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Traditional Gaming

Drafting M19 – Magic: the Gathering

I recently bought a box of M19 boosters with a view to drafting them with some friends. For those of you whom I have already lost, read this then come back, it’ll explain the method of drafting Magic: the Gathering (amongst other games) and the advantages of the format. If you’re back, or if you stayed, let’s talk M19, the latest core set.

Magic’s core sets are comprised of recent and classic cards, usually returning a few basic strategies such as; Slivers, the vile swarming creatures that bolster one another; Illusions, fragile creatures that are remarkably powerful for their cost; and in this set, dragons. Here we tell the story of Magic’s other other big bad, that isn’t the Eldrazi or Yawgmoth, the planeswalking draconic mastermind Nikol Bolas, his early years, the awakening of his spark, and the butchering of his siblings. (more…)

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Top 10 Magical Swords

GeekOut Top 10s

Nothing beats the destructive power of a sword; slashing away at the opponent’s life. It’s no wonder that people always want to find a way to make the sword even mightier, as some people penned up the idea that you need to mix swords with magic. Adding a pinch of the arcane, or the occult, suddenly you don’t just have a weapon to be wielded by the capable hands of a warrior. No, you’ve created something much more dangerous… You’ve created a weapon capable of destroying countless lives, devouring souls, splitting time and more.

Interested? You’d better be as these are our Top 10 Magical Swords. (more…)


Card Game Review: Lightseekers

Whilst at AmeCon 2018, I went to the traditional games room quite frequently, to play a spot of Magic: the Gathering. On the Sunday of the event, I noticed there was a new stall in the room for a game called Lightseekers, which they had practice games going for. Throughout the day, I would walk up to it, inspect it and consider whether or not it was worth picking up. The sales people were friendly, albeit persistant. So, after some talking from both the sales person and from Jake, I finally decided that I’d go ahead and throw £40 their way for two of their decks, along with two play mats, two booster packs AND two metal life tokens – Not bad! But how does it play?

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MireMarsh – Kickstarter product preview

In the first part of my UK Games Expo Kickstarter roundup, I mentioned a game involving Goblins by Room 17 games called Miremarsh. Now that the Kickstarter is live I listened back to the play through that I recorded at UKGE this year and wanted to give my full opinion on it. As per usual, we would like to remind you that this is a Kickstarter Campaign and as such things can change, so some of the information here may be out of date by the time the game is published.

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Top 10 Kickstarted Board Games

GeekOut Top 10s

We love board games, as if our Bristol and Shrewsbury meets weren’t a clear enough of that fact. All three of us, Chris, Joel and Timlah share this one absolute love of board games. When Kickstarter started to back hugely popular board/tabletop games, we all knew we’d be using that at some point in our future. Fortunately, the games produced have been fantastic – and today, we’re checking out our Top 10 Kickstarter Board Games.

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Kickstarter Highlight – Role Quest

So often board games strive to emulate the rich depth of gameplay enjoyed by role-playing games. Often the result is a thin facsimile or an unwieldy brute of a game, and rarely does role-play enter into the equation, but here we have at least one game in which role play is the whole point. In Role Quest by Hercules Game Studios you assume secret characters, place them opposite one another in locations and situations, and act them out. It is down to your opposing players to guess who you were. Sounds fine. Until you add curses. Speaking in rhyme, singing, impersonating someone, some new complication to add to your efforts.

Best of all the game is limited to two rounds, and a time limit is set on each and every role-play, meaning that it’s a quick game that plunges you straight into a narrative, it’s over quickly to move on to something else, or to get another round in. Locations offer new options to alter the tactics of the game, treasures help twist the flow of the game, and there is a fixed point scoring system, but ultimately it’s a game of improvisational acting skills and character playing that’s great for people who don’t think they’re good at that sort of thing.

I think this is also one I ought to add to the GeekOut Shrewsbury library.

As I write this, the game has surpassed it’s funding goal of £4,500 in the last half hour or so with twenty one days (ending August 9th) left to go to achieve some stretch goals. So let’s take a look at what Hercules Games are going to funding…

Stretch Goals

There’s very little more to say about the game itself, especially now it’s past the finishing line, so let’s take a look at what Hercules Game Studios can do with just a little more money.

£5,000 At goal + 500 we see our first new location, The Guild. With only three locations, that could prove an essential for replayability.
£5,500 The City Guard is introduced as a new possible character, a classic for every fantasy setting.
£6,000 The Temple is added as another new location, which should also help boost the diversity of the game.
£7,000 A timer for every copy of the game to help keep things moving without the need for breaking out the clock on your phone. Of course supporting apps are ever more popular these days but they can often be poor compromise to having an actual timer to slam onto the table. But I digress.

With a fairly tight cluster of stretch goals and so much time left after hitting the 100% mark, Role-Quest might need to add more goals, and fast. Perhaps more characters and locations, but with a game this simple there is definite scope for expansions. At least one expansion has already been created (more info in the pledge rewards below) but I can think of several directions this game could take with very little thought.

So what do you get for your money?

Pledge £4 or more

Wizard Pledge: For each Wizard pledge, Alex, Phoebos or a guest will roleplay a personality of your choice on video after the end of the campaign (the personality must be appropriate for all audiences)

Interestingly there is no option for a £1 “tip jar”, I like that the most basic option still gives something back. Also, not included here is a retailer specific pledge, but go check out the campaign if you’re a stockist.

Pledge £15 or more

Innkeeper Pledge: One copy of Role Quest: the card game of legendary role-playing

Pledge £18 or more

Blacksmith Pledge: One copy of Role Quest: the card game of legendary role-playing and the mini expansion.

The expansion will be NSFW and for ages 18+, which I feel is a somewhat necessary addition to this game, not because I think the game will need it, but because for the type of people I play with, I will need it.

Pledge £29 or more

Mayor Pledge: Two copies of Role Quest: the card game of legendary role-playing and two copies of the mini expansion.

This may seem odd, but by the time you incorporate shipping – at least within the UK, US, and Germany – you’ve saved a total of £5, and more if shipping elsewhere in the world. It does become worth it to share the burden of your pledge for the sake of £2.50 each.

Pledge £59 or more

Necromancer Pledge: Necromancer’s don’t just play ordinary board games, they get a personalised card with their face and the Role Quest Role-Player’s handbook. Includes: Role Quest base game, NSFW Mini Expansion (ages 18+), Personalised Character Card, Role Quest Role-Player’s Handbook.

Currently about half of these remain, 22 out of 50. If you want a personal and unique touch added to your game then it may be worth looking into this option. I might not go for the whole thing, but I may be tempted by that Role-Player’s Handbook if it’s available separately after the pledges are completed. I’m a sucker for role-playing accessories, and this looks like a quick and easy way to create or adapt characters. The book can help turn Role Quest from a basic board game and turn it into something one might use to actually enact small role-playing games, or incorporate it into existing campaigns to create in-game impact.

I actually ran across the game at UKGE. I was plainly suckered in by the wheel-spin (I won a sticker, I am perfectly find with this) but I talked to the designers and was immediately quite interested. A means of creating short and punchy RP scenarios to play out short vignettes or to draw people into the concept of role-play is right within my wheelhouse. I sincerely wish Hercules Game Studios the best of luck, not just with Role-Quest, but in their future endeavours too.

In the mean time, check out the Kickstarter today.


Elite Dangerous RPG – In Depth Part 1

My mind wonders how you go about fitting a vast expansive game like Elite Dangerous into an RPG. Well, the people at Spidermind Games successfully ran a Kickstarter for the book 2 years ago and this year during UKGE, I met some of the team behind it. They talked to me about their current Kickstarter for the Elite Dangerous Battle Card game which you should all take a look at and we will review in full later this year. However, this article is the first in an in-depth look through the RPG. Spidermind Games were very kind to give us the books in PDF and a copy of the core book in hardback that we will be giving away as a prize.

My intention here is to cover the core book its contents and add a healthy dose of opinion here and there. I won’t be including the Espionage, Exploration, Military and Trading supplements, but we may tackle this separately if there is enough interest.

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Roll On The Adventure Podcast

I was recently a guest in a podcast. It’s nice to be asked, and Roll On The Adventure piqued my interest.

In the podcast, the panel create, playtest, discuss, and publish a quick role playing system. It’s a great little quick-fire collaborative effort with bad singing and excellent

Dave is a figure of no small renown in the role-playing event circuit, Dimitris is a published designer and gamer, and Chris – in addition to being a prolific player – will be joining me to host a panel at Amecon this year. The first arc of the series created a game called Temporal Stereotype Zoo, a game about time travel, kidnap and/or abduction, and stereotypes throughout history.

The call for this series was for player-vs-player action, and Dimitris suggested going down the fantasy route to keep things classical, Dave suggested players taking control of an entire fa (more…)


Top 10 – Bears: Redux

We can bearly believe it’s been over four years since the release of our first Top 10 article, Top 10 Bears. Last week was our official fourth year anniversary of writing these articles and with an eBook on the way, we intend to make this year even better in the slow approach of our fifth year. So if you will let us paws for a second whilst we maul over our choices from four years ago, we’re going to, for the first time ever, do a complete redo of our original Top 10 Bears article.

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Line – The Skateboard Game – Review

Land some flip tricks, grabs and grinds to try to create the best line in this skateboarding card game brought to you by the folks at Blue Donut Studios who are based in Portsmouth and gave us a copy of the game for review at UK Games Expo 2018.

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