Games News! 16/05/16

espionage is great, dentists are bad, ants are great, trademarks are bad
Quinns: Good morning board-babies! Pour yourself a mug of something hot and let me pop the very finest board gaming announcements off of the internet for you, like tokens from high-quality punchboard. It’s the Games News.

For want of anything else with a nice header image, our top story is the reveal of Pandemic: Iberia. Hot on the heels of the Pandemic: Reign of Cthulu announcement, Z-Man Games has sent word of yet another spin-off.

Pandemic: Iberia will transport the co-operative disease-battling game to 1848, with a host of changes to the game itself, including the chance distribute fresh water and build railways during your battle malaria and yellow fever. Because of course, you no longer have the option of chartering flights!

Perhaps most interestingly, Z-Man has stated that Iberia is a limited edition that will only ever enjoy one print run, which could prove to be a canny way to drum up excitement when right-minded individuals will be saving their cash and excitement for Pandemic Legacy Season 2. I don’t mind this epidemic of tie-in games, but honestly. Why would you fill up on bacteria-coated bread rolls when the main course is right around the corner?

For a little more info on Iberia, check out this stylish trailer.

The Fog of War

Stronghold Games has announced three games coming later in 2016. The Dragon & Flagon is a very interesting looking thing, with a granular simulation of a silly bar brawl in a fully three-dimensional pub, made by the team who brought you Space Cadets. By contrast, Kraftwagen is a comedically dour German game where grey players run grey car manufacturers in the grey 1920s.

But it’s The Fog of War (pictured above) that I’m most excited about. Designer Geoff Engelstein mentioned it to me ages ago, saying that for years he’d been working on a game that could accurately model the sort of feinting espionage found in World War 2, where the most important thing was to disguise where and when you were attacking. To simulate this, players load their “attacks” face-down into a wheel that spins each turn (in the manner of Tzolk’in), committing you to your gambits but offering you the chance to attack early, before your forces are quite ready.

I think the art design could be a little stronger (I’ve just seen a BGG user calling it “Monopoly: European Theater of Operations edition”), but I bet this one’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Hit Z Road

In a dramatic turn of events, Asmodee announced a new zombie game designed by Martin Wallace called Route 666, but then it turned out that there was both a game and a movie called Route 666, so now Shut Up & Sit Down can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that they’ve changed the name to “Hit Z Road.” I know. We’re like Deep Throat or something.

Hit Z Road looks pretty neat. It’s a competitive survival game that has players racing towards LA, featuring player elimination, blind auctions as you all bid for the different paths on offer, as well as nice, understated wooden zombies.

Other Asmodee news includes the announcement of the new Netrunner cycle (it looks amazing, as always) and the release of the Road to Legend app! You can now play Descent with your friends as a fully co-operative game, with the app playing the bad guys. Somebody try it and email us with how it is, eh? It’s a fantastic idea at the very least.

March of the Ants: Minions of the Meadow

We failed to let you guys know in time about fantastically bizarre Kickstarter for Pyramid Arcade, but Paul’s dropped a different Kickstarter into the Games News doc in its place. He writes:

“HOW HAVE I NEVER COME ACROSS MARCH OF THE ANTS BEFORE. I like games about ants. I have played two games about ants ever. They were video games. Anyway, here’s a Kickstarter for March of the Ants and its new expansion, Minions of the Meadow!

I’m with Paul. Eclipse is fun and all, but it doesn’t have nearly enough ants.

Monopoly

Monopoly isn’t a great game. That’s right! I’m coming out and saying it. You heard it here first. Having a winner that slowly absorbs everyone else’s money due to a mix of property investments and random chance might be an accurate depiction of capitalism, but it’s as much fun as a dentist’s waiting room with nothing to read but a well-thumbed copy of “Who Gives A Shit?” magazine.

But this week Gizmodo at least uncovered the nicest looking edition of Monopoly ever. Designed to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Japanese shop Nakagawa Masamichi, it’s themed around traditional handicrafts and has players monopolising stuff like the teapot trade.

Fun! Almost.

Twilight Imperium

Huge thanks to everyone who sent this in. Ars Technica published an article entitled I Have Suicidal Depression— And Board Games Saved My Life. It’s an evocative account of how, and why, board games were useful to writer Laurence Kirkby in living with his mental illness.

As has been pointed out by our fans, the Twilight Imperium playthrough video he mentions is ours, from a long time ago. You can watch it right here. You can also watch our old review of Twilight Imperium here.

Carcassonne

For our final story I’m just going to quote Paul’s notes again.

“HUGE GAME OF CARCASSONNE OH GOD it’s too big I mean is this even fun”

Yes! GothCon attendants Paul Sydby, Marie Sydby and Robert Wagman recently played a game of Carcassonne featuring more than 10,000 tiles. In other words, just in terms of components, the three of them played some 139 games of Carcassonne in a row.

What eccentric achievements did you manage this week?