If you thought their forays into video games were unexpected, sit down now. Thanks to the band Beatnik Turtle there is now an official album of songs devoted to the wonders of Cheapass Games. Hey! Don’t just sit there. Listen to sound samples!
Archive for September, 2004
While it seems like it hasn’t been long since the last one, Rio Grande Games has produced yet another newsletter. Most of the game descriptions have been seen in past announcements, but they have revealed more details on their forthcoming Carcassonne releases. The new expansion will be called The Count while the new stand-alone game will be called The City. If you’re a fan of the tile-laying game and can’t wait to find out more, there are more details available at BoardGameGeek here and here.
Fans of the old Rage CCG have produced an entire expansion, complete with art, called Gauntlet. (“Red– Werewolf– is about to die!!”) White Wolf appears pretty proud of this – they’ve even designated the new set tournament-legal. At first I thought this was another CCG Workshop deal, like for
Those who are interested in the challenges of transitioning the most popular board game of the last ten years to the screen (not that screen – stop being difficult) might want to have a look at the updates on the official Catan Online site. You can read a developer diary post, see a screenshot at one degree of separation, or even “Learn about the Klaus Teuber.” More fun than a barrel of insert-resource-card-name-here.
Election USA‘s marketing text begins with the following: “Why not run for President in this first boardgame from Mongoose Publishing? Remember, though, you have to be a Republican!” Yes, it’s a bit of political satire from the other side of the pond (where maybe it’s a little safer, commercially speaking). I’m always surprised that there aren’t more satirical games, given that game systems can caricature economic realities the same way cartoons can caricature appearances. People seem to have figured this out in the video gaming arena, but there still isn’t a lot happening of note, even there. Guess we’re still too busy drawing
babes with swords.
I was just playing a little online Acquire (a friend of mine hacked it up, and it’s still aggressively beta so be gentle) and did a quick search to see if I remembered, back at Origins, to post about the Face 2 Face Games folks and their line of reprints of the work of Acquire designer Sid Sackson. It turns out I didn’t. At the time they were already having great success with their version of Kohle, Kies & Knete, retitled I’m the Boss, and were previewing the card game Sleuth; their third “Sackson Signature” game BuyWord was previewed at Gen Con and will be hitting the channel soon.
At Origins I spoke to Face2Face’s Lawrence Whalen about the Sackson line – he told me they were working closely with Sackson’s family (and that the I’m the Boss character portraits were in fact of extended Sackson family members). Sackson’s immense collection of games, split up and sold at auction after Sackson’s death in 2002, apparently contained a number of prototypes of Sackson originals – many of them unpublished. When I talked to them, Face2Face was starting to work with the family to track these prototypes down, possibly develop them, and bring them to market. Naturally, we wish them all the best with that project. Their next planned Sackson reprint is Metropolis, due sometime next year.
As one of our commenters pointed out previously, it’s sad when a collection goes to the four winds at the end of someone’s life, but at least it’s good for the collector to know that things are going to people who know and love them. Here’s hoping that Sid Sackson’s legacy gets a better end than it’s gotten so far – better for the family as well as for gamers everywhere.
Many in the industry have been saddened to learn that David C. Sutherland III, one of the first well-known TSR artists, has a terminal illness. An auction of Sutherland’s gaming collection is currently being held on Ebay to help pay for his medical bills and supplement his estate for his remaining family. From the original Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide to the incredible castle map in the original Ravenloft module, and a fair amount of game development besides, many gamers are sure to be familiar and fond of Sutherland’s works. Have a look at the auction and see some of the gaming treasures you have a chance to bid on, and help the Sutherland family out at the same time.
The comparatively open-ballot, gamer-ish answer to the juried Spiel des Jahres award has announced Michael Tummelhofer’s card-ish market board game Saint Petersburg as its top vote-getter for the year. Here’s the whole list of honorees.
Rumors persist that Avalon Hill will be giving RoboRally its first stateside printing in many years in the first half of ’05 – here is either a sneak of the cover or some (other) obsessed fan’s hour’s-worth of Photoshop labor. As much as I love the game, it really needs a new edition, not just a reprint. Some things in there need improving. There is also allegedly an unspecified Charlie Catino wargame design planned for next year, a sci-fi thing called (or codenamed) “Dragon Mount,” which sounds like it will go nicely with Cow Poker.
For the first time in six years, the Magic: the Gathering World Championships was held in the continental United States. The 11th Annual Magic: the Gathering Worlds was held at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. As it was so tantalizingly close to us Cave Dwellers, we couldn’t possibly resist checking it out. It turns out there was plenty to see.
Uberplay has posted commercials for some of their board games. Next up, the Happy Meals of Catan?
I don’t want to sound too complain-y here; the event was professionally run, gorgeously produced, and left in the dust the nearest organized-play program behind it (WizKids, I’m looking at you). That said, for the first world championship held in the States since what I interpret as the game’s rennaissance in this country, it was underattended and… there just wasn’t much for people like me to do. I mean, my DCI judge friend gave me his one-free-draft coupon, but as a lapsed player with no knowledge of the current card set, all I would do in a draft is lose and piss seven people off. I spent my time on Saturday just hanging out with other people in my shoes: players from years back, been out of the game for a long while, not up for tournament play.
Where was the section where new players could get an introduction to the game from an experienced volunteer? Where was the “nickel tour of the current Type 2 environment” seminar? Where was the “game library” section where you could borrow, I dunno, some Spanish-language 5th Edition starters and play Two-Headed Giant with them? [And where, for the love of Mr. Suitcase, was the preview of Unhinged?]
Casual play is the elephant in Magic‘s living room. Still. Casual events like these, well-publicized ahead of time, could have been a watershed event for all that dark matter in M:tG’s market. However, I will grant that Wizards’ event staff is in the business of running tournaments, not conventions. That part they have down pretty well; it was a trip and a half to witness the setup for the finals first-hand, earpieces and all. (Not that the earpieces really work. They’re there so you can sit in the audience and listen to commentary the players shouldn’t hear… which is mostly, again, keyed on intimate knowledge of the current card set… and you can only see the cards on monitors anyway… and the earpieces fed back a lot… on the whole I began to wish I were watching the webcast at home. But it was still neat.)