On The Radar: New Games at Essen 2012: Part 6

Posted by James (admin) on October 1st, 2012

A few more forthcoming games that have taken my interest recently.  (I’ve combined all the Spiel games on my radar on my Essen 2012 page too.)

Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar (Czech Games Edition)
Tzolk’in is a game where the turning of cogs are at the very centre of a worker placement game.  Players place workers on small cogs which are located around a central, large cog.  The large cog is turned as the game progresses and this turns the small cogs.  Players spend corn to place their workers (filling the cheapest slot) on the cog where they want to place a worker.  When a player, removes a worker, they get a benefit based on where they player is on the cog – the longer they remain on a cog, the greater the benefit.  One cog has an interesting element to it where a player can take corn even if it is not quite ready but at the risk of angering the gods.  There’s still a lot of information to come about this game but, so far, it sounds really interesting.

1969 (Cranio Creations)
A resource gathering, dice-rolling and card playing game where players are trying to reach the moon in a space race before 1969.  Players gather scientists, cash and intelligence cards to prepare for different missions.  They only get one chance at each mission which scores VPs.  To undertake a mission the player rolls the 5 dice (and moves an appropriate number of spaces along the mission track); however, then all players get to play intelligence cards that move the active player back down the track (and the active player gets to play cards to move themselves forwards) – all cards are played simultaneously.  The biggest mission is the moon mission and completing any other mission means a player can start further along the moon mission track.  Sounds very good (reminds me slightly of Airships by Queen Games – a game I really like – not through any specific game mechanic, but just in trying to prepare to achieve tasks).
Check out the details and rules at Cranio Creation’s web site: bga.me/1969

Blackrock City (Blackrock Editions)
Blackrock Editions published a great game called The Boss a couple of years ago.  This year they are releasing Blackrock City – a wild west game where players bid their outlaws. The winner of a round moves their outlaw chief a number of spaces (equal to their bid minus the lowest bid) and takes gold from the city they land on.  The player who is second in a round gets a silver from the stagecoach. However, there are some interesting twists: the outlaws you bid with have a limited usage; players can not bid the same as the leading bid; each bid moves the sheriff around the cities which foils outlaws; and, cities have different effects after they have been robbed.

It sounds like a short, fast bidding game but with some interesting thinking around the bidding as players try to work out how to win rounds (or at least move the sheriff to annoy others) whilst positioning their outlaw on a beneficial city.  One interesting feature is that, twice per game, each player can place a 15 second sand timer in front of an opponent and that player must take their go in that time.  Also, I like how it plays 2-player with an invisible 3rd player.
Check out the details and rules at Blackrock Edition’s web site: bga.me/brc

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