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I'm confused. Stronghold vs. FFG


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#1 The Old Man

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 04:05 PM

This afternoon I listened to a special edition of The Dice Tower podcast.  Stronghold Games announced they are reissuing this game.  Then I saw this on FFG.  What's going on?



#2 sepayne7l

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 04:37 AM

Basically, FFG bought the rights to Merchant of Venus from the owner of the last publisher, Hasbro (which bought out Avalon Hill).

Stronghold, sought out the original designer, who licensed the game to Stronghold.

I imagine neither side knew of the other company's plans.

FFG must have heard Stronghold's announcement yesterday and made theirs. Both sides think they're in the right and hopefully things will sort out amicably.

FFG seems way farther in development with the game at the printers, while Stronghold just signed an agreement with the original designer recently.

Sad, really. Both are great companies.

 

 

 



#3 Pask

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:31 PM

The proposed version of FF is not identical to the original, offers a version of the game from 2 to 4 players, while the original is from 1 to 6.

 

 



#4 The Old Man

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 03:28 AM

Pask said:

The proposed version of FF is not identical to the original, offers a version of the game from 2 to 4 players, while the original is from 1 to 6.

 

This would seem a major change.  The guy from Stronghold, on Dice Tower, sounded like they were still in the early stages of design.  He was even inviting Eric Summoner (sp), a big fan of the game, to give input. Though FFG hasn't, as usual, put on a date, it sounds like they can get this out first.



#5 JerusalemJones

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:11 AM

 I'd recommend reading the posts int he announcement, as they are discussing this issue in depth, and Christian P. even weighted in. Sounds like the sides will be talking, and hopefully we'll see something positive from this issue. I'm still sad that the legal issue between Microprose and Avalon Hill over the Civilization game means we still haven't seen a reprint of this classic.



#6 oDESGOSTO

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:47 AM

Pask said:

The proposed version of FF is not identical to the original, offers a version of the game from 2 to 4 players, while the original is from 1 to 6.

 

And also don't forget that the FFG version will only include 4 factions/races.
That's a bit lame... I sense they're already working in expansions to milk the cow.

I was excited to know a reprint of MoV was being made by Stronghold Games, and then I was hyped to know the same by FFG... but then I've faced these two key factors that will drive me to play the possible version of the Stronghold Games or the print-and-play DIY version.

Sorry FFG. I want to play MoV, not a twisted version of MoV (like Rex/Dune) with lots of expansions.



#7 Pask

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:18 AM

oDESGOSTO said:

Pask said:

 

The proposed version of FF is not identical to the original, offers a version of the game from 2 to 4 players, while the original is from 1 to 6.

 

 

 

And also don't forget that the FFG version will only include 4 factions/races.
That's a bit lame... I sense they're already working in expansions to milk the cow.

I was excited to know a reprint of MoV was being made by Stronghold Games, and then I was hyped to know the same by FFG... but then I've faced these two key factors that will drive me to play the possible version of the Stronghold Games or the print-and-play DIY version.

Sorry FFG. I want to play MoV, not a twisted version of MoV (like Rex/Dune) with lots of expansions.

 

 

I fully agree with everything



#8 Steve-O

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:42 PM

oDESGOSTO said:

 

And also don't forget that the FFG version will only include 4 factions/races.
That's a bit lame... I sense they're already working in expansions to milk the cow.

 

 

I agree, that is a bit lame.  I'm not generally opposed to expansions to games, but deliberately cutting back the number of players just to have something for the expansion is crossing a line.

FFG, I am disappoint.

If you really want to add more players in an expansion, then do 6 in the base game and 7-8 in an expansion.  Still milking, but at least not as blatant about it.  And people who want to buy the game because they fondly remember the original can buy the original in one box.

Rex is a different story in my books - the only reason they didn't print it as Dune is because they couldn't get the license for Dune.  That's Brian Herbert's fault, not FFG's.  As far as I can tell everything is still there, though, just re-themed.  As for expansions, we'll see what they come up with.

Edit: I have little doubt that FFG will walk away with the title "Merchant of Venus," but hopefully Stronghold will find a way to print their version of the game with little more than a different name.  A rose by any other, after all.



#9 Sluggonics

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:46 AM

 If there are differences between the FFG version of the game and the Stronghold version of the game, that seems more likely to result in some sort of compromise being worked out and both being released.  I suspect there would be more legal animosity between the two companies if they were both trying to release identical products.



#10 Psion

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:00 AM

From what I understand, neither Stronghold nor FFG actually own the IP, they both licensed it from someone who thought they had the rights.  Meaning this thread might be better titled Hasbro vs... who actually designed Merchants of Venus again?  So in reality, both game makers made a reasonable response thus far by recognizing that it's not so much the other's fault as it is the fault of their patrons.

As for the four player cap, honestly from what I gathered over at Boardgame Geeks while trying to read up on this game, MoV seems to bog down horribly when you get more then four players.   Which actually is something I noticed about board games in general, if you have more then four people things slow down unless people only have one or two actions.  As for the possiblity of expansions, I generally don't like it anymore then some of the other detractors of the idea, but you know that's business.

Finally, I must admit I will probably be following this one very closely as it's one of the few "before my time" reboots I've seen that covers a favorite subject of mine.



#11 ruppt

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 05:20 PM

Agree.  I like both companies and hope that something can be worked out.  A shame this had to happen.



#12 David Spangler

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 12:49 PM

I used to play this game quite a bit--and may even have my original copy in a box in the garage--and I remember, too, that it got unwieldy with as the numbers increased.  I think FFG is cutting it back to 4 players simply because it played better that way.  I'm sure they're thinking expansions, too--they are FFG, after all--but I don't think the core decision to reduce the players from 6 to 4 was originally made just to shaft customers and make more expansions.



#13 sepayne7l

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 12:02 PM

oDESGOSTO said:

Pask said:

 

The proposed version of FF is not identical to the original, offers a version of the game from 2 to 4 players, while the original is from 1 to 6.

 

 

 

And also don't forget that the FFG version will only include 4 factions/races.
That's a bit lame... I sense they're already working in expansions to milk the cow.

I was excited to know a reprint of MoV was being made by Stronghold Games, and then I was hyped to know the same by FFG... but then I've faced these two key factors that will drive me to play the possible version of the Stronghold Games or the print-and-play DIY version.

Sorry FFG. I want to play MoV, not a twisted version of MoV (like Rex/Dune) with lots of expansions.

Yeah, the way they screwed up Cosmic Encounter was atrocious. I'd HATE for them to do that to another old game.

 






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