Hello 2011-2012 school year game club members. I would just like to tell you our year is off to a good start. I just plunked down over $1000 dollars on games that are coming to a USM near you. I thought I would take some web space here to post what I ordered and I would love to hear what you think of these new ones… As always, I would enjoy some members to step up and unbox, video review, and learn these games, obviously not in that order. So with out further ado here are the new games:

A Few Acres of Snow

A Few Acres of Snow is a two-player, deckbuilding-driven game about the French and British conflict in North America.

The card-play contains a focus on deck-building, and similar to many card-driven war games, each card will have multiple uses. The players have to chose only one aspect of the card to use when it is played. Each space captured by a player will add another card to the capturing player’s deck.

From the box description:

A war fought at the edge of two mighty empires. For over one hundred and fifty years Britain and France were locked in a struggle for domination of North America. Thousands of miles from their homes, settlers and soldiers were faced with impenetrable forests, unpredictable American tribes, and formidable distances. Despite these obstacles they were able to engage in bitter warfare, with the British ultimately taking the prize of Quebec. A Few Acres of Snow is a two-player game that allows you to recreate this contest. You can change the course of history by your decisions.

A Few Acres of Snow takes an innovative approach to the subject, using cards to represent locations and manpower. As the game progresses you add to your selection of cards, increasing the range of actions available to you. There are many strategies to be explored. How quickly should you build up your forces, do you employ Native Americans, what energy should be expended on your economy?

The game is about more than just fighting – you must successfully colonize the land to have a chance.

Ascending Empires

The last survivors of the Human race have fled to a new galaxy in fear of annihilation at the hands of an unstoppable enemy. Now, having discovered the ruins of four long dead civilizations spread across the stars, the race to develop technology based on the alien relics has begun. Humans will once again ascend to the stars to claim the galaxy.

Players will colonize new worlds by building colonies, cities, and research facilities. They will develop new Technologies, and build up fleets of Starships. Ascending Empires is a fast paced game that utilizes a dexterity based Starship movement and combat system, and allows for many different strategies to be explored.

Catacombs & Cavern of the Sloth & Dark Passageways Expansions

Catacombs is an action/dexterity based adventure board game. One player controls the Overseer, controlling the monsters of the catacombs. The other player(s) control the four heroes who cooperatively try to defeat the monsters and eventually the Catacomb Lord. Each of the heroes have special abilities that must also be used effectively if they are to prevail.

The main mechanic of Catacombs is for the players to flick wooden discs representing the monsters and the heroes. Contact with an opposing piece inflicts damage but missiles, spells, and other special abilities can cause other effects. When all of the monsters of a room have been cleared, the heroes can move further into the catacomb. Items and equipment upgrades can be purchased from the Merchant with gold taken from fallen monsters. The Catacomb Lord is the final danger that the heroes must defeat to win the game. Conversely, the Overseer wins if all of the heroes are defeated. The game is designed for quick setup and fast play within 30 to 60 minutes.

El Capitan

El Capitan is a big-box game about building warehouses in key Mediterranean cities and becoming the wealthiest merchant. It is not, however, an ecomonic or business game at heart. There is nothing in the way of goods being manufactured or transported, merely the money earned from the sale of goods that are never actually seen in the game. It is at heart an area control game that uses an economic model for keeping score. Effectively players are given a pool of victory points which are expended to take actions, mostly placing area control markers (warehouses and fortresses) on the board or in moving one’s active area from one place to another. More victory points are earned at the end of each round based on one’s majority interests in each area as well as wide distribution across areas.

K2

K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth as well as the second deadliest. It’s known as the Savage Mountain, as it kills one person for every four who have reached the summit…
And K2 has never been climbed in winter.

Now your team stands in its shadow, ready to climb for fame and glory.
You know the dangers of K2 all too well. Extreme weather with frequent and deadly storms, exposed, steep, tricky routes and lack of oxygen await you on your way to the summit. You will test your climbing skills to death, try to outsmart the ever-changing weather and always worry about the acclimatization of your 2 mountaineers. Also there are the other teams ready to take the glory for themselves.

K2 is a board game in which each player controls a team of 2 mountaineers, trying to climb to the summit of K2 and return before the other players’ teams and before the mountain kills them. Every player uses an identical deck of cards. You use the cards to move your climbers on the route pictured on the gaming board, or to acclimatize the members of your team.
You can also set up a tent and wait for better weather. You will have to choose your path carefully, as the other mountaineers can block your way, and watch the upcoming weather which can lower your acclimatization to 0, thus killing your climbers.

K2 is a hand management game for 1-5 players, with strong interaction and low luck factor, lasting up to 60 minutes. The theme is very well represented by the mechanics, including such elements as changing weather, lack of oxygen and death of the mountaineers. The result is an exciting match for gamers and non-gamers alike.

The box includes, among other materials, a double-sided board with two different routes to the summit (easier and harder) and two sets of weather tiles (for summer and winter).

Knock Down, Drag Out, Wild West

Let Loose in Cowskull Gulch!
It seems another free-for-all has erupted in The Thirsty Cactus, Cowskull Gulch’s only saloon. Knock Down, Drag Out lets you join the hectic melee of a Wild West bar fight. The rules are brutally simple and the action is fast-paced!
Punch, kick, and club your opponents– be the last patron standing to win!

Components: 54 cards, a six sided die

In this game, each player has a character card with two sides: Healthy and Hurt. Each player starts out Healthy, with the Healthy side of the character card face up in front of them.

Each player draws three cards from the deck to form a starting hand. These cards describe various attacks (e.g. Punch, Kick, Uppercut), actions (e.g. Duck, Play Possum), or items (Firewater Bottle, Broken Chair Leg). As the game progresses, players may opt to spend their turn drawing more cards. The goal of the game is to be the last character standing in the saloon.

Players take turns attacking each other as the game proceeds. A punch, for instance, will injure the target on a d6 roll of 5+, while a kick will injure the target on a roll of 4+. If your target is injured, they flip their character card over to the “Hurt” side. If they are injured twice (before being healed), then they are knocked out.

A KO’d character falls to the floor (i.e. they push their character card into the center of the table). KO’d characters are in danger of being Tossed Out of the saloon (i.e. out of the game), if they cannot manage to get healed before this happens.

Quarriors

Players take on the roles of Quarriors – mighty mystical warriors who have the power to capture dangerous quarry from the untamed Wilds! They must conjure the mysterious powers of Quiddity, cast powerful spells, and summon their creatures to battle if they hope to overcome rivals and earn their rightful place as the Champion!

Quarriors has the frenetic excitement of a dice battle game, with an added ‘deckbuilding’ twist: players customize their dice pools during the game using resources generated by their rolls.

Quarriors takes the best of deckbuilding games without the tedium of shuffling. Take a typical deckbuilding game, add the speed and fun of dice and in 60 minutes you’re on your second or third game trying unique strategies against your opponents.

Alternate Description of Quarriors

In Quarriors, each player plays as a Quarrior competing for Glory in the eyes of Quiana, the Empress of Quaridia. Each player starts with an identical set of 12 dice in their dice bag. At the start of the game, Creature and Spell dice (Quarry) are dealt at random to form “the Wilds” in the center of the table. As play progresses, players roll their dice to attempt to summon Creatures, cast Spells, and harness the magical power of Quiddity (the in-game resource) to capture Quarry from the Wilds to add to their repertoire and into their dice bag. Players draw and roll 6 dice a turn from their bag, making that controlling bag composition is key to victory.

Quarriors is a fast-paced game where players must strategically balance their choices each turn. Do I use my Quiddity to summon Creatures in the hopes of scoring Glory or should I spend it all to capture more powerful Quarry from the Wilds? Players must outmaneuver their opponent’s through strategic Spell use, the acquisition of powerful Quarry, and ultimately, by striking down opponent’s Creature in combat. If your Creatures survive until your next turn, you will score Glory points and move closer to victory!

Snow Tails

set in the snowy world of the Arctic Circle, where brave sledders compete in a test of skill and endurance. Action is fast and furious and not all sleds may make it to the finish. Huskies only have one setting and that is full speed! Hang on to your furs, the reins, your sled and anything else you can get hold of.

The game contains modular track pieces which can be fitted together to form different courses. Players have their own Dog Decks which they draw from and play onto their sled mat. Movement is rarely in a straight line as the sled may drift left or right. Losing control or speeding into a corner results in Dent cards being acquired which will limit a player’s hand size.

The game features a fun and original movement mechanism.