The 2022 French Board Game of the Year Nominees were announced. The As d’Or (Golden Ace) is a games award given out by a jury at the Festival International des Jeux in Cannes, France. (It is a good thing that I know basic French, and I can translate the announcements.)
The awards were established in 1988. From 1989 to 2003, a jury of journalists allotted “Golden Aces” by category to games presented by their editors. A special prize, the Super As d’Or, was allotted to the best game from any category. In 2003, the process was modified to give more autonomy to the jury. A single As d’Or was awarded, and 10 nominees were announced
In 2005, the award merged with the Jeu de l’Année (Game of the Year). It was decided that the combined award should be named after the year of awarding rather than year of publication, so the first combined award was the 2005 As d’Or Jeu de l’Année with awards in three categories: general public/family games, experts, and children.
Last year, the winners were
- MicroMacro: Crime City by Johannes Sich and Blackrock Games
- The Crew by Thomas Sing and KOSMOS
- Dragomino by Bruno Cathala, Marie Fort, Wilfried Fort and Blue Orange
This year the “Starting Out” (or initié) category was added.
2022 As d’Or Nominees
- 7 Wonders: Architects by Antoine Bauza and Repos Production
- Cartaventura: Lhasa by Thomas Dupont, Arnaud Ladagnous, and BLAM!
- Happy City by Airu and Toshiki Sato and Cocktail Games
As d'Or — ENFANT
- Bubble Stories by Matthew Dunstan and Blue Orange Games
- My First Castle Panic by Justin DeWitt and Fireside Games (Space Cow in France)
- Pin Pon! by Julie Bregeot and Djeco
As d'Or — INITIÉ
- Living Forest by Aske Christiansen and Ludonaute
- Nouvelles ContRées by Germain Winzenschtark and Olibrius Editions
- Oltréé by Antoine Bauza, John Grümph, and Studio H
As d'Or — EXPERT
- Dune: Imperium by Paul Dennen and Dire Wolf
- IKI by Koota Yamada and Sorry We Are French
- Lost Ruins of Arnak by Elwen, Mín, and Czech Games Edition
As d'Or Nominees
7 Wonders: Architects
In 7 Wonders: Architects, 2-7 players race to become a leader of the ancient world by completing an architectural wonder that will last through the ages.
Players receive an unconstructed wonder at the beginning of the game and must collect resources to build their society, develop military might to navigate conflicts, oversee resource management, research science improvements, and collect civil victory points as they race to leave their mark on world history.
Cartaventura is a narrative card game in which players build an adventure using cards that can offer them different choices during play. Map cards are placed in the middle of the table. Around these map cards, players place action cards, with them consulting one another to decide the best choice to make from those available: draw a card, turn over a card, discard, etc. Urgent cards, which should be read entirely before doing anything else, can change the game in an instant. Object cards are placed in front of players and can be useful throughout the game. The game includes a tutorial to accompany the first game, and its simple and original playing system allows you to explore the scenario several times before discovering all of the game's secrets.
Become the mayor of your own mini-metropolis in Happy City! Buy buildings to attract residents, increase their happiness, and earn an income because you'll need money to grow, but in the end only the satisfaction of your citizens counts towards your final score. Strike the perfect balance to build the happiest city in town.
As d'Or — ENFANT Nominees
Step into the world of Bubble Stories with two adventures where you are the hero! Discover new worlds by exploring, card after card, all the places you can visit! Enjoy each place along the way and discover what is hidden at the end of each adventure.
My First Castle Panic
My First Castle Panic, like its predecessor Castle Panic, is a co-operative game in which players work together to defend their castle, but this game removes the reading requirement of the earlier one and fosters the development of educational skills, such as identifying colors and shapes, problem solving, and turn taking.
Warning! The siren’s just gone off in the station, which means a fire has broken out! Can you help the firefighters get there in time to put out the flames and save the house? A cooperation game to learn to play, win and lose together.
As d'Or — INITIÉ Nominees
In Living Forest, you play as a nature spirit who will try to save the forest and its sacred tree from the flames of Onibi.
But you are not alone in your mission as the animal guardians have come together to lend a hand around the Circle of Spirits where you progress. Each turn, they bring you valuable elements, so try to combine your team of animal guardians as best as possible to carry out your actions, but be careful because some are lonely and do not like to be mixed with others...
Nouvelles ContRées is a cooperative game that invites you on this dreamlike journey. You become novel explorers, navigating your best through the jungle of words, until you find, at the heart of the novel, the incredible hidden meaning of the book.
At the start of the game, players set up their Camp, represented by a bookmark, somewhere in the book. During the game, they will advance the Camp to a Lost City bookmark located further away.
In this cooperative game, players are brave Rangers who assist he people of a satrapy - an administrative province - that their hierarchy has put them in charge of. They must rebuild a Fortress to ensure the safety and tranquility of the inhabitants.
Rangers are given an Assignment at the start of the game. These are the tasks that have been assigned to them by their hierarchy. Completing them will be the best way to win the game.
This assignment would be easy to carry out if external events did not get in the Rangers’ way. A story, called the Chronicle, will unfold throughout the game, adding new situations that the Rangers will have to deal with.
As d'Or — EXPERT Nominees
Dune: Imperium is a game that finds inspiration in elements and characters from the Dune legacy, both the new film from Legendary Pictures and the seminal literary series from Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, and Kevin J. Anderson.
As a leader of one of the Great Houses of the Landsraad, raise your banner and marshal your forces and spies. War is coming, and at the center of the conflict is Arrakis – Dune, the desert planet.
Nihonbashi is the focus of IKI: A Game of EDO Artisans, which brings you on a journey through the famed street of old Tokyo. Hear the voices of Nihonbashi Bridge's great fish market. Meet the professionals, who carry out 700-800 different jobs. Enter the interactivity of the shoppers and vendors. Become one with the townspeople.
The goal of this game is to become the annual Edoite, best personifying what is known as "IKI", an ancient philosophy believed to be the ideal way of living among people in Edo. Knowing the subtleties of human nature, being refined and attractive — these are all elements of a true IKI master.
Lost Ruins of Arnak
Lost Ruins of Arnak combines deck-building and worker placement in a game of exploration, resource management, and discovery. In addition to traditional deck-builder effects, cards can also be used to place workers, and new worker actions become available as players explore the island. Some of these actions require resources instead of workers, so building a solid resource base will be essential. You are limited to only one action per turn, so make your choice carefully... what action will benefit you most now? And what can you afford to do later... assuming someone else doesn't take the action first!?
Decks are small, and randomness in the game is heavily mitigated by the wealth of tactical decisions offered on the game board. With a variety of worker actions, artifacts, and equipment cards, the set-up for each game will be unique, encouraging players to explore new strategies to meet the challenge.
Which game do you think will win the Golden Ace?
Which games are your favorite?