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Tips for Last Minute Halloween Board Game Party Planning!

"Boo" or Trick or Treat Bags!

(For Retail Stores)

Boo bags are a great way to help a charity and share the love of gaming. Petrie's Games in Colorado Springs does exactly this! They offer sealed bags that anyone can purchase for $10, $5 of the money goes to charity and the other $5 to the store. The games inside are unknown and typically microgames making this a fun, community building activity! Be sure to include some candy in those boo bags as well! (Thank you Tiffany Ralph for this story!)

Halloween themed gaming section

(For Retail Stores)

Having a special area dedicated to halloween games is important! Everyone wants to get in the spirit of the season! You can include anything from werewolves and vampires to super-heroes and aliens! Yes, when I come over to your house on the fourth of July I fully expect you to be playing Hanabi. Deal with it.

King of Tokyo: Halloween, Gloom, Star Wars X-Wing, Marvel Legendary, Doctor Who Yahtzee, 

Board Game Monster Themed Cupcakes 

Nothing says a party like themed cupcakes. You could make cupcakes for virtually any board game if you get creative enough. Maybe a cake is more your style? Either way, board game-ify your food. Everyone will be impressed. (See more at http://www.ivomitrainbows.com/archives/889)

 

Throw a 24 hour Gaming Party

Don’t Blink. Don’t even think about blinking. If you blink, you’re dead. Well, not really.
Halloween is the only night when my daughter gets to stay up extra-late (10 pm), but for us adults, the party doesn’t stop until we fall asleep on the couch at 10:30! That said, if you have access to a lot of redbull and soda you might be able to keep yourself awake for a whole 24 hours. This is a great way to make sure everyone has at least a little bit of time to stop by and say hello!

Ambience: The struggle is real

Music - Generating the right atmosphere can play a huge part in ensuring that your guests enjoy themselves. There are a few routes one can take with music selections to help this along. The in-house musical director for Flying Frog Games, Mary Beth Magallanes, has composed wonderfully dark and flowing albums for each of their games, but these make a great Halloween sound track as well. The other route would be to select something more generalized like this Halloween playlist. Have familiar and spooky songs, often taken from film or television.

Lighting - Lighting can be tough for a Halloween event. when you want games to be the focus. Many horror games also come with the nightmarish rules and tiny texts that are ghoulish to read under the best circumstances. So if you want to have your lights lowered and eerily dimmed, try to focus on games that don’t need a lot of reading. Betrayal at House on the hill is an excellent choice for this. Lights can be raised or altered for scenario reading, but can quickly be turned back down to desired levels. A horror Fiasco setting fits the bill rather well. If your primary mechanic is player interaction, you won’t be too worried about reading silly little cards!

You - When you set a theme for your party, you should be prepared a character to get your guests immersed in the atmosphere . Greet all of your company with the same silly accent or adopt the role of the Sheriff in town. Maybe you’re just a zombie and all you can do is grunt and drool.

Board Game Trade Event

Do you have old games sitting on the shelf that have gone unplayed for weeks, months or maybe even years? Is your partner threatening your life because you continue to “waste money” on tabletop gaming? Now is the perfect time to invite your friends to come and trade games with each other!


Show up with a game themed to your Costume

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If you show up as Darth Vader you better have brought Imperial Assault with you from Essen, mostly because I really want to play Imperial Assault! I’m showing up as a dinosaur and you KNOW I’m showing up with Rampage in hand.

 

 

Paint Costumes on Cards and Meeple Contest

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Do your games need a little flair in their lives? Are your friends wildly artistic (or not) and also daring enough to paint costumes on your unassuming game components? Do your meeple feel naked? Throw a party for them and jazz up their lives a bit.

I hope everyone has a huge list of games to play this halloween! I would LOVE to hear them on Twitter! @GameWireGirl

 

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Table Top Ten Contest!

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I might be a little obsessed with giving things away, but this newest contest is the best contest yet! I want to give someone a heap of play mats. Included in this contest will be a play mat that has not yet been announced...

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I loves games but so do you! This contest is to celebrate ten games YOU are excited about! At the end I'll have some numbers available for you guys to see! 

So how do you enter?

Simple, just comment below with a list or picture of the 10 games you are most excited about right now! It can be ten games you want, ten games you love, or ten games you've played this week! Get creative with your list!

Post it on twitter and use the hash tag #TableTopTen or tweet it at me @GameWireGirl so I can retweet you!

What if you don't have a twitter account? 

Feel free to email it to me at Brittanie@GTSDistribution.com

Bonus points if you add cats. ;)

Just added thanks to Scott King, two gaming calendars. One for you, one for a friend? A family member? Your partner?

The winner will be announced on the GameWire Facebook and Twitter this Friday at midnight!

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Join us in the #TableTopWatch

The temperature is dropping, the leaves are changing, and if you listen closely you can hear the wind whispering: "Wiiiiiiil, Whil Wheeaaaaatooooon!"

That's right, a new season is upon us and I'm not talking about fall, I'm talking about the next season of TableTop! Wil Wheaton and his group of ever-changing gaming compatriots have already begun filming Season 3 and, if you're like me, then you're dying to know what boards, cards, and plastic little pieces are going to grace the coolest table on film! Luckily, we already know a few of the games set to make their TableTop debut! We also have information for you as to when you might be able to see these games in your friendly local game store.


1. Tokaido

Antoine Bauza's game is highly regarded for being beautiful, as well as incredibly well balanced, but it is also an amazing metaphor for the journey that is life. This game will be available in stores this November, as that is when the reprint is expected to arrive in the US.

2. Libertalia

Nothing says TableTop to me like Wil and his gang playing pirates. Expect a lot of bluffing and pirate talk as Wil and his pirate crew play this game by Paulo Mori! Libertalia should be available in game stores near you!

3. Sushi Go!

Simple, quick, and elegant, Sushi Go! shares a lot in common with the food that inspires it. With its drafting, hand management and set collection mechanics, and delightful art, Phil Walker-Harding's Sushi Go! is as equally delightful as it is cutthroat.   Sushi Go was last released in to friendly local game stores last June.

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4. Five Tribes

A twist on the standard German style "worker placement" games, Five Tribes by Bruno Cathala starts with the "workers" already placed. This leaves players tasked with dis-placing the plethora of meeples around different parts of Naqala in an attempt to claim victory!

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5. Concept

An interesting, and possibly psycho-analytical, new take on a classic party-type game, Gaëtan Beaujannot and Alain Rivollet's Concept will have Wil's table guessing words using image association. This is most definitely going to be a "must-view" episode! This game was last printed September of 2014.

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6. Roll For It!

Similar to Sushi Go! Roll For It! is a game that's simple, quick to learn, and has an exclamation mark in the title. Using just cards and dice, Chris Leder's Roll For It! is a compact game that has you pushing your luck as if you were at the end of a craps table in Vegas! Roll For It Deluxe Edition will be available this November 1st in a friendly local game store near you!

7. Forbidden Desert

Wil and his pals will have to face the dangers of the desert if they wish to survive and win in Matt Leacock's Forbidden Desert. Featuring a modular board and resource management, Forbidden Desert will have the Table Top gang working together on a desperate and difficult adventure to locate a flying machine. 

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8. Sheriff of Nottingham

Wil and his merry men must take up the role of merchants in the medieval police-state of Nottingham, all of them trying to become the richest by deceiving the sheriff and smuggling in illegal goods. The twist to all of this bluffing and deception is that each turn a new player steps into the role of the ever-watchful Sheriff of Nottingham. Sheriff of Nottingham will be available in friendly local game stores October 29th! They are expected to go quickly!

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9. Coup

Nothing says fun like lying to your friends faces, stabbing them in the back and plotting to murder them in one big Coup. In Coup you take on the role of two characters. Who are you? Nobody knows! Or at least they won't know until you slip up and accidentally let the truth out. Coup is available in friendly local game stores everywhere!

10. Love Letter

Wil's a charming guy, right? But is he charming enough for a Princess? Does Anne know about this princess that Wil is writing love letters to? We're honestly not sure, but try not to make any announcements on twitter until we know for sure. Love Letter is also available in friendly local game stores everywhere!

11. Mice and Mystics

Cheese? Check. Monsters? Check. Weapons and armor? Check. Mice and Mystics takes you on an adventure of epic proportions as a tiny little mouse. Can Wil and his friends work together and defeat all the trouble that might come their way? Tune in and find out.  Mice and Mystics should be available in friendly local game stores near you!

12. Council of Verona

Does will believe that the power of love defeats all? Can he help bring long lasting peace to Verona before something terrible happens? Cheer him on as he attempts to out-wit his opponents in this crafty bluffing deduction game.

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13. Dead of Winter

"Ssssooo soooo cold. H-H-H-H-old me Kodiak Colby." 

Are those zombies knocking at the door again!? Work together to survive the winter but complete your secret objective. What are you hiding? Are you withholding medicine that could be used by others? Are you stashing away food and weapons out of paranoia!?! Or maybe you're a maniac and you want other people to die!!! 

 

Check back with the blog tomorrow as we will be announcing another contest you might win! 

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Brilliant reddit user condenses Eldritch Horror's table space consumption

Reddit User MrWendal created a way to condense the amount of space you need for Eldritch Horror, as he called: destroyer of tables. Below are their instructions for this brilliant idea!

Reddit User MrWendal created a way to condense the amount of space you need for Eldritch Horror, as he called: destroyer of tables. Below are their instructions for this brilliant idea!

  • Corkboard, pins and plate stand for displaying Mystery and Rumor cards + eldritch tokens so everyone can see

  • plastic card holder thingy

  • ziplock baggies (okay these suck, need some stackable petri dishes with lids or something)

  • d6/d8 dice for keeping track of player health / sanity instead of all those little tokens

  • plastic ring (bottomless) to stop the dice going everywhere on rolls, everyone can still see the result. Lift it up to leave the dice where they are and grab one or two for a quick reroll.


Do you have great board game hacks that  you use? I have a friend, Skylar, who cuts down all of his board game boxes to fit only the components. Some say its blasphemy and others call it brilliant. Personally, it makes me cringe at the thought of hurting my baby board game boxes but not everyone treats their board games like they treat their children.

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What solutions do you have for reducing the amount of space your board games take up?

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'Good' is Overrated

or... "How I learned to love playing bad guys"

by Bobby Stickel

Growing up, Saturday mornings were all about superhero cartoons and sugary cereal. And every week it was the same- Good always triumphed over Evil, despite the fact that 'Evil Geniuses' always had the coolest tools, the best motivation, and the far superior qualities (hubris, greed, avarice, revenge). Long story short, the good guys always got lucky. In the end, all they do is restore order, returning society to its mundane, unresolvable, and flawed routines. And that's just plain boring!

Now that I'm a grown up and can buy whatever kind of sugary cereal I want, I'm no longer forced to digest saccharin-sweet story lines that are so unoriginally reassuring. I can make smarter choices, and best of all, I can succeed where others have so predictably failed. Dr. Octopus? Cobra Commander? Venger? Morons!

I can be a better bad guy.

Let's be honest, in real life 'good' does not always triumph. The world is full of Masterminds whose success and power are predicated on chaos and entropy. And they prove, time and again, that crime usually does pay. Fortunately, there are a couple new board games which cater to those of a more sinister nature, allowing us to 'train' for our eventual rise to glory. 

Legendary Villains (Upper Deck)

1-5 players, 45 mins.

As anyone will tell you, teamwork is paramount. This cooperative deck-building game allows you and your no-good friends to take down the so-called "super heroes" using the one fear they all mutually share: Deck-building.

You can take on the X-Men, Avengers, and Spider-friends (run by the game's 'Ai') and any challenge they can throw at you. You and your villainous cohorts will have to work together in this standalone version of the highly successful Marvel Legendary game. But fear not, there is also a solo-mode, so that you can test your mettle against world's most famous heroes from the comfort of your own Evil Lair.

 

Kingsport Festival (Passport Game Studios)

3-5 players, 90 mins.

Why choose the lesser evil? Let's face it, we've all played some games where we are asked to take on the roll of an everyday human, armed with little more than a flashlight and some whiskey, with the expectation of defeating hordes of supernatural horrors who threaten to devour our existence. And while that's actually pretty fun, it's also pretty dangerous. In Kingsport Festival (a revamp of Kingsburg, from Stratelibri) you assume the role of a high priest of a terrible cult, attempting to conjure one of H.P. Lovecraft's most terrifying creations. You will summon unholy creatures, accept their dark gifts, and attempt to raze the city while its weakling inhabitants try to stop you. The balance, of course, is to try to avoid going insane in the process.

Just like a real-life cultist, you'll need to make efficient use of the 'dice-placement' mechanic to ensure your dark rewards, and it may cost you part of your sanity in the process! Manage your resources carefully, and your strength will grow beyond your competitors, moving you closer to ultimate victory.

Warhammer 40k: CONQUEST (Fantasy Flight Games)

2 players, 45 mins.

There has always been debate as to whether or not any 'good' exists in the 41 millennium. Every faction has an agenda, masquerading as a campaign (I'm not buying the Tau's "greater good"). Even the loyal Space Marines need to be called into question, as their imperialistic cleansing seems to know no boundaries. The point is this: if you have the right view, NONE of the factions in this universe can be considered 'good.'

Conquest includes a whopping seven factions, represented by customizable decks. After selecting a warlord to lead your faction, players will customize the resources and abilities of their deck to take full advantage of their warlord's strengths and style. The aim is to conquer planets, earning strategic advantages such as wealth, resources, or technology. Careful planning and lots of card-based combat will see even the darkest of hearts to glorious victory.

Bad has never been so good

These games take the exhausted 'good triumphs over evil' storyline and turns it on its rightful, vile head. For me, playing the bad guys has always been the most thrilling and rewarding part of gaming, and of life! I do my best to uphold the corruption and sinister nature of our most revered villains in my daily practice. I invite you to try it.

"I'll get you next time!"

 

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See you in Hell!

Claustrophobia- 2 Players, 45 minutes

Claustrophobia- 2 Players, 45 minutes

by Kevin Outlaw

Reprinted with permission from www.alwaysboardneverboring.blogspot.co.uk

The road to Hell is paved with the blood of the penitent.
— -- Arch Redeemer Larpenteur, 1634

Have you ever been told to go to Hell?

I have.

It was one of the best boardgaming recommendations ever. Although, now I come to think of it, I am not sure that shouty, red-faced guy waving his fist on the pedestrian crossing as I drove by was really talking about Claustrophobia...

Either way, I am glad I booked my one way ticket to hell (and back), because Claustrophobia quickly became a jewel in my gaming collection, more than capable of holding its own against the likes of Space Hulk and Gears of War. And the reason for its success is a set of mechanisms that are so slick they probably taught the Jets how to dance.

In fact, this game is more than slick. There's no clutter, no fiddly rules, no exceptions. There is just game. Stacks and stacks of bloody brilliant game, crammed into a rule set so streamlined you get faster when you walk behind the box.

Here, pull up a chair, and I'll tell you about it... No, not that chair. That's my dark throne.

Only I get to sit there.

You can sit here. Just push the bits of bodies onto the floor. One of the trogs will "clean them up" later.

Right, Claustrophobia is an asymmetric two-player miniatures skirmish adventure game thingy. One player gets to control a small group of humans, and the other player gets to control an endless stream of troglodyte warriors and demonic beasties. All of these characters are represented with rather lovely pre-painted (fully assembled) miniatures, which are incredibly well done and look great on the board.

For the good guys (and I use that term loosely, because the humans have actually invaded Hell and are technically the wrongdoers here), there is a Redeemer who leads the team, two Blades, and two Brutes.

The Redeemer is an interesting choice, as rather than being a great warrior, he is a priest who leads his allies with the force of his religious convictions. He is a competent fighter, but his main strengths are raising morale, healing, and guiding everyone through the darkness. And he has a big hammer, because for some folk, the way you deliver your message is just as important as the message itself.

The Redeemer is the lynchpin in a team that otherwise comprises condemned criminals, who literally have to go through Hell to win a second chance at life. There are fast-moving Blades, who nimbly duck and weave through the tunnels, and there are the lumbering Brutes, who can soak up damage and keep their allies alive.

This is far from your traditional team of goody-goody heroes. This is a group of doomed men who just want to slip through the cracks in the system, and a zealot who wanted to bring order to chaos, but somehow got lost along the way.

I don't think I have ever seen a game that creates such a strong metaphor to represent the journey its protagonists take.

And I am a sucker for a kick-ass theme.

Of course any heroes (or anti-heroes) are only as good as the villains they face, and Claustrophobia gives you plenty: A clutch of demons with a range of monstrous abilities, and a teeming (infinite) horde of subterranean beasts called trogs.

You get 11 troglodytes in total, and while I really like the miniatures, and I love the concept of a wave of monsters crashing against that small force of humans, I do find the trogs a little disappointing. These doomed men are supposed to be trekking through Hell, so I would expect the monsters to reflect that. But instead of monstrous, tentacled fiends, and damned souls, there are these generic goblin creatures.

Rounding out the evil forces is a single demon miniature. There is only ever one demon in play at any time, and this miniature is used as a proxy to represent any of seven different demon types (with the current scenario dictating which demon is available). It is disappointing to see one miniature standing in for seven distinct and imaginative villains, but it is an acceptable compromise to keep the costs down. On the plus side, the demons are varied and really change up how each game plays. Some demons hunt their prey, becoming stronger each time they draw blood, while others are gargantuan fiends that block the corridor, preventing the heroes from slipping through into the tunnels beyond.

And while we're talking about variety, let's mention the game tiles: 32 of them. 32 tiles that fit together in almost limitless combinations to create unique underground mazes. For some scenarios, the board is predefined; but in many of the scenarios, the board grows as the heroes explore. They start at an entrance tile, and cautiously delve into darkness, randomly drawing new tiles that may be flooded chambers, narrow corridors where blood-hungry tentacles lash out from the walls, or breeding chambers where the trogs hatch.

When I first purchased the game, I was slightly underwhelmed by the lack of variety in the enemy characters, and the very limited range of weapons and armour for kitting out the team of heroes (there are only six equipment cards, and two of them are duplicates). I believed there was a requirement for an expansion. However, I admit I was wrong. There is an expansion out now, and another on the way, but you really don't need them.

This is a complete game.

With six scenarios out of the box (and more online), advanced rules for team creation through a reverse auction, and a massive variety of tiles, it is going to be a long time before you start to feel like you have "seen it all before."

And as for a limited variety of villains... Well... There may be a limited number of miniatures, but over the course of several games you will face trogs, tough trogs, fast trogs, burrowing trogs, frantic trogs, suicidal trogs, seven flavours of demon, possessed humans...

There really is a lot going on here.

And I haven't even talked about the mechanisms yet.

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Here's how it goes: Each turn, the good player rolls a number of dice equal to the number of characters in the team, allocating one dice to each character. The number on the allocated dice dictates which of six unique stat lines the character uses for that turn.

Things get more complicated when characters start to get wounded. Every wound a character takes blocks one of the stat lines. If you allocate a character a dice with a number corresponding to a wounded stat line, then that character is exhausted. He can't move or attack, and he gets a very low defence score for the turn. Furthermore, every time a human character dies, you roll one less dice for generating stats. Your options dwindle, the pressure mounts.

Thematically, it's perfect: Over time, your characters become weaker, less capable of fighting, slower... They stumble more frequently, they get lost in the winding tunnels, they panic. They are bleeding. God... there's blood everywhere. And the shadows... There are so many trogs. Too many demons. The enemies are remorseless, relentless... And what can men do against such reckless hate?

The answer is obvious.

They can die.

And there will be death. It is close to a miracle for all of the humans to survive the ordeal. Indeed, they are not expected to survive.

There is a reason these men are condemned.

In Space Hulk, the tension derives from the inclusion of a timer to add pressure for the marine player. Things move fast. Too fast. One turn can end it for the marines. But in Claustrophobia, you get to see in agonising detail as your team gets picked apart.

At the start of the game, the heroes are strong and the trogs are weak. Over time, little injuries stack up. The heroes begin to weaken, but the army of trogs grows ever stronger. The scales balance, and then slowly... terrifyingly... inevitably... they tip.

The tables turn.

First your heroes take a few wounds, then they begin to bleed out. Someone becomes exhausted. He collapses, with the sound of approaching trogs ringing in his ears.

He begs the others not to leave him behind.

But they cannot stay. Not here.

Not in Hell.

Every moment wasted brings them closer to failure, and so they press on, leaving their fallen colleague to the clamouring masses of the troglodyte horde.

It is horrible to watch as your small force of humans gets eroded. Horrible, and magnificent. You really start to invest in your characters. It hurts when you lose one of them, or when you have to make that tough call to sacrifice someone for the good of the team.

Genuinely hurts.

This is actually one of the cruellest, most vicious games I have ever played.

And I've played Monopoly.

After the dice allocation, any characters that are not exhausted get to move, explore, and fight. But there are no grids for defining your movement here; there are no range rulers for figuring out who is in your line of sight. This game is far too streamlined to worry about things like facing and flank attacks. This game is far too busy being all kinds of crazy fun to let that kind of thing get in the way.

Here, a movement of one space means moving from one board section to an adjacent board section (revealing a board from the stack if necessary). If you are on a board section you can attack any other piece on that board section, and if you have a gun you can attack any piece on an adjacent board section that is not blocked off by a wall.

There are a few simple movement rules (no more than three pieces from each side on a single board, and you can't leave a board if you have less pieces on that board than your opponent does) but there is nothing complicated. The game actually pushes as many rules out of the way as possible, so you have a direct view of your opponent.

After all, this is a battle, and you want to look your opponent straight in the eye when you land the killing blow.

However, that doesn't mean this game lacks meaningful decisions. The order in which you move your characters is vital, as some characters never get pinned (the Blades), and some prevent enemies from leaving the tile even when outnumbered (the Brutes). You need to know when to run, when to stand and fight, when to explore a new tile, when to guard a demon entry point to prevent new monsters arriving in play, when to concede ground, when to play one of your valuable and ridiculously rare advantage cards, when to sacrifice a character for the good of the team, when to activate a Redeemer's special ability. The list goes on, and that's just the decisions you face when you are playing the humans.

The demon player has an entirely different set of challenges to face, and an entirely different set of game mechanisms to work with.

At the start of each demon turn, the demon player rolls a set of dice and uses those dice to generate monsters or other special powers. For example, it is possible to allocate two dice with odd numbers to give all trogs +1 movement for the turn. Similarly, it is possible to allocate any combination of dice with a value of 12 or more to spring a trap and automatically wound a hero character.

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Playing as the demons isn't easy. It may look like using the humans as chew toys is simple, but the condemned warriors have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and they have no intentions of going down without a fight. These are men who won't think twice about throwing a grenade into a room of trogs, even if one of their allies is already in there. These are men who will do whatever it takes. And a bit more.

And that's what you get with this game.

You get drama.

You get a lean, tightly-packed set of rules that allow you to create stories you are going to talk about long after you have put the toys back into the box.

You get despair, exhilaration, last-gasp victories, crushing defeats. And you get a challenge, regardless of which side you are playing. The demon player really has to work to win. It takes effort to evict the human scum from the tunnels of Hell.

Of course, not every scenario is evenly balanced. Some missions are harder for one side or the other, so it is always a good idea to play each mission twice, swapping sides at half time. There is also one mission that I personally believe is almost impossible for the demon player to win, even against a sub-par opponent. But that's okay. Every scenario-based game has at least one clunker in the mix, and while it is a little disappointing, it does not detract from what is otherwise a first-rate game, with stunning presentation, and far more replayability than you might think.

Certainly more replayability than I first thought.

If you like asymmetric, theme-heavy, beautiful, tense, squad-level miniatures games, there really isn't much more I can say. So, what are you waiting for?

Go to Hell!

 

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Seasons Organized Play: Coming to Friendly Local Game Stores!

Seasons has been a hit game for the last two years. This is my favorite game to get in front of my friends that play Magic: The Gathering. I'm currently 5/5 when introducing them to this game. 

 

Seasons is a tactical game of cards and dice which takes place in two phases:

The first phase "Prelude" consists of a card draft: the goal during this phase will be to establish own 9-card deck for the main part of the game and with it the strategy.

Once the Prelude is complete, each player must separate his 9 cards into 3 packs of 3 cards. He will begin the second phase of the game with his first pack of three cards, then gradually as the game progresses, he will receive the other two packets of three cards.

This organized play kit will include:

2 Play Mats (Kairn the Destroyer and Demon of Argos)

26 Alternative art cards (Air Elemental)

12 New exclusive cards (Crystal Titan)

1 Retail poster

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If you have a friendly local game store make sure you ask them about Seasons Organized Play from GTS Distribution. The kits are limited so bring it up sooner rather than later. 

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Hyperborea: The perfect blend of Euro and American gaming

Terrorized by earthquakes, mutations, droughts and floods, Hyperborea struggled to keep ahold of what once made the nation so great. It wasn’t always like this, there was a time when the crystals that powered the civilization were stable, a time before the greedy and power hungry took control. It only took one day for Hyperborea to be destroyed. The inhabitants that survived the destruction colonized in outposts outside of the ruined empire.

Centuries have gone by and now the 6 factions born from the ashes of Hyperboea exist in a fragile peace. A peace that is not expected to last as each has begun vying for control of the land. Gaining new recruits and expanding their empires by exploring the ancient ruins of hyperborea, they battle the last remnants of Hyperborea in an attempt to control the most influence over the land.

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Each faction has it’s own special ability, and no one can be sure what’s going to happen next. Each faction seems to have their own agenda and it’s never clear what they’re planning. The heavy fog that hangs over the land keeps the factions guessing as to what they’ll discover.

 

Hyperborea is a civilization game for 2-6 players. It plays in about 25 minutes per player. While this game can be intimidating to new players once the game is learned it should play fairly quickly. If you’re a fan of games like Eclipse, this might be the right game for you and it will certainly play in much less time.  The random factor in the game is hardly intrusive although drawing a grey cube now and then might delay your plans for a turn or two.

Offering highly detailed miniatures, American style combat and tactics, and Euro-style resource management, Hyperborea perfectly blends Euro and American design principles into a game that’s immediately recognizable, but incredibly refreshing. Add in the game’s unique and inventive “bag-building” mechanic and you’re in store for a gaming experience you won’t soon forget.

I highly recommend Hyperborea for anyone interested in civ building games and agree with Board Game Geek that it’s probably best for players 12 and up.

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Machi Koro Contest Winners!

Above are the winners of RODNEY's Machi Koro Playmat Contest!

Below are the winners of the GameWire Machi Koro Playmat Contest!

I hope everyone that won enjoys their playmats and that everyone manages to snag a copy of Machi Koro!

 

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Review: Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem

By Dan Spezzano 

Review: Sons of Anarchy

Back in the summer of 2012 I remember coming out of GenCon and being one of, if not the first to review a new game based on the Starz show Spartacus which I called the sleeper hit of the show. It didn’t take long for others to catch on and Gale Force 9, a company not exactly known for board games was on their way. They followed that up with a Spartacus expansion, then one of my favorite games ever in Firefly and GF9 earned there chops as an “if they make it, I’ll try it company” for me.

So at GenCon this summer I picked up their newest title Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem which will now be called SOA for the rest of the review because that is a mouthful. I’m not really a fan of the show, I’ve only seen a couple of episodes but GF9 has a way of making games that are just great group experiences. SOA is no exception, and frankly might be their best title to date.

In SOA three to four players takes on the roles of rival biker gangs who are out to control territory and move contraband. A game last for 6 rounds and the gang who has the most cash is the winner. One of the complaints about Spartacus and Firefly is the games take a long time to play. That problem has been alleviated in SOA as a typical game takes 60-90 minutes tops. The game has a similar feel to Spartacus in that you can make and break deals with other players. It’s a game where you can be a total ass if you want to.

The game includes 4 club house cards and player blinds representing SAMCRO, The Mayans, Lin Syndicate and the One Niners all gangs in the show. Each clubhouse card has two sides, the unleaded side where all the starting resources are the same for each club. The back side of each card is called the High Octane side and the club’s not only have different starting resources but special orders and gang rules. While the rules suggest playing the first game with the unleaded side, I humbly disagree and suggest just randomly passing out the clubs.

Other components include 24 site (location) tiles, 5 of these tiles are double-sided indicating they are the starting tiles for each game. The other 19 tiles are not double-sided, you will use 6 random tiles each game.  The game comes with 36 Anarchy cards, 4 hardcore anarchy cards, 4 six-sided dice and a Reaper patch to indicate first player. Controlling the reaper patch allows you to go first each turn and more importantly win ties during fights. There are 40 plastic figures referred to as dudes, 20 members represent by guys on motorcycles and 20 prospects represented by guys on foot. Each player gets 5 of each in the color of their club. Card board wise there are 24 contraband and gun markers, 18 heat tokens, 32 order tokens and 139 cash tokens.

Before starting play you must set up the play area. Each player gets a club board, blind, associated figures and a die of their color.  You then place the 5 starting locations on the table.  You then shuffle the other 19 location tiles, choose 6 of these and place them face down in two rows of three. Next take the 36 anarchy cards and shuffle them and deal out 15 random cards to form a draw deck. The game cards act as a timer for the six rounds, when you deal out the last 3 anarchy cards you know this is the last round of the game.

Each player takes his starting cash, guns and contraband and puts them behind his blind (screen) this information should always be kept secret from other players. He puts his clubhouse card in front of the blind with his members and prospects on it. Heat and order tokens should also always be kept in front of the screen.  Let me take a moment to explain heat which is an indicator of how much attention you’re drawing from the law enforcement. Whenever a players club has more than 4 heat tokens one of his members, not prospects has to immediately take the fall. This results in the member being returned to the players recruit pool.

A game round in SOA is broken into 6 phases, in the first phase clubs collect order tokens. Each club has a base order token value on their club card and at the start of the round they add this number to the number of members (guys on bikes) they have to get their order tokens for the turn. Remember order tokens can not be hidden so make sure they go in front of your screen.

In phase 2 new cards are revealed by first turning over any two remaining face down site cards. After doing this anarchy cards are revealed. In round 1 you reveal one card, in round 2 you reveal two cards and then each round after that you reveal 3 cards.  There are 4 types of anarchy cards that effect play in the following ways. Obstacle cards are one-time immediate effects that can affect all gangs such as giving everyone additional heat. Hassle cards are persistent effects lasting for the game round, one such example might be the inability to sell guns this round.

Opportunity cards are temporary locations that gangs can try to control for their abilities. These cards are discarded at the end of the round. Finally Last Call cards take effect at the end of the round and often can cause problems for gangs. For example the arrest warrant card will force the gang(s) with the most heat to take the fall. The good thing about last call cards is you have the entire round to avoid or capitalize on them.

Phase 3 is the issue orders phase, each gang starting with the patch holder take turns issuing orders. While I won’t go into each order in full detail they are as follows; ride: move dudes from a location to another. Exploit: Use a location you control. Throw Down: Fight at a location you contest. Recruit: Add a new prospect from your recruit pool to your club house. Patch In: promote a prospect to a member. Sit Tight: You do nothing, but still spend your order token. Club Orders: If using the high-octane side, each club has a club order you may spend an order token on to use.

Phase 4 is the Black Market phase and this is where you sell your contraband. How much you can sell depends on your heat level. For example if your club has 3 heat they can only sell 1 contraband. On top of this any club selling contraband gains 1 heat at the end of the black market phase.  To sell your contraband player secretly places their contraband markers in their hands and extend their fist over the table. Once everyone is in, you reveal.

The good news is everyone who sells is going to get cash, the bad news is the number of contraband being sold determines how much money each is worth. If all 4 players has a total of 12 contraband they would only be worth 1 cash each, while a total of 3 contraband being sold is worth 3 cash each. The laws of supply and demand extend to the seedy world of biker gangs. In case it is not obvious, paying attention to other gangs heat levels prior to selecting how much to sell can give you an idea of what the maximum contraband being sold might be.

Phase 5 is where last call cards affects take place and phase 6 is the clean up phase. Orders are cleared, opportunity and anarchy cards are cleared and if you have any dudes in the emergency room you can roll to see if they come back to the club house or die and go into the recruit pool. After 6 rounds the gang with the most cash wins the game.

The only concept left to explain is throw downs. Simply put SOA is an area control game with a lot of chaos going on. To control a location you have to be the only gang with dudes on the site. If someone else puts dudes there you no longer control it and can’t exploit it. While this doesn’t mean you have to throw down, if a gang wants to use a location they need to get rid of the other gangs by making deals or fighting.

The first thing to note about a throw down is you can only issue this order at a location containing one of your members, a prospect can’t start a throw down. A throw down is a simple 3 step affair. In patch order each gang must decided if they want to call for back up. Calling for back up means spending an order token to move dudes from one other location to the throw down location. You can spend multiple order tokens if you need to bring in dudes from multiple locations.

Next you pull guns, which works much the same way as contraband. Each player in the throw down secretly puts gun tokens in their closed fist, the number of gun tokens can’t exceed the number of dudes in the fight. Once everyone is in you reveal. Any guns used in a fight are discarded after the throw down, also using guns gains you a heat token after the throw down. The final step is called Getting Bloody and it is essentially a single roll off.  Each player rolls one die and adds +1 for each prospect, +2 for each member and +3 for each gun.

The highest modified roll is the winner. The loser has to move all his dudes back to the club house. If there is a tie and the patch holder is not in the fight all gangs retreat to their club house. No mater the result every gun you used injures a rival gang member. Each player must decided which of his dudes are injured and move them to the ER. Winning a throw down allows you to immediately spend another order token and exploit the location, assuming it hasn’t already been exploited this turn. This prevent one player from winning a throw down and then another player immediately using a ride order to contest the area. If you spill blood you’re going to get to reap the rewards.

Now that I’ve covered how to play and what’s in the box let talk about the game. As I just mentioned it is an area control game at its core, but you throw in the location unique benefits, the randomness of the anarchy cards and the ability to make deals with other players and the game comes to life. Can you pay the Mayans to move off that location so you can sell you excess guns, if you give them the money will they really move? Balancing your orders and being able to adjust each turn is the key to being a successful scumbag.

Having played the game several times now the randomness of locations and cards keeps it very fresh and very entertaining. The six round limit means games will play in a reasonable time and you’re never really out of the game. I will caution however much like I did with Spartacus that this type of game is not for everyone. We all have friends who can’t separate game play from personal feelings. He doesn’t understand that attacking him at a location serves a purpose. You want to steer clear of playing this game with those types.

In the end Sons of Anarchy is a brilliant game, it takes a lot of what was great from Spartacus and make it work better. The theme fits in perfectly with the game play and Gale Force 9 once again proves that it’s entirely possible to make a great game on a licensed TV show. If only they could get a crack at The Walking Dead.

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Grand Con - An interview with Brian Lenz


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At the last Board Game Geek Con, I had the opportunity to interview Brian Lenz about Grand Con and how it all got started. If you haven't already decided to attend Grand Con, then now’ is the time to sign up!

What makes Grand Con different from other conventions?

The intimacy. It was a pleasure to have the guests that we had our first year along with the support we got from the industry itself was amazing! The fact that it's the first of its kind in Grand Rapids and the demographics. We came together to add tabletop gaming, board games, comics, and artists all to this convention to make it a hybrid. That made us unique, as very few conventions pull that off and we pulled it off swimmingly. It was first year convention and we had nearly 1500 people attending. We're anticipating 3000 people attending next year and we already had to move it to a different facility. Our passion for gaming and comics really drives Grand Con.

What was your gateway game?

It's hard to say! I started playing games when I was 3. I remember sitting in my aunts and uncles and parents laps rolling their dice in monopoly for them. What really got me back in to the games of today I would say it had to be Elder Sign. It's really unique and pulled me in and it could play up to 8 players. I also really loved Mansions of Madness. Those horror research games really got me. Lots of Fantasy Flight games.

A buddy of mine asked if I wanted to go to Gen Con and I got the blessing from the wife she told me, "Yeah, go have fun!" I went down there with the anticipation of just finding out what it was and when I got there the doors were open and my eyes were glazed with wonderful board games. For me, was there a gateway game? No. It was more like a gateway time. There was a moment in time when I just fell head over heels right in to it.

What's something about convention management that the public might not know about?

It's dedication. Lots of time. Right now it's just myself and my business partner, but thankfully we had a lot of friends and community members pitch in to help. They really helped us out in that regard.

Run your convention like a business if it's for-profit or non-profit. If you run it as a hobby or a big game day it's going to be more work than you desire. Inevitably it would probably fall apart. I have an advantage as I've been doing business management for 25+ years and my business partner has been for 20+ years. You can't do a convention alone so expect to have a business partner to help.

How did your table top group influence the creation of Grand Con?

I started West Michigan Table Top Gamers in October of 2011 and I was just seeking out other gamers for gamers. I thought, "Wow this could turn into something more, maybe a convention." Mark Spector who is my business partner had been to conventions in the past and had some poor experiences being taught how to play games. He started a teaching group called "Grand Gaming Academy." There was a lot of crossover between the two communities. These two groups helped create Grand Con.

Have a goal. Know where you're going and run it like a business, and you'll be fine.

If you were stuck on a desert island, what three games would you bring with you to pass the time?

That's a tough one. I would have to bring Castaways to remind me of where I'm at. I would have to bring Dominant Species to play out what is about to happen. I'd bring a light one too, like Little Devils. If I could bring all the games I would!










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Gen Con & Gen Can't Machi Koro Play Mat Contest

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Gen Con & Gen Can't Machi Koro Play Mat Contest

We had an incredible time at Gen Con and we know everyone is going to have a bunch of stories. Prior to Gen Con our team worked with IDW Games to create the Machi Koro play mat. We want to give you the chance to win one of them!

How do you enter this contest?

1. Follow @GameWireGirl so I can message you if you win

2. Write your story in the comments here on my blog along with your twitter handle.


What if you don't have twitter?

Email your story to brittanie@gtsdistribution.com 

Please us the subject line: Machi Koro play mat contest. 

What if you didn't go to Gen Con?

We have great news for you! Thanks to some awesome people we follow on Twitter, we also celebrate Gen Can't! If you couldn't make it to Gen Con tell me another great board game story, maybe even one that happened when you were at Gen Can't!

How will we choose a winner?

I will use a random number generator to select winners.

How many play mats are being given away?

This will depend on the number of participants! The more people that participate the more play mats I will add!

 

Best of luck and we can't wait to read and share stories with everyone!

@GameWireGirl

Direct any questions or concerns to brittanie@gtsdistribution.com

 

Like us on Facebook! 

 

 



 

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Sneak peak at an all new King of New York card!

We all know King of Tokyo. We all love King of Tokyo. But this September our worlds are going to be rocked by…wait for it…the all-new game by Iello, King of New York!

 This gorgeous card you see here is Subway, and GameWire was fortunate enough to be chosen to reveal it in this exclusive preview! 

Subway is a 10 cost card that is discarded once it’s played. It allows you to heal 2 health and take another turn, during which you can move as often as you like, whenever you like. Um, wow. 

In King of Tokyo terms this would seem pretty over powered, so I wouldn't recommend mixing up your King of New York and King of Tokyo cards. However, this does give us a peek into what kind of mechanics we’re looking at with King of New York, and it sounds monstrous!

Love, Bebo & Caelin

Love,

Bebo & Caelin

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5 Ways to Immensely Improve Game Night

Game night is one of those evening everyone looks forward to, but can often times be very stressful for the person hosting the event. The good news is that there are many ways to make game night less stressful and more enjoyable for all parties involved! Here are just a few ways to improve your game night.

 

Open with a dexterity game

Dexterity games are often times overlooked due to their casual nature. They are a great way to get people laughing, engaged and interacting with each other. It’s hard not to laugh at someone failing in a big way when the objective of the game is to avoid knocking things over!

Do you remember LOVING playing Jenga as a kid? There are dozens of other dexterity games that are just as much fun with a new twist on them. Games like Click Clack Lumber Jack (Previously known as Tok Tok Woodman) and Rampage are perfect examples of fun and exciting new dexterity games.

Close with a feel good mini game

When most people hear the word board game, what do you think is the first game that comes to mind? Monopoly? Clue? Risk?

What many of your friends don’t know is how many short but fun games exist and as a board gamer, you should be the one to introduce them! Games like Lover Letter, Hanabi, Coup, and Tsuro take less than 25 minutes and still pack in just as much fun as some of the heavier games.

Not only are these games fun and quick to play but they are also the PERFECT gift for any occasion. I try to always keep an extra copy of Love Letter around so when I teach someone to play it and they love it I can just give them a copy. With low price points and endless replayability you’ll be making board game lovers out of every person that your friend plays with.

Always make sure you have enough time

There are few feelings worse than board game fatigue. You know exactly what I am talking about. At the end of the night when we’ve all been playing a game for 30 minutes too long and none of us seem to have drank enough to make the experience enjoyable.

My personal preference is to always give myself an entire extra hour than I need. If we have two hours to play a game I pick a game that takes an hour. If I have four hours to play I pick a game that takes three hours to play. Explaining the rules to players that have never played the game will always take longer than expected as will actually playing the game. Unless every player has played the game before, it’s often a good idea to give yourself a comfortable cushion.

Another solution could be setting up an extra foldable table. You can decide to play until x o’ clock and leave the game on that table until the your next game night.

Try to avoid getting burnt out

I am the kind of person that eats, sleeps and breathes board games but sometimes I find myself getting a little more burnt out on them than intended. I’ll play games every day for several weeks then suddenly find myself not even wanting to think about board gaming. This can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks.

To avoid this, try playing with new groups of people fairly regularly. If you’re meeting new people your gaming experience is likely to be different every time you play even if you end up playing the same games over and over again. Often time the social aspect of gaming can be overlooked. I know that if I spend too much time with some of my friends they start to grind my gears. Meeting new people can help you avoid board gaming AND social burnout.

Pick games suitable for your audience and plan ahead

This is something I can not stress enough. You wouldn't play strip poker with your grandma so don’t play Twilight Imperium with a person that’s never even heard of a 4x game.

I am the worst about this. I almost never plan ahead. I make a facebook post inviting everyone to open gaming at my house and then end up with a mix of heavy gamers and light gamers.  Due to the fact that  large majority of my friends have never met each other of course they all want to socialize with each other. When you have one friend that wants to play Eclipse and another that has only ever played Munchkin it can be hard to find a game that suits your audience. This is why in my opinion, planning ahead is the most important step to take before game night.

If you’re planning on having a game night, pick out your games and the players before hand. Do you have 3 heavy gamer friends and 4 light gamers? Plan for the heavier gamers to play a game of Puerto Rico or Seasons while your lighter gamer friends play King of Tokyo or Machi Koro.

 

I hope everyone enjoyed this article. There is much more to come!

 

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And the Winners are.....

Congratulations to Sean Campbell who won Cyclades and Rafael Cordero who won Kemet!

I hope you both have the chance to send me some pictures of you with your new games and as always, let me know what you think of them! 

Thank you again to Asmodee for always making incredible games!

Be sure to check out this review of Asmodee's new game, Splendor. My friend Tim Norris does a great job of showing just how beautiful these components are and what a splendid game Splendor is!

Don't forget, the new 7 Wonders play mat will be available this April! Check with your friendly local game store to see how you can get your hands on this beautiful item!

Thank you to everyone who entered! I am sure I will be having many more contests in the future after the success of this one!

Game On!

Brittanie (@GameWireGirl)

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7 Wonders Play Mat Q & A

Yesterday GTS Distribution announced the all new Official 7 Wonders Play Mat from Repos Productions and Asmodee.

Many questions have been asked in just one short day. I am here to answer all those questions for you!

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How is this Play Mat Used?

The 7 Wonders Play Mat is used as if it were a banker's play mat. It is meant to be placed in the center of the table where all players can reach it.

How do I get a 7 Wonders play Mat?

The 7 Wonders Play Mat is meant to be a promotional item. GTS Distribution came up with the idea and then presented it to Repos Productions and Asmodee. This item is an exclusive to GTS Distribution, however, we can not sell the items. We are providing them to retailers who purchase through us. Your friendly local game stores will have access to them in April. To get your hands on one, contact the retailers in your area and find out how they are using these promotional items.

Does this game accommodate the expansions?
 

This 7 Wonders Play Mat accommodates the Cities and Leaders expansions! 

 


We hope everyone enjoys them and please tweet me pictures of them in action!

Game On!

Brittanie

 

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Enter to Win Cyclades or Kemet!

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As some of you may have heard, due to a glitch the matrix Asmodee_USA lost all of their twitter followers a few weeks ago. Asmodee is a company that GTS Distribution works closely with and they are good friends of ours. Because we love them so much, we have decided to run a contest.
 

 

To win this contest all you have to do is follow @Asmodee_USA on Twitter and then comment here to let me know you've done so! We want to help them get all of their followers back and  then some! I will announce the winner right here on our blog on March 12th so be sure to check back in with me!

Good luck to everyone!

Feel free to follow me on twitter too! @GameWireGirl

Brittanie

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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Review

By Dan Spezzano

The ultimate quest of any ex-role player to board gaming convert is to find that one game that allows you to have the rpg experience in another, less time consuming form. Until a few years ago, these games took the shape of standard role and move board games.

That changed as fresher ideas were introduced into the marketplace. But, even most of those games required tiles and miniature pieces. A few publishers have taken on the task of creating a fantasy rpg game by the use of cards, dice or dexterity type activities. Most of these games have met with varying success.

When Paizo announced that they were releasing a card game not only on the Pathfinder game system, but based on the award winning Rise of the Runelords adventure path, interest was, shall we say high.

I witnessed firsthand at GenCon the line around the Paizo booth get bigger and bigger by the minute. I watched as box after box of the Pathfinder Adventure Card game was sold and I knew Paizo had a commercial hit on their hands.

It’s very rare that any publisher matches the lines usually found at the FFG booth, but this year the hype belonged to Paizo and Pathfinder. GenCon was in August, so why has it taken me so long to write a review of this game?

Simple…I can’t stop playing it. That is not some hyperbole statement that I might throw in a review. It’s an honest to God fact. I think the game is set up on my gaming table 25 days out of the month.

Since starting my new job, my time for gaming and writing has become limited. However, when I have time, my first choice is always the PACG. I play it solo mostly, seeing if I can run a solo character or two characters through the first adventure path.

I can play it with my wife, or a group of friends.  The great aspect of this game is you can have multiple campaigns going on and play them out. Whether it is a one off scenario, an adventure or an adventure path it’s a very easy game to get into and play. However I’m getting ahead of myself.

Components

It’s a card game, so you get a lot of cards. The base game supports 1-4 players and comes with somewhere near 500 cards. It includes a very large box with a divider for storing the cards. It also comes with the first adventure deck in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path.

If you add the optional character deck, you’ll get another 110 cards which will allow you to play with 5-6 players. This add-on gives you 4 new classes in the form of a barbarian, druid, monk, and paladin.

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Also included are a set of dice.  You will use these to roll checks much like an rpg. Finally, there is a rule book. Simply put, the rulebook leaves a lot to be desired. There are numerous typos and ambiguities throughout. The thing is, they don’t detract from play.  In fact, until the FAQ was posted I really only saw one that jumped out as a glaring mistake.

Having said that, it is rather bad form to release the rules in this state. Paizo is well known for updating their rpg books and making them available online.  Perhaps, we will get an updated rule book.

I also sprung for the Ultra Pro character mats.  They aren’t needed and in fact there are already better fan made mats. So, if you see these, I advise a pass on them. A final note on the card quality, it is really good. I’ve played a lot of games and they are holding up well.


Scenarios, Adventures and Adventure Paths

Before I get into a description on game play, I think it would be a good idea to explain the above. The game can be played in several ways.

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If you’re just looking to play a one off game with friends, you can pick any scenario in the box, set it up and play. This is not where the game shines however. The game is at its best as you build your character deck from playing adventures.

An adventure is a linked set of scenarios. The base games comes with a 3 scenario adventure called the Perils of the Lost coast. As you play and finish each scenario, you get rewards and your characters can even gain new feats. This allows you to customize your deck and character as you go.

If a character dies, he is done and you need to pick a new one. If all characters die, you lose the adventure. It adds the element of permanent death seldom found in a table top rpg.

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Think about it for a second, how pissed would you be if your DM killed off your PC.  Well, it’s literally impossible to be pissed at an invisible DM in the game. The added tension of a whole party dying while on the last scenario of an adventure is a lot of fun. Of course you may feel differently about that and it’s very easy to ignore this rule and repeat the scenario.

Also included is the first adventure deck in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path called Burnt Offerings. This is a 5 scenario adventure deck. As I write this, I just got notification that the second deck will be available shortly.

An adventure path is the ultimate challenge as your characters will become more powerful in both skills and equipment. But, the challenges you face will also become harder. I’m giddy with excitement just thinking about the next adventure deck.

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Now, the end game of each scenario thus far is pretty similar. You’ve got an ultimate bad guy of the scenario and you need to find him and defeat him. Scenarios have a number of locations based on the number of players. If you encounter the main bad guy and defeat him, he can escape to any location you haven’t closed.

So, in essence you need to close every location by defeating the henchmen there and then defeat the main villain. There is room to grow here. I can see ways to make for different victory conditions, but right now, this is what you’re doing.

On the surface it sounds rather boring, until you add the other elements such as monsters, barriers, spells, allies, items etc. With each scenarios deck being randomized to an extent you could be facing a goblin at the city gate or a Siren.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time going over the turn structure and specific rules. I’ve got a game play video you can watch for that, or you can watch any of the dozen already out there.

Conclusion

Perhaps the only downside to the game is the set up and clean up time. It’s really not that bad once you get used to it.  But, I find it better to play a few scenarios if time is permitting, then a one and done.

Also the game can be very tough. I still haven’t completed the burnt offerings adventures solo and my 4 person group I play with the wife is also still battling to save Sandpoint.

The post discussion on this game is immense. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game garner so many threads on board game geek as this one. Part of that is the rules as people, myself included, tried to read things into them that weren’t there. Plus, there are always those typos I discussed.

It really is a love or hate relationship with this game for most people. Most people I have talked to who didn’t like it, played the one scenario option, which again I do not suggest.

In the end, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game had not only entered my top 5 games of the year, but also of all time. I like it that much and thanks to a devious poster on BGG, I’ve begun the task of scanning the cards into Card Warden so I can play it even more.

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Why you need Rampage (Asmodee)

Confession: I took this picture in the Dallas Fort Worth Airport after my plane was cancelled. The looks I got were amazing.

Confession: I took this picture in the Dallas Fort Worth Airport after my plane was cancelled. The looks I got were amazing.

by Bebo

I first had the opportunity to play Rampage at GTS Distribution's Come and Play day and now I am KICKING myself for not playing that game back then, because let me tell you, this game is a must have. I finally played it for the first time at Board Game Geek Con 2013.

My typical choices in gaming are usually more along the lines of Ascension, Trains, or Eclipse. Rampage is nothing like any of those. Rampage is a dexterity game. I have been pretty interested in board gaming (mainly heavier euros) but I hadn't actually been introduced to dexterity games until Board Game Geek con this year. 

In Rampage the objective is simple: Cause as much destruction and eat as many meeples as possible to score the most points. The catch is that in order to collect the meeples you have to have enough teeth to chomp them all, and they have to be within your reach. In order to do this the meeples need to be in the correct color region where your monster is currently located. You start the game with 4 teeth and you can always eat meeples equal to the number of teeth you have, plus two. 

The way you move your monster is by flicking a disc across the board. The building which you may or may not bounce off of are secured to the board, so you won't be moving the building by flicking the disc. If you are touching a building you may then either put your chin on the top of your monster and blow the meeples holding the building up in hopes of making some crash in to your region or you may drop your monster vertically from box height on to the building. If you drop your monster, be careful to not drop him off the board because if you do you will lose a tooth.

There are also situations where you will be given a vehicle which you might pick up and "toss" in to the buildings. In this case you pick up the vehicle, place it on top of your monster and you flick it across the board and in to a building OR if you really have it out for your opponents you have the option to flick it in to another monster, causing that monster to loose a tooth.

The only complaint I would have is that I don't have a giant version of it in my house. I also would not complain if any expansions were to arise in the coming months, although I know I am jumping the gun seeing that the game isn't even out yet!

There are also a number of power up cards and each monster starts out with one, however I think those surprises are better left unsaid for when you get to experience the chaos and joy that is Rampage.

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