All posts by David Obenour

ORIGINS GAME FAIR, June 14-18 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center

by David C. Obenour & Kris Poland

It’s Con time of year again and Ghettoblaster’s intrepid editor and gaming associate editor were thrilled to be out there in the crowds (well, maybe not always thrilled about the crowds) doing the hard and dirty work of demoing, demoing, demoing! With belly’s full of bourbon and Lan Viet’s delicious grilled pork ban mis we dove into the Columbus Convention Center once again for another amazing few days of gaming! Here’s the first of two posts of what we played.

 

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Lazer Ryderz (Greater Than Games)

Dave: Man, who gives a crap about how this game is played – look at that packaging! A Tron-like sci-fi game from out of what looks like a shelf worn VHS box set? Hell yeah! Thankfully, after you’ve spent hours dazzled by the game box and its components, getting to the rules proves pretty damn rewarding too! You’re riding your lazer bike around, leaving a trail of lethal lazer behind you and collecting power prizms for points and glory! With a similar move mechanic to Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing Miniatures Game it seems quick to pick up on and play. Let’s go Lazer Ryding, boyz!

Kris: Excellent over-the-top 80s art direction and refreshingly straightforward game mechanics make for a perfect match here. As Dave mentioned, Lazer Ryderz takes the simple movement mechanics from the X-Wing Miniatures Game and turns it into a fast-paced race to claim Power Prizms. A healthy dose of randomness in Prizm placement ensures that every game is anybody’s game, and a relatively brief playtime makes this one a strong candidate for either a quick diversion or a lengthy tournament scene.

 

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Attack on Titan: The Last Stand (Cryptozoic Games)

Dave: Cryptozoic has finally found the perfect use for their ubiquitous cardboard stand-up! Included with almost every game from the publisher, the stand-up model for Attack on Titan: The Last Stand is the towering and terrifying titan! With multiple levels up and down the stand-up, and two more levels for the nearby castle, all but one of the players roll dice to cooperatively swing back and forth, fire, stab, and dodge their way to taking down the monster. The other player takes on the role of the titan, using sacrificed player dice to eat villagers, attack other players, and generally be a big jerk. As one of the two companies to continually surprise with their licensed games (GaleForce Nine being the other), Cryptozoic does not disappoint here!

Kris: As far as I’m concerned, this one was an early contender for cooperative game of the show. Knowledge of the Attack on Titan anime and/or manga isn’t required, but it certainly helps get into the spirit of things. I like the way each character has specific strengths that require good teamwork and communication in order to reach their greatest effect. The Titan is a constant threat, and its ability to grab other players’ dice when its face is rolled make for constant risk/reward evaluations. Licensed properties are good again? What a time to be alive.

 

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Vast: The Crystal Caverns (Leder Games)

Dave: A dungeon crawl unlike any other, Vast has players taking on the role of a knight and a thief (okay, still like others), goblins and the dragon (a little more uncommon), and… the cave they’re all in? Utilizing different goals and play mechanics for each, this really reinvigorates one of the most classic gaming themes out there. Vast is currently on their second printing, and the folks from Leder were also teasing an upcoming asymmetrical sci-fi 4X board game called Deep.

Kris: What a cool concept! This almost seems like a tool for better understanding quality level/dungeon design in games of all sorts. So rarely do most of us concern ourselves with thinking about the ecology of a game environment that when a game reminds us of such relationships we can’t help but think, “Why hasn’t anybody already done this?” Check out Vast to peer behind your GM’s screen and see just how much work they do for you!

 

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Castle Flutterstone (Lion Rampant)

Dave: Castle Flutterstone is definitely a family game. Players place lightweight bats on the bellows, line them up and then slam down to release a gust of wind that lifts their bats up to the game board. Go through the hole – move x, land on a platform – move y, first player to reach the end wins! Unfortunately the less than exact art of bellow-lifting will probably make this little more than a fun but short diversions for those without kids. Still, there are worse ways to spend 20 minutes!

Kris: I like dexterity games quite a bit. In fact, Dave and I had lengthy discussions throughout the weekend in an attempt to answer one question. “What game is this year’s Coconuts?” In other words, what game is easily-accessible for the youngest gamers but still offers enough strategy and complexity to maintain adult gamers’ interest? Castle Flutterstone may not fully meet those criteria, but it nevertheless appears to be a good time in short spurts.

 

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Paradox (Split Second Games)

Dave: I didn’t fully get the rundown of Paradox as I was in the back of a group and no amount of peeking through or wiggling to the other side really seemed to help me. That said, what I did hear (and later confirmed online) was about a cool game on a space-time disturbance that is fracturing entire worlds’ existences! As scientists trying to repair these connections in time, Paradox utilizes drafting, set collection, resource management and more. They also enlisted 15 different artists for the game, which was a cool way to showcase the vast difference of the unknown universe.

Kris: Sounds like Interdimensional Cable to me [ed note: nice Redgrin Grumble reference, Kris!]! A strong theme can either be that element that gives a game immediate curb appeal or that slowly pulls you into a bigger picture over time. Dealing with the problem of space-time getting wonky is a perfect setup for a chaotic game, and drafting is a mechanic that really jibes with such a narrative. Art can make or break a game experience, so kudos to Split Second for addressing that thematically with a myriad of art styles.

 

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Element (Rather Dashing)

Dave: For all of the promise of Element, the game did prove more than a little bewildering in our demo. Players utilize the four primal elements; earth, wind, fire and water in an attempt to trap the player counter-clockwise from them on the board. The only problem with that is as you move around the board it becomes a little hard to remember which player that was. Also, play advances counter-clockwise too, which… why not go clockwise as in almost every other game? It’s a shame these two issues proved as confusing as they did (especially because 4 colored cardboard tiles would solve one problem and omitting “counter-” would solve the other) because the different flow of elements and the rock-paper-scissors succession of elemental strength was really interesting.

Kris: Ah, how many times have I walked away from a game demo bewildered? Sometimes it’s the game itself that deserves blame. Often it’s the person running them demo’s attitude or personality that can turn one away from a game. Nevertheless, sometimes certain people and certain games don’t mix. Who knows? Element may be perfect for your gaming group. It just isn’t necessarily a good match for ours.

 

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Onitama (Arcane Wonders)

Dave: Simple rules can often make for strategically rewarding games. Taking inspiration from Chess, Onitama pits two player’s rows of four pawns and a king against each other. On their turn, players utilize one of two available moves on cards and then swap that card with another idled move to the side of the board. The next player then does the same, leaving the two players swapping between one of five available moves in a race to capture the other’s king or take their king to the other king’s starting position. No luck here, it’s all about getting out ahead of your opponent and forcing the finishing move.

Kris: This one quickly grabbed my attention with sleek, simple design and deceptively deep tactical play. I disagree with Dave in that I believe there is a single element of luck in Onitama. You don’t know which of your opponent’s two movement cards will be implemented. Enemies can be baited, but plan too far ahead or rely too much on access to that one card you desire and you’ll likely fail. A small and simple game with huge tactical possibilities, Onitama nears the top of my list at this year’s Origins.

 

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Lisboa (Eagle Games)

Dave: Designed by the creator of The Gallerist, Lisboa is a heavy Euro (and just pick up the box to see it’s heavy in every sense of the word) from Vital Lacerda – who actually walked me and my friend through his own game! #nerdout

Anyway, for Lacerda’s new game, players take on the role of rebuilding the capital of Portugal in 1755 after it was destroyed by an earthquake, followed by a tsunami, and finally followed by 3 days of raging fires. In the broadest strokes possible, this is done through courting the favor of the king, the marquis, and the royal builder. With a number of different interactive mechanics, the theme still relates well in the gameplay and the art helps to break up the charts to provide a breath-taking visual.

Kris: I’ve learned something about myself as a gamer over the last few years. It’s something that could immediately reduce my gamer status to pariah in certain circles. Oh well. Time to out myself. I don’t like heavy Euro games. I won’t go so far as to say I hate them, but that style of game will always be the last I want to play. Therefore, I ask you to please just read through Dave’s thoughts again. I’ll be over here checking out some Reaper Miniatures.

 

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Three Kingdoms Redux (Capstone Games)

Dave: Capstone Games are doing the noble work of re-releasing critically acclaimed European games Stateside. They started with Arkwright and my only issue with that game is the same issue that I have with Three Kingdoms Redux – the art. It’s not that either game is particularly unattractive, but both being dense Euros the boards end up looking like a set of charts that would intimidate even an accountant. After playing Arkwright I mostly got over this, and I hope the same would be true of Three Kingdoms Redux. The theme is captivating with the unification of Feudal China (the same as with Koei’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms) and the idea of a well-balanced three-player game is interesting too.

Kris: While Dave was checking out another “dense Euro” I continued to browse miniatures. A figure with pointy ears dressed all in black approached me. “YOU LIKE REAPER MINIS?” he asked in a booming baritone. “Sure,” I replied. “IS THERE ONE THAT YOU REALLY DESIRE?” the stranger inquired. “Not really. Just browsing,” I said, slowly backing away. Who knows what wonders I missed out on by cowering away from that conversation. This wondrous stranger may have gifted me the resin model of my dreams… or he could have tied me up in a van down by the river.

 

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The Climbers (Simply Complex)

Dave: I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve got a thing for building with blocks. You add in a set of rules and turn building blocks into a game and you’ve got me completely! Adding new blocks each turn, players’ goal for The Climbers is getting their meeple to the highest point possible. Did I mention this game also comes with ladders for climbing the blocks? Ladders that can double as bridges as you build up separate towers alongside the main one? Originally released in Germany, Capstone Games offshoot Simply Complex has also increased the quality of art and components for this new edition.

Kris: You are not alone, Dave! Building blocks remind us of our early years, of simplicity and imagination. They fulfill our need for play in the most primal sense. While I cannot claim to understand the popularity of customized meeples, I certainly get their utility as game pieces. The Climbers taps into that childlike wonder of creating something you know is only temporary. There is great joy to be found in building, destroying, and rebuilding in this game. The Climbers is a sure bet for kids of all ages.

 

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Dimension (Kosmos)

Dave: We’ve established that building with blocks is fun (or at least I think so), now we get to build with balls! For Dimensions, players take from the four colored balls at their disposal to build the biggest tower possible. For each round, new rules are introduced that penalize any transgression – white can’t touch green, orange can’t be on top of any other balls, all green balls must touch orange. You’ve got 60 seconds to build the best one possible! As a timed game, this one’s all about the adrenaline rules cross-referencing as you build to maximize within the parameters.

Kris: More building. More tactile feedback. More exploration of the deepest elements of play. Dimension is another dexterity game, only this one requires quick decision-making while the timer ticks down. Building one’s creation within the strict timeframe of only a single minute adds an element of stress that drives competition and keeps us coming back for more. Stacking spheres is rarely this fun!

 

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Unearth (Brotherwise Games)

Dave: As a fan of the great phone puzzle game, Monument Valley I was immediately drawn to Unearth. It features the same unmistakably modern take on Escher-esque geometric and mind-bending art… accept the same artist didn’t do it. Potentially murky inspiration versus replication issues aside, Unearth proved to be as fun in the playing as it was to look at. Players roll D4s, D6s, or D8s to add up your claim to ruins, but low dice rolls allow players to collect stones – yet another way to earn victory points. Brotherwise Games currently has a pre-order up too.

Kris: I sincerely thought Dave was going to get litigious regarding the similarities between Unearth’s visual design and Monument Valley. I’m just relieved he didn’t cause a scene. There’s a lot of potential here, regardless of your opinion of the game’s artwork. I’m a man who enjoys rolling big handfuls of dice, so there’s an immediate appeal for me when a game uses different dice to achieve different goals. Promising!

 

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Super Show (SRG)

Dave: I first saw this game at Gen Con last year, but it was in a shared space with another developer and when I went back through for a demo the table had something way less cool being played. What really caught my eye this year was a number of cool new promo packs for wrestlers like Colt Cabana, David Starr, Johnny Gargano, Lio Rush, Kenny Omega and more. They were a little pricey at $15 a pack, but apparently the wrestlers get a rub from that – so that’s cool! Anyway, Kris is the real professional when it comes to wrestling (I’m just a not-particularly-smart mark) so I’ll let him take this one.

Kris: It’s difficult to capture the unique intensity of a pro wrestling match in a tabletop setting. Many have tried, and only a few have succeeded. Super Show actually does a great job at merging the two worlds into one. It’s clearly made by people who love wrestling for people who love wrestling. Players choose a wrestler (or tag team) and enter the squared circle. Dice are rolled, stats are compared, and cards are played. Pins are handled well too, adding a heightened intensity to every match. Excellent attention to detail makes each wrestler feel unique, and officially licensed likenesses of independent wrestlers elevate Super Show to the next level! Kudos to SRG for taking wrestling games seriously and having a hell of a time while doing so!

 

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Macroscope (Mayday Games)

Dave: Mayday Games are masters of simple and fun. Two years ago they gave us monkey flinging action with Coconuts. Last year they gave us balancing trash in an overflowing bin with Garbage Day. I’m pretty sure both games were made with children in mind, but that didn’t stop them from being two of our favorites. This year we’ve got Macroscope, which features a beautiful 3D playing board that hides simple line drawings underneath small covered holes. On a player’s turn they lift a piece and determine whether they’d like to hazard a guess at what’s the drawing underneath. Without the dexterity element of Coconuts and Garbage Day, the “simple” is laid a little too bare for this to appeal to older audiences. Still, I’m sure this would be tons of good family fun!

Kris: I love this! Macroscope reverse engineers the pixel hunt games that eat up space on smart phones around the world. Instead of looking for minute details in big images, players try to identify a simple line drawing by revealing little bits of it at a time. It’s clearly geared toward young ones, but any age group can have 15 minutes of fun with a few rounds of Macroscope. The design is clean and appealing, and there are enough images on the included double-sided cards to play for a long while before repeating the same game twice. Keep it up, Mayday!

 

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They Who Were 8 (LudiCreations)

Dave: They Who Were 8 was a really unfortunate example of demos and walk-throughs being heavily reliant on who is doing the walking-through. On our first pass, we were given a somewhat distant and very tired run down of the game, complete with a few opinions on its short-comings. Granted, it was 20 minutes before the hall closed, so I get fatigue. But really enjoying the art I went back the next day to ask again with someone new behind the table. This time we were explained a really interesting game of bards telling tales of gods! For this, players were given two god cards, one paired up with the player to their left and one paired up with the player to their right. Glory and infamy tokens get piled on each god and the goal is to be in the most glorious pairing, but being the more modest of the two gods.

Kris: A fairly simplistic game with absolutely beautiful artwork, They Who Were 8 is a cool little game. As Dave mentioned, players are bards singing of the virtues of their two gods. Bards must interact with their rivals to either side, and gobbling up all the praise doesn’t guarantee a win. Enter modesty as the game-winning quality, and you have an experience unlike anything else we saw on the convention floor.

 

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Near and Far (Red Raven Games)

Dave: Racking up a ton of awards in 2015 and 2016 for Above and Below, and having a buddy who got it and won’t stop raving about it, I was really interested to hear more about Above and Below and their new game Near and Far. Unfortunately, Red Raven Games was only offering ticketed demos at Origins and didn’t have an open copy of either game to leaf through and marvel at. From what I could gather, Near and Far is a sequel to Above and Below and is run like a campaign as players try to reach the story’s end. Maybe like a choose your own adventure meets RPG meets board game? It all sounds very novel and cool, so I hope to find out more for you (and me)!

Kris: Like Dave, I’ve only heard tales and never had the opportunity to get my hands on this one. The only thing I can say for certain at this time is that I am intrigued!

We’ll be back with part two of our review with more games from Origins!

SAGRADA (Floodgate Games)

One of the most visually striking games we played at Gen Con last year, Sagrada’s Kickstarter is completed and finished games are now available. All of the promise from the already amazing prototype has been wonderfully realized for the finished boxed game – what will probably be the most eye-catching on your shelf.

Before talking any more about the art and components, let’s get to the game. Sagrada is a puzzle-centered game that scratches a similar itch to a Sudoku. Assorted colored dice are plucked at random from a bag, rolled, and then players take turns placing them into their stained glass windows. The only guideline is that dice have to be connected and that dice of the same color or number (shade) can’t be placed side-by-side. Gameplay expands with every game however from a deck of backing window pattern cards granting different amounts of favor, secret objective cards, and a deck of tool and public objective cards  where you only use three in any single game. Each turn’s actions take a lot of thought in considering future moves and private and public objectives, but the rules can be explained in under five minutes (there’s also a full play-through video by JonGetsGames that the rulebook provides a link to).

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Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a super fun and thoughtful game but back to those components.

With a rainbow of transparent colored dice for filling up beautifully illustrated stand glass frames, Sagrada will captivate everyone around the table. Floodgate Games is completely aware of this too and included a card encouraging players to take a photo of their winning window and post it to Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #SagradaGame. Pretty ingenious… and I do mean pretty. (Floodgate Games) by David C. Obenour

GAME OF TRAINS (Brain Games)

As a fan of the very simple yet very fun classic family game, Racko, Game of Trains immediately appealed to me. If you haven’t played Racko, let me explain it in two sentences.  In Racko you’re dealt 10 cards from a shuffled deck of cards numbered from 1 to 60. Lining those cards up in the order in which they were dealt to you, the goal is then to draw and replace a card each turn as you try to be the first to have your cards in order from low to high.

In Game of Trains the goal is the same, but with a few tidied up rules and a few new ones to introduce additional strategy and fuller gameplay. Starting with seven cards, players order them not in dealt order but in reverse numerical order (limiting the benefit of a lucky deal). After everyone’s train is lined up, players draw as many cards as their place in the turn order (one for first, two for second, etc) and replace one card in their train with one of the drawn cards. For everyone but the first player, the additional drawn cards will be discarded face up, making for the starting actions draw pile. With an action on every card, players now have the choice on their turn if they want to draw from the draw pile face down to replace a card in their train (which is then discarded to the action pile) or if they’d like to draw a face up card to play as an action. These action cards allow players to swap or move cards in their own line, discard cards from their’s and other’s lines, or lock in and protect a card in their train.

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Having additional rules doesn’t always improve games. I remember being disappointed by Tsuro of the Seass additions, feeling that the original version’s simple gameplay had been cluttered with a thematically fun, but frustratingly random new set of rules. Thankfully that’s not the case for Game of Trains as the new rules it introduces build on Racko‘s simplicity with new ways to hem and haw over what to do with your turn. Also the art is really rad. (Brain Games) by David C. Obenour

A little delayed but never defeated, Ghettoblaster is back with issue #46! This issue features P.O.S on the cover in addition to interviews from The Mr. T Experience, Grandaddy, The Black Angels, Tobin Sprout,WHY?, Pissed Jeans, Strand of Oaks, Porter Ray, Official Darkest Hour,The Dopamines, Six Organs of Admittance, The CW‘s Riverdale, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic creators, Jill Alexander: Improviser & Comedian & Do-Gooder and so, so, so much more! Order online soon or grab one at your favorite record/book shop.

You can order a copy soon over here, or you can fill out this form to subscribe for a whole year’s worth of Ghettoblaster delivered straight to your door!

DRAGOON: THE ROGUE AND BARBARIAN EXPANSION (Lay Waste Games)

This is a review of the upcoming Dragoon expansion The Rogue and Barbarian. Read our original review of Dragoon here.

For The Rogue and Barbarian expansion you can now extend your fun on Dragoon Island to up to 6 players with the addition of, you guessed it, a rogue and a barbarian player! Different than the four dragon players from the base game, the rogue and barbarian each have their own special ways to play, though the goal of reaching 50 gold first remains for all players.

For their turn, the rogue uses an assortment of equipment cards to grant special abilities. Having no more than four equipped at any one time and unable to equip more than one a turn, it becomes a timing game of trying to stay one step ahead of the others. You also have a series of tunnel tokens that allow you to steal tribute from other players and move quickly about the board.

The barbarian arrives to the island’s shore on a ship, bringing with him havoc… and a deck full of ability cards! Drawing an ability card at the start of each turn, the barbarian player needs to build up his level as cards come with a level requirement. The only way to knock the barbarian back down to level one is by defeating him in combat. Because the barbarian can quickly run away with things if he stays at level 5, it may be a good idea to save him for games of 5 or 6 players (he quickly ran away with things in our 3-player game).

The unfortunate oversight to this expansion is there really isn’t anything for the dragon players. Compared to a leveling system and havoc deck or a system of tunnels and equipment cards, playing as a dragon is kind of dull now. Part of the core game’s appeal lay in its simplicity of rules, but with the expansion the old way of playing feels a little two-dimensional by comparison.

The Kickstarter for both the expansion and a second printing of the game is live for just a few more days now, so head on over soon! Also included with the second-printing is a standard edition that substitutes plastic playing pieces for the initial special edition’s precious metals. The metal playing pieces are impressive, but it’s also $40 more. Decisions, decisions. (Lay Waste Games) by David C. Obenour

ZIMBY MOJO (Devious Weasel Games)

Being a Zimby is to hunger. To hunger to rule. To hunger for magical powers. To hunger for the flesh of your fellow Zimbies. Everyone agrees that the king has outlived his use. Not everyone agrees who should replace him. Now you must lead your tribe of ferocious warriors into his compound, working with the others to get his crown, then working against them to keep it for yourself.

In a brilliant twist on the cooperative game, Zimby Mojo unfolds as two different games in one. To start, players work together to thwart the king’s thugs, unlock his protecting wards and take him down. Then, the game transforms into something else completely as players fight against each other in a mad dash to bring the crown back safely to their own tribe’s lands.

This all works so well because very few things in Zimby Mojo can be done on your own. Most fights require multi-tribal stacks of warriors to sway the odds or well placed magical barricades and mindless Zimby Zombies to break up escape routes. It demands cooperative play, but cautious and guarded cooperative play that leaves you in a better position than the others.

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The great game art and background information provided in the rules is an immersion into the vicious world of Zimby Mojo. The backstory is also a nice reassurance that no, this isn’t some outdated imperialistic view of the dark jungle continents and their “savage” inhabitants. Zimbies are entirely fictional humanoid-type creatures with their own cultures and evolutions.

Outside of this rich narrative, the main problem with Zimby Mojo does come from its rules. It’s not that it is an overly complicated game, but the mechanics can get a little sticky with all of the things you have to remember. The rules don’t do the worst job in conveying how to play, but they also fail to give a clear and concise rundown without having to rifle through a number of pages. Even a player aid that I found online was four pages long. This makes explaining the game to new players daunting and you almost have to approach your first game with a mindset of playing the game just to learn its rules. Our first play through was riddled with “Oh, you can do that?” and “Wait, you can’t do that,” and then looking back we still got a few rules wrong.

The complication with the rules mean that Zimby Mojo probably won’t appeal to casual gamers, which is a shame because it really is an enjoyable twist on the cooperative game that is bringing so many new folks to the table. It’s also a fun theme (who doesn’t want to be the cannibal king?) that works well with the mechanics of how the game is played.

If you are someone who can have fun while being confused Zimby Mojo is a game unlike any other on your shelf. You’ll be plotting two-sided team ups for a backstab, only to be backstabbed yourself before you’re even halfway through your original plan. No time for hard feelings though because last turn’s traitor is this turn’s only way to stop someone else from winning. (Devious Weasel Games) by David C. Obenour

BLOOD BOWL (Games Workshop)

Are you adequately prepared for some fantasy football?! Let’s hope so, because Games Workshop has released the long awaited update to one of its most popular specialty games, Blood Bowl.

In this game, players field their own football teams comprised of races from the Warhammer Fantasy setting. Aelves (elves), dwarves, orcs, and Skaven (rat-men) each have their own team which possesses unique strengths, weaknesses, and look. Speaking of appearance, Games Workshop again shows why they are a leader in miniature modeling. The figures included in the base game are incredibly detailed and dynamic. There is a great sense of motion to all of them. The box game comes with 12 figures each for a human team and an orc one. A small but greatly appreciated update is now the figure bases include a hole for the ball to insert into to signify which player is currently in possession of the ball.

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The double-sided game board is really well done too and printed on high quality, heavy duty cardboard. Offering home fields for both sides, with a muddy and gruesome orc side and the slightly better kept human grassy field, this breaks up the monotony of playing on the same game field each time.

The included accessory sprue is also a nice benefit, especially the improved passing ruler. Finally there’s not just one, but two sets of the specialty dice needed to play the game! Everything about the physical design of this edition just screams high quality.

As someone who played quite a bit of Blood Bowl in previous editions, I am glad to say that the rules remain basically unchanged. With the transition of the Warhammer Fantasy to the much different Age of Sigmar system, I was concerned that Games Workshop would attempt to “improve” the rules by further streamlining them. No worries here though as the tactical grid based system remain the same.

My one complaint is that the base game box only comes with rules for playing the human or orc teams. If you want to play as one of the other teams, such as dwarves, Aelves, or Minions of Nurgle, you will have to pick up a copy of their Death Zone: Season One supplement. You also need this extra rulebook for rule on league play. Blood Bowl is complete in what you get, there is just a lot more you can do but to do it you’ll need to look out for additional supplements.

For those who are long standing fans of the game or those looking for a skirmish level miniatures game that has a ton of character, Blood Bowl is a can’t miss. (Games Workshop) by Adam Talicska

This past summer Ghettoblaster sent our artists out with a mission to capture MPMF with a pen and paper.  MPMF returned again this year in Cincinnati with a weekend long festival packed into a 1 block radius featuring a ecliptic mixture of bands from every level of the music industry.  The expected highlights of the weekend included the Mountain Goats, Future Islands, Joan of Arc, Tokyo Police Club, Reggie Watts, and of course the closing act Band of Horses.  The real story for their comic came from a side stage groupie, who put on more of a show than the band.  Inspired by this attendee at MPMF,  heed this groupie warning and learn to see the signs before your band becomes the next victim.

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Each issue of Ghettoblaster features a live review done by one of our comic illustrators – currently the very talented, Etch+Tiffany. To subscribe to Ghettoblaster Magazine head over to our In Print page.

DRAGOON (Lay Waste Games)

For centuries you and your fellow dragons have rested peacefully on your remote island. Now, hordes of humans have started invading, building their villages and cities. It’s awoken something long slumbering in you. A desire for gold. A desire for power. If these insignificant men won’t give it willingly, then you will take it anyway and leave them with nothing left.

The turns for Dragoon are split into three quick and easy to follow rounds. First, the island is populated by rolling two dice – the red die represents rows on the board and the black die represents columns. These coordinates determine where the unworthy humans amass for that turn. Second, players take their actions with the last place player picking the starting player for that round. Players have three actions and can use those to move, destroy or subjugate, steal from each other or the thief, or gain more cards for further mayhem. After everyone’s completed their actions the turn ends with your dragon letting loose a mighty or not too mighty roar (determined by a die roll) and tribute from the subjugated villages and cities is given out. Turns continue like this until a player wins by being the first to reach 50 gold.

These clean rules and mechanics make for a fun and very accessible game. A number of die rolls does mean that luck plays a rather heavy role, but players can pillage and fight their way back to a more even playing field. Plus win or lose, you are still a dragon atop of a mound of gold and that’s badass.

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The only real drawback of Dragoon comes from one of the really cool things about it too – the game’s components. The game box proudly proclaims that Dragoon comes with over 50 metal pieces, some of those metal pieces being real gold! Thematically, that’s totally awesome. You’re dragons amassing treasure – having your pieces actually be treasure is great! Except… treasure comes at a price and this “Special Edition” retails at $75 (and that’s on sale). It’s a steep cost that will make many gamers think twice. Would metal painted plastic pieces be as cool? No way! Would them knocking $30 or more off of the price make them seem a little cooler? Eh… maybe so. (Lay Waste Games) by David C. Obenour

Just in time for the holidays, it’s Ghettoblaster #45! This issue features a double cover on Lambchop is a Band and Beach Slang in addition to interviews from Dinosaur Jr, Neurosis, Brookzill, Opeth, Drive-By Truckers, Teenage Fanclub, of Montreal, Russian Circles, Maria Bamford, Matt Berry’s Music, EarthQuaker Devices‘ comic Octo Skull,Atlas Obscura and so, so, so much more! Order online soon or grab one at your favorite record/book shop.

You can order a copy soon over here, or you can fill out this form to subscribe for a whole year’s worth of Ghettoblaster delivered straight to your door – a perfect gift!