Friday, November 26, 2010

New Paltz Gaming Convention (NPC)

The New Paltz University Gaming Society ran their annual gaming convention, NPC, last weekend. This was the first 2 day event for them starting Saturday and ending Sunday. They approached us (the Dragon's Den) and asked if we would be a vendor and if we would run some events at the con. So for the third year in a row we were a part of NPC. We ended up having a great booth and running several different tournaments and demos of some great games.

Saturday we ran a 14 player Scars of Mirrodin Draft! The players had a great time and we saw many great cards pulled during the event. The players were super excited to have a chance to win some exclusive con promo cards that we got from Wizards, foil promo Kor Skyfisher... if I remember correctly. We also played several demo games including Steve Jackson's Cthulhu Dice and Zombie Dice, Munchkin, Mayfair's Stationmaster, and Bandai's Resident Evil Deck Building.

Sunday we ended up running an 8 players constructed Yu-Gi-Oh tournament. We also had a small group for a second Magic event, this time Standard Constructed. We also ran demos of several other games including Ascension Deck Building, and D&D.

All weekend long the convention was running video game tournaments from retro systems to current. We also saw several pick-up games of Warhammer 40K in the hall we were located in as well as many other board games from the gaming society.

This is an event that more players should check out. Check their website for more details on last years event, and hopefully soon, this years events.

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spartan Miniature Games at the Dragon's den

We have recently found a miniatures game that we wanted to add to the store.  The best part is that they make several different ship to ship combat games that all play great... and similar to each other that you get the idea quickly on how to play.  Spartan Games from the UK at has developed and produced two titles Uncharted Seas and Firestorm Armada! They do have a new line that will release in the next few weeks... just in time for Thanksgiving called Dystopian Wars!

Uncharted Seas is the first game we gave a try, as we were able to get the rule book first and many of the starter fleets. This is a naval based game with a fantasy flair. You have choices between human, elf, dwarf, undead, and more! With it being a fantasy based naval game, wind becomes a factor and can change during the game. Tactics involving how you turn and position in regards to the wind, become very important. The combat method is fairly simple: range is broken down into 8 inch increments, roll D6s and compare to the ships damage rating or critical rating (on a 6 score 2 hits and roll again!), then apply the damage or effect.

Firestorm Armada is a futuristic space battle involving large "capital" sized ships and their escorts.  This is another ship to ship game, just taking place in space.  One big difference between the fantasy and futuristic would be the carriers. Firestorm Armada adds in carriers with the ability to launch flights of fighters, bombers, and interceptors! It adds an interesting mix to the game.

Dystopian Wars is the newest game to come out from Spartan Games. This time they went with a Victorian Era Steampunk game, and it is land, sea, and air! The pictures that they have posted so far look great and we are really looking forward to giving this game a try! We have had players talking about this game from the moment it was previewed, and I think that the time period and steampunk flavor are helping to drive it for many players looking for a miniatures game.  We will be carrying the full line from the release (hoping November 23), and getting more models as they are released. We might actually be sold out prior to the release!

If you are looking to try a new miniatures game, or you are looking to play a ship to ship game, then this company (Spartan Games) is one to check out! The mix of titles including fantasy naval, futuristic space, or Victorian Era Steampunk battles gives players many options and allows them to pick the genre that they best enjoy... or play them all!  Each game and each faction in each game has a starter that can get you playing in little time with a similar force composition and point total. Once you look over one of the games and you want to get involved, come on in to the Dragon's Den! We can order all the different pieces for Uncharted Seas and Firestorm Armada, and we can take pre-orders for Dystopia Wars.

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Monday, November 8, 2010

Resident Evil [Deck Building Game]

Resident Evil [Deck Building Game]
Release Date: November 19th, 2010
MSRP: $29.99
Promos: Pre-orders can get Alternate Foil Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine

The latest addition, sort of, to the deck building game genre! I say sort of because the game has not released just yet, and has been pushed back... BUT we got an advance copy to do some demos and help promote the game! Thank you Bandai! It is always nice when a company works with the stores to make sure promo items are available.  Players really like to get promo items when a game comes out, or during special events!

Here is a list of all the characters you can play as in Resident Evil:
Albert Wesker
Leon S. Kennedy
Claire Redfield
Sheva Alomar
Barry Burton
Ada Wong
Jack Krauser
Chris Redfield
Jill Valentine
Rebecca Chambers

Ok, now for the game and some of the cool ways to play...

Bandai offers 3 different ways to play the game right out of the box; Story Mode, Mercenary Mode, and Versus Mode. Each offers a different way to play and different ways to win! I personally find that games that offer a variety of ways to play tend to be played more, as it is hard to get bored with the game that quickly.

We have run several games of Story Mode using the First Timers set up.  Each game went for a good amount of time with interaction between the players, not just between the decks. We will be running some demos of the other versions soon, but we wanted players to be able to read about the game at it stands.

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dark Sun Setting for D&D 4E

So I have been playing D&D 4E since before it was released... yes I was a play tester, and I have also participated as a DM and a player with D&D 4E. One thing that I have enjoyed has been the different Campaign settings. Dark Sun really piqued my interest, especially after playing in the Wednesday Night D&D Encounters.  There have been some fantastic aspects to Dark Sun that I enjoyed in 2E and was disappointed to not see make it into 3 or 3.5. I'm going to hit on some of the points that I enjoyed and hopefully readers will find some of the concepts exciting enough to give Dark Sun a try.  There are 8 big changes when playing in Dark Sun:
  1. The World is a Desert
  2. The World is Savage
  3. Metal is Scarce
  4. Arcane Magic Defiles the World
  5. Sorcerer-Kings Rule the City-States
  6. The Gods are Silent
  7. Fierce Monsters Roam the World
  8. Familiar Races Aren't What you Expect


The races that are in the book are met with mixed response. The Thri-kreen are such a different race and offer players the chance to play something very different. I played one in Encounters, and then had to make a Thri-Kreen in a home game. I find them to offer a nice alternative to standard races. The Mul on the other hand just did not see as much love/respect... and I'm not sure why.  They are a very tough race, that can take a beating. They make great front line fighters to force the enemy to deal with.  Oh, and on a side note, who would not want to play in a world with halflings that are cannibals!


Choosing a theme for your character allows you to access more powers and to give the character more flavor.  There are 10 different themes offered in the book.  Each theme offers a wide variety of options for creating your character, including access to different feats and powers.  You do gain a power that is associated with the theme when you select the theme during character generation... which is really cool.


As magic is scarce, and illegal, on Athas you will find many players having access to psionics instead.  At the DMs discretion, players can chose a Wild Talent.  Wild Talents are minor psionic powers that characters can use in game that are similar to wizards cantrips.


Several new classes were added based off of existing classes, including Wild Battlemind, Arena Fighter, Animist Shaman, and Warlock Sorcerer-King Pact.  These classes again add more of the Dark Sun flavor to your character and represent some of the differences in this very harsh world.


Maybe one of the most interesting pieces of the Dark Sun world is the lack of available metal. Most items are made out of more naturally occurring items.  Horn, bone, hides, stone, wood, crystal, and shells appear in a variety of forms from armor to weapons.  There are some metal weapons and armor, but they would be considered masterwork and difficult to find.  To represent the fragile nature of the weapons on Athas, DMs can use the optional weapon breakage rule.  The Reckless Breakage rule is the one I really like: If you roll a natural 1 you can choose to reroll the attack.  A non-metal weapon breaks with any second attack roll, but you might hit! A metal weapon will break if you roll a natural 5 or lower.  This can be a very useful tool as you might not mind breaking your item, but you really want to hit the monster!

So, if you have not tried Dark Sun out, or you were curious what the heck it is... give it a try! Dark Sun is a very harsh and gritty world full of danger, but offers a tremendous amount of fun to enjoy a new world to explore!