Author Archive

This Week in D&D

Mike Mearls has added a new article in his Legends & Lore column over at the Wizards of the Coast D&D site. He gives a few more interesting insights into where things are headed. It sounds like they are pretty close to wrapping up what will comprise the Basic Game (another Red Box maybe?) and are beginning to move on to some of the more advanced game areas. The constant usage of certain words being used by lead designers at Wizards makes me wonder if we are headed for a return to the moniker “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.” I think I’d be alright with that.


Some other interesting news I’ve come across is regarding future reprints Wizards plans to do for D&D. They’ve obviously decided to fill the space between the demise of 4th edition and D&D Next with a host of throwback books and adventures. We’ve already seen reprints of the 1st edition books and the 3.5 edition books. It now looks like they’ll be releasing the 2nd edition core books and several classic adventure modules, including the Scourge of the Slavelords series and the “S” series classics. The “S” series contained what is arguably the best adventures every written for Dungeons & Dragons. They consist of S1: The Tomb of Horrors, S2: White Plume Mountain (my personal favorite), S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, and S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Both series will be released as hardcover books. For those of you too young to remember these adventures, I strongly urge you to run them, or beg your Dungeon Master to run them for you!


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Ascension Game Day

On September 22nd in Plainville, Battleground hosted Ascension Game Day. Ascension is a fast paced deckbuilding game designed by Magic Pro Tour champions Justin Gary, Rob Dougherty, and Brian Kibler.


Gameplay is similar to other deckbuilding games, with the player adding cards to their deck by purchasing them from a central deck, which has the top six cards revealed and available for purchase. When cards are removed, they are replaced with a new one from the top of the deck. Victory points are earned in three ways: firstly, each card purchased is worth one or more victory points; second, victory points can be gained by defeating monsters with a power resource featured on several of the cards; finally, some cards give victory points directly each time they are played.
Ascension first released in August of 2010 to great reviews and has since added two expansions to the main game and some accessories. It is designed for 2-4 players and games last for approximately 30 minutes once the rules have been digested. It is suggested for players 13 and up and the base set costs $39.99.


The accompanying video is a demo of the game by Jennifer Brady, recorded on Ascension Game Day in Plainville. The video is also featured on Jenn’s blog site: A Gamer’s Life.  Ascension is available for purchase at both Battleground locations!



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Return to Ravnica Prerelease Weekend

We hope you’re ready to come out and join us for what is likely to be one of the most exciting Magic prereleases ever! We have a full schedule of events lined up at both stores throughout the weekend and we’d love for you to come down to celebrate. You can check out the full details for the event times and details at these links: Abington / Plainville


If you’re interested in seeing some of the cards for the set you can check out this link.


Choosing a guild is a big part of this prerelease. Each player receives a Guild Prerelease Pack designed specifically for their chosen guild.  Each Guild Prerelease Pack consists of FIVE Return to Ravnica packs and ONE Guild Booster Pack to use for building a deck.


Come down, play some cards, check out the new set, and meet some new people!




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Gen Con Report – by Ryan Brady

Before I get going with what I saw this year, I’ll comment on why Jenn got to do so much more stuff than I did.  I decided to volunteer to work for Gen Con this year.  Volunteering at the 16 hour level gets you $4 in free event tickets and reimbursement for your badge.  This isn’t really why I volunteer so much as I’ve really enjoyed volunteering for PAX and this year decided to branch out.   Volunteers are important, no con runs without them, and I encourage anybody who truly wants to help out to give it a whirl, as long as you can accept that it will likely get in the way of you being able to do everything you want to do over the weekend in a pretty serious way.  That said, I didn’t have a very good time and can’t really recommend working for Gen Con itself.  I’m not giving up though.  My plan for next year is to volunteer for a specific exhibitor or event, which hopefully will go better.  And, hey, Wil Wheaton did speak to me as I waved him through my door, so it wasn’t all bad.



Since Chase wasn’t able to make it to the con after all, I went to the Wednesday exhibitor day where I attended panels and got to have conversations with the good people at Gary Games and Wizards of the Coast.  I can’t give specifics, because even they still haven’t figured out the details, but I feel safe in telling you to expect exciting things in the next year from the worlds of Magic, Kaijudo, and Ascension.


After the day’s seminars, there was a demo session where I played a few hours of the current incarnation of D&D Next.  I haven’t played D&D since it was called AD&D, (or so I thought, turns out I have, in the form of Fallout and KOTOR) but had no problem slipping into the system and having a great time with only a little bit of guidance.


Once my party cleared the dungeon, I had the chance to quickly watch a demo of a recently released card game from WizKids called Mage Knight by designer Vlaada Chvatil.  I say card game, but that doesn’t really do it justice.  Mage knight is a hex strategy game combined with a deck building game with RPG elements in a fantasy setting that also incorporates WizKids’ signature clix system.  You might think that with all those things going on the game would be a mess, but somehow it seems to work.  Definitely something I’m interested in getting a longer look at.



Thursday morning in the exhibit hall during early access, I was called into the booth of Smirk & Dagger games, where their team explained that they specifically make games where you have the opportunity to stab your friends in the back.  The game I chose to demo is called Sutakku, a dice stacking game.  In this game you stack up six sided dice to score points, the catch being that you can only stack numbers which are equal or greater than the one below it.  If you can’t stack, you bust and get no points at all.  Your score is the number on the top die multiplied by the size of the stack, which can get as high as 12 dice.  While you’re stacking your opponents can play cards on you which make it harder for you to succeed, but provide rewards if you are able to defeat the odds.  They also recommended that adults play with the “drunk rule”, which is that if you knock the stack over you bust.  So this game is dice munchkin jenga, and was fun enough for me to pick it up.

The only other game I was able to play on Thursday was Mage Wars from Arcane Wonders, which I demoed in the morning and then played in a tournament in the evening.  Mage Wars is a lot like Magic in that you have creatures, spells, enchantments, and equipment, but that’s where the similarities end.  The game is played out on a 3×2 battle arena, which introduces a tactical element where you have to think about how far things can move and attack ranges.  The other huge change from other similar games is that you have no deck, you instead have a spellbook, from which you can select the two cards each turn you need most right then, provided you can pay for them.  Each turn you gain a set amount of  mana, so planning ahead is important.  It’s not always the right move to blow all your mana every turn.  Mage Wars is a non-collectable card game, and the base set comes with enough cards for two decent decks plus extras.  An extra set of just the cards will also be available, which should give you enough cards for four decks.  The game will hopefully be shipping in two weeks and has plans for tournaments, leagues, and team play in the future.



On Friday, I learned to play Paint the Line: Red Tide, a ping-pong card game from game-ism, Penny Arcade, and Game Salute which released at the show.  Yes, you read that right, a ping-pong card game. Paint the Line is set in a world where cold war America and Russia level their military might to defeat each other in ping-pong combat.  The game revolves around rolling a d20 high enough to meet the current shot difficulty.  Each time a successful shot is made, the difficulty goes up until you face the daunting possibility of rolling a 20.  Cards in your deck make shots easier for you or harder for your opponent and even include impossible saves and devastating single use effects.   Once someone misses a shot, their opponent scores a point, the difficulty resets to 6, and the crescendo starts again.  I had a lot of fun with this and bought it.


Friday’s other highlight was Gen Con’s signature event, True Dungeon.  True Dungeon is a little hard to describe, it’s sort of like LARPing, but is different in many ways.  You and 9 other party members traverse through one of three dungeons which are completely built with walls and props and speakers piping in sound.  The whole thing is dark, save for the LED lights you are issued at the start and any actual lights which may be part of the set.  Combat is handled not by dice, but by a kind of shuffleboard making fighting actually skill based.  Your stats and damage are determined by the gear you have, which is represented by tokens in your possession.  The tokens are collectable and come in “booster packs” which contain 7 commons, two uncommons, and a rare.  Everybody gets a pack at the beginning of each dungeon run and they are available for $8 per pack in the tavern outside the dungeons.  It is seriously cool to get actual physical loot from your exploits.  Getting a good piece is the same feeling as getting a great drop in a video game, but multiplied times 10, it’s pretty addictive.


Some rooms are combat, but other rooms are puzzles.  You might have to place a set of runes in the correct order on an archway based on a cryptic poem, use two sticks to carry some balls quickly across the room, or work together to compile information that no single person can see/hear at the same time.  This ends up being the crux of the whole True Dungeon experience, that it’s really more of a teamwork exercise than an RPG.  Even the combat ends up being less about the sliding and more about how well you are able to organize your group to slide and get out of the way and make confident decisions about spells to cast.


The real enemy in the dungeon isn’t the dragon, it’s the clock.  Each room is on a 12 minute timer and failure tends to result in the whole party taking damage and/or missing out on treasure at the end.  A disorganized group may not be successful even if they slide awesomely or know the puzzle solution, because they just won’t be fast enough.  A volunteer told me that a full party of new players who all came together will often outperform one made up of small groups of better geared veterans just because of the team dynamic.


Everyone else who came with me thought that True Dungeon was the best thing at Gen Con and talked about it even as we were packing to head home.  There’s a reason it completely sells out in days, some people spend most of their weekends in the dungeons, and hardcore players spend thousands every year on gear.  Personally, I don’t have enough patience for strangers for it to be really fun for me, but if I could get a group of 8-10 people I knew together I would definitely go back.


New this year, since True Dungeon had more space to work with, was something called Truecraft.  There has always been a tavern outside the dungeons selling mead and turkey legs, but this year there were also an enchanter, diviner, abjurer, militia captain, shady dealer, and a few more NPCs constantly in character.  If you had managed to get your hands on a Truecraft ticket, you received tokens good for three enchantments, two divinations, two abjurations, and two quests.  Each of the mystical stations contained a skill test, which provided a boon if successfully completed.  Enchantment gave you a chance for gear, divination provided prophecy about what you would encounter in the dungeon, and abjuration cast a 24hr buff to assist you.

Quest tokens could be given to any NPC, and they would then tell you about a problem they were having and how you could do something to help them out with that.  Most of these were simple fetch quests for items or information available from other NPCs or that needed to be sought out in the dungeon.  In video games, I have always found fetch quests somewhat boring, but I thought these were a lot of fun.  It’s one thing to walk into a room and know you need to solve a puzzle or kill something, but knowing something you need is somewhere in the dungeon, but you don’t know where, exploring nooks and crannies with my little light was fun.  The rewards were pretty good too, often 10 pieces of gear out of a treasure chest or an exclusive crafted token of which only a few hundred exist (and saved me from a bunch of falling rocks).  I really liked the crafting, mostly because of the in-character interactions with the workers, and might do some again, even if I don’t do the dungeons.



Saturday was my double shifted volunteering day, so the only game I got to play was the Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator.  You and 5 other player are the bridge crew of the starship Artemis, with one Captain coordinating helm, weapons, engineering, communications, and science stations as you attempt to protect your four space stations from alien attack.  This is a PC game designed for LAN play, but at Gen Con, they have a cool mini-bridge set up with the captain in the middle where they can see the 40″ main screen, helm and weapons in front, science and comms to the right, and engineering on the left along with ambient lighting which changes color depending on what’s going on.


Flat out, this was a blast.  I chose to be the captain during the Saturday run, and got nominated to do so again on Sunday.  If you’ve ever wanted to be on the bridge of the Enterprise, this is as close as you’re likely to get.  The first time I said “Shields up, Red Alert!” sent tingles up my spine.  Artemis isn’t easy, everybody really does have to be paying attention and working together for things to go well.  Each station can only see their own display, so they don’t have access to information or controls from the other stations.  We beat back alien invasions on two different difficulty levels and though my helmsman tried hard to fly us into a black hole, I managed to stop him in time.  The game is continuously adding new features, and is available for $40 as a direct download with a license to install it on a full bridge worth of computers.  They hope to add internet play in the near future, though the designer says it’s really intended to be played with other people in the same room so that you can throttle them when they’re not doing what you want them to.  I gather their physical copies sell out every year, and this year was no exception.  A free demo with just Helm and Tactical is also available, so go try it!



Sunday is a short day at Gen Con which focuses on family stuff, so we called it a day pretty early.  The only new thing I tried was SolForge, the newest game from Gary Games, the people behind Ascension.  SolForge is an all-digital CCG which is currently being kickstarted.  The playable version they had at Gen Con is an Alpha version.  It’s playable, but it’s certainly an early version with a bare bones UI and some kinks to shake out.  I like that there are no resources, you just get to play 2 cards a turn, no matter what they are.

Creatures you place in one of 5 lanes, and they can only attack other creatures in the same lane.  If there is no creature, then they attack the opponent directly.  Lanes can be buffed or debuffed by enchantments, making tactical play even more tricky.  The real strategy in the game though is in the leveling mechanic.  Whenever you play a card, it puts a creature/enchantment on the board or casts a spell, but the card itself isn’t placed on the board, instead it levels up and then goes into your discard pile.  So the next time you draw that card, it won’t be the basic version you drew, it will be a better version that may do something completely different.  So this means that sometimes it’s worth it to play something which may not be the most effective card in your current hand, because it’s a card you would really like access to the higher-level version of.  Some cards are downright bad at low levels, but devastating when played at level 3, the current max level.

There’s definite potential here.  The game has a launch target of January if their kickstarter is successful.  It’s presently on track to make it, but only just so, and ends in not quite three weeks.  If the drive fails, they say it will still likely come out, but it will take some time to assemble the investment required.

Overall, the show was great fun, and we’re looking forward to being at Gen Con 46, August 15-18, 2013 for more great games, new, old, and future.


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Gen Con Report – by Jenn Brady


Last weekend, I went to the best 4 days in gaming – also known as Gen Con – and had a blast with a group of people from the Plainville store (Zoe & Jon Jackson, Matt Dugan, and Morgan Phillips).  We arrived in town early to do a little site seeing and relaxing before the start of the Convention.  First stop, Lucas Oil Stadium, even though none of us were Colts fans.  I’d have to say it was one of the best stadium tours I’ve ever been on.  There was plenty of time to walk on and admire the field as well as a trip to the locker rooms which many of the tours I’ve been on have skipped over.  Then we arrived at the house we had rented for the week.  This was one of our better decisions.  The house was fabulous with 4 bedrooms, a large kitchen (double ovens & double fridges), a deck with a hot tub and grill, and plenty of room for us to try out all the new games we bought and old ones we brought with us.



When we finally made it out of the bed, we travelled 10 minutes to visit the local farmers market where we bought fresh food for the week, had fantastic fresh squeezed lemonade and hot pretzels as we walked through downtown to pick up our badges and tickets at the Indianapolis Convention Center (ICC).  The guys took the time to visit the Soldiers and Sailors Monument & Museum, while Zoe and I enjoyed fresh cups of tea from the South Bend Chocolate Cafe̕ across the street.  Finally we arrived at the Convention Center where it appears that Gen Con has finally figured out how to run a registration/will call line.  Twenty minutes later everyone had all of the tickets they needed.  We went on a quick tour of the ICC to locate our first events on Thursday and then headed back to the house to hang out.



Bright and early, we headed to day one of the con.  First stop was the First Exposure Playtest Hall where I played an interesting game still in development with a working title of Deus.  I really like this game and hope that the developer is successful in his attempts to get this published.  The game involved 4 players each representing one of the magical schools (earth, wind, fire, water) and was supposed to determine the champion for the year.  In order to do this, your wizard must acquire certain tools and visit each of the academies before the other wizards are able to do this.  This is accomplished by placing tiles around the board, both across the board and on top of each other.  The rules were relatively simple, but the game was a lot like playing a complex form of checkers and was very enjoyable.  The 3 people I played with also liked the game and I hope that I will have the opportunity to play again one day.


Afterwards,  I went to the exhibition hall, which had been open for about 45 minutes,  where I found that all copies of Mage Wars for the day had sold out in under 2 minutes, due to a problem with shipping a few of the parts from China in time for the convention.  Luckily, there would be 60 copies for sell every morning and I could try again another day.  Unfortunately, I had really hoped I would be able to read the complete rules before the Mage Wars tournament, but that was not to be.  I watched another demo game of Mage Wars and then moved on.  I spent several hours just wandering the aisles in the hall checking out new games.


I watched a lot of Android: Netrunner demos, but never actually played because the game sold out so quickly (10 minutes after the door opened) that I knew I would have to wait if I wanted to purchase it. I didn’t want to be too excited about a game that I might be able to purchase next month.  Netrunner is the newest Fantasy Flight Games’  Living Card Game.  It is a 2-player game where one person plays the corporation and one person plays the runner.  FFG expects it to be available for full purchase sometime next month.  They plan to support it with full tournament play as they have done with their other LCGs and I plan to purchase it when it finally becomes available.


Luckily Mayfair Games had a lot more copies of Star Trek: Catan than they said there would be and I was easily able to pick up a copy of this game.  I spent a fair amount of time checking out the foil lands that were available in the hall and made a couple large purchases (only 109 more lands to go!).  I also picked up a complete set of John Avon Unhinged Lithographs.  Eventually, I wandered over to the tabletop room and signed up for my first Ascension PvP tournament of the weekend.


While I waited for the event to fire, I headed back into the dealer room with Morgan where we spend a fair amount of time in the Dr. Who booth.  Then we played Fear & Greed: The Stock Market Card Game.  This is a quick multi-player game that strives to simulate the stock market experience.  The game was much too random to give a good simulation.  The stock market changes each “day” by flipping over the top card of the deck and changing the stock prices.  Then, players are forced to either buy or sell by the broker of the day.  This is supposed to simulate the Fear or Greed exhibited by most peoples stock purchases, but wasn’t very exciting.  I’d rather play more Acquire to practice my buying and selling, which is exactly what I did.


I played in my first Ascension PvP tournament of the weekend.  These were 8-player single elimination tournaments.  This tournament was the original block and I won the first round before being eliminated in the semis.  Before this weekend, I didn’t have much experience playing PvP since my games typically involved 3-4 players.  It was a much faster paced game which changed a lot of the strategy that is necessary.


It was time to play Acquire.  This is something I look forward to every year, the opportunity to play a game I’ve played all my life.  Acquire is a game that was originally published in 1962 by 3M (yes the tape makers used to publish games) and has since be republished in various forms.  In my opinion it is the best stock purchasing game ever made.  The game involves a simple tile board.  Players are allowed to place a tile every turn forming or expanding hotels.  Each turn a player may purchase up to 3 stocks in the existing hotels until the stocks run out or you have no more money.  Hotels can merge with each other by becoming connected.  There are then bonuses to be earned for having the first or second most stock.  Afterwards a player must decide whether to sell the stock, hold the stock (if they think the hotel could form again) or trade the stock 2-for-1 for the hotel that bought them out.  The game ends when one company has become the largest and after cashing out the person with the most money wins.  About an hour and a half later, I walked away with my one and only Rogue Judge Tournament ribbon, winning the game by a slim $3,000 margin.


I met up with the gang and everyone but Matt played in the first Gen Con Mage Wars tournament.  Mage Wars is a game that was just released at Gen Con and should be available for sale in stores by Sept. 15th (preorders are available now).  This is the game that I was most looking forward to and I made everyone play by signing them up for the event last spring.  Mage Wars combines the best elements of different games into one game.  Your Mage has an actual spell book and gets to select 2 spells to use every turn.  This eliminates the “luck” element that is inherent in most card games.  There is a board which is divided into 8 squares.  These squares are used for movement and determining range – eliminating my least favorite element of miniature play – measuring.  Mages channel energy every turn which is used to cast spells or conjure various creatures/equipment – no mana issues here.  Players battle it out attempting to kill their opponents’ mage.  Yes, you do get to roll tons of dice to determine hit points for various creatures and mages.  This is a two player game, but adding a second or third board allows for multi-player variants.  Zoe and I were paired in the first round of the single elimination tournament.  Unfortunately, being unfamiliar with all the rules it was a long, slow game in which we failed to do any damage to our mages.  Instead, it came down to a tie-breaker which Zoe won.  This happened to be fortunate, because Zoe took down the tournament with her Beastmaster deck!



Friday, I only had one event scheduled – the Penny Arcade: Gamers vs Evil tournament, where I hoped to pick up some cool promos.  I once again failed in my efforts to acquire Mage Wars.  Entering the hall at 10:02, I was not among the first 60 people to make it to the line.  Wandering through the hall again, I did discover that Star Trek: The Original Series DBG should be available for pre-orders and doing so would get me some cool new promos.  I also discovered that there is a Star Trek: Enterprise playmat which I hope to get in the near future.


I picked up a copy of Quills. Quills is an interesting card spelling game where players use their cards to spell out words and attempt to make melds.  It’s like a combination of Scrabble and Gin. I purchased this game for my 9-year old nephew who both enjoys games and showing off how smart he is.


I played in another PvP Ascension tournament while waiting for the PA tournament time.  This time I got into a Storm of Souls block event which allowed me the opportunity to play with the newly released Immortal Heroes expansion.  This expansion adds new cards and events to the Storm of Souls deck.  Additionally, it adds a new game element in the form of Soul Gems.  Soul Gems are an additional deck and are acquired through the purchase of a card from the main deck which gives players the ability to gain a Soul Gem.  Soul Gems are one time use cards which must be used the turn they are gained and mainly reflect cards from the original block.  Initially I was not impressed with the added element as I have begun to feel like there are too many items to track when not playing the game electronically.  However, over the course of the weekend I have been persuaded that the addition is good for the game.  I went onto win this event & finally got the Ascension Playmat and Ender of Days Promo card.


From here I proceeded to the PA tournament.  Nothing new or exciting to report from this event.  We played with the original set.  The event had twice as many people as Cryptozoic was expecting and so it got off to a somewhat late start.  Scout Master is pretty broken in 4-player play.  Most of the games were won by the individual who was lucky enough to get him because drawing 4-6 extra cards late game is pretty great.  The tournament was a lot of fun and I got the Mega Fan Promo Card which I did have yet, plus another copy of Fruit Fucker end boss promo.



I arrived at ICC at 8 am because Ryan and Matt both had early events.  This allowed me time to wander around and get some breakfast as well as to exchange my Ascension World Championship ticket for more Generics.  Since I was in the top 8 currently for the heads-up championship, I figured there was no need to spend the morning playing more Ascension.  Instead, I planned to be one of the first 60 people in line to buy Mage Wars and to get my Catan Uhura card signed by Nichelle Nichols.  After waiting in line for 45 minutes (not my specialty), I was the second person into the hall on my side of the room and made it to the Arcane Wonders (Mage Wars) booth where I was number 31 in line to get my copy of the game.  I got my number (good for purchase anytime that day) and wondered back to wait in the autograph line.  Here I got to briefly meet Nichelle Nichols and get my Star Trek: Catan items signed. Afterwards, I made a bunch more purchases (Dominion, Dominion: Dark Ages, Mage Wars: Core Spell Tome, Dominion Base Card, Dominion Promos, 3M Bookshelf games from the Consignment shop).


I walked around the room some more with Matt.  We watched the DC Comics Deck Building Game demo.  It seemed like a pretty straight forward version of a deck building game.  The only interesting thing is that you get to be a superhero – which as a fan of DBGs and Superheroes is enough for me to purchase the game. Expected release date is sometime next month.  Matt also took the opportunity to buy a copy of Cards Against Humanity and have some special cards made up by the designers – who were hanging out across the aisle from the demo.   Then I did one of my favorite things at Gen Con.  I went to the CCG auction.  I bought several booster boxes for $80 each, watched a bunch of bulk lots get auctioned off.  Picked up a complete set of Judgment ($40). Watched some people bid over some promotional items like banners and posters.  Then I picked up 2 partial sets of The Dark – one English and one Italian ($42) knowing that there was a NM English Maze of Ith inside.  Auctioneer said that there wasn’t an Italian one so I was pleasantly surprised to find both an English and Italian copy inside.  I ended this portion of the auction by watching the start of the Toys and Oddities auction where I picked up pictures of the cast of  Voyager, Next Gen, and DS9 as well as a box of old Star Trek books.  I also bought an unopened box of Desert Storm Trading Cards ($3), for unknown reasons.


I played another round of Ascension, losing again in the semis and then went to the Charity Auction which is typically my favorite thing about Gen Con.  The auctioneers are very entertaining and some really nice items go up for auction.  Unfortunately, the entire auction was running behind because they attempted to have two back to back charity auctions.  The first being a special donation of TSR archived items for the Gary Gygax Memorial Fund.  This auction was supposed to last for about 1 hr, but ended up lasting for 2.5 hours.  This meant that we missed the most fun portion of the auction, the artist donations because they occurred while we were playing Artemis: Green and Gold.  They shifted items around and lost most of the audience due to the late hour (the auction didn’t end until nearly 1 am), which I believe was a disservice to the STARS youth foundation they were supposed to be raising money for.


In the middle of the charity auction, Ryan and I played Artemis: Green and Gold.  Artemis is a multi-player, multi-computer, spaceship bridge simulator.  This game was a blast to play.  Ryan and I played with 4 other people on their simulated bridge complete with a red alert button.  Ryan was the Captain and I was the Engineer.  The game involves each individual running a station as our ship attempts to defend the docking stations located in our sector of space.  I shifted energy around the ship determining which systems could operate at a higher rate (shields, weapons, engines, etc) while balancing the cooling to them so that they didn’t over heat while operating above 100%.  The company intends for people to get together for old school network parties and play the game, but play is possible on various network platforms.  The game doesn’t have fantastic graphics as it is produced by one person, but the simulation is quite good.



I played in a final Ascension PvP to ensure I stayed in the top 8, and qualified for the championship.  This time I won a Chronicles of the Godslayer pod getting the same promos and playmat I won before and ensuring a prize for all my effort.  Then I wondered around in the hall for the last time as I waited for the Ascension PvP Championship to start.  Matt and I demoed Tsuro of the Seas, which I did not like.  I thought that the addition of the daikaiju (sea monsters) added too much randomness.  The original version of the game, Tsuro, is more skill intensive and you are not likely to die due to a random roll of the die.


The Ascension Heads-Up Championship started and I was paired against David Williams (Poker & Magic Pro) playing Storm of Souls block.  This game was a bit of a nail biter.  For most of the game I was winning significantly, having ~40 honor gems to David’s  ~7 gems.  Then things changed.  I was pretty well on the power plan while David was on the rune plan.  There were no monsters in play for several turns and I could not end the game.  Aaron the Godslayer flipped over.  David snatched him up.  Still no monsters in play.  Passed a few turns with not much happening.  Then David bought a hero, flipped over a new monster which he was able to kill with Aaron gaining him 6 honor and 3 trophy monsters from the Void.  This brought him back into the game and allowed him to win several turns later when he drew Aaron again and was able to use it on another larger monster as well as simply having a great last turn.  I lost by 8 or 9 honor.


Finally, made a last tour of the dealer hall picking up a few new dice and missing an opportunity at a small retail dice booth who was the first person all weekend to tell me they were only taking cash, when I had no more cash.


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Dungeon Crawl Classics Mystery Map Contest

Goodman Games is running a contest that I suspect many Battleground regulars will be interested in. They’ve provided a “Mystery Map” and are asking that contestants finish it and provide an outline of the adventure, based on your completed map. Also, the adventure should make use of the really strange looking monster they’ve drawn on the bottom right corner of the unfinished map.


I’m seriously considering sending in a submission of my own for this if I can carve out the time to work on it. The deadline for all submissions is October 31, 2012.


For those who don’t know what Dungeon Crawl Classics is all about, I suggest taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with these very cool Goodman Games products. In short, it’s a game system steeped in the feel and lore of “old-school” dungeon gaming. It looks and feels a lot like an altered version of 1st edition D&D with an intense focus on classic sword and sorcery play-style. In short, you’re not a hero; you’re an adventurer. You can pick up any Goodman Games products at either Battleground location.


Here is the link to the contest details.




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