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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Magic: The Convergence

James Delingpole observes convergence at work at Wizards of the Coast
This is the story of Magicgate. Yes, another scandal, but one that for a change doesn’t involve any actual rape or sexual harassment… only game players who like pretending to be witches and wizards.
Like Gamergate, it concerns ordinary people who just want to be left alone to enjoy their hobby.

Ranged against these ingenus is an orcish horde of bullying, preening, self-righteous Social Justice Warriors who believe that everything — even an innocent collectible card game like Magic: The Gathering — should be played and policed according to their viciously intolerant politically correct rulebook.

Even if, like me, you’re not among the 20 million people who play Magic: The Gathering, what I hope you’ll appreciate is that this is a story that should concern us all.

By the end, I hope, you’ll feel as angered as I am by this ugly, scary power grab by the regressive left. And I hope you’ll want to join me in making your voice heard by hitting the people responsible where it hurts most: in their bank balance.

That means the companies which own and profit by Magic: the Gathering. That means you, Hasbro toys. And you, Wizards of the Coast.

I want you to realize that playing games is not a left-wing thing or a right-wing thing but an everybody thing.

I want you to realize that it is not the business of games manufacturers to discriminate against or punish players for their political opinions.

I want you to realize that your miserable sordid scheme to bully everyone who plays your games into sharing your SJW values is not remotely liberal but authoritarian and fascistic.

I also want you to realize that we have got your number: you try to claim the moral high ground, yet your entire business model is based on the kind of predator capitalism I’m sure you’d be the first to condemn if you weren’t getting so rich off of it.
Great. Now we're going to have to get into collectible card games.... Although, more seriously, if there are any hardcore - and I mean hardcore - Traveller fans who are interested in providing assistance to an RPG-related project that is not Alt★Hero-related, please email me with LBB in the subject.

Anyhow, to return to the subject, I'm pleased that the two books in The Laws of Social Justice series are helping people understand these actions by SJW-converged corporations and put them in the proper context. Because these actions are not mere happenstance and they are all connected by the same twisted vision of reality and civilization.
Really, it’s about that extremely creepy, insidious and dangerous phenomenon which Vox Day anatomizes in his latest book SJWs Always Double Down: the thing he calls “Convergence.”

Convergence, essentially, is the SJW equivalent of those parasitic wasps which lay their eggs inside other insects. The eggs then hatch and the hapless host body is devoured from within.

Obvious victims of this include organizations like Facebook, Apple, and Google, which increasingly put the values of “social justice” before more conventional free market goals like customer service and the bottom line. And, indeed, before more traditional values like freedom of speech or individual rights.

But almost no institution is immune.
Indeed, every institution and organization is vulnerable. Be sure to SJW-proof yours.

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79 Comments:

Blogger SirHamster December 21, 2017 5:31 PM  

Card game based on Selenoth sounds like fun. Played as a Watcher, where your moves manipulate factions and individuals, and the goal is to kill/best the other Watchers through direct and indirect actions.

Anonymous Man of the Atom December 21, 2017 5:33 PM  

Additional backstory on why WotC matters:
- Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson formed Tactical Studies Rules (TSR), which was the publisher of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D)
- TSR was sold to Wizards of the Coast
- Hasbro purchased Wizards of the Coast
- Hasbro is therefore the current publisher of SJW-converged D&D 5th Edition
- Hasbro owns GI-JOE, witch has a SJW-converged comic in publication by IDW
- Hasbro is the Current Year producer of SJW Wars merch for Disney (delenda est)

So much SJW Convergence, focused into one toy company.

Blogger S1AL December 21, 2017 5:40 PM  

Yup. Played MtG for... about 6 years. To the point that I was also an online seller on a couple sites, paid for my wife's wedding ring with the money I made from a tournament, etc. I was also a level 1 judge, meaning I ran small local tournaments and the like.

I eventually quit for a variety of reasons, such as not having the time, etc. But the biggest reason, the immediate spur, was watching the growth of the victim culture combined with political correctness and a truly *EPIC* meltdown (publicly) by the designers/developers when Trump was elected.

It was both sad and hilarious.

But as a collection of Lefty progs living in Seattle, it was probably inevitable. Also worth nothing that the consensus among players is that the company has basically crapped the bed for a couple of years now.

Blogger Cubby8126 December 21, 2017 5:46 PM  

"Be sure to sjw proof yours." Pretty smooth advertising. I like it.

Blogger William English December 21, 2017 5:50 PM  

I have an unfair negative reaction to Traveller. In the early 80's all my friends who played D&D switched to Traveller, leaving me the lone hold out. It's not Traveller's fault that they were the new and shiny thing and AD&D was old news, but the memories of childhood are hardly rational.

As an adult I've taken a liking to Pathfinder. Unfortunately, Piazo is just as converged as WOTC.

Blogger digz December 21, 2017 5:51 PM  

This is the third year in my apt building, and for the first time some body got the building management to remove the christmas decoration after a week of it being up, me and my wife realized instantly it was an SJW attack. The sad part is building is ok piss off hundreds of families and children for one SJW and us normal individuals just don't have the tenacity to fight back to get it restored at least not yet. SJWs destroy everything.

Anonymous Man of the Atom December 21, 2017 5:53 PM  

William English wrote:
As an adult I've taken a liking to Pathfinder. Unfortunately, Piazo is just as converged as WOTC.


ACKS is slowly breaking me of my AD&D addiction. Try it.

Blogger tz December 21, 2017 5:55 PM  

Deck a SJW, save civilization.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother December 21, 2017 5:55 PM  

I've driven by WotC a few times now as I meet with the evil polluters across the street from them, refined fuels terminals. I hope the presence of massive fossil fuels and hydrocarbon tanks causes WotC much grief.

Blogger Robert December 21, 2017 5:59 PM  

Interesting to see Delingpole cite Vox. I came across another article written by him on Breitbart that made reference redpilling readers. Maybe Breitbart is a platform for the alt-right after all...

Blogger Gordon Scott December 21, 2017 6:04 PM  

I know the name has been around a long time, but "Wizards of the Coast" is a company name that just screams "We're all virgins in our 30s. Please, please converge us."

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky December 21, 2017 6:13 PM  

I adored Traveller and played it whenever I could back in the day. But I haven't done any RPG in 20 years, around when Everquest started destroying marriages. So I doubt I would qualify as "really hard core". Sad!

Fantastic, we have another evil lying woman who has borne false witness, and now the orcs are launched again. Off to man the barricades!

Blogger tublecane December 21, 2017 6:20 PM  

I never played any of these magic card games, nor D&D either. Though I did play Hero Quest like three times.

We had this other game, whereby my older brother would come up with a premise; a basic plot; and assign my sister, our friends, and myself characters with backstories. Then we'd run around the neighborhood and beat the crap out of eachother with simple household items. I'd like to see SJWs converge that!

(My brother is now a college professor in California, with the sort of opinions you might expect. But he's not gone SJW on us, and we don't play fantasy games like that anymore anyway.)

Anonymous Ryan G December 21, 2017 6:24 PM  

I swear this SJW-bullshit is getting inescapable. I no longer watch TV, haven't paid to see a Hollywood movie in years, and I vet authors before reading their books. My one true, modern refuge from this bullshit came from D&D and board games. Now, I'm learning that even that tiny little niche market is slowly getting overrun too. I've heard rumors that 5th edition D&D has liberal undertones. Is this actually true?

Anonymous Crew (not the one who makes stupid claims) December 21, 2017 6:31 PM  

The news keeps getting better and better!

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-superhero-trend-could-alarm-investors-2017-12-14?mod=gab.ai

Anonymous Stickwick December 21, 2017 6:37 PM  

Great. Now we're going to have to get into collectible card games....

I have two card games designed, tested, and ready to go. Lemme know when you get into this for real.

Blogger Pierce Oka December 21, 2017 6:46 PM  

Currently, Magic is also suffering from unadressed quality control issues (cards are curling in on themselves and printings are smudged), and a glut of overproduced and overpriced products hitting the market. The game turns 25 next year and WotC seems determined to celebrate by burning the whole thing down in a bonfire of social justice. They also blandified the classic logo recently, another bad sign. I’ve been in this game for over a decade and am pissed at the way it’s being treated by WotC.

Anonymous AB.Prosper December 21, 2017 6:50 PM  

Ryan G wrote:I swear this SJW-bullshit is getting inescapable. I no longer watch TV, haven't paid to see a Hollywood movie in years, and I vet authors before reading their books. My one true, modern refuge from this bullshit came from D&D and board games. Now, I'm learning that even that tiny little niche market is slowly getting overrun too. I've heard rumors that 5th edition D&D has liberal undertones. Is this actually true?

Some groups are but its a "cell" structured hobby with a lot of DIY and it can be hard for SJW's to take over it. They've tried but as soon as they get one, something else pops up. There is even a Gor RPG fully licensed but James Desborough is based. also has a history of Gamergate that seems to be anti media .

Magic the Gathering OTOH is a collectible card game and is controlled by one company and its easier to subvert it. Its also more resource rich, some tiny company making some RPG has nothing to parasite off of.

To your question, D&D? Not really much in 5th edition anyway. No more than usual and they've been twitchy since 1990 or so. I feel fine with it,

Pathfinder OTOH , D&D's cousin is infected bit, it has a Trans iconic character (the Shaman) and spews poz sometime. A very generous company though, its system resource document is lush and a lot of people like it. I won't play Pathfinder past 8th level or so as the system is "Justice League" level after 12 or so.

Green Ronin OTOH is fully converged , they publish Blue Rose which in its current edition is supposed to a vaguely Liberal/Progressive setting but almost stinks of bad pastiche now . Not a fan though the pre convergence True 20 system , the mechanics from the original Blue Rose was really outstanding

That said the Old School RPG community is sizable and pretty free of this nonsense. Swords and Wizardry Complete is free to download as is Labyrinth Lord and are some others

If you want a more "D&D" experience try Castles and Crusades . Its got awful editing, terrible at times but otherwise makes good product and some interesting historical settings.

Get a good group and you'll be fine. You do have to ask, trust your gut, ask around. Google people. exclude anyone with hair dyed in an unnatural color, too many tattoos who isn't a biker that kind of thing.

Otherwise despite SJW efforts D&D is still D&D . Magic is the big fish of card games and with its decline in popularity unless they get rid of the SJW's they are done.


Personal opinion here , I played some time ago and ts not that great. I preferred Legend of the Five Rings myself

Anonymous Man of the Atom December 21, 2017 7:00 PM  

Ryan G wrote:
My one true, modern refuge from this bullshit came from D&D and board games. Now, I'm learning that even that tiny little niche market is slowly getting overrun too.


Been overrun for a long time. What's relatively new is what Delingpole describes: attempts by the Company to thought police its customers.

I've heard rumors that 5th edition D&D has liberal undertones. Is this actually true?

True. Look up "Appendix E" for 5th Edition.

Jeffro Johnson Explains It All. Also see his websites for current info.

Blogger DonReynolds December 21, 2017 7:07 PM  

The Soviets created the Political Commissar and the Chinese Communists took it to a high art form, and even created a movement called the Great Leap Forward to accomplish it.

Since Western organizations did not have a Political Commissar position, there was actually no one advocating for Western Civilization or Capitalism or the Republic. So it was not a matter of taking over that position in Western organizations, it had to be invented for the first time.

Since this is supposed to be a covert takeover and everything is supposed to be on the sly, they really cannot call that person a Political Commissar. That would tip everyone off. So what can we call that position and give them the authority to meddle into practically everything in the organization AND advance the agenda? Oh yeah....they can call that person the EEOC Coordinator, or the Affirmative Action Office, or the Diversity Director, or the Community Affairs Manager. Yeah....and park them close enough to Human Resources (or a part of Human Resources), so they can interest themselves in "personnel matters", like complaints, and employee records, and hiring decisions, and promotion decisions. Yeah, that should work.

Blogger Bobiojimbo December 21, 2017 7:08 PM  

If you're interested in making a card game, please be willing to expand your horizons a bit. MTG has been the 500 pound gorilla many have, and failed, to topple. I don't think it's impossible, just difficult, and if you go for it Vox, I'm behind you.

Look to other card games. I particularly enjoy Star Realms and Hero Realms by White wizard Games and also Android: Netrunner by FFG. Smash Up was another favorite of mine. Look into the LCG model, the deck-building model, and the CCG model. Those are the big 3 models that I can think of right now.

There are also numerous game sysem types, too many for me to list, and few that I am readily familiar with.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 21, 2017 7:15 PM  

Great. Now we're going to have to get into collectible card games...

That market is drenched. If Magic has decided to go the way of Marvel it will will be gone three years. The only thing it has going for it is addiction and inertia. So, kind of like Star Wars.

Blogger Dire Badger December 21, 2017 7:17 PM  

My Pathfinder game has -2 STR and CON, +4 CHA for females.

No one seems to Mind. Even when I admit that I should have tacked on another -2 INT and DEX. But...You know... Balance.

Maybe I should go ahead and add the penalties and tack on some extra bonus... like more followers. At least in medieval fantasy, White Knights have a PURPOSE.

Blogger dvdivx December 21, 2017 7:21 PM  

Arduin Grimoire - I used that in the 80's. Weirdly I still have the books and found out they are now a collectors item. First challenger to D&D. But that's old school D&D.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 21, 2017 7:21 PM  

The only real surprise here is that Hasbro is going along with the Magic's slide into Convergence.

And the only reason I'm surprised is that I thought it was Hasbro who told IDW Comics to knock it the hell off with (SJW) G.I. Joe.

Anonymous Man of the Atom December 21, 2017 7:25 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:The only real surprise here is that Hasbro is going along with the Magic's slide into Convergence.

And the only reason I'm surprised is that I thought it was Hasbro who told IDW Comics to knock it the hell off with (SJW) G.I. Joe.


Big company with many subsidiaries--the top execs may not realize it yet. Let the Streisand-ing begin. If they do know, then Hasbro is not long for this world.

Blogger Daniel Paul Grech Pereira December 21, 2017 7:28 PM  

For the love of God, not MTG.


F


I am dead inside.

Blogger Rashadjin December 21, 2017 7:34 PM  

Magic: The Gathering, how I'm glad we parted ways before I could experience your fall up close and personal.

I was mostly just a collector after a point - getting all these cards with a lovely bit of art and maybe touch of lore/fiction. Each one a tiny window into a fantasy universe that I could wonder and wander about. Or an idea, tweaked just so to hopefully make it a bit novel and thought provoking.

Good times.

That said, yes, avoid collectible card games like the plague as far as business ventures go. There was a huge rash of people crowd funding them the last three years and then a million more digital ones scattered about game portals like Kongregate and even Steam. The game format has the curse of being easy to create/digitize if you've got a good artist or two and a half-assed programmer or three.

Blogger Thucydides December 21, 2017 7:37 PM  

Things really have changed. I date back to when war-games were done on hexagonal map boards (Avalon-Hill and SPI were the two big ones back then) and remember others like Steve Jackson Games and GDW (God Damned War-games for their constant revisions and changes).

I also haven't played Traveller for decades, mostly because there were never enough players where I was, but I also tended to ditch a lot of their stuff and rewrite it for the Co-Dominium universe of Niven and Pournelle (thanks, guys), which tended to piss off the various rulebook lawyers.

If you are going to look at a base for a new game, I might suggest looking at Orion's Arm, which is a pretty rich "hard" SF Universe to set things in. A game set in John C Wright's "Count to the Eschaton Sequence" would be pretty amazing as well. Of course this is only my opinion, I'm sure equally amazing games could be set in many different universes.....

Anonymous Coalfiredbrisket December 21, 2017 7:43 PM  

Join a local alt right and start making the modern world pay.

Anonymous Rfvujm December 21, 2017 7:44 PM  

I liked Delingpole when he was focusing on exposing climate change lies. I like him even more now that he's shining a light on the SJW rats.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 21, 2017 7:51 PM  

WoTC just had a bunch of layoffs in their on-line division. We interviewed a few of their engineers (both laid off and still their but now looking). Not much talent, not much fire or passion. And they pay badly below-market salaries.

Blogger Dire Badger December 21, 2017 8:02 PM  

Thucydides wrote:Things really have changed. I date back to when war-games were done on hexagonal map boards (Avalon-Hill and SPI were the two big ones back then) and remember others like Steve Jackson Games and GDW (God Damned War-games for their constant revisions and changes).

Starship Troopers was a damned fine game.

Blogger Ceasar December 21, 2017 8:06 PM  

Who could have predicted this?

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-superhero-trend-could-alarm-investors-2017-12-14?mod=mw_share_twitter

Blogger Skyler the Weird December 21, 2017 8:22 PM  

Traveller is my favorite RPG. Had a professor in College who did some module Beta Testing for GDW. I ran a campaign outside the normal setting. The Confederation of Democratic Worlds. The CDW is a loosely knit Confederacy of 10 planets in 7 star systems and is currently involved in a rebellion from the larger: Federation of Democratic Worlds. The rebellion was sparked by debate over the rights of man-made-sentient or semi-sentient machines (TFPs, etc...).

I'm trying to build a new campaign from the basic rules mentioned in the Castalia House blog.

Blogger Skyler the Weird December 21, 2017 8:26 PM  

32. Still have a copy of the original AH Starship Troopers. That was a great game with hidden underground bug movement and the powered battle suits from the book.

Tried to play with my son but kids used to video war games have little patience.

Blogger Freeholder December 21, 2017 8:30 PM  

White Wolf is even worse. There are multiple openings now that the timing is right.

Blogger SteelPalm December 21, 2017 8:56 PM  

Although I don't play Magic itself, I'm heavily into CCGs (one of the best Hearthstone players on the Americas server), so I was aware of this story. Funny, because I was considering getting into Magic only a month or two ago.

No longer.

@27 Rashadjin
That said, yes, avoid collectible card games like the plague as far as business ventures go. There was a huge rash of people crowd funding them the last three years and then a million more digital ones scattered about game portals like Kongregate and even Steam. The game format has the curse of being easy to create/digitize if you've got a good artist or two and a half-assed programmer or three.

Eh, I don't think Vox was serious about getting into CCGs anyways, but I don't fully agree with the sentiment above.

You're right that the market is saturated with CCGs, but the problem is that the vast majority keep making the same damn mistakes over and over.

And I'm talking REALLY basic shit that any half-decent CCG player could instantly point out. Hearthstone, which I love and have spent many hundreds of hours on, is plagued with flaws, poorly thought-out cards, questionable balance, etc.

And yet, it's also better than 95% of CCGs out there just by getting the basics right. So over-saturated as it is, there is also opportunity for someone who understands the genre.

Anonymous bbgkb December 21, 2017 9:00 PM  

So HappyMerchant will no longer cry out in pain when he attacks you?

I've heard rumors that 5th edition D&D has liberal undertones. Is this actually true?

1/2 orc warlock lives matter

Blogger SteelPalm December 21, 2017 9:04 PM  

Damn, I hadn't kept up with the story recently, and didn't realize they had given Jeremy a lifetime ban AND taken away all his online card collections.

I REALLY hope he sues the hell out of them. That is such unbelievable bullshit.

Blogger Nate Winchester December 21, 2017 9:53 PM  

CCGs are dead. Embrace the LCG model.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab December 21, 2017 10:17 PM  

How can they take something he purchased?

Anonymous JAMES December 21, 2017 10:26 PM  

James D is quality.

Knowing that he reads VD is in my mind a ringing endorsement.

Blogger Rashadjin December 21, 2017 11:46 PM  

@37 SteelPalm

What you say is true, but then I get to toss out my cynicism as a followup. The first part being how improbable it is for a long running CCG with expansions to avoid descending into a pit of abusive cards and broken rules. Blizzard...okay, they were bound to screw it up sooner than later. But your dream of an 'excellent' CCG dies the moment the first or second expansion lands. Always. Rule creep and unforeseen card combinations/unintended consequences and etc.

The second part is that with M:TG, Munchkin, Pokemon, Hearthstone, FreeMess#835905 and etc etc etc, not enough people will find or give your budding, mythically excellent CCG empire with expensive, high class advertisements the chance it needs to survive even five years. The deadwood needs to be well into the burn first. Then you've got your opportunity for someone who understands the genre, preferably when your core audience's nostalgia for the good ol' days starts to creep back into the desolated land of ash n' soot.

At the moment, I'd think the best move is to seed the ground with small, basically one-off runs with the aim of a small profit you can use elsewhere, and then hope word of mouth catches up to you before its too late to pick up the real push for a new CCG empire at some later date, if you're going to make a move at all.

Blogger Bradford Walker December 21, 2017 11:51 PM  

Mike Mearls is the head D&D guy at WOTC. Go look up his Twitter feed.

He gets no stick for his social media usage from WOTC or Hasbro. That is all you need to know to determine if WOTC is converged or not.

And most of his peers are just as bad or worse. I've seen it in action for years as the poz spread and deepened in tabletop RPGs, such that the most notable onlime fora are open SJW cult compounds- forced into that due to (you got it) Gamergate.

If it weren't for the fact that the medium of tabletop RPGs is inherently resistant to convergence (being based on individual groups play in private homes and clubs), the takeover would've been cemented over a decade ago. As it is, they're still trying to make the medium into something it's not by con-based Organized Play campaigns.

Which means that they cross over with the Hugo Cult of SWFA and their Trufen due to having the con scene as a common point of interest as well as common ideological interests. (And many tabletop RPG people have gone into Tradpublishing SF/F over the years, so it's a long-standing association.)

WOTC is converged. FFG is converged. Paizo, Green Ronin, and many others are also converged. (Palladium isn't, but it has its own problems.) But ACKS is Alexander Macris's not-D&D, so he's a safe bet for your fantasy TPRG needs.

But yeah, just say no to WOTC & Friends. The cult is strong there.

Blogger Akulkis December 22, 2017 12:21 AM  

@digz

That's a choice you made.

Choose to be more tenacious, instead.

Blogger Akulkis December 22, 2017 12:25 AM  

@Ryan G

Go back to historical wargaming. SJWs seem to have no attraction to it.

Blogger Akulkis December 22, 2017 12:32 AM  

Most of the Avalon Hill line-ip was commendable.

Anonymous Killua December 22, 2017 12:52 AM  

An Alt Hero related card game could be interesting.

Blogger SteelPalm December 22, 2017 1:06 AM  

@42 Rashadjin

What you say is true, but then I get to toss out my cynicism as a followup. The first part being how improbable it is for a long running CCG with expansions to avoid descending into a pit of abusive cards and broken rules. Blizzard...okay, they were bound to screw it up sooner than later. But your dream of an 'excellent' CCG dies the moment the first or second expansion lands.

No. To begin with, there are a number of CCGs that are excellent to this day, despite a plethora of expansions. Including, to some extent, Hearthstone still. (Which is on expansion 11 in 4 years, off the top of my head)

Secondly, and more importantly, companies have the opportunity to continually nerf and buff digital cards by virtue of them being digital.

One of the biggest problems Blizzard has is that, because of how the appstore works, they have to give Apple, Samsung, etc. over a month's notice before they make any changes to the game. This not only makes them slow to react to problems in the game, but also means they design expansions months in advance, with expansion X being designed before expansion X-1 has even been released.

Thus, having no clue what the meta will be when when X is released, only what it is 3-4 months earlier, they make mistakes.

However, all of this is a function of their business model. It can be corrected.

The second part is that with M:TG, Munchkin, Pokemon, Hearthstone, FreeMess#835905 and etc etc etc, not enough people will find or give your budding, mythically excellent CCG empire with expensive, high class advertisements the chance it needs to survive even five years. The deadwood needs to be well into the burn first. Then you've got your opportunity for someone who understands the genre, preferably when your core audience's nostalgia for the good ol' days starts to creep back into the desolated land of ash n' soot.

And yet, new and very popular CCGs still come out all the time, like Shadowverse and Gwent.

Yes, the saturation of the market is a huge obstacle. No, it's not insurmountable, considering how badly most CCGs screw up.

Blogger Dire Badger December 22, 2017 1:07 AM  

Skyler the Weird wrote:32. Still have a copy of the original AH Starship Troopers. That was a great game with hidden underground bug movement and the powered battle suits from the book.

Tried to play with my son but kids used to video war games have little patience.


Well, my friends and I are Grognards (Okay, not really, but we do like 'challenging' tabletops.)We play 'Air War' occasionally, and that game is a nightmare. Lots of Battletech(Old original pre-clans, pre-harmony gold lawsuit with special features for mechs from the old books)

You are aware, however, that if it's in decent shape, your ST is worth a mint? especially if it still has the 'hidden' pad? heck, I'd practically kill for even a digitized copy... Mine disappeared in a storage unit robbery a decade ago.

Blogger Dire Badger December 22, 2017 1:13 AM  

Oh my god, I just had a thought... Does anyone know who Owns Avalon Hill intellectual properties?

A Game maker could fairly easily translate even the most complex original rulesets into computer-ese, especially if he used a 'toolkit' like game maker. of course, adding an AI player would be a nightmare, but for buddies playing over the internet? It could be a breeze... heck, I could probably even do it, and the last language I learned was COBOL.

Blogger Dire Badger December 22, 2017 1:14 AM  

Oh, Ugh. WOTC owns them.

Bloody Monopoly.

Blogger Harambe December 22, 2017 2:52 AM  

Dire Badger wrote:Oh my god, I just had a thought... Does anyone know who Owns Avalon Hill intellectual properties?

A Game maker could fairly easily translate even the most complex original rulesets into computer-ese, especially if he used a 'toolkit' like game maker. of course, adding an AI player would be a nightmare, but for buddies playing over the internet? It could be a breeze... heck, I could probably even do it, and the last language I learned was COBOL.


AI is hard to develop, but it's not really a "nightmare". You can sort of cheese it by watching two humans play and trying to extract useful strategies which you can make your AI emulate. Resource gathering, defenses, offenses and counters are reasonably straightforward to script. It's no cakewalk, but it can be done by most hardcore programmers such as yourself.

Blogger Akulkis December 22, 2017 3:14 AM  

@Dire Badger

Re Starship Troopers and other Grognard stuff

http://vassalengine.org/ is your friend.

Also http://ahgeneral.org/

Blogger Rashadjin December 22, 2017 3:16 AM  

@49 SteelPalm

And here I thought we were talking the sort of excellent where people would play your game over the relatively excellent of Hearthstone... But yes, I did exaggerate developer's ability to screw up their CCGs slightly.

I am not convinced about this room for new CCGs theory of yours. Shadowverse did something to kill itself off. Elder Scrolls: Legends barely got off the ground, although I have no idea why exactly. M:TG's Magic Duels is dead in 2018 with M:TG Online doing less well than Shadowverse in early 2016/2017 data. Mojang's Scrolls died in 2015.

I really, really wish I could see how well Gwent is doing. So a question mark there on the present lovely dystopia where Hearthstone might be the only real digital game in town. Because it might be the only game in town with enough polish and inertia and Blizzard to survive a la WoW (possibly with Gwent being the temporary exception that proves the point). Unless you're happy to slide in as a blip under 'all others' with regards to success here. There is a lot of money being spent on digital CCGs at the moment - that aspect doesn't appear to be going anywhere.

Anonymous JAG December 22, 2017 3:53 AM  

I tried to get into Magic back in the 90s when it was the new fad. I gave it up for two reasons.

Too much investment of dollars. Even for Type 2 decks, which were supposed to be affordable for the average player, it cost far too much. The card shops would open all the packs, then jack up the prices on the good cards. I was looking at over a thousand dollars to put together a Prosperous Bloom deck. I'm not the kind of person that is going to drop that kinda cash just to compete on the so called "affordable" tier.

Rules lawyers. Every stinking time I found a cool combo to use somebody would immediately yell at me that the latest issue of Inquest or Duelist had a rules change barring what I wanted to do. Either keep a lawyer on hand, or find something else to do. I found something else to do.

That they are now converged is not surprising since Hasbro seems to be the root of the convergence across all their properties much like Disney.

Anonymous Killua December 22, 2017 4:07 AM  

Too much investment of dollars

Same. I loved playing MTG as a kid. I would play today but a competitive standard deck is just way too expensive.

The funniest part is when you spend 400 dollar on just four cards (say a playset of Jace the Mind Sculptor) and they suddenly ban it because the deck is too good.

"Oh, you 100 dollar card is now worthless because we didn't test it properly, sorry about that"

Having said that, MTG is still a great game. I consider their lead designer, Mark Rosewater, to be one of the best writers today in topics related to creativity. This article is a must read for any creative type: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/making-magic/connect-dots-2007-04-02

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot December 22, 2017 5:28 AM  

WOTC needs to move its headquarters, full stop, and has needed to do this for a very long time.

I've seen it up close: it's a boring squat office block in a semi-crap south suburb of Seattle whose close-by neighbours consist mainly of a state motorway, several disused car lots, a few former Boeing facilities, and the occasional self-storage centre here and there. (Some of the nearby restaurants were almost equally depressing as well, making you wonder where these people eat their lunches.)

So I'll blame this on architecture for the LOLZ then: the building attracts mediocrity because it's a mediocre building, and we are seeing some of the knock-on results of this.

Perhaps if these people had an inspiring environment they'd focus on the games instead of being a bunch of Internet busy-bodies -- it's definitely a problem that WOTC corporate management could solve by getting out of that depressing place.

Anonymous Anonymous December 22, 2017 6:04 AM  

Didn't Tyrone write about that sheeit https://tyronetrump.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/subkult/

Multiculturalism eats other competing subcultures.

Anonymous Dmitri December 22, 2017 6:05 AM  

Didn't Tyrone write about that https://tyronetrump.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/subkult/

Multiculturalism eats competing subcultures.

Blogger Freeholder December 22, 2017 6:29 AM  

First played MtG in 92. I saw immediately where it was going and never bought a deck, One of the wisest decisions I have ever made.

Blogger Duke Norfolk December 22, 2017 7:55 AM  

"Like Gamergate, it concerns ordinary people who just want to be left alone to enjoy their hobby."

Related. My wife makes cookies; custom decorated, etc. And she participates in some FB groups with said focus.

The other day she mentioned that some SJW-type started kvetching about the lack of POC in one particular gal's cookie designs. The cookiemaker said that she just made what people asked for.

My wife made the comment, "these are just women that want to make our cookies and share with each other." This is, of course, a very white female activity.

Yes, they are infesting everything. No surprise, and in the end a good thing as they wake up the insulated normies.

The unfortunate thing is that the cookiemaker started virtue signaling and prostrated herself in front of the SJW instead of holding her ground. Predictable, but disappointing.

Blogger Philip Morris December 22, 2017 8:06 AM  

Money quote from the Market Watch article linked above:
"Here’s a suggestion for [Marvel], from the cheap seats.

Your company, Marvel, loves to say it reflects the world outside your window. If so, why not step up and launch a series that features alt-right characters battling it out with social justice warriors? For better or worse, this theme has done wonders for cable TV news ratings."

My investment in Alt-Hero was largely predicated on sticking my thumb in the eye of the politically correct, but those hardcover limited editions are looking increasingly like a sound initial investment in the collectibles market.
Still not tired of winning.

Anonymous P_Ang December 22, 2017 9:58 AM  

Kind of surprised no one has brought up the WoTC "tap" ruling that destroyed tens of companies and hundreds of CCGs. WoTC sued for intellectual property rights in court that they, and only they, had the rights to turning a card sideways. Drop a poker card on a table at more than a 45-degree angle? Sorry, WoTC travelled back in time and invented poker you lawbreaker! Naturally, an incredibly idiotic legal ruling was made that they had in fact been blessed with an almost god-like creative ability to turn a card sideways, and every CCG that was available on the market at the time, from the terrible Decipher Star Wars and Star Trek games to the incredible "Legend of the Five Rings" went belly-up.

Blogger Lobo Util December 22, 2017 10:39 AM  

I just send a gift to the HR Department. "Pepe LePew's Greatest Hits". 17 cartoons about that serial abuser. Anonymously, of course.

Blogger Nate Winchester December 22, 2017 11:16 AM  

No it didn't.
1) trek didn't even use tapping then and never has, even in 2E.
2) l5r contined on until it reached the 25 year mark. It only just stopped as a ccg in 2015 and just returned this year from fantasy flight as an lcg.

What wizards got was the TERM of "tapping". Other games can still turn cards sideways they just have to call it "exhausting" (like 99% of the time that's what it is) or "bowing" in the case of l5r.

Blogger Skyler the Weird December 22, 2017 11:17 AM  

@51 The Box is a little beat up but Yes I have the hidden movement pad for bug movement. Never play as often as I liked so its still about 80% there.

One AH title I loved playing but misplaced was their version of DUNE. I've looked all over my Dad's and Grandmother's p[lace for it and it never turned up.

Blogger Skyler the Weird December 22, 2017 11:20 AM  

@51 Avalon Hill did make a decent infantry only version of Squad Leader called "Close Combat" for the Atari 800/1200 series It had SL type tokens and you moved the pieces via text. The AI determined hits and results. Was very easy to keep the hidden movement hidden. Still have that one but my 5 1/2 inch floppy drive doesn't work anymore.

Blogger Dire Badger December 22, 2017 11:41 AM  

Akulkis wrote:@Dire Badger

Re Starship Troopers and other Grognard stuff

http://vassalengine.org/ is your friend.

Also http://ahgeneral.org/



DUDE.
Kick ass.

"It's no cakewalk, but it can be done by most hardcore programmers such as yourself."

Hardcore Programmer? I haven't touched a coding editor since I helped 'fix' Subway control systems prior to Y2K. and Before that I worked on Satellite control systems in FORTH.

Making skeleton control systems in rhino and blender, mucking about in Ruby to make game maker pro and RPG maker XP games, and a few minecraft and skyrim mods does NOT make one a 'Hardcore programmer'. At best it makes you a dabbler.I am an artist, not a coder.


Although... I have seen a thousand 'coder art' games on indie sites, and most 'coders' have no more idea on how to make a game 'fun' than an idiot Savant...And there is this prevailing attitude that 'the idea man is in charge, now I just have to find an artist to make the game pretty so I can get rich off of it', which is almost universally a flop. I seldom see games that are started by the story guy and/or artist that is 'just looking for a coder to put all the pieces together'.

Maybe Story-Driven Wargames are the niche where that attitude can make a decent game. Who knows. It could still be a fun way to kill some of my rare free time.

Blogger Dire Badger December 22, 2017 12:01 PM  

Does anyone know if there is anything resembling OpenRPG out there for reconnecting far-flung gaming friend groups online?

Most alternatives I have found have been restricted in the types of games 'pre coded' and have little customisability for 'unusual' games like FUDGE or 7th sea. And the original OpenRPG is simply unable to run on modern windows systems.

I would love to reconnect with some of the folks I played with for 20+ years that have had to move cross-country or overseas.

Blogger Jon Mollison December 22, 2017 1:28 PM  

@45: "But yeah, just say no to WOTC & Friends. The cult is strong there."

Don't forget Hasbro, who owns WotC. The game world has a cancer similar to the Disney/Marvel disease, and Hasbro hasn't realized it yet. This MagicGate thing blowing up right now cost Hasbro more than they think. It isn't just the forty bucks I used to spend on cards for my oldest son - every time I went into a store to buy presents for the kids, I avoided any product with a Hasbro logo. That's several hundred dollars, and don't think for a second I'm the only guy that did so.

Add to that the same sort of process rolling through Hasbro's recently acquired American Girl doll product line, and even the completely non-gamer women in my family have washed their hands of that company. Like Disney, they are bleeding through dozens of wounds they won't notice until it's too late.

@47: Go back to historical wargaming. SJWs seem to have no attraction to it.

Too high a bar of entry, and historical wargamers are even more spergy than SJWs. I say that as one of them, and with all the love in my heart. The historical guys know their stuff backward and forward and have decades of experience not caring what the other guy thinks and pushing back against any attempts at revisionism. Ever heard two guys go back and forth for twenty minutes on the proper shade of dress coat for Napoleon's Imperial Guard, or bicker about how many buttons they had on their coat in 1811 versus 1814? I'd like to see some gender theorist try to slide plus-sized minority female Imperial Guard figures onto one of those guy's tables!

Anonymous Hunsdon December 22, 2017 2:16 PM  

SDL does LBB? Traveller was one of my favorites back in the day, eclipsing AD&D and only slightly edged out by Bushido and Daredevils. I loved that you could die in character generation, that character generation was itself a minigame. Our Traveller games were sometimes Aliens, sometimes Outland, sometimes Retief, sometimes Flandry, always fun. I am definitely interested in this development, while being honest enough to admit that I don't qualify as hardcore.

Blogger Jordan179 December 22, 2017 3:09 PM  

I hope this doesn't affect My Little Pony, which is core Hasbro. Up till now, it's been a remarkably nice fandom.

Blogger Jordan179 December 22, 2017 3:09 PM  

I hope this doesn't affect My Little Pony, which is core Hasbro. Up till now, it's been a remarkably nice fandom.

Blogger tz December 22, 2017 7:05 PM  

Since the Pokes are having a good evening, I'm watching them play
A YouTubeTV ad comes up featuring internet streaming live TV. But a majority of the examples were ESPN. The rest was other things which I've already cut cable for. Worse, $35/mo !? Why do I expect the number of subscribers to underwhelm. I can't think of any media I'd pay that rate for, even if it wasn't SJW converged. Do they have various porn channels including live Hentai?

Blogger Thucydides December 23, 2017 1:11 AM  

@33
I loved Starship Troopers, since it really seemed to get the essence of RAH's combat as described in the book. An interesting counterpart might be to see if the same sort of gameplay could be applied to Joe Haldeman's "Forever War", although instead of burrowing underground the "surprise" would be how far from your timeframe the enemy is when they appear, due to relativistic time dilation effects.

Blogger Dire Badger December 23, 2017 7:10 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Dire Badger December 23, 2017 7:17 AM  

Jordan179 wrote:I hope this doesn't affect My Little Pony, which is core Hasbro. Up till now, it's been a remarkably nice fandom.

Bronies, the driving force behind My little pony fandom, are NOT a nice fandom. You will never find a more twisted group of armchair perverts... ANYWHERE.

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