Archive for the ‘GenCon’ Category

I honestly cannot believe it is already time for 2016 to end and 2017 to begin.  This was a year that saw my love of the hobby grow, expanding into games and genres I didn’t know I wanted to be in, goals and journeys that came to an end while others are just beginning.  It’s been a roller coaster of a year. That being said, let’s get to it!

It all begins with a goal…

One of the more interesting things I tried to accomplish this year also happened to be the goal that started my year off: 1,000 games in 365 days. I got the idea from a forum posting on boardgamegeek.com that was called “365 Day Challenge”.  The goal for that was to play 1 game a day for an entire year.  I, of course, had to make the simple goal complicated.  At the time of this writing (with a couple days left in the year), my progress looks as such:

That comes out to 310 games played this year with my Top 10 games played being:

Of those ten games, half were new games that I hadn’t played until this year.

Sadly, I missed the goal by 690 games.  Even if I factor in a handful of games that I didn’t record, be it because it I forgot or what have you, I still came no where near the goal.  I’ll definitely be partaking in the challenge again next year but I will definitely adjust my goals to something more realistic.

My Logic tells me to Stand Up the Vanguard…

One of the new games that was on my radar for 2016 was Luck&Logic  from Bushiroad.  I had been following the Japanese release fairly closely.  I knew I was going to go nuts in on this game.  I spent many nights watching unboxing videos and play through videos in anticipation.  Then, late on March night, I let a video go to the next thing and it was the first episode of the Cardfight Vanguard anime.

The rest is history.  

I was hooked.  I was reading about this game and couldn’t get enough.  Which was sad because I couldn’t get my hands on a starter until May because of my local card shop.  I ended up ordering it online for a fraction of the cost, but I digress.  I bought the Kai Legends deck and it has quickly risen to my number one go to card game, sliding Dragon Ball Z to a distant second.

Some seven or eight months later, I am playing three clans (Kagero, Link Joker and Shadow Paladins) and am looking to potentially build a deck to try the 2017 tournament scene.  I wanted to try for the Chicago regional in October this year but work got in the way.

A quick shout out to the trio over at the “Drive Check” podcast on iTunes. One thing I’ve really gotten into this year is trying to emerse myself more into the various communities that I’m playing in.  The guys running the podcast have been a great source of information, discussion and ideas.  If you are remotely interested in Cardfight Vanguard, check them out.  They are on twitter, also, via @Drive_Check.

KickStarters versus waiting for retail…

Prior to 2015, I had zero interest in 95% of games on Kickstarter. In 2015, however, I backed the Ghostbusters game by Cryptozoic. Shipping issues not withstanding, it opened me up a bit to supporting more games via Kickstarter. In 2016, I backed 5 games:

Ghostbusters and Arcadia Quest Inferno are sequels to existing games in my collection, Masmorra and Bears vs Babies are new titles from publishers I like and Mything Battles is an entirely different beast all together.  Any and all of these games I could have waited for to be released at the retail level to support my local game store, but the value of the stretch goals out weighted that.  In the case of the two Arcadia Quest games alone, over 35 plus miniatures were added.  At $10 a piece, that is $350 worth of free add ons.  

Mythic Battles’ pledge manager goes live soon (hopefully) and that is looking to  be a huge purchase.  However, this is going to be a beautiful game when it is all said and done. In school, I was enamoured with Greek mythology.  This is going to be a game taking up a lot of time on my tabletop later in 2017.

Also, upon looking back, Inferno actually was funded Nov/Dec of 2015 but the pleasure 

GenCon 2016: Literally the Best four days in gaming!

This year was our 3rd GenCon and each year it has gotten better and better.  As each year has passed, our interests in different aspects of the hobby has grown and grown.  When we first went, the only game I personally played competitively was HeroClix from WizKids Games with a mild interest in board gaming.  This year, I was buying singles, sealed product, hunting promos and demoing anything and everything I could get my hands on.

I participated in 37 completely games over the course of the four days, and this isn’t including any additional demos. One of the games we demoed that I fell for hard was GKR: Heavy Hitters.  I did the write up for the game when we got back (you can read it here). Honestly, if that game had been released at GenCon, it would have been my game of 2016.  I wanted to give them my money right then and there.  Sadly it wasn’t avaliable and will be hitting KickStarter in Feburary. 

If there was one complaint for GenCon, and I really had to hit it on one thing, it was that a lot of great games where on display but wouldn’t be avaliable until later on KickStarter. Mythic Battles, which I happily funded this past Novemember, was one of those games.  I like going to GenCon to demo and buy, not demo and wait patiently for a few months to buy and then wait a year to play again.

Dead Game Societ.


Founded in 2015, at GenCon, we finally got around to doing some stuff with it this year. Like dead games that haven’t been supported in years? You’ll love this group!

So much more to come about this in the near future.  We have some great things planned. Follow us on Instragram at “deadgamesociety”.

A Three Year Journey Comes to an End…

At our first trip to GenCon, I fell in love with miniature games. I swore to myself that before I left that I would purchase and dive into one.  I debated all weekend between Warmachine or Hordes, Relic Knights or Infinity. I couldn’t decide.  Second GenCon, same oath, same debate, same result. History repeated itself at this year’s GenCon with the exception of the added choice of the Batman Miniatures Game from the folks at Knight’s Models.

Well, the choice was taken out of my hands this past November when so,e friends purchased this for me for my birthday:



And then my brother stepped it up a notch for my Christmas present:



Now I find myself at the cusp of a new journey: assembly and painting.  I want to crack these all open but I’m waiting for things to die down a bit at work first.  These definitely will play a major role in my plans for the hobby and this blog going into and through out 2017!

On a side note with this, one of the best sources of information regarding miniatures and the hobby that I’ve found have been the community over at Beasts of War  Between their sight and YouTube channel, I’ve learnt so much in regards to these types of games.  Ontop of that their series The Weekender is just top notch programming!

To Infinity and Beyond!

2017 is shaping up to be another fantastic year in gaming, both personally and for the hobby as a whole. One of my biggest goals is to properly maintain this blog.  I love talking about games just as much as I do playing them.  I want to make this into something more than just a once in a blue moon happening. 

My plan is to branch out with more reviews, play throughs and videos of matches, random musings, unboxings and much more.  A major goal is to reach out to other gaming groups and do more in the community.  This past year’s attempt at the Extra Life 24-hour event fell through due to work and illness, but we’ll definitely be attempting it again this year. 

So as the ball drops later tonight, I want to wish everyone a happy New Year.  May all your die rolls and card flips be true.

At the beginning of 2016, I set out with a lofty goal: play 1,000 games in the calendar year.  Insane, I know.  However, over the last couple years, I find myself drawn into tabletop gaming/hobby gaming more and more.  I wanted to see exactly how much of this wonder world I could immerse myself in before it became too much or too boring. Of course, any good challenge needed a good set of rules:

  • All games must be their physical versions. Digital variations will not count.
  • Demos may count so long as the actual playtime of the demo is 30 minutes or more.
  • At least 100 games (10%) of the games played must be a game I’ve never played before. A game with multiple variations (example: Munchkin) will not count as a new game unless the variation offers enough difference (new components, altered rules, ect) from the core version. Alternate art (Exploding Kittens vs Exploding Kittens NFSW) alone will not count.
  • They do not need to be 1,000 unique games, just 1,000 total games completed.

As of today, September 1st, I have completed…256 games, with a total of 47 new games being played.  I played the least amount of games in March of this year, a total 5 games with 1 new game (heavy snowfall and being sick attributed to this).  The busiest month being August, with 70 games played with 16 new games.  The game with the most plays so far as been Cardfight!! Vanguard with 61 games.

If you’d like to follow along with my progress and see what games I’ve been playing, feel free to follow it at: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/203067/1000-games-2016-challenge/page/10?  (Note: The game count in the items is off a by 8 due to the fact that Luck & Logic were not added to the database until a month or so after it’s release)

Obviously, unless I manage to rack up an average of 6 games a day (or 43 a week) going forward, I’m not going to hit my 1,000 game goal.  And that’s fine.  This was never a challenge about playing all these games.  It was more of a personal challenge to see something through until the end regardless of the outcome.  Through this challenge, I’ve also managed to expand the types of games I’ve come to enjoy.  If you’d asked me my opinion on little pocket games like Love Letter or Roll For It! last year, I’d absolutely hated them.  Now, I’ve always got a pocket game in my deck bag for down time or between set ups of heavier games.

Still, with four months remaining in 2016, I’m sure I can inch it closer to completion.  With holiday weekend plans, those are great times to break out the games with family and friends.  There are also special events like Halloween Comicfest  (end of the year version of Free Comic Book Day) that hold some special events, I’m sure.  Then that brings us to my final top: Extra Life events.

Extra_Life_CMNHosp_blue.png.694f51f90b6996220bcb63ae083b61d5

For those that don’t know, Extra Life is an organization that brings gamers together to play games to raise money for kids through the Children’s Miracle Network.  It’s a great cause and one that I participated in a few years ago at work.  We set up several televisions and had a 24 hour video game marathon, raising over $1,000 in the process.  It was a fun experience and one I’ve longed to do once more.  This time, however, I am thinking it’ll be a 24 hour hobby/tabletop gaming marathon.

This year’s major game day that they are promoting is November 5th.  It so happens to be the day after my birthday.  The plan is to make a major event out of it.  For 24 hours, I want to stream a day of everything from card games like Dragon Ball Z and CardFight Vanguard, to heavier games like Firefly: The Game and Arcadia Quest.

I’m just now starting to plan this event out.  Once we have more details, including if we’ll be doing the marathon on the official date or not, I’ll post them immediately.

As things settle in from our trip to GenCon, we have had time to reflect on many things we saw.  Like the previous years past, there are always one game or two that sticks out.  I consider them my showstoppers.  These are games that, after playing them, they stick to the front of our minds and every game for the rest of the show is compared to them.  Sometimes it can be a simple card game, like Bushiroad’s Weiss Schwartz, or it can be a dungeon crawling mininatures game, such as CoolMiniorNot’s Arcaida Quest. This year, the honor goes to a massive scale game, both in terms of scale of the component’s and the scope of the game’s ambition – GKR Heavy Hitters.


A bit of back story into the game from the developer’s site:

The year is 2150. A devastating world war has left Earth’s major cities in ruins, where mega corporations scrap it out for the salvage rights.

Well, you know what they say. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Gather your army of Giant Killer Robots and face your rival in the ultimate robot rumble. Because, in the world of GKR, war is business… and business is booming.”

Developed by Weta Workshop, creative visionaries behind some of the most mind blowing special effects and costumes of the last century, Evolver and Cryptozoic Entertainment, GKR Heavy Hitters is a game that mixes science fiction, miniatures and a series of fantastic mechanics into one massive package.

As described to us during our demo, major corporations are demolishing cities around the world with the use of specialized robots.  Common people, longing for some sort of entertainment in their war torn reality, find escapism and solace in watching these machines destroy buildings and each other in the process.  The heads of these corporations see a money making opportunity unfolding before them.  By weaponizing their machines and forming teams of pilots and robots under their company banners, they form a new sporting league.  The robots enter the cities, vying for control and the most destruction, all while entertaining the masses.

Players form a team of machines, all varying in their size, functionality and durability, and face their opponent’s in various city scapes.  Like any sport, only so many players can be on the field at a time.  Heavy Hitters only allows for any combination of 4 machines per player to be on the board at any given time.  This is a fantastic mechanic as it allows you to have a “bench” of other robots sitting out, ready to come in to relieve other components.

The two main faction units on display for demo: King Wolf Incorporated (left) and Thunder Happy Pharmaceuticals (right)

Examples of the three main support units: Gunner (left), Repair (middle), and Drone (right)


Damage, attacks and unit deployment is all handled by a simple deck mechanic.  Every time you would take damage from an attack, you remove a card from the stack.  Of course, there are repair units that can help return the removed cards.  Attacks and movement are all based on enery and cards.  With your main robot starting with only so much energy per turn, you are given the option to “overheat” your reactor core to continue on at the cost of 1 card of damage per energy needed.

After all players have moved, attacks are done simualtaionously in a turn based system.  Each attack has an energy level, with higher energy levels going first.  Both players take turns going back and forth until either the attacks are finished or a player’s main unit is destroyed.

Destroying a player’s main unit is one of the two victory conditions of the game.  The other is done via corporate sponsor ship.  Like any good sporting events, sponsors are key and that is no different in Heavy Hitters.  At the end of every turn, if an unit is adjacent to a side of a building without a corporate flag on that side, the player claims that side.  Placing a corporate flag puts a player one step closer to their corporation controlling that building.  For the purpose of our demo, 3 flags would gain a player control of the building, with 3 building controlled gaining the player victory.

And element of the game that they discussed, but left out for demo purposes, were pilots.  Pilots are unique characters that will bring about a new layer of customization, adding special abilities and attributes. Combine them with the different factions (two were demoed with two others in display), as each main unit plays differently, and you have the possibility for dozens of load outs.  Interesting mention was that they kept referring to pilot “seasons”.  This makes me believe that we could possibly see expansions of just pilot cards.

Examples of the pilot cards on display.

The board seems like a perfect play space, but it seems that they are planning on changing some things.  First, the hexagon design was done for, not only movement purposes, but for the ability to link multiple boards together for massive free-for-all battles.  Then the buildings are randomly placed, but the final product may include mechanics to allow the destruction of the buildings.  This would be amazing as, if a player is about to score a building, you could destroy it to prevent that from happening.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, this game spoke to me on many, many levels.  For a game only being in its Alpha/Beta stages, I was ready to buy the game and play it all night.  Sadly, the game isn’t ready for release just yet.  They are taking their time showcasing it and getting it in the hands of players and retailers alike.  They want to know what it will take to get them to sell it and what it will take to get us to buy it. I am already sold, but here were my three main thoughts to change/add:

  • Upgrade the board to something other than cardboard.  Overtime, that’ll break down and be a pain.
  • Each of the main units have their own unique playstyle and personality, make sure the support units are the same way.  Even if it’s just a slight variation in pose for the sculpt, it’ll make it more unique.
  • Organized play.  This is a must!  Support the game beyond just the initial purchase.  Give us a reason to want to keep getting the game out week after week. And given the sporting feel to it, that shouldn’t be a problem.

When the game is finally ready, they will most likely drop it on KickStarter first.  This means late 2017 or early 2018 will be the earliest we could see this in store. Personally, I think that to is too long, but I’ll suffer through the wait.  

This game will be on my shelf!

For more information regarding the game, go to http://www.gkrgame.com.

So several months ago, as many of you will recall, I was actively following the release of Luck & Logic with much obsession.  It was to be, I thought, my new game of choice.  So much so, that I would watch unboxing videos until all hours of the morning while playing The Division.  One night, however, I found myself watching another video…

After binge watching the first season of the show, I had my brother watch it.  Somewhere along the way, however, something happened.  I was having this weird desire to actually play the game.

I decided to buy a couple boosters here or there from my local shop, finally buckling down and ordering a couple starters.  I had fallen hard for the Kagero clan, as my love for dragons in most card games is absolute.  Luckily Bushiroad had just announced the “Legendary Deck Vol. 2: The Overlord Blaze” deck.  Sadly, my local shop decided to not order any of the starters.  I had to go online after waiting weeks.  But I digress.

Rob also got in on the action, picking up the latest trial deck for the Golden Paladins, Knight of the Sun.  Since then, we’ve played the game religiously as we’ve gotten caught up on the anime (or cartoon) over the last several weeks.  It has been a blast and has made Cardfight!! Vanguard one of the top TCG/CCGs I’ve played in my life.

Fast-forward to this past weekend: GenCon 2016.

In the week leading up to GenCon, I was feeling the deck I was playing becoming a bit stale.  After all, it was the only deck I’d been playing for months now.  I learned the game with it, tried to teach others with, and so forth.  However, I felt the need to branch out and look for a second deck.  With several clans to choose from in the game, it was hard to narrow it down, but I finally did: Link Joker.

Link Joker is a clan that is known for literally locking your opponent’s formation to the point that they have nothing they can do.  The less they have to work with, the less attacks they can get off per turn.  I found a Link Joker trial deck while up at GenCon for a good price, as well as one of the more Link Joker heavy booster boxes.  I came extremely close to pulling the trigger even on a couple singles for the deck: Genesis Dragon, Amnesty Messiah.

This card is the focal point to a build I have in mind.  However, at $125 on the show floor, I had trouble pulling that trigger.  I’ve never spent that much on a single card or miniature (having played HeroClix competitively for years), but that just goes to show how much I’ve grown to love this game in such a short amount of time.

Now that GenCon is, sadly, behind us, I look forward to the future.  October is a North American Regional for Cardfight!! Vanguard in Chicago.  I am contemplating attending as I’ll be within driving distance of the tournament that weekend.  The question I have to ask myself is to either continue with Kagero and the mighty dragons, or locking down a perfect build with the Link Jokers before then.