Monday, 28 July 2014

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game

"A stunning miniatures game - simple, exciting, fun. And... Star Wars!"

Introduction/Theme
The Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game is a fantastic game taking place in our beloved Star Wars universe. YOU take the role of fearless pilots of X-Wings, Y-Wings or even the legendary Millennium Falcon and on Imperial Side, Tie-Fighters, Tie-Bombers, and so on... In tactical and exciting air combats you are responsible for the fate and the future of your whole world…

Components
The game is produced by Fantasy Flight Games and Heidelberger Spieleverlag, and honestly speaking, I haven't seen such awesome and detailed miniatures yet. The core set comes with one X-Wing and two TIE-Fighters, and cards, and tokens, and wheels for maneuvers, and measure equipment - so basically all the stuff you need to play. Lots of further expansions have been released yet, whereas the Y-Wing and the TIE Advanced will be covered in this review. More expansions (A-Wing, Millennium Falcon!,…) will be hopefully introduced later on.

Gameplay
The basic rules are very easy to understand and you can start playing within minutes. With the basic rules you can even play with your kids, ages 6 and up.  After choosing your ships and pilots (different stats & skills) each player secretly chooses the maneuvers for his ships by using the wheels. After moving the ships with the equipment proived (really comfortable and easy!) actions can be taken, and battles are resolved afterwards. Each ship can fire once, after checking whether an opponent is within range and visible. After applying certain multipliers (skills, weapons, actions,...) dice are rolled. These steps will be continued until one side has lost all its ships and looses the battle.

The ships included in the Core Set (one X-Wing, two TIE-Fighters) are quite well balanced and easy to start with, but even in this minimal setup a lot of fun! Of course different pilots and upgrade cards (e.g. weapons) are included as well.

The Y-Wing is a heavy ship, which can take a lot of damage, but is not so maneuverable. It comes with 4 more pilots and nice upgrades like droids or an Ion Cannon. Nice ship, nice expansion, adds lots of variety.

The TIE Advanced Fighter can take more damage than a regular TIE Fighter, and also comes with 4 more pilots - including Darth Vader, the most skilled imperial pilot. Also upgrades like missiles and special actions are included. Must-have!!

Conclusion
The Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game is one of the games we play most lately, even with my kids - sticking to the basic rules with them. It is simple, exciting and has a moderate learning curve. So you can add complexity, tatctics and variety in small steps, just as you desire. It is so much fun to move  the beautiful ships, to work on your strategy and tactics, to try to anticipate your opponents moves and to finally resolve the battles. We love this game!!








From the publisher: X-Wing is a fast-paced game of tactical space combat in the Star Wars universe. Players control starfighters from either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire, outfit them with a variety of pilots, special weapons and upgrades, and attempt to outmaneuver their opponents.

This box contains everything two players need to get started playing X-Wing, including painted plastic ships, custom dice, cards, tokens, and quick-start rules. Advanced rules and special missions are also included to let players take their game to the next level.






2 players, 30 min (and more, depending on number of ships)
Designer: Jason Little
Published by: Fantasy Flight Games, Heidelberger Spieleverlag
Category: Miniatures, Air Combat, Star Wars, Dice Rolling 



Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game @ boardgamegeek.com

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor

"A great expansion with many new options for the game we all love!"

Introduction/Theme
In Agricola you are a farmer - and that means that you have to take care of growing food, expanding your pasture, managing your family life and doing a lot of other things a farmer usually has to do. The topic has been adopted in a great way and lead to one of the most popular games of the last years. With this expansion you broaden the experience even further and add lots of new options.

Components
The premium quality of the components is the same as we already know from the base game. The box comes with 150 new cards, beautiful wooden horse-shaped pieces and lots of smaller additional tiles, like Moor tiles or flames.

Gameplay
The known gameplay mechanics are basically the same, but in addition to the need to feed your family, you now also need to heat your home. You also need to manage your farm land, and decide when to cut the forest and when to use your peat. Beside the existing animals now horses are here as well, and special actions are available to choose. Last but not least a load of new major and minor improvements are introduced, which take into account the new options of the game.

Conclusion
If you've played the base game a lot of times and want to experience new options - this is the expansion for you. Although the game gets more complex and you need some more time to play, it adds lots of new possibilities and ways of winning... Again you need to figure out which strategy works out best and this process is a lot of fun. If you love the base game, you will love Farmers of the Moor even more!




 
From the publisher: In Agricola (Latin for "farmer"), you're a farmer in a wooden shack with your spouse and little else. On a turn, you get to take only two actions, one for you and one for the spouse, from all the possibilities you'll find on a farm: collecting clay, wood or stone; building fences; and so on. You might think about having kids in order to get more work accomplished, but first you need to expand your house. And what are you going to feed all the little rugrats?

Agricola: Farmers of the Moor is a full-blown expansion to Agricola - and you need the base game to play it. This expansion replaces the minor improvements and the occupations of the base game with a large set of new improvements, and adds a number of new features. 
It includes 150 cards, horse-shaped wooden pieces, many tiles, and a new scorepad. The mechanics include the need to heat your home during harvest as well as feeding your family; hence, fuel becomes a new resource to collect. Farmers of the Moor includes special actions and lots of new major improvements. It expands the options to your Agricola experience.




1-5 players, 120 min
Author: Uwe Rosenberg
Published by: Lookout Games (german), Z-man Games (english)
Category: Farming, Economic 



Agricola: Farmers of the Moor @ boardgamegeek.com

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Batman "The Long Halloween"

"THE LONG HALLOWEEN is more than a comic book. It's an epic tragedy." - Christopher Nolan (director The Dark Knight Rises)

Batman: The Long Halloween is a masterpiece. Jeph Loeb's writing is awesome and the beautiful graphics of Tim Sale fit the Crime Noir background of the book perfectly. It's a murder mystery story set in a grey and dark Gotham City, where Batman needs to identify and catch a serial killer, who strikes on holiadys only.
The book is tight and exciting until the last page, and features lots of the well-known characters we all love - Joker, Riddler, Poison Ivy and even Scarecrow and Mad Hatter. Also the story of attorney Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face is touched.

A epic, thrilling and varied journey together with your beloved Dark Knight!





From the publisher: Taking place during Batman's early days of crime fighting, this new edition of the classic mystery tells the story of a mysterious killer who murders his prey only on holidays. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the calendar as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. A mystery that has the reader continually guessing the identity of the killer, this story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman's deadly enemy, Two-Face.
This edition includes original 13-issue series as well as four additional story pages cut from the original series, which are presented fully colored and restored to their place in the story.  Also featured are sketches and an introduction by the director and writer of The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan and David Goyer.






publisher: dc comics (english), panini comics (german)
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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Sarah Wieners "First Choice"

In her latest cooking series for TV, Sarah Wiener is looking for basic high quality ingredients. In each episode one of these ingredients is examined closely, from planting through harvesting to cooking. She visits a specialist for each specific product, stays some days and accompanies these persons - and finally cooks for them a delicicous meal, based on the specific ingredient.


The 2-DVD Box comes with a booklet of the recipes as well, which is awesome, as it gives you the chance to prepare the wonderful meals also for yourself at home.
The series has been produced in a cooperation between ORF and ARTE, and has been awarded "NTV DVD set of the year 2013".



There are overall 10 episodes (running about 45 minutes each) covering the following areas:

-) Honey
-) Bread
-) Tomatoes
-) Apples
-) Milk
-) Chicken
-) Olive Oil
-) Fish
-) Sheep
-) Potatoes




Sarah Wiener is an Austrian TV- Culinary and Entrepreneur. She has got her reputation from TV-cooking in Germany. Speaking fluently French she has also get a wide reputation in France, - where she has got some celebrity from a Arte TV Cooking serie she directed. This serie named le "Le Tour de France culinaire de Sarah Wiener" has got so much success in France, that this serie has got its on wikipedia - article in the french wikipedia...
 

also known as Sarah Lohmeyer
- born on August 27th, 1962 (51 years ago) in Halle, child of Lore Heuermann and Oswald Wiener
- nationality: Germany, Austria
- profession: Entrepreneur, author, tv chef, actor
- read more about Sarah Wiener (actress) 


[from omnilexica.com]



Producer: Edel Germany

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Monday, 27 January 2014

REX: Final Days of an Empire

Introduction/Theme
REX: Finaly Days of an Empire is a remake of the legendary boardgame Dune, which is settled now in the Twilight Imperium universe. The basic game mechanisms have been kept, and so the game is again about different races struggling for power, whereas negotiation and alliances play an important role.

Components
The game has been published by Fantasy Flight Games and Heidelberger Spieleverlag, therefore you already know about the premium quality of the components.You get a huge game board, beautiful battle dials, a very nice Dreadnought miniature and lots and lots of markers, tokens and cards. All of this adds to a really exciting atmosphere.

Gameplay
The game is divided into 8 rounds, with seven phases each. The most important resource in the game is influence, which can be used for lots of different actions. In the first phase you gain influence through different events, afterwards an entertaining bidding process for Strategy Cards takes place. In the third phase you recruit troops and leaders, which you deploy and move afterwards. Phase 5 is dedicated to battles, which are resolved quite simple and straight - also including usage of the beautiful battle wheels. The last two phases are reserved for collecting influence from areas which you control, and for finally seeing if the giant bomber fleet destroys some of your troops or not.

Conclusion
What makes the game really shine, is the fact that you can win alone - or together with other players, if your form alliances. If a player manages to control three strongholds in the city, this player wins, or control of 4 strongholds for an alliance of 2 players, or 5 strongholds for an alliance of 3 players. Furthermore different races have also different victory conditions (and also different abilities, which makes the game very diversified). These aspects (which remind me a bit of the old classic Diplomacy, which is good) make it clear that REX is more fun with more players, as there will be more interaction. On the surface it seems to be a rather straight area control and battle game, but there are many aspects and layers to discover - it's worth the time. Anyway you won't be bored, take your chance to explore and get to know this great interpretation of the legendary boardgame Dune.






From the publisher: The final days of the Lazax Empire began in the seventy-third year of the Twilight Wars, when without warning, the Federation of Sol led a deadly assault directly on Mecatol Rex, the capital planet of the empire itself. A climactic struggle for control of the imperial city followed, fought as much with diplomacy and deception as with troops and starships. This is the story of that struggle.

Rex: Final Days of an Empire is a board game of negotiation, betrayal, and warfare in which 3–6 players take control of great interstellar civilizations, competing for dominance of the galaxy’s crumbling imperial city. Set 3,000 years before the events of Twilight Imperium, Rex tells the story of the last days of the Lazax empire, while presenting players with compelling asymmetrical racial abilities and exciting opportunities for diplomacy, deception, and tactical mastery.

Rex includes:
• 1 rulebook and 1 game board
• 6 race sheets
• 2 battle dials
• 1 Dreadnought Fleet Figure
• 233 tokens and markers
• 120 cards








3-6 players, 120 min
Designer: Corey Konieczka
Published by: Heidelberger Spieleverlag, Fantasy Flight Games
Category: Strategic War Game, Negotiation, Area Control



REX: Final Days of Empire @ boardgamegeek.com
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Saturday, 25 January 2014

robbe Helicopter EC135 Red Bull RTF 2.4 GHz

I had some RC cars when I was a child, but this have been more toys than real RC stuff. But anyway I definitely had lots of fun with them... So I was planning for quite a long time to try RC planes or helicopters and make first experiences in this field. And to be honest, I was more than impressed when I flew my first circles with the robbe helicopter in the living room. :-)

The helicopter comes very well packed and in great original Red Bull design. The box is a RTF package (= ready to fly) and also contains a 2,4 GHz remote control, an USB charging cable and some spare parts - just in case you are flying to aggressive with your new helicopter.

When you first start the engines it's impressive how perfectly adjusted and stable you can fly this helicopter. With one stick you can control the height and  with the other one you can fly forward and go left and right. It's a perfect model for beginners (recommended to use only indoor or when no wind outside), although you can adjust and raise your targets and challenge yourself with more and more difficult maneuvres (go between two lamps, fly around the TV, softly land on a certain spot,...) It's so much fun to fly, to set new goals, get better and better and more accurate in steering.

This definitely got me hooked, wanting more.... :-) Hopefully I'll write here about another model, maybe a plane, in the next months.



From the producer:  

Helicopter from the RED BULL fleet which is particularly easy to fly
The EC135 multi-role helicopter was developed as a successor to the legendary BO105. With a top speed of about 260 km/h and over 1200 kW of power, the EC135 is an important member of the FLYING BULLS fixed-wing and rotary-wing fleet.
The model of the EC135 enables you to make a start in the exciting world of radio-controlled model helicopters, even if you have never previously flown such a model. Its sleek looks, easily mastered flying characteristics and robust technology make our EC135 the ideal first step in indoor model helicopter flying.

Pre-flight checklist
Classification: 3-channel co-axial rotor helicopter of scale appearance
Qualification: beginner
Application: indoor flying
Flight time: 5 - 6 min.
Charge time: 45 min. (flight battery)
Radio control system: 3 channels - 2.4 GHz
(stated values for flight and charge times are approximate, and may vary according to a variety of external influences





Producer: robbe

You can buy this fine helicopter online here: robbe

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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Pathfinder - Beginners Box

Pathfinder is a great d20 adventure roleplaying system based on the famous Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules - which have been offered as an open licence. Paizo created a medium complex game, which offers lots of possibilities and is quite easily accessible. Furthermore they support the system with awesome adventure paths (good stories, good atmosphere, different settings, stunning graphics), which are released on a monhly basis. The most famous one is "Rise of the Runelords", which is a remake of an old classic and won several prizes. I plan to write about it sometime soon - either about the Adventure Path, or about the new, innovative and highly praised Adventure Card Game.

The Beginners Box (which also won several prizes) is the perfect entry point for new players. It comes with a book for players and a book for the game master, containing the basic rules and mechanics. The four main classes (fighter, rogue, wizard and cleric) are covered, and also pregenerated characters and empty character sheets are part of the package. Lots of heroes and monsters are included as cardboard miniatures, which is quite nice - although the miniatures which can be bought separately seem to be even nicer... ;-)

I really like the lite rules, which ensure that the game can be played without investing a lot of time for studying the rules and without the need to have a lot of experience with this genre. Also younger audience can therefore be addressed. And all of this by offering a tight, exciting and well-balanced gaming and story-telling experience, with a good introductory adventure. If you liked the game, it is very easy to go on with an Adventure Path in this world of beautiful and atmospheric artwork and great stories. Hopefully I'll write about more of Pathfinder here sometime soon.




From the publisher: Adventure Awaits! Take your first step into an exciting world of fantasy adventure with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box! Within you'll find simple rules for creating and customizing your own hero, as well as a robust system for running your character through challenging adventures and deadly battles against villainous monsters like goblins and dragons! Will you master weapons and magic to become a courageous fighter, a wise cleric, a witty rogue, or a brilliant wizard? All the details of your character are yours to control. The only limit it your imagination!


The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box is packed with everything you need to get started with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, an imaginative tabletop fantasy adventure game for 2-5 players. Tons of monsters, challenges, and advice give gamers the tools to create their own worlds and adventures, providing countless hours of gaming excitement. With streamlined rules and a focus on action-packed heroic adventure, this deluxe boxed set is the ideal introduction to the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and the best starting point for a lifetime of pulse-pounding adventure!



The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Beginner Box includes:

• A 64-page Hero's Handbook, detailing character creation, spells, equipment, and general rules for playing the game

• A 96-page Game Master's Guide packed with adventure, monsters, magic treasures, and advice on how to create and narrate tales all your own

• A complete set of 7 polyhedral dice

• More than 80 full-color pawns depicting diverse heroes and monsters

• Four pregenerated character sheets to throw you right into the action

• Four blank character sheets to record the abilities of your custom-made hero

• A durable, resuable, double-sided Flip-Mat play surface that works with any kind of marker






2-5 players
Published by Paizo Publishing, Ulisses Spiele
Category: Fantasy Tabletop Adventure Game

Lots of additional material can be downloaded here: Ulisses Spiele - PF Beginners Box

You can buy the game conveniently here: F-Shop
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