Wednesday, September 25, 2013

L.A. Mood's October Heroclix Schedule

All events Begin at 6:00pm unless posted otherwise

October 3 Heroclix League Event
Build a 400 pt team with your chosen keyword. If you do not have a chosen keyword, please see the judge at the event
Prize: TBA

October 10 Annual Thanksgiving Team Meet for Dinner
Build a 600 pt team, Half of your team must be from one uncommon keyword and  The other half must be from a different uncommon keyword

October 17 Fear Itself Storyline Event Month 5
500 points, Sealed event utilizing two (2) HeroClix Boosters per player: one (1) Marvel HeroClix: Fear Itself Booster pack, and one (1) other HeroClix booster  or Five (5) single figure boosters (or another Fear itself, IF turn out allows) of your choosing.
Prior to the event, players will “declare their allegiance” to one of the two Fear Itself Factions: “The Worthy” or “The Mighty.” They are now fighting for victory on behalf of their chosen Faction. They will utilize the appropriate Additional Team Ability for their faction (provided in the Month One Fear Itself kit) on their force.
Resources and Relics from the Fear Itself Scenario Packs or any previous month’s Marvel HeroClix: Fear Itself events are allowed for use
Prizes: Cul Borson Limited Edition figures for 1st place, 2nd place and Fellowship
Nerkkod’s Hammer 3D Objects for participation prizes

October 24 Monster Brawl!
Bring a Character with the Monster Keyword, Max 600pts, Players will be divide into two teams. The two teams will battle against each other.

L.A. Mood House Rules
1. Purple Rings are legal, and no figures are retired
2. No Battlefield Conditions
3. Feats can only being used on older figures from before the Avengers set
4. Player are expected to bring a map that will be used, players may use either side if the map is double sided.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

C'mon Physics -- Don't Fail Me Now!

In this week's post, I'd like to introduce you to a new title that's just been released by Queen games: Via Appia.  Via Appia is hot off the press and has been designed by Michael Feldkotter who, according to my fine German friends, was undoubtedly teased mercilessly as a child on account of his last name.  Apparently, Feldkotter is shocking close to the German word for rabbit droppings!  Whatever his childhood suffereings may or may not have been, in Via Appia Mr. Feldkotter has designed a clever and enjoyable game with rather unique dexterity element that I haven't seen anything quite like in a game before.  Want to know more?  Well read on and all shall be revealed.

From a thematic perspective, Via Appia puts you in the shoes of a Roman engineer who has been tasked with building a road that connects Rome with the city of Brundisium.  And, it should be noted from the outset, that Via Appia does a fine job of evoking this theme via both its components and its mechanics.  On your turn, you will have the option of carrying out one of four actions.  As a first choice, you might elect to gather income in the form of either freshly quarried stone or gold.  This is done by selecting from a pool of available income tiles, each of which displays an amount of money on the top half of the card and a quantity of stone on the bottom.  Initially, you will only receive either the stone or the gold, but as fewer and fewer cards remain to be chosen, you'll eventually be awarded both halves of the cards and, when only one card remains, you recieve an additional bonus of a "push" token.

A push token you say?  What do I need a push token for?  Well, here is where Via Appia proves itself to be a very unique game.  You see, the stone that you've collected is only roughly hewn stone fresh from the quarry.  To be suitable for paving it will need to be crushed into more useable sizes.  And that's where things get interesting.  On the main board there sits a rock crusher.  It's really a V-shaped trough that sits on the board (raised up off the board by cardboard supports) and which has been filled with various wooden discs.  These discs come in three sizes and they represent the three sizes of paving stones which can be used to pave the Via Appia.  In order to acquire these paving stones, you be using the rough hewn stones you've acquired from the income tiles to push tiles out of this rock crusher.  You'll begin by placing one of your rough stones on the platform in front of the mouth of the rock crusher and then, using the nifty wooden 'rake' that comes with the game, you'll push your stones into the crusher -- hopefully causing wooden discs to fall out the other end of the crusher.  Any discs which you succeed in ejecting from the crusher can be taken as either paving stones or cash.  Of course, if you choose to acquire paving stones, you'll need to make sure that you have room to store and transport them in you handy-dandy wagon tile.

Once you've acquired paving stones, as one of your actions you'll be able to place those stones onto the main board as part of the Via Appia -- and you'll get points for doing so.  In addition, the road has been divided into three sections and there will be bonuses awarded to players who have laid the most (and second most)  paving stones in a given section.  The final action that you can take is to travel down the Via Appia.  Doing so will cost you money (money that you'll have had to acquire at the expense of forgoing the acquisition of stones) but you will also have the potential to earn VP by being the amongst the quickest players to travel down the Via Appia.

So what are my thoughts on Via Appia?  First of all, this is the first push you luck game in which you can actually, physically push your luck!  An awful lot of your success depends on being able to successfully push stones out of the rock crusher -- and you'd be surprised how challenging that can be.  Overall, the dexterity element of the game is really, really clever and I think it ensures that the game will be a particular hit with families.  While there can be no doubt that the rock crushing is the highlight of Via Appia, the rest of the game's mechanics are solid as well.  There are choices to be made about when to take money or stone, whether or not to get your points from laying paving stones or to run quickly from city to city on the backs of other people's labours.  The game's rules (while not translated all that well in the English rulebook) are clear and the game should prove accessible in the 8+ range without difficulty.  Finally, the components are really of superb quality -- from the beautiful artwork on the board to the solid wooden discs and the nifty paving stones, everything has been extremely well designed and made.  Ultimately, if you are looking for a light, fast, fun game with beautiful components, that's accessible and plays smoothly then Via Appia is well worth checking out.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Agricola: The One Euro To Rule Them All!

If you've been reading any of these posts of the last several months, you've probably recognized by now that I love board games.  And it probably wasn't a leap to imagine that I own more than a few of them as well.  Here's the thing though, our if the nearly 200 games that I own, if I could only keep one of them, that game would be Agricola.  Why you ask?  Because there is no game I own that provides a more satisfying gaming experience, more fun, more tense decision making and more bang-for-your-buck value than Agricola.  It is, quite simply, the best board game I have ever played.  And, you don't need to take my word for it.  Head on over to and check out their ratings list -- Agricola is currently ranked #2 out of the over 66,000 games in their database.  To be honest, it's a travesty that it's not number one (a title currently held by Twilight Struggle) but there are a few vagaries of the BGG rating system that are responsible for this injustice!  So do you want to know more about this amazing title?  Well read on dear friend and all shall be revealed!

Before we go any further, however, we need to pause for a moment and say a few words about how to correctly pronounce the title.  Unfortunately, many people pronounce it as such: AGRI-cola.  Not only is this incorrect, but it makes the title sound like some form of carbonated beverage!  The correct pronunciation is: a-gri-ko-la.  In actual fact, Agricola is the Latin word for farmer -- hence the theme about which we shall say more in a moment.  This is a landmark game in the history of board gaming -- it deserves to have it's title pronounced correctly.  Learn it and love my friends.

So what is this game all about?  The theme of the game puts you in control of a seventeeth century peasant family that is trying to grow and develop both their family and their land.  At the beginning of the game, each player will receive their own player board representing their farm, along with two tiles representing the two rooms of their first home -- it's a pretty pedestrian wood hut but, no worries, if you play well you'll be expanding and upgrading said hut.  You'll also receive two token representing the first two members of your family -- with smart play this family will also be expanding as the game progresses.  These family tokens are critical because Agricola is very much a worker placement game.  Along with the player boards there is also a main board on which different action spaces are located.  On your turn you'll be able to place one of your family tokens on to that board and to execute the action associated with that space-- say, plowing a field, raising animals, building new rooms on your home, or collecting resources like wood, stone and reed.  The key here, is that each round players will take turns placing workers one at a time until each player has placed all of their family members.  And once a player has placed their worker in a particular location, no other player can take that action during that round.  As the game progresses, you'll find that the families of each player will grow in size and, even though more actions spaces will be placed on the board each round, competition for resources is going to be fierce!

At this point you might be saying: 'Well, this sounds just like any other worker placement game -- what makes this one special?'  There are three factors that raise Agricola above the ranks of more pedestrian worker placement/euro games.  The first factor is the need to feed your family at the end of every round.  The game progresses over six rounds, each of which is comprised of a number of phases.  The number of phases per round steadily decreases over the course of the game, however, and the intervals between feeds decreases as well.  And at the end of each round you need to ensure that you can provide two units of food for each of your family members; fail to do so and you'll face the very stiff penalty of losing 3VP per unit of food that you can't provide.  The need to feed your family creates a dramatic tension in the game as each player strives to create some form of food engine that allows them to meets these demands while simultaneously growing and expanding their family and holdings.  If you've ever seen a group of people playing Agricola, especially towards the end of the game, then you know how real this tension is!  Those people will be so focused on the game, as they watch each move made by their opponents and run calcuations in their heads about how much food they have, that they often lose track of what's going on in the world around them.

The second factor that elevates Agricola above the rest of the field are the Occupation and Minor Improvement cards.  Over the course of the game the number of action spaces on the board will increase (and it occurs in a somewhat random fashion), but every player has a chance of accessing all of the same spaces.  Additionally, however, each player has a unique hand of cards given to them at the beginning of the game which represent skills and improvements that can be achieved by their family.  These cards will powerfully influence the course of the game, because, despite the fact that each player has the same overarching goals and access to the same action spaces on the board, the path they follow to achieve those goals will be largely determined by the cards they receive at the beginning of the game.  Knowing when and which cards to play to most efficiently and fully maximize the placement of your workers lies at the heart of Agricola and is huge factor in making the game what it is.  As an aside, the base game comes with three decks of cards (the E, K and I decks) and since you will always have a different hand of cards and you have three deck to choose from when setting up the game, the replayability provided by Agricola is unparalled by any other euro game.  Now that's getting value for your gaming dollar.

The final factor that I would mention is how well Agricola scales depending on the number of players you have.  The game plays brilliantly with any number between one and five and it feels and plays out quite differently depending on that number.  Again the Occupation and Minor Improvement cards play a role here.  That's because a card that might be downright unplayable in a two-player game could turn out to be extremely powerful in a four player match -- and only experience and repeated play will tell you how to make that valuation.  Further, the game just plays differently with different numbers.  Want a poker like challenge where you need to "play the man" as much as the game -- try building a two-player rivalry with a friend.  Want a cutthroat battle from start to finish -- try playing with three (reed denial is all I'm going to say!).  Want a more relaxed (if longer) experience -- try playing with five.  Astonishingly, the game is even brilliant in solo mode where you'll compete in kind of a campaign mode to better your personal score from game to game.  The ebb and flow of the game really changes with the number and learning how to cope in different circumstances is part of the fun.

When you combine these three factors with clean design and top notch components what you've got is game that simply stands head and should above the rest of the euro gaming world.  I have played this game nearly a hundred times and I can confindently say to you that I feel that I am just beginning to mature as a player.  I continue to see new value (from both a tactical and strategic perspective) in familiar cards and my valuation of those cards changes depending on the number of players I'm play with.  I find continued enjoyment in trying to find ways to eek out just one more point from a particular strategy.  Sometimes I try new and bizarre strategies just to see what will happen (small families and huge fields, massive families in big houses, animal husbandry, or cash cropping -- whatever!).  I can confidently say that if you are prepared to invest a little time and effort in learning what is a bit of daunting game from the start -- you will be richly rewarded for years to come!  So, come on down to the store, grab a copy and get farming!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!
New stuff at L.A Mood!!

BREAKING NEWS! THE DEAD WALK!!! For your own financial safety head to L.A Mood immediately and stock up on all your favourite Walking Dead merchandise. Until the end of the month it's 50% of all trades, and 20% off toys and back issues!

New Trades!
Star Wars Jedi Academy

Jeffrey Brown continues his whimsical and hilarious series on being a young Padawan in the Star Wars Universe. This incredible entry captures all the fun, frustrations, and humour of middle school in a galaxy far, far away.


This Indie Go Go funded monster anthology has just hit the shelves and features all sorts of cool artists and monstrous stories!

Crime Does Not Pay Vol 5

Deadly dames, streetwise mugs, and mysterious murders populate the pages of Crime Does Not Pay, the 1940's true crime comic that was a hit with millions of readers but scandal for the guardians of public decency. Check out history in more ways than one with the 5th edition of this tantalizingly scandalous collection!

Talon Vol. 1

The first trade volume of one of the most critically praised titles in the New 52 is here! Talon tells the story of a master assassin trained by the Court of Owls who returns to Gotham to fight the secret societies grip on the city and gain his freedom once and for all-Yeah that old chestnut!

Lords of Water Deep "Scoundrels of Waterdeep"

That which cannot be taken by trickery or negotiation must be taken by force in Lords of Water Deep!  2-5 players are powerful Lords vying for control in this fun Euro style game! (L.A Mood is not responsible for any battles that spill off the board and into your living room)

Bioshock Infinite
"The Siege of Columbia"

More than a cash in on a popular video game Bioshock Infinite  Siege of Columbia captures the spirit of the beloved franchise while sporting beautiful design and 32 awesome miniatures plucked from the games cast. The board game is a must for fans of one of the coolest video game series ever made!

Rise of the Zombies The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Game

This new Zombie game adds the fact it's played in real time making the race for the helicopter even more exciting. What a great idea...someone was using their BRRRRRAAAINS...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Theros Pre orders

Pre orders for Theros are now open. Boxes will be available for the low low price of $100 and fat packs for $30. They will be available for pick up on Fri Sept 27. A deposit of half will be required on any orders of 3 boxes or more.
If you are the first 30 people you will receive the Buy a Box Foil.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

September Magic Schedule

September Magic Schedule
FNM Standard -   
Start Time 6:30; 
Entry Fee $2;
Swiss Rounds; 

FNM Drafts -  
Start Time Draft #1 Starts at 6:30 Draft #2 Starts approx. 8:30 (after two rounds of Standard); 
Entry Fee $10; 
Keep What You Draft; 
Swiss Rounds;
Latest Draft Format (e.g., currently M14); 
Prizes consist of 3/2/1/1 booster pack prizes (based on 8 players) to the Top 3 and FNM foils distributed to the Top 2 players automatically.

Other prizes, like foil door prizes and other handouts, including Intro packs and Battle Packs, will be distributed as before, with a door prize pool equal to about half the number of entrants!  Based on our average 30-man FNM attendance (you can see the  expected prize distribution above), I think this is an exceptionally exciting change.  Let everyone know about our huge FNMs - the more people who play, the larger the prize pool gets!

 September Magic Schedule

Sept 2-No Draft Store is closed

Sept 6 - FNM  
Standard-legal deck required. 6:30 pm start time, $2 $10 3-2-1-1 M14 draft available at 6:30 and 8:30 pm.
Sept 8 - Magic Celebration 12pm Free entry details at the bottom of the page.
Sept 9 -   Monday Night Draft
6:30PM Start Time M14 Rare Redraft $10 entry fee
Sept 13 - FNM Standard-legal deck required. 6:30 pm start time, $2 $10 3-2-1-1 M14 draft available at 6:30pm and 8:30 pm.
Sept 15 - Commander Open Play 3:00pm  Sunday Modern 3:00pm $5 entry Prize goes into store credit.
Sept 16 - Monday Night Draft
6:30PM Start Time M14 Rare Redraft $10 entry fee
Sept 20 - FNM Standard-legal deck required. 6:30 pm start time, $2 $10 3-2-1-1 M14 draft available at 6:30pm and 8:30 pm.
Sept 20 - Theros Midnight pre-release starts at midnight after FNM $27 entry. 
Sept 22 - Theros Pre-release 11AM $27 for your Quest Kit

Sept 23 - Monday Night Draft
6:30PM Start Time M14 Rare Redraft $10 entry fee
Sept 27 - FNM Standard-legal deck required. Theros will be legal for standard 6:30 pm start time, $2 $10 3-2-1-1 Theros draft available at 6:30pm and 8:30 pm. There will also be the second part in the Hero Quest.
Sept 29- Commander Open Play 3:00pm  Sunday Modern 3:00pm $5 entry Prize goes into store credit.

Magic Celebration Sept 8
Celebration has a
brand new format
that’s a great way to introduce players to
the concept of sealed deck. Players will build decks using:
Magic 2014
Core Set
Booster Pack
Magic 2014
Core Set
Sample Deck of the player’s choice, after the player has
opened their booster pack
Decks are created by combining desired cards from the Booster Pack with the entire
Sample Deck. The event is open play, and once a player has completed three matches
they’ll be awarded a
Magic 2014
Core Set
Booster Pack as a prize. 
 Theros Pre-release
$27 entry
Midnight Sept 20 after FNM
Main event Sept 22 at 11AM 
The Prerelease is quest one of nine on the Hero’s Path and the first chance for
players to crack open booster packs and enjoy playing with all of the new cards in
. At the Prerelease, players will choose a heroic path corresponding to one
of the five colors of mana.

Hero Cards
Hero Cards
are a brand new
special type of card for players to
collect and use when facing Challenge
Decks at Game Day.
Each Hero Card has a unique ability
that will assist players as they battle
against tremendous foes each Game
Day during the
The back of each Hero Card has a
redeemable code that can be entered
for an
achievement badge