Rio Grande Games plans to open up the new year with four releases in Q1:  Broadhorns, Epoch, Beta Colony, and the Power Grid Fabled Expansion.

Created by James Harmon (The Princess Bride:  I Hate to Kill You), Broadhorns explores trade along the Mississippi River in the early 19th Century.  The players are merchants based in St. Louis launching cargo expeditions south in search of profits.  Over the course of one year, the merchants will launch a number of trips, each requiring the acquisition of a “broadhorn” or flat boat, as well as cargo.  Longer trips score more points, but there is danger that perishable cargo will spoil before it arrives.

Broadhorns is designed for 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, and plays in about 45 to 90 minutes.  MSRP is $59.95.

In Epoch by Martyn F (Limes, Cities), the players are the leaders of clans at the dawn of civilization competing for status by exploring, discovering new tools, and making offerings to holy sites.  The game is played on a random map made from hexagonal cards, which players explore during the game.  Food must be gathered to move and develop tools, which can then be used to produce more and better resources.

Epoch is for 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, and plays in 45 to 90 minutes.  MSRP is $59.95.

Beta Colony is a science fiction colonization game from Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback (Fleet).  In this game, all players share a common dice roll each round, using the results to take a variety of actions such as building colonization pods, living quarters, or water treatment centers in their efforts to colonize the world of Victus.  The most successful becomes the first leader of the colony.

Intended for 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, Beta Colony takes less than an hour to play.  MSRP has not yet been announced.

Rio Grande’s perennial title Power Grid, from Friedemann Friese, gets another expansion set as well.  The Fabled Expansion combines the game mechanic from Friese’s Fabled Fruit series with Power Grid, with two presorted Fable Decks included.  Each deck offers a campaign of three consecutive games, with cards revealed when certain conditions are met, adding new rules to the game. 

The Power Gird Fabled Expansion can be combined with the USA, Germany, Europe, or North America Power Grid maps.  MSRP is $15.95.

Rio Grande is also poised to release the Christmas-themed Santa’s Workshop (see “Rio Grande Heads for ‘Santa’s Workshop’”).