This year I started writing a weekly gaming column for a newspaper in Parkersburg, WV. I work there as the education reporter, and got the thumbs up around Origins (which is in Columbus,OH, about 2.5 hours from here) to start the column. I am going to begin posting my articles here after they run in the newspaper to get some more feedback from the gaming community.
Just remember, this is a regular daily newspaper, so these are shorter, more general articles meant for a more general audience. Any feedback is appreciated, though.
Cheese Weasel Logistics makes mark on gaming world
V.A.-based company creates fun, unique games
By MICHAEL ERB
PARKERSBURG - It has to be one of the coolest names in gaming today: Cheese Weasel Logistics.
But a fun name is only part of the story for this up-and-coming force in the games industry. Cheese Weasel Logistics creates fun and useful products for gamers, and recently has begun producing some of its own games which already are getting high marks from fans and reviewers alike.
The Weasel is the brainchild of couple Nelson and Jennifer Rodgers Beach, dubbed ChiefWeasel and SheWeasel respectively, who were avid gamers before plunging into the industry three years ago. The Virginia-based business has about a half-dozen products on the market, including a new board/card game that released in October, and several projects in the works.
Nelson Beach first came up with the idea for one product, "Pit Fighter: Fantasy Arena," several years ago.
"There were always lots of things I wanted to design, but never managed to," he said. "When we decided to come out with Pit Fighter, a lot of the mechanics and ideas I had developed more than 10 years ago."
Pit Fighter places players in the roles of gladiators who must fight for glory and wealth in the Great Pit.
Pit Fighter combines the tactics of a miniatures game with the constructability of a collectible card game. Warriors battle it out on a game board and use cards to represent equipment, skills and manuevers. New items can be purchased with gold, and each character can use different assortments of cards to represent their changing arsenals.
There also are card expansions for the game, allowing you to add new characters and items. But even though the game is like a collectible card game, each expansion contains a set assortment of cards, so players can purchase what they want and need without having to go through dozens of boosters, Nelson Beach said.
Cheese Weasel Logistics also produces the aptly-named "Death by Dice," which pits characters against one another in a no-holds-barred duel to the finish. Players can battle one-on-one or team up characters for a bigger brawl.
The game itself uses small, thick cards featuring the characters and their fighting statistics, each one represented by a different die. Those dice are used both to attack and defend, which adds an element of strategy to the game. Do you attack with your strongest (biggest numbered) die, knowing a low roll might leave you defenseless the next round? Or do you bunker down and hope an opponentás bad roll presents an opportunity for you?
There are two series of Death by Dice, one featuring mobsters and another featuring malevolent versions of Mother Goose-style characters. Characters are sold in packs of two, so a single set can get you rolling dice and battling right out of the pack.
In addition to the products and services offered by CWL, the companyás mascot has become a draw of its own, with buttons, magnets and T-shirt art featuring the Cheese Weasel.
"That name and that logo have been our strongest introductory assets in this industry," Jennifer Beach said. "People come to the booth (at conventions) just to buy the weasel stuff."
For more information on Cheese Weasel Logisticsá games and products, go to www.cheeseweasel.net.
Contact Michael Erb at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
That's great that you're able to do a gaming column. I hope to see more of them posted here!
This column had some industry-speak and jargon for people who are already into games. Like "combines the tactics of a miniatures game with the constructability of a collectible card game." I think that most casual readers won't know what either type of game is.
My own preference for reading gaming columns is that I like more personal anecdotes and less press release.
Did you play any of the cheese weasel games? Did you like them?
Hey, thanks for the feeback. You're right, I do get a bit too much into the jargon. I've done about a dozen or so of these columns, and looking back I tend to go back and forth between anectdotal stories and gamespeak. A lot of time I am pretty limited on space, and I think that is when I fall more into the jargon.
This was a bit more of a company profile than a lot of my other stories/reviews. I have played both of the games, though not extensively. Death by Dice is a fun filler game, and Pit Fighter is probably a little more crunchy than the casual gamer would like. I mainly like Pit Fighter because you easily can combine it with miniatures games, it just has that kind of feel, except with cards for your equipment and manuevers.
At the beginning of next week I am going to post an article about Anachronism that was based on an interview I did with Triking Games lead designer. After that it will be a series of straight reviews.