MTV Geek Takes a Peek at Belfort!

And they liked what they saw!


MTV Geek gave Belfort a very positive review, stating that Belfort is a good replacement for Stone Age and a great way to introduce novice gamers to meatier (but not overwhelming) Euros.  They also gave big thumbs up to Josh’s graphic design, stating that it’s refreshing when form meets function.

Well done, Team Belfort!


Belfort Expansion Playtesters Needed

Are you interested in playtesting the upcoming expansion to Belfort? Read on…

Looks like there will be a couple of Belfort expansions coming out this year! The first expansion will be a very small expansion – probably 3 new guilds. It will be super affordable and very accessible. The second one will change things up a bit and add a whole new layer – but actually make the game speed up! Crazy right?!

More good news, we’ve been given the green light to send out the prototype files to people interested in helping us playtest the prototype. There are so many permutations of how this new expansion works as it adds even more dynamic content. Add that to the fact that we have interchangeable guilds and we have a lot of testing to do!

If you are interested then you can send me an email ( and I will send out the files in a week or so.

The expectation if you sign up would be that you do indeed get at least one playtest session in, and that you complete a pretty simple form that will give us feedback about how it went. We couldn’t have any public reviews made about the playtest sessions until we’ve finalized all the rules of course. The file will be simple to print out and play with your existing game of Belfort.

So if you’re interested – send us an email! If you’ve yet to get your copy of Belfort and have wondered if it’s a good game or not…here’s another positive review of the game, this time from a site called Ludocracy!

-Jay Cormier

Belfort Demo Day in Surrey, BC

Do you live near Surrey, British Columbia? Have you been wondering about Belfort – staying awake at nights because you’ve heard how awesome it was, but haven’t been able to track it down yet? 🙂 Well now’s your chance! On Wednesday, January 25th I’ll be at Your Go Games in Surrey to show off Belfort, answer some questions and possibly even show the new expansion that will be released later this year!

Details are below, and here is the Facebook invite if that’s easier for you.

What: Belfort Demo Day/Meet one of the Designers
Where: Your Go Games, 2395 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC
When: January 25, 7pm-10pm

-Jay Cormier

Belfort makes Garrett’s Games and Geekiness Best of 2011 List

Garrett’s Games and Geekiness posts a weekly audio podcast on board games and has posted 296 episodes so far. The 296th podcast is a review of their favourite games of 2011. They broke things down into 5 categories: Feld, Heavies, Medium Weights, Card Games, Fillers.

Feld refers to Stefan Feld who had a 1-2 punch this year with Trajan and Castles of Burgundy (I’ve yet to play either as I haven’t been able to find them locally yet).

Heavies consists of 4 games: De Vulguria Eloquentia, Vinhos, Florenza and … Belfort!

He was torn about where to slot Belfort since it’s not as heavy as those other three, but he wanted people to know that the cartoony art might make some think that it’s not a deep game – but it is deep. So that’s really cool!

To finish off his list, his favourite medium weight games are Asara, Crows, Principato, Casa Grande, Firenze, Sun, Sea and Land, Ticket to Ride: Asia. His favourite card games are Biblios, 23, Stich-meister. His favourite Fillers are Kingdom Builder, Paris Connection, Burdigala, Arriala, Cambria, Color Stox, Mondriaan 2020 and Super Rhino!

Great list Garrett! Looks like there’s a few on there that I’ll have to check out.

-Jay Cormier

Most Anticipated Games – Results…and another 2 reviews!

The Most Anticipated Games of 2012 poll on boardgamegeek is now over and the results are in! I’m happy to report that the currently unnamed Belfort expansion made the list…twice!

It’s the 10th most anticipated expansion that’s due out this year. That’s pretty stellar as we’re in ridiculously fantastic company with the rest of the list comprised of expansions to these games:

1. 7 Wonders
2. Race for the Galaxy
3. Alien Frontiers
4. Quarriors!
5. Dominion
6. Galaxy Trucker
7. Cosmic Encounter
8. Eminent Domain
9. Summoner Wars
10. Belfort

Wow! Those are all huge games and we’re stoked to be included in this list! See full list here. But it doesn’t stop there. We were also the 9th most anticipated Economic game. Economic games are Euro-styled games that involve producing and managing resources and income of some sort – which is definitely what Belfort is all about. Here are the results for this category:

1. Merchants of Venus (Stronghold edition)
2. Merchants of Venus (Fantasy Flight edition)
3. Alien Frontiers: Factions
4. Agricola: Cave Farmers
5. Goa
6. Vinhos
7. Kings of Air and Steam
8. Crude: The Oil Game
9. Belfort expansion!
10.  CO2

Again, what a list of amazing titles (if I do say so myself!). Very cool and very exciting. See full list here. Thanks to all those who voted!

Here’s another review of Belfort. This time by Opinionated Gamers. The main review was written by Matt Carlson and he seemed to really like it. I really liked this statement he made:

I’ve got quite a few plays under my belt now, and I still haven’t tired of Belfort.

As that shows that there is re-playability to the game! It’s also worth noting that Belfort isn’t a game for everyone, as not all of the Opinionated Gamers liked it. One of the reasons why I like Opinionated Gamers so much is that they don’t just give you one opinion – they give you many!  So 4 of them liked it, 1 was neutral to it and 3 said it wasn’t for them – which is fair. Check out their review here. Thanks for playing it…and for you opinions!

The next ‘review’ is more of a summary and thoughts on their most recent play of the game. Geek Insight, over at Giant Fire Breathing Robot continues to like the game, even though he got smacked around by some Interactive Guilds this time! He points out a few new learnings about the advantages and disadvantages of going last on the final turn! Thanks for playing!

-Jay Cormier

All Sold Out…

… at the publisher level as well.  While there may be copies of Belfort left at stores, there are no more to order from the distributor and no more available from Tasty Minstrel themselves.

This is what appeared on the Tasty Minstrel website today.  Do I check on that site daily?  Would it be odd if I said, “yes”?

I’m a nerd like that.

Belfort: The Second Edition!

As mentioned previously, Belfort has sold out from the publisher level (possibly a few left – read here for a discount opportunity). It’s amazing that we have sold out so fast! The good news is that we’re going back for a second printing! We’ve been informed that the art has been submitted to Panda and the printing should start right away. Still – it means there will be a couple of months of printing and shipping before it hits our shores. The good news is that not all stores are sold out of it yet – so you can still find the game in some stores!

A second printing also allows us to tweak and clarify anything that gamers have pointed out to us to be unclear so far. It’s pretty amazing to me that while Sen, Josh and I (but mostly Josh) spent hours pouring through the rules to ensure there were no mistakes, and that everything was crystal clear – there are always things that people will misinterpret.

It’s a great exercise in communication really. Every change we made was because things could be interpreted a bit different – and when you’re playing a strategy game, it’s important that everyone playing has the same interpretation of how to play. There’s nothing worse than someone being told they can’t do something in a game, when they thought they could based on their understanding of what the rules meant. Can you swap Turn Order markers with yourself? How does the Architects’ Guild really work?

So I present to you now, most of the changes in the rules and player aid for the second edition. Second Edition art is on the right or on the bottom.

The new cover will now feature the Game of the Year stamp from Dice Hate Me!

The Architects' Guild was the most misunderstood guild and so we clarified the intention we always meant in the rules and even tweaked the wording on the tile itself.

Can you swap Turn Order Crests with yourself? Yes you can, though we didn't specifically call that out in the original edition. Now we have.

In a 2 player game, players have asked how many Property Markers are placed when the Non-Players are playing on a Keep or Gatehouse.

Added a few words to the player aids to clarify the original rules.

-Jay Cormier

Belfort Expansion and new review!

First, a new review has popped up for Belfort! Dan Zuccarelli from Perpetual Geek Machine has posted his review – and we’re happy to report that he liked it! I especially liked this line:

Belfort is another one of those games whose genius lies in its simplicity while being tough to be good at it.

Thanks for the review PGN!

Secondly, we’ve been playtesting the Belfort expansions for awhile now, and I have to say that I’m pretty excited about it. We’re toying around with a couple of different ideas and we’ll be pitching them to the publisher soon to see which one we should focus on more. Rest assured that it probably won’t be what you’re thinking, as Sen and I prefer to mix it up a bit and be a little unconventional. We’ll be sharing a link with fans that want to get in on the playtesting once it’s approved by the publisher, so check back here in a few weeks if you’re interested in being a part of the playtest group!

If you’re excited about the expansion then you can head on over and vote for it as an anticipated expansion for 2012. Boardgamegeek is holding a poll and you have until Sunday to cast your vote on which games and expansions you’re most looking forward to this year.

What are the benefits of offering expansions? There’s the obvious benefit that the publisher and the designer will make some money from selling the expansion. There’s the other benefit that the base game often sells more because there’s an expansion. I know I’ve picked up a game that had an expansion and think, “Hmmm…I’ve never heard of this game – but it has an expansion so it must be pretty good.”

Fortunately board games don’t suffer from the same kind of sequel-itis that Hollywood movies often do. In Hollywood, a sequel can and almost 100% of the time will get a green light based purely on the box office receipts of the first movie. In the board game world, sales are harder to come by and are often based more on word of mouth (or reputation of a designer or publisher). It leads me to think that a game has to be pretty good to warrant that many sales.

How many sales are needed before an expansion is warranted? An expansion usually sells between 25%-35% of what the base game sold. So if the base game sold 10,000 units, then you can expect the expansion to sell around 2500-3500.

But what are the down sides to an expansion? Well, if it’s released too soon then some people haven’t had enough time with the base game to fully explore and experience it. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, because there’s nothing making me buy an expansion (except for the fact that I really want to buy it!). I’ll just keep playing the base game until I’m ready to try the expansion. Some expansions can be looked at as a cash grab, if the quality isn’t there – but I find those to be few and far between in the board game world.

In the end, I love expansions. It provides longer shelf life to your games by tweaking the game just enough to provide a fresh experience. We’ll spend another article discussing what makes a great expansion and what makes a poor one. For now, I’m just excited that Belfort has warranted enough interest to even be talking about the possibility of an expansion!!

-Jay Cormier

It’s a Steal!


Time limited deal!

At $10 off, how can you pass up this opportunity to pick up one of the last few copies of Belfort in existance? Save by ordering direct from Tasty Minstrel Games. Just use the coupon code “BELFORT1-11” at check out and you’ll score a $10 off price reduction. NOTE:  There are only 55 copies left at the publishers, so grab one while you still can – This coupon code will expire on Jan 19/2012

Two More Positive Belfort Reviews!

We continued to be pleasantly shocked by all the favourable reviews Belfort has been getting. Two more reviews have just popped up – and they both like it!

The first is from Dice Slam, a new site devoted to board game reviews. Under the ‘Thumbs Up’ section he calls Belfort his Game of the Year! Read the entire review here!

Secondly we have a review/first impression from Giant Fire Breathing Robot’s Geek Insight. Amongst the things he mentioned liking:

I absolutely love the interaction of worker placement and area majority.

Oh how I’m looking forward to more plays.


Thanks for playing – and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

-Jay Cormier