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Board Games by Vital Lacerda

Vital Lacerda is a Portuguese board game designer known for complex, thematic euro-style games. Most of his games such as The Gallerist and Lisboa sell out quickly on a regular basis.

The Gallerist board game
Rank: 140
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Lisboa board game
Rank: 201
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On Mars board game
Rank: 248
Trending: 57
Vinhos Deluxe Edition board game
Kanban: Driver's Edition board game
Escape Plan board game
Rank: 566
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CO₂: Second Chance board game
Vinhos board game
Rank: 985
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CO₂ board game
Rank: 1162
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Kanban EV board game
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Forum Posts

Lisboa Board Game Review – Lacerda Does It Again – Wolf's Gaming Blog image
ReviewLisboa Board Game Review – Lacerda Does It Again – Wolf's Gaming Blog ( [Lisboa]Like| 0 comments | [+]
Bot Factory - Upcoming Vital Lacerda Filler Game image
Bot Factory - Upcoming Vital Lacerda Filler Game [Bot Factory]Like| 2 comments | [+]
Meeples for Weather Machine, Upcoming Game from Vital Lacerda image
Meeples for Weather Machine, Upcoming Game from Vital Lacerda [Weather Machine]Like| 7 comments | [+]
Kickstarter Roundup: start new Networks, hunt Jurassic Parts, and build Kanban EVs image
CrowdfundingKickstarter Roundup: start new Networks, hunt Jurassic Parts, and build Kanban EVs [The Rival Networks, Kanban EV by Vital Lacerda with Artwork by Ian O'Toole, Jurassic Parts]Like| 4 comments | [+]
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User Activity Feed

1- Found the Website through a mention in Reddit in one of the boardgame community.

2- About 20 years ago when I was 12, had lots of Axis and Allies night + Hero Quest with the family of one of my childhood friend. Boardgame fever came back about 5 years ago along with steady income hehe

3- Tough to say with the lockdown it's been a while since we could do a gamenight. Before the Lockdown I'd say it was Too Many Bones, Detectives City of Angel and Baseball/Football Highlights 20XX head to head with a friend.

I'm also a sucker for any Ian O'Toole illustrated games, especially teamed up with Vital Lacerda.

These would be my picks…

Scott Almes: I have played a few of his Tiny Epic Games, but I would have to go with #Claim. This trick-taker keeps the player on their toes due to each suit (race) having a different ability. With each expansion/standalone the variety and replay ability increases.

Ted Alspach: I would go with #Castles of Mad King Ludwig (#Suburbia is second for me). Nothing like bidding on the next crazy addition of this work in progress castle. I’m sure I am not alone when I say I can’t wait for a deluxe version of this.

Antoine Bauza: #Ghost Stories. My favorite co-op. Love the theme and its brutal difficulty. Damn those hopping vampires.

Bernd Brunnhofer: probably best known for #Stone Age, but for my pick I would have to go with the engine/tableau builder #St. Petersburg. The last time this was reprinted by ZMAN which added some extras (like the market), but I would have loved to have picked up the older version with the artwork that was closer ascetically to the time period when the game was set.

Richard Borg: Honestly, I haven’t played many from Borg. I owned and played the rummy variant #Wyatt Earp and #Thunder & Lightning. I no longer own either.

Inka & Markus Brand: Lots of admiration goes to this power couple. For my money, #Village is their best. What other game allows you to kill off your workers? People say Euros are not thematic, I say check out Village.

Tony Boydell: #Snowdonia hands down. It is one of the few games where the dummy player is not limited to two players. Plus the weather mechanic is nifty. I admit I wanted to like #Guilds of London, but the iconography made it a bear to learn and teach.

Richard Breese: Can’t think of a standout here.

Bruno Cathala: Strangely I feel that this designer does his best work with others. For my pick it would have to be #Abyss which was co-designed with Charles Chevallier. Aside from the artwork, the game does have a lot of neat mechanisms attached to it (press your luck, hand management, and set collection). I will say the game needs the #Abyss: Leviathan to cover what I feel is its weakest points (monster track).

Matthias Cramer: #Rococo which Kind of cheating because it was a co-design with Stephan and Louis Malz. Deckbuilding with area majority. My masculinity is not threatened by dress making. I kinda of regret getting rid of my first printing, but grad school is expensive and I have kids to feed. I did pick up the deluxe version.

Carl Chudyk: I feel like every one of his designs attempts to be like #Glory To Rome. Glory to Rome was the first game after playing CCG/TCG that got me hooked. Every card in this game seems overpowered and the lead follow mechanism is brilliant.

John Clowdus: Known for his small card games, which often seem a bit too similar in my opinion. I will have pick #Omen: A Reign of War. Game is a tug of war race that feels close to a CCG/TCG.

John D. Clair: I’ve played two of his designs: #Mystic Vale and #Space Base. I played a lot of vale via app. I did think it was a gimmicky deck builder at first (card crafting), but the press your luck aspect of corruption is quite fun. I will say that Space Base fixes what I hated about Machi Koro.

Rüdiger Dorn: #Istanbul (not Constantinople). Pick up and deliver mixed with wheelbarrow racing. Favorite aspect is the family member that is constantly incarcerated.

Stefan Dorra: Probably best known #For Sale. For my pick I’ll go with the abstract #Medina (second edition). Basically the most interesting thing about this is how each player plays a game of chicken regarding claiming parts of the city.

Phil Eklund: Haven’t played a ton from him, but I do like #Pax Porfiriana. The Eklunds have a knack for building games that can make a historian swoon.

Steve Finn: King of the fillers. #Biblios is my favorite here. Mix drafting and an auction and you get this game. Will note that is the first game I played with my (now) wife before we started going out. This game also made me realize that I am terrible at teaching rules.

Stephan Feld: I am a stickler for multi-use card games like #Bruges, but for this I have to go with #The Castles of Burgundy. Probably my favorite dice placement game and the very definition of point salad. Genius of how every aspect is so integrated.

Friedemann Friese: To be honest, I was not a huge fan of #Power Grid. Maybe because I was tired the first time I played it, maybe it was the people I played with. Played #Friday quite a bit. Honestly, I don’t think I ever won a game.

Jacob Fryxelius: n/a

Mac Gerdts: #Concordia. Honestly when this pandemic is over with I can’t wait to play this and Ra.

Hisashi Hayashi: Only played a few, but will have to say #Yokohama is our favorite. It is kinda like worker placement mixed with a mancala.

Steve Jackson: #Munchkin. I haven’t played a game of it in years, but I will say that #Munchkin Cthulhu is the best because of its alternate win/end condition. Game does have the tendency to go on like a bad rash.

Wolfgang Kramer: #El Grande. Pound for pound the best area control game. Needs 4 people to be playable.

Reiner Knizia: #Ra. Such a clever auction game with press your luck and set collection. This is a hard one for me as Knizia has a bunch of great designs.

Michael Kiesling: One of my grail games is #The Palaces of Carrara btw. I haven’t played #Azul enough, so my pick would be #Vikings. Haven’t played it in a bit, but how the auction wheel will move as tiles/Vikings are bought.

Richard Launius: I’ve played #Elder Sign a lot, but nothing else from him. Part of the appeal is the Lovecraftian lore (I am from RI after all). Co-op #Yahtzee is what this is. Game does need either the omen expansions like #Elder Sign: Omens of the Pharaoh Expansion or the #Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham Expansion to shine. Probably the only games we house rule as well. Game is technically over when all of the investigators die. Yeah, not doing that…

Scott Lang: Haven’t played enough to pick here.

Vital Lacerda: I own #Vinhos Deluxe, but have yet to play it. Mainly bought one of his titles due to Portuguese pride to be honest.

Daniele Tascini & Simone Luciani: #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. I was ready to chalk up the gears as a gimmick, but they are really an ingenious way to plan when and what a worker will get.

Thomas Lehmann: Much like Chudyk, I feel like most of his games are tableau builders like #Race for the Galaxy. I will say that this game works best with 2 and requires a bit of a commitment to get good at (I’ve played this over a 1000 times and I still suck at it). Common complaint about this one is its iconography.

Paulo Mori: #Via Magica/ #Rise of Augustus. Bingo with a little extras. First game I was able to play with our 2.5 year old.

Corné van Moorsel: Will have to go with #Habitats. Probably his best known title to begin with. Honestly it is an easy tile laying game that requires a little planning. Who does like building their very own ecosystem? Also. If you have the 1st printing, you have those cute handmade ceramic animals as well… or you can do what I did and buy some Red Rose Tea figurines.

Shem Phillips: I own #Raiders of Scythia, but haven’t played it yet. Can’t pick a favorite here.

Alexander Pfister: #Port Royal since I haven’t played #Great Western Trail trail yet. Port Royal is a simple card game with press your luck.

Uwe Rosenberg: Hard choice here as well. #At the Gates of Loyang followed by #Caverna: The Cave Farmers / #Agricola (Revised Edition).

Vladimír Suchý: What I love about this designer is that he rarely designs expansions. I haven’t played #Underwater Cities enough to say that it is his best. I have played #Last Will will a few times and will say that the theme and gameplay are unlike anything else. The entire premise is to blow all of your money to win and the ways that you can part with that cash is outlandish.

Andreas Schmidt: Own #Heaven & Ale, but haven’t played it yet aside from solo. N/A

Reiner Stockhausen: #Orléans. Not sure if this was the first “bag builder”. Orleans is kinda point salad. Probably favorite aspect of this is the travel aspect that reminds me of another favorite, #Village. One expansion can also make this a solo or co-op game as well.

Jamey Stegmaier: #Viticulture: Essential Edition w/  #Tuscany: Essential Edition. Very simple and streamlined worker placement. I used to help my grandpa (Avo) make wine so this always reminds me of him and that time. Lovely production quality.

Ignacy Trzewiczek: I would pick the #51st State: Master Set over #Imperial Settlers. They are similar, mainly because both were modeled after the original #51st State. I think where state has the edge is how the game will end at a set point value. Almost every game of Settlers ends with a blowout and has a set amount of turns.

Justin De Witt: The only game I really played from him is #Castle Panic. The game is akin to those tower defensive games. Simple co-op that is a great entry point into the genre. The game does feel like the #Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower expansion should have been included from the start. Was curious about the failed kickstarter that was going to be a deluxe version.

Martin Wallace: Only played a few from him, but I would pick #London Second Edition.

Cole Wehrle: N/a

A good variety this week!

  • #Village with#Village Inn &#Village Port Expansion (tts, multiplayer):  I've had village and the expansions for ages but I've never played with the expansions until last week!  The game is fun, not a top 10 game but there is just something fun about it regardless. I always enjoy playing it.   
  • #The Quest for El Dorado  (tabletopia, multiplayer): Another favourite of my groups. It's just a fun and well designed game.  We ended up each being right there at the end with a chance to win despite going different routes and having different cards. Great game!
  • #Marvel Champions: The Card Game (physical, solo) x2:  Trying out Hawkeye against the green goblin. I took my original deck idea and tossed it out.  My second deck was much more successful!
  • #On Mars (TTS, multiplayer):  First time playing this one. I ended up quite liking it.  I find some of Vital Lacerda's designs to be a bit bloated for me but this one and #Kanban EV from last week were both enjoyable.

  • #Terraforming Mars ( physical,  solo):  A favourite of mine. I ended up trimming out all of the expansions and just playing the base game with #Terraforming Mars: Prelude.  It was a lot of fun as always. 
  • #Res Arcana (physical, solo):  Just did a trade for this game and played a decent solo variant. I've played it before he thought it was ok but after The Dice Tower raved about it in their top 100 I figured I had to take the chance to trade for a copy. Maybe there is a bit more to it than I first thought!  More plays needed!

Fun week!

Thanks for the write up! Very detailed and honest. I am used to people just gushing over this game so I am glad you were able to share some candid thoughts. Vital Lacerda games either click or they don't from what I have heard from a lot of people. You have to go in with the mindset that the systems will be complex and may feel overly complex but they "make sense" in the context of the theme. 

The term or phrase I think of when reading your review is thinking through "is this juice worth the squeeze" meaning is the brain power expelled worth the game experience? It sounds like it was burdensome at this this first play. I am curious how it goes once you have some additional plays and are more familiar with the rules. 

 it's definitely pronounced ooo-vay lol. I don't know if I have a favorite designer but I will say I'm surprised that Stefan Feld and Vital Lacerda didn't make the list. 

To some degree, I think I like any mechanism employed well.  I used to think I really liked worker-placement games but after playing a few that fell flat for me I decided I enjoy the mechanic but it really has to be woven into the gameplay nicely.  Some other mechanics I tend to find appealing:

1. Kick-out/Executive Actions:  These are most notable in Vital Lacerda games but other games have hints of the same idea. #Clans of Caledonia has the neighborhood bonus that sort of does this. #Viscounts of the West Kingdom allows for a bonus now and then when landing on a player's space or during collisions. #Coffee Traders has a follow mechanic in the third phase that is closer to the mechanic I enjoy and #Wingspan has pink powers that do something a tad similar.

2. Dynamic Board state changes - #Brass: Birmingham is certainly the best I know at this and I love the dynamic game situation from turn to turn. #Coffee Traders isn't too far removed from this and #Teotihuacan: City of Gods captures a bit of this with it's system. #Founders of Gloomhaven does this reasonably well also.  

3.  Asymmetric Powers - #Dinosaur Island: Totally Liquid , #Root , #Scythe , and #Anachrony, offer nicely balanced asymmetric starting points in the game.  I enjoy the replayability of a game that gives you the option of trying for different starting positions.

I have to stop at three given my time, but this is fun to consider.

The main thing I want to see in a boardgame cafe is myself....LOL

Their are several things to keep in mind:

  • You need to make sure you have the population center needed to support such an enterprise. Then you need to make sure that the local population is open to that sort of gaming. If the local gaming scene is DnD and Fantasy dungeon crawl focused.... then that sort of cafe would possibly be quite good. If your local scene is more into 18xx and Vital Lacerda...... That strong a theme in a boardgame cafe may be an active discourgement.
  • The paperwork for selling food and drink can be a bear..... You have to make sure that you have those permits figured out ALL the way before you invest too heavily in infrastructure. You don't want to plan something and then figure out that that won't come up to code for what you want to do with food.....

Those things being said.... What would I want in such a cafe...... I would want something fairly neutral, in fact, I would want something pretty similar to a public library.  I would want something I could play a really dry Euro game in, or a thematic fantasy game, or a historical wargame, or...... whatever without feeling too out of place. I think I would also like to have the cafe maybe be a seperate from the gameplaying area..... But, that's just me.

  1. Very interested, and probably yes.
  2. #The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, lots of laughs, it's quick whereby you can play ten rounds in a row
  3. #Shogun no Katana, lovely theme, great gameplay, positive player interaction, brain burning puzzle on your player board.
  4. (I) #The Search for Planet X (logical deduction done right, love the theme as well), (II) #Viscounts of the West Kingdom (Shem continues to innovate with seemingly basic mechanism, love how you slide the characters across your board plus the light deck-building aspect, the castle and scribing mini-games are also fun), (III) #On Mars (love me some brain burning Vital Lacerda euro-goodness, love the theme, great artwork, and the level of planning that goes into it as well as the positive player interaction of using other players' tech), (IV) #Merv: The Heart of the Silk Road (plays quick, straightforward rules, positive player interaction, and again great artwork by Ian), (V) #Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun (love me some dice drafting. Tascini and Turczi have created something special with the dice availabilities: pure, tainted, forbidden. The mini-games around the board are fantastic and the need to balance your die is a genius idea.
  1. I love Glory To Rome. I’ve played a friend’s clamshell copy (which is ugly as sin) and I love the multiuse card system and swingy card powers. Would I ever spend $250 for a grail game? Not at the moment, but never say never! A large bag of $100 bills could fall into my lap some day, you never know.

  2. I really enjoyed playing Medium this year, mostly online through Zoom. Well, it’s 2020, and not able to spend time amongst people IRL has taken a toll on everyone. Thank goodness for video conferencing and being able to connect with people around the world. Medium was a super simple game to play online with any number of people. We even played a variant with 16 people answering together through the chat. It’s not my favourite game of the year, but playing it with people from all over was the best time I’ve had.
  3. I played Bus for the first time this year and was surprised that a game from 1999 with a weird time travel mechanism would be so up my alley. I can’t wait to teach it to my game group — in the future, when I can sit at a table with other people.

  4. At the end of 2020, my top 5 games (but not in order):
    1. Brass: Birmingham: Haven’t gotten bored with this yet, it’s always a tense puzzle. Plus, I’m getting a bit better at it.
    2. Rococo Deluxe: Finally arrived and it’s beautifully rococo and deluxe as all get out. I haven’t played the solo and expansions yet, but am eager to.
    3. Escape Plan: I love Vital Lacerda’s games, and — call me a contrarian — I think this is among the best, if only because the typical Lacerda tension finally matches the theme perfectly. Lacerda’s games are ones of scarcity and too many things you need to do this turn. In EP, there’s finally a thematic reason for the tension and it drives every turn to the last move.
    4. The Crew: It’s easy to play, easy to explain, and reminds me of all the hours of Euchre played in high school and uni.
    5. Pathogenesis: Immunology was a favourite course in uni, and this game not only simulates the body’s immune system really well, it also uses the deck-building mechanism extremely well to do it. Plus, theme appropriate for 2020.

Alright here goes nothing..for simplicity sake, I left off the one's I've played either no games from or games that I didn't particularly enjoy.

Ted Alspach - #Suburbia

Antoine Bauza - #7 Wonders Duel

Bernd Brunnhofer - #Stone Age

Bruno Cathala - #Kingdomino

John D. Clair - #Mystic Vale

Rüdiger Dorn - #Karuba

Steve Finn - #Biblios

Stephan Feld - #The Castles of Burgundy

Friedemann Friese - #Fabled Fruit

Jacob Fryxelius - #Terraforming Mars

Mac Gerdts - #Concordia

Reiner Knizia - #Lost Cities

Michael Kiesling - #Azul

Vital Lacerda - #The Gallerist

Thomas Lehmann - #Res Arcana

Paulo Mori - #Rise of Augustus

Shem Phillips - #Paladins of the West Kingdom

Alexander Pfister - #Port Royal

Uwe Rosenberg - #Patchwork

Vladimír Suchý - #Underwater Cities

Reiner Stockhausen - #Orléans or #Altiplano..can't decide

Daniele Tascini - #Teotihuacan: City of Gods

Ignacy Trzewiczek - #Imperial Settlers


After all that, I can safely say I don't particularly care about designers haha. I was surprised I knew a couple of them off the top of my head.

Before You Play is great.  I've only come across them recently, but I haven't found other videos that present a game as well in a way that makes me feel like I've learned how to play a game and how I'd feel playing a game.  They've covered heavy games in the most clear and easily understandable way I've seen, and they've started doing designer-focused videos.  They recently finished up the Vital Lacerda games, and they're a couple games into their Alexander Pfister series, so you get to see the progression of a designer over the course of their career also.  I would highly recommend them.  I like them because I think they tend to like what I like; interesting game play, enjoying complexity, enjoying simplicity, appreciating how theme enhances the mechanics, they don't ride hype trains, and they don't just bash or rave on games.

Join me as I do a solo play of Vital Lacerda's upcoming release Kanban EV on Tabletopia.

Ahead of the release of the physical game, I play against "Mr Lacerda" and "Mr Turczi" in Sandra's Electric Vehicle factory.

BGG link:

Tabletopia link:

Board Game Atlas link:

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Watch me obtain Master Gallerist rank in my solo playthrough of Vital Lacerda's 2015 game, The Gallerist.

I managed to end up with 4 celebrity artists, 5 masterpieces, 5 reputation tiles and 35 money from the curator and dealer cards. I also had 234 money.

This game was picked for me to play by my Patreon supporters, so thank you to Richie, Matt and Paul.

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GAME I LOVE: #Fields of Arle


GAME I DISLIKE THE MOST: #Battlestar Galactica (I know, I know... let the ridicule begin)

GAME I THINK IS OVERRATED: #Tapestry (again, I'm sure people will hate this answer)

GAME I CAN PLAY OVER AND OVER: anything by Uwe Rosenberg or Vital Lacerda

GAME I DON’T PLAY ENOUGH: #Brass: Birmingham & #Brass: Lancashire


GAME I WISH I MADE: #Dinosaur Island



GUILTY PLEASURE GAME: #Too Many Poops and #Dutch Blitz

GAME I SHOULD HAVE PLAYED BY NOW BUT HAVEN'T: #Clans of Caledonia and #Paladins of the West Kingdom have been on my shelf of shame for too long