WOTC has released 15 cards from the new Commander Legends set, which is currently scheduled for a release of Nov. 6. Our preorder price currently is $149.99 per draft booster box
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Friday, September 25, 2020
Remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from your youth? The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness RPG released in 1985, two years before the cartoon and toys swept the nation. Palladium Books was the first company to recognize the potential impact of the Turtles and was the first company to ever license the rights to them
Thursday, September 24, 2020
A number of superhero based movies, both Marvel and DC have been rescheduled, some until December of 2021
- Black Widow from November 6, 2020 to May 7, 2021
- Eternals from February 12, 2021 to November 5
- Shang-Chi from May 7 to July 9, 2021
- The King’s Man from February 26, 2021 to February 12
- Death on the Nile from October 23 to December 18
- Empty Man from December 4 to October 23
- West Side Story from December 18, 2020 to December 10, 2021
- Wonder Woman 84 from December 18, 2020 to December 10, 2021
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Now through Oct 18, buy two of these Asmodee games and get a third from the list of equal or lesser value free
Ticket to Ride
Arkham Horror 3rd Edition
Rory's Story Cubes (Box)
7 Wonders New Edition
Spot It! Classic (Box)
Dead of Winter
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
I figure now is a good time for a refresher look at the history of marketing, which is, if you make, distribute or sell a game, an activity in which you engage. Marketing itself, when you look at it as the process by which a good or service moves from the producer to the consumer, dates back to ancient times with much exploration due to seeking new trade routes or access to products. Columbus’ voyages, for example, were undertaken to find a shorter, and therefore less costly route, from Europe to southeast Asia. Printed and clay seals used to consistently identify the producer of such products as wine and olive oil were used in Mesopotamia as early as the 4th century BCE while archaeologists have found marks in Pompeii indicating Umbricius Scauras branded his own fish sauce as early as 35 CE However the term “marketing” first applied to buying and selling products during the 16th century CE while the use of the term in its modern sense first appeared in Harper’s Magazine in 1884.
Marketing can be divided into three general areas or eras: production, selling and consumer and, much like the development of study of marketing, all took place within the past century
During the production era which ran from time immemorial until about the 1930s, the focus was on production. Consumers did not have much choice, nor for that matter did producers. If you wanted to make a product, you were pretty much limited to what you had on hand. Similarly, if a customer wanted to buy something, they were generally limited to a very small or no selection. The production era can be summed up in Henry Ford’s famous phrase “You can have any color you want, as long as it’s black,” which Ford famously said in 1909. The customer had very little choice or say in what they wanted and had to take what was available
Over time the next few decades, more producers entered the market (rather like the gaming industry over the past decade) and the focus shifted from customers having to select and purchase from the products that producers have available to a more active “selling era” in which producers, instead of merely making products available to consumers, actively started selling their products to them. Although advertising and other forms of promotion existed before this period, their use quadrupled with the advent of the selling era, as producers competed with each other to get their products with no consideration as to how well the product met the consumers’ needs. The focus was on mass marketing and selling as much product as possible to as wide a group of consumers as possible.
Currently we are in the marketing or consumer era where the focus has shifted to the consumer. Marketing firms segment and target the consumer, analyzing their wants and needs in order to make products to satisfy said wants and needs. Markets are generally much smaller than in the selling era so less of a given product will sell but the producer has a much more satisfied consumer who will likely return to purchase from them again. TCGs are a great example of products produced with a marketing focus as each TCG alters its positioning slightly, so that there is not a huge cross over between Magic and Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh and Force of Will players Yes, there are some players who will play several different types of TCGs but the overwhelming number stick with their preferred game and are happy with it. That’s the power of good marketing.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
. For these, you want a game that provides a lot of fun without melting down your pocketbook. Here are some suggestions:
1. Love Letter from AEG. This is Castle Perilous Games & Books Selected Stocking Stuffer of the Season for several reasons. First, Love Letter is a lot of fun, plays quickly and offers quite a bit of replay value, especially with the number of variants that AEG has released. In addition, it boasts a great price point at $9.99 for the basic game and only $10.99 for the Batman, Hobbit and Adventure Time variants. There’s even a Letters to Santa version if you want to get really thematic. Add in that the game is attractively packaged in both boxed and clamshell versions and you have a great stocking stuffer.
2. Timeline from Asmodee. Gnome Games picked this one as its Stocking Stuffer of 2015 for the same reasons Castle Perilous Games & Books chose Love Letter (In fact, Gnome Games selected Love Letter as its Stocking Stuffer for 2013). Timeline comes packaged in an attractive tin that fits neatly into a stocking, has an equally attractive $14.99 price point and offers plenty of replayability. Add in the fact that it actually teaches a bit of history and you have an all-around great choice.
3. Fluxx from Looney Labs. At $16 to $20, Fluxx is a bit more expensive than the first two options but still comparatively cheap and comes in a wide variety of variations. You can buy Nature Fluxx, Stoner Fluxx, Star Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Batman Fluxx or even, should your tastes run that way, just plain Fluxx. The number of Fluxx games make it relatively easy to find a version that would appeal to anyone on your Secret Santa or gift exchange list. In addition, since the rules change with every game, even with every hand, Fluxx, whatever version you buy, offers immense replayability.
4. Happy Birthday from North Star Games. Though Happy Birthday doesn’t have the name recognition of North Star Games’ other games such as Evolution and Wits and Wagers, or even the other games on this list, it is an enjoyable game in its own right, which is one of the reasons it makes the list. Also, surprisingly given the size of North Star Games’ other products, Happy Birthday comes in a compact 3’ x3’ box with a nice heft to it, perfect for tucking into a stocking. Add in the extremely reasonable $12.99 price point and that fact that Happy Birthday is a game that younger children especially like to play, the age range is 6 and up and the game can handle up to 8 players, making it good for family get togethers and you have one more great stocking stuffer.
Since a number of people have picked up painting miniatures during the epidemic, we will start offering painting workshops on the last Saturday of the month. This month's workshop will be led by Syd and will run from 3 p.m to 4 p.m. this Saturday, after Teen D&D
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Zendikar Rising has risen, well at least partially. We have draft booster boxes for sale at $129.99. With each box, you get a Reliquary Tower; Orah, Skyclave Hirophant; and a Zendkiar Rising promo pack. Sorry, no single boosters available until the 25th. We also have some Pre-release kits remaining. While they last, get one draft booster and one Set booster with each kit. After the Set boosters run out, you receive 2 draft boosters. Cost is $30 for 1-3 and $25 each for 4 or more.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
In the 1990s, buoyed by the success of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, every publisher that designed a fantasy RPG decided it also needed a setting for the players to adventure in. Ergo, ICE decided to release Shadow World as a campaign setting for its Rolemaster (or as it was known back 25 years ago, Rulesmaster or Chartmaster) RPG. Eilodon City in the Sky was a city setting for Shadow World. Moderately well received and reviewed, Shadow World never gained much traction , even among Rolemaster players, who prefered to use the rules in their own games. Rather surprised to see this second edition of Eilodon come in with books in an RPG collection we purchased as we had never heard of it and it seemed to slip under the radar.
Little Wars was a publication from Tactical Studies Rules which morphed into TSR. Tactical Studies Rules started out as a publisher of wargames and wargaming supplements, especially for the Avalon Hill line of games. With the success of Dungeons and Dragons, Little Wars started including more material for that game, shift its emphasis from wargaming and ceasing publication after the sixth issue, relaunching as The Dragon #1 with the next issue.
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Scheduled for On Sale Sept 19th
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Lest you forget, there are a number of RPGs beyond D&D and many of the most popular are not published in English. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay dominated the RPG scene in Great Britain for a number of years and The Dark Eye, from what I understand, is still the most played RPG in Europe.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Arguably the most popular character to come out of Alan Moore's Watchmen, Rorschach gets his own series stating in about a month. Set in 2020, it is neither a followup to the original series nor a sequel to last year's DoomsDay Clock. If you are interested in getting a copy or a subscription to the 12 issue series, let us know.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Even back in 1982, the idea of playing a super villain intrigued people. So Task Force Games came out with the Super Villains board game in which players could take on the role of a super villain and fight for control of the city. Unique for the time, the game came with rules for both playing as a strategic/tactical boardgame and as an RPG
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Back in the 1990s, West End Games came out with a line of games based on various media properties including Necroscope, Indiana Jones (once they got the license from TSR) and Xena and Hercules. Surprisingly, the company did not use the d6 system it had developed for use with the Star Wars RPG (another license) but developed another system based on custom dice included with the game.
Unfortunately, as with most licensed properties, once the series lost steam, so did the rpg.
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Monday, September 7, 2020
We do not have any sessions of Pathfinder Society running at the store and do not know if there are any running in the area, but if you send an email to the regional coordinator at Semopfs@gmail.com, he can point you in the correct direction. There are two sessions a month running in Cape Girardeau and some running online in Southern Illinois on Rolld20
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Lots of stuff for the Lumineth Realm-Lords
Friday, September 4, 2020
Reshoring and flooring. Reshoring is simply the concept of moving production that a company offshored due to cheaper production costs, back home. The trade off between offshoring and producing products overseas and in the publisher’s home country is that of lower production costs versus the loss of sales due to the extended supply chain. Overseas production runs save costs in terms of lower materials costs, lower labor costs and greater flexibility but add costs in terms of additional shipping costs, wait time and managerial and oversight costs. A survey of manufacturers in 2015 found that 17% had already reshored production to the US while another 37% had plans in the works to do so. A number of US game publishers, including Kobold Press, Troll Lord Games, Looney Labs and Catan Studios, have never off shored production, finding that the speed with which they can print and restock product outweighs the cost savings of offshoring.
Flooring is the concept of a publisher or manufacturer which uses a distributor storing additional product on site at the distributor but retaining ownership of the product. When the distributor gets low on product, it simply moves product from the publisher’s stock to the distributor’s , taking ownership and paying the publisher. This allows the publisher to make more product than it could easily warehouse and drastically reduces out of stocks. Steve Jackson Games had a successful flooring arrangement with Alliance for several years and, when Chessex Manufacturing was located in the same building with Alliance Fort Wayne, a out of stock on dice could be rectified with a walk next door.
Thursday, September 3, 2020
. The $349 billion appropriated for the CARES act and the Paycheck Protection Plan, which was a major component of the Act, ran out after about 2 week. Of course, it did not help that several chains, such as Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Potbelly Sandwich Shop applied for loans/grants under the program and received $10 million each ($20 million in the case of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, since the corporation had two different subsidiaries apply), the maximum allowable under the PPP. Under the plan, the government considered any business employing fewer than 500 people a small business. I would wager that is 450 more than 95% of the companies in the game industry employ. With the average loan, according to the SBA, running just under $240,000 and over 1.3 million loans, at least, approved, it is no wonder the program ran out of funds so quickly. I do find it interesting that, since the CARES Act does not require the SBA to release loan/grant amounts, it has declined to do so. The only reason we know about the $10 million loans some corporations received is because they are publicly traded corporations and required by law and their charters to make that sort of information publicly available. Privately held companies and corporations are under no such requirement and have no legal obligation to do so. Several members of Congress are pushing the SBA to release the names of organizations that received CARES loans. We will see if their badgering of the SBA, which gave out more money in the past fourteen days than it had loaned out in the past 14 years, pushes the SBA to make public the names of other companies that received loans.
Meanwhile Congress is looking at putting more money into the PPP but the plan has run into an impasse with some members of Congress wanting to just appropriate more money for the PPP as it stands, while others want to add wording to a second funding proposal that targets more new funds towards more specific parts of the economy, including hospitals , state and local governments and food assistance. Until some agreement is reached, which will probably include adding the extra funds for hospitals and state and local governments, we should not expect to see any more money coming immediately from the Federal Government, unless you are someone who gets your tax refund in the form of a check, in which case you can expect to see those funds show up anywhere from early May through mid-September.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Since we have gotten some inquiries, we will be selling boxes of draft boosters for $109.99 and boxes of the new Set Boosters for $149.99 through Sept 13. We expect to see the Set Boosters allocated so, although we have two cases ordered, we have no idea how many we actually will get.
Monday, August 31, 2020
Suppressed Transmission: The First Broadcast and Suppressed Transmission The Second Broadcast (pub 2000) published by Steve Jackson Games
Both volumes of Suppressed Transmission: The First Broadcast and Suppressed Transmission The Second Broadcast were published by Steve Jackson Games back in 2000 and consist of collections of columns by Kenneth Hite, known for the RPGs, Trail of Cthulhu and Night’s Dark Agents, as well as several books for White Wolf Publishing and recently announced as the lead designer for Vampire The Masquerade 5th Edition, published in Pyramid Magazine, which had morphed at the time from a money losing glossy paged print magazine to a (theoretically) non-money losing web based magazine. The topic of the column was loosely defined as Hite rattling on about whatever he wanted to write about, just so long as it did not cover game industry news or gaming reviews. Given pretty much carte blanche to write on whatever topics he wanted, Hite eventually decided to focus on four genres- alternate history, horror, conspiracies and secret history-and how players and GMs could incorporate the topic at hand into a RPG campaign.
For example, the very 1st Transmission touches on all four, looking at an early conspiracy belief among some people that Abraham Lincoln was too good a politician and lawyer to be some backwoods nobody and that he was actually the son of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall or former Vice President John C. Calhoun. After all, Lincoln leaves no historical paper trail until he begins his legal career so all we really know about his early life is what he told the public. Similarly, the theme of secret or alternate history could take the suicide of Merriweather Lewis and ague that he was murdered because He Knew Too Much. For horror, he touches upon Edgar Allen Poe, setting a campaign in a world in which Poe’s stories were real. Finally, for alternate history in the first column, he briefly looks at what might have happened in the Napoleonic Wars if Wellington had died fighting in 1809 instead of leading the campaign that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo? How would European history have changed? Could England have found another general with Wellington’s ability? The rest of the book and the next one looks at similar questions, only in more detail in each column. After all, when was the last time you read any discussion of Paul Bunyan as an American God and other larger than life American myths?
The columns collected in each book generally focus on a particular topic, (strange)historical event or conspiracy theory, along with annotations. Anyone familiar with the X-Files television series should know about Roswell and the spaceship that allegedly crash-landed there but imagine what would could have happened if the crash landing had taken place a century or two earlier? Hite looks a six potential alternative histories that games could use in a campaign. Other columns in the First Transmission look at the Philadelphia Experiment, Norton 1: Emperor of the United States and the history of Chess, which is certainly a bit weirder than you would expect. The Second Transmission meanwhile looks at Robin Hood and his predecessors, the occult Shakespeare, Who REALLY sunk the Titanic and why, and the Knights Templar in America (which, if you remember , is a major plot device in the first National Treasure movie). Oh, and Hite tosses in a comparison between the Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc and Gilles De Rais, better known as Bluebeard.
Both books are highly entertaining romps through the borderlands of history and sociology and it is obvious that Hite loves this stuff and, even more, loves talking about it. Either is the sort of book that you can pick up, open to any page and, assuming you have an interest in conspiracy theories and the secret history of Planet Earth, find yourself immediately engrossed in the subject matter. You won’t find any pre-stated NPCs in either book (for that, look for a copy of GURPS Who’s Who) but you will find plenty of adventure seeds and ideas as well as hours of entertaining reading. Both books, are as already noted, well annotated and have a pretty exhaustive indexes. Actual reference pages at the end of each column would be helpful, if only to see what sources Hite drew upon for his columns, but that is a minor quibble. For anyone running a pulp or modern day RPG campaign, the Suppressed Transmission books are wonderful resources. For anyone else, they are incredibly fun reads.
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Hammer’s Slammers RPG Campaign Setting published by Mongoose Publishing
Mongroose Publishing got its start in 2001 as a publisher of OGL (Open Gaming License) supplements for the Third edition, and later 3.5 edition of the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game starting with the Quintessential Series (Fighter, Rogue, Druid, etc.) along with a series of OGL books focused on general themes (Horror, Steampunk, Wild West ,etc), all of which did pretty well during the prolific release of OGL material for the D&D system. Shortly after WTOC released D&D 3.0, players demanded massive amounts of material for the game, which publishers like Mongoose sprung up to supply. As a glut of OGL material started to swamp the market, OGL publishers either closed up shop or pivoted into publishing other material that the companies felt players would demand. Mongoose decided to take a three pronged approach, releasing miniature rules and miniatures (Victory at Sea, Mighty Armies, Noble Armada), taking previously released RPGs and producing them in an upgraded and revised format (Macho Women with Guns, Traveller and Paranoia) and licensing media properties (Babylon 5, Conan, Slaine) for campaign sourcebooks, either under the OGL or for one of the other rules systems for which it had the rights to produce materials. Hammer Slammer’s falls into the third category.
Hammer’s Slammers is a 208 page campaign setting based on the novels and short stories written by David Drake and using Mongoose Publications updated Traveller rules system. In Drake’s fiction, humanity has spread throughout the stars and colonized hundreds of worlds. However, the bonds that once united that same humanity have grown weak and the galaxy has plunged into trade war, civil war and anarchy. Warfare is dominated by regiments of iridium armored tanks, powered by fusion engines and armed with powerguns . However, these tanks are so expensive to run and so complicated to maintain that few worlds can afford them, giving rise to dozens of mercenary tank units, fighting for whichever planet pays them the most, often taking fees of a quarter of the planet’s GDP. Players take on the roles of tank crews and specialists, doing battle as part of the best known and most capable tank unit in the galaxy: Hammer’s Slammers.
As mentioned earlier, Hammer’s Slammers, released in 2009, uses the Traveller rules system for character creation and game play so gamemasters and players need to have a working familiarity with that system. The sourcebook starts with a brief (really brief) look at the setting that covers the galaxy in less than six pages. Similarly the business of being a mercenary gets covered in another 6 pages. Character creation allows the player’s character to go through multiple terms in the Army or a Mercenary career , adding skills and benefits as they go. There is also a detailed look at the history of the Slammers and write ups on notable characters from the series. Almost a third of the book details equipment, vehicles and vehicle combat Hammer’s Slammers finishes with several pages of scenario ideas, the outline of a campaign and a short combat oriented scenario.
For players that like Traveller and want a heavily military oriented SF setting. Hammer’s Slammers makes a good choice. Unfortunately, it appears Mongoose overestimated the demand for such a setting as one seller on eBay has sold dozens of copies at $5 each, indicating a liquidation of the print run at some time in the past.
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Arriving Sept 5th
Friday, August 28, 2020
Thursday, August 27, 2020
Latest we have heard from WOTC regarding Double Masters is that the company is trying do decide if the product is popular enough to warrant the costs of a reprint. If it gets reprinted, we likely would not see any more of the set until 2021
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
Sunday, August 23, 2020
This week sees new releases for Blood Bowl and Necromunda. Unless we get special orders for them, we will not be bringing in the dice sets or card packs.