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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

 

Signorie: Another gem from what’s your game

Signorie:  Another gem from what’s your game

Signorie

  • Designer: Andrea Chiarvesio, Pierluca Zizzi
  • Artist: mariano Iannelli
  • Publisher: What’s your game
  • Player count: 2-4
  • Play time: 90-120 minutes
  • mechanics: Dice selection, influence, set collection, rewards

Italy during the 15th century was a country full of intrigue and magnificence. The tumultuous political conditions created the perfect breeding ground for the birth of a new form of government (called Signoria) and the rise of the most ambitious noble families. After having acted in the dark for a long time, the time has finally come for them to take control of the cities and shape Italy’s future. Their stories will go down in history.

Overview:20151027_222203

In Signorie the players take on the role of a lord of one of the most prestigious families during the Reneissance. The game is played over 7 rounds, regardless of player counts. At the start of each round, the pool of dice gets rolled (1 die per player per color) and get placed in the appropriate space. 10 assignment tiles will be placed randomly on the available slots on the board. Each player starts with 3 male and 4 female meeples, representing their children. They will also start out with 5 Florins. Each round in turn order players can take an action by taking one of the dice from the pool and placing it on their board. You have up to 4 of these actions available to you each round, but you can only ever have one of each color of dice on your player board. pic2680074_mdThe value of the die you select matters, as you have to pay an amount of florins if you place a dice with a lower value then the slot it is place on, equal to the difference. Does that mean you should always try to go for a high a dice as possible? Not necessarily, but I’ll get into that a little later.

When you place a die, you can perform any of three actions:

pic26800951: Hire a helper: When you chose this action you take a white helper disc and place them on one of the 3 available slots of the color indicated on your action space, paying the amount of Florins depicted in the spot. This doesn’t do anything for you at this point, but it can help you in the future during other actions. You can have multiple helpers active at any given time and you can chose whether to activate them or wait for a better opportunity. Once you take the helper action, the disc is removed from your board.

2: Signoria action: The Signoria action is different depending on the color of dice you choose. A brief description:

  1. Yellow: Take 3 florins from the bank
  2. Red: Arrange a marriage for one of your female family members.
  3. Purple: Offspring. Your married children produce offspring. Roll a white die for each White worker on your board and take new meeples from the supply depending on the result
  4. Grey: Send one of your male family members on a dimplomatic mission.
  5. Turqoise: 4 movement points on the initiative and career tracks.

During these actions you are allowed to take any helper actions available in the column of the same color you placed your die in, don’t forget.

3: Assignment action: At the beginning of the round the 10 assignment tiles are randomly placed on the available slots. When you decide to use this action, you can spend meeples depicted on the spaces to perform actions. For each color there are 2 actions available and you can chose to take either one or both actions. To do this, pay the amount and type of m

pic2680076_mdmeeples as depicted on the tile and board and perform the action. Some have set numbers you need to pay, others give you an option to pay up to three. In that case perform the action an amount of times eaqual to the meeples you have spent.

Next, I’d like to get into some of the actions in more detail, as this is where the real meat of the game comes from in my opinion. The board has five cities printed on them, each with room for 10 meeples and 2 spaces for alliance tiles. Alliance tiles are drawn from a face down pile and show 6 different family crests and a point value ranging from 2 to 5.

Diplomatic missions: With one of the dice actions as well as with one of the assignment tiles, it’s possible to send your pic2686591_md(grand)sons on diplomatic missions to one of the five cities. This is a multistep process. First off, your sons are place on one of the career tracks (Poltical, Clerical and Military.) There are several actions available to move your sons along on these tracks. When you send a son on a diplomatic mission, remove a meeple of your choice from any of the tracks and place him on one opic2686592f the spaces of the city, immediately gaining points equal to the value he was on said track. These values can go up to thirteen points! You always place the meeple on the lowest available spot, but you need to take into account the rank it was on on the career track. It needs to be at least as high as the value depicted in the spot you want to place it. Then, take one of the available alliance tiles and place them on the corresponding spot to the right of your player board.

Arranging marriage: When you arrange a marriage, take one of your available female workers and place them on the lowest available spot on one of the cities. Then, you pay at least the amount of Florins depicted on the spot you took and take 2 points for each Florin spent. You can chose to pay more, up to a maximum of 4. If there’s an alliance tile available, take it and place it on the corresponding spot next to your board.

At the end of the game, you can score these alliance tiles. You score each row where you have placed at least three tiles of pic2686593_mdthe symbols matching your player board. It’s unlikely you’ll score all 4 of these, so it might be a good idea to focus on some of them.20151027_222332

At the end of a round there is a reward phase. 7 reward tiles are laid out at the beginning of the game, showing an end round bonus for each of the rounds of play. Remember I said it didn’t have to be a good idea to take high numbered dice? I’ll explain why: Each player who has a total value of 13 or less on their dice gets to take either the bonus action or 3 florins. Apart from that, you can also place a white token on your board, marking the amount of your sons which are married. This amount influences the amount of dice you get to roll during the offspring action. In later rounds in the game, you also get an additional 2 florins. The tiles for round 6 and 7 are taken from a seperate pile and instead of a bonus give scoring opportunities. In these rounds, players qualifying for the round bonus also have the option of trading in 5 Florins for 5 points. After 7 rounds, payers score their alliance tiles and score half the points for any meeples they have still on the career tracks (rounded down). The player with the most glory points wins the game.

The Review:

To be very short: I love this game!!!

Now that would be too simple, wouldn’t it? I’ll try to elaborate on the points that really make this game shine for me. Components are of good quality and enough are supplied with the game. I personally like the artwork, but I’ve heard some people call the board a bit bland, which I can relate too. I personally love the dice that come with the game, especially the color choices.

I have a thing for multi purpose options in a game. Be it cards or in this case dice. I think the mechanic they use with the dice in this game is pure brilliance. It gives a player a lot to think about. Should I save my money and take a high dice or should I spend a bit to make sure that I reach the end round bonus, lovely. The number on the dice also effect some of the helper actions, so that gives it yet another layer of thought.

Money is really tight in this game. It’s a real balancing act to make sure you have enough to do everything you want. There are several ways to earn money during the game and to me it give a great sense of fulfillment when I can minimise the amount of actions I need to take just to get more cash.

There is no real direct player interaction in Signorie, but it doesn’t feel like I’m doing a solo thing. Interaction comes in the form of players taking the dice you might have wanted, beating you out on the initiative track or t20151027_205000aking the alliance tile you needed to complete your set. This is exactly the kind of interaction I like in a euro-game.

I have played several what’s your game games over the years and so far they have yet to disappoint me. Out of their 2 essen releases this year I’m not sure which one I’d rate higher, but both are remarkable games that any eurogamer should at least look into.

Final Verdict: 8,5/10

Disclaimer: I’ve used a couple of images from board game geek user and creator of great overview videos: Paul Grogan. The photographs are my own.

The Bloody inn: murdering for profit and pleasure

The Bloody inn: murdering for profit and pleasure

The bloody inn

  • Designer: Nicolas Robert
  • Artist: Luis Francisco, Weberson Santiago
  • Publisher: Pearl games
  • Player count: 1-4
  • Play time: 60 minutes
  • Mechanics: Hand management, multi purpose cards

France 1831: In a remote corner of Ardèche, the little village of Peyrebeille sees numerous travelers pass through. A family of greedy rural farmers is determined to make its fortune and has devised a diabolical stratagem to achieve this goal: Invest in an inn so they can rob traveling guests, allowing them to get rich without arousing the suspicions of the police! Whether or not their plan will work out, one thing is certain: Not every guest will leave this inn alive….

In The Bloody Inn, you are one of the competitive innkeepers, bent on amassing the most wealth. Unfortunately, your morals hinder you from robbing your guests… at least while they’re alive. Fortunately, your scruples have no qualms with murder. Of course, you can’t just have dead bodies piled everywhere: It’s bad for business, and besides, what if the police drop by for a visit? It’s all so much work! Perhaps you could employ some of the guests as accomplices? Everyone has a price, after all!

Overview:

bloody inn setupAt the start of the game each of the inkeeper receives 2 peasant cards, some markers in their color and a cheque for 10F. Further they receive a player aid, which doubles as an Annex. Play resolves around a central deck of visitors, which are used in several ways. The game ends when the deck is depleted for the second time. Whoever is the richest at the end of the game is declared the winner.

Each round is divided into three phases. In the Welcome Travelers phase, cards are placed from the top of the deck into the empty rooms of the inn. The amount of cards that come out vary for each player count. There will always be some neutral rooms as well as a single room in each player color at the start of the game.

In the next phase, players each have 2 actions they can perform, one at a time. for 4 of the 5 possible actions, players use the cards currently in their hand, so let’s dive into the anatomy of a card before going any further.pic2649765_md

Each card has a color, paired with a symbol. This symbol depicts the aptitude that travel has. Below the illustration we have a value depicted in a gold circle. This is the amount of Francs a player receives when he buries said guest. Most cards have a house symbol in the bottom left, marking the card can be used as an annex. The text next to the house is the ability that you gain when the card is built as an annex. Finally, there is a number above the house symbol. This depicts the rank of the card. Values range from 0 to 3 and these mark how many cards need to be used to use the card in any way.

There are 5 actions available for players, so let’s go over them quickly.

  1. Bribe a guest. This action is used to take extra cards into your hand. you play an amount of cards equal to the rank of the guest you want to bribe, discarding any without an aptitude for bribing. Then you take the selected card into your hand. A player can opt to take up to two peasant cards from the bistro instead of bribing a guest in a room.
  2. Build an annex. This action is used to place a guest card as an annex. You play an amount of cards equal to the rank of the card you want to use as an annex, discarding all cards apart from those with the appropriate aptitude. You then place the card in your play area next to your player aid card, unlocking the ability on the card.
  3. Kill a guest. The principle is the same as with the other actions, play the amount of cards equal to the rank of the guest yu want to kill and discard all cards apart ftom the ones with the aptitude symbol for murdering. You then flip the card of your target to it’s ‘dead side’, showing a coffin with it’s rank and the money they are worth. These corpses stay in fron of you until you bury them with another action.
  4. Bury a corpse. Apart from the fact you need to play the correct amount of cards to bury  corpse, you also need to have an annex available. Each annex has a place to hold up to the amount of corpses equal to it’s rank. A funny thing is that you are allowed to use the annex of another player, simply splitting the profit. Once you bury a corpse, immediately gain the amount of Francs depicted on the corpse.
  5. Launder money and pass. You can also opt not to take an action and liquefy your assets or vice versa. Move down the francs track in increments of 10, and receive cheques or hand in your cheques to move up the wealth track.

After each player has taken two actions, the last phase (end of round) happens. During this phase, you follow three steps.

  1. Police investigation. If there’s at least one police card (gun symbol) left face up in the inn, they start an investigation. Every player with unburied corpses needs to pay 10F for each of them and discard them. If you don’t have this amount left, pay what you can and discard the corpse.
  2. Traveler’s leave. Each player receives 1F for each guest left in a room of their color. After that, the cards are discarded as the travelers leave the inn none the wiser of the maccabre machinations.
  3. Pay wages. All players pay 1F for each card they have left in their hand at the end of the round.

At the end of the game, players check the extra money scored with some of the rank 3 annexes and then tally up their total points. Whoever has the most money is declared the winner.pic2649767_md

The game can be played in either a short or a long version. This has quite an impact on the playtime, cutting it by at least a third. There also some alternate scenario’s available to be played, one of ehich is a solo variant. I have to say I have not played any of these yet, so I won’t take them into account in this review.

The Review

What drew me to this game was the maccabre them and the striking artwork. Pearl games has done some incredible games in the past (troyes, Deus, Bruxelles …) so even the fact that this is the designer’s first published game didn’t scare me off. I’ll start off by listing some of the things I really like about the game. I’ve already mentioned them and art style, but the best point about this game is the multiple ways you can use the cards. Since you only have 2 actions each round, it’s all about timing to be succsefull. You don’t want to be caught with unburied corpses, unless you don’t care about the consequences. I’m really on the fence about the 2 modes of play. In the short version I somehow get the feeling I’m not able to do enough with my available actions. The game can be over before you’ve built your ‘engine’. In the long game however, the game can drag out a bit too long. Ideally I would like to have something in between, but I’m sure that messing with the number of cards to put in the deck would be able to solve this personal gripe of mine.

In my eyes, the game can be pretty punishing. An example: At round end, you are left with 6 F, an unburied corpse, and 4 cards in your hand. To your horror, you realise there’s a policeman left in the in and they investigate. Not only do you lose the last of your money, but also your corpse. To top it off, you need to discard your cards becuase you’re left without money to pay them. Off course you should try to avoid such a situation, but the fact that this can happen and leave you crippled for the rest of the game bothers me.

I feel the good certainly outweighs the bad for me and The bloody inn is a neat little game. The fact that it can be played within an hour regardless of player count and the easy to understand rules will help this get to the table more often.

Final verdict: 7/10

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