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Top 10: Most anticipated games for 2016

Top 10: Most anticipated games for 2016

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Lists! We gamers really seem to love them. We list our favourite games, our gaming goals for the next year, our collections and plays…… If we could, we could make a list for nearly anything. One thing that I always try to do is keep up with upcoming releases. I read forums, news snippets on BGG, you name it. With the compiled info I can normally easily make a decision if I’ll be interested in a game or not.

Mostly this comes down to some very simple criteria:

  • Do I know and like the designer?
  • Who is publishing the game?
  • Is the theme something that interests me?
  • What type of game is it, what are the core mechanics? (if possible I check if there are already some rules online
  • Is it something that would fit my group, kids or boardgameclub?
  • How is it presented?
  • What is the expected price going to be? (who am I kidding, really 😛 )

Based mostly on these criteria, I’ve compiled a list with the 10 releases, I’m looking forward to the most in 2016. We’ll start with number 10 and work our way down the list to my most anticipated game.

 

10: Tiny epic Western

tewTiny epic western is the newest game by Gamelyn games. They are mostly known for their “Tiny epic” series of games, of which I have played a few. Even though I haven’t liked everything that they’ve brought out. (I really didn’t care for Tiny epic Defenders for instance) This game combines worker placement with a simplified poker resolution mechanic, which really sounds interesting to me. Apart from that every player has a character with a unique power and  the presentation of it all is really neat.They are currently running a kickstarter for this game, so if you like what you’re reading head over to the page now using this link.

9: Histrio

pic2697488_mdTo be quite honest, there is not that much information out yet about this release, but it’s still high on my radar based on some of the criteria I mentioned above. Firstly, one of the designers is Bruno Cathala, who has designed many games I really enjoy (five tribes, Abyss, 7 wonders duel). The game is being published by Bombyx, so it will look amazing for sure! Apart frompic2745000_md that, there is a one-liner of information about the game on BGG:Histrio involves animal actors in renaissance times, with players performing dirty tricks and carrying out shenanigans in order to present the best troop possible to fit the mood of the King.   Somehow, that line has really peaked my interest.

8: small box Iello games

Ok, I know that this entry is basically cheating, as I’m talking about more then one game here, but as this is my own little space of interweb I think I should be able to get away with it. Iello has grown from a large french publisher, to become one of the world’s leading companies over the years. Games like King of Tokyo and King of new york are taking the world by storm and apart from their own releases, they do french releases of many well known and well loved titles.

I, However, like them best for their smaller box games. Biblios, Nyet and Welcome to the dungeon have all become some of my favorite fillers and see many plays at our game club events. Then there is the tales and games series, a special line of terrific kids games that they do. Both of these lines will be getting some new releases this year, of which I’m most looking forward to Kenjin, Candy Chaser and Tales and games: The pied piper.

7: A feast for odin

pic116113_tAgain, there is not too much known about this title yet. All I really know is that it’s the newest Uwe Rosenburg game and it will be published by Feuerland spiele. It promises to be a heavy euro as we’re accustomed to from Uwe’s previous designs (Ora et Labora, Fields of arle, Le havre, Agricola etc..) and as long as it doesn’t have a penalty system like Agricola, I’ll be on board. The title suggests that the theme will have something to do with norse mythology, which is allways a plus for me.

6: Splotter spellen reprints

 

Here I go again with the cheating, I promise it will be the last time for this list. I’ve always had an admiration for the dutch design duo of Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga. Partially, because they are my countrymen and I feel a bit of national pride doesn’t hurt. Also, I’ve allways wanted to play some of their games but have never had the chance. As most of their games are out of print, they are hard to come by and extremely expensive on the secondary markets. When I heard about the upcoming reprints, I was super excited as maybe I’ll finally get a chance to play classics like Indonesia and The great Zimbabwe

5: Pandemic Legacy, Season 2

k2-_47a7d64e-be41-4ba2-ba97-59eb9d6ab6ed.v1One of the best boardgaming experiences I have ever had was playing the first Season of Pandemic Legacy, so naturally I want to play the second season. There’s nothing really known yet about that game, apart from that it will come out this year. I do sincerely hope that we go in an entirely different direction this season, but somehow I don’t have to worry.

 

4: Arcadia quest: Inferno

I’ve had so much fun with the base ga650x650_2d72d65844c6b08ebbb09e0f12c63659c9b667e77931f3aea6997200me so far and have many things left to explore there. That doesn’t mean I’m not terribly excited to get my grubby little paws on the ‘expansion’ that was recently kickstarted. There is an awefull lot of stuff that will come with this game:aq An entirely new campaign, a pets expansion (also with a new campaign), Dragons! Demons! Angels! I hope to have my current AQ stuff painted before this will show up….

 3: Lisboa

pic2345949_mdI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Vital Lacerda!!! (I’m talking about his games of course). During Spiel in Essen last year, I had a chance to talk to the man behind some of my favorite games and there he told me about his newest design that would be released in 2016, Lisboa. I’ve been following any news I can find about this game and so far it looks to be amazing. The game is about the reconstruction of the rebuilding of the Portugese Capitol after the 1755 earthquake. Not the most exciting theme to be honest, but if he’ll manage to incorporate the theme into the game mechanics it should prove to be very interesting. It will be a city building, economic game and probably on the heavier spectrum of euro games. If you would like to read more on Lisboa, I’d highly recommend checking out the BGG page.

2: Vinhos: Deluxe edition

How would you react when your favorite game, from your favorite designer gets a deluxe edition?  Well, my reaction was kinda like this:meme2

I’ve been trying to find a copy for myself for a long time (and still am by the way) but when Vital told me a kickstarer for a deluxe edition produced by Eagle gryphon games would be launched in January I couldn’t contain myself. Apart from a massive component upgrade, the game will be strepic2649446_mdamlined quite a bit. I personally love the new art style of the game, but this is off course a matter of taste. I’d say check the BGG page out and decide for yourself. As soon as the Kickstarter launches, I’ll be sure to write about it on the blog.

One last thing, if you follow Vital on twitter, you’ll find lots of info an pictures about his new releases. Highly recommended! @vitallacerda.

 

 

 

1: Scythe

pic2323719_md.jpgAnd finally, number one on the list could only go to Scythe. The newest game from king of kickstarter, Jamey stegmaier. The Kickstarter for Scythe was run late 2015 and was by far the best kicksater project I have ever followed. Frequent, meaningful updates, backer interaction and awesome commitment from the designer and artist. Wow, just Wow!

Scythe is a 4 (3.5 really) X game set in an alternate history 1920’s europe. The game is pic2789227_md.jpgbased upon a series of artwork from artist Jakub Rozalski. In the game you play as one of the 5 factions of Eastern Europa, farming for food and staking your claim in the lands around a mysterious factory.  Scythe is pretty much a sandbox game, where apart from a hidden objective card you are free to roam the lands and find your own way. Decisions come in the form of encounter cards, which will let you choose your destiny. A special note about the components of the game, these are absolutely stunning. From individual mechs and leader figures, to beautiful metal coins, it all looks top notch. If this game will turn out half as good as I expect it to be, it will be one of the best games in it’s genre ever.

 

 

So, that’s it for this list. Be sure to follow boardgameblues to see all updates. What game are you excited about? Leave a comment with your own choices.

Sjtollie

 

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Floating Market: A game of diced fruit

Floating Market:  A game of diced fruit

Hey there guys!

For my first couple of posts on this blog, I’ll be putting up reviews of some of the new games in my collection. With Essen Spiel 2015 in the books, my collection has again grown considerably (as have those of my gaming buddies). I expect to post on here on a daily basis, so there will be lots of content for you to enjoy. If you have tips or comments, please feel free to leave them. As this is officially my very first review not in Dutch, I’ll probably have some area’s to improve on. I’ll tell you guys a bit more about myself in a different post at some point, but for now let’s get on with the show!

Floating Market

  • Designer: Ben Pinchback & Matt Riddle
  • Artist: John Ariosa
  • Publisher: Eagle Gryphon Games
  • Player count: 2-5
  • Play time: 30-45 minutes
  • Mechanics: Betting, Dice rolling, Worker placement

Ama is tired. It has been a long day of chasing her grandchildren, and she needs a break. Ama has been around for a long time and she has a few tricks up her sleeve. With the promise of her famous fruit salad, Ama sends her grandchildren down to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market to collect fruit… and to get out of her hair! Collecting different fruit is no easy task, as the fruit boats –full of Mango, Banana, Papaya, Guava, Grapefruit, Rambutan, and the famous Starfruit – are constantly shifting around the Khlong Damnoen Saduak Canal of Thailand.

Players are eager grandchildren, competing to be the first to collect five different types of Fruit for Ama… AND get the first bowl of Fruit Salad!

Overview:

pic2703854_mdEach round of Floating Market is divided into three phases: Assign Customers, collect fruit and round end. During the first phase of the game, each player has 3 customers to place on the various available spaces. There are 7 boats, each carrying a different kind of fruit, where the players can place their Customers. Further, there are several buildings with varying effects. These add some manipulation of the dice pool and the places/order where the customers can be placed. There’s also a fruit market, where you can exchange 4 coin cards for a piece of fruit of your choice. When a player places their first cusotmer each round, they also add a die of their personal set to the dice pool for the round. Each player has access to A D12, D10, D6, D4 and a negative D6. All positive dice match the player’s color and the negative die is white. This makes it a lot easier to work out the totals in the next phase.20151021_184725[1]

In the collect fruit phase, the start player for that round takes all dice in the pool and rolls them. Taking into account any modifiers the score is totalled up and the boat on the spot with the correct total is activated. Any player on this boat collects the piece of fruit that boat produces. Players in adjacent boats receive w money cards and players with a customer on the right dockside collects a single money card. Easy as Fruitcake!

20151021_184950[1]In the round end a couple of things happen. The dice the players submitted for the round are placed next to the board and are unusable until a player uses an action to retrieve them. All extra dice are returned to their spots on the board as well as any modifier tokens. He then has the option of switching some boats around for the next round. Play continues until one of the players collects their fifth piece of fruit and is declared the winner.

The review:

I own several products from Eagle Gryphon games, so it feels like I’m getting used to the high component quality that their games tend to have. This game is no exception. The tiles are nice and thick, the cards have a very sturdy linnen finish and the customer meeples are vibrant in color and unique in shape. The dice used are of great quality as well and they add a lot of visual appeal to the game. One thing that always stands out to me is the inlay Eagle gryphon uses. As can be seen in the picture, they have nice big compartments, cut outs in the box bottom and a plastic lid that lies on top of the insert. To me, that’s the little things that make all the difference. 20151021_184123[1]John Ariosa has produced stunning artwork for this game. From the box cover to the board itself, it looks amazing and helps bring the theme to life. One little nitpick from my side: I would have gone with actual coins instead of coin cards.

Floating markets is a them that has been used in the past (Bangkok klongs and Manila for example) but somehow it feels pretty nicely integrated into the gameplay. The game is very accesable for a large variety of gamers. The rules are very simple and the playtime is at just the right spot for a betting and ‘racing’ game.

Now let’s talk a bit about the dice. Do they add a luck factor to the game: yes, in a way. However, the ability to adjust the dice pool to your benefit and some simple math skills to work out the odds does come a long way to mitigating that luck. Personally, I don’t mind the luck element all that much. The box tells us the game can be played with two to five players. I feel the game shines at the higher player counts. There are some mechanical adjustments for the lesser player counts, which do help in keeping the game enjoyable, but this ‘fix’ feels like a necessary evil.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Floating market. I bought it on a whim at Essen, because I thought it would only be available for demo and with the low production run ( I believe 2000 copies in total) it somehow piqued my interest. The thing I was most surprised after actually playing, was the amount of gamesmanship the game provided. All players try to manipulate the dice pool in their favor and when it came down to rolling it often felt very tense.

Floating market is a really well produced and enjoyable game. If you like dice games with some strategic elements, this is definitely one to check out.

Verdict: 7.5 / 10

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