Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dead collectible games -- what are they good for? Part II

Part II of my pondering (pawndering?) on the retained usefulness of out-of-print collectible games.

Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures
I backed into this one, after picking up a few miniatures and finding out that that my stepson liked playing. It's a decent little skirmish-level wargame and has the added advantage of being usable for role-playing as well, should I ever decide to get back into that. I didn't go too far into the game, ending up with just about 200 figures, which is enough for my local purposes. The competitive scene was already winding down when I first got into the game and so that never played much of a role in my purchases. DDM doesn't take up too much space (a couple of shoebox-sized boxes and a map tube) so its relatively low-impact as far as space and trouble goes and I'll probably keep it unless I have to move out-of-town. Its probably not worth shipping off in that situation.

Navia Dratp

Another relatively low-impact game space wise, Navia Dratp is really an odd duck. It really is a good game, as the high ratings it gets from people on Boardgmae Geek who've tried it attest. But it was probably one of the worst-marketed games in history. Between the strange theme, the tongue-twisting terms and obscure names it's amazing anyone bought it. But the worst aspect of the marketing plan was making it a collectible game. It really wasn't necessary. Unlike the open-ended universe of D&D or Dreamblade, or even the finite but large potential of Axis & Allies , it's hard to see how the game could have supported hundreds of different figures or dozens of expansions even if it had taken off. It turned out to be a moot point, however, as the game bit the dust as the second expansion came out and in effect it turned into the expandable games= it probably should have been in the first place. It really is quite good, however, and because my collection is big enough to support two players with a wide variety of units this remains a keeper -- even if I move.

Lord of the Rings Tradeable Miniatures Game

I liked the miniatures and the theme, but the game was rather ordinary as far as fun and interest go, and since its been discontinued I've had a very hard time getting it on the table. While it was still a supported system there was a game shop that hosted some gaming in it but that dried up and despite multiple attempts since this one just can't provoke any interest. I'm probably going to give up and unload this one as not worth the space devoted to it. Over the years I've been pretty ruthless about culling wargames that can't make the cut of getting table-time and one thing I've learned is that once it's gone I rarely miss it. In the case of LOTR I do like the miniatures and the game system is OK, but I don't like them enough to stare at them unplayed. Better they find a home elsewhere. It's really too bad, because I did build up a pretty decent collection overall, with a few hundred figures. There's room in my game room for a handful of games that may not get played much or at all, but not much. None of my usual reasons of nostalgia, study or historical interest apply in this case and so these guys are eBay bound.

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