Ludovic Maublanc

IELLO has two new games coming to your favorite retailers this September. The first is the all new Ninja Academy, designed by Antoine Bauza, Corentin Lebrat, Ludovic Maublanc, and Théo Rivière. The game pits 3-to-5 players against one another in a wide variety of dexterity challenges. Challenges are decided at random, and alternate between tests for the whole group or a duel between two players. There’s really quite an assortment of mini-games here, as per the game’s description:

“For example, try to be the first player to place a ninja meeple on each of your fingertips! Try to guess how many ninjas your opponent put in the box just by shaking it! Be the quickest to assemble 5 wood logs vertically! Be strong enough to collect points depending on your score, but also be strategic enough when you bet on the winner of each duel!”

The second new release is an expansion for 8-bit Box called Double Rumble. Designed by the same team as Ninja Academy above, this game emulates NES-era side-scrolling beat-em-ups like River City Ransom and is playable solo or cooperative with a friend! Players take on waves of baddies coming from left and right, and it takes timing, tactics, and special attacks to survive the increasingly difficult waves and reach the boss. Fans of 8-bit Box and the retro games it calls back to will really like the flair of this one. For more information about either of these releases, be sure to check out IELLO’s website in the coming weeks as their catalog updates and watch out for their retail release early September.

“An unthinkable catastrophe has ravaged Europe. The main infrastructure of Paris has been destroyed. In a few weeks, the city is covered in strange, lush vegetation. The survivors of the apocalypse must reunite, and roll up their sleeves to rebuild civilization in this new Eden.”

Matagot Games has announced Paris: New Eden by designers Florian Grenier and Ludovic Maublanc (Cyclades, Dice Town). Paris is a lighter dice drafting, post-apocalyptic board game in which 2-4 players collect survivors, aquire buildings, resolve events and in general try to score the most victory points within 4 seasons. Players start by drafting custom dice 6 showing survivor types – tinkerers, brawlers, healers, sages, farmers, and wilds. These dice come from action spaces, and after taking a die, players execute the action from that location. Players next fight for buildings associated with each die type, spending the dice to purchase the cards. These cards are collected in order of strength – the player with the most tinkerers gets first pick of the tinkerer buildings, and so on. Players can then overcome events for victory points, using survivors and supplies from their location cards. Finally, all of those survivors need to be fed with collected farmers and cans of food, earning more points. After 4 seasons, players can collect on secret mission cards, and the player with the most victory points is declared the winner.

Paris: New Eden is scheduled to have a limited release in Essen this October, with retail to follow soon thereafter.  

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects (2006) is a highly regarded game from designers Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc. Unfortunately, this edition from publisher Days of Wonder has been out of print for some time, and is on many a gamer’s grail list. Well fear no more, for Mojito Studios has announced a Kickstarter project for a new edition of this elusive classic, complete with gorgeous art from Miguel Coimbra. In Cleopatra, players take turns collecting stacks of cards from a market, collecting resources in order to purchase large chunks of the famed Cleopatra’s palace. The Worshipers of Sobek can be enlisted to help, although their bonuses come with a penalty. Accumulated corruption needs to be mitigated during the game with treasure scarabs. In this new edition, not only are the famously overproduced pieces of the palace lovingly redesigned, but the designers have included 2 new expansions, compatible with both the old and new editions. The Cult of Sobek includes Sobek miniatures and player aids, while the Whims of Cleopatra involves a giant die and bonus tiles. An upgraded deluxe edition of the game is also available with magnetic pieces, metal corruption amulets and plastic pyramids to store your accumulated goodies. The Kickstarter for Cleopatra and the Society of Architects continues through May 27, and the game is expected to deliver in March 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.

Blue Orange Games has two new games that will be released at this year’s Gen Con.

First is Blue Lagoon designed by award winning game designer Reiner KniziaBlue Lagoon is a set collection games with an area control mechanic.  Players manage settlers to explore the islands, collect resources, and build villages.  Points are awarded collecting resources and colonizing the islands.

Blue Lagoon plays 2-4 players, ages 8+, in 30-45 minutes.  Contents include game board, 24 wooden resources, 8 wooden statuettes, 20 wooden villages, 120 settler tokens, 1 linen bag, score pad, and rulebook.

Next, Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc have teamed up again to design Scarabya.  Scarabya is an area enclosure game with a tile placement mechanic.  Players are competing archeologist on their own dig site (player board) attempting to place tiles around the golden scarabs on their player board. Each gold scarab enclosed is worth the size of its enclosure, up to four points.  The challenge is that the tiles to create an enclosure come in different shapes, is drawn at random, and is played in order.  All the players draw and place their tiles concurrently and the game continues until the last tile is drawn and played or discarded. The player with the most points in golden scarabs at the end of the game is the winner.

Scarabya plays 1-4 players, ages 8+, in 15-20 minutes.  Contents include 4 sets of 12 tiles, 4 sets of 4 boards, 4 sets of 8 rocks, 4 frames, 72 scarab tokens, 12 mission cards, and rulebook.

Lean more about both these games at Blue Orange Games.

Fans of the area control game Cyclades can start their trip planning now as the new small-box expansion, Cyclades: Monuments is being released this holiday season.

Designed by the prolific Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc, the award-winning Cyclades had players racing to build two cities in the Cyclades group of islands whilst vying for the favour of the gods. This new expansion throws in ten monument miniatures and their associated monument cards. Constructing these monuments will grant the player an advantage that can give them the edge over their opponents!

The Cyclades: Monuments expansion is compatible with all previously released expansions for Cyclades. For additional information, visit Asmodee’s website.

If you’re a fan of dice and dice games, WizKids has got your back this fall!

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First up is Blank White Dice. Designed by Jonathan Leistiko, Blank White Dice has players simply rolling their dice and activating the abilities shown on the faces. What makes this game unique is that when a blank face is rolled, players can draw their own icons on to the dice, which will provide your dice with new abilities. I suppose you could call it a face-building game as you roll your way to victory.

The game comes with “wet-erase” markers that are not as easy to rub off as dry-erase markers. The dice are of a very high quality, nice and weighty, bulky – and the die faces are recessed so that the markings don’t easy rub off upon rolling. I will say that you’ll need a wet cloth around to remove markings as the felt tops of the markers are not enough to remove what is marked upon the die. The game comes with many different cards featuring abilities that may be played upon the die (upon placing their icons on them–see below).

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Secondly we’ve got Burke’s Gambit. Designed by Robert Yates, Burke’s Gambit is sci-fi themed game of hidden roles and sabotage. One of your crew has been contaminated by a parasitic organism, and to make things worse another member of your crew has sabotaged to ship on a crash course to Earth! Players will take the roles of different members of the ship, roll dice to determine their actions (e.g. attacking other players, healing themselves, scanning for the parasite, etc.), and ultimately vote to eject someone out of the airlock!

burkes gambit

Lastly, we have Dice Stars. Designed by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc, players are collecting sets of dice that represent multi-coloured shooting stars. On their turns, players can add dice to the pool before rolling them, taking either all the dice of one colour or the dice of one value. Dice taken will help you score in different ways, and the highest score wins!

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Look forward to this slate of dice games in October (Blank White Dice), November (Dice Stars), and December (Burke’s Gambit). Additional information can be found on WizKid’s website.

pocket madness cards

Scheduled to release in September from Passport Game Studios and Funforge comes Pocket Madness – a card game from Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc and inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s stories.

In Pocket Madness you will be playing cards meant to evoke the powers of the slumbering Ancient Ones, in hopes to drive your cultist friends insane while securing your own victory in the process!  Pocket Madness is for 2 – 4 players, fast paced and easy to learn.

Do you have the Willpower to drive your fellow cultists mad before you slip into insanity?  Put Cthulhu into your pocket…if you dare!

Pocket Madness comes with:

  • 70 cards
  • 40 plastic madness tokens
  • Rulebook

For more info about the game, click here.

dice town app

Matagot has announced Dice Town, the fun fast dice game designed by Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc, is now an app available on iPad and iPhones. Dice Town is played by rolling custom dice that remain hidden under a cup, each player will select one of their dice to keep for free, other dice may be kept by spending $1, those that were not kept are re-rolled. This goes on until at least one player has chosen to keep all their die allowing the remaining players one last roll.

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The dice have six sides a nine of spades, ten of hearts, jack, queen, king, and ace of spades that are used to create poker hands and determine who will control the different areas of Dice Town and be allowed to take the benefits of that area. For example whoever rolls the most nines takes control of the gold mine and gets one gold nugget for each nine they rolled (worth points at the end of the game). Each of the six faces has a benefit like this that players will compete for, additionally there is a Town Hall area that goes to the player with the best poker hand. The player that wins control of the town hall is granted the first property tile that is face up they are also give an additional face up card for each ace they have in their hand for a maximum of three cards. These property tiles are worth various end game points and are usually valuable. Last but not least if a player did not win anything from the other areas there is a final spot called Doc Badluck that will give the poor player something for their troubles. Play continues until the gold nuggets or property cards are gone and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins. This is just a brief overview of the game as the spaces that are not mentioned here add a lot to the overall strategy and play of Dice Town.

Dice Town looks like a lot of fun to play and the app is designed to have increasing levels of difficulty. All in all for the price it certainly looks worth it and I would certainly pick it up if I had a compatible device. You can find the announcement on the Matagot website here and you can head over to iTunes to purchase the app. If  a fun, fast, clever dice game is something you would like and if you like the app consider picking up a physical copy for offline fun at your FLGS/OLGS.

Asmodee announced at the Gama Trade Show that they will be entering the realm of organized play coining it AsmOPlay . Organized Play is usually tournament style play that takes place in FLGS’s and/or conventions. It is commonly found with CCG’s and role playing games and can include prizes and player rankings. To start the popular games Splendor, 7 Wonders, and Cash ‘n Guns – Second Edition will be supported in the from of tournaments, casual play, and weekly leagues.

AsmOPlay kits come jam packed with amazing, exclusive swag for award winning games like Splendor, 7 Wonders, and Cash’n Guns – Second Edition. The perfect addition for people who want to deck out their games! Each AsmOPlay kit includes two demo copies of the games, promo items and everything you’ll need to run casual play nights, organized tournaments and even repeated weekly in-store gaming  events. You will also receive promotional posters to create buzz for your event, sign-up sheet templates to help with organization, and everything you will need to successfully execute your in-store events.
This is an exclusive program and will only be offered for a very limited time, so sign-up before the opportunity passes you by. Retailers make a one-time program commitment and receive three different AsmOPlay kits, distributed throughout the year, for Splendor (Q2/2015), 7 Wonders (Q3/2015), and Cash’n Guns – Second Edition (Q4/2015). Program enrollment can only be made through select distributors and is limited to two programs per brick and mortar store location. Membership definitely has its advantages!

Be sure to talk to your local game stores if you want to make sure they take part in this program.

Check out the full article here.