Sampler Showcase Games
June 23, 2006

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Traumfabrik
Designer: Reiner Knizia
Manufacturer/Distributor: Hasbro Germany/Uberplay
Number of Players: 3-5

 
Reiner Knizia's auction game about producing movies using talent from the 50s. In four rounds, players bid on chips representing genuine directors, actors, camera, effects, music, guest stars and agents. These all get placed on players' film-strips, to complete the movie production. So one movie might need two actors, but no music or effects and so on. As films are completed, the points value is marked and another film-strip taken. There are two parties each round where players get to pick from offers without paying anything. There are bonus points for first films completed and best films, best directors, even worst film. The auction is a basic rising offer with passing until one winning bid remains. Players pay into the pot with contracts as money, and the rest of the players share the pot each turn. So it's a closed economy with players trying to time their bids on what they really need to complete films.
 

 Monday
12 - 2 PM

 GM:
Eric Freeman

Oltre Mare
Designer: Emanuele Ornella
Manufacturer/Distributor: Amigo Spiel/Rio Grande
Number of Players: 3-5

Oltremare is a charming voyage through time, following ancient merchant's footsteps. Each player is a Venetian merchant sailing along the Mediterranean Sea. Each player tries to increase his or her wealth and prestige to become the Best Merchant of Venice. Players use cards from their hands to perform actions. Actions allow you to gain Ducati (the currency of Venice), draw cards, or move ships on the map to collect bonuses. There is also a pirate action! Cards represent Goods (corn, wine, spices, silk, etc.) that are loaded on the cargo of the ship. Loading more of one type of good gives you more Ducati you gain at the end of the game. Trade Goods for other Goods or for Ducati points. The wisest merchant—making the best choices—will win the game.

 Monday
2 - 4 PM

GM:
Keith Levy

Antike
Designer: Mac Gerdts
Manufacturer/Distributor: Eggert-Spiele/Rio Grande
Number of Players: 3-6

Antique nations build cities, construct temples, sail the seas and progress in sciences. Legions and galleys gain new territories and defend their nations against dangerous enemies. Game success does not depend on luck of dice or cards, but rather on strategy and diplomacy. Players have two gameboards to choose from and may play Greeks, Romans, Germans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians, or Babylonians. Every nation tries to gain antique kings, scientists, strategists, citizen and sailors. Get enough ancient personalities to win the game. Beware of your enemies who want to conquer your cities and to destroy your temples!

 Monday
4 - 6 PM

GM:
Jim Vroom

Railroad Tycoon
Designers: Martin Wallace & Glenn Drover
Manufacturer/Distributor: Eagle Games
Number of Players: 3-6

 
Revisit the early days of the Age of Steam as you begin with a locomotive and a vision. From there, build your budding railroad network into a vast empire. Connect New York to Chicago, earn the most money, develop bigger and faster locomotives and maybe even span North America and build the Transcontinental Railway! Issue shares of stock in your growing company whenever you want, but remember that shareholders expect (and will receive) dividends. If you build your network without delivering some goods to generate income, you may find yourself struggling to make ends meet. Your choices are deceptively simple: build track, deliver goods, take an operations card, build an industry (urbanize) or upgrade your engine. To win, do these things at the right times. Success breeds competition, both fair and unfair. Resources are limited; competition is fierce.

 Monday
6 - 8 PM

GM:
John Weber

Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean
Designers: Andrew Parks & Jason Hawkins
Manufacturer/Distributor: Z-Man Games
Number of Players: 3-6

Parthenon offers an exciting, competitive world filled with aggressive trading, perilous voyages, and the construction of grand monuments. Each player represents a different island in the Aegean Sea populated by two villages and a fleet of trading ships. Each island's villages produce commodities which are either traded with the other islands or sent abroad across the Mediterranean Sea. Fleets journeying to distant lands face the deadliest hazards, but they also obtain the greatest rewards. Players strive to develop their island by building additional villages, workshops, and advanced structures such as fortresses, shrines, and academies. The first player to complete all of the structures on his or her island, including two Great Wonders, wins the game! They are 12 tie-breakers that can be applied, if necessary, to determine the winner. Get answers to your Frequently Asked Questions.

 Monday
8 - 10 PM

GM:
Andrew Parks

Vegas Showdown
Designer:  Henry Stern
Manufacturer/Distributor: Avalon Hill/Hasbro 
Number of Players: 3-5

 
This is Vegas, Baby! You and a few of your millionaire friends have invested in a plot of land in the heart of Las Vegas. Each of you has one year to plan and build a luxury hotel/casino on the site. Just to make things interesting, you've put a little wager on your venture—when the doors open, the builder of the most famous hotel/casino wins ownership of the entire block! Resources are limited, so you'll have to outbid each other to get the best contractors to work on your project. With the right combination of restaurants, lounges, gaming rooms, and other attractions—along with some well-timed publicity—the jewel of the Entertainment Capital of the World will be yours! Bidding against the other players to acquire slot machines, lounges, and restaurants to increase your revenue, services, and fame. The player who builds the most famous hotel/casino wins the game.

 Monday
10 - 12 PM

GM:
John Weber

Reef Encounter
Designer: Richard Breese
Manufacturer/Distributor: R&D Games/Z-Man Games
Number of Players: 3-4

 
Reef Encounter is about life on a coral reef! Using polyp tiles, players grow different types of corals, which they can protect from being attacked by other corals through judicious placing of their four shrimp counters. To be successful players must consume polyps from neighbouring corals in order to acquire the 'consumed' polyp tiles that are the key to the game. The consumed polyp tiles have a myriad of uses (and have a similar effect to the action points in games like Tikal and Java). Most importantly they can be used to flip over or lock the coral tiles, which determine the respective values of the different types of coral at the end of the game.

Tuesday
9 AM - 12 PM

GM:
Tom McCorry

Kreta
Designer: Stefan Dorra
Manufacturer/Distributor: Goldsieber
Number of Players: 3-4

 
The game is set on the island of Crete during the 14th Century. Settle the provinces of Crete with your people and your abbot. Build villages, bring your ships to harbor and increase your influence by building mighty forts. Settle the most important Cretan provinces with your followers. Build booming cities and increase your influence by building massive towers. Locate your fleet carefully but also try to harvest as many grapes and olives as possible. He who shows the most skill in employing his castellan (Cretan tower guard) and other characters will gain the most victory points, finishing first in this competition for fame and glory.  Who best places thier Admiral, King, Farmers and Castellan will end up winning the race for power and prestige!

 Monday
11 AM- 1 PM

GM:
Keith Levy

Himalaya
Designer: Régis Bonnessée
Manufacturer/Distributor: Tilsit
Number of Players: 3-4

The players move through the Himalayas on earthen trails, icy tracks and stone paths. As tribal chiefs they travel from village to village, and collect raw materials or fulfill orders. With them they can secure game-critical influence—in political, economic and religious areas. Each player plans his own way through the mountains and at the same time tries to foil the plans of the other chieftains. Who will hold sway in the Himalayas remains up in the air until the very end. Due to its easily understood rules, this complex game is equally suitable for families and gamers.

 Monday
1 - 3 PM

GM:
Jim Vroom

Modern Art
Designer: Riener Knizia
Manufacturer/Distributor: Hans im Gluck/Mayfair Games
Number of Players: 3-5
 

Going once... Going twice... Sold! "Congratulations! You're now the proud owner of a fine work by an aspiring artist. Who knows...he could become the next Picasso! Of course, he could also be the next Trueba. What, you've never heard of Trueba? Don't worry, no one has. He all but disappeared after his first painting sold for... oh, about the same price you just paid. Not to worry though, I'm sure yours will be worth something." In Modern Art, players compete to gain the most money by buying and selling paintings at auctions and reselling them for profit. All players take turns running the auctions, which come in many different styles. Whoever offers the top bid owns the painting and sells it at the end of the round. The price the painting fetches is based on the popularity of the artist and how well his paintings have sold in the past. The player with the most money at the end of four rounds of buying and selling wins.

 Monday
3 - 5 PM

GM:
Eric Freeman
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