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Spring 2014 Editorial

Following the Golden Rule

 

As people, our lives are shaped by rules, customs, laws. As our civilizations have developed, so, too, have our codes of conduct. One of the basic rules in the whole process is commonly referred to as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. As simple as it is, it’s a good rule and, as with most good things, has withstood the test of time. It’s hard to improve on something so good so we didn’t; we just applied it.

In those pre-Internet BGA (Before Gamers Alliance) days, the world seemed to be a much larger place and connecting with fellow gamers wasn’t easy. Publications were one way, of course, but they were few and far between, many of them appearing and disappearing much too quickly. Still, I was excited about and grateful for whatever insights others shared in pages of long gone magazines. Passing along that excitement was one of the motivating factors for the whole Gamers Alliance thing. The reasoning was: “I was on the receiving end of those insights. Now it’s my turn to deliver.” And deliver we have!

In every issue of Gamers Alliance Report, we (and by that, I refer to myself and our all star caliber cadre of game reviewers) burrow into the layers of rules that make up a seemingly unending flow of games out there. We discuss, analyze, praise and scold when needed. In the past, I appreciated those crumbs of commentary and critiques that helped me along my path to enjoying this wonderful hobby of ours. GA Report is our version of “Do unto Others”, an appreciation and a “paying it forward” to help others journey and carve out their own paths in the World of Games.

The Golden Rule is a wonderful thing. But not only is this rule “golden”, so is this issue of Gamers Alliance Report. This is our 50th online issue; 50 traditionally being the Golden Anniversary. And we’re glad to have you with us to celebrate the occasion as we share the insights YOU need to better assess which games fit YOUR needs and are worth YOUR hard earned cash.

With this issue of GA Report, we build civilizations, walk the walk to prosperity, delve into dungeons and break the chains of slavery! Greg J. Schloesser digs deep, Chris Kovac delves into the abyss, Erick Brosius rides the rails, Pevans explores his inner Sherlock, Andrea “Liga” Ligabue feels euphoric while Derek Croxton takes a jab at the whole thing! Plus K-ban discovers that it happens every spring! And, of course, much more!
Until next time, Good Gaming!

Herb Levy, President


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Spring 2014 GA Report Articles

 

Reviewed by: Eric Brosius (LMN+B, Ltd., 2-8 players, ages 12 and up, 4 to 6 hours; £75.00) East Anglia is a region that is a bit of a backwater, known more for farms and fishing villages than for industry. As a result, the history of railway companies in the region is marked with turbulence and distress. Many small companies jostled for advantage with more or ...
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Reviewed by: Pevans (Treefrog Games, 2-5 players, ages 13 and up, 90-120 minutes; about $79.99) I guess I should start this review by explaining the title. It is, of course, a play on the first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet – the BBC’s Sherlock had “A Study in Pink” as its first episode. The original A Study in Emerald is a short story ...
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Reviewed by: Chris Kovac (GMT Games, 1-4 players, ages 12 and up, 3 to 5 hours; $75) Andean Abyss, designed by Volko Ruhnke, is a strongly thematic, action planning gamers game, the first of three of GMT’s COIN games. COIN stands for Counter Insurgency and in this game, the theme is about the fighting in Columbia in the 1990’s and 2000’s between the government, FARC ...
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[Back in the Fall 2010 issue of Gamers Alliance Report, frequent contributor K-ban, both a serious game player and baseball fan, launched a series of articles on the evolution of baseball simulations. With his fifth article finished, he figured he was done. He figured wrong! Once more, a few new simulations have emerged and, once more, K-ban offers his thoughts and insights, just in time ...
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Reviewed by: Greg J. Schloesser (Lookout Games/Mayfair Games, 1-7 players, ages 12 and up, 30 minutes per player; $89.99) Have you played Agricola, the game many consider to be designer Uwe Rosenberg's masterpiece? If you have, then Caverna will seem very familiar. There are mouths to feed, crops to grow, animals to raise and structures to build. All of this must be done with limited ...
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Reviewed by: Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Stonemaier Games, 2-6 players, ages 13 and up, 60 minutes; $70) Are more than 4500 backers and more than $300,000 pledged enough to say that Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, designed by Jamey Stegmaier and Alan Stone, a good game? I got Jamey Stegmaier's Viticulture and I was well impressed by its core mechanics but not satisfied about balancing so ...
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Reviewed: Herb Levy (Academy Games, 1-4 players, ages 10 and up, 90 minutes; $69.99) Of all the topics serving as the basis for a game, the American Civil War has to rank near the top. Countless games have dealt with the conflict that, for awhile, split the United States in half. But most of those titles, understandably, have focused on the military aspects. Many games ...
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Reviewed by: Derek Croxton (Tasty Minstrel Games, 2 players, ages 10 and up, 15 minutes; $19.95) The attractive cover of Jab: Realtime Boxing proclaims its contents "a revolution in real-time card games." This pulled me immediately in two different directions. Any game that claims to be revolutionary sets off my skeptical sensors; yet I am intrigued by novel systems, especially for so challenging a problem ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Lautapelit.fi/Asmodee, 1 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 40 minutes per player, $99.99) The story of humanity's growth and development is, in a word, fascinating. From our species' earliest beginnings, the cultural, scientific and political advancements over hundreds of years make for a compelling story. This story has attracted many game designers, drawn to the challenge of recreating and simulating ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Paizo Publishing, 1-4 players, age 13 and up, 90 minutes; $59.99) Roleplaying was put on the map decades ago with the incredible success of Dungeons & Dragons. Using pen and paper, some polyhedral dice and lots of imagination made for a new genre of game play. From that moment on, there have been attempts to translate that experience into a board ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Ystari Games/Asmodee, 2-4 players, age 13 and up, 60 minutes; $49.99) The struggle to balance a safe and healthy environment while meeting increasing demands for polluting power sources is one that all of us living in the 21st Century face. That struggle translates into challenging game play as players seek to deal with it - and come out on top - ...
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Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Z-Man Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 120 minutes; $59.99 ) There is something that quickens the pulse among gamers when it comes to games about trains. There is just something in that theme undeniably appealing - and that's not a new thing. Avalon Hill, in its early years, put out Dispatcher in 1958. More recently, Ticket to ...
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Following the Golden Rule As people, our lives are shaped by rules, customs, laws. As our civilizations have developed, so, too, have our codes of conduct. One of the basic rules in the whole process is commonly referred to as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. As simple as it is, it's a good rule and, as ...
Read More

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