Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Oddball Aeronauts

Product– Oddball Aeronauts

Producer-Maverick Muse Ltd.

Price– $18 here http://www.amazon.com/ToyMarket-obA-1-oddball-Aeronauts/dp/B00LHXITWA/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432780263&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=oddball+aeronaughts

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 10 minutes (2 players)



TL; DR– A simple two player Munchkin. 78%

download (1)

Basics-Hard to starboard for an airship battle!  In Oddball Aeronauts, each player takes the role of one of two airship captains trying to destroy the others ship.  Each player starts with a deck of cards that is specifically created for each ship.  There are two types of cards in the deck: events and characters.  Events are one time occurrences that will randomly change the flow of the game as they are drawn to the top of the deck.  Characters have two major sections to them: statistics and tricks.  The statistics are broken down into three distinct areas: sailing, guns, and boards with a major skill number and a skill bonus (more on this in a bit).  The trick on each character is another ability the card might be able to add to a fight.  Players set up after shuffling their decks by taking three cards and placing them face-down in their hands.  Next, players then place the remaining cards from their deck face-up in their hands.  Players will then look at the top three cards in their hands.  The first card’s skill has to be used in the upcoming battle while one of the next two cards’ skill bonuses can be used and the trick from one of these cards can be used as well.  However, the trick and the skill bonus can’t be from the next card.  After looking over their three cards, each player starting with the lead (first player), announces how they will attack the other player via sailing, guns, or boarding, and the other player then announces how they will attack as well.  Both players need not say the same method of attack.  Then player will, after the count of three, announce how many of their top three cards they will use in the upcoming battle.  The cards are compared with the highest skill + skill bonus from the second or third card + trick ability from the second or third card winning the hand.  If the non-lead player won, then they become the lead.  All players then discard the cards that were used in the battle by placing them face down in the deck under the other face down cards already in the players hand.  Then, the method that the winning player used affects the decks.  If the players won by sailing, two faces down cards are flipped into the face up part of that player’s deck making them available cards now.  If the player won via guns, then the losing player discards face down two additional cards under their deck.  If the player won via boarding, then the winner gains one card to their deck, and the loser loses one card.  Play continues like this until one player has only face down cards in their hand and their air ship has crash!

Mechanics– To me this is a much quicker, much more two player friendly version of Munchkin.  It’s quick, plays fast, and is a fun way to spend 10 minutes with a friend.  However, it’s also pretty simple, so don’t expect a ton of thinking in this one.  And, the game adds some strange corner cases like magic.  Magic is a trick on very few cards, but some other cards have a shadow emblem.  You can’t use magic in a battle with the shadow emblem.  I don’t think that really helps the game’s flow as it adds some deeper rules for a simple game that I don’t think are really needed.  The game is overall quick, easy, and fun however.  4/5


Theme– This game has a theme, but it doesn’t hit you over the head.  It’s very subtle, and I think it needs a bit more.  It’s fun while feeling like an air ship battle, but I wanted more stories to this one.  The cards have some great art, and the manual has some added information on the ships, but it need more to build the world of this game. 4/5

Instructions-Hands down the worst part of the game.  That cards facing up/cards facing down part of the game that makes it so quick and easy to play, but that isn’t explained very well at all in the rules.  When I saw a YouTube video about it, then the game became crystal clear.  The rules leave lots out, and that makes the game somewhat frustrating as it’s a game that will take you longer to find on your game shelf than to actually play! Honestly, look up a let’s play or rules tutorial online to learn these rules!   2.5/5

Execution– A card game my wife and I can play while we wait in line at McDonalds?  Beautiful!  The box is compact, doesn’t have any unnecessary pieces, and the cards are of decent quality.  The art is good, the layout is eye catching and easily accessible, and something that you could quickly explain and play.  It’s just a well done small box game. 5/5

Summary-If you want a game you can play while in a bar standing around a high table, this is an excellent game.  If you want 12 hours+ of in-depth strategy, then this isn’t the game you want.  You want some quick steampunk while you’re waiting for you tea to cool?  Well worth your time.  If this game would rewrite the rules, I’d love this game so much more.  As it stands now, the rule book is what really kills this game.  The mechanics are good, not great as it’s a simple game, the theme is decent, and the execution is solid.  I hate when I have to go online to learn to play a game, and doubly hate when I need YouTube to teach me to play a game that’s uses less than 60 total cards!  But, if you can get past the rules, you will find an amazing little gem of a steampunk two player card game.  78%

Daily Punch 5-25-15 Malleus Maleficarum fighter archetype for DnD 5e

How about some fun for DnD 5e? Haven’t done that in a while, but I think it’s time to do a fighter build.  Let’s make one that hunts magic users!

Malleus Maleficarum

You hate magic.  You’ve studied long and hard to make those who use it pay.  Be it the evil wizards who may have enslaved your family, the vile cleric who sacrificed your parents, or the capricious warlock who seduced your lover-you hate all who use the art.  Now, you’ve honed your weapons, more specifically your hammers, to deal with those who cast spells.  You’ve suffered, and now they’re going to pay!

Magic Dissonance

At 3rd level, you’ve mastered the art of distraction.  When you are engaged with any spell casting creature and they cast a spell, you can spend a reaction to force them to make a Constitution saving throw with the DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your strength or dexterity modifier.  If they fail, they lose the spell.

Magic Resistance

At 7th level, you have mastered the art of spell resistance.  You gain advantage on all saving throws against spells cast against you.  You can choose when this effect is applied, and if you want to make a saving throw at all if you are aware of the spell.

Hex Hammer

At 10th level, when you strike a foe with a hammer or hammer-like weapon that does bludgeoning damage and the foe tries to cast a spell, they gain disadvantage on the Constitution saving throw from your Magic Dissonance class feature.

Magic Immunity

At 15th level, if you succeed at a saving throw and the spell would still affect you even if you succeed, you are now no longer affected by the spell at all.  If you fail a saving throw against a spell and the spell has an effect on a success, you are only effected by the effect of the spell as if you had succeed on the spell saving throw.

The True Spell Hammer

Starting at 18th level, you no longer have to spend a reaction to use your Magic Dissonance class feature.


Silver Screen Smackdown- Movie Review of Mad Max: Fury Road

Movie–  Mad Max: Fury Road

TL; DR-Well that was a thing I saw… 77%

Basics- Mad Max is back!  He’s taken captive, used as a walking blood bag, and tied to the hood of a car.  Now a general for a mad man has escaped with the general’s most prized possession.  Mad Max, the general, and a supporting cast of crazy survivors all try to survive and find the green place in this action movie.


Story– NOPE, NOPE NOPE.  You want some cars to explode?  Go see this movie.  You want some amazing, live-action action shots?  Go see this movie!  You want a plot?  NOPE NOPE NOPE,  There are just tons of scenes that just don’t make sense in this thing.  Only Max tends to make smart choices, and at the end, even he just makes an amazingly stupid choice.  Story is just not what you came here for. 2.5/5

Acting– The actors are not that bad in this.  They act like crazy psychopaths from the desert; mad max is the consummate survivor, and abused and battered women.  Everybody does their part relatively well.  It’s not going to win an Oscar for acting, but it’s decent enough. 4/5

Cinematography– Remember when Peter Jackson did all those amazing forced perspective shots and action shots in the Lord of the Rings instead of doing the CGI crap from The Hobbit?  Do that but instead tie people to the hood of a moving car and go 90 MPH.  If you want to see some impressive, actually stunt man stunts, this is hands down the best movie of the year for that. 5/5

Summary–This is a good C grade movie.  It gets close to great, but parts of this thing just fail so badly!  The action is amazing and the people doing the action were all believable.  But, the plot is just horrible!  Every character made a decision that was just jarringly stupid!  Fix the plot, keep the same action scenes, and this would be a great movie. 77%

Daily Punch 5-22-15 Resonance Shock negative quality for Shadowrun 5e

Let’s keep the hits rolling!  This time for the technomancers out there who just can’t take the hit from the net!

Resonance Shock

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

Requirement: technomancer

You’re as otaku as they come.  You ride the matrix faster than any decker could hope too.  But when you do that vodoo that you do, it hits you harder than it should.  When you use any complex form, increase the fading value by the amount of levels you have in this power.


Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Street Grimoire

Product– Street Grimoire

System– Shadowrun 5e

Producer– Catalyst

Price– $25 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/131832/Shadowrun-Street-Grimoire

TL; DR– Even with my favorite spell, a few problems hurt the book. 87%


Basics– There is a lot more magic than what you see on the trids, chummer.  Street Grimoire is a large hardcover book covering magic in the Shadowrun 5e world.  The book spends a long time discussing how magic works (or how it might work), the world and magic, different types of magic, and other canon pieces of Shadowrun before diving into adding hard, crunchy bits to the setting.  It covers all types of magic from mages to adepts and everybody in between like spirits with each type of magic (spell casting, enchanting, summoning, et al) getting their own chapter.

Mechanics or Crunch– Overall, I like what’s in Street Grimoire.  The book adds a ton of spells even adding my favorite spell euphoria (which used to be called Orgasm) as well as adding a large variety of new spirit options, adept powers, and magic traditions.  What makes me less than amazed is the lack of qualities and the types of spells.  There are a few, but most can’t be PC qualities.  Also, as a magic Decker, I was kind of less amazed by the new adept powers.  Some are awesome, but I felt the techno-mages kind of were left in the cold.  The spells in the book are good, but nothing sticks out besides my special favorite to really make me take any at character generation.  They are a little to specific and that kind of keeps me away when I only get 10 spells to start.  What’s in the book is good, but I’d like a bit more. 4.25/5

Theme or Fluff- Here is where the Shadowrun books always shine.  The book is written as a conversation on the Shadowrunner BBS as a character writes a long post, and all the other Shadowrunners tare into the poster with comments.  It’s well done and entertaining.  I just read a 200+ page anthropology book about a world that doesn’t exist, but I wasn’t bored and was pretty enthralled.  Good job! 5/5


Execution-While the theme is really helped by the addition of the Shadowrunner BBS conversation, some of the important parts of the book get mixed into the conversation.  Sometimes concessions for organization are made to keep the BBS format going.  Those concessions can hurt the understanding of the reader.  One example is the chapter on magic groups as several examples discussed, but after all the groups are mentioned the book adds a page about group organization.  That would be excellent information, but the section wasn’t front loaded in a way I could follow, so I was reading about something else, then a small, in-text section describes how the groups are organized.  So, I was a bit lost.  That happed a few other places as well.  You can find your way, but it does distract from the flow of the book. 3.75/5

Summary– Overall, this is a good book.  I’m a relatively new convert to Shadowrun, so the world story side of the book is really helpful.  However, this book isn’t the home run I would have hoped for.  Mechanically, I want more.  As a starting wizard, the book doesn’t have a ton of spells you’ll want to pick up and use.  The spells here are great, but you’ll more than likely stick to the spells out of the base book.  And that’s kind of a running theme for the mechanics throughout this book.  Good stuff, but nothing that will make you build a starter character based on.  UNLESS YOU COULD SHANTE THE WORLD SEXIEST TROLL!  Just because the book brings back my favorite fourth edition spells as euphoria, it gets a higher grade simply for that.  But, this book also suffers from a serious problem with organization.  Sure the book “works” as I can read it fine, but as a reader, I felt lost a few times.  That hurts the overall presentation.  This is a good book, but it needs some work to really make this the slam dunk it could be.   87%

Daily Punch 5-21-15 Magic Malaise negative quality for Shadowrun 5e

Some people get hit harder then others when they do some physical tasks.  Maybe that would carry over to magic as well?

Magic Malaise

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

Requirement: magician or aspected mage

You can run a mile in under 7 minutes, you can bench press 200 and not break a sweat, but when you cast a single spell it hits you like a ton a bricks.  Increase the drain value for every spell you cast by the number of levels you have in this quality.  This does not change the type of drain from stun to physical.


Daily Punch 5-20-15 RALLY! positive quality for Shadowrun 5e

I was watching a few action movies, and I think my trog with a combat ax would like something like this.


Cost: 7 per level (1 to 3 levels)

We all get pumped when we put a fragger down.  Some get even more pumped when they do it the hard, handheld way.  When you deliver the killing or knock out blow with a melee weapon, you may immediately heal a number of stun boxes equal to your levels in this quality as you are filled with adrenalin from the kill!


Blurbs from the Booth-My time at Heroicon!

Last weekend I had the pleasure to head down to Decatur, IL to run Shadowrun.  It was a blast.  This is the first year for a new con called Heroicon, and they are doing things right from the start.  Let’s hit a few high points:

  • Open table signs-You never know what’s open at a con. Small cons don’t have as exhaustive pre-con sign ups, and this one was no exception.  But, they had visible signs at each table that told passersby if a table was open.  Well done!  A suggestion-Have each table also have an event list with times.  Saw this at AnCon, and it is my favorite organization idea I’ve seen in a long time!
  • Free GM badges-I drove six hours to get to the con. I’m scheduled 12 hours for game demos.  I’m here to make games happen, and I hate when cons then ask me to pay money to run games for them.  Heroicon didn’t!  That already makes me feel good before I even leave my house in Michigan.
  • Price-This is a small con, and attendees shouldn’t have to pay GenCon prices for Decatur, IL games. And they didn’t!  One day with unlimited gaming was $15!  Want three days?  that’s $25.  Want free cold food all con with all the soda you can drink and unlimited gaming?  $60 for the VIP.  I spoke to a VIP, and he told me it was well worth it.  Feeding two guys and myself was over $60, so I should have bought the VIP pass anyway!  Also, FREE GAMING!  You spend money on the badge, and that’s it.  You don’t need crazy extra tickets.  Again, great job!
  • Game Library-Love cons with games you can just play. This one was good, but it wasn’t the GenCon game library.  Those guys/gals are close buy.  Next year you might want to talk to them. However, I was happy to just see a game lending library there!
  • Dealer room-There were a few dealers on hand. There was even a good selection of goods out there with a few people pitching kickstater projects.  Good to see new blood in the community!
  • People- Very friendly, very open, and very helpful. I had just spent several hours on I57, so I wasn’t lucid or in a good mood, but the con organizers all helped me find my spot and get running games like a champ.  That will fix your angry driving mode in a hurry!
  • Magic Tournament Room-If you have a con over a Friday night, you need a Magic event. I don’t even play Magic and I know that’s a rule!  They had one.
  • Game Variety-I ran Shadowrun. I also talked with Paizo GMs, the local Local Coordinator for DnD, Warhammer addicts, and board gamers alike.  Lots of different games make for a good con.
  • Room Price-Had I had a bit of extra cash, I’d have stayed an extra day. Its $80 bucks for a day.  For a hotel that is really decent, that’s a steal!

All and all, this is a great local convention that I can’t wait to go back to next year.  I met some good people, played some great games, and had a blast.  Check out HeroiCon at http://www.heroicon.org/  and I hope they run this next year!

Daily Punch 5-19-15 Acid Wave Spell for Shadowrun 5e

You know what my favorite type of element in Shadowrun is?  Acid!  Almost no one preps for it, it’s a dirty way to get out of a room (the way), and it eats the enemy’s armor to boot!  Let’s build on what’s in Shadow Spells

Acid Wave

(Direct, Elemental)

Type: P  Range: S(A)   Damage: P

Duration: S    Drain: F+1

Why throw a ball of acid, when you can be at it’s center?  Acid Wave sends a wave of corrosive acid in all direction around you destroying everything in your and it’s path.  This repeats every combat turn as the caster’s first action if it is sustained while not hurting the caster.  However, everything else int the area is damaged by the corrosive effects of the spell.