Friday, 13 March 2015

What We Leave Behind

Going back into the digital realm today's piece, I want to talk about a relatively new game that has taken the video game realm by story. Appropriately, I feel it would also make an excellent board game with the right mechanics. It's roguishly good, and all about what you leave behind; I am talking about Rogue Legacy.

This a game in the vein of the games of old; side-scrolling dungeon-crawling action. The premise is that the King has been mortally injured and his kids go off to find a flower that can cure him. It is locked away in the castle and they must defeat four bosses to get the keys. You play as one of these siblings to try and save dear old dad, or at least you try, until the game reminds you quickly that it isn't that easy an gets you killed. This is where Rogue Legacy comes into its own.

When you die, instead of going back to a past continue or save, your heir takes over. You must re-enter the castle with a brand new character, using the spoils of your past adventure to level up and bulk up with gear and upgrades. And a devious doorman charges you for re-entry to the castle so you can't just stockpile your gold. The game levels with you to a point, to keep itself consistently challenging, pushing you slowly to move toward the more difficult areas above, below, and beyond the castle. Each of these heirs will also have silly traits with surprising effects, such a vertigo which turns the screen upside down, or IBS which causes the controller to vibrate violently every time you are hit. It's quirky, it's unique, it needs to made into a board game. It has very little tact, and that's what makes it so damn entertaining.

It is a challenge of perseverance, patience, and a sense of humour that I highly recommend everyone to try out.


Based on what i think could be done with this game tabletop wise, my question for today is what video game or other media do you think would make an excellent board game?


Friday, 6 March 2015

Marvel: Rollin' Through the Ages

Well, I'm back. I got locked out of Google for a few days and so could not update the blog. A few sugary bribes and things are easily sorted though, but it was looking dicey for awhile. It is appropriate then that I am here today to discuss a new craze sweeping the gaming world, or is it an old one? I am talking about a game of dice, appropriately named Dice Masters. Now Dice Masters has a rake of different IPs it works under, including DC, Yu-Gi-Oh and D&D, but the one I will be focusing on, as it is the one I play, is Marvel Dice Masters.

Dice Masters runs on simple mechanics that do surprisingly complicated things. The ideas seem fine; draw dice from your bag, roll them, roll them again if you want, use what you get. It's later on when you deal with a Magic style combat mechanic and dice management system that dictates different dice are moved to different areas based on what they were used for that gets interesting, and within those two things lies the trick to the game (I think). But let me explain.

Players take it in turns to draw four dice from their bag and roll them. Your bag starts with 8 Sidekick dice in it; generic dice with varying kinds of energy (mana) and very small minions called Sidekicks. On front of you, you will have 6-8 cards of some of your favourite Marvel heroes and villains. Each of them have their own effects and abilities to make the team work, and on each of them is a number of dice which need to be bought with energy. There are also various action cards with their own effects that both players can buy dice from. In either case, once bought they go into you bag and join the fray. The aim is to roll 'character faces' on your dice, which are then fielded and work almost exactly like creatures in Magic do. Each one has a cost, an attack value, and a defense value. At the end of your turn, you may assign attackers, and the opponent blockers. The trick in the game comes from what happens next.

Any characters that get knocked out go to a Prep Area, and get rolled in the player's next turn along with the four dice they draw, leaving inconsistency in what characters they had fielded, but giving much bigger opportunities on their dice and what they can buy, so not all is in vain. Characters that are blocked and not killed stay fielded. However, any characters that are not blocked attack the opposing player themself, who will have 15-20 life to begin with. As you may guess at this point, the aim of the game is to reduce your opponent to 0 life. The crux of the matter however is any unblocked heroes go to your Used Pile after dealing damage, where they lie dormant until your bag empties. What this creates is a power dynamic in the combat system where every action has a balancing consequence, and it develops a complexity in the game that you would not expect from a game of dice. If you can get your head around this element, you are good to go.

It is fast paced (most of the time), ever changing, and very cheap. It takes time to master (I'm still getting there), but anyone can pick it up and have fun with it.


My question for today is simple; what is your favourite dice game?


Also, if you are in the Limerick area and are interested in trying Dice Masters out, it will be running at both upcoming events BrOccasion and Knavecon, so why not come down and have a go to see what you think?

Stay tuned.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Booking face time

So I mentioned in my last post that Tabled would be coming to Facebook , and so it has. Social media is the way of the future, and there is no escaping it.

I am working on getting the page to auto-update when there are updates here at the blog, and I will start doing competitions on the page in due time also. Hopefully with luck it will help bring more people to the community.

As for the blog, BroCon's teaser event BrOccasion will be at the end of this month, and Knavecon at the start of next so there will be plenty of coverage from those events and plenty of content on the games played. On the technological side of things there is plenty out in the next three months with coverage to be had on those also.

Next post will be coming soon, on a certain game that has become very popular very fast, with almost a drug like quality and addictiveness to it. Stay tuned to find out.