While you were out…

Wow has it been a while,  sorry about that.  But, WE’RE BACK!  and have we got a lot in store for the coming months.  Not only has Jeff made the next Swarm! game available for purchase at the Game Crafter HERE.  But Tim has been a busy little beaver doing his networking and expansion thing.  He has started a tournament series called the Absurdament that is exactly as bad as it sounds.  He also has about a dozen more Humans of Tabletop recordings that are ready for launch.  Couple this with the newly added Games on Tape show that is a stylized and better produced Sorry Man, I Farted and well, Tim doesn’t sleep much.  Anyway, while the kettle is on We figured we would share some Kickstarter goodness with you and help out a few of the friends we have made during our absence.

Up First and ending soon is Bottom of the 9th Clubhouse Expansion:  Tim acquired this game at PAX East this year and won’t shut up about it.  Louder and Mullins expand a heavily thematic filler game with more mechanics and Peanuts!  If you like baseball or absolutely hate the idea of it you will probably enjoy this riveting edge of your seat big things in small packages game.  Click the image for more information on Bottom of the 9th and back it!

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Next up we have Super Pocket League Extreme Wrestling from Button Shy Games:  In this pocket game of extreme power moves and heel turns you play an intergalactic wrestler out for glory.  Two players take on each other with bluffing, hand management and an oversized playmat add on that will make onlookers mark out.  You only have a few hours to back this one so get going!  Click the image to back and for more information.

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Next I bring you Plot Twist:  Tim met Darrell M. Stark at PAX EAST and found him to be delightful even if he is going to die a gruesome death at the pen of GRRM.  Plot twist is a story telling game for four to six players that has you crowbarring your plot cards into a story generated by a trope card that provides the inspiration for said story.  As play continues the stories become more and more rich and by that I mean more and more ridiculous.  The game is a great Ice breaker for parties and a great way to ignite the imagination of those that find it difficult to tell stories.  If you live in the NYC area you can find Darrell at game meets at various pubs.  If you are not in the NYC area click the image and back this fun time in a box.

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And now it is time for the most formal of ferrets.  Friend of the show Gil Hova is expanding Bad Medicine:  Bad Medicine: Second Opinion offers 100+ cards to the base game with a few surprises.  In Bad medicine you are a pharmaceutical company developing a new drug to cure a malady.   The drug you create is pitched to the other players and the side effects of the winner become the new malady.  The game is absolutely insane and is a laugh riot through and through.  The Expansion throws in complications that cause conditions to be added to your drug thus affecting your pitch.  If you feel like having a gas at the state of affairs in our medicare system then back Gil’s effort.  I can assure you it is worth it.  Click the image for more information and back it!

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Last but not least in the new game category comes Meeple Maker from Val Teixeira: in Meeple maker you are a CEO of a board game publishing company and you don’t trade in dollars because in this market that is foolish, no, you trade in fans. Where do you rank among the vast populous of board game collectors?   You will need to recruit a team of people that help you create the best product ever. Meet the demands of production and you will gain fans and be able to add to your ever growing staff. A simple yet stylized design carries this game to a near meta status as the people you recruit are actual publishers, designers, and general employees of game publishers.  Now we just need to find out how to get our likenesses in it as a bad review card!  Click the image for more information and to back it.  Val is a great guy and this has been a labour of his for a while now.  Tim is excited to see this one get produced.

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And finally in FLGS news Woodbury, NJ is getting an upgrade!  Tiki Tiki Boardgames is Kickstarting their rehab of a new location and while it is in New Jersey it deserves a look.  The store is a buy trade and sell boardgame shop and they are some good people.  We will have our name on a ceiling tile, will you?  Click the image to make this happen.

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Tim Reviews a Comic Book: James Bond 007 Vargr

007: Vargr an Exercise in Futility.  By Tim Mattes

 

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Warren Ellis has long been a favorite writer of mine.  From the first time I read through Transmetropolitan to the confusing reads of Bad Worlds and the like I have been enthralled with his writing style and the way that he can take real world scenarios and inject insane science fact into it.  When you read Warren Ellis’ works you find yourself looking up the principles that he presents to see if they are true or could even be possible only to discover that they are in fact completely plausible or real things.

I have followed Warren Ellis to the darkest depths of Publisher whoring (Red2) and have witnessed surprise nuggets of Genius in his works (Iron Man:Extremis).  I have read his novels and I follow him on the social media outlets that he subscribes to.  I love everything the man writes.  I feel like he could wipe his ass on a broadsheet and send it to Marvel and I will buy the special edition hardcover release of it.  So imagine my delight when I found out that Warren Ellis was doing a 007 run.  I felt like it was the perfect fit with the current film run being a grittier more violent Bond and Warren Ellis injecting his own bizarre form of writing into the series would make for the greatest Bond story ever told.

How could I have been so fucking wrong?

The first issue has a multitude of flaws that I could rant on about until my fingers fall off in a neck-bearded super rage.  That isn’t going to happen though.  I have taken my Xanax and ingested the necessary amounts of tobacco to make it through slamming my favorite comic book writers work in the hopes that it isn’t his fault.  I know that wishful thinking in comics is futile but I can dream right? (Before Watchmen I’m looking at your scarred version of what could have been.)

007:Vargr Issue One is one of the most pointless issues of a series that I have ever read.  Completely anticlimactic and devoid of any kind of energy or tempo.  Not only do you have to get to the eighth page to read a single word, The only interesting part of the issue are the last two pages.  James Bond starts the issue off as a silent badass and ends it looking like one of Archer’s still born abortions.  At no point once Bond starts talking do I feel like he is a super spy.  He seems like someone that got confused and walked into the wrong building and just went with it.  The set up of Bond not having his lady gun on british soil is so beyond transparent it actually made me cringe.  I haven’t cringed reading comics since I ventured into Steve Niles’ earlier works.  The final two pages finally offer the Warren Ellis science bullshit that I look for in his work and it barely scratches the itch.  I know that we will never get a Fell Volume two or a Before Transmet, but unless this series takes a violent spin down the Ellis rabbit hole it will go down as the worst run I have read from Ellis (Congrats Thor you are off the hook).  This doesn’t mean that I won’t be buying it and reading it, but considering that it is one of only ten issues I have bought this year it will make me question buying Warren Ellis’ single issues in the future.  This was a huge factor in me going to trades only for the last six years.  The bad single issue makes me sad, I don’t want to spend upwards of twenty dollars on monthly issues and then buy the trade only to have buyers remorse from the overall story.

Dynamite tricked me into another series from them and like always I was crushed.  The worst part about this first issue has nothing to do with the story.  No, It has to do with Dynamite’s marketing of the book.  Ten dollars for an artless variant?  24 fucking covers?  Why the Fuck do I need a short box to store an issue one?  I am relieved that I hated this issue so I don’t have to hunt down all of the variant covers.

All begrudgery aside, Jason Masters has done a skillful job polishing up a turd.  His artwork invokes a feeling of nostalgia and have at least salvaged enough respect in me to buy issue two.

Fuck this shit.

 

Tim Mattes knows nothing about comics and probably shouldn’t be writing reviews for them, but the internet gives him an outlet and he knows that at least three people will read this.  And in the end, three is all you need.  

Episode One Hundred and Forty-Nine: Welcome to the Jungle

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Oh crap, the fireworks competition starts in thirty minutes and we haven’t even unpacked the van. Even worse the show runners have refused to let us use lights to see what we are working with. We have to bumble around and organize our show in the light of everyone elses flashbangs. Will our inept American team be able to put on an honorable show or will we fail and bring shame to our families?

Episode One Hundred and Forty-Eight: No! Tim Don’t!

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Tim forces Jeff to tear up his beloved Magic Cards when they sit down to play Pack Wars Iron Man. In this format of the game you take a sealed pack, open it, you don’t look at the cards and you play a game of Magic. The only difference is that when playing Iron Man you must rip up any card that would go to your Graveyard.

Episode One Hundred and Forty-Six: Ain’t No Gambling In School

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We sit down and play Northstar Games’ Wits and Wagers. A family style party game of knowing when to bet high and bluffing your opponents. Mostly we discover that none of us truly know anything.

Episode One Hundred and Forty-Three: Unlimited Bacon

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Tim and Matt sit down to play Z-man Games’ two player Agricola All Creatures Big and Small. Matt immedietly assumes the game is work and doesn’t want to play and Tim does his best to win him over.

 

Episode One Hundred and Forty: Kiddos

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In today’s episode we take a look at Timeline Inventions. Tim Rocked the Movies and Cinema version in Season one. Will he defend his title? Also we stumble on a variant of play that is truly amazing, when you play your card you must fully justify why it happened when you think it did.

Star Realms: Taking Spamplay to a Whole New Level

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Take the Basic Principal of a deck builder, throw in the wild swings of Magic: the Gathering, Set the whole thing in space.  Star Realms from White Wizard games is an exercise in restraint when developing a game.  Everything you need to lose a weekend with your friends comes in a conveniently priced tuck box.   Like most deck builders you start with a ten card deck that allows you to hit your opponent or buy one of the six cards available in the trade row.  As your deck gets bigger you can start to take wild swings at your opponent.  The first player whose life reaches or surpasses zero loses.

Star Realms

The game is, for all purposes, too simple.  The theme is lost after the first round and while you can dig for it, it’s usually not worth it.  Other than that, it is the most incredible game I have ever played.  The only reason it doesn’t break the top five is due to the fact that the theme is completely lost.  That is not necessarily a detriment to the game itself.  A simple to learn and even easier to teach deck builder, Star Realms takes concepts from all of the major Deck builders available and streamlines them for ease of access and over all play.  The app for Iphones and Android devices makes the book keeping easy to understand and execute.  The balance is what I think I love the most about this game.  No card seems out of place.

The Gambit expansions offers abilities to each player to be used either as a one shot or throughout the game.  It also provides the unaligned Merc Cruiser and Bosses for solo or Co-op Play.  Gambit was part of the Kickstarter campaign and was made available due to fan outcry.  If you pay more than ten dollars for it you Might be disappointed.

The Crisis expansion offers four packs of cards that include more ships and bases as well as two new mechanics to the game Events and heroes.  Heroes go into play in front of you and can be trashed during your turn to gain the ally ability of their faction.  Events get shuffled into the main deck and resolve when they are drawn up to the trade row.  All in all the crisis expansion offers an interesting change of pace for players that have been playing Star Realms since release and are starting to get tired of it.

With two expansions available that both offer an intense new style of play Star Realms has a very bright future on my table.  If you need any more reason to go out and own this game, Katie loves it. That should tell you all that you need to know.

Final Score: 9.2/10