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Traditional Gaming

Harbour – By Scott Almes – Review

Harbour is a worker placement and resource management game, where you play an entrepreneur who has been invited by Dockmaster Schlibble and Constable O’Brady to set up business in their bustling town. You set up your warehouse and take a hard look at how the market is doing before making your first trades. Designed by Scott Almes and published by Tasty Minstrel Games it was first released back in 2015.

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Pokethulhu – The Kitacon Hypetrain

This coming Kitacon I will be arriving a day early to socialise, get some work done, and to get some gaming in before the convention comes in and cruelly steps on my chances to play, there are still some Magic rematches I owe but I never seem to get the chance because of panels and the like. Damn you Kitacon, getting in the way of me enjoying a perfectly good convention!

Anyway, first item on my docket is a one-shot role play in a system I’ve never run before. It’s an opportunity for me to learn something new, get experimental with something other than Dungeons & Dragons. I chose Pokethulhu because it combines my greatest strength – horror – with an important component of any one-shot where no one is planning on getting emotionally invested with their characters – completely stupid comedy. (more…)


Wibbell++ A card game system by Bez

Wibbell++ is not just a card game, it’s actually being sold as a game system. You may remember the review that I put together for the fun physical restriction card game called In A Bind? Well after we reviewed that, Bez the designer got in touch with us to thank us for the article and tell us that there was something new in development. Rolling forward after a successful Kickstarter campaign to UKGE this year and I receive an email from Bez telling me that there is a copy of the new game system waiting at a stand at the show for me.

Design

Wibbell++ has a very simplistic design. Each card has on it two large letters, a pattern around the edge and a number on the bottom of each card. It is Bez’ vision that with these three elements it is possible to come up with new games for it on a regular basis. Bez’s plan is to release at least one new game for the system every year to mark the anniversary of In A Bind on August 1st which is lovingly referred to as Bez Day.

In the pack you get instructions for five different games to play, I’m going to try and break these down and explain them to you here and have linked some of the videos that were released for the Kickstarter.

Wibbell

  • Players: 2-7
  • Approx play time: 10-25 minutes

Wibbell is a word game and you start it by dealing out two cards face down. When all players are ready you then turn over the cards and all players try to be the first to shout out a word that contains at least one letter from each card. The person who shouts a winning word first gets to take one of the two cards that are available and place it letter side up in front of them, therefore gaining a point. The next round starts with a new card joining the one that was left, now all the players once again try to shout out a word that has at least one letter from both cards as well as any card that is placed in front of them.

In the photo above we see a game in progress, our players here are Lola on the Left, Jazz on the right and Dave at the bottom. Lola has already won two rounds, Jazz one and Dave is yet to win a round, the two cards in the centre are the community cards. So in our example, Dave could shout words like “Yes, Sandy, Day” etc, Jazz could shout out “Escalator, Idle, Decade” etc, but Lola would have to use words like “Yesterday, Tapes, Watches”.

Play continues with a new community card until one player has four cards in their possession, that player then gets to take the extra spare card (making 5 in total). All players then turn over their gained cards and then two new community cards are dealt and play starts from the beginning. You continue like this until you run out of cards in the pack. Then count all of your cards and the player with the most is the winner. If it’s a draw you could perhaps play a sudden death round if you really needed to have a winner.

Alphabetickell

  • Players: 2-5
  • Approx play time: 15-35 minutes

Instead of words this time you are trying to create as much of the alphabet as you can from the cards. To start with each player is dealt three cards, they get to keep just one of these and then the rest get shuffled back into the deck. Next, the dealer turns over the top card of the deck and considers if they want to add it to their collection or not. If they refuse the same card goes to the next player and so on until either the card is taken or all players have refused and the card is discarded. Play like this continues until one player has 11 cards or you run out of cards entirely. All cards are then shuffled and scores are kept and another round is played until one player has 26 points.

Grabbell

  • Players: 2-7 players
  • Approx play time: 2-3 minutes

Shuffle the cards and deal one face down to each player, place all the other cards face up on a surface. Count to three and all players turn over their personal card and then grab cards from the table that match theirs. You can match either a letter on your card or the border. At any point in time, a player can slam their stack onto the table and shout the word “Grabbell”

The last player to stop gets to keep the remaining cards on the table as a bonus, every other player gets 10 points. All players pass their stack to the player to their left so that another player can check it. Anyone who makes a mistake scores nothing, but if your deck is clean then you gain the number of cards you grabbed as points plus any bonus points they have already won.

Faybell

  • Players: 2-5 players
  • Approx play time: 15-30 minutes

A cooperative story telling creative game. Think of this game as similar to using Story Cubes but with a bit more of a challenge. Each player takes a turn and flips a card face up and uses the letters on the card as initials of two words to nominate a story element. When there is a total of five story elements then players can start to tell the story, using the rest of the deck.

The next player turns over a card and must start their sentence with the letter on the top of the card. They then need to nominate a word using the letter on the bottom of the card for the next player. The next player follows suit by turning over a card and continuing the story, they must include in their part of the tale the word that was chosen using the bottom letter from the previous player.

Play continues until all the story elements that were devised at the beginning are included. Then all players work together to reach an end and as the instructions read “If anyone is happy you all win”

Phrasell

  • Players: 5-15
  • Approx play time: 15-30 minutes

First, you pick a judge for this round. Turn over a card from the deck and use it to inspire any subject you wish. For example, an ‘OC’ might inspire octopuses, as these are letters with curves. Then turn over two more cards from the cards revealing 4 letters. All players must then race to invent four-word phrases that use those letters as initials.

At any time the judge can end the round and then gives 3 cards to the player they thought had the best phrase. The judge may alternatively give two cards to a favourite phrase and one to a second favourite. The person who won the round then becomes the judge and the next round commences. Play continues until the deck is finished and the player with the most amount of cards wins.

Final thoughts

We would like to thank Bez for giving us a review copy of the game. It really means a lot to us that game developers want our opinion. Now I’m not just going to say Wibbell++ is great because Bez is such a nice person, no it is actually a great game system. It is after all just a deck of cards which makes it super portable. It’s also not age restricted, it will encourage younger players to increase their vocabulary and put older minds to work too. It may be based on the English language but I don’t think it will need to change much to work with others. At the time of writing it looks like Bez has managed to get some distribution for the game to various retailers around the UK. I’m very interested to see how Wibbell++ develops as a game system from here on in.

What do you think about the games that are in the system so far? Is this the sort of game you might play and take with you on holiday? If you have any ideas for the game system I’m sure Bez would be eager to hear them. Send us your thoughts in the comments section or over on Reddit, Facebook or Twitter.


Re-Skinning D&D Creatures, Part 2

Last week I took a handful of classic D&D creatures and proposed new uses for their stat-blocks, something to lend a bit of diversity to the current roster with minimal need to create, change or modify. If your campaign has a flavour that the Monster Manual simply doesn’t cater for, there are ways and means of accommodating to your tastes. This week I’ll approach from the other side of the coin, declaring what I need for my campaign and using the tools at hand to make a solution.

Once again I’ll be using D&D 5th edition because it’s what I know best… (more…)


Re-Skinning D&D Creatures

Wizards of the Coast have broken some of their former habits. No longer does their release schedule include Monster Manual after Monster Manual, catalogues and folios, instead they’ve turned their focus to stories, campaigns that spark the imagination and drive creative thought, each coming with a range of monsters, player options, magic items and ideas for Dungeon Masters and players alike. And it seems to be going rather well.

But if you’ve grown tired of recycling the same old classics and staples from the Monster Manual, and even grown sick of the additions from various extra sources like Volo’s Guide and the campaigns, here’s a few ideas on re-skinning a few of those monsters you’ve done to death. (more…)


Braggart – Card Game Review

You’ve just finished a hard day adventuring; You ache and you think you may have a new rash on your leg from that last battle. You’re sure it’s nothing and take some well-earned downtime in the local tavern. Sitting around the table are some fellow adventurers. The drinks start to flow and so do the stories, it’s time for you to become the biggest Braggart.

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GeekOut Bristol Meet – July 14th: VIDEO GAME HELPLINE

The problem with an addiction is that it’s hard to admit it – Although let’s be honest, if you’re addicted to video games then you’re probably doing alright! We once again got our behinds to the Old Market Tavern, where we met up for some food and drink, board games and video games, as well as comics and books and so much more. People were chatting all night long and we got a nice number of attendees once more. As always though, we’re here to show you what happened throughout the night and to give you a bit of insider knowledge about next months event. Interested in what we did? Read on!

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Zombie Babies Kickstarter Preview

Just when you thought the world was done with Zombie’s another one rises from the grave. Well, in this case, the game rises from Kickstarter and we are very lucky to have a preview copy of it. So it’s time to check your pockets for useful items, ensure that your nappy is securely fastened and put on a brave face, it’s time for us to take on Zombie Babies.

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Urban Heroes RPG – Tin Hat Games – Intro

I found out about #UrbanHeroes from an email that hit my inbox, just before we went to UKGE. Tin Hat Games were promoting their new board game called Dungeon Digger, so I went digging into their history and found out about this superhero based RPG. The last RPG I looked at was Pugmire, which was not a full review, but rather an introductory look. By contrast, this article is a more in-depth look at the #UrbanHeroes RPG; All that I am aiming for here is an overview of the book, and how I feel about it as a person who has played a fair bit of D&D. I aim to introduce you to the “world” so to speak and give an opinion of what I think a game of it might be like.

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Family Plot – Card game review

It was back in October last year that I first supported Family Plot, and I was anticipating its arrival. I have had my final copy for a few months now and thought it was about time that I finally reviewed it.

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