What's been added recently?
BREAKING AWAY RESOURCES
We have some rules for Breaking Away in Italian. Our thanks go to Leonardo Loria for doing the translation. Check out the fantastic version of the board he has made, as well!
We once sold a batch of games thanks to a mention in Cycling magazine and as most of these purchasers are unlikely to be regular gamers, it has finally prompted me to write a quick guide to the first couple of turns of Breaking Away.
On the resources page we have added some very nice colour game aids: an A4 colour movement log sheet and an A4 colour Sprint Cards sheet. Both are in PDF format. Beware, the Sprint Cards file is about 5Mb in size.
I only wish I could remember who sent these to us about 3 years ago, so I could credit them. If it was you, please get in touch!
A FEW MORE FAQs
We have added a few more Frequently Asked Questions to the Breaking Away section. I really need to rewrite the rules and put a few more examples in.
MORE TEAM COLOURS ADDED
We know some of our customers have not only bought three extra teams to augment the basic Breaking Away set, but they have actually used them in a 9-player game. I have no idea what a 9-player game is like - chaotic, I expect. So, please understand that in making the announcement that there are now 6 extra team colours available to augment the basic game, I am not recommending you play a 12-player game of Breaking Away. However, there is nothing to stop you if you so desire, and we'd be interested in feedback on how the game plays (I'd probably recommend putting a cap on replenishments of 30). The new colours we have added are brown, gold and silver. To my aged eyes, the brown and the gold look a bit similar in a dim light so please bear that in mind before purchasing.
GERMAN LANGUAGE REVIEW OF OFFICE POLITICS
I've laid my hands on a 1999 copy of Spielbox that has a review of Office Politics in it. I've scanned it and loaded it on to the Office Politics review page.
I have also scanned in a small mention of Breaking Away in the US gaming mag, Knucklebones.
PRICE INCREASE FOR US CUSTOMERS - BLAME GEORGE BUSH
We regret that we have had to put up our prices for US customers. The price of Breaking Away and Office Politics used to be $33, but owing to the decline of the dollar against the mighty sterling, we have put the price up to $38. This should have happened on January 1st, so you've had two months of 2005 prices!
NORMAL SERVICE HAS BEEN RESUMED
February was a bit of a fraught month on the personal front but things have calmed down a bit, and turnaround times for orders are back to normal - i.e. usually no more than a week from the time the order is received until it is posted.
The UK convention calendar has been updated for 2006.
BREAKING AWAY BACK IN PRINT
After what seems an eternity, we have finally received the new print of Breaking Away boards and the game is back in print. Please note that on January 1st 2006 we shall reset the US dollar and euro prices to take into account exchange rate fluctuations (the base price will remain £18, including postage); barring a massive resurgence by the dollar this will result in a price increase for US customers (haven't checked the euro yet), so buy before 2005 is out!
TUNNELS & TROLLS LIVES AGAIN
We all have skeletons in the cupboard, and among mine is the 15 years or so of my life when I was a regular player of Tunnels & Trolls, the fast & furious role-playing game. I reckon I must have got 3,000 hours or more of enjoyment from this game, which cost me about £3.95. There's a new 30th anniversary edition of the rules out and so in honour of that I have dug up an old interview I did with T&T's designer, Ken St. Andre, from about 21 years ago.
We have updated the entry for Opera on our "We like.." page to reflect the new release of this peerless browser. The advent of Firefox has probably put a dent in the viability of Opera AS as a company, and it would be a real shame if we lost the innovative qualities of the people behind Opera, especially as most of the features that make Firefox so good were pioneered by Opera years ago.
We've also updated the Ian McNabb entry. My favourite artist is making an attempt to get in the charts at the moment with his first single in almost 10 years. If you can spare a quid, visit www.karmadownload.com and download his single, "Let The Young Girl Do What She Wants To"; I can think of 100 McNabb tracks that are better, but it is catchy and if it occupies a chart place it not only gets him airplay again but it denies a chart place to some hideous manufactured boy band (possibly!).
UK CONVENTIONS LISTING UPDATED
This listing had become seriously out of date but now has details of just about all the major board gaming conventions in the UK in 2005.
THE 2004 UK POSTAL GAMING ZINE POLL
BREAKING AWAY BACK IN PRINT
Breaking Away is once again available. Many thanks for the patience of those who were kept waiting for a few weeks to buy the game; we have now cleared the backlog of orders and if they aren't already the games - with their shiny new boards - should be with you soon.
U.S. PRICE INCREASES WHEN USING PAYPAL
For many years now we have subsidised the cost of posting games to North American customers. Typically it costs around £6 more to post to the US than it does to Europe, yet the price for US customers for Breaking Away and Office Politics is only £4 higher - and remains so if you are paying in sterling, or sending a cheque to Jim Burgess. With the dollar purchases, however, we also find ourselves subsidising the US trade deficit, albeit to a microscopically small extent, and so we have increased the U$ PayPal price of Breaking Away and Office Politics to $33. The U$ cost for the whole Fiendish range remains unchanged.
VARIANT FOR BREAKING AWAY
A Breaking Away variant has been designed by Ton Segers. It's based on a "Madison" which is a type of race developed in New York in the early part of the last century.
In a Madison, teams consisting of 2 cyclists have to ride (in alternate turns) a certain distance (100 laps or an hour) gaining points (5-3-2-1) every 5 laps. The final sprint doubles these points (10-6-4-2). The winner is the team that has concluded the most distance. In case of a tie the team with the most points is victorious.
NEW TRAFFIC LIGHTS LINK
Want to try out Traffic Lights online? Well, you can, except it is not "our" Traffic Lights, but a very similar game with the same name designed completely independently by a guy called Joe Walters. Life is just weird, sometimes, isn't it?
NEW ISSUE OF MISSION FROM GOD
Mission From God is the directory of UK postal gaming zines. It contains details of virtually all the postal gaming zines currently publishing in the UK, plus selected zines from overseas. A revised version of the 2002 issue (originally published in November 2002) is now available for download as a zipped (776kb) file in PDF (portable document format). The revised version contains a broader spectrum of opinions on the zines plus a few zines I overlooked, such as A League Of Our Own and Jumpers For Goalposts.
An HTML version of Mission From God is also available.
FIENDISH GAMES, THE COMPUTER CO.
We get the odd enquiry from people who have downloaded games from the now defunct Fiendish Games web site and who are now having problems with the games they have downloaded. We are sorry but as we have no connection with Fiendish Games the software company we can't help with these queries. Small Rockets seem to have taken over responsibility for the old Fiendish games computer games.
DOING A GCSE GRAPHICS COURSE?
About twice a month I get e-mails from students who are producing a board game as part of their GCSE graphics course. They seem to think I know something about the subject. What little I know is outlined in this article about the game design & production process.
DESIGNING YOUR OWN GAME
We get about one e-mail a month from games designers seeking advice on getting their game published. We provide what advice we can but not everyone is going to want to follow the Fiendish Board Games model, so if you want to do a bit more research on the subject you might find our new Games Design section interesting reading. We've also added a lot of links of a games design nature to our Games Companies and Gaming Resources pages.
NEW WEB ADDRESS
The old Demon account has served us well over the years but it is time to move to our own domain. Some swine beat us to the URL www.fiendish.co.uk by just 10 days so we have settled on www.fbgames.co.uk.
We've also added a visitor-tracker on the front page which enables you to see where out visitors are coming from and what keywords they are using. Very useful if a bit worrying in a big brother sort of way.
FIENDISH BOARD GAMES?
"Didn't you guys used to be called Fiendish Games?"
Yes, we did but another company liked the name too and offered us some money for the rights to it. So we took the money and will invest it in our next game, The Metric Mile.
Being lazy blighters though we have not bothered to change the bank account so please continue to make cheques payable to Fiendish Games, not Fiendish Board Games (unless you are sending a cheque from abroad, in which case make the cheques payable to John Harrington).
P.S. The other Fiendish Games seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Their games are being hosted by www.smallrockets.com
Please note that the license for Devil Take The Hindmost has now expired and is no longer available from Fiendish Board Games.
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