Inside Tom’s Brain RSS

The wild and whacky inner workings of the Dark Menace himself.

GalactiCon 2014. July 11-13. 25th Anniversary. The Buck Stops Here.

GalactiCon 2013 was fantastic as usual and there’s still a full year until GalactiCon 2014 and too early to talk about it—if it was just another GalactiCon. But cialis for sale nz it isn’t. It’s going to be the 25th anniversary and that is truly something special. 25 uninterrupted years celebrating games from a small independent game company. That’s success no matter how you look at it. The dates: July 11-13. Mark them down buy cialis canada on your calendar now. If you’ve been saying you’re going to GalactiCon and

never made it, THIS IS THE ONE. If you’ve been to GalactiCon before and wanting to come back, THIS IS THE ONE. If you’re from another planet and never heard of Earth, games, or Champions of the Galaxy, THIS IS THE ONE! Every year is familiar: Trivia Contest, Auction, Tournaments, Guests, game upsets, incredible matches, socializing with friends (or is it family?), on and on. Every year is different: alternativa al sildenafil In 2013 we met for the first time at the Labyrinth on Friday night and it was a hit! Filmmaker Paul Schermerhorn was filming interviews with game fans for an upcoming documentary spearheaded by Jeff Gutherz. We taped the Filsinger Games podcast in front of a live audience along with co-host Wiggy and legendary game fan and guest, Gavin Loudspeaker. Then there’s the small moments, the jokes, the conversations, the sharing, that makes not only GalactiCon worthwhile, but life worthwhile. No hard sell here. The 25th Anniversary speaks for itself. Fix it on your calendar NOW and be done with it. Thanks to all

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our fans (I’ve said it before and will say again), the GREATEST GAME FANS IN THE GALAXY! We know how to mix passion with pleasure and have been doing it for over 25 years! I’m in the trenches with you, writing Champions of the Galaxy uninterrupted for 28 years and as always I look forward to the next game expansion the most! GalactiCon 2014 is dedicated to the memory of printer and producer Bob Hoffa who was there at the beginning and was as loyal as they come. See you there!

On Being a Hero, CotG Fans, John Cena, and Endgame’s Heel Turn

I have learned once again that Champions of the Galaxy fans are incredible and that this is more than a game.

A few days ago we posted our fourth teaser for the upcoming Black Death 2129 expansion. This is tradition, been doing it for years. My company posts sneak previews of new game cards leading up to the big release date which this year is July 13 at GalactiCon and mailings begin on July 16.

Every now and then a new game story strikes a nerve. Monday was one of those times.

Endgame had been going against the grain for years. He was a squeaky clean hero in a universe of shady characters and opportunists. In popular entertainment the modern concept of a hero has evolved towards gritty, tough, edgy guys. In comic books this is reflected in the popularity of dark characters like Batman or guys willing to bend the rules like Iron Man. Wrestling’s attitude era saw a plethora of antiheroes like the Rock and Steve Austin.

Endgame quickly became an anachronism, a throwback to an era where heroes were truly uplifting and noble ALL THE TIME, even when the going got tough. As anyone who follows the GWF knows, Endgame has been battling to do the right thing for years and his efforts to guide others to do the same has often fallen on deaf ears as he has been mocked by the Black Death team, heel teams, and even people who should be on his side like Monolith, Overmaster, and Swarm.

Some game fans were calling him boring as he stuck to his guns. Sometimes it’s hard to make a character that sees the world in black and white interesting, especially if he’s a hero (villains, by definition, are always edgy). Endgame was coming off as stodgy, even arrogant, as he became the measure of all this is good and right.

Then suddenly he snapped.

It took some help though. In 2129 Endgame will be possessed by the Black Death plague that is sweeping the galaxy. Suddenly all those years of frustration will be unleashed against everyone but mainly those that undermined his efforts at every turn.

It is the ultimate cynical statement even though I don’t intend it as a statement but as a good story which recognizes that Endgame, like the rest of us, is a human being with a limit to his patience. Plus the wind is against him as his turn to the dark side has been aided by Black Death possession.

Sur and Bex may wind up wishing it never happened. Endgame’s sense of right and wrong may be too highly developed to fall in line with Black Death. But in the meantime EVERYONE better beware!

The obvious parallel is to WWE and John Cena. Squeaky clean as he is many fans don’t like him but WWE so far hasn’t turned him heel. If they do it’ll be huge.

The WWE knows you can’t take such a  turn lightly. Cena is firmly entrenched as a hero as Endgame was.  That makes the turn more potent, more powerful, a deeper form of betrayal as when Hulk Hogan joined the nWo.

Ever since the announcement about Endgame I’ve been involved in discussions on social networks with game fans about the nature of good and evil and the symbolism of Endgame’s heel turn. It’s amazing! I love how deeply game fans relate to the characters.

One game fan wrote a long treatise about good and evil and how Endgame cannot be forgiven, Black Death or not, for giving in to his lower impulses. He discussed the state of mankind today, religious ideals, and other lofty topics. I was proud that such depth could arise from the story lines of Champions of the Galaxy.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that as Endgame falls prey to his dark side that the ultimate symbol of GWF nobility is returning — Lord Nexus. I didn’t do this on purpose. Maybe it was unconscious.

In addition, three new heroes are entering the GWF in 2129. Maybe all this was needed to counterbalance the enormity of Endgame’s turn.

And so Black Death 2129 hasn’t even been released and a galaxy-shaking event has taken place. It’s not just a game and it’s not just a heel turn, it is more than that to people who identify with the characters as real people.

They are real to me too and I hope people don’t judge Endgame too harshly. He’s human, just like us. He fought the good fight perhaps longer than many of us would have. And in the end all we need to do is look in the mirror to see that the temptation to put ourselves first and lash out in anger is something we have all done.

That’s why we need heroes, to show us something better and give us inspiration. Hail the return of Lord Nexus!

Meanwhile enjoy the wrath of Endgame, it’ll make compelling drama! He’s taking no prisoners and all those years of pent up frustration will be released in a firestorm! Can anyone stop him?

Until Tricks becomes a saint…

BLACK DEATH 2129 is Coming!

BLACK DEATH 2129 is on the way (July 13 to be exact) and it’s sneak peek season again!

This will be the 43rd expansion in the history of Champions of the Galaxy. Isn’t that amazing! Thanks to our long-time fans and fantastic new ones for keeping this galactic saga alive.

I guess I’m not risk averse, I’m starting the teaser season with a mystery man and not a “Wow, awesome, look at him!” fighting specimen. That’s the ticket in 2129 and beyond: lots of mystery, lots of fantastic characters and daring story lines.

The epic BLACK DEATH story reaches a crescendo in 2129 as BLACK DEATH suffers its greatest setbacks but also attains its greatest success! What could possibly top End of Days? Will the scientists at Ground Zero up the ante? The answer will shock you!

There’s more and these tidbits will give promoters something to bite on as we move along:

An all-time legend returns to the GWF in 2129. The galaxy rejoices. Who is he?

A member of the Legends team decides to make his own remake! He moves off in a new direction to the chagrin of Hector and the rest of his team. Who is it?

The word “legend” seems to be the operative word at the moment. To balance it out the Legends team gets a new member, another famous persona from the past. Who will it be? A clue: it’s in the mold of Bishop Hell.

There are casualties all over the place on the battlefield. At least six GWF stars suffer serious afflictions in 2129 including possible career-ending injuries. Who are they?

Skiver enters the GWF to team up with Patch. But why does that signal the end of Fight Club?

Get psyched, the ride to BLACK DEATH 2129 STARTS NOW!

Until Bishop Hell smiles…

We’re Proud to Support and Partner with Indy Wrestling!

2013 has been an amazing year for Filsinger Games and WrestleCon (which took place in Secaucus, New Jersey on April 5-7) seems to represent all the cool things that have been happening. Filsinger Games is evolving and our evolution is coinciding with a grass roots movement in the Indy scene. I’ll try to describe this movement as best I can but first a little history.

As many of our fans know, Filsinger Games began as a company selling just one game. I produced Champions of the Galaxy for over 15 years before adding Legends of Wrestling Card Game in 2003, That was a big breakthrough, finally a companion game to Champions of the Galaxy featuring real wrestlers. But as it turns out it was just the beginning.

In 2011 we reached an agreement (thanks to game fan Rob Beaubien) with CHIKARA to license a game with their promotion. It was the perfect bridge for my company since CHIKARA is a promotion with comic book influences and our mainstay was still Champions of the Galaxy, a sci-fi viagra for women wrestling game of the future. Our successful partnership with CHIKARA was followed by an agreement with Ring of Honor (Rob again) as well as Combat Zone Wrestling, SHIMMER, and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (the latter three thanks to Kris Osk). I’m sure more will follow.

Suddenly Filsinger Games was filling a niche as the largest seller of Indy wrestling card games and the momentum was like a tidal wave. We sponsored National Pro Wrestling Day in February and this was another milestone event for my company.

I have attended conventions since 1999, usually comic book conventions and they are always a great way to meet fans, advertise our games, and network with professionals. But there has been nothing quite like WrestleCon.

We did a lot of the same old things and I never tire of them. I visited with friends from wrestling’s classic mania era like Ted DiBiase, Nikolai Volkoff, Jim Duggan, and Bobby Heenan. These wrestlers and many more have supported my game company and partnered with me on promotions over the years. We have seen each other many times, worked together, partied together, and become friends. Along with visiting with wrestlers there’s the fun and excitement of meeting game

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fans in person as well as teaching newcomers how to play.

But at WrestleCon there was even more.

With the assistance of new partner, Wiggy Wigowski, we scheduled guest appearances at the Filsinger Games table featuring Indy stars such as Bryce Remsburg, Veda Scott, Leva Bates, as well as the Batiri and Ant Colony. The energy was infectious.

Young Indy stars who were proud to be featured on game cards (with sensational art by Werner Mueck) came to visit our table and speak with us and take photos such as Jay Lethal from Ring of Honor and Arik Royal from CWF Mid-Atlantic.

The ground was moving under my feet.

My game company, which focused on classic stars from the past with Legends of Wrestling, was now part of an exciting movement focusing on interesting young people living out their dreams and fantasies. They wrestle in the “smart fan” era where fans are defining the wrestling experience in subtle new ways.

Indy wrestlers fascinate me and when I meet them I invariably want to learn more about them as people and they are an incredibly diverse group, from lawyers to office workers to unemployed nomads. What they all share is a love for Indy wrestling and a close intimate relationship with their fans. Social networking has all but erased the barriers between Indy wrestlers and fans and the lines are blurred.

This reminds me of garage rock bands, less commercial, more real, more connected to their fans than their larger counterparts.

As the owner of Filsinger Games I am proud to be part of this movement. We are a small game company with a vision that we’ve seen through for years and cialis online purchase canada these young people are wrestling on a small stage (compared with WWE and TNA) and still moving forward in the spirit of fun and adventure. Where does this commitment lead? Who knows, there are no guarantees. And yet isn’t fun and fame and connecting with others in a common vision a reward unto itself; a reward which allows us to sidestep the humdrum of standard nine to five work and escape to a world of fantasy and fun?

I admire everyone in the Indy business, from the companies that are well known to the smaller promotions across America that draw maybe 100 people or 200 people at their house shows. I was very proud to release a National Pro Wrestling Day card pack because the focus (like the event itself) was on small promotions that fly under the national radar.

There’s nothing like honest enthusiasm and excitement that exemplifies Indy wrestling and the fans. I think the Indy mentality is slowly but surely creating a wave of “new attitudes” in WWE crowds. I was amazed to watch RAW on April 8 and see that the large crowd of 20,000 in New Jersey was behaving like an Indy wrestling crowd. Lots of creative chants and more important an underlying “you can’t fool me so don’t mess with me” attitude that is upbeat and raucous but not to be trifled with lest the chants get ugly.

Filsinger Games proudly joins hands with our Indy partners and brethren to continue the revolution.

Late Night Thoughts on the Creative Process

“So what is your process when you create new characters and  new game expansions?” I’ve been asked this question many times and I tend to simplify my answer with short quips and that’s mainly because for the me the creative process is very mysterious.

I’m currently conceptualizing BLACK DEATH 2129. I say “conceptualizing” and not “writing” because the first stage is just staring off into space and allowing my mind to wander to faraway planets and star systems of the future. I’m asking, “What happens now?” and allowing different scenarios to unfold.

Sometimes ideas just aren’t coming together and I give up and do something else. Other times a whole bunch of ideas come together wham bam one right after the other. Sometimes a big idea hits like a tidal wave, like Black Death, and all kinds of secondary ideas roll out too. Other times it’s more piecemeal as in taking the characters one at a time and asking, “What does Monolith do now?”

I scribble ideas on paper at this stage and this gets tedious because sometimes I have pages and pages of ideas and I’ve already moved past most of them. But there might still be some good ones among all the notes and so I go through them all, crossing out stuff that’s not going to work, and circling ideas I’ll use like a name of a character or a good story angle.

At some point I sit down and write an outline of the new handbook. This is critical because it means I’m finalizing the main stories and aligning the characters on teams. By this time I’ve narrowed the number of playing cards to ten, a process that always drives me crazy because I want to release many more except it’s just not feasible. Sometimes if I just can’t reduce the number to ten I’ll release some extra Limited Edition cards.

The next step is conceptualizing the card art.  I’ll start sharing my ideas with Darryl Banks and the process of designing a playing card can take anywhere from a couple sketches to trying over and over for the right pose, facial expression, costume, etc. Darryl’s a fantastic guy to work with and we have fun working on characters no matter how long it takes. What’s frustrating for me is I have an image in my mind and I’m unable to communicate with words the exact image to my artist. When I worked with Chuck Carter I would often strike a pose (which resulted in the first Bishop Hell card) or make the facial expression in person and then Chuck would draw it. Working by email is trickier and sometimes it takes a little while but often, with a great artist like Darryl, the end result is better than what I pictured.

Then it comes time to write the game cards. This is the hardest part because to me writing a good game card is an art. The game mechanic is deceptively simple but a good playing card tells a story about the character.  An athlete with a lot of offense should have an exciting card that moves fast. A good tag wrestler should be useful in tag matches while struggling in singles competition. A good card has interesting features such as a special finisher or a unique card rule or more offense or defense or something. I like creating cards that are “out of the ordinary” like the Guardian or the new one coming out, Skiver.

The fact is I agonize over card stats, I want them to be perfect by some ethereal internal standard. I make minor changes right up to the final deadline for printing. In fact sometimes I’ll reprint a card and change the stats because it doesn’t feel “just right” to me. I did that with Mantis in 2127. I thought the final card wasn’t strong enough and I proceeded to make several minor upgrades which can add up to a much better card. It’s always easy to change a finisher from +2 to +4 or reduce a pin rating from 7 (4) to 5 (2). That’d be too easy. There are minor changes that make a difference too like changing (ch D) to (ch F) or removing a (tag) option on Level 3 Defense.  I made five or six changes on the Mantis card and had the card reprinted at my expense. Some game fans will note that there are two versions of Mantis 2127 floating around. The result was I had a whole package of Mantis cards I wasn’t going to use so I decided to give them away free with game orders as a “sample” of the latest Champions of the Galaxy expansion and I don’t think many people noticed.

A long-term process is thinking of  names for the characters and their signature moves. All day long when I have  free time (which means daydreaming time) I’ll think about the new game and possible names. “Should it be Gigantus or no, maybe Monolith sounds better.” With one character, a hunter, I was trying to figure out a good name for his finisher. Suddenly, it hit me: Kill Prey! What a cool name for a move. Then I realized that the name was even better for the character himself rather than the move. Hence the character Kill Prey came into the game.

The actual writing of the  handbook is the fun part. The stories write themselves sometimes. I’ll have thoughts in mind when I start writing but then more stuff magically appears on the page. Like I said, creating is a mysterious process and I love the mystery.

The editing process is horrible, takes forever, and trying to find every possible error whether it’s a historical error or just the zillions of minor mistakes on cards and the handbook, it makes me really sick of the game by the time it’s finished.

Thankfully, like the true fan that I am, it all becomes worth it when I see the finished cards! I’m like a kid, I pick them up, feel them, smell them, and immediately add them to the my fed so I can start playing! The next thing I can’t wait for is releasing the game to loyal fans and seeing and hearing their enjoyment and pleasure at having new blood and playing Champions of the Galaxy forever! My goal has always been to give people a game that allows them to use their imagination, but also provide quality entertainment and a sense of a community of players.

Having said all this I’m really psyched about BLACK DEATH 2129 to say nothing of the expansions coming in the years ahead. BLACK DEATH has been a big success but I think some fans are occasionally put off by the cosmic themes that pervade some of my stories. That’ll happen when you’ve got a game that combines science fiction with professional wrestling. Sometimes I like to cut loose with the comic book scenarios and I’ve had great fun with BLACK DEATH which to me symbolizes that Champions of the Galaxy is a combination of comic books and wrestling. Besides, who wants to get stuck in a rut, how boring would that be? BLACK DEATH 2129 is the 43rd game expansion and believe me 2130 and 2131 will push the envelope too! One thing loyal promoters can count on is their creator is putting his heart and soul into his work and when it comes to the creative process my head is in the stars.

Until Skiver cuts himself with a butter knife…

I’m Enjoying Our Latest Game Releases with a New Indy Fed!

As most of you know I’ve been playing two game feds for a long time: First my Champions of the Galaxy fed which I’ve played since 1988 and featuring over 850 fight cards and over 6,000 matches. Then there’s my Legends of Wrestling federation which I’ve been playing since 2003.

It’s not always easy to find time to play these feds but I’m about to compound the problem by adding a new one…drum roll please…Dark Menace Promotions! This’ll be my wildest yet!

DMP is a fictional wrestling promotion founded and funded by the nefarious Dark Menace who not only loves Indy wrestling but loves money and power even more and aims to use DMP as a vehicle for his own secret ambitions. But not so fast! The Dark Menace has hired David Marquez, known for his work with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, to be the main announcer and organizer but Mr. Marquez is going to give him more than he bargained for! David insists on doing things by the book and has challenged the Dark Menace on his own turf. The Dark Menace sees this as an amusing challenge and the battle is on!

The Dark Menace and David Marquez have recruited some of the top Indy talent in the world to join DMP. The Dark Menace has started by bringing in his heavy hitters: Kevin Steen, Mike Quackenbush, and the Briscoe Brothers. Not to be outdone Marquez recruited El Generico, Colt Cabana, and the World’s Greatest Tag Team! These feuds are going to get ugly! Here is the rest of the roster:

The Colony (with Delirious)
FIST (Taylor and Gargano)
Willie Mack
2 Cold Scorpio
Mike Bennett
The Hobo
Arik Royal
Shane Hollister

Da Soul Touchaz (with C. Red)
SCUM (Jacobs and Corino)
Ethan Page
Cedric the Hitman
de Coronado
Robert Anthony
Sara Del Rey

The ring announcer is none other than Gavin Loudspeaker who seems to share a secret alliance with the Dark Menace. Can David counter and win fan support?

Over ten Indy promotions represented in DMP! I’m using playing cards from RING OF HONOR, CHIKARA, CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM HOLLYWOOD, and NATIONAL PRO WRESTLING DAY card packs in my fed.

The first step is to crown a Heavyweight Champion and Tag Team Champions. The Dark Menace has announced that a second singles belt will be added but he hasn’t named it yet.

David insists he will “stand against abuses of power and corruption and shape DMP into an honorable wrestling promotion that showcases the best talent.” The Dark Menace says he “sneers at such pompous and overblown bravado” and promises to “manage my stable to the top.”

To really rile the Dark Menace David Marquez has promised that DMP will eventually stand for David Marquez Productions. Will he turn out to be right?

The battle is on! Watch for the start of DMP action! It’ll be wild and off the wall, a departure from my other two game federations. I’ll be reporting results soon…


Once Upon a Time There was a Game Company…

It’s been a wild year. Filsinger Games is getting more and more exposure in the media and this is quite gratifying after over two decades of being in business.It’s another one of those overnight success stories that aren’t overnight at all but a long time in the making. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here but also a lot of fun.

I’ve been asked to be a guest on several radio shows and podcasts and I love talking about the history of Filsinger Games. We’ve posted links to some of these interviews at this site, but keep in mind there will be a test afterwards! Go here for the media links.

There’s a new one coming soon: An interview for a new web series called Chautauqua Tonight created by Paul Schermerhorn and the merry band of wild folks at the Spire in Jamestown. I support Paul’s vision of a web series focusing on the interesting things happening in Chautauqua county and I’m honored to be the main guest on his inaugural show. I’m also part of a crazy skit during the show so it’ll be a lot of fun and a chance for Paul and company to get their feet wet. I hope the series is a smash success!

Most interviewers ask me questions about my game company and upcoming releases but the part that winds up being the most fun for both of us is telling stories.

There’s the story I’ve told dozens of times but never tire of about how the games were developed in my boring math class in high school and how the page numbers of the math textbook became my dice rolls. Then on to the story of how I tried to sell the game to the WWE (then the WWF) in the 1980s, nearly meeting Vince McMahon in the process.

I’ve told many stories about the wrestlers who’ve worked with my company over the years and the crazy things that happened with them at conventions including the feud caught on video between Nikolai Volkoff and comedian Andy Malonakis at our table in Pittsburgh; or the time I had to chase down an inebriated Hacksaw Jim Duggan and tear him away from “the man who invented Monopoly” to play game tournaments with fans in Columbus, Ohio. That’s to say nothing of trying to stop the Iron Sheik from destroying everyone and everything in his path at a convention in Detroit when a huge bar tab for all the fun and merriment came due.

Sometimes people want to hear stories about my business association and friendship with Stan Lee and there’s plenty there also. It’s been an honor to work closely with a cultural icon and my all-time hero. That’s to say nothing of the wild time when I met Julie Newmar of Catwoman fame from the classic Batman TV show. She dumped Batman in Ohio to spend time with the Dark Menace.

What’s an interview without stories? I remember reading a book by a famous lawyer, Gerry Spence, who won many high-profile cases, and he said the secret of his success was weaving his cases into good stories. People get bored hearing facts heaped upon facts. A good story is the glue that holds it all together and gives people something to relate to or at least remember.

So I’m going to be out there spreading the word! It’s great that more people are noticing our wonderful little niche and seeing how much fun we’re having!

You’re invited, everyone is invited! The game room is open and the dice are hot!


When Tabletop Card Game is Kinda Like Collectible Card Game

Many times I have heard game fans or reviewers incorrectly refer to Filsinger Games products like Champions of the Galaxy as collectible card games.  I don’t think my games fit the bill unless the term is defined very broadly.

And yet lately we’re moving slightly closer.

I looked up the definition of a CCG at wiki and here’s what it said: “A collectible card game  is a game played using specially designed sets of playing cards. CCGs combine the appeal of collecting with strategic gameplay.”

The examples usually provided for CCGs use Magic: The Gathering as the prototype for these kinds of games.

As for Filsinger Games, our products broadly meet the first criteria or don’t depending on how the terms are defined. Filsinger Games players use specially designed sets of playing cards but the sets aren’t created by one player to battle the sets of another player. With FG (I was going to use the initials FU to stand for Filsinger Universe but reconsidered) a person often plays alone rather than against other people. Consequently the player doesn’t use the game cards to attain a personal victory so much as to see how a particular contest between two (or more) wrestlers plays out in an ongoing storyline they are creating.

The goal with FG is to create interesting scenarios and then allow the game battles to play themselves out, leading to the creation of new game scenarios based on the match results. FG is an organic, creative game system, leaving much to the imagination of the players.

Further, wiki states:  “The bulk of CCGs are designed around a resource system by which the pace of each game is controlled. “This concept does not apply to FG  in any way.

The goal of a CCG according to wiki is, “for players to select which cards will compose their deck from the available pool of cards.” Again, this does not apply to FG.

Outside of the broad criteria of FG as a card game it cannot be considered a CCG except that a new trend is emerging among our games that overlaps with CCGs and that is the card games have the appeal of being collectible.

I used to play Vs. System games (Marvel and DC) and one of the main appeals for me was collecting game cards for my favorite characters like Iron Man, Sub-Mariner, and the Hulk.  There would be several Sub-Mariner cards, some that could be used for a Defenders deck and others for an Illuminati deck and for good measure there could be a Namor card just about anywhere including a card to be played with a Fantastic Four deck or Dr. Doom deck. Lots of cards, lots of unique card stats,  lots to collect. And I loved it.

With the number of  brands in the FG universe expanding all the time the same things is happening in our games.

We released a playing card for Bryan Danielson several years ago for our Legends of Wrestling game. Subsequently we released new versions for Bryan such as a card that could be played with the Chikara game and then a new Legends card that reflected changes in Bryan’s career. (By the way, for those that don’t know, Bryan is a huge fan of FG games and Champions of the Galaxy in particular.)

If you’re a fan of a wrestler, collecting different versions of his FG cards is a fun way to follow his career and a hobby unto itself. It may sound like I’m trying to sell more game cards and make more money for my company but anyone who knows me knows I love games and I love collecting. Creating different versions of cards meets the demands of game fans who want different versions to play in their game federations.

Plus we need to produce different versions of some wrestlers for game fans that are loyal to one particular game brand. For example say someone is a Chikara fan and for some unfathomable reason does not play our other games. They won’t want a Legends version of Bryan, they’ll want a Chikara card that reflects Bryan’s time in Chikara and the moves he used in that promotion.

Another example: we released UltraMantis Black as a wrestler in Chikara, but we also released a sci-fi version for Champions of the Galaxy. That was wild and fun and it makes the CotG version quite collectible for game fans with the unique card art and game stats.

We just introduced 2 Cold Scorpio in our National Pro Wrestling Day game pack but we may also release a younger, classic version of 2 Cold Scorpio for our Legends game.

In the end FG is a game system that straddles many categories, transcending several of them to become a unique entity of its own. There are qualities of sports action games, CCGs, and yet fitting comfortably in no particular category.

Hey, that’s us…we mark our own territory!  The bottom line is we’re having fun and that’s the only category that our fans care about…


2012 Was a Very Good Year and 2013 is Going to be Better!

And so another year passes and a new one begins. As I think back to 2012 I can only be pleased. One of the longest continuously running games on the market, Champions of the Galaxy, is as strong as ever. The BLACK DEATH series has become the latest “classic era” in the game’s storied history and there’s still BLACK DEATH 2129 due in July! And after that I guarantee there are more surprises in store! I can’t finish talking about Champions of the Galaxy without mentioning my excitement that ALL 24 original playing cards will be wrapped up with the CotG ORIGINALS 6-Pack #4 also coming in July! That means the entire original intro game will be in color, for nostalgia buffs like me it’s a dream come true! We also saw the release of a new licensed game with RING OF HONOR. What an awesome game it is with 26 playing cards, handbook, and a cool ROH belts insert! we’re gaining new fans with RING OF HONOR and CHIKARA and I love working with the class acts that run those promotions. Our LEGENDS series is still going strong and now represents the last bastion for black and white cards that we produce. Somehow it fits, seems appropriate, and perhaps that shouldn’t change. As usual our loyal fans will let us know their thoughts. Our exciting new web site was yet another major step forward in 2012. I’ll be honest, I was very frustrated with the previous site but changing was a time consuming process and we’re still not totally finished. But we’re up and running and Filsinger Games is looking better than ever! Yes, it was a great year, but 2013 is going to be even better! We’ll have new expansions for RING OF HONOR and CHIKARA to say nothing of new games for promotions like SHIMMER! How exciting is that! SHIMMER is the premiere wrestling promotion for female athletes and we’re proud to be working with them! Speaking of working with others, Filsinger Games was selected to be the proud sponsor of National Pro Wrestling Day on February 2 in Philadelphia. This is a great honor and we’re going to do our part to promote this outstanding event while spreading the word about Filsinger Games to new devotees! I already mentioned our upcoming Champions of the Galaxy releases for 2013, so look out! You’l have new game releases of one kind or another practically every month (and even more counting our online and PDF releases). There’s no better time to be a fan of our

games. I’m loving it, playing as many feds as I can in my spare time, there’s so much to work with! Spread the word far and wide, everywhere and anywhere you can, that Filsinger Games madness is on the move! It’s a game revolution that’s been going on for over 25 years and growing stronger than ever! Thanks for your support, we’ve always had the best game fans around and we still do! Until Wizards of the Coast jumps on the Filsinger Games bandwagon…  

My Favorite Comic Books of the Moment

Okay, time to go off-topic. As many of you know I am a huge comic book fan as well as wrestling fan. In the last “Brain” I talked about my Champions of the Galaxy federation. Now it’s time to let you know (as if you care!) what comic books I’m reading.

First, I’ve got to say I’m a “rankng” junkie. I love making lists. Every week I rank my top ten favorite books. This “Brain” is a snapshot in time; my ratings for the moment.  The list could be totally different a year from now. I’m not loyal to titles, I like change. I go with what intrigues me.

I’ve been a Marvel man all my life but DC’s “New 52” got me hooked because I like reading a title from the ground floor. As a result, DC dominates my list and another reason is the incredible “Before Watchmen” releases. I’m bummed these are limited run titles.

So here goes, my Top Ten for 12-20-12:

1. DR. MANHATTAN #3 – I can’t help it, I love metaphysics and philosophy! This title is incredible. Plus, Dr. Manhattan is all blue, aesthetically speaking I love the look.

I contacted writer J. Michael Straczynski (try spelling that without looking) to tell him how impressed I am with his handling of the book and he told me it gives him a chance to delve into interesting areas. No doubt! Everything from Schrodinger’s Cat to parallel universes…this is my kinda stuff! Dr. Manhattan has been #1 in my rankings since the first issue.

2. BATMAN #15  – Man, this “Death of the Family” stuff is intense! I love Greg Capullo’s artistic rendering of the Joker. I’m not normally a Batman comic book fan but this story arc is just fantastic. Batman debuted in my rankings with the “Death of the Family” story arc.

3. OZYMANDIAS #4 – Another Before Watchmen title; it’s great to see veteran Len Wein writing such a cool book. Ozzy’s personality is really cool (pun intended).

4. NITE OWL #3 – Great writing yet again by J. Michael S. The interaction between Twilight Lady and Nite Owl is a lot of fun. Plus there’s Rorschach!

5. MAR ATTACKS #6 – IDW Publishing jumps into the Top 5 on my list with another enjoyable issue of a martian attack on earth! This comic book even comes packaged with a facsimile trading card from the classic trading cards from the 1960s. What’s not to like about that??? This title has consistently been in the #9 and #10 spot and jumped forward this week.

6. DETECTIVE COMICS #15 – The “Death of the Family” story arc has drawn me in so I bought this book. The relationship between Clayface and Poison Ivy was neat. This is the first time Detective Comics has made my Top Ten.

7. GREEN LANTERN #15 – Initially I was disappointed to see Hal Jordan and Sinestro dropped from their top spots on this book, but the new direction is starting to grow on me. This used to be a Top 3 title for me then totally dropped off my list, but it’s coming back.

8. JUSTICE LEAGUE #15 – This one has been dropping also. The battle with Cheetah was boring to me, but the backup feature, Shazam, has been great. Also enjoying the emerging relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman. JL had been a Top 3 book for me but has been slipping lately.

9. FLASH #14 – This book won’t last long on my list, but I love Grodd (the ape villain) and the Rogues, and they’re all here! Even though I’m not a big fan of the Flash, I always thought he had one of the best villain rosters in comics. When they all band together, all the better!

10. MINUTEMEN #5 – This is my fourth Watchmen title in the Top 10 (3 out of the top 4 spots). Thought it was cool how Bluecoat and Scout were comic book heroes turned real in this issue.

Marvel is bubbling under the Top Ten. I picked up FF #2 (it’s okay) and Indestructible Hulk #2, but both weren’t strong enough to crack the Top Ten. We’ll see next week what the rankings will bring! Mollock is also close to breaking the Top Ten.

Thanks for reading and support your local comic book store!

Until Dr. Manhattan meets the Guardian…