Mar 282017
 

That time of the week, where I mention a game that isn’t exactly new or shiny, but is FUN and should be OWNED and PLAYED! This week: Conan, the Miniatures Game-

Conan

 

 

Conan:
Players:2-5
Time: ~1 Hour (scenario dependent)
Genre: Dungeon Crawl semi-cooperative Miniature Game

 

 

 

 

Conan is a scenario-based, semi-cooperative miniatures game, where one player plays the board, and all other players team up to play as Conan and his companions. This game went through years of game design, and it’s publishers even hired a Conan expert to make sure the theme and scenarios are in line with author Robert E. Howard’s novels and short stories. That aside, this game can and will be enjoyed by players who know nothing of Conan or his mythos.

For a miniatures game, this game is short, fast, and wonderfully designed. Rather than being campaign based like many other miniatures board games (see Descent and Imperial Assault), Conan is split up into scenarios where players choose their characters and play against the Game Master in standalone scenarios with a limited number of turns. Each scenario has different objectives and themes for gameplay diversity, and players may choose different characters depending on what they think is needed in each scenario.

each of their turns characters choose different stances based on what they are trying to accomplish.

Gameplay itself in Conan is incredibly simple, but also streamlined and intuitive. When players want to use an action such as moving or fighting, they simply place one of their “stamina” gems into that portion of their player board, and roll dice equal to the amount of gems used. Gems refresh each turn based on what stance a character chooses, so it’s possible that characters may use all their gems in one epic round and stagger around exhausted while they try and refresh themselves, or play more reserved and pace their actions strategically.

Normally my complaint in a dungeon crawl game revolves around me getting stuck managing the game after no one else volunteers for the job, but this game is different. The job of Game master in this game is incredibly fun and interesting, and this is due in large part to the game system the designers came up for you to run it. The Game Master uses eight slidable titles with groups of monsters associated with each tile and one “respawn” tile. The further down the row the tiles are, the higher their cost in gems. On a GM’s turn, they may activate any two of their tiles, and once activated, the tile slides to the end, costing more the next time it would be activated, but making everything else cost less.

Conan 2

That’s it for Conan. It’s a huge box, Conan is a little busted (as he should be thematically), and although I’ve played the starting scenario over ten times now, I’m STILL not bored with it! (Did I mention it has 74 Miniatures….) #GiveItATry

Jan 092015
 

Adventure Time Marceline Gone AdriftAdventure Time Marceline Gone Adrift #1

-She is the vampire queen of Ooo and she has been launched into space by her former best friend, Princess Bubblegum!

-Following up the popular Marceline and the Scream Queens miniseries, this miniseries also weird, deep mythology of the cartoon.

-Meredith Gran, who also wrote Scream Queens, returns to pen this story!

-Finn and Jake are alright, but, let’s be honest, Marceline is everyone’s favorite.

Boom Box Mix Tape #1Boom Box Mix Tape 2014

-Boom Studios has earned a reputation as the publisher of quirky, colorful artistry and this first Mix Tape showcases that.

-An oversized issue, the Boom Box Mix Tape features short stories from a number of Boom‘s most popular comics.

-Included within this hefty issue are stories from Lumberjanes, Teen Dog, The Midas Flesh, and Cyanide & Happiness!

-In addition, this issue will feature the first Munchkin comic book story by John Kovalic, leading up to the new Munchkin ongoing series!

Conan Red SonjaConan Red Sonja #1

-Fan favorite writers Gail Simone (Batgirl, Secret Six, Red Sonja) and Jim Zub (Wayward, Skullkickers) join forces to join the forces of Red Sonja and Conan!

-The two warriors combine their battle-hardened skills in order to track down and defeat a mad sorcerer before he unleashes a world ending war.

-Not a traditionally linear story, Conan/Red Sonja sees the two heroes jump through various ages and time periods!

-Given that both of these authors have received accolades for their work on these or similar characters, this storyline should prove fun and excited.

Star Wars #1Star Wars #1

-After many years, the Star Wars license is back where it started:  Marvel Comics!

-The beginning of a new ongoing series, Star Wars #1 is written by Kansas City resident, Jason Aaron (Thor, Ghost Rider, Southern Bastards, Men of Wrath) and drawn by John Cassaday (Uncanny Avengers, Astonishing X-Men, Captain America).

-The series will take place between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, as the rebellion begins to rise up against the Empire.

-If you want variant covers, this book gives you variant covers!  Pulp will have a whopping eleven different covers, including a gorgeous painted variant by Alex Ross!

Oct 312014
 

Death of Wolverine Weapon X ProgramDeath of Wolverine Weapon X Program #1 (of 5)

-Spins out of the events detailed in the Death of Wolverine miniseries!

-Written by Charles Soule, who wrote the entire Death of Wolverine storyline!

-After Logan has cracked the Weapon X facility open like a walnut, a near army of test subjects have escaped into the world.  Will they be hunted down or will they survive?

-Sabertooth will make appearances throughout this miniseries, leading up to his possible acquisition of the Wolverine mantle.

Humans #1Humans #1

-Sons of Anarchy. . .with monkeys.

-Image Comics has launched big series with big writers, but now they’re testing out some up-and-coming greats, including Keenan Keller and Tom Neely.

-A classic biker exploitation vibe pervades the series, following the Humans, an all primate biker gang, as they travel down the road mourning the lose of a gang member and welcoming someone new into the fold.

-New Image series like Goners and Wayward have made plenty of buzz, will Humans be the next series to generate a rabid following?  It’s already sold out at the distributor level, so there’s a good likelihood.

Spider-Verse Team UpSpider-Verse Team-Up #1 (of 3)

-Similar to Axis Revolutions and AvX Versus, Spider-Verse Team-Up will feature two separate stories.

-Each story will feature a different combination of alternate reality Spider-Men written and illustrated by different creative teams.

-In issue #1, the first story features an aged Peter Parker and Spider-Ham searching for Ben Reilly and the second story stars the combination of Spider-Man Noir and Six-Armed Spider-Man.

-Future issues will star Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, and Araña!

Tooth and Claw #1Tooth and Claw #1

-An anthropomorphic Conan the Barbarian mixed with a bit of Game of Thrones, Tooth and Claw is hotly anticipated new series from Image Comics!

-Veteran comic writer, Kurt Busiek (Marvels, Astro City, Avengers) takes readers to an entirely original world like they’ve never seen.

-When ancient wizards bring a renowned hero forward through time to solve a desperate problem, will he be able to fight off the forces of evil to do so?

-Issue #1 is not only double-sized at forty-eight pages, but costs only $2.99!

Apr 202013
 

Take two ticks to tinker with the thought of trying the Terrifyingly Tragic Treasury Edition of Joe Hill’s terrific terse tales.

That’s a fair share of Ts, folks.  You’ll notice that one of the above T words is not “terrible”.  I would shudder at the idea of associating that word anywhere near Joe Hill’s work, as he is one of the most gifted writers in comics today.  Having made a name for himself on his masterpiece, Locke & Key, as well as The Cape miniseries, Hill has quickly become a respected name in the industry.  The fact that he’s Stephen King’s son also helps.  If you’ve devoured the five hardcover volumes of Locke & Key and are looking to fill the void in your life until volume six comes out, the TTTE special is a perfect option.  Containing his Kodiak one-shot, The Cape stand alone issue, and his Locke & Key short story “Open the Moon”, all of which are nominated or won industry awards.   

Fantasy adventure comics have been on the rise lately, what with Pathfinder, the Dungeons and Dragons series, Demon Knights, Conan, and, now, Amala’s Blade.  Striking a tone somewhere between humor and action, Amala’s Blade #1 is the first part of a four part miniseries following the titular assassin hero.  Amala is the head assassin in the kingdom of Naamaron, but has fallen out of favor due to her brash, boastful ways.  So, the emperor does the only logic thing:  send her on a mission that will likely result in her death.  Now, Amala’s skills are put to the test, with a failing grade equaling an end most fowl.  Illustrated in a style that bridges sketchy Indy artists like Becky Cloonan and cartoony pop like Avatar the Last Airbender, Amala’s Blade is feisty fantasy.

If you’re daughter’s ever tried to run past the rebel blockade in a giant spaceship shaped like a fist, Vader’s Little Princess might warm your heart.  You might also enjoy it if you and your daughter are huge Star Wars fans.  Jeffery Brown releases his second Star Wars children’s book detailing the awkward difficulties of raising a daughter who is your worst enemy.  Drawn in the same simplistically charming style of Brown’s Incredible Changebots, Cats Are Weird, and Vader and Son, Vader’s Little Princess is made up of vignettes detailing Vader’s struggle with common fatherly duties.  Tea parties, teaching Leia how to fly TIE fighters, and keeping her from leaving the house in only her slave girl bikini are the tasks of the day for Papa Skywalker.  Grab a copy and bond with your daughter over your shared geekiness.

A legacy can be an awful burden.

The legendary duo of Mark Millar and Frank Quietly (The Authority, WE3, New X-Men) reteam for the first time in years to bring you Jupiter’s Legacy.  This soon-to-be-hit series from Image Comics begins in the far future when all of Earth’s heroes have given up and left the world’s protection to their kids.  But being a better superhero  than your parents can be a demanding task.  Trust us when we say that this series will bring the violence, sexuality, and cinematic action unlike anything else out there (except maybe Saga, that book’s pretty raunchy).  Grab the hit comic of this year before it vanishes from the shelves.

Jun 302012
 

Last night was Munchkin Conan, tonight it’s He-Man. Guess there’s a big demand for shirtless dudes swinging swords around nowadays.

Prince Adam may not be wielding his sword too often at the beginning of issue one, however, because Skeletor has altered the reality of Eternia, effectively making everyone in it forget who they used to be. With Prince Adam as a lowly woodsman, the question becomes, “how will he regain the Power of Greyskull?” Written by James Robinson, current writer of Earth 2 and The Shade, and drawn by former Savage Hawkman and Green Lantern artist Phillip Tan, this miniseries has been given a serious pedigree. So, get our your 80′s nostalgia loin cloths and get to reading.

Steve Gerber was a legendary writer for Marvel and DC comics who passed away a few years back. Before he did, however, he wrote one last Man-Thing story and Marvel is putting out the first issue this Wednesday. If you’re unfamiliar with Man-Thing, other than being a great name for innuendo, he’s a famous cult character for Marvel‘s horror side of things. Much like their version of Swamp Thing, but with a touch that burns those with fear. If you’ve been enjoying DC‘s Swamp Thing book or Animal Man, trying this three issue miniseries would not be the worst decision.

Zak Penn has written some of the best superhero films in the land, including X2, The Avengers, and Incredible Hulk, and now he’s coming the the medium that made him famous. Hero Worship is his new book from Avatar Comics about celebrity obsession. The world’s greatest, most powerful hero is beloved by everyone, but some love him to a creepy degree. One of these stalkers ends up stumbling into powers and things only get complicated from there. Plus, its got a baby about to be hit by a truck on the cover!

Finally tonight, for those who are less interested in reading comics than they are making them, we will be receiving the Blue Line Ultimate Comic Book Art Set this coming week. Included in the set are all the essentials materials and instructions for creating your own comic and learning the tools of the trade. That means art boards, sketch paper, layout pages, character templates, and more. Now you’ll have the equipment to match your creative drive.