Archive for January, 2009
This would be the first review I have written since my Review of Reviews. I chose Masquerade partly because I have owned it for a while and I have been meaning to write about it but also because it is fairly simple and I hope to demonstrate how I plan to review further games in the future with a game that will not be too overbearing.
Being an Insider member and a naturally curious person I decided to download the full version of the character builder that Wizards put up recently and I have to say, I like what I see.
Not Shadowmoor’s damage as -1/-1 counters ability, I’m pondering the state of Magic: the Gathering and its newest card sets.
What follows is a discussion of how I have been reviewing games and a description of how I plan to review games in the future. While I have reviewed role-playing games and role-playing game books in the past, this article is in reference only to board games and card games.
While I feel there can be a general way to review board games and card games, reviewing gaming books falls under a different umbrella and while I may some day analyze the way I have been reviewing these products this is not that analysis.
Why Review Games?
This weekend was an exceptional one as far as gaming goes. While I did not get the blogging done I would have liked (my game reviews are so backed up now it isn’t funny and before I write them I still want to write about the changes I want to make in the way I review in my Review of Reviews post that I haven’t finished).
I did get the chance to play some new games and several old games. Since the number of different games was fairly high I decided it would be fun to toss a post up here about the games I played from Friday night until Sunday night.
Say for a moment that you are starting a brand-new role playing campaign. I’ve known some GMs to begin players at mid-level so they don’t have to toil around as a first-level character. Yet I think doing so misses the sweetest part of many role-playing games: starting your characters inexperienced and watching them grow.
In my opinion one of the biggest assets this blog has is also its greatest negative. That is to say, Pair O’ Dice Games is probably one of the most eclectic game blogs out there.
It’s been some time since I wrote the Channeling Land Magic variant. In my group we’ve been playing that flavor of Magic exclusively for several months now. There are just a couple of sticking points, which I’ll cover here and offer suggestions on how to smooth them over.
The Faerie Queen
I had been noticing for a while that experience points in D&D 4th Edition were almost more trouble than they were worth and I thought I would do a post about it. Unfortunately, I was beaten to the punch last week by Chris Youngs who wrote about XP in his Editorial. Still, I wanted to say a couple words about it even if I am treading over a well-worn path.
A lot has been said about Skill Challenges in D&D 4th Edition, some good some bad. I like the concept but as I have said in the past I have had a hard time implementing them to my satisfaction. Honestly, for the most part they have been enjoyable as they have mixed role playing with dice rolling in such a way that, when done correctly, can appeal to two different kinds of gamers. Still, sometimes it is hard to get the descriptions right in such a way to appeal to those who are looking for story in what is often predominantly an adventure game.
Normally I am rather reluctant to call anything “the best”. This is true both with games and the rest of my life. The reasons are many but it often boils down to my feelings that things feel better at certain times or are better for certain reasons but will falter at other times. For example, when you’re in the mood for a comedy it is unlikely that a horror movie will fit the bill and is thus not “the best”. Perhaps that’s a rambling bit of nonsense but essentially what I am trying to say is, that I sort of feel like I am going out on the proverbial limb when I call Dominion the “Best New Game I Played in 2008” and yet I am still willing to say it. Which hopefully says a lot.
For any of you fans of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog I recommend checking out Commentary! The Musical. While the actual commentary (the non-musical version) on the DVD will certainly give you more insight into the production (I’m never certain to what to call it… “show”, “film” etc.) the musical version, again simply called Commentary! The Musical, is quite funny and gives you the feeling of knowing these people in some intimate way.
I have so many cool things I want to write about but this past weekend ended up being a bit crazier than I had planned. I hope to get back to writing more, including writing reviews for no less than six games that I have either played recently or have recently realized I never got around to reviewing. For today I just wanted to send you over to Wizards where you can check out the newest preview from the Players Handbook 2, the Warden.
I haven’t finished my review of Dominion yet but as you can probably tell, I like the game a lot (having already mentioned it a couple of times). At any rate while checking it out on BBG I saw that there is an online version of it at BrettspielWelt. I have since gone to the German site and played several games of Dominion. If you’re ever bored I highly recommend it, or any of their other games.