For gamers around the world, playing games is a learning experience. First, you need to learn the rules to play the game correctly. Sometimes, this means poring over the rulebook. Sometimes, it means absorbing the rules from someone who has played the game before. Once the game is in action, you learn something about your opponents in how they handle the challenges inherent in the game while all of you try to learn the best way to maximize your actions to win. As with all learning experiences, there comes a time when you have to determine just how much you have learned. So, today, we are going to present a Quick Quiz.
Question: What is the longest running, English language, game review publication in the world?
Answer: WE ARE! Gamers Alliance and Gamers Alliance Report is now launching its 30th consecutive year! (If you are surprised, you are not alone. No one is more surprised than me! For any publication to last 30 years is remarkable; for a GAME related publication to last 30 years is simply amazing!)
We started Gamers Alliance and GA Report back in 1986. Through the years, many game publications have risen and fell including:
All-Star Replay, Adventure Gaming, Ares Magazine, Battle Flag, Battlefield, The Boardgamer, Breakout!, Campaign, The Canadian Wargamers Journal, Challenge, Competitive Edge, Conflict, Counterattack, D8, Different Worlds, The Duelist, Expert Gamer, Fantasy Gamer, Game Fix, Game News, The Game Report, The Gamer, Gamer’s Guide, GAMES Magazine, Games & Puzzles (first series), Games & Puzzles (second series), Games, Games, Games, Games International, Games Unplugged, The General, The Grenadier, Gryphon, Heroes, Journal of 20th Century Wargaming, Knucklebones, Little Wars, Nexus, Panzerfaust, Panzerfaust & Campaign, Paper Mayhem, Pyramid, The Rail Gamer, Shadis, Sumo, VIP of Gaming, The Wargamer (first series), The Wargamer (second series), Zone of Control and more!
We are still standing and going strong! But we wouldn’t be celebrating anything without the enthusiasm and support of so many people so I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank:
- Game Designers – Without their talents, there would have been a lot of empty pages over the last 30 years.
- Game Publishers – These brave souls have put their time, effort and energy (and, very often, a lot of money) into backing what they felt were the finest examples of games on the market today. (In our pages, we have let you know if they were right!)
- Our Contributors – We have been fortunate in attracting the finest writers on games in the world. These experts KNOW games and can back up what they say through their knowledge and experience, offering the world’s best combination of style AND substance.
- Our Members – A publication and organization would never last for three decades if it wasn’t for the support shown by our international membership, fellow gamers who share our passion for games and gaming!
So, with this issue, we officially launch our 30th year. As we have in the past, we pledge to continue to showcase the best the World of Games has to offer! Thank you all for coming along for the ride!
In this issue of GA Report, we discover it’s good to be king and good wine can mean good times. Larry Levy names names, Chris Kovac explores the forbidden while Pevans explores unexplored Africa. Peter Sbirakos looks for gold and finds orange while James Davis gets graphic. Andrea “Liga” Ligabue follows the force and we flashback with Frank Branham. Plus, to commemorate our 30 year history, we present the results of our international poll to discover the top games and top game designers of the last 30 years! And, of course, much more.
Until next time, Good Gaming!
Herb Levy, President
Have feedback? We’d love to hear from you.
Other Fall 2015 GA Reports
Reviewed by: Kevin Whitmore (Numbskull Games, 3 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 120 minutes; $49.99)
California Gold is a 2015 release from author Patrick Stevens and published by his company, Numbskull Games. But don’t let the title fool you; California Gold is about “Orange Ranching, the second gold rush” as the slogan on the top of the box clarifies. The game supports 3 ...Read More
Reviewed by: Larry Levy (Czech Games Edition, 2 to 12 players, ages 14 and up, 15 minutes; $20)
Many of us may tend to think of game designers as having specialties—things like card games, children's games, and the like. But while that's occasionally true, most designers are pretty versatile. Obviously, it's to their benefit to have more than one arrow in their quiver. That's certainly true ...Read More
Reviewed by: Pevans (Ragnar Brothers, 1 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; about $70)
That’s “Democratic Republic of…” The first thing to get straight about this game is its title. It is not, as many people think (all right, I thought) on first sight, Doctor Congo… It is the latest heavyweight strategy game from the Ragnar Brothers. It is definitely a complex game ...Read More
Quick Quiz For gamers around the world, playing games is a learning experience. First, you need to learn the rules to play the game correctly. Sometimes, this means poring over the rulebook. Sometimes, it means absorbing the rules from someone who has played the game before. Once the game is in action, you learn something about your opponents in how they handle the challenges inherent ...Read More
Reviewed by: Frank Branham [Back in 2004, Hasbro released a spectacular new game with a fantasy theme, wonderful graphic design and lots of beautiful miniatures. The game was Heroscape. The game caught on with critics and players alike and became a success spawning lots of expansions for players to add to that gaming universe. But nothing lasts forever so, after a rather long run, Heroscape was ...
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Lookout Games/Mayfair Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 30-60 minutes; $37)
The isle of Skye is a small island located in the English Channel. Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, as designed by Andreas Pelikan and Alexander Pfister, uses that setting to challenge players to develop their own "clan territory" in such a way as to achieve ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 10 and up, 60 minutes; $29.99)
Over 20 years ago, Magic, the Gathering burst onto the scene and the reaction was, to put it mildly, PHENOMENAL! The game flew off the shelves! More importantly, that Richard Garfield design put a small company, Wizards of the Coast, on the map and created ...Read More
Reviewed by: Greg J. Schloesser (Blue Orange Games, 2 to 4 players, ages 8 and up, 45-60 minutes; $49.99)
Blue Orange has been publishing games for over a dozen years. They predominately produce lighter family and party games, although there have been a few that require a bit more strategy (Gobblet comes to mind). Perhaps their most popular game is Spot It!, a fast-paced party ...Read More
Reviewed by: Andrea "Liga" Ligabue (Fantasy Flight Games, 2 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $99.95)
I've always been fascinated by the Star Wars universe and related games. I played a lot with the old West End Games RPG and I really love Star Wars: X-Wings. When FFG announced the release of Star Wars: Armada, I was thrilled. Someone could think Armada is the ...Read More
[With our 30th year celebration launched, we have to admit that we wouldn't be here if there was nothing to discuss! For that, we have to be thankful for the talented game designers that have managed to create so many thought provoking, challenging and entertaining games over the last three decades. So, as with our Top 30 Games poll, we contacted everybody we could find ...
[In celebrating our 30th year, we thought about the thousands (tens of thousands? hundreds of thousands?) of games that have appeared on the scene over the last three decades. So we contacted everybody we could find who had ever contributed to Gamers Alliance Report since our beginning as well as our worldwide membership and asked them: In YOUR opinion, what are the BEST games published, ...
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Lookout Games/Mayfair Games, 2 players, ages 8 and up, 30-40 minutes; $21)
Some topics command more than their fair share of attention when it comes to trains. One of those topics is, without question, trains. Russian Railroads (featured in the Spring 2014 Gamers Alliance Report), for example, used trains as a springboard for an excellent worker placement game. Now, Helmut Ohley, ...Read More
Reviewed by: Herb Levy (Stonemaier Games, 2 to 6 players, ages 13 and up, 45-90 minutes; $60)
Wine is often thought of as "the nectar of the gods" being a source of inspiration for centuries, its virtues extolled through literature of all sorts (even poetry). So it is no surprise that this inspiration has spilled over into games. Wine making, its pleasures and perils, have ...Read More