GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #51

Wow. There’s suddenly a whole lot of excellent gaming available for your pre-order happiness.

Eight-Minute Empire: Lost Lands (Red Raven Games)
$35k of $15k, ends 25 August 2014
A sequel to the insanely good Eight-Minute Empire (which we reviewed), this new expansion adds new map boards, new cards, and new mechanics to your favorite one-sitting empire builder. There are new player boards to help you organize your cards as you acquire them, new cards that change some of the mechanics, and a ‘faster’ gameplay option that seems very 7 Wonders-ish that involves passing hands around the table. The original was a great game, this one really kicks it up another notch. Head over to Kickstarter now and pledge, yo!

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At Any Cost: Metz 1870 (GMT Games)
p500 – not there yet
The Franco-Prussian War is getting overshadowed by all the 100th anniversary coverage of WWI, but the seeds of The Great War were sown 40 years earlier on battlefields of Metz and the Rhine. GMT takes a trip to the key battles of August 1870 and the Prussian inability to close out the retreating French. How will you rewrite the battles that determined 50 years of European history? Find out when this game finally makes the p500 cut when you get your pledge in.

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Folio Series Games (One Small Step)
pre-orders, from $18-$22 each, or $150 for a set
One Small Step has snarfed up a bunch of Brian Train designs, and (along with a few other designers) launched a new folio series around these small, but intense, games on a variety of modern conflicts. You’ve got South American guerrillas, Vietnam-era Special Forces, and Afghanistan counterinsurgency rubbing elbows with WWII convoy operations and Budapest ’56. One-table-sized, and one-sitting play times put the folio series right in many peoples’ sweet spot for game size and duration, so check out the options at their preorder site and get some great games (back) in print.

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Enemy Action: Ardennes (Compass Games)
$95 preorder, $130 retail
John Butterfield’s new series from Compass Games is a card-driven series of operational combat that involves both tactics and resource management. Cards provide multiple effects, so players have to manage their available tools carefully, and the hex map and regimental-level counters keeps commanders in tune with the fluid battlefield situation. The first game is the Battle of the Bulge, and the full campaign fits in an afternoon.  It’s a steep price, but you get a loaded box, and you can also save on any in-stock game with your preorder pledge.

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