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News Round Up: The Norwegians, Azul wins & it’s Science Week

The Norwegians News - A Feast for Odin

Feast of Odin gets a big expansion with The Norwegians, the German Game Prize is announced following controversy, and we campaign for Chalk. Yes, chalk. All of this and more in this week's news round-up!

The Norwegians are Feasting for Odin

Feast for Odin is a big game with a lot going on, but we know you want more… and so does Uwe Rosenberg. A mammoth expansion is coming called the Norwegians, and it’s filled with additions: a hundred goods tiles, double-sided boards, more jobs, more land, more ways to score… even full on more ways to start. Despite this, the expansion is pegged at a £30 price point, aka substantially less than the original box. Release should be before Christmas.

Good News for Azul, Bad News for Clank

Azul has won the Deutscher Spielepreis (German Game Prize), and with it completes a near 10 year wait. What are we talking about? The Deutscher Spielepreis is voted for by the public, while the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) is voted by a jury, and the last game to win both was Dominion in 2009. So, all in all a great awards season for Azul.

It wasn’t such a good time for Clank!, because a social media personality tied to the game started a promo card giveaway tied to voting which was deemed a “clear manipulation attempt” and voting was ended early to cut out influenced votes. In the end Clank! came down the top 10.

Finally, Memoarrr! won best kid’s game.

National Toy Hall of Fame Nominees

American’s National Toy Hall of Fame has announced their short list for 2018, and only a couple will be entering. This year, Noughts and Crosses and Snakes and Ladders are going for it, but Master of the Universe toys and Magic 8 Balls are also on the list.

If that all sounds worthy, ‘chalk’ and ‘sleds’ are also contenders, and as you’ve guessed there’s going to be a very hard decision coming. And we’ve not even mentioned Uno

Prepare to Sneak: More details on Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood of Venice

The people behind WW2 sneak em up V-Commandos have inked a deal with the greatest contemporary sneaking IP, no less than Assassin’s Creed. Their Brotherhood of Venice game will adapt the V-Commandos formula with more close combat options, and a few fantastical ideas like parachutes (no, wait, they’re citing Leonardo da Vinci.)

You’re getting a solo mode and up to four players together who co-op, but a versus mode has been hinted at. Each of four named PCs will have twenty episode branching stories you can play through. The Kickstarter begins November 13, but will definitely NOT be exclusive.

Mississippi Queen Sails Back

Super Meeple have gone into the archives and pulled out a former Spiel des Jahres winner for their next release. They’ll be jazzing up Mississippi Queen, a game using coal and current to navigate down a hex based river, with the base game coming with advanced rules which are the game’s old expansion pack Black Rose.

Slight catch: the current edition will be in Super Meeple’s home language of French, but an English language version might be coming.

Catan gets Educational

Catan’s new expansion is going in a different direction: an educational one. Yes, there’s a mission statement so we’ll bring you the whole thing:

“Catan Scenario: Crop Trust is an engaging and fun game experience for the family that may lead to thoughtful understanding about the importance of crop diversity to our food supply. Here, we introduce simple, semi-cooperative rules that enliven and educate the Catan experience. Players must weigh their need to harvest crops against a collective goal to store and preserve seeds in the seed vault. This scenario was developed in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust, an independent international organization whose goal is to preserve crop diversity in order to protect global food security.”

Fair enough.


How to follow Catan Crops? Eco-Links! To be fair, there isn’t the same level of earnestness in Eco-Links, in which players compete to forge routes across tiles, notionally to reunite animals divided by environmental disaster. It looks quick and fun.

Lift Off Makes you Elon Musk

Elon Musk is fulfilling many a boy’s dream by running his own private space agency. If you want to do that, look forward to Lift Off! It’s set in the 50s and 60s, but tasks you as private space companies trying to beat the Cold War powers with your mission to the stars. We don’t know much about gameplay but the artwork is pure style.

Roll-ing Ranch

Rolling Ranch is both a pun about the fact this is a roll and write game, and the name of the setting: you’re in charge of a ranch, but a storm has let all the animals escape. By rolling custom dice and filling in your choices you’ll be rounding them up. What leapt out at us about this is that up to twenty people can play, and you only need to roll the dice once a turn even with 20. Thundergryph Games are releasing it Essen.

AEG’s Scorpius Freighter is definitely not Firefly

AEG are debuting a new sci-fi setting in Scorpius Freighter, in which you play traders/smugglers skirting the eye of a dominant central government and… hmm that reminds us of something. Better move on. So, gameplay in SF sees a mothership slowly getting moved round a board, and every loop costs the players, so you’re literally under the shadow of this central force. Otherwise it’s 2-4 players, with seven playable factions and one of them is inevitably going to be Mal Reynolds. We assume.

The Potion

Kaspar Lapp, aka the mind behind Magic Maze, has a new game out at Essen. The Potion is a bluffing game involving dice, ingredients and people trying to sneakily create magic potions. It’s three to seven players, so is definitely in the light, group vibe.