The year is 1926, and it is the height of the Roaring Twenties. Flappers dance till dawn in smoke-filled speakeasies, drinking alcohol supplied by rum runners and the mob. It’s a celebration to end all celebrations in the aftermath of the War to End All Wars.
Yet a dark shadow grows in the city of Arkham. Alien entities known as Ancient Ones lurk in the emptiness beyond space and time, writhing at the thresholds between worlds. Occult rituals must be stopped and alien creatures destroyed before the Ancient Ones make our world their ruined dominion.
Only a handful of investigators stand against the Arkham Horror. Will they prevail?
Arkham Horror (Third Edition) is a cooperative board game for one to six players who take on the roles of investigators trying to rid the world of eldritch beings known as Ancient Ones. Based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, players will have to gather clues, defeat terrifying monsters, and find tools and allies if they are to stand any chance of defeating the creatures that dwell just beyond the veil of our reality.
The game is split into a series of rounds made up of four phases.
The Action Phase
The Monster Phase
The Encounter Phase
The Mythos Phase
The Action Phase sees your investigators fighting back against the dark power of the mythos. During this phase, each investigator can perform two different actions.
Move – Investigators can move up to two spaces in the city, spending money to hire speedy transport and move additional spaces. The space where you end your turn will determine what encounter card you draw later in the turn.
Gather Resources – Gain one dollar token, which can be used to purchase items and goods as well as increase how far you can move
Focus – Focus one of your skills, increasing its value.
Ward – Attempt to remove doom from your location. Increasing doom means danger for the investigators, and removing doom can delay these apocalyptic heraldings.
Attack – Attack a monster engaged with you.
Evade – Try to escape from a monster engaged with you.
Research – Search for clues at your location.
Trade – Trade money, clues, items, and more with other investigators at your location.
In the age of exploration the players arrive at a new home far away from their homeland. They try to settle the big island and each player tries to explore one part of it by placing landscape tiles. Landscape tiles grant resources and those are used to erect buildings with special abilities. Barriers on the island have to be removed in order to explore the island even further. Players build valuable statues and supply ships get them the supplies from the old world they need to be a successful settler on Cooper Island.
The special thing about Cooper Island is the way the players mark their victory points. They sail with ships around the island to show their progress. On their way around the island they find smaller islands inshore that grant valuable benefits. After five rounds, a game of Cooper Island ends and the player who developed the best and went on furthest with their ships will win.
Build a galactic empire... In the depths of space, the alien races of the Cosmos vie with each other for control of the universe. Alliances form and shift from moment to moment, while cataclysmic battles send starships screaming into the warp. Players choose from dozens of alien races, each with its own unique power to further its efforts to build an empire that spans the galaxy.
Many classic aliens from earlier editions of this beloved game return, such as the Oracle, the Loser, and the Clone. Newly discovered aliens also join the fray, including Remora, Mite, and Tick-Tock. This classic game of alien politics returns from the warp once more.
In Cosmic Encounter, each player is the leader of an alien race. On a player's turn, he or she becomes the offense. The offense encounters another player on a planet by moving a group of his or her ships through the hyperspace gate to that planet. The offense draws from the destiny deck which contains colors, wilds and specials. He or she then takes the hyperspace gate and points at one planet in the system indicated by the drawn destiny card. The offense vs. the defenses ships are in the encounter and both sides are able to invite allies, play an encounter card as well as special cards to try and tip the encounter in their favor.
The object of the game is to establish colonies in other players' planetary systems. Players take turns trying to establish colonies. The winner(s) are the first player(s) to have five colonies on any planets outside his or her home system. A player does not need to have colonies in all of the systems, just colonies on five planets outside his or her home system. These colonies may all be in one system or scattered over multiple systems. The players must use force, cunning, and diplomacy to ensure their victory.
Orléans Stories is based on the bag-building mechanism known from Orléans, with this mechanisms having been further developed into a storytelling experience in which players go through different eras and face different challenges. Broadly speaking, instead of focusing on the city of Orléans and trade with the surrounding villages, player are now settling the Loire Valley. Players must farm and produce, found villages, and build fortresses and churches. They will experience times of prosperity and success, but also times of deprivation; they must defy hunger and plague, fight for their land, and perhaps conquer foreign lands to secure the lives of their settlers. In the end, however, there is peace and the joint administration of territories and villages.
The game includes two stories: "The First Kingdom" and "The King's Favor". "The First Kingdom" is an epic story that spans eight so-called eras, and each era features different conditions and emphases. Sometimes knights settle down, with whose help you can conquer foreign territories, sometimes the plague threatens to decimate the population of settlers unless all have worked together to develop medicine.
"The King's Favor" is shorter, simpler, and more suitable as an introduction to the game. Over five eras, certain tasks have to be fulfilled by the end of each era, and those who fail to do so will drop out mercilessly. The threat of having to end the game prematurely provides a constant thrill, but all tasks are achievable, so that (usually) all players experience the end of the fifth era — but those who have concentrated only on the tasks will be punished because at this point everyone's achievements will be compared in the king's castle, and you will receive victory points for territory size, buildings, goods, and coins.
The different eras affect the parameters of play as well as the rules of the game, creating new strategic possibilities. This challenges players to constantly adapt to current conditions, giving you the impression of experiencing a story, but unlike in legacy games, these stories can be repeated as often as you like. The changes from era to era require a new way of looking at things from a distance, but this is made easier for players by a story booklet in which players will find not only all relevant information and rule peculiarities, but also hints of how to prepare for the upcoming game in the form of a narrated story.
The future of humanity awaits you in Space Gate Odyssey. A system of viable exoplanets has been recently discovered and the Confederations are flocking into space to colonize it. In this 2 to 4-player development and flow-management board game, you play the leader of one of these Confederations and play your influence in the Odyssey command station to send as many of your settlers as you can on these exoplanets.
After decades of research and technological development, humanity is preparing to leave the Earth to colonize this discovered system. To get there, only one possible means of transport exists: space gates. For reasons related to physics and other quantum aspects, these gates can be built only in space. The Confederations have therefore embarked on the construction of their own station in orbit, equipped with space gates.
At the beginning of the colonizing era, these portals make it possible to go on one of the first three discovered planets. As soon as an entire contingent of settlers has joined the gate of a space station, it is teleported to the corresponding exoplanet. The landing conditions vary according to the planets and the choice of colonized spots quickly becomes strategic.
As soon as one of the three exoplanets is fully colonized, each Confederation gains influence according to its placement, then access to one of the two later discovered exoplanets becomes possible. At the end of the colonization of the five exoplanets, the stations are teleported to the Hawking planet and the influence of each Confederation is assessed. The leader of the most influential Confederation will be promoted to the rank of Governor of this new system.
One of the biggest challenges in Space Gate Odyssey is your ability to quickly develop and intelligently arrange your space station. The better you optimize the flow of your settlers to your station, then to the exoplanets, the more of them you can send to the favorable spots and thus gain influence.
The choice of the modules, their arrangement, and the distance between the airlocks and the gates are therefore essential elements — especially since, at the end of the game, the domains of the modules you used to build your station will bring you additional influence points if they are in line with the position of the domains on the Hawking planet Predominance.
Finally, you must be careful not to leave too many open corridors on the space void as this represents a real danger for your settlers and could therefore damage your reputation.
Your most amazing quest starts with Space Gate Odyssey. Will you be able to take over your opponents in order to take control of the new system, or will you stay at the dock?