LNLT New Rules

Category Archives: News

Connections 2018 Announcement

This year’s professional wargaming conference ~

GrogHeads Newsdesk, 15 May 2018

This year’s professional wargaming conference, Connections, is being held at Ft McNair in Washington, DC 17-20 July.

Click to enlarge the flyer below for details.


Chat about it below, or in our forums, or hit our FaceBook page >>

Some Thoughts on Kickstarter Financial Benefits and Risks

Is the risk worth the reward? ~

Avery Abernethy, 27 February 2018

Kickstarter has provided significant start-up funds for many gaming projects. Pillars of Eternity raised almost $4 million dollars. The 7th Edition of Call of Cthulhu raised over $561,000 and many smaller PC, boardgame, and tabletop games raised enough money to fund their project. But for individuals, funding a kickstarter game project is fraught with risk. There are no guarantees that a funded project will be completed either on time or ever. Kickstarter itself does not guarantee that projects are legitimate or that they will be completed. There are a number of horror stories about funded Kickstarter projects which never completed their project and ultimately returned nothing to backers.

From a financial perspective, how can you decide if contributing to a Kickstarter Campaign is a good bet? I’ve recently helped fund a couple of kickstarter projects after overcoming extraordinary levels of apprehension. I’ve got a few thoughts on how to consider a decision to fund a Kickstarter game project.

 

The Unavoidable Risk Is Huge

Even a casual reading of Kickstarter’s legal language shows Kickstarter itself does not stand behind any funded project in any way. They do not promise that a funded project will be: competed; completed on time; or completed in a manner consistent with the project’s promotion. Kickstarter’s policies have been tested in US courts. Legally, if you pay into a funded Kickstarter project and the project fails, your only recourse is suing people responsible for the individual Kickstarter project. Good luck collecting from a failed funded project. If an individual or a company does not have any assets, you will not collect anything even with successful lawsuit. The conclusion I draw from this is pretty simple. Don’t fund a Kickstarter project if you are unable to accept the risk of losing 100% of your pledge.

 

RIP Dr James Cobb (April 6, 1950 – January 18, 2018)

A prolific and renowned voice has left the wargaming world ~

Brant Guillory, 16 February 2018

It is rare that the chroniclers of an industry transcend the creators to make a name for themselves, becoming a ‘brand’ on par with the best talent in their field.  The best comparison might be Roger Ebert, who is as famous for his critiques of the movie industry as any filmmakers except the single-named ones (Spielberg, Lucas, Scorsese, etc).

Dr James Cobb was that man for the strategy gaming world.

In his decades of writing about the wargaming world, with reviews, after-action reports, strategy guides, and even advice on using games for teaching, Dr Cobb’s meticulous detail, coupled with an accessible voice, informed and guided (tens of) thousands of purchases for strategy gamers of all stripes.

Equally adept at reviewing traditional tabletop games, miniatures wargames, and digital games – including mobile ones – each new article from his desk was greeted by fans as a must-read for their level of detail and sophistication, while also being hailed just downright enjoyable to read.  His years of experience as a player shone through in the easy way in which he was able to highlight the strengths of a game, accurately describe its shortcomings, and (most importantly) pinpoint the type of gamer most likely to enjoy a particular title, even if he personally did not.

James Cobb was a prolific writer who graced the pages of print magazines like Computer Gaming World, websites like GrogHeads.com, and outlets that planted feet in both worlds like Armchair General.  It is a testament to his work that he elevated the quality of every outlet for which he wrote, and also a mark of his nose for an intelligent and receptive audience that while churning out articles at a prodigious rate, he focused their distribution through the best outlets that strategy gaming had to offer (and yes, cue the inevitable joke about slumming it with us!).

He understood how battles could shape history and why it was important to learn their lessons.

James Zabek, Dr Cobb’s editor at several of his online outlets, noted that “James was a grognard’s grog. He believed that wargames should inform, and should do so with fidelity to history. He had a brilliant mind which was brimming with with a rare concoction that only fellow wargamers can appreciate: history, war, and the written word. He understood how battles could shape history and why it was important to learn their lessons. As his editor for many years I was privileged to see first-hand not only how well he understood history, but also how well he was able to communicate it. The reviews he turned in were focused like a laser on how well a game held up as an instrument for learning, and his writing was a joy to read and edit. Editors commonly have a few tweaks and corrections for any article. James wrote in the rarefied air of writers who were able to turn in articles that required no changes.”

Dr Cobb was born in April of 1950, within days of his beloved wife.  He was educated both in the US and in Germany, graduating from the university in Marburg, to go with his PhD in German Literature earned stateside.  It would come as no surprise that his line forum monikers bore a distinct Prussian flavor – Bismarck here at GrogHeads and other outlets, but Moltke on some as well.  Dr Cobb was hospitalized with a severe case of the flu in mid-January, and passed away shortly later.  His wife Angela tragically followed him to the afterlife within the week.

As word of Dr Cobb’s passing spread, several online threads sprang up at some of the larger strategy gaming sites to share their thoughts and condolences, including here at GrogHeads.  It should be clear from outpouring of both shock and support that no one saw this coming, and Dr Cobb’s contributions to the strategy gaming community will be sorely missed.

Godspeed, James, and one day we’ll share a drink on Fiddler’s Green.


Chat about it below, or in our forums, or hit our FaceBook page >>

2018 – Looking Ahead to the Next Year in Wargaming

We also asked folks in the hobby to look into the next year and take a stab at predicting the future –

GrogHeads, 30 December 2017

Ty Bomba, Game Designer

I’m taking part in the founding of a new, 116-page, quarterly, one-topic-per-issue magazine from S&T Press to be titled Strategy & Tactics Quarterly. At least at the start, there won’t be any issue-wargame inside; instead there will be a full-size, two-sided, frame-able poster. At the same time, the 116-page format will allow us to get into each issue’s topics in such depth that most wargamers won’t be able to resist getting into them. My first two issue contributions will be: Stalingrad: The Whole Story, and Cold War World Wars: Armageddon’s that Might’ve Been, 1945-1991. 

Alan Emrich, Victory Point Games

I predict the hobby will soldier on, but with a continuing need for more introductory wargames on topics that will send new players to learn more about the battles, campaigns, and personalities. Since they don’t do justice to history in schools as they used to, lighting that fire of passion in the next generation is vital.

2017 – Looking Back on the Year in Wargaming

We asked folks in the hobby what their biggest personal accomplishment was this past year.  Here’s what we got from them –

GrogHeads, 23 December 2017

Iain McNeil, Slitherine

That’s a tricky one as it depends if I use my business hat or my gamer hat. Battlestar Galactica Deadlock has been a huge project for us and is going really well on PC and just released on console, but from a personal point of view I love Field of Glory II. It’s not as commercial as BSG but I’m very pleased with how it has turned out and still enjoy playing when I get the time.

Stronghold Games

SURVIVING this year is my biggest accomplishment!  28 releases for a small company is rather astonishing.  And also moving operations for Stronghold Games (and my residence) to Florida made this year very challenging to say the least.

However, if that’s copping out, then I’ll go with Terraforming Mars.  While released in the latter half of 2016, the success of the game was truly realized in 2017.  Getting out two expansions in 2017, “Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium” and “Terraforming Mars: Venus Next” (releasing on 12/31/17 worldwide!), solidified its stature as one of the most significant hobby game releases of all time.  Terraforming Mars is now ranked #6 (soon to be #5) on BoardGameGeek.com.