Me and My Worker Placement Games: Champions of Midgard V Lords of Waterdeep

 

 

…Well actually the title should have a caveat; I am, technically speaking, not the owner of my copy of Lord of Waterdeep, but it lives with my board games so we will take octopus as a domestic animal and boat as an aquatic one ;p. As far as worker placement games go there are loads to choose from, but these are the ones that have ended in my hands. Champions of Midgard became a Christmas present two years ago because you know Vikings for the Viking obsessed girl. Then Lord of Waterdeep was presented and sold to me as “the good stuff”, particularly with the expansion. And, well, my opinion may be biased but I have sincere problems with one of these two games, and this is what I am going to talk about today, what makes, in my opinion, and engaging worker placement game, and what makes a dyer of an evening.

Lord of Waterdeep does have an advantage over Champions of Midgard that is worth considering, which is the fact that it can cater for more players. The basic Champions game is 2 to 4 players, whilst Lords takes up to 5. Champions of Midgard has 2 expansions that will up your number of players as well as other juicy stuff, and Lords has Scoundrels of Skullport that puts it up to 6 alongside other mechanics. I have never played without the expansion for Lords, and I have never tried the expansion for Champions, and I must say, already without the expansion Champions is a good game, whilst I have been advised by more than one person that playing Lords without Scoundrels is a bit meh. Pricing is a contested issue for sure. On the official Wizards of the Coast website for Lords the price given is $49.99, plus $39.99 if you want to play with the expansion…That is already the better part of 80 quid. Basic set for Champions from Grey Fox Games is $59.99, add more for the expansions if you want, and depending on which one. So, I feel if you’re going to invest decent money on a game, you should keep these things in mind. 

Continue reading “Me and My Worker Placement Games: Champions of Midgard V Lords of Waterdeep”

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DC – DAWN OF SUPER HEROES (Exhibition at the O2 London, 31/3/2018)

Hello Peoples! Hope you had an awesome Easter break – we certainly did and, in fact, we are bringing you some stuff from our visit to the exhibition that is currently being hosted at the O2: DC – Dawn of Super Heroes. This is just in the same place where we went to see the Star Wars Identities exhibition last year – and you can learn more about that one clicking on this link:

Of course, this exhibition was a completely different kettle of fish, and they are not really comparable in the same way – SW Identities was incredibly interactive and that was super cool! But, I think the display do what they have to do here. So, what can you expect from this? In essence; a lot of amazing original comic prints, from finished works to sketches, very high res story boarding images from the DC films, and some pretty badass costumes – the originals from the movies as well. One thing that I didn’t find as useful or as well done was the use of the audio guide. It is your traditional elongated telephone like device, which is not the most comfortable of things. In addition, the numbers for the audio guide were particularly hidden or not located next to the stuff they were supposed to be talking about, which made it a little annoyed and confusing at stages (and of course because technology hats me, my device was on its way out and you had to attack the buttons to make them play anything…but that’s probably just me and bad luck). That is perhaps my biggest criticism and I think they could have made better use of that resource. However, they did have a fair amount of screen where they were playing clips and videos from different interviews with artists, directors and producers from the DC Universe which were absolutely top stuff. So that is my piece on that.

In terms of what the exhibition is about, this is really a walk through how the DC superhero franchises have made their way from paper to the screen, with a focus on their recent productions leading up to the Justice League movie. So you got a lot of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman…JL and that is kinda it. So if you are hoping to go see lots of bizarre and obscure characters, then I’d hate to disappoint. However, like I said, what they have is good. Hell, I even stopped for the 2 and a half rooms dedicated to the Man of Steel and found it thoroughly interesting so, you know!

And that is all I can say on that front, it is cool but beware of what you are gonna go see, essentially. It is available until September at the O2 so you still have plenty of time and if you book in advance you have a good chance of getting a god deal on your tickets. And without more hesitation, here are some pictures of the things I took as highlights of the exhibit 😀 (yes, I know, it is mostly Batman…not my fault he is best :p)

See? I told you there was some Superman stuff…There were a fair few versions of his costume through the ages, but I just don’t find it that interesting…
Batman is best – always. We took several pictures with the Dark Knight because that statue is screaming “photograph me!”

Continue reading “DC – DAWN OF SUPER HEROES (Exhibition at the O2 London, 31/3/2018)”

Videogame Childhood – My Earliest PC Gaming Experience

 

Today I am just going down memory lane to share some of earliest memories of video games. I was really lucky because, due to a family member who happen to get into the electronics industry at the right moment in time in Spain – you know back in the day – my household, despite being rather modest, always had cool things like computers and the likes. My parents, as the geeks they were, of course had a machine in their room (years later in the living room) where they nerded out in front of the computer screen for hours on end. I remember them being very keen of the very first Civilization, and me watching them play. Dad would always be scheming with diplomacy and commerce, mum on the other hand…What can I say, that woman and the Aztecs were just meant to be, and whilst everyone else had spears, she was killing with laser guns and stuff like that, cause you know, she was just Better… Both my parents were fond of strategy games, though dad preferred the more militaristic ones, whilst mum was more in tune with resource management and tycoons. But there was one thing mum loved and was kick ass and that certainly had an impact in the game I learnt to love: platformer. I remember one of the very first games I ever played was Rayman series…And I failed miserably.

Continue reading “Videogame Childhood – My Earliest PC Gaming Experience”

“Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Part 2

Hello everyone and welcome once again to ManaBurnt. Firstly I would like to apologise for our sudden quietness in the last week or so. With the snow hitting England “unexpectedly” apparently our internet connections are not prepared for the freezing cold – And I am still waiting for my WiFi to work as there was some serious damage done to the green box outside of our flat where the connection comes to?! In any case, I managed to steal someone else’s connection to bring you this: my part two on “Wouldn’t that song just make a great RPG?”. You can find part one here: https://manaburnt.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/wouldnt-that-song-just-make-a-great-rpg-tunes-lyrics-to-get-your-creative-juices-going/

 

I was trying this time to make it something other than metal. So then I started looking for other things, and even used them on RPGs we have had recently to test the effects of them. However, I am afraid that the metal component will still be strong with this one, but here are some other things 🙂 Continue reading ““Wouldn’t That Song Just Make a Great RPG?” Part 2″

Top 5 Podcasts de Juegos de Rol


Hola a todo el mundo. Hoy os traigo una traducción al español de una de las entradas de blog mas populares de Alex de 2017. En este post nos habla sobre diversos podcast de grupos que juegan a rol y sus recomendaciones para aquellos que este interesados en el tema. Así que, aquí vamos.

Si os gustan los juegos de rol pero vuestras circunstancias no os permiten jugar de forma regular, tal vez os guste saber que tenéis otra forma de quitar de mono rolero a través de podcasts. Okay, comprendo que esto simplemente es escuchar como otra gente juega a rol, pero al menos os podeis meter en el ambiente. Estos podcasts también pueden resultaros útiles para recaudar ideas para vuestras propias partidas. O, si tal vez nunca habéis tenido la ocasión de jugar, desde luego son un buen ejemplo para entender como lo hacen los pros. Mas o menos así fue como me metí yo en el ajo. Antes de empezar a jugar con mis amigos, quería saber como iba la historia pero no tenia forma de ver a otra gente jugar, y prácticamente de casualidad me tropecé con una grabación de ‘Critical Hit’. De esta forma, pude entender como funcionaba la cuarta edición de D&D, que es el sistema con el que empecé. Curiosamente, ‘Critical Hit’ no seria una de mis recomendaciones principales en la actualidad, pero por si alguno de vosotros estas interesado podéis encontrar su pagina web aquí HERE.

High Rollers D&D LINK

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Realmente esta recomendación que os voy a hacer ahora no es un podcast per se, si no, más bien un Twitch y serie de YouTube. Se llama High Rollers D&D y le llevan unos cuantos del grupo Yogscast de YouTube. No es ni la mas avanzada, espectacular o interesante de todas las de la lista, pero me encana el Master y es bastante divertida. La mayoría de los jugadores son primerizos, así que si no tenéis experiencia, tal vez esta os resulte más accesible. Este grupo juega utilizando la quinta edición de D&D que también me parece de las mejores para iniciarse y entender como funcionan los juegos de rol. También he de decir que la serie mejora con el tiempo, lo mismo que por personajes/jugadores, y se nota un incremento en la calidad de la producción, la historia y el roleo, así que dadle una oportunidad. Continue reading “Top 5 Podcasts de Juegos de Rol”

My Name is NPC#4 – Or Why You Should Give NPCs Actual Names

Just yesterday night, I returned to DMing the RPG Alex and I are working on, and that most of you would probably be aware of due to Alex’s magic with cartography and making pretty maps. Well, my post today will not have to do anything with this topic, but something I find that in RPGs is often taken for granted: NPCs. What would you actually do without your good friend Joe the Tavernier telling you that there are monsters attacking the caravans coming in and out of the settlement? Pretty much nothing. Although player interacting is – in my opinion – crucial for a good game, without the NPCs the DM would be 100% bored and the players most certainly lost. So today I am gonna dedicate the post to the many Joes and Daves you’ve encountered in many tales.

One thing that always fascinated me when I was little of the RPGs my parents played, was that my dad always had a quirky character waiting for something to happen in the story and mess up the party – I would love to say help out, but I probably don’t remember that well to confirm such thing….And the thing was that, although this was always my dad, these characters were never the same. Not one merchant was equal to another, nor where the Innkeepers always jolly or informative, neither were his villains always monsters. These were fully fleshed people with thoughts, emotions and agendas – the latter being perhaps the most important one. I believe this is how NPCs should be. The world your roam for your own personal reasons is full of other people, just because Jack didn’t turn up to play, it doesn’t mean that Kronk the Barbarian that you just helped out doesn’t get his 5 minutes of glory. Nevertheless, I find that a lot of people struggle making meaningful NPCs, and even worse, useful NPCs that help the story move forward and add to the narrative. Continue reading “My Name is NPC#4 – Or Why You Should Give NPCs Actual Names”

Some Thoughts on David Gemmel Books I’ve Been Reading Lately

I’ve spent the last 3 months consuming literature like if there was no tomorrow. I usually read a lot for research purposes, but it was a great relief to actually have some time to just enjoy a good book. I decided that I hadn’t had a chance to read much fantasy lately, so I decided to follow that road. A lot of the books I’ve read are not new at all, save the last one perhaps, but they were things I haven’t had the chance to actually dedicate time to in the past, so it was good in any case. Nevertheless, I noticed that the vast majority of these books I’ve been reading had rather unsatisfactory endings. I don’t know if that was just me being too picky…One of them I am certain is an authorship problem from what I have heard from other people, but it seems to me that in many of these cases, there was so much to the story that by the time it needed to be wrapped up, everything as a bit rushed and that almost made the entire experience a bit bittersweet. So, I’ll just give you some thoughts on the books I’ve been reading and what I made of them so you can see where I am coming from.

David Gemmell

I appreciate I am probably very late to join in this party but for whatever reason I had never heard of him until recently. My boyfriend and one of my friends really like him, they swore by the narrative so I thought, okay let’s give this a go. In general, I liked the stories. I found that a lot of them are reworkings in different contextualisation and with different characters of well known folk tales and other old stories, but he does it in a very refreshing way so I did not mind knowing how the plot was going to go. I often find this annoying if I can predict the outcome of the story, but the details were interesting enough to make me see beyond that. I started with Legend – which I have ben told is perhaps not the best one to start with, but as it was the first one he wrote, it made sense. Then I made my way through Morning Star and Knights of Dark Renown. I must said I liked the last 2 better than Legend. I know Druss is epic, but I just couldn’t get to sympathise with any of the characters in the stories – except perhaps the Thirty, who are a very interesting bunch. However, then I jump on to Morning Star and found that Owen Odell is a nice character to guide you through the story, not just because he is the bard and the breaking of the fourth wall can be quite insightful and amusing at stages, but also because of that first person approach to how any narrative develops. He is just as clueless as you are when the plot begins so his own insecurities kinda mingles with yours. It is a good readers trip in that sense, if you follow me. Morning Star was certainly my favourite just cause Jarek Mace is funny in his picaresque and outrageous way, and the entire gang are very relatable…but then again this is essentially Robin Hood without so much cheesiness to it so, it ought to be. I moved to Knights of Dark Renown and I must say out of the three, I think this one has the best pacing. I felt every character was given equal and relevant importance in appropriate correlation to their characters impact in the story, which I do not feel the other three necessarily did.

However, I have the same issue with all of them: the ending. What is up with his endings?! Legend was perhaps the least abrupt and more satisfactory, I guess that is because after such a great war and battle there are only so many possible outcomes. I feel that every character that survives does it rightfully so and their lives proceed as they should. You understand where the rest of the story goes – okay; cool. But with the other two, I felt that something was missing or better said; dismissed. I guess it is not so bad in Morning Star, as everyone is given a brief explanation as to what their futures bring and what not. Even so the last 30 pages of the book seem to go at a whole different speed than the rest and I just wanted more of the consistency of the story up until that moment in time. This was the point that the plot was driving towards and suddenly it’s upon you and there you go, story ended. It is similar but much worse, I feel, in Knights of Dark Renown, which in my opinion had a better pace. However, when it gets to the end a lot of the characters get sidelined and the ending is done in hardly a couple of pages. Also I don’t really like the fact that the people that survive in this one are just given these lame couple of lines explanations as to what happens next after they defeat the ultimate force of evil…plus the book leaves a fair few questions open, or not entirely answered.

So in general, I really enjoyed reading the books, and then the end kinda made me think…what have I been reading the last 270 pages for? Its is a bit like what I mentioned in a previous update about Orphan Black and Falling Skies…

But, I guess the art of writing is a delicate one and as much as someone may be really good at writing a story, in general, they don’t have to be great at every single aspect of it. In any case, I would like to leave the open question to the floor. Is this a thing anyone else had noticed or a problem shared by others? If so, please exchange your experiences with us.

And we shall see you on the next one 🙂