‘Axis & Allies & Zombies’, a board game for 2-5 players

Avalon Hill, the old board game maker best known for military war games, created a zombie version of its perennial favorite, Axis & Allies. It’s called Axis & Allies & Zombies and has an MSRP of $40. Amazon has it for $33.

Although I bought and sometimes even played war games back in the late 80s and early 90s, I never got into Axis & Allies. I was a fan of Squad Leader. I played it a lot when I was stationed in Upstate New York at Griffiss Air Force Base. Looking back, I was a war game snob. I looked down on Axis & Allies because it had plastic tokens and was made by Milton Bradley.

'Axis & Allies & Zombies', a board game for 2-5 players - Bent Corner
Squad Leader

In retrospect, that doesn’t really make a lot of sense. Just because it used plastic tokens and not cardboard counters doesn’t mean it wasn’t a quality war game. Just because Milton Bradley made Axis & Allies didn’t mean it lacked quality. As history shows, Avalon Hill only lives on now because Hasbro acquired the brand and uses it to publish the Axis & Allies series of board games. Do they still produce the Squad Leader series of games?

Nope.

Axis & Allies & Zombies is streamlined for “quick” play

The thing I remember about Axis & Allies was a game could take six hours to play. That seemed like a long time for a board game. This zombie version of the game doesn’t seem to have that issue. It claims to have been “streamlined for quick play.” What’s that mean in minutes? They claim a game takes only 90 to 180 minutes.

I’m going to put this on my list for Santa this Christmas. Even if I never play it, I will enjoy reading the rules and putting it on the shelf next to the other games in my collection I haven’t gotten around to playing yet.  I buy games and then never play them. It’s what I do.

 

Diablo III: Eternal Collection Nintendo Switch bundle

 

Diablo III: Eternal Collection is coming to the Nintendo Switch. To celebrate the occasion, Nintendo is releasing a bundled version of the Switch.From Nintendo:

The devil is literally in the details of a new Nintendo Switch bundle featuring Blizzard’s legendary game Diablo III: Eternal Collection, launching exclusively at GameStop on November 2. Fans who pick up the devilish bundle will receive a Nintendo Switch system and dock featuring Diablo III artwork, a download code for the Diablo III: Eternal Collection game and a themed carrying case, all at a suggested retail price of $359.99.

The YouTube Video

The only bad thing about this bundle is you have to buy it at GameStop. Since my niece no longer works for GameStop, I feel allowed to bust on them again. I don’t like GameStop.

I don’t own a Nintendo Switch, but if I did, I’d buy it in a bundle. You might as well considering the regular game system as a “suggested” retail price of $299. Those don’t come with a game. A game for the Switch costs $60. I don’t have my abacus or calculator handy, but it seems it makes sense to go ahead and just buy a bundle. It not only comes with a game you want to buy anyway, but it also has special artwork on the system and the dock.

Who doesn’t like artwork on their dock?

I want a Nintendo Switch

I own Diablo III: Eternal Collection for the PC, but I never play it. I’m not a fan of fullscreen gaming on the PC. I like to do multiple things while at once while I’m on the PC. I do want to get a Nintendo Switch. I prefer handheld gaming. I’ve owned a couple of Nintendo 3DS XL systems, but the screen size got to be too small for long periods of use. I was getting ice cream headaches when I played it for long periods of time. Not only is the Nintendo Switch screen larger, but you can also connect it to your TV making it ginormous.

David Katz kills two, injures 11 at Madden 19 tournament

David “Bread” KatzFrom CNN:

David Katz, a 24-year-old gamer from Baltimore, Maryland, was in town for the tournament at GLHF Game Bar, in the back of a pizza restaurant. On Sunday, he brought a gun into the venue and opened fire, killing two people and wounding nine others. Then he turned the gun on himself, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said. Police have not released a possible motive.

I have a motive. David Katz was an asshole. He also was eliminated from the tournament and didn’t take losing very well. That strikes me as stupid considering when playing a video game there is a winner and a loser.  If you can’t taking losing, don’t play video games. That’s a moot point considering he did the world a solid and killed himself.

He had two guns, not one. Both were handguns. He also injured 11 people, not nine. CNN’s counting skills need some work.

Who was David Katz?

How long will it take for the Buffalo Bills to scrub this tweet from their official Twitter feed?

David Katz lived in or around Baltimore, Maryland. He was also a professional Madden player and evidently, a Buffalo Bills fan. Why would someone who lived in Baltimore be a Buffalo Bills fan? I’ve never been a fan of the Bills and I lived in upstate New York for four years. I lived there during the time when they went to four straight Super Bowls. The Bills have pretty much sucked for Katz’s entire life. It’s not like there was a bandwagon for him to jump on.

From the EA Sports website about Katz’s win at the Buffalo Bills Madden Club tournament in February 2017.

Winner: David “Bread” Katz

In what some are calling the most exciting moment in all the 2017 NFL Club Series Championships, David “Bread” Katz won with a walk-off victory by completing an unbelievable pass as time expired to be crowned Buffalo Bills Champion. The crowd at 716 Food and Sport in Buffalo, NY was amazed with the clutch execution in the 4th quarter!

What’s with the gamer tag of Bread? Didn’t the little twerp realize how offensive that word is to people suffering from type 2 diabetes?

Stop ignoring the threat of gun violence

Unfortunately, what happened in Jacksonville will continue to happen until we take the threat of gun violence more seriously. At the bare minimum, anywhere humans congregate should be defended with armed security guards. I’m not talking about security guards making minimum wage. These guards would be well paid and licensed through the federal government. These guards should have training in close quarter combat. They should have to go through annual firearms testing to make sure their skills remain sharp.

Ex-military people would make the ideal candidates.

We have more guns floating around in this country than people. We need to start recognizing the threat this poses and take the proper action. When I was stationed in the Philippines in the mid to late 80s, there were armed security guards everywhere. McDonald’s, video rental stores, etc. Private ownership of firearms was illegal in the Philippines, yet they recognized the threat of gun violence and took the proper action. I never thought I’d say this, but we need to be more like the Philippines.

And now some good news

On a totally unrelated note, I learned some good news while reading about this terrible story on CNN. It appears the state of Maryland will pay off my house.

I realize it says Maryland may pay off your home, but considering both my wife and me were born before 1985, it seems like a sure thing. Plus, CNN is a leader in honest journalism. The chance they would have something untrue on their website seems highly unlikely.

Fruzsina Eordogh is a terrible journalist

Fruzsina Eordogh is a freelance reporter. She wrote an article for Forbes about John “TotalBiscuit” Bain. In the article, she wrote things that were not true and factually not correct. For example, in the very first sentence, she wrote TotalBiscuit died from cancer “about a month ago.” He died on May 24, 2018. Forbes published the article on July 10, 2018. That works out to be 47 days. On what planet are 47 days “about” a month? It’s closer to two months than one month, but since when do facts matter?

The article goes downhill from there.

Fruzsina Eordogh falsely claimed TotalBiscuit was connected to harassment

John “TotalBiscuit” Bain

Eordogh spends a lot of the article connecting TotalBiscuit to the GamerGate movement, which would be fine, except she repeats the same old canard that GamerGate was an organized harassment campaign against women.

From the article:

The reason Gamergate will always and forever be characterized as a sexist movement and not a genuine ethics in video game journalism crusade, despite long-standing shadiness in video game related media and Bain’s efforts, is precisely because the ethics issue flew under the radar for many years … until it involved a woman. Who happened to be a feminist… being accused of sexual misconduct by an angry ex, no less. It was the actions of the mob, engaging in a sexist agenda, that made headlines, not that a developer slept with someone — that’s not news. The hashtag #Gamergate was coined by a conservative actor reacting to the previously mentioned slut-shaming video — changing its meaning to something after the fact is impossible. If the ethics issue had been raised in any other way, Bain wouldn’t have been crowned the king of an infamous harassment campaign and committer of all the crimes associated with it.

The developer didn’t sleep with someone. She slept with five people, including a video games journalist from Kotaku, a video game news website owned by Gawker.

The birth of GamerGate

GamerGate was born after leaked transcripts from a private game journalist email list showed journalists discussed what they would collectively report on. The transcripts showed they agreed not to report on the supposed sexual misconduct of the developer. In fact, they agreed they would do what the could to help the developer.

You might think game journalists wouldn’t report on claims of sexual misconduct. You would be wrong. On September 6, 2012, Kotaku published an article accusing Stardock CEO Brad Wardell of sexual misconduct towards a former employee. The accusation of sexual misconduct was false. Brad Wardell later wrote the following on his blog:

Within days of the article hitting, forum posts, follow-up articles and abuse started flooding the net. I received numerous death threats including one so specific (it was clear they had driven up close to our house) that we called the police.  The death threats included rape threats against my wife and disgusting vile threats against my children.

For the past two years since, not a week goes by where someone doesn’t send me a hate message or ensure that one of our products or services being covered somewhere doesn’t get tarnished with the disgusting allegations that were made. Any time I speak on a given topic, this comes up.

In 2013, the case was dismissed with prejudice and the plaintiff had to issue a public apology.  By any reasonable standard, this should have been the end of it.  And yet, years later, I still am expected to somehow prove a negative.

Why would video game journalists report on one case of supposed sexual misconduct, but not another? Because they colluded together and agreed not to, that’s why.

GamerGate was never about harassment

GamerGate was about harassment as much as the Civil War was about state’s rights. Repeat it enough and people will begin to believe it.

Why has no one connected to GamerGate ever been charged with a crime connected to harassment? Why has no one connected to GamerGate ever been sued in civil court for harassment? The burden of proof in civil court is far less than criminal court. Ask O.J. Simpson about that.

If you insist on claiming GamerGate was an organized harassment campaign, you’ve got to admit it was weak and ineffective. If GamerGate was truly a harassment campaign against women, I would expect to see some arrests and criminal convictions. I would expect to see lawsuits filled in civil court.

None of that happened.

GamerGate was always about ethics in game journalism

I thought GamerGate was kind of silly. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe game journalists were unethical, I just didn’t see how they were any more unethical than other journalists.

Reporters report things they know are not true. They have inappropriate relationships with people they report on. Opinion pieces are disguised as news stories. Reporters lie and they commit plagiarism. Are they ever held accountable for these unethical acts? It depends on what you think being held accountable means. Reporters are rarely fired for their unethical acts. Most only receive suspensions.

Fruzsina Eordogh’s article in Forbes is very much an opinion piece pretending to be a news article. She reports her opinions as facts. She’s entitled to her own opinions, but not her own facts. If she wants to report that GamerGate was a sexist harassment campaign, she owes it to the reader to substantiate that claim with facts.

That’s not to say Fruzsina Eordogh’s article doesn’t serve a purpose. It’s a good example of unethical journalism. It serves as an example of what not to do. If you want to besmirch a dead man, it’s important to substantiate your allegations with verifiable facts. She didn’t do that.

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast’s Code of Conduct

Former punter of footballs and aficionado of geeky things Chris Kluwe is a Magic: The Gathering game ambassador. Unfortunately, he doesn’t appear to have been representing the game very well. He recently posted the following tweet about deceased video game critic John “TotalBiscuit” Bain:

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast's Code of Conduct - Bent Corner

Magic: The Gathering is produced by Wizards of the Coast (WotC). Like a lot of large companies, they have a code of conduct. Unlike other large companies with a code of conduct, their code of conduct applies to people 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. It doesn’t even matter where you are, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere else on the Internet, the WotC code of conduct applies to you. People have received lifetime bans from WotC for breaking the code of conduct on YouTube and Facebook.

From the official WotC Code of Conduct:

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast's Code of Conduct - Bent Corner

I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting the important parts, the parts Ambassador Chris Kluwe is in violation of.

Can you harass a dead person?

Even though TotalBiscuit is no longer with us and cannot read the hateful words written by Ambassador Chris Kluwe, TotalBiscuit left behind a wife, Genna and a son, Orion. Imagine the pain they will feel when they read Ambassador Chris Kluwe’s tweet. Even if they don’t know who Chris Kluwe is, all they will have to do is a Google search of TotalBiscuit to read his hateful words.

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast's Code of Conduct - Bent Corner
Genna Bain, wife of John “TotalBiscuit” Bain.

What does it even mean to be a Magic: The Gathering Ambassador?

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast's Code of Conduct - Bent Corner

I have no idea what it means to be an ambassador of Magic: That Gathering. That’s something that’s up to Wizards of the Coast to work out. I do know that anyone representing the game should at the very least conduct themselves in a way others can safely emulate. Has Chris Kluwe done that? Hardly. In fact, if anyone else acted out the way Chris Kluwe acted towards TotalBiscuit, they’d be looking at disciplinary action by WotC for violating their code of conduct.

Chris Kluwe is an example of who not to be

That’s not to say Chris Kluwe isn’t a good example for others. He is, just not in the traditional, conventional sense. If you’d like to know how you should conduct yourself in the public square, just imagine how Ambassador Chris Kluwe would act and then try to do the complete opposite.

Will Wizards of the Coast ban Chris Kluwe?

Former NFL punter and celebrated nerd gamer Chris Kluwe is still around and is still a terrible, awful person. I had not thought about this guy for quite a while, but then I saw the following tweet of his:

TotalBiscuit (government name John Bain) was a YouTube video game critic. He died from colon cancer on May 24, 2018. He left behind a wife and a child.

A lot of the social justice types didn’t like TotalBiscuit. I don’t even know why. I know he was a supporter of gay and trans people, as well as other minorities. Why people like Chris Kluwe would celebrate his untimely death is something I don’t understand, nor is it something I even want to understand.

Chris Kluwe is still a terrible human being - Bent Corner
TotalBiscuit (government name John Bain).

I can’t imagine disliking someone so much that I would publicly celebrate their death. The only person I can think of who would provoke a similar response from me is Osama bin Laden. TotalBiscuit was no Osama bin Laden. He never killed anyone or did anything even remotely evil.

As much as I dislike Chris Kluwe, I would never celebrate his death, publicly or privately.

How will Wizards of the Coast respond?

Will Wizards of the Coast ban Chris Kluwe? - Bent Corner

It will be interesting how Wizards of the Coast (WotC) responds to Chris Kluwe’s tweet. If they follow their own precedence, they will give Chris Kluwe a lifetime ban from Magic: The Gathering. That’s what they did to YouTube creator Jeremy Hambly for making a negative comment about Magic: The Gathering cosplayer Christine Sprankle.

What Chris Kluwe said about TotalBiscuit is far worse than anything Jeremy Hambly said about Christine Sprankle. If WotC doesn’t ban Chris Kluwe for what he said about TotalBiscuit, then they’re guilty of weapons-grade hypocrisy.

Update

Since writing this post, I was able to watch the video made by Hambly about Sprankle. Now that I’ve watched the video, I think what Hambly did was far worse than what Kluwe did.  I still believe Kluewe is a terrible human being, Just not as terrible as Hambly.

Hambly deserved his lifetime ban. I only wish it could be longer.