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Patience and the Bigger Picture

Christopher Pitts
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I've been waiting to write this post for a while now. Mainly because I knew it would be easier from this side. Yesterday, two games that I backed on Kickstarter (D-Day Dice and Alien Frontiers: Factions) arrived in the mail. I have been eagerly awaiting them for quite a whole as both were originally scheduled to be shipped back in March-ish. However, they both got delayed for various reasons (mostly for adding all sorts of goodies) and so I, along with hundreds of others had to wait patiently for the game to come.

It's easy to get anxious when you're anticipating a new toy arriving. Whether it be a board game, a movie or an event, the excitement has a way of building and building until you're about to burst. But the weird catch is that the longer you wait for something, the greater then enjoyment is when it finally arrives. Running over to my doorstep over the last couple weeks to check for a package successfully led to a yelp of joy when there was finally something there to see.

It's All Relative
When it comes to something like a game, its lifespan is more dependent on number of plays more than anything.Whether it be 5 or 500, there is usually a finite number of time that you'll bring something out to the table. The hard thing to keep in mind is that is doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things whether that first play is in March or July. In the end, you still have the game and you get to play it.

The Early Bird
Now for some people, there may be a second game in play. In addition to the enjoyment of the game itself, there's the satisfaction that you have it first. Or at least before any of your friends. Luckily, this isn't part of my struggles. I know that there are many people out there who missed these Kickstarter campaigns completely and can't wait for them to be released to retail store.

But while I get no particular pleasure of being first, I can get annoyed being last. I am currently waiting for one more game, Small World Realms, which is being held up on a friend's online order by something else he ordered. I will admit I feel a little bit of agony when I see other people's reviews of the game. The knowledge that they have something I want can sting. I try to remind myself that when the game does come, it won't matter that they got to play first. Just that I now too get to play.

The Bigger Picture
When it all comes down to it, I try to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things the individual game doesn't matter. It's the people. It's the hobby. Over the last couple months I haven't just been sitting by the door waiting for the mailman to lug a giant box to my door, I've been playing the games I already have and have had a great time doing so. Sure it would have been nice to add in Factions to my last couple games of Alien Frontiers, but the game was still great.

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Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:38 pm
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The Five Phases of Game Collections

Christopher Pitts
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For most gamers, I'd imagine that their collection goes through phases. A cycle of mentalities and buying habits that grows and evolves as the gamer dives deeper into the hobby. For some there might be more extreme changes and fast growth between them while others may be more subtle and gradual. Some may never get past certain phases. I figure my own progression would be categorized as a moderate one. Out of my friends, I have one of the larger collections, by in the grand scheme of things, there are larger and more involved people out there.

The Honeymoon
At first they may just buy a game or two. They are still new to the hobby and don't want to make the wrong decision. Maybe they just try some basic gateway games of some various mechanics. For me this was purchasing Ticket To Ride and Smallworld. I quickly fell in love with Days of Wonder's games and then even added Memoir '44 to my collection.

The Boom
But then, maybe overnight, the gamer enters the collection phase. At this point, the gamer knows what they're looking for and swarm upon it. Expansions start being purchased without thought, regardless of how much the base game has been played. The one shelf of games quickly take over the entire bookcase and soon the wall. If left unchecked, then the gamer may soon find himself on Hoarders.

The Reassessment
If the gamer is lucky, then before their collection reaches critical mass, they will be able to take a step back and re-evaluate. This may come from lack of funds, lack of space or an intervention of loved ones.

This is the phase that I currently find myself in. I recently purchase Fresco and quickly decided to sell it. It wasn't clicking with me as a game and I already had some worker placement type games that I much preferred, Lords of Waterdeep and Alien Frontiers. I felt it didn't have any place in my collection as it would just collect dust and so it went away.

I also recently decided to wait on purchasing the new D&D skirmish game, Dungeon Command. I had participated in the playtest and thought it was a great game, but its not the time for it. I already have a two-player skirmish game, Summoner Wars, that I don't play nearly enough. I couldn't stand the thought of purchasing another game that I knew I would like but wouldn't hit the table enough. Unfortunately, this will also probably slow me down in buying the oncoming Second Summoners. Maybe one day I'll pick it up (it will be hard to pass on the Undead set coming out later.) However, I felt it was better to put my money towards things that would get more playtime.

The Cull
I'm teetering on the line of this step. As I mentioned, I don't like having games that just sit around and give me dough eyes. I have some great games that sit on my shelf and I just can't get them to the table enough. Some of them have been replaced in my mind by other games in my friends' collections. The original Thunderstone has been overshadowed by Thunderstone Advance and DOOM by Descent 2.0. I'm holding onto them for now, but the day may come.

Balance
I often wonder if true balance can be achieved. There are always new games coming out and old games that will sit longer and longer. Perhaps the best that we can hope for is a 'one in, one out' scenario, but even that could be hard to maintain.

I'm happy with my collection. I have a good amount of great games that I enjoy playing with my friends and family. Sure, there's a couple 'white whales' out there that I would love to add. But at the same time, I know that when the time finally comes, I have some games that I could get rid of to free up some shelf space.

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Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:54 am
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Game Night: Separating the People From the Game

Christopher Pitts
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I had some friends over for some gaming last night. One of them brought over their copy of Star Trek: The Deckbuilding Game and suggested it to the group. I had played it before and it really doesn't rank on my list. I much prefer Thunderstone when it comes to deckbuilding. But some of the other people in the group hadn't tried it so I went along. Bad idea.

Quick Rant
I've mainly played ST: TDBG with two players, and once or twice with three. Like I said, it wasn't my favorite, but it was alright. Last night there were five players. Never again. The game lasted over three hours and just dragged on and on.

Star Trek has a couple major flaws in my opinion. First is the lack of theme and cohesion in the cards. You can build a deck with Federation, Ferengi, Romulans and Klingons all mixed together and it doesn't matter. There is no real benefit to stacking with only one race and it actually seems to hurt you as you fall behind on stats. I'm also not a fan of the giant stack of cards as opposed to individual stacks that Thunderstone has. This makes it much harder to plan ahead as cards constantly shift in and out of the play area.

My main problem is the battle system between players. When a players searched the space deck, there is a chance that he will initiate a battle between players. This completely halts the play of the game and disrupts the flow. And to make it worse, it constantly causes players to discard a great hand. It becomes more frustrating than anything and feels out of place.

On To Better Things
All that being said, I had fun. When I look back at the evening, I try to look past the bad gaming experience and focus on the jokes and laughs I had with my friends. We got to reminisce about Star Trek (although I'd prefer to do that over a game of Fleet Captains) and enjoy a beer.

Board gaming, at its core, is a social activity and thus the people you play with are a large part of your experience. Even the right crowd can make a bad experience bearable. Unfortunately the inverse is also true and even your favorite game can crash and burn if played with the wrong people. I used to DM at my local game store for the Wednesday night D&D Encounters program. while there were many players that I had a lot of fun it, it was hard to look past the one or two that I dreaded would come play at my table.

I am quite happy and feel blessed that I have come across a group of new friends with whom I always look forward to playing with. Even if the occasional poor evening comes around, the quality of the relationships will always outweigh the games.

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Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:42 pm
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Two Great Games for One Great Night

Christopher Pitts
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Last night at my game group I had the pleasure of enjoying two great games, King of Tokyo and Castle Panic. Both make for night casual gameplay that will be the cause of many cheers, groans and laughs all around.

King of the World
The evening began with King of Tokyo, designed by Richard Garfield of Magic: The Gathering fame and published by IELLO. The game was published in 2011 and quickly sold out. A second printing recently hit store shelves.

The premise of the game is that each player is a monster that is invading Tokyo. In the middle of the table is a small board with space for one monster (two in a 5-6 player game). Players try to occupy Tokyo for as long as possible in order to accumulate points. The game ends when one player earns 20 points or (even better) knocks out all the other monsters from the game.

On each player's turn, they roll six dice. The dice have symbols that can earn players additional points, attack other players, heal or collect energy cubes. The cubes are used to buy special power cards than have a variety of effects such as dealing damage or even gaining a second chance in the game if eliminated. These cards can easily turn the tide of a game if used correctly.

The way attacking works in this game is a great mechanic that keeps the game light and fast. If you are not in Tokyo, you deal damage to whoever is. If you are in the hot seat, then you deal damage to all other players simultaneous. This is a great way to remove a potential source of analysis paralysis as well as ganging up on a player. The game just moves at a nice clip and plays fast enough that you can easily get a couple games in before the night is over. I also enjoy that there are multiple ways to play and win. You can be aggressive and stand your ground in Tokyo for as long as you can, or you can stay in the outskirts and get points through dice and cards.

Is There Anyone Else Up There We Can Talk To?
Next up we played Castle Panic with the Wizard's Tower expansion. Castle Panic was designed by Justin Witt and published by Fireside Games. It is a tower defense style cooperative game. The players are defending a castle against a seemingly endless wave of monsters. The players win if they are able to defeat all the monsters. They lose if the last tower of the castle is destroyed.

The board is divided into three arcs (red, blue and green) and four rings (swordsman, knights, archers and the forest.) Players have a hand of cards that are primarily made up of attack cards that correspond to one of the specific spaces that a monster can occupy (ie Red Knight.) Playing these cards deals damage to the monsters and eventually kills them. The Wizard's Tower expansion also features a deck of Wizard cards that have more powerful effects.

At the end of each player's turn, they move all the monsters one step closer to the castle and then places new monsters randomly on the board, adding to the oncoming hoard. The expansion also comes with a very dangerous monsters that increase the threat level tremendously.

This was my first time playing this game and I really enjoyed it. It had a nice complexity between Pandemic and Forbidden Island. I felt that the game had a nice epic feeling to it and on most turns each player did something that felt amazing, especially with the wizard cards.

In our game, we just squeaked out a victory as an Orc was one move away from destroying the final tower before he was struck down by Azriel's Fist. It was a gripping conclusion and very satisfying.

The King Returns
The evening ended with another game of King of Tokyo before we parted ways into the night. Both of these games are a blast to play and great for casual get togethers such as these.

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Sat Jul 7, 2012 5:51 am
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DC Deckbuilding Design Falls Short

Christopher Pitts
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Some new images have been posted on the Boardgame Geek page for the upcoming DC Deckbuilding game. The images show the box, and some cards of various types. My excitement for seeing the cards was quickly pushed aside as I realized that these were some of the worst designed cards I'd seen in a while. Luckily they are still easy to read and the information on them is relatively clear. Its just the details that are crying out for some help.

The Cards
First off, I have to point out that these cards look like they're using a modified template from the last few runs of cards from the Vs. System CCG. Nothing particularly wrong with this, but to me it just exemplifies the problems when they're compared with a design that uses the same skeleton, but succeeds more often.

So starting from the top, I'm surprised at the lack of constrast of the name with the textured background. Sure I can read the names, but when compared to the card type in the middle of the card, it doesn't pop like it should. This is the main way card are identified and should be a focal point. And speaking of focal point, why is the DC logo so freakishly large? More importantly, why is it on the card at all. Only on a licensed property, would someone decide that the logo needs to be on every single card. Slap it on the back of the card as large as you like, but it has no reason to be on the front. I doubt players will suddenly forget what game they're playing.

The artwork so far is great. The images used are nice and bold and have a good consistency. I would hope that DC would be able to pull this part off as they have a giant library at their disposal. Hopefully the rest of the set will keep this cohesion.

The next part of the card type mostly fine. As I stated before, this is easy to read and understand the card type. The only part that bugs me is the 'super-villain' text as shown on Ra's Al Ghul. The text arc reminds me of someone who just discovered wordart in their copy of PowerPoint. In addition, I don't see the reason for him to have both labels, unless there's something in the rules. It just seems to clutter up the card.

The card text looks fine. It's easy to understand. One odd part of this text though it that there are constant references to a 'power rating.' I'm mostly surprised that this isn't its own icon as it appears to be a large part of the game and defeating super-villains.

At the very bottom of the card are two large icons, a star and a circle. I take that the star is victory points, but at the moment I'm not sure what the circle is. My guess would be some kind of currency to buy other cards. Both of these icons are big and easy to read, but the images themselves seem a little clip art-y and flat. Another problem I had is the large brick of copyright text at the bottom of the card.

Cohesion
The background texture of the cards is kind of cool and has a gritty texture that hints of movement and action. It provides a nice cohesion to the set. The colors used across the diferent types of cards don't seem to mesh too well though, especially the orange and yellow. They come off a little cartoony and dont really go with the darker artwork that has been used.

Such A Shame
I'm sure that these problems won't effect the game, which I don't know enough about to comment on. I am disappointed though that this is the best that DC can do. For a company that specialized in visual communication, I would have though they'd want a better looking product. Even Cryptozoic Games has produced better looking games. The World of Warcraft card game, for example, was well laid out and had good iconography.

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Thu Jul 5, 2012 6:06 am
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Step up from "Choose Your Own Adventure'

Christopher Pitts
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While listening to a recent episode of the Plaid Hat Podcast, I became aware of a genre of games that I can best described as a 'choose your own adventure' game mixed with an RPG. They play much like the classic book series that I was such a fan of as a child. You'll read a paragraph and then be presented with a choice which will then lead you to a subsequent paragraph and the cycle continues throughout the story. They do have an extra twist in that you also need some dice. Throughout the game there will be situations, such as combat, or performing tricky maneuvers, that the fates intervene.

Since discovering these types of games, I've been pleased to stumble upon a couple of them to explore a little deeper. The first one, "City of Gold & Glory" is the second book in the Fabled Lands series of books. The series of 12 books (although only 6 were released) spans the large region of the Fabled Lands, each books focusing on a certain region. You can start with any books, using either one of their pre-made characters or crating your own, and begin your adventure. Traveling from city to city and exploring whatever you come across. The interesting addition being that you can venture throughout the regions by moving between books, all while keeping your same character and stats.

I've only played a little bit of it so far and unfortunately I find it a bit lacking. I really admire the scope of the game, but it feels unfocused. The entire time I played I just wandered around aimlessly and was unable to find the beginning of the quest. It was just a little too open for my taste and would have appreciated a hint in the introduction that I'm looking for Person X who is located at Location Y. I will give it another shot, with maybe some help from online to get me started.

More recently I stumbled upon a copy of Gnomes:100, Dragons:0 from TSR. This book was part of a series the Catacombs solo adventure books based on Dungeons & Dragons. Compared to Gold & Glory, this book is a lot more focused and has a specific quest and character that the adventure is built for. The reader takes the part of a baker that finds himself leading a Gnomish army to clear out a cavern of dragons. It has a much lighter tone to it but looks very well put together. I appreciate being given a clear task to accomplish and I will most likely finish this one before trying the Gold & Glory again.

These books have been a wonderful discovery for me and I am looking forward to more. I have heard about an upcoming book entitled Destiny Quest that looks promising and I'll probably check that out when it is released. Are there any other good ones that I should keep an eye out for?


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Wed May 9, 2012 9:01 pm
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Getting Rules Wrong

Christopher Pitts
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I had some friends over last night to play some games and have some fun. We started with a 4 player game of Lords of Waterdeep, which I am still enamored with. Quick note on this before I move on, I just played a two player game with my wife over the weekend and it was interesting to see the difference in how the game scaled with a different number of players. In a two player game, each player gets 4 agents to place as opposed to only 2 in a four player game. This leads to games with more players feeling more tense and increasing the wish that you wish you had just one more move. The number of agents in the game remains relatively the same so the board will always fill up, its just a matter of how much you get to do before it does so.

We then played a game of Saboteur, which was pretty nice. Players act as dwarves trying to dig for gold that is placed in one of three possible locations. The catch though, is that there's a possibility that one or more of the players is secretly a saboteur, trying to stop the operation in its tracks. This is a great mechanic that adds some nice tension and really forces players to analyze each others movements to try to detect who the traitor might be. Even if the players figure out there is no traitor, the player who finds the gold first gets the highest reward, which still causes the players to try and slow each other down, just a little bit. I'd like to play this game again, hopefully with more players.

The final game of the evening was Doom: The Boardgame. I've had this game for just over a year and this was the fourth time I've brought it to the table, each time with a different group. As a result, I've been playing the first scenario over and over, but that's besides the point. As with most Fantasy Flight games, the rulebook is fairly hefty and chock full of rules and exceptions and symbols and explanations. This unfortunately means that if I'm not properly prepared (such as last night) then some things can slip through the cracks. In this instance it was forgetting that all figures block line of sight and that grenades don't need line of sight.Luckily for me, the guys I was playing with were pretty chill about the matters and we were able to move on. This did, however, make me think of what to do in situations such as this.

The Best Case Scenario: Hopefully in most cases the mistake is caught early on and maybe a move or two is retracted and fixed. Going back to my game of Doom last night, after the the first round of actual combat I double checked the LOS rules and realized all figures block it, not just enemy ones. The first player just slightly altered his turn, moving back to allow another player to move up and play continued. Nothing detrimental to the flow of the game and we were able to move on.

The Not As Good As Best Case Scenario: My other example from Doom fell into this category. It wasn't until halfway through the game that I realized that I was hindering the usage of the grenade weapons. This did cause some missed opportunities from the players, but none of them were really that game changing. This is most usual for cases that a resource is being expended. Either used earlier or later, the resource is gone even if it wasn't used in the most optimal way.

The I'm Serious I'm Not Being A Jerk Scenario: Perhaps the most embarrassing one of the list. This usually happens a at least halfway through the game. When teaching a game, one his turn that player suddenly remembers a critical rule that other players could have greatly benefited them if they knew about it. This can suddenly lead to the teaching player having a great advantage as he has the first stab at whatever was forgotten. This could take the form of terrain benefit, or additional move options. To attempt to make things a little more fair, when I find myself in this situation I explain my mistake and then make a sub-optimal move, trying to ignore the information I just shared.

The Way Too Late Scenario: Sometimes it isn't until after the game ends completely that you double check a rule and realize that you completely played it wrong. As long as the game ran smoothly, I don't tend to dwell too much on this one. Its just if I gave someone bad information that would either led them a bad move or prevent them from taking a good one. This most recently happened when I was teaching Alien Frontiers. It was only my second time playing and I didn't fully understand one of the territory bonuses. I didn't realize this until the end of the game and one or two of the players weren't too pleased.

While none of these scenarios are the best way to play any game, the best thing to do is just to learn from your mistakes and try to learn from them. I also suggest the following tips.

- If you know what games you're playing in a session and you're a little rusty, take some time to review the rule books.

- Make notes in the rule book or highlight things that often slip your mind. The files sections on boardgamegeek.com are good resources to players aids and cheat sheets.

- If you're an experienced player and someone else is explaining the game, try to let them take the lead as not to confuse the other players. If they gloss over something though, politely remind them and the relinquish control again.

- Remember that its just a game and try not to take it too seriously. Have fun.


Did I miss any good examples or tips?


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Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:14 pm
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Marve & DC: RPG Comparison

Christopher Pitts
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I've recently taken the time to do a cursory reading of both the DC Adventures RPG from Green Ronin Publishing and the new Marvel Heroic RPG from Margaret Weis. Since the companies have always been the subject of debates comparing their take on characters and story, I thought it would be interesting to compare these two games. Keep in mind, this is not a review. I have yet to play either (I'll be playing Marvel this weekend, so expect an actual review next week) so this is based solely on my first impressions of the games.

Main Mechanic
Marvel: The Marvel uses the Cortex Plus system which Margaret Weis uses a variation of for all of their games, such as Leverage, Smallville and Supernatural. The basis of the system is a dice pool mechanic. On each character's datafile there are number of traits, distinctions and power sets with corresponding value that relate to sizes of dice, from d4 to d12. When performing an action or reaction, the players chooses one entry from each set of distinctions to form his dice pool. That pool is rolled, and two dice are chosen to make up a total with a third used as an effect. This is then compared to the opposing roll and the proper effect is carried out. There's a little more detail than that, but that's the basics of how the game is played. One of the great things about this book is that there are a lot of well-written examples of how the game is played in each section, which makes the rules very easy to pick up.

DC: DC uses the Mutants & Masterminds game as its base, which is a d20 system. I was able to grasp the basics of this game a little faster, because I'm already familiar with the basics of it from playing Dungeons & Dragons. This game also uses character sheets, but they list out more detailed descriptions of powers (from super strength to laser beams to teleportation) and skills (such as acrobatics, endurance and stealth) with positive or negative modifiers. When performing an action, the players rolls a d20 and adds the appropriate modifier. This result is then compared to a target number, weather is be the defensive value of the villain or an abstract number that represents the difficulty of the task being performed. If the total value equals or beats the target number, then the action is a success.

Price
Marvel: The Marvel Basic Rules is a paperback book that retails at $20, which in my opinion is a fantastic deal. Everything you need to get started playing is in the one book. It starts with the Operations Manual (core rules), a two-part event (based on the Breakout story of New Avengers #1-6) and data files for 23 heroes (including stars such as Iron Man, Wolverine and Spider-Man). This is definitely one of the better values I've seen. A lot of games sell just the the player's book for $30, in addition to whatever the game master needs and a starting adventure.

DC: The DC Adventures book is a hardcover book retails for $30. This also a pretty good deal as it includes almost everything that a player needs to play. It does have all of the rules as a well as a wide variety of characters to choose from; 28 full character sheets of super heroes and villains. It does not however, have any introductory adventure included. It doesn't seem that complicated to make your own, just think of a story, throw in appropriate super villains and supporting cast and go. There are some good chapters on the history of the DC universe and some key locations. If you're new to role-playing though, and need a little more support starting up a game, you'll need to find something elsewhere.

Character Creation
Marvel: The character creation is Marvel is one of the most abstact takes that I've seen. It doesn't really focus on character balance, but instead focuses more on just building a character that is representative of who you want to play. There is no point budget or even set statistics.

The first thing to be determined is decided the character's affiliations, or how well they work solo, in a buddy environment or on a team. These are given values of d6, d8 or d10. Then there are distinction, which are three guiding phrases for the character. They can be catch phrases or ideal that guide the character and either be a help or a burden. Then there's powersets and specialties. These make up all the cool things that heroes can do. These are given values between dd6 and d12. There's really no limit to how many powers your hero can have, beyond what your fellow players will put up with. The manual even states to just do what feels right and you can always tweak it later. The final thing is creating milestone. These are the key way that characters earn xp. They are story points that the character will eventually have to deal with one way or another. For example, one of Captain America's milestones is that he puts the Avengers back together.

DC: DC takes a more traditional stance on character creation. The first thing you do is set a power level for your hero, whether it be more a more street level hero like Batman or a demi-god like Superman. This choice will give you a certain number of points to spend. These points are used to add and upgrade powers, skills and other special features. This ensures a more balanced party and help the game master know how tough to make the adventure.

Additional Content
Marvel: The Marvel game is brand new and as of now, there is only the basic book available. There are already three supplements planned to come out later this year based on the Civil War, Annihilation and Age of Apocalypse story lines. These books are described as including full event adventures and more hero datafiles. I am looking forward to these, but I will say that Margaret Weis hasn't had the best track record of releasing books on time (if at all).

DC: Green Ronin currently has two supplements for the DC Adventures game, both of which are full of additional character sheets for heroes and villains. Additional content in the book is information on teams, side characters, animals and more guidance on creating your own characters based on existing creations. Again, there are no adventures available.

Final Thoughts
Marvel: I've been reading through a lot of RPG rules lately, just to see what else is out there, and Marvel just struck me as being very different. I was very intrigued by its focus on story and keeping the game moving as opposed to getting bogged down with loads of rules and exceptions. The couple paragraphs I wrote above cover just about 75% of everything you need to know, and the other 25% can easily be explained as you get to it at the table. Even the character creation is very abstracted and focus driven. I like the idea of just making what feels right. It may take a little more time to fully grasp but it really forces you to know who the character your playing is.

DC: On the opposite end is DC. Not that there's anything wrong with the system. It looks like it would be fun and I would enjoy playing it, it just didn't excite me. It may just be that I've mainly played D&D, but moving to another d20 game isn't that appealing.

Conclusion
I think its fantastic that the two games are so different. If you're a comic book fan and want to try out an RPG, one of these will be up your alley. If you just to tell stories, don't want to get lost in pages of rules and are ok with abstraction, then Marvel is where you should go. If you need more structure and want to ensure character balance then check out DC. Either way, I'm sure you'll have a good time. Even if you're more intrigued by the Marvel game but really want to play Green Lantern, or want to play a d20 game with Hawkeye, there's no reason that you can't create the appropriate character sheet and get your game going. That's the great thing about role-playing [/COLOR]games. You can play who want to wherever you want.

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Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:48 pm
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Easter with Chuck It Chicken!

Christopher Pitts
United States
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I wanted to write something special for Easter, and so I looked through my collection to find something thematic. There's wasn't much but I did find Chuck-It Chicken, published by Ravensburger.

This is actually one of my many great finds when perusing one of my local Goodwills. It was a steal at $2 even though it was missing some pieces. I figured I could make or find some kind of replacements. Worst case scenario, the board itself looked really cool and I only wasted a couple bucks, but luckily for me, a quick email to Ravensburger got me a full set of replacement pieces. I was quite ecstatic when I opened that envelope and realized I didn't have to worry about making pieces.

Chuck-It Chicken has the players trying to get one of their chickens to the top of the rooster at the top of the board. Each player has a team of three chickens of their color, but wearing different types of hats; safari, football helmet and baseball cap. On their turn, each person layers rolls 2 dice and moves their chicken that matches the hat rolled. Each die also has a chicken symbol and if that gets rolled, thats where the real fun comes in.

Attached to the large rooster, is a small slide. If a player rolls the chicken symbol, he can choose to roll an egg down the slide, aiming to knock his opponent's chicken back to the bottom. This is made a little difficult by the random bouncing of the egg and the various barriers that chickens can hide behind. This adds a great dexterity element to the game and makes for some fun and tense moments. Especially when you actually knock over one of your own chickens and you have to suffer the heckling of your opponents.

This is a great, fun little game that kids would get a kick out of. The components are brilliant and really sell the light and fun theme. I'm hoping to get this to the table today, just to say I did. Who knows, it just might become my new tradition..

What about you? What are you playing today? Anything Easter themed?

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For more articles and reviews, please visit d8bit.blogspot.com
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Sun Apr 8, 2012 4:06 pm
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