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Board & Tabletop Gaming Board games, miniatures, and other similar games and topics.

View Poll Results: Which is the best wargame publisher?
GMT 4 25.00%
Victory Point games 0 0%
Decision Games 2 12.50%
Avalon Hill 10 62.50%
Colombia Games 0 0%
Academy Games 0 0%
Clash of Arms 0 0%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16  
Old 31 Aug 17, 19:39
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Why isn't Flames of War ,Bolt Action and Black Powder games being listed in this poll?
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  #17  
Old 04 Sep 17, 02:46
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Originally Posted by Merkava188 View Post
Why isn't Flames of War ,Bolt Action and Black Powder games being listed in this poll?
Why Isn't Jumbo, Drie Magier Spiele, 999 Games, White Goblin Games, Hans im Gluck and 500 others not listed in the poll?????
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  #18  
Old 07 Sep 17, 23:25
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Me (on right) and Gaz Newton 35 years ago with some of the boardgames we used to play. (If I had to nominate our favourite it'd have to be AH's Russian Campaign)-

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  #19  
Old 08 Sep 17, 01:16
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I had a number of those games! I think I still a bunch of them in storage.

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  #20  
Old 12 Sep 17, 19:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
I had a number of those games! I think I still a bunch of them in storage.
Pruitt
Hey I just remembered there was another very big boardgame publisher back in the 70's/early 80's called SPI (Strategic Publications Inc) and I had a couple of dozen of their titles, but according to Wiki they "ran out of cash" which is a bit of a mystery.
Most of their stuff had paper maps instead of proper hard boards, so maybe people preferred the hard boards of AH.
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  #21  
Old 12 Sep 17, 19:49
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
One can still get many Strategy and Tactics games. They operate under Decision Games in California now. These folks also offer other people's old games.

Pruitt


Decision Games. I had a problem with Decision Games. I ordered a game from them they sent me an email on July first saying that it had been mailed (without a tracking number). The first week of August it still had not arrived so I wrote them an email telling them that it was late and including the order information. They sent back an automated email saying that my email would be forwarded to the appropriate department and would be responded to within 3 business days. Three weeks later I still haven’t heard from them so I sent off another email explaining everything again including how they had said that I would hear from them in three days. They have responded with yet another automated email telling, which departments get which emails and that they will once again get back to me.

I have decided that since they don’t seem to care if I get the game I will not purchase any more from them.
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  #22  
Old 12 Sep 17, 22:16
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Originally Posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
Hey I just remembered there was another very big boardgame publisher back in the 70's/early 80's called SPI (Strategic Publications Inc) and I had a couple of dozen of their titles, but according to Wiki they "ran out of cash" which is a bit of a mystery.
Most of their stuff had paper maps instead of proper hard boards, so maybe people preferred the hard boards of AH.
SPI explained it a little by saying the AH games were much cheaper to produce. Plastic boxes with inlaid trays were expensive. True they could have saved money on the paper maps. While I bought a number of SPI games (CA!), I could not buy them all. I have a bunch of them in storage. I did lose a few S&T games when I could not get anyone to help me put the old lingerie cabinet which held them to storage.

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  #23  
Old 18 Sep 17, 09:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
Hey I just remembered there was another very big boardgame publisher back in the 70's/early 80's called SPI (Strategic Publications Inc) and I had a couple of dozen of their titles, but according to Wiki they "ran out of cash" which is a bit of a mystery.
Most of their stuff had paper maps instead of proper hard boards, so maybe people preferred the hard boards of AH.
SPI had an entirely different business model, not really comparable to AH. Considering that most wargames have always had paper maps vs mounted I'd say that your last statement is not correct.
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  #24  
Old 18 Sep 17, 10:02
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Interesting piece by one of SPI designers/employees. The article is about the 'death' of wargaming in the late 1990's (obviously an incorrect conclusion) but it gives a good account of SPI's death. I find the comment on the fact that their 'Folio' games actually lost them money on every sale to be particularly interesting. Not a way to run a business.

http://www.costik.com/spisins.html

Quote:
From 1977 onward, SPI's sales declined, mainly because of mismanagement. The dollar volume remained nearly constant; even in 1981, SPI (not publicly traded) was claiming an annual $2 million in sales, the same figure it had reported as early as 1975. But these were, of course, the years of double-digit inflation, so that SPI's income, in real terms, was declining year by year. In 1980, an internal struggle began at SPI, as many staff members strove to replace Jim Dunnigan as the company's manager. The name of Dunnigan had been virtually synonymous with SPI since its foundation; his personality, vigor, and intelligence had made it a success. Yet, like many entrepreneurs, he proved incapable of managing it as an ongoing business.

One problem was an inattention to marketing. SPI had, in the person of Howie Barasch, a capable marketing manager, but when he left SPI in the late 70s, he was never replaced, with Dunnigan ostensibly assuming his duties. But Dunnigan was overstretched himself, laboring sixty hour weeks keeping the place together and designing a big chunk of SPI's games. When Dunnigan was eventually replaced by Chris Wagner -- S&T's founder, by now a management consultant brought in to try to turn SPI around -- new management discovered that many of SPI's independent commissioned sales reps didn't realize they were still representing the company, and one thought SPI had gone out of business. Nobody had bothered to contact them for years.

Another failing was inadequate attention to financial details. New management discovered that SPI's highly successful line of Capsule games -- small, limited-component products sold for $6 -- actually lost money. Given distributor discounts, $6 would about cover the cost of shipping blank, white boxes without games inside them. The Capsule games had sold very well -- and SPI lost money on every one it sold.

Alas, Dunnigan's ouster came too late. The country was in the throes of a recession, further depressing SPI's sales; the company's cash position continued to deteriorate. Even with $400,000 of venture capital money from Alan Patricof Associates, SPI was unable to make a go of it. After negotiating, unsuccessfully, with Avalon Hill, SPI entered into negotiations with TSR toward a buy-out.
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  #25  
Old 19 Sep 17, 01:39
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Thanks guys, and of course the arrival of computer games in the late 1970's must have been a body blow for boardgames.
My first computer was a Sinclair Spectrum in 1983 and the wargames available for it blew my socks off because I could now play against the computer instead of having to hunt around for boardgame opponents to visit each others homes to play, there were only 3 other boardgamers in my home city and it was no fun having to cycle across town in snowstorms and frosty winters to play them..
PS- re SPI, I especially liked their small "folio" games that needed no plastic tray to hold the counters.
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Old 19 Sep 17, 06:31
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Thanks guys, and of course the arrival of computer games in the late 1970's must have been a body blow for boardgames.
Don't know, being born in 1975, I came a bit late for the boardwargames,

but the early computerwargames were very much adaptations of the earlier boardgames, you now shifted "pieces" on a screen instead of table, but the mechanics were all the same, tables and dice rolls.
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Old 07 Oct 17, 18:12
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Let's not forget Bolt Action and Flames of War.
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  #28  
Old 12 Oct 17, 00:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowygerry View Post
Don't know, being born in 1975, I came a bit late for the boardwargames,

but the early computerwargames were very much adaptations of the earlier boardgames, you now shifted "pieces" on a screen instead of table, but the mechanics were all the same, tables and dice rolls.
Bite your tongue, Mr Snowy!

You have ten years on me, but there's a huge boardgame renaissance going on at the moment.

Casting a vote for GMT and the excellent COIN games (among many, many others currently on my shelves).
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Old 12 Oct 17, 15:07
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You have ten years on me, but there's a huge boardgame renaissance going on at the moment.
In all honesty: the Renaissance is over in my opinion. It's been going on for 15 years now. Those that want to hop onto the train of boardgame design...they must do it now.
I'll give it another year or two...then it will be much less. 'Booms' don't last unfortunately!

This year more than 950 new games in Essen. Go figure!



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