Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Leggo My Lego Part Deux!

Max and I played Hogwarts 4 times over the holiday. By the second game, the little game designer-in-training was proposing house rules. He wanted to be able to steal the homework items--whose acquisition is  object of the game from--opposing players and wanted to incorporate the other mini mini figs that come with the game but whose use is not mentioned anywhere in the rules.

After some discussion, we ironed out a few house rules we could both live with. The rules incorporated the dueling rules already posted in the optional rules section of the game. The Maurader's Map tile could be used to return to any Common Room for theft or a quick win. The dark red tile used to summon Dumbledore was used instead to summon Guardian Wizards to our Common Rooms to help protect our items from interlopers. That made the game better. I must say, though, the shifting board game mechanics are pretty fun. I enjoy this Lego game the most of them all.

Max opted to buy Pirate Code with some of his Christmas money (I think he is a collector...uh oh). We played it. I don't really care for it. It is kind of like a watered down Mastermind, if you know that game. I will try to steer him away from this game if I am playing. Maybe his mom will play it with him.

We have yet to play Ramses Pyramid. But when we do, you will hear it here first!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Leggo My...er...Lego!

My oldest son received 3--count 'em--3 Lego games for Christmas. We already had Lava Dragon, Magicus, and Robo Rally.

The 3 Lego games he received were Hogwarts, Ramses Pyramid, and Minotaurus. He chose which game, and we set up and played Minotaurus. I must say, I liked it better than the games we have now; though still a bit simple and simplistic, there is comparatively more to it. We haven't played the other 2 new games yet, but I think I am going to like them as well.

The cool thing about Minotaurus is that I was thinking of various modifications I could make to the game to give it a bit more pizazz. I thought about a card deck that would yield various effects. Each player would draw 3 cards at the beginning of the game and 1 card per turn. Each player could play 1 card per turn in an Event phase before movement. I also think there should be some cards that play on the opposing players' turns to counter cards being played by the acting player.

I also devised a combat system. As the game stands, the Minotaur moves faster than the players' 3 mini figs. When the Minotaur runs into a mini fig, the Minotaur and the mini fig are both returned to their starting positions. There is also no such rule for opposing mini figs. I thought it would be cool if the minis battled instead of simply unsummoning themselves. When two pieces become adjacent the minis battle: The Minotaur hits on a 3-6, while a mini  fig slay the Minotaur or an opposing, adjacent piece on a 5-6.

The cards I devised would buff mini figs or the Minotaur in combat. The other cards would modify movement of both mini figs and Minotaur. Other cards could allow an additional turn, crush walls, teleport min figs or Minotaur. The options are limitless.

As I was playing and devising all of those cool variations, I realized I was having fun with the game without the modifications, but of course, playing a game with my son was probably the thing I was enjoying the most.

I Think Santa Just Might Be a Gamer...

Santa brought me the following games for Christmas! Can't wait to hit the gaming table!

I plan on using the Arkham Horror Dice when I play the Fallen Kingdom expansion for  Summoner Wars.

Good times!

Merry Christmas again, everyone!

Have a good gaming year! I know I will. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everyone...

Just wishing all my readers the very best in this holiday season.

May you have peace, happiness, and love in your life.

And may you play many, many games during your holiday break (however long that is).

Tomorrow, I will post any new games received as gifts.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holy Crap! I Played Summoner Wars, and Now I Can't Get Enough! (or How I Learned To Love Da Bomb!)

Finally received my two Summoner Wars starter sets in the mail today, just in time for a game night with my buddy, SurfMonkey.

First we sat down to play Ascension . I had heard good things and meh things. I am leaning more toward the good things. I can say this: I enjoyed it more than Dominion. I feel there is more going on in Ascension, which  makes for a more satisfying game experience. I like the slaying of monsters for beaucoup Honor, and the Constructs staying out and affecting your turn. Those are the highlights for me when it comes to comparisons to Dominion.

SurfMonkey won the first game by a score of 53-48.

I won the second 66-61 mostly thanks to a last-minute buy of a Mechana card that gave me 6 Honor.

Then we cracked open (literally, the decks were still in shrink wrap)  Summoner Wars, and just like that, I have a new favorite game! Recently, I have been absorbing everything I could about the game and watching every video I could find on it. It just sounded like the kind of game I could get excited about. Then, Tom Vasel's raving about it put me over the edge, and I have now ordered everything available for this game. I received the Premium board a week or so ago, and the starters came today as I mentioned. Factions packs are on their way, and I have a pre-order in for the Reinforcement decks. Can't wait for those!

Enough background, onto the good stuff...

SurfMonkey opted for the Phoenix Elves for our first game, so keeping in line with the factions bundled in the boxes, I went with the Tundra Orcs.

As the first game progressed, we were both getting used to what the cards do.  (That was the only impediment to the game as the rules are easy to pick up and clearly presented.) Regardless, the game ran smoothly. My orcs, aided by my Freeze Events were able to move in on his Summoner and finish him. 
For the second game, we decided to try the two factions against each other again to get a better feel for how the Factions played. This game started out with my orcs being more aggressive than they had been in the first game. 

However, having moved my Summoner into battle to hopefully bring about SurfMonkey's demise all that much sooner, I failed to remember his Summoner's Fire Burst ability. That coupled with an adjacent Guardian's Precise Special Ability, ended my Summoner's reign of terror. I was defeated, just like that. We both were stunned by the surprise ending. A game that can lead to 'aha' moments like the ending of this game elevates this game a notch above most. 

Thirsting for more, and not wanting the Guild Dwarves or the Cave Goblins to be left out, we cracked open those packs; SurfMonkey taking on the mantle of the Dwarves, while I wrangled the filthy Goblins. 

A horrible draw throughout the game hindered my Goblin's advances with too many Event cards and not enough troops hitting the battlefield. I managed to stay in it, though, even forcing SurfMonkey to utter at one point, "I think, if it stays as it is, you've pretty much got me." 

Oh, how wrong he was. This game is constantly changing, keeping you on your toes.  He underestimated the tenacity of Dwarves. In the end, my walls were chipped and cracked, and my Goblins were paste on the battlefield. I was a bit reckless with my Summoner, but I felt with the lack of firepower on the board, I needed to get my best piece into place where he could do some damage. The Dwarf defense proved to be too much. Magic Drain--the Dwarves' best friend--well-played by SurfMonkey, kept me hobbled. With no support coming, poor Sneeks bit the dust. 

Of course, we had to play a second game with these Factions, and so, we did. I had a much better draw and used the swarming tactics of the Goblins to good advantage. I even managed to summon a Champion this game: The Eater. Hilarious card, but nasty. 

I was feeling pretty confident as my swarm made its way toward his Summoner, Sneeks dodging and weaving across the battlefield.

Ultimately, though, it was the Dwarves who came out on top again. I just became too overconfident with my Summoner as I infiltrated his defenses. And Magic Drain again, gave the Dwarves the advantage by allowing more Champions to hit the board. 

In the end, the weapons of the Dwarves proved to be too much for the poor Goblins. 

Sneeks met his demise on a 3-hit roll from Baldar. To be fair, one of my Fighters had a crack at ending the game the turn before against his wounded Summoner, but the Gob missed. The day could have been mine. 

SurfMonkey, having to work in the morning, reluctantly had to bow out. He did say, though, he really wanted to play "just one more," but his common sense got the better of him. Overall, the four games of Summoner Wars took a little under two and a half hours to play with beverage and bathroom breaks included. A great night playing a great game. 

Summoner Wars ended up being everything I expected. It has everything I love in a game: dice, cards, tactics, strategy, and a fantasy theme. The game is high energy, constantly changing and flowing, with a good amount of decisions to make each turn, and the rules never get in the way. 

I really can't get enough of this truly great game. It is an instant classic in this humble gamer's opinion. Man! I want to play again right now. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Twice More Space Marines Enter the Space Hulk to Purge the Xenos Threat...

After 2 quick games of Magic the Gathering with Iczer, Zoltar, Iczer and I settled in for a lengthy game of Fluxx.

Fluxx was an interesting game that really gave my mind a work out. I look forward to playing Zombie Fluxx.

After Fluxx, Iczer, Zoltar, Bee, and I played 2 games of Space Hulk: Death Angel Card Game.

The first game, they were trying to figure out how the game worked. That fact, and ridiculously bad luck, made for a lethal game. The Space Marines only made it to the first Travel location and were promptly slaughtered.

The second game, however, was much better. They all had the feel for the game, and we had some really good luck with Event cards and die rolls. Heck, Brother Zael didn't roll below a 4 with his flamethrower: I love the smell of burnt genestealers in the darkness!

The Space Marines made it to the Launch Control Room, held off the xenos long enough to activate the Control Panel. Brother Zael had the honor of sending the monsters to their doom. 

Heck, the second game we only lost one Space Marine but later rescued him from the xenos' clutches thanks to a fortuitous Event card. 

The multi player experience was one of extremes this night. I look forward to seeing if we can do it again the next time...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yet More Space Marines Feared Lost...

I played my first official solo game of Space Hulk: Death Angel Card Game. Here was the set up at the beginning of the game:

The Marines, looking like they might pull it off, met with some unexpected difficulties, ending the game on a fearsome Psychic Assault that took down poor Brother Valencio right before he was about to activate the Launch Control Room. 

I had a lot of fun despite the fact I led the poor Space Marines to their demise, but hey, that's what they are trained for, right? Nothing like a crawl through an abandoned space ship crawling with nightmarish xenos to get the blood pumping...

I will give it another try soon (maybe tomorrow night after wrapping Christmas gifts). Wish me luck.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Space Marines Slaughtered

I finished my "learn-how-to-play" game of Space Hulk: Death Angel Card Game. My poor Space Marines are Genestealer food.

Hopefully, the next group will meet with better success.

After finally navigating through the convoluted rulebook, I have the hang of the game. It is definitely fun. I think I will start another game tonight after everyone goes to bed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It is the Gaming Time of Year...

I am currently playing Space Hulk: Death Angel Card Game. The game really is good for solo play which is a plus for me.
I haven't played the multi-player co-op game but look forward to it.

I am also eagerly awaiting the two Summoner Wars starter sets I ordered. I received the premium board today in the mail. I am waiting to open that until the game gets here.