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Seafall

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Who remembers the perpetual poker game played by a rotating group of off-duty doctors in the television show M*A*S*H? Did anyone spend their childhood vacations playing a summer-long game of Monopoly, with the board left set up from week to week on some out-of-the-way surface in the rec room? What about one of those weeks-long Dungeons & Dragons adventures?

A so-called Legacy board game plays out over time and a series of games, sort of like the examples above. The games collectively form a campaign, in which actions taken and decisions made (and their consequences) have repercussions in subsequent games, changing the options open to player-characters, non-player-character interactions, and perhaps even the map itself. 

The two best-known offerings in the legacy board game genre to date have been Pandemic Legacy and Risk Legacy, both reimplementations of other games and both designed in part by Rob Daviau. They are now joined by Seafall, an ambitious original offering from Daviau.

Seafall is a so-called 4X game ("eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate”) set in an alternate Earth-like world just entering the age of sail. Players are trying to discover and explore new islands, develop trade, and consolidate their positions. Players will buy access to advisors who lend strength and flexibility to game play, will acquire goods to sell, and will then use that income to upgrade their ship(s) so that more difficult — and more profitable — actions may be taken later. Players are racing to achieve milestones before their opponents do, so risks must be taken!


Seafall is an absorbing strategy game that will be appreciated by those who are intrigued by game possibilities provided by a longer story arc. Careful strategy and a bit of luck are both needed to succeed in Seafall, as some situations are resolved by dice rolls that, if they come out badly, can dash a player's best-laid plans at that moment. Still, the dynamic nature of the game and the choices that must be made along the way mean that things can change on a dime!

  • 3 to 5 players
  • 90 to 120 minutes per game (depends somewhat on the story arc and somewhat on players themselves)
  • ages 12+
  • published by Plaid Hat Games


Outfoxed

“A wily fox has stolen Mrs. Plumpert’s pot pie, and is high-tailing it to the foxhole! Work together as a team of detectives, gathering clues and eliminating possible suspects. Figure out who is the guilty fox before it escapes.”

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Outfoxed is a cooperative game for children aged 5 and up from respected U.S. publisher Gamewright. Players work together to gather clues, which they then use to rule out (or rule in!) suspects.

The suspect cards are arrayed face-down around the outside of the game board, with two cards chosen at random to be turned face-up. Each suspect is wearing a number of items that will help the detectives eliminate (or identify) him or her.  The 16 Thief cards are then shuffled, and one is inserted into the Clue Decoder. The rest of the Thief cards are returned to the box (since you only need one Thief!)

The Fox pawn (representing the Thief) starts on the start space (marked with a fox icon) on the edge of the board, then each player puts a Detective Hat marker in the centre of the board. If the fox makes it all the way across the board before the detectives have figured out who the Thief is, then the game has won. If, however, they can identify the Thief before he can complete the trip, then they have won!

On their turns, players decide whether they will search for clues or reveal suspects (they can’t do both on a single turn). If they are searching for clues, they roll the three special dice, trying to get all three to show footprints (re-rolls are okay). Counting up the footprints shown on the top faces of the dice, the player may then move up to that many spaces horizontally or vertically on the board. If they can land on a paw print space, they may draw the top Clue card and pop it into the front of the Clue Decoder. They then slide open the Clue Decoder, which will indicate whether the Clue in question is worn by the Thief: a red spot means yes, while a green spot means that no, the item on the Clue is not worn by the Thief.

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The face-up suspects may be eliminated, and must be replaced by a player choosing to reveal suspects. This is also done by rolling the dice, only in this case the player is trying to roll eyes on all three dice so that two more suspect cards can be turned over. Sometimes suspect cards can be eliminated right away, thanks to clues previously solved. 

When players are pretty sure that they know who the guilty party is, they can decide to name the thief. The thief card is then revealed from the Clue Decoder, and if it matches — the players have won! If, however, the identity of the Thief does not match the suspect named, then the fox has escaped!

Outfoxed is a great first deductive-reasoning game. The players quickly learn that discussion, memory skills, and collaboration serve them best to win the game. No reading skills are required, apart from the names of the suspects.

  • ages 5 and up
  • 2 to 4 players
  • 15 minutes

Codenames: Or, Is a Kangaroo a Mammal?

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Codenames is a party game for 4 to 8 players that asks players to identify their team’s “spies” from minimal verbal clues given by their spymaster.  The hidden spies are represented by rectangular  cards with a different word printed on each side (200 cards, so 400 different words in all). 

Play is simple: the cards are dealt out in a five-by-five grid (the words are printed so that they are printed by players seated at opposite sides of a table, which is nice). The two spymasters share a keycard, randomly chosen and not visible to other players, that denotes which words belong to which team — red or blue — and which are Innocent Bystanders. And which lone card in the matrix represents the Assassin.

And so it begins. Spymasters take turns giving clues — only one word, followed by at most one number — that they hope will lead their team-mates to choose one of their agents’ secret identity cards. The word clue refers to an attribute, while the number clue tells players how many of the cards the clue refers to. The spymaster’s team then discusses and decides, but the spymaster can say nothing more (and should try to keep a straight face!)

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Having made its choice, the team touches one of the codename cards.  The spymaster will then cover the secret identity card with an appropriately-coloured agent card (red team / blue team) according to the key. If you manage to guess a word of your team’s colour, the team can keep going, up to one more guess than the number given as part of the clue. A wrong guess ends the turn immediately.

Innocent Bystander cards are placed in the same way as the agent cards, if a team member touches a card so designated on the key. And the Assassin? If a team member touches the Assassin in response to a clue, the game is over and the team that touched the Assassin loses. Slow play is solved by starting the included sand timer (you can even use it on yourself, if you are having trouble with a clue). Play passes to the other team when the sand runs out.

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Codenames: Pictures is this year’s companion release to the original Codenames. It works on the same premise, but because the cards feature pictures instead of words it is not English-language-dependent nor does it require reading skills. Because of this, Codenames: Pictures may be more appropriate for mixed-age groups such as families with younger children.

Both Codenames games promote deductive reasoning, logic, and cooperation. Recommended.

Designed by Vlaada Chávtil and published by Czech Games Edition.

Discover the Game of Go!

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On November 19, 2016, Quinte Go Club will host an introductory presentation about Go, the 4000-year-old board game. All are welcome to attend as we showcase the game's rich culture and teach new players the rules. The event will begin at 1:00 p.m. but drop-ins are welcome.

Location: Scalliwag Toys, 302 Front Street, Belleville, ON. Free parking is available in the Riverside Lot located directly behind the store.

For more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/quintegoclub


Commander 2016 is Here, and It’s Awesome


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The new Commander 2016 prebuilt decks are now in-store, and they look amazing.

First off, for those who are unfamiliar with the format, here’s the skinny direct from Wizards of the Coast: 

“Created and popularized by fans, Commander is a casual format in which each player’s deck is led by the legendary creature of his or her choice — the player’s commander. It’s usually played in a casual free-for-all multiplayer games, although two-player games are also popular. Each player starts at 40 life. Each deck contains exactly 100 cards, including its commander. Commander is also a “singleton” format:  other than basic lands, each card must have a different English name.”

Five new decks are available in Commander 2016, each with one four-colour commander. The decks also include two-colour legendary creatures that may be used together (the new partner mechanic) as alternate commanders. As Mark Rosewater, head designer for Magic: The Gathering says: “Here’s how partner works: when choosing your commander, you are allowed to choose two legendary creatures that both have partner in place of a single legendary creature.”

There are 15 different two-coloured legendary creatures in the set, which allow 105 distinct commander combinations in addition to the five four-colour commanders.So much choice!  Your deck may still contain only 100 cards including your two commanders, in this case, and they each start the game in the command zone.  The two commanders function independently, except for determining the colours that may be played in your deck. The increased design flexibility offered by four-colour commanders (alone or partnered) is going to create a ton of new and interesting deck-brewing possibilities, for those who like to tinker and build.

Each of the prebuilt decks has a theme. Open Hostility (B/R/G/W) is a classic aggro deck, featuring lots of land ramp and big creatures that grow even bigger fast. Entropic Uprising (U/B/R/G) deals out disruption, aggression, and removal to keep opponents off-balance. Stalwart Unity (R/G/W/U) is a pillow fort deck, built around the idea of helping opponents so that they don’t kill you off (while ideally you inch towards victory unnoticed). Invent Superiority (W/U/B/R) is an artifacts-based Affinity-type deck, absolutely awash in fantastic cards. And, finally, Breed Lethality (G/W/U/B) is a +1/+1 counters deck that relies on relentless growth of creatures to overwhelm.

Each of the decks offers good value for money when compared to their per-card buy price. Atraxa, Praetors’ Voice, commander for Breed Lethality, is currently selling for CDN$14.99 at Face to Face, as is one of the ridiculously-overpowered rares in the set, Deepglow Skate. That makes the current price to replicate this deck from singles start at $30 for just two cards! However unlikely it may be that the higher-priced cards will retain all their value (let’s face it — really unlikely) there’s no question that there is some serious value here. And the same calculus, more or less, can be applied to each of the other sets in Commander 2016.

So get out there, and take command! I’ll see you on the battlefield.



Magic: The Gathering Singles!

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You can now buy, sell, and trade your Magic singles here at Scalliwag Toys.

Scalliwag Toys is now buying and selling Magic: The Gathering (singles, unopened packs, or whole collections). We also trade for Magic singles. 

Our needs change day to day, so bring your cards in today and we will have a look.  There are still lots of cards we are looking for (we’re working on developing a buylist).  We also always have someone on staff who can look through your cards and do trades.

If you would like to sell your cards for cash, we would also be happy to help you with that! To sell your cards, please call us first (613-968-6500) to ensure that a buyer will be available.

Remember, you only need to call ahead if you would like to sell for cash. If you want to trade for other Magic singles, then you can come in at any time, on any day!


Front Street (Re)Construction

The Build Belleville downtown reconstruction is moving right along. The contractor, Corcoran Excavating Ltd., has been working as fast as humanly possible to finish Phase One before the snow flies. They have made great progress, and are now starting to do the finishing work on the area between Victoria Avenue and the upper bridge.

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A little pothole?

The Build Belleville coordinator, Elisha Purchase, has very kindly supplied a map showing which areas of Front Street will be closed to vehicle traffic while the crews race to pave the surface and pour the sidewalks. The upper entrance to the Riverside parking lot (the one across from the Empire Theatre) will be closed during this time; the only access to the parking lot will be from Bridge Street (beside the TD Bank) and the lower Front Street entrance (beside Essenzia Eyewear). And remember: there is four-hour FREE PARKING in the North Riverside lot (the area is well-marked, but is essentially the area of the lot stretching from behind Barrett’s Office Supplies to the north entrance).


New from Magic: The Gathering — Battle for Zendikar


Zendikar is a wild plane, full of mana, beauty, and danger. But now Zendikar itself is under attack from the Eldrazi, titans of the Blind Eternities, destroyers of worlds. The Zendikari must now find the means and the allies to defend their home and defeat the implacable Eldrazi before the entire world is laid waste.

Battle for Zendikar products will be available as of 02 October 2015.

Link to Older Posts

You can find older posts here.

The House Makes the Rules

After consultation, we’ve instituted some house rules for our gaming tables at the store. We’re open to feedback, so please drop us a line if there’s anything in there that you object to or that you think could be improved (you can use the contact form at right if you want — it comes right to Karin’s desk).

Most of the rules are already well-understood conventions of group gaming: don’t cheat, don’t be mean to each other, and so on. (Who remembers that book “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”? This is like that.)

Still, although the rules are elementary, we’re serious about them. We want everyone using the gaming tables to feel safe and comfortable, so we think that it’s important that everyone take a moment to read the rules over and make sure that they abide by them. 

It’s also important to remember that, during daytime at least, there are often young children present in the store, accompanying parents or grandparents, and profanity is a no-no. We are more relaxed during evening sessions, but still try to remember that there may be other people present in the store who find profanity offensive.

Thanks for your support!



© Karin Belanger 2016