For those of you who are waiting for the next big Monolith project, there is not long to go until it hits Kickstarter. And it is called Claustrophobia 1643.
I was asked by the team at Monolith to demo the prototype at a special event at the Philibert game store in Strasbourg, to which I said "no problem." As Philibert is one of the biggest stores in Europe that deals with delivery, not only games from it's website but also Kickstarters to your door. And it's been 40 years that this company has been in operations. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHILIBERT.
Into my possession came a prototype of the game, which I held onto for a short time. The same proto that I demoed at Gen Con this year. So I thought I would create a little video for you, so those that did not see it at these two events can marvel over the look of the game.
Remember, that in this video, it is a proto and does not have all of the components. Have a look to see if it could be your cup of tea, then watch out for the Kickstarter, as it drops in October
Hello chaps and chapette,
How lucky I am to be invited to the wonders that are known as Gen Con, in Indiana?
The big side of the gaming world is having it's annual event and I will be there, all four days with Monolith. Once again, I will be helping out in the booth (2830), showing people how to play Batman: Gotham City Chronicles and Mythic Battles: Pantheon. On top of that, I will be demoing the next big game in the pipe-works, Claustrophobia 1643.
This is the perfect opportunity to catch my podcasting buddy, Burky. And we will record a show together, face to face for the first time ever...excited!!! Plus get some manly hugs from Lance Myxter, Paul Grogan, the BGG gang and many more of my friends.
So while I am away, you may not see a lot of new videos pop up. I do have some uploaded and ready to go but am waiting for the "OK" from those publishers. So look out for new videos soon and some inside info on Monoliths new game.
Ciao for now, and I hope to see you there.
next time someone asks if your a god, you say "yes!"
The Geek Gods are various and powerful and love playing games. As do we. But the only difference is that "we" are their game. They manipulate and transform us into mighty heroes or villainous monsters, making us walk the path that "They" want us to go down.
But now we have the upper hand as we can control those "all powerful" Gods to our hearts and whims delight. Mythic Battles: Pantheon is the evolution of an early Iello edition of Mythic Battles by Benoit Vogt. Although, this edition is pumped full of miniatures and additional characters and creature. Unlike it's predecessor, which was cards played on a grid. But the game is mostly the same. You will be choosing a God from the many livable (depending on the number of add-ons that you purchase) then draft an army around that God, consisting of Heroes, Monsters, Troops and maybe a Titan. Then combat starts...
Fortune is ally to the brave
The game is a combat game that takes element from games that we already know and meshes them into a simple to understand and play instantly game (minus the time to set up). Much like chess and it's learning curve, but also like a collectible card game that uses a deck to active characters. Plus some traditional and slightly tweaked dice combat with degrading player characters that wither away, the more injured they become. A game that the Gods would say, "this is walk in the park."
You will start with picking a God to be your avatar. Then create an army that benefits and complements that God. Whether it be Zeus, Ares or Hades, having the right combination is an essential key to your success when playing. Although, you could just experiment and mix and match to your hearts content, as there are enough units in the base game to keep you amused for months. Each unit has a wide variety of statistics, from life points, special powers to unique ability. So choosing the right ally that compensate another can take a little time to get your head around, as well as take a little real world time. And not only that, there is the battlefield to take into consideration. For example, having a team of flying creatures that are not hindered by the different levels of the terrain, will have a hard time dealing damage to your opponent's forces, if they are hiding in one of the many forests.
There are many type of terrain that will help or hinder movement, ranged attacks as well as hand to hand combat. Some of this terrain comes with physical trees and rocks, that not only make a picturesque playing field but make a difference to the game as it can be destroyed to remove, along with their penalty's and benefits. Because we all know the frustration of losing a game on the count of one small obstruction that prevented you taking a shot at a very weak God, who you'd like to kill before they have a chance to absorbs an Omphalos, winning the game.
Find, and fulfill your destiny!
Skirmish mode is the common way to play this game, two, three or four players. But there are also some campaign's and scenarios that will hold your attention. Where you'll race to find healing plants or rescue a princess. Even the possibility of cooperatively playing to prevent the Hydra from entering the local, defenseless village is available to play. You may play an all Vs all or team up in pairs. With a system that allocates points accordingly to the number of player and the side that they are on. A one verses three player game is also a viable. But no solo mode...Boo-Hoo!
But you'll probably play more skirmish's than anything. They are simple to set up from the scenario book and allow you the freedom to create your army's from the mutilated of units and characters. With a simple end game of either destroying the opponents God or getting your God to absorb more Omphalos than the others. As well as an easy way to get into the game, they also serve as useful way to see the potential in your warriors for future battles. This game is one massive and mythical learning experience.
Getting your head around all the powers and ability as well as accustoming yourself to the terrain can be a bit tricky if you are not into heavy, epic, strategic warfare. As there is hand management, card counting, spatial perception of the board and taking note of all your characters statistic that change with the damage they take. Even so, the game play mechanisms will sink in quite quickly, making it an enjoyable, flowing experience. Especially with the big reference cards available.
Call no man happy who is not dead!
Most games have your hero preforming dice combat to show their impressive sword skills or other ability for mowing down the opposing minis. Even when your character is on their last legs and final drop of blood, they are still swinging their weapon high, rolling the same amount of dice as they did at the beginning of the game. Not here...
Going back to my HeroClix's days, I remember the sensation of having a hero weaken in combat, struggling to survive. And they needed help from the my other character, just to stay in the game. And the win that I accomplished, even with this Achilles Heel was a gratifying one. The same is here. Each character has a life point bar that, when damaged, depletes. On it's way down to death, their strength of their attracts get weaker as you roll less dice. Also, their defense may go down, or their movement will be reduced. All leading to the demise of that character. Some may have powers that only unlock when reduced to one point of life, like the Phoenix. Making it a more realistic, down to earth system that is reflected in it's combat. If a Phoenix really excised, that is.
the bigger they are...
Talking of combat, what would an epic game like this be, without epic dice rolling. There is plenty of that in this game. Fortuna may not be your chosen Goddess, but that is no bad thing. You can manipulate your dice in an exploding fashion or sacrifice them.
Technically, five sided dice, even though they have six faces, only five of which have the possibility of doing damage. The blank face is an immediately remove dice when rolled. Any other number can be sacrificed and remove to make the value of another rise by one. Transforming a die from a three to a five by removing two other dice is a good way to hit those powerful Gods with a defense that is higher than the values marked on the dice themselves. I hear you saying, "how can I damage a God that has eight in defense but the highest value on a die is five?" The importance of have a five on your dice is they can be rolled again, adding it's new value to it's previous. Giving you those higher results with this exploding dice mechanic.
It leaves players feeling that they have some way to negate their dice rolls and manipulate the result to what they want, which many games don't give you. Unless you have a power. Added to that, the fact that when you remembered to add the bonus from the terrain and that characters special ability, will have your fist punching in the area when you achieve massive (maybe mythic level) damage.
titan against titan. it's all in the cards
If Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh! is your thing, you may take solace in the fact that you will have the same power in your hands as in those games. Your deck of cards are made up of the characters you drafted and some special Act Of War cards. Every turn, you'll add one card from your deck to you existing hand and then play one or many cards that will summon minis to the board, or move that minis if already placed. With no text, these cards are easy to read, activating the depicted character leaving you with the hard choise. Which simple or complex actions to take. Using them wisely can bring a level of complexity to your plans as each character has a different amount of cards assigned to them. Leaving you card counting your opponents deck and second guessing who they will activate the next turn.
Burning the Act Of War cards or later in the game, Omphalos cards, are a way to preform other actions. Like playing and activating a second character or drawing more cards into your hand. You can even search the deck for that valuable card that you need right now. Hand management is key element in the fight to victory. Use your cards sparingly and your army is reduced to nothing. And running through your deck too quickly may not be advisable either, as your opponent will get to place their whole remaining deck in their hand. Giving them the upper hand (excuse the pun) in the vast number of cards to pick from.
this is how epic it is...
Release the Krakken!
This is a massive game. Not only massive in scope and game play but also as massive as some of it's mini's. In particular, the Titans that are very impressive figure with a great amount of detail. In fact, every single mini, carved die, character board and other component has been magnificently produced for this game. I can not state the amount of fantastically beautiful attention to detail has gone into producing this game. Of course the art work stands out, by far. This is a game that, if I could have on the wall, I would. But I would probably have to construct a few more walls to have sufficient space to place everything. As would you, if you were to back this project at it's highest level.
If your looking for a very deep warfare experience with high production values, I could not recommend a better one. This game has teeth, like a Krakken. Battles a satisfyingly profound after the placement of you army start to amass. And many expansions that need a Krakken size hole on your gaming shelf. With deep and thoughtful decisions to made every turn, players may play as quick a someone who has looked into the eyes of Medusa. Every battle is a real fight, even struggle between the players to become the victory. If this game is missing something, it's the word "EPIC" from the title. This is the EPIC miniature combat game to end then all.
my original KS videos
Technical Score 10/10
My BGG Score 7/10
Combined Score 8.5/10
After the recent Kickstarter success of Batman: Gotham City Chronicles, Monolith held a "Thank You" party for those of us that helped spread the word, before and during the campaign.
And I was one of those 80 bloggers, painters and demonstrators to go along.
It was held in a quiet farm house, out on the outskirts of Paris. A weekend event of eating, drink, babbling and playing with the team of Monolith. Headed by Frédéric Henry the designer and co-founded of the company. Hand shakes and kisses were the first order of the day, as tradition in France. Yes, I kissed men on the cheek! (No Con-Crud ensued)
Although I was only there a short time on the Saturday, I got a taste of the world behind Kickstarter. Also, this article will probably shorter then what it could have been if I stayed the whole weekend. I will try my best to fill in the spaces with photos and videos. =)
Inside the farm house was a small display of the prototype components. Large prints of the maps, on paper. Box art and comic books. Plus the miniatures...and a BIG Batmobile
A look at the artwork used in the game
The miniature seemed like the final product. Although they weren't. They were stunning in detail and easily recognizable from the graphic novels, even if you hadn't read them. And that was the thing that struck me. In most games, when you get a ton of figures. You hone in on a few that you find appealing to the eye and get to know their names quickly. These become your favorites. The characters you use in every game.
A table full of astonishing minis and a cool looking Batmobile
But it was not all pancakes and pats on the back.
A majority of my time there was spent talking to the other bloggers and playing games. I did forget a lot of names, even though everyone had a badge, so apologies if I don't mention you. You were all a pleasure to listen to. Anecdote and story's of things that had happened in life. All in French too. And "NO!", there was no conversations about boobs and bellybuttons!!! In fact, most of the topics were about normal things. Weather, holidays, where you come from and accents. And a little bit of board games mixed in.
I spent most of the day with my good friend Mr Petitjean and also caught up with Barbi, my fellow demonstrator at the UK Gaming Expo. He came down, all the way from somewhere around Huddersfield for the event. And there was even a couple that came from Scotland. And I had a little chance to speak in my native tongue before enjoying the company of other in my now second tongue.
A table full of astonishing minis and a cool looking Batmobile
In among the eating and talking that was going on around me, there was also some gaming. I sat down and played all three of Monoliths titles. Conan, Mythic Battles: Pantheon as well as Batman. Some of the group had brought their own copies of their games. Blinged out and painted with astonishing detail.
There were of course many other games there being played. Great Western Trail, Lisboa, Secret Hitler and other published titles that hit the tables as well as some prototypes. One in paticular was the next, up and coming game from Monolith...Claustrophobia 1643.
This new version, which is still headed by Croc, will be to the same scale as the original, but will be like a new base game. Monolith haven't official announce that they will be supporting the 2009 version of the game, but knowing that they like fan created content, I'm sure there will be mission for this on their Overlord site in the future.
New feature, that you can see in the video below, include; Creature player has new actions board. Less actions than before, but more profound.Human player can collect cards that can be played as special actions or to change the result of a dice roll.
Prototype version of the new Claustrophobia 1643
This proto was in heavy use all the day, so I never got chance to play and compare how it plays against the original version (which I played once and admired it damage system). So I will have to probably wait until September, like you, to see how it works. Again, this will be another Kickstarter, so if your a fan...start saving your penny's.
All in all, it was a delightful day, not only with a very sunny and hot, April sun. But also because of the company that was there. The charming Monolith team, the friendly fellow bloggers, amazing painters and Batman comic book fans. Thank you all.
Talking of Batman, if you missed out on the Kickstarter, you can still get a chance to grab a copy. As of the 3rd of May, you can go to the late pledge manager...
Hello Chaps and Chapette,
So many things have passed in the past month. More positive and upbeat. Let's start with the finish of a game that I have been helping promote by demoing, reviewing, blogging, chatting and even providing voices for. That is Batman: Gotham City Chronicles. It's not long finished on Kickstarter with a whopping $4.4 million dollars, making it the sixth highest funded board game. And the 24th overall KS.
On top of that, if you missed out, you'll be able to jump on board with a late pledge later in May.
There was also a few other Kickstarters that I was involved with:
Immortal 8 by Sorry We Are French
Chartered: The Golden Age by Jolly Dutch Productions
Chronicles of Crime by Lucky Duck Games
You can find out more these games by clicking the links above, their publishers name in the Shortcut menu to the left of watch the Blog video below.
What is "the Monthly Video?" 0:20
A Review of Reviews 1:32
Chartered: The Golden Age
Chronicles Of Crime
First and the Last 11:52
Mythic Battles: Pantheon
Clank: Sunken Treasure
Catch The Moon
The Monthly Giveaway 30:45
Have you played any of those games? What did you think of them?
And what do you think of the new look BGES? (better that looking at my ugly mug)
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Hello Chaps and Chapettes
Things have gone crazy here, in BGES studios (well, at my home). The web site has bee a little quiet of late but that is because lots of work going on behind the scenes though.
I have been helping out with the recent Kickstarter Batman: Gotham City Chronicals and the amount of support and love for the project has been overwhelming. A ton of Batfans have been waiting for a game like this (like me), and now it is here. I have already played and produce videos on my thoughts and feeling about the game. Scroll over to my Kickstarter page to see them.
Another project that has just this minute started is Immortal 8.
A rapid playing, card drafting game with hidden roles and "asymmetric scoring" (I may have to copyright that, if such a thing exists.) Set in a fantasy universe, were you are a God building up a civilization, with only a small handful of cards. A game from the team behind Imagine and Crossing and is now live on Kickstarter.
Again, I am helping out, not only in producing a video on how to play and what my thoughts are of the game. But behind the scene, I am answering question and responding to comment about the game. As I am with Batman.
Although I have been tied, I have not gone away and will posting more and more tit-bits here. But in the meantime, catch up on everything here on the Double-Back Monthly.
video blog for february 2018
January. What a month it has been. Stuffed after Christmas. Marinaded on New Year. Then tickled pink on the Birthday.
I did get to play quite a few games as well. Some family favorites as well as some new ones that flew under my nose. From the wonderful Clans of Caledonia (Karma Games) to the Wall in Catan (Fantasy Flight Games), with the Brotherhood of the Watch. I hiked around the beautiful Okanagan: Valleyof the Lakes (Matagot) and visited an old favoratite place with a Splendor (Space Cowboys) new view of the city.
There were a few Kickstarters that came my way as well. One, I have been playing for a long time and have seen it evolve over the year. That is Batman: Gotham City Chronicles (Monolith Editions) which is coming very soon. The other, which is currently running is Blockchain: The Cryptocurrency Game (Say Cheves). You can find these in my Kickstarter page.
And I delve into board game app's. As there were a few time in the month where I played Mansions of Madness (Fantasy Flight) alone. Or I was joined with my daughter in the fight to save the galaxy in Rising 5 (Holy Grail Games). playing with these app's got me thinking, are they good or bad for the hobby? And most importantly, do they work?
But you can see and hear about all these things, in my double-back monthly blog
What is "the Monthly Video?" 0:20
A Review of Reviews 1:41
First and the Last 3:15
Question Time 12:50
The Monthly Giveaway 21:52
Let me know in the comments, what you think about board game app's.
And if you have a question that you'd like me to open up in Question Time.
A new day, a new year and a new adventure awaits.
As you probably saw from my Top Ten Games I'd Drop Everything For... list, I like to play the same games again and again. For me, nothing beats playing a game that you don't have to explain to your competition and you can just go head to head in the challenge to becoming the master of that game.
But there is also nothing like trying something new and different. To cleanse your pallet. And although I am not a fan of the "Cult Of The New," I find myself being wrapped up in it's web. This year, I will be working for game publishers on their newest games. Mainly Kickstarters. As always, I will be producing videos that show pertentual backers how the game works and feels.
Here are some of those titles:
So, not only am I making reviews of game, but with some of them I will be helping in the support as they are running on Kickstarter. As a campaign manager, which is kind of nice. Another bonus from this is I get to learn how these games work, not from reading a rule book. But from actually being taught by their designers. And that is a whole different sensation. You get inside their head and understand every facet and rule tweak that they have made over the many years that the game has been created. It's a wonderful feeling.
You can check out these titles in more depth on the BGG website:
And who knows what will be further down the road.
All I can tell you about the things that have happened in the past month. While I am getting older, I am finding it harder to retain information. I have even forgotten my birthday! Old man.
So instead of typing about all the wonderful things I seem to remember doing in December, I have recorded them into a little video for you.
And that is just a fraction of the things that are coming in 2018. Unfortunately, I can not cover everything, but if I get a chance to, I will.
If you have a question that you'd like me to answer in next months video or advice about a game, please leave it in the comment section below. Until next time, play nicely together.
Ciao for now...
Hello Chaps and Chapettes,
What a wonderful month it has been. October is the time when you should be thinking about buying Christmas presents for others. But no! With the Essen Spiel, it's a little difficult to do. Unless...
You are working at a stand at Essen.
This year I was given the chance to hang around with the chaps from Monolith Editions and demonstrate their up and coming Kickstarter "BATMAN THE BOARDGAME" Not due for a little while yet, we were building the buzz ready for the Kickstarter date of February 2018.
In my Double-Back Monthly video I talk about the game and you get to see footage that I shoot at the show.
The Spiel it's self, is like a drug. There must be something pumped in the air by ACE chemicals, whenever I go there. I have lots of energy and constantly having a happy buzz. Everything seemed to hover in a dream like state and I hovered too.
The vast amount of people there was astounding. The first three day and the first three hall were chock-a-block. Making a walk from one end to the other, a long and slow snails trail where you could push your was through and crush a child to death or weave in and out, but end up back where you starter. Not good for my claustrophobia
The last day was my preferred day and also my saddest. Preferred, because there were less people, meaning no ques for food or toilets and you could walk at your own pace without stop-starting. And saddest because it was the last day and I would gladly do it again the next day.
Being stuck in one space meant that I did not see and meet all the friends, authors, publishers and others that I wanted to. But still I got chance to meet:
-Brandon Nall from the Brawling Brothers podcast. We chatted about out mutual friend, Kevin Burkhardsmeier and we were also joined by
-Robb & Christina from Blue Peg, Pink Peg. And together we babbled our time away. Forgetting that I was on a pee break and had to get back.
-Gregory Oliver from La Boite De Jeu joined me at the booth to chat about the success of Clash Of Rage. The chaps at
-Horrible Games thanked me for the video I did and I thanked them for making another wonderful game that I will keep forever (and they gave a sneak peak of their next game.) I had hugs with the
-Dice Tower team...and there are a lot of them now. Bumped into
-Stephan Brissaud of Iello a few times. He seemed to be having the same high as I. Polite and bubbly. I had a deep and meaningful chat with
-Jamie Johnson from Holy Grail Games, again talking about the up and coming titles. The stylishly looking, too good to be on a podcast
-Georgios Panagiotidis of Perfect Information podcast was wondering alone this year, as Ben Madox was locked in his hotel room, sick. And I had a very short chat with the wonderful
-Scott Alden. Without him, none of us would be here, sharing our story's and chatting to each other.
And I also had a super great time with Adnane, Yann and Yohan from Monolith. Many thanx to you all (bisous)
There were many others that I met, to you all, sorry I did not mention you but I wanted to keep this short and sweet. You are not forgotten and you are appropriated for your work to this hobby. And if I don't recognize you next year, it's not because I think you are crap at your job or your a boar to chat to. It's because I have blancmange for a brain.
Essen is the ultimate experience for me and I which it could be Essen every day. (sounds like a Christmas song by Slade) Next year, will I be working...I don't know. I would do it again. =D
Hello Chaps and Chapettes,
It won't be long until that time when hundreds of thousands of gamers will be flocking to Germany. All to play games, check out whats new and to play games...(did I already say that?)
I will be one of them. But I am not going to be there to play. I am going for the beer. And the social mingling. But mainly to work. I am going to be demoing the next exciting game from Fréderic Henry...BATMAN
I signed myself up with Monolith, to check out how this game will be bigger and better than there last game and because I am a fan (of Fred too.) That will be in Hall 6 B-116. So if your into "The Bat" and you want to see the investment of hard work (as well as me, slaving away) come along and check it out.
Another game that you may want to check out at Essen, as it will be making it's debut there, is Dragon Castle from Horrible Games. I have had the privilege to play a review copy of the game and record, for you, a "How To Play" video.
It is an interesting take on an excising game, Mahjong. And adds a scoring mechanism from the castles you construct by removing tiles from an existing castle. With a different special power and bonus scoring for each game you play. A very Zen game that keeps you on your toes as you try to score the most points while stopping the other from getting the most points.
This is one that I would recommend for those who like abstract games that not only quick to play, but look great on the table. It will be in Hall 3 Q-106.
I will try and pump out a few videos before I depart. If not, I will have lots to talk about when I get back.
Until then, play nicely =)
Barry Doublet &