In about four weeks the time has come again to travel to Essen, Germany and hopefully play a lot of cool new games. Here’s a list of thirty-three games that are on my radar, divided up into seven bite-sized pieces. This is part four and we talk about Stingy, Nippon, The Gallerist, Haspelknecht and Amphipolis.
Nippon – Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade
The setting: Japan during the industrial revolution. The game: a heavy economic Euro. Players control a group of companies that, in their turn, controlled the Japanese economy during that time. Players build new industries, develop a new transportation system in Japan and ship goods to other countries. Players have to invest in their own company and, while doing so, get the most influence in the different Japanese Islands. The designers have a great track record with well-regarded games, although I was not a big fan of Panamax myself, but it does make me curious about Nippon.
Stingy – Reiner Knizia
Another Knizia from PLAYthisONE. This one is a tile trading game. Every tile, there are 115 tiles in the game, has a picture on it and has a colour. Every player has a couple of tiles in front of him with every tile that has the same picture and colour grouped together. In your turn you can take one group of tiles from one player and add it to your supply, however that player can then take one or more of your groups, with a lower or equal total value, and place it in front of her. The value can be find in a table that comes with the game. When you succeed in getting all the tiles of a set, you turn them over and you score points for every complete group at the end of the game.
Well, this looks like a very straightforward trading game, but the thing is that many Knizia games are deceptively simple, but offer a lot of fun gamplay.
The Gallerist – Vital Lacerda
Like Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade, Vital Lacerda is also known for his heavy Euro games, with games like Co2 and Vinhos or his latest game Kanban. Now he dives into the world of art with the Gallerist. You will discover artists, display their art, sell their art and gain more influence in the art world. You do this to attract more visitors to your gallery and make money. Money equals points. Rahdo already did a Runthrough for the game and it looks like a lot of fun
Haspelknecht – Thomas Spitzer
This is a game by Thomas Spitzer and Quined Games and it’s about mining in the Ruhr region in the 17th century. Every player is a coal farmer and he needs to gain more knowledge, grow his farm, dig deep into the ground to get to the coal and take care of the groundwater. According to the publisher the game has an interesting and innovative action selection mechanism and offers a lot of variation. Sadly I can’t find the rules any more to check it.
Quined Games have some nice games under their belt, so I’m looking forward to this one.
Amphipolis – Reiner Knizia
And yet another Knizia. It looks like 2015 is his year. Oh, wait, it is. His thirtieth year to be precise. I know very little about this game, except that it’s about the archaeological site of Amphipolis in Greece. This site is threatened by landslides and every player is leading an archaeological team and they have to save as many valuable archaeological artefacts as they can.
Players have to take tiles with pictures of artefacts and combine them in a certain way to score points before the landslides destroyed it all. It also looks like that your team-members have some sort of special ability, but I’m not sure what it exactly means. I’m pretty certain that it is a light, family style, game, but you can also play it solo, which makes me curious as well.
By the way, Oath of the Brotherhood from the same publisher as Amphipolis, Desyllas Games, looks pretty nice too. It’s a pirate, worker-placement game, which sounds fun, so I hope I can take a closer look at that one as well.