Part 1 of Hot List: www.so1ks.com/tacos-take-reviews/tacos-essenfall-2017-hot-list-part-1
Published by: Pegasus Spiele
Istanbul is still a great euro game that is played by my group. Players are moving to various parts of the market and trying to get some great deals. I will be curious how the dice version of Istanbul will condense the great experience of the original. Some have done a great job of that and others have done a poor job. I will be wanting to try this out as soon as possible.
Published by: Devir Games
Based on the novel of the same name, Michael Strogoff is about trying to deliver an important message to the Czar's brother before killers get to him. Also Tartars are trying to sack Moscow. Each player is trying to deliver the message, but they must also work together to keep the invasion forces at bay. I saw this at GenCon and it looked very interesting with plenty of struggling decisions to make.
Published by: Bezier Games
Though this shares the name of the Mad King Ludwig, Palace of Mad King Ludwig is different from Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Instead of each player building a castle, everyone will be adding rooms to one palace. There is no auction, but lots of similar tile laying and icons. The game ends when the moat is fully formed around the whole palace and the winner is the person who contributed the best to the palace. I saw this at Origins and at GenCon. I think this could be my favorite Bezier game design to date. That is saying a lot because I really enjoy Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Looking at games like Palace of Mad King Ludwig, I have learned to appreciate how complicated it must be to design a game that is so free in how you lay tiles and how they are scored. Next time you play a game, think about what it took to design the game. You may learn a new appreciation for it.
Published by: Tasty Minstrel Games
Chimera Station is a worker placement game that has you modifying your workers so that they can perform different actions and abilities. Chimera Station is about building up your station and as your station gets bigger, the options become bigger as well. A neat, unique take on worker placement games and with Tasty Minstrel Games past history of great Euro games that include Yokohama and Orleans, this will be a must check out for any euro fan.
Published by: Mizo
Raid on Taihoku is a game with a theme that I don't think I have ever seen before. The theme is about a city in Taiwan during World War 2 that is under control of Japan and undergoing bombing by allied forces. Raid of Taihoku has players taking the role of civilians that are struggling to survive. This is a co-op and you will win together or lose together. While I do not know the details, I imagine part of the game is about struggling between the fine line of being under the rule of Japan, while also getting bombed at the same time. The game is a tribute to people of Taiwan and I think the heart the designer put into the game will make this a special one. Probably very hard to find, but may be worth trying.
Published by: Mayfair Games and Lookout Games
Nusfjord is the latest big worker placement game from acclaimed designer Uwe Rosenberg. This one is about a fishing village and each player having their own fishing company. Nusfjord introduces more of an economic aspect to a Uwe Rosenberg game by having players selling shares of their company that they can buy back or other players can also buy. This causes players to possibly have interest in other player's business because they get a share of the earnings. If your game night sounds like Agricola, Caverna, or A feast for Odin, then Nusfjord will be on your must buy list.
Published by: Pandasaurus Games
Dinosaur Island is Jurassic Park the board game. Each player is making their Dinosaur Park and trying to get the most visitors. You will be splicing DNA and hiring staff. Hopefully someone that knows how to shoot guns and lock doors. The color scheme hurts my eyes, but the theme and mechanics will make this a must play for me.
Published by: Plan B Games
Azul is about laying tiles in a palace. That's right a tile laying game about tile laying. Games like Patchwork and Barenpark have been huge hits and I could see this being a couple game favorite. Players will be scoring based on patterns and designs they make with the tiles along with some other ways of scoring. I am curious to see how Azul will separate itself from other tile laying games.
Published by: Academy Games
878 Vikings is about the Viking Invasion of England. Half of the players will be on the side of the Vikings and the other half on the side of England. Either you will be defending your homeland or trying to take it over. Only one side can win. I like the concept of 878 Vikings and Academy Games has done a great job with previous historical games. This is a must try for me.
Published by: R&R Games
This list has taken us from Norway, Taiwan, Russia, Turkey, England, Germany, Portugal, and space. Our journey to new games would not be complete without a trip to India. Rajas of the Ganges has players taking the roles of Rajas and trying to develop their Providences. Good karma from the Gods will cause good things and bad karma is well... really bad. The Ganges is the life blood of commerce and you will be traveling along it to help complete your goals. R&R Games has had some unique games that showed the history of the area, I think Rajas of the Ganges will continue that trend.
Published by: Alea/Ravensburger Games
My list started out with a dice version of a popular euro game and now it is ending with a dice version of a popular euro game. Now you are probably thinking, Taco, Castles of Burgundy is already a dice game. That is true, but this one involves a lot more dice to roll. Castles of Burgundy is my favorite Feld game and Castles of Burgundy the card game did not live up to the original. I am very curious to see if this one sides more on the awesome original or instead like the card game. I really want to give this a try and I am sure a lot are on the same boat as me.