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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Marine Worlds Come to Ark Nova, Privileges to Faiyum, and Chickens to Cubitos

by W. Eric Martin

More, more, more, how do you like it? How do you like it?

If “it” refers to game expansions, the answer is probably “in a small rectangular prism” — or even better “in a paper slipcase that I can recycle when I place the materials within the base game box”. Whether any of the items below feature this quality is an open question.

• I originally wrote about the first expansion for Mathias Wigge‘s Ark Nova in August 2022, and while the description of this item has stayed largely unchanged, it now bears the final title of Ark Nova: Marine Worlds and a cover that doesn’t bear the words “first expansion”, so that’s a plus.

Ark Nova: Marine Worlds will debut at SPIEL ’23 from Feuerland Spiele in October, with Capstone Games expecting to have the game available for retail in the U.S. in Q4 2023. You can sample some of the cards in this expansion below, savoring every last icon for its point-scoring potential:

• Another SPIEL ’23 expansion on the schedule is Faiyum: Privileges from Friedemann Friese and 2F-Spiele. In the 2020 base game Faiyum, players worked together (sort of) to clear and develop an area to impress Pharaoh and gain reputation points. Everyone starts with the same cards in hand, then acquires new cards over the course of play, specializing in what you can possibly do and trying to manage your actions carefully. For more details, see my May 2021 overview.

Faiyum: Privileges adds new cards to the game in the form of both one-time and permanent privileges. These cards aren’t added to your hand, but sit on the table and affect the strength of what you are doing or give you a new power.

Alderac Entertainment Group plans to launch an expansion-centered crowdfunding campaign in June 2023 for four titles in its catalog:

— War Chest: Nightfall adds assassins, saboteurs, infiltrators, and skirmishers to the two-player game War Chest from Trevor Benjamin and David Thompson.

— Cubitos: Fowl Play adds new colors of dice you can draft to John D. Clair‘s Cubitos, presumably with multiple characters for each new color, as well as dice that allow for play with up to six people.

— New cards for Peter McPherson‘s Tiny Towns that don’t have a visible name in anything I’ve seen.

— Space Base: Genesis contains more than one hundred new ships, colonies, and other cards, and Space Base designer John D. Clair describes it as “the best Space Base expansion…Almost no new rules and just loads more card variety”.

Teaser image for all four expansions, which will be released at retail later, are in this tweet:


Why is AEG crowdfunding these expansions? In a Facebook post, someone from company explained:

The simple answer is to reach new customers. If you are an AEG customer, you already know about our games, but the number of other people who see and hear about AEG games is small compared to the total number of people who play games. The world has changed and it is harder than ever to gauge demand for new products. Crowdfunding gives us a direct connection to the people buying our games, and this in turn means we make smarter print-run decisions.

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