Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just a Note

I'm heavy in development on the new site with hopes of launching by July 4th.  With that in mind I've put a hold on new content for the blog. Hang in there a few days folks, I think you'll like the new site.
Friday, June 24, 2011

Print On Demand Expansion for Mansions of Madness Announced

Finally, a Print-on-Demand announcement from the folks at FFG that I can get excited about:

From the release:

"A bright young Miskatonic University student has disappeared, having checked in to an infamous Arkham boarding house to study its reported supernatural properties. Now, as the celebration Walpurgis Eve approaches, you and your fellow investigators are tasked with venturing into the decaying Witch House and solving a mystery that has plagued Arkham for generations. But are you prepared to face the horrors that await you?

Season of the Witch, a Print on Demand story expansion for Mansions of Madness, is now available through our webstore! Designed by Richard Launius (Arkham Horror, Elder Sign), Season of the Witch sends players on a tense and terrifying race against the clock. Can you solve the mysteries of the Witch House before they consume Arkham forever?"

When FFG first announced a line of print-on-demand expansions back in march they debuted with a pair of releases for the expansion-unnecessary Death Angel card game, leaving me a little Meh over the whole deal. Then there's this, for $15 a whole new Mansions of Madness story, 58 total cards plus reference (setup?) cards. Not a bad deal and will certainly be on it's way to my home in short order.

More info here and here.

Friday News Round Up

First let me apologize for the slow updates this week and warn that they may continue for another week. I'm converting the site to a more traditional website layout but also trying to make it so the other contributors can easily update.

In doing so I am creating the site in 3 different systems and evaluating them for what I want to do now and in the future. This is very time consuming but I have a lot of new content I'm just holding it until I determine what format to go with. It's my hope that people come to our site for the quality of the reviews and features not the timing. We'll typically not be the first to post a review because we like to play the game a few times and we seldom get review copies. So stay with us because shortly this site is going to get a lot better. Enough with the site update on to the news.

Fantasy Flight was busy this week with announcement. First we had the information on 2 new walker expansions for Dust Tactics. I'm going to come clean I bought this game recently and it is sitting in shrink wrap behind a stack of new games that need to get reviewed and video shot for them but it sure looks pretty.  Continuing on the Dust information was the announcement that Operation SeeLowe was on sale.

Another Adventures preview (here is hoping this is for sale at GenCon) was posted. The Elder Sign preview I linked to the other day A whole bunch of LCG announcements and finally the rules for the next Arkham expansion were posted.

I love AEG they make some wonderful games and they push out a ton of news on a daily basis. The downside is that 99/9% of that news is L5R related and this week was no different so if you want to catch up on everything L5R then head here.

I was really excited when I got my charged email for Space Empires this week, I was then really bummed when a day later GMT posted that they are having shipping delays due to floods in China.  Which means Space Empires and No Retreat are going to be delayed to sometime in late July by my estimates if not longer.

In happier news they have announce 3 new P500 additions and you can find that information here.

It's Origins this week and yes OBGB is not there unfortunately but Mayfair is and well you know they are running some big competition for this little game called Catan.  If you want a little update on day 1 of the convention Mayfair has you covered.

Big news this week is Conquest of Nerath is finally out. I'm hoping to get a group together to play this very soon so I can get a review. Great components in this package.

Godzilla News
Well the big green guy is not attacking. If you read my column earlier this week on quality control you'll note that I said designer Richard Berg was putting together new rules. Well he did and they are much better and I highly suggest anyone thinking of buying this game grab them.

Everyone enjoy the weekend and do some gaming. 
Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Over the next few weeks I'll be moving away from blogger and it's many known issues and failure to add new features to a full fledged site. I'm currently investigating both Drupal and Joomla.

If anyone has any input on either and wants to drop me an email I would appreciate it.

Elder Sign Preview

There is a new preview of the upcoming Elder Sign game up this morning.  Hope to see this one at Gen Con seems like they are pushing to have it there.
Monday, June 20, 2011

QC in board gaming, what is going on?

I was really excited for the release of Gozilla Kaiju World Wars, really excited. However after having played the game several times I'm not so happy. I'll be posting a review this week along with a video but the game leaves a lot to be desired especially on the rules front.

So I was a little surprised to see this post on the board game geek forums by the designer Richard Berg. For those not so inclined to follow the link or to see why Richard is going to be re-writing the rules lets just say that Godzilla is suffering from poor reaction. There are some good components in this game and somewhere there is an enjoyable light game but the rules are possibly the worst I have seen.

Richard has made multiple posts indicating that rules were either removed or re-written. In fact the monster cards are missing a range attack defense rating. Richard indicated it was removed but not necessary for play. If that is the case why was it included in the first place and why was he posting about it on the forums?

It really raises an interesting question. How much say does the designer have on the final input of his game? I'm sure this varies by company. For instance I find it hard to believe a designer associated with GMT doesn't see the final rule book before it goes to print. However in the instance of Godzilla if you read a lot of different threads on the subject you get the idea that the system and rules delivered by the designer to the publisher were different then what shipped.

Publishers make calls all the time on making games easier or more accessible but do they do so without consulting the designer? Perhaps I am putting too much of the blame on Toy Vault the publisher. This was a licensed game and by Richard's own account in our interview with him they contacted him. Maybe the designer washed his hands of what happened after submitting the rules and now that the game is taking some well deserved critical hits he is making it right. I find that hard to believe though based on how Richard is responding in the forums.

Whatever the case may be we as gamers are suffering because of the lack of quality control. A company like Fantasy Flight is a much large organization then Toy Vault yet their games lately ship with numerous errors. If you bought the initial version of Civilization you have cards with printing errors. If you bought Mansions of Madness you have a game that has so many errors in some cases it is unplayable out of the box without the faq. In the latter case you have to buy the first expansion to get the fixed mistakes. In fact FFG is re-reprinting an Arkham Horror expansion because, and these are my words not FFG's, the original expansion was pretty much useless.

Wizards of the Coast one of the largest publishers of gaming products has shipped some of their latest games with really poor quality control. The new edition of Betrayal at House on the Hill had such terrible components that I couldn't even play the game because of the warping. Wrath of Ashardalon had cards that warped minutes after unpacking the game. To their credit WOTC replaced the components for free and in the instance of Betrayal actually had them redone on better material.

7 Wonders second edition printing has color errors on the age 3 cards that they are now going to replace. I could name many other games here. These aren't instances of one or two products being damaged in shipping because as gamers we know that can occur.  These are instance of poor quality control and lack of testing.

The average board game cost more then the average video game and the cost continues to rise as the quality goes down. Even though once in a while you get outstanding components for your value in games like Claustrophobia and Dust Tactics the norm lately is damaged products and cheaper material.

Board gaming has been on a recent resurgence in the last five plus years which has allowed companies like FFG to grow and prosper. However if costs continue to rise and quality continues to go down the hobby is going to take a step back.

As gamers we deserve better.
Friday, June 17, 2011

L5R makes it's board gaming debut at Gen Con

Never heard of Legend of the Five rings well that's ok it;'s been around a while. I'm not sure this is a big surprise since I've been hearing about it for a while but AEG has finally announced the L5R themed board game called Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan.

This game looks pretty interesting and will be for sale at Gen Con so we'll definitely try and get a look at it down there. In the meantime head on over to the official announcement. I do like the fact it comes with over 2 dozen miniatures.
Thursday, June 16, 2011

GenCon Questions

I started laying out my GenCon schedule this week. Trying to secure appointments with various companies and designers. GenCon is always a mad house and as press you don't get much more time then the average attendee in the exhibition hall.  I like this because GenCon should be about gaming and not something crazy like E3.

I haven't attended an E3 in years but I still have bad memories of it. Anyway the openness of GenCon makes it very hard to get people's time on the floor so I like to set up as much as I can ahead of time. So I'm throwing this out to all of our OBGB readers who can't descend on Indy in a few short months.

What do you want to see? Who do you want me to talk to? Get me those request either in the comments or via email and I will try and make it happen.

Also it's been a rather slow week for reviews on OBGB because I've been spending much of my free time looking at converting the site off of Blogger into a more traditional site. This is taking a lot of time but in the end I think it will be worth it.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hump Day News Bits

It's Wednesday so that means we're half way home to the weekend. It also means I've been sick officially for 1 week now. Summer colds and sinus issues aside lets see what is happening in the gaming world.

WOTC has posted a little preview article of Conquest of Nerath. This game comes out on the 2st and I have it on pre-order so we can do a review.

GMT has posted a video overview for Fading Glory on their site. 

Those wanting a good preview look of Battleship Galaxies can head over to heroscape.com and look at the nice pictures.

Finally FFG has a preview of Arcana posted.

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