September 28, 2011

Call for VS Event Suggestions

Ok all you villains; I need your help! (Heroes just doesn't seem to be the right adjective for most of my readers, so you're stuck with what I give you...)
Most of the time when I'm putting together the upcoming list of event formats I simply try to think of what formats might be fun, and that we haven't played for a while. However this month I thought I'd try something different. I want you to help me chose the format for not one, but TWO of this month's events.

For the October 13th tournament, submit a comment on this blogpost with your top two suggestions from the format list. The format with the most suggestions submitted before October 7th will be the winner. A list of the formats can be found here.

With Halloween coming up I wanted to try something with a horror or undead theme. I'm uncertain what this could be or how we can apply it to a VS System event. Here's a simple example idea: each player must build a BYOTT deck that features Underworld as one of their teams. Post your suggestions for a Halloween themed VS event by October 20th. At the October 27th event I'll provide some prizes for the following categories:

- Most interesting, on-theme deck (voted on by the players)
- Winner of the tournament (decided by your own skill)
- Person who comes up with the theme we use (entirely up to my discretion)

One last thing: Even if you're from far, far away (like...Zimbabwe kind of far) don't feel like you can't make suggestions for us to use. I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing what everyone comes up with!

September 27, 2011

Ever Wanted to Know How Resilient Your iPhone Is?

The short answer: very.

After a 15 minute trip to the Apple Store I had a new back plate installed and I was on my way. The third photo above was taken before I had the replacement plate put on. The phone worked like nothing at all had happened, and continues to do so.

Just a little note however, I don't recommend trying this at home.

Games and Culture

Well over the past week I was able to make up some more ground in the "play some games" category. Our regular Thursday night VS System event was lightly attended, but everyone had a deck built for the format. That's rather unusual lately so I was happy to see it. More than that though, I was happy to play with one of my personal favorite decks: JSA w/ Lobo. There's an earlier article about the deck and how it works here, so I won't go into the details of it. It was originally built for this format, and modified to work in Golden Age play with the addition of a team-up card. Of course I was playing without that, and was very happy to not only get Lobo out on the table each game, but actually trigger his text in one of them. Granted it's a turn six or seven win, but it's fun and does what it's supposed to do quite well.

We followed up the VS games with a test run of Sentinels of the Multiverse. WIlliam had already played the previous week, but Scott and Anthony wanted to join in too. As we were a little pressed for time I opted to play the villain and environment card for them and walk them through the game steps for the first few rounds. The team started things off a little shaky, but pulled together nicely after the second Kraken appeared!
Time did run out for us though and we weren't able to finish the game before the shop started to close up.

Saturday I wasn't expecting to get any gaming in. After doing some last-minute shopping I headed off to my nephew's birthday party. The little guy is now a hyper-active three year old and as such is a great amount of fun. Lots of pictures, lots of laughing. After he tuckered himself out I headed back home and met a few folks for dinner.

Now, generally Laarni has next to no interest in board games but on occasion will surprise me by suggesting we play one. That's what happened on Saturday evening and we ended up playing a two-player game of Touch of Evil vs. the Vampire! Our characters were quite weak so we decided to team up against the villain and make a go of it. After collecting some tomes and weapons, as well as a few extra health space we hunted him down. Of course we'd never fought a vampire before so we had no idea that he had a crazy mist form and could become all but impossible to hit! Luckily my partner was packing some holy water and kept tossing it into the monster's eye each time he attacked us.

I'll have to say that the finish of this game was a little dissatisfying. The way the vampire's mist-form is worded, it sounds like he is impossible to hit at all. However, after we melted his un-dead behind with holy water, I looked up the rules online. Apparently he still gets hit like normal, but gets a sort of saving throw for each of those hits. Hopefully I'll remember that the next time we play him!

On Sunday we spent the day off getting cultured at the local museum. There was a film costume exhibit on display, and I finally had a chance to check out the Warriors display that opened up a few years ago. Actually, I suppose we got a double dose of culture last week! The first production by Vertigo Theatre has begun and I bought season tickets again. The play was really tense and thoroughly enjoyable, as always.

Monday's game night was good but I'm a little disappointed by the lack of interest so far. This is the second week in a row that I've been unable to garner a group of players big enough to play a three player game. If I've ever invited you to play games on a Monday, don't feel like it's a one-time invitation. The schedule is up here on the blog, although we don't exactly stick to it! Just give me a call or a text or an email and let me know if you're interested in coming out. I'll be more than happy to make a chair available should there be space. And lately we've not been lacking for space!

Both of the games on the schedule for this week are better multiplayer so we ended up shelving them. Instead we played A Game of Thrones LCG using only the core set decks. Our game was House Stark vs House Targaryen. This is only the second time either of us has played with these cards, but we each started out with very strong board presence and a lot of cards in our hands. It went quite long because neither player could garner a distinct early advantage. Finally after seven full turns my Targaryen forces started to pull ahead with the repeated assistance of Khal Drogo. By that point though we'd had enough and House Stark surrendered.

After playing a second game with the core set I'm inclined to say that I actually prefer AGoT LCG as a multiplayer game. We'll have to rope another player or two into it and see if my initial thoughts waver or not.

Finally we played a game of Magic: The Gathering. William wanted to try his newly-purchased pre-constructed Foil Sliver deck. I grabbed the first deck in line out my deck box; a Red-Blue Budget Burn. My deck has no rares in it at all. I should have taken a mulligan right at the start, as I only had one land in my hand. However, I had a few red creatures and two copies of Lightning Bolt, so I decided to hold on. The result was a game that took way longer than it should have. By the time I got some Islands out William's mana pool was huge. I locked down some of his slivers with Narcolepsy, but couldn't make the swing back from 3 life.

Magic is one of those games that I do enjoy, but don't want to play that often. I will really only play in small groups of casual players. I'm not competitive enough, nor interested enough in following and purchasing each set, to want to play in tournaments.

I had planned a brief rant to cap off this entry, but I'll keep it for another day; I'd rather end on a positive note. And of course, I invite people to leave their comments, feedback, suggestions or complaints on this or any other entry on my blog.

Happy Tuesday!

September 20, 2011

Super Heroic Gaming - Sentinels of the Multiverse

Last week I was lamenting my lack of game-playing time and dropped a list of games out that I was eagerly awaiting in the mail. Several of them arrived yesterday, so I have a pile of games on the table still in their shiny new shrink wrap. On Friday my copy of Sentinels of the Universe arrived as well, so I made sure to pick up some various coloured ten-sided dice and some clear sleeves before Monday's regular gaming night.

Not wanting to force my hopes on anyone I simply set the pile of new games, including the two games that were on the schedule, on the table. After a little "how've things been?" catching up, and the first part of a beer of course, William decided the Sentinels looked pretty interesting and that we should give it a try.

So try we did.

In fact, the unheard of happened. We actually played the same game more than once in the same evening. The game was so much fun that we played three games of it! However, the villains proved more than we bargained for in all but the first game.

Game 1: The Wraith and Fanatic vs. Baron Blade

Having heard that two single players with single heroes each was a difficult climb, we decided to use a modification that had been suggested: each hero player got to take two turns per round. While this was fun, the match up didn't seem much of a challenge and Baron Blade took a pretty severe beating in Megalopolis.

Game 2: Tachyon and Legacy vs. Citizen Dawn

"Let's play by the actual rules!" I suggested. Dumb, dumb, dumb. The Citizens protected Citizen Dawn with a vengeance, dealing out over 12 total damage to our valiant heroes before they even got to play a single card or power! It was an uphill fight, against the ever-growing Citizen army while being harried by velociraptors and T-rexes on all sides. In the end the heroes fell, having not even scratched Citizen Dawn. She gloated over their broken corpses in triumph. Ouch.

Game 3: Absolute Zero and Ra vs. Omnitron

"We need to play one of the easier villains again," I suggested. William simply rolled his eyes and shuffled the cards for the Wagner Mars Base. Omnitron started out with shields and some minions that forced us to alternate fire and cold damage, then started taking over the station itself! The heroes found themselves up against a self destruction sequence and leaking environments. With no oxygen to fuel his flames, Ra's powers started to fizzle out. Unable to stop the countdown, the base exploded and every one died.

Except for me!

Well, my character died. I didn't. If I had, you wouldn't be reading this now. At least we saved the Earth from being destroyed by Baron Blade's terralunar whatchamacallit.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a simple game that is a LOT of fun. But it's stoooopid hard with only two players. We're both looking forward to trying it again, hopefully with some more allies to back us up!

The Thursday evening session this week should be awesome. Not only are we playing a great format for our VS System event (Special Guest-Star if you didn't read the schedule), but if time permits we'll also be able to fire up a game of Sentinels of the Universe! Oh yeah...

September 15, 2011

No, I'm Not Drunk Today

My schedule, not to mention my general existence, throughout September has been filled with challenges. Many of these have been beyond my control and caused untold levels of personal frustration, but in reality I suppose things aren't all that bad when compared to other folks who don't have money for food, or for a place to live, or games. Those poor bastards who can't afford games are truly in a sad and pathetic place in life aren't they?

Anyway, my personal steaming pile of annoyances aside, if you have somehow found yourself reading my blog for the first time you might be shocked to find out that I love games. For anyone else, it's not news, just annoyingly repetitive. But hey, I'm not holding your eyes open and making you read this, so shut it.

As much as I love playing games, I really haven't had a lot of opportunity to actually PLAY any this month. I've missed one of the two VS System events so far, and will miss tonight's as well. The one I did attend was a sealed event where we had an uneven number. Rather than making folks that paid for cards to play in a sealed sit out, I opted not to play so that they could do so. See, even though you think I'm a prick, I'm actually a very caring individual...provided I don't dislike you. In that case, lock your doors or better yet, just move to someplace I can't find you. But remember, I will find you.

So then, since I haven't been able to play any games recently I apparently decided that I needed to buy more of them that I also won't have much opportunity to play. And just in case you'd forgotten, there are (at my last count) two games that I recently added to my pile o' games that have yet to be played, and probably another four to six that have only been played once.

I've filled my spare time by ogling game reviews, component breakdowns, video reports and generally being even more nerdy than I'm used to, simply to maintain my tenuous grip on sanity. Anyone else will tell you I lost my last hold on that long ago, but they're just jealous of how awesome I am and that I provide so much entertainment to the masses with my wit, generosity and good looks. Ok, maybe not good looks, but whatever. Just go with it, I'm writing here...!

Out of the massive "wow I'd love to buy that game even though I'll probably never talk anyone into playing it with me" list, I didn't do a great job of narrowing things down to a short list. There may have been logic and strategy behind the purchases over the past two weeks, but somehow I doubt it. Enough rambling, here's the damn list already:

- A Game of Thrones LCG core set, with the Kings of the Sea and Princes of the Sun expansions (all six major houses, even though I don't have 5 friends to play it with)
- Citadels (stab your friends in the face, in groups of 2 to 10!)
- Fury of Dracula (Halloween is coming. I had to order at least one horror game!)
- Minotaur Lords (I loved Scarab Lords and this uses the same system...)
- Omen: Reign of War and the Shattered Aegis Expansion (fantasy-based Greek warfare with cards = awesome I hope)
- Rush 'n Crush (Formula D is a stupid racing game...this has guns, bombs and turbo boosts so it must be better)
- Sentinels of the Multiverse (card-based superhero craziness)

EDIT: I've also been watching a startup game develop for the past few months. It's called Eaten By Zombies, and has been getting almost universally positive reviews. So I added that to the ordered list too. Have a look at a nicely detailed article about the game and how you can get a copy here.

I also ordered some promo cards for Dominion and Nightfall, as well and Thunderstone even though I don't own the game. They're for a friend who hasn't read the rules and we've never even played the game, but he bought it and I'm a nice guy, so yeah.

Go get yer own damn games...these ones are mine. But if you're nice (ie: bring me beer or willing women) I might let you play them.