Monday the 22nd I went up to Montpelier to check out The Book Garden as a more local Friendly Local Game Store, the alternatives being in Burlington or West Leb. The store is small and had a small but good selection of the better board games: Dominion, Puerto Rico, Quarriors, 7 Wonders, Munchkin, Ticket to Ride, The Lord of the Rings Card Game, and Settlers of Catan. They had X-wing from Fantasy Flight, which shows that someone in the store is up on the latest games. Magic the Gathering also made an appearance with a selection of used cards as well as the newest sets.
The games section is really just one rack in the middle of the store. They carried expansions for most of the games they had in stock (7 Wonders, Dominion, and Settlers,) but I didn’t see quest packs for LotR. Also missing was any Arkham Horror. There was a tiny selection of RPG books at foot-level, mostly GURPS. I didn’t see space for gaming and the store was empty save the one clerk. I asked about Games Workshop merchandise, but no they don’t carry Warhammer or 40K.
So it’s still Quarterstaff or Tripleplay for models and paints.
The visit left me with the overall impression that this is more of a bookstore that has games rather than a full up FLGS. It’s not bad and I will certainly return to the store from time to time and list it on BoardGameGeek as a FLGS stand-in for people stuck in Montpelier.
I’ve been working on a Dwarf army for Warhammer. I haven’t painted minis since the early 1980s so it was almost a brand new experience for me. I remember TSR metal minis, but I never made the jump to Warhammer or 40k. For a few years now I’ve been wandering the game stores looking at all the models and the dice and the measuring devices and wondering if I should start yet another hobby. At Gen-Con I got a deal on a Dwarf battalion and now I’ve started painting. I’ll be posting pictures here as the process continues to build up my troops.
Posted in Games
Tagged as: dwarfs, games, Warhammer
I’ve been waiting for this game to hit iPad for a while now. I tried it out at the Bookery Boardgame Club in Fairborn a while back and it’s a great game. The board game version has a ton of pieces, go figure–it was made by the designer who did Agricola. Lot’s of little chits, money pieces and cards.
So having this game on the iPad is wonderful. Just like Ticket to Ride is a pain to setup and sort and get ready, we spent a fair amount of time getting the physical game ready to play… the iPad version is ready to go when you are, since you don’t have to sort things or shuffle cards.
The nice thing about the iPad is there is always someone to play with and the AI has been fairly challenging so far. I’ve only played the game twice now so I’m still getting the feel for when to take resources vs when to build something. I’m sure I’ll be winning sooner or later.
See all about the game here: http://sageboardgames.com/le-havre-the-harbor.html
I just found out about the pirate themed game in Playstation Home. I know it’s been around for a bit but I haven’t updated my Home software in a long time. The game is a team shoot-em-up with one person at the helm of a ship and up to six people manning the guns. Each cannon can move independently and requires a gunner to fire. As you blast the other ships they take damage. If you shoot at a cannon you can wreck it and stop it from being used to pummel you. I didn’t notice if there was a difference between shooting sails or hulls. In either case the ship takes structural damage.
As you play you earn XP that you can use to unlock abilities that allow you to buy buffs to cannon damage or reduce reload time for gunners or increase speed and repair abilities for navigators.
It’s very much like the ship combat in Pirates of the Caribbean On-line. One driver and a crew of gunners. Only the navigator can repair structural damage and gunners can rebuild trashed cannons. I didn’t see a way for gunners to help out fixing the structure of the ship.
There’s no wind and ships move about much like they do in PotCO. Although I didn’t get my ship to backup, so forward and then port or starboard.
It was fun and it will probably bring me back to Playstation Home more often than my usual once a quarter visit to my harbor side apartment.
So the new Microsoft Surface product was announced on Monday. It’s a hybrid tablet-laptop and it looks really cool. Lot’s has been written about it and the wars between iFaithful and MicroSofties are breaking out in post comments all over the web. My opinion is that Microsoft has a chance to build an ecosystem with Xbox Live, the Windows Store, and the Zune marketplace that would rival Apple and create an alternative walled-garden for non-Apple users.
Lots of pundits are asking about battery life and price. I think the battery life will be sufficient for the mass market use and price will be adjusted as Microsoft sees fit. The really key to the Surface’s success is integration. Since forever Windows users have had to manage their own content, deal with applications that don’t talk to each other and poor communications with hardware makers. The one place where this is not true: Xbox. What’s the best success story in Microsoft’s long history? Xbox. Microsoft is getting it, Ballmer said the word “ecosystem” on Monday. Surface will live or die based on how well the guys in Redmond provide a consolidated user experience. With Windows 7 there’s no coherent answers for users. I load my OS and Office suite and then it’s off to Bing or Google to find a photo manager, a media manager/player, text editors, games, etc. I might pick applications that don’t work well together or that are not supported or that have serious flaws. Surface has to be simple. The Windows Store needs to be the one place to go to get quality apps.
Sony needs to do the same thing with PSN, Vita and Xperia. Anything branded with PlayStation Mobile needs to integrate with PSN content. I really enjoyed my Xperia Play but it went back to AT&T because I couldn’t access my PSN content from my PlayStation Mobile certified device. The Vita will be a winner if it gives PSN members access to their content on the go.
I avoided WoW The Card Game for the longest time. I have been sucked into collectible card games before and spent a lot of cash on booster packs hoping for the right cards and getting stiffed only to return to the store later that same week and plop down another chunk of change for more. The last thing I wanted to do was get yet another shoebox full of plains, psyduck, brujah vampires, red talon allies, islands and mountains. (yes, I’ve got boxes of weak/common TCG cards)
I recently started playing Lord of the Rings the living card game after taking the better part of a year being convinced it was not yet another TCG. I really like the LCG format; no rare cards, no arms race for the best cards, no packing your deck with umpteen copies of the same killer card. The format is great. A new adventure deck shows up every so often and it has all the same cards. The game is infinitely repayable since you can craft different decks with different abilities.
Cryptozic seems to be taking WoW:TCG in the same direction with the class starter decks and the dungeon decks. This change was enough to convince me to give the WoW card game a try.
I started out with the standard player vs player duel and the game plays very similar to Magic. After that I tried out the dungeon deck. Scarlet Monastery is my second favorite instance in the game, Black Rock Depths is my favorite and would be a must buy if/when Cryptozoic makes it.
The dungeon deck is a fantastic game. Game play is very similar to the Lord of the Rings the card game with players cooperating to beat the dungeon rather than smacking each other around. I didn’t want to like this game, but I do.
I’m not going to get sucked into buying tons of boosters but I will probably buy a few more class starter decks and another dungeon or two. I hope Cryptozoic keeps moving toward the LCG format.
Miskatonic School for Girls is a light deck-building game where you are the head of a house at an all girls boarding school. You use friendship points to add girls to your deck and nightmare points to add faculty to your opponents deck.
The game supports 2-4 players. There are some special rules for 2 that remove a couple of the nastier teachers and changes how pet teachers are handled. The game plays in about 45 minutes.
It’s a comical Lovecraftian themed game and the art work is amazing. Many of the girls names come from H.P. Lovecraft stories (Hannah Armitage and Josephina Curwen) and the teachers have monster names (I love Amy Gho, even though it took me a minute to get it…)
The game is to stay sane. Isn’t that the point of all Lovecraft games? As your opponents add teachers to your deck that becomes harder and harder. The game does start off a little slow, not boring, but you only lose one or two sanity in the first few rounds, but eventually the losses come fast and heavy. In the various games I’ve played/watched the game comes down to one or two points. I have yet to see a run away win.
The game comes with blank cards for girls, teachers and events so people can craft their own expansion cards. I could easily see an expansion to add teachers and girls; not that this game needs an expansion. It’s a load of lighthearted sanity draining fun as it is.
It’s been a bad year for technology. We lost Steve, Denis, and now Jack. All three contributed to the industry in immeasurable ways. Sad times indeed.
The day is here and the Playstation Vita is out. I’ve messed around with one at the local Gamestop and I’m just not as excited as I once was. The UMD import tool is not available in the U.S. and the system uses proprietary cables and memory cards. There isn’t any on-board storage in the machine. It can’t replace my PSP since I don’t want to re-purchase downloadable copies of my UMDs (and in some cases my UMD games are not on the PSN) I can’t use my PSP accessories since the new Vita memory cards aren’t even standard Sony memory sticks.
The technical specs are impressive and I’d love to see handheld versions of Red Dead Redemption and Dragon Age appear on the Vita, but for now I’ll stick with PSP versions of Mod Nation racers, Little Big Planet, and Wipeout. I’d buy one tomorrow if I could replace my PSP with the Vita but I can’t play Pirates! or Star Wars Battlefield at all and I’d have to re-buy a dozen other titles. It’s just too much to spend for not enough gain. Sorry Sony. I’ll keep my eye on the Vita and if I can get a used one at Gamestop or if you drop the price I’ll reconsider.
Posted in Technology
Tagged as: Gaming, PSP, Sony, Vita
It has been a crazy holiday season. So mush so that my traditional Xmas theme for the web site didn’t even get posted this year. Sorry 2010 but I didn’t have enough time to mod the site with Xmas stuff. Let’s hope 2011 calms down a bit…