Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you GOTY 2016.
This is it folks. The Star Trek: Ascendancy review. And it's a triple header with myself, Charlie Theel and Dan Thurot. No bones about it GF9 has hit a grand slam with this one it is the best game they have released to date and it will be, barring something just completely extraordinary, my pick for Game of the Year. It's a masterpiece of setting and both new school and old school design sensibilities. There's no doubt that the game puts up two very difficult barriers to entry- the three player restriction (soon to be lifted thanks to the Ferengi) and the hour-per-player minimum. But if you can surmount those, you are in for a hell of a game. And if you are a Trek fan...this is the game you have been waiting for after all of the sloppy deckbuilders, TCGs, Mage Knight variants, that god awful Five Year Mission and so forth. It now makes the old Star Trek Adventure Game the second best Trek game ever made, and EON's Enterprise Encounter the third best.
In other licensed game news, I got Harry Potter in today and being a huge fan I was pretty giddy opening it up. USAopoly is usually known for novelty Monopoly games, but it looks like they actually put some effort into this one. It's really interesting how it is presented, with seven games already pre-sorted and with escalating complexity/difficulty. It's kind of a legacy-like thing where the contents are in these boxes, too. The illustrations, photos, everything looks top notch. Really looking forward to it- it is a pity that it looks like a pretty stock deckbuilder, but if it's fun, accessible and has a least a touch of the Wizardling World in it then it could be a winner. I love that they made Neville Longbottom the Fatty Bolger of this game. Playing this thing tonight.
There's another review up at MM from me, the Warmachine two player starter box. It's great, I really enjoyed getting to check out the new version and it's a good starter with plenty to keep you interested and with good units that you will be using in a lot of lists. The models sort of pissed me off because I don't like that awful "restic" stuff and some of them were quite difficult to put together. But in all, it's a great way to try Warmachine if you've never played it. I'm resisting getting into it further...I don't think I could ever rebuild my glorious Khador army that got stolen.
Infinity is quite good, I've played a couple of games with the Operation: Red Veil starter. I especially like how it has this kind of always-on overwatch mechanic so that the firefights feel like a real back-and-forth exchange of shots. The dice system is good, I like how it's D20 based with a couple of modifiers and if you're making contested roll, it goes to whoever rolls the highest AND ALSO doesn't bust their target number. But if you hit your target number, it's a critical. I also really like the look of the models- it's very Masamune Shirow, and I love the Haqq'Islam faction. Space Muslims. The starter set is quite nice it comes with these cute papercraft buildings and a terrain map so the whole terrain issue is sorted right there. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to go further than reviewing it because I've just got too many miniatures things going on right now. I still prefer Deadzone to it, I think it's a little looser and I like that it's a little smaller in footprint. But it is a good small squad skirmish game, no doubt.
Blood Bowl: Team Manager had a good three player outing this week, using Foul Play. Love the new teams, the stadiums just kind of add more stuff and restrictions but are good, the corrupt ref is fun. With both expansions, this game is just stuffed with content and lots of options. Too bad it is GONE FOREVER.
Still trying to get my OMG ALL OF TALISMAN game set up. Cataclysm showed up yesterday, which makes me wonder if OMGAOT should use IT instead of the main board or if Catacalysm should be played separately. So much Talisman.
My son and I played our first game of X-Wing, which was lots of fun. Just did a basic Luke vs. Vader thing, each with a couple of wingmen. No upgrades, limited order tokens. He picked up on it pretty well, mainly because some of it was familiar from Tanks.
He also started picking up Pokémon cards with chore money, so I got us a Trainer Kit set. I've never actually played the card game outside of the old Gameboy version. I'm going into this one completely blind, I am not doing what I usually do and learning everything about it and then getting everything there is to possibly get for it. I just want to kind of discover it with him. He's not quite reading, so I'm not sure how it'll go. Scarlett has zero interest in playing it, hopefully that will change because she does love the show and the stuffies.