Monday, 10 December 2007

Ultimate Podcast with Mr. Skeletor!

So Steve Weeks has finally gotten around to interviewing the elusive Mr. Skeletor. Hear all the fun at Steve's website: www.league-radio.com.

The F:AT bloggers are sort of like Pokemon...soon Steve will have collected 'em all. Say, Steve, any chance you could post a special wing on the league-radio website devoted to the F:AT interviews you've done? I was a blockhead and didn't save mine.

Anyway, be sure to check it out--Frank is outspoken on the web and he doesn't disappoint here. Great interview and worth a listen.

154 comments:

the*mad*gamer said...

Thanks to Mr. Skeletor for a very funny interview! The comments on Drew were very funny!

Also, I believe this is the clip of "The Fall" that Skeletor refers to in the interview. After viewing it I believe Skeletor's comments to be spot on!!! HA!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=We_mND4HpTg

Ken B. said...

Here's some responses for the podcast:


1. I didn't go "nuclear". The heavens will rain fire the day I go nuclear.


...but I did overdo it a bit. But MAN were people douchebags about the Agricola thing.


2. I would like World of Warcraft if it weren't for the endgame, which just seems busted. After an hour and a half of PVP, we were not much closer to finishing than we were when it began. Sure is pretty, though, and the customization is cool.

Mikoyan said...

Speaking of the AGricola thing, how many different threads are we going to get about ratings? I mean geeze...

Malloc said...

Steve,

well done! It was worth it just to hear him talk about Drew.

also can you link up the old podcasts to the league radio site again?

-M

Thaadd said...

Cool podcast. I like to put voices to text and the accent is not so hard to understand - I've certainly heard worse...

I think you should interview Drew. :)

the*mad*gamer said...

My accent or Mr. Skeletor's???

Malloc: I will try to get the old podcasts up soon

Thaadd said...

Skellie's accent...

Michael Barnes said...

Random notes on "Mr. Skeletor's Kwanzaa Message to the World"- fun show.

Ha ha! "Born a wanker"...

It's funny how close "Bahns" is to "banned".

Of course I gave T2R a 1 to start some shit with the beards and bellies! Honest rating? I'd give it a 2, tops.

That was awesome, calling Mark E. Smith a walking corpse- that is totally spot-on. It's funny you say that he ruins the whole band- he's fired some 50 people over the years. When I saw The Fall, he had a broken hip and was still playing. So he was in searing pain the whole time. Talk about a walking corpse. Listen, The Fall isn't for everybody, and in fact I thought they were total crap for at least 15 years. And now, MES reads the football results:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBUiPs1PxKo&feature=related

I've said it many times- Frank's biggest strength is that you know exactly where he stands on any given subject and his commitment to giving a straight, honest opinion without prejudice is practically heroic. I am, however, disappointed that he doesn't have a shrieking, wicked bad guy voice.

WORLD OF WARCRAFT rears its ugly head again...I've vowed to give it one more chance with the expansions, the dungeon component looks really interesting.

Surprised you dug PROPHECY so much, Frank...it's a good one.

For the record- Carlton Cold is made by Foster's. So don't buy this "Aussies don't drink Fosters" propaganda.

Heh...Steve blew the whistle on Frank's subpar TI3 performance...never seen so much "whinging" in my life. But Steve Avery did _not_ win the game- he was busy polishing his tanktops and couldn't play. It was Will "Living TI3 Rules Cyclopedia" Kenyon who won.

Drew has to be the next interview, Steve...but I'm sure you know that already.

RE: AGRICOLA, since Mikoyan brought it up- there was a thread over there the other day about how it was over 1960 in the rankings...if I didn't know better, I'd be amazed and think that there must be something special about it since it's a game relatively few have played, let alone seen, that has overtaken another recent very well regarded game that's sold out its first printing. But I know it's just good ol', fucked up BGG.

Mikoyan said...

1960 is the game that uses basically the same mechanic as Twilight Struggle but based on the election between Kennedy and Nixon? If so, it sounds pretty interesting.

The whole problem with the ratings is that people are trying to make something that is inherently subjective into something that is supposed to be objective. You can't do that since a 10 from one person means something different than a 10 from another. The of course you have comments like, "How could anyone give ((blank)) anything less than a 5?" I don't know...maybe a person who thinks ((blank)) is a piece of shit.

The whole banter about Agricola is funny. Whoever decided it would be fun to give 1's to the game that is being treated like it came from God itself probably didn't expect the resulting shit storm.

I don't know...call me a snob or something but I can't imagine a game about farming being all that exciting. Besides, how can I possibly improve upon "The Farming Game"?

Michael Barnes said...

Save it for now, Mik- there may be a ratings/AGRICOLA/"BGG Effect" post in the very near future. This is Frank's time to shine, we don't want him to think he bared his ass for nothing.

robertb said...

1960 is the game that uses basically the same mechanic as Twilight Struggle but based on the election between Kennedy and Nixon? If so, it sounds pretty interesting.

Yes. If you liked _Twilight Struggle_, you'll like this. You can get whipsawed by the cards a little bit, but not nearly as badly as you can with TS.

Mikoyan said...

I think the reason I like Twilight Struggle has nothing to do with the mechanic but more to do with the subject. It captures the feeling of the Cold War perfectly. although the mechanic is pretty good because it forces those hard decisions.

NeonPeon said...

That was entertaining - thanks Steve and Frank. :D

I dug the closing song about being banned.

On a side note, I thought it was funny that there's a game where Pat Robertson can muck with things - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/31846

robertb said...

@mik

There's enough historical flavor in 1960 to make it worthwhile if you're interested in the subject.

I think that 1960 is an all-around better game than Twilight Struggle. I don't dislike TS; far from it. But 1960 is more fun, with better balance, in a package with better production values.

Michael Barnes said...

I've only played once, but I'd say that 1960 isn't nearly the game TS is. Not to say that it's bad, but I think 1960 is strangely more abstract- most of the cards boil down to shifting cubes around, which is unfortunate and boring. There's a lot of neat things (like the mini-card game that is the debates) and the theme is really cool, but it's just not as complete feeling as TS is. It's more repetitive and less interesting overall. Maybe a little more accessible though.

Ted Torgerson said...

I agree with Michael Barnes about 1960. Twilight Struggle appealed to all types of gamers. The cdg mechanic appealed to wargamers. Eurogamers liked the area control aspect, and Ameritrash gamers liked the risk/reward calculations contained in the coup attempts and some of the events like Brush war or ABM treaty that could swing fortunes in the game wildly with the turn of a card or roll of the die.

I don't think 1960 has cross appeal because the randomness has been so toned down, with rest cubes compensating for weaker Ops hands and support checks replacing die rolls. It's pretty much just a Euro game with a great theme.

Good podcast except I could not understand much after Steve stopped talking and the guest came on.

mtlawson said...

I have to agree with Mike about the wicked, bad boy voice and that love him or hate him, you know exactly where Frank is on an issue. He doesn't waver at all.

--Mike L.

the*mad*gamer said...

Just a quick update:

The Skeletor Show has gone through the roof destroying the show with Tom in downloads.

At the moment, the Skeletor Podcast is rated number two with a bullet, behind the first show with Barnes.

Juniper said...

It was a fun interview. The most interesting point, for me, came when MrSkeletor said "the problem today with Euros is that ... all of the ideas have ... been done." Is he right?

Anonymous said...

While there's some nasty stuff in the 1960 event deck, you can get downright destroyed by some of the events in the TS one (Aldrich Ames anyone?). The momentum markers and the media markers open up some options for alleviating that sort of pain that TS doesn't have.

And while it's a bad word here at Fortress Ameritrash, 1960 seems a little better balanced. I've had sequences of hands that have destroyed me as the US before we got to midgame. I haven't played 1960 as often as I have TS, but all of the games I've played have been close, and wins for Nixon and Kennedy are about even.

Again, that's not to slag on TS - I think they're both great games, and I own them both.

robertb said...

^^^^

My post above. I fail at the internet.

robertb said...

The most interesting point, for me, came when MrSkeletor said "the problem today with Euros is that ... all of the ideas have ... been done." Is he right?

I'd guess not, but it's just a guess. If I knew what the next great eurogame idea was, I'd design the next great eurogame and rake in the million$. :)

There's a lot of tired old rehashed mechanics out there, but I think you're seeing some new stuff every once in a while. Look at Yspahan and its dice, or Space Dealer and the timers, for two right off the top of my head. I haven't had a chance to play Space Dealer, and I find Yspahan kind of boring, but they're definitely different. Sooner or later someone's gonna throw something new against the wall that sticks.

Mikoyan said...

Hmm....
YOu could do one on farming...

vandemonium said...


Juniper said...

It was a fun interview. The most interesting point, for me, came when MrSkeletor said "the problem today with Euros is that ... all of the ideas have ... been done." Is he right?

10 December 2007 17:15


Maybe in a sense. Much like just about every pop/rock song uses the same building blocks for their construction. But someone will come along and put things in a different or unexpected way and make it fresh again. Same thing with music or heck - any form of art/entertainment (movies, books, tv shows etc., etc.,). I expect much the same for game design. I think by in large it is true across genres as well. New spins on an existing ideas and/or a new way to employ an old worn out mechanic. A truly innovative new idea is rare, but good ideas that re-employ old ideas in new ways seems to come up more often.

Mr Skeletor said...

Internet access at work is currently fracaded so I hope this goes through.

Had a listen to it last night - love the intro song Steve! I might have to do the Australian Idol thing and get all of my friends and family to download it so I can get to number 1!

Mark E Smith must have a huge cock to score a wife like that.

If you interview Drew you better not go all soft cock on him! Drill the bastard so I can see if he has a chewy douchbag centre.

My "whinging" was really strategy Barhns, pay attention.

If weeks got off his arse and worked out how to hook up Skype we could have a big mega FAT showdown. Can you imagine it? The geek would be rocked so hard Agrocola would fall off the top 100 and break it's Spine.

I never realised I said "ya know" so much 'till I listened to that podcast. I also didn't realise we were chatting for over an hour!

Juniper said...

Look at Yspahan and its dice, or Space Dealer and the timers,

I haven't played SPACE DEALER yet, so I can't speak to it.

I'm not convinced that YSPAHAN actually does anything novel with the dice. The game wouldn't change much if a player just drew chits from a bag instead of rolling the dice. Naturally, you'd need more camel chits than green vase chits, for example, but the game designer could figure out the right distribution.

Most good dice games demand that the players make rough judgements about probability, or risk/reward tradeoffs. In YSPAHAN, the dice just determine which resources are available to be drafted. It's not much different than SAINT PETERSBURG.

Juniper said...

Much like just about every pop/rock song uses the same building blocks for their construction.

Yeah, but haven't the Knizias and the Teubers already discovered all the "Louie Louies" and "Wild Things" of the German game genre -- i.e. the designs that are so pure and elementary that they seem, in retrospect, inevitable?

Didn't the switch in terminology from "German games" to "Eurogames" signify the beginning of the genre's prog-rock era? Right now we've got BGG users getting very excited about excessively long and cluttered Euro designs like AGE OF STEAM and CAYLUS. It's like everyone silently agreed the only way to continue to make new Eurogames is to take elements of the old minimalist German games and jam as many of them together as possible. I guess the hope was that something new would emerge from the mix.

I hope that German game design finds its Jonathan Richman, its Joey Ramone, to show us that the old way of making simple, streamlined gaming confections still works. But what are the odds that German gaming still has a "Roadrunner, Roadrunner" hiding inside it?

Malloc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Barnes said...

Did anybody catch Aldie's reaction to the show?

The slamming of Drew was uncalled for.

So let's take score.

- He'll let Hanno get on his site and say pretty much anything he wants

- He'll ban some users for making "personal attacks" but not others

- Drew engages in language/discussion every bit as volatile and inflammatory as Mr. Skeletor without reproach

They protect their own, it seems. "Born a wanker" indeed.

Mikoyan said...

I'll leave the comments here too. I started to read some of the other reviews of Through the Ages. While I like Civ on the computer, I don't think I'd like it as a boardgame. It sounds like this game has all the micromanagement that the computer takes care of. I love the reviews where the reviewer loves the game and all the asskissing and then all the chastising on the reviews where the reviewer doesn't like the game. They sort of fall into the category of "I don't know how someone can rate ((blank)) a 1 or whatever".

Anyways...back to your regularly scheduled thread.

Mr Skeletor said...

Did anybody catch Aldie's reaction to the show?

The slamming of Drew was uncalled for.

So let's take score.


I think it clearly shows exactly what I was talking about on Steve's show. Inconsistency.

The fact that Aldie actually thinks Drew does nothing wrong on BGG and my comments, which I stand 100% behind, were uncalled for shows that either:
a) Aldie is really one eyed. And I mean REALLY one eyed.
b) Aldie has really lost touch with the common user, and bases his opinion on what he assumes he knows about people which can and is wrong.

I also note the fact that apart from giving me a " :( " for giving my honest opinion on Drew, he says nothing else about what I brought up in the podcast. Can't say I'm surprised, like I said he just hears the negatives and ignores the positives, and there is no reasoning with people like that.

But in the end he simply proves me right so I don't complain. I love being right.

J de said...

I don't think ALdie was responding to Frank's remarks in the podcast but to a remark by Tom Hancock "WHERE IS DREW1365?" further up (original remark probably edited away).

Probably ALdie hasn't even listened to the podcast (yet) so he can't comment (yet). It was more of a moderator like remark. Kind of. Maybe. I guess.

J de said...

I stand corrected. Since I posted, Aldie followed up with this:
"I listened to the whole show - thought it was fine, entertaining... I felt that the Drew bashing was over the top. "

Juniper said...

New rule: "butthead" is OK, but "wanker" is "over the top" and "uncalled for."

J de said...

"butthead" is OK, "wanker" is "over the top" and "uncalled for."

Two nations divided by a common language. Sigh.

Malloc said...

Look that Drew guy is a class-A cock sucker. He is as much of a troll as, Frank, Barnes or Weeks ever was.... well maybe not as big as Weeks.... but close.

I would think that if Frank Called him anything other than a wanker Drew would be a little let down.

-M

Michael Barnes said...

You know, I think that the biggest issue to come out of this is that it is high time we get something going in terms of an actual website. We've simply outgrown the Blog format.

"Politically", the time is right because there is some serious dissent at BGG- I think there's more dissatisfaction over there now then there likely ever has been. Additionally, if anything the awareness and acceptance of Ameritrash has grown far beyond what the poo-pooers who thought it was just going to be forgotten could have ever imagined- I did my weekly muckraking check over there and I noticed like three articles on the front page about it.

More significantly, regardless of Tom Vasel's attempt to discredit us by suggesting that we don't have a sizeable readership, we do and our profile has increased dramatically over the year. I think we have some of the best writers in board gaming on staff and even some in the comments here. Game discussion here is actually thought provoking, intelligent, and challenging- but above all else fun.

A real website, and not just a jumped-up forum like BGG really is, with proper formatting, articles, reviews, pictures, and so forth is something we've talked about and I think it's the best window of opportunity we've had to get something going. Robert's site was never really an AT-specific site (but it was really awesome- it's too bad he doesn't have time to complete it) but I think we've got more than enough momentum, talent, and gumption to get something started.

The IT end of it is a stumbling block...so if anybody has any kind of web development skills...wanna be a webmaster?

notbillysparkles said...

"You know, I think that the biggest issue to come out of this is that it is high time we get something going in terms of an actual website. We've simply outgrown the Blog format."

Fuckin' A!!

Now I don't know site building from my asshole, but that won't stop me from throwing a few bucks in the pot if you guys need it.

Billy Z.

Ryan Walberg said...

I'm all for flaming discussions, but attacking Drew in a format where he can't respond (at least, not at the time) is very immature. At least you can "plonk" him now instead of whining about his posts, eh?

Mikoyan said...

I don't mind BGG with the exception of some of the inconsistencies, it's a pretty good website. Although some of the aspects of it are wonky.

A website dedicated to Ameritrash would be cool though.

Dan Daly said...

I heartily endorse Michael's ambitious plan for Fortress Ameritrash expansion. Please proceed.

Juniper said...


The IT end of it is a stumbling block...so if anybody has any kind of web development skills...wanna be a webmaster?


It's important to keep in mind that BGG has been under continuous construction for 8 years, has a full time programmer, and has a budget that is financed by ad revenue and user donations. You're asking for a ton of work.

What do you imagine the website will look like when it's up and running? Can you link to some examples?

ubarose said...

The IT end of it is a stumbling block...

I disagree. Between all our contributors, we have most of the skills and talent that we need to code a website. The stumbling block is reaching consensus on a vision of what the site should be. We need a roadmap. Once we know what we want and where we want it to go, we can start developing a site. So far all I have heard is that readers want a forum, and they want the blog to be easier to navigate. That is perfectly do-able with out building some huge, work intensive, maintenance nightmare of a site.

The problem is, that once you go down a path, it is difficult to back out. As it is, we have nearly a years worth of content stuck in shity, low end "Blogger" that doesn't even let people edit their comments or post pictures. I feel like I'm slumming when ever I move from LJ over to here. On the other hand, Blogger is fairly easy to embed in a website, so it is not a total loss.

Frank Branham said...

As far as a website, I would find a company that would host Joomla for you Probably www.hostmonster.com.

Joomla is fairly extensible, and can be used for a lot of things out of the gate without any custom coding.

As to Frank's comments on Euro mechanic stagnation, that is crap. Most of the innovations in AT games are coming from the Euro side of the house.

Most of the AT innovations are better ways of keeping track of written orders using counters. The idea of using written orders hasn't really changed in decades.

Personally, I would kill to see an AT-style game that uses Space Dealer's timers. It would basically be an RTS, but that might not be a bad thing.

Malloc said...

Moving from blogger would be the death knell for F:AT. Sorry, but I do not think anyone outside of IT can fathom the amount of work required in running a website. I for one have no real desire to do that again myself, I would rather put all my free time into writing of the content.

We havn't even considered cost and how to pay for things. It's mess, blogger works, is it the best, no, but to use one of my favorite cooporate IT sayings...

Good Enough, Is.

-M

Ryan Walberg said...

I also found it to be a crock of shit that Frank's problem with Euros is that they don't innovate, yet on the other hand he's burning out on gaming. Well, if your AT games were innovating, they'd be keeping it interesting for you, wouldn't they? There's no more innovation going on in one camp or the other. An Frank is right, AT games are stealing Euro mechanics. Look at how TI3 rips off Puerto Rico's role selection.

PaulW said...

Excellent Podcast!

robertb said...

All this talk about Drew intrigued me - anyone who has the rep of being this much of an asshat, well, I want to see it. We're talking Drew1365, right? Maybe I missed it, but I pulled his forum contributions and didn't really see anything all that far out of line.

Grubsnatcher said...

You are planning to delete all your content from BGG? Why would you do much a thing? I use your content if only sometimes, such as the great flowchart for the horrible Marvel Heroes game.

Keep up the work, as people do use your shit.

StephenAvery said...

You guys have done a good job here but I think the blog format is too limited. I'd love to see a more open and malleable site. I thought Rob's idea was close to fruition..Is there still too much to be implemented?

Steve"Tanktop"Avery

ubarose said...

Frank Branham said...
As far as a website, I would find a company that would host Joomla for you Probably www.hostmonster.com.

Joomla is fairly extensible, and can be used for a lot of things out of the gate without any custom coding.



Exactly. No one builds websites from the ground up anymore. You use something like Joomla or wiki. Or you pull together several existing applications and put it in a pretty package. Even large corporations with full time web IT departments use vendor products. In addition to being relatively easy to implement and update on the fly, you can have multiple admins with different levels of authorities, and authorities over specific pages or areas of a site. However, before you decide which application(s) to use, you still need to know what you want the end product to be.

Right now I'm working on a proof of concept for using an enterprise wiki for our department's intranet, document management, and project coordination. The powers that be keep trying to convince us that Micropoops groupware, which is already in use, will do what we want. We know it won't work, because we already have a vision of what we want to do. We don't want to waste effort in putting our content into an application that doesn't have all the tools we need.

Shellhead said...

ryan wallberg said, "Look at how TI3 rips off Puerto Rico's role selection."

Ryan, Puerto Rico was published in 2002, but Citadels was published by Fantasy Flight in 2000. I think that it's okay for Fantasy Flight to re-use one of their own mechanics, but Puerto Rice shamelessly ripped off role selection from Citadels. Put that in your Euro pipe and smoke it!

Mr Zir said...

One of these days I will set aside some time to listen to all these podcasts, but today is not that day.

I agree that F:AT is due for an expansion. My only experience in the web-building business is creating a couple of basic websites. It took a lot of time, but no more than any other program I have written. Coding can easily be an intensive process, but we aren't looking to create a thumb, flags or AT Buck tipping system. The consensus so far seems to be in favor of more freedom in posting/editing ability, not gimmicks to boost your self-esteem. Whoever has the most web-building experience should start a new thread with a features/capabilities outline.

Southernman said...

Thaadd said...
Skellie's accent...


DISAPPOINTED !

He just sounds like any typical Aussie to me ..... in fact, he nearly sounds like a Kiwi - with just a bit of the Aussie twang coming thru ;-0 (shit - I'm in trouble now, can't denigrate Aussies like that).

vandemonium said...


Malloc said...

Moving from blogger would be the death knell for F:AT. Sorry, but I do not think anyone outside of IT can fathom the amount of work required in running a website. I for one have no real desire to do that again myself, I would rather put all my free time into writing of the content.

We havn't even considered cost and how to pay for things. It's mess, blogger works, is it the best, no, but to use one of my favorite cooporate IT sayings...

Good Enough, Is.

-M


I would tend to agree on this point. Although I also think, that Uba is right that the technical know-how is there. I'm a Unix admin and web admin but man, I don't want to have to mess with this shit on my own time...

I kind of see it thusly.

*whips out favorite whipping boy*
- may want to skip to moral of the story below ;)

When Gary Bettman became the Commissioner of the NHL it started the process of killing the game. He wanted the NHL to be like the NBA - he never got that it was a niche sport and wasn't going to rival the NBA or NFL. So he has done all kinds of crap to make it "better for the fans." Gutting the history of the sport - changing conference names mucking with rules etc., etc. He tried to take something that was good and instead of making it the best NHL it could be he tried to turn into something more. And (at least IMO) has failed.

Moral of the story:

I would hate to see F:AT try and be something it is not. This site is an awesome place for great articles and comments. Perhaps you could augment things here or there but it is my opinion that you should concentrate on making this the best F:AT it can be and not worry about making it more than that.

My 2cents.

J de said...

I disagree with Ubarose that all you need is a shared vision. The main problem is time and effort. Who is willing to put it in, week after week? I agree with Malloc that this costs loads of time and that your time is better spent on content than on site maintenance.

I personally would find it a waste if your energy was sucked up in maintenance, if it gave rise to mutual recriminations for not pulling respective weights and then lead to people leaving or the site falling apart entirely.

If you like discussion, convert to a forum where only the sacred few are allowed to start topics. It will allow you most features you want, like formatting, articles, reviews, pictures etc at minimum effort.

It won't be as cool as a real site. But heck, I come here for the content, not the shiny outlook.

Michael Barnes said...

What would guys think about a format similar to Boardgamenews.com? I actually really like their setup as it splits the difference between informal blog and a more structured website. I believe it would be a good median between what we have now and a larger, possibly unwieldly site.

Southernman said...

Michael Barnes said...

RE: AGRICOLA, since Mikoyan brought it up- there was a thread over there the other day about how it was over 1960 in the rankings...if I didn't know better, I'd be amazed and think that there must be something special about it since it's a game relatively few have played, let alone seen, that has overtaken another recent very well regarded game that's sold out its first printing. But I know it's just good ol', fucked up BGG.


Quick funny little story ... during/after the Agricola 'prank' I was bored and pissed off with lots of stuff so I'd thought I'd wind a few of the euro-dickheads up for a couple of days so dropped a smartarse comment in beside a '1' rating.
Anyway, within a couple of days I'd had a geekmail from Uwe (pointing out that three of my top-rated games were similar to Ag and I should try it) and one from this wanker in Germany asking me what my problem was ... after I sent of a torrent of abuse to him I checked out his ratings and he had rated two games '1' - 'Bingo' and .... '1960'.
That made my day as it gave me carte blanche to give him another choice mail.
What it was about I have no idea 'cos he has removed it since.

Michael Barnes said...

BTW- I think what's more important than changing content (which I don't want to do at all), structure, etc. is moving toward our own site with our own domain name and more freedom in terms of layout and contributions.

Something else to remember is that I don't believe anyone involved is looking to duplicate BGG or any of its functions, particularly the database. That's pointless.

Southernman said...

RE: Upgrading the Blog

Something that was mentioned in a previous thread was a Blog for Euro game discussion.

Perhaps if this Blog gets an upgrade of some sort it could include a flip-side that provides a space for similar discussion on euros and life with them.

'Fortress: Ameritrash' and 'Eurosnoot Central'.

Michael Barnes said...

I was thinking "AGRICOLA Junction".

Southernman said...

Michael Barnes said...
I was thinking "AGRICOLA Junction".


Perhaps "AGRICOLA Junction" can be a walled-off subsection where eurosnoots who think that they have the only valid opinions can be where they don't have to acknowledge the rest of the world ... or maybe it can just be where you go to take a big crap.

mtlawson said...

Moving from blogger would be the death knell for F:AT. Sorry, but I do not think anyone outside of IT can fathom the amount of work required in running a website. I for one have no real desire to do that again myself, I would rather put all my free time into writing of the content.

Yes, you don't really know the amount of work involved until you actually do it.

I'm with Malloc on this one; between a bunch of us we might have the IT experience, but in my case due to my present work I'd have issues doing something like this on the side. Others might have issues as well, particularly if it goes for profit (or the lofty goal of "break even").

The nice thing that a blog has is that it has a defined format and you don't have to drag your tail out of bed at 3:30 AM because the server went down.

--Mike L.

Southernman said...

Just finished listening to the podcast (the first podcast I have ever persevered and listened to) and yep - Frank's a typical Aussie. I'm actually suprised that Steve managed to get as many words in between Frank's as he did ;-)
But that's a typical antipodean - calls it like it is no matter who's head is on the block ... one of our best traits if you ask me.

But Kiwis swear a fuckin lot more !

Mikoyan said...

Geeze, I hate to steal your thunder, but I was looking at the ratings for Agricola last night. Most of the games have a distribution that look close to a normal distribution. Agricola has a pretty odd distribution in that it has two spikes. One on the 8 and another on the 10. So if people bitching about unnatural 1's, why aren't they bitching about the unnatural 10's? Suppose, I were a moron and was looking for a game and I saw the high rating of Agricola and bought it.

Anyways...

Hmmm...I'm tempted to rate it a 1 just because....

Mikoyan said...

Agricola - Rating 1

Comment:
Part of this sounds like a rehash of The Game of Life...Having Children. Although the children in Life aren't all that useful, except at the end when you can sell them for research or something. Another part of this sounds like the highly fun and highly recommended Farming Game.

Juniper said...

I was thinking "AGRICOLA Junction".

The MudfarmerFortress.com domain is still available.

Does anyone here have an opinion on the layout/functionality of gothamist.com (or any of the related websites, like londonist.com or torontoist.com)?

ubarose said...

Michael Barnes said...
What would guys think about a format similar to Boardgamenews.com? I actually really like their setup as it splits the difference between informal blog and a more structured website. I believe it would be a good median between what we have now and a larger, possibly unwieldly site.


That is totally do-able without anyone having to make F:AT a second job. Boardgamenews is running off ExpressionEngine, which is just a content management system like Joomla or a Wiki. Once you get one set up and create a couple templates, a content management system is really no more complicated to update and maintain than Blogger. Give me until after the holidays, and I'll come back with some low maintence, low cost options for us.

Ken B. said...

I love you, Uba. And in a totally, not threatening to either of our marriages sort of way. You rock!

Michael Barnes said...

Suppose, I were a moron and was looking for a game and I saw the high rating of Agricola and bought it.

Actually, there is a thread going on right now where some guy went through and bought a bunch of the high-ranking games (including some AT titles) and didn't like any of them. Of course, the responses ranged from "If 1500 people rate a game highly chances are you will like it" to the passive-aggressive "Game X is a good game. Maybe you should play it more." That's where the ratings issue gets sort of not-so-who-cares, I think. New folks in the hobby who haven't learned the dirty secrets of BGG yet go and do things like that.

Re: the website- I don't think it would be the end of F:AT, unless we did a full on IGN style website (yeah, right). I do think that would be a mistake as I for one would want to maintain a certain level of scrappiness and DIY values. I'm not particularly interested in high gloss bullshit.

That's why I think the Boardgamenews.com format is just right for us- it's a perfect balance of form and function. I don't like that don't let you put pictures and such in your responses, but that may be a function that Expression Engine has that they don't use.

Here's another question- would you guys be interested in donating to support such a site if we needed to put together a little capital to get hosting/software? We could sell you a commemorative brick or something with your name in Sharpie on it as a F:AT founder.

Uba sounds like she's got it under control...like she said, let's regroup on it after christmas. Good to have some momentum and ideas flowing on it!

Pat H said...

Gary Bettman is a piece of shit. You guys need a website, ask a spider?

Actually doesn't blogger offer a more complex format?

Ken B. said...

LET'S DONATE~!


Wait, was I supposed to save that for after we banned Steve Avery?

Rliyen said...

Here's another question- would you guys be interested in donating to support such a site if we needed to put together a little capital to get hosting/software? We could sell you a commemorative brick or something with your name in Sharpie on it as a F:AT founder.

Set up the Paypal account for such an auspicious purpose, and I'd do it in a heartbeat. After this past year, BGG isn't getting any more of my money as a Patron.

J de said...

I'd donate. I'd donate more if some part of the site were named after me. Like 'J de's Home of the Eurosnoot' or 'J de's Complaints Section'.

Michael Barnes said...

Damn it Ken, you jumped the gun again. Avery was going to start prattling on about how great Czech games are, question our moral high ground, start a movement, and then you were supposed to become disheartened at the "tone and tenor" of the website. Then your rallying cry was supposed to prompt Juniper and J De to send us money so we could buy a new minivan to go fight the devil. There goes our clever ploy.

J De- what if we promised you free access to a photograph of a nude woman if you donated?

Southernman said...

Big Kahunas Idea:

Someone start a "Let's Donate" thread over at BGG ... after all we will have access to a much larger user base there ! - and it would be interesting to see how much we could collect before it was shutdown :-D

J de said...

I've never seen a nude woman before and am not sure if I would want to. Let alone pay for the privilege.

Some of my fat, smelly friends whom I play games with have seen them and they have since had this weary, unhappy looks on their faces. They seem to have lost a lot of sleep.

Mr Skeletor said...

I'm all for flaming discussions, but attacking Drew in a format where he can't respond (at least, not at the time) is very immature.

So I shouldn't have answered Steve's question? You'd be bitching if I didn't.

I re-listened to the podcast last night and was surprised about just how mild my "attack" on Drew was. I was convinced I must have been talking about fucking his mother the way some people are carrying on.

If we do have a website I think it needs to stay simple, not try and compete with BGG or whatever. Just give me a forum!

Mr Skeletor said...


Here's another question- would you guys be interested in donating to support such a site if we needed to put together a little capital to get hosting/software?


DO we really need to go down that path, how much is firing up a basic wesite really going to cost? Domain names and a bit of server space isn't that much from memory. I think it's important to keep things small rather than jump into the deep end from the start and then have it all be too big and too hard.

Also who let the sheep fucker in here?

Southernman said...

Now everyone has heard your dulcet twang, friendly trans-Tasman comments like that will never shock them again :-p

Ryan said...

You know, I guess I knew he'd been around for so long, but they just mentioned on Pardon The Interruption that Gary Bettman's 15th anniversary as NHL commissioner is today. What a fucking joke. He can't possibly screw up the league much more than he already has, so, if he hasn't been canned yet, I guess we hockey fans won't be rid of him until he retires or dies.

pat h said...

Bettman can keep a team in Nashville where no one really cares aside from some very dedicated fans, prevents solid ownership from stepping in out of fear of moving the team to Canada - but this same clown ran the Nordiques and the Jets out of town down to the States in the fashion of an over night heist. The fans woke up and the teams were gone.

Bettman is a grade A douchebag. I think he has Parkinson's though because he has serious trembles and quirks. That is just an observation I've made over the last couple of years. I don't wish that on anyone but if it means him stepping down then the sooner the better.


Website - make it happen.

vialiy said...

southernman: Boardgamenews once asked for donations on BGG, not long after having blasted them as being sooo inferior to their Elite club.

Michael: I was about to propose a BGN-style website, it's an excellent idea as long as you promise me there won't be cartoons featuring game bits.

And I'd gladly donate $$ for the Good Cause.

Michael Barnes said...

DO we really need to go down that path, how much is firing up a basic wesite really going to cost?

Just a preemptive measure to see if folks would be willing to feed and water us if need be. Hopefully the F:AT staff could all just pitch in a couple of bucks a piece and handle it- like buying a pitcher of beer or a pizza.

And agreed on keeping it simple- there's no reason for us to tangle with countless useless features that have nothing to do with boardgaming such as statistical tools, rankings, what types of cameras took which pictures (with links to buy those cameras), partnering up with a deal-a-day site, "modding" of any description, fake currency to buy GIF images, or any of that nonsense. We need articles and forums, and that's really about it. I do like the idea of having some news, game group postings, announcements, links, and so forth though. Just none of that metashit.

J De- when I was 14-15 years old, some of my best gaming buddies reported seeing nude women and suddenly they stopped gaming. So it's probably a good idea to avoid them since they make you forget that board games are the ultimate form of human interaction.

For the record- does anyone know who the first person to drop the "C-bomb" on BGG was? Was it you Frank?

pat h said...

An F:ATtie fanny pack for donations would be perfectly elegant.

Mr Skeletor said...


For the record- does anyone know who the first person to drop the "C-bomb" on BGG was? Was it you Frank?


Can't remember who it was, but it certainly wasn't me.
I actually didn't start swearing on BGG until I heard Derk do it on their Podcast.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there is a thread going on right now where some guy went through and bought a bunch of the high-ranking games (including some AT titles) and didn't like any of them. Of course, the responses ranged from "If 1500 people rate a game highly chances are you will like it" to the passive-aggressive "Game X is a good game. Maybe you should play it more." That's where the ratings issue gets sort of not-so-who-cares, I think. New folks in the hobby who haven't learned the dirty secrets of BGG yet go and do things like that.

The guy didn't say this in the thread at all. What he said was that he had bought several games based on ratings. He has now played Last Night on Earth and Thurn & Taxis, both of which he has found he doesn't care for. He now questions the wisdom of his other purchases but has yet to get them to the table and mentions, El Grande, PowerGrid, AOE III and Caylus as some of the games he now has.

Later he does state that he also read reviews and did additional research. He sounds to me like a new gamer who doesn't have the luxury of a local gaming group where he can try games and he's doing the best he can.

Yes, there are some ridiculous comments some others have made like if 1500 people have rated a game highly you'll probably like it, which is immediately rebuted. I got a laugh out of some comments about users who weight rating 30%, reviews 20%, session reports 20%, etc...when making decisions about what games to purchase!

There are also a lot of helpful comments. If he doesn't like the games he has several games that he probably will be able to trade or sell. People suggest reading reviews and session reports. People mention geekbuddies and the personalized recommendations and to use BGG to find a local group and a variety of other great tips. There are even some good tips from people who frequent F:AT.

vandemonium said...


Michael Barnes said...

What would guys think about a format similar to Boardgamenews.com? I actually really like their setup as it splits the difference between informal blog and a more structured website. I believe it would be a good median between what we have now and a larger, possibly unwieldly site.


I like this idea. I was thinking of something more exapansive at first but this feels like a doable idea.

Anonymous said...

I failed to note that the poster also that he found Memoir '44 through looking at ratings and now has it and all the expansions. An example where BGG came through for him. Maybe next he'll find Tide of Iron.

Mikoyan said...

Geeze, I hate to be a spoil sport...but what's wrong with the old fashion way? Gut feeling about a game. Granted, I've gotten burned but I've also gotten pleasantly surprised.

Ryan Walberg said...

Shellhead said:

Ryan, Puerto Rico was published in 2002, but Citadels was published by Fantasy Flight in 2000. I think that it's okay for Fantasy Flight to re-use one of their own mechanics, but Puerto Rice shamelessly ripped off role selection from Citadels. Put that in your Euro pipe and smoke it!


In the version of Citadels I played, only the player who selected the role got a benefit. What version of Citadels did you play?

steinley said...

I would love to see a website of some format...even in the simplest form.

Part of the problem with BGG is that I am unsure where a person would post a serious article about gaming. I have some thoughts on a few things that would be nice to enter some type of serious discussion.

However, it seems like you have to embed something inside a geeklist to get people to notice it...but that is a pretty hard format to write coherently in. It would be nice if there was a section that was called "Serious Shit"

wnorris said...

Good podcast. Loved the interview. Chuckled at the songs.

Although not a regular to F:AT, I offer this opinion regarding going to a normal website: keep it simple and functional. I visit BGG mainly to find games, read reviews, see pics of what the games actually look like, and read an interesting forum or two. Most of the rest of it is pretty useless and somewhat bewildering to me. No need for F:AT to take it farther than just the basics.

-- WN

Frank Branham said...

Web space has gotten really, really cheap. You are looking at $5-$10/month for an shared account that can do up to 10GB of traffic. That is almost certainly enough unless you need to go all BGG and need 3 dedicated servers.

Lots of the new cheap providers have prebuilt scripts for content management systems...Joomla is probably the most common, as it really is the most non-tech friendly. Drupal seems popular with our internet team at work as well.

Expression Engine is what we use on boardgamenews. It has a few features for classification or articles, as well as an optional forum system. It works, but is not that extensible overall. The postings I put up there are trivial to actually do. BGN just runs in a shared account--although I think Eric coughs up an perhaps $15-$20 per month.

Merkles Boner said...

Long time lurker--just thought I'd finally register to say that I'm in favor of a F:AT website.

Of course, I have no idea about the expense, etc...but there seems to be a difference of opinion among the IT types.

Juniper said...

I hope I'm not stepping on anybody's toes by doing this, but I put together a

quick website.


Hopefully, this will be useful as a first draft to focus discussion about what is wanted or needed in a permanent site.

J de said...

Looks good, Juniper. Not too fluffy.

A few questions, not to anyone in particular:

It has a blog function, but is that really how we want to call and use it? Or is it supposed to be more like a forum. That would make it easier to return to an old discussion.

Now discussions are 'left behind' when a new blog item appears. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as it prevents people from going on too long.

Is the newsfeeds feature content to be based on news from other sites, or generated on F:AT?

ps. This version much better explains the annoyed look of the sheep.

Southernman said...

Forgot to say previously that I've got some $$ from funds put aside for an annual BGG Supporter badge - I used to get one each year 'cos it was/is a good site for information/file sharing, but after this years AT Demonization and following schism they ain't going to get Jack Shit from me anymore.

simon said...

re: your new site

This is a great ideas.

I agree with Barnes, a news section and a forums section would completely suffice. But in contrast to boardgamenews I would like to see a better comments section, i.e. bigger font and maybe user management where people can keep an avatar, some profile notes and maybe a top 10 (AT games).

Of course you should have a ranking which goes like this:

1st Dune
2nd TI3
3rd Nexus Ops
4th Starcraft
...
Last Agricola

Also I don't think it would be too difficult to get FGG do some advertising on your site.

simon said...

Rats, that should be FFG in the last sentence :(

StephenAvery said...

Wow! nice work Juniper. You Rock. I like the helicopters and explosions at the top :D I'm going to explore it a bit as soon as I get a little free time.

Steve"ActionHero"Avery

Southernman said...

Juniper - that is the dogs balls - awesome !

Michael Barnes said...

God damn you again, Juniper...I'm sick of you showing everyone up here.

With some modification, that could practically be the site and I'd be happy with it.

Mikoyan said...

Why would a frigate advertise on a gaming site?

mtlawson said...

Juniper, your articles had me rolling:

Mr. Skeletor Reviews Agricola
Does Barnes Really Look Like That?

Looks great. The only thing missing is the obligatory Steve Weeks picture of a woman draped in the American Flag.

--Mike L.

ubarose said...

Juniper said...
I hope I'm not stepping on anybody's toes by doing this, but I put together a

quick website.

Hopefully, this will be useful as a first draft to focus discussion about what is wanted or needed in a permanent site.


No you are not stepping on any toes. Thanks for showing everyone what is possible with a content management system, a few hours of effort. The graphics are particularly impressive. I'm a total techie, so I'm always blown away by stuff that I suck at.

However, I don't want the discussion to get to far ahead with regards to the small details, like graphics, menu names, etc., until we choose a product. We'll lose track of all that stuff, and just have to revisit it later. I'm thinking on a different level right now, such as the ease of creating taxonomy, so articles can be cross referenced; group level authorizations; and all that other behind the scenes stuff. Most products have all the bells and whistles that front side users wants. It's the clunkiness of the admin and maintenance, performance, and extensibility that I want to dig into. As Matt and Malloc have pointed out, we all have real lives, and none of us wants F:AT to become a second job.

Also, this is Mr. Skeletor's and Mr. Weeks' moment, so to speak, and I am feeling guilty for derailing the discussion. Awesome interview, so far. I haven't been able to listen to the entire podcast yet, due to Chanukah and all, but I hope to finish listening soon.

the*mad*gamer said...

Don't feel guilty about derailing the discussion I am glad Skeletor's comment about a website on the podcast provided the spark of motivation to get a website going!!!

NeonPeon said...

That dummy site is looking good. I dig.

As far as the costs for hosting + domain name, something like a buck or two per month from all the regulars should cover it.

vandemonium said...


Juniper said...

I hope I'm not stepping on anybody's toes by doing this, but I put together a

quick website.

Hopefully, this will be useful as a first draft to focus discussion about what is wanted or needed in a permanent site.

11 December 2007 22:53

Gary Bettman to design a game... Oh juniper.... you hurt me so.

I must protest...

Awesome first draft, I agree with Michael, I think that is fantastic.

Ya know, except for the Gary Bettman thing.

*steam escaping from ears*

Van

433 said...

Well, we finally have Skelly's voice...all we need now is a photo of what he looked like before he lost his facial epidermis in "The Hordak Incident".

patrick korner said...

Re: Citadels vs. TI3

A few facts to clear up:

- Citadels was originally published by Hans im Gluck in Germany as "Ohne Furcht und Adel".

- Bruno Faidutti is on record as thanking Marcel-Andre Casasola Merkle for letting him borrow the role selection mechanic, which first showed up in Verrater, a small card game published by Adlung (another German publisher).

So yeah, TI3 ripped off a Euro game mechanic. Of course, so did PR and Citadels, which just shows that game designers don't care where the ideas come from as long as they're good.

pk

Ryan Walberg said...

The specific ripoff I was referring to was the mechanic where one player selects a role and everyone gets something out of it. Verrater didn't have that and neither did Citadels. AFAICT Puerto Rico was the first game to use it.

Ken B. said...

I think the nekkid mole rat is correct.

TI did 'improve' on the concept by requiring the "benefit to others" to have some cost. No more freeloading, and you had to choose which secondary benefits you wanted carefully.

So I don't think it lifted the concept wholesale without adding its own spin and improvement, but it was taken from PR, as CTP freely admits.

patrick korner said...

Fair 'nuff. I guess I'd thought of that as a tweak to the main mechanic of role selection, but given the effect on gameplay it probably deserves more credit than that. Whatever you call it, I think you're right that PR was the first time it showed up in a game.

bob_the_goon said...

To Ryan, re: Citadels, when I select the Warlord, you get the benefit of urban renewal, when I select the Thief, you get the feeling of charity as you help me build my city, when I select the Assassin, you get extra time to plot your next move, so others can benefit.

Michael Barnes said...

OK, so in Jur DJ's whoa-there-buddy, "Support F:AT" thread over at BGG I noticed a couple of people saying that they wouldn't support because our content somehow "belongs" over there instead of on its own. And at least one comment-maker suggests that our "egos" might get in the way of us rejoining the Hive. I can't fucking believe it.

Are people that fucking dependent on BGG that they can't bear the thought of an alternative? I swear, I think people are addicted to that place like trailer trash to meth.

Dennis Ugolini said...

OK, so in Jur DJ's whoa-there-buddy, "Support F:AT" thread over at BGG I noticed a couple of people saying that they wouldn't support because our content somehow "belongs" over there instead of on its own. And at least one comment-maker suggests that our "egos" might get in the way of us rejoining the Hive. I can't fucking believe it.

The first comment is a compliment, I believe -- people want this site's content, and deep down, they don't want to see Mommy and Daddy fight. It would be nice to be able to find good Euro and AT coverage in the same place. Not essential, but nice in a perfect world.

But the second comment has some half-truth to it, too, and opposes the first. If the articles on this blog were originally written for BGG, I don't think they would be as good; more attention would be paid to making a splash or tweaking certain users than on quality content. And the discussion would quickly dissolve into pointlessness, as all AT-related topics do over there nowadays.

I think the community is better for having both sites. It's too bad that Mom and Dad can't be in the same room together since the divorce, but they're still both family.

PS: My parents aren't divorced, and this isn't a cry for help. Just a metaphor running wild.

PPS: I haven't decided yet which site is Mommy.

Tom Vasel said...

I'm not sure why people are upset about the posting at BGG about F:AT. There's nothing wrong with talking about other board game sites - I talk about mine all the time, and no one seems to mind. So I agree with you guys there.

However, I don't know if I think that BGG is "missing out" on great articles - I've never thought all the articles should be in the same place, anyway. There are a LOT of good sites, Consimworld, BGN, etc. - all of which have a different focus than BGG. Fortress Ameritrash would simply be another good site (I assume) that met a different need.

To call it the "mother" to BGG's "father", however seems a bit reaching. I don't think ANY board game site on the net has remotely the power and influence of BGG (although I bet the About Board Games site has some influence with non-gamers). I mean, Aldie got 1000 supporters in 5 days - that's something that neither the Dice Tower, BGN, or F:AT can attain in a year, likely.

Dennis Ugolini said...

Then it's settled -- BGG is Daddy and F:AT is Mommy. Dad is a lot bigger, but we love them both all the same.

StephenAvery said...

I don't want to be Mommy or Daddy...I want to be the rat bastard mutant black sheep cousin third removed.

An that would still make me more appealing than Ken B. :D:D:D

Steve"RatBastardMutant"Avery


P.S. I'm so techinically inept. I finally found how to post on the test site but when I went to save it, I couldn't 'select a catagory.' Is this disabled?

Dennis Ugolini said...

I suppose F:AT could be Dad's mid-life crisis mistress who the kids kind of get along with because they aren't so far apart in age?

the*mad*gamer said...

Tom said..."However, I don't know if I think that BGG is "missing out" on great articles - I've never thought all the articles should be in the same place, anyway. "

I disagree with you Tom. I would like to see the articles in the same place. My concern is that the new hobbiest not be put off by the Euro bias on BGG. It is essential for the growth of the hobby that the neophytes be introduced to the proper games and not be unduly influenced by rabbid and bitter tastemakers!

On another point, Tom I appreciate you posting a link to "The Ultimate Podcast" on the Dice Tower website. I picked up a few new listeners!!!

StephenAvery said...

Wait...I thought we were the rabid bitter tastemakers...

I'm so confused.

Steve"Clueless"Avery

paulw said...

I'd say $15 to $20 per month is about right for a shared server. That's what I pay for mine on 'godaddy'.

Ken B. said...

Tom, you're all class in my book. And your words ring true.

Michael Barnes said...

Why does there _have_ to be an assumption of a relationship with BGG at all?

Look, I get it- BGG is #1. No doubt about it, it's a fact I couldn't possibly dispute or challenge. But I don't understand the thinking that anything posted here should be part of the larger BGG hegemony rather than standing on its own and representing a viable alternative.

Dennis made a good point- if this material were on BGG, it wouldn't be as good. At best, it would be lost in the endless avalanche of posts, at worst they would denigrate into the worst grades of internet jibber-jabber.

Juniper said...

P.S. I'm so techinically inept. I finally found how to post on the test site but when I went to save it, I couldn't 'select a catagory.' Is this disabled?

Yes, I did that intentionally because I didn't want the test site to start attracting content that belonged here. If you just want to post test content -- like photos of women wearing only American flags, as Mike Lawson suggested -- I'll try to enable the category thing late tonight or tomorrow.

ubarose said...

I always thought of us as the daughter that was disowned when she started dating a musician & dropped out of college to live in a van and follow The Dead.

Juniper said...

Dennis made a good point- if this material were on BGG, it wouldn't be as good. At best, it would be lost in the endless avalanche of posts, at worst they would denigrate into the worst grades of internet jibber-jabber.

All discussion on BGG ends up, ultimately, being about BGG. It's boring.

It's hard to discuss games on BGG without resorting to the use of that site's bizarre jargon. BGG reviews inevitably depend on the scores of prejudices and groundless assumptions about games that prevail there. BGG isn't just a website. It's a culture and a language. It's a specific way of looking at boardgames, and that perspective determines, to a large degree, the tastes of the BGG culture.

An example: the idea that you can categorize games according to their mechanic is one that originated with Derk. It's one of the founding principles of the site, and it's embedded in the site's genes. It's also completely silly. It means that innovative games like Knizia's TOWER OF BABEL* are dismissed as "just another area control game," while little-played games that are mechanically similar to CAYLUS can sell 750 preorders in a week or two. Whatever.

If I may misquote Marshall McLuhan: the mediocre is the message.

F:At is a different medium and a different message. I hope that, as F:At grows, a crucial aspect of that message remains "question the prevailing assumptions."

* No, TOWER OF BABEL isn't my favorite game, either, but it does offer something new, and it's definitely not another SAN MARCO. The real problem with it is that the theme is incoherent and the art is wrong.

Southernman said...

Tom, Michael, Dennis, Steve (no just kidding - not_Steve_ever) ... you guys are all talking sense and have made a similar important point.

The content here on F:AT is different to the type of content on BGG so:
1. It needs a separate site
2. There's no point trying to take it to BGG - that failed which is why F:AT is here.

None of those idiots at BGG calling for you writers to move your ideas back to BGG must have any idea of what gets written here most of the time, 'cos if they did they would realise that the resulting flame wars, red flagging, warnings/bannings would mean it would be a very short return.
And what they actually want you guys to write would probably put you to sleep.

Michael Barnes said...

BGG isn't just a website. It's a culture and a language. It's a specific way of looking at boardgames, and that perspective determines, to a large degree, the tastes of the BGG culture.

Perfectly stated, and really in those elements lies the crux of my grievance with the site.

Anonymous said...

I think Mrskeletor hurt Drew1365 feelings ,he Has'nt posted much of anything.

Michael Barnes said...

Nah, he's just building enough gumption to drop the F-bomb against Skel over there...either that or practicing his faux British accent for his interview with Weeks.

Juniper said...

Has anyone ever seen Drew1365 and Clearclaw together in the same place? Maybe there's a Clark Kent/Superman thing going on there.

Michael Barnes said...

Well, there is that mysterious photo of an 18xx game posted by Clearclaw where the faces are all obscured and all you can see is that it appears that everyone is wearing Members Only jackets and there's a calculator for every player. Maybe Drew's in that picture?

mtlawson said...

One thing to emphasize is that CSW is not part of BGG, and never will be. While there's a lot of decent wargame stuff on BGG, it's still eclipsed by CSW and some other wargame sites.

People shouldn't expect one stop shopping for everything; that's why we were taught how to research topics when we were in school.

--Mike L.

Rliyen said...

People shouldn't expect one stop shopping for everything; that's why we were taught how to research topics when we were in school.
--Mike L.


Exactly. However, try explaining that to the users over at the 'Geek.

Mr Skeletor said...

It was HINTED to me that DREW may have copped a ban or something, though I'd be very surprised if that were true.

Anyway lets get our hands off our schlongs about the outrage to the reaction of J's thread - if someone posted here about supporting BGG he would have been ripped a new asshole, so lets not claim the moral high ground for the degeneration of that thread. It really should not have been there and frankly I'm surprised it wasn't worse.

Anyway lets stop the jibber jabber and actually start having a red hot go at getting this site up. In my opinion if Jupes wants the job of webmaster or whatever he's got it, lets work out if we need anyone else, add them to our google group and move this conversation to there so we can fight it out in private.

I was going to comment with the problem of BGG being the only place for games but I think I'll write it as an article instead, thanks for starting the discussion up Dennis.

mtlawson said...

One thing that would be nice over there is something that SJG does at their forum. There's a forum that's admin only that announces who's banned and what for. Additionally, over their Avatar there's the line "Banned". That way there can be no guessing.

--Mike L.

wnorris said...

The problem is that because they have the game database, BGG can make a strong claim to be the all-inclusive boardgame site. For reasons that Juniper summarized, that claim may not be born out in practice. If a more neutral and thoughtful group were to put together as large a database teamed with a tighter run website, BGG's dominance would go down the tubes.

WN

Michael Barnes said...

Well, there have been other databases in the past...but they were pretty clinical. What BGG did was to make it a community deal and all these cutesy-pie features. Which is just fine for them, as far as I'm concerned.

But thinking about how there's really just one site for such a big hobby boggles my mind. No one in video games, music, movies, or any other hobby would be satisfied or interested in there just being one site that holds the reins on all conversation, commentary, and opinions. In fact, there would be complete hostility toward a single site if it were the central hub that all discussion revolved around. The way it is now, it's really just BGG and a couple of blogs and Boardgamenews.com off to the side. Almost complete hegemony within this established culture. And no, it clearly doesn't speak to or for everyone there regardless of how much folks want to suggest it does.

Ken B. said...

Gamespot should TOTALLY be the hub of the videogame universe. POSITIVE REVIEWS for ALL ADVERTISERS! Sign up now!


Loved the Penny Arcade comic on that whole shebang:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/29

Jur said...

F:AT fills a need that cannot be satisfied by BGG but it does not compete on the main feature, so I don't think F:AT should worry too much about justifying its existence. Water under the bridge.

Michael Barnes said...

Wow, we could change KANE & LYNCH to AGRICOLA or RACE FOR THE GALAXY and it'd be about BGG...

Robertb said...

An example: the idea that you can categorize games according to their mechanic is one that originated with Derk. It's one of the founding principles of the site, and it's embedded in the site's genes. It's also completely silly.

Throwing out the notion of classifying games based on mechanisms seems to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I can describe TI3 as a game with the following mechanisms:

- User-constructed board.
- A&A-style combat.
- Variable player powers.
- Tech-tree based unit ability improvements.
- Puerto-Rico style role selection.

And this would give you a pretty good 50,000 ft. view of what's going on in TI3. I haven't said anything about whether it was good or bad or whether or not the parts actually gel together into a good game, but I've told you enough to know whether or not there's something on that list that you absolutely love or absolutely hate. If a pizza place offers me a new Topping X on my pizza, I'm probably going to ask what it tastes like. "It's completely silly to categorize pizza toppings, you'll just have to try it and see," is not going to be an acceptable answer, because I'm going to be sorely disappointed when Topping X tastes like a combination of pineapple and anchovies.

robertb said...

What BGG did was to make it a community deal and all these cutesy-pie features. Which is just fine for them, as far as I'm concerned.

I still like BGG a lot, some of the douches posting there notwithstanding. But they've slapped so many bags on the sides of bags on the sides of their basic forum/database system that it's getting downright ridiculous.

mtlawson said...

You know, I think Juniper's got everything that's needed in a website there.

Except maybe space for a few of Steve's songs.

--Mike L.

Juniper said...

P.S. I'm so techinically inept. I finally found how to post on the test site but when I went to save it, I couldn't 'select a catagory.' Is this disabled?

OK, this is fixed. You (Steve A.) and Uba should now be able to submit content through the User Menu. I didn't give anyone else permission to submit content because nobody else has registered. :-)

Juniper said...

You know, I think Juniper's got everything that's needed in a website there.

Uba's right, though The number of free Content Management Systems floating around is mind-boggling, and I have no idea if the one that I've used (Mambo/Joomla!) is the best choice. A more thorough analysis of the site's requirements and of the available tools is important, and will be worthwhile.

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