This morning, Green Ronin announced it has struck a deal with BL Publishing, a subsidiary of Games Workshop, to be the exclusive RPG developer of GW properties. The products will be published by BL Publishing, allowing Green Ronin to concentrate on the creative aspects. As one would expect, the planned products include a new edition of Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play, which Green Ronin is already working on. The new version is scheduled for Spring 2005, and is sure to be followed by a variety of other Games Workshop RPG titles. If Warhammer 40k becomes a roleplaying game, we may see a whole lot more sci-fi going around.
Archive for April, 2004
Well, it must be royal, ’cause it has Knight in its title: the Dark Riders expansion for Mage Knight streets today, featuring figures with riders, dark and otherwise, that can be removed from their mounts and placed on their own bases. Some figures I’ve seen might have benefitted from a second sculpt for use when standing on their own; when you put them on the independent base, they look a bit like they’re doing that one Michael Jackson dance move. Or like they have a pole stuck in their butts… which, in point of fact, they do. Wow, now I wish I hadn’t put those two images next to one another. I’m sure WizKids does too, but nonetheless, this should give MK strategy an interesting goose (there I go again). A press release waits below.
With regard to that Settlers article last week, here’s some harder sociological evidence that folks like Uberplay and Days of Wonder might want to keep the complexity dialed down. Redoubtable geek-feed Boing Boing cites a Scientific American article by Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz about the dynamics of choice in the Western world, and how more people are turning from Maximizers (what we in the gaming tribe would call min-maxers, obsessives who analyze and agonize over every move to get the best possible return) to Satisficers (not evidently a typo, and well characterized by the board-gamer’s exhortation to “be German,” that is, adopt the supposed tendency of German gamers to pick a good-enough move and not worry so much). The article itself is behind a paywall, but you can read more about it here and here.
If you have been to your local game store lately, as I have, then you have likely noticed that Fantasy Flight has scored another victory in their ongoing quest to make Reiner Knizia design a CCG without knowing it. Blue Moon is a two-player card game with no real collectibility aspects… but it has two different, named factions… and it has two other decks of different factions that you can buy separately. Careful, Reiner! People seem to be looking for ways to play Magic without playing Magic lately, and early buzz on this one is good; I look forward to inspecting it more closely. Press release below.
Gamefest’s Gamewire cites this Toronto Star article about Settlers, proving once again that even our mildly complicated games come across as far too complicated for ordinary people. Once the article gets rolling, a decent picture of the game starts to come in, but on the whole, the conclusion comes back around to chaos. Why is it that the market has yet to discover anything with Settlers‘ strengths for a mass audience (luck, trading, thematic familiarity) and none of its drawbacks (luck-based stagnation, trading-based long playing times, and relative complexity)?
Well… a coupla gamers, anyway. The new two-player sets Dungeoneer: Haunted Woods of Malthorin and Dungeoneer: Den of the Wererats ship in July and each have just enough room for you and someone you love to beat on: three new character types apiece, plus wilderness Map cards and city Map cards respectively. Will they go together nicely? Will they be out in time for Origins? Do you need a breath mint? We’ll find out? Okay?
Pinnacle has posted a PDF preview of their new skirmish minis game Rippers. The six-page preview is all story – what the minis gamers call “fluff” without any pejorative intent – but I’d lay odds that the rules are very similar to the Showdown! skirmish rules based on Savage Worlds. The whole “ripping” mechanic wherein one takes DNA from a victim and adds it to an ally sounds like it could be really creative; in fact, this whole game kinda reminds me of the mismarketed, underrated (like most other things Cell Entertainment did) game LAB. Speaking of marketing, I have to question whether retailers will make room for yet another indie miniatures game right now, but mmm, tasty clear plastic boxes. You make the call.
You know, like how poor, innocent ethnic restaurants will put “the ‘best’ food in town” on their menus? I just want to point out that, thanks to a misconfigured HTML character set, the new official product page for Pirates of the Spanish Main has some amusingly placed question marks in certain browsers. They’ll probably fix it shortly, but in the meantime, they’ve crystallized many gamers’ thoughts eloquently. Anyway, the ships still look cool, the price point is still right, and the release date is still July. I have my Origins-bound fingers crossed.
His run of weekly behind-the-scenes articles on Axis & Allies 2nd Edition concluded, developer Mike Selinker starts running it down about Axis & Allies D-Day. “As you evaluate what’s different about this game, always remember the following: Axis & Allies is strategic, Axis & Allies D-Day is tactical.” Mmmm, tactics.