The first is called *The Battle for Julu 207 B.C.*, the second is called *Chaos in China*, the third is called *Naval Battle of the Sino-Japanese War*. All three are Chinese-designed and -published board wargames.
I don't see many wargames from the Chinese perspective. How big is the wargame hobby there? Do they ever do English translations?The first is called *The Battle for Julu 207 B.C.*, the second is called *Chaos in China*, the third is called *Naval Battle of the Sino-Japanese War*. All three are Chinese-designed and -published board wargames.
Wargames are really more of my SO's thing than mine (I find most wargames too fiddly and tedious) but I'll play some of the simpler ones (like these three) with him from time to time.
I don't see many wargames from the Chinese perspective. How big is the wargame hobby there? Do they ever do English translations?
A niche hobby in a country as big as China is still a pretty nice place to be I bet.It's a growing hobby, much like RPGs are. (For translated RPGs the top games are, naturally, D&D, but also Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, and FATE, whose translation I watched get crowdfunded to absurdly record levels on Modian.) I wouldn't call it large yet, but it's large enough to have spawned three full-time publishers now. (I spoke with one of the publishers, the guy who designed and published that naval game, and he quit a lucrative engineering job to be a full-time game designer and wargames publisher/reseller.)
That's unfortunate. If you know, did they stop filling orders as well or just ignore the co-publication part?None of them have been translated to English as far as I can tell. (I'm not exactly plugged in to the western wargaming world, given that it's not really my hobby, so I may have missed something.)
The history of the wargames (and RPG) hobby in China starts, as usual, with university students, specifically those who'd studied abroad and encountered the hobby. It grew slowly in such circles, the slow growth attributed mainly to the fact that American and European wargames were stupidly expensive to buy (seeing as they were imports). To bolster their hobby, a lot of them formed "DIY collectives"—think something like the fansub circles for japanimation in North America and you'll have the idea—where they'd clone the playing pieces in a cheap form (like the Paul Koenig's D-Day series depicted below), under the rule that if it ever gets domestically published the DIY clones would be taken from the market. View attachment 46279
Unfortunately wargames publishers in the west were 100% unreceptive to translation and co-publication deals. I'm going to single out Victory Point Games in particular because the aforementioned designer expressed extreme upset with them: they'd take his money for orders of games, replying to emails of inquiry and email orders with alacrity, but as soon as he suggested the possibility of a joint translation/co-publication deal emails went unanswered, so, you know, "no answer" in the sense of the German expression "Keine Antwort ist auch eine Antwort".
This sparked the semi-pro phase, typified by this "Four Crossings of Chishui" game.
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This is one of four semi-pro games the aforementioned designer/publisher/reseller made (and probably his most interesting to wargamers given some of his unique mechanisms (like a magnetic board for the Communist forces to plot movements on and the card-based events and command system). Continued frustration with western publishers finally resulted in several game designers in the Beijing community deciding to go pro, leading to that naval game being this designer's first pro outing (I think ... it may have been his second) and a large number of other games made by both him and several other design and publication houses.
Sadly I think the market for western board wargames has closed. The local producers make enough games to saturate the burgeoning market, and the bad blood left by western publishers completely ignoring overtures has made it that none of the local producers are likely to want to go into business with them any longer.
What do the Euro games go for in China? I'm curious if the difference might be due to Euro games being part of larger conglomerates used to adjusting prices for local wages vs smaller wargames companies only used to dealing with US/Europe. That's got some big assumptions baked in on my part so I'm trying to see if I understand the various markets correctly.Which is in stunning and marked contrast to the so-called "Euro" board games which have been co-published like crazy to the point that equivalent Chinese games, although they exist, are nigh unicorns.
A niche hobby in a country as big as China is still a pretty nice place to be I bet.
That's unfortunate. If you know, did they stop filling orders as well or just ignore the co-publication part?
What do the Euro games go for in China? I'm curious if the difference might be due to Euro games being part of larger conglomerates used to adjusting prices for local wages vs smaller wargames companies only used to dealing with US/Europe. That's got some big assumptions baked in on my part so I'm trying to see if I understand the various markets correctly.
Whatever their logic it seem like the foreign wargame companies made competitors vs customers which doesn't seem wise for them. Seems like it could be good for global consumers. Always nice to see more perspectives and scenarios.
Thank you. Your posts are very educational.For a sense of perspective here, this is Conflict of Alliances: Warring States.
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It's made by the same people who made the Battle for Julu 207 B.C. game (and indeed it's the same woman who designed both; I got them at the same time and chatted with her when I did). It's got a smallish folding cardboard game board, about 80 thick, double-sided colour tokens (the "easy-punch" variety with rounded corners), a substantial rulebook/history summary, a deck of about 120 custom cards a little smaller than a standard poker card, and a sturdy box to hold it all. This game cost me about 130RMB, which is about US$20. Getting the cheapest of the cheapest baggie games from Victory Point Games at the time I got this game (another of the rare games I'd play with my SO!) would have cost me about 50RMB out the gate just for the purchase price. Adding shipping to it and we'd be paying closer to 70RMB, likely. Add the shop overhead (because I don't have the resources to get money out of China to buy things) and we're now looking at 80RMB minimum. For a game that's uglier, cheaper-made, less durable, and less likely to have replay potential.
A proper (read: boxed) wargame from GMT or VPG or whatnot comparable in size and components to this game would likely set me back 500RMB once all the costs are paid.
This is why I say there's no longer a market for western wargames in China. Professionally produced games of interest to the Chinese market are available at a quarter or less of the cost.
I sadly missed out on the Kickstarter and so I’m picking up the game and retail expansions as they come available.
Yeah, at $35 that was also a good deal on Amazon.I scored that bundle of the original core with the Spiderverse and Doctor Strange.
We played with The Dark Titan expansion twice and enjoyed it. We lost the first time at the simplest level and won the second time.The last time I played any version of Castle Panic was pre-pandemic, so my memories are a bit hazy at this point. That said, I have tried each of those expansions and found them both enjoyable. To the best of my recollection, The Dark Titan basically takes the base game and makes it harder, whereas the Wizard's Tower has enough differences that playing with it feels like a different game.
A while back, I got Pandemic: Fall of Rome as a gift. This weekend I got around to opening the box and my wife and I played a couple of games. We stuck to the introductory level (5 revolts) but nonetheless lost our first attempt, when Rome was sacked. We would have lost anyway, since we were nearly out of player cards. The second game we won, by making alliances with all the barbarian tribes.
Oddly, in both games my wife ended up as the combat monster--she drew the barbarian queen as her role the first time and the magister militum the second. I had the consul and the merchant.
We enjoyed the game quite a bit and I look forward to playing more in the future. The components are quite nice, too, though the images of Roman soldiers are from the 1st century (or so), rather than the 5th century when the game is ostensibly set. But it's not meant as a realistic simulation, and everyone's picture of what a Roman legionary should look like is based on the Principate, not the later Empire.
Fall of Rome is my favourite iteration of Pandemic. Not only do I like the theme better but I like the ability to be able to plan and predict more to stop the advancing barbarian hordes.A while back, I got Pandemic: Fall of Rome as a gift. This weekend I got around to opening the box and my wife and I played a couple of games. We stuck to the introductory level (5 revolts) but nonetheless lost our first attempt, when Rome was sacked. We would have lost anyway, since we were nearly out of player cards. The second game we won, by making alliances with all the barbarian tribes.
I own this game but haven't tried it out; lemme know how it goes!
Yeah I’ve had that game for a while and it’s just collecting dust now. The high difficulty, combined with the rather complex rules (which I have to re-learn, awkwardly, every time I sit down to play) is discouraging. I can have a funner time playing Bloodborne or Marvel United more quickly and rapidly.I got myself a copy of Warhammer quest adventure card game from eBay recently. I've played a couple of times so far and am not jumping up and down with excitement.
It gives me the vibes of the lord of the rings or Arkham horror card games without the deck building or storytelling inherent in those games
It is also brutally hard for a beginning player even the first scenario, which is good for some but I prefer a range of difficulty to break me into a solo or co-op experience.
I will try it a few more times but I don't think it's a long term keeper.
I keep reading Massive Darkness is similar to Zombicide Black Plague. What are differences, in your experience, that make Zombicide Black Plague the better game?Massive Darkness (1st edition). Campaign mode gets really boring after a while. After about 3rd level, the heroes are just too powerful. Going to be scouring the web for good house rules (apparently this is a known issue with the game).
Zombicide Night of the Living Dead. Fun, but also a bit too easy. Definitely house ruling a bit. Medieval Zombicide is still the best.
Would you say 2E is a big improvement over 1E? What are notable differences?Playing through the Washington Z.C. campaign for Zombicide 2nd Edition. We just finished Mission 5, after failing it the first time (major difficulty spike). The campaign rules are not super intense, it's almost barely there, but having the unknown objectives is a nice light twist on the normal gameplay. After a TPK on the first run of this mission, we are using the Presidents pack, except we replaced Reagan with the Queen of England.
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We own a few expansions but while the components make it look so inviting, every time we play it the experience is kind of underwhelming. We played the Humans!!! variant with my sister-in-law and that felt like it was somewhat more thoroughly thought-out and play-tested.
Oops, sorry for not getting back to you sooner!I keep reading Massive Darkness is similar to Zombicide Black Plague. What are differences, in your experience, that make Zombicide Black Plague the better game?