Wow, it’s been over 2 years since I last updated this blog! I feel pretty bad about that, but so many crazy things have happened in my life in the past couple of years. I won’t bore anyone reading with the details, but I hope you enjoy this post!
Also, I probably should have posted some of the things in this forum thread from a few months ago as a blog entry, but I never got around to it. So, if you want to check out some of my other Japan game adventures here’s the link: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2028605/been-out-loop-while...
The main reason for this blog entry is because I was able to make a quick stop at Osaka Game Market today. I’m not joking when I say that. I was in Osaka for other business, but just happened to be about 20 minutes away from the convention site. So I stopped there between appointments. I checked my phone when I entered the convention center and it was 1:01pm, and I left OGM at 1:34pm! Probably the least amount of time I’ve ever spent at a convention LOL! So I apologize for the limited amount of photos and rushed appearance, but this is all I could do. Here’s the convention floor in full chaos mode:
My first stop was the Oink Games booth, as usual. I was able to pick up 4 games that were missing from my collection.
Their displays looked really great!
After that, I happened upon the Magic booth. They gave me a free starter deck, so that was nice
Next was the itten booth. I picked up Tokyo Highways a few months back and was really looking forward to getting a few more of their games. All look so very well designed!
Last, I saw this entry on the Game Market website by BistroNAGATA and was intrigued by the handcrafted nature of the game:
When I found the booth and saw that he was sellling the game for only Y500 (about $5), I had to pick up a copy. I don’t know if I’ll be able to figure out how to play it, but it was worth picking up to me just to support his effort:
So, here are all of the games I ended up with in my 30 minute dash through OGM today:
I’m hopeful that next year I’ll be able to spend a little more time browsing the aisles. But I’m very happy with what I was able to get. I will try to find time to post here about my ever-so-close-to-complete Oink Games collection sometime soon
Thanks for reading!
Quick pic of the current state of my Oink Games collection!
I think I'm only missing Stamps and the Cowardly Bat one... Maybe?
I opened my copy of Mr. Face the other day and realized that I somehow picked up the Japanese only version instead of the dual language one at Osaka Game Market. I messaged Oink Games asking if I could trade my copy for one of the others before I just outright bought a second copy. A representative messaged back quickly and said he thought he could just send me a new set of cards. They arrived today!
Oink Games is not only a great game design / publishing company, but just an awesome company in general in my book!
This is just a way to share and keep track of my gaming here on Shikoku Island in the Japanese countryside.
Archive for Brandon Bollom
10 Mar 2019
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01 Feb 2017
Sorry if these Magic: The Gathering updates aren't very interesting to some of you. I haven't had a chance to play a lot of regular board games lately, but the guys at my local shop are always up for Magic so I've been hanging out there regularly.
About a year ago I decided to use a bunch of my old cards, supplemented with some cheap purchases, to make 5 mono-colored decks. I wanted to get some use out of these cards that don't see a lot of play, have a nostalgic look at Magic's history, and also be able to pull out a box of easy to play decks for people who want to learn the game. I hadn't been able to play them often, but I was at the shop a few days ago and asked the shop owner if he wanted to try them. He started playing around the same time that I did, so I thought he might get a kick out of them. Thankfully, I was right! We started out playing Green vs Red:
Then decided to switch it up and go with Black vs White:
After those two games, I asked one of the shop regulars if he wanted to play. He was hesitant because he didn't think his English would be good enough to deal with the card text. The shop owner and I both reassured him that they were super easy cards, so he joined in for a 3-way fight, White vs Red vs Blue:
Everyone seemed to have a good time, which is the main point of the decks, so I was happy with the results! It's not something I'd break out every week, but I like having this little "box set" of Magic history available to play when the opportunity arises.
I also was able to take a couple of steps towards completing my Legacy Merfolk deck via a trade. I sent away the foil Brainstorm that I found in my old cards over the holidays and got back a Force of Will and a Cavern of Souls:
Slowly getting closer to a finished deck! It's really exciting!
I also got to play my Modern Merfolk deck a few times the other night. This was an opening hand that I wasn't sure if I should keep:
I decided to just go with it and ended up winning the game. This deck continues to be really strong and extremely fun to play. I'd like to set up a small Modern tournament sometime soon, but I need to chat with the shop owner to see if that's something he'd be interested in hosting.
Thanks for reading!
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18 Jan 2017
Before the holidays, I had one last chance to play games at my LGS before traveling to visit family. The shop owner had recently received a tile game called Codinca and wanted to try it out. We were willing so we gave it a shot:
Once we wrapped our heads around the rules, it was really fun and challenging. I don't think it's something I need to own, but I'm glad I chance to try it and wouldn't mind playing again in the future.
Afterwards, I was just hanging out waiting for people to arrive to play some card games when the shop owner said he had a gift for me. I was really surprised, but he said he wanted to thank me for helping to get Force of Will going at his shop and handed me a bag with this inside:
It's a full booster box of the latest set that had just been released at the time! I was blown away! There was no need for him to do or say anything, much less give me a gift. I was just trying to help because I wanted to play with the cards I'd purchased LOL! But it was super nice of him to give it to me. The two of us and one other FoW player sat around opening packs and marveling at all of the cool new cards. It was really great and I got lots of fun stuff to brew decks with:
I honestly haven't even had a chance to really dig in yet. I'm looking forward to having time to just pour over the cards from that box, but a couple of days after that I was off to America for the holidays. I didn't get to play a ton while there, but I did play several rounds of ダイス 木 (Daisuki) including a couple with my 5yr old nephew:
That was really great and he's at the perfect age to understand and really challenge the rest of us at games like Daisuki that don't have crazy complex rules. I wish I had an extra copy that I could have given to him. Hopefully someday I'll be able to find it again. Some other family members and I also played a few rounds of A Fake Artist Goes to New York which was also fun. Oink games tend to work well almost every time I try them!
While visiting, I also dug out a few boxes of my old Magic cards and found some decent stuff:
As well as some real treatures!
I've already traded away the foil Brainstorm for some cards I need for my Legacy Merfolk deck, and I'm hoping to fill in even more gaps via the LED in the future. Thankfully my family is pretty good at not throwing things away, so everything was still right where I left it and in the same condition. There are many more cards that I found that will be fun in various decks, and stacks that I still need to dig through to find any hidden gems, but I was very happy to find so many useful cards stored away from when I was a young collector.
Last but not least, the weekend after I returned was the pre-release for the new Magic set, Aether Revolt. I was able to play in Friday's midnight event as well as one on Saturday:
Even though I played horribly (a 1-2 record each day) I had a lot of fun and got some cool new cards in the process. The set officially releases this coming Friday and I'm already excited about updating a few of my decks with the new tools available.
I hope everyone had a great holiday break! Thanks for reading!
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15 Dec 2016
I went to the local card shop last night to play my weekly rounds of Modern Magic. I won a couple of games against my friend's Esper deck, and another couple against 8 Whack Goblins. It was fun, and then I asked the guy that I played against last week if he had brought his Kiki Chord deck. He hadn't unfortunately, but asked if I wanted to play against his Legacy deck.
I hadn't really planned for that, but I've been slowly collecting the pieces I need to convert my Modern Merfolk deck to Legacy. And I had those pieces with me in my box. So, why not?!
I quickly looked online for a current Legacy decklist and mashed together something as close to that as I could with what I had on hand. Not enough Caverns or Chalices, and gold border proxy Force of Wills via a championship deck I bought back in the day would have to be good enough.
He was playing an artifacts deck that I now know is called MUD Post, or at least some variant of that. I quickly felt out of my league and dropped the first game when he was able to repeatedly destroy my small Merfolk army with his Ugin planeswalker. I sideboarded in some extra counters and hate that I thought might help and took the second game through the Unified Will of my creatures. The third game went down to the wire. He had bigger creatures in play than mine, and had just made me discard a Merfolk lord with TKS. I very luckily topdecked another lord and was able to islandwalk my way to a 2-1 victory in my first "real" Legacy match!
Here's my side of the board after my last attack:
It was a blast! The step up in power level from Modern to Legacy is crazy! I definitely can't pick up all of the necessary pieces to make my deck tournament legal just yet, but I really want to. If I can grab one or two new cards with each paycheck, maybe I can eventually get to that point. Until then, it's good to know that I already have a good head start on a really strong Legacy deck. I was impressed that I was able to pull off a win in my first attempt, even though a lot of luck definitely helped.
Thanks for reading!
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08 Dec 2016
I've been spending a lot of my available gaming time playing Magic recently, so I haven't taken a ton of photos. I'll try to take more in the future, but feels a bit more awkward to pull out my camera in the middle of a Magic match than a boardgame for some reason.
I'm excited though, because I've started to play the Modern format more competitively. I always had an interest in diving into it, and had built a few budget Modern decks, but once I got close to completing the Merfolk deck, things got much more interesting. I've been playing the deck just about every week for the past month or two and it's really fun!
I'm winning a fairly significant percentage of games I play with it, and I'm seriously considering entering the Modern Grand Prix that will be held here in Japan next spring. We'll see if I get comfortable enough with it by then, but I hope so!
I also have an almost complete Modern Elves deck that I've been playing around with when I have time. It still needs a few pieces to make it really competitive, but it's close. I played it last week and it's just so fast and explosive! This was my board on T2:
It feels significantly less powerful than the Merfolk deck, but it's incomplete and I also haven't played it nearly as much, so we'll see.
We had a little change of pace and played Force of Will at the shop last night instead of Magic. It's really starting to become apparent that I like playing tribal decks the most.
FoW Elves is incredibly quick, just like in Magic. I love it to pieces, but they both have similar weaknesses against certain decks. I hope I get to play it more often, and I also hope that the upcoming expansion will offer up some good additions for the deck.
People here are getting close to travel time for the winter break, so I likely won't get to play much over the next few weeks. Hopefully I'll still get to play at the shop a bit, but things will likely slow down a lot. I hope anyone reading this gets to play lots of great new games during the holidays!
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02 Dec 2016
A few weeks back, I was talking to the local card shop owner about some non-Magic games I play. He was interested and asked me to bring some in, so I did. And now I've been back a few more times with other various games. Thankfully, all have been well received and everyone seems to have lots of fun. Many of the shop regulars have gone on to buy their own copies of games that I introduced. Here's a little sample of what we've played.
The first one I wanted them to try was Sheep & Thief. I knew that it would be pretty easy to teach, since it basically starts off like a Magic draft and then you move on to building your town instead of a deck. It was a shaky start, but about half way through the first game everyone seemed to click and it went well from there. We ended up playing 4 or 5 times throughout the course of the night, with different people swapping in and out each game. It's a really fun game that I think most people enjoy once they understand the goals, and always want to play a 2nd round to see if they can do better!
Next, we played Sushi Go! probably about a million times! They seriously could have played this all night if they didn't have a Magic tournament planned for later in the evening. It's easy, plays fast, has a lot of fun little strategies that you can try, and handles a lot of players. I think I played with at least 10 different people in various arrangements of 6 at a time throughout the night. I won a few, lost more, and had a lot of fun! I might need to pick up a copy to donate to the shop so they can play anytime
On another day, we played ダイス 木 (Daisuki)! There happened to be an elementary school aged kid there that day with his dad, and they were interested in trying new games. I broke out Daisuki and they took to it quickly! After the family left, some of the shop regulars started arriving and we played a few more times. The shop owner has asked me where he can get a copy, and I had to break it to him that it's basically impossible. I think he might try to make his own at some point!
That same night, the shop owner wanted to show me one of his favorite quick card games, 6 nimmt! I've played a lot of different card games over the years, but somehow this one eluded me. It was really fun, and for some reason I found out I'm not too bad at it. We've played several times and I think I've won about half of the games I've joined. I might have to pick this up at some point in the future.
I also turned them on to Oink Games through Kobayakawa, Nine Tiles, and Deep Sea Adventure (forgot to take pics that night, sorry). The owner was shocked when I started pulling out various Oink games and told me that he already had (and loved) Dungeon of Mandom, but didn't realize that they had so many other games. He immediately ordered Nine Tiles and Deep Sea Adventure after that game night LOL!
Last weekend, I made a quick trip to Kobe. I usually try to go to Yellow Submarine while I'm there to see what's new and in stock. They had a TON of Oink games this time, including 2 that I don't yet have!
I didn't buy them though. I need to save money for the holidays. But I will have them in the future...yes I will! And I just heard that they're releasing another new game at Tokyo Game Market later this month, which means I'll need 3 games from them! Maybe in January. They also had a copy of Sheep & Thief that I almost picked up for a holiday gift, but decided to leave it behind for now:
I was good though. I only bought a few packs of Force of Will on this trip, and actually pulled some really nice cards!
Anyway, sorry again for the long delays between posts. That's what I've been up to, as well as my semi-weekly Magic games at the shop. I'm thinking about playing in the Modern Grand Prix next year in Kobe. If I'm going to do that, I need to practice a lot more than I have been. We'll see...
Thanks for reading!
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24 Sep 2016
I attended the Magic: Kaladesh pre-release event last night at my local game shop. It was a really fun night, and I had the most success that I've ever had, both in pulling good cards and in matches! The Kaladesh set looks to be a nice expansion to the Magic universe, adding vehicles and a few new mechanics. The art and design of the set is quite nice as well. The pre-release kit boxes mimic the mechanical artistry of the plane as you can see in the pic above and below.
When I was sorting my packs, I noticed that I didn't have many extremely overpowered cards, so I decided to keep my deck pretty simple. Strong and fast red cards, a few artifacts that fit with my game plan, and 4 of the new vehicles, mostly to test them out. I'm glad I added them because they proved to be quite useful throughout my matches!
Even if it seems kind of silly when you think about it, I enjoyed moments like having a fox drive a train!
I was able to pilot my simple deck to 6 straight wins over 3 rounds to claim victory for the night! It was the first time I've won a tournament and I was pretty pleased about that. I received a couple of bonus packs (in Japanese) as my victory prize, and I was able to buy a second kit since there were some left over. I somehow ended up with the 3 best cards in the set throughout my 2 kits and bonus packs!
We had a few people who were attending their very first event, and several who have been to many over the years. The mix was fantastic, everyone was friendly, and I think we all had a very nice night! Check out Kaladesh if you're interested in Magic. It looks to be a pretty powerful and interesting set, and I'm looking forward to working on a new Standard deck in the near future. Vehicles...!
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13 Sep 2016
I posted a few weeks back that my LGS shop owner asked me about Force of Will and said that the FoW people had dropped off some product at his shop. Well, he had them out again last Saturday night for a "Learn FoW" party and it worked out really well! About a dozen gamers attended and the FoW staff brought English and Japanese product for people to check out and buy. They also brought the Captain Hook and Peter Pan simplified decks to help new people learn the game:
I went with a friend and he didn't want his Hook deck, so I was able to take home both at the end of the night! Happy to have a simple version of the game to teach others in the future.
Most of us had already played at least a little before, so we played around with these easy decks for a bit first and then moved on to more advanced decks. They said we were just going to play "gunslinger style" which I'd never heard before. It basically meant we paired up randomly and played one game, then the winner got to draw from a random pile of prize cards. Apparently I won 4 games throughout the night because I came home with 4 cards in Japanese. Nothing spectacular for me, but it was nice to have a chance to win a cool prize with every game won:
My friend pulled a full art, foil, error Cheshire Cat after winning our last game, so that was really really awesome!
I also bought a couple of packs and got 2 super foils:
At the end of the night, the FoW staff had everyone play rock / paper / scissors for various prizes. The same friend won a FoW playmat! Sweet! My R/P/S skills were awful, so I basically won nothing. But the shop owner didn't want his prize, so he gave it to me...pretty, green sleeves for my Elves deck:
They had Ruler sideloaders for prizes for those of us who didn't win any of the bigger prizes. I snagged a green one, also for my Elves deck:
Everyone got one of the softer, gold foil sideloaders, so I dropped Zero in there for extra protection
Forgot to post this before, but I got 2 of the promos for buying 2 decks, so those went straight into my Elves deck as well. Very pretty:
Everyone seemed to have a really great time, and the shop owner was pleased with the turn out. Hopefully FoW will catch on here and I'll have a decent sized group to play with in the future. I doubt it will surpass Magic: The Gathering as the go-to collectible card game anytime soon, but it really is a lot of fun!
Anyway, just thought I'd post about it in case anyone was interested. If your shop doesn't do much with FoW but the players are interested, you might talk to them and see if they'll host a learning night like this. It was really cool and at the very minimum everyone walked away with an easy sample deck, some bonus cards, and a door prize or two for free! Most, of course, bought additional starter decks, packs, etc., but that was just gravy Good times!
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09 Sep 2016
Very short post this time. I played a little bit of after dinner Magic yesterday. This is from later in a game when there was a good bit of land as well as a Cryptolith Rite on my side of the board:
I played 4/4 Hangarback Walkers on three consecutive turns and still managed to lose! Fun games though, and I finally got to pilot my Zombies deck to a victory
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03 Sep 2016
Earlier this week, my LCS owner messaged and asked me if I'd teach him Force of Will. I am the only person he could think of who had any knowledge of the game, and I didn't know a lot. But he said the distributors wanted to give him some of the new Lapis Cluster cards to sell on consignment, and some of his regular customers had shown interest, so he wanted to learn.
So Friday night after work, I dragged a friend along and we played some Force of Will! I have the Alice Cluster intro decks that my family sent over for my birthday, so we at least had a starting point. My friend and I played the first couple of games while the shop owner and a handful of regulars watched and asked questions. The game is very similar to Magic, which everyone at the shop is familiar with, so that helped. Our first game was my friend piloting the Blue deck with me on White:
I had modified the intro decks slightly, so the Blue deck had access to a couple of Cheshire Cats and some other goodies. The sheer amount of draw it contained kept his hand full of answers to anything I played. He was able to bounce key cards back to my hand, and land enough Additions that buffed his creatures and let him storm through for a big win.
Next, we switched decks so everyone could see some of the other cards. My friend picked Green and I switched to Red:
This was pretty much the opposite of our first game. We learned that Flame King's Shout can be an incredibly powerful card! Twice, I was able to board wipe a ton of his smallish creatures and drop a creature of my own, buff them, and attack for huge damage! I took this round fairly handily.
We asked if anyone wanted to take over and play, instead of just watch. Only the shop owner was willing. Playing in English when Japanese is your native language is pretty intimidating. My friend wanted to retry the Green deck, and the shop owner liked what he saw from the Red deck, so he stuck with that:
Unfortunately, luck of the draw was not on the shop owner's side. He kept drawing Marybell, the Steel Dolls without having enough stones to turn them into creatures. The Green deck was able to push through enough damage before Red could really get a game plan working.
The shop was starting to get busy and the owner needed to get some work done, so my friend and I played one last game. He went back to Blue, and I decided to try Black (Purple?) since that was the only deck that hadn't been played yet. I forgot to take a pic, but I was able to God's Art my Rezzard at one point to really shift the flow of the game to my side. Unfortunately, the draw power of Blue quickly refilled my opponent's hand and he came back for the win a few turns later.
We also got to see some preview decks that the shop owner was given to test out Force of Will:
Captain Hook vs Peter Pan with tiny card text in 7 different languages! Kind of cool! The shop owner and regulars seemed really happy with FoW and seemed excited to get to play in the future with Japanese cards. I'm glad I was able to help and I hope they enjoy it! Thanks for reading!
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