Friday, September 30, 2011

DC New 52 - Week 4

4 weeks and 51 comic reviews later, the first month of the New 52 is done and in the books. (Yes, I missed a couple reviews along the way, whaddyawantfromme). Each week, I took home a pile of comics, then read and reviewed each one. I occasionally had to scrub my brain of the violence and gratuitous nudity (okay, I didn't scrub all of it), but it was an interesting challenge; Reviewing books has never been something that came naturally to me. Personally, I don't like picking apart the medium I love, and professionaly, I really don't like speaking too critically of any of our product, even though I think it's important to be honest. But I learned a couple things along the way, so I guess I could conclude my month-long reviewing experiment with "it was fun".

And I am never, ever doing it again.

... although Sean and David are telling me these reviews are driving traffic to the blog, and that I might be doing more of this in the future.



So here we are, Week 4 of the New 52. Coming into September, it was the last week of the month that looked the most intriguing:  Cult characters (Firestorm), Old concepts by hot new talent (I, Vampire), popular b-lister written by popular A-lister (Aquaman), several artists taking on writing duties for the first time (Manapul on Flash, Van Sciver on Firestorm) and one high-profile artist writing again for the first time in a long time (Perez on Superman).

A very interesting batch of books. And overall, I'd say this is the best comics week of the month.

Hands down.

So let's get into this and see if I have any more rage-induced meltdowns.

Run Forest, run.
* Flash #1 - Francis Manapul had some assistance on the writing chores, but wow... this did something no comic has ever done before: Made Barry Allen likeable. Sorry Silver Age fans, but to me, Barry Allen is the equivalent of the bow tie; it's quaint, is nice to bring out every couple years, but gets really boring, really fast. But yeah, this was a great read, and you can see Manapul really playing with the layout and format of each page. Reminds me a bit of JH Williams on Batwoman. I think this book has serious potential to go from very-good to Fantastic.

And that's a Flash Fact.

(Sorry, couldn't help myself. It was that good.)

* Justice League Dark #1 - If you're going to take a bunch of Vertigo fan-favorites and put them together on a Justice League-like team, then Peter Milligan is the guy to do it. Whereas Red Lanterns sometimes felt a little too mainstream, this one is dark, creepy and has just the right tone. I see they cleaned up Zatanna's costume a little, too. Good idea, the fan backlash on that was getting a little hoary. The art on this was a good mix of Vertigo and Super-hero, but it felt a little rushed sometimes. Great start, this looks like it'll go the distance.

* Blackhawks #1 - Had to struggle to finish this one, but that's because I don't have much connection to the characters. Okay, I'm lying, I have _zero_ connection to these characters. Have I ever read a Blackhawks story? Hm. Food for thought. Anyways, the story was okay, the art felt rushed here, too, in places. This was probably the most "meh"-like book of the week for me. Really didn't do much for me.

* Voodoo #1 - My Wildstorm-induced rage has been whittled away after the last month, so no red ring this time about how they've destroyed one of my precious characters (not yet, at least. keep reading). This book was a little gratuitous, and felt a little light on the plot. Whereas Catwoman was cheesecakey and over-the-top but still had a good story, Voodoo was lacking in substance.

Look at him. So cute.
* Annihilators Earthfall #1 - Ah, Abnett and Lanning. I may have a mancrush on these guys. The cosmic Marvel books have been awesome the last couple years, and this books is no exception. Plus, look at that cover! Beta Ray Bill bringing THE SMACKETH DOWN on the Avengers? Totally sold. And it's got a talking Russian dog cosmonaut.

What? Oh, sorry, yeah, Annihilators Earthfall is not part of the New 52. Or, um, published by DC. But it's a damn good book anyways. Go buy it.


* Fury of Firestorm #1 - A little heavy-handed with the race conversations, and I was surprised that they went for a cold reboot of the Firestorm mythos, instead of playing off the Brightest Day stories, which, frankly, set them up just fine. But they lost me at the end with the 2 Firestorms and Fury. That just didn't do it for me at all, sorry.

* Aquaman #1 - Oh hey, this was good. Good, clean, bright, shiny art. Aquaman just popped right off the page, and the story was fun. I had a "They did this bit far better on South Park" moment about halfway through the story, but I really dug this. Good action, good laughs, good drama, good ending. Best Geoff Johns story of the month, hands down.

* Green Lanterns New Guardians #1 - Oh. Oh wait. What. What are they-what is this. What.. Why..  Why are they remaking Kyle's origin? What is- Kyle has friends? No DC, no Kyle Rayner is the creative artistic type. WE HAVE NO FRIENDS, DC. What is, wait he's being compared to Hal? That SILVER AGE LOSER? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WHAT IS THIS- WHY, DC? WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO? WHY CAN'T YOU JUST I DON'T UNDERSTAND- WHYDOYOUMAKEMESOANGRYOUWONTLIKEITWHENI'MANGRYYHULKSMASHHULK

Sigh. Okay, this was a really, really solid first issue. Quick origin, then a jump right into the action, while quickly drawing comparisons between him and Hal, and... man, Grant Morrisson did this much better in JLA about 12 years ago. Oh, but hey, the Rainbow Corps show up, along with my main squeeze, Bleez. Good times.

* All-Star Western #1 - Jonah Hex in Ye Olde Times of Gotham City? Yeah, this was fun, although it felt a bit padded. Add in one of the Arkham's, and all the backstory of the city created by Scott Snyder in Gates of Gotham (great story), and the writing was pretty good. The art was flat though, not a lot of contrast in color or tone. I understand why they went for this particular look, but they overdid it a bit.

* Savage Hawkman #1 - Again, the art didn't look completely finished here. The writing was okay, but nothing special. And I have to say: Hawkman is the posterboy for screwed-up continuity @ DC for the last 25 years. I don't think he should've been part of the reboot, and I don't know that I quite understood his origin story in this one. Weak first issue and the weakest of the week.

* Teen Titans #1 - Fresh start with the characters and I liked it. The art crackled, and the writing was solid. "N.O.W.H.E.R.E." seems a bit much, though, but Lobdell and Booth did a good job here. Nice hook on the ending, even though we probably knew that was coming.

Nice um, bunny ears.
* Batman The Dark Knight #1 - Man, David Finch can really draw, can't he? If he can stay monthly,and undo the mess he's made over the last year on his first aborted attempt on this series, maybe he can salvage his reputation. Gorgeous book. As for the writing, I have a soft spot for Paul Jenkins: A number of years ago, he wrote an Inhumans mini-series, with artwork by Jae Lee. Beautiful art, great story, I think it's Jenkins' best work ever. But everything he's written since (with the exception of the original Sentry story) has lacked the magic and mystery he put into Inhumans. The writing on this one is no exception, the words felt awkward and forced sometimes. It's been awhile since Jenkins had a monthly gig, so I'm hoping he gets back into things on this title. But for now, the art is enough for me to say good things about this one, even though that last page was just... yeesh. Don't know about that.

* I, Vampire #1 - I had high hopes for this one, and it did pretty well. The art was a wee bit too Vertigo-esque (more of that rushed feeling I've been getting over the last month.) The writer, Joshua Fialkov wrote the INCREDIBLY creepy Echoes for Top Cow earlier this year. That story sent chills up my spine. Great stuff. I, Vampire succeeds in setting up the first issue, although the art sometimes got in the way of the story. I needed to re-read this to make sure I had the characters right.

* Superman #1 - And now, something slightly different. For all the internet hooplah about Scott Lobdell writing three of the New52, it went practically unnoticed that George Perez was jumping in on the "other" Superman book. The writing was distinctly old-school, but I came away feeling like I actually _read_ a comic book. It had weight and heft, it felt like a story that had consequence. A good done-in-one, although the "old-school" feeling was a little much some times. The art was serviceable, no flaws, didn't feel rushed, but I wish they'd gone with someone a little flashier for the first issue, y'know?

New dress code at work? I'm sold.
...aaaand that's it. Come back this weekend as I blog my concluding thoughts on the first month of the New 52, talk about what we're doing at NYCC, and I smoke a hand-rolled cigar brought to me directly from the New Orleans aka The Big Easy.

No. Really.


(This blog post was written with the assistance of Ommwriter. Simple music-based word editor that's highly recommended for any writing types out there. )

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Infinity Mini Tournament 9/10/11

We had our first Infinity Mini Tournament at the Dragon's Den on September 10, 2011. With only 4 players it was a decent start to a newer system that we play.

We started with a smaller force composition so our mini tournament would not last too long and people would be free within a few hours.


  1. Forces no more then 150pts
  2. Standard 3 SWC (Special Weapons Cost) as dictated by the force size (1 SWC per 50 pts)
  3. Single Army List
  4. Standard Firefight Scenario

Dave - Yu Jing (One of the Demo Forces)

Steve - Aleph

Tom - Ariadna

Kenny - Pan Oceania (Our newest player who showed up out of the blue with a painted force!)

With only four players we played in a round robin style with all players getting to play each other. We gave 60 minutes for each round with time called and that last turn being played out.

3 Points for a Win, 2 for a Tie, 1 for a Loss. Victory Points were tallied at the end in case of a tie.

After three hours of constant fighting we had our clear champion.

Aleph - 1st Place
Pan Oceania - 2nd Place
Ariadna - 3rd Place
Yu Jing - 4th Place

With that we had everything done within 3 1/2 hours. We started at 2pm and finished around 5:30pm. All players seemed to like this style of tournament as it was refreshing and quick. We all had an opportunity to enjoy the morning, play in the middle of the afternoon and get back to our regular schedule to enjoy the evening with friends for family.

One quick note with this type of Tournament. Scenarios are really needed for this game. A quick tournament like this is fun but objectives and tactical ploys would really open it up for a world of new possibilities.

We hope to have our next tournament in a few weeks in October. Check out the Dragon's Den's schedule of events to find what are the upcoming events.

As always ask for a Demo of the game system on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays! We have four demo forces available that are fully painted and usable during the tournaments also.

Glad to see people trying out a new game and hope to see you all on the battlefield for our next tournament!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Support Your Friendly Local Gaming Store

OK, I'll keep this simple.


This Saturday is the Prerelease for a new Magic the Gathering set, Innistrad. I personally think it looks great and I know that while not everyone is a fan on the new 2 sided transform mechanic cards, I give WotC credit for trying new rules and ideas to keep the game fresh! However, that is not the point of this post...

If you do not buy your Magic cards and play in your local game store for these types of events, then you are hurting both yourself and the Magic community has a whole! Why you ask? I'll give you a few simple reasons.

First, your local game store gives you a place to PLAY! You can't play on-line with that great new box of Innistrad you just got off the web at a few bucks cheaper than your local store, can you! Yet, here is your friendly local game store (FLGS) giving you table space to hang out for FNM and many other times during the week. That table space could be replaced with a pool table or a new product line of model train accessories that would make your FLGS money.  Buy your Magic at your FLGS to help your FLGS provide PLAY SPACE FOR YOU!

Second, who is there for you when you need help with your deck or when you wanted to learn how to play in the first place? Yeah, you might have learned from your friends or family but when you really needed unbiased advice on your bud's really annoying mill deck or how do I beat Red Deck Wins, I bet your FLGS was there to help. I'll even bet the guys and gals at the FLGS didn't even charge you to ask those rules questions or help you adjust the mana ratio of your new deck. Go find that service for free on-line! Buying your Magic and playing in FLGS store events helps to keep that resource alive for YOUR FUTURE NEEDS!

Third, your FLGS helps find you new people to play with. Tired of beating your kid brother for the 347th time? Come in for FNM and see if your "unbeatable merfolk" deck does so well against a former state champ. Hey, maybe you get to draft with a Pro Tour player or win one game against the guy who won GP Providence this year. Chances are, these other players won't be dropping by your kitchen table to play with you. Looking to trade an extra Stoneforge Mystic or 4? Well, these guys are more likely to need them than your mom. You might even make some new friends - ones that like playing the same game you play! In short, you get to be PART OF A COMMUNITY!

Last, and this may not mean much to some of you but buying and supporting your FLGS is good for your wallet. The money you spend locally goes back into making your town a better place to live. Maybe you want a job at your FLGS. Maybe your friend already works there. Maybe you like the hot chick who works there (Yeah, they do work at FLGSs and I have pics to prove it!). It would be a real shame if your FLGS closed because johnny internet was $5 cheaper for a box of Innistrad (Bet you forgot to add shipping) and now you have to wait for it to be delivered instead of cracking those minty fresh packs at midnight on release day! In other words, keeping your FLGS strong HELPS YOUR LIFE!

So, when it comes time to buy your Magic, stop and think about the secondary benefit to you and your friends, family and neighbors and SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDLY LOCAL GAME STORE otherwise, you might be home on a Friday Night playing Magic with, I mean by, yourself!

Good Luck with Innistrad!


PS. Yes, I own a FLGS and may have a biased view BUT, I can prove each of my points objectively so I would love to hear from you folks out there.

PPS. Support Your Local FLGS is a nod to two great James Garner movies done in the 70s, Support Your Local Gunfighter and Support Your Local Sheriff. If you are unfamiliar with these flicks or James Garner, I am sure Netflix can help you out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New 52 - Week 3 - Reviews from Kathy!

Kathy from The Gamer's Gambit in NJ has also been reviewing The New 52. Check out what she thinks!

Batman: A good beginning, even if the origin story is glossed over. This comic dives into who is Batman? Who is Bruce Wayne? What is Gotham City and is there hope for it? 3.5 out of 5.  

Birds of Prey: Just as the Birds of Prey begin someone wants them—and a nosy reporter— out of the picture. Will this mysterious group succeed? An exciting beginning that could have used a little more story that seems to have taken a different turn with the new creative team. 3 out of 5.

Blue Beetle: The origin of the scarab, and why the earth should fear it. A villainous group wants the scarab, but will they be able to get it? Although this comic, sadly, confirms that Ted Kord was never a Blue Beetle, it’s a good story and a solid beginning. Sadly, 3 out of 5. I’m hoping issue two is better.

Captain Atom: Beginning with a crisis about his powers is an interesting start; a way to get around the origin story while still explaining who he is. Even so, it’s kind of meh. 2.5 out of 5.

Catwoman: From reading this, we know that Catwoman loves trouble. Jewelry, cats, money, Batman, sure, she loves those things as well, but they all lead back to the same: trouble. After her apartment gets blown up, she needs a way to get cash fast. Meaning, she needs something to steal. 3 out of 5.

Green Lantern Corps: Thousands of light years away, Green Lanterns are getting massacred! On earth, Guy Gardener and John Stewart try to balance their heroic and civilian lives, until duty calls. 3 out of 5.

Legion of Superheroes: Oh look! Introduction bubbles! So now we know who all these people are… but I’m still confused as to who the people in Legion Lost are. But it’s much less confusing than Legion Lost, and is even enjoyable at times. I just wish they reversed the release order of this with Legion Lost. 2 out of 5.

Nightwing: Dick Grayson is back to being Nightwing, beating up criminals in his own way rather than as Batman. He’s used to seeing the worst in Gotham, but how will he handle the circus coming to town? To everyone else, it’s just an ordinary circus. To him, it’s a bitter-sweet memory: place where he grew up and performed, and the place where his parents died. 4 out of 5.

Wonder Woman and Red Hood: I put both of these together because I’m confused. Wonder Woman dives right into acts of evil, but I don’t recognize the guy who looks like he’s made entirely out of black rocks. Nor do I recognize the girl that’s being chased after or why she knows Diana/Wonder Woman. And Red Hood? It… seems like DC’s answer to Deadpool, but it doesn’t have the same feeling. I know who Red Hood is because I’m a Batman fan, but what is he doing with those two. Why is Starfire on the run? Why is she so quick to have sex? It has just as little explanation as Wonder Woman. What is going on in both of these?  Both 1 out of 5.

What do I recommend so far?

Frankenstein: Agent of Shade- Don’t let the cover or the goofy title fool you. It’s good. Good characters, good story, I can’t wait for issue two. My favorite, if only because I want it to succeed so much! The Bat family? They’ll do fine. Green Lantern? No problem. I’m most worried this will fail due to a lack of star power despite being better than the rest of the 52’s.

Batgirl: This comic has, sadly, gotten a lot of negative feedback due to Barbara Gordon no longer being Oracle. It’s a touchy subject, but it’s been handled well. It’s emotional and realistic, and it’s nice to see that even superheroes have trouble with fear. I’m reading this to see Barbara Gordon adjust to her new role.

Batwoman: The art may be better than the story, but I’m a sucker for mysteries and the supernatural. For all of the “world’s greatest detective” praise that Batman gets, this one seems to have much more mystery to it than the main Batman titles.

New 52 - Week 3

Another week of comic-y goodness from DC, as The New 52 rolls on. We've still got most of the books in stock from the first 3 weeks (including Justice League and Action Comics).

Let's get into it:


Catwoman #1: I'm a huge fan of Judd Winick's independent work (Barry Ween, Pedro and Me), but most of his DC work has felt flat. This, however, was a wild sexy ride. If you've been reading the internet, you already know about the... encounter, at the end of the book. This was far more fun than I thought it'd be, to be honest. Then again, I'm biased, Dick Grayson isn't the only one who has a thing for redheads.

(That comment will make far more sense if you read a couple of this week's books... but I'm not telling which.)

Supergirl #1: Supergirl lands to earth, falls through Kansas, burrows through the planet to Russia, gets into a fight and... that's pretty much it. Waitwhat? This book read a little too fast for me. Not enough content, but the art was nice.

DC Universe Presents Deadman #1: Ehhh... i dunno. The art was okay, the writing was okay, the ending was a little abrupt, but I wish they'd stayed more in line with the Brightest Day continuity (as hinted in Hawk & Dove), rather than re-do his origin. Overall, a good #1, but nothing special.

Red Hood & The Outlaws #1: Holy moly, a comic featuring Jason Todd that makes him actually likeable? Scott Lobdell is 2 for 2 on his DCU books so far. The art was good, Starfire was a bit, um, provocative, but this was a solid start.

Blue Beetle #1: Jaime Reyes returns, again, as the Blue Beetle. I really liked the introduction, tying the Scarab in with the Lantern Corps. This was a little light-hearted, compared to the rest of the DCU, it felt more like the early issues of Ultimate Spider-man, which is exactly the tone they should be going for.

Wonder Woman #1: Yeah, okay, now this is a WW book I can get behind. One of the better WW stories I've read in years, frankly. They're dipping their feet into the Greek mythology behind the character, while creating a new villain and adding a new supporting character. Great read.

Legion of Super-heroes #1. le sigh. Okay, I've got to say, the art on this was GORGEOUS. Great detail, lush backgrounds, just incredible stuff. Francis Portella, you created a fan. But the story... man, this would've been a good Legion of Super-heroes #7, but this was NOT a good #1. It felt like a continuation of the previous run, and had characters all over the place; I had no idea who was who, doing what and where. Good comic, bad #1. Really loved the art, though.

Captain Atom #1: Couldn't get through it, the art was too murky. Will try again next week.

Nightwing #1: Hey, another solid book! Great to see Dick back as Nightwing, although it went a wee bit too heavy on the origin story for my liking. This was one of my favorites from the week.

Birds of Prey #1: Not certain what to say about this one. It felt the same as the Deadman book, it didn't do much for me, either way. Black Canary is putting together a new team. The art was serviceable, the writing the same. I don't know, this just didn't jump out at me one way or the other.

Batman #1: But this was AWESOME.Great #1, great Batman story. Capullo's art was pitch-perfect, and the writing was fantastic. this is all I want from a Batman book. Great, great stuff.

Next week: I, Vampire! Superman! Justice League Dark! Voodoo!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Eclipse Phase RPG

Eclipse Phase Role Playing Game

I've started to run a group of players through Eclipse Phase.  Part of this was to try and play a new game, new setting, and a new rules mechanic.  I've had a chance to run the core book and to gather a group of experienced and novice players to really get a good feel of the game.  I'm hoping to cover some about the game, a little about the rules, and more about how the players took to the system, both players who are experienced and new to role playing games.

The Game:

 Eclipse Phase is produced by Posthuman Studios and has been published by both Posthuman and with Catalyst Games. The game was designed as a paper and pencil role playing game.  The game is a science fiction based game which is heavily influenced by horror and conspiracy. 

The Setting:

In the not so distant future humanity has been transformed into a Transhuman state.  There are more then humans though. Animals have been uplifted to a much higher intelligence level.You can be an uplifted Dolphin, Gorilla, or even a parrot.  In the future the TITANs, Seed AI, have been infected with a virus and turned on Transhumanity. Most of Earth is now inhospitable to live on, so Transhumanity has moved to the stars, or more planets.

The Rules:

The game only involves the use of 2 dice, both of which are D10s.  Most of the time you are rolling as a D100, but some times a single D10 is needed.  There are also a much high amount of "Role" playing instead of "Roll" playing. The game allows for a tremendous amount of interaction between the players and the Game Master.

The Players:

GM: Sean "Striderlotr" Banks
1. Dave Steltenkamp
2. Stan Tyler
3. Sara Tyler
4. Stasi "Dengirl" King
5. Brittani "dndprincessaria" MacFadden
6. Amanda Cowen

As we get a few more games under our belts, we will post some comments about how the game actually plays out especially with combat and skill challenges.  Check back to see what everyone thought of the game!
Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ninja Legend of the Scorpion Clan Review

Another new game that I had a chance to play was Ninja-Legend of the Scorpion Clan. It is an intriguing game of an almost spy vs. spy nature, and is made by the same people who created Legend of the 5 Rings. The object of the game is for the Ninja and her accomplice, the Traitor to complete their 2 secret missions while the Guards attempt to stop them.  It truly is a very strategic multiplayer game, and a good way to spend an hour or so.  Thank you to all the hard workers at the AEG booth at Gen Con, who made sure that their retailers would have a chance to try out their new games before release!
This game is different than anything I have ever personally played, and the reasons for that are numerous. First of all, Ninja is probably one of the few games that plays well as not only a 2 or 4 player, but equally well (if not better!) as a 3 player.  Secondly, the fact that each player is responsible for their own actions but can still confer with other "allied" members is something not often seen in boardgames these days. Finally, the idea of each player requiring an individual (included) map to mark locations of either enemies or objectives is a very distinct feature, which I feel AEG has most definitely hit the spot on. But perhaps I should show you instead...


When you first open Ninja's box, the first items you see are the board and the 4 maps.  Underneath those is the 16-page rulebook, and finally the 27 miniatures, 4 decks, 6 mission objective cards, and 4 player privacy screens.  All of this is stored in a standard plastic box, although the outer cardboard box is sturdier than other comparable games. When you open the board for the first time, you'll see it is a tile-like foldout board, similar to Memoir '44 or Battle Cry.  Along the side is a descending group of 20 circles, which shows the turns of the game.  Underneath that is the Turn Order box, a handy reference for what each turn consists of.  Last is the 4 Alert Levels, which go from None to High.  You'll also notice that while the board is a beautifully rendered "blueprint" of a noble castle and gardens, there are faint blue and yellow dividing lines crossing its surface.

These are important for the maps which each player needs to fully enjoy the game.  Each player, whether Guard, Ninja or Traitor has a paper map on which to draw (about 25 map sheets per pad).  These are used to figure out where objectives are hidden, where the secret tunnel is, and which areas still need to be searched. Of course, it would not do to have a Guard see what the Traitor has marked off, even (ahem) the player screens are a must as well!
The plastic miniatures are also fairly well-crafted and are different colors for easy referencing, especially as the colors match up with the player screens. 

There are 20 tan and brown guards (10 with spears, 10 with swords), 1 red Traitor, 1 black Ninja and 3 yellow Drunk Guards.  There are also 2 silver Lanterns, 1 for placing on the current Turn Circle and current Alert Level.  

NOTE: Whereas the Guard cards have a tan Lion symbol on them and use corresponding tan/brown miniatures, the deck colors for the Traitor and Ninja are altered.  Thus, the Traitor miniature is red but uses the black Scorpion deck, and the Ninja miniature is black but uses the red Scorpion deck.  I don't know if this was intentional, but thought it should be pointed out!

Now that everything has been explained, let's discuss game play.  As noted before, this can be a 2, 3 or 4 player game.  If it is 2 player, 1 person controls the Guards and 1 person controls the Traitor and Ninja. For 3 player, 1 person controls the Guards, and the Traitor and Ninja are split. The Guards are split as well, if you play with 4 people. 

First, set up your board and draw your cards.  Ninja takes 8 of the 12 cards available, Traitor takes 7 of the 10, and Guards take 24 of the 36 for their hands.  However, the remaining 12 Guard cards are kept out as a Draw deck.  No cards are to be shared with enemy players, and each deck has cards that are specific to the character using them.  For example, only Guards can play Listen cards, only the Traitor can use Potent Sake cards, and only the Ninja can play Shuriken cards.

Then, 8 individual Guards are posted as sentries, while the remaining Guards are grouped into patrols of 2.  Due to the wording of the cards, it is very advantageous to mix patrols (aka have 1 sword Guard and 1 spear Guard  per patrol).  The Traitor and Ninja miniatures are NOT placed on the board, and won't be for most of the game, but keep them nearby for when the Guards do find them. 

The Guard player takes her map and marks off the locations of 8 sleeping guards as well as 2 Traps, 2 Hidden Sentries, and the locations of the 6 Mission Goals (A thru F) that the Traitor and Ninja will be trying to find. They must ALWAYS be placed in their own zone. The Ninja and Traitor mark off their starting positions according to the rules, as well as the entrance and exit of the Secret Tunnel.  Place 1 Lantern on the lowest Alert Level, and 1 on the first Turn Circle. Now you are completely set up!

The game gets more complicated as it progresses, and players attempt to stay 1 step ahead of each other, but the Turn Orders always remain the same;

1. Alert Phase- Guard player draws cards corresponding to the current level of alert. The alert level then drops by 1, and the Guard plays any of the drawn cards she wants.

2. Guards Card Phase- Guard player uses cards for special effects.

3. Guards Patrol Phase- All patrols that are able to be moved or changed are moved.

4. Intruders Phase- The Ninja and Traitor make their secret moves, play whichever cards they can, and searches for their Mission Goals.

Although there are many different cards to be played, strategies to use and decisions to make every time the game is played, the Phases must be completed in order.  You cannot move onto the next Phase until the previous one is finished, no matter what.  So, even though your friend is going to spring a Trap on your Ninja or Kenjutsu your Guard, at least you'll know they have to wait their turn...

And there you have it, another wonderful game by our friends at AEG!  Ninja-Legend of the Scorpion Clan is a great game for more experienced players.  On a gamer learning scale (1=extremely new to gaming, 10=gaming professional) I would rate Ninja as a solid 7.  While not the most difficult of boardgames to learn, it does have several nuances that make it an inappropriate "first" for those who are new to board or card games. 

Like most of the games I review, we do have a copy of Ninja in our game library, so if you're in the Poughkeepsie area stop by and play!

Stasi "Dengirl" King

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mordenkain's Magnificent Emporium

Alright you old time "I started playing D&D with the boxed set..." fans out there, the coolest magic item collection has arrived.  Mordenkain dug deep into the vaults at Castle Greyhawk or where ever he keeps his really good stuff to give us 4E stats on some of my personal favorite magic items from all the old editions.  Here are just a few of the items listed in MME:

Armor; Mostly new stuff but we get Plate Mail of Etherealness and Robe of the Archmage

Weapons; Flame Tongue, Frost Brand, Giantslayer, Greater Dancing, Greater Luckblade, Maul of the Titans, Mighty Dwarven Thrower and more

Implements;  Candle of Invocation, Necklace of Prayer Beads plus others
Greater Staff of POWER! (Now, if they just did the Staff of the Magi I could happily convert my 3.5 Epic Level evoker to Paragon)

Wands; Fire, Frost, Lighting and yes, the best wand ever, the Wand of WONDER

AND SO MUCH MORE....including Cursed Items

All right, I could keep going but the best thing I can say is that this book brings to current 4E D&D a lot of my personal favorites and best loved magic items from many of the past editions.  MME also adds some feats, new weapons and armor, a section on henchmen and hirelings, and a random magic item generation table for all the items in the book.  I felt like I was back in AD&D 2E for a while!

Mordenkain's Magnificent Emporium is only available, at least right now, in hobby and gaming stores so if we aren't your Friendly Local Gaming Store, drop by yours.  Of course, we can always get you a copy!


International Talk Like a Pirate Day 9/19/11

Arrrr mateys! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day today! To be celebrating such a fine day, I have some of thee worst pirate jokes yea have ever heard. So if yea be a land-lobber then read on and be prepared to shiver yea timbers.

Q: Where does a pirate go on vacation?
A: Arrrr-kansas

Q: How much did the pirate pay for corn?
A: a buck an ear (buccaneer)

Q: Why couldn't the pirate go to the movie?
A: It was rated Arrr

Q: Why was it rated R?
A: It showed to much booty.

A guy walks into a bar and sees a pirate sitting at the bar with a peg leg, hook, and an eye patch.  The guy thinks, this pirate would be cool to talk to.  So he walks up and sits at the bar.
Guy: So are you a real pirate?
Pirate: Arrr, I be.
Guy: How did you get a peg leg?
Pirate: I was working the mast in a heavy storm and the rigging wrapped around me leg and ripped it off.
Guy: WOW! So how did you get the hook?
Pirate: I was swimming through the wreckage of me ship and a shark bite me hand clean off.
Guy: AMAZING! So how did you end up with the eye patch?
Pirate: A bird flew over head and crapped in me eye.
Guy: Really... after the other stories...
Pirate: Well it was the first day with me new hook!

Q: Why didn't the pirate take a shower before walking the plank?
A: He knew he'd wash-up on shore later.

Q: What does a pirate say when he is playing Santa?
A: Ho, Ho, Ho, and a bottle of Rum!

Q: Why did it take the pirate so long to learn the alphabet?
A: He spent years at C!

Q: Where did the one legged pirate go for breakfast?
A: IHop

Q: Why are pirates called pirates?
A: They just Arrrr

So if thar be any of yea scurvy dogs out there liken a good or bad joke, have at thee!

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Summoner Wars Master Set Review

This past Gen Con had a plethora of awesome games, both for purchase and demos! One game that our store actually had the opportunity to purchase early was the Summoner Wars Master Set by Plaid Hat Games.  Not only were the demo runners helpful and pleasant, but the owner allowed us to buy 4 new copies for our store 2 weeks before release.  Kudos to all of them for helping out hobby stores!  The Master Set received an incredible amount of attention by both new and experienced Summoner Wars players, so I thought it might be time to write a review. 

First, let me tell you a little about the previous editions of Summoner Wars. Prior to the Master Set being  released, there were 2 Starter Sets available, which were great for 2-player battles.  They also had Faction Decks and Reinforcement Packs, some of which are pictured below.

All of these decks and packs are fully compatible with the Master Set, and there are even extra slots in its packaging to fit them!  Conversely, any player would be able to set aside the more special, customizable cards for easy use, or another pre-made deck if that was preferred.


When we first open the box, we see the 21-page rulebook, the 2 sides of the board, a bag of 5 dice, punchable tokens, and 6 separate decks.  All of these are individually shrink-wrapped, sorted according to Faction, and are ready to play right out of the box. Notice the extra empty slots for more decks, both of your creation and future expansions of Plaid Hat Games.  Now that's what I call planning for your company!


First, each player must choose a deck, whether pre-made or customized.  The two sides of the board should be lined up like so...

...and the decks should be placed in the proper spaces.  As you can see, there are 3 card sections for each player; Draw Pile, Magic Pile and Discard. Each player picks their Deck, find their Reference Card, and begins the Starting Setup show on the Reference Card.  The remaining cards are shuffled and placed on the Draw Pile.  Roll a die to determine who goes first, and you're ready to go!


As board and card games go, Summoner Wars has a few more steps than average.  They are;

1. Draw
2. Summon
3. Play Event Cards
4. Movement
5. Attack
6. Build Magic

After all steps are completed, it's your opponents turn.  Can't remember all of it?  Don't worry, everything you need to know is in the easy-to-understand rulebook, including game terminology, victory conditions, lists of expansions, how to set-up the game for 3-4 players, and helpful tips on creating a more customized deck. 

All in all, the Summoner Wars Master Set is the perfect starting place for gaming newcomers or enthusiasts.  It has many decks already available, a very clearly written rulebook, easy to use cards and simple rules.  On a gamer learning scale (1=extremely new to gaming, 10=gaming professional), I would mark Summoner Wars as a 3.

 But that's just my opinion...why not pick it up and play for yourself? We have a copy ready to go in our Dragon's Den Library, so if you're in the area stop by for a quick game or demo!

Stasi "Dengirl" King

Friday, September 16, 2011

Innistrad Magic Events at the Dragon's Den


As we are getting closer to the release of Innistrad for Magic the Gathering, we wanted to post some quick information about the events we will be running over the next few weeks.  We have events at the Dragon's Den for the pre-release, the launch, and a games day all set and ready to go.  So read on and learn about all the different Innistrad events that are coming up!


We have 4 different Sealed events that are coming up for Innistrad.  All the sealed events are $30.00 and include 6 packs, plus the promo card (while supplies last).  Prizes will be determined by the number of players that sign up for the events.

Sealed #1
Midnight 9/24/2011
Special at the midnight only: FREE pizza and soda!

Sealed #2
Noon 9/24/2011

Sealed #3
Noon 9/25/2011

Sealed #4
5:00pm 9/25/2011

Launch Party:

The official Launch Party for the release of Innistrad will be held Friday night on 9/30/2011.  We will be running a draft at 6:00pm as the official event!  The cost of the event is $15.00 and will include 3 packs and a promo card (while supplies last). Prizes will be determined by the number of players that sign up for the events.

Game Day:

Game day is a constructed event so it is open for players to try and build the best deck.  The event will be run on Saturday 10/29/2011 starting at noon. Everyone who players will get a promo card and the top 8 will get a special promo card. The cost of this event will be $5.00 and prizes will be determined by the number of players who sign up.

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New 52 - Week 2

The New 52 continues with the 2nd wave of new titles. After reading the first two weeks worth of titles, there's one word to describe The New 52: Dark.

Not that there's anything wrong with books that are dark in tone or material, but I'm hoping we see a bit more sunlight and hope peek through the books as the month continues. Too much of anything can be.. well, too much.

That said, there's some gems this week. Let's get to it.

Deathstroke #1 - Good introductory issue. An all-in-one plot for the character, plus a hook at the end. A bit of a surprise there, with his comment about not liking competition; it made me laugh. The one thought I had (and this has gone through my head a couple times in the last couple weeks) is that Deathstroke's outfit was a little too much 90's Image Excess. Sometimes simpler is better? (See Batwoman's costume). That said, solid first issue.

Grifter #1 - Oh, DC. Why must you take my previous Wildstorm characters, pour gasoline on them, and then make me watch as they slowly burn away, never to be remembered by those of us who loved them ? TELL ME WHY, YOU SADISTS.

Okay, got that out of my system.

Grifter was described as Sawyer from Lost meets the DCU. That pretty much hits it on the head. Grifter is a con man, but things go very bad, very fast. This was a good first issue.

Mister Terrific #1 - I was very happy to see the fan-favorite from JSA get his own book. It was a good story, but it felt a little write-by-numbers, y'know? It lacked oomph. This one might take a couple issues to come together.

Green Lantern #1 - Anyone who was reading GL before this month should be able to pick this up and jump right in. For new(er) readers, it might be a little tricky, trying to figure out why Sinestro is Green Lantern instead of Hal, who the guys in the yellow uniforms are, and what's going on. Also, isn't Carol still in-charge of the you-know-who's? BRING BACK COWGIRL, GEOFF JOHNS.

Sometimes I wish Geoff Johns would write just one book a month, instead of 2-4. Ever since he became head honcho/VP at DC, his writing hasn't been the same.

Batman and Robin #1 - Oh Damian, you lovable jerk. Why can't you and Daddy Wayne just get along?

Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E #1 - Like Animal Man and Swamp Thing from last week, this one floored me. Great, strange issue. Franky's father is in the body of an 8 year old girl? I couldn't possibly pin this one down with one word, but I'll try: Must-buy.

(Yeah I cheated there. Whaddya want from me?)

Demon Knights #1 - I was both amused and disgusted by the "rough" comment. If you've already read it, you know what I'm talking about. If not, you'll understand. I have to confess, my expectations were low for this book, but they surpassed them. This was a "pieces and players coming together for the first time" -type first issue, and it was fun. Good read. Anyone who read Stormwatch last week already knows this ties into the history of the New DCU.

Resurrection Man #1 - With all my love for Abnett and Lanning, you'd have thought I read the original Resurrection Man series, right? Wrong. The writing on this was strong, and it felt like a "long read". Great value for $2.99. The art, though, was a little off. Sometimes the characters looked disjointed? Body parts not quite lining up right? It added a little atmosphere to the book, but it also took me out of the story sometimes, too.

Superboy #1 - Hey now, this was good. They've jettisoned all the previous Superboy stories (and Teen Titans, I'd imagine), and stated fresh.  Solid first issue, one of the best from this week.

Legion Lost #1 - ... and now, one of the weakest. Yikes, this was messy. Too much talking about superpowers, and the costumes are so complicated I STILL don't know who's who. Or why I should care. Granted, it's easy to be intimidated by all the LSH characters, there's only a million of them. But "time-traveling super-heroes from the future, stuck in the present"? That's a pretty nifty concept, but all the language about the "Flashpoint wall/event/whatever" lost me. Hopefully next month is better, 'cause I'm going to hear about this review from loyal reserivst Gatti, that's for sure.

Red Lanterns #1 - And now, a big ol pile of Rage. As many of you already know, I'm a huge fan of the Red Lanterns (my rage issues are legendary, ask the employees at the Den), so I've been waiting MONTHS, nay YEARS for Atrocitus and the Almighty HATE KITTEH to get their own book. This was another strong introductory issue, and Ed Benes did a good job on the art.

Suicide Squad #1 - Like you could make this title anything BUT dark, right?  Lots of blood and mayhem, but I have to confess, it was missing something. In the original Suicide Squad by Ostrander and it's spiritual successor, Secret Six by Gail Simone, the books were dark, but balanced  with a little light comedy here and there. Halfway through this book, I thought to myself "Why isn't Gail writing this?" The voices in my head had no answer. The only other criticism is my own blinders: Anytime I see Harley in a comic, I automatically pipe in her voice and mannerisms from The Animated Series. This book didn't jive with the show. That's more me, than anything else, I think.

Batwoman #1 - This was awesome. The. End.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Magic Celebration 2012 Recap

Well the Magic Celebration is now over.  So what did we see, and what did we notice:

Number of players:

In the first flight we ended up with 33 players total! The second event had 28 at the start.  We had drops in almost every round as players finished up and felt their deck was not going to win.  Getting a dual land and a foil land kind of hurts in this format...  Well I have a feeling that having 61 players is a pretty good turnout for the Magic Celebration and I would love to know how other locations did.

FREE T-Shirts:

We had many people excited about getting a free t-shirt!  I think was a masterful plan by Wizards and really helped the local stores.  No internet sales for that t-shirt!!!  We ended up selling out of the t-shirts by 2:00pm and with 8... yes I said 8 t-shirts, they went really FAST!

Digital Download Promo Cards:

 Well many people were wondering why the choice was Jace, Chandra, and Gideon... I kept telling people maybe it was a Red, White, and Blue thing... I mean maybe with Remembrance Day tomorrow, maybe Wizards was being Patriotic.  If they went with the same colors as the promo titans for the game then it would have been Jace, Chandra, and Liliana... but that would not have been as patriotic.  The cards each have a unique digital item code one for Steam, PS3, and Xbox 360.

In the end, this event was fantastic for Magic and Wizards of the Coast.  It allowed players to have some fun and get a bunch of FREE stuff!  I'm very happy to see Wizards doing something this fantastic for the players.  Now to see how all of this effects our Planeswalker points and all that new stuff.  And now for all the questions about Planeswalker Points... but we'll save that for another day.

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

The NEW 52 for Wednesday September 14th

Next Wednesday, the next wave of THE NEW 52 from DC COMICS arrives:

Deathstroke #1 - The popular villain gets his own series.
Superboy #1 - The clone of Superman who's got the dna of a super-villain inside him!
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #1 - The book with such a long title, I've got not enough room to write a description!
Resurrection Man #1 - The cult-classic returns! He lives, he dies, he wakes up with new powers!
Demon Knights #1 - DC goes medieval on your... well, you know.
Suicide Squad #1 - You're going to buy this comic just because of the cover. Don't deny it.
Green Lantern #1 - Hal Jordan is NOT a Green Lantern anymore. So who's the new GL of sector 2814?
Red Lanterns #1 - I AM THE RED LANTERN OF SECTOR 2814. I mean... love the hate kitteh, don't you?
Batman and Robin #1 - Father and son, together for the first time!
Mister Terrific #1 - The world's smartest man gets his own title!
Legion Lost #1 - Members of the LSH, stuck in the 21st century, with no way to go home!
Grifter #1 -The Wildstorm hero stars in his own spy thriller!
And finally...

Batwoman #1 - Finally, Kate gets her own ongoing. J.H. Williams is doing the writing and art; this book WILL be gorgeous.


See you next Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The New 52 - Week 1

...and here we are.

After months of questions and teases and press releases and the occasional fanboy rage, The New 52 have landed at the Dragon's Den. After reading all of this week's books, I came away pretty impressed. All of the books are easy jump-on points; you don't need to know anything about the characters, but if you do, that's okay too. DC's done a good job of blending "jump-on point" without tossing away much of the continuity for the older readers.

Random comments:

* Most of the titles managed to end on a cliffhanger. Some more memorable than others (Detective Comics, for one)

* Several of the covers are different than originally solicited. That's not a bad thing

* I'm hearing many reports of stores under-ordering these books, across the country. This may sound crazy to you, but I'm just saying this now: I am fairly certain that all of The New 52 #1's will be go to 2nd printing by the end of the month. Get the 1st prints now. Trust me.

 * Review Time.

Justice League #1 - Yes, this came out last week, but I'm including it here anyways. This was a strong first issue, but not a strong introduction to The New 52. On that level, it didn't succeed. But I'm not going to lie: It was great to see a Jim Lee-drawn comic again.

Action Comics #1  - My expectations were high for this book. Grant Morrisson's All-Star Superman is one of the landmark stories for the character, so we all know what he's capable of doing with the character. But this book... this is a very different Superman. This Superman is a bit more reckless, unexperienced, and a bit more anti-authoritarian. It was great to read a Superman who didn't come off as having a stick up his you-know-where.

It was great. Fresh. New. Innovative, while paying homage to the past. Plus the last page... so simple, yet brilliant.

Animal Man #1 - This book creeped me out. It really did, the whole issue made me feel anxious. How is that possible? I don't know, but it happened anyways. And the last page... wow. CREEPY. Don't give this one to your kids, they'll have nightmares (seriously).

Batman Detective Comics #1 - Sweet mary, mother of god, if Animal Man #1 creeped me out, this one made my jaw drop. The last page is... no, I'm not going to use any words to read it. But you Will Not See That Coming. This issue was dark, bloody, and then the ending? Wow. Just... wow. Okay Tony Daniel, you got my attention.

Batgirl #1 - Can I talk about Babs getting her legs back without the internet going crazy? Good. So yeah... Babs is back in the costume. They acknowledge The Killing Joke, and her paralysis, but they gloss over her time in the wheelchair. Ignoring the backstory, this is a younger, less-somber Babs, and I think this book is going to surprise the naysayers.

Batwing #1 - I didn't have a chance to read it. BAD SCOTT. BAD SCOTT.

Green Arrow #1 - Adios, beard. Adios, Black Canary. Neither are around, and this is a clear mix of the ornery Ollie we all know and love, and the poutier Green Arrow seen on Smallville. The art didn't do much for me on this book, but the writing was tight; That said, this book was fun, but didn't overwhelm me.

Hawk and Dove #1 - Don't hate. No, really, this wasn't bad. This amped up the tension and drama between Hawk and Dove, dropped a lot of hints about Dove's connection to the original Dove, acknowledged the relationship between Dove and Deadman that came out of Brightest Day. I had low expectations, but this was pretty fun. As for the art... Liefeld did okay here.

Justice League International #1 - As a huge fan of the original JLI/JLE run, this was a bit of a disappointment. The characters didn't quite mesh together as well as you'd like. Some of the ha-ha's were still there, but it didn't quite have the humor that made the original run such a classic. That said, I have faith in Giffen, as should you all. Noone does these characters better, it just might take an issue or two for him to get back into the swing of things.

Men of War #1 - This was a gritty-but-not-overbearing war story, featuring a character with the last name Rock. And although this isn't my normal cuppa... I really liked it. Fun and dark, but without being overly so. Color me surprised by how good this was.

OMAC #1 - I opened this up, prepared to dislike it, and came away satisfied. There's TONS of Kirby riffs in this, from the artwork to the layouts, to the writing, but done well. Another pleasant surprise.

Static Shock #1 - A fun yarn, right from the beginning. Fans of the character are going to enjoy seeing Static back in action. I never watched the cartoon, so I don't know much about the character, but this book jumped off the page. Great stuff.

Stormwatch #1 - As an old-school Wildstorm fan, reading this was painful: It's a clear re-boot of all the Authority and Stormwatch characters. As someone who knows nothing about any of them, or has not attachment, it was a decent read. I think I probably set the bar too high on this one for myself.

Swamp Thing #1 - ... But this book: WOW. Great, GREAT first issue. Scott Snyder's been killing it at DC, and this issue managed to give the character(s) a fresh slate, but still keeping Swamp Thing's history intact (especially the Alan Moore stuff). Great read, highly recommended.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quarriors the Dice Game by Wizkids

While out at Gen Con this year, I had the chance to try a new DICE building game so similar to all the great DECK building games called Quarriors by Wizkids! So let's open the box... or in this case the tin, and see what's inside.

Inside the box:

The first thing you notice with the collector's tin is that it is shaped like a die and has the markings on each side corresponding to the Dragon die in the game.  It is a very nice look, and I think will appeal to many players and collectors.  Once you open it up, you find 4 dice bags of different colors (Black, Blue, Green, and Red).  The dice bags are the same color as the tokens used per player to track victory points.  The next item is the rule book.  The rules are very straight forward and easy to understand, so easy in fact that my 8 year old was playing in no time!  Further down is the tracking card used for keeping track of victory points.  The victory points vary depending on the number of players; 12 for a 4 player game, 15 for a 3 play game, and 20 for a 2 player game. The tray below the rule book and tracking sheet contains the ability cards for the dice. There are 3 different types of cards; Basic, Spell, and Creature.  The cards represent different levels for the dice, so that they can make promo cards that will change the way the dice results are seen.  There is also a small area for the tracking cubes, again in matching colors to the dice bag.  The final thing in the tin are the dice! There 130 dice in 15 different varieties.  The dice correspond to the cards, and the cards represent different levels of the dice.

Playing the game:

So now that we have pulled apart the box, lets look at the game.  If you have played any of the deck building games, then you have an idea of how to play Quarriors... just think dice instead of cards.  You start the game with the 3 basic resource cards, 3 different spell cards, and 7 different creature cards.  Remember to shuffle the groups of cards separately so you can draw from each group.  Next have each player chose a color for their dice bag and victory point token.  Give each player 8 Quiddity Dice (the basic die), and 4 Assistant Dice.  This is your starting allocation of dice.  Each players turn will follow the same steps, so I'll detail one player from the beginning:
  1. Score Creatures
  2. Draw and Roll Dice (Remember to shuffle... shake the dice bag) (Draw 6 without looking)
  3. Ready Spells and Summon Creatures (Optional)
  4. Attack Your Rivals
  5. Capture 1 Quarry Die from the Wilds (Optional)
  6. Move Dice to Your Used Pile

    So then all you have to do is pass your turn to the player on the left and repeat! One key rule, just like with the deck building games, you don't gather and reshuffle your dice until you need to draw a die and you can't.  You just wait until then and then pick them all up and put them back in the dice bag.  Continue playing until you reach the correct number of victory points.

    So I've had a lot of fun playing this game so far, and I can't wait for it to become available... or is it??? We are hoping to get this great game in at the store, we are just waiting to learn about availability.  As it looks like they will have an expansion out this fall, I'd like to see both in the store soon.

    I'd like to thank my little group of play testers... also know as Alex, Aiden, and Emily.  They were great, and really enjoyed the game! With and age range from 8 to 16, they picked up the rules and concept quickly, and ask to play the game frequently.

    Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Magic the Gathering Celebration

    Are you ready to celebrate with Magic?!?!?

    We are! 

    So what is this Magic Celebration you may be asking... Well it is a fantastic and fun way to experience Magic the Gathering with friends in a casual format! We will be running this free, yes I said FREE, event here at the Dragon's Den and we are hoping that you come and join us.  So here are some details about the event:

    What: Magic the Gathering Celebration
    Where: The Dragon's Den
    When: Saturday September 10th at 12:00 noon
    Event Type: Mini Master
    Cost: FREE

    What is a Mini Master Event you ask? Well, I'll be happy to explain this format to you.

    Everyone who plays will receive a 2012 booster pack and 15 basic lands (3 of each type). You then pull out the tip/token card and shuffle the land and booster pack together... remember, no peaking! You then play out the game as normal; drawing 7 cards, having 20 life, and having fun. We will be running the event as 16 player pods and 4 rounds.  If we get more then 16 players, we will create another pod. 

    So now that we have covered the basics, would you like to learn some more? You would! GREAT!

    If you win your round you will get another booster pack for FREE! You will then have a few minutes to modify your deck with the new cards.  Winners will then be able to make a 40 card deck with as much land as they like.  With 4 rounds, players will have a chance to modify their decks as they win.

    We will also have a few special promo cards to give away.  These cards are not for the Magic card game, but for the Duel of the Planeswalkers 2012 video game.  There is a digital item code on each card that will unlock a digital item for your account on the chosen gaming platform.

    There will also be a FREE, yes I keep saying that word, T-Shirt for the first several people who purchase a Deck Builder's Toolkit! Supplies are limited and once they are gone, they are gone.

    Speaking of supplies being limited, each of these items and the event are on a very limited quantities.  If you are interested in being a part of this Magic Celebration, then you want to get to the Dragon's Den and get ready to have some fun!

    Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    New #1's (not from DC)


    Voltron #1  - The lions reunite in this new series from Dynamite.

    Avengers X-Sanction #1 - The return of Cable and the lead-in to next year's big Marvel event.

    Carnage USA #1 - The cult favorite character returns in another mini-series!

    Fantastic Four #601 - Hickman's FF saga continues with the return of the Fantastic Four ongoing.


    Star Wars Crimson Empire III #1 Empire Lost (Dark Horse) – The Imperial Guardsmen return.
    Uncanny X-Men #1 – The last major Marvel/DC title to get a relaunch.
    Avenging Spider-Man #1 – Joe Maduera returns!
    Peanuts #0 - A new monthly series, and only for $1!
    Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #1 - Dynamite Fans rejoice! They're now publishing FG, too!
    Fear Itself  #7 Point One - The after-effects of FI on Captain America after the death of Bucky.
    Fear Itself  #7 Point Two - Iron Man and Odin square off.
    Fear Itself  #7 Point Three - The solicitation says "THOR NO MORE".


    Orchid #1 (Dark Horse) – Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine jumps into comics.
    The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode #1 (Image) – New post-modern super-hero mini-series.
    Penguin: Pain & Prejudice #1 (DC) – WAK WAK WAK. The history of the classic Batman villain.
    Batman Odyssey Vol 2 #1 (DC) – Neil Adams returns to his Batman series.
    Shade #1 (DC) – Starman fans, James Robinson returns. This should be 15 types of awesome.
    Legion Secret Origin #1 (DC) – History of the Legion, plus get a Legion ring free.
    Spaceman #1 (Vertigo) – Did you like Batman Knight of Vengeance? Same creative team.            
    Fearless #1 (Marvel) – Mini-series that follows up on Fear Itself.
    Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel) – HULK HAVEN’T HAD NEW #1 IN AT LEAST TWO MONTHS. HULK SMASH!
    Avengers 1959 #1 (Marvel) – Howard Chaykin writes and draws
    Avengers Solo #1 (Marvel) – 2 stories: One featuring Hawkeye, the other featuring Avengers Academy.
    Wolverine & The X-Men #1 (Marvel) – New x-title featuring Marvel’s least-seen character, Wolverine.
    Star Trek/Legion of Super-heroes #1 (IDW) – This series needs to have Darkseid screaming “KHAN”.
    30 Days of Night Ongoing #1 (IDW) – Steve Niles returns! The Maxx’s Sam Keith draws!
    Dark Shadows #1 (Dynamite) – Barnabas Collins is back.


    Annihilators Earthfall #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s Cosmic characters take on the Avengers.
    Ghostbusters #1 (IDW) – I’m singing the Ghostbusters theme as I type this. Billy Dee Forever.
    Buffy TVS Season 9 #1 (Dark Horse) – Joss Whedon returns!
    Star Trek #1 (IDW) – Takes place in the re-launched Abrams-verse.
    John Carter Princess of Mars #1 (Marvel) – New Disney movie in March, here’s the Marvel adaptation
    Ultimate X-Men #1 (Marvel) – Kitty puts the X-men together.
    Ultimate Spider-Man #1 (Marvel) – With Peter Parker dead, Miles Morales takes over.
    Game of Thrones #1 (Dynamite) - More George R.R. Martin goodness!
    The New 52 (DC) - All 52 of the New #1's.