Monday, August 25, 2014

Mice & Mystics: Chapter Two: Lily’s Tail

What follows is the second chapter in the story of the fantastic dungeon crawler Mice & Mystics by Plaid Hat Games.  Em and I took the past two nights and went through this scenario in the game and to be honest we rolled for crap the first night.  We actually didn't even make it out of the second tile before we were overrun by a bunch of roaches.  In a stroke of brilliance we decided to change our strategy as we replayed the chapter the second night.  We chose to change up the mice we played and that ended up being the difference between winning and losing.  

For this scenario Em chose to play with Maginos the mage and Tilda the healer.  I went with Collin the warrior prince and also controlled the rolling of Lily the archer even though we technically didn't have her in our party at first.  While the first chapter took quite a while for us to play through (about 2 ½ to 3 hours), this one only took us about 45 minutes to an hour to play.  Of course, at this point, we know how to play the game and were able to cruise through the dice rolling.  Thankfully Em and I rolled really well the second time through and with Em controlling a healer we were able to defeat the scenario.  Below is a summary of the story in chapter two of Mice & Mystics.

SPOILER ALERT!  If you are ever planning on playing this game you may not want to read ahead!  Otherwise enjoy the story.

Chapter Two: Lily’s Tail
After hearing the tale from the mayor of Barksbury, Linera, Collin is driven to help the mouse with her request to find her daughter.  He begs the help of his fellow travelers, Maginos, Tilda, Nez, and Filch and with quite a bit of hesitance (mostly from Nez and Filch) they all agree.  The group travels out of Barksbury and down to the entrance of the tree as a throng of mice await them, cheering them on as they get ready to exit the tree and move on to the dangers of the castle.  A young mouse brings a four-leaf clover and hands it to Maginos who thanks the child.

The group fights their way through some rat warriors and the old crow in the courtyard and enter the castle through a hole in the wall.  There they are met by a large group of hungry cockroaches but they make relatively quick work of the vermin.  At this point Collin and his group find a way up into the dining hall where they find a dinner fork that they think may be needed further on in their adventure.  Upon dropping back down into the caverns, the party moves on and finds themselves in a tunnel full of crystals.  Upon entering they realize that the glow from the crystals is not natural.  Maginos agrees with their observation but the group moves on.

Upon entering the cavern they see a small, lithe mouse struggling to free herself from a mousetrap that has been placed in the tunnel.  Collin shouts out to the group, “It’s Lily!”  As they run into the crystal tunnel their heads are suddenly filled with a vision.  They see a sickly, but beautiful young woman who is surrounded by Tilda’s healers who seem to be tending to her.  Filch poses a question of what the vision was to the group but Maginos, Tilda, and Nez push the question off for the time being as they rush in to help Lily.

End of Chapter Two.

That is the end of Lily’s Tail.  It was at this point that Em and I ran into the tunnels and came across a group of rat warriors and a centipede by the name of Skitter-Clak.  Em (controlling the mage Maginos) cast a spell which basically killed off Skitter-Clak as I (as Collin) rushed forward and released Lily with the dinner fork we found in the dining hall.  At this point, the four mice we controlled made short work of the remaining four rats and won the scenario.  Another fun play with my wife down, and next time we move on to chapter three, The Grapes of Rats.  Until next time, game on!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Obligatory 2014 Gen Con Post Part III : Top 10 List (Part II)

This past Sunday marked the final day of Gen Con 2014, to the sadness of some and the excitement of others.  I’ve actually been watching the live feeds from Board Game Geek during the entire duration of the event to get an idea of what is going on.  It has actually been quite interesting to see the feeds and watch as people start to look more tired and haggard by the fourth day of the gaming convention.  I know this post is a little later than I wanted but I am still obliged to finish off my top ten list from Gen Con!  What follows will be numbers one through five of my list.

#5 - Shadows of Brimstone: City of Ancients/Shadows of Brimstone: Swamps of Death (Flying Frog Productions)

I am slightly cheating with this choice by choosing two games for one pick, but there is a legitimate reason!  Both of the Shadow of Brimstone sets are being released at the same time and they are both stand alone base sets that need nothing else to play than what is in the box.  I have seen some things from this game and I love what I’ve seen so far.  Shadows of Brimstone is best explained as a dungeon delver that takes place in a wild west theme.  

What makes this wild west theme so interesting is that there is a great evil rising from the depths of the coal mines, an ancient evil and darkness that is threatening the entire area.  Basically this is a spaghetti western with a Cthulu overtone!  How could I not be super-interested in this?  I also love that this dungeon run is a fully co-operative game because it really makes it interesting for my wife as well.  I have been able to get her into gaming greatly due to the co-operative experience in said games.  This may not be a purchase for a while due to the price tag and due to the need to build models, but it is just a matter of time until Shadows of Brimstone finds its way onto my gaming shelf!

#4 - Consequential (Asmadi Games)

This game is a tough one.  To be honest I don’t know a ton about Consequential but what I do know highly intrigues me, enough to put it into my top five interests of the convention.  What I do know about this game is that it is another fully co-operative game that tells a story over four acts.  Each of these acts is contained within the box but they are packaged separately so that when they are opened they contain new cards, new locations, and new mechanics.  This game also takes the idea of preserving your character throughout the different acts and leveling them as you go.  I love this idea of persistence as it is becoming a huge mechanism in board gaming right now.  Consequential also contains an app that helps to tell the story of the game which I find very interesting.  While this is high on my interest list it won't be a must-buy until more information is released about the game.

#3 - Argent: The Consortium (Level 99 Games)

Argent: The Consortium is a new game release by the fantastic Level 99 Games and it has climbed its way all the way up to number three on my list!  This is a fantastic-looking game that takes place in Level 99’s World of the Indines.  This is a persistent world that they have used for many of their games including the well received BattleCon.  This is a big difference from the majority of the games put out by Level 99 in that this game heavily relies on Euro-mechanics such as worker placement.  What makes this different than other worker placement games is that the workers you place in different rooms each have a special ability.  This gives worker placement a new and fresh mechanism that creates a new way of thinking about your moves.  Because of the interesting gameplay, the beautiful artwork, and the persistent world of Indines, Argent: The Consortium makes its way into the number three spot on my top ten list.

#2 - Lords of Xidit (Libellud/Asmodee)

Lords of Xidit is an interesting game that has been re-themed and re-released by Libellud.  Formerly, it was a game called Himalaya by Regis Bonnessee and has now been re-themed and put into the world of Xidit.  Xidit is a world that was first realized in one of my current favorite games, Seasons.  Seasons is also a game by Regis Bonnessee so I suppose they thought it was be a good idea to re-theme Lords of Xidit into the same world as Seasons.  I have to say, from some of the early pictures that I’ve seen of this game I am blown away by the art just as I am by the art of Seasons.  While Seasons is a card drafting and hand management game, Lords of Xidit takes on programming and pick-up-and-deliver mechanics.  These are some mechanics that I don’t really have on my gaming shelf and would love to have them in this beautifully realized game!

#1 - Samurai Spirit (Funforge)

And my number one game interest of Gen Con 2014 is Samurai Spirit by the great Antoine Bauza and released by Funforge.  First of all, being released by Funforge, I have no doubt that the components and art will be perfectly integrated into the game.  Second of all, it is designed by one of my very favorite designers, Antoine Bauza.  This game seems to be a return to some of his older designs (i.e. Ghost Stories) and that is some of the best news I’ve heard!  Ghost Stories is a fantastic (and sometimes super-mean) co-operative game where you take on a role of a Taoist Monk trying to protect a town from an evil ghost dictator.  Samurai Spirit puts you into the role of a Samurai attempting to save a town from bandits.  I have seen some play from this game and it looks totally different from Ghost Stories while keeping his fantastic game design and slightly cruel nature of co-operative play.  This game seems mean and I love that!  At the time of writing this I actually have a copy coming to me before the release date of October or November.  A friend was at Gen Con this year and was able to pick this game up for me as well as a promo card for it!  I am so excited about this game and will be sure to do an unboxing when I receive it.

Thus ends my second half of my top ten interests of Gen Con 2014.  I hope you enjoyed these posts and were possibly able to see some games that interest you.  As always if you have any questions of comments feel free to post then at the bottom and I will gladly answer them.  Until next time, game on!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Obligatory 2014 Gen Con Post Part II : Top 10 List (Part I)

Today marks the beginning of this year’s Gen Con, “the best four days in gaming.”  It is North America’s largest tabletop gaming convention, and according to them the largest in the world.  Regardless of the size it is a spectacle of the hottest games of the year.  

Before checking out this list feel free to follow this link: and read about my honorable mentions of the convention.  What follows will be the first half of my top ten list.  This post will include games six through ten and in the next day or so I will be posting the second half which will include games one through five.

#10 - Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Skull & Shackles Base Set (Paizo Publishing)

This is the follow up to last year’s hugely popular Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Rise of the Runelords.  Paizo, the game company that releases Pathfinder, has really taken this game and made a great adventure out of it.  Em and I are currently working our way through the Runelords base set and we just finished the first adventure pack and have moved on to the second.  This set adds on more classes (including a swashbuckler and a gunslinger) and pirate ships to the mix.  The few previews I’ve seen make it seem like they’ve really upped the fun level in this set.  The only reason it isn’t higher on my list is because we are still working through the first base set and won’t get this one until we’ve completed Runelords.  That being said, Paizo is also creating more character decks so there is even more variability in the character selection.  I love what they are doing with this game and can’t wait to see what comes in the future for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game!

#9 – Shadowrun: Crossfire (Catalyst Game Labs)

In a similar vein of Pathfinder, Shadowrun: Crossfire is a co-operative deck building style game where you and friends take control of your characters and fight through obstacles and villains.  This is by Catalyst Game Labs and the theme is really what drew me to it.  The Shadowrun world is a cyberpunk world that also contains magic and the like.  The mechanics make it different enough that it doesn’t seem that it will take the same niche as Pathfinder does.  I love co-ops and I’m love the theme.  For these reasons this game has made it onto my top ten interests of this year’s Gen Con.

#8 - The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade (Z-Man Games)

The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade is a game that takes the old arcade top-down space shooters and turns it into a tabletop experience.  I love this idea so hard!  I am a child of the 80’s and have always been an avid gamer so this one hits every button perfectly!  The game is playable for 2-5 people and includes all the ideas of those classic shooters.  Each of the player ships can be fully upgraded and can get power-ups all through the game.  While you are the other players are shooting up the alien hordes, they are also getting more powerful and bringing in the “big bosses” that I remember so fondly!  The theme is perfect, the mechanisms sound perfect, and it is being put out by Z-Man Games which means that the components will be top notch!  An easy choice for the top ten!

#7 - Abyss (Asmodee)

Abyss is a set-collection and hand-management game put out by the highly touted Bruno Cathala and it boasts some of the most beautiful artwork that I have ever seen in a card game…period!  This game is contained within a theme that seems somewhat pasted on, but the artwork is so beautiful that I truly can’t find fault in it.  With a gorgeous look and some mechanics that I haven’t really gotten into but really want to, this game has pushed its way onto the list and up to number seven!

#6 - Hyperborea (Asmodee)

Another Asmodee game makes it onto the list at number six.  Hyperborea is another beautiful looking game that relies on area control, worker placement, and a newer idea that they call “bag-building.”  In this you have little cubes that represent workers with different “powers” that you place on the board.  This is a similar mechanism to deck-building, where you use the cards you start with to buy and create a new and stronger deck.  Instead of cards however, you have your cubes that are placed into a bag which you draw from during the game.  I find this to be an incredibly interesting mechanism and one that I think I’ll enjoy.  

An added bonus is that there is a certain level of luck which means that my wife will probably enjoy it as well!  She like games with strategy to a certain point, but she loves it when they have an element of luck, at least when they are player versus player.  This is also considered to be somewhat of a light “civilization-building” game which we don’t have much of right now.  Between the mechanisms of the game and the beautiful components (one of Asmodee’s specialties!), Hyperborea makes it into number six on my top ten interests of Gen Con 2014.

That concludes my number six through ten.  Think these are good looking games?  Think something else should have been mentioned?  Any guesses to my next five?  Post comments, I gladly welcome conversation!  Stay tuned, in the next couple of days I will have my top five game interests of Gen Con 2014.  Until next time, game on!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Obligatory 2014 Gen Con Post Part I : Honorable Mentions

GenCon 2013 - photo courtesy of
This week marks the ultimate board game geek-out event for American board gamers…GEN CON!!!  Gen Con (which takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana) is the largest tabletop gaming convention in North America and it is one of the two main events (the other being Spiel in Essen, Germany) for game releases.  Last year's Gen Con alone boasted it's largest attendance: 49,058 people.  

This year they are expecting over 50,000 attendees piling into the Indianapolis Convention Center in order to gawk at this year’s newest attractions in gaming.  I've gone through a list at a great gaming sight, BoardGameGeek, which covers over 600 games that should be making an appearance at Gen Con this year.  Now, understand that many of these games won’t be available yet for purchase, but most of them are.  Some of the games that are on the list are ones that are rumored or that their companies will be demoing for this convention.  If you are curious you can find the list at  I've decided to do this post as my top ten most interesting games of the convention.  Now, just so you are aware, some of these games may not have an official release at this convention but they are the ones that intrigue me the most.

Let’s start with a few honorable mentions.  The first honorable mention is King of New York.  This is the follow up to the hugely popular King of Tokyo released by Iello Games.  This game is based on the Yahtzee method of rolling dice and pressing your luck by re-rolling some of the die.  King of New York takes the ideas of King of Tokyo and apparently makes a much better game.  It is interesting enough for me to put it in the honorable mentions.

The second honorable mention is Colt Express.  This is a programming game where you are giving movements to your bandit characters in order to rob a train.  To be honest the biggest reason this gets a mention is because the playing board is a 3D model of a train and you move your piece on this board.  It is a cool enough idea that it makes the honorable mention list.

The third game on the honorable mention list is Imperial Settlers.  This is a game where card drafting and hand management are the main keys to the game.  Honestly I don’t know a ton about the game, but what I do know intrigues me.  This is also considered to be one of the main attractions of this year’s Gen Con and most people think it will sell out the first day of the convention.  This alone (as well as some cool mechanics and components) makes it interesting enough for this list.

The fourth game on the honorable mention list is Doomtown: Reloaded.  This game uses a few different mechanics including deck building, hand management, and area control.  The theme of Doomtown: Reloaded is really what draws me to it.  It takes place is a western town which also includes magic.  The mixture of the Wild West theme and the magical powers give it a seriously cool vibe which puts it on my honorable mention list.

The fifth and final game on my honorable mention list is Mice & Mystics: Downwood Tales.  This is the follow-up expansion to the excellent dungeon delver Mice & Mystics by Plaid Hat Games.  My wife and I have (and love) the original game and I am very much excited that they continue to release expansions for the game.  This one even gives more models (including a new gecko hero named Jakobe and different enemies) and more tiles for different environments.  I love the original game because it gives a very cool RPG-type experience with an awesome theme.  The only reason this didn’t make the top ten list is because it is not a stand-alone game, but rather an expansion to an already existing game.  Nonetheless, I am still excited enough to include it on my honorable mentions list.

That concludes my honorable mentions.  My next post (hopefully before Gen Con actually starts on August 14th) will be the ten games that I am most excited/intrigued by.  Please join me then!  Until next time, game on!