Friday Tabletop Kickstarter Update – Disproportionate Lawyers!

Hello! Welcome to Friday Tabletop Kickstarter Update! For info on what is going on here, check out this introduction. Kickstarter seems to have been really busy last week, but is slowing down a little bit. Still there are plenty of games to check out.

Remember that I am in no way endorsing these games, I have not played them, I have not talked to the publishers. Back at your own risk.

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Flash Point – Honor and Duty Expansion
Apparent Weight: Medium
Genre: Expansion, Cooperative Fire Fighting

Honor and Duty is the latest in a long line of expansions for the Kickstarter dynasty, Flash Point: Fire Rescue. These games are about working as a team of, you guessed it, firemen attempting to save as many people as possible from a raging fire. Indie Boards and Cards are trying out this whole buy-it-now-because-we-may-run-out tactic; of which I am not a huge fan.


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New Dawn
Apparent Weight: Medium-Heavy
Genre: Area Control, Influence Expansion

As a thematic sequel to Among the Stars, New Dawn shares the same vivid space art. I don’t know a ton about the game, as they have not yet posted any reviews or game play examples, but it looks like players will be expanding their control around the universe. I ‘stared’ this one as soon as I saw it.


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Apparent Weight: Medium-Heavy
Genre: Worker Placement, Actions Selection

Tasty Minstrel is marketing AquaSphere as a brain burner, so move along if you are looking for a light social game. For those who do not recognize the designer’s name, Stefan Feld has certainly earned his game designer credentials and then some. In AquaSphere players are trying to acquire as many victory points… erm… I mean ‘data’ as possible using their Scientist, Engineer and a whole fleet of programmable robots.


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Spells of Doom
Apparent Weight: Medium
Genre: Special Combat, Summoner vs Summoner

I am not really a huge fan of their intro video, especially the presented story, but that has never stopped me from playing a game in that past. Spells of Doom pits two mages against each other as they summon creatures and cast spells to attack one another. You may think this sounds a lot like Summoner Wars or Mage Wars, and you would be right. The project creator is marketing it as a better version for the same genre.


Everyone Thinks They are a Lawyer
Thoughts on the world of Tabletop Kickstarter.

The original title of the Honor and Duty expansion listed above was “Call of Duty.” As soon as I saw this, I thought it was an odd choice. Off all names Indie Boards and Cards could have picked, why would they pick that one. Not surprisingly, three days after the start of the campaign they changed the name. Apparently Activision gave them a call. In the update that briefly outlined and introduced the new name, the project creator hinted that he did not agree with what the lawyers had to say. He went on to point out that he simply could not afford the legal costs associated with fighting the naming rights, thus he chose to rename expansion.

The resulting discourse in the comments were full of backers claiming that this was an unreasonable request from a big bully of a company. Claims that a game about firefighting had no chance of being confused with a war fighting first person shooter were made along with claims that Activision was simply making a money grab. This type of conversation seems to be all over the boardgaming internet. I cannot imagine this is something unique to boardgaming, yet it seems every major boardgame has some sort of thread discussing the legality of intellectual property rights.

Based on these lengthy and heated discussions, I have come to the conclusion that a disproportionate number of copyright lawyers are also boardgame enthusiasts. Either that, or this is an area that people like to mix their own personal opinions with their limited view of actual law. As an computer engineer, I don’t pretend to be an authority on how to teach fifth graders, nor do I pretend to know how to solve the world’s economic problems. Along with those, I don’t pretend to be a source of what is legal and what it illegal in regards to, what I gather as, a very complex system of national and international law.

You may want to check yourself next time you are about to hit “submit” on a comment or post where you use any of the following phrases or words: infringement, intellectual property, suing/sue/litigation, stupid lawyers, illegal and/or copyright violation. Unless of course you are a IP lawyer. But I have a feeling that most lawyers know better than to post legal opinion willi-nilly online. For the rest of us, we should remember that there are actual professionals, people who are specially educated, just to solve these types of problems.

If you have KS topics that interest you, let me know @Scooter_TTTD

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From Trading in the Mediterranean to FPS, I love games. While I grew up in a house without consoles, PC gaming and board gaming were a large part of my formative years, and continue to influence my life. In this golden age of board gaming, I have jumped in headfirst in to anything table top. As a ludilogical student, I love thinking about how games work, their mechanics, their elegance and most importantly, enjoying how fun they are.

Favorite Board Game (at the moment): Twilight Struggle
Favorite PC Game (base solely on play time): Tie between WoW and DII

Fell free to email me: comments, concerns, questions, feedback, rants, and/or suggestions.

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