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EDITORIAL – WINTER 2009 – VOL. 2 NO. 29

Renewable Resources

 

We’re living in a green age. The drive for an ecologically friendly world is in high gear. President Obama has promised to do much in the fight against global warming, in growing ecologically friendly jobs and in the search for renewable resources. Now, the president has talked about all sorts of renewable resources: wind, solar, geo-thermal etc. etc. But the one renewable resource he has failed to mention is the one we are most familiar with and that is…. games!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (and if your 401k and stock market investments are any indication, that might be a very good place to be), you know we’re in hard economic times. With the stock market taking a dive, credit frozen (or, at least, chilled to a less than free flowing state) and the economy suffering like it hasn’t since the days of the Great Depression, people are more than a bit concerned. And this economic onslaught is not limited to the borders of a single country. This is truly a worldwide situation.

But no matter what the economic climate, people still have to live. And part of living is making the most of the time you have including any leisure time you can find. You could go to the movies and have a snack afterwards. But after a couple of hours, it’s over. Or maybe you could go to a fine restaurant and enjoy a savory meal. Great! Except that after a couple of hours, that’s over too. But how about this?

You buy a game. For the price of a movie and after-film dessert or a fine repast at a fancy restaurant, you have purchased yourself a box of endless delight. If you’ve chosen wisely, you’ve bought yourself hours and hours and hours of entertainment and entertainment not just for yourself but for friends and family to enjoy along with you. Divide the money spent by the hours of enjoyment that a game provides and the cost per gaming session is remarkably low especially compared to other leisure time outlets and, unlike other leisure activities, once a gaming session is completed, you can do it all over again without losing an ounce of pleasure. Historically games have ALWAYS been an exceptional buy in harsh economic times. It’s no surprise that Monopoly rose to prominence during the dark days of the Great Depression. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re interested in global warming or ecological issues or what your political leanings may be. Without question, games are a renewable resource that everyone can enjoy over and over again without spending a lot of green in doing it!

In this issue of GA REPORT, we dig for ancient artifacts, compete to rule Rome, dungeon crawl and go Hollywood! Meanwhile, Chris Kovac takes the lead, Joe Huber steers into port, Jeff Feuer becomes the master of his own dominion and Pevans joins the jet set. And, of course, much more!

Until next time, Good Gaming!

Herb Levy, President


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Winter 2009 GA Report Articles

 

Reviewed by Jeff Feuer DOMINION (Rio Grande Games, 2-4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $44.95) Dominion is a card game by Donald X. Vacarrino. This is his first released game after designing several games for home use with his friends. After prodding by gamer friends (and many years of playtesting), he finally agreed to release it to the public and got Rio Grande ...
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Renewable Resources We're living in a green age. The drive for an ecologically friendly world is in high gear. President Obama has promised to do much in the fight against global warming, in growing ecologically friendly jobs and in the search for renewable resources. Now, the president has talked about all sorts of renewable resources: wind, solar, geo-thermal etc. etc. But the one renewable resource ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy HERO: IMMORTAL KING (Asmodee Editions LLC, 1-2 players, ages 9 and up, 30 minutes; $22.99 each) Once upon a time, the dungeon crawl was king of fantasy game playing. Exploring the depths of dungeons brought gamers face to face with monsters, necromancers and all sorts of nefarious creatures ready to stand between them and their quest for gold and glory. Tapping ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy HOLLYWOOD DOMINO (Hasbro Games/Parker Brothers, 2-8 players, ages 12 and up, about an hour; $32.99) Some games are classics whose popularity lasts for generations, sometimes even hundreds of years. Such a game is dominoes and, in maintaining its popularity, dominoes has undergone many variations through the years. The latest domino variation to hit the gaming tables comes under the Hasbro Games/Parker ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy ILIUM (Playroom Entertainment, 2-4 players, ages 8 to adult, 35 minutes; $40) Playroom Entertainment has begun to make a splash in the Euro games market in America. They have published Euro style card games for some time now but only relatively recently have they ventured to test the waters for a line of Euro style boardgames. Their first release was Portobello ...
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Reviewed by Pevans JET SET (Wattsalpoag Games, 2-6 players, ages 12 and up, 90-120 minutes; $30) Jet Set is the fourth game from Kris Gould and the Wattsalpoag team and I think it’s the best so far (though I’m still a big fan of Nomads of Arabia and its moving board). It comes in the chunky square box that has become a trademark of Wattsalpoag ...
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Reviewed by Joe Huber LE HAVRE (Lookout Games, 1-5 players, ages 12 and up, 100-200 minutes; $59.95) Having seen Agricola (featured in the Winter 2008 Gamers Alliance Report) rise to the top of the BoardGameGeek rankings soon after its English release, Uwe Rosenberg returns with another big, weighty board game with Le Havre. Le Havre isn’t shooting through the rankings quite so quickly – in ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac LEADER 1 (Ghenos Games/Rio Grande Games, 2-10 players, ages 14 and up; 60 minutes; $59.95) Leader 1 is a bicycle racing game by Alain Ollier and Christophe Leclercg simulating the stages of the Tour De France Bicycle races. This can be played with up to ten players using one bicycle per person but seems to work best with four when you ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy MUNICIPIUM (Valley Games, 2-4 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $54.95) Nearly five years ago at The Gathering of Friends, I sat down to play an as of yet unpublished game. I was intrigued because the designer of this particular prototype was no less than Reiner Knizia. The game involved superheroes and was called The Adventure League. I enjoyed it ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy STROZZI (Abacusspiele/Rio Grande Games, 3-6 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $34.95) Some games work so well that they set a higher standard. When it comes to auction games, Reiner Knizia takes second place to no one in his adept use of this game technique. Perhaps his greatest auction game is Medici (featured in the Fall 1998 GA REPORT) where ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy SYLLA (Ystari Games/Rio Grande Games, 3-4 players, ages 12 and up, 60-90 minutes; $44.95) It is 70 BC and Sylla, the ruler of Rome, is about to abdicate. Who is to fill the impending power vacuum? That's where YOU come in as players in Sylla take on the roles of leaders of various factions and endeavor to build a strong enough ...
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