The 2016 AEG Black Friday Black Box is Phase!

Unlike previous years, the 2016 AEG Black Box has only one game and it is marketed towards advanced gamers only. Interesting. Well I have my hands on the Black Box now and the game is Phase!

phase whats in the box

It includes 306 cards (6 reference cards, 6 preconstructed decks and loose cards to build and upgrade decks with), a bunch of tokens, 150 sleeves and a rule book.

Phase is a CCG/ TCG (maybe LCG?) years in the making. It was announced way back in 2010 and it wasn’t released until now. I haven’t played the game yet but it has an intriguing mechanic where each card is double sided, one good and one evil. A big emphasis on this game seems to be deck building and finding game breaking combos. For me, deck building is my favorite part of most card games (including Magic: The Gathering) and I also just happen to love finding wonky combos and intricate synergies. In fact, AEG has a prize for those who can find these game breaking combos in Phase. The art on the cards is outstanding and the cards are tarot card size which is unusual. Another interesting thing about this game is instead of buying packs like in a CCG/ TCG to get the cards you want, you can make your own combination of cards (the good side and the evil side) and print it with Drive Thru Cards.

phase card game

The game is for 2-5 players. I skimmed through the rulebook and watch this youtube video so I think I get the game. With four different modes on each card, the game could be complicated to keep track of. But the game in a nutshell is just recruiting strong warriors and playing pump spells or removal spells in combat to win influence tokens/ victory points. Combat is like Magic. Warriors have an attack and defense value and they trade blows. One twist is that only good warriors can block evil warriors and vice versa. You pay for most cards by phasing aka flipping between the two sides of cards in your resource pool.

I haven’t been this excited about a board game or card game in a long time so I have high hopes for Phase. I just have to convince some of my MTG friends to try a new card game.

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A Pure Impulse Buy: A Repack with 100 Baseball Cards + 1 Pack

This is a pure impulse buy. It is a repack with 100 baseball cards and 1 pack. I haven’t opened much baseball (or basketball) cards lately and I pretty much got it with just my reward points…

First the pack, a 2012 Panini Triple Play.

panini triple play

I like the art style and there is a bit of trivia, puzzles and a sticker in the pack. Here is a trivia question from one of the cards: Which pitchers had 200 K’s each year from 2008-11? Panini definitely did a great job hiding the fact they can’t use team logos and I get to add the Ichiro puzzle piece to my collection. I never heard of Triple Play before this but I give it a thumbs up as it is a fun pack of cards to open.

As expected the 100 baseball cards in the repack is mostly bulk. But there is a few cards that peaked my interest.

dan seals card

First off country music star Dan Seals sneaked his way in the repack.

bobby valentine mothers cookies

This a Bobby Valentine card from the Mother’s Cookies set.

triple play astros versus dodgers

This is my favorite card. It is some sort of Astros versus Dodgers scratch off game. I wish Topps and Panini could do more stuff like this.

Here are a bunch of other interesting cards offered without comment.

odd baseball cards

It is just me or are there a lot less repacks out there nowadays? I wonder if the supply of bulk cards and bulk packs are finally drying up.

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My Reviews of Three Random Obscure Board Games from Board Game Geek

I have a huge collection of board games and I get to try even more board games at my job but I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to give some truly obscure board games a shot. So I kept hitting the random board game button on Board Game Geek (which is a directory of pretty much every board game in existence) until I came across a free board game that I can print and play or one that I can play with what I had already (like a deck of playing cards). Here is a review of the first three reasonable games that I came across. I say “reasonable” because I am not going to play a random 4 hour wargame. There are actually a ton of free print and play games out there so it didn’t take forever.

The first game is Spurs and Sprockets.

Spurs and Sprockets

This is a pure strategy tile laying game that is like tic tac toe with some actual interesting decisions. I made it by printing out the tiles and gluing it on file folders with rubber cement. In this game, each player has the same tiles and they take turns placing them until you form a 4×4 grid. You get points when you connect three or four tiles in a row. There is an option rule where you can “attack” your opponents tiles. All in all, this is a simple game to learn but wow it is such a brain burner. I recommend it if you like deep abstract strategy games.

The second game is a solo game that you can play with a deck of cards, The Bogey.

the bogey

The Bogey was an honorable mention in the Solitaire Print and Play Contest and I love, love The Bogey. I was looking for a quick solo game that doesn’t take up much room and this game is perfect. All you need to play is the rules and a standard deck of cards. In the Bogey, you have to arrange all the cards in less than 12 piles given that each pile has to go from high to low (King to Ace) and each row has to be the same suite. Of course there is a Bogey (a random card between turns) that can throw a wrench in your plans. If you are looking for a time killer that you can play solo, I can’t recommend this game enough. I actually play this between turns in Hearthstone while I wait for slow opponents to make a move. I am so happy I came across this game.

The final game is Hamburger Cardgame.

Hamburger Cardgame

There are 52 cards in this game so I just glue them on an old deck of playing cards. This game was created in 2010 and oddly there are now a bunch of make a burger card games. Overall, this game is really just a set collection game that is kind of like rummy. You have six rounds to build the best burger but what is interesting is you have to commit to one part of the burger each round so there is a bit of a push your luck element to it. You can go for big points by assembling the right combination of cards in the right order or you can get zero points for not completing your burger. There is something here but it needs a bit more refinement and there are better filler card games out there nowadays. But hey it was free and it was fun.

So there was one great game, one game that good for the right crowd and one OK card game. I think I got lucky.

I am not the only one who prints random games to try… right?

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My New York Comic Con 2016 Haul!

New York Comic Con is easily one of my favorite times of year. I go every year and I am always looking for fun and interesting things to add to my collection…

One of my first purchases was a mini painting of BB-8 by Brendan Shaw. I love it and I have a place for it right next to my computer.

BB 8 Mini Painting

Also got this convention exclusive Batman with Bomb Heroclix figure. The bomb is a like a game of hot potato so this seems like a fun figure to play with. I am going to try it out the next time I get to play Heroclix.

Batman with Bomb Heroclix

I also got Carcassonne: Gold Rush. Carcasonne is one of my favorite board games of all time but I played it a ton this summer so I was looking for something a little different. There were actually a bunch of board games I kind of wanted but I am running out of room on my shelf so I have to be more picky.

Carcassonne Gold Rush

Every year I pick up a mystery box and this year I picked up one centered around comics. This mystery box has a pack of 10 random comics, a graphic novel and two random items which can be Pop dolls, toys, valuable comics, trading cards etc. They claimed the items are valued at $60- $100.

Comics Mystery Box

I got a couple of interesting comics in my bundle (Doctor Who, Shadow of the Bat, Marvel Tales Starring Spider-Man, X-Factor, Fear Itself & more) and a Buffy graphic novel. My two random items are World of Krypton #1 (which has a $12 price tag) and a Batman metal business card holder which I now use to hold a game of Love Letter.

Another awesome comic I got was this Lucha Underground one I got from their panel.

Lucha Underground Comic

One of my favorite vendors in New York Comic Con sells sealed boxes of trading cards and I think I buy something from them every year too. This year I got a box of 2016 Leaf Signature Series Wrestling. I couldn’t resist eight autographs for $99.

Wrestling Autographs
Wrestling Autographs

And I got a great box! The eight autographs are of Lita, Al Snow, X- Pac, Chris Masters 3/50, Nick Bockwinkel, Nikita Koloff, Kama/Tatanka 4/15 and Ric Flair.

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Magical Collectibles from Walt Disney World

I made my annual trip to Walt Disney World and this time around I kept an eye out for some cool and interesting collectibles.

First off, I am a huge fan of Figment and I picked up two comics.

figment comics

I hope I can get these signed in New York Comic Con which is next week! I also got this awesome sketch.

figment sketch

I found this equally awesome sketch of Baymax on my last day and I had to get it too!

baymax sketch

Finally I read about Disney’s trading card game Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom and I got a bunch of cards.

sorcerers of magic kingdom

The best way to play the game is through interactive portals spread throughout Magic Kingdom but I also bought the board to play it away from the park.

Disney depression is a real thing and I am already planning my next trip!

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The Weirdest Thing Out of A Pack of Cards

This has to be one of the weirdest things out of a pack of cards. It is a Cards Against Humanity Retail Product (retail as in the cards are about retail stores). It is a Target exclusive and from the front of the pack, it has a $1 instant rebate…

cards against humanity retail pack

cards against humanity retail pack

It comes with 20 Cards Against Humanity cards and a crisp one dollar bill??? I don’t know if this is the weirdest thing I ever pulled out of a pack of cards or if the dirt from the Lewis and Clark Trail is.

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Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand Signed Books for $1!

I don’t really collect politicians’ autographs but I recently got this Elizabeth Warren book signed and this Kirsten Gillibrand book signed for only $1! I figured they have to be worth more than that.

Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand Signed Books

Elizabeth Warren Autograph

Kirsten Gillibrand Autograph

I got the Elizabeth Warren signed book by helping out a friend donate a ton of books and I stumbled upon the Kirsten Gillibrand signed book in the $1 section of a used bookstore near where I work.

Anyways, New York Comic Con is right around the corner and I got my tickets! I hope to pick up some interesting autographs this year to add to my collection. Matt Smith and Karen Gillan will be signing but their autographs will definitely cost more than a dollar…

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