Tag: Star Wars

Top 10 – Games That Are Best With 2 Players

Top 10 – Games That Are Best With 2 Players

Probably should have done this list sooner with people needing to shelter in place during Covid-19 pandemic, but better late than never. I’m talking about games that work well with 2 players versus 2 player only games because I’m not sure that I’ve sat down…

Top 10 – Games with an IP

Top 10 – Games with an IP

We’ve all seen Simpsons Monopoly and Monopoly for a specific football team or baseball team, national parks, or city. Those are all IP’s put onto Monopoly, intellectual properties. Those aren’t going to make this list, I’m looking at my top 10 favorite games that are…

Top 10 Sci-Fi Themed Games

Top 10 Sci-Fi Themed Games

Continuing with another Top 10 list, this time I’m looking at games that I love which have a Sci-Fi theme on them. I think that there are some Sci-Fi games that are going to be very high on my list of Top 100 games, but as compared to fantasy, I think we’ll be going down lower into the listings to find all of the games.

Kind of like before with fantasy, we’re not going to count space games, so something about going to the moon and the space race, not Sci-Fi. We’re also not going to just limit it to games set in space, there’s way more to Sci-Fi than that. And finally, it’s not going to be Sci-Fi adjacent games, Smash Up has aliens and robots, two common Sci-Fi things, but Smash Up is not a Sci-Fi games.

10 – Risk Legacy
Now, Risk is not a Sci-Fi game, but Risk Legacy is. You’re on a planet that has been terraformed to look like Earth for some reason, and of course you are all fighting over it. You have mechs and missions and it’s basically an area control game, but so much better than basic Risk. Combat is still the same, roll dice, try and take over other territories, however, you have ways to get victory points and when someone has three, the game ends and they are the winner. So a game of Risk Legacy is way shorter, plus, you unlock cool things as the game goes along and some crazy things that really change up the game. It’s a definitely blast to play and you have a usable, though odd, board afterwards, so it isn’t just for the fifteen or so games in the Legacy campaign that you can play.

9 – Star Wars: Imperial Assault
While there are other Sci-Fi dungeon crawlers out there, this is my favorite of them. It has a theme that I love, Star Wars, and it can be played either one versus many with the one player being the DM who is running the empire, or you can play through a campaign using an app where everyone is able to play a rebel and team up together that way. So the game offers flexibility and it offers a lot of fun dice chucking. Now, you don’t get to play all the famous characters, Luke or Darth Vader might show up in the story, but you don’t get to play as them. Instead you’re playing around the main Star Wars story with the campaign in the app. That’s fun as well as you get to kind of flesh out the world in game form. This isn’t my highest Star Wars game on the list, though.

Image Source: Portal Games

8 – Cry Havoc
This is a very thinky and interesting Sci-Fi game that borrows from Avatar. In this game there are up to four different factions who are fighting for control of crystals on a planet. The Trogs, Humans, and Mechs are all going to be out there and fighting fairly often, whereas the Pilgrims are going to just collecting as many crystals as they can. This game has some interesting card play where you can use the symbols on the cards for your actions, such as moving, recruiting, and building. But at the same time, you need those for when you get into combat, and the combat is unique as well. It has a track of majority, capture, kill. And whomever wins the majority gets the territory, and to do that, you’re just putting your troops from the area onto the various sections. Then you can use cards to move them around an manipulate them. After that, it’s pretty simple, whomever has majority gets the area, then you can capture someone if you played anyone there, limiting your opponents troop totals, and then you can kill off troops so they don’t go back on the board. It’s a very different sort of area control game, but one that works out well.

7 – Gravwell
The closest thing to just being a space game on the list. This one is also the simplest game on the list. You and the other players have had your space ships sucked into a wormhole which is pulling you into a black hole. All you want to do it get back out through the wormhole before it closes. But you’re out of fuel, thankfully you have pure elements on your ship and you can toss those in to try and fly. What is fun is that some elements move you towards the nearest ship (forwards or backwards), or push you away from the nearest ship, or draw ships nearer to you. So while you are trying to escape, you are also worried about what other people are going to be be playing, does my element come after their element alphabetically, if so will they move ahead of me so I can then move ahead of them, or will it pull me backwards, the game is simple, fast, and fun.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

6 – Not Alone
So, Star Wars: Imperial Assault was a one versus all game that can be completely cooperative, this game is just a one versus all. In traditional Sci-Fi horror fashion, you’ve crash landed on a planet and you are waiting for a search and rescue party to come get you, and things are alright on the ship, but you need to go out and get supplies, and when you do, you find that you’re not alone on the planet and what’s there wants to take you out. So most of the people are playing the crew of the ship and one person is the monster/planet. The players are planning out where they are going, and they can discuss as much as they want, split up however they want, or discuss as little as they want, but the monster player has to be able to hear it all. It makes it a fun little cat and mouse game as they try and do things to get the ship there faster. And the monster has powers that they can play to mess with things, and then they go to a location, based off of the cards played and what they’ve heard and if they catch crew there or kill crew, they get closer to their winning goal of taking out all of the crew. It’s a fun game and for a small box game it plays pretty fast and simple.

5 – Star Wars: Rebellion
Second and last Star Wars game on the list, Rebellion is what they call on the Dice Tower, and I agree with, Star Wars in a box. You get to play the cat and mouse game of the original trilogy of the empire searching for the rebels hidden base and the rebels trying to sabotage the empire to the point where they can take it down. You get all the classic characters for your leaders, you get to have ground and space battles, overall, the game is just a lot of fun. Now, it’s a two player only game (technically 4 but that’s just splitting up what two players do), and it’s a long one, probably about three hours, unless the empire gets lucky. There’s still dice chucking in combat, so it can be a bit lucky, but overall, it’s a really fun game and a good amount of strategy in the game.

Image Source: Nerdologists

4 – Lords of Hellas
Probably the oddest one on the list, because technically it’s built around ancient Greece and it’s mythology. But there are robots and you are playing in this future cyber punk sort of setting. This is one where the Sci-Fi theme comes through less than some others, but I really like the game. Five players it’s a bit long but that was also a learning game. What makes this game really good in my opinion is that you have so many ways you can win. You can take over two complete regions, you can hold five regions with temples, defeat 3 monsters, or hold a completed statue at the end of three rounds. The game does so many clever things and you feel like you’re going to do one strategy, and then depending on how it goes, you might change that up mid game and basically everyone in our game did that and all of us were at points in time a turn or two away from winning. A really fun game, complex to learn but pretty simple to play.

3 – Clank! In! Space!
This is the tongue in cheek Sci-Fi game, which had to show up on the list at some point in in time. There’s so much Sci-Fi out there, that it’s hard not to make a goof on it at some points. That said, Clank! In! Space! is a great game as you are racing against your opponents into Lord Eradikus’s ship in hopes to steal the best treasure and get out. But sometimes you’re going to make noise, and if you do, you might cause Eradikus to start moving and drawing out cubes (known as clank) and get closer to finding you and taking you out. So how much do you push your luck? Plus, the cards you use are funny and the push your luck and deck building combination of the game works really well. Definitely a fun one, and if you want a fantasy theme instead, just go with Clank or Clank Legacy, which I talked about yesterday.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

2 – T.I.M.E. Stories
I said this almost made my fantasy list, the issue was that only one scenario was that fantasy focused. The whole game has a heavy Sci-Fi theme to it. You are part of a time cop team, basically, policing the timeline to stop evil organizations from messing things up for their own gain. Each scenario is different, you might be in ancient Egypt, jump to a timeline where there is magic and dragons, go to a Victorian Asylum, or any other location you can imagine. You go on runs hoping to be able to solve the case and puzzles quickly, but you’ll probably have to go again and again and then hopefully you’ll get it. It’s a lot of fun, you have a good variety to the things that you can do each time, and while sometimes you might need to fight more, that’s probably going to be focus of that case not of all of them. I really enjoy it for the escape room puzzle type feel for it, and the story that they have throughout that tie things together, but also the story of each pack.

Image Source: CMON

1 – XenoShyft: Onslaught
Finally, my favorite Sci-Fi game, and it’s all about fighting bugs. Starship Troopers is a fun and funny movie. While XenoShyft takes itself more seriously, you’re fighting bugs on an alien planet, so I don’t feel like it’s very that serious. This is a cooperative tower defense deck building game. Yeah, there’s a bunch going on in it, and I haven’t even gotten to the cool part. You face off against wave after wave of bugs hoping to keep them from hitting your base by deploying troops, giving them weapons and armor, healing them, whatever you need to do to defend your part of the base. And everyone has their own part. However, if you have a grenade, you can throw it to someone else’s part of the base and use it there, if someone else doesn’t have enough weapons or even troops, you can send some their way, you won’t get them back, but you can send them. You can even drop in paratroopers for someone else. So there’s such a good puzzle aspect and cooperative aspect to the game, it makes it work really well and is a ton of fun.

So in my top 100, that got me about down to #61. That seems like it might be a ways down, but I’ve played around 300 games, so 60 is top 20% of games I’ve played. Now, I’m sure there are a whole lot more Sci-Fi games that I should checkout, but what are some of your favorites from my list? Are there any you want to check out now? What should I checkout?

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We Love Trilogies

We Love Trilogies

But the question is, should we love trilogies. It’s really easy to think of a lot of them that at least started out as trilogies. Lord of the Rings is an obvious example, Star Wars x3, Hunger Games, Pirates of the Caribbean, Back to the…

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…

Skywalker Saga – The Best to the Worst

Skywalker Saga – The Best to the Worst

Star Wars, it’s a controversial topic, especially when it comes to some of the new movies. Some people have hated all of them, some people have loved all of them, and some people, it’s a mixed bag, but everyone, almost, is willing to give you their opinion on them. So I’m going to jump into that fray with something dangerous, rating, from worst to best (this is my opinion), the movies of the Skywalker Saga.

9 – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
This part of the list is hard, I know that for some people, this is the best of the prequel trilogy, but for me, it just feels like such a waste. We get a story that is told where characters who have to die off die off, where characters who have to become bad, they become bad. It doesn’t tell me anything interesting, it’s just what I expect it to be, and then there’s the whole Padme dying off because she just can’t possibly go on knowing that Anakin is becoming evil, this movie is just a waste of time and space in my opinion. It doesn’t have amazing action, it doesn’t have compelling duels, it just kind of falls flat at the end of telling a story that wasn’t needed.

8 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
This is hard to put this low, because there are some parts that I really do think are interesting. About 65-75% of the stuff that we get with Luke, Rey and Kylo is pretty interesting and works well. I think that the moment where Luke projects himself and taunts Kylo into fighting him is just brilliantly done, and the development of the relationship between Rey and Kylo works well. However, then there is the rest of the story focused around Finn, Poe, and Rose, and that’s just hot garbage. It takes characters who were developing in an interesting direction, makes them stupid, changes up the characters completely, and then sends them on a stupid mission that makes no sense. Such a waste of time and space and such a waste of Snoke as well.

7 – Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
This is probably considered by most people to be the worst, but I think it tells more of an interesting story, when we’re not getting Hayden Christenson trying to act romantically. We get Clones, we get Geonsians and the starting constructions of the Death Star. Count Dooku is out there. It just tells a more of an interesting story in a space where there is still room to tell a story. We’re not in the endgame of Anakin becoming Darth Vader and while we still have to have some characters end surviving of dying, it doesn’t feel like it’s as forced. Now, the romance in this is just awful and creepy and should be stricken from the records, but we get to see a group of Jedi in action and see what they can do that we really don’t get to see in any other film. These bottom three were hard to put in order, as I consider all of them pretty bad, this just best the best or at least the least disappointing.

Image Source: Disney

6 – Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
What, this movie is garbage, how could I like it? No, you’re wrong, this movie is great, it had everything Star Wars in it, it must be the best. That’s what I feel like I hear about this movie, but I wrote a longer review of it, so I’ll only recap it here. I feel like it brings back, Finn and Poe to characters that we got in The Force Awakens, which I prefer to what they were in The Last Jedi. Plus, we got more awesome force stuff with Rey and Kylo and a good conclusion to that story with a redemption arc that feels more fully developed. Plus, it wrapped up the whole saga nicely, and I think, that’s what the movie set out to do, finish up the stories of Luke, Leia, and Han, as well as the new characters, but to bring this part of the world of Star Wars to a close. I think that it succeeds at that, and for that reason, I like it quite well, yes, it is rushed, especially early, but it tells a story that works and brings things to a fitting end.

5 – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
What, you might say, this movie this high, but Anakin is a whiny little boy and Jar Jar Binks. Yes, Jar Jar is in there for no good reason except to be dumb comedy. But I do enjoy this movie. I think that it blends the balance of the senate with a plot that makes some sense and has enough action that the movie doesn’t bog down. It also isn’t a movie about Anakin becoming Darth Vader, like the previous two, so it tells a more interesting story because of that, when it’s just progressing us to where we know it’s going to go, it’s a bit more dull. Plus, it tells a complete story. If they hadn’t made Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, this movie still stands alone telling a complete story.

4 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
JJ Abrams might not be everyone’s favorite Star Wars director, but I really enjoyed this film. I thought that the characters were created in such a way that they had good depth, and interesting plot lines that could be run with. In particular I liked Finn, this person with no real identity because he was supposed to be a mindless soldier like a Clone Trooper before, but then finding out that he was more and thinking more about that. Also, Kylo was an enjoyable villain, I liked that they didn’t just make another Darth Vader, but made someone who wanted to be Darth Vader but didn’t understand what that truly meant and couldn’t ever live up to what he thought it was for himself.

Image Source: Disney

3 – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Ewoks are the best, aren’t they? I think this movie has one of the better space battles and one of the better lightsaber battles, and the whole bit with Luke and the Emperor trying to tempt look to turn to the dark side is just well done. But then there are Ewoks and the battle on the moon of Endor. It just drops the level down to more of a kids level than either of the other two original trilogy films. With that said, I do think it does a solid job of taking the original trilogy to a satisfying conclusion and more satisfying than any of the other trilogies in the Skywalker Saga.

2 – Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
More original trilogy love, but Empire Strikes Back just works as a film. We get Yoda in the film, and there’s just a nice level of action, betrayal, double crossing and more that goes on. I know for a lot of people, this is their favorite, but for me, there’s one that beats it out. Empire Strikes Back doesn’t have an ending, which drops it a little bit, yes, that’s because there’s a film after it, and yes, it has a bit of an ending to it, but I want an ending to my films, which is why this is a bit lower. I think that this is also one of the most serious ones in terms of the story that it tells, but that is a good thing, because it tells it well.

1 – Star Wars: A New Hope
Yes, this is my favorite, I think that there’s just something about the almost stand alone nature and the way that we’re introduced to characters that works really well. We get a good arc for Han as a character where he kind of becomes a better guy, but overall isn’t a great guy. It just works for me, I also like that it’s a bit more of a lighter space story in how everything is done, and that’s probably because it’s more stand alone in the nature of the story. So, for me, there’s just something about the original that makes it the best, maybe because it is the first, and you don’t know what you’re getting into if you watch it first. It just kicks off such a big world that is interesting to explore.

What is your order? I’m not going to ask why I’m wrong, it’s like my opinion, man. But what is your order and what draws you to some of the movies more than others?

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TelevisionTalks: The Mandalorian

TelevisionTalks: The Mandalorian

The shows been out for a little while now with the final episode coming out at the end of 2019. I considered doing episode by episode reviews, but because the first season was so short, I felt like it would be easier to wait. And…

Revisit Rewatch Review: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker – Spoiler Review

Revisit Rewatch Review: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker – Spoiler Review

I’m going to spend a little bit of time here creating a buffer so that people who don’t want spoilers don’t need spoilers for the Rise of Skywalker. So, without any spoilers, the Rise of Skywalker is the 9th Star Wars film. George Lucas had…

Christmas Ideas – The Grab Bag

Christmas Ideas – The Grab Bag

Last list post, I considered doing a couple more for things like Sci-Fi and Anime, but there are so many specific things, like with Fantasy in both of those, that I thought, let’s wrap it up with a nerdy grab bag of ideas. This list is going to cover things from Sci-Fi to Anime, but also beyond that.

The Nerd Who Likes to Drink – Get them an engraved beer glass or whiskey tumbler. You can find all sorts of interesting ones out there, and they aren’t extremely expensive. They are also better options than a shot glass, because most people have too many shot glasses from college. I have two stein style beer mugs that Kristen and I got at ConVergence with Lord of the Rings theme on them. But you can find them on Etsy with almost anything on them. If you want the rebel symbol from Star Wars, or the Vulcan salute, you can get that. This falls into that category of things that are a bit more unique. Or unique booze, that always works too.

Image Credit: Davis Beer Week

Board Gamer Bling – Now, this is slightly different than the next one RPG’er Bling, but basically, help a person bling out their board games. There are a lot of games that use cardboard coins, help them start replacing that money by getting them some metal coins for the game. There are a ton of shops that make awesome coins. Or, maybe they play a resource management game where there are different types of resources, you can probably find little molded or 3D printed pieces to replace those. Little things like that can elevate a gaming experience. Or, maybe a game has meeples in it, you can get custom meeples of the various colors, so that the game has a little bit more of a fun factor to it.

Image Source: Board Game Geeks

RPG’er Bling – If this was like board gamer bling, I’d just say look back at the RPG list. However, I am going to add in some apparel stuff this list or little fun things. You can get things like D20 (twenty sided dice) earrings that are different, and there is even one place where you can get some glow in the dark ones. There are also necklaces that have D20’s or various dice hanging from them that you could go with. And, tons of goofy RPG related t-shirts that you could consider as well. In the RPG listed, we did some table bling, this time, the suggestion is bling out the player or the DM.

Collector’s Sets – This is really for anything nerdy, and I talked about it in fantasy, while people might have a version of something that they like, they probably won’t, since they already own it, go with the nicer version. So you can do that for them. This can be for books or movies or whatever it might be. But a hard backed version of a book, or the cool collectors version of a movie that comes in a nicer case or with something extra, that is fun. For, for video games, you can sometimes get a larger release pack that comes in a cool case or comes with a figure. With a video game, I would try and get a game the person doesn’t have, as compared to books or movies which can replace the old version on the shelf. I’ve found that people tend to go back to video games as much or at least display them as much. Now, that might be who I hang out with, but that’s my recommendation.

Image Source: IMDb

Manga/Anime – This one is pretty simple, if they have the anime or love the anime, consider getting them the manga. If they love the manga, consider getting them the anime. You can also look at what anime or manga that they like and find things adjacent to that, but it can be tricky with some o books or shows, because they are pretty unique.

Experiences – There are plenty of experiences that you can give a person when it comes to nerdy things. A lot of escape rooms have a nerdy theme to them. If the person is traveling or lives near a theme park, you could give them the experience of Star Wars or Hogwarts. Or maybe there is a convention that they’ve wanted to go to locally or not, you could pay for a ticket into the convention. Know the persons means to get to go and do these things, but experiences, as I’ve gotten older, are often just as good a gift as something that will just sit around. Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t some things that people just really want to get, I know that there are some things that I want, but experiences can be something fun and different. Even if it’s just setting up a gaming time where they get to pick all the games and you’ll play games you normally wouldn’t with them, that would be a great gift that is cheap.

There are a ton of nerdy things that you can get for people or experiences that you can share with someone around the holidays. And, obviously, these aren’t tied into Christmas, they work great for birthdays, anniversaries, or maybe the person just needs a pick me up, and you can do that for them.

Hopefully these lists have helped jog some ideas for you for the nerds in your life.

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Christmas Ideas: RPG’s

Christmas Ideas: RPG’s

So, I had thought of splitting it into two parts, one for the players and for the DM/GM. But that felt a little bit silly, and I want to encourage more players to become DM/GM’s, so if you have a player in your life who…