Reconstruct Robotech, Revisit Transatlantic, and Ready Yourself for Pandemic: Hot Zone – Europe

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by W. Eric Martin

I see lots of stray announcements or near announcements while looking for game news, so let me round up some of them in this post:

Robotech: Reconstruction is the next Robotech title from publisher Strange Machine Games, following Robotech: Ace Pilot, Robotech: Attack on the SDF-1, Robotech: Brace for Impact, and Robotech: Cyclone Run.

In this 3-4 player game from designer Dr. Wictz, you have a half-ally, a half-enemy, and a full enemy, and you need to achieve the goals of your faction before anyone else in order to win.

• I wrote about Pandemic: Hot Zone – Europe in January 2021 when news of the title appeared during the online Spielwarenmesse trade fair, and in mid-May 2021 publisher Z-Man Games officially announced this Matt Leacock and Tom Lehmann title.

What was new in that announcement is that Hot Zone – Europe is the second in a series of six titles — I will stand by my prediction that Antarctica will be excluded — with each game in the series having its own characters and events. Writes Leacock: “You can play with a mix of characters and events on any board and add whatever mix of challenges you like for additional variety or difficulty.” More from Leacock:
For what’s new, Pandemic: Hot Zone – Europe features Mutation cards that gradually make each disease behave in a new way until it is cured. Diseases can become harder to treat when they reach a critical mass, can appear more intensely, or cause more Infection cards to be drawn. And, if you also own Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America, you can either use these Mutation cards instead of the Crisis cards, or you can combine both the Crisis cards and the Mutation cards into the same game for even more variety and challenge. While each challenge makes the game harder, both integrate directly into the Player deck, so including them also gives players a few extra turns to eke out the win.
What’s more, Leacock and Lehmann plan to include a different way to combine games with each new title in the series. Hot Zone – Europe will include rules for “Hemispheres” a two-player variant in which each player starts with a team of three characters on one of the game boards (Europe and North America). You can take charter flights to the other game board to exchange cards and take other actions, and you both share one set of cubes, with you losing the game should any color run out. To win, you need to cure all six diseases on the two game boards.


Z-Man Games has posted a print-and-play (PDF) version of Pandemic: Hot Zone – Europe should you want to read the rules and start playing now.

• Now that Mac Gerdts has finished designing Concordia Solitaria, an expansion that allows you to play the Concordia base game or any expansion on your own (and covered in more detail here), he has moved on to Transatlantic II, which is probably not the final name of this title — which might be an expansion for the 2017 release Transatlantic and which might be a standalone title.

Gerdts notes that the game has been thoroughly tested with two players, but testing with up to four players has been on hold due to COVID-related lockdowns in Germany.

• In December 2020, Pegasus Spiele announced that it would release Port Royal: Big Box in 2021, an item that would contain all things Port Royal from Alexander Pfister: the original base game, the expansions Just One More Contract… and The Adventure Begins…, the Gambler promo card, and the separate standalone game Port Royal: Unterwegs!

Pegasus Spiele has now revealed the look of this item, which features new art and graphic design.

Read more: boardgamegeek.com

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