Smash Up: Cease and Desist and It’s Your Fault

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Two Smash Up Expansions that I picked up at Gen Con 2016

The Toledo Tuesdays Gaming Club has been playing Smash Up ( Smash Up at AEG ) for quite some time.  If you are not familiar with the game, basically each player selects 2 20 card decks, each with a different theme and “smashes” them together to make a 40 card deck.  Possible combinations are Zombie Faeries, Ninja Steampunks, Time Traveller Giant Ants, etc.  I think you get the idea.  The game is basically about using Actions and playing Minions to win bases.  Get to 15 Victory Points first and you win. It’s fun stuff, not too serious, and pretty much anybody can play it.  The gameplay is pretty deep, mainly because like most card-driven games, finding combinations and playing your cards right are the paths to victory.

Anyway, at Gen Con 2016 I picked up two new expansions: Cease and Desist and It’s Your Fault!  The former contains decks that are parodies of sci-fi/fantasy movies & TV.  For instance, the Star Roamers are clearly Star Trek.

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Star Roamers

And the ChangerBots are Transformers.

 

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ChangerBots.  They turn into bicycles and RVs!  Hilarious stuff!

And of course there has to be a Star Wars deck!

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Astroknights = Star Wars

The latter expansion is a set of decks with themes chosen by fans.  It includes Dragons, Sharks, Tornados, Greek Gods, etc.

Stew was away, so Neal, Lee and Bob got in a game of Smash Up using only the latest expansions.  Neal was Dragons & Sharks, Lee chose Astroknights and Ignobles (think Game of Thrones) and Bob was Mythic Greeks plus Tornados.

 

The game was quite fun with Lee causing mayhem by giving his Minions to Bob and I and then whipping them back (the Ignobles are sneaky!).  The Tornados kept Bob’s Minions moving around while Neal’s Dragons and Sharks were all about brute force!  In the end, Neal won mainly because of the card “Shark Week” which allows the Shark player to draw an extra card every turn.  Here is an example of the play:

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Example of play

Our opinion was that the two expansions were some of the most fun and well-balanced decks yet from AEG.  If you haven’t played Smash Up, starting with Cease and Desist and It’s Your Fault! would be a great way to get introduced to the game.

Roll 4 Initiative: Dice I Can Read!

Okay, today I am going to talk about a pet peeve of mine…dice that are hard to read!  At some point everyone has bought some fancy dice from the local game store or at a big convention like Origins and Gen Con.  You know the dice that I am talking about, the ones with strange glyphs instead of numbers, funky two-tone paint jobs, outrageous symbols for pips, etc.  They looked really cool and you just had to buy them.

But then the horror, the horror!  In the middle of a hot game of 4th Ed. D&D or maybe old school World of Darkness Vampire you chucked those dice onto the table and, wait on it, wait on it, you couldn’t read the result!  Okay, maybe you teenagers out there with perfect eyesight can read anything from a parsec away, but us old Grognards need some dice that we can read without having to pick them up and hold them two inches from our slowly deteriorating eyeballs!

Well, I found a solution and its called…

Roll 4 Initiative

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Roll 4 Initiative: Label from the Set of 15 Dice

 

 

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The Bag of 15 Dice

They are a dice/accessory company out of Southwest Michigan.  And as it says on their label, “Bigger Dice for Bigger Rolls!”  Well, you won’t roll any higher numbers (I have a special set of dice for that, but maybe I should leave that discussion for a different post) but the dice are indeed bigger.

Bigger is Better: R4I Dice are Bigger than Normal

Here is visual proof:

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The Eyes Have it!  The R4I d20 on the left, a normal d20 on the right.  Visual proof that the Roll 4 Initiative die is bigger!

While it doesn’t look like very much, it is clear that the R4I d20 is just over 2mm while the regular d20 is probably slightly under 2mm.  The base of the triangle on any of the 20 sides is 1.2mm for the R4I d20 and 1.1mm for the regular d20.

The Numbers are Bigger too!

And yes, I guess you do get bigger rolls with the R4I dice because the numbers are slightly bigger/wider.  Wow, bigger in two different ways (I guess I better just leave it there before the jokes begin).

But Wait…There’s More!

Not only are the dice and numbers bigger, the dice are made plain on purpose.  Why?  So that they are even more easy to read from a distance!  You can chuck out a few dice and easily read all of them at a glance.  Here are 4 dice of different sizes:

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Easy to read isn’t it?

Okay, I know what you are saying, without some other die to compare, how do I know that R4I dice are easier to read?

Well check out this comparison!  I won’t mention from which other dice company I bought the die on the right.

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Which “16” would you rather read at a distance in a dim, smoke-filled room? You don’t play games in a dim, smoke-filled room…what’s wrong with you, you should!

The Best Part…wait there’s still more?!?

At Gen Con I was able to get a pack of 15 dice for only $6.  Whaaaaattttt?!?  Yep, that pack of dice in the second photo was only $6.  Think about how much you have paid for a standard pack of 7 dice in the cheap see-through plastic container with the cheap black plastic lid that cut your fingers when you tried to open it!  C’mon who hasn’t been sliced by those containers.  I hate them!

Anyway, I have no idea if they offer deals like the one I got at Gen Con from their online store (you can check here  R4I).  All I know is that I am very glad that I found Roll 4 Initiative at Gen Con 2016.

Now I need to get started on that darn D&D adventure so that I can roll some dice!

 

Gen Con day Two: The Costumes Part I

Day Two at Gen Con 2016 was about the costumes!  So I decided to let all my blog followers see some of the many CosPlay, Sci-Fi, and fantasy costumes walking around.

A special thank you to all who let me take their picture.  I hope that each pic does justice to the time and effort that each person put into his/her costume.

Here is the first half of my photos:

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Dr. Doom

 

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CosPlay

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Star Wars–Sith I believe (please correct me if you know who it really is)

 

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Star Wars, including Kylo Ren

 

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Mr. Spock

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Nadja, the German cashier from Japanime Games, dressed as a maid