From Pandemic, to Charterstone – from Key Flow to Azul; this was a bumper month of games in crates – which is like snakes on planes, only with less cardboard.
The game board depicts several major population centers on Earth. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to travel between cities, treat infected populaces, discover a cure, or build a research station. A deck of cards provides the players with these abilities, but sprinkled throughout this deck are Epidemic! cards that accelerate and intensify the diseases’ activity. A second, separate deck of cards controls the ‘normal’ spread of the infections.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”244331″ name=”Blue Lagoon” image=”9024″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/244331″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”30-45 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.3″]Blue Lagoon is an area control and set collection game in which players manage a group of settlers spreading out over the islands of a newly discovered archipelago.
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=”6249″ name=”Alhambra” image=”10744″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/6249″ players=”2-6″ playtime=”45-60 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7″]Granada, 1278. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, one of the most exciting and interesting project of the Spanish Middle Ages begins: the construction of the ALHAMBRA.
The best master builders in the whole of Europe and Arabia want to demonstrate their skill. Employ the most suitable teams of builders and make sure that you always have enough of the right currency. Because no matter whether they are stonemasons from the north or horticulturalists from the south, they all want a proper wage and insist on their ‘native’ currency. With their help towers can be constructed, gardens laid out, pavilions and arcades erected and seraglios and chambers built.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”28143″ name=”Race for the Galaxy” image=”2527″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/28143″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”30-60 minutes” age=”12+” average=”7.8″]In the card game Race for the Galaxy, players build galactic civilizations by playing game cards in front of them that represent worlds or technical and social developments. Some worlds allow players to produce goods, which can be consumed later to gain either card draws or victory points when the appropriate technologies are available to them. These are mainly provided by the developments and worlds that are not able to produce, but the fancier production worlds also give these bonuses.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”252446″ name=”Key Flow” image=”11404″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/252446″ players=”2-6″ playtime=”45-75 minutes” age=”14+” average=”7.5″]The great river Key Flow passes through the new Key Lands, carrying ships laden with resources for building and trade. Along the riverside, buildings are built, boats are moored in docks, and animals graze in the fields. Players build communities alongside this river, and send workers (known as ‘keyples’) to work in both their own and their neighbours’ businesses, enabling their economy to develop and flourish.
Key Flow is a card-driven game based on many of the ideas contained in the award-winning game Keyflower. The game flows quickly over four game rounds (seasons), allowing players to develop their own unique village, with many ways to score points for their buildings, animals, keyples, resources and other items.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”194655″ name=”Santorini” image=”8326″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/194655″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”20 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.6″]Santorini is a re-imagining of the purely abstract 2004 edition. Since its original inception over 30 years ago, Santorini has been continually developed, enhanced and refined by designer Gordon Hamilton.
Santorini is an accessible strategy game, simple enough for an elementary school classroom while aiming to provide gameplay depth and content for hardcore gamers to explore, The rules are simple. Each turn consists of 2 steps:
1. Move – move one of your builders into a neighbouring space. You may move your Builder Pawn on the same level, step-up one level, or step down any number of levels.
2. Build – Then construct a building level adjacent to the builder you moved. When building on top of the third level, place a dome instead, removing that space from play.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”197376″ name=”Charterstone” image=”11405″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/197376″ players=”1-6″ playtime=”45-75 minutes” age=”14+” average=”7.6″]The prosperous Kingdom of Greengully, ruled for centuries by the Forever King, has issued a decree to its citizens to colonize the vast lands beyond its borders. In an effort to start a new village, the Forever King has selected six citizens for the task, each of whom has a unique set of skills they use to build their charter.
In Charterstone, a competitive legacy game, you construct buildings and populate a shared village. Building stickers are permanently added to the game board and become action spaces for any player to use. Thus, you start off with simple choices and few workers, but soon you have a bustling village with dozens of possible actions.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”230802″ name=”Azul” image=”5342″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/230802″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”30-45 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.9″]Introduced by the Moors, azulejos (originally white and blue ceramic tiles) were fully embraced by the Portuguese when their king Manuel I, on a visit to the Alhambra palace in Southern Spain, was mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Moorish decorative tiles. The king, awestruck by the interior beauty of the Alhambra, immediately ordered that his own palace in Portugal be decorated with similar wall tiles. As a tile-laying artist, you have been challenged to embellish the walls of the Royal Palace of Evora.
In the game Azul, players take turns drafting colored tiles from suppliers to their player board. Later in the round, players score points based on how they’ve placed their tiles to decorate the palace. Extra points are scored for specific patterns and completing sets; wasted supplies harm the player’s score. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.[/bartag]
By studying under Taoism, players will race to see who can rise among their peers, and be the first one to become a Xian and achieve immortality.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”183840″ name=”Oh My Goods!” image=”9885″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/183840″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”30 minutes” age=”10+” average=”7″]In Oh My Goods!, first released as Royal Goods, players are European artisans during the Middle Ages who produce tools, barrels, glass windows, and many other goods. Only if you make clever use of your production chains will you have the most victory points at the end of the game.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”244522″ name=”That’s Pretty Clever” image=”9869″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/244522″ players=”1-4″ playtime=”30 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.6″]Choose your dice well in Ganz schön clever to enter them into the matching colored area, put together tricky chain-scoring opportunities, and rack up the points. The dice you don’t use are as important as what you do because every die that’s smaller than the chosen one can be used by the other players, keeping everyone in the game at all times.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”163805″ name=”Transatlantic” image=”11407″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/163805″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”60-120 minutes” age=”12+” average=”7.2″]From the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 to the beginning of WWI in 1914, there was an amazing development of bigger, faster, and more modern steamships. Whereas in 1870 there are still many clippers around and the good old paddle steamer ‘Scotia’ sails the North Atlantic, sea trade is dominated by the end of this era by huge vessels like ‘Mauretania'(Cunard), ‘Olympic'(White Star), or ‘Imperator'(Hapag).[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”176396″ name=”Quadropolis” image=”6195″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/176396″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”30-60 minutes” age=”8+” average=”7.3″]Each player builds their own metropolis in Quadropolis (first announced as City Mania), but they’re competing with one another for the shops, parks, public services and other structures to be placed in them.
The game lasts four rounds, and in each round players first lay out tiles for the appropriate round at random on a 5×5 grid. Each player has four architects numbered 1-4 and on a turn, a player places an architect next to a row or column in the grid, claims the tile that’s as far in as the number of the architect placed (e.g., the fourth tile in for architect #4), places that tile in the appropriately numbered row or column on the player’s 4×4 city board, then claims any resources associated with the tile (inhabitants or energy).[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”122294″ name=”Ascension: Immortal Heroes” image=”11408″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/122294″ players=”1-2″ playtime=”30 minutes” age=”13+” average=”7.4″]Ascension: Immortal Heroes is both a supplement to Gary Games’ full-sized expansion/stand-alone game Ascension: Storm of Souls as well as a stand-alone two-player game in its own right.
As the second set in the series, Ascension: Immortal Heroes completes the Storm of Souls story arc, with players trying to wield the power of past heroes with new Soul Gem cards – representing the trapped souls of heroes from the past – to stop the rebel godling Kythis from fueling his mad ascent to godhood.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”175199″ name=”Mottainai” image=”9872″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/175199″ players=”2-5″ playtime=”15-30 minutes” age=”13+” average=”7″]’Mottainai’ (pronounced mot/tai/nai or like the English words mote-tie-nigh) means ‘Don’t waste’, or ‘Every little thing has a soul’. In the game Mottainai, a successor in the Glory to Rome line, you use your cards for many purposes. Each player is an acolyte in a temple who performs tasks, collects materials, and sells or completes works for visitors. Every card can be each of these three things.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”229741″ name=”Shadows in Kyoto” image=”11409″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/229741″ players=”2″ playtime=”15-30 minutes” age=”10+” average=”7.1″]Shadows in Kyoto is a two-player abstract game based with the background of Hanamikoji in which players take control of the Oniwaban, a group of undercover spies, secretly protecting the Shogun, or an intelligence agency of the Meiji Government, funding with the advanced technology of the Western Industrial Revolution.
As the commanders, the players must secretly gather key intelligence from the opponent while protecting their own interests.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”201921″ name=”Tiny Epic Quest” image=”7011″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/201921″ players=”1-4″ playtime=”30-60 minutes” age=”14+” average=”7.2″]A world of peace has been torn asunder by the opening of a vile portal from the goblin kingdom. Nasty goblins pour into the peaceful groves and villages of the elf world, setting the realm ablaze. Now you, the heroes, must quest in order to right this wrong. There are two paths to victory: closing the portal or slaying all the goblins. Which one will you choose? Either way, your quests will be aided by the help of the surviving mushroom folk – and by the epic items that have been lost in the realm’s deep dungeons. The world is ending quickly, so you must act fast to save it, but you also need to know when your luck will run out…[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”187976″ name=”Covil: The Dark Overlords” image=”11410″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/187976″ players=”1-4″ playtime=”40-90 minutes” age=”12+” average=”6.7″]You are the dark Overlord, and the ritual is complete. At your command, the Covil rises. A living and breathing fortress now profaned by the greed crystals. Inside its dungeons lies the gate to the dark lands where countless hordes of chaotic beings were enslaved for so long. This time you will have your revenge.
In Covil: The Dark Overlords, you will struggle for the supremacy of the regions surrounding an isolated town. =[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”210900″ name=”Topiary” image=”6483″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/210900″ players=”2-4″ playtime=”15-30 minutes” age=”10+” average=”6.8″]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.[/bartag][bartag bgg_object_id=”242343″ name=”Siege Storm” image=”11411″ bgg_url=”https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/242343″ players=”1-2″ playtime=”15-30 minutes” age=”10+” average=”6.9″]Siege Storm is a deck building game. You have cards, your enemy has cards. You both cast some creatures and spells, then one of you wins.
Close your eyes. Imagine you are a mighty lord commanding an army. Or a magician summoning creatures onto a battlefield. Or a farmer who grows his units on a cornfield right in the storm of battle. So you build your army, choose your enemy and try to bring the pain to him, before he brings the pain to you.[/bartag]