The Blagog Blog

The Summoner Wars Scoop & Board Game Broadcast blagog.com

Archive for All we are is

Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Gen Con and Summoner Wars Card Spoilers

Dustin Wen
United States
Lake Forest
Click to Select (if applicable)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Gen Con is going down this weekend and two of our writers will be attending. Stay tuned for Summoner Wars tournament reports!

On our blog, we also posted full card spoilers for the two upcoming reinforcement packs for Mountain Vargath, Swamp Orcs, Filth, and Mercenaries. Link below!

http://blagog.com/card-spoilers/
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
70 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Interview with Jerry Hawthorne, Designer of Mice and Mystics!

Dustin Wen
United States
Lake Forest
Click to Select (if applicable)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We were very lucky to have some questions answered by Jerry Hawthorne, designer of Mice and Mystics. In our interview with him, Jerry discusses his history with board games, the storytelling game genre, and his upcoming game about rodents.

To get you acquainted with us and the readers, could you talk about your board game design history, leading up to Mice and Mystics?


My name is Jerry Hawthorne. I have played games since I was young and my older brother introduced me to Starfleet Battles. Since then, I have been hooked. For some years in my adulthood, I have offered to playtest just about any game that came along. This was mostly independent game designers. In 2004 I found Heroscape, and shortly after, was fortunate to make acquaintances with Craig Van Ness based upon my enthusiasm and work as an admin of a Heroscape fan site. Testing eventually lead to some minor freelance work in which I collaborated with Colby Dauch. I now help Colby and Plaid Hat Games in whatever way I can.

Another introductory question. What are your favorite board games?

I love Heroscape, Heroquest, Summoner Wars, Battleball, Thunder Road, Dungeon Run, Bootleggers, and so many more.

What is a storytelling game?

A storytelling game is a marriage of two forms of creative expression: books and games. It makes reading a social experience where the story unfolds, but the players play out the action and shape the story. The game is literally embedded in the story with many additional rules, and even mini games woven into the story.

As a “cooperative storytelling game,” Mice and Mystics is a unique game. How did you come up with the idea?

A couple of years ago, my daughter was struggling with learning to read. I was convinced that she just didn’t understand how imaginative books could be. Her reading was labored and robotic. I wanted to create an activity to accompany reading that would help her somehow. At the time, mice were her most favoritest of all animals. I started working on a story that could be played like a game. Later we discovered that she has a learning disorder similar to dyslexia, but the game had already taken on a life of its own.

I can’t help myself from thinking about the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. Were there any notable influences for Mice and Mystics?

Mice & Mystics came about because of my daughter’s love of mice, and our mutual love of fantasy. Redwall, Despereaux and Mouse Guard were in my mind too, as we had sampled all of those in our journey to help my daughter to read.

What elements of Mice and Mystics will appeal to Summoner Wars players?

The art of course has the trademark PHG touch of class. The abilities and items all have the concise wording you’ve come to expect from anything Colby is involved with. The support you all love and appreciate. Ease of play, short to medium length of play time, and fast to teach are also elements that will appeal to SW players.

Do chapters and/or storybooks get progressively more difficult?

Only mildly so, but it is significant enough to keep in mind.

Is it possible to get different endings, similar to a choose-your-own-adventure book?

Similar, but not the same. There aren’t nearly as many branching story arcs. I would love to do a CYOA book someday though.

How much replay value do you envision for each chapter?

Keep in mind that I am the creator, but I do not have any worries about replayability. It is my hope that M&M will be an heirloom game system. The kind of game you purchase because you know you will regret it if you don’t, then you keep it forever and pass it down to your kids or grandkids. Do you already know the story? Yes, but the outcome of each chapter can be quite different with different players, or characters, or card draws or die results. Some chapters will crush you, and you will want to play them again, sometimes right away.

How often will new storybooks be expected to be released? Will new storybooks include more physical pieces?

Obviously this would depend upon how well the game is received. But I will say that we are prepared to keep up with demand.

The rulebook was spoiled on Monday. Can we expect to see preview Mondays again?

That is something Colby would decide. Keep an eye on the PHG website as there are many more contributors to the news section. I could see preview Mondays being augmented by teaser articles and behind the scene development diaries etc..

Original post located at blagog.com
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Thu May 24, 2012 11:10 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Strongest Summoner Wars Champion?

Dustin Wen
United States
Lake Forest
Click to Select (if applicable)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We began in March with 74 champions.

Now it is down to 2.

Gror vs. Mook - the epic battle of dwarves versus goblins.
Who will win?
It's up to you to decide.

Vote here: http://blagog.com/2012/04/04/champion-battle-2012-gror-vs-mo...
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Thu Apr 5, 2012 7:40 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

The Invincible Gror?

Dustin Wen
United States
Lake Forest
Click to Select (if applicable)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Over the last month, the Blagog Blog has been running daily polls pitting champions against each other. Before the voting began, readers submitted their brackets to predict winners. The overwhelming majority voted Gror as the best champion. But today, he is neck and neck with the Mountain Vargath big hitter, Growden (who also wields an awesome hammer). Follow the link to decide Gror's fate!

http://blagog.com/champion-battle-2012/
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:45 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide

Interview with Steve Wood of Gunship: First Strike!

Dustin Wen
United States
Lake Forest
Click to Select (if applicable)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Late on Valentine's Day, a new game exploded onto Kickstarter, Gunship: First Strike. Within11 hours, it was fully funded. 6 days later, it's received 458% of its funding. No, that's not a typo. It's blown through stretch goal after stretch goal, gone from a 2 player game to a 4 player game, added in tons of new upgrades for the ships, and it's still rolling!

What is Gunship First Strike? It is a tactical space combat game with a really visual tracking system, where you actually take damage to specific locations, and you place damaged cards on your ship itself to show that a gun's been blown off! In the base game, each player gets a carrier, a gunship, and a squadron of fighters, but the gunship is the real star of the show. Each player customizes their gunship, choosing weapons and Armor placement to suit his tactics. The goal is to destroy the other carrier, but there's a need for a careful balance between offensive and defensive maneuvers.

I'm really excited about this game, I've been waiting for it to hit Kickstarter for about a month now. So, why do I think it will appeal to Summoner Wars fans?

Tight Match Ups
The designer says most games are won by only a few hit points, and that sounds an awful lot like the vast majority of games I've played in Summoner Wars.
Customization
The base game comes with enough weapons to mod your gunship to fit your playstyle, not entirely unlike the Reinforcement packs, and while the game doesn't feature variable powers (yet), there'll be enough different ways to load out your gunship to make a big difference. The stretch goal have added even more options for upgrades to your ship.
Nice mix between proper strategy and probability
Like Summoner Wars, the dice and card drawing play a definite role in victory, but how you choose to arm your gunship and your timing of attacks (and retreats) are critical to win.


Overall, the game looks a bit lighter than Summoner Wars, but it does have one thing Summoner Wars doesn't: Space ships. I know that's a bit silly, but I've been looking for a good space combat game ever since Fantasy Flight Games killed Twilight Imperium: Armada.

I caught up with the designer, Steve Wood, and did a quick interview.

Well Steve, your game has already been a smash hit on Kickstarter and jumped to the top of BGG's hotness list, were you expecting this degree of success?

I would say, humbly, that I believed in the project enough to think it would have 30-40,000 potential. Did I think it would get there this FAST? No! That first day, everyone was saying that I would be the next D-Day Dice, but I knew that was a once-in-a-lifetime one. Still don't know how they did it!

How did you put together such a successful Kickstarter campaign?

Promotion. Taking the time to take the pictures, build the website, email every gaming site out there, doing the interviews, creating the threads and sleeping very little. Does not hurt to have a complete and playtested product that's ready to ship.

How much work goes into a campaign like this one?

A TON. Just look at the things I listed above. And that's not even mentioning all of the tiny details. Like going over the Rulebook for the hundredth time checking for typos, designing the banner ads and trying to come up with something snappy at 2am, editing photos so they as good as possible, etc. etc. And don't even get me started on the business end! It reaches a point where it is no longer a fun hobby - it's a corporation and you have to be careful. If you want a winning Kickstarter campaign, be ready to work and sweat and lose your mind a little. When you are finished playtesting, it is only the beginning.

Our fans at Blagog love variable race powers, are there any plans to eventually add something like that to Gunship? I know you've already announced there will be factions, but will that have an effect in-game?

Sure. But even I don't know what the Factions are yet! Those are being created by the fans and Eric Carter, although I will have plenty of input. I think the different combos of Weapons and Upgrades will give you guys PLENTY of variable powers until the Factions arrive. Will there be alien races? Time will tell. Right now it is more of a Firefly or Dune-type universe (humans only).

Now that you know your game's been funded, can you give us any hints about what comes next in Gunship?

Well the first stage is to launch the basic game this Summer. It's going to be very high quality thanks to the success of Kickstarter and the support of my Backers. Soon after launch, you'll be able to start buying the extras and accessories that were Unlocked in Kickstarter. Then, the Promos will become available (but with different artwork). After that, we plan to launch the Heavy Battle Cruiser expansion, which will add several new ship types. After that, plenty of other expansions. Some people claim that they do not LIKE expansions. I consider them a necessity to keep things fresh. This war that you guys are playing out is going to escalate. It's going to boil over into an apocalypse. And from the ashes of that, you are going to find the game that we REALLY wanted to make but decided to "Prequel" instead. How's THAT for an answer? Seriously, I've had nothing but time to plan this and you're all going to love it!

Steve, thanks for doing this interview with us here at Blagog. Make sure to check out Gunship's website to see examples of play, download the rules and more. If you like what you see, you can support the game at Kickstarter.

Escape Pod Games: http://www.escapepodgames.com
Gunship Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1291246114/gunship-first...
Original post: http://blagog.com/2012/02/21/like-summoner-wars-try-gunship-...

This post was written by
David Kartzinel
United States
Orlando
Florida
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:54 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Master Set Faction Highlight: Slogging to Victory with the Swamp Orcs

Dustin Wen
United States
Lake Forest
Click to Select (if applicable)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I wanted to go over what I think is the most enigmatic and challenging to play faction in the Master Set, the Swamp Orcs. I’ll admit up front, I haven’t mastered them, so let me know in the comments if I miss something. That being said, I still like them, and have found some fairly effective things to do with them.

Who Should (and shouldn’t) Play the Swamp Orcs?

If you want to play a faction that isn’t straight forward or easy to win with, these guys are for you! They do also have some pretty good commons and a beast of a summoner. Besides, if you play them right, you can large chunks of the board annoyingly covered by vine walls. That’s good times!

Basic Play – Commons

I like two of the three commons in this set. I’m not a huge fan of the shaman, his ability just isn’t reliable enough. I’ve seen games where it is huge, and seemingly invincible shamans shrugged off blow after blow, and I’ve seen games where every hit lands on the shaman. They are your only one cost common, so don’t completely disregard them.



Now, hunters are a common I can get behind. They’re a little expensive, but their ability is pretty handy. They can be surprisingly potent, but you need to have vine walls down for them to really be useful. I use these guys for bounce attacks moving through a vine wall, either to get a quick 2 hit on a champion or pull down a common. Remember, they are ranged, so they have an effective threat range of five squares (move of 2, then ranged attack).



And last but not least, the mighty Savager. I love these guys. I know they’re the least “subtle” unit, but a common with 3 attack? They always make my opponent sweat, and the minor random protection of fear is just a little bonus shield. I never rely on the fear, but it’s always fun to mock your opponent when their common flees the board in terror. Even champions are afraid of these guys. I use them for practically everything, but they are vulnerable to focused fire, so it’s usually good to have a couple of commons out to screen them. Just make sure they get enough kills to be worth the cost, if you only get one kill with a savager, you’re doing it wrong (unless the kill is a champion).

Advanced Play –Events and GRABBY VINES OF DOOM

Vineguard is as iffy as the Shamans are, you may get lucky and take no wounds, or you may take all the wounds. Still, it may be handy occasionally if you have a decent growth of vines going. Do note that it includes all Swamp Orcs you control, so your summoner and champions are effected by this event. Ditto for Vinemancer Ambush. Both of these events are highly reliant on having a good growth, but don’t be afraid to use it just to help one unit either. The one thing these events can do that is really handy is give your savagers the ability to move through vinewalls without risking a wound.

Now, Ensare is my kind of event, grab a common within four spaces and pop it on a vinewall. First of all, this is just annoying, because if they move off the vinewall, they may take a wound. Secondly, it lets you set up all kinds of fun things, from removing common shields to pulling an annoying common away from your savager or summoner, or letting you kill your opponent’s expensive commons.

Vine Growth is a fantastic event for the Swamp Orcs, honestly, I’ve wished many times the deck had more of them. This can be a real boost to growing your vines. Speaking of vines, these things are awesome! Try to grow your vines all over, they don’t impede most of your orcs. Use them both to get in your opponent’s face and set up a defensive network. Your opponent can move over them at the chance of a wound, or he can let them slow him down and spend the time and attacks to try to get rid of them. It’s a win win for you.

Advanced Play –Champions and Summoner

I’m not a huge fan of the swamp orc champions, but that’s okay, because I end up playing savagers more. I do really like Splub. He’s a bit expensive, but he can create vinewalls whenever and wherever he kills a unit, this is a good thing. Glarg doesn’t do anything for me, Blerg seems like he’d be cool, but he’s just too expensive when you get down to it. I can almost get two savagers for the cost of Blerg. I’d much rather have that.



Mugglug is a beast of a summoner, he can win the game for you if you manager to weaken your opponent enough before you both run out of cards. Don’t be afraid to push him into combat, but don’t overextend with him.

Conclusion
I’m easily most excited about the reinforcements for this faction. I really want to see what other champion options may come our way. I’m also looking forward to seeing what other commons they get, I think I could handle dumping the shamans and modding this deck a bit. That being said, I love the feel and art of the Swamp Orcs, and they’re definitely fun (if challenging) to play. They are surprisingly maneuver dependent and are a very dynamic faction.

Check us out at blagog.com! We are giving away reinforcement packs and faction decks in light of their upcoming release!
Twitter Facebook
8 Comments
Tue Feb 7, 2012 4:31 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Master Set Faction Highlight: Delving into the Deep Dwarves

Dustin Wen
United States
Lake Forest
Click to Select (if applicable)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
The Deep Dwarves are awesome. Just so cool, I love everything from the tattooed faces to the evil things you can use this deck to do to your opponent.

Who Should (and shouldn’t) Play the Deep Dwarves?

Do you like turtling? Waiting carefully to plan an all out pulverization of your opponent? Carefully saving events or champions for the right time to make your opponent cry and take victory right out of his grasp? You should play the Deep Dwarves. If you aren’t patient and don’t think defensively, you’re not going to have an easy time with this faction. Timing and patients are a must!

Basic Play – Commons

I like one of the three commons: the Gem mage. This guy is just fantastic, but he’s a little on the weak side, so you have to be careful about positioning. Ideally, you want to make your opponent walk into his lane of fire. His two abilities are both fantastic, and frequently worth using. Just make sure you don’t throw these guys away, they’re expensive, so you don’t want to waste magic.



Miners are okay, they are a one attack two toughness common with an adequate ability. It’s hard for me to get excited about them, but they are useful as a gem mage screen. However, if you have a few of them on the field, it is possible to set up a gang up kill on a summoner or a tough champion.

Scholars are my least favorite Deep Dwarves unit. They may just require more careful positioning, but my general experience has been I basically have no use for the one on the field and burn the others for magic. I’m sure someone out there has stories about games won with them, or how they’re great as mini-walls, but I’d just rather play a gem mage.

Advanced Play –Events

The Deep Dwarves events make up for their fairly bland commons, these are amazing!

Illusionary warrior equals a free common from your magic pile as long as you have a gem mage out (so make sure you’ve always got one on the field).. Do I need to say any more? Save this for something good, use it to get a free gem mage, or really annoy your opponent, kill his Savager, Smasher, Lioneer, then blink its illusion back to fight for you. So who cares if your commons are only okay when you can make illusions of someone else’s?



Magic Stasis has so many ways to use, you can use it to keep your opponent from refortifying with units and set yourself up for a push next turn, you can use it to just harass them. The one thing to keep in mind it doesn’t protect you from catch up events like Reinforcements, so be careful about that.

Magic Torrent is great! It’s really your own little catch up event that can pay for itself. It’s also a huge range area effect, 4 squares is unbelievable! I like to use it to relieve pressure on my summoner, but there’s no reason you couldn’t also use it to help push.

Summoning Surge we’ve seen before, but it’s a handy little way to get some extra magic for Magic Torrent or a champion, or even some of your commons’ abilities.

And last but not least, Wake the Father Gem. You should really imagine the earth shaking whenever you read that card. This can suddenly set up an awesome blitz, your gem mages all start attacking like champions with three dice, then teleport away, your miners can all blink to join each other to gang up on a champion. Heck, your scholar might even be able to help. Never burn this for magic, save it for when you really need it.

Advanced Play –Champions and Summoner

Let’s just start with Tundle. He can generate you one magic per turn, but that’s not all! He can also put dead warriors back in your pile to be targets of illusionary warrior. Oh yes, it’s a beautiful thing. Don’t forget to use his ability every turn you possibly can!



I love all of the champions, they’re just great! Don’t forget Wake the Father Gem works on them, so take advantage of that.

Sprog is great for just moving walls around, yours or your opponents. There are all sorts of things you can do if you can keep him alive. Stack all of his walls in front of each other? Sure. Move your wall to open up a new attack angle that isn’t covered? Okay. Reconfigure your walls to block old angles of attack? Go for it! Don’t forget he’s got a ranged attack too.

Kynder is a great bargain and is just cool. His ability is handy, but don’t forget you’re get a 6 health unit with 2 attacks for 5 magic, that’s already a good deal. Don’t forget his ability can be used at any time during your turn on anyone but him. So, if you set it up right, you can attack say, a champion or summoner with Kynder, then push that unit to be attacked by other units, or push it into a ranged attack. You can also keep him close to jiggle your summoner around, so go for an offensive torrent of magic, then push your summoner back to safety. Or use him to give a unit an extra boost to get to attack a someone your opponent thought was safe.

Lun is interesting. I’m not a huge fan of the low health, but the ability to teleport commons to himself is handy. Use him with a pair gem mages and wake the father gem for a quick strike and teleport retreat. So he could call them to a forward firing position, have them blast things for 3, then they blink back to a wall. Besides, he’s got a 3 attack for a four cost, which is a pretty good deal. Don’t expect him to last long and don’t let him get swarmed.

Conclusion

I really like the Deep Dwarves, their units are so cool, and they make me want to play them. My only problem is they just don’t fit my play style, so I’m not naturally good with them. I want to be aggressive, in my opponent’s face, and smashing things. However, I’m really enjoying learning a different way to play, they present a great challenge for me, so don’t think for a second I’m going to stop playing them. If I can play them, you can too! So go out and undermine your opponent.

Check out our full blog at blagog.com to see all our strategy articles
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Feb 1, 2012 4:27 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Introduction

Dustin Wen
United States
Lake Forest
Click to Select (if applicable)
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
This Thanksgiving week, users dkartzinel, joepinion, and I are launching new fan site for Summoner Wars...the Blagog Blog (try saying that ten times fast). Check it out at blagog.com
Our goal is to provide timely, accurate news regarding Summoner Wars and Plaid Hat Games.

We are dedicated fans who noticed that SW news is fragmented between an official website, an email digest, a weekly podcast, an official forum, the BGG forum, the Heroscapers forum, and a countless number of board game blogs. While this is hardly a barrier for die-hard fans, we want to bridge this gap and make PHG release news widely available, while generating tundra-orc-smashing hype. Let’s be honest, this company is going places and we want everybody to hop on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride.

We’re having give-aways, contests, interviews, previews, reviews, resources, events, strategy discussion, and breaking news on everything under the sun involving Summoner Wars. So what are you waiting for? Go to blagog.com, leave a comment, and subscribe to our RSS/email feed for the latest and greatest!
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:36 pm
  • | Add a Roll
     |  Post Rolls
    • [+] Dice rolls

    Subscribe

    Categories

    Contributors

    Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
    Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.