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Dominion publisher’s next game has players fighting the Black Death

Playing against the plague.

Fight back against the invasion of the Black Death as a family living in 14th century Italy in Messina 1347, an upcoming board game from the publisher of Dominion - Rio Grande Games.

Set at the very beginning of the historic epidemic known as the Black Death, Messina 1347 takes place within the Italian city of Messina - which was one of the very first locations to experience the plague. As one of several notable noble Italian families living in Messina, the players must find a way to escape the city to avoid the plague whilst also helping other residents to protect themselves against the Black Death.

Throughout the game for one to four players, opponents must balance a variety of different activities, from developing their own countryside estates to assisting the cityfolk in fighting the infection within Messina, to ensure that they’re able to do all they can to help. Besides assisting efforts within the city itself, the players can also offer their residences as refuge for people attempting to avoid the Black Death, with these residences able to gradually grow into independent communities that players will need to protect from plague using fire.

Messina 1347 layout

When the plague eventually subsides, the players will have to help the citizens return to Messina once again in order to repopulate the city and get people back on their feet. Whichever player did the most for Messina during the time of the Black Death is named the winner of the game.

Messina 1347 was co-created by Raúl Fernández Aparicio - the designer behind a party game set in a traditional English pub called Four Pints, Please - and Vladimír Suchý, who has previously designed tabletop tiles such as the deep sea diving game Underwater Cities and Last Will, a board game about fighting over the contents of a rich dead uncle’s will.

Besides Rio Grande Games, Messina 1347 is being co-published by Delicious Games which also co-released the aforementioned Underwater Cities and another historically themed tabletop title by Suchý called Praga Caput Regni.

Messina 1347 is set to be released early next year, with a retail price yet to be confirmed.

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Alex Meehan

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Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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