Author Archive

Fantasy Flight Games and Stronghold Games Announce Resolution to the “Merchant of Venus” Board Game Publishing

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012



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.


About Fantasy Flight Games:

Roseville, Minnesota’s Fantasy Flight Games is a publisher of board, card, and role-playing games. Founded in 1995 by Christian T. Petersen, Fantasy Flight has published hundreds of successful titles, including Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, the Lord of the Rings series of board games; board and card games based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos and George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, and many original board games such as Twilight Imperium, Runebound, and Descent: Journeys in the Dark.

About Stronghold Games

Stronghold Games LLC is a publisher of high-quality board games and card games within the hobby game industry.  Since the founding of the company in 2009, Stronghold Games has released numerous successful games, including the best-selling Survive: Escape From Atlantis!, which has just been reprinted in a 30th Anniversary Edition, the award-winning Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War, and the highly-regarded deck-building game, Core Worlds, which is slated for an expansion in late 2012.  Stronghold Games has also found great co-publishing opportunities, bringing to North America Panic Station, Lost Temple, and Revolver: The Wild West Gunfighting Game. Stronghold Games LLC is a Limited Liability Company formed in the State of Delaware, USA.


For further information:

Fantasy Flight Games
Anton Torres
Phone: (651) 639 1905

Stronghold Games
Stephen M. Buonocore
Phone: (908) 304 5711


Announcing…Core Worlds: Galactic Orders… the first expansion for Core Worlds!

Friday, May 18th, 2012


– An article on the expansion by designer Andrew Parks

Core Worlds: Galactic Orders is the highly anticipated first expansion to the one of the galaxy’s hottest new deck-building games!

In this expansion, players begin to forge alliances with the six Galactic Orders, powerful organizations that have maintained their independence in the midst of a crumbling empire.

Eidolon League

Eidolon League: Go ahead and enter the circle... I dare you...

These Orders were represented in the core set by the six Prestige Cards: the Galactic Senate, the Science Guild, the Merchant Alliance, the Mining Coalition, the Order of Knighthood, and the Mystic Brotherhood. The Core Worlds expansion focuses on these six independent organizations and their influence upon a galaxy at war.

Many players noted the enigmatic icons on many of their Units and Tactics in the base set, and the rulebook mentioned that these would be used in future expansions. Well, this is the first expansion to use them! Each Galactic Order is represented on the table by a large Galactic Order Card that specifies the special power associated with that Order, and each player starts with 20 Faction Tokens that match the Faction symbols on their Starting Decks.

The Trinidad

The Trinidad: You don't want to mess with her...

Whenever you deploy a Unit or play a Tactic with a Galactic Order Icon on it, you get to place your Faction Token onto the corresponding Galactic Order Card. If you leave your Faction Token on that Galactic Order Card for the remainder of the game, then you’ll score bonus points at the end of the game if you have the most Faction Tokens on that Galactic Order Card. However, if you wish to use the special power associated with a particular Galactic Order, then you must remove one of your Faction Tokens from that Galactic Order.

Therefore, you must strategically balance your use of the Galactic Order powers throughout the game with your hope to score the most points from that Galactic Order Card at the end of the game. Furthermore, the amount of points you receive is variable based on the number of tokens you have on the Galactic Order Card, so even if you will clearly win a particular Galactic Order, using its power will still diminish your final score.

Mutant Berserker

Mutant Berserker: Nightmares do come true...


So what kinds of powers do these Galactic Orders provide that could tempt you to spend your Faction Tokens and thereby reduce your final score to use them? Well, the Galactic Senate lets you take an extra Action, the Mystic Brotherhood lets you draw 3 cards, and the Order of Knighthood lets you add +2 Fleet Strength or +2 Ground Strength to any Invasion. How’s that for temptation?

And to add further temptation, there are also a whole slew of new Units and Tactics added to each Galactic Deck that allow you to spend your Faction Tokens in unique ways. For example, the Mutant Berserker (see above) will allow you to spend one of your Faction Tokens from the Science Guild to allow the Berserker to stay in play after invading a World. That’s not normally how the Science Guild works, but many Units like the Berserker provide you with a whole new universe of ways to spend your tokens.

Prince of The Realm

Prince of the Realm: Yes, they still use swords...and they still hurt a lot...

Now you might be thinking that these tokens make the game easier since they provide so many new options to players. However, we have also added a new card type, Events, that provide new challenges for players as they advance into the different Sectors of the game.

Most of these Events provide players with a choice of how they are affected by the Event, so therefore players must decide the best way to face each of these challenges. For example, if the Prince of the Realm (see above) shows up in Sector 5, players must choose to spend either 1 extra Action or 2 extra Energy to draft a Prestige Card. Similarly, if the Local Mercs show up in Sector 3, players must choose whether or not to pay them off by spending 2 extra Energy when invading a World; otherwise, they’ll have to fight the Mercs, who provide the World with +1 Fleet Strength and +1 Ground Strength. And since the Events are keyed to specific Sectors, players also get a stronger sense of the flavor of the Core Worlds universe as they travel deeper and deeper towards the galactic core.

Although we felt it was important to completely design and playtest the expansion before releasing the base game, we also closely monitor player comments on and on other sites throughout the internet. We have therefore created some additional features that directly respond to player’s desires for future expansions.

Capital City

Capital City: A nice place to visit, but...

In particular, we noticed that players really wanted more ways to cull their decks, and also that players wanted greater incentives to do more invading in Sectors I & II. One of the ways we have addressed both of these concerns is by introducing a new type of card called Advancements, which attach themselves directly to Worlds in your Warzone. There will only be one Advancement in this expansion, but you can expect to see many more in future expansions. The Advancement that comes in Galactic Orders is called the Capital City, and every player starts with it attached to his or her Home World. During each Energy Phase, the Capital City allows a player with at least 3 Worlds in his or her Empire to place any card from his hand beneath the Capital City for the rest of the game. So now you can cull one card every turn (even those pesky Tactics!) once you have conquered your first two Worlds. Suddenly, running out and conquering Worlds during the first two Rounds becomes much more important!

Elite Forces

Elite Forces: Peace through superior firepower...

Players have also noted that players who deploy all of their cards in the first few turns gain a healthy advantage over those who would rather spend some of their time drafting and invading. Also, players really wanted to see more creative names for their Home Worlds. So we have taken this opportunity to re-issue the five starting Home Worlds with new names and one additional ability. They retain the ability from the base set (discard 2 cards for 1 Energy), but the other ability is new. Now, during the Draw Phase, if the number of Worlds in your Warzone is greater than the number of Units in your Warzone, you get to draw an extra card! Therefore, players who draft lots of cards and invade lots of early Worlds will receive compensation by being able to move more quickly through their larger decks. The “thin deck” strategy is still just as viable as before, but now those who want to draft more cards (and get those Galactic Order Icons into their decks more quickly!) have an equally viable strategy. The more viable strategies in the game, the better for everyone!

Some features requested by players will not appear in this expansion, but we are planning to add them to future expansions, including the ability to draft unique Home Worlds and starting Heroes. So hang tight, galactic barbarians, the Core Worlds universe will continue to expand for millennia to come!

Artwork previewed here is by Jessada Sutthi, Biagio D’Alessandro, and Jeremiah Humphries.  Lead Artist from the base set of Core Worlds, Maciej Rebisz, will reprise his role as Lead Artist in Core Worlds: Galactic Orders!

Mailing List Only Special for “Survive!” until May 13, 2012 at 3pm EDT

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

The “Mailing List Only Special” is now over, unfortunately… :(

BUT, “Survive: Escape From Atlantis! – 30th Anniversary Edition” will be:
- Shipping the week of May 14 to those who took advantage of the “Mailing List Only Special”!
- Be available for those going to ORIGINS Game Fair, May 31-June 3, 2012 in the Stronghold Games booth!
- In your retail stores after June 6, 2012!

Here is what you sort of missed…

We just sent out a notice to our loyal mailing list members.  Just now… 7PM EDT on April 28, 2012…

We informed them that there is a “MAILING LIST ONLY SPECIAL” going on right now …and it’s only for our loyal Mailing List Subscribers…

What is the Mailing List Special, you ask?  Well, I can’t tell you that!  If you are a mailing list subscriber, then you know already!

Oh, come on!  So, you want to know, and you are not a subscriber?!  Sigh…

Well, since you are a welcome visitor  here on the Stronghold Games website, and I would like to get you to be a mailing list subscriber, I guess I can give you a hint…

Survive: Escape From Atlantis! 30th Anniversary Edition

Oh, and since we are now like BFFs and I’m telling you all these secrets, go to the GAMES/STORE link above, and take a peek at just what this whole MAILING LIST ONLY SPECIAL really means…

…or well, I guess I can tell you to just click here to see it straight away:  MAILING LIST ONLY SPECIAL

Shhhhh!  Just don’t go blabbering about this everywhere!!  :)


Space Cadets…and Space Cadets – LIVE!

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Stronghold Games is pleased to announce a great new innovative game…

Space Cadets

Designed by Brian, Sydney, and Geoff Engelstein

It’s your lifelong dream – to join the Star Patrol and be part of the crew of an interstellar Starship.  You’ve worked hard, graduated from the Academy, and received your first assignment as part of a team of young recruits, confident in your training and ready to be put to the test.

Nothing can possibly go wrong…

You’ve been prepared for anything…

You are the Space Cadets.

Space Cadets

Space Cadets is a fun and frantic cooperative game for 3-6 players who take on the roles of Bridge Officers of a Starship. Each officer must accomplish his task in order for the team to successfully complete the mission.

You might be the:

  • Helmsman, plotting the ship’s course through asteroid fields and nebulae.
  • Engineer, using dominoes to get enough power to each system.
  • Weapons Officer, completing puzzles to load the torpedoes and flicking a disc down a track to launch them.
  • Shield Officer, using tiles to form poker hands to get the strongest shields.
  • Sensor Officer, using your sense of touch to scan and lock on enemy targets.
  • Or maybe even the Captain, setting the plan and making sure that everyone stays focused and does their job.

If your crew can work together to accomplish the mission goals you just might make it home in one piece.

Space Cadets is currently scheduled for an Essen 2012 (October) release.

Join the Stronghold Games mailing list on our webpage to be the first to get more information on Space Cadets and all Stronghold Games upcoming products!


Also announcing…

Space Cadets – LIVE!

A live and interactive convention event based on Space Cadets has been created. Space Cadets – Live! is a fun and frantic massive cooperative game for approximately 30 players, divided into teams for the different functions of the Starship.

Each team will have a mini-game that they need to complete within a short time limit, and the better they perform the better that ship function will execute. Different teams must also communicate and work with each other while doing their mini-game. Is the Helm team charging towards enemies? The Shield team may want to make the forward shields stronger.

Multimedia, props, and special effects will immerse you in the world of Space Cadets – Live!

Space Cadets – Live! will premiere at DEXCON 15 in Morristown, NJ, July 5, 2012 at 8pm.

And… $1000 in prizes will be awarded for the team who performs the best during Space Cadets – Live!

This premiere Space Cadets – Live! event will be simulcast LIVE to the rest of the convention and to the entire internet via direct feed provided by Bacon Ice Cream Productions.

Click here for more information on Space Cadets – Live! click here.

Lost Temple and Revolver: PREORDERS end Sunday, April 8 at 5pm — Don’t miss out!

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Stronghold Games is pleased to announce the start of preorders for…

Lost Temple


Revolver:  The Wild West Gunfighting Game


And of very interesting note for our preorder customers, this preorder program will run just over 3 weeks only!  These games were placed on the boat a week ago, so they are already sailing their way to our warehouse at this time.

So, between the time you place your preorder and the time we ship to you will be just 3 weeks or less! 

Preorders for these games are scheduled to begin shipping to you on/about April 11, 2012 !


Add this short “time to delivery” to the other great benefits of preordering, which are:Lost Temple

1. 30-35% off the MSRP.
2. We never open preorders until the game is printed and about to get onto the boat (in this case it *is* on the boat).
3. You are guaranteed to have your game shipped to you BEFORE anyone else, and that includes Distributors, Retailers, and other customers.
4. Only 500 preorder units are ever sold through this system out of respect to our Retail partners.


And for Lost Temple and Revolver: The Wild West Gunfighting Game preorders, you will get special bonus items as well!


Customers who preorder Revolver: The Wild West Gunfighting Game will also receive the exclusive “Elias Hooker” promo card.  This promo card was only available at Essen Spiel 2011 when the game premiered from WGG.  Now, Stronghold Games is able to bring you this promo card as well, free to our our loyal preorder customers.


Customers who preorder Lost Temple will also receive the exclusive “The Mandarin” promo card, player card, and player token.  “The Mandarin” will not only enable you to vary game play with his unique role power in the game, but also it will enable you to play with up to 9 players!

Preorder Lost Temple and
Revolver: The Wild West Gunfighting Game
now before it is too late!

But wait… there’s more!  :)
In addition to all the above savings and bonuses, customers can preorder both games and get a combined shipping rate!