What I missed last week in games played, I made up this week. I even got two games in the mail from Kickstarter and still managed to get one of them to the table. In the end, seven games were played from the list leaving a final game to complete in 9 days. Once complete, I have played all 125 games that I own (pending no additional Kickstarter games arrive in that time). If I get any games for Christmas, I will be scrambling to get it played, but I don’t believe that I am getting one. So without further ado, let get started.
The first game off the list is Heroquest. This is a fantastic dungeon crawl that came out in 1989 and is still extremely popular today! There was a Kickstarter that sadly never got to completion due to confusion with the owner of the rights. I have a lot of dungeon crawl games and this one has some staying power. The gameplay is pretty simple: each hero can more and perform an action. Once all heroes go, the overlord (Zargon) takes his turn. Combat is resolved with special dice that are amazingly similar to the ones in Heroscape (3 hits, 2 hero blocks, 1 monster block) using a character’s attack and defend value. The game comes with a half dozen monsters and a quest book with 10 or so quests. If there was a more robust leveling mechanic, a way to create scenarios without the need of the static board and more hero/monster options this would be the game for me. It’s sad that a game this old still has a great track record for adventure. I think in 2015, I will play through all the quests for this one. Finish a campaign for a game 25 years old – why not?
Next game played is Car Wars. This game also came out in 1989 and it’s a pretty good car racing/arena combat game. I must admit that I would drive to Detroit in order to play a dueling circuit about a decade ago. Two races in a day make for a very long Saturday. Add in the fact that I lived in Indianapolis at the time and add a 6 hour drive one way and you have your entire weekend plans. Sadly, the rules are a bit antiquated with all the calculations one must do for determining crash results, to-hit rolls and a bunch of other minor things (like splitting movement into 5 segments). We only had three duelists for our game and I must admit that the game board that I created was too big for that number of cars. In the end, we wanted to play it again and I would definitely not take the car with a ram – too much work to calculate all the ram damage and speed changes. The terrain built for the game went over pretty well and playing with miniatures was really cool (I still have a bunch of micro machines for it).
The third game is Deadzone – it only took 12 months to get all the miniatures assembled and the rules learned. The terrain that comes with the game is still not completely removed from the sprues, so our game used some of the terrain at the local game store (Warhammer 40K stuff – it was close enough to what we needed). I figured that both players – long time miniature gamers could handle the full game so we played 70 points apiece. I took the Enforcers (the heavily armored elite squad – think space marines) and my opponent took the Plague (complete with a huge Stage 1A monster). The game is played on a 2 foot squared gaming mat that is sectioned into 8 rows and 8 columns. I don’t think I could completely explain the rules in this column but I will give the highlights. During a turn, each figure will get to act which means they may take a single long action or two short actions. Some of the short actions include move a cube (in a game with multiple levels, you must think in three dimensions), aim, shoot and blaze away. The long actions are command, sprint (move two cubes without moving up or down in elevation) or fight. Each player has a secret mission so you never can be sure what your opponent is trying to accomplish. The game uses the exploding dice mechanic that most of Mantic’s games use and since most actions are opposed both players have a stake in all die rolls. I’m a huge fun after a single play and I recommend it if you get the chance.
The fourth game is Solarquest. There isn’t much to talk about this game since it is a monopoly clone in space. There is a couple of key differences to highlight however. First, one must keep track of fuel and fuel usage (leaving from a planet or moon cost fuel equal to the die roll). The second difference is that you can fire a laser at the other players and doubles on the dice cause damage or even death (a roll of double sixes). Play continues until there is only a single player. Our game probably took all of 15 minutes since, like, in the 10th turn, I was destroyed around the planet of Saturn with a boxcar roll from my “wife’s awesome dice rolling skills” (her actual quote).
Heroclix was next and since I only own the Streetfighter set and I don’t have enough to actually field two 300 point lists, we played a one-on-one battle per the rules. Heroclix is not made for single combat really – at least I don’t think so and after 2 characters apiece, we called it. I really like the idea of the game with all the abilities and superheroes that they have created for this, but I just don’t own enough to make it worthwhile. Perhaps I will try to play against someone that owns enough to play a full game.
The next game played was Dreadball Xtreme (that I got in the mail on Wednesday). Like Deadzone above, this is a game that I kickstarted when the hype and the freebies were flowing and once the campaign was over (and the money spent), I realized that even though it might be amazing game it wouldn’t get played much. The fact that it is a two player game and is better with a campaign puts it at a low probability to get played on a regular basis – exactly the opposite of what you need for a campaign game! In Dreadball Xtreme, the sport has moved from the stadiums to the back alleys where underworld sponsors set up a match for the ne’er-do wells. Most of the rules are the same as the original Dreadball, but there are a couple of key differences – one, there is only 4 players per team on the pitch; two, a rush (a single player’s turn) consists of only 4 actions; third, there are explosive crates about the pitch that go off when a player is adjacent. All in all, the game changes are pretty fun, but the weird part comes at the campaign level. Unlike most sports games, you don’t keep nor upgrade your players from match to match. It’s assumed that they are a dregs of society and won’t last long enough to gain any skills/upgrades. It’s too bad that there isn’t anything that you can purchase (like gear, skill chips or something) to give you an edge for a campaign. In the end, I should reserve my comments on campaigns until I actually play in one.
Last game from the list is Magic the Gathering. I am going to assume that you have heard and played this one so I won’t bore you with the specifics. A friend of mine (who hasn’t bought cards about as long as I have) and I took 90 random cards and performed a modified Winston draft with four piles. Afterwards, we added some land cards and played a best out of three games. In the end, I won in three (see I do listen to the MTG lingo). All in all, it was a pretty fun time for all the free cards that I gathered over the years and a small purchase of some extra land. We agreed that we should try this in the future – maybe even make it a monthly to bimonthly event. I hope so, I have to say that it was pretty fun.
Whew – that was a lot of games to play in a week! The final game will be Zombicide, Season 3 which arrived on Tuesday of this past week. I can’t wait to play it honestly.
Until next time – Play a Game!