It might surprise you, but it doesn’t happen often that I get to play the games I’m about to translate beforehand. Usually, we just receive the PDFs and we start the localization process without actually having played the game. C’est la vie.
However, that’s never the case when I’m working for the guys at Geek Attitude Games. They always invite me to their Brussels office to try out their new projects, usually over a few locally brewn beers. Last year, we chose a beautiful, sunny day to sit on the terrace and try the second expansion to Not Alone, and yesterday I was back at Geek HQ to dive head first into some of their new prototypes.
There’s not enough time to talk about all of them today, so this article is going to focus on a game that I know many of you have been impatiently waiting for. After all, Bruxelles 1893 is one of those popular titles that’s been out of print for a while. Well, in case you didn’t already know, designer Etienne Espreman recently recovered the rights to his game.
I’m happy to report that the deluxe version of Bruxelles 1893 is coming to Kickstarter during the first half of 2022, and it’s obviously going to be more than just a reprint. The box, board and components are getting a complete visual overhaul, some of the rules for the basegame will be revised, and – last but not least – the game will come with an official expansion that fits right into the core box!
The Deluxe Edition and Its Expansion
When you first look at the prototype board, you’ll notice the layout has changed. The compass has been moved to the top left of the board, and the workshop has been moved to the top right. But there are also a few new areas that allow for storing the game’s resources and works of art on the board.
In the above picture, you’ll also be able to discern a few elements of the expansion. If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you’re familiar with how the base game works. So let’s focus on the new stuff that will be included in the deluxe edition.
New Public Figures and White Works of Art
Georges provides you with neutral workers that can be used to carry out actions for you, just like your normal meeples. While these workers don’t count towards majorities for columns and coats of arms on the Art Nouveau board, they also don’t count towards majorities in the Brussels area, which means you can use them there without worrying about your workers ending up in prison at the end of the round.
Blocker Tiles and End Game Goals
However, the blocker tiles serve a second purpose. If you place one of your workers on one of these action spots, you may immediately send a second worker over to a new board that contains three end game goals. Your worker will stay there until the end of the game, but other players can no longer claim the goal you chose.
The second one says you receive an amount of money at the end of the game equal to 4 times the value you reached on your City Hall track. Useful for paying off your public figures! The third one allows you to extend your Architect track to a maximum of 15 points per building, instead of the usual 10.
Special Actions and a Brand New Material
Constructing one of your buildings here costs the same amount of materials, but the middle rows also require one or two addition glass resources, which can be obtained using the Materials action. Building here is more expensive, but it has two distinct advantages.
The first is that you gain a special ability for the rest of the game. All of these abilities are linked to specific action spots or phases. You might, for example, gain an extra worker at the start of each round, receive points for public figures you didn’t activate at the end of the round, or gain the ability to perform two actions in the Brussels area with only one worker.
The second advantage is that you gain 1 point at the end of the round for each worker your opponents have placed in the tile’s row. This means that a big investment early in the game not only grants you a special power, but it can also provide you with a small yet steady victory point engine.
Le Moment Suprême
Stay tuned, because I will be talking about the other prototypes we played in future articles! One of them includes a new ‘Brussels themed’ game designed by Alain Orban (Troyes, Black Angel, Hippocrates).
But before I forget: I made you a promise, didn’t I?
Geek Attitude Games has given me the exclusive honor and permission to share the new box art for Bruxelles 1893 with you. You saw it here first, people! It comes as no surprise that the artist, Amaury “Ammo” Dastarac, is a rising talent from Brussels. He’s most known for his work on designing labels for locally brewed Belgian beers… Wait: is that what I was drinking all afternoon??
At The Geeky Pen, you can expect the following:
The Geeky Pen is very professional, available, quick and efficient. He is not only a translator but also a player. He takes the time to play the game before translation. He is also attentive to the understanding of the rules. He does not hesitate to ask questions and, if necessary, offers solutions. Last but not least, he’s not expensive. For all these reasons, TGP remains the # 1 translator of Geek Attitude Games.
Etienne E. – Geek Attitude Games