Mage Knight: The Lost Legion Review

Mage Knight Lost Legion figures and box

Mage Knight Goldyx felt old and tired. He’d been to Atlantea several times, with comrades and without, but the effort of preparation, the length of the journey and the interminable waiting around for other Mage Knights once there had dulled his taste for adventure. Now he preferred to spend his days playing his magical game-tablet while toasting his feet before a fire.

One day, there was a knock on the door. Unused to company, and with legs stiff from long hours of inactivity, Goldyx irritably called for the visitor to enter. He was unsurprised to see Wolfhawk, newest of his order and about to set forth on her first Atlantean expedition.

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Cracked LCD- GOTY 2012 Expansions in Review

 

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Among last year’s best games were Arcane Wonder’s first release Mage Wars, a complex CCG-on-a-board dueling game and Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing, the best miniatures game I’ve ever played. Naturally, great games that sell well (and some terrible games that sell well) tend to be the start of product lines, particularly when the titles in question have modular or customizable elements and “open” architecture. And so it has come to pass that both of these outstanding titles have received their first expansions, effectively giving us a first taste of how these games might open up and create new play spaces and options for those willing and able to stick beyond the core set. Continue Reading…

Chrom Blocked

chrom blocked fire emblem awakening 3

One of the best parts of Fire Emblem: Awakening is the support system. Many tactical RPGs have a system in which various team members can team up to either do more damage or take less damage or somehow help each other out in battle. It’s a pretty simple system here: when attacking, or performing any other battlefield action like healing or dancing (yes, there’s dancing), you place the active unit directly next to another unit. That’s it! Pretty simple, right? Then, based on the depth of the relationship between the two units, or however many units the active unit is adjacent to, bonuses are conferred. Maybe you get a bonus to hit, maybe to dodge, maybe to damage. The same bonuses can be conferred when on the defensive too, with the occasional instance of your battlefield partner pushing the attacked unit out of the way of the enemy’s attack. Thanks Frederick!

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Tuesday Chatterbox – Abnercon Edition

Railroad Tycoon at Abnercon

Railroad Tycoon at Abnercon. I’m Yellow. No, I didn’t win. 

Abnercon Wrap-up

Abnercon was, as always, a fantastic time. Over the weekend we played 7 Wonders w/expansions (x2), World Cup, Spartacus, Mare Nostrum w/expansion (x2), Railroad Tycoon (US East map), Cosmic Encounter, and Tomorrow (in development). I pulled out victories in World Cup (with Ireland, no less!), Spartacus, and Cosmic Encounter (total fluke). I finished strictly middle of the pack in Railroad Tycoon and was fortunate to do that after I completely biffed my opening turn. I am ashamed. As to the other high and lowlights, let’s dig in…

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Jumping the Shark Podcast #166

No High Scores Podcast Logo

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hey, look! It’s a new JTS for two consecutive weeks! With this kind of consistency, it’s almost like those old glorious times of, uh, early February! On tap for this week, Bill delivers a Conquistador Games and Abnercon update. (More on Abnercon from me in the next post.) I nitpick Tomb Raider some, wholly out of love I assure you, while Brandon plays the worthy defender. (And he’s right. It’s a great game.) Brandon breaks out his inner-psuedo sportsman and goes Ridiculous Fishing before hitting the links for a little Super Stickman Golf… 2! Finally, there’s more quality TV Time with Bill finally watching the Star Trek movie. All this and more in Jumping the Shark #166!

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You Can Go HOMM Again

Homm3

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been dabbling in the very, very low end of PC gaming again, preparing for the coming Console Apocalypse when every AAA game requires constant connection to your credit card, demands that you make friends, and somehow “services” you in exchange for forbidding you to buy a used game. I’m stockpiling classic games and notable indies for the End Times, which are scheduled to hit sometime around Holiday 2013. Maybe it’s a kind of doomsday prepping, but in my estimation it’s more a prepping to tell the corporate carpetbaggers and their blessed shareholders that have shanghaied the video games business where they can shove their DRM, DLC, and every FU with which they’ve assaulted their customers over the past several years. Continue Reading…

Calendar Man – Week of 3/18

calendar man week of 3-18 gears of war judgement

Lots coming out this week. Gears gets a prequel, the Wii U gets a new, non-licensed LEGO game, a new Walking Dead game hits as does a new Monster Hunter game and a whole bunch of other stuff drops. This is way too much activity for March. Don’t these people know that I have a move to plan?

As for me, I’m continuing my run in God of War: Ascension despite hitting a game progress glitch that forced me to restart. Oh Kratos, all sound and fury and no brains in that big, ashen head. Fire Emblem: Awakening continues to impress despite me getting my heart broken (more on that later in the week) and I continue to fill all manner of aquatic creatures with hot, hot lead in Ridiculous Fishing.

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Cracked LCD- Mice & Mystics in Review

mice

I’m not particular impressed by any aspect of the rules or mechanics that govern Jerry Hawthorne’s Mice & Mystics, a game that has proven over the past couple of months to be quite a blockbuster in terms of sales for Plaid Hat Games. Strip away the unique setting inspired by Brian Jacques’ Redwall novels, The Secret of NIMH and the comic books Mouse Guard and Mice Templar and what we’re left with is a fairly pedestrian light RPG adventure game descended from HeroQuest. It’s simplistic and like the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System titles, it’s geared toward accessibility and loose rules in order to make for an easy and quick-playing dungeoncrawl that doesn’t get bogged down in tactical detail. There are few unique mechanics beyond the typical move-and-strike fare, I actively dislike one of the key systems and others like a card-based initiative system aren’t interesting. There’s also the usual raft of +1 swords and other typical fantasy equipment and events, although everything is mouse-sized and whimsically rustic.

So it’s a good thing that games are more than the sums of their rules, otherwise Mice & Mystics wouldn’t have much to offer in comparison to games like the D&D titles, Claustrophobia or Descent. This is not a game about the rules. This is a game about the story, and to that end this is one of the best-written and framed adventure games I’ve ever played. Continue Reading…

Not Much to Say

games of q1 fire emblem awakening

I’m usually of the opinion that if you don’t have anything to say, there’s no need to talk. Unfortunately, regular posting schedules and not having an opinion on things don’t mix well, so here we are. I’m playing a lot, more than ever thanks to Fire Emblem worming its way into my usual evening routine of iPad entertainment but I don’t feel like I have a lot to add to the conversation around the game. Me starting it several weeks after everyone else certainly doesn’t help. It’s good! You should buy it! There’s a lot to it, a lot I’m still discovering.

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Random Tuesday Thoughts – Post Cruise Edition

St. Thomas Harbor

Beautiful St. Thomas. Photo Credit: Me! 

So, first thing’s first. Cruises are aces. My Special Lady –she hates that descriptor, by the way, so no one tell her I wrote that– and I hit up Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (6k passengers, 2k crew) for a trip through the East Caribbean and could not possibly have had a better time. And that despite a 10 hour layover in an overcrowded terminal in Ft. Lauderdale when coming home. (Seriously, fix your f***ing airport.)

If you’re the type that likes quick hitters and a more guided experience over going off on your own to explore every nook and cranny of a destination, then getting on a big floating hotel is where it’s at. It also helps if you can happily lose hours of your life just standing on a deck, drink in your hand and wind in your face, overlooking the water. Also, important safety tip, plan an alcohol budget and, if the price fits, pre-purchase a package. We were gifted a 5-bottle wine package that we used just for dinners and, even had we paid it ourselves, it would have been well worth the money. We did not, on the other hand, drink nearly enough for the premium alcoholic package to have been worth it.

So – gaming. Since there’s been so little (read: nothing) that I’ve been interested in taking deep dives into for quite some time, I’ve decided to just collect some random notes throughout the week that I can then group up, comment on, and post on what’s traditionally been our quietest posting day of the week. This edition is helped out by the fact that there’s actually been happenings this past week…

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