Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You Still Have A Chance To Save Your Soul

In our 2nd episode, we talked about games we were looking forward to in 2013. One of the ones on my list was Battle For Souls. This game has a rich theme, great looking cards and interesting game play that has a feel of Poker. 

Battle For Souls is now fully funded on Kickstarter but there are only a couple days left to get in on the ground floor and get a copy when it's released. Check out the game play video to see if you have any interest.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Episode 4 - It's Up and It's Good!!

The title says it all, this episode we focus on football games from the past and games that we are playing now that have a football theme . 
  • First segment is all about the great football games of the past and one of our favorites electric football. I can't believe that has been around since 1948 and what was even more amazing is what it costs today. Makes me wish I still had my old set. (01:40)
  • This episode's Casual Corner is all about... well give it a listen to see (15:10)
  • Also in this episode we have a special guest join us. Steve, the guy behind the awesome, new, inspiring logo, talks to us about Blood Bowl. (19:49)
  • Finally, Marty gives his impressions of a new miniature game by Mantic Games called Dreadball. (34:43)

Enjoy the show!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

To the Walls!!! Castle Panic Impressions

I treated myself to a impulse buy before the holidays and picked up Castle Panic. I had watched the Tabletop show on Castle Panic and I am always looking for another coop game to play so thought it was worth a shot. Well, we finally got to play it the other night and here are my impressions of the game.

First, the game is very simple to play and easy to teach to people. We opened the box, I went through the rules and we were playing in no time. The concept is to protect your castle from the siege of goblins, orcs, and trolls. You loose if your six towers are destroyed. All the players are trying to protect the castle, not just you, so this is where the coop part comes. The castle has various rings around it and these rings determine who in the army can attack the oncoming horde. You draw cards which are part of your army and you play them to defeat the attackers. Example, the archer card can attack an enemy in the archer ring, pretty simple.

But before you attack, you can trade one card to a fellow player and this is where the strategy comes in. Because, the horde moves up one ring at the end of each players turn and you then add two more attackers by a blind draw. You have to take this into account as you play because the next person must be able to do damage during their turn. There are other things in the draw like bosses that have powers you have to perform or sometimes a big boulder comes rolling at the castle. These elements really add to the fun and surprise of the game. Once you defeat all the horde and you still have towers standing, you won the game. Then each player totals the number of monsters killed based on the point system and whoever scores the most is the Master Slayer (yes we all chuckled with that name)

So, what did I think? Well, I usually use Forbidden Island as an intro coop game for people, but I am going to have to switch to Castle Panic. I like the challenge of the game and the excitement it brings with the blind draw of the next set of attackers. I also like that everyone has the equal participation unlike in Pandemic where it seems the person that draws the Medic becomes the go to player that saves the day. Don't get me wrong, love Pandemic, but it can also cause some analysis paralysis by players and doubt this game can do this. It is fast paced and a blast to play.

So if you are looking for a coop entry game with either the family or friends that aren't the board game connoisseur that you are, give Castle Panic a try. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

That is a sweet logo, can I get that on a T-shirt

Today we were able to unveil the new Rolling Dice & Taking Names logo. That is right, we are getting serious about this stuff. A friend of ours is in the Graphic Arts business and he was kind enough to provide us this logo. If you like, you can check out some of Steve's work at Not only can the man do some impressive logos, but he is also makes some lip smacking BBQ. I think he could even be on the BBQ Pitmasters show. And it doesn't end there. Steve will be on our next podcast as he use to be a Games Workshop Outrider and shares his knowledge on Bloodbowl.

Once again, we appreciate the logo that Steve did for us, so if you are looking for a logo, contact him, you will be glad you did.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our thoughts on Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

At our local gaming club meeting hosted by our Local Gaming Store, Marty and I got to play Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building GameSo, we thought before too much time passed we would share our thoughts on the game since it is one of the newest deck building games on the market. So instead of reading two blogs, we are just going to combine our thoughts here to keep things simple. (Marty's comments are in red and I am in blue)

Not going to explain in detail how the game is played, but on a high level, everyone around the table is trying to defeat a Mastermind before certain conditions are met which is determined by the Scheme card. If the conditions get met, then everyone loses. Just like all deck building games, you have ways to buy cards and you have cards you use to fight with. To be honest, if you have played Thunderstone or Ascension, then you have played this game. On to the discussion:

Overall Impression
It was a typical deck building game. Each game you have a different Mastermind to fight and different heroes to choose from. The resource/attack values were the typical fare where some cards produce resources to purchase more cards and others provide attack strength to defeat enemies. As you build you deck you must balance those resources. Overall, I think it is a great intro deck building game. The cards were easy to understand, the theme was nice and I liked the variety in how you can tailor the game for various winning conditions. The artwork on the cards was nice and the wording on the cards was easy to follow. 
What I liked
One unique element of the game was as henchmen moved through the city, the location they were in could affect them in a positive or negative way. The semi-coop element was also nice. If you didn't work together you were not going to be able to beat the Mastermind. But you also had to defeat henchmen and rescue bystanders as a means to get as many victory points as possible for the final tally. Requiring the different Marvel teams to work together (Avengers, X-Men, etc.) was also a nice touch.  I enjoyed that you had to defeat the Mastermind in order to win the game and not just beat the other players by scoring the most points. I think the dynamic of the henchmen moving through the city was interesting and if you couldn't beat them, there could be penalties to the group if they escaped. I liked how the locations in the city will change conditions on the cards and I really enjoyed the dynamic that you needed to play one style of card first to get the effect on the next card played.
What I didn't like
I guess I've played enough deck building games to feel there wasn't enough different in this game to make it feel fresh. In addition, I didn't feel the theme was used very well. The powers of the super heroes just didn't make any sense. Why does Spider-Man give me the ability to draw the top card and put it in my hand if it costs 2 or less? I never felt like we were endangered of losing the game. Even the people that owned the game said they have not had a challenge in this game, so it might be that they need an expansion to ramp of the difficulty. Even when a henchman escaped our capture, the consequences to our decks were not that bad.
Buy, Pass, Wait
PASS: When I first heard this game was coming out, I was very excited about it. And if I had never played a deck building game before it would probably be a buy for me. But there is just not enough from this game to separate it from all the other deck building games currently on the market. WAIT: I was going to buy this game last year, but glad I waited until I got to play it and now have decided that I am going to wait until I see how the expansion may impact the game. I love the Marvel Universe and would like to add this game to my collection, but I want more of challenge when playing a coop game. I want to believe I am going to lose and this game didn't produce it.

Thanks for reading and appreciate others thoughts on this game.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What about those games I was looking forward to?

At the end of 2011, I posted on another gaming blog the three games I was most looking forward to buying in 2012. I recently reread that post to see if my predictions held true. On two out of three picks, they did not.

Mage Wars
I first saw Mage Wars at GenCon in 2010. With it being a new card game (and I really like card games) I had to try it out. Like Living Card Games (LCGs), Mage Wars comes with a base set and has some expansions. You sort through the cards and build a deck to play. The difference is that you don't have a draw pile. All the cards are put in a card album and can be played directly from there. So there is no randomness of a card draw. This is a very unique game dynamic that I was very much interested in.

So why didn't I buy it? To be honest, I had too many games I was into at the time of release. I had invested in NetRunner, I was still trying to put an army together in Warmachine, plus I had a plethora of other board games I was playing. However, it's still on my buy and I highly recommend trying it out.

Clash of Champions 
I was big into the World of Warcraft MMO when it first came out. I spent way too many sleepless nights trying to level up my Shaman. Soon after the MMO release, Upper Deck released World of Warcraft Trading Card Game which both Tony and I jumped in feet first. We were buying boxes, sets, individual cards...yes, we fell into the CCG/TCG trap again. A few years later, Cryptozoic Games was formed to take the World of Warcraft license from Upper Deck and continue the card game. By this time, Tony and I had gone through an intervention and realized the money sink we had gotten into. So we had stopped playing and moved onto other things. Well, in 2011 Cryptozoic had announced they were doing a deck-building game for the World of Warcraft universe. Now, I have stated my feelings on Cryptozoic and how it handles IP, but this is a game I would buy just because it was a WoW card game.

So why didn't I buy it? Well, It never came out. Cryptozoic kept pushing the release date back and eventually they even removed the game from the their website. So I guess at this point it has been cancelled. So once again Cryptozoic disappoints me. But at least they had time to release a Castle card game /rolls eyes

Iron Kingdoms RPG
In order to expand my gaming experience, I decided to try a miniatures game. After a lot of research and discussion with my local gaming buddies, we decided to try out Warmachine. We each picked a faction, assembled some models and got to playing. But what intrigued me as much as the game was the lore behind the game. It's a steampunk fantasy type setting and Privateer Press has fleshed out a lot of the history and story behind the different races and all regions of the Warmachine world. So, when Privateer Press announced they were going to release a RPG ruleset for this setting, I knew I would be very interested in it. Again, in an effort to expand my gaming experience I wanted to try RPGs. The two biggest are Pathfinder and Dunegons & Dragons but with this new RPG on the horizon I decided to wait until it came out.

Why didn't I buy it? Well, I did. In fact I pre-ordered the core rule book to I could get it as soon as it came out and I wasn't disappointed. The book is rich with stories of this world and its inhabitants. The character development and combat is something I thoroughly enjoy. I've played a couple scenarios and really look forward to participating in a full campaign with my family and friends.

So there we go. Obviously I wasn't playing games in 2012 that I thought I would be playing. In our 2nd episode, I listed some games I'm interested in for 2013. We will see this time next year if my predictions were true.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Pandemic, so that is why there is a delay

So yesterday, Zman posted some big news about Pandemic. It seems instead of working on the expansion like they told Marty and I at Origins, they are releasing a new edition to celebrate the 5 year anniversary. To get the infection spreading, they have created a Facebook page, did a video with Matt Lercock to talk about it and went out to say they expansion will come out at the end of this year, not like they said at Origins. Ok, I will admit I was disappointed when it didn't show this year and yeah, still hold a slight grudge because they dangled the carrot out there.

But anyway, I have liked the Facebook page. Yes, I watched the video. And yes, I will buy the new edition and put my old one into the game library of our local game club. This game is the one game that I always drag out when playing games with the neighbors because it still gives a sense of accomplishment when we "Save the World" in the last turn. But what amazed me in the video with Matt was the number of units sold, 1/4 million, that is a huge number of people saving the world. Yeah, that is no Monopoly or Sorry, but still that is a bunch of units.

So anyway, if you are a Pandemic player, suggest you get over to the Facebook page to follow the news and that might be one of our first unboxings here on Rolling Dice and Taking Names.

Episode 3 - What do rainbows smell like?

Episode 3 is out for consumption. In this podcast:

  •  Marty and I attempt to explain our understanding of the various card games out on the market. We talk about CCGs or TCGs and the juggernaut known as Magic: The Gathering. The new system of Living Card Games is discussed and the various games that use the mechanics of deck building and card drafting. (00:00)
  • Casual Corner is all about Dominion, the game that started the wave of deck building games. (34:30)
Hope you enjoy the show and listen for Marty as he tells us what rainbows smell like.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Missed it by that much

This week there was a big sale over at one of the online retailers I have used in the past. They were offering 50% off on Mayfair games, the guys who brought you Catan. Sales like these help me push the button on purchases that I might not normally make and be willing to take a chance on a game that might not get a lot of play. By the time I was able to get to their website, most of the games were pretty well gone. I hate that because I have been wanting to add to my game shelve a resource collection game or worker placement game but not sure I want to go MSRP on one. It will not be one of the more popular games that I will own, so I am really trying to ensure the enjoyment per dollar is maximized.

Blogged early that I got a chance to play Agricola and it was a game I would enjoy playing again, but most people in my immediate gaming circle would not like because they like the lighter style of game. Marty has Puerto Rico and Lords of Waterdeep, both are excellent games that would fit my crowd, but I try not to duplicate games that Marty has so we can have more variety in our collections. 

So after a year of reading reviews, watching reviews, and getting some plays in with  games, I am still at a loss on what game might be best. That is why I hate I missed the sale because I would have pulled the trigger on Pillars of the Earth and finally put this debate in my head to rest. Oh well, let it begin again and maybe something will fall into my lap or somebody will send in some suggestions that I haven't even thought of considering in my quest for a resource/worker placement game.

Thanks for reading and Episode 3 is on the way

Monday, January 7, 2013

5 Second Rule and it isn't about eating something off the floor

Apologize for the absence, but since the vacation been trying to catch up and get moving into the new year. Matter of fact, had to get ready for a Warmachine tournament hosted by Your Local Game Store in Matthews, NC. The tournament occurred on 1/5 and had two models to get ready to go before we played. I am one of these people that even though I have no issues playing against unpainted models, I don't like seeing them on my side. I know, kind of silly, but that is just me. Had three good matches against very good opponents and appreciated our local Privateer Press Ganger Brian Cape for supporting the tournament. Didn't walk away with a medal, but anytime I get to play is a win. A friend of ours walked away with 2nd place and best painted and glad to see him get that. He spends a lot of time on his painting and it shows. If you want to check out some of his work, head over to Geekly's Foray into Miniatures. Marty also placed in the painting tournament, but he is modest and sure didn't want to bring it to everyone's attention.

Wanted to mention a party game that we played in Kentucky that really was a joy to play and is up there with Wits and Wagers for me. It is called 5 Second Rule: Just Spit it Out! that was published in 2010 and can be found at your local big box stores. Don't confuse this game with the more important 5 second rule in life because it is about answering trivia in five seconds. I was never much of a Trivial Pursuit player and when I first saw the game hit the table, I was concerned about it. Rules are simple, the person to your left reads you a question, you have 5 seconds, measured by a neat timer which is turned over by the player to your right, to provide 3 answers and if you do, you get the card. The person with the most cards after so many rounds or we played whoever collected 10 cards first was the winner.

What happens if that person can't come up with 3 answers in five seconds, then the timer passes to the right and the person who was timing now can answer, but they can't repeat any answers that are already given. If they don't, then it keeps passing until it gets back to the original person who got to answer first and they automatically get the card. The questions aren't hard, but sometimes they do throw you off and if people keep answering one answer at a time, but the time you get around to the last person, they have a hard task ahead of them. For instance, name three famous dogs in 5 seconds? How did you do? Well, in our group the first person said Lassie and Rin Tin Tin. Next person said Scooby-Doo and stopped. My turn produced Eddie from Frasier and then I got stuck. Well, the people down the line figured it wouldn't get to them and were not prepared. On the contrary, when the question came up that asked name three ways to say going to the bathroom, it was answered in two seconds.
Well, that is it for this week. Episode 3 is recorded and Marty is doing his magic to make us sound intelligent.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Episode 2

Our 2nd episode of Rolling Dice & Taking Names is now available.

In this episode we have:
  • Casual Corner - Ticket To Ride
  • End of year picks - Top Game, Best Gaming Experience, Biggest Disappointment, Biggest Surprise
  • Games we are looking forward to in 2013
Feel free to leave comments and suggestions.
Thanks for listening and Happy New Year!

Note: We had some technical difficulties with Tony's microphone that we did not realize until we have finished recording. We apologize for this and it will be fixed in the next episode.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Really, you listened to it

Just got back from our vacation and had a wonderful time as always. Plenty of games and just enough Oh Pishaw (Oh Hell) was played to keep it fun :) Discovered that the people we stayed with and our neighbors had actually listened to the podcast and they had taken snippets of it and did something called autotune to my segments and let me hear it in a new voice. They also kept dropping hints on some things I said, like playing to much Oh Pishaw and I completely missed it. Bravo to them for pulling a great prank and appreciate them listening and losing 30 mins of their lives.

Games played this past week: Star Fluxx, Cosmic Encounter, Nuns on the Run, 7 Wonders, Oh Pishaw, Tripoley, Sequence, and ran Fools Rush In intro to Iron Kingdoms. What a good week

Podcast should be out this week, final edits being done by Marty.