Friday, October 25, 2013

Does This Path Lead to Fun?

Friends and neighbours -- I'm an old-school computer RPG fan.  Back in the day, I played RPGs that didn't even have graphics -- games like Zork and the original Ultima titles.  Ultimately, however, some of my favourites games were the Might and Magic titles, where you put together a team of adventures and went out to explore the countryside in search of gold and glory.  Over the years, I've looked high and low in an effort to find a board game that could replicate this sense of RPG style experience.  Well, you can imagine my excitement when I heard about the newest release from Paizo Publishing, Pathfinder: The Adventure Card Game.  Now, this is Paizo's first foray in the world of board game publishing -- but they're well known for their the hugely successful producion of the Pathfinder RPG, so there are certainly reasons to hope for good things.

The first thing that you'll notice about PF:TACG is how large the box is and that might seem somewhat surprising given that this is a card game.  The rationale, however, is that the box has been designed to allow you to organize the cards by categores (eg. weapons, armor, monsters etc.) and, there's room for all of the upcoming expansion packs to be included as well.  To that end, there's an excellent box insert and the rules contain a helpful overview of how best to seperate and organize the cards.  It's worth noting at this point that the game represents an unfolding story, one that follows the Pathfinder Rise of the Runelords story arc, as it emerged in the Pathfinder RPG universe.  As such, every few months a new chapter pack will be released which contains quests, monsters and equipment.  You and your friends can play the entire campaign, moving from one adventure scenario to another -- with each scenario taking approximately an hour to complete.  The base game comes with the first chapter pack -- Burnt Offerings -- and so after you've played the first few introductory scenarios you can move right into the main campaign.

As noted above, this is a card game.  Your character will be represented by a unique deck of cards that serves as a reposistory for the items, spells and loot that you'll acquire over the course of your journey.  Each character begins with a unique deck of cards and, in what is perhaps the most impressive feature of the game, as your character develops over time your deck of cards will change accordingly.  Thus, if you're a fighter who acquires a more powerful weapon during one scenario, that sword can remain in your deck for use during the next stage of the campaign.  Further, the locations you visit are also represented by decks of cards.  When in a location you can encounter that location by revealing the top card of the location deck and interacting with that card -- be it a monster or an item that you can acquire.  As you conquer various scenarios in the campaign your characters can also "level-up" so to speak -- and this means that they will be able to shape and alter their character decks to include more numerous and more powerful spells -- not to mention improving their base stats for use during encounters.  These advancements also stay with a character as they progress through the game and are recorded on character cards provided in the base game.

So, does it all work?  Well, I'm pleased to report that the answer to that question is yes.  To be sure there is a bit of learning curve -- as you become aware of how to encounter the different items and creatures you run into along the way -- but overall the game plays very smoothly and intuitively.  Anywone who has any paper & pencil, or computer, RPG experience will have little trouble coming to grips with the system.  Additionally, the game has great components and each scenario plays out quickly.  You will need a group of committed individuals who are prepared to game regularly if you want to play out the entire campaign -- which is probably the best way to play -- but if you've got such a play group this game comes highly recomended!

We've got copies in the store so come on down and check'em out.  And hey, Pathfinder: The Adventure Card Game could be the perfect Christmas gift for the RPGer in your life!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Comic Fest 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Join us in celebrating Halloween with some free comics, treats and sales! 20% off anything with the words dead or zombie in the title, all else roll Zombie Dice for discount! Come dressed in costume and get a special treat and then head on over to the London Public Library for a costume contest at 2:30 PM! Great fun! Great prizes!

photo courtesy of the London Metro News, Mark Spowart, Thursday October 17,2013

Heroclix Fear Itself Update

So everyone I have some bad news. The store was unable to acquire a month 5 Fear itself kit. Because of this we are unable to get the month 6 kit as well. This is due to dealings between WK and one of L.A mood's supplier.

AvX month one has been ordered from a different supplier

I want to thank everyone who came for out for Fear Itself Events. I also want to apologize to all those players who were looking forward to final next month as well

Monday, October 07, 2013

It's Pretty...But Is It a Bora?

In the world of game publishers, Alea is one of the better known companies -- especially when it comes to eurogames.  Alea publishes several lines of games, but their most famous is known as the Alea Big Box Series.  Some pretty successful titles have been part of this lineup -- including Puerto Rico, Macao and Castles of Burgundy.  Now there's a new addition to this all star line-up: Bora Bora.  This is yet another 2013 release from Stephen Feld (Castles of Burgundy, Rialto and Trajan being the others) and the fourth of Feld's designs to be included in the Big Box collection.  So what's it all about and is this a title that might be of interest to you?  Well, here are a few thoughts by way of introduction to this fine title.

First of all, from a thematic perspective, in Bora Bora you'll be discovering, settling and suriving in the islands of French Polynesia. Well, you would be if this game had any thematic content at all! Friends and neighbours, in classic Feldian fashion, Bora Bora is about as euro as it comes. In fact, the only game I know of that's any more of a blatant VP grab is Troyes! Bora Bora is a euro game through and through, at every step it's all about maximizing the return on investment for every action that you take.

From a  production standpoint, there is a tonne of stuff inside this weighty box!  Bora Bora is simply chalk full of components, all of which have been beautifully and durably constructed.  The main board has been lavishly illustrated, the various tokens have been constructed from good thick cardboard stock and the individual player boards are clearly laid out and provide helpful player-aids. Ultimately, this is very well produced game that looks great on the table.and, in terms of bang-for-your-buck, you're definitely getting your money's worth here.    One further comment by way of the relationship between aesthetics and game-play: there is a great deal of iconography employed in Bora Bora.  As a result, although the icons are on the whole quite intuitive, there will definitely be a learning curve involved in terms of your first few plays.

Having said that, the rules are actually quite straight forward to learn and the game flows quickly and cleanly from stage to stage and turn to turn.  In terms of mechanics, Feld employs dice that you'll role and place as 'workers' in a manner that is quite similar to Castles of Burgundy.  In terms of overall game-play, this is wide open game that allows you to generate VP in multiple ways -- and in this regard it has a 'feel' that's quite a bit like Trajan.  Bora Bora has been designed to play with two to four players, and it plays very well with any number along that spectrum.  In particular, it provides a surprisingly satisfying two-player experience, one which plays in about sixty to ninety minutes.  With three or four you can count on a more tense and competitive game that plays out in a solid ninety minute timeframe.  Bora Bora also offers considerable replayability, in so far as your strategic and tactical choices will be guided by task tiles which are randomly assigned from a large supply at the start of the game (although later tasks can be chosen from an available supply).  As such, you'll be forced to acquire points in different ways each game.  Ultimately, this is solidly middle weight euro that, while not inaccessible to new comers, is probably best appreciated by a relatively seasoned gamer.

So, if you're looking for a true-blue euro that's beautiful, scales well between two to four, offers challenges and tough decisions without melting your brain, and allows for lots of replayability, well then Bora Bora is definitely worth checking out!

Friday, October 04, 2013

October Magic Schedule

October 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 Theros); 
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!

 October Magic Schedule

Oct 4 - FNM  
Standard-legal deck required. 6:30 pm start time, $2 $10 3-2-1-1 Theros draft available at 6:30 and 8:30 pm.
Oct 6- Commander Open play. 3:00pm start time.
Oct 7 -   Monday Night Draft
6:30PM Start Time Theros Rare Redraft $10 entry fee
Oct 11 - FNM Standard-legal deck required. 6:30 pm start time, $2 $10 3-2-1-1 Theros draft available at 6:30pm and 8:30 pm.
Oct 13 - Commander Open Play 3:00pm  
Oct 14 - No Monday Night Draft Store closed for Thanksgiving.

Oct 18 - FNM Standard-legal deck required. 6:30 pm start time, $2 $10 3-2-1-1 Theros draft available at 6:30pm and 8:30 pm.
Oct 20 - Theros Gameday Noon Start time. Free entry. Come and face the Hydra.

Oct 21 - Monday Night Draft 6:30PM Start Time Theros Rare Redraft $10 entry fee
Oct 25 - FNM Standard-legal deck required. 6:30 pm start time, $2 $10 3-2-1-1 Theros draft available at 6:30pm and 8:30 pm.
Oct 27- Commander Open Play 3:00pm  
Oct 28 - Monday Night Draft 6:30PM Start Time Theros Rare Redraft $10 entry fee.
Theros Game Day
Oct 20 12pm  

What Do I Get?

All participants receive an exclusive Phalanx Leader full-art promo card (while supplies last). The Top 8 players each receive an exclusive Nighthowler full-art foilpromo card. The cards are awarded to the Top 8 players even if the tournament cuts only to the Top 4.
In addition, the 1st-place winner ofTherosGame Day will receive an exclusive Playmat.

Face the Hydra

Bring the Hero Cards you've earned at Theros Prerelease and Launch Weekend to help you defeat the Face the Hydra Challenge Deck at Theros Game Day. This special deck is a special activity that you can challenge beginning with Game Day, between rounds or at your convenience. It's not a part of the tournament, but you'll want to defeat the Hydra to earn the third Hero Card on the Hero's Path.
You can use up to two Hero Cards to help you against the Face the Hydra Challenge Deck. To learn more about the Hero's Path, visit