DEATH ANGEL in Review (plus, another banning!)

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DEATH ANGEL in Review (plus, another banning!)
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Looks like we can add Christian Petersen to the list of board games business owners that I've managed to piss off!

For the second time this year, I’ve been pulled from the Fantasy Flight Games press list by personal request of CEO Christian Petersen. The first time was for being one of many people who made negative comments about BATTLES OF WESTEROS when it was announced and this time it’s apparently for “bashing” FFG and specifically for making negative comments about DESCENT.The comments in question are all here on F:AT, not in my paid, published reviews at outside of my editorial on why DESCENT lost its luster for myself and many other gamers. So the implications are clear- this is a personal issue that Mr. Petersen has with me and he expects those who receive review copies of their games to provide a certain kind of press and commentary- even outside of professional bounds.

Mr. Petersen is well within rights to send or not send review copies to whoever he wants for whatever reasons he wants and I completely respect his decision in this regard. That’s not the issue for my part, and frankly I don’t really care about getting a free game in the mail every once in a while from FFG. My issue is that I feel as if my integrity as a games writer has been compromised- I was not aware that receiving review copies from FFG would require me to restrict certain opinions regarding the company, its products, or business practices.That being said, I’m actually quite glad to be off the press list given these implied expectations. I will not- either in my professional writing or in my informal participation here at F:AT- censure myself or withhold honest, substantiated opinions to appease Mr. Petersen or anyone else at Fantasy Flight Games in order to get a free copy of one of their games. This holds true for all other game companies, regardless of size or stature.

I still intend to review- and purchase- Fantasy Flight titles.To not do so would be like not covering Activision games because of Bobby Kotick’s idiotic, megalomaniacal comments.I ordered CIVILIZATION yesterday and I’m looking forward to seeing what Corey has cooked up for us with MANSIONS OF MADNESS. I’ve said time and time again over the seven years that I’ve been writing about board games that FFG is one of the best companies in the business, if not the best games publisher of all time.But I’ll be damned if I’m going to bite my tongue in either a review or in a forum discussion for fear of their CEO cutting me from their comp list. My reviews and viewpoints are not marketing tools and they are not for sale.

I just wanted to put this out there, because I think it’s important to be up front and honest about what I do- just like when I made it clear that my position on receiving review copies had changed due to professional considerations.

Now, with all this in mind, this week’s Cracked LCD is a review of DEATH ANGEL, Corey K.’s outstanding SPACE HULK card game. I think it’s really damn good, and I think some of the other reviewers and commenters here have kind of undervalued the great design work in this tight, economical little game that refracts everything great about SPACE HULK into an entirely different game format. It’s smart stuff, it’s $25, and it’s a lot of fun to play.

And yes, I bought the game with my own money.

Michael BarnesFollow Michael Barnes Follow Michael Barnes Message Michael Barnes


Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of and as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

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