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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Escape a Mirror Universe in Star Trek: Discovery – Black Alert, and Attend a Swedish Festival in Jokkmokk

by W. Eric Martin

• As it had done in 2022, WizKids had a private room at GAMA Expo 2023 to show off upcoming board games, miniature games, miniatures, and other stuff that fits more with the NECA parent company. Think collectibles.

Star Trek: Discovery – Black Alert seemed to be the focal point of the board game area given the focal lights on the game board that made it tough to photograph. In this design from Lynnvander Studios, you play through an episode of the TV series. Here’s the back-of-the-box description:

The ultimate weapon of the U.S.S. Discovery isn’t its phasers or torpedos, but rather its unique propulsion system: the spore drive. Now the Discovery has accidentally slipped into the mirror universe where the previous I.S.S. Discovery has been destroyed. Several members of the I.S.S. Charon would like to capture the Discovery to use it for their own aims.

In Star Trek: Discovery – Black Alert, players divide into teams, and each team represents key members of either the U.S.S. Discovery or I.S.S. Charon crew. Players take turns activating locations on their ship, navigating through the network, and attempting to accomplish missions. One crew is trying to return home, while the other wants to capture their ship. Which team will emerge victorious?

The Discovery crew slots are closest to camera, and they have actions facing both the Discovery team and the Charon team because the enemy can invade your ship (or somehow take command) to use your stuff against you.

The Discovery moves along the paths of space to reach destinations and do stuff, whereas the enemy moves only from one space to an adjacent one regardless of paths, attempting to box in the Discovery. You can manipulate space to change the paths, which is essential given that loops can isolate target locations.

• Due out in September 2023, Unboxed from Jordan Sorenson is a co-operative deduction game in which you are archaeology students who are presented with components and the vaguest of hints of what to do with them, then challenged to reconstruct ancient board games, after which you can play those games.

Ten scenarios are included in the box.

Jokkmokk: The Winter Market is a 1-5 player game from Henrik Larsson that has introduced a previously unknown festival to me. An overview of the game:

The tranquil city of Jokkmokk has hosted a world-famous market and folk festival every February for over four hunderd years. Visitors from across the glob don their warmest winter gear to experience the beautiful crafts, delicious treats, and breathtaking scenery Jokkmokk has to offer.

In Jokkmokk: The Winter Market, you gather your family members for a lovely trip around the merchant’s stalls of the folk festival. Will you focus on gathering souvenirs and trinkets? Will you enjoy the sights and sounds of winter in northern Sweden?

• I wrote about Ian Cooper‘s Ascending Empires: Zenith Edition in July 2022, and while this September 2023 release was not featured on a table, I can show you the back of the box to highlight what’s coming:

Trials of Tempus is the next Dungeons & Dragons board game coming from WizKids, with both a standard and premium edition due out in July 2023. Here’s an overview:

Dungeons & Dragons: Trials of Tempus is a co-operative, team-based game for 2-8 players in which rival parties of heroic adventurers battle to prove their worth and mettle in the ever-changing Battlerealms of Tempus, God of War!

Choose your hero wisely for the skills and allies you need to conquer each trial are never the same, and the guardian that awaits you all at the end will surely test the limits of your bravery…or is it your cunning? The trial will tell.

To win, you and your party must work together to earn more points than your rivals by completing quests and gathering loot! Finally, you must defeat the trial guardian. Whichever party has the most points when the trial guardian falls wins the trial!

King’s Coalition from Derek Croxton seems along the lines of Fantasy Realms, with players attempting to draft a valuable hand of cards. Here’s an overview of this 2-5 player game from the designer:

Help the king of Athabasia assemble a coalition in Parliament to vote him the taxes he needs. You are trying to score the most points from your cards’ face value and from bonuses; some bonuses are always available (such as a straight of at least six), while others vary and are only revealed as the game progresses.

Each turn, you draft a new coalition member into your hand from the deck or from face up cards. Usually you also discard, but peasant cards can be “enrolled” face up in your hand and don’t require a discard. Total your points after six turns; after four games, high score wins.


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