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News Round Up: Azul wins the 2018 Spiel des Jahres

News - Azul wins 2018 Spiel des Jahres Award

Congratulations to Azul on a well-deserved Spiel des Jahres award. Also this week, we see stats showing how big gaming is on Kickstarter. Spoiler: very.

Azul wins the Spiel des Jahres

We always thought Azul was the favourite for the 2018 Spiel des Jahres, with the tile placement game winning the hearts of even the most cynical (like me, who didn’t think much of it when written down but now loves it.) No surprises then that Azul has indeed won that crown, meaning designer Michael Kiesling now has three of the trophies, although this is his first solo win.

The Kennerspiel des Jahres was won by Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, while Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau were confirmed as winners of a special award for their Legacy work. What does this mean in practice? Azul has been hard to find, but Spiel branded reprints are presumably coming.

Oregon Trail: The Board Game

Oregon Trail is a classic computer game, in the sense that it dates from the earliest digital era, it had an educational purpose and it was sadistically hard. Now you too can get stung by rattlesnakes, killed by dysentery or a million other ways to die because Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley is coming. One of Sagrada’s co-designers is behind it, namely Daryl Andrews, and the mission is the same: survive the journey to your new home with enough money establish yourself while also trying to keep all of your limbs attached and bodily fluids inside you. This will be hard. Reveal tiles to travel as you look after your wagons and husband resources.

The only minor problem is that it’s a Target exclusive, so acquiring it will involve some hoop jumping.

Wacky Races come to the Table

Hannah Barbara cartoon Wacky Races saw a host of bizarre teams racing against each other and we’re promised none of that has been lost in a new tabletop version. Play as Penelope Pitstop, the Boulder Brothers or other animated stars as you compete in one-off 15 minute games or a large championship in this card based racer. Everyone has different abilities, but the question of who’s going to be Dastardly and Mutley is solved by having no one be them: they’re run by the game and designed to trap you all.

Oddly, this is a CMON game that isn’t going to Kickstarter, but it’ll still have miniatures, either in a vanilla or family friendly pre-painted variety; in fact families are the target of this.

Kickstarter loves Board Games

Kickstarter and board games are closely linked through the renaissance of the latter and the rise of the former, and now we know how much: 30% of everything raised on KS in 2018 is from tabletop games, or $80 million. ICO Partners’ Thomas Bidaux has pulled the stats, and of 1,649 tabletop projects in 2018, 1,048 have been funded, with the average funding amount going up. If Kickstarter is a fad, it’s not collapsing yet.

Magic the Gathering Double Bill

Two of fantasy gaming’s biggest IP’s haven’t so much collaborated in the past as danced around each other, but now Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons are teaming for a full printed sourcebook. The Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica will allow D&D players to explore one of Magic’s biggest settings, with a full look at Ravnica’s 10 guilds and all the ways you can get in trouble with them. At the same time, the CCG will be returning to Ravnica for a new set, opening the possibility of further joint ventures in the future.

The Guildmaster’s book will be affordable, unlike some of the artwork. Magic’s Shahrazad card came from the Arabian Night’s expansion and eventually got banned because it’s ability to make you start a whole new game of Magic (just to then cost you some life in the game you were playing) could turn things pretty ridiculous. Well, the original artwork by Kaja Foglio has sold for $72,000 despite only being 7 by 5.5 inches. The auction included both the art and a copy of the card, and at that price you’re going to demand a house rule to use it aren’t you.

Stuffed Fables Grows Up into Comanauts

If you were interested in the Stuffed Fables ‘adventure book’ format (it’s literally a book with different pages providing the board and rules) but found the idea of stuffed toys not to your taste, get ready: designer Jerry Hawthorn has produced a grown up version. Gone are the bears, instead in Comanauts you pay characters journeying through the unconscious mind of a scientist in a coma, trying to save him and the world. We’re promised the mechanics have developed to meet a mature audience and subject matter. It’ll be out in time for Christmas.

CMON Bring Project: Elite Back

CMON might have summoned Cthulhu, but soon they’ll be bringing something else back from the vault: Project Elite. In 2016 Artipia and Drawlab published this real time co-op, but CMON have decided they can refine the game to the point of great success and are bringing a new edition to Kickstarter at the end of the year. We presume that also means loads of figures and expansions, and Mike McVey himself is overseeing that.

The First Rule of the Fight Club Tabletop Game is…

There’s a game based on Fight Club, and we’re pleased to say it isn’t the one you might be thinking. No one really gets hurt at Fight Club: The Home Game, which is a ‘competitive deck building game’ for two players, where you seem to be playing both the Narrator and Tyler Durden’s side of the same chap’s head. Which we supposed is a spoiler but the film came out a long time ago… It’s coming from Mondo.

Pegasus Spiele are Creating a Co-op Talisman

Pegasus Spiele are launching a new English language game at Gen Con, and you’ve probably heard of it: Talisman. Actually not quite, because this is Talisman: Legendary Tales, in which your group act together to find five talismans in a series of highly linked missions that have to be completed within a set timeframe. While you have to do the missions in order, you can repeat them several times… It certainly sounds a new approach for Talisman, more details soon.

It's Sabotage

If you heard the word Sabotage and thought only of the Beastie Boys song, so did the people behind this news story as they’ve included the key lyric on their Kickstarter. So, context: Tim Fowers of Burgle Bros fame has unleashed his newest game and it’s Sabotage. Two teams of two people compete against each other as ‘spies’ vs ‘villains’ in a fully weaponised battleships spin off. Battleships? Not our words, but the quotes Fowers has put on his Kickstarter. Wipe clean player mats, a box than unfolds to act as a screen, lots of sneaking about and characters from the aforementioned Burgle Bros in a new flashy design are all included.

Travel to the Blue Lagoon and Dig Dig Dig

The company behind Photosynthesis, Blue Orange, are releasing a Reiner Knizia game called Blue Lagoon. We’re sold, where can we pre-order. You might want detail however, so: it’s an island themed set collecting / area control game where you explore lagoons and grow your villages. Game time is only half an hour and the suggested age minimum is a family friendly eight.

Also coming from Blue Lagoon is Scarabya. You all play archaeologists attempting to enclose fantastical scarabs by laying tiles, with scoring based on the size of the enclosure… but the tiles you’re laying make that a much harder task than our words did. It’s also 8+ in age and has an even briefer playtime than Lagoon.