Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Review of Dead of Winter

"It's so cold..."  "Shut up, they'll hear you."  Rod is kind of a jerk.  He joined our small band a few  weeks ago.  Gabriel was searching for supplies in the gas station when he found a barricaded cellar.  Rod was curled up inside, near dead from the cold.  We brought him back, warmed him up, made him a part of the group.  Except he treats us like he's doing us a favor by sticking around.  Sheriff Smith says not to worry about it.  That Rod will "come to appreciate his new family".  I'm not so sure.  Nevertheless, here I am, knee deep in snow, with more pouring out of the sky, walking with Rod to gather some of his stuff from the gas station.  He claims to have some food stored up as well as a couple weapons but supposedly he was all out of fuel.  I find that hard to believe given his hiding location.  We're moving as quietly as possible so "the others" don't hear us.  I haven't seen one of "them" in a few days but their tracks are always there after the snow stops.  

We make our way into the gas station and Rod closes the doors behind us so we can search in relative safety.  He heads down to the basement and I follow him.  It's musty and dark.  I can't see Rod but I can hear him bustling around.  He seems to know this basement even without any light.  "Is there  a light we can switch on?  So I can help...?"  Rod grunts then mumbles to himself.  A flashlight flicks on to my left and I see him continue digging through some shelves.  The light brightens the basement near him I notice it's a very well supplied storeroom.  He's got boxes with labels identifying them as being from the grocery store on the other side of town.  He's got a lot of them.  On the floor, between the shelves I can red jugs with yellow necks.  It takes me a moment to place them, but I realize they are plastic gas jugs.  I remember seeing my Daddy fill up the lawn mower with one.  I wonder why he has so many, and tucked away near the food.  I hear him give a grunt that I've come to understand means he's happy about something.  Well, as happy as Rod can get.  Then the flashlight clicks off.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Review of BattleCon: Devastation of Indines

I remember the first video game I ever bought with my own money. It was 1994 and I had saved my allowance for weeks. I could not wait to go to the local Target (this is pre-Super Target, mind you) and pick up... KILLER INSTINCT! It was glorious. My Super Nintendo never got as much use as it did playing Killer Instinct. I memorized all the moves and combos. It was insane. The game itself wasn't very good, but I thought it was amazing.

To this day, I'm not very good at the classic 2D fighting game, but darn it if I don't love mashing buttons. Lately, though, I've found a replacement. A brilliant replacement that scratches that boardgamer itch and doesn't require any button mashing. What could I ever be talking about?  Why - BattleCON: Devastation of Indines, of course!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review -- Acquire

Acquire is a classic board game that first hit the scene in 1962. It's fast paced and easy to learn but still has its share of twists!  In the original game you're an investor in hotel chains. Newer releases shift to tech start-ups instead but the game play is still the same.  So get ready to build your portfolio and head for the stock market!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Coup, by Rikki Tahta

There's a theory about board games that says you should only own those games are the best of their genre, type, or purpose. For instance, if you're a fan of worker placement games, you may have Puerto Rico, Lords of Waterdeep, Leonardo Di Vinci, and Agricola in your library. Jones Theory states that you should pick your favorite and divest yourself of the others to keep your board game library small and ensure you play only the best games.

Coup fits perfectly in my collection as a short game for a maximum of 6 players that's incredibly fun (the most important thing!). It's also among the best hidden-role games that exist, regardless of length. As Coup is also among the very best "light" games I've ever played, I theorize that it will be in my library for years to come.

Tabletop Gift List

The holidays are coming, and that means frantic shopping for gifts for all your gamer friends. I created this form to help us all figure out what's hot and what fits various niches in games. Fill out and submit the form, then click to see other responses!

I, for one, can't wait to pick up Sheriff of Nottingham from my Friendly Local Game Store!

Please share with others so we can get more ideas! If you want to review responses first, you can do that here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Duels For the Iron Staff, by DeQuan Watson and Galen Ihlenfeldt

Duels For the Iron Staff is a 2-4 player card game that pits wizards against each other in a magic-fueled fight. Each player uses spells, actions, and magical components to do damage to opponents, heal themselves, and gain every inch of advantage possible. If you're a fan of light strategic play and light screw-your-neighbor elements, then I've got a hunch Iron Staff will fit in your collection.

Full disclosure: I wasn't compensated for this review, nor have I received a copy of Iron Staff. That said, DeQuan and Galen are dear friends of mine, and I've done my best not to let that influence my opinion of this game.

For a more detailed consideration, read on!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ten Games

Surprisingly not included. 
Nerd Nighter Nate Owens posted an interesting question on his blog this morning: "Could I reduce my collection to just 10 games?" I think it's a fascinating exercise, and it's tangentially related to Jones Theory, which states that we should keep only the best game in each genre/style in our library, so as to play only the best games.

I'm occasionally asked what my favorite games are, and the answer is quick for me: "Betrayal at House on the Hill and Battlestar Galactica". These are numbers 1A and 1B, but I don't play them often because they require a specific type of play group (great friends!) and a specific atmosphere (relatively quiet, a place where folks can pay attention for 2-3 hours). When I started to answer the "ten games" question, I assumed I'd list both of these, but I surprised myself by omitting one.

The "rules" are that each game can have as many expansions as necessary included, and they all count as one item on the list. For my sanity, I'm not including my Magic: The Gathering cube as a game, as it occupies a different place in my gaming life and frankly, I'm writing the article so I get to cheat a little bit.

Without further adieu, my list of ten games that I'd keep in my library: