Round two of today’s catch-up episodes, this early February show muses on the future of the Dark Heresy RPG (which became clearer soon after show time), upcoming con season, the WoW CMG, and more. Mike also gives us a primer on Vincent Baker’s latest game, In a Wicked Age, and we’ve all been keeping busy playing things. Again, thanks to everyone who emailed asking when we’d be back – the answer is, now.
Glad to see the team back in the saddle again.
There are a lot of game conventions in the Northeast, but they are all very regional in nature. So instead of having one big con there are lots of smaller conventions. They are also specific to various topics. Unity Games, for example, is mostly board games. Then there’re anime cons, role-playing dominant cons, etc. Particularly around MA and NH this is really common.
Re: Magic, online deep discounters have taken much more of a bite out of sales in some area than Magic online. Online virtual boosters have been priced (to my knowledge, though I don’t play online) around the cost of physical boosters. Deep discounters can crush sales of physical cards by making them much cheaper than brick and mortar retailers can typically compete with. Online play is a very popular venue for some players to draft, and some players who draft feel that drafting is its own reward, and so readily pay for physical or virtual drafts whenever they get the chance. I am NOT saying that the online game hasn’t taken a bit out of physical sales, only that there are other factors that hurt brick and mortar stores more than the online game.
You guys pondered aloud whether Rocketville would be the last Avalon Hill game. Diplomacy and Acquire are both returning for the 50th anniversary of AH, and there’s going to be a special Anniversary Edition of Axis and Allies. I’m personally excited about Acquire and hoping that they make an edition with nice plastic components that won’t cost the $90.00 that some copies go for on Ebay.
Star Chamber is a fantastic game. The studio that created it and several other virtual CCGs was bought out by Sony and became a Sony interactive studio in the U.S. Really a great game.
Game conventions become focused on one speciality or another in any region. DunDraCon is very much an RPG con, with a solid sampling of board, card, minis and such; KublaCon, in our same general region, is more focused on miniatures wargaming, with boardgames a close second and everything else following in line. But if you mean those shows are almost exclusively one game medium or another, that would be quite different than out here on the west coast.
You guys pondered aloud whether Rocketville would be the last Avalon Hill game. Diplomacy and Acquire are both returning for the 50th anniversary of AH, and thereâ€™s going to be a special Anniversary Edition of Axis and Allies.
The key there is “returning” – they aren’t new games at all. Putting out new versions of old classics is all well and good, but what I was referring to was new game designs. Those won’t be coming from Avalon Hill anytime soon, it seems.
Allan, I was referring to conventions that were almost exclusively of type X. Some of the cons up here advertise that they do other things, but when you show up you’ll find like 3 guys in a room calling it the “board game room” at a con that specializes in LARPs and costuming. I’m not a huge con goer, but the ones I’ve attended have been largely that. OGC up in New Hampshire had a bit of a mix.
What Boston has a fair bit of is organized play, particularly for CCGs, and to a lesser extent there has been organized play for the Clix games up until about a year ago. Some of the shops around here also hold board game nights, etc. Many of the colleges also have pretty organized gaming clubs.
I don’t know if these factors go into explaining why there isn’t one big con in Massachusetts, but there really doesn’t seem to be. 600-800 people is about the biggest con I’ve been to (Vericon at Harvard).
Sorry that I misunderstood about the Avalon Hill games. Still, to me, Acquire coming back is very cool.
Allan, I was referring to conventions that were almost exclusively of type X. Some of the cons up here advertise that they do other things, but when you show up youâ€™ll find like 3 guys in a room calling it the â€œboard game roomâ€ at a con that specializes in LARPs and costuming.
That sounds like the “game room” efforts of a few non-gaming cons out here. For a few years, WonderCon – a rather large comic con – has tried to foster a gaming section of the show, with rather pathetic results. There’s also an anime con at the end of May, the same weekend at KublaCon, that tries to get gamers to come out their way instead. I’ve said this on the show before: if you’re in the same locale as a growing local convention, such as KublaCon in this case, support it! Don’t be an idiot and poach gamers to fill out your non-gaming show – focus on your strengths and build your community, instead of weakening the gaming community with your feeble efforts. The two shows are less than an hour’s drive apart, for cryin’ out loud! You aren’t a gaming show – go siddown.
I have no problem with non-gaming shows setting up some space for games. But when they actively claim the show is partially about games, that’s when I call foul. Especially when it pulls attendees away from a legitimate gaming show.
A&A is on my “to buy list” even at $100 MSRP. Adding the Italians is pretty huge…
I think you mentioned Shorecon in the podcast: unfortunately, Shorecon, the South Jersey con run by Double Exposure was no more (not run in 2007). Dexcon is DEs major con, but they seem to have scaled back a bit in 2008, not running Spring Gathering, which had run for a while.
One thing that’s going to be interesting to watch in 2009 is the changes from Living Greyhawk to Living Realms for RPGA gaming. Living Greyhawk’s regional system gave exclusive regional events to geographic regions of the US. Lots of Northeast players traveled around from regional con to regional con (Keoland ones in NJ, NY, and PA, Bissel ones in New England, Geoff ones in VA and MD.) to get all the play in they could with their various PCs.
Living Realms will have regions, but less of them and there will apparently be no regional exclusivity mapped to the real world. So you can play the same games in PA as VA or CA, greatly reducing the interest in travel, which helped support, I think, a great many local cons (like MEPACON, for instance) for whom Living Campaign RPGA play is a major draw.
Just wanted you to know, I had just turned on your podcast when my two-year old walked into my home office with an arm full of toys. He heard the music playing, set down the toys, and proceeded to have himself a dance party. When you guys actually started talking he angrily pointed to the computer and said “Again!”
So don’t listen to the naysayers. You guys rock with the toddler crowd.
Sweet! We can speak to gamers of any age. Or at least get them dancing. 🙂
And what’s this about naysayers? I thought we had them all drawn and quartered…
Fantasy Flight just announced the launch of its Dark Heresy RPG website, right here. There’s errata and such, and goodies formerly from the GW site.