Friday, June 22, 2018

Jaded Gamer Diary - Daruma, Sla Industries, Nightfall Games....

Well that all went to hell rather quickly.  Okay so it took a couple years.  But now the Cannibal Sector 1 game for Sla Industries is all up in the air, legal actions are being threatened and all sorts of shady dealing are starting to come forth.

First up what was posted recently on the CS1 Kickstarter:

As of 22/06/2018 Nightfall Games Ltd (NFG) have terminated the license agreement with Daruma Productions Ltd for use of SLA material. Going forward NFG will work in association with Word Forge Games (WFG) to look at how best to complete and fulfill the Kickstarter. Be advised that at this time the SLA Industries: Cannibal Sector 1 Kickstarter campaign has no available funds. As such, fulfillment will be as a result of further investment from NFG and WFG. Drauma Productions Ltd is the company that still owns the Kickstarter debt, and although we have tried to purchase that debt, it has not been possible.

That’s the formal statement... but what does that mean to you, the backer? Well simply put, things have not worked out as planned. The Kickstarter dream that Daruma Productions Ltd pushed for was not realised. Exactly how and what went wrong we really can’t say at this point, but we at Nightfall Games recognise that SLA Industries needs to come out on top… and the game needs to be in your hands. As such, Nightfall Games has revoked the license that allowed the SLA Industries world and setting to be used by Daruma Productions Ltd and has formed a new relationship with Word Forge Games. WFG have a huge amount of experience in producing miniatures and miniature games and are working alongside us to consolidate what already exists for SLA Industries: Cannibal Sector 1, what is possible to finish off and what we can do get the game into your hands.

As you’ve probably seen on Facebook, work on the book, the main focus of the Kickstarter, has been ongoing in spite of setbacks. WFG has obtained the majority of the Daruma Productions Ltd SLA Industries stock (in lieu of payment for unpaid debt) and we are in a good place to resume the work on the Kickstarter once all of the legal crossed Ts and dotted Is have been dealt with.  

WFG will be completing a stock take during the next 2 weeks and once we know exactly what there is, we will share with you all and explain our plans in further detail. We are also in discussions over certain assets, which we expect resolution of in the same period.
We know you have not been treated as you (or we) would like to have been and we know this situation is far from ideal (believe us when we say, we wish this had played out differently), but please bear with us while we work out the details and figure out how best to do right by all of you awesome people that supported the campaign. We shall keep you updated as much as we can going forward – expect frequent updates and lots of work by the Nightfall team.

Our heartfelt thanks, apologies and respect,
Nightfall Games

Now that's all interesting.  BUT... now we get a post from Daruma on their Facebook page:

 Time to come clean - we have a big issue with fulfilling the Kickstarter, and also with being able to move forward in any meaningful way. The Kickstarter update which went out this evening was not from Daruma. Please let me be very clear and specific on this - that was not a Daruma update, it was made illegally by Mark Rapson of Wordforge - he was already informed not to use the Kickstarter logins that he'd been given and claimed to not have them, clearly a lie (he has also, against Kickstarter regulations, changed the passwords). The Nightfall team are desparate to save the Kickstarter, which we fully understand but unfortunately Dave and Jared have resigned from Daruma and given the Kickstarter logins to Word Forge Games, that they have taken this step is understandable but also, unfortunately.. illegal in several ways - ways that they were fully informed of prior to taking this action.

As all other 3 Directors resigned from Daruma before i became fully aware of just how difficult the situation was - i am, currently, last man standing as they clearly knew more than I did and jumped ship first. As there are a great many other debts owed by Daruma i have a legal obligation to follow a certain path.. a path which i will be following with some no small degree of sadness and reluctance and could not, until this point even discuss. Unfortunately.. this means that the stock which Nightfall has had transferred to Wordforge doesn't belong to them.. it still belongs to Daruma, even though i acknowledge Word Forge as a debt. And as such, any attempt to distribute or dispose of it will be illegal - as Daruma is about to commence down a path toward Liquidation.. we cannot and have not in any way shape or form agreed to a transfer of these goods, as Daruma doesn't actually own them at this point. Please let me reiterate that, for very relevant legal reasons - the other Creditors are all fully entitled to a share of any and all remaining assets that Daruma possess, every single one of those Creditors has the very same legal claim to those goods that Mark Rapson and Wordforge has and this action is in no way a Daruma action nor has been sanctioned by Daruma.
It is also the case that although Mark is now a Director with Nightfall and has the SLA IP, the CS1 IP is derivitive and belonged to Daruma as well, and we have not agreed to transfer that IP under any circumstances, and indeed i'm not sure we could do so given the current circumstance.

It may well be that there was a way to perhaps move forward with this regardless, and i was attempting to explore this avenue recently, with little success I might add as Mark Rapsons offer was simply not one i could accept, legally. As it stands, Mark has attacked me directly, personally, acted illegally and has seized, with Nightfalls support, a load of goods that i keep explaining to them.. they cannot take and cannot legally dispose of. If any of you have experience of the liquidation process then you understand the difficult situation in which i find myself - and why i'm taking this extraordinary step in revealing that i have been in discussion with the liquidators before the are "officially" called in. I know how bad this news is, and this is an update that i really wish i never had to make.. but unfortunately Nightfalls new association with Word Forge Games and the illegal actions they are taking have forced my hand - if any other Creditors are reading this, this is not a Daruma sanctioned action and has been taken as the results of some illegal and very dodgy backroom dealing. I'm so sorry.. but i think that these actions have brought an end to any possibility of moving forward and i will be informing the liquidators of this first thing on Monday Morning.

So now this all gets very interesting.  Now I feel rather justified in telling people not to back that Kickstarter in the first place.  Especially after some of the flak I caught over it.  Also justified for one of my older Jaded Gamer Diary posts in which I criticize the way Daruma does business. 

Time to get some popcorn and see where it all falls down now. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mana Screwed - Take some control

Back in the original days of Magic the Gathering some of common cards were quite good.  Some becoming staples in decks almost as soon as they came out or becoming more sought after than some rares.  This led to a common phrase "Common cards and common sense".  Basically telling people not to get wrapped up in chasing the rare cards for your decks and instead looking at what you have plenty of how they can work really well for you. 

So I'm going to try to follow up with that a bit with some common cards worth using in Commander that get overlooked by many.

Let's look at something wonderful for people who like red.  Hijack is a card most people have but never use (or Act of Treason, Traitorous Blood, Traitorous Instinct, etc. as it gets reprinted with slight differences and name changes often).  The simple basics, you take control of an opponents creature until end of the turn and it has haste.  Now why this may not seem like a lot of awesomeness at first glance it is something to hold onto until later in the game. 

Don't blow these cards on something small. Somebody always seems to go Voltron and pumping up a creature into a real ass beater.  Laying down devastation every chance they get.  So grabbing that which somebody else has spent a lot of time and mana on and swatting them (or somebody else) with it for only a handful of mana is a really good feeling. Especially if you've been playing many red right and your opponents have their life already knocked down a bit. 

I've won games by suddenly dropping one of these cards and suddenly taking out the very person who was about to take the win by ousting me. Nothing like seeing their face when they are suddenly snatching defeat with what they thought was their victory. 

Some not so common cards that work well are any cards that let you sack a creature (hello Ashnods Altar) to toss their big bad into the graveyard or Willbreaker and take them permanently.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Mana Screwed - Not Magic but good news for another old CCG

I've had several other CCGs besides Magic that I have loved.  Doomtown for it's crazy set up and setting.  Kult for some amazingly simple, elegant design that tested the most skilled card floppers tactical skill.  Legend of the Five Rings for taking unique, at the time, methods of card mechanics.  Then there is the granddaddy of all multiplayer games, the one that does it the best.  Vampire the Eternal Struggle, originally released by WotC as 'Jyhad'.

Now thanks to Black Chantry Productions it's back.  Just not in collectible form.  They are going the route of Print on Demand through One Book Shelf on their Storytellers Vault/DriveThruRPG sites.

First up is the Lost Kindred Bundle which is the first run of actual new cards.  While the number of new cards isn't many they do give you full playsets for most of the Library cards. 

Also coming out are Keepers of Tradition Reprint Bundle 1 and Keepers of Tradition Reprint Bundle 2 which are reprints of the last two micro expansions for the card game.  Which, from what I hear, were hard to come by at release.  These two are heavy on the Crypt side and don't seem to have full playsets of the Library cards... which is not a good thing. 

While I am quite hopeful that this helps revive the game to some level there are some issues.  There so far isn't a 'new player' option of getting into the game expect tracking down a bunch of the older cards.  Something badly needed for this would be premade starter decks.  Even if just a handful it would make it much easier to bring somebody new into the fold without telling them to go hit up ebay or dig through a local game shops dead CCG boxes. 

Eventually I hope to pick up the Lost Kindred Bundle and give a full review.  But that may be a while as I have a lot of other things on my 'want to get list'. But if anybody else gets ahold of them and wants to give their opinion feel free.  Heck post your thoughts or a link to your post about the new stuff.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Mana Screwed - A Saga that can cause a stir

One of the new card types from Dominaria will be Saga's.  They come into play and create an effect, then after each of your next two draw steps it does an additional effect before being sacrificed.  Some aren't all the great, some are more Lore than anything else. However this one has caught my eye.

Being a big fan of artifact decks this will be going into the next one I build.  Usually most of the creatures I run in those decks are already artifact creatures.  But decks like that aren't super common and tend to have a slow build along with a weakened sorcery/instant game.  However this changes that up a bit.  A creature wipe for only four mana that, if you build a deck right, won't affect you at all.  On top of that it cleans out your opponents graveyards on it's farewell... but not yours.  Not to mention that graveyard cleanse is only one turn after the wipe so it limits how many cards a player can save. For the price you pay it is well worth it.

Of course other artifact creature heavy decks won't be affected except by the graveyard flush.  But honestly you don't really see people playing many of those.  So honestly for me I see this as more useful than Urza's Ruinous Blast.  Now if only it wiped Planeswalkers as well....

Monday, April 9, 2018

Mana Screwed - The new limited board wipe

With Dominaria comes a few cards that change things around a bit.  This is a board wipe that does just that.

While I do like this card there are some limitations to it that any player needs to be aware of.  Especially in the first few months following it's release. 

Mainly Dominaria is a legendary heavy set, really heavy.  So that means most people will be loading their decks up with them.  Thereby limiting the damage this card can do.  I mean if you are running all legendary stuff it does cut down how bad your board wipe can hurt yourself but if everyone has stacked their decks the same.  It just won't do much good over all.

My advice would be if you see people starting to do this very thing then you need to change up tactics really quickly. *cough*sideboard*cough*  Toss in some old fashioned board wipes that don't care about the legendary status along with a few cards to help you recover from the wipe.  So when people are popping of Ruinous Blast and doing next to nothing you are taking them to the cleaners.

But this card is obviously useful.  Either to start with and switch out when it's not viable or to keep in your sideboard for when you go up against the guy who is legendary light. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Mana Screwed - the new Mox is not so Mox

With the new expansion for Magic ramping up a lot of excitement with the return to it's original world people have been jumping at all the spoilers and leaks.  I'll admit that I have as well.  But sometimes I don't think the cards people are raving about are really all that special. 

Take for instance the Mox Amber.

While I'll admit it is a useful card people are freaking out about it being an all new Mox.  When really, it isn't.  It has that casting cost that made the original Mox cards really popular but unlike those of old this one is absolutely useless on the first couple of turns.  Which was pretty much what everybody loved about the originals when the game first came out.  First turn you had the chance to draw up a Mox or two and drop them in addition to a basic land and start pumping out mana faster than you opponent could.

This one absolutely does not do that.  It can be dropped on the first turn BUT it can't produce any mana until you get a legendary creature or planeswalker out on the battlefield.  Most of which cost more than a couple mana.  Later in play it can become useful as a generator for different colors but it is also weakened by the fact that a board wipe taking out creatures could render it, yet again, useless.  Especially with more and more cards targeting planeswalkers. 

Now if I get one I'll use it (or sell it if the price gets stupid high on it for some reason) but I don't see it becoming a stable in many of my decks.  Maybe those with a lot of legendaries or in Commander deck or two.  I'm not sure how many people will be making it a staple once the new and excitement wears off.

Just my two cents.  Your mileage may vary.