Friday, 8 June 2007

The Weekly AT Snapshot - 6/8/2007

Michael Barnes was a Problem Child



After Michael Barnes almost singlehandedly destroyed the boardgaming hobby earlier this year, we at Fortress Ameritrash decided to do a little checking up on him. You can never be too careful these days, especially where villains are concerned. What we found should come as a surprise to nobody. The picture above shows Michael at the tender age of 5 at the Axis & Allies World Championship. Some things never change...


This week's snapshot was submitted by the elusive "Powdered Toast Man". Will his true identity ever be revealed?

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13 comments:

Matt Thrower said...

Why has he got an upside-down French flag painted on his face?

Ken B. said...

This explains so much.

J de said...

Truly a child prodigy!

Michael Barnes said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have something to confess. It's been bothering me for a while and this photograph (of me yelling "HEAVY BOMBERS, MOTHERFUCKERS!" at the A&A championship) really brought back a lot of memories- some not so good.

Those were troubling times for me, I attended that tournament after running away from an abusive home where I was forced to do math problems for "fun" and where my father once threw my dice into the fire. American-style games were banned from my childhood home and I often had to sit under the covers at night with a flashlight secretly playing TALISMAN. I grew up in Luxembourg, so it was very hard to get Avalon Hill and Games Workshop games...sometimes I had to make my own based on how I imagined them from reading tattered, beaten up copies of pack-in catalogs some of the other kids at school would often tuck into their bookbags. Sure, my father encouraged gaming so long as it involved nothing more imaginative than colors, numbers, and shapes.

But that A&A championship, in which I came in 98th out of 100 finalists, was a triumph for me, a way for me to tell my father once and for all that it was Ameritrash blood in my veins and not the fucking White Zinfandel that ran through his.

I'll just come out and say it.

Professor Euro is my father.

Juniper said...

Today, I banned Michael Barnes from Fortress: Ameritrash. The decision was mine and mine alone.

It was this exchange that pushed me over the line:

Juniper wrote: "Maybe you should put yourself in his shoes before taking a shot. Would you want to participate in a place that is populated by Luxembourgers? I'm sure most people wouldn't - and I don't want Fortress: Ameritrash to be that place."

crackedlcd81 wrote: "I grew up in Luxembourg."

I know that Mr. Barnes had a lot of fans and I apologize if you feel like I've taken away his voice - but he has since started a Jumble blog at
http://www.tanga.com/ and I wish him well.

Michael Barnes said...

Juney, we might butt heads, but I like you.

But you have no authority here.

Although I'm deathly ashamed of "Das Spielvater", as I was often trained to call him, I am proud of my Luxembourgian heritage and I frown on the marginalization of my country. It's clear that there has long been an anti-Luxembourg bias here at F:AT and frankly this elitist attitude is leading the hobby into ruin.

adrianbolt said...

Come now Michael, either the mists of time have dimmed your splendid childhood memories or you might possibly be being a tad untruthful.

Oh wait, wrong website. Michael you're a lying bastard. If American-style games were banned then why are you wearing an AmeriTrash logo on your clothing?!!!

Juniper said...

Oh.... That explains why you had the flag of Luxembourg painted on your face. You should have had it oriented horizonally instead of vertically; too many people will think it's the flag of France.

You should try my game prototype sometime. Each player represents the local Sun-god of one of the city-states or Grand Duchys of Western Europe. In our last play-test, I managed to win the in-the-fist auction for the hot-chick-with-the-diamond-necklace card (21 VPs!) over the Vatican and Liechtenstein by just one pfennig!. Ultimately, Luxembourg and Monaco had 43 pharaohs each, but Monaco won on the tie-breaker condition by having the most paintings by Cold Metal. I'm already contacting publishers; I think I have a pretty good shot at "going pro" with this design -- it has plenty of what I like to call "turn angst."

Michael Barnes said...

A kindly gentleman who took pity on my plight gave me that AT jersey- it was actually Larry Harris himself. It was kind of like that old Coca Cola commercial where the football player gives the kid his jersey and a coke. Hearts were warmed, the triumph of the human spirit was celebrated, etc.

Pops never would have allowed that in the house. He always made me dress like a renaissance trader, which I hated. Frills and ruffles everywhere.

mtlawson said...

Larry Harris, the Mean Joe Greene of the AT world.

--Mike L.

J de said...

I have fond memories of Luxembourg, especially the time we drove back from the Alps and tried to get there without tanking in France (because of price difference, not from an irrational hatred of the French). I think we had less than 3 l left by that time.

However, had I known that Da Barnz was born there, I would have extended my stay for a pilgrimage. Just a blessing of the Great Dalmuti would've been fine. Or a blessing on my offspring...

adrianbolt said...

Matt, it's not an upsidedown French flag, it's just that one self-inflicted bruise is older than the other. You have to remember that at such a tender age Michael's chair throwing skills left a lot to be desired.

Juniper said...

Has anyone here tried Looney Labs' "Fluxxembourg?"