Saturday, November 18, 2017

RPG of the Week: Volo's Guide to Monsters

Almost everyone agrees (except for the odd player killed by one) that you can never had too many monsters in a D&D game. Unfortunately, D&D 5th edition only had one official book of monsters, the Monster Manual, until this one came out last year, chock full of monsters and more monsters. Incidentally, there are two covers to this book, the standard one shown in the photo and the limited edition, which had a single run last year. Copies of the limited version, which only differs from the standard version by the cover, contents are the same, regularly sell for over $100 on eBay.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Online Survey Bones

One comment from the online survey we are conducting was the lack of the Bones line of figures from Reaper. Agreeing with the respondent, we got in the top 100 figures in the Bones line today as well as a box of the new figures Reaper released this month.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Board Game of the Week: Twilight Imperium

Another game from the Fantasy Flight stable, Twilight Imperium has gone in and out of print a number of times over the past 20 years and is one of the most complex boardgames we sell that is not a wargame. A game designed for those who like their games relatively complex and both strategic and tactical, Twilight Imperium also demands a significant amount of time to play. We played it during a Tuesday night Gaming With Gary session and it took about an hour and a half to get through the 1st turn. However, once you have played a game, subsequent ones play much more quickly. You can expect a game to take 3-4 hours though so either set aside an evening for it or a table, without cats, where you can leave it set up safely.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Amazon and the Future of Retailing

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the future of retailing as influenced by Amazon.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Survey Response: Online Sales

One of the responses to the survey now running on the Facebook page asked us for an online listing of our out of print and rarer items. We have had  an Bay store for a couple of years now and regularly list items there. We very seldom post new items there since it is quite easy to find those new items elsewhere on the interwebs for less but we do make an effort to post 1-10 items daily from our massive stock of used and out of print items, almost all with free shipping.

Why not on our own site? Mainly because eBay has already done all of the work to set up a very efficient online sales sales system that there is no reason for us to duplicate and using eBay is more cost efficient, at our sales level, than selling through Amazon.

If you see an item we have listed on eBay and want to order it directly, just email or call the store. We will also gladly sell you items listed on eBay if you ask about them while you are in the store.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Board Game of The Week: Tapple

Tapple, from USAopoly is a great party or family game. In Tapple, players select a category such as pizza toppings, the the first player taps a letter that starts an item in that category such as C for "cheese" then hits the timer, starting it for the next player. As the letters get tapped, it gets harder and harder to come up with an item for the untapped letters. If a player cannot think of one before the timer goes off, they are out of the game and play continues until only one is left. A game is generally over in 10 minutes or so but there are dozens of categories from which to choose or you can even come up with your own so great replay value.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

RPG of the Week: Compact Combat

Remember when I talked about the origins of GURPS last week and how it was based on a couple of stand alone systems, Melee and Wizard? Here is a similar system from Microtactix, a small game company active in the Evansville Indiana area in the early 2000s. Most of the products from Microtactix were print and play miniature figures and terrain, similar to the Cardboard Heroes sets from Steve Jackson Games. Instead of the d6s used by Melee and Wizard, Compact Combat used d10s. Gameplay, otherwise, was uncannily similar.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Facebook Holiday Stats

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at some Facebook statistics from an eBook the company recently sent out.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

RPG of the Week GURPS

GURPS is the Steve Jackson Games version of Metagaming's The Fantasy Trip, which was composed of Melee, a combat system, and Wizard, a magic system. I actually started off playing RPGs with The Fantasy Trip, since it was  more "realistic" than D&D, as your dexterity and agility rather than your strength determined if you hit or missed your opponent. Strength determined the amount of damage while your intelligence determined how many spells you could cast but with a spell point system rather than the Dying Earth system of D&D.

Steve Jackson worked for Metagaming during the late 70s and early 80s, coming up with the concepts of Ogre and Car Wars while there as well as much of The Fantasy Trip. When Metagaming went out of business, Jackson took Car Wars and Ogre to his new company, Steve Jackson Games. he attempted to purchase The Fantasy Trip as well but the owner of the company reportedly asked in excess of $100,000 for the rights. Instead, Jackson took the core concepts of TFT and expanded them into GURPS, the Generic Universal Role Playing System.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Boardgame of the Week Kaiju Crush

Selected for this week Kaiju Crush for two reasons:
1) It just came in this week and is a very fun boardgame, somewhat similar to King of Tokyo, and any game in which you get to crush buildings is great
2) the designers from Fireside Games visited us and demoed the game in early October and we got promo items for the game to give away with a purchase.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Magic Gift Pack

This Week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the Magic Gift Pack and who the target market for it is.

Friday, October 27, 2017

RPG of the Week Tunnels and Trolls

If you are looking for an easy to learn and easy to play RPG, you cannot do much better than Tunnels and Trolls. T&T, considered by many the second RPG to hit print (it released about 6 months after the original D&D did) and one of the simplest as well. With spell names like "Take That, You Fiend" "Hidey Hole" and "Freeze Pleeze", it is obvious that designer Ken St. Andre  had a sense of humor when it came to spell creation, among other things. Still TnT is a very well designed game and is still in print, just like D&D and unlike so many of the RPGs that debuted in its footsteps.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Boardgame of the Week: Pandemic Legacy 2

Normally I focus on older games for the Boardgame of the Week but wanted to call your attention to the 2nd season of Pandemic Legacy since this one differs somewhat from Season 1. In Season 1, players worked together to stop the pandemic and removed cubes from the board to show how effectively they had stopped the spread of the disease. Well, guess what? You failed.

In season 2, the pandemic spread, wiping out much of the population. You and your team work together to get supplies to the survivors, bringing back civilization from the brink of collapse, placing cubes indicating successfully delivered supplies. You are still the heroes though.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Why We Don't Buy Yu Gi Oh! (or Pokemon) Cards

The store will pay cash for most items:  RPG books, boardgames, Magic cards, even comic books (but very little). The two things we will not pay cash for are Pokemon cards and Yu Gi Oh cards. The reason for this dates back to the first time Pokemon got hot in the late 1990s. We had a lot, I mean a LOT, of people bringing us Pokemon collections to sell. Many of these people obviously had no idea what Pokemon was, how to play the game, or even how to read one of the cards. They just knew that the cards were popular and a lot of them were worth a lot of money and wanted to know how much we would pay for them.

After a bit, we started worrying about the possibility of the store receiving stolen property so decided to stop offering cash for Pokemon cards and instead only offering trade. We figured that the people who really played the game would happily trade their old cards for store credit they could use to get new or different ones while people who might have stolen cards in the hopes of selling them would not want the store credit. Time proved us correct as the number of people who obviously knew nothing about the cards they wanted to sell dropped off to nearly zero. When Yu Gi Oh! hit big in the early 2000s, we noticed a similar trend in people coming in wanting to sell collections who obviously again knew nothing about the game, so we quickly extended the "Trade Only" policy to Yu Gi Oh!

Surprisingly, at least to us, we have never had that big a problem with stolen Magic cards coming through here. I would hazard that Magic has never entered the public zeitgeist to the level that Pokemon and  Yu Gi Oh have. We have never had people lined up 12 deep waiting to get into the store to get a promotional Magic card they way they have for Pokemon and I am still waiting for MDonald's to release promotional Magic cards the way they did promotional Yu Gi Oh! cards.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

WizKids and Games Workshop

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the probable outcomes from the recently announced Games Workshop partnership with WizKids. I'm hoping for a relaunch of Oi', Dat's My Leg.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Boardgame of the Week Saboteur

For those of you who like the "screw with the other players" type of game, I call your attention to Saboteur, an early version of the genre for only $15.  Saboteur has gone through several publishers and comes through Mayfair Games now.

In the game, players lay cards down from the start, trying to reach the gold nuggets. Broken axes, cave-ins and busted lanterns can impede progress but all players are working more ore (see what I did there) less together, except for the secret saboteur dwarves who play block cards without appearing to play block cards and only win if the other players fail. This is a great game for anywhere from 3 to 10 players while the standalone Sabotuer 2 can handle up to 12 players.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

RPG of the Week Rifts

Rifts has been around since the 1980s, starting out as the Palladium Fantasy RPG, then, as Palladium Games slowly put up more RPGs using the same basic system, gradually developed into the first, and longest lives, multi-genre RPG. Both GURPS and Torg attempted to do something similar but GURPS never managed to make a system that allowed you to take the same character, without modification, from one genre or universe to another, while Torg was an interesting experiment that failed to find an audience.

If you look closely at the underpinnings of Rifts, you can see its roots in the original D&D system, with its character classes and alignment systems, as the creator, Kevin Siembieda, had a hand in many of the early Judges Guild products. However, Rifts has transcended its roots and now stands as its own system, which has developed into a fantasy/high-tech cross over that still has a strong following all these years later.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Counterfeits

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the growing problem of counterfeit products in the game industry

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Boardgame of the Week Talisman

To complement the RPG of the Week, we will start focusing one post a week on a boardgame. This week's game is Talisman, which first came out in the 1980s and has gone in and out of print ever since. I can best describe Talisman as "D&D on a board", although games like Descent and HeroQest do a better job of replicating the D&D experience. Players start off as a character with certain abilities and traverse the board increasing their strength until they can do battle with the dragon lurking at the center of the board.

Much like the classic dungeon crawls of the era, the outer rim (upper levels) are relatively easy to combat and the adversaries get more dangerous the closer you get to the center of the board. The game can take hours to finish  but players generally stay engrossed until the end (or decide to quit).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

RPG of the Week OG

This week's RPG is one that does not lend itself to campaign play but rather to one-off sessions, so one off that Scott could be induced to run a game of it if someone approached him properly. Og has been around since the late 1990s in one form or another. The Unearthed Edition dates from 2007 and in the game, everyone plays a stereotypical caveman, or at least as stereotypical a caveman as they can given how much we know about cavemen. Incidentally, these cavemen can, if the GM wishes, co-exist with dinosaurs. Roll with it.

The key thing to remember about Og is the words. Remember how your parents told you to "Use your words" when you were young? Here, you have a maximum of 18 of them and must communicate your actions and wishes to other players using only your known words, such as "You", "Me", "Hairy" and "Bang" and gestures. You may describe what you are doing to the GM using your regular vocabulary but will get penalized should you use that same vocabulary with your fellow players.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Heuristics

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the concepts of heruistics and how they affect purchasing in the game and comic industry.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

RPG of the Week: Dungeon Crawl Classics

Much like Pathfinder and Castles and Crusades, Dungeon Crawl Classics started life as a series of adventures created under D&D 3.0's Open Gaming License. Like the other two, the adventures proved popular enough that Goodman Games is one of the few companies remaining from the 3.0/3.5 Edition era, still publishing modules for the D&D 5th edition game as well as material for what became its house system Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Similar to Troll Lord Games C&C, Dungeon Crawl Classics opts to use its modified 3.0 edition rules and create adventures that have the feel of 1st edition AD and D adventures, with names reminiscent of the early TSR adventures such as "Beyond the Black Gate" and "The Sea Queen Escapes". 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monolith

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the recent announcement by Monolith to only "sell" the Batman Boardgame through Kickstarter.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

RPG of the Week No Thank You Evil

No Thank You Evil is a RPG system from Monte Cook Games targeted at beginning players. As the cover says "Ages 5 to Infinity" . The system is quite simple and relies on die rolls and tokens. As in almost RPGs, the gamemaster guides the game and creates the adventure. Whenever the players have want to attempt something, the GM sets a "goal" from 0 to 8. A goal of 0 is something the players can easily accomplish, such as walking or talking. Higher goals are set for more difficult activities. The players can spend tokens from their characters to make accomplishing the goals easier.

I had the opportunity to play No Thank You Evil a few weeks ago. It plays well, comes with lots of components and bits and a session can finish in about 30 minutes or extended longer if the players remain interested. If you are a parent looking to introduce your kids to RPGs but think D&D is a bit too complex, No Thank You Evil is a great alternative.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Force Friday Followup

This week's Rolling for Initiative column recaps my conversation with Brendan Bell of Asmodee NA over Force Friday

Friday, September 22, 2017

RPG of the Week

Since we stock a whole lot of role playing games (RPGs) and sell very few of them (we sell 5 times as much D&D 5th edition per month as we do all other RPGs combines) we decided to start talking about one of them once a week in the hope of calling your (yes you) attention to some of the fine ones out there. We will also be doing this with some of the less popular boardgames we stock as well.

This week, we feature Castles & Crusades. This RPG dates back to the 3.0 D&D boom when dozens of companies brought out all sorts of RPG supplements for D&D under the OGL. Castles & Crusades is one of the very few companies (Paizo's Pathfinder RPG is another) to still survive from that era, the tagline being "Third edition rules, 1st edition feel." Troll Lord Games has always focused on recreating the style of adventures from the early days of D&D and AD&D, before there was a heavy emphasis on plot and campaign and adventures stood on their own, rather than linking together.

While characters have skills, character class is a major focus of C&C, much as it was in early AD&D and your character class defines what your character can do. If you like D&D 3.0 (or 3.5) or the play of Pathfinder, but Pathfinder has gotten too complex and materials for D&D 3.0 and 3.5 too hard to find (it is out of print after all), take a look at Castles and Crusades.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Three Books

In this week's Rolling for Initiative column, if you are interested in opening a game or comic store, or running a store in general, I would recommend reading these three.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Preferred Customer Benefits

Figured it might be helpful to post a list up of the benefits you get here by earning a Preferred Customer Card. Remember, you earn one of these once you turn in 10 filled out Castle Cards. You do not need to turn in the Castle Cards all at once but will received Preferred Customer status once you give us your 10th card. Here are the current benefits:

15% off all purchases, excluding snacks and tournament entry fees
1 extra free item on Free Comic Book Day, Free RPG Day, Batman Day and Halloween Comicfest
1 extra ticket during our Halloween, Christmas and anniversary drawings
1 free game rental per month
Waiver of a deposit on all game rentals. However, you are still responsible for late fees and failure to pay those will result in loss of Preferred Customer status.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Teachers Rent Free

If you are a teacher at any of the local schools, you may rent any of the games in our game library for a week for free and will not need to leave a deposit. This includes games such as Munchkin, Settlers of Catan, Tapple or anything else, with the exception of certain rare games such as Conquest of the Empire. Just show us a faculty ID and we will take care of the rest.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Talisman Returning

Games Workshop has reclaimed the rights to the Talisman board game from Fantasy Flight Games so we can expect to see most of the expansions back in stock by Halloween:

GAW60012289001
TM-02 Talisman
$59.95 SRP
SDI 

Talisman the much loved Magical Quest Game first published in 1983 and never out of print since! Talisman takes you on a journey through magical lands, as you endeavor to reclaim the Crown of Command. Each turn will see your hero advancing, battling, gaining knowledge and power necessary to defeat the guardians lurking between the Portal of Power and the Valley of Fire.

2-6 players
1-2+ hour play time

Contents:

  • 14 Character Sheets 
  • 14 Matching Character Plastic Figures
  • Over 160 cards 
  • 6 x Six Sided Die 
  • Comprehensive Rule Book
  • More than 190 Tokens 
  • 30 x Gold Coins 
GAW60012289002
TM-03 Talisman: The Reaper
$24.95 SRP
SDI 

An unearthly chill creeps through the air. The Wizard stops reading his ancient tome and gazes cautiously over his shoulder. The Warrior feels an unfamiliar fear as he draws his mighty sword. 

A shadow has fallen across the countryside. Death himself wanders the land. Can the heroes fulfill their epic quests with the spectre of the Grim Reaper hounding their every move?

The race to the Crown of Command has never been deadlier!

Contents:

  • 4 new character cards and plastic figures
  • 90 new Adventure Cards
  • 26 new Spell Cards
  • 12 Warlock Quest Cards
  • The Grim Reaper, a dark figure that players manipulate against each other 
GAW60012289003
TM-08 Talisman: The Dragon
$39.95 SRP
SDI 

Three new Draconic Lords vie for ruler-ship of the Firelands–Varthrax, Cadorus, and Grilipus. Talisman grows more dangerous as they struggle to claim dominance over their territory and the Crown of Command.

The Dragon expansion offers players even more choices and strategic challenges, including a new, dual-sided Inner Region for their heroes to conquer. The alternate sides allow you to face familiar terrain along a path that requires all new tactics, or to venture into the Dragon Tower, where a hero's every step meets opposition by the Dragon King's minions and leads him ever closer to an ultimate confrontation with the Dragon King, himself.

Talisman: The Dragon brings the Draconic Lords and their legions of dragons to life. Any hero who dares confront the Dragon King must be prepared for an epic battle!

Contents:

  • 300 new cards and tokens
  • 6 new characters are introduced with dynamic miniatures 
GAW60012289004
TM-09 Talisman: The Blood Moon
$24.95 SRP
SDI
 

Once in a generation, the Blood Moon begins its fell cycle, bathing the realm in a pallid light. Compelled by its sinister presence, the restless dead rise from their graves, vampires hunt for unwary prey, and witches engage in nocturnal rituals. Worse yet, the horrifying Werewolf prowls the night, seeking heroes with whom to share his curse.

The Blood Moon is an exciting expansion for the classic board game Talisman! With over 100 Adventure Cards, plus new spells, characters, and alternative endings, The Blood Moon adds a gripping layer of gothic horror to your quest for the Crown of Command. In addition to a host of new challenges, The Blood Moon introduces two engaging mechanics: time alternates between "Day" and "Night," and a bloodthirsty Werewolf prowls the land. The new Time Card flips between its Day and Night sides to indicate the inexorable passage of time, introducing a range of engaging new game effects depending on its status. Meanwhile, a horrifying Werewolf preys on Adventurers who wander into his hunting grounds.

Contents:

  • 111 Adventure Cards
  • 10 Spell Cards
  • Time Card
  • 6 Lycanthrope Cards
  • 3 new Alternative Ending cards
  • 3 new character cards and plastic figures
  • Werewolf card and plastic figure
GAW60012289005
TM-10 Talisman: The City
$39.95 SRP
SDI
 

The City provides those who live within it a chance to pursue their lives with a modicum of safety and comfort. However, though the outside world is kept outside, any alert adventurer strolling through the City Gate will feel the tension humming in the air.

The City, a Region expansion board for Talisman, provides players with three alternative endings, its own deck, a host of shops for all your questing needs, and six new characters. Collect bounties listed on the Wanted Posters at the City Gate and fill your pockets with gold before doing some serious spending. Secure a steed from the Stables, pick up Pets or Potions, or head to the Armoury and the Magic Emporium. Visit The City in Talisman as you compete for the Crown of Command!

Contents:

  • Rulebook
  • 1 City Board
  • 82 City Cards and 89 Other Cards
  • 6 Character Cards and Plastic Figures
GAW60012289006
TM-12 Talisman: The Woodland
$39.95 SRP
SDI
 

Journey to the realm of the fae in The Woodland, an expansion for Talisman Revised 4th Edition! In this expansion, you can walk your own path through the Woodland corner board, encountering strange new creatures, events, and dangers. At the end of your path, a meeting with destiny awaits, transforming your character's future and developing your story further.

Even more waits beneath the boughs of the Woodland, however. Redesigned rules for fate tokens allow you to either help yourself or interfere with others, and your fate will shape many of your interactions within the groves and glades of the Woodland. Prepare yourself for a world different than anything yet seen in Talisman, and enter the Woodland!

Contents:

  • A new corner board, depicting the wilds of the Woodland
  • 5 new characters to join your adventures
  • 3 new alternative endings
  • Over twenty brand new tokens
  • Nearly 150 new cards to bring the Woodland alive
GAW60012289007
TM-15 Talisman: The Harbringer
$24.95 SRP
SDI
 

The end of the world is nigh in Talisman: The Harbinger. This expansion introduces the Harbinger, a mysterious figure of prophecy and doom who wanders the realm, with destruction following everywhere he walks. As the demons and plagues of the new Harbinger deck wreak havoc throughout Talisman, three new powerful characters seek the Crown of Command. That quest becomes more dangerous than ever before: cursed followers lie in wait for fresh prey, flames descend from the darkened skies, and the dead crawl from their tombs. 

Four new Omen decks reveal the changing and dire effects of impending doom, counting down to its arrival. Terrain cards abruptly transform the ground beneath characters' feet, changing deserts into bogs, or farmland into ruins. You'll have to navigate these obstacles and numerous others if you want to seize victory before time runs out for the entire realm – and the true apocalypse begins.

Contents:

  • Harbinger figure, sheet, and accompanying Harbinger deck
  • 3 more characters seek the Crown of Command
  • 4 Omen decks each unleash a unique scenario of doom
  • Terrain cards transform the landscape of the realm
  • 2 apocalypse-themed alternate endings

Monday, September 11, 2017

Alliance Open House

The major gaming distributors hold "open houses" each year for their retailer customers. I went to the Alliance one this past weekend and this week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at four things I took away from it.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Preferred Customer Benefit Addition

We have added a couple of new benefits to the Preferred Customer Card.

1) You receive 1 FREE rental per month of any rentable game in the game library.

2) Although you still have to pay the rental fee, we will not ask for a cash or credit card deposit when you rent a game. Just show us your Preferred Customer card and we will note that on the sheet. You will still be charged late fees for bringing the game back late and refusing to pay those will cause you to lose Preferred Customer status.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Force Friday Followup

For those interested in the business side of the gaming industry, this week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at some suggestions for improving the retail side of Force Friday

Monday, September 4, 2017

FireSide Games Tour

In case you would like to play games with the designers of Castle Panic and Here Kitty Kitty, FireSide Games will stop by on their Smash and Burn Tour on October 7th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (or later depending on interest. Come play Kaiju Crush and Hotshots and bring your favorite Fireside Games (or buy a couple) and have them signed.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Seven Things You Might Have Missed In the General's Handbook

Games Workshop wants to point out 7 things you might have missed in the 2017 edition of the Age Of Sigmar's Generals Handbook

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

GW Schedule

For you Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar players, a tentative release schedule through the end of the year:

Codex Tyrandis
Codes Astra Militarium
Codex Craftworlds
All arriving before November
AoS Firestorm Season of War
4 player campaign box
Reusable stickers with map - looks great!
AoS Malign Portents
With new Herald of Nagash mini
Narrative and march play - launching with organized play - Oct/Nov
Shadespire launches October
Arena combat - deck building game
Citadel Paint app- free!
Replicate color from a mini photo or any photo - this is an awesome app!
Necromunda - end November with immediate expansion release

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Yu Gi OH

Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. is proud to bring you the newest product offering, Circuit Break Special Edition which is jam-packed with value!  Not only does it include 3 booster packs of Circuit Break, each box is guaranteed 1 of 2 Super Rare variant cards, as well as 1 of 2 Super Rare preview cards of non-foil cards from the upcoming Spring 2018 booster set!

Marionettes that move on their own, a mad scientist, and vengeful spirits returning to walk the earth are just the beginning of what you’ll find in Circuit Break!  This booster is also home to more Link Monsters, including Borreload Dragon, a terrifying new 3000 ATK monster that can brainwash monsters it attacks, giving you control over them until their minds burn out.  Famous monsters from history like Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys and Levia-Dragon - Daedalus return in powerful and unpredictable phantasmal forms as the new Metaphys Nephthys and Metaphys Daedalus. Enforce order on their chaos and you’ll unlock a cycle of creation and destruction that will only stop with your opponent’s defeat!

They went into hiding after Maximum Crisis, but now SPYRAL and the Subterrors have returned with Link Monsters to update their strategies for a new era of Dueling!  Summon Subterror Behemoth Fiendess, a “Subterror” Link Monster that can hit the field with up to 4400 ATK, gets your best Flip monsters out of your Deck, and then Summons them! Guess what kind of card is on top of your opponent’s Deck (make sure to peek first with SPYRAL GEAR – Drone) and the new “SPYRAL” Link Monster SPYRAL Double Helix can Summon any “SPYRAL” monster from your Deck.  Of course, it also counts as SPYRAL Super Agent on the field and in the Graveyard, so you can use all your “SPYRAL GEAR” cards with it!

Powerful cards that can go in any Deck! Circuit Break has a wide variety of cards that let you do some incredible things no matter what kind of strategy you want to employ.  There are also new cards and Deck themes from Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS!  You can watch each episode of the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! series soon after it finishes airing in Japan on http://www.crunchyroll.com/ and then pick up great cards from the new series in Circuit Break! (Simulcast currently available every Wednesday in the US and Latin America).

Each Circuit Break Special Edition contains: 3 Circuit Break booster packs, 1 of 2 Super Rare variant cards, either The Winged Dragon of Ra - Sphere Mode or Stardust Chronicle Spark Dragon, and 1 of 2 Super Rare preview cards from the Spring 2018 booster set.

Magic Buyouts

A detailed look at reserve list Magic buyouts and their effect on prices. What is a buyout? It occurs when some decides to buy up all of particular Magic card currently available on sites like TCG Player, eBay and Star City Games. Usually, the target is an early card on WOTC's reserve list. The reserve list is a list of cards WOTC has indicated will never be reprinted, while early sets had surprisingly few copies of rares printed. Legends, for example, only had 19,500 copies of each rare printed and a lot of those have been lost over the years.

The author wrote the column because of the increase in buyouts over the past year and to caution players about buying into the "pump and dump" and getting a card when its price artificially peaks. Since a lot of sites use TCG Player as their pricing engine, listing a card on the site at an artificially high price forces the price high on those sites that use the site for pricing. Interesting look at Magic economics, but it can really only impact Legacy players or investors as the cards targeted are not legal for Standard or Modern play.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Force Friday

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at this year's Force Friday and Fantasy Flight Games participation in it. Nope, I cannot tell you what the secret item is as I still have no idea. We find out Thursday.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Vampire Playtest

The pre-Alpha playtest for the 5th edition of Vampire the Masquerade closed earlier in August. Will keep an eye out and post if they open it up again.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Vampire 5th Edition Playtest Kit

Although talk about it has floated around for a few months, White Wolf made a big announcement about the release of Vampire The Masquerade 5th edition in 2018. They are looking for playtesters for the system though. If you are interested, you can download the pre-alpha playtest kit here and, after trying out the system. you can fill out a survey giving your feedback

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Twilight Imperium New Edition

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the new edition of Twilight Imperium at $149.99. There is a hardback copy of the rulebook that is not included with the game but if you pre-order (and pre-pay) for a copy, you will get a copy of the hardback rulebook for free. Note that there is a softcover copy of the rules included with the game, but if you want the hardback copy, this special is the only way to get one (at least until people start selling them on eBay and Amazon. The game is scheuled to release in November and we will take layaway payments on it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Why DIstributors Matter

This weeks' Rolling for Initiative column follows up on last week's column on exclusives and looks at why distributors in general matter to the gaming industry.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Why Exclusives?

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the reasons for game exclusives and who benefits and who doesn't

Monday, August 7, 2017

Target Exclusives and Arcane Tinmen Stays Non-exclusive

This week's Rolling for Initiative column looks at the implications of the announced exclusive games at Target as well as the announced non-exclusivity of Arcane Tinmen products.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dragonshields Stay Widely Available

While not mattering much to the individual consumer, exclusivity is a concern for stores since it limits places from which we can order product. For example, one reason it is hard to find the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game is that only one distributor in the US has the right to carry it, so if a store, any store wants to stock it in, the store has to open an account with that distributor. While good for the distributor since it brings more stores in as customers, it is not so good for the store since stores have to split up their available dollars among yet one more source of supply.

There are 5 major gaming distributors in the US and another half dozen or so smaller ones and all of them have some benefit, whether is is an exclusive, or quick delivery or better instock, that causes stores to order from them. The more product lines available from a distributor, the easier it is for a store to put in an order. That's why the email from Arcane Tinman, the producer of the popular Dragonshields card sleeves, is good news. The company was going exclusive with Alliance Distribution, meaning stores would have to have an account with them to get the sleeves. Now, distributors that currently carry them will be able to continue to do so, without opening another account:

Arcane Tinmen has decided to discontinue their business cooperation with Asmodée North America (ANA) in order to maintain a broader distribution network of their products in the United States market. The change will go into effect on August 1st 2017.

Arcane Tinmen will continue to have its products distributed through many main distributors in the US, including Southern Hobby, ACD, GTS and PHD. Arcane Tinmen is thankful for many years of fruitful and prosperous relations with Asmodée NA, and Fantasy Flight Games before that.

Asmodée NA recently announced that they would be going from five distributors to an exclusive partnership with Alliance Game Distributors.

Michael Stehr Lilhav, CEO of Arcane Tinmen, states;
"I recognize that this is a solid move for Asmodée and their business, but the future for Dragon Shield and other Arcane Tinmen accessories lies within the wider distribution network."
Michael Stehr Lilhav adds that Arcane Tinmen is thankful for the many years of partnership the company has had with Asmodée, and that he wishes both companies plenty of good fortune on each of their separate future paths.

Arcane Tinmen is known for their wide range of gaming accessories and high quality trading card game protection products. With the world renowned quality-brand Dragon Shield, Arcane Tinmen has been an important player in the gaming industry for decades.