Friday, 11 November 2016

Extra Life 2016 wrap up


Extra Life 2016 happened this past weekend (November 5th and 6th). For this year Windsor gamers returned to Brimstone games for 24 hours of gaming. I thought I would take some time today to re-cap the event.

This year the awesome gamers of Windsor Ontario raised $2819 USD for The Children's Miracle Network of Hospitals. This money went to the Children's Health Foundation in London and Sick Kids in Toronto. This brings us to a grand total of over $11,000 USD raised for Extra Life by members of the Windsor Gaming Resource since we started participating four years ago. 

A large chunk of the money raised this year came from the live gaming and geekery auction which was held at 8pm on November 5th. The auction alone raised $1419 CAD and I would like to personally thank everyone who donated items to this auction. Also eight local gamers joined the online Windsor Gaming Resource team and the highest earner from this group was David Hutchinson who raised just over $500 USD. Congratulations on your first Extra Life silver metal David! The rest of the money was raised through the sale of baked goods and The Cheat Box.

The Cheat Box is something I encourage anyone hosting an Extra Life event to have. For a $1 donation to the Cheat Box, a game player can cheat in their current game once. Discard and draw an extra card. Re-roll a die. Ignore an event for one round. Etc. All players playing have to agree to this when it's done but remember it's all about having fun and helping kids.


A shout out to our awesome sponsors:


The biggest thanks goes to Brimstone games which hosted the event for the fourth year in a row. Special thanks for letting our auction winners use your debit machine :D 

This year I approached and was approached by a variety of local companies to be sponsors. This was fantastic to see The Cheese Bar, Robbie's Gourmet Sausage Co, Little Foot Foods, Rogues Gallery Comics, The Walkerville Tavern, Villains Beastro, The Coffee Exchange and Hidden Trail Escape Rooms as sponsors. All of these great Windsor small businesses stepped up and offered their support in the form of cash donations or gift cards which we used to reward participants who raised money for the event. 

We also had the support of some fantastic game companies who provided us with cash donations, games to play and games for our auction. Big thanks to CMON (Cool Mini or Not), Stronghold Games, AEG (Alerac Entertainment Group), Rio Grande Games and USAopoly

It's not too late to show your support!


If you couldn't attend the event or didn't hear about it in time, it's not too late to show your support through an online donation. Donations for this year's event are open until December 31st 2016. To donate click here and choose one of our team members to donate to:

Next year I hope to see even more local support, even more gamers out gaming for this great cause and even more money raised, For The Kids!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Extra Life 2016 - gaming for a great cause on November 5th and 6th


November 5th and 6th 2016 members of the Windsor Gaming Resource will be gathering at Brimstone Games to play games for 24 hours in support of Extra Life. 

This is our fourth year in a row supporting Extra Life as a group (some individual members have been doing it longer). Over the last three years we have raised over $8700 U.S. for the Children's Miracle Network of Hospitals. This year we are striving to break the $10,000 mark!

What is Extra Life?


Extra Life was started in 2008 by the Sarcastic Gamer Community as a tribute to one specific leukemia victim: Victoria Enmon. The group created a 24-hour long video game marathon to raise money for the hospital that treated and fought beside Tori. 100% of the funds raised went to the local Children's Miracle Network. 

Now thousands of gamers have joined in this annual event. In 2009 the event spread allowing participants to donate to the Hospital of their choice and now hundreds of websites and tens of thousands of gamers will take part in this charity event this year.



What is the WGR doing for Extra Life?


As many members as possible are going to head to Brimstone Games at 10:00am on Saturday November 5th. Once there it's simple: we game, and we game for 12 hours straight. Then we repeat the same thing on Sunday November the 6th, at 10am, gaming for another 12 hours straight. That's 24 hours of gaming total! We will be playing board games, miniature games and maybe even some pen and paper roleplaying games.

In addition to all the gaming, at 8:00pm on Saturday night we will also be hosting a live game auction. Anyone is welcome to attend this portion of the event. We've got a great selection of games to auction off and 100% of the proceeds will be going to Extra Life.

You can find Brimstone at 1421 Tecumseh Rd E, Windsor, ON N8W 1C2. Parking is available in back.


What can you do to support us?


Come play games: You should come join us on the day of the event and play some games! Even if you can't come out for all 24 hours it would be awesome if you could stop in and show your support. While there play a game or two. We would love the support and encouragement. You can show up at any time during the event. Stop in after work, say hi at lunch, whenever. 

Join our team: Extra Life lets groups of participants make a team page and we have one for the Windsor Gaming Resource. Even if you aren't going to actually come out to Brimstone and play with us, if you are going to participate at home or at your own FLGS we would love to have you on our team. Click here to join up!

Sponsor a Windsor Gaming Resource member: Any amount helps, even a buck, and the Extra Life site has a wide variety of payment options even including a monthly donation deal. They also offer charity receipts.

Participate in the live auction: The auction will be held at 8pm on Saturday November 5th and there will be a wide variety of new and used games and other geeky items on the auction block. All money raised will be donated to Extra Life through the group page.

Donate games: Are you a game publisher? Do you have too many games and don't know what to do with them? How about donating your games to the cause. You can either give them to us to play during the event or you can donate them to be sold at the live auction. Any donations can be dropped off at Brimstone Games up to and including the day of the event or contact gilvanblight(at)gmail.com to make arrangement before then.

Thanks to our sponsors:


While organizing this event I sent out emails to a variety of game companies asking if they would be willing to support the WGR in this effort.

Huge thanks to Stronghold Games for supporting us four years in a row!

Thanks to Mantic GamesAlderac Entertainment GroupRio Grande Games and Hidden Trail Escape Rooms for supporting us again this year.


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Reducing the Pile(s) Of Shame

Over the last week I've done a lot of work reducing my pile of shame. A pile that is actually four piles. It's more like a wall of shame. Heck, I could probably make a fort of shame at this point.

What is a pile of shame? That pile of games (and expansions) you own that you haven't actually played yet. The games that make you feel extra guilty buying new games because you have perfectly good games sitting right there waiting to be played but you are ignoring them for the new hotness or some good deal. The pile of games that makes you feel shame for buying them but not actually playing them. 

In an effort to feel less shameful and, with the ulterior motive of needing to learn some donated games before our Extra Life event I put together a special gaming event at my place last Monday: Thanksgaming.  We managed to get 6 games off the pile that night. I also bought a bunch of games off the pile to board game night at Brimstone Games last night and managed to knock another two games off the pile . Thanks to that I've reduced the pile of shame by a whopping 8 games in the last week.

Here's a short review of each of those games:

Lost Legacy: Flying Garden - Kindly donated by AEG for our Extra Life event this year. I'm not a huge fan of Love Letter and I'm wary of any games that are isotopes of Love Letter. This worry was misplaced in Lost Legacy. I don't know exactly what makes Lost Legacy better for us, but it just is. I love the investigation bit at the end. Do I try to keep a low card so I get to guess first? Do I make sure I know where the legacy is but have to worry that someone will guess it first?

Gameplay is pretty much the same as Love Letter. Start with a card in your hand. Each turn, draw a card and then play one card. Each card has an ability that goes off when played. Try to end the round with an advantageous game in your hand and not get elimited before that. The big change in Lost Legacy from Love Letter is at end of the round. Instead of the player with the highest card winning, players instead enter an investigation round. Starting with the lowest numbered card and going up, players need to declare where they think the Lost Legacy card is. If they are right, they win. If not, then it goes to the next player to guess. No one wins if the Lost Legacy is not found.

Lost Legacy: The Starship - Kindly donated by AEG for Extra Life. I knew there was more than one Lost Legacy game but didn't realize how different each was. The cards and card abilities are very different in Starship from Garden. This is rather cool. I also really dig the way you can mix and match. Between the two The Starship is much more take that with a lot more abilities that affect other players hands.With this series of games you also have the option of combining two decks. All you need to do is remove one of the two Lost Legacy Cards. This also allows the game to be played with up to eight players. I haven't actually tried this but plan on it during Extra Life.

Tiffin - Kindly donated by Rio Grande Games for Extra Life. This was a very solid card based area control game with a cool theme. Each player represents a company helping to deliver lunch Tiffins in Mumbai. Each turn players either add a Tiffin cube to a new route or play cards to a add cubes to an already started route. When routes are completed players get points based on their contributions and points for having Tiffins on the routes. Player get new cards by drafting from a face up row Ticket to Ride style. There is also a take that element where each player has a flat tire and shortcut card they can use to modify the length of a route. To keep things interesting there is also a ghost player, The Competitor, that will add neutral cubes to routes when triggered by player card play. I really dug the theme on this one, which somehow comes through even though it's really an abstract card driven cube pusher.

Dark Seas - Kindly donated by AEG for Extra Life. This pirate themed game was way more fun than I expected. I've seen it deeply discounted online and just assumed based on that, that it wasn't very good. I was wrong. Dark Seas is a unique tile playing game where each player builds his own set of pirate islands. The really neat bit in this game is that each turn the start player rolls a set of dice (with one possible re-roll) to determine which actions are available that turn. Once determined, every player is stuck with that specific set of dice results for the entire round. Actions include discarding tiles from your hand that match a die rolled this round to get resources and moving your pirate ship around your island. As your ship stops at each port it activates the tiles attached to it. At the end of the round you can add a tile to the port your ship is at. Your Captain can be used to get new tiles or assist in getting your ship around the island. Through all this players are collecting money, pirates and treasure tokens. Pirates are placed on your port and usually enhance the attached tiles (with things like get 1 coin for each pirate). Money is used to upgrade Pirates to Dread Pirates which are worth more points and for end of game scoring. Players try to complete sets of treasure tokens with four of a kind being worth the most points.

Overall the game is a quick to teach, humorous take on a set collection and area control game with a very cool mechanic I've never seen before.

Greedy Greedy Goblins - Kindly donated by AEG for Extra Life. This game is frantic, hilarious fun! Another surprise hit from AEG. Greedy Greedy Goblins is a real time set collection games with some of the nicest tiles I've ever seen in a board game. Each turn players simultaneously grab tiles from the center of the table and place them onto various mine cards. At any point instead of placing a tile a player can place one of their goblin tokens on a mine to claim it. At that point no one can add more tiles to the mine. Once everyone has placed their goblin tokens you start figuring out exactly what was in each mine. Gems are worth points. Monsters eat gems. Minions give you special cards that can modify a mine's final score. Torches reveal one other tile in the mine during tile placement. The last tile type is dynamite. Reveal 1 dynamite and the mine score is doubled. Reveal 2 and the mine score is Tripled! Reveal 3 or more dynamite and the mine collapses and kills your goblin (you get nothing from the mine and also have to pay 5 points to the bank to hire a new goblin). Minion cards break the rules in various ways and each player gets bonus points on a specific type of gem. You can expect to see this one out at many WGR events.  


Rails of New England - Kindly donated by Rio Grande Games for Extra Life. This was the most intimidating game of Thanksgaming. Explaining this game was not fun. A lot of that had to do with how horrible the rule book is. I've not seen a rulebook this bad in years. There are a ton of components that come in the box that aren't even referenced in the rules and aren't even listed on the component list. I had to go on boardgamegeek.com to figure out what some of the stuff was. During the game we also had to google rule clarifications multiple times. This is near unforgivable. The thing is: the game was really good.

I don't think I can call Rails of New England a "Train Game", despite the name. It's a lot more like Power Grid than say 1830 or Empire Builder or Martian Rails. It's an economic game about owning businesses in New England and dealing with a changing economy and a slew of interesting events affecting the area including snow, floods and fires. The rail part only comes in when you build depots which give you bonus income for business that are "connected," meaning that there is a depot in the city the business is located in and one in the three major delivery cities of New York, Boston or Montreal. Along with building business there are government subsidies that can be claimed, mail routes to complate and, historic rail routes that can be claimed for having depots in specific sets of cities.

This is a big, chunky Euro with a lot going on. Far too much to really get into here. Overall it seems excellent but I've never seen a game screaming for a second printing so badly. An updated map with a better font, a re-written rulebook, business cards that give you some hint as to where they are located on the map and tokens for marking where the events are taking place would all greatly improve the game. If you ever pick this one up make sure you go to BGG and find the FAQ and the much improved rulebook.

Luna - I'm a huge Stefan Feld game and Luna has been on my wishlist for quite some time. I was very excited that TMG has finally gotten it back in print. I really dig the theme in Luna. Each player is the head of a druidic order attempting to collect influence in order to become the next Moon Priestess. As typical of Feld, this is a point salad with many ways to earn influence (points). The gameplay is a pretty unique worker placement system where players move initiates to various islands circling a main temple. Removing workers from an island lets you use that islands unique ability. Abilities include sending initiates to the main temple, moving between islands, building shrines and more. Overall Luna is rather light for a Feld point salad which is quite refreshing. The game is fairly easy to teach, rather quick to play and looks pretty cool set up on the table.

Dice City - wow this game takes up a lot of room. The player boards are the same size as the main boards in some other games and each player needs one. In addition there is a card drafting area required with full sized cards. So think of playing Dominion with four other board games on the table at the same time.

Assuming you have the space, Dice City is a very cool game. Each player board has a 5x6 grid of action spaces. Each row is tied to a colour of a D6 and each column a number on a D6. Each round players roll 5 dice, one of each colour and place them on their board BINGO style. They then spend the dice to activate locations. Most locations give resources but some give army points or victory points. Army points can be used to attack barbarians for points or to attack other players disabling their buildings of stealing resources. After any attacks, players spend resources to build new buildings from the card supply or fulfill trade contracts. Buildings replace locations that are on the players boards. Gameplay involves rolling your dice, placing them on your board, spending them to get stuff to either improve your board or earn points. It's all very elegant.

So how big is your Pile Of Shame? What games have you gotten off of it recently? What game is gong to be played next?


Sunday, 25 September 2016

October Game Nights at Brimstone Games

Hey Windsor area gamers, come out to Brimstone Board Game Night! Meet other gamers, play some great games and maybe even win a game to bring home.

Brimstone Board Game Night hits on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. These events run from 5pm to 10pm and are open to all ages.

Every event will feature at least one game. There will be demo copies of the game available and someone on hand willing to teach the game so you can try before you buy.

You can win games just by coming out to play. At every Brimstone Board Game Night you earn tickets that give you a chance to win free games. Every event we will be giving away a copy of the featured game and some events will feature even more. 

Players earn 1 ticket for playing games, 1 ticket for purchasing a snack or drink, and 1 ticket for bringing 1 or more board games for people to play. Earn 5 more tickets for each game you purchase. First time players will receive 5 additional tickets.

NEW LOCATION
Heads up, as of July 1st you can now find Brimstone at 1421 Tecumseh Rd. E. right next to Franco's. There is parking in back and there is a municipal lot across the street that is free after 6pm.

October 1st - Above and Below


Above and Below from Ryan Laukat put out by Red Raven Games is one of the best games I've played in 2016. It's a fantstic mix of resource management, set collection and adventure game.

Build your colony above ground and sent exploerers to investigate the dungeons below. In the dungeons have random encounters with a variety of situations and characters. Once explored you can start building both above and below.

You owe it to yourself to try this great game.


October 15th - Halloween Game Night

A wide variety of spooky games will be featured. Including Ultimate Werewolf, One Night Vampire. Monster Fluxx, Vampire Queen & Zombie Fluxx!



Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Brimstone Board Game Nights August - Costa Rica and 7 Wonders

Hey Windsor area gamers, come out to Brimstone Board Game Night! Meet other gamers, play some great games and maybe even win a game to bring home.

Brimstone Board Game Night hits on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. These events run from 5pm to 10pm and are open to all ages.

Every event will feature at least one game. There will be demo copies of the game available and someone on hand willing to teach the game so you can try before you buy.

You can win games just by coming out to play. At every Brimstone Board Game Night you earn tickets that give you a chance to win free games. Every event we will be giving away a copy of the featured game and some events will feature even more. 

Players earn 1 ticket for playing games, 1 ticket for purchasing a snack or drink, and 1 ticket for bringing 1 or more board games for people to play. Earn 5 more tickets for each game you purchase. First time players will receive 5 additional tickets.

NEW LOCATION
Heads up, as of July 1st you can now find Brimstone at 1421 Tecumseh Rd. E. right next to Franco's. There is parking in back and there is a municipal lot across the street that is free after 6pm.

August 6th: Costa Rica

Costa Rica from Mayfare games was supper hot at Origins 2016. So hot I couldn't even get in to play a demo. Heard good things from everyone who did though.

Different sets of exotic animals, different terrains, and the omnipresent danger of mosquitos await in the jungle of Costa Rica, and the player explorers are here to collect sets of rare and exotic animals to rescue them from poachers. Collecting as many as you can of one kind is valuable, but having one of each kind can be beneficial, too. Just avoid being bitten too badly by the mosquitos!

In Costa Rica, all player take part in an expedition, with the active player of a turn deciding where to go and exploring a new tile. In clockwise order, each player must decide whether to leave this expedition and collect all of the animals seen so far, or whether to remain with the group to (hopefully) collect more animals later? Once a player does leave the current expedition, they remove their pawn from that group, collecting nothing else from it.

August 20th: 7 Wonders

7 Wonders is pretty much the gateway drafting game for large groups. It's been a regular at WGR events since it came out in 2010.

You are the leader of one of the 7 great cities of the Ancient World. Gather resources, develop commercial routes, and affirm your military supremacy. Build your city and erect an architectural wonder which will transcend future times.

7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.





Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Catan Tournament at the Tecumseh Corn Festival 2016



Come out to the Tecumseh Corn Fest on August 28th and play some Catan.

Registration starts at 1:00 pm in the Knights of Columbus Festival Tent. Games start at 2:00. $5 registration. Winner determined after two rounds of play. Limited to 40 participants. All games will be played with the base game of Catan with no expansions. 

Check out the facebook event page here:

For more information on the Corn Fest: 

For more information on the great game Catan:




It's Halloween Hotness at CGReam on July 9th



Can't wait for halloween?  Don't!

Come out to Halloween Hotness at The CGRealm on July 9th and celebrate Halloween in July with us.

We've got Halloween themed games like Bring Out Your Dead, Village Crone, Mystery, One Night Ultimate Vampire, Gloom and more.  The event runs from 5pm until 10pm and everyone and anyone is welcome. No experience necessary. Bring your favourite dungeon delving game or play one of ours. There's always people willing to teach games.

Come out in a creepy costume and get 10% off game purchases made in store that night!

The CGRealm is located at 1311 Tecumseh road east. At the site of the old Party Warehouse. Diagonally across from Family Video. Huge retail space and gaming area that will fit over 120 gamers. 


In addition, The Windsor Sandwich Shop shares the space and will be providing quality sandwiches, soups, salads, coffees, chips, smoothies and more! All available in a fun gaming environment. Great for a snack between games or even while playing. 

Check out their menu: http://www.windsorsandwichshop.com/menu.html

Personally I recommend the potato bacon soup when they have it.


Brimstone Board Game Nights for July - Munchkin and Splendor

Hey Windsor area gamers, come out to Brimstone Board Game Night! Meet other gamers, play some great games and maybe even win a game to bring home.

Brimstone Board Game Night hits on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. These events run from 5pm to 10pm and are open to all ages.

Every event will feature at least one game. There will be demo copies of the game available and someone on hand willing to teach the game so you can try before you buy.

You can win games just by coming out to play. At every Brimstone Board Game Night you earn tickets that give you a chance to win free games. Every event we will be giving away a copy of the featured game and some events will feature even more. 

Players earn 1 ticket for playing games, 1 ticket for purchasing a snack or drink, and 1 ticket for bringing 1 or more board games for people to play. Earn 5 more tickets for each game you purchase. First time players will receive 5 additional tickets.

NEW LOCATION
Heads up, as of July 1st you can now find Brimstone at 1421 Tecumseh Rd. E. right next to Franco's. There is parking in back and there is a municipal lot across the street that is free after 6pm.

July 2nd: Munchkin Night

July 2nd the featured game will be Steve Jackson Games' Munchkin.

We will be Giving away, 1 Regular Munchkin, 1 Themed Munchkin & 1 Deluxe Version!

Munchkin is a humorous take that game where players are competing to get to level 10. At first players must work together but once it gets near the end it's all about who's stabbing who in the back.

July 16th: Splendor

July 16th the featured game will be Splendor from Space Cowboys.

This game is hugely popular here in Windsor. I can't remember the last game night that at least one game of Splendor didn't get played.

Very simple rules and very easy to teach but so difficult to master. In this abstract tableau builder players are using gems represented by poker chips to buy various cards that give them more gems to spend each round. In addition higher value cards are worth victory points. Get the right sets of gems and you get a bonus Royalty scoring card. It's a race to 15 points but the player that gets there first may not win if someone gets more on the final round.



Monday, 6 June 2016

It's Dungeon Delving Night at The CG Realm - June 11th



It's Dungeon Delving night at The CGRealm!

Come out and enjoy dungeon themed games all night. Feel free to dress up like an adventurer. Get some use out of that SCA Garb! The event runs from 5pm until 10pm and everyone and anyone is welcome. No experience necessary. Bring your favourite dungeon delving game or play one of ours. There's always people willing to teach games.

The CGRealm has moved to 1311 Tecumseh road east. At the site of the old Party Warehouse. Diagonally across from Family Video.

The new venue is a bigger, better retail space and gaming area! The new space can fit over 120 gamers. More space also means more merchandise lines. The new venue also means more organized events like X-Wing, Warmahordes, RPGs and more.


In addition, The Windsor Sandwich Shop shares the space and will be providing quality sandwiches, soups, salads, coffees, chips, smoothies and more! All available in a fun gaming environment!!

Check out their menu: http://www.windsorsandwichshop.com/menu.html

Personally I recommend the potato bacon soup when they have it.


Sunday, 29 May 2016

Brimstone Board Game Night June 4th - Bonus night - Spot it! and Agricola


It's time for Brimstone Board Game Night!

Brimstone Board Game Night hits on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. These events run from 5pm to 10pm and are open to all ages. 

Every event will feature at least one game. There will be demo copies of the game available and someone on hand willing to teach the game so you can try before you buy.

You can win games just by coming out to play. At every Brimstone Board Game Night you can earn tickets that give you a chance to win free games. Every event we will be giving away a copy of the featured game (see below) and some events we will be giving away even more.

Players earn 1 ticket for playing games, 1 ticket for purchasing a snack or drink, and 1 ticket for bringing 1 or more board games for people to play. Earn 5 more tickets for each game you purchase. First time players will receive 5 additional tickets.

You can find Brimstone at 3298 Walker Rd. Parking is available on the south side of the building and on the city streets around back.

Featured game: Spot It! 


The featured game this week is Spot It! from Blue Orange Games.

This is a fast based quick party game that's got more bite to it than it first looks. Great for kids and adults alike. There are a slew of different ways to play some more complex than others.

Don't dismiss this on was a kids game.



Bonus Give Away: Agricola and Swag!


Mayfair games recently sold of the rights to their flagship game: Catan. To fill that void they are releasing a new version of Agricola. Along with it they have sent out a ton of cool swag and we are giving away some of that swag at this event. 

Agricola is one of the tightest and most punishing worker placement games out there. People call it Misery Farm for a reason. If you like tight thinky games, Agricola is for you.