App Review – Outwitters – Multiplayer Strategy/Board Game

The Goblin overlords at the Goblin Beat have been on me to write a review of some apps that are worth playing and since this game is about  creating an army and waging war it was right up their alley.  Looking for a challenging app for your phone or iPad that has a high replay value?? Then take a look at Outwitters from Onemanleft.com.  The app is free to try but will cost you a small amount of $ to buy the full version.  You can spend hours playing the game continuously or just pick it up once a day to take your turns with your opponents, so the time commitment is solely up to you.  What’s it all about you ask?  Think Risk meets Final Fantasy tactics…

The game pits you against an opponent on a hex grid map.  You square off against one another using 1 of 4 races (Fishmen, Robots, Veggiemen, Adorables).  Every race has the same 5 basic troop types and one special class that vary by race.  The players take turns producing new troops, moving their troops, and attacking their enemy.  Each soldier creation, movement, or attack costs you Wits.  You start each round with a set amount of Wits plus extra ones for each Witt square you control.  The 5 troop types vary in how far they can travel each turn, how much damage they can withstand, and how much damage they do with an attack. The various troops also have different attack ranges associated with their attacks.  For example a Scout can move up to 5 tiles per round and do 1 damage, but only has an attack range of 1 and total life of 1, meanwhile a sniper moves 1 tile per round has 1 life, but can do 3 damage up to 3 tiles away.  The object of the game is to either destroy your enemy’s base that has 5 total life, or destroy all of their troops and occupy their spawn points.  If a round ends and they have 0 troops and you are occupying their spawn spaces the game is over.  There are plenty of other nuances to the game about earning extra widgets during a turn by destroying enemies, etc. and using the special classes of each race, but the game is pretty straightforward other than that.

outwitters2

When you first get started with the free version you only have access to one race and the ability to have 5 matches at a time.  There are different options for purchasing the additional races, and the ability to have more games going at once (Up to 20).  The bundle is the best way to go b/c you get access to all races, and you can have up to 20 games going at once.  You may be asking yourself, why would I continue to play this game every day…  Well if you are anything like me then you like to win, dominate your opponents, and essentially be the best.  Outwitters will rank you after your first five matches into different Classes/Leagues, and with each win and loss you earn more points towards your rank and you can see yourself moving up the leaderboards within the different ranks, plus its funny totally destroying a guy’s entire army when he had no idea he was going to lose on his next turn.  The creators of the game also hold month long tournaments for its purchasers of the game, as well as put out updates for the game regularly with new maps, and recently the 4th race.  All of these were free to anyone had purchased the full version of the game.  They are actively keeping the game updated and improving upon it, so you can expect to get your moneies worth once you have the full version of the game.  I travel a lot so I use this game to pass the time in airports and the hotel when I am on the road, and it never lets me down.  Unless I don’t count my Wits correctly and fail to destroy a soldier on my turn just to watch him get healed and massacre my guys the next.  You will definitely come back for more once you try this out, and the best part is that it is free to try out.  You will not be disappointed, because the opponents will always play differently so your strategies need to change for every different battle you are in on every map.  Some players are more aggressive, more defensive minded, or even very methodical in their troop creation and will slow play you into a trap.  Bottom line is it doesn’t get redundant or repetitive!

The Good: Easy to learn, Great Gameplay.  Challenging opponents that you are matched against based on both your ranks, so you won’t get matched against someone who has played for a year.  Different races allow for different playing styles.  Different maps call for different strategies.  You can have multiple games going, so you don’t have to wait on everyone to take their turns constantly.  Time needed to play a few rounds is minimal.  No match is ever the same.  Developers are continuing to support and update the app.  High replay value.

The Bad: 2vs2 matches take way too long to play. The Adorables race and maps are too cheesy/pink.  You need an internet connection to send your turns, so if you don’t have Wi-Fi for the ipad or a cellular service on your device for any reason…aka no offline play.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

 

 

Dungeon Command

On July 21st Wizards of the Coast released Dungeon Command: Sting of Lloth and Heart of Cormyr on D&D Game Day.  While not only used for playing D&D this new product line is designed to fill the miniatures void left since the last line was cancelled, leaving 4e players everywhere wondering “How am I supposed to play this game with miniatures if I can’t buy any?”

The idea behind this new line of miniatures is to appeal to a wider consumer base by being usable in three different games.

First and foremost Dungeon Command is a table top game in and of itself.  Two or more players can sit down at a table with their own war band (the name given to a matched set of miniatures you get in a box) and fight it out.  Each box comes with four interconnecting board pieces used to construct part of the game board, twelve miniatures to use for your army, game play cards and a rule book.  While it is possible to play a game with only one box we found it much more fun and far less confusing if each person has their own war band.

When playing the game each player takes turns.  On your turn you activate each of your creatures causing them to move, attack, and collect treasure.  Each player has a commander card that lists their leadership and morale.  Leadership is a number that tells you the total number of levels of creatures you can have on the board at one time.  If your leader has a leadership of 8 then you can have 8 levels worth of creatures on the board at once.  If a creature dies then it no longer counts towards your limit and you can put a new creature down at the end of your turn.  Morale is perhaps the most important number in the game.  Each time one of your creatures dies you lose morale equal to its level.  So if your level 4 Drider dies you lose 4 morale.  If your morale gets to 0 then you lose the game.

Combat consists of one creature attacking another either with powers printed on its corresponding creature card or by using an Order card.  Order cards are the special abilities for your army.  They allow you to dodge attacks, do extra damage when you attack and surprise your opponent with abilities you wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

Those are the basics of Dungeon Command.  Each player takes turns controlling his/her army until one of the commanders drops to or below zero morale.  We had an enjoyable time playing this game and if you are a big tabletop game fan then the box sets are probably worth the money.

But wait!  As I mentioned earlier there are three ways these box sets were meant to be used.  The second use for these is in conjunction with the games from the D&D Adventure system.  Think Legend of Drizzt, Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon.  Each Dungeon Command set comes with creature and ally cards to let you make use of the included miniatures in any of these games as well!

Lastly and perhaps most obviously you can use these miniatures when you play D&D.  They have standard size bases so they fit on 1″ grid squares perfectly.  Let  me also say that these miniatures are very nice.  The copper dragon in the Heart of Cormyr set was worth the entire purchase price to me.  The paint is well done and the sculpts are very detailed.  I also got a big kick out of the Umber Hulk and the Drider in the Sting of Lloth set.

Conclusion

Wizards did a great job creatin a product to appeal to multiple markets.  Even if you only want these minis to play D&D I would say they are worth the price.  You get all the miniatures you need in a single box to create multiple encounters in a themed adventure and several of the pieces in each box are generic enough to use in multiple settings (I’m quite fond of the spiders in the Drow set).  If  you enjoy tabletop strategy games, the Adventure System games or using miniatures in your D&D game then I would suggest considering this product.  If you are like me and enjoy all three then this is a must buy.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

(5 stars if you will use these for more than one purpose.)

Game Review: The Legend of Drizzt

The Legend of Drizzt

The concept behind this game is actually quite good.  You get to explore dungeons as Drizzt or his companions, OR you can choose to spice things up and play as one of the villains from the books.  First-time players will find the pace to be slow and confusing, but once you get down the concept, it goes much faster.

When choosing a character you get to select from several abilities (determined by each individual character), and can change them up from game to game.  The object of the game is to explore the dungeon and successfully win your encounters while keeping all party members alive.  Should a party member drop to 0 hit points, and not be able to heal themselves or be healed by the party for 1 full turn, the game ends, and the encounter is failed.  The dungeons are completely random, and utilize a tile-based system to determine the layout.  Tiles are placed one at a time as the party explores, until the final objective is reached.  (It is important to note that tiles can still be placed after this point, but there is rarely a reason to do so.)

Continue reading “Game Review: The Legend of Drizzt”

Cthulhu Dice

It was only a matter of time before I bought this game, and looking back on it now I can see that as clearly as any doomed man looking back at the choices that led him into the clutches of the dead Cthulhu after stumbling upon R’lyeh. For me the path is as simple as it is convoluted: I am a big fan of Lovecraft and all things Lovecraftian, and I love to play Munchkin. Combined, those two components make buying Cthulhu Dice from SJ Games pretty much a given.

Continue reading “Cthulhu Dice”