We kicked off 2019 with an absolute cannon-blast with a fantastic game we saw in Essen 2017 called A Tale of Pirates. We also managed to bag a lot of Essen 2018 titles including Gingerbread House, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, A Thiefs Fortune and Blue Lagoon.
As a member of an adventurous pirate crew, your goal is to be crowned Admiral of the Black, the most feared pirate ship in the Caribbean. To earn this title, you must complete dangerous scenarios in the shortest possible time frame. The most innovative element of the game is that the player uses their own 30-second sand timer as a character to be placed on the ship to perform actions. Each time a player places their own sand timer, they have to wait for the sand to run out to be able to perform the action needed. Each hole in the ship represents an area where you can perform a specific action: turning the ship, loading cannons, shooting enemy ships, repairing damage, and so forth…
[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”258444″ name=”Gingerbread House” image=”9026″ background=”9026″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/258444″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”30 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.1″]Once upon a time a witch lived alone in her house in the depths of the forest. Her favorite hobby was baking yummy gingerbread; in fact, she loved gingerbread so much that she built her entire house out of it. Unfortunately, she wasn’t the only one who loved it! Rude fairy tale characters passing by were eating away her walls, windows, and doors! One day, the witch decided that she’d had enough of them all helping themselves and, paying attention to which types of gingerbread these greedy intruders liked the most, she came up with an idea on how to get rid of them once and for all…[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”223779″ name=”Pocket Mars” image=”9029″ background=”9029″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/223779″ players=”1-4″ playtime=”15-30 minutes” age=”10+” average=”6.6″]For a long time now, Earth hasn’t been a perfect place to live. You are one of the architects sent to Mars. Your objective is to set up an infrastructure for the first colonists who would arrive on the red planet and start a new chapter for mankind.
Pocket Mars is a fast paced and wildly dynamic card game but don’t let the short play-through time fool you. It’s a heavy weight filler! A compressed and easy to understand set of rules, combined with cards that you can play in more than one way is what makes this game great! Fifteen minutes is all it takes for you and your friends to set out on an exciting adventure in space![/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”254110″ name=”A Thief’s Fortune” image=”9030″ background=”9030″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/254110″ players=”1-4″ playtime=”45-90 minutes” age=”12+” average=”7″]Nabbarah: A city full of wonders and stories to be told – a glimmering jewel in the middle of the desert.
You are a thief, always on the lookout for the next target to hit. You decide to sneak into the Royal Palace, break in its treasure room, and look for the mythical treasures rumoured to be hidden there. Among piles of gold, emeralds, and precious jewelery, you stumble upon a chest containing a mysterious hourglass. As soon as you touch it, you are filled with mystical energy and realise its true power: You are now able to see glimpses of your own future. By taking different courses of action, different paths unfold before you, allowing you to shape your future as you see fit. Unfortunately, everyone in the palace is now after you…[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”200077″ name=”Mint Works” image=”9028″ background=”9028″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/200077″ players=”1-4″ playtime=”10-20 minutes” age=”13+” average=”7.2″]Mint Works is a light and straightforward worker placement game. Its compact size makes it easy to put in your pocket and take it anywhere. Its simple rules make it easy to introduce new players to the genre of worker placement.
During the game each player will have a limited amount of Mint Tokens, which represent their workers. Players will use these mint tokens to earn more tokens, take first player or buy and build plans. Plans are how players earn points. Some plans will give only points, others will give extra powers to the owner.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”258036″ name=”Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig” image=”9023″ background=”9023″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/258036″ players=”2-7″ playtime=”45-60 minutes” age=”10+” average=”7.6″]Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig is published by Stonemaier Games as part of a collaboration with Bezier Games.
The king demands a castle! You are a world-renowned master builder who has been asked by the Mad King Ludwig to help design his castles. Projects of such significance require the expertise of more than one person, so for each assignment you are paired with another master builder to execute your grandiose plans. Will your planning and collaborative skills be enough to design the most impressive castles in the world?[/bartag]
The game is played over two phases (the exploration phase followed by the settlement phase). Over the course of both phases, you will expand your presence on the board by adding one new token each turn (either a settler or a village token). The goal is to collect the resources scattered over the map by placing your tokens on top of them. In the first phase, you can place a new token anywhere you like, as long as it is touching either the lagoon OR one of your previously played tokens. In the second phase, the board is cleared, except for the villages, and now you can only expand from the villages you played in the first phase! At the end of both phases, players score points for the sets of resources they collected. Most points wins.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”98778″ name=”Hanabi” image=”7020″ background=”7020″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/98778″ players=”2-5″ playtime=”25 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.1″]Hanabi, named for the Japanese word for ‘fireworks’, is a cooperative game in which players try to create the perfect fireworks show by placing the cards on the table in the right order.
The card deck consists of five different colours of cards, numbered 1-5 in each colour. For each colour, the players try to place a row in the correct order from 1-5. Sounds easy, right? Well, not quite, as in this game you hold your cards so that they’re visible only to other players. To assist other players in playing a card, you must give them hints regarding the numbers or the colours of their cards. Players must act as a team to avoid errors and to finish the fireworks display before they run out of cards.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”245197″ name=”Deadwood 1876″ image=”9025″ background=”9025″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/245197″ players=”2-9″ playtime=”20-40 minutes” age=”13+” average=”7″]There’s gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and you’ve come to find (or steal) your share. You’re staying at one of the three major establishments in Deadwood where you and your associates are working together to steal some of the gold-filled safes floating around town. But you suspect that the “friends” you’re working with are secretly plotting to keep all the gold for themselves. Will you be ready to turn on them before they shoot you in the back?[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”216459″ name=”The Lost Expedition” image=”9027″ background=”9027″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/216459″ players=”1-5″ playtime=”30-50 minutes” age=”14+” average=”7.2″]Legendary explorer Percy Fawcett marched deep into the Amazon in search of El Dorado. He was never seen again. Your team has gone in search of him, but now you hope to escape the jungle with the greatest treasure of all: your life.
Make the best of your food, your ammunition, and your health in The Lost Expedition as you plunge deep into the jungle. Choose your path carefully to ensure you’re ready for the pitfalls that may occur. Play solo or cooperatively to survive the expedition, or play in teams to see which group can escape the jungle first.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”181304″ name=”Mysterium” image=”3061″ background=”3060″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/181304″ players=”2-7″ playtime=”42 minutes” age=”10+” average=”7.4″]In the 1920s, Mr. MacDowell, a gifted astrologer, immediately detected a supernatural being upon entering his new house in Scotland. He gathered eminent mediums of his time for an extraordinary séance, and they have seven hours to make contact with the ghost and investigate any clues that it can provide to unlock an old mystery.
Unable to talk, the amnesiac ghost communicates with the mediums through visions, which are represented in the game by illustrated cards. The mediums must decipher the images to help the ghost remember how he was murdered: Who did the crime? Where did it take place? Which weapon caused the death? The more the mediums cooperate and guess well, the easier it is to catch the right culprit.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”131357″ name=”Coup” image=”3768″ background=”3768″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/131357″ players=”2-6″ playtime=”15 minutes” age=”13+” average=”7.1″]You are head of a family in an Italian city-state, a city run by a weak and corrupt court. You need to manipulate, bluff and bribe your way to power. Your object is to destroy the influence of all the other families, forcing them into exile. Only one family will survive…
In Coup, you want to be the last player with influence in the game, with influence being represented by face-down character cards in your playing area.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”68448″ name=”7 Wonders” image=”3337″ background=”3336″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/68448″ players=”2-7″ playtime=”30 minutes” age=”10+” average=”7.8″]7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. (Players have individual boards with special powers on which to organise their cards, and the boards are double-sided). Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”181385″ name=”Retro Loonacy” image=”4860″ background=”4859″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/181385″ players=”2-5″ playtime=”5-10 minutes” age=”8+” average=”6.5″]Retro Loonacy is a rapid-fire card game in which players race to be the first to empty their hand by matching one of two images on each card in their hand with the images on the open piles in front of them. The number of piles varies depending on the number of players, and if players ever reach a moment in which no one can play, everyone draws a card and it adds it to their hand at the same time, then the game play resumes.[/bartag]