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SPIEL ’22, Day 0: Pics from Set-up Day II

by W. Eric Martin

Let’s head back to SPIEL ’22 during set-up day on Wednesday, October 5, a time when you can find lots of empty booths in halls 4, 5, and 6 that invite questions to be resolved once the show opens.

For example, one of the titles depicted on the Spielworxx booth is Carolingi, a design from Christoph Cantzler and Sebastian Freudenberg that will be released by Sea Cove Games in 2023. What is Sea Cove Games, you might ask? A new publishing venture for developers Peter Eggert and Uli Blennemann.

Here’s an overview of gameplay:

Winter 830: Disaster looms. The vast realm of Charlemagne threatens to fall apart under his son and successor Louis the Pious. Charlemagne’s grandchildren are already competing for the throne, pushing their father aside. Strife and rebellion abound — the once stable kingdom is on the verge of war. Is there still hope for peace?

In Carolingi, the players assume the roles of the grandchildren of Charlemagne; they are the “Carolingi”, who must live through the difficulties and central aspects of early medieval rule. The “Carolingi” have to wield their power by fealty of the nobility. The nobility, in turn, expect to be rewarded with vast estates, so the Carolingi have to seek more and more land and resources, but as the power base of one Carolingian gets stronger, so does the envy and greed of his royal siblings. There’s need for action for the Carolingi, but not everything can be done at a time. Only prudent action will bring peace and stability to the realm.

The board shows the counties and regions of Carolingian times, and the game features an innovative system of action that guarantees an exciting, effortless gaming experience. Each game year consists of four quarters; in each quarter the players add two of their (wooden) action tiles to a bag, from which they are later drawn one at a time. This results in unpredictability (true to its time).

The game includes a competitive version and a semi-cooperative version.

The game ends in peace.

Do not interrupt the “Hunter & Cron” recording or the cameraman will cut you.

This was the entirety of the booth for Akora Cards on Wednesday, with this being another unknown entity for me. The publisher’s Instagram page can fill us in: “Akora TCG is a fast paced anime inspired card game based around alchemy. Build an alchemy deck, summon powerful Akora, & battle rival Alchemists.”

Belgian publisher Intrafin Games had several large games on the tables in hall 6, including Hybris: Disordered Cosmos from Damien Chauveau and Aurora Game Studio (which BGG recorded an overview of at FIJ 2020) and D.E.I.: Divide et Impera from Tommaso Battista and Ludus Magnus Studio.

Here’s an overview of that former game:

Hybris is a board game of worker placement, opportunity and development.

Primodials Gods have fallen. Hunted, captured and tortured by their children, Chronos and his congeners are nothing but remnants of an ancient world. Era of Olympians has just begun. After aeons of fightings, a new order is established. Zeus, his brothers and sisters took the dominion of the heavens and the mortals world. Now they are trying to organize themselves to share the remaining realms and know who will be the new ruler.

But Olympians are not yet real gods, they must evolve, activate the spark that will turn them into a true god even if their current strength is colossal. Moreover, they must establish their domination in the realm of mortals, and to do this, use the essence of their father: the Aegis. This energy comes directly from the Primordials themselves who are captured and chained in the underworld. With this energy, Olympians can meet the expectations of the largest cities in Ancient Greece by deploying the most beautiful and promising technologies.

Play your god to build technologies, accomplishing quest, fight heroes, upgrade your Divinity Sparkle and win the game by unlocking all your Divine Enhancements or by victory points in the 6th Age turn.

For its booth in hall 6 (H110), Lookout Games has partnered with a game table manufacturer, so Uwe Rosenberg‘s Atiwa awaits play on something a bit more luxe than the usual demo table. (I mean, I suppose it’s luxe. Personally I dislike recessed playing surfaces and would never choose to play on such a table.)

In many ways, SPIEL ’22 is a show highlighting game releases from the past three years, as with 2020’s Rockstar Portfolio Manager from designer Dexter Tiah and Singaporean publisher T3 Gaming Studio, which plays as follows:

In Rockstar Portfolio Manager, players are promising multi-asset portfolio managers, shortlisted by a billionaire as candidates to manage his wealth. They are each given seed capital by the billionaire and have to build the largest value investment portfolio over the market cycles to prove their worth.

Every round unveils a new scenario (a random market cycle), to which players have partial information due to a game mechanism called “initial research”. During a player’s turn (within the round), they resolve the payoffs associated with the scenario and their investment portfolios draws and plays action cards. They also have the option of re-balancing their portfolio to best position it for maximum investment gains in the future scenarios. When the last player for the round has finished their turn, the scenario is discarded and a new scenario card is unveiled in a new round.

The game ends when there are no scenarios cards and the last player has finished their turn. A player wins by having the largest portfolio value.

Ian Livingstone‘s Judge Dredd board game was released by Games Workshop in 1982, and it’s being revamped with updated rules and new specialist judges for release in November 2022 by Rebellion Unplugged.

Sure to be the hit of SPIEL ’22…

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