Blue Orange Games will release Age of Giants, the first expansion for Kingdomino, at GenCon this year.
Age of Giants adds the option of a fifth player and allows for more player interaction. If a player gets a tile with a giant on it, they add a giant meeple to their kingdom – covering any crown of their choosing. If a tile with a giant’s footsteps comes up, the player must pass a giant meeple from their kingdom to another player’s kingdom, who must then cover a crown in their domain. The expansion eliminates end of game bonuses. Instead, at the beginning of the game, each player draws challenge tiles, which provide new ways to get points.
Hopefully, in Europe will the expansion available a bit earlier, because according to Pegasus the release date for the German edition of the expansion is July.
The two interesting restocks are Bunny Kingdom from Iello and Photosynthesis from Blue Orange Games. And we still have enough copies of the Christmas Tree Promo for Photosynthesis to add one to each copy of the game.
With our restock of Photosynthesis, we also got the Christmas tree promo for Photosynthesis (Blue Orange Games gave them initially away at the Gencon release of the game).
So from now on, every copy of Photosynthesis will come with one Christmas tree promo. But we also managed to ask the UK distributor for more copies of the promo to supply every customer, who had received the game before Christmas, with a promo.
If you are interested in getting one of the Christmas trees, please contact us and we will add a promo to your next parcel. We apologise, but we won’t be able to send out the promos on their own.
Next week is the last chance for new releases to arrive. A few games have made the cut and are expecting to arrive on Tuesday/Wednesday (just in time to get them shipped before Christmas):
Flamme Rouge: Peloton (sold out)
Kingsburg (2017 Edition)
Majesty: For the Realm
Mountains of Madness
Photosynthesis (sold out)
Terraforming Mars: Venus Next will arrive after Christmas and will be ready to get shipped when we are at the office in the new year.
This means that quite a lot of games haven’t made the pre-Christmas cut and are now expected to arrive in January. Once the dust has settled and business is back to normal early January I will hopefully be able to chase some updates for most of them to get a better picture when to expect them.
I can only apologise to everyone who was hoping to play a new shiny game during the Christmas break and is now disappointed.
We are getting closer and closer to Christmas and still, quite a few of the Essen releases haven’t arrived with us. But for this week a few more have been confirmed and it also looks good for next week.
Here are the games/expansions con arrive arrived this week:
Friday was our regular Gaming Night at the Crediton Inn. We had two tables playing games all evening.
The procedures started with Flip Ships and Tribes: Early Civilizations.
Both games were quite popular: Flip Ships caused lots of laughter, Tribes surprised by being a quite accessible game which plays under 45 minutes, but still, gives this taste of starting your own civilization.
Next was Queendomino which in almost every aspect is the superior game compared to Kingdomino because of the added elements of buildings, knights and tower allow more ways to play and win the game. Kingdomino has still the positives of being easy to learn and fast to play, perfect to play it with non-gamers and the lower price which in my opinion makes it one of the bargains of the last year.
The last game of the evening for me was Downforce which was a surprise for me: It’s basically Camel Up with Formula 1 cars. Main differences are an auction at the beginning to put your team together and movement of all the cars in the race based on cards you draw before the start of the auction. Winner of the game is the team that has earned the most money by a) getting their car(s) in the points and b) placing winning bets on the Top 3 cars. The game includes two race tracks and plays quick enough to play both tracks under 2 hours.
Only two more weeks until Essen, time to ramp up the preparations for the busiest time of the year. A useful instrument to get a feeling for the interest in the new games presented at Essen are Youtube videos about the most anticipated games of the board game show.
I watched a few during the last couple of days and made notes which games where mentioned. The result is an aggregated Top 5 which in most parts is not very surprising:
1) Charterstone: The only game that was mentioned in every video. But not everybody is convinced that the game will work, but the combination of Legacy game and Eurogame has too much lure.
2) Nusford: After last years A Feast for Odin there are high hopes for another special Rosenberg game.
3) Altiplano: A new bag building game from the team behind Orleans? Count me in and it seems like I’m not the only one.
4) Meeple Circus (the only real surprise in the Top 5, I didn’t hear anything about this games before I started watching the videos, but I can see why people like it: stacking Meeples? What’s not to like?) and Gaia Project (Terra Mystica still has a lot of fans and the promise of a streamlined experience secures this heavyweight a Top 5 spot)
5) Clans of Caledonia (Radho called this game the Terra Mystica killer, so let’s see if Clans or the Gaia Project will be the bigger hit) and Photosynthesis (an abstract game with beautiful artwork and components which got a big boost in popularity after a pre-release at Gencon)
Honorable mentions of games that were mentioned quite often, but didn’t make the cut for the Top 5:
September is the month between the two biggest board game shows: The UK sees some of the GenCon releases arriving and at the same time the pre-orders for Essen releases start to go online.
All of the games in the Top 5 Sales have been presented at GenCon and were available in the UK shortly after the show.
1) Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium
2) Wasteland Express Delivery Service
3) Whitehall Mystery
5) This War of Mine
Unfortunately quite a few games have been delayed this year, because the trend goes more and more to a US release in August at GenCon and a Europe release in October at Essen. This is not an evil plot against European board game geeks, but more a result of cost savings because this way you can split your stock and delivery part of it directly to GenCon and afterwards to US distributors and part of it goes a bit later to Essen and from there to European distributors. Which makes perfect sense, especially for smaller publisher.
And here are the Top 5 Pre-Orders which are dominated by the first big hitters we added to our Essen section:
3) Terraforming Mars: Venus Next
5) Raiders of the North Sea
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