Arimaa - Z-Man Games $39.99
Arimaa is a game where stronger animals like elephants and camels try to push and pull the weaker ones from the opposing team into traps while one of the rabbits tries to sneak across the board and harmlessly reach the other side. The first player to get a rabbit to the other side wins.
This may sound like a simple kids game; and while it is easy enough for your kids to learn and enjoy, you will find that it is also a very deep game that can take a lifetime to master.
Arimaa is one of the deepest strategy games ever invented in the history of mankind, but designed to look intuitively simple. In just the first ten moves of Arimaa there are more possible games than there are atoms in our universe. No two games of Arimaa are ever the same. There is much to learn and discover about this intuitively simple, yet intellectually challenging game.
This game also doubles as an animal-themed chess set!
This is their words not mine. ~Dina
Heroes of the World - Asmodee $59.99
This light strategy game is divided into two Epochs, ancient and modern. At the start, the board consists of only five areas (the Mediterranean, Africa, Middle East, India and China), after all areas have been evaluated, four more territories become accessible (Russia, Europe, Southeast Asia, America).
Players choose historical "Heroes" such as Julius Cesar, Nebuchadnezzar, Lao-Tse, Shakespeare or Mozart and use their special abilities; the first is to grow the population in one or more of the nine areas of the map (depending on the hero, only certain areas of the map can be used). The second action is to randomly draw cultural advancement tokens and place them on the map. The third action allows the players to attack other players' pieces, and the forth action is taking money.
With money, "wonders of the world", such as the Hanging Gardens, the Great Wall etc., can be purchased, and migrations of peoples are possible.
Victory points are awarded for building civilization tokens; after three (or four, depending on the territory) placements, the player with the most pieces gets additional points, the player with second most armies half of that, while the third player only gets victory points equal to the lowest token.
LOTR: Middle-Earth Quest - Fantasy Flight Games $79.95
Middle-Earth Quest is set in the seventeen-year period between Bilbo's birthday party and the Ring's departure from the Shire, as described in J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings.
One player takes the role of Sauron, who is attempting to dominate Middle-earth with his nefarious plots and evil minions. Up to three other players take the roles of heroes who must hold the darkness at bay until Gandalf's plans have matured. To do so, the heroes must embark on dangerous quests and consult with the famous characters of Middle-earth to gain favor and knowledge.
Will you play as Sauron and claim Middle-earth as your own? Or will you play as a hero and stand against the Dark Lord?
The fate of Middle-earth rests in your hands!
Martian Rails - Mayfair $42.00
Discover the curious civilizations and wild lore of the wondrous, neighboring red planet Mars. Celebrate one of the mankind's most vital and enduring passions: railroads. Use your initial investment to build track. Then pick up commodities where they are grown, mined, or manufactured and deliver them to a lucrative place of demand. Complete a delivery and make the money you need to buy larger, faster trains, and expand your railroad empire. Win the game by building and operating Mars' most effective railroad empire!
With over a million variations, Martian Rails never grows old. You decide where to lay your tracks. Your only obstacles are rival tracks and Mars' great mountains, canals, deserts, and jungles. So, dominate a whole new planet. Capture the pioneering spirit on the sands of Mars and learn to build an empire.
Reef Encounter of the Second Kind - Z-Man Games $39.99
Reef Encounter 2 comes with new shrimp, new tiles and a deck of cards with varying effects. The game is still for 2-4 players, but now more options are available.
Sector 41 - Scimitar Games $39.99
Sector 41 is an unstable (some say cursed) region of the galaxy that contains the most potent power source ever discovered; Glynium. Four enemy races converge in this dangerous region of space to fight for the rights to harvest enough Glynium to rule the universe! While the conflict rages their presence disturbs the ancient Guardian of Sector 41 who begins to anger...
Foil the plans of your opponents by using your massive Mother Ship to fold space and alter the board to your advantage. Can you combine strategic planning with fast changing tactics to guide your race to victory before the Guardian fully awakens and reclaims his home?
Destiny calls and victory awaits!
This game is best with 2 or 4.
Lite variant included for younger players: Ages 8+, 15 min.