Tuesday, January 30, 2007

So Many Games So Little Time

Since I got my hands on Battlelore I only got to play 3 complete games. I find Battlelore very balanced. At all points of the game the tide of war could go either side. To some amateurs the game looks pure random with cards and dice putting too much variable in the game to make any strategy a null. Strangely enough the game guys that play CCGs.

Battlelore has more in common to CCGs then many of the board games that I have played, but of course with a twist. Engines like dealing the situation with what you got, and using cards to bend the rules are present here too. The war council lets players mold their own game avatar, shaping their own rules. This feature is used in many CCGs. Hand size, power, and ability of a player is determined by the war council.

Unlike CCGs however battle are fought using a ratio instead of a number versus number system. A standard short swordsman has a 1 in 3 chance of hitting another short swordsman and 1 in 6 chance of hitting a calvary man. The dice brings allot of randomness to a battle but combined with the ratios of hitting it feels more like a real war. Think of it as a general instead of an omnipotent creature giving an order to the troops.

The reference cards are pure genius. Any gamer with a common sense could read the cards and get the gist of the game in moments. This is where CCG gamers shine. They are suppose to not mind reading lines of text from a card.

So far I got no complains about the game except for the limited number of players. That could be rectify yes but it is not part of the official rules.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The war begins tomorrow...

Monday, January 15, 2007


I hate CCGs and TCGs. They are the same thing. They always cut into my board game time. I don't like it that I have to buy to play and I have to buy more to improve. I don't like it that it is more often then not, a dual, leaving others watching unable to join. Not wanting to play because I do not know the rules is not the games fault, but not being able to play because I do not have the money is.

That's why I start board gaming. It's everything a CCG is not. A one time buy, multi-player friendly, and a level playing field. I could drag total strangers into a fun session of board gaming but with CCGs it is not that easy. Understand that a price af a booster pack could feed you for a day here.

I just bought 2 starter boxes of World Of Warcraft Trading Card Game this past weekend.

Why do such a hypocritical thing like that? Table Top Games such as board games, or card games are not about the games. Table top games are about the people who play them. A game could be a total waste but with the right people it could be the most entertaining experience of your life.

My gaming friends here, especially the major 3 has always been there when I brought in new games. Always. No matter what game it is. It is usually I who went "Hey! Try this!" and they would just play along even if they have to buy to play. This time they are the ones who are excited. They are the ones who started and brought in a game. And it is time to return the favor.

Will this game be different from the other collectible games that came here to die? I hope so. I have read the rule book from cover to cover but have yet to try a single game thanks to the slew of MTG tournaments this week end. WOWTCG reminds me allot of all the collectible games I use to play. It has elements of MTG, V:TES, Warlords, and the VS System.

Want to know what it is all about and how the game works? Go click the Trigger Link below. I will put up a preview of the game after I played it at least once.

Trigger Link

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Warrior Knights - Session Report

The king is dead thus the power struggle between the barons for the control of the kingdom begins. A former Games Workshop production Warrior Knights has deep multi-layered game play, tons of components and very good timing.

It started off awkward. No one was familiar with the rules, and the rules was too deep and multi-layered to be an easy teach. I only played the game once before and it was a shot test game. Setup took time, most of it was spent shuffling the multiple decks, allocating cards and tokens, and making pre-game decisions. There has got to be a better way to set up games like this. I wish they used treys similar to the ones in Monopoly where it is both functional and practical.

The game starts off weak with each player barely knowing the rules selecting 2 action cards for each of the 3 rounds in a turn. For the first couple of rounds for the sake of fairness and in the process of getting use to the rules we choose cards at random. All forces were divided evenly. There was no sense of the importants of faith, money, votes, mercenaries or the 2 roles in the game.

From the beginning we each picked a city and decided to assault them instead of sieging them, which is the faster safer way of doing it. We lost some men, we lost some battles, but we learned and we learned fast. Continuing our seige we ended up with an average of 1.5 cities. 3 barons and I got 2 city, do the math.

By turn 3 we began experimenting, leaning the importance of money, votes, faith, mercenaries and roles in the game and how with a draw of a card it could all go wrong. However we kept our forces well away from each other. The gambling aspect of the expeditions was a welcome, voting was awkward at first, the head of the church was trouble and those damn cities still kicked us in the lower body armor.

By turn 5 we conquered all the cities on the main land, and yet none of us has enough to win. It is then I realize the influence game play element that works as a timing system. Although it makes the game end when it should it sort of cut short a complex game that feels that it could and should maybe go on a lot longer.

All who played experienced a drought of a resource of one kind of another. And all who played experienced a slight boredom at one time or another. Each turn has 3 rounds. There are 2 actions per-player per-round plus 2 neutral actions. These actions are in a form of cards. so in each round an action is drawn from a shuffled deck of the predetermined actions. This results in the game sometimes playing itself and with some bad luck, serious down time.

I have to admit that we, maybe, did not play the game correctly by keeping the P2P aggression to a minimum but overall it was good for a first game. It lasted about 10 turns, 2 votes, 3 mercenary drafts, and 4 expeditions.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Waiting For War!

Right now I am quietly clicking away at Thunderbird 's "Get Mail" button. Waiting for the confirmation e-mail for my copy of BattleLore. I wished I have it for this weekend's game...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm Back!

And I better Start posting again. I have learned allot. First, topic specific blogs are much better then general ones (plug). Second, there's nothing much to write about board games other then reviews. News and other stuff comes occasionally but reviews are the meat and potatoes of it.

The internet connection is bad. Still I got to finish reviewing the rest of Carcassone, Warrior Knights, and The World of Warcraft CCG. Yea the WOW CCG is here and you should know how much I hate CCGs, but still a review is a review. A good game by any means is a good game.