New Episode of On The Table

Calendar: December 2012 & Holiday Gift Guide

As always December will be a busy month at Black Knight Games.  We will be running Kaijudo gaming nights for the first time ever, as well as running our first X-Wing tournament – the Kessel Run!  We will give back to the community with our Warmachine & Hordes Foodmachine charity event this coming Saturday.  The new Warhammer 40,000 Call to Arms has begun, and there’s a couple little things called Christmas & New Years coming up this month as well (perhaps you’ve heard of them?).

Pay special note to the modified hours on most of the days at the end of the month.  We will be opened for additional hours leading up to Christmas, and just after.

To help you out with your holiday shopping we will once again be offering special deals and holiday draws to give you some incentive to include us in your Christmas shopping.  To start with you will get additional store credit whenever you make a purchase over $100.  Additionally you will get ballots to try and win one of four $50.00 Black Knight Games gift cards to be drawn on January 2nd.  Have a look at the entire Gift Guide below for more details:

Board Game Review: Eclipse

The galaxy has been a peaceful place for many years. After the ruthless Terran–Hegemony War (30.027–33.364), much effort has been employed by all major spacefaring species to prevent the terrifying events from repeating themselves. The Galactic Council was formed to enforce precious peace, and it has taken many courageous efforts to prevent the escalation of malicious acts. Nevertheless, tension and discord are growing among the seven major species and in the Council itself. Old alliances are shattering, and hasty diplomatic treaties are made in secrecy. A confrontation of the superpowers seems inevitable – only the outcome of the galactic conflict remains to be seen. Which faction will emerge victorious and lead the galaxy under its rule?

A game of Eclipse places you in control of a vast interstellar civilization, competing for success with its rivals.  Players explore new star systems, research technologies, and build spaceships to wage war.  For anyone who’s played Twilight Imperium before, this game owes much to it.  Each player starts out in a home system—an octagonal hex in a largely unexplored galaxy of yet unplaced hexes.  Players, each representing factions of a galactic council, take turns exploring (placing down new tiles), researching technologies, upgrading the blueprints for ships, building new ships, or moving ships.  When a new planetary system is explored a player may also spend an influence tile to take control of it, and then use colony ships to take control of planets in the newly influenced system.

What makes Eclipse particularly clever is the game’s system of resource management.  Each action taken using influence tiles reveals the debt of a growing empire.  When colonizing planets, players remove small wooden cubes from a similar tracker, revealing increased income.  In a style similar to Ticket to Ride, these resources are tracked on the edge of each player’s race-mat.  Because players rarely have to take manual tally of income or expenses, game play is considerably faster than other games of the same scope.

Good, Bad, Ugly, Planta?

Each race in the game comes with a handful unique advantage, from rapidly expanding plant people to wealthy oligarchs.  For a simpler starting experience, every player has the option of flipping over the race-mat and playing as a faction of the splintered Terran forces (humans).  Terran races have advantages of their own, but are a little more straightforward.

During the course of the game, it is likely you will encounter each other.  While ship combat takes place using D6s at the end of each round, you’re always welcome to offer a potential opponent a trade agreement.  Trade agreements grant both players an ambassador token, worth a victory point at the end of the game and a resource during the game.  Later in the game if either trade partner wants to break the agreement that player may; that player gains the traitor card (worth minus 2 victory points), and both players lose ambassador tokens.  This creates an interesting sort of subtle diplomacy.  I’ve seen players get wiped almost off the board for refusing a trade agreement, and I’ve watched a player assume a trade agreement kept them safe, only for a sudden (but inevitable?) betrayal.

Upgrading ships is another fun mini-game within Eclipse.  Adding extra hull points to ships will let them take more hits, adding stronger weapons will either let you roll more dice, or let your hits inflict more damage, and adding targeting computers will let those hits inflict more damage, but you must always ensure you stay within the power limitations of your ships’ generator.  Some of these upgrades are available to all players, some must be researched first.  Some races even come with differently configured ships.

Tim plays games. Rawr!At the end of the game victory points are tallied up.  Players gain points for colonized systems, certain advancements, major military victories, or focused technological development.  Eclipse plays in roughly two hours with an experienced group, although your first game can take longer.  I’d recommend it for anyone over the age of 14, and for 2 – 6 players.

The Hobbit Battle Game – Coming Dec 1st

 

The Hobbit is coming to theatres this December, and I am sure that most of you, like me, are excited to see more of Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth. Games Workshop, having been partners with the Lord of the Rings trilogy from the beginning are diving right in with The Hobbit as well. The Hobbit Battle Game will have two major releases as well as several additional miniatures.  The first is a massive hard-cover rulebook called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  The second is a starter set that includes a rules packet as well as plenty of miniatures called The Hobbit: Escape from Goblin Town.  Like the 40K Dark Vengeance starter set there will be a limited ed. version that preceded the normal set, which will presumably have an extra limited edition miniature in it.  Note: the Video indicates November 24th, which was going to the the day that the White Dwarf issue is released that reveals what is in the set, this WD issue has been delayed by as much as a week due to Hurricane Sandy, the actual release date is December 1st.

Retail Price
BKG Price
Release Date
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Rulebook (288p.)
$100.00
$89.99
Dec 1st, 2012
The Hobbit: Escape From Goblin Town(Limited Ed.)
$150.00
$135.99
Dec 1st, 2012
The Hobbit: Escape From Goblin Town
$140.00
$125.99
When the Limited Ed. Sells Out
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Paint Set
$50.00
$44.99
Dec 1st, 2012

Pre-Order any of these items by Monday, November 26th and SAVE $5.00 off of the order!

WoW TCG: December Battlegrounds

Hello Heroes!

The November Battlegrounds have been productive on working out the bugs in the system. Thank you to all who have participated. Now that we have worked out how everything works, we are changing the format of Battlegrounds to CLASSIC! That’s right! Any card ever printed is LEGAL!!! So if you were left out of this month because you didn’t have a Core legal deck, you can now come join us this month. Come in, have fun and win prizes.

We will see you on Tuesday!

– Erik, Death Knight of Black Knight Games

X-Wing Kessel Run Pre-View Tournament

Black Knight Games will be running our first ever tournament for FFGs great new X-Wing game!  In X-Wing players take control of a squad of ships from either the rebellion or the empire, and battle it out in epic space duels.  X-Wing has been extremely popular, and with the near release of new ships like Slave 1 and the Millenium Falcon players will have even more tricks in their arsenal.  This event will preview the new ships, allowing the victorious players to actually take them as prizes before they are even released!  Here are the details:

When: Saturday, December 22nd, 11:00am – 6:00pm

Bring: A 100 point force, including all relevant tokens, measuring devices, pilots etc.

Entry Fee: $10.00 / $8.00 for Stronghold Members

Rounds: 3 Rounds + Final.  In the Final the two players will use the new ships (Slave 1 & 2 Tie Interceptors VS. the Millenium Falcon & 2 A-Wings)

Prizes: The top ace will get to choose any of the six ships used in the final to keep, followed by the runner-ups, until the top six players all get a ship!

This is a bit of a test run to see if X-Wing has what it takes to have regular events and tournaments, so if you really want to see us running more X-Wing events in the future make sure you attend!

Blood Bowl: Dungeon Bowl All-Star Game

With Season 1 of the Hammer Bowl league for Blood Bowl wrapping up plans are already in the works for season 2, which will begin in January.  Given the massive success of the first season, and the many many players wishing to join in the fun with the next season we are anticipating a very impressive turn out.  If you are interested in registering for season 2 you may do so now in the shop.

But, what to do until then?  We wanted to fan the flame a bit, so we will be running a very fun event in December, the DungeonBowl All Star Game!  Just like any sport the fans of Blood Bowl love their players.  By now each team has a player or two that are on the verge of superstardom, and what better way to award the cheering throng than with an All Star Game?

When: December 8th, 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Entry Fee: None!

Bring: Your Blood Bowl team from this season, or if you didn’t play this year the one you plan to use next season.  Depending on attendance each participant will use 1-4 players to fill out one of the two all-star teams.  Teams will be cross-conference.  This is an all-star game so we want the best players from each team!

Results: The league officials have the best apothecaries on-hand, so no injuries will last long-term, even death.  No players earn Star Player Points either. This game will not change or endanger your players for the following season.

Fractured Leg Preview Issue

DungeonBowl: DungeonBowl is a game of Blood Bowl played deep in the labyrinth of a dungeon.  DungeonBowl has additional rules in how it plays (like teleporters, chests hiding the ball, balls bouncing off walls etc.  We will not be using everything in this rule-set, but you can read the official DungeonBowl rules here to get an idea of how it will work.

The Fractured Leg: We will be publishing a weekly Blood Bowl sports page during the upcoming season.  The Fractured Leg will keep you up to date every week on standings, stories, obituaries, betting, and even bounties.  To pre-view the upcoming season, the playoffs, and the Dungeon Bowl we have prepared a special Preview Edition, just click the link!

 

 

MTG: Drafting tips in Return to Ravnica

Hate drafting first picks?

So, for some reason you’ve decided you want to do more drafting.  That’s great.  I bet you’re having a lot of fun.  What’s that?  You’re interested in winning more?  Well, I’d be more than happy to give some advice.

Without repeating myself too much don’t get narrowed into colours too quickly.  Sometimes you open pack one and it contains a Vraska.  The natural impulse is to start drafting a Golgari deck.  But if the player to your left picks up all the good Golgari cards, your deck is going to end up 97.5% bad.  Instead, look for drafting signals.  Signals can be tricky, but at the most basic a colour (or guild) is “open” (available to be drafted) if no one is taking the really good cards from it.  Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to cut (or just splash a colour for) the pack one bomb rare if you’re not seeing support for it coming to you.

The above sort of implies you know what the good cards in a set are.  Learn what cards are good.  This is mostly about evaluating commons and uncommons because frankly, rare cards are rare.  Some are great and getting passed great rare cards sends a pretty strong signal, but knowing the other cards is both more subtle, and more important.  When opening packs outside of a draft, try evaluating the best cards with some friends.  If flying important in this set?  What does this creature block?  With all the fast Rakdos decks, how relevant is the lifegain on this card?  How many cards answer a 3/3?  Can you splash for this in Izzet?  Everyone has different answers here, but having a conversation about it will help you develop good drafting strategy.

There are some really strong cards that cost 6 – 8 mana and just take over a game.  You should draft those.  That said, pay attention to your mana curve.  Ideally you want a few one-drops (cards playable on turn one) a lot of two-three drops, and a handful of “top-end” cards to finish a game with.  This isn’t an evaluation of the relative power of the card.  This tip is about being able to play something on as many turns as possible.  Not interacting with your opponent is rarely a good strategy in limited (note: I said rarely good, not never good).

Tim plays Azorius. Seriously guys, it isn't a prison deck!

And my list tip for today is simple: have a plan.  Ask yourself a few questions as you pass cards around the table.  How am I going to win?  Does this card contribute to that strategy?  How am I going to deal with my opponent?

Black Knight Games hosts Friday Night Magic every week.  Weeks alternate between standard and booster draft.  Details of Magic events at BKG can be found here, on the events page.  When playing in FNM events, Tim can be found forcing U/W contrary to all advice posted here.  Listen to what he says, not what he does.  

Call to Arms, One Ends Another Begins

Call to Arms: Dropzone Commander is finished!  Congratulations to the six participants that were victorious.  It was a bumpy ride with publisher shortages on inventory and a couple of postponements, but you persevered and now your armies are ready for battle!  For all of those interested in Dropzone Commander remember that we have a league beginning in five days called Retake the Cradle Worlds run by yours truly (I guess I had better finish my army, being one of the defeated in this C2A…).  It should be a great time, so come one come all!

What better way to end 2012 than with a Call to Arms for our most lasting and successful game: Warhammer 40,000? This Call to Arms army building league will give existing players and new players a great opportunity to get a new army put together. What makes Call to Arms events so great is that it is both a great deal (you get more bang for your buck), but it also adds motivation in that you don’t want to publicly fail to finish AND it’s motivation to see others succeeding. So do you have what it takes to heed our Call to Arms?  Sign up Today!

WMH: Foodmachine 2012

 We are renewing Foodmachine for another year, so break out your can-openers and open up ‘jacks for charity!  Foodmachine is an annual food-drive event where participants buy in with canned-goods, and can donate more canned-goods to get all sorts of great perks in-game to help them in their goal to be Foodmachine Champ!  This is the 7th year for Foodmachine, and the second year that BKG will participate.  Here are the details:

When: Sat, December 1st, 11:00am – 7:00pm

Game Size: 35pts

Entry Fee: $20.00 – Players may substitute 1 can/package of non-perishable food for $1.00 ea.

Charity Event: All money and food raised from the event will be donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Cheat for Charity: One of the best parts of Foodmachine is that we not only let you cheat, we encourage it!  There is an entire list of special perks a player can get throughout the tournament as long as they keep donating more cans.  Here is the full list of cheats.

Prizes: There will be some fun prizes, coins, and give-aways to be announced later, but the majority of our efforts will be to simply raise lots and lots of food and money for a worthy charity at this important time of year.

So join us for Foodmachine 2012, it’s the most generous gaming you can do!