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Kicking out the Flava

By Robert E. Allen III

August 25, 1998

Good day, ladies and gents. Hope that all is well as you again visit my own strange realms here at RPGNet. We're still working on some changes here at Small Talk; changes that ought to make this place a bit more interesting and informative to boot. Failing that, I guess it will just brighten things up a bit. But now, the moment you have been waiting for, this month's exciting new column


(Some of you have noticed, and commented even, that the titles of the columns have little or nothing to do with the column itself. And I say- shame on you! In this day and age where hype and style far outweigh worth and substance, why should I restrict myself to logical titles? Nevertheless, this actually has relevance, read on, reader).

Something most interesting has come to my attention in these later days of 1998. Some people have this really strange notion that one game is better than all others.

No, really. It's true. There are people who, get this - actually ARGUE that the game that they spend their time and money on is in all way superior to the games that other people play. And they are quite vocal about it.

Don't believe me? Check out the newsgroups. Rec.games.miniatures.misc and rec.games.miniatures.warhammer have more mudslinging going on than the Jerry Springer show.

Less pregnant midgets getting makeovers, though. And, as we well know, the world really doesn't need more coverage of stuff like that.

Do I have a favorite game? Nope. I am pretty much equal opportunity. Sure, I play a lot of Warhammer 40,000. That is what my main gaming group is interested in. But, like everything from vanilla ice cream to MTV, I get sick of it after a while. Can't live without variety, right?

With the up-and-coming release of Warhammer 40,000 3rd Edition, my group has slowed down on our 40k gaming. Too much anxiety about what the future holds for the game, I suppose. But the result of this is a good thing - we have dusted off games that we haven't touched in years. Battletech, for example. This group used to be denoted Mechheads, but we slowly stopped playing Battletech in favor of 40k. Now, I picked up a couple of the newest tech readouts, and we are slugging it out again.

Who can eat the same flavor cereal every day? You need to throw in some variety. It's amazing how a little something different can spice things up. I hadn't played the Great Rail Wars since I first got it, but with them winning the Origins award, I dusted off the box, pulled out the figures, and called a friend over. We had a great six-guns blazing game. (Now, I just need to re-read the rules!)

Alright, that ended Rob's rant. On to the fun stuff!

COMING NEXT WEEK: The first ever Small Talk contest! That's right folks, Small Talk is hosting the next contest, sure to delight you all. It will be a bit of quiz of your tactical knowledge, so sharpen your skills and check back in a week.

FOLLOW-UP DEPARTMENT: Demonblade has announced their settlement with Games Workshop with GW's lengthy lawsuit. Demonblade has agreed to stop making several figures that GW felt violated their intellectual property. With this mess behind them, Small Talk hopes that Demonblade can continue making figures for their great game Shock Force.

BANKRUPTCY DEPARTMENT: With the jury still out on the final fate of West End Games, we still don't know what the story is on the new version of Star Wars Miniatures Battles. If anyone out there knows, please contact me!

FASA'S NEW GAME DEPARTMENT: Rumors abound about a new air-warfare miniatures game that FASA debuted at Gen Con. More details as they come.

BUZZ DEPARTMENT: Clan War, the miniatures game based on the RPG and CCG Legend of the Five Rings, sounds like the hot game for this fall. Designed by Ken Carpenter (this writer's personal idol), with figures designed by a number of the American greats (including Bob Charette, who did Reaper's samurai line), we expect that Clan War will be a big seller. (Now, if only we had seen the rules by now!)

OTHER BUZZ DEPARTMENT: Two very similar-named games are making their debut now as well. Reaper Miniatures has released Dark Heaven - Apocalypse, and Manticore Productions are releasing their game Apokalypse, set in Bill King's Waste World. Although we have not gotten a close look at either one, we know that the games couldn't be farther apart in topic - Reaper's game is set in their fantasy world of Dark Heaven, and Manticore's in their sci-fi world of Waste World. Be sure to see reviews of each as they come in here at RPGNet.

FUTURE GAME DEPARTMENT: Pinnacle Entertainment, makers of the Deadlands RPG and the Great Rail Wars miniatures game, just released a new RPG, Hell on Earth. Can a miniatures game for it be far behind?

Alright, that's enough fake-department creation for me. See you in a week, when I get to put up all of the contest info. Gah.

Feedback, abuse, recriminations, etc. to Warmaster@rpg.net

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All Small Talk columns by Robert E. Allen (damn right!)

Other columns at RPGnet

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