Mayfair Games, an American publisher of many games including Settlers of Catan, is closing down after over thirty years in business. Many tabletop gamers felt that games that had the Mayfair label was proof of quality. Mayfair Games aren’t disappearing forever, its popular games and the rest of its catalogue is being adopted by Asmodee North America.
Board Games Are Surprisingly Active
It might surprise most people that board games are still popular in a world of advanced video games. But tabletop games have a growing following for those who want to unplug and connect with other people. It is especially popular among millennials who feel isolated from others, even while using social networks. Sales of games went up from 9.3 billion in 2013 to 9.6 billion in 2016. With the rise of fundraising websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, more tabletop games are being created and published. There’s even a board game database called Boardgamegeek that lists and rates as many games as people can give information about. With Mayfair Games closing, it’s time to highlight some of its most popular games.
Best Board Games of Mayfair Games
Settlers of Catan
This German game is more about strategy than luck like most popular games are. This game has been around for so long that it’s now in its fifth addition. It has also been published in thirty different languages. There are even licensed versions, like a Game of Thrones version. The objective of the game is to achieve ten points, despite whatever the other players throw at you. You do this by creating roads, settlements, and cities. You also can do this by purchasing “Development Cards.” The game is played by each player rolling the dice and whatever number is, is the amount of resources you can have as long as your settlement is touching that resource.
The numbers of resources and number tiles are different every game. Players are forced to strategize every time they play. This can include cutting off opponents with roads for example. Another example is using the “Robber,” which can lead to victory or your downfall. The “Robber” can be put on any resource tile so that other plays can’t collect that resource. This is a play that can cause tension between the players and cause some arguments.
Depending on how experienced the players are this game can end quickly or last hours.
This is another German game that involves planning. You are a farmer with a spouse and very little else starting out. Every turn you can take two actions, one for you and one for your spouse. These actions are anything that can happen when owning a farm. Collecting material, building fences, taking care of animals. If you have kids, you can get even more work done. But to do that, you need to expand your house and make sure you can feed your family.
There are two main cards that you use: Minor Improvements and Occupations. Though in the altered version which is meant to be easier, these cards aren’t used at all. This is a turn based game, with harvests at the end of each turn. The goal of the game is to have the most victory points, which come from having a successful farm. You lose victory points if you can’t feed your family.
Caverna: The Cave Farmers
This game is similar to Argicola, where the focus of the game is farming. You are a leader of a small dwarf family that lives in a little cave in the mountains. The game starts with a farmer and his spouse and each member of the family can take an action. You farm and cultivate the forest in front of your cave. You will mine for ores to create tools and weapons for expeditions.
By collecting materials and clearing the forest, you can create a thriving forest. Whoever has the most developed home wins the game.
Pillars of the Earth
In this game, you are a builder working with a team to create a 13th century cathedral. The goal is to contribute the most to the build, therefore gaining the most victory points. You do this by getting raw materials and turning them into victory points. You can also produce gold, which is the currency of the game. You are given three master builders who can do a variety of things like recruit more builders and buying or selling goods.
Give These Board Games a Try
If you haven’t already checked out these titles you should. These are hidden gems among all the other flashier games. This will not only be a new experience for you, but a way to honor all the work that Mayfair Games did to publish these games.