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EDITORIAL – FALL 2012

The Greatest Game

 

Throughout my years with Gamers Alliance and through my interactions with people in all walks of life who know of my love of games, I have always been asked lots of questions. But the one question that seems to appear most is this one: “What do you think is the GREATEST game?”

When I first heard this question, I would be (and I admit this freely) stymied. There are so many ways to interpret that question. You could think about boardgames and then consider them as to how they impacted on gaming in general, how they impacted on me in particular or just how well crafted, presented, developed and designed a particular title was/is. Or…

You could think about sports games. There is always the classic Baltimore Colts-New York Giants Playoff game of 1956 or the immortal Super Bowl III win of the New York Jets? And how about that relatively recent New York Football Giants Super Bowl win over the, up to then, undefeated New England Patriots just a few years ago? What about the “shot heard ’round the world” by Bobby Thompson that gave the New York Giants the pennant over my (childhood favorite) Brooklyn Dodgers? Can’t forget the sixth game of the 1986 World Series when the New York Mets (my team) rallied over the Boston Red Sox as Mookie Wilson’s sharp grounder to first went under Bill Buckner’s legs! But…

There really is only one real answer to the question: What is the greatest game? And I’ll give you a clue. The game is only played once every four years! And a second clue: this year is one of them! Think you know?

The greatest game is the race for the Presidency of the United States and 2012 is a presidential election year. As this is being written, the Republicans led by Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan are trying to defeat the incumbent Democratic leaders: President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden. The stakes are tremendous: two competing philosophies, control of the most powerful nation on the planet. There will be different strategies implemented, advertising bombardments, fusillades of ideas blasted across the aisles in debates. And this game, like so many games that are played on our gaming tables, is played out on a map, a colorful map of the United States of America divided into blues and reds.

Of course, in the gaming world, elections have been the source of some terrific games. The Game of Politics (Oswald Lord/Parker Brothers, 1930s) and Mr. President (3M, 1965-71) are but a few of the vintage classics and the current marketplace has seen some more quality election games too (1960: The Making of the President, for one). But for these games to work, for the Greatest Game to work, there has to be players.

In the spirit of civic consciousness, I urge all eligible Gamers Alliance members, Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Independent, whatever, to play the game and make it your business to make yourself heard. On November 6, vote for the candidate of your choice. When we all play the game, we all win!

In this issue of GA REPORT, we take to the skies, delve deeply into a secure facility, boldly go where no man has gone before and get into the swing of presidential politics. Greg Schloesser “expresses” himself, Chris Kovac burns rubber, Pevans tries his hand at tourism while Andrea “Liga” Ligabue finds pets even in the dungeon! We also welcome first time contributor Eric Brosius who trades up. And, of course, much more.

Until next time, Good Gaming!

Herb Levy, President


 

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Fall 2012 GA Report Articles

 

Reviewed by Herb Levy (Academy Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 1-2 hours; $69.99) In the early 19th Century, powerful nations in Europe were competing for dominance and that competition led to war. With war in Europe raging between England and its allies and the French forces led by Napoleon, the United States felt the squeeze between these two powerful European juggernauts, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Mayfair Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 14 and up, 120+ minutes; $50) Martin Wallace has a thing for travel. It's not so much that HE is infected with a severs case of wanderlust but more that he's apparently fascinated by the intricacies of the means of getting from one place to another. Already established as a premier designer of rail ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (INI, LLC, www.DabbleGame.com, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 30-60 minutes; $24.95) Word games are one of the staples of gaming. There is, of course, Scrabble which leads the way in this category but there has always been a contest to create the next big word game. Along the way, there has been the ever popular Boggle and Sid ...
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Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Czech Board Games/Z-Man Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 13 and up, 90-120 minutes; $64.99) After the great success of Dungeon Lords, it would have been a real shame not to exploit the atmosphere of the dungeons and the neighboring village. It has taken two years to prepare the Dungeon Lords expansion (to be released this year in Essen) but ...
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The Greatest Game Throughout my years with Gamers Alliance and through my interactions with people in all walks of life who know of my love of games, I have always been asked lots of questions. But the one question that seems to appear most is this one: "What do you think is the GREATEST game?" When I first heard this question, I would be (and ...
Read More
Reviewed by Greg. J. Schloesser EMPIRE EXPRESS (Mayfair Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 60-90 minutes; $30) [Reviewing a crayon rail game is a bit of a challenge, as all of the games in the series use very similar mechanisms. Usually, there are only minor rules changes, with the major difference being the geographical setting. As such, most of the description of ...
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Reviewed by Chris Kovac (Andre Bonnet, 2 to 6 players, ages 13 and up, 90 minutes; 65€ in the EU, 77€ outside the EU) Grand Prix Expert is a detailed five player resource management/racing game with the theme of managing and developing a Formula 1 Racing team for 1-3 seasons of racing. The game is self published by Andre Bonnet of France. The game comes with ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy INFILTRATION (Fantasy Flight Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 14 and up, 30-45 minutes; $34.95) The time is the future and this future world is a very dangerous place. It is the Android Universe (a dystopian future world postulated by Android, a previous release by Fantasy Flight), a world run by immense corporations involved in android technology. CyberSolutions Inc., one such corporation, ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Mayfair Games, 3 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, about 75-90 minutes; $55) Very often in games we see style over substance, particularly when it comes to licensed properties. Generally, the belief is that the license will sell the merchandise no matter what so what you usually get is a picture slapped on a box containing assorted cardboard with very ...
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[In this issue, we welcome Eric Brosius to our pages. Eric Brosius has been a gamer as long as he can remember. When his sister asked him to play Chutes and Ladders, he resisted because there were no meaningful decisions. At the age of 6, he received a copy of Avalon Hill's D-Day from a neighbor family who bought a copy at a local department ...
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Reviewed by Herb Levy (Huch! & Friends, 2 to 3 players, ages 8 and up, 30+ minutes; about $25) Talat is the Arabic word for "Three" and three is the core of the game play here in this abstract game designed by Bruce Whitehill. There are three boards, three sets of game pieces and, while rules are provided for two, Talat is at its best ...
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Reviewed by Pevans (Krok nik Douil/Huch! & Friends, 3 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 1½ to 2 hours, $59.99) Vanuatu rather snuck up on me – I missed it at Spiel last year, so I was pleased to make its acquaintance when it arrived on the table. The title is, of course, the name of an island nation in the Pacific. Vanuatu, designed ...
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