Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Sushi Go!

Product– Sushi Go!

Producer– Gamewright

Price– ~$13 here http://www.amazon.com/Sushi-Go-Pick-Pass-Card/dp/B00J57VU44/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1419311517&sr=8-1&keywords=sushi+go

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30 minutes (2 to 5 players)

TL; DR– Quick family fun. 90%

 

Basics-Hungry for some more quick sushi games?  Sushi Go! is a simple family card game that follows many of the same drafting mechanics popular in 7 Wonders and Among the Stars.  Players start with a hand of cards and choose a card.  All players reveal their chosen cards simultaneously.  Some cards are instant point cards like nigiri cards.  Other cards are worth more as you gain more of the same card like dumplings.  Yet others need a specific number of cards of one type to get any points like tempura where every two score points.  And some are worth more depending who has the most of them at the end of the game.  There are also wasabi that multiply other cards, and the chopsticks card.  If players have a chopstick card, they can shout “Sushi Go!” and take a second card from the same hand of cards.  After selecting your card for the round, you pass the cards to the left.  When you only have two cards, you choose one card, and then throw the other into the center.  After three total hands like this, players determine who has the most points and is the winner.

 

Mechanics– I like a good drafting game.  This one plays quick and teaches even quicker.  My sister who can’t read scored as many points as I did while my mom scored the least points.  It’s a blast to play and won’t require encyclopedic knowledge of some obscure rules.  5/5

 

Theme- Here is where the game suffers.  I don’t get the feeling I get from Wasabi of being a chef.  This game has cute sushi, but beyond the box and the art, there isn’t really a story here.  If story doesn’t matter to you, then this game is great.  3/5

 

Instructions– The instructions are a single booklet that’s less than ten pages.  It doesn’t take much to learn and play this game. 5/5

 

Execution– The cards are decent quality and the whole game comes is a metal tin.  The art is great and all cutesy.  And for less than 15 bucks?  Well worth the price of admission.  5/5

 

Summary– This game has the family board game awards all wrapped up, and I can see why.  It’s cheap, easy to play, and doesn’t require a ton of priming to get into.  It’s a great intro board game that doesn’t break the bank and travels well too. 90%

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Panamax

Been teasing this one for a while.  Here it is, my review of Panamax!

Product– Panamax

Producer– Stronghold Games

Price– ~$50 here http://www.amazon.com/Stronghold-Games-6001SG-Panamax-Board/dp/B00OMXW4U0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1419308500&sr=8-2&keywords=panamax

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 60-90 minutes (2 to 4 players)

TL; DR– Lots of fun stress between your life and the company. 94%

 

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Basics-All Aboard!  Panamax is a game of becoming the best shipping moggle out on the Panama Canal.  The game even gets its title from a shipping designation Panamax which means the largest measurements a ship can be and still go through the canal.  This is a relatively simple  to play Eurogame.  During set up, players get personal stock and money, and their companies also get money as well as shipping contracts and starting boats.  The shipping contracts are represented by dice on a small card with one to three numbered boxes.  The numbers on the boxes are used to indicate the face up side of the dice placed on them of your color.  Boats have numbers on them ranging from 2-5, 9-18, and so on.  These are the minimum and maximum total dice value that can be placed on a ship.  Players get a chance to load up their dice on ships on the proper sides of the canal during set up.  When a player clears a shipping contract, either in setup or the regular game, they get to place a country flag marker on their companies’ board.  The markers may cover extra powers such as adding shipment dice to the rail board, moving ships, buying stock, and loading extra dice.  Then the main game starts.  For a four player game, twelve dice are rolled, and the dice are placed in columns covering the die face it rolled to indicate different actions a player can take.  At its most basic level, this game is an action selection game.  Players select a die, do the action associated with it, and the turn passes.  You draw three dice a round, and then pay for where your company’s cargo still is and get money from your stock options for the different companies stock you own.  Sides one to three of the action dice indicate ship movements.  When a ship has enough dice on it to cover its minimum value, the ship can be moved.  There are two types of movements: lock and waterway.  Each movement is well indicated on the board with different icons.  When you select a movement die, you use a small tracker at the top of the board to show what movements you have left. When a player selects movements, they have to move all the ships that they can possibly move.  Hidden in movements in a major factor of the game-pushing.  The title of the game refers to how large a ship can be, and that’s the most important factor for pushing.  When you move ships out of a large body of water like an ocean or lake, you can group ships together.  The ships come in sizes ranging from one dice to four dice.  The maximum size that can fit in one lock is four dice.  So, if you would move a group of three wide ships into an area where a three wide ship already is, you push that three wide ship ahead one space.  This can result in chain reactions where tons of ship will move through the canal.  Mastering this will get you the win!  When a ship crosses the canal, players earn money from the die’s values on the ship, and the player who owned the ship can get cards that give you extra moves, load cargo, or give you extra money at the end.  Sides four to six of the dice represent loading cargo actions.  Just like in set up, you take a card with different cargo values on it with the different countries.  The dice you pick up will also show you how much cargo you can load this turn ranging from one to three dice.  If you don’t load cargo from the warehouse, it costs lots of money per die, while having cargo waiting to go into the canal still costs a ton, but slightly less.  Having cargo moving through the canal is slightly less expensive.  And, just like setup, completing country cards will get you markers for each country.    In addition, four more dice are rolled and these are placed on a separate area for executive actions.  These extra actions allow you to buy more stock, have three unrestricted moves, load new cargo/take country cargo cards, and change the value of your stock.  You can only take an executive action die after all the other dice of that number have been used up.  While that’s a lot of words, this game is surprisingly simple, but deviously complex.  Know when and what to do will help you maximize your income.  There are also military ships, cruise ships, and rail cargo.  Moving military ships will earn you a once per turn money bonus equal to the number of country cargo markers on your company’s board.  Cruise ships earn your cruise ship markers that have values from 1 to 5, and you get to place that marker on your company board earning your permanent powers like extra loads and extra cargo cards to choose from.  Some cargo has a rail icon next to it, and you place that cargo on a separate section of the board. Rail cargo dice number is used to change what player goes first and get you extra country cargo markers.    After three rounds, you sell off your stock to the bank, count all your money, and just like life, player with the most money wins!

 

Mechanics– This is a hard Eurogame.  Nothing is too difficult here once you get the hang of it.  However, knowing what you need to do make this game some brain burning fun.  This game has two levels to it:  your personal money and your companies.  You might be the best player in the game, but if you don’t invest wisely, you could lose.  Those levels of the game make this much more interesting that just who has the largest company at the time.  Also, these different levels of play make a player have to consider when that player will take stock market options to be selfish and when a player will take actions to better his company.  Constantly having smart choices to make makes this an amazing experience.  My only problem is you will most likely only get the option to buy stock on round one and round three.  I haven’t found a way to buy stock all three turns.  Wish there was a way to make a bit more personal money.  4.75/5

 

Theme- This game does make you feel like an executive at a cargo company.  Do you better your own company or do you better your own stock portfolio?  Focus too much on one you will fail.  Focus too much on the other and you won’t have enough personal money to win.  Choosing what to do makes you really have to think and adds a tension to the game you will enjoy.  Also moving all the ships is fun and does make you feel like a shipping magistrate.  All said and done, it’s a blast.  5/5

 

Instructions– This game plays like chess, and to win you need to really understand the rules.  The rules do a decent job of communicating the game, but lots of little details are semi-hidden in the rule book.  They are there, and after two read through of the rules, you will get them all.  But that’s after two good read throughs.  4.5/5

 

Execution– Stronghold Games makes great games, but for some reason, their Eurogames tend to get light-weight boxes.  My copy of CO2 is flimsy and this box is flimsy as well.  My copy of Panamax even came dented up.  Inside the box, the game is great.  AND IT COMES WITH BAGS!  That right there is worth a 4!  I did have a small problem with the layout of the game.  I would have liked an area where my personal stuff went besides just in front of me, not on my clipboard.  All told, few small changes would easily get this up to a 5.  4.5/5

 

Summary– I love Stronghold Games and the hardest working man in board games Stephen Buonocore. I’ve been waiting for Stronghold to make some more hardcore Eurogames.  And, when this one came out, I bought it as soon as I could.  I’m happy to say this is an awesome game that gives you a great Eurogame experience.  Choices on what to do each turn, how to maximize your actions, and still get enough money to be better than the Joneses dominate this game and provide the positive stress that makes Eurogame so much fun.  Want a new game that focuses on ships and international relations?  This game is well worth the price of admission. 94%

Daily Punch 12-16-14 Blood Sorcerer Sorcerous Origin for DnD 5e

How about a completely different way to cast spells as a Sorcerer in 5e?

Blood Sorcerer

Magic is in your blood….., and in blood in general.  Life is power, and you know how to extract power from your own life.

Power in the blood

You no longer have  a Sorcery Points pool, but you add any point you would gain as hit points.  You also no longer have a limit to the number of spells you can cast per day.  When you cast a spell of any level, lose double the spell level in hit points.  You can cast spells as long you still have positive, non-zero hit points, but you must take the damage.  Cantrips cause one hit-point loss.

Spilled blood, released power

Starting at 6th level, when you are dealt damage as a reaction you can use that hit point loss to cast one spell as a reaction.  The spell level must be less then or equal to double the lost hit point total.  You do not take damage for casting this spell.  You can not use this ability again until you take a short or long rest.

Shared Power

Starting at 14th, another can donate a small vial of blood to you.  Another creature can take any amount of damage and donate that damage to you as hit points you can use to cast spells.  A creature can take up to 30 point of damage.  You can use these points of damage as you would normally use hit point for Power in the Blood.  This donation of blood is usable until that creature takes a long rest.

Stolen Power

Starting at 18 level, you can now use the suffering of your targets to energize your spells.  As a swift action on your turn, when you cause damage to a creature using one of your spells, you can capture up to double your level in hit points of damage from that creature.  You can use these points of damage as you would normally use hit point for Power in the Blood. You must use these points within an hour.  Or, the power leaves them, and they are lost.  You can not use this power until you take another long rest.

Daily Punch 12-15-14 Dueling Masters quality for Shadowrun 5e

I see lots of different masters, but what about people who are chosen by different spirits in Shadowrun 5e?  Maybe those spirits don’t like each other.

 

Dueling Masters

Cost: 5 karma

You’re a hot commodity.  You’ve  literally got a devil on your left shoulder offing you power while the angel on your right is still extolling some bull drek virtues you might not care about.  Gain a second mentor spirit.  You now get the benefits of one spirit at a time, but have to take the negatives of both.  As a free action, you can change which mentor spirit’s benefits you use at any time.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 12-12-14 Dual Weapon Work quality for Shadowrun 5e

I have far to many players who want to dual wield guns.  Let’s see if we can help them.

 

Dual Weapon Work

Cost:  15 karma per level (1 to 3 levels)

You like to shoot a lot almost as much as you like your two guns.  It’s started to rub off on you.  When you split your dice pool to make an attack, and the attack is a simple action, for every level of this feet add back 1/4 of the dice you split to both pool.  As an example if you would roll 16 dice, and you make two weapon attacks with one level in this quality you would add back 2 dice to each attack if you split the attack with 8 dice to each weapon fired.  (4 for two levels, and 6 for three levels of this quality).

Ring Side Report-Double RPG Review of Uber RPG! Uncharted Steampunk and Universal Airship Combat System

Product-Universal Airship Combat System

System– Uber RPG: Steampunk

Producer– Uber Goober Games

Price– ~$ 13 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/101071/Universal-Airship-Combat-System-ber-RPG-Steampunk-sourcebook

TL; DR– Two books in one! 87%

 

Basics-Time to hit the sky!  Universal Airship Combat System is a book covering the rules for airship and mech combat in the Uber RPG system.  This book covers combat in the RPG as well as giving simple rules for a tabletop miniature system.

 

Theme or Fluff- Back to the fluff first reviews for the Uber system.  This book is not a theme book, but it gives enough options that you can fit any theme into it.  Uber RPG: Steampunk doesn’t have a default setting, so this book provides the mechanics to build whatever options you want into your own world.  One of the saving graces for theme in this book is how damage is dealt.  The system uses a 52 card deck to determine where shots hit and how it damages the ship.  That kind of story elements really marries theme with mechanics as you get a short snippet on how the attack happens and some mechanical details to.   As with the base Uber RPG: Steampunk, the book doesn’t do much give you a world, but provides the tools to build it.  The only problem with that is you, the GM and players, have to do much more heavy story lifting.  4/5

 

Mechanics or Crunch– While this book isn’t a theme book; it is an amazing book for its mechanics.  Much like Uber RPG: Steampunk, the base system is d6.  The system presented here is amazingly simple and quick.  Movement happens in ascending dexterity order.  Slower ships move, and faster ships can react.  Attacking happens simultaneously.  You add up all the attack power your ship has, and then subtract the defensive powers your target has, and roll six sided dice.  For each five rolled, draw a card from a deck of cards.  For each six, draw two.  The book has a chart detailing how the card damage and affects the ship as each suit and number focus on specific areas of the ship.  Done!  It’s a slick and quick system that makes combat not drag as some large scare combat systems do.  The book even provides mech combat if you want to climb into a steam powered mechanical walker.  And rules for mech vs. airship combat!  AND rules for a table top miniatures game!  Honestly, this book is jam packed with a quick, easy to use, fun to execute combat system. 5/5

 

Execution– Uber Goober is a small company, and small companies don’t have the art resources to make large scale book full to the brim with art.  This book has lots of pages with only text.  That kind of hurts the overall appeal as you have major textbook problem.  However, this book has more tables and lots of art to show what the authors meant for each type of ship and mech. It’s better than the original book, but still a bit flawed. 4/5

 

Summary-This is an easy to use, short book that give you multiple ways to integrate steamtech into your world.  This book isn’t the most reader friendly, but there is more art than the base book for the system.  If you like the quick combat style of Uber RPG: Steampunk, then this build upon that and give more flair to large scale combat.  Honestly, if Uber would add the random table of hit locations to the base Uber RPG: Steampunk I would love that system even more.  If you you’re looking for a good tabletop system to handle steampunk miniature combat or a way to integrate more steam machine combat in your Uber RPG: Steampunk game, this is a great book to add to your collection.  87%

 

And now another Uber RPG: Steampunk Product!

 

Product-Uncharted Steampunk

System– Uber RPG

Producer– Uber Goober Games

Price– ~$ 13 here http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/102911/Uncharted-Steampunk-ber-RPG-Steampunk-sourcebook

TL; DR– Marry this with the base book, and it’s amazing. 83%

 

Basics-Need a world for your Uber RPG: Steampunk players to roam in?  This is a companion book to the base Uber RPG: Steampunk game.  This book provides a world to play in/destroy while still letting GM’s build their own world.

 

Theme or Fluff- Uber Uber Goober likes to let GMs build their own world.  This book, while a setting book, still let’s GMs build their own world.  How?  Well each part of the world gets a description in the three main Steampunk styles that Uber introduces at the start of their books: steam tech focused, rebelling against society, and fantasy steampunkHonestly, this has to be the best approach I’ve seen to getting the theme of your game out there.  The author basically says “Here are three different worlds and their themes to play with.  Choose one and go!” 5/5

 

Mechanics or Crunch– And here is where the book suffers.  The book discusses the survival skill and gives ideas for encounters, but this book doesn’t have many new mechanics in it.  What is here is good, but the books main purpose is to build the world for you, got give you new toys for that world.  It doesn’t add to many new enemies or options, but what is here is well fleshed out. 3.5/5

 

Execution-PICTURES!  This book has more pictures!  The pictures of the continents are well done.  However, much like Uber Goober’s other books, there are still a ton of pages with just black text on white page.  This book is, by definition, a geography/history textbook, and it suffers from many of the same problems old textbook do.  That makes this much less exciting to read.  A few more pictures of the peoples and scenes of different places would have really helped draw the reader in.  4/5

 

Summary– If this book and the core Uber RPG: Steampunk book were put together, they would add up to one amazing book.  This book has all the world building and steampunk theme any player could ask for.  The core book has sleek mechanics that make the game run well.  This book and the core both fill the gaps the other is missing.  On its own, this book is a good world book that gives the GM enough options to make the game they want happen in the world of their choosing.  What this book doesn’t have are many more mechanics and some more pictures to help set the stage and scenes.  All together, this is good foundation for GMs to build the world they want. 83%

Daily Punch 12-10-14 Bad Leg quality for Shadowrun 5e

So, my legs are still screwed up from a possible pinched nerve.  I’ve been reading Shadowrun lately, so here is a negative quality based on that.

 

Bad Legs

Bonus: 7 karma per level (1 to 3 levels)

You’ve either got two left feet or maybe none at all.  Maybe you have some bad cyberware that just doesn’t work quite right.  For some reason you don’t move as fast as you should.  For each level you take in this quality, reduce your agility score when determining your movement by one.  You can only take as many levels in this as you have agility.  If you effective agility drops to zero, you are considered immobile and must move around in a wheelchair.  If you are in a wheelchair, you can move a number of meters equal to your strength score each round as a simple action.

 

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 12-9-14 Addictive Personality quality for Shadowrun 5e

Well, if you can avoid addition, then you can also be more likely to get addicted…

 

Addictive Personality

Bonus: 5 karma per level (1 to 3 levels)

You just can’t help yourself.  Be it to many sliders or way to much booze on a weekend….or weeknight….when you get just a taste of something amazing, you can’t stop yourself.  When you make an addition test, reduce your dice pool to resist by 2 dice for every level of this quality.

 

Thoughts?