Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Diamonds

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Diamonds

Product– Diamonds

Producer-Stronghold games

Price– $ 25 here http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NFSBU9Y/ref=sr_ph_1?m=A7YAR2WDYOPTK&ie=UTF8&qid=1440129851&sr=sr-1&keywords=diamonds

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30-45 minutes (2-6players)

Type-Euro

Depth-Light

TL; DR-Best parts of several trick tacking games. 92.5%

basics

Basics-Time to throw Eucker, Hearts, and Spades into a blender!  Diamonds is a trick taking game that combines the best of all of the above.  Players are dealt 10 cards, and the dealer will decide to trade one to three cards.  All players then choose that many cards from their hand and pass them to their neighbor.  Next, the player to the left of the dealer will place one card down.  These cards have values between one to 15 and have the four suits found on any normal deck of cards: hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs.  Each player then has to place a card of the leaders suit, if they have any, or play any other card, if they don’t have the same suit as this trick’s lead card.  Here is where the game becomes more than just a trick taking game.  Each suit has a power associated with it.  Diamond cards place a diamond behind a small screen called your vault.  Hearts place a diamond in front of the vault in your vault.  Spades take a diamond from the front and place it behind your vault.  Clubs steal a diamond from in front of another player’s vault and places it in front of yours.  Whoever played the highest card with the lead’s suit gets to take all the played cards and set them next to his or her screen and then take that suits action.  If you couldn’t play a card with the lead’s suit, you just take the action associated with your suit.  Playing off won’t get you cards for the round’s end, but it does get you whatever power the card you played has.  Whoever won that trick then becomes the next lead player for the next trick.  After 10 tricks each round, all players separate their cards into four piles based on the suits.  Whoever has the most number of each suit gets to take that suits power again.  If you didn’t get any tricks, and thus have no cards, you get two free diamonds placed right into your vault instead.  Play then continues with a new dealer.  After each player deals one or two times, depending on the player count, each player counts their diamonds with diamonds in your vault worth two points and those in front being worth one.  The player with the most points wins!

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Mechanics–  I’m from Michigan, so I knew this game from another game called Eucker.  Eucker is fun, but it lacks depth.  This game is amazingly deep for a trick taking card game.  Sometimes you do better by playing off than ever winning a single trick.  Sometimes, you need to win every trick.  That evolving strategy is amazing.  Also, the game isn’t hard to play.  I do love me some 8-hour, math fueled, Euros where I build cars, but you will learn this game in under 3 minutes, master it in 10, and have a chance of winning in 15.  Honestly, this is a well done game.  5/5

Theme-Theme is a hard concept in your average trick taking game.  What’s here is ok.  There really isn’t a story here.  But then again, I’m not really looking for one.  I’d like more, as I’ve seen some reskinned trick taking card games with more theme, but I didn’t expect too much going in.  The components are nice and do build a bit of a world, but don’t play this game if you need something like Dark Moon’s story.  3.5/5

Instructions-That paragraph above is all you need to play this game.  The rulebook is as short as it needs to be.  The game is an extremely simple to play game, so the rules don’t have to be too difficult or cover too much territory.  The extremely helpful thing included in this game is a cheat card for every player giving some quick iconography on how the different suit powers work.  Honestly, this is a slick, simple rulebook that will get you playing in about 5 minutes even if you’ve never played a trick taking game before. 5/5

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Execution-This game is a small game, but not a poorly put together one.  You can see all the components here: http://youtu.be/dugtHKid-Ko . The game is about a quarter the size and weight of most of my other games, but that doesn’t hurt its delivery.  The game comes with cardboard standee vaults, a deck of cards, and plastic diamonds.  What is here is well done and beautiful.  The art is distinctive, but not distracting.  The diamonds are nice plastic pieces that you want to collect.  It’s a power-packed box.  5/5

Summary-Diamonds is the game I bring with me when I hang out with my family in Michigan.  It’s got the simplicity of Hearts, but the depth I need in a great board game.  It has great components and instructions.  My only real complaint is the theme, and the only reason I ding this game on theme is I play too many RPGs, and I want theme in everything I play.  If a games story isn’t the most important thing to you, then this is an amazing, easy to play trick taking game that’s a great game to add to any collection.  92.5%

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Daily Punch 8-19-20 Summon Shield spell for DnD 5e

Let’s do shield summoning in DnD 5e!

Summon Shield

1st-level conjuration

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: Personal

Components: V, S, M (a bracelet of small shields)

Duration: 8 hours

You conjure a shield of any type with you are proficient.  If the shield hits another creature, that is fine, but no other creature may attempt to use this shield.  If another creature attempts to use the shield, it instantly disappears.

  At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level, the shield is a +1 shield.  When you cast this spell using a 5th level spell slot, the shield is a +2 shield.  When you cast this spell using a 7th level spell slot, the shield is a +3 shield.

Daily Punch 8-18-15 Magic Armor and Greater Magic Armor spell for Pathfinder

Magic armor, but no magic  weapon spell in pathfinder?  let’s make this happen!

MAGIC Armor

School transmutation; Level cleric 1,  paladin 1, ranger 1, sorcerer/wizard 1

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range touch

Target One suit of armor

Duration 1 min./level

Saving Throw Will negates (harmless, object); Spell Resistance yes (harmless, object)

Magic armor gives a suit of armor a +1 enhancement bonus on defense and all the qualities of a +1 suit of that type of armor.

You can’t cast this spell on natural armor.  This spell does not change the material that makes up the suit of armor.

Magic Armor, Greater

School transmutation; Level cleric 4,  paladin 3, ranger 3, sorcerer/wizard 3

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S, M/DF (powdered lime and carbon)

Range Touch

Target One suit of armor

Duration 1 hour/level

Saving Throw Will negates (harmless, object); Spell Resistance yes (harmless, object)

This spell functions like magic armor, except that it gives a suit of armor an enhancement bonus to AC of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5).

After give a suit of armor a +1 enhancement bonus, further bonuses may be spent to provide the armor additional qualities as if it were created with those magic qualities and traits.  This spell does not change the material the suit of armor is made of.

Daily Punch 8-18-15 Summon Armor spell for Pathfinder

You can summon some instant armor in Pathfinder.  What about if you already own armor?

Summon Armor

School conjuration (teleportation) ; Level cleric/oracle 1, paladin 1, wizard/sorcerer 1

CASTING

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S

EFFECT

Range personal
Targets you
Durationpermanent

Thoughts?

Daily Punch 8-7-15 Good, Great, and Excellent Position combat stunt for Fantasy AGE RPE

Let’s add to the current combat chart for the AGE system.  I think a bit more will help with things.

SP Cost Stunt
1 Good Position: You move to an advantageous position and gain a +1 to your next attack roll against the target.
3 Great Position: You gained a bit more of an advantage and gain a +1 to your next attack roll against the target.
5 Excellent Position: You move to the best position you can find and gain a +3 to your next attack roll against the target.

Ring Side Report-Board Game Review of Game of Crowns

Product– Game of Crowns

Producer-AEG

Price– $ 25 here http://www.amazon.com/Game-of-Crowns-Board/dp/B00V8Y2P78/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1439267414&sr=8-2&keywords=game+of+crowns

Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30-45 minutes (4-9(!) players)

Type-Euro

Depth-Light

TL; DR-Love Letter Evolved. 94%

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Basics-In the Game of Crowns, you manipulate, scheme, triumph or you die! Game of Crowns is the next step in the evolution of Love Letter.  Players take the role of one of several different noble houses trying to take the top spot in the kingdom.  This is done over the course of three turns.  Each turn, a player will play one card or attempt to trade cards.  Trading is simple.  The active player offers one card.  Then, all other players have to offer a card in response.  The active player can add a second card to his/her offer, and all players have to follow suit.  Any player can sweeten their deal by offering crows (the main currency in the game).  Finally, the active player chooses one other player, and they exchange cards.  Playing cards is equally as simple.  On a player’s turn, that player selects one card from his or her hand, and plays it for its action.  You start with coinage and knights.  Coinage is just choose a player, steal a random card, and then give them coinage.  Knights are the main combat power of the game.  When you use a knight you choose a player.  Then, all players choose secretly if the defender or the attacker is the winner.  After all players reveal their chosen side, all players can then spend crows to increase the power of their chosen side.  Whoever wins gets to look at the other player’s hand, choose one card, and steal that card or to take a card from a random deck of cards that provides new ways to score points.  The knight that started the fight is then discarded, and the losing side gets all the spent crows.  After three rounds, players score points based on the cards in their hands.  Some cards only give you points such as the trader (coinage), princess (knights), and castilian (crows).  Another card, feud, gives you points if you have the most of it compared to all the other players.  Who ever has outmaneuvered their opponents the best and has the most points at the end is the winner and the new king!

Mechanics-This game is simple and quick.  It’s the the speed of Love Letter’s draw one, play one, and the added depth of microgame Dominion.  I like the variety of different ways that players can play this game by focusing on the different paths to victory.  It’s not perfect; if your group of friends just won’t see how you losing to your other friend makes them all lose, you won’t enjoy the combat much.  Pick your battles well, but keep in mind that the people shape this game to a high degree.  4.5/5

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Theme-AEG is a great company for theme.  Sure, you could play this game and ignore the theme completely, and some players will.  However, AEG builds on this game by having a few pages that must describe the families in the game. They didn’t need to do that, but those touches help draw me in that much more.  It’s not perfect as you’re still only do some minor story things in game terms, but I do feel like a noble family maneuvering through intrigue in this game.  4.5/5

Instructions-The game has great instructions with only one fault.  I wrote the instructions out in one paragraph above, and that right there is all you really need.  The rule book does that well, and give you a bit more.  The only real problem is the Feud cards.  There is some debate if Feud provides exponential points or just increases as you gain more cards.  If you check Boardgamegeek, you find that those cards are just scored according to the most cards, but other sites say the opposite.  I’d like a bit of clarification, but overall, if you decide among your friends how that is played, you will easily be able to pick up the game and play this out of the box no problem in under 10 minutes.   4.75/5

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Execution-I’m going to complain about something I thought I would never say-the game box is too big!  That’s pretty weird to hear me say, but this game almost fits in a Love Letter bag no problem.  That said, that’s an awesome problem to have.  Too many games don’t fit in the box they came in.  This game has great card art, good card stock, and crow meeples!  Top notch work, AEG!  In fact, if you want I’ve made an unboxing video here (http://youtu.be/5B7hC3svWng) if you want to see all the components of the game.  5/5

Summary– I love AEG.  They constantly put out top notch games that don’t require hours to play.  Sure I love my 4 hour Euros, but this one is a simple game that plays quick, and can even include non-gamers without spooking them away like a round of some other games.  And the player count is amazing!  Up to nine people can play this game.  That’s a true blessing.  I’ve had way too many game days at the local store where they couldn’t handle the fifth player.  Now you can run that fifth player and his friends.  Good rules, great mechanics, and some well-written, if slightly flawed, rules all make this game a pleasure to play.  This game isn’t that expensive and if you want a bit more meat on the bones then Love Letter gives you, Game of Crowns is an excellent addition to your library.  94%

Daily Punch 8-6-15 Friendly talent for Fantasy AGE RPG

How about being friendly?  I don’t want to tell people off, I don’t want to command, I just want to make a nice introduction and make some friends quickly.

Friendly

Classes: Mage, Rogue, and Warrior

You know how to make an entrence.

Novice: When you make a Communication(Persuasion) test and dislike the result, you can reroll the check.  You must keep the second result.

Journeyman:  Reduce the stunt point cost of the And Another Thing and Flirt roleplaying stunts by 1.  Only reduce the cost for the first use of each in a single roll.

Master:Increase your bonus for Communication(Persuasion) by 1, and you also gain 1 additional stunt point when you gain stunt point normally for a Communication roll.

Thoughts?