Facebook

2001 A Clash of Kings A Feast for Crow A Game of Thrones A Scanner Darkly A Storm of Swords AAllen Steele Abney Park Adrianne Palicki AEG Aether Shanties alderac Allen Steele AMC Andew Stanton Anne McCaffrey Asimov Assassin's Creed Atari 2600 Atlanta Nights audio books Babylon 5 Barsoom Ben Bova Bill & Ted 3 Blade Runner Blind Guardian Blue Oyster Cult Bo Hansson Board Game Board Games Bob Catley Books brian lewis Bruce Boxleitner Bruce Sterling bucephalus C.S. Lewis Cady Coleman Captain Robert card game Carl Sagan Carol Clerk Chad Jensen Charlton Heston Christmas music christopher badell Chronicles of Narnia Civilization COD Comic Books comic books Commentary Conan Conan movie Cons Contact contest Conventions conventions Corey Konieczka Coyote crysis 2 dance with dragons Darkwalker on Moonshae Darrell K. Sweet Dave Brock David Arkenstone David Bowie David Gerrold David Gregg David Mack d-day dice Deathlands Dejah Thoris Diamond Dogs Digital Content Disney doctor who Dominion Dork Tower Double Fine Adventure Douglas Adams Douglas Niles DragonCon Dragonriders of Pern DRM Drowning Towers Dune dungeon crawl Dungeons and Dragons Echo Edgar Rice Burroughs Edwin A. Abbott EEdgar Rice Burroughs Elric Eminent Domain emissary Emmanuel Aquin epic duels ereader Facebook fallen Famous Monsters of Filmland fanboy fandom fantasy Fantasy art Fantasy Flight Fantasy Lit fantasy literature Fantasy music Fantasy quotes film Flatland Forbidden Island Forrest Ackerman Frank Frazetta Frank Herbert Frankenstein Friday From the Earth to the Moon furniture Gabriele Mari Gadgets game of the year Game of Thrones game review Game Table Gamewright Gaming Furniture gaming table Geek Chic Gene Wolfe George Alec Effinger George R.R. Martin George Turner GGeorge R.R. Martin Gianluca Santopietro GiftTRAP Glory Road Glory to Rome GMT Games gozer games Graphic Audio Greater Than Games Gryphon Games GtR H.G. Wells Halo Harrison Ford Harry Harrison Hawkwind Hollow Earth Expedition Hollywood Homeworld Horror Humor humor Ian Anderson Idoru Ignacy Trzewiczek Infinity Beach International Space Station interview Intrigue Isaac Asimov J. Michael Straczynski J.R.R. Tolkien Jack L. Chalker Jack McDevitt Jack Vance James Axler James Bama James P. Blaylock Jason Momoa Jeanne Cavelos Jethro Tull Jhereg Jim Burns JJames Axler Jodi Foster John Carter John Carter of Mars john hughes John Kovalic Johnny Rotten Jr. Jules Verne Jungle Tales of Tarzan Justin Oh keanu reeves Ken Kelly Kenneth Branagh Kentucky Kevin Wilson Kickstarter Kim Stanley Robinson Knizia Kurt Vonnegut Langdon St. Ives Larry Elmore Larry Niven Last Man Lazarus Long Leigh Brackett Lemmy Leonard Nimoy Les Johnson Letters from Whitechapel Lifeforce Lord Dunsany Lost Horizons Lynn Collins Manowar Mansions of Madness Margaret Weis Martial Law Martin Mary Shelley Matt Leacock Max Holliday Mayday Games Michael Apted Michael Chabon Michael Moorcock Michael Stackpole Michael Whelan Middle-earth Midnight at the Well of Souls Monte Cook Mostly Harmless movie Movies music NASA Nathaniel Hawthorne NBA Nebula Awards Nerd Props netflix News nexus games Nightfall Nik Turner Nine Princes in Amber Ninjas Niven's Laws N-Space Octavia Butler out of the box Outlanders Parable of the Sower parents' guide PARSEC Party Game Patrick Stewart Paul Kearney Paul Koenig Pern Peter David Peter Jackson Peter S. Beagle Philip Jose Farmer Philip K. Dick photoshop Pirates Planet of Mystery portal publishing post apocalyptic Potion making practice Poul Anderson prequels Pret a Porter Print-and-play qFantasy quotes Race for the Galaxy Ray Bradbury Reach reboots Red Mars remakes review reviews Ridley Scott RightGames Ringworld Robert E. Howard Robert Heinlein Robert Kirkman robots Rock Roger Zelazny Role-playing Games rook city RPG RpgFan Rush San Juan Satire Science Fiction Science Fiction art Science Fiction music Science Fiction quotes Science Fiction Writers of America script Sean Young Sentinels of the Multiverse sequels Sergey Machin Seth Jaffee SETI SFWA shakey cam Sherlock Holmes Slough Feg Small Matters Smurfs Southern Fandom Resource Guide space flute space rock Space Shuttle spiel des jahres Sports Stanislaw Lem star trek star wars Starworld steampunk Steven Brust strike force one Stronghold Super Dungeon Explore super heroes T.H. White Tabletop Game of the Month Tad Williams Tars Tarkus Tarzan Tarzan and the Golden Lion Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar Tarzan the Terrible Tarzan the Untamed Tasty Minstrel Games Taylor Kitsch Terror Bull Games Terry Bisson Terry Pratchett The Hobbit The Adventurers The Beasts of Tarzan The Black Wizards The Boat of a Million Years The Book of the New Sun the coldest war The Complete Elmore Artbook The Dark Glory War The Death of Tragedy The Difference Engine The Dragoncrown War Cycle The Dying Earth The Fellowship of the Ring The Gods Themselves The Great Tarzan Adventure The Heretic Kings The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy The Hobbit movies The Last Unicorn The Lord of the Rings The Lord Weird Slough Feg The Matrix The Moon is a Harsh Mistress The Moonshae Trilogy The Newspaper Clipping Generator The Once and Future King The Saga of Hawkwind The Secrets The Shadow of the Torturer The Shadow Within The Sirens of Titan The Son of Tarzan The Stars My Destination The Technicolor Time Machine The Time Machine The Walking Dead The Wind Whales of Ishmael therapy thrift store Time Enough for Love Time Machine Tour Titan Books titans of industry To Green Angel Tower To the Stars Toc Toc Woodman Tracy Hickman Traveller Ursula K. Le Guin valentine's day Valley Games Victorian Undead Victory Point Games Video Games Voyage of the Dawn Treader Voyage to the Red Planet War Against the Chtorr Wargame wargames watchtower games Well of Darkness Wheelworld wii Willem Dafoe William Gibson William Shatner Wonder Woman word game worker placement Writer Beware Writing Yahoo Zelazny Ziggy Stardust zombies
Search Nerdbloggers:
Nerdbloggers

 

 

 

Nerdbloggers RSS
Wednesday
Jul012015

Hawkeye and The Black Widow have unrealisticly-sized heads here, but they speak the truth

Tuesday
Jun302015

Retro Board Game Review: Fightball by James Ernest

Sports-themed board and card games have never faired too well with the hardcore gamer crowd. There are probably many reasons for this, but, for me, the primary place that sports-themed board and card games are lacking is in the recreation of the pace and flow of on-field action. Tabletop games, by their very nature, are turn-based, and this turn-based approach almost always fails to capture the spirit of the real thing. This probably explains the fact that the most successful sports game franchise of all time (on this continent at least) is the Strat-O-Matic baseball series. Baseball is, after all, the easiest sport to model in a turn-based fashion.

 

Fightball, from designers James Ernest and Mike Selinker, attempts to address the above concern by replacing the normal, turn-based action of a card game with a more dynamic real-time model. In Fightball, players don’t take turns making their plays. Instead, each player plays through his or her own deck simultaneously. To further speed up play, there is a distinct advantage to being the player who gets through his or her deck the fastest. The result is a quick-paced, high tension game that really does feel more like a sport (albeit a fictional one in this case) than the games that have come before it. It is also much more balanced, fun, and tactical than the games of the past that have attempted real-time simulation.

 

Fightball features three different two-player sets. Each set contains two Fightball teams in separate decks. The decks also contain color-coded field cards that the players combine (each player contributing twelve cards) to form the playing surface. Once a player picks a team from the six available, no tweaking or "deck-building" is done. Players (called coaches from this point on to avoid confusion) simply shuffle the cards and the game begins.

 

Play proceeds real-time, with each coach playing through his or her own deck one card at a time. If a coach draws a card that he or she can’t play, that card is placed in his or her own personal discard pile. The top card of that pile remains playable, and every card in the pile is playable if the coach can work his or her way down the pile to the card.

          

The coaches are attempting to establish scoring plays on the field. A scoring play must contain, at the minimum, a player card, a ball card, and a shot card. Each or these cards vary in value according to the color of field card they are being played on (with some players rated higher from close to the goal, others from far away. The resulting stack must be worth at least ten play points for the play to score. If it is, the coach who placed the cards scores points equal to the value of the field card.

If this was all that happened in the game, it would be fair to see it as competitive solitaire, but coaches also have the ability to play cards into their opponent’s score piles. These cards must be placed between the player and the shot and have a fairly intuitive effect on the play. Playing a player between the opposing player and the shot results in a blocked shot. Playing a lower valued ball results in a lowering of the value of the entire pile (possibly bringing it below ten and causing the play to fail). There are also team-specific special effect cards that can be played on the stacks. These can increase the value of the play, decrease it, or even cause it to score for the other coach. Both coaches can play as many cards between the player and the shot as they want. Any card played outside that frame (say after the shot) is considered a foul. Fouls result in points for the opposing coach, so they can have a substantial effect on the outcome of a game.

 

Each coach places a "buzz" card at the bottom of his deck before play starts. When that card is reached, the quarter is over. The full game consists of four quarters. The full game is advertised as taking twenty minutes, but I have a feeling that after some practice, the final play time will be more like twelve to fifteen minutes.

 

Fightball is great, hectic fun. For the first few quarters, it was all my opponent and I could do to keep up with our own stacks and we ended up not doing much in the way of blocking or interrupting the other coach’s plays. After a few games though, things got highly competitive. Fast thinking is certainly rewarded, but the special effect cards add quite a bit of strategy, especially the ones that affect scoring based on cards in the discard piles.

 

Fightball is the most enjoyable real-time card game I have played to date. The mechanics match the theme perfectly. The card art is wonderful. The teams themselves are humorous and rather cool. I can see the game becoming popular filler material with my regular group.

 

 

Danny Webb

 

Originally Published on Armchair Empire, 10/13/02

 

Follow up: I still agree with everything I said in the review, but it did not become a very-often played game.  My last recorded play was August, 2007.  I do plan on getting it to the table soon, however, as part of my upcoming marathon of Cheapass/James Ernest Games.

Sunday
Jun282015

Hard to get more 90's than this Jurassic Park / Tamagotchi fan-film

Sunday
Dec072014

Quite Quotable

A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

Lord Dunsany, The Laughter of the Gods 

Sunday
Nov302014

Quite Quotable

We make stupid mistakes when we're young; we do our best to make amends for them as we get older. We survive by learning; by learning we survive. Such is life. So be it.

Allen Steele, Coyote