- Title: Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot
- Designer: Ignacy Trzewiczek
- Publisher: Portal Games
- Age: 8+
- Players: 2-5
- Playing Time: 45-60 minutes
- Times played: a lot (more than 5)
I’m a fan of dice games. I really like how different designers are trying to use dice creatively. I’m used to like Ignacy Trzewiczek design thinking there are pearls in his design history, from Stronghold (now getting a new edition) and Pret-a-Porter until the outstanding Imperial Settlers. This time Ignacy used his talent to create a really nice family game, something unusual for him. I’m quite sure design something really good able to fascinate kids is not so easy: kids can’t be cheated, they like fun games.
Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot is not really a standard family game. Yes, it is fun, not too complex and it is about Pirates but it is not trivial and show us a new design frontier: dice used as miniatures in a sort of 3D battle where the displaced face tell us what the die can or can’t do. The rules are not complex but you have really a lot of options: my opinion is that the game is thinked up for a gamers family, able to challenge both kids and adults.
Keep reading if you are interested in my review …
Well, this probably marks the end of my pre-Essen coverage from home… My flight leaves early Saturday morning, and I have a lot of packing and planning to finish up between now and then — enough work that I’m fairly certain that I will not have any time to write on the blog. Work will be double-time for the rest of the week (as well as the week after I return), so there won’t be any writing from my desk either! There are still a few other game previews planned by the other OG writers, and I will likely be able to catch up a bit with the blog once we’re up in the air on Saturday.
Thus far, I’ve gone through the Spiel Preview geeklist on BGG a number of times, and I’ve made my own spreadsheet of games that have caught my eye. They are color coded due to level of interest as well as US availability. This will help me get to all the games that I’m most interested in pre-show, and notes on US availability will help me figure out what I have to try to cram into the luggage and what can wait until I get back. Continue reading
- Title: Rush & Bash
- Designer: Erik Burigo
- Publisher: Red Glove
- Age: 7+
- Players: 2-6
- Playing Time: 30 minutes
- Times played: a lot (more than 5)
I’m really happy when I have the possibility to write about an Italian game that was so good to deserve an international edition. Rush & Bash by Erik Burigo published by Red Glove was one of the best game released in Italy in 2015 for the family target. It got a nomination in Gioco dell’Anno and sold already 2000 copies deserving a reprint. Like with Super Fantasy Red Glove decided to produce a game offering the best game experience in a compact edition with a really appealing product. Of course this can upset gamers looking for huge maps and endless amount of miniatures but I think it is nice to have publishers trying to get just what really the game need, especially in the family target.
I have enriched this quick review with an interview to Federico Dumas, Red Glove owner. You can read a full detailed review on the next Counter Magazine issue.
- Designer: Joshua Balvin
- Publisher: Passport Games
- Players: 3-5
- Ages: 14+
- Times: 60-90 minutes
Fool’s Gold takes gamers back to the era of the California Gold Rush – trying to see who can make the largest fortune in the years of 1849 to 1853. There are five different areas where you can prospect (Forest, Lake, Mills, Mountains and River). Each of these areas has a trail of 8 action spots that snake up to the deck of cards which represent the exploration potential in that site – the five decks all have slightly different distributions in the types of gold cards that they contain. In a 4 player game, each player starts with 3 miners, representing their workforce in 1849. Each player will receive an extra miner in each of the next 4 rounds. Players also start with 6 coins which are kept behind their player screen. Continue reading
- Designer: Bono Light
- Players: 1-6
- Ages: 6+
- Time: 30-40 minutes
In Pitch Fleet, players are new graduates from spaceship piloting school, and the game represents their final exam – a race to the final planet, with the path taking them through the asteroid belt! The board (and race course) is made up of 9 different double sided boards which are randomly arranged in a 3×3 array. Planet cards are shuffled and a starting and goal planet are drawn from the deck. A 3VP token is placed on the current goal planet. Teams are also randomly decided at this point. At the start of the round, you make a pile of 3 power cards for each player and then flip up the top card of each stack.
The game is played in a number of stages. In each stage, there are three rounds. In each round, there are 4 phases
- Starship allocation
- Move your starship
- Outbound examination
- Arrival examination
In the recent years I started playing and mastering RPGs again. They were my main focus in my youth, before moving to boardgames. Beside the classic Dungeons & Dragons (I’m playing the 5th edition) and Pathfinder, I’m also moving to new systems like SavageWorlds and FATE.
I’m also interested in future releases that could show something new in the genre. Today, something unusual for our reader, I’m going to preview an RPG: Darkmoor RPG (the Kickstarter Campaingn is running in these days) interviewing Luca de Marini, the designer. Nowadays the distinction between RPG, BG, Card Games and Miniature Games seems sometimes artificial, but if opinionatedgamers’ readers are not interested in RPGs I’ll move my future articles on the genre somewhere else.
- Designer: Eason Kao & Tsai Huei Chiang
- Publisher: SOSO Games
- Players: 1-4
- Ages: 10+
- Time: 45 minutes
Dadaocheng is one of the most important trading ports in 19th Century Taiwan. In this game named after the city, players try to be the most prestigious trader in the port. The board shows the trading area of the port as a 4×4 grid of trading spaces. These spaces are randomly seeded with trading discs – with the 4 opium discs starting in the corners. Each player has a side of the board with 4 storehouse spaces that surround the trading disc area on their side of the board. There are some shipping cards – separated into three stacks based on their level; the top card of each stack is revealed. There are also building cards that are placed on the opposite side of the board from the shipping cards.
The winners of the 2015 International Gaming Awards (IGAs) have been announced. Finishing first in the Multiplayer category is The Voyages of Marco Polo, which beat out La Granja 11-7 in the final round of voting. Marco Polo therefore takes two of the three major gaming awards, having won the DSP voting earlier this year. Congratulations to designers Simone Luciani and Daniele Tascini, who came close to an IGA win two years ago with Tzolk’in, which finished behind Terra Mystica.
The victory means that Hans im Glück has won the last two IGA awards, as Russian Railroads was the multiplayer selection last year. HiG becomes the first publisher to win 3 multiplayer IGA’s, having won for St. Petersburg back in 2004. (Lookout Games has won the most IGA’s, with 4 awards, two multiplayer and two 2-player wins, all of which were Uwe Rosenberg games.)
In the 2-player category, the winner is Wir sind das Volk, which bested Star Realms 7-5 in the last round of voting. Congratulations to designers Peer Sylvester and Richard Sivél, as well as publisher Histogame.
For more information about the results of the award, you can check out the IGA website at www.internationalgamersawards.net.
Exodus:Edge of Extinction is the main expansion for the highly acclaimed 4X game Exodus Proxima Centauri. I first came across the main game at Essen in 2012 having been introduced to the NSKN team the previous year. It was a time of new companies coming into the Spiel from around Europe and the rest of the world and this company came from Rumania! Wow! (Now we know that boardgames are played everywhere so boardgame publishers come from everywhere too, but back then it was more of a novelty.)
Exodus Proxima Centauri covers the breadth of 4X games including exploration, expansion (but only what you encounter) exploitation and extermination. Exodus included many good game systems and while they were not new to gaming, the mix of the systems created an immersive experience. For example, the resource gathering activity to build up resources that then turn into various types of ship, but resources are depleted on planets so early gathering is important. But you can add more resources by mining later, so even the resource gathering option presents some interesting game choices. Continue reading
Designer: Marco Pozzi
Artist: Alan D’Amico e Paolo Vallerga
Publisher: Placentia Games and Post Scriptum
Time: 90-120 minutes
Times played: 3
Today I’ll start a series of Essen previews of games I was able to play (or just know something more than usual). Most are games from Italian’s designers but I’ll wrote something also games from other designers. When possible I’ll insert into the article some notes from the designers. I hope you will enjoy the reading.
France, second half of the XIX Century: The Commission des Phares has announced the construction of new lighthouses around Bretagne, to provide safe passage for the ships.
Players are builders trying to make the best to build and equip the lighthouses. They have to get resources , equipments and engineers and use they workers in markets, harbors and lighthouses.
The game boards display the Bretagne with the sites of 15 lighthouses, 9 harbors and the cities of Brest, Quimper, Lorient and Pontivy.
There is also places for construction tiles and the score track. The game is completed by the Weather cards (you will discover that building a lighthouse in the sea during a storm is not so easy), the Barge cards, used to gather resources in the beginning of each round, and the Quimper cards, governing the supplies in Quimper.
To build lighthouses you need resources (wood, stone, sand and bricks) and engineers. Money are useful for the purchases (are the fuel of trades) and, of courses, workers, that establish how many actions you can actually do. It is great how all this “resources” interact.