Lemming MafiaT now shipping; in US stores October 14.

(Plant City, FL) – Mayfair Games’ newest release, Lemming MafiaT (MFG3121), is off the dock and on its way to retailers and distributors.  The game, designed by Michael Rieneck, is expected to hit store shelves on Thursday,
October 14, 2010.  This title was previewed at Gen Con Indy 2010 and received positive comments from players.

Leap into the world of the Lemming MafiaT.  Bet on lemmings as they race to be the first to JUMP!  But yours is more than a mere wager.  Lemming Mob Bosses give you missions.  You must slow the progress of some lemmings, or even stop them altogether by putting them in concrete shoes.  Aid your favored lemmings, using jackhammers (to cut off any concrete) and limos (to speed them along).  Pick the right mission and the swiftest Lemming and you win.  Three to six adults, ages 8+, can play a game in about twenty minutes. Leap into this laughingly larcenous Lemming Mafia.

Mayfair Games, founded in 1981, is an independent publisher of high quality games designed for gamers and family play.

For additional information regarding Mayfair Games or these titles please contact Bill Fogarty at:
813.707.6659   Phone
813.707.8791    fax
billf@mayfairgames.com

Spolight on White Goblin Games – an interview with Bart Nijssen

I caught up with Bart Nijssen of White Goblin Games who I’m hoping to see at Essen…

Hi Bart, why don’t you start by telling us the story of  White Goblin Games. How long have you been established? Who are the principle employees and what are their backgrounds?

White Goblin Games was founded back in 2004, when the CEO’s Jonny De Vries and Johan Kuipers got together. We started distributing high quality board games in the Netherlands and Belgium. Under the moniker QWG Games, together with Quined Games, we successfully distributed highly successful games like Caylus, The Princes of Florence and Pandemic in the low lands. Since the beginning of this year, we’ve been working solo again under our own moniker, co-developing and producing board games of our own and focusing more and more on the international board game markets.

Your stable of games include such note worthy names as Brass, Macao and Endeavor. What has been the response to White Goblin Games so far?

The games you mention here are a few of our licensing titles. Great games, that have proven their quality on an international scale, so the response has been great. Very interesting to see however,  is how the reactions are to the titles that we’ve co-developed, like the highly successful Rattus (for which you can expect a first expansion at Spiel 2010), Hotel Samoa (a Bruno Faidutti game of the year nominee) and our recently announced titles Inca Empire, Norenberc and Khan, for which we’ve just started taking pre-orders on our website. A few media have already published a preview on these games, and so far, the reactions have been very, very good!

Can you tell us about the process you went through to set up your company? Tell us about the ups and downs of publishing board games in the current world economy. The challenges and opportunities.

We’ve been growing and growing and growing throughout the years, and our focus has changed from only licensing, to licensing and co-producing. It’s always a challenge to find quality games. I think we’re getting better and better at this and it strengthens our international position. That is our goal: to become an important player on the international board game scene. We do have the contacts nowadays in the board game world and this makes up for some great games, not only now, but also in the future. There are some great things we’re already working on for 2011, that we’ll announce later!

Any words of advice for others interested in design/publishing their own board games?

Don’t be a copycat, but try to find new mechanisms. And test it good before you take your design with you to a publisher. Usually, you’ll only get one chance to convince a publisher with a prototype, so make sure the mechanisms work none less than EXCELLENT!

With the launch of the iPad, do you see the possibility for expanding your your games into the digital world?

Our core business consists of unplugged board games and I guess we’ll stick to that. That’s what we’re good at. But if other parties that are good at creating digital copies of our games are interested in making it, they can always contact us.

What are your plans for the future development of ? White Goblin Games?

Like I said, we really want to expand further on an international scale. Things are going very well at the White Goblin Games’s headquarters, so the future looks really promising. And you know what? With upcoming titles like Inca Empire, Norenberc, Khan and the Rattus expansion Pied Piper, we’ve only just begun! We’ll announce a lot more quality games for 2011 later!

How and when did you get into gaming?

Almost every year, Santa brought a board game to our family. So I’ve been playing quite a lot since I was a kid. But the board game virus really got to me, when I first bought Reiner Knizia’s Ra, followed by The Settlers. Yes, this game also paved my way in the world of board gaming…

What type of games do you like to play? Any particular favourites? Any games or game types that you dislike?

I’m an omnivore when it comes to boardgames. I like small card games, that don’t last longer than a quarter, but I also enjoy playing War of the Rings for 6 hours! And everything in between, as long as it’s fun to play! That’s the aim of boardgames, in my opinion: to have fun with friends and family. To have a good time. Favorites of mine include Torres, Pandemic, Lord of the Rings, Rattus, Ghost Stories and Dominion. Hmmm, that’s three cooperative games! Will we release a cooperative game in the future? Might be!

Likes and dislikes in regards to mechanics, theme?

Like I said, I’m an omnivore. I play fantasy games, historical games, sci-fi themed games, et cetera. And everything in between. Of course, some themes are easier to market than other themes, but I personally don’t have a preference. I really like mechanics like Yinsh has. It’s an abstract game and the player that is doing best and most likely the one to win, will automatically get a disadvantage during the game. Also Martin Wallace’s Tinners’ Trail – which we also released here in the Netherlands and Belgium – has some great mechanics: don’t worry if you’re not doing that well in the first round… you can easily make up for it in later rounds!

Tell us where we can meet you this year. Attending any upcoming conventions?

We’ll be at Spiel 2010 for four days long, demonstrating our new titles. Come by and say hi!

I understand that you will be attending Essen. Any particular plans for launching new games?

We’ve just started taking pre-orders on our website. You can purchase our games at reduced prices and with exclusive game bonuses (as long as supplies last) through our website or at Spiel 2010. I really like the game bonus for Rattus Pied Piper, which consists of the characters Robin Hood, Merlin, Joan of Arc and Dracula! The game bonus for Khan makes the game a little more tactical, which is nice of course!

What is your view of the boardgaming scene here in Holland? How does the scene in Holland compare to the UK?

Since the release of The Settlers the boardgaming scene in Holland is quite good. I don’t know how it compares to the scene in the UK, to be honest with you, but there’s some serious business over here. However, we’re focusing more on the international markets these days, although Holland and Belgium still are very important to us.

What would you like to see done which could help board gaming become more mainstream amongst the public?

The constitution has to prohibit people from playing games like Ludo, the Game of the Goose and Monopoly J

Okay, it’s our legacy and without games like these, there probably never might have been board games like ours in the first place. But if we prohibit playing these games, people are forced to trying something different, and they’ll soon find out the board gaming scene has so much more to offer than just throwing a dice 🙂

Thanks very much Bart!

For more information about White Goblin Games – http://www.whitegoblingames.nl/

Review – Armorica by Vainglorius Games

Armorica – by Vainglorious games, Designer and Artist, Eric B. Vogel

This little card game hit the game group table the other night. A set collecting game like many other card games, the basic idea is to collect your cards into long runs which don’t have the same colour twice, otherwise you need to start a new run.

Gameplay

I will say that I just didn’t find the game very interesting and I struggled to get the mechanics which actually weren’t difficult. I don’t know, maybe I was tired. The historical theme was ok but it just really didn’t do a lot for me. My buddies enjoyed it more than I did.To be fair, there was little down time between turns so the game moved along pretty well. I struggled with the icons as I tried to understand their significance. It just seemed that the only icon to pay attention to was wheat and then to get the sets into long runs. The mechanic of choosing cards worked well as you had more choices if you has multiple icons already in your previously chosen cards. There was basically nothing wrong with it and it did what it set out to do.

Did it work for me?

Just not my kind of game. I found it dry and utterly forgettable. A bit too much to think about and analyse for me and to no great return. The luck of the cards available has an impact but it doesn’t hurt the game. But it doesn’t lift it up either. Compared to Trollland, it is uninspired. The artwork is ok but nothing new or interesting or exciting. Run of the mill stuff.

But see Tony and Alan’s comments below for a different take…

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 5/10

Family Friendly?

Not for the young ones but the older analytical types may enjoy having a go.

For more info about games by Vainglorious games, go to –

http://www.vaingloriousgames.net/

Comments from the gaming table

Tony

Being about Gauls and Romans, this was definitely more like my kind of theme. Oddly enough – as we didn’t set out for it to be a specific ‘theme night’ – this was another game essentially about immigration (attracting both Gaullish workers and Roman workers / patricians to develop the province), and also based on collecting sets of cards (in this case as long a run of cards as you can make without repeating a colour). In a sense it also has similarities with the ‘build the most efficient economic engine’ game genre, as the different symbols on different cards let you expand your choices in the future for who you can attract (and therefore the chance of getting more different colour cards in your run), but you have to balance this against the need to also acquire other symbols that will enable you to help people survive the winter phase: don’t have enough and some of your people will die (you might think this is a good way to help link up longer non-repeating card runs, as you get something of a choice as to who to kill off in this situation, but that didn’t really seem to work out). There’s also luck involved, in the order the cards come out into the lines you can draw from, but for me it was the ideal level of luck: enough to help keep things spicy and potentially stop a clear leader running away with it, but nothing like enough to wreck the game and seriously impede a sensible strategy. Quite possibly rather too ‘thinky’ for some, but a good light game for the ‘serious gamer’ crowd. 4/5

Alan

Armorica is released by small games publisher Vainglorious games and I really liked it. In fact I’ve played five games now over three days with 4,3 and 2 players and it scales really well. The art is simple and functional but a colour blind friend of mind had some difficulty with the some of the printing as there can be subtle differences in the same colour on different cards. I liked the theme of Romans and Gauls and I thought the mechanics worked very well as you have to really pay attention to what you are doing; on two occasions I forgot to keep track of the amphora, to feed my population and ended up losing cards and unable to claw back. Overall an excellent filler that requires some thought

Review – Trollland – A satirical card game from Ludocortex

Review – Trollland – A satirical card game from Ludocortex

Please note that the generous folks at Ludocortex provided a review copy for this review

Designed by Bruno Cathala, Trollland is a set-collection game with a fantasy theme strapped on. There is a serious message in the design as the rules are written as a political satire of the current legal issues and approach many countries are using in dealing with illegal aliens. Fair enough I say. Game designers are allowed free speech as much as we are. The nice thing is that although the political message is clearly there and a little uncomfortable as it should be, it’s not so heavy handed as in perhaps other games and it does make you think. After all, it’s a game first and foremost.

The rules are reasonably translated into English and not bad despite a few minor glitches. It took a little extra time to digest the political message and some squirming to read it but actually it wasn’t an issue. We got the message and plowed on into the game.

Gameplay

And it is a very good game indeed. Surprisingly so, as at first glance, I wasn’t so sure how it would work. The mechanics work very well and smoothly. The players need to place cards representing different races onto vehicles (in cages!!!) to be deported out of the country. Any cards you can’t ship out go into your refugee camp. You gain points for being the last one to fill the vehicle up to its carriage allotment. Certain cards have bonuses and also special effects like being able to swap cards and play an extra card. It all works very well. After the first round or 2 were easily into the game.

There is just enough screwage and chaos represented by the troll cards to keep things interesting and frustrating in equal measure. Not a brain burner at all, but you do need to choose your placement carefully to try and avoid setting up the other players to fill the vehicles and take the points. It’s all about timing and choices of card placement as you fill the vehicles. Add to this the luck of the draw and the random chaos of the few troll cards and its all pretty good fun. Great artwork really adds to the game as the cartoon characters representing the races are fun. My gamer buddies particularly liked the “bimbos”… nuff said.

The political satire is there more in the rules but you tend not think about it during game play and some may find this a bit uncomfortable but I think that if it provokes players to think about the global problem of migrants, illegal aliens and ask questions about it, I am sure the designer will feel he has achieved his purpose.

Did it work for me?

On the whole, yes it did. As a game, it stands up very well with a solid design and is fun and relatively fast playing with little or no down time for players. The fantasy theme doesn’t impact play and you don’t get a sense of a fantasy world at all but it softens the political message just enough so that it’s not in bad taste and shouldn’t really put anyone off. It’s a poke in the eye of “the man” as it were, and if taken in this vein, players will find themselves really enjoying Trollland.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6-10 – solid design, fun to play. Well worth seeking out at Essen 2010 or ordering from Ludocortex if you can’t wait for it to be available at your Friendly Local Game Shop.

For more information about games from Ludocortex go to –

http://www.ludocortex.fr/trollland-ludocortex-editions,fr,4,Trollland.cfm

Family friendly?

I would say not really and it makes sense that it is for 14 and older. Certainly I would think that the political satire will be lost on young teens.

Comments from the Gaming table

Tony

My own fault for missing half the rules explanation, but it sounded rather complicated for what appeared on sight to be a fairly simple set collection card game. However, in practice the game was actually rather easy to get into, quite light and quick, but with a definite streak of nastiness needed to do well. The light nature of the game and the cartoon-y artwork of the cards, all made it seem rather incongrous that in the flavour text there is a definite dig at anti-immigration policy. There again, they do say that some of the most effective political commentary and critique is via the medium of humour…. So, better than I thought it would be, with some interesting mechanics, and a fair amount of fun. Nice quick filler, but the theme didn’t really grab me, and I do like my theme! 3/5

2010 Worldwide Catan Championship Tournament Weekend Results

On Friday, September 17, 2010 fifty two players from twenty eight countries gathered at Burg Wildenstein Castle in Leibertingen, Germany.  Five of these representatives were there because they had won tournaments in North America.  They were David Zevin (American, Gen Con Indy 2010 Winner), Chris Bradley (American, Origins Game Fair 2010 Winner), Adrian DeRoche (Canadian,
Western Canada Champion 2010), Robin Baksh (Canadian, Eastern Canada Champion 2010) and Edgar Zurawell (Canadian, NACC 2009 Champion).

The first day of play was dedicated to the preliminary round.  During this time, the field of 52 would be reduced to the top sixteen players.  At the end of play, one of the North American players had made the cut; David Zevin was in 15th place and would move on to the semi-final round.  Final standings at the end of the preliminary round were as follows for the five representatives from Canada and the United States: 15th) David Zevin, 23rd) Robin Baksh, 34th) Chris Bradley, 42nd) Edgar Zurawell, 47th) Adrian DeRoche.

Saturday was set aside to enjoy the castle and its environs.  The festivities included a medieval banquet (in costume) and ball.
Additionally, Klaus Teuber participated in an exhibition game of Catan along with German Sports Star Stefan Kretzschmar and four invited Catan fans.

Sunday was back to business as the top sixteen players faced off over four boards.  At the end of four games, American David Zevin was in eighth place. The top four players, Maris Logins, Erwin Pauelsen,  Mauri Sahlberg and Peter Jahne moved on to the final round.  In this final round, the game was hotly contested from the start.  The “Largest Army” points were constantly in motion and trade embargos rose and fell.  With two hidden Victory Point cards, Sahlberg came close to the win, but with a masterful play or a Road
Building card, Pauelsen was able to steal the “Longest Road” card from Jahne and reach ten Victory Points.  The final standings were: 1st) Erwin Pauelsen (Netherlands), 2nd) Maris Logins (Latvia), 3rd) Mauri Sahlberg (Finland), and 4th) Peter Jahne (Germany).

Mayfair Games offers its congratulations to Erwin Pauelsen, the other final four players, our five North American players, as well as the rest of the players, all champions of their various countries.  We look forward to hosting the 2011 North American Catan Championships at Gen Con Indy 2011, and we look forward to the 2012 Worldwide Catan Championship.

Mayfair Games, founded in 1981, is an independent publisher of high quality games designed for gamers and family play.

For additional information regarding Mayfair Games please contact Bill Fogarty at:
813.707.6659    Phone
813.707.8791    fax
billf@mayfairgames.com

Catan Medallions

Catan Contestants

Greetings,

I saw that you posted the info I sent you regarding the WWCC Finals weekend.
As you are in England, I thought you might be interested in the fate of the
English players at the tourney.  They were:

Richard Gough    UK     26th place
David van-Cauter UK     33rd place

I you want any other info regarding the event, please feel free to let me
know.  Thanks again for mentioning our event.

Cheers,

Bill Fogarty
Director of Marketing
Mayfair Games
P.O. Box 3815
Plant City, FL 33563
813.707.6659  phone
813.707.8791  fax
billf@mayfairgames.com