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One of Raine's biggest hobbies has always been gaming. It all started with an Atari and spread out to Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: the Gathering, and Dungeons & Dragons. As an artist, Raine takes pride in painting models for games as well as making his own terrain. He's also been a writer for many years, working both in the journalism industry and writing pieces of fiction. He decided to create Initiative : Tabletop as a platform to talk about all things gaming that he simply thought were cool, and reviewing games became a part of it!

Guest Post: The Plan – Part 19: Hodgepodge!

It’s the final week of May – I have a Subbuteo tournament in a couple of weeks (which I should be practicing for) and Origins in three weekends. It should be an interesting June! Of course, I’ll have more to talk about the tournament and Origins in the next couple of weeks – I’m sure, so I’ll leave it at that.

The first game I played was Vegas Showdown. The game has each player trying to make the best casino possible. Each round the prices for all premiere tiles is lowered and additional premiere tiles are added to the game board depending on what premiere tiles were purchased the previous round. Each player receives money based on the lower of their current revenue and population. Starting with the first player, each player bids on a room for his casino, once bidding is complete (all players have a winning bid or have passed) players place the tile onto their personal board. Play continues until one of the three room stacks is empty; then all players count the number of victory points to determine the winner. The game is pretty easy to learn and the rounds go by pretty quick. I like the bidding part of this game since the bid prices are static so you get a feel of what you should pay for the different room tiles. It was out of print for a while, but a new printing was done recently – I recommend it.

Vegas Showdown – My finished Casino/Hotel.  A lot of restaurants netted me a lot of population, but not the win.

Vegas Showdown – My finished Casino/Hotel. A lot of restaurants netted me a lot of population, but not the win.

The second game was Nuns on the Run. This puts a single player as the nuns looking for the other players (novices) who are moving about the board hoping to obtain their secret wish and get back to their cell. Unlike most games about locating and capturing a suspect, all novice players do their moves in secret and only the prioress and abbess turns are visible (the nuns of a single player). Each turn, all novices determine which spot on the board they will move to (between 1 and 5 spaces) and make a noise roll. If either of the nuns is within that number of spaces, a noise token is added to the board. The prioress and the abbess are following predetermined routes chosen by the controlling player and are unable to deviate unless a novice is spotted or a noise token is on the board. Game continues until a novice gets their wish to their room (and they win) or the nuns catch the novice a number of times equal to players or the end of 15 turns (the nun player wins) . The only issue that I have with this game is that there are three locations (the garden, the chapel, and the cloister) that require the use of a chart to determine whether the nuns can see any of the novices. Other than that, this game is a great deduction game.

Nuns on the Run – I was caught on the first turn by a horrible noise roll; that’s me heading back to my cell.

Nuns on the Run – I was caught on the first turn by a horrible noise roll; that’s me heading back to my cell.

Final game was Battleground: Fantasy Warfare. The game uses cards as units for a mass combat battle with all distances measured with a card edge (multiples of 2.5 and 3.5 inches). Each unit card is given a standard order (hold, shoot or close) which they will do unless you take command of that unit or change the order using a command action. Combat is pretty straightforward – each card gives the stats for the unit. A player rolls dice equal to the unit’s attack dice and each die which is equal or less than the difference between the attacker’s offensive skill and defender’s defensive skill is the hit. For each hit, the dice are rolled again. For each die roll which is equal or less than the difference between the attacker’s power and defender’s toughness will do a single damage. Once all the damage boxes on a unit are marked off, it is destroyed. Each race has two decks – a starter deck that comes with the basic units and command cards and a reinforcement deck with more units (so a full army for 25 dollars). If you are interested in this game, there is a historical version of the game on Kickstarter right now – Alexander vs Persia: Battleground Historical Warfare https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/36468537/alexander-vs-persia-battleground-historical-warfar . Chad Ellis (owner of Your Move Games) does a much better job of selling the game than I could. In the end, if you are looking for a decent set of large scale army rules without the price tag or the painting, I recommend!

Brendan Battleground Fantasy Warfare

Battleground: Fantasy Warfare – Mass combat using cards as units – Undead v Orcs.

Until next time – Play a game!

Brendan Mayhugh


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