Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dead Game Syndrome

The Dead Game Syndrome.

Even if you haven't named know what it is. It's that effect that occurs when your favorite game is no longer produced and supported by the manufacturer. No more updates. No more expansions. No more organized play. No more product.

The game is dead.

When this happens it seems that the most common response in many wargaming circles is to move on to another game and hope this one experiences a longer lifespan. Moreso, players tend to dump their existing books and miniatures on eBay or elsewhere despite the fact that they loved the game prior to its cancellation. At the very least they box everything up and doom it to be forgotten in the back of their closet for the rest of time.

Rackham Entertainment's AT-43 has been my main game of choice since it's debut about four years back. I love the game. The rules are good, for the most part. The fluff and universe are fantastic and the miniatures are really well done...especially for pre-painted (which was another plus for me).

Rackham has been struggling for quite a few years now and had been bought out and reformed into Rackham Entertainment complete with new investors and management. There was hope that they'd pull out of their financial and creative troubles. They were hard at work on a new edition of the AT-43 ruleset. Things were, on the surface, looking up.

Alas, 'twas not to be. A couple weeks back Rackham announced they were in liquidation. Their assets are being sold off. Rackham is dead. AT-43 is dead.

A friend of mine with whom I regularly play asked me what my plans were. He was thinking of selling his stuff. I encouraged him to hold onto to enough to play the occassional game with. I plan on keeping my Karman army and my Cogs Army Box. I still enjoy the game and there is no reason why I can't keep playing the game with the wealth of material that I already own.

But, you know, I feel it, too. Knowing that there's nothing new coming does seem to take some of the excitement out of it. But, there's still plenty of games to be played with existing product. But, when a game appears that it's player base does as well.

Take Heroclix for example. Heroclix was very popular for 5 years until Topps unceremoniously shut down Wizkids back in 2008. Gaming stores around the country that held regular Heroclix events for nearly half a decade saw those players all but disappear (or, at least, start playing another game). After NECA purchased Wizkids in 2009 they faced something of an uphill battle re-engaging previous players and developing new players. Thankfully, it seems to be working.

I would love to hear the thoughts of other gamers on this issue. Being new, The Rural Gamer still has a fairly limited readership at this point. But, I would appreciate you sharing this article in any manner you can. Share the link via email, or on Facebook. Tweet about it. Talk about at your local gaming venue. However you do it, just please come back here and comment about it.

And maybe...just maybe...reach into the back of your closet, into that old, dead game graveyard and revist an old favorite or two this week.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pragmatism Wins Out

OK. So. I changed my mind.

A little while back I wrote about choosing Wood Elves to be my first Warhammer Fantasy Battles army, and my reasons for doing so.

I had mentioned that a friend recommend I choose another army as Wood Elves had become somewhat difficult to play under the new 8th Edition rules. But, loving the theme and look of the Wood Elves, I was determined to stand my ground.

But, then I got to thinking about it and decided to go with High Elves instead. For now.

There's a darn nice starter force for High Elves available in the recently released Island of Blood boxed set. I really wanted the smaller rulebook that's only available in that set (so I wouldn't have to lug around the family bible-sized 8th Edition Hardcover rulebook!), and the templates and dice are a nice bonus. Plus, I figure, I could sell off the Skaven half of the box thereby decreasing my financial output a bit. See? Pragmatism wins out.

Plus, I heard on the World's End Radio podcast that High Elves have amongst the most plastic kits in the WHFB range, and I just prefer plastic over metal.

So, I'm keeping things all in the family by going with another Elven army at least...and plan to pick up some Wood Elves units here and there until such time as we get a new Army Book for them and I can assemble a proper force. I don't feel like too much of a turncoat. I still think the look and fluff of the High Elves is pretty pickin' cool.

But, I gotta admit, I'm intimidated as heck at painting the High Elves. The detail in those models is crazy, and it's been a long time since I painted anything. But, I guess I'll just take it slow.