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Avalon Hill alludes slyly to more wargames in future

May 26th, 2005: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Avalon Hill alludes slyly to more wargames in future

And lo, a cute reference to a Seekrit Projekt in this interview about RoboRally (PDF) has raised anew the spectre of “Avalon Hill” now standing for “WotC Board Games,” rather than the completely proud, never ever silly, always grognardy and entirely luck-free (yeah, right) legacy of the AH backlist. All that’s really in the article are said allusions, plus a reminder that Nexus Ops is coming and will likely be the gamer-est new game that the new AH has made to date. Vegas Showdown sounds reasonably solid too, in a more European way. In the meantime, why not simply recognize that AH is now an alternate WotC logo, accept that the “real” Avalon Hill died with the wargame hobby and by its own financial hand, and move on to helping produce new culture you like, instead of pining for the fjords?

11 Comments »

11 comments

  1. rich says:

    Hey, I’m gonna get me a copy of Monsters Menace America as soon as one shows up in a store I’m not boycotting…

  2. Paul of Cthulhu says:

    I’ve just been listening to some of the GeekSpeak podcasts over at BoardGameGeek, one of the “Gathering of Friends” specials features an interview with Mike Fitzgerald where he said (or at least seemed to intimate) that AH are now indeed the board game arm of WotC.

  3. rich says:

    Rich, do tell? What brought on your boycott?

  4. James S. says:

    I don’t know about Rich, but I’ll share one of my boycott stories with you. The store itself is irrelevant as it went out of business (and you’ll see why if my story is any indicatation):

    I phoned them because I wanted to know if they had the latest D&D book in. The guy on the phone said they did. I asked him to hold it and that I would be right over to get it… its about a twenty-minute drive for me.

    I got to the store and, naturally, they were NOT holding it for me but it was on the shelf so no big deal… a kid was standing in front of me in the line talking to one of the other clerks about Yu-Gi-Oh cards… the other clerk is messing with the cash register. At this point it was five minutes til they closed. The kid left and I plunked my book on the counter to have them ring it up. The guy at the register told me he had just closed the register! Nevermind the fact that I was obviously standing in line with a book in hand. He wouldn’t reopen the register and I was NOT happy. Not only did I waste my own time and gas to get there so I could get the book but they obviously didn’t want my $40.

    I took my business elsewhere (namely online) after that point.

  5. rich says:

    At least around here, i’ve so far seen the game advertised at only two stores: wal-mart and toys R us. My reasons for boycotting the former are basically the same as all would-be slacker leftist activist types; my reasons for the latter are based on the fact that i’ve had a crappy customer experience in every single TRU i’ve ever ventured into.

  6. Dai Oni says:

    Interesting use of the word “boycotting.” It implies you won’t do business with them UNTIL they change or improve for the better (a conditional statement).

    I don’t boycott stores with crappy customer service. I leave them like inconsiderate girlfriends. No fanfare. No press release.

  7. rich says:

    “unless” would be a better word than “until”. I don’t expect businesses to change, but at the end of the day even a franchise has to be responsive to local conditions, so upon seeing evidence of an improved situation i’m always willing to reconsider. I just try to take the whole voting with your dollars thing seriously.

  8. Dai Oni says:

    Perhaps too seriously. Not to nitpick, but does the public really have to know you’re boycotting certain stores (named or unnamed)?

  9. rich says:

    well the point of my comment originally was more in reference to whether or not i was willing to support AH (which was, essentially, the point of the original post). the fact that boycotting got more discussion than the fortunes of AH per se would suggest to me that public interest exists.

  10. Dai Oni says:

    On that note, I change the subject…

    I never figured AH as a maker and supporter of wargame hobby but of [strategy] boardgaming, at least back in the 80’s and 90’s. GDW was doling out stuff like HARPOON.

    Too bad about wargame hobby. I used to play a lot with my 1/285th scale miniature tanks and AFVs (with a CHALLENGER wargame ruleset), even during the Gulf War of 1990.

  11. Allan S says:

    Thank you for referring to Nexus Ops as a WotC board game and not an Avalon Hill one.

    The holy grail of marketing is to achieve brand recognition, identity and loyalty. This is something that Avalon Hill has…or at least had at one point. I purchased their Battlecry game sight unseen based solely on the fact that it was “Avalon Hill” that put out this civil war game.

    When I opened the box I was as jarred as if I had just walked into a Baskin Robbins and found that it had become a bar-b-que joint.

    That is brand recognition. The fact that Battlecry went into the trash had less to do with the merits of the game itself and more to do with the fact that it wasn’t the type of game I expected… or even wanted.

    To reuse my example, reading Linda’s comments on the upcoming RoboRally game (www.gametrademagazine.com/gtm64_pdfs/GTM64_roborally.pdf)
    felt a lot like being told that “Baskin Robbins never promised -which- 31 flavors we’d deliver”.

    I’m not opposed to strategy-light fluffy games with pretty pieces. There are times when I just want a quick game or two in an evening and I’ll be picking up RoboRally the first chance I get. But these games certainly aren’t “Avalon Hill” and I appreciate that you called a spade a spade by calling Nexus Ops a “WotC Board Game.”

    (Just don’t get me started on “collectible” Axis and Allies… sheesh).

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