Fantasy Flight Games and Stronghold Games Resolve ‘Merchant of Venus’ Issue

June 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Found this story on 2d6 today.  I hope the final version of the game is worth all this trouble.

Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) and Stronghold Games (SG) are pleased to have reached a favorable resolution regarding the publishing of a new edition of the classic “Merchant of Venus” board game.

In the Fall of 2011, both SG and FFG announced separate plans to re-publish the classic “Merchant of Venus” board game. Today, FFG and SG jointly announce that FFG will proceed to publish its new edition of “Merchant of Venus,” while SG’s version of the game will be cancelled. SG will act as a consultant on FFG’s version of the game, bringing some of SG’s creative vision to the final release.

“This was a difficult and confusing situation,” said Christian T. Petersen, CEO of Fantasy Flight Games. “All parties involved clearly had the best intentions in mind for the game, and none sought to cause damage to the other company. After a period of discussion and discovery, I’m thrilled that all parties now have clarity on the situation. I want to express my gratitude to WOTC for their assistance in this matter, and especially to Stephen Buonocore, the President of Stronghold Games, who has been both professional and practical in untangling this issue.”

“While this was an unfortunate situation for all parties, everyone is a winner in the end,” said Stephen M. Buonocore, President of Stronghold Games.  “Fantasy Flight Games and Stronghold Games have forged a great bond that will last long after this event.  In the face of crisis, Christian Petersen was a true leader who worked tirelessly to resolve the matter, and I am very thankful to him for that. The WOTC team was also instrumental in getting this done smoothly, and they too should be lauded.  And above all, gamers worldwide are the biggest winners, since they will have this great game back in print, published by a great company, Fantasy Flight Games.”

FFG is planning to release its new version of “Merchant of Venus” in Fall 2012. The new edition will feature both the classic game design by Richard Hamblen, as well as an updated game inspired by the original, designed by FFG’s Rob Kouba. Stronghold Games is in discussion with Richard Hamblen with regard to other game designs, both old and new ones, which they hope to publish in 2013.

Read more

Kickstarter Project – Battle of the Bulge Strategy Game for iPad

April 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Prototye Map

Battle of the Bulge: the Simulation Game for the iPad is, easily, my favorite Kickstarter project ever. I’m a huge fan of Kickstarter and I’ve been heavily impressed with a number of the iPad related projects on it – but this is a no contest type situation.

One of my favorite things growing up was playing strategic war games – board games like Blitzkrieg, Gettysburg, Afrika Korps and many many others by companies like Avalon Hill and SPI. Some of my fondest memories are of playing these games against my brother – who was younger than me and far, far better than me at all of these strategy games.

This Battle of the Bulge iPad game will bring that great tradition of strategic war games to the iPad, and I honestly can’t wait to see it – and play it!

Read the rest of My Favorite Kickstarter Project Ever – Battle of the Bulge Strategy Game for iPad (731 words)


Merchant Of Venus Reprint Up For Grabs?

October 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Both Fantasy Flight Games and Stronghold Games have announced that they’ve licensed the rights to reprint the 1980s Avalon Hill game Merchant of Venus.  Stronghold announced a license from designer Richard Hamblen, and that its release will be titled Richard Hamblen’s Merchant of Venus.  FFG announced a license from Avalon Hill parent Wizards of the Coast, and that its March 2012 release will be titled Merchant of Venus.

Stronghold believes the license is Hamblen’s to give.  “Stronghold Games feels very strongly that the license is solely Mr. Hamblen’s to offer, and he has selected Stronghold Games for the reprint,” a statement from the company said.

FFG signed its license with WotC/Hasbro over a year ago, according to the company, and has been working on republishing the title since.  FFG’s info on its release implies that some rule changes have been made in its edition.  “We’ve been working hard to produce what will be a fantastic edition of Merchant of Venus, one that remains true to tis magnificently campy core, while expanding the game in surprising ways that will cause even the most hardcore fan to celebrate.”

Original Avalon Hill version

Both companies appear to believe that the other acted in good faith, but is mistaken about who controls reprint rights (designer Hamblen, or Avalon Hill).  A statement by FFG President Christian Petersen says that his company is “in open communication with both Hasbro and Stronghold on this, and will be digging into more details next week to clarify the issue.”

It would seem that the nature of the Avalon Hill rights to the game is the key issue on which this dispute will turn: does Avalon Hill still have publishing rights to Merchant of Venus, or have they reverted to designer Hamblen?


Avalon Hill’s ‘Battle Cry’ Gets New Release

November 12, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Avalon Hill and Wizards of the Coast are celebrating the up-coming 150th anniversary of the American Civil War with a new edition of the popular war game Battle Cry. Scheduled to release in November, the new edition features all-new artwork, new graphics, and twice as many scenarios as the previous edition.

Battle Cry was originally released in 2000. Designed by Richard Borg, the game has enjoyed critical and popular success. It is a low-complexity introductory level war game, featuring a modular game board and detailed plastic models. The game is designed to be easy to learn and quick to play.

The new version, described as the “150th Civil War Anniversary Edition” includes 30 scenarios. Thirteen of the scenarios are new to this edition. 122 plastic models, mounted game board, 60 game cards, 54 terrain tiles, and 8 dice are included in the game.


Valley Games’ ‘Titan’ Ready For Shipment

October 21, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Titan from Valley GamesAccording to Torben Sherwood of Valley Games, their Titan pre-orders have arrived in port and are to be cleared and delivered to their shipping facility on October 25th. Those who pre-ordered the game (like me :) ) will also receive their pre-order bonus of a set of exclusive Titan figures to go with the game.

I can’t wait for this game. I’ve had this one pre-ordered for several months. I was very happy to have found out that Valley Games was reprinting this ‘holy grail’ of boardgames as the prices on eBay were way beyond my reach just to obtain a copy of the original.

Titan was originally published by Avalon Hill in 1980 and very quickly became highly sought after with its limited print run.

Titan is a full-out monster slug-a-thon, in which players must be prepared to sacrifice their creatures to cause maximum damage to their opponents. Players take the role of the Titan, and roam the board attempting to recruit bigger and badder monsters to fight for their legions. But just as your own army grows, your opponents themselves will be seeking the clash of battle, and there can be only one true Titan!

Titan is played on a main gameboard, where armies are recruited, and positions set. When two armies meet, the action transfers to a battleboard, where the opposing forces battle for position and power. Only the strongest monsters will survive, bringing both points and glory to their Titan.

Kurt Miller and Mike Doyle combine their artistic talents for this reprint. Titan takes from 2 to 4 hours to play, and is for 2 to 6 players.

Valley Games has also reprinted Avalon Hill’s Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, another very hard to find and very expensive game until the reprint.

UPDATE:I have received my copy of Titan along with the pre-order bonus of six Titan miniatures.  Two of the miniatures were broken off at the base upon arrival but that’s not a big deal as a little glue goes a long way.  The counters included in the game were shrinkwrapped together in the box so the ink on the counters was still a little moist when I opened them.  I set them out to dry so no big deal there either.  I’m just happy to have a copy of a game that I couldn’t really afford to get before Valley Games took over.  I will post a quick review of my first play when I can get to it.