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The Barnestorming Christmas Special: Operation Burning Christmas (also, Battle of the Bulge in Review)

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There Will Be Games

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burning-christmas-treeYes, this is a Very Special episode.

During some of the backroom emailing that went on during Michael Barnes Proudly Presents Secret Satan 2013, I received this email from Frank Branham, whom you may know best as the designer of Warhamster Rally. He said:

Hey Barnes, I was just listening to John Lennon’s “Merry Christmas (War is Over)” and when he asked me “So this is Christmas…and what have ya done?” I realized that I had not done anything. So why don’t we all send our Secret Satan gifts to Shellie (aka Ubarose) this year?"

I thought that sounded like an awesome idea. As you may or may not know, Shellie and her family had a house fire recently, they’ve been livin’ on the edge of a broken heart…and at their parents’ house. What’s more, I thought “hey, you know, it would be cool if we did something like that to let Shellie know how much we appreciate what she does here, keeping this place running and staging interventions by shutting the place down until everybody chills the fuck out”.

But then, when I pitched the idea to the Secret Satan gang, some of the folks close to the Ubarose camp informed me that sending them a bunch of copies of Fucking Reef Encounter would be a bad idea. They don’t exactly have anywhere to put a bunch of rubbish right now. So instead, I made like an email scammer and asked everybody to Paypal me a donation. AND THEY DID.

I called it…Operation: Burning Christmas.

Operation: Burning Christmas saw F:ATties at their best, really stepping up for Shellie and her family and pledging a whopping $700.21. We had donors from all over the world, and even some folks that were Scrooges that didn’t participate in Secret Satan ponied up to fund this “F:AT Cares” project.

I won’t name the donors, mainly because I don’t want the guy that just pledged 21 cents to be embarrassed by the one that gave $700. Kidding. We had a wide range of donations from lots of people, all wanting to show support for Shellie and her family. But Shellie, know that this gift to your family is from ALL of Fortress: Ameritrash, and we hope you guys use it for whatever you want that makes your holiday- or new year- bright.  Pay for your trip to WBC, buy a new appliance, fund a new laptop, go all out for a grand New Year’s dinner, or don’t tell the family and blow it on shoes. It’s up to you. I’ve just Paypal-ed the haul to the F:AT donation address since you apparently didn’t buy my lie about some F:ATtie wanting to send you a couple of dollars to buy you a bottle of whiskey. So go on, claim your prize.

And for fuck’s sake, have a good holiday, Shellie. And everbody else too.

Oh, if you want to read a review, I just wrote up Battle of the Bulge, an amazing new IOS wargame over at Nohighscores.com. You really should buy this game.

There Will Be Games

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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 FortressAT.com and Nohighscores.com 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.

Articles by Michael

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