Good News for Lonely Mages – Mage Knight: The Lost Legion Review

Mage Knight: The Lost Legion

Looks like we found that legion…

It says something about Mage Knight’s quality that even as my life has become less permitting of long dense games, I still find time to play Vlaada Chvatil’s classic several times a year. I enjoyed it when I first got it two years ago, but it has only improved since then. The more time I spend with it, the more I am convinced it is not only Chvatil’s best game, but perhaps one of the  best fantasy board games ever designed. But one thing I didn’t think the game needed was an expansion. It’s such a vast ocean of a game with so many ways to play, that I couldn’t think of anything that needed to be added. But now that I’ve played The Lost Legion a few times, I see how wrong I was. It’s a terrific expansion, enriching the original experience to such a point that to go back to not using it would  feel like a regression. Continue reading

For Asgard!

simonson thor

Like many boys, my childhood was filled with comics. For me those comics were collections of daily strips, particularly Calvin & Hobbes, Peanuts, and heaven help me, Garfield. I also was big on Asterix, partially because I had never heard of him before moving overseas. My favorite comics were (and probably still are) Tintin. But unlike a lot of people, superhero comics were never something I got into until adulthood. I do remember the hoopla surrounding the death of Superman, and I had some passing casual interest in TV shows about them. Batman: The Animated Series began while I was young, and the X-Men had infiltrated popular culture as well. But the world of the superhero comic was one that remained closed off to me. Continue reading

Cat Sack Fever – Felix: The Cat In The Sack Review

Felix: The Cat In the Sack

Seems like the internet’s kind of game

When I write about older games I try to find one that a lot of people have played, or maybe one that could be considered a classic. By that standard, Felix: The Cat In The Sack seems awfully slight. It’s a little 30-minute trifle by Friedemann Friese, who is much better known for his bigger designs like Power Grid. It was well-regarded when it came out several years ago, but like a lot of minor hits from that time period it’s been passed by in an age of deckbuilders and crowdfunding. Still it’s proven to be something of a gem in my collection, a short auction game that felt unique at the time and still does. And more than most games, it makes me laugh. Continue reading

Mario Kart 8 is Great

Mario Kart 8

You’re lucky I’m even taking the time to write this blog entry. If I had my way I’d be playing Mario Kart 8 right now instead of telling you why you should also be playing Mario Kart 8. Normally I wouldn’t feel like I’d need to tell you how good Mario Kart 8 actually is, but given the international shoulder shrug that has greeted the Wii U I feel like I at least need to tell you that it’s got some pretty great games. Super Mario 3D World is terrific, as are Windwaker HD and Nintendo Land. But at the moment I can think of nothing I’d rather be playing than the newest iteration of Mario Kart. Continue reading

You Dirty, Rotten… – Intrigue Review

Intrigue cover

Pleasure doing business…

If we were to classify games like boxers, based on weight, I think that Intrigue might win the award for the most conniving game in its class. It forces the player to make endless promises to get ahead, and then it makes you break at least some of those promises, trampling on the needs and desires of your fellow players. My friends and I have joked that you lose a little bit of your soul every time you play, and there are moments when I’ve felt genuinely guilty for what the game is requiring of me. I would only ever play it with people who were willing to leave all grudges at the game table, and even then I might be more selective than usual. Continue reading

Flip-Flopping

lost cities cover

Daring adventure! With math!

I owe Lost Cities an apology. Lost Cities is the classic two-player card game by Reiner Knizia, a perennial favorite of gamers for more than a decade now. Not me though. In fact I would say I just about hated it. Oh, I had plenty of reasons why, but the biggest one was that I just couldn’t see how the game was anything besides a complete crapshoot. You play cards that represent going on an expedition, with the idea that you need to reach a certain level on that expedition before you actually can score any points. I like risk assessment a lot, but I just didn’t see how Lost Cities allowed me to assess anything. To me it looked like you played stuff and hoped you got the right cards. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t, and every time I felt like I was wasting my time. Continue reading

Hex Education – Wiz-War: Malefic Curses Review

Wiz-War Malefic Curses

They are not all accounted for, the lost seeing stones.

For several years, I’ve was convinced that Fantasy Flight’s greatest reprint was the outstanding work they’ve done on Cosmic Encounter. They republished a long out-of-print classic and made it relevant for new audiences, but they also support it with solid expansion work that keeps taking players deeper in the world of the game. Well, don’t be surprised if one year from now we’re crowning a new champion, because I’m starting to think that as an update to a classic game Wiz-War might be even better. The first expansion, Malefic Curses, is everything it needed to be. I can heartily recommend it to anyone who alrea Continue reading