Archive | February, 2014

DC Deck Building Game

8 Feb

I have always enjoyed games.  I play computer games and video games as frequently as possible, which as a father, husband, and teacher is NOWHERE near as often as I would like.  But I also have always loved board games and card games.  Recently, I discovered a tiny store devoted to board games and card games in town.  It was an interesting trip which led me to purchasing an entertaining card game that I want to advertise. 


I came along at the right age to get into Pokemon, but I managed to avoid that compulsion somehow.  I did however find several collectable card games that I was interested in but rarely did my friends enjoy them.  Because two or more people need to be willing to invest for a collectable card game to be worth playing, I rarely bothered.  But little did I know the new card game style is the “deck building game.”  Deck building games are similar to collectable card games. You start a game with a small amount of weaker cards and spend points to buy more powerful cards.   These cards combine with one another in unique ways to create a veritable card army as you fight your way to victory.  The major difference, however, is that in a deck building game one master deck is bought for everyone to share from.  Instead of each person buying a sixty card deck and then expansion packs, the group buys one box of 200+ cards to share. 


Now, you might be wondering why I am writing about this on a site traditionally reserved for my musings on comic books.  Well, the game I recently discovered is “DC Deck Building Game” and I must confess, it is all kinds of fun.  The game is firmly entrenched in the “New 52” DCU but several pre-52 ideas are in the game.  At the start, you choose a hero based on the new Justice League: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg.  Each of these characters has their own special “power.” For example, Superman gets benefits for playing “power” cards, Wonder Woman gains benefits for beating villains, and Green Lanterns gets a benefit by creatively matching different types of cards together. 


Once you have that idea down, the game becomes interested in beating specific supervillains.  Each of those provides a penalty to players initially and when beaten are gained to the decks of the person who beat them.  They then provide extreme benefits to those players.  If you cannot beat a supervillain, you have the option to buy other types of cards: powers, equipment, locations, heroes, and “regular” villains.  Each of these cards provide a benefit to the person who buys them also. 


The game is fun in general.  Everyone in my house has enjoyed playing it, and although it claims it is for fifteen and up, my kids are 9, 12, and 14.  Although I occasionally have to remind them of simple rules or effects of cards, they have taken to the game like pros, and routinely beat me. Meanwhile, I get a kick out of how the different cards symbolically link to their “real” comic skill.  For example, Ra’s ah Ghul is placed at the bottom of your draw deck instead of into your discard pile when played.  This is because, in the comics, when he is killed he has a special chemical bath that brings him back to life.  Swamp Thing is worth much more power if the player has a location card in play because he is attached to the natural (location) world. 


If you are a fan of card games, I recommend you try it or a similar game.  If you are a comic fan, I recommend you try.  If you are a fan of both, I whole heartedly suggest you buy it quick and give it a shot!  And if you already have it, take heart! An expansion is coming at the end of the month!


Great news comics fans

5 Feb

Two exciting things happened to my comic collection this weekend.  First off, Comixology decided to add a want list to their app.  I really don’t know when it happened, as Apple now allows apps to update automatically, a fact I appreciate.  The “want list” option is now beside the purchase option which I believe is a long pass due idea, that I didn’t realize I missed.  Several times over the years, I have wanted to purchase a new digital book but had no money.  By the time I had cash, I would have forgotten which books I wanted and just focused on new ones.  Now, I can save them for later.  Good job Comixology! 


Probably more interesting though was my discovery of the CBI app.  It is the best way I can see to keep your comic book inventory together.  The app is free for the first 100 books you add to your list.  After that, it costs $2.99, the price of a new issue of most books.  At that point, though, you can list as many as you want. 


Now, you might question why you would pay for such a service?  Until two years ago, I didn’t keep any list of my comics.  My wife finally convinced me to type my comic list into Excel and I have kept a decent track of my collection ever since.  Still, the app offers numerous benefits, that I believe make it worthwhile. 


First off, the app works with, one of the best apps for comic book information around.  It automatically pulls writer, artist, etc information from the site and adds it to your list.  So now, I know which writer I have collected the most books by.  Not surprisingly, it is Geoff Johns who has written like 93 billion comics for DC in the last twenty years.  I know that Keith Giffen is the artist I have the most books by. You can also tag issues and track your collection that way.  The app downloads the covers from also and you can view your collection as a revolving cover database. 


But, probably my favorite feature of the app is that it also tracks issues you do not have in a series.  So now, when I find myself at a comic book convention, I can click on a title and it will tell me the issues I am missing.  It’s a simple but handy feature that I hope to be able to use soon. 


If your collection is small, I wouldn’t recommend downloading (or at least paying for) the app.  On the other hand, if you have a sizable collection, this app is indispensable.  The sheer amount of work it does for you is unbelievable.  And although it uses data to add comics and fetch the information initially, it is an app that can be used to view your list away from wi-fi which will prove useful while shopping.  Give it a shot!