December was a busy end to the year despite the disappointment of quite a number of delays. Here is a look at our bestseller and the hot pre-orders:
Top 5 Sales
1) KeyForge: Call of the Archons (Starter Set and Decks)
2) Crown of Emara
3) The Fox in the Forest
4) The Quacks of Quedlinburg
5) Arboretum (2018 Edition)
KeyForge was by far our bestseller in December and it was great to get a restock of the Starter Sets in a couple of weeks before Christmas. Crown of Emara has slowly picked up steam since Essen. The first few weeks after Essen nobody seemed to care about it, but now with more and more people talking about it the orders started coming in on a regular basis. The Fox in the Forest and Arboretum are both perfect Christmas games: they look great, don’t cost the world and have family-friendly themes. The English edition of Quacks appeared out of nowhere but was a hit from day one.
Top 5 Pre-Orders
1) Underwater Cities
2) Men At Work
3) A Feast for Odin: The Norwegians
4) New Frontiers
5) Bad Bones
Pre-orders are always a bit slower in the time before Christmas because everybody is hunting Christmas presents and is more looking for games that are in stock. So the pre-order for the Underwater Cities reprint had an easy time to get to the top of our pre-order leaderboard. Men at Work was one of the games that didn’t make it before Christmas, so these orders were originally meant for Christmas. The Feast for Odin expansion is very popular since the Essen board game show and New Frontiers got a late boost by the first Youtube videos appearing online during the Christmas holidays. Bad Bones is a small surprise because this new game from the Magic Maze publisher Sit Down! got a bit buried in the avalanche of new announcements before and after Essen.
Pandemic: The Fall of Rome is the latest games based on the classic Pandemic co-op system. Designed by Matt Leacock and Paolo Mori it lets players take on one of seven roles in old Rome and try to save the Roman empire from invading Barbarians.
Z-Man Games has now posted a preview of the seven different roles in the game and also of the battle system that uses the battle dice to decide the outcome of the many battles in the game.
Joel from the Devon Dice podcast had the chance to play Pandemic: Fall of Rome. He filmed the demo and has now posted the video which includes the rules explanation, a look at the gameplay and his thoughts about the game.
Z-Man Games has announced the first expansion for A Feast for Odin:
The Norwegians offers new ways for players to guide their tribes to victory, including three double-sided action boards customized for different numbers of players that add a fifth column of action spaces for players to choose. 95 new goods tiles feature new animals, new types of food, and new equipment for the Vikings, who can now hunt elk, purchase horses, or craft weapons and armor, while the double-sided “artisan sheds” give players new ways to produce goods. Rounding out the expansion are eight double-sided exploration boards depicting distant cities like Cork, Limerick, and the Isle of Skye, which players can visit or raid.
2018 is the 10th Anniversary of Pandemic, the classic co-operative game designed by Matt Leacock. Z-Man Games will celebrate the anniversary by releasing a special Anniversary edition of the game.
But this is not the only Pandemic that will get released this year: Z-Man has just announced Pandemic: Fall of Rome (designers: Matt Leacock & Paolo Mori (Ethnos)) for the end of the year.
Pandemic: Fall of Rome follows the proud tradition of the award-winning Pandemic, transforming the signature cooperative crisis management gameplay from disease control to the defense of one of the greatest civilizations in history! Instead of diseases, players face off against the migration of aggressive barbarian tribes. They must defend their cities long enough to forge alliances with the invading hordes, and in doing so save the Empire from certain doom.
As soon as we know more about the UK release, we will start taking pre-orders.
GameNight!, the BoardGameGeek video show, has played another new game and this time it is Majesty: For the Realm, the new card game from Splendor designer Marc André.
The crown is up for grabs to whoever can build the richest domain and seize it from their rivals. It’ll take a whole kingdom’s worth of people to accomplish this monumental task. Rally your citizens, grow your power, and reign supreme in Majesty: For the Realm, a game of strategically selecting who you want to work your lands set during the Middle Ages. Each game, you recruit characters to perform jobs that generate gold for your kingdom. Some characters work better with others, opening many paths to victory. Whether you choose to be a silver-tongued monarch who rules with mercy, or an iron-fisted tyrant who crushes their rivals, the fate of the land rests with you.
Agents of Venice, the first expansion for The Voyages of Marco Polo, has been released today.
The two modules found in this box can be played on their own with the base game or together for the ultimate Marco Polo experience, but no matter how you play, new adventures await. Return to Marco Polo’s hometown of Venice and gain access to the city’s many famous bazaars or use the companions you have met during your travels to give yourself a quick boost. With new contracts, cards, five new characters, and components to add a fifth player to the game, it’s time to begin a new voyage!
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.
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