Lords of Something, Anyway

David, Ben, and Rosalyn joined me for a New Year’s Eve game night.

Wile waiting for Rosalyn, I tried to teach David and Ben how to play Fairy Tale. Ben took to it well enough, bur David either didn’t like it or simply found the symbols confusing; also, he has expressed in the past that he doesn’t like drafting games, which I forgot until we started. So he needed to be prompted continually on what to do and failed to achieve any kind of success by the end.

Ben understood the game and collected a combination of cards that just edged out my own, winning 24 to 23.

I then taught the four of them how to play Lords of Waterdeep. The game has pretty components and lots of counters, but it’s pretty straightforward to play (if nearly entirely divorced from its supposed theme). All three of them took to this game and enjoyed it more and more as we went on.

My Lord card was the oddball one – points for buildings – which I thought was probably an inferior card, because it’s a lot easier to have access to quest cards than it is to have access to buildings. However, since people didn’t know that I was going for buildings, and since there was a building in play that let you use an action taken by someone else, I managed to get out 5 buildings for 30 points, which was decent (the last time I played, which was my first time, I had completed 7 relevant quests for 28 points).

Since I took an early lead, David and Ben both played occasionally to slow me down, which they did, but I still won by a comfortable margin. David gained a lot of ground with some high-scoring quests. Ben completed a quest that gave him the extra dude by round 3, but it didn’t, in my opinion, make up for the 0 points earned from completing that quest.

The game took about 2 hours.

Weekly Game Criminal Roundup

Evanston, IL: Chess coach sends pictures of kids to inmate, possibly along with graphic letters. (source)

Nottingham, UK: War gamer and war game site organizer murdered, possibly related to an argument on the site. (source)

Iowa City, IA: One man murders his neighbor in a confrontation over a Chess game. (source)

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D&D Miniatures – Random No More?

Wizards of the Coast has made an announcement likely to get the attention of role players and minis gamers alike.  The D&D Miniatures line has been revamped and split into two offerings.  The first offering, D&D Miniatures: Heroes, will be split into six different packs, each consisting of three visible miniatures and power cards with “new class features.”  The three miniatuers will be two male and one female character representing one of the iconic character types in D&D.  The six packs available in Spring of 2009, at a retail cost of $10.99 US, will include:

  • Martial Heroes 1
  • Martial Heroes 2
  • Arcane Heroes 1
  • Arcane Heroes 2
  • Divine Heroes 1
  • Primal Heroes 1

Wizards has indicated that the Heroes line will be updated from time to time to provide greater player options.

The other new line is D&D Miniatures: Monstrous Manual, which will provide the monster side of the equation.  Things are a little more old fashioned with this line, with each pack having one visible miniature, one rare, one uncommon and two common miniatures (in addition to the traditional character cards).  The first set, Dungeon Delve, will include both medium and large miniatures with a retail price of $14.99 US.

Overall, its an interesting move by WotC and one that’s been called for by a fairly vocal segment of the gaming community.  However, I’m a little concerned with where this announcement leaves D&D miniatures as a standalone game, particularly in its competitive form.  While I’m glad to see this move (which makes me more likely to play D&D 4E in general), it does pretty much end the days of sealed D&D Miniatures tournaments…

Ameythest Death Dealers!

Frazetta's Death Dealer

Frazetta

Hrmmm…probably not the most helpful title…  Anyway, purveyor of D&D goodness, Goodman Games, has announced that they will be publishing two new products for use with Wizards of the Coast‘s 4th edition game: Death Dealer and Ameythest!

The first product is based on the Image comic, Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer.  The first adventure (in what appears to be a series) is titled The Adventures of Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer: Shadows of Minahan and will take characters through the first story arc of the comic, bringing them face-to-face with the demonic hordes of the Mirhan.  The comic itself is based on the 1973 painting by Frank Frazetta and tells the story of a world torn by conflict until the mysterious Death Dealer arrives and slaughters both armies.  The two armies form an alliance, resulting in the disappearance of the Death Dealer until many years later when he mysteriously reappears.

The other new product is a re-release of the Ameythest setting most recently published by Dias Ex Machina.  The new release, titled Ameythest Foundation, will be a 256 page hardcover and PDF release (appearting at GenCon and in April respectively).  Ameythest is based on the proposition that traditional fantasy concepts (elves, dragons, magic, etc) suddenly appear in modern reality.  Goodman will be supporting the launch with an initial adventure and follow-up adventures appearing every three months thereafter

Soccer, South Africa, and Sixth Grade Girls

Fatima Docrat, a sixth grader in South Africa, has designed a soccer game in anticipation of the 2010 World Cup to be held in South Africa.

She used Microsoft Word to design the game. SuperSport, a sports media outlet in South Africa, is interested in the game.

(source)

Spaceship Carriers

I’m a big fan of cool spaceship miniatures and Brigade Models certainly has an impressive line. The two latest additions are the Underwood carrier for the American Republic and the Haixiung carrier for the Chinese Democratic Socialist Union. As with other ships from Brigade, these can be used for any number of spaceship systems. However, the company also sells a custom version of the Starmada X ruleset from Majestic Twelve Games.