Monday, 28 November 2016

Ascension Realms Unraveled unboxing and review from Stoneblade Entertainment

I do enjoy a good card game, with my favourites for multiplayer being A Game of Thrones LCG and my favourite solo card game being Lord of the Rings the LCG, though are a whole gambit of excellent card games to play out there.  When I come across a new one, it needs to have good mechanics, and a draw, either a solid theme, or artwork.....

Now Ascension, is an already established game, but this is a stand alone box that you can learn and play from, and combine with other sets too.  It has its own background and world... but will that or the art be good enough to draw you in?

Ascension: Realms Unraveled is a deck-building game in which players acquire cards from a central pool, then place those cards in their discard pile to be shuffled into their deck for later use; creatures also show up in that shared card pool, and players can combat them to earn victory points (VPs) and possibly other benefits, such as the ability to remove less useful cards from their deck or to banish cards from the pool that others might find useful. The game ends once all the available VPs have been claimed or the shared deck of cards runs out.

Ascension: Realms Unraveled, part of the Ascension deck-building game series, is both a standalone game for 2-4 players (with solitaire rules included, too) and an expansion that can be combined with any other Ascension game to support up to six players.
While cards in previous Ascension games have always belonged to one of four factions, Ascension: Realms Unraveled introduces multi-faction heroes, and these heroes combine with the new "Multi-Unite" game mechanism to deliver huge rewards to those who play multiple heroes from the same faction.
Ascension: Realms Unraveled also features the "Transform" mechanism that debuted Ascension: Darkness Unleashed, with players being able to convert their cards into new, more powerful versions as the game progresses.
You get a good amount of stuff in the box, a hard playing board, plenty of cards too.  It states 2-4 players, but this can be played solo very easily and includes solo rules.. so already a good sign for me!  30 min play time, seems about right from games I have played, they can go quicker or about that, rarely longer though.  Ages 13 and up again seems ok, Olivia isn't so interested in the card games, it means she has to read a lot, though she does enjoy watching them and helping where she can.

Lets pop it open and take a look inside!

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Zvezda King Tiger Konigstiger Tiger II Henschel turret 1/100 scale 15mm review

Zvezda have once again come out with another great model, perfect for your Flames of War games, and its so cheaply priced as well.... but can it be any good? i mean compared to some makers £10-15 Tiger IIs, how does a £3 tiger II stand? Very VERY well in fact.....
 

The Tiger II was the successor to the Tiger I, combining the latter's thick armour with the armour sloping used on the Panther medium tank. The tank weighed almost 70 tonnes, and was protected by 100 to 185 mm (3.9 to 7.3 in) of armour to the front. It was armed with the long barrelled 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 anti-tank cannon. The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger turretless tank destroyer.

The Tiger II was issued to heavy tank battalions of the Army and the Waffen-SS. It was first used in combat with 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion during the Allied Invasion of Normandy on 11 July 1944; on the Eastern Front, the first unit to be outfitted with Tiger IIs was the 501st Heavy Panzer Battalion, which by 1 September 1944 listed 25 Tiger IIs operational


The heavy armour and powerful long-range gun gave the Tiger II an advantage against all opposing Western Allied and Soviet tanks attempting to engage it from head on. This was especially true on the Western Front where, until the arrival of the few M26 Pershings in 1945, neither the British nor US forces brought heavy tanks into service. A Wa Prüf 1 report estimated that the Tiger II's frontal aspect was impervious to the 122 mm D-25T, the heaviest although not the best penetrating tank gun on the Allied side. On the other hand, an R.A.C 3.d. document of February 1945 estimated that the British QF 17-pounder (76.2 mm) gun, using armour-piercing discarding sabot shot was theoretically capable of penetrating the front of the Tiger II's turret and nose (lower front hull) at 1,100 and 1,200 yd (1,000 and 1,100 m) respectively although, given the lack of a stated angle, this is presumably at the ideal 90 degrees angle.  As a result of its thick frontal armour, flanking manoeuvres were most often used against the Tiger II to attempt a shot at the thinner side and rear armour, giving a tactical advantage to the Tiger II in most engagements.  Moreover, the main armament of the Tiger II was capable of knocking out any Allied tank frontally at ranges exceeding 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi), well beyond the effective range of Allied tank guns.

 Lets pop it open and take a look.............


Monday, 21 November 2016

Mansions of Madness second Edition 2.0 from Fantasy Flight Games unboxing and review

I am sure you all know by now, im rather fond of the work of H.P Lovecraft, and the Cthulhu Mythos by now, so with it being Halloween its the perfect time to share with you the latest entry in the Arkham files series of games from Fantasy Flight Games.  Mansions of Madness 2nd edition.  I have never played the first edition, but am a huge fan of games like Arkham horror a city level game, or Eldritch Horror which takes your investigators on a world wide hunt to stop the old ones in a large and epic game.  Then there is the fantastic Elder Sign a fast playing cooperative dice game.  Other manufacturors have amde Cthulhu themed games as well that are well worth look like the excellent Pandemic Reign of Cthulhu or for a more simple story crafting game Cthulhus Vault.

So with a large variety of Cthulhu themed games out there... what makes this so special? well.... plenty! so lets take a look.......
Its a BIG box, but with beautiful art on it, and it very clearly states an app is needed to palyt he game, though the app is free though, and available on PC, IOS, and Android.

That the influence of the old house was unwholesome, he could not deny; but traces of his early morbid interest still held him there. He argued that the fever alone was responsible for his nightly phantasies, and that when the touch abated he would be free from the monstrous visions. Those visions, however, were of abhorrent vividness and convincingness, and whenever he awaked he retained a vague sense of having undergone much more than he remembered.
     
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Dreams in the Witch House 


Fight for your life in Mansions of Madness Second Edition, the app-assisted horror game inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. From the makers of Eldritch Horror, this fully cooperative game takes you and up to four other players on a harrowing adventure through the dark and desolate halls and alleyways of Arkham. Much like the original Mansions of Madness game, the second edition offers a number of thrilling and confounding scenarios, each with a unique and unpredictable map, intricate puzzles, and bloodthirsty monsters.
 It states 1-5 players, yes 1 player!! solo gaming for the win, the inclusion of this is as I always state excellent.  Ages 14 and up, but that may be due to theme since Olivia has played Eldritch Horror and other Cthulhu games its no worry to me, and the app does a lot of the work.  Game time does differ, some scenarios can be an hour and half, others 4 hours plus, so its variable, and dependant upon if you are playing solo or in a large group.
Now I said this game was a big box, and that's because there is SOO much inside it, take  a look at that components list! that's a whole ton of goodies, so lets pop the lid and see what dwells within........

Friday, 18 November 2016

Star Wars Xwing TIE SF ship Build

Time for another Xwing ship build, this time focusing on the Empires TIE Special forces ship, a rather hefty hitting TIE fighter variant with both front and rear firing arcs.  As Always only using the cards that come in the pack, and looking at roles on the battlefield for her.
A pretty simple build, but how do we use it? and what can she do? well lets take a closer look..........

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Krosmaster Arena 2.0 unboxing and review from CMON

Most of the "Arena Battle" games you see these days are odd new fangled online things, with people playing others all around the world from their moms basement and hurling abuse and "noob" comments and such like (sadly a lot of the players I saw, though I do know not all), which is why this genre never really appealed to me, far too competitive and unfriendly..... Well, that is until a version appeared on the tabletop for that sort of thing.....

The World of Twelve is a little planet in the Krosmoz universe that is home to millions of warriors and adventurers who just want a simple life. However, life never stays simple for long as Demons from another dimension are always plucking up these warriors to fight in the arena for their amusement.

In Krosmaster Arena 2.0, players pit their combat skills against one another to earn glory in battle. It will take careful planning and tactical execution for these warriors to come out on top. Players must tap into all of their magical powers and brute strength. It could be the difference between walking out of the arena and being carried out.
It gives the age as 14 and up, which at first you may think odd due to the "cutesy" nature and look of the game, but it is a fairly complex game.  Olivia did get it, but had to have quite a lot of help to get through it, so make sure you know if your younglings can manage it, though of course just because it looks cute does not mean its for kids... this is a cut throat game of battling.  time of 45-60 minutes is probably about right, we went a little longer our first full game, but once the rules are down, and if I did not have to read and explain so much it will be quicker.  It does play 2-4 players though if you are playing 4 players you are playing in teams. Lets see what we have inside......

Monday, 14 November 2016

Hawk Wargames Dropzone Commander 2 player set unboxing Review and painted up

Time to take a look at some Dropzone Commander from Hawk Wargames.  In particular the 2 player starter set.  I love Starter sets, especially ones filled with goodies, as this is certainly one of those!
So a bit about the background on the game, as background is important to setting the scene.  Hawk Wargames say......


          It is the Year 2670
A Golden Age of humanity has passed into history. A time when mankind
advanced implacably and unopposed through the stars has gone beyond living memory.

Planet Earth and the original Cradle Worlds are lost to the great foe, the Scourge.
The shattering invasion of this terrible enemy has torn the domains of man asunder.

The remnants of human civilisation now exist in a collection of frontier planets.
Thinly spread and underdeveloped, they are pale shadows of mankind's former glories.

However, this is not an age without hope.
Humanity has found new strength, unity and purpose in these times of dire fortune. 
The colonies are undertaking a period of vigorous, dynamic expansion,
unrivalled in the history of our race, united by a common purpose - Reconquest.

The armies of the United Colonies of Mankind march towards humanities' former heartland,
battling the dreaded Scourge one world at a time. Many enemies and allies await on this journey;
an odyssey through the stars towards a distant and glittering goal - Earth.
   
The Game

You join this universe in the earliest days of mankind's ambitious invasion to retake the central planets from the Scourge. Bloody battles and epic conflict awaits as races, generals and individuals take sides. Whether you're fighting for humanity, the Scourge or for your own ends is up to you!

Dropzone Commander (DzC) is a 10mm scale sci-fi tabletop wargame, devised for mass battles between two or more players. The rules are designed for efficient and dynamic games which can be played on a standard 4'x4' table (although larger tables work well also!).

The rules are based on an alternate activation system, which keeps the action constant and involving. They are also scalable, and will cater for tactical skirmishes as well as titanic clashes of metal and firepower. This is accomplished whilst never sacrificing the character of individual units, and indeed all the colour and eventfulness of battle.

A vast array of war machines will be at your disposal, but this does not belittle the importance of the humble infantryman.

The game is built around the concept of rapid deployment and redeployment of your forces by airborne dropships, exemplifying the pace of combat on the battlefields of the future. This makes for a tactical and fast paced experience, where quick thinking and strokes of genius often bring victory.




So what's in this box? lets take a look....

HMS Dolores from Asmode Games unboxing and review

The Westcountry, in particular Plymouth has a strong and old naval tradition, so its no real surprise I have a love of naval games, the age of sail in particular.  There was a darker side to those times too, with wreckers, and smugglers and treasure hunters, and this game focuses on the wreckers in a small portable fast paced multiplayer card game.


Merchant vessels traveling by sea have successfully been used to carry exotic goods between nations for hundreds of years. Seafare is not only is the fastest and most efficient way for the transport of goods, but it also exposes the citizenry of trade-rich nations to novel and fascinating new products. Merchants willing to brave the risks and send their ships out to discover, trade, and deliver cargo to other nations can reap these sizeable financial rewards. Unfortunately for these merchants, they have more to worry about than the tempestuous seas or navigational mishaps. Several enterprising individuals have banded together to waylay these merchant ships and seize the cargo for themselves.
These shipwreckers light signal fires along the rocky coast to lure in unsuspecting merchant ships. These ships soon find themselves wrecked upon hidden rocks and hazards. Once a ship crashes there, its cargo will often wash ashore—right into the waiting arms of the shipwreckers. Of course, even the must industrious independent operations have occupational hazards, and shipwreckers are no different. Should two rival shipwrecking crews reach a crate at the same time, they must find a way to agree (or not) as to how the loot should be divided.

Tonight, one such merchant ship traveling from Cardiz, the HMS Dolores, has been buffeted about in a vicious storm. Following the lure fires of the shipwreckers, the Dolores has crashed and broken on the rocks of Breton. Crate after crate are now washing ashore, just waiting to be seized.
In HMS Dolores, a fast-paced card game designed by Eric Lang and Bruno Faidutti, two to four players take the roles of these rival shipwreckers, competing to recover as much loot as possible from the shore-bound wreckage of the Dolores.
The cargo up for grabs is represented by cards of seven different suits, each signifying a different type of loot. Each player or shipwrecker’s crew begins the game with four cards face-up in front of him or her, organized by suit. Then, negotiations commence as the shipwreckers decide whether to Fight, get First Pick, or make Peace with rival crews. Once the sun rises, the shipwrecker with the highest score wins the game!

The game plays 2-4 players, and they say 20 mins, but we have had games done in 10 so it does play quick, and is also really suitable for any age group to enjoy.

Lets crack it open and peek at the treasures inside......

Friday, 11 November 2016

Carcassonne Expansion 3 The Princess and the Dragon unboxing and review from Z-Man Games

Carcassonne is a classic tile laying game that is great fun, we looked at the original base game, we looked at it here, so go take a read before this, as The princess and the Dragon is an expansion for that game that requires the original base game.

In this third major expansion for the prize-winning Carcassonne, we move into the realm of fantasy.
The land around Carcassonne is being visited by a dragon, making life very difficult for the followers. Brave heroes venture forth to face the danger, but without the aid of the fairies, their chances are not good.
In the city, the princess seeks help from the knights, and farmers build secret passages to move about undetected by the dragon.
Contents: 30 new tiles with dragon nests, volcanoes, magic gates, and princesses; 1 large wooden dragon; 1 wooden fairy, but sadly from Olivia's point of view no Princess meeple.

The boxes art is lovely, really like it, and it gives a very clear description of what you get int he box, and the basics of what it does.

Lets crack it open and take a look ourselves..........

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Lord of the Rings Journey to Mordor from Fantasy Flight Games unboxing and review

I have said it before, I love the Lord of the Rings, and the works of Tolkien, so any time I can play a game based on to and dive into that world its something I want to try.  Fantasy Flight Games Journey to Mordor provides a pocket sized (well a big pocket anyway) trip into the lands of middle earth.  Up until now it has only been The Lord of the Rings the card game LCG also by Fantasy Flight Games.
The art on the cover is like most things from Fantasy Flight Games, absolutely beautiful, and with the small box size can sit nicely on the shelf with your copy of the book.

Sauron threatens to push Middle-earth into eternal darkness in his desire for the One Ring. All hope lies on Frodo Baggins and his friends from the Shire. Your task: Bring the One Ring to Mordor, then destroy it in Mount Doom.
With each roll of the dice, players make decisions and try to move their hobbits as quickly as possible to get to Mount Doom. They're supported by Gandalf and others, but also potentially blocked by orcs and persecuted by Ringwraiths. Players must be bold enough to choose the right dice symbols and shake off the Nazgul.
Its for 2-4 players, age 14 and up, and think that may be a bit high, I first read LOTR a lot younger so its something you will need to judge for yourself.  It recommends about 15-30 mins to play, which seems right from games we have played so far.
So lets take a look inside, and see what we get and how it plays........

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Jaipur from Asmodee games review and unboxing

Sometimes you just want to play something simple, fun and 2 player, where you don't have to spend time setting up, or taking down and its something that doesn't hurt your brain.  Perhaps something that's a good lunch time game in work? or a perfect introductory game for newer gamers.... well Jaipur covers all those slots.....
Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan. You are one of the two most powerful traders in the city.
But that's not enough for you, because only the merchant with two Seals of Excellence will have the privilege of being invited to the Maharaja's court.
You are therefore going to have to do better than your direct competitor by buying, exchanging and selling at better prices, all while keeping an eye on both your camel herds.

its card game for two seasoned traders!


Its a pretty simple game, but that does not mean its easy or lacks any depth..... lets take a look inside.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Final Touch from Asmodee Games unboxing and Review

Art.... I was never any good at it at school, in fact I dropped it as soon as possible as I can barely draw a stick man.  Therefore drawing games have never really been my thing, as I am rubbish.... but Final Touch lets me create masterpieces without me needing to pick up a pencil or a brush.... so lets take a look at this game then....

To earn your living as an artist — that would really be something. But what can you do if you're not creative?
In Final Touch, players hire themselves out as art forgers willing to copy the masterworks of great artists, with all of them competing to create — or rather, re-create — the same image. But only the player who uses the right colors to finish the image will receive money for their work, and this skill is sure to reveal the best painter...or the best bluffer...
In more detail, players play "Touch of Color" cards from their hand to either improve or smear the forgery, working both together and against their fellow painters. The first player to put the final touch on any forgery in the making earns the money for that forgery, while smearing pays out to their opponents and moves them on to the larger paydays. The first artist to earn $25 by putting the final touch of paint on a forged painting wins!

Its a fast playing card game for 2-4 players with a play time of around 15 minutes or less, and recommended age of 8 and up, though Olivia (7) had it down with no problem. 

Lets take a look see what's inside, and how it plays..........]

Monday, 7 November 2016

A Game Of Thrones LCG Lions of Casterley Rock deluxe expansion unboxing and review

When Fantasy Flight Games released A Game of Thrones the LCG 2nd Edition I was smitten.  I love A Game of Thrones, and the art in the game, and the mechanics are excellent.  In fact its probably my favourite Vs card game.  Since then they have released regular chapter packs advancing the plot, and a deluxe expansion Wolves of the North which was focussed on house Stark.  Now we get one I have long been waiting for, the Lions of Casterley Rock, which focuses on my favourite house, the Lannisters.

“My brother is undoubtedly arrogant,” Tyrion Lannister replied. “My father is the soul of avarice, and my sweet sister Cersei lusts for power with every waking breath. I, however, am innocent as a little lamb.”
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones


Lions of Casterly Rock, the second deluxe expansion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, invites you to take your place among the storied names of House Lannister. Within this expansion, the Lannisters explore new themes, launching an ambush with their Clansman allies, redoubling their focus on the intrigue challenge, and sending out marauders to pillage the lands of Westeros. You’ll also find new versions of the most iconic Lannister characters, including Tywin Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Ser Jaime Lannister, and Tyrion Lannister.

So we get new cards, some alternate versions, new plots... all sorts of goodies.... lets crack it open and take a look inside...

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Marvel Legendary Deadpool from Upper Deck unboxing and review

I never used to be a super hero fan.. but the more I tried playing games like Marvel Legendary Villians or Marvel VS 2PCG both from Upper Deck the more I started to enjoy the world of superheros, some more than others... and Deadpool more than most.  I am a big Deadpool fan, the humour and self awareness that is put into his character is just top notch, and makes him truly a pleasure to watch or read in his adventures, and now.... to play!
This is an expansion for the Legendary series of games, which has strayed out of the marvel universe, in fact the Alien version is excellent so check that out for a review of how the main game plays.  You do need either the Villians or the main legendary core set though for this.

So lets pop it open, and see what Deadpool adds to the mix........

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Rebel Aces unboxing for X-Wing Miniatures game

Rebel Aces provides you with you some new pilots, upgrades, alternate paint scheme A-wing and B-wing ships.

So what comes in the pack? and is it worth getting if you already have the ships? lets take a look and see....