Thursday, 17 August 2017

Star Trek Attack Wing USS Voyager Federation ship Builds

The voyager has some great potential builds, It is a fast ship that can zip around the board.
 I am taking a little bit of a change this time, I will put the standard 50 point builds as always, but here you can really power the ship up. For the mission it needs to be up to 75 points! and you can get there pretty easy as you will see. so our first build........

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Star Trek Attack Wing IRW Algeron ship build

in this ship build we head into the shipyards above Romulus to fit out the Algeron D7 for battle.  As with all the builds I will only use the cards in the pack, and no more than 50 points.
 coming in at 31 points she wont break the bank, so lets take a closer look at what she has got, and how we can use her in battle........

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Y-Wing Unboxing for X-Wing Miniatures game

Known across the galaxy as a rugged and durable starfighter, the Y-wing boasts superior armament, armor, and shielding, and can also be upgraded with an incapacitating ion cannon to disable enemy ships.
The Y wing is one of my favourite looking ships in Star Wars, and a diecast Ywing was one of my favourite toys as a child.  She is big, old and not too nimble, but is built like a tank.

Now we can get her on the Tabletop for Xwing so lets see what she adds.....

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Star Trek Attack Wing Soong Borg Type 03 unboxing

Designated by Starfleet as the Borg Type 03, this class of Borg starship was used by a rogue faction of Borg led by Lore, Datas "Brother".  This unusual design was asymmetrical and totally unlike the previously encountered Borg cube and Borg scout, causing Captain Jean-Luc Picard to speculate whether it was something they constructed or an alien vessel they captured and assimilated. Whatever its origins, the vessel was still heavily armed and massively armoured, capable of great destructive power.
Lets take a look and see what you get in this dual faction Independent/Borg ship

Thursday, 3 August 2017

VT-49 Decimator Ship build Star Wars XWing

To be granted command of a VT-49 Decimator is seen as a significant promotion for a middling officer of the Imperial Navy. A heavily armed transport, the VT-49 Decimator is one of the Empire’s most feared warships, often used to provide long-range reconnaissance or to deploy raiding parties past enemy forces.
Its a big ship, and great looking too, but how to get the best out of it on the tabletop... that's what I will be looking into here.   I have created a couple of builds, only using the cards that come in the pack with it, so you do not have to worry about tracking down those obscure upgrades.  So lets dive in and see what this beast can do.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Star Trek Attack wing Val Jean Maquis Raider build

The Val Jean may not appear to be the most punchy ship, but with the right build it can be a hard to kill little mosquito of a ship, not designed to stand and fight in the line of battle but to dart in, hit and move out ready to do it again.
So following the usual rules, only the cards in the pack and at least one build under 50 points here we go.
Having this many upgrades on the named ship is a bonus, as it allows you to disable them for evades!
Chakotay has the ability to provide extra manoeuvres, alongside tuvoks ability to move after you fire, and evasive pattern omega to provide a sensor echo this ship can really shift around.  Photon Torpedoes provide some much needed punch for the ship, and with Seska to stop a ship attacking you and Dalby to repair the ship, it makes it elusive.  Ramming attack is there as a last ditch weapon, and also a suitable  cheap card for a disable for evades.

Other build options can drop the cost and add more goodies such as....

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Star Trek Attack Wing General Changs Bird of Prey Builds

Today I take a look at some  options for running Chang.  As always I keep the build within 50pts, and faction and ship pure using only the card that came in the pack.

We take the named version of the ship as always, and Chang as our captain.  He has a good skill, a great action which combines well with the manoeuvrability of the ship as well.  Allowing you to position yourself up for the kill.  The ship does have a front and REAR arc for torpedoes meaning its hard for this ship not to have a shot on you
with the....

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Star Wars Xwing YT-2400 Freighter Outrider ship build with Dash

Trying to get the best out of your YT-2400? me too. So I took a look at some build options, then got to test them on the table top as well.  here is the build I settled on as my favourite one, only using cards that came in the pack,so you can run it as soon as you have the ship.

Its a great looking ship, so I wanted it to perform on the table.  Lets take a look and see what we get out of it.

Star Trek Attack wing Bioship Alpha build

The Bioship is a  brutal monster on the table, and keeping it under that 50point limit is hard
Here is the 50pt build, the named ship which throws auxiliary power on enemy's when you hit them hard, which with the firepower of this ship is easy enough.  It has solid hull shields firepower and good agility for its size.  For captain we have the Bioship Alpha pilot.  He allows you to look at your opponents dial at the cost fo not doing an action.  The ship has evade, target lock, scan and regenerate which allows you to get a hul point back at the cost of not attacking.  With the tech Quantum singularity you can stay in the fight, hit things hard, and when it gets a bit scary jump out to safety, regenerate and come back in again.  For a ship of its size and stats it is incredibly manoeuvrable.

Now to look at really tooling this ship up!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Marts Book Corner: Overlord - Max Hastings

For this book corner we look at Overlord, another fine publication by Max Hastings.  I am a great fan of his work as it proves readable, enjoyable, and informative.  A rare combination in a history book.

Overlord was acclaimed on its initial publication in 1984 as a ground-breaking account of the D-Day invasion and subsequent struggle for Normandy, which a servicing general in the US Army recently described as “still by far the most important modern book on the campaign”.  Hastings was....

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Marts Book Corner : Armageddon - Max Hastings

Armageddon is the epic story of the last eight months of World War II in Europe by Max Hastings–one of Britain’s most highly regarded military historians, whose accounts of past battles John Keegan has described as worthy “to stand with that of the best journalists and writers” (New York Times Book Review).

In September 1944, the Allies believed that Hitler’s army was beaten, and expected that the war would be over by Christmas. But the disastrous Allied airborne landing in Holland, American setbacks on the German border and in the Hürtgen Forest, together with the bitter Battle of the Bulge, drastically altered that timetable.

Hastings tells the story of .....

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Airfix Hawker Typhoon 1B 1/72 scale Model kit unboxing

The Hawker Typhoon (Tiffy in RAF slang), was a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. It was intended to be a medium–high altitude interceptor, as a replacement for the Hawker Hurricane but several design problems were encountered and it never completely satisfied this requirement.

The Typhoon was originally designed to mount twelve .303 inch (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns and be powered by the latest 2000 hp engines. Its service introduction in mid-1941 was plagued with problems and for several months the aircraft faced a doubtful future. When the Luftwaffe brought the formidable Focke-Wulf Fw 190 into service in 1941, the Typhoon was the only RAF fighter capable of catching it at low altitudes; as a result it secured a new role as a low-altitude interceptor.

It became established in roles such as night-time intruder and long-range fighter. From late 1942 the Typhoon was equipped with bombs and from late 1943 RP-3 ground attack rockets were added to its armoury. With those weapons and its four 20mm Hispano cannon, the Typhoon became one of the Second World War's most successful ground-attack aircraft.

I love the Typhoon, its a great looking plane.  My Grandfather flew it in WW2 as well, so it has a personal connection.  When the wife picked me up a Typhoon model kit, I knew it needed to be built and looked at.

Lets look in the box....

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Star Trek Attack Wing Tholia One unboxing and review

Tholian starships were small starships of characteristic shape, utilized by the Tholian Assembly during the 23rd century. These vessels were armed with plasma torpedo-like torpedo weaponry. But their most powerful weapon was the so-called "Tholian web". This web was "woven" by two or more Tholian vessels around an enemy ship. This web could be used as a high power immobilization field/tractor beam to pull captured starships back to Tholian territory.
In 2268, a Tholian vessel intercepted the USS Enterprise, demanding that it leave Tholian territory. At the request of First Officer Spock, Tholian Commander Loskene allowed the Enterprise additional time before they were required to withdraw to allow the Enterprise to rescue James T. Kirk from the interphased USS Defiant. The Enterprise crew was unable to rescue Kirk within the Tholians' time limit and the Tholians opened fire, damaging the Enterprise. The Enterprise returned fire, inflicting damage on the Tholian vessel.
Soon after, a second Tholian vessel appeared, and the two ships began constructing a web in an attempt to trap the Enterprise.  This gets touched on again in the mission in the pack.

So lets take a look and see what we get.........

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Passing of a Giant

Good day dear readers, the Garage Gamers' rarely needed support team here for a rather sad post. As some of you who follow the Facebook group may have seen our benevolent, Star Trek-loving Garage Gamer overlord Martin sadly passed away on the 19th of May.
Out of respect for family and friends, some of who also enjoy reading the blog, we figured it best to give it some time before we shared the sad news on here and give Martin a bit of a send off. And, in all honesty, it took us a bit of time ourselves to really come to terms with the loss of a friend and fellow geek.

Naturally our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends in this difficult time, particular his favorite player in the world: his beloved daughter Olivia. This is a great loss for everybody and we share in their grief and loss.

As a testament to Mart's productivity, our fellow geek had built up a mighty impressive backlog of all sorts of review and hobby content, there is a year's worth of articles set to publish twice a week. To honour our old friend we are going to let these continue to publish as scheduled with our own posts scattered in the mix.

~Morgan, Mike & Willem-Jan~


[Morgan's thoughts]

This blog's About Us page states that it is for the "common man". It's a half-lie, as half of the team was a rather uncommon man. I don't know how to condense him, our friendship, what he meant to those who knew him, into one post.

Martin had a steel trap for a mind. He devoured all kinds of information on history and military history and could spit any number of minutiae back at you with the air of a distinguished university professor giving one of their most well-practiced lectures. He was not limited to book-learning and indulged in quite a bit of urban exploration to chase tangible connections to history. On more than one occasion I received pictures from him of bullet holes in bridges in Plymouth where the Luftwaffe strafed the town, or of the cannons that point into the city (a remnant of the English Civil War), among many other incidents of military history.

He was able to bring this recollection to bear in regards to wargaming and boardgaming even from things well in the early days of his "career" in this hobby of ours. All of this made for seemingly endless stories, tales of old fictional or factual or somewhere in between. Never a dull moment having a "natter" with Mart.

Mart brought a whole other level of charisma to the table. Extremely friendly, loved a good naughty joke, knowledgeable on just damn near about everything, and exceedingly British. This blog grew and grew only so on the back of Martin's efforts to cold contact companies, forums, and legends within the hobby.

Beyond his extensive gaming and history knowledge, Mart was a fantastic friend. He sent miniatures across the sea to be painted, helped me with many a letter, formal email, and tricky situations where I greatly needed his wise council... I am going to miss my friend greatly.

The community as a whole has lost an absolute paragon of what it means to be a gamer: gracious, gregarious, generous, and genuine.

[Willem-Jan's thoughts]

From time to time you hear people talking about making friends online over games or hobbies with people from all across the world. People who somehow always have the time for a quick chat, some friendly advice, an eternal willingness to welcome in new folks to a hobby and just general ability to demonstrate how open and friendly a hobby and community can be. That is exactly the kind of person Martin was in my book.

We met online around a decade ago, and he has since become one of the prime examples that come to my mind when people talk about tabletop gaming and boardgaming leading to long lasting friendships. Back in those day, over on the old Astronomican forums, we mostly dabbled with Games Workshop toys and painting wargaming-related miniatures. To this day it surprised me how a single person could be so passionate about both the Skaven and the Lizardmen. Martin was always 'that guy' though, someone that would always see something cool in every new army or game. Though I doubt he would ever have been able to find a game that grabbed him as much as good, old Mordheim, Frostgrave was really giving it a good go though.

Naturally as time passed a lot of the people from that time drifted in and out of the hobby for various reasons, but we kept in touch over the years while dabbling in all those silly, real life activities like school, work and relationships. Then in late 2013 Martin started this very blog, sharing his continuing hobby antics and even recruiting Morgan, another old friend from the Astronomican forum days, to join in on the fun.

At first the blog mostly focused on Flames of War, a game that never really let go of Martin, but over the following months Star Trek and Star Wars slowly squeezed their ways unto the blog and the content became quite diverse with tons of very useful game reviews becoming a weekly feature. It was so much fun to see the blog grow into a sharing community of all sorts of gamers, with Martin being ever cheerful when new folks, old friends and even some names from the golden days of wargaming design would come by to check out this small corner of the web.

Readers particularly enjoyed his gaming exploration with, and frequent loosing streak to, his daughter Olivia. That unique perspective on gaming turned out to be quite inspirational to a lot of people out there, the 'Sharing your gaming hobby with your family' article in particular has remained a favorite of mine. Seen many a comment pass by thanking the blog for sharing great games that are playable in a family setting and I am certain he helped to further show that 'games' are much more than just a distraction and a great way to connect with children ages 0-100+.
The same goes for the at this point pretty much obligatory 'give your Attack Wings ships a wash to bring out the details', a line that actually got a few people out there to pick up their paintbrushes to do a bit more than just wash a model! Heck he managed to take my mind of things during a rough period in 2012 by 'strong arming' me into painting up a unit of Vespids for his beloved Tau Empire army.
Some of us still more wargaming-centric players out there even managed to tempt Martin back into painting models himself, something he was really enjoying again over the last few months. Not to mention kicking our collective behinds in when it comes to actually finishing projects. Still lagging behind in numbers despite having had a few months' worth of a head start!
On a personal level, though I never got the chance of meeting him face to face, I got to know Martin as a great friend. Somebody with who anything could and would gladly be discussed. Anything from political shenanigans in our respective countries, being 'old, grumpy men' about changes in the Warhammer lore (oh the grumbling we had over Age of Sigmar), new toys and gaming concepts coming out of the massively expanded game design world, general history nerd stuff  to the highs and lows of our personal lives came by. And from all the responses on social media and other blogs over this last weeks  that was very much how Martin was with everybody. Always time for a listening ear, a laugh or a hobby recommendation.

We are all going to miss you man, thanks for all the good times!

[Mike's thoughts] 

Martin had a huge impact on my life and with his passing I’ve been left with a gigantic hole where there was once lively conversation about nerd stuff, dad things, atomic-era strategic bombers, our mutual obsession over Star Trek, and more. However, all too often when a loved one leaves us, we are too tempted to focus solely on what we’ve lost; the empty holes. Sure, that’s important to acknowledge, but we often fail to do is turn that grief into something positive and meaningful. Today I’ve finally chosen to do just that in remembering Martin Bond.

This afternoon I took on the role as healer dad, looking after my five-year-old son, Theo, who’d come down with a bad bout of asthma. I asked him what he wanted to do and through his wheezing and coughing, he said he wanted to play “Star Trek ships”. That’s his go-to playtime activity with daddy. And then it hit me. I have many fond memories about Martin, but the one thing that rises above it all was how he bonded with daughter over gaming. The two had amazing and genuine adventures together as only a father and child could have. He and Olivia gave me such an amazing example to help me to connect with my own son. Without Martin’s and Olivia’s Star Trek Attack Wing after-action reports on this blog, Theo would not have his Star Trek ships.

Martin showed that you can connect games with children. He taught me to have some patience, allow them to make their own rules and let them just have fun. Over the past year we’ve done just that. Theo has dived into Star Trek with both feet, starting with Attack Wing. Since then he’s built lego and mobilo Enterprises, roleplayed Star Trek at his daycare (and now at his school), has had me order specific Attack Wing ships, find second-hand fleets for him, and more. He even had an Original Series birthday party with a bunch of kids who had no idea what was going on. Nevertheless Theo took time to explain what the different badges meant (Command, Science, Engineering) and even helped design the party games, such as repurposing the classic easter egg hunt game for a “Seek Out Strange New Worlds” game with styrofoam planets he helped paint. For a five-year-old, Theo really loves Star Trek.

That is Martin’s gift to me and my son; the hole that is not empty. He scaffolded me so that I could connect with Theo through my love of Star Trek. Simply put, this very close connection with my son would not currently exist had I not known Martin. That’s how I remember him. Thank you Martin, and may I have the courage to share what you've taught me to help dads connect with their children.

In honor of Martin's unequaled love of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I'll close with the final words of Lt. Tasha Yar:

Death is that state in which one exists only in the memory of others. Which is why it is not an end. No goodbyes. Just good memories. Hailing frequencies closed, sir.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Star Trek Attack Wing IKS Negh`Var Klingon warship build

The I.K.S. Negh'Var is the flagship of the Klingon Empire and is commanded by the extremely effective General Martok. It has led several Klingon invasions and has won much honor for the Empire.
The Negh'Var is surprisingly maneuverable for its large size. It can also target an enemy ship's shield generators in order to facilitate a massive boarding action against that ship.

Another article in the "Builds" series, as usual I am following the no more then 50points rule, faction pure and only the cards that come in the pack.  so what can I create for one of the Empires most Fearsome ships?
The Negh`Var is a combat beast, good firepower tough hull, good manoeuvres but low defence as is standard with the Klingons I mean defence has no honour right? But it does have some tricks up its sleeve

Monday, 12 June 2017

Back In The Saddle

I've been well out of hobbying for quite a while now. But now that I'm back around my old stomping grounds, I'm gearing up to be productive! A friend received his Kickstarter of the third wave of Bones miniatures from Reaper. It's a lot or plastic! We've committed to a weekly get together to paint.

Friday, 9 June 2017

TIE Defender Unboxing for X-Wing Miniatures game

Imperial High Command decided that defender pilots would only be selected from TIE interceptor pilots who had flown at least twenty combat missions and survived. We're either the best pilots in the Imperial fleet or the luckiest.”
–Onyx Squadron Leader Rexler Brath

One of the most recognizable of all Star Wars starfighters from outside the classic films, the TIE defender represented a major shift in Imperial policy.

Classic Imperial tactics relied upon massed swarms of relatively inexpensive TIE fighters, favouring quantity over quality. However, as the Rebel Alliance enjoyed more and more success with its more advanced starfighters, the Empire decided to re-evaluate the cost of replacing its starfighters and pilots. It was this decision that led to the development of the TIE defender.

Upgraded with enhanced firepower and deflector shields, the TIE defender proved more than a match for its Rebel counterparts. In fact, when the TIE defender was introduced, shortly before the Battle of Endor, it was easily the most advanced starfighter in the galaxy. The addition of a hyperdrive allowed it to perform an even more flexible role within the Imperial Navy, though the significantly higher investment the Empire had to make in creating each TIE defender meant that only its best pilots would ever fly one.

so lets see what you get to add to the Imperial forces....

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Star Trek Attack Wing Kazon Nistrim Raider Ship Build

The Nistrim Raider, not a big or tough ship, but nimble and can have some tricks up it sleeves fro a few sneaky things.  So lets see what I can throw together using the cards in the box.....
We start with the named Raider, if an enemy ship you attack has a scan next to it, you roll 2 extra dice, so picking the right target is key, you can start cranking up the dice with this ship, and it has a wide 180 front fire arc.  For the Captain......

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Star Wars Imperial Assault Jawa Scavenger Villain Pack unboxing and reveiw

 Today we are looking at an expansion for Star Wars Imperial Assault from Fantasy Flight Games.  Much uttering of "Utinni!" must be done as we look at the Jawa Scavenger pack which comes in the scum and villains faction for mercenary use.

"I can't abide those Jawas. Disgusting creatures."

Almost no one knows what Jawas look like beneath their hooded brown robes—not even on

Tatooine, where nearly everyone knows them by reputation. They are junk droid scavengers and merchants, and they traverse the desert planet in their massive, treaded sandcrawlers, hawking their wares to moisture farmers with few other options.

Not quite hostile, these Jawas aren't truly friendly, either. Because their droids are often hastily refurbished, they push to strike their bargains quickly. Then they roll away in their sandcrawlers before the droids have a chance to malfunction.

It's this combination of mystery, haggling, and droid-focused trickery that you'll find brought to life by the figure, missions, and cards in the Jawa Scavenger Villain Pack for Imperial Assault.

So Lets pop it open and take a peak inside see what we get to add to our games of Imperial Assault.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Yamatai from Days of Wonder unboxing and Review

Days of Wonder have got a deserved reputation for high quality components, and games that play well and look good.  They have created some great games before like the hugely popular Ticket to Ride , and the charming great fun city builder Quadropolis.  Yamatai is their latest offering, and it certainly does look beautiful, as you would expect from them.

Queen Himiko has tasked every builder in the kingdom with a prestigious mission: build the capital of Yamataï and make it the jewel of the archipelago. Your task: surpass your competitors and build the most prestigious city of them all, using resources from the fleets that travel through the kingdom. Prepare your strategy, recruit specialists, and do whatever is necessary to become the best builder and be rewarded by Queen Himiko for your work. In the end, only one name will be remembered as the greatest builder of Yamataï!

In Yamataï, players compete to earn prestige points using different strategies. Clear the different islands of the archipelago to recruit powerful specialists that will assist you, or use the resources carried by the boats that navigate between them to construct buildings on the islands! And, if you’re skilled enough, try creating prestigious buildings such as high temples or rare torii.
However, you are not alone in competing for Queen Himiko’s favour… will you manage to surpass your opponents?

Players: 2-4 Players
Ages: 13+
Playtime: 40-80 Minutes

Lets pop it open, take a look inside and see how it plays.....

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Runewars Minatures Game from Fantasy Flight Games unboxing and review

Fantasy Flight Games.... makers of some of my very favourite games of all time, in fact a quick browse around the blog will show you how prolific and lovely their stuff is.  Always high quality, and great to play too.  Not that long ago FFG worked with Games workshop (maker of tabletop miniature wargames) in creating boardgames for various GW licenses.  That though has sadly come to an end.  However FFG thought they could do a tabletop fantasy miniatures mass battle game, like the one Games Workshop killed off upsetting a lot of fans, but set in their own Runebound universe, making it simpler to play, easier to teach, and have more depth. They have used a system very similar to the Flightpath system used in the Xwing miniatures game with some tweaks.  Its a big challenge to break into the tabletop war-games market, so have FFG done it? read on and see.

The chill mists have an evil reputation, billowing and moving like a thing alive. But the true terror lies within the mist, a dead kingdom garrisoned by undying legions. These legions now march on the border territory of Roth’s Vale… and all Terrinoth will know war again.

The box art.... beautiful, and double sided too to show the glorious artwork
you get a TON of goodies in the box,it is HEFTY, but do not worry we will come to that :)

a really random touch, that Olivia noticed when she was investigating the boxes is that if you line them up, they form one large picture which is rather cool.

so.. whats inside this mammoth box then?
lets take a look...............

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Arkham Horror The Card Game Undimensioned and Unseen mythos pack unboxing and review

The Arkham Horror card game is excellent, and its really exciting to see another expansion products, to get a feel for where FFG are going with the game, and progress your players OWN story.  The first expansion we got to see after the main game was the deluxe Dunwich Legacy pack, and that was a cracker! then we took a trip into the Miskatonic Museum,
Not to mention some diversions to Venice for  Carnevale of Horrors, then we even had got to trek through the Bayous in Curse if the Rougarou. Then of course a nice gentle ride on the Essex County Express.  A brief stop at Blood on the Altar and now it seems that EVERYTHING is against our investigators in the latest pack.. Undimensioned and Unseen leading us down a route that may lead to madness.

"We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight. We shall see these things, and other things which no breathing creature has yet seen. We shall overleap time, space, and dimensions."
     –H.P. Lovecraft, From Beyond

Things are definitely getting weird. By the time your pursuit of two missing professors leads you through The Dunwich Legacy cycle to the scenario from Undimensioned and Unseen, you'll have traveled far from the familiar comforts of Arkham, and you'll have witnessed things you know no one would ever believe. You'll have encountered strange, extra-dimensional entities, and you'll find yourself neck-deep in furtive cultists and their sacrifices.
Inundated with information about "Ancient Ones" and unholy rituals, you'll suddenly find yourself forced to destroy terrifying, monstrous creatures that are literally impervious to everything in your arsenal…

Lets pop it open and take a look. As always no spoilers of encounter cards, just player cards, I don't want to ruin what may happen.

Monday, 8 May 2017

A Game of Thrones the Card Game Guarding the Realm Chapter pack unboxing and review

After the latest Deluxe set we are back into our regular chapter packs advancing the story in a game of
thrones, and here we have the Latest one... Guarding the Realm.  As Always we get 3 copies of each card and all the factions get some love too.

“The Second Sons are an old company, and not without valor, but under Mero they've turned near as bad as the Brave Companions.”
–Ser Jorah Mormont, A Storm of Swords

 As the Great Houses of Westeros scheme and plot their enemies’ demise, the last scion of House Targaryen slowly travels west across the continent of Essos. Daenerys’s path leads her towards the Iron Throne and King’s Landing, but many obstacles remain before her—starting with the garish, opulent cities of Slaver’s Bay. Astapor, Yunkai, Meereen: these are cities that have stood since the days of Old Valyria, growing fat off their foul trade in human lives. But everything is about to change for the Ghiscari, and lead your faction on a new path with Guarding the Realm.

Guarding the Realm, the second Chapter Pack in the Blood and Gold cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, is now available at your local United States retailer and online through our webstore! Like the other packs of this cycle, Guarding the Realm follow the events of A Storm of Swords, bringing key characters like Melisandre and Wex Pyke of House Botley to the foreground. If you’re going to protect the realm, there’s always a price to pay… and with new economical options and the bestow keyword, it’s up to you whether you’ll pay in blood or in gold.

so lets pop it open, and take a look at the cards inside.....

Thursday, 4 May 2017

A Game of Thrones the Card Game Watchers on the Wall deluxe expansion unboxing

Its that time again when Fantasy Flight Games releases a nice faction themed Deluxe box for A Game of Thrones the card game.  So far we have had Lannisters and Stark, so now its the turn of the Nights Watch, but as always you still get cards for all factions and other goodies too, so its well worth picking up if you don't only play Nights Watch.

When dead men come hunting in the night, do you think it matters who sits the Iron Throne?”
–Old Bear Mormont, A Game of Thrones

At the northern edge of the Seven Kingdoms, there is the Wall. Built from massive blocks of ice and guarded by ancient, forgotten spells, it towers over 700 feet tall, forbidding entry to all who dwell beyond. A wall is only as strong as its defenders, and here, those defenders are the Night’s Watch. In the Night’s Watch, all men are brothers. Knights, lords, and the brothers of kings rub shoulders with slavers, murderers, and the scum of Westeros. Their task is grim and cold and thankless—no songs will ever be sung for them. Yet their vigilance is all that protects the southern lands from wildlings and the Others.
Travel north and join the Night’s Watch with the Watchers on the Wall deluxe expansion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game! Within this expansion, the Night’s Watch explores new and existing themes, as you find new ways to defend the Wall, new ways to conscript your opponent’s characters, and plenty of rewards for focusing on the three branches of the Night’s Watch: Rangers, Stewards, and Builders. Along with the nameless men who swell the ranks of the Night’s Watch, you’ll find new versions of iconic characters from throughout the saga, including Jon Snow, Old Bear Mormont, Maester Aemon, and Samwell Tarly.

And although the focus of this expansion rests on the Night’s Watch, you’ll find two new non-loyal cards for every other faction, expanding your options for any alliance. You’ll also receive an assortment of neutral cards portraying the Night’s Watch’s most common enemies, the Wildlings. With seven new plots (one loyal to the Night’s Watch) rounding out the expansion, Watchers on the Wall offers new pathways to victory for every deck.

so lets pop it open, and take a look at the new cards we will get.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Battle of El Alamein War in the Desert Flames of War Starter Box from Battlefront V4

Flames of War is a WW2 15mm scale tabletop miniatures war game, and its good.  I had the 3rd edition Open Fire Starter Set full of beautiful models, but the rules where... very complex shall we shall.  Detailed most certainly, but it could be a bit daunting to approach.  Now BattleFront have released Flames of War
version 4, the new set of rules, and a new low priced starter set with Battle of El Alamein.  So have these new rules made things easier for new gamers, (even old gamers like me) to understand? does this set have what it takes to get me into the game?  I am not going to be comparing it to V3, as i didn't really play it due to being a bit scared off by the rules, i will be looking at the set, and how easy it is for new gamers to get their heads around the system.

Lets start with that art.... stunning
To me, it has that old style "Victor or Warlord" annual look to it, and it really appeals to me....  now what are the contents, they are pretty important to a miniature war game too... so inside you get..

one plastic Panzer IV, one plastic Panzer III, one plastic Grant, two plastic Crusaders, two plastic Tank Commander sprues, Flames Of War 4th Edition mini rulebook, one Flames Of War ‘Start Here’ booklet, two Terrain Cards, six dice and eight Unit cards.

lets pop the box open get stuck in to the contents and see what to make of it......

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Flames Of War Berlin supplement book review

Flames of War Berlin takes the struggle to the heart of Germany, Berlin itself in the dying days of the European war in WW2.  Its full of new lists and options to add to your FOW gaming featuring German and Soviet Lists.  The chaotic  nature of the fighting led to the defence having a mix of many troop types, such as Volkssturm, Hitler Youth all, supported by small remaining groups of well-trained troops and Luftwaffe contributions.
There is just one Intelligence Briefing for the Germans in this book,  but with so many options. The Berlin Kampfgruppe briefing has the usual structure of Headquarters, Combat Platoons, Weapons Platoons and Support Platoons as normal, but you can tailor it to your own tastes from a wide array of options.   

As always the artwork is great, it is a full colour softback book with so many choices for the German Forces, so lets take a closer look.

For your HQ you have two options........

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Counterblast Adventure Battle Game review from Bombshell Miniatures

Ahhh, pulp science fiction. From Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon in the 1930s Astounding Science Fiction and Amazing Stories of the 1940s to some great films like This Island Earth.  Sci fi up to the 50s had a certain style all of its own, bubble helmeted adventurers, rocket ships, and blasters.  Counterblast wants to take us back to those heady sci fi days, rather then look at the “Grimdark” sci-fi many modern games are set in.

What does the website say?

COUNTERBLAST Adventure Battle Game, a new pulp-inspired science fiction tabletop skirmish battle game for 28-32mm miniatures. COUNTERBLAST takes place in a setting of classic pulp sci-fi adventure with fast paced action and cinematic thrills, evocative of the serials that captivated the imagination of previous generations.

COUNTERBLAST features five player factions, each offering a unique style of game play with distinct characteristics and abilities depending on the composition of your Crew. The Galactic Defense Force consists of a diverse collection of humans and aliens bonded together for the greater good of protecting and serving the Outer Reaches. The Neiran Empire is ruled by a cruel empress bent on dominating the galaxy by force or by cunning, whichever is most profitable. The Mekkus consist of legions of mindless automatons dedicated to wiping all living beings from existence. The most mysterious danger in the galaxy is the mind-bending Edo who strike suddenly without warning, overtaking prey with their powerful tentacles and telekinetic mental blasts. Lancers are a hodgepodge collection of agents, freebooters, ship crews, and rogue salvage teams who sell their services to corporations, independent planetary governments, and private interests.

 The game works with fast skill-based, streamlined rules, evocative of pulp serial adventures. The core rulebook contains all mechanics for movement, shooting and melee with details for unique situations like cover, opportunity fire and vehicle combat. Additional rules cover character conditions during combat, advancement as troops become more experienced, and campaign guidelines for running continuing storylines. It also covers details of the settings, viewpoints of the various factions, hazards they may encounter, and other background material on the rich frontier worlds your troops will inhabit, explore, and confront throughout your games.

Lets take a deeper look......

Monday, 24 April 2017

Time Stories from Space Cowboys and Asmodee Games

Today we look at a something a bit different, a game that is... well, not your usual kind of game, and its hard to cover it without spoilers, as this game more then most relies on its story to be the most impact for players.  So we shall look at the basics of it, and some thoughts, all spoiler free!

The T.I.M.E Agency protects humanity by preventing temporal faults and paradoxes from threatening the
fabric of our universe. As temporal agents, you and your team will be sent into the bodies of beings from different worlds or realities to successfully complete the missions given to you. Failure is impossible, as you will be able to go back in time as many times as required.

T.I.M.E Stories is a narrative game, a game of "decksploration". Each player is free to give their character as deep a "role" as they want, in order to live through a story, as much in the game as around the table. But it's also a board game with rules which allow for reflection and optimization.

So lets pop it open, take a quick peak inside, and see what its all about.....

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice second edition unboxing and review

Ah Wrestling.... in my day it was Ultimate Warrior, Big Boss man, and Hulk Hogan... in those days you
always wondered if wrestling was fake, but it was good showmanship none the less, though in mexico... that went much further with their high flying Luchadors.  Now its time to get that fast paced play on the tabletop....

The fast-rolling, hard-hitting, body-slamming, neck-crunching, chair-smashing, table-slapping dice game for 2 or 4 players...
Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice is a two-player dice game (with optional rules for four-player tag-team play) based on the popular world of professional Mexican wrestling, or "Lucha Libre" (a.k.a. free fighting).

Nice eye catching artwork on the front tells you pretty much all you need to know about the game!

It has ages 8 and up on it and can play up to 4 players so lets pop it open... take a look inside, see how it plays and what we think as I had Olivia "volunteer" very easily for this one.......

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Arkham Horror The Card Game Blood on the Altar mythos pack unboxing and review

The Arkham Horror card game is excellent, and its really exciting to see another expansion products, to get a feel for where FFG are going with the game, and progress your players OWN story.  The first expansion we got to see after the main game was the deluxe Dunwich Legacy pack, and that was a cracker! then we took a trip into the Miskatonic Museum,
Not to mention some diversions to Venice for  Carnevale of Horrors, then we even had got to trek through the Bayous in Curse if the Rougarou. Then of course a nice gentle ride on the Essex County Express.  Now we finally reach Dunwich, and im sure things cant get much worse after our journey here.. or can they?

“It is not reassuring to see, on a closer glance, that most of the houses are deserted and falling to ruin…”
     –H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror

After a horrifying train ride, you receive a painfully cold welcome to the town of Dunwich. A string of disappearances has left the townsfolk on edge. Most of them regard you with obvious distrust, and almost no one is willing to help in your investigation…
In Blood on the Altar, as you and your fellow investigators explore the connections between Dunwich and recent events, you'll find the town's missing people chief among your concerns. You may even find it somewhat unnerving that they've gone missing just before you arrived—and that they might have been taken at the same time you were confronting terrifying, otherworldly creatures on a train, in a museum, or in the private underground corridors of an Arkham speakeasy.
So why do you hear so little about these missing people? You'd think in a town as small as Dunwich that the disappearances would have left a larger footprint. Shouldn't someone have seen something? Shouldn't the local officials have named one or more suspects?
The more you investigate, the more you suspect you're making a target of yourself. You're almost certain the missing people are hidden somewhere in the village, and you have to believe that if you're not careful, you're likely to join them.

 Where the Missing Have Gone....

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Plague Inc The Board Game review and unboxing from Ndemic Creations

If you have ever played Pandemic the classic board game where you are working to try and save the world
from deadly epidemics, and diseases and wondered.... what if I could actually infect the world? then this is the game for you! This time its from the other side, and you ARE the disease.

Plague Inc: The Board Game is a strategic game of infection, evolution and extinction for 1-4 people - based on the smash-hit digital game with over 85 million players. Can you infect the world?
Each player is a deadly disease and they must battle against each other to spread their plagues, develop new symptoms and ultimately wipe out humanity.
Starting with Patient Zero, you spread your infection across the world by placing tokens in cities - earning DNA points and preventing other players from becoming dominant. Players choose which countries are placed on the board but you must be both climate resistant and connected to a country before you can infect it. Eventually, as countries become fully infected - you try to kill them using the Death Dice.
Each player’s unique pathogen can be upgraded by evolving trait cards onto an evolution slide (with DNA points). At the start, your disease is weak and unspecialised, so you will need to add new symptoms to make it stronger. Choose carefully and plan ahead in order to react to the changing world and exploit opportunities created by other player’s actions.
A simple nosebleed could accelerate things early on, whilst diarrhea will help you thrive in hot countries. Sneezing can infect new continents by air but Total Organ Failure would allow you wipe out multiple countries each turn.
As countries start to fall, use powerful event cards to alter the balance of power. You might try to eradicate a dominant player by bombing their diseased cities, or hold the Olympics to cause huge numbers of infected people to travel to a healthy continent.
When the world collapses, who will be the ultimate plague?

Lets pop it open, and take a look......

Monday, 10 April 2017

Battle of Britain WW2 Starter Set for Wings of Glory from Ares Games

If you have read the blog for a while you may know I love WW2 History.  Having been brought up by my
Grandparents both of whom where WW2 RAF, well and WAAF  had a love of military aviation from a young age.  Yes it involved all the books i could get my paws on, and Airfix kits hanging from my ceiling too, and a love of the classic war films, including one of my top 3 of all time films, the Battle of Britain, full of great air action. Growing up in Kent by the Thames in a place you could still the scars of the war on some bridges, and buildings, I often used to look up at the sky in those hot Kentish summers and imagine i was up there too flying a fighter in those days.... Of course i was only young, and yes i wanted to join the RAF, until I realized they didn't fly Spitfires anymore, it was just these "New Fangled" Jet fighter things..... so I had to make do playing with my Airfix, or diecast models, and making of course suitable sound effects.  Now.... Ares Game have done a rather fun WW1 air combat game with Wings of Glory WW1 which certainly scratches an air combat itch, but the chance to push Spits around making suitable noises? and even play missions defending my town (which was regularly heavily bombed) that's too good a chance to pass up, but... is it good? well read on......

In the summer and fall of 1940, after the fall of France, the German Luftwaffe faced the Royal Air Force in the first major military campaign fought entirely in the air — the Battle of Britain. This was the prelude to the invasion Hitler planned for the British Islands — Operation Sealion. An ultimate German victory was at hand, and British pilots bravely flew into battle, fully aware of what a defeat would bring to their country and the entire free world.

Now, with this Wings of Glory: WW2 Battle of Britain Starter Set you can bring to life the epic aerial duels between the Axis and Allied aces on your tabletop. Defend Britain as an Allied pilot, controlling one of the most iconic WW2 airplanes, the Spit fire, or fly dangerous missions as a German pilot in a powerful Messerschmitt Bf.109 fighter.

Wings of Glory is fast–playing and easy to learn. This Wings of Glory: WW2 Battle of Britain Starter Set is a complete game that includes everything you need to play the WW2 version of the system. Four airplanes are included in this set, each fully assembled and painted. Also included is a full-color rulebook, a scenarios booklet, a rich assortment of counters, rulers, and airplane console boards to start playing out of the box in just minutes!

Righty... lets pop this beast open and take a look inside!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Star Trek Attack Wing Xindi Muratas unboxing and review

For the First time in a long time, I have got my hands on a ship that is a new race in game, well to me.  The
xindi.. this is a Xindi reptilian ship, so dates from the Enterprise Era, though we know so little of Xindi in later times you could still use it really.

The Muratas is a Xindi Reptilian Warship class ship. The Reptilians' main design during the Human conflict is a unusually delicate design with a long twin "tail." Engines are located in the pods on the forward arcing pylons, to either side of the central hull. Armament includes directed-energy beam weapons, with emitters located on the leading edge and the lower midpoint.

With this being my first look at Xindi, im not sure what to expect, but lets pop the pack open, and take a look and see what we do get inside, and go through the cards to see if this will make a suitably fearsome opponent for the Enterprise Era ships.

So lets pop it open, take a rummage and see what we get, and if its any good too!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Luna by Stefan Feld from TMG unboxing and review

Luna.... Its one of those games that the cover on the art grabs you first, before you even know what its about, it draws you to it.... so what is this pretty looking game?

"The end of her regency is nigh. It's time to clear the way for a new bearer of the burden. She will keep a wary eye on the novices representing their Orders and trying to win her favour. Eventually, she will have to come to a decision. Which Order will prove itself worthy to decide on her successor? There will be a new Moon Priestess and she will bear the title: LUNA."

"LUNA" is the title of the Moon Priestess, and before her very eyes, each of the up to four Orders (players) competes for the right to decide on her successor. The players are the heads of the Orders who try to convince the Priestess they are the best for the job. Over the course of several rounds, they need to collect as many influence points as possible by skillfully placing their novices to achieve that goal.

The players move their novices over seven islands surrounding a main temple island. The novices are placed according to the "worker movement" principle, i.e. they aren't placed at the beginning of a round, but instead start where they ended the round before. Thus, novice movement is an important part of a round: Only if you're in the right place at the right time, you'll gain the deciding influence points. You'll have to build new shrines, work at the temple, and participate in the Priestess' divine services. But don't forget to recruit additional novices or win the favour of the local Priests; these are vital means to prepare and combine the diverse actions.

LUNA: In the Domain of the Moon Priestess is a challenging tactical game with strategic and interactive elements that takes about 20-25 minutes per player. The different placement of the islands and novices at the beginning of the game creates a different feeling each time you play and opens up new strategies.

so lets pop the box open and take a little look and see.......