Thursday, November 23, 2017

Boardgame of the Week: Camelot

In Camelot, players vie for control of Excalibur. Each player controls five Arthurs and a host of other Arthurian characters in a heated attempt to grab and retrieve the sword before any other player succeeds in this task.
On the surface, the game appears to be a very simple wargame, combat being quickly resolved without any dice as characters fight each other. The key to the game, however, is that two players are always taking turns at the same time, the turns being regulated by "turn tokens" that pass around the board. When one player finishes his or her turn, the turn-token is passed to the next player who does not already have one. If one player is a slowpoke taking his turn, then the other turn-token passes around the table, allowing other players to take turns. This forces players to take very fast turns, usually about 5 seconds each, allowing the game to move along with the intensity of a video game. Games usually take 20 to 30 minutes to play, even with three to six players.
Special rules resolve potential conflicts that could occur when two players try to perform actions simultaneously where priority is in question, resolving quickly and simply.
No player ever quite gets knocked out of the game due to loss of characters; Arthurs always "rejuvenate", returning to your pile of pieces (your "village") that can enter the board. Characters start at a chosen entry space at the edge of the board, and move to the center to grab Excalibur, returning the Sword to their entry space to win. Each of the 5 character-types (Merlin, Lancelot, etc) have their own unique abilities, but everyone starts with an identical set of pieces.
There are also two variants in the rules, allowing players to vary the game by going after the "Accoutrements of Kingship" instead of the Sword, or by gathering a number of gold pieces scattered around the board so as to "buy the kingship". Tokens are included for these variants.
The game is very intense and fast, requiring players to think on their feet and make fast realtime decisions; if you are a big fan of slow, deep thinking, strategy games, you might look elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

RPG of the Week: Tome of Beasts

Kobold Press has done some very nice material for 5th edition, following the demise of their print version of Kobold Quarterly. One of the best releases from the company has been the 5th Edition compatible Tome of Beasts.  Every D&D game needs more monsters and this book has over 420 pages of them, all 5th edition, well technically OGL, compatible.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Supply and Demand

This week's Rolling for Initiative Column looks at the laws of supply and demand and their effect on the sales of Iconic Masters and Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Yes, it's an economics lesson.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

RPG of the Week: Volo's Guide to Monsters

Almost everyone agrees (except for the odd player killed by one) that you can never had too many monsters in a D&D game. Unfortunately, D&D 5th edition only had one official book of monsters, the Monster Manual, until this one came out last year, chock full of monsters and more monsters. Incidentally, there are two covers to this book, the standard one shown in the photo and the limited edition, which had a single run last year. Copies of the limited version, which only differs from the standard version by the cover, contents are the same, regularly sell for over $100 on eBay.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Online Survey Bones

One comment from the online survey we are conducting was the lack of the Bones line of figures from Reaper. Agreeing with the respondent, we got in the top 100 figures in the Bones line today as well as a box of the new figures Reaper released this month.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Board Game of the Week: Twilight Imperium

Another game from the Fantasy Flight stable, Twilight Imperium has gone in and out of print a number of times over the past 20 years and is one of the most complex boardgames we sell that is not a wargame. A game designed for those who like their games relatively complex and both strategic and tactical, Twilight Imperium also demands a significant amount of time to play. We played it during a Tuesday night Gaming With Gary session and it took about an hour and a half to get through the 1st turn. However, once you have played a game, subsequent ones play much more quickly. You can expect a game to take 3-4 hours though so either set aside an evening for it or a table, without cats, where you can leave it set up safely.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Amazon and the Future of Retailing

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the future of retailing as influenced by Amazon.