The Buzzlist: Anticipated Releases - Sep/Oct 2017
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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:

Jul/Aug 2017
May/Jun 2017
Mar/Apr 2017
Jan/Feb 2017
Nov/Dec 2016

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: Charterstone [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:165]
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Buzz Score: 3796

Charterstone
Design: Jamey Stegmaier (Scythe, Viticulture)
Specs: 1-6 players, 20-60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 3951 wishlists, 155 owners

[Previous List: #1 (3261)]

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 should be available through normal retail channels on December 12, 2017.
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2. Board Game: Photosynthesis [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:338]
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Buzz Score: 2181

Photosynthesis
Design: Hjalmar Hach
Specs: 2-4 players, 30-60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 3050 wishlists, 869 owners

[Previous List: #7 (1323)]

Photosynthesis is a game where players try to grow their trees in the forest in a way that maximizes the sunlight they receive. The sun rotates around the game's hex board, and trees in line of sight of the sun (that is, that aren't blocked by other trees of the same or greater stature) gain income according to their height. This income is used to activate trees from their player board, and then used with those activated tree pieces to grow the trees on the board. When a tree reaches its maximum height, income can be expended to remove the tree entirely for big points depending on how close to the center of the board it is, which is where most of the points come from.

Release Notes: This game from Blue Orange Games released at GenCon in August but sold out of the initial print run. The next print run will ship in October.
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3. Board Game: Gaia Project [Average Rating:8.54 Overall Rank:7]
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Buzz Score: 2084

Terra Mystica: Gaia Project
Design: Jens Drögemüller (Terra Mystica, The Scepter of Zavandor), Helge Ostertag (Terra Mystica, Kaivai)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 2148 wishlists, 64 owners

[Previous List: #5 (1523)]

Terra Mystica: Gaia Project is a stand-alone sequel to Terra Mystica, this time set in space. Like in the original game, there will be 14 unique races, each based on a certain color home planet, and players must terraform other planets to their color to establish colonies on them. The game features six different areas of development that you can enhance--terraforming, navigation, AI, "gaiaforming", economy, and research. The game board is made up of ten modular tiles that allow for a variable set-up.

Release Notes: This game from Feuerland Spiele will be released at Essen in October 2017.
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4. Board Game: Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 [Average Rating:8.26 Overall Rank:31]
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Buzz Score: 1838

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2
Design: Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Risk Legacy), Matt Leacock (Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, Pandemic)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1910 wishlists, 72 owners

[Previous List: #6 (1353)]

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is the follow-up to the wildly-successful Pandemic Legacy: Season 1. This time, the game is set in a post-apocalyptic world, 71 years after a mysterious plague wiped out most of humanity. Humanity has endured, living in select cities that are supplied by floating cities called Havens. Like its predecessor, this game will be a cooperative game with "legacy" elements--players will take on specific character roles that can be enhanced from game to game, and aspects of some scenarios will change depending on the players' choices in previous sessions.

Release Notes: This game from Z-Man Games will be available in Fall 2017.
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5. Board Game: Ex Libris [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:617]
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Buzz Score: 1696

Ex Libris
Design: Adam P. McIver (Coin Age, Pencil Park)
Specs: 1-4 players, 30-60 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1900 wishlists, 204 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (613)]

Ex Libris is a game in which players are competing to acquire books for their magical libraries. This is a worker placement game in which each player starts with their own unique worker who has a special ability, as well as a couple of normal workers. Players acquire book cards by going to a number of rules for getting cards, and the available tiles change each round. Players can also go to their own player boards to shelve their books, which must be placed in front of them in a 2D grid. Cards must be placed next to one another, and at the end of the game, cards that don't wind up in order on the shelves don't score. There are a number of ways in which libraries score, including public majorities for a category, negatives for a "banned" category, private goal categories, and how close your 2D grid is to being square.

Release Notes: This game from Renegade Game Studios will be released on October 25th.
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6. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Fourth Edition) [Average Rating:8.71 Overall Rank:9]
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Buzz Score: 1512

Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition
Design: Dane Beltrami, Corey Konieczka (Star Wars: Rebellion, Star Wars: Imperial Assault), Christian T. Petersen (Twilight Imperium Third Edition, A Game of Thrones: The Board Game)
Specs: 3-6 players, 240-480 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1781 wishlists, 269 owners

[Previous List: #19 (672)]

Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition is the newest iteration of the Fantasy Flight's classic space empire game Twilight Imperium. In the game, players take on the role of one of a number of unique races, each with its own unique homeworld, flagship, and special abilities. The goal is to score 10 points over the course of the game, by achieving various public and private goal cards that are randomly determined. Players can build fleets to conquer other planets or attack other players, engage in politics to establish game-altering laws, and discover technologies to enhance their abilities. Major differences from the previous edition include variable player powers and a simplified technology prerequisite system instead of a tech tree.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight Games will be released in late October/early November.
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7. Board Game: Fallout [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:930]
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Buzz Score: 1495

Fallout
Design: Andrew Fischer (Runewars Miniatures Game), Nathan I Hajek
Specs: 1-4 players, 120-180 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1539 wishlists, 44 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (627)]

Fallout is a scenario-based adventure-style game based on the popular video game series of the same name. Players take on one of five roles, moving around the modular hex map to fight enemies and complete quests. Players can die by some combination of losing HP or gaining radiation, however, dead players will respawn at the start point with some equipment penalty. Experience can be gained throughout the game to enhance a player's abilities. Many adventures use special cards that are read by another player and ask that player to make a choice without knowing what the outcomes will be. The base game includes 4 scenarios from the settings of the Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 video games.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight Games will probably be available in late November/early December.
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8. Board Game: Scythe: The Wind Gambit [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.09 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 1434

Scythe: The Wind Gambit
Design: Kai Starck, Jamey Stegmaier (Scythe, Viticulture)
Specs: 1-7 players, 70-140 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1582 wishlists, 148 owners

[Previous List: #8 (1186)]

The Wind Gambit is a new expansion for Scythe that introduces two new modules, which can be added either together or separately. The first module adds airships to the game. Each faction has one airship, complete with its own plastic miniature, and each airship has two abilities--one aggressive and one passive. Unlike normal units, airships cannot control regions, but they are also not restricted by rivers and lakes. The second module adds new end game conditions to the game that are used instead of the standard 6-star game end trigger. There are eight different tiles, each of which causes the game to end in a different way.

Release Notes: This expansion from Stonemaier Games will be available on December 5th, 2017. There may be advance copies at certain co-publishers at Essen.
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9. Board Game: First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1571]
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Buzz Score: 1372

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
Design: Ignacy Trzewiczek (Robinson Crusoe, Imperial Settlers)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 3572 wishlists, 2200 owners

[Previous List: #2 (2368)]

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 is now generally available.
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10. Board Game: Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:655]
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Buzz Score: 1345

Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn
Design: James Kniffen (Forbidden Stars, Star Wars: Armada)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1361 wishlists, 16 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Sid Meier's Civilization: A New Dawn is a completely new board game that is unconnected to Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game, except for being based on the popular video game series. In this game, you are trying to establish a civilization on a modular map board, sending settlers out to found new cities and using tokens to expand influence and claim resources. The heart of the game is a card-based action system--on a player's turn, he selects one action card that's in a slot labeled 1 through 5. The number of the slot indicates the power of the card, and after it's used, the card will be placed in the 1 slot, sliding everything else up. Victory is based on completing one of two agendas on each of three agenda cards--the first player to do that will win. Because these are variable from game to game, each game will present differing challenges.

Release Notes: This game from Fantasy Flight Games will be available in Q4 2017.
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11. Board Game: Merlin [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:990]
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Buzz Score: 1335

Merlin
Design: Stefan Feld (The Castles of Burgundy, Trajan), Michael Rieneck (The Pillars of the Earth, Cuba)
Specs: 2-4 players, 75 minutes, Age 14+
Stats: 1451 wishlists, 116 owners

[Previous List: #23 (684)]

Merlin is a game that based around moving your Knight pawn around a rondel representing the Round Table of Arthurian legend to take various actions. During a player's turn, he rolls 3 of his color dice as well as an additional die representing Merlin. The players then take turns either moving their pawn clockwise or the Merlin pawn in either direction to take the associated action. The game board is divided into six provinces, where you can use your henchmen to place influence, build on the environs board, or take a shield to fend off traitors. There are also mission cards that can be fulfilled for extra victory points.

Release Notes: Queen Games ran a kickstarter campaign for this game, which will ship to backers in December. Retail copies will probably not be available until the next print run.
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12. Board Game: Nusfjord [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:557]
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Buzz Score: 1319

Nusfjord
Design: Uwe Rosenberg (Caverna: The Cave Farmers, Agricola)
Specs: 1-5 players, 20-100 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1341 wishlists, 22 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

In Nusfjord, players take on the role of fishing companies in the eponymous village in northern Norway. Like many of Rosenberg's previous games, this is a worker placement game, where players have to place workers on action spaces on the central board in order to take actions like clearing forests, buying a cutter, or constructing a building. However, this game also adds a stock mechanism to earn a player extra money--if purchased by another player, stocks will allow that player to benefit off of another player's success.

Release Notes: This game from Mayfair Games will be available on November 30th.
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13. Board Game: Transatlantic [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1220]
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Buzz Score: 1249

Transatlantic
Design: Mac Gerdts (Concordia, Imperial)
Specs: 2-6 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1257 wishlists, 8 owners

[Previous List: #22 (693)]

In Transatlantic, players invest in different steamships, each of which has a historically accurate tonnage, knot speed, and passenger capacity. Individual steamships such as the Olympic, the Mauritania, and the Lusitania will be featured in the game. Addtionally, players will have to acquire coal bunkers and trade posts to help their company succeed. Actions in the game will be linked to cards, and more cards will be available as the game progresses, allowing players to customize their possible actions. The game will feature a double-sided board with a 4-player Atlantic coast map on one side and a 5-player world map on the other side.

Release Notes: PD-Verlag will release this title at Essen in October 2017. North American distribution from Rio Grande Games may not happen until early 2018.
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14. Board Game: Agra [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:906]
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Buzz Score: 1138

Agra
Design: Michael Keller (La Granja, Solarius Mission)
Specs: 2-4 players, 90-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1173 wishlists, 35 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (541)]

Agra is a worker placement game in which players acquire and upgrade goods in order to deliver them to notables, guilds, or Akbar the Great himself. Workers are placed in various action spots on the board to take those actions. Later, those workers can be tipped over to perform a "meditate" action, which provides extra bonuses that can be enhanced by advancing on a track. However, workers don't block opponents' workers from going to that spot--if a worker has not meditated, that player will gain a valuable favor when the worker is displaced, but if he has meditated then the player will get nothing. Goods are kept on the board and denoted by pieces of that player's color--the building they are on will determine what type of good they are. As the good gets upgrades, the good marker will advance toward the higher-level buildings. Goods can be delivered to notables for in-game benefits, or to Akbar for big points.

Release Notes: This game from Quined Games will be released at Essen in October 2017.
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15. Board Game: Rising Sun [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:55]
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Buzz Score: 1106

Rising Sun
Design: Eric M. Lang (Blood Rage, Arcadia Quest)
Specs: 3-6 players, 90-120 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 2008 wishlists, 902 owners

[Previous List: #9 (1144)]

Rising Sun, billed as the spiritual successor to Blood Rage, is a light wargame that takes place in feudal (and mythological) Japan. Negotiation (and backstabbing) are core to the game's experience; however, negotiated alliances are formalized and players who break such alliances will decrease on the honor track, earning them penalties in their future interactions. The game will feature a variety of unique miniatures similar to the offerings in Blood Rage.

Release Notes: Cool Mini Or Not ran a successful Kickstarter project for this game in March 2017. It will ship to backers in February 2018 (earlier than the April 2018 initial estimate).
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16. Board Game: Alien Artifacts [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1470]
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Buzz Score: 1099

Alien Artifacts
Design: Marcin Senior Ropka (Take a Train, Taste of Poland), Viola Kijowska (Take a Train, Taste of Poland)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 10+
Stats: 1272 wishlists, 173 owners

[Previous List: #10 (1057)]

Alien Artifacts is a 4X space conquest game that plays in under an hour. Players draw money cards that have a number of colored squared that indicate what they can be spent on--blue for technology, green for exploration, red for military, and yellow for any of those three. Each planet that a player explores will be successively harder, but will give the player an increasing array of planetary actions that can be taken instead of spending money, allowing the player to save up. Once the money deck is exhausted a set number of times, the game ends, and players score for their technology, planets, and production.

Release Notes: This game from Portal Games was released at GenCon in August 2017, and is now shipping to preorder customers.
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17. Board Game: Queendomino [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:402] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
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Buzz Score: 1090

Queendomino
Design: Bruno Cathala (7 Wonders Duel, Five Tribes)
Specs: 2-4 players, 25 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 1166 wishlists, 76 owners

[Previous List: Just Missed (532)]

Queendomino is a follow-up game to Cathala's Kingdomino that uses the same base mechanics and adds a bunch of new options. Like in its predecessor, players draft rectangular tiles with two different terrain types to place in their 5x5 grid, scoring for the number of tiles in each terrain block multiplied by the crown symbols printed on the tiles. This game introduces a new red terrain type, upon which you can place tiles that you can buy from a display. These tiles give you knights, which can be placed on your tiles for money, as well as tower tokens. Whoever has the most towers gets the queen token, which gives that player a discount on the red tiles as well as counts as an extra crown at the end of the game.

Release Notes: This game from Blue Orange Games will be released in October in Europe and in November in North America.
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18. Board Game: Noria [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:2073]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 1045

Noria
Design: Sophia Wagner
Specs: 2-4 players, 70-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1052 wishlists, 7 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

In Noria, players are competing to advance the progression of 4 great projects in the steampunk world of Noria. Billed as a "wheel-building" game, Noria uses a three-level wheel to determine which actions a player can take during his turn. Discs are placed in various holes in each of the three levels of the wheel, and players can execute actions of those discs, provided that those discs are all in the bottom half of the wheel, all adjacent, and all in different wheel levels. Of course, there are copious ways to influence how the wheels are turned and upgrade the discs as the game progresses.

Release Notes: This game from Edition Spielwiese will be released in Europe at Essen in October 2017. Stronghold Games will be publishing the game in North America, with copies being available in January 2018.
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19. Board Game: Terraforming Mars: Venus Next [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 1035

Terraforming Mars: Venus Next
Design: Jacob Fryxelius (Terraforming Mars, Space Station)
Specs: 1-5 players, Age 12+
Stats: 1098 wishlists, 63 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

This second expansion to the hit game Terraforming Mars adds a mini-board indicating the progress toward terraforming Venus. While terraforming Venus is not a condition to end the game, it can be an extra source of Terraform Rating. This expansion additionally adds four new spots for cities, one on the surface of Venus, one in the atmosphere of Venus, one on the Moon, and one on Mercury. There is also a new resource called "floaters" which represent the floating infrastructure of Venus. This expansion adds 49 new project cards and 5 new corporation cards.

Release Notes: This game from Stronghold Games will be available in late December 2017.
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20. Board Game: Azul [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:38] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 1027

Azul
Design: Michael Kiesling (Tikal, Vikings)
Specs: 2-4 players, 30-45 minutes, Age 8+
Stats: 1076 wishlists, 49 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

In Azul, players are trying to complete mosaics on their player boards by drafting tiles from a number of available lots. Each lot has four tiles, but a player can only take tiles from that lot that match each other--the other tiles are moved to the center. Players can also take tiles from the center using the same rules, which will also end the round, make them the start player for the next round, and give them a small point penalty. Tiles are placed in one of five loading areas to go in certain rows, but only one tile from the row will actually be placed in the mosaic. Placed tiles will score points for connected groups vertically and horizontally.

Release Notes: This game from Plan B Games will be released on October 30th.
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21. Board Game: Dragonfire [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:1018]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Buzz Score: 1007

Dragonfire
Design: Randall N. Bills (Jarl: The Vikings Tile-Laying Game, Leviathan), Dylan Birtolo, Loren Coleman (Jarl: The Vikings Tile-Laying Game), Talon Coleman, Mike Elliott (Thunderstone, Star Trek: Fleet Captains), Rob Heinsoo (Shadowrun: Crossfire, Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft), Jim Lin (Shadowrun: Crossfire, Twitch), Gregory Marques (Shadowrun: Crossfire), Sean McCarthy (Shadowrun: Crossfire), Jay Schneider (Shadowrun: Crossfire), Rob Watkins (Shadowrun: Crossfire, Star Wars Miniatures)
Specs: 2-6 players, 60-90 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 1308 wishlists, 301 owners

[Previous List: #19 (704)]

Dragonfire is a cooperative deck-building game based on the system first implemented in Shadowrun: Crossfire, this time set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. Players play as classic D&D races and classes, and use cards representing weapons, skills, and magic items to defeat monsters. The game is intended to be played as a campaign, with players gaining permanent stickers representing their increased skills.

Release Notes: This game from Catalyst Game Labs was available in limited quantities at GenCon in August 2017. Retail copies will probably be available around October.
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22. Board Game: CO₂: Second Chance [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:1020]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
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Buzz Score: 995

CO₂ (second edition)
Design: Vital Lacerda (The Gallerist, Kanban: Automotive Revolution)
Specs: 1-4 players, 60-120 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 1001 wishlists, 6 owners

[Previous List: #15 (889)]

This second edition is a completely re-designed version of the semi-cooperative game CO₂. Players take on the role of energy company CEOs, trying to convert power plants to clean energy before pollution spirals out of control, while meeting the ever-increasing energy demands of the world. This new edition features a much clearer and more illustrative rulebook and upgraded wooden components. The game itself will be more streamlined, better balanced, and have a shorter play length. The game will also include rules for solo play as well as a fully cooperative mode.

Release Notes: This game from giochix.it will be launching a kickstarter project for this game in November. They expect it to be ready by October 2018.
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23. Board Game: Clank! In! Space! [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:123]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
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Buzz Score: 983

Clank! In! Space!
Design: Paul Dennen (Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure)
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 13+
Stats: 1267 wishlists, 284 owners

[Previous List: N/A]

Like its predecessor Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure, Clank! In! Space! is a deck-building game in which you try to run into a dungeon, pick up the best treasure, and run back out before you're detected. Here, though, you're raiding a space ship trying not to draw the attention of the evil Lord Eradikus, which features modular tiles that can be flipped over for gameplay variety. Players buy cards to add to their deck to help them move around, but now cards can have factions that work well together, or other cards with crystal symbols that can be activated by crystals found on the board. Players can't access the big treasures until they place both of their data cubes, lessening the chance that someone will try to end the game early. There are also new ways to move around the board, including telepads and a hyperlift. While putting "Clank" cubes into the bag will increase the chances a specific player will be injured, there are also bounty hunter cubes that will hurt all players.

Release Notes: This game from Renegade Game Studios will be available on October 25th.
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24. Board Game: Brasil [Average Rating:7.28 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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Malverne
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Buzz Score: 980

Brasil
Design: Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro (Nippon, Madeira), Paulo Soledade (Nippon, Madeira)
Specs: 2-4 players, 90 minutes, Age 12+
Stats: 985 wishlists, 5 owners

[Previous List: #12 (930)]

Brasil is a game about developing the gold mining industry in 18th century Brazil. The game revolves around the city of Vila Rica, in which players must construct various buildings like houses, stores, farms, and churches. As the game progresses, the needs of the players and the city will evolve, and players will need to adapt their infrastructure to meet the changing needs of the populace.

Release Notes: This game from What's Your Game? will be running a Kickstarter campaign at some point.
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25. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:2389]
Doug Faust
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