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Subject: Strategy and Tactics - does the tradition continue? rss

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Steven Weisner
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After rediscovering my old wargames from the 70's, I realized I loved it as much as I did when I stopped twenty years ago. Since having found a company that still produces the magazine, I was elated to find I could re-stock some old SPI games, and finally re-live the old S&T days.

Purchases of more recent back-issues proved to be up and down, although I was not sure of what to expect after all these years. Some of the older DG issues tried some game systems that didn't work for me, yet others reminded me of the old days. Recently there are some good ones, depending on the designer ( #230 was a letdown, maybe I was expecting an improved Operation Olympic ). I would love to see Jim Dunnigan, or whoever has the rights to all those old ones, reprint them as they were. I am sure there would be some market for them.
 
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Jeffrey D Myers
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Note that Decision Games has done some SPI reprints that should still be in stock. Battle for Germany, WWI, and Spies come to mind.... Enjoy!
 
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David Brown
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I too was a big fan of S&T many many years ago - however I don't feel they stand the test of time and many in hindsight were quite poor.

May I suggest you take at look at GMT games - they (IMHO) are the heirs to the SPI throne. They have a wonderful mix of games which have pushed game designs forward with grat inovations (which is what SPI were trying to do). The games are really well suported and customer service is spot on
 
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Don Lynch
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"Strategy and Tactics - does the tradition continue?"

Which tradition was that?

The one where they take subscriptions and then screw their subscribers? I am referring to those subs that were taken after they knew they were going out of business. And then the company that bought SPI (TSR) not honoring the previous subscriptions.

There's a noble tradition to continue.

SPI deserves to be gone the way of the dodo.

I would love to see Dunnagain too, if only to ask him who he's screwed lately.

Now, do you want me to tell you how I really feel?
 
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Ken Waters
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donlyn,
You should aim your ire at TSR, not SPI. TSR is the company that really screwed all of us who lost our S&T subscriptions. Greg Costikyan's history of SPI is well worth reading:

http://www.costik.com/spisins.html


 
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Aaron Silverman
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The majority of S&T games these days are designed by Joe Miranda, the Editor. Some people really enjoy his designs, and others don't so much. Try a couple and see if you like them. If so, then a sub is probably worth it.

You should also check out Against The Odds magazine. It's a similar type of mag-with-game, but it leans towards more esoteric topics and has a wider variety of designs. Their main graphic artist, Craig Grando, is very much into trying new ideas -- many of ATO's games are quite unique-looking. If that appeals to you, then you should look into it.
 
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Hunga Dunga
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I haven't played a recent S&T game, but the feedback I hear is that some are better than others. Check out grognard.com or csw for more feedback on specific issues.

I think it's unfair to condemn SPI. They were leaders and innovators in their time. A company dedicated to producing at least 6 wargames a year, especially back then, had two significant challenges: (a) making good games - with that kind of schedule there are bound to be some turkeys published, and (b) trying to make money, which ultimately they couldn't. Operating in the black is still a challenge fro wargame companies and magazines today.

I think it's amazing SPI lasted as long as they did.

And Jim Dunnigan is one of my heroes.

 
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Steven Weisner
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Damn right. Jim may have realized near the end that a company of game designers were not really business types, but this wasn't SPI's fault. They were expanding there output recently with things like Ares magazine and spent a lot of money in a year that was down in sales ( those damn RPG and new computer games ). I actually resented computers and computer games for many years because of it. But TSR not honoring life time sub's is the problem. I guess I was smart enough to subscribe year to year, even as a teenager I realized the foolishness of a 'life-time subscription'.
 
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Don Lynch
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Ken wrote,

"donlyn,
You should aim your ire at TSR, not SPI. TSR is the company that really screwed all of us who lost our S&T subscriptions."

Ken, I think I undertstand what you mean, because yes TSR did screw everybody by not honoring the existing subs. A great example of really bad customer service. By the way, note that TSR went the way of SPI too.

However, please understand that I had just renewed my S&T and Ares subs just before they went under. From all accounts I researched, they knew that they would crash at least 2 months prior to the event, so in effect they stole my money willingly and with malice aforethought. And anyone else's in the same boat. That they were in financial trouble was not common knowledge. Despite all the "outgoing mail", SPI's finances and immenent demise were not shared. Not that they should necessarily have done that, but neither should they have taken any more money into their sinking ship. I consider that a con game and the result is stealing.

So I write with all my heart,
"I would love to see Dunnagain too, if only to ask him who he's screwed lately."

And if he wants to admit he was a bad businessman, then history has proven him correct.

Maybe this sounds a little harsh after all these years, but I prefer not to look at the past with the same rose colored spectacles that seem to be in use elsewhere.

 
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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D-Rider wrote:
donlyn,
You should aim your ire at TSR, not SPI. TSR is the company that really screwed all of us who lost our S&T subscriptions. Greg Costikyan's history of SPI is well worth reading:

http://www.costik.com/spisins.html




Thanks for the link. Great article!

b
 
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Doug Iverson
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The article is not really true. In fact, there are at least as many designers today (probably more) than there was in the mid '90's. There are still some of the same designers as there were in the '80's still designing. The wargame designs are better and the graphics for the games are better than the older ones. I am not putting down the older games, I am just saying that this article is incorrect.
 
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Doug Iverson
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The article is not really true. In fact, there are at least as many designers today (probably more) than there was in the mid '90's. There are still some of the same designers as there were in the '80's still designing. The wargame designs are better and the graphics for the games are better than the older ones. I am not putting down the older games, I am just saying that this article is incorrect.
 
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Doug Iverson
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And it shows, that I don't know how to post in this forum.
 
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Hunga Dunga
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Wargaming has really had a resurgence over the past 10 years, and I think that has a lot to do with the internet. Through the internet, gamers around the world found a place to congregate, and hobbyists with a bit of business savvy saw the opportunity to put together various modest business models that, while not making anyone rich, would nonetheless help turn thousands of sad wargaming aficionados into happy wargamers willing to open their wallets.

No, none of the titles being published today will sell 200,000 copies, yet competition for the hobbyist's dollar is fierce. And today's titles are not only as good, but in almost every respect much better than those of yesteryear.

 
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