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Watch your Back: Week January 23 to 29

Three new games are expected to launch till the end of January, let's see what we have:


First, a quick mention of the relaunch of Jiangnan: Life of Gentry on January 25. I had written a detailed preview post when it was announced back in November, so please check Live the life of an ancient Chinese intellectual if you're interested. It is a 1-4 player worker placement and bag building game in which you are seeking fame in ancient China through your literary, artistic and musical work.

Image source: BGG

Personal opinion: not my style of game in any respect. I don't like bag building, and the theme gives me yawns.


If your Snowdonia big box caused storage trouble, guess what; you gotta make room for another behemoth: La Granja: Deluxe Master Set. In this 1-4 player dice drafting game, you are managing a farm in Mallorca, competing with other farmers for the delivery of goods to a village. The new edition comes with modular expansions by both the original designers (Michael Keller and Andreas Odendahl) and guest designers (Stefan Feld, Adam Kwapinski, Andrei Novac).

A new solo mode will be included by, who else, David Turczi but he hasn't shared any details yet. Deluxe means the game gets a fresh lick of paint, components get fancy, and everything will be bigger size. If you're tempted, mark January 24 on your calendar.

Image source: Board&Dice Facebook

Personal opinion: I asked JW for his opinion, he said he found the amount of content in Snowdonia overwhelming, and thinks the same applies to La Granja.


Speaking of farms, Italian publisher Little Rocket Games is launching a game about breeding Hens on January 25. You will be placing different hen cards in your barnyard trying to score points by making groups of the same breed. The biggest group will give you your final score along with any goals you have fulfilled and medals you've won. How does the solo mode work? They don't say.

Image source: BGG

Personal opinion: it's okay if you like puzzles, I suppose. The hens look cute.


Last, Phalanx is going to launch Purple Haze on January 25 on Gamefound. This is a 1-6 player cooperative storytelling wargame set in 1967, Vietnam. You will be controlling a squad of American soldiers as they carry out missions through the jungle, fight with the locals, and suffer from mental and physical injuries.

Image source: Phalanx Facebook

The 8 scenarios included are linked into a campaign. You will be deciding how to navigate the terrain on the given maps and managing your fatigue levels. After each move, you will be rolling a die and checking the scenario book to resolve either a major event or an encounter. Here is the Gamefound preview.

Personal opinion: due to the storytelling mechanism, the main drawback here is replayability. I believe the game is going to be immersive and you will likely grow attached to your team of marines, but I doubt many people are going to revisit it after the campaign is over.

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