Our team’s collective heads are still spinning over the sheer volume of games getting an update in the form of fancy components.
Catan 3D? Check. Tsuro: Luxury Limited Edition? If you can afford it, we’ve got you covered. We thought the world would be satisfied by last year’s The Castles of Burgundy: 20th Anniversary Edition; boy, were we wrong, as this spring’s Castles of Burgundy: Special Edition raised over $3M USD on Gamefound.
With news arriving almost weekly that even more classics are getting updates, re-releases, deluxe editions, and special editions, we polled the Meeple Mountain team to see which of their favorite games needs—or maybe we should say, “needs”—more content.
Here’s what they thought; please share in the comments which games you are most looking forward to seeing remade soon! Below you will find the author, and their proposed name for a new edition of a favorite.
Hansa Teutonica: All Hansa On Deck Edition (Justin Bell)
If you’ve read my review of Hansa Teutonica: Big Box, you know how much I adore this incredible, slick, and interactive Euro classic. When it comes to production, Hansa Teutonica: Big Box is as plain as production gets. (For less than $40, I’m mostly OK with this.) Boring art. Simple wooden cubes are all you get for each player. The player boards are…fine. And, believe it or not, 3 maps seemed like plenty when I first bought the game, but now? I need more maps.
With Hansa Teutonica: All Hansa On Deck Edition, the game will now feature a whopping 10 maps. As much as I love Hansa Teutonica with a full player count of 5, sometimes I just wanna Hansa with my wife; now, the game features some smaller maps for 2-player engagements. To give David Turczi a break from designing every single solo variant under the sun, David Digby (who did the great solo work on the updated Tinner’s Trail) gets the nod for bringing a solo variant to this game.
And to justify the crowdfunding campaign, let’s get deluxe. Tarot-sized player aid cards with a linen finish. Game Trayz for the storage solution. Differing wooden meeple shapes to replace the trader cubes from the base game, similar to the figures from Scythe. Silver coins with cleaner iconography will replace the cardboard “plate” bonus tokens. Wooden merchant discs are replaced with components that share a makeup and weight similar to poker chips, but small enough to fit inside the circles on the map.
I’m already hyped to drop $100 for Hansa Teutonica: All Hansa On Deck Edition!
Scythe Deluxe Big Box (Tom Franklin)
Start with a modular, 3D hex board with similar colors and appropriate landscape raised into the tiles. These tiles would surround an impressive Steampunk Factory tile with an internal LED. Not only would the board be much more impressive, but you’d be able to create your own, unique layouts for the board. Then, mix in some simple electronics that will show the possible movements available to a Faction’s Character when they’re on each tile (This is such a great option in the Steam version of Scythe that it’s difficult to play without it!)
Of course, all the factions would be included. Of course, all the expansions would be included. Of course, all the Mechs, Workers, and Characters would be painted. Of course.
Similarly, the resources would be upgraded from mere wooden cubes to polymer clay renditions of the actual resource. Coins would be, well, coins, and not cardboards.
The Triumph, Popularity, and Power tracks should each be angled, wooden pieces with laser-engraved writing and iconography. Each would have slots for the die-cast emblems of each faction to set in.
Player boards would be tiered, higher at the back and lower in the front, to accommodate a watch battery that powers the bluetooth connection to the Factory. That connection would not only control LEDs, but occasional, ominous sounds as well.
The pièce de résistance of this deluxe version is how Combat is resolved. Forget the cardboard dials and the anticlimactic maths to figure out who wins. Now players will take one of two controllers to key in the Power and scans the bonus combat cards. The Factory will calculate the totals and send a signal to the Mechs to engage in physical battle. Although the winner will be predetermined, you won’t know it while you’re watching the Mechs thrash each other on the hex.
Agricola Deluxe Homestead Edition (David McMillan)
Agricola has been around since 2007 and there is a TON of content for the game: one expansion, multiple promos, and card decks galore. You’ll be glad to know that the Deluxe Homestead Edition of the game contains every official card deck and promo in existence as well as the The Farmers of the Moor expansion. Not only that, but every card has been upgraded to a linen-finished, standard poker-size 310gsm Black Core card.
The improvements extend to other components besides the cards, though.
– All of the resources have been screen printed. The cattle look like cattle, the sheep look like sheep, and the wild boars look like wild boars. Even the vegetables have received a facelift.
– Each of the room tiles has been replaced by 3D sculpted nesting structures. The wooden room structure nests inside of the clay room. That, in turn, nests inside of the stone room. When a room is upgraded, the next room up just slides over the top of the old one. Now, instead of a top down view into a generic room, your homestead will feature an actual home.
– The player pieces have all been upgraded. The fences look like fences. The stables have been replaced with 3D sculpted buildings. The player pawns have been screen printed to give them more character.
– The cardboard field tiles have been replaced with screen printed acrylic tiles.
– To accommodate these improvements, the game board has been increased in size significantly. Not only that, but the farmyard boards are now dual-layered to help hold the new field tiles, room structures, and fences in place.
And the deluxeification doesn’t stop there!
The Agricola Deluxe Homestead Edition is packed into a much larger box complete with a removable insert to assist with setup and breakdown. Each resource has its own compartment and the lids to these compartments, once removed, double as resource holders for each of the players.
In addition to the size increase, each box is gold-embossed, numbered, and signed by Uwe Rosenberg himself. And that’s not all. He has also designed a brand new expansion just for the Deluxe Homestead Edition. This expansion, The Logging Camps of Ur, will never be republished and can only be found in this edition.
Acquire (Mark Iradian)
Acquire is one of those few mysterious in the board game industry that somehow never made it despite being so well-designed. It’s not hard to teach, rules are straightforward, and there is a surprising amount of depth. So, what happened?
One of the more notable issues is each edition messed around with the original rules. The board size would change, payouts were different, and some even introduced new content such as the 1995 edition of Avalon having unique player powers.
Which leads to the first question, where do we start? I firmly believe the 1999 Avalon Hill edition should act as the core for this dream Deluxe remake. The board size is perfect, the tiles are nice and chunky, and the buildings stick out in a nice way. Best of all, everything is plastic. However, I can already see some areas for improvement here.
For starters, let’s get some player screens. I know the original 3M bookshelf version had trays, but the reason I prefer screens is that it allows more variants to toss in such as hiding your stocks or money.
Since we are on the topic of money, trash the paper out and shower the metal coins in. Reducing the dominances will make it a bit more math friendly. Done.
Acquire , as much as I think it’s a great game, does have a visual fidelity problem. You had to constantly keep track of the size of each corporation and sometimes reading the board can be a bit taxing. An easy solution: use a separate board to track each corporation’s size.
The final bit is the payouts. The 1999 edition payouts are perfect, yet the 2016 edition introduced a more “newbie friendly” payouts. Many vets of Acquire didn’t like it since they felt it ruined the cutthroat nature of the game. I can understand their viewpoint, but nothing wrong about having two sets of payout systems to appease both crowds.
Alright, I lied. One last final suggestion: Linen-finished stock certificates. Now we’re done!
DeLuxor (Justin Bell)
I won’t mince words: Luxor is my favorite long filler ever. Incredible gameplay, but not exactly the crown jewel as it relates to its production.
Thankfully, we (hopefully) will have DeLuxor. No change at all to the gameplay, but now the tiles will be dual layered so that I can fit adventurer meeples into each of the slots needed to show that I have enough strength to buy those tiles.
More stuff is the key here. Better Sarcophagi tokens; I always feel like these two items should be treasure that you’d actually want to grab, not the plain looking cardboard chits included in the box. A better, larger, metal first player token. Player aids that don’t require me to tell each player what each card on the Horus board will do every time players can go shopping for cards.
The adventurer meeples? Those adventures are going to get a screen print upgrade. Instead of the not-useful colored tokens used to remind you of which meeples are yours, let’s get you a deluxe upgrade: a separate card showing your adventurer, but a lot larger. We’ll throw in various gender and ethnicity options too, so players can truly be who they want to be every game.
Expansion content? In addition to Luxor: The Mummy’s Curse (the only published expansion for the base game), we’ll throw in player powers. I’ve always wondered what a re-roll power would do to the cards that display a die roll to determine movement, or an ability that allows for someone to move up to an amount shown on those Osiris tiles, instead of the exact number shown.
My biggest change for an expansion is easy: a double-sided game board, with a different path to the Sarcophagi chamber than the loop from the base game on the back. Ideally, this second board option would offer 2-3 divergent paths to follow to get to the chamber.
Those paths could really change up gameplay, with different point totals for ending on different spaces, or ways to take advantage of the card powers that move adventurers in tandem with all other active adventurers.
DeLuxor has legs. Now I just need Queen Games to read this article!!
Planetarium (Tom Franklin)
A largely overlooked game from 2017, Planetarium is a beautiful, challenging game that has you collecting planet-building materials from space by colliding planets into the materials or vice versa.
Starting with the playing cards, Dann and Greg Mays stunning planetary artwork would be enhanced through the use of holographic lenticular cards. By tilting each card, you will see the planet shift slightly and the background behind the planet change, with stars and comets winking in and out of the darkness.
This same process would be used for the four player mats, making each planet appear to be floating in space.
The plain black background of the game board would become a more three-dimensional surface through the use of tiny embedded LED lights that would slowly glow and fade throughout the game. The orbital paths that make up so much of the board would be wired together, allowing you to press down lightly on the planet or matter you wished to move and see the possible moves you could take.
The Planet tokens would be hand-blown glass orbs in each of the four colors from the game. These would be free floating orbs encased in an outer orb with a viscous, clear liquid in between the two glass spheres. When twisted, the inner ‘planet’ would be seen to spin.
Enhancing the components to Planetarium would surely help to give it the respect it deserves!
For a true, no-expense-spared Deluxe board game release, read Tom’s Neiman-Marcus Christmas edition of Splendor.