Vers: The Rap Game

Brandon: Recently Tarehna had her students study Athens and then rap about it. Not long after she ran into Vers: The Rap Game on Kickstarter. This looks like a fun game that will push me out of my comfort zone. I am not one to rap in front of people, or alone for that matter. That fear, however, has not stopped me from backing Vers. I am really excited about this game. It also has beautiful art. Take a look and see if it’s not something you might be interested in.

Founded by Jerry Spatch, a Boston Freestyle Rapper and a current entrepreneurship student at Northeastern University. Spatch Games is a winner of Northeastern’s Husky Start-up Challenge and was featured in Bostinno magazine as an up-and-coming start-up. Vers: The Rap Game is a product of Spatch Games.

Vers was created to break down what you know about rapping and make it for people everywhere.

“I was tired of people in university saying I shouldn’t rap because it was unprofessional. Everywhere I went, when people heard about rap they’d think of a bunch of things that it wasn’t. So I made the game and it’s fun and silly and everyone can play it.”

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Thursday Thoughts: Eric Lang Tweet

Brandon: It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Thursday Thoughts segment. They were started back when we were Board Game Jungle. Recently a tweet from Eric Lang was shared in one of the board game groups I follow and I was completely perplexed by some of the reactions. I discuss the reactions and my thoughts in the video below…

Follow Eric Lang @eric_lang

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Spaghetti & Meeples Looks at Batallas Históricas Verdún 1916

Today we finally take a closer look at Batallas Históricas Verdún 1916 from Runica Art Games. It’s a light 2 player game about trench war fare. Closed captions in Spanish. Subtítulos cerrados en Español,


Previously:

https://www.facebook.com/RunicaArtGames/
http://runicaartgames.wixsite.com/rags/juegos
http://www.spaghettiandmeeples.com/2016/08/23/unboxing-runica-art-games-package/
http://www.spaghettiandmeeples.com/2016/06/15/runica-games-historical-battles-verdun-1916/

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Michael Stockin

Hello! Today we are joined by Michael Stockin of Angel Barracks and The Wargames Website. Get your paints out, have a seat and enjoy!


How did you first get into gaming?

Hmmm my dad had a large model railway in the loft and I would push 1/72nd WWII tanks around on it. One day I went with him to Beatties (model shop) and just a few doors down I noticed some place called Games Workshop. Back then it was a small chain of true independent games shops.
I bought some Imperial Dwarves and Barbarians and took them home and started work painting them with my Humbrol enamels.

Not long after that I bought Citadel acrylics and Warhammer Fantasy Battle, 2nd edition I think it was.
And that was that!

How much of your time is spent playing board games vs. miniatures or RPGS?

These days it is 80% video games, 15% CCGs and the rest wargames/board games.
I have not done any roleplaying in about 25 years or more.

When did you decide to start making miniatures and why?

It was after 6 years of Angel Barracks being just historical and I started to get a bit bored and eventually settled on trying 6mm sci-fi skirmish as a new thing.
Skirmish games are quite different in that things like small details are important.
I was looking for alien wildlife for my games but could not find any…
So I reached out and got some alien creatures sculpted and cast up.
They were well received, possibly as I was the first to do them?
Then I realized I needed sci-fi civilians, again I could not find any so again got some made and cast, again well received.
So I decided to stop selling other people’s 6mm sci-fi and concentrate on making my own.
It started off, and continues today as me making things that are mostly not out there already, and things I think are cool.

What do you mean Angel Barracks was more historical?

It started off as noted, with £300.00 of investment, this was £150.00 of dice and paints and £150.00 of 6mm Napoleonic’s stock.
From here it expanded to over 2500 products, the miniatures side  of which was probably about 90% Napoleonic figures and buildings, with the rest being WWII.

How did you start Angel Barracks?

In my 20’s I drifted out of gaming and into girls and booze and work and stuff.
When I got together with Samantha, and after we had been together long enough for me to talk about my nerdy gaming roots she totally got it, as she was a nerd too.
She grew up around her older brother who was a big gamer.

I said I may get back into gaming.
So, I looked around for a single point of contact where I could buy everything I needed to get started and I found nowhere.
I wanted, 6mm figures, 6mm buildings, 6mm terrain, paints, dice, rules, brushes, etc.
So with her encouragement and £300.00 I set up Angel Barracks.

What about the Wargames Website?

As you know, I used to be an advertiser on TMP.
I eventually tired of the site for numerous reasons and thought there must be a better way to do it.
So I set up TWW, its aim to offer a pleasant gaming site with fair and consistent moderation and respect for all.
I also wanted to make sure that those that advertised on TWW, were treated with respect and some degree of professionalism.
That is not to say it is all about business lunches and sir and madam, but having been on the receiving end of poor customer service I wanted to make sure I offered a caring efficient service on a modern platform.

You’ve primarily been doing Sci-Fi miniatures, but recently not only are breaking into fantasy, but also are going from 6mm to 15mm. What prompted that?

Crom!
Not sure, I had a hankering for some fantasy games, it was where I started wargaming, and roleplaying for that matter.
I did consider doing it in 6mm, but I think there is an element of because I do 6mm for my ‘job’ that doing it for fun seems less likely.
So 6mm fantasy was out, and I just thought, why not play some 15mm.
Then I thought, well I am going to need some terrain and buuldings and what not, so rather than just make some for myself, why not cast them up and sell them too?

When will your fantasy miniatures be available to purchase?
Hopefully the first few buildings will be ready in February at http://cromsanvil.co.uk/

What have been the biggest challenges in running your own business?

Making enough money to pay the rent.
Having to stop working during the school holidays or when Charlotte is off school.
Trying to keep everything compliant with the law.
Trying to convince people to try The Wargames Website, the number one reason people give me for not using it is that it is not as busy as say TMP.
For various reasons this bothers me.
Should I expand?

What have been the biggest rewards?

Money, that is why I do it.
Then it is seeing people take my stuff and run with it, I have seen some very cool settings with my 6mm sci-fi.
It is nice to see your creations be as exciting to others as they are to you.

What do your miniatures offer that other don’t?

I think they have a lot of detail for their size, the buildings especially.
I also offer a lot of stuff that other people don’t, a different conceptual style so to speak.
I would guess the majority of 6mm sci-fi buildings are desert or Gothic terrain, mine are not.
Plus as my games are skirmished based, each building has its own story about who lives there and what it does.

What rules set do you use for your miniatures?

For my 6mm sci-fi I use my own rules, KR 16.
For the 15mm fantasy I will be using Crom.

Where can people find your rules? 

Here sir, did I mention they are free? http://angelbarracks.co.uk/rules.html

What is the gaming scene like where you are?

Very vibrant, but I don’t get out much so have no first-hand experience of it, I am just aware of numerous clubs and so forth.

Does your family play?

My daughter plays the odd boardgame and the Pokemon CCG.
My wife works a lot and is often away from home so she gets to play less than I do.
However, the fantasy thing is an attempt to rectify that.

If you were a candy bar, what kind of candy bar would you be?

errrrr Double Decker?


Find Michael, his miniatures, and his opinions at these fine locations:

http://www.thewargameswebsite.com/

http://angelbarracks.co.uk/

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Box Inserts!

Wow! It has been awhile since we had a proper video. Three months in fact. Please enjoy Brandon’s look at some box inserts he likes.

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Tolarian Community College Needs Your Help

Tolarian Community College is an informative and entertaining YouTube channel based around Magic The Gathering. The channel is hosted by “The Professor” and he is an actual professor at an actual community college. He has had a big enough following that he was able to start a Patreon that covered the pay for his teaching one of his college classes so that he could focus some more time on the YouTube channel.

Unfortunately he was told that he won’t be teaching any classes this term and so will lose that income and possibly will lose his healthcare. There is an easy way to help The Professor out: contribute to his Patreon. He already turns out quality material. This may be an opportunity for him to create even more. If you are a fan of gaming in general or Magic The Gathering specifically you should definitely check out Tolarian Community College.


https://www.patreon.com/tolariancommunitycollege

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-hR5EfgpM6oHfiGDkxfMA

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Runeslinger and Inertia

Brandon here. If you have followed us for any amount of time you may know that I am a huge fan of Runeslinger (AKA Anthony Boyd). I love the way he talks about why people continue with the games they know and why some don’t in the video below. I also respect how he places no judgement on an individual’s choices, he simply states that there are reasons people have and that they work for those people. I may need to do a video riffing off this a bit. I feel there is a lot that can still be shared about time management and energy and effort from a personal perspective.

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Android: Netrunner, A Very Brandon Experience

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Tiny Sword Tactics

Brandon: Good morning! Is it morning? I can’t even tell anymore; with the student teaching and having to set our clocks back an hour, and the election for the President of the USA. Happy election day! Where was I? Coffee! No. I mean, yes. Of course yes. Because, well, coffee. Right?

But, no, because Tiny Sword Tactics. Tiny Swords Tactics is an interesting game and I’m not really sure how to classify it. Is it a tile laying game? Technically. You do lay tiles down. You also move these tiles. Is it a fighting game? Absolutely. Is it an elimination game? Yes! Unless you don’t really want it to be. Well, it is regardless, but you can still give those who are eliminated purpose….

Let’s back up. You start with a Heart Of the Fight tile and then everyone takes turns laying down tiles from their team that they chose until all their tiles are down. Hold on. Let me set this up for you.

All setup and ready to go. Also, coffee.

All setup and ready to go. Also, coffee.

In this picture you can see how the game gets set up. You will notice that the tiles must touch sides. There’s no diagonal tile touching here! But now what? Hold on. Coffee. Mmmmmm, coffee.

img_1876

rock, paper, scissors

Now you take turns moving, flipping, or fighting. Why? To kick your friends off the table, defeat their team, and win! Moving allows your team to run away from someone who might defeat them or even allow you to push someone else’s tiles along or even out of the game. Flipping tiles can limit or expand a tile’s actions. Fighting, well, is fighting. You defeat a tile or you lose a fight. Fights are mostly simple affairs that play out as rock, paper, scissors. I say mostly, because there are also damage tokens that come in to play based on how the battle goes. A player wins by having the only remaining tiles.

That brings us to player elimination. You can play that way, but there is also a variant where eliminated players get to move the Heart Of The Fight Tile. It’s a great way to mess with everyone who destroyed your team.

What is it like to play this game? Hold on. More coffee.

OK, this game has a lot of strategy and a lot of making plans only to have them immediately thwarted. Think of four way chess. Now think of four way chess where the battles aren’t as easy as rook takes pawn. Now add in fun retro 16 bit graphics.

Look at the graphics on these captain tiles.

Look at the graphics on these captain tiles.

Tiny Sword Tactics is a lot of fun and has a great look. We really enjoyed playing. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, aren’t you. Go ahead and get your own cup of coffee. I’ll wait. Just know that it’s not so much a shoe as it is a flip flop.

Does this game look great? Is it fun? Is there good player interaction? YES! There is, however the issue of player elimination. Sure, you can use the variant where the eliminated player messes with those still in the game, but it’s not as long lasting in the fun dept. as one might hope.

I forgot to mention something fairly important. Tiny Sword Tactics is currently on Kickstarter. As of the publishing of this review they have 10 days to go. $30 gets you a full version of the game. It seems a little high, but this is a kickstarter and with the total amount they are looking for I get the sense they’re trying to actually kickstart a business and not just create pre-orders.

So, my two concerns are player elimination and the price. That being said I still play Axis and Allies (hello mega player elimination) and I really want this game to make it. Tiny Sword Tactics looks good and plays well. Definitely check it out!

Here’s a link for you: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/637771097/tiny-swords-tactics

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OMSI Mini Maker Fair

We were lucky enough to be invited by Game Lab Oregon to the Mini Maker Fair at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). We ran a table showing of some of the dice towers and dice trays we have made, but also sharing games from people we know. Well, that we know via the internets. We brought Verdun 1916, Dice Crawl, and Gem Packed Cards. We also wandered around a bit. Watch the video to learn more about Game Lab Oregon, indie game designers, and see us play a dice game with pirates!

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