Hands on Gundam the Game

Amuro looking at the game

Last year my wife and I became hooked on the original Gundam TV show. Surprisingly, neither of us had watched it before, so what started as a lark inspired by this Yoshinoya commercial turned us into fans.  When Arclight announced they were releasing a cooperative Gundam board game, I knew I wanted to give it, so picked it up at Tokyo Game Market.

The game is for 1-4 players and takes at least 30 minutes to play each phase. There are always four characters being played, so how many each player controls scales inversely with the number of players. Its gameplay is straight forward and simple, following the original TV show story. Like many story-based games, Continue reading Hands on Gundam the Game

From Season to Season

From Season to Season is a cute game of winning by losing. Coming in a small confectionary-sized box, the labeling and design is that of traditional Japanese sweets. The game really plays to the idea of hospitality and ometenashi, with players giving points to others, and the player with the fewest points wins.

The reference sheet, season with point tracker card, and sweets tiles
The top left card is a reference card. The bottom left card is used to track points, as well as indicate the player’s season.

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Udonarium

I played in a D&D Dragon Heist online session the other day. We used discord for the audio and general chat, but rounded it out with an open source tool called Udonarium that has a neat approach to tabletop.

Toolbar, inventory, main chat, and map
Toolbar, inventory, main chat, and map. The images are the standard tutorial images.

The first thing that struck me was its approach to the map. Most software, such as roll20, provides a top down view. Udonarium, on the other hand, provides a 3D view, with the tokens “standing” on the map, giving it a feeling similar to in-person table top play. The board and tokens themselves can be rotated. A brief video showing this functionality:

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Hands on Magicalogia

I wanted to try Magicalogia (マギカロギア) for quite a while and finally had the chance to play thanks to a friend’s daughter who ran a game for my wife and I. It was a game of many firsts– while it was the first time for me playing Magicalogia, it as my wife’s first time playing a TRPG at all. We were originally going to do a two person game, but the scenario in question worked better for two players plus the game master, so my wife volunteered to join in.

After briefly scanning the scenario book “Tasogare”, the GM decided on the “Call” scenario. Tasogare is a collection of scenarios, some of which have been published in other sources and some that are new. One thing that impressed me with the book was being able to run the scenario, including character generation, without having preparing beforehand. Also, the guide to the scenarios breaks down the number of players, their level, Continue reading Hands on Magicalogia

First Time DMing in Japanese

I had been wanting to try my hand at DMing in Japanese for a long time, but always found an excuse to wait. That procrastination finally came to an end when the regular DM for the monthly D&D 5e game I play in suddenly had to work. The group considered playing something else, but at the coaxing of my wife, I volunteered to run a one shot. Both the game and prep were fun, so it was definitely worth the challenge! I hope to inspire others to try DMing in a second language by diving into how I went about prepping and running the game.

Prep!

Having only a day to prepare was surprisingly useful because it forced me to focus on the most important tasks.

The Scenario

Prepared 2 by Kobold PressFirst, I decided that I’d use a pre-written scenario and after some research, settled on “A Starry Breach” from Kobold Press’s Prepared! 2. I already had their Tome of Beasts, so ran the monsters as written, but there are suggested replacements from the Monster Manual as well. Next, I printed out the three pages of the adventure and monster entries and sleeved them in a folio for easy reference. Scenario to run now in hand, I had one problem: it was in English, but the game would be in Japanese. Continue reading First Time DMing in Japanese

Gaming until First Light

August has been a whirlwind of a month for me, so it was wonderful to let loose with an all night gaming session at the local gaming shop Rigoler. I wrote about the shop previously, and my appreciation of it has only increased the more I go.

The all night event officially started at 12 midnight and went to 5 AM at a bar in the same building as the shop, but the “pre-game” event started at 6pm and Rigoler was packed. My pre-game, though, was to go a local Bon Dance festival.

Bon Dance
The dancers circle around the stand performing the same movements

My friend and I showed up around midnight Continue reading Gaming until First Light

Babel

Continuing on the success of Pandemic: Iberia over New Years with my wife, we next tried the balance game Babel.

Babel Box

Box Contents

Babel comes in a sturdy box with a nice pulp texture to it. It can be played with 1 to 5 players and takes 15-30 minutes. The version we played was the new version that came out in 2017. The previous version came out in 2016 and had some differences with the components.

Unboxing Babel

In the box are 36 wall cards, 45 blue print cards, 10 base cards, one ceiling card, and 5 language cards, plus the instruction booklet. The components are well-made and sturdy. Appropriate to its biblical namesake, Hebrew is used as a design element on the cards.

Babel Contents

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Scouting Yokohama Shops and Cafes

As I mentioned last post, I’ll be moving to Yokohama soon. Curious what my gaming options would look like, we decided to swing by some game shops and cafes after checking out apartments. I’ll add a list of Yokohama shops, similar to my Tokyo list, once I get to know the area a bit better. Now to the shops!

Continue reading Scouting Yokohama Shops and Cafes