It’s that time of year to make the annual pilgrimage to Cockeysville, MD and Balticon therein. This year I’ve been added to some board gaming panels in the Gaming track:
An Introduction to Strategy Boardgames Sunday, 11:00 AM; Parlor 3041
All you Ever Wanted to Know About Cooperative Games Sunday, 1:00 PM; Parlor 3041
I will have Vintage Gamer buttons, and will be happy to talk to anyone about games of any age, and the forthcoming return of The Vintage Gamer.
As a side note — if you are attending Balticon — the Gaming track looks stronger than usual this year, so I’d recommend checking it out, not just for me.
Still trying to get my feet under me for the New Year — or the new year, however it’s spelled. In any case, here are some interesting vintage gaming links that have been sitting in my RSS feed:
First, James Maliszewski has a nice little article up at The Escapist, entitled “Founding Fathers.” In it, he covers the history of wargames, from von Riesswitz’s Kriegspiel to David Wesley’s Braunstein (the progenitor of Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor campaign).
Related to this is Monte Cook’s most recent article at the aforementioned The Escapist magazine about the original supplements to D&D record the evolution of the rules. This is a follow-up to his previous post on D&D, already covered here.
Second, Greg Costikyan talks about the background for his new board game, Megacorps, and how he inadvertently created a future history through game design.
Greg also has a review of the Civil War tabletop game A House Divided (designed by Frank Chadwick in 1981). I haven’t played this one, but based on Greg’s review I think I’ll give it a shot as I’m a huge Civil War (or the “recent unpleasantness”) buff.
Finally, on the video gaming front, Nathan Barry on Geekdad reports that Tatio has released a remake of Arkanoid for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Many are the hours I spent playing Arkanoid on my Mac SE — as it was pirated, perhaps I should purchase a copy to balance the books. And you should too, because it’s tons of fun.
Hope your holiday season was a good one and you got to play lots of games! And if not, you’ve got a whole year ahead so get to it…
Up for sale on eBay may well be the most amazing Advanced Squad Leader collection I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for something for your loved one and money is no object (and they really really like ASL), you might consider this.
Timothy Hyde has a blog called Hyde and Seek, where he covers “an eclectic Australian collection of older board games and ‘thrilling activity games.’” As the description suggests, it’s mostly Australian games, but it’s cool to see a very different look at the world of vintage games. Lots of nice pictures, organized by pages and categories; very much worth checking out.
At long last, the annual Origins episode of The Vintage Gamer. As this is the third year, this officially makes it a cherished tradition. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) there was no podcasters panel so instead I went around and did some interviews at some of the small press booths. A big “Thank You” to all who participated — if what you hear interests you, please support them with your dollars.
For a fuller picture of the show, I recommend you check out The Spiel Origins episode for a lot more show floor interviews, and the Dice Tower Origins episode for more info and a nice interview with (Spiel des Jahres winner!) Reiner Knizia.
- Matt Duhan of Gozer Games discusses: Collateral Damage
- Rob Balder of many things discusses: The FUnny Music Project, Erfworld, Partially Clips, Get Nifty
- Peter Hansell of Tablestar Games discusses: Wealth of Nations, Martinis and Men, HeroCard Orc Wars
- Fred Hicks of Indy Press Revolution and Evil Hat Productions discusses: Heaven and Earth, Archaia Studios, Avenues and Alleyways, Solipsist, Spirit of the Season, Spirit of the Century, Don’t Rest Your Head, Don’t Lose Your Mind, Monsters and Other Childish Things, GODLIKE, Wild Talents, Dresden Files RPG
- Curt Covert of Smirk and Dagger Games discusses: Cutthroat Caverns, Run For Your Life, Candyman, Hex*Hex, Hex*Hex Next, Cutthroat Caverns: Deeper & Darker
- Greg Lam of Pair Of Dice Games discusses: Chopstick Dexterity Megachallenge 3000, Warp6, Knockabout, Marvin Marvel’s Marvelous Marble Machine
Pictures of my trip to Origins including most of these folks can be found on my flickr feed. You can also see the lovely new sewer line.
Those looking forward to Z-Man Games’ new edition of Tales of the Arabian Nights will be interested in this: Universal Head, the proprietor of Headless Hollow, has posted his designs for the upcoming release. He has images of the logo, some cards and the board, all of which look quite nice.
While honestly I’d probably buy it even if they scrawled it with crayon on old paper sacks (well, maybe not), it’s nice to see the level of detail that’s going into this.
A rare copy of Zimmer’s Baseball Game was found in a small closet in the Bingham-Wagner estate in Independence, Missouri. The game — only 1 of 10 known to exist — is an early dexterity game and features images of turn of the century ballplayers, including Cy Young and the eponymous Mr. Zimmer. It was published in 1893 by McLoughlin Bros. for the Chicago’s World Fair. While the Baseball Hall of Fame is interested, it appears for now the game will remain in Missouri.
Link (CNN Video)
Those of you who enjoyed the Chess Variants episode might want to look into this. From Purple Pawn:
Ramsons Kala Pratishtana has organized their second exhibition of traditional Indian board games at the Pratima Gallery, Mysuru. The exhibition runs from 16 – 25 May.
They also started a kick-ass blog on traditional Indian board games.
There are some nice entries and pictures in the blog. The most recent one talks about how to play “Goats and Tigers,” which appears to be an alternate version of Fox and Geese.
And so The Vintage Gamer returns to its regular yet irregular schedule. In this show I spend over an hour talking about one of my secret loves: chess variants. I talk about games of the past, games from other countries, and some other unusual variants. (and this barely scratches the surface). In addition, our new sponsor Bob stops by for a visit. All this, plus unrequested editorial commentary from a groundskeeper and a curious dog.
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In case you haven’t heard the news, Valley Games is now working with Eagle Games to handle their pre-orders. Because of this, it looks like you’ll have to re-order Titan and other games you might have already pre-ordered, but other than that I think this is good news. Full press release follows:
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