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Wiz-War has returned, and it looks horrible!

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23 Jan 2023 21:57 #337965 by drewcula
www.kickstarter.com/projects/sjgames/wiz...returns?ref=checkout

Wiz-War may be favorite board game.
I love it, warts and all.

I adore my FFG copy and its two expansions. I'll forever be bitter that a third expansion was not brought to market. I really wanted FFG's stamp on a sixth wizard, and their models for the game were ACE.

I don't own a Chessex edition, but I'd like one for curiosity sake. The game's humble origin and 7 previous editions (prior to FFG's handling) are chit-tastic, with simple, silly, and scrappy illustrations.

Enter Steve Jackson Games. They bought the rights YEARS ago, and I've been waiting patiently for the announcement of crowd funding.

It came today.

Sad panda.

It was teased two (three?) years ago that Phil Foglio would illustrate SJG's iteration of the classic. I grew up reading Myth Adventures and Dragon magazine. I love Foglio's work. He's not everyone's cuppa, but he's mine. His efforts on Wiz-War? Yes. Please.

Then a cover was teased. Surely, this was a wizard's prank. The illustration was middling at best, but the layout and graphic design was gods awful. This was a mock-up, right? RIGHT?!

Apparently not.

The crowd funding page is now open for a fiery NINE days. I didn't realize wet farts could last so long. It's met its modest goal of 1K and the soon-to-be ninth edition of this incredible game will see daylight.

Holy Fireball do the contents look bad. "Illustrated by Phill Foglio" apparently means he submitted 8 wizard illustrations. We'll be able to admire them as standees. The board effects do not appear illustrated by Phil, nor do the boards. And it seems there are NO illustrations on the 119 cards.

On the positive; the cost is low, it scales to six, and more people can play Wiz-War again. But that's all the praise I have for this on the Kickstater's first day. Maybe I'll change my tune, but this entire production seems half baked.


- I know many of you F:ATties don't want more gray minis in your collection. You're wrong. But regardless of your mistake, I would have been perfectly content with chits for a W-W 9th edition. Chits in a smaller box even! But I just can't get excited by this surface treatment. It's amateur hour.

Damn. May I live long enough to see a 10th edition.

LONG LIVE WIZ-WAR!
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23 Jan 2023 22:06 #337967 by drewcula
"Kill them with fire!" is the cover tag line. It's so dumb, and it looks so bad, many people could think the title is "WIZ-WAR: KILL THEM WITH FIRE!"

JFC. Did Tom Jolly have any say in this?
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23 Jan 2023 22:14 #337968 by hotseatgames
I appreciate that the production is minimalist. If I didn't have everything from the FFG edition, I'd go in on this.

I will agree that the art is not my cup of tea.

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23 Jan 2023 23:12 #337970 by Jackwraith
FFS, half the campaign page is promoting the "stretch goals" of GreedQuest (For any other company, this would be a self-deprecating joke) and SPANC. 45 years later, SJG is still run like they're only in business to make a quick buck by sucking in the most gullible of nerds. This version is "developed by Steve Jackson" and then thanking FFG for letting them use some of the spells that they, y'know, actually developed. In other words, he decided on a different collection of cards, but still included some of the cool stuff that FFG created, and that's "development." You almost cannot get more "running the business out of the trunk of a Buick at the county fair" than this schlock. Like hotseat, I have everything from FFG's version and that's fine. I think four is the best number of players, anyway, as we rarely play with five, since it often starts to bog down. Point taken that this will give more people access to one of the greatest games of all time, but it's too bad it's not with a publisher with some actual vision and actual class. ("SPANC"? Are you fucking kidding me? It's so fucking lowbrow it's face down in its own dirt.)
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24 Jan 2023 01:52 #337971 by san il defanso
I backed it, mostly because, while I think the art proper is a (big) step down, it seems like a much more usable version of the game. The wall tokens look like the walls on the board, for example, and I think the whole thing will just be a lot less busy.

Obviously I'm not letting go of my full FFG edition any time soon, but between the increased usability and smaller size, I might actually end up playing this more.
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24 Jan 2023 07:38 #337973 by Ah_Pook
At least this version IS cheap, in addition to looking cheap. Don't see any reason not to wait for retail and get it cheaper.
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24 Jan 2023 08:10 #337974 by fightcitymayor
I'm not the world's biggest Wiz-War fan, but it deserves more respect than cramming it into a KS threesome with two other games of this SJG ilk:

Greed Quest, sitting at a lovely 4.6 rating on BGG with comments like "got it for 0.99 at Goodwill," "gameplay insipid," and "possibly the worst game I've ever played."

and

SPANC: Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirl, achieving a wonderful 5.4 rating at BGG, with comments that basically seem like it only exists as a vehicle for Phil Foglio's "sexy" catgirl art. Oh wait, there is a review: "This is barely a game."

Given that there are only 2 images of Wiz-War on the campaign, yet a combined three images of Greed Quest and SPANC, this all seems very SAD!
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24 Jan 2023 10:58 #337977 by drewcula
Because I fucking hate myself, I backed it for a burner copy I can leave at the beach house.*

*I'm a fucking art professor. I don't own a beach house. But my "family by choice" rents the same one every Thanksgiving and we've left games there for years.

LONG LIVE WIZ WAR!

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24 Jan 2023 11:03 #337978 by drewcula
ARGH!!! I just can't let this go.

I almost wish SJG had lowered the production value even further instead of what we're getting.
I mean, lean into it! Offer this OG style, with the spells printed on business cards. Toss in three sheets of punch board chits and seal it all in a zip loc bag. Or a VHS case. Charge 10 - 15 bucks.

SJG has done this enough lately with their reprint of OGRE and their micro titles.
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24 Jan 2023 11:27 #337979 by Gary Sax
^I completely agree with this

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24 Jan 2023 11:51 #337980 by charlest
Yeah, it's in a very weird position where it's not up to snuff with games from even 10 years ago, but it's not produced in a way to leverage nostalgia.
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24 Jan 2023 12:30 #337982 by n815e
It’s SJG. They are low quality, low effort and relatively high price tag.

They weren’t going to invest in this or develop it.

They make money from kickstarting nostalgia and making more Munchkin, which people seem to buy for the jokes and not the gameplay.

To be fair to them, I suppose, it would be difficult for any company to meet FFG’s version in quality of components. And with such a lavish version, anything else would be compared unfavorably.

I’m both disappointed in this and also not surprised by it.

Although I have Groo, I was going to pledge for their reprint, anyway. But I think I will have to see what they’re doing with it. Supposedly they are keeping Sergio’s art, but changing the layout and some of the card text. Maybe the original, low budget art didn’t have enough color gradients going on, or plain text in tiny font on a blank background for their liking.
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24 Jan 2023 12:35 #337983 by Jackwraith
Seems to be producing a fair amount of nostalgia on Twitter. I'm already seeing people raving about it. What, in fact, they're raving about, I have no idea but apparently it's retro-cool to hearken back to days when an "artist" was just some guy who would draw on the cheap and production values were barely above stuff that was made on the office copier at night when no one would catch you. Oh, and an opportunity to promote themes of women as objects because they're also ninjas. Or something.
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24 Jan 2023 13:29 #337984 by Sagrilarus
Presumably they have a warehouse full of Spanc and taking a copy is part of the price of getting Wiz War?
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24 Jan 2023 13:32 #337985 by Smeagol
My 23 year old son Smeagol jr and his friends love Wiz-War and I cringe when they want to borrow my FFG copy and take to his 23 year old party condo.

So I'm getting this so he can have his own copy, they are far more likely to play with 6, and the compoents won't bother them , or he can dig some reaper bones out of the tub to spruce up the wizards! He would never go all in on a FFG re release with expansions, just too expensive.
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