Sunday, May 29, 2016

Presenting: Insane Video Reviews! Starting off with Ra: The Dice Game

We are incredibly proud to present our Insane Video Review series! I wasn't expecting to do this when we started the podcast but we have the technology so why not?

We wanted our first video review to be a game that was special to us so we chose one of our top 5 of all time, Ra: The Dice Game by Reiner Knizia and published by Rio Grande Games.



If there's something you want to see, let us know! Follow us on Twitter @cardboardinsane and @horsey_avenger. Or go to Facebook.com/CardboardInsanity, like our page, and leave us a comment about what you'd like to see.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

More Bad Medicine? Take two and call me in the morning!

This week we wrap up our conversation with Gil Hova.  We dig deeper into how Kickstarter makes independent publishing possible, how errors in a print run can cause major problems, and so much more.  Gil tears the house down with his incredibly intelligent thoughts.

Horsey Avenger and I review a game that takes what it's predecessor did and does it better, but for 2 players instead of 3 to 7.  7 Wonders Duel is our game of the week!

As always, thanks to www.gamesurplus.com for sponsoring the show!  And this week, thanks to them for selling me a copy of Food Chain Magnate!

Here's where you can listen to the show:

iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cardboard-insanity/id979052863?mt=2
RSS feed - http://www.spreaker.com/user/8065021/episodes/feed
Google Play - https://play.google.com/music/m/I3gwx2okfz7n2sz2zsoew4mqc4u?t%3DCardboard_Insanity 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Something different: Flutterby Girl by Suz Korb

Some of you may know that I did my first NaNoWriMo this past November.  If you don't know what that is, basically you are writing a novel in one month.  It's an adventure for sure and I can't wait to do it again this year.

I met many interesting people during that time and one of them is Suz Korb.  Suz is a writer and she's doing something very unique:  Writing a novel LIVE on her blog. She's written a novel live before so it's not her first rodeo.  This time it's called Flutterby Girl.  Here's the cover!


Suz is writing this live on Patreon.  If you want to read the first chapter, you can do so here:  Chapter 1 of Flutterby Girl is up on Patreon now

As an aspiring author, I'm amazed by this.  I wish Suz all the luck in the world on this endeavor.  I can't wait to see how it comes out.  This is such an inspiring idea.  All of my fellow NaNoWriMos should check this out.

Here's where you can reach out to Suz on social media:
Suz Korb Patreon
suzkorb.com
Twitter @SuzKorb
Facebook Author Page

Monday, May 16, 2016

Breaking Bad...Medicine - Episode 22 is live

Gil Hova's love is like Bad Medicine!  Well maybe not, but his game certainly is.  Gil is back on Cardboard Insanity to talk about Bad Medicine and his current Kickstarter campaign to fund the expansion, Second Opinion. Gil is a force of nature touching on topics like Kickstarter successes and failures, launching his own company, the need for perfection in publishing, and so much more.

Horsey Avenger and Steve review one of their favorite two-player games, The Rose King from Thames & Kosmos.  Find out everything you need to know about this abstract classic from Dirk Henn.

Want to buy some new games?  Check out www.gamesurplus.com for all your needs.  They specialize in imports so if you want to grab a copy of the newest Bruno Faidutti game Kheops, get over there and buy it before I do!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stirring up some trouble in real time! A Kickstarter preview of Blend Off

I love chaotic games, especially those with real-time elements.  Something about the controlled chaos really works for my brain which is really odd considering the fact that I can't stand chaos in real life.  Games like Jungle Speed, Pingo Pingo, or World Series of Yahtzee where you are either racing a clock or racing other players are a must in my gaming collection.  Does Blend Off stir up the kind of trouble I like in games?

Blend Off gives each player a die along with a deck of recipe cards.  The recipe cards for each player are shuffled together along with some generic recipes.  One card is flipped over and then the game starts.  The wooden fruit pieces are put within reach of all players.  Each player also gets two blender cards which they place face up in front of themselves.  Setup is really that easy.

There are no turns in this game.  Instead, all players are rolling their die as fast as they can.  If it stops on a side they like, they can take a piece of fruit matching the color and places it in one of their blenders.  As soon as someone matches the recipe card, they shout "Blend!".  They then take the recipe card from the center of the table and flip up a new recipe.  Before they can claim it for good, they need to verify they got it right.  If they are wrong, they have to return the card to the deck and sit out until someone else blends a recipe.

There's one caveat to rolling repeatedly.  If you roll your die and roll a side that has no fruit on the table, you have to take the durian!  This nasty fruit will ruin whatever recipe you put it in so you will have to dump that blender immediately losing all the work you've done.

Once the deck runs out, the game is over.  Whomever completed the most recipes wins!

One of the major flaws of realtime games like this is that they don't usually work for 2 players.  Luckily, Blend Off comes with 2-player rules called The Race.  Each player is racing to compete their 6 recipes and then one of the generic recipes on the center of the table.  The first to do so wins.

We were really surprised by the 2-player rules.  The game was tight every time and it was a good challenge.  Each player has their own fruit so if you have a partner that dislikes confrontation, this is perfect because you won't interfere with each other.  Games are over in just a couple minutes.

The game really shines with the full compliment of players, especially when you add the optional Spill cards which allows a player to make all others dump their blenders.  This really adds a bit of nastiness to the game which ramps up the competition perfectly.   The chaos of the dice rolling, collecting fruit, and completing recipes is already tense, but this takes it to a whole new level.

I love games with chaos.  I love when you are interacting with the other players and weaving the webs of chaos together.  Those moments when the chaos meets are pure magic.  Blend Off captures that magic perfectly and puts it into a tight game that will have players laughing, cursing, and having an absolute blast for 15 minutes.  If you like real-time games, you cannot go wrong here.  Blend Off is a perfect choice for a quick playing game that works for 2-4 equally well.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Zeppelin Attack! - A review from The Bearded Pyro

Oh the Humanity!

Look up in the sky!  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s, it’s…it’s an armed zeppelin and it’s going to destroy us!!!

A view of some of the cards in the game
Zeppelin Attack! is a simple deck building game by Eric B. Vogel, produced by Evil Hat Productions out of Silver Springs, MD.  The artwork and story line follow Evil Hat’s Spirit of the Century collection.  The best way I can describe it is a post-apocalyptic/punk, futuristic sci-fi-you-won-my-heart-over-with-this-one style.  Belonging to a steam-punk group myself, I instantly fell in love with the theme.  The individual cards depict crewmembers, zeppelins, or attack/defense events with beautiful, comic-book style pictures. This is one game I can sit and look through the cards for enjoyment and inspiration in itself.

The rulebook starts off with a short story to bring you right into the heat of battle.  Most games I’ve seen do this usual have a lengthy, full chapter introduction to the characters and setting, which to be honest, I usually skip.  But Zeppelin Attack! only has about three paragraphs and sums up the whole entirety of the game.  It plays 2-4 players, and I feel is great with any combination thereof.  My wife and I played quite a bit with just two players, and I enjoyed it as much as being able to gang up with friends in a four player, every man for himself, game.  The rest of the rulebook reads beautifully and as clear as day.  Though the rulebook seems rather thick for such a simple game, it’s full of examples of various conditions that really help with easily understanding how the game-play works.  They also have a QR Code on the box with claiming to teach you how to play the game in 15 minutes.  I will admit I have not watched the video, but for a quick link, click here.

Setup is simple, so long as you keep the cards sorted.  There are four different leaders battling for sky domination; Der Blitzmann, Gorilla Kahn, Jacqueline Frost, and Walking Mind.  Each one has their own Flagship, base deck consisting of zeppelin, attack, defense, and operative cards, as well as an experimental zeppelin with special abilities that must be purchased before it can be added to your deck.

The player's area and the central area containing the
mercenary cards.
There is a store setup in the middle of the players with mercenary cards and experimental zeppelins to be bought with Fate Points.  The manual says to give each player a total of seven fate points, with face values of three and four.  I like to add a bit of “Fate” in here myself and randomly pass out two fate cards to each player, instead of the standard seven points.  The cards range in value from two to five.  There could be a six point difference to start, but I haven’t been able to tell since we decided to try this.  Certain cards have special events with positive and negative consequences when they are acquired.  It took a few games for me to remember to read the events, but they can be a great asset to the game.

These are the personal zeppelins of each of the 4 captains in the game.
There are many ways to gain fate cards; through successful attacks and defensives, playing operative cards on your turn, or events when acquiring fate cards.  There are five piles in the store and at the end of a player’s turn, that player can purchase the top card of any pile, and make multiple purchases so long as they have the fate cards to pay for them.  The mercenary cards have victory points, and when purchasing them, you have the option to purge one of your start cards, which have no victory points, for one victory point at the end of the game, this is done by placing the chosen card face down under your flagship.  You also can take the top card of any mercenary deck, and place it under your flagship for each successful attack you make. You can purchase attack, defense, and operative cards, as well as attack and operative zeppelins.

One of the many zeppelins in the game.
The zeppelins have indicators on them that let you know which cards can be played.  The simplicity of this system makes it a great gateway game into deck builders, though it’s not the most simplistic game overall.  My wife was able to pick this game up with the greatest of ease, and she’s never played a deck building game before, or many other games for that matter….which you might already know if you’ve read my other reviews or listened to some of the podcasts I was lucky enough to join in on.  Any who….back to the review!  The flagship zeppelin for each faction cannot be destroyed.  It can play each type of action card, but can only support up to the highest value defense cards.  If you purchase the highest valued attack or operative cards, you will need to purchase a better zeppelin.  The zeppelins in your starter deck are not that powerful.

A powerful defense card.
The game is played until three mercenary decks have been depleted.  At the end of that player’s turn, the victory points on all cards in your deck plus each card you purged and gained from a successful attack are added together.  The highest value wins.  In the case of a tie, the person with the most fate points in their deck wins.  The box says it takes 45-60 minutes to complete, and I have to agree with it.  Every game I’ve played, outside of teaching people that haven’t played games like this before, has fallen in that time frame.  If I have an hour to kill, I’ll grab this game for ease of play and the enjoyment I get from the theme.



In all, this game is a 10/10 in my book.  The instructions, artwork, and game play are all spot on.  I’ve been spreading word of this game since the first time I played it.  It’s easy to learn, and master.  There is enough variation from the fate cards and various actions to keep each game unique every play.  Did I mention the theme?  It’s grand!  Pick it up, play it when you see it, tell your friends.  Thank you Eric B. Vogel and Evil Hat Productions for this delightful game!

Follow The Bearded Pyro on Twitter @thebeardedpyro . Follow Cardboard Insanity @cardboardinsane .  Follow The Horsey Avenger @horsey_avenger .

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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Parkour! The Dresden Files is here - Episode 21

The best gaming podcast on the internet is back with a new episode about a game so fresh, it's not even released yet!  This week we review the new Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game from Evil Hat Productions, designed by Eric Vogel.  Plus, get to hear an interview with Eric as he tells us all about designing a game in Jim Butcher's rich world or wizards.

This game takes you deep into Harry's world so if you are a fan of The Dresden Files, this one is absolutely worth a look.  Not a fan of the series?  That's cool, too.  The gameplay is fun and challenging, encouraging teamwork to overcome the puzzle of the game.  This game is on Kickstarter right now so if you like what you hear, go back it!

As always, we are sponsored by the great folks at Game Surplus, www.gamesurplus.com.  Check out their new stock every Friday for hard to find imports as well as the hottest domestic releases.

Here's where you can listen to the podcast:

iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cardboard-insanity/id979052863?mt=2
RSS feed - http://www.spreaker.com/user/8065021/episodes/feed

And now, on Google Play!  https://play.google.com/music/m/I3gwx2okfz7n2sz2zsoew4mqc4u?t%3DCardboard_Insanity

Sunday, May 1, 2016

BRUNO! - Part 2

You wanted more Bruno, and you've got it! Part 2 of our excellent interview with Bruno Faidutti is now live. You get to hear all about why Bruno likes working with other designers, what got him into game design, and what's coming up next.

As if that wasn't enough, we are reviewing the dino-riffic two-player game Raptor from Matagot which Bruno co-designed with Bruno Cathala.

iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/cardboard-insanity/id979052863?mt=2
RSS feed - http://www.spreaker.com/user/8065021/episodes/feed

Looking for great games at great prices?  Check out www.gamesurplus.com for all your gaming needs.  They specialize in hard to get import games.

Want to win a copy of Aether Captains from Mage Company and Ninja Division?  Check out our contest and win yourself a copy of this hot new game now on Kickstarter.  http://blog.cardboardinsanity.com/p/aether-captains-giveaway-contest.html