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Most Anticipated Games - June 2018 Edition June 13 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. 

One Week Ultimate Werewolf

One Night Ultimate Werewolf has certainly spun off quite a few games since its initial release. But typically it's been to simply add new thematic roles like Aliens or Vampires. With One Week Ultimate Werewolf, they've expanded the formula beyond just one night.

In what looks to be one of the most bizarre mashups of games, One Week Ultimate Werewolf literally thrusts the Werewolf universe into the Mad King Ludwig universe. Each day players enter a different room with a unique ability, and each night you interact with the other players. Extending gameplay to nearly 45 minutes, One Week looks to bring more tension to the stakes. 

One Week Ultimate Werewolf arrives on October 2018.

Cosmic Encounter (42nd Anniversary Edition)

I have no shame. Cosmic Encounter has been and likely always will be my favourite game of all-time. And while this special 42nd Anniversary Edition isn't much different from the standard version of the game, I felt the need to add it here. This is after all our "most anticipated games" and nothing excited me quite like more Cosmic Encounter.

This new version will feature all the same things that came with the original, and a few more. The newer version will also be the standard base-game moving forward. The Demon alien species is being added to the game, as well as new Cosmic Combo cards. The Cosmic Combo cards are designed to help provide some intriguing matchups between different alien species. 

Cosmic Encounter (42nd Anniversary Edition) will be available in Q3 2018.

 

Spring Meadow

Two years ago Cottage Garden spun off from the still very popular Patchwork. From then Uwe Rosenberg brought us Indian Summer in 2017 as a sequel to Cottage Garden. And now in 2018 he looks to complete his trilogy. Spring Meadow is the last in Rosenbergs trio of tetrimino-shaped garden games. Promising to be the most interactive of the trilogy, Spring Meadow can hopefully bring the game to feel more like the magic of where it all began in Patchwork.

Spring Meadow will be available in July 2018.

Villagers

Hype, hype, hype. Decide for yourself if a game like Villagers deserves the attention it has been getting since its Kickstarter campaign opened, but it certainly looks promising. Borrowing some charm from a game like Machi Koro, the minimalist aesthetic adds some wonder to a game that looks to be very simplistic. It appears to be a very basic card drafting, village-building game. But where I can see a game like Villagers succeed is in its ability to get non-gamers excited about gaming. In today's climate, the next-big-thing will always be a game that can act as a gateway to the hobby.

Villagers ships to backers in February 2019.

Getaway Driver

I have always been of the opinion that the most intriguing (and usually fun to play) 2-player games are of the asymmetric variety. Whether it's the cat-and-mouse approach of Mr. Jack or a deeper game like Netrunner, there's a level of deduction and excitement you can't quite get from your standard abstract game. 

Getaway Driver puts players in the seats of the Driver and the Police as they race down streets following a heist. The city builds itself out as the game progresses, creating new challenges for both players. The gameplay provides the opportunity for the players to create their own narrative for each game as it plays out, much like Galaxy Trucker. 

Click here to visit the Kickstarter page. Getaway Driver ships to backers in March 2019.

 

Earl


FTW Staff Picks - 7 Wonders Duel June 13 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. 

7 Wonders Duel

Genre: Card Drafting

Designer: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala

Player Size: 2 Players

Game Length: 30 minutes

For fans of: 7 Wonders, Seasons, Sushi Go!

7 Wonders is one of the most well-known tabletop games among enthusiasts, and its ability to support up to 7 players is rare, and makes the game suitable for bigger groups. However, when you shrink to 2 players, the game forces you to add a "ghost" player that the two players will take turns drafting for. It's a clunky solution to an otherwise well-designed drafting game. But now with 7 Wonders Duel, there's a way for players to enjoy that same experience in a head-to-head driven game. 

In 7 Wonders Duel, players still draft cards to develop their Civilizations over 3 Ages. But instead of drafting from hands of cards, the two players draft from a formation of available and unavailable cards. As cards get drafted, they reveal cards beneath them and open them up for drafting. The same archetypes are there with slight modifications. Blue cards are still raw victory points and Red cards are still Military. But Instead of Military being an end-of-Age reward or penalty, there is an active marker that shows which player is currently leading. In fact, if one player pushes their Military marker to the opposing side's final space, they automatically win the game. Additionally there is the ability to win through Science, if a player can collect 6 of the 7 symbols in the game. And like the previous game, if no player wins via Military or Science, the player with the most victory points at the end of Age 3 is declared the winner!

I like 7 Wonders Duel. A lot. I think it's one of the best re-imaginations of a game that I've seen in quite some time. It manages to bring the same 7 Wonders feel without feeling like a lazy adaptation. I only ever played 7 Wonders with 2 players once, and it was enough to leave such a sour taste in my mouth to never try it again. With Duel, I not only feel like it is a solid card drafting game, but I think it actually surpasses the original. The added victory conditions and unique drafting system add more elements to keep track of. In the original game you could just avoid and ignore certain types of cards, with little to no penalty. Here you have to be cautious about letting certain things slip up. They've made the game feel deeper without really adding any complicated mechanics.

When you look at the designers of the game, you can't help but feel like it was a match made in heaven. The original Bauza creation was already a staple in most collections, but add in someone like Bruno Cathala and you have just another great mind innovating further. 7 Wonders Duel is one of the best 2 player games out there today, and if the Pantheon expansion is any indication, the extended support will only further enhance the experience.


Earl