Hey guys, I ordered a bunch this weekend. Can’t wait for it to arrive. I will need some help unboxing and playing these games.

I ordered these titles and these are the manufactures descriptions:

Similar to Monopoly, but instead of buying real estate, players acquire plots of land and plant a variety of crops in the hopes that the harvest will pay out big. However, with each harvest comes the unavoidable cost of doing business (fertilizer, equipment breakdown, purchasing new seeds, labor problems, etc.). The first player who has a total net worth (including land, equipment, livestock, etc.) of $250,000 becomes a “Full Time Farmer” and wins the game – thus getting rid of the time-consuming player elimination aspect of Monopoly.

In 64 A.D., a great fire originating from the slums of Rome quickly spreads to destroy much of the city, including the imperial palace. Upon hearing news of the fire, Emperor Nero Caesar races back to Rome from his private estate in Antium and sets up shelters for the displaced population.

Reporting directly to Nero, you are responsible for rebuilding the structures lost in the fire and restoring Glory to Rome.

Glory to Rome is a card-based city building and resource management game with a novel mechanism. Each card may act as a building, a patron, a raw material, or a valuable resource, frequently forcing players into difficult decisions regarding how each card should be used. In addition, much of the game is played from the discard pool, giving players some control over what cards are accessible to opponents.

Scoring is a combination of completing buildings and storing resources, with end-of-game bonuses for storing a diverse assortment. Game length is player-controlled, and is triggered in a few different ways.

The lighthearted artwork and slim rulebook belie the strong strategic and tactical elements of Glory to Rome.

 

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.

 

Escape: The Curse of the Temple is a cooperative game in which players must escape (yes…) from a temple (yes…) which is cursed (yes…) before the temple collapses and kills one or more explorers, thereby causing everyone to lose.

The initial game board consists of a row of three square tiles, each showing a combination of two symbols, say, two green running guys or one green running guy and one blue key in one corner of the tile. All of the explorers start in the center tile – the safe room – and each player starts with a hand of five dice. Each die has five symbols:

  • A cursed mask – this die is set aside when rolled.
  • A golden mask – each such symbol counteracts two cursed masks, either your own or those of another explorer in the same room.
  • A red torch or blue key – these are used to enter rooms, access treasure, or activate gems.
  • A running guy, which appears twice on the die – you need these to move from room to room, and to activate some gems.

Escape is played in real-time, with all players rolling dice and taking actions simultaneously. You must roll the right symbols to enter a room, and if you’re at an open doorway, you can roll to reveal the next tile in the stack and add it to that doorway. Some rooms contain combinations of red and blue symbols, and if you (possibly working with other players in the same room) roll enough red or blue symbols, you “discover” magic gems, moving them from a separate gem depot onto that tile.

The real-time aspect is enforced by a soundtrack to be played during the game. At certain points, a countdown starts, and if players aren’t back in the safe room when time is up, they lose one of their dice.

Once the exit tile is revealed, players can attempt to escape the temple by moving to that tile, then rolling a number of blue dice equal to the magic gems that haven’t been removed from the gem depot. Thus, the more gems you find, the easier it is to escape the temple. When a player escapes, he gives one die to a player of his choice. If all players escape before the third countdown, everyone wins; if not, everyone loses, no matter how many players did escape.

Escape: The Curse of the Temple includes two expansion modules that can be used individually or together. With the “Treasures” module, some rooms contain treasure, and when you reveal such a room, you place a face-down treasure chest on the tile. Roll the symbols on that chest tile, and you claim the treasure for use later: a key lets you teleport anywhere, a path lets you connect two rooms that otherwise have no door between them, and a medic kit heals all players instantly (putting black dice back into play). With the “Curses” module, some tiles “curse” players by forcing them to place one hand on their head, keep mute during play, or otherwise do what you wouldn’t want to do while escaping a temple!

 

A simple cardgame by Bruno Faidutti, totally based on bluff. Players try to move their 5 treasures in one of their ships, but only two of their five ships can be armed with cannons. Who can bluff their way across the oceans while opponents try to send pirates to attack unprotected ships?

 

Magnifico is a “risk like” game of conquest, set in the early 16th century Europe. The players have at their disposal military and financial resources but also the extraordinary inventions of Leonardo da Vinci.

The game comes with a set of plastic figurines: infantry units, castles which towers can be added to and war machines. Following the fertile imagination of Leonard, there are be Aero, the ancestor of aircraft, and Carro prefiguring modern tanks. Other inventions are represented by cards and improve the various elements used in combat. Combat are resolved using special dice. Leonard was also a famous artist and his works of art are related to the victory points.

 

A World of Beautiful Colors comes alive as players choose commission cards picturing 34 of the finest European art works of the past six centuries. Players score their commissions by mixing primary colors through clever tile placement, and recreating the palette of colors used by the masters who created these works. Explore the paintings, palettes, and pasts of the artists in this unique and challenging game for the whole family.

While placing hexagonal pieces to gain palette (color) cards, players become familiar with the different color combinations that produce the many hues of an artist’s palette, all listed on the Player Reference Card. Players also learn to recognize many great artists and their works as they complete commissions.

UPDATE

The new International Edition of Pastiche will be released in late 2011. It incorporates a number of exciting new changes that are highlighted below:

1) The inclusion of 8 mini wooden easels. They are lightweight and stylish and reasonably priced (we will be offering them in packages of 8 to consumers for $7.99 for those who already own the first edition).

2) The size of the box is now deeper by 15mm. The box insert has been modified (deepened) to accommodate the easels. The insert has also been modified in that all 4 card cavities have also been deepened, and a clear plastic lid now clips in and covers all of the card cavities and the center cavity as well. This means no more card slippage within the box and a very neat, clean array whenever you open the box, regardless of how you store or ship it.

3) The commission cards have been modified to show artist bonuses and to highlight the names of the artists. 15 new commission cards replace 15 from the first edition. Both sets are now available as expansion packs.

4) The rules are now available in English-only or in a 60-page rulebook that includes four additional languages: French, German, Dutch, and Italian. The rules are better organized and include a two-page educational section on the history and nature of color theory and the color wheel.

5) A new card has been added to indicate the First Player.

6) Additional printing changes include:
a) Bisque is now 5 points;
b) all the cards total exactly the sum of their component cards;
c) the palette board has been modified and now has a more rational and user-friendly layout;
d) the 5 reference cards are slightly modified in layout for Turn Sequence & color exchanges.