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EDITORIAL – FALL 2003 – VOL. 2 NO. 8

Themes like Old Times

 

I like Shania Twain. I like her upbeat music, her vitality – and it sure doesn’t hurt that she’s very easy on the eyes. So, the other evening, when I was able to score some complimentary tickets to her Madison Square Garden concert in the heart of New York City, nobody had to ask me twice. I was there! This was Shania’s UP tour and she was certainly up for it.

There was light, there was action, there was plenty of noise and colorful explosions. In the middle of everything, there was Shania, bringing the house down with her energy. And, yes, there was plenty of music. Two hours worth of old favorites and some of the new stuff. Shania puts on a great show, a consummate blend of old and new designed to satisfy her full house of fans. And what works for her can work for us too.

Consummate blending can be one of the keys to our own entertainment. When we settle down around the gaming table, some of the best times to be had occur when we experience our own consummate blend of old and new: a classic game from the past and then a new winner from the “just released” pile. A contributing factor here is that many of the themes for games are timeless. We’ve played games that chart the rise and fall of civilizations, propel us into military action, force us to wheel and deal in the business world, vicariously hit the game-winning homer or plunge into the end zone, to name a few. Some of these themes have been used as the basis for a new twist. In some cases, the twist is that the original game is back for more!

In GA REPORT, we feature the newest and best games on the market today. In addition to brand new entries featured in this issue, we investigate a bunch of remakes as “themes from old times” are recycled into a new look. Shania was UP for her blend of old and new – and we’re certainly up for ours!

In this issue of GA REPORT, we build economic, religious and political power in an empire, take football to a new level, explore fantasy realms and more. Plus Greg Schloesser gets lawless, Frank Branham takes command, Nick Sauer races ahead while Steve Kurzban insists “I’m the Boss”! And, of course, much more.

Until next time, Good Gaming!

Herb Levy, President


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Fall 2003 GA Report Articles

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy AGE OF MYTHOLOGY (Eagle Games, 2-4 players, 2-3 hours; $45) Eagle Games has made a name for itself with its lavishly produced line of conflict games including American Civil War (Spring 2002 GA REPORT) and War! Age of Imperialism (Fall 2002 GA REPORT). With Age of Mythology, their latest release, Eagle has matched the quality of their components with quality game ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy BATTLEBALL (Milton Bradley/Hasbro; 2 players, ages 8 and up, about 1 hour; $19.99) At the annual Hasbro Game Day earlier this year, I saw some of the latest crop of games bearing the Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers and Hasbro logos. It was an eclectic and incomplete sampling (for example, the Mission Command Series was NOT on display). But one game there ...
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Themes like Old Times I like Shania Twain. I like her upbeat music, her vitality - and it sure doesn't hurt that she's very easy on the eyes. So, the other evening, when I was able to score some complimentary tickets to her Madison Square Garden concert in the heart of New York City, nobody had to ask me twice. I was there! This was ...
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(In this issue, we feature Steve Kurzban's take on I'm the Boss, a new version of Kohle, Kie$ & Knete. So, we thought it might be interesting to "FLASHBACK" at the feature treatment Steve gave to the original game in the Summer 1997 issue of GA REPORT) KOHLE, KIE$ & KNETE (Schmidt Spiele, 3-6 players, about 60 minutes, 1994; out of print) It's a shame ...
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(In this issue, Frank Branham examines the three Modern Command games from Hasbro. One of that trio, the Air game, rose from the ashes of a previous release: Screaming Eagles, featured back in the Summer 1988 GA REPORT. In another "FLASHBACK", here is the way we saw that game when it first arrived on the gaming scene.) SCREAMING EAGLES (Milton Bradley, 2-4 players, ages 10 ...
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Reviewed by Nick Sauer FORMULA DE - MINI (Eurogames/Descartes, 2-8 players, 30+ minutes; $26.95) When Eurogames first published Formula De, it was released at roughly the same time as Mississippi Queen (Winter 1998 GA REPORT) by Rio Grande. Since both were race games, I inevitably started comparing the two in my mind. While Mississippi Queen struck me as more of an abstract race game, Formula ...
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Reviewed by Steve Kurzban I’M THE BOSS! (Face 2 Face Games, 4-6 players, ages 12-88, 60 minutes; $35) I’m the Boss! is the initial release in Face 2 Face Games' Sid Sackson Signature Series, which will highlight both out of print (OOP) classics and unpublished prototypes from the “greatest game designer in the world” (according to Wolfgang Kramer). Kohle Kie$ & Knete was originally published ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser LAWLESS! (Euro Games, 3-6 players, 1-1½ hours; $17.95) Lawless!, a card game designed by Bruno Cathalla, is the latest in the Euro Games “Blue Box” series of games. It is also, in my opinion, quite likely the best. Although several other titles in the series have been enjoyable (Dragon’s Gold [Spring 2002 GA REPORT] and Castle [Summer 2000 GA REPORT] ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy LIBERTY (Columbia Games, 2 players, ages 12 and up, 2-3 hours; $49.99) Columbia Games is well known for their wood block wargame simulations. Liberty, the latest in the line, focuses on the military events of the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783 as American, British, French and Native American forces clash to decide the question of colonial independence. Liberty, a Tom ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy MERCHANTS OF EMPIRE (Hexagames; 2 to 4 players, about 1 hour; Free) There seems to be no end to the treasures you can find on the Internet. And we found one right here in a self-published game of trade and power called Merchants of Empire (Marchands d'empire). Merchants of Empire is a Régis Bonnessée design. Unlike the games we regularly feature ...
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Reviewed by Frank Branham MISSION COMMAND SERIES: AIR, LAND AND SEA (Hasbro/Milton Bradley, 2 to 4 players for Air, 2 players for Land and Sea, ages 8 and up, about 1 hour playing time; about $20 each) When I came across the first pictures of Hasbro's new Mission Command series, I immediately rattled off three game names in my head: Tank Battle, Carrier Strike, and ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy QUEST FOR THE DRAGONLORDS (Dragonlords, Inc., 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 3+ hours; $49.99) If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, than Parker Brothers' Risk, must be truly flattered. So many games have been inspired by that world conquest classic that gaming shelves all over must be sagging from the load. However, one of the more interesting entries in ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy SHIPWRECKED (Out of the Box Games, 2-4 players, ages 12 to adult, 20-40 minutes; $19.99) [Several years ago, we came across a charming little game called Shipwrecked from Out of the Box Games. Now, Out of the Box has redone this little gem. Subtitled "The Wild Game of Bidding, Bluffing and Survival", Shipwrecked is one of the those games that is ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser TOM TUBE (Krönberger Spiele, 2 Players; 30 minutes; about $20) I had never heard of this Krönberger Spiele release until it was brought to my attention by a few folks on the International Gamers Awards committee. They were enthusiastic about the game, so I sought out the opportunity to play it while attending the Gulf Games convention in Williamsburg, Virginia ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy WOOLY BULLY (Asmodèe Editions, distributed by Blue Cafe Games, 2-4 players, 30 minutes; $19.95) Tile laying games have been around for ages. Ever since Carcassonne (Summer 2001 GA REPORT) hit it big, it seems there has been an explosion of such games. Sheep have always been a pleasant sort of animal to me. Ever since The Settlers of Catan (Fall 1996 ...
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