Posts tagged ‘pc games’

Warcraft: The Board Game Review

In Warcraft: The Board Game, you are the leader of one of the four factions of Azeroth, from the popular real-time PC strategy game.
The factions are:
  • Humans
  • Orcs
  • Night Elves
  • Undead
The game is based around scenarios, which are included with the game and available from Fantasy Flight Games. There are also scenarios available on the web.
The scenarios are usually are either:
  • Deathmatch (complete annihilation of opponents)
  • Victory point based (points are scored for certain conditions such as securing a town or defeating a certain unit)
  • King of the hill (securing a given region of the board for a certain amount of time)
This game is interesting for any number of players as the scenarios available seem to match the amount of players very well. On average, the two to four player games takes 45 minutes to a hour to play depending on the selected scenario.
It is All about Area Control
The key to this game is area control. Players aim to control parts of the board to get closer to the scenario goals and to deploy worker units to generate resources. You use these resources to create more units, buildings (which create units at a higher rate and different types of units), and unit upgrades (which create units which attack more effectively).
Lots of Combat
An interesting feature of this game is the way you resolve combat. A normal game has the players rolling dice and adding dice results to some strength value of the attacking unit. Then they compare that to the defending unit’s hit points to decide whether that unit stays around anymore.
Warcraft combat units all have just a strength value attached to them. The players must roll as many dice as they have units in the current battle. Then, they score as many casualties to the opponent as dice which are equal to or less than their unit’s strength level. For example, if the unit’s strength is a 3, you need to roll a 3, 2, or 1. Each player then chooses which of their units count as casualties to the battle. This process is repeated until only one faction has control of that part of the board. This is a very good system as there is less “bookkeeping” required. It allows the players to focus on the game at hand. However, it does take a little getting used to if the players normally play games like Risk or Axis and Allies where the die rolls are compared to each other to see who won.
Will You Like This Game?
This game is really good for Axis and Allies or Risk players looking for a richer, more varied experience that features more elegant rules. Players of both games will love the shorter time it takes to play.
The Risk players will appreciate the new casualty rules as they are a lot more balanced than how Risk handles combat.
Axis and Allies players will like the variety of scenarios. Axis and Allies normally starts the same way every game.
Another group that will immediately be attracted to this game are players of the PC games that spawned this board game. The features in the PC game compare really well to the board game. Warcraft fans will likely pick up on the concepts very quickly and feel right at home.
Here is a Warcraft Board Game video we made about this game.
Try this site, if you want to buy Warcraft: The Board Game.

September 29, 2008 at 11:00 am 1 comment

The New Breed of Gamer

I think I am considered a new breed of gamer. I have not always been a fan of strategy board games. As a matter of fact, for most of my 38 years of life I was not even aware they existed.

Like many of you, I was raised on Risk, Monopoly, Sorry, Life, Clue, and Trivial Pursuit. I played Dungeons and Dragons as a kid and was aware of Magic, the card game while I was in college (but never played).

But, I do have a healthy love for PC games. My favorite, by far are strategy games. We are talking about games like Age of Empires, Warcraft, Starcraft, Rise of Empires, Civilization,  Rollercoaster Tycoon, Sim City, Sid Meyer’s Pirates, etc. Does this sound familar to anyone? I knew the game companies, I knew who the developers were, and I read the magazines. I would snap up the next ones as they came out. I still find myself wandering those isles at Best Buy and WalMart.

However, there is a problem with this addiction…it is very time consuming. It is very hard to have any kind of family life and actually finish a game. It becomes even harder when you have a family (I have two children). So, I needed to find something new.

My daughter is 10 years old and fairly bright. I figured I would try to get her into some board games. Where do you think I started? With the standards…Clue, Monopoly Jr., and Disney Trivial Pursuit. She got the hang of them and it was great. We had something to do, and I had games to play.

I thought about pushing the envelope and while I was at Toys ‘R Us, I saw a few games by Avalon Hill that looked interesting, but had never heard of them. One was about monsters that take over America (could be interesting), another was about a constantly changing house that was haunted (again promising – but for a 10 year old?), and a third was a pirate adventure (now you are talking my game). So, before I bought it, I went home and researched it on Amazon – they have great reviews. While doing that, I kept seeing a game called Settlers of Catan. What was this game that had everyone so enthralled? I had never heard of it – but I seemed to be the only one. It was in everyone’s Favorite Family Board Game list.

I figured I would come back to it, and ended up buying the Pirate game (Sword & Skull). It was alright, but not the big hit I had hoped it would be.

Now, about a year or so later, I get around to checking out Settlers of Catan and find that it completely feeds the strategy game addiction I have and we can play it in about 1-2 hours. HOME RUN!

Now I am hooked on this genre of gaming, so much so that I started an online store hoping to introduce everyone I can to these great games. They are currently in an underground sort of state (at least they seem to be in the US), but I believe they are going to become extremely popular. If you have not checked out these games, you owe it to yourself and your friends to give them a shot.

Two funny and related stories…

My manager at my last job is a big gaming fan. He was not in the day that I announced to our graphic artist that I was going to sell strategy board games online. My manager came to me and said I needed to sell a game called Siedler. I said “OK, but what is that in English?” He says “Settlers”. I gave him a blank stare and said “…of Catan?” It was the same game. He said his family had been playing it for years and they had all the expansions and versions.

Shortly after that, I went to lunch with several old friends…one of which had recently gone to Germany. When I mentioned that I was selling games online, she asked which ones. I said “Designer board games like Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, and Settlers of Catan”. She screamed in the restaurant and said “Oh my god! We played that when I was in Germany! I LOVE THAT GAME!”

This leads me to believe that you need to try these games out for yourself. If you don’t you are missing some of the best games around. 

By the way, we had a hit. My daughter totally loves Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, and Settlers of Catan…

May 11, 2008 at 9:38 pm 2 comments


Best Dang Games

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