Monday, 11 June 2007

Mr Skeletor’s Mailbag, 11th June

It’s late again and I have an elastic band around my head, slowly cutting off the circulation to my brain. So lets get straight in:

Mike “arselicker” Dowd writes:

The AT revolution seems to be one of dice and badasses. The contributors seem predominantly male and badass. My question is – Do chicks fall into the equation as far as the ultimate AT gamenight is concerned? Should chainmail bikini’s optional or required?

Your loyal henchman,

Mike Dowd

Loyal Henchman? Is that you Beastman?

Females don’t fall in anywhere when it comes to game nights I’m afraid. F:AT’s own Ubarose is supposedly a chick, but I have never seen her boobs to confirm and so remain skeptical. I sometimes suspect Franklincob is a chick, but he is more likely one of those Tai transvestite hookers with a redneck accent. Barnes certainly bitches like a chick, but I don’t think that counts. Thadd Orclover from FFG is a chick, but she is paid to like them so doesn’t count. I’m struggling to think of any other AT chicks on this or any other planet and am coming up with zilch.

No, I’m afraid Beastman Mike that chicks as part of the equation of the ultimate AT gamenight = 0, Unless you all pitch in and hire some hookers or something. Chicks just don’t seem to dig AT, it could be because it tends to be as sexist and misogynistic as an El Roth movie, or because women have shitty taste in games, but the truth is most likely because it tends to be played by middle-aged childish nerds, and despite what 80’s teen comedies claim, no chicks want to shag nerds.

Emmanuel “Amen” Denis writes:

Dear Mr. Skeletor,

Next Friday I will host the first boardgame session at
my church (and hopefully many more will follow), with
my churchgoing fellows. Now the problem is that nobody
in the church knows any of the games we all like on
fortress ameritrash. What kind of games should I bring
to this gaming party?

Please let me know your input.



Tsk, tsk, did you confess to your local priest that you read this blog? You know each Mr Skeletor article you read is worth 2 Hail Mary’s penance!

I’m struggling to think of any good AT games for a church group to be honest. AT tends to be complex, long and themes which may be inappropriate for church, so it’s a tough one. Nexus Ops is perhaps the best one I can think of with the least offensive theme. Roborally is a good choice. Heroscape could be OK except that it is a pain to cart around and punk kids will nick the bits. Conquest of the Empire might be a good choice, though people may object to the war theme. You could put a case forward for Fury of Dracula, after all the players are working for God trying to exorcise a great evil, but it depends on how “Churchie” the Church group is and if they will buy it. Reiner’s Lord of the Rings is a good choice but not really AT. Warrior Knights might be passable were it not for the fact people may find Corrupting the Church offensive. Marvel Heroes is non offensive but a shocker to teach.

To be honest I think you may be best off teaching them Eurogames. Yes I too can’t believe I just said that.

If you have any mail for this section, address it to with “[mailbag]” in the header.


Ken B. said...

Me love you long time, y'all

Rliyen said...

No, I’m afraid Beastman Mike that chicks as part of the equation of the ultimate AT gamenight = 0

Maybe in your part of the world, Skeletor, but not in the boonies of Louisiana.

Got three, actually. Wife, Wife of Friend, and Friend of 10+ years. All of them love Betrayal at House on the Hill (known in our circle as Betrayal at the Little House on the Prairie). They also love Siege, Talisman, and Aliens.

Juniper said...

"What kind of games should I bring
to this gaming party?"

Hey, didn't Uberplay's Inspiration Games imprint do a bible-themed version of Doom: the Boardgame? Also, their Latter-day Saints-themed adaptation of Bootleggers is superior to the original and may be appropriate for your denomination.

ironcates said...

AT Games I've brought to church game nights (granted my church has a small group of geeks):

+ = went well
- = not so well

Duel of Ages +
BattleLore +/-
Dragon Dice +/-
Risk (and variants) +
Marvel Heroes - (Can anyone say, "Emma Frost")
Bang! + (Beer is life!)
Betrayal at House on the Hill + (Kill the Demon Lord)
Journeys of Paul +/- (Church planting can be ruthless)
Axis and Allies +

ironcates said...

Popular Non AT:

Pitch Car ++
Hey that's my Fish! +
Wits and Wagers +
Apples to Apples +++ (Why did I do this, now they have their own copy!)
Why did the Chicken? + (I actually like this party game)
Ark of the Covenant +

Shellhead said...

My semi-monthly AT game days have consistently had at least one female present for the last two years now, as we have a married couple that plays every time. On an unpredictable basis, we sometimes have more women in attendance. Yesterday, we nearly had three women out of seven players total, only Thaadd couldn't make it because Christian Peterson is a harsh taskmaster.

When my long-term girlfriend moves in next month, I am hopeful that I can also get her to play, too. Early in our relationship, she was disinterested in board games, although she did have some rpg experience back in high school. But after my game got published by White Wolf, she became very curious about my board games. Sometimes she opens the boxes and looks at the components. On the other hand, she thinks that the standard AT themes tend to be too violent.

As a general observation, it seems like science-fiction and fantasy stuff has broken through to mainstream acceptance in the last ten years or so, which in turn means that there are a surprising number of 20-something women who are at least somewhat interested in this stuff. Although my girlfriend has the stereotypical fascination with shopping, clothes and make-up, she was also a big fan of Lord of the Rings, Buffy, Dark Angel, Xena, and the X-Files.

I haven't been keeping careful track of it, but I think that the women who have played with our group probably have a preference for games with more of a cooperative nature (Arkham Horror, Betrayal at House on the Hill) or social bent (Mall of Horror). And I think that mainstream horror movies have generally been more socially acceptable (or at least make potentially good date movies), so female players in our group seem to like the horror themes more than science-fiction or fantasy. We never play pure war-type games like Tide of Iron, but I would expect that would tend to be even less interesting to our ladies.

Thaadd said...

You know, I have been a gamer for alot longer than I have worked at FFG (which has not even been a year). Admittedly more of an RPGer than board games, but all the same, Friday boardgames has been a solid planned thing for something like 10 years with my friends.

And about those gamer guys...I was told in highschool by the guy running the gaming group I wanted to join 'Sorry we don't want you to distract the real gamers' once. (not like I was going to go flashing them, I just wanted to play Shadowrun...) I don't think most guys THINK to invite girls, past their own SO's who have to be included because they live there.

Chicks just don’t seem to dig AT, it could be because it tends to be as sexist and misogynistic as an El Roth movie, or because women have shitty taste in games, but the truth is most likely because it tends to be played by middle-aged childish nerds, and despite what 80’s teen comedies claim, no chicks want to shag nerds.

Gaming (apart from perhaps strip poker) shouldn't be about shagging. It should be about either defeating the other players, or in my personal favorite role, the 'take down of person who irritates me most'.

Perhaps guys don't invite girls to game with them because they can't handle getting wiped off the board by a girl? Inadequacy problems? Ego? I'll have the guys take a picture of the FFG girls at Friday's games this week. Maybe make a rant out of it (if the Bossman agrees....)

Oh, and the Taskmaster thing Shellhead was referring to was the FFG team for a 48 hour film challege. There WILL be a Rant about that before long. After the premiere, might even make it onto Youtube.

Horacio Silva said...


That's a disaster waiting to happen

ubarose said...

Mr. S is correct that "that chicks as part of the equation of the ultimate AT game night = 0." However, his theory as to why is incorrect. The truth is that all us AT gal trophy wives (middle-aged nerds = $$$$) prefer to play together in the afternoon, while the kids are at school and the hubby is at work. It is so much more comfortable when it is just us girls. We can lounge about in just our Victoria Secrets satin and lace frillies, although some of the gals prefer leather. Of course, someone usually gets upset, and the board gets flipped and everything dissolves into a big ole wrasslin match and pillow fight. After that kind of excitement, we are all just too exhausted to go to a game night. I took some pictures at today's session, but I can't post pictures in the comments. Too bad.

Michael Barnes said...

Hey Thaad- you guys do the 48 Hour Film Festival thing? Those things rock...I've never in my life been so exhausted as after the last one I did. Nothing beats getting "Western or musical" as the genre...

You guys should totally turn in MIDNIGHT to one...that'd be awesome.

Ubarose, you do realize that your expose will likely cause many a nerd to drop dead on the spot, right? Fat boys have weak hearts...

No comment on the religious talk. I'm sure there's a "BIBLEOPOLY" out there somewhere...or there's that Richard Borg bible game that may be better than BATTLELORE...

Thaadd said...

Yes, indeed we did a 48 hour one. We drew Science Fiction without even bribing anyone... and then, despite the old addage 'Never work with Children or Animals' wrote in a cat. I am covered in scratches, and it was my cat, and she was happy...mostly.

I woke up at 7:30am for work on Friday (so I could sneak in some Eve over coffee) and then worked until Sunday at 3am with 2 hours sleep inbetween. This put me AHEAD of most people in sleep. Bossman was directing, Editor wrote, a game designer did assistant director, I did lights/grip again, our VP produced with International guy, our graphics kids did special effects, marketing guy built props/set, production guy was assistant camera, webmaster was production assistant. Real family affair. Mostly no one freaked out at eachother, but we're one sore and sleepy geekplace today.

Caveat...we got it done in about 52 hours. We'll still be screened, but are out of contest running.

Beastman Mike said...

Many of the females I've boardgamed with get their panties in a bunch when they are either targeted offensively or begin to lose. It seems to me as if they use bitching and moaning as a metagame defense to deter anyone from attacking them. "I know I should attack her, but I know that she'll drone on and on if I do." The thing is, deep down it only serves to make it even more satisfying to target them, and thus the great circle of hose-age turns.

When the testosterone is freely flowing, opponents don't blame others for their defeat, rather they learn something from the whuppin'. Plus there's a healthy dose of humor involved, a big draw for AT.

Mr Skeletor said...

(not like I was going to go flashing them, I just wanted to play Shadowrun...)

Well I wouldn't have let you in either then.

And if this thread descends into peoples stories about playing with their girlfriend / SO I'm locking this thread before the lameness drowns me.

Shellhead said...

Depends on the woman. Some can handle adversity as well as anybody, and some may use tears and/or whining to manipulate people.

Our one regular female in our local AT group is fairly stoic about being attacked. She will calmly give reasons why somebody else should be getting attacked, but doesn't otherwise complain.

At the other extreme, there was this one woman who used to play the Jyhad/V:tes CCG in local circles who was an obnoxious whiner. One time she was sitting next to me in a sealed deck tournament, and ended up contesting two vampires with me and also a vampire with her predator (guy sitting to her right). That meant that she was losing 3 pool (like life points in Magic) every turn and could only use one of her four vampires. She complained about the first one, whined about the second one, and broke down weeping about the third vampire.