There. It was done. The mosaic was complete. It was tiny, about the size of a full stop. However, under the microscope, it glistened and glinted, it sparkled and shined. It was a wonderfully symmetric arrangement, forming the overall shape of a circle, intersected into various quadrants. Yet, it was more than just geometry and scientific fascination. It was art. There they were, the wonderful Diatoms by Sabrina Culyba from Ludoliminal.
Siberia: a vast area of over 13 million square kilometres, which consists of taiga, tundra and even temperate forests. From the north of this region, where temperatures regularly drop below -25°C, come reports of a massive meteor having crashed. Not only that, the team who went to investigate the impact crater lost contact and never returned. Rumours are spreading of a strange parasite that possesses all living things in the region. After a team sent to rescue the first group also fails to return, heroes from the now long-forgotten war in Europa decide to explore for themselves. They borrow mechs and head to base camp. From there, they start their Expeditions by Jamey Stegmaier from Stonemaier Games.
It was inevitable. After decades of exploiting our home, Earth has finally run out of resources. It is time for Plan B. We have to leave and settle on a new planet. Potential targets have been selected and planeteers will be sent to develop them. Each of these adventurous heroes will be tasked with preserving the future of humanity and preparing one Planet Unknown by Ryan Lambert and Adam Rehberg from Adam's Apple Games.
To create the best apple brandy, you have to freeze fermented cider and remove the ice. It's quite simple and very effective in increasing the alcohol content of an already delicious drink. It's really easy to apply this to cider made after the autumn harvest. Just leave the casks in the winter cold and when enough ice has formed, pour the remaining liquid into another cask. Repeat the process as often as you please to concentrate the remaining liquid to levels of anywhere between 25% and 40% alcohol. It's what we call "jacking" and it will come as no surprise that the resulting drink is called Applejack by Uwe Rosenberg from The Game Builders.
It was the 5th century BCE and we, the Athenians, had been victorious over the Persians. The Delian League was now under our military control and the income generated by federation fees had made us prosperous. It was time for an ambitious building programme and the most talented architects in ancient Greece were ready. We were going to build housing, temples, markets, gardens and barracks. Our planning rules were going to create a harmonious community, enhanced by plazas. We would create new quarries to provide the stone to stretch our city towards the sky. We were going to build our high city, our Akropolis by Jules Messaud from Gigamic.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't mind long games. I happily play the same game for two to three hours, as long as it keeps me captivated. Even when a game requires a lot of focus and concentration, I usually have no problem sticking with it for a few hours. One of the ways in which a game can keep players invested is by reducing the amount of downtime, that is the time it takes for a turn to come back round to you. Something that helps in this respect is overlapping turns, which I want to look at more closely in this article.
Nestled between hills and blanketed with beautiful fields of grass, where cows grazed happily, our village was in the perfect place. Country life was slow and relaxed, because nobody had anywhere urgent to get to. However, that was all going to change soon. Metal tracks were soon going to crisscross between hills and along rivers. They would connect our sleepy corner of the world. They were the Village Rails by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert from Osprey Games.
You have been tasked with building the sustainable energy network of the future. Your goal is to connect wind farms, hydro-energy plants and other green power sources to each other, as well as different cities. You have to decide which part of the network needs attention first and what can wait until later. Take care though and make sure you don't spread your workforce too thinly, but also avoid putting all of your light bulbs into one circuit. You want to end up making the best use of each and every Powerline by Dirk Henn from Queen Games.
The genre of roll-and-something or something-and-write or whatever else there is these days has really grown in the last few years. To start with, there was a deluge of Yahtzee-style games, but soon the genre added themes and settings to try and draw people in and make them feel like they were exploring a map or fighting monsters. In this article, I want to talk about my experiences with roll-and-write games, as I will call them from here on in for the purpose of simplicity.
It was quiet in the deep, dark wood. Everything was still and nothing stirred - but everyone was ready. The cats had taken up their position in every clearing, six birds were waiting patiently by their roost in one corner of the forest, the racoon had taken cover deep in the woods and the crows were biding their time in a handful of clearings of their choice. The moment was near. It was time to decide who was the best animal in the woodland, who was the Root by Cole Wehrle from Leder Games.