The Analog Gamer: Bar Brawler
Its been a few weeks since we’ve had a regular installment but this week I thought it would be interesting to talk about a few random news items along with a quick review of the Wizards of the Coast produced card and dice game – Inn-Fighting.
Release Date: October 2007
Not sure what you want to do tonight? Maybe one of your regular players has decided not to show up and you’re left holding the game on their account. Well I can heartily recommend Inn-Fighting as a great way to keep the game group focused on the fantasy RPG elements without having to break your back on story and plotting.
Inn-Fighting is a dice and card game that is meant to simulate the wildest bar fight in the world. Players draw from a small selection of adventurer cards and then abruptly begin to bash and beat the other players at the table with the table. The goal of the game is to defeat enough opponents in the brawl that you accumulate 20 victory points. Points are gained by defeating bystanders or opponents and the game does an excellent job of introducing unique characters with often humorous special abilities into the fray.
Each adventurer has a few attack values, one for punching, one for chair attacks and a special attack and defense that comes into play based on the dice you roll every turn. The dice themselves are customized for play just with the Inn-Fighting set and include carved symbols that determine what action a player may take. The mechanic is a little hard to explain in a review but basically the first player rolls 5 dice, composed of 4 white and one red dice. The symbols on the dice determine if a player will attack the opponent to the left, right or the lucky sap who is currently in the lead.
Two special symbols also allow you to heal or draw an action card, which can either introduce a follower or “bystander” to your brawling team or give you some interesting instant play abilities. There is a bit of strategy involved in choosing your attacks since players pass any dice that feature the two special symbols on until anyone cashes in those dice and all dice are rerolled.
My description probably does not do enough justice to how fun and simple the game is to pick up and play. Like Steve Jackson’s Munchkin it’s always fun to make light of the fantasy RPG conceits and Inn-Fighting and its colorful barfighting simulation can make even the best of friends devious rivals in the search for the ultimate victory point total.
Inn-Fighting is a fast game, round usually last between 20-40 minutes and the group I played the game with was happy to go through four or five hands in lieu of a single D&D session. While I’ve not played Wizard’s other pick up game, Three Dragon Ante, Inn-Fighting has made me consider this as a future purchase.
It appears that this summer the Clone Wars will not only continue on the big screen but also on the tabletops of Star Wars Miniature players. Lucasarts and Wizards of the Coast announced that the setting of the upcoming movie and TV series will be introduced as the fall expansion for the popular “plastic death” game. With the Legacy of the Force based expansion just seeing release and the upcoming “Knights of the Old Republic” focused expansion hitting stores in August, the Clone Wars will come to life on November.
Wizards of the Coast is expanding its line of popular Star Wars Miniatures and Roleplaying Games this year, debuting new products based on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the new animated feature and television series from Lucasfilm Animation, and to extend the storylines popularized in the numerous Star Wars movies, novels and comic books.
The highly detailed, pre-painted Miniatures are not only valuable collectibles; they are part of a highly tactical strategy game incorporating hundreds of characters from across the Star Wars universe. Together with the Roleplaying Game, these Star Wars products give fans a truly immersive experience.
March 28th marked the release of Legacy of the Force(TM), a 60-figure Miniatures set based primarily on the popular Star Wars: Legacy Dark Horse comic book series. With this set, fans will continue to re-enact the Republic’s struggle to maintain order years after the Battle of Yavin.
August continues another popular comic book theme — Knights of the Old Republic(TM) — with a 60-figure Miniatures set exploring the tale of the Republic 4,000 years before the original movies, when Sith Lords and Jedi Knights clashed and invading Mandalorians threatened the Galaxy. Each set contains iconic characters, vehicles, and beasts from the various storylines for a truly comprehensive Star Wars experience.
Gleemax Games Goes Alpha
Alongside the upcoming D&D Insider, Wizards of the Coast is also giving the digital game treatment to some of its other traditional game offerings through it’s Gleemax gaming portal. While up until now Gleemax has been mostly about social networking and discussion boards, the introduction of the virtual gametable seems imminent as Gleemax introduces the Alpha versions of some popular boardgames. These games can now be played online sans plastic chips and cards against anyone anywhere and at any time.
“The alpha release of Gleemax Games is the next step in rolling out our Gleemax vision,” said Randy Buehler, VP of Digital Games at Wizards of the Coast. “For board gamers, this is an evolution in play, uniting old and new friends with a 24 hour online experience. In addition, we are providing the first taste of our independent spirit with Desktop Tower Defense, with more indie titles to be rolled out over the coming year. This is just an alpha test, but I think it points to where we are heading with our games, and our style of game play.”
Featured games at the Alpha release include:
- Axis & Allies is the classic board game of war, economics, and strategy. Players represent the military and economic destinies of Germany, Japan, England, the Soviet Union, and the USA in a board game that requires an unmatched level of strategy and tactical thinking in order to win.
- RoboRally is famed game designer Richard Garfield’s take on robots and racing. As factory robots, players pit their automations against each other in a frantic, destructive race across laser-filled, chasm ridden factory floors to earn the honor, the glory and the grudging respect of the other robots. Up to eight players can participate in this online robotic deathmatch.
- In Vegas Showdown the stakes are high as you compete with friends online to build the most famous hotel and casino in the heart of Las Vegas. Each of you has one year to plan and build a luxury hotel/casino on the site. Resources are limited, so players will have to outbid and outmaneuver the competition to get the right combination of restaurants, lounges, gaming rooms and other attractions to turn their casino into the jewel of the Entertainment Capital of the World.
- 2008 Gleemie award winner Desktop Tower Defense is the first-in-class example of the exploding tower defense online gaming genre. Players buy, place and upgrade their defense towers to kill “creeps” as they make their way across the battlefield toward the exit in a race against the oncoming hoards. The short-form addictive gameplay will have you hooked in the first five minutes.