“…the sincerest form of flattery”, at least according to Oscar Wilde. But you know what else imitation is?
When your “lofty goal” is to copy, as closely as possible, something successful (we’re talking about games here but this applies to almost everything), you are doomed to fail. When your new version of something is just about the same as the old version, how could it possibly succeed? Why wouldn’t your potential customer just go to the original if there is no real difference. Just using the same topic for a game (or a TV show or a movie or a ….. you get the idea) is not enough. And that is the point!
Imitation need not be bad if used with the right attitude. What imitation should be is the catalyst for Imagination (to let you consider what YOU could do in a similar situation), Inspiration (so you take those considerations and soar to new heights with them) and Innovation (to mold and shape your ideas, your concepts, into something new and exciting). And this doesn’t just apply to games, it applies to EVERY creative human endeavor.
Nothing exists in a vacuum. People are always impacted by what has gone before – and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s what you DO with it that separates the mundane and mediocre from the magical and magnificent. And separating the mundane from the magnificent is what we strive to do in every issue of Gamers Alliance Report!
In this issue of GA Report, we check out some of the games where imagination, inspiration and innovation abound. In this issue, we go to press and go to war, cast spells, compete with demigods to rise to Mount Olympus, play ball and more! Chris Kovac journeys to the fields of Arles, Greg J. Schloesser is industrious, Andrea “Liga” Ligabue goes west, Pevans goes for the gold, Joe Huber travels East and bears witness while James Davis shares his memoirs. And, of course, much more.
Until next time, Good Gaming!
Herb Levy, President
Summer 2015 GA Report Articles
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Eagle/Gryphon Games, 1-4 players, ages 8 and up, 45-60 minutes; $39.99; Deluxe Edition $64.99)
Let's start this review by being perfectly frank. I'm a baseball purist. I like the game the way it is played; I still can't get used to the Designated Hitter. So you can imagine my reaction when I heard about a baseball game set in the future ...Read More
Reviewed by: Greg J. Schloesser (Tasty Minstrel Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 13 and up, 120-150 minutes; $69.95)
Generally, I am not fond of economic games, tending to find them fairly dry and business-like. I am a businessman by profession, so playing a game that is about a business strays a bit too close to what I do for a living. I want my ...Read More
Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Asmodee/Ludonaute, 2 to 6 players, ages 10 and up, less than 60 minutes; $39.99)
The Old West is always fascinating, at least for us Europeans looking at the wide spaces of the US with a mix of awe and astonishment. Gunslingers, Indians, coaches, saloons and shoot-outs are powerful tools in the hands of expert designers. Bang!, Carson City, Dice Town, ...Read More
Imitation is... "...the sincerest form of flattery", at least according to Oscar Wilde. But you know what else imitation is? BORING!
When your "lofty goal" is to copy, as closely as possible, something successful (we're talking about games here but this applies to almost everything), you are doomed to fail. When your new version of something is just about the same as the old version, ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Space Cowboys/Asmodee, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60 minutes; $59.99)
Ambition is a powerful force. When you are a human being, it can be the drive that moves you up the corporate ladder or shoots you to the top in political circles. But when you are a demigod with designs on claiming a spot on Mount Olympus, you ...Read More
Reviewed by: Chris Kovac (Z-Man Games,1-2 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $79.99)
Fields of Arle is a two player game of resource collecting and management by Uwe Rosenberg following his games like Agricola, Le Harve and Caverna in scope and style. The object of the game is to have the most points after nine turns. (more…)
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Renegade Game Studios/Foxtrot Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $34.99)
Just when you think you've seen all the possible permutations of tile laying games, you discover something new. In Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, designed by Christopher Chung, tile laying is deftly combined with card play in a game where the setting is China and players are ...Read More
[In our issues, we generally focus on the newest and best games on the market today (when we're not highlighting some great classic game no longer in print). This piece, however, is an exception. James Davis is a big fan of Memoir 44, a well received game of World War II action originally featured in the Summer 2004 issue of GA Report. With over a ...
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Queen Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 45 minutes; $49.99)
The smell of success is in the air for the player who can concoct the more desirable perfumes and sell them to the illustrious clientele who desire them in the latest game from the design team of Marco Ruskowski and Marcel Sobelbeck: Parfum. (more…)
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Asmadi Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 45-60 minutes; $59.99)
In the late 19th-early 20th century, the glue that held the masses together, keeping them in touch with the events of the day and each other, were the newspapers. These publications ran the gamut from high toned conveyers of the news to flamboyant and sensational journalism, commonly known ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Griggling Games Inc., 2 to 6 players, ages 13 and up, 90 minutes; $49.95)
For the longest time, there has been a disconnect between wargames and Euro strategy games. Whether the trauma of World War II was simply too much to allow Europeans to revisit such a destructive conflict or differing cultural influences are to account for this, I'll leave to ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (R & R Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 25 minutes; $19.95)
Did you ever wonder how rival Mages settle their disputes? Well, it's not by sharing their feelings. In Spellcaster, a new game designed by Aaron Weissblum and Norman Woods, we discover that such disagreements are settled the only way they could be: through magical combat Read More
Reviewed by: Pevans (Quined Games, 2-4 players, ages 12 and up, 60-90 minutes; $59.99)
It’s Earth, Jim, but not as we know it. I first played The Golden Ages, designed by Luigi Ferrini, at Dutch publisher Quined’s stand at Spiel ‘14 and was immediately taken with it. It’s a civilisation development game that takes familiar features and puts them together in a different way – ...Read More
Reviewed by: Joe Huber (Z-Man Games/Hans im Glűck, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 40-100 minutes; $59.99)
For me, the question of the most consistent publisher is a fairly easy one. Other than the single designer publishers, I’ve found no publisher who finds as consistently interesting designs as Hans im Glück. Whether classic games such as El Grande, Euphrat & Tigris, and Goa, ...Read More
Reviewed by: Joe Huber (Asmodee Editions/Ystari, 4 players, ages 13 and up, 10 minutes; $39.99)
Every year, after Essen, I participate in a few gatherings to play through the new games. Over the course of a few weekends, I’ll typically end up playing 30 or more new games – most of which I’ll never come back to again. I really enjoy playing new (and new-to-me) ...Read More