Category Archives: Board & Card Games

Reflections on the new digital version of the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game

I love games. A casual look at this blog would probably make that obvious. I don’t talk about tabletop games too often, but I really do enjoy them. My favorites are co-op games where all players are working toward the same goal, and I can even appreciate hidden traitors in my co-op. When I play video games, I prefer Player vs Environment (PvE) over Player vs Player (PvP), and again, if co-op is in there, all the better.

Fantasy Flight Games has a few good co-op tabletop games, chief among them are a couple of Living Card Games. In Living Card Games, they function like the familiar Collectable Card Games such as Magic the Gathering, Pokemon and many others, but all booster packs have the same cards, so there is no chasing card. While I love Netrunner, it is the co-ops that I truly love. Arkham Horror: The Card Game is amazing, and captures the spirit of the great Fantasy Flight Arkham Chronicles. Then, of course, there is their long-standing The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, a game that has stood the test of time as an amazing co-op/solo game experience, rich in depth and story.

Into this world comes a new game from a new division of Fantasy Flight, Fantasy Flight Interactive, and their first title The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game. Continue reading Reflections on the new digital version of the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest LCG Comes to OCTGN

I’ve previously mentioned that Fantasy Flight Games has a new Living Card Game (LCG) coming out called Warhammer 40,000: Conquest. Needless to say I’m pretty excited about it… Perhaps not as overly geeked out as I am over Imperial Assault (see previous story), but it was one of the games I was most excited for prior to GenCon (since then Abyss has slid down a bit and Five Tribes has moved up to just below Conquest and Imperial Assault for the post GenCon stuff). Anyhow, I can’t wait for it to come out.

Sadly, I don’t have a play group to play it with. I’m sure plenty of people at the Boardgamers of Greater Akron will be playing it, but it is a bit of a drive to Akron from where I am, and I don’t know anyone local who’s into LCGs. So being able to play the game over the Internet is always a sweet deal. Sure one could use Skype and just put the webcam on the table, but that requires a playlist of people to play with a much larger table than my desk, and a few other complications. Lucky for us, there are methods of playing LCGs, TCGs, CCGs, and other games over the Internet. For card games the two main platforms seem to be OCTGN and LackyCCG. This post will focus on the OCTGN plugin, but I know there is development ongoing for a LackyCCG plugin as well (by another person than the one who did the Conquest one). OCTGN is presently Windows only (though they mention they would like to do a Mac version and touch screen version eventually), while LackyCCG is multiplatform including Windows, Mac, Linux and iPad.

Before we continue, let me note that I am in no way involved with this project, either the LCG itself (although, FFG, if you want me…lol), OCTGN or the plugin being discussed below.

So what do you need? Continue reading Warhammer 40,000: Conquest LCG Comes to OCTGN

Team Covenant Shows A Full Demo of Star Wars: Imperial Assault

I don’t cover board games nearly as often as I would like to or should. But at GenCon this year, Fantasy Flight Games announced a new title that has me really excited. Star Wars: Imperial Assault. The game basically is Decent with a Star Wars license and a 1v1 skirmish mode option… I mean I was excited that Abyss was going to be on sale at GenCon (though I wasn’t going, so can’t secure myself a copy… though if anybody is in the area and wants to gift me a copy, cover order goes purple, green, blue, red, pink/orange), and I was excited to hear more about another must have game, Warhammer 40,000: Conquest a new LCG from FFG, which I hear sold out in a couple hours, and of course their Star Wars: Armada game (another must have), but Imperial Assault took me, and I think everyone, by surprise. Huge reveal. The fine folks over at Team Covenant have posted a nice full playthrough… Haven’t watched it fully yet, so excited about it I had to share it right away.

What I’m excited for are the vast number of fan created scenarios. I’m sure they’ll modify the Descent campaign creator tools to this… Continue reading Team Covenant Shows A Full Demo of Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Resistance With Regular Playing Cards

The Resistance is one of the best games to play in a group. However sometimes you don’t have your deck with you but might have access to a deck of regular cards and the game is possible with a regular deck of cards. I’ll present some basic rule sets for playing the game with regular cards below…

The Resistance is a hidden role game for 5-10 players (it works best with 7-10). You can go over 10, but the rules presented here are for up to 10, and it becomes a bit more unwildy above 10, above 10 you are probably better moving to Werewolf, Mafia (a webcam version is popularized by Daily Mafia), Two Rooms and a Boom as they are better balanced for larger groups. Anyhow, as I was saying, it is a hidden role game. You are a member of the Resistance, fighting against an corrupt government. Each turn somebody becomes leader and decides who’s going on a mission to destroy the government. However, your group has been infiltrated by spies, who may sabotage the mission if they are on it. The number of spies depends on the number of players. If the Resistance makes 3 successful missions, they win, if the spies sabotage 3 missions they win. Continue reading Resistance With Regular Playing Cards

My Android: Netrunner Resources

I’ve pondered Android Netrunner Must Haves before, but didn’t go into much detail about the game itself, or the resources I use to gather information about it. I’ll leave details about the game for another day, but a quick basic before I jump to the meat of this post. I’ve also expanded my Board Gaming in the Canton/Akron Area post to include more information about Netrunner locally.

Android Netrunner is a Living Card Game put out by Fantasy Flight Games. A Living Card Game is sort of like a Collectible Card Game (think Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.) but you don’t have to chase cards as the packs aren’t randomly packed. The core sets, and every expansion pack has the same cards as another core or expansion of the same name. Android: Netrunner is based off the original Netrunner game, designed by Richard Garfield, the guy who created Magic the Gathering, Robo Rally, and King of Tokyo among several others. In it, two players play against one another, one as a corporation who is trying to advance their agendas, the other a runner (Cypberpunk hacker) is trying to steal the corporation’s agendas. The corporation wins if they can force the player to discard more cards then they have in their hand (called flat lining) or by scoring 7 agenda points (each agenda card is worth 2 or more points, but it takes time and money to advance an agenda in order to score it). The Runner wins if they steal 7 points of agendas from the corporation, or if the corporation has to draw a card when they have no more cards to draw (I’ve never heard a game ending that way, but I guess it could happen). Continue reading My Android: Netrunner Resources

Board Gaming in the Canton/Akron Area

I’ve been able to explore some of the stores in the greater Canton/Akron, Ohio area (CAK as our airport is called), and I’ve formed a few thoughts. My primary interest is board games, Netrunner and LCGs if I ever could play them, followed by roll playing (never get to play those either, but hey…), and then on from there. I list Canton first as I’m closer to Canton than Akron. I live between Alliance and Hartville, and work in Akron (and sadly this new job takes me out of the gaming arena for the moment due to the schedule).

I’ll cover stores first. Clubs and Meetups next, then a couple misc links that aren’t really local related but community board game related…
Continue reading Board Gaming in the Canton/Akron Area

Pondering Android Netrunner Must Haves

For people coming from a link to help, feel free to skip the intro, which is more for regular readers or those not familiar with Netrunner as much…

So I’ve been wanting to play Android Netrunner Living Card Game… I’ve played a couple times with Ari, but not any real serious games yet. I’ve listened to a couple of the Agenda 7 Podcast and a couple of the Breaking News Podcast, along with some of Team Covenant’s excellent video commentary series, and I’m ready to start playing some more serious games (if I can find people in my local area to play that is). I’ve got the following Data Packs (expansions for the game) so far, What Lies Ahead, Trace Amount, Cyber Exodus and A Study in Static, which are all there are at this point.

The challenge for me is that I’ve never played Magic: The Gathering, the original Netrunner game (on which this one is based), or any other games like it… my card game experience (beyond those using a regular deck of cards) is limited to games like Dominion and Elder Sign, both of which are far from the same category. Continue reading Pondering Android Netrunner Must Haves

MoyoGo for Free

Moyo Go Studio is now available for free. You won’t be able to get technical support from the author, the database isn’t nearly as big as in the paid version, the printing/publishing module isn’t there, and you don’t get the lifetime of free updates, but if you wanted to check it out you now can. Just follow the previous link to the programs homepage. You will need to use some sort of torrent software such as Azureus or utorrent, as the file is fairly big (205 MB) and torrent is the only practical way of distributing it, plus, I am sure, it saves him tons on bandwidth.

My First Teaching Game of Go

I got my first teaching game of Go today, but before I did that I played yet another bot on KGS. I paid no real attention to the marking of dead stones at the end and hit done quickly. Bad mistake, as the game thought Black (the bot) won by 360.5, when the reality was that White (me) won by 66.5. Unfortunately that was a ranked game and is part of my record. So the lesson from that is, pay attention during the mark the dead stones phase.
Anyhow, for my teaching game, I played a game against a gentleman from Germany (I won’t say his online name here as I am not sure the rules on such things). It was a quick 13 x 13 game where White won by resignation. I was Black and I had a 4 stone handicap, but was far too defensive. My weakness continues to be corners, which even with the computer I tend to loose out on.
Specific things I need to work on. 3×3 invasions when I am on the default 4×4 star point. Building corners period really. Remember to look to connect stones, even if I can’t make a second eye close to the one set, if the other set I might connect to has one eye, then all of them will live. I need to view more moves down the line as I tend not to view too many moves ahead.
Reading the review is a bit harder to follow than the initial time through it since the comments appear when they were entered in, and some of my reactions may have been when he was a few moves from where he mentioned something.

Great Go Blog

ChiyoDad Learns Go is my favorite Go Blog. It is a very good website, especially for beginners. It is where I first learned of Hikaru No Go, which I will probably talk about at some future point (warning, don’t read past the Spoilers warning on that page until you have finished the series). Anyhow, ChiyoDad Learns Go, GoDiscussions and Sensei’s Library (a wiki for Go) are all things that every Go player should have bookmarked and visit regularly.

Where I First Learned of Go

I first heard of Go eons ago when Atari was the king of video games. I knew they were named for a Go term, but not much more than that. When they made their Tengen division, I again learned it was a Go term, but thought nothing more of it for a long time.
When Pente came out, I once again learned of Go. This time I gained a more active interest in it, but didn’t do anything about it.
Somewhere along the line I got back into it again and started learning the game. I learned some basics, and attended a local Go club meeting. Unfortunately for me, the club met at a time and date that didn’t work well for me and I was unable to go. They have since stopped meeting after one of the main guys in the club moved out of the area… not that it would matter since it would most likely still be a bad time for me. 🙂 After being unable to go to meeting, and too intimidated to do anything online, I stopped for a few years, once in a great while picking up a Go book and looking through it. As all things go full circle for me, I am once again pursuing Go, and this time will do more online since there are no local Go clubs. I am learning more this time, and once I get a few teaching games under my belt, I am sure I’ll be good to go (no pun intended).

Interesting Lesson on Counting Liberties

I was looking ahead a bit in my reading of The Second Book of Go (Beginner and Elementary Go Books) and came across the following (I changed it slightly from the book by adding an extra letter, but otherwise is the same save this one is in color rather than 2d black and white):
Counting Liberties in Go
Here we see the marked white stones has liberties at A and B and the marked Black stones have liberties and B and C. Generally when counting liberties that is where I would have stopped. However Black in this case has one more liberty.
White can play neither B nor C, else she puts itself in atari. That is, if she played B, Black would capture that stone and the marked stones by playing A. If she played C, Black would capture that stone and one more by playing D. So White must first play C, meaning even if White plays first she’ll loose as it would take one more move on her part. (Generally in a capture race, with everyone having the same number of liberties, the one who goes first will win.)

My Go Book Collection and Books I Want

Here are the Go Books I currently have:

First is Janice Kim’s excellent Learn to Play Go series. These are basically English translations of books from the Korean Go Association. Very good books to have in your Go library. Some say the problem is that it is spread across so many books, and you get the lessons in one or two books from others, but I like them.
Learn to Play Go: A Master's Guide to the Ultimate Game (Volume I) (Learn to Play Go)
Learn to Play Go: A Master’s Guide to the Ultimate Game (Volume I) (Learn to Play Go)
A very good introduction to Go. As a matter of fact, I would say this one is nearly a must have for anyone who doesn’t know how to play Go at all. Once you know more than just the basics, it might be a bit to basic, but a great introduction.
The Way of the Moving Horse (Learn to Play Go, Volume II) (Learn to Play Go Ser)
The Way of the Moving Horse (Learn to Play Go, Volume II) (Learn to Play Go Ser)
I am nearly done with this one right now. This is probably the first book to get after the basics are learned, even if you skip the first book.

One of the must have books from Kiseido Publishing Company is
The Second Book of Go (Beginner and Elementary Go Books)
The Second Book of Go (Beginner and Elementary Go Books)
I plan on reading this soon. I started it a long time ago, but never finished it.

Go: More Than a Game
Go: More Than a Game
I am reading this one too right now. It is a nice book. Not an introduction to the game, but an okay book after you know the basic rules of the game. I like the other stuff it covers such as the history of Go and the like.

Every Go library needs the Graded Go Problems for Beginners. I have the first 3 volumes. Anything above the first volume right now is above my current level, though I can do some of the 2nd volume stuff.
Graded Go Problems for Beginners, 30 Kyu to 25 Kyu (Beginner & Elementary Go Bks.)
Graded Go Problems for Beginners, 30 Kyu to 25 Kyu (Beginner & Elementary Go Bks.)
Graded Go Problems for Beginners, 25 kyu to 20 kyu (Beginner & Elementary Go Bks.)
Graded Go Problems for Beginners, 25 kyu to 20 kyu (Beginner & Elementary Go Bks.)
Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 3: Intermediate Problems
Graded Go Problems for Beginners, Vol. 3: Intermediate Problems

Books I want:
Continue reading My Go Book Collection and Books I Want

Another Go Update

I have been playing SmartGo a bit… well I only played a couple games, but I have been playing with some of the other features and I have to say that if you have any interest in playing Go at all, you really should get this program. Speaking of playing games against it, here is my second attempt at a 13×13 board with it. I took a 5 stone handicap since I am still a high kyu player… probably lower then I think, but it has been a while since I played anyhow, so until I get used to thinking that way again I’ll stick to saying I am a high kyu player. I added comments to that game… To use that file you’ll need SmartGo or another good SGF reader, of which there are lots out there.
For those looking for a nice screensaver, there is SunXi’s Go Screensaver. This reads SGF files and displays them on your screen with a very nice 3D effect. Beautiful to watch.

Go Update

I haven’t talked about Go for eons.
First up. I noticed my favorite Go program SmartGo has been updated to 2.3. It has been very much improved since I last used the game back when it was still 1.something… It has a 15 day free trial so give it a go (no pun intended). A few of the nicer additions is the ability to play on the IGS and a bunch of problems from GoProblems.com. It looks like they have added a ton more professional matches to study as well as a bunch more joseki. Is also has pattern matching so you can select a pattern in your game and find a similar match in a professional match to see how they responded.
I may update later with the books that I still need…