Thursday, February 28, 2013

“The most expensive part of building is the mistakes.” ― Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth

I blogged (Missed it by that much) about getting a worker placement game and finally broke down and picked up Pillars of the Earth by Mayfair Games. Why did I go with Pillars? I enjoyed the book and this helped me with the theme of the game. I also believed that because of the book, I can get those non-gamers to give it a try because when they see the game, they can immediately tie it to something they know, assuming they read the book or watched the miniseries.

I took it to our local game club meetup this week and was fortunate enough to be asked to give it a spin. I have played other worker placement games and they all have there positives, but Pillars is unique to me because drawing the pawns from the bag adds suspense to the game that others don't seem to generate. Another thought that others shared that have played the game more than me, but I do agree with, is that Pillars lends to tight games. In the final round, all players seem to be in striking distance of one another, no one person seems to have run away with the points. The other night, we were all within five points of one another. I am not saying it can't happen, just that it seems unlikely.

I have a few observations from last nights game that I wanted to share for those interested in Pillars of the Earth
  • Watch out for those restrictions when you eliminate your starting craftsmen. You might think that isn't a big deal but when you need to sell/buy wood/stone and you can't, that stinks.
  • Metal is a big part of the game, don't think you can completely neglect it. And watch for the metal hoarders.
  • The instructions warn that gold is limited and that warning isn't strong enough. You will need to be watching your budget more closely than you expect.
  • I swear there are more negative events then positive, don't know if that is true, but it sure seemed that way
Anyway, glad we got to play Pillars and hope you consider picking up a copy if you are looking for an oldie but a goodie in worker placement games. If you don't have time for the book, be sure to check out the miniseries because either will add to your experience with the game. I want to add the expansion as soon as it gets back in stock so I can add two more players to the game.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How creative people think-Story behind the logo

Ever wonder how creative people think? What their thought process is when they come up with those great ideas? Ever thought to yourself, I wish I could have thought of that. Well, Steve Gibbs, the talent behind our logo, has posted on his design blog what his thought process was behind our logo. Once again, behold the goodness

As I read his information, I was even more impressed by the process to get us a logo and just how it went from a simple paper drawing

to the finished product you see on our site today. Once again, Steve has done some impressive work, so give him a shout out if you need a logo or design. For example, here is a logo he did for the local Warmachine group

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Episode 6 - Catan: Why you can't burn your neighbors city

Episode 6 is out for debate. We were lucky enough to have Todd join us for this episode in which we discuss Eurogames vs Ameritrash. To help people have some idea what we are talking about, here are the definitions as found on BoardGameGeek:

Ameritrash n. A catchphrase for "American style boardgames". In general, this means games that emphasize a highly developed theme, player to player conflict, and usually feature a moderate to high level of luck. Examples of classic Ameritrash games include Axis & AlliesDuneCosmic EncounterTalisman, and Twilight Imperium. See the Ameritrash page for more information
Euro / Eurogame n. synonym for German game. This term emphasizes the more frequent publication of German-style games in other countries in Europe.

Ok, that didn't help as much as I had hoped, so give the podcast a listen and hopefully it will become even clearer. During the podcast, Todd mentions a book which he read to prepare for the show. That is right, there was actually sources used in the show. That is why we bring on the guests, to help raise the level of this show. Anyway, the book Todd mentions is Eurogames: The Design, Culture and Play of Modern European Board Games by Stewart Woods

Just remember, that when you are looking at games and think, is this a Eurogame or Ameritrash, you will know it when you see it.
Potter Stewart


Monday, February 25, 2013

Money, Money, Money - Kickstart by Minion Games

Marty and I jumped on this Kickstart for coins by Minion Games. These coins will be used in Hegemonic, their new 4x game which was successfully funded this year. It seems that many players wanted to increase the amount of coins that were coming in the game, so Minion Games decided to offer a Kickstart to allow not only the Hegemonic backers more coins, but give more gamers the opportunity to get these coins.

Why get these coins you ask? Well, I think it adds to games that use credits or coins when you pick them up and there is weight to them instead being very light. Then there is the feel of metal in your hand that adds to the experience that you are using coins. And finally, the sound the coin will make when it hits the table as you throw it into the pot. All these things can only make playing a game that much better, in my opinion.

I am glad it reached the $45,000 goal and added the 2 value to the lot, this adds one more game I think I can use these coins with. So far, Marty and I plan on using these coins with Small World, 7 Wonders, Lords of WaterdeepAndroid: Netrunner, and Puerto Rico. I am sure we will find other uses when I pop open a game and see the need for coins, but right now, these are the ones that come to mind.

So, there are only a few days left in this Kickstart and if you can get past the space look of the coin to use with other games, you might enjoy adding these coins to your collection.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What topics do you want to hear about?

We have the first 13 episodes all planned out. We are going to be covering topics like euro games, dice games, worker placement games, role playing games, miniature games, and game etiquette. But 13 episodes only gets us half way through the year. Do you have any suggestions for topics you'd like to hear? Want to come on sometime and offer your expertise in a certain area of gaming?

If so, let us know by commenting below, or send us an email , or tweet us @DiceAndNames

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We made the evening news

On the latest Dice Tower News video, Tom Vasel introduces us to the community.

The whole video is worth watching but our announcement is at the 7:40 mark.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Welcome to the Big Leagues!!!

Well, didn't think it would happen this fast, but we are in the big leagues as of today. Rolling Dice & Taking Names is now part of the Dice Tower Network

As part of the Dice Tower Network, we are listed on their website which is a big positive for exposure. Other opportunities include the participation on reader questions or even contribute to the Top Ten Lists on the flagship Dice Tower podcast. As a matter of fact, we have already sent in our first response to a top ten question.

Anyway, this is a great honor to be part of the network and as Crash Davis taught Meat...
  • We gotta produce one podcast one day at a time.
  • We're just happy to be here. Hope we can help the network.
  • We just want to give it our best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.
Thanks Dice Tower for making us part of your network

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Oh what a night, great games and strange weather

What a very interesting night tonight in our first. First, we got a short but amazing snow storm in our area with huge flakes. It was the kind of snow I like. One that sticks to the trees and grass, but leaves the roads in good shape. 

But what made it even better, was over at Marty's playing some great games. We started off with a deck building game that we both enjoy and taught it to two other people, Cecil and Ed. Eminent Domain by Tasty Minstrel Games was a big hit with them and what was even better, I pulled off a victory. If you haven't given that game a play, try and find a copy and give it a try. There is suppose to be an expansion this year, can't wait for it to hit, and the way TMG is hinting at a Kickstart next week, one can only hope.

We then broke out Puerto Rico, which I know everyone has played. This was my second time playing and I hate it took me ten years to play it. I know it is in Marty's collection and I don't remember if he got it at Origins when we were there or later. Either way, it was a great addition to his collection. Oh, I also won. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Episode 5 - Can't we just all get along (Coop Games)

Episode 5 is out for consumption and it is all about Coop games, one of our favorite style of games.
  • In the first 5 minutes, we don't jump into Coop games so don't be confused, we talk about our gaming experience with Twilight Imperium (00:00)
  • We then talk about a whole bunch of coop games that we have played or would like to play going from those we consider intro (Forbidden Island, Flash Point) up to the hard core (Arkham Horror) (05:01)
  • In Casual Corner, we talk about Pandemic. We love this game and it shows. We mention the new release and below are the images to help you understand the reference. (30:10)

And sometimes we get confused between actors, but it is understandable, see they look the same.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Now you too can be Captain Tightpants

Ok, normally I don't look at a license game to seriously, because well, they usually count on the license to sale the game, but I now that Verse will not let me down and this game will be solid addition: Firefly The Game

We will keep an eye out on this one

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Good Timing!

Tony and I just wrapped up Episode 5 which is about coop games. The Dice Tower just released a video discussing their top 10 coop games. They talk about many of the games we discuss and their #1 game is in our Casual Corner. Episode 5 comes out Feb. 12. But in the meantime, see what Tom and his buddies like

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What the heck...another Incredible Logo

The logo that Steve did for us was awesome, outstanding and would look great on a shirt. 

However, Marty had a stroke of genius and asked if the shield could be changed out for cards since it is the thing that got us into gaming. So, Steve being the great guy he is, did a quick modification and 


We got a new logo and it will really look outstanding on a t-shirt or on dice

Thanks Steve!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Twilight Imperium - So this is what they mean by Epic

I was lucky to have my schedule work out this weekend so that I could have the opportunity to play the classic epic game Twilight Imperium - Third Edition. Now, the only other game that I have played that could be considered a 4x game is Starcraft.  So when I was told that this game was also 4x, I thought I had a good idea what to expect and I couldn't have been more wrong. Don't get me wrong, this was a great afternoon and night of gaming, but I didn't realize just how intense this would be. Marty was also with me and we have planned to do a 4x show on the podcast, so I am glad we got to experience this session together. 

Now, not going into how to play the game or anything like that, but just going to reflect on the 8+ hour experience and what I did right to prepare/play the game and what I did wrong. 

What I did right:

  • I read the rules, well sort of. I made it half way through the rules because I believed I could get a quick handle on the game while we played. I knew playing the first time, the strategy would not be there, that comes in the second game when you play something this long.
  • I allowed enough time to play it. I was counting on six hours but added two more to the schedule and glad I did.
  • I had no expectations on this game. I wasn't going in thinking I was going to love it or hate it. I was looking forward to just the experience of playing.
  • I brought light snacks and plenty of Diet Coke. Didn't need anything heavy here, my wits were going to be challenged enough.
  • I didn't have moments of analysis paralysis during the game. I knew I couldn't overthink this game because I didn't have the background.
  • I finished respectfully with 6 Victory Points, I think.

What I did wrong:

  • I didn't read the rules completely. I thought I would get the general idea by watching the play progress, but there were a few key rules I wish I had a better handle on before playing.
  • I didn't watch any youtube videos before playing. I should have taken the time to view at least the Dice Tower video.
  • I thought I understood what a 4x game was since I played Starcraft, yeah right.
  • Should have gone out to BoardGameGeek and downloaded some helpful guides. Normally I do this, but the volume scared me away and that should have clued me in that I was in over my head.
  • I shouldn't have turtled, should have been more aggressive. I think that is the problem when I play these games, I wait to long before making a move.
  • I should have asked more questions about the planets in the game so I could have developed a better strategy when placing them at the start. I didn't realize just how poor my planets were.
  • I placed the supernova on my side of the board, what was I thinking, not like we needed to use it to go back in time.

Closing thoughts, it was a great experience and glad the group that we had was very social and understanding of one another as we tackled this complex game. I will say, not sure I could walk away from this game and come back to it and pick up where we left off. This is one I think that if we start it, we finish it.