Christmas time, mistletoe and board games! I think that’s how the song goes…
Yes, hello, welcome back you lovely folk. We’re Timlah and Joel and today, we’ve opened up the “Large, Flat Green Present at the back”, as your choice from last week. Lo and behold, the present happened to be this week’s Top 10, our Top 10 Board & Card Game Stocking Fillers. These are all small games, under £20, along with their price and a relevant Amazon link – You know, for them last minute purchases you totally needed to do.
There’s something weirdly therapeutic about shuffling a deck of cards, and for enthusiasts of all stripes there’s an ever increasing number of games to choose from across a wide variety of genres, so many in fact that I for one do not remember the last time I played a game with the classic four-suite deck. The combination of a randomised deck, the resource-management elements of a hand, and the sheer volume of options afforded by the printed space on cards make them a versatile utility for any game designer.
But with such an array of choices, how do you know what’s right for you?
The structure of decks, and how those structures are reached can vary wildly:
Pre-built decks are the most common by far, and most frequently multiple decks control different elements of the game. For example, in Munchkin the Door deck describes your encounters, and the Treasure deck rewards you for your efforts. In Bucket of Doom (a recent acquisition of mine) players are required to formulate escape plans drawn from the Situation deck using one of their Item cards as the most essential component. Or to take it one step further, in Boss Monster, you have a Dungeon deck with which to built your evil lair, a Spell deck that grants you special powers, and all players are at the mercy of the Hero deck.
Deck building games most commonly feature a single deck around which the entire game focusses, which is slowly divided amongst the players. The DC Deck Building Game is a favourite of mine, in which players begin with only a handful of powers, and must gather more powers, as well as allies, equipment, and even a few enemies in order to strengthen their chances of securing better cards as the game progresses, and work their way through the super-villains. Smash-Up takes a different course, where the deck is built right at the beginning by combining any two of the large choice of factions together, using complimentary tactics to compete for control of the bases.
CCGs (collectible card games)offer players a library of cards from which they can collect and horde, and building a deck from what cards they amass from booster packs and boxes. Whoever can build the best deck wins. This type of game lends itself to victory through study, knowledge, and yes, more than a little cash spent on cards that can assure victory, and this can create a rather elitist type of gamer, or just a bunch of people who really enjoy testing their strategic thinking.
The real beauty of the deck structure is that it is easy to expand upon. As a perfect example, Cards Against Humanity having such a simple structure allows the creators to bring out new decks based on what’s funny to a geographical area (or hand us some lazy British stereotypes, cheers lads) or simply add more material to keep the game fresh. Smash Up gains more factions to mix and mash, and CCG’s expand upon the ever growing market, changing with the time so as to prevent older players gaining too strong an advantage over new players. It never quite works out like that though…
Your only resource is the cards in your hand. Games may differ, changing the way cards are played depending on other elements of the game, but ultimately you can only control what you do with what you have. Card quality can vary, and you can end up with some hands offering you next to no choices, while others grant you significant bonuses in any situation. You’re frequently limited as to how many cards you can hold, and almost always limited on how many you replenish, so managing this precious resource is a tough balancing act of weighing pros and cons of each play, calculating the best order, but leaving yourself prepared for what may come.
It’s little wonder it can take some people an hour to make up their minds.
The random nature of a well-shuffled deck can be a blessing and a curse. Some players may find that the cards they draw just aren’t good enough, or are stuck with the agony of choosing which of their incredible choices would be best used in the moment, only to find another, better situation arise soon after. Magic the Gathering players will be familiar with the terms Mana-Screwed or -Flooded referring to having too little or too much of the essential resource card. Fans of Cards Against Humanity or Dixit will know the sting of picking up “The Perfect Card” the moment they made an inadequate play.
This level of chaos can put some people off playing, but sometimes it’s best just to make the best of what you have and hope for a change of fortunes. And if it never happens you can always blame the cards.
Not all games are made to include everything in the box. Not all video games are made with all of the content ready. But all games have one thing in common: fun!
Not all games are made to include everything in the box. Not all video games are made with all of the content ready. But all games have one thing in common: They’re generally pretty damn fun! However, is it really fun to have games that don’t have all of the required components in the box, or is it just a massive waste of money? We’d argue it’s not always that bad spending money on games that you’ve already poured money into for the base game, I mean some of our favourite games are some of the most expensive games in the world.
Today we want to take a look through what we think is the Top 10 Collectable Games! Join us as we throw all of the cash out of the window as we collect more pieces in the already expensive game of collectable gaming!
What am I blabbering on about now? Well, it’s just under 2 weeks until I am going to Kitacon: Invasion 2014. Why is it Invasion? I don’t know. Ayacon was Ayacon Apocalypse, so why shouldn’t this be Kitacon Invasion, right?
But no, seriously, with anime conventions in the UK, at least with the bigger ones that I’ve attended thus far, there appear to be themes. When I went to Ayacon Apocalypse, I chose Zidane Tribal as my costume of choice (I refuse to bring that image back up over here. If you’re that curious, check out some of the earliest “Cosplay posts”.
What sort of things do you take to a convention?
For me, it’ll be the costume and some extras for the costume (Change of some of the basic clothing, etc). I’ll be taking my phone – So I can keep you all up to date, as well as a charger. I’ll take my 3DS, why? Because anime conventions seem to love the 3DS. Seriously. I’ll be bringing my Magic: The Gathering decks as well as my Cards Against Humanity and Zombie Fluxx set.
Sounds like a lot of stuff for just 3 nights and it is. But, there’s so much to do in such a short amount of time. I want to get out there and talk to as many fellow cosplayers, gamers, anime fans and spectators.
Other things to take, include props, signs, anything that you think will get people to notice you and join you in your quest to meet fellow fans.
I want to see if I can speak to Ellen McLain, as that’d be great. I’m hoping to get a small object relating to Portal and get a signed piece.
What will happen to GeekOut South-West during the time I’m at Kitacon?
I’m thinking of doing some “Micro-posts”. These will be no more than 500 words, with a picture or two to highlight what is happening at this event. I want to share the event with all of you, in hopes that, if you’ve never taken the financial plunge to go to an anime or games convention, that you eventually pluck up the courage to do so.
The “Micro-Posts” will consist of some of the greatest cosplayers I have seen in the day, some of the panels I attend (Possibly footage, if my phone agrees to do so and the panels permit it!), the sort of foods we’re eating if it’s Japanese foods, etc.
I’ll fill you in on all of the highlights and even if there are some low points. I really hope there are no low points!
I’m going to be meeting up with Craig, Kim and Phil of 1001-up.com to talk geek, gaming, cosplay and hopefully play a game of Cards Against Humanity! I’ll put some of the best quotes up here if they agree to play the game! *PRE-WARNING – That game can get pretty offensive. I’ll be putting warnings on those posts!
Another piece of the puzzle
Well, since I’m slowly, but surely, uploading pieces of my costume, here’s the coat.
Pretty nice coat, huh?
That’s all for today, have a great rest of the week and I’ll be sharing more geek stuff throughout the week. Wednesday, as always, will have our Kickstarter Highlight of the week, this Friday will have a run down of the “Geek news” I’ve collected over the past 2 weeks.
Tomorrow, however: We review an anime. What one, you ask?
Possibly, one of the most influential animes ever made. Whether you like it or not, this anime influenced the whole of my generation.
I can’t wait to review it and share in the gripes that the whole world has with it, as well as praise it where it’s due.
One clue about it: Don’t let them look at the full moon!