November 27, 2009

So Many Games, So Little Time

This week I started cleaning up my place in preparation for the holidays. It has nothing to do with the fact that I've been lazy and not properly cleaned it since before Halloween, honest! One of the first things I have to do when cleaning up is collect all the various gaming junk lying around on the tables, counters and even the floor, and put it all into one spot. Well this time around I realized that one spot simply isn't going to cut it anymore, unless I get a bigger spot.

So today I thought it might be an interesting bit to talk about some of these games and why I like (or don't) them so much. For today, I think I'll restrict it to card games, because otherwise this list is just going to be too damn long. Grab a cup of coffee and let's go!

VS System - If you have ever met me, or come to this blog at all it's very likely that you know of my love for the VS System card game. This was not the first collectible card game I got into, but it has certainly been the longest love affair I've had with one. This game simply has it all: my favorite comic characters, awesome team options, epic battles and everything in between. I still run the local hobby league and with some new plans in the new year, hope to keep it running for a long time to come!

GIJoe TCG - This was actually my first collectible card game. I resisted picking it up, even after seeing demos of it in San Diego the year of its release. I finally caved in to buying a starter set after seeing the how-to-play video on one of the animated DVDs. This game is quick and easy, but a LOT of fun to play. Anyone from my generation would be crazy not to enjoy an all-out battle between your favorite Joes and Cobras! I still have a half-dozen decks for this game in the closet, awaiting battle at any time.

Teen Titans CCG - This was the third card game I ever played, and it's had limited game time on my tables. It's strange engine, but its based on a hilarious cartoon. I've built a few decks for it, but it doesn't get played often.

Marvel Ultimate Battles - A failed attempt by UDE to capitalize on their Marvel license. Honestly though, this wasn't a bad game at all. Some similarities to VS, but with greater focus on your heroes (or villains) as the stars made it interesting. We only played it for a month or two after its release. I can't see breaking it out again anytime soon, if ever.

Anachronism - This is an odd one. Collin got me into this game, based on historical warriors. It's been out of print for a while, but it's a fantastic game. It plays like a miniature game more than a card game and is fast and fun! I like this game because you can teach it to non-gamers in like 5 minutes and I've never had anyone say they didn't enjoy it. Roll some dice, conquer your foes. Great stuff.

Call of Cthulhu - Another of my favorites, but this one is a tough sell to non-Cthulhu fans. The engine is solid but takes some time to get your brain wrapped around. One of the biggest selling points for this game to me initially was the artwork. The cards are absolutely beautiful! The switch by Fantasy Flight Games to make this a Living Card Game (LCG) was a great one. LCGs are inexpensive to collect, but still provide a ton of play options for interested players. I also run a bi-weekly adventure league for this game. It's still growing, but I'd welcome any suggestions to make it more fun.

Warlord - An interesting card game that I was only recently made aware of. It's a battle game, but has some elements of miniature combat in it as well. Not out of print, but a very limited release structure. I have trouble getting people to play this one. A cool engine with a focus on protecting your warlord makes it a rather deep gaming experience. The warlord characters are usually the best ones on the field, so you have to balance getting him into the fight with protecting him from getting stomped.

Warhammer: Invasion - My newest acquisition, and a definite favorite. This game is designed by the same guy who created the Call of Cthulhu game, and there are some similarities. It is a vastly different game though, with fabulous artwork and a very deep game engine. This is also a LCG, which I love. Finding a balance between developing your capital, getting units out to attack with, and just surviving provides a lot of choices and a really awesome gaming experience.

Now of course, games are no fun without people to play them with...which does pose a problem from time to time. I have a lot of gamer friends and we all have our favorite games. So when it comes around that we actually have time to get together and play, we often want to play our favorites. That's a great thing and I always look forward to out VS tournaments (Starro tonight, woohoo!), and the Cthulhu nights (insanity awaits). But with all these other games in my possession I want to play them too...maybe I'll have to start bribing people with beer or something.

Now, go out and play. Tell your moms and wives that I said it was ok. ;)

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