Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Mantic Games Mars Attacks Battle Report Have at Thee!

Join us once more for scenario 9 in our Mars Attacks mega play through.
A mission that is a battle to the death, or 8vps which ever happens first.  These are Olivia's favourite type of missions as she does like getting stuck in, and has discovered over the last few games that giving them the Martians the "bayonet" is a lot more efficient then shooting them.  Her Hero in this mission is Edwyn, sho starts exposed from the rest of her lines, but he has a fight of 3+ and armour so he should survive then start tearing Martians apart.  The only worry she has is General Tor, who can match him in combat, but is slightly less survivable.

Lets see how it goes......

Carcassone from Z-man games unboxing and review

Carcassone, designed by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and published first in 2000, it is named after the medieval fortified town of Carcassonne in southern France.  Its considered a classic in the world of board games, and a great Gateway game to introduce people to the hobby as its stated, the rules are simple, no one is ever eliminated, and the play is fast.
I love the art on the cover, it has a "classic" feel to it, and this set includes two mini expansions "the River, and The Abbot" with a rules sheet explaining them as well.

The back does an excellent job of explaining how simple the game is to play, and gives you an overview of the components, play time of around 35 minutes which Olivia and me found about right, and the age 7+ and since she is 7 and got the game fairly quickly I agree with the ratings.  It states it playes 2-5 players, but we have only played it with 2 though I can see how it would scale up fine.
With that in mind, I thought it about time we took a look at it here, to see what you get in the box, and if it is actually any good.  Lets take a look in the box before Olivia and I break it out on the table to play a few games.....

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Adventure Time Card Wars Princess Bubblegum Vs Lumpy Space Princess collectors Pack from Cryptozoic unboxing and review.

Time to look at another Adventure Time game, this time from Cryptozoic.  As regular Readers know, I love Adventure Time, and Olivia loves Adventure Time, so any chance to play an Adventure Time game is always a good thing.

the fact this comes from an episode makes it even cooler! so after watching the episode in question (I always wished they had made a game of Card Wars when I watched it) we broke this out and unleashed our own Card Wars!, true without the funky 3d effects, but with imagination switched on it became that and more.

Adventure Time Card Wars is the most epic card game ever found in the Land of Ooo, or anywhere for that matter! In the Adventure Time episode "Card Wars", Jake begs Finn to play his favourite trading card game. Finn accepts, despite warnings from Beemo on how very competitive Jake can be while playing the game. Finn and Jake battle against each other to decide who will be the Dweeb and who will be the Cool Guy.
With Olivia being a firm fan of Princess Bubblegum, this was the deck for her! meaning I got to be Lumpy Space Princess... Oh.. My.... Glob!


Adventure Time Card Wars: Princess Bubblegum vs. Lumpy Space Princess is another standalone two-player game that continues the Adventure Time Card Wars series. This time, Princess Bubblegum and her NiceLands deck take on Lumpy Space Princess’s totally rad dual-Landscape deck in a royal rumble.

NiceLands Creatures are all about using the damage on them to make them better. Most Creatures are looking for a particular sweet spot of damage. Sometimes you will want to heal damage from your Creatures to get them there. But sometimes you might actually damage your own Creatures to get them to that sweet spot. This new deck not only brings a new Landscape to the mix, but a whole new style of play.

Lumpy Space Princess’s deck is a Useless Swamps and Blue Plains deck. This is the first time a Collector’s Pack has featured something other than a mono-color deck. The Useless Swamp side of the deck is themed around discarding cards to power up your Creature abilities. Which is never a bad thing for the swampy side, as they thrive when they have built up a sizable discard pile.
The Blue Plains side of the deck is themed around replacing Creatures you control. Many of the Creatures in this half of the deck get killer bonuses for replacing Creatures that were already in play. It complements the Useless Swamp desire for a large discard pile as well. Such synergy!
 It comes in  this nice little box with the main characters on the front for each deck.  There are plenty of other sets too if you want to add more variety or get your favourite character.
I love the art on the back, straight from the episode, and a nice overview of the contents and what it is all about.  30 minutes play time sounds about right, and ages 10 and up is flexible, as Olivia had got it pretty quickly, but then she loves Adventure Time so wanted to.
Now.. what's in this wondrous box? lets look!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A Game of Thrones LCG True Steel chapter pack unboxing

Its that time once more to head back into Westeros and see what those wonderful folks at Fantasy Flight Games have come up with for the newest Chapter pack "True Steel"

“The days when men like Ryam Redwyne and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight wore the white cloak are gone to dust and song. Of these seven, only Ser Barristan Selmy is made of the true steel, and Selmy is old.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
The fortunes of the Great Houses are in chaos. Eddard Stark has been beheaded on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor, and House Lannister has stepped into the power vacuum created by Robert Baratheon’s untimely demise. Though the Lannisters hold King’s Landing, Stannis Baratheon has gathered his supporters on Dragonstone, Renly Baratheon has called on the power of Highgarden, and Robb Stark has already been proclaimed king in the north. War is on the horizon.
 As with all of the chapter packs you get 20 new cards, with 3 copies of each for adding to your deck, for a total of 60 cards to expand your decks and add some variety and try new tactics.  So what do we get?........

Friday, 20 May 2016

Mantic Games Mars Attacks Battle Report You keep What you Steal

Each of the Scenarios as we play through adds in different heroes that play differently, or have their own special rules, and in Scenario 8 we meet Buddy & Brandi.  With their "Star Crossed Lovers" rule it means they can not voluntarily move more then 1 square away from each other.  As always Olivia is taking the role of Humanity, and I am in charge of the Martians.
Olivia was pleased there was an option to get victory points by killing things.  So we set up... and started.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Mantic Games Mars Attacks Battle Report Collect Call

Continuing our Mars Attacks Saga we played Scenario 7.  As always Olivia was in charge of the Humans, whilst I ran the Martian forces.
The main goal is to get Joe to the uplink point so this may prove a challenge for Olivia, as she usually likes to just kill everything in her way, which yes would work, but lets see what happens.....

Dice Masters Marvel Civil War 2 player starter set unboxing and review.

 Its time again to look at the newest 2 player starter set for Dice masters.  Marvel Civil War.  These two player sets are a great way to get into the game for 2 people, or to grab a good solid force for a great price for established players.

My introduction to Dice Masters happened with the first Dungeons and Dragons starter set Battle for Faerun, and I was hooked, to the point where I looked at the super hero sets normally not having been a fan of superhero's but again being converted by the likes of the DC War of Light set featuring the Lantern corp, The Amazing Spiderman, or DCs Worlds Finest with the likes of Batman and Superman in them, and another set for Dungeons & Dragons with the Faerun under Siege 2 player starter set . The fact all of these sets can battle against each other is fantastic, have a look at a battle report of The Amazing Spiderman set vs Dungeons and Dragons Battle for Faerun

The game is fun, simple to play, plays fast, and is easily transportable and with so many sets and boosters available has almost limitless deck building options with a theme to suit everyone.

So lets take a look at the goodies and cards that you get and see if they are any good...........

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Mantic Games Mars Attacks Battle Report Rebel Assault

Time for the 6th Scenario for our Mars Attacks campaign.  In this one Olivia got to choose her hero, so went for Deke as his shooting is accurate,  and with the night fighting rules the range would only be 3 spaces.
I did get to try out General Tor on the tabletop  as well, so I was looking forward to seeing how he went.

Time for setup.....

Pokemon XY Trainer Kit Pikachu Libre Vs Suicune unboxing and review.

Pokémon.... ever since I was introduced to the game with Pokemon XY Ancient origins Theme Decks I have rather enjoyed a game against Olivia, and played the online version as well.

It is a surprisingly deep and tactical game, and anything that Olivia does that helps out things like thinking, and maths (for hit points) and planning is something I support.

Theme decks are great, but what if you want to get into the game between you and  a friend perhaps? or in my case, father and daughter.  is there another option? well yes there is.... the Trainer Kit.

Its clearly labelled as a 2 player learn to paly set, but it is also more then that!
The set has "mini" decks 30 cards strong, great for learning, but when you are done they go together to form a great and perfect deck to start playing other people who already have their own.

Lets open the pack up and take a look at what's inside.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Dice Masters Dungeons & Dragons Faerun Under Siege 2 Player starter set unboxing and review.

My introduction to Dice Masters happened with the first Dungeons and Dragons starter set Battle for Faerun, and I was hooked, to the point where I looked at the super hero sets normally not having been a fan of superhero's but again being converted by the likes of the DC War of Light set featuring the Lantern corp, The Amazing Spiderman, or DCs Worlds Finest with the likes of Batman and Superman in them.  The fact all of these sets can battle against each other is fantastic, have a look at a battle report of The Amazing Spiderman set vs Dungeons and Dragons Battle for Faerun
The game is fun, simple to play, plays fast, and is easily transportable and with so many sets and boosters available has almost limitless deck building options with a theme to suit everyone.

With this new release of a Dice Masters set that delves into the world of Dungeons and Dragons again I was pretty excited to see what it contains, and to see how Wizkids success with the other sets each improving in quality have been implemented here.

 I love the cover art, suitably dark, with a huge monster and a hero, exactly what you want.
 The back gives you a little overview of the contents, but we will be going over them. So lets see what's in the box and how these cards stack up.......

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Zvezda M3A1 Stuart US Light Tank kit 1/100 15mm scale unboxing and review

Zvezda have just released the M3 Stuart kit, and being a fan of Stuarts, and tiny tank  models in general I thought I should take a look at it.  At 15mm scale its perfect for Flames of War, or just for building for fun.

The M3 Stuart, formally Light Tank M3, is an American light tank of World War II. It was supplied to British and Commonwealth forces under lend-lease prior to the entry of the U.S. into the war. Thereafter, it was used by U.S. and Allied forces until the end of the war.

Observing events in Europe, American tank designers realized that the Light Tank M2 was becoming obsolete and set about improving it. The upgraded design, with thicker armour, modified suspension and new gun recoil system was called "Light Tank M3". Production of the vehicle started in March 1941 and continued until October 1943. Like its direct predecessor, the M2A4, the M3 was initially armed with a 37mm M5 gun and five .30-06 Browning M1919A4 machine guns: coaxial with the gun, on top of the turret in an M20 anti-aircraft mount, in a ball mount in right bow, and in the right and left hull sponsons. Later, the gun was replaced with the slightly longer M6, and the sponson machine guns were removed. For a light tank, the Stuart was fairly heavily armoured. It had 38 mm of armour on the hull front, 44 mm on the hull bottom, 51 mm on the gun mantlet, 38 mm on the turret sides, 25 mm on the hull sides, and 25 mm on the hull rear.
Internally, the radial engine was at the rear and the transmission to the driving sprockets at the front. The prop shaft connecting the two ran through the middle of the fighting compartment. The radial engine compounded the problem, having its crankshaft high off the hull bottom. When a turret floor was introduced, the crew had less room. The rear idler sprocket was moved to a trailing (ground contact) position.

The British Army was the first to use the Light Tank M3 as the "General Stuart" in combat. From mid-November 1941 to the end of the year, about 170 Stuarts (in a total force of over 700 tanks) took part in Operation Crusader during the North Africa Campaign, with poor results. This is despite the fact that the M3 was superior or comparable in most regards to most of the tanks used by the Axis forces. The most numerous German tank, the Panzer III Ausf G, had nearly identical armour and speed to the M3 (the M3 actually had thicker front and turret armour, while the Panzer III had slightly thicker side armour), and both tanks' guns could penetrate the other tank's front armour from beyond 1,000 meters. The most numerous Italian tank (and second most numerous Axis tank overall), the Fiat M13/40, was much slower than the Stuart, had slightly weaker armour all around, and could not penetrate the Stuart's front hull or turret armour at 1,000 meters, where the Stuart's gun could penetrate any spot on the M13/40. Although the high losses suffered by Stuart-equipped units during the operation had more to do with the better tactics and training of the Afrika Korps than the apparent superiority of German armoured fighting vehicles used in the North African campaign, the operation revealed that the M3 had several technical faults. Mentioned in the British complaints were the 37 mm M5 gun and poor internal layout. The two-man turret crew was a significant weakness, and some British units tried to fight with three-man turret crews. The Stuart also had a limited range, which was a severe problem in the highly mobile desert warfare as units often outpaced their supplies and were stranded when they ran out of fuel.

On the positive side, crews liked its relatively high speed and mechanical reliability, especially compared to the Crusader tank, which comprised a large portion of the British tank force in Africa up until 1942. The Crusader had similar armament and armour to the Stuart while being slower, less reliable, and several tons heavier. The Stuart also had the advantage of a gun that could deliver high-explosive shells; for the mounted by most Crusaders HE shells were not available, severely limiting their use against infantry. (however, by late 1942 the Crusader received the QF 6 pdr gun, significantly improving its anti-tank characteristics and giving it HE capability). The main drawback of the Stuart was its low fuel capacity and range; its operational range was only 75 miles (cross country), roughly half that of the Crusader.

The U.S. Army initially deployed 108 Stuart light tanks to the Philippines in September 1941, equipping the U.S. Army's 194th and 192nd Tank Battalions. The first U.S. tank versus tank combat to occur in World War II, began on 22 December 1941, when a platoon of five M3s led by Lieutenant Ben R. Morin engaged the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) 4th Tank Regiment's Type 95 Ha-Go light tanks north of Damortis. Lt. Morin maneuvered his M3 off the road, but took a direct hit while doing so, and his tank began to burn. The other four M3s were also hit, but managed to leave the field under their own power. Lt. Morin was wounded, and he and his crew were captured by the enemy.  M3s of the 194th and 192nd Tank Battalions continued to skirmish with the 4th Tank Regiment's tanks as they continued their retreat down the Bataan Peninsula, with the last tank versus tank combat occurring on 7 April 1942.

Due to the naval nature of the Pacific campaign, steel for warship production took precedence over tanks for the IJA, creating by default an IJA light tank that performed admirably in the jungle terrain of the South Pacific. By the same measure, although the US was not hampered by industrial restrictions, the U.S. M3 light tank proved to be an effective armoured vehicle for fighting in jungle environments. At least one was captured in the Philippines.

Lets take a look and see what comes in the box......

Thursday, 5 May 2016

House Baratheon Faction focus for A Game of Thrones the Card Game Second Edition LCG

In this faction focus we look at House Baratheon.  We will be looking at their strengths, and weaknesses and some of their best cards.

House Baratheon of Storm's End is one of the Great Houses of Westeros, and is the principal house in the stormlands, which they rule as Lords Paramount of the Stormlands. Their seat, Storm's End, is an ancient castle raised by the Storm Kings from the now-extinct House Durrandon. The Baratheon sigil is a crowned black stag on a field of gold. Members of the family tend to be tall and powerfully built, with black hair and blue eyes, as well as strong, square jawlines. They are known for their mercurial tempers, and their words are "Ours is the Fury".

After Robert's Rebellion, House Baratheon split into three branches: Lord Robert Baratheon was crowned King and took residence at King's Landing, thereby creating House Baratheon of King's Landing. Robert gave the seat of Dragonstone to his younger brother, Stannis, creating House Baratheon of Dragonstone. Robert's youngest brother, Renly, became the Lord of Storm's End, continuing House Baratheon of Storm's End.

Lets take a look at some of their cards........

Mantic Games Mars Attacks Battle Report Chaos

Once more we return with the next instalment of out Mars Attacks Campaign. Scenario 5, Chaos, this one looks a lot of fun, as the deployment is random, and the objective is not points, just the first player to reduce their opponent to one model wins, so a brutal messed up fire fight, where the Human player uses Marines, and one hero of their choice.  Olivia picked Edwyn so he could in theory hit things very hard with his sword.  As always she was in command of the Human forces, whilst I was in charge of the Martians.
after random set up, where you roll a dice for one axis, and a dice for the other to see where your models are placed.  If you roll where a model already is you can choose the position yourself.
after setup the battlefield looked like this...

Models where certainly close to each other, so this would be short and brutal....

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Game of Thrones LCG Calm Over Westeros chapter pack unboxing

Its that time again when we delve into A Game of Thrones the card game 2nd editions latest Chapter pack.  The joy of living card games means you never get random cards.  You get 20 new cards in the pack, each with 3 copies so a total of 60 cards.

“The Great Shepherd sent me to earth to heal his lambs, wherever I might find them.”
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Westeros lies under a deceptive calm. In King’s Landing, Eddard Stark pulls another layer away from the lies surrounding Robert Baratheon’s children. The Eyrie is shaken by the arrival of Tyrion Lannister and his desperate gambit to win his freedom. Across the Narrow Sea, a maegi plots her vengeance against Khal Drogo for the destruction of her peaceful village. Everywhere, events are set in motion that will bear terrible consequences.

Lets take a look and see who we meet on our journey this time.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mouser Mayhem Heroclix Starter Set unboxing and Review

Ahh the Ninja Turtles, or Hero Turtles as they where in my youth for the cartoon anyway.  I was a big fan, though I never did get any of the toys, I enjoyed the cartoon hugely and still have fond memories of it from the late 80s, early 90s.  When I found out that Wizkids and Heroclix where doing a TMNT starter set I was very excited, to recapture some of that nostalgia, and with Heroclix starters being a bit confusing to me being a new player I hoped it would be an ideal place to start.
 The box itself seems a departure form the blister packs seen as normal, and fits in nicely with my other favourite Wizkids product Star Trek Attack Wing.  Its a nice colourful box, where you can clearly see the minis you are getting.
 The back gives you a nice overview of whats in the box, and some background about the system.  It also mentions you get regular Heroclix rules, and some special sceanrios in the box, which is great as you can play this from 1-5 players from this box, which is excellent for the solo gamer learning the rules, or bringing in friends and family or Turtle based fun before you increase your collection.
 You get plenty in the box to get you going, so lets take a closer look at the goodies.

Mantic Games Dreadball Xtreme unboxing

Mantic games have come out with some great games you can play straight out of the box, Mars Attacks, and Dreadball, Dungeon Saga etc. 

DreadBall Xtreme is the underground sports game of the future and the follow-up to DreadBall: The Futuristic Sports Game. In this game, two teams battle it out on the pitch to outscore each other, with all-new twists:
• No Referee = More Violence for Everyone: with no one to stop the bloodshed, anything goes! Sucker punches and stomps are the norm, and the introduction of explosive collars, deadly traps and bloodsucking aliens only increase the level of violence.
• Customize your Battlefield: games are organized in prisons and warehouses at a moment’s notice, using industrial scenery to shake things up - everywhere from the scoring zone to the ball launch location can change!

• Play as Enigmatic Sponsors: the powerful organizers behind the game, Sponsors dictate your play-style and are experts in intimidation, blackmail and illegal gambling. Best of all, Sponsors allow you to build entirely unique teams out of any player combination you like!
Are you ready for an all-new ball game?
DreadBall Xtreme is a standalone game based in the same world as DreadBall and cross-compatible with it, but DreadBall is not required for play.

I always feel like I get great value when I open a Mantic Games box, so I thought we should take a look and see what you get in Dreadball Xtreme

Star Trek Attack Wing USS Montgolfier ship build

Welcome back to the Antares fleet yard, where we are to outfit the latest addition to the Federation fleet for battle.  The USS Montgolfier Saber class light cruiser.

As always using only the cards from the pack to show you the kind of options available to you straight from the pack, and no more then 50 points.  Then we can look at what uses the ship has in your fleet.

Lets take a closer look.