Coming in January!
Gear & Piston
It is 1888, and everywhere you turn, people are talking about the horseless carriage. They are also talking about Jenatzy and Cugnot, Benz and Diesel, Atkinson and Butler – visionaries now remembered for their passion to create, to progress, and to succeed.
But this game is not about them, these giants of engineering. No, in Gear & Piston, you play one of the unsung heroes of history, an engineer of meagre means but great ambition, trying to build a prototype for picky investors seeking to profit from the future of transport. Will you make a name for yourself as an automotive pioneer, change the history of motorized transportation, and win the race that is Gear and Piston? With a lot of skill and a little luck, maybe. If nothing else, try not to blow yourself up in the process.
In the game, each player builds an automobile prototype by taking actions in different locations. You may patent brand-new parts in the Patent Office, look for rejected, volatile pieces of machinery in the chaos of the Junk Yard, try to gain an edge through the Back Alley, and finally build your prototype in the Workshop. All this just to please the two investors who are doing the rounds of the different engineering outfits, and who will be evaluating your rickety mess of an automobile. Good timing, keeping an eye on your competitors, and even a dash of luck are all you need to succeed in this business. So grab a wrench, some elbow grease, and your wits, and put some gears and pistons together!
30-60 minute play time
Byzantio is a game of medieval intrigue in the east in which players take the role of the heads of the main Byzantine dynasties, and scheme to choose the successor to the imperial throne.
In the 11th century A.D. the empire is torn between four factions, two of them provincial, military aristocracies (the houses of Comnenid and Phocas) and two of them urban, secular aristocracies (the houses of the Dukes and Angels). It is 1025, and the emperor Basileios II has ascended into the heavens without providing for an heir. In Constantinople, representatives from the most important aristocratic families vie for their favored to inherit the Emperor’s ring and throne.
It is a futile and petty dispute as each family is not about to surrender the throne to any of the others, but they ultimately decide that the winner will be the one who’s supported by most of the wealthiest cities of the empire. Every ambitious successor raises the banner of his dynasty and begins the struggle to win over the cities that will secure him the throne.
Each family secretly chooses seven imperial cities that they will seek to control through the actions available to them: Commandment, Diplomacy, Exile, Trade, Garrison, Espionage, and Corruption. May the rightful heir arise!
30-60 minute play time
Progress: Evolution of Technology
Progress: Evolution of Technology is a card game about researching technologies. Each player takes his civilization from early antiquity and learns various technologies, moving progressively to the Middle Ages, the Industrial Revolution, and Modern Times and ending with today’s Internet or Social Welfare.
Unlike other civilization games, Progress focuses on a single aspect of civilization building: researching technologies that help a society advance. The 210 technology cards in the game are divided into three ages (Ancient, Middle Ages, Industrial) and three types (Military, Science and Culture). With every advancement on a path, you gain easier access to its more advanced technologies and you’ll end up opening the door to the next age.
Each tech card provides one bonus, which can vary from one extra knowledge to a larger hand size. Even though most tech cards in the game come in multiple copies (usually one per player), the key technologies occur less frequently, forcing players to specialize and granting them unique advantages. Every technology you research decreases the cost of up to three more advanced technologies, accelerating the race towards the end of the game.
The game play is streamlined, with players usually taking two actions, thus making each turn short and ensuring that you use the time when the others are playing for planning rather than seeing it as downtime.
90 minute play time
[redacted] is a game of spycraft, intrigue, betrayal, and bluffing set in the golden age of the cold war, when men knew how to drink a Martini, and women knew not to trust a man who claimed to know how to drink a Martini.
In this cold war game, spies must infiltrate the embassy during the reception that the ambassador holds every year to show how important he is. Moving from room to room, they have to recover files and escape in the helicopter, or make sure that the other side’s pilots have a really bad day.
While interacting with each other, the players seek to interrogate, steal or injure when they can. With a double-blind interaction mechanism that never really lets the tension ebb, a skilled agent will need to do a lot more than see through a bluff if they want to win.
45-90 minute play time
In Versailles, players become master builders competing over the favor of King Louis XIV and the title of main architect of the legendary palace. On every turn, a player moves their workers through a network of locations. Each location provides valuable resources, or a way to spend those resources on tiles. These tiles represent parts of the palace, its surrounding gardens, and decorations and technologies to bolster gathering and building abilities. A unique movement and location activation system requires clever workforce management, which makes every move count and makes every game tense right to the end...when a single master builder is chosen to be the King’s personal architect.
45-75 minute play time
Street Date: February 13th!
Yunnan - home of the delicious (and hard to get) Pu’er tea. For more than 1000 years, the tea dynasties have been providing this sought-after good via their horse caravans to faraway Tibet. A network of paths and roads leading through the jungles of Yunnan, the steppes of Sichuan and over the peaks of the Himalaya - the Tea-Horse Road is the traditional travel route of the tea traders.
In Yunnan, players control the fate of their tea dynasties. Their main goal is to establish a broad and secure trading network to deliver the tea to the farthest provinces...and doing it better than their opponents. The main work behind the scenes is done in Pu’er, their home location: New traders need to be trained, better horses need to be acquired, and a good number of border passes need to be requested to be able to reach the farthest provinces.
However, mere trading is not enough to beat the competition. Great social influence and building a prestigious tea house may come in handy to sway the province inspector. Bridges provide shortcuts and trading posts in faraway places secure the own path along the Tea- Horse Road.
Yunnan is perfect for players who like tactical development games. Due to the interleaving game mechanisms, the players are involved in the game at all times. The great variety of available actions allows for different strategies. Only the player who calculates really tough, goes against the proper opponents and reacts to the actions of the other players swiftly and effectively will win this game -- which uses no elements of chance.
90 minute play time
The Hanseatic League (also known as Hansa Teutonica) was a spectacular medieval alliance between merchant guilds of cities in lower Germany, which quickly exploded into the North Sea and Baltic Sea as well. Many of the participating cities became very fabulously wealthy and powerful, and proudly proclaimed themselves “Hansa cities.”
Players compete for wealth and prestige as merchants in the Hanseatic League. Players may set up a network of branch offices in as many cities as possible in an effort to expand their base of power, but they must also develop their talents and trading skills if they wish to be the best and take down the opposition.
Developing trading skills allows players to become more efficient in their activities. They may gain additional actions, higher income, new privileges, and improved prestige point return. Developing a preferred profile will create an advantageous position that will be paramount in developing a winning strategy against the other players.
Hansa Teutonica is very open to players’ preferred strategies, and gives players the freedom they need to maneuver their way to the top. Clever use of traders, perpetual observation of opponents’ activities, continuous improvement of skills, and the well-timed use of prestigious activities are key to becoming the most successful merchant in the history of the Hanse.
45-90 minute play time
In El Gaucho, you take the role of a cattle baron bent on sending your gauchos to the Pampa to collect as many of the best-looking cattle they can find.
Gauchos exercise their abilities at the dice rodeo. The better they do during training, the easier they’ll catch cattle in the field. Players must be smart and get in their opponents’ way with mean tricks -- snatching the most valuable cattle from under their noses, or swinging a lasso to abduct their animals.
Back at the ranch, players must sort their cattle and assemble them in herds in order to sell them for as many Pesos as possible!
60 minute play time