A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

[Review Corner] Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Red Box Starter Set Part 4

Danger Will Robinson!  This part is gobs and gobs and gobs of text boxes, covering a bunch of mechanical bits of the game.  You might care, you might not.  But the only way to properly know about the game is if you see them and understand what the game is doing.

Plus as I like to say "You can't start breaking rules and houseruling stuff till you KNOW THE RULES FIRST".

Course over the years this has lead people to whine any time my house rule suggestions take the slightest bit of power away from them.  These people are stupid and should be forced to play against their own broken things.

Remember kids: Never play a deck/army/character build if you aren't willing to be on the other side of that same thing.

We are almost done with the Player's Book section.  Then on to the DM's book after Rufus gets his fight on.  Then possibly a pair of 320-370 page Essentials books, which both sort of repeat themselves in places which is both nice and annoying at the same time.  Makes it so purchasers of this set and one of those don't really need to buy both, but not completely.

Though I guess a DM could just get the Rules Compendium, and his or her players could just buy either of the two "Heroes of the Blah Dee Blah" books they wanted to use and it saves them all some cash.  On the other hand if you want to bring people in on your own you sort of need to buy all the books.

Which right now would mean: (in MSRP) 20 for Red Box, 20 each for Compendium, Heroes 1 and 2, 20 for Monster Vault (I think.  I will probably just make up my own), and 40 for the DM's kit.  (With the  3 Tile sets as options.)  Which is 140 for the core Essentials for a complete newbie bringing her friends in, or 120 if he just skips the Red Box and already has dice and such.

Of course you don't NEED to buy everything at once.  So far it looks like you could almost skip the Rules Compendium entirely, and possibly the DM's Kit too and just play off Red Box and the 2 Heroes books if you can BS some monsters.  

But that is just skimming things so far.

The investigation continues....

Friday, September 17, 2010

[AT-43] A Late September AT 43 Battle Report

We return to the crazy fun gonzo spacewar universe of AT 43 with another battle report from Arkham Asylum.  This will be it for some AT 43 for a little while as we try out some other games.  I will finally be playing the Jyhad CCG.  I bought most of my cards in 1993 after our ship came in from a 6 month cruise.  I never actually got to play it or see anyone play it.  Next week I finally WILL.

Hopefully next week I can get on to part 4 of my Dungeons & Dragons Red Box Essentials review/overview.  I just have to actually play the next part.  But hey, I have done more posts this week than I did for the entire month of August.  I even hit my quota. 

So I am being mighty good to you all dear readers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

[Review Corner] Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Red Box Starter Set Part 3

I lost lots of sleep this morning to bring you this exciting, mechanics filled installment.

I am very tired now, and having to get up early to go to the dentist didn't help any.  Oh, how I suffer for my "art".

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

[Review Corner] Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Red Box Starter Set Part 2

I actually had this comic ready about an hour after the last one.  And most of it was photographed first.  I just got some dumb ideas at work and inflicted it upon those of you who bother to read my spiel.

Now we get to what you get for your 20 bucks!

As usual, click TO MAKE MY MONSTER GROW... err larger pictures because Blogger doesn't like the idea of showing them fullsize even when I tell it to.  I just don't know man.  (Unless I just fixed it.  Show the pictures at original size by default?  NO.  Click XL, then go back and click original.  THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE! :v)

Lots of goodies for your money in this set I would say!  

Right now if I had to rate amount of nice STUFF in the various starters taking price into account I would put this one in second place probably.  The 3rd and 3.5 miniatures boxes gave you a nice heap of prepainted minis and tiles that tended to be more geomorphic in design than a poster map.  

I would say the Holmes Basic set was the worst in this regard, being a single booklet, either dice or cardboard chits, and a single module.  (Either "In Search of Adventure" or "Keep on the Borderlands")

Be on the lookout for more installments where I go back to the past to compare the NES generation's contents, what your modern D&D Minis packs get you, and of course, my play of the solo module/character generator.  

I will cover this thing in depth.  Probably more depth than anyone cares about, but consider it "Everything you wanted to know about D&D Essentials from a non fanboy but didn't feel like asking".

[Review Corner] Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Red Box Starter Set Part 1

I'm so sorry.  I'm so very, very sorry.   I was weak!  It was like 13.50 from Amazon!  I wanted some books and stuff anyhow!  Its got tons of goodies inside!

And this review is completely going out of control and will probably take me two weeks to completely cover, if not longer!

Yes, this first part barely even MENTIONS the whole point of the review.  But I had some probably unfunny jokes and gags and couldn't help myself.  Plus it let's me come up with more blog posts.

As usual click for bigger pages and please tell me some of you get the in jokes.

Those of you who are of a certain age and who got the main reference in this introduction probably started humming the theme tune.  Or you ran to Youtube to hear it again.

This review series will be for you.  

See ya later on this week for part 2 where you actually LEARN something about the set as I unbox it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

AT 43 Battle Report: 2000 Karmans vs Therians

The first Wednesday of September was some more AT 43 action.  I hadn't got to do any gaming for the previous 3 weeks, but this week changed things with Monkey on Post Human Nanotech Intelligence war!

I rarely post the battle reports for the Arkham games since they tend to be more training/demo games and as I am sometimes wont to do, I get there a bit later than I planned for so its a bit rushed so we can hopefully get the whole match in.  Thankfully our Arkham Asylum player picks up rules really well, so all I need to do is remember special rules and the like.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

[Review Corner] High Grade Universal Century Unicorn Gundam Model Kit

As usual, click the picture for bigger.

My playthrough of the Ravenloft game will have to wait as my work schedule is a bit hectic this week.  2 days off, but not in a row.  That borks up my decompression time, especially given how I usually don't work 5 days.

On to the review!

I am quite happy with this kit.  Took me a decent amount of time to assemble though.  I did quite a bit of it while sick just because I didn't have much energy to play a video game, or the brainpower to read a book.  Sitting on my bed with something to drink and a podcast playing was a good way to get through the roughest part of a rather nasty bug!

Comparing this to the mid 90s 1/144 kits is mindblowing though.  The sculpting is a bit better, but the construction and articulation is light years past those old sets.  Course you could put one of those together in an hour or two and they cost around 10 dollars.

Fair trade off really.

Friday, September 3, 2010

[Review Corner] Dungeons & Dragons Desert of Athas Dungeon Tiles

As usual, click the picture for a bigger one.  If I keep saying this, maybe some folks will remember.  Yall know who I am talking to.

Of course I probably should have expected the set to miss the point of Dark Sun.  This is 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons.  Completely missing the point of the settings and D&D itself is mostly what 4th edition D&D DOES.

Though we already knew that from 3rd edition D&D as well.  One thing I have seen that a number of folks agree with me on is this about D&D and roleplaying itself:   Its not who your character IS, but WHAT THEY CAN DO MECHANICALLY.  Its always been there to a degree, but 3.0 D&D made it the defacto way to play.   Its not roleplaying or creativity, its making uber character builds and just following the rules to a T.

The design of WOTC D&D products follows this philosophy, and it shows in what they do to the settings and worlds of Dungeons & Dragons.  It misses the point and misses the spirit.

This tileset is just another example sadly.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Castle Ravenloft First Look!

As always, click the pictures for larger if you need it!

Let's hope WOTC will replace that page.  I can BS my way through the tile issue with a little random die rolling (when the broken tile/counter comes up, roll a d20.  On a 1-6 this is the tile used.  On a 7-20, its the NEXT tile.  This means you only sort of know when it comes up as there is only a 30% chance of that tile being used when it comes up in the stack.) but let's face it.  For a 65 dollar game I bought at MSRP, it shouldn't have happened at all!

(Or for an even simpler solution to the tile issue:  Put a slip of paper covering the counter/tile stack and take the top one off.  I will know for sure when I read the rules for tonight, but it looks like you draw the top tile/counter and reveal/play it immediately.  This would solve things easy.  But again.  Shouldn't have to.)

Wish me luck at getting it replaced!


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