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Dragon’s Peak: February 2015

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The Village Square wasn’t the only place getting an upgrade this past weekend. Our local Dragon, Kenith, was also hard at work preparing for our brave adventurer’s monthly journey to the Dragon’s Peak. What treasures did they find this month?

Note: The box images are part of a gallery that can be clicked through to see more game artwork!

 

The HighlightUma-Jirushi

The Highlight

Uma-Jirushi

Publisher: Sit Down!     Designer: Henri Kermarrec

This beautifully colored and eye-catching abstract puts players in the midst of a heated land battle. Stacks of 1-4 pieces move around the board reinforcing friendly stacks and attacking enemy positions. Having more pieces in your stack gives you the upper hand but a single piece can kamikaze a mighty stack of 4 so proper balance is necessary. Each force will also have a mighty Emperor who can overpower stacks of equal size but is vulnerable to capture! Once stacks arrive at certain locations on the board they may construct buildings which are amassed towards the victory condition of 12 points. Position your forces wisely and take in the simple and beautiful design of Uma-Jirushi.

The Dragon’s Hoard

7 Wonders: Duel

Publisher: Repos Production     Designer: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala

Two common complaints that I’ve heard about 7 Wonders is that it isn’t interactive enough and it doesn’t play well with two players. Instead of trying to offer more expansion to address these concerns, the latest addition to the 7 Wonders family will be a stand-alone two player game. Instead of passing cards back and forth there’s an open drafting system that looks to add more interactivity to the game. Multiple victory conditions also make it necessary to pay attention to what your opponent is doing and balance your society.

For those interested in learning more here’s an excellent game overview video taken by Eric Martin.

Above and Below

Publisher: Red Raven Games     Designer: Ryan Laukat

This beautiful town building game may seem like a pretty standard offering at first. You’ll assign villagers to various tasks in effort to make the most impressive home. However, there are caves underground with adventures ready to be had for the brave souls willing to make the journey. Sending villagers into the depth is met with exciting tales that offer the players choices based on what they found. This story telling aspect promises to make every town you build memorable.

Barony

Publisher: Matagot     Designer: Marc André

If you wondered how Marc André would follow up the dead simple Splendor you might not have guessed it would be with the aggressive land battle of Barony. But looking past the theme you’ll see a similar design philosophy – keeping actions limited and simple. Players choose from one of six actions each turn in order to meticulously expand across the land. There aren’t a lot of details yet but the artwork and components look gorgeous and the gameplay sounds compelling. I look forward to seeing what Marc has to offer us in the world of Barony.

Birds of a Feather

Publisher: Nothing Sacred Games     Designer: Teale Fristoe

A game about bird watching sounds like a perfect fit for friendly family gaming. Birds of a Feather challenges players to spot as many different birds as possible through clever card play. All players simultaneously choose and reveal cards from their hand which represent what bird that are chasing and which environment they are in. Playing cards that match the environment of other players’ cards or ones played in the previous round will let you spot those birds too. It sounds clever and dead simple. There’s a PNP available for anyone that can’t wait for it to show up on Kickstarter next month.

The Builders: Antiquity

Publisher: Bombyx     Designer: Frédéric Henry

I got an early peak at the next offering in The Builders series back during Gen Con and there’s finally an official page over on Bombyx’s site to prove that it is coming soon. This standalone offering expands the original game by adding in features appropriate to the new setting: slaves, tools, loans, and training (university).

Cauldron

Publisher: Altema Games     Designer: Artem Safarov

Journey into Cauldron’s fantastic lands to harvest strange ingredients in this game of competitive alchemy. Brew powerful potions to prove your worth and hinder your opponents! Take on the role of different characters in a random game world to ensure a different experience each game. And while you’re busy mixing up that Oil of Earthquakes make sure to keep all your succulent frog’s legs away from that dastardly Trickster.

Foragers

Publisher: Dr. Finn’s Games     Designer: Steve Finn

The good doctor finally shared some details for his forthcoming game, Foragers, in his most recent News Letter. This game of hunting and gathering introduces a spoiling mechanic that will give players the choice between eating their food or holding on to it in hopes of delivering it to various meeting spaces before it gets rotten.

The rules and artwork are still in progress but game is well under way and described as “Dr. Finn’s heaviest game, though it is essentially a light-to-medium weight game” which is an exciting prospect.

Floating Market

Publisher: Eagle-Gryphon Games     Designer: Ben Pinchback, Matt Riddle

You’ve been tasked with gathering ingredients for grandma’s delicious fruit salad! Unfortunately those bananas that you need are floating on a boat down the river and you want to be the first to grab some. Race to the market and speculate where you think the boats are going to come in so you can get the goods to make grandma proud! Floating Market mixes worker placement and dice speculation to replicate this chaotic and exciting tale.

Nippon

Publisher: What’s Your Game?     Designer: Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade

What’s Your Game has built a reputation for delivering fantastic heavy weight euros. I know it’s a ways off still but it’s never too early to start getting excited for Spiel 2015 where their latest offering, Nippon, will debut. Follow along with the development of this beautiful looking heavy weight over at the official game blog.

Quintessential: The Fifth Element

Publisher: Gamer Nation Studio     Designer: Shawn Storie

Innovative dice games have been on the rise lately and last year saw the introduction of many exciting new offering at Spiel (followed closely by the incredible Roll For The Galaxy). This year may have its fair share as well starting with Quintessential, a compelling dice management game. Players build a lab and manage their elements (dice) in an effort to attain the coveted fifth element. Clever bidding for new equipment aids players in this process but also provides exclusive resources (the anti-element) when they get beat out to encourage aggressive bidding.

I love optimization and engine games with tableau builders and card driven ones being my favorite. This usually means medium-heavy euros and medium-light card games.

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  1. Pingback: Today in Board Games Issue # 253 - Giveaway continues! Imperial Harvest - Today in Board Games

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