Helmut Ohley and Leonhard Orgler are well known names to the connoisseurs of railroad games: so is “Russian Railroads” just a new offspring of the 18xx series? No, even though we are building railroad lines, upgrading tracks and buy better engines: this is a pedigree worker placement game of the more complex kind.
Each player is a railroad mogul developing lines and industries into a possible lucrative empire, competing for resources, engineers and industry developments with his team-mates.
At the end of each round, victory points are granted for the current status of each empire – in the first round most likely less than five, in the seventh, and last, often more than one hundred! We haven’t seen such a dynamic since a long time! So jump on-board before your fellow players may leave you behind!
Of course „Yunnan“ had to receive our „Game of the Month“ award, eventually. After all, it had to pass our quality gates already several times during its years of development. And even without our partiality the game’s values are all too obvious: few but very well interleaved game elements, straight and predictable gameplay without being solitaire, tension-filled competition and interaction combined with an overall playful feel. And the theme doesn’t appear as being pasted on, either.
For a game of this genre it is surprisingly short: it doesn’t last for a whole night, instead it tempts players for weeks to accept the challenge and delve into its secrets.
Few know that New York nearly became Dutch and that the cigarette name Stuyvesant does not come from nowhere. In the game we trade (historically correct) in furs, build up fields and try to control the growing city politically. All this plays in a logical and fluid manner, is balanced, only mildly competitive and offers a lot of material for the testing of various winning strategies. That the game is also optically convincing is an additional reason to visit Nieuw Amsterdam, the game!
But now I have to wear my klokjes and deal with the natives….
Many of you might have seen the Spiel 2013 Preview W. Eric Martin maintains on Boardgamegeek. This is actually sorted by publisher names. Now, for obvious reasons (Yunnan, cough, cough) I was interested in a list sorted by the number of “thumbs up” the games received as this could be an indication of the interest people on Boardgamegeek may have in any particular game.
Using BGG’s XML-API to access their geeklists, I quickly hacked a little PHP (yuck!) script, which displays the list sorted in exactly the way I wanted. In fact, I created four lists as I believe that new releases, extensions, re-releases and variants should be ranked separately.
Anyway, here’s the link to this list, created in realtime: Spiel 2013 Preview sorted by Thumbs-up.
(Note: the separation in the 4 lists is done on a table maintained by hand as it simply takes too long to extract this data from BGG. Therefore, additions to the master lists will only show up in the correct list once I’ve edited them in)
This year’s Feld round-up displays a bonanza of victory point generators similar to what we have seen in former years. While “Brügge” is no exception, it is lighter than many of Feld’s former creations. A lucky draw of just the right (or wrong) card combined this a relatively short playing time adds good replay value. And the extra pinch of ‘Gotcha!’ seasoning creates an entertaining and overall fun game.
The German Fachgruppe Spiel e.V. refuses to acknowledge game designers the status as originators and to continue the discussions about contract matters with the SAZ as the game designers’ representation.
Please support the game designers by signing this petition:
This is the first game containing a surprise bag. This alone makes it a candidate for our “Game of the Month” title.
But there is more to this game: buying stone from the ingenious dial, using these to erect buildings and scoring these for money to buy more stone and victory points. And at the same keeping an eye on what the other players are doing as the game ends sooner than one expects! And the surprise bag? Have a look for yourself…
Just in time for the apocalypse Czech Games Edition last year release their new game about the Mayan calendar „Tzolk’in”. What first looked as a clever marketing ploy because of its theme and the central time-wheels immediately demonstrated its potential as a strategic gamers’ game.
Several, not really innovative but proven game mechanics have been mixed into an excellent new brew. There is plenty of food for planners and strategists alike with sufficient levels of freedom for constructive optimization. Players are permanently involved, even during the other players’ turns. All in all a well-designed, excellent game.
Dwight Sullivan is one of us: a hobby gamer who has worked intensively on a game design without ever believing it would be published (read about it here: http://noblemenboardgame.blogspot.de/). The he entered the Hippodice game design contest and was noticed by up-and-coming boardgame publisher “Pegasus”-Games, and now it’s finished, his first published game! And it’s a swell game, that’s for sure….
We are Noblemen who try to get noticed by the king, building castles and churches and expanding our own personal realm. At the constantly happening costume balls we try to convince the kind to promote us in the noble ranking, of course with the goal to accumulate victory points.
“Noblemen” has been developed into a well-rounded game – the geographical placement of the land tiles is as interesting as the careful planning of the fluidly playing actions. A new hit for “Pegasus”-Games!
„Discovery“-Games have always been one of the holy grails of game design – how can one design such a game without putting through much stress on luck (when one doesn’t turn over the „right“ discovery tiles)? The new game by Marcel-André Casasola Merkle tries an interesting path here by making the victory conditions variable through cards, but also makes these same cards available for drafting, which can turn the luck of one player against him/herself in the next round. Through this there is more interaction and competition than in other “discovery” games, and also the game length hits a good and comfortable mark. For us this is one of the real “discoveries” of the current games on offer!