Quick Bites – The Spiel #87, Boardgame Babylon #71, The Durham 3 #66, Canon Puncture – Inspectres part 2


Ok, here some feedback/reviews that have been sitting around for a while.

First, Boardgame Babylon #71 – Interview with Tasty Minstrel Games.

I have been aware of Tasty Minstrel Games for a while now.  I remember an interview from GenCon ’08 with The Spiel I believe.  Anyway, Eric Burgess (of Boardgame Babylon) interviews Michael Mindes and Seth Jaffee about how Tasty got started, what they are doing, and where they are going.  It is an interesting interview on how to build a game company.  They discuss Terra Prime and Homesteaders, Tasty’s first two games which premiere at BGGCon this November.  The interview was fun and I learned some things should I ever want to start a gaming company.  As to the games, Terra Prime sounds a lot like Starfarers of Catan but I haven’t played it yet.  Homesteaders sounds pretty good too.  Lastly, they talked about upcoming games.  Of those there was one chemistry based game that sounded interesting.

Next up, The Spiel #87 – Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

This episode is about dice.  All kinds of dice and dice games are discussed.  First let me say that I like the music for News & Notes.  The Durham 3 also uses this.  What is it?  Also, the newish format of using bumpers between the segments is good.  Do I see Pulp Gamer’s influence here?  Last non-game thing – Pip is a very good name for a cat.

So what games did they talk about?  Dice Town by Asmodee was one.  It sounds like a hit.  It has been a while since I listened to the episode so I don’t remember any of the details about Dice Town.  But I did note that it sounded great.  I need to investigate this one more.   Next was Ra – The Dice Game.  I haven’t played Ra yet (shock!) so I have no point of reference for this game.  But from the way the guys talk about it, I don’t think I’ll pick this one up.  Truckloads of Goober contained Tumblin’ Dice.  I have heard good things about this dexterity game.  And Stephen and Dave continue the good words.  This one goes on the Buy List.    I want to mention the Spiel-a-thon and The Spiel Foundation.  Spiel-a-thon is the annual fundraiser for The Spiel Foundation.  The Spiel Foundation is the charity set up by The Spiel to provide quality games to children’s hospitals and senior centers.  I think this is a fantastic idea and more people should do something like this.  Perhaps an RPG version for the seniors.  Hmmm…

Canon Puncture Actual Play 9 – Inspectres part 2

I am a fledgling indie gamer/designer.  I have hung out on the fringes of the indie game community for about 2 years now.  I regularly visit Story Games and The Forge as well as a couple of other indie focused sites.  As a result I’ve become aware of a lot of very cool games, people, and podcasts.  The Durham 3 is/are one.  Canon Puncture is another and Inspectres is one of those legendary games.  Inspectres is described as a horror/comedy rpg.  From the AP it lives up to that reputation.  This is one that my group would like.  It goes on The Buy List.  The podcast itself is very funny.  The guys have quick wits and a lot of fun with each other.

Lastly, The Durham 3 – episode 66 – Frost Devils

The Durham 3 has a unique format – they introduce what they are going to play, go play it, then come back and report on the session.  I very much like this.  We get the fresh, just played comments and emotion that is in an actual play without all the boring parts. They also discuss mechanics and talk about what they liked and disliked about the games they play.  And how they might drift them.  The crew is made up of Clinton R. Nixon of The Shadow of Yesterday fame, Remi Treuer, one of the top playtesters around, Jason Morningstar of Grey Ranks and Shab-al-Hiri Roach fame, and Joel (whom I’ve met but don’t know exactly what he is famous for yet).  The guys are a lot of fun to listen to and I have learned a bit from them too.  They are all quite pleasant and intense in person and play also.

I’m actually going to go back and condense the preceding episodes and comment on them first.  They played Mouseguard.  It convinced me that I must own this game.  A very excellent sounding game that I can play with my children.  Top of the RPG Buy List.  Now episode 66 deals with their Dust Devils game.  Jason  is running the game and set it in late 1800’s Alaska for a twist.  From their reactions, the game was much fun.  There is some discussion of the mechanics and they sound very interesting.  I would like to play this game.  Part the next is on the way.

That’s all.

Go Forth and Game.

tomg

The Spiel – Episode 88 Small Press PowWow


The Spiel is one of the podcasts that I listen to regularly.  I enjoy listening to Stephen and Dave talk about games.  And I really like their show notes.  Lots of detail with links to the games and subjects discussed included.  Very impressive.  Here is feedback on Episode 88 – Small Press Powwow.

I really like the idea behind this episode.  Giving small press publishers some attention is great and is one of the things I hope to do with this blog.  More on that later.  The show covered several games – Kachina by Bucephalus Games, The Great Potlatch from Smal Box Games, Quackery by Tangent Games, and Captain Treasure Boots by Cheapass Games.

News and Notes discussed several games – Macao, Dungeon Lords, Jaipur, and Tobago.  Each is linked on the episode site if you are interested.  Of these up coming games, Dungeon Lords sounds the most interesting to me.  One – it has a fantasy theme.  I like fantasy.  And this game hits my GMing spot.  Check it out.  Tobago sounds fun too.  Treasure hunting in a jungle almost always catches my attention.  The guys do a good job of bringing these new games to our attention.  Also mentioned are the International Gamer Awards winners Le Havre and Day & Night.  While Le Havre sounds interesting the time frame most people are talking about with this game (3-4hours) is too much for me.   And I don’t think I could get anyone in my group to play it.  Day & Night has potential.  I like abstract strategy games.  Hive and the Gipf series are among my favorite games.  Day & Night is a game I need to look into more.

The List – First let me say that I like The List segment.  They go into a fair amount of detail on each game each episode.  I appreciate this.  Not many podcasts are spending this much time on the games they review.  So what came off the List this time – Kachina and The Great Potlatch.  Kachina is from Bucephalus Games.  The guys discuss Bucephalus and their track record so far a bit.  Then on to the game itself.  It’s theme is Native American mythos.   Stephen gives a good overview and some history of the theme.  I really like it when he does this.  I appreciate the extra time he takes to do this.  Keep it up Stephen.  The game has some interesting mechanics coupled to an entertaining theme.  This one goes on the Buy List.  Check it out.

Next up is The Great Potlatch.  Now, the name puts me off at first.  It does not sound appealing at all.  But after listening to their review I want to play this game.   Another Native American themed game – that’s cool.  Again Stephen gives us a good history lesson on the background of the theme.  It was interesting.  The Great Potlatch has a neat idea of multi-use cards.  The cards in the game can have multiple uses at various times during the game.  When to use them most effectively is one of the neat mechanics and leads to hard decisions.  I like that.  So, while it doesn’t make the Buy List yet, it does make the ‘I want to play this’ list.

The Backshelf Spotlight focused on one of the many Cheapass games – Captain Treasure Boots.  I haven’t played this one but it sounds like fun.  It’s your basic treasure hunt game with fighting.

Truckloads of Goober was about Cheapass Games again.  It went into their idea of you supply the game pieces – pawns, dice, etc..    This was a revolutionary idea at the time James Ernest started Cheapass.  So the guys talk about ways to enhance your games with things around the house or cannibalized from other games.    This reminded me of a Cheapass game that we own, Bitin’ Off Heads.  It’s a roll and move game of dinosaurs fighting to jump into the volcano first.  We use small plastic dinos with ours.  One of the guys mentioned school supply stores as a great place to get components.  I very much agree.  My wife works at the local homeschool store so we get lots of small doodads and erasers of various shapes and sizes.  Again there are dinosaurs ones, other types of animals, cars, lots of different types.  Lastly I was reminded of Run For Your Life Candyman, Smirk and Dagger’s game with the best component of all – actual gingerbread men.  And part of the game is eating them.  Sweet.

With the advent of print and play games, this is an economical way to buy/get games.  Speaking of print and play, you should head over to printandplay.blogspot.com.  Lots of cool games.

So that was Episode 88 – Small Press PowWow from The Spiel.

That is all for now.

Go Forth and Game.

tomg

To Catch A Thief


I watched ‘To Catch A Thief‘ again a couple of nights ago.  Boy what a great movie!  I am a HUGE Cary Grant fan and this film really showcases him.  He is very subdued in it though.  I hadn’t realized how much his performance is backed up and bolstered by the rest of the cast.  Grace Kelly is great.  She makes Francie strong yet frail and a bit mysterious.  She’s playing the game but is soon caught in her own net.  Jessie Royce Landis as Francie’s mother, Jessie, is a real joy.  Brigitte Auber as Danielle is wonderful.  She can hold her own in the presence of Grace Kelly.  Her scenes with Grant are a lot of fun.  I had forgotten that Hitchcock had directed this.  His direction is fantastic.  The scenery/setting is gorgeous, absolutely beautiful.

To Catch A Thief is a must see for Cary Grant fans.  And it is recommended to everyone else too.

5 out of 5 pawns

Quick feedback – Dice Tower – Top Ten Deduction Games, Pulp Gamer: Family Night – All Boxed Up


Here are a couple of quick comments on a Dice Tower episode and a Family Night episode.
Dice Tower: Top Ten Deduction Games
I am enjoying Eric as the new co-host. He brings a fresh perspective and has a soft humor that works well against Tom’s new attitude. This episode’s top ten were deduction games. Of the ones mentioned, Mystery of The Abbey and Clue: Discover the Clues sound the most interesting to me. Also mentioned were Alibi and Mastermind. I remember playing Mastermind with my sister when we were kids. It is a good game but wears out fast for me. Mystery of The Abbey is one of the forgotten Days of Wonder games that is supposed to be very good. I haven’t played it but am looking for a cheap copy. That’s it for The Dice Tower.

Family Night -This episode talked about storing games. The best idea I gleaned from it was using paper bands around card decks to keep them together when storing. Thanks Ron for that idea. They talked about Loot. I’ve mentioned it previously so look for that post to get my ideas on Loot.
That’s it.

Feedback on Pulp Gamer Out of Character – Elder Pronunciation Gods


I’m catching up on my podcast listening. I always check to see if there is a new Pulp Gamer episode of any kind first. And sure enough there was a new Out Of Character. In fact there are two. This is feedback on the first – Elder Pronunciation Gods.
The first thing to mention is Ron Blessing is back. This is a good thing. Ron brings good insight as a gamer and retailer to the program.
The first topic covered was Jess Hartley’s new book, Conventions for the Aspiring Game Professional.  For those who are aspiring game professionals, this book sounds like a must have.  Jess knows what she is talking about in this book.  She’s a well respected professional in the gaming industry whose works include these.  I’m particularly interested in her World of Darkness books, Innocents and Geist.  Geist is talked about more in PGOC 88.  Both of these books sound like they would be fun and scary.  And I don’t get to play scary very much.  If you are a game designer, check this one out.

Jess also mentioned that she is a homeschooler.  As a fellow homeschooler it is nice to see the community expand.

There was more talk of Adventures In Oz, a rpg where you play characters in Baum’s world.  As I mentioned previously, I would like to get some more info on this one.  I’ve not read much of the Oz material but I think it would be fun.  And I could play this with my kids.  The website has the character creation and a bit of the rules up for download so that you can see what the game is about.  There is an interesting mechanic in the game.  Combat doesn’t necessarily result in death of one of the combatants as in most games.  Here you combat until one gives in.  The mechanics seem to support this non-lethal conflict.  I’ll need to read more to find out though.

The rest of the episode was responding to feedback and emails.  A good portion of this was taken up by me in what they are calling The Tomg Spot.  Ha Ha.  I even got a big voice intro with an echo.  Ron mentioned that he and Veronica will be in my neck of the woods, NC, at MACE.  MACE is the local/regional gaming con.  It is a sweet con that is devoted solely to gaming.  Many of the Savage Worlds folks will be there and they are having a Savage Saturday Night event on – Saturday night.  So if you are in the High Point, NC area on Nov. 6-8, come on by.

There was mention of Jeremiah’s game company.  As I understand it he is hard at work on a new role playing game, MERP – Middle East Role Playing.  JD, you should check that out.

I would be remise if I didn’t mention Hive.  Everyone should have a copy of this great two player game.

I will mention that Pulp Gamer is running a ‘bribe’.  If you leave a review of Pulp Gamer Out of Character on iTunes you can get a copy of ‘Accent Your Character‘ – PG’s role playing aid to assist you in mastering those United Kingdom type accents.  And if you leave a review of one of the other Pulp Gamer shows you can get a digital copy.  Very cool.  I’m headed over there right after this post.

All in all another good episode.

Go Forth and Game

Sleeping Queens by Gamewright Games


We bought Sleeping Queens today at B & N for 50% off and played three games tonight. My kids really dig this one.
Here’s the breakdown.
Components: cards of three types – queens, power, number
There are 12 queen cards and each has a number of points on it. These cards are the ‘victory points’ of the game. You play until some gets 5 queens or 50 points in queen cards. They are set out in the middle of the table (or floor) face down. They are asleep at this point. There is one special queen, The Rose Queen, who allows you to choose another queen in the same turn.
Power cards – There are several types of power cards, kings, knights, dragons, sleeping potions, jesters, and wands. Playing a king awakens a queen which you then place in front of you. Knights steal queens from other players. Dragons stop the knights. Sleeping potions put other players back to sleep, returning them to the board. Wands cancel the potions. Jesters allow you to turn over the top card of the draw pile. If it is a power card, you keep it and get another turn. If a number cards, you count around the players, starting with you, the number on the card. The last player counted gets to draw a queen.
Number cards – these are used mainly to generate new cards into your hand. They are discarded as singles, two of a kinds, or an addition equation (a 1, a 2, and a 3, 1+2=3).
Play: Set up the queens. Shuffle the deck and deal 5 cards to each player. Choose the start player. Play a card and do what its action indicates. Then draw back up to 5 cards in your hand.
That is it.
How our games went:
This was fun. My kids immediately took to it. There is some ‘take that’ fun with the knights, dragons, potions, and wands. The jesters add a bit of mystery and suspense because you don’t know what card will turn up or who will get to ‘awaken’ a queen if it is a number. The Rose Queen really livened things up and was put back to sleep as soon as she appeared. We had to house rule that part though because everyone knew where she was. So we shuffled several of the queens together with her then laid them all back out to conceal her place. The art on the cards is great. Whimsical but clear and colorful. My son kept looking for the Fire King, his favorite.
All in all this was a real winner for us and we will play it often.

Myriad Games – Interview with Luke Crane


This is feedback on a recent Myriad Games podcast. I went into this podcast not expecting much. I wasn’t expecting the Myriad Games folks to be that knowledgeable about ‘indie’ role playing games.
I was wrong.
This is an excellent interview held up on both ends by a great interviewee and a skilled interviewer. I found this interview to be very interesting. They talk with Crane about small press and the available options including POD & PDF. The PDF discussion was very interesting. They also talked about Mouse Guard and Burning Wheel of course.  Mouse Guard is the next rpg on my Buy List.  It is one that my kids will enjoy as we are reading the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.  Burning Wheel sounds fun and I must try it some time also.  The thing that I was left with was this – rpg’s are about the experience at the table. They are about an unplugged, social experience. Bravo on a great interview.
Luke Crane was also interviewed recently on another podcast, I forget which, and it was also very informative.

That’s it for now.

Go Forth and Game.

Feedback on Pulp Gamer Out of Character 85


Here’s some feedback on PGOC85:

Several games were mentioned in this episode: Loot, Mesopotamia, LaBoomb, Adventures in Oz, Alpha Omega, Space Hulk, A House Divided, Terror 13, The Pathfinder System. Here are my comments on each followed by some general stuff about the episode.
Loot – I own this game. It is a card game produced by Gamewright about capturing treasure ships. Players are pirates using ships of various strengths to take treasure ships of differing value. The player with the most points/gold at the end wins.
I’ve played this with my 11 and 7 year olds and it goes over ok. Play with them tends to be slow but I believe that with an older group it would play faster and more lively. The ‘take that aspect’ doesn’t play well with these two as feelings tend to get hurt. It is a good looking game with very colorful artwork.
Mesopotamia – I haven’t played this one. It sounds interesting but too complex for my group.
LaBoomb – This one sounds like a winner with my kids. I can see this being a big hit. I like Jess’s idea of using Hershey’s Kisses. This one is on The Buy List.
Adventures in Oz – a rpg. It sounds like a lot of fun and I want to find out more about it.  It is a 2d6 based game where you are play characters in Oz.  It reminds me of The Zorceror of Zo by Chad Underkoffler and of Wonderland No More by Triple Ace Games.

Two other rpg’s were mentioned – Alpha Omega by Mindstorm Studios and the Trailblazer supplement for The Pathfinder System by Paizo Publishing.  I haven’t played either.  But both are getting good press on the forums I visit and from the podcast community.   Alpha Omega is a space setting.  I like that the monsters are ordered by power level.  Neat idea.Trailblazer is an inexpensive supplement the tweaks the 3.5 system.   I might look into AO but I am not into 3.5  so Trailblazer is out.

One of the big stories in boardgaming currently is the re-release of Space Hulk by Games WorkshopHere’s the BGG link.  This edition is a high end production with very high quality components.  The price is pretty high too, around $100.  But I hear that it is in fact sold out.  I’ve not played Space Hulk but it makes me want to try the computer version.

Terror Thirteen is an interesting sounding rpg.  There is not much info available out there though.  From the conversation the game has a  mechanism that I find interesting – bonds.  Bonds seem to be buttons that the GM can push/hooks for the GM to work with.  I’m for most things that help bring out a good story.

Last is A House Divided.  And this one is a gem if you ask me.  It moved up The Buy List after listening to this podcast.  This is a Civil War game that can be played on different levels.   Here is the BGG link.  Being very interested in the Civil War, I would really like to play this.  You ‘simulate’ the entire war, playing out different battles until the end.  There is also an alternate history aspect that sounds neat.

That’s it for the games now for some feedback on the show itself.  I like the larger crew.  JD Corley has brought a love for indie rpg’s that I appreciate.  And he really looks at a game.  It seems he learns and works games well.  I like Jess Hartley.  She brings an interesting perspective and I like how well she fits in.  I miss Ron but I see he has a new Savage Worlds podcast that must be taking up some time.

All in all, this was another great podcast.

Thanks PGers.

Go Forth and Game,

tomg