GAMA

In a controversial piece of board gaming news, Michael Stackpole has resigned from the GAMA board of directors after many decades of service. Michael Stackpole is an Origins award winning designer, a video game writer and designer, fantasy author, and has been a vocal and active advocate on the side of board gaming for 30+ years. In a letter of resignation made public, Stackpole states “I have not reached this decision based on any political divide within the Board. I have come to it because the Board is broken.” He further goes on to cite recent problems within GAMA, including ineffectiveness to pass decisions, and the mismanagement of a highly publicized altercation between an officer and a security guard during Gen Con 2018. For more information, you can read Michael Stackpole’s letter on his webpage here.

The convention season is definitely in swing and the Dice Tower is there with all sorts of interviews and shows. Here’s some pics that Sam Healey was able to share.

New Arms for Age of Sigmar: Kharadron Overlords (coming in April)
       – completely new dwarven army
       – 3 different-sized airship units
       – regular infantry units
       – assault infantry units
       – HQ units
Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire
       – a board game that is “very different than anything we’ve done”
 
New Skirmish-level game: Shadow War: Armageddon (coming in April)
       -sets comes with scouts and orks
       -fully plastic modular terrain makes up the bulk of the volume of the box
       -basically a classic Necromunda rules set

gama logo

The Game Manufacturers Association, commonly known as GAMA, has elected two new board members, Stephen Brissaud as the new Vice President and Marie Poole as the At-Large Director.  Stephen Brissaud is the current COO of IELLO and so will bring his knowledge and experience from 25 years in the industry to help grow and expand GAMA and the hobby as a whole.  The first step he says is to first “strengthen the bridges that we have built between our association and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)“.

Marie Poole is the current CEO of Lone Shark Games and will be bringing her experience from the five years in that position along with her 25 years of board experience and degree in non-profit management.  With the election of these two to the board I imagine GAMA is on course to keep growing and expanding in the future and to continue improving the hobby.  You can read the full press release from GAMA below.

Columbus, OH – June 28, 2016 – The Game Manufacturers Association’s Publisher/Manufacturer members elected Stephan Brissaud as the new Vice President during the Annual Membership Meeting at Origins Game Fair. Marie Poole was also elected to an At-Large Director position. The new positions are effective immediately.

Two previously serving At-Large Directors, Larry Roznai and Mike Webb, retained their seats for a further 2-year term. Aaron Witten was re-elected GAMA Treasurer.
Brissaud, the COO of IELLO, USA, has 25 years of experience in the hobby industry and was elected to the GAMA board in June 2015 as an At-Large Director. He succeeds long time Vice President Jamie Chambers, who chose to not seek re-election this year.

“It is an honor to have been trusted by GAMA to uphold the function of Vice-President,” said Brissaud, “I am looking forward to working with our President Justin Ziran, the GAMA board, and volunteers from our membership to implement the many systems and services that GAMA needs to propel itself to the next level. I also plan to strengthen the bridges that we have built between our association and the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA). One important project is to follow up and support the TIA lobbying effort regarding toy safety and other legislation relevant to our industry.”

The GAMA Board also welcomed Marie Poole, the CEO of Lone Shark Games. She will fill the At-Large Director position left by Brissaud’s promotion. Poole has been a leader at Lone Shark Games for five years and in the business and accounting industry for many more. She also brings with her a strong commitment to volunteerism along with 25 years of board experience and a degree in non-profit management.

“I’m very proud to work in an industry that creates so much engaging content that thousands of communities have been built around it,” stated Poole, “I look forward to being of service to our membership and by extension, our fans. I think I can accomplish this best by listening to what our membership has to say. It is my goal to see that people who are new to the industry can receive the benefit of knowledge from our long-time members, hopefully through strong membership, education and mentorship initiatives.”

Brissaud and Poole join the existing GAMA Board: President Justin Ziran, Secretary Brian Dalrymple, Treasurer Aaron Witten, Directors At-Large: Joe Hauck, Larry Roznai, and Mike Webb, Distributor Chair Bob Maher, Retail Division Chair Travis Severance, President Emeritus Rick Loomis and Director Emeritus Michael Stackpole and Director Emeritus Will Niebling.

The Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to serving the tabletop game industry. GAMA strengthens and supports all industry professionals by advancing their interests, providing educational programs and opportunities, and promoting unique forms of quality social entertainment. For more information, visit www.gama.org or follow @GamaOnline on Twitter.

duelist library

Level 99 Games is excited to announce Duelist Library, a collection of 5 two-player games that will debut as a single collection in late 2016.  The company will be expanding their line of well-known productions such as Pixel Tactics, BattleCON, Sellswords, and RESISTOR_ with these 5 new games, which will be available both individually and as a complete bundle.  

Here is an excerpt from the official press release from the GAMA Trade Show at Las Vegas 2016:

In 2013, Level 99 Games released the Minigame Library, containing 6 different games across multiple genres, group sizes, and play lengths. Duelist Library aims to continue this tradition, while improving component quality and focusing on a core theme of 2-player games. Rather than being available exclusively as a collection, four of the games will also be designed and packaged as fully-fledged individual releases. The complete collection will come with an exclusive bonus game, and a package of additional expansion cards that tie the various games together.

The titles and the descriptions of the new games will be released over the next few months via the Level 99 Games newsletter and on our homepage. Each game in the library is primarily designed for two players, and has a different theme, play length, and designer, to ensure that gaming groups of two have a game on hand for any mood or situation.

 This summer, 2016, the Kickstarter will launch to fund this project, with an estimated fulfillment date of winter 2016.  For more information and to stay abreast of this upcoming release, visit the official news release on the Level 99 Games website here.

wasteland express

Pandasaurus Games announced a new title at the Gama Trade Show this week – Wasteland Express Delivery Service. The game is designed by Jon Gilmore (Dead of Winter) and Matt Riddle & Ben Pinchback (Fleet, Back to the Future) featuring art by Riccardo Burchielli (DMZ, Batman Black and White)

wasteland express comp 2

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and players are drivers delivering food, water and guns to various settlements throughout the wasteland while risking the mayhem caused by the outrageous characters and battling raiders that inhabit the land. The game also features 3 outlandish factions that players can gain favor with.

The game features an emerging narrative over the course of a 10 game campaign, each beginning with a beautifully illustrated comic book introduction that sets up the story, stakes and challenges that the players will have to contend with. Alternatively, players can just embark on a single, randomly generated scenario providing infinite replay possibilities.

Molly Wardless, Managing Director of Pandasaurus Games said :

Among the myriad things we are completely flipping over re Wasteland is that nothing like this has really ever been touched in the board game community. When we first heard the pitch, we were sold. Then Riccardo turned it into this almost unwieldy beast that pushes the limits in pretty much every imaginable way. It’s beautiful and grotesque at the same time. And we are completely in love.

The game also features board art by Joshua Cappel and fantastically detailed miniatures of the delivery vehicles players will be using, designed by Justin Blintz. With over 100 pieces of artwork, every card in the game is unique.

More details are expected to be revealed in the coming months.

ogre

Steve Jackson has release a “soft” announcement that they will be releasing a 6th edition of Ogre that will be set in the Ogre Designer’s Edition Scale.  It is important to note that this edition will include only the Ogre map (which is the same as the one in the Ogre Designer’s Edition), Ogre rules, and a large collection of counters for the game.

The full announcement for this new edition of the game will likely come at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas this spring.  SJG has admittedly cut down the rules set for the game, and is therefore welcome game fans to proofread the new ruleset.  To find out more information about this new edition, as well as access a PDF of the ruleset for proofreading, follow this link to the SJG website.

brick party

Are you better at building with plastic bricks… or explaining how to do it? What if you have to build with your eyes closed or using only one hand? What if you must explain it without speaking? Can you still be faster than your opponents?

Renegade Game Studios will be partnering with Italian publisher Post Scriptum to bring Brick Party to North America.  Brick Party is a “funny and frenzied game of crazy building”, in which players will reveal special rules for each round, choose a teammate, grab the blocks and build the shape you choose faster than the others players.

“We are really excited to be working with Mario and his team at Post Scriptum,” says Renegade President Scott Gaeta. “They put together something really special and we look forward to bringing it to gamers in North America.”

Brick Party will be available in stores in the early summer of 2016.  The games plays in 15-30 minutes and is for 2-9 players ages 5+.  It will be featured at the GAMA Trade Show in March of 2016 and will be available for preorder at the show.

For more information on Brick Party and this new partnership between the two companies, visit the Renegade Games website here.

scott passport

Passport Game Studios, publisher of tabletop board and card games, announced on Tuesday, January 11, 2016, that Scott Morris will serve as the new President of the company.

The official press release follows:

Morris’ background is very diverse, both in, and out of, the gaming industry.  For the last two years, Scott has been the Vice President of Arcane Wonders, fostering the growth of the company.  In addition, he is also a published game designer, with the recent release of Firefly: Shiny Dice from Upper Deck Entertainment, and has been an active member of the board game community through vlogging at CritsHappen.com and on social media.  Prior to Arcane Wonders, Scott was a Director at Dell, Inc. in Round Rock, TX, spending 16 years in sales, services, business development, and executive positions.

Scott is passionate about the tabletop industry and more importantly, is passionate about experiences. “I’m very excited to be joining Passport Game Studios! This is a great company that has helped bring excellent titles to the marketplace and I look forward to continuing that trend, and increasing it, with the team and our amazing partners.  In my mind, game publishers provide entertainment options for consumers, and more than anything, consumers want a great experience.  From the moment a consumer picks up one of our games from their store’s shelf, to the purchase, to unboxing, playing, and placing it on their personal game shelf, I want them to have the best experience possible, every step of the way,” said Morris.  “Tabletop games offer players a chance to engage with other people, to foster a community, and to create memories; that’s what drives me, and it’s what I’m most excited about creating with the PGS team, memories and experiences that last lifetimes.”

Rob Merickel, Co-Founder of Passport Game Studios said “Passport has experienced a steady and promising growth trend over the last few years, and in today’s market we recognize the need to scale quickly in all areas. We feel that Scott’s wealth of experience gives us the opportunity to do just that.”

Passport Game Studios has already seen much success with Funforge’s Tokaido line, and has just announced some of its 2016 lineup which includes …and then, we held hands (LudiCreations), Food Chain Magnate (Splotter) among many others.

Passport will be an exhibitor at the GAMA Trade Show this spring at booth #235.  For further inquiries, Scott may be contacted here.

academy of adventure gaming

 

 

The following announcement was made from the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design!

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design Streamlines the Origins Awards for 2016

Columbus, Ohio – August 12, 2015 – The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design (AAGAD) updates the categories for the Origins Awards and brings back the Game of the Year award.

 At GAMA’s annual membership meeting during Origins Game Fair in June, a committee was chartered to evaluate the Origins Awards process. They subsequently approved the first update of the award categories since 2003. Members of the committee included sitting jury foremen and members of the AAGAD.

 “We formed an Origins Award committee to re-evaluate the Origins Awards, making sure they reflected the needs of today’s game industry,” said Justin Ziran, President of Wizkids Games and GAMA’s Board President,  “The changes for the Origin Awards bring the program into better alignment with the market and we’re looking forward to the Award ceremony at Origins 2016.”

 The Awards had nine categories for submissions, with some broken into subcategories. In the new structure, all categories will be streamlined to include all products in that category, eliminating the subcategories. The final categories are:

1)      Board Games

2)     Card Games (includes dice and deck-building games)

3)     Collectibles (all games with a collectible component)

4)     Role-playing Games

5)     Family Games

6)     Game Accessories

7)     Miniatures

 “Three years ago we set out on a path to enhance the Origins Awards process,” said John Ward, Executive Director of GAMA and the AAGAD Chair, “Now we are at the end of that process and we will begin an annual review of the Awards. This step moves the awards forward and the new categories better reflect today’s market and the industry as a whole.”

 The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design is a peer-based network of gaming industry professionals whose mission is to promote innovation and excellence in the design and production of games and game-related materials. The Origins Awards are the oldest and only peer-based award system for the hobby games market. Submissions are now open for the 42ndOrigins Award cycle to be awarded at the Origins Game Fair, June 15-19, 2016. For more information or to submit your product, visit www.originsawards.net.

At the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas this spring, Ares Games presented two new games slated for a summer 2015 release.

jolly roger

Jolly Roger

Designed by Frederic Moyersoen (SaboteurNuns on the Run)Jolly Roger – A Card Game of Piracy & Mutiny is the first card game published by Ares, and is a semi-cooperative game in which players serve as crew on a pirate ship out for pillage and plunder…and mutiny.  In this fun, fast, rowdy and easy to learn card game, 4-8 players will be doing everything they can to get the most gold to become the richest pirate.  To do so, however, the pirates will need to work together to win battles by playing cards from their hands cooperatively and then sharing equally in the booty.

Mutiny is brewing on the ship, however, and each time the player acting as the ship captain makes an important decision, a member of the crew can cry “Mutiny!”  The pirates will then play cards to attempt to overthrow the captain and take his place.  Hand management is critical for succeeding in battle and being ready for the next mutiny.

odyssey

Odyssey – Wrath of Poseidon

2-5 players will relive the classic tale of heroism and bravery as they attempt to the Sacred Island to offer prayers to the gods.  One other player takes on the role of Poseidon, god of the sea, who attempts to thwart the players’ quest by sending storms to confound them.  Two identical copies of the board are used in the game: one used by Poseidon, the other by the Navigator players.  The game box is used as a screen to block the view of Poseidon’s board, as he alone knows the true location of the players’ ship at all times.  The Navigator players sail through storms at sea, searching for clues about how to stay on course.  Their goal is to arrive safely at the Sacred Island before all is lost.  The game is designed by Leo Colovini, the game designer of Cartagena, Clans, Aztlán and Inkognito (with Alex Randolph). The game is illustrated by Francesco Mattioli (Micro Monster, Sails of Glory and Dino Race).

Both of these games are set to be released at GenCon 2015.  For more information please visit the Ares Games web site here.