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Days of Wonder


I have to say, there are some games that I've only ever played digitally. One such case is Ticket to Ride. It's been a bit, but we used to play a game during lunch on a coworker's tablet. Considering all the cards, the board, and all the pieces for the game, playing the digital version was really the only way we could get a game in while we ate. Well, a new Nordic map is available for the digital version of the game, and it just might mean we break it back out again at lunch.
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It's another Saturday and that means another Review Roundup.
Hopefully you're having a good one. I'm working on putting together some Guild Ball minis.

Anyway, let's get right into the reviews.

Today we have: Parade, Incan Gold, X-Wing's Eighth Wave of Expansions, Booze Barons, Kakerlaken Poker Royal, Tsuro digital app, Pingo Pingo, Raptor, Hue, Battlecruisers, Celesta, Colt Express: Horses and Stagecoach Expansion, Super11, Quadropolis, Ominoes, Curse of Strahd, and Imperial Settlers: Why Can't We Be Friends Expansion.

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Yeehaw!
Get on there, little dogie! Hup! Hup!
Hey there, pardners, it's time once more for a Review Roundup.
So let's get this rodeo on the road!

Today we have: Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King, Mage Knight, Lil' Cthulhu, Fleet Wharfside, Patchwork App, Techno Bowl, Rubicon's Opel Blitz, Arena Rex, Black Hat, Captain's Wager, T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons, Quadropolis, Orphan Black, City of Spies, and Empires: Age of Discovery.

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Everybody wants to rule the world. Or so Tears For Fears told us. I don't know if I want to rule the world, but being in charge of a major metropolitan area might not be so bad. Though I'm not exactly sure I'll get elected to public office, I have to live such dreams vicariously through games. One such game would be Quadropolis from Days of Wonder.
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So, this past week, instead of heading to St. Louis to visit my family, I was rained in, and instead spent several days at home, alone in my apartment. I can't really say it was the best way to spend the holiday, but I did get some solo gaming time in. Too bad these Solo Rules for Five Tribes weren't out yet. However, in case of the next time travel plans get ruined...
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All aboard! Time to jump on the Soul Train! Or at least, just the regular commuter train. Though I don't know if I'd suggest playing Ticket to Ride on a regular commuter train. It's got a lot of cards and little pieces that could get lost. But if you were taking, say, a cross-country train trip, that'd be good.
... I'm getting off-topic.
Ticket To Ride: United Kingdom is now available.
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The train's going to be leaving the station soon. You'll want to make sure you're on it. Where's it going? Well, that's for your route cards to decide. Days of Wonder has started taking pre-orders for their new Ticket To Ride: United Kingdom expansion pack. The set's more than just a double-sided map (one side's the UK. The other is Pennsylvania. Because... United Kingdom...).
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Days of Wonder keeps Ticket to Ride nice and fresh with new map packs coming out to change up your game a bit. Once you think you've mastered one map, you can move on to the next. Map Collection 5 - United Kingdom will be coming out at Essen. It has maps of the UK as well as... uh... Pennsylvania. Because... United Kingdom... *shrugs*
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Two weeks from now, Gen Con will be over with. Yeah. It's not that it's "about two weeks away" anymore. Hopefully if you've got any sort of Gen Con prep left to do, you can do it in just about a week, since that's all you've got. I'll be happy for one more weekend before the show. Game companies are also prepping for the show (and hopefully have been for several months now). Included in that list is Days of Wonder.
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The order of days has progressed as it always does and we once more find ourselves deposited in Saturday. It's certainly my favorite day of the week. As this gets posted, I'm working on putting minis together. That activity is my favorite part of the entire gaming hobby. As such, I'm having a really good day. Hopefully you are, too.

But to the business at hand: reviews of games.

Today's batch includes reviews/previews of: Splendor App, Ticket to Ride: Alvin and Dexter, Rhino Hero, Word on the Street, Awkward Family Photos, Traders of Osaka, Blood Rage, and Dawn of the Zeds 3rd edition.
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There are many opportunities in the desert. They might not be immediately apparent, but they're there. You just have to know where to look, and perhaps have a bit of knowledge in the crafting arts. The Artisans, the new expansion available for Five Tribes from Days of Wonder, lets you play this new group as part of your quest to take control of the Sultanate.
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It's a Small World Designer Edition after all.
*runs and hides from the irate readers who now have a particular song stuck in their head*
Originally only available via Kickstarter, Days of Wonder will be putting a rather limited number of these sets up for sale on their website on June 9th. The ordering will go live at 3pm GMT. Each person will be only able to order 1 of these at a time. So if you want one, you'd best be prepared. They're expected to go quick.
But what makes the Designer Edition so special?
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In Five Tribes, players are vying for control of the Sultanate. Well, a new faction is about to join in the struggle for power, and they're bringing powerful artifacts with them. The Artisans of Naqala, a new Tribe, will bring new challenges and opportunities to your games. These artisans make more than just fancy rugs or intricate pottery. They can create powerful magic items that change the very nature of Five Tribes. Only through harnessing such power can a player secure their spot at the top.
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CMON and Spaghetti Western are teaming up to re-release the Queen's Necklace card game. Originally released by Days of Wonder, Queen's Necklace is a bluffing and set collecting game where players are trying to collect gems to create the greatest piece of jewelry to appease the French Queen. But watch out, as the King can block gems from being used. CMON and Spaghetti Western will be adding all-new artwork to the cards, as well as updating the rules to integrate various changes and FAQ clarifications from previous editions of the game. Expect to see the game this September.

From the announcement: Discuss
Another Saturday night (well, afternoon) and I ain't got nobody (well, I'm hanging out with my gaming group). I got some money 'cause I just got paid (well, earlier in the week, yeah). Oh how I wish I had someone to talk to (well... again, with my gaming group, so I'm talking with them). I'm in an awful way (I'm starting to think this song wasn't the best choice to use in this opening, since I'm doing just fine right now, but I've typed this much, I'm going to stick with it).

Time once more for a Review Roundup. Here's the game/product reviews/previews/unboxings we found in the last week.

Items include: DreadBall Hobgoblin Unboxing, King of New York, the Melee expansion for Chaostle, Five Tribes, and Last Will and it's Get Stacked expansion.

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Days of Wonder has announced that the recent World Championships for Ticket To Ride has been marred by an act of cheating. Therefore, they've stripped the previous World Champion of his rank and instead given it to the 2nd place finisher.

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From the announcement:

Representing the USA, Kenneth Heilfron is officially declared the 2014 Ticket to Ride World Champion as the previously announced champion, Erwin Pauelsen has resigned his title.

After more that 25,000 contestants played around the world, Days of Wonder gathered the 28 National Champions in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France for the final stage of the Ticket to Ride World Championship tournament. After 3 qualifying rounds, the top 8 then played a succession of head to head games for quarter, semi and then championship games. Erwin Pauelsen appeared to have won the final match and was awarded the Golden Train Trophy.
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Asmodee and Days of Wonder are merging together.

Asmodees of Wonder

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From the announcement:

Asmodee and Days of Wonder have announced a "merger of Days of Wonder into the Asmodee Group of game companies", which is shorthand for Asmodee buying Days of Wonder. No purchase price was disclosed in a press release announcing the deal or by DoW's co-founder and VP of sales and marketing Mark Kaufmann, who I spoke with about the deal. (A Forbes article from March 2013 notes that Days of Wonder "generates $10 to $20 million in revenue annually".)
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Board Game Quest takes a look at the Nederland expansion to Ticket To Ride in their latest review article.



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From the review:

If you ever wander onto the Ticket to Ride page on the Days of Wonder website, you will see an option to look at fan contributions. You can find over 30 links to maps made by the loyal fans of the game that allow you to play Ticket to Ride in different countries around the world. In 2011, Days of Wonder started to put together map collections that are used with the trains and train cards from either Ticket to Ride USA or Europe. These collections add new mechanics to each map, making them play somewhat differently than the base game. The first three map collections added a dangerous Himalayan route, bonus to destination tickets, and terrain cards that can make routes even more valuable. Today we will be looking at Days of Wonders’ most recent map collection, Vol. 4 Nederland. On this map, players will be claiming routes in the Nederland countryside. Lets get into the review to learn about the new mechanic this brings to Ticket to Ride.


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Board Game Quest takes a look at the Days of Wonder Ticket to Ride: Europe expansion and gives you their thoughts on the situation.



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From the review:

Whenever I visited my grandparents as a child, one of the first things I played with was their train set. They had a massive set of duplo trains for me to use and it was one of the highlights of my visit. I’m guessing that might have something to do with my enjoyment 0f the theme for Ticket to Ride. Today we will be looking at the second addition to the Ticket to Ride family, Ticket to Ride: Europe. In this edition, players are claiming train routes between cities of turn-of-the-century Europe instead of the United States. Is this game a worthy successor or should you stick with the first Ticket to Ride game. Read on.

Ticket To Ride: Europe is a route building and set collection game for 2-5 players, plays well at all player counts. Ticket to Ride: Europe plays in about one hour.


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Days of Wonder has their new Shadows Over Camelot card game.
Insert your favorite Holy Grail quote here.



From the website:

Following in the footsteps of the original award-winning cooperative board game, the sons & daughters of the legendary Knights of the Round Table must work together to defend Camelot and defeat the game’s threats, represented by a deck of Rumor cards that swirl around the kingdom.

Once again, the Knights face Traitors in their midst as loyalties are tested… Using totally different mechanics from its board game namesake, the card game nonetheless recaptures all the epic tension and backstabbing treachery of its glorious predecessor!


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Days of Wonder announces a spin-off card game based on their Shadows Over Camelot board game.



From the announcement:

Announcing Shadows over Camelot – The Card Game. Based on the award-winning cooperative board game released in 2005, the Card Game follows in the footsteps of the original, as players work together to defend Camelot against rumors swirling about the kingdom.
Shadows over Camelot – The Card Game includes a deck of 62 Rumor cards; 9 Knight cards; 9 Loyalty cards; 10 Quest Tokens and 16 double-sided (black and white) swords. It is a stand-alone game that takes approximately 20 minutes and can be played with 2-7 players, as well as a solo game. It is expected to be available in Europe in mid-October at the Essen Spiel and in North America in late October at a retail price of $25/€23.


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Days of Wonder is now taking pre-orders for their Memoir '44 Equipment Pack. There's quite a lot of models in there.



From the release:

The #1 request from Memoir ’44 fans was for more figures and the new Memoir ’44 Equipment Pack delivers – filling a game box as big as the original with the largest set of figures ever released for the Memoir ’44 game system.

With 186 highly detailed plastic figures, the Equipment Pack is the definitive Memoir ’44 figure expansion and a “must-have” for fans. All these figures can be deployed over many of the existing Memoir ’44 scenarios, but you’ll also discover new scenarios in the Equipment Pack – 11 Standard, 2 Breakthrough and 4 Overlord – all designed with these new pieces in mind.


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Days of Wonder has just released an expansion pack for Memior '44 that's bigger than the original game itself!



From the release:

68 years ago today, Allied forces unleashed over 150,000 men and thousands of tons of equipment along the coast of Normandy.

This year on the anniversary of D-Day, Days of Wonder announces the Memoir ’44 Equipment Pack. This is a major expansion to the Memoir ’44 game system and fills a game box as big as the original board game.


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Days of Wonder still has a bit to go before they actually release this, but they're talking more about their expansion to Small World.



From the preview:

Still some months away from the actual release of Small World Realms, speculations are ramping up… What wonders do these Realms hold in their midst? How do they look like, from above and underground? And how modular are they and the Regions that form them?


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Penny Arcade Report talks with Days of Wonder CEO, Eric Hautemont


Ben Kuchera of the Penny Arcade Report recently interviewed Days of Wonder CEO, Eric Hautemont. The conversation focused on Ticket to Ride – both the cardboard and digital versions. The result was a wide-ranging and sometimes philosophical look at why we do what we do. Including…

why most people are afraid of new games
how DOW is in for the long haul
what matters most (hint: if the game isn’t good, nothing else matters)
how board game > digital game > to boardgame works


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