Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hasbro giveth, Hasbro taketh away. Dreamblade site is gone

No sooner do I notice the release date for the upcoming Axis & Allies Europe 1940 announcement than I see some bad news.

It appears that the official Dreamblade site, including the useful Dreamcatcher utility, is gone. There's still a forum limping along, but I think it's days are also numbered.

It's really a pity, but the game itself is good. I can still gin up some interest at the local game store when I haul it out. But, as a collectible game, it really loses something when I'm the only one with figures. I end up seeing my own constructed warbands fighting my own warbands.

This sort of slow death is common for discontinued collectible games, of course, but it's one reason why I'll never get into another game with that format. I think Magic: The Gathering is probably as immortal as such a game can be, but other than that I think the format is doomed.

I'm following the A&A minis franchises, but I expect those will peter out eventually. Mitigating their fate is the usefulness of those minis for general purpose wargaming use, so they'll never really be obsolete.

Right now I'm sitting on three "dead" collectible miniatures games that I still like well enough to keep and play, but their long-term future appears very questionable: Dreamblade, Navia Dratp and Lord of the Rings: Tradeable Miniatures Game. So long as I have space and a stepson who'll play on occasion they're worth keeping. But should space become tight and/or Young General's interest shift I'll have a hard time justifying the play value vs. storage space tradeoff of these games.

Of the three, the LOTR:TMG is the weakest game and I mostly keep the miniatures because I like how they look. Navia Dratp is almost more of a big regular game than a collectible because it was discontinued so early. It's biggest problem is the obscure theme and terminology. Dreamblade was a nice combo of nice-looking miniatures and a more accessible theme, but it doesn't appear to be enough to save it over the long haul. I rather doubt I'll keep it for my retirement years gaming.

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