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Review: Rise of the Zombies – The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Game (DVG)

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on March 8, 2013

Game: Rise of the Zombies – The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Game Review

Publisher: Dan Verssen Games (DVG)
Published in: 2013
Designer: Dan Verssen

Topic: Surviving in a  Zombie Apocalypse
Game Type: Cooperative-Competitive Card Game
Contents: 168 Game Cards, two 6-sided dice, 8 Plastic Stands for Survivor Characters, 1 Sheet of Counters, 1 Digital Timer, 1 Rulebook

Number of Players: 1-8OFFTOPIC_rund

HFC Game-O-Meter: E 


Our Rating (1-10):

Graphic Presentation: 8
Rules: 8
Playability: 9
Replay Value: 9

Overall Rating: 8.5

PRO Easy game mechanics, fast to learn, good written rules, lots of decisions, very thematic, good simulation, high replay value because it is difficult to win, cooperative, quality components (cards, rule book, box)…
CONTRA …but some of the components are less convincing (counters hard to read because of the chosen font which sometimes looks too cramped; plastic stands are ugly and don’t hold the counters in place too well; the timer looks a bit cheap and battery sometimes detaches from the electrical contacts so it stops working), no player aid, for some players the extremely unforgiving nature of the game may lead to frustration.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Introduction

RotZ_table

Zombies on the table!

There are so many Zombie games available on the market that it didn’t really awake my interest when Dan Verssen Games announced Rise of the Zombies, their new game funded by Kickstarter. We own several Zombie themed games and all of them are fun to play once in a while, but there was no reason to believe that a new game would actually bring some new game experiences to the table, so this game was not really on our radar. Then a review copy of the game arrived out of the blue and we did what we always do when a publisher sends us a new game – we quit playing the games we were currently playing for fun, took Rise of the Zombies into the HFC Test Lab and started our test sessions. 

So, what is the game about? It’s the usual setting you would expect from a Zombie game: the players are survivors in a world which was overrun by Zombies, no one knows what and why it happened, the world is just a looting ground and life is reduced to a constant run from a safe house to a new shelter, while trying to survive the walking dead. Actually, the rule book draws you into the story right away by letting you read a letter written by a certain “Gordon”:

The Howler is very dangerous because she attracts more zombies

The Howler is very dangerous because she attracts more zombies

“If you can read these words, there is still hope. On these sketch cards you will find my recounting of The Last Days of our World. Did it start in the water? The food? As a bio weapon? I never found out. 

I was touring Washington D.C. when the President declared a National Emergency and the Army barricaded the streets. Trapped in my hotel room, I watched Apache helicopters firing wave after wave of rockets into the shambling masses surging up Pennsylvania Avenue. I sketched what I witnessed on the cards you are holding now. For two days, the helicopters came, and my towering hotel shuddered from the ever approaching blasts. The third day was the worst. I awoke from a troubled sleep to silence.

Just before dusk of the fourth day, flames engulfed the White House. It burned throughout the night. At dawn, our flag over the White House had fallen. I raided the hotel’s kitchen for food and supplies and began my trek out of the city. For six days, I slept in sewers, slunk down alleys, and peered out of garbage dumpsters, sketching deep into the night to preserve my sanity. Seeing was never a problem. Something was always on fire. They were everywhere. Swarming. Searching with mindless eyes and rending flesh with outstretched hands. They never slept. They never stopped feeding. They mindlessly stalked the living. That’s all they did. 

I met other survivors along the way, but they each fell to the mindless hoards through carelessness or misplaced courage. On the seventh day, I found this house. I call it my Safe House. It was fortified with boarded windows and barbed-wire around the front yard. I met the guy who did the work. He was a construction worker before things went bad. There are more of them every day, and it is dangerous to sneak out for food. I don’t know how much longer I can stay here. I saw an Army helicopter circling the park on the other side of town yesterday. If I see another one, I’m making a run for it. I asked the construction worker if he wanted to come with me, but he said he’d stay here for a while and wait for the Army. I wish him well.

I’m leaving my sketches behind as a sign of hope. All is not lost. We will survive”

-Gordon

This letter explains the situation at the beginning of the game because the players start in the mentioned safe house, and since it’s not really safe there anymore, they will have to follow Gordon, who left the house to make a run for the rescue helicopter he saw.  This story introduction also gives the background for a very distinctive art style that is used in the presentation of the game: it’s a card game and all cards are sketches, pencil drawings that look interesting and fresh, and that’s what Gordon left behind to give other survivors some hope. It’s a nice touch, a great introduction for such a game and it did awake our interest and we wanted to know more…

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Posted in Fantasy Games A-Z, Misc. Fantasy games, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sentinels of the Multiverse AAR no 1: “Machine Slaughterhouse On Mars”

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on February 19, 2013

An After-Action-Report of a 2-player game of “SENTINELS of the MULTIVERSE” by Greater Than Games LLC

Note, live from the HFC Test Lab: we only chose 1 character each because the rulebook mentions the “In a two-player-game, each player takes 2 characters”-rule as an “Advanced Rule”. We wanted to check out if the game could be won by 2 characters. This is an AAR of our third attempt to do so.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

The sentient beings of the Multiverse were shocked when they heard about the brutal defeat of first Haka and Ra, followed by the defeat of their comrades Tempest and Bunker, who were sent out when the first duo of super heroes had been defeated.

Their mission: to once and for all destroy what was known as one of the biggest threats in the Multiverse – a former robot factory built on Earth: Aldred Industries XK 9000-Alpha, which eventually had become a sentient and thinking being due to corrupted upgrades of its inhibitor core.

Omnitron, the "Self-Aware Robotics Factory"

Omnitron, the “Self-Aware Robotics Factory”

This self-aware robot factory is now known as Omnitron and even has begun to duplicate itself!

It had been discovered that the so-called “Core 1” sent out drones, which started to build a duplicate of the factory on the planet Mars – and sadly this was done in such a way that it completely went under the radar of the ever-watchful super heroes of the Multiverse. Instead of having the chance to interrupt what was going on during the early stages of the factory building process, our heroes were informed about it when it was already too late to do anything about it – and now, Omnitron is controlling a good part of the planet Mars and we do not know what the machine brain is going to do next!

Quickly, two of our heroes – Maori warrior Haka and Egypt sun god Ra – decided to deal with the new threat on their own and made their way to Mars in order to destroy the new Omnitron presence, but as we know, they were defeated…

The idea to launch a quick counter attack by sending Alien warrior Tempest from outer Space and The Indestructible Super Soldier Bunker to Wagner Mars Base turned out to be a bad one, as these warriors were also defeated in what seemed little more than a swift strike by the sentient machine.

Not willing to accept this defeat, Psychic time-traveler Visionary and angelic Templar Fanatic made their way to Mars as well…  and, at first, all appeared to go well when they arrived there…

The Fanatic, the angelic templar, is one of the "damage dealers" in SotM

The Fanatic, the angelic templar, is one of the “damage dealers” in SotM

Omnitron appeared to be in a sort of maintenance mode, when the heroes started their attack… the factory stayed rather inactive at first (at least compared to what was reported by the other heroes about their arrival before).

So, after the self-aware factory realized through its sensors that sentient beings were present again, it only used its disintegration ray cannons to fire on Fanatic and then sent out an assault drone to finish her – instead of spamming her with drones and components, as it had done with the other hero teams.

Finishing Fanatic off wasn’t so easy, though, since Fanatic was perfectly aware of the various ways Omnitron was usually dealing with enemies. So she was able to suck up these attacks, then she flew high into the air to make a powerful dive attack on the drone, destroying it with the first blow and – using the gap in Omnitron’s defenses – to actually attack the machine complex itself. That was something the other hero teams had been unable to do, because they had been welcomed by many drones and heavy initial attacks at their arrival, and had never been able to get close to the core.

After landing on solid, red ground again, Fanatic used her Exorcism power and was able to hit Omnitron again, this time with a hard melee attack, followed by radiant damage. Visionary, seeing Fanatic already bringing the fight to the enemy instead of waiting for other opportunities, tried to calm herself down and used the fact that Omnitron was in combat with Fanatic to prepare for a demoralizing psychic attack against the machine brain. The idea was to actually get into the self-conscious parts of the machine to disrupt it – just like Visionary would do with any sentient and conscious opponent. She couldn’t be sure, though, that this would work out as she hoped it would, since it was still unclear whether Omnitron was actually feeling and thinking or not… what appeared to be a sentient self-conscious machine complex could still just be a sort of simulation of consciousness, a corrupted program running in the many computers of the factory.

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Posted in After Action Reports, Fantasy Games A-Z, Games A-Z, Sentinels of the Multiverse | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MMP in preparation for the…eASLRB!!!

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on August 23, 2012

 

One should check the actual date twice these days since it really seems like it’s April 1st for two days in a row now… 😉

Yesterday we heard about the reprint of Up Front – The Squad Leader Card Game, unbelievable as it is, it seems to be true.

And today Chas Argent part of the MMP team is asking for help on the wargame forums saying they need proofreaders for an electronic version of the ASL rulebook. Yep that’s right – the community for years tried to convince MMP that to publish the Big Tome in an electronic format where you can quickly search for a rule, would help a lot to make the game more accessible. They always rejected this because of possible copyright issues. So some folks out there went an extra mile by producing such an eASLRB for themselves… 😛

It seems that MMP has a different opinion about this now and this is really good news, so we can expect a professionally produced eASLRB in the hopefully near future.

You can find the announcement on the CSW and GamesSquad forums.

That’s like all ASL players rolled just …Snake Eyes!!! 🙂

 

 

Posted in ASL, News and Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review: Horus Heresy (FFG)

Posted by Denny Koch on July 9, 2012

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Published in: 2010
Designers: Jeff Tidball, John Goodenough
Game Type: Board Game / Miniatures / Card-driven
Topic: The Horus Heresy / Battle for Terra
Era:  31st century (back story of the Warhammer 40k universe)
Contents: Game Board, 3D plastic terrain (3 factories, 6 fortresses, 1 Imperial Palace), Playing Pieces (12 Space Marines, 24 Imperial Army, 12 Imperial Tank Divisions, 3 Adeptus Custodes, 3 Adeptus Arbites, 3 Adeptus Mechanicus, 3 Imperial Titans, 16 Chaos Space Marines, 4 Chaos Titans, 8 Chaos Thunderhawks, 8 Chaos Cultists, 8 Chaos Warbands, 8 Demon Hordes), 60 Imperial Bases, Combat Iteration Tokens, 6 Defense Lasers, 2 Reference Sheets, 32 Bombardment Cards, 30 Event Cards, 40 Imperial Order Cards, 64 Traitor Bases, 40 Traitor Order Cards, 32 Imperial Combat Cards, 32 Traitor Combat Cards, 8 Imperial Hero Combat Cards, 10 Special Tokens, 8 Traitor Hero Combat Cards, 10 Hero Markers and Bases, 10 Hero Damage Markers, 28 Legion Designators, 2 Initiative Markers, 36 Damage Tokens, 57 Activation Markers, 5 Fortification Markers, 12 Breach Markers, Rulebook (44 pages), Scenario Book (20 pages)
Number of Players: 2

HFC Game-O-Meter: E 


Our Rating (1-10):

Graphic Presentation: 6
Rules: 9
Playability:
7
Replay Value:
 7

Overall Rating: 8

PRO Very thematic, interesting and astonishingly deep combat system, innovative initiative system
CONTRA Map too small, ugly miniatures, crowded 3D plastic terrain, there could be more variety in combat cards, very expensive

Introduction: What is the “Horus Heresy”?

Warmaster Horus, Primarch of the Lunar Wolves (Sons of Horus, Black Legion)

Warhammer 40k takes place in a dystopic science-fantasy universe in the early 41st century. In this universe, “There Is Only War” (the 40k catchphrase). The Imperium of Man, ruled by an autocratic God-Emperor, is at constant war with various alien (“xenos”) races and the forces of Chaos which consist of corrupted former Imperial troops and Chaos demons, ruled by the four Gods of Chaos Khorne, Nurgle, Slaneesh, and Tzeench.

The “Horus Heresy” was the key event and is the back story of the Warhammer 40k universe. It took place 10,000 years before the events portrayed in the Warhammer 40k system. In this time, mankind was still united and on the Great Crusade with the ultimate goal of conquering and “illuminating” the entire galaxy. With a vast Imperial Army and 20 Legions of genetically enhanced trans-human warrior-monks called Adeptus Astartes (better known as Space Marines), the Empire of Mankind sought to subjugate and unite all inhabited words, purging them of their own “heathen” beliefs, and converting them to the Imperial Truth. Worlds which failed or refused to comply were eradicated, including their often human inhabitants.

The Emperor of Mankind created 20 immortal superhuman beings as his “sons”, called the “Primarchs“. Each Primarch commanded a Space Marines Legion which was enhanced with their genetic material, so each legion had the characteristics, qualities, philosophy, and nature of their respective Primarch.In the 31st century, in the midst of the Great Crusade, the Emperor suddenly declared that he intended to return to Terra. He left the Crusade in the hands of the Primarchs and promoted Primarch Horus of the Lunar Wolves Legion to the new position of “Warmaster”, thus raising him above the other Primarchs. This led to envy from some of his brothers, who thought that they deserved the position of Warmaster. Others supported Horus and took his side.

The Emperor of Mankind, accompanied by his bodyguard, the Adeptus Custodes

Sensing this momentary weakness, the Gods of Chaos, who dwelled in an alternate dimension called “the Warp” (which is also used by the Imperium as a means of fast inter-stellar travel) intervened and managed to corrupt Horus by convincing him that the Emperor had abandoned them… and that he had to be removed. They also managed to corrupt some of his brothers and their Legions. In the end, Horus lured all Primarchs and Legions that didn’t follow his new path, into a trap . He even purged all soldiers and officers, who showed reluctance to renounce the Emperor, from his own traitorous Legions . In an unprecedented attack with mass-destruct weapons – banned virus-bombs -, he killed all loyalists within his own Legions and lured the other Imperial Legions into an ambush. Simultaneously, some of his traitor Legions went after loyal Legions’ homeworlds, to eradicate them and their bases. Space Marines never before fought other Space Marines, so the loyalist Legions were completely taken by surprise and suffered fatal losses.Over the time, the Chaos Gods completely corrupted Horus and the other Primarchs and their Legions who fell under their spell. Primarchs and Astartes began to change physically and mentally, slowly transforming into the infamous Chaos Space Marine Legions.

Eventually, Horus and his allies moved their vast fleets towards Terra and the Imperial Palace, where Horus wanted to confront and challenge the Emperor himself. This Battle for Holy Terra, which was the hallmark of the Horus Heresy, and the siege of the Imperial Palace are portrayed in the strategic board game “Horus Heresy” by Fantasy Flight Games.

The Game

Unboxing: The contents of “Horus Heresy”

I love the rich lore of the detailed Warhammer 40k universe and the Horus Heresy book series belongs to my favorite Science Fiction novels. The  dystopic universe is very complex and deep, and the story is dark, cruel, and full of surprising twists and turns.

My favorite faction is the Chaos Space Marines, I’m currently building and painting a WH40k army of Emperor’s Children, led by Primarch Fulgrim and corrupted by Chaos God(dess) Slaanesh. This Chaos Space Marine Legion played a key role during the Horus Heresy. Naturally, I was very happy when I got Horus Heresy board game on Christmas – especially since the Emperor’s Children are a playable faction in this game.In addition, the game was published by Fantasy Flight Games, a company which is famous for their high overall production quality and great artworks. We own lots of FFG games, and all of them are graphically very appealing and always very thematic and true to their topics, be it the Lovecraft universe, or Middle Earth, or Game of Thrones.

Horus Heresy was one of the last “big box” games published by FFG, so the gamebox is really massive and heavy with a high heft factor (and an accordingly high price)… and looks very promising with dramatic box artwork.

But does the game deliver what it promises? And can it be played by players who have no clue about the Warhammer 40k universe? Read this review and find out!

Don’t miss this cool official introductory video by Fantasy Flight Games:

Graphic Presentation and Component Quality

Initial preparations

The gamebox contains a strong cardboard map with holes where you have to slot in the 3D plastic terrain pieces. Also, the plastic miniatures have to be put on their respective bases (black for Chaos, grey for Imperial troops). Space Marine legions from both sides are also marked with a Legion icon.Fortunately, you have to put the miniatures and Legion markers on their bases only once; during the game, only few Imperial playing pieces (army and tanks) can switch sides; Space Marines and other units will never switch sides and thus will always remain on their bases. So after playing, you simply put them back into the box without separating the bases again.

The Game Board

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Posted in Horus Heresy, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Star Wars – The Card Game!

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on August 3, 2011

FFG continues to create and publish games on big licences…after Lord of the Rings – The Card Game they now announce a LCG on Star Wars! Great news for all you solitaire and coop gamers again – you will be part of the Rebel Forces and fight against the evil imperium, it’s for 1-4 players. Hard to tell anything about gameplay and whether it is similar to the LOTR LCG gameplay since we don’t know much about the game beyond the fact that it is in the making. Head over to the FFG site for the game and read yourself what we know so far.

Posted in Futuristic Games A-Z, Living Card Games | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gears of War – The Boardgame!

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on May 18, 2011

As fans of the Gears of War videogames, I remember that a good while back we were really excited to see a small section over at FFG that said there was a GoW game in the making. We read that little news years ago and although it was still there in the deep dungeons of the FFG forum, nothing happened for years…

…but now we are even more excited than ever before. The game lives! It will be published by FFG and from what we can read in the official announcement, it could become truly epic and glorious. It will be designed as a COOP game, something we greatly appreciate and which perfectly fits the nature of the videogames and it seems the Locust (the enemy species in the GoW universe) are controlled by a good paper AI.

So Gears all over the world, prepare yourself to be ready when the great battle is fought not only on the screen with the final episode coming this year, but also on your… gaming table!

Check out the recent information about the game here!

And if you want more detailed info on everything Gears then check out Gearspedia!

Update:

The rules can be found here and there’s a FFG video now available about the game…

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Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game… Expansions!

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on March 29, 2011

Fantasy Flight Games recently announced that certain games will henceforth be supported with their new Print on Demand service. Games that normally would not have been supported with new expansions will get new game stuff called micro-expansions. The first two micro-expansions available are two card expansions for the game Space Hulk: Death Angel and here’s what the players who own this game can expect according to the FFG website:

Death Angel: Mission Pack 1 Expansion

Your mission is not over, and failure is not an option.

While you may have survived the harrowing challenges of Death Angel, the mission is far from over. The Mission Pack 1Print on Demand expansion brings twelve new Location cards to provide alternate missions for players. These cards are seamlessly incorporated into your Death Angel game – simply choose whether you want to use the standard Location cards or the ones found in this Mission Pack and build your mission as normal.

But beware! New terrors have emerged in the form of Adrenal Genestealers: deathly agile and relentless. These dangerous new foes will pop out from every dark corner, unleashing attack after attack.

Also included in Mission Pack 1 is an all-new Terrain card, that will threaten to thrust unfortunate space marines out into the cold embrace of space.

 

 

Death Angel: Space Marine Pack 1 Expansion

Rally your battle brothers with the Death Angel Space Marine Pack 1 expansion!

Space Marine Packs introduce brand new combat teams to your game, ready to blast their way into the carnage that is Death Angel.

The Space Marine Pack 1 Print on Demand expansion comes complete with two new Combat Teams and their respective Action cards. The deadly Chaplain Raziel brings his ironclad faith to the fight while Brother Adron readies his Cyclone Missile Launcher for absolute devastation. These new Combat Teams can be seamlessly incorporated into your Death Angel games to provide more versatility and more options.

Also included in the Space Marine Pack 1 are 8 Combat Team cards, which replace the original 6 Combat Team markers from the Death Angel game, making it easier to randomise and select your teams.

 

That’s an interesting idea and hopefully now good games that perhaps didn’t fulfill FFG high expectations regarding sales will now get cool new stuff for those players who own them and enjoy them. We would like to see Print on Demand expansions for example for games like Marvel Heroes – The Boardgame or Middle-earth Quest.

The Space Hulk expansions can be ordered here

 

Posted in Fantasy Games A-Z, News and Releases, Space Hulk:Death Angel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Homefront – home is where the fun is?

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on March 27, 2011

Game: Homefront

Platform: XBox 360
Publisher: THQ, 2011
Developer: Kaos Studios
ESRB: M
Genre: FPS
Setting: speculative fiction
Players: 1/32 (offline / online)


Introduction

When I consider all the games that will be published this year and especially the shooter games, then actually 2011 is a great time for fans of the Xbox 360 and for all those who still look for their holy grail of shooters. I know, because that’s my personal quest this year (to use a bit of RPG language). So many big names and so many not-so-big-names are competing for the shooter crown this year that I think the chance to find this sort of a holy grail in the genre can’t get any better. I mean, there has to be one or more real hit when you read the 2011 titles like Gears of War 3, Bulletstorm, Brink, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Section 8: Prejudice, Earth Defense Force: Armageddon, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty Black Ops, Crysis 2, Halo: Reach, Medal of Honor, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine and many many more.I don’t know why 2011 is such a shooter-heavy year, but it is – and I like it.

The US under Korean occupation

So, as an Xbox 360 guy, I am prepared to play some great games this year and as a wargamer, shooters are part of my hobby and I was – and still am – really looking forward to playing some hopefully good or even outstanding shooter games.

I played CoD: Black Ops, which was extremely disappointing as a single player experience (I loved the SP campaigns of MW 1 and MW 2, but Treyarch simply can’t create convincing campaigns, the campaign in World at War wasn’t that much fun, either. This time, though, they just packed in as many enemies as possible, in as tight corridors as possible, turned off the AI completely and said ‘go, shoot everything that moves or that just stands dumb around and have… ehh… ‘fun’), but which is probably the best CoD multiplayer so far. It’s interesting that a game can be as shitty and as great all at the same time, but unfortunately if you are not an online gaming competition guy, you don’t get much for your money. Anyway, this is not about BLOPS, but the SP/MP dichotomy reminds me a bit of Homefront.

I also played Bulletstorm, which is a great game, in the SP campaign and the MP coop mode, it’s completely over the top in what it does, and it does it all damn well. It’s extremely fun to play, it’s that simple. But BS is not a game I play as a wargamer and so I was still waiting for a game that would give me a certain military setting and a bit more sim-like combat than the usual military arcade shooter fun. And so things got interesting when I first heard about Homefront.

Homefront is a game done by the folks who did Frontlines: Fuel of War, which I did not play (except for the demo). I don’t remember why that game wasn’t on my to-play-list, but when it returned to my radar, noone was playing it anymore, so it was pointless to start playing it online. That’s a general problem with online shooters (except for the really big names in the field) – if you come too late to the party, everybody else has already moved on to the next battlefield and the online area is a wasteland.

The Homefront launch was supported by a big public relations campaign or one might say propaganda machine. Ads everywhere, Microsoft made a special deal with THQ that DLC will come out for the 360 first, the developers hyped their own game over the top at any given opprtunity, they got more than one nomination and you got the impression it’s the best thing you could play on any system, new features, new setting, ‘we will make everything better than everybody else’, ‘we can compete with the Big Ones’, ‘yes, we CAN beat CoD‘, a game that will get you really into emotion and so on. They sounded really convincing and from what I could watch (all the trailers and interviews and movies and stuff) and read, everything looked actually damn fine. They had experience with online shooters as well and said they will bring 32 player together which is a rare thing on consoles (Frontlines even had 50 something on the Xbox 360) and that convinced me to preorder it. I also read the novel (which is quite enjoyable) and watched the movie Red Dawn (which is downright trash and not enjoyable), so I was prepared with a background story and ready for a great game and excited when the game eventually arrived from the UK.

This is just to tell you that I wanted to like this game, I really wanted to like it and I was open for what the developers would show me as a new emotional, immersive shooter experience. They said they wanted to establish their own universe, their own big shooter franchise with Homefront and there were even early talks about sequels and all, so after reading the novel I was prepared to be part of the Resistance and get it going… and so I put the game into my console and started the campaign. Here’s what I found in this great new shooter, fasten your seatbelt, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is going to be a helluva rough ride and a crash landing, enjoy your drinks while you can.

Story or what’s all the hype about?

Well, you may call it story or plot or whatever you like, but so far it’s a matter of fact that shooters seldom introduce you to stellar storytelling. Usually you get some short hints why you are the one killing everybody in sight over the next hours and that you have to do it, either because you are a cool guy, or you belong to a band of cool guys, or at least some cool guy has to be rescued by you, stuff like that. You listen to it, you read it, while thinking ‘jeez, stop it already and let’s go on with it, I have been playing these games for years now, it’s just shoot and don’t get shot, so let’s do this.’

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Posted in PC / console games, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

War of the Ring (FFG/Nexus) – revision!

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on March 24, 2011

Roberto di Meglio, one of the designers of the boardgame ‘War of the Ring’ has announced that a rules revision and an upgrade kit for the cards is currently in the works. He made clear that for all those who already own the the game there’s no need to buy a new version but a download of a pdf with the changes will be sufficient to be up to date with the current thoughts on the design. Because there will be some changes to the wordings of specific cards and the idea is to have cards that are easier to read (i.e. larger letters) there will be an upgrade kit available for those who own the game already, which will include cards, card sleeves, and a tin box to keep all of it.

The designers also consider a change of the victory condition for the Shadow player, asking players whether 10 victory points for the Shadow is ok or that the Shadow should conquer more territories to qualify for a win.

If you want to chime in on this discussion you can either answer Roberto’s question on Facebook here or as a member of BGG you can leave a post here in the relevant post.

So, besides the news post here, we would like to say that there’s no need at all in our opinion to change anything in the victory conditions of both sides in the game. One can argue whether the expansion ‘Battle of the Third Age’ used all the opportunities that were clearly present (e.g. siege towers just a dice roll modifier…something more interesting and innovative would have been possible here) or even if the expansion is necessary to get the most out of the game, but there’s – in our humble opinion – no reason to bugger about with a game that is just fine as it is. It works, it fits the overall story of Tolkien, it has the right atmosphere, it’s fun and gameplay is full of tension and it’s dropping with theme, in short there’s nothing wrong with it and one of the best LOTR wargames out there.

So, if you have some time on your hands dear designers, think about another, better or let’s say ‘richer’ expansion than BotTA was  – or even better …consider a revision of Marvel Heroes – The Boardgame because there is where things don’t work completely right and where expansions would be great. Do we hear the word ‘licence issues’? Yes, Francesco said that already in our little discussion about the game, but hey…we just wanted to use the opportunity to say ‘we still think about the MH game’ 😉

Posted in Fantasy Games A-Z, Lord of the Rings, News and Releases, War of the Ring | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

LOTR Living Card Game (FFG) – Rules & Video Tutorial

Posted by Andreas Ludwig on March 22, 2011

Well then, you heroes of Middle-earth, prepare yourself with all you need for the forthcoming journey of your life. Courageous folks gather, allies come to help, weapons are handed out while the Eye of Sauron is watching and a great evil is lurking in the shadows…

…and that you as a player might be well prepared for what to come, FFG has the rules online now for the highly anticipated Lord of the Rings – The Living Card Game.

In addition to the rules, the first part of the – again extremely well done  – video tutorial is also online now and new sections will be added over the next days to explain the game so that at the end of the week we should have the complete tutorial available.

The release of this solitaire/coop game is drawing nearer and although no concrete release date has been given by FFG so far, rumors say the game will be out in April.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

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