Thursday, 29 September 2016

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game ARC-170 unboxing and reveiw from Fantasy Flight games

Time again to look at the newest release for Xwing... This time its the Rebellions turn to get a new ship.. well new old ship if that makes sense as the ARC is an elderly beast, but rather a cool looking one in my opinion, and therefore i forgive the prequels (a bit) for creating it.

The Rebel Alliance recovered, repaired, and retrofitted a handful of ARC-170 starfighters during the Galactic Civil War. Though somewhat antiquated, the ship was still a force to be reckoned with, featuring powerful cannons, heavy shielding, and a tail gunner. The ARC-170 Expansion Pack introduces this starfighter to X-Wing as a resilient vessel with two attack, an auxiliary firing arc, and both crew and astromech upgrade slots. Additionally, four ship cards introduce Poe Dameron's mother Shara Bey and three other aces while nine new upgrades permit a wide range of creative configurations.
You can see shes slightly bigger then most of the ships we see, so is in the slightly bigger clam shell compared to the TIE or Xwing.

Lets crack it open and see what shes like...........

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Escape From Colditz Deluxe Edition 75th Anniversary from Osprey Games unboxing and review

First released in 1973, and featuring a "controversial Swastika on the box, which was replaced in later printings by an eagle, Escape from Colditz was one of those games that worked its way into the nations psyche, and a huge amount of homes had a copy back in the day.  We certainly did, and i have fond memories of playing it as youngling with my grandparents.  Im not sure i ever  fully understood what i needed to do, but i loved history watched old war films so i was in on the theme, plus i got to roll dice (my grandad always helped me as my Nan was always the German prison guards).

When a game has been around that long, and fondly looked back on , it certainly has nostalgia appeal, and honestly was quite ahead of its time for mechanics in board games, in an era where monopoly was king by provided a cooperative experience as prisoners against the guards, and far more options and mechanics than typically found in a boardgame of the time.

Osprey Games are now bringing it back to life with a Deluxe addition, less of a remake more a loving tribute, with new rules, that keep the spirit of the original, but are tweaked and cleaner, and it also includes the original ruleset, so its almost 2 games for one!

Colditz Castle - World War II.
An impregnable fortress. An inescapable prison. Until now.
Designed by Major Pat Reid, one of only a handful of prisoners-of-war to escape Colditz Castle, and screenwriter Brian Degas, Escape From Colditz is the iconic game of careful planning and nerves of steel.

Become Allied escape officers - assemble your equipment, plot your escape routes, and coordinate your efforts to avoid the guards. Become the German security officer - maintain control through guile, ruthlessness, and careful observation despite limited numbers.

This deluxe edition of the classic game for 2 to 6 players includes both original and updated rules, new hand-painted artwork, an oversized board, 56 wooden playing pieces, 100 fully illustrated cards, a 32-page history book, and unique replicas of artifacts from the prison.
Seventy-five years ago, Major Reid braved barbed wire, searchlights, and armed guards to Escape from Colditz. Now it's your turn to do the same.

Devised by Major Reid, and Brian Degas. The Artwork is by the fantastic Peter Dennis, who i am sure you will be familiar with from the beautiful Osprey books, and Bolt Action.

Major Pat Reid, OBE, was a British Army officer and prisoner of war during World War II. Held in the infamous Colditz Castle, a Nazi prison designated for troublesome enemy combatants, he is one of the few prisoners who managed to escape. He is also the author of two books about his experience in Colditz, The Colditz Story and Latter Days at Colditz, which form the basis for the prison's lasting appeal in popular culture.Brian Degas is a script writer and producer, best known for his work on Barbarella, Danger: Diabolik, and the BBC's iconic Colditz series. A close friend of Pat Reid, they worked closely together to create recreate the tension and daring of Major Reid's escape, making Escape from Colditz a household name.Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK. 

The Box is stunning, with great Art on it, though different to the original `73 edition, it certainly captures the same spirit with the menacing Colditz Castle in the background.  The box itself is really high quality, the card feels strong and smooth, its certainly a well made item and with care will last in your collection as its nice and thick unlike the very thin original 70s version.
On the back you get some nice images of the contents and the normal explanation of the game.  It says 2-6 players which is accurate and ages 14 plus, which in this case i do agree with, as its more complex then i recall it being (though i had a load of help with it)  Play time as 9-=150 minutes, again pretty much bang for that, its not a quick game, its certainly one you need a whole evening or afternoon to get full enjoyment out of.

So lets pop this open... and take a look at what we get........

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game Shadow Caster Expansion pack REveiw and unboxing from Fantasy flight Games

Its been a while since a new ship hit the hanger decks for Xwing, and a while since i looked at one.  Its time to Remedy that with the Shadow Caster.....  Seen in the animated Series Rebels, its a large base ship for the Scum faction.  If you want a refresher in Xwing, take a look at the X-Wing Force Awakens Starter Set

The signature starship of the young and ambitious bounty hunter Ketsu Onyo, the Shadow Caster was agile and powerful, but lightly shielded, trading heavy ray shielding for speed. Both the ship and its pilot make their way to X-Wing™ in the Shadow Caster Expansion Pack, along with three other pilots and twelve upgrades that afford you myriad options for outfitting your Shadow Caster with different crew and illicit upgrade combinations. Finally, the ship boasts a mobile firing arc, which offers some of the advantages of a turret, even while preserving a distinctive—and more point-efficient—play style.

 In the traditional large ship FFG packaging it gives a clear shot of that lovely model.

 And a nice little run down of the contents on the back.

Lets crack her open and take a closer look at the goodies within.........

Monday, 26 September 2016

Legendary Encounters Firefly Deck building Game from Upper Deck

upper Deck have pumped out all sorts of cool Legendary systems, mainly focusing on Marvel such as Villians (check the article for an idea on how to play) and now we look into something different with Firefly, a great Scifi show that sadly was far too short, that introduces some excellent new gameplay elements so should appeal to fans of legendary AND fans of the show!

So whats different? apart from not being in super hero spandex?

Legendary Encounters is back with an all new Firefly core set! Play as the crew of the Serenity and work with each other to complete each episode that players choose. Upgrade your ship to gain an advantage, but be careful that Serenity does not get enough strikes to end the game. Once players complete an episode, everything resets to start anew! Each Core Set comes with over 500 playable cards featuring all original art and will feature some of Firefly’s greatest protagonists, including Patience, Niska, Saphron and the evil Alliance. Also included will be a game mat to help to organize the play field. Get ready to explore the ‘Verse! 

Lets crack it open, and take a look around the verse!!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Codename Pictures from CGE games

Being a spy would be pretty interesting right? im sure you are thinking James Bond and all his gadgets, but i think more of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, with its more "realistic" approach to the world of spycraft.  I cant think of many games about being a spy to be honest, but came across Codenames Pictures......

Its a team based game from 2 players to well.... as many as you want really!

What are these strange symbols on the map? They are code for locations where spies must contact secret agents!
Two rival spymasters know the agent in each location. They deliver coded messages telling their field operatives where to go for clandestine meetings. Operatives must be clever. A decoding mistake could lead to an unpleasant encounter with an enemy agent – or worse, with the assassin! Both teams race to contact all their agents, but only one team can win.

It comes in a nice little box, so its easily portable, and thats good, as this is really going to come into its own as a party game.
You get a litle run down of the contents in the back, and play time, which seems about right.... I think the Age is dead on in this one, as Olivia found linking some of the images a bit tricky.

Whats in this little box then? and how does it play??

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Legendary Big Trouble in Little China unboxing and review from Upper Deck

Time to drift back in time to those golden days of the 80s with the theme of today game.  Big Trouble in Little China was one of my favourite films of the era, full of action, fun and mystery i loved it then, and to me anyway its still stood the test of time, and is a great nostalgia trip to those simpler days when my main concerns where doing my homework, or what game i was wait to load on Amstrad CPC 

Back then there was a Big Trouble in Little China video game.  Yes... it looked horrible, and im not sure i recall it being any good at all, but it was all there was to live in the universe back then.  There has in fact not been any other games on it since then. Until now that is.  Upper Deck have come out with Legendary Big Trouble in Little China, and I get a chance all these years later to dive back into the world as a player rather then a viewer.  I love to still watch the film, and enjoy it every time, even though i think i have seen it more times then i can count.  This game will really hit the nostalgia button, IF..... if its done right. So lets see if it accomplishes that.....

In Legendary players choose a number of hero heroes and then face off against one particular villain, his band of evil minions and their latest scheme for World domination. The heroes use their own skills to wipe out each of the villain's strategies that would complete his scheme and recruit additional fighters as the game progresses. However the villain also gains extra powers and fighter along the way and the heroes will need to have stopped enough of the enemy's plan before it’s too late.
Now you can play the Legendary card building game all based around one of the best pulp action stories Big Trouble in Little China. This set will provide all the cards, rules and other essentials to play through every mission in the game and have hours of fun.

Can Truck driver Jack Burton and his friends save the day or will they be defeated by the Three Storms and allow Lo Pan to be rise anew?

This is a stand alone set, so doe not need any of the Legendary games, though it is worth taking a look at the Marvel Legendary villians set to get an idea on how to play the game, as the basics are the same.

But this is not a world of spandex wearing superheros... but a world of myths legends, and a lost truck driver.!

so what comes in this box.. lets see.......

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu reveiw and unboxing from Z-Man Games

Regular readers may know I have a bit of a softspot for the works of H.P Lovecraft, and have several games that feature his "Mythos" such as the epic Eldritch Horror from Fantasy flight Games, and the storytelling game Cthuluhus Vault from Jolly roger Games.  I also only recently got to play the epic game that is Pandemic from z-Man Games.  When I saw a game that combined certain elements of Pandemics mechanics, with the world of Lovecraft i knew it was a MUST have.

But after playing it, is it any good? is it a replacement for Pandemic? read on and we shall she.

Beings of ancient evil, known as Old Ones, are threatening to break out of their cosmic prison and awake into the world. Everything you know and love could be destroyed by chaos and madness. Can you and your fellow investigators manage to find and seal every portal in time? Hurry before you lose yourself to insanity.

In Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, you'll experience the classic Pandemic gameplay with an horrific twist that'll have you face ten Old Ones, each threatening the world with their unique powers. As players take on the roles of investigators attempting to seal a series of portals before monsters of unspeakable horror pour into our world there is, of course, a high risk of the investigators losing their own minds.
Instead of curing diseases like in the original Pandemic, players seal portals and shut down cults in the classic New England fictional towns of Arkham, Dunwich, Innsmouth, and Kingsport. Can you and your fellow investigators manage to find and seal every portal in time? Hurry before you lose yourself to insanity and the evil that lurks beneath your feet...
The box art is great, full of the kind of art i love and associate with Lovecraft, the 20s/30s style, and the menacing face of Cthulhu himself in the background. 
The back of the game gives a break down of ages 14 and up recommneded.  Olivia got this one easier than Pandemic itself, but perhaps the "scary" theme makes the age rating what it is, though it did not bother her at all due to plenty of experience with other games.  2-4 players, yes it plays great with all those numbers, but once more they have missed a trick by not mentioning how well it plays solo with you controlling two investigators... its fantastic solo, so for me that's a great selling point they have missed here with it, so if you wonder, can it pbe played solo? yes... is it good solo? yes!
You get a nice little contents guide on the back of it, and you do get a fair chunk in the box... figures!! yes.... thats right! if you have played Pandemic before it was cubes for the diseases which worked perfectly well, and different coloured pawns for the characters, which again worked perfectly well, but figures! this shows they are really putting effort into the theme of the game.

Now lets crack it open, and take a dive into the world of Lovecraft...........