OK, I’m in my usual frenzied state of reading up on rulebooks to learn as much as I can about the new games… Last night, I read up on the two new games coming from the budding partnership between Huch! and R&R Games – the same who provided us with Rajas of the Ganges last year.
This year, there are two games that will be distributed in the US from R&R in this partnership, and both have interesting mechansims which intrigue me from reading the rules. As there isn’t much info available at this time, I thought I’d write up a quick preview of these two games which have caught my eye.
First up is Humboldt’s Great Voyage
The story here – from the publisher:
In the 19th century, Alexander von Humboldt was considered the second Columbus. His first great discovery journey to and across America led him from the Amazon jungle all the way to the White House. The knowledge he gained not only opened up a new way of viewing nature and its relationships, but also made Humboldt the most famous man of his time besides Napoleon.
But the measuring of the world goes on: As venturous young scientists, players in Humboldt’s Great Voyage follow Humboldt’s legendary expedition route all across the American continent. Using the “mancala” principle, they travel in stages from one location to the next, collect the objects they find, and ship them to selected personalities all over the world in order to make the findings they obtained available as quickly as possible to a public hungry for knowledge. Who will succeed in making a name for themself among the renowned scientists of the 19th century and be admitted as an associate member of the Academy of Sciences?
The neat thing here looks to be an new twist on the Mancala mechanism. The board here is a set of circles, each corresponding to a different location (though not in any concordance with their actual geographic location).
There are colored discs here which are picked up on a player’s turn and distributed around the board following the arrows between the circles – I suppose following Humboldt’s current. The catch here is that players want to be able to deposit the matching colored disc on a matching colored space as they move around; this will generate a trade chit which is used to score points.
Other players stay active in the game as they will collect colored discs from the places visited each turn in order to fill up spaces on the bottom of the ship cards. Whenever a ship card is filled with trade chits, if the bottom is also completed, you will get a companion token which is beneficial in a number of ways.
I am very interested to see how this one works – with players having multiple goals they are working towards, and the way in which the game gives players something to do on all turns, not just their own.
The other game is Coralia.
From external appearances, I thought that his one might be a bit lighter; but I think looks may be deceiving. Again, from the publisher:
The colorful reefs around the former pirate island of Coralia offer a paradise for scientists from all over the world who explore the underwater world with their diving robots and work to preserve the coral reefs. They send their ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) down to find specific species. At the same time, they keep their eyes open as to whether one or the other sunken pirate treasure can not be traced. A few pearls are also welcome to end up being not only a respected researcher but also a wealthy one … This Dice Placement game is about winning the most points with a little luck and making the right decisions – an adventure for the whole family!
Here, what is interesting is the way that the dice are used. There are a number of different colored dice, each color corresponding to a different reef on the board. Each turn, four dice are rolled – and they are placed on a submarine tile. The active player than can place one of these – but generally, the die placed must go on an available space on a reef (which matches the color of the die used). Then, depending on where the die was placed, you take the corresponding action. The goal here is collect victory points, either through placement of your pieces or collection of different types of cards – and each of these methods has their own action space.
The unused dice are then passed to the next player, who then draws a new random dice, adds it to the ones passed to them, and then re-rolls them all. (though there are special abilities that can allow you to save some die results instead of re-rolling everything) So, in general, you will know three of the four colors you’re giving the next person, but not the specific results.
I think that this is going to be an interesting tactical game, and I’ll admit that I’ve been impressed by the pictures. I think the game with the colorful board and dice looks very good in the pics I’ve seen so far, and this is another game I am looking forward to trying out.
From the read, both of these seem a little less complex that Rajas of the Ganges, though Humboldt might end up being more complex than I think. I’ll hopefully be able to let you know in a review in a few weeks!
Until your next appointment,
The Gaming Doctor