New Calendar: February 2013

February 13 Calendar sm

Blood Bowl: Fractured Leg Issue 3

Fractured Leg Issue 3


The latest issue of The Fractured Leg sports page is ready!  Check the current standings, the early leaders in the individual player races, and the bounties that have been put on the heads of some of the most pesky players!  Find out about the team that will replace the dearly departed Daws of Waaagh, place your bets on this week’s Golden Game, and hear about on-the-field antics with Gobbo on da Green.

It’s all covered in the Fractured Leg, so click the image for all the latest!

Hammer Bowl Season 2 Player’s Guide

MTG Gatecrash: Sealed Decks with a Plan

Gatecrash Header2

This weekend is the Magic pre-release for Gatecrash, the second block in the Return to Ravnica series.  With 249 cards in the set, Gatecrash is another large set and will be drafted on it’s own.  Sealed packs and singles for this set may be purchased starting on February 1st, when we’ll also be hosting the first FNM Gatecrash-legal Standard of the season (that includes special release card promos).

Gold Hybrid

So what’s Gatecrash all about?  I’ve talked before about the Ravnica block being a “gold set,” but what does that mean?  At the most basic, it includes gold cards and hybrid mana cards (pictured left).

Both traditional gold cards and hybrid mana cards are multicoloured (and count as all of their colours at all times).  Gold cards are pretty easy to understand.  Mortus Strider is blue and black.  You need one black mana and one blue mana (along with one more mana of any type) to cast it.  Anything that affects black or blue spells will affect it; anything that affects, say, “nonblue” spells won’t affect it, because it is blue, even though it’s also another color.

Arrows of Justice is also both red and white, but it is easier to cast.  You can pay one white mana and two of any other to cast it, or you can pay one red mana and two of any other.  Cards like this can fit well into a red or a white deck and are easy to draft or play without requiring you to commit to more colours.

Gatecrash also introduces a new mechanic for each of the two-colour guilds in this set.  extort

The Orzhov Syndicate introduces Extort.

Whenever you cast a spell, the extort abilities of permanents you control will trigger.  As the trigger resolves, you’ll be given the chance to pay W or B (extort cards, regardless of color, let you pay either white or black).  If you decide not to pay, nothing happens.  If you do have a spare mana to pay, each of your opponents will lose 1 life, and you’ll gain that much life.  Each trigger lets you pay up to one mana; you can’t pump more mana into it unless you have multiple cards with extort in play.

This mechanic is as much about winning a slow, long game as it is about staying in that game with life gained.  If that’s your style, you’ll fit in well with the ghost council.

The House Dimir uses Cipher.

cipherAs a spell you control with cipher resolves, you may exile it and choose a creature you control.  The cipher card is then encoded on that creature, and whenever that creature deals combat damage to a player, its controller may copy the encoded card and cast the copy without paying its mana cost.  This ability is a bit tricky.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • After you copy the encoded spell, it remains encoded on the creature (whether you cast the copy or not).
  • If more than one spell is encoded on a single creature, you can copy any or all of them when that creature deals combat damage to a player. You can cast the copies in any order.
  • The copies created by the triggered ability can’t be encoded on a creature.
  • If you cast a spell with cipher, encode it onto a creature, attack with that creature, and deal damage with that creature, you’ll get to cast that spell twice in one turn.
  • The spell’s instructions are followed in order, so exiling it and encoding it on a creature is the last thing you’ll do while resolving it.

The Gruul Clans just Bloodrush.Bloodrush

Bloodrush is an ability you’ll see on red and green creatures.  For a cost stipulated on the card you give an attacking creature a bonus, which means it can be activated only during combat and only targeting a creature that’s currently attacking.  The bloodrush ability isn’t a spell and can’t be countered by things that only counter spells.  It uses the stack and can be responded to normally.

The Boros Legion adds Battalion.


Boros creatures with battalion abilities are at their strongest when they attack alongside their allies.  Battalion is an ability word that marks a particular kind of triggered ability.  A creature’s battalion ability triggers when it and at least two other creatures attack.  The bonus from battalion abilities varies from card to card, but the trigger is always the same.

Battalion abilities use the stack and can be responded to normally.

Boros decks making good use of this mechanic will include a lot of creatures, both with the Battalion mechanic and to help support it.  If you’re in these colours, make sure you don’t include too many combat tricks as they’ll take up valuable space for these creatures.

The Simic Combine is Evolve-ing.

Evolve is an ability that triggers whenever another creature enters the battlefield under your control.  Compare the new creature’s power to the evolve

evolvecreature’s power and the new creature’s toughness to the evolve creature’s toughness.  If either or both of those values is higher for the new creature, the ability triggers (it only triggers once for each creature that enters the battlefield, even if that creature’s power and toughness are both higher).

After the ability has gone on the stack and players have a chance to respond to it, it resolves. If the new creature still has a higher power and/or toughness, you’ll put a +1/+1 counter on the evolve creature.

If multiple creatures enter the battlefield at the same time—say, because they’re tokens—evolve triggers separately for each, and the triggers resolve one by one.

Legion of Overpowered

For example, say an effect puts three 2/2 creatures onto the battlefield while you control Cloudfin Raptor.  Each of those creatures has a higher power and/or toughness than the Raptor, so evolve triggers three times.  When the first trigger resolves, Cloudfin Raptor gets a +1/+1 counter.  When the second trigger resolves, Cloudfin Raptor is a 1/2.  The second 2/2 creature token no longer has a greater toughness than Cloudfin Raptor, but its power is still greater, so Cloudfin Raptor gets another +1/+1 counter.  When the third trigger resolves, that 2/2 creature token has neither a greater power or toughness than the now-2/3 Cloudfin Raptor, so no +1/+1 counter is added.

So hopefully that adds a little bit of clarity, both for the pre-release and for future drafts.  Hope to see you all out this weekend, where we get to explore the other half of new Ravnica together.

Blood Bowl: The Fractured Leg Issue 002

Fractured Leg Issue 2 icon

Issue 002 of the Fractured Leg Sports page is here!  This issue previews all of the trophies that will be available to be won, previews some of the early favorites, and gives you something to bet on with Midas the Mean’s Golden Touch.  With Midas’ article you can actually bet gold coins from your Blood Bowl team on The Golden Game each week.  This we we have a match between The Bogenhafen Brute Squad and the vampiric Sylvannian Fangs – PLACE YOUR BETS!

I am also including an updated Player’s Pack correcting a few little errors from the original – nothing major, just trying to keep accurate contact info etc.

Get those game in!

Blood Bowl Season 2 Begins Monday

Blood Bowl 2

Hammer Bowl Season 2 will begin on Monday, so if you are a coach playing this season you should have received a Player Pack by email today (if not click here).  Some notes:

  • The first issue of the Fractured Leg will be out soon.
  • The Results sheets are now available at the store so players can now play games, place bounties, and wager on games.
  • Players should submit a fun team logo for their team.  If they do not by the end of the week I will create one for them.

Good luck, and welcome to season 2!

New Table-Top: Chez Geek

Table-Top is back with an episode featuring Paul & Storm. This time they are playing Chez Geek, the classic game by Steve Jackson Games about young, lazy, nerds trying to slack off the most – so hard for most of us to relate to this one 😉 . As always Black Knight Games has ensured that Chez Geek is available in the store, so it is sitting proudly in our As Seen on Table-Top section!

MTG: Gatecrash Prerelease Info

Gatecrash HeaderWe’ve had a few questions about the prerelease weekend event set for January 26th – January 27th.  Here are all the details.

Entry Fee:  $30 ($25 for Stronghold Members).

What You Get:  The guild packs are very similar to the RTR ones.  They contain:

  • Gatecrash booster packs
  • 1 Guild Booster Pack
  • 1 Promo Card
  • 1 Achievement Card
  • 1 Spindown Life Counter
  • 1 Letter from the Guildmaster
  • 1 Guild Symbol Sticker

When: There are four prerelease event and you are more than welcome to play in all of them:

  • Saturday, January 26th: 9 am – 2 pm
  • Saturday, January 26th: 2 pm – 7 pm
  • Saturday, January 26th: 7 pm – Midnight
  • Sunday, January 27th: 12pm – 5 pm

Prizes:  The most exciting part about a prerelease event is getting to use the new cards in your sealed deck.  The second most exciting part is taking some of the new cards home with you!  At BKG we’re always very generous with our prize support.  You can expect no less from us this year.  While specifics are dependent on attendance, know that we’ll be giving out a ton of packs this year.

New Episode of On The Table

Board Game Review: Smash Up!

Smash Up

Smash Up! is one of my favourite games to come out of GenCon last year.  As a “shufflebuilding” game you take two twenty card decks from two different factions, shuffle them into a forty card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents.  Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience.

This game plays well with between 2 and 4 players.  It’s quite funny to play, but also has an impressive level of strategic depth.  A single game takes about half an hour, but who plays just one game?


Let’s talk about some of the specifics.

Each turn a player may play a Minion (example shown to the Right).  Minions have a power level (degree of Smash-y-ness) on the top left of the card.  Abilities on these Minions mostly happen right after they’re played, although some are Ongoing and happen every turn.  Other Minion abilities might trigger when a Minion is killed or may change how, from where, or when the minion may be played.

Minions are the meat and potatoes of this game.  Having your Pirate King sail over to a base right before it scores can make unwary opponents sad.  Likewise, if the Wizard team plays down an Archmage and gets to take an extra Action every turn it can add up to some dangerous plays.

AlienIn addition to playing a Minion every turn, players may take one Action (example to the left).  These Action cards may let you play extra minions, draw cards, destroy other minions, or generally just mess with your opponents’ plans.  Action cards don’t directly have power, so they can’t be used to score on bases, but some may give extra power to Minions.

During play, Base cards (each with their own difficulties and abilities) are in play. You attempt to have the most power on the Base from your minions when the Base is smashed. Sounds easy? How easy is it when an opponent’s Alien-Ninja decides to Beam Up your minions to other Bases – flat out Assassinate them? What about when the Pirate-Dinosaur player Full Sails in and releases King Rex to stomp your minions into the ground, or when the Wizard-Zombies use their Mystic Power to create an Outbreak, suddenly flooding minions onto the Base from the discard pile? Or what if you faced a Zombie-Dinosaur player instead and he created an Outbreak of massive beasts all at once?!?


At the end of each player’s turn you check to see if a Base will be scored (the Minions there equal or exceed the limit, pictured right).  When a Base is smashed, each player in first, second and third place scores points. Fourth place? Sorry, bro – try harder next time.

Typically games are played to 15 points, although you can agree on a higher number or set a time limit and declare a winner based on points at that time.  Be careful not to score a base if it would let the second place player win the game!

Smash Up! is only $29.99.  We sell it both on our online store and in person.  Stop by and try it out.


Hammer Bowl Season 2!

Blood Bowl 2


Hammer Bowl Season 2 is set to begin!  We are making a last call for coaches!

Registration Deadline: Sunday, January 13th

League Begins: Monday, January 21st

Entry Fee: $5 (includes a set of Hammer Bowl Dice)

Pitch Rental (If you don’t have a copy of Blood Bowl to play with): $10

Game Play: Coaches will be assigned one opponent each week, it will be up the coaches to find a time to meet up and play their game.  Some leeway will be given to allow coaches to get their games in.

Coach Packages: Once the deadline has past all coaches will be given a simple ‘Coaches Package’ with the details and league rules.

Unfortunately last season’s Commissioner Marc is unable to participate this season.  So Jay & Tim from BKG are the new co-commissioners.  This season we will be similar to last season, however we will play a 10 game regular season, followed by a playoffs.  All games must be played at Black Knight Games.  Every team’s roster must also be kept at BKG, which will allow us to easily update the league, and ensure fairness in tracking the progress of teams.

Other Fun Stuff:

-This year we will have a weekly-ish Sports Page called the Fractured Leg.  In it we will update the standings, as well as have several fun columns, and sections to keep you up on league goings-on.

-Within the Fractured Leg we will show the leading contenders for eight different trophies, which are:

The Hammer Bowl: Presented to the team that wins the championship.
The Troll Bowl: Presented to the team with the best record in the regular season.
The Platinum Whistle: Presented to the best coach (Highest team value).
The Emerald Imp: Presented to the most valuable player (Player with most Star Player Points).
The Golden Cleat: Presented to the player with the most Touchdowns.
The Bloody Spike: Presented to the player with the most casualties caused.
The Brass Ball: Presented to the player with the most completions and/or interceptions.
The Orca-Cola Award: Presented to the most sportsman-like coach (as voted by you).

-There will be a fun betting section on the Fractured Leg with a ‘Game of the Week’ that coaches may bet up to $20,000 on each week.

-Coaches may put ‘hits’ on players.  An advertisement will be made in the Fractured Leg with the bounty amount on it.  Any team that takes out the designated player will be paid the bounty from the advertiser.  So yes, you can totally put a bounty on Steve’s werewolf…I know I will…