Two Pairs of Trousers for £3

by Mike Clifford

Please help me out with something here. Yes, I am going to go on about the positive state of gaming again, but no need to hook up the Kevorkian at this point. I need your input.

As a member of the elite 'Siggo Corps', we have found that there are a dozen or so titles which form the nucleus of each session. Games presently in the inner sanctum include Der Fliegende Hollaender, Elfenroads, Banana Repub1ic, Santa Fe, Modern Art, Quo Vadis, Revolution, Formule De, Daytona 500, Karriere Poker, Razzia, Koalition and Liars Dice.

As a gauge of the wonderland we currently find ourselves in, the following are deemed 'history': Legends Of Robin Hood, Days Of Decision, Extrablatt, Drunter & Druber, Trump, History Of The World, Pony Express, Elfengold, Airlines, 1830, Die Macher.... I could go on and on, but why break the habit of a lifetime.

Of course, both sets of games cou1d be transposed. The latter pile would provide an extremely pleasant day/afternoon/evening. In each case, they are on the tip of an iceberg. Colonel Sigginbottom reckons on about 50 current 'classics' (excluding wargames). If you play eight a month for year, each game will have seen action twice. But watch out, here come the new catalogues from Avalon Hill, FASA, TSR, Gibson's and a dozen etceteras. And don't forget Earl's Court, Nuremburg and Essen (the latter a guaranteed source of at least six new 'spendidos').

With a surplus of leisure time available, I accept that I am one lucky bastardo. Belonging to a well-ordered games group is another serious plus. But it doesn't alleviate the 'frustration factor', whereby a whole pile of decent material is consigned to the dumper.

Although the larger manufacturers usually bemoan their lot, this hasn't put a brake on the consistent quality available from what I perceive to be an expanding marketplace, certainly in terms of the new companies. Think about the independents - White Wind, Livingstone and Fantasy Forest immediately come to mind - who have thrown their lot into the arena. There are rumours of a new national games magazine, although the forthcoming world chess championship can take the credit for that.

I belong to the 'must have at all costs school', which means that the purchase of records and books has been dramatically reduced in order to make the games quota. As the music business is in serious decline, I am clearly not alone but then again, most of of the new releases are horseshite anyway.

I would be intrigued to hear from other 'game pools', and whether they are overwhelmed in their endeavours to keep up with the endless tide of new material. Also, are budgetary restraints a major consideration, are you still buying books/CDs/going to movies?

mike clifford

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