Tuesday, 27 November 2012

B.G. at the G.B. Board Games at the Green Bean - December 7th

The Windsor Gaming Resource returns to the Green Bean Coffee Co. on Friday December 7th.

The Green Bean is an independent coffee shop that provides a wide variety of coffees, teas, lattes and more. They have a full menu that includes fresh made soup, paninis and some really tempting deserts. There's the option for a bottomless cup of coffee and they have free WiFi. For us gamers they have a wide variety of tables and a well lit stage.

This is an open non-competitive gaming event that anyone is welcome to
attend. Any form of games are welcome, board, card, rpg, miniatures, whatever you want to bring we are willing to have you. We aren't rule lawyers. You are welcome to bring your own games or share in some of ours. Everything we bring we are willing to teach and no experience is necessary. The goal is to get as many local gamers out as possible to enjoy some good food, some good company and some good games!

Games we've played at events like this in the past include: Settlers of Catan, Dominion, Scrabble, Ca$h and Gun$, Bohnanzha, Magic The Gathering, Carcasonne, Race for the Galaxy, Puerto Rico, Agricola, Chess and more.

An important note: we are not a private club. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come out and join in the games. If you see someone playing a game and it looks interesting, ask about it. If you see a game on a table and you want to try it out, ask around and see if someone will teach it.

The Green Bean is located near the University of Windsor at:
2320 Wyandotte St. W (Lower). Windsor, ON.
It's in the basement of the Church with the big sign that says "God Loves Students" on the side of it, next to Harvey's



Note: The Windsor Gaming Resource has no political or religious ties to the Green Bean or the Church it is located in. It just happens to be an awesome place to play some games and meet other gamers.

You can find them on facebook here:
https://www.facebook.com/greenbeancoffee

You can find them on the web here:
http://www.greenbeancoffee.info/

The Windsor Gaming Resource on Facebook:

Sunday, 25 November 2012

24 Hour RPG 2012 contest results


The official results are in for this years 24 hour RPG contest over on rpggeek.com.

Congratulations goes out to everyone who entered. I now know just how hard, and how much fun entering one of these is. Special props to the winners. Lowell Francis Todd Sanders and Steffen O'Sullivan.

It is difficult to split the results down in great detail due to the nature of the single transferable voting system, but here are the top few positions that are at least partially discernible (with the proviso that these results are not directly meaningful, but rather a rough guide):

1st - Arclight Revelation Tianmar
2nd - Our Dust Earth
3rd - The Wind in the Willows RPG
4th - Men of Romance
5th - Eaten Away
6th - Breathless
7th - The Diminutive RPG
8th - One Night Only
9th= - Debrief / Noah's Mark
11th= - The Oathbreakers / We are all Star Stuff
13th= - Farmtopia / Holiday Heroes

Here's the official post on rpggeek:
http://rpggeek.com/thread/889328/2012-rpg-geek-24-hour-contest-results

Friday, 23 November 2012

Tim Kask shares more Gygax info on Dragonsfoot

Dragonsfoot is probably the most well known online gaming forum dedicated to the old school. It's definitely one of the biggest and most respected. It makes sense that Tim Kask would choose that forum to share quite a bit more info about the upcoming Gygax Magazine.

"The last couple of days have been more fun than I have had in a long time. I refer, of course, to the leaking of the news that a new magazine called Gygax Magazine is coming out next month. Just monitoring several FB threads yesterday took a lot of time.

Because this community has been very kind to me, I will share with you in what detail I can before the release. So, here are some snippets of the advertising packet or quotes from replies I wrote yesterday:

Gygax Magazine will be released next month, December 2012.
* The magazine will be available in both print and digital formats.
* The name Gygax Magazine refers to Ernie and Luke.
* We registered the TSR trademark in 2011, but we are a new company, and not associated with the original TSR or Wizards of the Coast.
Gygax Magazine will cover a wide variety of RPGs and strategy games, focusing on the games of today while preserving the traditions and history of the industry.
* We'd prefer to talk more about the contents of the first issue when it's available, but we hope people will love it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"Gygax Magazine is myself, Ernie Gygax, Luke Gygax, Tim Kask, James Carpio, and Jim Wampler. Our first issue is out in December; since it's not finished yet, we've been pretty quiet about things until it's ready.

Just to address some of the questions, I thought it was best that I leave a reply. We do own the trademark for TSR, and have since December of 2011. We are a new company, not the old TSR, as they were purchased by Wizards in the '90s. The trademark was abandoned about nine years ago, and we registered it in 2011. 

We decided the best thing to release first as TSR was a gaming magazine, because we wanted a way to bridge the traditions of the old guard with the awesome new games that are out today. " - Jayson Elliot

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

When I googled Gygax Magazine earlier this evening, I was taken aback by the number of hits. Some of the stuff I read was nasty and suspicious, even a bit mean-spirited; the speculations ran the gamut of possibilities; most of the buzz is very positive.

I was approached by Jayson nearly a year ago and asked if I might be interested in allowing him and his incipient staff to pick my brain regarding putting together a crackerjack new gaming magazine. Jayson produced his bonafides in the form of a very classy music ‘zine he had produced. I enthusiastically agreed to come on board as a consultant, and am glad to say that they always listened to both my answers and my suggestions, and I shared my publishing philosophy with them, still pretty much the same as when I started Dragon, Little Wars and Adventure Gaming. Jayson has assembled a very impressive, small and tight staff. My position with the mag is merely Consulting Editor; additionally, I will produce a regular bully-pulpit column each issue and the occasional game article. (My first feature article will be in #2, an in-depth look at a game called Samurai Battles that is part minis, part board and has overtones that are remarkably similar to the currents running through minis at the dawn of role-playing.)

Our initial publicity has been a bit misleading and incomplete—this will not be a one-trick-pony magazine. We want this to have the same zest for capital G gaming as the early days of The Dragon andLittle Wars, and a philosophy I followed with Adventure Gaming. That means that we will spend our time showcasing what we think are great games regardless of who makes it. We want to have a little something for everyone in every issue. I proved that it could be done with the success of the aforementioned magazines.

I was asked if the new TSR planned to produce “the next great rpg”. Good gawd, NO! In an interview I did with a blog, I pointed out that we at EE were asked the same thing. My reply was that there was no way that the four of us could possibly agree on a set of rules; we had no plans to even try.

We have an absolutely stellar Table of Contents in this first issue, crammed with names of talented writers and designers, both old and new. We have some eye-popping art by some big names and names that we expect to be big soon. Our first cover is outstanding: our second will blow you away. We plan to have pieces about all sorts of games, some rules/brand-specific and others not. We are considering a regular figure feature, and perhaps one on painting them. By the same token, we might steer you to a great card game (though pretty probably not CCG’s). We have so many approaches to our beloved hobby that we can take; we plan to take a variety each issue.

We are in no way legally connected to any company in existence before 2011. Gary’s widow owns all of his IP and has already shown by her overt hostility that it is not worth going there.

Our intent is to celebrate gaming in its myriad forms. Gary’s two oldest sons are not going to do anything cheap or tawdry to diminish their father or his legacy; he raised them better than that."

You can find the original post as well as follow up conversations here: http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=23223&p=1301822#p1301822

Update: in addition to this it looks like Luke Gygax has done an interview over on Loremaster:
http://loremaster.org/content.php?282-Loremaster-Interview-with-Luke-Gygax


Classic WGR Review - Dominion

Photo by boardgamegeek.com user: Mike "makehulsebus" Hulsebus
My next classic WGR Forum review brings up another top ranked, one that seems to be extremely popular with the local gamers and one that has single handedly change the landscape of boardgaming with the introduction of the concept of "deck building". This one isn't nearly as old as the last two and comes from January 10th, 2010. My current thoughts on the game will be after the classic review.

Original WGR review:

Quickly - excellent draft based card game.

Summary:
Dominion makes me think that the designer used to be (or maybe still is) a Magic The Gathering player who thought the best part of a Magic Tournament was the draft. He had so much fun drafting cards that he decided he would make a game based on drafting. That's what Dominion is.

In this odd game you select a subset of cards and place piles of them out on the table. These become the cards that all players create their decks from. In addition to the cards on the tables the players get initial decks with some victory point cards and some money. The goal of the game is to construct the deck with the most victory points in it by the time the game ends. The game ends with 3 of the various stacks of cards hit bottom or when the stack of the highest victory point card runs out.

First and foremost this is an exception based game (like most of the CCG's it's based on). This means that the basic rules are very simple but that each card modify these rules in some way and it's the interaction of the various cards that makes the game fun interesting and strategic. The cards laid out on the table consist of Action Cards, Money Cards and Victory Point Cards. Each turn players work to build their deck by drawing 5 cards from their deck and then playing up to one Action card. After playing an action card the players then get to buy one card from the table. After this buy is done the players discard their hand. If their deck runs out they reshuffle it (which happens very often). That's basically it for the core rules.

What makes things fun are those action cards. Every action card lets the player do something that changes those basic rules. Most cards either give a player more actions, let them draw more cards, give them more money to buy cards and/or give them additional chances to buy cards. Many other 'card abilities' are also present ranging from attack cards that can cause the opponent to discard, to cards that let you upgrade the cards you have in your deck. I'm not going to take the time to describe what all the possibilities are. After playing one action card (and then possibly more if you play cards that add more actions) you then get to buy. You do this buy paying money cards from your hand. Each card on the table has a cost. Here the player decides if they want more action cards to give them more options in future turns, more money with which to buy better cards or if they should start adding victory points to their deck. What makes this most interesting is the fact that Victory point cards are useless during play so just take up room in your deck until you need them at the end.

That's basically it. The designers, brilliantly included 25 different Action cards in the base game. Each game you only play with 10 of these, so this leads to a great variety of possible combination adding a great deal of replay value. In addition to this there are a variety of expansions out that add one or more cards to the mix (heck even Boardgamegeek has their own Action card for Dominion).

The Good:
What a great an interesting concept. I would have never guessed I would be playing a game where building my deck was the game itself. The game is extremely easy to learn and is probably the easiest to explain game I have in my collection (which is nice compared to some stuff like Race for the Galaxy). The exception based rules are perfectly done and makes for an easy to learn and hard to master game. The card interactions are very well balanced and well organized. The fact that all players are drawing from the same resources reduce the random factor significantly which raises the strategic level. This is also a nice short game. I get tired of epic games that take me all afternoon to play and I enjoy being able to get in multiple games in one sitting and Dominion is perfect for that. One last note on packaging. This game has some of the best packaging I have seen. The box has an insert that has a spot for every single card in the game. They are designed in such a way that everything has a place and amazingly everything stays in that place even when the box is stored vertically.

The Bad:
I have very few complaints about this game at all. The only thing that irks me at all about it really is the price vs. what you are actually getting. Due to the fact that the game is made up of stacks of cards that are all identical, all you are really getting in the box is maybe 30 different cards. When I think of how little that would be to produce it's hard to justify the cost of this game. The company making it must have a huge return on investment on this one. Now the fact that this is one of the best games I have played recently does make up for it though. For the amount of fun I am going to have with this vs. what I spent it will definitely make up for the cost. It's just the thought of it when I look at the box contents vs. cost that makes me cringe a bit.

The Ugly:
First off I had a hard time coming up with something Ugly about this one. The only thing that really comes to mind is the fact that this game has the most 'plastered on' theme I can remember seeing. There is no reason at all that this needs to be an 'empire building medieval game'. This could have been a space game about colonizing planets just as easily as it could have been a game about collecting animals. Now of course this is just a theme issue and has no impact on gameplay or how fun the game is, so really not much of a complaint. I actually wouldn't be surprised to see a re-themed version of this in the future.

Overall:
Overall this is definitely a top of the line excellent game, worthy of it's current spot in the top 10 on boardgamegeek. It's great to see something totally new and totally fun. Due to the ease in explanation, the replay value provided by the mix of 25 different action cards to choose from and the speed of gameplay I expect this one to get quite a bit of use, especially at things like Games and Grub events where I like to get in a wide variety of different games. Even though you are paying a lot for what you get this is a great game and one I strongly recommend.

My thoughts now a couple years later:

Wow what's there to be said about a game that totally changed the landscape of boardgaming. Dominion introduced "Deck Building" and from that have spawned at least a hundred different games and variations. It seems like every new game has some variation on this new mechanic. It's definitely still the hot thing even two years later. Actually reading my review where I note this is some odd new mechanic I find that this just sounds funny now as deck building is such a common term now. Some games have done a great job of taking this simple system and running with it, others haven't done so well. But how does the original still stand up? Very well in my opinion. The main problem with Dominion is the main problem I've found with Catan. People have played it so much that they are sick of it. I also find Dominion suffers from a bit of a bloat. Far too many expansions came out far too quickly and now it's quite a beast. To me the core game is still the best, most balanced and fun version. I know not everyone agrees. 

D&D Encounters: The War of Everlasting Darkness - Session 3 and 4

Due to an unexpected schedule change I had to cancel one session of Encounters. So this week I ended up trying to squeeze two official sessions, 3 and 4 into one night. Sadly it didn't quite work out. When I arrived at the store I found I only had two players. So we killed fifteen minutes hoping at least one of the other regulars showed up. While killing time I overheard a young couple talking to the store owner about 4e D&D. It seems they had only recently gotten into the game and were trying to figure out what books would be most useful for their new campaign. I pounced. Withing about 15 more minutes I now had two more players. This is one of the things I love about public play.

So while grabbing some old Pre-Gen characters from past seasons of encounters and doing a quick upgrade to bring them up to 3rd level, our tardy Vampire player showed up. So now I had a group of five and I was ready to go. Sadly this was an hour into our planned playtime.

Session 3:

This session bumped the timeline a bit. I had one of the players re-cap last session and then I broke out the map and covered all of what had gone before, mostly for the sake of the two new players but also to refresh everyone's memories of key thing they may have forgotten. Basically some funky magic was making the world dark, this was Drow caused, the Drow have allied with the local orcs and war was choking the land in battle. The goal this session was to get to Mithral Hall, a Dwarven steadfast and meet with the king, passing on news that the Orcs who have allied themselves with the Drow were acting against the King of the Many Arrow Tribe.

The unused map. I really thought we would have a fight here.
When the group came upon Mithral Hall they found it under siege. After watching the Orc movements for a while the Dwarf in the group suggested that such fortifications always had secret entrances and that Mithral Hall should be no exception. I ran this as an impromptu skill challenge since the group decided to skip past the obvious hook of a big war horn that was controlling troop movements. There was much planning, sneaking, bursts of running and guard avoiding to be had before an entrance was found. The entrance led the group to The Maze.

The Maze was a rather well written skill challenge in which each character had to do something to help the group progress each hour. Success or failure determined how long the group was 'lost' in the maze as well as serving to reduce some resources. I took this as an opportunity to play with the rules mainly for the sake of the players who didn't have much 4e experience.  At first I just let people riff off each other and my rather vague descriptions not noting that any type of system was governing this. I let whoever wanted to try something do it and kept track of successes. I then presented the group with obstacles they failed to watch for (which happened to be "watching for enemies" so we had a quick fight vs. some Orc Minions. Now that the group had a feel for what was going on, I told them the actual mechanics of the challenge and let them decide who would do what. So the group split the tasks up, the Rogue Searched for Traps, the Fighter fought through obstacles, the Dwarf Cleric navigated, the Dragonborn watched for enemies. The vampire was left with "other" in which he came up with a pretty cool use for Arcana. For the last section of The Maze I twisted things around on the players. This time I let each of them narrate an obstacle that the group faced and how they planned to get past it and let them determine their own rolls to make. This proved fun and entertaining though it was obvious some of the players were not used to such narrative control. I like pushing people out of their gaming comfort zone though and I think this was a great experience for those players. Now the Maze should have gone on for at least one more round (probably two due to a few failed rolls) but I was short on time so I moved on.

After the maze we got to play out our first big 4th edition battle, on a grid with miniatures and full rules.  Up until this point we've done most combats either Theater of the Mind or very loosely on a grid. In addition most foes were there as minor obstacles meant to be taken out quickly. Here we had a big fight with baddies not going down in one hit. It proved to be very interesting and quite a bit of fun. We had markers out (I use a bunch of different Litko tokens to keep track of things like who's bloodied, and area of effect boundaries , we had miniatures, I even brought my invisible character tokens. People were pulled, there were opportunity attacks, flanking. All the stuff that makes Fourth edition a great tactical skirmish game. It was a good fight. The cleric ended up having to use all of his healing (see he's sometimes good at Cleric things Sean) two characters ended up bloodied and the Dragonborn had a real brush with death.

After the big fight, I did a quick wrap up. I would have loved to get into more roleplaying with the Dwarven King but we were already running out of time to fit in session 4, so I just passed on the needed info, gave the characters thanks and passed out a bit of treasure.  Then the group got a very odd letter from a very odd friend they hadn't yet met. This was a great moment and I enjoyed role playing the words of Axelcrantz

Session 4:

At this point we had less than an hour left before the store closed so I tried to run though things quickly while still hitting all the important beats. Three months game time had gone by since the last episode and I really wanted to do a "so what did your character do for the last three months" round table but we just didn't have time. We jumped right into the plot instead. Which had the characters at another Dwarven Fortress all the way on the other side of the map looking to talk to another Dwarven King (what's with all the meetings with Kings this season)? There was some roleplay, the group met the excentric Axelcrantz in person, there was more hilarious roleplay, the group met the King. Lots of roleplaying and poorly rolled Diplomacy and Bluff checks later the group found their way to a Haunted section of the Underdark looking for an old fortress that they needed to re-take from Duergar.

Along the way the group spent far too much time checking out some bones they had found that seemed to be from a dissolved dwarf. Not sure what I could have done differently but they just didn't want to give up and wanted to roll for every skill on their sheet to figure this out. Eventually I said something to the extent of "so you miss a minor clue, maybe you will figure it out later" to get things moving.
Dungeon Tile layout made up for one of the encounters.

There was an amusing bluff moment when the group pretended to be a patrol returning late, that quickly broke into a fight. This was another fun 4e fight for which I actually broke out the Dungeon tiles. Now I didn't expect the group to attack the Dark Dwarves and really neither did the published adventure, but hey, that's how things go some time. Thankfully I had this map prepared for a later encounter to it all worked out. So after a couple of rounds of combat the Duergar gave up. They were already demoralized and a group of adventurers busting in was just too much for them. After some questioning the group found out that the Duergar believed they were being haunted by a ghost, a ghost that had killed most of their band leaving just a pile of sticky gooey bones.

After ridding the rest of the fortress of dark Dwarves the group explored for a bit. Some clues were found but no sign of the wand they were here to find. There was the breaking of a hidden compartment in a desk and the brilliant plan to recover the item they broke inside it. Then there was the searching. Which ended with the Vampire shoving his hands into a Mimic who happened to be hiding as the tattered rug on the first floor. So that's what had been eating the Duergar and leaving sticky bones all over the place.

Fight time. Quick fight time. Store was closing in 8 minutes. This meant tossing the full 4e rules out the window. It was only one monster anyway so that wasn't an issue. This was a quick fight by necessity. Thinking back I probably should have ended the session on the cliffhanger of the Vampire getting stuck since I already knew I wasn't going to fit in everything needed for the session anyway. Oh well, what should have been a dramatic fight against a monster twice their level was a quick beat and bash. We still had fun.

Now were were completely out of time. The store was closed and we needed to get out, so I called it a night. As it stands the group still hasn't quite completed encounter number 4, but we got very close. I tossed the map and mini down for the final encounter as a sort of foreshadowing for next week. I spent a few moments inviting our two new players to join us next week or any future week, asked everyone to please have a level five version of their characters ready for next week and called it a night.

Overall we had good session, though it started an hour later than I had hoped. I tried my best to fit everything into our two hour window but it just wasn't meant to be. This I think is a good indication for how much more meat there is in each chapter this season of Encounters. I remember playing past seasons where we were done in half an hour. I also have to admit that I'm still amazed by how much we did get done. We ended up with only two hours to play and just read everything we were able to get done.

Looking forward to next week.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Classic WGR Review - Cities and Knights of Catan

So for today's classic Windsor Gaming Resource Forum review I've chosen one of the very popular Catan games, Catan Cities & Knights. Well actually it's not a stand alone game but rather an expansion for Settlers of Catan. Like Shadows over Camelot I originally reviewed this game over six years ago, on Feb 6th 2006. I may not be bringing this one out as often as Shadows but I still enjoy a good game Cities & Nights.

Classic WGR review:

Quickly: great game, highly addictive, feels very different from normal Settlers of Catan.

Summary: 
Take you normal Catan game with your island, roads, cities, settlements etc, and add city walls, knights  barbarians, progress, science and politics. This expansion takes Catan to the next level. Besides trying to just build cities and settlements you must also collect commodities (Coins, Paper and Cloth) which you get when you have a city on the proper resource (Ore, Wood, Sheep). Use these commodities to upgrade your cities. Upgraded cities earn you development cards from three different decks. These cards give huge advantages like free road building, trading at 2:1, moving roads, taxing other players and more. While all this is going on barbarians slowly move towards Catan. This leads to the second big addition: the knights. Players can build/feed and upgrade a set of knights. These can be used to scare away the robber, hold good intersections on the board, break up longest roads and a bit more. The main time they come in to play though is defending the land. When the barbarians arrive you compare the number of cities on the map (the barbarians strength) to the number of activated (fed) knights. If the knight number is higher, the barbarians are defeated and the player who contributed the most knights gets a victory point "You are the Defender of Catan!". If the barbarians win, the players contributing the least knights loose a city. This adds a great new level of strategy to the game and also makes it a bit more competitive.

The good: 
As usual for a Catan game the bits are great. Well made wood pieces (though I hear the new edition has plastic), nice flip books for developments and a great border for the entire island that really helps for an 'Earth Quake of Catan". The level of strategy added is great. There are a lot more things to think about now, and it will keep you much busier then the standard game. Works well with 3-4 players and even better with 5-6 (which requires an additional expansion). The barbarians add a great element of suspense to the game when they are getting close and no one has or has activated any knights. The development cards are great with tons of sneaky and useful cards you can get to mess with other players and advance your own plans.

The Bad: 
This isn't always a bad thing, and it depends who you ask but the games take quite a bit longer then a standard Catan game. Even trying to play quickly a game will probably take at least an hour and a half, with some games going much later. There is still a high random factor in this as in the rest of the Catan series, even more so in this one with the extra die (that determines if the barbarians advance or if players can generate progress cards). Personally I don't find this an issue, but anyone that prefers pure strategy may not like this. Lastly, it doesn't 'feel' like Catan. Sure you generate resources, build cities, etc, but it just feels different, like a different game. Whereas Seafarers just added to the basic game, this added so much it 'feels' different. I don't know how else to explain it.

The Ugly: 
Really this is a great game, I don't have much bad to say and I am really having to think about it. The only ugly I can think of is the way the players may get. This has more backstabbing  sneaking and ganging up then the other Catan game so if your group has low sportsmanship there could be an issue (of course I know some groups that love this version of Catan just for that reason). Just play The Spy, Followed by The Bishop  then A trade Monopoly and see if your opponent is still smiling, or grabbing a knife ;)

Overall: 
A great game, truly  This builds onto Catan in many great and interesting ways. It doesn't feel like the basic Catan game which could be a good or a bad thing. Well worth picking up as the added strategy and the drama of the approaching barbarians will likely bring you back to the table again and again.

How I feel about it six years later:

I've still got a soft spot for this game. I will admit I don't break out any of the Catan games often. I just played them so much back when they were new to me. I've probably played more games of Catan and it's expansions than any other games in my collection. Cities and Knights still remains my favorite way to play Settlers though. Since this was written all of the Catan games have been re-released. They all of the nice wooden bits have been replaced by plastic (boo) but the frame that was so cool in Cities and Knights now comes with every edition (yeah). The gameplay and rules haven't changed though and this is still a solid choice, especially if you are still enjoying Catan but getting tired of just worrying about who has wood for sheep.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Classic WGR Review - Shadows Over Camelot

Shadows over Camelot is one of the games I will be bringing to the Boardgames Are Really Fun event this coming Friday, so I thought this would make another good classic review to bring back to life from the Windsor Gaming Resource Forum. This review was originally written back on February 14th 2006. As I did last time, I will include my current thoughts on the game after the classic review.

Original WGR review:

Quickly: great game, best co-op game I have played.

Summary: 
Players each take the role of a Knight of the Round table and embark on various Arthurian quests. Players work together to complete these quests in an effort to beat 'the game' itself. Quests vary from Jousting the Black Knight, Battling an insane Lancelot, Finding Excalibur, Defeating a Dragon, the Wars with the Picts and Saxons, and of course The Quest for the Holy Grail. Play is simple with a ton of strategy. Each turn you must advance the cause of evil and then complete a heroic action. Advancing evil is done by drawing a black card (which generally makes one of the various quests harder to complete, or something special and evil happens) or by taking 1 point of damage, or by adding a catapult around Camelot. If the field around Camelot fills the game is over. Heroic actions include moving to a new quest, fighting catapults, playing special cards or doing a quest related event. The quest related events vary by quest. In Camelot you get 2 cards, against the black night you must play 2 pairs of white cards, against the Picts or Saxons you must play a straights of white cards, etc. Each knight also has a special ability (examples include, moving from Camelot for free, drawing extra cards, or getting to peek at the top black card. There is one final twist, there is a chance (a good one if playing multiple players) that one of the knights is actually a traitor and they are working against you. Rules exist for accusing this traitor and the way they influence the game for the side of evil. The game ends when Camelot is surrounded, all knights are dead or 12 swords are on Camelot. Swords are gained when quests are completed, black swords if the quest was failed and white if it was won. The greatest colour of swords at the end determines the winner.

The Good: 
This was a great game and a ton of fun. It is by far the best 'team up' game I have played. The components were beautiful, I haven't seen a game this nice looking in a long time. The game play is very quick once you get into it. The game has a great feel of tension once it gets moving as you feel you are fighting a battle on multiple fronts (Picts and Saxons to the left and right, an almost full field of catapults and Lancelot looking too tough to defeat all at once for example). There is a 'table talk' rule that is awesome. Basically you can discuss what you want as long as your don't give away the value of the cards you hold. This basically turns the game into a roleplaying session as all players are saying things like "I will need assistance in the final hour in my war with the Picts" (generally meaning the player doesn't have the final card for a straight). This element really made the game. It would have still been a good game, but this rule and the resulting roleplay pushed this one up a few notches. The card mechanic made things random enough that each game we played felt very different. One game getting just overrun by evil and the next being a closer fight. Advanced rules and variants exist for when you master the main game to add more longevity to it.

The Bad: 
The plastic the figures of the knights were made of was odd. It was a bit rubbery. This probably makes them more durable, but I wouldn't consider painting them due to this consistency  The game is confusing at first, and takes a few goes before you even understand what is going on. It's really very different from anything out there. It's not a pick up and play type of game at first. Really I can't think of much else.

The Ugly: 
This game is HARD! I guess you have to expect that for a co-op game, but man is it hard to even come close to victory. I would say this probably give the game longevity though. I don't think our group will be using the variants that make the game harder any time soon.

Overall: 
A great game, the best co-op game I have ever played. The roleplaying aspect due to the 'table talk' rule really pushes this to the next level. The game is very different from anything else and will take a bit to learn due to that. Don't expect to win this one the first time out (or the second or third time)

My thoughts now, six years later:

Well I think the fact that I'm bringing this game out to an event this coming weekend more than six years after writing this initial review speaks to how much I still enjoy it and the games longevity. This is still one of the best games I own and I still think it's the best co-op game out there. Yes to me it's even better than fan favourite Pandemic. As to the review itself, most of what I said six years ago still stands. My worry about the soft minis was unfounded, these miniatures are actually firmer than many on the market like those in Battlelore or Reaper Bones and I now own painted versions of the Knights. I still love the way this game mixes a traditional card based board game with roleplaying elements and I fully expect that I'll still be bringing this one out to events six years from now.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Tim Kask lets slip some info about Gygax Magazine


Over on the Old School Gamers Facebook Group Tim Kask, one of the contributors to Gygax Magazine let slip some more details. What I'm really glad to see is that they are planning on supporting multiple games and multiple formats including print. I'm definitely excited about this one.

From Tim:
Gygax is a gaming magazine for new and old players alike .We are looking forward to the games of tomorrow and today, while preserving the traditions and history that got us where we are now.

Our articles and features cover current independent and major publisher games such as Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, The One Ring, Shadowrun, Godlike, Labyrinth Lord, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Warhammer 40k Roleplay, Traveller, and others, as well as classic out-of-print games with a modern following, like AD&D, Top Secret, and Gamma World.

Our features include comics by Phil Foglio (What’s New With Phil and Dixie), Jim Wampler (Marvin the Mage), and Rich Burlew (Order of the Stick). Contributors include Jim Ward, Cory Doctorow, James Carpio, Ethan Gilsdorf, Dennis Sustare, and many more.

Publishing quarterly in print as well as PDF and iPad editions, we hope each issue of Gygax will be an
anticipated and treasured addition to any gamer’s library.

TSR Lives again? Well sort of

So how many of you gamers have seen this yet?


Have you checked out: http://tsrgames.com/ or maybe http://gygaxmagazine.com

There's been a ton of speculation today over what this is all about. Well ENWorld managed to get some answers and I have to say I'm excited by what they found.

"Hi guys, this is Jayson [Elliot]. I'm the editor for Gygax Magazine.

Gygax Magazine is myself, Ernie Gygax, Luke Gygax, Tim Kask, James Carpio, and Jim Wampler. Our first issue is out in December; since it's not finished yet, we've been pretty quiet about things until it's ready.

Just to address some of the questions, I thought it was best that I leave a reply. We do own the trademark for TSR, and have since December of 2011. We are a new company, not the old TSR, as they were purchased by Wizards in the '90s. The trademark was abandoned about nine years ago, and we registered it in 2011.

We decided the best thing to release first as TSR was a gaming magazine, because we wanted a way to bridge the traditions of the old guard with the awesome new games that are out today."

Here's the original post over at ENWorld: http://www.enworld.org/forum/news/332022-gygax-magazine-update-gygax-family-involved.html

Props to Gareth Skarka for originally posting about this on G+

Monday, 19 November 2012

Classic WGR Review - Agricola

Photo by boardgamegeek user: Tony "blkstar" Bosca
For the second classic Windsor Gaming Resource Forum review, I've chosen Agricola. Back when this review was originally written, May 13th 2009, Agricola was the number 1 game on Boardgamegeek.com, a position it held for months. To this day it still ranks as number 3. Check below the initial review for my updated thoughts on this game.

Original WGR Review:

So how does the current number 1 game rate?

Summary:
In Agricola each player takes on the role of a farming family. They each start with a plot of land and a basic two room house and need to expand from there. The winner is the player with the best farm after 14 Rounds.

These rounds are broken into 6 stages, at the end of each stage is a Harvest Phase where farmers reap what they have sown, animals give birth and you need to feed your family members.

Each round of the game allows players to take one action for each family member. The available actions are all shown on a central board and players choose them by placing a large chit over them. Once an action has been chosen by one player it cannot be chosen by another. The actions vary wildly and include but are not limited to: taking building materials, going fishing for food, building a new room on your house, improving the materials of your house (from wood to clay to stone), building fences, buying animals (sheep, pigs and cattle), Going First, building improvements and more.

Scoring is done at the end of the game. Generally people get points for having lots of something and loose points for having none. So having No cattle is worth -1 point where as having 6 is worth 4 points. The following are scored - number of fields, number of pastures, number of grain, number of vegetables, number of sheep, number of pigs, number of cattle, number of empty fields (this is a penalty), number of clay rooms, number of stone rooms, number of points from Improvement and bonus points (usually from improvements or occupations).

There are two ways to play, Family Play or regular. Regular play adds Minor Improvements and Occupations to the game. Players each start with a hand of 14 cards that can be played during the game (by choosing the right space on the board). These do a huge variety of things and there are over 400 of them included in the game to ensure that no two games play the same.

The Good:
Reminds me of a mix of Princes of Florence and Caylus and that's a really good thing. The basic mechanics are excellent and very easy to understand in a short amount of time (even if they are hard to explain). The role choosing mechanism is one of my favorite mechanics, and this game does it well. The theme is very accessible and I think this would be a good gateway game because of it. The components are all pretty top notch with nice wooden bits. A nice touch was the inclusion of enough zip lock bags for every single bit in the game. We have played this game 6 times and every time I have used a slightly different strategy (and won or tied 4 of those 6 games) which is great to see, there is obviously no 'one way' to play and win. It's actually surprising that number of different ways you can approach play. This is also a fairly short game. Lasting only an hour or two. This is great for a game with this much depth. The huge amount of cards included in the game mean that you could play this game a near infinite number of times without the same combination coming up. Talk about replay value.

The Bad:
With all the nice wooden pieces for everything else I don't understand the decision to do food as a cardboard die cut chit. Why wasn't food just another cube, maybe green or something else not used? Here is something I do not understand. Each player has a field card, the backs of these are all different. One of them shows an example of a filled out field, that makes sense. The rest have various backs, supposedly for storing the various bits, though if that was the case why wouldn't they all be the same. Some have pens on them for holding resources and some do not. It's just not logical. I like the concept of including an example on the back for explaining the game, but never actually found it practical, plus it just doesn't make sense that it's not consistent.

The Ugly:
Okay we have now played 4 games with the Regular rules and tried all three of the different decks provided in the main game (The E, I and K decks). In each case there seemed to be players with 'good hands' and players with 'bad hands' This means that the cards add a rather high level or randomness to the game that greatly affects a players chances of winning. The Family game is very player vs player and highly strategic, this element seems to be lost with the cards. Now personally I liked the feel the cards added and I liked the random element (trying to still win with a crap hand I found a challenge), most of the players I played with hated them, and would have rather played the Family Game.

Summary:
Overall I have to say this is a really good game. An excellent game actually, one of the best I own. But it's not number 1. I can't see how a game with such a wildly random mechanic as the Occupation Minor Improvement decks can be considered the best in the world. I still recommend picking this one up or getting in a game at a friends (send me a PM) but I still prefer some other games like Power Grid and Puerto Rico more then this.

My thoughts 3 years later:

Well my opinion on this one hasn't changed much at all. I have grown more fond of the card mechanic as time has gone on. Mainly due to the fact that it ads variety to the game and your initial hand of cards gives you some direction as far as which strategy is best to use. I've also found the play time has actually grown on this one. The average game seems to take about two hours. The main reason for this is due to people spending a lot more time thinking. Playing with people who know the game well actually takes longer as they strategize the best move each turn. Lastly, I never did figure out why the card backs are different on each playing board.

I've recently head that the game now ships with 'animeeples' instead of cubes and chits. Now there's a nice touch that makes a great looking game even better.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Classic WGR Review - Power Grid


My wife suggested I work on slowly migrating some of the reviews I had originally posted on the Windsor Gaming Resource Forum over to the new blog. Seemed like a solid idea so here's the first one. One of my favorite games of all time Power Grid. This review was originally written by me July 18th 2006

Quickly: it lives up to the hype. Probably the best game I have tried this year. A great game.

Summary: players compete to build power plants to supply cities with power either in the US or Germany. The game starts with an auction phase where players bid on power plants. Each of these costs a different minimum bid and provide power for a set number of cities while requiring various resources to run (Coal, Oil, Solar, Garbage or Plutonium). The plants start out inefficient and cheap and grow to more efficient and expensive as the game goes on. The next phase is the buying of resources. Resources vary in price depending on demand, and players buy in a set order, making buying first a huge advantage. The next phase has the players building grids. Players purchase 'houses' in cities they wish to supply power too. The cost for this varies depending on the connection between a city you own and the city you wish to purchase, some connections are very cheap, others are very expensive. Also at the start of the game only one player can supply a city, later int he game a second player can purchase a 'house' but at a greater cost. In the endgame a third player can set up shop in that city as well, but this again is more expensive then the other players had to pay. The last phase involves players spending resources to power their plants and getting paid for the electricity they have supplied. Turn order is determined by who is closest to achieving victory and reverses for many phases. Thus the player who has the most 'houses' bids on power plants first, but then they buy resources last. The game lasts about an hour or two and turns are fairly quick.

The Good: the components As with many eurogames put out by Rio Grande the board and pieces are top notch, including wooden 'counters' for houses and all commodities. The board is excellent looking and has two sides (which I love). The only complaint was the money (see the ugly). The variety of great game mechanics in one game was amazing. The auction phase was typical of a eurogame but usually this is a games only mechanic, in Power Grid it's just the first step. The way the resource price scaled as the game went on with supply and demand was unique to me and worked very well. There were times when you would buy resources just to drive up the price for other players. It's also interesting the way the 'higher end' commodities star off very expensive and slowly drop in price as time goes on. The way the power plants scale is also excellent, with near useless plants being replaced by powerhouses that can supply 6 cities with only one resource. The building phase was also interesting just due to the map. I have no clue how they determined how much it costs to link individual cities, but they way it is set up with a few pockets of cheap grids then leading out west being a huge expense is very well done. Without going on to much, I will just say this was a very fun game with a ton of variety in the strategies that one could play. I don't think any two games would ever be the same due to the variety of options and the power plant generation method.

The Bad: Due to the number of commodities it can be hard to keep everything on the board in the right place. The first thing I thought when we had to add more resources to the stock at the end of the first turn was this would be a great computer game, as there was quite a bit of standing up little wooden counters along a crowded track. It seemed like this may be a game where steamrolling occurs. That meaning that once a player gets the lead they continue to keep it. The person with the most cites and best plants just keeps getting more money than everyone else every turn, allowing them to just keep building more cities and getting more money, etc. There didn't seem to be a good way to 'stop the leader' There was definitely some jockeying for position, but once one or two people got about 3 cities ahead, it didn't seem like the other players could do much about it.
The Ugly: the presentation and components in this game were top notch, except for one thing. The money. Power Grid had the worst looking money I have seen in a game since monopoly It was also incredibly thin. This is a game where a ton of money changes hands and I can't see it lasting long. Now the game I played the owner (Sinister) had fixed this problem by using poker chips, which worked great, but it would have been nice to see something better included. It is possible in this game to shoot yourself in the foot. To the point where you can no longer play the game. If you spend too much on power plants and forget to save money to buy resources you can basically oust yourself from play. Now I am sure some people like this, and really it's just part of the game, but I am sure it's not fun to sit and watch the other players finish up while you do nothing turn after turn.

Overall: a game that definitely belongs in the top 10 boardgames. This is pretty much on my must have list now. I would love to head downstairs and play a game right now. Great components, interesting and good working mechanics and a variety of strategies make this a winner.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Local Warmachine/Hodes group sets up Facebook page


Hey Windsor Hordemachine players (I know most people like to call it Warmahordes but I much prefer Hordemachine)!  The local Privateer Press gaming community has finally joined the 21st century and has created a Facebook group just for fans of these two great games.

This group was created by the players who get together at least weekly at FLGS extraordinaire Hugin and Munin. Regular gaming events are held every Sunday but pick up games occur throughout the week.  I know they just finished a big local tournament and they are always looking for new players. So check them out at their new Facebook home:





Wednesday, 7 November 2012

D&D Encounters: The War of Everlasting Darkness - Session 2

I just got home from session two of Dungeons & Dragons Encounters. The same four players from session one returned for this one so I must be doing something right.

We started a bit early and made sure everyone had leveled up. No one is using a character builder this time around and I've got to say it now feel odd leveling a D&D 4e character without it. It's also odd to level up after every session. This whole highlight reel thing is taking a bit to get used to but it's playing out very well.

This week we join the heroes just weeks after they witnessed the release of the everlasting darkness. You can check out my first session report for details if you wish. During that session the group heard about a pending Orc attack on Winter Edge and this session the group rushed to get there before the orcs.

The group found Winter edge a city in chaos. The inhabitants were all very well and good scared and creeped out by the blackened sky. The sound of orc trumpets in the distance didn't help at all. The group met with Goodwife Winnestorm (Goody Winn) who calmed the people down and came up with a plan. She would evacuate the village. Leading them to Quaervarr at the player suggestion they would hold up there and potentially fall back to Silverymoon if necessary.  Meantime the party would head north to the Orc lands, to Dark Arrow keep and negotiate with the Orc King determining why they have broken a long standing and documented truce. To aid in the negotiation the group would work with Half Orc, Rhupp who shared the royal blood.

There was a rather amusing scene where a half-elf girl tried to gift the groups Paladin with a woodden doll. The vampire in the group recognized it as a magic item that could cast a Sunlight spell and convinced the group that the item was cursed.

Then the first of the Orc raiders arrived as the villagers started their evacuation. The fight was quick and bloody and gridless, and got the adventure moving at a good pace.  The long journey to Dark Arrow Keep was mostly glossed over except for some building tension of orc patrols and roleplaying with Rhupp. Arriving at the keep I got to play dramatic and have Rhupp get laced with arrows and the group captured and brought before the king. The thief rocked this part having already faded from the group and hanging back in the shadows.

So now there was tons of roleplay as the Orc King boasted in front of the assembled tribes and the group tried to convince him that allying with the Drow was not the answer. There were lots of bad rolls, lots of bad rolls things weren't going well. So the thief decided it was time for action. Picking out one of the Orcs that seemed to be sowing sedition in the group, an enemy of the King, an assassination attempt was made. Unfortunately for the group she underestimated the toughness of an orc tribe leader. The attempt failed and sparked a grand orc brawl. One of the largest of all time. The group woke up two days later battered and bruised.

Allies of the Orc King, wishing for peace, or at least no alliance with the Drow worked to find a loophole in order to sway more tribes but still keep the King in good standing. Their plan was to appeal to the Shaman of Gruumsh and try to arrange a test of might in the Pit.  The group agreed and the stage was set, for a pit battle. Between the groups champion, the Elven Thief (I'm still surprised it wasn't the Paladin). A rather fun climax ensued with the Elf batting a well trained Guard Drake while the rest of the group helped from the crowd, trying to hide their efforts. Hilarity happened when the Dragonborn Paladin rolled consecutive 1s while trying to mimic drake commands. The Cleric after doing some healing got caught interfering was tossed in the pit along with two orc challengers. The Vampire also found himself tossed it but not before probably saving the Elf with a distracting gaze on the drake. Overall really fun fight that was a bit of a nail biter for a couple of turns. This was also our first time fully using the 4e grid rules, which took a bit to get used to for the players unfamiliar with the system.

The players were victorious in The Pit, which allowed the shaman to declare them as Gruumsh watched and worth listening too. Multiple Orc tribes now backed the King and his aversion to the Drow Alliance. The group had completed their quest.  But we weren't quite done yet. After a feast they were warned of a potential assassination attempt as well as the location of the Orc armies next target: Mithral Hall. Disguised as Orcs the group fled Arrow Keep, violently at first (taking out the first patrol of Orcs they found) and then stealthily at the very exit.

Overall this was another great session. Again I'm surprised by how much we are able to get done. This session ran about an hour and a half and we had plenty of roleplaying along side multiple combats, including one rather long climatic Pit battle. This, so far, is the best season of Encounters to date.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

So I got to try Eclipse last night

Last night, thanks to a friend and fellow local gamer, I got to try out Eclipse. Eclipse is currently ranked as the #5 game in the world on Boardgamegeek.com and is also the #5 Strategy game of all time.  It's been listed on The Hotness since being announced and I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype.

Start of the game, I was playing the Yellow Humans
Eclipse is a space exploration game along the same lines as long time favourite Twilight Imperium or Galactic Emperor and has quite a bit in common with both games. Each player takes on a race and starts in their own region of space. The galaxy is formed with hex tiles that include victory points for control, planets providing up to three different resources (Money, Technology and Resources) and worm holes along some but not all edges.  Unlike the other games mentioned, the galaxy isn't set up before hand but discovered through play. Each player gets a starting system and a play board that varies by race. When we played we took the suggestion to all be humans. I apologize now for the quality of pictures my iPod touch takes, it's what I had at hand during the game.

Gameplay sounds complicated but is rather simple once you pick it up. Each turn players in sequence get to choose to do an action or pass. Each time they do an action they move a disc to the appropriate area on their player board. As discs are moved a cost is uncovered, this the money you will need to spend at the end of the round to pay for your actions. Discs are also used to assert influence over a star system so the number of systems you can control and the number of actions you can complete are dictated by your income. You get income and resources by building colonies on planets, these are the cubes. As you remove cubes from your play board larger numbers are uncovered giving you more income each turn. It's a rather elegant system. Actions include exploring, researching technology, using researched technology to upgrade your ships, changing how your influence is spread, building things and moving.

Initial Exploration
Exploring is what you do to spread out from your initial colony and also what builds the board. When you choose the explore action you pick a wormhole on the edge of a tile you control and draw a new hex tile from a pile based on how far it is from galactic center. Tiles closer to the center tend to be better tiles but are often guided by the Ancient Race. When the new tile is placed a wormhole must be placed adjacent to the one explored through. Note not all edges have wormholes which really makes things interesting. Due tot this mechanic tiles that are right next to each other on the table could actually be multiple hexes away. We all really enjoyed how the map got built as we played and how players we expected to be neighbors were actually so far apart that they barely interacted.

My Interceptors loaded up with Alien Tech
Research and upgrading I think are worth talking about as I thought this was one of the best parts of the game. One of the actions you can take is Research. When you take this action you can buy new technologies of a central technology board. What is available changes as the game goes on (with tiles drawn out of a bag). There are three different tech trees you can work on and specializing gives you not only a discount on each future tech but victory points if you buy enough of each type of tech. Some new technologies give you instant bonuses like being able to settle more planets, or being able to build orbital space stations or Monoliths (there's stars in there). Most though are equipment upgrades for your fleet. When you buy these you don't get anything right away, you need to use the upgrade action. When you do this you get to add two components to your ship diagrams located at the top of your player sheet. You have three types of ships and a space station that can all be upgraded with new weapons, more power, faster engines and more.

The big fight for galactic center.
Combat is quick and brutal and happens whenever, at the end of a turn, there are pieces of two different colours (players) on a sector tile. Initiative is determined by ship speed based on upgrades and weapon type. Missiles fire first and then other weapons. All attacks are done using d6.  The basic rule is that you roll 1d6 per weapon and rolls of 6 cause a hit. One hit does one damage and destroys a point of hull. If there is no hull the ship is destroyed.  This is all modified greatly by the technological upgrades players have applied to their ships. By the end of the game we had ships rolling four orange, two damage, missile attacks the first round against ships with five hull and two sets of red, four damage, lasers that had +4 to hit. Combat goes back and forth until one side is wiped out or retreats. Colonies need to be attacked before the sector swapped control and we all found that the Neutron Bomb tech really helped with this. Overall combat plays out very fast and furious and is hugely based on the technologies that each player chooses to research and then equip on their ships. Participants in combat each will get to draw victory point tokens from a bag. Each player gets one token for being in a battle and players who destroy enemy ships get extra tokens. The tokens are numbers 1-4 and you only get to keep one toke out of all of the ones you pull.

The other phases include building which lets you build new ships, starbases and orbital stations or monuments if you have the right technology developed. Movement lets you move your ships around hex by hex with speed set by the drive unit equipped on each ship. Influence lets you abandon sectors and take over new ones. The first player who passes on their action becomes the start player for next round. In an interesting twist even passing doesn't necessarily take you out of the game for the round. There are three reactionary actions you can take even though you've passed. These are reduced versions of move, build and upgrade.

How the board looked at the end of the game
Eclipse is played for a total of nine rounds and it's the player with the most victory points at the end of those nine rounds that wins. Players get victory points for each sector they control, technologies they have developed far enough down each of the three trees, trade agreements and victory tokens collected through conquest. In the game we played victory was determined by two points.

Obviously there's a lot more to the game than this, but I figured I've already typed enough already. There's alien ships that guard some territories, some sectors give a bonus to the first player who settles there, the galactic center is guarded by a big space station and more. If you have any questions about anything in particular please feel free to ask in the comments.

Overall I had a great time trying this well regarded game. Eclipse seemed like it took the best concepts of Twilight Imperium and Galactic Emperor and combined them into a very quick, very refined and balanced game. Rules explanation took a long time and it looked like there was far too much to figure out but by turn three we all had it figured out and the game flowed great. While Eclipse is shorter than it's predecessors it's still not what I would call a short game. Our game went over 4 hours, almost five with rules set up and explanation. I fully expect we could cut that down to three easily now that everyone knows what they are doing. We also had a couple players who are known for analysis paralysis so I would expect the game to be quicker for other groups.

I think the best thing that can be set about how much we all enjoyed the game last night is that we are all trying to figure out a way to play again today. Also we are all still talking about it. We've been on Facebook saying "you know when I attacked Green, I should have waited one turn to..." and "Why the heck didn't I set up that treaty earlier, I knew ..." To me going to bed thinking about what could have been is a good sign of a great game.




Saturday, 3 November 2012

Boardgames Are Really Fun - Nov 23rd at Villains Beastro

B.A.R.F. - Boardgames Are Really Fun
Theme: Fantasy

The Windsor Gaming Resource and Villains Beastro are proud to announce a Boardgames Are Really Fun event scheduled for November 23rd running from 6PM until Midnight.

The Villains Beastro is a unique, funky, weird, mystical, fun, serious, laid back, Viking-feeling, pub-looking rock n’ roll type place that has offered to open their doors for us. It’s the perfect spot for a group of geeks to hang out and play some games. There are plenty of tables of all sizes, a well lit stage area, some great beers on draft, a selection of harder beverages and a selection of great tasting sandwiches. Villains has agreed to give us the space for free and I encourage everyone to support the venue by buying food and drink.

The theme for this event is: Fantasy. We are looking for games with a fantasy theme. Games like Dungeon! Castle Ravenloft, World of Warcraft, Game of Thrones, Runebound, Descent, Talisman and more. Note we encourage you to stick to the theme but it's not necessary and we aren't going to kick you out if your favourite game is Catan and you choose to bring that.

This is an open non-competitive gaming event that anyone is welcome to attend. Any form of games are welcome, board, card, rpg, miniatures, whatever you want to bring we are willing to have you. We encourage people to bring games that fit the theme but if there's something you just have to share, feel free to bring it. We aren't rule lawyers. You are welcome to bring your own games or share in some of ours. Everything we bring we are willing to teach and no experience is necessary. The goal is to get as many local gamers out as possible to enjoy some good food, some good company and some good games!

An important note: we are not a private club. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come out and join in the games. If you see someone playing a game and it looks interesting, ask about it. If you see a game on a table and you want to try it out, ask around and see if someone will teach it.

Villains is located Downtown at:
256 Pelissier
Windsor, ON N9A 4K3



Villains Beastro on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/villainsbeastro

The Windsor Gaming Resource Webpage:
http://w-g-r.com/

The Windsor Gaming Resource on Facebook:

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Hillfolk Kickstarter has gone nuts

So Robin Law's original kickstarter project, Hillfolk, was for one rather nice looking book. He had lots of game design celebs in the rafters waiting to beef up this book when stretch goals hit as well as some plans to open source the system. Then things went nuts N.V.T.S.!  It was funded in hours and the initial stretch goals were hit in days. Pagemageddon I happened as he hit the physical page limit for the book. Oh my! So a second book was added to the kickstarter for a miraculously low price ($16 for print). In addition to this Robin had to go out and find more gaming elite to add to this new book. This is about when I jumped on this crazy train.

Hillfolk Cover Mock-up
Now it's only a few days later and there's still a day left in the kickstarter. Again Robin not only ran out off Gameratti but he has again ran out of room, in the second book! Pagemageddon II has happened. So he pulls in a few favours and brings in more big time gamer people and comes up with a new stretch goal. Those of us who have backed will continue to get pdfs of more content as more stretch goals are reached.

There's so much RPG goodness here that it won't even fit into two books! It's bursting with stuff from the who's who of gaming. Plus it's not done yet! Robin has managed to end up with the Reaper Bones of RPGs with Hillfolk.

I'm a backer, how about you?