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Freshly Added to BGG - October 5, 2023

With everyone busy with this intense mystical experience they call Essen, the board gaming world reaches a rare moment of quiet. The perfect time to ramble about yet-to-come titles.

And we begin with something easy for me, a dungeon crawler, that is! The BGG description of No Going Back devotes more than half of its word count to the story, which is a waste, really, because it's just another uninspired variation on the "ancient evil returns and must be defeated by brave heroes" trope. We already assume this when we read "Fantasy" so they could have saved themselves the effort. Anyway, I don't know much about it for now, but you can pick one out of five heroes, and can play either single sessions against a chosen Boss, or face all the big baddies across a longer campaign. No release plans have been detailed.

Next we have another board game set in the Nova Aetas world (Black Rose Wars, Dungeonology, and, well, Nova Aetas), Requiem: Downfall of Magic. In a slightly twisted sixteenth century Europe, a death cult surfaces amidst an uneasy peace between Catholics and Protestants and the pope sends an secret squad to deal with it. Then you have the usual package: narrative campaign with branching choices, minis, dice rolling, asymmetric characters, etc. To be Kickstarted.

Before coming back to more concrete matters, let's make a detour through science-fiction. Beside concatenating too many words together, Horizon Forbidden West: Seeds of Rebellion is a co-operative campaign game with deck-building and dice-rolling set in the universe of the video game Horizon Forbidden West. Published by Steamforged Games (so except a bunch of minis). Launches on KS on November 21.

Now comes a game which very much looks like an abstract but is actually a pirate-themed Fantasy game of trade and adventure: The 7 Seas. This is from a Brussels-based publisher, so I should perhaps be more supportive, but information is quite scarce. You'll collect cards, resources, upgrade your ship, fight marauders, explore the seven islands, and gather treasures, all through a few cards and the swapping of a bunch of cubes. The Gamefound page is already up, but you won't learn much more from there than I have just told you. The campaign is set for March 2024.

Finally, the serious stuff, starting with Umbrella, an impactful theme in our every day life. Actually, the game is set in the streets of New York, and from above, the umbrellas just look like small color beads. It's therefore up to you to slide rows of people to create specific patterns. In all honesty, I don't quite get the theme, they should probably have gone with just rows of color beads.

So, if Umbrella is too mundane for your tastes, you may want to have a look into Pharmacology, a game which seems more about epidemics than about studying organic chemistry to sell patents to Big Pharma and get rich from it. I'm kind of disappointed here. In the solo mode, you face the CDC automata (weirdness never ends). The game involves custom dice and action drafting (probably, you draft the dice and each side represents a specific action). Available on the Game Crafter.

After umbrellas, fans? Apparently it's a good enough marketing strategy to come up with accessories-focused board game themes. Sensu is a set collection game about making not one, but two fans (ha ha! you didn't expect that twist on the theme!). Although the designer is a new name, the publisher, DV Games, is a veteran in the industry. So we may expect a retail release.

After an European design with a Japan theme, now a European theme for a Japan design: RouYouJin, that puts a twist on the Red Riding Hood theme (well, in the end, it doesn't have any clear relationship to it). You play as a villager and your goal is to collect sheep - I can't say more because the rules are quite convoluted and I didn't understand any of it. The relevant bit I focused on was that it's a 4-5 players game, but you can play with automata players. Finally, although the game comes in an English/German/French version, I am not sure how it will be distributed beyond Japan. Apparently it will be available in Essen - so, about right now.

The expansion/re-implementation of this day is the new edition of the obscure Fantasy-themed Magnolia, now called YRO, also a Japanese design. There are two main differences with Magnolia: first, it's an English/Italian edition, not a solely Japanese one (so those who, like me, don't know Japanese, will now be able to play), and distributed across Europe; and second, it adds a solo mode. Maybe I should also stress that the designer is Masato Uesugi, to which we owe Paper Tales? The goal of the game (identical to that of Magnolia) is to recruit cards to form a party of 3x3 characters and score VP from it. Notice the little color bars on the sides of the cards: it's certainly a spatial puzzle of sort, even though the main mechanic seems to be engine building. Published by Studio Supernova, probably through retail channels.

I feel particularly proud of my PnP pick of the week: Fermentation Station, a dice allocation game where you must balance different bacteria to ensure a good fermentation of the vegetables in your jar. It actually belongs to the war game category, all the while featuring a full-fledged educational take on its subject matter. The needed files are all found here on BGG.

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Oct 13, 2023

Sorry people!

This was my final Freshly Added post.

Due to increasing professional and familial pressures, I can't keep up with the weekly pace of releases. When I have a free night at last, which doesn't happen often, I want to spend it playing games, not writing about them.

Somehow I'm glad that the ending clap leaves you with a PnP wargame about fermenting vegetables. It summarizes well the main message of these posts: every board game can happen.

Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy
Nov 27, 2023
Replying to

I'm gonna miss 'em, Z, but thanks for all your contributions and hard work.


Oct 06, 2023

Not only do I have an interest in YRO, I will actively try to get it once it's released. I believe Masato Uesugi is a gifted designer and although I didn't quite enjoy Paper Tales, YRO appeals to me a lot.

I'll at least check The 7 Seas. The nautical theme and the trading perspective are two negatives to me, but it seems abstract enough to fit my tastes. I like how sleek the design to be. And if they don't deliver I'll be able to harass them personally (I'm kidding obviously, I don't want to harass anyone, especially for a board game).

And of course I'll check No Going Back because I check every single dungeon crawler.

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