We are pleased to inform you that the following games are selected as nominees for our 2018 edition (random order):
- Altiplano – dlp games
- Otys – Pearl Games/Libellud
- Pulsar 2849 – CGE
- Keyper – R&D games
- Rajas of the Ganges -Huch!
- Santa Maria – Aporta Games
- Clans of Caledonia – Karma Games
- Heaven & Ale – Eggertspiele
The selection process for the tournament games is finished. We have selected the following tournament games, which are confirmed:
- Pulsar 2849 – CGE
- Keyper – R&D games
- Clans of Caledonia – Karma Games
- Heaven & Ale – Eggertspiele
Disclaimer: Please note that the selection of the tournament games is not based on single titles. We have to take into account total overall playing time, different gaming mechanisms, etc, etc. So we opt for a best possible mix.
Our nomination list of 2018 is:
Altiplano, a bag-building game along the lines of Orléans set in the South American highlands of the Andes — the Altiplano — is not a simple game, presenting players with new challenges time and again. There are various ways to reach the goal, so the game remains appealing to try out new options and strategies, but success or failure also depends on whether your opponents let you do as you like or thwart the strategy you are pursuing. The competition for the individual types of goods is considerable — as is the fun in snatching a coveted extension card from under another player’s nose!
At the start of the game, players have access only to certain resources and goods, due to the different role tiles that each player receives that provide them. At the market, however, a player can acquire additional production sites that give new options. The numerous goods — such as fish, alpaca, cacao, silver, or corn — all have their own characteristics and places where they can be used. Whereas silver makes you rich, fish can be exchanged for other goods, and alpaca give you wool that you can then make into cloth.
Aside from building up an effective production, you must deliver the right goods at the right time, develop the road in good time, and store your goods cleverly enough to fill the most valuable rows with them. Often, a good warehouseperson is more relevant in the end than the best producer.
Keyper is a game with high player interaction for two to four players played over four rounds. Each round represents a season: spring, summer, autumn and finally winter.
Keyper is a worker placement game. (Keyper is the eighth new title in the medieval Key series of games, with Keydom, the second in the series being widely recognized as the first of the worker placement genre of games.) What makes Keyper special is that when one player places a keyple on a country board, another player can join them with a matching colored keyple on the first player’s turn to the benefit of both players. In this way some players are likely to have played all their keyples before others. All keyples have the potential to work twice. If a player has played all of their keyples, but another player still has some, then on their turn the player with no remaining keyples can lay down one or more keyples on the country board they have claimed or in their village board to secure additional resources or actions. It can therefore be doubly beneficial to co-operate with your fellow players, although Keyper is not a co-operative game in the usual sense of the term.
The country boards are also noteworthy in that they can be manipulated and folded at the beginning of summer, autumn and winter to show one of four different permutations of fields for that season. A player will chose the one to suit their strategy, often hoping that another player will complement their choice. Certain fields on the country boards are available only in certain seasons, e.g., raw materials can be upgraded to finished goods only in spring and summer after which you can only convert using tiles in your own village. Gem mining occurs only in autumn and winter.
A player’s strategy is likely to be influenced by which (seeded) spring country tiles they acquire and by the particular colored keyples they have available in the later seasons. Different combinations will encourage a player to develop their farm or village, help with their shipping or mining activities, and prepare for the seasonal fairs. Players constantly need to evaluate whether or not to join other players, when to claim a country board, whether to play on their own or another player’s country board, when to use their own village, and whether to create a large or small team of keyples for the following season. The winner is the player to gain the most points, usually through pursuing at least a couple of the different strategies.
Mid-22nd century, after 300 years of unconsciousness, the water rising engulfs the last emerged lands. Fighting for their lives, the survivor’s settlements must remain above the sea level. You live in the Otys colony and you must retrieve the past civilizations debris in the depths to build the future of humanity.
Your diver’s team is trained to bring up the most useful materials remaining in the depths. You need to use them wisely to fulfill the contracts offered by the Colony and thus obtain more notoriety than your contenders. Your divers lay at different depths; it is up to you to best match their special abilities with the bonuses offered by the Colony. But beware! Your diver’s oxygen is limited, and as soon as they have accomplished their mission, they must go up to the surface. Try to manage all the parameters of your team in a profitable way, so the Colony will reward you more than it will the others!
Otys is an optimization and development game co-published by Pearl Games and Libellud. Optimize your game in order to match the depth of your divers, their special abilities and the Colony bonuses. That is how you will supply the best contracts and win.
The future is built from the past…
In Otys, each player has a team of divers and must use them to take actions, retrieve items, and complete objectives. The divers are stacked in a column on the player’s individual game board, and some of them are next to depth gauges that read 1-5.
On a turn, a player chooses an available depth gauge on their individual board, then carries out the action at that same depth on the shared game board, then takes the action for their diver at that depth. Afterward that diver moves to the surface, pushing down all the other divers in the queue. That depth gauge is placed at the bottom of the player’s board, and they return to the player’s board to be chosen again only when that player’s gauge meter is full. Initially a player must play all six of their gauges before getting any back, but they can improve their meter so that it takes fewer gauges to fill, thereby giving them more choices for their actions.
As divers obtain items, those items are kept at the appropriate depth on a player’s board, and when a player has the needed items together at the same depth, they can claim one of the shared objectives revealed on the table or one of their personal objectives (if they’ve taken any). Players are racing to score 18 points first in order to win the game.
You have been assigned to lead an ancient monastery and its brewery. Now it’s your time to brew the best beer under God’s blue sky!
The fine art of brewing beer demands your best timing. In order to get the best results of your production, you have to provide your cloister’s garden with fertile resources and the right number of monks helping with the harvest — but keep your brewmaster in mind as he is ready and eager to refine each and every one of your barrels!
In Heaven & Ale, you have to overcome the harsh competition of your fellow players. There is a fine balance between upgrading your cloister’s garden and harvesting the resources you need to fill your barrels. Only those who manage to keep a cool head are able to win the race for the best beer!
It is the year 2849, one millennium after the Gold Rush, and the mining of raw materials has reached a whole new level. Humankind has successfully tested the first Stellar Mirror and harnessed enough power from a Pulsar to open the first space gate.
A New Era has just begun… Draft dice to explore the universe in Pulsar 2849. Each round, roll dice based on the number of players, sort them based on their values, then draft dice to take actions, such as adding another spaceship to your fleet or visiting (or flying through) an unexplored star system or tagging a pulsar with one of your identity rings or advancing on your personal tech track, which differs from those of other players. At the end of the round, the turn marker advances based on the dice rolled that turn, and when the marker reaches the end of the track, the game ends.Players score points each round based on what they’ve discovered and explored, and everyone has hidden goals that they want to achieve, while also trying to claim the right to public goals that supply additional endgame scoring.
In 16th century India, the powerful empire of the Great Moguls rises between the Indus and the Ganges rivers. Taking on the role of rajas and ranis – the country’s influential nobles – players in Rajas of the Ganges race against each other in support of the empire by developing their estates into wealthy and magnificent provinces. Players must use their dice wisely and carefully plot where to place their workers, while never underestimating the benefits of good karma. Success will bring them great riches and fame in their quest to become legendary rulers.
Santa Maria is a streamlined, medium complexity Eurogame in which each player establishes and develops a colony. The game features elements of dice drafting and strategic engine building. The game is low on luck and has no direct destructive player conflict; all components are language independent.
In the game, you expand your colony by placing polyominoes with buildings on your colony board. Dice (representing migrant workers) are used to activate buildings; each die activates a complete row or column of buildings in your colony. The buildings are activated in order (left to right / top to bottom), then the die is placed on the last activated building to block this space. It is therefore crucial where you put new buildings in your colony, and in which order you use the dice.
As the game progresses, you produce resources, form shipping routes, send out conquistadors, and improve your religious power to recruit monks. When you recruit a monk, you must decide if it becomes a scholar (providing a permanent special ability), a missionary (for an immediate bonus) or a bishop (for possible end game points). The player who has accumulated the most happiness after three rounds wins. The available specialists, end game bonuses and buildings vary from game to game, which makes for near endless replayability.
Clans of Caledonia is a mid-to-heavy economic game set in 19th-century Scotland. At this time, Scotland made the transition from an agricultural to an industrialized country that heavily relied on trade and export. In the following years, food production increased significantly to feed the population growth. Linen was increasingly substituted by the cheaper cotton and raising sheep was given high importance. More and more distilleries were founded and whisky became the premium alcoholic beverage in Europe.
Players represent historic clans with unique abilities and compete to produce, trade and export agricultural goods and of course whisky!
The game ends after five rounds. Each round consists of the three phases:
- Players’ turns
- Production phase
- Round scoring
- Players take turns and do one of eight possible actions, from building, to upgrading, trading and exporting. When players run out of money, they pass and collect a passing bonus.
- In the production phase, each player collects basic resources, refined goods and cash from their production units built on the game map. Each production unit built makes income visible on the player mat. Refined goods require the respective basic resource.
- Players receive VPs depending on the scoring tile of the current round.
The game comes with eight different clans, a modular board with 16 configurations, eight port bonuses and eight round scoring tiles.
Our prize sponsors for 2018:
to be determined
With many thanks to boardgamegeek.