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RANDOM MUSINGS on the fin-de-millénaire games scene . . .

25 October 2005 . . . Normally nobody pays any attention to anything I write on this site, but as a surprising change of pace in comes a note from Walter "Mac" Gerdts regarding the review of Antike, his new invention:

Dear Rick,
Thank you for posting a review on the game at spotlightongames.
To the first point I beg your pardon as I have to object: It is never stated anywhere, that Antike "wants to recreate the classic Civilization". Maybe some players would like such a thing, but the game itself certainly does not. Antike definitely is a game on its own. Therefore a criticism, that all the thematic elements of Civilization have gone, cannot be valid.
Stating instead that Antike is not a "lite Civ", because there are so many differences, would have been all right.
Maybe it's a language issue or maybe the fault of my compact writing style, but I think "Mac" doesn't really have the grievance he thinks he has. The main idea I wanted to relate was that his game has almost no interest at all in its theme. Comparison to Civilization was just an easy shorthand for doing that.

As to his objection that his game has nothing at all to with its predecessor, consider the list of what both share: Ancient setting, virtually identical Mediterranean plus Middle East territory, single city building per area, combat by reduction, purchased technology advances by means of cards, named factions, and probably more that I'm not thinking of now. Consider too that Francis Tresham's Civilization, is one of the most groundbreaking games in the post-war era with over 1200 raters on, so far. If "Mac's" game really had nothing to do with it, he really should have set it in outer space because even then he probably couldn't avoid comparisons ...

But hey, this is not the only critique to come in this week. While we're on a roll, let's have a look at the next one, which comesin from Belgian Benny Bosmans:

Subject: No Subject Given


Just to say that I clicked on the URL you mentioned when reading the short reviews on the boardgamegeek.

This website has to be one of the most hilarious game sites ever seen.

Look at "My BGG" and understand why...

Not one decent remark for the old wargames, only Euro clone stuff

The zillionth variant on Settlers or tile game brings you nothing new, except perhaps a hollow "time passing" of children's games with 30 minutes playing time.

Ever got the urge to read a book on economics after playing Catan? Of course not. Because these games are time fillers, zeroing in on commercial needs to produce thin air of recreational consumables.

So if you don't like to review wargames. Please stop mentioning them and rather play with the Barby dolls, Lost Cities, Fisher price and Jumbo boxes which can be found in every super market.

Perhaps in future years you will come back to decent historical gaming, in the meantime don't damage the games which deserve more (than a fun passing of our so precious and limited time).

You know, one problem I often have is failure to follow others' instructions. So while I did take a look at "My BGG", I didn't take a look at my "My BGG", but his. What I found there was that he has listed his favorite musical artist as, wait for it, Shania Twain. Yes, this man for whom meaning would seem to be everything admires the songs of an artist so corporate and watered down that she doesn't even sing in her private life.

I pretty much stopped reading right there.


by Rick Heli