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Lang and Bauza to Unleash Victorian Masterminds in 2018

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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Board Game: Victorian Masterminds
Let's set the WABAC Machine to November 2015. Game designer Eric M. Lang showed up as a special guest at BGG.CON, and while at the show, he recorded an overview of Victorian Masterminds with our own Beth Heile, this game being a co-design with Antoine Bauza that was signed with Space Cowboys "possibly for publication in late 2016, as Lang notes in the video below, but possibly later".

Turns out that "possibly later" was the operative phrase.

After much delay, the game is now due for release in 2018, but with CMON Limited releasing the game instead of Space Cowboys. CMON hired Lang as Director of Game Design in March 2017, and a press release announcing the game states that "CMON is pleased to have worked with Space Cowboys to add Victorian Masterminds to its library of games."

Here's a summary of the gameplay, followed by that overview video shot back in Nov. 2015. Note that components and other things in the final will differ from what's shown below, but you'll get a taste of the game from one of the guys who knows it best:

Sherlock Holmes is dead! And with London's greatest detective out of the way, those with villainous minds decide to wreak as much terror as possible on the populace — and you are one of those dastardly no-goodniks!

While Europe sits unprotected in Victorian Masterminds, you and other players send your henchmen to different cities to use their varied abilities, collect material for your steampunk-inspired contraptions, destroy buildings, and complete missions. At the same time, the Secret Service follows your path of destruction. Every contraption is unique and allows you to take different actions, leading to highly strategic, asymmetric gameplay.

In more detail, during the game, players take turns placing one of their five agent tokens — Henchman, Machine, Saboteur, Pilot, Number 2 — face down on one of the five action spaces. As soon as three tokens are on a space, those tokens are flipped and activated, first in first out, with each agent carrying out its individual action in addition to whatever takes place in that space. When an evil mastermind completes their contraption or the Secret Service brings this villainy to a halt, the game ends, and whoever has generated the most victory points wins.
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