Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Doctor Strange #11

I liked the story and I liked how Doctor Strange was able to find a way to inadvertently defeat Dormammu, for the time being. I like how his estranged friends came together and did what needed to be done. He put his faith in them and they put enough faith in him to get their part of the job done. Zelma is now running around with the Ancient One, which is kind of cool. I also really like that Kanna didn’t just instantly accept him back. When someone wrongs you, it’s okay to require a repentance period. I just hope that she doesn’t make him wait too long because that could do more harm than good to their friendship. I’m unclear as to where Wong is off to. I assume he’s headed back to where he was living prior to all this mess, or he may travel with the Ancient One. It wasn’t really clear in the story.

There is something bothering me about this issue – a lot. Where is Bats?! Mr. Waid… do you understand how much my feelings will be hurt if you write him out?! I understand if you have him cross over or something, but don’t just abandon him into the ether…

Albatross Funny Books
Grumble #4

This was an action packed issue! Car chases, zappy alien devices, goo people that explode when struck by a car, destruction of public property, murder – what more could anyone ask for?

I was surprised when Eddie reactivated the bounty hunter’s device. I knew that it would eventually reactivate, but I didn’t think Eddie would do it. He plugs a magical charger into it and it powers up. I also have no clue who the goo people are that were chasing Tala and Eddie. They look like faceless alien goo-monks that can fly and shoot beams of magical energy from their hands. One gets run over by Imp’s car and it explodes into a pile of mushier looking goo. And oh boy… Tala blasts one towards the end of the book and it turns into a giant bug-like thing with a toothy hole in it’s face. Absolutely terrifying. Good thing they were able to ‘splortch’ it. There was lots of goo in this issue.

I’m not sure why, but I’m happy Simon killed the Imp. I don’t think I’d have been happy if anyone else had done it. But for every one of Eddie and Tala’s opposition that gets taken out, another one or two pop up. I want a Simon spinoff series, like really bad.

As Tala is driving Eddie in their getaway car throughout this issue, be sure you look at the license plate in each panel. The tags change to match whatever is going on in Tala’s head – or so it appears. I love it! I love the little details like that. From odd things in a office to hilarious street signs, there are small details that enhance every issue of Grumble. You could easily enjoy the book without noticing those details, but it’s so much fun to look for those things too.

I have read enough comics to know that you don’t just take someone’s word at face value. So why was I surprised to see Tala’s mother is alive?! I was literally shocked. I just assumed she was dead, like Tala said. Eddie also showed a little bit of concern for Tala, but I’m not sure if it was genuinely over her safety or because he still needed her to drive the car.

I’ve said this almost every time and I’ll say it again; Rafer Roberts and Mike Norton are a dream team. I want more comics from this team!

Conclusion

I’m very concerned about Bats in Doctor Strange. I don’t like when characters are ignored or just left out. Would it hurt to write him into one panel? I didn’t dislike Doctor Strange this week, I just felt like something was missing – and that was Bats. Thank goodness I had Grumble to make me feel whole again.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Advertisements

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Captain Marvel #2

The first issue was amazing. This issue is just a good, maybe even a little more amazing – it’s hard to tell when it’s all just amazing. This issue gives us a little more information about what’s going on, like the accelerated time bubble, but we’re still finding new things. Hazmat has supposedly lost her powers and there is a dude chilling in the women’s rebellion camp. I think Som (the dude) is either a spy or a refugee from the Citadel. I automatically assumed him to be a spy when I first saw him, but when one of the metal men things called him the ‘prince’, it made me think he was more of a refugee. He may not like what’s going on at the Citadel and wants to help stop it. I was super excited to see She-Hulk come barreling down from outside the bubble, and that excitement quickly turned into a ball anxiety when I realized she transformed back into Jen. I hope someone catches her or she wakes up fast, because if she dies – I will rise up against Marvel.

Albatross Funny Books
Grumble #3

Finally! My issue finally came in, two weeks late. As far as I know – it was the distributor’s fault. But it’s finally here and I get to read it!

I had forgotten that Tala grabbed the bounty hunter’s magical thingy. I have a feeling that it’s gonna activate when she least expects it. I know Eddie cares about Tala, even though he says he doesn’t. And even if he doesn’t really care right now, something will cause him to get attached to her before this is all said and done. It would be a serious twist if Tala ended up not being his daughter after all, but he decided to treat her like his own anyway. And I love Simon! He’s seems like a deep character with a rich backstory and I’d love to see a spinoff series – all about Simon and his history! There is so much to explore in this world that’s been created by Rafer Roberts and brought to life visually by Mike Norton’s art and Marissa Louise’s coloring.

If you have this issue, and you didn’t pay attention to the background in the storage building’s office, go back and check it out. There are so many pop references in that office, I felt like I was looking at my VHS collection from when I was teenager. My favorite references are of Bubo, the Lament Configuration, and the Doctor Strange notice on the wall that says, “Do not rent to this man.” I really want to know if Norton put those in there himself; or if Roberts wrote the references into the script; or a little of both. It’s like a Where’s Waldo of pop references!

Image
Outer Darkness #4

I didn’t think it was possible to love this book anymore than I already did. I can’t get over how good this story is! So, Elox is actually a god? Didn’t see that coming. I also loved how this issue was written from his perspective, kind of how there were a few episodes of Star Trek done in the perspectives of particular crew members. Elox is like a ticking time bomb, but he might not be the one to explode! His intuition is crazy good too. He’s a crew member that I would go out of my way to keep happy. He could be more than just a little useful in a variety of situations. After the last issue, everyone reading this book knew that Shin was up to something. But I’m curious to find out if this was exactly what he was after, or is this just opportunity knocking for him? This was a super cool issue and I absolutely can’t wait for the next one!

Conclusion

I love when all the books in my box are hits. I go for quality over quantity, but I got both this week! That’s mainly due to my shorted Grumble #3 coming in this week – otherwise, I would have only had the two books. I’m just glad it finally came in and I got read it along with two other awesome reads this week! Keep those awesome books coming!

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Image
Unnatural #7

I would never have guessed that the Albino’s soul or essence was trapped inside of Leslie, let alone that it could manifest itself like it has so far. It makes me very worried for Leslie and those around her. With the help of the Albino, she almost killed Jones and she ripped one of his arms off. If she hadn’t fought back against the Albino, then Jones might be dead right now.

There are so many hidden agendas among the various parties that are invested in Leslie and I’m still not sure who to trust. The Glance has mean folk doing his bidding, and Kal seems genuine, but do we really know for sure that things are what they appear to be? I’m pretty sure Saya just betrayed Kal and Leslie, but maybe she’ll come clean and they’ll ditch her phone somewhere to lead Glance’s people off their trail. Or maybe Saya’s a double agent and has become attached to Kal, which is why she’s having emotional conflicts. Or maybe all – or none – of the above.

I’m having a hard time predicting what’s going to happen and I love it! I just don’t know what to think! Maybe Leslie is really the equivalent of this world’s apocalypse waiting to be set off and we’ve been sympathizing with the bad guys all along! I doubt that though. I think Leslie, not the Albino, is truly a good individual.

Conclusion

Unnatural was not the only comic I had in my box this week. I got the True Believers issue of Ms. Marvel #1, written by Gerry Conway, but I don’t include True Believers in my Comic Box Recap articles. I like to focus on the new content instead of reprinted content. It’s a great story, though and I recommend picking up any TB titles you’re interested in. I picked up the TB Ms. Marvel #1 because Gerry Conway is supposed to be in Memphis on June 1, 2019 at 901 Comics, and I want him to sign it along with my Amazing Spider-Man #149. I wish I had an actual copy of Ms. Marvel #1, but I’m not about to pay the going rate for one. The TB copy is good enough for me, for now.

I also got a copy of Avengers #14, but not because I wanted it. I had already ordered it and just because I don’t like the book now, doesn’t mean I’m going to stiff the store by not picking it up. Stores usually have to order their books two months in advance, and it’s almost impossible to cancel an order. It bothers me when someone wants to cancel a book and they’ve been told what the policy is, but they don’t want to buy the issues they’ve ordered. I didn’t even read Avengers #14 and I’m probably not going to. I skimmed through it and it didn’t look interesting enough so it’s going to get filed away in a box.

If Unnatural wasn’t in my box this week, I wouldn’t have had anything new to read! Good thing I had such an awesome book – quality over quantity. There hasn’t been an issue out of the seven, so far, that I didn’t like. I’ve loved each issue of Unnatural and they just keep getting better!

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Doctor Strange #10

This is the 400th issue, which is an anniversary collection. What I love most about this issue is that the first story is a continuation of the ongoing story from the previous issue, as well as a few miscellaneous stories. The stories are: Remittance, House Call, The Lever, and Perchance. There is also a very pretty two page spread of Doctor Strange artwork by Tom Palmer.

Remittance

This is the continuation of the ongoing story. I have to say that I’m somewhat surprised that Dormammu is behind this. I figured Mordo or some other cosmic entity would be the cause of it. Strange’s biggest flaw is his ego paired with with his arrogance. And now look where it has got Earth – under the boots of the Faltine. And it looks like his friends are getting a front row seat to all of the destruction. Strange looks completely defeated in the final panel, and I’m anxious to see how he squirms his way out of this problem. He better suck it up and fix things with his friends too.

I’m happy Bats was mentioned by name and that he appeared in a single panel, but I remain concerned that Waid will write him out. I want to see him stick around.

House Call

This is a short story with a lesson about the right way to handle a bully. It’s almost too short and the story gets a little wonky, but it has a good message behind it.

The Lever

This story is about Strange’s past, when he first came to the Ancient One for help. It includes the lead up to Mordo’s betrayal, and of course, it’s a little different. But, it’s okay to be slightly different, so long as the core of the character remains. Strange has a humbling moment in this story and it’s a shame he doesn’t retain that lesson.

Perchance

This story was at an odd place in the book. The two page spread of art is before this story, and it feels like the conclusion when you come across it. Surprise! There’s another story hidden behind an add for War of the Realms! This story was a fun one about a super scary demonic looking dude who is afraid to sleep because Strange haunts his dreams. That’s a cool concept and I love it.

Overall, this compilation of stories is probably the best compilation I’ve read in any of the super hero comics on my subscription list. They were all fun to read and I’d definitely read this issue again.

IDW
Star Trek: The Next Generation 20/20 One-Shot

Twenty years before Picard was captain of the Enterprise-D, he was captain of the Stargazer. He was not exactly the same Picard that we all know and love. He was not as understanding and he worried to much about what others thought. This got him into trouble while on a diplomatic mission. Instead of sending his commander to represent him, he went to the planet’s surface, knowing that there was a very high potential for something bad to happen. Luckily for him, Jack Crusher’s fiance, Beverly Howard was aboard the ship and they were able to send to the planet to save his life. There’s a lovely wedding at the end and Beverly Howard is now Beverly Crusher.

What a wonderful story, with a great message! Folks will respect you more for making the right decisions, than for always trying to be the hero. Put your faith and trust in those who work with you. Also, don’t assume you can handle everything – everyone needs help sometimes and you should never be ashamed to ask for help. This was such a wonderfully written story, but I would expect no less from Peter David. He’s a writer and author that I’ve idolized for a long time and he’s written some really amazing Star Trek content. When you pair his writing with the astounding artwork of J. K. Woodward, you’ve got a truly great work of art.

Star Trek: The Q Conflict #1

This book doesn’t say outright what year it takes place, but I’m going to assume it’s 2379. There is a panel that’s almost midway through the book where Jake and Captain Sisko are shown celebrating Sisko’s promotion to captain and that was in 2371. The panel has a caption that says, “eight years earlier”, which would put the year at 2379 for the Enterprise-E crew.

So, Q and several other beings of phenomenal cosmic power are at odds. The reason is petty, as it always is with ‘evolved’ beings. I mean, when you have everything you could ever need or want at the snap of your fingers, what’s left to cherish? I guess their inflated egos are all they truly have that’s special to them and they feel it’s worth fighting over. We have a truly all-star cast of cosmic entities, most of which are from TOS: Metrons, Trelane, Organians, and Q. Trelane has been noted as a member of the Q Continuum in non-canon novels, but the Continuum is notorious for adding and booting members too. Each of these entities have chosen one of the captains from various series to be their ‘champion’ in this contest. All the captains and crew are plucked from various points in the timeline as well, which makes for an interesting interaction. I’m sure there will be a mind wipe of some kind after this event. I dislike when folks use gimmicks like that in a time travel event, and I hope a different explanation comes up later.

I was initially upset when I saw Worf on the bridge. I had forgotten he was a member of the Enterprise-E crew and I had to do some digging to jog my memory. It’s been a long time since I’ve watched Insurrection and Nemesis. But there is an error with his uniform color. He was in the command division during Insurrection and Nemesis, so why is he in operations in this book? Probably just a minor oversight or maybe something has happened prior to this book that I’m not aware of.

I definitely enjoyed the story and the artwork is good. It was definitely well written and entertaining, and I look forward to the rest of this series and to see how they reconcile the time travel memories.

Conclusion

I picked up Batgirl this week, but after the repeated real world political references, I will be dropping it and it will no longer be featured in my Comic Box Recap articles. Doctor Strange more than made up for the disappointment in Batgirl.

As for the minor continuity errors that have occurred and will continue to occur in the Star Trek comics, they have to be overlooked. As a huge Star Trek fan, I’ve learned that there is no way to keep the entirety of continuity in tact. TOS had continuity errors within it’s three seasons. The Star Trek universe is vast and there are going to be unavoidable errors. As a fan, you can either accept the errors and continue to enjoy new content; or you can be a stickler about it and keep with the same content and never enjoy anything new. I choose to accept the new content, to a certain degree. If you stray too far from the core of the characters, I will choose to not accept it, regardless of any official stance. At my core, I’m a Trekkie and I love Star Trek. I want to enjoy all the content I can, while I can.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and Roleplaying Game Fans!

 

This is the latest session from our adventures in the Star Trek Adventures RPG (by Modiphius). Whenever you see text in this reddish brown color, that was what was read to the players. I’ve also included Game Mechanic elements so that others can incorporate it into their games if they want to. Any GM notes are in this bright blue color.

Previous Episodes and Sessions:

When we last left the crew of the Mulgrew, they were in a very unusual predicament. An entity known as a Nacene, has thrown the Mulgrew and her crew into the Delta Quadrant for reasons that are not completely clear. All they know is that the Nacene wanted them to ‘preserve the legacy’ of a friend by helping an unknown species. Before they’re able to get their bearings, they’re attacked by a species known as the Kazon. The Kazon vessel was damaged so badly that the warp core lost containment. Ensign Cross transported the crew of the Kazon vessel to the Mulgrew before their ship exploded and there are now fifty Kazon being contained in a cargo bay and the brig. The Mulgrew is on its way to Ocampa, where there are Kazon terrorizing a species native to Ocampa. It’s up to the crew of the Mulgrew to decide if they should help the Ocampan people or to leave them at the mercy of the ruthless Kazon.

Episode Two: Find Your Bearings
ACT ONE: Scene One – Welcome Party

Setup: The captain is in their ready room and the commanding officer is in charge of the bridge. The commanding officer is notified that the ship is approaching Ocampa. The commanding officer will likely order the ship into a sustained orbit around the planet and then notify the captain. Once on the bridge, the captain will likely want to see the planet’s surface, ordering the viewscreen on.

There are several sensor alerts echoing around the bridge. One is at the helm where Lieutenant Zynes is currently operating the ship’s navigational sensors. His blue antenna wiggle back and forth as he turns the alert off.

“Commander, sensors indicate we’re approaching Ocampa.” Zynes informs General K’orvo, who is currently inspecting PADDs while reclining in the captain’s chair.

“Take us into orbit, Lieutenant Zynes.” K’orvo instructs Zynes, who nods and turns back to his console. K’orvo taps the communicator badge that’s clipped to his Klingon uniform and says, “Captain, we are entering orbit around Ocampa.”

“I’ll be right there, General.” Captain M’Kora’s voice comes back over the comm. Within moments, M’Kora steps onto the bridge from her ready room. She looks at the viewscreen and then at Zynes. “Well, what are you waiting for? On screen.”

The view screen displays an ochre brown planet, barren of plant life and devoid of bodies of water. The cloudless atmosphere gives way to towering mountains and deep chasms where water once flowed. The bridge crew stares at the desolate planet before them but a sudden proximity alert breaks their focus. It appears that there are several asteroids near the ship.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Proximity Sensor
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science

Success: The asteroids have entered into a stable orbit. There is plenty of time to do anything that needs to be done on the planet before having to worry about mining.

The proximity alert startles K’orvo and he calls out, “Dirnick, report.”

“Commander, it appears that there are several asteroids that are now entering a stable orbit around the planet. These are the ones we’ll want to send a mining crew to. They’re rich with duranium and dilithium.” Dirnick reports.

“If the asteroids are in a stable orbit, then we can lower the priority of that mission. First priority, I want scans of that planet. I want to know what we’re looking at down there. Dirnick, please get on that.” M’Kora says as she inspects the PADDs that K’orvo handed over.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Scan the Planet
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science

Success: There is an atmospheric interference with a partial radioactive signature that’s going to block transporter signals. An away team can’t beam down and there’s no way to beam the Kazon survivors to the surface either. A shuttle shouldn’t have trouble navigating through the atmosphere to the surface. There are faint readings of clusters of life signs on the planet’s surface.

Momentum Spend: There are more life signs scattered beneath the planet’s surface. There are also readings of water and vegetation in what looks like underground caverns.

Dirnick turns from the science station and faces M’Kora as he delivers the report. “Captain, there appears to be some form of radioactive interference, but the source is unknown. It’s going to prevent our transporter signal and it’s interfering with the scans. The layer of interference is only in the mesosphere of the planet’s atmosphere. If someone were to scan while on the planet’s surface, there shouldn’t be any interference. The radiation isn’t strong enough to penetrate a shuttle’s hull either. It’s just enough to cause a slight annoyance from orbit.”

“Well, that’s rather annoying. I don’t like sending my people in blind. Can you get anything else from your scans?” M’Kora asks as K’orvo moves to the commander’s chair to give M’Kora her seat.

“Well, there are life signs, but I can’t tell if they’re Kazon or not. The interference is just too much, even for our sensors. I’m also getting readings of what looks like vast underground caverns, caves, and tunnels. It looks like there might be water and plant life there too. I wonder what kind of plant life is surviving in such an inhospitable world. They would be fascinating to study.” Dirnick says, as his gaze drifts off, as though he were daydreaming.

“Thank you, Dirnick. If you discover anything else, please inform us immediately.” M’Kora says, in a loud voice. It snaps Dirnick out of his daydream and he nods at M’Kora.

“Yes, Captain, of course.” Dirnick returns to the console in an attempt to glean more information.

After the bridge crew realizes that thorough scans and transporting won’t be possible from orbit, the captain orders an away team to take a shuttle to the surface and investigate the situation as best they can. The away team will be equipped with survey equipment, weapons, and field med kits in advance. The mission is to make it safely to the planet’s surface and determine the number of Kazon located on the planet and what the Ocampan defensive situation is and then report back to the ship.

“Well, we need to get a team on the surface. I want to know how many Kazon are down there and what kind of threat the Ocampa are under. I can’t leave here knowing that these people might be oppressed by another species. If they’re defenses are adequate, then we won’t interfere. Commander, assemble your team and see what you can find out.” M’Kora says as she nods to General K’orvo.

K’orvo stands up and points to each crew as he calls them out, “Dirnick, Zhang, and Lorne. Meet me in the situation room promptly.”

All the officers stand and acknowledge the orders simultaneously as their relief steps in and takes over their stations. Zynes looks at Lieutenant Zhang, who is sitting at the navigation console, and sighs. “You’re lucky. I wanted to fly the away team.”

She looks back at Zynes with an irritated look on her face. “I don’t feel so lucky. I would rather stay here at navigation, but if the ‘General’ wants me to fly the shuttle, I can’t refuse the order. Well, not if I want to stay in Starfleet anyway.”

“Why did you take this commission if you have an issue with Klingons?” Zynes asks, swiveling his seat around as she makes her way to the situation room.

“That, Lieutenant, is none of your business.” She turns and walks through the doorway to the situation room.

In the situation room, K’orvo and M’Kora are discussing strategies and potential threats to the away team with the other team members. Lieutenant Zhang, who has long dark hair and a light complexion, walks into the room a little later than the rest of the team.

“I apologize for my tardiness.” Zhang addresses the rest of the team as she enters. “Lieutenant Zynes had some things he wanted to cover with me before I left.”

“Please, Lieutenant, take your seat. We were just discussing the best strategy for moving all of you and still being able to keep in contact with the ship.” M’Kora says.

“Captain, I still think we should take two shuttles. One piloted by Lieutenant Zhang and one piloted by Lieutenant Lorne and Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Zhang and the security officers can stay close to the mesosphere, just in comm range of us. We can report to them and they can fly above the interference in mesosphere and report to you. A sort of relay system.” K’orvo says. “It will take a little more manpower and resources, but it is likely the safest way to get our warriors to the surface and then back in a hurry if there is danger. We want to keep casualties and injuries to a minimum.”

“I think the old man has a good idea.” Zhang says.

“Lieutenant, it’s Commander K’orvo. He’s your superior and I expect you to treat him with respect.” M’Kora sternly scolds Zhang.

“Yes, Captain. Commander, I apologize and I do agree with your plan. I think your idea is solid.” Zhang says, looking around at all the other officers.

“Well, I agree.” M’Kora says. “Lieutenant Lorne, assign some security to the second shuttle with Lieutenant Zhang and she’ll stay just under the mesosphere, within comm range of the away team. Lieutenant Zhang, you’ll be in charge of extracting the away team, but only if necessary. I would like both of my shuttles back, in tact. You’re primary mission is to collect reports from the away team and relay them to the Mulgrew. Understood?”

“Aye, Captain.” Zhang acknowledges the orders as she takes a PADD from Lorne with the officer assignments. “Thank you, Lieutenant Lorne.”

“I think we should take Culluh with us as a bargaining chip, in case we come across the other Kazon. Maybe we can use the promise of his safe return to convince them to the leave Ocampa.” Lorne says.

“Are you out of your mind, Lieutenant? You do not take the best you have to offer. You take something else of lesser value to begin negotiations.” Dirnick says with a matter-of-fact tone.

“Well, of course you’d see them as things. I wouldn’t expect a Cardassian to see the Kazon as people.” Lorne snaps back at Dirnick.

“Stop this bickering, right now.” M’Kora glares at the two of them. “If you two don’t reconcile your ‘cultural issues’, I’ll demote you both.”

“I hate to say it, Captain, but Lieutenant Commander Dirnick has the right idea. He just needs to express it in a more ‘Starfleet’ way. Which is something I am struggling with as well.” K’orvo says, as he looks at a PADD with all the Kazon listed on it. “Here is a helmsman, with what appears to be a high rank. His name is Trenack and he is in the brig with the other bridge officers. I bet he will be adequate enough to begin bartering, should we encounter the Kazon.”

“I don’t want you to engage the Kazon unless it’s necessary.” M’Kora says. “I want all the information we can gather about the planet and the Ocampa before we have to engage them. But having a prisoner on hand would be helpful in the event you are forced to engage with them. However, I do not think it’s wise to take Culluh. Trenack should be sufficient.”

“I want him as secure as possible. What kind of restraints does the Federation have, Lieutenant Lorne?” K’orvo asks.

“I can assure you that he won’t be a problem. Our restraints are more than adequate.” Lorne responds.

“I want his hands fully secured. I don not want to take any chances and have him escape or find a way to operate a console.” K’orvo explains.

“I’ve heard tales of a devious device that was used on ancient Earth, that traps the fingers of the prisoner in such a way that if they try to pull their fingers out of the device, it tightens its grip. I believe it was called a Chinese finger trap. Lieutenant Zhang, you may know something about it since you’re Chinese.” Dirnick turns to Zhang, whose face is bright red.

Zhang lets out cough to clear her throat and says, “Lieutenant Commander, the Chinese finger trap is a child’s toy. It’s not meant to be a prisoner restraint.”

Lorne tries to stifle a laugh as he glances at Dirnick, whose face is turning pale compared to his regular purple-grey complexion. “Lieutenant Commander, I think I have the security details under control. If I see any flora that looks threatening, I’ll let you handle it.”

M’Kora has her eyes closed and her fingers clamped on the bridge of her nose when she lets out a sigh and asks herself, “How did I get stuck with such an insufferable group of officers? Kahless save me…”

“Sorry, Captain.” Lorne says, with a snicker and a glance at Dirnick, who is obviously frustrated. “Good news is, we won’t need EV suits! The planet’s atmosphere is not hazardous to any of us.”

“Alright, crew. Round up the prisoner and secure him in our shuttle. Lieutenant Zhang, get your security officers briefed and prepare your shuttle. We launch at 1300 hours. Dismissed.” K’orvo orders and turns to M’Kora when the others have left. “Is it not a violation of the Prime Directive to interfere with underdeveloped species? We didn’t pick up anything resembling warp technology on the planet.”

“General, I don’t care about the Prime Directive right now. I might care tomorrow, but I don’t care today. We don’t know for certain if they have warp technology or not. We also don’t know if they’re more advanced that us or not. They could have something beyond our understanding at their fingertips. That’s why we’re investigating and not engaging any intelligent life, unless necessary. And it may be necessary to speak with the Ocampa to understand their situation. If that’s the case, I give you authority to represent Starfleet and the Federation. I hope you’ve been studying.” M’Kora smiles with a weary look on her face.

“Captain, I will not disappoint you. We will complete our objectives with as little damage as possible to the Ocampa culture.” K’orvo says and he turns to leave. Before walking out of the situation room, he turns back to M’Kora and says, “I will report to you as soon as possible, through Zhang. Qapla’!”

“Kahless guide you, General. Qapla’!” K’orvo leaves the situation room and M’Kora turns to look out the window at the unwelcoming planet below.

The two crews are ready to go by 1300 hours and they are about to the leave the docking bay. Lorne is piloting the first shuttle with Dirnick using scans at the science station to assist. K’orvo is sitting across from the containment field, eyeing Trenack. Zhang is piloting the second shuttle with two back up security personnel aboard.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Pilot the Shuttle
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Conn, Daring + Conn
~ Player Assist: Reason + Science

As the shuttles leave the docking bay of the ship, the vast deserts of Ocampa appear more desolate and unwelcoming than they had on the viewscreen of the bridge. The two shuttle crews look on as their pilots fly the shuttles into the mesosphere layer of the planet. There is a moment when all of the panels and consoles flicker off and on and several of the shuttles’ warning systems sound off. The interference that the ship had detected is in this layer of the atmosphere, but there is currently no indication of what’s causing it.

Success: Despite the disruption in the shuttles’ systems, the pilots are able to land the first shuttle with no real trouble, and keep the other shuttle flying just below the mesosphere. Once the first shuttle has landed safely on the planet’s surface, the crew attempts to hail the ship, which results in static. The shuttle’s systems are operating normally, but it appears that layer of interference is stopping the comm signal, just as predicted.

Momentum Spend: A distress beacon should be able to penetrate the layer of interference. Also, the shuttle’s equipment can assist you in scanning the planet.

The crew of the first shuttle lands safely on the planet and they contact the second shuttle immediately.

“Shuttle Dorn to Shuttle Spiner. We’ve landed safely. Are we coming through clear enough?” Lorne monitors the communications while Dirnick and K’orvo are exiting the shuttle to scan the surrounding area.

“Shuttle Dorn, we hear you. There is plenty of interference but it’s only causing a small amount of static. Is it coming through the same for you?” Zhangs voice comes across the comm and there is static just as she described, but Lorne can easily make out what she’s saying.

“Aye, Lieutenant. We’ll report back within two hours. If you don’t hear from us, come looking. Those are the Commander’s orders. Shuttle Dorn, out.” Lorne stands up from the console and makes his way to the rear hatch.

“Lieutenant Lorne, assemble the distress beacon. I want to be ready in case something bad happens. Lieutenant Commander Dirnick, assist him. I will stand watch.” The two officers acknowledge the orders as K’orvo takes position near the rear of the shuttle, slightly obscured by the shuttle’s shadows, where he can watch Trenack and horizon.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Prepare a Distress Beacon
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Engineering, Insight + Science
~ Player Assist: Control + Engineering, Insight + Science
Note on Assist – The assisting player may not use the same Attribute or Discipline as the player attempting the Task.

Once the crew has assembled the distress beacon, they have a moment to take in the scenery. There is nothing but hot and dry desert as far as the eye can see. There are rocky protrusions scattered sparsely and a mountain range that can be seen far off in the distance. There is a large rocky formation next to the shuttle’s landing spot. The planet looks very desolate and unwelcoming. The crew pulls out their tricorders and begins taking scans of the area, looking for life signs and signs of water.

“Now that we’ve completed this simple task, we should attempt to complete some of our mission objectives. We need to scan the area and find out how many Kazon are here, where the Ocampa are, and if there are defense systems in place for the Ocampa.” Dirnick pats his pants legs, knocking the dust from his Starfleet uniform.

“Do you want to use the shuttle’s sensors, Lieutenant Commander?” Lorne asks, eyeing his superior.

“No thanks, Lieutenant. My tricorder is more than adequate.” Dirnick begins his scans of the area while Lorne attempts to assist him.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Scan Your Surroundings
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Reason + Science
~ Player Assist: Control + Security
~ Shuttle Assist: Sensors + Science (Only if scanning with the shuttle’s systems)

Success: You detect hundreds, possibly thousands of life signs below the planet’s surface and they do not have the same life signs as the Kazon. You can assume that they are the Ocampa. There appear to be hundreds of kilometers of caves under the planet’s surface too. You also pick up Kazon life signs from behind the nearest rock formation right next to the shuttle which is large enough to hide several shuttles.

Momentum Spend: The Kazon life signs are headed your way and there are also weapon signatures consistent with phase pistols showing up on scans.

“I’m reading hundreds of kilometers of caverns, caves, and tunnels beneath the surface. There are areas that are obscured from my scans as well. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of non-Kazon life signs down there and those may be the Ocampa. There is water and hundreds of varieties of plant life too. It’s baffling as to how they are surviving beneath the surface. These scans indicate that there isn’t an adequate light source beneath the surface.” Dirnick is studying the scans on his tricorder as he turns it towards the closest rock formation.

“Lieutenant Commander, that rock formation is odd looking, almost like it wasn’t formed naturally. Don’t you think?” Lorne asks just as the tricorder begins to sound an alert that there are life signs in close proximity.

“Why, yes, Lieutenant. I do think it’s strange looking, but I’m more concerned about the six armed Kazon moving towards us from the other side of it.” Dirnick eyes Lorne, who is now scrambling for his phaser.

“Prophets protect us! Commander! We’ve got potential hostiles moving towards us from the other side of the rock formation. We should bring Trenack out. Having him in view may prevent them from using a ‘shoot first, questions later’ approach.” Lorne dashes to K’orvo’s side and points to Trenack, who is still in the containment field within the shuttle.

“Good idea, but keep your phaser on him. If he so much as twitches the wrong way, knock him out.” K’orvo looks back at Trenack. “You hear that, Kazon? You do anything we do not like and you will be back in that cell for as long as I see fit!”

Lorne releases the containment field and escorts Trenack from the shuttle, who huffs and stomps out of the shuttle. Lorne puts the tip of his phaser in the center of Trenack’s back and says, “Don’t talk unless we tell you to.”

“I will not be your bartering chip. You are wasting your time.” Trenack spits on the ground at Lorne’s feet.

Lorne, phaser in his right hand, raises his left hand and gives Trenack a swift tap on the back of his head. “What did I just say? You didn’t get a sticker for following directions in school, did you? Don’t speak unless we tell you to.”

K’orvo steps up from the rear of the shuttle and Dirnick takes the opportunity to reposition himself where K’orvo was standing. “I’ll be back here, protecting our rear.”

It’s not long before six Kazon, armed with phase pistols, make their way around the rock formation. They look surprised when they see the three crew and another Kazon, and they take aim.

K’orvo puts up a hand and calls out to them, “Hold your fire! We have a lot of your people and we wish to return them to you. We are not here to fight, only to return your people and discuss your departure from this planet.”

One of the Kazon steps forward, weapon trained on K’orvo, and says, “He is not Kazon-Ogla! He is not one of our people!”

“Wait, he is Kazon and a helmsman from a Kazon ship. We rescued 49 others from that ship before it exploded. He can confirm.” K’orvo looks at Trenack and Lorne pushes the tip of phaser into his back. Trenack nods in agreement and K’orvo calls back to the Kazon, “Do you want them back?”

“He’s nothing to us! They are nothing to us!” The rest of the Kazon train their weapons on the crew.

“Well, this is going well.” Dirnick says as he readies his phaser.

Lorne yells to K’orvo, “This guy is useless! I told you we should have brought Culluh!”

“Culluh! Kazon-Nistrim scum!” The lead Kazon yells.

“The Nistrim will not be slaves of the Ogla!” Trenack yells back, just before the group of Kazon open fire.

A firefight erupts between the crew and the Kazon. The crew is able to use the shuttle as partial cover, ducking behind the corners or just inside the door. When any one of the crew tries to shut the door to the shuttle, the door becomes stuck and they can’t get it to shut. Phaser blasts streak across the desert sands as the Kazon advance on the crew. The crew stands firm in an attempt to stop the Kazon’s advancement. The Kazon fight fiercely, almost without regard for their lives, and they don’t hold back against the crew.

“Don’t move. If you move, I could miss and hit you in the face.” Lorne whispers to Trenack. He uses Trenack’s shoulder to steady his aim and fires a wide phaser spread into the group of Kazon. One of them is stunned and falls to the ground. K’orvo opens fire and nearly incapacitates two more of the attacking Kazon. Energy blasts from the Kazon’s phase pistols fly toward the crew and Trenack, barely grazing K’orvo and Dirnick. Dirnick returns fire, and nearly incapacitates another of the Kazon.

The Kazon rush towards the crew and attempt to physically overpower them. The crew continues to fight back, but with every blow they land, the Kazon fight back with brawler tactics you’d see in a bar fight. The crew is struggling against the Kazon brawlers, but they are able to weaken them substantially.

“They’re weakening! Lorne, fire a spread!” K’orvo orders as Lorne breaks away from the melee.

“Commander, I’ll hit you too!” Lorne calls back.

“Do it! NOW!” K’orvo orders as he grabs two Kazon in an attempt to hold them in place.

Lorne hesitates, but then steps back, quickly sets his phaser to emit a spread, and fires into the group. With one phaser blast, all the remaining Kazon are incapacitated. K’orvo also suffers a minor injury to his shoulder from the close proximity of the blast.

“Commander! By the Prophets! I warned you!” Lorne rushes to K’orvo, but it’s obvious that the wound isn’t serious.

“Get the Cardassian to patch me up. Won’t take much effort since we have those extra medkits.” K’orvo says.

“Don’t worry, Commander. I was already on it before Lorne reached you. This will only take a moment, though you may have some residual side effects, until you get proper treatment.” Dirnick kneels down next to K’orvo and begins working on the phaser burns.

“I will be fine. We have a mission to complete. Besides, if it gets to be too much to handle, I will have Zhang come get me.” K’orvo scoffs at the burn on his back. “We knocked them all out, right? Lorne, go round them up.”

“Aye, Commander.” Lorne jumps up and begins putting restraints on all six of the Kazon-Ogla. Lorne then begins moving them to the containment field area of the shuttle.

K’orvo taps his communicator badge and calls to Zhang, “Lieutenant Zhang, we need you to come pick up the prisoner. He is useless to us down here.”

Zhang’s voice calls back over the comm badge, “Aye, Commander. We’re on our way.” Moments later, the second shuttle descends from the sky and two security officers come rushing from the back hatch as it opens. They each grab one of Trenack’s arms and drag him into the shuttle. Lieutenant Zhang emerges and rushes toward K’orvo, who is brushing the dirt from his clothes.

“Commander, orders?” Zhang asks. K’orvo and Zhang are walking towards the second shuttle. K’orvo pulls out a PADD from one of the storage units and punches in several bits of information as he steps back out of the shuttle.

“Take Trenack back to the Mulgrew and give my report to Captain M’Kora. We can not use the Kazon on the ship to bargain with. They are from different sects, and the only reason they will want Culluh is to kill him. We can not do that.” K’orvo says as he hands the PADD to Zhang.

“Yes, sir. I understand. It’s against Starfleet ideals to do such a thing.” She nods and puts the PADD in one of her belt holsters.

“It may be against Starfleet ideals, but that is not why we can not do it. It is a dishonorable tactic, befitting a Romulan, but not a Klingon.” K’orvo stares at Zhang for a moment and then says, “Not all Klingons are monsters.”

Zhang nods and makes her way back into the shuttle. K’orvo, Dirnick, and Lorne watch as the second shuttle lifts off and streaks toward the atmosphere.

“So much for their little welcome party. Alright crew, we have work to do. Let us get to it.” K’orvo says and both Dirnick and Lorne acknowledge and begin scanning the area for more information.

To Be Continued…

Next Time:
ACT ONE: Scene Two – Beauty Beneath the Surface

Roll Credits!
  • Travis – Lieutenant Zynes/Lieutenant Commander Dirnick
  • Wednesday – Doctor Zylas/Commander K’orvo
  • North – Ensign Cross/Lieutenant Lorne
  • Kat (Dice Dice Kitty) – Captain M’Kora
  • Supporting Character – Lieutenant Zhang

“These are the voyages of the starship Mulgrew. We go where other Federation starships cannot. We blaze a path in the stars for fellow explorers. We don’t just boldly go, we go boldly and silently into the black.”     ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

 

Show Your Support!

I haven’t heard one way or the other if Modiphius is planning to attend Origins Game Fair this year (2019). Modiphius has something special in the 2D20 system and I think it needs proper representation at Origins. I know they were at GenCon, but many of us can’t go to a convention that size or that expensive. For me, it’s more about the size than the cost. I want to put this out on all channels – Show Modiphius you love their games! Ask them to attend Origins so they know it’s not just me poking at them about it. Even if you’re not planning to attend Origins (which you should), go ahead and let them know what it means to you as a fan and customer, to see them with representation at multiple US conventions!

You can find them here:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website
YouTube

Don’t forget to follow Origins as well!
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Website
YouTube (GAMA)

Thanks, as always for reading my ramblings and also for your support. Tune in next time, for the continuation of Episode Two.

 

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Avengers #13

This week’s issue was a flashback to the Iron Fist’s beginnings in 1,000,000 BC. I loved the Netflix show, but I have zero interest in the comic book. I have less than zero interest in previous Iron Fist characters. This series was off to a great start and I’m not saying that the stories are bad now – they just don’t interest me at all. I will be dropping this series from my subscription list.

IDW
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic 20/20 One-Shot

This issue was a cute one-shot with a cute story. It does a little bit of retcon, kind of. We are all under the impression that the Mane Six met after Twilight Sparkle comes to Ponyville to live, as an adult. This issue retcons that and shows us that they actually met when their adult selves were kicked back in time. The future Mane Six is knocked back to when they first got their cutie marks, because of Dash’s Sonic Rainboom colliding with a lightning blast. They’re placed with their younger selves and then all of them meet up in Ponyville, which is where the younger versions all first meet each other. The Elements of Harmony are lost and the group splits into to groups to track them down. Celestia shows up later and does some mind jujitsu on the younger versions that prevents them from remembering until the older versions cross the portal back into their own time.

Time travel can be exhausting…

I also have a problem with the continuity in this issue. The Elements of Harmony are currently with the Tree of Harmony. So why does the Mane Six have them in the present time? It would be easy to explain that the book takes place before that happened, but there’s another issue. There is an Ambassador from Abyssinia, which would lead one to assume that this takes place after the My Little Pony Movie. The Elements of Harmony were already with the Tree of Harmony and even though Starswirl temporarily pulled them out for them to use against the Pony of Shadows, I doubt Twilight would have pulled them out for an event like this. Abyssinia is mentioned once in the show and once in the comics prior to movie related content, so I guess it’s possible that this could have taken place prior to the movie, but I doubt it. I’m thinking this is just a continuity error.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #6

Oh boy… Mirror Barclay thought he was going to be able to ‘start fresh’ in Lt. Barclay’s place. It looks like things didn’t go quite as planned for Mirror Barclay. I wonder how long he’ll be able to keep up the charade, without someone digging deeper into why he didn’t go back to the Mirror Universe. I had a feeling that Mirror Barclay would give up the Faundori facility as a bargaining chip if he needed it. I wasn’t surprised when he gave up the location just to save his hide. I’m actually surprised that the Enterprise crew didn’t notice that Barclay wasn’t himself. That almost bothers me a little bit, but at the same time, I guess they thought he was finding his way finally.

I’m looking forward to seeing if they continue with these Mirror Universe related titles. I’ve enjoyed all of them so far and I hope they continue. I’d like to see what happens to the Faundori people and what other shenanigans the Mirror Universe folks get into.

Conclusion

Aside from Avengers, I enjoyed my books this week, even with the possible continuity errors in the MLP book. I really do hope there are more Mirror Universe Star Trek books are on the way. I am very disappointed that my issue of Grumble didn’t come in this week, but I will add it to the newest Comic Box Recap when it finally comes in.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

The featured game for this article and video review is a game from Fireside Games, Remnants.

Remnants on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

remnants

The world ended some time ago. Our days are dust and sand. We build what we need to survive from the remnants of the old world . . .

Remnants takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Each player builds a compound and fights to survive Raiders and mutant creatures. Send Survivors into the Badlands to roll dice in a real-time race for Resources, and then take turns spending those Resources to buy weapon, defense, and special development cards. When threats attack, roll dice and use abilities from cards you purchased to stay alive and fend off the assault. Designed by Matthew O’Malley, Ben Rosset, and our own Justin De Witt.

Remnants takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Each  player builds a compound and fights to survive Raiders and mutant creatures. The game is played in 5 phases: Scavenge, Build, Fight, Heal, and Cleanup. In the Scavenge phase, you send Survivors into the Badlands to roll dice in a real-time race for Resources. In the Build phase, you take turns spending those Resources to buy weapon, defense, and special development cards that enhance your compound. When threats attack, you’ll roll dice and use abilities followed by a Level 2 threat, and then finally face down the Raider Boss. After the final attack, the game ends and the player with the most Victory points is the winner.

If you like Mad Max, you should definitely be looking into this game!

Rules

I can’t think of any rule book from Fireside that’s given me serious trouble. Fireside is great about explaining things in detail and so their rule books tend to be thick and intimidating when you first pick them up. The rule book is detailed and covers just about every aspect of the game. We haven’t had a single question about Remnants that wasn’t covered in the rule book.

As a general tip, I recommend that you give yourself time to sit and read the rule book in its entirety. Then sit down with a friend or two that doesn’t mind trying to learn a new game so you can work out the ins and outs of the game. I’d do all of this before introducing it to a larger group. If your group likes learning new games together, then board out and game on!

Fireside has a link to the rule book, here.

Components and Game Play

You can find a review video on my YouTube channel that shows all of the components with a brief description and also a review of the game play.

You can follow this link directly to my video – HERE.

Summary

Remnants is not a difficult game to learn or play. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to teach to a group. The complexity of the game comes in with the various RNG that’s in the game. You’re trying to accomplish whatever purchasing goal you have with the randomness of the Badlands cards and the dice. The development cards are different with each setup too, which I definitely like. You can bet that no two games will ever be the same. I also like that you don’t have to focus on defeating attackers in order to win. There are other ways to get the Flavor Pack VPs. I know they’re called “Flavor Packs”, but they totally look like Ketchup Packs. I almost want to buy a box of Ketchup Packs from somewhere just to use for this game. One of my favorite descriptive things from Remnants is this:“Victory Points are flavor packets because in the future, flavor is the most valuable commodity.”

Fireside is always good about putting player aids on the board, on cards to hand out, or somewhere in the game components. Once again, Fireside has not let me down! Your player board has a detailed turn order, which is really all you need once you’ve got the basics down.

I also enjoy the randomness of the attacking Raiders and the various ways you can set up the boss, like not revealing their Power Up card until the boss is actually attacking. It adds some suspense to the boss and I love it! We typically wait until we’re done with the Dread turn before flipping the Raider/Boss – which makes it that much more fun!

This game is loads of fun and it plays relatively quickly. If you like Mad Max or something similar (I LOVE Mad Max), you might like the feel of this game. It’s definitely got that Mad Max feel – you’re fighting against other players for resources and the opportunity to development your compound, while fighting for your life against the attacking Dread!

I would like to see additional Dread cards, either as an expansion/upgrade, or as an addition to a deluxe/collector’s edition of the game. I could also see miniatures and plastic tokens added as an upgrade pack or for a deluxe/collector’s edition and I would totally buy it!

The only complaint I have, has nothing to do with game play or anything really important. I wish there was a base piece or punch out spot on the player board for the turn player flag. I would love to see flag ‘flying’ over the turn player’s compound.

Buy or Bye?
Buy!!!

I hope to see expansions or upgrades in the future! This game deserves upgraded tokens! Even if you don’t dig the theme, give this game a try!

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more gaming and Star Trek related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Fantastic Four #6

Human Torch is full of witty comments, and apparently he knows how to use his wit to gain information from his enemies. I like that he’s different from the other members of the Fantastic Four and his humor is fun. I’m hoping Reed Richards isn’t as naive as he appears in this issue. Doom had planned for everything, even where the FF were going to ‘invade’ at. I like Doom’s over the top personality and I really like Doom’s herald, Victorious. If Doom is just using her, I hope it was all part of the plan and she’s in on it. If not, I’ll be a little disappointed. She’s very devoted and seems like she’d do whatever Doom told her, including sacrificing herself. Fantastic Four has been a great series so far and really fun to read. I definitely look forward to more!

Invaders #1

I don’t have much knowledge of the Invaders because I don’t like Captain America or Bucky, so I always avoided series with them in it. While this book was well written and interesting to read, it’s not really a book for me. That’s kind of disappointing too, since i was looking forward to it. And that disappointment is basically just me being disappointed in myself for not being more interested. The parts with Namor were the parts I liked the most and that’s probably because I really don’t like Captain America. I wasn’t expecting Machan to be a figment of Namor’s imagination, so that was a surprise when it was revealed.

I like how this book is focused on helping a war veteran overcome what’s happening to him, instead of him just being written off or destroyed. It sends a powerful message about our veterans.

I give credit to the team on this book for their excellent work. Just because I’m not digging a book, doesn’t mean it wasn’t done well. I will continue to get this title for a little while longer, to see if it changes topics to something I’m more interested in.

Absolute Comics Group
White Widow #1

Someone just splashed the 90’s all over the pages of this book. I’m not complaining about it at all, so don’t take it that way! There were great books in the 90’s! This book was an interesting read and the main character has a nice personality. She also looks like she has a combination of powers from Carnage, Lady Deathstrike, and Spider-Man, which is also kind of cool. This was a fun read, though I wouldn’t recommend it for folks like that don’t like obscenities, raunchiness, and cold-blooded murder. I liked plenty of the offbeat comic heroes in the 90’s and it’s so much fun to see a new one in that style!

I picked up this book on a whim, but I’m actually interested in the story going forward, so I’ll be picking up this series. I also wanted to mention, one of my fellow comic guys said that this book felt ‘thin’, like it didn’t have as many pages as other books. There are 24 pages (that’s counting front and back as two separate pages) of comic in this book and there are ZERO pages of ads. Most of the other books I read contain right at 20 pages of comic and about 6-8 pages of ads. White Widow had great content on all the pages and has the same cover price as those other books… but with more pages and zero ads…

IDW
My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights #4

I love the warm fuzzies I get from reading an MLP book. They’re full of inspiring moments of friendship and triumph, even if the victory is small. This was another good issue where the smaller achievements will help the heroes rise to glorious victory. Luna reminds Stygian that nobody can save him from himself – only he can decide to be a better pony. Daybreaker is starting to see the light, pun intended. And Tempest is showing her softer side, which is quite wonderful. I also don’t believe Capper has betrayed his friends. I think it’s part of bigger plan that he’s cooked up in his head, or maybe one he’s made with one of the other ponies. Eris could be on to them as well, since she was so suspicious of Tempest’s ‘new nightmares’ – or I could be looking too much into it. I guess I’ll have to wait until next month to find out!

Star Trek vs Transformers #4

This series is the most outrageous Star Trek comic series I’ve ever read – and I LOVE it! I love the over the top dramatics that you’d expect from TAS and an 80’s cartoon like Transformers. I can almost hear the dramatic ‘dun dun dun’ music on the last panel of the comic. When you hear the sound effects and music in your head while reading, you’re either insane, or you’re just really into what you’re reading. I’m almost certain it’s the latter for me. For someone with little-to-no background knowledge of Transformers, I’ve found myself genuinely enjoying those characters. This makes me want to dig up the old series from somewhere and actually watch it. Fortress Tiberius is absolutely ridiculous, but so cool at the same time. I can’t wait to see the crew of the Enterprise defend Kronos from Starscream with the help of the Transformers. It’s going to be an epic battle!

Conclusion

I liked Fantastic Four this week, but I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t like Invaders more. Like I mentioned, the book isn’t bad, just not what I like to read. I hope it switches gears or I’ll have to drop it. White Widow was a pleasant surprise and I look forward to more issues of that 90’s throwback, offbeat super hero style. I have yet to dislike an MLP book and Star Trek rarely disappoints. This was a good week and I feel like I got my money’s worth on every book in my box, including Invaders.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Gamers!

 

I know it’s only January right now, and Origins Game Fair isn’t until June – but if you’re planning a full week trip to Origins, you should probably start thinking about it now. I get asked a lot of questions about Origins and how to get ready for it. I want to share planning methods and tips for the convention that Mr. DDK and I have. We may not be the most seasoned when it comes to Origins (been a few times), but we’ve traveled a lot and we’ve definitely learned a lot!

Most of this article is written for travelers that are driving or taking other modes of ground transportation. I don’t have much advice for anyone flying because I’m not familiar with flying protocols.

October – November 2018

Hotel blocks and badge registration opened in October and November, respectively. We don’t usually book hotel rooms or buy badges that early. A lot of people do though. If you’ve got the money to spend, we would definitely recommend getting a room from one of the Hotel Blocks listed on Origins’ site – especially the connected hotels or one super close. By now, most of them are already booked. If you want to get a room at one of the connected hotels, you would have to be ready to book the moment the blocks open up. The hotel block registration for Origins 2019 opened on October 15, 2018. If you’re planning for next year (2020), be watching for the block announcement on their Facebook page or in their newsletter.

January – April
Hotel

These are the months when we scout hotels and decide which one to book. I’m not the best at stalking about the internet for the absolute cheapest rooms, so we probably end up paying more for a room than the expert scouts. There are tons of websites out there that can teach you how to take advantage of the discounts and sales and find the cheapest possible room.

When we look for a room, we try to find one within a mile of the convention center. The address for the Greater Columbus Convention Center is:

400 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

If the room is within a mile, that means we won’t have to drive and pay parking fees, and it’ll be roughly a 20-25 minute walk. Parking fees aren’t terrible for one day, but once you’re paying them for five days or more, it becomes a huge chunk of what could have been spending money.

We like rooms with a refrigerator so we have a place to keep food or drinks. We also try to get a microwave in the room or in the lobby, at the very least. We like to try to get a room with two beds or one bed with a pull out couch, just in case we have folks that decide to go with us.

Once we know what we want in a room, I will usually browse Kayak for rooms that have a free cancellation policy and a pay at the hotel feature. Once I’ve found a room that we like, I’ll book it, but I’ll keep looking at rooms all the way up to the last day that I can cancel my booking. I do that in case I find a room that’s cheaper, closer, or better than the one I booked. In all the years we’ve traveled, we have never cancelled one room for another, but it doesn’t hurt to keep looking. If we can save a few hundred dollars on a room, then why not? If the room is cheaper by less than a hundred dollars, I won’t bother cancelling our current room.

Badge Registration

Badge Registration for 2019 opened in November of 2018. We don’t typically buy badges until March, just because that’s when we have extra income. Work in your badge purchase when it best suits your finances. But don’t wait too late to register! Early bird prices have a cut off date and if you miss it, you’ll have to pay more for your badge.

There are a variety of different types of badges that grant you access to the convention for one day or all five days. We always go for the full show badges, but you should get the one that suits your plans.

May

This is the month that purchasing opens for Ribbons, Event Tickets, and Generic Tokens for the various happenings at Origins Game Fair.

Ribbons

I’ve never purchased a Ribbon at Origins, but I’m seriously considering it this year. You can find the info for Ribbons at the bottom of the Registration page. Ribbons have a super sticky part across the front top of the ribbon. When you get your Ribbon, you stick it to the back of your badge, so the front of the Ribbon hangs just below your badge. I’ve seen folks with a stack of Ribbons, stretching almost all the way to the floor. Some Ribbons are earned by accomplishing various tasks, like turning in a coupon and getting your free spin on a prize wheel. Wearing the Ribbon shows you’ve done it, almost like a badge of honor.

I’ve heard lots of great things about Origins After Dark and the Board Room and that they are worth buying. I’m looking at getting the Upper Deck Ribbon because they make the VS System 2PCG: The Alien Battles and I love Alien. I wanted to learn to play it last year, but it was extremely difficult to get in without a ticket or ribbon – and I couldn’t schedule it easily last year either.

Event Tickets

Event Tickets are special tickets that you can purchase which guarantee you entry to a particular event at a specific time. You can buy tickets for practically anything at various times. You can download the 2018 Event Grid (last year’s) from the current event page, here. That’ll give you an example of the events. Last year, I bought a Giant King of Tokyo ticket and Star Trek Five Year Mission event ticket. Buying tickets in advance for events that you know you’ll want to play is a great idea. Doing it early will guarantee that you save yourself a seat! I plan on purchasing Giant King of Tokyo and some painting sessions this year. If there’s another Five Year Mission game, I’ll be getting in on that too! Mr. DDK loaded up on Dungeons and Dragons gaming sessions with Baldman Games.

We’re always careful not to buy too many tickets in advance. I’m not good at micro managing and you almost have to be to manage a stack of event tickets. We’re also careful when buying tickets for game sessions that are too close in time to each other. Origins is huge and if we buy an event ticket for an event that starts right after one ends, it’s not likely we’ll make it on time and lose our seat. Mr. DDK didn’t have to worry about running between events last year because all of his were in the same room, just at a different table.

If this is your first time at Origins, only buy a few event tickets so you can get a feel for the flow and ebb at Origins. Event tickets are usually available at Origins too, not just in advance. Some events sell out rather quickly, like the D&D events. Last year, Mr. DDK bought D&D event tickets in advance for what he could, and then picked up generic tokens when we got there. Sometimes, folks don’t make it to a scheduled event that they purchased a ticket for, or the event has extra spots open up. If that happens, folks with generic tokens have a chance to get in on that event. That’s not always the case though, so if you’re specifically looking at the D&D events, I would suggest buying them as soon as possible.

Generic Tokens

Generics are tokens that are similar in appearance to small plastic poker chips. They’re decorated with the Origins logo and each is worth $2.00 towards the entry into an event that accepts generics. Most events that I inquired about last year accepted generics, so long as all the ticket holders were seated first. If you don’t use all your generic tokens, you can turn them in by a specific day and time for a refund. It’s good to have several generics on hand, and I recommend picking them up before you start exploring the convention.

June – Leading Up To Origins

Origins month! Now it’s time to get ready for the trip!

Preventing Con Crud

Con crud is catch-all name for the germs that folks get when they spend a lot of time at a convention and don’t take care of themselves before, during, and after the convention. I should really be taking a daily vitamin all year long, but I typically start taking a daily vitamin around the first of June. Taking a daily vitamin is a good way to boost the immune system and help prevent the onset of con crud.

We also buy several travel sized bottles of hand sanitizer. We like the ones that attach to the outside of a bag so we have quick and easy access to them. We like to keep healthy snacks and plenty of water on us while at the convention. Eating well also helps to prevent the crud.

Washing your hands often while at the convention is probably the best prevention practice, which I talk about more below.

Demo/Purchase Wish Lists

It’s around this time that I start checking up on the companies that are attending and what products they may be bringing. This helps me make a list of games that I want to demo and games I want to purchase. When I make a list of games that I want to purchase, I usually keep it short. This leaves room for the possible addition of something I didn’t realize was going to be available, or in the event I demo something that I really want to buy afterwards.

My list of games to demo is usually pretty long. I like to experience as much as I can and meet as many folks as I can! I recommend making a demo list that’s larger than your purchase list. I don’t like having a large purchase wish list because then I feel like I need to go buy those things on my list and I’ll put off buying something else that’s not on the list.

I usually don’t plan on buying anything until after I’ve had a chance to demo a lot of the games on my demo list, unless it’s a game that looks like it might sell out. I would definitely recommend prioritizing the games on your lists in case some of them are hot sellers.

Buy Supplies and Make A Checklist

I always start my travel checklist around the first of June too. Making a checklist helps prevent me from forgetting anything. My travel checklists are detailed all the way down to which t-shirts I’m taking for each day. I know that might sound silly to some, but being organized helps keep my stress levels to a minimum. I write down everything, even if it seems like something obvious – like a phone charger.

Making a travel list also helps me see what I need to buy for the trip. For example, if I write shampoo down on the list, it’s not completely practical to take an entire bottle of shampoo. Buying travel sized toiletries will help save a little bit of luggage room. Saving a little room everywhere you can means you have more room to bring more things home. Do you realize how many sets of RPG dice you can fit in the space difference between the size of a normal bottle of shampoo and a travel size bottle?

Travel Food and Vehicle Prep

Chocolate, super sweet candy, and sodas are not good travel snacks. I would recommend beef jerky, trail mix, crackers, peanuts, and water or some other beverage like lemonade or Gatorade. I don’t bring anything that will melt or go bad in a hot vehicle. We make the trip by car and it takes us the better part of eight hours to get to Columbus, Ohio from Dyersburg, Tennessee. Having wholesome snacks also helps keep the number of stops to a minimum. It also helps to have good snacks for the hotel room too, so I always make sure to pack plenty of snacks.

We also make sure our vehicle has had its regular maintenance like an oil change and a tire inspection. We also check to be sure we’ve got a spare tire, jumper cables, plenty of gas in the tank, a map, and a GPS. I will sometimes check our route ahead of time and see where the long stretches are between gas stations and make a note to check the tank before reaching those points. Jumper cables should be in your vehicle at all times, regardless of the vehicle’s age. Spare tires are also important and we like to make sure we’ve got some funds set aside in case we need to buy another tire on the trip. Folks sometimes laugh at me for having an atlas in the car, but there could be times where you lose signal on your GPS or phone and you need to know where to go. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Weather Forecast

June is warm, but heads up – the convention halls can get chilly! We bring a light coat or a light weight long sleeved shirt with us to the convention.

We keep an eye on what the weather is supposed to be doing for the entire duration of the convention. We plan to walk to and from the convention, so we’ll need to know if rain is in the forecast. It didn’t rain at all while we were there last year, at least not when we were going to and from the convention. We took an Uber back and forth between the hotel and the convention last year. We also pay close attention to what the weather forecast is for the road trip.

Plotting the Course

We always check the suggested routes for which one appeals to us the most. Sometimes, we prefer the more scenic routes, and other times we prefer traveling through more populated areas. We cross check them with the weather and then select the one we think is best.

June – Convention Time!
Road Trip Time!

When departure day arrives, we make sure everything on our checklist is checked off and we put our selected route into the GPS app, and we head out! Depending on which day we leave, usually determines what time we leave. If we leave on Tuesday, we leave later in the morning, putting our arrival around dinner time. If we leave on Wednesday, we leave as early as possible (usually 7:00 or 8:00 am) which puts our arrival around 3:00 or 4:00 pm.

Pit-Stops and Safety

We stop as few times as possible, because that not only saves time, but also saves us a little on gas.

When we stop for a meal, we make sure it’s not super greasy fast food. Eating healthier on the road helps us stay alert on the trip. I know this all sounds cheesy, no pun intended there, but it’s the honest truth! I used to eat nothing but Cheetos and drink Mountain Dew while traveling and since I changed my diet, I’ve noticed a world of difference. When we stop for a meal, we make it worthwhile.

We also check the area around our potential stop for red flags. We never stop at a location that looks like it belongs in a horror movie – because I don’t want to be in a real-life horror movie scenario. We make sure the places we stop are well lit and clean on the outside. If there are storage buildings or trees close by, we don’t ever park near them. If there are a lot of folks hanging around outside a place, regardless of how they look, we will pass it by. We also look at the buildings in the area around where we’re thinking of stopping. If the area looks run down and unkempt, even if the place we’re wanting stop at looks okay, we will pass it up. It doesn’t take much effort to stay safe, just some common sense.

We also lock our vehicle at every stop, even if we’re only running in for a second, and we never leave the vehicle running. That’s just asking for someone to steal it. We like to cover our luggage with a solid colored sheet of cloth too, so anyone peering in won’t see what’s in the back of the vehicle. We hide anything that looks valuable, either under the seats or under the cloth in the back of the vehicle. And we also clean the change out of the cup holders. You would be surprised what folks will break into a car for.

Arrival!

When we arrive in Columbus, we like to check into our hotel room first if possible, just to be sure everything is in order. We haven’t really had any issues during an Origins trip (yet), but we’ve had issues with hotels in the past.

If we arrive on Tuesday, we usually take that time to relax and look over the website, making notes or changing wish lists. There isn’t much to do on Tuesday, besides visit the comic store and meet up with friends in the food court.

If we arrive on Wednesday, then we go directly to the convention center upon arrival in Columbus. Origins opens the on-site registration and badge pick up on Wednesday, as well as the gaming halls. The Exhibit Hall (Vendor Hall) is not typically open on Wednesday. We will oftentimes sit in the food court and browse the Origins event book and coupon book you get at registration.

Origins Game Fair

Everyone goes to Origins not only for gaming but to socialize with fellow gamers, the creators of their favorite games, and the companies that produce games. Origins is a very relaxed experience for how many folks attend. You wouldn’t think of 18,000 folks milling around as a relaxed experience, except the folks organizing this convention know what they’re doing. The GAMA organization does a wonderful job of it every year.

Quiet Time

This is an important topic for me and many other gamers as well. If you don’t already know this about me, you may be surprised to learn that I have some pretty severe anxiety issues. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I have panic attacks when strangers get too close to me. If I feel safe and comfortable, my anxiety isn’t an issue. A convention like Origins feels like home to me and I feel safe, so my anxiety isn’t an issue here.

I like how they have the convention set up. It never feels cramped in the gaming halls since the doors to them stay open most of the time. The only major ‘rush’ is when the Exhibit Hall first opens everyday. But once those folks filter in and disperse, which is actually quite fast, the Exhibit Hall doesn’t feel cramped either. The more popular booths will always have a crowd, but even those crowds are easy to maneuver while in the booth. The later in the day it is, the less crowded the booths are.

If you start to feel overwhelmed, there are lots of quiet areas all over the convention center to sit in. Most of the areas aren’t even designated as quiet spots, but they work great for folks like me that need a few minutes to rest. The Origins volunteers are helpful and understanding for anyone in need and can guide you to a quiet area or direct you to someone that can help.

Charging Stations

Last year, I thought I’d have to sit in the floor by an outlet in order to charge my video camera and my phone, but I didn’t! The Greater Columbus Convention Center has charging stations all over the place! They’re at tables, in the food court at a charging bar, in lounge areas, practically everywhere. It’s a convenience that I greatly thank them for.

Wednesday – At Origins

Unless they change something, Wednesday is the day we’ll be picking up our badges. The gaming halls are usually open and some events could be up and running. Wednesday is the day we use to scout out the locations for events we purchased tickets for and to visit the comic store, Heroes and Games, in the convention center. The staff at this store is always so nice and helpful and it’s a must visit place while at the convention.

We also look around the food court and see if there’s anything on the menus that we just have to try and make a note of it for later. There are a lot of great options for breakfast and lunch. The food court is spacious and bright, but they have dimmer areas too if you prefer it, and it’s a great place to sit with friends to get away from the bustle of the convention.

We try to hit the food court last so we can grab lunch and look over our booklets. When you register and get your badge, you also get a couple of Origins booklets, plus a coupon book. We’ll sit and go through the coupon book and select the coupons we’re most interested in and also browse the convention map and the event booklet for anything we might have missed.

If it’s not too late by the time we’re done with that, we’ll make our way back to the gaming halls to see if any of the booths are open and get in some early demos. If not, we’ll find some folks to play some games with!

Thursday to Sunday – At Origins

Thursday is probably the biggest day since that’s the first day the Exhibit Hall is open. Folks are trying to get in for the early show deals and trying to get any freebies they might have from the coupon book. Events are in full swing and folks are bustling around with bags full of games. The excitement is almost palpable in the air. There are vendors offering demos, supply vendors displaying their goods, artists and writers talking about their works, and folks from all walks of life coming together to enjoy the atmosphere and join in the excitement of playing old favorites and newly discovered favorites alike.

These four days are all similar in that we’re participating in various events, browsing products, and having fun! Sunday is the only day that’s different for us because that’s the day we check out of our hotel room and head home after we’re done at Origins. Many folks stay the night and leave on Monday, but we’re usually ready to head home by Sunday. It’s a whirlwind of excitement and fun for us everyday and the experience is well worth the trip!

Origins Game Fair Tips
3-2-1 Health and Hygiene Rule

I’m sure many of you have heard of the convention hygiene rule in one form or another. I’ve always heard it called the 3-2-1 Rule, but in recent years I’ve seen variations pop up. It’s basically this:

  • 3 – Get at least three hours of sleep each night of the convention.
  • 2 – Eat two proper meals each day of the convention.
  • 1 – Take at least one shower each day of the convention.

Sleep – Some variations say you need five or six hours of sleep each night of the convention. Every person is different. Some of us can function just fine off of three hours of sleep. Others need eight hours, or more. I’m somewhere around a six hour person and if I don’t get enough rest, I look terrible and I’m very grumpy. Don’t sacrifice sleep for more game time because you might regret it as the convention continues on.

Eat – Everyone needs at least two proper meals everyday of the convention. Mr. DDK and I get our three meals in, plus snacks. I love gaming, but I love food too. I won’t sacrifice food for more gaming. There is a time and place for each one and when it’s time to eat, then I go eat! Pretzels or other con-foods are not a substitute for a meal. There is an entire food court in the convention center with a variety of reasonably priced food and drink. Eating regular and proper meals is important for energy levels too. If you’re not eating properly, you are not on top of your game!

Shower – This is not just a courtesy for those around you, it’s a health thing too. You’re going to be in and around all kinds of folks. Some of those folks might have a germ or two and not know it, or they could have germs and not care. If you get those germs on your clothes, you’re transporting them around and spreading them. You need to shower every day to get those germs off. Don’t contribute to the spread of con crud, shower it off.

As a side note to go along with showering – do not shower in aftershave, cologne, or perfume – use soap and water, please. Use scented things in moderation. We’re not really in tight quarters in the gaming halls, but there are lots of people with sensory issues and a strong scent could trigger a negative response. Only in recent years, as my anxiety has worsened, have I learned just how debilitating a sensory problem can be. My sensory issue is texture and sound related, but I totally understand what folks go through when their sensory issue is triggered. Be kind to those around you and don’t drown yourself in scented things.

Clothes

Bring enough sets of clothes that you can wear different clothes everyday – pants included. If you can’t do this, or just don’t want to, have your clothes laundered. Wearing the same pair of pants for two days could contribute to the spread of con crud. I have a set of clothes for every day of the convention, plus backups. When we get back to the hotel, I toss my dirty clothes in their own bag so they don’t potentially contaminate my clean clothes. And that’s usually the first thing I do after we unload the car from the trip – I wash the clothes! Just because you’re not at the convention anymore doesn’t mean you didn’t bring the crud home with you.

Wash Your Hands

It’s very important that you wash your hands regularly, not just after using the facilities. And hand sanitizer is great if you can’t make it to the restroom right away, but it’s not a substitute for washing your hands. I make frequent trips to the restroom to wash my hands, especially after handling demo products or shaking hands with folks. Germs spread rapidly at conventions and the best way to stifle them is wash your hands and use sanitizer.

Cart or Bag?

Should you tote your purchases around in a shopping bag, a rolling basket or cart, a wheeled suitcase, or by some other method? Well, only you can answer that question! Last year, I used a wheeled suitcase and I’m leaning that way again. I wanted a wired basket or wheeled tote, like the ones shown below, but after lugging that suitcase around last year I think the basket might be too much of a hassle.

rolling carts

The suitcase worked fine and it was fully enclosed. While I feel safe at Origins, I am not that trusting that I would leave my belongings out in the open. The major benefit the baskets have over the suitcase is that they’re collapsible and the extra suitcase isn’t. The baskets are also larger, which could be good or bad depending on the situation.

There are plenty of folks that make purchases and carry their goodies using shopping bags, which works fine for them. But if you’re planning on making lots of purchases and you can’t easily make a drop off in your hotel room or car, then you might want to think about a cart or suitcase. Just be sure to keep your possessions out of aisles so folks don’t trip over them.

Conclusion

Origins Game Fair is lots of fun and a great experience. There is so much to do and there’s something for everyone who loves gaming. There are diverse gaming experiences for all kinds of folks, from board games and role playing games to live action role playing and video gaming. It’s an event that I recommend everyone try to attend at least one time, even if it’s just for one day. It’s an affordable convention in a beautiful venue and it’s located in a wonderful city.

I hope that sharing my planning steps and convention tips helps folks plan their trip according to their needs. If you’re attending Origins in 2019, I’ll hopefully see you there!

Feel free to share your tips in the comments!
Thanks for reading!

Board out, game on!

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

The featured game for this article and video review is a game from Gamelyn Games, Tiny Epic Galaxies (base game).

Tiny Epic Galaxies on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

teg

In Tiny Epic Galaxies each player controls a galactic empire, aiming to expand their influence by acquiring highly contested planets and increasing their cosmic armada. The game revolves around an innovative dice-rolling combo mechanic. The number of dice you roll is determined by the strength of your galaxy. Each die is engraved with symbols representing the various actions you can take, such as moving a spaceship, increasing your culture or energy resources, or advancing your political or economic influence over newly discovered planets.

Through careful planning, you must make the most out of your turn, taking the available actions in whichever order you consider most beneficial. But be careful, as each of your opponents can choose to follow each action you take by expending valuable resources. This means that it can always be your turn, even when it is someone else’s turn!

Players will colonize new planets throughout the game, thereby earning victory points and accumulating special abilities which they can activate for their galactic empire. Careful spending of resources will ensure the fastest growth of your empire, while allowing you to receive the biggest possible pay‐off from the actions you take.

Will your influence be enough to control the most powerful planets in the galaxy? Will you be able to meet your secret objective along the way? Will your empire stand victorious?

There are loads of nods to great Sci-Fi classics that are cleverly placed throughout this game! That’s one of the many things I love and adore about this game.

Rules

The rule book is a quick and easy read. I didn’t have any trouble finding answers to game play questions while we played our first game. Once you get an understanding of how the game works, you may not need to pull out the rule book. We’ve played this game too many times to count since June of 2016, and we haven’t pulled the rule book out since then. There is a reminder chart on the Activation Bay that gives a brief description of what each die symbol does.

Gamelyn has a link to the rule book as well as How to Play videos up on their site, here.

Components and Game Play

You can find a review video on my YouTube channel that shows the components with a brief description and also a review of the game play.

You can follow this link directly to my video – HERE.

Summary

I love Tiny Epic games. Why? There are many reasons! One reason is because they’re all in glove-box-sized boxes but they expand into a full table game. I wish more games were like this! This makes transporting and storage so much easier. Another reason is because the games are all unique in their play style and they have various different themes. There are a couple of fantasy themed ones, but they feel different from each other because of how they play. Of all the Tiny Epics, Galaxies is my favorite because of the game play and the theme.

You upgrade your Empire to gain more dice and ships. You fly your ships around the galaxy, landing in a planet’s orbit or on the surface. You might have to race against other players across a planet’s orbit track to conquer the planet before they do. There are ways to ‘follow’ or copy an ability on a die that was just activated by another player, potentially giving you an advantage or setting you up for glorious victories on your turn. Each player also has a different Secret Mission that only they know. If you’re close enough in points to the lead player and you complete it, it could give you enough points to win the game.

There is so much fun in such a tiny box and it’s epic!

Buy or Bye?
Buy!!!

This game is a favorite among my fellow board gamers. We play it often, with and without the expansions and bonus content. I highly recommend this game for folks that love space themed games and dice games!

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more gaming and Star Trek related content!

Board out and game on!