Over a Hundred Games from Fantasy Flight

Today we’ve got some lovely games from Fantasy Flight to add to our prize lottery. But before I show them off, I’m going to tell you a story. Because that’s what I do.

I’d like to introduce you to a family of refugees.

UG201108-040

If they seem pretty happy for a family of refugees, well… that’s because they’re farmers now. But that’s the end of the story. I should start closer to the beginning….

Uganda has been struggling with war for decades. The history of the area is too complicated for me to get into here, so forgive me if I say that the term “war-torn” is not an exaggeration. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflicts there. And ten times that number of people have been forced from their homes, or fled in an attempt to find some shred of safety.

When this sort of thing happens, many people end up living large portions of their lives in refugee camps. That’s the case with Fred and Florence (the parents pictured above). Both of them lived in a refugee camp since they were children. That’s where they grew up, got married, and started a family.

In those camps they had very little of their own, and were forced to rely on charity to survive. Aid workers provided them with beans and maize, but it was only enough to guarantee one meal a day. In addition to that, sometimes the food aid was delayed. I can’t imagine trying to raise a child in a situation like that. I honestly don’t want to think about it too much.

In 2006, Uganda entered peace talks. And Fred and Florence moved to his parent’s land to start a farm. But as I’ve said, they had been refugees since they were children. They were starting with nothing, and were forced to build from the ground up.

It wasn’t easy. The land was overgrown, and there were were leftovers from the war to deal with. Things like landmines to clear before they could even begin planting.

Then, Florence and Fred received a Frisian heifer from Heifer International.

florence fred

(Florence and Fred’s oldest daughter feeds the family cow, Flora.)

Since her arrival, the heifer has produced two bull calves, and lots of milk. “Before, my children didn’t even know what milk looked like,” said Florence. “This cow has made my family happy.”

Before participating in Heifer’s project, Fred and Florence owned no animals. Now they have over 30, including goats and chickens. They use the manure from the cows to increase yields in their crops on their farm, including mango trees that were struggling to survive without the manure.

Now the family has milk, vegetables, and eggs. For the first time they have food enough for three full meals a day.

I’m going to say that again. For the first time in their lives. These people have enough food so that they can be sure of feeding their kids three times a day.

Needless to say, the children’s health has improved dramatically.

Before participating in the project, Fred earned $1 a day working as a laborer, clearing land. In a good year, he would be lucky to make 115 dollars.

Now, the family earns $1,290 a year, just from selling milk. And that’s milk they sell *after* they’ve kept all they need for their family. They use the money to improve the farm, buy food, and pay for school fees for all of their children. Their kids are getting the education and training to have a better future.

That’s what Heifer International does. It can help a family of refugees become successful farmers. This sort of help doesn’t just let a family feed their children, it lets them give their children a whole new future.

When you give to Heifer International on our donation page, this is what you’re making happen. 500 dollars will buy a Heifer, but if you can’t swing that, 120 dollars will buy a goat that will do much the same thing for a family, though on a slightly smaller scale. A flock of chickens is only 20 bucks.

I’m going to be brutally honest here, folks. If you’re reading this on your own computer, you can spare $20 to help improve someone’s life forever. You know you can.

And if you still need a little nudge. Let me remind you that for every 10 dollars you donate on our page, you get a chance to win thousands of books and games like the one that Fantasy Flight has donated in today’s blog.

* * *

Today, we show you over a hundred games from Fantasy Flight. They’re one of the big names in board games, and when they offered to donate this year, everyone here at Worldbuilders was beside themselves with joy. To make it even better, a bunch of the Fantasy Flight employees pitched in to send us even more games than the company was already sending. They’re just good people like that.

There’s a lot of different stuff, and it’s all quality. If you donate to the lottery, you’ll have the choice of BOOKS, GAMES, or BOOKS AND GAMES for your potential prizes, and I know there’s a lot in here that would make any gamer happy.

  • 10 copies of Descent: Journeys in the Dark. 6 bundled with the Heirs of Blood Expansion.

descent

This is a game Amanda and I played together a while back. And I really enjoyed the hell out of it.

It’s a campaign game, where you develop and play with a character over many sessions. It’s a great way to play something close to an RPG if you don’t want to spend 4 hours making characters first and forcing someone to either create or learn an entire adventure ahead of time to GM it.

There are 10 copies of the base game, six of them with an expansion.

  • 6 Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition) Bundles, which include the base game, and both expansions: the Shattered Empire and the Shards of the Throne

twilightimperiumTwilight Imperium is game of galactic conquest where each player takes command of one of ten unique civilizations to compete for interstellar supremacy through warfare, trade, uncertain allegiances, and political dominance. Each civilization provides a unique game experience with different abilities and play styles, like controlling trade, building up military, or playing the politicians.

The expansions add even more races and cards, plus allow you to play with up to 8 people. It’d be the perfect thing to add to a thriving game night.

  • 12 copies of Mission: Red Planet.

mission

Steampunk technology building civilization on Mars? What more do you really need?

In this game, it’s 1888 and you’re running a mining company, setting up colonies and mining for new and rare materials on Mars. There’s fierce competition, and players win by mining the resources, and controlling various regions on the planet.

  • 6 copies of Samurai.

samurai

This game has been winning awards left and right since it was released in 1998. It’s a Eurogame, which means you play as best you can, then do one big final tally at the end to see who wins. There are a lot of different play styles that could win you the game as you lay tiles and try to curry favor with the samurai, peasants, and/or priests on the board, so it’s great for a diverse gaming group. Plus, a game that’s been around for so long and stayed popular has to be good.

  • 6 copies of Fury of Dracula.

dracula

This is an awesome game. One player assumes the role of Count Dracula as he stealthily spreads his evil influence throughout Europe, while up to four other players govern the iconic characters of Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, Dr. John Seward, Lord Arthur Godalming, and Mina Harker.

By day the hunters move around and search for clues about Dracula’s whereabouts. By night, they investigate their present locale and prepare for the upcoming day while Dracula creates new vampires, lays traps for the hunters, and stealthily moves to a new location. Should any hunters find Dracula, or should the Count find them, they will engage in a brutal fight for their lives.

  • 6 copies of Condottierre.

condottiere

This is a really intense bluffing and negotiation game. The players are all bidding to acquire provinces in Italy, and the goal is to have four of them connected by game’s end. The cards used to bid have different powers, allowing you to suddenly double your bid, or keep some of the resources you had promised.

You’ve got to pay attention to cards and multiple strategies to come out on top, and it works out great for any group of friends who have that competitive edge.

  • 3 Copies of Runebound.

runebound

Just look at this box. It’s enough for Amanda, but when she read about the game, she wanted it even more.

Players are battling to become the most renowned hero, battling monsters, navigating social encounters, and exploring ruins and forests. It has tons of replay value, and you can play as one of many traditional RPG characters and customize their skills and assets to suit your play style. But unlike a traditional RPG, you’re playing against your friends, adding another level of strategy to the whole thing…

  • Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game.

civ

This game really stays true to its video game predecessor. You start off with a single city, one army figure, and one scout, and from there you forge a great civilization. There are many paths to victory, including invading another player’s capital, developing a rich culture, and even an option to travel to space. It’s important that you plan your advancements well ahead of time, and try to keep up with your opponents while keeping your goals in mind.

  • XCOM: The Board Game.

xcom

In XCOM, the players are a part of an elite organization defending against an alien invasion. There’s a lot to keep track of, including incoming alien UFOs that need to be shot down, soldiers that need to be assigned to key missions, important research about alien technology to better defend your base, all while trying to implement your final mission to repel the invaders.

The game has a free app you download to keep it all in real time, while it also keeps track of turns, satellite communications, and much more. This game requires your full attention, and will keep you thinking for the entire time.

  • 12 copies of Battlestar Galactica.

battlestar

This is a semi-cooperative game that will make you work together to defeat the Cylons… until someone you trust betrays you to them.

Everyone is given a secret role at the beginning of the game, and the humans are working hard to keep spirits up, people fed, the ship moving, and people healthy. But there’s at least one Cylon in your midst, and they will be doing their best to counter your moves without being noticed. If you like playing a game where there is a continuous challenge and victory is always a close call, Battlestar Galactica is for you.

  • 6 copies of Star Wars: Force & Destiny Beginner Game.

star wars

This is a starter set for the Star Wars: Force & Destiny roleplaying game, and the perfect way to get yourself acquainted with the system, characters, and adventures available to you in the world of Star Wars.

This comes with four pre-built characters for your group to choose from, each with their own eight-page folio with the character’s background, as well as their connection with Hethan Romund, the Force, and the other heroes. They have quick reference guides for the core game mechanics, and recommendations for advancing your character.

  • 6 copies of Arkham Horror.

arkham horror

Arkham Horror is one of Fantasy Flight’s most popular games, and for good reason. You play as a team of investigators, trying to prevent an Ancient One from breaking into the world and wreaking havoc. You spend the game cleaning out the monsters and closing portals to other dimensions. If too many portals remain open, your last chance is to defeat the Ancient One in combat… and no one wants that to be their only hope.

  • 18 copies of Elder Sign. 12 bundled with the Gates of Arkham Expansion.

eldersign

This is a really great game, too. If you don’t want to take my word for it, you can watch the episode of TableTop where Felicia Day, Mike Morhaime, Bil Prady, and Wil Wheaton played a very intense game of it.

Six of our lovely donors are going to get copies of the base game, while twelve more will get the base game in addition to the Gates of Arkham expansion. Good luck to you keeping the Ancient Ones at bay…

* * *

We’ve only got 4 more days in this year’s fundraiser, and as of right now we’ve raised $950,000.

It’s our best year ever, but I’d really love to have a strong finish. So if you haven’t pitched in yet, this is your chance. Check out the auctions we’re currently running. Take a peek in The Tinker’s Packs. Or just donate directly on the Worldbuilders page for a chance to win in this year’s lottery.

There are plenty of families out there like Fred and Florence who just need a leg up to turn their lives around for the better.

Let’s make it happen.

This entry was posted in Worldbuilders 2015. By Pat15 Responses

15 Comments

  1. Adontis
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    I don’t check your blog as often as I should, your latest podcast got me back here again and this post got me donating. Thank you for sharing the story about Fred and Florence. You’re absolutely right, I had $20 to spare and this is a great cause. Keep up all the hard work on this and thanks for all you do.

    -Adontis

  2. Gemma
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    I am super impressed with the donations of Fantasy Flight. I own or have played half the games on this list. The recent reprint of Fury of Dracula has deservedly gotten a lot of buzz and the inclusion of top sellers like Elder Sign and Battlestar is awesome.

    Hooray. This post made me smile.

    • Posted December 10, 2015 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

      They make really solid games. I haven’t played Fury of Dracula myself, but I’ve heard good things about it. And looking it over, I can say it adheres to the book in a lot of cool ways….

      • Gemma
        Posted December 10, 2015 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

        Probably the best balanced mechanic of Fury of Dracula is that if you find and fight Dracula 1v1, he will wreck you. You really have to get enough of the Scooby gang together in the same place to defeat him.

        If you happen to play this game recorded for posterity (for Tabletop, a charity thing, etc.), it would be very entertaining to have the person playing Dracula to into another room to record his or her thoughts, anxieties, etc. as the game progresses.

      • Posted December 10, 2015 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

        We just played Fury for the first time last Friday night. It is now my favorite hidden movement game. Really solid and fun and doesn’t take up an absurd amount of time. But oh brother is it an anxiety building game. Not as bad as Ghost Stories, but the build up is pretty intense for fight time.

        Just so you know, Dracula won…bastard.

        Thanks Pat for your wonderful charity! I just donated for the first time and I hope somebody makes good use of their ducks! (I think I’d pay a little extra if they’d name one after me.)

  3. DianaM
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    Mr. Rothfuss, Thank you for what you do. We have 2 children In Jinja who’s school tuition we sponsor and a very small privately run orphanage in Northern Kenya called TanJed Academy that we help to support. Knowing what must be accomplished just to be able to eat for them is humbling to be sure. May God bless your efforts and may the grow exponentially, beyond what even YOU can imagine!

  4. cpatriquin
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    That story hit me square in the chest. Thank you for sharing it.
    Time to dry my eyes and double my pledge.

  5. aeofel
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    I was just thinking… The postage for all those prizes must be hefty. Makes me feel kinda sad. This is something which is happening in many fundraisers in many countries.
    It’s just a thought, I don’t want to bring anyone down. You’re doing a great job guys. Seeing a famous author so involved in a charity sets a good example for all of us

    • Amanda
      Posted December 10, 2015 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

      We pay for the shipping for the prizes out of our pocket, so it won’t take away from what goes to Heifer. I hope that helps put your mind at ease…

      • Posted December 11, 2015 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

        And we’re really good at getting things shipped out in bulk these days. That means we get to do it really cheaply (relatively speaking.)

  6. kdculb
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    Pat,

    I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a good cause to support. Several years ago I started researching charities and found out some of the ones I was supporting were not very good – high paid execs with way too many benefits (use of charities private plane for family vacations and the like) and/or only giving out the tiniest percentage of the donations they were raising. I stopped supporting those charities, but as I have too much cake I felt bad not giving more away. Then you started Worldbuilders and I found a couple of other deserving groups and feel better again. So, just thanks.

  7. Posted December 10, 2015 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    I took a risk and carefully ‘spammed’ some of my personal contacts with this link to move them to action. Sadly I won’t be able to help any more before the fundraiser is done – I don’t have another pay day before it ends – but I’ll be putting my drops in the bucket every month.

    Thank you.

  8. Massifsam
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    Coming from the UK, I’m afraid I don’t have $20 to spare, but I hope twenty of my antiquated British nuggets will be enough to help another family smile as beautifully as Fred and Florence.

    (Thanks Pat, Amanda, and All involved)

  9. LibrarianJacob
    Posted December 10, 2015 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    I normally support Child’s Play, but this year I split my donation between a local women’s shelter and Worldbuilders. Now if only the Canadian dollar wasn’t so weak right now, it would’ve went further…

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