News Bits: 9/4/2012


Awards season is upon us, Mr. Lloyd! Here is the news:

International Gamers Award Nominees Announced
The nominees for the 2012 International Gamers Awards have been announced. There is an award for best multiplayer and best two-player game. The nominees are mostly what you might expect, though it seems odd to me that Star Trek: Fleet Captains received a nod. But perhaps I’m revealing my bias.

Nominations for the Golden Geeks Are Open
Board Game Geek’s annual Golden Geek awards are now accepting game nominations for the 2012 awards. This is your chance to let your voice be heard! Maybe.

Interview(s) with (a) Game Designer(s)
This has been a fruitful week for good designer interviews. Check out these links for informative and engaging interviews:

The Convention Considered
GenCon is over, but there is still plenty of information to read in its wake. Or, plenty to watch. In the latter case, check out Board Game Geek News’s video introductions to some of the releases teased at the Con. (Post 1 [Core Worlds expansion, DC Comics deck-building game, Zombiepocalypse, and SoulForge], post 2 [Gauntlet of Fools, 7 Wonders: Cities, City of Horror, 3012], post 3 [Memoir 44 equipment pack, The Resistance: Avalon, Z-Man Games, King of Tokyo expansion], post 4 [Conquest of Planet Earth, Mice & Mystics, Dead Panic, Hot Rod Creeps], and post 5 [Last Night on Earth: Timber Peak, Shadows over Camelot: The Card Game, Level 7 Escape, and Ogre].)

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game Travels to Gondor
In what may not seem like news (simply by the sheer volume of their new release announcements), Fantasy Flight Games announced the next cycle for the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game: Heirs of Numenor. It looks like the new set will focus on Gondor, which is good news for those of you who like men and not  dwarves.

Kickstarters of Note
A fantastic August is leading into a fantastic September. Check out these currently active campaigns:

  • The Great Heartland Hauling Co.: This one’s got 18wheeples now, and is almost up to a fifth player expansion with two days left. $25
  • Gauntlet of Fools: A new Donald X. Vaccarino game about great boasts. It’s already funded. I love the idea of this game, even if I doubt I’ll back it. $28.
  • The Resistance: Avalon: This Arthurian retheme of The Resistance has already funded almost three times over. The stretch goals are a little lame, but the publisher has assured the public that there is no possible way to make the game more awesome than it already is. I’m sure this is true, especially after reading the designer interview (linked above). $20 gets you the game.
  • Unexploded Cow: One of the games that brought me into the hobby, this new edition looks fantastic and is hitting some stretch goals. $25.
  • Mars Needs Mechanics: Yes, the steampunk theme looks pasted on, but the game itself looks interesting (if you like economic games). $40 buy-in.
  • Consequential: A board game with new content continually released that furthers the story. Looks like a very interesting concept. The price was reduced to $42.
  • I’m the Boss: The Card GameContinuing Sid Sackson rereleases, Gryphon Games has a card game version of the popular negotiation board game on Twitter, based on Sackson’s game notebooks. $25.
  • Salmon Run: A deck-building racing game of salmon trying to reach the spawning pool. $35 gets you the game.

Completely Unrelated Awesomeness of the Week
This is neither completely unrelated nor awesome, but it seems worthy of comment, even though it isn’t “newsworthy” per se: NPR’s story “When a Kickstarter Campaign Fails, Does Anyone Get Their Money Back?” It raises some interesting questions and concerns. A personal anecdote: last week I received two Kickstarted games in the mail: FlowerFall (by Asmadi Games) and Glory to Rome: Black Box (by Cambridge Games Factory). I backed the former in July; I backed the latter last August. Last. August. The former arrived two months ahead of schedule, the latter nine months behind. As I mentioned in my snarky remark on Twitter, “results may vary,” but the Glory to Rome debacle, as I referred to it among friends, was the first time my experience with Kickstarter has raised the question NPR asks: what would have happened had the producer bailed? I use Kickstarter primarily as a preorder platform, but is that its intended use? Are my perception of Kickstarter and the way it actually works congruent? I’m not exactly distrustful of the Kickstarter model, but I’m much more wary of what I choose to back these days. I hope that NPR’s question doesn’t have to be answered practically…but it is a question that looms in the distance and likely will be answered pragmatically sooner rather than later.

I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros.

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