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Tabletop Day 2017

Tabletop Day 2017

Yesterday, Les and I celebrated International Tabletop Day hosted by a local group. We don’t usually do a lot of socializing, but we definitely look forward to this yearly event. It gives us a chance to enjoy games, old and new, with people that love playing games. This year, we played four new (at least to us) games. I’ll provide the recommended player counts, length of gameplay, and ages. Then a quick rundown of gameplay and our opinions of these games.

1. Boss Monster

Boss Monster - Box - Tabletop Day 2017

Players: 2-4. Play Time: 20 Minutes. Age: 13+

We were introduced to this one with the quote: “Remember the old side scrolling games? You’re Bowser.”

Boss Monster - Boss and Two Rooms - Tabletop Day 2017

You start the game by drawing one of the Boss cards and placing it in front of you, then drawing a hand of room and spell cards. Once the game starts, Heroes are drawn from a deck and placed in the Town. There are four types of Heroes: Fighters, Mages, Thieves, and Clerics. Different Bosses and Rooms will lure different Heroes to your dungeon. It is your objective to build a series of rooms to protect your Boss from the Heroes. You win by collecting ten souls before your Boss suffers five wounds.

Boss Monster - Heroes - Tabletop Day 2017

This was a lot of fun and a great way for us to start our Tabletop Day. We plan to add this to our own game collection in the near future.

Available on Amazon.

2. King of Tokyo

King of Tokyo - Box - Tabletop Day 2017

Players: 2-6. Play Time: 30 Minutes. Age: 8+

Pick a monster and start attacking the Japanese capital! This game let’s you live out any dream of being Godzilla or any of the mightiest Kaiju. The rules are simple. Once a monster has taken control of Tokyo, they must defend themselves from the others while any of the other monsters fight to take control away. You start the game with 10 life and 0 Victory Points. You win by collecting 20 Victory Points or reducing all of the other monsters to 0 life.

King of Tokyo - Les Deciding Which Dice to Use - Tabletop Day 2017

King of Tokyo - I'm About to Win - Tabletop Day 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

King of Tokyo - Deck and Dice - Tabletop Day 2017

A very fun game that is quick to learn and very easy to play. We only played it with just the two of us. I would imagine the game really starts to shine once 4-6 monsters are battling for control of the city.

Available on Amazon.

3. Carcassonne

Carcassonne - Box - Tabletop Day 2017

Players: 2-5. Play Time: 30-45 Minutes. Age: 8+

Carcassonne - Meeples Everywhere! - Tabletop Day 2017To start the game, you randomly draw a land tile and place it on the table connected to the already present field. On these tiles, you will find fields, roads, cities, and chapels. Once the tile is placed, you can choose to play one of your meeples to claim a feature. Once the feature is complete, you earn points and get your meeple back. Fields, roads, cities, and chapels all score differently and require different conditions to complete them. Your objective is to simply outscore your opponent(s).

Carcassonne -Finished Game Layout - Tabletop Day 2017The came already has many expansions to allow for more land tiles and even more players. The base game allows for up to five players. All expansions combined allow for up to eight players. The game does work perfectly for only two people. Which is important for us since most game nights are just the two of us.

Carcassonne will be the next addition to our Tabletop collection.

Available on Amazon.

4. Secret Hitler

I didn’t get a picture of the cover. We were drafted, last minute, into a nine player game of this one. Therefore, I only managed to get one picture during gameplay.

Players: 5-10. Play Time: 45 Minutes. Age: 13+

This is a more complicated game than the other three on this list. First off, you must have at least five players and the closer to ten, the better the game plays. Secret Hitler falls under the category of bluffing games. You are randomly assigned one of three roles: Liberal, Fascist, or Hitler. Once you know your identity, all players close their eyes. Then the Fascists all open their eyes and silently identify each other. Hitler keeps his/her eyes closed and indicates to the Fascists that he/she is Hitler (a thumbs up or what have you).

Once the Fascist know each other and who their Hitler is, the game begins. One player is named President and they nominate a Chancellor. All players vote Ja (yes) or Nein (no) to confirm or deny the nomination. If declined, the next player is named President and the process repeats until majority approve the Chancellor nomination. Then the President selects some policies that have to be silently narrowed down to one by the Chancellor.

Secret Hitler at Tabletop Day 2017

Five successful Liberal policies and the Liberals win. Once three Fascist policies are enacted, if Hitler is successfully nominated to Chancellor by the majority, the Fascists win.  However, the fourth and fifth Fascist policies passed allow the President to execute one of the players at the table. If Hitler is killed in this manner, the Liberals win.

Les did not enjoy this particular game. While I liked the concept of this game, it is the opinion of both of us that The Resistance delivers a more enjoyable game of this style.

Available on Amazon.

More From Holloway’s Hideaway!

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Mysterium Board Game Review

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The Blacksmith – A Flash Fiction

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Mysterium Board Game Review

Mysterium Board Game Review

Mysterium is a cooperative investigation game created by Libellud. The game is set in the 1920s on the night of Samhain (Halloween), at a Scottish mansion where psychics have gathered to hold a séance. Their goal? To solve the mysterious death of a man-servant 30 years past by communicating with the ghost of the victim. The catch? The window of communication will end at midnight, giving the psychics 7 hours (representing the 7 rounds) to solve this mystery.

Mysterium Board Game Cover

One player takes on the role of the ghost who gives the other player(s) “visions” to guide their psychics to the murderer. The gathered psychics are tasked with discerning the person who committed the murder, the location in which the victim was killed, and the object used as the murder weapon.

Mysterium Psychic Sleeves-Alphonse and Ardhashir
Alphonse de Belcour and Ardhashir, two of the psychics in Mysterium.

Mysterium provides background information on each of the six psychics, immersing the players even further into the experience. On the same note, Libellud offers a free downloadable atmospheric soundtrack. The soundtrack lasts almost an hour but most games can be completed in less than that time.

Mysterium Set-Up

There are 18 cards of each of the suspects, locations, and objects, for a total of 54 cards and a matching 54 cards for the ghost. The ghost also has a deck of 84 vision cards featuring beautiful abstract artwork. The players’ tokens are crystal balls of six colors, one for each psychic.

Depending on the number of psychics, each game will use 4-7 cards from the suspects, locations, and objects categories. You’ll start to recognize cards from previous games but the replayability lies with the interpretation of the vision cards. Mysterium can be played with 2-3 players, but it plays best with 4+ players. Most games can be played within an hour, for the psychics are limited to 7 rounds (measured as hours in game).

Mysterium ghost Screen

Last, but certainly not least, Mysterium is a work of art. Every piece and card is well constructed and is a pleasure to behold. Yes, this game is pricey (MSRP $50) compared to some games, but the purchase is worth it. The materials used for the cards and game pieces are sturdy and high quality. Again, the artwork is AMAZING! And how many games come with their own eerie soundtrack? Assemble your psychics, step into Warwick Manor, and see what the ghost has to say.

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Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide

Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide

Star Wars is a global sensation that started when George Lucas released the original film in 1977. With the most recent film release and the upcoming schedule of more films, Star Wars will continue to grow. With that growth comes new fans that may become eager for more Star Wars stories. Well, you are in luck. For years, numerous fantastic authors have continued the story that started in 1977 in a category known as the Expanded Universe (EU for short), and has been recently renamed “Legends.” In this novel guide, I will recommend a few novels that are a great way to get more out of Star Wars in addition to watching the films.

Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

Star Wars Aftermath-Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide

If you’re wanting to stay with the Disney approved timeline, this is where you’ll want to start. Some of the EU fans have had some rather unkind words to say about this novel, but don’t let that deter you. This novel takes place post-Return of the Jedi in the official story line. Trust me, it feels like Star Wars, even without some of the well known characters created in the Expanded Universe (more on that later), and it is a great read. It’s the first in a trilogy, with the sequels not yet released.

Death Star by Michael Reeves and Steve Perry

Star Wars Death Star-Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide

If you’re new to the Expanded Universe (a.k.a. Legends), this is an interesting place to start due to how closely it runs with the original film. This novel gives details about the major events happening inside the moon-sized battle station up until its destruction, all told from the Imperial point of view.

Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

Star Wars Death Troopers-Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide

This novel doesn’t have a significant tie-in to the overall Star Wars narrative, but it is a really fun read. It does feature some characters from the movies, but what makes this one noteworthy is the inclusion of zombies. Star Wars + Zombies = ____________. If you put anything from “Cool” to “Holy Shit! That’s amazing!” then check out Death Troopers.

Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore

Star Wars New Jedi Order Vector Prime-Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide

This one requires a level of commitment if you’re new to Star Wars novels. Vector Prime is the first in a series of 19 novels called the New Jedi Order. It details an ongoing war against an invading race bent on complete domination.

The Darth Bane trilogy (Path of Destruction, Rule of Two, and Dynasty of Evil) by Drew Karpyshyn

Star Wars Darth Bane Trilogy-Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide

This trilogy focuses on a Sith by the name of Darth Bane, who is the first to establish the Rule of Two as mentioned by Master Yoda in the films. The setting is roughly 1000 years before the events of Star Wars. An interesting note: although this trilogy is EU/Legends, the character of Darth Bane has become canon. I’m excited to see more on him in the future from Disney.

The Thrawn trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command) by Timothy Zahn

Star Wars Thrawn Trilogy-Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide

This one is a must read, if you haven’t already, for any and all Star Wars fans. For over 20 years, this trilogy was Episodes VII-IX. The trilogy introduced a number of fascinating characters that would become staples of the Expanded Universe. Among these characters, Grand Admiral Thrawn became one of my all-time favorite antagonists.

Where to Start: A Star Wars Novel Guide provides you with just the tip of the iceberg, sitting atop hundreds of other Star Wars books. There’s one thing we can be sure of: there will always be more Star Wars. If you have any questions or thoughts we would be happy to hear from you in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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Our Top 5 Favorite Dr. Seuss Books

In honor of the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, Leslie and I would like to share our top 5 favorite Dr. Seuss books. These are listed in order of the year published, earliest to most recent.

Green Eggs and Ham

Who doesn’t remember everyone’s attempts at making this iconic meal? Leslie loved eating the green eggs and ham. I, on the other hand, was one of those kids that was thoroughly grossed out by it.

Green Eggs and Ham Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham (1960) Dr. Seuss

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

This one was one of my (Justin) childhood favorites. I had my parents read it to me so often that it would not surprise me if my mom knew the story word for word.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish Dr. Seuss
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960) Dr. Seuss

The Foot Book

Growing up tall for my (Leslie) age, large feet were an embarrassing trait. This book helped me overcome my negative body image.

The Foot Book Dr. Seuss
The Foot Book (1968) Dr. Seuss

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?

Let’s assume this book was designed to make our parents sound ridiculous and hilarious. I like to image that is what Dr. Seuss would have wanted. And a big thank you to all of the parents that fell into his trap.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? Dr. Seuss
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? (1970) Dr. Seuss

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

This one has become a bit cliche, especially around graduation time. There is a perfectly good reason for this. It’s about taking a step into the big, scary world and finding your way while everyone else is doing exactly the same. You have to chase your dreams. Leslie and I are finally getting around to going after ours.

Oh, All The Places You'll Go! Dr. Seuss
Oh, All The Places You’ll Go! (1990) Dr. Seuss

For another tribute to this literary legend, Leslie has created a comic inspired by one of his quotes. Check it out here.

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Deadpool Review

Deadpool (2016) is the newest Marvel movie, via Fox–so really, it’s the newest X-Men movie–staring Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, and T.J. Miller. Reynolds was born for this role and he played it to perfection. The movie is among the most faithful adaptations of its chosen source material.

Deadpool is a fun action flick from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It is important to know, and they’ve made no secret of it, the movie is not remotely intended for younger viewers. Despite the R-rating and constant media saying “Not Kid Friendly!”, there are still tons of people taking young children to see it.

Which brings me to the Spoiler Alert for the review. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want anything spoiling your enjoyment of it; stop reading long enough to go watch the movie, then come back and enjoy the rest of the review.

*************SPOILERS BELOW!**************************************

The opening “credits” are hilarious and set the tone for the rest of the movie. The movie is extremely violent, including Deadpool sawing his own hand off at one point as well as killing, with katanas, enough people to spell out Francis (one of the funniest moments of the movie). And foul language is a constant throughout the movie.

As far as sex and nudity, the movie features a short sex montage that doesn’t actually reveal anything, but isn’t exactly vague either. This scene is used for laughs. There is, however, a strip club scene that leaves nothing to the imagination and is also the location of Stan Lee’s cameo, as the strip club’s DJ/announcer.

Where the movie shines brightest is with what has made Deadpool such an interesting character: his utter disregard for the fourth wall. The movie features several scenes where Deadpool/Wade stops what he’s doing in the movie to address the audience or simply grins mischievously. The movie also features tons of jokes and references with little to no bearing on the story. One of the best of these occurs when Colossus declares he’s taking Deadpool to see Professor X; Deadpool asks him, “McAvoy or Stewart?”

I believe what made this film so enjoyable lies with Reynolds. He is a fan of the character and wanted to have a movie that properly portrayed the character. He succeeded. No one else could have played Deadpool. I look forward to seeing more of Reynolds’ Deadpool in the future.

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