Category Archives: Board Games

Fake Pokemon TCG Cards

I was at a dollar store and I saw “Pokemon TCG” packs for only a dollar! But I know what you are thinking and yep I knew these cards were fake aka knockoffs aka bootlegs but curiosity got the best of me and it was only a dollar! So I have this sketchy Breakpoint pack.

Fake Pokemon Cards Pack

Of all the bootleg cards (baseball cards, Magic cards etc), Pokemon TCG ones are probably the most readily available. I remember you can get fake Pokemon TCG cards when it first came out in 1998-99 and they were being sold all over Chinatown. But these first generation bootleg cards were horrible. They were super faded and paper thin. The sure shot way to see if you have fake card back in the day is if you can see light through the card aka the light test.

I also found it weird when fake Pokemon cards had different fonts, weird translations, different card designs or even different artwork. Kind of like this bootleg I had in my collection.

Fake Pokemon Cards Pikachu

I wonder why they can’t just get a scan or photocopies of the actual cards.

Anyways, these fakes are a bit better.

Fake Pokemon Cards

The box it came in was spot on. The text had the right font and it wasn’t faded like you would expect. I wonder if they just “recycled” the box from real Pokemon TCG packs and replaced it with these bootleg packs. The wrapper is a little more sketch. The pictures are too dark but you really have to look carefully to find anything else off about the wrapper. It is when you look at the actually cards you can easily tell these cards aren’t real. They don’t have the right gloss and feel different when you handle them. The collation is also really weird and the foil process is different. The picture and text also aren’t as sharp the real cards especially on the back. The cards though are a bit thicker than the ones I remember as a kid and it passed the light test.

So all in all, you can still easily spot the fake cards but they are getting a lot better.

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Awesomely Awesome Board Games: 1313 Dead End Drive

13 Dead End Drive was an awesome board game that came out in 1993. In this board game, you want to be the sole inheritor of a huge fortune and you do that by killing the other characters with deadly traps sprinkled around the mansion. What is unique about this game is you can control any character on your turn (perhaps to lead them to a trap). I describe it as Mouse Trap if it was a good game. It had a very visual board that definitely draw your attention. I remember playing it when I was in elementary school and this youtube video reminded me of it. 13 Dead End Drive is unfortunately long out of print so it now fetches a pretty penny.

13 Dead End Drive was a fairly popular mass market game but did you know it had a lesser known sequel 1313 Dead End Drive that came out nine years later?

1313 Dead End Drive

1313 Dead End Drive actually streamlined the game and fixed a lot of the flaws of 13 Dead End Drive. First off, in the original game the traps broke way too often and it isn’t a problem I believe with the sequel. The board in the sequel was also easier and faster to set up and while playing the game, it had less things to keep a track of.

As for the rules in the original, there was a portrait on the wall which said which character is the going to inherit the fortune and if he or she escapes the mansion, the player who controls that character wins. So if it is your turn and if you don’t own that character, you have to kill him or her. 1313 Dead End Drive takes that out and replaces with a money track aka the will. Certain characters start off with more money but as characters start to die the money trickles down and you also don’t instantly win if you escape the mansion with one of your characters. Instead the player with the most money after the last card of the deck was drawn wins. This works a lot better.

Both 13 Dead End Drive and 1313 Dead End Drive are still fun games to play. There is a bit of deduction, a bit of bluffing and a bit of take that in this game, all mechanics that I love. If you want a unique light filler I highly recommend either game.

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Star Wars Destiny Spirit of the Rebellion Packs

This is a little update of the previous blog post. I finally found some Star Wars Destiny Spirit of the Rebellion Packs for sale and I picked up nine of them.

Star Wars Destiny Spirit of the Rebellion Packs

Star Wars Destiny Spirit of the Rebellion Pulls

I pulled a Jyn Erso and a Mon Mothma. I have to go through the cards I have but these two cards seem to be a start of a deck. I am very happy with my pulls even if I didn’t pull a legendary card.

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Star Wars Destiny Rey & Finn Starter Deck

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you. Honestly I was hoping to open some packs of the newest Star Wars Destiny set, Spirit of the Rebellion for this special occasion but I couldn’t find any for sale. Instead I got the next best thing, the Rey & Finn starter deck!

Star Wars Destiny Rey and Finn Starter Deck

Star Wars Destiny is probably my favorite tabletop game right now. It is actually one of the reason I don’t really collect and play Magic anymore and it is biggest reason I don’t play Dicemasters anymore. It has a great theme and it has the perfect combination of luck and strategy built into the framework of the game.

Despite that, this game has some flaws and it really doesn’t have anything to do with the game itself. A) – The collectible card game model makes this game very expensive to play especially if you are planning on playing in tournaments. B) – The game is sold out everywhere and distribution of the game is a bit iffy. C) – Starter decks don’t give you a complete deck since it has only 20 cards of the 30 cards you need. So for A you really can’t do anything about it. Fantasy Flight is supposed to have fixed B with a bigger print run but given that the new set was supposed to come out on May 4th and I haven’t seen packs in stores yet give me some cause for concern. Finally for C, Fantasy Flight should really just put any 10 cards to fill out the deck.

Anyways when the packs do come out I highly recommend that game. It is easy to learn and fast to play but it still gives you some interesting choices. I can’t wait to build my Baze Malbus and Chirrut Imwe deck!

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Lost CCGs: Naruto CCG

I was looking through the discount DVD section the other day and I found a Naruto Volume 5 – Shinobi Weapons DVD. To my surprise it also came with a Naruto CCG promo card!

Sakura Haruno Promo Card

The card was loose in the DVD case so some of the corners were damaged. Oh wells.

Anyways, I played the Naruto CCG years ago and I may have played it two, maybe three times. I used to own a bunch of cards but not really enough to build a tournament deck. I did have a friend who loved the game so I just borrowed his decks to play.

Again my memory of the game is kind of hazy. But as you can see there are two combat stats for each character, one for when he or she is healthy and one for when he or she in injured. A big mechanic of the game is organizing all the characters aka ninjas into teams and have them attack your opponent. Also on your turn you will be playing missions, charging chakra and playing jitsu cards.

Unfortunately any CCG is a huge money sink and it is a very, very competitive market so it is no surprise to see Naruto CCG out of print. So many in the past have. But if I can get some Naruto CCG cards for cheap, I wouldn’t mind picking it up again and trying out the game again.

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Awesomely Awesome Board Games: Don’t Break the Ice

Don’t Break the Ice was a fairly popular kids board game. It even inspired a German TV show. What is surprising though is how old the game really is. It was in fact first released in 1968 by Schaper Toys. It has since seen a bunch of different printings but as expected it is much harder to find the older versions of this game. Luckily it was recently reprinted by Hasbro with a Frozen theme and this is the edition I have…

Frozen Don't Break the Ice

So in Don’t Break the Ice, Anna and Olaf are in the middle of dangerous patch of ice! Each player then take turns using a mallet to knock a piece of ice off. If Olaf stays on top, it is the next player’s turn but if he falls, you lose! If you can find an older version of the game I really recommend it over this. The grid was 6×6 rather than 5×5 so the figure can be in the middle of the board and the base of the older version was made of plastic rather than cardboard. Plus if I recall the older version came with two mallets instead of just one. But given that the older version now goes for over $35, this does the job.

All in all, Don’t Break the Ice is a quick, fun and silly game. I don’t really care for the Frozen theme but I have to admit it sort of works. There is actually a very similar game called Penguin Trap that has a bigger board but it hasn’t seen a US release.

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Awesomely Awesome Board Games: Ideal’s Battleboard

Part of my job is to find interesting new board games to play. So I am always keeping my eyes open. I thought it would an great idea to share on my blog some of the awesome but obscure board games I came across!

So first up is Battleboard. Battleboard is obscure kids board game made by Ideal in 1972. Board games back in the day had simple mechanics like roll and move and had rely on gimmicks to stand out. Battleboard is like Battleship but the gimmick was you would use an air pump aka air catapult to launch your opponents pieces in the air!

Battleboard box

The key to this gimmick is the air channels on the board connecting each of the spot with an opposing one.

Battleboard Air Channels

You would think this a super random game where you have to get lucky to hit your opponent’s pieces like say Battleship but there is some strategy built in this game. There are five columns so four knights and one king on each column. Knights start in the back row and the king starts one row head. You can move one piece up, down, left or right one spot each turn. To use your air pump on a spot would tell your opponent that the spot is currently empty so you can eventually deduce the general location of each knight and king. To win you need to get two pieces on the front row and if your king hits the front row you can get a knight back. But this is risky though since you have to announce that the king has hit the wall giving your opponent a lot of information. You can also win by taking out four of your opponents pieces since they can’t win.

Battleboard board game

This isn’t a valuable board game but it is one lost to time. Ideal actually still exists as a brand and they actually still make this game as Battlefield Blast but even this reprint is hard to find. My copy of this game is unfortunately missing one pawn and both air catapults. I replaced the pawn with something a similar shape and weight (actually the rope piece from an old copy of Clue) and the air catapults with two balloon pumps. Battleboard is an interesting, fun twist to the classic Battleship game and playing the game really feels like taking a step back in time.

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