5 Quick Questions About Mercenaries from Pearson Games

5 Quick Questions About Mercenaries from Pearson Games

Editor’s Note: As a kind of content geek, I try new formats. So, here’s a new interviewette for tabletop designers. We promise no TL;DR.

Let’s see how the Ryan Pearson of Pearson Games, designer of Mercenaries does, shall we?


BGB: Attention is money, my friend. What is the elevator pitch for Mercenaries?

Ryan Pearson: Mercenaries is a deck-building RPG with tactical movement, skirmish and dungeon crawling elements. Each player is a Mercenary, seeking to delve into a dungeon or location to clear out Monsters. As these are not grand heroes of valor- they only care about themselves. Only the player who lands the killing blow gets the EXP and victory points. Players use the EXP to buy new cards for their deck- which they’ll need to as monsters they kill also end up in their deck, gumming it up with cards that don’t do anything (until the end of the game for victory points). That combined with the games 6 x 6 grid and movement means you can manipulate other players by making it harder for them to reach a monster- or let something nasty charge towards them!

BGB: Making games is hard work, so you best have a great reason for making this thing. What inspired this game?

Ryan Pearson: Me (Ryan) and Colin (my Uncle) have had a long love of boardgames and RPGs including D&D, Descent, Summoner Wars, Dominion, Battlelore, Thunderstone, and (for more mature gamers) Hero Quest. We’d always make house rules to games to fix balancing issues, give them more bite or to get them just how we liked them. In a sort of epiphany moment, I exclaimed to Colin one day, “That’s exactly the mindset people who makes games have. Why don’t we?” So we did. We took inspiration from what we love about the games we like and used it as a basis for Mercenaries.

BGB: There are too many games out there. What hole in my game collection does this fill?

Ryan Pearson: We noticed that no game combined deck-building (a deck that cycles through constantly that you can add to) with tactical movement. It was always a pre-fixed deck or no battlefield. Further, deck-building games often rely on currency you have in your hand at that time. Making the focus of the game balancing your offense to kill monsters (or just beat their number a’la Top Trumps) and currency to buy new stuff. It lacks the bite of an RPG or a TCG – which is then often buffed up with random elements like dice rolls – and can be finished in half an hour. With Mercenaries, Monsters don’t just vanish as soon as they see a bigger number – you’ve got to whittle them down. You can buy cards for your deck as long as you meet the conditions (have enough EXP and specific requirements for each type of card – i.e., Healing Potions can only be purchased after you kill something).

The game is for longer gaming sessions with plenty of strategy, that doesn’t require a splatbook or endless notes. And the only luck is from what you draw (which you can manipulate with what you put in your deck and cards you play) and who ranged monsters target. If you thought Dominion, Thunderstone, or Descent needed to have a bit more going on, Mercenaries will satisfy that craving.

BGB: This is Boardgame Babylon, so out with your dirty secrets. What DON’T you want to tell me about this game?

Ryan Pearson: We’re planning to support it with free content. Sure we will have expansions packs which can be purchased, but we’re going to upload our own combinations of Monsters, Abilities, Skills, and Room cards for more adventures. And if fans email in their own combinations for adventures, we are happy to host them! So, while the base set of Mercenaries has 4 adventures, that number can grow once you cultivate more.

So there’s that, and that we are more like brothers than uncle & nephew. That includes the teasing.

BGB: Thanks for telling us a bit about Mercenaries. Let’s wrap up with the key specifics (play time, number of players, and the link to the game) and also, since I think you can tell a lot about a person by understanding their sense of humor, what’s a good joke to close this interviewette?

Ryan Pearson: The game supports 2 to 4 players (5 if you include a DM to control the monsters) and can be played competitively or cooperatively. The game has 4 adventures which take approximately 3 hours to complete.

You can find out more about us at our website, which has links to the game and store.  You can also email us with questions.

Joke Time
Colin likes the classic jokes. A horse walks into a bar. The barman asks “Why the long face?”

DISCLOSURE: Boardgame Babylon is not liable for damage to your sensibilities from the jokes these game designers submit.

PRESS RELEASE: Janken Deck offers a new dimension to card games LIVE ON KICKSTARTER

PRESS RELEASE: Janken Deck offers a new dimension to card games LIVE ON KICKSTARTER

What would card games be like if the suits outranked each other like in Rock, Paper, Scissors? That was the question that led artist Jeffrey Daymont to create a new deck of playing cards, the Janken Deck. The deck uses five suits: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Water and Lizard. Each suit is “Stronger” than two other suits (Rock blunts Scissors and crushes Lizard) but is “Weaker” than the two others (Paper covers and Water erodes Rock). Every suit has the familiar ranks of Ace, King, Queen, on down to 2, plus its own Joker for more advanced games.

The games for the Janken deck range from the very simple (War) to the mind boggling (3-D Sudoku). Some games focus on the Rock, Paper, Scissors logic while some games are just more fun with five suits. The deck can be reduced to three suits for children’s games or you can combine the cards with a standard deck to play with nine suits at once. All of the official rules for the games can be found at JankenDeck.com. For players who would like to try their own hand at game theory there is a place on the website to submit your own favorite games for the deck.

“As soon as I came up with the concept for the deck I had all these game ideas. ‘How would you play solitaire with these cards? How would Hearts or Spades play differently?’ It’s so cliché to call anything a game changer, but this kinda literally changes the game!” Jeffrey Daymont, artist and creator

And where does the name “Janken” come from? In Japan, the hand game Rock, Paper, Scissors is called “Jan-Ken”. Not to mention it is a lot easier to say than “The Rock-Paper-Scissors-Water-Lizard Deck”.

The Background

California artist Jeffrey Daymont was inspired during an episode of Big Bang Theory when the character Sheldon explained the game “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock”, a game that was actually invented by Sam Kass and Karen Bryla years earlier. In this five weapon game you still try to outguess your opponent, but the odds of getting a tie are smaller. “The game sounds complicated but the math and geometry behind the concept are actually pretty simple” says Jeffrey, “and some of the best games have very simple foundations.”

“As far as I could tell, no one had made a deck like this already, so if I wanted one I’d have to make it myself. And If I was going to make it myself I’d better do it right!” After getting permission from Sam Kass to expand on his original idea Jeffrey started laying groundwork for his biggest art project to date.

About the Art

The goal was to keep a very traditional look to keep everything familiar to new players. The pips representing the suits are simple and bold, the face cards represent real kings and queens from history. “I think a main objective for classic face card designs was to make them hard to counterfeit. The patterns are pretty but that also makes it harder to cheat!”

The fifteen kings, queens, and jacks in the deck were chosen partly for their influence in history and partly for who had the best looking portraits and statues. The side arms and patterns were all chosen to reflect their respective cultures. The characters in the five jokers are all tricksters from folklore like China’s Monkey King and the Pacific North West’s Raven. Since there is no high card in the Janken Deck, all five aces get a big fancy pip too.

“You would think that coloring in a few square inches of art should be easy…  but every card needed to have a different look, a new arrangement of patterns and shapes. Every card that I finished was like solving a puzzle. Then I would start the next one, looking at the blank space and wonder ‘how am I going to make this one special too?’.”

Each deck of cards contains the whole art collection, but there will be some larger prints of the artwork available too.

About the Games

Designing the artwork for the cards was just the first challenge. The second part was creating fun games and writing rules that are easy to understand. The new element introduced with the Janken Deck is the idea of “Stronger” and “Weaker” suits. For any two suits, one is stronger and one is weaker. For example, Paper is stronger than Rock, so a 2 of Paper can beat a King of Rock. In games like “King of the Hill” you play stronger cards on top of weaker ones. In “Klondike” you can play a 5 of Paper on the stronger 6 of Scissors or 6 of Water. Each deck comes with a “Rule Card” and “Diagram Card” that shows the relationships between all five suits.

For more challenging games you can play with the Jokers. When these are in play, Weak suits become Strong, and Strong suits become Weak! “What’s fun for me is that I haven’t even figured out the best strategies for these games yet. Everyone will be starting on a level playing field and discovering tactics as they go!”

Of course the real challenge in game theory is creating an experience that is not too easy but not too hard. Something in that sweet spot that is challenging and fun so it is rewarding when you win. The games and puzzles at JankenDeck.com come in a variety of levels and many have easy and hard versions, so there should be something for everyone!

About Jeffrey Daymont and the Janken Deck:

Jeffrey Daymont is a Southern California artist who has been a professional juggler for over 30 years. The Janken Deck is his first project for the gaming community and he’s excited about finding a new way to entertain people through creativity.

Website: JankenDeck.com

email: jeff@jankendeck.com

Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1891787367/janken-deck

Campaign runs through November 20th, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Entries in Serious Board Game Award Competition Due Jan 15

PRESS RELEASE: Entries in Serious Board Game Award Competition Due Jan 15

Entries in the 2018 International Serious Play Awards for tabletop board and card games used in education or training are due January 15, 2018.

Any game launched after May 2017 is eligible. Award categories include: Pre-K, K-6 and K7-12 education; higher education; healthcare; corporate; museums; and military/government. The game must be playable independent of the designer.

Serious Play
Entrants will be asked to send six copies of their game to judges.

For more information, http://seriousplayconf.com/awards/

Serious Games Association also has an award competition for digital serious games. Entries are due Feb. 20, 2018.

Contact:

Sue Bohle
Serious Games Association/Serious Play Conference
sue@seriousplayconf.com

Prepare to Spread Your Influence Throughout the Solar System in The Expanse Board Game – Available in Stores Now!

Prepare to Spread Your Influence Throughout the Solar System in The Expanse Board Game – Available in Stores Now!

Hillside, NJ – October 4, 2017 – WizKids is pleased to announce The Expanse Board Game, designed by Geoff Englestein, and based on the acclaimed and visionary television series from Syfy and Alcon Television Group, is available today in North American game stores.

The Expanse Board Game is a game of politics, conquest, and intrigue for two to four players. Players spread their influence through the solar system onto important Bases using characters and events in the Expanse Universe.

Players represent one of four factions, and with their efficient use of actions and special abilities, decide the rule of the solar system. During the game, players are immersed into the exciting universe of The Expanse, with images and events from the hit Syfy series.
Editor’s Note: Geoff Engelstein is well-known for his many space-themed games, including Space Cadets, Space Cadets: Dice Duel, Space Cadets: Away Missions, and more – including fantasy brawl game
The Expanse Board Game is available for $49.99 at Friendly Local Game Stores and Amazon.com, the U.S. streaming home for the hit series. Pick it up today!

For more information, visit: https://wizkids.com/the-expanse/

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For Media Inquiries: Press@WizKids.com

For Review Requests: https://wizkids.com/review-submission-form/

PRESS RELEASE: White Goblin Games to publish and distribute Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time

PRESS RELEASE: White Goblin Games to publish and distribute Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time

Paris (France) – September 27, 2017 – Today, Funforge is announced that White Goblin Games is now the distributor of the Dutch version of Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time in the Netherlands and in Belgium.

Category: Board Game
Number of players: 2 – 4
Authors: Brett J. Gilbert & Matthew Dunstan
Illustrator: Biboun
Playing time: 30/45 minutesProfessor Evil
Age: 8+

About the game
Professor Evil and The Citadel of Time is a cooperative game: team up with your fellow adventurers to sneak into the mansion and recover the treasures! Plan carefully and use your unique skills to unlock doors. Deactivate the traps, distract the Professor and stay out of his way. You’ll have to work together if you want to beat him!

Can you grab the Mona Lisa, The Rosetta Stone and Excalibur before time runs out, or will these priceless artifacts be lost forever? The race is on!

Preview the rules for Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time here.

About White Goblin Games
Created in 2010, White Goblin Games is a Dutch publisher of boardgames with office located in 2Exloërmond – Netherlands. The board games and card games by White Goblin Games are established with passion and dedication. They are all quality titles in both material and fun, and suitable for all ages; both for families and true game fanatics. White Goblin Games is well-known for a wide range of boardgames and has a large amount of partners throughout the world. The company is the fast growing publisher in the Benelux and winner of many boardgame prices in the Benelux.

Press contact:
info@whitegoblingames.com

About Funforge
Created in 2008, Funforge is a privately held company with office located in Paris – France, which publishes and distributes fun and beautiful card and board games for a wide audience, with great replay ability. Since its creation, Funforge became a recognized publisher in the boardgame industry, being distributed worldwide (France, US & North America, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Scandinavian countries, Russia, Japan, China…). The publishing of the Tokaido™ product line, and its 300.000 units sold worldwide (at the present day) achieved to establish Funforge as one of the world’s leading boardgame publisher. The quality of its products and the prestige of internationally renown authors gave the publisher several prices in jury and international press.

Press contact:
Charlotte NOAILLES
Marketing & PR Manager
charlotte@funforge.fr

Funforge Community:
Facebook,
Twitter,
Instagram.

PRESS RELEASE: Rogue Squad is live on Kickstarter

PRESS RELEASE: Rogue Squad is live on Kickstarter

Leverkusen, Germany: Rogue Squad is a cooperative science fiction board game that combines thrilling combat action with exciting strategic challenges. In this action game, 1 to 4 players step into the boots of a misfit band of mercenaries who must battle their way through swarms of bloodthirsty aliens to fulfill their mission.

Each player controls 1 to 4 mercenary troopers. Steer the squad’s combat robot, share equipment, upgrade weapons, use special items and – above all – cooperate to stay alive and carry out your mission. Only a combat unit that works together can hope to stand against the aliens’ overwhelming numbers. Rescue your comrades, argue over the best routes and tactics, upgrade your combat skills, and even fight for leadership – but whatever you do, be quick about it! Because one instant, you may be the predator… but the next, you will become the prey.

Rogue Squad is an exciting turn-based game with easy-to-learn rules. Depending on the mission’s level of difficulty, one game lasts from 45 minutes to 3 hours. A fully developed universe, intriguing characters, and thrilling scenarios allow you to focus as much (or as little) on roleplaying as you like. For more details, check out their nice site: http://roguesquad-game.com/

For more information – check out their Kickstarter page and their social accounts.

PRESS RELEASE: Zero Gravity – A Magnetic Miniatures Game

PRESS RELEASE: Zero Gravity – A Magnetic Miniatures Game

Zero Gravity is a capture the flag game for 2-4 players, featuring more than 80 magnetic miniatures (40mm) and a 3D arena. Each player controls a team of 14 miniatures that aims at scoring the target amount of Cheers (points) and win the game.

How does it work? Each miniature has a metal strip in the base and the board contains a hidden magnetic layer: you can imagine what happens next! Each game component can be positioned upside down in the battlefield, for unique battle strategies. This innovation is applied to ALL MINIATURES and PLASTIC COMPONENTS included in Zero Gravity.

 

PRESS RELEASE: Stronghold Games and 2F-Spiele Announce their 2017 Co-published Titles

PRESS RELEASE: Stronghold Games and 2F-Spiele Announce their 2017 Co-published Titles

Six new titles, including the Fast Forward Series, a Solo Game, and a Fabled Fruit expansion

New Jersey, USA and Bremen, Germany – August 14, 2017

Stronghold Games and 2F-Spiele are proud to announce jointly 6 new titles that will be co-published by these Strategic Partners in 2017:

The Fast Forward™ Series of games uses the new Fable Game™ system first introduced in Fabled Fruit. Each game in this series contains a pre-sorted deck of cards only and no rulebook. You discover all the rules and the cards as you play. Players begin a game without reading rules in advance, but rather gather a group together and just begin playing. Each game in the Fast Forward™ Series is thematically and mechanically unique from one another, so each game is a completely new experience for your gaming group. Also, each game in the Fast Forward™ Series can be played between 10 and 15 times before your group has explored the entire system. The games can then be reset and played again by the same or different groups.

The first three games in the Fast Forward™ Series are:

Fear

Stronghold 2FDo you fear ghosts? Or are you confronting the danger and scaring your opponents?Fear is a fast-paced and straightforward hand management game of tension filled ghost chasing. It is the first in our Fast Forward™ Series.MSRP: $19.95, Players: 2-5, Time: 15 mins, Ages: 8+, Street Date: October 2017

 

 

FortressStronghold 2F

A great Fortress looms in the distance… and it must be yours! Accept the challenge against all others to conquer the Fortress!

Fortress is a game about risk taking, out-witting, and bluffing your opponents to become the dominate ruler of the kingdom. It is the second in our Fast Forward™ Series.

MSRP: $19.95, Players: 2-4, Time: 15 mins, Ages: 10+, Street Date: October 2017

 

Flee

Stronghold 2F“Quickly, we must flee! The Monster is almost upon us! Look to all sides for help, as you never know where it will be!” Can your team survive long enough to finish all Chapters of this exciting story?

Flee is a cooperative game where you try to solve how to escape from the dangerous situation in which you have found yourself. It is the third in our Fast Forward™ Series.

MSRP: $19.95, Players: 1-4, Time: 75-90 mins (full system), Ages: 12+, Street Date: November 2017

All three games in the Fast Forward™ Series will be available for review in prototype form at Gen Con 2017. Come to the Stronghold Games booth, #2023, to take a look at this new exciting concept in gaming.

In addition to the Fast Forward™ Series, the following three games and expansions are releasing as well:

 

Fabled Fruit: The Lime ExpansionStronghold 2F

No fruit themed game would be complete without a green fruit! And these little green fruits add just the right twist to the gameplay found in Fabled Fruit!

Explore 20 new locations, the exciting gambling tokens, and the mysterious camouflage coat in Fabled Fruit: The Lime Expansion! This is the first expansion to one of the most innovative games of 2016, Fabled Fruit, which introduced the Fable Game™, a unique game system.

MSRP: $19.95, Players: 2-5, Time: 25 mins, Ages: 8+, Street Date: October 2017

 

Finished!Stronghold 2F

A typical day at work: Start sorting files and try not to fall asleep. There is a limited supply of Coffee, and you should keep track of your Sweets as the sugar rush can help you to finish the task! You start Finished! with a shuffled deck of 48 cards and try to sort these cards by cycling through the Draw Stack during 8 rounds. Helpful actions will let you manipulate your cards in many different ways. If you sort all cards, you win the game! Finished! is a solo game by master game designer, Friedemann Friese, whose game Friday is the #1 ranked solo game on BoardGameGeek.com.

MSRP: $19.95, Players: 1 (solo), Time: 30 minutes, Ages: 10+, Street Date: October 2017

 

Felicity: The Cat In The Sack

Cats have different personalities: Some adorable and sweet, and some…not so much.Stronghold 2F

Players try to grab the elusive Felicity: The Cat in the Sack. The sack contains both good and bad cats. Players can also place a dog or rabbit into the sack, attempting to bluff each other. Good cats and mice score points, while bad cats count against you. This is a reprint of the popular 2007 game previously known as Felix: The Cat In The Sack.

MSRP: $19.95, Players: 3-5, Time: 20 mins, Ages: 8+, Street Date: October 2017

Stronghold Games and 2F-Spiele are Strategic Partners in the co-publication of family and strategy games. Previously, they have published together the critically acclaimed 504, the innovative Fabled Fruit, and the fast, light card games Fuji Flush and Five Cucumbers.

Stronghold Games and 2F-Spiele will print these games together at Ludofact Germany, the leading printer of hobby games in the world. Not only will the games from both companies be of the same great German quality, but this will also enable a virtually simultaneous worldwide release of the titles.

“This is an amazing lineup of games for 2017 from our Strategic Partner, 2-F Spiele,” said Stephen Buonocore, President of Stronghold Games. “Working with game design master, Friedemann Friese, is a great opportunity for us, as well as a fantastic experience. Friedemann and his team are world class.”

About Stronghold Games:

Stronghold Games LLC is a publisher of high-quality board and card games in the hobby game industry. Since 2009, Stronghold Games has released many highly-regarded games, including the best-selling “Survive: Escape From Atlantis!”, the most innovative deck-building game, “Core Worlds”, the hit game line of “Space Cadets”, the smash- hit and top-rated Terraforming Mars, and many others. Stronghold Games publishes game designs developed both in- house and in partnership with publishers around the world. Stronghold Games LLC is a Limited Liability Company formed in the State of Delaware USA.

About 2F-Spiele:

2F-Spiele started as a one green-haired man show in 1992, always looking for interesting, sometimes weird, but always unique gaming experiences. After 10 years experimenting, 2F-Spiele started its professional way of publishing games with “Fische Fluppen Frikadellen“, realizing a high standard in production and artwork. After increasing success with games like “Power Grid“, “Fearsome Floors“, “Friday“ and “Felix, the Cat in the Sack“, Henning Kröpke was hired to manage operations, with Friedemann Friese focused solely at game design. This made it possible to complete the mammoth project, “504”. 2F-Spiele is a company residing in Germany.

Contacts:

Stephen M. Buonocore, President info@StrongholdGames.com Stronghold Games LLC

17 Sunflower Road Somerset, NJ 08873 USA

Website: http://www.StrongholdGames.com Phone: +1-908-304-5711

Henning Kröpke, Manager of Operations h.kroepke@2f-spiele.de

Fedelhören 64

28203 Bremen Germany

Website: http://www.2f-spiele.de Phone: +49 (0) 421 241-4902

PRESS RELEASE: PLAY BOARD GAMES IMMEDIATELY WITH DIZED

PRESS RELEASE: PLAY BOARD GAMES IMMEDIATELY WITH DIZED

Dized announces Blood Rage, 7 Wonders, Carcassonne, and Bang! to be first games to get custom Dized tutorials. The IndieGoGo campaign for the app launches on August 28th.

[Helsinki, Finland, July 27, 2017] If you ever just wanted to pick up a brand new board game, sit down and play straight out of the box, soon you will be able to. Dized is an application that puts players in the game from the moment the box is opened with interactive tutorials. These step-by-step guides are like a friend at the table who knows the rules inside out and the best way to teach them. Most importantly, the app allows players to make their own decisions and choices and reacts accordingly.

The company announced today the initial line-up of interactive tutorials slated for the app. The first games to receive the Dized treatment are Blood Rage, 7 Wonders, Carcassonne and Bang! In the works are tutorials and other content related to these games, such as the setup and the rule lookup tools.

“We’re thrilled to be working with such esteemed titles and publishers. The diversity of this library shows that Dized works with a variety of different games, ranging from casual to core. Eventually, we want to bring these tutorials for all games out there, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re crowdfunding Dized through IndieGoGo – to be able to scale up in a way we wouldn’t otherwise be able”, states Dized CEO Jouni Jussila.

Dized has been under development since 2016. After a successful proof of concept released last year, a new version of the app is now ready to show the real potential of Dized

“We’ve discussed with players from all backgrounds and one thing is clear: there is a need for a better way to learn games. Dized has already been tested with audiences and the feedback has been spectacular, not just among players but with all branches of the industry,” Jussila continues.

Dized’s partners include some of the biggest names in board game industry, such as dV Giochi, Hans Im Glück and acclaimed designer Eric M. Lang.

“If you love playing games and don’t like reading rulebooks, there’s no reason for you not to support Dized right now. Dized is different from a regular “How To Play” video, because videos aren’t context sensitive. With Dized you can experience the game as you are learning it. You can even ask it rule- related questions,” Eric M. Lang explains.

Dized is free to download and available before the campaign starts with demo content. During the campaign, backers will be able to purchase subscriptions that give access to premium features. On top of the interactive tutorials, rule lookup, and setup tools, the team has big plans for Dized. The goal is to create the ultimate companion app, no matter if you’re looking for community features, expo tools or additional digital content.

“Our goal is to create a one-stop-shop for board games. So come August 28th when the IndieGoGo campaign launches, be sure to show up and change the world of board gaming forever. We have tons of awesome perks lined up, and big game announcements to follow”, concludes Jussila.

Additional information and requests: