Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Descent 2.0 sidelined by Wrath of Ashardalon

Lately I have been on this Co-Op game kick. Whether it be Arkham Horror or Runebound (which can not be co-op if you want it to not be) I have been looking forward to working with another player and taking part in an adventure rather than playing a bad guy trying to kill someone.

So when I got Descent 2.0 I was a little leery of reading over everything and setting up the first adventure and then teaching someone how to play and then getting into the mechanics etc etc. Instead I played Battletech and then the next week looked into Wizard of the Coast's Wrath of Ashardalon and the Dungeon Game System they have.

Now don't get me wrong. I liken Wizards of the Coast to be the Games Workshop of the board gaming industry. Even though GW could technically be considered to be just as bad in that avenue as well. I mean hell OTHER companies make better games with their license than they do.

So I was leery jumping into ANYTHING WoTC does after how they bastardized D&D and some other games. 

Once I found out Wrath of Ashardalon was Co-Op and had random dungeon tile placement each game as well as could be COMBINED with Castle Ravenloft and Legend of Drizzt I was all on board with that series. There are a few things I like:

Random Dungeons
Random Treasures
Random Encounters

Basically anything that plays like Diablo 2 (NOT Diablo 3)

Descent is a great game don't get me wrong. However it is a bit programmed, a little linear and VERY heavy on fluff and the RPG aspect. At this point that is not what I want. I want grand adventure, I want to NOT know what I am getting into, and I want to take 3-4 friends with me and make a party and CRUSH FACE IN A DUNGEON.

So despite the fact that Descent 2.0 is out amidst much hoopla I have gravitated toward collecting Castle Ravenloft, Wrath of Ashardalon and Legend of Drizzt.

So I did a ton of research. I scoured message boards and found ways to combine all three games and actually came up with some useful resources. I found the following sites and threads about combining the 3 games very good places to refer to:

All the extra cool things in one thread:


The Examiner has an entire series of articles on this:

The Fantasy Quest site has encounter cards and more to print out:


Board Game Geek has the following threads:

Scenario Database with Rankings:

Storing the massive amount of components:

Spontaneous Derivation Blog has a deck generator AND team generator:

Last but not least someone actually built and entire ADVENTURE generator with an excel spreadsheet:


So armed with all these resources it is hard not to fall into the Wrath of Ashardalon craze. THEN Wizards of the Coast went and made Dungeon Command which was just released. This is a D&D miniatures skirmish game that, along with 12 miniatures in each faction pack, includes cards to be used in all the Dungeon System games (as well as some tiles).

When you put all that together the bang for the buck and the ability to create your own campaigns is through the roof. Sure the game has some weird monster tactics that are a bit shallow but I can forgive this for the fact that it is co-op and a huge dungeon romp. Also I will admit that I had more fun PLAYING Descent 2.0 than trying to be the Overlord. 

In my first Wrath of Ashardalon game I took the role of the Cleric and my friend took the role of the female dwarf fighter. The game is VERY literal. Follow everything EXACTLY as it says and use common sense and you will understand it very quickly. We won the intro scenario with each of us having 2 hit points left and down a surge token. I was the first one knocked out as I fell into a pit, had a boulder hit me and got noxious fumes. I missed every single attack I made and played horribly. But the Dwarf Fighter killed 11 of the 12 we needed and we won. Barely. It was a blast. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fantasy Flight Announces Relic at Lames Day 2012

Amongst the scad of overpriced miniatures and over-hype of Lames Day 2012 (trademark used by permission of Zlurpcast) put on by Games Workshop one good thing has come out of it:

A game surely more balanced and ready to play out of the box than a typical GW title and that is Warhammer 40,000 Relic.

This is a boardgame using the Talisman type of gameplay rules yet set in GW's sci-fi universe. The best part is it won't cost you an arm and a leg to get into and probably offers better gameplay than most things GW actually writes themselves.


Lets take a look at what they say:
Five Scenarios, Infinite Adventure - At the start of each game of Relic, a randomly drawn Scenario card is placed in the center of the board, bringing with it game-changing effects. The basic game, entitled “The Mystery Beyond,” is a race for the Inner Region and the unimaginable power contained therein. Other scenarios pit characters against a powerful Daemon Prince, an infernal Chaos Manufactorum, and more. For example, while Relic is always a competitive game, the scenario “Lost Flagship of St. Antias” ratchets up the rivalry.
This brutal death match requires that all players duel each other at every opportunity. What’s more, the final confrontation is a all-out king-of-the-hill style brawl for control of a mighty ship that promises dominance of the sector! Relic offers an entirely new take on a classic, beloved adventure game. Will you save humanity, or fall to the powers of Chaos? Venture into the depths of the Antian Sector, and prepare to face its mysteries!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Borderlands 2

One month and a little more. Hard to believe when it launches we will be into the football season already.

Trailer below has me even more pumped.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Starting Battletech again

Friend of mine purchased the Introductory box set of the "new" Battletech by Catalyst Games because we wanted to start it back up again. I had a ton of other games to read and play so he decided to provide this one and learn it.

Luckily, once we sat down to play all the old rules came back to us and it was like riding a bike. The contents of the box, for 50 dollars, is probably one of the best gaming deals on the market. Not only do you get 26 total miniatures (granted the quality is not the best mind you) you get a huge fluff book, mech pads, dice, nicely mounted maps and a poster of the Inner Sphere.

The newbie rules are a joke and almost simplify the game too much. No heat, no torso twisting, no crits and no internal damage. By the end of the first turn we were craving the full rules and realized we still had those memorized. It had been 15 years but one does not simply walk away from Battletech. My friend even had all his old Battletech original boxes so I snapped a photo op:

We only had time for one simple intro game in which I got a very lucky roll (a 12 and needed an 11) and my AC 20 blew the leg off of his mech with a nice 20 point shot. After that it was easy for me to walk around to his backside and finish the deal. My mech took two strikes, one to the arm and leg, but I was still functional. This game even in its simplest form still rocks. The advanced rulebook includes a painting guide as well (something Games Workshop would charge 40 dollars for) and rules for Mechwarrior pilot experience.

The expansion books will provide us plenty of oppurtunity to run our own campaign with Mechwarrior RPG stuff added in. Cannot wait.

Also while at the Wandering Dragon I picked up my promotional Descent 2.0 figure that I won. I took Nara the Fang and he came with a Runewars and Runebound card.

More Battletech shots:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Even SWTOR fanboys aren't safe anymore

Well this is a first. A lame Bioware employee has decided to blame fans for the utter disappointment that is Stars Wars The Old Republic MMO.

As the game starts to fail miserably the producers and content writers of SWTOR are really lashing out and turning to the last refuge they have: assaulting even the die hard fanboys.

Check out this great piece of work:


A Bioware Austin employee has lashed out at fans regarding the state of the recently launched massively multiplayer online (MMO) Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) according to GamerTechTv.

SWTOR or ‘Tortanic’ is being called one of the biggest blunders of this generation as Electronic Arts (EA) has thrown away over $500 million of development and marketing funds for the project and will now have to make it free to play because of the rapidly decreasing player count.

The failure of the MMO has caused a significant drop in EA’s share price and has lead to major layoffs at Bioware Austin. The Bioware employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, has stated that fans are in part responsible for how the MMO turned out.
Way to go Bioware. And by the way thanks for justifying my SWTOR hate. I love it when I get proven right.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dungeons of Dredmor expansion news and features

A new expansion to the hit indie title Dungeons of Dredmor is due out on August 1st. The makers of the award-winning dungeon crawler announced this on their webpage back in early July but I totally missed it. This game is certainly a huge surprise favorite of mine so I can't wait for some new things to be tossed in there. It is also a year old as of July 11th.

While you are here quickly check out this DoD survival guide:

Wondering when you can begin exploring the forgotten dimensions of lost wizards? Then gather ’round, because Gaslamp Games is pleased to announce that the Conquest of the Wizardlands expansion for Dungeons of Dredmor will be launched on August 1st.
Some features will include:

Pocket Dimensions & You: A Room Without a View

Once a key is acquired, a new UI element appears which allows you to jump into the pocket dimension as if you were using a skill. So: The Pocket Dimension gives you an effectively infinite inventory with the gameplay-relevant friction of a 32 or so turn cooldown on using the portal key.

Bankster skill

The Bankster is, naturally, a rogue class skill but acts a bit like a wizard in that it uses a resource to create spell-like effects. This resource is of course Zorkmids aka your money.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Descent 2.0 Unboxing Video

Yesterday I got the email from Kevin at Wandering Dragon Games in Plainfield that my copy of Descent 2 was in and it was actually ON THE DAY it was released. Visit their Facebook page here and give them a "LIKE"


I wasted no time in exiting work early to head to the game store. Err I mean I had to visit another store to do some work and accidentally took a left. But anyway I walked in and was immediately greeted and Kevin had everything ready for me. Very professional and I appreciate the organization and hard work he does in that store.

We chatted for a while and then I had to get back to the office. Later on I managed to video the unboxing. While it is quick you get a general idea of how the box is packed and everything that comes in it. Enjoy

Monday, July 16, 2012

Runebound Saturday

In anticipation of the upcoming release of Descent 2.0 this week Crabby Gamer and I played some Runebound to get into the groove of the Terrinoth lore once more.

Terrinoth is the land that Fantasy Flight uses to set their most popular fantasy games in and is the recurring place for Runewars, DungeonQuest etc etc.

The heroes in Runebound make appearances in Descent so we figured we would bust out the main game and play it.

4 hours later my character, the Orc named One-Fist, emerged victorious. In the game we did NOT use the Doom Track but did use the overland encounters variant and it turned out to do in the ole Crabby Gamer.

Crabby played Arvel Worldwalker from Runebound's Winter expansion set and I took a base character.

The game started off innocently enough but as time went on Crabby Gamer (or CG henceforth) was getting a far far lead on me. We quickly snatched up all the green encounters and then boosted our life values and that set us on the path toward yellow encounters only. About 3 hours in CG had a dragon rune and looked close to victory. Then, in the southlands, he got stuck in a mountainous area and ran into some trouble. Following a nasty encounter in which he got out alive he ran into a blue overland random encounter. With his ally dead he took the brunt of the hits and was slain outright. Losing his possessions and his money he was stuck having to go back and try to get some more cash to buy allies to take on more red encounters.

At this point I was in good shape to swoop in and save the land. With one of us down I had to charge in and get the job done. One red encounter after another fell to me and at the last encounter I used the previously gained Dragon Runes to take out my third victim. The 3rd Dragon went down and I won the game via 3 runes. I was VERY lucky not to draw Margath during any of those Red Encounters. If I had I probably would have lost to him. At that stage of the game though I was pretty beefed up with allies that could take the hits and a lot of experience so my stats were in good shape.

What follows are the pics:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bell of Lost Souls loses nards, caves in to peer pressure

While no one said they were a beacon of journalistic integrity Bell of Lost Souls had been quite critical of the Games Workshop WalletHammer device that was the new Warhammer 40k 6th edition. Slapping it consistently with a large hand upside their money grubbing heads BoLS was sticking it to the GW machine and the sheep that buy their products.

I'm guessing some GW lawyers laid the "law" down or talked to BoLS about a little advertising venture because in a most recent article they appear to have had their testicles removed and replaced with Space Marine vaginas:

First of all, I wanted to give a huge thanks to everyone who contacted us after our last article here on BoLS to share their thoughts on 6thed. Everyone had good input and it was awesome to hear all the feedback from both those who agreed with us and those who disagreed. Also, thanks to those who have kicked us in the butt and asked us to stop being negative about some of the rules we don’t like. You know what? You’re right. 6th on the whole is a really cool edition and GW hung their huevos out there with these big changes and despite the fact that we don’t like some of the rules, it is what it is, and as I’ve said, there is a lot more that is really cool about this edition than not cool.


Looks like its back to 24/7 butt sucking on that site. Now how do I delete bookmarks? Like I needed a guide to survive a game whose primary rule is : put more models on the table with our over priced dreck and you can win the game!

At least you can play with a 41 dollar digital PDF now. Got that going for them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tannhauser goes into hibernation

Well it has been a good ride, but FFG is finally pulling the plug on Tannhauser development after 6 long years.

I guess this will make way for more Dust Tactics work. We shall see.

An Important Update on Tannhäuser
With the release of Frankenstahl later this year, FFG's development of new content for the Tannhäuser board game will be taking a rest. We feel the Tannhäuser line, with its many options, is currently robust enough to offer a great play experience for new and veteran players alike. We’re happy to say that after six years of publishing, Tannhäuser has matured to include four playable factions, three large expansions, and eighteen miniature packs. With this in mind, we lay aside its further development with pride and move to till other fields. The Tannhäuser board game and its expansions remain in print for the time being, so new players should have clear access to explore the uchronic conflict on their game tables at any time.
We remain genuine fans of Tannhäuser and its universe. We have no doubt that sometime in the future we'll return to explore new game experiences among its dark and winding paths.
As always, thank you for your support.

Questlord: new iOS game

A new turn-based Role Playing Game in the classic style of the legendary Computer Role Playing Games that defined the genre.
Check it out here


Players will be able to plan out their attacks or defend from ambushes by standing their ground to skip to the enemies turn or just rush headlong into the fight. Easy screen swiping system allows the player to swing a variety of weapons.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Arkham Horror FAIL: two chances to save the world blown

Hiyo kiddies!

Well another board gaming night has come and gone (next one is Saturday) and this week it was back to the ole Wandering Dragon store in Plainfield IL for some Arkham Horror with my buddy Crabby Old Gamer.

The store had some hardcore gamers in it last night playing stuff right up my alley like Abaddon and the demo copy of Descent 2.0 but I had to focus. Gates needed to be closed and the world saved.

Last night the first investigator I picked was Dexter Drake. I figured with my teammate going with 

Monterey Jack that we would need some sort of magical attacks thrown into the mix giving the issues I had with Monterey in my first full game.

The first turn saw the spawning of a Dark Young and this is a mighty nasty creature.

Figuring it was the first turn and I was all full health and loaded with magic items I went right after him. I wanted to be more aggressive this game.

I lost my combat and was killed outright in turn one. So much for being bold. This set us back quite a bit and we spent the next few turns trying to rally as I had to race across the board and get more items and my abilities back up to speed. Then we drew the card that did us in. An event card that stayed in play called The Terrible Experiment

This card had a fail condition of: "If there are 8 monsters on this card, return it to the box. Raise the terror level to 10 and place the monsters that were on it in play in the Miskatonic U. streets."
Needless to say with my going out in the first turn and this card in the second we were never able to reduce the monsters on the card. It hit 8, the terror level spiked and we were overrun.

40 minutes was all it took for the game to beat us down. Ok game two anyone?

In game two last night I went with Joe Diamond and my buddy went with Jenny Barnes. This game started MUCH better but near the end a gate opening on a 3 clue spot took what tokens we needed to get the 6th Elder Sign on the board and win. Coupled with Jenny Barnes getting lost in time and space and losing half her clue tokens we just did not have enough clues to keep up. We were not able to close the gates we needed and the DOOM track told us that this race against time was over. Still we were so close...so very close. Between us we killed a score of monsters and closed over 5 gates but bad luck got us ONCE MORE.

Still great fun and the Wandering Dragon was once again an awesome venue to play games in.

Saturday it will be Runebound and more Arkham Horror. Eventually we have to win something Co-Op.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Descent 2.0 preview day

Spent some time at the Wandering Dragon game store in Plainfield IL this weekend and sat in on a game of Descent 2. I am pleased to announce the the game has had many changes made to it that make it much more tactical and give the player a lot more options and things to do during gameplay.

  • First the major change is that advanced campaign mode in the base box. 
  • There are now "defense dice" to take the math calculation out of the game. You now roll a grey defense die to hopefully block damage
  • There are more skill checks now
  • The Overlord has spawning rules now and locations on the map. Not just "out of line of sight"
  • Shorter quests with plenty of natural stopping points
  • Enhanced hero selection and creation process
In our scenario we played we had to go into a dungeon and rescue a cleric that had 16 hit points and was attacked in a room full of zombies each turn. However we quickly learned that if we turned an altar it would heal the cleric in that room. Of course we had to find a key to get the door open to free him. Once we did that we had to get him out of the dungeon. Things quickly went from bad to worse when we were near the end and our valiant party fell to the Overlord just 3 squares from the dungeon entrance.

The changes in the game made it much more tactical and required a lot more thinking. I played Tomble Burrowell who was basically a Gnome Rogue. I had throwing blades and had a nice sneak ability. I could also search "search tokens" from 3 spaces away.

Health potions are now exhausted but can be refreshed, and there is no more going to town to buy things in the middle of an adventure. 

Pics are below:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cool things in the new Minecraft patch

Not due until August but still a lot of new features are being added. Here are just some.

Full details can be found here:


World Generation

  • Made sub-biome type mountains like Desert Hills or Ice Mountains taller - Screenshot
  • Made cocoa beans appear on some small jungle trees - Screenshot
  • Added optional starting chest on non-hardcore worlds
    • Screenshot
    • Contents: wooden & stone tools, bread, apples, logs, planks and sticks
  • Added large biomes world type, increasing biome sizes immensely
  • Added desert-specific villages
  • Added desert temples
    • Screenshots
    • Built out of various kinds of sandstone and wool
    • Include hidden chest room and TNT trap, with loot including rotten flesh, bones, iron ingots and gold ingots, diamonds and emeralds
  • Added jungle temples
    • Screenshots
    • Built out of various kinds of cobblestone
    • Contain multiple tripwire traps triggering dispensers filled with arrows
    • Loot chests include bones, rotten flesh, gold ingots, iron ingots, diamonds and emeralds
  • Added emerald ore
    • Only generates in Extreme Hills biomes
    • Occurs up to 8 times per chunk in veins of 1
    • Generates between layers 4 and 31, inclusive

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guild Wars 2 dorks need to chill

People keep saying that GW 2 is the second coming of Christ for MMO's but I've yet to see the evidence substantiating this. 

All I have to go on are videos and while some of the ideas presented are interesting (as in, "gee, this is something that obviously should have been implemented into MMOs a long fucking time ago"), it still mostly looks like standard MMORPG. 

Guild Wars 2 has been so played up by PVP dorks I cant wait to see it fall on its face.

Its not even all that revolutionary.

Bunch of morons. Its like the Torchlight 2 fans.
And if it's anything like the first game, I know I'll get bored pretty quickly. I thought the first Guild Wars was a horrible game.

"it encourages people to work together"

Well there is a novel fucking idea. You mean like...EVERQUEST BACK IN 19 FUCKING 99 before 2004 and MMO's got ruined by WoW?

Is that what you mean? WHOA HOW NOVEL. Suddenly RETRO will be cool the only problem is the real RETRO players aren't playing MMO's anymore and now we have a whole new generation of WoW Hand Fed babyasses telling us Vets how revolutionary these new games will be. This is why it pays not to get old people. Just take my advice.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I got my Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition rulebook

I need something to absorb my dog's piss and the useless written rules and unbalanced pages of crap in between the hardcover did just the trick! Expensive I know but I think I can get many uses out of it before the binding breaks anyway.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Funcom launches The Secret World and charges for the free month

And so the fail train begins

But hey at least you get money for their Cash Shop!


In the process of charging for your digital download of The Secret World, there was an error causing you to be charged incorrectly. We have corrected the error immediately, however your account may show the charge. Any charges that were created incorrectly are in the process of either being cancelled or refunded.

We greatly apologize for any inconvenience and have credited your account with 1200 Bonus points to be used in The Secret World Item Store as an apology for the trouble this may have caused you.

A typical night in Arkham: Arkham Horror recap

Well my first full game of Arkham Horror is under my belt. Well the first full game since 2006.

We lost in the end, but it was a cool 4 hour ride to get to that point. We had two events happened that sealed the fate of the town of Arkham. One was I was assaulted by a particularly nasty creature that was immune to physical weapons. I had not bought enough items and even throwing holy water on the thing was a fail due to bad dice rolling. At that point all I had was a bullwhip and a pistol and it was game over after that.

Being knocked unconscious I was sent to the lost in time and space spot, lost half my items and that was the last that the town of Arkham heard of Monterey Jack. Meanwhile my partner Mandy Thompson leaped into a gate in a desperate attempt to close another one.

5 monsters were roaming Arkham including a ghoul and a vampire. Several gates were opened and we need to get one sealed fast. However her first Other World encounter was exhaustion and she failed all three checks, lost all her stamina and passed out.

With the DOOM track on 12 and Hastur about to appear, we were out of Clue Tokens, lost in Time and Space together and there was no way to stop anything from spawning since we were Delayed and knocked on our asses. The town of Arkham would succumb to the evil of Hastur and we called the game once we pulled another Mythos card and got a Gate Surge.

In the end the mistakes we made were that we did not buy enough items, were slow to upgrade our characters, and took too much time in between gate closings. We also had a run of bad luck there near the end with my holy water failing, bad die rolls and her exhaustion knocking her out of the game.

Another thing that sucked is we lost a lot of clues. Some locations had as many as THREE on them and a gate would spawn and take them all. Also Hastur makes all gate closings require 8 tokens and that really hurt.

Some highlights:

  • The Strangler hit Arkham and killed 4 allies off the Ally Deck before we arrested him
  • Curiosity shop was blocked by a gate and two tough yellow monsters in the street what would not move.
  • I had to drink Whiskey to stop from losing my sanity at one point
  • I amassed about 7 creature tokens 3 of which were zombies I shot in the head with my revolver
We learned lessons however and know what to do better once we play again which will be very soon. I have already ordered a slew of miniatures and some Iron Gate Tokens from Litko. Yeah I am hooked. On the upside I did use the iPad based Arkham Horror toolkit from Fantasy Flight Games. It tracks your investigators stats, lets you adjust sliders, modify clue tokens and money, and even has a sweet die roller included as well as the ability to draw from the encounter deck. Great app and really saves table space.