Friday, December 28, 2007

Change is Finally Coming

Well, quite afew things have come to pass that mean that UTTG will definately be coming back in the new year.

I have made a few more alliances with game designers, game producers, and game players. My new FLGS has a few gaming groups that meet there that I can use to try out the games I will be reviewing. I can get some good videos, and there will be no lack of victims... I mean volunteers.

Another thing is that I just bought my third video camera just for this project. That means I will have my main cam that is a 12 megapixel with good video, as well as two 1.3 megapixel cams of varying resolution. You can see all of the angles of the game then.

Finally, I have the one thing my last attempt was missing, a schedule. I know what games I will review, but that will be a surprise for all of you. The only date I do not know, is when I will begin again.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Support Signatures

Coming Soon.

These sigantures will allow you to advertise for me on forums.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dual Format

I just wanted to let you all know that I have finally come to a decision about how I am going to post my articles.

In order to pull more content from each game and better inform you, I have decided to do articles in both a written format and a video format. I will write out my review, but instead of giving you the boring written rundown I will give you both a simple video demo and and a video of an actual game. Of course, I will not leave the game vid un-edited since I will have to meet size and time requirements and it would just be plain boring to do so. I think I will have to do some kind of play by play like on World Poker Tour with a little of my own style to go along with it (I am more interesting than my first video made out to be, I swear).

In the Month to Come

Well, for my first two vids I will be revisiting Mystical Empire and Draim Arena, since both of them have some interesting developments and just all around nice people working with them.

After I get those out of the way, I have enough free demo .pdf files and stuff from my former FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) that I can do about six or so weeks worth of reviews. Then my new FLGS will be more than happy to supply me with more.

Also, I may have an announcement coming up (the freaking awesome kind). I just need to keep my fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thinking of going "V"

I think I am going to change this into a Vlog, since I always have my video camera with me, and I can actually record the game play. You can then see how evil I can be in my strategy. If I can find out how to post the vids here without a host, that would be great.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Reason I Have Been Away

I have not been on here in some time, and I bet all of those readers I have worked so hard to get have left me by now, and I don't blame them in the least. I just wanted to let you know the reasons why.

I have not been making any money here, in fact I am losing money trying to keep up the game reviews. That coupled with the fact taht I do not have the time to even check out the games that I want to review has just shot me in the butt. But there is some good news.

I will not have the time or the money to keep up with this site in the coming up year, even though I will have more time and money. This is because I am designing my own CCG that I hope to take to market in a couple of years, and I need the money to pay artists and printers, and the time to design the cards.

I hope to pop in here and post a couple of reviews now and then, but don't expect anything too fantastic from this little project. The other project is going to rock out loud though.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Still Screwy

Well, I just realized that there are some important files on my laptop that I need to review a couple of games. Also, I am having a hard time getting some more games to review.

I am just announcing that for right now I am putting this blog in hibernate mode. I can guarantee that when it comes back, it will have a new look. I am  really missing both my laptop and this site. This is definitely not permanent.

Also, I am going to be setting up an RSS feed soon. There are a couple of sites interested in hosting my stuff.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Still not working

Well, my computer is still giving me problems, so this weeks update is not goign to happen. I appologize to all of my regular readers. No matter what, I am going to update next Wednesday though.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Computer Trouble

Well, my laptop has decided to stop booting up. I will be updating from another computer, but ot may be a little late. Keep looking, hopefully it will be up on time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Well, apparently I have been noticed. My blog has been mentioned on another site, and I feel like it is only proper to check them out.

The site is called Yehuda: Gaming and Blogging in the Holy Land. It seems like a really neat site, I say you should all check it out. You will find a permanent link in the appropriate section.

The True Gaming Underground

Well, this week it seems my content may be a little short of my usual amount. But with some of the discoveries that I have made recently, that will soon end. I have come in contact with the true gaming underground.

What I mean is, I have found people who gladly spend their time creating CCGs, RPGs, you name it for nothing other than their own enjoyment. I truly admire these people. Without them, there would not be any gaming industry.

I hope to review at least one of these games every week, and I hope you will all find it worthwhile to check them out.

Draim Arena

Well, this little gem is going to be the first in my international games series. It hails from Sweden, and in all honesty this review is going to be different from all of my others. The others were meant to be unbiased, but it is not possible here.

Now for the reason I cannot make this review unbiased. I like this game. I mean I really like this game. I got a few of my friends together to play this game, and it has been a long time since we have had that much fun. The reason for that is because of the mechanics that are unique to the game. You will out more about those in the boring section.

Now for the boring section. But before that, I must tell you that the card design is not the standard card, though it can be used in standard sleeves. It is quite beautiful.

In Draim Arena you have two variations. There is the 30 card and the 9 card set up. Both of set you up for a quick game, though we have seen a game last so much longer through player error and evil strategy created by it (the card Lethargy played on your opponent can be smart, but be careful).

In the 30 card variation, the veteran CCG player has access to one resource that will be very familiar. The deck. Though getting cards out of it is a very different process. To do that you have to “Tip” a character. Yes, I said tip, not “Tap”. Tapping goes clockwise, while tipping goes counterclockwise.

One thing that is very unique about Draim Arena is that you start the game with all of your characters, plus the top two cards of you deck in hand. This take a little bit of the chance away. On the other hand, even more is chance is thrown in when it come to the combat. That info will come later.

Now, there is actually a structure to the game, and it is so easy to pick up, but I think I will leave the bulk of for you to find out in the future. I will tell you of the most unique part of the game though, the dice that are needed to play Draim Arena.

In Draim Arena you have two dice. One is called the “Tactical Die” while the other is called the “Battle Die”. These are rolled not only to determine how combat resolves, but which character(s) actually engage in combat. The tactical die is rolled first, this tells you which of your characters (1-4 from left to right) engages in combat. If the number rolled has a pentagon around it, you send forward that many characters of your choice into battle (the character on the left is the one that actually fights unless something very special happens). Of course, if you roll a number that is higher than the number of characters you control, combat does not happen. The battle die tells you what bonuses your character gets, or if they miss or cannot be stopped. My favorite thing to roll is the “Troop” face that lets all of the characters you sent forward to attack at the same time.

Now, there are card that allow you to modify game play, and you can play one of these depending on what phase you are in. Only one of these cards can be played per phase unless the card says otherwise, as is the golden rule.

As I mentioned before, there is a 9 card variation. This is played the same way, but instead you just use a hand of 9 cards, instead of a deck. You can balance it anyway you like, so have fun with it. You can only have one copy of each card though.

If you would like to find out more info on Draim Arena, check out their main page at . Look out for an English release this fall. If you are wondering how I tried out this game if the English version is not out, let’s just say I know a guy who knows a guy that could get me some proxies. I have not learned svenska, but I would not mind trying in the future.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well, when I went to post earlier, blogger was having problems. But everything is fine now.

Also, we have our first reader submission! Yay!

Cosmic Wimpout

Cosmic Wimpout is a game that has been around for a long time. Some ofyou may have heard of it, or seen a memorable Cosmic Wimpout sticker,in it's dayglow colors, back in the day. Dating back to the 1970's,Cosmic Wimpout was very popular among followers of the band The Grateful Dead. There is a legend that The Grateful Dead asked Wimpout fans to stop stickering their tour bus. That being said, Wimpout is agame that anybody, in any walk of life, can get addicted to.

All that is required is a set of 5 special dice, which can bepurchased online in several places, and even some hobby and toystores. The dice have stars, lightning bolts, planets (or moons),pyramids, numbers, and the elusive 'flaming sun', to represent yourroll. The goal is simply to make scoring rolls, and be the first toreach a set goal. Now, that may seem a bit bland, but the game is anything but contrived. The unending fun of this game comes from it'scrazy rules, which can be changed at any time, because of the Guiding Light Rule (which states that any rule can be added or taken away atany time, so long as all players agree to the change).

For example, if you are lucky enough to roll 5 stars (or 6's), youautomatically win the game. However if you roll 5 10's, you've rolled a Supernova and automatically lose, because you've accumulated too many points. While these examples don't show up very often, You will always remember the first time you go Supernova right before you would have otherwise won. Or the time you automatically won on your first roll.

Cosmic Wimpout is one of those games that you can get everything youneed for $10, and will last you forever. I have yet to find a friendwho doesn't like the game, and my friends have a wide array of personalities. If you are interested in cheap, addicting games, check them out at .
Originally written by Topicallo.

Gatling Engine

Well, this entry is not exactly a game, but instead a tool that is very useful to the gaming community. It is something that I support, and I think you all should too.

The Gatling Engine is software that allows people to play CCGs over the net. I know, that already exists. The thing that makes GE great is that it lets you play many classic and defunct CCGs. This keeps them alive. Not only that, but many people hold tourneys and even create their own expansion sets.

The first time I used the Gatling Engine a few years ago, there was a token system that allowed you to play a few free games a month, but then you had to pay for more games. Now all play is free.

I think we should all get out there and support the project. Their homepage is Give it a download, and I hope to see you all online. If you see an account under the name “adninja”, that is me. Don’t ask about the name, it is a ghost from my past, and the name is locked in on this pc.

Ophidian 2350

For this week, I have a little treat for all of you. Okay, so it was more a treat for me since I got to play it.

Ophidian 2350 is another one of the dead games that are floating around. Unlike most of the others though, this game went through a period of great fan support after cancellation. This alone shows the caliber of the game.

Now it is time for the boring part that I know you all skim over, the game play rundown.

From the start there is an evident deviation from the standard CCG formula. There are no turns! (duh duh duh…) Instead, the game takes place in a series of “Waves”. Each wave is controlled by a system known as the “Flow”. You will read more about this later on.

The cards are broken down into two main types. There are “Gladiators” and there are “Support” cards. The gladiator cards are kept in your “Gladiator Pile”, and your support cards are kept in you “Arsenal”.

Gladiator cards are broken down into two more categories. There are “Standard Gladiators” and there are “Reinforcement Gladiators”. The standard gladiators are double sided and start off in play, while the reinforcement gladiators start off in the gladiator pile with the higher level gladiator cards. Some gladiators have a second card that represents their higher levels, these are stored outside of play in the gladiator pile.

Gladiator cards are lucky enough to start off in play. Support cards, however, need to be brought into play in another fashion. To bring support cards into play, one must first meet a couple of criteria. Each support card has one to several symbols in the upper left corner. You must have at least one gladiator card that matched one of those symbols. The gladiator that matches the larger symbol must then have the same level as the card (the number next to the symbol). If those criteria are met, you can then pay the “Play Cost” using your “CP”s .

Support cards also have a couple of different types. These are: “Quick-Hit”, “Minion”, “Pump”, and “Zone”. Quick-hits are “Scrapped” once they resolve, but the other types stay in play. If a card is meant to stay in play, it has a “Maintain Cost” next to the play cost. Be sure you want to pay it. If you do not/ cannot pay that cost, then that card is scrapped before the next wave.

When you use a card or an ability on a card in play, you will notice a symbol in red. This tells you how using the card or ability affects the flow. They work as follows:
“+”= You must have the flow, and you keep the flow.
“-“= You must have the flow, and you lose the flow.
“?”= You must have the flow, and depending on certain factors you may keep or lose it.
“R”= You can play in response to anything. Does not affect the flow.
“OR”= You must have the flow. You can play in response. Does not affect the flow.
“DR”= You must NOT have the play. You can play in response. Does not affect the flow.

The flow is what determines who can do what when during a wave. It goes back and forth based on the symbols on the cards that are played during that wave. Once you learn how to use the flow, it becomes second nature.

When both players pass their turn, the wave ends. Then starts the “Breather”. This is when you can level up one of you gladiators, replace a fallen gladiator with a reinforcement gladiator, draw back up to seven cards, reset your CP amount (10+the wave number), determine who has flow, and pay you maintain costs.

At the end of the fourth wave you count up how many points worth of opponent gladiators you have killed. The player who has killed the most wins. If there is a tie, you keep going until there is a winner. A player who kills 12 points worth automatically wins. Also if you wipe out all of your opponent’s gladiators you win. And if you get 15 “Crowd Favor” points, the audience rushes the stage and rips your opponents limb from limb (see more on that in the rules).

I hope all of this info got you interested, because Ophidian is a good game. Unfortunately it is no longer with us. The good news is that booster boxes are $10 on eBay! The main site is still up: Check it out.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Update for this week

Expect those at around 10 am EST. So sleepy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Game Piece of the Week

Okay, so I have not been active in some time. Well, I am back and I would like to say that the game piece of the week will be returning when I get some more reviews ready. I still need to get my victims in order though.


Alright. It's that time of the week again. This week I actually have more than one game to review. I know some of you must have been dissappointed when I put up a filler article about the mystery box. In my own defense, I had a busy week.

This week I will start off with a little ghost from gaming's past. This gem was released by Wizard of the Coast in 1998 (it seems they are responsible for a lot of the dead games floating around), and was actually one of three games that used the exact same system, the Arc System (the others being xena and Hercules). So this is going to be more of a review of the system with some bits from C23 scattered throughout.

Lets start off with me noting the purpopse of the game. Your goal is to destroy the opposing army. This is represented by your opponent's deck. Whenever one or your "Characters" attacks your opponent and remains unblocked, the amount of damage done is how many cards your opponent discards from the top of their deck.

Now that I have gotten that little mechanic out of the way, let's continue. The cards in C23 are broken down into four basic types. These are: "Resources", "Characters", "Actions", and "Combat". The cards are also broken down into three colors: red, blue, and green each representing a diferent faction fighting for control of the C23 world.

The way resources are used is similar to any other game. You place one per turn and when it comes to paying for a card, only one of the resources used has to match the color of the card. It is just that simple.

Actions and combat cards are pretty similar. You can play actions at anytime on your turn and you can play comat cards on any players turn when you attack or are attacked. This can add a level of strategy to the game that is needed to keep things interesting.

Finally there are the character cards. These make or break any game. Though some have effects that happen when they come into play, many of the characters in C23 have only one stat (excluding the cost to play that is). That stat is strength. In combat, the character with the lowest strength is discarded. If they are tied both are discarded. If a character remains unblocked, then the player that was attacked discards cards from the top of their deck equal to the total strength of all of the characters that were unblocked. Once again, very simple.

If there is one thing that C23 and the Arc system had going for them is ease of use and game speed. You can sit down and olay a game in a matter of minutes. Isn't that what CCGs are all about? Sadly most of us who play CCGs no longer think so. I personally love putting mind boggling strategy into my decks, and I have not seen much of this in the C23 cards that I have seen, though I was impressed with the card that made your opponent discard their top 10 cards. I also like the fact that the three games can be played together, and I would like to build a deck using all three games in it. For that reason I am not going to flame the game just yet.

Also, any game that makes damage reduce your deck size makes me a little wary. I have however heard that there is a game that got it right. Sadly it is not in english. That will not stop me though.

If you would like to try C23 or any of the Arc system games for yourself, try eBay.


Alright, let me just start this one by saying one thing. I am very wary when it comes to licensed games. I think this comes from the sheer amount of anime based games that are crowding the dead games pool. I will not say that all licensed games are bad, in fact there are many that have gotten the right idea. You need to be able to guarantee longevity. If the original product has a cult following, that is one thing. Most don't last when the series they are based on goes south.

UFS is one of the games that has the right idea. Instead of being based on one fighting game (remember the Mortal Kombat KKG), it is instead based on the entire genre. Each set is licensed from a different game. This ensures new ideas will continue to appear. The system is not that bad either.

The cards in UFS are broken down into five categories. There is your "Character", "Foundations", "Actions", “Assets” and the moves that they perform, known as "Attacks". The mechanics are many, but the most important ones are also the most interesting.

Though the character stars off in play, everything else has to enter somehow. This is done using the "Card Pool" and "Control Checks". I find that this adds a nice amount of strategy, since each successive card you play a turn adds to the "Difficulty" of the other cards.

When a player decides that they will play a card, they place it in the card pool and perform a control check. To do this, the player flips over the top card of their deck and compares the number on the bottom right of that card (the "Control" value) with the top left number of the played card (the difficulty). If the control value is greater than or equal to the difficulty, then the card resolves. If the control value is lower, you may choose to use your foundations and even your character just like you would any resource card in most other CCGs. If you fail to control a card, you turn ends. Do not forget to add one to the difficulty score of a card for each card in your card pool.

If a player uses an attack card, the other player may choose to block. Many cards can be used to block, not just attack cards. There are high, middle and low blocks. They are paid for just like any other card, but the difficulty is the speed of the attacking card plus the modifier in the block circle. If the block is the same as the attack, no damage is dealt. If it is different, half damage. Low cannot block high and vice versa.

Actions are played just like anything else, but when they resolve, they are discarded.

Another thing about UFS that I like is that when you run out of cards, you just reshuffle your deck and remove the top ten cards from the game. When you can no longer do that, then you lose.

The last things are foundations and assets. Assets and foundations stay in play after they resolve. Assets stay around cannot be used in control checks. Foundations stay around and can be used to help in control checks.

That is a "simple" rundown of the game. Trust me, if you try to figure it out based solely on the rules you get with a deck, you are going to be boned. This might just help you.

I personally like UFS, and if you think that this game would be right for you check out their home page: And once again, check eBay.

Readers Rule!

Well people, I have noticed a drastic drop in the number of people actually reading this blog. Fortunately this has been made up for by the number of regular readers I have gotten. It is the regular readers that make a difference.

I have been talking to a few of you via email, and it is the feedback you give me that keeps me posting. I look forward to every comment you leave me, not to mention that some of you have volunteered to write some articles about games that you have played. That is going to help me out a lot. Not only will it mean more content for the site, but it also means that I have to do less work. ;)

The last thing I wanted to say in this post is that college is starting for me soon, and you all know what that means. I will be in touch with my friends that are art majors. That's right, I am hopeing to give this site a new look. It kinda looks like crap now. maybe a better look will keep some readers around. It can't hurt to try.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Even More Delays

Well, due to prior obligations, I am going to be a little late writing the reviews for this week. But don't worry, they will be up by Wednesday. Just keep checking.

I would also like to announce that after this week, I will no longer be posting about my updates on the many forums that I have drawn most of you here from. The only time you will see me there is when I have something constructive to say. I will be there though.

I am proud to announce that although the number of spontaneous readers is down, the number of regular readers is up. This is really motivating me to continue this project.

I am still looking forward to hearing from you all. Please feel free to comment on anything. If you have a game that you have played that you feel would be appropriate for this blog, let me know and we'll see what we can do.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Delays Suck

It is nothing big, I swear. I will have my usual slew of stuff up this coming week. Just not what I wanted to have up. My printer ran out of ink, so I cannot print out the free demo deck I found. That, and I received an email telling me that a package I ordered a week ago will not be shipped until Tuesday. I was hoping for it to be here by now.

I have memorized so many new rules today that my brain feels all melty. I just need to memorize one more set... Now if I could only remember how to eat...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

About Updates

As all of you know, my big one is always going to be on Wednesday. Sometimes I do have a small update that I will just throw on here at a random point in time, and I really can't tell how common that will be.

I just wanted to say that though I will still be announcing my biggy on the boards, I feel like I am getting annoying. I will not be announcing the little updates. If you are not constantly checkin, don't be surprised if Wednesday hold a lot of reading for you.

I am also trying really hard to improve my reviewing methog. I still like giving a neutral game play rundown, since I have yet to find another site that does that. I just want to make it more interesting. Any suggestions?

Button Men

Well boys and girls, this is a deviation for me. This game is not collectible. Kinda. You can collect it if you want, but it is not necessary since they are sold in set packs.

Button Men is produced by the aptly named Cheapass Games. It is a game where you take on the role of one of the characters and do battle with a friend. Each character has set stats, and well… let me get into a little more detail…

This is a game deigned for two players, and can take 10 minutes and up depending on your luck. Luck is one of the primary factors in this game, though skill and cunning is not a bad thing to bring to the table. All you really need is one button each, some dice, and a way to keep score. The dice needed are denoted on the character you are using.

At the beginning of the game, each player will roll all of their dice and arrange the in a neat little row so that they can be read easily. These dice are what are used in combat. The player that rolls the lowest number goes first. That is when the fun begins…

The player that goes first decides if they want to use a “Power” attack or a “Skill” attack. These are not very different from each other, but they do affect game play. A power attack involves the acting player capturing an opponent’s die using one of their own that has a value that is equal to or greater than one of their opponent’s dice. A skill attack is similar, but instead it uses multiple dice to capture one. The only problem is that the dice have to add up exactly to the value of the intended target. After the attack, the attacking player must roll all of the dice used.

Both players continue on until they can no longer make an attack on their opponent. When this happens, that player passes. When both players pass, the round is over. Once the round is over, both players total up their points to determine who actually wins. The dice you capture have a point value equal to their number of faces. On the other hand, the dice you keep are only worth half as much.

Of course, there are many modified dice that change game play. But then again, that is expected from all games.

If I were to make a character, I think the dice it would use would be a d5, d7, d24, d30, and a dX (X meaning you can use any die you would like). The best part is, each of the lsted dice actually exists as its own unique polyhedron.

If you would like to read the complete rules, try here: . And of course you can pick up Button Men at your local game shop or the Cheapass Games main site: .

Ode To The Mystery Box

I don’t know why, but as long back as I can remember I have loved grab bags. Even before I opened my first booster pack I have loved the concept of getting something at random. I hope this does not mean I have a gambling addiction ;)

Well, a few months back I was browsing my local Super Wal-Mart looking in their gaming section when something caught my eye. There was a box that held over 500 randomly packaged trading cards. And when I say randomly packaged, I mean that they came from every game and trading card series imaginable. It was kinda sweet.

The box o’ loose cards contained complete decks for a couple of games, and even a complete collection of “The Making of Star Trek: The Next Generation” cards. Here is a list of card games/ collecting series:

Star Trek (multiple decks)
VS System (2 Decks)
Young Jedi (4 Decks)
Lord of the Rings (1 Deck)
Dragon Ball GT (1 Deck)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1 Deck)
Neopets (1Deck)

Making of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Compete Collection)

The other day I saw another one of these boxes, except instead of loose cards, it held 50 packs. Now the part of me that loves opening packs was drooling at this sight. Not only were the cards in the packs random, but the packs themselves came from random places as well. I guess it was a booster booster. Here is a rundown of the contents:

2x Zatch Bell! The Card Battle
9x Yu Yu Hakusho
1x Yu Yu Hakusho (Gateway Expansion)
1x Dragon Ball Z Senzu Blast 3 card
1x Dragon Ball Z Saiyan Saga Series
1x Dragon Ball GT Super 17 Saga
1x Kids Next Door TCG
3x Gundam M.S.War TCG
1x Bionicle Quest for the Masks
1x Dragon Booster TCG

2x Digimon Trading Cards
7x Dragon Ball Z Trading Cards
1x Robots Stickers
10x Anastasia Trading Cards
3x Boy Crazy Trading Cards
3x Wacky Packages
2x Garbage Pail Kids

Now, if you count the packs up, there are 49. That is because I did not include the most amazing thing I have found in a box of random things in a long time. An unopened pack of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trading cards circa 1990. It even came with 17 year old gum.

These boxes were only $9.99 each, and I am probably going to be buying more in the future. This gives me a lot of ammo for future articles, so I can start firing them out. If I have listed anything in the non-collectible items that you would like to buy, just shoot me an offer. I accept PayPal.


This little project was brought to my attention by LucienofShadow at the forum for The Spoils. All I can say is that it is very interesting.

What 4GXG means is that it is a game made for gamers by gamers. It is a collaboration project that wants to design a new CCG based on what the players want. The best part is, the more people that put in their two cents, the more unique the game can become.

As an amateur game designer, I love putting my ideas down and seeing them come to life. My big problem right now is that I have so many ideas that I like, but so few actually get used in the game that I have come up with. I want them to find a home. This could be that home. I would like to see them scampering around with a few of your ideas.

I am putting out an APB for all aspiring game designers, and even those that would just like to observe the process. Put in some input, get some feedback, that is what it is all about. The project is still in phase one, and that ends on Aug. 13th. So get out there and give it a shot! Did I mention there are cash prizes for the best submissions… I hope to see many of you on the forums. Support your fellow gamers.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Collectible Conundrum

If you have not already noticed, a vast majority of the games I have reviewed are collectible. That is because I am doing this solo and with little time on my hands.

Though I would like to review RPGs, it takes too long to play through them for now. Collectible games are fast and easy to find.

There is an RPG that is coming out later this month that I plan on trying out with a few of my friends, so that might mark the beginning of the RPG reviews here at UTTG. If I get tto impatient, I could always try out a few wuick play ones that I have found online.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Reader Appreciation

Well, if you have not already noticed, I have removed the "Call for Support" entry. That is because it has been answered, and loudly. My reader base has QUINTUPLED (that is, increased 5x) since my debut.

I love how the site is growing, and don't worry, I have been going to my usual online money making spots to get more seed money. That is what sponsored the last two weeks here. And I have a little from this site too (thanks guys!).

I already have next weeks articles (or at least two of them) figured out. I would like to get something here that is along the lines of an RPG. If any of you can suggest one (freesystem or little known preferred) that would be appreciated. On the other hand, I have one in mind that might just work... but I would like to hear what you have to say.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Spoils

Well, after all of the readers and support I have gotten from the forums, I have decided the time has come to write my review. I hope you approve.

As a veteran CCG player, I found The Spoils very easy to pick up. By my second game I was playing with at least some skill. One thing everyone should remember, just because a game is easy to pick up, does not mean it lacks strategy. In fact, there are so many things in The Spoils that are done differently that I was on the edge of my seat.

One of my favorite things about The Spoils was the humor. With cards like “Hidden Sandwich” and “Jaque’s Trap”, I had to literally lol. In fact, I had to lol so hard that I had to hold on to the table so I would not rofl (if you are wondering why I am using the abbreviations, check out the “31f” cards). Internet colloquialisms aside, it amused me, but not so much as to distract me from the game itself.

Another element of The Spoils was the “Faction” controlled by the player. Though I have seen similar things in other games, the faction stood out. One interesting thing that the faction brings to the table is the fact that there is not health, instead the faction has “Influence” that is depleted when the faction takes damage. It changes the game play most of us are used to.

When it comes to combat, “Speed” is a major factor. The quicker the “Character”, the sooner they deal their damage. I had a character in play that only had one “Life”, but because it had 3 “Strength” and only one more speed than any of my opponent’s characters, he was safe. Though this does add a level of strategy, I still love the fact that you can attack as many times as you have creatures that are not “Depleted” (tapped for those who have played another major CCG).

”Items” and “Locations” definitely add a nice level to game play. With the abilities produced ranging from keeping a character from being destroyed to manipulating your opponents deck (minds out of the gutter please), the tactics you can use are endless (or will be when this games gets the recognition it deserves).

Finally came the “Tactics” cards. Tactics are like the “Spells” in other CCGs, but they lack the limitation of being played at a certain time. If you can respond you can play a tactic. I still like the title of “Ritual of the Screaming Cheese”. I love cheesy things.

So, let’s make a list of things I liked:

1) The humor
2) The artwork (it is beautiful)
3) The game play
4) The community

Alright now it is time to get to the list of things I did not like:

1) I wish this was a video blog so I could insert the sound of crickets chirping…

If you are interested in a newer game that has a lot of potential, The Spoils is definitely worth a look. Check out their site: . As usual, if you are having a hard time finding product, check out eBay. But this is a game you can find at your favorite online game store.

Oh, before I forget, The Spoils is a tournament oriented game, so be sure to take the time to get in on them. You will meet a lot of great people, and the payoff isn’t that shabby either. :)


Before you continue reading, I would like to warn all of you that this article may be a little lengthy. Also, I would like to you a little background on why I am writing it. Aside from the “because I can” factor, I feel sad letting all of this knowledge go to waste. I was going to do a speech about POG for a class, but decided against it at the last minute.

Now, for all of my devoted readers, sit back, relax, and enjoy a nice cold glass of milk (or some passion fruit, orange, guava juice cocktail) and read on.

The game POG, for most of us who are in our twenties, was an introduction to the world of gaming. I will admit, it was not the most complex game, but it was fun.

The game of POG has its origins in the traditional Japanese game of Menko. Menko originated in the Edo period of Japan (around 1700) when they were made of nothing more than dried clay. Over time, new materials were used to make menkos such as wood, tile, and lead (which was eventually discontinued because kids would lick them for luck), finally menkos were made from paper.

Menkos were used as a rite of passage for young boys, allowing them to make friends and do battle with other children in a friendly setting.

Eventually, this game made its way to the US in an odd fashion.

Some of the Japanese immigrants working in a Hawaiian bottling plant in the 1920’s decided to relive the good ol’ days and play their favorite childhood game (or at least a variation thereof) with the milk caps they found lying around (I guess that is where that name came from…). When the game got attention, it was named after an acronym for the passion fruit, orange, and guava juice drink that was bottled at the plant.

Eventually a Hawaiian schoolteacher showed this game to the class around 70 years later, and the fad followed. I still wonder if the fact that the fad sensation that it experienced was the reason for its downfall soon after. Either way, I still have most of my slammers and a few POGs. I wish I could find the rest. Funrise Toys tried to release POGs again in 2005, and they even have a flash game at .

Another use for the little discs came around in 2001. Because of the weight of metal coins, the US military will not ship them to the soldiers overseas. After that was decided, paper POGs have been used in 5, 10, and 25 cent denominations.

If you do not know the rules, you stack ‘em and slam ‘em. Place a stack of eleven POGs per player and throw a thicker POG (called a slammer, kini, or the “big ‘un” if you so choose) at the stack with the goal of flipping some of the POGs over as they fall. You keep those. Woot!

I think I should work on a homebrew game similar to the “Poison” POGs that were so popular. Maybe some that have an effect on the players when flipped… Who wants to help?

I still find lots of these beauties floating around on eBay, so give it a look.

Since this was a research heavy article, I will let you know that my sources were:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Profile Update

Well, I have noticed that a lot of my readers have been checking my profile.

As a service to my friends here, I have added a link so that you may email me if you wish. I look forward to hearing from you all. Don't forget to comment.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


In life, as well as gaming, community is one of the most important thing there is. From the simple small group of friends to the massive online boards that bring together people from other nations, community brings together people of common interest so that things can be done.

Without community, many games would have failed within the first few months. This would be very sad indeed. Even if there is a community, if the members are not helpful or active, a game will flounder and possibly fail. It has happened before, and will undoubtedly happen again.

With that being said, I would like to inform you of my travels through the net and what I have witnessed.

I have only advertised this blog on three forums. The first was the Mystical Empire forum. The community there has gone into hiding, with only a few key members active online though they have their local gaming groups into the game hardcore.

The second forum I went to was that of the Call of Cthulhu CCG. I must say, this game intrigues me so. Like I said before, anything that is true to Lovecraft makes me drool. This community is large and helpful, and many of my readers come from there. I just hope activity picks up again soon, for they are nice and were very excited when I mentioned that I wanted to do an article for this blog about their game.

The third was the forum for The Spoils. Within just minutes of my first inquiry about the game I had a response. Ever since I have been an active member replying to posts, and getting so much support for both the game, and even my blog (thanks LucienofShadow). The thread has already reached three pages and is climbing.

I wish all of these games well, and want to let my readers know that community means a lot to the growth of a game. Get out there and show people why you are fanatical about the games you love!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Hecatomb: the game that allows every child to live their dream of destroying the world. Or at least that is what the premise was.

Even though Hecatomb is no longer with us, there is still a cult following hiding in the shadows. If you look at the game, you will see that it is very fitting indeed.

Hecatomb is a game that brings you into the darker side of the human psyche, and just does not allow you to see any of the cuter or sweeter things that exist in other games. There is even the foul creature known as Feculus The Sewer Lord (and I bet you can guess what he is), though my favorite was Mister Bananas.

Like I said before, the goal of this game is to destroy the world. To do this, each player must collect a certain number of souls. This can be done either through just sitting around and waiting (you gain one soul every round) or stealing them from your opponent. One of the things I like is that the game is not over for you when you run out of souls, and your opponent cannot take more souls from you than you already have. The game is not over until one player reaches the 20 soul requirement.

In order to keep things interesting, a player was required to combine their creatures before they could perform even the simplest of tasks. This both increased the strength of the creatures, and determined how many souls they “Reaped” (stole) from the opponent if they got through unblocked. If there were two “Minions” (individual creature cards) in the “Abomination” (the combined creature stack) for example, if they made it through unblocked they reaped two souls. Things would react differently depending on which god card each player had in play (my friend Hades made an appearance too), but each player could only have on in play at a time.

Because the game was designed to move quickly, many things are done differently in Hecatomb. You draw two cards instead of one, you have no maximum hand size, and there is no penalty for running out of cards to draw. You just keep going because even if both players run out of creatures and cards, one player will gain the rest of the souls they need in just a few rounds of sitting there.

This is one of those games that brings out the kid in me. The kid that wants to keep the monster under his bed as a pet. Sadly Hecatomb was cancelled right as it was getting good. Any game that includes elements from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft is awesome in my book.

One of the reasons Hecatomb did not do well was poor marketing. I saw a few ads here and there, which is how I found it, but other than that there was nothing. I also heard through the grapevine that tournament support was not high on the list of priorities with the company that brought us this fine game. That, and the game was so morbid and grotesque that most shops refused to carry it. Forget about the major chain stores that won’t even carry parental advisory CDs. That’s why I like it though.
If you are interested in learning more about this game, I have the complete rules here. If you would like to buy some cards you can check or eBay. Whichever you prefer. You can get one box from each set in a package deal for $36 from though.

Mystical Empire

Oh Mystical Empire, how I love thee...

Mystical Empire is a CCG created by Northeast Games that debuted in 2005, and has been doing fairly well since then. Because it is not part of what I would consider the mainstream, I think it deserves a write up. That and because I love the game.

When it comes to the main system, one thing that people I know complain about is the lack of a resource maintenance system. Mana, resources, or whatever other games have decided to call it are just absent. I actually love that part, for a reason.

Instead of using resources, ME (that is what the cool people, or "Mysties" call it) uses "actions" to control just about everything. The player takes on the role of one of the many Characters ME has to offer (hmmm... it seems the "Hero" system of a CCG based off of a popular PC game isn't so original) and the average character has two actions. These are used to "Hire" creatures and bring items and structures (don't worry, I'll explain these later) into play. There are also spell and effect cards (yay, something familiar).

When it comes to the more unique cards like structures, and the spell casting ('cuz I know you were all freaking out because there are no resources) these are handled in a rather unique way. Structures come into play using the action of a character, but unlike everything else, they do not "Disengage" (untap) like everything else. Instead, you need to use creatures that have the ability to add "Hammer" and/or "Trowel" tokens to the structure cards. Once the proper amount of these tokens are placed on the structure, it is considered built and works from then on. Spells and effects are cast using the magic your character and creatures can provide, so I guess those can be considered resources in a manner of speaking.

And before I forget, there are a few other thing that I absolutely love about the system in ME. Some people think that not having to do anything but use and action to bring creatures into play is, well, broken. Not so. A character has a stat on its cards called "Leadership". This stat tells how many creatures that character can control, if that number of creatures is exceeded, well that is not pretty. Creatures also have a stat called "Loyalty". If this number is greater than the leadership of a character, they will try to "Abandon" that character. Creatures also do this when a player has too many creatures. In the case of loyalty, the player rolls a die and on an even roll nothing happens. But if the player rolls an odd number, the creature is shuffled back into the deck and damages the player equal to its power. If a player has too many creatures, those with the lowest loyalty automatically abandon. My other favorite is the fact that there is not a set time to attack, if your creatures have open actions just swing for the fences.

Also, the rarity of a card determines how many copies of that card can be in any one deck. Commons are four, uncommons are three, rares are two and ultrarares are one. This way, Richie Rich can’t build a deck with four copies of each ultrarare like he does in other games that I will not mention here.

To say that I enjoy this game would be an understatement. I have six good decks, and another one in the making. My friends won’t even let me use my Rogue deck anymore (but then again, when every creature I control is invisible, who can blame them). If anyone can find me and wants to play, just ask. The hard part is finding me ;) .
If you would like more information on this game, check out their main site at . If you would like to buy into this game, you can check one of my favorite game distributors: or eBay. It is still in production and distribution so expect to pay around $50 a box at wholesale, or some guy who found them in the trunk of a car at his salvage yard could sell them on the cheap (it happened recently).

Dragon Dice

Dragon Dice was the first successful collectible dice game. There was one before it, but it fell on its posterior soon after release (once I remember what it is and play it a bit, expect a review of it). Anywho, let’s continue on shall we.

Dragon Dice was launched by the now defunct TSR (curse you company I shall not name in fear that you will sue me!) around 1995, and has a decent following. Not a large one, but a dedicated one. Before the release of a long awaited expansion, as well as the other two novels, it was cancelled.

Only a few years ago did an ambitious young group of gamers (the group was young, I have no idea how old the members are…) rally support to form SFR inc. and buy the rights to Dragon Dice. Their actions brought me to the side of the little guy, and that is one of the reasons I created this blog.

Now on to the part where I tell you how the game works:

Dragon Dice plays a lot like a table top strategy game, except without all of the expensive painted metal figurines and expansive playing fields. Instead, each unit of an army is represented by an individual die, and their rarity determines the health of each unit (common is one, uncommon is two, etc.). The battlefield is represented by a large d8 called a “Terrain Die”. Each side has a number and a symbol that tells how far away the armies are from one another (melee range, arrow range, etc). The goal is to capture two of these terrains, or kill you opponents in the process. To do that, you must make “Maneuver” rolls and get the terrain die onto the side with the number one on it. You have just captured the terrain, YAY!

Of course, it is not that easy since your opponent can cast spells on you, and even summon dragons (I guess that is where the name came from…)

I like the game because of the army building and strategy, especially since I do not have to buy and paint them all (yes I know many of you like that aspect of table top gaming, and I am not dissing it, trust me I like to make things too). The best part is that everything I went over is just the tip of the iceberg. If you look hard enough, you can find full fledged campaigns designed to make your game much more interesting, and when you throw in more players, the chaos that ensues is on of the most fun gaming experiences you can have.

Though this game is still alive, it is no longer in distribution in order to keep costs down, but it is still sold on their main site, as well as single sold on . If you would like to find out more about the game or buy into it, please check out their site or go to eBay. I love eBay… (I don’t have a problem, I swear).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Articles Coming Soon

I plan on having a few tidbits to get this place rolling by next Saturday, the 27th. I know of two, maybe even three games I want to review. I want a few others, but we'll see.

Edit: It seems that I am just a little impatient and anxious. I plan on having the articles up a few days sooner.


Well, I have noticed that there are a lot of good games out there. Sadly, they don't live that long since they go unnoticed by a large portion of the gaming world. I want that to change.

What I plan on doing on this site is compiling as much information as possible about games that have not yet made it to the gaming mainstream. New or old, living or dead, I honestly don't care. If they have a cult status, or if the player pool only consists of two guys living in their mother's basement, I want to give them some time in the sun.

Free system games (I have seen RPGs and "CCG"s for free online), are also fair game.

I also want to give love to the small companies that provide great accessories for lower prices that the big guys. Don't knock 'em if you haven't heard of 'em. Trust me.