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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 29: The Steady Push

I am still working through the list though I admit that it is getting pretty difficult to find a game to bring to game night without taking the list down to the basement. That isn’t such a bad thing except I can see the last ten games or so being a bit of a pain. Definitely going to plan of a weekend event of it. I’ll order pizza and drinks, you suffer through these last games off my list.

Gen Con is ten days away! I’m normally a bit more excited by this time, but I have a lot of actual work to accomplish before I get there (both in gaming and real life). I signed up for one game for the entire weekend so I a bit worried that I’ll be bored, but I’m sure that I will find something to do. I did ensure that I got tickets to the game library each night. Last year, it was a great place to unwind at the end of the day by playing a bunch of board games with friends. The highlight for last year was Telestrations – it is simply a wonderful game, but that might be the lack of sleep talking!

To the list:

I got Nile DeLuxor as a freebie game at one of the conventions that I attended in the last couple of years and I had to remove the shrink wrap so we could play it. Your turn is straightforward. You draw a card to be the flood card with a matching card being scored for the player that has one (any correct speculation card played yields that player 3 additional cards). Then you may trade 2 cards for a single card draw or discard 2 cards to redraw the flood card (with a new scoring round). The interesting part is you may use cards in your scoring area as the trade discards. Next you may play one or two speculation cards or plant a crop (at least 2 identical card types, add to a field you own or add one card to your field and a separate card type – note only a single field of any type may be in play). Lastly draw two cards. Once you exhaust the draw pile a number of times equal to the number of players, the game ends. The winner is the player who has the most of the least card type (diversifying is the key to win this one). There is a reason that it was given out as a freebie game. It’s not that it is completely horrible or anything, but it’s a pretty straight forward game with few choices and not something that I would regularly buy. It is a fairly quick game so perhaps I shouldn’t complain too much.

Nile DeLuxor: A light-hearted set collecting game.

Nile DeLuxor: A light-hearted set collecting game.

Next off the list was Super Dungeon Explore. This game brings forth the memory of the old 8 bit console games when I was a kid. It uses the “Chibi” style for the miniatures (In the 8 bit style – like the original Final Fantasy game, the head was disproportionate to the body to give more details to the face). Game play pits a single player to take control of all the monsters (called the Consol – see what they did there) with the remaining players controlling the heroes. Game play is pretty straight forward with each hero and monster having a stat card with their movement value and a number of action points (used for attacking and special abilities found on their card). Once all the monster spawners have been destroyed or the game timer run out (the certain number of wounds afflicted by all models), the boss monster spawns. The game ends with the boss being defeated or all the heroes being killed.   One of the major issues for me is the Consol having to remember which of their minions have gone between the heroes’ turns (there can be about 4 to 8 monsters on the board per hero at any given time – upwards to 40 minions who may only activate once in a given turn – it can be a logistical nightmare). Still the positives outweigh the negatives, but I recommend playing with the Consol and three heroes for a decent game. There have been a number of expansions created with additional bosses, monsters, mini-bosses (what’s a console game without mini-bosses), and heroes. I went ahead and kickstarted the next major expansion that can create a fully cooperative experience. It looks like it will be a great addition to an already great game.

Super Dungeon Explore: Imagine the old school console games in board game form – great fun!

Super Dungeon Explore: Imagine the old school console games in board game form – great fun!

Next was Zombicide. This is one of my favorite zombie games. Each survivor gets three actions (if you wanna play ‘hardcore mode’ – start with only 2 actions) per turn to move, fight, shoot or explore around a modular city board. As you kill zombies, you get experience points and level up getting more actions and additional traits trying to fulfill the scenario’s goals (there are about 8 missions in the original game, but you can easily create more). I’ll admit that there are a couple of weird rules (for example, if you shoot into a square containing a survivor, you always hit them first or a zombie that has two equal distant routes to pursue a survivor will ‘split’ into multiple zombies going both ways) which can be a huge deterrent for the game, but I can deal with that. It has a huge number of survivors (many of which are a parody of a famous character), two ‘seasons’ aka main expansions and a ton of mini-expansions (like dog companions, Toxic City Mall and zombie dogs). A third ‘season ‘just wrapped up on Kickstarter so soon there will be even more choices. I really should plan a huge Zombicide game near Halloween!

Zombicide: The beginning of the end… Zombies are amassing in the street and the survivors are in serious trouble!

Zombicide: The beginning of the end… Zombies are amassing in the street and the survivors are in serious trouble!

Last off the list is Thinking Man’s Golf made by 3M (the same company that invented Post-it Notes). I must admit that the main reason that I keep this one is its history. Game play is pretty easy – on your turn, you decide what club you want to use and then position a clear plastic range finder and aim it in the direction you want the ball to go. Two dice are rolled to determine the distance of the hit and two dice are rolled for the deviation from center based on your club. Using the provided wax pencil, you mark on the laminated board where the ball landed (in the fairway, rough, water, etc). Repeat until you are on the green where a single dice roll determines how many putts it took to sink the ball. The only strategy in the game is which club to use and with the deviation in both distance and direction being fairly large and real random, strategy is pretty moot. Still, the game I played even if it was a dice-fest was a lot of fun with my opponent winning by a single stroke. I shot an 82 for 18 holes which is about 20 to 30 strokes better than my actual golf game and didn’t get a horrible sunburn for my trouble so I’m not going to complain.

Thinking Man’s Golf: After the first shot on hole 9. A simple game with a lot of luck, but quite entertaining.

Thinking Man’s Golf: After the first shot on hole 9. A simple game with a lot of luck, but quite entertaining.

Until next time – Play a game!

Brendan Mayhugh


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