Ring Side Report- Board Game Review of Ticket to Ride

Game– Ticket to Ride

Producer-Days of Wonder

Price– $35-45

TL;DR– Theme doesn’t stop this train! 92.5%

 

Basics– Around America in seven days!  In Ticket to Ride, you play one of five different friends who are obsessed with  Phileas Fogg, the man who went around the world in 80 days.  Based on Fogg’s story, the players make a one million dollar bet to see who can make it to the most cities in seven days.  In the game, players can do one of three different things on their turn to travel across America:  collect tickets, collect routes, or spend tickets to travel.  When a player collects tickets, they draw one or two tickets.  These tickets can be one of five revealed tickets or from the draw pile.  If a player draws a wild card from the revealed tickets that is the only ticket they can draw that turn.  When a player collects routes, they draw three routes and must keep one.  Routes are worth positive points if a player has connected the cities on the card at the end of the game, but, the card could be worth negative points if the player does not complete the route.  The last action a player can do is spending tickets to place trains on the board.  To place trains on a path on the board, a player must spend enough tickets of the same color as the path.  Some paths are gray and allow the player to spend any color ticket as long as they spend the same color tickets.  Each time a player places trains on the board, they earn points based on how long the path is.  Play continues until one player has two or less trains in reserve.  Then all players get one last turn, and then the game is over.  After counting points from route cards the player with the most points wins!

 

Theme-I’ll be honest.  I’ve played this game a lot, but, I didn’t read the story until I finally bought the game.  The story reinforces the theme decently and helps makes the title “Ticket to Ride” make sense.  Some of the mechanics don’t quite reinforce the theme as once you have a route it doesn’t leave the board.  Do you get to keep the tickets you have for that route in the game?  Do you get to keep riding the trains for free?  Why can’t other players ride the same train as me?  It’s not perfect, but I do feel like I’m busy trying to make it across America as fast as I can. 3.5/5

 

Mechanics-Ticket to Ride has some of the slickest mechanics out there.  My simple summary above is almost all the rules you need to play the game.  The game is quick, fun, and family friendly for almost all ages.  Even though the game doesn’t have the insane depth of some other games, a surprising amount of strategy emerges in this game.  Since goals are secrete, you never know when your best laid plans will go up in smoke.  That tension is amazing for a simple game. 5/5

 

Instructions-The instructions are four pages.  Not four pages front and back, two pages front and back.  Since the rules are not complex, the rules don’t need an epic to teach the players.  I do like the art and pictures that help to teach how to play.  Brevity is the height of wit with these rules. 5/5

 

Execution-The box is nice and hardy.  The path indicators are cute plastic trains that are a nice addition to the game.  The board has a nice layout and is easy to read.  AND, I know the Days of Wonder LOVES me since the game comes with plastic bags for each player’s components.  I absolutely love when a company does that! 5/5

 

Summary-I love this game.  It’s quick, family friendly, and always good to see making it to the table.  The theme is slightly off, but the mechanics, instructions, and execution of the game make up for that hands down.  Really worth trying if you get the chance. 92.5%

Silver Screen Smackdown- Movie Review of Godzilla (2014)

I loved Godzilla back in the 90’s when I was a kid.  Recently, a new movie came out.  I’ve seen it, but over Memorial Day weekend, I went and saw it with my brothers.  It’s time for a two sided review: one from the perspective of a 30 year old fan and another from a perspective of a six year old, an 11 year old, and two 12 year olds.

 

 

Movie– Godzilla (2014)

 

Young TL;DR-I need to see this again! 92%

Old TL;DR– Good, not great reboot of the franchise. 80%

 

 

Basics– Godzilla’s back!  The world is in peril, and, monsters are springing up that only the giant lizard we all know and love can face.  Is he up to the challenge?

 

Plot-Young-The plot is amazing, but flawed.  We loved the fact that the monsters had a cool back stories with lots of city destruction.  But, too much of the plot had stupid plot points like why the people were in the city when the monsters were there or the nuke transportation problem! 4.5/5

 

Old- This movie focuses more on the human characters and other monsters than Godzilla.  I know why they did it, since you need framing characters to help the audience move from set piece to set piece.  But, Godzilla needed more screen time.  Also, there were some amazingly stupid plot points that really made me scratch my head like nukes and people in the way of a monster.  Also, Godzilla is never really given a reason to fight any other monsters.  He’s a predator, but he never eats any other creatures.  So, why did he do anything he does?  The story’s ok, but flawed. 4/5

 

Acting-Young– Pretty good.  The actors bring the characters to life, but some are a bit off.  It’s not bad, but fairly well done.  Godzilla rocked! 4.3/5

 

Old-The acting is ok.  Godzilla’s awesome, but the humans are, for the most part, ok.  I felt too many of the humans felt off or wooden.  But, I came for Godzilla, so the fake creatures are the best actors.  Take that as you will.  3/5

 

Cinematography-Young-OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING!  THE REAL GODZILLA FIGHTS MONSTERS!  CITIES ARE DESTROYED!  THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER! 5/5

 

Old-OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING!  THE REAL GODZILLA FIGHTS MONSTERS!  CITIES ARE DESTROYED!  THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER! 5/5

 

Summary-Young-This is an awesome Godzilla movie!  Godzilla’s back and better than ever.  He destroys cities and fights monsters.  Slight problems with acting and the plot make for some problems, but nothing that a 40 story monster can’t fix!  We want to see this again and again! Better than the 90’s American movie.  92%

 

Old-It’s not perfect, but it’s Godzilla!  The acting is a problem and so is the plot.  But the look is there.  That’s the Godzilla I remember from old Japanese movies.  Horrible acting, a gonzo plot, and man in suit fights the destroy cities.  Objectively, the movie is good, but not great.  However, I’ve been waiting since Godzilla Final Wars, but I can confidently say GODZILLA’S BACK! 80%

Daily Punch 5-22-14 Legs + Gear for Shadowrun 5e

Well there are exoskeleton arms, there has to be legs….

 

Legs+:  The latest in exoskeliton enhancements for the mage on the go or person ravaged by disease in the third world.  These items provide additional movement and increase the jump of any person wairing them.  As with the other exoskeleton items provided by Horison, the uses must be operating using a wireless connection.  Each point of rating adds to your sprint and jump tests.  wireless bonus: This item must be controlled wirelessly to enable the full effect of the gear.

 

Essence Capacity Availability Cost
Legs+ (Rating 1-6) Rating 7 Rating x 4,000Y

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Inner Sea Combat

Product-Pathfinder Campaign Setting-Inner Sea Combat

Producer– Paizo

Price– $20

TL; DR– A little long to keep me entertained. 77%

 

Basics– MORTAL COMBAT!  Inner Sea Combat focuses on marital characters and how to build these characters and their world into your Pathfinder Game.  The book starts by discussing nations and their interactions with martial characters.  Next, the book adds feats and a discussion on how specialized martial characters function within the rules of Pathfinder.  After specialization, the book moves to schools/guilds and rules to operate these in Pathfinder.  From schools, the books present new prestige classes and archetypes for classes from barbarian to the rogue.  The last section of the book focuses on magic items that specialized characters from this book might need.

 

Mechanics or Crunch-This books adds a bunch of ideas for a GM to add to his/her game, but the ideas are not ground breaking awesome that you would expect for hidden techniques grown on the mountain top monasteries of the world.  The book adds lost arts that are the talk of many a hushed conversation, but when you look over the options, they might fit will in just a player line book.  Also, the book adds schools and guilds.  I don’t hate the mechanics behind these, but I think the numbers are off.  I think the DCs are too high and will likely make life very hard for anyone who wants to go after a school and not get kicked out.  Some of the options are well done, but it’s more diamonds in the rough then a constant flow.  I did like the items that were added to this book. 3/5

 

Fluff or Story- I liked this the most in this book.  The story provides lots of ideas for a GM to add to his/her game.  I didn’t like the distribution of focus in the world, though.  There isn’t much love for the pirates of the Shackles in terms of schools or options as well as a few other key areas.  But, what is there are options it’s well done. 4.5/5

 

Execution-I think this book suffers from a “textbook problem.”  This book has a few too many sections of just text that make the book less fun to read.  It’s not hard to read, but it does tend to drag on a bit.  The book does have some nice new art to help make reading a bit easier, but the format makes things feel long.  The text is not bad, just a bit of a drag. 4/5

 

Summary-I didn’t hate this book, but it’s not one of my favorites.  The mechanics and the textbook nature of the 64 page format are just a little bit off making this book slightly drag on a bit.  I would have preferred this to be a few shorter 32 page books focusing on monks, fighters, or some other class.  I did like the story that this book adds to the world.  Also, knowing who the best of the best fighters are can give the characters goals for whom to fight later.  It’s not a bad book, but just a bit long to keep me completely interested all the way through. 77%