Tag Archives: FFG

Game Camp 2017 Day 3: Frostgrave, extended, & Cosmic Encounters

Previous: Day Two-Frostgrave

Day Three dawned with a continuation of FROSTGRAVE by request of the campers.  The older kids love it; they like the super tactical feel, the way spells can totally mess up a plan, and the “spatial” feeling a three dimensional tactical game can be with miniatures.  You can’t get that same feeling on a flat screen.

Naturally, any game I can leave set up and not have to worry about setup times is a game I’m going to like, too.good

Right off the bat, both sides came on aggressively. The Good side got ensnared in the right corner with fending off the evil Sigilist and Elementalist (aka Johnny Flamehands). Our side was facing him with a good Soothsayer and a good Illusionist. The Illusionist somewhat dominated the right middle of the table. specatularly failing to cast a Poison Dart repeatedly so much that he was down 4 points. He redeemed himself when he was the second crew to visit the temple of Fundamental Evil in the dead center. Johnny Flamehands, the Elementalist, tried earlier in the game, and encountered a being so vile, so disgusting.. well, I’ll let the evidence speak for itself.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Anyway, there was indeed a Type III demon who was so messed up looking he caused everyone he came in close contact with had to check their Will at a big minus or run in fear. The Illusionist had a Transpose spell– he had tried it before with his Wizard and failed badly, so he tried it again with his apprentice and this time he rolled very high. By carefully placing himself to eyeball the contents within, he could see both the Type III demon blob and the Zombie that was standing behind it being controlled by the Elementalist.
Bam, ZIP! Guess what happens?

One EXTREMELY ANGRY, PEOPLE HATIN’ CRAZY DEMON who likes darkness transposed into the sunlight with a very confused zombie being blinked back into the temple! RUH ROH! Bad news for that Elementalist and his crew who happened to be standing right next to him, mouths gaping in shock and unspeakable horror!

We laughed for about 15 minutes.

That kind of changed the classification of the game from “Maximum Haul” to “Grab what we have and GIT!” Team Evil started leaving the left side of the board rapidly. Team Good had more distance and more leisure. We ended up calling the game and rolling up the treasure.. quickly, as the buses were coming. Team Evil won the day, but by less than ten points, surprisingly.

We also played the hands down, don’t argue with me BEST GAME IN THE UNIVERSE, Cosmic Encounter— you can tell I’m a bit biased. I sat in on this six hand game with Red Menace, Green Machine, Blue Meanies, Yellow Peril and Orange Crush. We create nicknames for our aliens by color (as you can see) so we had to settle on White Blight for me, since the cards came from an expansion set. I engineered a four way win (hey, I’m not ashamed) and it was a great time indeed.

and a little documentary evidence about how canny these little dealmakers were getting by end of game.

Day 3 was great!  A most satisfactory continuation of Frostgrave and an epic game of Cosmic!

All Frostgrave Photographs

All Cosmic Photographs

Tomorrow: Big Danged Boats, my own 15mm fantasy naval game.




Armada Wave IV arrived at my house.

Background: FFG’s Star Wars ARMADA might be my new easy Starship combat game.  I love X-Wing Miniatures quite a bit, and I don’t regret investing in it.  However, I feel that the many waves that have come out for that game have compromised the tactical feel somewhat.  The ship miniatures keep getting bigger and bigger, and the light single ship fighter feel started getting lost when they started jamming larger, multi-crewed ships in the same tactical system being used for fighters.  That’s not a severe criticism, you can buy the ships  you want and scale X-Wing the way you want it and have a great time with it.  With that said, X-Wing is still (at the heart of it all) a WWI fighter plane game for single cockpit fighters.   The bigger vehicles make it clumsy.  I think it’s appropriate to have a second game system that focuses on big, lumbering platforms– the big ships firing the big guns and launching fighter squadrons (which are tiny clusters of fighters of X-Wing sized fighters) at each other.  That’s the kind of space-fight I like to see, and I haven’t really seen an accessible game at that scale since the old days of Full Thrust or Silent Death.  Sure, I know, there are other options out there (5150 Star Navy comes to mind, I’ve heard good things..) but I haven’t played them, or a game like, in quite a few years.   FFG’s Star Wars Armada is rooted deep in the Star Wars verse, that is true; but it still has the “big fleet” feel, combined with dirt simple mechanics I can teach to kids, and that’s what I’m looking for right now.  The Star Wars element is nice, not for me necessarily, but it does provide sort of a common cultural experience everyone can enjoy.

Yeah, that’s the ticket… THAT’S a space battle!

With all that said, I’ve been getting into the game by jumping into the deep end over the last year.  I’m still learning the nuances.  We ran a much streamlined version of the game at camp this year and I think it’s a winner.  I currently own six Imperial Destroyers, the Imperial fighters that came with the standard game, The Rogues and Villains pack (which are single ships that don’t seem to fit the notion of fleet operations, but you have to jam the Millennium Falcon & Slave 1 in somewhere, I suppose) , Two Rebel fighter squadron packs (plus the ones that come with the base game), two Home One MC80 Star Cruisers, three MC30C Frigates, 2 ea of Nebulon B Frigate and CR90 Corellian Corvettes, two Assault Frigates and one Imperial Assault Carrier pack. I know, this isn’t a balanced collection. I way overbought, but I’ve been finding some great deals from people who are piecing out their games on Ebay.. getting 2 Star Destroyers for 20 bucks, for instance. Unfortunately they didn’t come with the paperwork I need to make it useful for a game, but I didn’t know that going into it.

So with that said, and it was a lot, I pre-ordered the Fourth Wave of Star Wars Armada.  Armada “waves” are smaller than X-Wing miniature “waves”, judging by experience.  So expect maybe two ships a wave.  Fourth Wave is two ships, the Imperial Interdictor and the Rebel Liberty.   I couldn’t get an idea of scale from the ads on Miniatures Market, so I assumed the Interdictor was a giant “Dreadnought” style ship like Vader’s command ship in Empire Strikes Back.  It’s not that at all– more like a variant of the standard Imperial destroyer.  The Liberty is a classic “big gun” Star Cruiser for the Rebel Alliance.

The Imperial Interdictor Expansion

As I said, I thought this was going to be just a giant Star Destroyer at first glance, but it’s actually a variant of the Star Destroyer, albeit a smaller, less armed and armored version.  The Interdictor has one or two special variants on board that turn it into a specialty ship– namely the gravity well projectors.  In essence, what makes the Interdictor not just another Star Destroyer (but weaker) is this card right here (or left here technically).  The Interdictor has an experimental system for messing with the gravity well that ships teleport into and out of in the Star Wars universe, and it has the ability to stop ships cold (speed zero) when deployed.  This is a pretty neat trick.  Now, I just got the package last night, so I can’t tell you how I’d play this thing, but my instincts say don’t overbuy this ship– one will do, protected by another star destroyer close by or a couple of fighter squadrons– this ship would be easier to take out than a standard Star Destroyer.  I could see this being a fun thing to pull on your victims (friends) in a big, multiplayer game.   In a two player game it might be a little obvious.  The Interdictor is a quirky specialty ship, and I’m glad I got one– but only one.

The MC80 Liberty Star Cruiser Expansion

The MC80 Liberty type Star Cruiser appears to be exactly what I was expecting– a giant honking capital ship for the Rebels, with lots and lots of hitting power, decent expansion cards and great defense. Accordingly, a high point cost as well. The Liberty ship class is designed for striking power (forward) instead of broadside, like the Home One. It is less armed and armored on the sides and will need to keep its face to the enemy, so to speak. Liberty comes with a ton of great upgrade cards as well, which will add to flexibility and features of this hull. Again, this showed up last night when I got home– so I haven’t even taken it out of the box yet. My instinct would be to use this to lead an assault into a line of destroyers with some MC30C frigates or Nebulon B frigates in tow to keep the return fire un-concentrated. Like the Interdictor, I’m glad I just have one of these.. the Victory is less specialized than the Interdictor but it’s so powerful in a forward rush that it’s kind of overwhelming. Of course the proof is in playing it.


Wave IV has a couple of great ships in it, but not anything you would want mass quantities of either way. I’m still really digging Armada and have high hopes of continuing with it. I would like to see a decent update on how to play the game with multiple players, and new ship hulls that aren’t necessarily fighters or giant ships. If the next releases are all mid sized (about the size of an Imperial assault carrier in size) that would be fine with me.

Looking Forward

There’s a bunch of stuff that is either forthcoming, or I haven’t picked up for some reason.  The Rebel Transports look okay, but they will probably be the last thing I pick up– the scale is a little small to make them effective in a fleet game (but then again, I bought Rogues and Villains, so you never know).  I am interested in getting at least one Gladiator class destroyer.
The upcoming Wave 5 has some nice ships– I like the Phoenix Home and Imperial Light Cruiser.

Quick and Easy Star Maps for X-Wing Miniatures

We’re running the Game Camp for Kids this week. On Tuesday, we’re running a multiplayer game of X-Wing Miniatures and we will need a larger space to play than usual. Now, I could send off to a special map making company like CorSec engineering, etc. or I could make something quick and cheap by myself. I opted for the latter, being on a budget this year.


3 Yards black felt 11.00
1 can white primer (rustoleum) for 3.50
Pale Blue, White, Yellow and Red acrylic paint (already had it)

Place your felt on the ground and spread out flat. Using the white primer, Gently spray the black felt with white primer paint, but not up close. Hold the can at an angle from about 2-3 feet off the ground so the paint turns into a fine mist. The effect you’ll get will be a sort of cloudy white background, much like a starry galaxy background. Don’t overdo it or you’ll just get “Grey”. Let this dry. Felt absorbs paint very quickly, so it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

Clouds on, just starting to spatter on pale blue stars

Then, in this order, mix separate batches of a watery paint from pale blue, then yellow, then white, then red. Consistency should be opaque, with lots of paint dissolved in the water. Using a flat brush, dip your brush in enough to get it wet with the watered paint. In a circular flipping motion, spatter the cloth with first pale blue, then yellow, then white, then a LITTLE bit of red. Go very liberal with the white and pale blue.

misternizz's StarMapMaking album on Photobucket

SLIDESHOW on photobucket

The end result isn’t QUITE as good as a professionally made star map, but it definitely looks exactly like what I want it to look like, is big enough for a table full of kids, and best of all, cost me lest than 15 bucks. Not bad, eh?

Reblogged: Let’s Reflect on Wave 3

More buzz on Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures 3rd Wave. There’s some good sites out there, this is one of the better ones for X-Wing Miniatures

Star Wars Common Ground - Star Wars LCG and X-Wing Miniatures Gaming Community

For those of you that attended the Star Wars Weekend Regional hosted by Fantasy Flight, please take a moment and CONTRIBUTE your X-Wing Squads, LCG deck lists, and tournament reports! While we wait for players to share their weekend experience, let’s all take a moment to express our Wave 3 opinions in the form of a multiple choice exam.

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Looking back on 2012: a year in Gaming

I usually write a “My year in review” post in early January but I didn’t feel in any particular hurry this year.  I do want to keep up the tradition, as I did one last year.  I write about games and gaming quite a bit in this blog, though not solely.  So I’ll focus on what 2012 was like as a year of gaming.  Again.

Boardgame Acquisitions:

I kept my resolution about scaling back boardgames from 2011’s all time high.. 35 boardgames in a year, and to date, I’ve played maybe half of them.   In 2012, I was more disciplined throughout the year and mostly picked up games on subjects I’m really interested in, or had some track record with.  I also got rid of a few older titles which proves that I’m not going to be featured on HOARDERS any time soon.  I think it’s healthy to be cruelly objective about gaming and I need to be more severe about it.. if I’m not putting it to use for its intended purpose, it is only contributing to clutter.

So, the list:

Bloody April, 1917: Air War Over Arras, France  (GMT, P500 sale.. I like the subject)  So far I haven’t broken it out yet.  I need to find a local gamer who likes historical subjects first.

Commands & Colors: Napoleonics Expansion #1: The Spanish Army (GMT, P500 sale I enjoyed the original quite a bit).  I’ve stickered this one up and played one of the battles.  I’m designing a few scenarios, too.

The Spanish Civil War (GMT, Boardgamegeek Santa Grogs Christmas Gift Exchange — a favorite subject matter).  I’ve just looked at it.  Another subject that I really need a local hardcore historical gamer to play with.

1805: Sea of Glory (GMT, special 50% customer appreciation sale).  A little bit of buyer’s remorse here.. I was not hugely impressed with the product as shipped.  The stickers don’t fit the blocks and the blocks don’t fit the hexes.  GMT verified that the big blocks were included in the original game and shipped that way as a production mistake, but they very kindly sent me smaller blocks.  I’ve yet to play it.

Modern Naval Battles – Global Warfare (DVG – 2012 Boardgamegeek Santa Grogs gift exchange).  I have played this a couple of times, and I’m very happy with this purchase.  It’s lite and fast and plays to a conclusion in a few hours. 

Merchant of Venus (FFG/Stronghold –  Main Boardgamegeek Secret Santa gift)  I’m in awe of this one– the standout boardgame of 2012.  I still haven’t played it but it’s going on the table in 2013.

and lastly

The Tide at Sunrise: The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 (MultiMan Publishing, reprint of Japanese original.. taking advantage of a Multiman Sale)   Seems a tad light in components for the box size, as if this was a ziploc or folio game in a previous incarnation.  Still it has an interesting land-sea system and is on a period of history that rarely gets gamed.  I’ll play this one in 2013.

Here’s a two part AAR for Tide at Sunrise: Part 1 Part 2. Particularly good.

I suppose Leviathans is a boardgame, technically.  I received Leviathans for Christmas. I’ve played it solo a couple of times and once at a recent convention.  Jury’s still out on that one– I’m not liking the rulebook at all.

In addition I picked up some family games:  High Noon Saloon, Cthulhu Fluxx, Conquest of Planet Earth, Gauntlet of Fools (which was a bit disappointing), and Run for your Life Candyman!.  I’m probably forgetting one or two purchases beyond these, but I don’t think it’s very much.  So I reigned in the insane purchasing this year, and I’m happy about that, it makes sense.

Miniatures Gaming

I became a big fan of SAGA this year and will continue pursuing building warbands for it.  I have a Viking Warband done (although it needs re-basing), a Viking Longship and some other items.  I’ve only played it a couple of times but I’m really enjoying it.  It doesn’t require a huge amount of buy in to have a great time.  I’m also painting up Fanticide by Alien Dungeon.  This game is silly enough for me.  Progress has been slow because the armies I want to buy are pretty high-dollar.

Other projects I’ve been working on are finally coming to fruition.  I’ve had a 54mm Napoleonic Skirmisher game in development for a very long time, more than a decade.  The appearance of Victrix Miniatures in 54mm scale in recent years has really moved this game forward.  Right now I have a small unit of British Line, a small unit of British Rifles, and a small unit of French Voltigeurs painted up.

Don’t they look pretty?

I hope to have this game ready for a convention play at HISTORICON 2013. I’m very eager to run this.

Some of the games I’m putting together are geared towards the Summer Gaming Camp I run in August. I’m fixing up my Uncharted Seas fleets, which are fairly battered after running the game frequently for about four years running. Still it’s a big hit with the Summer Camp kids, so I’m bringing it back.  I’m also putting together a game about Pod-Racing in the Star Trek universe, the Gladiators versus Skeletons thing, the Magi game (of wizardly spellcasting) in 54mm, The Zombie Game, and a maybe a few other surprises.

I probably bought more new rule books in 2012 than I usually do– I’ve a hankering to try a few new things, like 15mm SF and Renaissance Wargaming also in 15mm.  So I got Tomorrow’s War (Osprey/Ambush Alley), Black Powder by Warlord Games,  and Frank Chadwick’s Condotterie rules (Foundry).  I have a decent Leonardo army but need to buy some Turks for opponents.  I also have a decent amount of painted 15mm SF now.  Not sure what I’m going to do with Black Powder, but it makes for some danged interesting reading.

Other Gaming

Any long term reader of 3POS will know I’m a big fan of the IPad.  I have been writing IPad app reviews for a solid two years now, usually wondering when the actual Ipad Wargames are going to show up.   I’m happy to say that two of them did in 2012.  Phantom Leader from DVG showed up and it appears to be a  faithful rendition of the game I used to play in hotel rooms when on travel back in the 90s.   I’m slated to do a full up review of it; I want to play through a few more games first.  Far more exciting to me was the arrival of Butterfield’s Battle of the Bulge for Ipad.   This is a real, no-kidding wargame for the Ipad, and it is deserving of high praise.  Another review that has been long delayed on here.  Alien Frontiers for the Ipad was a Kickstarter I was glad to contribute to.
Other fun near-misses were Pacific Fleet, Civil War, Civil War TBG and Combat Mission Touch.    Life isn’t all about wargames on the Ipad, however, and there were some great releases in 2012 that I played the hell out of… Stone Age is highly addictive, as is Starbase Orion,  Summoner Wars, Ascension,  Lost Cities, FLUXX (yay!), Kingdom Builder, and King of Dragon Pass.   2012 was a great year for Ipad Game releases and I enjoyed all sorts of games put out in that format.. indeed, some, like Stone Age and Kingdom Builder, were my first exposure to the game system and the Ipad turned me into a diehard fan.

Trends and the Industry

Just like last year, I’m really enjoying the role of Meetup.com in bringing gamers together in my area.  I haven’t been to every possible meetup available to me, and to be honest, I’m still too shy just to drop into somebody’s house unannounced.  I attended a few game days from NOVAG that have been showing signs of increased attendance lately, and I think we can lay that at Meetup.com’s door.  Smaller cons are part of my rubric now, so I still hit up the Williamsburg Muster faithfully and usually the Guns of August.   I haven’t blown off a HMGS convention in years, and still volunteer for them, mostly because they are usually short handed.  So I’m reasonably active (still) with the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society.  I’m hoping that we start to see a way of marrying up these great Ipad and tablet devices with the miniatures hobby soon.  I got wind of a computerized rules set for the Ipad coming to Kickstarter “Soon” when I was at the Muster this year (no more details forthcoming, I promised to keep mum).  I think this a great trend and if I see something like that on Kickstarter, I’d be inclined to support it to some degree even if it isn’t in a period that I play in.   Just to get them out there.  

I guess Kickstarter.com is the other big trend in 2012– I supported Alien Frontiers, Battle of the Bulge, and Shadowrun for the Ipad, and Up Front (boardgame) last year. Kickstarter.com and programs like it are responsible for the huge glut of games that I predicted in last year’s year end review, which wasn’t hard to predict. There’s just hundreds of titles being published a year nowadays. Frankly, I’m not even going to TRY to keep up with it, it’s not my job. Kickstarter is a two sided coin that can create some gems (and 2012 produced a few, like Zombicide), but it also can bring some projects with very limited appeal to fruition because a bare minimum of people were interested enough to fund it. Result: a huge glut of games I’ll never even hear about.  I’m very selective about what I back. Even though I ended up paying more than the average customer to get Alien Frontiers, I think part of what you are shelling out money for is the investment to make the vision happen, and you have to accept that up front.  So I have no qualms about supporting the occasional project I really, really want to see happen.
Something to consider: Kickstarter’s most successful category is games. More gaming related projects of all kinds get funded than any other category (source: Kickstarter’s 2012 in review).

The glut of gaming materials seems to be generating (or is a product of, hard to say), a much wider cultural acceptance of new and unusual games that were once considered “fringe”, like Cataan, Carcassone, Apples to Apples, Wits and Wagers and the X-wing Miniatures game. As I observed more than once during the year, some surprising stuff is starting to show up in conventional outlets like Target and Barnes and Noble.. where last year it was much of a muchness. I think you can attribute this to some of the great media exposure that’s starting to happen, like the TABLETOP webshow by Wil Wheaton, which can sell a game out in a hobby shop with one episode. I’m impressed.

Part of dealing with a gaming glut is the growing importance of the gaming review podcasts that can help a consumer focus on what is worth my time and money and what is crap. Believe me, there is a lot of crap out there these days.

So that’s my year in review.  In short, I didn’t play nearly enough boardgames to justify my outlay on them, but I’m working on changing that.  I didn’t paint nearly enough pewter to justify my outlay on THEM, either.  But I progressed on a ton of good projects and have nothing I feel particularly bad about.. it was a fun year, but not as awe-inspiring as 2011.. lots and lots of games got made but only a few were worthy of a purchase for me. IN 2013, I’m going to concentrate on enjoying the games I own rather than acquiring more of them willy-nilly.

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Games: You can’t put the Genie back in the bottle

MrNizzAs far as boardgames are concerned, I grew up in a different era– an era of fewer publishers, offering in the aggregate maybe the same amount of games that get published today, but from a narrower range of publishers that often focused on the same subject matter.  Publishers tend to operate with a clustering approach towards markets, this is a phenomenon observed in more than one consumer product.  For instance, how many police procedural shows date back to the phenomenally successful HILL STREET BLUES and (more recently) the CSI collective series?  How many superhero movies have you seen in the past ten years after Spider-Man took off?  Repetition happens in every market, and gaming is definitely one of them.

Arguably the Avalon Hill Game Company started commercial wargaming in 1954 with the publication of Tactics, but the hobby didn’t really flourish until the late 70s and early 80s in my opinion, when we were seeing real giants of the genre being published– the Longest Day, Squad Leader, Up Front, etc. etc.  Likewise, a smaller company, TSR, had been publishing miniature wargame rules since the early 70s, took a gamble on a fantasy supplement to a medieval miniatures rule set called Chainmail, which begat a little game with tremendous implications, Dungeons and Dragons.  All this happened in the late 70s to early 80s, and the impact of it all was an explosion of novelty– new games, new ideas, new publications, new art– really, a whole new hobby.  As a teenager and young man, I ate this stuff up with a spoon.   The early 80s was a colorful era for gaming.   If giants didn’t exactly walk the earth, certainly an interesting cast of characters did– people like Gygax, Arneson, the Blume Brothers, Jim Dunnigan, Richard Berg, Lou Zocchi, Duke Siegfried and a host of other entrepreneurs, designers and  publishers trying to make a nickel and a dime on this explosively growing hobby.  They had one huge advantage that publishers of today do not:

It was all new back then.

Nowadays a publisher has two hurdles to overcome to make it in the publishing world.  The expectations of a newer generation who asks for everything bigger, brighter, newer and more distracting, and the heavy weight of a hobby that is no longer new and no longer as novel as it once was.   When you have 30 YEARS worth of published board wargames on a subject as eponymous as warfare in the Eastern Front of World War II, I fail to see how publishers think we will get excited about the latest (annual) published board wargame on the Eastern Front of World War II.  And yet, there they are, year after year, decade after decade now, games on the same subject with only a few acknowledged innovations in mechanics.

I don’t want to convey the wrong message here.  Games being made today are extremely impressive.  I had Tanga.com ship me a newer version of a game I adored when I was younger, Down in Flames (originally by GMT, now by DVG).  I played the earlier version constantly– forced it on my friends, they loved it and bought some of it too.. I don’t know what happened with this game and my expectations.  I think it was when the cards stopped being published in four color and started being published in full color.. around the time of ZERO! (by GMT, earlier version of DiF).  I just didn’t play that version that much, and the follow up Corsairs and Hellcats, went through the same flurry of enthusiasm only to be shelved forever.  Why is that?

Simple.  You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

I’m beginning to notice a law of diminishing returns for games that are based on well-trodden themes or reprints from my nostalgic past.  I’m not getting nearly as much enjoyment out of them.  Simply put, you can’t go home again.  You can’t make the idea of a game you’ve already played 20 years ago new again, no matter how hard you try.  Games are different.  And YOU are different.  You have those years of experience behind you that colors all those purchasing decisions.  And playing decisions.  I recall another favorite.. the old plastic box Illuminati games by Steve Jackson Games.  We played the hell out of that when I was a youngster.  So much so that the boxes wore out and the cheap components got worn to nubbins.  So when SJG released ILLUMINATI DELUXE, with color cards and money on poker chips, sometime in the 90s, I snapped it up.  We played it a few times, but the game was starting to age badly.  I bought the EVEN MORE deluxe version, sometime in the early 2000s, and guess what, I’ve yet to crack it open.  It’s not as fast as I remember it being, and the jokes have all been told once before.  Either Illuminati has aged badly, or I have.

This past year, as recounted in an earlier post, has really been a banner year for me in terms of purchases.  I have bought more games this year than in the last 7 years (mostly because of Tanga.com and few good preorder deals).  And again, to be brutally honest, I’m slow to play them all.  That’s a huge stack growing down there in the basement, and I’m starting to reign this nonsense in a bit.  Because I suspect I won’t play them all, and some day, sadly, I’ll consign them to a flea market table or re-gift a few of them.  But I’m fighting it.. I’m fighting it hard.  Wish me well.

It’s hard to shake that feeling of “been there, done that” after you have been around a hobby ALL of your adult life.  New games and new mechanics definitely show up now and then and they create a craze that is big, big big for a while, like DOMINION and card drafting games (this just didn’t grab me) or STONE AGE and worker placement games (still fun– see my earlier Alien Frontiers review, but for how long?) or NAPOLEON and block wargames, or PATHS OF GLORY and card-driven, area-movement wargames (rapidly showing its age after 15 years).

I guess, like every other aspect of a consumer culture, games customers need THEIR ration of newer, bigger, faster and more colorful to make the industry work.  Me, I’d just like to put the genie back in the bottle and enjoy games like I did when I was 20 years old.