Archive for the ‘Games’ category

Pirates Constructibles

August 8, 2006

Pirate ShipYaaar! There be Pirates!

I love games, and just this last week I started playing an extremely fun new game called Pirates Constructibles, from Wizkids Games. Pirates is like Magic: the Gathering in that it’s a CCG (Collectible Card Game), but it’s also a miniatures game—some of the cards have pirate ships that you punch out and assemble. (The cards aren’t cardboard; they’re a kind of thin, strong compressed plastic foamboard.)

You play the game on a tabletop; all you need is an area about 3 ft. square. There are little islands you place around the playing field, which you then load up with tiny gold dubloons. You board a few talented crewmembers, place your ship (or ships) on your home island, and start playing pirate.

To win, you must pick up the most gold and transport it to your home island, but you can also attack each other to steal your opponent’s gold or simply sink his ships down to Davy Jones’s Locker.

The rules are relatively simple for a miniatures game (I got my butt handed to me by an 11-year-old kid in my first tournament last Sunday) but are complex enough to make it interesting. There’s a lot of thought involved, from fleet-building to strategic gameplay. The miniatures look great, and there’s even a bit of historical accuracy for historical battle buffs—you can play English, French, Spanish, American, or Pirate.

I only have two complaints:

One, it’s yet another $4-a-pack collectible game, and there are already FIVE editions on the market. The good news is that you can start playing a simple game with just one pack, so entry is cheap. But you could easily invest your life savings trying to get that great super-ship your buddy kicked your keister with last week.

Two, the masts on the little ships are pretty fragile. I broke one my first game. A tube of gel superglue is required equipment.

Highly recommended.

Dice Roulette

June 20, 2006

Dice RouletteEver wish you could play roulette using only a pair of dice? Of course you have! Who hasn't? Well, now you can, using my newly-developed rules for Dice Roulette. Be the first one on your block, etc. Don't wait! Try it today!

Make Your Own Games

January 2, 2006

Make Your OwnOver at Board Game Central, they’ve got a page of links to companies that have kits which let you make your own games. Shown at left is the Make-A-Game set, which sells for $15.95 and includes a blank quad-fold board, 2 dice, 16 tokens, play money, 24 blank cards, and instructions. If you don’t need the board, you can get the cards, tokens, money, and 5 dice for just $7.95. BGC’s page also has links to the Make-Your-Own-Opoly set, a Make Your Own Games set that’s aimed more at the crafty set, and the Game Inventor’s Guidebook. As always, Board Game Central once again proves itself to be an invaluable resource for the board gamer. Note: I have just ordered the Make-A-Game set and three of the gamepieces sets. I’ll let you know what I think when they arrive and I’ve had a chance to play with them a bit.

Cheap Game Parts

December 21, 2005

The folks over at Hasbro are nice. They really want you to be able to enjoy the games you buy from them. As a customer service gesture, they’ve put up a web page where you can order replacement parts. For cheap. Real cheap. Shipping included. They sell their parts so cheap that I am sorely tempted to take advantage of them and just buy some parts for making up my own games. For example, you can get 16 Markers and 2 Dice from their Parchisi game for just $2.00. Two bucks will also get you a complete set of tokens from Monopoly. $4.00 will buy 32 Houses, 12 Hotels, and a pair of dice. Need more dice? Just buy a full set of five from Yahtzee for $3.00 and they’ll throw in 10 Yahtzee chips as a bonus. Remember, this is with free shipping. And they take credit cards. The only downside is that they’d don’t have a web form for ordering – you have to print out and mail or fax the order form to them. They say ‘Hasbro reserves right to limit quantities’, but there’s a space for ‘quantity’ on the form, so they’re probably okay if you order a couple of some item. While you might buy some items cheaper elsewhere, the free shipping makes this a steal. Plus you can buy cool items like a Hippo Body from ‘Hungry, Hungry Hippos’ ($3.00 each, and $4.00 for a bag of all 4 Hippo Heads with marbles). Now where else are you going to find an item like that? Let’s see… how many Trivial Pursuit Pie Wedges ($2.50 for a bag of 36, die included) and Pie Wagons ($2.00 for a bag of 6) do I really need? Hasbro Game Parts

Rummy Murders v1.1

December 13, 2005

SherlockI’ve updated the rules to The Rummy Murders, ironing out some of the rough edges of the scorekeeping and gameplay. I think this is one of my best games for family play, and all it takes is a deck of cards. Check it out and see what you think.

Japanese Battle Pencils

December 9, 2005

Battle PencilsI love games, especially simple ones, so I think this game is really cool. Via bOING bOING comes word of a game played by Japanese school children with specially marked pencils called ‘enpitsu’, or Battle Pencils. These are normal six-sided pencils with special instructions printed on each side. Each also defines a character with its own number of hit points and special abilities. 2-4 players can play, rolling the pencils like dice. A game typically lasts only a few minutes, so it can be fit into recess. Some pencils even have special caps or erasers that aid a character in battle. According to a commenter’s post on the Japanese site, apparently these have been around for several years. Why haven’t we seen something like this on our side of the Big Pond?

S. John Links to Atomic Airship

November 24, 2005

S. John Ross, noted RPG developer with credits all over the place, has deemed my insignificant game pages noteworthy enough to link to. His Risus RPG page now sports a shiny new link to my own rules for the Risus-inspired solitaire game Risus Royale. Thanks, S. John! Couldn’t have done it without your most excellent RPG.