Where the Boardgames Are
Tide of Iron comes in a hefty, man-sized box. The 12 double-sided map tiles and dozens of terrain hexes allow for an abundance of potential combinations.
I went to GameStop yesterday. Browsing for games was an endeavor I used to enjoy, but now I find it frustrating. It’s not that the quality or quantity of games has declined, or that they are too expensive or too difficult to find. Major publishers put into games more resources (in terms of money, expertise and technology) than ever before. Titles like Hour of Victory, Frontline: Field of Thunder and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter II are darn near perfectly produced video games. But still I’m frustrated, saddened and nostalgic – frustrated by attempting to adapt my tastes to genres that don’t fit; saddened by the dearth of triple-A no-compromise turn-based games; nostalgic for the days when those aforementioned titles were the top of the line.
I understand, however, that the 500 words in this column won’t change the world. I can’t convince publishers that there are 100,000 gamers willing to buy a well-done, high-quality turn-based wargame, or that our attention spans aren’t as short as they would believe. And you know what? I don’t need to.
The games I love – accessible, immersive, atmospheric, beautiful games that give players the time to plan, ponder and execute their strategies – are alive and well, and even thriving. They are being produced by the most creative minds and well-funded companies in the industry — the boardgame industry, that is.
Are you interested in a platoon-level game that lets you re-create conflicts from Finland to the South Pacific? Check out the Panzergrenadier series of games at Avalanche Press (www.avalanchepress.com).
Replay some of America’s great airborne battles from June 1944 with Band of Heroes by Lock ‘N Load.
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