Essen Preview #9 – Games from Italians company part 1

As member of a Memoir’44 minor country (Italy) I’m lucky enough to have the possibility to have contacts with almost all the publishers and be aware of almost all the Italian release scheduled for Essen. I’m starting with publishers because, luckily, a lot of Italian designers are in theese days publishing games also for foreign companies.

In this first part of my huge preview I’ll just post the list of games Italians companies are going to release with some informations and the level of details I will able to offer in the next articles. So it is an introductory/index article.

I have already on my desk some of this games, others preview copies are travelling to my box. Some designers/publishers shared with me the whole directory with final files and rules, other publishers are really shy and reserved and don’t like to share with a gossipy like me their secrets … but I’ll try to find special keys to open their locks!

I’m going in alphabetical publisher order, hoping it could be the better choice. In this part 1 I’m going to cover the first companies. Ciak!

Albe Pavo
Albe Pavo is a small Italian company floating in the nowadays no clear zone between self-publishing and real publishing. Actually all the games released and scheduled are from owner Matteo Santus, so I think we can still talk of self-publishing. He got Munera: Familia Gladiatoria in 2010, Sake & Samurai in 2011.

Beers & Vikings
Designer: Matteo Santus
Players: 3-8 players
Time: 40 minutes
Age: 13+
Released in Essen
Waiting a preview copy

It looks like a new implementation of the Sake & Samurai game with some new element and the possibility to combine the two games. I have already wrote something about this games before on BGG News: News from Italy and Matteo will offer me a preview copy at the end of the month, so I’ll be able to write a real review before Essen.

Winter Tales
Designer: Matteo Santus, Joculari
Players: 3-7 players
Time: 90 minutes
Released in Essen
Got the final version of the rules

It is really an interesting game floating between classical boardgame and narrative game in the road marked by Fabula. I got the final version of the rules but I think I’ll not be able to have a preview copy before Essen so, actually, I’ll try to make with the rules to add something more to what already wrote on BGG News: News from Italy and again.

Angelo Porazzi Games
For the first time in the last 9 years Angelo will not attend Essen with the usual amount of his self-published games and all the young designers is always hosting at his booth. New for Essen people, but already presented months ago in Italy, AstroNuts, created and illustrated by Angelo, will be in Essen at Mücke Spiele booth, the german editor.

Designer: Angelo Porazzi
Players: 2-4
Time: 30 minutes
Age: 8+
Already released
I have a copy

I have already wrote a lot about this funny and simple 4X space game for kids on BGG News: News from Italy but I hope to have time to make a preview also here. A simple roll and move game, with a bit of strategy, a sprinkle of resources management and a nice and compact format. A real example of the great skill Angelo developed in the last years in kids/simple family games.

Ares Games
The company directed by Roberto di Meglio and raised form the ashes of Nexus Games/NG International is going to hit at Essen with new release. Ares has a real international approach so, often, foreign gamers are able to get some or more infos than be about the new release.

Designer: Leo Colovini
Players: 2-4
Time: 60 minutes
Age: 13+
Released in Essen
I think I’ll got nothing more than you are going to have.

I know our commander Dale is going to have fresh infos about this title having also tested it at GenCon so, probably, you have to wait something from him soon. I have, times ago, wrote something about it in BGG News: News from Italy, but is really nothing more what you are finding on the company web-site.

War of the Ring: Lords of Middle Earth
Designer: Roberto di Meglio, Marco MAggi, Francesco Nepitello
Players: 2-4
Time: 180 minutes
Age: 13+
Released in Essen
I think I’ll got nothing more than you are going to have.

I have no fresh news about this title. I just hope it will compatible with my Deluxe version!
I’m checking if someone here was able to see it at GenCon otherwise I’ll try to grab something more from Ares.

Asterion Press
Asterion Press is a new Italian company (actually not so new anymore) started with RPGs publishing and now affirming as one of the greatest publishers in Italian BG Market. They published the Italian version of many real good games from Dixit to 7 Wonders, from Trajan to Eclipse going through the #1 Twilight Struggle and the last year IGA winner A Few Acres of Snow. Libertalia is the first original game they published (together with Asmodee).

Designer: Paolo Mori
Players: 2-6
Time: 45 minutes
Age: 14+
Just relesed
I have a copy

Paolo Mori is one of the great Italian young designers, with game like Vasco da Gama published. Libertalia is really a great game and I have already a copy in my office but it is already been reviewed here by Dale here but, if needed. I can write a real review.

Cranio Creations
A small company from Italy that is growing fast both in the number and quality of games published. They are well know first for Horse Fever and then for the fantastic 2011 release: Dungeon Fighter. They are also importing in Italy games from other companies. Beginning with party-like games they are getting great success also with other genre of boardgames. This year they are going to present 2 new games.

Designer: Aureliano Buonfino, Andrea Crespi, Lorenzo Silva, Lorenzo Tucci Sorrentino
Players: 2-5
Time: 60 minutes
Age: 13+
Just relesed
I waiting a preview copy in days.

A real interesting game about the age of lunar landing. From the rules it looks like a simple resource management game and we all know that this kind of games is really difficult to judge from the rules since what makes the difference is how well it really works. My preview copy is on the travel so I probably get it next week and I’ll rush for a real review. I wrote already something on BGG News: News from Italy

Designer: Simone Luciani, Daniele Tascini
Players: 2-4
Time: 30 minutes
Age: 8+
I have a copy

A great “german style” game. It is evident, from the map, that Sheepland is actually Sardinia and it is confirmed by the main theme: Sheep. I have already got a copy of this game and reviewed here on Opinionated Gamers. I have to admit that I really like the game much more every time I play it.

DaS Production
DaS production was an old Italian company almost known for On Stage, a narrative game made by prof. Luca Giuliano. Now DaS, after several years of silence, is releasing a new game: a boardgame. We will see what is going to happens.
Actually they are not sure to attend Essen so, probably, the game will not be available worldwide soon.

Designer:Alessandro Ivanoff, Massimo Chiari
Players: 2-8
Time: 60 minutes
Age: 12+
I have a copy

It ia a nice fantasy race game with a bit of Talisman, a pounch of deck-building, a lot of random and draw and play and a really impressive art. I’m going to add a real review soon to what arleady wrote on BGG News: News from Italy.

dV Giochi
dV Giochi is one of the well established Italian company with a fixed position in the Essen Messe and a long history of games. Last year the company got his 10th birthday and this year they are celebrating the anniversary of their top release: Bang. They are mainly devoted in publishing new games but in Italy they are also localizing some nice hit like the Uppsala series, Mondo and Fauna.

Bang! 10th Anniversary
Designer: Emiliano Sciarra
Players: 3-7
Time: 45 minutes
Age: 8+
That’s what I know about the game

The special new edition of the game for the 10th anniversary of Bang! I’m actually have no detailed infos about this game but I can try to get something more before Essen. What we know now is that it will be a limited edition version in metal box and includes all the Bang! playing cards, plus a selection of popular characters from all the released expansions of Bang!. In addition, the game will feature deluxe components: wooden bullets and maxi-sized player boards. This edition will include three previously unpublished characters and a brand new player board!

Samurai Sword
Designer: Emiliano Sciarra
Players: 3-7
Time: 45 minutes
Age: 8+
Probably I’ll got the preview of the rules as soon as they will be ready

It looks like Emiliano Sciarra Bang in a different set. Actually I have not got preview copy or detailed info about it so I can’t tell you more until I’ll got the rules to read.

In the part2, online (I hope) Tuesday, Io hope to start some detailed preview/review and also something about the other Italian company.

Ghenos Games: SwordFish, Lupin the Third: Expansion and Wild Gladiators, Doge Ship and CO2
Lo Scarabeo: Fairy Land
Mind the Move: Le Loire
Placentia Games: Ark & Noah
Raven: Werefolf and expansions
RedGlove: Lumacorsa dna Out of Gears
What’s Your Games: Madeira: Pearl of the Atlantic, Oddville
Yemaia: Al Rashid

About Andrea "Liga" Ligabue

Andrea "Liga" Ligabue is a game expert contributing to many games related international projects including Gamers Alliance Report, WIN, ILSA Magazine and Boardgamenews. Member of the International Gamers Awards Committee is coordinator of Play - The Games Festival and founder of the project Ludoteca Ideale.
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3 Responses to Essen Preview #9 – Games from Italians company part 1

  1. Matt J Carlson says:

    I saw the LotR expansion at GenCon and had it explained to me. I wrote most of what I remembered about it in my GenCon photo extravaganza… Looks like they tried to balance the early game vs late game a bit (so that it wasn’t a desperate race to get that extra die guy out on either side) as well as make the party members a bit more interesting (so you didn’t always want to “turtle up” with them to make a giant fellowship party…

  2. Panama says:

    Mind the Move I’m not sure if we can count Mind the Move as Italian company since now Emanuele is living in French. Of course it has an Italian background and hisotry so, at least for this year, I’m going to include it here. Unluckily after Emanuele crossed the Alps the flow of news and infos about his releases he is going to offers me is almost stopped so I hunger for informations like all of you. I’m not anymore involved in the play-testing of his games like some years ago.

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