Here are some of the games from Spiel ’13 that I’m looking forward to. Four out of a massive amount candidates. I don’t know yet if I’m going to buy these at Essen (I have a very limited budget), wait until they arrive here in the Netherlands or never buy them at all, who knows.
Designer: Aaron Haag
Number of Players: 2-5
Playtime: 90 minutes
Each of you leads a team of 3 to 7 tea traders selling tea in the Provinces during the Travel phase over the course of about 7 rounds. Starting at Pu’er, your tea traders will travel to the Provinces using the Tea-Horse Road. The greater the distance they travel, the greater your income will be. Initially, you want to invest your income in progress; towards the end of the game, you will mainly focus on Victory points.
Progress is bid on during the Auction phase that is preceding the Travel phase. You take turns to place one of your Traders on the game board. If you bid too low, you may be overbid. At the end of the Auction phase, you pay your bid and gain the corresponding progresses. You can get more Traders, increase the number of Borders you may cross when travelling, use Horses to get to faraway Provinces that you could not access before, increase your Influence and build Structures. Greater Influence allows you to displace other Traders, but this may catch the attention of the Province inspector. However, you can please him if you invite him to one of your Tea houses. You can also go to the Bank to enhance your liquidity. Traders that you want to earn money by selling tea either stay in the Provinces or are placed in the Market of Pu’er.
At the end of the game, the player with the highest-yielding and most advanced trading empire will have gained the most victory points and wins this game. Good timing and skilful bidding as well as a cleverly established trade network are key to this. Only if you calculate really tough, go against the proper opponents and react to the actions of the other players swiftly and adequately, you will win this game, which uses no elements of chance.
This game looks really nice. Many things to do and many things to take into account. An auction for special actions, a little route building and a province inspector that will haunt you down. I do wonder if this game really works with two players, because it has an auction phase in it. I really like the possibility of playing with two players, because I do that 60% of the time. But auction in a two player game rarely works. We’ll see.
King & Assassins
Number of Players: 2
Playtime: 30 minutes
King & Assassins is an asymmetrical game for 2 players. One player controls a vile king and his knights. He hopes to bring the king to the safety of his castle, which may sometimes entail capturing a few citizens or eliminating dangerous assassins who wish to kill the ruler. The other player moves around the board a group of city inhabitants forming an angry mob, among whom three assassins are hiding. His aim is to kill the monarch and free the kingdom of his oppression.
The king player wins if he reaches the castle or eliminates all assassins. The assassin wins if he wounds the King twice or the King never reaches the castle before the Round cards run out. The Round cards show how many action points every player can spend and for what purpose. The amount of action points are different every turn and different for every player. How much every action costs also differs per player. Interesting! I’m really looking forward to this one, it looks like tons of fun. And there is a double sided board. Does it doubles the fun? I’ll have to find out.
Designer: Helmut Ohley and Leonhard Orgler
Publisher: 999 Games, Filosofia Édition, Hans im Glück Verlags-Gmbh and Z-Man Games
Number of Players: 2-4
Playtime: 120 minutes
Russian Railroads is a railroad-themed, worker placement style of game in which you try to manage a series of railroad tracks to score victory points. During the game, you’ll try to increase your movement capacity via locomotives, improve your cars on the tracks, or acquire technical advances that provide special abilities and score extra points. (BGG)
I do not know much about his game, but the trailer looks really epic. It’s a two hour worker-placement game, so it is probably on the heavy side. The game board does look interesting. A nice long strategy game. Looking forward to it.
Designer: Adam Kaluza
Number of Players: 2-5
Playtime: 60 minutes
You thought mountain climbing was hard? What about dragging a couple of fat tourists with you?
Another game from Adam Kaluza. Looks a lot like K2. You’ve got your gear, your camp, the weather and the mountain. Several routes, the higher you get, the more difficult it gets. But now you have to guide tourist or more experienced climbers to the top and down again. The tourist are more difficult, but give you more points than the climbers. Your choice.
I think the tourist and climbers give this mountain climbing game a nice little twist. As in K2, you get a double sided board. An easy and a difficult one, but the easy side is probably already hard enough.
Next stop, expansions!