Don’t Throw Dirt on My Grave Just Yet
Although a dyed in the wool city person, I do have a fondness for good country music. Over the last two television seasons, I have also developed a fondness for Nashville, the series that centers on life in the Country Music Capital of the World.
Without going into too many details, one of the storylines is about Juliette Barnes whose country career took a serious tumble when she found herself virtually banned from the airwaves. Rather than crumble under the weight, Juliette, in keeping with her character, expressed her defiance in concert, singing a song that could have been her anthem: “Don’t Throw Dirt on My Grave Just Yet”. That song could just as easily have been about games.
Year after year, you keep hearing how boardgames are dead. The conventional wisdom is that nobody plays them anymore, that video games have taken over. To these critics, boardgames have put the past in pastime, as relevant today as the Model T Ford or bathtub gin. We know better don’t we? But it’s nice when you have impartial observers who agree with you.
In the March 12, 2014 issue of Newsday, the Long Island, New York paper, a leading article was “Your Move: Long Islanders Who Love Classic and Quirky Board Games”. The article highlights gaming groups all across Long Island (towns such as Medford, Sayville, Plainview, Smithtown and more) that enjoy the non-video type of gaming. One gamer interviewed was quoted as saying: “I like the face-to-face. I play some games on the computer like everyone else. But I much more enjoy getting a group of people together and sitting down at a table to play a game.” This attitude should not come as a surprise. WE have been saying this for decades! But talk is cheap. It’s a whole other story when you put your money where your mouth is.
In an article in the May 5, 2014 New York Times, boardgames were again the topic. According to the article (and all of this is from that article), sales of tabletop games have continued to grow with sales at hobby stores in the United States rising 15 to 20% in EACH of the last three years (that, according to ICv2 a trade publication that tracks the business). Amazon says that board game sales increased by a double-digit percentage from 2012 to 2013. On Kickstarter, the site where projects get funded, the amount raised to finance tabletop games EXCEEDED the amount raised for video games, $52.1 million to $45.3 million! The article goes on to note that the “momentum [for boardgames] has accelerated”. GenCon, the gaming convention held each August in Indianapolis, took 15 years to grow from 20,000 to 30,000 attendees. In the last three years, the convention has grown to 49,000! As for boardgame evergreens (such as Monopoly, Battleship and Trivial Pursuit), they have also seen a growth in sales including a 10% rise from the previous year. Now that’s not some starry-eyed gamer doing the talking. This is the New York Times!
When both enthusiasm and a black ink profit line meet, you know boardgaming is alive and well. Those prophets of doom who continue to bury boardgames are making a grave mistake.
In this issue of GA Report, we dig up coal, explore Middle Eastern bazaars, sail with the sea dogs and yes, the game is afoot! Greg J. Schloesser visit Brussels, Andrea “Liga” Ligabue sees stars, Joe Huber explores, Pevans lets the sun shine, Chris Kovac gets to the core of the matter while Derek Croxton discovers that timing is everything! And, of course, much more!
Until next time, Good Gaming!
Herb Levy, President
Summer 2014 GA Report Articles
Reviewed by: Greg J. Schloesser (Z-Man Games/Pearl Games, 2-5 players, ages 13 and up; 90-120 minutes; $64.99)
Brussels in the late 19th century was an exciting place, as the city was a hub for an artistic and architectural revolution. The "Art Nouveau" style was born here, and many outstanding buildings were constructed and are still a marvel today. It was apparently quite the scene and ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (R & R Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 60-75 minutes, $44.95)
For admirers of the Euro/German style of gaming, the German city of Essen is the epicenter of the universe for its gaming convention held there annually. But Essen has more to its history than games. It is also the site of coal mines that powered industrialization ...Read More
Reviewed by: Chris Kovac (Stronghold Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 90 minutes; $44.95)
Core Worlds is a two to five player deck building game by Andrew Parks. I played the second edition by Stronghold games. The theme of the game is that players are space barbarians conquering a dying galactic empire from its fringes to its “core” worlds (hence the title) ...Read More
[Sherlock Holmes is no stranger to readers of literature, film fans and TV viewers nor is he unknown to gamers around the world. For over a hundred years, Holmes has been the cornerstone of gaming adventures. In this issue, we feature I Say, Holmes!, a new card game that has been inspired by an older one, the one published by Gibsons Games in 1991. For ...
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Eagle Games/Kayal Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $79.99)
Sailing the Spanish Main, trading for goods but also trolling for treasure while attacking forts, raiding towns and grappling with Spanish Galleons is the stuff that movies and historical novels are made of. And also, it seems games. For, in the new game from Peter Hawes, sea ...Read More
Reviewed by: Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Ares Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $89.99) Welcome soldier! If you are reading this review, it means that your physical or mental capabilities are excellent and our planet needs you! You are joining a secret agency responsible for detecting and stopping alien activity on Earth... keep reading, if you dare, but keep in ...
Reviewed by: Pevans (Z-Man Games/Hans im Glück, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $64.99)
Helios, designed by Martin Kallenborn and Matthias Smith, is the latest from Hans im Glück (Z-Man is doing the English language edition) and stood out for me at the Gathering because of its bright cover – with lots of yellow to match its sunny theme. Let’s take ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Victory Point Games, 3 to 8 players, ages 13 and up, 30 minutes per player; $35)
Sherlock Holmes lives! Could there be any doubt? Not only are the Sherlock Holmes stories still in print (have they ever gone out?), the Great Detective can also be found in other media, most notably in the current television series that place the master sleuth ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Pegasus Spiele, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 40-60 minutes; $49.99)
Buying and selling, wheeling and dealing, have often been the basis for games. Rűdiger Dorn must agree as he takes those basics and transports game players into an exotic locale, the exciting Middle Eastern city that gives the game its name: Istanbul. Although categorized as a board game, ...Read More
Reviewed by: Joe Huber (Asmodee/Ludonaute, 1 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $49.99)
I’ve always been interested in history, particularly United States history, but it’s only more recently that I’ve had the opportunity to really explore it. The Lewis and Clark expedition has always been of interest but I’ve only started to learn about it. My first real introduction started in Idaho ...Read More
Reviewed by: Derek Croxton
I like the problem-solving aspect of games but I have to admit that my patience is limited and I sometimes wish other players would not take so long. Perhaps this is because I don't have the patience to take 5 minutes figuring out the best move, or perhaps it's because I don't think it's worth investing that much time in a ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Space Cowboys/Asmodee, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; $39.99)
A beautiful woman and medieval merchant lurk in the background but your eyes remained transfixed on the shimmering stone you hold in your hands. You are hypnotized by the splendor of the stone - and you will have to be - for Splendor, the new game designed by ...Read More
Don't Throw Dirt on My Grave Just Yet Although a dyed in the wool city person, I do have a fondness for good country music. Over the last two television seasons, I have also developed a fondness for Nashville, the series that centers on life in the Country Music Capital of the World. Without going into too many details, one of the storylines is about ...Read More