The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases - May/Jun 2016
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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:

Mar/Apr 2016
Jan/Feb 2016
Nov/Dec 2015
Sep/Oct 2015
Jul/Aug 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:6.44 Overall Rank:1960]
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Buzz Score: 2713

SeaFall
Design: Rob Daviau (Risk Legacy, HeroScape)
Specs: 3-5 players, 90-120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 2809 wishlists, 96 owners

[Previous List: #1 (2487)]

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 at GenCon in August. It is now available for pre-order on their website.
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2. Board Game: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1648]
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Buzz Score: 1451

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
Design: Ignacy Trzewiczek (Robinson Crusoe, Imperial Settlers)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 1459 wishlists, 8 owners

[Previous List: #2 (1245)]

First Martians is a cooperative game that re-implements the system used in Trzewiczek's previous game, Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island. However, in this game, the players are stranded in the hostile environments of the planet Mars. Players can participate in a number of stand-alone scenarios featuring various gameplay objectives, or engage in a campaign mode in which previous play sessions affect the current one. The game will utilize a mobile app to aid with the administration of the game.

Release Notes: This game from Portal Games will be released at Essen 2016, with worldwide distribution to follow.
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3. Board Game: Scythe [Average Rating:8.28 Overall Rank:9] [Average Rating:8.28 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 1273

Scythe
Design: Jamey Stegmaier (Viticulture, Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia)
Specs: 1-5 players, 90 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 2123 wishlists, 850 owners

[Previous List: #3 (1134)]

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 2015. It is expected to ship to backers in July, with a general release in August.
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4. Board Game: Star Trek: Frontiers [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:728]
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Buzz Score: 1214

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: 1253 wishlists, 39 owners

[Previous List: #5 (985)]

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 is due to be released on June 29th.
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5. Board Game: The 7th Continent [Average Rating:8.43 Overall Rank:16]
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Buzz Score: 1082

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: 1430 wishlists, 348 owners

[Previous List: #4 (1048)]

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 2015. The original ship date was October 2016, but the game will come out later than that due to delays.
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6. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.41 Overall Rank:3]
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Buzz Score: 1029

Terraforming Mars
Design: Jacob Fryxelius (Space Station)
Specs: 1-5 players, 90-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1040 wishlists, 11 owners

[Previous List: #6 (939)]

Set in the 25th century, Terraforming Mars is a competitive board game about transforming the surface of Mars to better suit human habitation. Players take on the role of corporations, each of whom has a unique advantage in a certain part of the terraforming process. Players acquire and complete various project cards, which vary greatly in difficulty and reward. Through these projects, players aim to raise the temperature, oxygen, and ocean levels, and score for furthering these goals. Once those three conditions reach the optimal level, the game ends and victory is assessed.

Release Notes: This game from Stronghold Games and Rebel.pl will be released at GenCon in August 2016, with pre-orders beginning in July.
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7. Board Game: Dead of Winter: The Long Night [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:182] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 966

Dead of Winter: The Long Night
Design: Jonathan Gilmour (Dead of Winter, Vault Wars), Isaac Vega (Dead of Winter, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn)
Specs: 2-5 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1062 wishlists, 96 owners

[Previous List: #8 (791)]

The Long Night is the first major expansion to the popular semi-cooperative game Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, as well as its own standalone game. The game will feature a customizable colony, with ways to improve it as the game progresses. Additionally, the locations in this game will be double-sided, with some events causing the locations to be flipped to the other side. The game will also include 20 new survivors, new zombies (including "Frost Zombies"), and new enemies in the form of bandits and raiders.

Release Notes: This game from Plaid Hat Games will be released at Origins in June 2016.
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8. Board Game: Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:324]
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Buzz Score: 938

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu
Design: Matt Leacock (Pandemic Legacy, Pandemic), Chuck D. Yeager (Rise of Cthulhu)
Specs: 2-4 players, 40 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 970 wishlists, 32 owners

[Previous List: #7 (828)]

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is a new stand-alone cooperative game based on the mechanisms found in Pandemic. Here, instead of trying to cure the world of four diseases, you're trying to seal four portals through which the Old Ones can emerge. Like in the original Pandemic, each investigator will have a unique power. Additionally, each of the Old Ones will behave differently, and with 10 different Old Ones that could possibly be in the game, each session will have a unique challenge.

Release Notes: This game from Z-Man Games will be released at GenCon in August 2016.
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9. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.87 Overall Rank:1]
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Buzz Score: 907

Gloomhaven
Design: Isaac Childres (Forge War)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1122 wishlists, 215 owners

[Previous List: #9 (752)]

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 2015. They expect to ship to backers in September 2016.
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10. Board Game: Guilds of London [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1268]
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Buzz Score: 768

Guilds of London
Design: Tony Boydell (Snowdonia, Fzzzt!)
Specs: 1-4 players, 45 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 913 wishlists, 145 owners

[Previous List: #14 (550)]

In Guilds of London, players compete to place their liverymen into the eponymous guilds of London. A number of tiles are arranged to make up a grid board--each tile lists the threshold value, the guild(s) it is associated with, and the reward. Players can play action cards to either place their liveryman cubes on the board, or move them onto the various tiles. Some action cards have costs, which are paid by discarding other action cards. During scoring rounds, tiles that have met their threshold in the number of cubes will score, granting victory points and special abilities to the first and second place players.

Release Notes: This game from Surprised Stare Games and Tasty Minstrel Games had a very limited release at the UK Games Expo in June 2016, and a few copies will be available at Origins. A more general release will follow later in the year.
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11. Board Game: A Feast for Odin [Average Rating:8.18 Overall Rank:26]
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Buzz Score: 754

A Feast for Odin
Design: Uwe Rosenberg (Caverna: The Cave Farmers, Agricola)
Specs: 1-4 players, 100-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 761 wishlists, 7 owners

[Previous List: #15 (532)]

A Feast for Odin is a new resource-gathering eurogame set in the world of vikings. This is a worker placement game in which players hunt and gather resources, and then turn those raw materials into advanced resources. Players can also upgrade their player boards with production buildings, build or buy ships, and raid settlements. Some resources can be placed on a player's grid board in certain patterns to produce income or victory points.

Release Notes: This game from Z-Man Games and Feuerland Spiele will be available in limited quantity at GenCon in August. European versions of this game may not be available until Essen in October.
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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]
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Buzz Score: 712

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: 730 wishlists, 18 owners

[Previous List: #11 (668)]

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 in August 2016.
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13. Board Game: Charterstone [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:198]
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Buzz Score: 654

Charterstone
Design: Jamey Stegmaier (Viticulture, Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia)
Specs: 1-6 players, 20-60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 655 wishlists, 1 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Charterstone is a competitive legacy-style game with eurogame sensibilities, based on a worker-placement system. Over the course of a game, players will add a number of building stickers to the village boards, creating new actions that are available not only just in the current game, but also in all future games. The game will not feature "destructive" legacy elements, such as ripping up cards. Charterstone is meant to be played in legacy mode for 20 games, after which players will have a unique worker-placement game that can be played further without change.

Release Notes: This game from Stonemaier Games will be funding on Kickstarter either later in 2016 or early 2017. The game is expected to ship sometime in 2017.
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14. Board Game: Sushi Go Party! [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:164]
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Buzz Score: 635

Sushi Go Party!
Design: Phil Walker-Harding (Sushi Go!, Cacao)
Specs: 2-8 players, 20 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 708 wishlists, 73 owners

[Previous List: #12 (589)]

Sushi Go Party! is an expanded version of the light card-drafting game Sushi Go! that can now accommodate up to eight players. In addition to the maki rolls, tempura, dumplings, and other cards featured in the original game, this new game adds deliciously-illustrated cards featuring edamame, miso soup, tea, and tofu, among others. In each game session, the new cards can be combined with the old cards such that there is one roll, one dessert, three appetizers, two specials, and nigiri (which are in every game). The new cards have a number of new scoring mechanisms--for example, onigiri scores for unique shapes, and tofu scores 6 points for two but zero points for three or more.

Release Notes: This title from Gamewright Games is now just beginning to show up in stores.
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15. Board Game: Mystic Vale [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:375]
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Buzz Score: 626

Mystic Vale
Design: John D. Clair
Specs: 2-4 players, 45-60 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 651 wishlists, 25 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (308)]

Mystic Vale is a "card crafting" game. Each player starts with a deck of 20 sleeved cards. These cards are divided into thirds, and some of these cards have fertile land or cursed land on them. The rest of the card is blank--some entire cards are blank. Over the course of the game, players can buy clear plastic overlays that can be inserted into the card sleeves, these overlays will give the blank thirds of cards additional powers. On a player's turn, a player can keep flipping over cards to earn money and symbols, which can be used to buy overlays as well as Vale cards that don't go into the deck and are mostly worth end-game points. However, if a player reveals three "curse" symbols (which are mostly on cursed land), his turn immediately ends.

Release Notes: This game from AEG will be available to demo at Origins, and for sale at GenCon in August.
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16. Board Game: Chronicles 1: Origins [Average Rating:5.35 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 624

Chronicles: Origins
Design: Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legady, Risk Legacy), Dirk Knemeyer (Tesla vs. Edison, The New Science)
Specs: 3-6 players, 30-60 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 628 wishlists, 4 owners

[Previous List: #13 (560)]

Chronicles: Origins is a civilization game with two distinct types of games included. In the first type of game, players take on the role of leaders of a small stone age culture, guiding that culture through harsh environments and toward prosperity. After this stone age game has been played a number of times, the successful tribes created by these games can be combined into a bronze age game where the tribes have evolved into competing city-states. Naturally, only some of the city-states will survive this game, and those in turn can be used as the basis for a later-period Chronicles game that will be released at a later time. This successive journey through history is the basis for the designers' "Echo System", which will be featured in the Chronicles series of games.

Release Notes: This game from Artana will probably launch a kickstarter campaign sometime in 2016, but there are no dates set in stone.
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17. Board Game: Star Trek: Ascendancy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:588] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 598

Star Trek: Ascendancy
Design: Aaron Dill (Spartacus, Firefly), John Kovaleski (Spartacus, Firefly), Sean Sweigart (Spartacus, Firefly)
Specs: 2-3 players, 90-180 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 611 wishlists, 13 owners

[Previous List: #18 (448)]

Star Trek: Ascendancy is an epic 4X-style game set in the Star Trek universe. Players take the role of one of the major powers, such as the Federation or the Romulan Empire, and develop that civilization from the invention of the warp drive to "level 5 ascendancy" (at which point, that player wins). Players explore the universe with their fleet of ships, gradually revealing new tiles and increasing the size of the map. When players finally encounter one another, they can decide whether to form a trade alliance or be more aggressive. The base set comes with Federation, Romulan, and Klingon races. More races, such as the Ferengi and Cardassians, will be available via expansions and will allow the game to be played by more players.

Release Notes: This game from Gale Force Nine will be released at GenCon and Star Trek 50th Anniversary Convention in August.
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18. Board Game: Imhotep [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:370]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 581

Imhotep
Design: Phil Walker-Harding (Sushi Go!, Cacao)
Specs: 2-4 players, 40 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 865 wishlists, 284 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

In Imhotep, players compete to get their color of stones placed on boats, so that they can be delivered to one of five areas of the board--the market, the pyramids, the temple, the burial chamber, and the obelisk. On a player's turn, he can either get more stones from the supply, put stones on a boat, move a boat to one of the areas, or play a card. The market allows a player to spend his stones on special power cards, the pyramids score for having stones in certain positions, the temple scores for having one of the last five stones placed in a round, the burial chamber scores at the end of the game for adjacent stones, and the obelisk scores for majorities. The player with the most points at the end is the winner.

Release Notes: This game from KOSMOS is now available in Europe. US copies from subsidiary Thames & Kosmos will be available on June 21st, with advance copies possibly being available at Origins.
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19. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 579

Betrayal at House on the Hill: Widow's Walk
Design: Mike Selinker (Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Lords of Vegas)
Specs: 3-6 players, 60 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 603 wishlists, 24 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Widow's Walk is the long-awaited first expansion to the mystery scenario traitor game Betrayal at House on the Hill. The game features an entirely new floor the the house, the roof, with the appropriate room tiles. There will also be additional omen and other cards. Along with this, the game will feature a number of new haunts, many of which are written by notable names in the gaming industry, such as Rob Daviau, Christopher Badell, and Paul Peterson.

Release Notes: This expansion from Avalon Hill/Hasbro will be available in Fall 2016.
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20. Board Game: The Oracle of Delphi [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:524]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 564

The Oracle of Delphi
Design: Stefan Feld (The Castles of Burgundy, Trajan)
Specs: 2-4 players, 70-100 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 568 wishlists, 4 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (329)]

In The Oracle of Delphi, players sail around a modular map board, racing to complete the twelve tasks set forth to them by Zeus. Among other things, these tasks will include picking up and delivering offerings to temples, and defeating mighty monsters. On a player's turn, he will roll three dice with colors as sides, which will determine which actions the player may perform that turn. Naturally, these die results can be modified by turning in earned favors. Unlike other recent Feld game, this game has no victory points--the first player to complete all twelve tasks is the winner.

Release Notes: This game from Hall Games will be available in Europe at Essen in October. No word yet on American distribution.
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21. Board Game: Bios: Genesis [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1676] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 539

Bios: Genesis
Design: Phil Eklund (Pax Porfiriana, High Frontier)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 551 wishlists, 12 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (263)]

Bios Genesis simulates the origins of life on Earth, from self-replicating organic compounds to multi-cellular organisms. Players will use amino acids to control metabolism, lipids to create cells, pigments to aid in energy absorption, and nucleic acids for replication. There are two goals of the game, Autocatalytic Life, or replication without duplication, and Darwinian Life, or using a template to reproduce in an RNA world. The game can be played either competitively, cooperatively, or solo.

Release Notes: This game from Sierra Madre Games is now available via pre-order on the company's web site. The game is expected to be released at Essen 2016.
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22. Board Game: Hands in the Sea [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:1670]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 520

Hands in the Sea
Design: Daniel Berger (Caesar's Gallic War)
Specs: 2 players, 150 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 555 wishlists, 35 owners

[Previous List: #16 (505)]

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, and can use each turn's two actions to play them. 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 2015. They expect the game to be shipped to backers by the end of July.
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23. Board Game: Lisboa [Average Rating:8.19 Overall Rank:71]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 497

Lisboa
Design: Vital Lacerda (The Gallerist, Vinhos)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 502 wishlists, 5 owners

[Previous List: #20 (431)]

In Lisboa, players endeavor to re-build the city of Lisbon after the catastrophic earthquake of 1755. The game is played upon a map board of Lisbon, and players need to manage influence, construction licenses, store permits, church power, workers and money in their attempts to create buildings in the various spaces. Additionally, players can schedule hearings to try to earn favors from various officials.

Release Notes: This game from Eagle-Gryphon game will be running a Kickstarter campaign in November 2016, and they're eyeing a release date at Origins in June 2017.
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24. Board Game: Tyrants of the Underdark [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:218]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
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Buzz Score: 493

Tyrants of the Underdark
Design: Peter Lee (Lords of Waterdeep, Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt Board Game), Rodney Thompson (Lords of Waterdeep, Dungeon Command), Andrew Veen
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes
Stats: 505 wishlists, 12 owners

[Previous List: #19 (438)]

Situated within the Dungeons & Dragons universe, Tyrants of the Underdark is a territory control game featuring a deck-building mechanic. Players take on the role of evil Drow houses, competing for territory in the Underdark. Cards can be added to each player's deck that will help them play and attack other minions on the board. In each game, two of four decks in the game will be available to gain cards from, featuring Drow, Dragons, Elemental Evil, and Demons. Victory can be achieved by controlling territory, recruiting powerful minions, assassinating other minions, and promoting minions to your inner circle.

Release Notes: This game from Wizards of the Coast and Gale Force Nine is expected to be released in June 2016.
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25. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2485]
Doug Faust
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