Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Game Night Blog Carnival: 7 Wonders

7 Wonders is a board / card game that has a unique twist. The gameplay is very simple but there are a ton of strategies. I've played this one with a number of others from hardcore gamers to casual players and we are still exploring all the different strategies. This does not stop us from having fun at all with 7 Wonders. It is a game from Repos Production and is good for 3-7 players and takes only about half an hour to finish a game.

The game starts off with everyone getting a Wonder that they can built if they wish, but it produces a resource right away. Each player starts with 7 cards in hand that is distributed from a common deck. Each player picks a card they wish to build and keep it face down. At the same time, each player builds that card, paying other players if they need resources from them. The 6 remaining cards are passed to the player next to you and you pick one of those you wish to build. This happens in 3 rounds (or Ages), switching directions every round, and points are totaled at the end of the game.

I got to play it at Gencon and fell in love completely. My friends felt the same way as they played more games into the night and eventually getting in around 2 a.m. Back in Illinois, 7 Wonders was introduced to a few of my more casual friends and it got the same response. Since then, we have found it online and continue to play through this online client.

There is not much interaction with your opponents. Military victories and defeats are counted at the end of each round, but it won't hurt you until the end of the game where points are counted up. There are many different paths to pursue (commerce, technology, etc) but each one can give you points at the end. The pieces in this game are all for scorekeeping and exchanging money for materials so no need to remember where they were if you bump the table.

I highly recommend this game, and it contends with Dominion for my top spot. With a few more plays it might even overtake it. This is game is great for everyone that it is recommended for (ages 10 and up, although younger is possible too). A quick search online can find the client, but playing it in person is just too much fun.

Don't forget to click the links below and check out the rest of the games being featured by my fellow bloggers. Happy gaming.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Game Review: Arena of Heroes

My last post about Kickstarter was a nice transition into this board game review. Arena of Heroes is currently up, but I was lucky enough to snag a review copy of the game, just for you guys. I feel big time now. To check out the Kickstarter page, click here.

I wanted to give this one a fair chance by playing with gamers and non-gamers. So the box was opened, cards were shuffled and each group got to experience the game. Every turn you replenish your hand to 5 cards from a common deck. The cards allow you to move, attack, defend and equip items. Each player starts with 10 life and each successful hit takes off a point of damage unless in the center square, which is 2 damage. For the most part, you need to be adjacent to an enemy to deal attack. The rules are quite simple and the pdf version is available here.

Playing with my each group, the first few turns of the first game took a little while to grasp the concepts. In the middle of both first games, we had it down and knew what to do. There was a big difference though following that.

The gamer group is competitive, and so there would be turns where people were standing one space away for a few turns just recycling their hand or most of their hand for great draws. The non-gamers made use of what they had. I change my playstyle based on who I was playing with, and had a lot more fun with my non-gamer friends. We ended up playing more with that group as well because the games were shorter.

I had much more fun with my non-gaming friends because they are not as competitive. My gamer
friends didn't leave so much up to chance which took some fun out of it. I recommend this for the more casual gamers and non-gamer crowd. If you are competitive, it is also worth checking out. There is a short time left to fund it, so be sure to check it out soon.

Arena of Heroes Kickster Page (including an actual play video)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kickstarter Projects

I've been exploring Kickstarter recently and it's interesting. Kickstarter is a website that was established in 2009 that is used to help creative projects get off the ground. Users submit their ideas and they are accepted or rejected. Once accepted, you set up a goal of how much your project needs, set up incentives, and start getting your project out there. Other users then can donate to your cause and help you meet your goal. Money only exchanges hands if the project is successful.

They have a good number of categories including gaming, technology, books, film, and others. I just came across this site and a few of my Twitter friends have used this with their games and other projects. I recommend checking this out whether you have a great idea and need funding or just want to check out and back some great projects.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carnival Post: Cloud 9

Cloud 9 is a game I tried out at Gencon a few years ago and loved. I ended up buying it more for my family than friends. This is another card and board game hybrid, and very kid friendly.

The object of the game is to be the first to 50 points. Points are earned by staying in the balloon as it travels up and jumping out before in falls.When you decide to not risk it, just jump out and collect. Each level has a number of dice that need to be rolled. The die have colored and blank sides. Whatever colors are rolled must be matched by the pilot with the cards in their hand. If they can match it, the balloon soars. If they can't match the colors, the balloon falls to the lowest level.

This is a great game for family or if your group wants a relaxing game. I highly recommend this game. With Gencon right around the corner, Out of the Box might even have some deals for picking this up as well as other favorites such as Apples to Apples or new games like Pirate vs. Pirate.

Don't forget to click the links below and check out the rest of the games being featured by my fellow bloggers. Happy gaming.

<< List of blogs participating in the carnival     Next blog in the carnival: The ID DM >>

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blog Reconfiguration

I have ignored this blog long enough. The reason for it being that I had no idea what to write. I have decided it will be revived, but take on a new form. I am a gamer. Not just any gamer though. My interests lay in roleplaying games of the pen and paper sort, board games and card games. This with a mix of fantasy writing (both authoring and reading) will be the main focus of this blog. I will still visit my followers and comment back, but it won't be as regular as before.

I have no real plans for a schedule but plan on at least 3 times a week. Just wanted to let everyone know in case this is something you aren't interested in. You will be getting random posts still of dreams, thoughts, and some personal stuff. I hope you all stick around and can't wait to start again. No quote this time, sorry. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Resident Evil Deck Building Game

The Resident Evil Deck Building Game. This is right now my second favorite game (Dominion is a little better in my opinion). It is however the new thing so my group has been playing this more and more. Here is the requirements for the carnival real quick.

How many players it supports = 1-4
How long it takes to play = 30 - 60 minutes
Party or Strategy = Strategy

First off, if you don't enjoy complex games, this is not for you. It is a strategy game with a more mature theme. On top of that, it is for the more experienced game players. The rulebook doesn't help making it easy either. It introduces you to 3 different game modes, 4 in the case of the expansion. If you are a fan of the Resident Evil series, a fan of deck building games, or you experiment with different games, this game is worth taking a look at.

Onto the gameplay. The rules are simple and the cards are easy to understand. The part that this game gets complicated at is the mansion. Every turn you get 1 buy, 1 action, and 1 explore. Like all other deck building games, you buy cards to change the deck you are using. The goal is to collect the most decorations which you get by exploring and beating zombies. Zombies each come with health, damage, and decorations.

Defeating a zombie takes having enough damage to kill it, which is provided by weapons. Most weapons need ammo they need to be in your hand as well. This requires you to combo to win, at least with the number of plays we have had (10+). This does take away from the game a bit in my opinion. So this is a quick rundown and recommendation from me. The game offers different modes which does change the game and makes it more enjoyable then the basic story mode. For this reason, I do say it is a buy for more "hardcore" gamers.

Don't forget to click the links below and check out the rest of the games being featured by my fellow bloggers. Happy gaming.

<< List of blogs participating in the carnival     Next blog in the carnival: The ID DM >>

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Old stuff

Sorry I have been away for so long. With the wedding coming up and all, I just haven't had time. I give you a gift. This was published in my college's literary magazine way back when. Titled in there as Last Goodbye. It's a short read, hope you enjoy.

“I can’t believe this happened.”
            A boy stood in a world unchanged. Everything was the same, except his own little world. People went on with their daily lives and pressed on to make honest money. Those same people pushed forward with their plans. Plans of growing up, graduating, finding their purpose in life. He had found his purpose through accident, and used it for the benefit of those around him who didn’t know the danger they were in.
            “How could you let this happen to yourself?”
            His eyes were on the horizon as it displayed the last light of the day. The sun crept down under a hill in the far distance. The colors radiated off, giving its viewers a wonderful show of purple red and orange glows. This sunset was different from the others he had witnessed. This one filled him with a great sorrow. He spoke once again seeming more grown up then the mere teenager he was.
            “What were you thinking?
            “I don’t know….” A meek voice responded. A girl stood behind him, the same age as him. Her posture differed greatly from his. Both stood atop a low hill. The boy stood as defiant and proud as ever. His arms rested as his side with his fists clenched. His eyes focused out to the horizon. His short brown hair rustled gently in the wind.
            The girl’s posture was conservative. She stood with her arms close to her body, one arm reaching across to hold her other. She stood less sure footed, using her right foot to dig into the earth with no progress. She hung her head, not daring to look up.
            “I want to know why you did this.” The boy continued looking forward as he spoke.
            “You don’t understand how it is.” She responded softly.
            “I know better than you do. What I am doing isn’t glamorous and I didn’t take any shortcuts. Most of the world will never know my name. The name Drajan only affects a small fraction of all people. And you know how many of those few are glad to hear it? Maybe ten people, if even that number.”
            “I’m glad to hear….”
            “You won’t be anymore, now that you have given yourself to the darkness in the world.” He interrupted her, giving his words a sharpness she had never heard.
            “It’s not like that.”
            “Yes, it is Nara. When you accepted that dark power, you became my enemy.”
            Nara fell to her hands and knees crying. “You don’t understand. I love you. This was for you. I wanted to be strong for you. You tell me you wish it wasn’t your responsibility all the time. I wanted to help, to be there for you. It was all for you.” She continued crying, being the only noise in the area.
            “I do wish I wasn’t the only one sometimes.” His words made her sobs grow softer; she grew anxious to hear his response. “You have made it easier on me too. Without you, and the others, I would not be here today. You all have played an important part of keeping this world safe.” He turned to face her, looking into her eyes.
            “I love you for that as well. But I can’t let you go on as you are. The power you have now corrupts. It may not happen right away, but you will eventually turn against me. The purity you possessed is gone.”
            “It’s not gone!” She cried out defensively. “I still hold that magic. I’m still the same Nara, but with new power.”
            “It is too dangerous. You should have ignored the calling. I told you how I have ignored it many times. I even told you exactly the things it would tell you. It was lying to you as it has lied to everyone else.’
            He turned his vision back to the horizon. “I will let you go. I never want to see you again though. Promise that we will never meet again, under any circumstance.”
            “I can’t.” She lowered her head again, allowing the pain on her heart to take hold once again.
            “It is the only way you will live past this day.” His mind still focused on the moment, but he let his memories gather of the lands he traveled.
            “Please, don’t. I love you so much Drajan. And it’s not Nara talking, it’s Mary. The person who you met and saw was special. The person who would watch this sunset with you everyday, no matter where we were. The person who wants to do anything they can to help you.”
            “Don’t make this harder than it is. This was brought on by you. You could have helped me by roughing it out, the same way I have. I learned with determination to shape the magic I control. I was handed nothing. And you took the easy escape. It isn’t even an escape. It’s a trap. A trap you fell into that some dark entity will use to take control of you. I am giving you this last chance, please just leave.”
            She began to cry out louder, pleading for a solution she knew she would never get. Her power gave in and she collapsed to the ground, covering her eyes. She lay there on the hill, the only sound in the area her pleas. “Don’t…….I can’t……….without you.” Her words got through her weeping disconnected. Her head lifted up, vision blurred through tears. She wiped her eyes with her hand and looked up.
            He was gone, leaving her sobbing harder and pounding her fist on the ground in a mix of hate and desperation.