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Blue Skies: please tell us why you had to hide away for so long?

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The year is 1979, and the U.S. government has just deregulated the airline industry, opening it to competition in terms of fares, routes, and the airline companies themselves. You represent a new airline that's trying to set up business in the U.S., but you have an entire country open to you, so where will you set up shop and how can you profit more than the other newcomers to ensure that you survive?

In Blue Skies, the game board presents players with thirty airports in thirty cities. Each airport has four gates, with you using 2-4 gates depending on the number of players. To set up, draw airport demand cards from the deck to seed airports with passengers. Whenever you place passengers on the board, draw from a bag that initially contains 100 red cubes and 25 green cubes; for each airport, continue drawing until you draw a red cube, then redistribute passengers at the open gates of that airport as evenly as possible.

(Note that at most the first five airports drawn will have an open gate, and even those will start with only one open gate run by a local airline. All of the other passengers are just bunched up at the gate waiting for you to serve them!)

Each player starts with three demand cards in hand, and they take turns choosing two gates with a purchase price of at most 6. Players adjust their income from 0, with their income being set to equal the number of passengers now waiting at their gates, then the game begins.

On a turn, each player in turn buys new gates at airports of their choice, spending at most 6 points and adding any unspent points to their score. You can buy out a local airline, set up gates in new cities, or purchase multiple gates in the same airport to try to dominate that area.

Each player in turn then plays a demand card from their hand, drawing passengers from the bag to place one or more passengers at that location. Then demand cards equal to the number of players are drawn, and more passengers are ahead to those airports. The game board lists the number of cards for each airport, so you somewhat know the odds of where passengers might arrive.

Players adjust their income to account for the opening of new gates, the redistribution of existing passengers, and the arrival of new passengers, then they add their income to their score. If a player now has at least 100 points or has placed their twentieth and final gate, the game ends immediately; otherwise, you add a local airline gate to each airport with passengers but no open gates, pass the first player marker, then start a new round.

At game's end, score the seven regions of the United States based on the player's dominance of those regions. Each airport has a scoring value, e.g., ORD is worth 4, and each gate you have in Chicago is worth 4 for determining dominance in both the Midwest region and the Central region. (ORD is one of four airports in two regions, with the others being JFK, LAX, and DFW.) If you have the most dominance in the Central region, you score 13 points, whereas second place is worth only 6 points. Whoever has the most points wins. (publisher description)

We don't have much more to say as the publisher description is of course the most relevant you can read about the game itself.
It's smart and short, and the theme is well represented in this very nice Influence/Hand management game from Joe Huber published by Rio Grande Games that you should absolutely try, first because it's easy, second because it's smart. And solid.

You can play the game right here, right now, on BGA.
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=blueskies

Of course, nothing would have been possible without the help of people from Rio Grande, and we would like to thank them, as well as the developer, Mogri, who has brought here one of the most clever adaptation of a game on BGA. Kudos to him!

And, now, ladies and gentlemen,
Please fasten your seatbelts.
There will be no meals during this short flight, so enjoy the view !
02/22/2021 3 comments

Abyss: Nobody can beat us, Fry us and eat us, In fricasseeeeee

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We what the land folks loves to cook
Under the sea we off the hook
We got no troubles
Life is the bubbles
Under the seaaaaaaaaaa...


Big news today: Abyss, the worldwide acclaimed game awarded multiple times and designed by
Bruno Cathala (Mister Jack, Kingdomino, 7 Wonders Duel) & Charles Chevalier (Kanagawa, Jurassic, Micropolis)
is available NOW!

To celebrate the event, we have many things to tell you.
But first: What is Abyss?

If you've been living in a cave under the sea for years, you might have missed one of the most amazing Auction Building / Card Drafting / Hand Management / Push your Luck game of the last decade. And gorgeous artwork.
It's suited for 2 to 4 players, and will last for something around 30 minutes, depending on your knowledge of the game (and your skills).

Abyss is a game of development, combination and collection in which players try to take control of strategic locations in an underwater city. To achieve this, players must develop on three levels: first by collecting allies, then using them to recruit Lords of the Abyss, who will then grant access to different parts of the city. Players acquire cards through a draft of sorts, and the Lords of the Abyss acquired on those cards grant special powers to the cardholder — but once you use the cards to acquire a location, that power is shut off, so players need to time their land grabs well in order to put themselves in the best position for when the game ends.

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Abyss is a solid game with unique mechanics. It's easy to teach and it plays quickly, making it a great light to medium-weight option for those who are drawn to the theme and gameplay mechanisms.

You can see the game in action, as well as gather more informations right here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=abyss

Don't forget that you can try the game in "training mode", to learn quickly about the game and to be able to dive in it within a few minutes.
Also, you can help translate the cards in many languages, if you master the rules, and get gift points.

So, what's next today ?
STREAM CANCELED - Following the game release, there will be a French stream event hosted by Bruno Cathala, Charles Chevallier and Erwan from Bombyx.
A full game with tips and stories about the game, and during the event you will be able to ask any questions about the game. If it's in English, we will answer in English.
Come watch us play TODAY at 9PM CET (Paris time) on Facebook, Twitch and Youtube. STREAM CANCELED


GIMME MORE!
Ok, ok... So what about a tournament?
But not your average tournament.
A 64 spots limited tournament with a BIG reward.

How to get in ?
First phase: priority will be given to the pre-registered people from the official Abyss Universe Community on Facebook (limited to 20 places). You can join them here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/abysstheuniverse from 21st to 23rd February 2021.
Second phase: Open registration to all for the remaining seats (till 64), from 24th February to 28th February 2021.

All details will be given on the community page or by the publisher, Bombyx, on social medias.

GIMME MOAR !
Ok, ok... SO what about the expansions?
Of course, there is always someone asking about it as soon as the game is released.
The only information we can tell you for now is: there's no reason not to have them developped if there is enough players enjoying the game. So you just have to wait.
Will Abyss beat 7 Wonders or Res Arcana? The power is in your hands.

I ASKED FOR MORE!
Well, what about getting some fishes or sea-based nutrients today for lunch? That's the closest mood you can get to the Abyss Universe right now.

We would like to thank, as always, our wonderful developper, Archduke, for the work he has made here. The game should be as playable on tablets than on computers or phones. For the last option, don't forget to tilt your phone to use landscape mode, it gives better results.
Our warmest thanks also to the people from the publisher Bombyx, Erwann and Yann, and of course to the game designers, Bruno and Charles, for their support into bringing this gem to BGA.

Now, it's time for you to get your fins and tails into this game.
You won't regret it.

Ya we in luck here
Down in the muck here
Under the seaaaa....
02/17/2021 20 comments

Quetzal co? Let's go on an adventure!

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“That’s Why They Call It The Jungle, Sweetheart.”

Do you know how to roll meeples?
Do you want to go on an adventure?
Here is Quetzal,
A beautiful game from Alexandre Garcia!

And it's an all-new one, very recently published by Gigamic for Essen 2020!

Quetzal, the city of sacred birds, has just been discovered. You have five days to explore the site and collect the most beautiful objects that are buried there. Will you be able to manage the team entrusted to you on a daily basis to optimize your excavations?

Be smarter than the competition to emerge from Quetzal unscathed.

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It Belongs In A Museum!

At the beginning of each turn, roll your meeple dice and discover your team. Send your groups to different places in the city to collect the artifacts you are most interested in. Be careful, even if you arrive first your opponents can still steal your place! Build the best collection of artifacts and deliver them at the right time to earn improvements and victory points. Do you have the spirit of an expedition leader?

You can find more about this game right here :
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=quetzal

Your actions will allow you mostly to win some objects cards, to sell them or to deliver them.
Get back to the camp to roll your meeples again, win a bonus by going to the village, etc.

The game is simple and an instant classic : you probably already know how to play it, and you'll live a light-hearted adventure in the jungle.

If you love Stone Age, you should enjoy Quetzal: they're close, but the last one should offer you more interactions while being a bit simpler.
A very good way to discover that kind of game!

We would like to thanks, as always, joezg, our developer for his fantastic work on this game.
Of course, nothing would have been possible without the wonderful Gigamic Team, especially Mathilde and Ségolène. You are fantastic!

Interested by getting your copy of the game? Don't hesitate to browse the Gigamic Map of retailers!

Let's go on an adventure!
“Jock! Start The Engine!”
02/15/2021 9 comments

1871 : City of the Big Shoulders - Chicago is burning...

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One year since the successful Kickstarter campaign and a few awards nominations, it's time to release this game on BGA!

There is a lot to say about such a deep game, so why not check about this nicely detailed text from the publisher?

After the great Chicago Fire of 1871, the brave men and women of Chicago sought to rebuild their once-great city, and rebuild it they did. Over the next 60 years Chicago experienced an economic golden age, making such great progress that it hosted The World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, followed not long after by a celebration of its Century of Progress at The World's Fair in 1933.

Many of the household brands we've come to know and love today had their start in Chicago during this time period; Oscar Mayer, Kraft, Quaker Oats, Nabisco, Swift & Co, Armour & Co, Schwinn Bicycles, Charles Schwab, and many others made a home here in this tall, bold slugger.

In City of the Big Shoulders players take on the roles of entrepreneurs and investors seeking to rebuild Chicago into a city fit for the world stage. In this unique merger of 18xx-style stock manipulation mechanics with euro-style gameplay, players start companies, trade in shares, hire employees, equip their factories, produce goods and sell them to be delivered to homes across the midwest.

Although City of the Big Shoulders features a large amount of strategic depth and rewarding gameplay, it does so in a shorter timeline than is typical of most heavy economic games. Players play just five rounds (also known as decades) in about two and a half hours. Each decade consists of five unique phases: A stock phase where players can buy and sell stock; a building phase where players rebuild the city of Chicago, placing action spaces on the board; an action phase where companies send their partners to make deals across Chicago; an Operating Phase where companies buy resources, produce goods, and ship them out of Chicago; and finally a cleanup phase where the board is set up for the following decade. At the end of the fifth decade, the game ends. Players then exchange shares that they have purchased over the course of the game for cash, are rewarded for any of the public goals they have accomplished over the five decades of play, and tally their money to determine who is Chicago's greatest resident.

CoBS is not a small game, but you could discover that you just enjoy it exactly for what it is: a big game of stock exchange that is not so much about stock exchanges but about worker placement and a unique economic engine.

If you have a thing for that kind of game, we can only recommend you to follow this link, and see by yourself:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?ga ... shoulders

Sure that Monday releases are not for the faint-hearted.

The BGA Team would like to thank Parallel Games, as well as Raymond Chandler III - the game designer- to let us bring this beautifully strong game on our platform.
All of the development has been done by ggohierroy, our devoted developer who did an incredible job bringing City of The Big Shoulders to you, for your enjoyment.

Now is your time to rule Chicago!

"Chicago is a town, a city that doesn't ever have to measure itself against any other city. Other places have to measure themselves against it. It’s big, it’s outgoing, it’s tough, it’s opinionated, and everybody’s got a story." —Anthony Bourdain.
02/08/2021 18 comments

RES ARCANA : The critically acclaimed and multi-awarded game is available NOW!

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Yes, you read it right!
RES ARCANA is available right now, live on Board Game Arena!

It's beautiful, it's smart, it's fast, and it's for 2 to 4 players!

Don't ask for expansions right now: if the game meets the expectations (i.e. is played by many), there will be one. Or two. Or more?
Who knows. We need people to know about the game before planning them ;)
So, for now, invite people, friends or relatives: it's time to play !

You don't know about this gem designed by Tom Lehmann?

Here is the pitch :
In a high tower, an Alchemist prepares potions, using vials filled with otherworldly fluids. In a sacred grove, a Druid grinds herbs for a mystical ritual. In the catacombs, a Necromancer summons a bone dragon... Welcome to the world of Res Arcana!

In it, Life, Death, Elan, Calm, and Gold are the essences that fuel the art of magic. Choose your mage, gather essences, craft unique artifacts, and use them to summon dragons, conquer places of power, and achieve victory!


You can imagine how impatient we were of releasing such a lovely game.
This game does a lot with very little. With a small hand of cards, you have to take care on how you'll use them.
Collecting resources to get other cards, optimizing your own deck: it's fascinating.

Very smooth, easy to teach, it's a wonderful brain burning experience.

Many adjectives can be used to describe it.
It's time to make your own opinion about it, by clicking this link to get to the game page:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=resarcana


Richly illustrated by Julien Delval, Res Arcana offers a unique gaming experience, for the family or any geeky gamers!

Kennerspiel Des Jahres award, As d'Or award, Tric Trac Nominee, Meeple's Choice Award, Golden Geek Best Card Game and many others, it can't be a mistake: this game is brilliantly simple, deep and fun.

We wanted to thank our developers: darhf and lordalx, working together in the shadows to make this game available as soon as possible, and to create for you the best possible experience out of it.
We also want to thank Sand Castle Games and Thomas Lehmann for their cooperation and help in bringing Res Arcana on BGA.

:arrow: Please note: as it's an early release (we need to hide some games till release if we want to make a real surprise - Too many people are publishing about BETA versions ;) ) translations are still in progress for many languages.
Remember that you can help translating BGA by going to the Translation page: it will bring you points to get a Premium access for free.
If you wanna help, it's time!

Enjoy it as much as you can, we have a lot more surprises in preparation for you :P
PS: We will keep Wednesday releases, but some of you also noted that we were releasing games also during the other days. That's totally normal.
We have too much love to share!

PPS : Kudos to @Vmazuka for his strong support of the game, especially on the French Twitter community. You rule !
02/03/2021 44 comments

Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe: a title as serious as the game, and you can't read this on Frontpage :)

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Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe (USE) is a strategic level game covering the World War II European Theater. Players make the political decisions and control the military forces of the three major factions that struggled for European dominance and survival.

With its emphasis on force projection and decision making, players remain focused on the big picture of managing their front lines and political opportunities. Through simple mechanics and low on-map counter density, players easily handle the strategic action without a myriad of complicated subsystems or tall stacks of counters.

As one gamer put it, "It is a delight to be spending my limited brain power on making (or agonizing over) operational decisions that are as dependent upon guts as they are on gray matter. This game is not a series of arithmetic exercises, and the only variable in these algorithms is nerve."

Though the focus is on the big picture, Unconditional Surrender! still delivers historical detail. Each country has an historical army level order of battle, and its relative economic strength and national will to fight are effectively and simply modeled. Also represented are such World War II events as airdrops, Free Forces, jets, naval evacuation, partisans, radar, railroad artillery guns, and ULTRA; all neatly woven into the game's core mechanics for ease of play.

The game has many scenarios ranging from quick playing individual campaigns to longer ones covering up to the entire war.

This kind of game is pretty rare on BGA (it's actually the first), for a simple reason: they're outstandingly deep and complex.
Trying to mimic everything from this period of history, accurately and while keeping up player interest at the same time is a challenge that Salvatore Vasta has managed perfectly here.

You can get more informations about the game and start playing by clicking here, but beware; it's not for the faint-hearted ones:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?ga ... lsurrender


We just MUST thank our developer, Lunalol, for achieving such a big implementation of a game: it's huge, and very well made, clearly a labor of love and passion! So thank you a million times for this.

Also, a huge thank you to the publisher, GMT Games, for bringing such a game here: no doubt that there will be some history written on BGA with this title.
02/01/2021 74 comments

Just Desserts : No soup, no salad, no entree but SUGAR!

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Sweet, sweet is the game designed by Andrew Looney that won a Mensa award recommendation.
Tired of sushis?
Let's get some Desserts. Just Desserts.

The guests are here, and they're hungry, so you'll have to be the best waiter in town, bringing them Just Desserts.

In this card game, each player starts with a hand of three dessert cards while three guest cards are placed in the center of the table; each dessert card shows 1-3 tastes that it satisfies, such as chocolate, fruit, or pastry, while the guest cards show what they crave as well as what they refuse to eat. On a turn, you draw a dessert card, add a guest card to the table from the deck, then take one of three actions:

- Serve (and claim) one or two guests by discarding one or more dessert cards to give them what they want (while avoiding what they don't want); if you give a guest their favorite item, you get tipped with an extra dessert card.
- Draw one more dessert card.
- Dump as many dessert cards as you want, then drawing that many cards from the deck.

At the end of your turn, discard guests from the table so that only one guest of each "suit" is still waiting to be served — but the guest heading out the door (on top of the discard pile) can still be claimed by any waiter. If at any time you've served three guests of the same suit or five guests of different suits, then you win!


You can test your skills right here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=justdesserts

Still hungry?
Want to open a buffet? Is it Better with bacon? Or Just Coffee?
Just Desserts includes a lot of game variants that allow you to steal guests from another waiter by sending more sweets their way, to force other waiters to each give up one guest, and to hold a surprise party to claim a guest out of turn.

That's definitely a game you have to try: it's pleasant, easy, fun. What else?
Thanks to our magnificent developer Mizutismask, the game is playing perfectly and beautifully, glazed with sugar and syrup.
Yes, I'm THAT hungry.
Also we would like to thank Looney Labs for their kind authorization to bring this game online on BGA.

The game was already a success in Alpha, more in Beta: we bet it can be a hit starting from today.

Get your hands on it now.

“Sugar solves lots of problems, that’s what I think.”
Stephen King's Doctor Sleep.
01/27/2021 15 comments

Alhambra : Nobody expects the Spanish Middle Ages.

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Alhambra won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award in 2003.
And here is the reason why:

Granada, 1278. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, one of the most exciting and interesting project of the Spanish Middle Ages begins: the construction of the ALHAMBRA.

The best master builders in the whole of Europe and Arabia want to demonstrate their skill. Employ the most suitable teams of builders and make sure that you always have enough of the right currency. Because no matter whether they are stonemasons from the north or horticulturalists from the south, they all want a proper wage and insist on their "native" currency. With their help towers can be constructed, gardens laid out, pavilions and arcades erected and seraglios and chambers built.

In Alhambra, players are acquiring buildings to be placed within their Alhambra complex.

The money in Alhambra comes in four different currencies and is available in the open money market. The 54 buildings of six types become available for purchase in the building market four at a time; one building is available in each of the four different currencies. On a player's turn, a player may 1) take money from the open money market, 2) purchase a building from the building market and either place it in his Alhambra or reserve, or 3) engage in construction and re-construction projects with buildings that have been placed in the player's Alhambra or reserve. The game rewards efficiency, as when a player purchases a building from the market for the exact amount of money, the player may take another turn.

Players with the most buildings in each of the six building types in his Alhambra score in each of the scoring phases, and points are awarded for players' longest external "wall" section within their complex. The game ends when the building market can no longer be replenished from the building tile supply, and there is a final scoring, whereupon the player with the highest score wins.

You can try out the game here :
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?game=alhambra


The team would like to thank the publisher Queen Games, as well as our wonderful developer Tisaac for his precious help in putting the final touches to this wonderful game adaptation developed by Board Game Arena.

Stay tuned for more games in the next weeks : it will be exciting.
More is coming soon!
01/20/2021 31 comments

MOAR CARCASSONNE - Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers

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Carcassonne. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and the mammoth starts throwing menhirs at you.

It's pretty obvious that Carcassonne is one of the most played boardgame worldwide.

So now it is time for a new version to join Board Game Arena:
Hunters and Gatherers.
Where you play as... Hunters and Gatherers.


Thousands of years before the people of Carcassonne built mighty walls and castles, their ancestors roamed the land, hunting, fishing, and gathering what they needed to survive. Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers combines the classic tile-laying gameplay of the original Carcassonne with new thematic features and adjusted scoring rules for an all-new challenge. Players take turns placing tiles to expand a prehistoric landscape full of forests, rivers, lakes, and grasslands, and then score each natural feature. Wild animals from mammoths to saber-toothed tigers lurk in the grasslands, affecting your hunter score at the end of the game.

Belt, emergency idea generator, activate!

Same Game, New Features !
One of the highest-rated standalone versions of Carcassonne of all time, Hunters & Gatherers includes everything from the original published in 2002, plus updated art and additional menhir tiles, bonus tiles that give you extra turns to take special actions. When you complete a forest with a menhir, take an extra turn to draw and place a menhir tile and resolve its special effect—anything from scoring bonuses to a wildfire that chases all saber-toothed tigers away from a connected grassland. Use menhir tiles to your advantage to get ahead of your opponents!

Will you strategically place your tribe members and win the game?

You can find it out right here:
https://boardgamearena.com/gamepanel?ga ... dgatherers

We're still thankful to the same people, as the game is handled by the same dream-team from Hans Im Gluck, the board game designers Bernd Brunnhofer and Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, and of course our hand-down fantastic developer, LeSteffen.

You'll find your usual Carcassonne interface, so if you already know how to play Carcassonne, you'll feel at home.
Except for the scoring and a few options.
You'll be glad to find that there is a way to try out tiles before playing, and many other options.
You shouldn't be saying "let's do that again I think I blinked".

Ready to mark down history by being the proudest tribe of all?
You can play it now ;)
01/06/2021 24 comments


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