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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Assemble a Tribe in Doggerland, Sail a Knarr to New Lands, and Use ArcheOlogic to Reconstruct a City

by W. Eric Martin

ArcheOlogic is a competitve deduction game from Yoann Levet, co-designer of Turing Machine, and publisher Ludonaute that’s due out on September 15, 2023.

The depicted components add a lot to the description of this 1-4 player game:

A city in the mountains was discovered, but no one dares to venture there without having mapped the place. Here is finally a mission for you, an archaeologist with implacable logic.

In ArcheOlogic, your goal is to be the first to find the exact location of the buildings of the city.

To help you? An Archeoscope, the only research instrument capable of reading the coded cards left by the Ancients. Ask the Archeoscope your questions by adjusting its cogs, note the precious answers, and replace the buildings on your plan. Think carefully as some questions will take more time than others, but maybe their answer will help you win…

• Instead of reconstructing the past, you can relive it in Doggerland, a 1-4 player game from Laurent Guilbert, Jérôme Daniel Snowrchoff, and Super Meeple that’s due out in France on June 30, 2023. An overview, starting with what “doggerland” means:

Doggerland was a landmass that connected Great Britain to mainland Europe that disappeared under the North Sea after the last ice age. Humans lived on these fertile lands where multiple resources and animals were found.

In Doggerland, you embody a clan around 15,000 BCE, and your goal is to expand your clan in order to leave a trace of its existence for centuries to come.

Players have to increase their population, make crafts, paint murals in caves, raise megaliths for the gods, and (most of all) survive the rigors of the seasons. To do this, they have to explore the surrounding territory and adapt to the resources at their disposal.

This territory differs in each game thanks to modular tiles. Each round, players have to program their actions, then carry them out. The actions will vary based on available resources, their abundance or scarcity around their village, and the actions and reactions of what other players have chosen. As time passes, resources will run out, and clans must migrate to find what they need for their development and survival.

Image: Kimball Bent

In each clan, players have a leader who brings multiple bonuses and a shaman who allows powerful and unique actions thanks to her knowledge and magic.

After 6-8 seasons, the clan with the most points wins.

• Following on 2022’s Sea Salt & Paper, publisher Bombyx has two new small games hitting the market.

Elawa is a 2-4 player game from Johannes Goupy and Corentin Lebrat that debuted on June 16, 2023 in which you assemble a prehistoric tribe and collect the resources needed to help it grow. Yes, again! Those tribes don’t assemble themselves, you know. An overview:

Each turn, pick one card from those surrounding the campfire on the table, add it to your tribe face up, and get a resources from the central display based on the number in the lower right of the card.

Take these resources in order from where you picked up the card, getting a bonus if you take the last resource from a stack, after which the resource is re-filled. With these resources, you can build cards from your hand, whether for an immediate effect, resource storage, or endgame scoring.

When the central resource pile is empty, players tally their scores.

Thomas Dupont‘s Knarr is also a 2-4 player game in which you assemble a group around you, but now you’re the leader of a Viking band that plans to explore new territories:

Depending on the destinations reached, whether for trading or influence, and the Vikings who accompany you, you can increase your reputation to gain even more wealth. Each turn, you:

— Place a new member in your Viking crew, activate the effects of all of them with the same icon, and get another one from those available under the matching color on the central board, or

— Explore new destinations, with the opportunity to trade with those places and get more gains or reputation.

Knarr is due out in August 2023, and both Elawa and Knarr will be available for demoing at Gen Con 2023.


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