The rebranding of Mad King Ludwig

The rebranding of Mad King Ludwig

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Writer_smallerThe Madness of King Ludwig

It’s the return of Bob from Marketing!. I like Bob. As someone who wore a suit to work and for too long, and used words like projections, going forward, core competencies and best practice, it’s nice to have a chance to skewer that culture of nonsense. And people that refer to themselves in the third person. If anyone deserves a skewering – literally – it’s people who do that.

The Peacock Throne of Mad King Ludwig is, quite marvellously, based on fact. His pet pig, sadly, is not. Although I do feel it’s at least a pretty safe assumption that a mad king would have a pet pig. Why would you not, in that position?

While the theme of ‘The Castles of Mad King Ludwig’ (or just ‘Castles’) is interesting, it’s one of those games that I feel I need to play to understand the appeal of. On paper it sounds somewhat dry. But with the acclaim the game has received, I’m pretty certain that’s misleading. I remember when I initially heard and read about Pandemic, I didn’t see the appeal at all. Curing diseases? Playing as a researcher? Travelling around the world healing and collecting cards just didn’t make sense to me, yet anyone who played it was just so excited about it. I guess the moral here is that I would make a lousy talent scout – the board game world’s equivalent of the man who turned down The Beatles.

I saw the announcement, but other than Codenames, I’m honestly not familiar with the nominees for the Spiel des Jahres this year. Anyone played either Karuba or Imhotep? Anyone want to make predictions as the which the winner might be?

Man, I bet that pig just loves the butter room.

14 Comments on The rebranding of Mad King Ludwig
  • Jesse Diego Perez

    Love building some crazy castles in this game. I also really love Bob from Marketing and am happy to see his return. I may have used some of Bob’s slick reasoning when trying to convince my wife and daughter to try out my latest games. They may be catching on though as they now won’t play a new game with the boys and I until we’ve at least played it once without them.
    Here’s hoping Bob survives his trip to Bavaria for more marketing adventures/emergencies.

    • I can’t see something like a bottomless pit stopping Bob. He is far, far, far too determined (or annoying, depending on your perspective) for that. Bob will return!

  • Harxy

    Poor Bob from Marketing. All he wants is the best for his products and customers. He’s the unsung hero of Tiny Wooden Pieces, and one day I hope you go back and rewrite all the comics from his perspective.

    • Well, if you were to ask Bob, he would tell you he is the most important character in the comic, and without him no-one would ever read it. That’s pretty typical Bob, though.

  • wr00t

    It seems that Karuba should win as the most family friendly. Codenames is too thinky and as far as i remember Imhotep has some user interaction (stealing ships from under the nose of other players) which may not be for everyone.

    • Interesting to hear! Karuba and Imhotep both seem to have fun themes, so I wouldn’t mind a chance to play either. With even the nomination though, I imagine they will both be stocked eveywhere and be easier to get.

  • Ben Thorp

    (Late to the party – was away for the Bank Holiday weekend…) I’ve not played Castles, but I can see the appeal. Kinda like Carcassone but with less annoying scoring 😉

    Karuba made a bit of a splash as one of the “grown-up” (or, at least, non-yellow) Haba games, IIRC.
    Imhotep caught my attention because it’s by the designer of Sushi Go and Archaeology, both of which I own and like.

    • I actually didn’t realise who the designer of Karuba, was. We picked up Sushi Go over in Boston, and funnily enough, I was just reading the rules this evening. Lovely weather over here, so plan on taking it out to a beer garden tomorrow evening.

      • Ben Thorp

        Just noticed that the Dice Tower have a review of Imhotep up. Looks interesting 🙂

        • That does look really interesting. Part worker placement, and part puzzle, from looking at it. And I love that you are actually building up the monuments in it. Gonna check out their review of Karuba now, see how it compares:
          (EDIT: Just watched the review, an absolutely wonderful looking puzzle game, but zero player interaction, which is a big downer for mer)

          • Ben Thorp

            I feel the same way. Karuba does look interesting, and I think that Haba produces great family games, but Imhotep wins it for me.

  • Megan Heysham

    With both Castles of Mad King Ludwig and Castles of Burgundy, I often find myself saying “Which Castles?” But they’re both great games.

    Castles of Mad King Ludwig did just get an app version, which I haven’t tried yet but has been getting good reviews from what I’ve seen. It’s just a shame it doesn’t have online multiplayer.

    • Castles of Burgundy is a game we hear a lot about as well. Highly recommended, but there are just so many other games to get, all the time.

  • Ben Thorp

    Looky what just came out: (also available in apple flavour)