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  • Barnestorming- Risk Battlefield Rogue in Review, Level 7 [Omega Protocol], Power Rangers, Yamato 2199

Barnestorming- Risk Battlefield Rogue in Review, Level 7 [Omega Protocol], Power Rangers, Yamato 2199

MB Updated
Barnestorming- Risk Battlefield Rogue in Review, Level 7 [Omega Protocol], Power Rangers, Yamato 2199
There Will Be Games

Oh, Risk Battlefield Rogue...

On the Table

If you like this game at all, I’m willing to bet you’re going to have a one to three game honeymoon period with it before the creeping realization that this is an underdeveloped rough draft of a game starts to dawn on you. I thought it was going to be awesome, but the more I played the less I liked it. It just isn’t where it needs to be. It’s strange to see a game so unpolished and frankly unfinished on the market, let alone tossed out as an unshrinkwrapped Target exclusive in a cheaply produced package that has little to nothing to do with Risk.

I really, really want this game to be awesome. I want it to be the Next Great Crossover Game (and the NGCG from Rob Daviau, at that). But it isn’t. No amount of wishful thinking is going to fix wonky rules writing, questionable production choices (putting air and tanks on the same token- why?), non-existent art, and positively wacky balance that isn’t the fun kind of wacky.

So it’s the rare bad Cracked LCD review, at

Privateer Press sent a package that had Level 7 [Omega Protocol] and the Hordes version of High Command in it. I did a little solo run of Omega Protocol and wow, it’s surprisingly cool. It’s definitely derivative and more than a little generic. But it’s a very studied design that clearly understands what works and what doesn’t in a Dudes in a Hall game. There’s some Claustrophobia DNA in it, with giving the “Overseer” player a menu of actions and resources to spend on them. Obviously some Space Hulk and more detail than usual, like being able to select between different “stances”. There’s some Mutant Chronicles, with room cards and equipment, as well as a campaign game. But it all works really well, and it was definitely fun to play. Looking forward to more.

High Command looks pretty decent, I think some of the bad reviews have come from folks expecting it to be a deckbuilder. It isn’t. It’s really a contested location card game (think Battle Line, Omen, and so forth) but with your CCG-style deck gradually introduced over the course of the game into your playdeck. There are definitely deckbuilder concepts- Ascension’s “river” is turned into an array of cards just for you to buy, for example- but it feels more CCGish and definitely more fight-y. I wish that they had sent me the Warmachine version because I don’t know what all this Hordes stuff is.

Yedo on the way, too, courtesy Pandasaurus games. Hopefully Gale Force 9 will send me Firefly soon as promised, but they sold out.

Still trawling for dollars to invest on Attack Wing.


On the Consoles

I’m convinced that there’s no way to beat the Skeleton King in Diablo III on Hard/Master II. At least not alone. My Monk just hammers him, but he has so…many…HP…still trying. Cloudy, get in there and help me out here.

My big Wii U score came in, and I’m having the same reaction to getting the 3DS back.  It seems like I traded it literally right before great games started coming out. My deal came with Rayman Legends so I’m loving that (BRILLIANT platformer), I’ve got Pikmin 3 from Gamefly and that’s been really charming so far…and I have Wonderful 101 coming tomorrow. I may pick up Wind Waker because I never finished it.

Deep into SMTIV, 15 hours. Story is actually kind of interesting, although the characters aren’t. Typical JRPG stuff, really, but I’m enjoying it.


On the Comics Rack

Picking American Vampire back up again…I’m on the 1950s storyline and so far it’s pretty good. Rebel Without a Cause meets vampire hunting.

On the Screen

I started watching the new Space Battleship Yamato series, 2199. HOLY SHIT IT’S AWESOME.

They’ve totally preserved the tone, look, and feel of the original show but cut out all of the draggy, slow 1970s stuff. The storyline and plot points are almost exactly the same so it’s definitely a reboot. They’ve completely kept- and updated- Matsumoto’s original bad ass designs so the Cosmo Zeroes and all still look totally on the mark. The goofy nationalism is still there, planet bombs, Iscandar, the whole thing. Looking forward to seeing the whole thing.

I started watching it because I got a copy of the live action movie…which wasn’t so good. And it whet my appetite for Yamato, and I found out about it. It’s current and running on Japanese TV now, apparently.

Second episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was terrible.  Kind of like a lame A-Team episode. I can not watch that hacker girl at all. That has got to be the most horrible piece of miscasting I’ve seen in a long time. I can’t help but wonder if the casting call was “Need completely generic, absolutely ordinary ‘hot chick’ LA actress type that can say generic, absolutely ordinary computer type stuff”. The whole “remember what happened in that movie The Avengers” shtick is already getting old too.

LOTS AND LOTS of Power Rangers. River and Scarlett both are into it, singing the songs and posing dramatically. I never really watched it, back when it came out I was all nerd-snobby and couldn’t understand why kids were watching that instead of Ultraman/Spectreman/Kamen Rider and so on but now I see the brilliance of just putting American(ish) kids in the uncostumed parts instead of crudely dubbing everything. The thing is, I actually really like the shows. They’re silly, fun, and the kaiju stuff is hilarious. “I bet those Megazords are going to combine into another, bigger one” and they do. Right now, River is all into Robo Knight, and I agree because Robo Knight is bad ass. What is it with these Japanese superhero shows and pollution? Ultraman and Spectreman were all the time fighting pollution monsters, monsters that ate pollution, monsters that made pollution or whatever. We like Megaforce the best it seems, mainly because it’s the most current, but I like Mystic Force since it’s so obviously riding Harry Potter’s coattails. RPM is pretty fun too. The original show has giant eyeglasses and badly feathered haircuts, making it hard to watch.

Spectreman…I should YouTube some of those…I _loved_ that show, it came on TBS Superstation 17 when I was little.

Toy Story of Terror was pretty awesome...Combat Carl rules. They could totally spin off something from him and his gang of toys.

On Spotify

Doing the krautrock rounds...I may actually listen to some of Can's records other than Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, Future Days, and Tape Delay 1968. I've never really listened to Soon Over Babaluma, Flow Motion, and some of that later stuff.

Had a brief Soft Boys sojourn this week, that was pleasant.

There Will Be Games
Michael Barnes (He/Him)
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of and as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

Articles by Michael

Michael Barnes
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Articles by Michael

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