Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pokémon Go went live on the Internet this week and if you haven’t heard about it yet, my guess is that you will very soon - especially if you have 8-13 year old children.

Before we start, take a look at the official video for Pokémon Go here, so you can get a better idea of what is going on.
Pretty neat, right?

The first thing you should understand is that Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game.  What that means is the app uses the GPS and camera on your phone or tablet to track where you are in the real world, and then overlap Pokémon onto your screen.  It will look like the Pokémon on standing on the sidewalk, or hiding in the bushes. 

Still interested?  Ok, let’s continue.

Getting Started

First thing you will need to do is install the Pokémon Go app on your phone.  You can grab it at either the Apple iTunes Store for your iPhone or iPad, or at the Google Play Store for Android phones or tablets.

Once the software is downloaded, it will ask you to sign in.  You can either sign in using your Pokemon Club account or your Google or Apple login.  If you don’t have any of these, I recommend signing up for a Pokémon Club account.  Pokémon Club is a great website that has tons of kid-safe activities, and there is even an tutorial that will teach both you and your child how to play the Pokémon Trading Card Game with awesome step-by-step video tutorials.

NOTE: At the time of this writing, the Pokemon Club sign-up servers are being overwhelmed by people wanting to play Pokémon Go.  It might take them a few days to keep up with the enormous amount of traffic they are getting!

Ok, now that we’re signed in, a tutorial will take over and let you customize your Trainer – that’s what players are called in the Pokémon universe.  This is all cosmetic, so take a look at the options and just have fun.

Next, you’ll need to give your Trainer a name.  I recommend NOT using a real name here for safety reasons.  Just pick a fun nickname – anything you want, but only letters and numbers will work.

Capturing Your First Pokémon

Next, the tutorial will show you a Pokémon nearby. For me it was right in the living room – how cool!  The starting Pokémon are Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle, the classic Gen 1 starters. folks say there is a way to get a Picachu

To catch a Pokémon, you have to “throw” the red & white Pokeball at the Pokémon.  You do this by flicking your finger, which will launch the ball at the Pokémon and hit him with it.   The angle and force of your flick will affect how the ball flies.  This flicking is definitely going to be a skill that needs to be mastered.  With better aim, you can catch the Pokémon, and even earn “Nice”, “Great” and “Excellent” throws, all of which will score bonus experience points (XP) and help your Trainer reach higher levels.

My first Pokémon was Charmander.  I hit him with an excellent throw, and he was added to my Pokedex.

You will notice some general traits about your Pokémon here.  Its type, Hit Points (HP), Combat Power (CP) and moves are all listed.  All Pokémon start off with full HP at capture, but HP can go down after a fight!  Also, you will notice that not all Pokémon have the same Combat Power (CP). I caught multiple of the same type of Bellsprout, and it appears that if they are outlined with a green circle, they are the basic Pokémon, while yellow are uncommon ( and more powerful) and red are rare and the most powerful type!

Heading Outside

Now that you have your basic Pokémon, the game encourages you to go outside and walk around.

You will get a map of your area, with streets and buildings marked and your Trainer will show as moving on the map as you walk around.  This is the point at where you need to make sure you set some ground rules with your children to be safe and only go adventuring with a parent or guardian.  I love the fact that Pokémon Go will entice your children to go outside and adventuring to new spots around, but let’s just make sure everyone is safe while doing it.

In the picture you will see some areas of interest marked with the blue cubes.  If you walk (or bike) to these cubes on the map, they will transform into markers you can interact with.  These are called PokeStops.  You can even stop in your favorite Friendly Local Game Store Snake Eyes Gaming) to buy Pokémon cards or get information about our Pokémon League.

Parental Tip

Please note that not all of the PokeStops are kid friendly. For instance, there are at least 3-4 bars in downtown Altoona that have PokeStops on them.  But, these can be activated safely from the sidewalk.

To activate a PokeStop, simply flick it sideways with your finger.  You will be rewarded with various items to use in your adventure.  More Pokeballs for capturing Pokémon are the most common item, but I also found several eggs. (more on eggs later).

Catching More Pokémon

As you are walking around outside, you will see a green rustling of grass.  Head towards it, and you might see a Pokémon appear.  Try to catch them!

The Pokémon’s CP level, the type of Poké Ball you used, your throwing technique, and other factors come into play when determining whether the Pokémon can be successfully caught.
Other Pokémon will simply run away so be sure to be quick.

Various habitats will determine what Pokémon is found. For example, water Pokémon will be found near bodies of water and beaches. Use the Nearby feature on the bottom of the screen to see which Pokémon are around.

The item Incense will draw Pokémon toward your for 30 minutes, so be sure to use them when you are having trouble finding Pokémon in the wild.


When gathering items at PokéStops, you may find Eggs that will eventually hatch into Pokémon. To hatch these Eggs, you’ll need to walk around a certain distance (2, 5 & 10KM).

The farther you have to walk, the rarer the Pokémon you’ll find inside when it finally hatches.  You’ll need Incubators to hatch Eggs. There is one provided for you so only one Egg can be hatched at a time unless you purchase another one.

Leveling Up / Evolution

If you want to level up your Pokémon, then you’ll have to use the Stardust gained from capturing Pokémon to do so.  Simply click on the Pokémon in your PokeDex, and click on the green level up button at the bottom of the screen.
Evolving Pokémon takes an extra step that involves the Transfer function, the Professor, along with Pokémon-specific candies.

Battling / Gyms

You will also notice on the map a couple of taller, big yellow markers.  These are Gyms.
After your trainer reaches Level 5 you can join a team (either Red, Blue or Yellow) and start to battle Gyms.

Once you join a team, you can assign Pokémon you’ve caught to an open Gym or to a Gym where a team member has placed one of his or her Pokémon. Like PokéStops, Gyms can be found at real locations in the world.

Only one Pokémon per player can be set at a particular Gym. (up to 3)  If you want to tackle another team’s Gym, you’ll want to check out its stats. Prestige determines how difficult a Gym will be to take over. Training Pokémon at your Gym will increase its Prestige, while losing battles to other teams’ Pokémon will lower it.

Training your Pokémon is simple, just visit a Gym that’s already controlled by your team. Once there, you can train by battling against your own team’s Pokémon. Defeat all of them and your Gym’s Prestige will go up, making it more difficult to be defeated by another team.

If the Gym’s Prestige is reduced to zero, the defending team loses control of the Gym, and you or another player can then take control of it by assigning a Pokémon to protect it.

Gyms are a collaborative effort in Pokémon Go so be sure to check back to your team’s Gyms once in awhile and be sure to train your own Pokémon.


I just wanted to throw a note in here that you can do virtually everything in Pokémon Go for free, with just a bit of walking and some time.  Each time you catch a Pokémon, you will earn a few PokeDollars that can be spend on various upgrades – some for your Pokémon and some for your Trainer.  If you want to speed up the process the game will let you (or your kids if you aren’t watching!) spend real money for Pokedollars.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mixed Doubles Tournament
A Warhammer 40,000 Event

Snake Eyes Gaming
201 Cayuga Ave., Suite10
Altoona, PA 16602
(814) 376-2000

Saturday, August 22nd
11:30 AM – Registration
12:00PM – First Round Begins 
Army lists will be collected during registration.

3 round, 1,000 point Warhammer 40,000 Mixed Doubles tournament.
Players will be randomly paired with a new teammate each round - so you could end up playing against a former ally or playing with a former opponent!
Participants will be given 2 hours and 30 minutes for each round.
There is NO painting requirement. Unpainted models will NOT hinder your ability to win Best Sportsman or Best General prizes.
All models must be WYSIWYG.

$15 for each participant. The entry fee includes a lunch of Subway/Pizza that will be served between Rounds 2 & 3. The remainder of the entry fees will be awarded as prize support.

Best Overall
Best Sportsman
Best General
Best Painted
Snake Eyes Award

Battle-forged armies only. Players may use a Combined Arms Detachment, described on pgs. 117-122 of the Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook. Individual army books may give players of that faction the option to use other Detachments.
Please note that you may NOT take any Allied Detachments for this event or Allies from any other source.
Your Teammate will be considered an Ally of Convenience, described on pg. 127 of the Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook, regardless of the type of Ally that they would normally be considered. 
Lords of War may be up to 30% of total forces point value (i.e., 300 points).
Terrain will be set up by the judges prior to the event.
Mysterious Terrain rules will be used where applicable. 
Missions will contain (or have references to) ALL deployment rules, scoring methods, and Objective details. 
Every players must have the official rules that detail each unit(s) that they are using in this event.

If you have any questions about any of these rules please post on comment here or ask via some other method prior to the day of the event. Thanks!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Rail City Rumble: A Snake Eyes Gaming Warhammer 40,000 Tournament

Snake Eyes Gaming is proud to announce the 1st Annual Rail City Rumble!

For the last four years Snake eyes Gaming ran the Steel City showdown in Pittsburgh, the largest Warhammer 40,000 tournament in Western Pennsylvania. This year marks an embarkation upon a new adventure - the Rail City Rumble! Come and test your mettle against others - only one will earn the right to hoist the Sword of Victory.

There is no time for peace.  No respite.  No forgiveness.  There is only WAR.

Where:                  Snake Eyes Gaming
                                201 Cayuga Ave.

                               Altoona, PA 16602

When:                  Saturday, May 30th
                              12:00 PM – Registration
                              12:30  PM – First Round Begins
                              Army lists will be collected during registration.

 What:                  3 round, 2000 point Warhammer 40,000 tournament
                              Participants will be given 2 hours and 15 minutes for each round. Additional time 
                                   will be provided for set-up during the first round.
                              There is NO painting requirement.  Unpainted models will NOT hinder
                                   your ability to win Best Sportsman or Best General prizes.
                              NO proxies although conversions are accepted (and encouraged!).  All models must
                                          be WYSIWYG.

 Cost:                    $15 for each participant.  Preregistration is not required.
                              The entry fee includes a lunch of Subway/Pizza that will be served between          
                                        Rounds 2 & 3.
                              Food will be available for non-participants for the cost of $5 per person.

Awards:             Best Overall
                             Best Sportsman
                      Best General
                             Best Painted
                             Snake Eyes Award

Rules               Limit of 2 detachments and one Data Slate - total of 3 detachments.
                    Warlord from primary detachment.
                    Players can self ally.
                     Only one Lord of War for entire army, Lords of War can be from secondary
                                   detachment and may be up to 30% of entire army cost - 600 pts.
                      You must have the official rules that detail the unit(s) that you are using.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Night of the Living Card Games 2 (2/21/2015)

It's been a little while. A lot of cool things have happened around Snake eyes Gaming in the last month: Fate Reforged Prerelease, Magic PTQ, Knight Models Tournament, and tons of new exciting products!

I wanted to spend a little time today talking about the upcoming Living Card Game Day at Snake Eyes Gaming. Some of you may remember the last Living Card Game Day that we held back in October. For that event we ran demonstrations of a handful of our favorite Living Card Games. Since that time, we have had a Doomtown Tournament and a group of new players pick up Lord of the Rings. For this Living Card Game Day (which will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2015)  we are going to put the spotlight on two games: Doomtown and Call of Cthulu.

Doomtown is set in the Weird West. There are mad scientists, evil sorcerers, undead, holy-men wielding the power of the divine, outlaws, and of course lawmen. You take the role of the Sheriff Dave Montreal and the Law Dogs; the Morgan Cattle Company and their secret experiments conducted by mad scientists; the unseemly circus that just came to town and set up their tents near the old Whateley manor house, or the outlaw Sloane and her gang. Whoever you choose, your goal is to wrestle control of Gomorra away from your competitors.

Each store is permitted to hold two Deputy Events per year. Next Saturday (February 21, 2015) at 2pm will be the Deputy Event. Bring a legal Doomtown Reloaded deck (constructed following the deck building rules out of cards from the Base Set; New Town, New Rules; and Double Dealin') and fight for control of Gomorra. Only one player cane leave with the tin badge proclaiming them as Deputy.

Join us in exploring the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft with the Call of Cthulhu LCG Necronomicon draft.  Take the side of humanity battling against the outer gods, and elder ones.  Or take the side of they who should not be named, in the new draft format for the Living Card Game.

We will be teaching basics of the living card game as well as holding a draft tournament.  The Call of Cthulu draft will start next Saturday (February 21, 2015) at 6pm. The draft is played with each player using a draft starter and a draft pack.  You will have the draft starter as the core of your deck to use, & draft from the draft pack, like other card games, choosing a card and passing to the next player, using the drafted cards to then build a 40 card deck.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Winter Project Status Update

I did the same thing that I always do.

My Lizardmen army project started off with the same ideal that I always begin with: only assemble and paint one unit at a time. My theory is that if I do an army in manageable chunks like that I will not be overwhelmed by a tide of gray plastic. This time I made it all of the way through two units: 1 Kroxigor and 3 Jungle Swarms. Then the desire to get the models on the table and play a couple of games got the better of me.

As you can see from the picture below I now have around 1,250 points assembled, enough to play small games. Hopefully this will tide me over while I work on basing and painting my Core choices. The Temple Guard in the background were a Christmas gift (thanks Matt!) and they will be the next unit that I work on. Once I get some of the stuff currently assembled finished of course.

Next time I'll have some painted models to show off and maybe even a comment or two about how some of the units are performing on the table top. Happy New Years!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays from Snake Eyes Gaming

Snake Eyes Gaming wishes everyone in our gaming community and all of their families a happy holiday season. We hope that you all have a warm, safe, and fun holiday filled with plenty of games and cheer.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Doomtown Game Day: New Town, New Rules OP Kit

This upcoming Saturday is Snake Eyes Gaming's first Doomtown Game Day!

Snake Eyes Gaming will be running the first Organized Play (OP) kit for the expandable card game Doomtown Reloaded on Saturday, December 20th at 5:00 pm. Bring a legal Doomtown Reloaded deck (constructed following the deck building rules out of cards from the Base Set and/or New Town, New Rules) and fight for control of Gomorra. Greenhorns and Experienced Gunslingers alike are welcome!

Where:                  Snake Eyes Gaming
                                201 Cayuga Ave., Suite 10
                                1130 Perry Hwy
                                Altoona, PA 16602

When:                  Saturday, December 20th 5:00 PM

 What:                  Doomtown Reload Organize Play (OP) Kit #1.

 Cost:                    $6 for each participant

Awards:                1st Place: Xiong "Wendy" Cheng Artwork Playmat
                               2nd Place: Fourth Ring Deck Box (metal)
                               3rd Place: Fourth Ring Deck Box (metal)
                               Participation Prize: Alternate Artwork Pistol Whip (featuring Alice Stowe)
                               Additional Prizes: Alternate Artwork Pony Express (the old artwork from Deadlands)

As we said above, Greenhorns and Experienced Gunslingers alike are welcome. In fact, there will be an opportunity to get a demo or a couple of practice games in beforehand if you arrive prior to 4 PM.

Hope to see you all at High Noon in the Town Square!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Game Review: Lord of the Rings the Card Game

The Lord of the Rings Card game is a cooperative Living Card Game in which players work together to complete a harrowing Quest. Living Card Games (sometimes alternatively called Expandable Card Games) are card games that are not collectible. Rather than coming in randomized booster packs with different rarity levels of cards, sets are released that contain fixed cards. In this manner players can purchase expansions that contain the cards that they are interested in using. Most Living Card Games have Core sets that contain a good mixture of cards that will allow a player to make multiple decks and begin playing. Expansions are released every 1-2 months (depending on the particular game) and contain a full play set of all the cards in that expansion. The cooperative play in Lord of the Rings allows players to work in concert to complete the Quest that they have been assigned. The game can be played by 1-4 players and scales in difficulty as more players are added.

Each player controls three Heroes which represent the
adventurers striving to complete the Quest. Heroes start the game in play and will help define the type of cards that the player will use in their Player Deck. In addition to the ability to attack, defend, and make progress towards completing the Quest – each Hero also possesses abilities and/or traits that represent the way in which that Hero acts. Powerful Heroes are more Threatening to the Enemy than less powerful Heroes which means that they will have less time to complete their mission before the Enemy reacts to their presence. Threat acts like a game clock that determines how much time a player has to finish the Quest. The following heroes are among those that come in the Core set: Aragon, Legolas, Gimli, Eowyn, Theodred, Denethor, and Glorfindel. Each new expansion contains at least one additional Hero including Elrond, Frodo, Boromir, Galadriel, and Prince Imrahil.

Players use cards from their Player Deck to arm themselves for the battles ahead in the Quest. Player Decks are made up of Allies, Events, and Attachments. Allies are companions that you recruit to assist you in your endeavors. Allies are able to help you fight, defend, and make progress towards completing the Quest. Guard of the Citadel, Longbeard Orc Slayer, Gondorian Spearman, Miner of the Iron Hills, Faramir, Beorn, and Gandalf are some of the Allies included in the Core set. Some Allies also have Hero versions (although only one version of each unique character can be in play at any given time). Events are the actions that Heroes and Allies take during the Quest – such as Feint, Sneak Attack, Radagast’s Cunning, Gandalf’s Search, and Beorn’s Hospitality. Attachments are the Artifacts, Weapons, and Titles that your Heroes acquire during the game. The following Attachments are among those included in the Core set: Horn of Gondor, Blade of Gondolin, The Favor of the Lady, and Dwarven Axe. Each expansion contains additional Allies, Events, and Attachments such as Radagast, Gildor Inglorion, Arwen Undomiel, Gwaihir, Sword that was Broken, Vilya and Nenya (Elrond’s and Galadriel’s Rings of Power respectively), Black Arrow, and many more.

The Quest deck contains the Locations, Enemies,
and Treacheries that the players must overcome to complete the Quest. Locations are places that must be explored during the Heroes journey. The geography of Middle Earth is represented in the Core set by Location cards like Mountains of Mirkwood, Necromancer’s Pass, Enchanted Stream, and Old Forest Road. Enemies are the monsters and villains that must be fought during the Quest. Enemies include generic monsters such as Wolf Rider, Forest Spider, and Hill Troll; as well as specific villains like Chieftan Ufthak and the Nazgul of Dol Guldor. Treacheries represent the attacks and attention of the Enemy through cards like Caught in the Web, The Necromancer’s Web, and Pursued by Shadow. The Quest itself is made up of the Quest Cards that define which Locations, Enemies, and Treacheries the Heroes could face as well as the conditions necessary for the players to move through and hopefully complete their mission. Each expansion contains additional Quests, Locations, Enemies, and Treacheries for the players to face.
If you would like to try a demo of the Lord of the Card Game let us know and we can arrange one for you. Otherwise, keep your eyes on this spot for upcoming Lord of the Rings Card Game events. There are some good resources available if you are interested in finding out more about the Lord of the Rings Card Game on your own: Board Game Geek and the Hall of Beorn.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New Project with an Old Plan

Winter is coming (the pun is partially intended), and as such it is a great time to start a new project. Each year I seem to get involved in a new hobby project to carry me through the dark depths of winter. I find that having something creative to spend the cold evening where I can’t be outside gives me something to look forward to. It should be noted that I do not generally make a conscious decision to go out and start something new because it’s getting cold.  It just so happens that about this time of year I find a project to get interested in and work on it most of the winter. In the past, I’ve worked on White Scars, Tau, and DeadZone as my winter project.
Like most years, I wasn’t even thinking about a new project. And then a shadow of an idea started to grow in my mind causing me to look at models and think about paint schemes. Eventually I realized I was on to something and purchased enough to get me started.
It all started during the End Times. I have not played Warhammer Fantasy more than a handful of times since 6th edition. As whispers of the End Times started to surface though I couldn’t ignore them. Named Special Characters with models dead? Nagash returned? An apocalyptic breath of air was blown into the Warhammer Fantasy universe and it made me want to participate. Now that I had the urge to begin working on a Fantasy army I had to decide on which force I would begin working, there are a lot of cool models and a lot of cool rules so it was quite a decision.
In the end I came up with a simple solution, I’ve always liked the Lizardmen but never owned or painted any of their models. I ordered a couple of Skink Regiment, Saurus Regiment, and Carnosaur and got started working. I’m still working on setting out exactly what my goal is (i.e. am I shooting for 2,500 points or 2,000 points or what?) but I expect to have the first 1,000 points completed soon so you may see them coming soon to a table near you. A couple of small point value games will probably indicate on which units I will be spending the winter months.
What projects are all of you currently working on? Please feel free to share them below.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Weekend in Review

Thanks for another great weekend of gaming! We would like to offer a sincere thank you to Hershel for his assistance on Friday night. We had a great, busy evening (and late night) full of Friday Night Magic and the release of the new Commander decks featuring Planeswalker commanders for the first time. Hershel's assistance was instrumental in making Friday night happen.

Saturday was the Grand Prix Trial for Baltimore, 17 participants attended and dueled throughout the afternoon. When the dust cleared Luke was the victor, congratulations and good luck! There was plenty to do for all participants because those that did not finish in the Top 8 were able to Draft afterwards.

This past weekend also saw more fierce battles in the Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K escalation leagues. Saturday night also marked the banishment of Glotkin by a night goblin shaman wielding the Skull Wand of Kaloth. The world has certainly not seen the last of Glotkin, the brothers will undoubtedly make their way back from the Chaos Wastes to once again threaten the Old World.

Interest in Living Card Games has continued to grow. Three intrepid players command the heroes of Middle Earth as they battled across the Anduin to the verge of Lorien and then plumbed the depths of Dol Goldur. Two players braved the unknowable and avoided going mad from the revelations they uncovered as they competed to solve mysteries in Call of Cthulu. The struggle for the future of the doomtown was fought in the dusty and bloody Town Square of Gomorra twice by six different players, with the Sloane Gang shooting their way to victory and later the Fourth Ring biding their time as the Law Dogs and Morgan Cattle Company waged a battle for supremacy against the Sloane Gang that cost both sides equally.

The Sunday HeroClix event was Marvel vs. DC. Sixteen players showed up for this cross over spectacular in which TJ emerged victorious and Paul distinguished himself with the Fellowship award.