It was pretty shocking when FF cancelled the excellent Netrunner LCG, I’m sure mostly to hardcore fans and not passive fans like myself. I played it as a youth in the mid 90’s for a few months hardcore but then stopped (no $$ for that and Jyhad and Shadowfist and RAGE). The new set I didn’t get into from a $$ perspective too much, just a few expansions and a couple copies of the core box, but I played quite a few times and was glad it was back out. Fans have apparently taken up the torch and will continue to release expansions, much like On the Edge.
If you follow that link and see what they are doing it indicates print on demand: usually something impossible to do since the card quality of print on demand is usually quite bad. This is neat because it’s possible for fans to get together to print some of the old ccg game sets if they have access to the proof sheets. Who knows, we may see Shadowfist or Jyhad going this route in the future, which would be pretty awesome (200 card set for 50$?!).
You know when you see the birthdate of some fighting game character and you are like oh that’s fucking lame… why even put that? Then after decades of playing with that character via many different games you start to remember the month and then generally the day and then you look on the internet and people post happy birthday and you feel.
So yeah, Baiken. Her tits have gotten huge and she seems to drink more as well, but overall Guilty Gear XRD has done great work with the update from back in the GG X2 days. She’s got one arm, some sort of cannon, a chain thing and always busting out with the tatami mats to the face. What’s not to love?
I haven’t played GG for awhile– been doing the Blazblue Central Fiction since last Summer since my kids gravitated to it more than GG XRD. I feel like I’m better at Blazblue by far even though I think it’s a more difficult game to master.
Anyway these are not necessarily from 2018, but just books that I took a fancy to throughout the year.
Shinobigami Modern Ninja Battle Game
I finally got the final PDF of the rules and printed them up and have read them cover to cover. If you like Hillfolk or Fiasco, you can see where they got all their inspiration for those games from (this and Tenra Bansho Zero). Looking forward to running this. I have not played this yet, so I can’t truly review the game itself.
Down Darker Trails
While this uses an inferior D100 system to Mythras, Down Darker Trails is an incredible supplement to CoC for the old West. It’s extremely thorough in it’s descriptions of the era and nature of roleplaying in the old west with monsters without getting totally overboard like Deadlands (which is cool too). The adventures in the back of the book aren’t too great, but it would be easy to wing something with this source material. With the rate at which I’m able to run games, this may never get played, but it’s a great read.
Runequest Glorantha/Guide to Glorantha
These are excellent RQ books, especially the Guide to Glorantha which finally laid out to me what the heck is going on. While RQ requires a lot of player knowledge of the setting, it’s much easier to have it all consolidated in a couple of books than all over the place. No matter what system you may choose to run RQ with, the Guide to Glorantha is a must read.
For play in 2018 year, we continued the Lamentations of the Flame Princess campaign, but some of the players got sick of the non-levelling up and general low power level of the game (with silver=experience, it can be rough to level up), so we are going to switch to Mythras after the current campaign arc is done.
My favorite game from 2018 is probably DCC, we’ve had a lot of fun with friends and the kids with the game and adventures. My favorite RPG event of last year was the 2 day 13th Age level 1-6 switching GM’s every 3 hours.
To say 2018 was a good year would be odd, to say it was a bad year would be inaccurate. What we have before us friends is an absolute DELUGE of games. More video games, more board games, more console games and more (shitty) iphone games than you can even count. It’s like humankind shifted in the late 90’s from enjoying games occasionally to it being the absolute raison d’etre for human existence and that it only matters if a game is NEW and not if it’s GOOD. It may be said that this was the year where historians ages hence say that all people wanted to do from here on out was play games, and that would be great if we had some star trek level of egalitarianism and technology to support people just gaming, but neither will ever happen. As a gainfully employed American, here’s to the wayward distractions from the fall of the West.
Coming out near the end of the year meant we didn’t get a ton of play time with this one, but I’ve now played 15 or so times and it’s an excellent game. We haven’t had a ‘tournament’ day yet where we open random decks and go to town, but that’s coming. If this was multiplayer, I think it would be the best CCG ever made.
This is my favorite game of 2018 by far. Really an excellent follow up by Eric Lang after Blood Rage. I was very skeptical of the battle system, but it works brilliantly. He trashed a lot of early designs to get to this one and you can tell he was going all in to make the best area control game he could. It’s a toss up at this point between busting this out or Blood Rage, and that’s saying something! If you’ve been stuck fucking around with Scythe (a euro)– this is the real deal.
Games I didn’t play from 2018
This is Martin Wallace’s follow up to A Study in Emerald. It’s a train game, a bit like Brass but with monsters. Will get to the table soon!
Looks like a solid COIN game. I probably should have kickstarted this one, but theme wise I should probably pick up Cuba Libre or Pendragon instead. The art is Armello-esque.
This is going to hit the table, but just hasn’t yet. This is an old west Talisman-style game and should be fairly good for a few plays but I’m not sure long term. I kickstarted this on a whim so we’ll see!
New BRASS (Birmingham)
I’ve played Brass a few times but never owned it, so I’m looking forward to busting out this LAVISH ass version of the game.
I have to get this to the table. The theme is not my favorite but I think my kids will love it.
We played Gateway: Uprising the other night which is the third deck-building with area control mechanics mash up game I’ve played and figured I’d write a bit since this type of game has held my interest for a while.
After Martin Wallace’s A Few Acres of Snow, this type of game became a thing with follow ups of Mythotopia and finally A Handful of Stars. Deck-building with area control is a very interesting style of game for me, creating player controlled asymmetry like Ascension or Dominion, but with a physical area that is controlled or conquered by players as the game goes along (so they are not as boring as Ascension and Dominion…). There’s a lot of potential for “wow, I’ve never seen that before” in these games as well as having actual player interaction during the game instead of none.
Gateway: Uprising is a game of various wizard-lead factions (like the Great Fish!) in this very strange city that is having some immigrant and crime problems. Your factions is built from cards you acquire which are either support cards, merchant cards or army cards build out of the various smaller factions in the city. Support cards are single play and discard as are merchants, but Army cards stay on the table until destroyed (and they are destroyed often!) at which time they get shuffled into your deck. Your goal is to score more points than your rivals after time is up or take over all the regions of the city which is instawin.
Unlike Mythotopia/Handful of Stars, locations in Gateway do not become cards in your deck. I was rather surprised by this as the city locations in the game don’t seem to do much except get attacked! You could win the game by not setting foot in the city at all if your faction could pile up enough victory cards (runestones). However, if a Wizard faction controls the entire city of Gateway, they win the game immediately, so other factions are forced all into the city to make sure no one gets control.
Another interesting twist with Gateway is that there are monsters that show up which can and will destroy the city if not dealt with, generated via an event deck. So…. this is how the game gets it’s ‘co-op’ tag on the box. It is necessary for the players to work together in order to hold off the horrifying monstrosities that continuously attack the city. Co-op though, it’s really not. When the monsters start to destroy the sections of the city, it is then easier for one faction to take the entire city over and fighting between factions intensifies.
One thing Gateway has in spades is SOUL. The art (by concept artist Sean Murray) on the cards and the city itself is superlative and is some of the best I’ve seen in a game for awhile (Rising Sun and Blood Rage aside). The artist obviously loves Ian Miller/John Blanche as the cityscapes on some cards look straight out of The Enemy Within! Like Dungeon Degenerates, this is a game that could justify purchase on the weird art alone.
In contrast to the rather dry Mythotopia and Handful of Stars, the goals that your faction has (kill monsters, dominate the city, kill the city guards, kill off the other player’s army) are clear from the outset, unlike the sort of vague ‘go forth and get points’. Players being able to instantly win with full board control in Gateway is another excellent aspect that obfuscates a bit of the point salad that is inevitable with these types of games.
Mythotopia and Handful of Stars have player’s controlled areas scattered across the map at the start of the game, forcing them to fight with others or neutrals in order to consolidate some sort of defend-able empire and score points. Gateway: Uprising starts with the city in the game controlled by no one, and the gangs/factions have to stake claim to the board as they go. I find this a superior method, especially since Mythotopia feels pretty messy when you first start out and you immediately ask yourself why on earth you, as a fantasy lord, would control areas scattered randomly across the country side like this? You have no sense of your faction or loyalty or what you are trying to do—it doesn’t make much sense. I chalk that up to Mythotopia being one of Wallace’s ‘mechanics tests.’ Handful of Stars feels a bit better in this regard since the board represents 3 dimensional space and you are an alien faction (with a special power) rather than a generic fantasy lord. I think both the Wallace games would be better, albeit LONGER if they started the players with a single star system/region or off board to start the game. This would be a major design change since resources to play and buy cards come from the regions/planets themselves.
The rules are OK, there are some gaps we found in the rules (like, if regions are destroyed, do they count against the ability for a faction to control the city? It never says), so you have to make some judgement calls. Components are good but the big hexes are not cardboard, they are very thin card and get moved around easily.
Anyway, Gateway is pretty cheap (I got it lightly used for 15$) and well worth having in the collection (the box is small too for those of you with limited shelf space). I like it better than Mythotopia, and about the same as Handful of Stars. Gateway is far easier to set up to play than HoS is though!
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hello guys, girls and trannies, just checking in to announce there will be some totally new aphex twin custom official limited edition dentures for sale soon. so vexing!
also in the pipeline is the long-awaited “selected ambient works 1.5” metal cassette, cd, vomit-tinted vinyl and manual ciphers (fuck digitals, analog only, baby). available for download by kind legal agreement from r+s records international via mail order on march 5th, 2019.
finally, while you’re at it, sign up for the upcoming korg “selected ambient works 3”-themed lush 25 keys rompler kickstarter with weirdcore designed interface print! synth programmeded by my chinky mate tatsuo mcwhatshisface. street date is july 5th 2019, will be offered with optional 3 months limited warranty, power supply sold seperately.
check out my lush aphex twin website for the official announcements, i don’t have any strong feelings about you stupid twits so i wanted you to be the 1st to know.
joyrex is a cunt, reddit sucks donkey dick, you’re being brainwashed by chemtrails. have a happy 2019 and get cracking you slags!
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