Tabletopia arrives in beta form on the App Store

February 7, 2018 David Neumann 7

iPad, PC/Mac • Back in 2015 Tabletopia begged for money on Kickstarter and we all [by “all”, Dave means “himself” -ed.] obliged by throwing money at the project. What wasn’t to like? Tabletopia promised the ability to create any tabletop game you could dream up and turn it into an online gaming experience. Not only that, but the graphics would be all 3D and look just like their physical counterparts. It would be just like sitting around the table with friends! The finished product landed on Steam shortly thereafter and, yep, there are hundreds of board games you can play on your laptop. Today, there are six games you can play on your iPad as Tabletopia has made the jump to the App Store and is currently in an open beta state.

Cardboard Critique: London

February 2, 2018 David Neumann 2

Tabletop • Dickens famously wrote one book about two cities. Martin Wallace, on the other hand, topped that by designing two games about the same city. You know, I’d been milling that intro about in my head for days and it sounded way better there than it does when I type it out. Unfortunately, my delete key is broken so it will have to remain as-is [unfortunately, my delete key is broken too, or it would have been destroyed. -ed.]. What I’m trying to get at is that I’ve played London by Martin Wallace. I’ve played it a lot. I’ve played both the first and second editions and I’m going to talk about it after the jump.

Cardboard Critique: One Deck Dungeon

January 5, 2018 David Neumann 6

Tabletop • There aren’t many activities where being a friendless abomination is actually a boon, but board gaming is getting there. There’s a bevy of solo board games on the market and it seems like I’m discovering more and more of them each week. Asmadi‘s One Deck Dungeon is a one or two player affair (you can play up to four with two copies), but I’m going to focus on the solo game. Because I’m alone. Yeah, I already covered that. Even if you’re one of those cool people with family and/or friends who want to game with you, this review might still be illuminating [illuminating is not a word I would apply to any of your reviews -ed.]. That’s because our friends at Handelabra will be bringing ODD to our PCs and tablets later in 2018, meaning what follows should be applicable to all you digital board gamers as well.

Escape Team brings affordable escape room thrills to mobile

December 8, 2017 David Neumann 6

iOS, Android, Tabletop • Tabletop games that emulate escape rooms are all the rage these days, with one version even winning this year’s Kennerspiel des Jahres award. These games tend to be $10-15 and are one-time deals. Once you’ve played through the puzzle, the game is useless to you. Some folks have an issue with board games they can’t replay, but spending $10-15 to get a group of your friends together for a fairly authentic escape room experience is way cheaper than paying $25+ per person for the real thing. Escape Team is a new escape room title that uses your phone as its centerpiece while getting rid of that pesky $10-15 bill you had to pay for EXIT or Unlock. Intriguing, isn’t it?

Cardboard Critique: Dragonfire

December 4, 2017 David Neumann 6

Tabletop • At first glance you might be tempted to compare Catalyst Game Labs‘ latest card game, Dragonfire, to one of the favorites around the Stately Play grounds, Pathfinder Adventures. Both use cards to replicate the role-playing experience with the latter set in Pathfinder and the former in D&D 5E. Other than those similarities, however, the games couldn’t be more different. You already know I love Pathfinder ACG, so how does Dragonfire stack up?

D&D Beyond is the bee’s knees

December 1, 2017 David Neumann 4

Tabletop • Back in August, Wizards of the Coast made a grand proclamation that D&D Beyond was up and running and was, finally, their method of getting books into digital format. Sure, every other gaming company figured out how to release PDFs in about 2003, but WotC has been plagued with dumb decisions and things like Gleemax. Never forget Gleemax. Much to my chagrin, D&D Beyond is a browser based compendium and it will cost you through the nose if you want to see everything it has to offer. Digital books are full price and, on top of that, there are optional subscription models for additional stuff. It sounded like WotC had dropped the ball again, but I’ve been using D&D Beyond almost every day for the past few weeks and, I have to admit, it’s worth the price.

Fantasy Flight’s companion app for Imperial Assault imminent

November 20, 2017 David Neumann 2

Tabletop, iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Back at Gen Con in 2016 we were introduced to Mansions of Madness Second Edition which removed the need for a GM and made MoM one of the best exploration/narrative/dungeon crawlers out there. Around the same time we were also introduced to the Road to Legend app for their actual dungeon crawler, Descent 2.0. This, also, removed the need for a GM and did all the work so players could complete whole campaigns while all working on the same side. Both of these additions were met with critical acclaim, but gamers are a finicky bunch and instead of patting Fantasy Flight on the back, screamed about wanting the same type of companion app for FFG’s Star Wars themed dungeon crawler, Imperial Assault. Well, it’s coming.

Stately Sessions: Liberty or Death, Turns 8-13

November 17, 2017 David Neumann 1

Tabletop • In our effort to speed things up with our ongoing Liberty or Death session report, I’ve managed to somehow combine six (6!!!) turns into one post. Unfortunately, this means I’m already broke my promise to report on at least one non-board game per day by not covering anything yesterday, but I did report on two non-board games Wednesday, so I’m calling it even. Without further ado, let’s see what’s happening in the colonies.

Stately Sessions: Liberty or Death, Turn 7

November 15, 2017 David Neumann 2

Tabletop • We’re back with our parade through (alternate) history via GMT Games‘ brilliant COIN title, Liberty or Death. I’m getting the sense that you, the Stately Players [I’m really trying to get him to stop. This will be the last time, I swear -ed.], are losing interest in these turn-by-turn walkthroughs, so I’m going to really try and wrap the whole thing up before Thanksgiving so we can move on to a different game. When I started the affair, I had it in my head that I would spend 5-6 hours playing the game and then chop it into a week’s worth of material. When I saw how much information had to be relayed while writing up the first turn, I realized I may have bitten off more than I could chew and moved to the one-two turns per day format. That works well for me, but it needs to work well for you as well. I’m new at this, and still learning. Stick with me. We’ll wrap up LoD as quick as possible and then throw something else on the table.

Stately Sessions: Liberty or Death, Turns 5 and 6

November 13, 2017 David Neumann 3

Tabletop • We’re back after a long gaming weekend that consisted of playing a lot of old favorites with not one “new” game hitting the table. We had some new players, so game teaching was still in order, but far less stressful than trying to teach games I barely know how to play. That’s all in the past, however, and from this point on we’re going to focus on wrapping this game of Liberty or Death from GMT Games up. I’m hoping turns become faster and faster as I become more familiar with the flowcharts of the AI, so maybe we’ll finish this game before New Year’s? Let’s take a look at two quick turns, Turns 5 and 6.

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