IKEA: Making gaming great again

In case you were unaware, there is currently a Petition for IKEA, on Change.org, to make an affordable multifunctional table for gaming.

Started only a week ago by Brad Smokely, his IKEA petition has over 19,500 signatures.

There have been many attempts either by private companies or by Kickstarter to develop a high-quality multi-functional table for both dining and gaming, but most have been out of the price range of most of the community.

IKEA is a  leader in multi-functional furniture at affordable prices, and it is the hope of the petition that IKEA will take notice and fill this gap thru their international stores. The gaming community is already a heavy user of IKEA’s KALLAX product as it is an efficient way to store and display their gaming collections. 

An affordable multi-function gaming table designed by IKEA would not only be an incredible addition to their line of products, but would also be an essential item for people who play card games, board games, and tabletop Wargames.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave

Joining forces…

The Man Cave is pleased to announce that we have joined up with Nerdai as a content contributor.

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Nerdai is a group of gamers based in Dublin, Ireland. We produce podcasts, videos and run the Nerdai site (which can be found here!) which hosts reviews and articles based around games and other such nonsense. Nerdai are an open group and thus, are always looking for new people to get involved.

On top of this Nerdai run a weekly gaming evening
every Tuesday in the Thomas House Bar at 86 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.

Nerdai also run the annual Non Con, which is a weekend event dedicated to all types of gaming.

So if you get a chance, why not give one or all of the links a click, and as the saying goes ‘Like and Subscribe‘… Seriously, Like and Subscribe, otherwise I’ll have to send The Night Lords to your house.

Until next time.

– from The Man Cave

What is Syrinscape?…

I’ve recently been trying my hand at being a Games Master/ Dungeon Master (GM/ DM). I got myself a copy of Fantasy AGE + Titansgrave (more about that in a later post).

I suck at it at the moment, I’ve gotten a bit better tho.

While looking thru YouTube for some helpful GM/ DM tips, i came across a video for Syrinscape.

So what is Syrinscape?

The short, simple answer would be a ‘Sound Board’ for games, whether thats tabletop games, board games or role playing games. The true answer is so much more.

Syrinscape is a sound app/ player that adds ambient background sound and soundtracks to your tabletop gaming experience.

Syrinscape uses ‘Sound Sets’ to conjure aural landscapes, from ethereal forests, stony shorelines to dank vermin-filled dungeons, spooky depths of the underdark and even old abandoned space stations.

As a side note, I should tell you that Syrinscape have a range of ‘Sound Sets’ for the RPG system Pathfinder.

For this post I’ll be taking about my experiences with their Sci- Fi player as that’s the one I’ve been playing around with on my Android tablet.

Currently Syrinscape has 3 different versions (fantasy, sci- fi and board games) of its player. In each player there is a number of ‘Sound Sets’. Each ‘Sound Set’ comes with ambient music and sound effects, and each set comes with a sub-set.

To me what really makes Syrinscape shine, is it’s customization.

Your not limited to just a looped pre-recorded musical track. Although you can go that route. Your able to create your own custom ‘Sound Sets’ with music and ambient sounds by mixing and matching what suits your needs from different ‘Sound Sets’.

With the Sci-Fi player you get 2 free ‘Sound Sets’ when you download it. You get ‘Shipboard’ and ‘Blaster Battle’.

Just by using these 2 generic sets, you can set up a fight scene for your game with lazer fire and explositions or add the trum of machines and engines.

Additional ‘Sound Sets’ are available from Syrinscape thru either a once off payment or thru a subscription.

If you get a chance why not drop by their website here! and have a look for yourself.

Syrinscape is available for Windows + Mac, and their App is available for Android and Apple.

Until next time, keep rolling those dice.

– from The Man Cave

Endure the Stars on Kickstarter

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I came across ‘Endure the Stars’ on Kickstarter quite by accident, and I’m glad I did.

‘Endure the Stars’ by Grimlord Games, is a 1- 5 player Sci- fi, Co- op, survival, horror game set aboard the ruined spaceship the N.W.E. Hikari.

Players pick up the story one year into the Hikari’s planet colonisation efforts and everything has gone to hell in a hand basket. Scientists aboard the ship were attempting to genetically engineer life forms to explore the planet below, unbeknown to the ships general populace. A series of tragedies lead to the truth being discovered and the ensuing chaos resulted in the creatures escaping from containment, where they (of course) rampaged through the ship, killing anyone and everyone they came across. Now the remaining crew live in small groups, salvaging whatever they can to survive.

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As a Sci- fi, horror fan so far I’m sold on the premise and artwork.

In Endure the Stars, you take control of one or more of the survivors and attempt to complete missions by exploring the ruins of the ship. There are 5 unique character classes, each with their own special abilities and skills. First up you have the Captain…

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… Then we have the Medic…

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… We have a Psychic…
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… Then the Engineer…

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… And finally, but not least we have the Marine…

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The ‘Baddies’ of the game are escaped genetic experiments called the GEPs. The GEPs or Genetically Engineered Planetary Explorer Candidates, were originally designed to help mankind colonise new and hostile worlds. In theory GEPs could be grown and tailored to whatever conditions a planet had to offer but that was before they escaped confinement and went on a murderous rampage. In the game there is 3 types of GEPs (with a fourth as a stretch goal). First up we have the small but numerous Swarmer class…

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… Then we have the fast and mean Jaeger class…

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… And finally the big papa of the GEPs, the Titan

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So, how does the game play?

Characters have a number of action points to use during their activations. Characters can move, search, trade with one another and attack for example. Characters also have an Active, a Passive or a Crisis ability (a 1 time only ability) which are represented on their Dashboards (or character cards) which gives each character its own personality.

The GEPs, on the other hand operate differently. At the start of a game there are no GEPs models in play, rather they are represented on the game board as sensor ping tokens. These sensor pings tokens at first move randomly on the board till one of the games main mechanics comes into play.

A main mechanic in the game is ‘Noise’. Certain actions or cards in the game will generate ‘Noise’, and the GEPs are attracted to ‘Noise’. So you have to be as quiet as possible, unless you want to be eaten.

To me, this fits in perfectly with the premise of the game. After all, in real life how long would you last, if you went stomping around, making a racket on a ship full of murderous creatures?

Once within ‘Line of Sight’ of a character, ping tokens are flipped over to reveal, what horrors are hunting you. This is were the ‘Resolve’ mechanic kicks in.

As you might expect trying to survive on a ship full of murderous creatures might leave you a bit on edge. A Characters ‘Resolve’ is how far they are from losing it totally.

The setting of the game, the N.W.E. Hikari is represented in game by a series of game tiles. The game tiles have been designed in a modular style, which allows for near limitless map sizes and set-ups. Games can last anywhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the chosen scenario and difficulty. Every round an ‘Event Card’ is drawn, to simulate the ravaged condition of the Hikari. These cards can be anything from a life support failure, to lights going out, to a gravity failure, even to doors locking down (possibly locking you in a room full GEPs).

All in all, your certainly getting bang for your bucks in this box…

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Endure the Stars met its funding goal of £45, 000 and has past its first 2 stretch goals, an additional Character (the Scout)…

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and an Accomplishment deck.

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With 17 days left on their campaign there’s still plenty of time to back their Kickstarter. So why not drop by and have a look yourself at their Kickstarter page here!

– from The Man Cave

Golem Arcana – Part 1 The Game

So what is Golem Arcana?

Golem Arcana is a digitally enhanced miniatures board game by Harebrained Schemes that uses the power of a Smart phone or Tablet to deliver an experience that is unique and engaging. So what does that mean?

Basically to me it means Golem Arcana is a hybrid system of a physical board game with an electronic interface.

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In the Core Box Set you get the following:

* 6 Prepainted miniatures
* 6 Double sided map tiles
* 1 TDI Stylis
* 6 Golem cards
* 2 Control cards
* 2 Dice
* Tokens
* 1 Lorebook and quick start guide

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The electronic part comes in the form of a free App that’s available from either ITunes or the Google Play Store. The App is your electronic rulebook, Army builder, allows you to check for nearby events and thanks to the last update even allows you to create your very own scenario’s.

So what is it like? You might ask…

At its core Golem Arcana is a point based army building board game. 2 players assemble armies based upon an agreed point level (500, 1000, 2000 or 3000 points). These armies are comprised of Golems, Knights (sorcerers who pilot the Golems into battle), Ancient Ones (the gods of the game world) and Relic’s (magical artefacts that are carried by golems). Who then fight a scenario. Sounds simple but its not.

Where Golem Arcana excels is that it takes the army building options of a game like Warhammer 40k and combines it with the synergies of a game like Warmachine. So when building your army you could take a 50 point Golem with a 0 point knight or you could take the same Golem with a Knight worth X points, add a Relic worth Y points and an Ancient One that costs Z points. Suddenly going from Meh to Ka-pow. While building your army you have so many choices and options you won’t notice your points going.

During a game the Golem Arcana App is your rulebook. It let’s you know if you have line of sight to your opponent. Advises you on legal movements of your Golems. It keeps track of damaged dealt and received. Blessings and Curses in play. Players Victory Points. As well as allowing you to check the cooldowns on all your Golems abilities and special attacks etc.

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Based on the point limit of a game players have a set amount of Action Points. In a 500 point game you have 6 AP’s (Action Points). Action points can be used whatever way a player wants. They can be used to move golems once or multiple times, used to have a Golem attack once or multiple times, used to activate multiple Golems etc. Action Points are a finite resource and how you manage them is key to victory as there is a build up associated with using your Golems. An example of how it works is:

In the above picture is a Winged Preserver. It’s Lightning Bolt ranged attack costs 1 AP to use for the first time. If you wanted to use it again it would cost 2 AP, a third time would cost 4 AP of your 6 AP, and that’s before you activate any other Golems.

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Mana is an important aspect in Golem Arcana. Mana is needed in order to activate the abilities of Golem Knights and in order to use the Blessings and Curses of the Ancient Ones. Mana can be obtained in a couple of ways:

* from Mana Wells (the glowing circle in the above picture)
* a portion of Mana can be recouped from a destroyed Golem
* some in game events offer mana for a price
* any unused action points are converted to mana at the end of your turn

Mana is primarily harvested from mana wells. By having a golem occupy the region a well is located in, each turn you receive a portion of the mana but each well has only a finite amount to be harvested. Blessings and Curses of the Ancient Ones are fueled by mana. Both a Blessing and a Curse can be placed on a region (except water), so you can buff your Golem in a region while Debuffing an enemy Golem.

Overall I find it a great game to play with friends and family. The game is very friendly to first time players. There are beginner scenarios, as well as scenarios for all point levels making the game accessible to all skill levels (my 7 + 10 year old daughters can play the game against me very well). The only downside I have towards the game (but it’s not really a downside) is that it wants me to spend more money but I’m happy enough to do this.

– from The Man Cave

Gamersworld, Dublin

Situated in Dublin City Centre, on Jervis st you’ll find Gamersworld. The largest store in Dublin City Centre that’ll meet all your gaming needs whether that’s tabletop wargames, board games, card games or accessories.

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A picture of the front room of Gamersworld. Where all your gaming needs can be met whether that's a tabletop game, a board game or a card game.

Open 7 days a week, with a number of gaming clubs and groups based out of Gamersworld there’s always a game of some sort to be had. Some of the games played here are Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, Warmachine, Hordes, X- Wing, Star Trek: Attack Wing, Magic: the gathering, Yu- Gi- Oh and Pokemon.

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Just some of the modelling supplies and other game systems that Gamersworld supply.

The staff of Gamers world are friendly and helpful. Always willing to offer advice and suggestions for games and accessories.

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Just some of the board games Gamersworld stock.

If your looking for something that Gamersworld doesn’t currently have they are happy to order it in for you.

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Gamersworld carry a great selection of Privateer press items.

The evening times can be quite busy in Gamersworld and gaming tables fill up quickly but for a minimal fee you’re able to book a table for the evening.

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The gaming room of Gamersworld. Where everyday people get together to play their tabletop, board and card games.

So if your in the city centre why not drop by, have a look around, maybe even pick up a game.

Gamersworld, 1 Jervis St, Dublin 1
PH no: (01) 804 4540

Opening Times:

Monday : 11 am to 6 pm
Tuesday : 11 am to 10 pm
Wednesday : 11 am to 10 pm
Thursday : 11 am to 10 pm
Friday : 11 am to 10 pm
Saturday : 10 am to 6 pm
Sunday : 11 am to 6 pm

So what is there for me part uno + deux = trois

So what is there for me? This time round were going to have a quick look at board games. Everyone remembers games like Snakes and Ladders and Monopoly, right? You have a board, some game pieces, you roll dice, simple yes? Not any more.

Board games come in all shades nowadays. If you want a horror, a survival, an adventure, a co-op board game there’s one out there for you. Not only have the genres of board games increased but also the quality of its contents. No more just a couple of dice and a plastic peg. Nowadays board games can include models, tokens and event cards. The game board themselves are high quality. Often the boards will have regions, location’s or something in between like a modular board.

Examples of some genres of board games are:

* Space Hulk (by Games Workshop Ltd) -an action board game for 2 players were one player commands a squad of genetically engineered super soldiers (Space Marines) and the opposing player commands a horde of aliens (Genestealers). The game is based on a derelict space ship and recreates the battles between these factions. The game is played thru a number of missions which add to the narrative of the game.

* Talisman (by Fantasy Flight Games) – an adventure board game for 2 to 6 players that’s set in a high fantasy medieval world. Players choose from a number of different classes of characters (thief, mage, warrior etc). The goal of the game is to move around the outer world of the board working your way to the middle world and finally to the inner world collecting equipment, weapons and companions in order to claim the Crown of Command.

* Letters from Whitechapel (by Fantasy Flight Games) – a murder mystery board game for 2 to 6 players. Set in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888 – the scene of the Jack the Ripper murders. One player plays as Jack the Ripper and his goal is to take 5 victims before being caught.

* Settlers of Catan (by Mayfair Games) – a strategy/ resource/ negotiations game for 3 to 4 players where you attempt to settle the island of Catan. Guide your brave settlers to victory by using trading and shrewd development. Use dice to gain resources of grain, wool, ore, lumber and brick or by trading with other players but beware you never know when another player will rob you or block your development.

As I said there’s a board game for all tastes and I’ve just named a few.

– from The Man Cave