Stronghold Games has announced two major board game releases for 2014.  In conjunction with MESAboardgames, Stronghold will release Panamax (MSRP $59.95), an economic board game of ship and cargo movement through the Panama Canal in late 2014 in time for the 100th anniversary of the opening of the vital waterway.  The game uses several very innovative game mechanics.  Players must move their ships through the locks of the canal, which necessarily involves pushing the other player’s ships through the canal.  To win ship movement must be done efficiently while providing a minimum of aid to other players’ ships.
In Panamax, players represent companies established in the Colón Free Trade Zone, the largest free port in the Americas, at the entrance to the Panama Canal.  Players will negotiate contracts to use ships that arrive at both entrances to the Canal, coming from the USA, China and Europe, which will enable them to profit from the cargo and ship movement.  Players will deliver containers onto ships, move ships through the Canal by opening and closing the locks of the Panama Canal, obtain better contracts, invest in the stock market, and hire the best people to work for their companies.
The other major board game announcement from Stronghold was the late 2014 release of Kanban: Automotive Revolution, an interactive resource management and economic strategy game showcasing the automobile manufacturing process that introduced revolutionary efficiencies during the 1970s.  Players in this game designed by Vital Lacerda represent ambitious workers competing to come up with the best ways to improve quality and production.
Both Panamax and Kanban: Automotive Revolution will have their premieres at Essen.  Stonghold may have advanced copies available to demo or purchase at GenCon in August.