Sally Forth on Ticket to RideErwin Pauelsen (Netherlands) has resigned his title as 2014 Ticket to Ride World Champion after admitting to cheating in the second game of the final held in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France. Online spectator “Knock-Chiroubles”, viewing the championship via Days of Wonder’s streaming, analysed the match between Erwin Pauelsen and Kenneth Heilfron (North America) and posted his findings to the Days of Wonder forum. The forum member stated that during the game in question, Pauelsen took 30 turns while Heilfron took 28, despite Heilfron being the first player in the game and the last to take a turn. The forum member concludes his analysis by noting that there were “3 missing turns for Kenneth in this game”. Another poster states that while watching the live stream, he realized that at some point Pauelsen attempted to play twice in a row and Heilfron, who was showing signs of fatigue, did not notice.

In the weeks following the championship, which was held on September 27th, Days of Wonder stated they had reviewed the final matches and “found evidence of cheating during the 2nd game of the final. Mr. Pauelson has admitted to his dishonesty and agreed to hand back his title and trophy.”

Kenneth Heilfron has been officially declared the 2014 Ticket to Ride World Champion and will receive the grand prize of a trip for two nine-day trip to Asia, including three nights on board the Eastern & Orient Express.

Mr Pauelsen was the 2010 Catan World Championship winner and came in tenth place in the 2012 Catan World Championship.

Asmodee Buys Days of Wonder

Yup. You’ve read that right. Days of Wonder announced today that they’d be merging with Asmodee. The details of the merge haven’t been released yet.

Days of Wonder will continue to operate as it currently does, but as an independent internal brand of Asmodee Group. You can still expect a limited release of games from them with the production value we’ve all come to know and love.Logo_AsmodéeDays_of_wonder_logo


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Five Tribes Available for Pre-Order

ft-home_picture1Days of Wonder’s latest title, Five Tribes, is now available for pre-order through their site.

As a stranger in a new land, players are thrust into a competition for very control of the now sultan-less Naqala. Do your best to unite the five tribes and exert the most influence over the land to become the victor. Like most Days of Wonders game, Five Tribes is billed as being simple to learn, yet carrying enough depth for seasoned gamers.

The game is $60,  is meant for 2-4 players aged 13+, and should last from 40-80 minutes.


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6-Player Small World

6 Player Small World packageWhen Days of Wonder ran its Kickstarter project to fund development on Small World for Android and Steam, the company made available to backers a special map board for six players (Small World on one side, Small World Underground on the other). From the beginning, Days of Wonder said that it intended to sell that expansion at retail.

Today, the company announced that the Small World 6 Player Board would be available in retail stores January 22nd in North America and early March in Europe.

At a suggested retail price of $28 and €25, 6 Player Small World will include the double-sided board; tokens, markers, and victory coins to accomodate another player; four new Popular Places; and one new Righteous Relic. A copy of either Small World or Small World Underground is required to play.

In terms of game play, the rules for six players specify three teams of two. Each team member plays his own race and special power and keeps his own victory coins. However, the team’s overall score is only the lowest score from between the two members.

6 Player Small World map board

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Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.People who read Purple Pawn know that my family and I are big Ticket to Ride fans. Especially my 8-year-old son. So when the Nederland map pack arrived for review, we were pretty excited.

The map, of course, is of the Netherlands, and is mostly double-tracks. The gimmick of this map is that every double-track costs a certain amount of tokens to claim. The first person to claim a double-track pays this fee directly to the bank. The next person pays the person who first claimed the section of track. You see, unlike other Ticket to Ride maps, both routes on a double-track section can be claimed no matter the amount of players. The players with the most tokens at the end of the game earn sizable bonuses. Don’t have enough tokens to claim a section? Take a loan card. It’s worth -5 points, and automatically drops you out of the running for end-of-the-game bonuses.

tt_nederland_boxWhat we really liked about this map is that there’s room to move, though very hard to get were you need to go without paying somebody some tokens. It’s also a VERY high scoring map. There’s no doubt that most players will be lapping the score track, possibly twice.

Overall Days of Wonder doesn’t fail to deliver on yet another great addition to the Ticket to Ride family. Just remember that you’ll need a copy of Ticket to Ride or Ticket to Ride: Europe to use this map pack.

A copy of Ticket to Ride: Nederland was provided free for review by Days of Wonder

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Second Look—Relic Runners

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.When it’s time to play a new Days of Wonder game I’m always filled with a certain excitement, and a certain dread. The excitement comes from the fact that I’m playing a Days of Wonder game. That’s usually something I really enjoy. The dread comes from the fear that the new game I’m playing will be the one to break the streak of great games they’ve produced.

There’s nothing to fear with Relic Runners.

The game is simple to learn, simple to play, yet offers many choices and different routes to victory. Your 2 basic actions on your turn are to move and explore. Exploring let’s you move further into temples, lay down routes to move father during your turn, or earn the ever-so-important relics. The early game is a bit slow as you plod along to board trying to lay down paths and get goodies from the temples, eventually heading back to base camp for more rations. Later in the game you’re furiously trying to restore your toolbox paths so you can move already layed paths to better connect relics, earn big points, and eventually trigger the end of the game when you’ve snagged the last relic required for game end.

relic-runner-01The game states it’s for ages 10+, but my 6 and 8-year-old had no trouble finding their groove and really enjoying the game. My 3-year-old tried to get in the action, but basically just moved around at random and served as a foil to the rest of us. It couldn’t be helped, and we all had a good laugh.

My only complaint is that the game feels a bit long due to it’s slow start, but by the end you’re really moving along frantically to snag extra victory points. Our games have typically run about 60-75 minutes.

Overall Relic Runners is a great family game that’s easy to learn and fun to play. The instruction book states that you may want to omit some of the special rules for your first play, but it’s really not necessary.

As a side note, my daughter loved that each player color had a male and female side to the player board. This let her pick which ever color she wanted, and still play a female character.

A copy of Relic Runners was provided free for review by Days of Wonder.

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Small World 2 for iOS

Small World 2 IconDays of Wonder released a completely rewritten version of their Small World iOS board game. Small World 2 supports up to five players in online, solo, and pass and play modes. The Cursed!, Grand Dames, and Be Not Afraid… expansions are available via in-app purchase. Small World 2 debuted in the iTunes store for $9.99. However, owners of the original Small World app can upgrade to Small World 2.

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[via GameBugle]

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On May 19th, 2011 Days of Wonder released Ticket to Ride for the iPad. As a longtime Ticket to Ride fan I have been using it for nearly a month and have been generally pleased with my purchase.

First, the App is a recommended buy. I love Ticket to Ride and enjoy playing it on the iPad. Unfortunately, you have to either play Solo or Online since this is not a multi-player game except through the online version. Unlike Smallworld which allows the game to be played between to people face to face, this version of Ticket to Ride does not allow two or more people to play from the same machine.

The downside is that you get bored playing the bots, which do not have different levels of skill, which means once you figure out their patterns you can consistently win.

The upside is the iPad Ticket to Ride App integrates with the Days of Wonder online version seamlessly. This grants you access to thousands of online players who have been using the web interface. And the skill level of the online users can be very challenging.

The app interface is rather obscure for navigation. You have to negotiate a train station interface, guessing at what things are, until you become familiar with the app layout. Once into a game, things are very clear and easy to understand if you have played the game before. There are tutorials and instructions located in parts of the Train Station that you can hunt down and study to learn to play. They are all fairly clear except the use of Depots in the European version. I even know how to play the game and was still slightly confused about how to use them.

There still appear to be a few bugs in the game. I had some cards freeze on the screen. I could still play but had a pink rail card stuck over NYC, preventing me from seeing below it. I have also had the draw deck disappear, preventing me from selecting a second card. On several occasions the game has crashed, kicking me out and restarting from the beginning, losing my game in progress.

All of these bugs are fairly minor and infrequent and should disappear over time. I never have had it crash during an Online game, only against bots.

The game play is very fast, especially when playing bots. Even in Online mode, the games move along quickly, making it possible to play a 20 minute game with four players.

In game purchasing allows you to expand to the European map, Swiss map, as well as the 1910 expansions for Mega-cities, Big Cities and 1910 classic.

This app is very similar to the online version that you may have already paid for, but the convenience of using the iPad to instantly connect and begin playing is worth the cost.

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