Magic Potions, Bounty Hunters and Time Machines

A new minifig arrived today, it's the uber cool looking Bobba Fett.

You have to be so careful when buying off eBay, there are a lot of keychain figures that are being sold on there that I don't like. Firstly the figures are not proper minifigs, their bodies are all one, meaning they don't come apart. Secondly the heads have holes in them where the keychain was.

These differences may not make a difference to you, however for me they are massive, and a deal breaker.

Sadly eBay is swamped by these bogus figures, and it does take time to filter out the wheat from the chaff. Which basically means reading the product descriptions carefully. But the effort is worth it.

From the promos I saw online from Essen this year, I think the coolest was for I game I didn't have, nor at that point played Colt Express. The promo they were giving away for this game was a Delorean car from the classic trilogy of movies Back to the Future.
The Delorean is cool. But the envelop had an even bigger cool factor for me. I love Asterix the Gaul. As a kid I saw the original animated movie at the cinema in St Albans when I was visiting my aunt and uncle who were living there at the time.
At secondary school there was a book club, where you could order books from a little colour leaflet that came round, so I ordered the only Asterix book they had which was the Twelve Tasks of Asterix. Up to this point I never knew there were Asterix books. It wasn't until I was at Brighton Poly that I bought anymore Asterix books to read.
Brighton was a costly revelation for me. Wisbech isn't the most cosmopolitan of towns. The local WH Smiths was and is still the main bookshop in town (although there have been others from time to time that never stayed in business for long). So moving to a town as big as Brighton, that not only had bookshops, but comic shops too, I was in geek heaven.
And it was here that I was able to find and buy more Asterix books. I also had a very good friend called Chris that was also into Asterix (and Rocky Horror) who enlightened me to the existence of all the books in the first place.
So yes when I saw the stamp below I was like blown away. That is such an amazingly epic stamp. You can bet I'm going to be keeping that stamp.


Black Friday Hopes

So the countdown to Black Friday is on. A day of shopping madness in the hunt for a bargain that has become part of Americas traditions to take its place alongside their Thanksgiving turkey.

After so long resisting this celebration of consumerism across the pond, in recent years it has been making an appearance over here. Amazon has been making their Black Friday offers available this side of the pond. Which has been great, although last year I didn't find anything in their offerings that interested me.

I've looked through me wishlist on bgg, and thought which of these would I really like and snap up if they appeared on Amazons Black Friday offers. So I whittled that list down to two games that I'm hoping, crossing fingers, touching wood, rubbing a lucky rabbits foot etc will make an appearance on Amazons Black Friday offers.

First up would be Colt Express. It really did impress me that much. Plus I do have a couple of the promo items for it on the way form Germany. So it won't be long before the game joins my collection, it would just be nice to save some money getting it.

This has been on my wish list for a long long time, Room 25 or its follow up Season 2. Imagine a boardgame version of that Doctor Who episode with the orbiting tv station, and those deadly game shows. And them going from one show to another, only to escape, and find out the whole station was a dalek plot. Forget the dalek plot, and space station bit, and you have Room 25 I believe.

So what are you hoping to see on the Amazon Black Friday offers?


Mid Nov Arrivals

If you are one of those people bored with life and know me on other social media outlets, you will already be aware of these arrivals (I post to Instagram which pushes stuff to other places also, boring people in lots of places). However for those of you that pretend they have a life, your denial is holding you back from your recovery.

First up is the arrival of the main expansion for The Manhattan Project, The Manhattan Project Second Stage. This is several modules in one box that you can pick and choose which ones you want to add to the base game. Plus there are some nice player aid cards, which thinking about it really should have been in the base game.
Considering I'll be playing the game Wednesday, the arrival of this expansion is timely. If the only to use the extra Nations cards, and player aid cards.
Ok I'm not the worlds biggest Trek fan, I'm a bigger Star Wars and Tolkien fan. However after seeing this on Tabletop a couple years back (Tabletop effect anyone?) I did think about getting this version of Catan, but it was out of print at that point, and I didn't want it enough to really hunt it down.
And then over on that UK Facebook group for trading and selling this guy put it up for sale last week. The price seemed reasonable, so we conducted an exchange of coin of the realm for cardboard and plastic.
When the game arrived and I opened it, this was a better bargain than I thought. It also came with the Federation Space Map expansion, the only expansion for the game. So I was rather chuffed (that's a word for happy for my colonial readers in the Americas).
I've not played Catan with Nath, and this themed version of the game will be an easier sell to him. Once more the list of games to take for Christmas is growing exponentially.

Finally a Kickstarter arrived today. This one is the card game Best Treehouse Ever. If the title doesn't tell you what the theme and aim of the game is, then I guess if you saw the movie Snakes on a Plane it came as a complete surprise that there were snakes and a plane in it.


Ticket to Ride App Update

A new release of the Ticket to Ride app has just been released on the App Store. There is little point me listing all the changes when I can show you them using the developers own words.

Love the cross-platform addition along with addition of being able to play multiple games at the same time. About time I say. In this day and age, I should be able to start a game on one platform and continue it on another. The excellent Star Realms app does this. So app developers have no excuse for not doing this.

Some of the changes by the looks of it are cosmetic, and will make it hopefully easier for the developer to add new content in the future. Having a universal version of the app “should” also make the developers life easier.

A nice looking update.

Oh and if you fancy a game of Ticket to Ride my username is whitespider1066


Let them eat rock

The Tabletop Effect – Tabletop a popular internet based to show about playing boardgames. Hosted by Wil Wheaton, where each episode he plays a boardgame with a group of celebrity chums. The Tabletop effect describes the phenomenon of a game featured on the show selling out very quickly as fans of the show rush out to purchase the game featured in the just aired episode, making the game hard to find for purchase.

I have in previous posts hinted at this effect when I've talked about when I first purchased Marvel Legendary. To be totally honest I have given in to this effect/hype myself. However I have managed to resist the effect. Yes I know shocking.

After watching the episode where Wil and friends played Stone Age, it looked interesting, and I nearly did buy it. But for whatever reason never did, and it hasn't even made my wish list on bgg.

So I was rather glad to get the chance to at least play the game last night with Jonathan and Mat.

Just before we started to play Stone Age, Jonathon said he wasn't going to take it easy on Mat and myself, and play to win!

During our game, Mat had to resort to feeding his workers with brick/stone to make up his short fall in food. Which kickstarted some capitalist/Tory banter with Mat, that resulted with Mat being renamed Tory Mat for the duration of the evening.

Jonathan walked away with a massive victory, while Mat took a respectable second place, while I dragged the score curve down by not even hitting one hundred points and coming in last.

So what did I think of Stone Age?

I enjoyed playing Stone Age. As a lightweight introduction to the worker placement genre of game, it certainly succeeds.

It did seem that if your first action when it was your turn as first player wasn't to grab the farming spot then you were at a disadvantage. My first time as the first player I didn't do this but went for one of the cards on the river. I didn't struggle to feed my workers, but it always meant I had to allocate two of my five workers to make sure I was bringing in food. So basically I had only three workers instead of four available for collecting resources to collect huts and the cards on the river.

I liked that you could block cards/huts to scupper the plans of the other players. Although this effectively also slows down your plans as well.

Our second and final game of the evening was Istanbul.

During the game the capitalism banter continued with Mat. Who did admit he was starting to like being a capitalist. If only we had recorded that quote.

I really liked Istanbul. We used the “beginners” tile setup. But with a “more advanced” setup and random tile setup there is a lot of variety of setup, which I like. It means the game board looks can be tailored for first time players and “experts”.

Right from your first turn you have several options to choose from. You don't get that “your first move has to be…” that Stone Age had.

The family members are a nice touch. Releasing them from jail to send them off to take an extra action. Or getting a reward for capturing another persons family member. A nice mechanic.

The tiles with abilities, bonus cards and the ability to increase the number of goods you can collect, nice additions that allow you to get an engine going. I had a tile that allowed me to pay two coins to recall an assistants. A useful ability that saved me having to return to the fountain to recall all my assistants.

The governor and smuggler were also a nice mechanic, especially with them being moved randomly around the tiles based on the role of the two dice.

Jonathan also won this game with Mat and myself drawing for last place! I had a nice little route going at the end. My mistake was not paying attention to the jewels that the other players had, especially Jonathan. I think I would have played with a bit more urgency otherwise.

Final thoughts…

Out of the two games played this evening my favourite and one I'd happily add to my game collection is Istanbul. I'm glad I played Stone Age, but it is not a game I'd ask to play, although I would happily play it if it hit the table.

Just in…

T.I.M.E. Stories, I think I already said in my Game of the Year predictions that I would get this game to play with Nath over Christmas. I will be getting the first expansion for the game The Marcy Case before my visit. Tom Vasel said that the Marcy Case is his favourite zombie game! High praise indeed. Nath will like playing that, he enjoys zombie themed games. Plus as the photo shows above they already named and given the genre/theme of two other expansions that will come me out next year.

I finally got fed up with waiting for Amazon to get this Deluxe expansion in. Not even a remote hint from them as to when they could deliver it. In the meantime every podcast going is discussing the cards in detail. It's frustrating to see everyone else with the game, and not hear anything from Amazon.

So after finding a rare online retailer that had it in stock, yes most have sold out. I now have my copy. Just need to play some games now!


Win Bang the Dice Game

I really think this photo of Loki is crying out for a witty caption. But I don't think any efforts should go unrewarded. But I can't reward everyone. So let's make this my first competition for this blog. So the funniest/best caption judged by me will win a copy of Bang the Dice Game.

The closing date will be 30th November 2015.

Oh yeah put your entry in the comments below

Forever Fire

A new tee arrived from Qwertee today, I love the design. No matter which version of Pokemon I play I always pick fire. Naturally Charmander is my fondest memory, because he was my first! It was meant to be harder starting with Charmander because of the initial gyms being types that were tough for a fire Pokemon to take on. But I never found that because I levelled up Charmander so he was tougher than the Pokemon I would be facing in the gyms.

It seems timely getting this shirt now that it's been announced that Red, Blue and Yellow are coming to the 3DS on the eShop.

Which Pokemon did you start with?

My Aunt and Uncle recently got back from a holiday in the US, which saw them visiting Memphis. Naturally that meant a look round Graceland and Sun Studio. Knowing I'm a bit of an Elvis fan they bought me back a cool Sun Studio tee, and their tickets for Graceland. The paper bag was also rather cool.

Game of the Year Prediction

Below are what I believe are the top three contenders for game of the year. I'm basing this on buzz that I have seen online from various sources like bgg, podcasts, YouTube etc. Sadly I've not played any of these games yet.

I think the amazing thing is that two of these games are “play once” experiences. Which I believe from bits and pieces online has rubbed some gamers up the wrong way.

The main argument being they have paid forty odd pounds for a game, and expect that they can play it forever (well until it wears out, or they loose some pieces). Not play through the game once and then put it on the shelf never to be opened again.

Naturally the count argument defending these games compares the cost to other forms of entertainment, such as going to a movie or the theatre.

What I find interesting is that both Pandemic Legacy and T.I.M.E. Stories when reviewed or described by people are talking about the experience, comparing them to movies for their storytelling.

I will be getting Pandemic Legacy, and I can see myself getting T.I.M.E. Stories, and the thought of playing them excites me. Pandemic Legacy will be one I play with friends from the Fenland Gamers group (mainly because it is at least twelve games, upto a possible twenty four, depending on how well you do), but T.I.M.E. Stories I think I will be able to play with Nath.

Blood Rage although by one of my favourite designers I don't think I'll be getting. Famous last words I know, and please do remind me of them if I do add it to my collection. But from what I've seen, I would enjoy it, but I don't think there is enough there to justify getting it.

So out of these three games, which do I think will be game of the year? My prediction is Pandemic Legacy. With a dark horse prediction (well not exactly a dark horse or outsider) of Mysterium. Which also got a lot of buzz that seems to have been eclipsed by the other three.

UPDATE 17/11/15: I forgot to add Codenames to list of contenders for Game of the Year. I do have this one, but have not got round to playing it yet. This has been a lot of buzz too, but even though I think it will give my prediction a run for its money, and be very close. I'm still calling Pandemic Legacy to take the crown this year of Game of the Year.

On Twitter my friend Gav asked

And this was my Twitter reply



Inside the Carcassonne Star Wars Box


There is something satisfying about popping tiles from their spigots, or sticking stickers onto meeples. For me more satisfying than popping bubble wrap.

So I'm glad I had this to do this afternoon for Carcassonne Star Wars. It's that new game thing, where you are popping components, bagging various bits, organising everything. There is a reasoning behind this, having everything organised means faster setup when you come to play the game.

But even without that organising bit you still need to pop that cardboard. And that is soooo satisfying.

It's a shame that when I buy a used game that I'm denied that pleasure, but hey can't have everything especially if it's a hard to get out of print boardgame.


Who Dice Tower is it?

Next years UK Games Expo looks not only to be its biggest yet, but also its best! In the last week or so the shows organisers announced the Colin Baker the sixth Doctor will be a special guest at the show. Then today the shows organisers announced another piece of amazing news.

I'm a big fan of The Dice Tower and its host Tom Vasel and grumpy side kick Sam Healy. The likely hood of me making it to the US and one of the conventions that they attend, or even Essen in Germany is very remote.

So to have them come to the UK is awesome. I know they will be mobbed by their UK fan base.

But wow! This guest list for a geek is becoming amazing.

Read the full announcement here