth 7-F123

• Price €23
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7. Board Game: Of Dreams & Shadows [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 120 − 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

"The signs have come. Shadows flicker and stir in the Hollows. A chill has settled in those ancient ruins and expedition pack animals refuse to enter the underworld realm. There are new sightings of large beasts roaming the countryside and strange unnatural calls fill the night air. Hunters have gone missing without a trace and it is no longer safe to explore very far into the woods.

My sisters wake from the same nightmares. A skeletal hand, pale and white as snow, grasping out from darkness. Thousands of red-eyed crows flying over a field of dead. A bloody maw gaping open with rows of gleaming teeth the size of daggers. I see these images in my own dreams and I fear for what is coming."

~Selene

Of Dreams & Shadows is a cooperative board game for up to six players who take on the role of Champions trying to save their realm. Set in a dark fantasy world, the players will journey from the underworld ruins of a long-dead people to the heart of untamed forests where otherworldly creatures dwell.

As they direct the actions of their Champions on the game board, the players will participate in a collaborative story. Scenarios introduce encounters and conflict, which are resolved through passing a test or making a choice. The consequences advance the storyline and drive a unique experience as part of the story changes based on each outcome. Failing a test could have dire results such as receiving one of several types of debilitating Afflictions. Many Scenarios will also present players with a moral dilemma where a decision could aid their cause, but not without sacrifice.

Opposing the players is one of three selectable Villains. Beings of myth and legend, the Villains have their own host of deadly servants to face in combat. Developing flexible tactics and teamwork among players will be crucial as there are over 30 different enemies, each with their own special ability. You must band together with your friends if you hope to survive.

Other Information: • Booth 2-F109

• Price €40
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8. Board Game: RONE [Average Rating:8.39 Overall Rank:7253]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 35 − 45 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Czech
English
German
Description:

RONE: Races of New Era is a strategic post-apocalyptic card game for 2 or 4 players. Players are immersed in a dark world full of destruction and suffering, a world where people are fighting to take back their place after a global nuclear war annihilated all achievements of the human race and all that was left was only a handful of usable resources. The remaining scattered groups of survivors are fighting amongst themselves for dominance over the remnants of the past. Now it is your turn to join the global war and recruit soldiers, battle machines, powerful hybrids, or tremendous mutants into your army. Equip your troops with the best available technologies and show all your enemies who is the ruler of the new order.

Players are represented in the game by their hero and play units or one-time effects (tactics) in an attempt to destroy all cards from the opponent’s deck. The number of cards in the deck and the player’s hand is connected to the number of health points of the player's hero. For each point of damage that the hero receives, the player has to destroy one of their cards – from the top of their deck or from their hand. Once a player loses all cards from their deck and hand they lose the game. Because each card used by a player during the game costs them a life point, players are forced to play cards as efficiently as possible so that each played card does more damage to the enemy than to themselves.

These combined mechanics create a well-balanced system where every erroneous move or unplanned action can lead to a player’s defeat. Each and every decision is tightly coupled, and even a small decision can completely change the course of the game.

Players have to find a balance between investing in game control, which allows them to play cards more effectively, or investing in killing the enemy hero, which is the primary goal. This means that players should control their damage output wisely. One can easily feed the enemy graveyard with destroyed cards, which may turn the game completely against them - because of the recycling system which allows players to put cards from the graveyard back on the battlefield. So, instead of dealing massive amounts of damage directly to the enemy hero, waiting sometimes has its benefits.

Timing of attacks, card activation, graveyard management and tactical decisions are the real keys to victory.

Other Information: • Booth 6-D115

• MSRP €30, but discounted to €25 for sales at SPIEL 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: 2D6.EE
• Booth 7-A125
9. Board Game: FTF: First to Find [Average Rating:3.77 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 15 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Estonian
German
Russian
Description:

"My phone alerts me — a new geocache has been published. A glance at the map makes me smile because I know this piece of woodlands! Here I grab my rubber boots and a towel, turn on the GPS device, and run to get the car. A cup of tea is left behind on the table, half-filled with tea that is still hot."

FTF: First to Find is a geocaching-themed card game that lets players experience the same kind of emotions that they would get from playing in the open air. One can choose between various types of geocaches, and whoever reaches to the cache first is the lucky winner, of course.

During set-up, players form a 7x7 square from landscape tiles from starting locations they select. During a player's turn, they can either move and reveal the current tile or just reveal the tile, based on the path chosen. Players can choose between searching three different cache types — normal, multi- and mystery cache — with all having different conditions for finding them.

Other Information: • MSRP €10
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Board Game Publisher: 2F-Spiele
• Booth 3-M106/M108

• Designer Friedemann Friese will be at the 2F-Spiele booth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 13:00 and 13:30 for pictures and autographs.
10. Board Game: Fabelsaft [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1142]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 20 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Once upon a time there was a marvelous forest full of gorgeous fruits. These fruits could be squeezed and mixed into the most delicious juices...

You live in this forest and are in search of the most savory fruits. Friendly forest dwellers will help you in different ways...

You are greedy and thirsty. Who will be the first to satisfy their appetite for Fabled Fruit?

Fabled Fruit is a Fable game, a new and unique concept in game experiences, where the gameplay changes over time. The game starts in an initial, simple state, but as you explore deeper into the game system, the mechanisms and gameplay will evolve over time.

You play the game many times, and each play changes the game slightly. Unlike in a Legacy game, however, the game is never permanently changed. At any time you may easily restart a Fable game from the beginning, either after you have run through the entire game system, or at any time during the many plays you will get from this game system. This Fable Game will remain just as playable on the 20th play as it was on the first plays of the game.

Other Information: • MSRP €28
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11. Board Game: Funkenschlag: Das Kartenspiel [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:2246]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 45 − 60 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

In Power Grid: The Card Game, the players represent CEOs of mighty power companies producing electricity.

During the game, the players bid for power plants at auctions and supply them with resources. Their income depends on the amount of electricity produced in each round. At the end of the game, the player who produces the most electricity wins the game.

Power Grid: The Card Game offers all the tension and tactics well-known of its two big brothers — Power Grid and Power Grid deluxe — without using the different maps. You get the full Power Grid emotions in an intensive playing time of sixty minutes!

To give two players an exciting experience, they will play with the Trust acting as a third player. While challenging the opponent, they must incorporate the schemes of the competing Trust in their plans and use these schemes against their opponent.

This game includes a small variant for the Demolition Contractor. This variant is playable with Power Grid: The Card Game, and all maps of Power Grid deluxe and Power Grid!

Other Information:
• MSRP €18, with both the German and English editions of Power Grid: The Card Game being sold by 2F-Spiele at SPIEL 2016. Six hundred copies of the English-language edition will be available for purchase, and no preorders will be taken.
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12. Board Game: Funkenschlag: Gleichstrompassage HGÜ Korridor C [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.97 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 6
Playing time: 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
German
Description:

Power Grid: High-Voltage DC Transmission Passage C was first released as day 24 of the Brettspiel Adventskalender 2015, and this mini-expansion is playable solely with the Power Grid map of Germany.

In future years, Germany plans a new high-voltage transmission line from North Germany to South Germany to deliver the electricity produced by wind power to the regions in South Germany with demand for that power. You are collectively building this transmission line, so step by step your power companies will not need to pay connection costs anymore between Cuxhaven and Stuttgart. Sadly, the construction of this transmission line is paid with tax money, so you must pay taxes to supply these cities with electricity.

Other Information:
• Available for a €1 donation to Hort & Spiel e.V., a non-profit association in Bremen, Germany that supports youth welfare. Both English (500 copies) and German (700 copies) versions of this mini-expansion will be available from 2F-Spiele during SPIEL 2016.
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13. Board Game: Futschikato [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2640]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 3 − 8
Playing time: 10 − 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 7 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Be the first player to get rid of all of your cards!

Join forces with fellow players to beat cards played by other players...or independently play the highest card to outdo all your opponents together, flushing their cards down the drain!

Fuji Flush is a fast, fun, easy-to-learn card game that will have you shouting as your cards are sent down the drain!

Fuji Flush is a card game, which consists of cards numbered 2 through 20, with higher numbers being rarer. Each player holds six cards at the beginning. In clockwise order, players play one card each. If it is higher than another card currently on the table, the lower card or cards are discarded and the players who had played the lower cards must draw a new card. However, if two or more players play the same number, the card values are added together. When it is a player's turn and their card is still in front of them, they can discard it without redrawing. First player(s) to get rid of their cards wins!

Fuji Flush is supports from 3 to 8 players! A great game for large player counts!

Other Information: • MSRP €8
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Board Game Publisher: 2Geeks
• Booth 4-B130
14. Board Game: Das Allerbeste Baumhaus [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1709]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Who hasn't dreamed of building the best treehouse in the world? Now it's time to live that dream!

In Best Treehouse Ever, players compete to build their best treehouse, outfitting their treehouse with cool rooms, while also making sure that their tree doesn't tip over and that their rooms are more impressive than all of their friends' rooms at the end of the game.

Building takes place over three weeks/rounds, and in each round, players use card drafting and spatial reasoning to add five new rooms to their treehouse. Players must pay attention to the other treehouses being built since they take turns determining which types of rooms score for everyone at the end of each round.

At the end of the third week, the winner is the player with the best treehouse ever!

Other Information: • Price €15, with a discount available if you preorder and prepay for pick up at SPIEL 2016.
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15. Board Game: Im Schatten des Throns [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:6094]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
German
Description:

Four powerful secret organizations are fighting for the right to rule in the old kingdom, and you can acquire safety, control, and economic dictates only through the conquest of political influence at the royal court. The more servants, nobles and dignitaries you can control, the closer you will be to the purpose. Intrigue, blackmail, or threats are suitable for all those who are struggling in the shadow of the royal throne. Power over each new aristocrat gives you a new method for influencing others. The man of absolute power behind the throne will be known soon.

Behind the Throne is quick and simple card game in which players collect sets of cards to get new special abilities. Player earn victory points for the heroes they collect, and whoever has the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

Other Information: • Designers Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko will be on hand in the booth to sign copies of the game.

• A Behind the Throne tournament will take place on Friday, October 14 at SPIEL 2016 starting at 11:00. For details on that event and to sign up, head to this Google form, which includes a link to rules in German.

• Price €13, with a discount available if you preorder and prepay for pick up at SPIEL 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: 2mt Games
• Booth 4-B125
16. Board Game: Ninja Arena [Average Rating:7.14 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 20 − 40 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
German
Description:

Ninja Arena is a round-based miniatures game, which focus on predictive planning and combat strategies. Within a wooden arena 2-4 players lead their ninjas into battle. Those solid arenas allow creative setups for new, challenging skirmishes. Players can choose from four different pewter ninjas, 6 unique special abilities and arm themselfs with a nicely balanced set of melee and ranged weapons.

Short gameplay summary:

  • Planning phase: Players plan their three hidden actions from 18 options
  • Initiative: the fastest planning-player picks his desired initiative for the combat round
  • Combat phase: all three actions from the planning phase are executed and in case of a draw decided by initiative.

Other Information: • Designer Oliver Schneider will lead "Headhunter" competitions on Thursday and Friday from 17:00 to 18:00 and on Sunday from 16:00 to 17:00, and the first official Ninja Arena tournament takes place on Saturday.

• This published version includes rules only in German, but explanations will be available in English and 2mt Games will be conducting a Kickstarter funding campaign for an English-language version during SPIEL 2016.

• Daily demos are also taking place at the Kickstarter booth (1-D129) from 14:00 to 16:00 with the game creator on site.

• Finally, the publisher is holding a raffle at SPIEL 2016 for a Collector's Edition of the game.

• Price €75

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Board Game Publisher: 2Tomatoes
• Booth 4-D113
17. Board Game: The Lord of the P.I.G.S.: Pata Negra [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:9151]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 16 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics:
Language:
Catalan
English
French
Spanish
Description:

The Lord of the P.I.G.S. is a fast-paced multiplayer economy simulation game set in the fictional Republic of Meridia, a melting pot of southern European countries. You and your friends take the role of Meridia's leaders and vie for economic supremacy through presentation meetings, voting sessions, public opinion polls, unexpected events, and widespread backstabbing.

The Lord of the P.I.G.S. is a game for 2 to 4 players and takes up to 30 minutes to complete. Each takes up the role of one of the economy's pillars: President of the Republic, Chief Banker, Corporate Director and Energy Tycoon. Each pillar, or Actor, has an associated score, that represents its economic interests. There's a fifth Actor called Social Stability, non playable, that represents the interests of the People.

The goal of each player is to be the 1st to raise his/her score to 10, winning the game. To reach this goal, they will have to submit and vote Actions that will influence the economy, and thus their scores. But beware! If the score of Social Stability falls to 0 there will be a Revolution, and the player with the lower score wins the game.

Other Information: • MSRP €30
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18. Board Game: Peak Oil [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 − 75 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
Spanish
Description:

You can play the game for free on Tabletopia here.

You are the top manager at one of the big oil companies, tasked with leading your enterprise into a future without oil. With peak oil looming ahead, you try to squeeze the last drops from oil fields around the world to gather the resources to invest into various oil replacement technologies. While you may try to emerge from the coming crisis by regular means, your competitors will most probably not, forcing you to dirty your hands as well.

On your turn in Peak Oil, you assign your agents to different action spots on the board. If your agents are in the majority at any given action spot, or you decide to send mercenaries to their help, they squelch the competition there and allow you to take the linked action. Actions include developing and harvesting oil fields, building pipelines, hiring new agents, buying new ship contracts, investing in oil replacement technologies, conducting PR campaigns, engaging in piracy, and manipulating public opinion and oil prices.

After some time, the oil — represented by a set number of small barrels you draw from a bag when developing new oil fields — will run out. This is called "peak oil" and marks the end of the game. Players tally the value of the technologies in which they invested and promoted during the game. Whoever shaped the future best (i.e. gained favor for their company) wins.

Other Information: • Available for demo games at SPIEL 2016 to coincide with a Kickstarter funding campaign.
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Board Game Publisher: 4Dados
• Booth 7-C120
19. Board Game: Democracy under Siege [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 3
Playing time: 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

Dateline: Germany, 1933
Jan. 30: Hindenburg names Hitler Chancellor.
Feb. 27: The burning of the Reichstag. Hitler blames his political opponents and enacts repressive laws.
Mar. 5: The Nazi Party wins the Federal elections amid a climate of fear and intimidation. From this point on, with a precise and constant rhythm, Hitler dismantles all of the democratic institutions of the fragile Weimar Republic and inaugurates a reign of terror, gradually establishing a ruthless and violent dictatorial regime.

The above is history, but what would have happened if instead of bringing Europe into a maelstrom of war, the infamous Austrian corporal had abandoned his plan of global domination and taken the path of peace? Would World War II still have broken out? Or would the Nazi hierarchy and German industry still have pushed the Führer to war with Poland? What would the dream of a Greater Germany have been without Austria, Czechoslovakia, and the other German territorial claims? Would the Western plutocrats or the Soviet colossus have fought the fascist dictatorship anyway and nevertheless inexorably triggered global conflict?

Democracy under Siege is an interactive simulation enabling you to explore all such questions. A card-driven strategy game, it reproduces the geopolitical conflicts and political struggles that led to the Second World War. The game covers the period 1933-1940 and is designed for two or three players. Each takes the role of one of the three ideologies — Democracy, Nazism and Communism — that struggled for power during the timeline of the game. (When played by two players, the two Ideologies exclusively under player control are Democracy and Nazism, while control of Communism alternates between the two players from turn to turn according to specific rules.)

Each game turn represents one year and is divided into three or four rounds. Players choose one political action and one event per round and attempt to perform the political action by rolling a die and applying some modifiers. They can affect the outcomes of their attempts by expending the ideology's political prestige. Events are activated immediately before the political actions are attempted; no die roll is required. If the political action succeeds, the card effects are applied accordingly. In any case, even when the attempt is unsuccessful, the political action cards played provide a varying number of political points (PP) that can later be expended by the players to perform activities.

After political actions, players perform their action round with the PP provided by political action cards. Players can influence the political allegiance of minor countries, exploit the economic resources belonging either to minor nations or to their controlled powers, recruit and activate coup cells to attempt coups d'etat to overthrow a minor country regime, send military forces to local conflicts or intervene in a civil war in a minor nation. All of these activities, as well as the effects of successful political actions, can bring victory points (VP) when the political allegiances of minor countries come under the influence or the control of Ideologies, or when territories or nations are conquered.

At the end of each round, players check the outcomes of coup attempts, then proceed to a new round. During the clean-up phase at the end of each turn, players perform end-turn checks and calculate the production of military resources (MR) by the exploitation of economic resources claimed on the map. MR are put in the ideologies' force pool and expended to maintain the minor nations allegiances. The remaining MR provide additional VP and can be employed during the subsequent turns to intervene in local conflicts and civil wars.

Democracy under Siege offers an accurate and detailed historical context, supported by 108 strategy cards. Players exploit historical events and political actions to achieve political supremacy. Wars are simulated by an abstract combat system that allows players to intervene and influence their outcomes. The main concepts reproduced in the game are the ideological struggles among the major powers, the race for armaments ahead of World War II and the buildup of a network of diplomatic links with minor nations. All of these elements combine to determine victory.

Other Information: • Available for demo games and previewing at SPIEL 2016.
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20. Board Game: Secret Weapons of the Third Reich [Average Rating:6.90 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Playing time: 120 − 180 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
Description:

The date: March 1938. The vast majority of Austrians cheer the Anschluss of their country by the German Reich. Central Europe is falling into Nazi hands and all the best European scientists will soon compete under the aegis of Heinrich Himmler, for whom no scheme is too wild or too improbable — but which team has the imagination, the courage, and the drive to most successfully accomplish their goals?

Secret Weapons of the Third Reich is a game for one to four players simulating the arms race of World War II from the German perspective. From secret submarine bases in Greenland to the mysterious Base 211 in Neuschwabenland, Antarctica, this game recreates the incredible tales of Nazi technology, from the famous V-1 buzz bombs and V-2 rockets to the unlikely flying saucers derived from the work of Nikola Tesla. Will players be able to deliver the Haunebu project to completion? Will Hans Kammler escape with his last battalion of flying saucers to the dark side of the moon? Will the secret submarine fleet sail to Antarctica to pursue the war after the war? Or could German scientists produce an atomic bomb to be dropped on New York by an electro-gravitational flying saucer or within the warhead of a futuristic intercontinental V-3? Would it even be possible to build a huge solar satellite gun to strike America?

In the game, each player controls one or more research groups, each working on a secret weapon project. Each research group has a leading researcher, who provides an initial bonus (expressed in resource cubes or scientist cylinders) when the project is assigned. The researcher has a regime loyalty value that measures both the ability to make requisition attempts and the ability to resist opposing attempts.

A player tries to get their projects approved, then completed. Certain requirements (resource cubes and/or scientist cylinders and technologies attached to projects) must be met and costs paid in order to reach the stage of development of a project. Each turn, approved projects generate specific amounts of resource cubes as funding. Completed projects award victory points (VP) and allow, in most cases, weapon production. Produced weapons award VP to the owning player in addition to helping to achieve a cooperative goal for all players. In fact, if together the players fail to reach a certain number of weapons produced by the end of the game, they all lose. The weapon production goal varies depending on the number of players.

Play begins in 1938, one year before the outbreak of world war. At the start, players can only place research groups for their approved projects (project plants) in the portion of the map representing Germany and Austria. In 1939 and later, the conquests of Nazi Germany allow players to deploy their project plants in occupied European territories — but players will have to pay attention to the various locations because some areas allow only research and development, others only weapon production, and still others only research and development for U-Boat projects.

Also, players must operate in a "state of warfare". This means that as time goes on they are more and more subject to enemy bombardments that can cause a great loss of resources and technologies. In addition, as starting in 1943 Allied and Soviet advances on Berlin make the map progressively smaller, players must face logistical issues never encountered during the early years of the war.

Should a completed project or produced weapon fall into Allied hands, players not only lose VP, but the weapons production goal recedes as well! Thus a certain amount of player cooperation is a must. Each player must balance his personal interests with the common need to share technologies and resources in order to fulfill the common goal.

Last, but not least, via events one player may secretly become the turncoat, working in the shadows to help the enemy, and winning the game if all players would otherwise lose.

Other Information: • Available for demo games and previewing at SPIEL 2016.
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Board Game Publisher: 4Moon Studio
• Booth 7-B107, with fellow Spanish publisher Zacatrus representing and selling this game at SPIEL 2016.
21. Board Game: Skull Tales [Average Rating:8.37 Overall Rank:3451]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 4
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories: Show More »
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
English
Spanish
Description:

25th August 1703

It still smells like burning gunpowder. The deck is completely full of remains of combat after the boarding. We could be enjoying our looting in Isla Tortuga but our Captain insisted on coming to this goddamned island instead.

In the meantime, our gunner ‘Mad’ Harry does not stop telling us stories and legends about some fantastic creatures that dwell in this place. The Doctor seems uneasy, grabbing the hilt of his sword, sweating a lot more than usual after listening to Harry’s tales.

-Old Sanders lost his leg after having cut it himself. He escaped alive from the jaws of that shark-headed abomination in human form …- Harry was explaining at the same time he was miming with all his body doing so, acting out the scene with his eyes moving all directions as if they were about to jump off his face, in a way of magnifying the facts.

-I would not like to lose my leg…or my arm, or any other limb from my body. I appreciate every single limb and organ of mine- was murmuring the Doctor who was more and more nervous. –Do you think there will be more monstrosities like those?

The conversation was interrupted by the sound of two swords pulling out from their sheath together with the cracking in the wood due to a firm step. It was the ruthless Mary Jane who, with a satisfied smile in her face, expressed her wish. –That’s what I'm looking for…

Williams the Lookout's logbook.

Yo ho ho! Skull Tales is an adventure game in which each player performs the role of a pirate character in order to fulfill any pirates' dream: to become the ship's Master and to reach the most precious booty.

Pirates will have to fight against any kinds of fantastic enemies, by solving mysteries, by sailing the Caribbean Sea and exploring islands... all aimed to conquer the highest score in prestige points (PP) and, of course, to reach the long awaited dream of becoming the Master. How is that? Each character will use different abilities to solve mysteries in each scenario or island (by means of modular boards) to fulfill secondary missions; they will roll dice and play cards in order to move, fight enemies or sail depending of how many PP they still have left. All in a cooperative way to escape alive from all this because dead men tell no tales...

Other Information: • Price €90
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Board Game Publisher: A-games (Board Game)
• Booth 7-D107
22. Board Game: Ave Roma [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:2483]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 5
Playing time: 45 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 12 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Hungarian
Description:

Ave Roma is a worker placement game with some unique mechanisms. All workers have a value and all are common workers. At the beginning of a new turn you always start with five workers, but depending on your previous decisions you will always have different workers. In the first phase you have to send out your workers, and in the next one you have to collect them — but in most cases you get back different ones.

You have several ways to win the game. You can build buildings, support wars, convince patrons, obtain influence in territories, get money and resources, and so on. It's a complex game with several mechanisms and components.

Other Information: • Price €45 for the base game, with five expansions also being available for the game:

—1. Censor (€5)
—2. Magistratus (€5)
—3. Preator (€5)
—4. Consul (€10)
—5. Imperator (€10)

Rules for each of these expansions can be downloaded from the Ave Roma base game page. The discounted price of the Ave Roma base game and all five expansions is €70 instead of €80.
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23. Board Game: Magitics [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 2 − 4
Playing time: 60 − 120 minutes
Suggested ages: 14 and up
Categories:
Mechanics: Show More »
Language:
(neutral)
Description:

An unusual structure has emerged on the mountainside that one would think to be desolate: a long-lost temple fort of Artheastam, the Kingdom of Light — or is it rather a slaughterhouse? Several adventurers have been brave enough to attempt to discover the secret of the temple, yet none returned to tell the tale. What could this secret be? Why do so many go about risking their lives? Are they aware of what lies ahead of them?

The Kingdom of Artheastam has come to the decision to send its three most excellent warriors to face the peril. This will surely not be watched from the sideline by either the offsprings of darkness or the Mountaindeep or by the dispersed spacebenders. The future of their world is at stake, and they want to get hold of their legacy.

In Magitics, a team of heroes controlled by a player must confront the other players' heroes in a diverse arena. Their aim is to be the winner of this fight and get a piece of a crystal that involves magical powers, hidden by Sethemet, the space-time magician.

In this conflict, all players control separate hero troops. During these battles, they may get spells, magic items and valuable loot, which strengthen them. They may receive different benefits, too. Players choose heroes that they want to activate; these heroes can perform various actions up to their available action points. The players' goal is to ensure that with the right tactical decisions their resourceful heroes prove to be stronger than others or completely overcome their opponents by the end of the round. If all players activated their heroes, a new round begins.

Other Information: • Available for previewing at SPIEL 2016.
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24. Board Game: RoboRace [Average Rating:5.54 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Number of players: 1 − 6
Playing time: 15 − 30 minutes
Suggested ages: 8 and up
Categories:
Mechanics:
Language:
English
French
German
Hungarian
Description:

In the not-too-distant future, robots have spread all around the world. In every home, factory, art and sport, robots are replacing people, and to take advantage of their presence, the most exciting race in the world has been created in which robots are controlled by their owner's mind.

In RoboRace, players control their robots and their speed with different actions, but they must be careful since many other robots are racing, too, and they all have the same goal. On your turn, you play one card from your hand, trying to cover the most robots on the table. If you succeed, you earn points. You can increase your points by using your own action tokens or tokens that you got from the arena. The player who plays the best combinations and has the most points at the end of the race wins.

Other Information: • Price €21
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Board Game Publisher: A-Muse-Ment
• Booth 2-E119, which is the location of Cubiko Games
25. Board Game: The Front Nine: Slow Play [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Designed by:
Published by:
Categories:
Mechanics:
Expands:
Language:
English
Description:

The Front Nine: Slow Play is a single promotional card for The Front Nine that features a poorly-driving zombie. Designer Nick Case notes, "This will be the last offering for The Front Nine game."

Other Information: • Price: Free! Just visit Gavin Birnbaum at the Cubiko Games stand, gawk in amazement at his finely crafted all-wooden games, then request this item to complete your The Front Nine collection. "Failing that," says designer Nick Case, "there will be the TF9 gang in golf T-shirts with a 'Stop me and ask for one' attitude."
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