While we are all waiting for Loopin' Chewie to make its official debut here on Loopin' Chewie Eve, here is a review of Magic: Arena of the Planeswalkers. After all of the hemming and hawing, all of the board game politics, all of the internet harrumphing...this is an awesome game and a tremendous example of what mainstream, accessible board games could be. I just want there to be more of it, and not just ret-conned Heroscape stuff.
The review is at Miniature Market this week. As is a special feature that Charlie and I did, a Head-to-Head review of Forbidden Stars. He likes it more than I do, so we had a little one-on-one discussion about it. Different format than usual. We've got some more of these in the works, I'll be doing 504 with Dan Thurot when it comes out.
Haven't been playing much this week...turned down two meet-ups to play Metal Gear Solid V. There's a bunch of stuff on the way including the Star Trek thing from Mayfair, Undercity and some other miscellaneous stuff that may or may not be good.
But I have gotten in a few plays of Yashima: Legend of the Kami Masters. The first couple of games I was thinking "uh oh..." because it was sort of getting stuck in a similar pattern- walk up to the other player, beat each other up until someone wins. With two, it's a one-on-one martial arts battle with a couple of small terrain tiles. On a turn, you choose either a move or an attack chit out of a pool that is partially fixed, part player elected. Each attack has a sort of template that shows which hexes it hits so the idea is that you move around to get into advantageous positions and then make your attack. There is also an interesting Karma mechanic, where you have these special abilities kept in a "tome" of cards that you have to flip through...only the abilities on the open pages can be used. But it was getting gummed up and felt really un-dynamic.
But after playing with four, I got it. It works WAY better with more players because those attacks hit ALL of the spaces shown on your attack card. If you're doing teams, this means watching out so that you don't hit your partner. If you're playing all against all, you want to move to maximize the damage.
It's a pretty neat game...in some ways it actually makes me think of WWE Superstar Showdown, but with more complexity and an obviously wider range of terrain. Looking forward to playing with three and four over the weekend, but I think the two player game isn't happening for me...unless you run two characters each or something.