Monthly Archives: August 2015

Old Hollywood

Old Hollywood the latest data pack from the SanSan cycle has hit the shelves of the stores. I'll give a warning now for those that don't want to know the contents because part of getting a new data pack is the surprise of discovering new cards as they go through the pack, SPOILER ALERT STOP READING NOW!

In a new departure for me I thought I'd do a more indepth look at the contents that make up the data pack. I will give this disclaimer. I'm no expert, I don't know the cards well enough to be an expert.

One of the things I love about Android:Netrunner is the Cyberpunk theme. Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) does such a good job on this. Each data pack comes with a sheet that helps add flavour to the overall theme of that data pack. I love these flavour sheets.

The one that comes with Old Hollywood does not disappoint. Done in the style of “tabloid” celebrity news coverage it sets the tone perfectly.

So let's look at the cards in Old Hollywood for my beloved Runners.


First up the runner faction that is me, Anarch. Anarch gets two new cards in this data pack, a theme we will see for all the runner factions except the factionless cards.

I can see both of these cards finding a home in my Noise deck. Trope would be a useful card for getting cards from my heap (discard pile for none players) back into the stack (deck). Ideally the card would need to be drawn early so that the power counters can build up.
Spoilers would be useful on the mill side of things, in helping speed that up. But once again needs to be out early to be of any real use.
Now onto Criminal, like Anarch they get two new cards. Both thematically fitting really well with the criminal theme. I don't play Criminal so can't say if they would be good enough for making it into a criminal deck, but for me I can't see myself spending scarce influence points on them to use with Noise.
The last runner faction and once again one I've not played so I'm giving the same get out clause as I did with Criminal. I will have to do some research because although thematic I'm a bit confused about how useful these two cards are. What use is a zero value agenda? Or why would you not want to score an agenda straight away? Are these cards a way of protecting agendas from the corps?
The final runner card is factionless and is a resource. It's an interesting card, take a tag prevent all meat damage. Is this meant to replace Plascrete Carapace when we hit the first card rotation?

Now let's look at those evil corps…


First to get some Old Hollywood lovin is HB.

Next up is Jinteki and I love the classic line references as the card titles. I can see It's A Trap! getting a bit of play in decks. Don't think I'd like to face a deck with this and Snare! in it. Mind you I think Offer might prove popular too for a cheap score of an agenda point.

We then come to NBN the corp faction I have decided to go with. I like the look of the new corp identity. It appeals to me limiting a runner to only being able to steal a single agenda per turn. That's a good card to help protect the central servers.

I like the two new agendas, they are bitter sweet when stolen. You lose the agenda, but get something back in return.

The other cards I like to. Casting call fits in nicely with the “tag you are it” deck I'm trying to build. Which is basically all about tagging the runner and screwing with them.

The final corp faction is Weyland. Two good cards I think for Weyland, particularly like Back Channels.

Then wrapping up we have a single none faction agenda. Don't know if I'd ever use this agenda. But I love it. The Wizard of Oz reference I think is what makes it for me.

I really enjoy this data pack, the theme is amazing, especially for a TV/film buff/fan like me. Oh wait that is probably why I also like NBN. But there are definitely some cards I want to work into decks.


Another off the wish list

I tell you this that Facebook group for selling and trading games is like crack.

Sometimes there are some good deals on there that are fair to both the seller and the buyer. Sometimes the seller is completely unrealistic in their expectations in the asking price. They actually think that a used game (even if it is only played once) should get them a price that is only a quid or two less than getting the game new!

So what has this got to do with me? Well I've managed to find one of those fair deals on there today that has landed me a copy of the Game of Thrones boardgame (hence the logo at the start of the post).

It won't be here until next week, then I have the problem of getting it to the table.

The game needs a minimum of three to play, and those three people need to have a large spare chunk of free time. It's my understanding that the game takes a bit of time to play like two to three hours.

So any one in the Wisbech area that would like to play the game with me drop me a line in the comments below.

The wave two expansions for Imperial Assault have started to hit the stores yesterday. I was hoping my order would have made it to me today. But after contacting the store, it appears that it was like a teaser batch that the stores have been sent. With the main shipment hitting next week!

So if I'm lucky I think I will have the expansions middle of next week. Exactly when I'm away for a friends wedding. But they will be (touch wood) in time for my next visit to see Nath over the bank holiday weekend.


Sleeve that survivor

The theme of Android:Netrunner is incredibly awesome, the game is amazing, and boy oh boy is the art on the cards out of this world.

Now to sleeve all of the cards in Netrunner would be a tad on the expensive side. Especially if I was to use the official sleeves. A pack of sleeves is usually made up of fifty sleeves and costs between a fiver and eight quid. With a card count that must easily be over two thousand by now if you have everything, you can quickly do the maths, and have a minor heart attack from the shock.

There is a cheaper solution. Just sleeve the cards that make up your current decks for corporate and runner. For my Noise deck I have been using the beautiful looking Snare sleeves from FFG (below right).

Doesn't the art work for Snare look amazing? I love the whole venus flytrap look of it. It captures the theme of the card perfectly. This card is the Android:Netrunner version of a venus flytrap, it sits there waiting for the runner to “fly” into its cunning trap looking for those oh oh so sweet agendas. But just as the runner realises something is wrong it snaps shut.

However this morning I had two more packs of official FFG sleeves arrive. The amazing looking pop up (above middle) and the equally amazing looking Posted Bounty.
What really impresses me is that there are some really abstract ideas within the game, and some how the artists manage to capture that theme/idea in such a beautiful way. Pop up window and Snare manage to do this so so well.
The pop up window sleeves I'll be using with my NBN corp deck that I am building. If I build a third deck I'll use the Posted Bounty for that.
The exciting thing is I think from what I have seen of Ashes Rise of the Pheonix Born that the art in that game may surpass the art of Netrunner!!!!

The dudes a survivor

Finally the Gary character for Zombicide also arrived today.

As you can see the Gary Zombicide character bares a remarkable resemblance to a certain Jeff Lebowski character played by Jeff Bridges from the cult/hip/classic (think that covers all the bases) movie The Big Lebowski.

I got this character for one friend (the same one I did the hipster minifig for) only to play with. He's a big fan of the movie (although I debate that because he hasn't seen the porn parody version) and when we next play Zombicide (we are long over due for a game or two) I'm sure this will be the only character he will want to play with.

I have to say that I think they have captured the character really really well in the sculpt.

Now I just need to track down the Ross survivor which is the John Goodman character from the movie.


Just add a friend

Today this little deckbuilding game arrived. The collapsing pyramid mechanic sounded intriguing, especially when I know that the two player Seven Wonders: Duals game will also use a pyramid (although not collapsing). So I wanted to be able compare both and see which mechanic I preferred, maybe they are both awesome! There is also an expansion coming out for this game later this year too! And we all know what a sucker I am for getting expansions for my games.

Here is the contents of the box artistically arranged for you to see.

So now I just need to add a friend or two and get this to the table from the pile of shame it has just joined. Mind you it is in really great company on that pile. I have to admit it, but my pile of shame is awesome!

Ashes Rise of the Pheonix Born

I've got fed up waiting for this beautiful looking game to hit the UK (not even mentioned on Amazon yet!) So I've caved and ordered the game from the Plaid Hat Games website.

I like the fact Plaid Hat give me the option on postage, a choice between UPS (costing more than the game) or standard at a much more reasonable and affordable fifteen dollars.

So I'm now crossing my fingers that because of my thriftiness (cheapness) that the game will arrive before the bank holiday weekend. What's so important about that weekend? I'm back down visiting Nath that weekend.

In the meantime I have an NBN corp deck to work on. I'm going to call it “Tag you are it” (I thought yesterday's post title would be a great name for a NBN deck built around tagging and screwing around with the runner).


Tag You Are It

Today saw me head on over to darkest deepest Peterborough to play some Netrunner with Jamie at an undisclosed location. The location had to remain secret we didn't want the dirty corps crashing in and ruining our runs!


We played two games of Netrunner. The first time was my Noise deck (changed that morning) taking on Jamie's Jenteki deck. Jamie was playing the Jenteki corp id that requires me to do a run on a central server before I can do a run on a remote server. I had a good start, had installed a Hades Shard on turn one on archives, milled a couple of cards, done a run and next turn or maybe it was the first I scored a three point agenda.
My milling was working, I pulled the trigger on the Hades Shard and scored nothing. Jamie was scoring agendas at will. I wasn't doing any runs, so not really applying any pressure on Jamie's servers. I needed my Parasite or Crypsis but was not drawing either. Too late I remember the ability of the Djinn I had installed that allowed me to search the stack for viruses! Bugger that may have cost me the game, or been a contributing factor. Needless to say it was a comfortable win for Jamie.
The next game I played a core set NBN deck against Jamie's Kate deck. I'm still trying to find the corp faction that is me, so until I find that corp, I'm playing the core set decks.
Jamie got an early victory of a couple of agendas that were sitting in my HQ, while I was waiting to get the funds together to protect and advance the one I had in a remote server.
After that I was able to start tagging Jamie, setting a couple of ambushes that Jamie fell into, and start scoring agendas in my scoring remote. I started scoring agendas and eventually got the win.
I really enjoyed playing NBN. I like the theme of NBN, they are the media corp. I can pretend to be bigger then Murdock! So I think I've found my corp. plus in the next big box expansion NBN will be getting some card love too.

Thunderstone Advance: Numenera

Next up was a new game to me, and one that Jamie had only played solo, the deckbuilding game Thunderstone Advance: Numenera.

There was a few times when Jamie seemed to be walking away with the win because he was managing to kill more monsters than me, especially as I was struggling to get enough attack together to take out the monsters. Often falling short by one or two points, and having to settle with making a purchase in the village. After two and a half hours I was narrowly defeated (four points in it).

For me the game lacked immediacy. In the Legendary system (Marvel and Encounters) there is a constant pressure as the villains move through the city and you have to stop them escaping, otherwise something bad happens, plus you have the master strikes and scheme twists, that add to the pressure. Which is a shame because Jamie said this is present in the solo variant of the game, using a similar mechanic as Legendary.

Plus you can only do one thing each turn attack or buy a card, which slows the game down.

Overall I wasn't bowled over with Thunderstone, very meh I think.

Welcome to the Dungeon

Time for a micro game so Jamie introduced me to the bluffing game Welcome to the Dungeon. As Jamie suspected this game isn't really suited for two players and that it is better (I would imagine) with more players. I won the game we played, but would like to play this with the larger number of players (I think max is four) before making a final decision on this game. If I was only going to be able to play this as a two player game I'd avoid this, there are better two player micro experiences out there.

Coin Age

Our final game was another micro game, this time Coin Age. Now I won both games we played. It's a very simple game, a very quick and light experience.

I liked the game, I'd certainly play it again, but I don't think it will make my collection.

So another great day of gaming. I found my corp scum faction! Tried some new games.


Father and Son Sunday

Sunday and young men in the early twenties are not known for their ability to get up early. Which meant I had to make my own coffee. Really the dogs don’t make me a coffee in the morning and neither does my son. At least the dogs have a legitimate excuse (too short).

Above: Playing the beginning skirmish teams from the Skirmish manual, Nath was the Imperials while I played the Rebels. The map we used is the Imperial Labour Camp with the Prison Break scenario from the Chewbacca Allies expansion pack.

Once we had had breakfast, Nath had a seriously long shower, and put the washing up away, it was finally time to get Imperial Assault to the table.

However after setting up, and taking a couple of turns game play had to be suspended so that Nath could watch Crystal Palace take on Arsenal on Sky Sports. To my great shame and poor parenting Nath is an Arsenal supporter. So while Nath was in football heaven watching his team I was having to suffer (I’m a Liverpool supporter). The things we do as parents for our children.

Sadly this meant that we would not get to finish our game. After the match it was time for Nath to get ready for work, and myself ready to head back to the fens. So although the game got to the table, it doesn’t count. But we have got so much closer to playing it. Next time.

This is the part of my visits I hate the most and find the hardest. I hate saying good bye to Nath. He’s my everything, I just wished we lived closer to each other. I know we speak several times a week. But that’s not the same as actually seeing each other.

It’s been a great two days with Nath, and much more time with him than expected with him not having to work Saturday. Luckily I’m planning my next visit for two weeks time.


Father and Son Saturday

After suffering the car park that is the M25, forty minutes to do three junctions, I managed to get to the M40 turn off and cut across to Naths avoiding the rest of the worlds largest carpark, and the congestion on the M3 also. Arriving a good hour and a half later than planned. Once we had eaten lunch of pizza washed down with coke it was on to some games.

The only game Nath wanted to know if I had bought was Star Realms. I told you he likes the game. And it warms my heart that he does, and that we are able to share playing it together.

Below our game of Star Realms in full flow. In this game I introduced Nath to the Gambit cards.

Nath finished me off with a really good combo score of 33 damage, easily wiping out my remaining 19 authority.

So after suffering a defeat at the hands of Nath, it was time to try Cthulhu Realms.

Nath didn't enjoy Cthulhu Realms. I think it was because it was learning the symbols and having to decode them etc. The game did seem to drag and not flow like a Star Realms game. However I put that down to this being our first game and learning the symbols on the cards and decoding them, and also trying to work out what good cards were.

Castle Panic was fun, we both enjoyed it. For a good three quarters of the game it was like “Oh this is easy”. We were controlling the monsters, keeping them down to one or two. Then it all went to pot. We drew a Troll Lord or something that required drawing another three tiles, one of those three was draw five more tiles, Nathan was rolling fours, fives and sixes. All these new monsters were accumulating on one side of the board. Before we knew it our castle was over run, and we were holding on to survival by a thread. We were praying for a miracle to help us out. Sadly none appeared. The inevitable happened the monsters destroyed our castle and we were defeated.

It was amazing how the game went from coasting to being under such intense pressure in a single turn. That was fun.

Even though we lost, Nath was happy because he had a higher monster head count than me.

Tomorrow it's more Star Realms I think and an attempt to get Star Wars Imperial Assault to the table!


Preparing for tomorrow

Once more I compile my list of games to take with me to potentially play with Nath over the weekend. As I write this I have no idea what shifts Nath will be working this weekend. Which means our time together could be very limited or more than expected!

Top of the list will be Star Realms. Nath really enjoyed the game last time, and has been playing the app since (although he hasn't bought it yet, so we haven't played online against each other). It will be interesting to see how Nath has grown as a player since learning the game. I will introduce him to the Gambits expansion this weekend I think.

Cthulhu Realms will also be making the cut this time. Well the reason it didn't last time was it wasn't out! I'm pretty sure Nath will like this considering he is a Star Realms fan now. Or will the theme and design of the cards put him off the game?

AGES will be making the trip along with Arctic Scavengers to complete the deckbuilder based games. Nath enjoys deckbuilding games. He really enjoyed Marvel Legendary and as we also know Star Realms. So it makes sense to take these to try with him as well. Which reminds me I must take Legendary Encounters Alien along sometime. But that's the problem, I've bought so many great games to play with Nath that we haven't even got to the table yet.

Once more I will attempt to play Imperial Assault with Nath. It is so embarrassing. We will get to play it. I'm determined to get this to the table with Nath if it's the last thing I do. Nath will so enjoy the skirmish mode of this great game. Last time I took it I was hoping that the new expansions would have arrived in time. Now about a month later they still haven't hit the stores yet (although very very imminent apparently). So no Boba Fett or the droids R2-D2 and C3PO. Naturally we will be playing with the new rule change for skirmish games.

And finally I'll take Hive with me. I'd like to see what Nath makes of an abstract game like this if we get a chance to play it.

EPIC Is Getting Closer

This morning White Wizard (those of Star Realms fame) sent out an email with the backerkit link so that those who backed Epic on kickstarter could confirm their details, and also confirm the addons that they had pledged for.

Amongst the addons was a very very pleasant surprise (which I think many Star Realms fans will be taking up) of the next Star Realms expansions Star Realms Colony Wars (a stand alone expansion or can be combined with original version) and the Cosmic Gambit expansion for pre-order. Both will ship seperately to the Epic card game (I have four copies of this coming plus a playmat – and I am seriously debating about ordering a second playmat).

With this email and confirming our details we are getting closer to the game shipping, and I believe (hope) White Wizard are still on target for the game to ship in September.

Is Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing Dying?

The other day I got the regular promotional email listing new arrivals and offers from Boardgameguru. As I skimmed through the email the following caught my eye.

Dungeons and Dragons Attack wing has tanked – there are a few remnants left which we have

It got me thinking is this version of Attack Wing in decline? The use of the word tanked above would hint for this retailer the game has not proven to be very popular. Is this being experienced by other retailers? I certainly don't see many OP events being promoted for it.

I have to admit out of the two Attack Wing licences the Dungeons and Dragons one was the most attractive to me. However being firmly in the X-Wing camp I wasn't looking for another game like it. X-Wing is expensive enough as it is. Adding Dungeons and Dragons would just totally have broken my bank account. If memory serves me correctly I think it was released with seven expansions from day one!

What do you think? Did Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing reach its peak and is now in decline? Are other shops seeing this? Is what Boardgameguru are seeing an anomaly?




Above is the promo for the game Harbour that came with Cthulhu Realms.

Now I know for some this is an upsetting and despicable thing for Tiny Minstrel Games to do. But they are not alone in doing this. For example in the Halloween expansion for King of Tokyo there is a promo card for the King of New York game.

So why do some people see this as a heinous crime?

Suppose I'm a big fan of Harbour (well I do own the game and enjoy playing it so half way there). I backed it on Kickstarter (I didn't but just imagine I did), got all the exclusives from that for showing my early loyalty and faith in the game. I live and breath the game, bore my friends rigid evangelising how great this micro game is.

Then I find out that there is a new character card for the game. I'm wetting my pants in excitement at the news. I then find out after I've changed the new character is Cthulhu, I've got to go change again. How do I get this new character? Is it being given away at conventions, or as prize support? No. Wait! What? I have to buy a game that I don't want just to get this character card?! WTF?

Ok the above hams it up a bit. But basically the fan of the game the promo is for feel ripped off and that they are being forced to buy a game they don't want to get the promo. Which is a valid point. I'm lucky I have the other game already, so it's a nice little bonus for me. But in my copy of Harbour is a promo for a game I do not have (can't remember it's name). Does it tempt me to buy the game the promo is for? No. Although I'm sure the publisher would like it if it did.

I think it would be nice of the publisher to make the promo available separately at some point.

I should mention I am a fan of promos. For me they add a little bit of variety, a way to personalise a game. They aren't necessary for a game (or they better not be because that would be a really crappy thing for a publisher to do), but they add a little bit of fun. For instance like having the Stan Lee bystander card in Marvel Legendary. When it pops up you can imagine it's his guest appearance in the Marvel film you are recreating in your Legendary game. A pleasant surprise for the other players (if they don't know you have the card).

No where I fallout with some of the publishers is the availability of the promos. The majority are given out at conventions or as exclusives for backing on kickstarter.

If you missed the kickstarter or unable to get to the convention then you have missed out and unable to get the promo. Unless you are prepared to pay the very often super inflated prices when they surface on eBay.

Now I like Plaidhat Games because they make their promos available on their website for a reasonable price. Not straight away, but not long after.

It's this exclusivity that I don't like. I can't see why the publisher can't make any promo for kickstarter or convention available to a wider audience. With kickstarter a timed exclusivity I could live with. For example making the promo(s) available to buy six or eight months after the game has hit the stores. The convention promos there is no excuse, they should be readily available to buy.

I'm also very tempted to say that any promos given out for those attending organised play events should also be made available after a set period. Not every store runs all the events for every game, or there may not be a store local to go to at all.

So I'm not saying don't have promos, I'm just saying stop being elitist or exclusive with them, and stop punishing the majority of gamers for not being able to make an event/convention/kickstarter.