Mayfair Games to Sponsor Gen Con Indy for 2011

Mayfair Games to Sponsor Gen Con Indy for 2011

PLANT CITY, FL (September 30, 2010) Mayfair Games and Gen Con are pleased to announce that Mayfair Games will be an official co-sponsor of Gen Con Indy 2011. Mayfair Games will be increasing the scope of its activities at the show in a number of ways, certain to resonate with attendees. Gen Con Indy will take place at the Indiana Convention Center August 4-7, 2011.

“Mayfair Games is thrilled to be a co-sponsor of Gen Con,” said Larry Roznai, President, Mayfair Games. “Mayfair is totally dedicated to making the gaming experience for the entire family the best it can be and being a co-sponsor of Gen Con will allow us to create that kind of amazing experience.”

Attendees can look forward to Mayfair Games and its licensees having an increased presence in the Exhibit Hall. Attendees will walk along Mayfair Blvd, Catan Strasse and Funfair St. to see and demo the latest products in the Mayfair Games product lines. Mayfair will add additional demo tables and increase the scope of The Great Mayfair Ribbon Quest. By playing in tournaments, events and demos conducted by Mayfair, attendees will have the
opportunity to earn ribbons that will allow them to become Knights and Defenders of Catan (along with the fabulous prizes that go with their rank).

“Mayfair Games is going to blow the roof off at Gen Con Indy 2011! The Mayfair Games staff really understands how to build fun for all ages. Gen Con is so happy to have Mayfair games helping us to fulfill our mission, which is to create ‘The Best Four Days In Gaming’ every year.” said Adrian
Swartout, CEO of Gen Con.

Mayfair will continue to sponsor the Training Grounds as well. This, along with the Mayfair Pages and Squires Program will offer fun for families and younger gamers.

For more competitive game players, Mayfair will host the 2011 North American Catan Championship tournament. The NACC Champion will receive a trip to the 2012 Worldwide Catan Championship to compete in the tournament as the North American Representative. Players not yet qualified will be able to compete for admission to the NACC through Masters tournaments running on Thursday and Friday at Gen Con.

About Mayfair Games
Mayfair Games, founded in 1981, is an independent publisher of high quality games designed for gamers and family play. More information at www.mayfairgames.com.

About Gen Con
Gen Con, LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, sci-fi and adventure game convention in North America. It was acquired in 2002 by former CEO and founder of Wizards of the Coast Peter Adkison, who owns the company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Gen Con is a consumer and trade experience dedicated to gaming culture and community. Follow us at facebook.com/genconindy, and for more information visit www.gencon.com.

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

TsuroT wins Major Fun Award

TsuroT wins Major Fun Award.

(Plant City, FL) – Mayfair Games’ TsuroT (MFG0020) has achieved recognition with a Major Fun Award.  Major Fun Awards are given to games and people that bring people fun, and to any organization managing to make the world more fun through its own personal contributions, and through the products it has managed to bring to the market.

The Major Fun Awards program as been active for eight years and was created by Bernie DeKoven, an educator, game reviewer and game designer for the past 40 years.  His vision for the award was to identify and recognize games thathave clear and comprehensive rules that can be read in 5-15 minutes, play in under an hour, are suitable for a wide audience, and are fun enough to make people laugh and want to play again.

This is the second award for TsuroT; it has also received the 2009 Preferred Choice Award from Creative Child Magazine.  To read the Major Fun review of TsuroT or to learn more about the Major Fun Awards please visit:
http://www.majorfun.com/2010/09/tsuro/

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 this title pleasecontact Bill Fogarty at:
813.707.6659    Phone
813.707.8791    fax
billf@mayfairgames.com

Review – Legitimacy, by Minion Games

Please note that a copy of this game was provided by the folks at Minion Games for review purposes.

Here ye, here ye! The King is dead, Long live the King! And in Legitimacy, designed by Chuck Whelon and produced by Minion Games, you find yourself as an illegitimate heir to the throne, faced with completing a quest (yes of course, this is a fantasy game…)  for three Crown Jewels and returning them to the Throne room at in the kingdom of Legitimant before you are thwarted by your fellow illegitimate so-and-so’s.

This is Minion Games’ attempt to knock the behemoth that is Talisman off its throne as the King of the roll and move type fantasy board games. And you know what, I think it does! Legitimacy is a fun and sillier take on the genre. A mashup of Talisman and Munchkin that you can finish in reasonable time. Now that I’m interested in.

Gameplay

If there was one thing that drove me crazy whenever I played Talisman, its that it took way too long and the fun dried up. Legitimacy takes a slap at Talisman’s seriousness and dryness and has a go at being silly and more compact. The game board is made up of one central hexagon for the Castle region and then scales out with another board hexagon for each player adding Mountains, Plains, Swamps, Fields and Hills. With each region, you also add cards which are the central feature of the game system.

You start with a character and a pet each of which has modifiers for movement, magic and/or attack. You then move. A roll and move game, yes, and the movement is regulated through circles connecting throughout the regions.Some circles are black where you can collect cards and others are green which although on  short cut path may mean you stop and lose a turn.

The fun begins as you stop and collect cards from the draw deck. The cards can be creatures, magical objects, cursed objects, magic spells, all of which can be useful in adding modifiers, giving special travel actions and allowing you to cast spells on other characters or not so useful in placing a cure on your character.  There are also Quest cards which need to be collected and then achieved in order to find the Crown jewels which are needed to win the game.

So you spend most of your time traveling around collecting stuff, and completing quests. The problem is, that there are a limited amount of quests and if the other players are getting them, that’s just not cricket!!! This is where the game turns nasty as players attack each other through melee in adjacent circles or from a distance using magic. Whoever wins the battle can take a card from the other player. So its not about killing so much as thieving. This is a really good aspect of the game as even if you don’t complete quests, you can wait to attack with the right cards and steal the crown jewels.

Because there is a lot of humour in the game it makes it a lot easier to live with being attacked. And the humour works well. Shades of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This is not a game for the serious fantasy gamer but a lighthearted take on the genre.

The components are pretty good. The art work is comic-like and is very good indeed, fitting the theme of comic fantasy. The cards are varied and should make for replayability as will the game board which can change each time you play. The only let down is the use of plastic pawns for the characters. This games cries out for figures!

Did it work for me?

Generally it did. Legitimacy is much more varied and interesting and certainly more fun than any of the other roll and move fantasy boardgames I have played. It doesn’t take too long to play either which helps a lot. The rules say that it should take 20-30 minutes for 2 players and add 15 minutes for each additional player. Sounds about right. The game is nice to look at as the artwork is excellent and fun. The humour adds a lot of fun and silliness which, with the right group is a good time for all. The system works well and the roll and move function works well as the modifiers mix things up. It is perhaps aimed at a young audience but its a nice change from the seriousness of many fantasy games. This is a very fun game which works rather well. The system is clear, simple and moves along. A good buy and alternative to Talisman style games.

Family Friendly?

Probably not unless it is played with older kids.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7 out of 10

For more information about games produced by Minion Games, go to – www.miniongames.com

Review – Sturgeon by Minion Games

Please note that a  copy of this game was provided for review purposes by the folks at Minion Games

Fishing…

My dad took me fishing a few times as a kid. I wasn’t a fan really. Kinda hated it actually. It was boring, involved putting bait on the hook and waiting… and waiting… yawn… Anyway, when I received this game for review from the guys at Minion Games, I thought. Oh… fishing… this won’t be good. But I must say that I like the game. And that surprises me given my dislike of fishing.

Sturgeon is a card game designed by Russ Brown and produced by Minion Games and the theme is about the fish food chain, you know, little fish gets eaten by bigger fish which is only eaten by the biggest fish who then happily swims around but could then end up as a fisherman’s dinner.

Gameplay

And that’s how the game works. The mechanics are simple – Players need to place 2 Minnows in their part of the lake and hope to place Bass cards to eat their Minnows or those of the other players. Eventually, they want to play the Sturgeons to feed on 2 Bass and then the winner is the first to place 2 Sturgeon cards in their part of the lake.  Ah but life is never quite so simple. First the good news – you can use weeds and schools cards to protect your place fish cards. You can also use Swim cards to swim over for a bite of your opponents’ fish. Yum!  But so can the other players so it really is a fish eat fish, survival of the fittest game. Chase cards change the order of play around the table from clockwise to counter clockwise so you need to stay on your toes. Lastly, even with all your careful card play, the Fisherman card can come along and nail your big fat Sturgeon.

So careful card play, taking risks, knowing when to place cards are all in the mix of the play. Very little down time here at all. I played with 5 players and this made foe a bit of a long game so I would expect that 2-3 players would be best.

The artwork on the cards is excellent and evoke the theme very well. Some of the other games by Minion Games have had bad press about the quality of their cards but i find no problem here at all. Very nice!

Did it work for me?

Yes it did. I enjoyed playing Sturgeon and I would easily recommend it as a light filler but would also caution that 2-3 players would be best for a shorter game. Is it earth shattering? No. it does what it says on the tin really. And for this fishing hater, I would happily play this game again. A nice little keeper for Blightygamer. The speed of play and the tactics involved are easy to understand and they come together very well. The luck factor is an issue only inasmuch as it is in all card games. Your card draw may be a bit frustrating but the game plays fast enough where you can re-shuffle and play again in short order (again with 2-3 players).

Family Friendly?

Yes. The game is for 10+ and that makes sense as they should be patient enough to get into the mechanics.

Boardgames in Blighty rating – 6 out of 10

For more information about games produced by Minion Games, go to – www.miniongames.com

Spolight on – Stephen Conway of THE SPIEL podcast


I don’t know about you, but I need my weekly fix of The Spiel podcast. Stephen Conway and Dave Coleson’s awesome broadcast about games and the people who love them. They also have a great charity called the Spiel Foundation. Stephen and I trade occasional tweets on Twitter and I asked him if he would be up for an interview for Boardgames in Blighty. he graciously accepted and here it is. Spiel on!

Hi Stephen, thanks for taking some time to share the story of The Spiel with us.

The Spiel is certainly popular amongst the board gaming community. Tell us your story. Where did the idea for The Spiel come from? How long have you and Dave been gaming together? Why a podcast? How many subscribers do you currently have? You know the drill…

I have known Dave for 15+ years. We met while I was in grad school; I worked part time at a friendly local game store. He came into the store on his breaks from the theatre (he is a professional musician) and we quickly recognized that we fell off the crazy train at the same station.

The Spiel was my brainchild and it took a little convincing to get Dave to sit down and record the first few times. Though our specific format has taken some time to evolve, I had a very specific vision for a show. We would celebrate our passion and knowledge of games and in the process introduce players to the world of games in a way that was different than the shows available at the time. Thus far, I think we are still on course! We have between 3,000 – 5,000 regular listeners to the current episodes, but our audience is constantly growing. This means many people are still discovering The Spiel and are starting with our back catalog (over 100 episodes). For 2010, we are averaging over 12,000 downloads a month.

What are your gaming backgrounds? How did you first get into board gaming?

I grew up in a family that loved games. Some of my earliest and most fond memories are of my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my parents laughing and playing cards until all hours of the night. In rural Indiana, where euchre is King, it was considered a rite of passage for my grandfather to sit down and teach me the rules and take me on as his “apprentice” partner. For my Romanian grandparents on the other side of my family, their game was pinochle. The day I was allowed to join the adults and play pinochle, I knew I had found my new home: the game table.

Dave’s story is similar. Games were a part of his family as long as he can remember. His Dad loves to tell the story of how he used board games to settle disputes between Dave and his siblings when they were little. He’d lock them in a room and let the play until everything was fine.

And what are your backgrounds outside of gaming?

I am a writer (primarily screenplays, but also prose and poetry), a filmmaker, and a podcaster. I hold Bachelor’s degrees in Theatre (Acting and Directing) and English and a Masters degree in English as well. In addition, I run two non-profit organizations: the Indiana Film Society and The Spiel Foundation.

Dave is a former Marine. He played in the Marine Corps Band during his tour of duty. He has been a professional musician (Trumpeter) performing at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre for over 20 years.

What is your view of board gaming in the USA and perhaps in other countries? What would you like to see done which could help board gaming become more mainstream amongst the public?

The mass market in the United States is still only vaguely aware of the wider world of games, but this is changing. Board gaming in the US is on the rise. Sales of board games have doubled over the past decade. The issue is one of exposure more than anything. The more titles that make it into mainstream retail outlets, the greater the potential to increase the playing public. Of course, I also believe digital media and resources like The Spiel serve an important role in giving players new to the hobby a friendly and fun way to approach this wider world of games.

Can you tell us about the process you go through to produce each episode? Any particular challenges?

We outline each segment in advance, dividing up the information as needed. We research and prepare for recording on our own. Days later, we record the show which takes several hours. Then, the real work begins! I edit the recorded footage for each segment and assemble the show into a raw, rough draft form. Next I select music for each segment break and create or find pictures for the enhanced version of the show. Finally, I am ready to pull all the parts together to make the audio file for the show. After a final mixdown into mp3 and m4a (enhanced) formats, I post the file, update the feeds and write detailed show notes with links for each episode. Last but certainly not least, I announce the episode using social media sites, and other online forums.

The main challenge in producing any show is maintaining a consistent release schedule while keeping the quality of the content consistently high. We have yet to miss a release date in five years and this is a great a point of pride for us both. We both come from theatrical backgrounds, so we live and breathe the motto: the show must go on!

Any words of advice for others interested in producing a board game podcast?

Find your voice. Make sure you know what will make your show different from others before you ever turn on the mic or the camera.

Are you currently working on any special Spiel projects and if so, can you whet our appetite for what is yet to come from The Spiel?

I am in the process of launching a video series on the history of board games. Season one of The Spiel will be 12 episodes. Each episode is a showcase for a single title, punctuated by oddball interludes, historical vignettes, over-the-top demonstrations, and on-location interviews with passionate players and celebrities. Think Top Gear or Good Eats in terms of format and style. The goal is to introduce or in some cases re-introduce the audience to the engaging variety of fun available in old school analog games – to show how these games can challenge the mind, fire the imagination, and provide years of entertainment and laughter to players young and old.

I am entering into the first round of fundraising for this project. Round one will cover initial studio construction and production of the Pilot episode. From there, we will use the Pilot as an additional selling tool to investors and sponsors and will raise the necessary funds to produce the remaining 11 episodes for Season One. I’m very excited about this project and am happy to provide additional information to anyone interested.

What type of games do you like to play? Any particular favourites? Any games that you just hate?

I happily dodge the favorite game question by espousing a concept we embrace on the show: The Game Sommelier. To me, my favorite game is the one that matches the personalities and interests of the people I am playing with in much the same way a Sommelier finds the right vintage for a particular meal. My goal is to have fun when I sit down to play and the game is a vehicle for that fun. I’ll play just about anything under the right circumstances with the right crowd.

As for games I dread or avoid, Twilight Imperium is a game I just do not enjoy. I have played it over half a dozen times and feel like I have given it a fair shake. I know many people love it, but I’d rather jump in front of a bus than play it again.

Likes and dislikes in regards to mechanics?

In a talented designer’s hands, any mechanic can make a game sing. Player elimination is a mechanic that must be used sparingly or wisely or I will quickly lose interest in the game.

Upcoming public demos, conventions? Any plans to attend Essen 2010? Or perhaps next year’s UK Games Expo (hint, hint…)?

The Spiel budget hasn’t reached a level that will allow us to travel to Essen or the UK Games Expo…. yet. An abiding goal for the show is to reach that point and I really hope we are able to make one cross-continental trip each year.

Who are your favourite game designers and why?

I certainly admire and respect Reiner Knizia and Bruno Faidutti for the depth and breadth of their design resumes. I really enjoy James Ernest’s sense of fun and willingness to experiment. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jason Matthews, Friedemann Friese, Vlaada Chvatil, and Antoine Bauza.

Do you listen to other podcasts? Is there a friendly rivalry between you guys and say, The Dice Tower guys?

I do listen to other podcasts but tend to listen to non-game podcasts more often, since I spend so much time eating, sleeping, and breathing games producing our show.

We like to give the Dice Tower guys a hard time, sure. Tom does his best to egg us on.

Ok, tell us about Goober. What is it (for the unenlightened) and tell us about your favourite gaming Goober.

Goober is Dave’s term for the stuff, the bits that come in a game. I have no clue how or why he came up with this term and, quite frankly, neither does he! A game has truckloads of goober if it has a ton of components or noteworthy or unique components. I tend to enjoy the goobery games with oddball components. I have an antique football (American football) game made in the late 1930s that uses a lightbulb to determine the outcome of each play. That one is certainly high on my list!

What’s the deal with curling???

Curling is awesome, what’s to tell? It’s the perfect synthesis of board games and sport, plus it has brooms! Seriously, it is ridiculously fun and requires more dexterity, balance and strength that any casual observer would think. If you haven’t tried it, give it a go and I bet many of you will get hooked like me!

Tell us about the Spiel Foundation. What is it all about?

The Spiel Foundation is a non-profit group whose mission is to donate quality board and card games to children’s hospitals and senior citizen centers. We use our experience with and knowledge of games to select 5 specific titles and then purchase and assemble bundles of these games to donate. We have grown from 6-8 bundles in our first year to 64 bundles in year three. That’s over 300 games this year! We host an annual fundraiser, the Spiel-a-thon, to generate income for each year’s bundle purchases. We do accept donations throughout the year and are forming partnerships with game groups and conventions around the country for fundraisers. For instance, we are sending 48 game bundles to the Houston area thanks in great measure to the efforts of the fine folks at OwlCon. For more information about the group, check out

http://thespielfoundation.com/

Lastly, how can my readers find your podcasts to download and how can they support the Spiel Foundation?

The Spiel is listed on iTunes, so you can easily subscribe to the show there. You can also visit us at http://www.thespiel.net. There you can listen or download shows directly OR you can subscribe using an RSS reader. We’re a small quirky town full of misfits compared to the big city lights of BoardGameGeek, but you’ll find a great community of Spielers there ready to roll out the welcome wagon.

Thanks so much Stephen. Spiel On!