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Arena season 0: the Final Sprint !

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Since January, you have voted in favor of the new competitive mode of BGA: the Arena.

Thank you for this success :)

Season zero is almost coming to an end: it will end on April 15 at noon (UTC time). You therefore have 2 short weeks to improve your ranking and claim the end-of-season trophies!

Some details on the end of the season:

The Arena will be closed from April 15 at 12:00 UTC, for a period of up to 24 hours. This will allow the last parts to end, and it is necessary for us to validate the results.

Note: the turn-based games that are not finished at this precise moment may continue, but will no longer count for Arena mode.

We are finalizing the way in which season 1 will unfold. All we can tell you is that there will be no major changes. Note that some games will see their configuration changed. At the start of the season, you will be relegated to a lower league as expected: it's up to you to reclaim your rank by playing!

And who knows: there may be a few more surprises when Season 1 kicks off!

Small complement: this end of season and the beginning of the following one obviously falls at a particular moment, since as you know we had to multiply the capacity of reception of the service by 5 to arrive at all to make you play. This required a lot of emergency work, which caused a lot of instability in the past 2 weeks, and some days it was not very pleasant to use this service.

We would like to apologize to all the players for this somewhat rowdy period which we hope is behind us (at least for the bigger one). In addition, if you have been affected as a Premium player, we will soon contact you directly about this.

Thanks a lot!
04/02/2020 4 comments

After The Mind and The Game, here comes "The Void"

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It is not because we are working hard on the load problems of the site that we must postpone the planned game releases on time.

At the end of February, we were at the New York Toy Fair to find the games of tomorrow.

This is how we had the infinite chance to meet via Rémi Amy (author of the game Carta Impera Victoria), one of his colleagues: Salvador Malevitch, author of the game who defines himself as "creator of experiences", who introduced us to his game: The Void.

The Void is a game made of 100 plastic cards, whose rectangular shape, particularly original, denotes in the game world, are illustrated with particularly neat white patterns.

The principle of the game is devilishly simple and addictive:

It is a cooperative turn-by-turn game for 2 to 10 players where you have to show strategy and creativity:
The deck is carefully shuffled, then the players receive 4 cards face down.
Then, each person places one of their cards on the central pile.

The emerging tension of its perfectly balanced random mechanics, you will need to put your cards in the right order to win.

Very simple not being simplistic, rich and really tense, each part will surprise you and should delight fans of titles like "Dominion", "Catan" or "Twilight Imperium".

The Draft mode, accessible to the most expert players, will be limited to Premium members, while access to the base game is available now to all BGA members, for free.

Play The Void NOW!

A potential hit which we hope to be able to renew the license annually as it has packed us.
We hope you have as much fun as we had.
Take care of yourself, and play The Void now

We thank the publishing house Malevitch & co. for the exclusive assignment of rights, and Vincent Notraits for its visuals.
03/31/2020 48 comments

Sushi Go!

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Currently, our efforts are mainly focused on increasing the website's capacity. However, as the game is ready, we see no reason to postpone its release, and, in fact, it's quite the contrary: its cheerful and warm theme is particularly welcome during this period.

We have been working on it for several weeks, some will have guessed which game it is since last week's teaser, and here it is, finally, fresh on your plates: Sushi Go!
A draft and hand management game by Phil Walker-Harding, which will remind some of 7 Wonders, but distilled in a very fast game accessible to all.

Play Sushi Go! Now !

Published by Gamewright and distributed by Cocktail Games (in France) and Zoch Verlag (in Germany), the draft mechanics are used in the most refined way possible by imposing a minimum of rules.

By analyzing the cards that are passed to you, you will quickly have to deduce the best cards to keep: at the end of each of the 3 rounds, there is an intermediate scoring. The challenge will be to understand which cards are essential to your hand and which ones do not matter much.

The score being based on sets collection (Who has the most Makis? Who has a set of 3 Sashimis? Etc ...), expect tense games that offer moments of brilliance or complex dilemmas!
Round after round, you must also keep an eye on the Puddings which will only be scored at the end of the game.

Did we tell you about Wasabi cards? What about Chopsticks? And possible combos with the sauce?

Sushi Go! is a marvel that could be played from 2 to 5 players. Even if the duel version is not the most recommended, it is nevertheless a great way to get acquainted with the different cards effects.

Finally, we can only advise you to play with your loved ones, friends and families, because this is also a great way to understand hand-management and the richness of card-combinations that made the success of some more complex mechanics.

Quick and easy to access, it is an excellent game that should bring, in this complex period, a little joy among those who do not have much time to play.

Sushi Go is available on BGA as a Premium game: a Premium membership is required to create a new game, and then as usual anyone can join the game and play.

Board Game Arena warmly thanks Gamewright for allowing us to offer you this excellent online game on your favorite website!

Enjoy your Sushis!
03/20/2020 32 comments

BGA heartbeat: what's up doc?

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As our regular users will have noticed, since the end of last week, Board Game Arena has been handling a very heavy load. More and more users are connecting and playing, from every part of the world.

This exceptional situation is putting online services under pressure. Because of Covid-19, many people are locked at home. We cannot visit friends. We cannot have parties. We cannot have game nights. So we are moving much of our lives online, and for people who love to play board games, that means playing online.

Of course, nobody could expect this situation. We were not prepared for this.

All the weekend, we have been monitoring the situation and working to find ways to handle the load better. Before last week, our highest load was about 4000 players connected at the same time. On Thursday, we hit 5000 and it was still ok. On Friday, we hit 7000 and the service crashed. We were able to restore it 40 minutes later, then found and solved the problem. We also set up some possibilities to disable non essential functionalities to prioritize welcoming people to play. On Saturday night, with those changes we managed to welcome up to 9000 players connected at the same time, with some lagging but without a major crash. That's a little crazy if you ask us :)

Then on Sunday, we were examining the situation and what we could do and realized that there were just too many issues and that we needed to limit the load in order to be able to work on the problems without being blocked by managing crashes all the time. So we put in place a limit to the number of connected users (premium excepted), that matches what the service can currently handle without major slowdowns.

Now, we will be working on increasing the server capacity to raise this limit progressively to be able to welcome more and more players with a correct service level. Maybe some people would think that "it's just a matter of setting up some some more servers", but it's more complicated than that. Some of the load can be distributed, some can not. What's causing problems is what cannot be distributed, the "bottlenecks". For example, in order to get into the games, you must all get in the same place to join games, in the game lobby. So among other things we are working on making the lobby able to hold more people at the same time.

To sum it up to our old users, please be patient! We are working on making things better. And to our new users, you are discovering the service at a very special moment, so you may encounter some unexpected issues. Sorry about that, but in any case, welcome! We are happy and proud to be able to provide a service that is appreciated in this stressful time.

Please take good care of you and of the communities around you in real life and online!

The BGA team.
03/16/2020 174 comments

Red7

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We are delighted today to brighten this winter season with a very colorful game! Red7, a game from designers Carl Chudyk and Chris Cieslik, published by Asmadi Games, is now available online on Board Game Arena!

Play it now!

The rule of Red is really easy: if you have the best card, you win! But this is just one of the 7 available rules (one for each color in the game) that can apply to the numbers and colors of the cards in play, and in Red7 you get to choose the rule that's applicable at the end of your turn. So you may be unable to win with the current rule, but completely turn the tables by changing the rule to get to a very strong position!

On each turn, you may play one card face up before you to create your "Palette". Then, if you are not winning with the currently applicable rule, you have to discard one card to the "Canvas" to change the rule in your favor, so that you are winning at the end of your turn. Otherwise, you're out for this round!

Red7 is a nice mix of skill and luck, in the range of poker. There is definitely skill in evaluating your hand to play it in the best possible way, but the newer players still have a chance if they get lucky either with the draw or with their insight into the play. The "advanced draw" and "actions" variants (both enabled by default) also bring some extra strategical edge by allowing you to get some more cards along the way or to optimize your Palette (or your opponent's).

In just a few words, this game is simple, fast, and good! We are pretty sure that if you try it, you'll get addicted quickly! :D

A lot of thanks to Asmadi Games for allowing us to have Red7 online on BGA (this is the third game of Asmadi Games avalaible on BGA after Innovation and Penny Press), to Chris Cieslik (AngelKurisu) for helping us to playtest, and to the two developers Dosychev and MrTerriFy who teamed up to develop this game on BGA studio!

Have a good colorful fun!
02/28/2020 14 comments

Arena - Season Zero [BETA]

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Starting from less than a month ago, you have had the possibility to enjoy on BGA a new playing mode: the Arena.

This new competitive mode has been a real success: a lot of you are competing to win the trophies for this first Arena Season, and it has increased the number of games played on BGA by +20%. We'd like to thank you a lot for making this feature such a success!

If you want to read more about what is the Arena, how it works, and why we developed it, please read the following FAQ:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13890


For now, Arena remains a BETA

Despite this success, the Arena is still not perfect. We still consider it a BETA, and you may have seen that we are changing/testing things from time to time.

We know that these changes may be painful, but we to do it in order to find the best way to make this competitive mode work.

During the last 24 hours, we have experimented an alternative lobby for the Arena, described here, in order to decrease the waiting time, to increase the chances to meet opponents from the same leagues, and to try to make the less popular games more popular. Unfortunately, it didn't met our expectations, so we decided to put an end to this experiment.

The good news is that we're done now with the major updates. The Arena is going to remain in its current shape, with minor changes, for the rest of Season 0.

We know that there is still room for improvements. In particular, we'd like to improve the waiting phase, and the "confirmation before playing" phase. However, a lot of you are enjoying the Arena like it is now so there is no reason not to let you play! :)

Season Zero is now official

Considering all of this, we decided to make Season Zero an official season for BGA rankings.

It means that at the end of the Season, Arena champions will be the first official Arena champions on Board Game Arena, and will be the first to put their names on the winners list for each game.

The end of the Season is planned around April 9th 2020 (this date may still be adjusted).

In conclusion

Our ambition stays the same: make the Arena an enjoyable permanent competition, and allow you to win the most prestigious BGA achievements with it.

This is not an easy task, and it may take a lot of back and forth to reach this objective, but we intend to work on it until we reach that point.

We wish good luck to you all for this Season!
02/07/2020 78 comments

NXS, Gorami, Mammalath: 3 abstracts!

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This January, we have the pleasure to release 3 more new games! Following on the 3 card games released 2 weeks ago, 3 abstracts are now available on Board Game Arena: NXS, a self published game from Kevin Kane, Gorami designed by Klaus-Peter Rudolph and published by Bambus Spieleverlag, and Mammalath, a game from Grant Fikes published by nestorgames.

So that's 6 new games for January! :D

NXS is an invasion game. Taking control of your armada, you'll send your ships into enemy territory and try to grab dominion over their space while defending your own. Each hexagonal piece has different move and capture characteristics for its different sides, so rotating pieces to prepare your next moves will be a key component of your strategy! The first player to manage to capture a predefined amount of the enemy territory wins. NXS has been created by Kevin Kane (w3r3wolv3s on BGA). He developed first an online version on his website nxsgame.com, then decided to also develop a version for Board Game Arena. A big thank you to him, we hope that you'll enjoy discovering NXS!

Gorami is one of three games published in the Gurami box based on Gurami puzzles. Players alternate placing tokens of their colour with value 1 to 3 inside a grid of triangles. The objective is to control the most "stripes" (adjacent triangles in a line when looking from the outside in one of the 3 possible directions). You control the stripe if the sum of the values of your tokens is greater than that of your opponent. When placing tokens, there is an additional strategic element: if you surround one of your opponent's pieces, it will turn to your color. Thanks a lot to the author Klaus-Peter Rudolph, to the publisher Bambus Spieleverlag and to the developer DrKarotte for allowing this elegant abstract to be played by the BGA community!

Mammalath will have you try to claim three free adjacent spaces on a square grid. But at the start of the game, all spaces are filled by animals. So you'll have to strategically free animals while capturing space, but be careful! If at any point you capture three adjacent spaces while there is still an animal on one or more of those spaces, you lose! Mammalath is a game from Grant Fikes (mathgrant on BGA), who is also the author of Battle of LITS which is also available on BGA and has been played more than 100 000 times! Our thanks to him, to the publisher nestorgames and to the developer apollo1001 for bringing one more of their games online here on BGA!

Each of these games has its own unique feel and mechanics to enjoy. We encourage you to be curious and discover all three! :)
01/24/2020 2 comments

Skat, Saint Poker and Palace: 3 card games!

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For the beginning of this Happy New Year, we are delighted to gift you with not one, not two, but three new card games. Skat, a classic very popular in Germany, Saint Poker, a game created by a member of the BGA community and Palace, another popular classic, are now available on Board Game Arena!

Skat is a 3 players trick-taking game played in teams which has some similarities with French Tarot. After a bidding phase, the player who made the highest bid chooses the type of game played, then has to fulfill his contract against the two other players to win.

Saint Poker is inspired from the Texas hold 'em poker card game (without bidding). It plays over several rounds with cards being moved to and from the River and your hand over the rounds which makes the game more strategic as you can try to influence the later rounds from the knowledge gained from previous rounds. This game has been designed and implemented recently by a player of the BGA community, Ricardorix so you have certainly never heard of it before! Please give it a try and give him feedback :)

Palace is a popular classic known under many names and having numerous variations. The goal is to get rid of your cards before the other players. You'll follow the other players laying down cards in a central pile as long as possible, but if you can't play, then you have to take back in hand all the cards from the central pile. Of course, you want to avoid that as much as possible...

For Skat, our thanks go to DrKarotte, and for Saint Poker and Palace, to RicardoRix. Thanks a lot to both of them for their work developing games for the community using BGA Studio!

Happy New Year everyone, we wish you a lot of fun and games!
01/10/2020 19 comments

Merry Christmas: Dungeon Twister is now free + new additions!

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For 3 years now, Premium players have been able to enjoy Dungeon Twister on Board Game Arena, the extraordinary strategy game from Christophe Boelinger.

To celebrate Christmas, the game designer and BGA would like to offer you very nice gifts:
_ the base game is now free for everyone, starting today.
_ Premium players can now enjoy new rooms (those from the "3-4 players" expansion).

For those of you who don't know "DT", this is a very good occasion to discover this board game masterpiece, that has become a cult game.

See the game page on BGA

Dungeon Twister is a strategy game for 2 players. You lead a team of 8 adventurers in a dungeon, trying to escape from this maze before getting killed by the other team.

Dungeon Twister is a race : you win 1 point each time one of your characters manages to escape the board, and 1 point each time you manage to kill an opponent's character. The first player to score 5 points wins the game.

Each of your characters has its own strengths, weaknesses and special abilities, and you have to use them wisely to reach your goal. In addition, the maze is full of tricky mechanisms that allow you to rotate the rooms and change completely the situation.

Playing Dungeon Twister is like playing a modern version of Chess, with a medieval role-playing universe and endless possibilities. Are you ready to enter the Dungeon?

Watch a DT introduction video by Board to death.

BGA would like to address a very special "thank you" to Yannick Tchobello who developed the new additions, and to Christophe Boelinger for making it possible to build this amazing story together around this very special game.

Let's play!
12/25/2019 11 comments


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