Lewis & Clark

ludonaute logo

Grab your French fries, French bread, French dressing and Pay-roo, we’re going to Cannes baby! Cannes! What, no interest in the glitz, glamor and pageantry of modern film and documentary? Good, because we are going for the board games.
The French board game publisher Ludonaute has announced some exciting news. They have several booths at the Cannes Film Festival showing off their goods and previewing some of their upcoming work.

colt express 2
Colt Express, which made a huge splash last year for its unique theme and components, is being shown off at Cannes with the ‘over-sized version’ treatment! Perhaps like the oversized Mayfair games at Gen Con? I look forward to seeing the pictures of this!
Colt Express, for those that have not been introduced, sports a 3D cardboard train that caught many eyes. Players play as Old West bandits robbing a train and collecting riches using action cards.
In addition to the ‘Big’ novelty treatment for Cannes display, an expansion is being previewed at the film festival. This expansion will include:
– Horses!
– Prinsoners
– A New Car (not an automobile)
– Hostages
– Stagecoach
– A new way to play: a Marshall vs. all others!
This expansion will be released at Essen.


Another of Ludonaute’s popular games, Lewis & Clark, is also discussed in Ludonaute’s news release. Lewis & Clark is an American West exploration themed game that features a bit of drafting, a bit of pool building, some resource management and a whole Corps of fun. Now the company is giving L&C the Race to Roll treatment, enter dice. This totally new dice game will be shorter than Lewis & Clark but the decision making is reported to still be deep and fun.
The game will be released at Gen Con but a playable prototype will be at Cannes.

“The Little Prince” is a French novella published in 1943 which is the most-read and third most translated book in the world (per Wikipedia). Well loved designers Antoine Bauza and Bruno Cathala gave the story a board game adaptation (The Little Prince: Make Me a Planet) back in 2013 which was published by Asmodee. Now, in anticipation for the new animated feature film based on The Little Prince, the same designers have created a new game. The company has given no detail on how this game will differ but has said it will not require the building of planets this time around and instead include traveling the stars. It will target the casual gamer and families yet still include clever play.
The new game can be previewed at Ludonaute’s boot at Cannes as well.

So see, even us board gamer geeks could have something to do at French film festivals! Adieu!

See Ludonaute’s news article here.


French gaming blog and community site, Tric Trac, posted its Tric Trac d’or 2014 awards naming the top three games of the year based on user submitted votes and Tric Trac’s own panel of judges.

five tribes board

Taking first place honors, and the Gold medal, was none other than Bruno Cathala’s Five Tribes, Days of Wonder’s first foray into heavy strategy. This unique Mancala-style game set in ancient Arabian mythology was the runaway winner from the start.

“At the opening of the vote, the game started to reap the points, escaping after a few hours.”

Second place was more hotly contested, but it was Cédrick Chaboussit’s Lewis & Clark that took Silver. This worker placement game set in pioneer-era America has players reliving Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition to the Pacific coast.

splendor pieces

The Bronze medal went to Marc Andre’s Splendor. Noted for its high component quality, this light set collection game has players collecting combinations of gems to attract patrons and score victory points.

“With 1,210 voters, we can say the thing is the opinion of many players who surf Tric Trac and the current trend of European games.”

Check out Tric Trac’s full announcement to see an analysis of the voting process and which games just missed the winners’ podium. The article is in French, but can easily be translated through a number of online resources (e.g., Chrome’s built-in translator).

For more information on this year’s winner, click the links below for Dice Tower’s reviews.

Five Tribes Miami Dice
Lewis & Clark Review
Splendor Review

international gamers awards

The International Gamers Awards have announced their slate of finalist nominees for 2014 in the two categories they give awards in for general strategy.  The multiplayer strategy category features some of the big name games of the last year running from July 2013 to June 2014.  Titles like Caverna, Russian Railroads, Concordia, and Freedom the Underground Railroad among others have been named.  In the two player strategy category titles like Battlelore (second edition) and Pagoda have been named.

The IGA’s do give awards for historical simulations as well but those are awarded for a different time period running from January to December of each year.

To see the full list of nominees and how the voting process are conducted visit the International Games Awards website.


Publisher Ludonaute will have a second printing of Lewis & Clark available in March 2014 to America, Asia, and Europe.