Alien orchestras, vikings and space travel... It can only be, another weekly board game round up. This week there are 12 new projects coming at you. It's a pretty heavy week, with some hugely popular titles coming back with reprints and special editions . I think most family gamers and solo specialists will find something they love this week.
As always, remember, back with your head, not your heart and most importantly, love your games.
In the Cyclades archipelago, off the shores of a divided Greece, players develop their cities and compete for supremacy under the watchful gaze of the gods.
In Cyclades: Legendary Edition, designers Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc have reworked the Cyclades base game and its many expansions to make gameplay more dynamic and fluid.
The game features a strategic bidding system that defines the actions available to each player on their turn. You must balance your finances to optimize the various actions provided by the different gods, with each player gaining the support of only one god each turn. The game features a shorter and more dynamic bidding phase than the original Cyclades thanks to a new exponential bidding scale. Six gods are available instead of the five, increasing the variety of actions available:
Ares allows the movement of player armies and the building of fortresses.
Poseidon allows players to move their navies and build ports.
Zeus allows his followers to hire priests and build temples.
Athena provides her worshipers with philosophers and universities.
Apollo increases the income of his worshipers.
Hera provides mercenaries to enforce your troops during battle.
Players now use landscape tiles to assemble the modular game board during set-up, allowing for ever-changing maps and game strategies. New creatures and heroes are available in the base game, offering new strategic opportunities to build metropolises and gain decisive advantages on the battlefield. Your goal is to be the first to control three metropolises, which can be obtained as follows:
Economic development, by constructing four different buildings.
Intellectual development, by owning four philosophers.
Heroic deeds, when sacrificing a hero.
Military conquest, when seizing an enemy city by strength.
Cyclades: Legendary Edition features three game configurations:
"Classic" mode for 3-5 players in which each player defends their own interests.
"Team" mode for 4 or 6 players in which you play in teams of two, co-operating with one another and competing against others.
An enhanced and refined two-player mode.
Tanares Adventures is a massive expansion for Arena: the Contest. With more than 40 miniatures and 70 different types of villains, it takes the cooperative campaign content beyond 100 hours of unique gameplay, and adds a new Combat Role to multiply the possibilities in PvP and Co-op matches.
The PvP Game Modes (Capture the Orb, Tournament, Team Competition) become richer with the addition of the Commanders and their respective Companions. With a second miniature on the board, this new Combat Role (8th in total) brings to the table interesting and varied strategical and tactical novelties, and teambuilding synergies.
The game's Co-op/Campaign Mode now develops in a semi-open world, where players can consult an Adventure Map and decide where they want to go next, instead of being linearly directed by the story.
The Campaign runs in Cycles, each with three phases: City Phase, Journey Phase, and Quest Phase.
In the City Phase, players have the opportunity to buy items, rest, and develop side quests related to City Structures (that can be upgraded), Relics (rewards obtained by completing a Quest, that initiate optional story arcs with a puzzle vibe), and others.
In the Journey Phase, players read a prelude related to the region they want to visit, in connection with the overall story, and prepare for the Quest, by studying what they may face (this changes according to Story Facts unlocked), assigning tasks to Assets (helpful NPCs that join the team as the story progresses), equipping items, and more.
Finally, in the Quest Phase, the game board is assembled and dozens of different villains may be faced. The dungeon crawling and replay ability vibe is heightened by the addition of random encounters, secret rooms with previously unknown content, events and interactions that require tough decisions during the mission, and more.
All your decisions matter and significantly impact the Quests’ gameplay, modifying even the circumstances of the multi-part epic final mission, and determines the Boss (or Bosses) you might face, in an exciting campaign with multiple endings.
Our planet has run out of resources, and we are forced to move. We have discovered a series of planets and sent our rovers to test their environment with the hope of colonization. Our rovers have confirmed 1-6 viable colonization options.
Planet Unknown is a competitive game for 1-6 players in which players attempt to develop the best planet. Each round, each player places one polyomino-shaped, dual-resource tile on their planet. Each resource represents the infrastructure needed to support life on the planet. Every tile placement is important to cover your planet efficiently and also to build up your planet's engine. After placing the tile, players do two actions associated with the two infrastructure types on the tile. Some tile placements trigger "meteors" that make all planets harder to develop and prevent them from scoring points in the meteor's row and column.
Planet Unknown innovates on the popular polyomino trend by allowing simultaneous, yet strategic turn-based play via the Lazy S.U.S.A.N. space station in the centre of the table.
Shipwrights of the North Sea: Redux is set in the early years of the Viking Age, circa 800 AD. As Viking shipwrights, players compete to construct the greatest fleet on the North Sea. Players must collect oak, wool, and iron, as well as getting other craftspeople on board to help. Gold is a precious commodity, and must be spent wisely. As you would expect, the township is filled with an array of characters, bad and worse. Better hope they’re on your side!
The aim of Shipwrights of the North Sea: Redux is to be the player with the most Victory Points (VP) at the game’s end. Points are gained by constructing Long ships and Buildings, recruiting Jarls, attracting Heroes, and collecting Gold. Over the course of 5 Rounds, players will draft Village Cards, and must carefully manage their resources and workforce to set their settlement apart as the most glorious amongst all the clans.
Redux Version: Shipwrights of the North Sea: Redux is an entirely new game. While it shares a lot of thematic elements and player goals from the original, the core gameplay has been completely rebuilt to create an experience much more in line with what fans of Garphill Games have come to expect.
Step into the role of a space orchestra manager with Philharmonix, the worker placement game that combines music and sci-fi in an out-of-this-world experience!
Send your orchestra on missions to perform on different planets, strategically acquire new talented musicians, and train them to reach their full potential. Please the patrons that sponsor these concerts with your performances, and watch out for unexpected challenges along the way.
In Philharmonix, you play as a space orchestra manager, trying to become the most prestigious orchestra in the Malaya sector. Each turn, you will select one of the 6 major actions or the basic move action. The basic action is to move across the Malayan planets or to gain money. The major actions include: recruiting musicians, training musicians & conductors, creating symphonies, performing Symphonies, gaining patrons, and expanding your knowledge and experience. During your turn, you can also perform free actions to manipulate your gameplay.
Each action consumes action points which would be randomized every round and could consume more action points if the action is occupied. Thus, players need to be efficient in selecting their actions.
Players can gain Prestige in many ways, but mainly from performing Symphonies and recording “Records” (objectives). Other methods of gaining Prestige are region majority, collecting musicians, and claiming patrons.
The game ends after five rounds and the player with the most Prestige is the winner of the game and is proclaimed the best space orchestra manager!
Time travel exists in the 22nd Century and warring political factions hire freelance time travellers to change the past in order to reshape the future. These freelance time travellers are known as Timelancers.
Become a Timelancer and travel through time capturing events for your faction. Collect the resources you’ll need for your mission from locations in the city of the future - Janusburg. Then, use your time machine to revise or repeat historical events from different eras.
Be careful! You’re not the only one working to reshape the future. Other Timelancers will affect your progress based on their time travel actions. It’s a race against other Timelancers in order to be the first to accomplish your goals!
Timelancers is a time travel themed set collection board game that utilizes worker movement and a modular game board. Players gather resources and travel back through time collecting real historical events in order to earn victory points.
A fantasy duelling card game with easy to learn rules and intuitive game mechanics.
In Tales are Real, two to four player fight with creature cards against each other. Each player has five creatures on the table and can equip them with item cards to make them mir powerful. On every turn, both player choose one of their creatures for battle. The creatures fight against each other and deal damage to each other. The damage depends on the creatures basic strength and equipment. Creature cards has special abilities to avoid or reduce damage. To activate the ability players has to roll the dice.
The goal of Tales are Real is to destroy as many creatures of your opponent as possible. The player who lost the most creature cards within five rounds, loses the game.
In Fighting Fantasy Adventures (Campaign 1), Martin Wallace has skilfully adapted these beloved solo adventure books into a card game format, letting you experience the stories in a whole new way.
Now you can play with up to three friends (1-4 Players), in a co-operative format. Gameplay is easy to learn and engaging, downtime is minimal, and your characters will gain new abilities after each adventure. The card-based system lets you have the feel of a Role-Playing game, without the need for a Games Master. The map is revealed as you play and event cards tell you what you have discovered.
This Campaign will comprise of five adventures based on the four stories below:
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Island of the Lizard King
The Forest of Doom (in two parts)
You will enjoy 10-15 Hours of game time across the adventures (usually between 90-180 mins per adventure.) The rules are straightforward and the game can be enjoyed by newer gamers and families, as well as more experienced players.
Phantom Division is a fully co-operative tactical dexterity game set in a sci-fi world of impending danger. The game features the adventures of members of the elite Phantom Division defence force united to protect a remote colony world against an implacable enemy. The game supports solo play and features neoprene playmats for smooth flicking.
The thrills of classic car rallying, from preparing the car and logistics, to the days on the road competing and assisting the car, in order to try to get it to the finish quicker than the others.
Classic Rally is the board game that brings the classic and historic cars world to the Tabletop. This game emulates the features, behaviour and even problems of real life classic cars. At the same time, it simulates the main features of real life road rallying, like road books, checkpoints, weather changes, hazards, service areas, assistance cars, overtaking other cars on the road, etc.
This is a strategy game with a great component of logistics, just like in a real life car rally. Fuel and tires management play a great part on this game. Properly understanding the road book and going the right way is crucial to succeed in this game, as it is in real life car rallying.
This game has an initial setup phase, where each player contributes to the construction of the board, by tile placing road segments - this makes every game play unique.
Each player manages 2 cars (one competition car and one assistance car), having to select the features of the competition car and what each car will carry. There are dice to influence weather conditions and car malfunctions. There are cards with car features (like sport suspension), car accessories (like fog lights) and consumables (like fuel). The cars are moved by using fuel cards, depending on its feature and accessory cards and influenced by the weather conditions and malfunctions.
Crossbows and Catapults is a restoration of the 1983 classic game of kinetic warfare. This new version features highly engineered weapons, more detailed building bricks, and deeper game play.
The new weapons no longer use rubber bands, replaced by spring-powered and pinch-to-fire technology that ensure reliable velocity and reward player skill.
On the building side, castles are constructed using a variety of detailed components to allow for larger, more intricate, and more varied structures.
The Fortress War edition also features detailed mercenary miniatures. A deck of asymmetrical tactics cards let you take special actions and recruit mercenaries to the battlefield, where they'll use their unique abilities to turn the tide in your favour.
Escape from Projekt Riese is the sequel stand alone game to Escape from Stalingrad Z. It is a solo/coop campaign game of tactical combat which is set in the horrific zombie plague of World War Two. It is 1943, the location, a secret underground Nazi base somewhere under the Owl Mountains. Your heroes are the survivors of a allied strike team, fighting to complete their crucial mission. Rendezvous with, and extract the spy, the eccentric genius and the resistance cell who have aided them. Then, on the way out, blow everything all to hell. The stakes – a cure for the zombie plague and a chance to finally tip this war in the favour of the free world. Your heroes must work together to find the best path, each scenario giving them options on which way to go next.
Escape from Project Riese is a choose your own adventure style game. A player's choices determine the fate of their heroes, for better or worse. The game plays out over a series of linked scenarios, a campaign with several different outcomes. Results and events in each Campaign scenario affect the start of the next, creating an ongoing and evolving story.
THE MISSION Escape from Projekt Riese takes you to Festungsandlage Nr 8, a hidden underground complex where twisted Nazi science seeks to unlock and weaponize the secrets of the zombie plague. In these labyrinthine chambers beneath a Templar fortress, the products of Ahnenerbe experimentation and the newly risen dead, hungering for fresh bodies to add to their ranks, stalk the halls. You are in charge of whether your heroes survive or perish.
Your choices and tactical skills will be tested along with the ingenuity of your heroes. The survival of each of your unique combat specialists depends upon your ability to conserve resources and exploit the zombies' weaknesses. You will need to choose your tactics wisely; sometimes stealth is more important than firepower.
You may fail the first attempt at escape but with experience and proven tactics, you will advance towards the victory the free world needs.