The Manaburnt Podcast – Episode 2

The second episode of our podcast is here already! with some awesome geeky chat ready to be beamed straight into your brain… via your ears.

This episode features guests Nick and Nik! alongside our friend Mike returning from episode 1. Our chat is slightly more focused this time, it’s all about board games!

Be sure to check out Nick’s RPG publishing company, Owlman Press: https://www.facebook.com/OwlmanPress/

And keep an eye out for the release of Nik’s new board game, The King of all Bards: https://www.facebook.com/kingofallbards/

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Tactility Board Masters: Azul V Sagrada

Hello guys today I am bringing you a post that will be comparing two different board games: Sagrada and Azul. Now that I have played them both, I can sincerely say that these are wonderful games. However there is a couple of things that I wanted to discuss and that I think is where the choice of game comes into in to play (at least for me), if I were to buy one of them – no, I currently do not own, either but have access to them via my gaming network. So here are my thoughts.

Thematically speaking, they are similar in the sense that the game mechanic involves picking up the tiles, or dice in the case of Sagrada, and making up a pattern in the shape of a grid that will score you points according to the rules at the end of the game. Interestingly, while I didn’t have a clue who would end up winning the game playing Sagrada, it became very easy to establish at round 3 give or take, who was clearly ahead in Azul. I think it has something to do with the fact that in Azul there are no further mechanics other than tile placement, whilst in Sagrada we have the cards and tools that you can use to change the dice or the scoring. But then I know people who didn’t have a clue the other way around, so hhhmmm.

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that, in a way I feel that Sagrada offers more possibilities in terms of the gameplay and the dynamic between the players, whilst in Azul it seemed when someone takes the lead it can become difficult to take that away from them, other than everyone conspiring against that player. At the same time it felt that if I was looking to trump the others I wasn’t scoring what I wanted…perhaps the idea is to find a fine balance or have 0 strategy and go with the flow…not sure on that one 🤔 Continue reading “Tactility Board Masters: Azul V Sagrada”

The Manaburnt Podcast – Episode 1

Here we have the first episode of our new Manaburnt Podcast! 

The aim here is to just have some informal chats with interesting geeky people, and see what comes of it! For this episode Lilly and Myself are joined by our friends Mike and Jaq. We kick things off with an impromptu chat about fencing, of all things, before getting onto RPGs and Superhero Comics, and then both combined!

Links for the the RPGs discussed
Symbaroum: https://www.modiphius.net/collections…
Superworld: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/…
Necessary Evil: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/…

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for listening!

Ancient and Medieval Board games

Here’s a new post I wrote for our History blog at W.U HSTRY. The wonderful combination of History and Board Games doesn’t get much better!

W.U Hstry

Board games have been a part of human society for thousands of years, and although most of them have been lost to the ages, there are still plenty that have survived either in some physical form, or described. Archaeological finds of various game boards and pieces that we may never know the rules to can be an interesting if frustrating source, but the combination of games that have survived to the modern day, written sources and artwork can often reveal how many of these old games are played. There is evidence to show that all levels of society would have enjoyed gaming in various forms, be you rich or poor, educated or not, old or young.

There are many examples in recorded history of people playing board games, such as Romans sitting in the forum playing Ludus Latrunculorum, Monks in Gloucester Cathedral playing Fox and Geese in their cloister…

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DICE: Board Game Lounge (Portsmouth)

On the 2nd of February (2019), some of my friends and I ended up in Portsmouth with the intention to go to the game fest at the Guildhall… but our plans changed, and there are 0 regrets because our visit to DICE: Board Game Lounge in Portsmouth was more than pleasant! I am gonna make a very strong statement here guys, but i wholeheartedly believe this establishment is the best of its kind in the South of England – granted we haven’t been to All board game venues, but, hear me out. I will use points of comparison with our local BITC in Southampton and the big name in London – Draughts. Having been to either of these several times, and knowing that of course their audiences are slightly different, I think DICE have actually managed to find a very happy medium which makes their success apparent.

For starters, DICE has several aspects of the business which we approve of: you have the facilities to play board games, they have a bar, a shop, and seemingly a good set of activities throughout the week. We were stupid enough to not book a table – plans! Silly! I know – so please if you are reading this make sure that you book through their page or Facebook which is: https://en-gb.facebook.com/diceportsmouth/ And you will think reserving a table sounds pretentious, but nuh huh! It gets so busy! particularly during the weekend. And you can understand why very easily.

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Dice from the side of the shop – look how well stock they are! And without having to have a ridiculously overwhelming display. Super good use of the space and resources.

Continue reading “DICE: Board Game Lounge (Portsmouth)”

Realistic Modern Combat RPGs

Here I am again looking through obscure RPG books that cover a specific criteria. Last time I was looking for WW2 RPGs, and before that I was after RPG systems that featured realistic medieval combat. So this time I’m going for something a little similar to both, and that is realistic modern combat. What differs these games from the WW2 ones I found will be that they are either a more general rules system without being too tied into the historical setting, and if not, they have some particularly good ideas I like that can easily be adapted to whatever setting the GM likes.

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So what am I looking for in a modern combat game? Well for a start they need to have rules that fit the weapons. I don’t want to see anything where you can take multiple, or really any shots and not have to worry. This means that most things with a simple HP pool and quick healing are out. Obviously combat is about much more than just being able to shoot enemies while avoiding being shot, so on top of this I need to see some rules based around psychology and the mental state of the characters in play. This needs to go further than a simple deteriorating pool as well, because there are multiple factors at work which affect the use of many real world tactics, suppressing fire for example, that I would love to see take place in a game. Continue reading “Realistic Modern Combat RPGs”

Love Nikki – How Did I End Up Playing A Silly (But Surprisingly Good) Fashion Dress-Up Game

Greetings humans! Today I bring you an update about something I never thought I would find myself writing about, but as we all know, those who venture into the warp end up suffering from both insanity and corruption! In any case, look, I am just now playing regularly (and with this I mean daily!) this silly game. It is called Love Nikki, done by Elex games and you can download the app from the Google Play store free of charge. So yeah, it is a phone game, alright? I have never before been interested in one of these things. I found they were money grabs and just time-consuming, unnecessary things. But oh boy, all it took was a couple of my friends talking over it and a very, very dull and boring day at my previous job where I literally had nothing to do all day and had next to 0 customers for finding myself in need of some cheap and easy entertainment. That’s how it started. Then I found that I could kill some time in my super tedious train journey in the morning and on my back from work in the afternoon. And to this day, since roughly the end of October 2018, here I am, checking on my Nikki shenanigans in the bus and during my break.

So what is this game about? Well, to its credit, it is a very pretty fashion game. The art style is anime like, and in comparison with some other games of the same genre, I must say the graphics are Simply So Much Better – it doesn’t look cheesy or cheaply made. There has clearly been a lot of effort and dedication put into this and it shows with beautiful clothes, models and backgrounds. The user interface is very well done too, the game hardly ever crashes and it is idiot proof. What else do you want? But the thing that surprises me most, as much as i don’t actually pay much attention to it, is that there is a whole lore written behind the world in which Nikki goes on a quest to become the best stylist in Miraland. There are different realms, all with very specific fashion styles and thoroughly developed characters with personalities and background that take Nikki through this journey. I had never seen a game of these characteristics invest that much on this aspect. And, as much as like with all these games, there is a component of micro transactions and memberships to obtain more resources, I found that without spending 0 money, I advance in the game without any issues. I do not feel hindered by the fact that I am not spending, because the game is balance! They have weekly and monthly special events where simply by taking part – and logging in daily – you get special rewards, being this in-game currency or more clothes and accessories. the fact that you do not have unlimited resources makes it easy to put down the game, and dedicate to it a limited amount of time so that it is still enjoyable without it taking over your life. And even if you wanted to carry on playing forever, there is a free dress up section where – without advancing the story or your quests – you can try out and design different outfits for your gameplay.

This is the main menu and home screen, very easy to navigate.
Your quest and story stops. The rating on them is what you see above the pink disks. The difficulty setting is the ‘Maiden’ button.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the diary where all the style you share with the community are kept. You can also use it as a base for interactions with other players and their designs

 

 

Now, I must tell you – without wanting to brag – I am pretty good at this game. And I think it all has to do with the fact that, at the end of the day, as much as this is a fashion game and you should be looking at making cute little outfits for Nikki whilst acquiring experience, it all comes down to identifying patterns and establishing combos. All the pieces of clothing have different aspects that are rated accordingly to make them suitable within certain trends or styles. Therefore, by looking up and considering these details, scoring high is relatively easy. I must admit, that sometimes, particularly if it is a difficult mission – like a specific names outfit you need to pout together, or a combo that isn’t easily accessible – I don’t even care if Nikki looks like something out of a series B horror movie. If the items score on the right categories and she looks like a collage of my drawings when I was 4 years old (…or you know, 27. years old too, haven’t improved that much!) That Is Okay.

Continue reading “Love Nikki – How Did I End Up Playing A Silly (But Surprisingly Good) Fashion Dress-Up Game”