Antoine Bauza

The all powerful hive mind that is American Mensa has once again assembled in their hollowed halls to rate the games of 2019. Every year, more than 300 members of Mensa spend a mad weekend of games and judgement to bestow upon a deserving few the title of Mensa Select Winner. So without further ado, the Mensa Select Winners for 2019 are:

Architects of the West Kingdom by designers Shem Phillips and S J Macdonald, Garphill Games and Renegade Game Studios is a wonderful twist on the oft used worker placement mechanism. In Architects, players can improve their actions by adding more and more workers to a single location on the board, but other players can capture a group of opposing workers, to later sell the gang for cash.

Gizmos by designer Phil Walker-Harding and CMoN Games is an elegant engine building game expanding on the Splendor model, centering on a delightful marble dispenser. Players take turns collecting colored marbles, all the while purchasing cards to improve their collection ability, marble color conversions, storage abilities and card building power.

Gunkimono by designer Jeffrey D. Allers and Renegade Game Studios is a re-imagining of Heartland (2009), transforming the original farming motif to one of war-torn feudal Japan. In this quasi-abstract tile laying game, players choose between expansion for points, and building up for future strongholds.

Planet by designer Urtis Šulinskas and Blue Orange Games is a tile laying, city building game on a grand scale. In a move that would have Euclid roll in his grave, players place magnetic terrain tiles on a 3 dimensional “planet”, creating vast areas of desert, ocean, forest, etc. in order to meet specific goals.

Victorian Masterminds by master designers Antoine Bauza and Eric M. Lang with CMoN Games is a breathtakingly beautiful steampunk worker placement masterpiece. Players each take on the role of super villains in the recent wake of Sherlock Holmes’ disappearance, trying to take over the world with their unique doomsday plots.

Takenoko (2011) is a delightful tile placement, set collection, and resource management game from master designer Antoine Bauza. In Takenoko, players take turns choosing actions to plant new bamboo, move the panda to eat bamboo, or move the gardener to grow the bamboo, progressing towards secret objective cards. This bamboo and panda masterpiece hit the world by storm, winning multiple awards, including the As d’Or and Golden Geek Awards, and is currently sitting pretty on BGG at #235. So what could make this beloved classic game even better – GIANT TAKENOKO.

In Takenoko, the players will cultivate land plots, irrigate them, and grow one of the three species of bamboo (Green, Yellow, and Pink) with the help of the Imperial gardener to maintain this bamboo garden. They will have to bear with the immoderate hunger of this sacred animal for the juicy and tender bamboo. The player who manages his land plots best, growing the most bamboo while feeding the delicate appetite of the panda, will win the game.

Once a coveted limited edition, a new Kickstarter Campaign for Takenoko Giant has begun from Surfin’ Meeple, offering Brobdingnagian versions of both the original Takenoko and the Takenoko: Chibis Expansion. This Giant edition offers new hand painted figurines for the Panda and the Gardener, each over 100mm tall, as well as huge wooden bamboo segments. Also included in the wooden storage box are wooden action markers, larger hex tiles, a massive wooden die, larger linen objective cards, and inserts to keep everything organized. The Kickstarter for Takenoko Giant continues through May 5, and the game is expected to deliver in January 2020.

Draftosaurus is a family game with a simple setup where players draft dinosaurs to create their own zoo. Publisher Ankama originally debuted Draftosaurus at the International Games Festival in Cannes. It’s designed by the Kaedama team (Antoine BauzaCorentin LebratLudovic Maublanc, and Théo Rivière), with art by Jiahui Eva Gao, and Vipin Alex Jacob.

In Draftosaurus, players fill up various pens in their zoo represented by a player board. Each pen has specific conditions in order to be classified as “filled”. Players start with six dinosaur meeples in hand, then play one of those to a pen before passing the remaining meeples to their neighbor for drafting. There’s also a die which imposes random requirements on everyone.

Draftosaurus is currently available in retail stores.

Tokaido (2012) is one of the most artistically beautiful games that has come out in the past many years, and now Funforge has announced Antione Bauza’s sequel to this masterpiece, Namiji. Like Tokaido, Namiji has players taking a trip, beautifully illustrated again by Xavier Gueniffey Durin, around the board, but this time players are taking a boat through islands, fishing and admiring the sights. Namiji uses the same movement mechanic as its predecessor, wherein the player in last moves as far as they like to an action space. Whale panorama cards replace the paintings from the original, but the rest of the spaces are unique. Shrimping spaces use a push your luck bag draw to gain points. Fishing locations have players flip fish tokens, one for themselves, then one for public draw, looking to build rows or columns of identically shaped or colored fish. A special fishing spot will allow drawing a double tile with two identical fish. Rock spaces give endgame scoring cards, and whirlpools allow players to remove their negative point origami boats, sacrificing them to the gods. Resting dock spaces exist, like in tokaido, but players can take any of the spaces instead of just the first. In addition, cards earned at the dock give a bonus to specific actions taken later. Look for Namiji in stores later in the year, and for more information, check out the press release for Namiji here.

Cool Mini or Not has a big batch of new products coming very soon. Announced via press release, CMON has updated their release schedule to show a large number of titles all being available for retail in time for Christmas. With such a wide variety of games suitable for players of all preferences, it’s safe to say this is one publisher ready to please for the holidays. The following list of games are all slated to release on November 23rd:

  • Narcos, the cooperative board game based on the hit Netflix original, pits players as characters from the show trying to manage a growing narcotics empire.
  • Newton, one of the hottest euro-games of the year, has players take on the role of young scientists following in the footsteps of the greatest minds of 17th century by traveling Europe, studying, earning money, developing new tools for the pursuit of knowledge.
  • Both versions of Railroad Ink, a striking roll-and-write challenging players to build networks on an ever shrinking dry-erase board of options. Each version includes two unique expansions, and both versions can be combined to mix up the options and the fun.
  • The Grizzled, Armistice edition, is the new CMON re-release of the favorite cooperative game now featuring a campaign mode and pre-painted miniatures.
  • 5 new products for A Song of Ice and Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game. A Night’s Watch Starter Set brings many of the brave and grizzled watchers of the wall to the table, and they pave the way for 4 new add-on packs – The Sworn Brothers, the Ranger Hunters, the Stark Outriders, and the Lannister Halberdiers.

Victorian Masterminds, on the other hand, is an exception and is instead slated to release January 25th, 2019. The hotly anticipated game from Eric Lang and Antoine Bauza where players take on the roles of famous villains attempting to realize their nefarious plans is only a few months away yet I’m positive the wait is well worth it. Of course all dates listed here are subject to change, which is par for the course as many of the titles listed here have had their street dates revised at least once before. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these releases, or further release updates from CMON, be sure to check out their website for announcements and details.

CMoN has announced they will be publishing Victorian Masterminds from acclaimed designers Eric M. Lang and Antoine Bauza in 2018. Originally announced by Space Cowboys in 2016 (french video here, english here), Victorian Masterminds has 2-4 players take on the roles of evil geniuses in the 19th century, wreaking havoc on an unprotected London after the disappearance of the protector Sherlock Holmes. Players need to send their henchmen into the city, completing missions, destroying buildings, and collecting pieces to build their ultimate evil contraption. When a player has finished their contraption, or the Secret Service can control this villainy, the game ends, with victory going to the player with the most points. Victorian Masterminds features highly asymmetric characters with unique abilities and contraptions. Gameplay involves placing tiles representing individual agents (Henchmen, Machine, Saboteur, Pilot or Number 2) face down on locations within the city. When a location gets 3 tiles, they are immediately revealed and executed in order.

Read the full press release on the CMoN website here.

Asmodee is celebrating the 7th anniversary of 7 Wonders, originally released in 2010, with two new mini expansion packs.

The first expansion pack, 7 Wonders: Leaders Anniversary Pack Expansion is an expansion to 7 Wonders: Cities, which was released in 2010 as the first 7 Wonders expansion. This anniversary pack will include at least fifteen new leaders to include in games of 7 Wonders. Characters from history will include Gorgo, Cornelia, Enheduanna, Roxana, and more. 7 Wonders Leaders added Leader cards to the base game. At the start of every game, each player drafts a hand of four leaders and can pay money to play one leader at the start of each of the three Ages.

The second expansion pack, 7 Wonders: Cities Anniversary Pack Expansion, is an expansion to the 7 Wonders: Cities expansion, which was released in 2012. The expansion pack will include at least fifteen new cities. City cards will include a memorial, customs, counterfeiter’s office, smuggler’s cache, and more. 7 Wonders: Cities was the second expansion for 7 Wonders. City cards were a new type if card in the game and aggressively increased the interaction between players in games.

7 Wonders & Many Awards

When released in 2010 7 Wonders was an instant hit, finding both popular and critical success. A sample of awards includes:

The game continues to make regular appearances on Dice Tower Top 10 lists, especially those focussed on higher player counts. Dice Tower Top 10 appearances include:

Games for Five Players – The People’s #1 game
6 Player Games – The People’s #1 game
7+ Player Games – The People’s #1 game

 

Mayday Games has announced a new speed/dexterity title from Antoine Bauza (7 Wonders, Ghost Stories and many others) and Corentin Lebrat (Takenoko: Chibis), Rooster Rush. A re-imagining of Gaijin Dash, Rooster Rush has players take on the roles of chickens trying to cross the road. Players simultaneously compete over Crossing Cards by slapping them as quickly as possible. However, at the same time, token representing dangerous vehicles are spinning on their edge, slowly winding down and eventually resting on either the “safe” or “unsafe” side of the coin. These tokens make the Crossing Cards either safe or unsafe, meaning your rooster has either contacted the other side of the road, or contacted the vehicle. Three unsafe crossings and you are out. The first player to claim 11 points of safe crossings wins the game.

Rooster Rush plays with 3-6 players in 15 minutes. The Kickstarter for Rooster Rush will begin in late May, and the game is expected to hit stores in Q4 2017.

Mayday Games announces ​Rooster Rush​ board game Layton, UT

May 8, 2017​ – Today, Mayday Games is pleased to announce Rooster Rush, a card game by designers Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat. Rooster Rush is based on the previously published design Gaijin Dash! by the same designers. Rooster Rush is a party game in which players need to cross the road while avoiding oncoming vehicles. Observation, risk-taking, and speed are the three skills you need in order to keep out of the animal hospital!

Players simultaneously compete over crossing cards worth various points. To claim a card, the player must be the first to slap their hand on the card. But beware, only safe crossing cards are eligible to be claimed. While players are deciding which cards, if any, to claim – tokens representing the threatening vehicles are spinning on their edges. Instead of heads or tails, in Rooster Rush the tokens will land either safe or unsafe side up. Safe cards are claimed, unsafe cards count as being hit by the vehicle. Claim three unsafe cards and you are eliminated from the game. The first player to claim 11 points or more in cards, or to be the last rooster rushing, wins the game!

This simple dexterity speed game will delight players with its different potential win conditions and quick play. Light enough to play with kids and yet fast and fun enough to be played as a filler on those serious gamer nights. Rooster Rush is for 3 to 6 players​ and takes approximately 15 minutes​ to play. It includes 5 Vehicle Tokens, 40 Crossing Cards, and 1 Red Button Card. Rooster Rush is expected to be available in the USA in Quarter 4 of 2017​ and will be released on Kickstarter in late May 2017​. For more information you can visit the Mayday Games website at: http://www.​maydaygames.com/products/roosterrush

About Mayday Games We take tabletop gaming seriously, because free time doesn’t come around nearly enough in life. It’s those fussy, esoteric, and admittedly geeky standards that drive us to obsessive excellence. We’re proud of our lines of original games, specialty accessories, and custom card sleeves.

Our recent hits such as Isle of Monsters, Nerdy Inventions, Assassin Con and Garbage Day, and classics such as Viceroy, Get Bit!, Walk the Plank, Coconuts, and Click Clack Lumberjack show Mayday Games has something for gamers of all ages and experience levels. With lightning mechanics, eye-catching art, and customer-driven content, Mayday Games is proud to present an all-new, old-fashioned game night. Visit our website for more information: http://www.maydaygames.com

antoine-bauza

Geeks under Grace is a geek website that looks at things like anime, video games, comics, and most recently, board games with a Christian perspective.  So in pursuit of that interest they were able to land an interview with 7 Wonders designer Antoine Bauza.  They talk about some of his past and current designs, whether he starts with mechanics or not, and then they talked about some games he is working on.  Three games that were mentioned in the interview were a new 7 Wonders expansion called Armada, a collaboration with Eric Lang called Victorian Masterminds, and finally a new coop game called Oltréé.  Victorian Masterminds has a tentative release of early 2017, the other two games are still in development so we will just have to wait for more information to be released.  You can read the full interview on the Geeks under Grace website.

sDTAwards

The 2015 Dice Tower Awards winners were announced at Dice Tower Con last night. The Dice Tower Awards nominees were announced earlier this year. Nominees are determined by a panel of roughly 100 people. A list is comprised and people can vote on up to their top 3 choices in any category. Based upon a weighting system determined by a person’s knowledge of any specific category, a list of the top 5 comprises the nominees with top vote getting the winner’s award (Best Game of the Year gets 10 nominees). This year was composed of a very impressive list of games which only goes to show how the board game industry keeps improving year after year. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners! For a list of all the nominees you can visit the official Dice Tower Awards page here.

Best Small Publisher

stockpile

Stockpile

Designers: Brett Sobol, Seth Van Orden
Publisher: Nauvoo Games

Best Party Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Game Artwork

ashes

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Artists: David Richards, Fernanda Suarez
Designer: Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Best Board Game Components

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game from a New Designer

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Two-Player Game

7wonders duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Designers: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Repos Production

Most Innovative Game

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Cooperative Game

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

Best Game Theming

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Game Expansion

ticket to ride penn

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

Designer: Alan R. Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder

Best Game Reprint

through the ages

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Family Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Strategy Game

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game of the Year

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games