Offline gaming still has great appeal

February 19, 2014

Video gaming plays an enormous role in today’s culture.  Literally everyone and their parents plays some form of online gaming.  Very few people dabble in the offline gaming world.  However, while it may not be as high tech or as cutting edge as virtual gaming, a lot of times a good card or board game can beat the virtual reality that many call home.

Please explore and join us in remembering and enjoying some of Clarion’s favorite offline games.

Magic the Gathering

Magic the Gathering

Magic: The Gathering is an amazing card game where you build your deck to fight others and determine who’s victorious.  Lead a holy army of angels to smite the unrighteous vampires or lead a pack of animals against the mighty dragons of the mountains.  You choose your troops and lead them to victory.

Magic: The Gathering is more than just a boring card game, it’s an adventure.  You’re able to escape into the world of Innistrad where you can be the leader of 20 Humans Clerics, Soldiers, and even an Angel and walk from town to town chasing down demons and exorcising them from the cities they rule over; and you shine light into the darkness that the vampires create and provide hope for people.  Magic allows you to escape into a new world where you battle your friends and fight for your morals.  

Aside from the adventure and freedom of the game, the artwork on some of the cards is just that – artwork.  Cards like Angelic Destiny or Blightwood Spider have such vivid and lucid detail, that it’s worth getting the cards just for their artwork.  There is a surprising amount of detail that goes into some cards and you just stare at it, amazed that so much could be fitted into such little space.

Magic is also not a very complicated game to play.  It’s very easy to learn on the fly and most beginners understand the basic rules for the game before their first game is even over.  Even though the rules are simple and straightforward, allowing for a smooth gameplay, the game isn’t boring, no two games are ever the same.  Two people can play each other with the same exact deck 100 times, and out of those 100 games there will be no two games that are alike.  Some games will be fast and over in a few turns while others could last an hour, the possibilities are just endless.  Magic can also be played with any number of players, whether you’re having a huge free-for-all or a large team v. team battle, anyone and everyone can be included.

Overall Magic isn’t just some random card game, it becomes a part of who you are.  You start out with a single game borrowing somebody’s deck, then you realize that the game is incredibly fun, so you decide to build your own deck.  As you play more and more, you build better and stronger decks and you collect and save more and more cards until one day, you realize that one game has turned into a major hobby that you enjoy playing with your friends.

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons, iconic for being the nerdiest board game out there and the punchline to tons of jokes, is something that really shouldn’t be joked about like it is. It’s truly great and any offline gamer that hasn’t tried it, which won’t be many, needs to as soon as possible.

D&D, as most refer to it, is a game where literally anything can happen depeneding on just the roll of the dice so you’ll never end up having the same experience twice. Your Dungeon master controls everything that happens depending on the decisions you make and the roll of a twenty sided dice. So lets say you decide to steal an item from a shop you’re in, if your DM, which is just short for dungeon master,  rolls the die and gets a one that means you wont steal it but will also probably be attacked by the shopkeeper or arrested but on the other hand if he rolls a 20 you would probably steal the item but the shopkeeper sees and is intimidated and lets you take whatever you want with no punishment. It’s all centered around chance and the roll of the dice.

Also the characters you have. Characters are created by a person for themselves however they want so its really meant to be an extension of you. You name your character, pick his race, class, and allegiance, and then run him through the starting set adventure which builds your character as you go. For instance my character is a Dwarf race, fighter class, and neutral allegiance and it fits me perfectly. Each character is unique and plays into the game dynamics in very huge ways.

Another reason the game is great is that it’s easy to learn how to play. The rules are very loose and the ones that are set in place aren’t hard to follow at all. I can be taught to and be played in about an hour for a person. Having easy rules and the ability to also set your own custom rules to fit your group of adventurers really adds unique elements to an already awesome game.

Overall, if you haven’t played D&D and you’re an offline gamer, the time has come that you need to. D&D is the foundation for so many fantasy games, online and offline, out there today. When you play, you’re  playing in a huge part of fantasy gaming history and who doesn’t love a game where you can live out everything you’ve ever wanted to do all in one afternoon?

Warhammer 40,000

Warhammer 40,000

Warhammer 40K is all about conquering the galaxy, whether you’re a Space Marine fighting for the Emperor or you’re part of the Tyranid Swarm trying to feed your hunger, it’s all out war and the galaxy is your battlefield.

Warhammer 40K is such a unique game because it requires a lot of time, but pays off in the end.  In order to play the game players must buy boxes of the units they want to make an army. The units are completely unbuilt and must be glued together after they’ve been purchased.  It may sound like a hassle, but it’s quite the contrary.  It allows for people to completely customize their army.  You’re able to give your troops the weaponry you want them to have, not just the basics, and then it also allows you to mix and match a little bit with their armor.  Perhaps your Dark Angels keep trophies of all of the Fallen that they’ve captured and wear their enemies armor to show their tenacity, or perhaps another army has a cooler helmet or backpack and you want your general to look as awesome as they really are.  Then, not only do you get to build your army your way, you also get to paint them with your own unique style and patterns.  Perhaps your Dark Eldar use a specific insignia to mark their ambush units, or maybe you Imperial guard wears a specific camouflage on their armor, it’s all your decision.

Warhammer 40K as the name suggests, is about war.  However you get to create your scenarios.  You can recreate famous battle from World War two like Operation Overlord but with these futuristic aliens, or perhaps you want to create your battle scenarios where the battle begins as a beach invasion, but you gain more troops as you advance further into your enemies territory, it’s all up to you.  Some people like to create a campaign in which players can play out multiple battles that eventually result in one army conquering the galaxy.

One last awesome part of Warhammer 40K, is it’s history. I’m not talking about how the game has evolved, but how the story in the game is told.  The game takes place in our galaxy in the year 40,000 with nine different alien species and 15 different armies, all that have their own tales of might and power and origin.  Warhammer 40K is rich in its own history, you can read all about the Horus Heresy and how the Emperor was almost killed in one last epic battle with his son.  Warhammer isn’t just a tabletop war game, it is its own world, full of sorcery and tales and good and evil.  It’s incredible reading all of the stories and then being able to re-enact them in a game, or changing the outcome and change history forever.

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