Raid & Trade--An Interview with Mage Company's Alexander Argyropoulos

Today’s interview is with Alex of Mage Company who recently Kickstarted 12 Realms and Hoyuk, and is currently Kickstarting Raid & Trade, a post-apocalyptic adventure/sandbox game. 

Alex, thanks for joining us today!

First tell us a little bit about where 12 Realms is right now--you’ve expanded the title already?

Hi guys, and thanks for this opportunity to talk about our games. Currently we reprinted and released the 12 Realms basic games. This reprint has some improvements, such as better cards and box quality, and some changes in the rulebook. We also added abilities to all the Heroes, with double-sided boards: one with talents and the other side with talents and an ability. Also, next year around February or March we will release a reprint kit for 12 Realms for the first print run, so those who own the original game could upgrade it with this kit. Currently, we're preparing the production of 12 Realms: Ancestors Legacy, which will be released on February-March of 2015. This one changes the entire game. We added plots for the new realms, but also for the old ones: 1 Plot per Realm except the Bones’ Island Realm. This Plot is called Ghost Galleon and will be exclusively available only through the BoardGameGeek store. Each Plot has different mechanics and represents a specific Realm, and combines a specific number of players and set-up, and alters the winning conditions of the basic game. So we would say that the basic game teaches you how to play 12 Realms and how to work with other players. And once you test all the variants you get Ancestors Legacy, which more like a gamers’ game, is much more difficult, and you face different challenges.

Okay, Raid and Trade: Tell us a little about it. Where did the idea come from and what has the development process been like? 

The author of the original form of Raid and Trade, Charalampos Tsakiris, had this idea because he likes post-apocalyptic themes and he wanted to try and make such a game. We found this game first on Facebook, arranged a meeting with Charalampos, and played the game. We liked it, of course, but not in its current form, so we had to work really on it. We assigned the further development of the game to one of the people we work with in Germany, Malte Kuhle, and for the following months we were working closely with Malte and his group to finalize the mechanics, the components list, etc. As long as Malte was developing the game, we and our playtesters checked all the changes and played the game. Next step was to find the illustrator/s of the game, sculptor for the minis, the factories, editors for the rules and for videos we need and step by step we came to the final form of the game as it is now.

Did the theme for Raid and Trade come first, or did you have a cool game that needed a cool theme?

When we got the game was already a good game with a nice theme but there was a big need for changes in order to finalize it and we changed a lot of stuff. I think the theme came first and on it was built the game.

Are there any plans to expand Raid and Trade?

Yes we already prepare a scenario for the game on Kickstarter. It will be a stretch goal and we hope we can reach it. But for the future: Yes we envision a scenario that turns the game into a co-op mode and also adds a 6th player. We still have a long road for that. For now we focus on the basic game.

You’ve been on target with your release dates for previous titles; when do you expect Raid and Trade to hit the market?

If things go well, we will officially release it on UK Games expo. We want to add such a pledge level on KS but we have to wait for the moment until we are sure about that. Regardless of this, the game will be released around June.

You’ve Kickstarted some pretty successful campaigns. What have you learned from them--both the good and the bad?

Listen. Listen to the people, their feedback, their problems, and fix them right away. Not all the games we run are ours, as we run for other companies as well, but we share this info with our partners too. Even if there is a problem or delay, let people know and be honest. Nobody will kill you; just be honest. So far we have a serious course on KS and work really hard so people can trust MAGE Company. Even when we run games for other people's games we interfere to the process having direct contact with the publishers on what we need, on what the people say. At this point our position is very difficult as people see that MAGE runs these projects.

Tell our readers what makes Raid and Trade unique to any other board game out there...

It is a fairly unique game because you use 100% of the games’ components, all the mechanics, all the cards every single effect, every single card. You fight, raid, trade, run, and there is a lot of interaction between the players. It may have the post-apocalyptic theme but we have blended it with some family friendly comic art look, an Ameritrash game with euro mechanics. You play the game and feel full from its mechanics and how everything has been combined.

Tell our readers what makes Raid and Trade similar to another board game they may love... 

Really I cannot reply on this one as I have seen a lot of comments and people compare it with many, but all different, games. Borderlands, for example, and I don’t know how many more. That’s one of the names I remember now. There are different winning conditions, and not much text on the cards combined with symbols and flavor text.


We give you five quick questions, and you give us five quick answers. 

Favorite post-apocalyptic world or story? Resident Evil

Your favorite board game genre? Fantasy

Favorite book? Harry Potter

Star Trek, Star Wars, or Space Mutiny? Star Wars

Dogs or cats? Dogs are more friendly.

Thanks so much for joining us, Alexander! You can check out Raid & Trade on Kickstarter, and we'll have our own preview of the game tomorrow, so check back. Thanks for reading!