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Editorial – Fall 2011

Betty Grable, Legs and Feet

 

bettygrableBetty Grable had legs – and man, what legs! For those of you who may not recognize the name, the lovely Betty was Queen of the Pin-ups during World War II. Her image in that famous photo (reproduced here) decorated hundreds (thousands? hundreds of thousands?) of soldiers’ barracks as well as the fuselages of their fighter planes. If lonely and weary American GIs far away from their home towns wondered why they were fighting, all they had to do was glance at the lovely Betty in her iconic pose, back to the camera, showing off her famous legs (reportedly insured by Lloyd’s of London for one million dollars) and remember. (It has been said that one of those soldiers, taken by Betty’s photo, decided to go into the magazine publishing business. The soldier? Hugh Hefner. The magazine? Playboy.) Betty appreciated her attributes too. She is recorded as commenting, “There are two reasons why I am successful in show business and I am standing on both of them.”

But Betty was much more a pair of legs. Betty Grable had a long and successful film career, at one point being the highest paid star in Hollywood. Longevity is a quality to which everyone aspires and, when something lasts a long time, the colloquial expression is that it has “legs”. Like Betty Grable, Gamers Alliance – and Gamers Alliance Report – has legs.

From our start in 1986, we have continued to showcase the newest and best games on the market today. We’ve even expanded our focus, doing exclusive interviews with some quality game designers (for example) and also remembering some “golden oldies”, great games that, for a variety of reasons, didn’t have “legs” and disappeared from store shelves before their time. (And, of course, through our out of print game service, help those searching for these lost gems to obtain their “holy grails”.) This issue marks the beginning of our 26th consecutive year of publication. Few publications of any kind – much less those devoted to games and gaming – can boast of having lasted so long but we have. We have been walking the walk as well as talking the talk all this time, putting each foot forward, one at a time, as we continue that never-ending journey. As we enter our 26th year, I’d like to think that Betty would concede that while her gams are more shapely, we BOTH have legs. And frankly, that’s no mean feat.

In this issue of GA REPORT, we continue to walk the walk and square off in the city, command knights around King Arthur’s Round Table and battle head to head on ice. Meanwhile, Ted Cheatham is on the hunt for mammoths, Chris Kovac sinks battleships, Pevans visits Olympus, Andrea “Liga” Ligabue tempts fate, Greg J. Schloesser finds wine mighty fine and Frank Hamrick gets snowed! We welcome K-ban on his return with the next installment in his Baseball Games series plus the reappearance of a favorite feature of ours: The Gamer’s Bookshelf. And, of course, much more.

Until next time, Good Gaming!

Herb Levy, President

 


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Fall 2011 GA Report Articles

 

Reviewed by Frank Hamrick (Treefrog/Mayfair Games, 2 players, ages 12 to adult, 60-90 minutes; $55) Two hundred and fifty years after Voltaire said it, it became a game! The British and French struggled for control of North America from the early 1700s until the final battle of Quebec in 1760. That final battle ended the long French and Indian War and led to Voltaire's supposed ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Lo Scarabeo, 3-5 players, ages 10 to adult, 45 minutes; $59.99) Arcanum, from Lo Scarabeo, is the new game from Andrea Chiavesio and Pierluca Zizzi, released in Essen 2011. I really like Andrea's designs starting from Kingsburg, one of the greatest dice games ever (and featured in the Spring 2008 Gamers Alliance Report), down to last year's release Olympus. This ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Alea/Ravensburger, 2-4 players, ages 9 to adult, about 60 minutes; $34.95) One of the most romantic eras in human history is the Age of Knights and Chivalry. Novels and films abound that are set in that time. Games have also found this time to be a fertile area to explore as knighthood has served as the theme for many of them ...
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Baseball on the Table-top - Part IV Games of the 1980's and 90's by K-ban If the 70’s were the time for table-top baseball game designers to explore, in new and different ways, the confrontation between pitcher and batter (see Part #3 of this series in the Spring 2011 GA Report), the next generation of statistical baseball games to hit the market sought to add ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac (Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 120 minutes; $65) One of the popular games of my childhood back in the 70's was the game Battleship where you and your opponent placed ships on hidden grids and then took turns calling out row and column coordinates to try to find and sink the enemy's hidden ships ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Gamewright Games, 2 teams or players, ages 8 to adult, 15 minutes; $19.99) When you have two successful games, it seems inevitable that someone will think "why not combine them?" The two games in question are the vintage game of Cathedral (whose spin-off Cathedral World was reviewed in the Spring 2004 GA Report) and the relatively recent and very successful FITS ...
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Betty Grable, Legs and Feet Betty Grable had legs - and man, what legs! For those of you who may not recognize the name, the lovely Betty was Queen of the Pin-ups during World War II. Her image in that famous photo (reproduced here) decorated hundreds (thousands? hundreds of thousands?) of soldiers' barracks as well as the fuselages of their fighter planes. If lonely and ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy (Gigamic distributed by Back Alley Traders, 2 players, ages 8 to adult, 10-20 minutes; $30) Back in 1985, Claude Leroy (for Swiss Games) came up with an idea for a rather clever abstract game and clever it was. Still, despite its originality, the game soon vanished from gaming stores making it hard to find. But Gigamic has solved that problem and returned ...
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Reviewed by Ted Cheatham (Queen Games, 2-5 players, ages 8 to adult, 45-60 minutes; $54.95) Ugh, must go to hunt Mammut. Me big cave man! And that leads us to the premise of the game of Mammut, designed by Kristian Amundsen Ostby. In Mammut, cave people are off to hunt for mammoths and forage. After the big day, there are all kinds of booty that ...
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Reviewed by Pevans (Ystari/Rio Grande Games, 3-5 players, ages 13 to adult, 75+ minutes; $54.95) Ye gods! French publisher Ystari has a fine track record and Olympos is the latest addition to the line (Rio Grande is publishing the English language version). The game’s designer is well known, too: Philippe Keyaerts is the man behind Vinci (and thus Small World) and Evo. As soon as ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Columbia Games, 2-6 players, ages 8 to adult, 30-60 minutes; $24.99) If this game seems familiar, that shouldn't be too surprising as it has had a long history. Slapshot is credited to Tom Dalgliesh and Lance Gutteridge. Dalgliesh may be best known for his wargame designing efforts for Columbia Games collaborating on such games as Hammer of the Scots (Winter 2003 GA ...
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THE GAMER'S BOOKSHELF: THE KOBOLD GUIDE TO BOARD GAME DESIGN by Mike Selinker (Kobold Quarterly/Open Design, 138 pages, $19.99 print/$9.99 pdf) It seems like everyone who has ever played a game thinks to themselves, "Hey, I can make a game too!". Well maybe you can and maybe you can't. But it's always good to draw some insight and inspiration from those who actually have had ...
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Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser (What's Your Game?, 2-4 players, ages 12 to adult, 2 to 3 hours; $65.99) For years, the subject of wine-making was a sorely overlooked theme in the gaming industry. There have been a few games utilizing the theme but, for such a popular and intricate industry, the overlooking of this theme was baffling. This was corrected in a major way ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Gryphon Games, 2 players, ages 10 to adult, 45-60 minutes; $29.99) Several decades ago, in the early 1970s, game designer Phil Orbanes decided to start his own game company. The result was Gamut of Games. Although a relatively short-lived enterprise, the company published many games of note including Cartel and Infinity (both by Orbanes) and two word games - Montage and ...
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