Friday, January 28, 2011

Dungeons and Dragons Threatens Prison Security, Court Rules

If you're an orc or a wizard, you'd better keep your nose clean.
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit weighed in Wednesday on a matter of grievous import to the nation's prisons: Dungeons & Dragons. And the Court's ruling was bad news for naughty nerds nationwide, concluding that the innocent-seeming board game was inviting trouble.

The case brought before the Appeals Court argued that D&D inhibited prison security, because "cooperative games can mimic the organization of gangs and lead to the actual development thereof." And therefore Kevin T. Singer, a long-time dungeon-explorer sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for bludgeoning and stabbing his sister’s boyfriend, was denied access to his magical staffs and pieces of gold.

According to the published ruling, Captain Bruce Muraski, who serves as disruptive group coordinator for the Waupun Correctional Institute in Wisconsin, elaborated that "during D&D games, one player is denoted the 'Dungeon Master.' The Dungeon Master is tasked with giving directions to other players, which Muraski testified mimics the organization of a gang."

In other words, the case didn't hang on whether the dice were loaded or the game's books were cooked or seditious. It argued that limiting the use of board games would deter gang activity. The argument had more nuances than a 12-sided die; for all the legal details, check the Geeks Are Sexy blog.

It's a blow to role-players everywhere -- criminal role-players that is. Law-abiding citizens are safe .So heed this warning and rob no more, or you'll find you've slain your last halfling.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reaper Miniatures changes name and Ex illis closes...

Reaper Miniatures and Asylum Miniatures, and the Master Model Color line have changed their name to Hobby Q!

Ex Illis has closed its doors. For now...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dust Tactics

I picked up DUST Tactics the other day.  The background is described on the Fantasy Flights Games as:

The year is 1947. The war that started eight years ago when Germany invaded Poland is not over. Rather, the conflict has spread worldwide, and but a handful of countries cling to relative neutrality. Throughout the world, three major superpowers fight to claim exclusive control over a revolutionary source of power: Vk. This rare ore, mined from deep within the earth, has revealed extraordinary properties and ushered in the design of gigantic combat robots capable of challenging the world’s most advanced tanks. The initial discovery of Vk, which seems only to be found in the most inhospitable places on the planet, is shrouded in rumor and propaganda. One thing is certain: each major superpower wants not only to control Vk, but to deny it to their enemies. Elite troops and massive combat robots wage violent battles to claim these energy reservoirs... and this is the story of such a battle.
The contents are described on the back of the box as: 
Dust Tactics is a tactical miniatures board game for 2-4 players. In an alternate 1940s reality, alien technology fuels gigantic machines of war as the forces of the Axis and Allies clash over rare mineral deposits that could inevitably decide the outcome of the war. With over 30 highly detailed miniatures, 9 double-sided terrain boards, 12 custom dice, unit cards, terrain, and plastic scenery, Dust Tactics delivers everything you need to wage battles in the world of Dust.
I have played several games from the Scenario book in the box.  The scenarios are mostly well balanced and fun to play.  The system is fast and it is easy to play several games in one sitting.

 The expandability of the game is great as several unit boxes have been released already and several more have been announced, as well as a couple new campaign packs.  The campaign packs will have new scenarios, map tiles and rules for things like Artillery, Air support and new Heroes.

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