Paris

Rate 7.4


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Game Brewer – Website

Explore Paris in the 19th century. Discover its renowned architecture and obtain the most eminent buildings in the right districts to achieve victory.

Paris is a typical medium-weight Kramer and Kiesling Eurostyle-game with straightforward gameplay, short player turns, and an ingenious point salad mechanism. You mainly score points by obtaining the right buildings and collecting the right bonus cards.

—description from the publisher

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Magnate: The First City

Rate 4.4


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Naylor Games – Website

Build a city, make a fortune.

“In Magnate: The First City, you’re a property developer out to build an empire in the midst of a citywide property boom.

By snapping-up valuable land and constructing the right buildings in the right locations, you’ll attract high value tenants and start raking in the big bucks. But beware: as the city grows, everything you build will also open up new opportunities for your competitors. Will you make a fortune? Or will you be caught out when the boom inevitably turns to bust in a game-ending market crash?”

Magnate: The First City is a midweight strategy game for 1-5 players. Each turn players try to grow their property empire by performing different actions, including: buying plots of land, constructing buildings, marketing their developments and selling them completely for their capital value. Once per round, they will also get the chance to attract tenants to any empty buildings they have. If they are successful, they will start collecting rent from their tenants and increase the value of their holdings. At the same time, they will also create new development opportunities for themselves and their opponents.

But in Magnate, as in real life, not all locations are equally appealing to all types of tenant. Magnate’s four types of tenant – residential, offices, retail and industry – all want to be linked to other types of tenant in nearby neighbourhoods. And they are all affected differently by what’s next door: The airport is an asset for offices, but it’s an unattractive place for new residents. By clever tactical and strategic building, players can increase their odds of attracting these tenants and improve their return on investment – without benefiting their opponents too much.

But while the players acquire more and larger properties, the price of land keeps rising higher and higher. Eventually, it becomes completely unsustainable and a game-ending crash that will destroy the value of players’ properties becomes inevitable. When exactly the crash happens, however, is shaped by the players: How much land they buy and how much property they sell will more make a crash on any specific turn more or less likely. Players must time their actions carefully to avoid substantial losses while maximizing their profits. Only then will they emerge victorious as the city’s wealthiest property magnate.

—description from the publisher

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The Great Wall

Rate 8.2


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Awaken Realms – Website

The Great Wall is new asymmetric worker / soldier placement with engine building themes and a twist in form of constantly attacking AI (Mongolian Horde), that players will need to sometimes cooperate to defeat. This is new major Board Game from Awaken Realms.

Players will control an ancient clans in China trying to defend invading Mongolian hordes and build a Great Wall. While every player will want to win (by earning VP = Honor) they also need to sometimes cooperate to defend against the hordes. Each clan will be asymmetric through chosen Leader (resource production / starting resources / starting workers and units) and this asymmetry will build as the game progresses (players will hire Advisors with unique skills, often creating unique engines).

The game is divided into 3 main phases: Production, Wall Defense, Wall Building. During the Production phase, players will place orders via cards (face down) at the same time and then decide on their time of execution based on the Tea track (that can be modified). Those Orders will mostly revolve around worker placements on the economical map to gather resources / build armies / get more income or even getting more workers / advisers. Players will need to constantly keep track of different buildings as they will be able to get the result only when all the slots are filled (e.g. others players will put their workers there too).

During the Wall Defense phase, players will order previously produced armies (soldiers, archers and cavalry) on Mongolian Horde cards on 3 different parts of the wall. By placing units they will receive special bonuses (resources or more), that is why the order of placing units is important. If any part of the Wall is breached (Mongolian hordes have bigger power then wall defense), all players suffer negative effects from horde cards.

During the third phase, players will have the possibility to spend any number of resources to build a bigger level of Wall in exchange for victory points.

During the course of the game, players will create their own unique engines based on their clan strengths as well as interact with other players during all phases of the game, trying to get the most Honor points, that can be gained in a lot of different ways.

—description from the publisher

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VENICE

Rate 7.0


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Braincrack Games – Website

Set in the titular city in the 16th century, Venice lets players take the role of wealthy, influential merchants as they ride their gondolas up and down the city’s canals, train their assistants, complete contracts, and leverage their influence to gain political power. But business is anything but usual. As they broker contracts and flirt with crime, merchants must avoid arousing the suspicion of the Venetian Inquisition, lest they find themselves arrested and their businesses shut down.

In the game, players move their two gondolas around the board. When they move a gondola, they may activate the assistants they have placed previously on any building they pass, but they may train (and improve the capabilities of) only the one on which they end their movement. Assistants allow you to gain resources, trade, make money, and take an array of other actions depending on the buildings to which they are assigned. When resources are made, they are placed in the gondola, and these will be used to fulfill lucrative contracts.

Space is limited on the city’s canals, however, and each time you pass another merchant’s boat, gossip will spread, raising your suspicion level with the Inquisition. Lower your suspicion with visits and donations to the church, or academic institutions — or throw caution to the wind and engage in unsavory activities for money or information. During the game, being such a well-known merchant can be a boon to your political career, but at game end, the most suspicious player will be made an example of by the Inquisition — blocking your victory even if you have the most points.

Includes solo mode by David Turczi and Xavi Bordes

—description from the publisher

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Europa Universalis: The Price of Power

Rate 6.5


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Aegir Games – Website

Govern one of Europe’s great nations through the Ages of Discovery, Reformation, Absolutism and Revolutions — spanning more than three hundred years of history. Lift your nation out of the slumber of the Dark Ages and create a glorious empire, through clever diplomacy, brave exploration and ruthless conquest. Each of the playable nations have their own very unique opportunities and challenges.

Europa Universalis is a strategy board game that gives players a full 4X game experience in a historical setting. Through strategic use of cards and careful management of resources you can expand your realm on the map board, while at the same time developing the internal machinery of the state on your player board. You must build diplomatic relations that support your ambition and you can explore far-away parts of the world. By recruiting skilled advisors and carefully investing monarch power in great ideas, province development, and long term strategies, you may well be able to outshine your historical counterparts.

This is a game for 2–6 players (depending on the various scenarios included). The goal of the game is to build the most successful empire, and points are scored for (amongst other things) owned provinces, explored territories, diplomatic relations, victories in wars, and secret objectives that have been accomplished.

The board game is based on the famous strategy game series by Paradox Interactive, and captures the heart and soul of the grandness that makes the computer game so magnificent.

—description from the publisher

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Barbarians: The Invasion – Second Edition

Rate 7.4


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Tabula Games – Website

Enter the mysterious World of Thunmar, a place where barbarian clans rule the wild lands and corrupted civilizations live in their decadent cities. A place filled with powers gifted from ancient gods and treacherous demons. Become the Warchief of a clan and lead them on the conquest of civilized nations, take their lands and steal their riches. You will need a strong economy, an even stronger army and all the technological advancements you can afford to pursue. You will have to manage resources, army units and buildings, but you will also be able to summon the power of ancient gods and demons to obtain temporary magical benefits. Only the strongest clan will prevail over the others on the path to glory, leaving its mark in history.

In Barbarians: The Invasion, you control a barbarian clan and lead it on its path to glory. Place your champions on the 3D Volcano to gather resources, construct buildings, pray to gods, and lead your troops in fierce battles to conquer the most regions and become the greatest clan of all time.

The game revolves around worker placement on a 3D rotating Volcano where you can perform different actions depending on the position of your workers, area control on a map, and the management of an economic engine. Your clan will have to sustain its army in order to conquer lands and prevail on enemy clans. The clans won’t fight each other directly, but will pursue the same goal until the end of the game where the player with most points wins.

—description from the publisher

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Aeon Trespass: Odyssey

Rate 6.8


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Into the Unknown – Website

Aeon Trespass: Odyssey is a 1-4 player campaign game about adventures, exploration and fierce battles with giant monsters. It’s a co-operative, choice-driven boardgame experience played over multiple sessions.

Set in an alternate Antiquity, where a reality-shattering cataclysm killed the Olympian gods and unleashed the otherworldly Primordials, Aeon Trespass: Odyssey places the players in the roles of Argonauts, the only people who can fight off the darkness and make things right.

Take control of the Argo and its crew, train them and send them on adventures into the dangerous and mysterious lands of Ancient Greece (and beyond…). Learn the world’s secrets and create new technologies that will give you an edge in combat – and outside of it. Manage your resources and develop your base of operations. Build new Facilities, craft new Weapons and equipment. Gather allies and forge political alliances with the world’s factions. And, most important of all, tame the Titans, arm them, evolve them and ride them to battle with the fearsome Primordials.

Tactical Combat. Narrative-driven gameplay. Strategic campaign.

You win by defeating the main villains or solving a crisis, you lose if your Argonauts die, your crew abandons you, your ship gets destroyed, the villains fulfill their plot or time runs out. There are many ways to lose, but only a handful paths to victory.

During Battles, 1 to 4 players must cooperate to defeat 1 giant Primordial boss-type monster controlled by a sophisticated AI system.

Outside of Battles, Aeon Trespass: Odyssey uses choice chain and choice matrix mechanics to track your decisions throughout the game. Those decisions matter and will have a drastic impact on all future play sessions, campaigns and playthroughs.

—description from the publisher

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After the Empire

Rate 9.9


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Grey Fox Games – Website

After the fall of Rome, Europe fell into the so-called “dark ages.” From the chaos, feudalism arose providing stability to the region over the coming centuries. By the High Middle Ages, the region was prosperous despite much fighting. From your walled city, you are a medieval liege ruling the surrounding lands, settlements, and holdings granted by birthright. This is your fiefdom, and all within it owe fealty and allegiance to you above all others. Each other lord and lady rules a neighboring fiefdom and competes for resources in the unclaimed yet bountiful lands of the countryside between them. Tensions were high and petty feuds common between you and your neighbors until scouts reported a new and deadly threat. Invaders have swept in from the east! Their sizable army is camped on the edges of your realm, and this new common enemy endangers the entire land. Refugees from the fallen eastern lands seek shelter and bring tales of destruction. Old rivalries must be put aside to focus on the onslaught to come and remain unbroken.

After The Empire is a worker placement/resource management game set in the middle ages. During each turn, known as a season, players alternate using worker tokens to take actions, such as gathering resources, building advanced buildings and recruiting refugees from either the shared game board or their personal fiefdom. Once all workers have been committed, players harvest food from their surrounding lands and then prepare for combat.

During each season’s combat, invader cards are revealed, with a randomized number of troops and compass direction of attack. Only the wealthiest of castles will draw the attention of larger forces and their siege weapons. You must repair your city and recruit and arm your troops quickly to stand any chance. The winner is the lord or lady who has best preserved their fiefdom and saved up the most gold.

Your life, your wealth, your fiefdom, and your legacy must be protected at all costs!

—description from the publisher

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Merchants Cove

Rate 7.4


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Final Frontier Games – Website

Welcome ashore to Merchants Cove! In this highly asymmetric Euro game, each player takes control of a completely different fantasy merchant such as the Alchemist, the Captain, the Time Traveler and the Blacksmith.

Using a unique set of role specific components and gameplay mechanics, each merchant will compete to satisfy the demands of the bold adventurers who arrive each day to spend their hard earned coin at the famous market piers.
An exciting time resource mechanism will challenge each player to balance control over the customers and market, versus running a highly efficient, goods-producing shop!
As players spend hours performing tasks and moving up the Clock, they will also be watching and influencing a dynamic market base that evolves as boats fill with customers and piers fill with boats. It might be tempting to rush ahead to and influence which customers visit the market and where they shop, but that might leave you with less time to respond to their demands.
On the other hand, you might want to stay back, operating on more information about the market and taking extra time (and maybe corruption) to squeeze the most efficiency out of your day as possible.

By selecting a different Merchant, or a different Rogue card, set of Townsfolk cards, or other content, you can customize the way you play. Each merchant offers a completely unique gameplay experience and is fully compatible with every other merchant. With so many options, you can enjoy a deeply replayable system that is sure to be different every time you play it.

—description from the publisher

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Tentacle Town

Rate 6.9


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Monster Fight Club – Website

In Tentacle Town, each player is an adventurer who’s arrived on unsettled land to found a new town — but the waters surrounding your new home are infested with giant tentacles!

The goal of the game is to become the new town’s most famous resident and appointed as its first mayor. Players earn fame by recruiting the town’s citizens to complete tasks, construct new buildings, and hunt tentacles!

You and the other players take turns recruiting citizens to build the town, all while defending your new home from the tentacle threat. New citizens can complete a task or build a building for you. The more buildings you have in a district, the more profitable some tasks become — AND the player with the most buildings in each district earns extra fame when the game ends.

Tentacle Town is divided into three districts: the market, the foundry, and the docks. Each district has its own tasks to be completed, from forging harpoons in the foundry to butchering food at the docks. The rewards for some tasks get better when there are more citizens are in the district, which means the new citizen you just recruited will benefit the other players, too! Likewise, the rewards for some tasks improve when there are more buildings to the district — but for these tasks, only you benefit from your own buildings. You may also pay the citizens of Tentacle Town overtime to complete additional tasks, assuming you have coins to spend.

At the end of a player’s turn, they roll the danger die to see if the tentacles attack, stay quiet, or if more tentacles emerge from the depths. The more citizens in a district, the more likely the tentacles are to attack! When tentacles attack, they may destroy buildings, kill citizens, or cause the workers to flee to a safer district! This is your chance to be a hero and defend the district, provided you have some harpoons handy! Defeat a tentacle, and you’ll not only earn a bit of fame and haul in some fresh calamari, too!

When the influx of new citizens runs out, the game is over and the person with the most fame becomes the mayor of Tentacle Town and wins the game!

—description from the publisher

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