Monday, February 17, 2014

Every 100 Games Series - Omen: A Reign of War

My 4,800th game played was Omen: A Reign of War. A game published by Small Box Games and one that seems to have several editions and variations. The one I'm going to review though is the Olympus Edition.

Game Play
Omen is a two player card game about ancient times where you are competing to complete achievements of the gods while at the same time win battles over 3 different cities. On your turn you take 6 steps towards that goal. You draw cards or get money, play cards, activate your oracles, see you got an achievement, fight the city battles, and then sacrifice a card from your hand to either get more cards or more money. The game ends win one person achieves 5 of the 6 achievements or 2 cities are depleted. most games take somewhere between 10-30 minutes to complete.

The Olympus Edition that I have comes in a simple box with gold lettering on just the front. The cards are all good quality cards and it comes with some really nice gold coins. The art on the game is really good in my opinion. It is very water-color looking and depicts all kinds of ancient heroes and monsters. I've sleeved my copy, because it is going to be played a lot and shuffled a decent amount as well. There are 66 unique cards, plus some extra spirit/hero cards as well.

Strategy & Tactics
This game plays just like a CCG, but without all the collecting. You can even do a draft format in the beginning to set up your deck and play one deck vs another deck. If you don't have the time for that, you can just play for a sing draw deck between both players. There are plenty of tactical moves in the game, as ou get in those situations where you can only do what you can with the cards in your hand currently. However, I think there are also some really big strategic moves that come from the game. Especially the more you play and the more you know what cards are in the game. There are some really powerful cards that you need to plan around. Either your opponent having them or you using them to wipe the floor with your opponent.

I absolutely love the game. The art and the game play are right up my ally. Some of the specific mechanisms in the game I enjoy the most are the decision to use city cards (making them worth less points) or to not use them and making them twice the value at the end of the game. I like the crazy combinations that can come up as you play, either destroying your opponents, or snowballing your reinforcements into a huge force to take a city by force. The game play is quick and statisfy. When I hear someone say Omen, I know think that is a good sign that I'll have a chance to play a great game! Just so I don't sound absolutely over the top though, the one thing I'd improve with Omen is it's rule book. I still find things I've missed. Partly because of all the card interactions, but partly because I don't think the rule book is the best.

CCG Players - Buy it now! If you can find it. This is what you'd want and this is what you'd enjoy. Something to play during that bye round at a tourney of your favorite CCG.

Couples - This one has potential for gaming with your spouse. It isn't as number crunching as some of my other favorites like Traders of Carthage or Jaipur, so that can be a plus. However, it is much more combo-oriented, which I think can be a turn off for some people.

Hipsters - Get this game. You'll be one of maybe 500 people that own it. It'll take your hipster level to the next level.

*Every 100 Games Series - Back in March of 2006 I began tracking each session of the various board and card games I play. I soon got the idea to write a review on every 100th game I played, one because I like writing reviews, and two because it is interesting to see what game I review next. You can find a list of all of them here: Every 100 Games Series Reviews.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Kaylee and the Moon

This is definitely part of the "life" portion of this blog. This last week it was my turn to drive Kaylee to Cubbies (sorta a Christian boy/girl scouts) on Wednesday night. As we pulled out of our drive, Kaylee noticed the moon in the sky even though it was still daylight. No big deal, I say, "yep, there it is."

Well, by the time we pull out of our neighborhood, she starts getting really excited. "Dad, the moon is following us!" I try to explain that it is so far away, that it doesn't really matter how far we go, it'll still be there with us. She of course says, "oh" in that 4 year-old way, that many of us still use when we're 30 years-old, that means we don't have a clue.

As we start down the highway, she says, "Dad, it is still there. I'm watching it and it is still there." At this point, I've given up on explaining and just agree with her. Then we turn on Meridian from the highways and she exclaims, "That stinkin' moon! It will not stop following us!" I'm laughing at this point. She is still trying to figure it out. Offering explanations of perhaps Jesus is making the moon follow us or somehow the Earth is making the moon follow us.

Now that I've wrote this down, it'll be a good memory many years down the road. It'll be following us, just like the moon was that day.