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Ablaze! board game from Mayfair Games

Contributed by Scott Thorne, Castle Perilous, Carbondale, Ill.
Published: March 31, 2010
Ablaze box art
Ablaze by Mayfair Games
Ablaze board game
Product: Ablaze! is a tile laying game from Mayfair Games, designed by Heinrich Glumpler, probably best known in the states for his Techno Witches and Street Illegal games.

Ablaze! comes in a box the size of the 5-6 expansions for Settlers of Catan and contains 48 pawns in 4 different colors, 47 forest tiles, 1 volcano tile and one (air)plane tile. The full-color rulebook contains rules for three different games: "Wildfire", "On the Run", and "Volcano"; any of which are playable by 1-4 players in under 30 minutes and involve scoring points through laying various configurations of tiles and pawns.

The cover features a photo of firefighters advancing through a blaze and the logo is clearly visible, no matter how the box is shelved.

Gameplay: All three games involve laying down tiles adjacent to each other and placing pawns on them or moving the plane tile across them.

In "Wildfire," you score points according to how many pawns you have on scoring tiles when the last pawn is legally played. In "Volcano," tile placement starts at the volcano tile (big surprise there) and points are score based on how many tiles are extinguished or isolated. In "On the Run," each player attempts to move pawns to the edge of the tile matrix, with points score for the animals that escape the fire by reaching the edge of the forest.

Marketing: Ablaze! is one of the few games out there that plays well as a solitaire and a multiplayer game. I checked with Mayfair Games and they plan to promote the game through their Web site and a slate of demos at Origins and Gen Con.

At a $20 price point, Ablaze! is a good game for the customer looking for a game with little chance, as luck only comes into play regarding which tiles are flipped. The size and the visual design of the tiles makes Ablaze! a good game to lay out on a small demo table as the rules for any of the games, especially for "Volcano," can quickly be explained.

VITAL STATS
Product: Ablaze!
Publisher: Mayair Games
Stock No.: MFG4403
MRSP: $20
Availability: Alliance, ACD, Southern Hobby and all other hobby game distributors

BOTTOM LINE
  • Low price point
  • Not many solitaire board games available
  • Good for small playing spaces
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