Archive for the ‘Kane’ Category

There was a LOT to see at PAX. If you don’t believe me, just go look at their schedule. Go ahead. I’ll wait here. Here are a few games that I spent time with or that stuck with me after the show.

Dragon Fin SoupDragon Fin Soup-This one is a rogue-like, plain and simple. But not so plain. Very beautiful art and a real sense of a world gives this game some surprising depth of character. Already ran a very successful Kickstarter, this will be one to watch for the dungeon-crawl fan.

Orcs Must Die

Orcs Must Die: Unchained-The sequel to Orcs Must Die 1 and 2, this one is a big shift for the series. This time, things are focusing on 5 on 5 PvP in a very MOBA-esque format, but with the distinct traps and tools of OMD. I’ve had very limited time with the beta and it is, to put it mildly, chaotic. Definitely will be spending more time with it. If you liked the first two or other MOBA games, worth a look for sure.

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Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!-Its more Borderlands. After two games, you know what to expect. Crazy FPS with RPG elements but this time in a low gravity environment. Looks like a lot of fun, as always!

Tales from Borderlands

Tales From the Borderlands-Another Borderlands game? Yes and no. This one, as you might have noticed in the logo, is made by Telltale who is famous for The Walking Dead adventure games among other point and click masterpieces. This looks to be another in a long line of great, story driven adventure games.

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Pokemon: TCG Online-Its the Pokemon TCG and you play it online. Having played the actual TCG, I can highly recommend it! I’m looking forward to some down time spent playing it.

Evil Within

The Evil Within-And now for something completely different! The latest horror game by Shinji Mikami of Resident Evil fame. Didn’t see much, but you couldn’t go anywhere at PAX without seeing it mentioned.

Chromancer

Chromancer-As it says, browser based card game. Also uses field positioning and tactical combat. Got to sit and play the tutorial and it is on its way to being one heck of a game!

Super Comboman

Super ComboMan-Retro action game with modern graphics. Combat depth would give Devil May Cry a run for its money despite this being a sidescroller. Very beautifully done hi-def 2D graphics.

Swords and Soldiers 2

Swords & Soldiers 2-Side scrolling RTS. This is a rare breed. You don’t see many games in this genre and this one played fast and furious. Great art direction and animation with mechanics that work surprisingly well on the WiiU control pad.

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon-Despite seeing this at two PAX-es running, I still have no hands on time with this. It is, from what I can gather, a side-scrolling rogue-like dungeon crawl. The art is striking and definitely grabs you when you see it. I’m just going to have to break down and buy it.

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Never Alone-An absolutely stunning side-scrolling adventure game. Very reminiscent of Limbo, Braid, Trine or even Lost Vikings. Based on stories of the Alaskan Inuit, the game project was actually started by a tribal group looking to preserve their stories interactively. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

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Shadowgate-Remake of a classic point and click adventure game. The new graphics are just beautiful. If you like these classic point and click games, you owe it to yourself to get this one! Absolute stunner.

Golem Arcana Unboxing

Posted: August 22, 2014 by Kane Blaireau in Board games, Kane, Role Playing Games
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Last year at PAX, Noccie and I demo-ed a game called Golem Arcana. It is a game that marries traditional tabletop gaming with an app that keeps track of the minutia of the battlefield and character effects. It also has a very unique look and feel that is carried to the tabletop via their pre-painted miniatures. This all coming from the fine folks at HareBrained Schemes who you may recognize as the makers of the new Shadowrun Returns video game that they launched via Kickstarter. Having participated in that Kickstarter and thoroughly enjoying the final product, I was already on-board. They promised another Kickstarter to get Golem Arcana going and they delivered! TONS of content all at once instead of the slow release that plagues most games of its type. Last week, we received our pledge reward. Here is my unboxing adventure of this mighty box-o-stuff.

IMAG0232The box itself. Name and address blacked out to protect the guilty.


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And inside the voluminous brown beast? The Kickstarter edition of the starter box surrounded by the add-ons.

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The back of the starter box.

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The starter box surrounded by its friends.

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The inside of the starter box.

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What lies below the tray of miniatures? Why the rules and accessories, of course! The rulebook itself is VERY sparse, but since this is run primarily via a downloadable app, that is not really surprising.

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The control card and some counters on top of a battlefield tile.

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Another beautifully rendered tile.

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Character cards on top of yet another tile.

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The Bone Golems.

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The Wood Golems.

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Booster box of Sand Golems.

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The cards for the Sand Golems.

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Sand Golems free of their containment field.

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Black Widow expansion cards.

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And the models.

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This wee beauty was  bonus for having also Kickstarted Shadowrun by the same company!

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Another add-on that I just thought was cool!

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The pendant and item cards. Not entirely sure how these interact with the game.

We are planning on getting some play time in soon and will be sure and take pictures and write up a full blow-by-blow of the action!

Wedding Anniversary

Posted: August 19, 2014 by Noccie in Kane, Life in a Box, Noccie
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Kane and I have been married 7 years and been together for 12 years! The insanity of it all is beyond imaging. I can’t believe that much time has passed. We love each other more every day. We aren’t just husband and wife, we’re friends. Our interests overlap and we enable each other’s passions. That is how we make it work.

Our wedding was Alice in Wonderland themed. We were married by our dear friend dressed as the Chesire Cat. My Maid of Honor was the Unicorn and her daughter was our flower girl dressed as the door mouse.

To celebrate our anniversary, we spent Saturday with my parents. They bought us books and Lego Marvel. Sunday, we went to see Gaurdians of the Galaxy. After we had lunch there was so much time before the movie we played video games at Game Works. I tried Tekkan 6 for the first time. It’s been years since I’ve played. I love Tekkan and it was like getting back on a bike. We played the Taiko drum game together and made sweet music. It was a lot of fun.

He let me make weird Fallout references because we cut through the upper deck of the light rail tunnels on our way.

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Just as we did 7 years ago, we are going to PAX. That was our honey moon. We were poor and some where around here is a video from Yahoo gaming. We were interviewed standing in line for Will Wheaton. I have yet to make it through a meet Will Wheaton line, a few years ago we gave up. That year they cut the line in front of me because he had to run to a DnD session. Then the next day it was cut infront of me because he had to go somewhere else. Both time we spent about 30 minutes… maybe more in line to be sent off on our merry way without so much as a hi! After a few more conventions, I gave up trying to meet him. Since then, I bump into him nearly every year ( except last year). I never realize it till afterwards when one of my friends point it out. My Mom still makes jokes about him being my nemesis like on Big Bang Theory.

We are so lucky to have found each other, 12 years ago. I hope we have so many more years together.

Sometime, I’ll tell you the crazy way we wound up together.

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Gaming on the Cheap

Posted: February 4, 2014 by Kane Blaireau in Kane, Minatures
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In my quest to game more, I’ve been discussing with a friend of mine miniature war games. We have bandied back and forth about a couple. The one recently that has stuck is Kings of War by Mantic Games. It is most similar to Warhammer Fantasy. Medium to large units of models clash on a large tabletop. The primary difference is that instead of removing models from your units, you keep track of overall unit cohesion. Works basically the same but you get to keep your models on the board longer. Makes for a much better visual.

As for what to play this game WITH, we discussed several options. First of course would be the official models. They are reasonably priced and quite attractive. Being long-time gamers, we both have fairly sizeable miniature collections, though, so that lead to option two; using our old Warhammer/other gaming models. This works JUST fine. The only issue with this is then you have the usual hassle of lugging around several pounds of plastic and metal to a gaming location. This lead us to option three: paper miniatures. You pay for a PDF file ($3 or so), print them (or get them printed at FedEx-Kinkos or similar), cut them and base them. They weigh next to nothing, fold flat, and if you need more, you print more! THIS option greatly appealed to both of us as both an easy to use, cheap and even visually exciting option!

Visually exciting? Paper cut-outs? Yes. Most assuredly. OneMonk miniatures is my personal favorite. These things like GREAT on the table. Is it the same as a 3D painted model? No, but I’m a terribly busy person and have very little time to paint. Paper models look WORLDS better than bare/primed plastic or metal. The colors really help the units stand out and look amazingly good in action.

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We are finishing up our army lists and planning to get a game in soon. I will be sure to take plenty of pictures and share them with you when we finally get around to Kings of War-Poorhammer edition!

Hey folks! Now that the holidays are over, more cool Kickstarters are starting to pop up again. Here are a few to keep an eye on.

Customizable 3D Printed Tabletop Miniatures! Made-to-order miniatures. This one has already blown by its funding goal and through a couple of stretch goals adding sci-fi  and mounts to the core of fantasy minis. They are a bit pricey, but for something that is basically print on demand, its hard to beat. Their really are no other options short of hiring a sculptor!

Unsung Story: Tale of the Guardians! A tactical strategy game directed by the man behind Final Fantasy Tactics. Sounds promising, but not showing us much just yet. Definitely worth keeping an eye on if you like that sort of game, though.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen! Fantasy MMO brought to you by a bunch of guys who broke away from SOE and were behind EQ, EQ2, SWG and on and on. Worth keeping an eye on if you liked any of those.

Project Nimbus! Open world mech shooter. Looks to have elements of the greats such as Zone of Enders and Virtual On. Only a few days left so go take a look!

Red Box Games Norse Warrior Miniatures! Tre Manor is one of the best miniature sculptors in the business today. Get some of his amazing work early by backing this one!

Earthdawn 4th Edition! I am a fan of Earthdawn and am VERY glad to see it coming back again. I’m not sure who is behind the new FASA, but looks like they have plenty of people convinced that they know what they are doing. Epic heroic fantasy with its own take on the genre.

The Mini Box – Simple Storage Solution! Affordable miniature storage. Glad to see an American company doing that as we don’t have many choices this side of the pond.

Last, but not least KUNG FURY! Just go watch the trailer on the Kickstarter. If that doesn’t convince you…I don’t have anything to say to you.

As always, if YOU know of a Kickstarter that everyone needs to hear about, let me know in the comments!

LEGO Turtle Lair Attack

Posted: January 11, 2014 by Kane Blaireau in Kane, Legos
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We are in the midst of a massive LEGO collecting spree. In that theme, as Noccie mentioned, we ventured to Wal Mart and found nothing of value except the LEGO Ninja Turtles sets. Here is a look at the Turtle Lair Attack!

TMNT Lair 1

 

The part I call “Splinters Grotto”.

Pictured is the “left” side of the set as well as the skateboard ramp and ninja-launcher. Nice build with a great tree and slime drips. The Shredder dummy is a nice touch and turns with a little gear on the front.

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The “tall part”. Yeah, I got nothin.

Lots of neat little sciency doo-dads on this part.  A TV with uh…color coded seats? OK, sure. Why not. Bottom level has a chalkboard with a blow away wall that pulls off with a little dial on the back. Nice little feature! Middle level has a pizza oven that flicks the pizza out. Gimmicky but…its TMNT. Had to have pizza somewhere. To the right of the oven is a skateboard rack. Problem is, the clips are actually TOO BIG for the boards to clip to! Its completely useless, unfortunately, despite being a good idea. Their is a ladder going up to the surface right NEXT TO the opening manhole street section. VERY strange choice of assembly there. The little street vignette is not bad. A fire hydrant, a graffitied wall and a lamp post. Could use a bit more wall to sell it being the surface, but good effect with the layers going down to the  sewer proper.

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The sewer.

Overall, a nice set with lots of nice little touches. The turtles themselves are great. Splinter looks amazing. The evil ninjas are sufficiently ninja-y. Plenty of extra weapons and accessories. A few odd design choices put this in my “get it if its on sale or nothing else is striking your fancy” pile. Worth it for the little characterful touches and the minifigs.

LEGO Mines of Moria

Posted: January 8, 2014 by Kane Blaireau in Kane, Legos
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The holidays brought a plethora of nerdy goodness. With the holiday spoils, we ordered a copy of the soon-to-be-discontinued Mines of Moria LEGO set. It looks good on the box, but rather small in scale for how expensive the set is.

LEGO Mines BoxBox art.

Have just put it together, I have to say the scale is MUCH bigger than it appears. It looks to be a bit over a foot long counting both pieces. The pieces are about 6 inches tall as well. The Cave Troll looks about twice the height of a minifig in the pictures, but in person, it is MASSIVE.

LEGO Mines 1Hobbit’s eye view.

You can see a few nice detail bits that are added as stickers on the bricks. They give it a nice touch without going too overboard. Their are some great little brick details as well leading to a nice overall look.

LEGO Mines 2The Fellowship vs. Moria Goblins…and friend!

You can kind of see the action features in this shot. The big door behind the Cave Troll opens and includes a long axe to bar the door with. The sarcophagus  top comes off with a skeleton “launcher” built into it. The pillars have levers that knock them over. The treasure chest slides out from below the walkway. Not all interesting, but enough good action features that it still ends on a high note.

Overall impression is that the set is WELL worth the asking price. The LotR and Hobbit sets have been consistently high quality and include interesting techniques that are new to me. Definitely recommend if you like the LotR LEGO sets!

The Lengths We Go For Legos

Posted: January 7, 2014 by Noccie in Kane, Legos, Life in a Box
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The last Christmas gift Kane and I received was from my Brother. He sent us a gift card to use at Walmart. In the past, Kane and I received these and just let my parents have them. They would give us cash in exchange and we would be all good. We aren’t really near a Walmart. Seattle is just sort of like that. We have a Target, Ross, Macy’s, another Target and all kinds of other things but not Walmart. The closet one is in Renton. This is not a place I like to go but the lengths we will go to for Legos can be a little crazy. Normally Kane and I don’t go further than SeaTac or in the most extreme, Lynnwood. My parents decided they would take us out to a Walmart.

Mapping the trip, we found one in Bellevue. Turned out, that Walmart was just a grocery store. So we went to Renton. Pulling into the parking lot was not as easy as it seems. There were a lot of people going there and all the lanes of the lot were packed with people waiting for other people to pull out of their spots. We parked in the back 40, so to speak, so we could avoid these people. The drivers were all a little crazy. As we got closer to the front of the Walmart, we noticed TWO police cars parked out front with two police officers each. They weren’t there for any particular reason just on duty there. They were parked right outside the front door on the stone landing. All four of us were like… um… what did we just get ourselves into.

I’ve been in Walmart plenty of times. When we lived in Montana, Walmart was the only thing open at 2 am but there were big differences between this store and the one in Montana. The part of Renton this Walmart is in can’t be described as either a good or bad neighborhood. Maybe let’s say, it’s on the edge. I was really surprised to see the cops there though. Once we were inside it was apparent we were in a different world. I’ve never been in a Walmart quite like this because it was actually quite small. The shelves were short and everything felt a little dirty. The toy section was only a few isles and looked picked clean from Christmas still. Most of the store looked pretty barren actually. I’ve never seen a Walmart so poorly stocked. Finding the toy section, they didn’t have much of anything but they did have some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sets and Ninjago sets. They had one set for the Lego movies. We were hoping for some LOTR or Hobbit sets so we looked at the Skylanders and My Little Pony items first. They were even thinner. We decided get the two TMNT sets and get out of there.

Something about the place put me on edge. The people were all a flurry of activity and the lighting was harsh. The store was a mess and the presence of the police outside made me nervous. We hurried out of the Walmart, went through the Self Check out to make it out faster. We practically ran to the car because people were acting crazy and driving like idiots in the parking lot. Once we were back in the car it felt much better and I am happy with the two Lego Sets we purchased but man… I hate going to Walmart.

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Kickstarter Reactor

Posted: December 30, 2013 by Kane Blaireau in Board games, Kane, Minatures

Hey folks! Not a whole lot to report on in the way of Kickstarter, but managed to dig up a couple that are worth a mention!

Mega Man the Board Game! A board game inspired by the Mega Man video game franchise. Since Capcom doesn’t seem to keen on giving us any more of those, this may just be the next best thing. This one is Going QUITE well already, so seems it will have some life for awhile.

3DForge Zombie Miniatures! What, more zombie miniatures? Yes. But, this time you can get zombies, survivors and TERRAIN! That last one is something that you don’t often see. Affordable “modern” style terrain is still pretty rare so for that reason alone I’m recommending this one. The minis themselves aren’t particularly covering any new ground, but look to be decent 3D sculpts. The higher tiers seem a good value.

Duel Fighters! Less than a week left on this one. Large scale miniature skirmish game and when I say skirmish, I mean one-on-one fighting. Looks to have some unique mechanics as well as offering terrain in a matching scale (often overlooked on odd-scale sets). Definitely on my short list! Highly recommend you go check them out.

As always, if you know of a project that is worth some extra attention, leave me a note below and I’ll be happy to take a look!

Kickstarter : Reactor

Posted: December 12, 2013 by Kane Blaireau in Interwebs, Kane
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Time once again to tell you what I’m looking forward to on Kickstarter! Got one you think needs attention? Comment below.

Krosmaster Arena Frigost. The first expansion for Krosmaster Arena in the USA. Anime inspired miniature combat in the world of video games Dofus and Wakfu. Core game is a lot of fun and this one looks to be adding some great new features and bringing us a slew of new models as well. If you like board games or miniature games, highly recommend! Already way past funded with only a couple days left.

Duel Fighters. A large scale miniature game featuring starter packs of one-on-one combat! It promises more depth than your typical miniature game since it will be only a few models on the field. Not to mention, they have the option to get pre-painted models at no extra cost if you just want to play or more customizeable models if you want to make something that is unique to you. Well past funded.

Games & Gears Battle Boards. Modular gaming surface with multiple options to cover your miniature gaming table. Nice detail and very reasonably priced. Definitely worth a look! Already funded.

HeroQuest 25th Anniversary. Unfortunately, this one is in limbo do to ongoing legal concerns. Keep your eyes open for its return as it looked PHENOMENAL.

That is it for the moment. If you have or know of a project we should be looking it, be sure to leave me a comment!