A MAJOR MINI PROBLEM
Things are always “trending” in the World of Games. One of the most popular of these current trends is that, more and more, lots and lots of miniatures are being included as part of the package. The inclusion of miniatures can be found in games that cover a vast array of topics and some of them have been featured in past issues of Gamers Alliance Report. In many instances, adding minis to games increases their visual appeal and there is, no doubt, a certain buzz created by them. Some of these molds, painted or not painted, are breathtaking and impressive. As works of art, many are deserving of the accolades they receive. Attention grabbers they are – and that’s all to the good. But in the glamour of it all, you have to consider: what are the other effects of these minis?
You have to recognize that adding miniatures increases the basic cost of the game. Miniatures, if done properly, are NOT cheap. At the bare minimum, there is the added cost of molds and materials. Sometimes, the size of the boxes that hold all of the components needs to be increased which can further bring up the cost. If you have unlimited funds to spend on your hobby, then you might dismiss this as something beneath your consideration. Regrettably, not all of us fit into that category but even if you do, you’re missing the point.
The bottom line in whether to back a game on Kickstarter or buy it outright from an online retailer or your favorite brick and mortar store should be – and should ALWAYS be – how does the game play??? When the answer to that question is drowned in the avalanche of admiration for the style and beauty of the miniatures of a particular game, it seems to me that we have to slow down, take a step back, draw in a deep breath and really consider the entire merits of a game offering. If, truly, the miniatures enhance the game and make a good or great game even better, then that is a true success. But if we allow ourselves to be dazzled by style without substance, to be separated from our hard earned leisure dollars by the appearance of value, then we are facing a major mini problem.
In this issue of Gamers Alliance Report, we celebrate the birthday of an Emperor, trade on the Silk Road, travel down the Mighty Mississippi and roll those dice!! Chris Kovac feels the effects of a pandemic while Selwyn Ward gets the “urge” to go gaming! Greg J. Schloesser goes on a “thunderous” quest while Pevans keeps company and Joe Huber gets clever. Andrea “Liga” Ligabue journeys to the stars but it’s Chris Wray who “quacks” up! And, of course, much more!
Until next time, Good Gaming!
Herb Levy, President
Other Summer 2018 GA Report Articles
Reviewed by Herb Levy AGRA (Quined Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $79.95) Birthdays are generally cause for celebration. This is true even in 1572 India as the Emperor Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad, popularly known as Akbar the Great, ruler of India's Mughal dynasty, is marking ...Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy ANCESTREE (Calliope Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 8 and up, 20-40 minutes; $30) One of the recent developments in modern life is the desire to know your background. Today, there are a host of services available where you can submit your DNA or go online ...Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy BROADHORNS: EARLY TRADE ON THE MISSISSIPPI (Rio Grande Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-90 minutes; $59.95) In the early 1800s, the lifeblood of trade in the middle of the growing United States was the Mississippi River connecting northern and southern towns, bringing ...Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy THE CASTLES OF BURGUNDY: THE DICE GAME (Ravensburger/ALEA, 1 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 15-30 minutes; $14.99) Stefan Feld is one of the top tier designers in the World of Games. Among his very successful designs is Castles of Burgundy (featured in the Summer ...Read More
Reviewed by Chris Wray DIE QUACKSALBER VON QUEDLINBURG (Schmidt Spiele, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 45 minutes; $54.95) Die Quacksalber von Quedlinburg, a bag-building game from designer Wolfgang Warsch, immediately gathered an enthusiastic following in German-speaking countries after its March debut. Nonetheless, the game didn’t garner ...Read More
A MAJOR MINI PROBLEM Things are always "trending" in the World of Games. One of the most popular of these current trends is that, more and more, lots and lots of miniatures are being included as part of the package. The inclusion of miniatures can be found in games that ...Read More
Reviewed by Joe Huber GANZ SCHON CLEVER (Schmidt Spiele, 1 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 30 minutes; $24.95) One of the biggest trends in boardgames in the last few years has been the rise of "roll-and-write" games and their various relatives. Exactly where the history of such games ...Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy INTELLE: HACK OR BE HACKED (Fisher-Heaton Games, 2 players, ages 10 and up, 15 minutes; $23.95) In these days, computers are an essential part of our lives. Not only is this true on a personal level but it is certainly true for corporations. What is also ...Read More
Reviewed by Pevans JOHN COMPANY (Sierra Madre Games, 1-6 players, aged 12+, 3 hours; $54) A game about the British East India Company sounded fascinating, so I jumped at the chance to try John Company when Ralph Anderson suggested it at the Gathering. With Ralph leading the way, all four ...Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy KASHGAR: MERCHANTS OF THE SILK ROAD (Grail Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 60 minutes; $39.99) Several years back, at the gaming convention known as The Gathering of Friends, I had the pleasure of playing a game about merchants leading caravans, travelling and ...Read More
Reviewed by Pevans KEYPER (R&D Games/HUCH!, for 2-4 players, ages 14+, 90-120 minutes; $82.50) Keyper, as the name suggests, this is the latest in the Key… series of games from Richard Breese, published by his imprint, R&D Games (and Huch! in Germany). It’s a typically complex game, so I will ...Read More
Reviewed by Chris Kovac PANDEMIC LEGACY: SEASON 2 (Z-Man Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60 minutes; $79.99) Pandemic Legacy: Season Two is a four-player cooperative legacy game, designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, and the second game in the Pandemic Legacy series. Legacy games are ...Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy ROLL PLAYER (Thunderworks Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 90 minutes; $59.95) Ever since Dungeons & Dragons exploded onto the scene, roleplaying games have captivated a large segment of the gaming population. A large part of the appeal is the adventuring aspect of play: ...Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy ROLL PLAYER: MONSTERS & MINIONS (Thunderworks Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 60-120 minutes; $50) Roleplaying games involve creating characters to take on adventures and Roll Player (featured this issue) is all about that character creation! But there is another element central to ...Read More
Reviewed by Andrea "Liga" Ligabue STAR WARS: LEGION (Fantasy Flight Games, 2 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; Core Set $89.95) The Star Wars Universe has been the ideal place for a lot of good boardgames starting from the all galaxy strategic scale, like in Star Wars: Rebellion, (featured ...Read More
Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser THUNDERSTONE QUEST (Alderac Entertainment Group, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 60-90 minutes; Base Set $69.99) If Dominion and Dungeons & Dragons had a fling, the result would undoubtedly be Thunderstone Quest. The massive game from designer Mike Elliott and AEG combines the ...Read More
[Games and gaming are international phenomenons and people all around the world will gather to share their passion about them and the fun they have. GenCon and Origins in the United States and Essen in Germany are only a few of the sites that draw gamers each year. In this ...Read More