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It happened again the other day..... I saw one of Marco’s great video reviews and thought, “Say, that looks like a great game to hook someone on the hobby.” It’s something I’ve been looking for ever since I re-entered the hobby in 2001. As a high school history teacher and advisor to the school’s “Game Club,” I’ve been on the lookout for that one game that would draw someone into the hobby. But at $60, this game isn’t one of them....
I’m afraid this is one of those “What this hobby really needs is...” blog posts... Way back when... Back in the day.... etc.... There was SPI and their Napoleon at Waterloo and assorted quads (and Metagaming’s little boxed efforts) all for less than $5. Visually interesting (for the time) and with rules that were only four pages in length, these were ideal for the beginner.
Of course, today there is additional pressure to serve up something even more visually interesting than the games of yore, as the game companies now have to compete with computers and “Euro-games.” What is needed is an interesting, colorful, $20 game with only four or five pages of easily understood rules. This game should play as well solo as one-on-one. A good model (I think) is Steve Jackson’s redux of Ogre/GEV which he sold for $15 in the 90’s. Is there anything out there that comes close to Jackson’s masterpiece?