Second, there are a lot of Dungeons and Dragons crafting channels out there on the YouTubes. One we feel isn’t getting enough attention is Max DM Crafting. The channel has been going for 2 years. Max is friendly and humble in his approach and, in our opinion, deserves more attention. Check him out!
Brandon: Today we have a fast-paced fun game that’s for absolutely everyone!
Finn: Um, it’s not.
Brandon: What are you talking about? This game can definitely be fast-paced. I mean, you could play it slower too if you want. That’s kind of one of the neat things about it. You can play super fast or whatever pace you want to really, so I…
Finn: I don’t disagree with that. It’s the “for everybody part” I’m talking about, but we’ll get there.
Brandon: Ah! Well, where should we start?
Finn: How about with what you first see when you get Crown War!
Brandon: Oh yeah! When I first opened they box they sent us I was surprised and impressed. Just look at this container!
Finn: This is a text review, not a video.
Brandon: Well, insert a picture, would you?
Finn: Here you go.
Brandon: Thank you! Look at how fun that is. It’s a crown shape, but it’s also a battlement tower.
Finn: Imma open it and show everyone what’s inside.
Brandon: This isn’t a video, remember?
Finn: Yeah, yeah. Here’s the picture.
Brandon: That’s a lot of pieces.
Finn: And they’re very well made. These are solid and have a great design on them. They feel really good in your hand.
Brandon: But how do you play?!
Finn: You know how to play. We’ve played this before. Together.
Brandon: I’m using a narrative device for the people reading this article.
Finn: Oh! I must have been using a comedic device to play off of that then. Anyway, you put all of these coins face down and then you take turns flipping them over until every coin has been revealed and then you add up your points. Whoever has the most points wins.
Brandon: Wait, you just turn over coins and count? That seems boring.
Finn: Dude! You’ve played this game before, you know that’s not all there is…oh, narrative device?
Brandon: Narrative device!
Finn: Ok, for the audience: There are special coins with special powers. The king, queen, prince, and joker all bring something to the table such as winning all numbers and then there’s the bankruptcy coin that means you lose the round AND give half your stash back to the pile.
Brandon: So, mostly luck.
Finn: Yes, and it’s interesting that you bring that up because there is a luck variant can actually be strategic. Each player grabs one coin from the scattered pile before you start and then can use that coin at a strategically appropriate time to make everyone reveal their luck coins to see if that changes the outcome of a round. It’s still luck, but it brings more suspense and thrills to the game.
Brandon: I certainly had fun playing this.
Finn: So did I, but that does bring me to my original point about “for everyone”. I do think it can be for everyone, but your middle-schooler and high-schooler kids probably won’t like it as much or may just like one play and then move on to something else. This will be great for those 10 and under though.
Brandon: I’d say it could be fun for a family game night with all ages and that grown-up adult type folks might enjoy it in-between other heavier games, but I agree with you on the 10 and under set.
I have an idea…
Finn: What’s up?
Brandon: How about we do something nice and give this away to someone who could really use it right now? A lot of people are at home, and sure jigsaw puzzles are being restocked finally, but I say we send this to someone absolutely free of charge.
Finn: I love this idea. But how do we figure out who to send it to?
Brandon: How about they contact us in one of any of the available ways. Comment on this post, email us, tweet at us, or make a comment on any of our sites and formats.
Finn: That sounds perfect. So, if you’re someone who would like this game, contact us in/at any of the ways mentioned above. We’ll announce a winner in a week on July 6 and contact them for shipping details.
Brandon: I like this game, and I like this plan. Oh, and sorry Quebec. We may plan ahead next time and try to get you included: Quebec
ESPN has an interesting article on the physical toll Chess Grand Masters go through.
“Grandmasters sustain elevated blood pressure for hours in the range found in competitive marathon runners,” Sapolsky says.
It all combines to produce an average weight loss of 2 pounds a day, or about 10-12 pounds over the course of a 10-day tournament in which each grandmaster might play five or six times. The effect can be off-putting to the players themselves, even if it’s expected. Caruana, whose base weight is 135 pounds, drops to 120 to 125 pounds. “Sometimes I’ve weighed myself after tournaments and I’ve seen the scale drop below 120,” he says, “and that’s when I get mildly scared.”
Brandon: What? At least I didn’t title this review “Elementos, my dear Watson”. Though, I still could…
Finney: How do you play?
Brandon: It takes only moments to learn, but a lifetime to master. You will think, at first, that you will be able to win easily. You will then assume that it’s like Tic Tac Toe and that the only winning move is not to play. Then you will realize that it is more challenging than chess, yet more fun than a family game night of Pit. Then..
Finney: Seriously, how do you play?
Brandon: Right. Sorry. It’s a two player game. Each player picks their color of these round elements pieces, black or white, and sets them up on their side of the board with three of each element showing.
Finney: I see fire, water, and a tree. The wood element?
Brandon: I guess. I hadn’t thought about it.
Finney: What’s this?
Brandon: The wand! You place that in the center of your elements.
Finney: I bet the goal is to get your wand across to the other side of the board. And, the elements consume each other. Water consumes fire, fire consumes trees, trees drink the water! Hey, these are two sided. Can you flip them?
Brandon: Yes! And you can move the wand between your own pieces. Oh, and the piece with the wand in it can’t consume or be consumed.
Finney: Let’s play!
A few games later…
Brandon: So, what do you think?
Finney: This is a fun game!
Brandon: What do you like about it?
Finney: It’s a great strategy game. It seems simple, and it can be if you want, but it’s also complex. The flipping of the pieces adds an extra layer of strategy.
Brandon: Yeah, I also found that flipping a piece over could really turn the tide of the game…
Finney: It’s also easy to pack and take with you. The box is the board! Other strategy games aren’t as portable. And the art style on the game pieces and the box is straightforward and well executed. I don’t think it needs the exterior packaging.
Brandon: The little cardboard wrap?
Brandon: Yep. Also, we do have to talk about the one big problem.
Finney: Oh yeah. I mean, they did address it in the instructions…
Brandon: They did, but still…
Brandon: Shall we delve into it?
Finney: Yeah, there might be a point where the players are just flipping the same two pieces over. Back and forth, back and forth. ‘My fire is now a tree!’
Brandon: ‘My water is now fire!’
Finney: The instructions say, basically, just don’t do that over and over and be reasonable.
Brandon: That they do.
Finney: I just wish there was a more specific rule about this. Maybe something like you can only flip the pieces 3 times when it’s clear that it’s just going to go back and forth like that.
Brandon: Not much of a drawback though. Let’s go ahead and house rule that. Deal?
Brandon: I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes light strategy games that offer deeper play should you want it.
Finney: Me too! Let’s go again.
You can buy Elementos at the Tyto website or at your Friendly Local Game Store.
Brandon: Where does the time go? Well, teaching two music classes at the end of the school year, doctors appointments for the kids, family trips, new job coming up. It goes a lot of places. Looking back through the site, it’s been since February that I’ve posted here. Last time I posted it was about a Kickstarter by Jim Pinto and today is no different. Well, maybe a little. I’m going to ramble a bit and then give you the details.
What have I had time for that was not required of me? D&D. I’ve posted a lot about it’s impact on me here, here, and here. Dungeons and Dragons has also effected my family’s lives in other ways. We are now painting minis and loving it. I may post more about that separately. Part of the point I’m getting to is that we have been busy and stressed. Gaming and it’s side activities have helped keep us focused. The last week of school we gamed every night and it was amazing.
Most of the rambling is done. Just one more point and then onto what I want to share. There is a lot going on in the world and gaming can be a way for us to come together and reset for awhile. So, I have two requests/suggestions.
First, donate to your local food charity. Mine is The Oregon Food Bank and I also donate to No Kid Hungry. Why? Because people need food and if you can help, you should. Second, you should back Jim Pinto’s newest Kickstarter, House of Keys.
House of Keys is the first glimpse into a rich, new fantasy world — Iron Medusa. This world spins new legends and folklore while remaining rooted in Eastern European cultures. Here adventure finds you. House of Keys introduces that world through the lens of a doomed mansion infested with loathsome spirits where trapped adventurers have turned against one another in a fight for survival.
Oh my! Jim Pinto of Postworld Games is up to something really good. We’ve covered Jim’s games before and have even spoken to him a few times here. Now he has the Protocol Fantasy Game Omnibus Kickstarter up.
The Kickstarter includes 15 fantasy games in one book, all using the same framework and rules. Five of these games have never been seen before, one of which will only ever be available in this book.
Stretch goals ensure that backers of this project receive additional free games, including the potential for more fantasy games in this book.
This is the perfect introduction to the Protocol game system. Players get 15 different games to start with, including fully explained rules, instead of the brushstroke guidelines in the $3 pdfs.
What we can tell you is that you definitely get your money’s worth when you back one of Postworld Games’ Kickstarters. Jim’s Kickstarters almost always go above and beyond their goals and so you get stretch goals galore!
A little more about the Protocol system:
The Protocol Game system is an elegant way of playing through a story without a gamemaster, in just a matter of two to three hours. Each game uses the same core principles of scene framing, while creating very different experiences through the use of roles, goals, relationships, and world building questions.
The alchemy behind why Protocol works is so simple.
Players take turns as directors, drawing poker cards to determine the scene’s focus and type. There are no dice. Everything is resolved with drama points and a single deck of poker cards.