Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Belfort: the Expansion Expansion

Product– Belfort: the Expansion Expansion

Producer– Tasty Minstrel games

Price– ~$20 here http://www.amazon.com/Belfort-The-Expansion-Board-Game/dp/1938146832/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414638034&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=belford+expantion

Set-up/Play/Clean-up-2.5~3 hours (2 to 5 players)

TL; DR– Some great things, some ok things 93%


Basics- Belfort was one of my favorite games (reviewed here https://throatpunchgames.com/2013/12/10/ring-side-report-board-game-review-of-belfort/).  I loved to play it, but I wanted some new options to spice up a classic.  The Expansion expansion enhances the game by adding new building expansions (hence the expansions expansion) that add on to your current building as well as providing assistants who help you throughout the game.  The building expansions provide new ways to get points at the end of the game while the assistants provide new powers like preventing other players from building in an area to avoiding paying taxes all together.  Other than these additions, the game is played exactly the same.


Mechanics– This is a (semi)mixed bag.  I love the addition of the assistants.  They provide new powers that really shake up the game.  The assistants change each turn with the players with the fewest points choosing first and working up the point scale to choose each assistant.  You might get stuck behind the eight ball on who gets what assistant if you run away with points, but the assistants help prevent the runaway point problem happening through some elegant game design.  That I really liked.  However the building additions are a bit more cumbersome.  I like the expansions in theory.  But, you have to have the base building, and most of the costs to build are a bit too cost prohibitive.  It makes a player do more calculations to decide if building an expansion is worth it, but I feel most of these costs are a bit too much to make them worthwhile.  Also, building expansions are collected when a player doesn’t use an assistant’s power.  However, if you’re playing smart you won’t have a turn where your assistant isn’t hard at work. 4/5


Theme- The addition of the small elements in this set really does hammer home some themes missing from the first one.  All the assistants do things that their fantasy races would do.  It makes a ton of sense and does draw you in a bit more.  The building expansions also all make sense like an inn getting a pool.  The costs to build some of these items are a bit off (sacrifice a token to build some buildings).  But overall, this expansion has a ton more theme than the original game. 4.5/5


Instructions– These instructions are short and to the point.  Also, each part of the expansion gets a write up to help you understand the finer points of how the building and assistants works and how to build and use them.  I love when instructions answer the difficult questions that will come up during game play.  There is some humor in this book, but it’s all in good fun as well. 5/5


Execution– This is small box, but not an empty one.  The box comes with several cards for the expansions, cards for the assistants, and wooden blocks for some of the assistant’s powers. In fact, this expansion fits into the original box.  I’m not complaining.  For the cost, you’d be hard pressed to pick up other expansions out there that are done as well!  5/5


Summary-Overall, I like this expansion.  The best thing this expansion does is enhance the theme of the original game.  The game does feel more fantasy now with the addition of the assistants.  Before, the theme was there but a bit too dry.  What I don’t like is the building additions.  I don’t think you get enough bang for your buck for building them.  Maybe if you play smarter than I did, you will see some combinations I didn’t.  I had fun, but the random nature of the buildings you can build means the starting buildings in your hand and their additions will dictate how you must play the game.  That’s not horrible, but it can be a bit of a pain.  Nothings in bad here, and if you want some added life and strategy in your Belfort, this is a great expansion. 93%

Want to Game in Jackson, MI?

Here is a list of all the games I’m running for the next month.  Hope to see you at a few of them.


Upcoming Game Days at Nostalgia, Ink!

November 10th at 6PM Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG https://www.facebook.com/events/289215234620783/?context=create&previousaction=create&source=49&sid_create=2082536730


November 17th at 6:30 Mage Wars November Duel



November 22nd is Dual the Pathfinder/DnD Encounters Day.  Pathfinder at 1PM



DnD Encounters at 6PM



Shadowrun Missions November 23rd at 1PM



Want to go to some Cons?  CritCon is November 8th.  It’s primarily a Shadowrun con, but I will be running a few games there.  Contact me if you would like to ride with me to the con.


U-Con is November 14th-16th in Ann Arbor.  This con is a little bit of everything.  If you want a ride, contact me.


And as always, don’t forget DnD and board game every Thursdays starting at 5PM.

Daily Punch 10-27-14 BioReactor for Shadowrun 5e

Tired of always having to pay Horizon’s exorbitant fees when your buying back you own cells for your BioGel?  Well here is a way to get around that!



Cost Rating Quantity Produce
10,000Y  x BioReactor rating  BioGel rating x 2 BioReactor Rating x 10 units


Make your own BioGel!  Using this BioReactor, you produce the indicated quantity of BioGel in one day spending 1/5 of the cost of the BioGel you would normally spend.  To use the BioReactor, you must make a Biotech+Logic check with the DC equal to the rating of the BioGel being produced.  If you fail, the reagents used to make this batch of BioGel are lost.  This check is made at the end of a day producing BioGel.  The BioReactor produces the BioGel unassisted, so you you may do other things during a day when you produce BioGel.




Daily Punch 10-23-14 BioGel item for Shadowrun 5e

Tired of mages looking right through you?  How about an option to keep those pesky mages at bay?  How about BioGel from you friends at Horizons!


Item         Avail               Cost

BioGel                    Rating x4           Rating x 1,000


BioGel is a living product that closely mimics living tissue.  A cybernetic equipment can be modified (costing one capacity and 1,000Y) to allow BioGel to be implanted into a specialty compartment that provides give a -1 dice pool penalty to all assensing checks.  The lowest level BioGel is made from bacterial cells, with high levels being cultivated yeast cells, mammalian cells, culture immortalized human cells, and finally the highest level cells are made form cells culture from the person who has the cybernetic equipment.  Each does will last about one week as the cell will die after that point.

Ring Side Report-RPG Review of Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-22 Scars of the Third Crusade

Product– Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-22 Scars of the Third Crusade


Price-$4 here http://paizo.com/products/btpy96i8?Pathfinder-Society-Scenario-5-22-Scars-of-the-Third-Crusade

TL;DR–  Great roleplaying, but nothing for the combat heavy characters. 87%


Basics-Murder is afoot!  Pathfinder agents have been arrested, and you are sent to determine if they are guilty or not.  Can you prove the innocence of your fellow agents while in a town that already doesn’t trust the Pathfinders?


Mechanics or Crunch-This one has exactly one or maybe two fights scenes in it, depending on how the players proceed.  Most of the time, players are investigating the murders.  If you have a combat heavy party, they will just be bored.  Also, the combats that are present will be somewhat underwhelming to most parties in the level range.  The module presents some rules for investigation, misinformation, and events in town.  Some of these events are arbitrary as well as the rules for these events being somewhat unclear.  It just might need a bit more to keep some people involved. 3.5/5


Theme or fluff-This is where this module shines.  You as the GM get to scream at the players if they reveal that they are Pathfinders.  Most of the people in town don’t trust the Pathfinders, and players tipping their hands make this module come alive.  The town is well described and the personalities in it are fun to run.  Everybody here has a story, and the players have to try to figure out who did it over the course of the adventure.  I loved what I saw here.  If you want a mostly roleplaying module, this is the one to look for.  5/5


Execution-This is a wordy one.  To get all the information a GM needs to run the mod, lots of words have to happen in a very short amount of space.   I do like that the town has a town map to help you and your players understand all the places they can investigate.  In addition, the investigation methods are presented decently as well as providing the GM with a worksheet to help GMs keep track of all the information at hand, but this chart could use another column to help me keep track of what I and haven’t told the players.  I’d have liked a few more divides in the words, but the module is set up well. 4.5/5


Summary-I liked running this module.  I have no problems standing up at a convention and screaming at the top of my lungs about how I hate the Pathfinders and such.  When I ran this at a con with about five other tables, I did get a few stares.  If you want to have some awesome roleplaying with your characters, then this is the module to run.  If you what a hack and slash fest where lots of things die, then do not even consider this one.  I would like some changes to the module, but overall it was a great if you have the right group.  87%