We are heading into the busy part of the year: A lot of interesting pre-orders are suddenly appearing. As always we are trying our best to make most of them available for you and have already started to upload quite a few new interesting games.
Scythe and Terraforming Mars have both been massively successful board games in the last couple of years. Now both of them are going digital: Asmodee Digital has confirmed the releases of Scythe and Terraforming Mars on Steam.
Stronghold Games and Fryxgames have announced a new expansion for Terraforming Mars:
Prelude is a small expansion that lets you kickstart your terraforming! It focuses on the early stages of Mars colonization and tells the background story of the corporations. When choosing corporation and starting hand, each player also draws 4 Prelude cards, and chooses 2 of them to boost their corporation. The expansion opens up powerful starting combos and increases player asymmetry.
The release for Terraforming Mars: Prelude is planned for Summer 2018, with a prerelease at Origins in June.
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