Space Marine Adventures Doomsday Countdown

Doomsday Countdown

Space Marine Adventures is back for another round of murder fun with Doomsday Countdown courtesy of Games Workshop and local bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

With the first volume of Space Marine Adventures players took turns facing down the Necron threat, however this time, in Doomsday countdown, it’s time for hunting Chaos cultists. Players take on the roles of three Space Marines and move about the map trying to defuse a bomb before it detonates. All three Marines are members of the illustrious Ultramarines Chapter and facing off against seven cultists, these particular models were previously featured alongside Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress.

These Adventure boxes are intended to be an introduction into the world of Warhammer 40,000. The models for both the Space Marines and Cultists are push to fit and easy to assemble, making that part of the hobby much less difficult to ease in to. Even in this game there will be lots of dice rolling to be had so it feels like a Warhammer game in that respect while using common model types.

The previous release had used tokens instead of models for the enemies so the fact they return to models, especially these cultist models, is a huge improvement. The mechanics are very much the same to the previous version so if you’ve played before this is very much a continuation. Even though this is the third volume you don’t need to have played the previous iterations to get into this one. Beyond getting additional Chaos cultists (which I always need) you also get some great tiles that can easily work along with tiles for Blackstone Fortress. This is another great way to introduce your friends and family to the world that is Warhammer 40,000!

Exploding Minions – the first licensed version of Exploding Kittens

Exploding Minions

The team at Exploding Kittens have returned with a reskinning of their hit card game with Exploding Minions and it is a blast!

Exploding Minions follows the same overall ruleset of Exploding Kittens but with some minor variations, such as fewer character cards to match and a new clone type of card. Cloning a card essentially allows you to duplicate the effects of an existing card. Players take turns playing cards to try to make the others explode. If you draw the Exploding Minion and have a defuse you can place the minion back in the deck wherever you see fit and hope that your opponent doesn’t have one as well.

Meet my youngest daughter Emmy. She is a fan of card games and especially anything where I might lose. She is learning to read and only six years old at the time of writing. The game recommends players be seven or older due to needing some reading skills beyond her age group but comprehending the effects are well within her skillset. She was my opponent for our review game and was assisted by my wife whom read the cards for her and helped her understanding their effects.

Quickly she had the game down and only needed a reminding of which abilities belonged to which cards and we had our game. Playing two games we had the same outcome each time- she won. Keep in mind I was not letting her win. She is a skilled adversary and I look forward to our next games together.

This was the moment she realized she beat me!

Space Marine Adventures: Rise of the Orks

Space Marine Adventures

Space Marine Adventures is back for a second round of Xenos murder courtesy of Games Workshop and local bookstores like Barnes and Noble.

With the first volume of Space Marine Adventures players took turns facing down the Necron threat, however this time it’s time for the Orks to rise. Players take on the roles of five Terminator Space Marines and move about the map searching for supplies while protecting a shield generator. Each Terminator hails from a different but classic chapter of Space Marines and as such have their own weapon load outs. To make this easier each marine is printed in the dominant color of their chapter (green for Dark Angles or red for Blood Angles for example).

These Adventure boxes are intended to be an introduction into the world of Warhammer 40,000. The models for the Terminators are push to fit and easy to assemble, making that part of the hobby much less difficult to ease in to. Even in this game there is lots of dice rolling to be had so it feels like a Warhammer game in that respect while using common model types.

My only complaint about this game is the lack of models. The other titles that game pre-boxed like this had models for both sides but Rise of the Orks only offers tokens for the Orks. One of the best things is the value overall. For the price of this box you get five Terminators where a box of only those models would be more expensive by far. As a tower defense style game this is quite enjoyable and an excellent value for the models you get. I highly recommend hitting up the local book store and scoring yourself a copy!

Warcry Catacombs ~ is it just a reskinning of the original?

Warcry Catacombs

It’s common for Games Workshop to release multiple new starter boxes using the same rules but is Warcry Catacombs another example of this?

Definitively Warcry Catacombs is not just the same game with new plastic wrap, there is so much more. The boxset features two new warbands, never before seen in the Eight Points and unlike the original starter one of them is from the Order Grand Alliance! A different alliance isn’t all that’s new, some of the terrain and one of the maps features a lava-filled chamber that changes how you play the game. When within the Catacombs you no longer have towers to climbs, which is a complete game changer for the Corvus Cabal. Warbands that use height to their advantage will be hindered by the low ceilings but it isn’t the end of Corvus Cabal as some may have predicted. Corvus Cabal has the ability to wall run above their foes so even though they can’t scale the tower to smash down on unsuspecting prey but they can pass freely allowing them to stop behind their foes.

The biggest downside in this box the the durability of some of the models. This is not something new when it comes to Aelves, nimble characters make for leaner models and a leaner model makes for limbs, weapons and features that are more likely to break with a little pressure. That being said they look absolutely fantastic. The core book is still the same and remains one of the cleanest and most well developed games I’ve had the pleasure of playing but the new features bring both a unique style of play and an easy way to switch to more narrative based gameplay.

Warcry Warband Focus Featuring Corvus Cabal

Corvus Cabal

Welcome to the another installment of our series where we will be focusing on one of the exclusive Chaos Warbands from Warcry. This time we will be discussing Corvus Cabal.

These followers of the Great Gatherer stem from the Realm of Shadow and believe the legendary Chaos General Archaon is the embodiment of their god. This faction is the masters of movement and stealth. Some units have the ability to ignore height when moving around the board. This is huge as some models can be trapped by the terrain pieces themselves. The Shrike Talon has an ability that will exploit this fact- Swooping Attack. Essentially he gets to drop on his enemy from above and use it to get a free move and attack option. From some heights he can receive bonuses to improve on the deadliness of the attack.

When playing against foes that have a higher defense (and depending on your objectives) winning the game will require you win the first initiative. Having the first turn is hugely important because Corvus Cabal will win the day on speed alone if they secure objectives first. Otherwise you will be trying to steal the objectives from forces that will typically outlast your fighters. This is what I call the Smash and Grab.

Visually this is an amazing faction. Easily second favorite. I love the Native American aesthetic they have and will likely be one of the first I build for myself but due to their play style will get less usage as a force. My play style is more of a Hit ’em hard and hit ’em fast method that lacks the finesse Corvus Cabal requires.

Infinity is back with a new edition in N4


Corvus Belli returns with the fourth edition of their hit skirmish tabletop game Infinity, aptly named Infinity N4.

This is the first time I’ve ever been able to play Infinity, and I can’t believe I haven’t sooner as the I also learned that the rules and model stats are available on their website for FREE! This means you can try the game out and various models to figure out if the game is for you AND if you have the right army. Now, assuming you’ve played and are ready to purchase your first army, where do you start? Simple. You purchase a faction pack and a rulebook, unless of course you prefer a digital copy and then the free one will more than do the job but without all the lore.

Having never played the game itself before, I did play the spinoff Aristeia game a couple years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. The models have always been fantastic, both fun to paint and looking great on the table but no idea how the game played. I’m told this edition is very much streamlined compared to N3 but I couldn’t confirm this was the case during my playing of the game. I did find it fast paced and much more dynamic than most games. It was quite a bit of fun too but I just wish that the models had assembly guides to make their assembly much easier without having to track down multiple angles of pictures to ensure proper assembly.

Blood Bowl has returned for Season 2!

Blood Bowl

The fine folks at Games Workshop have brought one of my favorite IP’s to the pitch with the Second Season Edition of Blood Bowl!

Those that know me, even just a little, will know that I am not a fan of sports, watching or playing. For some reason though I’ve always had a soft spot for Blood Bowl. I have played every iteration of the video games on the Xbox and both of the previous releases of the tabletop game. I even read some of the older books. So how is that I love a sports themed game when I detest sports? It’s all about the conflict. A game where you can have an ork kill or maim a player outright is one I am more than willing to give a solid try. Each time I’ve played I’ve lost on the tabletop and still found it quite enjoyable. The Season 2 Edition seemed like the perfect chance to finally beat my son.

Not much has changed in terms of general gameplay, but at the same time EVERYTHING has changed. That’s a bit of an exaggeration but we are seriously talking about some big changes. First off is in value- the core box comes with enough models to play a full team! This is huge! Every iteration previously required you to purchase additional boxes to have enough on the pitch. I hope this is the trend going forward. Previous editions made an effort of using star players but they always felt like they were missing something. With Season 2 we get to see them offer a bit more panache on the field, no longer just cool looking models. The rulebook includes rules for a plethora of star players, each with their own special stats to make playing them more worth it. It even adds another layer to setting your roster. Additionally previous editions required you purchase your heavy hitters separately but you get one for each team.

As always when it comes to causing carnage on the field I’m no slouch but when it comes to planning through openings to score points there is still some sort of disconnect. Playing multiple games with my son he managed to win each time but not before losing several players along the way. We had a total blast with the game and hope to try out a few of the other teams as they release using the new ruleset. The rules are much easier to understand than in previous editions, leaving fewer questions regarding how to interpret them. If you enjoy sports, fantasy tabletop games or beating the crap out of your opponent you will enjoy this game.

Barking Kittens ~ An Exploding Kittens Expansion

Barking Kittens

Exploding Kittens has a new expansion called Barking Kittens and we were able to not only play it but blowup members of our family as well!

We’ve talked about the Exploding Kittens brand before but this time we are talking about the latest expansions- Streaking Kittens and Barking Kittens for the Exploding Kittens card game.

Streaking Kittens

This $5 pack of carts adds one HUGE advantage- if you find the Streaking Kitten card you get to hide an Exploding Kitten in your hand without having to defuse it. The idea is to get someone to steal the worse of the two cards from your hand and inadvertently blow themselves up. In our game this would have worked quite well for my wife’s dad if the rest of us weren’t already aware he was drawing a kitten into his hand- no one stole cards from him again until he blew himself up.

Barking Kittens

There are several new additions here that make for some great combinations. My favorites were the Alter the Future and Personal Attack cards. Personal Attack cards force the next player to take three full actions on their next turn but doesn’t end your turn like other attacks do. Having multiples of these cards allow you to overload the next player with several actions and may just remove them from play. Alter the Future works similar to the See the Future cards in that you can see the next three cards in the deck but with this variation you get to change their order when you return them to the deck. This means if you know a kitten is coming up you get to control how soon they do.

There are several other new cards in both expansions and are worth learning how to use them all. Playing the game we loved the new cards and their changes to the core game and hated when someone else used them against us. Both expansions are essential for any fan of the game and a ton of fun to use.

A Game of Cat and Mouth by Exploding Kittens

A Game of Cat and Mouth

The Exploding Kittens have released another feline-centric game with A Game of Cat and Mouth.

In our house there is one species of pet that ranks higher than all others and that is the majestic feline. My son’s love for cats is so strong that if there is a cat on it or it is cat themed it is almost guaranteed to win him over. It’s no surprise that Exploding Kittens is one of his all time favorite games to play. When he learned that the team behind it were releasing another cat themed title he was more than excited. We received our copy of A Game of Cat and Mouth soon after he heard the news.

Cat and Mouth

Players rapidly use magnetic paws to launch balls through the eyes, nose or mouth holes in the divider between sides. The first player to get all white, all yellow or the single black ball on the opposing side wins. The launchers themselves make use of the most powerful magnets I’ve ever seen that didn’t have electricity amplifying their strength.

Getting the balls through the holes require a bit of skill but with a little practice and even a four year old can do well at the game. The entire family has a blast with this game. This game is so much fun it even draws the attention of one of our own cats.

Cat and Mouth

Poetry for Neanderthals a game by Exploding Kittens

Poetry for Neanderthals

Poetry for Neanderthals is another family fun game created by the team at Exploding Kittens.

The Exploding Kittens team are back with another insane concept for a family game in Poetry for Neanderthals. Since it’s inception Exploding Kittens has been a staple in our household and the team of the same name was responsible for several of our favorite family games. Conceptually the game is quite simple, dividing into two teams players will take turns describing a word or phrase but must do so using only single syllable words. If at any point they gesture, use more than one syllable, use the word they are trying to describe or a few other instances or rule breaking then they will get hit with the inflatable club. Not going to lie but I felt like Captain Caveman while wielding it over my daughter’s head.

Every player during our games end up getting hit at least once or twice, most of us for gesturing. I was really bad at giving clues without moving because I am naturally very animated when I talk.

The game is a great exercise for the old noggin because you have to be a quick thinker to score points and avoid losing them at the same time. First game was parent’s versus the kids and some of the kids got bored early on (one was watching a movie and the other was too distracted to play) and so we started over for a round of boys versus girls. It was a close game but us boys won by only a couple points. Everyone that played to the end loved the game (4 of 6 members of the household) and the other two had fun until pulled away by the call of the children’s film on tv. We are all looking forward to the next game night we get to spend on this game.