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- Card game for 2-6 players
- Resource management game
- Takes about 45 minutes to play
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From the Manufacturer
About Mayfair Games
Mayfair Games is a U.S. based Illinois company, incorporated in 1981 and is an international publisher of board games and card games suitable for families and hobbyists. Mayfair Games has over 100 game titles in print including many long-running series of games such as Empire Builder and Catan as well as many long-running standalone titles such as Alibi and Family Business. Mayfair Games, making the “games of our generation”.
Family Business: Mobs, Contracts, Mayhem
Family Business takes mob warfare to a new level of backstabbing, revenge, and general bloodthirstiness, which is what makes it such a blast to play. Every player controls a 'family' and plays various cards to off other players' family members. In a game with this little structure, it's possible for everyone to gang up on one unlucky soul, or for the damage to be fairly evenly spread. Either way, the last family standing is victorious.
Each player starts with a gang of nine characters. To try to get rid of other gangsters, contracts are played on them. If these contracts are not blocked by anyone, the targeted gangster is placed on the hitlist. As soon as six gangsters are on the hitlist a mobwar is started. This means that, at the start of every turn, the first character on this list is eliminated. This goes on until the list is empty.
Mobwars can also be triggered by cards being played. When no more than the last six or fewer characters are in play a constant mobwar is going on, until only one player has characters left.
In general players take turns clockwise, however, the turn goes to any player who plays a response card and then clockwise mode is resumed with the player next to him/her. Lots of interaction as players play cards to put gangsters on the list, save them, have them replaced, start a Mob War, or stop it...
- 54 Mobster Cards (6 families with 9 mobsters each)
- 58 Action Cards (33 Attack, 12 Counter, and 12 Rescue cards)
- "R.I.P." card tray
- Simple rules
Top Customer Reviews
Each player gets a "mob" of nine gangsters and a hand of cards that play dastardly tricks on the other guys -- or defend their own guys from attack. Attacked mobsters go on a "Hit List" and can be rescued until a mob war rubs them out.
Throw in special cards that cause double-rate wars, Ambush attacks, turn stealing, and a Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, and the result is a game of surprising strategy and quick reverses, where even a fairly young player can win.
My favorite aspect of this game is its "self leveling" nature. Any player who starts to fall behind becomes a weak target, meaning it's in the stronger players' interest to attack somebody else. People rarely feel picked on (except in fun) and there's no long dusty road to defeat.
Although gameplay can be complicated, the cards all have hints printed on them to remind players what they do, meaning even new players can jump in with gats blazing.
But don't forget your cement overshoes!
[UPDATE 8/09 - Although we still love this game, my family and I are NOT thrilled with the latest edition, which has been redesigned with cluttered graphics and a blocky hard-to-read font that detract from gameplay. Bring back the older (or at least a more legible) verision!!]
1. It doesn't take forever. You end up playing 3 or 4 rounds at a sitting because as soon as it's over, everyone wants to play it again.
2. It provides just the right amount of strategy combined with some luck of the draw.
3. It stimulates a lot of fun interaction between players. You're killing each other off. No hard feelings!
4. The artwork is great. I catch myself wondering who I know who looks like one of the gangsters.
5. You never know who is going to win until the last play. You don't want to jump out in the lead too early, or else you'll become everyone's target. The game intensifies towards the end and then it often ends with a bang, usually with a surprise. Great stuff.
I've played it with all ages and it's fun to watch the demeanor of someone new to the game. They catch on and it's satisfying to see them get into it pretty quickly. I've played it in tandem with some other award winning games and you can see the energy level go up with this one.
I've been surprised to find that this game is way down the list in terms of favorites or best-sellers. No awards, not even nominations for awards. I have collected a number of strategy games over the years and have often bought them based on awards, sales history, favorites, and web recommendations. I never would have given this one a thought if I hadn't played it first. It's a good one.
Family Business, the card game of mob war, is a very fast-moving, unpredictable and enjoyable game. Each player takes the role of one of six mobs, all of which were historically real except the Bank Robbers, which is an amalgam of several criminals, including John Dillinger, Alvin Karpis etc. The purpose is to kill off all of the other mobs and be the only gang standing.
This may seem excessively violent, and perhaps it is for some. But you have to remember that it's really just about moving
cards around. There's no real gore or violence.
As stated above, the game is fast-moving and unpredictable. Things are constantly in flux, and there is no foolproof strategy to win or even to protect yourself. The bullets are flying pretty much all of the time. Every game is different and a player who is dominant one moment can be the first one eliminated the next, preventing the game from ever becoming boring.
The game is also very easy to learn. The concepts are very simple and each card explains pretty clearly what it does. Games are not terribly long and never become stalemated.
The current version has a few changes from previous editions (at least the ones I had.) A few changes have been made in the mobsters included in the game. Of the 54 mobsters in the gang (9 for each gang), two or three seem to have been switched out. I imagine this is for historical accuracy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This game is amazing. Fun in groups and you basically need it.Published 2 days ago by Jonathan Albiar
This is in our family's top 5 games. Usually the first choice to bring out to play with dinner guests!Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Fun game. We enjoyed it as a family over the holidays. The faces on the cards and the names led to lots of joking and laughing as we played. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Levi C.
My family loves board games, so this was a pretty good addition! We've only played a few times, but I enjoyed it.Published 10 days ago by NaniA
It is a fun and competitive game for all ages, relatively simple once you get the hang of it. I especially like that each person gets a mob group of cards and that you get attached... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Spellerb10
I've played this game before with my friends and decided I needed it for my own! I enjoy how each game changes on who you are playing with. Read morePublished 20 days ago by jkstrat
This game was very fun once we figured out the rules. The rules are not written very clearly, even for a seasoned gamer. Read morePublished 1 month ago by mezzodiva
My second favorite game. This is very addictive and very competitive. A friend of mine and his wife didn't speak to each other for two days. Read morePublished 1 month ago by The Murphy's