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Subject: Excellent Top Notch Game for me. rss

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Heckle Jekyll
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I'm not much of one for useless (no gaming) social gatherings - wasn't too excited about going to a wedding reception at the Oakmont Clubhouse near Pittsburgh - no golf included. With my wife's permission I snuck out right before dinner was served hoping to be back within an hour - I was gone for two hours.

I talked with John Bohrer earlier that week, explained I was planning on being in the area, and asked if it would be possible to stop by and pickup one of his last few copies of Wabash Cannonball, if any were still available for purchase. He said sure, but that he ran out of yellow cubes and would give me brown ones instead. No problem.

It was suppose to be only 20 minutes away, according to Google. But when you turn left instead of right, well ... you need to be able to read and drive at the same time. An hour later I arrived. Called Mr. Bohrer on the cell and he buzzed me in.

I walked into a slightly smoked filled room with an almost finished bowl of mixed chips and a half container of pretzels left ... it was a heavenly environment for board gamers. There were four gentlemen in the middle of a game of what appeared to be Wabash Cannonball - but it was a spinoff, not yet introduced to the public, but was apparently going through its rigorous testing phase.

Mr. Bohrer invited me to sit down and play a game with him and his company. Since my wife was kind enough to permit me to sneak out of the reception, I figured I probably shouldn't leave her there stranded for hours, so I had to turn his offer down.

I purchased the game and played a couple two-player games the next day. I had high expectations for this game and they were certainly met. I can see that the game would be ideal for 3-4 players though, but you kind of have to play it to understand that. It was still good with two.

I love games with little wooden cubes - if it includes wooden cubes, the production is good to me. However, no doubt others will understand that this is a low production game. You purchase game play with Wabash Cannonball, not bits. I paid $30 for this game and it was worth every bit. I would pay more. The game actions are really rather simple - the tactical play isn't - and I therefore fully understand his minimum suggested age of 29 - its no joke. The rules cover 2 pages front and back. I think I could rewrite them into one page, front and back.

This game brings a lot of my favorite mechanics into an hour game and arguably has no luck. You have to play it to learn all the tactical moves which, no doubt, change depending on the number of players. The only disappointment for me is that, for me, the game is over too quickly - I'd like to have a longer variant or expansion.

I have placed it in my top ten and, because the game is so great to me, I may venture into creating my own board and pieces - maybe make a variant to cause it to last a slight bit longer.

Well Done, Winsome, and thanks Mr. Bohrer for being so kind as to invite me for a game. Hopefully, some other time, if our schedules permit.

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Nice! I just ordered this from John, so I'm even more excited to get it now.
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Brandon Pennington
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ditto, my copy should be here tomorrow
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John Bohrer
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idiot crow wrote:
Well Done, Winsome, and thanks Mr. Bohrer for being so kind as to invite me for a game. Hopefully, some other time, if our schedules permit.


Call me John, Mike, and it was a pleasure to meet you. We here at Winsome Games all appreciate your kind words.

It is a shame that you did not have the time to join us in our game of Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, but it would be a pleasure to have you join us some Saturday evening!
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J C Lawrence
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idiot crow wrote:
I'd like to have a longer variant or expansion.


That would be Pampas Railroads, which oddly enough, I'm working on a reprint for. We're at 68 paid orders and I send it in at 75, so there are not many copies left.
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John Bohrer
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clearclaw wrote:
idiot crow wrote:
I'd like to have a longer variant or expansion.


That would be Pampas Railroads, which oddly enough, I'm working on a reprint for. We're at 68 paid orders and I send it in at 75, so there are not many copies left.


Oh, I wouldn't call it a variant or expansion, but another game in itself. Much longer, very different.
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Costas
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John Bohrer wrote:
It is a shame that you did not have the time to join us in our game of Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, but it would be a pleasure to have you join us some Saturday evening!


I'll take the bait.
Please tell us more about "Gulf, Mobile & Ohio"!

New game? Wabash expansion?
Details??

 
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J C Lawrence
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John Bohrer wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
That would be Pampas Railroads, which oddly enough, I'm working on a reprint for. We're at 68 paid orders and I send it in at 75, so there are not many copies left.


Oh, I wouldn't call it a variant or expansion, but another game in itself. Much longer, very different.


Oh I agree, it is its own game and stands on its own feet quite well, but it remains closely related. Along with the Riding Series it is a clear progenitor of Wabash. It has the exact same actions (Capitlise, Develop, Expand -- albeit with different names) in the exact same distribution, is built atop the same temporary emergent alliances base (colluding players make far more money than solo players), has a company which starts mid-game based on player actions, has (multiple) locations which grant special Chicago-like dividends etc. difficult to value shares, etc. Yeah, it runs for an easy 150 minutes too, but that's not really a problem. Wabash Cannonball is clearly not a variant or expansion of Pampas Railroads (which came out first), but it is a fairly close cousin.
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John Bohrer
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rockusultimus wrote:
John Bohrer wrote:
It is a shame that you did not have the time to join us in our game of Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, but it would be a pleasure to have you join us some Saturday evening!


I'll take the bait.
Please tell us more about "Gulf, Mobile & Ohio"!

New game? Wabash expansion?
Details??



New Winsome game for Essen '08
Players: 3-5
Ages: 29 and up
Duration: about 1 hour
Designer: Eddie Robins
No luck game about building railroads in the South, 1830-1860.
The map runs from Richmond to New Orleans, from Memphis to Savannah.
It is still under development, Costas. It isn't the Wabash Cannonball expansion, although we might have that completely done by Essen. It isn't Harry's Preußische Ostbahn (Eastern Prussian Railroad) game, that also will come out at Essen.

No more details until my Winsome Games Essen Set announcement in August, OK?



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James Ludlow
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Possibly two new Winsome games in '08? Awesome.
 
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Michael Webb
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jdludlow wrote:
Possibly two new Winsome games in '08? Awesome.


There are almost always 2 new Winsome games each year at Essen, along with an Age of Steam expansion. Last year was the first time this rule was broken in quite some time (to accommodate a re-release of Trainsport with cubes).
 
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John Bohrer
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CortexBomb wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
Possibly two new Winsome games in '08? Awesome.


There are almost always 2 new Winsome games each year at Essen, along with an Age of Steam expansion. Last year was the first time this rule was broken in quite some time (to accommodate a re-release of Trainsport with cubes).


TrainSport deserved the special treatment. Some years we had 3 new games, but that was really pushing it. This year we will also have a new Age of Steam expansion for Essen. In addition, Alban Viard might have another excellent new AoS expansion for sale at our stand. We will see.

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James Ludlow
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CortexBomb wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
Possibly two new Winsome games in '08? Awesome.


There are almost always 2 new Winsome games each year at Essen, along with an Age of Steam expansion. Last year was the first time this rule was broken in quite some time (to accommodate a re-release of Trainsport with cubes).


Cool. I'll wait patiently with my money orders for whatever is left over in the U.S.

 
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J C Lawrence
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jdludlow wrote:
Cool. I'll wait patiently with my money orders for whatever is left over in the U.S.


Typically Winsome prints ~80 copies of each game they produce each year and they are all sold within a few hours of the announcement going out. Actual purchase and collection of the games is only possible at Essen -- there's no later retail sale. Wabash Cannonball has been a notable and glaring exception to this pattern, but that has been the pattern.

In short: if you want a Winsome game:

1) Reserve it when it is announced
2) Go to Essen and get it

All the other courses are crapshoots. It took me 4 years to find a copy of Pampas Railroads.
 
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James Ludlow
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clearclaw wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
Cool. I'll wait patiently with my money orders for whatever is left over in the U.S.


Typically Winsome prints ~80 copies of each game they produce each year and they are all sold within a few hours of the announcement going out. Actual purchase and collection of the games is only possible at Essen -- there's no later retail sale. Wabash Cannonball has been a notable and glaring exception to this pattern, but that has been the pattern.


Ah, Wabash was the first one that I bought directly so I thought that's how it worked.


Quote:
In short: if you want a Winsome game:

1) Reserve it when it is announced
2) Go to Essen and get it

All the other courses are crapshoots. It took me 4 years to find a copy of Pampas Railroads.


#1 isn't an issue. #2 is a problem since I'll probably never go to Essen.

Since Wabash was the most recent, does that hint at a change in the pattern?
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John Bohrer
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jdludlow wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
Cool. I'll wait patiently with my money orders for whatever is left over in the U.S.


Typically Winsome prints ~80 copies of each game they produce each year and they are all sold within a few hours of the announcement going out. Actual purchase and collection of the games is only possible at Essen -- there's no later retail sale. Wabash Cannonball has been a notable and glaring exception to this pattern, but that has been the pattern.


Ah, Wabash was the first one that I bought directly so I thought that's how it worked.


Have a look at
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/205167
for a better understanding of how it works, Jim. The Germans are the reason we have been around for 15 years.

 
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James Ludlow
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John Bohrer wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
jdludlow wrote:
Cool. I'll wait patiently with my money orders for whatever is left over in the U.S.


Typically Winsome prints ~80 copies of each game they produce each year and they are all sold within a few hours of the announcement going out. Actual purchase and collection of the games is only possible at Essen -- there's no later retail sale. Wabash Cannonball has been a notable and glaring exception to this pattern, but that has been the pattern.


Ah, Wabash was the first one that I bought directly so I thought that's how it worked.


Have a look at
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/205167
for a better understanding of how it works, Jim. The Germans are the reason we have been around for 15 years.


The package deals look cool, and I certainly understand that you target Essen as your main customer base. I'm just wondering if the U.S. release of Wabash is an indicator of future U.S. releases in the Historic Railroads System.

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John Bohrer
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jdludlow wrote:
The package deals look cool, and I certainly understand that you target Essen as your main customer base. I'm just wondering if the U.S. release of Wabash is an indicator of future U.S. releases in the Historic Railroads System.


I don't know. Wabash was kind of an experiment. How high could a Winsome game rise in the 'geek rankings if we sold to American geeks? How would current 'geek oriented Americans react to our simple artwork/bits versus our developed game play?

After 6 months, it is clear that, like the Germans, some 'geek users care more about the game play than the bits. Some of the Winsome guys contend that it would be unfair not to make our sets available to those nice folks. It is problematic, though. I have limits on my time and want to maintain our focus on exhaustive development.

Also, please note that a lot of these avid 'geek players are foreigners who received their games through the kind volunteer efforts of the energetic JC Lawrence. Undoubtedly, he also has a real life with many demands upon his time.

So what is going to happen? I don't have a clue. Back in the '90s we sold games to retailers, I am not going down that road again. I could handle sending our pricey Essen sets to the appreciative Americans, but that would not help those folks that JC served.

It is messy, Jim. Give us a few months to discuss it.
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I think you know what needs to happen here John. You need to retire from your engineering career, which I can only assume is no where near as exciting or fulfilling as making boardgame geeks happy, and focus on game development and manufacturing full time.

Sure it will likely be a substantial pay cut, but I'm willing to make that decision for you.


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John Bohrer
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Gee, thanks Costas! Problem solved.
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Will DeMorris
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John Bohrer wrote:
No more details until my Winsome Games Essen Set announcement in August, OK?


Will you be making that announcement here on BGG or is there some mailing list I should subscribe to?

Like many others here I've really enjoyed Wabash Cannonball and would dearly like to purchase more Winsome Games in the future. Thanks.


-Will
 
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Karl Deckard
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I was thrilled to get a copy of Wabash, directly from you, so thank you for that. I would do so again, if the opportunity presented itself. I would definitely be willing to purchase every Age of Steam expansion, any Chicago Express games and expansions, and probably others. Perhaps you could set up a "P50" for us deprived American gamers, by getting folks to agree beforehand?

I've managed to get quite a few, but not all, of your products in roundabout ways, but would love a more direct method of ordering them. For me, personally, the price isn't an issue, because I usually end up paying more to get them from someone that attended Essen anyway.

I can understand that the demand on your time might keep this from happening, but if it's down to whether or not gamers over here are willing to purchase the products, it seems like the best way to find out, is to ask.
 
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John Bohrer
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We are working on a solution, guys. We want you supportive folks to have a chance to get our games. Give us a chance to sort it all out, OK? I am a bit old and slow.

As for a list, if someone starts a thread on the Winsome Games publisher page titled "I want Winsome games and don't mind the bits or artwork" and folks add their 'geek usernames through their posts, that would be a handy reference for me when I calculate the size of the print run in October.

In the meantime, I added a picture and some info to the Preußische Ostbahn game page here on the 'geek. Thanks to Mike Webb for getting it up there.

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John Bohrer wrote:
As for a list, if someone starts a thread on the Winsome Games publisher page titled "I want Winsome games and don't mind the bits or artwork" and folks add their 'geek usernames through their posts, that would be a handy reference for me when I calculate the size of the print run in October.

Done.

John Bohrer wrote:
In the meantime, I added a picture and some info to the Preußische Ostbahn game page here on the 'geek. Thanks to Mike Webb for getting it up there.

thumbsup

 
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Karl Deckard
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Here's the link, for anyone that wants to register their interest in getting Winsome Games.
 
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