1 Dec 2008

What can you do in your turn?

In your turn, you can perform 2 actions out of the following choice :
  • Climb upon a crate : you must pay the right food tokens.

  • Get a food token : draw one from the sack.

  • Exchange a food token in order to get the right type.

  • Place a new crate : roll crate as a die and add it to the tower.

  • Chase a monkey away in order to get rid of one opponent.

21 Nov 2008

Order info

Porto Seguro is not available in ordinary shops, but you can order it at a very cheap price 5,5 € (+ 1,44 postage for Belgian people).

Mail to : pers@acw.be

As this game is published in a limited edition, do not wait too long...

20 Nov 2008

Popularity overview

On this map (from Google Analytics), you can see who has visited this blog already.

A picture tells more than thousand words.

How do you climb?

Each crate has 6 coloured sides. Each side shows one of a monkey's favourite foods : bananas, strawberries, nuts, grapes, blueberries and leaves. You pay a food token per side that you use to climb on the crates.
In this example, you must pay one blueberrie and one banana token.

4 Nov 2008

Idea of the game

You are one of the four monkeys in the Mount Simian Zoo.
During the night, you try to escape from the enclosure by building a tower with some scattered fruit crates. From the top of it, it should be possible to leap into the nearby banana tree and head towards the closest disco of the town.
However, only one monkey can escape. The others must cover his flight by hiding his tracks.
Will you be the one who will spend the night in the town or do you have to stay behind until the next escape attempt?

In the coming days, you will get here more info on this game.

28 Oct 2008

Monkey Mayhem

I'm very proud to announce the upcoming release of Monkey Mayhem. The game will be launched first in New Zealand and will be available in the rest of the world, probably in spring 2009.
It is possible to order the game directly from the editor IQ Ideas at Iqideas.com

16 Oct 2008

Porto Seguro

This new game has been released in Belgium. The game is only available in Dutch and has been especially designed around the theme of social security.
It can be played if you know someone who is a member of ACW, ACV, CM, KAV, KWB, KAJ, OKRA, Familiehulp, Groep Arco, Pasar, Wereldsolidariteit or Ziekenzorg CM.
If you do not live in Flanders, you probably miss an unique opportunity to play this wonderful game. I'm really sorry.

19 Aug 2008

Saboteur in Europe

The game is now distributed in most of the European countries. Here you find an overview of the European countries where the game should be easily available.

The latest addition is this Greek version.

31 Jul 2008


The rules mention on page 5: "Place the Privilege card facedown in front of you. The Privilege card remains secret...".
This must become: "Show the Privilege card. The target card of the Privilege card remains secret as long as ..."

When playing a Claim/Exchange Privilege card, you must ALWAYS wait to reveal the Gift, Keep or Discard card until the Gift card is accepted.
Otherwise, the player who is offered the Gift card, has extra information to accept Gift card or not.

23 Jun 2008

Greenskin alert

On "Historia Mundi", a re-enactment event in Belgium, we have encountered a savage orc.

20 Jun 2008

Polish edition

Saboteur has recently been translated for the Polish market.
Because you like games, here is a small quiz :
Among the three boxes below, one of them is the Polish version.
Can you find it?

Now that you are busy playing, in which language are the two other versions?

28 Apr 2008

Buckle fun

If you don't like the game, you can still have fun with the buckles.

25 Apr 2008

Traduction - Vertaling

Une traduction de la règle de jeu sera BIENTÔT disponible sur le site.
Entre-temps, n'hésitez-pas à me demander la traduction par e-mail.

Een vertaling van de spelregels is WELDRA beschikbaar op de site.
Ondertussen kan ik je de vertaling reeds via e-mail toezenden.

mailto: frederic.moyersoen@skynet.be

23 Apr 2008

Game components

Here, you have a nice picture showing all components of the game : 110 Cards, 5 Displays, 5 Belt buckles and a Rulebook.

15 Apr 2008

Designing Bacchus' Banquet

Many people wonder how a game is designed.
Do you wake up in the morning with a brilliant idea? If yes, how long do you have to sleep? What is the best drink when going to bed : beer, wine, whisky or a mix of the three? Is Belgian beer the best and how strong must it be? Can you have sex when you plan to design your game during the night?
For the first time, I will lift up a tip of the veil (because I know that you are curious) and use the designing of Bacchus' Banquet as an example.
It all started several years ago, when I saw the French cultmovie "La Grande Bouffe" (with Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret and Andréa Ferréol, first released in 1973) again. The film goes about 4 friends who gather together in a villa to eat until death (and make love between 2 dishes, notably on the table with the dessert in the form of 2 gigantic boobs).
I liked the movie and found it a great topic to make a game about it.
The Roman era with their eating and drinking orgies could fit as a perfect decor for this game. So, I naturally looked with interest towards the emperor Caligula, known as one of the most decadent Roman caesars.

After reading a book about his short reign (he was emperor during only 3 years before being assassinated), I was convinced that all the ingredients for a great game were present.
The game would be constructed around a dinner where dishes are served, presents distributed (a Roman custom) and where the eating would be cheered up with dances and bill &coo.

As Caligula died stabbed by conspirators, I wanted to include this idea in the game. Therefore, it would be necessary that players would participate at the dinner as guests with secret roles (this reminds at "Saboteur", isn't it?).

Here a first problem emerged : if any character is secret, how can the conspirators know which player controls Caligula that they need to kill? What if Caligula is not present among the players?
The solution was obvious : Caligula must be an open character and need to be present in each game.
The drawback was that with an open character, Caligula would be weaker than the other hidden characters. Therefore, he had to be stronger and I introduced the concept of privileges to solve it (in the first versions, only Caligula used privilege cards).

At this point, I had a theme, different characters and objectives, but still not a game mechanic.
Maybe players could pass secret dishes to each other. Either you accept a dish and apply the effect, either you pass the dish to someone else. Passing dishes would work best as passing a card, so I focused know on designing a card game.
How passing secretly a card to other players? If it is just randomised (a card drawn from a stack), it is simply a gamble without a particular interest. Therefore, the other players need to evaluate their chances when a card is offered to them. If two cards are selected, you have one chance on two, to make the right guess. So, this is not particular exciting. What if three cards out of a limited number of cards are selected, showed to anybody and then one of them would be passed? This could work, but what to do with the other 2 cards? Discard or discard one and keeping the other? Yes, that's a nice idea. In this way, it makes sense what you select as cards and what you are prepared to give away.

When eating dishes it is normal that you become saturated after a while. Therefore, I needed some easy way to visualize your saturation level. What is more natural than adjusting the buckle of your belt when eating more and more? So, the idea of using a buckle and a belt forces itself upon me.
Besides, it would add a nice visual element to the game (my kids still speak about the game with the belt).
At this point, the development of the game went quick. I made different cards, some belts and buckles and was soon ready for the first play test.

Playtesting is a little bit trial and error. You try a set of rules, adjust a few rules, try again, add a few cards, try again, change an objective, try again and so on. Needless to say that the feedback during playtests is crucial. Kids are very spontaneous, but can not really tell what goes wrong in the game mechanic. Experienced players give you usefull new ideas to improve your game system.

One of the last additions, in this game, was to add the daggers. Without the daggers, Caligula could play the game very prudently, by refusing all gift cards. This attitude made the game a bit frustrating for the conspirators as they had no other way to eliminate the emperor. The introduction of the daggers solves this problem as it forces Caligula to participate in the game and to take the initiative when the daggers appear.

To conclude, was it useful to sleep? Yes.
Did you wake up with a game in your pocket? No, not really. My pyama does not have pockets.
The fact is that when waking up, I can only find out that the exciting girl with which I was tumbling all night, is not lying in my bed next to me, that I'm not Caligula, that I've never invitated 12 softies and 13 horny bitches for an orgy and that the real woman (my wife to be precise) which lies next to me, starts yelling : "The next time that you keep me awake with your ceaseless rooting, I kick you out of my bed".

14 Apr 2008

Tips and tricks

To win the game, you must use all your cunning.

One of the key elements in the game is to take the initiative at the right moment. Mostly, this means taking risks.

However, sometimes risks are low, especially when the 3 selected cards offer no particular risk for you.

Example : If the pick is a lobster, a carp and a present, you may normally accept any gift card without hesitating.

At other moments, risks are high and can better be avoided.

Example : If the pick is a piglet, a poison and an umbra, you have a pretty chance that you will get a gift that you don't like.

Observing which cards opponents select and keep for themselves, gives you valuable clues on which goals your opponents have.

Example : If someone keeps a present, he might be particularly interested in presents. If someone gives a dagger away, he might be a conspirator.

Once you have an idea who has which objective, you have extra trumps to hinder your opponents.

Example : You can discard a present or a dagger to avoid that your opponents get those cards.

Sometimes, you might be forced to help an opponent.

Example : If there are 2 accepted daggers and you are not a conspirator, you must help Caligula by discarding a dagger which becomes available. Otherwise, you risk losing the game in favor of the conspirators.

11 Apr 2008

First review on the net

I found a first review about Bacchus' Banquet on the internet and as it is the type of review that I like to read ("clever game", "enjoyable", "highest recommandation", "a terrific and original filler"), I want to give you the opportunity to read the full text.


For a good understanding : It is not my mother, nor my brother nor my kid who wrote the text. In fact, I do not know the person who wrote the review at all. But if I would have the chance to get knowing him, I'm sure that he will become my friend.

2 Apr 2008

The privileges

At the start of the game, Caligula gets 2 secret Privilege cards, while the other players get one card. A privilege acts like a joker and allows a twist in the distribution of cards.

With the Special gift card, you can force a player to accept the Gift card.

With the Give back card, you force a player to accept the Gift card that he wants to give away.

With the Claim card, you can claim one card, i.e. keep or gift the gift card.

With the Exchange card, you can exchange 2 cards, i.e. keep with discard card.

When you use your privilege card, you must discard it.
Therefore, keeping your privilege as long as possible, can be a wise tactical option. The threat of playing a privilege is sometimes more powerful than using it.

30 Mar 2008

Caligula and conspirators

The emperor Caligula has the choice between 2 objectives : one is to eat 2 dishes and drink a total of 5 Wine points. The other is to put 3 characters out of play.

A character is out of play when the buckle must be moved beyond hole 10 of its belt. This happens when the character has accepted too much food, wine or poison. Luckly, the player himself is not out of the game. He simply gets a new character.

For this reason, there are 9 characters (for a maximum of 5 players). However, to avoid an endless game, only 2 players may get a new character. A third dead character means a victory for Caligula.

The conspirators win by killing Caligula or when 3 daggers have been accepted by any character (3 daggers are visible next to the displays). Thus, when Caligula plays the game safely and avoids any dangerous card, he can still lose the game when there are too many daggers in play.

28 Mar 2008

The objectives

As the careful reader of this blog (no not you, pal) has already deducted, each character has his own objective. Some want to eat and/or drink, some want only presents and some want to kill Caligula.

Each player gets a display with an overview of all characters' objectives.

At the start of the game, each player gets also one secret character card. Only the player who gets the card of Caligula must reveal his card and keep it face-up.

Because if nobody knows who is the emperor, how do the conspirators know which player they must target?

Allright, you could have imagined it yourself. You are far more clever as you looks.

All accepted cards are placed face-up next to your display. In this way, you can start guessing which player has which objective.

Example : Nero has accepted 2 presents already. Maybe he might be Agrippina or Caesonia.

The 3 cards that a player selects to discard, keep and give away, gives also clues who might be who.

Example : Julia has offered a dagger as a gift. She could be one of the conspirators.

Of course, deception is always possible and experienced players must be observed with consideration.

27 Mar 2008

The gift card

When a card is offered as a gift, you may accept or refuse the card.

If you accept it, you reveal the card and adjust your buckle the right number of spaces as indicated by the card. Besides, you get the initiative for the next turn.

If you refuse it, you pass the card to another player who has not been offered the gift yet.

Now comes the tricky rule : If all players refuse the card, the card returns to the first player who as offered the card.

Example : A player offers you the gift card. Can you thrust him? What could be the gift card : the poison, the piglet or the feather? Your buckle is at hole 4, so your character is out of play when accepting the poison. You can safely accept the piglet or the feather. You take the risk and accepts the card, which appears to be the piglet. Now, you move your buckle 4 spaces to the right. You have the initiative for the next turn.

26 Mar 2008

How does the game works?

In the middle of the table we place a stack of Action cards. Then, we draw 7 cards from the top of the stack and display them in a circle around the stack.

The player with the initiative selects 3 cards out of the 7.

Example : You select the piglet, the feather and the poison.

You keep one card for your own. You discard one card and give the last card away to another player. For the moment, all cards remain facedown and secret for the other players.

Example : If you want to play it safely, you can keep the feather for yourself, discard the poison and give the piglet to another player. If you want to play it risky, you can discard the piglet and give the poison to another player.

25 Mar 2008

The special cards

These 3 cards trigger a special effect when activated.

The umbra is a non-official guest, standing behind the official guests, who eats the remains of the dishes. In the game, he allows you to discard any dish that you do not want to eat.

To protect himself, the emperor used a taster. In the game, he allows you to discard any card that you do not want to accept.

Before drinking wine, it was common to sing a hymn to bacchus (the god of wine). In the game, you can force other players to adjust their belt with one point when you accept a wine card.

The dagger is the weapon of the conspirators. When 3 daggers have been accepted by any player, the conspirators rush towards Caligula and stab him to death. In this event, the game ends with a victory for the conspirators.

22 Mar 2008


What can we do in-between two dishes?

The negative values indicate that you may losen your belt with the same value.

Note : Dozing is excellent for the digestion. Unfortunately, you lose your next turn.

21 Mar 2008

The presents

As usual, Caligula offers not only food and wine, but also some particular presents.

Note that the canary can sing and speak : "Jou stupit cheep...jou stupit cheep".

Note that the sheep can bleat and speak : "Shut up, silly bird".

20 Mar 2008

On the menu

Which dishes will be served at the banquet?

The three starters...

The two main dishes are fillers. Watch out for the poison!
For the thirsty people, there is also a lot of wine.

19 Mar 2008

The characters

Which are the characters who participate at the decadent feast?

Caligula, the young emperor, who took the power after the dead of his uncle Tiberius. His taste for fine wine and chicks (both animal and human) is well-known.

Agrippina, sister of Caligula. Despite her fragile look, she caught the attention of Caligula. Brother and sister, that's a dangerous mix. A few presents will make her compliant.

Caesonia, the 4th wife of Caligula. She was a notorious courtisane in a former life. She needs presents to shut her mouth and eyes.

Claudius, the uncle of Caligula, will succeed Caligula on the throne after his death. For the moment, his interest is limited to filling his mouth.

Messalina, the wife of Claudius, has a lawless reputation. Eating and drinking are her main interest for this evening.

Vespasianus is the glutton of the guests. His appetite is legendary as the cleansing is on the day after.

These 3 fellows are the conspirators. They are waiting upon the right moment to stab their dagger in the back of the emperor.

18 Mar 2008

Bacchus' Banquet intro

In April Mayfair Games will release a new game, named Bacchus' banquet.
What is it about?

Emperor Caligula, nicknamed "small boots", has invited you for dinner and as you have some place in your belly (you are always thirsty and hungry), you are delighted to participate at a new drinking and eating orgy.

However, when you arrive at the villa, you only notice the scum of Rome as dining guests. Probably one of the crazy jokes of the Emperor himself. By inviting only the most disgusting people, he clearly indicates what he is thinking about you.
Enough is enough. Time for revenge.

From now on, you will participate at the dinner with a hidden agenda (and a dagger in your toga)...

This is your belt.
The most important rule in the game is that when you are eating dishes, you move the buckle as many spaces as the value of the dish.

Example : when you eat this delicious piglet, move your buckle 4 spaces to the right.

Keep care not to pass beyond n°10. You do not want me to explain what will happen then...