Freedom: The Underground Railroad

Freedom: The Underground Railroad

Early in the history of the United States, slavery was an institution that seemed unmovable but with efforts of men and women across the country, it was toppled. In Freedom: The Underground Railroad, players are working to build up the strength of the Abolitionist movement through the use of notable figures and pivotal events. By raising support for the cause and moving slaves to freedom in Canada, the minds of Americans can be changed and the institution of slavery can be brought down.

Freedom is a card-driven, cooperative game for one to four players in which the group is working for the abolitionist movement to help bring an end to slavery in the United States. The players use a combination of cards, which feature figures and events spanning from Early Independence until the Civil War, along with action tokens and the benefits of their role to impact the game.

Players need to strike the right balance between freeing slaves from plantations in the south and raising funds which are desperately needed to allow the group to continue their abolitionist activities as well as strengthen the cause.

The goal is not easy and in addition to people and events that can have a negative impact on the group’s progress, there are also slave catchers roaming the board, reacting to the movements of the slaves on the board and hoping to catch the runaway slaves and send them back to the plantations.

Through careful planning and working together, the group might see an end to slavery in their time.

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Darkest Night

Darkest Night

Darkest Night, by designer Jeremy Lennert, is a fully-cooperative board game for one to four players (up to six with variants), set in a kingdom broken under a necromancer’s shadow. Each player takes on the role of one of the kingdom’s last heroes (nine playable characters), each with a unique set of special abilities, just as they hatch a plan to save the realm.

Searching the kingdom provides new powers and equipment to strengthen you and your party, as well as the keys that can unlock the holy relics and defeat the necromancer. You can acquire many powerful abilities—unique to each hero—that can help to fight the undead, elude the necromancer’s forces, accelerate your searches for items and artifacts, and more. The knight is a brave and powerful warrior; the prince can rally and inspire the people; the scholar excels at locating and restoring the treasures of the past.

But ravenous undead roam the realm, and as the necromancer continues to build his power base, he blights the land and his army steadily grows. As the game wears on, the necromancer becomes more and more powerful, creating blights more quickly and effectively. If an area becomes too blighted, it gets overrun—and the monastery receives the spillover. And if the monastery is ever overrun, the necromancer wins and the kingdom is swallowed in darkness!

Before the monastery falls, it’s up to you and your party to defeat the necromancer in one of two ways: If you can gather three holy relics and bring them all back to the monastery, you can perform a powerful ritual to break the necromancer’s power and scour the land of the undead. Alternatively, you can try to defeat the necromancer in direct combat—but be warned, he will readily sacrifice his minions to save himself.

Can you save the kingdom from darkness? Do you have the courage, the cunning and the will to withstand the necromancer and his forces? Strategize, plan and bring out the best of your abilities to end our Darkest Night!

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Renaissance Man

Renaissance Man

In Renaissance Man, each player is an example of the title character – skilled as a scholar, a merchant, a knight, and a baker – and throughout the game will hire, recruit and train others with the goal of producing a Master of one of these four areas of study. Each round consists of players creating actions by combining a worker in play with a card from hand:

Merchants hire new workers.
Knights compete to recruit workers from the common pool.
Bakers offer their goods in exchange for workers’ actions.
Scholars train others in the ways of the Renaissance Man.

Instead of providing these actions for a player, a worker in play can be assigned to support higher-level workers. Two workers are required for support, and they are laid out as such in a pyramid-fashion. Five workers create a player’s foundation, and the first player to complete a pyramid structure of fifteen workers creates a single Master of study, thus winning the game. A little luck will help along the way, but the day will surely go to the player who finds the most clever ways out of the trickiest situations in Renaissance Man!

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Ingenious

Ingenious

Anyone who knows a little about Reiner Knizia’s games will know that the good Doctor loves games that deal with trying to get points in various different categories and then only score that category in which the player has the fewest.

The game is played on a hex board. 120 equally sized pieces, each consisting of two joined hexes, come with the game. There are symbols on each hex that make up the piece – some pieces have two identical symbols, some have two different symbols (not unlike dominoes). The goal of the game is, through clever placement, to obtain points in the different symbol colors. Points are claimed by placing a piece such that the symbols on it lie next to already-placed pieces with the same symbol.

The game ends when no more tiles can be placed onto the board or when a player reaches the maximum number in every color. Now each player looks to see how many points they scored in the colour they ‘scored the least’. Whoever has the most points in their least-scored colour is the winner. Simple. The author of the game has also come up with solitaire and team play, in which two teams of two play with each player not being able to see his partner’s tiles.

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Merchant of Venus

Merchant of Venus (2nd Edition)

The galaxy is bursting with opportunities for savvy space traders to exploit, and the race to profit blasts off in Merchant of Venus. Discover new alien cultures and learn where you can get rich selling their goods in this board game of interstellar trade and exploration for 1-4 players. From your First Contact with alien cultures to the establishment of trade routes and spaceports, your quest for cash demands you keep on the move. Successful traders will quickly locate fast and reliable trade routes, timing their purchases and sales with the interest in the market.

Featuring a double-sided board, Merchant of Venus offers rules for both Richard Hamblen’s classic game and Rob Kouba’s reimagined version.

Space traders, get your ships ready for launch because it’s time to engage in some wild entrepreneurship!

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Mage Knight

Mage Knight

The Mage Knight Board Game throws you and up to three other Mage Knights into the sprawling and ever changing world of the Atlantean Empire, a land that is but a distant memory since your transformation into a mysterious Mage Knight. Build your armies, defeat bands of marauding enemies, and eventually conquer cities in the name of the mysterious Void Council.

Designed by renowned designer Vlaada Chvatil, Mage Knight is a game of Epic Exploration and Conquest that mixes character development, intrigue, and the clashing of swords to create a truly unique gaming experience.

As a Mage Knight you must control your reputation and walk the line or embrace the role of benevolent leader or brutal dictator. Accumulate Fame and experience to acquire powerful Spells and abilities, then use your power to influence units to join your ranks. Will you destroy an ancient Draconum and gain favor with the people, or burn down a monastery to steal the powerful artifact hidden there? Both paths may lead to victory, but the decision is yours to make.

The Mage Knight Board Game comes with a variety of campaign options, allowing you to play both competitively or cooperatively. Will your path intertwine with your fellow Mage Knights as you quest to conquer the Atlantean cities, or will you be sleeping with one eye open?

The game features an impressive 240 cards, 8 intricately painted miniatures, 196 tokens, 20 map tiles, 54 mana crystals, 7 mana dice, 2 game mats and 2 rulebooks!

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Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

Wu-Feng, the Lord of Nine Hells, has discovered the village hiding the funeral urn containing his ashes. Four Taoist priests protect the village, as hordes of ghosts and demons descend on the town to reclaim the remains of their evil overlord. Can you hold out against the forces of eternal darkness, or will Wu-Feng recover his ashes and destroy everything in his path?

In Ghost Stories, the players work together as the Taoist priests attempting to turn back the tide of evil and save the doomed village. With mystical powers and ancient martial arts, the heroes will battle wave after wave of ghosts and demons until Wu-Feng himself rises to claim his remains. Working together is your only hope, as the ghosts increase in number and force the Taoist priests to sacrifice resources, time and even their very lives in this desperate battle against the hordes of Hell.

Ghost Stories is a cooperative game for one to four players. With modular playing tiles and a randomized deck of ghastly foes, no two games will be alike. The cards and tiles boast fantastic illustrations inspired by kung-fu legends, and a variety of excellent plastic playing pieces will draw you into the game. Gather your forces and battle the Lord of Nine Hells in the ultimate battle of good versus evil!

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D-Day Dice

D-Day Dice

In D-Day Dice, players are Allied soldiers trying to organize improvised units for an attack against a machine gun nest. Each player starts the game with a unit of a few soldiers and nothing else. As the game progresses, he will roll dice to collect resources and advance on the beach, sector by sector, as his unit grows stronger and deadlier. He will succeed… or die trying!

D-Day Dice will get you right there on the beach. You will experience the fear of getting killed by enemy fire, the anguish of losing your men, and the thrill of surmounting seemingly impossible odds to accomplish your mission. And since this is a cooperative game, all players are on the same side, fighting like brothers (and sisters) in arms! This game can be played by anyone (you don’t have to be familiar with World War II) and has been enjoyed by families and wargamers alike.

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Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is a game created by Ignacy Trzewiczek, the author of Stronghold. This time Trzewiczek takes the players to a deserted island, where they’ll play the parts of shipwreck survivors confronted by an extraordinary adventure. They’ll be faced with the challenges of building a shelter, finding food, fighting wild beasts, and protecting themselves from weather changes. Building walls around their homes, animal domestication, constructing weapons and tools from what they find and much more awaits them on the island. The players decide in which direction the game will unfold and – after several in-game weeks of hard work – how their settlement will look. Will they manage to discover the secret of the island in the meantime? Will they find a pirate treasure, or an abandoned village? Will they discover an underground city or a cursed temple at the bottom of a volcano? Answers to these questions lie in hundreds of event cards and hundreds of object and structure cards that can be used during the game…

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island is an epic game from Portal. You will build a shelter, palisade, weapons, you will create tools like axes, knives, sacks, you will do everything you can to… to survive. You will have to find food, fight wild beasts, protect yourself from weather changes…

Take the role of one of four characters from the ship crew (cook, carpenter, explorer or soldier) and face the adventure. Use your determination skills to help your team mates, discuss with them your plan and put it into practice. Debate, discuss, and work on the best plan you all can make.

Search for treasures. Discover mysteries. Follow goals of six different, engaging scenarios. Start by building a big pile of wood and setting it on fire to call for help, and then start new adventures. Become an exorcist on cursed Island. Become a treasure hunter on Volcano Island. Become a rescue team for a young lady who’s stuck on rock island…

Let the adventure live!

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DungeonQuest

DungeonQuest

DungeonQuest is a fast-paced game of dungeon exploration and looting for one to four players. You take on the role of a hero who sets out to explore Dragonfire Dungeon and claim more treasure than your rivals. Along the way, you’ll need to evade traps, battle monsters, and find your way through the labyrinthian dungeon, all while trying to avoid waking the dragon who sleeps atop the treasure heap at the dungeon’s heart. The player who gathers the most loot – and makes it out of the dungeon alive — is victorious!

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