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David Lowry

Other Games  - 
 
Multpile time "Live from Music City" guest +joel hoekstra featured in the new Michael Sweet video "Radio" http://ow.ly/QTJa303CFwf

#guitar #rock #michaelsweet #joelhoekstra #stryper #whitesnake 
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David Lowry

Other Games  - 
 
Learning Beast Clans! +Beast Clans Offical
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David Lowry

Other Games  - 
 
Starting the 2nd firefight "The Meat Grinder" from Conflict of Heroes: Guadalcanal by +Academy Games 
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It's monday...new blog day.
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David Schirduan

Other Games  - 
 
Finally had enough time this weekend to update Jedi Wushu, an rpg that makes you FEEL like a Jedi.

- Cleaned up the layout
- Easy Reading on mobile devices and smaller screens
- Better examples
- Shiny new Cover
- Uses the latest version of Wushu by Daniel Bayn
- Still free :)

http://schirduans.com/david/my-creations/jedi-wushu
A Star Wars hack of the Wushu System by Daniel Bayn. It allows for incredible fighting and actions scenes to take place, giving players complete freedom to choreograph epic Matrix-like Kung-fu batt…
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David Lowry

Other Games  - 
 
An unboxing video of Grimslingers by +GreenBrier Games 
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Alan B

Games from TableTop  - 
 
Looking to get a Tabletop game group together in Henderson Nevada.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1769809303235333/
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Ireneusz Huszcza

Other Games  - 
 
And we have this day ... Machines are working, scientists have launched all possible resources, all data is calculated... Time to start our Kickstarter project!
This will be 22 days with B&D Crew and Cthulhu :)
Our goal is to publish Multiuniversum Project: Cthulhu in the most interesting form.
We want to invite you to support our campaign in every possible way.
Of course if you can purchase Project Cthulhu or pledge with Multiuniversum and Expansion it would be great. But also you can help us by sharing information about our project among your friends or on your social media profiles.
This action will allow us to achieve greater range and will help achieve the goal of releasing Multiuniversum Project: Cthulhu.
Multiuniversum is a card game, in which players use actions to do research at the Hadron Collider and close portals to other realities!
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Jan Franco's profile photoIreneusz Huszcza's profile photo
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+Jan Franco Thanks for support!
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Gavin Syme

Off Topic  - 
 
Simian Ultra X the range of bio engineered space apes and other mutants and creatures by Ganesha Games is now released at Alternative Armies! All the figures plus a complete set pack saving 10%. We are also including a FREE SUX20 Plasmoid worth 2.75GBP in every single order that has at least one Ganesha code in it from now until 8th August. Excellent! So if you want your wargaming sci-fi ape like in 28mm check this out on the link. Thanks. GBS
Following their latest successful Kickstarter and the shipping of all its pledges worldwide by Alternative Armies we are delighted to announce that the miniatures composing Ganesha Games great Simian Ultra X range are now on ...
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David Lowry

Off Topic  - 
 
If you are coming to #GenCon2016 , stop by the +Academy Games booth and say hi! I would love to meet you :-)
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Brian Stull's profile photoDavid Lowry's profile photo
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See you there +Brian Stull 
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About this community

A Google+ Community for fans of the Geek & Sundry show TableTop, hosted by Wil Wheaton! Find out more at tabletop.geekandsundry.com Community rules: Be respectful & kind to others in this community. As Wil says, the number one rule is "don't be a dick."
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Dave Shapiro

Other Games  - 
 
Risk Star Trek

It is possible to make no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.
Captain Picard

There are two companies that produce Risk games in North America - Hasbro and USAopoly. While Hasbro tends to release new Risk games at a slow, almost random pace, USAopoly introduces a new version every year. (The new game is usually released at GenCon.) The USAopoly games are always themed with some popular license. In most cases, they do not attempt to ‘reinvent the wheel’; they assemble the game from existing mechanics and very often the games are based on a previously successful game. Plants versus Zombies was based on Balance of Power. Halo Wars and StarCraft are versions of the classic game with the maps shifted and a few minor additions. Walking Dead is based on the Avalon Hill Wizards Quest game and Game of Thrones employs the mechanics from Nexus Ops. Note: in each of these games, the standard, classic game can be played.

Star Trek does not break this tradition. Risk Star Trek uses the Black Ops version of Risk as the base and then adds, the character mechanic from Game of Thrones, an expansion (virus) element (Tribbles) and an event deck. The map is split into two quadrants and (as in Halo Legendary) there are wormholes that players can use to move quickly from one side to another.

The components are typical of USAopoly which is above the norm but does not reach the level of components by Fantasy Flight or Cool Mini’s. For example, each player receives units that are different in color and design (exception all single units are the same mold) but lack the detail found in those produced by a miniatures company. The Tribbles are basically colored puff balls which is a nice touch as they could just as easily been cardboard counters.

All of the mechanics have worked without a problem in other games but that is no guarantee that cobbling them together will result in a satisfactory gaming experience. So the question is: is this a good game and is this a Risk game. In recent years games have been released with the Risk branding that resemble Risk only in that dice are used in the game; Battlefield Rouge and Star Wars for example.

Anyone who follows Star Trek knows that the captains from the five different series never fought each other. The setting for the game is that Q has brought all five together on the holodeck in order to determine who is the best of the five. Prior to the game, each player selects a captain (Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Sisko or Archer) and then assembles a crew of four (selected from six characters from the series). Each character provides some sort of benefit at a cost. This expands the mechanic found in Game of Thrones you can tailor your crew to sync with your particular strategy within limits. None of the crew members exhibit game breaking or game changing abilities; this is tweaking your strategy - it is not Cosmic Encounter. There are six crew cards for each Captain and only four can be used in any game so there is a great deal of variety in the starting crews. (Should this prove insufficient, you could always deal out the crews randomly.)

Alien forces (neutrals) are distributed randomly over the board. What is unusual is that players begin with only one territory and expand from there. A territory card can only be gained if there was a combat involved in taking an area. Some areas on the map will not have any units, of any type, when the game begins however, once a territory has a single unit, it can never be an ‘empty’ territory again. Various events in the game can increase or decrease the number of aliens and ships in a territory.

On each player turn, a Q-vent is drawn which is simply an event. Some of these are specific to the player and some apply to the game itself. For example, a few increase your reinforcements if you control X while others may cause every territory in a given sector (continent) to lose a unit including the Tribbles and aliens. There are 50 different Q-vents in the game. As these events alter the game, it is unlikely that games will begin to feel repetitive. Of the 50 Q-vents, only two introduce Tribbles so their appearance is not guaranteed. As it is a random draw, I am certain that some groups will encounter Tribbles in nearly every game while for others it will be a rare event. Obviously the probability that Tribbles will appear increases with the greater the number of players. (Tribbles act as a virus and can expand to other areas.)

So what does a game feel like while playing? For me the game feels very much like playing a cross between Black Ops Risk and Small World. There are a significant number of random factors that move the game especially the Q-Quests and Q-vents. In Small World you attempt to maximize the number of points you can score each turn; this can result in massive sweeps in different directions each turn. The same type of thing occurs with the variety of Quests that are available. (There are always six available and you only need three to win.) As one is accomplished and a new one appears, you may swing across the board in order to accomplish it.

This is not a game of expanding empires as is the classic game. Like Small World you are attempting to maximize your efforts for only a few turns and then your strategy changes. There is combat but like Small World, it is specific with the intent to accomplish a Quest (mission) not to weaken another player. Some of the Q-vents can introduce radical changes while others provide some small alteration. For example, one event may provide you with a few extra ships while another reduces the ships/aliens in every territory adjacent to the nebula (printed on the board). In one game I played, a single player happened to control each of those spaces (adjacent to the nebula) with a single ship in each territory. All of his ships in those territories were replaced with a pair of aliens.

Risk Star Trek is to classic Risk what Small World is to Vinci - a lighter, more random, strategy game. Classic Risk and Vinci are serious strategy games; any surprises in the game is the result of player actions. Risk Star Trek and Small World require similar strategies but there are surprise elements generated by the game itself. This is not to suggest that winning Star Trek Risk is an easy task - it is not. You must plan and execute well but those that abhor the introduction of random elements in a game (especially devotees of the classic version) will be disappointed. The game is intended to be played for fun (and it is enjoyable); it will generate laughs and surprises rather than a shouting match - it would work well in a mixed group.

2 Player Version
The two player game is an adaptation of the main game. It plays very quickly; almost too quickly. In the standard version of the game, if you are dealt one of the Q-vent setbacks, it is usually possible to ‘come back’ - in the two player version, this is unlikely. Though the two player version removes a portion of the Q-vents, some of the remaining one’s may be too powerful to permit a repair, a regrowth. There is significantly less combat and less challenge in the two player game as it is played on the full map so many of the Quests required for victory, can be accomplished without any conflict with your opponent. We have actually played the two player version in under 30 minutes. This plays so quickly (as a two player game) that it could almost be considered a filler. Balance of Power and Plants Versus Zombies are much better two player experiences.
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David Lowry

Other Games  - 
 
Learning Beast Clans! +BeastClans
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Gavin Syme

Off Topic  - 
 
Alternative Armies: Get yourself a new Ball and Chain on us! (Pun intended!). This weekend Alternative Armies is automatically placing a FREE DWM018 Dwarf with Ball and Chain worth 2.75GBP into ANY order which contains at least one Ganesha miniature.  No limit on number of orders.  The offer runs until midnight GMT on Monday 22nd August 2016. Just place the order and we will do the rest for you.  Thanks.  GBS
Get yourself a new Ball and Chain on us! (Pun intended!). This weekend Alternative Armies is automatically placing a FREE DWM018 Dwarf with Ball and Chain worth 2.75GBP into ANY order which contains at least one Ganesha minia...
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A new game modeled on scientific career advancement offers food for thought, our columnist writes
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Theresa Gracia

Other Games  - 
 
Watch The Gaming Gang's unboxing video of Grimslingers and learn how you can WIN a free copy of Grimslingers Duels! http://ow.ly/wa7l303foDJ
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David Lowry

Other Games  - 
 
My new parody video for the Lords of Rock by +SolarFlare Games  is up! Check it out on Kickstarter please :-)
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Dave Shapiro

Other Games  - 
 
When a Virus Just Isn’t Enough

Way back in the Dark Ages (when the only video games were played on an Atari 2600), Avalon Hill published a game that included a mechanic that had been developed for assisting experiments on computers. The computer simulation was used to plan urban growth, insect populations, spread of diseases, etc. Based on a certain set of rules, a basic pattern would breed and grow. In some cases the pattern would continue to grow forever while in others it died off rapidly. In 1970, the British mathematician John Conway created a scaled down version. Eventually there were a variety of these algorithms and rudimentary versions appeared on early PC’s.

In 1979, Avalon Hill published Wizard’s Quest which was a Risk type game that, in addition to your opponents, included a common enemy - Orcs. These little buggers would, just as in the computer simulations, expand based on a set of rules. In 1981, Avalon Hill published another game that used a variation on this expansion mechanic (they altered the rules) - Amoeba Wars. There were a few other games that included a variation on this mechanic but none were even as successful as these two from Avalon Hill. Then this growth mechanic appears to have disappeared until it resurfaced in 2008.

Pandemic arrived in 2008 and this particular growth mechanic was no longer a secondary inclusion, it was the core of the game. Two years later a version of the growth mechanic appeared in Defenders of the Realm. Then in 2013, USAopoly included this mechanic in Risk: The Walking Dead. The Risk version actually expands on the concept. In each of the other games, the orcs/virus/amoebas were something that had to be dealt with; in Risk, the ‘Dead’ could actually convert your own units increasing the growth of the group. (Effectually introducing a mutation into the mix.)

Over the years, I have discovered that, when it involves this particular growth mechanic, there is no middle ground - you either love it or hate it. Those that ‘love’ it seem to enjoy the continuous uncertainty and challenge it introduces. Those that dislike the mechanic find it frustrating that an area that was safe can quickly devolve into something that is, once again, dangerous.

Now Zman Games has released Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu. The ‘Pandemic’ in the title is similar to Hasbro including ‘Risk’ in the title of many of its game - it is branding. Cthulhu shares many of the growth mechanic found in the Pandemic games but is different enough that it really does not require the ‘pandemic’ in the title.

The map in Cthulhu is significantly smaller than the Pandemic map and there is significantly less growth during the game. The object of the game is not to remove the two types of ‘evil’ units but to close the four gates, preventing the complete invasion of evil. Players close the gates in a manner similar to curing a virus in the original game (by submitting the appropriate set of cards). Each player is an ‘investigator’ and possesses a special ability. Certain actions (that are impossible to avoid), require the acting player to roll an ‘insanity’ die. If an investigator goes insane, you flip his character card and he now has different (usually reduced) abilities.

There are 12 Old One’s in the box and 8 are used in each game. When one of these is activated (and they will be), they act as a single event (never good) or actually change one of the rules of the game. Expansions for the game could be nothing more than a different set of Old One’s and investigators.

There is only one way to win - close all four gates. There are four ways to lose: run out of player cards or units, reveal all 8 Old One’s or if all of the players ‘go insane’.

The original Pandemic was not one of my favorite games - I found the decisions to be obvious. Pandemic Legacy is an entirely different beast - though it uses the same basic mechanics, it demonstrates what can be done with the system. Cthulhu is closer to the original game but, I believe, superior to the original. It plays faster and the smaller board increases the tension; it is less forgiving than the original game. Where I tend to avoid vanilla Pandemic, I would play Cthulhu without hesitation.

Both Pandemic and Cthulhu are entry level games that can easily be taught to non-gamers. With just a bit more complexity in the rules, Risk - Walking Dead provides a similar experience but provides significantly greater challenge and depth. All three games play in roughly the same amount of time but Walking Dead plays on two levels - it is semi-cooperative. Players must attempt to control areas in order to score while cooperating to hold back the growth of the zombies.

Note: for those who ‘hate’ Risk games, The Walking Dead did not require the ‘Risk’ branding. The feel of the game is not that of a typical Risk game (extreme confrontation) but more like Small World.
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Gavin Syme

Off Topic  - 
 
Now released at The Ion Age the brilliant Year Three Collection which brings you the last twelve months free monthly miniatures in all their radical diversity across our universe. Get the set or any singles you might have missed. We also have our birthday month great offer with a now re-molded pack at 25% off..if you like bikes you will want to see this beast. Click though for all of this. GBS
Year Three Begins! Now that our third year of The Ion Age is at a close its time to release the twelve monthly free miniatures as set which can be bought as a set or as singles. From September 2015 to August 2016 each of th...
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David Mathews

Episode Discussion  - 
 
Anyone have an idea for when the new season will be up on Geeks and Sundry or YouTube?
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Kris Matthews's profile photoSquall Loire's profile photo
3 comments
 
Originally intended for July but was apparently pushed back by Legendary so we're still awaiting a new date from Wil & co.
https://www.reddit.com/r/geekandsundry/comments/4uztuq/tabletop_season_4/d5ups5c
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