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EDITORIAL – SUMMER 2007 – VOL 2 NO. 23

Travellin’ Show

 

In the “old days” (notably but not limited to the Old West of America and other areas outside of “The Big City”), there was something called a “travellin’ show”. Performers of all kinds would travel from town to town introducing culture (and not so cultural pursuits) to the outer reaches of the population while making a few bucks for themselves. Some big name personalities of the day made these “grand tours” to huge success including great actresses such as Sarah Bernhardt and Lilly Langtree and esteemed authors Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Many more big stars as well as lesser luminaries “took their show on the road” to varying degrees of success. Which got me to thinking.

This is our summer issue and while it marks another milestone in our history, it also marks another summertime in the life cycle of the species known as “gamer”.

This gamer species often travels during this part of its cycle, possibly venturing from one coast to another or spanning an ocean or moving in a northerly direction to find a cool mountain range or perhaps heeding the siren call of the south and a sun drenched beach. And while the gamer is packing for his or her adventure, bringing along the proper assortment of clothes and other necessities, one article that should be tucked in with the travel gear is a favorite game.

No matter how exciting or relaxing a vacation may be, there is always some downtime and downtime can be well spent by enjoying a game. But why stop there? Downtime is a terrific opportunity to spread the love of gaming. I’m always surprised by the number of people who have no idea that our types of games exist! And that can be an advantage. In my experience, I’ve discovered that people are absolutely fascinated by the colorful display of game pieces, the beautifully designed boards, the quick flip of cards that look so different than the standard 52 card deck. Pick a game easy to teach and you’ll see that games are not only great ice-breakers in meeting new people but also a great way to introduce people to the wonderful world of gaming we all enjoy so much. So, my suggestion for all seasons – but for the summer months in particular – is simple: As you’re travellin’, show what gaming is all about.

In this issue of GA REPORT, we feel the power of Vikings, have the winds at our backs in pirate waters and deliver the goods! Chris Kovac gets his coffee fix, Joe Huber factors in some fun, Pevans discovers he’s a pillar of the community while Jeff Feuer ages right before our very eyes! And, of course, much more.

Until next time, Good Gaming!

Herb Levy, President


 

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Summer 2007 GA Report Articles

 

[In this issue, we welcome Jeff Feuer to our pages. Jeff is a new reviewer for us and a relatively new member of the European style boardgaming fraternity. As Jeff explains: "I've been computer gaming since the Atari days (including having played many of the incarnations of Civilization as well as some Railroad Tycoon and the Age of Empire series) but, except for some ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Ravensburger/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 45-60 minutes; $44.95) Arkadia (aka Die Baumeister von Arkadia in the Ravensburger edition) is the newest offering from designer Rüdiger Dorn, probably best known for Goa (Summer 2004 GA REPORT), putting players into competition as architects seeking to increase their prestige and influence as they construct a city and the castle at ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Days of Wonder, 3-5 players, ages 10 and up, 60-90 minutes; $50) Wolfgang Kramer is something unusual among the ranks of game designers. Not only has he created an impressive array of games on his own (Take 6, Big Boss, Expedition, Heimlich & Co., Midnight Party etc. ) but he has also found success in game design partnerships with lots of ...
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Travellin' Show In the "old days" (notably but not limited to the Old West of America and other areas outside of "The Big City"), there was something called a "travellin' show". Performers of all kinds would travel from town to town introducing culture (and not so cultural pursuits) to the outer reaches of the population while making a few bucks for themselves. Some big name ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber (Cwali, 2-4 players, ages 11 and up, about 45 minutes; $41.95) Ever since the release of Isi in 1999, Corné van Moorsel has been recognized as a strong independent game designer and publisher. In addition to such popular games as Morisi/Netzwerk, ZooSim/O Zoo le Mio, and StreetSoccer, he has designed a number of clever small games such as Floriado. Even better, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy FIRE & AXE (Asmodee Editions, 3 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 90 minutes; $49.99) When you're renting a car and expecting a compact but end up with a luxury sedan, that's pretty nice. When you show up on a blind date and discover your date is a super model, well, that's pretty nice too. You see, EVERYBODY loves an ...
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(Gamers Alliance is always on the lookout for good games. Greg Schloesser spotted and wrote about one from Ragnar Brothers: Viking Fury. With Fire & Axe, its latest incarnation, featured in this issue, we thought it was the proper time to "flashback" and see what Greg had to say about the game. This review appeared in our Fall 2004 issue.) (The Ragnar Brothers, 3-5 ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Pywacket LLC, 2-4 players, ages 7 and up, about 30 minutes; $19.99) From the very earliest of times and from the earliest times of our lives, human beings tend to like sparkly things. Of all the sparkly things that surround our existence, gems rank pretty high and they continue to rank high and be the focus of our attention in Gemlok ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Gamewright, 2 players, ages 10 and up, about 15 minutes; $9.95) The game of Nim has been around for a long time despite the fact that there really isn't much game there. In essence, Nim is a game of "perfect information" where rows of objects are available and players alternate taking (generally) 1, 2 or 3 of those objects until one ...
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Reviewed by Pevans (Kosmos/Mayfair Games, 2-4 players, ages 12 and up, 2 hours; $49) Like other people, I was really taken with the way The Pillars of the Earth (known as Die Säulen der Erde in its European edition), designed by Michael Rieneck and Stefan Stadler, looks when I first saw it. This is due to the six wooden pieces that make up the cathedral ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $24.95) As nice as it is to be winning the Spiel des Jahres (German Game of the Year Award), such accolades can cause problems. The biggest problem is, of course, how do you follow such a great success! The answer, for designers Karen & Andreas Seyfarth, seemed fairly ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Hans im Glück/Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, about 60 minutes; $34.95) It seems that Vikings are the flavor of the month. Last issue, there was Midgard. In this issue, we have featured Fire & Axe, the remake of Ragnor Brothers' Viking Fury. Now, rounding out this unplanned trilogy of sorts, comes Vikings, the new game from designer ...
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[Before you dive into this review of Winds of Plunder, a little disclaimer. If you look at the credits for Winds of Plunder, you'll find my name listed under playtesting. I had the pleasure of playing this game while it undertook its multi-year journey from idea to finished product.] Reviewed by Herb Levy (GMT Games, 3-5 players, ages 10 and up, 60-120 minutes; ...
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