One of the things we like to do here at the Malted Meeple is give some extra attention to our favorite board game publishers and designers. In our monthly Publisher’s Spotlight we provide a bit of background on the publisher, discuss a few of their games, and may even announce a visit to The Meeple by some of the publisher’s representatives!
This month, our Publisher’s Spotlight shines on our friends from Gale Force Nine! Not only do they make fantastic gaming supplies, but fantastic board games as well!
Gale Force Nine, or GF9 for short, was formed in 1998 by John Kovaleski. The company was founded shortly after Kovaelski purchased a laser cutter and began creating accessories for his own personal tabletop gaming. John, who had a background in marine shipping, named his company Gale Force Nine which is one step below a hurricane on the Beaufort Wind Force Scale. GF9 started off creating accessories for tabletop war-games. As their production took off, they sometimes had to do production runs in the middle of the night to avoid bothering the neighbors with the smell of laser burning through materials!
Fast forward to the present day; Gale Force Nine’s focus has shifted from gaming accessories to board games proper but they still offer a wide range of accessories, including a wide range of licensed products. GF9 produces licensed games that are both faithful to the material that inspired them, and are also great games on their own. Their goal is to make sure that someone who is unfamiliar with the material will still enjoy the gameplay.
Firefly: The Game is a prime example of GF9’s ability to create a fantastic game while staying true to the franchise. In this game, players take on the role of a spaceship captain travelling from system to system to complete the story goal before the other players. Along the way players will pick up cargo, hire crew, and complete jobs to get paid. All while dodging murderous bands of Reavers and sneaking by Alliance patrols. The game allows you to explore the vast reaches of “the ‘verse” and experience the Firefly universe in a unique way. Firefly: The Game already has a few expansions, but our friends at GF9 say that more is on the way including: new jobs, new cards, and deluxe accessories. Be on the lookout for these expansions for Firefly: The Game!
The latest game from Gale Force Nine aims to go where no game has gone before! Star Trek: Ascendancy is described as a game of exploration, expansion, and conflict between three great civilizations in the galaxy. Players take command of the Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, or the Romulan Star Empire. As you explore new systems you will have the chance to negotiate peacefully to add the planets to your growing civilization or crush them beneath your heel with your military. The game currently only plays with three players, but there are several expansions on the horizon which will increase the number of players to five. Look for the Cardassian and Ferengi expansions to be released soon!
GF9 was kind enough to send us a copy of their game: Tyrants of the Underdark to add to our library. In this game, players take on the mantle of leadership as a house of Dark Elves (Drow) vying for control of the Underdark. In this unique area-control deck-building game, you will use your power and influence to recruit minions, deploy troops, assassinate your opponent’s troops, and control important sites in the Underdark.
So the next time you visit the Malted Meeple ask your game master how to play Tyrants of the Underdark!
And once again, thanks to our friends at Gale Force Nine!
Karington Hess is a lifelong gamer whose passions for hospitality and all things game-related led him to Ravenwood Castle, where he served as an Innkeeper before joining The Malted Meeple. When not pouring beers, crafting milkshakes, or teaching boardgames, Karington can be found behind the DM’s screen, weaving intricate stories for his fellow gamers.