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[ KICKSTARTER ] Artefacts / English version


Some time ago, we received a press review of a game that intrigued us at first sight. So we quickly decided to find out more. Shortly afterwards, we were able to delve into the rules of the game... 70 pages of reading! The urge to flee could have turned us back, but the desire to find out what was behind it was stronger, and the game's enormous potential jumped out at us from the very first pages! What's more, two weeks ago we got in touch with Franck Bovet, the game's creator, who shared with us his infectious enthusiasm about his baby.


The suspense is over! Today, we present the sublime "Artefacts", which will very soon be undergoing participatory funding on Kickstarter. But one thing's for sure: it won't go unnoticed, and you're likely to be hearing a lot about it...



PRINCIPLE OF THE GAME


"Once every ten years, the Artefactorum, the secret society governing the order of Master Artefactors, decrees a Grand Tournament in the hope of welcoming a new member to their prestigious brotherhood. Each time, this exceptional event attracts the most talented Artefactors, but only one will be lucky enough to earn a place in the order and acquire the title of Master. The Grand Tournament takes place over an entire astral year, during which time the candidates for the illustrious denomination must each build an Artefact which, on several occasions, will compete against those of the other participants. At the end of the year, the members of the Artefactorum will decide on the winner of the Grand Tournament by evaluating the construction qualities of the Artefacts and their results in the confrontations."


In a game of Artefacts, each player takes on the role of an Artefactor, claiming the title of Master. To succeed, the Artefactor must skilfully build a highly effective Artefact during the Preparation Phases, be a good tactician and win the Rounds during the Confrontation Phases, but also know how to negotiate with the various Artefactors and sometimes resort to Shadow moves (sabotaging, manipulating...). Victory will go to the Artefactor with the highest Prestige at the end of the Tournament."


What you need to know about "Artefacts" is that it's a board game combining resource management, worker placement and tactical confrontation, with progressive rules. With the first segment, it's possible to play with a child of 6 or 7 (already accustomed to games) for fairly short games. On the other hand, once you've mastered the rules, you'll need more experienced players for games that can last all day.

The game's multitude of pieces, new rules and game strategies make it infinitely replayable.


Obviously, we're only going to give you a brief introduction to the game by presenting the first level (especially as we haven't played any games yet), but we hope that this will inspire you to discover it in more detail, and that you'll be as enthusiastic as we are.



First level of play: "For their first training session, apprentice Artefactors will have to maneuver illustrious Artefact Machines in a 4-Round Confrontation Phase. The aim is to demonstrate piloting skill by taking Prestige Points scattered around the Arena. Persons with the most Prestige Points at the end of the 4 Rounds will be Laureates."


Each player chooses his color and his illustrious artefactor card (which he places face A in front of him) and as many marker cubes as he's entitled to. In the first level of the game, the machines are already designed. An Artefact can be maneuvered from the Control Panel using a variety of piloting instruments (kinematics, artillery, etc.).


The arena board is placed to one side, with a time marker on square 4 of the time track. Prestige bonuses are placed next to the arena, and walls are placed around the arena according to the layout indicated in the rules. Each player places the Artefact of his color on the center square of one of the 4 starting zones.


Nearby is an artefact hierarchy board. On this board, tokens of each player's color are placed in the first column. This will determine the order in which players take action.

Three ability dice are placed on the table, and the prestige board is set aside with each player's prestige token on the 0 square.



During his round of play, the artefactor can perform up to 5 actions (when he has performed one, he moves his marker in the regulation gauge).


Possible actions are :


- Energy regeneration: This Action ends the Artefact's Round, regardless of whether it had any possible Actions left. In fact, it's best to perform this action at the end of the round. The Artefact then recovers all the markers used for the various Actions, except those in the Regulation Gauge.


- Energy regulation: When performing a Regulation Action, the Artefactor can add or remove markers from the Regulation Gauge (maximum 5). There can be only one marker per level. Performing an "Energy Regulation" may add or remove possible Actions for the current Round, but does not free you from Actions already performed during that Round. Markers must therefore be added or removed from the slots above the marker used for Regulation in the Gauge.


- Artefact movement: the Artefactor places the marker on the Needle chosen in his Kinematics (within the Kinematics are placed Translation Needles and Coefficient of Velocity which give the Artefact movement Capabilities). Depending on the Parts installed in the Kinematics compass, the movement properties are different.


- Activating an Artefact's Cannon: The Artefactor places the marker on a Cannon in its Architecton spreading an Attack. IMPORTANT: A Cannon can only be activated once until the next "Energy Regeneration", i.e. it can only receive one marker. Each Cannon points in one of 8 directions, and the attack propagates in a straight/diagonal line from the Cannon's location until it encounters an Obstacle or Bonus. If the attack encounters a Prestige Bonus, the latter is destroyed and earns Prestige Points; if it encounters an Obstacle, the attack is stopped.



Then comes the confrontation phase, divided into 3 Moments:


- The Prelude, during which the Artefacts make their final preparations. Each Artefactor "Regulates": it assigns between 1 and 5 of its markers to the left-hand Regulation Gauge on its Dashboard sheet. This defines the number of possible Artefact Actions during each Round. Then each Artefactor can orientate his Artefact (rotate it on itself) as he wishes (but cannot move it to another square).


- The Heart of this Phase, the Artefacts engage in a confrontation. It's a succession of Rounds during which each Artefactor in the current order of Hierarchy will pilot his Artefact in the hope of gaining the most Prestige Points. Per Round, an Artefactor can make his Artefact perform a number of Actions equal to or less than the number of places in his Control Gauge (maximum 5). When all Artefactors have completed their Round, the Arena Time Track is decremented downwards by 1. The confrontation phase ends when the Time Marker reaches square 0. The arena is completed at the start of each Artefactor Round, so that there are as many Prestige Bonuses as the number of Artefactors involved, according to the Positioning Process (using the Positioning die). If an Artefact move to a Bonus, it can recover 5 Prestige points. If an Artefact shoots a Bonus, it instantly gains 5 Prestige points. Any bonuses recovered by the Artefact are removed and repositioned at the start of the next Artefactor's Round. An Artefact can pass over the location of a Prestige Bonus without recovering it. A Prestige Bonus stops ballistic lines of fire.


- The Postlude is used to evaluate the results. The qualities of each Artefact participating in the Confrontation Phase are evaluated. Prestige Points are recorded on the Prestige Points Table. If the number of Points exceeds 99, move the Prestige cubes to the hundreds squares to continue the count.



This is the first level of the game. Don't worry if you don't understand everything. The rulebook is full of examples, and I've deliberately left you with the terminology of the game's elements to show you just how specific it is to the game for total immersion.


I can already tell you that it's by playing that you'll really assimilate the rules. By the way, if you'd like to see a sample of the Artefact rules, go to this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cDdtSSJcwKkndlEzS5vkF3mkDlOjqXi1/view


WHO IS IT FOR ?


"Artefacts" is made for 2 to 4 players, for games that can range from 1 hour to 6 hours of play depending on the level reached.



It will be on Kickstarter from June 10 to June 24, 2024. The price, once published, has not yet been fixed (but believe us, it will be well worth it).


THE LITTLE EXTRAS


We can't go into the positive points without mentioning the game's author, Franck Bovet, who has been working on its creation for over 9 years. Having spoken with him, we were able to sense his passion and desire to create a comprehensive game that would suit all types of players. And we think he's succeeded with flying colors! The game will be accessible to novices and experts alike.



As we said at the outset, the game's rules can be a little scary, but don't worry, they've been designed to increase the difficulty, the choice of actions, the materials to be used and the characters at each level. What's more, they're illustrated with clear examples. What's more, the game is so complete that we think it's infinitely replayable. In any case, you'll need a hell of a lot of hours to get through it. The author himself, who has been working on the game for a number of years, confided to us that during test games, he was still seeing new tactics immersed that he hadn't even thought of, and which nevertheless hold up very well!


With "Artefacts", you'll need to demonstrate tactical prowess, creativity in the creation of your machine and skill in your movements. The game is highly modular, so you can play to your heart's content with just your favorite parts of the game. And no surprises: the game is complete from the moment you buy it. You can be sure that new expansions won't be released every month.


You'll be immersed in the game's very own lexicon, which fits perfectly with the Steam punk universe and illustrations.



You'll love building your own machine to design the gameplay of your dreams, the one that will fulfill all your expectations. Perhaps you'd like to focus on defense, or ranged attacks. Or maybe you're more of a brute force type. If you're a fan of plotting, sabotage, theft or corruption, you'll be able to build a machine that's just right for you. You can even count on the weather to come to your aid and further disadvantage your opponents. The more you play, the more you discover the subtleties and possibilities of the game. Your strategy will always be challenged and constantly evolving to create the optimum machine.


To discover the game, you can register on this link until June 30 to enable you to schedule a TTS (Table Top Simulator) training session with Franck Bovet between July 1 and 12, where you can learn how to play the game: https://mailchi.mp/ac5dbb74f885/artefacts-the-board-game-is-coming-soon


Then, from July 12, you can meet other players on Discord to teach them how to play "Artefacts": https://discord.com/invite/k9Hdm6cqaa


THE LITTLE MINUSES


Really, don't be afraid of the length of the rules. The monstrous work carried out by Franck makes Artefacts a truly accessible game for everyone. And if a 6-year-old can play it, why can't you?



WHAT MOUTIKS MOMS THINK


What more can I say? Except to congratulate Franck once again on his titanic work! We have no doubt that Artefacts will find its audience and make a name for itself in the gaming world. In any case, we can't wait to see it in real life, and we hope the Kickstarter campaign will be as successful as possible, because in our opinion, the game will be worth the detour!



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