$22.00
$25.00
$35.00
$32.00

BoardGameGeek News

To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, please contact BGG News editor W. Eric Martin via email – wericmartin AT gmail.com

[1]  Prev «  2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6  Next »  [209]

Recommend
82 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

New Game Round-up: Riding the Rails in Europe, Fighting in Greece, and Rummaging Through the House

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• I thought that I had covered everything on Rio Grande Games' 2016 release calendar in a Feb. 2016 BGGN post, but here's another title coming down the rails: Orient Express from the husband-and-wife design team of Jeff and Carla Horger, who were also responsible for the 2015 release 20th Century Limited from Rio Grande. Here's a summary of the setting and gameplay:

Quote:
Europe is a continent that is both insular by nation and yet hopelessly entangled economically as a whole. You have decided to be a part of the growing railroad boom. All over the continent rails are needed to connect disparate regions for business and recreation. As your lines cover more ground it is likely that they be coveted by the very governments you have chosen to support. Eventually they will nationalize your work. Of course you will be well rewarded but your company will have to start all over with in new locations to keep moving ahead. Victory will come to those most able to merge the private and public demands. You may be the mogul that creates the Orient Express but eventually all of your hard work will become property of the people.

In Orient Express, players create passenger routes or some of the most famous railroads of Europe. When Regional Company routes are scored, they are removed from the board as those routes have been nationalized. The game is very flexible allowing players to choose what regions to build in and which ones to connect.

Djumble is a party game from designer Nicolas Bourgoin and publishers Cocktail Games and Asmodee that has a ridiculously simple concept that translates perfectly into memorable and bizarre experiences, which is something of a Cocktail Games trademark. Here's the overview:

Quote:
In Djumble, players reveal cards from the deck that have descriptions such as "green", "floats", or "weighs more than 1 kg", then everyone races around the house — or wherever they're playing — to find something that fits as many of these categories as possible, then they argue about which things fit best in order to score points.

To see the game in action, check out the demo video that Tric Trac recorded of Djumble being played inside an Ikea.

Osprey Games has been an interesting company to watch since its entry into the non-wargame market with Peer Sylvester's The King Is Dead in 2015 as you have no idea what to expect next. It has a decades-old, yet never before published game about stealthy submarines, a couple attempting to share memories that might be eaten, a more authentically Norse-looking game about racing ravens, a competition for Marie Antoinette's leftover cakes, and now a two-player design from Günter Cornett titled Agamemnon that's due out in August 2016 at the same time as the aforementioned Let Them Eat Cake:

Quote:
None can defy the will of the gods but the gods themselves. Driven by the bloodlust of their king, the Greeks have arrived at the shores of Troy. Some seek power, some seek revenge, while still others seek the great moment in battle that will define their place in history.

Agamemnon is a fast-paced strategy board game in which two players take on the roles of ancient Greek gods during the Trojan War. By tactically deploying warriors to where they're needed across the board, each player may influence the final outcome of the battles famously detailed in Homer's ''Iliad''. Some areas will be decided by the strength of the warriors, others by sheer weight of numbers, and some by the inspiration your heroes provide.

Twitter Facebook
29 Comments
Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
61 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2016: Movie Edition — The Godfather x2, Ghostbusters, Speechless, and Fast & Furious: Full Throttle

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• Both Cool Mini Or Not and designer Eric M. Lang announced many upcoming games at the GAMA Trade Show in mid-March 2016, and one place where those Venn diagrams of game announcements overlapped was The Godfather: The Board Game, which Lang describes as "thugs on a map", with players also having to manage the contents of their hand as anything extra they acquire will end up being handed over to the Godfather as tribute.





• As noted earlier in March 2016, multiple games based on The Godfather films have been announced. The Godfather: An Offer You Can't Refuse from Nate Murray of IDW Games and Nathan McNair of Pandasaurus Games is a Mafia-style hidden role game that sets the Corleone crime family against undercover policemen.





Cryptozoic Entertainment raised more than $1.5 million for Ghostbusters: The Board Game on Kickstarter, so it's not strange at all that they're bringing Ghostbusters: The Board Game II to the neighborhood. At GTS 2016, Cryptozoic's Sara Miguel showed off some of the new gameplay elements to be found in this standalone game.





Fast & Furious: Full Throttle from Jeff and Carla Horger and Game Salute presents players with a street-racing challenge that brings in characters from the movies to provide optional unique powers.





• Okay, I'm cheating here since Speechless the game from Mike Elliott and Arcane Wonders has nothing to do with Speechless the movie, but I posted the overview of the Back to the Future game the other day before realizing that I could pull together this themed post. Oh well.

In any case, Speechless is charades with a twist, with one player performing in silence while everyone else guesses in silence, possibly scoring from others' guesses along the way.

Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
74 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

New Game Round-up: Drill for Dregs, Cultivate a Garden, and Freeze in the Great Outdoors

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• Spanish publisher 2Tomatoes has licensed Peak Oil from designers Tobias Gohrbandt and Heiko Günther, with the game still being available in a print-and-play format now for those who want to try their hand at commodity speculation. Here's an overview of the design, which doesn't have an announced publication date yet:

Quote:
You are the top manager at one of the big oil companies, tasked with leading your enterprise into a future without oil. With peak oil looming ahead, you try to squeeze the last drops from oil fields around the world to gather the resources to invest into various oil replacement technologies. While you may try to emerge from the coming crisis by regular means, your competitors will most probably not, forcing you to dirty your hands as well.

On your turn in Peak Oil, you assign your agents to different action spots on the board. If your agents are in the majority at any given action spot, or you decide to send mercenaries to their help, they squelch the competition there and allow you to take the linked action. Actions include developing and harvesting oil fields, building pipelines, hiring new agents, buying new ship contracts, investing in oil replacement technologies, conducting PR campaigns, engaging in piracy, and manipulating public opinion and oil prices.

After some time, the oil — represented by a set number of small barrels you draw from a bag when developing new oil fields — will run out. This is called "peak oil" and marks the end of the game. Players tally the value of the technologies in which they invested and promoted during the game. Whoever shaped the future best (i.e. gained favor for their company) wins.


Blind Ferret Entertainment's two-player tile-laying game Orphans & Ashes includes "more miniature orphans than any other game on the market, guaranteed".

One Thousand XP is a new U.S. game publisher with a couple of designs forthcoming from podcaster (now designer) Chris Rowlands. Under My Bed is a microgame for 3-8 players in which one player is a child dressed in a monster costume and everyone else is a monster; the monsters want to determine which player is secretly the child, while the child needs to figure out which monster is hiding under the bed.

Rowlands' The Last Garden is a more traditional-sounding game:

Quote:
The world as we know it has ended. One woman is all that remains of the human race, and she is known only by her title: The Queen. As her final decree, The Queen aims to recreate the beautiful and lush gardens of her youth. However, there is very little moisture left, so The Queen will implement a new plan.

In her travels, The Queen has accumulated a collection of out-of-commission mining robots. She has reprogrammed them all into Robotanists and will use them to turn metal and rare gems into an elaborate garden. The Robotanist AI isn't the best, but they'll try as hard as they can to please their Queen. She doesn't quite remember exactly what the gardens look like, but she'll know it when she sees it. Until then, the Robotanists will work the mines, build the garden, and place gems as the all vie to be the Queen's favorite.

The Last Garden is a worker placement and betting game for 2-4 players. Each player controls a number of Robotanists as they seek to create a beautiful garden out of scraps and gems. On every turn, a player places a Robotanist onto the board and plays a card that shifts the structures in the garden or manipulates gems. At the end of a set number of days, the player who has gained the most favor wins.

Frostbite is the first release from Darrek Olson and Neanderthal Games, and it presents players with a challenging gaming environment:

Quote:
In Frostbite, players collect resources and assemble huts, but must be wary of the bitter cold while doing so. The weather changes constantly and the temperature keeps falling. Players must endure until the final shelters are created!

Each player has five action points per round to use for migrating, scouting, hunting, gathering wood, crafting shelter, and raiding other clans. Players migrate by moving their clan member tokens. They may gather wood only in forest regions and may hunt only in regions with wildlife. Hunting success is determined by die roll. When failing to kill wildlife, a card is drawn to determine the direction it runs away, possibly into another clan's territory. Once players have enough resources, they may build or upgrade shelters.

After each round, cards are drawn to decrease the temperature in different areas. Clan members die if they occupy a region that is too cold, but this may be mitigated by fur coats and shelters.

Only the clans that complete their villages will survive and claim victory.

Be sure to play in the winter with the windows open!
Twitter Facebook
16 Comments
Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
333 
 Thumb up
40.00
 tip
 Hide

A Historical Perspective on Changes Announced by Asmodee North America

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
April 1, 2016 is almost here, with that date being the start of Asmodee North America's new sales policies for U.S. hobby game retailers, whether brick-or-mortar retailer, online retailer, or both, so I thought I'd reflect on what's changing and why. These statements are my own (except when I quote someone) and are based on my experience in the industry and multiple interviews on and off the record; they do not reflect the opinion of my employer, BoardGameGeek LLC. With that in mind, let's go...

•••

In its March 2016 issue, Inc. profiled Pharma­packs, a $70 million retail business in the U.S. that sells a somewhat random assortment of items through the online marketplaces on eBay, Walmart.com, Overstock, and (most importantly) Amazon.com, from which Pharma­packs earns 40% of its revenue. Here's an excerpt from Burt Helm's article:

Quote:
[T]hey discovered that selling on a platform like Amazon was totally different from running their drugstore or even a standalone website... They could sell whatever they wanted, at whatever price, for whatever period of time. A marketplace vendor doesn't worry about stocking a full line of shampoos, or whether certain soaps are always on sale. If they want to sell lotion one week and hairspray the next, they can do that.

Early on, the guys decided that it would be easiest to offer whatever their suppliers had in stock. They built each online listing, and had a developer code a script that scraped the suppliers' databases to enter each product's information. When a customer ordered something, they in turn would order it from the supplier, pick it up, and then pack and ship it. That's still the model, more or less, though nowadays they order in bulk using sales projections and need three trucks and a van to pick everything up. Inventory often stays in their warehouse only for a few hours before going right back out the door. The business is less like traditional merchandising than it is like a commodities trader from a bygone era, buying and selling well-known goods and turning a profit on each transaction.

The article notes that Pharmapacks averages a 3-6% net profit margin per item that it sells, while making 570,000 shipments each month on an inventory of 25,000 different products.

What does this have to do with games? Well, let's turn the clock back to December 2015 when the newly-formed Asmodee North America announced that as of the start of 2016 it would allow only five distributors in the U.S. — ACD Distribution, Alliance Game Distributors, GTS Distribution, PHD Games, and Southern Hobby Supply — to distribute its products to retailers within the country and that ANA "will be very selective as to which online merchants will be authorized to sell our products". While Pharmapacks doesn't retail games (as far as I can tell), it's an example of the type of company that ANA doesn't want handling its products — a business interested in short-term sales numbers with no consideration for long-term growth of the gaming hobby. To excerpt once again from the Inc. article:

Quote:
The next time you buy some humdrum product on Amazon, pause for a moment and check the Other Sellers listed on the right side of the page. That lip balm? Thirteen vendors offer it. Those vitamins? Twenty. As you click and shop, a battle rages in that little box, fought every day by entrepreneurs like [Pharmapacks'] Vagenas and Tramunti on practically every one of Amazon's 410 million product pages.

This is the Amazon Marketplace, where anybody can sell just about anything right alongside Amazon's own wares. Unlike eBay, where each vendor maintains a separate listings page, Amazon tidily groups its Marketplace sellers by item, hiding away the inferior offers, to showcase the best deals up front. (In seller parlance, landing the number-one spot is called "getting the buy box.") What looks so clean on your screen obscures the messy and massive jungle of the Marketplace: There are now more than two million sellers on Amazon. While the Seattle-based giant still sells the most popular items on the site itself, Marketplace sellers now ship nearly half of the products — about two billion items each year, all told — and those sales are growing twice as fast as Amazon's, according to the consultancy ChannelAdvisor. The Marketplace started in 2000 selling used books. In 2016, it's a retail phenomenon as significant as any in the past 50 years — together these sellers ring up what ChannelAdvisor estimates to be $132 billion in sales each year. That's more than Walmart sold in 1997. Yet we know so little about who they are.

For the most part, buyers are comfortable not knowing who is selling them these products. They want Product X at the cheapest price possible — or (alternatively) a cheap price convinces them that Product X will be a fine replacement for Product Y or Z — and they know that if something goes wrong, Amazon will reimburse them for the purchase price.

Manufacturers, on the other hand, may not be comfortable having their goods sold for bargain basement prices. As ANA CEO Christian T. Petersen stated in an interview with ICv2 in Dec. 2015: "When we, or one of our publishing partners, start development of a game product, we do so with a conviction that the product will have a certain value to the gamer, the consumer. On the basis of this expected value, we invest in design, creative inputs, safety testing, manufacturing, marketing, licensing, and the many other aspects of successfully getting a game to market." Having games sold a few percentage points over cost diminishes the perceived value of the item, especially when a retailer (or a distributor acting as a retailer, which has happened in the past) dumps overstock, thereby tanking the market for that game, which necessitates dumping by all the other distributors as well in order not to get stuck with dead goods.

Part of "successfully getting a game to market" involves that final step of getting the game into the hands of players. While Fantasy Flight Games (which Asmodee acquired in Nov. 2014) and Days of Wonder (bought by Asmodee in August 2014) sell games directly through their websites, for the most part these brands and parent company Asmodee North America sell product either directly to mass-market vendors (Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble) or indirectly to retailers through distributors, and once those vendors or distributors get hold of the games, there's no telling where they'll end up for sale or for how much — and that's part of what ANA intends to change through the imposition of its new sales policies. (Note that all of these changes affect the U.S. only, despite the "North America" in the company's name.)

By cutting the number of distributors it works with — and more importantly by requiring each brick-and-mortar retailer to agree to the terms of its Asmodee North America Specialty Retail Policy (PDF) and become an "Asmodee Specialty Retailer" — ANA has an easier time tracking who's buying what. By requiring online hobby retailers to purchase items directly from ANA, the publisher will have similar knowledge on that section of the marketplace.

(During a 45-minute off-camera interview at GAMA Trade Show in March 2016, Petersen noted to me that some online retailers would effectively by buying from ANA via proxy, as with, say, CoolStuffInc, which is almost adjacent to a warehouse owned by GTS Distribution. In cases like those, Petersen said it made sense to take advantage of the proximity of the distributor to serve that customer more directly. Petersen also acknowledged that online retail outlets with an established brick-and-mortar presence, such as CSI, could continue both operations under the new ANA policies as long as the businesses are legally separated and the inventory for each business kept distinct. ANA CMO Steve Horvath and ANA VP of Marketing Aaron Elliott also participated in this interview.)

What's more, ANA is changing the discounts at which games are available to its B&M and online clients, with B&M purchasing games at roughly a 45% discount off MSRP (based on their purchase volume with the distributor) and with online receiving a substantially lower (albeit unpublicized) discount off MSRP. At GTS 2016 as part of the ANA Keynote Address, Petersen spent fifteen minutes laying out his explanation for why ANA is changing its discount policy, reaching back to the 1980s to identify how stores used to be the hub for how people discovered and learned more about games. Petersen said that game publishers adopted a discount policy at that time similar to the comic industry due to games often being sold through those same distributors, and despite all the changes that have taken place over the last thirty years, that discount policy has never been revisited, even though (in Petersen's view) online sellers provide little service to buyers beyond the mere availability to games. (Detractors view this change in discount as something designed to "prop up" B&M stores; Petersen would counter that the online retailers are the ones who have been propped up by a discount that outweighs their service to buyers and this change will balance discount for services provided.)

Brick-and-mortar stores, on the other hand, enable the long-term success of ANA based on the availability of games, the introduction of games to people not already in the hobby, the introduction of new games to those already in the hobby, and the development of a gaming community based on shared playing spaces and events. Fantasy Flight Games, for example, has supported organized play events for years for multiple games. In 2015 alone, FFG sold more than 33,000 event kits to B&M retailers, with Elliott estimating that "between two and three times as many kit-less events occur, putting the total number of global events easily above 100,000 for 2015". Asmodee started its own organized play program titled AsmoPlay in 2015, and it's expanding that program in 2016. Organized play programs are designed to encourage B&M retailers to promote these titles to new and existing players, and if ANA has a better idea of which stores are selling which games (which it will), it can in the future tailor event programs to match those sales records or reach out to stores to encourage more participation in such events.

In our interview, Petersen stated that ANA doesn't have hard numbers for the breakdown of sales via B&M and sales via online outlets (something they hope to change once these policies go into effect), but I believe — and multiple talks with people at various levels of the hobby have confirmed — that the vast majority of game sales are made through B&M outlets. Why change discount policies if this is true? For the same reason that Mayfair Games instituted similar changes in 2007, and to cover that history lesson, I present this lengthy column that I published on BoardgameNews.com on October 30, 2007:

•••

Mayfair Games has announced a discount cap for its line of board and card games. What's relevant from the end user's point of view is that retailers must now offer no more than a 20% discount on Mayfair products or else risk losing the ability to carry Mayfair titles in the future. For reference, here's the announcement as it appeared on game industry forums:

Quote:
Dear Trade Customers,

Greetings from Mayfair Games! Our team wishes you all well. After all, we wouldn't be looking forward to our 27th year of publishing fine games without your strong, enduring support.

We're writing to you to outline our retail pricing policy. Our manufacturer's suggested retail prices ("MSRPs") reflect our firm belief in a healthy balance between "free trade" and "fair trade." Mayfair Games embraces and supports healthy competition. We feel that in order for our market — and thus our company — to prosper now and over the long term all our partners in the distribution chain need to respect this balance.

Whenever a firm threatens healthy competition among our trade customers, and thus endangers this balance, we must act in a vigorous, even-handed fashion to police the distribution and sale of our fine products. Mayfair Games doesn't intend to specifically dictate how its customers do business...but we will act in cases of predatory, irrational, or patently detrimental trade activity...

So, it's important that all of our trade customers know where we stand on pricing and discounting...

• Distributors should sell Mayfair Games products at no less than a 25% margin or no more than a 50% discount off MSRP.
• Retailers should sell Mayfair Games products at no more than a 20% discount off MSRP, or the appropriate ratio given exchange rates.

Trade customers that violate these guidelines shall be subject to sanctions. If necessary, we will cut them off.

We're well aware of the fact that our individual customers operate under individual circumstances. Some are more profitable than others. Some seek to establish themselves or need to acquire some critical market share. Mayfair Games understands, and sympathizes with, this reality.

At the same time, we've been in business long enough to know that that it's far better for us to encourage healthy competition rather than cutthroat discounting. Ours is not a mass-market business, nor is it a business based on inter-changeable widgets. Our wares are special, unique, premium games. Savage discounting is unnecessary and counter-productive for everyone in the mid-to-long term. While some individual consumers might benefit in the short-run, rabid discounting only acts to erode the profits and incentives necessary to keep our market healthy.

As it is, consumers receive great entertainment value for full MSRP. It's unnecessary — and even a bit insane — to subsidize folks who already enjoy a good deal. It is far healthier for us, our distributors, and our retailers to derive a healthy profit from the sale of our games than it is for us to see them dumped into the marketplace. Every viable firm in our distribution chain should collect its fair profit and have an incentive to further promote, buy, and sell our games.

Our trade customers should endeavor to increase their profit margins, not their discounts. They can thus improve service, which — along with the high quality of our games — should be the principal means of growing our market.

Mayfair Games asks all its trade customers to understand that we are partners in growing a healthy games market. Again, we want free and fair trade. It's healthy...for all of us. It's in our best interest...and in the best interest of the entire social game industry.

That's all for now. Take care.

For Mayfair Games,
Pete Fenlon
(CEO, Mayfair Games, Inc.)

The targets of this policy change — deep-discount online retailers — are clear (although anonymous), and the terms used to describe them and their practices are damning: "predatory, irrational, or patently detrimental"; "savage"; "rabid"; "a bit insane".

Response to the Mayfair announcement has been all over the place. BoardsandBits.com and Thoughthammer.com have announced that they'll abide by the new discount policy, while Boulder Games has vowed to stop carrying Mayfair titles. Retailers on one industry forum I frequent have applauded Mayfair and said that they'll demo the company's titles — such as the Catan line that relaunches in early November 2007 — more heavily over the holidays and beyond. Hardcore gamers on BoardGameGeek have run the gamut from personal boycotts to shoulder-shrugging. Casual gamers have no response because they don't even know about the policy change.

What's fascinated me the most are the predictions that gamers have posted on BoardGameGeek, most of which, quite frankly, are from people talking through their non-existent hats. Gamers with no retail business experience have posted ludicrous scenarios of how the Mayfair policy change will play out in the years ahead: Mayfair's sales will plummet, Mayfair will raise prices to make up for lower sales, Mayfair will have trouble signing designers due to lower sales, Mayfair will publish worse games in the future because other publishers won't want to license games to it due to its (say it with me now) lower sale volume.

How do I know these people have no retail business experience? Because they start their arguments with claims that contradict reality, and the surest way to reach faulty conclusions is to start with nonsense.

Chad Ellis of Your Move Games posted a long note on BGG detailing how retail works within the game industry, which I'll summarize for your education: Publishers typically sell product to distributors at 40% of the MSRP; distributors typically sell product to retailers at 50-60% of MSRP (with the discount dependent on the volume of business from the retailer and the goods purchased); retailers sell the product at 65%-100% of MSRP to customers.

Deep-discount online retailers are at the 65% end of the scale, offering customers 35% off the MSRP because they have relatively low fixed costs and want to encourage frequent, large, low-margin purchases. They make money on volume, so they want to move goods out the door as quickly as possible. Brick-and-mortar retailers fall on the 100% end of the scale, charging MSRP because they need the high margin on sales to cover their relatively high fixed costs. They make money on service, giving customers side benefits beyond the game itself to encourage repeat business.

Admittedly not all retail stores provide side benefits. Some of them feature no gaming space, no bulletin boards to find local gamers, no tournaments or open game days, employees or owners who don't know the games, poor return policies, no food or drinks for sale, no loyalty program, no preorder or special order program, and prices over MSRP. Some people have no game store at all within driving distance. Many people do have such stores nearby, however, and for these stores providing these types of services — along with electricity, garbage service, retail association fees, and so on — is part of the cost of doing business, a cost that must be covered by the margin on the products they sale.

Mayfair Games' open support for retail stores isn't new. In a May 2007 essay on ICv2, former CEO Will Niebling noted:

Quote:
The game market needs a healthy balance of core market and broad market retailers. The former serve as our consistent retail foundation, the latter as a means of occasionally reaching out to a broader audience. Titles that appeal to the latter still sell in the core market; however, it's not a two-way street. This means that in order to sell the games that generate much if not most of the profit that keeps the industry alive and healthy, manufacturers rely on shops both within and without the core game trade.

Online game discounters cater to a subset of the core hobby gamer. These individuals know which games are new, what the BGG ratings on these games are, and what BGG even is. They tend to be very price-conscious and view anything that will cost them more money as a personal affront. (Such as, oh, I don't know, convention previews that take hundreds of hours of work...) Their view of this announcement is that Mayfair is gouging them, that Mayfair is adding a premium to the cost of its games, that Mayfair is putting itself at a competitive disadvantage, that Mayfair is engaging in price-fixing and short-sighted business practices.

Hogwash, says I.

Starting with the last claim and working backwards, "price-fixing" refers to sellers who collectively decide to charge a set price for an item, a practice that typically happens with a highly desirable item in short supply. A hypothetical example: When Zooloretto won Spiel des Jahres, for example, and retailers became aware that the game was in short supply from Rio Grande, if they had talked amongst one another and decided to sell the few copies still in stock at $60, that would be an example of price-fixing.

Every company that provides product to retailers, either directly or indirectly, sells the product under certain conditions, some of which are spelled out in business contracts and some of which are implied. Retailers can't, for example, add a label to a product that promises something not included within the packaging.

One thing that companies can do in their business contracts is specify pricing terms for the products to be sold. Why are Apple computers and iPods the same price no matter where they're sold? Look to the contracts that Apple signs with distributors and retailers. Yes, a retailer still has the ability to sell a product at whatever price it chooses, but if it's violating the terms of the business contract it signed to get that product, it shouldn't expect to get more stock in the future. The retailer knows the terms going in, and if it disagrees with the terms, it shouldn't carry the product.

Why do companies set pricing terms? For multiple reasons, but two are important for this discussion. First, they want give their products a certain image. An article on the Starbucks coffee chain that I read recently noted that you'll never see sales or discounts for its drinks. A quote from the article: "[Starbucks chairman Howard] Schultz wants you to view his product as the epitome of opulence."

Take this line from the Mayfair press release: "Our wares are special, unique, premium games." You might disagree with this assessment, but that's the image Mayfair wants to present. Mayfair can't compete on price with Hasbro because it doesn't produce games in the millions; what's more, it doesn't even want to pretend to compete on price. It has a specialty item unavailable elsewhere (in English) and it wants buyers to think of its products in those terms.

Mayfair isn't alone in this regard. The typical Spiel des Jahres winner is heavily discounted during the holidays and available in hundreds of non-game stores across Germany. When Ticket to Ride won SdJ in 2004, Days of Wonder refused to adopt a deep discount policy and offered the game to retailers only on its standard terms. Many retailers balked, and the game appeared in fewer locations than most SdJ winners. Days of Wonder doesn't want to sell discount games to looky-loos on the hunt for a bargain; it wants to sell beautiful games to customers again and again.

Besides, what would customers think when Ticket to Ride: Europe debuted at €40 after they saw Ticket to Ride advertised for, say, €25 all over the place? They'd probably feel like they were being taken advantage of, a feeling that gamers have today when thinking about being charged (gasp!) only 20% off the MSRP of Mayfair products.

As for the impact of this reduced retailer discount, how does it actually play out in practical terms? For a game with a $50 retail, a 20% discount equals $40 while a 35% discount brings the price down to $32.50 — a difference of $7.50. That's what all the fuss is about?! I don't know about the rest of you, but my wife and I spend far more than that when we go out for dinner — or even just for ice cream after dinner. Skip a $5 appetizer at some family restaurant and after tax and tip are worked in, you'll have saved the $7.50 needed to pay the exorbitant price now charged for a Mayfair big box game (not to mention saving yourself and your family the negative health effects of a deep-fried Texas Tonion). Alternatively, don't take a flyer on some cheap card game (just because it's cheap), and you'll be able to get the game you really want.

If you bought three Mayfair games per year, you'd spend maybe $20 more — or the equivalent of one game, for those who automatically equate money with games. (I'll admit to doing so.) Mayfair is gambling that people have enough room in their budget to spend an extra $20 annually, a safe bet I feel sure.

As for the second reason that companies set pricing terms, they want to develop and perpetuate a certain business environment for the sale and continued growth of their games. Mayfair Games believes that brick-and-mortar stores provide a better environment for the introduction of its games to new players, so it's adopting policies to put that belief into action — or rather it's continuing such policies. Mayfair has already had a demo game program in which stores that order a certain small number of games can receive a free copy to be used for demonstration purposes.

Many gamers can give examples of people who they personally introduced to hobby games, and some present themselves as individuals who discovered hobby games through an online retailer. Great, wonderful — but you are not representative of game buyers en masse. Most people will not find hobby games through a random Internet search, and even those who are taught their first hobby game by a friend will benefit from the services of a real world game store. As Chad Ellis wrote in his BGG post, "My sales to people who already know about Battleground is probably only helped by discounters...but my ability to grow the market of Battleground players is hurt whenever a FLGS decides not to carry it."

In general, brick-and-mortar stores do a wonderful job of "gamer education", converting interested passers-by into gamers. Educating customers takes employee time, which equals money, and a retailer hopes that investment pays off so that customers learn how to navigate a store on their own, leaving employees free to assist and educate new customers. If customers head to deep-discount online retailers as they become more educated, the stores lose out on that investment and will be less willing or able to offer it in the future.

Mayfair undoubtedly has a better handle on the game industry and what it needs to do to ensure its future than any handful of people whose experience consists solely of purchasing and playing games. Its policy change has already engendered notices of support from multiple retailers who have said they'll demo Mayfair games more because they'll be less likely in the future to lose customers solely on the basis of price.

Sure, Mayfair might lose a few customers in the short term, but those who make purchasing decisions solely or primarily on the basis of price are the worst kind of customer that a business can have. These customers want low-cost goods, but they complain if the goods look or feel low-cost; they have no loyalty and make each decision on a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately basis; they value a great deal over a great product; their cheapness is matched only by their volume when complaining about how they were done wrong by some predatory company.

Businesses can't make decisions based on the whims of this unreliable group. From Mayfair's point of view, these people make up a small percentage of BGG visitors, who are themselves a speck among the number of people who play games worldwide. When you're hunting for elephants, you can't let yourself be bothered by the swarming of gnats...

P.S.: Marcus King, owner of Titan Games & Music, posted the following story in an industry forum that devotes a lot of resources and advice to game retailers. I reprint the story (lightly edited) with his permission:

Quote:
On a not completely unrelated topic, last evening, after posting the earlier thanks to Mayfair, I had a couple come into my store and ask the sales clerk on duty: "Uh, we are looking for a settlers of Cat-On."

Since my sales clerk is not as knowledgable on games as I am, I stepped out and had a good conversation with the couple, in their late 40s, who wanted to find the Cat-On Game.

I showed them the game, discussed its playability, and asked how they heard of it. It was for their son, returning from a tour in Iraq, and he wanted it. They then expressed absolute sticker shock when I showed them it was $38.00.

The father was a bit surprised that a "game" could cost $38.00. Why they had just bought a nephew a set of Monopoly for $14.99 at a TRU in Kalamazoo!! How could this (smaller) game be worth more money!?!?

I asked them how often they played their favorite game. They were a bit surprised by the question, so I asked them whether they played cards, bowled, bingo, paintball or volleyball. This confused them more. I explained that all of these were examples of "playing a game" — though the games were far different, they were all games.

I went on to explain that Monopoly and Settlers of Catan were not competing products. That Settlers of Catan was a game product that competed for their time with a video rental, or maybe playing Euchre with friends. I also said, "I am not sure I really like this game, I haven't decided yet. I have played it only about 500 times." They laughed, then I explained that I was not exaggerating — I had played Settlers about two or three times a week for about four years.

They asked why I wasn't bored with the game, so I went into the replayability factor of having a randomly generated board with the tiles, and how starting positions were taken, etc. I further went on to say that if they played Catan only ten times, it would have cost them less than $2 per player, per game. I also mentioned that most people who played and enjoyed the Catan series of games played it more than ten times.

Then I closed with my best pitch: "If you buy this game and play it — and decide you don't like it — I will take a return on it, opened and played, for a full refund."

They bought two copies, one for their son and one for them. They are coming to our next game night to play Pillars of the Earth, too.

•••

Okay, that was a long diversion — yet it wasn't a diversion at all as everything that I stated in that column is still true. Far from going out of business due to people boycotting its titles, Mayfair Games increased sales of Catan year after year after year. In 2013, Mayfair Games decreased retailers' maximum advertised discount to 10%, and in January 2016 it [thread=49680]sold the English-language publishing rights to Catan to ANA[/thread]. (The purchase price has not been announced; one figure I've heard — $20 million — would equal roughly $1 per Catan item sold since its debut in 1995 as Catan GmbH reports sales of more than 23 million copies Catan items, including expansions. Fenton, by the way, now heads Catan Studio, a publishing studio within ANA that oversees all things Catan.)

Asmodee North America will likely be similarly affected after lowering the discount at which online retailers can purchase ANA titles — and by "similarly affected", I mean "barely affected at all". ANA has stated that it will not "institute or impose official price floors or 'minimum advertised price' policies" on its authorized retailers, but the effect of lowering discounts works roughly the same way as a MAP, lowering the discount at which an online retailer will offer games to buyers.

Petersen understands that some people will buy fewer ANA titles as a result of these changes. At GTS 2016, ANA Executive Projects Manager Anton Torres got in hot water when he stated on livestream broadcasts from both The Dice Tower and BGG that ANA would prefer that people buy two games under the new policy than ten under the old. While I understand the point he was trying to make — better a small number of enthusiastic fans than a mass of indifferent volume buyers — Petersen refuted Torres' statement, noting that Torres is not part of the business-side of ANA and stating that he is fine with people buying however many games they want, whether they treat them as doorstops or actually play the games.

At the same time, Petersen says that ANA isn't looking solely at sales volume when trying to determine what's best for its long-term health. More specifically, he said, "If all we cared about was moving units, we could sell games direct to buyers for 50% off MSRP and move far more than we do now." That's not ideal for long-term growth, though, because all you're doing with an operation like that is selling to an existing customer base instead of working with retailers to introduce your games to new people. To quote Petersen again from the ICv2 article:

Quote:
The most significant obstacle in the growth and perceived value of the gaming business is the need for players to find other players, and for new players to enter the hobby. I estimate that the hobby loses between 10-20% of its players every year, so the creation of new players into the hobby is vital for every participant to have a thriving marketplace and have exciting new products developed.

Petersen understands that some will boycott ANA based on these new policies, but he doesn't care. Okay, he probably wouldn't say that directly, instead stating that this is a business decision that reflects long-term goals, yada yada yada, but this would be my interpretation of his statement: "You do whatever you feel is necessary when determining which games to purchase, just as you've always done in the past with everything else you've purchased, whether game, soap, cereal, or slacks. For our part, we need to do whatever we feel is necessary when determining how much to charge for the games that we produce so that we can be in a position to continue to produce games far into the future. Ideally you'll still buy our games, and we'll do our best to produce games that merit your attention, but if not, I hope you can at least understand what we're trying to do."

As I stated in the Mayfair Games post, people who announce such boycotts and stick to them "make up a small percentage of BGG visitors, who are themselves a speck among the number of people who play games worldwide". Yes, BoardGameGeek is the largest game site in the world, with more than 3.5 million users in any thirty day period, with a plugged-in userbase that often knows more about what's coming out when from which designers than those who own the game stores in their town — but these BGG users are not representative of the larger world of game buyers because most games are bought by people who have never heard of BGG.

In a March 2016 BGG News post, for example, I quoted designer Fréderic Moyersoen saying that sales in the Saboteur line have reached a total of 1,400,000 copies, and a BGG user subsequently noted that BGGers list ownership of only 27,121 of those copies, roughly 2% of the total. Similarly, at Spielwarenmesse 2016 Mayfair Games noted to me that Moyersoen's Nuns on the Run — a game rarely talked about or logged as played on BGG — is on its sixth printing and such a consistent seller that the publisher is considering an expansion for the future. Catan, as mentioned earlier, has sales of more than 23 million items across the line, whereas BGG ownership for all of Catan is roughly 300,000 items — just over 1%. Heck, as I noted in the initial ANA announcement about its sales policy changes, Days of Wonder claims to have sold more than three million Ticket to Ride games, while no more than 175,000 TtR items of any type are listed as owned by BGG users.

No, not all BGGers record their collection online, but if you double these figures, the larger point remains: The pool of existing gamers is vast, far beyond what we see on our ever-busy site, and the pool of potential gamers-to-be dwarfs this number multiple times over. That larger pool of gamers and potential gamers is who ANA is shooting to serve years down the road by instituting these policies, and however much some people might complain or wish otherwise, the problems of some percentage of these three million little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that...
Twitter Facebook
771 Comments
Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:30 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
63 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2016: Islebound, City of Iron, Aura, Victory or Death, and Quartermaster General: Alternate Histories

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• Designer Ian Brody has won great acclaim for his self-pulbished Quartermaster General, and now he's taking players into battle in a whole new era in Victory or Death: The Peloponnesian War from The Plastic Soldier Company.





• Speaking of which, France and China join the action in Quartermaster General: Alternate Histories from Brody's Griggling Games. I thought that with the 1980s long behind us, I'd seen the end of misused "Я"s as "R"s, but apparently that graphic element will never go out of style. (I'm not bugged by the graphics in Elysium, but I studied Russian in college, not Greek; sometimes ignorance protects you from outrage.)





• Designer/illustrator/publisher Ryan Laukat of Red Raven Games wanted to paint ships, so he designed a game that would give him that opportunity, with the added bonus that characters in Islebound can also be used as characters in his previous game, Above and Below.





• Laukat also talked about the second edition of City of Iron, which includes some elements of a previously separate expansion, thereby messing with our clean and ordered database listings.





• This overview of Michael Orion's Aura from Breaking Games was the one that most had me going from "I know nothing about this game" to "I really want to try this". I'm a sucker for card games, after all...

Twitter Facebook
21 Comments
Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
58 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Links: Funding, Broadcasting, and Designing Tabletop Games

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• In old news that I forgot to link to months ago, tabletop games raised nearly twice as much financial support on Kickstarter in 2015 as video games ($88 million to $46 million), according to SiliconANGLE, with ten percent of the tabletop funding coming from the Exploding Kittens campaign. An excerpt from the article:

Quote:
Perhaps one of the most interesting statistics to come Kickstarter’s report is the fact while tabletop games raised twice as much money as video games and were nearly three times as likely to be funded, the total number of backers was not significantly different between the two. Tabletop campaigns were backed by 522,061 people, whereas video game campaigns were backed by 480,382 people, a difference of only around 8 percent.

• MCM Central, organizer of MCM London Comic Con, plans to broadcast the 24-hour-a-day show Strategy: The Table Top Gaming Event from the Telford International Centre starting Thursday, August 25 and ending Sunday, August 28. From the press release: "Positioned after Gen Con Indy, Strategy provides an ideal opportunity for a European platform to showcase upcoming games and new releases. The show will feature board games, card games, miniatures games and roleplaying games — plus dedicated tournament and playing space." The show will be hosted by Rob Hooley, former organized play manager for Upper Deck International and former events manager for Konami Europe's Yu-Gi-Oh! card game.

• The River Falls Journal in Wisconsin profiled Booty designer Alexander Cobian in Dec. 2015, and it's the type of local press that designers should always seek out as it introduces the idea of modern games to people who aren't already in the know, in turn creating an audience for the very thing being featured.

• I ran across a post on Facebook in February 2016 that announced a new service for Spiel 2016 that will package and ship your games so that you can avoid playing luggage Tetris or make travel easier on yourself should you be wandering around Europe — but the link that I sent myself no longer works, so we'll just have to keep our eyes out for news of this service in the future.

• I've linked to many posts from designer Grant Rodiek recently, but he keeps writing things that stick with me, so here's another article from him, one that separates flavor from theme and boils theme down into two principles:

-----—The experience has a narrative arc.
-----—Player actions are indicative of the theme, and you do things in character.

(This article is #9 of Rodiek's The 54 Card Guild series in which he writes about creating a game that consists of at most 54 cards, while inviting readers to join the process and create something themselves, too.)

• Speaking of thematic, in Feb. 2016 the Israeli game blog Pundak published a long interview with Roberto Di Meglio of Ares Games. Di Meglio details the fall of Nexus, discusses the focus of Ares Games ("create beautiful thematic games"), and tells a few great stories, such as this detail about the design of War of the Ring:

Quote:
Another key feature of the game — the original system used to move the Fellowship — started as a "crazy idea" in one of the earliest brainstorming sessions, which was immediately embraced by all the three designers. We had a very tough challenge to achieve to provide a "realistic" experience. In the books, Sauron has no clue about the fact that the Free Peoples want to destroy the Ring; in the game, the Sauron player knows this perfectly well! How to deal with such a contradiction, and at the same time create a good simulation of the books?

This was achieved through the combination of the Hunt system, the Fellowship movement system, and the action dice system in general. Sauron cannot "attack" the Fellowship; he can just "hunt for the Ring" and decide how much attention is given to that, and how much attention to the war — allocating Hunt dice. But he is obsessed by the Ring — so he does not have perfect control of this choice. And the hidden movement system (somebody says it's the Schrödinger's Fellowship — you never know where it is, until you find it) makes the Fellowship somewhat "out of sight" for both players.

And regarding the tenth anniversary edition of War of the Ring, Di Meglio says, "Warriors of Middle-earth is going to have a painted edition. And we are planning a third — and final — expansion after that, and we want it to have a painted version, too. After that, I like the idea of getting everything together in one box — but maybe such a 'monster edition' will be impossible to create and sell, so that's far from a sure thing."

Twitter Facebook
13 Comments
Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
62 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2016: Back to the Future, Star Trek: Frontiers, TMNT Dice Masters, Chronicles 1: Origins, and Tesla vs. Edison: Powering Up!

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• We're not quite living in the future these days given that our hoverboards don't actually hover, so designers Matt Riddle and Ben Pinchback and publisher IDW Games are taking us Back to the Future with a card game that has you jumping back and forth across the decades to complete missions with certain well-known characters.





• Designer Dirk Knemeyer from Artana showed off Tesla vs. Edison: Powering Up!, an expansion for Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents that draws more figures from history onto the playing table.





• Knemeyer also talked about the continuing development efforts on Chronicles 1: Origins that Artana plans to release...at some point. As he mentions in the video, despite making release date promises in the past, the development team is in a "It'll be done when it's done" frame of mind right now and just wants to focus on making it as good as they can.





• Yesterday I posted an overview of Star Trek Panic; now we feature another of the fiftieth anniversary games coming out in 2016 — Star Trek: Frontiers from designers Vlaada Chvátil and Andrew Parks and publisher WizKids Games, with this game similarly being a mash-up of the Trek IP with a pre-existing game, in this case Mage Knight Board Game.





• At GTS 2016, WizKids Games also showed off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dice Masters, the latest iteration in the Dice Masters series from Eric M. Lang and Mike Elliott, with this being a single big box item that includes everything in one go. WizKids' Scot D'Agostino also gives an intro to the TMNT HeroClix Mouser Mayhem! Starter Set. So many turtles! I like turtles!

Twitter Facebook
32 Comments
Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:49 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
70 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2016: Star Trek Panic, Munchkin Marvel, Mystic Vale, Guildhall Fantasy, and Love Letter Premium

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
USAopoly announced Star Trek Panic in Feb. 2016 to much excitement, and one aspect of the announcement that I found interesting was the realization of how many companies have a license to produce Star Trek-related games. In addition to this one, Gale Force Nine plans to release Star Trek: Ascendancy (covering fifty years of ST series) and WizKids Games has Star Trek: Frontiers, in addition to its ongoing Star Trek: Attack Wing series. I keep thinking that one company receives a license and has a lock on the market, but clearly that's not the case, as also evidenced by competing Godfather games.





• Just as Star Trek Panic mashes Castle Panic with USAopoly's game license for Star Trek, Munchkin Marvel mashes Munchkin with that publisher's game license for the Marvel Comics universe. However ubiquitous Munchkin already is in game stores, a license like this will introduce the game to tens of thousands of people who never would have heard of the game otherwise.





• Deck-building games might seem old hat at this point, even though the genre is less than ten years old, but Alderac Entertainment Group is introducing a new iteration of the genre in June 2016 thanks to the card-crafting system at the heart of John D. Clair's Mystic Vale. Instead of building a deck (as your MV deck never grows or shrinks from twenty cards), players now build the cards themselves within their deck.

The video below presents an overview of the game, and while setting up for another game demo, AEG's Todd Rowland mentioned that Clair first brought the publisher a sprawling game design that included card-crafting as one element within a much larger whole. Not wanting to bury the lede, they worked together to extract that element and create a game that featured card-crafting front and center. Thus, Mystic Vale.





• Alderac has a history of taking its own games and reinventing them (Doomtown: Reloaded, Thunderstone, L5R — although that was constant reinvention within the same line), and it's doing this once again with Hope S. Hwang's Guildhall, which debuted in 2012 and had one standalone sequel in 2013. Now that first game is being rejiggered as Guildhall Fantasy: Fellowship in June 2016, with two other standalone games — Guildhall Fantasy: Alliance and Guildhall Fantasy: Coalition — to follow in July and August.





Love Letter Premium is not a reinvention of Seiji Kanai's Love Letter, but an expansion of it — in two ways. First, the components are bigger and fancier. Second, the game includes more cards, allowing for up to eight players to compete at the same time. As AEG's Rowland notes on the video, the components that allow for play with up to eight will also be released for the normal-sized Love Letter. What's more, Kanai will be on hand at Gen Con 2016, where AEG will hold a Kanai-centered Big Game Night event.

Twitter Facebook
18 Comments
Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:18 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
81 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Game Previews from GAMA Trade Show 2016: Crazy Karts, Robinson Crusoe, Fast & Fhtagn, Heart of Crown, and Naruto Shippuden: The BoardGame

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
BoardGameGeek broadcast game demos live for sixteen hours over two days at the 2016 GAMA Trade Show, and now we've chopped up those videos into individual segments so that you can more easily find coverage of the games that interest you. I'm starting to publish these videos on BGG's YouTube channel, and they'll also show up on the proper game pages in the BGG database over the next few days. I'll also highlight some of the videos that we recorded in BGG News posts over the next few days, as with the recent post about Eric M. Lang's Bloodborne: The Card Game from Cool Mini Or Not.

• For us, GTS 2016 started with Marcin Ropka from Portal Games introducing us to Charles-Amir Perret's Crazy Karts, a racing game in which players compete in teams of two, with each teammate controlling half of the operations on their kart but not being able to communicate with their teammate when doing so.





• At Spielwarenmesse 2016, I recorded an overview of 51st State: Master Set with designer Ignacy Trzewiczek, talking about what's changed with the core game and how expansions have been integrated into it. At GTS 2016, Ropka showed off the final look for this game, which is moving closer to production.





• Ropka also talked about the new English-language edition of Trzewiczek's Robinson Crusoe that Portal Games will release in September 2016, with this "Game of the Year" edition featuring a new cover by Vincent Dutrait, fancy-shaped wooden bits, the "King Kong" scenario, thicker character sheets, rewritten rules, and other small changes.





• In early March 2016, I posted a written overview of Naruto Shippuden: The Board Game from designers Nicolas Badoux and Cyril Marchiol, but if video is your thing, at GTS 2016 Rich Gain from Japanime Games showed off the design and explained what you'll be doing in this game world with Naruto and the other characters.





• Japanime Games also showed off the deck-building game Heart of Crown, which debuted in Japan in 2011 from FLIPFLOPs to great acclaim, multiple expansions, and a standalone sequel. As in many DBGs, in Heart of Crown players buy new cards to build an engine, but the long-term goal is to claim one of the available princesses — each of whom has a special, unique power — then build up succession points in order to seat that princess on the throne.





• Jeff Tidball from Atlas Games presented the card game Fast & Fhtagn, his Lovecraftian mash-up with elements of the Fast & Furious movie franchise, with players racing through the city streets while encountering (or avoiding!) obstacles from worlds unknown.

Twitter Facebook
16 Comments
Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
63 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Eric M. Lang Rhapsodizes about Bloodborne: The Card Game from Cool Mini Or Not

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
flag msg tools
admin
designer
• Many games were announced at the 2016 GAMA Trade Show, with the one causing the most excitement being Bloodborne: The Card Game, a card game coming from Eric M. Lang and Cool Mini Or Not. Lang described the game in some detail on camera while BGG was livestreaming from GTS, and I nodded along as best I could given that I know nothing about video games and had never heard of Bloodborne previously. That video is included below, and for those who prefer the written word, I present this gameplay summary:

Quote:
Based on the Chalice Dungeons in the video game Bloodborne — the expansive sewer and lost city areas that sprawl below the great city of Yharnam, where horrifying creatures reside — players in the card game Bloodborne compete to kill monsters and take their blood.

In general, Bloodborne is a game about risk management with a bit of group think, inventory management/upgrades, and tactical play. Each turn, one monster chosen at random attacks players, who fight back as a team, with everyone playing a card from their hand simultaneously to attempt to kill the monster. Players collect blood from the monster, assuming it dies, based on how much damage they dealt. Monsters can fight back with exploding dice that can potentially deal infinite damage.

Players can fight as long as they want, but if they die in combat, they lose their progress. Players can opt out of fighting to bank their blood and save it permanently. Collected blood counts as victory points.

Says designer Eric M. Lang, "My goal with Bloodborne was to channel the intensity and frustration of the video game into a contest between players. Lots of death."

Twitter Facebook
32 Comments
Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:23 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

[1]  Prev «  2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6  Next »  [209]

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.