Alderac Entertainment Group has begun to reveal its plans for the new year with announcements of four new titles releasing in April and May:  Mystic Vale:  Conclave, Space Base, The Captain is Dead:  Lockdown, and Istanbul Dice.

The company’s first “Card Crafting” game, John D. Clair’s Mystic Vale, gets its fourth expansion set when Conclave releases in April.  Part card storage solution and part expansion, this set comes in an oversized box that is large enough to hold all of the Mystic Vale cards published to date, with extra room for future expansions as well.  Dividers to help sort the cards are also included. 

Conclave also introduces new mechanics to the game.  The “Equinox” mechanic speeds up game play by allowing two players to take their turns at the same time, and cards are included to add two additional players, allowing up to six to play.  Conclave cards provide customized deck setups, Totem cards give players unique abilities they can use every turn, and Spirit Counters help players manage their resources during play.

The expansion includes 6 sets of Spirit Counters, 12 Totem cards, 40 starting cards, 34 card dividers, 14 Conclaves, 26 tokens, 2 borders, and 100 card sleeves.

Space Base, another John D. Clair design, will also release in April.  In this science fiction dice game, players are commodores in charge of building, maintaining, and deploying their fleets of starships.  Working from a docking station, the players allocate their dice rolls to construct ships and colonies.  Ships can then be used to establish commerce routes, mine to increase income, or expand the player’s influence in the galaxy.

The game comes with 193 cards, 5 command consoles, 45 cubes, and 2 dice.

Rounding out the April releases is Istanbul Dice, from veteran designer Rudiger Dorn (Istanbul, Goa).  In this fast-paced dice-based version of Istanbul, the players take on the role of Arab merchants in the bustling bazaar trying to acquire precious rubies as quickly as they can.  Dice are used to represent the merchants’ “assistants,” who are sent into the bazaar to acquire and store resources, exchange resources for a variety of goods, or purchase coveted Mosque tiles that offer special abilities.

Istanbul Dice includes 1 game board, 42 goods markers, 36 coins, 9 custom dice, 33 cards, 24 tiles, and 43 plastic gems.

In May, Alderac will follow up on that trio of titles with the “second episode” in its The Captain is Dead series; the first release is due in February (see “’The Captain Is Dead,’ More”).  In The Captain Is Dead Episode 2: Lockdown, the Crew is trying to escape from an alien prison planet, where they’ve been taken after being captured.