Gearing up for SPIEL.digital 2020, publisher Lucky Duck Games has new retail releases coming our way that it’s either published on its own or licensed from other publishers to make the games available outside of France.
• In March 2020, Lucky Duck Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for David Cicurel and Wojciech Grajkowski’s three new standalone Chronicles of Crime games, coined “The Millennium Series”. Compared to Cicurel’s original Chronicles of Crime released in 2018, the new Millennium series games utilize a similar app-assisted system but with new gameplay twists and new, refreshing settings that span an entire millennium from 1400 to 1900 to 2400. All three games are standalone but will offer connecting narrative threads for players to unravel.
While Chronicles of Crime: 1900 and 2400 are slated for a 2021 release, the first of the Millennium series, Chronicles of Crime: 1400, is targeted for a November 2020 retail release. Here’s what you can expect in this 1-4 player co-operative, 15th century crime investigation game:
“You are Abelard Lavel, a knight sworn to King Charles VI the Beloved. You live in the city of Paris in a family mansion not far from the famous Notre Dame cathedral. Since you were a child, you had strange, prophetic dreams in which you saw violent scenes of past crimes or even ones yet to be committed. Over time you learned that your unusual gift could be put to good use, and you started to solve cases that nobody else could crack. This earned you some reputation in the city and now people seek your help whenever a mysterious crime is committed.”
The Chronicles of Crime: 1400 standalone game brings back well-known mechanisms of the original game while adding new twists. Now you can deduce not only from the evidence you find or the testimonies given by various characters, but also from the mysterious scenes depicted on new Vision Cards. These scenes can be from either the future or the past, and they usually involve characters and objects yet to be revealed.
During your investigation, you can also count on your family members to share their knowledge with you. You can ask your uncle, a monk who has a wealth of knowledge about written texts; your sister, a merchant who knows something about almost any object you’ll find; or even your brother, a king’s spy, who knows a story or two about many of the people you will meet. Finally, your faithful dog is always willing to trace a suspect for you, just bring him an item belonging to the person in question and he’ll track them down!
• In September 2020, Lucky Duck Games will release an English edition of The Court of Miracles, a bluffing, area control game for 2-5 players designed by Vincent Brugeas and Guilhem Gautrand that features beautiful illustrations from Ronan Toulhoat. The Court of Miracles plays in about 40 minutes and was originally released as La Cour des Miracles in 2019 from French publisher Lumberjacks Studios.
In The Court of Miracles, lead a guild of beggars, plot, use trickery and opportunism to build your renown and take over the old 16th century Paris. Your goal is to establish your renown in Paris or to be the most influential when the Penniless King would have reached the end of his path…
On your turn, you may play a plot card, then you have to place one of your three rogue tokens face down (hiding the secret ability) on any available spot in a neighborhood and benefit from the effect of your spot (receive coins, draw plot cards or move the Penniless King forward along his path). You may then perform the action of the neighborhood.
When a neighborhood is fully occupied, settle a standoff revealing each player’s rogue tokens to know which player takes control of the neighborhood. Controlling a neighborhood rewards you each time another player performs its action. You will be allowed to buy a fourth rogue or cards or move the Penniless King forward at the Renown Square.
The first player to place their sixth renown token wins, but if the Penniless King reaches the last space of his path, then the game ends and the player with the most renown tokens placed on the board wins.
• Look for retail releases of It’s Wonderful World: Ascension and War or Peace, the two newest expansions for Frédéric Guérard’s card-drafting, engine building hit, It’s Wonderful World. Both of these expansions were originally offered as part of French publisher La Boite de Jeu’s Kickstarter campaign in January 2020, but they will be available for retail release through Lucky Duck Games in November 2020.
The Ascension expansion adds a new empire and components to incorporate a sixth player, plus 48 new cards of four new types that will be mixed with the original development cards, introducing new ways to play and thus opening up new strategic options.
The War or Peace expansion, on the other hand, offers a campaign mode as described below:
This expansion is a campaign that allows players to live an adventure scripted in five scenarios that bring, collectively during the game, players to make choices that will tip the story towards peace or world war.
At the start of a game, players open an envelope containing the story, the special rules of the scenario, and the extra cards for this scenario. Then, at the end of the game, each player receives different rewards depending on whether they won or lost and according to their own choices during the game (depending on the scenario). Thus, each one builds their heritage over the five scenarios. The winner of the
The campaign offers six scenarios in all because a branch in scenario 4 depends on the choice of players.
During and after the campaign, the players will unlock cards that can come to enrich the basic game definitively. The heritage campaigns therefore offer players the chance to live a story and gradually unlock a mini-extension to the base game that offers a new mechanism, a bit like a legacy game, but in a replayable format since nothing is permanently altered.
The campaign is also playable solo.