Kickstart This! #186: Rococo: Deluxe Edition

Designers:  Matthias Cramer (Glen More, Glen More II: Chronicles, Kraftwagen, Lancaster, Rococo, Watergate), Stefan Malz (Edo, Rococo, Valparaiso), Louis Malz (Edo, Rococo, Valparaiso)

Artist:  Ian O’Toole (Age of Steam, Black Angel, CO2: Second Chance, Escape Plan, The Gallerist, Lisboa, Nemo’s War 2nd Edition, On Mars, Pipeline, The Reckoners, Stockpile, Vinhos Deluxe Edition)

Publisher:   Eagle-Gryphon Games (Age of Steam, Baseball Highlights: 2045, Brass: Lancashire, Can’t Stop, Carson City, Defenders of the Realm, Diamant, Empires: Age of Discovery, Escape Plan, Fleet, For Sale, Francis Drake, The Gallerist, High Society, Lisboa, Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper, On Mars, Railways of the World, Rococo, Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age, Santiago de Cuba, Struggle of Empires, Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization, Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization, Tumblin-Dice, Vinhos Deluxe Edition)

Genre/Mechanisms:  area majority/influence, card drafting, deck building, economic, hand management, set collection

Funding Status:  Rococo does not need to be funded; it is already on pre-order at; the Eagle-Gryphon Games’ website also includes a portal to the pre-order page over at crowdox.

Or just CLICK HERE to go directly to crowdox.

Player Count:  1-5

Solo Mode:  yes

Complexity:  medium-heavy

Risk:  low

What It’s About:  “Rococo is a Euro-style board game with deck-building,” set during the reign of Louis XV, where players compete with their dress-making businesses to best manage the most prestigious and lavish ball of the era.

How It Works:  “In Rococo, you own a dressmaking business and try to gain as much Prestige as possible. Each turn you play an Employee card and have that Employee perform a task, for example: hire a new Employee, make a Dress, or fund a Decoration. However, not every Employee is up to every task, so you must choose and lead your Employees wisely. Especially since each grants a unique bonus. Some of these bonuses generate Prestige Points, which are awarded in the form of Prestige Point tokens.”

Each round consists of 4 phases: 1) Prepare for New Round, 2) Select 3 Hand Cards, 3) Take Actions, and 4) Collect Income.

During Preparing for the New Round, the following 4 steps take place. First, if any player acquired the Favor card in the previous round, that player receives the Starting Player Marker. Otherwise, it remains with the player who had it the previous round. Second, any face-up Employee Cards remaining on the 4 Hire Spaces from the previous round are removed from the game and replaced with new Employee Cards from the Employee Stack. Third, any empty spaces in the 3 Warehouse segments are filled with a face-up Resource tile drawn from the Resource stack. Unlike with Employee Cards, Resource tiles remaining from the previous round are NOT discarded or removed from the game. And finally, any Dress tiles on each of the right-most two Window spaces (the dark spaces) are removed from the game; Dress tiles remaining on any other Window spaces are moved to the right to fill in any gaps; and then Dress tiles are drawn from the Cloth bag and placed in any remaining empty Window spaces, generally those on the left side of the Workshop.

Each player simultaneously selects 3 Employee cards from among all cards in their Employee supply and takes them into their hand. If the player has less than 3 Employee cards in their supply, they create a new supply from their discard. Then, any remaining Employee cards are placed face down on the left side of their player board.

Beginning with the Starting Player, players take turns using 1 of their hand cards to trigger one of the six main actions: Claiming the Queens Favor (collecting 5 Livre and the Starting Player Marker for the next round, or 5 Livre and 3 Prestige Points in the final round); Acquiring Resources (taking 1 Resource from any of the 3 Warehouse segments and paying the indicated number of Livre to the bank, then keeping the Resource tile face-down for future use or discarding it to claim the indicated number of Thread and/or Lace markers); Making a Dress (paying the Livre cost and required resources indicated on the Dress tile, then renting the Dress out or selling it for money); Hiring a new Employee (paying Livre for the card in the amount of 1 Livre + an additional Livre per Employee card currently displayed); Deputing your Employee (collecting 4, 7, or 10 Livre depending if the card is an Apprentice, Journeyman, or Master, then using the Employee Bonus on the card, and finally removing it from the game); and Funding a Decoration (placing a Property Marker onto a Decoration Space on the game board, paying the indicated amount of Livre, and claiming the associated Prestige Points during final scoring).

During the Collect Income Phase, each player collects 5 Livre, supplemented by the following: each Property Marker in the upper row awards 1 Livre for the number of Decoration Spaces occupied by a Property Marker of the matching color; and each Property Marker in the bottom row awards its owner 1 Livre for each Dress they have placed on the game board.

“After 7 rounds the game ends with the ball and a final scoring.” Players gain 1 Prestige Point for every 10 remaining Livre, and the player with the Favor Card scores 3 Points. Then all players gain Prestige Points “for certain Employee bonuses, Dresses rented out to guests at the ball, and for Decorations funded.” The player with the most Prestige Points wins the game.

Comparisons:  Pret-a-Porter is another fashion-themed set collection game, although that game’s primary mechanic is worker placement instead of deck building. Another lighter, somewhat similar game (although again, no deck-building), is the painting-themed Fresco. If you’re looking for more games from Matthias Cramer, some of his highest rated games include Glen More, Glen More II: Chronicles, Kraftwagen, and the recently released 2-player Watergate. The Malzes are best-known for Edo and Valparaiso.

What Should I Pledge?:
$95 Rococo: Deluxe Edition: contains the previously released Jewelry Box expansion, the Festivity Dress expansion, and the Fancy Dresses promo, as well as a new “Madame du Barry” solo mode expansion. Premium features and components include custom polyresin lace and thread miniatures; gold foil heat-stamped, wooden player markers; velveteen cloth bags for garments, silk and jewelry tokens; a metal “golden” thimble marker; and upgraded punch boards for the garments, silk, and coins.
$110: Rococo: Deluxe+ Edition: includes everything that comes with the Rococo: Deluxe Edition, plus the new Expert Tailors expansion, a Queen Figurine (multi-colored polyresin), and 32 Alternate Garment Tiles for Festivity Dressesrepresenting 8 additional countries.
$125: Rococo: Deluxe+ Edition – All-In Bundle: includes everything that comes with the Rococo: Deluxe + Edition, plus 50 metal Baroque-style coins.

$4 Fleet: The Dice Game – Dicey Waters Expansion: designed by Ben Pinchback & Matt Riddle
$24 Fleet: The Dice Game (2nd Edition): designed by Ben Pinchback & Matt Riddle with art by Marius Janusonis & Nolan Nasser
$24 Stolen Paintings: designed by Bruno Faidutti with art by James Colmer
$24 Gangster’s Dilemma: designed by Adrian Adamescu & Daryl Andrews with art by Kwanchai Moriya

KS Exclusives
Considering this isn’t Kickstarter, there are no Kickstarter exclusives. However, it’s likely that if the game does go to retail it will be the Deluxe Version, with items in the Deluxe+ and the 50 metal Baroque-style coins either sold separately or only sold via Eagle-Gryphon’s website. Generally, Eagle-Gryphon is good about keeping update packs in print, so it’s usually not hard to add additional deluxe elements to your copy of the game down the line.

All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $125 for the Rococo: Deluxe+ Edition – All-In Bundle, plus $17 in shipping for a total of $142.

Rococo: Deluxe Edition completes its pre-order on Friday, March 13th and tentatively ships in November 2020.

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