Category Archives: general gaming

Of Copyright and Gaming

Recently, there has been some debate on violating copyright on some of the social platforms (specifically in regards to the game Memoir ’44). I would like to state up front, I am not a lawyer but…I certainly have had a considerable interest in the subject ever since I started creating extra materials for games. Here is what I understand so far…

You cannot copyright a game – it doesn’t meet the criteria for copyright. So if I decided to make up my own game that is similar to an already published game, that is perfectly ok so long as I don’t infringe on their copyright. A good example of this was my creation of Dire Heroes.

Copyright pertains to the creation of the content itself – I can’t, for example, use the Days of Wonder scenario generator to make a scenario then sell that scenario. Not because it is a Memoir ’44 scenario (more on that in a bit) but because they own the copyright to the images used to make that scenario (well, that and they have you agree to their terms before you can even get the editor to make it in the first place…you’ll note, thanks to my Dire Heroes they’ve added the clause that you won’t make other games with it either now!). However, in theory, I could create my own graphics from scratch and sell the scenarios but then I would have a new problem, Trademarks!

Trademarks prevent confusion about brand – So if I made a game, scenarios etc… that don’t violate the copyright, I can still run into trouble here. I can’t pretend to be another brand and must declare even on a mere mention of Memoir ’44 that ‘Memoir ’44 is a Trademark of Days of Wonder’.

So as I understand it, I could create, for example, a Memoir ’44 campaign book. All of the content would need to be created entirely by me (I can’t even duplicate any of their existing rules I can only reference them…and declare the trademark). I could then sell it…but the law here is still a little murky and Days of Wonder could still pursue legal action (nothing stopping that anyway)…and I’m not even sure they would win but it just doesn’t seem worth the risk. Honestly, it takes a lot of work to create something like a campaign book and while I might make a few bucks I would likely lose that and more in legal fights.

Short answer here, don’t bother. Create content if it’s your passion and simply share it. That’s what I mostly do. The hook here is again, it takes a lot of work to produce something nice and if there is nothing in it other than a community ‘thanks’ (which I do appreciate, it just doesn’t pay my bills) then it likely won’t get done…or not properly.

All that being said, I would like to reiterate, this is just my current understanding. If anyone can enlighten me on any of the above professionally, I would love to hear from you.

Gears of War – Belly of the Beast Buster?

Gears of War boardgame

We played GoW shortly after it came out (2-player). There were a lot of things I loved about this game when we first played it…and some things I hated. So after playing it through way back then (Jan. 2012…like that was so long ago!) we put it away. Mostly out of frustration I imagine given our current attempt.

So… I was poking around the geek for a good co-op romp and re-discovered GoW. Oh right! I own this, I realized…oh, and look! there’s an expansion. I ordered it and when it arrived thought we had better start from the beginning. Continue reading

Battle of the Bulge

It’s December and to wargamers that means only one thing, Battle of the Bulge time!

I pulled out one of my favorites, Axis & Allies Battle of the Bulge.  Which got me thinking…why not play out the battles that occur using a combat system other than random dice.  Battle Academy was the perfect fit.  So I set up a play as you go campaign demo where I play both sides of the A&A-BB game until the point where a battle occurs.  At that time, I translate the A&A-BB figures to BA units and make a battle based on the hex terrain…then it’s a free for all in the Battle Academy community.  Players play other players then post the results.  Then one of those results is randomly determined to be the result on the board….and the game continues!  You can read more about it on the Battle Academy forums here.

For Vassal players, I did a bit of a upgrade to the existing A&A-Battle of the Bulge mod…though, it could still use some fixtures (a side board would be good etc…) but it does get the job done.  In fact, I’m using it to play out the campaign mentioned above.

While we’re on the subject, an iPad app that features Battle of the Bulge has also recently come to my attention.  Looks very interesting, too bad I don’t have an iPad 🙁  Maybe Santa will drop one on me?

Season’s Greetings to all and to all a good night!

Happy Gaming and All the Best in the New Year!

 

Battleship Galaxies – a campaign

Battleship Galaxies campaign

Here’s a fun 2 player game that I quickly saw campaign potential for. So I wrote up a quick campaign system for it that sets players off with the Standard class of ships that come with the game and as the scenarios progress, players can promote their ships. They also build their card decks as they go as well.

You can grab a copy of the campaign here – Battleship Galaxies Campaign.

Review of Duel of the Giants

Duel of the Giants is a Z-Man game that sees tank to tank combat on the Eastern front circa 1943.  It was a good game with some great components.  I recently wrote a review for it (posted on BoardGameGeek.com) and created  a player aid (also available on BGG…well, when it is approved).  For you M’44 players, this is a game that is different than what you are used to but still nice and light.

Games for the Holidays

It is time to start thinking about what to get that wargamer for the coming holiday season. In light of that, I have some suggestions based on the games I have played and enjoyed. Here I break them down in terms of what that special someone likes and what they will likely want next.

Let’s start with those who have yet to play Memoir ’44, my suggestion – Memoir ’44! It’s a great game that will provide hundreds of hours of entertainment for 2 players.

Ok, ok….if you are on this site, chances are you know about Memoir ’44 so let’s see what is a good idea after that. There are a lot of expansions that I can suggest here but it would take up the whole post (see the Supplies page for ideas there). So my recommendation for the M’44 fan is the – Memoir ’44 Campaign Book:Volume I. This one adds 50+ new scenarios and ties them together in campaigns and Grand Campaigns. The Normandy Campaign is playable with just the base game of Memoir ’44 (authored by yours truly).

For more Memoir ’44 players, try the Overlord expansion. It allows up to 8 players and makes for a different play. You’ll need any one of the Battle Maps to accompany it for the full experience (Hedgerow Hell or Tigers in the Snow or the new Sword of Stalingrad).

For those M’44 players who want to get a little deeper into wargaming I strongly suggest Tide of Iron. It’s a much more challenging game but with more control, it feels a lot less random than M’44. If they already have Tide of Iron, and enjoy it, I recommend any of the expansions that have come out, they are all good (see the Supplies page for more). Tide of Iron also has more of a multi-player support with up to 4. Be warned though, it is more time demanding than M’44.

For something different yet still accessible I really enjoyed a couple from the Axis & Allies series. Axis & Allies:D-Day introduces wargame sequences through the use of cards. While Axis & Allies:Battle of the Bulge has a fluid front and deals with the classic wargame problem of supply. Though these games have a limited replay value (not scenario based) they are still a great addition to any collection.

Looking for a good multi-player wargame? I would suggest the following…

Conquest of the Empire is set in ancient Rome and is a fun classic that offers two ways to play (Classic and II). The components are amazing (and right now, the price is amazing!).

Viktory II is another excellent multi-player game that is in the vein of Risk but plays out much better.

Well, that about covers off what I would suggest for the game players holiday wishlist.