Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

Tales from the Fireside – Separation Anxiety

Mr Campfire has another Tale, filled with woe. That’s what happens when you’re separated from what you love.

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There’s a game I want to play.

But there’s always a game, isn’t there? Right now, the hottest game in gamerland is Quarriors, a deck-builder that comes with 130 custom dice in the box. It’s so coveted, otherwise staid game reviewers with all the flexibility of corrugated card have used flowery similes like ‘jewels in a treasure chest’ to convey their awe of it. I mean, the game has 130 dice in all the colours of the rainbow–how could you not want it? As far as gamers are concerned it’s Christmas come early: a box of baubles removed from the loft, a stocking of sweeties that, okay, present a serious choking hazard, but come on! When was the last time you encountered a game so visually enticing, so wonderfully tactile? To heck with how it plays, don’t you just want to grab those dice and roll them ‘til arthritis kicks in? You’d wear your dice-rolling chicken claw with pride, boasting Quarriors did this to you.

In Europe Quarriors has encountered a couple of distribution issues, meaning it’s rather difficult to get hold of over here. If you pre-ordered it, you’re laughing while you’re rolling. If you didn’t you might be stuck until Christmas or the New Year before you can get your future chicken claws on a copy.

But doesn’t that add to the allure of it? Doesn’t the game being rare–if only temporarily–make it special? How many of you have bought a game simply because it’s gone out of print or was the last copy in the store? Prompted by game boxes holding all manner of treasures gamers are hoarders, and the one thing we hate more than anything else is the thought of the game that got away.

Tell me, what did you do when you heard Fantasy Flight were releasing Descent: Second Edition? Did you wonder if the price would come down for the re-release or how the game would change for its second iteration? Did you put it on your Amazon wish list or did you hurry to your Friendly Local Game Shop to grab the original Descent just in case the second edition didn’t match up to it? All those pieces, all those figures: less of a treasure trove than an unearthed tomb filled with riches. Dare you breach its cardboard chambers to return with magic and gold?

These end of line products are often accompanied by a bit of a kerfuffle: they’re the Harrod’s sales of the gaming world. This week I discovered online retailer IGUK.co.uk was down to its last copy of the discontinued Memoir ‘44 campaign book, and were selling it for a reasonable price. I don’t own Memoir ‘44, but with this rare artifact before me for a moment I felt rather dizzy. Sure, I don’t have Memoir ‘44 now but who’s to say I won’t in the future? Wouldn’t the campaign book come in handy then, at some hypothetical point down the time-stream?

Fortunately common sense prevailed and I pointed a friend who already had a copy of the game in its direction, but for a second I nearly forked over money I can’t afford for a game I couldn’t play. Considering how quickly IGUK’s stock disappeared once they cut its price, I wonder how many people in the same situation thought “To heck with it” and bought the book anyway.

The game I most want to play right now is Warhammer: Invasion–a game for which long-term readers will already know I have a simpering, drooling weak spot. Unlike Memoir ‘44 I already own a copy of Warhammer: Invasion, so you’d think I’d just pull it from my game shelves to play whenever I wish.

I can’t: circumstance has separated me from it.

Board gamers don’t do well with separation, which is why travel editions exist of every popular game from Carcassonne to Hungry Hippos. Last week, briefly threatened with separation from his collection another friend boldly listed the board games he’d be taking with him to Wales, to force his wife to play while trapped in a chalet on holiday; his reading material during this time would be the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game rulebook, downloaded in anticipation of buying the game in weeks to come. iOS and Android devices offer the opportunity to play some of our favourite games while on the move; I can just imagine a hardened gamer climbing hills in the Peak District, trying to get a signal in middle of nowhere so they can send their next move for Ascension.

I’d love to review Warhammer: Invasion here, but I can’t. I’ve only played it once and as much fun as I had with it, once is hardly enough to write a solid, detailed description without bluffing and making stuff up, and I refuse to do so because I take my journalistic duties seriously–that’s why I wear a fedora with a bit of card tucked into the hatband that says ‘Press’ on it. Wearing a press hat isn’t a matter to be taken lightly, you know. It’s not the kind of thing you can remove and forget about.

My wife sums up her feelings about board games with the word ‘Eh’ which is really more of a sound than a word–the kind of sound a disgruntled mother bird would make upon discovering one of her unhatched brood was, in fact, a golf ball. It’s not that she doesn’t like board games; she just doesn’t see what’s so exciting about them.

It’s okay–she’s a physicist and I feel much the same way about gluons. I mean, I’m sure they’re important to the way matter functions or whatever, but you can’t roll them, or punch them from cardboard sheets, Whatever good they might do in the world of particle physics, for board gaming purposes gluons are pretty much useless.

For all her indifference, she’s made the mistake of playing Warhammer: Invasion against me and thrashing me at it. During our first and only time playing she constructed a brilliant scheme in which she built her resources over a number of turns, played a Bloodthirster onto the table, turned my attack damage back upon me, and stomped over my capital like a toddler run amok in Duplo Town. In an exhilarating moment of post-game deconstruction she told me how she’d held onto certain cards just in case while building her own fortifications, and how she’d turned my own headstrong nature against me. She’d played traditional card games with her family years before; all those bluffs and antes were good training for sending Chaos demons into battle and putting her husband into traction.

As much as I was impressed with the game I was far more impressed with my wife, the master tactician.

That’s one of the reasons why I miss Warhammer so, and a reason I’m sure all of us can get behind. When a game comes alive like that, it’s magical: the click of a light-bulb flaring as your opponent–who’d not known the game existed minutes before; who’d thought board games were ‘Eh’–chains a combo or hops a piece or hatches a tactical plan, and wins.

And they don’t have to win: that’s the beauty of these games. Things can get a little cutthroat, and I can’t deny I want a rematch to see if I can even the score but–and please forgive me the tree-hugging sentiment–so long as we’re both having fun, doesn’t that make us both winners?

I do miss the game, though. I scour Fantasy Flight’s website for card previews and send them to her over Google chat. “Look!” I say, like a kid showing a parent an unusually shaped leaf. “This one turns your corrupted units into uber-powerful ass-kicking machines! You’re a Chaos player: what do you think?”

And she, resolutely not geeking out, mutters only “Eh” and goes back to sitting on her oddly shaped egg.

I’ll play it again one day, I know. It shall be mine, as Wayne Campbell once said.

For the moment, all other games have become meaningless: their boxes gather dust and the very thought of playing them disgusts me. Greedy, oh so greedy, I eschew games I can play in favour of the one I want.

There’s a game I want to play, you see.

But there’s always a game, isn’t there?

——————–

Speak with Campfire Burning yourself – his email is, of course, campfire@littlemetaldog.com

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Tales from the Fireside – The Sillymarillion

With bloodied sword in hand, Campfire Burning tells another legendary one of his Tales from the Fireside. Sit a while, stranger!

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You knew I could never write a review about a game as thematic as this one and be done with it. Where are the war stories? Where’s the overwrought prose?

So.

My first game of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game went dreadfully. I played using a pre-constructed Tactics deck led by Gimli, Legolas and Thalin – two dwarves, one Elf, if you like. They blundered through the forest yelling and attacking suspicious bits of moss, and generating so much threat they brought all of Mirkwood down upon them. Somewhere between fighting giant spiders and Mirkwood Orks they became hopelessly lost, surrounded by locations that twisted off in all directions, none of which they had the willpower to explore. I imagined them as the Tolkienesque equivalent of the Three Stooges getting into a slapstick fight over who was supposed to bring the map. When Gimli found himself stuck in a cobweb and spent every other turn struggling to get free I gave up on the adventure and, facepalming at my team’s incompetence, abandoned them at the centre of the forest. “Don’t worry, Campfire,” I lied to myself. “They’ll find their way home.”

For my second venture into Mirkwood I assembled a Spirit Deck of pacifists and archers. My heroes were the noble ladies Eowyn and Eleanor, and the arrowsman Dunhere. Nimble and quick they skipped over the myriad traps that lay in wait for them, tiptoeing past monsters when they could and slaying from afar those they couldn’t pass, feathering with arrows spiders that gnawed on suspiciously familiar dwarvern bones until they fell twitching, and died. They reached a fork in the path and choose wisely, taking a long and winding lane that removed them far from danger and led them to victory.

“This is easy,” I thought. “Let’s try again.”

I ventured into Mirkwood a third time and was met with equal success. The wood seemed a little more aware this time, as if dark forces concealed beneath the undergrowth had heard my bragging and sent forth grander monsters to do battle; still I triumphed and made it down the secret pathway and into glorious daylight. And then, overconfident, I braved Mirkwood a fourth time, this time with a deck of my own construction. It was as if, in the brief moments I’d spent away from it, Mirkwood had grown teeth. I’d taken the resourceful Leadership deck – a deck designed to get cards from your hand and onto the table – and meshed it with my previous Spirit deck. My heroes were Eowyn, Aragorn and Theodred. In The Lord of the Rings: The Living Card Game, heroes from a certain Sphere of influence produce resources that can only be spent on cards from that Sphere. Only Eowyn could produce Spirit resources to play the Spirit cards in my deck, but I’d constructed this dual-sphere deck myself, and knew that within it was Celebrian’s Stone, a card that would allow Aragorn to pay for cards from both the Spirit and Leadership Spheres. It was a clever move, I thought, and prided myself on my genius. Eager to get questing, I started playing cards.

I made one mistake after another. My first was sending my heroes questing and ignoring the inquisitive spiders that had begun gathering around them. “We’ll deal with those later,” I told my intrepid companions. A turn later I imagined Theodred sardonically parrotting my words back at me while a spider chewed upon his leg. “We’ll deal with those later.” Evil doesn’t rest. You can’t ignore threats building up on your game table to go searching for treasure. I found that out the hard way, as did Theodred’s right foot. My second mistake – and this was a biggy – was wasting Gandalf’s appearance. Gandalf’s a special card in LotR. Unless you have some particularly clever card-wrangling up your sleeve he shows up for one turn and one turn only, sorts out your troubles, does a few magic tricks, and is on his way again. He’s expensive to play but he’s powerful. He’s a great defender, attacker and quester, and he can automically kill low level monsters just by showing up. In other words, he was exactly what my heroes – surrounded by monsters as they were – needed. So did I have him wade in, throwing lightning bolts and making the entire forest cower before him?

No, I did not. I had him reduce the party’s threat. I had Gandalf, the most powerful wizard in the Middle Earth, go up to the party and say “Keep it down, would you? These spiders are trying to get some sleep.” We barely beat the game, my heroes and I. At the end of the Mirkwood scenario you randomly choose between two directions at a fork in the road. One leads to the long, hidden path my previous adventures had taken me down. The other leads to a boss battle against Ungoliant’s Spawn, a giant spider so massive the arachnid that snacked on poor Theodred’s leg says of him: “Blimey, he’s really big.”

With no more quests to go on and our path increasingly imperiled, I threw every character I had at this chittering behemoth. My party eventually succeeded by feeding Eowyn to the creature, distracting it for just long enough that Aragorn and his Silverlode archers could hack its legs off and rain arrowfire into its eyes. The spider was killed and the quest was won . . . but at what cost? Leaving Aragorn and Theodred to mourn over the masticated mass that was all that remained of poor Eowyn I decided I couldn’t throw a blonde into the mandibles of every passing spider my party encountered. Clearly my deck needed tuning. Clearly I needed to do better. So I returned to the deck that had served me so well, my spiritual heroes, whose willpower was indomitable and who wore pretty flowing dresses – even the man. I placed them on the table and sent them down the Anduin river on rafts. The A side of my first Quest card said I should start the game with the top card of the encounter deck in play. I drew a Goblin Sniper and set him back on the shore. For every turn he remained in play he’d shoot and deal damage to my Heroes. They wouldn’t be able to engage him as long as there was another enemy guarding him, but this early in the game he stood alone, exposed to my attack.

You’re going down,” I sneered, and flicked the card out of sheer mean-spiritedness. Then I turned over the quest card.

Quest cards have two sides. On one is the initial set up for that stage of the scenario; on the other, the victory conditions I’d need to fulfil in order to pass it and move onto the next stage. The B side of the card said I’d need to place eight quest markers on it and . . . no, this couldn’t be right. I had to search the Encounter Deck for a Hill Troll and place it next to the sniper, and I wouldn’t be able to advance from this stage until it and any other troll cards I drew were dead.

At this point I realised I had severely underestimated the game. Having played the first scenario so often, I thought I’d seen all it had to throw at me. As my heroes punted along the Anduin they encountered creatures that stole away the quest markers they’d earned, and worg-riders who jumped onto the raft to slash at them with daggers before jumping off again, to lurk along the riverbanks awaiting their next opportunity to attack. The Banks of the Anduin seemed never-ending – as soon as they explored one location, another similar to it appeared. I managed to take the sniper down on the second round by drawing out his Hill Troll protector just long enough to leave him unguarded, and then sending the troll back away with a deftly played card. But the threat grew too great, and though we fought off barrages of Dol Goldur Orcs and slew their Chieftain, Uthak, the troll was ever present, and he eventually waded into deep waters that barely reached his waist, to club my brave heroes into oblivion.

“Nuts,” I said, and then I said something worse, like a sailor who’d just seen his boat sink beneath the waves.

And upon this dour note we leave today’s story. I didn’t triumph against the river it’s true, but I had a heck of a time trying. In all those board games I despised as a child, I never really believed that it wasn’t about the winning or the losing, but that it was the taking part that mattered. But then, I never came away from Ludo or Monopoly with stories such as these. The Lord of the Rings is all about stories, and while not all of them will have happy endings, I came out of every one I played smiling. I’ll tell you what went right and what did not. I’ll tell you the places I’ve been and the allies I’ve met. And I’ll swear to you, like a fantasy hero given a second chance at victory, next time I’d do better.

Now pass me my deck, and let’s hunt some orc.

Email Campfire Burning with your thoughts on hungry spiders – campfire@littlemetaldog.com

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(Drawing) Rings Around The World – LOTR: The Card Game review

Campfire Burning isn’t just about Tales from the Fireside, oh no – he’s also a splendid reviewer as this take on the brand new Lord of the Rings: The Card Game shows. Enjoy!

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Do you like… ACTION?

Do you like… ADVENTURE?

Do you like . . . ILLUSTRATED PIECES OF CARDBOARD?

Then hurry this way, my friend. There’s a lot of ground to cover if we plan on reaching Mirkwood by daybreak.

That’s The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game in a nutshell. That’s everything you need to know about it cushioned in silk and wrapped in thorns. If you don’t shiver excited at the thought of running through moonlit glades with grass whipping round your ankles, your companions by your side and a quiver of arrows rattling on your back then this isn’t the game for you. The box says LotR is a card game, but with a few session under my belt I know better. Like Arkham Horror before it, and Fighting Fantasy long before that, this is adventure, plain and true. This is scaling mountains with giant eagles soaring beneath you. This is raft rides over frothing rapids with poison darts whistling past your ear. This is plunging through enchanted woods where cursed streams muddle memory, cobwebs form intricate, labyrinthine corridors, and all around glowering eyes watch your party between the tree boles, waiting for their moment to attack.

The idea of a Living Card Game skewed toward solo and co-operative play intrigued me. These kinds of collectible card games are usually multiplayer experiences. You buy the latest cards, your tune your deck, and you lay the smack down on your opponents. That’s what drives the game forward. That’s why people spend hundreds of pounds buying boosters. In LotR you’re not playing against anyone else. There’s nobody to beat, there’s no one to be better than. It’s you and your friends versus the game, so where’s the impetus to spend? As it turns out, I had the game bass-ackwards, because the closest game to LotR isn’t another card game – or at least, no card game I’ve ever played. LotR is more like a video game than anything else. There are mechanics and little routines written in the cards’ text that turn the simple act of drawing them into something grander. The sumptuous artwork and flavour text evoke incredible atmosphere, and tie in cleverly with the actions written on the cards. The whole game seems to move and breathe around you as you play. When Fantasy Flight Games called it a Living Card Game, they weren’t kidding.

The artwork throughout the game is truly stunning, as you'd expect...

To begin with, you have your Player Deck. The set comes with four decks of thirty cards – one for each Sphere of influence in the game. The Spheres each have their own strengths and weaknesses and ideally you’ll want to combine them to make the strongest deck you can – but deck-building’s something for experienced players, and certainly something you won’t want to jump straight into. In addition to your Player Deck you have three Heroes, who also fall within one of the four Spheres. Heroes are important. They generate one Resource Point at the start of every round, and Resource Points are what you need to play cards from your hand. Lose all your Heroes and you lose the game. Each round Heroes can commit to a quest, defend against incoming attacks and attack monsters. Doing any one of these things exhausts the Hero. An exhausted Hero is tap- er, tipped on its side (a mechanic you might be familiar with from Magic: The Gathering) and can’t do anything else until it’s readied again at the end of the round.

At the start of the round, if you have enough Resources gathered from the Heroes’ Resource Pools you can play attachments from your hand to kit your Heroes out with weapons, armour and magical trinkets, and also play ally cards: lesser heroes who’ll lend their swords, axes and whatnot to help your team out. The Heroes’ quest is determined by a Quest Card. Quest Cards are gathered together in bundled Scenarios which tell the player how each game should start, and how it advances once the various stages of the Scenario are completed.You play against the Encounter Deck. This is the deck containing all the monsters, locations and pitfalls your Heroes encounter over the course of the game. In other words, this is where evil lurks.

And here's a Quest card - so much information it needs to be double sided!

When cards are drawn from the Encounter deck, they’re played into the Staging Area – such an anodyne, unimaginative term for a wonderful concept. The Staging Area is the world surrounding your heroes. In the introductory scenario it’s the cobweb-strewn forest of Mirkwood, but it could just as easily be a smouldering volcano in Mordor or the Dead Marshes, or anywhere else in Middle Earth. At the start of every game you read the quest card which tells you where your heroes are and what they’re doing, and set up the staging area according to its instructions. Every round, once you’ve chosen which characters are committed to the quest at hand and exhausted them accordingly, you draw a card from the Encounter deck. This could be a monster, a new location or a Treachery card.

Treachery cards indicate something terrible befalling your characters as they move through the quest – a character blundering into a snare trap say. or a rockfall that forces you to discard your hand – and once resolved, they’re discarded. Monster and Location cards on the other hand, are played into the Staging Area. Each has a Threat value attached to it. The only way your heroes can continue their quest is by having a Willpower value higher than the staging area’s Threat value. It’s as if, seeing all the dark tunnels between the trees and hearing strange slitherings coming from the wood all around them, your characters can’t concentrate on the task at hand. Which is, of course, the whole idea behind it.

The beauty of the Staging Area is how these elements tie the adventure together. The heroes see an Old Forest Path branching away from the main road. They can choose to take it – in the game this means Travelling to it, removing its Threat from the table but not letting the heroes continue their quest until they’ve thoroughly explored it – or they can choose to ignore it. The longer they ignore it, the more doubt builds in their minds – What was down that path? What if we should have taken it? – and the harder the quest becomes. Monsters placed in the staging area fit the theme even better. They can be engaged in combat whenever the player likes, but they’ll only ever attack the heroes first if the player’s threat counter has reached a high enough level. Threat mounts naturally over the course of the game by a single point per turn, although unsuccessful questing and various card effects can raise its level quickly. This is where LotR feels most like a video game. Just like ‘pulling’ monsters and generating aggro in a World of Warcraft dungeon, Threat can be manipulated to the player’s advantage – and just as easily messed up with a single misjudged action.

Combat – though laboriously explained in the rulebook – is simple. Engaged monsters attack first, and can be assigned defending characters to absorb the attack. You may then return the attack with your remaining non-exhausted characters. Successful attacks and damage are calculated by subtracting the defending character or monster’s Defense score from the attacking character’s Attack score. But here, again, another clever mechanic steps in to create tension. At the start of each battle you draw an Encounter card for each monster you’re engaged with and lay it face down next to it. This is now called a Shadow Card. Certain Encounter Cards have Shadow Effects written at the bottom of them; as soon as the monster attacks you flip the card to see what – if any – Shadow Effect comes into play. The monster could be unusually strong for that round, do more damage, or suddenly swerve off and attack a different character. On the turn of a Shadow card, anything can happen.

You can stack your deck with cards that cancel Shadow Effects, but it’s this degree of randomness and your response to it that brings the game to life. Most cards do different things when played in different situations. Some take effect as soon as they’re revealed, and some only take effect when certain conditions are met. Players can play actions and responses frequently throughout each round. Even Locations have effects that only come into play when your heroes travel to them, or once they’ve been explored. As the great Ent Forest Gump once said, card draws in LotR are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

Awwwwwgh, sooo nice!

I haven’t yet played LotR cooperatively, but I’ve seen plenty of cards that have co-operative effects listed on them. Characters with Ranged attacks can attack monsters engaged with the other players, while Sentinels can defend against them. Cards like Wandering Took can be passed between you and the other players, carrying a certain amount of Threat with them. As with any co-op game, discussion and fore-planning are important. Work together and you’ll become an unbeatable Fellowship. Bicker, and you’ll end up like Boromir: arrow-riddled food for the crows.

LotR is a tense, surprising, and quickly-moving game with a wonderfully strong theme. I know I’m always banging on about thematic games, but LotR manages its theme better than anything else I’ve played. In fact the theme and feeling of sheer adventure is so strong, I’m devoting a future Tales from the Fireside column to it. It’s also a difficult game. The pre-constructed decks that come in the box aren’t balanced against all the scenarios, and if you choose the wrong Sphere to play you could end up tearing your hair out as you suffer defeat after defeat.

I’m sure some cynics would say this was the impetus to buy that I mentioned at the start of the review – “Buy our expansions and you’ll be able to beat the game!“ Let them wallow in their cynicism. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a wonderful game with Baggins of replay value. It’ll take you through haunted woods, along rivers and up skulking dark towers to rescue your captive companions. Along the way you’ll occasionally fall foul of bats and orcs and other monstrosities, but once you’ve reached your destination (and re-tuned your deck) you’ll gleefully want to do it all over again.

“There and back again,” a wise old Hobbit once wrote. He clearly had this game in mind.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game was released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2011. Designed by Nate French, it is playable either solo or co-operatively (with up to four people, should you have two core sets). Stocks are trickling through to the UK and it’ll cost you between £20-25. Campfire Burning can be contacted at campfire@littlemetaldog.com and has been warned for the Baggins pun near the end of the review. 

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News & Stuff – 25th June 2010

If it’s Friday, it must be Little Metal Dog News Time!

This week sees the return of one of America’s biggest gaming expos – The 35th Origins event takes place in Columbus, Ohio and has got a huge amount of stuff happening. Aside from first views of many new games and representation by most of the big gaming companies, the occasional curiosity springs up. For example, Microsoft have announce that their new computer interface – Surface – will be there, running a fully working version of the classic Settlers of Catan. Here’s a video if you fancy a look.

I love how the whole thing looks and runs. I think the best part is how they cope with the whole keeping your cards secret aspect – such a simple way to deal with it: you just push a button to flip them! While this isn’t the finished version, it certainly impressed me. So much so, I want one, right now. The gaming possibilities are endless! Vectorform (who are responsible for the conversion) are doing a great job. I’ll be doing a full report on Origins after the event has finished, so keep an eye out on the blog for updates.

It’s a time for reprints, it seems. Days of Wonder have announced that their originally Scandinavian-only version of Ticket to RideNordic Countries – is to be rereleased so the rest of the world can have a go. When it originally came outin 2008, more hardcore TtR fans did manage to get their hands on the limited English copies (it was also printed in limited stocks in French and German) but ended up paying something of a premium. Specifically designed for 2-3 players, it will now be available in more sensible numbers from September. Fantasy Flight have also announced a reversion of the Reiner Knizia co-op Lord Of The Rings, this time seeing it added to their Silver Line. The new box will be smaller but will still be exactly the same game, even retaining the artwork – the drawback though is that it will not be compatible with previously released expansions… another way for FFG to wring a few more dollars out of the cash cow, it seems!

(Also, after last week’s story about the Ticket To Ride World Championships, a winner has been crowned! Click here for the full story, and well done to all involved.)

Finally, the new Spielbox has hit the shelves, the third one since they started to publish the magazine in English as well as German. One of the guys I play with at my games club has his hands on it already and has posted about it here on his blog, but the thing that really caught my interest was the announcement of a Dominion competition. Rather than something simple such as designing a brand new card of two (I’m sure Donald X Vaccarino still has plenty in his mind!) entrants are required to submit a set of rules for a campaign version of the game. Curiously they’re not bound just to using the cards – dice, counters, meeples or whatever you can lay your hands on can be used. Results from previous rounds must also have an effect on forthcoming ones, which could make for some very interesting ideas…

In show news, Episode 5 is nearly ready to roll. There’s nearly 3300 subscribers now, which (to me) is reaching scary levels. To celebrate this massive amount, I’ll be running a little competition when the new show is officially out. Not sure what to give away yet, but it’ll certainly be game related!  Cheers for all your emails and messages, they’re all appreciated. Also, if you’re waiting for the new episode but want to listen to something good in the meantime, please check out the wonderful Robert Ashley’s A Life Well Wasted – while it concentrates on video game culture, it is so beautifully constructed and well researched, it always sounds great. One of those podcasts that you can listen to even if you’re not entirely into the subject matter.

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