On The Radar: La Loire

Posted by James (admin) on 15th October 2012

Emanuele Ornella has designed some great games over the last few years (Il PrincipeCharon IncAssyria).  La Loire is his new game this year which looks like a solid euro game.   The game is set along the River Loire and players aim to earn as many VPs as possible.  Each player has a merchant and a messenger which they move along the roads on both sides of the river – once they start in a direction, they can not go back in the other direction until they reach one of the two cities.

On each turn, the players move their merchant and messenger (in either order) and can take an action at the location each lands on.  Players move the number of spaces equal to the number of horses that the piece being moved is on top of (plus 1).  The number of horses can change as a player can leave behind any horses they want (any players can use them) or can add one if there are any horses on the space they start from.  This sounds like a very interesting game mechanic as you’ll want to help yourself but also hinder others in the taking and leaving of horses.

The core of the game is that the merchant earns the money so that the player can buy messages for the messenger to deliver (or buy boat movement).  The merchant’s actions are primarily about buying goods (wood, grain, cheese, wine, beer) and buying buildings.  The village location determines what good is available to buy there.  Some villages will have farms, monasteries, or castles on them – these are built by the players during the game – and these give discounts (plus beer is only available from monasteries). Read the rest of this entry »

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On the Radar: New Games at Essen 2012: Part 3

Posted by James (admin) on 3rd September 2012

More games to watch out for at Spiel.  (I’ve combined all the Spiel games on my radar on my Essen 2012 page.)

Phantom (Ludonaute)
A 2-player game announced today by Ludonaute who say some people call Phantom a mixture of ‘Lost Cities’ with elements of ‘Magic: The Gathering’.  That’s a lot to live up to and I really hope it does as there have been few great 2-player games in recent years.  The game has players playing two restless ghosts in a house trying to scare the current occupants more than the other player by creating apparitions in the 4 areas of the house.  It sounds really interesting.
Check out the details and rules at Ludonaute’s web site: bga.me/phantom

La Loire (Emanuele Ornella)
I like Emanuele Ornella’s games (Il Principe, Charon Inc, Assyria) so I am looking forwards to his new one.  Players move merchants and messengers around the Loire Valley with an interesting game mechanic where they have to move the number of spaces equal to the number of horses with the piece being moved (and this number can change).  The location a piece ends on dictates the action the player can take, like buy or deliver messages, buying goods, build buildings, move their ship down the river, etc.  (If you’ve read this blog for a while, I interviewed him some time back.)
Check out the details and rules on Ornella’s web site: bga.me/loire

Nieuw Amsterdam (White Goblin)
A game of buying land, gathering wood and corn, buying furs, and shipping for profit.  Whilst that may sound fairly regular, there are some neat game mechanics that make it sound like it’ll feel different to other games.  The core mechanic is that players bid on sets of actions and the each type of action can be used for a few different effects.  Also, timing clearing your land to gather wood is important, and you can’t grow corn there unit you do.  Plus, there’s some area control too which gives you an advantage when using special actions rather than outright ownership of them which appears a nice balance.  Also, the setting of New Amsterdam (Old New York) is nicely original.  (How long before we can all agree that New York is longer new and can just be called York?)
Check out the details and rules at White Goblin’s web site: bga.me/NieuwAms

Clash of Cultures (Z-Man Games)
A civilisation game by the designer is the excellent Merchants and Marauders.  I know little more than that at present but that has me sold already.

Pyramidion (White Goblin)
White Goblin has two Egyptian-themed games this year and Pyramidion sounds interesting.  One of the 8 locations is selected and players allocate some of their people (cards) to it and each card has 3 characteristics (numbers).  If a player’s group doesn’t have enough of the first characteristic, they all get discarded.  Players with the highest totals of the second and third characteristics get various benefits.  Also, who doesn’t like a game with Merchants, Negotiators and Torturers??
Check out the details and rules at White Goblin’s web site: bga.me/pyramidion

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Posted in Board Games, Clash of Cultures, Essen Spiel 12, La Loire, Nieuw Amsterdam, On the Radar, Phantom, Pyramidion | No Comments »