Weekday rants and reviews of videogames, comics, movies, skateboarding, art, urban vinyl and even playground basketball.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tabletop Gaming: Part 8

Howdy friends! It's good to see you back. Today we look at a tiny company run by a group of die-hard gamers. Crocodile Games is from the good-old US-of-A. Even if their website has only been stable a handful of days these past few years they are still in business! A couple of the founders worked for Games Workshop so they know what it takes to make it in the industry. They only make one system but it is solid slowly expanding.

Age of AEgyptus is the introductory system to the WarGods universe. What makes this system unique when compared to other fantasy titles is the thematic experience. AEgyptus is a mythological Egypt, the old gods exist and they have armies made up of man and creature. The classic characters we associate with ancient Egypt, the cat, crocodile, jackyl, serpent, hawk and ram all have avatars. Crocodile Games went out of their way to make sure this universe made sense for gamers. Each of the sculpts look incredible as well!

The look and feel of this world is reminiscent of the Tomb Kings from Games Workshop. Could AEgyptus have been where the kings of Nehekhara originally came from? Quite possibly, considering that the founders of Crocodile Games were with GW during the undead relaunch. The miniatures from Crocodile look and even "feel" like something right out of Warhammer Fantasy Battle. This is a compliment mind you! Certainly those with some imagination will find a way to combine rules and miniatures and either add WH to AEgyptus or vice-versa. Fans of this period in history (or fantasy) should immediately check out the system. There is plenty of potential for hobby modelers. History is not the only thing that draws me to this system.

I went to a convention years ago with my brothers. We had a chance to meet some of the creators when Privateer Press and Crocodile Games were just starting out. Here they were, two new systems budding for the attention of the gaming public. The big publishers had plenty of floor space in the hall, companies like White Wolf, Bandai and Wizards of the Coast had the most real estate. Privateer had less floor space but they were generating buzz thanks to their great displays and Mike McVey in person to promote the company. Tucked away in the corner (literally!) was a small table with a plain tablecloth and a handful of amazing miniatures. My brothers and I were drawn over to it. We wondered if this was a couple that painted miniatures for a living. They told us that they were actually starting out in the business and their system was called Age of AEgyptus. They explained to us the rules, how magic works and other features with their system. They talked about how their world was set up and where they planned on going with it. We realized that this system was the sleeper hit of the show. The publishers and manufacturers hogging the convention center should have been trying to cut a deal with these people, or at the very least invest in them. We wished them the best and walked away.

In the past five or six years I've watched the system grow from a handful of miniatures to near a dozen complete armies. This is impressive when you consider that the company is made up of seven people, most can paint but only a couple can sculpt. Still their system continues to grow. Most recently they have expanded their world to introduce new kingdoms. The first creatures introduced from outside AEgyptus were the Wendigos from the land of Hyperboria. Again, these are some amazing sculpts that can compete with any of the big boys. What the community is most excited about are the addition of new gods and soldiers. You remember your history, when Egypt was in power what other kingdoms were there? If you've read their webpage then you know that Olympus will be added to the world soon, these include armies of Spartans, Mycenians, Demigods and Titans. The preview pics have barely dropped. This isn't about a studio cashing in on a fad, this expansion has been in the works for a long time.

The timing could not be better with God of War II and 300 fresh on our minds. Crocodile Games should have a strong showing during the summer convention circuit and might pick of scores of players. Sadly they do not publish a magazine or produce a line of paints to help offset the cost of production. If only they were larger like Rackham or Privateer Press then they'd have the type of support it takes to make a significant dent in the world of tabletop gaming. Either that or maybe there is an investor reading this and ready to help the cause. Did I mention that AEgyptus would make a great videogame? I hope you seriously consider this company if you are looking to get into the hobby.

That does it for today. Tune in next week to learn about a great new sci-fi system built from the ashes of a dead company.

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