surrealcouchuniverse

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." – Dean Martin


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Kickstarter Retrospective: Mistfall and Epic PvP Fantasy

So time for another Kickstarter retrospective. This time is of a couple of games where I started to become more Kickstarter savvy.

MISTFALL by NSKN GAMES: This is a game I really like. An interesting combination of hand management, deck management, and risk mitigation. But man, that rulebook and card typo’s really hold this one back. It has had expansions (including a big box) that really helped this game, but it is one of my favorites. Kept.

EPIC PvP FANTASY by LUKE PETERSCHMIDT: A game I was expecting more of. It is a direct duelling version of Smash Up where you combine a race and class. The problem is Smash Up gives you a whole deck of interesting cards. Half the cards in your deck end up being generic punches or something. It had some interesting mechanisms for the time, but there are much better duelling games out there. Sold.

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Kickstarter Quick Thoughts: 24th July 2018

So another month, another bunch of Kickstarters have been hitting the news.

CTHULHU: DEATH MAY DIE by CMON: The big draw of this is definitely the baby-sized Cthulhu boss miniature. This looks like a run-and-gun version of Mansions of Madness, or a co-op scenario-driven game of The Others. Looks good, but a bit expensive and allot of other Kickstarters backed at the moment. Pass.

SNOWDONIA by NSKN GAMES: A nice looking reprint of a fairly well recieved game. This has a bunch of promos and stuff that is hard to get. This looks nice, but once again is quite pricey. Pass (for now).

THUNDERSTONE QUEST by AEG: The next iteration of a very well recieved game. This is a relaunch of an earlier Kickstarter that also adds a co-operative mode. I really enjoyed the earlier editions of this game and is one of those expensive games that stops me backing more. Backed.

JETPACK JOYRIDE by LUCKY DUCK GAMES: A real-time game where you are trying to solve a maze structure to get the most points. This looks really interesting and I really enjoyed Vikings Gone Wild (also by Lucky Duck Games). Backed.

RURIK DAWN OF KIEV by PIECEKEEPER GAMES: This game is a very interesting mix of combat resolution and bidding in a compact and easy to understand package. It has a solo mode and looks like it plays well at low player counts. It seems a cool mix of a couple of key mechanics (area control, worker placement, and auction/bidding). Backed.

 


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Overturn Kickstarter: Conjecture and Theories

So recently the Overturn Kickstarter has blown up with allegations of scamming, etc. Quite a few things came out that are well documented (company based in Canada had prior fraud; creators actually not from Canada; and rulebook was plagiarised). 24 hours (roughly) before the final funding goal Kickstarter has suspended the project. I just thought I would type out what I think may have happened, although it is difficult to know for sure based on what has been released.

Was it a Scam:

I can’t say for certain, but I think it was. They just copy-pasted a Kickstarter together. However, I think the scam went way bigger than they thought it would. When you think about it, without a rulebook released or any attempts to defend themselves, they probably would’ve gotten away with it. However, when the game blew past their expectations (maybe 60-70k) to 300k, they saw the dollar signs.

I think this made them greedy and they tried to salvage the KS to keep this money-pot going, including trying to pass off a rulebook as their own with a few days left to keep backers from dropping. In this way they were quite incompetent scammers and got blinded by a couple of extra dollar signs,

What I Think Happened with Kickstarter:

So Kickstarter got a report including a DMCA from CMoN. CMoN would obviously have allot of weight with Kickstarter. Unfortunately this came on the weekend so Kickstarter had few chances to review. I believe on Saturday (working overtime) or Friday/Monday, they investigated the matter and sent a list of queries to Foxtale Studios. With their response, they then sent a list of milestones and actions required to keep the Kickstarter going. This (being on a short time frame) may have included: Send a backer update addressing the plagiarised rulebook (done); provide the beta rulebook before the 24 hour mark; provide a manufacturing of financial plan to produce the game; etc. When they didn’t hit these milestones, they then cancelled the project.

 

So that is what I think happened for this.


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MUSIC ADDITIONS TO PLAYLIST (16 JULY 2018)

All the Stars by Kendrick Lamar with SZA: I am always a sucker for rap verses and vocal chorus’. It has a pretty nice beat going through it. I really like the croaked out hook before the chorus and the lyrics in that part.

The Middle by Zedd and Maren Morris: A simple song about people just compromising after an argument. I think the chorus sells it. If anything, it feels a bit overproduced, with one too many beat and background changes. But I like it, and feel like the through beat is nice.

Love Lies by Khalid and Normani: I find the back and forth on this track between the two singers quite interesting. I think having just one person sing it would make it infinitely less interesting.

Dirty Sexy Money by David Guetta, Afrojack, and Charli XCX: I’m sure I have forgotten a few of the artists on this simple track. It just a simple, upbeat track full of confidence. It has become a bit of a guilty favorite of me.

These Days by Rudimental, Macklemore and Jess Glynn: Another song with another hundred people contributing to it. I like the message, I like the chorus, and I like Macklemore. This song is a hit.


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10×10 Challenge: Update

So this is an update on the 10×10 challenge. After taking stock earlier this year, I have concluded that I have failed due to some game issues and some general issues. But I will update each game anyway.

  1. Vikings Gone Wild- I have only played this once more. It is slightly too complicated with all the expansions to teach often. Still looking forward to playing it more.
  2. Order of the Gilded Compass- Also only played once more. The graphic design is lacking and the art is unattractive. A bit hard to get to the table.
  3. Vengeance- The solo variant is quite good. Played it once, but I think it will shine as a solo or two player game.
  4. Flatline! A Fuse Aftershock Game- The only game that was really on-track. Played about 6 times total.
  5. Asking for Trobils- Another game that is always overlooked at game nights. Haven’t played it at all despite constantly bringing it out.
  6. Seasons- Played once. Still a nice game.
  7. Islebound- Played a couple of times. It didn’t really seem too interesting and lacked the excitement a race game should have, so traded it away.
  8. Mistfall- The expansion rules cleaned up the phase order a bit and make it simpler to play through. Have finally played it enough to not need to relearn it constantly.
  9. Cry Havoc- The expansion was a bit disappointing. I expected the heroes to be special units. Instead, all they are is one more ability. Still enjoy it but it is being overshadowed by newer games slowly.
  10. Millenium Blades (for now)- All those other Kickstarters have come in. And this game is too long to play too often.

So with that, I have ended the 10×10 in failure. Maybe next year I will try again.


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DICE TOWER AWARDS 2017: QUICK THOUGHTS

So the Dice Tower awards have been announced. This was definitely the year of Gloomhaven, winning 5 of the 14 awards. Overall I thought that the games were deserving winners, and the nominees were also quite good. Out of the winners, I have played 6 and own 5.

Gloomhaven for me was a deserving winner, although the nomination for Strategy game definitely felt like a stretch. By that definition, most modern games are strategy so anything could be nominated. Also, I felt there are better pure strategy games out there, and the main strength of the game is everything that happens outside combat. However, it is a game that has slowly won me over and is now into my top 10 of all time somewhere. Every game I play makes me want to play the next game more.

The nominees are great as they are all good looking games. There isn’t a bunch of semi-boring euro games or weird games. Where the Spiel nominations seemed to fall down this year with boring and generic looking games, the Dice Tower Awards proved that great and interesting games came out. And Theme Matters.

 


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Board Games I’m Excited About

So some recent board games have arrived through various means. I am excited to get these games to the table.

Sword and Sorcery Expansions: The Arcane Portal has come in for probably my favorite pure dungeon crawler game. Looking forward to seeing what this adds.

Legendary Creatures: A beautiful production that impressed me right out of the box. A card drafting, racing style game that looks really colorful.

Smiths of Winterforge: I was looking forward to getting this. However, it may fall into Kings Forge, but unnecessarily complicated (based on the rulebook). Still keen to try it, but my interest has waned looking through the final rulebook.

Founders of Gloomhaven: Well, Gloomhaven is my favorite all-round dungeon-crawler style game. Founders is a euro-game with the same setting, but looks a bit intimidating. Still excited to try this.

Shadowrift Expansions: A game I haven’t got to the table nearly as much as I should. The expansions look like they add interesting mechanisms and a final boss-type enemy looks really cool to add.