The Origins Game Fair takes place June 14-18, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio, and this Geeklist highlights titles that, to the best of my knowledge, will (1) debut at Origins 2017, (2) be newly released just before the convention, or (3) be available in demo/preview form.
To add titles to this list (or send me general game news for coverage on BGG News), please write to me at wericmartin AT gmail.com. Thanks!
It is 1754 and both France and Britain have thriving colonies in North America. New England has begun expanding into the Ohio River Valley but France has built a chain of forts extending from Lake Erie to protect their own claim on the land. Now fighting has erupted. France and its Native American Allies control the Ohio Valley but George Washington prepares an army to take it from them. A small war has started in the colonies between France and Britain but control of the world is at stake.
In 1754: Conquest – The French and Indian War, players play as the French and British Factions who fought for dominance over the Americas. This war is known as the French and Indian War in the United States, the War of Conquest in Canada and was part of the Seven Years War which was fought around the world by the European Powers. The French players either play as the French Canadian Militia or the French Regulars. The British players play as the British Colonial Militias or the British Regulars. Both players can ally and fight with the Native Americans but the French start with more Native Allies.
Players for each side work together in order to coordinate their strategies. To win, each side attempts to control Victory Spaces on the map that represent towns and forts. The militia players receive reinforcements from muster points while the French and English Regulars must ship their reinforcements from overseas. The game ends when the Treaty of Paris is signed and the side controlling the most cities wins the game.
1754 Conquest Introduces:
1. Strategic Forts - Forts allow defenders an opportunity to negate hits in battle!
2. Valuable Muster Points - The new muster system for Native American and Colonial forces makes strategic alliances more dynamic and game changing!
3. Important Harbor Regions - Harbor regions govern regional reinforcements from British and French Regular Troops!
The raid is over, and the victorious Vikings gather in the chieftain's tent to divide the spoils of war! Piled high on a massive oak table are the best treasures taken during the raid: gleaming gems, shiny swords, fine armor, and magical artifacts! Once strong allies, the Vikings are taken by greed, and soon a heated debate ensues — who will get which spoils? Fists pound the table, insults are made, and tempers rise!
Spoils of War is a fast-paced and exciting game of bidding and wagering for 3-5 players. Each round, players roll their dice, then cleverly bluff and bet to outwit their fellow Vikings. The winners of each round get to claim fantastic treasures to add to their collection! With lots of twists and surprises, no one knows who will win until the last treasure is claimed and the spoils are counted!
• At Origins 2017, Arcane Wonders will have a coupon in the convention book that grants you a golden cup with the purchase of Spoils of War.
Zeus has invited a bunch of divine friends, including a couple of new ones, from all around the Multiverse for a little get-together on Mount Olympus…and you are one of them! After a few rounds of ambrosia, soon the racing and betting begins, with the Olympic "All-father" as the ultimate judge.
Divinity Derby is a fun and fast betting and racing game for 3 to 6 players, with a clever "shared hand" card mechanism. Players, as god-like beings betting on the race of six flying creatures, share a cardholder with each neighbor, and every turn they play one card from each shared card holder. Are you able to guess what your neighbor's intentions and secret bets are and make the best use of the shared knowledge to win your bets?
With beautiful components, colorful art, and simple but engaging gameplay, Divinity Derby is suitable for players of all ages and skill levels.
• Available for previewing and demo games at Origins 2017.
In Hunt for the Ring, one player takes the role of Frodo and his companions, who are journeying from the Shire to Rivendell, while up to four other players represent the Nazgûl who are trying to hunt down the hobbits. While traveling, Frodo and others must resist being corrupted by the Ring that he wears.
Hunt for the Ring is a hidden movement game played in two chapters, with each chapter being played on a different game board. In the first chapter, the Frodo player attempts to move from the Shire to Bree, gaining corruption points if they fail to do so after sixteen turns. If the Frodo player succeeds, they can either record their exit point (and other game details) to play the second chapter at a later time, or they can continue immediately, with the second chapter having the Frodo player move from Bree to Rivendell. In this chapter, the Frodo player doesn't control the hobbits directly, but instead draws cards from a journey deck, with each card showing one of many paths to Rivendell.
• Available for previewing and demo games at Origins 2017.
Sword & Sorcery is an epic-fantasy cooperative board game in which 1-5 players fight together against the forces of evil, which are controlled by the game system itself.
Each player controls one or more heroes – legendary characters brought back to life by powerful sorcery. Weakened by the resurrection, they grow stronger during their story-driven quests. By acquiring soul points during battles, the heroes' souls regenerate, restoring their legendary status with multiple powers, magic and soul weapons, and powerful artifacts.
Designed by Gremlin Project (the same team who created Galaxy Defenders), the game system in Sword & Sorcery represents the perfect evolution of its forerunner. Gameplay is faster and dynamic, thanks to an innovative area movement and area control system, with new features never seen before in a game of this category.
Key features of Galaxy Defenders are also preserved in Sword & Sorcery, such as the advanced AI system for monsters, a high degree of character customization, and the multiple tactical options during battles. Sword & Sorcery packs, in a top-quality board game format, all the excitement of the best MMORPGs and action RPGs, to provide the ultimate heroic fantasy board game adventure.
• MSRP $80 for the base game; two Sword & Sorcery accessory packs will also be available at Origins 2017: Custom Dice Pack (MSRP $13) and Doors & Chests (MSRP $15).
• At Origins 2017, Ares Games has ten "learn to play" events scheduled for Sword & Sorcery, with players going through the first story from the book of Secrets.
Wings of Glory: WW1 Airplane Packs are single-plane blister packs with one 1/144 model plane, assembled and painted, and its deck of maneuver cards.
The first series includes Fokker E.III, Halberstadt D.III, Morane-Saulnier and Airco D.H.2, each one in three different color schemes.
New planes are available! The four famous fighters of the types first released as Wings of War miniatures have recently reached the stores. Now you can put the SPAD 13 and Albatros D-V through their paces, or restage the most famous competitions of the war with the Fokker Triplane versus the Sopwith Camel. These pairs are available as "Duel packs" that include rules an the bits needed to play. Or, you can by them individually. Single packs reprise a few of the original paint schemes (including the all-red Tripe!) and offer new paint schemes as well.
• At Origins 2017, Ares Games will have a new series of WW1 aircrafts for Wings of Glory: Nieuport 17 (MSRP $15), Albatros D.III (MSRP $15), UFAG C.I (MSRP $20), and RAF RE.8 (MSRP $20).
• Booth 213/312 in the exhibitor hall, and GH401 in the main gaming hall
• In addition to what's listed below, at Origins 2017 Atlas Games will have a restock of Lunch Money (MSRP $20), which Atlas' Jeff Tidball says has been out of stock for a while.
• Purchase two or more games with a combined price of at least $40, and you'll receive a bonus Gloom or Unknown Armies coffee mug, which retails for $15.
• Adds Tidball, "We'll be running a convention-long Hounded tournament, where players can register themselves as being on either #TeamFox or #TeamHounds. At the end of the convention or afterwards (depending on logistics and number of entrants), the team that won the most aggregate games during Origins against their opponents will be recognized and receive prizes."
The intrigues and scandals of the realm's greater nobility are a subject of fixation, and even obsession, for the entire kingdom. Most especially for the minor nobility, whose fortunes can be elevated — or shattered — by what happens at court.
In Cursed Court, you must consider both public and hidden information, some of the latter shared among different pairs of players, when wagering your limited influence in each season of the year. As the machinations of the nine key nobles are progressively revealed, your fortunes rise and fall. After three years, a winner is crowned.
The colonies of the Americas were a haven for the persecuted. But now there’s a war for independence, and those who would have freedom must fight for it.
Witches of the Revolution is a cooperative game. You and your fellow players lead covens of witches determined to see a ﬂedgling nation achieve freedom from tyranny. You must recruit powerful allies, unleash potent relics, overcome menacing events, and ultimately fulfill four keystone objectives before time runs out. Will you specialize, or prepare for anything? Will assisting allies spread your resources too thin, or unlock success?
The players win by completing their four Objectives. Their victory score — from one to seven — depends on the location of the Liberty Track marker when the final Objective is achieved. The players lose if:
The Liberty Track reaches maximum Tyranny, or
An Event card reaches the relevant loss space on the Event Line (based on the number of players), or
The last card in the Event deck is added to the Event Line and the players fail to win by the end of that turn.
• Available for demo games at Origins 2017, and possibly available in limited quantities for purchase; if so, MSRP $40
BetaBotz is a fun and competitive multiplayer board game where players bid on robots, upgrade their robot with components and execute powerful codes to accomplish tiered missions. Each mission provides the players a currency reward giving them more bidding power and bringing them closer to victory. Robots will need to work with and against one another to become the ultimate BetaBot worthy of entering Robotopia.
BetaBotz takes minimal time to learn but includes enough variation in content and strategy that no two games are the same. The simultaneous mission feature of BetaBotz allows all players to participate during missions. There is a high level of engagement and interaction between the players so that everyone can have a blast through the entirety of game play!
Players start BetaBotz with 40 bitz (currency) and use this starting pool to bid on a robot body with stats in four attributes (Agility, Firepower, Structure and Processor). Throughout the game players use their remaining bitz and any bit rewards received to bid against one another on components that increase their attributes or select single use "Code Cards" in an effort to complete missions. In addition to components increasing a robot's ability to complete missions, achieving a stat of 13 or more in an attribute activates a power associated with that attribute.
A complete game of BetaBotz is played over the course of ten missions. Mission cards of different tiers are selected based on the number of players. Missions require at least a specific value in one (or multiple) of the four attributes to complete. All players attempt to complete the current mission simultaneously and those that are successful receive a reward of bitz. Players are able to form teams to complete the current mission but they must split the mission rewards among the team. At the conclusion of the 10th mission the player with the highest individual attribute, the most gold components and code cards each receive an additional bitz reward. The player with the most bitz at the end of the game, including the bonus bitz, is the winner.
• Available for purchase and demo games at Origins 2017.
Destiny Aurora: Renegades is a fast-paced, sci-fi adventure game that takes place both on the planet's surface and in orbit as the Renegades try to complete missions while attempting to be thwarted by the Coalition agents. Campaign-based miniatures game. Choose a ship, choose a crew, and choose a side.
• Available for demo games at Origins 2017 ahead of the game's scheduled September 1, 2017 U.S. release date.
The Refuge: A Race for Survival is a post-apocalyptic zombie strategy game. The goal of the game is to be the first to reach the refuge while fending off zombies and other players. Each time you move, you activate a floor tile which have special features. The only tournament style zombie board game out there where you compete with six players in order to be the first one to reach the final refuge. Learning it takes less than five minutes, mastering it will take a while. Decisions make a big impact, and gameplay ranges heavily on the players skills: five minutes to one hour.
• Available for purchase and demo games at Origins 2017.
You've just been given a shot at being the head chef at the prestigious New York Slice pizza parlor. Now you and your fellow pizza chef wannabes have to make the most amazing pizzas...one slice at a time!
In New York Slice, each player slices pizzas into portions, giving their opponents first choice, while they take the leftovers. There are a dozen kinds of pizza to work with, from veggie to hawaiian to meat lover's, and each player decides if they want to eat or keep some of the slices, building the best collection of pizzas possible!
Each time a player slices a pizza, there's a different special to go along with it, whether it's allocated to one of the portions or placed on its own. Specials provide the player with special powers or points, such as calling dibs on a slice before the pizza is divided, getting one of the normally-out-of-the-game "mystery slices', having an opportunity to "sneak a slice" by moving it from one portion to another when they choose, and many more—there are 14 different "Today's Specials" in the game.
Some slices have anchovies on them (yuck!), which are worth negative points to anyone who collects them — but anchovies might show up on different pizza types you're collecting, so in order to have the majority of a type, you just might have to collect one with anchovies on it!
If you tie another player for the most slices of a type, neither of you gets any points — but a bunch of slices have two types of pizza on them, with each combo slice being worth half a slice of each type, which is great for breaking ties.
Most slices have pepperoni on them, which you can eat for points (instead of collecting to go for the majority of each slice type).
King Ludwig II of Bavaria has called all great architects to design his greatest achievement: a world-renowned palace. Only the best will do! Gorgeous appointments, white stone, surrounded by water, with swans everywhere. Oh, and the Ludwig touch? All the architects must design the palace together. The designer who shows the strongest influence will receive the order to build it.
In The Palace of Mad King Ludwig, each player builds rooms one at a time in a single gigantic palace. As rooms are completed, a moat slowly forms around the outside. Once the ends of the moat connect, the palace is finished, and the player who has contributed the most to the palace wins!
In more detail, this sequel to Castles of Mad King Ludwig shares a few similarities to its predecessor, such as tile-laying, room rewards, and the magic of watching a unique palace take shape through the course of the game, but the gameplay is entirely different, with no auction, a clever endgame timer that graphically builds pressure for players as the moat slowly closes in around the palace, and a twist on resource management with multi-colored swan tokens being used as currency, points, and the keys to new abilities.
What better way to rid your village and the surrounding lands of the werewolf menace but to head up a powerful hunting party, designed to do just that? The Huntress is a one-shot wonder guaranteed to kill her target. The Mad Bomber takes out the two players closest to him if he’s killed. The Revealer has the ability to kill every single werewolf in just one night...unless he’s wrong about who’s a werewolf, in which case he dies. The Mystic Seer knows the exact role of her target. The Mentalist knows if any pair of players are on the same team or not. Not to be outdone by all the newfound power of these villagers, the Werewolves have a new wolf: the Alpha Wolf, who can turn a player into a wolf at night instead of eliminating him.
In Werewords, players guess a secret word by asking "yes" or "no" questions. Figure out the magic word before time is up, and you win! However, one of the players is secretly a werewolf who is not only working against you, but also knows the word. If you don't guess the word in time, you can still win by identifying the werewolf!
To help you out, one player is the Seer, who knows the word but must not to be too obvious when helping you figure it out; if the word is guessed, the werewolf can pull out a win by identifying the Seer!
A free iOS/Android app provides thousands of words in hundreds of categories at various difficulty levels, so everyone can play.
With the driving of the golden spike in 1869, the first transcontinental railroad was completed in the United States — but really it was only the beginning of a rapid expansion of railways that would crisscross the entire country.
In Whistle Stop, you make your way west across the country, using your fledgling railroad company to build routes, pick up valuable cargo, and deliver needed goods to growing towns, creating a network of whistle stops that you and your competitors can leverage as you continue to expand your networks. Along the way, you gain shares in other railroads and watch your reputation soar with each successful delivery before making a final push to complete long hauls to the boom towns of the West.
This design is a new twist on pick-up-and-deliver games. As players move their trains west and pick up goods, they can deliver those goods to small towns to gain shares in railroads, or hold on to them for a bigger payout when they reach the west coast. At the same time, they try to optimize their actions (and gain extra ones), lay down new track tiles, block the other players, gather and use valuable whistles for special moves and abilities, and carefully manage their coal resources.
No, Martians are not green. But some Martian flowers are. The spectrum of Martian flora also include blue, yellow, white, gray, and red.
Help your little Martian gardener plant flowers to create the grandest, most beautiful garden on Mars. The Martian with the greenest thumb wins! (Just the thumb: Martians are not green.)
A board representing a Martian garden (91 hexagonal spaces) and a scoring track.
60 flowers in 6 different colours (10 each)
A carrying case.
6 black Martians in 3 types (2 each)
4 white Martians in 2 types (2 each)
In Kingdomino, you are a Lord seeking new lands in which to expand your kingdom. You must explore all the lands, wheat fields, lakes, and mountains in order to spot the best plots. But be careful as some other Lords also covet these lands...
Dominoes with a kingdom building twist. Each turn, connect a new domino to your existing kingdom, making sure at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play. The game mechanics for obtaining the tiles is clever: the order of who picks first depends on which tile was previously chosen. Make sure to secure tiles with crowns- these royal treasures help to multiply the worth of your kingdom at the end of the game! The game ends when each player has completed a 5x5 grid, and then points are counted based on number of connecting tiles and crowns.
• Not new-new, but Blue Orange Games is making a big push on the title given its Spiel des Jahres-nominated status.
Long ago, your ancestors built great cities across the world. Now your tribe must explore forests, deserts, islands, mountains, and caverns to find these lost cities. Claim the ruins, build places of power, and restore the glory of a bygone age.
Unearth is a bend-your-luck game of dice placement and set collection. Designed by Jason Harner and Matthew Ransom, it plays in under an hour with 2-4 players. Each player leads a tribe of Delvers, represented by five dice (3 six-sided, 1 four-sided, and 1 eight-sided). Players take turns rolling and placing dice in an attempt to claim Ruins.
The game's elegant core mechanic is accessible to players of all skill levels. High rolls help players claim Ruins, while low rolls help players collect Stones. This opens two paths to victory: claiming sets of Ruins or using Stones to build Wonders. Delver cards help you affect your dice rolls or dice in play, and Wonders can grant abilities that impact the late game.
In the tile-laying game Ancestree, players get to build their personal family trees! During each of three rounds, every player begins with a hand of six ancestor tiles. They choose one and pass the remaining tiles to the next player. The chosen ancestor is then added to the family tree, connected by leaves or hearts. Once five ancestor tiles have been added to the tree, the round ends. Players compare their family tree to those of their neighbors and gain points for the longest connected generations and for coin icons in their tree.
After three rounds, players gain bonus points for all the marriages they have created. The player with the highest score wins!
Howdy, partners, and welcome to Capital City! In this fast-playing card game, you've got one year to help build the most famous town in all the West! Each season, the train brings in city slickers and kinfolk from the east to help you run your new businesses on Main Street. Hire your workers carefully, keeping in mind that members of the same family help each other reach success faster! Dollars are useful, but victory points (VPs) are like pure gold! At the end of the year, the player with the most VPs wins the game and becomes the new Mayor of Capital City! Bring home a little piece of the wild west today!
In more detail, players have four rounds represented by the seasons of the year to expand their Wild West town! First, they bid for player priority order for the current season. Next, they choose character cards from the train to put to work, then purchase building cards to form Main Street. Then, players attach character cards to the building cards to earn dollars or VPs! Attached characters are workers that provide bonuses to the current player and other players with characters from the same family! At the end of four seasons, the player with the most VPs wins! Yee-haw!
1932! The world is fascinated by growing rumors of hidden creatures that roam America. Popular tabloids are desperate for photographs of these mysterious beasts to prove the myths and sell tabloids. That's where you come in: As a freelance photographer looking to make a name for yourself, you must follow tips that have you scouring the country hoping to snap the pictures the tabloids desire. When your deadline arrives, you will sell your portfolio to score big! Now grab your camera and field notes, stay one step ahead of your rivals, and race to a photo finish as the greatest shutterbug of all time!
ShutterBug is a fast-paced set collection game of opportunity and exploration for 2-6 players, played in eight rounds. Each turn, players move their pawn across a map of America, gathering tip cards and racing to specific spaces to take pictures of astounding mythical creatures. Trading tips with other players to build their portfolio of fantastic creature photos, players strive to earn points for fulfilling their secret assignment and actively completing side jobs. Every turn counts, and every photo gets players closer to their goals. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins!
Wordoku is a combination crossword-sudoku word game for one to six players. In the game, players race to create words and earn points using wooden letter tiles on a 4x4 grid, while skillfully incorporating all the tile symbols to double word values! The game is played over three rounds in which players earn awards for scoring the highest number of points -- and for improving their personal high scores between rounds! The player with the most award tokens after three rounds wins! Wordoku is easy to learn but challenging to master - it's Fun Spelled Out!
• This item was previously available solely via Barnes & Noble, but will be demoed and sold by Calliope Games at Origins 2017.