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How To Teach a Board Game

How To Teach a Board Game

A few years ago I wrote a post about how to teach board games, I want to revisit that today, and take a little bit of a different tact with it. I think that teaching a board game is one of the often overlooked things 

Point of Order: A Gift Order

Point of Order: A Gift Order

Normally you get to hear about all of the games in a given order, but this time you won’t. There will be one game in the order that won’t be talked about, because it’s going to be a gift. But I can, of course, talk 

Back or Brick: Epic Seven Arise

Back or Brick: Epic Seven Arise

Based off of an app game, Epic Seven Arise is a dungeon crawl, fantasy, adventure where you play as the heir of the covenant trying to stop the cycles of destruction.

Pros

  • Epic fantasy game
  • Theme
  • Artwork
  • Campaign
  • Solo

Cons

  • Artwork
  • Price
  • First time company

The Page

For a first time company, they really nail the look of the page, and for a game with minis, they don’t dwell too much on the minis. Now, over on their Facebook page they’ve been showing off the minis for weeks but that’s a solid spot to do it. I really like that the Kickstarter page is much more about the aesthetic of the game than the minis in the game.

Now, I will knock them a little bit, they don’t do a great job with the rules. I get some of an idea of what the game is about overall and kind of that it’s going to be a skirmish or dungeon crawl type game, but I don’t know the mechanics for that. Now they do have two How to Play videos which I’ll be checking out coming up here, plus more previews, but I’d love to instead see more on the page itself of how to play instead of the videos.

The Game

Now, I don’t have a ton to say on this, normally I like to focus on game play aspects in this section and I just said that I don’t know or get a ton of that from the page. I like the idea of a skirmish style game with a campaign to it, I like the aesthetic of the world and that is what got me to look at the game.

The one bit that I get from their game play highlight section that seems interesting to me is the dual attacks. If you’ve been reading my design diaries at all for the game idea that I’m working on, you’ll know that I want to kind of do some sort of dual or combo attacking, but in a different way, so this is an interesting mechanic in the game that I’m going to be curious to see how big a part of it, it is.

Back or Brick

So this one is interesting for me, right now I am in on the game, and I’m guessing I’ll stay in on it, so it’s a back. But I do want to checkout at least the five minute how to play video on the page to verify the mechanics. I was almost in on Bardsung until I watched some game play and saw that it wasn’t likely for me. This one, though, has a theme that is so much more interesting to me, but I could see dropping my pledge completely or to $1 if the game play looks only like a basic dice chucker. From what they do highlight, I’m hoping that’s not the case.

How about for you, is this game a back or a brick?

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Top 10: Roll and Write Games

Top 10: Roll and Write Games

I couldn’t have done this list a year ago but now I’ve played over 10 of them, and I have even more on my shelf that I need to play. Roll and Write games (or flip and write or flick and write) are a very 

10 Minute Marvel Episode 76: Marvel Legends

10 Minute Marvel Episode 76: Marvel Legends

Welcome back to another episode of 10 Minute Marvel, the Marvel podcast that gets you news and a topic fast. In today’s 10 Minute Marvel we look at a She-Hulk rumor and a “spoiler” for WandaVision. I put spoiler in quotes because it seems to 

TableTopTakes: Metro X

TableTopTakes: Metro X

We’ve been over this many a time. I like Roll and Write or Flip and Write games a lot. So when I saw a chance to pick-up Metro X, it seemed like a good idea. This is a flip and write game where you are building out metro lines, trying to complete as many as you can.

The Game

As you play this game, you are flipping over cards and filling them in on a bus line/subway line. For example, I flip a five and decide to fill in five spots on the blue line. I cross out that many spots and put the number five in the first open spot on the bus for green. This shows that I’ve filled in something on the green line once. I flip another card, it’s a four, I could fill that in on the purple line, but purple shares a station with green four spots out, and I already filled in that station, so I’d be wasting one if I filled in purple. So I put it in blue, and you do this until you have every spot on the buses filled in. There are some special cards as well, there’s a free space that allows you to fill in a spot, and there’s a transfer which scores you points for how many different lines come into that station. You get points for completed lines and for transfers, but you lose points if you have too many stations not filled in.

The Breakdown

The game does one thing that I really want my roll and write games to do, and that is that everyone plays at once. I flip a card and everyone picks and fills in on their own sheet a line. Theoretically that could mean that everyone would make it identical, but the odds of that are extremely low. But I generally want my light games like this one to have little to no downtime.

Image Source: Gamewright

Saying that, though, I do think you have some interesting decisions to make. Odds are you won’t fill in every station or get every route, so you need to play where and when you are placing on lines so that you aren’t cutting yourself short. I did not mention one type of card when I was talking about that, and that is the skip card. It allows you to start in the first available spot on the line, and then skip over a group of filled in ones to continue filling it. So you have decisions when you get that to see how much you can fill up, because the more you put in, the more lines cross, and the more likely you are to not be able to fill in the full number on the card flipped, hence wasting some.

Components

I also want to point out the components for the game. They are really nice. It comes with dry erase markers which are nice, which of course means it comes with laminated or dry erase boards, so you don’t have to do that yourself. Or, you won’t run out of sheets as well if you don’t laminate. It also has an insert to keep everything sitting nicely, which it does. Overall, just well designed components for the game. The box might be a little bit large, but because of the insert, nothing rattles around.

Final Thoughts

Metro X is a very solid game. While I do think that there can be some interesting decisions in the game, it isn’t too difficult to teach or play. I think that will make some people believe that it doesn’t have decisions or that many hard decisions, but there are definitely a number in the game that I would consider tough as you try and optimize the puzzle, and I like that aspect of it and that aspect generally in games, easy enough to learn but interesting decisions.

Overall, I think that this game won’t be quite enough for some players, but a lot of people will enjoy it for how simple it is but for making them think. I like it well enough for that, and I’m definitely glad that I picked it up. The game looks nice, plays nicely, and is easy enough to learn and teach, and I think you need some games like that in most collections.

Grade

Overall Grade: B+
Gamer Grade: C+
Casual Grade: A

Have you played this roll and write game? What do you think of it?

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Friday Night D&D: Tower of the Gods Session 12

Friday Night D&D: Tower of the Gods Session 12

We’re back again after a pretty long holiday break with some more of the Tower of the Gods campaign. Things are starting to become a little bit clearer for the players as to what is going on. Though they still seem to be fixated on 

Point of Order: First Order of 2021

Point of Order: First Order of 2021

Yeah, those are a bit stacked on top of each other from the end of 2020 to the start of but I had a little money left on a gift card for the order, so let’s see what I have coming now, it isn’t big 

What Type of Board Gamer Are You?

What Type of Board Gamer Are You?

Over the years, I have played a wide variety of board games and have a lot in my collection. I have pure Euro games and bit dice chucking Amerithrash games. This got me thinking about the different types of gamers that people are and which one I am. I am going to put down five different types of gamers, and see which you you might fit into.

The Euro Gamer

Image Source: Stonemaier Games

This gamer is all about the mechanics. If a game has really interesting mechanics, focuses on those mechanics, and allows them to strategize a lot, they’ll like this game.

I think another name for this gamer would also be the strategy gamer. This person likes to pick a strategy and be able to build towards it throughout the game without having to change and deviate from it much at all. It’s all about taking the set of inputs at the start of and throughout the game and implement a long term strategy that can get them the most points.

The Amerithrash Gamer

Also known as Ameritrash, Amerithrash just has a nicer ring to it and also sounds less derogatory to the gamer. This gamer likes their big games that have a lot of theme but a lot more randomness. For an Amerithrash gamer, theme is king and they are more willing to overlook mechanics if the game has a lot of theme.

So, another name for an Amerithrash gamer would probably be a theme gamer. This gamer is going to be fine with a whole lot more randomness, less laid out rules, and changing states of the game and events shaking up the game, as long as it is thematic.

Image Source: Board Game Geek

The Party Gamer

This one is pretty simple and probably not reading an article about different types of gamers. This is the person who might dip their toe into a game like Monopoly or even Ticket to Ride, but they really only play party style games. For them, the point of a game is to make them laugh. The funnier they find the cards or a theme of the game, the better that game is going to be for them. They look at board games as another form of entertainment like a movie or television show where it is the entertainments job to provide the fun, not incumbent at all upon the person watching, reading, or playing it.

The Omni-Gamer

This gamer likes all games whether they are Euro or Amerithrash, they are going to be willing to sit down and play most any game and probably find something fun with it. They’re even cool sitting down and playing a party game.

I think that a lot of gamers almost fall into this category of being an Omni-gamer. Most, however, will have one way that they prefer, whether it’s the more strategic Euro style sensibilities or the heavily involved theme of Amerithrash. But they’ll be willing to play most any game, at least once.

The Experience Gamer

Image Source: Across the Board Cafe

I think that all of them that I’ve written to up to this point are gamers that most board gamers would find to be pretty normal. Euro and Amerithrash are two very accepted styles of board games and games that gamers often have strong opinions on.

I think that there is a fifth type of gamer, and I think that I fall into this one. I will say that this might skew a little bit more towards the Amerithrash side, but not completely there. While I don’t mind dice chucking madness like you get in a lot of heavy Amerithrash games, I prefer games that give me an experience. A lot of Amerithrash games do that because they have heavy amounts of theme and theme as king gives a lot of interesting experiences.

But I think of gamers like Gloomhaven and Lords of Hellas, two games one that has a story running through it and another that doesn’t, but both aren’t just your standard dice chucking game with minis. Then again, both of the games do have some minis. Gloomhaven does have some randomness with a modifier deck, but you are able to tailor that as you play so it’s less random, or more random, or more randomly better. And the card play in Gloomhaven and how you build your deck is definitely strategic. With Lords of Hellas, sure you can go fight giant monsters, but it’s done through card play again, and you can pick various strategies from just building temples to fighting lots of monsters to beating up on other players to building statues. The main thing about those two thematic but not really Ameritrash games that drew me in was the experience I had playing it.

So I think there is a fifth gamer option, and that is the experience gamer. This is the gamer who doesn’t care about the mechanics, if they are great or bad, doesn’t care about the theme, if it’s dripping with theme or non-existent, they care about the experience of the game. This is also made trickier by the fact that experience can depend on the other players at the table as well, but most of the time I can separate that player experience from the game experience.

What type of Gamer Are You?

Let me say, while some board gamers might look down upon other types of gamers, all types of gamers are good board gamers and true board gamers. Just because ones taste doesn’t match with someone else’s or because party games are easier to learn and play than other games doesn’t make them worse or better. I really want to hammer this home because often gamers look down on other types of gamers, and I want to see the hobby grow.

So let me know in the comments below what type of gamer you are, or over on Twitter and Facebook.

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Dungeons and Dragons Essentials Part 2

Dungeons and Dragons Essentials Part 2

I want to continue talking about Dungeons and Dragons and what you need to bring to the table when you play a game. I talked about a lot of the physical things, who needs what books, everyone needing dice and paper and pencil. All of