Monthly Archives: July 2015


Last night had an unexpected gaming session. A friend was working behind the bar at a local establishment, and it was a bit empty. So I was invited up to help pass the time with some boardgames.

Being such a Star Realms fanatic I took that with me, and also I thought I would introduce Run Fight or Die!

We played a couple of games of Star Realms first. Fun games, my friend enjoyed learning and playing but I don't think it was as big a hit as it had been with Nath (side note Nath is playing the app but not forked out for the full version yet, so no online games together. But so looking forward to my next visit and seeing how much he has grown in his game play.)

Next up was a couple of games of Run Fight or Die! I lost the first game we played when I got over run by zombies. The second game ended up with my friend being over run by zombies. Both games the mutant boss appeared. In the first game I did manage to hit him once. But the second game our card draw just kept adding more life to the mutant boss. There wasn't much chance of us getting rid of the mutant boss. Plus we were both having to concentrate on trying to hold back the zombie horde. I was having a modicum of success. However my friend was mounting up wounds fast, zombies knocking on the door, but it was a mutant card dealing two wounds that finished them off.

The great thing about Run Fight or Die! is it's portable (easily more so than Zombicide), doesn't take up loads of space to play (ideal for last night), quick to setup, and quick to teach. The game captures that constant threat, overwhelming odds feeling so well. I get the same feeling while playing Zombicide (which I love playing) and it's a part of playing the games I love. That feeling of impending doom, attempting heroic moves that if successful keep you alive another turn, or if you are lucky a bit longer until the next wave of zombies hits. Then after that intense feeling of impending doom comes a wave of serenity when you accept your bloody fate. Pure gaming delight.

The plus side is that at our next game night if we play Run Fight or Die! there is someone else to help teach the game to the others.

New Additions to the Pile of Shame

So the first expansion for Five Tribes called The Artisans of Naqala has arrived. Yes an expansion for a game that I haven't got to the table yet and is sitting proudly in my pile of shame. But I know that if I don't get it now after it just came out, when I do want to use it I won't be able to get it. Or I would be able to get it but it will be mega expensive on eBay.

This expansion adds a new tribe to the game, with the supporting tiles, tokens, meeples, cards etc for that tribe to added to the game.

Next on to the pile of shame is the game Biblios Dice. I haven't played the original card game Biblios or the earlier versions Scripts and Scribes (card and dice), so why the interest in the dice game? It looked cool in the YouTube video I saw of it being played! I had heard it was good before seeing the video, had a look for it on YouTube. Liked what I saw, thought I can see others I play with liking it. And it wasn't mega expensive.

In Biblios Dice you play a monk (no jokes about my love life please) who has been tasked with increasing the prestige of the abbey's collection of historical and sacred texts. Doesn't sound an exciting theme to be honest. But the video of it being played really sold me on it, the mechanics, DICE, and it looked fun.


The button was pressed on the Amazon cart this morning, about five-ish. A couple of items will arrive sometime next week, but I knew that before hand. It's now a race against time hoping that the courier Amazon have used (DPD according to the text I received) will arrive before eleven tomorrow morning so I can take Castle Panic with me. Here's hoping.


’twas the night before payday

When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even an attack chihuahua;
The Amazon cart was filled with care
In hopes that Prime would have them there next day;

So if you haven't guessed already by that rather lame parody intro its payday tomorrow and my Amazon cart is all loaded up and ready to fire off first thing in the morning.

Are you wondering what is in the cart? What made the cut for this months hard earned cash?

For starters there is nothing Android: Netrunner related, the last data pack of the SanSan cycle seems to still be on the boat! Still no sign of the second wave Imperial Assault expansions, but they are on pre-order.

So now let's look at what is sitting in the cart.

  • Castle Panic
  • Recon – Arctic Scavengers expansion
  • Spectre Ops
  • Discoveries the journals of Lewis and Clarke

How did I arrive at this list?

This weekend I'm visiting Todd, Zoe and their boys up in the shadow of Kinder Scout. Todd is my Netrunner guru! So there will be one or two games of Netrunner over the weekend. However we will be playing other stuff also. I met up with them all at the con in May, sadly the boys at the con didn't get to play the giant sized Castle Panic. They are at an age where they would really have enjoyed play the game. So I thought I'd get the regular size game (well it's the only option available because they don't sell a giant sized version – although that would be cool to get for induction days at work) for the boys to play this weekend. I think they will have a lot of fun playing this co-op game.

Even though I haven't got Arctic Scavengers to the table yet I want this just released expansion for it. What I do like is that those that want to get the game can also buy a version of the game now that has the base game and all the expansions. I'm taking my copy of the game with me this weekend on the off chance we get to play it.

I'm a cyberpunk fan, I have been since the mid eighties. Since being introduced to Android: Netrunner earlier in the year, my love for the genre has been rekindled. Spectre Ops has been described as Metal Gear Solid the boardgame. Which basically means it's a stealth game on a board. How they achieve that I'll cover when the game arrives. But it has a cyberpunk theme which tickets the box for me, plus the way it implements the stealth is cool (ok if you want to know more just go and watch the Watch It Played how to play video). So this edged it above Dark Moon this month, although that will most likely be top of the list next month.

Ok I haven't played the Lewis and Clarke game that Discoveries is a spin off of. But having seen a run through of the game, this dice game looked good fun. Besides if it isn't obvious I love dice games, as does my friend James. So this is something that should appeal to him as well to play.

So there you have the planned new arrivals for this month. If decide to get or even have any of the above please let me know what you think of the games.


AGES – Final Thoughts

You can find my earlier posts on AGES here. They look at the cards, how to setup and play the game.

Before I get into my final thoughts so that I am open and above board, I should point out I paid for my pre-production copy of AGES, I know the designer Chris Shaner from playing against him on Star Realms (he kicks my butt 80% of the time we play).

There with that information in hand you can now decide the value of what I am about to say.

Oh other information that you need to know, I love deck building games. Nope that's an understatement I LOVE deck building games. Star Realms I frickin adore, Marvel Legendary fantastic. Two games that if I had to do a top ten would be easily in the top ten if not top five. Plus I'm biting at the bit to get Arctic Scavengers to the table.

So now I've been completely open and declared interests, and you know where I'm coming from, let's get on with my final thoughts on AGES.

REMEMBER: This is all based on the none final version.

For those that already have reached the conclusion tl;dr for this post already here is the overall summary “I frakin love it”.

Right now we have got rid of those people with short attention spans, let's look into this in a bit more depth.

First off this game screams for a nice playmat for the play area. Similar to the board in Marvel Legendary or playmat in Legendary Encounters Alien. Luckily there are some designs Chris has been running by folks on the Edutainment Facebook page. So I know these are in the works.

You can see influences from other games within AGES. It could easily have been a train wreck combining the influences. However Chris had avoided this and they work really well together.

I love being able to react to another player as they are taking their turn with cards that have an immediate ability if I have any in my hand.

The game is very tactical having the Elite character row and the main trade row. Having to decide between the two for which card to buy. Are you buying to deny the other player? Runs the risk of revealing something better for them. I love that double edged sword.

The Elite phase, wow what a great idea. Love, love it. It does make that purchase decision harder. Sometimes you are buying an Elite character just to deny the other player the use of the Elite phase ability. Which feeds into maybe you haven't got enough gold to buy the Elite character, so end up buying a main card just to deny the other player of that cards ability in the Elite phase. This all feeds into the previous point.

I like how locations are used to give you and on going ability that you may use on each turn. This also gives another one of those hard choices to make during the game. There are going to be times in the game when you fall just short of having enough gold to buy that main card or Elite character that you really really want to buy. Luckily you have a location in front of you that is giving you a rather nifty ability that you have been finding really useful. But if you trash it you can use it as gold to get that card you really want. But that ability is really good and you don't want to lose it, even though eventually the location will come back at some point. There's the quandary. Love it, love it.

The cards look really cool, love the back of the card artwork. The cards feel nice and of a good quality. I'd love to see some custom card sleeves with the current back of card artwork on them to protect the cards. If I remember correctly I believe a handful (five?) of the cards will be getting new artwork. But the images used for the cards are cool and do a good job of capturing the person, item, location they represent.

As I have pointed out this version is not the final version of the game. The manual that I have does need a bit of work. And Chris is going to be working on this I believe.

I like this game a lot, nah LOVE it. I can't wait for it to hit kickstarter so that I can back it. Yes I will be buying it again! Why? So I have a final version of the game, and can get any promo cards that the kickstarter will have, and hopefully a playmat.


Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak of one of the photos for an upcoming post. The post is taking a lot longer than planned but I hope worth the wait.

So from the picture above can you guess the theme?

In the meantime don't forget this week is GenCon the biggest American gaming convention of the year. So there will be lots of coverage this coming week, plus a week or two after with the thoughts of those that attended.


New Imperial Assault Skirmish Rule

Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) purveyors of addictive Star Wars related miniature based games (some other company has the rights for boardgames) has released some rule “tweaks” for the super amazing game Imperial Assault. Which would explain why I've put the logo of the game at the top of this post.

The main change they talk about is for the two player skirmish mode of the game.

The new rule is: “During a skirmish, if your opponent has more ready Deployment cards than you, you may choose not to activate a group and pass play to your opponent.” This rule goes into effect on August 15th, 2015, and will not be used at the Imperial Assault National Championships at Gen Con Indy 2015.

The new rule hasn't been added to the PDF of the rules yet. I'm assuming it will be around the 15/8/15. But I suppose for casual games we might as well assume the new rule is live.

The Tournament rules have also been tweaked also. There is some gibberish about their software TOME. But the main thing that will affect tournament players is the following:

In addition, with a new season (National Championships) comes a new set of legal skirmish maps, starting July 29th, 2015. We are keeping the Moisture Farm map from the core set and rotating out the other two. To fill the gap, we are adding the Kuat Space Station and Ord Mantell Junkyard maps.”

Plus FFG have changed some of the language so that it's consistent between all the tournament rules for Imperial Assault, X-Wing and Armada.

There is also an FAQ update, and also talk of monitoring certain characters (which they don't name). So I'm waiting with baited breath to find out which characters and what the outcome of their monitoring is. If I hazard a guess from stuff I've seen on line they are going to focus on the imperial officer.

You can read the full announcement here.

Like a lot of my games I just need to get Imperial Assault to the table more.

Upper Deck have been previewing some of the cards from the impending Marvel Legendary expansion Secret Wars Part One. Yep Upper Deck has soooo much stuff that they had to split it between two expansions! Or maybe they like to milk us fans of the game for even more money. Either way they are getting my money.

Yes I've blatantly ripped off their images from the Facebook page so that you dear reader can get excited about this new expansion as I am.

I have to admit that Zombie Mr. Sinister looks nasty. I can't wait to duke it out with him. I'd be half tempted to let him escape so there are two Masterminds to fight at the same time. That will be awesome and suicidally stupid at the same time.

You can read the new rules and see the information sheet for this much anticipated expansion here


A New Survivor and Another Bites The Dust

Bill arrived today. He is the character you get in the third game night kit for Zombicide. I got Bill from a trade on the Facebook selling and trading page I follow. Luckily I had something to trade. I traded Kyoko from the first game night kit. Which leaves me with one more Kyoko to trade at a future date.

At some point in the near future I will hold another Zombicide game night. For that I will use the game night two kit that I have. The game night kits are cool. They have scenarios specific to that kit, although you could use any scenario you want. Plus you get figures that you can give away to those who participate. For my game nights it means that my fellow gamers have a rather cool momento of the evening.

So even now that I have Bill. I know that I will be trying to source my own copy of the full game night three kit at some point in the future.

The replacement figures for Mitch and Elsa arrived this weeke also. Just in time to witness the demise of Raoul. How could this be? Well this morning when I was just about to leave the house I noticed the chewed remains of the zombivore version of Raoul.

During the night a little silent assassin had scrambled onto the table, by passed the decoy figures (the chewed models of Mitch and Elsa) and helped himself to yet another figure.

My cunning decoy plan failed. So once more I have to source replacements because a monster can't tell that Zombicide figures have no nutritional value and are not snacks.

It's that or I petition Cool Mini or Not to stop making their figures out of dog treats.


Two New Pages

For the observant amongst you, you may have noticed that I've added two new pages to the blog. The first one has a link to my Boardgame Geek page that lists my game collection (but not all the expansions). While the second page is my Wishlist of games. Which is basically games that have made my radar that I'm interested in getting. Once again I've not added expansions to this list. But in future I will be adding them also.

So hopefully you will find the lists interesting. Maybe they might give you an idea for a game you might like. If you know me, and we are meeting up, feel free to look at the list of games and hit me up to bring along games you are interested in playing.


What would a Marvel Cinematic Universe film be without the cameo from Stan Lee? A lesser movie that's what. So when I found out that there was a Stan Lee bystander card for Marvel Legendary, well I just had to have it. Guess what came today?

So now when I play Marvel Legendary I can simulate that cameo appearance from the Generalissimo himself by shuffling in these two bystander cards into the bystander deck.

And for me the awesome thing will be when I'm playing with some-one who doesn't know I have this card and it appears. I'm hoping for a little “OMG! That's awesome” moment.

Tomorrow im going to see Ant-man at The Luxe cinema, and hopefully before the film two or three of us will have a chance to be uber geeks and play a game of Marvel Legendary before hand with Stan Lee shuffled in the Bystander deck.

Also today the two Dice Tower Pixel Tactics promos arrived. I only got them yesterday off that UK Facebook trading page. So dam good service.

Finally the other day the rare Constantine dice masters card arrived. It appears to be a popular card especially in control teams I think. I'm not fully up on the current meta. It's changing again now that the Age of Ultron set has hit stores in the U.S. and any day now in the UK.

I've not played nearly enough dicemasters this year. I really enjoy the game. But this release schedule Wizkids has for sets is brutal. It's almost a new set every two months. Which if you want to be a completionist makes the game expensive. If you want to be competitive at tournaments (which I like to think I'm capable of being) then you need to be living this game, which makes it a life style game. And I have too many games in my collection that I enjoy playing that fall into this category. But I think this is a topic that I will explore in another post in the future.


Battles in the Stars

I don't know how many times I will keep repeating myself, or if/when this will change. But I frickin love Star Realms. Which kind of explains why I post about the game, but not nearly as regularly as I could. I think I'd be a fraud if I started giving advice about playing the game.

It's not as if I'm shooting up the rankings. I'm firmly stuck at level five or six trading blows with those I regularly play against. And the less we say about my performance in the Sunday Casual Tournaments the better.

But it doesn't matter I'm having a blast playing the game. Plus even Nath is having a blast too playing it now.

I'm not sure if these types of posts give people a feel for the game, or even capture the game. I'm hoping they do.

I had to laugh it was nearly the great escape or more accurately the great train robbery. I'd been hanging on for about three or four turns with less than twenty authority (that's health basically for none Star Realms players) while my opponent was unable to finish me off.

While I was waiting for the killing blow I wasn't wasting my time I had managed to inflict some damage so when I died it didn't look so embarrassing. I had whittled my opponents score down from in the forties to twenty two as shown above.

This brings us to the screen shot above. My opponent had failed once more to deliver the final blow. But they had come pretty close. Now it was my turn to reply.

Somehow as my cards played out the amount of damage I could inflict crept up. Then it stalled, I had eked out every last point of damage I could. I was one point away from pulling off an audacious robbery, I laughed out loud.

There wasn't anyway I could get that one final point of damage to steal the win. But I was still smiling. This was sooo close. I had come so close to winning, but for one card, one point. That's all I had needed to be able to get.

Naturally I didn't survive the next turn.

Sunday Casual Tournament #11

Yesterday saw the start of the tenth eleventh Sunday Casual Tournament on the unofficial Facebook page. My first round match is still going on. That's the drawback of players in different time zones.

As the below screen shot shows I've started off this first round match up pretty well with a “comfortable” win.

But let's face it my record in these competitions is pretty abysmal. I've started off with a win then ended up getting my backside handed to me to lose 2-1.

So I'm not taking anything for granted. The cards have a habit of screwing me over. Giving me that little bit of hope before smacking me over the head and leaving my corpse on the floor.

As you can see above our second game is only two turns in. It's the initial swapping of blows and buying scouts or the odd federation ship to kick start the economy needed to buy higher value cards.

Come back later and I'll update the post below with how the game is going (that's if you are interested that is).

Game two update

Game two between myself and Skantman was much much closer. In the last two or three turns it was very nerve wracking. The game could have gone either way. A draw of a couple of big hitters would of finished either of us off for a win.

We were both sitting under twenty authority, on my turn I knocked Skantman down to four authority. I was only slightly in a better place at twelve. But as every Star Realms player knows this is can be easily reached with a couple of cards and easily with a hand of five.

Frankly I wasn't expecting to get another turn. I knew if I did I had enough to in hand to win, hoping that Skantman didn't play the six authority outpost (sorry can't remember which card it was) they had sitting in their deck.

So when I saw the message to say it was my turn I was rather surprised. I wasn't expecting that. I went back into the game and watched my opponents turn play out. Oh crap! They played their outpost, I don't have enough to win, at best I can get them down to two authority. No way will I get another turn.

Then I couldn't believe what I saw, Skantman had scraped his outpost! I'd won!!!

The eight points of damage I could do would be going straight through.

Wow a close fought second game. Those last few turns were real edge of the seat turns. This game could easily have gone the other way and gone to a third deciding game. So I'm through to the second round for the third time only. I need to go see who I'm playing, but before I do I need to get over my shock!