Silver Gryphon Games to start “Beginning Gamer” feature articles

Silver Gryphon Games is going to be starting a series of articles aimed at introducing new people to the world that is gaming.

From the announcement:

Our community manager has a background in sales, marketing, customer service and social media. Recently, she decided it was time to learn more about the gaming community and all the pieces that gamers so often take for granted. If you’ve ever wanted to hook a friend, family member or significant other on gaming, this may be the way to do it. Everything from vocabulary words, shopping lists, this is gaming from the ground up, and with an unique insider perspective. Take a look, posts are made on Tuesdays

Hand Cannon Online posts update about PAX Australia

Hand Cannon Online got some passes to head to PAX Australia and has posted up some of their experiences while at the show.

From the article:

Once, Long ago, PAX stood for the Penny Arcade Expo – an enormous gaming convention – trade show – geek shindig – all mashed into one. As years went by, it became larger and larger. It packed out convention centers on first the West coast of the US, then moved to PAX east – where it packed out convention centers on the East coast. Tickets would sell out almost as soon as they were released, and so soon PAX became so large that it simply stood for itself.

Then in July 2013, PAX came to the great southern land … this is one small part of that story.

Part of my Geek Posse and I snaffled some three day passes (note – they sold out within three days of their release) and trekked south to Melbourne.

Hand Cannon Online posts an editorial about a couple Kickstarter projects they’re watching

Hand Cannon Online takes a look at a couple of Kickstarter projects in an editorial post.

From the post:

I’ve been on a Kickstarter run lately, and I’ve been fascinated at how many great projects there are out there.
So, in order to get a few of them some more exposure, and to help you spend more of your hard earned money on games, I’m to be compiling lists of projects that I find interesting, and worth funding.

Hand Cannon Online posts up their Top Ten Two-Player Games list

Hand Cannon Online has posted up an article of what they think are the Top Ten Two-Player games out there right now.

From the article:

Two-player games remain to be the brass ring in many relationships. Folks want a fun experience that fits into their busy schedule. A great many games which list ‘2-4’ players will feel as if a competitive element is missing with only two participants. Other games will even use a facsimile third player to shoehorn the game into working for just two

Play Unplugged Editorial – The Hobbit: An Expected Journey

Play Unplugged’s famous Enrico has posted up an editorial about his thoughts on Games Workshop’s The Hobbit line, as well as his thoughts on the whole Lord of the Rings line and the ups and downs of its past. It’s a pretty interesting read.

From the article:

Enrico shares his thoughts on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Games and asks an important question about their future.

Play Unplugged posts Handy Hints for the Beginning GM

Play Unplugged posted up an article that gives some handy hints for the beginning GM.
I need to get another game going at some point around here.

From the article:

Play Unplugged’s Mike Eaton offers tips for the aspiring GM. (Trust us, the Freud picture does relate to the content.)

“My day at UnPub3” editorial posted on Play Board Games

Play Board Games recently went to UnPub3 and posted about their experience there.

From the review:

Last year I had other obligations and missed Unpub2. So this year I made sure not to miss UnPub3. I got to play some fun games and meet some awesome people from the board game community.

“Top 10 Board Games I was introduced to in 2012” posted by Play Board Games

Play Board Games gives us a look back at what they thought were their 10 favorite games of 2012.

From the countdown:

2012 involved me playing a ton of games. So I thought I’d tell you what games I liked the most and know will be hitting the table in 2013. Not all these games were published in 2012, but that is when they were new to me.

Chest of Colors posts “Most Interesting Minis of Summer” list

Chest of Colors posted up their “most interesting releases of summer” list on their website.

So many interesting miniatures were released this summer that reviewing, selecting and describing them took more time than previously. But if you want to see which miniatures were caught under our reviewers’ spotlights – check the article.

Holiday Board Game Gift Guide for 2012 posted on Play Board Games

Thanksgiving is still a month away (which means it’s waaaaaaaay too early in my opinion to start worrying about the end of December)… but some of you have already started getting gifts for friends, loved-ones and fellow gamers. Well, the folks at Play Board Games have written a little guide that might help out.

From the guide:

Need some gift ideas for the gamer in your life? Check out my 2012 Holiday Gift Guide and find suggestions for all ages.

OverBoard Overblog posts an article about Kickstarter’s effect on the board game world

OverBoard Overblog posted up an article about the state of board game journalism and specifically how Kickstarter has affected how games are changing journalism. Go have a look-see.

In recent years, the board game industry has seen some massive growth; the popularity and number of board games in the United States is greater than ever before. It can be quite a task to stay informed on new releases and to gauge the quality of a game before buying it. Fortunately, board game journalists help hobbyists navigate a veritable sea of cardboard and dice, and their work continues to expand. Through articles, reviews, and podcasts, board game journalism is a powerful ally to the hobby: informing us, helping to drive the industry, and bringing us together.

Play Unplugged looking for your support

Play Unplugged is a great resource for gamers. They’ve got all sorts of reviews and articles that help out in many situations. Well, they’re looking for your support to help keep things going and to get even better.

From them to you:

Play Unplugged’s Enrico Nardini shares some ways fans of the site can help support it’s growth.

Chest of Colors reviews best and worst of March and April

Chest of Colors gives us a review of their best and worst models for the month of March and April in their latest article. and Hellspawn discuss their choices of most interesting, best, worst, sexiest, most useful, etc. releases of March and April – mostly from miniature painter’s perspective but also including some gaming elements in their compilation.

Cipher Studios Boot Camp article for Anima Tactics

Cipher Studios updates their Boot Camp series with “Change or Die #2.”

From the article:

In the last article, I talked about using and evolving your gaming toolbox to keep your game play fresh and interesting by constantly rotating tactics and techniques to keep your opponents on their toes, and to keep your forces from getting tiring.

Well, let’s face it – sometimes the toolbox just can’t stop boredom from setting in. Sometimes you need to shake up the game in a more concrete way. Sometimes you need to bite the bullet and just buy a new force!

Cipher Studios tells us how to build army lists

Cipher Studios gives us some insight into list-building theory in their Tactical View article for Anima Tactics.

From their site:

So today we are going to talk about general list construction theory and how it applies to Sameal. I’ve seen a number of different theories espoused on how to approach constructing your lists for different settings, but my favorite is the “don’t get caught with your pants down” approach. This approach is about ensuring that at least one of the lists you bring to a tournament or games day will have the tools necessary to fight each major obstacle. Basically making sure you never end up in a situation in which you go “crap, I really can’t do anything to you can I?”

Penny Arcade Report interviews Days of Wonder CEO

Penny Arcade Report talks with Days of Wonder CEO, Eric Hautemont

Ben Kuchera of the Penny Arcade Report recently interviewed Days of Wonder CEO, Eric Hautemont. The conversation focused on Ticket to Ride – both the cardboard and digital versions. The result was a wide-ranging and sometimes philosophical look at why we do what we do. Including…

why most people are afraid of new games
how DOW is in for the long haul
what matters most (hint: if the game isn’t good, nothing else matters)
how board game > digital game > to boardgame works

Historical Wargames serves up podcast #4

Historical Wargames posts up Episode #4 of their podcast.

From the website:

In this Bonus Episode, I am again joined by my trusty sidekick Mike Garner as we discuss the Strategicon-OrcCon event this past President’s Day weekend. I talk about my experience at the WAB event and a few others games I saw or jumped into and my overall impression of the event. The discussion then turns to Flames of War and several of Mike’s projects, in particular a huge terrain project for his Monte Cassino campaign. I don’t think I will be jumping into the 15mm world anytime soon, but Mike tries to convince me otherwise. This episode has a lot of FOW and we hope you enjoy the show.

The long-anticipated Wargames Illustrated issue 293 comes out

Wargames Illustrated comes out with issue 293. It’s jam-packed with all sorts of articles and information that you want to read!

From the writers themselves:

Wargames Illustrated Issue 293
The theme for this month’s issue of Wargames Illustrated is Giant Wargames. It also includes a wide range of other articles that are sure to provide inspiration for any wargamer.

Cipher Studios helps keep your toolbox full

Cipher Studios is here to help keep the games you play fresh and new with helpful hints to keep your “toolbox” full. Keep on gaming!

Yes Sergeant!

One of the worst things that can happen to a gamer is when they hit that point in their hobby-career where a favorite game becomes a tiresome bore – especially after they’ve sunk a substantial amount of time, effort, and money into learning rulebooks and painting miniatures.

This can happen for any number of reasons, but more often than not, it’s because their game has stagnated. Win or lose, the game just doesn’t have that same sexiness that it once did. The moves all feel the same, the outcomes inevitable.


The easiest solution to the problem is to add a new tool, or two, to your toolbox.

The Secret Cabal comes out with Episode 12

The Secret Cabal updates with their latest podcast

Here’s what you’re in for:

In episode #12, the gang gives you a walkthrough and review of the new Fantasy Flight re-imagining of the Tom Jolly Ameri-Trash classic, Wiz-War. Then they have a round table discussion of the pros and cons of per-fabricated and homebrew campaign settings in role playing games. And finally the founders wrap up the show with a discussion about what makes board games fun.

Warhammer, Kings of War and competition


I have been spending a fair bit of time recently thinking about Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy, Mantic Games’ Kings of War and the nature of competition. Specifically competing with a company the size of Games Workshop and what it takes for a smaller company to develop and prosper under the shadow of a behemoth like GW.

The latest iteration of the Warhammer Fantasy rules is an interesting change for Games Workshop. They appear to have looked at the deterministic, tournament driven gameplay of the 7th edition of the rules and incorporated elements from their War of the Rings game to create a far more random and chaotic game. The changes in the rules have generated a lot of debate and controversy among some competitive, tournament gamers but has also brought in many new (or returning) players to the game.

I am one of them.
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The perils of arrogance


Gamers can be a fickle bunch but they are ultimately interested in gaming and it is this desire to be able to always to play that has, I think, maintained GW in its position of prominence in the hobby. Its not difficult to find people who play 40K and Warhammer Fantasy and it is often not difficult to find their miniatures either.

Whatever its advances in technology, and lets be clear I think that GW makes the best plastic kits in the market, the one area where GW has always lagged behind has been in customer outreach and retention. Older, or longer-term, Games Workshop gamers have always complained about the lack of connection they have with the company. The perception has been, more some time now, that GW doesn’t care about customer turnover because they are constantly getting new, younger, gamers to replace them.

Whether this is true or not is irrelevant because ultimately the lack of response from GW makes this the dominant theme when discussing the company. By not contradicting it or acting to dispel the notion Games Workshop validates it and allow it to propagate until it is ultimately the “truth”.
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The Editor’s picks

One of the things that many people may not know about the TGN Editor’s Choice Awards is that I don’t vote in them any more. I like having a bit of distance from the voting process and I also find that tabulating the votes means that I have to either make sure I vote first or risk having my choices prejudiced by the standings of the products as the Jury votes. I restrict myself now to only voting in the case of a tie and thankfully for the last two years that hasn’t been required of me. That said, I still like to participate in this end of year list making as much as the next person. So what follows is my list of the top products in each of the seven categories that we used this year.
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A tale of recasting allegations


There are probably not many accusations that can damage a miniature company as much as being accused of recasting another companies products. This accusation was recently levelled at Impact! Miniatures by Italian miniature producer Gaspez Arts. Well not exactly. Fabio Gasparini from Gaspez Arts posted an allegation of wrong-doing on their website, on December 1st, without specifically naming the company (this allegation has subsequently been removed).
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I am a gaming hypocrite


Quite often on this site we come to a point in our discussions where we marvel at Games Workshop’s ability to survive despite the bewildering actions of their management and their curious pricing. Yet clearly the company is doing something right as they have managed to turn themselves around in the last few years and are once again making a profit. One can argue whether that profit is being made from fewer fans and gamers or perhaps infused by money made from IP licensing deals but GW is once again a company making money.

Games Workshop have even been, for better or worse depending on your outlook, been updating their core games with new rules and the most recent of those has been the 8th Edition of the Warhammer Fantasy rules.
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