Sunday, October 17, 2010

Taking to the Seas Again...for the First Time

Way back in 2004, Wizkids released Pirates of the Spanish Main. It was billed as the worlds first Constructible Strategy Game. The game was sold primarily in packs, like trading cards, containing plasticard with punch out components that could be assembled into ships and sea monsters and the like. It was an extremely creative idea...which is something creator Jordan Weisman is known for.

The game was a modest hit for Wizkids, resulting in several expansions over the next 4 years including an officially licensed Pirates of the Caribbean expansion based on the blockbuster movies from Disney.

Somehow, despite my general pirates obsession (spurred by those same Pirates movies) I never picked up the game. Even during the time I had Alley Cat Games I never picked any up. I always thought the concept was cool, 'though.

Well, there's a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie coming out next summer called On Stranger Tides. I'm currently reading the 1988 novel by Tim Powers upon which the new movie is (loosely) based. So, the other day when my daughter and I were in Target and I happened to see some old Wizkids Pirates for insanely cheap, I picked them up.

I haven't played a game yet, or even really had the opportunity to read the rules, but I did sit at our dining room table with my daughter and put together a couple of ships and we had a great time doing that. I hope I can find a PDF of the most current rules online because, dang, the text on the included rulesheet is small for these aging eyes!

I'm hoping to track down the awesome gaming mat produced by Gale Force 9 for the game. It was really well done and adds, I feel, a lot to the experience of the game. They also made a couple of Island terrain sets. I love that kind of stuff.

So, hopefully soon I'll be having some adventures on the High Seas. I wonder if the new Wizkids has any plans to bring the game back. Next year, with the new movie, would be a smart time to do it.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wizkids Announcements

Alliance Game Distributors just held one of their Retailer Summits following the recent New York Comic Con. Generally we get a fair bit of news after one of these events, and this one is no different.

Wizkids had several announcements at the show.

The next Marvel Heroclix set has been announced: Giant-sized X-Men! When a comic book of that name was released back in 1975 it altered the comic book landscape forever. What impact will a Heroclix set of the same name have? Time will tell, but this promises to be an excellent set. Also this set will introduce the Super Booster. Each brick will consist of 8 regular booster packs and 1 Super Booster! According to Wizkids:

There are 8 different Super Boosters (all of which are blind and have unique content). We moved to a new configuration b/c we wanted a way to deliver “extreme” content without the “extreme” price increase. We think we struck the right balance.

As an example of what's in a Super Booster, check out this image of the upcoming Apocalypse figure! This thing is AMAZING! Be sure to go to and click on Apocalypse and view this bad boy in all it's hi-res glory. Fantastic! The Fastball Special clix is pretty darn sweet as well.
Also announced: Street Fighter Heroclix! Now, I've long been a fan of the Street Fighter property (Jean Claude Van Damme not withstanding) so this holds some interest for me, if for no other reason than to collect the figures. I'm curious how it'll play, but it is said to be compatible with Heroclix.

Another couple games I'm really looking forward to: Star Trek: Expeditions (a Euro-styled co-operative game designed by master game designer Reiner Knizia) and the starship combat game Star Trek: Fleet Captains. As someone who's always wanted to get into Star Fleet Battles or Federation Commander, but has been somewhat put off by clunky rules or too-much emphasis on power allocation over blowing Klingons out of the stars...I am really stoked for Fleet Captains. I saw some of the prototype miniatures for this at Gen!

It is so good to have Wizkids back...and, in this gamer's opinion, better than ever!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

And...We're Back!

My apologies for the lack of updates this past week. I've been dealing with a rash of computer troubles lately. Both my exterior hard drive, and the drive in my desktop iMac died on me. Not only that but in between those events, I dropped my iPhone and cracked the screen.

Not fun.

I got my iMac back today from the fine folk at MacMobile in Columbus, Ohio and am in the process of catching up and getting back up to speed. Watch for regular updates soon!