Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Board Game Reviews #3

This Week we tackle the old school game that was re-released by Fantasy Flight known as Talisman.

In Talisman you play one of a number of Fantasy style characters. The Warrior, a Wizard, Dwarf, or a Troll. There are around a dozen different characters with uniquq abilities to choose from. The game board is set up with three rings. The outter ring is where you begin the game. each player moves along the board 2d6 spaces and picks up adventure cards. They range from items, monsters, or events such as a market sets up allowing you to buy things. Each player is out for themselves so you can fight your fellow adventurers. Your goal is to become powerful enough to make through the second and third rings, so most of the game takes place in the outter ring.

Once you are ready to cross to the inner ring, you must either fight the Guard at the bridge, or find a boat to cross the water. From there you mush break into the castle of elemental evil, or something. When you finally reach the very center of the board, if you have a talisman card you reciever the Crown of Command, which you then use to kill all the other players and rule the world.

Its a pretty simple game to play. But we have found a fair number of flaws. Its tough to tell when your ready to start making your way into the second level of the board. It can be very difficult to cross the bridge into the second ring. And the game almost always favors the person who gets out to an early lead. there are balancing factors, such as an evil witch who can turn you into a toad. This happened in a game where Mike was crushing. He got changed and Ellen scooped up all his gear and went on to win. Also know before you start it that this game is VERY long. The original game I hear was even longer. Since FF took it over and revised it they added in a few features to speed up game play, such as tokens which allow die re-rolls. I think my main issue with the game, is that there are times when you need to land on a certain space, but the only way to move is by rolling 2d6. I had a game where I was cursed and it kept me out of the main game trying to land on a certain spot to remove it. I spent 10 turns doing nothing but bouncing around the spot I needed. Eventually I was given the chance to have my character die and I did it, so that I could start a new one and have a shot to play the game.

I do enjoy the game, but its not one I want to play as frequently as the others I own. If your into fantasy adventures and the like this game is perfect, if not, I would pass on it. My rating comes in with a C maybe into the C+ range. Overal just not my favorite.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Awesome time at Warstore Weekend

So Jay, Mike, and I made the trip up to Warstore weekend for some gaming as well as a chance to get away for a bit. Its the first time the three of us have done a gamer thing in a long time. It was pretty awesome.

Saturday I wake up at 4:15am and get ready. I get a text from mike around 4:20 that Jay is picking him up. At this point it takes me 5 more minutes but them in all ready to roll out. I get another at 4:30 saying they are stopping ot get get drinks for the road. All in all I could have slept another half hour, but oh well who cares, they arrive right aroung 5 and we hit the road. Traffic was a breeze we actually got the Hotel before 9am. Which is great since we thought it would be like 5 hours, but it was less then 4.

I don't want to knock on Jersey too much here, but I gotta say, the whole it smells like butt in Jersey thing is totally true, we got out of the car and BAM, ass stink!

Check in isn't for a few hours so we roll into the hotel empty handed ready to demo some games. So the whole thing was laid out in 4 big ballrooms in the Hotel. Room 1 was paint and take, room 2 was mini games, room 3 was the shop, and then there was a room about twice the size of the others where they held what looked like the flames of war, 40k, and PP tournaments. When we arrived, the warstore store hadn't opened yet so we went to each room and scoped them out. In the largest room there was a demo of Heavy Gear.

So we all took about an hour and learned the game. here are the basics, you have a couple minis, roll some dice, use way way way way too much math, and see what happens. Then we demoed their gladiator style combat game, wbich used the same system, but added even more math. So we were looking over the minis and the guy who ran the demo let it slip that our little 5v5 game was two $45 box sets. These models are all metal, but they are about the size of a space marine. So thats $9 piece for small mechs. They did give us free tape measurers so it wasn't a total loss. Also they gave us there little raffel tickets, which I kinda rolled my eyes at, since I basiclly didn't want their stuff even if was free. But what I found out was way better. You could trade the tickets in to Warstore for Swag. That made me a happy Panda.

The demo ended and we strolled over to the warstore store. Hoping to find some cool stuff. The selection was very limited, and I wasn't able to find any heavy crusiers or gunships for my Firestorm fleet. What was awesome was that if you got 40 tickets you could get a free box set from any of Spartans lines. So I set my eyes on the Ralgard Uncharted Seas box set. As we left the store Mike and I realized we had lost Jay. but its not usually hard to find a wookie, and we found him looking for us. The malifaux tournament was trying to get under way, but only 2 people had shown up. So we grabbed our models and joined in.

It was a pretty fun time. I decided to take Kirai all 3 games, since I didn't want to bother thinking of list ideas. I got to play 2 random guys, and then met mike at the final table. My first game was going very well for me, but my opponent was a really slow player. Time ran out as I was in the middle of my 6th turn. It annoyed me because I had only activated 1 model. Had I gotten a full turn, then and 8 point game would have been likely. Instead I got 5. My second game I slaughtered my opponent. He was new, and I tried to hold back, but I just ended up crushing him.

For the last game I ended up facing Mike, and we were pretty tired and didn't want a hyper competative game so we both decided to try something new. I made his list and he made mine. I gave him a swamp theme list: Zorida, JuJu, 2 Slurids, 2 Waldegeitst, and a Terror Tot. He gave me Nicodem, Kill Joy, 2 vultures, a punk zombie, and some dogs. High lights went like this. Zorida obeys punk zombie to hit Nico, he cheats red jocker for damge, and adds a moderatore for 9 damage, I prevention flip and get the red joker stopping all damage. Next turn Kill Joy kills Nicodem off another Obey. The Hanged killed off both slurids and the terror tot. Kill Joy took out a Waldegiest and JuJu. We were playing get to the other side of the board as our onbjective, and ended up with Zorida, a Waldegiest, and JuJu (he came back) in my deployment zone and Killjoy and a hanged in his. He won on scenario and got an extra scheme on me so he won 8-4. Tournament shook out like this - Mike won with 22 points. Some guy who I didn;t play took 21, Jay had 20, and I had 17. So grats to Mike on a big time win. We each got 5 tickets for playing, and Mike got 5 bonus tickets for winning, Jay got 1 bonus for 3rd place. Mike also recieved a pretty sweet metal mini case, with room to hold 200 infantry figs.

After the game, we checked in, dropped out stuff off and grabbed dinner. I just want to say that people in New Jersey are crazy drivers. The food was good though, I got a pot roast.

We got back to the Hotel, grabbed our gear and went back to the minis room for the Firestorm Armada mega battle.

We were hoping for a nice turnout, but it ended up being just the three of us. Around turn 4 another guy jumped in with half a fleet, but he was really just trying to learn the game. So they scored the battle on kill points. 1 for a frigate, 2 for a cruiser, 4 for a battleship, and 4 for holding a planet. We each had 2 deployment zones and set up half our fleet in each. I then proceeded to Whomp their asses. Not really, but I did really well. I can't really remember any of it, since we played for like 4-5 hours, but damn was it a blast. I ended up with a strong victory with 38 points. Jay took 25 and Mike took 21. I really do love that game. I got a $30 gift certificate to an NJ game store for the win. I was preplexed by the prize, but we also got a ton of tickets. 5 for playing, and again 5 for first, 3 for second and 1 for third.

As this ended around midnight, we decided to call it a day. We made it back to the room and then i found I couldn't sleep. I was still a bit wired, and then there some snoring issues, but either way I was still awake. So I stumbled back down to watch some games. I caught the end of a midnight madness Warmachine tournament. The top tables spoke volumes about the games balance issues. 2 skorne, 2 Khador, and 2 Menother players made up the top three tables. The tournament before also had a Skorne Khador finale. But it was a fun time. I chatted with random guys about Wyrd and Privateer, and eventually went upstairs around 4-4:30 I had been up for 24 hours by that point and passed out.

We woke up and got breakfast the next morning and decided our next test game would be, Uncharted Seas. The night before we pooled our tickets and they said it was Ok for me to get the Ralgard box set. We set up our ships I was using the Bone Griffons. About 5 minutes into the first turn the shop opened up, So I ran over and grabbed the Ralgard. I then found out they had reduced the tickets needed to get the box sets to 30. So I gave the 10 spares back to mike, so that he could get a set too. I subbed out the Griffons for the Ralgard and we played a 4 player free for all. I was winning early, then got hammered. the 4th guy was eliminted when Jay blew away his battle ship. As the game wore down it looked like this. Jay had his battleship. I had 2 cruisers, one of which had only 1 life left. Mike and a wounded Frigate and his battle ship. So Mike rammed Jay battleship to battleship, and they beat the crap out of each other. Jay ended up taking mike down, but in the process took a heavy beating leaving with only crew point. I tried to get my last cruiser close enough to board Jay and take out his last guy, But I was killed trying to close the gap. So jay took 1st, me 2nd, and Mike 3rd. With that we got another like 20 tickets and Mike got himself a box set of the Imperial Navy for U.S.

We hung around a bit longer after the game in the Shop. Mike and Jay grabbed some really sweet terrain pieces, and I got a Soda Pop mini. I have wanted to get this one for a while, so even if I never play the game im glad I bought her model.

After that we went to the game store the cash in my certificate. I ended up getting the U.S rule book, since they didn't have any FSA stuff I needed.

It was a really great trip all in all. Im very glad we all decided to it. I look forward to maybe going again in 2012.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Warstore Weekend

Its been way too long since Jay Mike and i went on a gaming adventure. So about a month and half ago I started looking for a local tournament we could all attend. and the Warstore weekend popped up. I was intrigued, but thought it was more of a pipe dream. So I floated out the idea, expecting to be shot down. Instead they both jumped on it. Then with the ball back in my court I faltered, after some serious pushing by them to get me to take the idea seriously, we decided to sack up and hit the road dark and early this weekend to make the trek to New Jersey for the Warstore Weekend

Right now I know for a fact that my Sorylain Fleet and Malifaux Crews will be joining me on the trip. Im pondering the idea of bringing the Chaos or the Ogres as well, but they might get left on the bench. There is a 500 point 8 man free for all saturday night, and I have a few basass cruisers that want to wreck some face. Im on the fence about the malifaux tournament. Its 35 soul stones, 1 master. I would likely take Kirai for this event and i think I could do well. My hang up is that I want to maximize my gaming time, and Im not sure if I want to play random pick up games and demos or a structured tournament. So I'll have to ponder that one a little more as we get closer to the day.

But either way I'm psyched up and ready for a kick ass weekend and some serious gaming hours. I doubt I will sleep much saturday. Probably suppliment sleep with Redbull and Pizza. or maybe something less cliche.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Malifaux Battle Report

This is a 2fer as I played a pair of games last night against John, one the chantilly guys who has made the migration out to Huzzah. I played Perdita in both games, taking Fransico, Santiago, Nino, and an Austringer for my 25 point list.

Game 1 vs Ressers.
He took McMourning, 4 Dogs, 3 Necro Punks, A Flesh Golem, and the Grave Spirit. We ended up with a shared Deliver the message as our strategy. This is actually my first Shared objective game. I chose Kill Protege and Assassinate. Figuring killing his models would be my best bet in this game. I ended up falling victim to the strategy. he hauled foward and lived through as much as he could and ended up delivering the message on turn 2. I proceeded to pick him apart pretty badly, but He ran McMourning the heck away from me, and killed his grudge model when the construct got into Nino and dropped him. I was in bad shape based on the objectives so i was force to over-extend Fransico and Perdita in a last ditch effort to catch up on VP's. It wasn't enough as McMourning hid until he had a clear shot, then ran in and burned severl stones and killed Perdita. It was a rough game, but thankfully short, so we decided to go again.

Game 2 vs Arcanists.
This time I faced Collette, who added in 2 corphyee, and Cassandra. Its the only list I've faced with Collette, so I was slightly familiar with it. We got seperate strategies but both flipped Claim Jump, so it was essentially a shared mission again. He took the 2 arcanist specific schemes, I took Body Guard and Raid. He started fast having The Corphyee duet up and ran down my left flank. By turn 2 he had completed both schemes. I was reeling a bit for his speed, but kept my head. the Duet ran in and killed Nino with a red joker flip for damage. I spent my entire turn killing the stupid thing. and he burned several stones to try and keep it alive. Finally Perdita went and put a stop to all that nonsense. The next turn I did the same to Cassandra, but the soul stone spending kept her alive. He was low on stones from keeping cassandra and the duet up longer and I was closing in on Collette. My next turn I threw all 3 family members up and they went to work on Collette. He used his last stones but she managed to live. He then magicians dueled Perdita and hit her a little bit. Things were going well for me at this point. My Austriner was sitting on the claim jump. Cassandra and Collete were pinned to the right board edge with Santiago haning back to shoot and Collete in melee with Fransico and Perdita. I lost init 6-2, but spent my last soul stone for a re-flip, getting an 11. I went for the alpha strike on Collette who managed to stay alive a lot longer then I anticipated. She finally had no choice but to pop out of the combat, killing Cassandra in the process. But the Ortegas did not let up as Perdita and Santiago kept shooting her until she finally died. It was a very good win for Perdita, and she is now 2-1 (both wins vs Collette).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Board Game Review part 2

For part 2 I have chosen Dominion. This is a pretty interesting game and one I knew nothing about prior to testing it at Gen Con. Its not new, there are like 4 expansions to the original game at this point, its just that its made by Rio Grande and almost every one of their games is a resource management game that either confuses or bores me to tears. Dominion is quite an exception to Rio's normal M.O. Sure you still have to manage resources, but thats not the focal point of the game. The game is focused on deck building. The box set comes with around 500 cards, divided into treasure, victory points, and action cards. So a break down of the game.

There are i believe 24 different action cards. You start the game by picking 10 of them. You can do a random draw or a theme game from the list in the rule book. Place the 10 chosen action cards in the middle of the table, usually in order by cost. Then at the top place the stacks of Copper, Silver, Gold, then the Estates, Duchy's, and Provinces. Each player begins the game with a 10 card deck. Those 10 cards are 7 copper and 3 estates. The Estates provide your with 1 victory point each, but they have no in game effect, so drawing them during the game is a hindrance. Copper each give you 1 point of money, (we usually say gold, but it can be confusing since there is a card named gold.)

Each player then draws 5 cards from his deck and play begins. On your turn you look through your hand, you are allowed to play 1 action and buy 1 card. As you progress through the game you will buy action cards that can give you bonus actions each turn, additional buys, the ability to draw more cards from your deck, or even bonus money. Once you have played every card you are able and purchased a new card, you then discard every card remaining in your hand. Draw 5 new cards and your turn is over. Play continues in this manner until one of the two end conditions are met. Either 3 of the action decks have been bought up or all of the Provinces are bought out. Provinces are the highest victorys point card so people tend to buy them whenever they are able, it has been the most common ending condition for us. Once the game is over you go through your deck, pull out all your victory cards and count them up to see who is the winner.

The game plays very quickly, and we have found it to be a fast favorite among our group. The only issue has been getting the game sleeved, to protect the cards from wear and tear. Dominion is definetly one of my favorite games, we have picked up one expansion. Its called intrigue, and it comes with more treasure and victory cards to allow the game to be played by up to 6 players.

I Have played this game a good 10 times since Gen Con and I am still itching to play it more, so my rating is going to be a very solid A.