- The BattlePlay web site posted an article about using the Plano 7771 fishing tackle box as gaming miniatures and parts storage.
- Days of Wonder has released the Memoir ’44 campaign book Vol. 2.
- Fantasy Flight Games announced the upcoming (1Q2012) Fortress America board game in which the United States must defend itself from three invading armies.
- Steve Jackson Games is giving away a Munchkin Silver Piece with all Warehouse 23 orders while supplies last.
- Z-Man Games announced the release of the board game Dungeon Petz.
- OffWorld Designs has produced a new Board Gamer T-Shirt that promotes the Creative Play Project, a non-profit organization committed to providing games to youth clubs and activity centers across the US.
- MaxMini has created a Facebook profile.
- The Dial Dude has added 15mm Corner Ruins to the product catalog.
- Wright Brothers R/C has added a laser-etched wooden British Grenadier Firing Template made of 1/8 inch thick Baltic birch plywood to their product line.
- Dwarven Forge, makers of excellent 3D gaming terrain, has posted some videos to YouTube.
- Geek Chic, the folks who make some gorgeous hardwood gaming tables, have posted information and photos of some of their new products.
- Jon Brazer Enterprises recently released PathFinder: Protected Cities of Shadowsfall, a supplement for the Pathfinder and Traveller RPGs.
- Arkham Bazaar has added an Elder Sign Holiday Ornament, The Whisperer in Darkness DVD, The Dreamer Awakes Tote Bag, and H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction to their product catalog.
- Renaissance Fashions has added The Gothic Tarot, Odin Sculpture, Leather Lace Front Bodice, and Classic Victorian Corset to their product catalog recently.
- BrickForge, which makes custom Lego-compatible products, reminds everyone that they can order gift certificates from the shop.
- The Cosplay Deviants site has posted images of some of their models in holiday garb.
- T-shirt maker Shark Robot has listed a number of new designs recently. If you enjoy humorous pop culture t-shirts you may want to check them out.
- Stylin’ Online has added a lot of new products also, including a Big Bang Theory Bazinga hoodie, Green Lantern robe, Batman robe, Superman robe, Star Trek Uhura junior robe, Wonder Woman yoga pants, Star Wars yoga pants, Doctor Who Pandorica Opens shirt, and other items featuring World of Warcraft, the Simpsons, Sesame Street, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and more.
- The Five Wits “Artistic Geekery” shop has added some new wig styles and limited edition wigs to their store.
- The Goblin Trader’s Etsy shop includes a bunch of new items, including a Dragon Eye Pocket Watch, Silver Pirate Journal, Tentacle Creature bottle, and more.
- Paradox Entertainment has announced Conan: Tower of the Elephant for the iPhone and says that the Age of Conan MMO is now free to play.
- Paradox Interactive has announced Warlock: Master of the Arcane, a new turn-based strategy game set in the fantastical land of Ardania, popularized in the Majesty franchise.
- MMORPG.com has posted information about getting into the beta for Funcom’s The Secret World and its "alternate reality game" The Secret War.
- THQ has announced a September 6, 2011, release for Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.
- Alternative Armies has released its Flintloque Starter Pack SSP04 Shilling Service – 5028 Bier & Bones for only 30 GBP. This starter set includes a rulebook, dice, miniatures, and more.
- Arcane Legions is looking for volunteers to help run demos at PAX in Seattle.
- Baccus 6mm has announced that work on Polemos S.P.Q.R., their first set of rules for the pre-gunpowder period, is nearly complete and will soon be off to the printers.
- Catalyst Game Labs recently released Historical: Reunification War, Strategic Operations, and The Wars of Reaving for the Battletech game universe.
- Dream Pod 9 announced that Scotty’s Brewhouse, home of several of their Gen Con Indy events, is selling the leftover t-shirts and mugs on their web site. The shirts are $12, mugs $8. Shipping adds $5 to the shirt price (not sure about the mug).
- Furidion Games has announced it is closing its doors.
- RedBrick Limited has announced the availability of Nations of Barsaive Volume Four in eBook and printed versions. This book offers Earthdawn gamemasters and players an in-depth look at the troll raider clans that sail Barsaive’s skies.
- SSDC is currently running a Battlelords special which provides the entire collection of Battlelords books in print and PDF versions at 20% off.
- Interaction Point Games has received The Toy Man Award of Excellence, the eChoice Award, and The Toy Man Seal of Approval for its Knock Down, Drag Out game. They also received an eChoice Award and The Toy Man Seal of Approval for Third & Long: The Football Card Game.
- Level Zero Games reports great success at Gen Con and the availability of Node, their hacker game where players compete to dominate powerful corporate servers. It’s priced at a very reasonable $18 with free shipping.
- Sirlin Games is taking pre-orders for their Puzzle Strike Bundle and Puzzle Strike Upgrade Pack.
- Star City Games is taking pre-orders for Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas Duel Decks. Their From the Vault: Legends Singles are on sale.
- Asmodee Editions has posted news about the Cyclades Expansion and Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy.
- Cheapass Games has released a free PDF of "Cheapass Money" – a set of nine bills ranging from $1 to $1,000 – suitable for gaming use.
- Cloud Kingdom Games is repeating their Gen Con 2011 special on their web site through the end of September. Purchase three of their riddle books for only $25, with free shipping in the USA.
- Drumond Park has posted videos on YouTube for their Oginov Tumbler and their television ad for The Box of Shocks.
- Gamewright has released Knock Your Blocks Off, a game that reinforces hand-eye coordination and strategic thinking, designed for two players ages 8 and above.
- Gorilla Games says that the Battlestations Huge 3D models were a big hit at Gen Con, drawing 27 people for one event and 17 for another, as well as several unscheduled events.
- Indie Boards and Cards has announced their 2011 Essen release Flash Point: Fire Rescue. It can be pre-ordered today for pickup at Essen or delivery in the US/Canada.
- Matt Worden Games has announced that Dicey Curves is now officially for sale via TheGameCrafter.com.
- Mayfair Games has released expansions for two of their most popular titles, Age of Industry and Steam.
- Replay Sports Games is running a Summer’s End Special where you can take 15% off of any one item. The special ends September 3.
- Steve Jackson Games has released Munchkin Zombies 2: Armed and Dangerous and Munchkin Conan the Barbarian Booster Pack.
- Treefrog Games has posted updated images of their Ankh-Morpork Figures, and they are taking pre-orders for the game.
- Gale Force Nine (GF9) has released an official Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master’s Mat Set which contains two vinyl game mats for staging encounters and adventures.
- Q Workshop has released two new products recently, a Black Pentagram Dice Bag and a set of Metal D6 Dice.
- Sharkrobot.com has added several new shirt designs recently, all of which are available for pre-order, including Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, Twilight, My Little Ponyta, Fluttershy, Shelly Bike, and Cowgirl.
- STL Ocarina has added some new products and placed a few on sale, including their Purple Clay Double Ocarina, 12 Hold Tenor Ocarina with bag and songbooks, Double Ocarina with a Range of Two Octaves, and an instructional DVD on how to plan an Ocarina.
- The good folks at Tshirtbordello have added some new designs recently, including Mudders Milk, Powerloader Exoframe (as in Aliens), Serenity Green Tea, and Cyrano Jones’ Tribble Farm.
- Who North America has the UFO Series "Complete Megaset" on sale on DVD for $29.95. Also on sale is a 12" radio controlled Davros, 12" Judoon Captain, an Animatronic Cyber Leader Room Guard and several other interesting Dr. Who and Sci-Fi related products.
At every convention, there seems to be a group of people who can manage to spoil what is otherwise a really pleasant game experience. I doubt that any of them do this intentionally. (If they do, we should make it a point of returning the favor.) Here’s how to recognize them.
- The Social Networker
A Social Networker is easy to spot. The Social Networker will start taking cell phone calls, text messages, and drive-by visits before the GM has finished explaining the rules. They’ll interrupt the game every few minutes to take a call from the kids, text their buddy, or discuss where they’re going for drinks later that night. They’re often the one who makes a one-hour game run 90 minutes.
- The Skunk
You don’t have to spot The Skunk. You’ll smell them long before that. This person clearly doesn’t believe in daily showering, deodorant, or general hygiene. Fortunately, these are relatively rare. Unfortunately, they’re not extinct.
- The Daydreamer
The Daydreamer’s mind isn’t on the game you’re playing. You can spot a Daydreamer by listening for phrases like "Oh, it’s my turn?" or "Wait, I’m the red one, not the blue one." The Daydreamer is the one who’ll move your pieces around and not realize it until the next turn. They can be frustrating, but are usually harmless. (If I’ve had a rough night, I’m likely to be this guy…)
- The Enforcer
The Enforcer listens intently while the rules are explained, and tries to read the rulebook quickly before the game starts. If anyone, including the GM, forgets or tries to modify the rules, The Enforcer will step in. The offending party will have to give in to The Enforcer’s demands or enlist the group to beat down The Enforcer’s will.
- The Expert
The Expert signs up for an "introduction" game with months or years of experience playing the title. As the game progresses, The Expert will regale you with stories of how different strategies allowed them to win in the past. The Expert will use superior knowledge of the game to crush the players who are just trying to figure it out. When the game is over, The Expert will often become the next kind of player… The Sore Winner.
- The Sore Winner
The Sore Winner enjoys gloating after a victory. They will tell the others around the board all the boneheaded moves they made that cost them the game. They’ll explain how their strategy was destined to win, and yours could only lose. They may even do a happy dance or pump their fist in the air. Generally, they’re only a nuisance at the end of the game.
- The Sieve
The Sieve has probably never mastered a game more complex than checkers, yet they will sit down to play Warhammer 40K or Axis and Allies. The GM will constantly be explaining the rules to them, offering strategic advice, and practically playing the game for them. If they manage to win the game, you’ll walk away feeling cheated.
- The Infector
The Infector isn’t feeling well. Their nose is running. They’re sneezing. They look like they haven’t slept for days. Worse, they sneeze into their hand – then move the pieces on the game board around with the same hand. Even if you walk away from the table without picking up the bug they’re carrying, you’re still likely to feel a bit queasy.
- The Comparator
The Comparator has played a lot of other games like this one. If another game has a nicer board, better playing pieces, a cooler box, better rulebook, neater way of handling something, or a different anything, The Comparator will tell you all about it… in detail. Repeatedly.
- The Sore Loser
Just as The Sore Winner makes it a point to explain how inferior your strategy and playing style are, the The Sore Lose blames you for his defeat. The Sore Loser lost because the dice rolled better for you, or you cheated during a critical part of the game, or your poorly executed strategy ruined their ability to execute their perfect one. The Sore Loser feels destined to win the game and cheated when they lose.
Know any other gamer types? Post a comment.
Having attended many game conventions and played many more games at them, I’ve realized that one of the most frustrating aspects of the larger conventions like Origins and Gen Con is being able to actually FIND the game I’ve signed up for. I don’t think I’ve walked away from a convention in the last 5 years without a ticket to a game I couldn’t locate. That always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and a determination never to sign up for another event run by the same person or group. I’m going to assume that this isn’t what GMs want.
With several years of convention experience under my belt, I present the following suggestions for helping players easily find your game events at a convention:
- Make your game mastering group visible, if you have one.
Rogue Judges and Red Shirt Games are two groups that do this right. When you step into the board game area, there is no mistaking where these two groups are. Rogue Judges has a huge banner in their area (see image below). Red Shirt has a large red shirt-shaped sign. If you have a game with them, it would be hard to miss where it is. I’ve had trouble finding games when the ticket says "Exhibit Hall A. John Doe Gaming" on it. If John Doe doesn’t have a sign up, or it’s not very visible, I’ll never find him. And next year I won’t be signing up for any of his games because I wasted money on a ticket to one this year.
- Make the game table easy to find.
Gen Con Indy 2011 had a great system for this. In the board game room, each table had a brightly colored plastic tablecloth on it with a number affixed to it. When you picked up an event ticket, it said "Red Table #12". Stepping into the room, you could identify the tables with a red tablecloth and head toward them. The numbers made it easy to find the specific table. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve missed at conventions because I couldn’t find the table (since the ticket only said something like "Exhibit Hall E").
- If you’re running multiple events, post your schedule prominently.
This is another area where Rogue Judges does an excellent job. In their area, they post images of the game box, the game title, and a list of times they’re running that game. If you have a really good experience at one of their games, you’re able to quickly find other games they’re running. It’s extra work to set this up, but could result in your games being more well attended.
- Have table signage in place, even when you’re not running a game.
Even though I run this web site and keep up to date on games that are being released, I still don’t recognize every game out there. I may walk by a game in progress that looks interesting. If there is a box visible, or a sign which shows the name of the game, I’ll be able to find and sign up for a future session. The image below shows a table where three different events are run, with a sign describing each event and the planned schedule.
- If you’re relocated, make it easy for players to find the new location.
Convention organizers sometimes need to relocate games at the last minute. Unfortunately, they don’t often do a good job communicating this to the players. If your game was originally scheduled to take place in one location but has been moved to another, it’s a good idea to post a sign in a prominent place that lets players know where to find you. To the extent that convention rules permit, placing a sign at the entrance to a game area you were supposed to be in can be a big help.
None of this is exactly rocket science, but it’s disappointing how many times a game is difficult or impossible to find. A few simple changes would have made the location process much easier.
If you have additional recommendations, please share them in the comments.
- 2K Games and Gearbox Software have announced the development of Borderlands 2.
- Broderbund has its Hoyle Card Games 2012, Casino Games 2012, and Puzzle and Board Games 2012 on sale. Each title is priced at $17.99.
- There is a new Sylvari video posted for Guild Wars 2.
- Matrix Games has announced the release of Field of Glory – Eternal Empire for the PC. It’s described as a faithful reproduction of Slitherine’s popular tabletop wargaming system of the same name.
- Paradox Interactive posted some details on its upcoming free-to-play Salem MMORPG. Salem sounds like it has an interesting economic mechanism and a "permanent death" feature.
- Sega has announced a pre-order incentive for their Xbox 360 game Rise of Nightmares. Players who pre-order the game will receive an exclusive Mini-Zombie that will interact with the player’s Avatar on the Xbox 360 dashboard.
- Shrapnel Games has announced plans to release Bronze as a "cardboard game".
- Square Enix has released Drawin’ Growin’ for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It’s a casual game that involves a quest to return an island kingdom’s neglected flora back to its former glory.
- Take 2 Games announced NBA 2K12.
- Tecmo Koei has posted news for Ninja Gaiden 3, Dynasty Warriors 7, and Champion Jockey on their web site.
- Celikan Jogos, a Brazilian game company, has released ECOnomia (a business themed game), Boolean (logic game), and Deterrence (superpower game). Link goes to their site in Portuguese.
- GMT Games has posted sample units for Next War: Korea, sneak peeks of Unconditional Surrender, and an FAQ for Infidel.
- Histogame will be releasing the Friedrich Anniversary Edition in October to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Frederick the Great. Pre-orders are being taken.
- The League of Augsburg has posted a gallery of images of their upcoming Horse Command and Senior Commanders miniatures to be released later this year.
- Multi-Man Publishing has issued a reprint of Guderian’s Blitzkrieg II. It’s currently available for $160.00.
- Victory Point Games has several titles ready for playtesting, including Nathan Hansen’s Battle of Armies expansion kit and a Franco-Prussian wargame.
- Wargame Vault has added several new products recently, including War Memoirs: Corporal William Dale and the Boys of Stewart Town from Triple Oak Leaf Publishing, Monarch from Radioactive Press, and Two Hour Wargames’ 5150: Star Army.
- Games Workshop has added several new products, including Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon, Garden of Morr, Vampire Counts Cairn Wrath, Vampire Counts Tomb Banshee, and White Dwarf issue 380.
- Black Orc Games has added three new products recently. First is a MiniSculpt of an Evil Dwarf. Next up is a 25mm Ying/Yang base. Last is a Zombie Bunny Mascot MiniSculpt.
- Mantic Games has a new dwarf mega-army available for pre-order.
- Privateer Press’ Ron Kruze shows off photos of a new painting table and computer desk he’s built in his home.
- RAFM Miniatures and Games has posted pictures of a set of Deep Ones miniatures for the Call of Cthulu line.
- Warlord Games has posted news of new Pike & Shotte Harquebusiers and Bolt Action Sturmtiger miniatures, as well as a re-release of Sd. Kfz 251/101.
- The Mage Wars web site proclaims their visit to Gen Con a huge success. That’s hard to argue with. Their booth was busy every time I passed by it, and the demo area in the board game room had a list of over 300 people who had signed up to try it. Not bad for a game you can’t even buy yet!
- The Shadowfist web site lists the winners of the 2011 Shadowfist events at Gen Con.
- Wizards of the Coast is looking for a Senior Business Manager – Marketing.
- Arkham Bazaar has added several new products to their catalog, including an R’Lyeh Rising woodcut t-shirt, Arkham County Coroner t-shirt, Cthulu Fish t-shirt, Cthulu fhtagn decal pack, and more.
- BrickForge has added glow-in-the-dark space marines and others.
- Cosplay Deviants has decided to proceed with its trading card game. They will begin demoing the game at Dragon*Con. The cards will picture photos of their models.
- EpicTable has started Beta 11 of their virtual RPG tabletop software.
- Gale Force Nine (GF9) has released Dungeons and Dragons maps for The Forgotten Realms and Eberron – Continent of Khorvaire. The maps are 30" x 42" and printed on vinyl, which can be marked with wet-erase markers.
- Gamer Concepts has added several humorous new t-shirts, including some with Star Wars and D&D themes.
- Jon Brazer Enterprises has made the second printing of the Book of River Nations: Complete Player’s Reference for Kingdom Building available through DriveThruRPG/RPGNow and Paizo.com.
- SharkRobot has added some new t-shirts and hoodies to their product line.
- Stylin’ Online has added new shirts to their comic book, movies, sci-fi, TV shows, cartoons, video games, and music lines.
- The Goblin Trader’s shop on Etsy lists a Gold Ankh Journal and Silver Dragon Journal to their product catalog.
- Tshirtbordello has added a Space Invaders Strike Back shirt and Women’s Lemon Grenade t-shirt to their product line.
- Blue Panther LLC has a $9.99 Knockdown Dice Tower – Value Edition product, and two new Print-On-Demand (POD) wargames: Hamel and Allenby Blitzkrieg.
- Cheese Weasel Logistics says that they’re planning to go to Gen Con a day early in 2012 to start their ConQuest program for those who arrive early. Their iPad app is coming along.
- Cryptozoic Entertainment has posted some additional computer desktop wallpaper images based on their Food Fight game.
- Dice Games.com has released the original LCR (Left Center Right) game for iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch).
- Eagle Games is taking pre-orders for BuyWord, a game of words in which players pay cash to buy letters and form words to sell at a profit.
- Evertide Games has posted updates on their Nottingham, Hellas, Drug Lords, The Thing, and other titles.
- Fantasy Flight Games is hiring for the position of Organized Play Associate.
- Grognard Simulations, Inc. is launching a coupon program that provides a discount on the price of a game.
- Mayfair Games has posted news about the WWCC or World Wide Catan Championship coming up in September 2012 in Valley Forge, PA.
- Smarts Co. has released several new boardgame titles, including CatSmarts, ClassicRockSmarts, ElvisSmarts, RedWineSmarts, and ZombieSmarts.
- Treefrog Games has posted images of some of the pieces included with the deluxe version of Ankh-Morpork, a Discworld-themed game based on the novels of Terry Pratchett.
- Zombie State Games has posted a free PDF that adds depth to Zombie State by including diplomacy elements.
Rocketship Games has released its "Damage and Control" set of printable PDF tokens for use with a variety of games. The tokens can be mounted on 25mm figure bases or chits for durability. Available sets include skulls, explosions, foot combat, and space combat. The tokens are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Itar’s Workshop has added three new terrain products: Bedroom Furniture, Rectangular Table with Chairs, and Two Wheel Cart.
Tshirtbordello first caught my attention at Origins 2011. The shirts in their collection were unique designs that didn’t resemble the others I’ve seen at conventions in the past. For example, consider the following:
To me, this was an amusing design on a couple of levels. It’s a Star Wars parody, but at the same time it’s poking fun at the Android/iOS rivalry. (It doesn’t hurt that I dislike the heavy-handed, tight-fisted control Apple places over the iOS platform.) I had to buy one.
A similar shirt combined Star Wars and Doctor Who references into a single image:
Another parodies sports and Battlestar Galactica in one design:
One shirt is sort of a statement on itself and gaming at the same time:
Tshirtbordello also does posters, mugs, glasses, and caps with various designs. For example, consider the glass below, which features artwork from the fictional Overlook Hotel where Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining went insane:
Aside from the fact that Tshirtbordello’s stuff tends to be very clever, another thing that I like about them is that their prices are more reasonable than some of the t-shirt vendors seen at conventions. For example, the glass above is $9.99. The shirts are typically priced at $14.99. The stuff is all good quality as well. My "Death Star" t-shirt has been worn and washed many times and still looks as good as the day I bought it. They use heavy-weight Gildan and Anvil 100% cotton shirts for men and American Apparel and Bella shirts for women. With exceptions based on their inventory, they offer shirts in sizes from small to 4X (larger sizes cost a few dollars more).
On the company’s web site, they routinely post specials where their products are offered at significantly reduced prices. At the time of this posting, for example, you can pick up the women’s version of my Android shirt for $9.99, a Winchester Tavern glass (Shawn of the Dead reference) for $4.99, or the South Park "Coon and Friends" t-shirt for $9.99.
Tshirtbordello is one of those sites I’ll be keeping an eye on here at Gamer Hotsheet. As they offer new specials or add interesting products to their line, I’ll be mentioning them here in the Gaming Accessories news area.
Note: I did receive a free poster from Tshirtbordello at Gen Con 2011. The editorial content of this article was NOT influenced by that gift. I really do like their products and believe that they are some of the more interesting designs I’ve seen.