Adventure Is In the Cards

It’s the post-convention game season — when publishers uncork a flood of new games they wish they could have finished in time for the summer’s gaming conventions — and there are several games in the landing pattern for the Not So Big Anymore Table. So, of course, here I am fiddling with a card game.

Newly deployed to the desktop here in the swamp bunker is Paizo Publishing’s Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. That’s right. A card game based on the themes from the popular Pathfinder RPG. No counters; no hexes. But it does have dice, and some of the cards have stompy things on them like swords and warhammers and spells that go ker-blooey. So I like to think of it as a second cousin to some sort of wargaming.

I’m generally not a fan of card games for a number of reasons. Collectible card games seem like more of an economic struggle between players’ personal pocketbooks than a gaming experience. Some of them aren’t very thematic; others seem simply too complex for my aged brain to comprehend. Hardly any of them are amenable to solitaire play. Pathfinder ACG, however, is looking like a strong favorite to break past my typical objections. Continue reading

Space Infantry: That’s a Wrap

When I spend five hours writing about a game that took maybe 45 minutes to play, I suppose I can be accused of obsessive behavior. So it’s time for me to put a quick wind up on my expanded AAR of Space Infantry.

After collecting the two “rescue” points in the last episode, our intrepid Cav squad backtracked a bit into the desert — entering previously explored nodes — then proceeded to enter Cave Complex B. On Turn 18, they entered the complex’s first node and made contact with a force of four AI drones. Continue reading

Space Infantry: Lights Out

“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” Bernardo’s voice crackled over the comm link. The narrow defile ended at a crevasse that descended steeply into the rocky depths of the uplift. The Pathfinder had pulled out his climbing gear and started down some five minutes earlier. “First Sergeant, you need to see this. Check my video.”

Reno pulled up Bernardo’s helmet feed. Signal loss caused by all the rock made the image grainy and unstable, but the sergeant recognized a small pile of gear with unmistakable Fleet markings. Continue reading

Space Infantry: Meeting Mr. Robert

“I’m not a xenobiologist, but I’ve never seen vegetation like this so close to a sand sea.” SPC Bernardo, the squad’s Pathfinder, crouched underneath the cap of one of the native plants. It looked like a cactus crossed with a very large toad stool. It’s thick, mottled-brown skin sprouted spiny thorns that were easily 10cm long.

Hundreds of the plants covered the top of rocky escarpment which rose 30 or 40 meters from the sand sea. Clumped in groups of five or six plants, they rose maybe 4 meters and the bottoms of their thorny caps extended uniformly to within maybe 1.5 meters of the ground. Tracking down the science party’s survivor in this terrain wasn’t going to be easy. Continue reading

Space Infantry: Into the Desert

“I don’t suppose you’d believe me if I said I didn’t see it?” SPC Ramsay, the APC driver, asked. The imprint of the boulder was perfectly outlined in the lower front armor of the vehicle.

“Uhhh. No.” Reno looked up at the silvery orb of the planet hanging almost directly overhead. Between 18 Scorpii Alpha’s high albedo and the warm, yellow light of the star that squatted low on the horizon, it was as bright as high noon anywhere on Earth. “Specialist Ramsay, have you just wrecked the taxpayers’ brand-new trak?” Continue reading

Space Infantry: A Sticky Situation

The Fast Attack Transport Audie Murphy settled into a geosynchronous orbit above Turnbull I, the largest moon of 18 Scorpii Alpha. On board, the men of B Troop, 1/7 Cav completed their preparations for the mission to come.

The Fleet frigate Congress arrived in orbit 36 hours before them. The plan had been for Congress to wait for the Army transport’s arrival while gathering as much intel as possible. A recon probe sent down to the science station — which had sent out distress calls four days earlier — detected no activity. Video showed the station reduced to rubble. Continue reading