Tag Archives: Stephen Buonocore

Stronghold Games Announces the Publication of the Village Line

Licensed English Editions of My VillageVillageVillage Inn, and Village Port coming in 2016
New Jersey, USA – November 18, 2015

Stronghold Games is proud to announce the publication of the Village line of games, under license and co-published with the great German publisher, Eggert-spiele. TheVillage line of games currently includes Village, My Village, Village Inn, and Village Port.

Village, which is the original game in this line, was originally published in 2011. The innovative game play and rich theme quickly garnered Village numerous board game awards including the prestigious Kennerspiel des Jahres (2012), Games Magazine Best New Advanced Strategy Game (2013), Deutcher Spiele Preis Best Family/Adult Game (2012), as well asmany other awards and nominations.
In Village, players take the reins of a family where the members become merchants, clergy, politicians, or travelers, all in search of fame and glory. Players spend time to perform actions. Since time will not stop for anyone, your people will pass on. Strategic time-management determines if your family will be immortalized in the village chronicles to bring honor and victory to your family.
My Village, a new standalone game in the line, was released at Essen 2015. Each player is in charge of their own village, controlling its entire fate. The popular themes, places, and characters of Village are joined by new elements like dice drafting, individual Grim Reaper figures, and rat invasions. My Village is a whole new experience with a similar game weight to Village.
Village Inn is the first expansion to Village, adding two new buildings, the Brewery and the Inn. The Brewery is a new craft building where you can acquire a new good, beer. At the Inn, you meet influential people that have unique abilities.Village Inn includes all necessary components for a fifth player as well.
Village Port is the second expansion to Village, enabling players to travel the seas, trading goods and foreign commodities. Family members can become missionaries and dig for treasure on distant lands. Life goal cards are introduced, enabling your family to pursue careers such as writer, historian, or even knight.
The Village line of games was designed by the noted team of Inka and Markus Brand, who are responsible for many other great games, such as A Castle for All Seasons, La Boca,Murano, and others.  The Village line also features the gorgeous artwork of the talented artist Dennis Lohausen, whose work has been featured in many games such as Terra Mystica, Dominion: Intrigue, The Voyages of Marco Polo, Hansa Teutonica, Fields of Arle, Glass Road, AquaSphere, Hawaii, Camel Up, and others.
The release of the Village line of games strengthens the commitment of Stronghold Games to partner with publishers globally, bringing their very best games to North America and the rest of the world, as well as to continue to publish top-tier euro-game designs.  The Village line of games follows the success of other major euro-games in 2015 from Stronghold Games, such as La Granja, The Golden Ages, 504, and Porta Nigra also with Eggert-spiele.
Stronghold Games will release Village and Village Innfor the GAMA Trade Show in March 2016.  Stronghold Games will then release My Village and Village Port in time for the Origins Game Fair in May/June 2016.  The Village line of games will be printed at Ludofact Germany, the leading printer of hobby games in the world.

“We are excited to be publishing the new game, My Village, as well as bringing back into print the rest of the Village line of games”, said Stephen Buonocore, President of Stronghold Games. “We are very excited to be working on this project with the fantastic company, Eggert-spiele, with whom we have worked so well in the past.”



ATTACHMENTS – Box Images for My VillageVillageVillage Inn, Village Por

About Stronghold Games LLC:

Stronghold Games LLC is a publisher of high-quality board and card games in the hobby game industry. Since 2009, Stronghold Games has released many highly-regarded games, including the best-selling “Survive: Escape From Atlantis!“, the most innovative deck-building game “Core Worlds”, the smash-hit game line “Space Cadets”, and the copublished game line “Among The Stars”.  Stronghold Games publishes great game designs developed both in-house and in partnership with great publishers from around the world. Stronghold Games LLC is a Delaware USA Limited Liability Company.


Stronghold Games Logo


Stephen M. Buonocore, President

Stronghold Games LLC
17 Sunflower Road
Somerset, NJ 08873 USA
Phone:    +1-908-304-5711

Box Cover, Stronghold Games/English edition – “Village” (not final)
Box Cover, Stronghold Games/English edition – “My Village” (not final)
Box Cover, Stronghold Games/English edition – “Village Inn” expansion (not final)
Box Cover, Stronghold Games/English edition – “Village Port”expansion (not final)
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Interview with Julian Courtland-Smith Part 1

The first time I saw someone explain Survive! Escape From Atlantis I knew I had to have it. The theme, the look, the interesting gameplay. I loved it so much I did a video review of it for Ed Baraf. This game had a huge impact on our family. Even our 11 year old, who is not as interested in board games, asks to play it, Then I did some research on the designer. Surely he created other games that my family would love. But I only found information on an out of print game and a never published game. I needed more information. Luckily we live in the 21st century and I have this wonderful thing called the internet and this other wonderful thing called electronic mail!! Once I combined the two I was able to contact and communicate with Julian Courtland-Smith, designer of Survive! Escape From Atlantis and bringer of joy to my family.

Today Spaghetti & Meeples brings you Part 1 (yes there will be a part 2!) of our interview with Julian Courtland-Smith.

Julian Courtland-Smith with Survive!What inspired you to design Survive?

 Survive! is the name (title) Parker Brothers, USA, chose to call my game Escape from Atlantis (EfA). What inspired me to invent EfA was, one day in Hastings Library I chanced upon a row of books all about the ‘mythical’ island of Atlantis. In a flash I thought a game about a sinking island would be a good theme for a board game.The rest is history.

Survive has been through many publishers. Did you have anything to do with that?

Yes and no. Survive went through many publishers because each publisher had survival issues, pun intended. Parker Brothers were hit badly when computer games came along and wiped out 80% of the board game market. Following the success of Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs! I took EfA to Waddingtons UK with a 3D version which they marketed. A few years later, Waddingtons were hit by a recession and taken over by Hasbro. I renegotiated with Hasbro who launched their version of EfA in 1997, but when European sales of Atlantis! dropped below 100,000 per annum they axed it. Stronghold Games came along and relaunched the game in 2010. Since then it has remained a success. EfA is also sub-licensed by Asmodee in other languages and called ‘The Island’. There’s also a digital version of the EfA on smart phones. It’s marketed by Quado and called Escape from Atlantis. Yes, many publishers have marketed Escape from Atlantis but each has played a part in its continued success.

What about the expansions Stronghold Games has released?

They’re great! Stronghold Games consulted me about their expansions and I agreed.

I read Survive originally had pirates in it. Do you want to get pirates back in the game?

My prototype of Survive (Escape from Atlantis) did indeed include pirates. Parker Bros, USA, substituted the pirates for whales. I think this was a good idea. My pirates and Parker Bros whales do the same thing, which is sink a boat upon impact and make the fleeing Atlantians swimmers. I believe there are fans of the game who would enjoy seeing pirates in the game. What’s needed to include pirates in a future expansion is a new set of rules which legitimize their presence and doesn’t upset the balance of the game.

What does it feel like to have Survive not only still around 30 years on, but also very popular and on many “best of” lists?

Very humbling! The fact that so many people still enjoy playing my game after all these years is really amazing. Yes, I feel very honoured.

You also designed Lost Valley Of The Dinosaurs and the unreleased Mammoth Mountain. I sense a running theme. Not so much a question as a leading statement… 

I love thematic games. As such, in the 80’s, I designed a trilogy of adventure games. Because of major changes in the games industry explained above I  was unable to get my third game Mammoth Mountain released. See picture of Mammoth Mountain, not seen elsewhere.

Mammoth Mountain

Any chance of Mammoth Mountain getting made?

There’s a lot of interest being shown at the moment to publish the original prototype of Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs, not the Waddingtons version. If that’s successful, then there’s a slim chance Mammoth Mountain will follow.

Lost Valley Of The Dinosaurs

 Why did you decide to invent board games?

 In 1965 I read an article in a magazine about Waddingtons latest game, Mine A Million! I thought I could do that!

 What was the first game you invented?

 My first game was called World Power. Looking back, it was rubbish and a variation of Risk!

How many games have you invented?

Somewhere between 50 to 100. When a game goes nowhere, I take any good mechanics from it and put them into another game.

How many years have you been inventing games?

42 years out of the last 50, as I took an 8 year sabbatical. In the last recession 1988/96 lots of board game companies went to the wall. Like frenzied sharks on a blood lust, the major manufacturers Mattel and Hasbro gobbled up most of the opposition. Today Waddingtons, Spears, Parker Bros, MB and the like have become brand names. I took a back seat during that recession waiting for the fallout, as people in the business were losing their jobs and games companies stopped marketing new games.

How long did it take before you were successful?

17 years. Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs was marketed by Waddingtons in 1982 and sold 1/3rd million. It took me 2 weeks to invent the game, 4 weeks to write the rules and 6 years to get it to market!

Be sure to join us next week for Part 2 and find out a little more about Julian’s design process and what’s next for him!

In the meantime here’s more picture goodness of a prototype version of Survive! Escape From Atlantis!

Prototypes of 2d and 3d versions

Part 2 can be found here.

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