Saturday, 29 December 2007

The 2007 Trashies!


OK, get your tuxes ready everybody…it’s time for the 2007 Trashies! Now, I have to admit, that I wasn’t going to do Trashies this year…mainly because they were really about BGG and the culture over there more than anything else. But when edit-monger Bill Abner tasked me with doing a year-end list for Gameshark.com, I started writing and I realized that I was basically writing the 2007 Trashies Awards. And since I didn’t want Bill and Co. over there to get hit with lawsuits or anything like that I decided to send them the “good guy” version. F:AT gets the uncensored, Renegade Version- yes, just like HIGHLANDER. Now, if you don’t like what you see here or you don’t feel like something was represented that you feel that ought to be, by all means add it in the talkback.

I think it really does say a lot that being away from BGG has made these awarda more about games and less about the bankrupt “culture” over there.

Anyway, I think I see Matt Thrower’s 1986 white Lamborghini Countach pulling up to the red carpet so let's do this thing.

The 2007 PT Barnum Sucker Prize for Excellence in Board Game Marketing

BATTLELORE

BATTLELORE came out last Christmas with the promise of hordes of expansions that would somehow (according to the ad copy) bring old D&D players and fans of MASTER OF MAGIC into the hobby along with providing the total newbie with a great entry point in the form of a $80 retail game with a 80+ page rulebook and the need to purchase further components. The game as shipped was certainly beautifully appointed with great production and a proven system and it looked like 2007 was going to be the year of BATTLELORE. But then, early this year, the expansions started to come out and it didn’t take long for me and many others to realize that they added very little to the game and what’s worse, some felt that the game wasn’t complete in the box and that Days of Wonder simply broke off chunks to extend the sale date, so to speak. What’s more, with the “missing” pieces in place the game was still several notches below the vastly superior COMMANDS AND COLORS: ANCIENTS, which uses the exact same system but somehow provides a much, much better game. But hey, hats off to Days of Wonder for getting folks who turn their noses up at miniature gaming and collectible card games to engage in the same buying practices.

The “At Least It Ain’t Rush” Award for Best Board Game Soundtrack

Every Board Game Ever Released With the Exception of LAST NIGHT ON EARTH

A shocker! Somehow, the _only_ board game released with a soundtrack this year didn’t get the nod- instead, the tabletalk, color commentary, bad language, and rules explanations that serve as the aural environment we generally play games in wins the award. It’s definitely better than the amateurish, embarrassing, and totally un-zombieish CD gimmick that jacked LAST NIGHT ON EARTH’s retail price up $5-10. The funny thing is that if they had included Fabio Frizzi’s soundtrack to ZOMBI it would have worked a hell of a lot better and I wouldn’t be bitching.

The Big Board Game Stink ’07

TIE- Mayfair Games Announces "Price Fixing"/Alliance with Satan and DUEL IN THE DARK


Of course, if you’ve ever read any of the popular (not as in the “cool” or “attractive to girls” sense) boardgaming webpages out there, you’ve probably gathered that it doesn’t take much to send hobby gamers into a state of extreme underwear unction. There were a couple of things that went down this year, like the time I told a glorified webmaster that he was “full of crap” that caused seismic shockwaves throughout the boardgaming community, but nothing made boardgamers lose their minds quite like Mayfair’s announcement that it would protect the endangered mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar retail stores that have supported the hobby for decades by enforcing a policy that would limit deep discounting by online retailers. The sheer thought of having to pay $3-4 more for a board game sent many into fits of absolute lunacy and I’m sure there was at least one suicide. Of course, online boardgaming wisdom tells us that dirty ol’ Mayfair doesn’t produce any games worth playing anyway- the entire SETTLERS OF CATAN series for example. But this one is a tie, because opening the mold-encrusted copies of Z-Man Games’ otherwise pretty good DUEL IN THE DARK made me really kind of scared, like I should call someone to have the game abated or something. It smelled like a combination of death, Waffle House, and China.

Biggest Jumped-Up Piece of Shit That I Played All Year

COLESSEUM


Good gravy, Days of Wonder scores again in another category they ought not be trying to win. COLESSEUM was pretty close to the worst game I played all year, a completely enervating exercise in all the worst excesses (if you can call them that) of European board game design. Now, I do have to say that this game is freaking beautiful when it’s laid out and the production is just fantastic. I was genuinely excited to play it because I liked the theme (you’re show promoters in Ancient Rome) and I thought the mechanics sounded familiar but they might be fun with the right setting. So what you get is nothing more than GERMAN AUCTION GAME TEMPLATE B with a bunch of bells and whistles. Call ‘em wheezes and grunts, because this dog isn’t fit for show. Days of Wonder’s strategy of making games so pretty that no one realizes how shallow and boring they are hits the jackpot once again- or did it? Has anyone in the world played this game since September?

The Bloody Listern Knife for the Best 2007 Family Game About Eviscerating Hookers

MR. JACK

Nothing says family fun like a game with cutie-pie artwork about Jack The Ripper- but you throw cocaine addict Sherlock Holmes into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for wackiness! So while Holmes is doped up over by the wrong street lamp, Saucy Jack turns another victim inside out. “Pretty sneaky, sis!” MR. JACK won this one by default, but rumor has it that at least five other Eurogamer designers are rushing to design their own Ripper games using mechanics such as blind bidding, card drafting, and role selection to recreate in an extremely abstract fashion the events of 1888.

The Mother Theresa Blue Veil Chastity Prize for the Game with the Tightest Box

DUST


Last year’s blowout winner was of course MISSION: RED PLANET which caused much consternation among quick-to-shoot, angry BGGers who demand smooth opening, easy-access boxes that don’t even require a glass of wine to pry apart. This year, DUST, a really cool game that is getting almost no publicity whatsoever rather than the “World Map=RISK” notices takes the prize. Using carefully calibrated scientific equipment designed in response to the MRP Box Crisis of ’06, I gauged that it took me nearly 200 PSI of force to remove the box and it required 4.3 seconds. Somebody page Randy Cox and get him to come up with a statistics table so we can accurately track this growing problem. Note to board game publishers- please continue to make those sticky, slick boxes with bottoms slightly larger than the tops. I love that.

Board Gaming Event of the Year

THE REVENGE OF THE SON OF THE BRIDE OF THE HOUSE OF BILLY AND MIKE CON ’07: THE REVENGE IN 3D

Why so sad? You didn’t get invited? Tough shit. You missed out, and I’m not even going to tell you what games we played because it’s MEMBERS ONLY, thank you very much. You’ve got to go on BGG and rate MILCH UND GHERKIN through the roof and continually kiss my ass online and in blogposts, podcasts, and to the high heavens in order to get an invitation. Next year, we’ll be joined by none other than STEVE WEEKS.

BEST TRICK PLAYED ON EUROGAMERS

Mac Gerdt’s “Rondel” System


Ho ho! Including F:AT whipping boy HAMBURGUM, that’s score _three_ for Mr. Gerdts! Whodathunk that simply taking the arrow off a spinner and letting folks choose to spend a couple of ducats or whatever to pick the spot they want would turn out to be such a beloved and “innovative” mechanic? I’m convinced that Mac secretly just wanted to get a bunch of stick-in-the-mud snobs like Clearclaw to play games with spinners.

Most Softball Board Game Review by Someone regarded as and Authority on the Subject

CUBA” by GREG SCHLOESSER

If there’s anything people like Rick Thornquist (R.I.P.?), Tom Vasel, and Greg Schloesser have brought to the field of board game criticism and evaluation it’s the amazing ability to generate not only repeatable, soft-touch platitudes but also the ability to say absolutely nothing interesting about a game whatsoever in the space of a review. Mr. Schloesser has made an art of the confusingly noncommittal review, and his review of CUBA (really just a précis of the rules with a vague “it was OK” sort of statement) had me wondering if “Greg Schloesser” is really a codename for a piece of boardgame review-generating software. Here’s an example of the hard-hitting, cut-to-the-quick insight this titan of boardgaming discourse offers us:

“Whether one needs another game of that breed in their collection is a matter of choice that some will answer in the affirmative, while others will decline. For now, I fall on the “affirmative” side of this question.”

Wow.

The Jimmy Carter Commemorative Peanut Cup for Pan-Euro/Ameritrash Friendship Outreach and Understanding

MR. SKELETOR

From his stunning performance as an Australian on Steve Week’s ULTIMATE PODCAST to his willingness to share intimate details of his sex life with doomed pop debutante Britney Spears, no one did more to promote the healing of wounds this accursed civil war has caused between Ameritrash fans and Eurosnoots and like a boardgaming Martin Luther King, Jr. “The Man” keeps trying to shut him down through a rotating series of bans from the Leading Board Game Site. Much like the famous song by Chumbawamba, he gets banned, but he gets on again. Mr. Skeletor’s efforts have helped many gamers weed out the cool Eurogamers (like Chappy) and the wankers (like Drew) and his unwavering commitment to being a skull-faced antagonist of cartoonishly sensitive post-teenage males is truly remarkable.

The Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in the Area of Fun Murdering

JC “CLEARCLAW” LAWRENCE

This is a very special award folks. It’s the first time I’ve handed out a Lifetime Achievment Award but I think this special someone deserves not only the award for Excellence in the Area of Fun Murdering but heretofore this award will be officially called “The Clearclaw”. JC Lawrence, or “Clearclaw” as he’s known the boardgaming world has taken funmurdering to entirely new heights- from his faux-academic prosletyzing to his bizarro-world insistence on playing games like EL GRANDE without the tower and leaving Christmas presents unwrapped to avoid unexpected drama and surprise. Games to this man are just mathematical equations transferred to cardboard, he hates movies, and his moving narrative of a game of THROUGH THE DESERT showed the world that stories don’t have to be any fun whatsoever. He’s the Charlie Manson and Adolf Hitler of fun murdering. Of course, since these awards are fun, I’m sure he’ll decline to accept it.

The Robert Martin Memorial Award for F:ATtie of the Year

TIE- TOM HANCOCK/BRADY SEVERN


Folks, I gotta tell you…the stuff Tom and Brady are doing for F:AT is just fucking amazing. I mean, it is literally the best boardgame writing I’ve ever read and it really has set the bar unrealistically high for the rest of us. Who can forget that amazing roundtable discussion Tom had with Reiner Knizia, Rudiger Dorn, and Wolfgang Kramer where Knizia broke down in tears over the admission that he really does just pull themes out of his ass and Dorn wound up punching Kramer in the stomach after the latter called the former a “god damned copycat”. Brady’s behind-the-scenes expose on how German games are being used to distribute subliminal neofascist messages of compliance and conformity was truly shocking and I really can’t believe that child labor is still being used to hand-paint those boards. It’s really too bad that most of you can’t read these articles because you haven’t accrued enough F:ATbucks to gain access to the members-only EXCLUSIVE areas of the site. Remember this next time we have a supporter drive.

BEST USE OF THE WORD “FUCK” IN A RULEBOOK

NEUROSHIMA HEX


I’m sure the milquetoasts were “concerned” when they cracked open the rulebook to one of the sleeper Euro hits of 2007- the pretty good Polish game NEUROSHIMA HEX. Here’s a few excerpts from this R-rated masterpiece:

“…Screams and howls of the wounded mixed with overwhelming roar of cannons were the Jingle Bells of 2052. Fuck Christmas.”

“Motherfucker was blasting off full auto like a machine gun, punching holes with the massive cannons. Was it really happening? Was that thing real?” When you’re fucked, you’d believe in the weirdest shit. And that was weird shit.”

“But I was alive, and no fucking robot was going to get me now.”

Funny thing is, I’ve never seen anyone else comment on it…and remembering the scandal last year where PARTHENON showed Poseidon’s penis on one of the most famous statues of the Classical era, I’m kind of surprised.

And now…the 2007 Trashie Award for the Best Game of the Year

AGRICOLA!

I haven’t played it, but man, it must be great, right? I figured selecting AGRICOLA would be the best for the community and since it has such a high rating on BGG it’s obviously good. It’s the best game since sliced bread, I’m told, and I think you even get to slice bread in the game. I’ll be sending a stack of 2007 Trashies stickers to Hanno to label future editions of the game featuring the slogan “It’s dying-while-eating-shit good. Tell your ma!”

That’s it for 2007- barring Armageddon we’ll do it again in 2008!

92 comments:

ubarose said...

I am laughing so hard I can't see straight to type a response. Thank you.

Jeffrey said...

Spot on with the lifetime achievement award. Clearclaw serves as a valuable resources: he gets his own GeekBuddy category so I can tell for sure whether I will hate a game (because he rates it highly), and I can always count on his game forum posts for interesting variants of games to whip out when playing games with people who hate fun.

vandemonium said...

*sniff* *sniff* no honorable mention for Eurogamers Gone Wild? The Prank that was so evil it ended up in Wikipedia? >sob< I thought for sure the great Agricola prank of 07 should have counted for *something* *somewhere* to *someone* or not.

I am hurt Michael. I am going to take some time off from visiting this site, try and regain my composure.

vandemonium said...

Ok, I'm over it now. Carry on!

Michael Barnes said...

That was a prank?

Dan Corban said...

Even as a die-hard eurogamer who visits BGG many times a day, I fully agree with everything in this post. The comments about JC and Agricola in particular are the sad truth.

dan daly said...

What's with the Hordak pic? Overisght or intentional slight? Hmmmmmm

Max said...

Dude....Skeletor and Hordak are NOT the same.

I demand an edit and a public apology!

Hancock.Tom said...

Glad to see I'm finally getting some fucking recognition over here, especially after I quit my job and divorced my wife to spend more time writing the site's "premium" content.

Michael Barnes said...

Hey Tom- any progress on that "Essen- Is it a Cover-up for American Sex Tourism?" piece?

Re: Skeletor's pic- every time I post it, it comes out as Hordak. Weird.

MWChapel said...

Everything seems to be covered(JC is spot on). And I endorse this list. :)

Whats a "Hordak"?

Michael Barnes said...

Kinda like a Meeple but it hates everybody.

Joe Belanger said...

Standing O

Not that one. THAT one...

hacksword said...

Greg Schloesser has harsh words for Agricola: link

Juniper said...

I posted a long and self-indulgent review of 2007 on
my seldom-used blog
.

Old Dwarf said...

Oh God...or Barnes...
As A BattleLore & Dust owner
that just hit so on target.

Michael Barnes said...

Holy fucking shit. If that AGRICOLA piece by the Schloessinator was a review (which he claims it isn't, so I'm going with that) there'd have to be a recount on that award.

That is the most wishy-washy thing I've ever read in my life. Grow some balls, Greg! Take a damn stand if you don't like the game!

Frank Branham said...

Actually, it sounds like Greg is kinda of saying that he isn't bright enough to play Agricola.

(Actually, Greg seems to prefer games where he has a firm grasp of strategy within a couple of turns. Agricola kind of forces you to just make it up as you go along. The odd thing with Agricola is that it is the game system itself screwing with you. )

StephenAvery said...

What??? No award for best tanktop worn during a boardgame!? I am totally offended. This blog sucks...

I'm going off to play Factory Fun and tell everyone what a bunch of jerks you guys are.

Stephen"trashiest"Avery

P.S. Collesseum is going to make a big comeback. You'll see. You'll all see !! Then you'll be fucking sorry...

Southernman said...

Thanks for the New Year treat Mike - excellent read, and I think the positive posts from all over the AT/Euro spectrum shows gamers understand the difference between good & crap no matter what is in the box .... either that or you all are still pissed (kiwi translation - drunk) from a few hard nights.

I look forward to the upcoming year in this community.

PS We need a shot of some of Steve 'PoorLoser' Avery's tanktops before he can ask for star status.

Juniper said...

Steve's tank tops.

Mike said...

The “At Least It Ain’t Rush” Award for Best Board Game Soundtrack

If you want to keep glorifying that 3-chord, trash-can-banging, rage-filled noise made by social malcontents that you call "punk music", go ahead, but leave Rush out of it...

Michael Barnes said...

Rush sucks. Rush is music for high school bandgeeks made by a Canadian man that looks and sounds like an old lady, a human metronome, and some other guy. "Tom Sawyer" may be the worst song I've ever heard in my life next to "Escape: The Pina Colada Song" or "Saturday in the Park".

And it stands to follow that with their studio wankery, high school bandgeek fanbase, lack of engaging songwriting, and sub-Neu! noodlings that Radiohead is the new Rush.

Back to Rock n' Roll High School with you, Mike!

Juniper said...

I dunno. Looks like an Ameritrash game board to me.

simon said...

I rate this article a 10 (ten).

Thumb up.

;p

Schweig! said...

Excellent article!

mtlawson said...

"Tom Sawyer" may be the worst song I've ever heard in my life next to "Escape: The Pina Colada Song" or "Saturday in the Park".


You obviously have never heard the collective works of The Carpenters. Or England Dan and John Ford Coley. Or "MacArthur's Park."

Geddy and the boys want to have a word with you backstage, Barnes.

--Mike L.

Glen said...

"Tom Sawyer" may be the worst song I've ever heard in my life next to "Escape: The Pina Colada Song" or "Saturday in the Park".

Hey, I like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain. Back off, chum.

Mr Skeletor said...

What an awesome article to end the blogg on!

I don't mind the LNOE soundtrack. No way did it add $5-$10 to the price! At least Flying Frog are trying somethign different.

vandemonium said...


Mr Skeletor said...

What an awesome article to end the blogg on!


Huh? Did I miss something??

Mr Skeletor said...

The blogg is comming to an end. I was going to post something to finish up with but this article was so much fun I think it makes a more fitting end.

Ryan Walberg said...

I don't get it... you guys started this blog because you were sick of BGGers ragging on your style of fun, and yet here you are, ragging on J C Lawrence's style of fun? What makes your case special?

vialiy said...

JC is forbidden by law to have fun.

Mr Skeletor said...

I don't get it... you guys started this blog because you were sick of BGGers ragging on your style of fun, and yet here you are, ragging on J C Lawrence's style of fun? What makes your case special?

We have bigger cocks.

Ken B. said...

We can't rag on Clearclaw's "style of fun" because he self-admittedly doesn't have any. I still think he's just some dude with a dictionary nearby who's just been ragging an entire forum community for years. No one who uses the now legendary phrase "manipulation of ambiguity" can be playing it straight. No way, no how.


Great review, Mike. Hilarious shit.


Yes, you did read Skelly's words correctly...but not like you think you did. More to come.

Ken B. said...

Oh, and hells yes does Rush suck. First time I heard "Tom Sawyer" all I could think was, "Is that a dude? A chick? An elf?"

I remember playing YYZ on Guitar Hero 2 and thinking, "Hmm. Rush isn't so bad." Then I realized that was because the song was an instrumental.

Kevin Heckman said...

I'm an admitted Johnny-come-lately, but Clearclaw jumped the shark for me when he went on in a thread about how he likes the taste of beer but absolutely can't stand getting a buzz to any degree whatsoever. It made me wonder if, when he starts feeling tired, he immediately sprints to bed/sleep at maximum speed, so as not to experience even the slightest drop in the functioning of his Mighty Brain.

MrSel said...

JC is forbidden by law to have fun.

Good thing is, the 2007 Revelation dawned on us all : Games are NOT supposed to be fun.

DogMatix said...

I've often wondered if Clearclaw was actually a single human or some sort of atrocious self-referential Bay Area performance art collective attempting to demonstrate some sort of bad PoMo "discourse" on the interstection of man and machine and its impact on petit-bourgeoisie notion of "fun" and "games."

Then I read his 4-page discourse chastising the original poster about how not playing any game by the rules "as they are written" is simply "not playing the game; but playing some other game that is not the game listed on the box." This is, of course, not to be done! He then ended that lengthy diatribe with a series of "unpublished variants" [not to be confused with house rules, the subject of the original post, of course] that he "insists must be played to ensure his participation" to eliminate all hidden elements of games as he should be able to track all information from all players at all times.

This ridiculous logical inconsistency in a single thread led me to believe that, he is, indeed, 1 man, and, as a bonus, both a narcissist and an abject hand-job.

So, bravo, for that award.

And, personally, I'm looking forward to Agricola--I've never had the opportunity to play a sharecropping sim before, so the experience should be worth the price of admission. I'm sure with a few rule tweaks, I could easily retheme the game in early 20th-century Appalachia ["daddy's toasted on 'shine again; lose 2 turns while retrieving him from the county drunk tank"] and make a fortune on the BGG marketplace. Might even earn myself one of those coveted Game Designer badges for it.

Thanks for the laugh Barnes.

Aarontu said...

This article is the greatest thing I have read, experienced and/or eaten all year, so far. The bit about Clearclaw is spot on. The whole thing is awesome. Great job!

Michael Barnes said...

My favorite Clearclaw moment was recently when someone posted something about what they didn't like about CDWGs...JC butted in with some vague statement about how he didn't like counting cards or having limited decisions based on cards. Then someone knowingly responded, asking him to note which CDWGs he had played to arrive at that conclusion. He did not answer.

I believe that synth lick from "Tom Sawyer" has been playing infinitely since its creation. The version we hear on the record or on the radio is the "finite" cut.

The blog will be ending soon...but 2008 will be the Year of Fortress: Ameritrash. Watch this space.

Juniper said...

Yes, you did read Skelly's words correctly...but not like you think you did.

You're saying that you don't have bigger cocks than Clearclaw, after all?

Juniper said...

You're saying that you don't have bigger cocks than Clearclaw, after all?

And that's nothing to be ashamed of, BTW. I've heard that Clearclaw's penis is huge, and that it's been autographed by Martin Wallace.

Mikoyan said...

The blog is ending? Is it going to be replaced by something else?

Michael Barnes said...

Yes. GABBO is coming. Tell everyone.

Juniper said...

The blog is ending? Is it going to be replaced by something else?

I've heard a rumor that they're going to change it to Fortress: Scrapbooking

MWChapel said...

So you all are wrapping this thing up aye? Too bad, I enjoyed all the entertaining articles. You guys enjoy your gaming experience in whatever form it takes in the future.

Screw Rush, Terry Jacks says it best..

We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song
Like the seasons have all gone..

Ken B. said...

Oh Chappy, you aren't getting away from us that easy. As we said, watch the blog for details. Soon.

But yes, this blog is ending. That is a true statement.


Anyone who's been following any of our talk since, well, forever should have a clue as to where all of this is leading.

Mikoyan said...

Clearclaw seems to embody just about everything I hate/find amusing about the BGG community. He seems to decry just about anything that forces randomness into a game especially dice. He's probably a real blast to play with.

Anyways, I've been playing wargames lately. Forgot how much fun it was to look up Rule 1.1.1.a.

Frank Branham said...

I gotta admit, I have started liking Rush a bit since Rock Band.

Tom Sawyer has great drums and bass bits. Rush still does sound a bit...restrained. Of course, I recently heard the Strangeloves original version of "I Want Candy" which is kind of amazing in a 60's fuzz-guitar and screaming vocals kind of way.

Maybe we should do Thursday at Swamp Castle instead of Mercer.

Moo,
Frank

Max said...

Clearclaw is the bastard son of Chuck Norris.

He can win a game of Trivial Pursuit with one roll of the dice, and without answering a single question... just a nod of the head, and a stroke of the beard.

He owns the greatest poker face of all-time. It helped him win the 1983 world series of poker despite him holding just a joker, a 2 of clubs, a 7 of spades, and a green number 4 from Uno and a monopoly 'get out of jail free' card.

Clearclaw doesn't sleep, he waits.

mtlawson said...

Yeesh.

You say Rush, and you pull out Tom Sawyer. Is that all? Moving Pictures isn't even their best album of that era, anyway. That's like saying The Rolling Stones suck because Dirty Work sucked, or that Alice Cooper sucked because he sold out and made a Hair Metal song "Poision".

--Mike L.

Rliyen said...

..his faux-academic prosletyzing to his bizarro-world insistence on playing games like EL GRANDE without the tower and leaving Christmas presents unwrapped to avoid unexpected drama and surprise.

What that really means is he's a lazy ass with bad memory. He wants no hidden information and that, to me, he doesn't want to go through the mental workout of keeping track of what everyone else has. Silly, really.

Rliyen said...

..his faux-academic prosletyzing to his bizarro-world insistence on playing games like EL GRANDE without the tower and leaving Christmas presents unwrapped to avoid unexpected drama and surprise.

What that really means is he's a lazy ass with bad memory. He wants no hidden information and that, to me, he doesn't want to go through the mental workout of keeping track of what everyone else has. Silly, really.

Rliyen said...

..his faux-academic prosletyzing to his bizarro-world insistence on playing games like EL GRANDE without the tower and leaving Christmas presents unwrapped to avoid unexpected drama and surprise.

What that really means is he's a lazy ass with bad memory. He wants no hidden information and that, to me, he doesn't want to go through the mental workout of keeping track of what everyone else has. Silly, really.

Ken B. said...

You said that already.

RobertB said...

Sometimes that noodling jazz crap and warmed-over Ayn Rand nonsense makes Rush a little hard to stomach. But I'm more than willing to cut them some slack because of _Caress of Steel_. Hell, you'd think that'd be in F:AT's wheelhouse on the name alone, but that whole Necromancer thing on Side 2 would have sealed the deal here.

RobertB said...

"..._should have sealed the deal here." I suck at proofreading.

Michael Barnes said...

What that really means is he's a lazy ass with bad memory.

Subtext, Ken, subtext.

Let me break down my objection to Rush like this. I like music with heart. I like music that has passion, energy, and youthful vigor. I couldn't care less about technical chops if I feel like they're just putting everything into it. Listen to the MC5, the Sonics, or the Strangeloves for example. Technically great? Nah. But by god they fucking turn it out with guts. Mark E. Smith from The Fall once said "If you can't turn it out like a garage band, then don't fucking bother". Rush is completely dispassionate. Technically, yeah, they're amazing. But it's like digging a math problem. You Rush backers probably like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani too. Ay de mi!

Frank- Yes to swamp castle. I'll bring Origins and we can do a caveman theme night. Unga bunga.

mtlawson said...

::shrug::

We'll agree to disagree on Rush.

At least you didn't compare them to Bon Jovi or Boy Bands; then there'd be some fightin' going on.

--Mike L.

mtlawson said...

Or Yngwe Malmsteen, for that matter.

--Mike L.

Jeb said...

It should be noted that whether one enjoys Le Fortress d'Ameritrash or one does not; unmistakable thoughts, feelings, and yes, emotions are stirred as one reads each post. In this most recent or articles, one could appreciate intensely the award granted to the Reviewer for whom no sentence is too long, and no polysyllabic word too effusive to utilize during the most drudgingly pedantic of reviews. Indeed, if confronted with this Reviewer physically, prick up thine ears and pay heed to the mellifluous torrent that is sure to spew forth as you move the banker and covet his fallow fields ripe for planting!

Michael Barnes said...

Agreed. To disagree. Now bring on the hordes of Mac Gerdts fans to argue about that Rondel thing.

433 said...

At least "Take Off! (to the Great White North)" from the McKenzie Brothers record is pretty good, but that's just Geddy. Neil Peart is a pretty good rock drummer, but I really don't think he holds a candle to Dave Grohl or Tim "Herb" Alexander.

Aarontu said...

"Anyone who's been following any of our talk since, well, forever should have a clue as to where all of this is leading." -Ken

F:AT has been hoarding all the nukes and will use them to either win the internet or wipe everybody out?

Michael Barnes said...

Ha ha ha! "Win the internet"...that's amazing...

GABBO is coming. GABBO is F:AT incarnate.

MWChapel said...

God bless the Rondel. So sayeth the Shepard.

Michael Barnes said...

Other games that use the "Rondel" mechanic:

LIFE
TWISTER
NUCLEAR WAR
WAR ON TERROR

Juniper said...

Uh, anything that's round is a rondel, then? Pie is a rondel mechanism? What if it has ice cream?

Michael Barnes said...

No. Pie A La Mode is like a Rondel with a pointing arrow- too much fun.

One of these days I'm going to come up with a resolution mechanic that causes you to cross reference a die roll with a spinner result on a CRT. Maybe that'll wind up in MILCH UND GHERKIN.

Aarontu said...

"Uh, anything that's round is a rondel, then? Pie is a rondel mechanism? What if it has ice cream?"

He said LIFE has a rondel mechanic, not a rondel mechanism. You may have seen the rondel mechanic last time you got your oil changed; he's the dude back by the radio who has a lateral diameter roughly equal to his hight. You can get the rondel mechanic career card without going through the college track, if that helps.

Juniper said...

My design project for 2008 will be PIE TOWER. It will feature a WALLENSTEIN cube tower mechanism, but instead of cubes, it will use pies.

kriz said...

Great article...looking forward to the new F:AT space.

The blog has been great and I commend everyone for keeping it updated and running constantly over the past year (?) or so. Always a fresh and sane view of the boardgaming world.

This comment by Juniper had me laughing:

And that's nothing to be ashamed of, BTW. I've heard that Clearclaw's penis is huge, and that it's been autographed by Martin Wallace.

Aarontu said...

"My design project for 2008 will be PIE TOWER. It will feature a WALLENSTEIN cube tower mechanism, but instead of cubes, it will use pies."

You could call it a Tasty Rondel Tower Mechanism. (TRTM)

Michael Barnes said...

And that's nothing to be ashamed of, BTW. I've heard that Clearclaw's penis is huge, and that it's been autographed by Martin Wallace.

I've also heard that it has its own custom 1989 baby blue Member's Only jacket and that JC is doing an AGE OF STEAM expansion that takes place on its surface.

Aarontu said...

Other games that use the "Rondel" mechanic:
I wonder if The Game of LIFE would get a lot of buzz if it were released in German around Essen next year? If it got hyped enough before many people could play it? I think it has a nice action selection mechanism, personally. Plus, you can have kids! How cool is that!?

RobertB said...

That rondel is sure taking a beating today. It isn't the be-all, end-all of gaming, but I think it works well in _Imperial_. Or at least as well as anything does. For me, Imperial is definitely losing some of its luster with every play.


I've also heard that it has its own custom 1989 baby blue Member's Only jacket...

That's either the best Freudian slip I've seen in a long time or you actually _did_ just win the internet. :)

Michael Barnes said...

Who said that was a slip? I figured "L'il Clearclaw" probably wants to look like its papa...

Aaron- the key to re-releasing LIFE for the Essen/BGG crowd would be to make it where they get to spend a buck to choose where the spinner lands. Beyond that, it's practically AGRICOLA.

RobertB said...

"Members Only" vs. "Member's Only". Heck, _I_ thought it was funny, anyway.

/old enough to remember the jackets the first time around

Mr Skeletor said...

Anyone who's been following any of our talk since, well, forever should have a clue as to where all of this is leading.

Fuck, why don't you and Barnes just tattoo it in neon lights on your asscheeks?

I can't have any fun without you 2 FUN MURDERERS spilling the beans.

Rliyen said...

Other games that use the "Rondel" mechanic:

LIFE
TWISTER
NUCLEAR WAR
WAR ON TERROR


THE HOBBIT (Fantasy Flight)
TANK BATTLE
KING KONG - this one was simply elegant! You spun it and moved the mighty ape by following directions set in concentric circles!

Michael Barnes said...

What are you talking about Frank? Everybody knows that this site is leading to armageddon, that's what Ken was saying. "Gabbo" is my codename for the doomsday device we've secretly planted over at BGG embedded in some hapless schmuck's post where he tells the world what board games he got for christmas. But I've said enough.

Ah...I missed that Robert...that is pretty, uh, Freudian isn't it? Too bad JC isn't here to regale us with his thoughts on Freud, as I'm sure he has several.

I think I'm going to go over and check out the new clubhouse.

Joey Knuckles said...

This post was so down and dirty that I think I caught hepatitis C. Thank goodness we got the lawsuit-proofed version.


Now tell us what you really think Michael - don't hold back this time ;)

Aarontu said...

LIFE, the exciting new game debuting at Essen this year!
An elegant and somewhat exciting game about manipulating different factors and using cards to collect the most points!

An elegant 'Rondel' mechanism is used to determine different events that happen to players, as well as where they move and how quickly they age.

The Game of LIFE's action selection mechanism allows each player a limited number of actions (1) per turn, thus reducing play time and analysis paralysis.

There is a reasonably complex (but easily understood) scoring system used to determine the winner. Points are thematically represented by American dollars and can be earned in a variety of ways, providing multiple paths to victory.

There is a strong connection between theme and the mechanics of the game, which is impressive for the elegant gameplay and mechanics involved. You feel like you're actually getting older as you play!

Players make strategic decisions throughout the game that affect their future, such as whether or not to attend college, what career they will have, and where they will live. You can even have children in the Game of LIFE!

The game starts with several important decisions the players must make on their respective turns, and then they receive a hand of cards that have different effects. From this, they must plan a strategy. Following is turn-by-turn tactical execution of the strategy that the players have devised, mainly using the elegant 'Rondel' mechanism. Tension really builds up throughout the game as different players manipulate various game features and collect points. Players' score is hidden information until the game's end, allowing everyone to at least believe that they have a chance at winning.

There are so many different cards and career choices that it may take many games before a player has had an opportunity to use them all. Career choices may include "Farmer", "Suck-up-to-the-King", "Rondel mechanic", "Rock Star", and "Murderer of Fun", though career names are thematic only and are subject to change before the game's English release.

A blind tile draw mechanism provides a way to reward players for lifetime achievements, like winning second place in a beauty contest, inventing a new kind of elegant mechanism, or becoming president of the United States. Point rewards for these achievements vary depending on different factors.

A clever, if somewhat fiddly, stock market mechanic allows players to buy and sell stock on the side, for extra points.

An elegant catch-up mechanism allows players who are behind to take points from the players in the lead after a certain amount of points have been accumulated.

Players must learn to effectively manipulate multiple factors during play, such as their cards, the "Rondel" mechanism, the stock market, and ambiguity.

The Game of LIFE is appearing to be a strong contender for Game of the Year, as many middle-aged gamers are super excited about it, giving it "10" ratings before playing it and saying that it has real staying power (the kind of power that comes with things like 'Action Selection Mechanisms' and box art featuring grumpy old men).

Mikoyan said...

Don't forget you can sell your children at the end....

This could be a tie in to Peurto Rico as they become "settlers"

Merkles Boner said...

Frank- Yes to swamp castle. I'll bring Origins and we can do a caveman theme night. Unga bunga.

"Unga bunga binga BUNG-GA!"

Which, I believe, is NOT cave-man speak, but how aborigines talk after throwing a boomerang Sheesh!

(At least, in my Looney Tunes universe, that is. Perhaps there's an alternate time line I know nothing about.)

dedindahed said...

Looking at Clearclaw's ratings, There seems to be evidence that he rates "sitting alone in the dark" a 4,
not his favourite activity, but he can be talked into it on occasion

druenkree said...

Hey great the trashies are back ....what is this Gabbo you speak of and will it be like BGG but cooler cause I think I might be banned from BGG for awile.

Why make a euro Life when you can make acooler Ameritrash Life...It would be awsome cause you could eat you kids to leval up your Strength points,Equip your car to have weapons and go faster, and have Road Warrior type battles with your opponents!

Mr Skeletor said...

What did you do?

David said...

“Whether one needs another game of that breed in their collection is a matter of choice that some will answer in the affirmative, while others will decline. For now, I fall on the “affirmative” side of this question.”

Not only is this a shining example of a noncommittal "review," but it's simply bad writing. If Schlosseinheffer were to stick to the mantra "omit needless words," he'd be left with two: "It's OK," from a pointlessly verbose discussion.

pharmacy reviews said...

I can always count on his game forum posts for interesting variants of games to whip out when playing games with people who hate fun.I'm finally getting some fucking recognition over here, especially after I quit my job and divorced my wife to spend more time writing the site's "premium" content.

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