Bruno Faidutti

“A regal asymmetric party game for 3-6 players with bluffs and betrayals… Reigns: The Council is […] about a monarch seeking harmony in their realm, and their advisors vying to influence them for their own goals.”

Master board game designers Bruno Faidutti (Citadels) and Hervé Marly (Skull) have a new Kickstarter project, the most regal social party game, Reigns: the Council. Reigns is based on the popular same-named app from Studio Nerial. In Reigns, one player takes on the role of the monarch, humbly trying to balance the kingdom on 4 pillars: Church, People, Army and Wealth, all quantitated on the game board from 1-4. The remaining players are the (mistakenly) trusted advisors, but each one has a secret agenda with regards to these 4 pillars. Advisors each take a hand of proposal cards, ideas which will change the pillars depending if the proposal is accepted or rejected by the monarch. Players use the thematic icons on the proposal to tell stories and pitch ideas. The back of the proposal card tells the monarch which pillars will be affected by the proposal, and maybe if the effect is great, but not really if the effect is good or bad. It is up to the advisor to spin a yarn (ie. lie) so well that the King/Queen cannot help but accept.

After the 4 proposals are described, the monarch will pick one and the 4 pillars are shifted up and down according to both the rejected cards and the accepted proposal. If a pillar bumps off of the end of a track, the ruler is killed and a new monarch is established, with new advisors and new secret goals. Monarchs gain points for number of accepted proposals, while advisors gain points for having their story accepted and for meeting their secret goals.

Reigns: the Council is a fun, story-telling social party game for 3-6 players. The Kickstarter project continues through October 1, and the game is scheduled to release in May 2020. For more information, check out Nerial’s webpage here.

IDW Games has announced Tonari, a new 2-4 player tile collection game from master designers Bruno Faidutti (Diamont, Mission: Red Planet) and Alex Randolph (Inkognito, Twixt), featuring delightful art from Kwanchai Moriya. In Tonari, a hex board is randomly filled with gorgeous acrylic tiles, and a fishing boat is placed in the middle. Players take turns moving the boat, collecting tiles as they go. The tiles may be sets of fish or shellfish which can grant or remove points. Additionally, skill tiles can be collected, giving bonus abilities, manipulating tiles on the board, or changing tiles in a players pile. The unique “hook” in this game is that a players’ final score is the sum total of their own score and that of their neighbor to the left. Look for Tonari at your FLGS in August 2019.

Z-man Games has announced a new game called, Miaui (MEOW-ee), from designer Bruno Faidutti.  The theme is based on anthropomorphic cats fishing in a lagoon.  Miaui appears to be a light, family-friendly card game for 3-6 players aged 8 and up.

“As the tide changes on the island of Miaui, it’s time for the fishing festival! Dive into the depths to catch the most valuable fish for the evening feast.”

Miaui is played over twelve rounds. Each player has a hand of cards, numbered from one to twelve.  The number on the card represents how deep you are willing to dive in the lagoon when you play it.  In the center of the table there are three cards which represent the available catch for a given round.  The “catch” can range from valuable fish to negative jelly fish.  Each round players choose one card from their hand and simultaneously reveal their choice.  The highest card played dives deepest in the lagoon to get the card at the bottom, whereas, the lowest played card takes the top card.

Read more about Z-Man’s new game.

QST Tabetop Subscription Box is a really interesting new project just launched on Kickstarter. QST aims to deliver a brand new board game each month, created as a collaboration between a famous concept creator, board game designer, and artist. What makes this project special is the amazing caliber of the personalities already lined up. Get ready for a long impressive list.

The Concept people include Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty), Nolan Bushnell (Remember Atari and Chuck E. Cheese), R. A. Salvatore (Sci Fi Author), Kevin Eastman (Heroes in a half shell), and many others.

Board Game Designers include Richard Borg (Liar’s Dice, Memoir ’44), Bruno Faidutti (Citadels, Mission Red Planet), Bruno Cathala (Shadows  Over Camelot, Cyclades), James Ernest (Kill Dr Lucky), Seiji Kanai (Love Letter), just to name a few.

The artist list is no slouch either, with huge names from various field, such as Vincent Dutrait, Mihajlo Dimitrovski, and Marvel artist Walt Simonson.

The first game from QST will be Foreclosure: Dungeon Masters Tavern, by Cory Jones (Co-Founder of Cryptozooic), Matt Hyra (Adventure Time Card Wars) and Robb Mommaerts (Cartoon Network Crossover Crisis). In Foreclosure, the boss monsters have sought legal counsel and sued the dungeon masters over loss of treasure. Having won, they are now collecting on the loot from the Dungeon Masters Tavern, driven into foreclosure. 2-4 players take on the roles of varied monsters in a blind bidding game in an attempt to gather the most loot.

The Kickstarter Campaign will run through September 29, and is expected to start shipping in March 2018. Check out the complete list of people involved here.

That isn’t a typo in the title, Z-Man Games has announced a new game called Junggle, with two G’s, designed by Bruno Faidutti and Anja Wrede.  This game promises to give you five games in one using just a deck of cards and a single card showing the hierarchy of all the animals.  With these two components they have come up with different styled games, like a push your luck game called King of the Jungle.  In this variation you have cards out on the table face down, and one by one you will look at face down cards on your turn.  What you are doing is trying to figure out what animal will be left that is highest up in the hierarchy.  This is hard to figure out because animals are scared away by the things directly above them on the hierarchy, so those top animals may be scared off and left with someone near the middle of the ladder.  Either way if you manage to figure it out first, you win.

Another variation is a bluffing style game called Jungle Party.  In this version of the game you have two face-up cards, constituting your party, and two cards in your hand.  On your turn you draw a card and then pass one of your three hand cards to another player face down.  They then have to decide to keep it or give it back to you, and whichever choice is made, the recipient has to flip the card and add it to their party.  Like before if the animal is directly above them in the hierarchy they will be scared off or scare off other members of your party.  First person to collect five of the same animal at the end of their turn is the winner.

So that is two out of the five possible variations, and more will be revealed on the Z-Man Games website as the release date gets closer.

The new edition of Citadels has officially hit stores, and so to help spread the word Asmodee decided to interview the three brains behind it’s reprint, Bruno Faidutti, Steve Kimball, and Alex Ortloff.  The questions mostly pertain to the new edition of Citadels and it’s design, favorite characters, and the quintessential question of theme first or mechanics.  Another interesting note is that this the first full game co-designed by Alex, and so they talk briefly about how he felt working with designing veterans like Bruno and Steve.  To read the full interview check out the Asmodee website, and then you can grab a copy of the new edition of the game at your friendly local game store.

Windrider Games, an affiliate of Asmodee North America will publish a new edition of Citadels featuring expanded content. In Citadels, each player will draft a role from the kingdom, then reveal that role based on the characters rank. Players then build districts with cards from their hands, collect gold, and use their drafted character’s ability often affecting other players. The winner is the player with the highest scoring city.

The new edition adds characters nine new characters to the original eight and includes the Dark City expansion characters bringing the total to 27. It also increases the district cards to 30 unique districts. Bruno Faidutti, the games original designer, collaborated with Windrider Studios for this definitive edition.

Citadels will available for demo in the Asmodee booth at Gen Con, and is expected to be available for retail the last quarter of the year. For full details read Asmodee North America’s announcement.

argo contents

Lead your team to the safety of the escape pods and leave station Argo before the Aliens kill you!

Push the others to make way in the cramped corridors, and use Astronauts from other teams to slow down the Aliens. Be careful however because if too many die, everyone will lose!

Bruno Faidutti (Citadels, Incan Gold) and Serge Laget (Cargo Noir, Mystery at the Abbey) have once again teamed up to bring a new game from Belgian publisher Flatlined Games: Argo.  In Argo, players are a team of space miners that have awoken in an unknown deep space mining station.  Am much as the team would like to know where they are and how they got there, there is no time, as alarms are blaring and predatory aliens are attacking the station.  There is nothing for it but to run to the nearest escape pods and escape the installation, avoiding the aliens’ terrible jaws.

Argo is a fiercely competitive game in which players adopt an every-man-an-woman-for-themselves approach, yet all the while not letting too many of their compatriots get eaten by aliens, lest they all lose the game.

As the players avoid horrific deaths at the mouths of the alien attackers, they reveal tiles as search for escape shuttles.  Players alternatively control the aliens as well as their own miners, and since there are not enough escape pods for everyone, some miners will be left behind…or eaten…

Argo is a game for 2-4 players ages 13+, and plays in about 40 minutes.  If successful, this project will fund on March 3, 2016.  For more information and to support Argocheck out the Kickstarter page for this project.

waka tanka
Cool Mini or Not has announced that it will once again partner with Sweet Games to publish the English version of Waka Tanka in America. Waka Tanka is a light bluffing card game designed by Bruno Faidutti (Citadels, Mission: Red Planet). In the game, players are Native American shamans who try to conjure spirits by playing incantation cards face down. Other players can call their bluff and catch them in their lies.
If you’re interested in this light bluffing game with great art (the game is illustrated by David Cochard (Dungeon Lords, Dungeon Petz), one of my favorite board game artists), read the full press release below:

December 3, 2015 – CMON Inc. has announced today that it will be publishing the English version of Sweet Games’ Waka Tanka in America. Designed by legendary game designer Bruno Faidutti, Waka Tanka has players taking on the role of would-be Sioux shamans as they try to win the favor of the titular Waka Tanka, the great spirit of every living thing. Players will need to bluff and deceive other players to win. Illustrated by David Cochard, Waka Tanka promises to bring the same beauty in art and mechanics as CMON Inc. and Sweet Games’ previous title The Grizzled.

A preview of Waka Tanka will be shown in Cannes at the end of February 2016 with a simultaneous international release following shortly after.

CMON Inc. is a publisher of premium quality board and table tops games. Their previously published titles Include Zombicide, Arcadia Quest, Rum and Bones,Xenoshyft: Onslaught and more.

Sweet Games is a French game publisher of modern board and card games. Their previous partnership with CMON Inc. brought the highly praised game The Grizzled to America.

bruno_faiduti_tesfup

Well known game designer (or game author as he likes to call himself) Bruno Faidutti recently wrote a blog post about how reviews for board games in France are often called ‘tests’ instead of ‘critiques’.  He goes into detail about how he views board games more like movies and books in that it is a cultural creation, unlike things like cars and phones which are inventions.  Yet, when it comes to reviewing them you will see ‘critiques’ on movies and books, but you will more often than not find ‘tests’ about board games, looking at and rating them more like you would a car than a book.  While in the US, when we refer to test it is almost universally understood as a step in the design process to work out bugs in the mechanics, (playtesting) and reviews as opinion pieces about the final product, just like movies and books.  But in France there seems to be no difference in the language and that has raised the ire of both Bruno and some other designers who are pushing for a change in terminology.  To read more on Bruno’s thoughts and his experiences in trying to change things you can head over to his blog.  (be sure to scroll down for the English version)