51st State Card Game: Winter Expansion
Winter, an expansion pack for both 51st State and The New Era, introduces new rules and 54 new cards to both games that will reward gamers who prefer sustainable development over unpredictable agression.
Winter lasts six weeks – i.e., six rounds – and during that time players prepare for the war that will take place after winter. Each round players can send their workers to Frozen City, a special mini board, to hire mercenaries and find new leaders. With Winter, the aim of the game has changed; you no longer fight for 30 victory points (VPs), developing in a rush to hit that total and win before the other player. Now you have a precise amount of time in which to plan and build, in which to develop your faction.
Winter introduces a new Texas faction that's crowded with people (four workers in the production phase) and has the possibility of using one of its faction contacts twice in a round.
Amber Board Game
The kingdom has taken over a coastal region and given the land to new barons who quickly realized that the true wealth of this new region is amber, for which caravans come from the farthest corners of the world. Peasants from nearby villages collect amber, which is bought by merchants from distant lands. The barons know that the one who profits the most from the amber trade will become the most powerful ruler of the new lands.
In Amber, players take the role of the barons, and their goal is to build trade routes which connect their castles to the villages where the amber is collected, and to the other barons' castles where it is traded. To this end, players build roads through the wilderness – placing one tile each turn in the shared playing area – which will allow their buyers to reach the sources of the amber. Since all buyers can use the roads, however, it's important to have suitable connections with the road networks built by others. The baron whose castle is connected with the greatest number of villages and castles will become the richest and most respected Lord of the new land.
City Tycoon Board Game
In City Tycoon players assume the role of businessmen investing their own capital in expansion of the city. Their main purpose is to increase the standard of living, and thus the happiness of its citizens. They have within reach a whole range of projects that the city council wants to achieve, but which lack the funds. By skillfully selecting plans, using available space and deciding which projects their money should be spent on they will be expanding the city and competing for the title of the most people-friendly company.
During play, the game board is expanded by players laying down tiles, with each tile representing a piece of the city, a district that might need to be provided with electricity or water in exchange for receiving some benefit. Some of the tiles require a supply of luxury goods; others generate them; others give only points of happiness, such as the hospital.
Resources are common, and each of them can be bought by players from power stations and waterworks. These resources, however, are not unlimited and their use must be well planned. Keep in mind, too, that you must pay opponents when transporting raw materials through districts they own.
Game play in City Tycoon passes through four stages, and in each of them the buildings get larger and more impressive while at the same time requiring more resources and giving better benefits. Players quickly notice the relations between them and may choose several possible strategies to develop their investments, for example, focusing on making money, constructing scoring buildings to the exclusion of all else. Each of these strategies has its pluses and minuses, and the actions of other players might force you to expand in new directions and change your tactic.
Mercurius Board Game
The East India Company grows quickly through the delivery of exotic goods from New World and Far East – but to operate on such a large scale, the company needs money, so the first world stock market is opened in Amsterdam. Rich citizens see the opportunity to acquire even more riches, so they invest in the stock market, while also wanting to take part in even more opportunities to make profit. Thus, much wanted exotic goods can be bought and sold, too, and with no secure routes a player can make even better profits by trading them.
In Mercurius players take on the role of rich citizens in Holland in the 17th century. They invest their money in stocks of different branches of the East India Company or try to earn much more profit through risky trade in exotic goods. Players have their own information about activities in the far lands and about events which can influence prices at the market, but each of them sees only part of the picture, so they have to look at what other players are doing and which prices are influenced by them.
Players have starting cash at the beginning of the game, along with five "changing prices" cards and four cards which allow them to take special actions during play. The game board shows prices for stocks of six branches of the East India Company and for six goods those branches trade. On a turn, a player can make up to three purchases or sales of stocks or goods as he wishes. He then plays one "changing prices" card from his hand. Each card changes the price of one stock and one good. Each card changes the prices three times, once on the turn it's played and on two consecutive turns. The tricky part is that cards move the value of goods twice as much as the value of stocks, so players can earn more by trading goods – but doing so is far more risky.
Who will become the richest citizen of Holland and win the game?
Pret-a-Porter Board Game
Pret-a-Porter is an economic strategy game set in a world of fashion. Players run clothes companies and fight for dominance during fashion shows. It is – perhaps – one of the most cruel and ruthless of all our games. Money can be a dangerous weapon.
During the game players open new branches and outlets, hire new workers and try to gain new capabilities. New Design Agencies, Brand stores or Preparation rooms are opened, Accountants, Models and Designers are hired, lucrative contracts are sign to allow for short-term profits and expand company’s competencies.
Every single month player’s company gains new capabilities.
Each quarter held fashion shows – each player has to prepare a collection of clothing and has to show it on the show. The public, media, experts estimate collections in four categories and award prizes and diplomas. The more awards (represented by ‘stars’ in the game) will be collected at the show, the more money the players earn for selling their collection!
Will you get award for best Trends? Will you manage to be best in Public Relations and get the Media award? Will you earn more ‘stars’ than your opponent?
If you win ‘stars’, your opponents don’t.
If you win ‘stars’, you earn more money. Your opponents don’t.
If you win ‘stars’, you earn money, you hire new stuff, you get better. Your opponents don’t.
That is why during show you will kill for every single ‘star’. Welcome to the hell…
Slavika Card Game
A dark shadow has fallen upon the Slavic lands. The powerful amulet of Slavika, which has protected the inhabitants since the death of the prince, is now powerless. The ruler's only child, his daughter, is still too young to bind herself with the amulet and take on the family burden. A few months remain until the day of the ritual – and until the daughter of the prince fills the amulet with her lifeforce, the ruling families themselves must protect the population against the evil creeping out of the swamps and caves. The family which best performs this task will gain the privilege of marrying one of their sons to the young princess, who will soon be bound to the amulet and will possess the tremendous power of Slavika.
In Slavika, players are the heads of powerful families in the fantastic world of Slavika. Each player has six heroes, who will be sent to different regions, where they will fight monsters threatening the villagers. The more a player's heroes help defeat the monsters, the more glory is won for their family. The game lasts several months, until the princess is able to complete the ritual and renew the power of the amulet. At that time the family with the most glory points earns the right to the hand of the princess and wins the game.
The Cave Board Game
In The Cave, a board game from K2 author Adam Kaluza, players take on the role of a speleologist team tasked with exploring a newly discovered cave. Players start from a base and explore a cave, tunnel after tunnel, effectively building the board (the cave). They have to overcome steep descents, underground lakes, and tight squeezes. They will be given a chance to admire the wonders of the underground, like halls full of stalactites. To make it all possible they must take the right supplies with them, like ropes, oxygen and batteries.
Each turn players have five action points to use for moving, discovering new cave tiles, exploring them, and packing their backpacks when they go back to the starting base. They need ropes for descents, oxygen to explore underwater parts, and a camera to photograph underground wonders. Planning what to take with them is one of the most important things in the game. Each turn that their pawn is not in the starting base, players must use (i.e., throw out) one basic supply from their backpack; these costs, along with the expenditure of other supplies during exploration, forces them to return to the starting base a few times during the game. To keep them from having to carry everything, though, players can raise a camp somewhere in the tunnels where they can store some of the equipment.
The cave differs every game, so players have to be prepared for everything or they will lose time. Players earn points for exploring different tiles: underwater, wondrous, descents, and so on – but to win they'll need to acquire bonus prizes for exploring the most tiles of each type. This make decision-making during trips very difficult.
When the cave is fully explored, the player who made the biggest effort in the most spectacular way wins the game.
© Spiral Galaxy Games 2008 - 2013