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Star Realms, Can you Rule the Stars?

IMAG0001Once again the galaxy is up for grabs. It’s up to you, an opportunist warlord, to unite The Machine Cult, Star Empire, Trade Federation. and  the Alien Blob factions in an effort to forge your Star Realm.

Will you be able to form and utilize your empire to rule, before your foe, or will you be reduced to nothing more than a backwater trader?

Star Realms is a science fiction deck-building game that puts you in the role of a small time leader of nothing more than a few trade ships and 2 attack ships in the hope that you will be able to build up a mighty fleet to defeat your enemy. For those of you who are not sure what deck building means, it’s where the central mechanic of the game is to start off with a very limited number of cards and through the process of buying cards – from a large deck that is shared between all players –  you build your deck into a larger more powerful one.

I have not had the chance to sit down and really try a deck builder, so when the opportunity arose to try one out, I took it. I was intrigued by the tuck-box with the space tank on it. That evening I played three matches in a row. Suffice it to say I enjoy the game immensely.

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Tash-Kalar : Let the Games Commence!

I can’t speak from personal experience, but from my limited time with the many genres of games, I would guess that abstract’s are among the toughest to design. Your rules & mechanics have to be sharpened to a razors edge, you’ll imbue it with every little shred of theme  you can manage, try to make it as appealing as possible  even though some will complain about how it’s ” just a board and some pieces”, and sit back to endure the inevitable onslaught of fools wailing about how they don’t understand it.

Once in a blue moon, you’ll be granted  something truly marvelous. In this case, that something is Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends, is famed designer Vlaada Chvátil’s latest offering and I believe it to be a monumental achievement of abstract gaming.

Where the  Legends are born.

Where the Legends are born.

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Who’s going first?

Ever struggled to figure out who’s going to start a game? Do weird rules on how to select the first player annoy you? Have an Android phone? Then grab Select Who?Select Who?

This free app is a fun and fast way to select the first player. All players simply place a finger on the phone, and after a countdown, the app randomly chooses one finger, and turns the circle under it purple, designating that player as first.

I would say more, but that’s all there is too it. This app simply works, and at a price point of FREE, why hesitate to give it a shot.

Jason’s Favourite Board Game Ever!!

About a year ago I started helping out at the Solid Board Gamers (SBG). This opened up a whole world to me, as I suddenly had access to a myriad of games, including Terra Mystica, Seasons, Castle Panic, Lords of Waterdeep, Alhambra, Neuroshima Hex, Yggdrasil, and so on. These are vastly different than the games of my childhood, as you may have guessed, based on their names.

As you may have surmised, being a gamer yourself, that The Settler’s of Catan was the game to de-virginize me. Countless hours of collecting wheat and bartering for wood showed me the light. Board games didn’t have to be collecting rent from unintentional tenants, world domination by dice rolls, or creating words on a grid. While all classics, I found little pleasure in these games. The irony is that this new world of games made those classics better for me.

Now, as an associate of SBG, I have access to their horde of boards [Editor’s note: I love this phrase, and will be co-opting it for further use]. I usually have one or two of their games in my house at a time. This has led to me learning LOTS of different games, and I was beginning to become a bit bored. I was beginning to feel like all games were just similar to another game I had already played.

Today I write about a game that, in the crux of my dilemma, stood out above the rest. In fact, it’s a variation on one of the boring classics that I mentioned earlier. Read More…

Exhausted Daze

Starting a business as a part time endeavour has been quite the experience.  From becoming familiar with the Canadian tax system, to figuring out what kind of bank account we could use. From setting up an e-commerce store, to deciding on which games to buy for our inventory.  We’ve had quite a ride.  We’ve hosted least 4 unofficial small events, and 3 Official events (@ Fred’s, Nasir’s and John’s place (my place)).  We’ve been to ConBravo, and soon we’ll be at our first Restaurant, and then at the International Student Festival.  The strange thing is, all of these going ons have happened as result of semi-weekly meetings, and a lot of Kijiji advertising.

When I return home after a long day, and today was especially long, I start thinking about all the board game related things I need to do, and then I realize I have Kitties to feed, dishes to do, homework to catch up on, and a bed that looks so great, and that I will only get to spend a few hours with before waking up for work and school.

It seems like this is rarely any time for board games, but i was able to play some tonight.

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Pandemic: 2nd Edition First Thoughts

Pandemic-triptych-wallpaper1280-1024 (1)

By: John Kay

I remember the first time I played Pandemic.  Upon opening the box, the game components impressed me a lot; very well made and nice looking. The game board is a big map, and I love maps; the artwork looked great; the cards felt nice.

When I opened up the 2nd Edition box I was initially disappointed.  I didn’t like the smaller clear cubes, or the smaller pawns.  I didn’t like the new artwork, though it looked good, I didn’t think it was as interesting as the old artwork.  The board looked so … blue…  and then I got over it.

Why is this game so compelling?  I’m going to post just a few thoughts.

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