My Haul at Gen Con

Gen Con was fun again this year! My bro and I walked for miles searching for both new and classic games. What did we find….inquiring minds want to know! Well my faithful friends, read on, read on for the answer!

— day one loot!

In the photo above you can see what I found on day one!

Smash Up! Oops, You Did It Again — I found this new expansion that I was looking for. Can’t wait to get in some Smash Up Games with these four new factions.

Scythe: Rise of Fenris — Is this expansion a set of alternate game rules (i.e. modules), a legacy campaign, or both!

Too Many Bones: Undertow — I kickstarted this game. It looks like a really fun dice builder. The components inside are top-quality. And many thanks to the guys at the booth who switched out the duplicate dice for the omitted dice that were missing from my box.

Horizons — A 4x space game. I love these sort of games (e.g. Eclipse, Ascending Empires, Eminent Domain)!

Unlock! — My wife loves these puzzle/escape room games, so I was happy to pick up a few more adventures.

Call of Cthulhu: Nameless Horrors — Six new adventures for CoC RPG, and it was only $15! Let the sanity checks begin!

Eminent Domain: Oblivion — Yes, yes, and more yes! Finally that Politics card gets to be a role! I am super-pumped to integrate this expansion into one of my favorite games.

King of New York: Anubis Monster Pack — A new monster and it even has a Pyramid die!

Day Two was more about taking in the convention than grabbing Games, but still we found a couple things.

— day two loot

Near and Far — This game looks cool…and I got the next to last copy at the booth too! Is it a legacy game, a worker placement game in the vein of Raiders of the North Sea, or an RPG disguised as a board game? Is it all three? Did I mention that the maps are in a spiral-ring notebook? The art is great too!

Cat Lady — Saw this at the AEG booth and I had to buy it for my wife. She loves cats.

Star Realms Promos — Yep, picked up some free promos. You want to know why? Well I’m not telling you…at least not tell my next post!

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In Case You Missed It: The Star on the Shore for Call of Cthulhu


In Case You Missed It: A New Continuing Series Highlighting Game Products that May Have Sailed Under your Radar


Do you like going insane in the membrane? Do you like reading dark tomes of Forbidden knowledge only to lose your mind from the evil secrets held within? Is your idea of a good time looking down the slimy tentacles of some two-story tall unspeakable horror while you are armed only with a pocketknife and a lantern?

If so, Call of Cthulhu RPG is for you! But, I am sure you already have heard of the excellent RPG by Chaosium. And unless you live under a rock, you are aware that enough paper and pdf supplements are published to support Call of Cthulhu every year to sink the island nation of Iceland. And a good deal of these adventures are quite good…as are a lot of the old adventures from decades past, but how do you discover a gem in all this rough?

The Star on the Shore: Struggles Against Evil in 1920s New England

Well, one adventure published in 2017 stands out from the rest. Author Ben Burns created The Star on the Shore for Dark Cult Games (the publisher is now New Comet Games). The 95-page adventure stands out for the following reasons:

1-Massive Sandbox Setting

The adventure details the events in Rockport, Massachusetts and its surrounding environs. There are 39 separate locations (all stocked with NPCs) in Rockport plus dozens of other locations scattered around (and maybe I shouldn’t give it away, but also under Rockport) for the players to explore. This adventure is big with a capital B-I-G.

2-Detailed Plot Line with Reference Material for the Gamekeeper

The book includes a large reference section detailing the plot events, all the inclinations of the NPCs, The spells, locations of key NPCs, and possible final scenarios. There are the usual stat blocks for NPCs, monsters, etc as well. In short, Star on the Shore doesn’t just tell a story, it provides the numbers, names, information, and material that the gamekeeper will need to run a smooth adventure. And I am barely scratching the surface of how much stuff is in this book.

3-Gorgeous Maps and Handouts

Call of Cthulhu is always best when the players can visualize the setting. Well, set your peepers on this gorgeous map! Did I say it is a two-page tear out too! I didn’t? Well, I just did! Oh, and the gamekeeper has a labeled version of this map (albeit a smaller map).

–now that is a cool map!

And how about these handouts?

–photocopy, cut out, and terrorize the players with the knowledge of the horrors that lurk around them!

4-The Adventure is Top-Notch

Now this is going to be difficult to explain, so I will do my best. The sandbox feel of Rockport allows the players to roam around where they want and set the pace as they please. However…in the background Ben Burns has given the gamekeeper a timeline of events. And these events move day by day! As the players waste time smoking and joking with the locals, the evil plot (of the locals maybe?!?) keeps moving! Thus, the gamekeeper knows what is going on and can use this knowledge to build the tension.

5-Color Coded NPCs

Okay, I can’t take a photo of this because it might ruin the adventure for those who haven’t experienced it yet, but I am going to make this simple: each block of NPC stats has a background of either green, orange, or red. I think we all can figure out what those colors mean…but only the gamekeeper gets to see them, mwah ha ha!

6-This Adventure Takes Time to Complete

It took my group 4 game sessions of about 2 1/2 hours each to finish The Star on the Shore. And everybody loved it! If you like long-ish Call of Cthulhu adventures, this adventure is for you. Did I also say there is a side-adventure included too? Well, there is!


–does this artwork on the back cover give you a clue about the unspeakable events happening in Rockport? Does this scene actually happen in the adventure? You will have to buy it to find out!So, run don’t walk, to your local game store or the internet, and buy yourself a copy of The Star on the Shore. You might lose your sanity and your limbs, but you won’t be disappointed.

Have fun and good luck on those sanity rolls…you are going to need it.

Announcing Toledo Tuesdays Gaming Club Blog

Do you love games?  We do!  Toledo Tuesday’s Gaming Club (TTGC), or ToledoTuesdays for short, announces its new blog.  TTGC meets every week to play board games, card games, and role-playing games (RPG).  Look to this space for weekly reports on our sessions, including run downs of gameplay, strategy tips, and comments from TTGC members.  Every so often one of us will post a review of a game, an extended strategy guide, or perhaps just a wild rambling or muse on something game-related!

In the spirit of that latter sentiment, here is a short list of four must-have games as determined by Neal (see our About page for a thumbnail sketch of the four TTGC members):

Dune-Avalon Hill-A beautiful game that can be won by multiple players on any and every turn.  The board, cards, and player aids all drag the player into Frank Herbert’s spice-fueled world of Arrakis. The constant battling for key strongpoints focuses gameplay on aggressive action and tense face-offs that can end with spectacular success or devasting betrayal and disaster. If you can’t find the Avalon Hill version, Rex by Fantasy Flight Games is an update of the rules and a transposition of the theme into the Twilight Imperium universe without much loss of the charm of the original game.

7 Wonders-Asmodee-A tableau card building game that is intuitive and easy for anyone to play. Thematically is is civilization building along with all the usual components: recruiting military, trade, civil, and scientific advances.  It might look like Civilization lite, but for all its simplicity, there is a remarkable depth of play and no single dominant strategy. I am sure that if you are reading this you know about 7 Wonders, but in case you don’t, go get this game and play it.

Call of Cthulhu RPG-Chaosium-First, don’t get the d20 version, find the original d100 system. The classic Chaosium d100 rules make combat and character improvement realistic and intuitive and those are key parts of CoC.  The insanity rules cleverly deliver on the promise of the H.P. Lovecraft mythos. The combination of horror, mystery, and otherworldly science fiction makes for a unique RPG experience where your character’s combat skills are nowhere near as important as their Library Use skill.

Shadowfist CCG-Inner Kingdom Games-Cybernetic monkeys, shaolin masters, a sinister and secret society of transforming animals, and heroic Kung Fu  fighters all battle for control of feng shui sites–what is not to love!  There are no fireball-channel janky combos and no simple beat down strategies.  Games are strategic because victory is only possible through long-term build-up of faction resources and a well-planned strategy.  Top-decking is much less important than creating subtle synergies between multiple cards (and the drawing back to hand-size mechanism usually means all players have good cards in hand most of the time).  You might never have heard of this game, but you haven’t seen how good a CCG can be until you have played Shadowfist.

Hopefully this short teaser list gives you some idea of the breadth of games that are part TTGC sessions.  Again, look to this space for a weekly report on our activity–including our most recent attempt to successfully subdue out of control diseases in Pandemic: Legacy!