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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Unfinished Melodies

(Apologies to all in the delay posting - my recent Vegas trip really messed up my perception of what day of the week it was...)

Interesting that I'm taking a different take on “series” than Dave. His definition is a lot looser than mine. I don't consider the Kosmos 2-player, small box games a “series” as such. To me, they're a product line. The Carcassonne games? That's a series.

There's something about a series that makes it safe for consumption. In most cases, you already know the basics about how to play, but just want to see what new twists have been developed. Plus, it's a safer outlet for producers. Just look at Hollywood and the computer game industry. Series sell. You've already got a built-in audience, and you drag in folks that heard about, but missed, the first one.

As a result, we've got a fair share of series in the game industry, too.

What ones are my favorite series, and what would I like to see next in them? Here goes. (Fair warning: As I play a lot of wargames, and my definition of “series” is a bit tight, this is going to be a rather wargame-heavy list.)

Panzer Grenadier
I know Dave (and another gaming buddy of mine) just sold their collections of this series, but I still like it quite a bit. Lots of interesting puzzles in the large number of scenarios. Avalanche Press already has a number of games already on the drawing board. (Road to Berlin, and three biggies in their Classic Wargames line including a WWI game) but I'd really like to see a 2nd Battle of the Bulge entry that focuses on the 2nd week (and later) of that battle. IIRC, every scenario in the existing game is during the first week of the offensive. Something where the Americans are pushing back the bulge would be good.

I'm always up for more Desert Theatre games as well. Lots o' tanks running around in open space is always good fun.

Commands and Colors
Ancients just came out, looks to be the best of the three games, and the first expansion for it already has over 350 preorders in less than two weeks. There's a lot of designed expansions for C&C: Ancients in the queue, but I'd like to see this series taken to the medieval/early renaissance timeframe. Between the Hundred Years War, Burgundian Wars, War of the Roses, and Italian Wars, there's a lot of material for good games. And some that are actually even balanced.

Musket & Pike Battle System
There've been people asking this series to be moved forward up to the Nine Years War and the League of Augsburg. It could probably even work for the Great Northern War, but that might be a stretch as tactics had changed quite a bit by 1700. Once the remainder of the major Thirty Years War battles are covered, I'd second the request for the League of Augsburg. Some Polish battles would be great, too. (and I know Ben's got some coming in either the upcoming game or the next one.)

3W Quad games designed by Rob Markham
Could someone start publishing games like this again? Please? I know I've mentioned it before, but it's an underserved market...

I'd like another two-player only game in the series. (The Castle did NOT go over well with Jodie.) Something, perhaps, where you have the option of moving tiles not part of a completed structure instead of drawing a tile. Neues Land added the ability to pull meeples off and score before a structure is complete, and that adds a whole new layer to the decision process. It's becoming my favorite in the series.

Formula De
Just want to see Asmodee get this all sorted out and get the base game and most recent track pack back in print.


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