The Village Square: September 23, 2018


American Tabletop Awards
The inaugural American Tabletop Awards winners were announced last week (Full Disclosure: I’m on the committee). Awards were given in four categories, with Catch the Moon, Quacks of Quedlinburg, Chronicles of Crime, and Root taking the top spots. “Each member of the American Tabletop Awards Committee is an active participant in the modern tabletop scene (i.e. through blogging, podcasting, or video work) and has extensive board game experience and knowledge.”

Ticket to Ride: Japan
Days of Wonder announced the newest expansion for its modern classic, Ticket to Ride. In Map Collection Volume 7, Japan and Italy are the new maps and introduce new game mechanisms for 2-5 players. “As the Japan board offers some cooperative gameplay, players face a new dilemma. Some of the Routes are reserved for the Bullet Train network, so once one of those routes is claimed, it can be used by all players to complete Destination Tickets. On the other hand, the players who contribute most to this shared project will also be rewarded with a larger bonus. Italy, the second map featured in this expansion,  is focused on the Regions in this country and on a brand new type of Ferry Route. Connect cities from all Regions in the same network to score extra points.”

Designer Diary: Underwater Cities: New Discoveries
Over on BGG Vladimir Suchy reflects on the design process of the first Underwater Cities expansion, New Discoveries. “Because Underwater Cities is already a complex game with a long playing time, I avoided a sprawling expansion that would make the game more complex and longer. [It is] made of several independent modules that add a variety of aspects to the game, such as greater variability, asymmetric starting conditions, and more interaction.”

Magic Maze Goes to Mars
According to Dice Tower News, Sit Down! Games is taking its cooperative real-time hit Magic Maze to the Red Planet. “The game is for 1-6 players, and brings back the large red “Do Something!” pawn from the original game with a new wrinkle. Now instead of placing (banging repeatedly) the red pawn in front of a player, you place it on a spot of an action board to depict the type of action you think needs to be taken. Something else new Magic Maze on Mars adds is pink space slugs that eat garbage.”

Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game
Magpie Games is releasing its licensed Root: The Tabletop Roleplaying Game next year, according to It’s already been funded on Kickstarter and the “core rulebook will be a 240-page, full-color hardcover.  The book will include the core rules for the game, playbooks for the six vagabonds (Arbiter, Ranger, Scoundrel, Thief, Tinker, and Vagrant), rules for the three factions (Marquisate, Eyrie Dynasties, and the Woodland Alliance), a map creation system, and additional tables and generators for gameplay.”

Mansions of Madness Escape Room
In Toronto, Canada, there’s a Fantasy Flight Games-approved escape room based on Mansions of Madness. “By realizing the board game elements into reality, fans of Mansions of Madness will find themselves immersed in a world of Lovecraftian terrors. Players new to the board game need not worry, The Missing Will autonomously contains all the information you need for a uniquely thrilling escape experience.”

Play Chess, Lose Weight
Interesting read on EPSN about chess grandmasters’ diets. “Robert Sapolsky, who studies stress in primates at Stanford University, says a chess player can burn up to 6,000 calories a day while playing in a tournament, three times what an average person consumes in a day. Based on breathing rates (which triple during competition), blood pressure (which elevates) and muscle contractions before, during and after major tournaments, Sapolsky suggests that grandmasters’ stress responses to chess are on par with what elite athletes experience.”

Discussion1 Comment

  1. Having now played Chess, albeit not competitively, for more than four decades, I didn’t think I’d read anything about Chess that would surprise me. Not that you can’t learn something from Grandmasters, but certainly not diet and exercise tips. Great article.


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