How is the gaming scene in your country?
Andrés Herranz
Spain
Madrid
Madrid
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The recent adittion of flags to all the BGGers made me think about all the gaming communities in the world. I want to know how is the gaming scene in your country. I want to know if there is gaming tradition, who are the major publishers, game designers, etc. and your fellings about the board game future. I will start with my country, please continue with yours.
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1. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:58]
Andrés Herranz
Spain
Madrid
Madrid
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BACKGROUND

Spain is a country with a great tradition of card playing. You can find a lot of people playing traditional cardgames as Mus (the unofficial spanish religion) or Tute in a lot of pubs, college cafeterias, or parks across the country
The board game scene here seems that is waken form a long sleep. More and more games are anounced with spanish translations, gaming stores are opening, books about the hobby, the fandom is rising the voice… There is a lot of work to do but the future looks promising and this Christmas should be a turning point.

PUBLISHING

We have two major publishers with a short but growing catalogue:
Devir (based on Barcelona) – Settlers, War of the Ring, Doom, Carcassonne, Genial, Game of Thrones, RK Lord of the Rings and Warcraft
Edge Entertainment (based on Seville) – Age of Mithology, Citadels Dungeoneer, Fuzztoons, SM Civilizationm Through the Desert and Wings of War but they anounced all the Days of Wonder line for the near months.

There are other little publishing companies as Cromola with Jungle Speed or Werewolf and Mercurio that will start its operations with Queen and Kildut catalogue (at least we will have Alhambra in spanish!). Other foreign companies start to introduce spanish rules for their multilingual editions as Face to Face or Rio Grande.

AUTHORS & GAMES

We have very few game designers and games, games created in Spain are Gaudí (a tile lying game), Fuzztoons (similar to Munchkin) or Capitán Alatriste (a famous bestseller book). There is a recent book in spanish and catalonian by Oriol Comas (the designer of Gaudí) about acient and modern games called “El Mundo en Juegos” (World in Games)

SHOPPING

There are very few shops that carry eurogames and you have to find Ticket to Ride in the last corner of a shop devoted to Warhammer or CCGs. In recent times some eurogames (Catan, Carc, War of the Ring) are transcending to big retailers. But if you make a visit to a spanish ToysRus, for example, it is odd to find any eurogame.

FANS

There are not devoted clubs to Eurogames but there are a lot of role players that sometimes play eurogames. It is very difficult to find players but our games are winning space in the wargaming and RPGs clubs.

INTERNET

If you want information about boardgames in spanish you have:
http://ludere.ual.es/bsk/ the most active forum, it also publishes bimonthly a great free ezine called Tabula
http://juegosdemesa.blogspot.com/ my blog J about eurogames in spanish
http://www.laislaludopata.blogspot.com/ another blog about free and ready to print games
http://www.semagames.com/ a database about boardgames

 
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2. Board Game: Little Wars [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:8768]
William Hostman
United States
Alsea
OR
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Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Very few serious board gamers. Loads of roleplayers. Most board gamers play with family & friends only.

Loads of Warhammer junkies.
 
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3. Board Game: Warlord: Saga of the Storm [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3767]
Sanjay Subrahmanyan
India
Chennai
Tamil Nadu
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started my BGG career with a list on gaming in India. Check this out

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...

As far as I know we hardly get much of the euro games here. So I have to source them from the internet or through friends living abroad. I did see Dungeons and Dragons in a store here recently, so more will become available in the future. But the basic lack of hobby stores is the big reason for the non proleferation of board gaming in a big way. But things are changing very fast and we are keeping our fingers crossed.
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4. Board Game: Amazonas [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:2765]
Gláucio Reis
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
RJ
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BRAZIL

BACKGROUND

Chess, Checkers, dominos and traditional card games are the most popular in Brazil. I often pass by one public space where they have put tables with checkered boards, and there is always numerous people playing those games. However, I've never seen any other game being played there. Other boardgames are usually regarded as children's games. Most euro games have to be imported, and it's not always easy to find other people to play with.

PUBLISHING

Most publishers are toy companies and usually publish only children's games and the very old classics. Yes, I'm talking about "Monopoly", "Risk", "Clue", "Stratego" and the like. Most of them are published by Estrela.

Grow has published some interesting stuff in the 80s, but nowadays focus on party games and various versions of "Risk". They also have "New York Chase" and "221B Baker Street". Last year, they released "Angus - Batalhas Medievais", a Brazilian game which made us believe there was light in the end of the tunnel. This year, they published "Big Shot" and "You're Bluffing".

Toyster, through their brand name Game Office, intended to publish games for adults, but simply didn't have the competence. Their original creations usually had boring themes (which should appeal to adults, they probably believed) and stupid luck-based mechanics, not to mention poor playtesting. Their best release was "Don Pepe", but I think it was their sole foreign game. They now aim at a teen audience, with very silly titles.

Devir has focused on RPG for many years, but now is our best hope, although also is an odd case. It's truly a Brazilian company, but their boardgames are published by their branches in Portugal and Spain, and then imported to here, which makes them expensive. "Carcassonne" is the only one reasonably priced. The others so far are "Settlers of Catan", "Lord of the Rings" and "Warcraft". More is promised, but the company is known for their lack of organization and poor customer support.

AUTHORS AND GAMES

Mário Seabra was a pioneer, but appears to be retired. The most promising designers of today are André Zatz ("Angus"), Maurício Gibrin, and their respective "companions". They are into euro games, but the companies keep hiring them to create children's games.

SHOPPING

Toy and department stores are the norm, but they don't have the games from Devir, which are hard to find. Those games can be usually found at RPG and comic stores, which carry other products from Devir, but the stores themselves are rare.

FANS

We have an ever-growing discussing group on Yahoo!, and a few dedicated fans have organized a series of conventions, called "Festa do Peão de Tabuleiro". The time I write, the group has over 450 members, but this is a big country and it's not always easy to find other players.

INTERNET

For further reading, I suggest this interview I gave over an year ago to Rick Heli, precisely on this subject:
http://www.spotlightongames.com/interview/sdr.html

For Portuguese speakers, I strongly recommend our discussion group:
http://br.groups.yahoo.com/group/BoardGamers-BR

Other links may be found in the aforementioned interview.
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5. Board Game: Stonewall [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:13167]
Brandon Clarke
New Zealand
Auckland
Auckland
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The gaming scene in New Zealand is booming at the moment with a major upurge in the sales of Eurogames, CCG's and Warhammer et al., and gaming groups are developing in several cities across NZ. Just a few years ago there were no gaming shops in Auckland, NZ's biggest city. Now there are half a dozen specialist stores and several toy and book stoes stocking good selections of Eurogames too.

There is not a huge tradition of publishing of games from New Zealand. Having a population of only 4 million publishing a game here is a difficult commercial proposition, so game designers really need to aim at offshore markets. Nevertheless there have been a number of New Zealand games published.

Stonewall and Freemarket spring to mind, and recently I saw a game by Kevin McPartland, 'Maori - Cannibals at War' which is looking for pre-orders to get published. (see http://www.ugg.de/bg/AW/maori.shtml).

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6. Board Game: Farlander [Average Rating:5.54 Overall Rank:14282]
bob weaver
United States
Dayville
Connecticut
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estonia is a very small country (1.5 million) and the few games that have been marketed here it seems everyone has played them or knows of them (monopoly and alias being the main two). just north of us is finland which seems to have a very strong gaming community.

often at parties games will be played but they are always of the physical type (badminton, volleyball, etc..).
the only games i have ever seen played by others is "bridge" which for many (including my father in-law) is like a religion for many and a few kids collecting yugi-oh cards, but not knowing how the game is played.
the game posted here is a game designed by an estonian. i have never played it though. the quality looks nice and if i liked tile laying games i would be very interested.

games are very expensive here and the selection is very limited. for the past two weeks i have been hunting for a plain deck of cards with no luck. the few shops that carry games have all the same games (monoploy, risk, connect four, mancala, alias, a to z, labyrinth). estonia is a fantastic place to live with the only missing things for me being mountains and a gaming community.

i have been slowly introducing people to board games with very positive results. my latest order from playme.de has several games for a family i played "bohnanza" and "modern art" with this summer.

now that estonia is part of the e.u. i think it is just a matter of time before the gaming market emerges here.
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7. Board Game: Forgotten Axis: The Romanian Campaign [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:15238]
Andrei Filip
Canada
New Westminster
BC
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BACKGROUND:
Former comunist republic, got independent 15 years ago but in some aspects it still feels like comunism i.e. gaming. Economically the country is a mess so of course people don’t have money for fancy stuff, i.e. games (I’m talking avarage Joe here). There are a lot of gamers here, 99% of them computer freaks …partly because all the games are ripped so nobody pays a dime for them.

PUBLISHERS & GAMESHOPS: none that I know of but I could be wrong. There are no specialised game stores, only specific space in supermarkets that sell average toys, very few boardgames.

BOARDGAMES: mostly we play easy abstract games like anything playable with standard cards, and that means at least 50 variants of them, chess, checkers, backgammon. Monopoly got in the market about 10 years ago and you can get people to play that one…but who would want that anyway?
I’ve seen a Risk clone arround, called “Allied Commander”…I took a peek, it’s exactly like basic Risk, only pieces are uglier and the theme is modern warfare rather than napoleonic.
What you would find in a game section of a supermarket is 30% toys (barbies & action-jacks), 10% puzzles, 10% build-your-own-super-duper-war-machine, 30% fluffy things, 10% monopoly, 10% misc boardgames age 2-4.
Most of the games are clones or hybrids anyway and I found many of them posted here under completely different names. Some of them are Sorry!, Risk, Jungle chess, Monopoly (the romanian version is called Capitalism or something like that), Werewolf (called Mafia here).
Minis are imposible to find which is weird as I remember being a kid I had lot of them, knights and cowboys and stuff…no idea where are gone now, you can still find some but only commando or modern warfare themed…The first fantasy mini I held in my hand was at the age of 29, when my copy of WotR arrived. *sob* *sniff* *wipes tear*

GAMEGROUPS: I recently discovered a group that is playing every 2 weekends Werewolf and I’m going next session to join in, maybe bring some of mine and convert them to euros. But that’s the only one I heard of and with all the lack of games there’s no wonder why.

Cheers and nice idea for list.
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8. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:57]
Tommy Jensen
Denmark
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DENMARK

GAMING COMMUNITY
There is a fair amount of gaming going on, roleplaying and a lot of live-roleplay. Boardgames do okay, but are not yet as widespread as in some countries. Most danes do no know that games like Twilight Emperium or even Axis & Allies exist.
There are a number of gaming-conventions each year, mixing roleplay and boardgames.

GAMESHOPS
There are less than a handfull of shops that carry anything other than Settlers and Carcassonne (which you can find in bookstores and bigger supermarkets).
However these shops are well-supplied. So if you know where to go you can get almost anything.

GAMEDESIGN
Being such a small country, the print runs become too small, and thus only the MOST mainstream of games can be printed in danish...
Our only claim to fame, is the danish designer Christian T. Petersen who rightly decided, that he had to move to another country to produce the games he wanted to make. I guess, with Fantasy Flights trackrecord, he has done very well playing with the big boys :-)
I certainly like a lot of the stuff they put out.
 
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9. Board Game: A Winter War [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:6080]
Matias Dahlbäck
Finland
Raseborg
Unspecified
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(Yeah yeah, scratch that comment I wrote earlier)

FINLAND

The guy who invented Linux is from here, so yes, we do have our own sortiment of various geeks. And since there exist gaming stores there must be a market. Various CCG are big here (I myself dabbled with MtG at a tender age) and so, I believe, is Warhammer.

Don't know about organized gaming groups. I'd wager that there exist some, atleast at various university Student Unions.
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10. Board Game: Liberté [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:815]
Olivier REIX
France
Grenoble
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BACKGROUND

The most pomular games in France are probably 2 card games, i.e. Belote and Tarot but of course classics like Chess, Bridge, Scrabble, Dames (Checkers) have also a lot of followers.

If you go in a supermarket, you will find the exact same game as in a lot of country : Cluedo, Monopoly, Risk (a french design) and TV-franchise.

PUBLISHING

*Jeux Descartes* is probably the most known publisher, publishing since almost 30 years both french designs and translations (Avalon Hill, ...) but they close last year, bought by ...

*Asmodée* is probably the biggest publisher in France. They where first a RPG company, they also distribute Pokemon CCG and Heroclix, have translated many card games mostly (Kuhandel, Wyatt Earp, Raj ...) and are now publishing original boardgames (Dungeon Twister, Zombies, Mission Red Planet ...)

*Days of Wonder* is an american company, run by french guys. You might have heard about them ...

*Tilsit* produced a lot of ahem games in the past but since 2 years they translated a lot of Kosmos games (Genial, La Citta, Catan, most the 2 player serie) ,Puerto Rico and now Axis & Allies. They also have now a line of designer games (Himalaya, Skaal, Kanaloa, Key Largo, Maka Bana).

* Gigamic* produces wonderfull wood games (Gobblet, Quarto ...) and translates games from Zoch (Manilla, Niagara ...) and Amigo (Bohnanza, Geschenkt ...)

*Ubik* only does translation, mostly by Fantasy Flight (A Game of thrones, Warcraft ...) but also Eagle Games (Age of Mythology, Conquest of the Empire ...).

And there is quite a lot of smaller companies.

AUTHORS & GAMES

There is now a lot of french designer, quite a lot doing well internationally. The most famous are probably Bruno Faidutti, Dominique Ehrard, Roberto Fraga, Sylvie Barc, Bruno Cathala, Serge Laget, Philippe des Pallieres, Christophe Boelinger, Pierre-Nicolas Lapointe ...

SHOPPING

Quite a lot of shop to find the french games. For imports (Germany, USA), of course, you have to go in the big towns.

FANS

Quite a lot of clubs everywhere in France for Eurogamers.

INTERNET

The french equivalent to BoardgameGeek is Tric Trac (www.trictrac.net).

The biggest french (and belgium) site are accessible from http://1001jeux.free.fr
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11. Board Game: Singapore [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:9707]
Ken Lee
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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Singapore

Background

We gained independence in 1965, and are living what has been termed a semi-democracy. Elections are fair and open, but dominated by a single political party. The government is largely corruuption free, and are an effective adminstration. Though some have criticised Singapore's human rights, especially with regards to the continued use of the death penalty, citizens can move around without fear of being harrassed or sanctioned. Geographically, Singapore is extremely small, situated on the tip of the Malaysian Penisula, with a land area of around 682 square kilometres. The highest point is in at area called Bukit Timah which is only 166 metres. Population currently stands at around 4 million people. Singapore has an extremely developed economy, and in the pre-financial crisis of 1997, had been labelled as one of the "Asian Tigers".

Publishing

I believe there are only 2 publisher and developers in Singapore at the moment: Van De Veer Games (Mob City, Blackmail, Hollywood Players), and Fun Factory Games (Dividends, Giza). I am not too familiar with the games they have published to date.

Authors & Games

To date, I am only aware of Nikki Lim, who designed Giza and Dividends, both games from Fun Factory Games. I have not tried any of her games to date yet though.

Fans

There's a relatively large body of gamers in Singapore, and the geek scene is quite lively. We have a good number of wargamers, boardgamers, miniature gamers (both historical and fictional), RPGers, and CCGers. As a whole, we are generally very early adopters of various genre of games. And we often find that gamers within one genre overlap into another. We currently have 2-3 key game shops, and 2 different game cafe franchises.

Internet

www.comicsmart.com (Comics, CCGs, Warhammer, RPGs, small selection of games)

www.pi.com.sg (RPGs, CCGs, Warhammer, Warmachine, Good and extensive selection of boardgames from the US and Euro)

www.settlerscafe.com (Local cafe, good selection of euro games to play)
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12. Board Game: Trivial Pursuit: Genus Edition [Average Rating:5.21 Overall Rank:17543] [Average Rating:5.21 Unranked]
M Loebach
Canada
Crysler
ON
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CANADA (Eh?)

Besides Trivial Pursuit (& UBI), there has also been a few small time gaming producers from Canada. This includes Cangames and even Irwin. There is also a small but prolific designer an hour from where I live (in Perth Ontario) who specializes in co-operative games for young children (ages 3-12).

The gaming community is great because I am a member (wink). We have a loyal following that meets every two weeks and I would say for the past five years there hasn't been too many games where we have all turned up our nose (the most recent one would be about 18 months ago -- the ATTACK! expansion -- it went over like a lead balloon). The types of games are split 50/50 wargame and euro. The players are split the same way as well.

As for availability I would say we do better than most, but not as well as Germany and USA. If I want a copy of a game I either wait 3 days or 18 months or I go to one distributor in our neighbourhood and pay something like 300% retail.

One quick note. A lot of US games use or recently used (before fuel costs ie. transportation costs and the Can$ went up) Canada to print their cards. That may start to slow down as the new realities set in.

Thanks for listening.
If you are ever in Ottawa ON Canada and want to game with a good bunch, feel free to send me an email.

MrZoz
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13. Board Game: Sweden Fights On [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:3340]
T Jesper Edmark
Sweden
Hässleholm
Skåne
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SWEDEN

BACKGROUND
Boardgames are still trying to break out of the family- and partygames bracket here in Sweden. Yes, there are several gaming societies that are dedicated to boardgames (as well as card- and/or role playing games, but if you ask the average swede what boardgames they play you most likely will get the answer "Trivial Pursuit" or "Monopoly" with the occational "Chess" mixed in. Sweden also happens to be a strong nation ragarding to "Bridge", but I don't really think of "Bridge" as a boardgame.

The Euro Games are being introduced more and more, mainly thanks to certain fans of the genre importing the games directly from Germany. This is of course made possible thanks to the fact that translations can be found online.

PUBLISHING
Swedish publishers are scarce, since the market for games is small. Games that are produced in Sweden are mostly intended for children, although the occational party game slips through. A couple of very small companies have surfaced in recent years, producing games for the gamers, an example of this is Gigantoskop.

Imports stand for the bulk of the gamers games, and the main import chain for games is EBGames. Local shops owned by individuals exist, but are still quite scarce.

AUTHORS & GAMES
Designers are few in Sweden. The authors of Hellgame (Anders Fager/Lars Johansson), Spank the Monkey (Peter Hansson) and Kablamo (Christoffer Krämer) are the only game authors I can name without doing research on the subject.

New titles are few. When the company Äventyrsspel went out of business ten or so years ago production of swedish games was virtually halted. Most new titles on the swedish market are translations of foreign games.

SHOPPING
Games intended for children and party games are widely available (just go to the closest toy store), but Euro Games, wargames and other games intended for the gaming society can only be found in precious few stores. EBGames are the shining exception to this since they are present in most larger cities.

Prices however, is the real problem in Sweden. The average game has a pricetag of about 35£ (45$) and that is simply too much for the games to sell well. Low sales equals even higher prices and thus we have the age old question of the egg and the hen... When you can save over 10£ (13$) on each game when buying directly from Germany, that becomes the only viable option.

FANS
Considering the background and market in Sweden you might be surprised to find the relatively large fanbase of more challenging games. There are several gaming societies (all tied to the umbrella organisation Sverok) that play boardgames on a regular basis and they always welcome new gamers.

Each year there are a handfull of gaming conventions with boardgames on the schedule and these have become incresingly popular over the last decades.

INTERNET
More and more swedish gamers find their way to gaming societies like BGG and BSW. Hopefully our numbers will grow.

LINKS
EBGames - http://www.ebgames.com
Sverok - http://www.sverok.se
Spank the Monkey - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/8222
Hellgame - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/2611
 
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14. Board Game: Hellas [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:2624]
Geo
Greece
Athens
Marousi
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GREECE

ATHENS
The boardgaming scene is small but it grows (slowly).

People here play mostly RPG/CCG's and shops only promote these type of games, since they are the most profitable.

There's ony one gaming club in Athens for roleplayers (as far as i know).

There are two major boardgaming shops:
www.kaissagames.com & www.fantasy-shop.gr
 
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15. Board Game: The Great Game of Britain [Average Rating:5.63 Overall Rank:14114]
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
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UK

The biggest publisher (in £) has to be the Nottingham based Games Workshop, (which incidentally I used to live about half a mile from). Another publisher I can name off the top of my head is Waddingtons, but they mainly do mass market games not euro games.

I don't know of many British born publishers apart from the GW lot, Martin Wallace (AoS), but Knizia lives in Surrey I believe.

Euro games are difficult to come by in the UK. I live in Southampton (pop 200,000) and there are only a couple of shops with hardly any eurogames in stock (SoC, CC and expansions, T2R if you're lucky, urr, not much else really, but they are good for RPGs and card games.)
Shopping was much better when I lived in Nottingham.
(sigh).

It is difficult to find (non GW) players since the games are not widely sold, one usually only finds out about thesethings by word of mouth.

I think the future is bright, we just need to tap the GW market (1 in 5 male brits under 25 has played a GW game)



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16. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:133]
Ricardo Spinola
Portugal
Lisboa
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PORTUGAL (Goa is a wonderful place of mixed portuguese and indian cultures)

This is a contribution of my knowledge concerning the gaming activity in this country. Feel free to add your own or comment. This is for everyone’s information, including my own, which is scarce.

FANS
I know fans who have been playing for nearly 30 years. Some I know live in Lisbon or towards Cascais. These gamers play nearly everything, from german to US. They are aware of any new game. These are real great geeks (which is a compliment of course). Unfortunately they are only a few.
A more common gamer is the Magic the Gathering player. They still gather and are organised. This a phenomenon that has been occurring since the birth of the game.
Warhammer has some success from what i heard, but i lack information.
The great hit (not so great, but enough to be talked about by non gamers) of the last years was, of course, The settlers of Catan, which was translated into portuguese. Carcassone was also translated but was a lesser success.
Of course there are also all those registered here. Few but good i believe.

PUBLISHERS
Like in Spain and Brazil, Devir is the main hope, as Gláucio said (Andrés also mentioned this company). From what i know, Devir is a company from São Paulo – Brazil. They import and translate many games. Apart from this company i don’t know of any other concerning gamers games.

SHOPS
The only real dedicated shops I know are in Lisbon (near or in the Rua dos Açores – near IST) and Porto. Devir is the owner (or one the owners). The Lisbon shop is opened on week ends and has a large room where anyone can play. It’s a bit like a club, but once again i lack information.
Other places are the “Tema” shop (just near the cinemas) in the Colombo Mall (where you can usually find FantasyFG, Days of Wonder, RGG, Eagle Games and others) and in El Corte Inglês with a good but different choice available.

INTERNET
Some local links i know (not at all exhaustive since i usually look abroad):
http://www.devir.pt/jogos_tab/
http://www.eol.com.pt
http://www.games-workshop.pt/

Share or correct any information. Contributions are welcomed.
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17. Board Game: Australia [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2225]
Universal Head
New Zealand
Nelson
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Well, no one's done AUSTRALIA yet, so I will give it a shot; though please excuse my lack of knowledge about the gaming scene here and feel free to add info. Since I live in Sydney this is unavoidably biased towards that city.

And just to quickly shatter a few myths - we call them 'prawns' not 'shrimps', though they do occasionally go on the barbie; kangaroos are not ridden to work and koala bears don't drop out of trees to attack people; no one drinks Fosters - it's an export beer; and yes, the beaches are really that good.

BACKGROUND

Australia, despite our distance from the major publishers, seems to have always been right up there with new game developments and products. I remember the first wargaming and roleplaying games appearing in a little store called 'Models & Figurines' back in the late 70s/early 80s. 'The Tin Soldier' is a venerable wargaming store that is probably the gamer's hub in Sydney.

PUBLISHING

Don't know much about Australian publishers I'm afraid. Due to our relatively small buying population - at least in comparison with the US and Europe - it's generally difficult to get game projects off the ground. There are a few publishers - I've worked on the graphics for some - but they tend to be more mainstream family board games along the 'Pictionary' line.

The company 'A Couple 'A Cowboys' was internationally successful with the video boardgames 'Nightmare' and 'Atmosphere'.

As part of their continuing world conquest, Games Workshop has shops and a company presence in Australia and an Australian version of White Dwarf is published here.

AUTHORS & GAMES

?

SHOPPING

As mentioned, 'The Tin Soldier' in Sydney, also 'Napoleon's Military Bookshop' and 'Games Paradise'. 'Modern Times' on King St in Newtown has a small but good collection. 'Hobbyco' is a large hobby store in Sydney that stocks some wargaming material.

Euro games are beginning to appear in major chains like Dymocks book stores.

FANS

There are a few clubs scattered about, eg The Sydney Board Games Club (http://www.geocities.com/sydneyboardgamesclub) and the Sydney Games Centre (http://www.sydneygamescentre.com)

INTERNET

The Tin Soldier: http://www.tinsoldier.com.au
My favourite game store in Sydney

Other Sydney game stores:
Games Paradise: http://www.gamesparadise.com.au
Napoleon's Military Bookshop: http://www.napoleons.com.au (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane)

Please add to this sparse info, fellow Aussies!
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18. Board Game: Budapest '45 [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:8512]
Ákos Tasnádi
Hungary
Budapest
Unspecified
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BACKGROUND
The most popular games here are card games, like 'ulti', and you can see people playing chess here and there. The most common 'boardgames' are Monopoly and it's clones and relatives, trivia games, Scrabble, and so on - this genre nowdays is dominated by Hasbro. Regarding of Euros, there are a lot of Settlers ('Catan telepesei') out there, I know a lot of people who got this as a present, and enjoyed it. The hardcore gamers' society is small, but growing.
Until now we have bought our games in Vienna and ordered them from some good German online retailers (Danke schön!), but now there are two Hungarian online retailer, so getting the games is much easier right now.


PUBLISHERS
There were and are some minor publishers with Hungarian games, but these games not too good, I think - and they aren't in the BGG's database.

There were and are some minor publishers, who import games - mostly from Germany -, attach black-and-white Hung. rules to them, but most of the times it it hard to get these games, 'cos usually they aren't on the selves of the big shops and supermarkets. The most important was Kék Kobra (Attila, Capitol, etc.), and there was a little publisher, who have published Carcassonne with coloured Hung. rules. Yeah!

The biggest players are Hasbro (mostly Monopoly and Risk and their kind, brr...), Ravensburger - branch of the German one - with puzzles, children games and some good games (like Tikal, San Marco), but sadly in the past years there are no new adult games.

The Hungarian branch of the Austrian Piatnik mostly known here by their cards, but they have published Settlers, and after that Seafarer and Cities & Knights, Alhambra, Domains, Metro, Corsari, Candamir, and a new edition of Carcassonne. (And they often make terrible mistakes in their translations - the worst is Cities & Knights', it was... eh!)

Delta Vision, publishing RPGs, CCGs and fantasy books, recently contracted with FFG and its Italian partner, so they have published Through the Desert already, in September should come Citadels and the aGoT CCGs, and later games like Scarab Lords, aGoT - the boardgame, Warcraft, Doom, Runebound, Descent... I don't really understand, for we are way too poor for those big-boxed games, but whatever, as long as they pay for my translations...

The games published in Hungary:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist.php3?action=view&listi...
 
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19. Board Game: Makruk [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:9718]
 
Frank da man
Thailand
Chumpohn
Chumpohn
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THAILAND

unfortunately i don´t know much about the thai gaming scene besides my wife´s family. of course we infected them already with this virus laugh and this was a quite memorable experience by the way, because was great fun to have seen their eyes change from friendly, smiling scepticism to absolutely glowing, pure innocent joy cool

however, we want to move to thailand within the next 2 years and it would be nice to know, if we have to invent the thai boardgaming community by ourselves or if there is something in existence already. someone out there or from or livng in thailand, please add infos, if there are any.

 
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20. Board Game: Gringo! [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:4757] [Average Rating:7.18 Unranked]
Ramon Zarate
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Mexico:

The comunity is a mixed bag: we have many gamers, mainly PC gamers because piracy its a common practice (since very very long, even before internet!). There are also pretty big Magic and Role Playing communities.

There a couple of comic/hobby stores here at Mexico City, but they rarely stay in bussiness for long time. You can buy at some of them boardgames at stellar prices (Memoir 44 at $73, anyone?) and the choice is very limited.

I buy most of my games via internet, but letely customs and shipping charges are becoming really high and I stoped buying games for about 3 months now.

Lately many boardgames are "made in China" (as virtually everything else), as a 3rd world country we try to compensate by charging %300 customs on ANY item that was made in China... I had a very bad experience when I bought "A game of Thrones" and "A clash of kings" unaware of this, as the custom charge was ridiculously high! (I argued only the playing pieces were chinese and they only charged a standar 15%, but it took me a month of phonecalls) I made quite an effort to import Twilight Imperium, using a network of friends that took 2 months to get the game to me. These days the store where I bought some of my games has had quite a shortage, I think they are not importing boardgames anymore.

Anyway, you can see people playing Settlers of Catan and even Roborally, but the number of copies is limited, typically someone bought the game on a trip (USA or Europe).

I know of no mexican game designer, as in Brazil, you can find re-editions made by mexican companies of classic games: Turista (Monopoly), ¿Quien es el culpable? (Clue) etc... Today, sadly, these are more rare and Star Wars Monopoly and every single Risk edition is flooding this market (mainly seen as "toys").

Card games and dominoes are VERY popular, and actually are a strong social tradition. We play a variant of Dominoes that is played by two teams of two players, for me beer and dominoes and "salsa" music are synonimous of a very good time with my friends. (You play until everyone is so drunk that they don't even know whos turn it is).

I grew up outside the city, in a very very small town. There was nintendo, but not a single boardgame (except for cards and dominoes) but we usually used plastic soldiers and some rudimentary rules to play with them, we used "corcholatas" (huh... that thing that used to seal bottled cokes?) to play a very sophisticated soccer game (actually it was very similar to Pro Action Football, only cheaper!) and things like that.

So in general people here likes and plays games, but not the way done by most in this site.

I should mention PC games are now selling on this country with similar prices as those in USA, so maybe board games will be more accesible later, because I do think we could be a good market oportunity. Time will tell!
 
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21. Board Game: Malaya [Average Rating:6.25 Unranked]
Champion Eternal
Malaysia
Unspecified
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BACKGROUND
Malaysia was called 'Malaya' before its independence on 31 August 1957. (I know the picture shows the map of Singapore and the southern tip of Malaya, but aren't any pictures of the map of Malaya as a whole in the game entry).

In the 60's there were local traditional games as well as a tiny sprinkling of imported boardgames like Chess, Checkers, Chad Valley's Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, etc. Of course there were also local versions and variants of these popular games.

Monopoly (Waddingtons') and Scrabble came into Malaysia in the late 60's to early 70s. At least that was my memory of these games. We were used to the UK version of Monopoly, so Mayfair, Park Lane, Picadilly Circus and Old Kent Road were part of the local lingo here. A few years later, Waddingtons' 'Exploration', 'Formula 1', 'Blast Off', and 'Table Soccer' were found in a popular toy shop in Kuala Lumpur. Surprisingly, I got my copy of '4000 AD' from a stationery shop in the then small town of Malacca. One of my favourite boardgames then was 'Movie Maker'. My copy had a damaged box, but that did not matter. I still remember the day my parents bought that for me.

In the 80's the comics craze came to Malaysia. Along with this came the fantasy and science fiction books and Games Workshop's Space Hulk, Heroquest, et al. However, the market for comics was relatively large compared to the market for games. Gaming groups were limited to small school clubs and informal gatherings of friends.

In the 90's, Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, Blood Bowl and other GW games started to get popular. But the critical mass of players were not there. This fizzled out in the late 90's. Howerver, the CCG craze which started at about the same time went from strength to strength. In 1999-2000, there was a rennaissance in miniature gaming with the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40K, 6th edition of Warhammer and DBA. New games shops sprang to life.

This year, 2005, is THE turning point of gaming in Malaysia. Euro games gained widespread popularity here with a weekly column in two national English language dailies. Along with this, we had the first Malaysian Warhammer 40K Tournament in mid-2005. Soon after that distributorship agreements were signed with Euro games publishers, Games Workshop, Rackham and Privateer Press, as the gaming public is exposed to all things beyond Monopoly and Scrabble.

Games Association of Malaysia (GAM) was formed in August 2005. This is a trade association whose members are the official distributors of various games in Malaysia.

So, currently, the Malaysian gaming scene is hot with CCGs, CMG's Euro Games, GW games, Confrontation and Warmachine - a gamer's dream.

PUBLISHING
'Sahibba' is published by Syarikat Permainan Malaysia. It is a tile placement game not unlike Scrabble, but uses the Malay language. It is actually bilingual since the Malay language uses Romanised characters.

SHOPPING
There are very supportive games shops here. In fact they are more like clubs where players can bring their games.

'Games Circle' in Damansara Jaya and 'Toys in Motion' in One Utama shopping complex are the better stores for Euro games and miniatures games. Euro games can also be obtained from lifestyle stores like 'Room'. There is one online store by the Eurogames distributor, Imagine Games.

FANS
Lots of players now, but they are scattered about in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Penang, etc. There are groups of regular gamers who play in Games Circle as well as in some of the players' homes.

INTERNET
The Wargames Portal is a Yahoo group consisting of members from the Australia-Asia-Pacific area. Games and gaming news are discussed here:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/TheWargamesPortal/

Imagine Games has an online store as well as a blog here:
http://homepage.mac.com/imagine_newszine/Personal16.html

Games Circle's website is here:
http://www.geocities.com/gamescircle/

My website on gaming around the Australia-Asia-Pacific region is here:
http://www.geocities.com/theartofwargames/

GAMES CONVENTION
The biggest games convention in the region, GAMECON-1 will be held in Kuala Lumpur on December 3-4, 2005. An area of 1600 square metres (18,000 square feet) will be dedicated for Eurogames, Memoir '44 Overlord Triples competition, miniature games demos/participation games, major CCG competition, and CMG's.

See Gaming Report's article:
http://www.gamingreport.com/print.php?sid=17857

Further discussion on the organisation and news of the various GAMECON-1 events will be found in The Wargames Portal:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/TheWargamesPortal/

 
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22. Board Game: Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648 [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:1481]
Emile de Maat
Netherlands
Hengelo
Overijssel
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BACKGROUND
As I understand it, gaming has always been rather popular in the Netherlands, though of course it was limited to chess, checkers and card games for most of the time, until Monopoly emerged.

PUBLISHING
The oldest (serious) game company in the Netherlands would be Jumbo, founded in 1950. They published puzzles and games like Pachisi. In 1958, they invented Stratego (and licensed it to Milton Bradley for distribution in the US). They still publish children's and classic games, similar to the MB line.

A few foreign publishers have been around for quite some time as well, translating their games in Dutch:
Games from Parker where published in Dutch by their Belgian/Dutch branch Clipper, but are now again published under the name "Parker". In addition Milton Bradley and Ravensburger also publish a lot of games in Dutch. Recently, Days of Wonder has been added to this list.

Since the rise of German-style games, a few Dutch publishers have emerged who import and translate German games. Biggest of them is 999 Games, who translates most succesfull games from KOSMOS, Hans im Glück, Amigo and Goldsieber. Two other companies are PS-Games (not focused on Germany, translating Steve Jackson Games, Fantasy Flight, 2F Spiele, Nexus) and Identity Games.

A few companies actually produce their own games (instead of mostly translating from others): Splotter Spellen, The Game Master and Phalanx Games (a branch of 999 Games).

AUTHORS & GAMES
I can't think of to many succesful Dutch authors or games. Most important to name here would be team from (and the games from) Splotter Spellen.

SHOPPING
It used to be the case that traditional games could be found at any toy store or department store, and that more "advanced" games could only be found in specialty game stores. These game stores where rare and often could just barely keep alive.
With the arrival of 999 Games, Eurogames can also be found in the bigger toy and department stores, making life even more harsh for the specialty game stores. All in all, eurogames are quite easily found, others are rather difficult to come by.
In addition, we are living next to Germany, so if you can read German, you can get the games more cheap and easily in Germany.

FANS
There are a lot of small gaming clubs (though they are not to easy to be found). A lot are centered around their FLGS or a university. You can find some of these groups on the internet.
In addition, there is a national club, the Ducosim which organises several conventions.
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23. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:606]
Francisco J. Piña A.
Chile
Calama
Antofagasta
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Country: Chile
Capital: Santiago

BACKGROUND

Chile is a country with VERY little gaming tradition, mostly card games and dominoes, and recently CCGs, and some RPGs, but VERY FEW board games (just the typical Hasbro crap, you know: Monopoly, Risk, Clue, Scrabble... not even Battle Ball!!) and that's because here we have that stupid "Games and Cartoons are for children" culture. Fortunately, through this site, we can now have access to all this world of fun

PUBLISHING

The only games that are for sale here are imported, so we have no game publishers here, just a few distributors and direct importers.

AUTHORS & GAMES

I can't think of any game made here in Chile, because of the reason exposed in point 1.

SHOPPING

Almost impossible. Only in the malls you can find the "Hasbro Crap", and everything else must be directly imported or buyed online.

FANS

The only fans of board games I know are the ones I taught them some games (My girl, my sister and her boyfriend, and my mom). I think there's at least one more Chilean user here in the Geek...

INTERNET

None, as far as I know...


Yeah, the gamer's life in Chile is VERY hard, almost impossible...
 
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24. Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #3: Scandinavia and Korea [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Shin Yoo
United Kingdom
London
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BACKGROUND

Korea is famous for being the country where Tom Vasel lives - well, seriously now, Korea quickly became famous in the gaming world mainly because of the "game cafes". The first one was founded in 2002, and with the media hype, literally hundreds of more followed. Well we did have small import-based online shops before them, but they are responsible for the current gaming scene in Korea.

But, as with everything else here, the fad has come and gone rather quickly. We do have a lot of serious gamers, but they are still hungry for further expansion of gaming domain; the huge game cafe boom only left a bunch of people who would play Jenga and Halli Galli again and again and again(not that it's bad, but obviously there is more to gaming experience than that). However the future still looks bright with new games being locally designed and published, and the recent foundation of KABI(Korea Association of Board-game Industry). It was actually KABI, not a company, that was behind the mini-con that Tom wrote about in his blog.

Apart from the recent Euro scene, for the most people the word "game" will be usually connected to computer game. If you try to explain that "your kind of game" does not involve computers, than probably the next candidate will be the Japanese flower card(the most popular game, which almost every Korean knows how to play, is called "Go-Stop"). Among traditional games, we have Ssangryuk, which is very similar to Backgammon but hardly played now, and Yutnori, which is an intense race game played with Yut(something like dice). Yutnori is still very popular on traditional holidays, mostly among family members. Yutnori was themed and revamped as "Story of the Sun, the Moon and the Stars".

PUBLISHING

There are several publishing houses now - Paper Iyagi, the one who opened the first game cafe, published Korean editions of various games. Dagoy has been going strong with Lineage II(http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/17697) and their newest game Lexio(http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/19184). History & Fun produced the unique conflict game Romance of Three Kingdoms(http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/19025).

AUTHORS & GAMES

Every games from Dagoy was developed by their in-house design team; the designer Heekwon Jung is actually an employee of Dagoy. On the other hand, Jaehyun Cho has designed Romance of Three Kingdoms on his own. There are many gamers who are dreaming about designing his or her own game, so who knows? Someday we might see great names among us

SHOPPING

More than 90% of the game shopping is done through online game shops, although more and more bookstores and department stores are stocking board games as well. Second hand market is very active through gaming community websites too. More hardcore gamers often make international orders to USA and Germany.

FANS

The game cafe boom introduced board games to a lot of people, and at least some of them remain as casual gamers until now. There is a small but dedicated group of hardcore gamers too. There are only a few wargamers, and usually they play euros too(i.e there is not a distinct line between euro players and war gamers). Interestingly enough, TRPG/CCG/Miniatures all had their own, if small, cult following way before board gaming was introduced.

INTERNET

KABI(http://www.boardgame.or.kr) is the recently founded organization. Divedice(http://www.divedice.com) is without doubt the biggest and best online gaming community, although they run a shop alongside too. Interhobby(http://www.interhobby.co.kr) deals with CCGs and board games. I am in charge of Boardwalk(http://www.boardwalk.co.kr). I am trying to keep it bilingual and up-to-date, but I'm a bit too lazy and also far away from Korea now. There are also several excellent gaming resource sites(in Korean) too.
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25. Board Game: The Arab-Israeli Wars [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:3740]
Gilad Yarnitzky
Israel
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BACKGROUND
In the pass there were always the standard Hasbro games, BUT there were several Original Israeli games that most children grew with (I’m not even sure they are in the database), and there are several world famous card games that originated in Israel (such as Taki)

PUBLISHING
There is one major company that prints games that have the right s for MB, Hasbro and parker games. This year is the first year that Eurogames are translated into Hebrew by a new game company. The first game was Citadels, so it is a good start

SHOPPING
Most of the shopping is done abroad, but in the last 2-3 years games have being imported and the number of games in dedicated stores increase. There is even one relative large store that has a collection of 30-40 games (many from Steve Jackson games), so things are looking up

FANS
The number of players is increasing due to activities at several levels. The games importers are doing some gaming days, there are roleplay gamecons that also have a few boardgame sessions, and I started an Israeli boardgame society in order to help those gamecons expose people to board games. There are now many gaming groups and the numbers are increasing.

Looking at what happened in the last 2-3 years I’m very optimistic about the gaming world here

 
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