Camel Up!

A big congratulations are in order for designer Steffen Bogen as Camel Up takes the 2014 Spiel des Jahres!

Camel Up sees 2-8 players betting on camels during a camel race. The game uses a pretty awesome pyramid dice shaker to release dice one at a time to move camels. Players can bid early to reap in huge rewards, or try to see how the race is playing out and play things a bit safer. Wacky hijinks ensue.

Camel Up is for players 8+, and plays in about 30 minutes.

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Pandemic may be the most popular gateway co-op game out there.  It has been successful for years, has expansions to make the game more or less challenging, just came to iOS and even adds a traitor mechanism for those who think pure co-op isn’t exciting enough.

Now Z-Man Games reveals that they have a high speed, dice based version of the game coming out the second half of 2014.  Previews can be seen at BGG.con for those of you headed to Dallas in the next week.

Check it out, here.

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Z-Man Games has successfully returned from Essen, and has put up their schedule for the games they had at Essen.

Week of November 25th

Blueprints:  This dice game centers around making the best building set of three buildings from your dice rolls.   Players draft their dice from a common pool, balancing the need to create your own structures, against stopping your opponents from finishing theirs.

Week of December 9th or 16th

Agricola World Championship deck:  This deck contains four foil Japanese Tarmogoyf’s and four foil Russian Jace the Mind-Sculptor.  Oh, wait, no it doesn’t, that was a Magic: The Gathering world championship deck.  This deck was created for the 2011 Agricola World Championship.  Finally, we can all recreate our favorite moments in Agricola Championship play, like when someone took the wood action, completely leaving the Family Growth spot open.  Crazy!

Bruxelles 1893:  Play as a Belgian architect constructing Art Nouveau buildings.  Not since Pret-A-Porter has a more unlikely topic for boardgames been covered!  I don’t know anything else about this game, but everyone raved about Pret-A-Porter.

Carcassonne South Seas:  Hopefully this means I will finally be able to drown all these meeples that haunt my dreams.

Ginkgopolis: The Experts:  This expansion adds six separate sections that can be added as players like.  Including “Design competitions and advertising campaigns eventually lead to increasingly imposing avant-garde buildings.”  So, finally, a game about building buildings, an area that has been decidedly unexplored, up until this month.

Glass Road:  This game is about war set in a post-apocalyptic Iowa, where transparent aluminum is the material of choice for military vehicles.  The destruction of these vehicles has created a Glass Road to Nebraska.  And you must get to Nebraska as quickly as possible to harvest the corn to fed your people.  Oh, wait… No, it is about managing a glass making business in Bavaria.

Ricochet Robots:  This is a reprint of the game from 1999.  Although at first, I think of Roborally, it really doesn’t sound anything like that.  It is  a brain burning puzzle to get a robot to a goal in the fewest moves.

Russian Railroads:  I love me some train games, although this looks to be more than just deliver, deliver, deliver.  Russian Railroads is a worker placement take on the usual train game.

January 2014

Dungeon Petz:  Dark Alleys: Is an expansion to the orignal Vladda Chvatil (I don’t have the little stress mark above the “a” on my keyboard,) game, Dungeon Petz.  In this expansion we get a new part of town to check out, with six new spaces, all done in classic Dunegon Petz style.

Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends:  This is a tactical game using cards to bring your units onto the board, in order to destroy your opponent’s pieces.  By moving your units into specific patterns on the board, you will be able to summon more creatures to fight for you.  This looks like an interesting combination of tactical combat, and hand management.

So that gets us up through January!  Make sure to get to your Friendly Local Game Store and put in a pre-order.  All of these games are up on the ‘Geek with more indepth reviews, comments, and lots of pictures.

The official news can be found here.

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Pandemic Scenarios

Pandemic Second EditionZ-Man Games has begun releasing a series of free scenarios for Pandemic, with the first one titled, “Isolation”. The scenarios will present unique situations for the players to overcome, incorporating special disease cube set-ups and available roles, as well as changes to some basic rules of the game.

Isolation represents a case in which Western countries, focused on other issues, have chosen a strategy of isolation to avoid infection.

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