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Andy Hopwood (Hopwood Games)

Industry Spotlight & Top Ten Games - Andy Hopwood, Designer

Let’s go back to 1984 (ish) when I was off school for a day or two and my Mum bought me a copy of Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the Fighting Fantasy book. It was a revelation to me. The idea that you could “play” with your reading experience opened up new worlds. Shortly after this I was a regular at the Games Workshop store in Birmingham and bought games like Kings & Things, The Awful Green Things From Outer Space and Block Mania. After a brief dabble with warhammer and epic I found that I spent as much of my time inventing new rules for games as playing them.

Forward to 2008 and brain surgery! I decide life is too short and publish a game called Niche. I made it in support of the Foundation for Conductive Education with the idea that if I was only going to make one game then it might as well do some good in the world. Having made one game though it seemed as if the floodgates opened and the ideas came thick and fast. In 2009 I came up with Mijnlieff which won the award for best abstract at the UK Games Expo in 2010. Twelve games later I am now launching my first ever kickstarter and the learning curves never seem to get easier, but as I always say, you either win and learn or lose and learn. These days I tend to have an idea for a game mechanic about once a week, which makes developing everything a mammoth task but also an adventure.

Daring Dustbunnies is available on Kickstarter throughout July (2019) and is a game of hidden identities and push your luck set in a world of tiny creatures beneath the sofa. I am a firm believer that it’s choices that make good games and it has plenty of social tactics built into the mechanics in which every decision you make. It also sits very nicely with my theory that laughing, thinking and swearing are the lifeblood of a good gaming experience.

I’ve been asked for my top ten games, which turned out to be a tough question. I’m not including any of my own in the list and I went with the games I would never say no to playing.

In no particular order

The Voyages of Marco Polo – Roll the dice, get in each others way, deal with it! Love it.

Twilight Struggle – The only game that inspire dread, not bad for something made of cardboard.

Tales of the Arabian Nights – Who cares who wins, the stories that it inspires between players is the memorable part.

No Thanks – Purely delightfully spiteful.

Keyflower – Played it, bought it online as soon as I got home. Excellent interactive worker placement mechanics.

Agricola – The sheer volume of possibilities in the base set is immense, definitely the desert island game.

Evolution – Was not sure at first but when I realised it’s mostly a bluffing game it really clicked

Castles of Burgundy – Delightful mechanics

Race for the Galaxy – My most played game

Flamme Rouge – I love the marriage of mechanic and theme in this one (but big shout out to Snowdonia too on that score)

You can find out more about Andy's games on the Hopwood Games website.

(Article published 16/07/19)

Agricola Agricola

In Agricola (Latin for 'farmer'), you're a farmer living in a wooden hut with your spouse and little else. You start with a lot of barren land, no building materials and limited time to build a farm for your family - who need feeding!

Agricola 15th Anniversary Edition Agricola 15th Anniversary Edition

Celebrate 15 years of farming in a giant Agricola anniversary box.

Evolution Evolution
In Evolution, players create and adapt their own species in a dynamic ecosystem with hungry predators and limited resources. With over 12000 different species to create, every game becomes a different adventure.
Flamme Rouge Flamme Rouge
Flamme Rouge is a fast-paced, tactical bicycle racing game where each player controls a team of two riders: a Rouleur and a Sprinteur. The players’ goal is to be the first to cross the finish line with one of their riders.
Keyflower Keyflower
Keyflower, a joint design between Richard Breese and Sebastian Bleasdale, is the seventh game in the "Key" series from R&D Games set in the medieval "Key" land.
No Thanks! No Thanks!
Good card games can be so simple: either take a card or pay a chip. Anyone can make that decision, right?
Race for the Galaxy 2nd Edition Revised Race for the Galaxy 2nd Edition Revised
Race to build the most advanced and powerful galactic civilisation. The new second edition adds 6 new start worlds, 5 cards with small revisions, color-blind support, start world choice, and sample turns).
Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set Snowdonia Deluxe Master Set
Snowdonia is a competitive or solitaire worker placement game, lovingly crafted around the idea of building railways in Wales, and – with multiple other scenarios – around the world.
Tales of the Arabian Nights Tales of the Arabian Nights
Put your self into the stories of Scheherazade. A classic game has received a sumptuous update.
The Castles of Burgundy 20th Anniversary Edition The Castles of Burgundy 20th Anniversary Edition
The Castles of Burgundy 20th Anniversary Edition includes eight expansions, seven of which were previously released as promotional items and one new to this release.
The Voyages of Marco Polo The Voyages of Marco Polo
At the end of the 13th century, Marco Polo sets off with his father and uncle on a long voyage to the East. They will journey far and wide, master the mercantile trade, and gain favor with the great Kublai Kahn. Will you follow in the footsteps of the great Marco Polo or carve your own destiny in the annals of history?
Twilight Struggle: Bakelite Counters Twilight Struggle: Bakelite Counters
A beautiful set of durable plastic (bakelite) counters for Twilight Struggle. 
Twilight Struggle: Deluxe Edition Twilight Struggle: Deluxe Edition
Players face off over the Berlin Wall to secure the future for Democracy or Communism. This card driven game is a classic of Boardgame design. Now reprinted in a deluxe edition with a new mounted board, revised graphics and updated rules.
Twilight Struggle: Mounted Map Board Twilight Struggle: Mounted Map Board
Mounted Mapboard for 2009 Deluxe Edition of Twilight Struggle
Twilight Struggle: Red Sea - Conflict in the Horn of Africa Twilight Struggle: Red Sea - Conflict in the Horn of Africa
Part of GMT's Lunchtime Series, Twilight Struggle: Red Sea – Conflict in the Horn of Africa is a two-player card driven game that builds on the award winning Twilight Struggle.
Twilight Struggle: Red Sea Mounted Map Twilight Struggle: Red Sea Mounted Map

Available to Pre-Order; Estimated Release Date: Summer 2023; Twilight Struggle: Red Sea Mounted Map

Twilight Struggle: Turn Zero & Promo Pack Twilight Struggle: Turn Zero & Promo Pack
For those of you who'd like to expand your Twilight Struggle experience, we present the Twilight Struggle Turn Zero and Promo Packs expansions.