Monday, 3 September 2007

R.I.P. FFG Floppy

The observant and not so observant among you may have noted that my contributions to this blog have rather dried up as of late. I do assure you I have had very good reasons for this occurring:

  • I moved house. And by “moved” I mean every weekend I was transporting stuff from my old location to my new one because I was too lazy to get boxes and pre-pack everything.
  • I discovered that living on your own means that you have to do everything around the house. I have yet to come home and find the lawn mysteriously cut or a phantom did the dusting.
  • I am now much closer to drinking establishments than I was previously, meaning every weekend has been spent hung over.
  • I brought the entire series of Farscape on DVD and have been quickly working through them.
  • In anticipation of the boardgame release I started playing Starcraft on the PC. I’m nearly finished the zerg missions.
  • I was devastated after being suspended from BGG and so walked the desert for 40 days and nights in self reflection, living only on a diet of goanna testies and Kangaroo milk.

So all of this shit has been sucking up my time, plus I have been rather lazy. Despite that, I broke my silence to bring some tragic news which no one else has reported.

I made the discovery last night when I opened up my copy of Starcraft the board game. Hidden amongst the miniatures and cards I was shocked to discover the following:

That’s right, the rulebook is rectangular. The square floppy rulebook is no more.

Now we have seen this rulebook before in the last in-house game FFG released, Tide of Iron. At the time when quizzed about it by yours truly on the site that Barnes is not wanted on, Christian T Peterson wrote the following:

“There is so much stuff in TOI (many molds, etc) that we needed to cut a few corners to keep the game sub-$80. Also, there is pretty much an even split of customer preference between standard and square (I prefer square myself!)
"Sad but true!"
cP
FFG”

This made it sound like the switch was temporary, a one off forever condemning TOI to be the bastard stepchild in the FFG range, cursed to look forever at his brothers with envy at their nice sexy big square floppy rulebooks. But now the starcraft rulebook is also rectangular, and evidence in the form of a PDF suggests the Burning Crusade expansion to World of Warcraft will also be rectangular.

My friends, I think it is time to come to terms with the shockingly obvious, Christian and his cronies have taken the square floppy rulebook out the back of the chemical sheds and done away with it, without so much as a granting them a going away party or a gold watch for its' years of dedicated service. Let us mourn it’s passing together.


FFG Square Floppy Rulebook

2003 – 2006

FFG Square Floppy Rulebook went missing under mysterious circumstances late in 2006. Though you may have been unwieldy, and often spilled the pieces on the board when you were handed around the gaming table, and sometimes whored yourself out to Euroes like Beowulf and Blue Moon City, we love you still. I will never forget the times we spent together in the toilet, keeping my mind of the chilli I ate the night before. Or the mornings I woke to find you sprawled across my chest opened on page 10 because I tried to cram in a reading before the next night’s game. Your three column page layout and super big example diagrams will be sorely missed. Closing the box lid will never be the same again.

21 comments:

Universal Head said...

Dear square floppy rulebook,

You were a classic example of style over function. During a game, you were like holding a sack full of gerbils and took up too much space on already overcrowded games tables. You're easily damaged. Floppy, floppy, floppy due to your outrageous number-of-pages to size ratio! Begone with you to the pits of ebay and never return! I for one will not mourn your passing.

(Just pray they don't start doing away with rulebooks altogether and start giving us CDs with PDFs on them.)

Ken B. said...

I was always torn with these...pages full of colorful illustrations and examples, but always a real bitch to handle...

Fury of Dracula was a great example--well written rulebook, but flippin' through that square beast to find what you needed was a hassle.

RIP, old friend.

Juniper said...

I was always torn with these...

That's exactly the point. The Floppy Square could be torn, so those who preferred the standard format could alter the rulebook to suit their own taste. This alteration reduced the time required to teach and learn a game by about 25%, too.

Is this trend away from Floppy Squares unique to FFG, or are the euro publishers doing it as well?

Is the box still easy to open?

Jackwraith said...

Suspended? And now basically gone? Dude, what happened? I don't keep up with BGG as much as I used to (I'm far too hardcore a GW gamer), but I didn't think anything catastrophic was going on. Send me a message via BGG, if you want, or jack DOT wraith AT gmail DOT com.

That being said, I agree with Ken. The square books were cool, but always very cumbersome, especially around a crowded table with Game of Thrones or TI3 spread end to end.

notbillysparkles said...

Bah!

I piss on square rulebook's ashy grave.

Fellonmyhead said...

ken b:
"...always a real bitch to handle..."

Precisely my thought when I read this article; though I agree the illustrations and examples were great they could always have been done just as well in the standard size.

Cumbersome, usually poorly referenced because they got so much onto one page, and not absorbent enough for toilet use.

Juniper said...


Cumbersome, usually poorly referenced because they got so much onto one page, and not absorbent enough for toilet use.


But the pages were ideal for use in origami projects.

Jack Hill said...

Don't miss 'em. The most important thing is that most of the heavyweight games have pdf's on the FFG website.

Dropping the square format means that you can print them out easily and have a second rulebook.

Michael Barnes said...

All this rhapsodizing over the FFG floppy just so Mr. Skeletor can say "na na na boo boo, I got STARCRAFT before y'all did".

Back OT, hopefully it's printed on some kind of paper that will resist that unslightly "cottage cheese" wear their rulebooks tend to develop over time...I hate that.

Ken B. said...

Is there a worse feeling the first time you get a rulebook caught on something and give it a good crease? I'm not a "keep 'em perfect" guy by any means, but man...I hate that.

the red phantom said...

Stop talking about your floppy and tell us how StarCraft is!

Mr Skeletor said...

Jackwraith said...

Suspended? And now basically gone? Dude, what happened? I don't keep up with BGG as much as I used to (I'm far too hardcore a GW gamer), but I didn't think anything catastrophic was going on. Send me a message via BGG, if you want, or jack DOT wraith AT gmail DOT com.


Umm, the suspension was ages ago and was pretty much all over this site.

Michael Barnes said...

All this rhapsodizing over the FFG floppy just so Mr. Skeletor can say "na na na boo boo, I got STARCRAFT before y'all did".


Hehehehehehe.

Back OT, hopefully it's printed on some kind of paper that will resist that unslightly "cottage cheese" wear their rulebooks tend to develop over time...I hate that.

What the hell are you doing with your rulebooks?!?!

the red phantom said...
Stop talking about your floppy and tell us how StarCraft is!


Can't, Steve Weeks might start calling me Tom Vasel.
Plus I haven't had a chance to play yet.

simon said...

Mr. Skeletor:

Plus I haven't had a chance to play yet.

Then you could still write a review for that other boardgaming site.

Ken B. said...

Yeah, just call it "Review of the Components" and cash in for some quick geekgold.

Then play it once, spin out a positive review, and highlight the best parts with colored text. Bingo, bango!

;))

Jackwraith said...

Umm, the suspension was ages ago and was pretty much all over this site.

Fair enough. Guess I'm neither here nor on BGG often enough to comment decently.

LonelyTroll said...

Actually, the Burning Crusade rulebook is square and floppy, so don't be so quick with your praise of a bygone format...

Michael Barnes said...

Looks like FFG is already playing the retro/nostalgia card then.

Mr Skeletor said...

[i]Actually, the Burning Crusade rulebook is square and floppy, so don't be so quick with your praise of a bygone format...[/i]

Whaaaaat....
The PDF printed full page, which normally indicates it was rectangular.

Anonymous said...

I Love Farscape! For a long time it was my number one show until I discovered Deadwood. I'll have to dig out my old DVDs.

Have you seen the Farscape Bloopers: http://youtube.com/watch?v=rGI-LNudgs0

Panzer-Attack

Mr Skeletor said...

I haven't seen the bloopers - what seasons are they from?
I've only watched the first 2 so far so i don't want to spoil anything!

Anonymous said...

It's a mixture from pretty much all the seasons I think. I don't think there's anything particularly spoilery in there but maybe you'd better avoid them just in case.

Panzer-Attack