Tag Archives: Fantasy

Classic Reviews – Revisiting “Secret of the Silver Blades”

Back to a classic Forgotten Realms setting ~

Avery Abernethy, 17 April 2017

Secret of the Silver Blades is the SSI Gold Box follow up to Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds. I recently replayed this on a modern computer and my thoughts are on playing this game in 2017, not 1990 when it was released.

I recently replayed this on a modern computer and my thoughts are on playing this game in 2017, not 1990 when it was released.

I enjoyed replaying Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds. Both had an interesting overall plot line that engaged me and kept me going through the long series of battles and leveling up my characters. Regretfully, Secret of the Silver Blades has such a poor plot that I could never really engage with it.

In Silver Blades your party (either imported from Azure Bonds or newly rolled-up) teleports naked to village. The village made a sacrifice to a teleporter and your group is hopefully the answer to the prayers of the village. The small town gives your group some pretty nifty equipment. They also heal, identify your magic goodies, and provide basic equipment for free every time you come back to town.

The Tuesday Interview – Nikolai & George from Sovereignty

The guys from the latest Matrix Game 4x hit stop in to chat about their new release. ~

Brant Guillory, 21 February 2017

So it’s not like the world is lacking for 4X games.  What made you think “the world needs this game?” and how did you get that vision from inception to the full release of Sovereignty?

Nikolai Soderstrom (Designer): To be honest, I don’t really consider this a 4x game. We certainly didn’t go into it thinking we needed to create a 4x game. I mostly consider Sovereignty an accessible turn-based strategy game. Manage your kingdom. Go to war. Fight battles on the tactical map.

Our inspiration is deeply rooted in the grand campaign worlds of Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Birthright, in Middle Earth, and in historical settings to craft a rich political and cultural landscape in which to set a strategy game. In Sovereignty, you can play any one of 34 different realms, and each one is unique. We wanted the rich cultures established in the lore to resonate in the gameplay itself. Each realm has its own playstyle, its own ambitions, fears and rivalries, its own unique units, spell repertoire, agents, economy, diplomatic position, and heroes.

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Classic Reviews – Revisiting of Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds in 2017

Checking in on the original digital D&D classics ~

Avery Abernethy, 08 February 2017

The first computer adaptation of the Dungeons and Dragons game was Pool of Radiance released in 1988. The success of Pool of Radiance led SSI to release a series of D&D games often referred to as the “Gold Box” games. Almost thirty years has passed since their release, but they are still sold by www.gog.com in a package containing an additional six titles for $9.99. But are these games worth playing today on a modern computer?

Both Pool of Radiance (Pool) and Curse of the Azure Bonds (Curse) use the first edition D&D rules. These have some confusing conventions for gamers unfamiliar with the system. Armor class starts at 10 for someone with average dexterity wearing normal clothing. Plate Mail and Shield will get most characters to Armor Class 2. But add in magic items and your characters can have negative armor classes, up to -10. When you toss a fireball in this game you need to be able to assess the radius of effect, there is no convenient shadowed outline of the blast radius. Make a mistake and your front line fighters get singed. This will take a bit of refresher reading for someone who played D&D back in the 1980s. Players who never played tabletop D&D or the computer games based off that system will have to study the manual.

Screenshot Feature – Enderal Mod for Skyrim

Oooooooh….  Aaahhhhhhhh… ~

Lloyd Sabin, 21 January 2017

I’ve been playing this third party mod for the last few days and am absolutely blown away by the high quality of the writing, the story, the graphics, everything. It is almost Witcher-like in its quality.

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GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #97

GARPA! ~

GrogHeads Staff, 30 September 2016

The Russian Campaign, Designer’s Edition (GMT Games / Consim Press)
p500 $42 / MSRP $60

The Russian Campaign is an oft-revered game frequently mentioned among the ‘gold standards’ of classic wargaming.  It’s also been been mentioned with sputtered mutterings that vaguely sounds like “it costs how much?!?!”  Well, here’s your chance to get your hands on your own new, updated, corners-waiting-to-be-clipped copy of the classic.  You get 5 scenarios, counters with both NATO and icon artwork, full color rules & players aids, and 30 years of refinements and improvements to the rules, examples of play, game balance.  Blitz your way over to the p500 page to get your money down.

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GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #96

GARPA comes back with a couple of new pre-order offerings for you ~

GrogHeads Staff, 16 September 2016

 

HOLDFAST: ATLANTIC and HOLDFAST: PACIFIC (Worthington Games)
$33500 of $10k, ends 24 SEP 2016

Worthington takes their popular block-based Holdfast series from big land wars (Korea, Russia) and heads to sea, as WWII comes back to life on your tabletop with this new pair of games.  The influence of the classics War at Sea and Victory in the Pacific is obvious, but with the fog of war that block games can give you.  Big region-based maps, and low-complexity gameplay get gamers into the action as fast as possible, and let armchair admirals focus on the war and not the rulebook.  Steam over to their pledge page and fire your salvo at their Kickstarter campaign.

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GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #95

Plenty of tabletop gaming goodness for you this time ~

GrogHeads Staff, 19 August 2016

Swords & Sails (VR Soft)
$3k of $42k, ends 16 September 2016

Not even close to making funding – yet – this campaign just launched and includes options for a pretty cheap print-and-play-only copy, as well as a pledge level just for the metal coins included in the game. Yep, metal coins. It’s set in 1000AD, and allows 2-7 players to tackle rewriting the history of Europe as the French, Byzantines, Germans, Russians, or others. There’s an espionage mechanic that’s rare in a game like this, as well as your usual 4x goodness that let you build armies, fleets, cities, and more. Explore your way through their campaign page and see what you think.

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GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory #93

After a short hiatus, GARPA is back! ~

GrogHeads Staff, 20 May 2016

Polyversal Miniatures Game (Collins Epic Games)
$24k of $30k, ends 9 June 2016

We let Byron chime in on this one in an earlier interview.  After scaling back from an overly-ambitious earlier Kickstarter campaign, Polyversal has relaunched with a leaner, meaner, and slimmer campaign that’s focused on the game and the minis, and less on the terrain.  You still get the same great 6mm minis game with an innovative command system that visually represents command relationships with the layout of the unit cards.  Oh yeah, some of the minis are just wicked cool.  Rumble over to the campaign page at Kickstarter and see what you find!

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