The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases - Nov/Dec 2015
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With the myriad sources of game news coming out of hundreds of publishers, large and small, it's difficult for even the informed gamer to know which releases to look forward to. This list is an attempt to aggregate what the BGG community as a whole is anticipating, omitting my own personal biases as much as I can.

This is a list of games sorted by what I call the "buzz score", that is, the number of wishlists the game is on minus the number of owners that game has. Most of the time, this will highlight games that are not yet released, but games may stay on the list after their release depending on how much people want them, and how quickly people have bought them. Obviously, games must be in the BGG database to be considered, but after that, there are no criteria beyond wishlists and owners.

I will post an updated version of this list about every two months. Here are some previous lists:

Sep/Oct 2015
Jul/Aug 2015
May/Jun 2015
Mar/Apr 2015
Jan/Feb 2015

There is also a subscription thread for this Geeklist series. If you wish to receive a notification when I post future versions of this list, go over to The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases - Subscription Thread and subscribe.

Thanks to wildthayne, this list now has its own microbadge! Check it out here: mb
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1. Board Game: SeaFall [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1985]
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Buzz Score: 1565

SeaFall
Design: Rob Daviau (Risk Legacy, HeroScape)
Specs: 3-5 players
Stats: 1580 wishlists, 15 owners

[Previous List: #3 (1503)]

In SeaFall, designer Rob Daviau attempts to take many of the concepts found in Risk Legacy and apply them to a completely new, independent game. SeaFall is a 4X-style game that takes place in a quasi-historical "Age of Sail" time period. Like Risk Legacy, the game is intended to be played campaign-style with the same group of people; each play session will leave indelible marks on the game that will continue to affect future sessions. Players are encouraged to foster their grudges across sessions as they continue to explore the ever-changing rules of SeaFall.

Release Notes: This game will be released by Plaid Hat Games sometime in 2016.
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2. Board Game: Star Wars: Rebellion [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:6]
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Buzz Score: 1458

Star Wars: Rebellion
Design: Steven Kimball (Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game, Nexus Ops), Corey Konieczka (Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game)
Specs: 2-4 players, 180-240 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1476 wishlists, 18 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Star Wars: Rebellion recreates the entire war between the Empire and the Rebellion on the grand strategic scale. Players take on the role of one of the sides, controlling the movement of fleets and armies, recruiting or subjugating worlds to bring them to your cause. The two sides play very differently and have different objectives--the Empire must use overpowering force to discover and destroy the Rebels' base, and the Rebellion will undertake intelligence and sabotage missions, holding out until enough worlds can be won to the cause. Despite the grand scale of the game, personalities from the movies will play a large role, and pivotal scenes from the movies may be reenacted.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight Games is expected to be released in February 2016.
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3. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:10] [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 1086

Scythe
Design: Jamey Stegmaier (Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, Viticulture)
Specs: 2-5 players, 90 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1575 wishlists, 489 owners

[Previous List: #2 (1549)]

Scythe is a game of "farming and war" set in an alternate-history 1920's setting giant mechanical war machines, as vividly imagined by artist Jakub Rozalski. Intended to be a cross between Agricola and Kemet, players will take on the role of a country (each with its own strengths and weaknesses), build up a resource engine, recruit troops, and build mechs. The game will be driven by a simultaneous action selection mechanism, and will not have player elimination.

Release Notes: This game from Stonemaier Games successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign in November. It is expected to ship in August 2016.
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4. Board Game: 504 [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:2556]
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Buzz Score: 1032

504
Design: Friedemann Friese (Power Grid, Friday)
Specs: 2-4 players, 30-120 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 2251 wishlists, 1219 owners

[Previous List: #1 (1795)]

504 is a modular game design--there are 504 different ways to play this game. In a given game, players will combine one of nine different rules sets for core game mechanics, one of eight different rules sets controlling the economy, and one of seven different rules sets that help enhance the theme and flavor of the game. The nine different core game mechanics include multiplayer combat, pick up and deliver, production of resources from terrain types, network-building, exploration, racing, area majority, auctions, and stock-holding.

Release Notes: This game was released by 2F-Spiele and Stronghold Games at Essen. It should now be generally available.
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5. Board Game: The 7th Continent [Average Rating:8.41 Overall Rank:16]
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Buzz Score: 865

The 7th Continent
Design: Ludovic Roudy (Steam Torpedo: First Contact, 8 Masters' Revenge), Bruno Sautter (Steam Torpedo: First Contact, 8 Masters' Revenge)
Specs: 1-4 players, 5-1000 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1055 wishlists, 190 owners

[Previous List: #6 (956)]

The 7th Continent is a cooperative game in which players take the role of explorers who are returning to a mysterious new continent that they have discovered in an attempt to remove the curse it has put on them. As the players explore this continent, new terrain cards will be added to increase the play area. Players each have an action deck which allows them to face challenges they meet on the terrain cards; this deck consists of both items and skills the players can use, as well as success indicators that determine whether they pass skill checks. While the game takes many hours to play, it features a saving mechanism whereby players can preserve their progress for the next session.

Release Notes: This game from Serious Poulp successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign in October. They expect to ship the game in October 2016.
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6. Board Game: Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.51 Overall Rank:4]
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Buzz Score: 787

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization
Design: Vlaada Chvátil (Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, Mage Knight Board Game)
Specs: 2-4 players, 120-240 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1618 wishlists, 831 owners

[Previous List: #8 (795)]

This game is a re-implementation of the much-loved map-less civilization game Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization. While the basic mechanisms mostly remain the same, this new version features a variety of rules and card tweaks. Probably the biggest change is that Tactics cards are only exclusive for a single turn, after that, they are moved to a separate board where any player can pay to use them. Additionally, players may no longer sacrifice military units as part of aggressions or wars. The combined effect of the rules changes are intended to decrease the role of military strength in the game.

Release Notes: This game from Czech Games Editions and Eagle/Gryphon Games debuted at Essen. Eagle/Gryphon expects copies to be on store shelves in early 2016.
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7. Board Game: Eldritch Horror: Under the Pyramids [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.38 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 669

Eldritch Horror: Under the Pyramids
Design: (uncredited)
Specs: 1-8 players, 180 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 718 wishlists, 49 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (448)]

This new expansion to [thing=146021] introduces 1920's Egypt to the game world. Investigators can now explore six new locations in Egypt, where a mysterious cult is trying to resurrect an evil being known as the Dark Pharaoh. This expansion includes two new ancient ones, eight new investigators, and a myriad of other cards and tokens that will enhance your Eldritch Horror experience.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight Games should begin showing up on store shelves any day now.
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8. Board Game: The Big Book of Madness [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:734]
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Buzz Score: 597

The Big Book of Madness
Design: Maxime Rambourg
Specs: 2-5 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 906 wishlists, 309 owners

[Previous List: #24 (508)]

The Big Book of Madness is a fully cooperative game in which players take on the role of students in a wizard school. These students have opened a forbidden book and unleashed the evil creatures within. Players use their elemental alignment and unique abilities to learn new spells and augment their abilities, which is represented by a deck-building mechanic. Meanwhile, the evil creatures will drain the players' resources and add madness to their decks. The players must seal away the monsters contained in all six pages of the book to win.

Release Notes: The game from IELLO debuted at Essen. It has begun to show up on store shelves.
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9. Board Game: Onitama [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:212]
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Buzz Score: 590

Onitama
Design: Shimpei Sato (Eggs of Ostrich)
Specs: 2 players, 10 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 729 wishlists, 139 owners

[Previous List: #20 (564)]

Onitama is a two-player abstract game in which players control 5 pawns on a 5x5 grid. Each player will have two cards in front of them that determine how the player can move a pawn on their turn. If a pawn moves to a spot occupied by an opposing pawn, that pawn is captured and removed from the game. Once the move is finished, the player exchanges the movement card that was used with the shared card that is placed beside the board. In that way, the five movement cards used in the game end up going back and forth between the players. The game ends when either a player captured another player's main pawn, or a player advances his main pawn to the opponent's start space. The game includes a number of additional movement cards so that each game is different.

Release Notes: This game was originally published in limited quantity in 2014 by the Japanese company conception. It has been picked up by Arcane Wonders as part of their Dice Tower Essentials line; this version is expected to be released in March 2016.
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10. Board Game: Kemet: Ta-Seti [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 547

Kemet: Ta-Seti
Design: Jacques Bariot (Kemet, Nefertiti), Guillaume Montiage (Kemet, Nefertiti)
Specs: 2-5 players, 90 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 905 wishlists, 358 owners

[Previous List: #10 (726)]

Ta-Seti is the first expansion to Egyptian game of army combat, Kemet. This expansion will have a number of modules that can be freely added to the base game. Some of these modules include a new game phase called Dawn, the "path of the souls", and a new pyramid color complete with its own set of 16 power tiles. Among these will be tiles that let you control a Hieracosphinx used to teleport troops, a sphinx ram that makes it more costly for an opponent to attack a region, and mercenary troops that can be hired.

Release Notes: This expansion from Matagot debuted at Essen, and should be available in stores within the next week.
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11. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.97 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 546

Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion
Design: Thomas Lehmann (Race for the Galaxy, Roll for the Galaxy)
Specs: 2-5 players, Age 13+
Stats: 672 wishlists, 126 owners

[Previous List: #23 (515)]

Xeno Invasion is an expansion for Race for the Galaxy that (like Alien Artifacts) is meant to be played without any other expansions. In this game, the galaxy is being invaded by hostile Xeno aliens, whose military worlds can be conquered with the help of Xeno-specific military. This expansion includes an option "Invasion" game, in which the Xenos can damage a player's world during a special Xeno attack phase. Players have a new Produce: Repair action card to repair damaged worlds, and can gain additional victory points by donating goods to the war effort or defeating Xeno attackers.

Release Notes: This game from Rio Grande Games was available in limited quantity at Essen, but general release will be delayed until early 2016 due to a printing error.
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12. Board Game: War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle-earth [Average Rating:8.39 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.39 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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Buzz Score: 542

War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle Earth
Design: Roberto Di Meglio (War of the Ring, The Battle of Five Armies), Marco Maggi (War of the Ring, The Battle of Five Armies), Francesco Nepitello (War of the Ring, The Battle of Five Armies)
Specs: (unknown)
Stats: 556 wishlists, 14 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (508)]

This expansion to War of the Ring (Second Edition) adds Ents, Dead Men of Dunharrow, Great Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Corsairs of Umbar, Wild Hillmen from Dunland, and Giant Spiders to the game. Previously represented by only event cards, these races will have their own figures with their own rules sets and abilities. These new races work with a new mechanic involving faction dice and faction events to add new strategies to the game.

Release Notes: This expansion from Ares Games should be available sometime in the first quarter of 2016.
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13. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Return to Hoth [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.44 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 537

Star Wars: Imperial Assault - Return to Hoth
Design: Henning Ludvigsen (Android: Netrunner, Star Wars: Imperial Assault)
Specs: 2-5 players, 90-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 572 wishlists, 35 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (366)]

This expansion to Star Wars: Imperial Assault features a number of new scenarios involving a return to the ice planet Hoth, site of the rebel base that was destroyed by the Empire in The Empire Strikes Back. Additionally, a new four-player skirmish mode will allow players to participate in a single fast-paced battle. This expansion adds 37 new terrain tiles representing Hoth, as well as 16 new plastic figures and a variety of cards for both the campaign and skirmish modes.

Release Notes: This expansion from Fantasy Flight Games should start showing up in stores in the next few weeks.
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14. Board Game: Star Trek: Frontiers [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:724]
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Buzz Score: 522

Star Trek: Frontiers
Design: Vlaada Chvátil (Through the Ages, Mage Knight Board Game), Andrew Parks (Core Worlds, Star Trek: Attack Wing)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 531 wishlists, 9 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (453)]

Star Trek: Frontiers is a reimplementation of the game Mage Knight Board Game--this time, in the world of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Players take on the role of the captain of one of the USS Enterprise, the USS Defiant, the IKS Negh'Var, and a Klingon Bird of Prey. These ships move around the galaxy, encountering alien worlds, Romulan and Dominion ships and stations, and, of course, the mighty Borg. Along the way, players can recruit new crew members, earn new skills, and acquire new cards. Like the original Mage Knight, this game features a number of scenarios that allow for competitive, cooperative, and solo play.

Release Notes: This game from Wiz Kids will be released in February 2016.
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15. Board Game: Eclipse: Shadow of the Rift [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 506

Eclipse: Shadow of the Rift
Design: Touko Tahkokallio (Eclipse, Walnut Grove)
Specs: 2-6 players, 120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 689 wishlists, 183 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (486)]

This expansion for Eclipse features three new alien races. The Octanis have the power of evolution, which comes in the form of evolution tiles that grant permanent bonuses for the player. The Shapers of Dorado have the power of time distortion, which allows the player to send ships and resources back and forth from a future turn. The Pyxis Unity combine all the resources into one resource called transmatter. The game also comes with new rare technologies, developments, and discoveries, and can be played either with or without the Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients expansion.

Release Notes: This game from Lautapelit is being distributed in North America by Asmodee Editions. It should be available in late December or January.
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16. Board Game: Hands in the Sea [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:1675]
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Buzz Score: 427

Hands in the Sea
Design: Daniel Berger (Caesar's Gallic War)
Specs: 2 players, 150 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 454 wishlists, 27 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (431)]

Hands in the Sea is a two-player deck-building wargame that was inspired by A Few Acres of Snow. The game is set in the First Punic War between Rome and Carthage. Players start with a deck of action cards, two of which they can use each turn. Cards may be added to the players' decks, either from their personal pool representing their nation, or from a common pool. Victory can be achieved by either capturing the other player's capital, or earning more victory points than the opponent.

Release Notes: This game from Knight Works finished a successful Kickstarter campaign in March, but can still be pre-ordered from the company's web site. They expect the game to be shipped to backers in Spring 2016.
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17. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.87 Overall Rank:1] [Average Rating:8.87 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 422

Gloomhaven
Design: Isaac Childres (Forge War)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 571 wishlists, 149 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (445)]

Gloomhaven is a cooperative dungeon crawling game with enemies that are controlled by the rules rather than a player. Each turn, players will play a set of two cards from their hand, each of which has an initiative number as well as two sets of abilities. The initiative determines turn order, and players must choose which of the two abilities they want to use on each of their cards. This is a "legacy" style game with persistent gameplay that will affect future game sessions--each choice the players make will change how the story unfolds.

Release Notes: This game from Cephalofair Games successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign in September. They expect to ship to backers in May 2016.
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18. Board Game: Nippon [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:270]
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Buzz Score: 404

Nippon
Design: Nuno Bizarro Senteiro (Madeira, Panamax), Paulo Soledade (Madeira, Panamax)
Specs: 2-4 players, 90 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1011 wishlists, 607 owners

[Previous List: #18 (584)]

Nippon is an meaty economic game set in the Meiji period of Japan. Players take on the role of large conglomerates called Zaibatsu, commissioned by the Emperor to help bring Japan into the modern world. These Zaibatsu begin mostly in the silk industry, but quickly diversify and compete over other industries as their power and expertise grows. In addition to improving the infrastructure of the country, players also develop their own investments on their personal boards.

Release Notes: This game from publisher What's Your Game? debuted at Essen. The game has shipped to pre-order customers, and is expected to be in general distribution in late December or January.
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19. Board Game: Porta Nigra [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1002]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 370

Porta Nigra
Design: Michael Kiesling (Tikal, Vikings), Wolfgang Kramer (El Grande, The Princes of Florence)
Specs: 2-4 players, 75-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 739 wishlists, 369 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (490)]

Porta Nigra is a game in which players are competing to erect towers in the four areas of the city of Augusta Treverorum. Players move their game pieces around in a circle, buying tower pieces from markets in some areas, and dropping them off in building spots in others. The game operates with a set of cards, each representing a set of actions, that are the same for all players, but drawn and played in a different order. Each of the four areas where tower pieces can be built have slightly different area majority rules for end-game scoring. Also, you can claim a bonus card for the color/area combination if it happens to be available. There are also a variety of "scroll" cards that are available, which provide a variety of bonuses.

Release Notes: This game was released by eggertspiele and Pegasus Spiele in Europe, and Stronghold Games in North America. Stronghold expects the game to hit store shelves in January.
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20. Board Game: Leaving Earth [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:553]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 354

Leaving Earth
Design: Joseph Fatula
Specs: 1-5 players, 60-180 minutes
Stats: 567 wishlists, 213 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

In Leaving Earth, players take on the role of a national space agency in the days of the Space Race in the 50's and 60's. This is a deep simulation game that some have compared to High Frontier, though purportedly this is more streamlined. The game revolves around long-term planning and managing risk--players acquire technologies when they are obviously flawed, but must decide how much time to dedicate to improving it before attempting a launch. These technologies can be used to complete and claim mission cards of various difficulties that are available to everyone. The game ends at the end of the 21 simulation years, or when one player has an insurmountable mission point lead.

Release Notes: The Lumenaris Group is selling this game through their web site. No plans concerning wider distribution have been announced.
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21. Board Game: Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Leia Organa Ally Pack [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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Buzz Score: 345

Star Wars: Imperial Assault - Leia Organa Ally Pack
Design: (uncredited)
Specs: 2-5 players, 90-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 366 wishlists, 21 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

The Leia Organa Ally Pack adds a new Leia miniature to Star Wars: Imperial Assault, replacing the Leia token from the Return to Hoth expansion. This expansion also includes a new campaign side mission, two new skirmish missions, and new command cards and deployment cards.

Release Notes: This expansion from Fantasy Flight Games should start showing up in stores in the next few weeks.
 
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22. Board Game: Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game [Average Rating:8.63 Overall Rank:6830]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 344

Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game
Design: Julian Leiberan-Titus, Angela Hickman Newnham
Specs: 2-7 players, 60 minutes, Age 5+
Stats: 372 wishlists, 28 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (355)]

Storm Hollow is a scenario-based cooperative adventure game set in a world called "Storm Hollow"--the land where all stories took place. One player takes on the role of the Storyteller who runs the game, and the others play characters who work together to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. Each scenario culminates in an action-based epic encounter. The game can be played in a campaign mode to reveal the overarching plot.

Release Notes: This game from Game Salute successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign in 2012. They're still making progress on the game, but don't have a delivery date announced.
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23. Board Game: The Pursuit of Happiness [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:649]
Doug Faust
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Malverne
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Buzz Score: 343

The Pursuit of Happiness
Design: Adrian Abela, David Chircop (...and then, we held hands.)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 499 wishlists, 156 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

The Pursuit of Happiness is a worker placement game in which you're orchestrating your life, trying to accumulate as much happiness as possible before you die of stress. Over the course of the game, players can acquire possessions, get jobs, participate in events, and develop romantic relationships. Each of these has an effect--gaining happiness, earning (or perhaps spending) money, increasing or decreasing your stress level, etc. Many of these have an ongoing benefit, which of course comes with an ongoing upkeep often including giving up one of your action tokens. As old age approaches, stress levels will increase and players will quickly die off--whoever dies with the most happiness is the winner.

Release Notes: This game from Artipia Games was available in limited quantity at Essen. The company plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to distribute further copies; the date for this campaign has not yet been announced, but early next year seems like a reasonable guess.
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24. Board Game: Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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Buzz Score: 342

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 - United Kingdom & Pennsylvania
Design: Alan R. Moon (Ticket to Ride, Airlines Europe)
Specs: 2-5 players, 45-75 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 1096 wishlists, 754 owners

[Previous List: #11 (641)]

Like other expansions in the Ticket to Ride Map Collection series, Volume 5 contains a double-sided board with two entirely new maps, Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom. The Pennsylvania map adds a stock-holding element to the game--when a route segment is completed, the player gains a share in one of the depicted companies, and whoever has the most shares of each company receives bonus points at the end. The United Kingdom side adds the concept of "technology"--at the start of the game, players may only build 1- or 2- length tracks, and must spend locomotives to be able to build longer routes, routes requiring ferries, or routes outside of England.

Release Notes: This expansion from Days of Wonder was available earlier this month, but has mostly sold out at online stores. I'd imagine another printing is forthcoming.
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25. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2540]
Doug Faust
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