The Bulwark

News and Events from Blythe's Bulwark, Chico, CA

Archive for March, 2010

Welcome to the RPGA – The Road To Kublacon

March 24, 2010 By: Blythe Category: RPGA (D&D 4E), Tabletop Roleplaying

It’s that time again. As we ramp up for the road to Kublacon the local RPGA chapter is starting to prepare for a great weekend of adventure in the Forgotten Realms. Word around the campfire is the RPGA will be hosting a live action role-playing event which will have premium items and story awards offered to the participants.

Don Boucher has put together a 1-4 table to allow new players the opportunity to beef up their character before this event. The RPGA is Wizard’s official Dungeons and Dragons fan club, which publishes free episodic adventures for characters to participate in. These adventures typically last 4 hours, and at the end characters receive XP and loot prescribed by the module.  Playing in the RPGA allows you to play in a wide network of games hosted in homes, conventions, and gaming shops across the country.

If you are interested in joining this group on Wednesdays all you need to do is bring yourself and some dice, they typically meet at 6:30 but new players are encouraged to arrive at 6:00.  The Bulwark Open Library Project has the Dungeons and Dragons core books available, for use in the store.  If you haven’t given D&D 4E a try, now is the perfect time. If you have any other questions about the RPGA email Don Boucher at

Casual Magic – 15-Card Highlander

March 22, 2010 By: Blythe Category: CCGs, Leagues and Tourneys

Sunday, March 28th, Andrew Flicker is hosting a night of casual Magic at your favorite FLGS, the Bulwark.  He will be running a “15-Card Highlander” tournament. This is a popular format at Kublacon, as games are fast, dirty, and full of powerful combos.  Last year Team Chico swept several M:TG events at Kublacon, lets get ready to do it again!

Decks are composed of 15 cards only, including land. You may have 3 additional cards as your sideboard. Like other highlander games, a deck may have only one (1) of any given card in the deck, except basic land (which may exist in any number). Gameplay proceeds normally, but you do not lose the game from failing to draw when required. (Instead, nothing happens and the library remains empty)

Deck Construction will use Standard (Type 2) rules for Magic: The Gathering. Games are usually quite fast, and decks include popular archetypes like land destruction, mana-dorks, board-sweepers, graveyard manipulation, and milling.

Players are encouraged to come and hang out, play casual games (including traditional Magic and other variants) during the event, but a small double-elimination tournament will also be ran. As with all casual nights, there is no entry fee just bring a rare to throw into the rare pot instead for prize support. If you have any questions email Drew at

Kublacon – A Special Bulwark Event

March 22, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Leagues and Tourneys

We have already talked about Kublacon, and the discounted registration fee for Bulwark members. The Bulwark is more than just a great way for you to save money on your gaming hobby though, it’s also a community.  This year the Bulwark will be going to Kublacon, and arriving Thursday night for an evening of pre-con shenanigans. Join us before the event begins for a friendly night of Catan and other casual games in the Hyatt Regency’s atrium as well as an explanation of an exciting contest being run by the Bulwark. The contest will be going on all weekend so if you can’t make it on the 27th the rules will be posted that evening online. The winner of the contest will receive an event shirt, a tournament held in their honor, and June’s membership dues.  Entry in the competition will be free.

Kublacon – The Khan of Cons

March 22, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Leagues and Tourneys

Every Memorial Day weekend for the last three years, I and a small sortie of friends have sallied into the heart of Burlingame beyond the Bay Area for what I feel is the perfect con. I like to think of it as a “Goldilocks” con, it’s not too small and it’s not too filled with people, it is just right.  Kublacon has enough people to keep you busy with diverse events, and a small enough crowd that you can actually get into these events.

My first year I went for the OWbN LARP event, and traveled with someone who was excited for the Harry Potter Card Game tournament that was going on, I didn’t even know there was a Harry Potter Card Game at the time.  The next year I met some great guys at a keep-and-kill for the Wiz Kids Battletech game and wound up winning a whole lance of mechs; I didn’t own any so the organizer lent me some minis.  Last year I was introduced to the RPGA, and played in a Fallout LARP of all things. The whole convention is a mixed bag, and you often run into games you have never heard of that are a lot of fun. Everything is represented here, from the hard-line commercial games like Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer, qualifying games for international Diplomacy and Catan tournaments, and a smattering of the independent publishers who worked hard for little pay on something they love.

Each year Kublacon is held the Friday before Memorial Day, up to the holiday on Monday. This year it takes place at the same time, opening registration begins on the 28th and the convention closes on the 31st.  It is held at the Hyatt Regency in Burligame, right next to the airport.  The Bulwark will be offering members a reduced price in registration as we qualify as a gaming club.  For only $30 you get an entire weekend of gaming, a full schedule of events can be seen here.  Please be sure to register before April 15th.

Over the next few months, we will be announcing events leading up to the Bay Area gaming convention. Feel free to jump into the excitement as we go to a con with a little bit of everything.  Our community has more to offer than you may think and now is the time to come together and get ready for the tournaments, events and excitement of one of the largest cons on the West Coast.

Casual Magic – Elder Dragon Highlander

March 16, 2010 By: Blythe Category: CCGs

Ian Allen will be hosting an afternoon of casual magic as he assembles a gathering of immortals for a Magic: The Gathering variant called “Elder Dragon Highlander”. In this Magic format large creatures are the driving force of your deck which can only have one of each card. Meet up at 1:00 at the Bulwark on Sunday the 21st, game time will begin at 2:00, the game will take place on the Jared Gilmore Memorial table. Full rules are posted in the link below the link below, if you have any questions you can email Ian at

Welcome To Westeros – A Game of Thrones Living Card Game

March 15, 2010 By: Blythe Category: CCGs

Ever get tired of getting your butt whooped by someone who has spent way too much on a hobby?  Ever want to throw your cards out the window because some guy with more discretionary income than the GDP of an island nation had four legendary rares in his deck?  Situations like this are prevalent in most hobbies, someone will always have more time to devote to a hobby, or throw more money at the game than you. Finding a game, especially a commercial one, that rewards frequent buyers but doesn’t punish the casual player can be hard. These situations often rear their head when it comes to CCGs.

Thankfully in A Game of Thrones Living Card Game, Fantasy Flight Games has solved this problem in a very clever way. Instead of producing sets of 300 cards that are used for a few months, Fantasy Flight produces Chapter Packs which contain 20 new and unique cards which are released once a month. These packs cost about $10 – $30 and contain every card in the miniature set.  This means you don’t have to buy two boxes and hope you get that Jace Beleren, but instead open up one pack to get a good mix of cards for well rounded decks.

The game itself is very balanced.  There is no mana flood and you can’t get “mana screwed”; the game’s resource, gold, is produced by your plot cards as well as location. Each turn these plot cards make broad sweeping changes to the table by manipulating rules or affecting cards in play, as well as changing your turn order and the damage you do with a successful attack. Meanwhile changing titles confer bonuses to the player while forming a relationship between the Houses your opponents have taken control of.  The game goes on until a player achieves 15 victory points, but getting there takes an understanding of not just your deck but a political savvy and understanding of the climate of the table.

Each Tuesday the great houses of Westeros gather at the Bulwark at six o’clock to play A Game of Thrones.  We will be happy to lend decks to new players, and the starter pack is readily available for $40.  When you purchase a starter pack you get four decks, and the play set which includes “gold” tokens, “power” tokens, a board and plastic title icons.

In the infamous words of Cersei Lannister “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”