Today I have the pleasure and the opportunity to present the authors of one of my favorites 2014 board games.
This game is a compromise between a wargame and a board game. Its mechanical turn it into a wargame actually easy to learn in the same way as Memoir 44 but with more depth and opportunities and the quality of its design makes it very enjoyable to play. The quality of its material in general is remarkable and saves you from spending a fortune on figurines and hours of painting those.
This game is, of course, Heroes of Normandie.
The two authors of this game, both fathers living in Paris, also created Frontiers. Their last game is illustrated by Alexandre Bonvalot with a good sense of humor.
I had the oportunity to meet Yann at a board games event in the south of France (Cannes International games Festival for not to mention it) where I discovered it in person and I had a crush on it (the game that is!).
Here are the 7 questions for Yann and Clem.
1. How old were you when you played your first board game and what was it ?
« We speak of course of the games other than Monopoly, Operation and Good Pay, isn’t it? We should have been ten years old. It was Cry Havoc and Siege. «
2. Why and how did you decide to create games ?
« The first game we have created, was to give some rules to our battles with small plastic soldiers. Then, as the play ground in which we played was paved, we used those paving stone as spaces for a car race with Customized Lego cars inspired by Car Wars.
Then we designed a game that already laid the foundation for Heroes of Normandie. It was even presented to Duccio Vitale (Cry Havoc). We were 12 or 13 years old …
So for us, creating games is only a logical extension of this period. We could not do otherwise. Heroes of Normandie, is the logical result of our battle of toy soldiers. «
3. What are your three favorite board games and why ?
« There are many, and they are our favorite for a while. Then another takes its place and we play a lot and it is dethroned by another. And so on. So let’s talk about those who have marked us who have influenced our creativity.
Small World for the beauty and simplicity of the mechanics for its replayability and graphic universe. It remains unbeatable …
Blood Bowl … Well because it’s Blood Bowl! We no longer play it, but it marked us tremendously. However, we play a lot to Blood Bowl Team Manager.
Warhammer 40K, Necromunda and Epic Space Marines, as well as the series of Siege and Cry Havoc. This is our foundation, our roots, our Proust’s madeleine. Everything comes from there. Same, we do not play them (although Yann continues to create armies for Epic of … epic dimension) but they branded our vision of the game.
And Supergang because it’s a legendary game … like Space Hulk. Argh, you know we can not stop at 3 games! «
4. For you what is the best combination for a successful game ?
« A simple mechanism that brings depth and replayability allied to a real attention to the graphic/illustration and background.
For us, the visual part of a game is very important. How many games have a splendid mechanical but hurt your eyes when the box is opened?
The game world has changed but there is still work on this subject. «
5. How do you proceed to create a game ?
« We start from a desire. « Hey! If we had a game on bands of brats who pull the floss to be the most famous of the township? » And then we wonder what type of mechanical could best support the theme of the game. Or vice versa if we start on gameplay in particular, but this is rare. We like to tell stories first.
There are many games which the mechanic does not correspond to the universe. We could play a heroic fantasy game with axes and double curvature Vorpal sword and we are left with a resource management mechanism. The player is disappointed, not because he does not like the resource management mechanism, but because he wanted to punch and hit a band of Orcs on the kisser. «
6. What advice would you give to someone wanting to create a game ?
« Fly you fool!
Seriously, start as you feel it, test, test and retest and then remove the unnecessary and repeat tests. You do not need to create 84 values to define a tank, throwing 32 dice for a successful action does not add much, and although historically a sewage pipe from Chicago in 1886 was 20 inches in diameter do not sacrifice your gameplay for that. Go to the simpler, the better the more fun. The important thing is that the players gathered around the table enjoying themselves. «
7. Could you give us some information on your next project ?
« There will be two-handed swords … »
Thank you both Yann and Clem for taking the time to answer the 7 questions despite the outputs related to last Kickstater and plans for future extensions and games. A very good recovery also to Clem.
I’m sure like me, you can not wait for the next releases of these two creators!
To learn more about Heroes of Normandie: http://www.devil-pig-games.com/