Reaping the Rewards – Harvesting Ingredients

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We’ve recently discussed the importance of using your Familiars to gather the Ingredients you need to cast Spells in The Village Crone. Let’s take a closer look at the Ingredients and how you will be using them.

There are five types of Ingredients: Fire, Flour, Silver, Soil, and Eye of Newt.

Fire is created at the Forge, Flour at the Mill, Silver is found at the Lord’s Manor, and Soil is harvested at the Farm. Eye of Newt is a wild card and can be used in place of any of the other Ingredients to complete your Spells.

Three Eye of Newt cards are shuffled into each of the other Ingredient decks at the beginning of the game. These will be drawn at random during the Harvest phase, so you may or may not end up with one.

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You receive 2 Ingredient cards from each location in which you have a Familiar. If you have more than one Familiar in the same location, you get 2 cards for EACH Familiar.

You receive Ingredients during the Harvest phase of a round. Remember, you only get Ingredients from locations in which you have a Familiar during the Harvest phase. If you do not have any Familiars in a location to receive Ingredients, you may take 3 Ingredients from the Tithe Barn as charity. There is also a rule that allows witches to trade Ingredients during the Move & Cast Spells phase, but the rate of trade is negotiated between players. You may be able to “buy” an Ingredient you need from another player, but it can cost you!

When you cast a Spell, you discard those Ingredients. If another player blocks your Spell with a Protection Spell, you still lose those Ingredients.

Don’t forget to consult your Book of Spells often to remember the Ingredients you will need to be collecting to cast the Spells on your Witch’s Scheme cards. And remember there are multiple ways to achieve some of your Schemes, so get creative and use your resources wisely!

Happy Casting!

Something Wicked Tour for The Village Crone

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There is a crispness in the air and something whispers on the wind. Fall approaches, as does the witching hour. We invite you to join us as we bring The Village Crone to game stores across New England with the Something Wicked Tour!

Our newest game is full of spell-casting and witchy fun, and releases in September. We are hitting the road to traverse the Northeast United States, teaching new witches how to play and visiting some spooky places along the way.

Anne-Marie De Witt (designer of The Village Crone) and Justin De Witt (co-owner of Fireside Games) will be making the following stops to demo The Village Crone, talk about game design, share promos for the game, and generally be enchanting! We hope to see you along the way.

something-wicked-tour-mapSept 19    5:30-6:30PM
Eureka Puzzles & More
Brookline, MA
Signing Event Q&A

Sept 19    7-11PM
Knight Moves Cafe
Brookline, Ma
Demo night

Sept 20    6-10PM
Pandemonium Books & Games
Cambridge, MA

Sept 22    4-8PM
Compleat Strategist
Boston, MA

Sept 25    6-10PM
Sarge’s Comics & Games
New London, CT

Sept 26    2-6PM
Compleat Strategist
New York, NY

Sept 27    12-4PM
Time Machine/The Portal
Manchester, CT

Sept 30    7-11PM
The UnCommons NYC
New York, NY

the-village-crone-box-3D-left-webOct 1 & 2    2-6PM
Brooklyn Game Lab
Brooklyn, NY

Oct 3        2-6PM
Dragon’s Den
Poughkeepsie, NY

Oct 4        12-3PM
Gamer’s Gambit
Danbury, CT

Oct 6        6-10PM
Quarterstaff Games
Burlington, VT

Oct 11        1-5PM
Crossroad Games
Standish, ME

Oct 13        5-9PM
Diversions Puzzles & Games
Portsmouth, NH

Getting Familiar with The Village Crone

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Beasts that Crawl, Fly, Slither, & Stalk

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What witch could succeed without the assistance of her Familiar breed? In The Village Crone, you command your Familiars to assist you in the completion of your Witch’s Schemes.

Each witch has their own set of Familiar tokens that represent their animal minions. The choices you have are cats, bats, rats, snakes, spiders, and crows. If you have a personal affinity towards a particular animal it may bring you luck!

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You will get 5 tokens displaying your Familiar’s likeness, you will place 3 of them on the board at the beginning of the game. In order to put the other two in play, you must use the Conjuring Spell.

The Familiars are placed on the board in various locations around the Village for several strategic purposes.

A vital function of your Familiars is harvesting of Ingredients you need to cast Spells. During the Harvest Ingredients phase of a round, you will receive two Ingredient cards for each Familiar you have in a given location. For instance, if you have one Familiar at the Lord’s Manor, you will receive two Silver. If you have two Familiars at the Farm, you will receive four Soil (two for each Familiar).

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You may also want to move your Familiars around using your Movement Phase if you need to change the Ingredients you have been gathering to cast different Spells. This strategy will depend upon the Spells required to complete your Witch’s Schemes.

There are spells that require a Familiar to be present in a location to affect that space, such as Summoning or Switching.

An overcrowding of Familiars can occur, triggering a Scatter effect and kicking Familiars out of a specific location. For more details on Scattering, check your rule book page 3.

Whether you prefer cat-like reflexes, a bird’s eye view, or the creepy-crawly vibe of an eight-legged friend, your Familiars will be a most valued resource as you vie to be The Village Crone!

 

 

Which Witch is Which? Look Inside the Book of Spells

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What is inside the Book of Spells?

village-crone-spell-book-covers

Each player in The Village Crone will choose a Book of Spells at the beginning of the game. You will use this as a privacy screen to keep your Schemes away from the prying eyes of the other witches and it acts as a handy reference guide for the Spells you will be casting and some of the rules for gameplay.

The book you choose determines which Familiar becomes yours to command. The image of your Familiar is displayed on the outside facing portion of your Book of Spells so the other witches know whose Familiars are whose.

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Inside the Book of Spells you will find a handy chart of the Spells you will be casting. The chart includes a description of what the Spell does, the Ingredients required to cast it, and the Incantation you must say to give power to your spell. You may also choose to make up your own incantations, which can lead to some really funny moments in the game!

There is also a reference guide for Order of Play when you are first learning to play the game or have new players joining you, and a helpful reminder list for some of the rules you will want to keep in mind without having to look them up in the rule book once you get going.

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Don’t forget to make sure you have the latest version of the rules with the correction to the Unbinding spell. You can also print out a patch for your Books of Spells Charts.

 

DragonCon, Here We Come!

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It’s that time of year again already! Next week we will be heading to Atlanta, GA along with 70,000 other people for DragonCon.

This year the Exhibitor Space is in AmericasMart Building 2. We will be on the First Floor in Booth 1425.

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We will have copies of The Village Crone for advance sale, so you can take it home with you before it releases in stores in September. But we only have a limited supply, so be sure to come by early.

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DragonCon is a unique show and we get to see some pretty sweet costumes walk by the booth! If you are going to the show this year, stop by and say “Hi!” You can pick up the 6th Level Agranok card for The Dark Titan or an Alarm Clock for Bears!

Oh, and we’ll have these super sweet Deluxe Monster Draw Bags for Castle Panic for sale. We just got them back in stock!

castle-panic-monster-draw-bag-deluxe-embroidered

 

Scheming Witches: Anatomy of a Witch’s Scheme Card

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The main objective in The Village Crone is to be the first witch to score 13 victory points. You score points by completing Witch’s Schemes valued at 1, 2, or 3 points, depending on the difficulty level of the objectives in the scheme.

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In order to score a Scheme, all conditions on the card must be met in the same turn. Cards contain both Active and Passive Schemes. What’s the difference? Active Schemes must be completed by the Witch scoring the card, Passive Schemes may be met by conditions existing on the board or by the Witch scoring the card.

Let’s take a look at an example: Continue reading Scheming Witches: Anatomy of a Witch’s Scheme Card

Unbinding Unbound

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We want to extend a big “Thank You” to everyone who has been spreading their love for The Village Crone through your reviews, blogs, posts, and tweets.

As you are enjoying the game, we want to let you know about an error in the Unbinding Spell that affects the rulebook and Book of Spells. Binding a location requires 2 Soil cards, but the Ingredients required to Unbind a location should be 2 of the same of ANY ingredient, not just Soil.

Visit The Village Crone info page to download the latest version of the rules with the ingredient fix.

We have updated the rules PDF (which is available online), provided a small patch for the Book of Spells (which can be downloaded and printed), and will be including an errata sheet with all games purchased after the publication of this post.

Download and a print the patch sheet for the Book of Spells quick reference guide to update your game.

The Village Crone releases September 30, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more bewitching good times. Happy casting!

GenCon 2015: Post-Show Wrap-Up

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Another Gen Con has come to an end. We came, we played, we conquered.

This year had record attendance, according to the official count from Gen Con, and the sea of people around the booth indicated they all made it through the exhibit hall at some point. Things went very smoothly for us this year, thanks to our awesome volunteers and staff!

Our demo tables stayed full with barely a lull. Players were scrambling to get in one more round each night at closing time and were snagging chairs minutes after the hall opened each day. Many thanks to everyone who came by to play with us, you made the con such fun for us!

The calm before the storm…
The booth in full swing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Village Crone debuted at this year’s Gen Con and we are thrilled so many people came by to demo, get an overview, and take an advance copy home with them. If you missed Gen Con this year, never fear. It is now available for pre-order on our website or through your Friendly Local Game Store. If you need help finding a game store near you, check out our Store Locator Map.

Some serious spell-casting going on in The Village Crone

You can also download the special 3D printer files we created for The Village Crone components on the product information page. They are FREE to download until the end of the year, so get them now and use them later!

Anne-Marie De Witt, designer of The Village Crone, signs a couple copies for fans

We are already brainstorming about how to make next year even better and we have several new games that will be coming your way in 2016. So, go get some sleep. Recuperate and rest assured there are big things coming your way at Gen Con 2016 and we invite you to join us for the fun.

Dead Panic got a lot of love this weekend as well. Who says zombie games aren’t still popular?

What were your favorite moments from GenCon? Tell us in the comments below!

The Village Crone Unboxing and Rules Sneak Peek!

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We’ve been anxiously awaiting the chance to get our hands on a final copy of The Village Crone, so we know you’ve been waiting too! We got our final production sample delivered the other day and immediately made this unboxing video to share:

While it doesn’t officially release until September 16, we will be previewing The Village Crone in demos at GenCon AND have a limited number of advance copies for sale. If you will be in Indy for GenCon 2015, make sure you plan to come by booth 1949 to get an up close look at this beautiful game and its special promo debuting there.

The video wasn’t enough to satisfy your appetite? Check out the PDF of the Rules, now available on The Village Crone information page on our website!

 

We hope you’re as excited about this game as we are! Stay tuned for information on a special promotional tour we’ll be taking this Fall to celebrate its release.

 

Bewitching GenCon 2015 – Booth 1949

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GenCon Indy 2015 is fast-approaching and we’re busy getting ready to offer some really fun stuff in our booth (#1949) this year!

First & foremost, we will have The Village Crone out on tables for demos all weekend, as well as Castle Panic with The Dark Titan, Dead Panic, and Bears! with Bears! Trail Mix’d.

We will also have a limited number of advance copies of The Village Crone available each day for purchase. You can get a copy SIX WEEKS in advance of it’s release in mid-September! Come to our booth (#1949) in the morning, as we will only release 100 copies each day.

As if that’s not enough reason to come by the booth, we will have promos for The Dark Titan, Bears! Trail Mix’d, and The Village Crone, so stop by and ask our booth staff. You are definitely going to want to see what we have lined up for The Village Crone!

To read more about our GenCon plans and see what show pricing and demos we will be hosting, visit our GenCon Page on our website.

We’re really excited to see you all in Indianapolis in just a few weeks! Please come by to say hi, play a game, pick up a promo, and meet some of our great volunteers in the new Torch Program!

 

Ask Fireside: How Long Does a Game Take to Design?

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In this article, Anne-Marie De Witt, CEO of Fireside Games and designer of a hefty percentage of our products, shares some insights on the product development cycle and compares the design processes for Bears! Trail Mix’d (releasing June 24) and The Village Crone (due out this fall).

How long does a game take to design from initial idea to publication?

Quick Answer: It varies widely.

Real, In-Depth Answer: When planning a game, we try to keep to a one-year development cycle. The longer a game takes, the higher the expenses and the higher the sales need to be. However, a game that hits all of the right deadlines and turns out to be no fun won’t sell or cover its costs either. The best course is to pursue the game design diligently, know when it’s working, and be willing to kill it when it’s not. A game isn’t worth publishing if it isn’t strong. There are too many great games on the market to invest money in a mediocre idea.

The shortest development cycle we have had was 8 months, which was for Bears! The concept came rapidly and was refined almost to its end state as I wrote it out for the first time. The whole game design process took just 2 weeks. Art development, graphic design, and layout took about 4 weeks. The remainder of the time was spent in manufacturing, shipping, warehousing, and fulfillment.

It actually took longer (10 months) to develop Trail Mix’d, the expansion to Bears!, because the game design was harder to nail down. If I had trusted my instincts, it would have taken a shorter amount of time, but I spent some time chasing down other solutions that didn’t pan out. In the end, though, the assurance I have in my final design was probably worth the time spent even though I could have gotten it to market more quickly.

Knowing what constitutes your initial idea can be tricky as well. After working on different approaches to a witch game for a couple of years, I couldn’t get it feeling right. I hadn’t worked on it for several months when the inspiration for The Village Crone hit me while training a volunteer for GenCon 2014. I excused myself and asked Justin to take over so that I could write it down before I forgot it. The game design evolved tremendously from that flash of insight and required the sacrifice of almost all of the guiding mechanics.

Although I look to that day of inspiration as the beginning, you could argue that it started years before and required substantial stewing before it was ready or that its start date was closer to its current incarnation. By the time the manufacturing and fulfillment are complete, getting that game to market will have taken 13 months (ironic for a game in which the winner is the first person to score 13).

Because of the uncertainty in the game design stage and the necessity of it being as solid as possible, most publishers prefer to license games. The designer sinks all of the time in that phase and is compensated based on a percentage, tying his or her return to the strength of the sales. Not only does that help the publisher control costs but it also helps to create a more predictable product development cycle. Of course, unforeseen problems in the publication process (such as strikes by dock workers) can and do occur. But having a plan in place allows you to steer through the obstacles and hit the right time from initial idea to publication to ensure the highest degree of success.

– Anne-Marie De Witt

Do you like articles like this? Want more insider information? Let us know! Email us your “Ask Fireside” submissions and you might be featured in a future blog or newsletter.

Titans, and Witches, and Bears! Oh My!

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This week we’re at the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Trade Show in Las Vegas. We’re really excited to take this opportunity to officially announce our 2015 product releases!

We have three new products scheduled to hit store shelves this year.

Castle Panic: The Dark Titan Box CoverOur first release this year is The Dark Titan, the second expansion to our popular cooperative game Castle Panic. The Dark Titan features new Monsters, new cards, and new support tokens. The main threat is Agranok, the Dark Titan who has escaped exile and returned to exact his revenge on your Castle. The Dark Titan requires Castle Panic (2009) to play and takes approximately 1 hour. The game supports 1 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, and retails for $14.95. It is also compatible with The Wizard’s Tower (2011) for an even greater challenge. The Dark Titan releases April 1 and is currently available for pre-order.

Keep calm and roll on this summer when our fast and furious dice game Bears! (2011) gets its own expansion. Bears!: Trail Mix’d gives you 6 new rules for the original game to really mix things up. This expansion features a die that is rolled before each round, changing up the rules that affect pairing and scoring for even more versatility and unexpected results. It accommodates 2 or more players, is recommended for ages 7 and up, and retails for $4.95. Bears!: Trail Mix’d is available in June 2015.

This autumn you’ll fall under the spell of our brand new game, The Village Crone. Immerse yourself in the medieval village of Wickersby as you vie with other witches for the venerable title of Village Crone. Worker placement and resource management are key as you use your familiars to gather ingredients and cast spells on the villagers to achieve goals and score victory points. The Village Crone features a modular game board for a new experience every time. It retails for $49.95, accommodates up to 6 players, ages 13 and up, and features a solo play option as well.

We hope you’re as excited about these titles as we are. We’ll be updating the product information pages as we get closer to release dates for each. Stay tuned for more gameplay information, including component images, unboxing and how to play videos, and more!

Share our Press Release and tell us which game you are most excited about in the comments.