LUG-Banner-2014.jpgOnline conventions are a logical step in the socialising scene for a lot of hobbies. Probably any hobby, to be honest. The possibility of getting “together” with other people who share a passion and talk, play and share ideas together.

That is exactly what Tre’ Grisby thought when he decided to create L.U.G. Con, an online RPG convention that’s been going on for the last three years and gathers a few hundred people every time it’s on air.

But what does it take to create an online games convention? Exactly how does it work? I have never been to one, so I’m totally clueless and was really happy when Vickey Beaver asked Tre to come along and tell us about it.

This interview was hosted by Paco Garcia Jaen, Vickey Beaver and Jim Pinto.

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pic1063921_t.jpgCore Worlds was published by Stronghold Games in 2011 and was designed by the – rather talented – Andrew Parks.

If you just follow its description, Core Worlds probably won’t interest you very much since there are *a lot* of games that sound like it: Deck builder, Science Fiction, Space Exploration.

I know, yawn.

But this game is special. I didn’t believe it when Michael Chamberlain told me, but this game is special. So when in G*M*S Central we decided to record some podcasts with our favourite games, games we’ve played time and time again and love to bits and we’d take to a desert island, Core Worlds was brought forward by said Michael with the speed of thought.

That was pretty fast.

So here you have it, a special episode with a review of our favourite game.

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pic1575914_t.jpgRecently we had the enormous pleasure of interviewing Martin Vaux, one of the co-designers of Lords of War and at the same time we played the game so we could tell him, to his face, what we thought of it.

Lords of War is a strategic card game for two players (a four player mode is also available) in which armies battle each other on a grid that must be used to maximise the power and abilities of each card.

Every army has its unique and distinct members, from soldiers to lancers, generals, berserks… and using them correctly will gain you advantages to defeat your opponents.

Explaining how to play this games takes the best part of 10 minutes. If that. Extremely simple rules that never get in the way of the strategic nature of the game and make it accessible for new players right away.

Or that’s the theory. As new players, we had to have a go and tell you what we thought of this game.

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sertorious.jpgSertorius is the latest offering from Bedrock Games and has been launched, much to everyone’s surprise, without any Kickstarter influence whatsoever. And it looks pretty amazing.

No, really. It does.

After the publication of Arrows of Indra, the company devoted all their efforts into creating a game with an unique approach to magic and offer the players the possibility of playing immensely powerful characters with a system that doesn’t derail gameplay.

Needless to say that sounds pretty good. Maybe too good to be true, so I got together with Brendan Davis, the owner and person behind Bedrock Games and threw quite a few questions at him.

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pic1575914_t.jpgLords of War was released to much acclaim at Dragonmeet in December 2012. And I mean to much acclaim because that very next year got the UK Games Expo award for Best Strategic Card Game, along with Lords of War: Dwarves vs. Lizardmen.

Expansions have been released and the game is gathering momentum and strength in numbers of fans with some promising future ahead of it and its designers.

Partly because he lives round the corner from G*M*S Magazine and partly because he’s a truly excellent fellow and nice as few, we invited Martin Vaux, co-designer of the game and one of the people behind Black Box Games so we could ask him about the game, past, present and future.

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pic1777605_t.jpgTRIX is a words guessing games from Porcupine Press, an UK-based company with some interesting and friendly titles in their portfolio.

Interesting travelling games are always a good thing to have around. Something light enough to be taught in just a few minutes, accessible enough to cater to a wide audience and fun enough to be fun to play several times.

That’s what TRIX attempts to do. The three decks of cards and simple and dinky little player boards, which are just big enough to hold the player tokens, snuggle neatly inside a tin-box and fits in any handbag and quite a few pockets.

But does it play well? Cesare, Max and Michael got together to play this game for the first time and tell us what they think!

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athlas.jpgAthlas-  Duel for Divinity is the offering that Golden Egg Games has currently going in Kickstarter.

A game in which the players take on the roles of god-like creatures who must uncover the secrets of creation and must learn to manipulate time and space in order to gain the abilities needed to create armies and survive the challenges laid ahead by the Athilian Council.

Golden Egg Games has produced some very good looking, and just as good playing, games in the past and this project makes the company look like they’re upping their standard of quality for their productions. The images look totally gorgeous and the design seems solid.

But what does it really have to offer?

I got together with Elad Goldsteen, the man behind the company to have a chat and ask him about the past, present and future of Athlas: Duel for Divinity and the company in general.

This is one to watch out for!

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writing_file.jpgOnce again we got together to discuss things roleplaying. I was joined by Jim Pinto and later on by Vickey Beaver and we decided to discuss the merits of good writing vs. game design.

When is about roleplaying games, both indeed matter, but which one matters most? Clear, well written rules or atmospheric settings?

As you can imagine, we all had something to say about that… But what do you say?

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pic1951500_t.jpgHive, has been out for quite a long time now and it is a very popular game. Well balanced, deep, tons of replayability and fun. Very good fun.

One only has to look at the list of reputable publishers that have put their weight behind this game to realise that, despite its unassuming looks, this game is as solid as the pieces that form it. And let me tell you they are *very* solid.

So did this game need expansions? Did its core mechanics need any sort of additions for gameplay’s sake?

Michael Chamberlain and Max Murray sat down at the table and played them for the first time so they can tell you all about it!

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pic1718403_t.jpgLuchador: Mexican Wrestling Dice is the  design of Mark Rivera and brings to the table the feeling of a wrestling match on the table.

And it does pretty well at that!

Released at Spiel 2013, the game was a sold-out in days and it’s been well received. Simple to play, silly fun and lots of dice rolling make a compelling experience that’s just fun. Not a lot of thinking, not a lot of arguing… just fun.

Each player represents a wrestler and the dice will determine the moves for each player and the result of the roll will determine who lasts the longest in the ring. With a team play game available, swapping places with your friends to roll the dice really seems to double the fun.

Now Backspindle games, the publisher behind the game, has taken onto Kickstarter to fund a second edition of the game with more werstlers, more gameplay and more fun.

I spoke to Mark Rivera and Dave Brashaw to find out more about this new edition of the game that should be gracing your collection very soon.

Even sooner if you back the Kickstarter project!

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