New Board Games in April

April has a ton of awesome new board games! Some are coming here, some are available for order. There’s historicals, Euro-style, casual … something for everyone! Release dates are a fickle beast, so be aware that some of these games may not come out in April. If you’re curious about one, just ask!

War & Peace (2012)

$75.00

War and Peace is a game that allows players to recreate the fight for Europe from 1805 to 1815. The game is designed for play by 2 players, one player being the French player and the other player is the British. Each player also controls one of the major countries of France, Britain, Austria, Russia, or Spain. Prussia is also in the game but starts neutral. The countries of France, Britain, Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Spain are represented by infantry, artillery, cavalry, naval units. The countries of France and Britain are at war throughout the game. The countries of Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Spain become neutral, conquered neutrals, French allies, or British allies through the use of diplomatic resources or military conquest.

France starts out strong militarily with the aid of the Spanish navy and a strong French army. Austria and Russia, when united, have strong armies while England rules the waves and buys influence and allies. Victory is determined by the conquest of France or Britain, or causing the isolation of Britain through political and economic means. The fate of Europe rest in your hands…

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Divided Republic

$49.99

The presidential election of 1860 was one of the most critical in the history of the United States. With civil war looming as a near inevitability, the challenge was to find a way forward after years of degenerating political discourse in the increasingly divided American electorate. In the end, after months of contentious campaigning between four (!) major parties and over a dozen smaller ones, the election was won by the Republican dark horse candidate, a little known Illinois politician named Abraham Lincoln who hadn’t even been the first choice of his party’s senior leadership.

Divided Republic is a card driven two to four player game representing the last calm before the storm that was to become the American Civil War. Players represent the four major parties (Constitutional Unionists, Northern Democrats, Republicans, and Southern Democrats) and attempt to win the presidency by defeating their opponents with dirty tricks, platform speeches, and the manipulation of key historical events. All the while, President Buchanan interferes, radicals riot, and the country continues the downward spiral toward civil war. If one party wins the election by achieving the necessary 152+ electoral votes, or wins in the case of an electoral tie thrown to the US Congress, history may well change. Nevertheless, there is always the chance that the population of South Carolina will finally explode into open rebellion and secede, ending the game, at which point everyone loses!

This is a light to medium weight game with intense player interaction, card-driven play, and a play time of about 2-3 hours depending upon how events proceed. There are even a few laughs along the way as the mudslinging between parties heats up. Literally anyone can win – it’s not simply a cut and dry Republican victory. This is a different kind of US election game, a game where there are not two, but four parties, set in a period when candidates did not generally campaign for themselves, and run in an era when the Republicans were still liberals and the Democrats were the vanguard of traditional American conservatism.

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Siberia

$64.99

Siberia – a land of rugged extremes, harsh elements, and a wealth of opportunity. Tap into and exploit Siberia’s abundant, valuable resources in your bid for dominance and prosperity in the trade market.

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Space Maze

$49.99

In the game each player represents an alien species. The goal is to steal an ancient relic from a massive structure floating in space. The players compete against each other, all trying to bring home the Relic. The game has a capture-the-flag system.

The gameplay mechanics are based around a maze made up out of primary coloured doorways (red, blue and yellow), two doorways touching each other make a combination of colours that can (or not if the two colours are the same) form a secondary colour. The aliens you play with are made up out of these secondary colours, each player has three aliens: 1 green, 1 orange and 1 purple. Aliens can only pass through doorways that form their secondary colour.

While moving through the maze the players will continuously have to change the maze to get the right colour combinations. And while everybody is getting closer together, players will start to be in each others way, eventually changing the maze in ways others will not be too happy about. Especially not when you prevent them from grabbing the relic!

This is a game where you plan ahead for a perfect round, just to see it all being completely overthrown by some odd move your opponent is making (providing all other players with some cheap laughs). Most of the time spreading your chances will be the best way to go, but you can always rush for it and hope for the best!

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Masters of Commerce

$40

In Masters of Commerce you take on the role of a freewheeling capitalist out to outmaneuver your competitors and earn your place as a great industrialist.

Players are divided into landlords and merchants. Your goal is to earn more money than any other landlord (if you are a landlord) or more money than any other merchant (if you are a merchant) by the end of the fifth round.

Each round landlords and merchants negotiate with each other in a two minute free-for-all to set rent agreements on the landlords’ properties. Merchants then collect income from the properties they rented but not until a roll of the dice has brought changes to the value of the four colors of properties. Landlords collect rent from merchants, pay taxes on their properties, and buy new properties at auction.

At the end of the fifth round the merchant with the most money and the landlord with the most money are each declared winners, the true Masters of Commerce.

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Zong Shi

$69.99

In a large town in medieval China, several talented artisans – Masters in their own right – aspire to become recognized as Zong Shi: the Grand Master craftsman. You are one of these master artisans and together with your apprentice, you are competing with the other Masters to attain this elevated status in the town. To succeed, you’ll have to impress the townspeople with your skills. How shall you do it? Will you acquire a specialist’s mastery over certain material, or will you enlarge your workshop? Will you create a large number of smaller projects or will you build fewer, but greater, masterworks? That is for you to decide.

Zong Shi blends worker placement, resource management, project completion and special action cards. To set up the game, lay out the project cards (eight types, each with a special power) and masterwork projects (only three at a time) on the game board; draw goods randomly for the two markets; lay out the exchange tiles in the pawn shop; and lay out a certain number of Scrolls of Fortune and material tiles. Players take turns drafting Scrolls (which have one-shot abilities) and materials (needed to complete projects), then the first round begins.

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Tournay

$44.99

In a large town in medieval China, several talented artisans – Masters in their own right – aspire to become recognized as Zong Shi: the Grand Master craftsman. You are one of these master artisans and together with your apprentice, you are competing with the other Masters to attain this elevated status in the town. To succeed, you’ll have to impress the townspeople with your skills. How shall you do it? Will you acquire a specialist’s mastery over certain material, or will you enlarge your workshop? Will you create a large number of smaller projects or will you build fewer, but greater, masterworks? That is for you to decide.

Zong Shi blends worker placement, resource management, project completion and special action cards. To set up the game, lay out the project cards (eight types, each with a special power) and masterwork projects (only three at a time) on the game board; draw goods randomly for the two markets; lay out the exchange tiles in the pawn shop; and lay out a certain number of Scrolls of Fortune and material tiles. Players take turns drafting Scrolls (which have one-shot abilities) and materials (needed to complete projects), then the first round begins.

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Coney Island

$64.99

There’s still much left to do in order to become the world’s largest and most diverse amusement park! Your family (one of four) has a small, but steady income that should suffice to hire a few showmen to bring life to the oh-so-empty park site. As you earn more, you can afford a favor or two: the police officer is kinder to you, you can hire a migrant worker to do extra work, and you can even finagle the attention of a promoter or a journalist!

The families will need to co-operate from time to time; after all, those grand attractions don’t build themselves. In the end, the grand attractions are what will impress the crowds and bring about euphoric headlines in the newspapers!

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Tschak!

$24.99

TSCHAK!’ is a card game in which everybody gets to play with exactly the same hands. But who will be the most successful in avoiding the troglodytes and bigger monsters, while going for the fattest treasures, or even better, the legendary rings of power?

Good hand management, double-guessing, a tad of luck, and the victory is yours!

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Fealty

$40

The king has died with no clear successor! The players – potential heirs all – are scrambling to put together their powerbases by dispatching trusted agents and allies to garner support across the breadth of the kingdom. Nobody wants open warfare, but some conflict is sure to break out.

Fealty is a game of positioning and territory control. Each turn, all players add one piece to the game board, with increasing constraints on placement as time goes on. Some pieces have an effect when brought into play. At the end of the game, all pieces place influence in order of speed, claiming territory and blocking slower opposing pieces. The player who has maneuvered their pieces to place the most influence onto the board wins.

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Divinare

$29.99

London, November 17th, 1896: The streets of the city are almost deserted, traveled only by passersby whose only goal seems to reach their warm homes as quickly as possible. But in the private salons of a luxury Bloomsbury hotel, the goal is something completely different. The fifty greatest known mediums are taking part in a never-before-seen tournament in order to determine which one is the most powerful of all. The final table opens in a few minutes and you will be joining it. Who will win the £1,000 reserved for the winner?

In Divinare, the players play the part of famous mediums who must attempt to divine the cards held by their opponents. In each round, only two-thirds of the cards — representing the four divination methods of chiromancy, crystallomancy, tasseomancy and astromancy — are dealt out, and are then revealed little-by-little, giving the players the possibility of narrowing their predictions. A good prediction will allow the players to win points, but guess wrong and you may be forced to take a penalty. The player with the most points after a set number of rounds wins.

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Pizza Theory

$29.99

Pizza Theory, designed for exactly three players, has no randomness and simple turn actions, but the outcome each round is unpredictable since each cook has his own idea for the best way to create the pie.

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Breakout: Normandy

$75

Breakout: Normandy is a complex two-player wargame on the Allied invasion of France in World War 2. The game concentrates on the initial landings and the subsequent breakout attempts. The German player tries to prevent the a successful Allied landing, and if that fails, to contain the beachhead. The Allied player wins by establishing a beachhead, or (better) by successfully breaking out of the landing area.

The mapboard depicts the Normandy area where the initial landings took place. Units are regiments and brigades, representing infantry, airborne, armour artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft units.

The game uses the area-impulse system used in Storm over ArnhemThunder at Cassino and Turning Point: Stalingrad.

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Friedrich, 3rd Edition

$74.95

Defeat Prussia before the Tsarina dies! Or be Frederick the Great and struggle for survival with a mixture of courageous willpower, sudden inspiration and stoic patience.

It is the summer of 1756. On the eve of the Seven Years War, half of Europe has formed an alliance. Frederick the Great is in deep sorrow: Is the annihilation of Prussia planned? Is it Prussia’s defeat or is it Prussia’s glory?

All against one – but only one will reign supreme. On a map of Old Europe, players maneuver their generals from city to city. Frederick must retain a part of each Prussian province, while the attacking powers savagely seek out their objectives. The clever use of tactical cards is decisive to winning.

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Rolling Freight

$69.95

Rolling Freight is a dice-rolling rail game that spans the years following the American Civil War through the early twentieth century.

Players are managers in the A, P & E Rail and Shipping Company. As a manager you are competing to establish the best shipping lines over land and sea by laying rail and commissioning ships. You also compete to establish major multi-stage shipping routes to bring A, P & E maximum profit. The company rewards its managers in shares of company stock. Have the most stock at the end of the game and prove that you’re the best shipping manager!

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Virgin Queen

$89

Virgin Queen: Wars of Religion 1559-1598 is a game of grand strategy for two to six players based on the military, political and religious conflicts within Europe during the reigns of Elizabeth I of England and Philip II of Spain. Each player controls one or more of the major powers that presided over European politics in that day. Spain is the juggernaut, able to draw upon the vast riches of their global empire. But such a dominant power is sure to have many enemies. The Ottoman expansion towards Spain’s Mediterranean outposts remains unchecked. Elizabeth’s English sea dogs are poised to raid Spain’s overseas empire. And the forces of Protestant reform will soon drag Spain into eighty years of rebellion in the Netherlands. Will Spain find aid from its Catholic allies? Perhaps not from France, where the Catholic Valois dynasty is soon to engage another group of Protestant believers in the bloody French Wars of Religion. And even Philip’s relatives in Vienna who rule the Holy Roman Empire may dabble in the Protestant faith instead of remaining loyal to their Catholic heritage and Spanish brethren.

Virgin Queen is the sequel to Here I Stand, another card-driven game of grand strategy that covered the previous forty years (from Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses in 1517 through the abdication of Charles V in 1556). Players familiar with Here I Stand will find much that is familiar in Virgin Queen: over half of the rulebook remains unchanged. New game systems have been put in place to emphasize the changing nature of the conflicts here in the late 16th Century.

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1989: Dawn of Freedom

$65

1989: Dawn of Freedom is an exciting, fast paced game simulating the end of the Cold War in 1989. During this amazing year, a series of democratic revolutions ended the 40 year Soviet empire in Eastern Europe. 1989 simulates the political, social and economic aspects of these revolutions using a card-driven system similar to Twilight Struggle.

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Bomber Command

$67

Bomber Command is a game of the night war in the skies over the Reich in World War II.

The game models the great RAF bombing raids against the heart of Germany and the defense of the German night fighter arm.

Bomber Command will detail the tactics of night fighting against the great bomber streams, including Himmelbett, Wild Boar and Tame Boar. A subsystem details the techniques of area bombing and precision attacks at night.

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Empire Express

$30

In Empire Express, designed to be an easy-to-play introduction to the Empire Builder series of games, players create competing railroad empires by drawing railroad tracks with crayons upon an erasable board. You win if you utilize your network of rail lines to acquire and deliver goods efficiently to accumulate the largest personal fortune!

The base game provides pre-programmed routes on a board depicting a north-eastern portion of the U.S. with demand cards providing players with an easy way to learn the system through play. Players start with the bare bones of a railroad: an empty train and track connecting some cities. Each turn you and your fellow players take turns building track, operating trains, and delivering loads. The bank will pay you for each delivered load.

With the starting route guided by the board, only two loads per card, and a visual pick-up and delivery guide on every card, the learning curve is greatly shortened.

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