Sunday, 22 April 2007

Mr Skeletor's Mailbag

Here is this week’s mailbag, with comments from you the readers about the articles you have read on this website. There is a movie starting in 5 minutes that I want to watch so let’s get right into it…

Manolito writes:

Dear mister Skeletor,

I used to think that I was a pure amerigamer. But
something happened to me that made me doubt. As a
teenager, I bought and played lots of Games Workshop
Games. I even went to London one christmas and bought
a few GW games amongst which "Railway Rivals". I
always thought that it was good clean english/american
entertainement and I enjoyed it a lot. It was a train
game, but with dices and funny pencils to draw the
train lines on the board. Great gimmick and hours of
fun ! I just discovered yesterday, 15 years later,
that "Railway Rivals", which looks like a pure classic
GW game, was in fact the... Spiel des Jahres 1984 ! My
whole world fell apart !

How could the guys who brought us "Battlecars" and
"Talisman" published a SdJ ? Now I don't really know
who I am and where I'm at... I enjoyed for years a
SDJ, and it made me feel so weird and guilty now.
Where does ameritrash starts, where does it end ? I
feel completely confused and need help, badly...




We will forgive you for your minor transgressions. Back in 1984 Europeans actually had some taste in games, before the spreadsheet bug hit and they all started praising crap. I blame the fall of the Berlin wall for that.

Anyway, it’s ok to have a euro or 10 in your collection, just don’t overdo it eh? I’d be worried more about the fact you own a rail game, which possibly indicates a father fixation from childhood with Tomas the Tank Engine. Best go check yourself in to a clinic.

Well that’s it for this week. As you can see the response was staggering. If you would like to write some mail for this segment the address is Please place [mailbag] in the subject line.


Patrick H said...

It's Ok - another AT'er out of the closet (just bury that euro train wreck in the closet).

Michael Barnes said...

I blame the fall of the Berlin wall for that.

Hmm...remember who sung at the fall of the Berlin Wall? Hasselhoff. I wonder if he figures into this somehow...Professor Euro?

BTW- Manolito, it's OK, we're all AC/DC here- you know, we swing both ways.

Fellonmyhead said...

"The Hoff" is AT through and through; how can you persecute him for that slight transgression?

Have you forgotten Knight Rider? Baywatch? This guy's done more for AT than all of you put together.


Mr Skeletor said...

Hasselhoff was/is big in germany.

Fellonmyhead said...

AT was/is big in Germany.

simon said...

Back in 1984 Europeans actually had some taste in games, before the spreadsheet bug hit and they all started praising crap. I blame the fall of the Berlin wall for that.

This statement would get you in sincere trouble here in Germany, especially if you combine it with a cultural decline.

But F:AT isn't known for its political correctness neither... ;-)

Mr Skeletor said...

I'd say germany can suck my balls, but to be honest i quite like the place.
Doesn't matter what I say on here anyway, as in real life I pretend im someone else so they'd never know it was me.

Michael Barnes said...

Hey, I'm not hasslin' the Hoff at all...but maybe his DECLINE in popularity might be some kind of barometer as to why the Euro debacle happened...I mean, if Euro designers were a little more interested in talking black supercars we might have some more interesting designs coming out, you know?

Julian said...

Calling Michael Barnes and all other AT degenerates.

This is off topic, but I thought I'd let you know about a Geek List that mysteriously disappeared from the front page of that other web site. I don't know if you guys care about it, but I thought you might not have seen it. Sorry to drop it in here, but it seemed the most appropriate place (because its kinda mail to the Fortress: AmeriTrash crew).

Julian said...

Oh, I didn't make clear what the list is. It's another Michael Barnes memorial geek list. This one is Michael's top ten games. It's done by a Finn (so Finn's come in both pro and anti Barnes varieties), and has a special guest appearance by Tom Vasel. So check it out if you feel like it.

Michael Barnes said...

I saw the list...that Finn's pretty funny, I wonder if he's the same guy as Eurovajean?

But yeah, Tom Vasel. I can't believe he thinks people are so stupid that they would buy his backpeddling in his comment. I know no one can believe he'd do anything as gauche as ask for "thank you" donations based on another BGG member's banning since he's 1) such a "nice guy" 2) made "significant" contributions to the hobby and 3)a "christian" but it's there, plain as day regardless if Tom wants to admit it or not. I'd have a hell of a lot more respect for him if he'd take a stand on it and admit what he was doing but I know he doesn't want to damage his precious reputation as a "spokesperson" for board gaming.

Talk about an ego...

Michael Barnes said...

Oh yeah...I thought it was funny that MONKEY AUTO RACES was on there since I did that stupid April Fool's Joke...someone said my comment contained a "Personal Attack" on Tom Vasel without, of course, quoting for those of you who missed it, here is my "personal attack" on Tom Vasel (who rated the game a 1 to be "funny")-

"Rating a 10 solely to counteract Tom Vasel's rating. "Let's Donate!"

I'm worse than Charles Manson! :-(

Julian said...

I think if there is anyone that took the biggest hit from the Great Ban it is Tom Vasel. Before the ban, all the criticisms of Tom Vasel started with "Tom Vasel seems like a nice guy, but...". Now people just start with the criticism.

The irony is that a reviewer who should understand that saying "This game is bad" is not a personal attack on the designer, took "This review is bad" as a personal attack on himself. It explains why his reviews are so positive I guess.

hughthehand said...

I read that list...I have no idea what-so-ever, what the hell that person is trying to do with it. It really makes no sense.

Patrick H said...

I have to agree with Hugh here - I have no idea what the point is.

I did come out of this with a new name for Tom Vassalhoff however- thus completing the metamorphosis into complete euro that he seemingly desires.

I suppose all he needs now is some wood. Perhaps some blatant brown nosing to the lumber industry could provide some "samples" for review, er, usage.

Aside from that the topic should again be steered towards plastic fighter planes and liquor. As my motto goes -

Drink beer, chase women & fight.

Michael Barnes said...

Yeah, really...let's stop bringing up individuals who are completely irrelevant to board gaming (David Hasselhoff, Tom Vasel) and get back to Manolito's issue...he came to Mr. Skeletor looking for help and we should be here to provide support for our fellow ATer. WHAT IF IT WERE YOU?

Michael Barnes said...

Actually, I'm kind of concerned about this "Spreadsheet Bug" Mr. Skeletor speaks it some kind of bioweapon? Is it related to Cube Confusion? Have the terrorists won yet again?

Thaadd said...

Hmm. Someone evidentally found of the crossposting and yanked that list.

Patrick H said...

We should not let them know we are aware of the Spreadsheet bug, as preparations are underway to counteract its devious if futile execution.

Our weapon has many sides but more commonly six. They will never see it coming.

Manolito said...

I think that, in order to avoid the same kind of troubles I went through, people should ask themselves : "What is this game about ?" If it is about building things (castle, maket, railway lines...), it is very likely to be a eurogame. If it is about desroying things, well, it is 99% sure that it must be a ameritrash game !! But Railway Rivals was a real cheater : I mean, the two maps that were given were the USA and UK !

More seriously, I must say, that I have fond memories of "Railway Rivals" although I don't have the game anymore. Clever mechanisms, games that did not last more than an hour, easy to teach rules... er, well, it was a spiel des jahres ! Yet, it had great replayability and great suspens... I enjoyed it quite a lot these days and played it almost as often as "Battlecars" (which is clearly about destroying things this time !)

Julian said...

"Yeah, really...let's stop bringing up individuals who are completely irrelevant to board gaming (David Hasselhoff, Tom Vasel) and get back to Manolito's issue..."

I have to disagree.

He is not irrelevant to board gaming. I, for one, want to play a game about driving a talking car and rescuing scantily clad women from drowning.

Michael Barnes said...

You're right Julian- there are both KNIGHT RIDER and BAYWATCH board games...I'd like to issue a public apology to Mr. Hasselhoff for doubting his outstanding contribution to gaming.

Jack Hill said...

There are a ton of other odd SdJ awards and nominees.

Loopin' Louie
Kremlin was a nominee

And it goes downhill after that.

Except for kid's games. The odd thing is that the German companies really do make much better games for kids. It's like they forget that adults who play games sort of remain kids as they grow up.

alan polak said...

Yeah I saw that list and was reminded of that line from Jay and Silent Bob where, to paraphrase, Afleck says something like " its for a bunch of guys who claim they hate movies and yet cant stop talking about them" Or something like that.Seems to be the trend "over there" at the moment. To be honest I have stopped doing anything on that other site other than use it to look up games I see at my local to get an idea of the rules but even this is a bit of a battle as every reviewer seems intent on describing the EXACT same thing as the previous reviewer. How many time do I need to read the same info. On top of that the endless whinging about image refusals, tuckbox generator programs, what game shall i buy next.Or the anal retentives with their counter clipping. And since when did the humble rubber band do so much to deserve so much scorn. The number of guys I see posting " Don't use rubber bands on your cards" is astounding. Why the fuck not? It's a fucking card. What's next? "please wear gloves while playing my game, better yet let me handle all pieces, cards, and counters, so you dont fuck them up." Jesus! Some of those guys really put the Geek into BGG.Jeez i need to lay off the coffee

Jack Hill said...

Actually, rubber bands on cards is a bad idea.

Not because it dents the cards, but because the rubber decays into an unholy slag that sticks to the cards. It takes 7-10 years.

My Age of Renaissance had a couple of permanently marked cards because of that.

Is AoR too Euro-y for this group?

TheRankO said...

Is AoR too Euro-y for this group?

Surely you jest. Ameritrash is practically a shrine to Don Greenwood.

Michael Barnes said...

Yeah man...didn't you read in the F:AT Charter supplemental material published in THE BASTARD?

Section 34.34.3, an exception to 23.1 (the infamous "No Trade Routes" clause) states clearly:

"AGE OF RENAISSANCE is pretty cool."

Mr Skeletor said...

That Finn is one weird dude.