Ventura was one of those games that Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) brought over from its Italian publishing partner, Stratelibri, but never ended up taking off much in North America. I found the game at Gen Con in 2011 when FFG was hyping up the release. For whatever reason, our group actually enjoyed the theme and mechanics so I eventually picked it up.
While we found the game fun and engaging, there were some nagging production issues that, for practical reasons, I wanted to fix.
The first issue was the player mat. Maybe to save on translation costs, the game labeled the phase headings on the player mat with “A,” “B,” etc. The rule book had the same designations but also the actual phase’s name (Ventura, Administration, etc).
However, when looking at the actual cards, the game kept the name of the headings without the “A,” “B,” designations so more often than not, players would have to stop the game and try to figure out in what phase they could play a card.
My first pimp of this game was to correct this issue. I copied the mats and photoshopped the phase names back into the phase banners. This way, a player’s mat would match their card and they wouldn’t be confused on when they could use it.
The second issue came up with the figure pawns. They are actually pretty great player pieces and really help evoke this old war style “meeting of the generals” feeling.
In practice, however, the pawns raised number is lost when actually on the board and it was hard to figure which army was which during the game.
This was a pretty easy to fix though. I slapped on some acrylic paint sloppily and then used an X-acto knife (carefully) to scrape off the excess paint. Some clean up and then a quick seal finished off the pawns.
That was really all the game needed to be comfortably functional. It could have still played well as-is straight from the box, but we liked the game well enough to make it easier on everyone.
While I was pimping out the components, I decided to add a few other little tweaks like printing out flags for each of the faction banners.
And created reference cards for each faction’s optional power.
Overall, I was happy with how this game turned out and really like how it looks on the table top.