New games 2019: Foothills

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With the U.K. Games Expo ahead and Tony Boy­dell and Ben Bate­son as desi­gners, it is time to tell you about our next new game for 2019:




Release: June (Europe) /​ July-August (International) 2019


The men who built the rail­ways arri­ved with sound boots and got their sho­vels on credit; they were issued tickets, in pay­ment for their work, which could be spent at the Tom­my Shop or (more likely) on beer! As a gan­ger, or fore­man, you are respon­si­ble for your own team of nav­vies as they tra­vel through Mid and North Wales: dig­ging the track beds, lay­ing the rails, and occa­sio­nal­ly hel­ping a pas­sen­ger or two along their way. Foot­hills lets you par­ti­ci­pa­te in grand-sca­le rail­way con­struc­tion while pay­ing atten­ti­on to the small details; mana­ge your nav­vies’ work care­ful­ly and you should be able to let them go to the pub at the end of the day.

The peaks of Snow­do­nia rise befo­re you, enca­sed in mist, their sum­mits bare­ly visi­ble. The hig­hest is Snow­don (Wyddfa) herself at 1,085 metres. The year is 1894, and…

Erm, wait a second.

That’s actual­ly the intro­duc­to­ry text of Snow­do­nia, the rail­way game by Tony Boy­dell from 2012, isn’t it!? But we want to talk about Foot­hills, the new game by Tony and his fri­end and col­league Ben Bate­son. Why Snow­do­nia comes to mind when doing this and what Foot­hills is all about is com­ing now.

Let’s start with the simi­la­ri­ties bet­ween the two. Foot­hills is defi­ni­te­ly resemb­ling Snow­do­nia regar­ding the­me and gra­phic design. Both games are about rail­ways in Wales and are illus­tra­ted by renow­ned illus­tra­tor Kle­mens Franz. Addi­tio­nal­ly the­re are some simi­la­ri­ties in the game design, too. The (in)famous pub has its come­back and the Welsh names are still unspeaka­ble for ever­yo­ne not living in Wales. Last but not least, the „subt­le“ hint « A Snow­do­nia Expe­ri­ence » on the box isn’t real­ly hel­ping, too.

Despi­te that, Foot­hills is abso­lute­ly a game on its own. The most obvious dif­fe­rence is most pro­bab­ly the play­er count, as Foot­hills is 2‑Player only. May­be not as obvious, but way more important howe­ver, is the dif­fe­rence of the cen­tral game mecha­nic. While Snow­do­nia uses a clas­si­cal worker pla­ce­ment mecha­nism, Foot­hills uti­li­zes a cle­ver action selec­tion mecha­nism with a twist. Once you selec­ted and car­ri­ed out your action, you turn the card onto its backsi­de which shows a com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent action. Addi­tio­nal­ly, Foot­hills comes with a varia­ble set­up (e. g. only 6 out of 8 tracks are used in a game) giving you varie­ty and exci­te­ment for a lot of games to come.

We got you inte­rested (or you want to know more befo­re you make a decisi­on)? With the upco­m­ing U. K. Games Expo — whe­re the European ver­si­on of Foot­hills will be released — and becau­se both desi­gners are com­ing from the U. K., we deci­ded to make the rule book avail­ab­le by now. You can find it in our down­loads sec­tion or by using the fol­lo­wing link:


Rules: Foot­hills (EN)


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