With the 20th anniversary for MACE behind us, we are getting ready (already) for the return of mini-mace. mini-mace, for those do not know, is a game day we at JustUs host in Kernersville. We have pick up as well as scheduled games. It’s fairly casual, smaller venue and always a good day of gaming. We usually have food on site from the Grinning Goblin. We usually have about 60 to 80 people show up. I do realize not everyone can make it but those that think they can, please consider it.
For those that wish to propose scheduled games for mini-mace 2017, the best way to do that is through OGRe. Go to ogre.justusproductions.com. Log in (Make an account if you don’t have one.) Click Propose Event on the left menu. If you prefer to email me, please include as much information about your event as possible. It is sort of a hassle to go back and forth with questions with so many GMs. Include game name and any link that will explain the game and/or provide the description, especially if it is a obscure game. Also include schedule preferences keeping in mind our standard 4 hr slot schedule (although you are not limited to that schedule).
Running at least one game gets you in free (although the fee is only $5). We will be running 3 sessions for the most part. For four hour slots, they will be 9am to 1pm, 1:30pm to 5:30pm, and 6pm to 10pm.
All the bills are in and we have a number for attendance…….709 is what I have been given by my lovely assistant and wife. We did not see any big growth (last year was 702), but we did have several new people and many folks came back after missing a year or more. I thank you for joining us at MACE this year and helping us to celebrate our 20th.
Please pay attention for future events. I am working on a date for mini-mace, we have MACE West in March and the we hit MACE again in November. And do not forget Club MACE, join us on the High Seas for some fun , food and frivolity
You can also see us running games at ConCarolinas and Congregate this summer. Thanks Again!
Friends to JustUs and The Gamer’s Codex, makers of Ethar Wars, have relaunched their board game kickstarter. Check it out when it goes live and support one of our friends.
TO BE RELEASED AFTER NOVEMBER 22ND 04PM GMT+1
ETHER WARS RETURNS TO KICKSTARTER. SECOND TIME’S THE CHARM?
Burning Games and Ether Dev join forces to bring the power of the Ether back to Kickstarter in this technicolor relaunch.
November 17, 2016 – Bilbao, Spain.
Ether Wars is returning to Kickstarter this coming NOVEMBER 22ND after its unsuccesful run last year. Far from giving up on their design, the creators of the game have taken this time to re-think and re-style the game to appeal to a broader audience.
This relaunch comes as a result of the collaboration between Ether Dev, the original designers of the game; and Burning Games, who have successfully funded two Kickstarter campaigns over the last couple of years.
Fans of the original game should fear not, as the core of the experience remains intact: players take control of one of the four playable species to command their army of dice-troops. Their goal: to obtain five pieces of Ether before their opponents. They will have to place, move and fight their way to victory in quick and thrilling battles against their opponents by rolling their dice.
As for the changes, the major one will be that English and Spanish editions will be completely independent: no more room sharing between editions. Additional changes include improved graphic design and new components designed to improve player experience.
Ether Wars has been playtested by over 500 people all over the world and it has been consistently enjoyed. The vibrant and fast paced dice-troop system, the strategic opportunities that arise from asymmetric gameplay and the strong sci-fi theme have been the most-liked aspects.
The Kickstarter campaign, launching this November 22nd at 04pm GMT+1, will feature the game at €39. Stretch goals will be announced soon.
From: Lost Boys Productions
Reviewed by: Ron McClung
I, Spy is a new Board Game from Lost Boys Productions.
Recently I was introduced to a new game called I, Spy. I Immediately thought it would be my kind of game when I saw the board and all the various bits. However, I had no idea just how much. It is a phenomenal game and easily making my top 10 list for 2015, if not overall.
Players play the role of spies in pre-Great War Europe. They have 14 rounds to increase the influence of their Nation while preventing your enemies from increasing theirs. The catch is you do not know what national factions your opponents represent. Players are given a Alignment token at the start of the game that defines their Nation – the Kingdom of Italy, the Republic of France, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, the German Empire, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire. These are kept secret and part of the beauty of this game.
You can Influence for your Nation through various ways. Along with the bluffing aspect related to the Alignment mechanic of the game, there is a strong card hand management mechanic. Every player has a specific set of cards, which are all the same. These represent the actions that can take place in the round, but when played, they add influence to various Nations at the end of the round. These cards also refresh every round.
From page # 1: “It is the eve of a great war…”
Another awesome aspect of the game is the politicians, which are the random part of the game. Politicians are placed faced down along the border of the board and can be influence by players. As actions, you can see how much their influence are worth, move them around and promote others that are more favorable to your cause. But you can only do this with those that you already have sway with, and to do that requires an action as well.
From page # 1: “The year is 1908, and the powers of Europe simmer in an uneasy peace.”
There are several locations on the board representing major cities in Europe and Russia. Players can travel around to each city to preform specific actions that effect influence, politicians or other players. You can also gain Asset cards in some cities which represent contacts that help your cause. This is where much of the action takes place in the game. Travelling about, players each round attempt to increase the potential for influence for their Nation while lowering the potential for others, before the next scoring phase. Scoring phases occur every 3 to 5 rounds and are indicated along the Politicians track. Any effect from a Politician along that track behind the current scoring phase takes place.
In conclusion, this game can run a little long but in the end it is a very satisfying game. It is very strategic, with a lot of hand management and resource allocation. I love the bluffing side of this game, and there subtle backstabbing aspect to it. It is a very well designed game.
From: Lost Boys Productions
Type of Game: Board Game
Designer: C. Simon Reid
Artists: Sylvie Demers, Chloe J. Tran
Number of Pages: 12 page rulebook
Game Components Included: 4 Spy figures, board depicting western Europe, wooden block Influence counters, ower Markers, Action cards, Asset Cards, Politician Tiles, Control Tokens, Alignment Tokens, Supply Tokens, Tag Tokens, Round Marker, Initiative Card, Special Action Cards, and Players Aid cards.
Retail Price: $45 (US)
Number of Players: 1-4
Player Ages: 13+
Play Time: 30 minutes per player
There was a lot of anticipation as well as anxiety leading up to MACE 2016, at least on my part. Some of it was the same kind of anticipation and anxiety I have every year. Will it live up to last year? Will I get enough games to make the rooms seem full? Will the vendors be happy with the traffic flow? That stuff. But of course, the fact that we can say we have been around for 20 years, longer than any con of this nature in the Carolinas has ever existed, is something entirely new for us, of course.
I can safely say that the con lived up to my anticipation and the anxiety was all in my head. It was a grand success and I am very happy on how it turned out. From a schedule point of view, I had less game events scheduled than last year but that did not seem to matter. Some of my regular GMs could not make it this year and I can account for most of the missing events from those. But with the new open gaming area, I think way more games got played than ever before. We just can’t actually gauge them because so many were pick up.
I don’t know the exact numbers (Jeff will release those soon) but I think we were on par with last year, maybe a little more. Some made the comment that we looked a little thinner than last year. I am glad it seemed that way because with the extra space, I intentionally spread people out a little more. We had one extra room (Lakeview) and the hotel remodel gave us more room in the lobby outside the elevators. Both were utilized considerably. I tried to make an effort to contact some of our oldest friends of MACE and many did come back to celebrate with us, so I do hope attendance was up this year, number-wise.
As for the scheduled games, I think we were upwards in the 90 percentiles in terms of make rate. In other words, most of the game made and were full, especially on Saturday. On Sunday, there tends to be a pretty extreme drop off but that is understandable. I try to schedule lighter games on Sunday but some specifically ask for Sunday and those are touch and go, depending on the game.
We found out that despite all our efforts of getting out the news that we were doing a live auction – mailing lists, Facebook, Twitter and web site – people were still surprised that we were running one. We probably needed more information about it onsite but we did not think about it. The auction did pretty well, despite a less than full room and I want to thank those that contributed. $2600 is not too shabby. We’ll have more signage up for stuff like that next time.
One of the many ways I failed in is communication as well. People are STILL expecting me to print out tickets for them despite me not doing it for the past two or three years. I thought it was simple enough for people to log into their account and print the tickets out themselves but apparently that was too much to ask. In that vein, I am going to develop something that allows you to simply put in your OGRe ID (which we can look up) and a password only available onsite (probably taped to the computer or something) and it will download your tickets for you and you can print them out there.
Someone else mentioned no-shows and how to deal with those, especially from a OGRe standpoint, since most games are closed after they are full. I will endeavor to change the code so that onsite, all games will accept alternates for onsite sign up. OGRe is always evolving so I do appreciate your patience. I also have some thoughts on ways to make onsite sign up easier. Already making some notes about that. I hope to have version 6.5 ready by MACE West 2017. And for those concerned about security, password encryption will be included in that.
Never before have I run so many games at MACE and have them all make with full tables. They all did and I was able to run them all despite the exhaustion. Thanks to those who played in my games, I had a lot of fun.
Thanks to Jeff and Karen for running the business side as well as Kim, Patrick and their crew for running the Grinning Goblin. Thanks to all the GMs and Coordinators for all their hard work, especially for Bill Boivin, Tim McCrary, Nathan Littlefield, and Mac MacFarland for their hard work in the organized play area. Thanks to Danielle Horsley for her hard work with the kids program. I know my kids had a lot of fun when they were there. Thanks to Megan and Heath for their loyal help at the gaming registration desk. This was a real fun one for me. Not too stressful, just exhausting.
MACE 2016 is proud to announce that White Metal Games will be hosting demos of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. Two fully painted armies (1000 points each side for beginners) will be available along with painted terrain, showcasing White Metal Games professional painter Dennis Franks work.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar:
The Warhammer Age of Sigmar Starter Set is the perfect place to begin collecting miniatures in the fantastical, war-torn Mortal Realms. The forty-seven Citadel Miniatures in the Starter Set represent the first armies to clash during the Age of Sigmar. The box also contains the Warhammer Age of Sigmar game rules, and a fabulous, full-colour guide to the opening battles of this titanic age of conflict, as well as dice and range rulers for playing fun and exciting table-top wargames with your miniatures.
White Metal Games is a miniature painting commission service based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. They specialize in producing custom models for any range, including wargames (like Warhammer 40k), board games, roleplaying games, historical figures, and display dioramas.
Here are instructions on how to read our schedule posters. We are trying to convey a lot of information and this is the best way we know how within our budget constraints. We have been doing it this way for over 15 years and for a vast majority of our attendees, this has worked. We are trying to reduce the amount of questions you need to ask me or my staff as well as provide you with an easy way to determine the three basics of convention gaming – what, when and where!
What are these posters you speak of?
Onsite, at the convention, we like to provide with easy means to see what is going on within our limited means. That includes printed schedules, online resources and schedule posters. The posters are located at gaming registration and you can use the tickets to sign up if you don’t have online access at the con. (Internet access at MACE in Charlotte will not be commonly available to attendees unless they have a hotel room).
It’s the simplest means for people to see what is going on at the con. We at the registration desk attempt to keep things updated on the posters as best as possible but it is not always 100% accurate.
Find your game
Everything you need to know about the game is listed along the same top line from the Game Name. Game Name (what), Location (Where in Green Text), and Time slot (When).
Day: The games are sorted by Day. Each day is listed under a different colored header (Friday is light blue, Saturday is sort of a Pink/Light Purple, and Sunday is Red.
Star Time: Within the day, they are sorted by Start Time. Please note that this means that 2, 3, 4-hour games and so on are all sorted with in the same start time. Find the time you are looking to start playing and the games available in that time slot. You can see how long a game is (duration) by the Time Slot on the left of each row, listed with “When:”.
Games Events: Within each Start Time are Game Events ordered alphabetically by game name. They are sorted by type – RPGs (Organized Play and non-organized play), Board/Tabletop/Card Games (Tournament, Open and Scheduled) and Miniature Games.
There are two types of RPGs – General Play and Organized Play. General Play are one-shot adventures where the character sheet is provided usually. These games are listed with the title is listed in blue on the line below it, right justified. Organized Play usually requires or at least prefers the player to bring a character their own (based on character generation guides for the individual group) and are listed by the scenario name since the game itself is a given.
Organized Play that traditionally appears at MACE events include:
DDEX & DDAL = D&D Adventure League, the organized play associated to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition RPG.
PFS = Pathfinder Society, the organized play associated with the Pathfinder RPG (see to be Pathfinder 2e)
SRM = Shadowrun Missions, the organized play associated with the Shadowrun 5th edition RPG
Organized Play games traditionally require the player to provide the character although there are pre-gens available online. On the posters, Organized Play is listed under the RPGs segregated out by a yellow band denoting the specific organized play game (see above).
Organized Play Banner (Pathfinder Society, in this case)
Above is an example of a variety of board games. The title (in blue) is sometimes blank but sometimes list the type of demo, scenario or tournament that is being run. Open Demos are listed with the Open Demos Label. Those players can walk up to and play as soon as their is an available seat.
Check the Icon
Once you find the game you are looking for, check the dot icon. That contains A LOT of information for the player. Here is the basic meaning of each dot.
Before you attempt to sign up for a game onsite, take a look at this icon.
If it is full (red dot), we are only taking alternates for that game (and not all games do). However, Alternates must be managed by you and the GM. We don’t do anything special for alternates. The GM is required to give every opportunity to those that signed up first. We instruct them to wait at least 10 to 15 minutes after the session has started before accepting alternates.
The most important icon in that bunch however is the one we call the “target.” Some targets have the words “Open Demos” written across for emphasis but in general they mean the same thing. For those games, you do not need to do anything other than go to the location of the game for whatever reason is listed in the green message box. Most Organized Play games are coordinated by a single person and you will need to find that person to find a table. Most of the time, the coordinator will not be distinguishable from other GMs in OP because they are running games themselves. You will have to simply ask us the name of the coordinator and ask around.
Other games with a “target” can be demos, or tournaments coordinated by other people as well. Or the slot may be long enough for more than one game. Or the coordinator of the game may have multiple copies. Instead of trying to micro-manage all of that, we encourage the player to simply go to the location and work it out with the GM or event coordinator. An example above shows the Warmachine events. They are targets because they are coordinated by a single person (list as the Host).