Gloomhaven, Hunt for the Ring, Gaia Project, Dinosaur Island, New Ticket to Ride, Raiders, Pandemic, Terraforming Mars and More!
Gloomhaven is Back! (Available on 1/19)
Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for traveling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process, they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make.
This is a game with a persistent and changing world that is ideally played over many game sessions. After a scenario, players will make decisions on what to do, which will determine how the story continues, kind of like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book. Playing through a scenario is a cooperative affair where players will fight against automated monsters using an innovative card system to determine the order of play and what a player does on their turn.
Each turn, a player chooses two cards to play out of their hand. The number on the top card determines their initiative for the round. Each card also has a top and bottom power, and when it is a player’s turn in the initiative order, they determine whether to use the top power of one card and the bottom power of the other, or vice-versa. Players must be careful, though, because over time they will permanently lose cards from their hands. If they take too long to clear a dungeon, they may end up exhausted and be forced to retreat.
Hunt for the Ring
In Hunt for the Ring, one player takes the role of Frodo and his companions, who are journeying from the Shire to Rivendell, while up to four other players represent the Nazgûl who are trying to hunt down the hobbits. While traveling, Frodo and others must resist being corrupted by the Ring that he wears.
Hunt for the Ring is a hidden movement game played in two chapters, with each chapter being played on a different game board. In the first chapter, the Frodo player attempts to move from the Shire to Bree, gaining corruption points if they fail to do so after sixteen turns. If the Frodo player succeeds, they can either record their exit point (and other game details) to play the second chapter at a later time, or they can continue immediately, with the second chapter having the Frodo player move from Bree to Rivendell. In this chapter, the Frodo player doesn’t control the hobbits directly, but instead draws cards from a journey deck, with each card showing one of many paths to Rivendell.
Star Trek Frontiers: The Return of Khan
Star Trek: Frontiers – The Return of Khan, an expansion for Star Trek: Frontiers, features Khan’s Jem’Hadar Battle Cruiser, “The Pequod”, and a new playable ship — the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-A.
Following in the footsteps of Star Trek: Frontiers, this all-new expansion brings the same level of content to Star Trek: Frontiers that Lost Legion brought to the world wide hit, Mage Knight Board Game. Tougher challenges and even more strategic choices await you in this expansion that will be a must have for the fans of this fantastic series.
Ticket to Ride: France & Old West
Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 6 – France & Old West includes a double-sided game board that features France on one side and the western half of the United States on the other.
In the France half of this expansion, 2-5 players collect train cards and claim routes in order to complete tickets in hand, but most of the tracks on the board aren’t colored! Each time that you draw cards, you must take a colored tile that’s 2-5 train cars long and place that tile on an empty track bed. Once you’ve done this, any player can claim that route by discarding the appropriately colored cards from hand, as in any other Ticket to Ride game. (Single-length routes are already colored, and the map contains a number of gray-colored ferry routes.)
Multiple track beds on the game board overlap, and once a tile has placed on the board, any track beds crossed by this tile are off-limits and nothing can be built on them. At the end of the game, players score their tickets, with bonuses being awarded for longest continuous route and most tickets completed.
In the Old West half of the expansion, 2-6 players start the game by choosing (in reverse player order) a starting location for one of their three city pieces. The first route that a player claims must have this city as one of the route’s two endpoints, and each subsequent route claimed must connect to that player’s existing network.
After claiming a route, a player can place one of their remaining cities on either end of that route by discarding a matching pair of train cards. Only one city marker can be in each city. Whenever a player builds a route that connects to a city owned by another player, the owner of the city claims the points for the route, not the player placing the trains. If both endpoints of the route have cities, then the owner of each city scores these points. Whoever completes the most tickets in this expansion scores 15 bonus points.
As a variant, you can play Old West with Alvin the Alien. No player can start the game in Roswell, and the first player who builds a route into Roswell scores 10 points, then places the Alvin marker in any city that they control. The next player to connect to this city scores 10 points, then moves Alvin as before. Whoever controls Alvin at the end of the game scores 10 bonus points.
Gaia Project is a new game in the line of Terra Mystica. As in the original Terra Mystica, fourteen different factions live on seven different kinds of planets, and each faction is bound to their own home planets, so to develop and grow, they must terraform neighboring planets into their home environments in competition with the other groups. In addition, Gaia planets can be used by all factions for colonization, and Transdimensional planets can be changed into Gaia planets.
All factions can improve their skills in six different areas of development — Terraforming, Navigation, Artificial Intelligence, Gaiaforming, Economy, Research — leading to advanced technology and special bonuses. To do all of that, each group has special skills and abilities.
The playing area is made of ten sectors, allowing a variable set-up and thus an even bigger replay value than its predecessor Terra Mystica. A two-player game is hosted on seven sectors.
Pandemic: Rising Tide
It is the dawn of the Industrial Age in the Netherlands. For centuries, the country has relied upon a series of dikes and wind-powered pumps to keep it safe from the constant threat of flooding from the North Sea, but this system is no longer enough.
In Pandemic: Rising Tide, it is your goal to avert tragedy by constructing four modern hydraulic structures in strategic locations that will help you defend the country from being reclaimed by the ocean. Storms are brewing and the seas are restless. It will take all your guile to control the flow of water long enough to usher in the future of the Netherlands. It’s time to get to work.
Containing the water that threatens to consume the countryside is your greatest challenge. Water levels in a region are represented by cubes, and as the water containment systems currently in place begin to fail, more water cubes are added to the board. With water levels constantly on the rise, failure to maintain the containment system could quickly lead to water spilling across the board.
To successfully build the four hydraulic structures needed to win a game of Pandemic: Rising Tide, you must first learn to predict and manipulate the flow of water. Failing to maintain safe water levels throughout the country can bring you perilously close to failing your mission. Fortunately, water can be corralled by a strategically placed dike or slowed by pumping water out of a region. Correctly identifying and intervening in at-risk areas can get you one step closer to victory.
With the driving of the golden spike in 1869, the first transcontinental railroad was completed in the United States — but really it was only the beginning of a rapid expansion of railways that would crisscross the entire country.
In Whistle Stop, you make your way west across the country, using your fledgling railroad company to build routes, pick up valuable cargo, and deliver needed goods to growing towns, creating a network of whistle stops that you and your competitors can leverage as you continue to expand your networks. Along the way, you gain shares in other railroads and watch your reputation soar with each successful delivery before making a final push to complete long hauls to the boom towns of the West.
This design is a new twist on pick-up-and-deliver games. As players move their trains west and pick up goods, they can deliver those goods to small towns to gain shares in railroads, or hold on to them for a bigger payout when they reach the west coast. At the same time, they try to optimize their actions (and gain extra ones), lay down new track tiles, block the other players, gather and use valuable whistles for special moves and abilities, and carefully manage their coal resources.
Battle the dark powers of Draconis in the ultimate medieval fantasy deck-building game.
With over five hundred beautifully illustrated cards, Draconis: Invasion is a fast-paced deck-builder for 1-6 opponents, lasting approximately 45 minutes, with hordes of invaders attacking your kingdom, and players racing to gather armies, gold, and special action cards to fight the enemy. Unlike other deck-building card games, Draconis: Invasion incorporates hidden campaign cards that reward points for killing specific invaders, terror cards and the terror die that add a doomsday clock so that your armies become tired and weak as time passes, and triggered event cards that target the game-leader with potentially disastrous effects. Kill six invaders or exhaust the events cards to end the game. When the dust settles, only one hero will stand victorious as the realm’s greatest champion.
In the Court of King Arthur, you are the Knights that prove their individual valor by performing heroic deeds, setting out on the quest for the Grail, and obtaining the Knightly Virtues. The goal? To be elected First Knight — Lancelot — he who will steal the heart of Queen Guinevere.
In Lancelot, you will travel the lands of ancient Britain, courting ladies and defeating enemy knights to gain Knightly Virtues. You will walk other paths to fulfill quests. You will meet the Lady of the Lake and as reward, she will gift you the legendary sword, Excalibur — and Excalibur will keep you safe for just as Merlin may be your ally, your true enemy will be Morgana!
In Topiary, players try to position their visitors on the outer edge of a beautiful topiary garden in order to give them the best view possible. Visitors can see the closest topiary sculpture to them and any behind that, in the same sight line, that are larger. You can score bonus points for visitors who see multiple topiary sculptures of the same type. Players slowly fill in the garden by adding tiles until everyone has placed all their visitors.
175 years into the future, humankind has reached the stars. As the hyperpowers vie for influence in the shadows, citizens use their permanent connection to Maya, the interplanetary data network, to revel in a bespoke deluge of thrills. Of course, no form of entertainment is as sought after as Aristeia!, the Human Sphere’s favorite extreme bloodsport.
Aristeia! is the new sports game by Corvus Belli that allows two players to take the role of a competition team manager in the greatest visual show of the Human Sphere.
The game will come in a basic box including everything necessary to play: 8 character figures with their exclusive cards, 8 Initiative cards, 52 Tactics cards, 3 booklets (Access Guide to Human Sphere, How-to-Play instructions, and Reference Guide), a reversible board (the HexaDome), dice, counters, and tokens.
Aristeia! will allow players to choose their team and jump into action in the HexaDome, the arena where the definitive blood sport of the Human Sphere takes place. Players will enjoy the dynamic and spectacular nature of Aristeia!thanks to the exclusive character cards and Tactics cards representing incredible combat feats.
In little more than one hour, players will enjoy a fun game that will immerse them in strategies and tactics that promise to become addictive.
Furthermore, for the most competitive players Corvus Belli will arrange a special organized play program for Aristeia!, with an international ranking and tournament kits including promotional material and prizes for the winners.
Aristeia! will have regular expansion packs with new characters, each of them featuring their own special skills and new combos that will improve the game experience. These expansion packs will be independent and completely optional.
The year is 3042: Humanity is ready to explore the galaxy. The most interesting celestial bodies to explore, and eventually colonize, have been known for centuries, and the nations of Earth finally have the technological level to reach them, thus beginning an unarmed competition that in the end the whole of humanity will win.
Kepler-3042 is a resource management game in which you have to explore, colonize, exploit, and terraform the planets of the Milky Way using the available technologies. In each round, you must choose which action to perform and which bonus to activate, managing your supplies of matter, energy and antimatter. The peculiar strength of the game is the innovative resource management: Each player has a finite amount of matter, energy and antimatter that they can produce or spend during the game. In each round, they can decide to burn forever one or more resources to perform powerful actions, thereby allowing them to follow different strategies.
In Dinosaur Island, players will have to collect DNA, research the DNA sequences of extinct dinosaur species, and then combine the ancient DNA in the correct sequence to bring these prehistoric creatures back to life. Dino cooking! All players will compete to build the most thrilling park each season, and then work to attract (and keep alive!) the most visitors each season that the park opens.
Do you go big and create a pack of Velociraptors? They’ll definitely excite potential visitors, but you’d better make a large enough enclosure for them. And maybe hire some (read: a lot of) security. Or they WILL break out and start eating your visitors, and we all know how that ends. You could play it safe and grow a bunch of herbivores, but then you aren’t going to have the most exciting park in the world (sad face). So maybe buy a roller coaster or two to attract visitors to your park the good old-fashioned way?
In Taluva, players attempt to successfully settle a South Sea island slowly emerging from the ocean waters as volcano after volcano erupts.
Each turn, players decide to either have a new volcano erupt along the shore, increasing the size of the island, or to have an existing volcano erupt again, increasing the height of the land around it (and possibly destroying parts of existing settlements). They do this by placing a new tile, consisting of one volcano and two other types of landscape. A tile must always touch at least one other tile, when placed at sea level, or be placed on top of at least two other tiles (without any gaps under the land being created), with the volcano being placed on top of an existing volcano.
Next, the player will place one or more wooden buildings; huts, temples or towers. Settlements must always start at the lowest level, by placing a single hut. From there on, existing settlements may expand by placing huts on all hexes of a single type of terrain around the settlement, with temples once the settlement takes up at least three hexes, or with towers, placed at level three or above.
The game ends when all tiles have been placed. At that point, the player who’s placed most temples wins. Ties are broken by towers, then huts. Ultimate victory – and an immediate end to the game – waits for the player who manages to place all their buildings of two types. Immediate defeat is also possible, when no buildings can legally be played during a player’s turn.
A lot of strategy results from the various placement rules. Volcanoes may never fully destroy a settlement, so single huts can block volcano placement, protecting other settlements. Alternatively, a well placed volcano can split a large settlement in two, creating the opportunity for both to expand more rapidly than a new settlement would. Limiting your opponent’s growth potential is at least as important as preparing the terrain for you to expand upon…
Terraforming Mars: Venus Next
Terraforming Mars: Venus Next, the second expansion for the Terraforming Marsbase game, has players building flying cities and making the atmosphere more hospitable on the deadly planet Venus.
In Venus Next, the World Government chooses to also fund the terraforming of Venus. Around 50 project cards and 5 corporations are added, with a special focus on how to make Venus habitable. With the new floater resource, a new milestone, a new award, a new tag, and a new terraforming parameter, players are given more paths to victory and an even more varied play.
Raiders of the North Sea: Hall of Heroes and Fields of Fame Expansions
Raiders of the North Sea: Hall of Heroes
In Raiders of the North Sea: Hall of Heroes, a mead hall has been constructed, attracting a new breed of adventurers. Each raid brings new quests for the daring to endure. But with mead in abundance, there is little room for the wary, so sharpen your axe and ready your shield as new adventures await!
In addition to including components for an extra player, Hall of Heroes has the new mead hall board, large player boards, mead, quests, reputation, and a variety of new townsfolk.
Raiders of the North Sea: Fields of Fame
In Raiders of the North Sea: Fields of Fame, enemy jarls have joined forces to help defend against the onslaught of raids on their settlements. But despite their threats, there is fame awaiting those who seek to kill or subdue them. Encountering a jarl is sure to bring injury, but now is no time for the faint-hearted. Onwards to the battlefield!
In addition to including components for an extra player, Fields of Fame also includes the new township board, enemy jarl tokens and cards, fame, damage and a variety of new townsfolk.