Gaming news in October

A lot of releases after Spiel 2014…

Alchemists

In Alchemists, two to four budding alchemists compete to discover the secrets of their mystical art. Points can be earned in various ways, but most points are earned by publishing theories – correct theories, that is — and therein lies the problem.

The game is played in six rounds. At the beginning of the round, players choose their play order. Those who choose to play later get more rewards.
Players declare all their actions by placing cubes on the various action spaces, then each action space is evaluated in order. Players gain knowledge by mixing ingredients and testing the results using a smartphone app (iOS, Android, and also Windows) that randomizes the rules of alchemy for each new game. And if the alchemists are longing for something even more special, they can always buy magical artifacts to get an extra push. There are 9 of them (different for each game) and they are not only very powerful, but also very expensive. But money means nothing, when there’s academic pride at stake! And the possession of these artifacts will definitely earn you some reputation too. Players can also earn money by selling potions of questionable quality to adventurers, but money is just a means to an end. The alchemists don’t want riches, after all. They want respect, and respect usually comes from publishing theories.

During play, players’ reputations will go up and down. After six rounds and a final exhibition, reputation will be converted into points. Points will also be scored for artifacts and grants. Then the secrets of alchemy are revealed and players score points or lose points based on whether their theories were correct. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins.

Fleet Commander: 1 Ignition

Fleet Commander is a space battle game with miniatures for two players. Each player controls a fleet of seven ships on a 5×5 checkered board, which may integrate terrain features such as asteroid fields. In turn, a player chooses three dice among his command dice, throws them and either acts according to the outcomes or saves the dice on his command bridge for following rounds. There are dice to move, attack, and put energy into the shields.

Fleet Commander has been designed to make epic space battles easy to play and to enjoy without having to remove the living room table, acquire many miniatures, or learn complex rules. The whole atmosphere of such battles is transcribed here in one “small” box with a simple but deep game system and beautiful miniatures.

High replayability! With a modular board, six special weapons to equip the battleships, advanced and optional rules and four scenarios, no battle will be the same.

The game system of Fleet Commander is flexible and allows many extensions, with four in the works ahead of the game’s release in late 2014.

In Heroes, the first non-historical game created by the Historical Games Factory team from Poland, the players become true heroes of a magical fantasy world, possessing great powers related to different elements: air, water, fire, etc. and leading powerful fantasy armies. They send their creatures — such as dragons, elementals, ifrits, hydras or gnomes — to a battle against the opponent’s troops. The aim of the game is to defeat the opponent’s hero and army.

Heroes is a dice-driven card game. The players roll the dice with element symbols simultaneously, in real time, in order to get specific combinations of symbols. Each pattern enables a player to activate the ability of his creature, move it, make an attack, use a spell card, etc.

The card game Dark Tales is inspired by classic fairy tales, retold in a dark style. The land of Dark Tales is populated by disturbing creatures and sinister characters, and the interaction between cards and magic items is the key to success: A character, event, or sword used at the right time can determine the fate of the game! Thanks to the many setting cards, the items you collect change their power from game to game.

Andromeda is an abandoned wreck of a spaceship from an ancient race that was found recently in our star system. All inhabitants of the system know that the Ancients had a great technology, and everybody wants to grab it for themselves. The Galaxy Council has granted permission for exploration to a team composed of scientists from different races, but while they’ll all go there together, there won’t be too much co-operation between them…

Andromeda is a board game with an interesting action selection system based on the “I split, you choose” idea.

The title of First to Fight refers to the famous slogan and poster distributed in European countries after Poland was the first country to be attacked by Germany in September 1939. This game, released in cooperation with Fundacja Niepodległości (Foundation for Independence), takes place throughout the entirety of World War II, with the players taking the roles of commanders of the Polish forces that are fighting on numerous fronts: Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, etc. By allocating their troops in different regions of the world, they aim to carry out missions (including the most famous battles of WW2) and earn victory points (VPs). The players do not “own” or control the soldiers, which are represented by neutral cards, moved by the players around the board, and activated only when it is the time to play a mission card in a given region; that said, their particular specialization may increase a player’s chance to win a mission. The player with the most VPs at the end of the War (May 1945) wins.

In Bee Alert, a.k.a. Honigbienchen, six colored plastic bees are hidden below six beehives with players initially knowing which bees are where.

On a turn, the active player draws a card. If it’s a hive card, she takes a hive from the middle without lifting it up; if it’s a bear card, she returns one hive to the middle of the table; if it’s a bee card, she lifts one hive to reveal the bee. If the bee matches the color on the card, she moves the hive towards herself.

The first player with four hives wins! Alternatively, when the cards run out, whoever has the most hives in front of her wins.

Black&White

War is in the air. Two feuding nations after a decade of a very fragile truce assemble their armies: her majesty Susanna from Thargaton with troops in black uniforms to the west and cardinal Nicodemus from Vesani with white-robed religious fanatics to the east. Both leaders try to secure the most strategic parts of forty-kilometer-long strip of no man’s land. There are heavy fights to gain control of the old forts that survived the war of the apostles. Who is going to outmaneuver the enemy? Who will use their troops most efficiently in this mortal battle? Play this quick war game and find out.

Black&White is a two-player block war game that takes place on a hexagonal board that may be customized by terrain tiles. Before the game, each player builds his army using available troops and also assigns the leader. Each side of the conflict has nine different units from which to choose. The choice is not simple, however, as only a proper balance between various types of infantry, cavalry and artillery will make for a strong army.

Patchistory is a strategy board game with cards that symbolize historical heroes and wonders, with the whole game being divided into three eras. During the game, you acquire these cards through auctions and expand your territory by placing cards so that they overlap one another in a 5×5 space in the first era, a 6×6 space in the second era, and a 7×7 space in the third era. When your land—that is, the layout of your cards—is well built, the card functions are activated. You can earn victory points with diplomatic actions, domestic politics, war movement, the actions of production, etc., and at the end of the game, the person with the highest score after the third era wins.

Because you can make combos with lots of features on historical cards and you can score in various ways, Patchistory will give you another new exciting play every time it hits the table.

Telin’s cruel blade has long been writing the history of Shaqua Maertis, the Empire of Elements. The peaceful people of the land came to terms with Telin’s rule and dared not give voice to their sinister thoughts and unabated fears. And so long as they did not speak of those thoughts and fears in public, Telin’s iron hand was kept at bay, his reach away from their homes and children. Years went by , and decades followed — until there came a day when Helloder, a creature made of darkness, with plans darker still, discovered magic, a long-forgotten magic that offered him the opportunity to claim power for himself.

Which side will prevail? Will Telin’s rule end, or will Helloder be another name to be buried under the pen of history that is Telin’s sword?

In Spells of Doom, each player controls a hero with a unique deck of spells and skills cards, and he uses those to try to capture magic crystals and damage opponents. The game takes place over three rounds, with each round consisting of six turns; a turn consists of the upkeep phase, the hero phase, and the end phase. The game is played as a PvP two-player game or a 2-on-2 four-player game.

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