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Freshly Added to BGG - February 2, 2023

This is going to be another of these "You heard it here last" weeks, where a good number of the titles that I have found added to the database have already been picked up and advertised all over BGG and beyond. But this will give you a way to salivate again, and if you feel so, to chatter about it with the wonderful ST habitués.

Endurance. The one quality we all need in spades. Anyway. It's also the title of the latest Amabel Holland game, set in Antarctica, during the Shackelton's expedition in 1914-1917. The goal of the expedition was to cross Antarctica from one shore to the next, except the ship got trapped in the ice and the 28 men composing the crew got stranded there during the Antarctic winter. Then Shackleton led a party of six to the nearest outpost, and sent a proper rescue expedition to save the rest of the crew - everyone made it in the end. In the game, using dice rolls and cards, you may not be so lucky.

Time travel is, surprisingly enough, a popular theme in board games, and we already have a few, such as This Didn't Happen, Sojourn, Chrononauts, or basically any of the 416 titles belonging to the Theme: Time travel category on BGG (this number encompasses a good number of promos and expansions, but still). Timelancers adds to the series by offering a "set collection [design] that utilizes worker movement and a modular game board", where you spend resources to collect past events in order to, I don't know, line them up on a shelf? That's what we do with board games. Usually. By the way, do you know what else you can line up on a shelf? (Don't overthink, this is just a covert attempt at transitioning arbitrarily to the other game on my list.)

Yes, plants! But first, you need to tend to them in a beautiful garden. Although in Horticulture, a flip-and-write game with a mechanically essential garden gnome, you won't have to trouble yourself too much about the complications of it. You just pick a plant, pick a spot, and it gets magically added to your garden. What matters, though, is the overall design of it - and the garden gnome is quite picky about the patterns that make him smile apparently.

To stay a bit with gardens and gnomish trinkets, Detectora invites you to a treasure hunt across a small South English town, Green Village, on behalf of the Royal Society of Detectorists - treasure hunters geared up with a metal detector. The game mixes some overall management (you need to purchase equipment, obtain permits) and actual metal detection, implemented as a large dice roll, which obviously already sounds like the glitter of unknown riches.

The next game will likely come one year too late, and my advertising of it is about ten days late, but we can still celebrate the Chinese New Year (something every KS backer knows a good deal about) with Moon Bunny, where you will play as a bunny alchemist sending your assistants to the moon to gather the herbs you need to concoct the ultimate elixir that will bring happiness all over the world (I'm pretty sure they'll need Scrooge Mc Duck's Number One Dime in their recipe at some point). Assistants hop around according to unique patterns, that you need to exploit to gather the right herbs, which you will then use to form your own patterns, in order to brew the correct elixir. In what trouble we are, if we are reduced to hoping for magical rabbits cooking plants on the moon to save the world in our stead! I'm telling you, with respect to doom and destiny, we're as good as dinosaurs.

Speaking of which, I have here a 32 cards micro-game featuring them called Dinostone (and if that doesn't prompt a mental association to the all-popular Blizzard digital game, they clearly picked their title wrong). As always, these Japanese "doujin" indie games are almost impossible to get, but that doesn't prevent me to advertise them just for fun. Although here, I am deeply disturbed by their graphic choices for the dinosaurs, especially since their Carnotaurus seriously looks like a horny mutated snail.

Anyway, maybe our future is underwater? I mean, literally. At least this is the pitch of New Eden. The year is 2442, the lands are engulfed below sea level (everyone gets to play the Netherlands), and the ultimate shelter is a city built in the darkest depths of the sea, conveniently heated by the hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. The thing is, now that humanity is facing the edge of its own survival, what does it do? The same stuff as usual: optimize economic development and growth, even if this puts the last heaven at risk of collapsing, washing away the final remnants of human civilization. Thankfully, Mount Everest is still pointing its top above the sea, and we get some remaining mega-factories there. No matter how close to the brink of extinction humanity may be, New Eden is still a good place for business.

I'll end this post with three releases that advertise themselves as sequels of existing games. First is Kreel Manor, a re-implementation of the box-oversized Veilwraith (this specific annoyance being a hallmark of the publisher). While Veilwraith was taking place after the tearing apart of the Veil by demonic forces, putting you in a fantasy post-apocalyptic struggle for survival, Kreel Manor sends you on the hunt for the source of the Gloom that spreads over Kilforth, although we know well that your quest is doomed to fail (that doesn't prevent anyone to have fun trying not, I guess!).

After Imperial Settlers and Empires of the North, Imperial Miners now offers you to go underground (from today's selection, I guess the surface has lost most of its hype). This retains the card-driven engine-building of the previous titles, but now you must dig out a mine and find the treasures that dwell in the bowels of the Earth. The box art features grumpy golems and sneaky tentacles, so I expect that there may be more gems dwelling there.

Image from Stonemaier Games website

Last, the game that made BGG buzzing with hotness all of yesterday, and that drove our own Scythe expert crazy (he even purchased shiny metal coins to throw in the air to celebrate while laughing maniacally). The game starts with one very exciting premise, the Tunguska event, the largest meteor fall on Earth in the time of humankind. In the alternative-Europe wich is the setting of the Scythe, this is as good an incentive as any to mount an Expedition and go investigating! Make no mistake though, the game is not Runebound: it's still a resource-driven engine building with worker placement as you hire an increasingly efficient crew, and the solo mode doesn't pit you against the harsh wilderness and the dark mysteries stemming from the Tunguska crash site, but against a fellow entrepreneur to ultimately compete for glory. The mystic corruption is, in the end, but a means to establish your social status. What matters though is that you do it very much in style, on board your giant mech with asymmetric, upgradable abilities.

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