Board Game Bucket List

I used to believe that gaming meant only using a console, handheld or using a PC. This summer, when I stayed in Winona, I discovered a cute little gaming store called River Quest.

**Edit: 12/10/2017 I found out River Quest was closing!¬†¬†Sad Day ūüė¶ **

My roommate got a job working there, so I was in the store at least once a week or every other week. I got to know the owner, who is one of the coolest guys in the Winona area. I was opened up to a world of a different type of gaming.

I’m creating a Bucket List of Board Games that I haven’t played yet, but I intend to. I will sticky this to the front page of the Gaming Section and I plan to update it as I play new games. Also I hope to post a review on some of these board games especially the ones with the strike out through the name. In the meantime, enjoy my bucket list! Also feel free to comment with various board games that I can add on the list.

Here is my Board Game Bucket List:

  1. Exploding Kittens Card Game
  2. Munchkin *any version*
  3. Star Wars Destiny
  4. Ticket To Ride
  5. Monsters & Other Childish Things
  6. Red Dragon Inn
  7. Arkham Horror/Eldrich Horror
  8. Star Wars X-Wing
  9. Red Dragon Inn 4
  10. Pandemic
  11. Love Letter *card game*
  12. Smash Up
  13. Bang *card game*
  14. Red7
  15. Sentinels of the Multiverse
  16. Letters from White Chapel
  17. Here Kitty Kitty 
  18. Stone Age
  19. Agricola
  20. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  21. Seasons
  22. Takenoko
  23. Code Names
  24. Shadow Hunters 
  25. Dixit
  26. Doctor Who Time of the Daleks
  27. Fury of Dracula
  28. Dead of Winter
  29. Hogwarts Deck Building Game

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

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More Podcast Recommendations

For the Easter holiday, me and the boyfriend went to visit his family in Milwaukee, WI. From where we both live, that’s about a 5 1/2 hour drive there and back. In two days we drove 10 hours and there were times where the drive felt incredibly long. To help entertain myself, I listen to podcasts. I’m not blessed to be able to read in the car without vomiting my guts out from the motion sickness. Here are the podcasts I adore:

Good Luck High Five 

Hosted by Marie and Megan, these two Magic the Gathering¬†players are located in Minneapolis / St. Paul. They travel for different Magic tournaments like right now they’re both in London which I’m super jealous about. They will talk about Magic pre-releases, card mechanics, how to use Magic the Gathering Arena and more. I have become much more into Magic since listening to this podcast.

This Podcast Will Kill You

I stumbled upon this podcast on accident after browsing through Stitcher’s podcast list. Hosted by Erin Welsh, PhD and Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD, these two discuss different infectious diseases. Erin Welsh, PhD is a disease ecologist who is studying tick borne disease transmission in wildlife. Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD, is an epidemiologist who is also attending medical school.

Each episode is split into covering the biology of the disease, the history of the disease and where the disease sits currently today. I look forward to each episode they release because they’re well researched. I’m almost caught up on their podcast and I’m sad because now I have to wait for the episodes to be released.

Babes at the Table

One of my coworkers at the coffee shop I work at recently started her own podcast.¬†Babes at the Table¬†is a feminist, pro-women podcast with episodes ranging from books the hosts are reading or “hot dish” episodes where they discuss a topic in detail. I appreciate how forward thinking this podcast is and how respectful it is to different gender identities.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness 

I’m a big¬†Queer Eye¬†fan, so when I found out Jonathan Van Ness hosted a podcast, I was all in. Jonathan Van Ness is 100% himself all the time and I want to soak in all the extra energy he has.¬† He has recorded episodes about relationships, politics, representation and more. Even if the topic doesn’t sound appealing at first, I can gain a new perspective I didn’t know I needed.

Let me know if you listen to any of these podcasts. As always, I do love podcast recommendations. Feel free to post any in the comments section below.

 

Manga, Good Omens and Comics in My Latest Book Haul

As a consumer, I try to support local businesses when I can. There’s a book store about 10 minutes away from my apartment that serves local beer on tap along with black coffee. I’m planning on purchasing more of my books there versus Barnes & Noble, however, I had two Barnes & Noble gift cards to use up from the past holiday season. I made my purchases and I wanted to share what’s next on my reading list.

Book Haul.jpeg

Prodigy by Marie Lu

This is the second book in the¬†Legend¬†trilogy. I wrote a book review of¬†Legend¬†a couple of blog posts ago where I raved about how much I liked the book. The main reason I had avoided reading this series for so long was because of the whole dystopian, young adult novel craze that hit bookstores. I needed a break from the constant book to movie adaptations we had been seeing. I’m only about fifty pages into¬†Prodigy,¬†but so far it’s been pretty fast paced.

My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi

I have been trying to get into reading more manga and watching anime, but I haven’t found a series that clicks with me.¬†My Hero Academia¬†is a top rated manga and anime series about a young boy who’s obsessed with super powers even though he isn’t powered himself. Eventually he gets into contact with a superhero which may help him become the hero he’s always wanted to be. I’m looking forward to diving into this.

Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

This book is a contemporary novel combining romance and comics together. Miriam’s grandfather created a successful comic series in the 1960’s, but sold it to his co-creator. Now, the series is worth millions and Miriam’s family is left with nothing of that legacy. The guy she falls in love with just so happens to be related to the co-creator who robbed Miriam’s grandfather of a successful comics career. Comics plus romance automatically makes this a must-read for me.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

I must confess I have never read any book by either of these two authors. I know that’s a travesty, but this will be my first dip into both of these science fiction / fantasy authors. I’m also looking forward to the TV series with David Tennant & Michael Sheen. I want to have prior knowledge of the show which led me to purchasing the book.

Wildcard by Marie Lu

After I finish reading¬†Prodigy,¬†I will read this one next.¬†Warcross¬†was one of my favorite books I read last year and as a gamer, I connected with Emika Chen more than I ever have with any other character in books. I wish I was as skilled with technology as she is. I have read some book reviews saying Wildcard¬†isn’t as good as¬†Warcross¬†which makes me slightly anxious.¬†I will certainly write my own review once I finish Wildcard.¬†

My latest book haul has made me excited for what I’m reading. Everything in this pile is something I’m excited to read which means I have been reading books at a faster rate than I have in the past. My goodreads goal is 40 books this year which seems attainable based on the books I’m reading. Let me know what books you recently purchased in the comments below.

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Re-Read

My goal for 2019 is to re-read the whole Harry Potter series. I’m making good progress as I’m on¬†the Goblet of Fire¬†now. However,¬†the Goblet of Fire¬†is the first Harry Potter book that’s more than 500 pages. The length of the Harry Potter books isn’t intimidating to me because I’m infatuated with the series. The¬†Prisoner of Azkaban¬†is a pivotal book in the series because of what’s revealed regarding Harry’s parents, but also more about how Harry’s parents were left vulnerable to Voldemort’s wrath. Here are my notes I wrote regarding¬†Prisoner of Azkaban:¬†

  • Ron yelling into the telephone when calling Harry over the summer.
  • Harry being gifted a sneakascope from Ron. Goes off constantly when Scabbers is with Ron. Wonder why.
  • The Firebolt can go 150 MPH in 10 seconds.
  • Hermione’s birthday is in September.
  • Neville and Ginny were also in the cart when Harry was first attacked by the Dementor. This isn’t shown in the movie
  • Hagrid had more than one hippogriff in his class. He had a bronze, pink, chestnut and black hippogriff besides Buckbeak.
  • Snape completely humiliates Neville in the book. He feeds his potion to Trevor hoping to kill it. He also tells Lupin in their first lesson how it’s a pity that Neville is in his class. However, Lupin being the heartwarming character that he is, has Neville go first with the Boggart. Neville also teams up with Lupin to capture it in the chest. Lupin must identify with Neville because of the isolation Lupin feels about his identity.
  • Red Caps are goblin like creatures lurking where blood shed occurs
  • Kappas are water dwellers who try to strangle people.
  • The Grindylow is mentioned in Lupin’s class. Nice foreshadowing of what’s to come
  • You can’t apparate in and out of Hogwarts. Comes up when trying to deduce how Sirius Black is getting into the castle.
  • Cedric Diggory is the current Hufflepuff seeker… ūüė¶
  • Impervius is the spell Hermione uses on Harry’s glasses to repel water.
  • Sirius Black was James Potter’s best man.
  • Dumbledore long suspected there was a spy in the Order of the Phoenix, but couldn’t prove who it was.
  • Within a week of the Fidelius charm / secret keeper being cast, James and Lily were murdered by Voldemort. That’s extremely depressing.
  • In the book, Hagrid is with the professors in Hogsmeade where Harry overhears his parent’s history with Sirius Black. This makes Harry distrustful of Hagrid.
  • Harry receives the Firebolt in the Gryffindor Common Room versus the Great Hall in the movie. This leads to McGonagall confiscating the Firebolt because of the fact there might be jinx’s attached to it.
  • I didn’t realize Dementor’s actually use their mouths to clamp on to their victims to deliver the kiss. In the movie, it looks like the Dementor’s just suck the soul out of the person without having to actually be attached to them.
  • Cho Chang is referenced as the Ravenclaw seeker.
  • The Slytherin match where Harry helps to win the Quidditch Cup is extremely dirty. The Slytherin players were deliberately trying to take out all the Gryffindor players.
  • Animagus do have to register with the Ministry of Magic including their distinct markings.
  • All the Maurder’s Map friends were unregistered animagi which explains why no one knew how Sirius was getting into Hogwarts.
  • The Wolfsbane potion is used to allow a werewolf to keep their mind during the transformation.
  • Pettigrew was passing secrets to Voldemort for a full year before the murder of the Potters. The movie seems to play it off like Pettigrew was forced into working with Voldemort. In the book, it’s much more clear how deep the betrayal was between Pettigrew and the Potter family.
  • Pettigrew is actually in danger because of the repercussions from former death eaters. Pettigrew’s information of the Potter’s location is what allowed Voldemort to become powerless. His death eaters have reason to want to kill him.
  • Walden Macnair (the man who executed Buckbeak) is referenced as a former Death Eater.

I wanted to share one of my favorite parts of this book. I completely forgot this part exists, but it’s towards the end with Harry and Dumbledore having a conversation after Lupin leaves Hogwarts. Harry expresses that he regrets saving Pettigrew’s life,¬† Dumbledore responds with, “the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew’s life.” IF THIS ISN’T FORESHADOWING I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS. I CAN’T EVEN. Dumbledore also says how there’s a unique bond created when a wizard spares another wizards life.

Re-reading the Harry Potter books has been eye opening for me. I’m probably enjoying them more as an adult because of the little details I missed as a kid. The different ways Rowling foreshadows future events is well done. Hopefully you all are enjoying these recaps as much as I enjoy writing them. I will post my¬†Goblet of Fire¬†one as soon as I finish reading all 734 pages.

Hogwarts Express.jpg

Twerking at a Wraith: DnD Dark Ages Session #5

This has officially become the longest DnD campaign I have ever been in. My character Althaea is a level #5 now and she has more spells she’s learned through the course of her adventures. Our last session was one of the most entertaining DnD sessions I have ever witnessed. If you can’t already tell by the title of this post, one of the characters has some fun with the Wraith we fought which I will go into detail shortly.

To begin the session, our group heads over to Lake Constance to fetch some of the remaining magical artifacts. We were going to head there in the prior session, but we were attacked by Frost Giants. As we carefully walk on the frozen lake, we see an ice Wraith pausing over a hole in the ice. We investigate the Wraith and see it has been injured and unfortunately succumbs to its injury. One of our characters has a spell where she can breathe underwater, so she dives down to collect a dark arrow and a pair of gauntlets. We also uncover a map from a corpse nearby which has been frozen solid in ice. This map leads us to certain locations where other magical artifacts can be found.

Althaea decides we should investigate the Dark Tower. As we climb the stairs we see a light Wraith guarding the light artifacts. Our character named Cupo decides to yell “GOOD MORNING, HOW’S YOUR DAY??” at it. I burst out laughing because of the way he randomly yells this and his facial expression as he says it. The Wraith immediately sent a bolt of light at Cupo who took 13 damage. Since Wraith’s are ghost like creatures, it was immune to physical weapons. It was also resistant to poison, fire, ice, thunder and necromancy magic. This happened to be what most of my spell slots were.

Muglupus and Cupo were unable to fight the Wraith since they weren’t spell casters. This is where things got weird. Cupo decides if he can’t fight the Wraith, he would distract it. First, Cupo starts asking him generic questions like, “SERIOUSLY THOUGH HOW IS YOUR DAY?”. Cupo starts rolling high enough where the Wraith is apparently distracted. Next, Cupo takes off his shirt and starts “shimmying” at the Wraith. If that wasn’t enough, Cupo completely undresses and starts “dancing” which turns into twerking in front of the Wraith. Cupo rolled a critical success, which led to the Wraith glided up to Cupo and licking him!

Eventually, Althaea and Maeva defeated the Wraith by casting various spells at it even though it might have been resistant to them. Althaea dealing it 20 damage with Maeva dealing it 25 damage. Our characters turn to see Cupo desperately trying to dress himself as we walk out of the Dark Tower with our items. As our characters decide our next move, we made our way back to a village we saved back in session #2. I bought more health vials since I had plenty of physical weapons. Our group looks at the map we gathered from the frozen man and see the mountain range is our next place to go. As we walk to the mountains we see a group of monks who have been slaughtered. This ends our session.

This was an exciting session for me due to being able to fight the Wraith. It was entertaining seeing Cupo trying to distract this Wraith. It’s not as funny typing it out in a blog post than it was actually being there and seeing him say these things to the Wraith. I’m looking forward to our next session where we will be in the mountains collecting more magical artifacts. Thank you so much for reading all these recaps, hopefully you’re enjoying them as much as I am.

 

Legend Review

Legend Marie Lu.jpg

One of my favorite authors right now is Marie Lu. The first book I read of hers was Warcross which I discovered after watching Super Space Chick on her YouTube channel. I became entranced by the mixture of a digitally advanced city mixed with this virtual reality, World of Warcraft inspired game. I clicked with Emika Chen as I felt she was a strong, well crafted, independent female character. Marie Lu has many other successful series out now which is the main reason why I purchased Legend. Legend was SO good. I finished the book earlier this week and immediately drove to Barnes & Noble to purchase Prodigy the 2nd book in the series. I plan to finish reading the trilogy in 2019.

Legend¬†describes a dystopian United States where the Republic forces young kids to¬†participate in a test titled “The Trials”. If they pass, these kids will receive the best jobs, education and living situations. However, if they fail, they’re sent to work in the mines or another undesirable career option. Fifteen year old June was born into a privileged family with her father being a scientist and her brother Metias working in the Republic’s military. Day however, was born into poverty where he is seen as the “Robin Hood” in the story. His crimes include stealing medical supplies or disabling Republic military style vehicles. June and Day are brought together when Day is accused of murdering Metias in a medical operation gone wrong. June’s relationship with Day tests her knowledge of the Republic and whether or not she’s on the right side in this society.

One reason why I adored this book is all the themes being brought up in this society. First, is the “psychology of dictatorship”. One such example includes Thomas (a friend of her brother Metias) and how he blatantly kills people because of his orders. This upsets June. June is forced to rethink her position in the Republic and witnessing the deaths of these civilians allows her to start thinking for herself. Meeting Day was the force June needed to confront her abusive government.

Another theme I uncovered in this book is the prevalence of men asserting their wants on women. For example, June is in her room when Thomas tries to force himself on her. June rebukes at his advances and Thomas’s “ego” is hurt. He is mad at her for a couple days until he gets over it. This scene is realistic to today’s society. I can’t tell you how many times I have lost friendships with men because of their hurt feelings at how I don’t want to date them. June doesn’t owe Thomas anything and I’m glad she pushed him away and stood up for herself instead of letting Thomas get what he wants.

As I read this book, I liked June’s character growth throughout the novel. I won’t rehash what I stated above, but she starts to think for herself. She was a pawn of the government until she was forced to reflect on how the Republic has impacted her own life. I see myself in June because I as a cis, white woman have privilege in society. I used to be ignorant about struggles from other groups until I opened my eyes. June has this same character growth in the book.

I could keep going on about why I appreciated¬†the themes in¬†Legend,¬†but if you haven’t read this series yet, I highly encourage that you read it. After I’m finished with¬†Prodigy,¬†I’m going to take a break and read the 2nd book in the¬†Warcross¬†series. Marie Lu’s writing is fantastic and I will purchase any book she writes.

 

Shazam! Pre Screening No Spoilers

Right before me and the boyfriend started dating, we chatted on Tinder about the Justice League. The DC universe is one of the fandoms me and the boyfriend have in common. Ever since the trailer dropped for Shazam!¬†at San Diego Comic Con, we have both been¬† awaiting the release of this movie. Shazam is a superhero that could work well in a movie, but it also could go horribly wrong due to Shazam’s back story. I’m thrilled to say this movie lives up to the hype and you all should see it Friday April 5th 2019.

As I mentioned, there won’t be any spoilers for this movie. Instead, I want to focus on Shazam’s back story. Billy Batson is a troublesome, homeless kid found sleeping on the subway or being transferred between foster homes. Despite his upbringing, Billy has a good heart and defends his other foster siblings from bullies at school. This leads him to being transported to a mysterious throne where a very old man is sitting. This man is the Wizard Shazam using the powers of all the gods to fight evil. As he is aging, he recognizes he needs to pass his powers to someone else because eventually he will die. Billy says the name “Shazam!” and he is transformed into the ultra powerful being.

Shazam!¬†takes inspiration from the New 52 series. In 2012 Geoff Johns rewrote the character as being from Philadelphia instead of New York. Johns also introduced Doctor Sivana early on in the series along with Black Adam. I’m thinking in the¬†Shazam!¬†sequel if there is one, Black Adam will be the main villain.

Shazam is truly a kid at heart even though he looks like an ultra buff Superman. This is where the movie lies in a delicate balance. Zachary Levi, Jack Dylon Grazer and Asher Angel were perfectly cast. Levi and Grazer have amazing chemistry together and Grazer’s humor adds to the comedic tone of the film. One of my favorite parts of the film is Shazam! testing his powers with Grazer’s help as he films him and adds it to Youtube.

Doctor Sivana is the main villain in this movie played wonderfully by Mark Strong. Doctor Sivana is a mad scientist of sorts. I felt Strong did a great job with the role, but I don’t think there’s anything particular unique about Sivana. He follows the stereotypical movie villain prototype.

Even if you’re not a DC fan,¬†Shazam!¬†is a fun movie to see in theaters. I feel bad for Warner Bros. since their DC movie universe is in shambles. I hope they get their shit together because Zachary Levi was fabulous as Shazam. Let me know you’re thoughts are with the movie in the comments below.

Shazam March 14th 2019.jpg

Shazam! opens Friday April 5th 2019 

Dark Ages Campaign Acts #3 & #4 Recap

Remember how I’m involved in a DnD campaign? Our campaign titled Dark Ages is still active, I just got behind in writing the recap posts for each session. I’m going to blame my trip to Orlando and prepping for C2E2 for why I got behind in these recap posts. There’s a lot to summarize since our group of characters now befriended a pack of wolves intending to kill us. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I did write recap posts from our first two acts which I will link here:¬†¬†Dark Ages Act #1 &¬†Dark Ages Act 2. Let me recap how we added a pack of wolves to our gaming group.

Act #3 Lots of Wolves

Our group is staying at our friend Rose’s house after we killed the innkeeper because of his human experiments on the townsfolk. Through our exploration, we know that there are bandits within the area. We could either stay and defend Rose in case she is attacked by bandits or go explore this monastery which has arcane artifacts. We chose to adventure to the monastery.

As we set up camp due to poor weather, we heard wolves howling in the distance. Muglupus (my boyfriend’s character) howls to the wolves which probably wasn’t smart to do. Of course, the wolves show up because a dwarf howling can be heard from miles away. It was Muglupus’s idea to try and befriend the wolves. Everyone in our group rolled terribly. Muglupus however, rolled a critical success. As long as we feed our wolves at regular intervals, we can keep them. There were five wolves including the alpha. Each of our characters got to name a wolf. This is what our group decided:

Alphie *the alpha* named by Muglupus. 68 HP.

Liam Neeson 11 HP

Mrs. Waffles < this one is mine. 11 HP

Jacob – 12 HP

Debra 9 HP

We also killed a group of bandits with help from our wolf pack. To prevent the wolves from turning on us, we let them eat the bandits. The wolves allow us to get to the monastery ahead of schedule which marks the end of this session.

Side note: What makes this session important is how my boyfriend was crucial to the story. As Muglupus, he rolled critically, so our characters could befriend the wolves. Earlier, my boyfriend had made a comment about how he wasn’t sure if DnD was “his thing.” I have never seen my boyfriend so excited to have a virtual wolf in the game. I thought it was cute, but also showed him how fun DnD can be.

Act #4 Fighting with Frost Giants

As our characters pulled up to the monastery, we were greeted by monks. They told us a story of these artifact tablets representing light and dark magic. If one of these tablets is destroyed, it puts the world out of balance as far as which magic takes over. The light tablet is located at the bottom of Lake Constance farther north than the monastery. Our characters have decided to find the tablets and either destroy them or give them to the monks for safe keeping.

As we attempt to go to Lake Constance, our group is surrounded by huge Frost Giants. Unlike our previous session, we couldn’t befriend them and we were forced to fight for our lives. Althaea didn’t do a whole lot with them, but was able to deal 8 damage to one with the firebolt spell. Unfortunately, one of the Frost Giants was able to severely wound Mrs. Waffles, my wolf. I had to use my last red vial to heal her, otherwise she would have perished. Our group was lucky because these Frost Giants had up to 68 HP. After looting their corpses, we see fire in the general area where Rose’s cottage was.

Our group goes to investigate and it seems Rose’s cottage has been burned to the ground. There seems to be no survivors. Deep in the ground seems to be footprints from her cottage leading north. As we circle back to the monastery (without the light tablet from Lake Constance), we find Rose was able to make it back to the monastery. She describes her ordeal of being attacked by¬†20 barbarians. I’m not sure how she was able to make it out of there? In our next session, we will try to secure the light tablet and establish whether or not we will keep the tablets safe or give them to the monks for safe keeping.

Recapping these past two sessions, Althaea didn’t have a huge role in either of them. However, it’s been exciting to see my boyfriend become more involved with the campaign. I’m not sure if he would ever seek out DnD without me involved, but it’s fun for me to see him getting excited about the game. Our next session is next weekend and now that Althaea is a level #5, I’m hoping she will kick some ass while riding Mrs. Waffles.