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FTW Staff Picks - Colt Express August 15 2018

For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new. 

Colt Express

Genre: Programming 

Designer: Christophe Raimbault

Player Size: 2 to 6 Players

Game Length: 45 minutes

For fans of: Camel Up, Robo Rally, Room 25

Board games and trains have always been a popular combination. You've got Ticket to RideTrains, Mexican Trains and so on. But few games take the train theme and put it into reality like Colt Express. With an actual 3D representation of a train, the game plays like a classic Western heist. It's a good thing the game itself lives up to expectation, because the design of everything really deserves all the glory. 

In Colt Express, players are bandits looking to steal the most loot from a moving train. Players are given a deck of Action cards and 6 bullets. At the beginning of every round a Round Card is revealed. The Round Card will indicate how many turns each player has and any special events that will occur at the end of the round. Players will then take turns playing Action cards into a programming pile. Once all players have taken their turns for the round the pile is then played in sequence of when it was played, now taking action. At the end of 5 rounds, the player with the most valuable loot is declared the winner! 

There are 6 unique characters in Colt Express, each one with a special ability that only they can do. Players may punch, shoot and beckon the Marshall. At the end of the game a Gunslinger award ($1000) is given to the player who shoots the most bullets. The game is zany. There is a ton of unpredictable elements that can quickly reverse fortunes. It's not the kind of game where you can expect to thoughtfully plan things out. Every step of the way needs a bit of a contingency plan. Playing out your actions, after programming them, means you will probably end up in situations you did not foresee.

I love Colt Express. It's my favourite among the most recent Spiel des Jahres winners. If the wicked 3D train model isn't enough to excite your friends, you need to find new friends and play Colt Express with them instead. It's the kind of game that will give you laughs, without ever feeling like a cheap dice roll. It's also a great game to role-play your characters. It's a true Western experience, and one that you can actually enjoy!


Earl


Most Anticipated Games - August 2018 Edition August 09 2018

Each month at For The Win Board Game Cafe, we take a look at a few future releases that we're really excited about. From new games, to expansions, to Kickstarters we'll be covering it all monthly. 

Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra

This year's Spiel des Jahres winner is getting its first spin-off. Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, closely follows the same mechanics of the original game. It adds modular boards for different variable setups. And as gorgeous as the original Azul is, the new components and re-theme of the game looks even better. Who doesn't love translucent, colourful tokens? Many have jokingly called this Azul: Sagrada Edition, but it looks to make a strong statement on its own. 

Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra arrives on October 2018.

Exodus: Paris Nouveau

The Dystopian Universe is getting a new addition to the family. Martin Wallace is bringing his expertise to the table. Coup was the last real notable title from the Indie Boards & Cards folks. Exodus: Paris Nouveau looks to borrow a few ideas from both Shadow Hunters and Secret Hitler. Deduction games have always been the calling card of the publisher, and this one is no different. Hopefully this one can be successful after the last few busts.  

Exodus: Paris Nouveau will be available in September 2018.

Clank! In! Space! Apocalypse!

I am very happy to that Clank! In! Space! is getting its very own first expansion. When the spinoff was released, I felt that it was a better take on the dungeon-crawling deck-builder than the original game. I was a little worried it would be relegated to one-off standalone status, but it looks like they are going to treat it as its own game. The new Scheme additions look to add a bit of a narrative, progression element to the game. With 8 different schemes, there should be plenty new to experience with Clank! In! Space! Apocalypse!

Clank! In! Space! Apocalypse! will be available on August 15 2018.

Villainous

The Disney license has often been used to theme popular games such as Monopoly, Codenames and Hedbanz. But there isn't really one standout Disney board game that is its own experience entirely. Villainous looks to be the first big table top success from Disney. Instead of going the heroic route, players will actually take on one of the many iconic villains from Disney franchises. I've always felt like the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle was a bit clunky for casual gamers and overall a bit of a missed opportunity given its price-point. But Villainous looks to appease fans who are looking for something more accessible. 

Villainous will be on store shelves by the end of August 2018.

Sabotage

Is it safe to say that hidden movement games are now trending? It's not a new concept, as you'll find it in games as old as Scotland Yard. But lately there have been quite a few hits that follow the same type of game with Captain Sonar and Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space. Sabotage has a cool box that actually folds into the divider of the game to separate the two teams of players. While Captain Sonar is a fast-paced, real-time take on team vs. team hidden movement, Sabotage looks more like a slower, methodical game. It's a neat genre, that I'm really glad to see it expanded upon further.

Click here to visit the Kickstarter page. Sabotage ships to backers in April 2019.

 

Earl