Avalon Hill Collectors Series
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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Once upon a time, before it became a "label," there was a company called Avalon Hill, (the kind with employees, a physical location and its own profits and loss). A pioneer in creating games for grownups, founded in an era when games were for kids, Avalon Hill was never well-known for its market savvy. One odd little example of AH 'marketing' was a set 10 cards it published around 1991 labeled 'Collector's Series.' It's not clear whether the cards were somehow supposed to be collectible in some way, or if it meant the games were. Two of the 10 titles were RPGs (Tales of the Floating Vagabond and Runequest) and therefore outside the ken of Boardgame Geek. The other 8 were a peculiar mix.
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1. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:233] [Average Rating:7.51 Unranked]
Seth Owen
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It's ironic that AH chose Civilation as one of the games to highlight. Already a decade-old by 1991 it was an unusual choice for new marketing attention. AH's dispute with Microprose over the 'Civilization' name was a factor in the chain of events that led to Hasbro's acquisition of AH.
 
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2. Board Game: Hoity Toity [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1272]
Seth Owen
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Avalon Hill's entry into the 'German' game field, complete with retaining the German name (Adel Verpflichtet). Hardly inspired marketing when dealing with Americans.
 
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3. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:213] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Seth Owen
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Considering ASL's iconic standing and devoted following, including it seems like a no-brainer when talking about a representative sampling of AH titles at the time.
 
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4. Board Game: Statis Pro Baseball [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:2921]
Seth Owen
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Including a sports game title makes sense, but I question picking the Statis Pro Baseball game. I think Title Bout was more popular among statistical games and Football Strategy probably more of an AH icon, so this one puzzles me.
 
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5. Board Game: Flashpoint: Golan [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:4963]
Seth Owen
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Having a representative from the Victory Games line also makes sense, but the title selected doesn't. Flashpoint: Golan is far from the most popular VG title. I would have thought of of the Ambush! series solitaire titles or Across Five Aprils would be better.
 
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6. Board Game: Gettysburg (125th Anniversary edition) [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:3210]
Seth Owen
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The series was heavily weighted towards wargames, with 5 out the 10 being hex-and-counter titles. Three of those were "Smithsonian" series titles, including Gettysbrug. One seems fine, but three makes no sense. I would have thought more variety made sense, and used the other two slots for, perhaps a naval title (Midway, VITP), classic (Afrika Korps), impulse (Storm Over Arnhem), political (Diplomacy) or even non-war (Acquire)
 
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7. Board Game: Battle of the Bulge [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:7114]
Seth Owen
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Another Smithsonian series game and a rather mediocre one at that. The least successful of all the Battle of the Bulge games published by AH, not excepting the first.
 
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8. Board Game: D-Day [Average Rating:5.64 Overall Rank:12133]
Seth Owen
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The third Smithsonian series game in the "Collector' Series." It manages to be an even worse game than the Smithsonian Battle of the Bulge. As a set the cards do succeed in summing up AH's marketing skill, if not their game designs.
 
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