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Top 10 Adventure Games

Top 10 Adventure Games

So I’m picking this one again because it’s one of my favorite themes and feelings in games. Also, the Dice Tower did a Top 10 list recently as well, so you can see how mine compares to theirs. But I am taking a slightly different…

TelevisionTalks: The Order

TelevisionTalks: The Order

While working form home I’ve had the chance to binge and watch a number of TV shows. One of them was Locke and Key that I wrote about already, but another one, in somewhat of a similar vein was The Order, another Netflix original show…

Back or Brick: Frosthaven

Back or Brick: Frosthaven

I’m not going to even start out pretending, this was an instant back for me, and considering it’s almost 24 hours in and at 5 million, it was a back for a lot of people. Now, it’s a fairly expensive back, so let me go through a few pros and cons.

Pros

  • Massive campaign
  • Pedigree of game, Gloomhaven which it’s based on is #1 on Board Game Geek
  • RPG Lite/Like game
  • Legacy Style game (but can be replayed)

Cons

  • Massive campaign game
  • Cost or game/all in
  • Shipping

Thoughts on the Campaign
So, let me start out by saying that this is a bit different campaign than some others that you’ll see. Yes, a big campaign style game is pretty normal for Kickstarter at this point in time, but Frosthaven is different in that it’s based off of a previous game, so it has some pedigree that a lot of them don’t, but beyond that with how Cephalofair Games runs their campaign is different. It’s not a plethora of minis, it’s not a ton of stretch goals, it’s not extremely vague on it’s shipping, it makes all of that clear. For some people that’s a detriment because you know a whole lot more what the cost is going to be going into it, so you know that you’re going to be putting down an extra $40-50 for shipping for everything and adding that to a $240 price tag is a lot, but it’s also more honest than most. With backing the 2nd printing of Gloomhaven, I can see why it would be a surprise, but shipping was also subsidized by previous sales of the game in that campaign where as this is a first printing of Frosthaven, besides that little thing, this is a very nicely and professionally done page.

Back or Brick
Back. For me it’s as simple as that, even if I wasn’t done with Gloomhaven having beat main quest of the base game and over half way done with Forgotten Circles the expansion, I’d still back this game. I like Gloomhaven that much, it’s #1 on Board Game Geek and my #1 game as well when I did my top 100 last year. I know that even if it’s delayed slightly, it’ll come out and it’s going to be a good project and a good game. I personally think that the insert is going to be worth it so the extra cost to get the extra things like metal coins, the Foreteller app, removeable sticker pack, to get the insert is going to be worth it. But if you’re just jumping in, you can grab Gloomhaven as well in the campaign as just an add-on or you could just just straight into Frosthaven, and you don’t need to get it all, you can just start out with the base game and call it good.

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Top 10 – Dice Games

Top 10 – Dice Games

Alright, the classic mechanic in board games, rolling some dice. Whether it’s Monopoly or Clue rolling dice to move, Risk where you roll dice to attack, or Yahtzee where you roll dice to fill in a sheet, dice have been a staple of board gaming…

10 Minute Marvel Episode 38: When Will We See Black Widow or The Eternals

10 Minute Marvel Episode 38: When Will We See Black Widow or The Eternals

News is still light with Covid-19 shutting down production sets, production companies, and movie releases, so I talk about some rumors that I’ve heard for Black Widow. Plus, the main topic, I talk about the characters from the following Marvel movie, The Eternals. It’s been…

TelevisionTalks: Locke & Key

TelevisionTalks: Locke & Key

I’m a little bit late to the party, but this show based off of a series of comics by Joe Hill. And I was very interested in it from having read the first trade paperback for it, but also because Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. So take one of my favorite authors, and find out that his son is doing a horror comic that’s being turned into a show, that sounds great to me.

Locke & Key follows a family who is moving back into the families home after tragedy has struck them. Rendell, their father, has passed away so Nina picks up and takes the kids from Seattle to Mattheson, Massachusetts. None of the kids, except the youngest, Bode, are excited to be there. But when Bode hears a voice in the well house talking back to him when he makes his voice echo, it’s clear that this isn’t a normal house. Soon Tyler and Kinsey are drawn into the crazy world that the house holds with many magical keys and Echo, the voice from the well who has gotten out. What does Echo want and why can’t their mother, Nina, remember anything about the keys?

Image Source: Netflix

Let me quickly give my thoughts on the show and then I’ll go into more depth. There might be some spoilers later on, but I’m going to try and keep them to a minimum. I really liked this show, even though it isn’t as dark and horrific as the first trade paperback, there’s definitely a very interesting and creepy story behind it. And that was enough for me, plus Joe Hill did the work on it to keep it in the spirit of the books, but not have to go fully dark. However, because of that it has much more of a YA feel to it, so if you’re a huge fan of the comics, know that before you jump in. There are a few things that stand out to me for the show.

The first thing is the acting. Most of the time, you have a cast that is mainly teen age (though teen in acting can be early 20’s) or kid actors, the acting will end up being suspect. However, in Locke & Key they do an amazing job. The actor who plays Bode, Jackson Robert Scott, does a great job. Bode is supposed to be a wide eyed 8-10 year old in the show, and you can really see that in the acting. He does a very good job of portraying an innocence and sincerity to his acting. And I won’t go into it a ton with the other actors, but the actors portraying Kinsey and Tyler, Emilia Jones and Connor Jessup respectively, do really good work as well. There are shifts in their acting as you get to see more of their character and as their characters change that are really well done. Even the adult acting is well done and it doesn’t just feel like so many YA stories where there’s a group of teens and no adults believe them and then the adults are wrong.

Image Source: Netflix

Another thing is that while this leans into horror tropes and supernatural elements that could seem cliche, it does a good job of keeping them different. When we were watching through it, it felt to Kristen and myself like several things we’ve seen or played before, Haven, Life is Strange, Oxenfree, and more, but it still felt unique. The element of the keys and how they work is really well done. And you can see where Joe Hill is borrowing form the work that his father has done before, but in a very respectful and well done way. I got numerous callbacks to IT in the show, and I appreciated that. It’s really that none of the tropes it used felt out of place or felt like they were forced in there because it’s horror or anything like that, it just flowed naturally.

Let’s talk a bit more about the story before I wrap up here. Like I said, the story is not going to be as heavily horror focused, which I’m fine with. While I love some good horror, there’s something whimsical about the keys that lends itself not just to horror but to this more fantastical element as well, and the show leans into that some more. As things unfold, there is definitely more horror and violence, but there’s also a sense of fantasy or magic to the story. Like I said previously as well, it doesn’t fall into the storytelling tropes of YA where the kids are smart and the adults are dumb and don’t believe the kids. It avoids some of that by a nifty plot device that they explain but also by just having the kids do their own thing. They use the grief of Rendell’s death and Nina’s reaction to it to drive some of why Kinsey and Tyler don’t bring as much to her as well, which I think is well done. And Bode is just too Bode to think about that.

So, I’ve said that I like the show, but would I recommend it to everyone? I’d lean towards no. It still has horror elements, so some people aren’t going to love that as much. Kristen actually stopped watching part ways through episode one because of some of the creepy stuff that was going on. But in the middle of the season, it hit more of that fantasy and whimsy, so I stopped and we rewatched it because I knew that she’d like it. So there’s definitely a piece where if people aren’t horror fans they’ll enjoy it as well, and like myself, Kristen and I are waiting for, hoping for, a second season to come out. Definitely an interesting show and if the trailer seems interesting, they do a good job and it’s worth checking out.

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Top 10 – Action Point/Allowance Games

Top 10 – Action Point/Allowance Games

Another mechanic that I really love, action points/allowance is basically how many things you can do on your turn. Now, I want to say that this differentiates from something like Monopoly or Clue where you can do multiple things on your turn, possibly. I doubt…

So You Want to Read Comics…

So You Want to Read Comics…

If you’ve been listening to the 10 Minute Marvel podcast found on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play Music, you’ll know that one of the things I cover, but not heavily, there is comics. I tend to talk about the MCU more often as well…

Frosthaven – Rolling Solo Preview

Frosthaven – Rolling Solo Preview

One of the YouTube Channels that I follow, Rolling Solo, is doing a Kickstarter preview for Frosthaven. He’s doing a bigger preview but starting with the component overview. I’m not going to share all of his videos, but definitely worth checking out.

I’m glad I had something to talk about because we have to wait an extra week for it to come out to Kickstarter

I’ll do highlights, but it’s very visual so it’s worth checking out.

  • The map looks amazing. The artwork is beautiful for it.
  • We have Radiant Forest, Frozen Pass, Imperial Mountains, Frosthaven, Coppernet Mountains, Whitefire Woode, Crystal Fields are areas
  • A-R and 1-12 Grid (216 squares)
  • He talks about 1 per square in terms of adventures, but Gloomhaven didn’t do that, so I don’t think it’ll have that many more scenarios
  • So many buildings in the outpost
  • 10 buildings already built, probably another 30 or so that aren’t built
  • The outpost artwork is amazing as well, feels like it’s somewhat a Norse and Celtic feel to it
  • Characters look great, smallest handsize is 7, which is the Geminite, but it’s two hands of 7, otherwise 10.
  • Lowest health is 14 for Deathwalker and Necromancer
  • Minis are definitely prototype level, but the sculpts are pretty well polished in terms of general sculpt
  • Monsters look the same in terms of the monster card
  • Ruined Machine stands out as an interesting character and different
  • Punch boards for lands, overlays, and monsters look similar to Gloomhaven
  • Looks like a ship location
  • Detail is definitely higher than the previous punch boards
  • Fairly limited in terms of tiles, but enough to get a good idea
  • Have character cards, monster cards, but most interestingly a few loot cards to look at
  • In the demo stuff that was sent out, a lot of the monsters are using elemental
  • Monster cards are fairly limited, I expect more diversity possibly later
  • Loot cards can give you single, two, three, or five coins
  • Loot cards will be in a created 20 card deck per scenario
  • Loot cards can be herbs and other building supplies
  • Art on the loot cards is solid, but not as good as the updated art on the tiles
  • Shows Level 1 and Level X cards for each character
  • Necromancer can get a lot of shambling skeletons out there
  • Focused on getting your summons to attack for the Necromancer
  • Geminate has a new symbol on it
  • Geminate uses a lot of elements
  • Geminate has a state, so ranged or close combat and the new symbol lets you know when you can switch
  • Banner Spear is a little more straight forward from the look
  • Blink Blade has interesting combo of faster speeds and slower speeds
  • Really interesting how the slow and fast works ,including details for it
  • Deathwalker has a Shadow keyword
  • Shadows seem like they can move
  • Deathwalker can teleport
  • Shadow seems like it might work somewhat similar to the voids from the Forgotten Circles expansion

There’s a bunch to pull out of here but not a ton that is massively new, but we will get to see a bit of a playthrough of how it works coming up. There are more previews as well from the likes of Quackalope Games, and I believe that Tantrum House is going to have a preview as well. If you’re on the fence, this will certainly be a spot to check it out.

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Dungeons and Dragons Online

Dungeons and Dragons Online

Kind of continuing the midst of physical distancing that we have going on all around the world, I want to keep talking about ways that we can still socially be close and possibly some ways to even grow the nerd community around you. I wrote…