Krosmaster Arena Review and Overview

I got the chance to play Krosmaster Arena a month or so ago, AND NOW I CAN’T STOP!!

Overall I give Krosmaster a 7.5/10

The components are fan-fucking-tastic. Beautiful, 3d, lots of details.
The gameplay is a little wacky. It uses a lot of dice. A lot. There are plenty of ways around them though.
Watch a video or two before diving in as the rulebook(as almost all do) leaves much to be desired.

The video should be a decent walk-through with opinions after the 13-minute mark.

fun quiz!! Top 100 Boardgames of all time!

dominant species!This has been making the rounds on the facebooks!!

I’m sitting pretty at 69 played out of the 100.

There were certainly a few i wanted to play, but have not yet! I suppose i should write them on the internet, to make a quasi-commitment to playing them 😀

Merchants & Marauders—  this one is supposed to be a fun, card driven beast of a game. It should be back in stores late this summer.

antiquity looked interesting, but has less activity than some of the others, so i won’t hold my breath for a reprint

Navegador  I have been told this one is worth some time and effort. AND IT HAS RONDELS!!!

Goa: I’m so bad at auctions, but this one is supposed to be a classic!! Should be back in store any minute!

and finally El Grande. ’cause really, i should have played this by now.


What’d you score? What’s your goal?

Last Will… mini update

ImageTonight my gaming group dusted off the game Last Will from Czech Games Edition and Rio Grande Games. I had completely forgotten this little gem!! The designer, Vladimír Suchý, is best known for 2009’s Shipyard… I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more games from him in the coming years, as his designs are wonderful and fresh.


care of

The theme of Last Will is what sells it. At least this is true for 90’s kids like me. It is basically the story of Brewster’s Millions! Your crazy uncle has pitted you against your siblings in a race to learn the true value of money. The first heir to blow their wad will inherit an even larger fortune; no strings attached.

Over the course of 7 rounds. players send out their errand boys, buy and sell formerly-swanky properties, and throw lavish parties. If someone can run out of money first, they’ll win the day!

This game is all about building an engine, and taking stuff from your neighbors. I’m looking forward to more in-depth plays of this one… maybe pairing it up with Ladies and Gentlemen for a lark!


Come and Play Day in Seattle

This past weekend found me spending my time learning new games, meeting new people, and looking at the upcoming season of games at GTS’ come and play day. This is a small two-day meeting of northwest game stores and representatives of game companies (local and not).

It was really great to see my friends in the industry. It was also a wonderful opportunity to try out a few upcoming releases.

krosmasterFirst on my list was Krosmaster Arena from Japanime Games. Japanime Games is the company responsible for importing the awesome Tanto Cuore and Kanzume Goddess. These games are taking pretty traditional deck-building mechanics, and making them flirty anime fun.

Krosmaster Arena is very different for them, as it is a tactical minis game that was based off of a video game. I have never really checked out this video game. ( no surprise, I am not so good with the video gaming). The board game pits two teams in a tactical match. Each team has four characters with cool abilities and inherent fighting stats. It was adorable! Each character has unique abilities, and the team play was interesting. I liked having to maintain my own characters’ health, as well as helping out my partner.

Next we played a giant set of King of Tokyo! KoT is a silly king-of-hill game I have dubbed ‘monster yahtzee’. So, not king of tokyosomething I would play in my group, but something I’d break out when kids are around, sure. The standees were my own height. The dice were about the size of my head. This is something GTS whipped up, which will be hopping around to different conventions. I can’t recommend it enough!! We basically had to throw the cantaloupe-sized dice against the wall to roll them.

Last, but certainly not least, I had a devastatingly small round of High Command. High Command is Privateer Press’ new card game. They have created WM High Command_3Da deck builder with the personality of a skirmish game. This was fabulous! Each player chooses a faction (Warmachine factions will premiere first, with Hordes to follow soon enough). Players get an interactive game, fighting over territory. The casters are familiar, but I do not think the cards reflect their abilities in the regular game. I did love that they each had a card game equivalent of a ‘feat’ like in Warmachine.

I’m glad I’m starting to get invites to this sort of event, and I think I’ll have to plan to send myself to some of the bigger ones in the coming year!

Libertalia First Impressions

My first impression of Libertalia tonight was a mix of swarthy joy and uncertainty. Will this Imagestill be fun in two months? Can i maintain a pirate voice for more than ten minutes? Should i just play Citadels more?

Libertalia is a card game for 2-6 players designed by Paulo Mori. Players get a set of 9 identical cards. Every player will choose their card at the same time. Cards are displayed and arranged in order of rank. The lowest ranked card will activate first, moving upward. Then, the remaining cards will take turns splitting up the booty for that round.

This continues over 6 turns. Then another 6 cards are added to each players handand play begins again.(eventually there are 3 rounds)

This was fun. Trying to find neat combos, sending out a powerful card, only to have it discarded by a lower-ranking pirate. Cursed booty passed around the table and pirate jokes abound.

ImageThere was a great influence of Citadels and other role-selection games here. The quick and light nature made it feel fresh.

I’ll have to play a few more games to be sure, but i’m excited to do so. I love interactive gamer’s party games. I can see this going hand in hand with RoboRally. Just quicker to play!!

What i would want to see in a more sophisticated version is a draft to determine the opening hands…



Kickstarter has quickly made a place for itself in my little gaming world. There have been some amazing projects posted, funded and delivered into the hands of the gamers and fans first. What an idea! I have included Kickstarter projects into my own personal gaming budget(what, you don’t have a gaming budget?) I find that i kick one to two projects a month.

The first project i’m expecting is a reworking of a game, The Great Fire of London 1666. This great game first premiered with pitiable components and a less than desirable rule set. This Kickstarter project brought life back into a project they really believed in. The cost was $60, so not much more than a normal euro i’d pay for in the store. GFoL is a semi-hidden information game. Players are wealthy landowners, trying desperately to save their property from burning. They may not, however, mind if their opponents lands are burned to the ground.

The next i funded was Solforge. I don’t often play new CCGs, as Magic is grand and expensive, without needing to purchase boosters. Solforge, though, is SolforgeLogodoing something i find to be amazing. This is creating a structure which is just not possible in paper form. They are creating a competitive CCG with cards that change during the game round. It’s almost similar to the evolve technique in Pokemon, but rather than needing all the levels in your primary deck, you gain the later levels of a card as you play them. They have also committed to not doing new sets or cards in month’s long cycles. They are freed by the format being electronic. The cards can be created and implemented whenever they would like.

The only expansion to grace my kickstarter profile is the Eminent Domain: Escalation expansion. I feel that most companies should be able to fund expansions to successful games on their own. Tasty Minstrel Games(and others like them) are very open about their financial state. They talk a lot about their ability to stay afloat by most of their committed help keeping their day jobs. They post the financial details of their titles and are very social and open to online inquiries. I have every intention of buying up Eminent Domain’s expansions as they come out, so to fund it on the internet to help it get printed, i have no qualms.

The last kind of project that i’m happy to fund is the newcomer. Smaller, less ambitious projects are neat. I funded what looks like an art-schooler’s project called Trifecta. The game is pretty, but intentionally simple. They wanted to show off some unique art, and a neat game. What a value, hopefully funding this project will encourage the next!

I’m glad that i can affect my fellows and my industry. I wish that all kickstarters would consider funding to the point in which copies of their newly-minted games would still look comfortable in brick and mortar stores. My latest disappointment was for the game Purge:Sins of Science. A wonderfully designed game with beautiful art. Regrettably they used the worst card stock and packaging. Especially at its $40 price point.

Ladies & Gentlemen, First Impression

gentlemen What made shopping, stocks, gossip, fashion, and misogyny so fun?? Ladies & Gentlemen did. Gentlemen go to the stock exchange every morning, ladies head off to their favorite shops; After all, the ball is only a few days away!! I can’t even make this up!! The most elegantly dressed lady at the end of the game will take the victory. Men must bring enough bacon home to pay for the ladies’ fashion choices and household help.

This game makes perfect use of the Victorian Era as most Americans probably know of it. Ladies must be fashionable, though they can be a little gossipy. The men work at the stock exchange, and grimace at the credit card bill upon their arrival home. Men will find also themselves having to foot the bill for a very expensive courtesan’s wardrobe if they want to keep their reputation for class.

The gentlemen’s job is a kind of race. There are a number (equal to the number of gentlemen) of revealed contracts with needs of 2-5 specific resources. At the opening bell, the men will look at the resource tokens, one at a time, with the ability to keep three and find a number token to determine his and his ladies’ initiative for the round. In the afternoon, the gentlemen will, in initiative order, sell their resources for cash or complete contracts.

The ladies’ morning means window shopping. They choose from a number of sales to place in their favorite shop. Theladies sale is for hired help, apparel, accessories or jewelry. In the afternoon each lady decides, in secret, which shop she’ll visit. Ladies will search from among the sale items and take their choices home on credit.

Each evening the ladies will hand their dapper gentlemen the various things they’ve found during the day. The gentlemen will choose for which of these things they’re willing to foot the bill. Each garment has a number of elegance points, though they must adhere to a couple of restrictions. After five rounds the ladies & gentlemen will meet at the big ball, and the lady with the most elegant outfit will win the envy of all the town.

Last night’s two session games saw the ladies fighting over finding a dress. The gentlemen’s side ran somewhat smoothly, with huge competition over the big-money contracts. The winner eeked it out with lots of cheap jewelry/accessories. In my (triumphant) second game, it was a mix of designer-specific pieces and helpful servants that snatched up my victory!

What a fun game! It brings out the silly in everyone to whom I’ve shown it. The game begs for as much flavor and role-playing as possible. The sexist theme and dual-sided play wants for funny voices and lots of jokes.