Category Archives: Board Games

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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Random Pack Break: Star Wars Destiny

It is no secret that anything Star Wars is sure to be a huge money maker. Star Wars: Destiny is a collectible card and dice game from Fantasy Flight. Awakenings is their first set and it must be selling like hotcakes because it is sold out everywhere. I have been curious about the game and I have been looking for it all over New York City. I couldn’t find a starter set but I did find 3 booster packs which is better than zero.

star wars destiny packs

star wars destiny pulls

Each pack has 5 cards and 1 premium die. It seems like Boba Fett’s Jetpack is a good pull, worth about $15. I can’t say much about the game play until I get a couple of games in.

I wouldn’t pay the inflated prices you see at Amazon, eBay and the like right now. Fantasy Flight is sure to make another huge print run. I am waiting to pick up a Starter deck that I need to play then.

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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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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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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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