Rival Networks Now on Kickstarter

I was really excited to see the news that a 2-player version of the wonderful Gil Hova design The Networks was going to be released and be on Kickstarter in January.

I was so excited that I announced the news as soon as I heard it!

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All pics from the Kickstarter page

Thus, it makes me very happy to announce that the campaign is now live!

It’s almost reached it’s $20,000 goal already and probably will by tonight.

Continue reading “Rival Networks Now on Kickstarter”

Book Review – Castles of Steel

When I was much younger (just getting out of college, actually), I read this massive 1000+ page book on the naval arms race between the great powers of Europe leading up to World War I.

The book was called Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War by historian and journalist Robert K. Massie. Publish in 1991, it was huge, and it was terribly interesting to this military history buff having just graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in History.

In 2004, Massie came out with a follow-up book about the naval aspect of World War I called Castles of Steel.

Castles of Steel

I picked it up a few years later but kept deciding that I was going to read something a bit shorter and it fell by the wayside.

When I heard that Massie had died on December 2, 2019, I was determined to make Castles of Steel my next read.

Boy, was it worth it!

Continue reading “Book Review – Castles of Steel”

AEG Adjusts its Views on Expansions

I saw an interesting post on the Smash Up Facebook group the other day. It was a link to a post on the AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) blog by CEO John Zinser regarding their policy on expansions in 2020 and beyond.

Last year, AEG made the pledge that they were going to publish fewer games and concentrate on quality instead. This was in addition to changing how they went about some of their sales plans: moving some game franchises to Kickstarter, etc.

AEG seemed to fall into the trap where every game was considered to have at least one expansion, even some games before the base game was published.

That’s not always a good thing.

To quote Zinser:

“I also understand that expansions were a big part of AEG’s business plan for many years. CCGs and RPGs are built to be expanded and that is often how the long tail money is made and also how you keep players engaged in those games.  As we transitioned into card games the expansions continued. Thunderstone, Smash-Up, and even Mystic Vale all IMO benefited from expansions.

We also tried to expand some games that did not need it like Fantahzee.”

I’ve never played Fantahzee, but it doesn’t sound like a game that needs an expansion.

Smash Up

I’m a man who loves expansions, though I understand that certain games don’t need one. For me, games like Mystic Vale and Smash Up thrive with a bunch of expansions because the games consist of a bunch of cards. Who wouldn’t mind more cards that do new and innovative things?

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GMT’s Labyrinth: the War on Terror coming to Steam Early Access – Feb 27

What can be more exciting than a snow day in Vancouver where I don’t have to go to work?

How about receiving big digital boardgame news in my Inbox?

Yes, that’s right. GMT’s awesome-sounding (since I haven’t played the board game yet) Labyrinth: the War on Terror is finally coming to Steam via Early Access on February 27!

Labyrinth

Developed by Playdek, who also did the incredible Fort Sumter digital version as well as Twilight Struggle, you know this game is going to be good because of that.

Playdek just knows how to make great digital game adaptations.

What is Labyrinth?

Let’s blurb the game description a bit, since I have non-work-related fun stuff to do.

“Labyrinth takes 1 or 2 players inside the Islamist jihad and the global war on terror. With broad scope, ease of play, and a never-ending variety of event combinations similar to GMT’s highly popular Twilight Struggle, Labyrinth portrays not only the US efforts to counter extremists’ use of terrorist tactics but the wider ideological struggle — guerrilla warfare, regime change, democratization, and much more.”

It’s a card-driven game designed by the incomparable Volko Ruhnke and it looks amazing. I’d love to play it on the table sometime.

But until then, we will have it digitally!

No word yet on the multiplayer capabilities of the game, but being Playdek I’m assuming it will have excellent asynchronous multiplayer.

Also no word on price, but that doesn’t really matter to me.

I’m there on February 27!

And if you are too, maybe hit me up for a game?

 

 

Top 10 Games Played in 2019 (5-1)

Whew! After telling you the first half of my Top 10 games played in 2019, I needed a break. Being surrounded by all that awesomeness can be tiring!

Hammock
Yes, I am short…why do you ask?

But now I’m back with the bottom half of the list. These are the 5 best games I played in 2019, and you know they’re going to be good because I have the best taste (seriously, you do know that, right?).

Please note that this is not the Top 10 games of 2019. I only wish I had played enough actual 2019 games to qualify to have a Top 10.

That would be a great year!!!! But my fellow cultists would be really miffed.

No, these are the Top 10 games that I played in 2019.

You can find the first half of this list here.

So let’s get this show on the road!

Continue reading “Top 10 Games Played in 2019 (5-1)”

Top 10 Games Played in 2019 (10-6)

It’s that time of year again!

Time to look back at 2019 and see what games I played this year and which ones I definitely want to play again. Also, which ones can be left by the side of the road looking all forlorn because they just aren’t that good.

I had a pretty good year in 2019. I played 107 games 192 times (not each!). Of those 107 games, 63 were new to me, which was a lot of fun. I always love learning new games (and I like to keep my cult members happy).

Surprisingly, I played the exact same number of games (107) in 2018 but 67 of them were new (and I had 201 plays).

Smash Up was my number one game played with 16 plays, followed by 11 plays of Space Base (both of them are work lunchtime game staples, so it’s not surprising).

My most amazing feat, however, was getting Eldritch Horror to the table a whopping 5 times! That includes 4 times in the last two months of the year.

Of course, there are side effects to that.

On Fire

But we endure!

So let’s see what the top 10 games that I played this year are. There may be a few surprises based on last year’s rankings.

I’m nothing if not Walt Whitman.

Please note that this is not the Top 10 games of 2019. I actually did a count, and I only played 20 games published in 2019. Thus, half of them would be on that list if I did that.

No, these are the Top 10 games that I played in 2019.

This post will be broken into two parts, so here are numbers 6-10! (The Top 5 will post on Wednesday)

Continue reading “Top 10 Games Played in 2019 (10-6)”

Friday Night Shots – Negativity in Response to Reviews

Welcome to the first in what may be a series (or at least a semi-series) of Friday night posts that are at least partially inspired by Canadian Club whiskey (that we tend to drink on Friday nights).

Tonight’s topic is the idea of negativity in response to reviews.

My good friend (well, I consider us good friends, but I am at least an avid reader if nothing else) Dan Thurot recently tweeted about the extreme response he received to his very lukewarm (if not downright negative) review of Jamey Stegmaier’s Tapestry

He tweeted about a thread on Boardgame Geek about his review and the garbage fire that the thread became very quickly.

I’m not going to go into the details of the review or whether or not I disagree with it (though I don’t, for many of the same reasons my friend (actual friend, not just in my  mind) Katanan  mentioned on the BGG review post).

What I want to get into is why people who enjoy a game have to trash almost any negative review that comes out about that game.

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