Archive for the ‘General’ Category


Risk: Black Ops and Next Show

   Posted by: Jim   in General

One of the downsides (besides there not being stuff for you guys to listen to) to not doing podcasts for a while is that I miss out on reviewing games that this show is actually qualified to do. Seems like Black Ops would be a natural. Oh well. I’ll see about covering the revamp when it finally comes out for the public.

As far as the next show, I’m working on it now. With the recent (as in the past few months) passing of Bobby Fischer it seems appropriate to finally cover chess. I’ll be talking about my personal history, ways to get into it for novices, and ways to make it more interesting for those who either are tired of it or didn’t think much of it in the first place. If you have thoughts along those lines, drop me a line. Hopefully I’ll be recording this weekend, though with my daughter’s play and my friend’s seder, it might be tight.

And don’t worry Gygax fans, I’ll be doing D&D at some point, too. Fischer’s just first in line.

According to a Geeklist on, Z-Man games will be reprinting this classic game in 2008. If you recall, I discussed it back in Episode #28.

As far as other news: Yes, I’m still here, and the book I’m working on is almost through the worst of it. I’m hoping to be done with rewrites by the end of the month, and then it’s just copyediting and layout. Oh yeah, and coding for the CD — but that’s fun! In any case, there’s a good chance there will be an episode in December sometime.

Until then, thank you for all the cards and letters.


Feed restored

   Posted by: Jim   in General

Apologies to those who downloaded those PDFs. I tried to update my copy of PodPress, and for whatever reason, that screwed up the feed. I’ve restored the old version and I’ll take another look at it when I have more time. Until then, let me know if you have any further problems.


Appearance on Geeklabel Radio

   Posted by: Jim   in General

In addition to the podcasting panel, I had the honor and pleasure to participate in Geeklabel Radio #50, recorded at Origins. Along with the usual hosts — The Vicar, The Kingfish, and Billy Flynn — there was also my wife Mur Lafferty (of many podcasts), Victor from Fistful of Comics and Games, and Chris Miller and K.J. of The House of the Harping Monkey.

The Vicar and The Kingfish are great guys, you should really go buy a t-shirt


Origins 2007 appearances

   Posted by: Jim   in General

I had originally planned to do a show before Origins, but it looks like time is against me. So this post is to let you know that I’ll be at Origins this year, as usual. I expect to spend a fair amount of time in the Board Room, and probably wandering the show floor. Or you can go to the board game podcasters panel: it’s Saturday at 10am. Thanks to Scott Nicholson (Board Games with Scott) for organizing that.

For those who like swag, I’m bringing Vintage Gamer minibuttons — if you want one, you can either catch me or go by the podcasting booth in the exhibit hall.

And the kid will be with us, so if you run into Mur or I, you might meet the little princess as well…


Catching Up on News

   Posted by: Jim   in General

One thing I’m going to try to do this year is post more news of interest to the Vintage Gaming crowd. So I have a few items here, some older, one new, that will get things started.

First up is an article by listener Gnome, about the early days of the first person shooter. Good stuff, and there’s other retro gaming goodness on his blog as well, so check it out.

Secondly, if you haven’t seen it already, Ryan Dancey, former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, is predicting doom for the hobby game industry in 2007. Not strictly a vintage gaming article, but I thought it had some general interest.

Finally a couple of reprints of highly sought after (and hence expensive) board games. The first is the Games Workshop classic dungeon crawler Talisman, which is being reprinted by Black Industries, a division of Games Workshop. The second is the Avalon Hill classic wargame Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, which is being reprinted by Valley Games, who previously did a nice job on the Die Macher reprint. The plans for Talisman are to incorporate rules from all the previous editions with some new speedy rules (huzzah) as well. Hannibal, on the other hand, will be nearly identical to the 2nd edition.


Delays, Delays

   Posted by: Jim   in General

No show this week. I am single parenting while my wife is off learning how to become a famous writer (trans: she’s at a writer’s workshop) so my time is a lot more limited. I had hoped to record something last week while we were at the beach, but it didn’t happen. Strange, that.

I did try to record something last night about the games we played on our beach trip, but most of it was lost due to the laptop running out of disk space (I was in the other room, trying to minimize computer noise). I’m not sure it was a complete loss, as I wasn’t 100% happy with the result anyway. It would have been a bit of a cheat to you guys in that I promised more vintage gaming goodness, and it was a bit of a ramble besides. I’ll be back next week with Dragon Quest, and then a special show I’ve been thinking about for some time.

For those curious folk, here’s the list of games we played last week:

  • Arkham Horror (with Curse of the Dark Pharoah and Dunwich Horror expansions)
  • Deluxe Illuminati (with the Y2K expansion)
  • Settlers of Nuremberg
  • Bang! (with the High Noon and Dodge City expansions)
  • No Thanks
  • Mexican Train dominoes
  • Runebound (I didn’t play, just observed)
  • Blink!
  • Cap’n Clever
  • Gulo Gulo (with the X-Men expansion)
  • Rumble in the Jungle
  • Katamari Damacy (PS2 game)
  • Guitar Hero (PS2 game)

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to Lunar Rails… ah well.


Renumbering, Dunwich Horror

   Posted by: Jim   in General

As our daughter is off with Grandma for the day, I’ve finally had the time to fix the numbering that got off around March-April timeframe. I’ve added intros to the GDC recordings and renumbered the Barbarian Prince and Fury of Dracula shows. I also fixed some of the sound issues with Fury of Dracula so the ads shouldn’t blow out any eardrums any more. If you find problems with the feed, do let me know so I don’t blow out my upload budget.

As a side note, I got a chance to play the Dunwich Horror expansion to Arkham Horror last night, and I highly recommend it to fans of the original. However, as with the “Curse” expansion, shuffling the Mythos deck proved problematic (it’s frickin’ ‘uge!) so we had a run of gates opening on Wizard’s Hill. Since the Old One we were fighting spawned an extra nasty when opening a gate where one already exists, this provided some serious concerns early on in the game. So, word to the wise: shuffle well, shuffle often.


Older games sale at

   Posted by: Jim   in General

As part of their push to clean out inventory, ToysRUs/Amazon has been selling items at a discount. Of interest to vintage gamers, Acquire is on sale for $39.99, and Cosmic Encounter is on sale for $29.99.

Unfortunately, Diplomacy is still unavailable. A travesty.


News to Tide You By

   Posted by: Jim   in General

Until the next episode of the Vintage Gamer, here’s some news from around the web to give you your vintage gaming fix:

I somehow missed the start of publication of The Escapist e-magazine, and I find it strange that the way I found out about it is through board game blogs as it is mainly a computer gaming rag. It’s also headquartered here in Durham, NC. Small world.

However, in the past two weeks they’ve had three articles of some interest to vintage gaming types. One is a broad history of games by Greg Costikyan. Another is a very Vintage Gamer-like look back at Last Express, an adventure game developed by Smoking Car Productions and published by Broderbund in 1997. And the third discusses the possibilities of game rules as art, with a look back at some classic board games.

Speaking of computer adventure games (a vintage style if I’ve ever heard of one), the Gnome’s Lair has a review of the next installment of the Bone adventure game series. I’ve been playing the first one with my daughter (or for my daughter, as it were) and I’m definitely going to have to pick up this one at some point.

As a final note, if anyone knows why Parlett’s Oxford History of Board Games has suddenly shot up to $180 per copy, I’d appreciate knowing. If it ever drops down to $100 again, I’m definitely getting it. A reprint would also be a wonderful thing. Until then, to the library I go.

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