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Subject: Tell me about Z-Man games rss

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Adam Starkweather
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Hey BGGers,

What can you guys tell me about Z-Man games? I know nothing about them and have a professional reason for asking.

Like their games? What have they made that you like and why?

Component quality?

Game Support?

Pricing?

Anything else? Please give me your opinion about these guys.

Thanks,

Adam
 
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Matthew Wills
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Why not just go to the individual game pages of the games they publish and see what people's comments and ratings have been?
 
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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I don't think I have a game with higher component quality than End of the Triumvirate.

When my son scribbled on the backs of a couple of cards from Saboteur, they sent me replacements.

They and their developers are great about answering rules questions here.

Zev Shlasinger is credited in one of my favorite miniatures games.

They're reprinting Rette Sich Wer Kann, and I'm totally buying it.

So, I love 'em, and if your professional reason involves anything sinister, I'll kick you in the nuts.


EDIT: by "developers" I mean "designers," and by "designers" I mean "Simon Hunt," who (in addition to Zev) actively supports Take Stock and other Z-Man games.
 
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Needle
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I've had some dealings with Zev and he comes across as a genuine, decent bloke.

gooBut yes, why ARE you asking?goo
 
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Mike Cooper
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If I had to guess, I'd say Mr. Starkweather has a game he's shopping around and thinks Z-Man would be interested.

Based on Simon Hunt's gregariousness lately and his introduction of the production of Take Stock, I'd probably do the same.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Of course, my opinion of Mr. Hunt may be biased due to pre-game buzz by Kevin Ellingson when I visited Sacramento earlier this year, the Take Stock contest, and the puzzles Simon posted that made me pull my hair out. Plantagenet?
 
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Adam Starkweather
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Thanks guys...

I am a game designer and developer...just looking to see if they are good people is all.

Adam
 
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J. Green
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Zev of Z-man has one of the keenest eyes for top games I've ever seen. He doesn't publish based on what he thinks will sell, he publishes games that he *knows* are *good*. He's a gamer and plays games and he puts out the games that people will play in attractive, quality editions. The games he publishes are not flash in the pan Essen darlings, they're the gems of the hobby. I don't buy games based on the designer name, but I will, at this point, buy anything he chooses to publish. I think there's only been a couple of duds in the lot, and those are personal preference on my part.

Oh, so the upshot of my wordy post is, by all means give it a go, but you'll have to convince *him* with a stellar game with airtight gameplay; don't worry about trying to figure out whether to grace Zev with your presence or not.
blush

laugh

 
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Joe Casadonte
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adamant wrote:
I am a game designer and developer...just looking to see if they are good people is all.


I've met Zev a couple of times and he has always struck me as a very decent person. Hope to see him again next week, as a matter of fact. As far as the games, the production quality has been quite good on the ones that I own. A lot of his games aren't my cup of tea, though, but having said that, there are at least 5 games of his that have come out within the last year, or will be coming out in the next few months, that I'd very much like to try, and one that I know I will be purchasing. Which simply means he has a broad line of games, I guess.


joe
 
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Adam Starkweather
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Sounds great, guys...forgive me being a novice in how to find things and humor me a little more...

Does Z-Man Games have any light wargames in their stable? Something like M'44 - maybe up to Hammer of the Scots or Twilight Struggle? Something in that range?
 
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Zev Shlasinger
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adamant wrote:
Sounds great, guys...forgive me being a novice in how to find things and humor me a little more...

Does Z-Man Games have any light wargames in their stable? Something like M'44 - maybe up to Hammer of the Scots or Twilight Struggle? Something in that range?


****Thank you all for the kind words - I'll get to the Siena comment in a moment

Your best bet is to visit my website to see the range of games I publish. The only game I have published that can be considered a wargame is The End of the Triumvirate (some will argue Reef Encounter is a wargame too . However, I do like wargames so I will consider looking at it. However, understand that for a wargame, it really needs to be good, hopefully has a unique twist in combat or some other area and preferably is not set in an era that has been done a lot (WW2 for example).

My submission policy is listed on the website too.

Zev Shlasinger, President
Z-Man Games, Inc.
www.zmangames.com
 
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J. Green
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Yes, Z-man published a great three player wargame called The End of the Triumvirate that has been described by others as "a knife fight in a telephone booth" and is well liked by eurogamers as well as 'ameritrash' fans.

Here's a link to Z-man's published games:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/search.php3?publisherid=538
 
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Zev Shlasinger
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generalpf wrote:
bookgnome wrote:
Zev of Z-man has one of the keenest eyes for top games I've ever seen. He doesn't publish based on what he thinks will sell, he publishes games that he *knows* are *good*.

Then how the hell do you explain Siena?


***I understand you don't like the game (I have seen you mention this in several posts) and don't expect everyone to like every game. I happen to be proud of it due to its uniqueness, even though I would have done some things differently. But I kept my faith in the designer's view of the game and am not ashamed by the result.

You don't like it - that's cool. I do. It has sold very well. And I still get people coming up to me telling me how much they liked it (and yes, some people point to the game and look at me shaking their hand. C'est la vie).

I guess there is no real point to my response except to say that I hear you.

Zev Shlasinger, President
Z-Man Games, Inc.
www.zmangames.com
 
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Marc B.
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Zman wrote:
generalpf wrote:
Then how the hell do you explain Siena?


***I understand you don't like the game (I have seen you mention this in several posts) and don't expect everyone to like every game. I happen to be proud of it due to its uniqueness, even though I would have done some things differently. But I kept my faith in the designer's view of the game and am not ashamed by the result.

You don't like it - that's cool. I do. It has sold very well. And I still get people coming up to me telling me how much they liked it (and yes, some people point to the game and look at me shaking their hand. C'est la vie).

I guess there is no real point to my response except to say that I hear you.

Zev Shlasinger, President
Z-Man Games, Inc.
www.zmangames.com


Very courteous response!

I own several Z-Man games and have been very happy with the quality and presentation of all of them. The only issue I've ever had was a print problem with a couple cards in Dungeonville and Zev addressed it and sent a full set of the deed cards to rectify it in record time! One of my preferred publishers!

Marc
 
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Jeremy Carlson
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Zev is a very kewl guy. I can speak from experience in game submission. A couple of years ago, I submitted my boardgame to him to look at. He was going through a move at the time, and my game was misplaced. No worries here, cause I just thought that he didn't like it. Then a few months ago, I got an email from him saying that he found it, and had given it to his playtesters. While he chose not to publish it, he sent the copy back to me (which most companies will not do), along with all of the review material about what the playtesters thought.

This to me shows that Zev and those at Z-man games really care. It had been like 2 years, and he still looked through the game and I had some great written feedback. I am a non-experienced game designer, and he found the time to look at my game. I can't say enough about Zev. A personal thanks for that, Zev.

While I only own one of his games, Reef Encounter, its fantastic production quality and game play will always make me look at what he is putting out. I would highly recommend dealing with Z-man Games.
 
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Less snark is my goal.
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adamant wrote:
Hey BGGers,

What can you guys tell me about Z-Man games? I know nothing about them and have a professional reason for asking.

I like Zev a lot. I've struck deals with him on games before and never been unhappy. He also donated some stuff to a recent scout event I had some games at. His was the most generous donation of any of the companies I asked for help.

adamant wrote:
Like their games? What have they made that you like and why?

The B-movie card games are a lot of fun. They're sort of munchkiny in that you can combine different genres and there are a lot of jokes but I think they are better games (and better jokes) than Munchkin. I love Santiago, Primordial Soup, Street Illegal and Reef Encounter. They sell good games at a fair price.

adamant wrote:
Component quality?

I own many Z-man titles and I can't think of one where I've had a complaint about components.

adamant wrote:
Game Support?

The support is great. Questions are answered within 24 hours most of the time and I've seen numerous stories about Zev going the extra mile for customer service.

adamant wrote:
Pricing?

I've never bought a Z-man Game and thought "I paid how much" when I opened the box and saw the components. In fact, a couple of games (Santiago and Parthenon) I was surprised at how good a deal I got given components and quality.

adamant wrote:
Anything else? Please give me your opinion about these guys.

Great company.
 
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Jim Pulles
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I have never played a Z-Man game I didn't like (including Siena) and I'm pretty sure that No Thanks will become our Club's filler game of the year.

I just wish that their Canadian distribution was a little better. We're still awaiting Take Stock, Silk Road, and The End of the Triumvirate at local shops.

As long as they let me call them 'Zed-Man' games instead of 'Zee-Man' (which somehow reminds me of ships and camels), I'll keep buying them.
 
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Shane Tapp
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To sum up the sheer beauty of Z-man games and the quality/beauty of their products I offer one word.

Shadowfist.

Zev has always been dedicated to being an involved part of the players' comments and suggestions regarding Z-Man games. Though not directly, Zev was an integral part of my regaining faith in CCG games. Through a common acquiantance (littlemute of woodenmen.org) I learned how serious Zev had been about supporting the players of his games. From what I have heard, Zev is a stand-up and shake your hand kind of guy that is genuinely just as happy talking with fans of his games as he is doing anything else. An asset to the industry to be sure.

Zev - remember http://www.woodenmen.org/shadowfist/ ?
It's still going!!!
 
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Paul Schoenherr
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What kind of deals to Z-man do with the designers if the game gets published? I have a few filler games I might consider showing... cool
 
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Mark Goadrich
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I also recommend Z-Man as a great publisher. Of all publishers I've submitted games to, he was the most responsive to email inquiries and gave great and honest playtesting feedback on my prototype. The games he publishes have great production values, and he's very supportive of first-time designers, as seen from his recent publishing of Gheos and Take Stock.
 
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Jorge Montero
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IMO, if there's any problem with Z-Man's games is the rulebooks. I can think of more than a few examples where the rules are unclear, or just laid out in a way that doesn't make learning easy. I've heard that he's putting more emphasis on that though.

Other than that, he's printing all kinds of good, solid euros that were getting overlooked by more popular publishers. Santiago, Reef Encounter, Fairy Tale... all kinds of good stuff.
 
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steve
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interesting thread here.. good stuff.. I'll definitely check them out on my next FLGS visit.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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hibikir wrote:
IMO, if there's any problem with Z-Man's games is the rulebooks. .....
.... Reef Encounter,


You didn't specify which games, but think Reef Encounter (and perhaps Sienna) is an example that is often mentioned when discussing rulebooks.

As far as I know - Z-Man in both instances republished the game with the previously existing rulebooks. Reef Encounter is a verbatim copy of R&D's original rulebook, so the issue with those rules should not rest with Z-Man. (Unless, of course, rewriting the rules is part of the reprint process in your mind.)

Edit - (WAG here) - If the rules of any potential game Adam solicits are at all like the ones in A Victory Lost, I wouldn't worry about this issue.
 
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Catherine von Xlorp
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Publishing Baby's First Mythos makes them good guys in my book. goo
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Zman wrote:
adamant wrote:
Sounds great, guys...forgive me being a novice in how to find things and humor me a little more...


...The only game I have published that can be considered a wargame is The End of the Triumvirate (some will argue Reef Encounter is a wargame too .


What about Warchon?
 
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Peter Stein
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I once played Zev in a game of Napoleonic Wars at GMT East. What more do you need to know?
 
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