Friday, August 27, 2010

The Street Date

While I anxiously await my order to ship, which includes Castle Ravenloft it has come to my attention that many stores already have this game.

Apparently Wizards of the Coast has decided to street date this game. Perhaps that is something they do with all their products I'm really not sure. I however hope it doesn't become the norm in terms of boardgames. It's bad enough that the street date ever came to be for video games, music and movies.

A lot of people think publisher's were the ones who established the street date but that's not really true. The big retail chains were the reason for what we have today. Complaints on stores getting their shipments ahead of others yada yada. You'll even hear tale of shops being fined if they sell games early, something by the way I've never been able to find documentation of.

So it's makes it really puzzling that in a hobby like board gaming a street date would exist, but then again WOTC markets their products well outside the normal hobby channels.

Hopefully by this time next week I'll be receiving a few rather large boxes with games an accessories, by that time I may have actually figure out the rules to Normandy 44.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Death Quest

I really like this nick name that FFG's remake Dungeon Quest is receiving. Really this game is pure luck and randomness, if you know that going in you'll be fine. It's has a ton of replay value because the dungeon is different each time but it's not a dungeon crawler. This is a race game plain and simple. Get in, Get Lucky, Get Loot, Get Out.

I've got a detailed game play session I am working on and will get that up sometime soon. So taking a break from FFG, I went to my next favorite publisher GMT and started to set up a game of Normandy 44 to try and learn it. The chances I'll ever get another person to play it with our slim, but hey what can you do.

This reminds me of all the complex games I use to play back in high school and college, back when my memory capacity for rules heavy games was actually good. So it's going to take me a little time to slug through this one, I feel bad because I put Battles of Napoleon to the side because I grew tired of attaching all the horse riders to the horses. I know many people find paying $70 for a game and having them seperate a blessing for painting purposes, I find it a bit of a chore.

However the real game I am waiting to get my little paws on is this one. This was one of my favortie D&D modules growing up. I was reading several session reports at the Geek and this sounds like a winner. Kind of like Descent with more replay value and a lot less time to play.

Waiting for this is holding up a pretty large order I have with Boards and Bits (wish they would ship partial orders) and I am considering canceling the whole order and doing it as two since rumor has it now this had been delayed til mid September.

It did get me back into reading the 4th edition D&D rules, thinking I might want to partake in a game. Then I saw this video and had second thoughts :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Back into the Dungeon

Tonight (family permitting) I'll be heading back into the Dungeon for another session of Dungeon Quest. I'll see about detailing a session report.

FFG wants you to Die!!!

Had the pleasure of playing my two latest FFG games last night, those would be Dungeon Quest and  Space Hulk: Death Angel Card Game. The best part is they weren't even my copies so no lugging of games required.

So here is my gut reaction to both of these game. They are both very fun and both are very tough. I can see these two games playing differently each time they hit the table due to the randomness of the games (especially DQ).

Space Hulk is a co-op game and you're basically taking a squad of Marines and trying to accomplish something, usually hitting a button in the last location. The game rules are really not well laid out in my opinion but the game is easy to understand. There are a few vague items that I am sure can be clarified with one visit to the Geek. Anyway we had a 4 player game and one player managed to survivie the last location and hit the switch. So victory!!!

To be honest I'm not sure if we achieved victory, the travel from the 3rd location to the last and victory all happened in a jumble and I'm willing to bet we did somethign wrong but I was dead so I wasn't paying attention.

Regardless verdict on Space Hulk Card Game is enjoyable game, plays fast and is very tough. 

Dungeon Quest was a game I really enjoyed even though I died 6 turns into the game. I'm a sucker for Dungeon crawl games, especially ones that don't take 5 hours to play.

The gist of the game is you're an adventurer and you're about to plunder the treasure chamber of a sleeping Dragon. I love the randomness of this game, the dungeon is a dangerous place and just surviving is a feat.

As you move into new areas you pick a dungeon tile and place it on the board. There are various room types and most of them do something. For example there is a room that rotates upon entering 180degrees. A room with spider webs, a chasm etc.

When you enter a room whether it is explored or not you have a dungeon encounter. This is done by drawing a card, it can be things as simple as an empty room or it could reveal a chamber to the deadly catacombs. The other choice is certain tiles have a little torch icon which means they can be searched. You do this by drawing from the search deck, this will not always be beneifical as I discovered last night.

There are various other decks as well, one to open doors, a corpse deck, a chapel deck, treasure deck etc. There are only about 5 (maybe 6) monster types and these monsters spawn from the various deck encounters. When a monster spawns you can either flee (recommended) if you have a way out of the room or you can fight.

Combat is very interesting and done with cards and it has counter attacks. After a combat encounter or two it becomes very easy to do and doesn't slow the game much at all. However there is no benefit to fighting the monsters if you don't have to as you get no rewards and healing is something that is hard to come by.

That's probably the biggest thing to understand about this game, it's a race game set in a dungeon theme. You need to get treasure and get out before the sun sets. Oh did I forget to mention sun is going down and if you're not out by the time it sets the Dragon awakens and basically eats your ass.

There is much more to say about this game and I want to get a few more plays in, both games can be played solo. However I think Dungeon Quest will be a popular game around the house. I can see my 7 year old and wife playing this one with me as it is very easy to play and has the potential for a lot of fun..
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Make your rules make sense

So I've gotten a bunch of new games lately. Two in fact from the same company FFG. Dungeon Quest which has excellent rules and then the Space Hulk card game whose rules are laid otu very poorly.

I wonder sometimes if rules are actual put into testing like games are? As we're making a game we think what we are writing is clear as day, but we are too close to the subject matter.

Anyway impressions of these games should follow after I pl;ay both tomorrow night.

Oh yes I'm back.

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