Tag Archives: Steve Jackson Games

GamesQuest, Insomnia and the UK Games Expo

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote anything on here, but this time I have good reason for not being around! Basically I’m under orders from my doctor to rest up. So that’s exactly what I’ve been doing!

I have a shed load of things I want to discuss on here, but I’m going to spread things out over several posts, just so I can rest between writing them. This post is going to be a high level overview of a few of the things I’ve been up to over the past couple of months. So, here goes!

Gamesquest
GamesQuest – For a couple of months now I’ve been spending some of my free time writing for the GamesQuest blog. I’ve had the chance to write reviews for some fun games and, as you may have guessed, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it!

GamesQuest sell the latest and greatest games and collectibles, so if you ever need something then check them out! Here’s list of the blog posts that I’ve done for them; if you’re interested in reading up on any of these games then follow the links direct to the post:
Rampage
Space Cadets – Dice Duel
Assassins Creed Arena
Marvel Dice Masters Preview
Marvel Dice Master Review

Insomnia

Insomnia51 – In April, I went to my first ever Insomnia Games Festival. It was a great experience with lots of PC gaming going on all around. I’d never been to an event like this and I found it quite interesting. I watched some of the indie developer talks and there was a lot of useful information from the video game industry that you could quite easily extrapolate to apply to virtually any other industry, especially that of board games.

Having stopped playing video games a couple of years ago I was primarily interested in the particularly busy area of the exhibition hall that was occupied by non-other than the GamesQuest team and their vast selection of board games. This was the first time I’d had the chance to meet Nigel (Mr GamesQuest) and Nikki and I were really glad we took the time to visit.

We were in Coventry from the Friday to the Sunday and during the day we spent a lot of time at the GamesQuest area. We got the chance to try out some fun games such as Zombicide, Game of the Thrones the board game, Assassins Creed and Small Worlds. We also spent some time away from the event playing Fairy Tales and Marvel Legendary with the new Paint the Town Red expansion.

During the evenings we grabbed some food before heading back to the Ricoh arena to catch up with Nigel and Paul for two very fun-filled gaming sessions in their hotel bar. We had the pleasure of meeting some great people and played some awesome games such as Kackerlacken Poker, Nosferatu and CV. I just want to give a special thanks, and shout out, to the following people for welcoming us into their group and providing hours of entertainment:
Nigel and Paul Matthews
Daniel Thompson
Peter Coleman aka Moley
Paul, Connor and Harry Wheeler.

If there’s one, vitally important, thing that I’ve taken away from Insomnia, it’s the knowledge that I am possibly the worst bluffer in the entire world… My appalling number of losses at Kackerlacken Poker will haunt me forevermore! I still bought my own copy, and a copy Nosferatu too, the next day though!

UK Games Expo

UK Games Expo 2014 – Last year I was fairly new to the world of board games, I’d played enough to have heard about the UK Games Expo, but I hadn’t got any real experience with being part of a gaming group, or simply sitting down at a table and joining a game. It was all very new and scary to me. I dropped in on the 2013 expo around lunchtime on the Sunday, right near the end of the event, and I didn’t have a clue how to make the most of the time I had. We bustled around, bought some games and didn’t get a chance to look at everything. We should have made time and got there really early!

This year I’ve learnt my lesson, I’ve joined various gaming groups, become more involved in my blogging and am more keyed in to the board game industry as a whole. So I’ve bought tickets for the entire event, including a hotel stay at the Hilton where it’s being hosted, just to make sure I don’t miss out on a single thing!

As of writing, there’s only ten days left to the UKGE 2014 and if you’ve not got a ticket then why not? Go buy one right now! Literally, stop reading my random ramblings, go to the UKGE website and book one for collection on the day! The pre-booking is only open until May 23rd so there’s only four more days before you’ll have to hope you can get one on the door!

What I’ve come to realise is that, last year, my opinion about the event was tainted by my own lack of preparation and turning up late on the Sunday. This year I won’t be making the same mistake!

Make sure you get the most out of the expo as well and, if you can, attend both Saturday and Sunday, if not Friday too! There’s tonnes of things to do this year, including the famous bring-and-buy sale, numerous tournaments, an alien laser tag event, Numerous RPG sessions, the exhibition hall (rammed full of game retailers) and absolutely tonnes of demo games going on across the weekend. That’s not to mention special guests such as Ian Livinsgtone, Steve Jackson, Matt Leacock and Chris Barrie!

Coming Soon

Coming Soon! – One of the cool things that came out of visiting Insomnia back in April; I got to spend a good amount of time chatting to Patrick Campbell, one of the UKGE organisers. He had a tonne of interesting stories to tell about the crazy things that’ve happened at the event over the years. Personally, I found them all very exciting and I simply don’t want to miss out on any of it this year! I’ve since been in touch with Patrick and he’s agreed to answer a few questions for the blog to give everyone an insight into what the event’s all about and why he loves organising the UKs biggest board gaming event. Stay tuned for that appearing on the feed soon!

Also, in the next week or so I’m going to be running a competition to win something VERY cool. Keep checking back for more details as I get them!

International Tabletop Day

tabletop

Last Saturday, 5th of April 2014, was International Tabletop Day! A celebration of all things tabletop game related. I realise that this post is a little late but I still wanted to tell you guys what I got up to!

Brainchild of Will Wheaton of Star Trek and Tabletop fame, the day is dedicated to the gathering of gamers and those interested in gaming. It’s a great way to promote the hobby and get more people playing games and I was really looking forward to taking part in as much fun as I possibly could.

So, wanting to optimize my play time I worked out what my options were and set out for a day of fun and games!

As you might already know, I attend a monthly board game session held at Firestorm Games over in Cardiff. This year they were running a Tabletop event that was both a celebration of gaming and a fundraising bake-sale event for the Help for Heroes charity. As a full time board game fanatic and a cake addict, this was the greatest news I’d ever heard, so I headed there to start.

Arriving over in Cardiff at 10am we played a few quick games of a Donkey, a children’s card game that one of the younger members of the group was thoroughly enjoying. It may not have been my kind of game but we all had some fun and that’s what the day’s all about right?

After Donkey we had a couple of games of Forbidden Desert, followed by Fleet, Eight Minute Empire: Legends, Dominion and finally Wits and Wagers. There were so many different types of cake it was unbelievable and staff from Esdevium games were on hand to demonstrate Terry Pratchett’s The Witches, Ticket to Ride Nordic Countries and Carcassonne.

The whole session was a great success and a lot of fun was had by all. A big thanks goes out to Clare for organising the cake sale and fundraiser, not to mention Roy for making sure everyone knew about it, and Jake plus the Firestorm staff for making sure everything was running smoothly on the day. By the close of business the cake sale had managed to raise £128 which is really great!

With Firestorm closing at 6pm I had a plan in place to continue the gaming fun. Thanks to Ian over at Rules of Play I’d heard about another Tabletop event running nearby that started at 7pm. Just enough time to dash over and get a good table. So, almost as if I’d planned it, we made our way over to The Gate to join the Rules of Play team for more gaming delights. I’ve seen their sessions at The Gate advertised on numerous occasions but living over in Bristol has meant that we, sadly, couldn’t make it over to any of them. Unfortunately weekdays, work and travel just don’t mix that well. However, this Tabletop event was a Saturday so we HAD to be there!

The event kicked off at 7pm as planned and we began with some games of King of Tokyo, we then followed this up with some Zombie Dice, which I haven’t played in quite a long time. Nikki and I ended our gaming at about 10.30pm after a game of Citadels. By this point I was starting to get tired, Nikki was sure her brain was melting, but Chris soldiered on and joined a group for a game of Ticket to Ride Europe.

Nikki and I sat chatting at our table and were shortly joined by Steve from Rules of Play who we chatted to until the very end of the evening. It was really good to get to chat to him outside of the store and Nikki and I had a great time discussing all manner of subjects with him. At one point he tried to persuade us to give role playing games a try, something I’ve avoided like the plague since my first and only experience of them put me off for life. However, Steve was quite persuasive and even Nikki seemed to be warming to the idea slightly. In fact Steve was so persuasive that I’ve since ordered a copy of Fiasco to dip our toes into a very simple system and have been looking into the FATE Core System too!

All in all it was a great evening and the perfect end to a wonderful day. We played some awesome games and met some fantastic people who I would love to spend some time gaming with in the future. I even got some fun tabletop promos which really topped the whole thing off nicely. Unfortunately I didn’t see any of the 7 Wonder Will Wheaton promo cards but What I did receive was totally awesome! and all I can really say is that I can’t wait for next year!

Zombie Dice

Zombie Dice

Grrrrr Arrggghhhhh!!!

Sorry, that was my appalling Zombie impression. Not as easy to do in text form as it turns out…

So, today I’m reviewing Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games. It won’t be a long review which actually reflects the very essence of the game itself!

When you get this game you immediately think “God, did I really pay £10 for that?” Or at least that’s what I thought! In the packaging you get a cylindrical tube, 13 custom dice and a tiny rules sheet. It hardly felt like value for money… But I was wrong… That £10 could be one of the best spends in my entire gaming life! I’ve had the game about three days now and have played it around 50 times. That’s 20p per game and that cost will only keep dropping as I play it more!

Gameplay! It’s fast, fun and you’re a bloody Zombie! What more could you ask for?

Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Take three dice from the pile. Roll them. Keep any brains or shotgun blasts you roll, ignore the feet.
Step 2: Decide if you want to roll again, top up your in-hand dice to three and roll again.

If you ever decide to stop rolling then you note how many brains you collected that turn and add them to you current running score. Return all dice to the pot and play passes to the next player.

“So why would I stop rolling?”

If you ever have three or more shotgun blasts in a turn (made up of the multiple rolls) you lose the brains you’ve collected that round (Retaining your existing total.) and your turn ends.

“But How do I win?”

Be the first to collect 13 brains! Simples!

This is a game of pushing your luck. No guts no glory!!! Or in this case, No brains no glory! It’s fast paced, fun and full of laughs. You’ll be talking about that gutsy (dumb) roll your opponent made for ages.You know, the one that went horribly wrong and saw them shotgunned back to hell!

Great stocking filler for Christmas that most people will pick up on the rules quickly! Recommended! And if you’re not sure if it’s for you, you can try it for free on your iPad or iPhone! Not sure if it’s on Android or Windows Phone yet though!

Score: 7/10