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”

Kingdom Come: Deliverance – More Of This Please

After following the development of this game since it’s Kickstarter campaign a few years ago, Kingdom Come: Deliverance was finally released last month, and it does not disappoint! Being a huge nerd for history, especially medieval history, and even more especially medieval arms and armour, I’ve been wanting a game like this for a long long time.

Talmberg

The game is set in a very specific historical setting, which helps bring more authenticity to the location and details, as something much larger would be too difficult to get right. So the game is set in a small part of Bohemia ( in the modern day Czech Republic), which is within the Holy Roman Empire, in 1403. The game also features a fairly linear narrative and a set player character, which despite being a definite limit on roleplaying potential in some aspects, this too helps the game focus on more details within the freedom it does provide. Really this is one of the main appeals of the game; the details. It sets out to be a very focused experience, and I believe it succeeds in that. Continue reading “Kingdom Come: Deliverance – More Of This Please”

“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″

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”

Finding Middle-Earth in New Zealand

For the whole month of January this year I was fortunate enough to find myself exploring New Zealand, and while the whole country itself has many places that make you feel like you’re stepping right into Tolkien’s world, I specifically went looking for some of the exact locations that were used in the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit movies 🙂

So I’m going to take you through the places I went, and hopefully you’ll find something about some real world, and fictional locations at the same time!

Hobbiton
The first location really has to be Hobbiton, as its the most obvious location for any LoTR fan to head straight for, and its exactly where I went first out of this list.

hobbitholes

I’m sure everyone knows what Hobbiton is,  but just to give some detail on where it fits into Middle-Earth; Hobbiton is a central village of The Shire, and is located on both sides of “The Water”, which is the main river running through The Shire. The village is overlooked by Hobbiton Hill, usually just called “The Hill”, in which lies Bag End, the ancestral home of the Baggins Family. The village consists of Hobbit holes, also called smials, as the dwellings, but there are also many other buildings of wood, brick, and stone, such as the mill and post office. The standard hobbit holes are most commonly lived in by the poorer Hobbits, aside from smials like Bag End, which are far more luxurious versions of the traditional Hobbit home. Most average hobbits would likely live in standard structures. Although it is located on the Hobbiton set, the Green Dragon Inn is actually located on the closest side of the nearby village of Bywater, just one mile away. Despite what you may think, Hobbiton isn’t actually the Shire’s capital. The title is held by the town of Michel Delving, which lies to the West, and is where the Shire’s Mayor resides.
Continue reading “Finding Middle-Earth in New Zealand”