Monday, September 21, 2015

Zoinks, Jinkies, and Jeepers Even!!!

I have always loved Scooby Doo.  It's just one of those things that I grew up with and I passed along that love to my daughter which makes this even more awesome.  Scooby Doo has now joined the family of LEGO products!

I am really excited to see this though I must admit that some of the sets seem like they are reaching a little.  For example, there are two products in particular that come with what look like the Mystery Boat and the Mystery Plane.  Really guys?  Then again the Haunted Lighthouse set does look kind of cool (other than the boat anyway) so we still might need to pick that one up.

Overall I'm really excited to pick these up, especially when you think of the options of combining these with the Monster Hunter sets.  And just in time for Halloween too.  Until next time...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fairy Princess Smackdown!!!

Over the summer, I happened to notice these and I just couldn't resist picking them up.  Why?  No idea but they're just so bizarre there has to be some way to use them.

Fairy - Princess - Mermaid Madness!!! 
Yes, that's right.  They are like the classic army men but for girls!  Chibi princesses, fairies, and mermaids.  As soon as I saw them, all I could think is some kind of fairy/princess smackdown combat game.  No idea what system to use though Monster Island by Firefly Games does come to mind. It's a light system but it let's you create your own "little monsters" so it could be fun.  Definitely something I'll have to dabble with in the future.  Until next time...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lighting The Spark Of Rebellion

"Okay, I'm going to give up getting more minis for... What?  They're releasing that next?!?"

This is what was going through my mind when I saw the wave 8 line up for X-Wing from Final Fantasy Games.  Not just the Ghost but also the Inquisitor's TIE and the Gozanti assault carrier.  Seriously?!?  Just when I thought I could get out of this game...

The good thing (for me at least) is that this really gives me a direction for my collection.  There are now a good number of ships available for the game but since I want to focus on the beginning of the Rebellion it really focuses my selections.

In the beginning the Rebels weren't using A-Wings or B-Wings.  Both of these were developed later in the war.  Likewise for the TIE Interceptor, Phantom, and Defender.  All of these entered the fray after the Battle of Yavin so even more are ticked off the list.

This does mean that my collection might not be the most competitive but I'd rather focus on the story anyway.  In fact I've already got an idea brewing for a nice little mini campaign but more on that later.  Until next time...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Breathing Some Life Into Bone Hill

Over the summer our friends headed north to their camp which put our current Dungeons and Dragons 5e campaign on hold.  Rather than just letting everything hang in the balance while we waited for an opportunity to get together with them again, I decided to offer to run them through a game by themselves and they jumped at the opportunity.  I started thinking about what to run and quickly decided to pull out an oldie but a goodie, the Secret of Bone Hill.  Unfortunately it wasn't quite as good as I remembered.

Before I get a tirade of hate from old school gamers, let me explain.  L1 packs a lot of information in there.  In fact it is really more of a setting book than a module so it really is jam packed which is both good and bad.  Lots of ideas to incorporate into a game but the detail is almost too much.  Most of the townfolk are written up down to how much copper they have but how useful is this really?  I'm pretty sure that the party won't be ransacking the entire town so I don't need quite this much detail.  There are also some of the names.  Well actually most of them.  I'm sure they were very appropriate for the era that it was released but today... let's just say that they didn't age all that well.

All that said, it still has given me a great framework to build my adventure on and we are really having fun with it.  We even had an entire session go by with no combat! How crazy is that?!  Of course we also tried out the carousing rules and between the two of them they managed to win enough money that they became local legends.  And of course this was right after they said that they wanted to stay out of the public eye.  It's going to be interesting to see just how that plays out.

I have also been writing up the adventure as we've gone along, expanding on the original text with my own ideas and updating it to 5e rules.  Some of this has been a challenge but overall I've really been having fun with it and so has the family which is the whole idea.  I've also been recording the whole thing so maybe I'll actually post it here at some point as well.  We'll have to see how it all pans out.  Until next time...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Rebuilding The Gaming Table One Piece At A Time

When we moved across country, some of the things that I had to get rid of were my gaming boards.  Thankfully I was able to condense my terrain into two totes but I just didn't expect the boards to survive the trip intact so into the trash they went.  After all, I could make some new ones soon enough right?


Between time, money, and space, rebuilding my boards has been way down on my list of priorities.  Unfortunately this means that mini gaming has fallen way down on my list of priorities as well, which means that painting has fallen down there as well, and so on and so forth.

Ah yes, that lovely snowball effect.

Thankfully I am finally able to take steps to remedy this situation.  I was recently at our local Home Depot and noticed that they were selling 2' x 2' pieces of particle board for a whooping two dollars a piece. I immediately snatched one up and started brainstorming.

A while back I had picked up some pieces of cloth planning to make a cloth battle mat.  Unfortunately that still left the issue of having a surface to put the mat on.  Our dining room table is still in storage so the cloth has just been laying around collecting dust. Having found these small pieces of particle board, I think this will be my best option to be resurrect my gaming table again.  I'm also going to make it two sided with space on one side and grass on the other.  This will give me a surface for both Song of Blades/In Her Majesty's Name/etc. and X-Wing/any other space game I decided to play.

Now all I have to do is get some adhesive to glue the fabric onto the wood and it will finally be time to break out my minis again!  Until next time...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Quick Review: Tesla Vs. Edison by Artana

Last night my friend Mike came over and he showed me and the Munchkin the ins and outs of Tesla vs. Edison: The War of the Currents.  Well, I guess it was mainly me that he showed since Munchkin had played once before but you get the idea.

First off, let me say that this is a beautiful game.  From the box to the components, Artana did a great job with this game really capturing the style and the theme of the game.

Mechanically the game is very straight forward as well.  You can either develop new technologies (giving you access to more projects on the board), build new projects (which increases your stock value), engage in propoganda (which lets you manipulate the turn order, which type of power is popular with the masses, and earn some extra cash), and buying and selling stock (the total value of which determines who wins the game).

This also really seems to capture the ebb and flow of an economic game; using propoganda and buying/selling to manipulate the stock market to increase your own portfolio while decreasing the value of your opponent's portfolio.

All of this sounds really good and looks really nice on the table but there was something about it that was bugging me and I think I finally figured out what it is; how the heck do you defend yourself?

My background is miniature war games and board games that involve direct conflict with your opponents.  You win by achieving victory while preventing your opponent from doing the same.  All the while you have assets in play that can at least attempt to affect the outcome of the situation, but this game didn't feel like it had that which is frustrating on a deeper level for me.  You can "attack" my company by buying up my stock and then dumping it at the last minute to drive its value down at the end of the game which is in fact what happened to me.

To be fair I had actually considered doing exactly the same thing as we went into the last turn but the idea just left a really bad taste in my mouth so I decided against it.  Does this make it a bad game?  Not at all, in fact it seems like it really did capture the economic interplay that they were looking to represent... I'm just not sure that it's a game for me.  I definitely want to try it again but I must admit that I'm glad I decided not to back this one on Kickstarter.