Some thoughts on a Cross Hare review

I’m an avid gamer and in the last 5 years I’ve become a big tabletop gamer. As many who play tabletop games know you search out reviews and information on games before making a purchase. (Of course there are times where I impulse buy.) However, I try to be the most educated about a game before sinking money into. My husband and I have a collection of over 100 games and living in a two bedroom apartment means we have to be picky about what games to buy and stick on our shelf that has little to no room left on it.

One of the biggest reviewers out there is Tom Vasel. I watch many of his reviews to check out game mechanics and also to see his opinions of the game. I don’t always agree with his opinions but nevertheless I enjoy listening to him. However, he had a review that got under my skin the other day. It was for 1A Game’s Cross Hares: Testing Grounds. I’ve played this game multiple times and while I know it isn’t perfect it didn’t deserve the brutal beating that Vasel gave it.

To me it felt like Vasel didn’t do his research. He complained about it being a roll and move game and alluded to the fact that modern games don’t really do this as much. However, if he had looked at their Kickstarter for the game he would have seen it advertised as a “classic game with a modern twist.” This tells me that there will be an old school element (such as roll and move) with an added modern twist. The modern twist is the special abilities and equipment your characters pick up in the game. He mentioned it being more like a kid’s game mechanically but that the theme was too dark for children. Perhaps it’s dark for some over protective parent’s kids but I can tell you it wouldn’t have been dark for me growing up. I used to love watching Beetlejuice and other dark shows. My 3 year old niece loves Nightmare Before Christmas!

Now is Cross Hares the best game I’ve ever played? Honestly, it is not. But do I have fun playing it? Absolutely! The mechanics are simple, the characters add depth, and the random adventures you can go on are a unique twist. My biggest complaint is the game takes longer then what is printed on the box. I played a four player game where we all got stuck in this one corner for about an hour. That was frustrating but once we got out it was back to a race to beat the factory.

I will continue to watch Tom Vasel and I appreciate him playing tons of games and taking the time out to review them. You would think that playing games for a living is easy but it’s not. I reviewed games as side job for a while and while it was fun to play the great games, the mediocre games that I was forced to play sucked the fun out of my hobby. I respect Tom Vasel’s opinion and I even met him once during a Gen Con. He is a really nice guy but I felt that his review of Cross Hares missed its mark.

tom and me

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Lessons from Crowdfunding

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I’ve never ran my own Kickstarter so I can’t speak on behalf of the business side.

The number 1 thing I would recommend to anyone backing something on Kickstarter is know who you are backing. Notice I didn’t say “what” but “who.” Yes, you are backing a specific product but you need to make sure the company is reputable. Have they had other Kickstarters? Did those get delivered? Or are they new to crowdfunding? Now, if they are new that’s where you have to decide your risk/reward factor for yourself. Everyone knows their own disposable income and if you can drop $100 on  Kickstarter that doesn’t deliver and not bat an eye then go for it! My thought is if you don’t know the company then decide how much money you are willing to lose since the company is just starting out and may actually not deliver on their promises. Sorry that’s my own cynical view.

Probably just as equally important is PATIENCE! People who have Kickstarters are trying their best to deliver the goods on time (there are exceptions though.) They can’t foresee all the delays, especially when working with printers from overseas. As long as they are trying to make good on their promises just be patient with them. You’ll get your reward and you’ll forget that there was ever a delay.

Lastly, don’t be one of those people who say “I backed the project for the idea not the reward.” That drives me up the walls! If someone “truly” backed a Kickstarter for the idea and not the reward then they should select “no reward” when they pledge. They really wanted a reward just like everyone else so just ignore people who act all high and mighty.

I’m not an expert on this matter but if you are thinking about backing a Kickstarter project for the first time I would suggest keeping some of things I mentioned in mind. Don’t be a victim of a Kickstarter that didn’t deliver but also don’t be one of those people who complain about delays either.

Science and God

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I’ve heard many people talk about science vs. creationism, especially since the debate with Bill Nye and Ken Ham. I must admit I have not watched the debate but I’ve seen the reaction to it. In my opinion the debate seemed pointless. Science deals in facts and evidence but faith (which is the driving force to all religions) doesn’t rely on facts or evidence. People have faith despite not having evidence. I am a Christian and I have seen God working in my life and in others’ lives. I try to live a holy life so one day I can see my creator and hear him say that I did a good job and welcome to heaven. I believe everyone is invited to go there but not everyone has chosen to RSVP yet.

Even though I believe in God I also believe science can tell us a lot too. God is the “why” in the equation and science is the “how.” Why was the Earth created? Because God made it. How was it created? This is where science takes over. Science doesn’t necessarily disprove that God exists just like believing in God doesn’t disprove what scientific evidence shows us. It all works together. There are some theories in science that I think aren’t accurate but I’m not going to go into those now. Not everyone believes in God’s existence and while I pray they do one day I believe science can’t disprove his existence either. Believing in God is beyond fact because it is faith based.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1