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At 38 years old, Jason has been on three continents. He has been a Father for 7 years, a Husband for 12 years, and a Gamer his entire life. He served the Ohio Army National Guard, and the Army in both peace time and war. He was Retired as a Staff Sergeant after 17 years of service. He holds an Associate's Degree in Massage Therapy from Columbus State Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Geography from The Ohio State University. He started out on Dungeons & Dragons, Risk, and Saturday Morning Cartoons, which he still does to this day!

Dave & Buster’s: thoughts about it after going

A review (if you will) about going to Dave & Buster’s

     (what one of their locations look like)

By Jason Elliott of PaladinElliott Productions

So, I knew going into it that money would be spent, and from everyone’s experiences that I know, to avoid getting any food there (both for high cost and bad taste). I decided to take the kids (Arnold 8 and Talia 6) after being invited by a good friend. Needless to say, I am officially done in taking anyone there. It comes down to being nitpicked and dimed at every opportunity. Yes, I say again I knew I was throwing money away on this one, but the shear level that it reached was enough to break me of this once every 6-12 months trip for good.

It is an exciting place, loud, lots of flashing colors in the dark, a big bar for adults, but right from the gate, you are going to charge me two dollars a card, so I have to decide on the kids running back and forth to each other, or spend four dollars just so the kids each have their own card, shame on you D&B! I wanted to get a higher amount of points for the cards, but no no, you can’t split them, so this is the second way that they stick it to you and make you spend more money. So now you get in there, and no matter how much you say to your kids to try and make the cards last with their points, it just doesn’t work that way. The whole system is rigged.

So let’s break it down, each game, or prize machine varied from what I noticed to be 4.1 points a swipe up to 9.9 points a swipe. I spent $50 on the kids ($23 for each card, and a $ 2 fee for each card) to give them each 125 points. At best that is 30 plays on one of the cheapest machines. If that was 50 cents a play somewhere else (almost any arcade that I still go into these days) that would be $15. On the worst case scenario (which almost seems what Talia did) that is 12 plays. So D&B gets me on not splitting a package, on the card(s) on the games, and that is not including the degree of chance (the house always wins rule applies here) on these games, and how even with the tickets won, they have a little trinket or some candy to show for it.

                  (this is how I felt afterwards)

Yes, I will come out and say it, I might as well hand them the money to go spend at a store, or to get some movies or video games to be played at home versus this nonsense. Talia comes out and says she had a good time, but it was quick and she couldn’t get anything. Arnold, did better in making his card last on a shooting game, but you don’t get any tickets for that. I know no one was forcing me to do this, and that I could have said no at the beginning of this trip, which I should have. Yet, I was thinking for no good reason, that it won’t be that bad, they won’t nickle and dime you that bad. It will last for a little while, and in this case it was one hour and it was all done.

Again, yes they have what my be the latest video games, and some of the coolest prizes. They will let you order food, drinks, alcohol, and all of that, and have your kids parties there (I hate to think of what that would cost). It is a big place, with lots of excitement, and the rent, wages, games, maintenance, overhead, all of it must be paid for. If it isn’t then you don’t have a business like this there. I know I am going to bother some by saying this, I wouldn’t miss this place at all. Oh, that could hurt the local economy, think about the jobs provided, well I guess I would be willing to take that chance on this place.

This is why board games, video games, books, movies, trips, and almost anything else would be better. It is a lesson learned, that I thought I would share with you all today. Part of this sharing is to feel a little better about things, and the other part is to warn the rest of you not to go through with this type of activity. I get it, if this is your thing, you have money to burn, or you simply can see past the things I have mentioned, then by all means go for it. If you are like me, this trip will stick in your mind, and you will make better decisions in the future!

Wishing you all a very good Fourth of July holiday!

Jason Elliott (Father and Husband)

Creator & Owner

PaladinElliott Productions

My review of My Little Scythe

My Little Scythe


(our home made version of the print and play)

Variant Designed by: Hoby & Vienna Chou

Original Game of Scythe Designed by: Jamey Stegmaier

Original Game of Scythe Published by: Stonemaier Games, Albi, Crowd Games, Delta Vision Publishing, Feuerland Spiele, Fire on Board Jogos, Ghenos Games, Maldito Games, Matagot, Morning, PHALANX, and Playfun Games

Edition: Variant/Playtest

Number of players: listed at 2 -4, we have played games with 4

Time of Play:  listed 30-45 minutes, we had an hour in our first session due to teaching adults and children

Reviewed by: Jason Elliott from PaladinElliott Productions


The story so far:

All of the players are whisked away to Hasbro’s My Little Pony and the world of Equestria. You will have control over one to three ponies that will endeavor to find, collect, and transport apples and magic gems to either their personal barn, or the communal barn,  Sweet Apple Acres. Along the way, they will find and complete quests, bake pies, engage in pie fights, and share pies with other ponies to win friends and allies. You will need to judge your movements carefully and think strategically about your strategy. You will need to collect gems, apples, pies and friends to be the first to complete four achievements and declare victory over the other competing ponies!


(a race to get those apples and gems to the barn)

Our final thoughts on this Variant/Prototype:

As many of you know, I am a husband, and father of two little ones (Arnold 8, and Talia 6) and I always give family games a look because of this. That being said, it does not get more family friendly then this. We all worked on putting this game together, from discussions on what to use in building the print and play, to choosing which ponies would be part of it. In fact, we built the stands in such a way, that we are still able to use our ponies in other games, adventures, and battles!

It is amazing to teach a game such as this to an 8 and 6 year old.  It is also phenomenal that everyone that hasn’t won still truly smiled and had fun because they are playing with My Little Pony in such a way that brings the adult world completely in harmony with the children’s world. Everyone, mom, dad, and kids, all had lots of fun. On top of that, the learning curve didn’t overwhelm everyone.  The printout had 4 pages of rules, and that was it!

This has been in high demand here since it was first played. Will I play it with just adults? Absolutely! Will I play it with my kids? Count on it! This game jumped up fast to number two for Sunday night games with the kids, in a very short period of time! In fact, this one might have set a record for how fast it won everyone over!

If you don’t like My Little Pony in any way shape or form, then you might want to pass, because it is chock full with My Little Pony goodness. People who are looking for a way to bridge simpler games to more complex games will find this as one that will fit that bill. If you are looking for games that can be played in under an hour, you got that right here, and again, we were just shy of an hour, game time and teaching time combined in the first session. I have to give it a 10 out of 10 through Boardgamegeek. Why? I think every single time someone says to me “can we play this?” I will say yes, whether its kids, adults, or both.


(the Elliotts having a great time)

Mechanics and concepts found in this game:

This is by far a very direct children’s game theme, using that of My Little Pony. You will have resource management with the apples, spells, friendship, gems, and pies. If you love strong themes, then you are in luck because it is all the My Little Pony you can handle. Cartoon and Fantasy connections are readily available, and if you have watched at least one episode, you will be right at home with the characters in the game.

The game allows for varying styles of play and competition.  There are achievements for resource gathering, battling other players and completing quests.  The pie fights are relatively simple with a blind bidding process and the ability to add special spell cards to increase your pie total.  The pony with the most pies in the fight wins, with the attacker winning ties. With the ability to use resources to make more pies and to add spell cards, there is the need for little ones to be able to do some simple math.

Building the print and play allows you to go out and choose/buy/print what characters from the Ponyverse you personally want to use (which we loved). Being a print and play you are free to choose how much you want to invest into it, so we went all out, miniatures from the stores, along with eraser miniatures, all kinds of tokens we had from our stockpiles to make up the apples (apple erasers), magic gems (from table topper decorations-Dollar Tree), Compass Faces and Arrows (Michael’s Craft Store), metal flat washers for the bases to adhere to magnets, glued within milk jug caps in the four colors needed (red, blue, green, and yellow), star beads (Michael’s), colored Chess pieces for action tokens, and generic pawns, for Friendship and Pie level trackers. You truly get out what you put into this print and play! You have dice you need to add, 3 d6’s- blue for Magic Gems being found through the search option.  3 d6’s- red for Apples being found through the search option, and 1 d6-gold for Quests being found through the search option.

You will have a degree of area control, and you choose where to go with two spaces of movement if not carrying anything, or 1 space if you are encumbered. Not one of these is overpowering in any sense, but you need to be aware of all of these playing into a truly wonderful themed experience.


(Arnold and Talia letting you know it’s good)

What components have to be built/accounted for:

-The main game board (ours as a 24 by 36 inch, covered with clear packing tape, and backed by foam mats)

-Player boards (printed out, covered with clear packing tape, framed with foam mats)

-Quest cards & Magic cards (printed out, cut out, and placed in sleeves)

-Pie Fight Dials (printed out, cut out, taped to cardboard, and used miniature plastic rods to hold them together)

-My Little Pony minis ( these were of the 2 inch variety, from the eraser packs and toy packs, which we got from a local Target store)

-We had the Blue Dice, Red Dice, and Gold Die, in a huge supply o’dice

-We had the action tokens and regular pawns in our huge supply of extra game pieces and pawns

-We had apple erasers, plastic gems, star tokens, and miniature compasses (like you would use for scrapbooking) in our home supply as well

This is a print and play where you could truly invest a little or a lot, depending on how far you wanted to take it. Yes, we wanted to take it pretty far!


(here you get to see a lot of the materials used)


(and another photo of the game in progress and materials used)

Winning conditions for the game:

You want to be the first player to claim four achievements. Play immediately stops when this has happened. Each Achievement is worth one point. Achievements can be earned as follows:

-If you raise your Friendship level to 10

-If you recruit your Third Pony

-If you complete your Second Quest

-If you deliver 4 Apples to either your starting barn or Sweet Apple Acres Barn

-If you deliver 4 Magic Gems to either your starting barn or Sweet Apple Acres Barn

-If you win one Pie Fight (this is the only achievement that can be done twice by the same player)

-If you reach 10 Pies on your Pie tracker.


Game Setup:

First: everyone picks their color from red, blue, green, and yellow (take your corresponding Action token, Friendship tracker token, Pie tracker token, 3 color bases, 4 Achievement tokens, a player board) and 1 pony to start with.

Second: everyone places their Friendship tracker tokens on 3, Pie trackers on 3, shuffle all the Magic Cards and deal one to each player. Place the Magic Cards and the Quest Cards (once shuffled) where they belong on the board.  Magic Cards you have are secret knowledge. Make sure you place your starting pony on your starting color barn.

Third: roll all seven of the dice, they will tell you where to place materials. So if one of the red dice says 5, place one Apple on the Apple 5 spot. If one of the blue dice says 3, place one Gem on the Magic Gem 3 space. If the gold Quest die says 6 you place one Quest Compass token on the Quest 6 space. The symbols are easy to see, and you do not add up the dice. Rolling the seven dice means seven tokens go out on the board to start the game. Finally, remember that every pony, even though they look different, are still the same for purposes of this game, so no special individual powers.


(you can see hexes with resource(s) on them in this picture)

How to play:

You will only be allowed to perform one action each turn. You will never be allowed to repeat the same action from one turn to the next turn, you must always choose something different.

Here are the choices:

Move- Pony or ponies, all that you have, can move 2 spaces if they are not carrying any Apples and/or Magic Gems. If they are carrying, then they can only move one hex.

Search- You choose four dice  (you could say, I want to roll 2 of the Apple dice, 1 Magic Gem die, and 1 Quest die) and you place materials out where the rolls dictate. Thematically you and Gabby the Griffon are helping find materials throughout Equestria. YOU GAIN 1 FRIENDSHIP for doing this.

Make Pies (Baking Pies)-You don’t move any ponies and spend two of the Apples you have collected on the board (a hex where you have a pony and there are enough Apples there) to make two Pies. It must always be remove two Apples and go up two Pies on your Pie tracker.

Make Spell (Conjure Spell)-You don’t move any ponies and spend two of the Magic Gems you have collected on the board (a hex where you have a pony and there are enough Magic Gems there) to draw one Magic Spell card. There are no  Magic Spell Card hand limits in this game.

Make Pony (Craft an Invitation)- You don’t move any ponies and spend two of your Pies from the Pie tracker to recruit a second/third (depending on your situation) Pony to your team. You must meet the Friendship tracker requirements as a prerequisite to perform this action. To recruit your second pony you must have a Friendship of  4 or higher, and for your third and final pony you must have a Friendship of 6 or higher. Going below these levels once you have recruited does not remove your pony. Once they are with you, they stay with you.

Things that can happen from these actions not yet mentioned:

Move into another occupied Pony space, this automatically starts a Pie fight. The losing pony or ponies (yes you can have more than one battle for your side) must go back to their starting barns, leaving behind any resources they have been moving along. You would do this to stop somebody from pulling ahead, or winning the game. You have a Pie Fighting Dial that goes up to 7, and you are allowed to use one Magic Spell card per pony in the battle for your team. Any Pies you throw in the fight are removed from your Pie tracker. You add up all of your numbers against your opponent. Attacker wins in ties. Example, I have Rainbow Dash and my Pie tracker is at 5. I decide to throw 3, (opponent doesn’t get to see until both players reveal at same time) and I added a Magic Spell card of 4 (values range from 2 to 5). So I have a total of 7 Pies (keeping 2 in my Pie tracker reserves). My opponent didn’t have a Magic Spell card and used 6 pies, so I win. They have to move their ponies back to their starting barn, and I get to stay there with all of the resources sitting there.

Move, or stand somewhere where Apples and/or Magic Gems are, then you have the option to say you are carrying them with you, or leaving them. If you carry them, you move them on the board with your pony. If you spend them, you spend them from the hex where one of your ponies is standing.

Move Apples and/or Magic Gems into either your starting barn or the Sweet Apple Acres Barn in the center of the game board. This will complete an achievement (you need four achievements to win). You must deliver 4 Apples at one time, or 4 Magic Gems at one time. Extra of these don’t move in with you, and stay in the last known space before going into the barn. 4 Apples is worth one achievement, and 4 Magic Gems is one achievement, so delivering both sets would put you half way to winning the game.

You may move or be standing somewhere when there is an available Quest Compass token. You, as a free action, can say that you go on the quest. Take the top card from the quest pile, and choose one option (as long as you meet the requirements, if requirements are listed). We describe it as each card has three options. One will be a freebie option, one will be choosing the light side, and one will be choosing the dark side.


(a shot of the game box with all that My Little Pony goodness)

In conclusion, the whole family had a lot of fun playing the game and are looking forward to playing more often.  There has already been talk of other characters we want to add (Spike the Dragon, in particular).  If you are looking for a great family game that helps bridge the gap from basic children’s games into the realm of games requiring more strategic thinking and competition/battle mechanics, this is the game for you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review of:

My Little Scythe 

hope you will check out my PaladinElliott Blog at:
check out some of my videos at:
and check out my Ready To Game Podcast at Soundcloud and/or Itunes:
and remember I am always….READY TO GAME!!!
RET. SSG Jason L. Elliott (PaladinElliott)

Drakkar: The Card Game from Spaceballoon Games, reviewed by PaladinElliott Productions

DRAKKAR: The Card Game

Designed by: Spaceballoon Games

Edition: Prototype

Number of Players: 3 -5

Time of Play: 20 to 30 minutes for us

Reviewed by: Jason Elliott from PaladinElliott Productions


The story so far:

Each player is a leader of their own Viking village. You are the Earl who must lead your village in building ships, completing quests, gathering goats, storing beer, readying Vikings, amassing weapons, collecting gold, raiding villages, and boarding other player’s ships. You need to show you are the strongest Viking in the region, and to do this is to have the most points in the end and win!

Each player will use a deck of double sided cards to play during a round. In this you will be building parts of a Knarr (two part ship consisting of bow and stern) or a Drakkar (three part ship with a bow, stern, and mid region that supports a sail). You will store on this ship Viking(s) and they may carry the Spear of Odin (granting additional strength) into battle. You will need to supply these Vikings beer. You will need enough of both to complete quests and gain additional resources, which get counted as victory points in the end.

At the end, each Goat, each Weapon, and each Bag of Gold, count as one victory point. In addition to this, each set (one Goat, one Weapon, and one Bag of Gold) counts as an additional victory point.  (We have had scores that range around 13, 11, and 10 in three player games).


The mechanics of the game:

The game is only three rounds and plays roughly in twenty to thirty minutes. This is a card driven game, and works off of cards consisting of a color (Red, Yellow, or Blue) which determines turn order. A number system on the Red and Blue Cards lets you know in which order they are played, lowest number first. You will be collecting resources to score at the end of the game, and you will be able to attack other players as well as collect from the bank on completed raids and quests.


Our final thoughts on this prototype:

We loved that it plays quickly; thirty minutes included the learning time. The game has a high degree of luck, as you don’t know what most of the cards you will have during a round will be, but then skill comes in as you decide which to play and which to save. You also need to think ahead to determine which side of the various cards in your deck you will use.  In order to be successful, you need to find the right balance of offensive and defensive strategy. There is a high degree of sticking it to other players in this game, by stealing other people’s resources and cards and trying to sabotage their ship and quest.  People who don’t enjoy high luck should probably play this a couple of times first, and if you don’t enjoy sticking it to other players, then this might not be the game for you.

We felt that we really enjoyed the games so far as we have no problem attacking each other in games. We like how it is very portable and plays very quickly. We also love that the learning curve is not very involved, making it a good pickup game when you want something light and fun but with that added bonus of messing with your friends. On the Board Game Geek rating scale I would give this game a 8, it is quick, fun to play and is a perfect pick-up game for 3-5 players.


Components of the game:

-I rule book

-50 Double sided cards that cover equipment, fights, and special actions

-15 Double sided cards that cover quests, or that your Vikings and Beer our up for sale

-60 Loot tokens made up of 20 Goats, 20 Weapons, and 20 Bags of Gold

-1 Viking Meeple to denote the first player of a round

-The game box


Game Setup:

You have to adjust for the amount of players. You use cards that say 3+ on them for three player games. Add the 4+ cards for four player games. Play with all the cards in a five player game. You will find these designations on the top right of the card on a Viking shield. Separate the Quest cards into their own deck. You will know these cards as one side will have Viking group at a table, the other side will list how many Vikings and how much beer you need on your ship to go on a successful Quest.

Shuffle the other cards into equal decks for the number of players. For example, if there are three players there will be three decks of ten cards each (all saying 3+). Have the loot divided into their respective piles, and have all of this out on the game table within reach of everyone. Deal a Quest card to each player. This card is private knowledge, and won’t be public until the Quest phase of a round (part 3 of a round).

Now you are ready to play.


How to play:

Each round is going to be in 3 phases. The first phase is the Brawl, where all of you have one hand behind your back, the starting player of the round calls out “BY ODIN!” and each player takes that hand from behind their back, and points to the deck you want. You will not know what is in that deck, so you are making your best guess based off of the top card that you see.

Now to the second phase, where you play all of your cards one by one, simultaneously revealed, and then resolved in game order. The resolve order is Red cards first (lowest number goes first), then Yellow cards (they never have a number), and then Blue cards (lowest number goes first). You will be allowed to choose which side of these cards you want to play, so in essence you have twenty choices that are on ten cards.

This phase you will choose a card, which could be laying a part of a ship, storing a Viking or a Barrel on a ship card (being stored in that part). You could be playing a card to attack someone else,  you can swap out a card that you have played on the ship for a more powerful version (the card that is leaving must be discarded), or you may have no choice other than to discard a card. Every player will have 10 plays in a round. Three rounds and the game will be over, and you count of your total points.

Red Cards will denote Loki (the Lord of Deceit), where you will steal a token from another player, (your choice of player, and your choice of token). Red cards can also be the Thief where you can steal another Yellow card in play, the card chosen cannot be covered by another card (and I will explain that shortly).

Yellow Cards will be the equipment and Vikings you need. You will have Bow Cards (front of the ship), Stern Cards (back of the ship), the Deck (middle region with a sail and deck), Viking cards (their personal strength is listed in helmets at the bottom of the card), Barrel cards (the amount of beer is listed at the bottom of the card), Bardl the Brewer card ( he counts as one Viking and one barrel of Beer), Odin’s Spear (place on top of a Viking card to give that Viking +2 Strength that round), and the Yggdrasil Ship Card (where it has a Bow and Stern and be played as either because of the wood it uses from the World Tree).

The Blue Cards will have Raids where you need to have a higher Viking strength then the opponent you have chosen to attack. You do not have to have a ship complete in doing this, only Vikings that you have played on a part of a ship. If a player loses in a Raid they must get rid of one Viking card in play or an Odin’s Spear card in play. The winning player chooses one resource of their choice from the losing player.  You could play a Boarding card where you must have a complete ship and attack a player with a complete ship, and if your strength is higher you receive the rewards on the card. Whether you win or lose, you must discard a Viking card in play, as that Viking has died in glorious battle. Finally there is Sabotage, and this card will have a big red x on it. This will allow you to destroy one Bow or Stern card of another player (so long as they have not stored something on that card).

Thank you for reading my review of:

Drakkar: The Card Game

I hope you will check out my PaladinElliott Blog at:

check out some of my videos at:

and check out my Ready To Game Podcast at Soundcloud and/or Itunes:

and remember I am always….READY TO GAME!!!

RET. SSG Jason L. Elliott (PaladinElliott)

Please feel free to reach out to SpaceBalloongames at:

Facebook: /spaceballoongames

Instagram: spaceballoongames

Twitter: @SpaceBalloongames


Mageling: The Journey to the Cloud Chamber Begins Review

Mageling: The Journey to the Cloud Chamber Begins

Designed by: Joseph Butler

Produced by: Familiar Games

Reviewed by: Jason Elliott from PaladinElliott Productions


The back story:


This is all taken from the Rulebook for the game…

“There have been whispers from the Great Evertree, of a deep magic that pulls like talons toward the darkness. It echoed in wizards dreams, as shadows rose from the nexus. Now the clocks have all but stopped ticking, broken by the ancient arcanum, and even goblins point to Ae’ruim, the sacred Sky Tower of the north. You must go! Leave all that you have learned behind and let five runes guide your path, into the forests of Grimthorn and onward toward the light of Rune City. Don’t forget to gather scrolls along the way…for this, my young mystic, is deep magic.”

The Oracle of the Purple Dawn

When the Evertree falls under a mysterious curse, the elders fear that without a rare potion it will surely die. Now an unlikely group of fledgling Mages must journey to the Sky Tower of Ae’ruim to recover the potion and heal the Evertree. In order to accomplish this seemingly impossible task, they must test their magic against four increasingly difficult locations before facing the evil that awaits within Ae’ruim’s spiraling chambers, in a final battle of arcane sorcery!

Thank you to Joseph Butler for this background.



Game Review:

This is my review of Mageling: The Journey to the Cloud Chamber Begins. One of the things we liked most about playing Mageling was that there is a really solid mechanism for keeping the game balanced.  For example, when a player is falling behind, they can get additional bonuses for successfully clearing a location. Psionic Vines, which is at location 1, is a good example of this.  It allows the player to gain one additional Mana for each location further on that has been revealed.  This benefits the last player who clears the location and helps them catch up to the other players and keep the game close and competitive.

We have played the game several times, and all of them have been close, including one come-from-behind victory by one of my opponents, Kyle. All the players report that every session has felt very close and no one ever so far behind that there was no point in playing.  This is a sign of a very well balanced game that will have good repeatability, as it will make it hard to predict early on who will win.  Players also think this game has solid mechanics and a great theme, it is clear that it was frequently playtested and well thought out.  Several of our games were so close that the players who didn’t win were one turn away, which keeps everyone engaged and invested in the game.

The game is light on offensive play, as there is not a lot of opportunity to attack other players and damage their grimoires.  If you are the kind of a player who likes to undermine your opponent more than you like building up your own resources, you might find this game a little light on the opportunities to mess with your opponent. The one offensive mechanism we did really like was that when you are doing damage to another player’s grimoire, you can determine where that damage is applied, so this does bring some ability to strategize on how to undermine your opponent.  However, the game is still primarily focused on determining an independent strategy for successful use of resources to achieve your goals.

There are only a few minor points of critique for this game.  The playtesting copy had a few minor spelling errors that we are confident will be corrected in the final printing.There are a few places where the instructions could be clearer.  There was some confusion with the cheat sheet for the Wizard and the use of the Spirit Crystal.  There was also some discussion of the Doomweaver card being too easy to acquire and use.  In addition, it could be made clearer that when you vanquish a spawn, you remove it from the game.



We here at PaladinElliott Productions strongly support Mageling and are excited about this game reaching its funding goal.  It is definitely worth backing as it is a solid game with great mechanics and theming.  The game works of combos with its spells and will remind players of games like Magic the Gathering and Ascension.  If you like planning on how to be the most efficient and effective in acquiring spells and tapping resources for greatest effect, you will like this game.  The mechanics are well thought out and keep the game close and competitive, keeping all players engaged until the very end. Mageling will make a great addition too many people’s existing collections as you race against the other players to be the first to beat the fifth location. You will need to use your mana and energy as efficiently as possible so as not to waste any time achieving your goals.




Mageling: The Journey to the Cloud Chamber begins! is being released by Familiar Games which can be contacted at If you have questions or comments about the game you can reach Joseph at


What Comes in the Game and How to Play:

There are five, six-sided, rune dice.  Five of the sides represent different schools of magic and the sixth is a focus.  The five schools of magic are Hedge, Dreams, Divination, Aether and Death. The hand symbol represents Focus.  You get a maximum of two dice rolls, unless you have a spell in your grimoire to override that. After you have finished rolling, you then use the dice results to assist you in performing actions.  You have a variety of actions to choose from, including: gaining energy, drawing Mana, activitate spirit, convert mana into energy, buy a scroll from the Nexus, activate a scroll, heal a scroll, spend energy to defeat the current location, spend Mana to reset the fice Nexus cards, or remove a small token from your area to gain energy. When you have taken these actions as many times as you can and/or want your turn ends.

The Spirit Crystal is basically your main playing area.  The top half is where you keep track of how much energy you have with a token to flip if you go over 20 energy. The next section down is Mana.  You must place two dice with matching magic symbols to get 1 Mana and you can do this a maximum of two times on a turn. The bottom area is for Focus.  You can place as many of the hand symbols as you want in this area and you can place multiple dice of any one additional magic symbol. For example, you could place two hands and 1 spiral, one hand and three crescent moons, 5 hands, or 5 aether. You can never exceed more than 2 icons being placed in Focus, and you can never have multiple schools of magic there. Depending on what you roll, it is possible to place all 5 of the rune dice in Focus.

Because Mana and energy can be carried over from one turn to the next, the energy tracking token has a single side and a + 20  side. There is no maximum for Mana and energy. This can be important in the game as a strategy that you hold back while other people move ahead and then expend large amounts of energy to catch up. There are crystals to represent different denominations of energy and mana to help you keep track.

There are four types of cards in the game, Spirit cards, Event cards, Scroll cards, and Location cards. Spirit cards can be activated by having the correct symbol on your turn in your focus area. This is an automatic, free action and you gain whatever ability or benefit is listed on that Spirit card. Event cards go into effect as soon as they are drawn and must be resolved immediately.  The only exception to this is if an Event card is drawn during the first turn of the game, at which time the card is immediately discarded. The Scroll cards match the five magical schools.  Green is Hedge, blue is Dream, yellow is Divination, orange is Aether and the red is Death. The top right corner of the scroll cards is how much energy it costs to acquire the card. The top left corner indicates the type of rune die you have to assign to the spell in order to activate it. If the top left is a yellow coin, that means you need energy to activate that spell and if it is a blue coin that indicates Mana that must be spent. Keep in mind that Mana can be converted to energy at any time as a 1 for 1 trade. However, you have to be careful about trading too much Mana as there can be certain game effects that will cause you setbacks if you don’t have enough Mana. The bottom right of the Scroll card tells you what type of spell it is and this is important because there are some combos where the type of spell you cast can give you bonuses or effect your energy or Mana. The final type of card is the Location cards. These cards represent the levels and bosses you must defeat. Each location has a title and a location number. On the middle right side of the card there is the amount of energy needed to beat the level.  Some cards will also have actions you must perform upon entering the location.  Location cards will also have actions to be completed once you have defeated the location.

The goal of the game is to be the first one to defeat all 5 locations. The moment this happens the game is over and the person who has done this is immediately the winner; you will not resolve the round.

For game set up, shuffle all cards together except the Location cards.  You will draw all five of those to the right of that deck and that will be the Nexus from which players can buy cards with energy. Once one of those cards are bought it is immediately replaced with another card from the deck. You then go to the Location deck and separate it into 5 mini decks (4 cards for each location #). Shuffle each of these mini decks and draw one card from each deck to represent your locations for each level. These will be the only locations used in your game and the rest you may put back in the game box; this is nice because it means subsequent games will be different based on possible locations. You will want to make sure your Mana crystals are nearby along with your Spawn/Damage tokens (flip to the appropriate side as needed). These tokens represent enemies that must be defeated before you can claim a location as defeated.You can spend two energy to remove one Spawn token. Damage tokens go on your grimoire when it is damaged by your opponent(s).  Any spell with a damage token on it is immediately inactive until it is healed.  Also, if you take damage on your turn, your turn ends immediately.  Your grimoire is also limited to 8 spell cards and can never exceed that number.  There are a couple of ways to heal spells.  One is to assign a die with the same symbol as the spell or to use a different spell that has the ability to heal.    The five locations will be above the Nexus.




The game also comes with a Cooperative mode allowing 1 to 4 players. Consult the rulebook for the changes  necessary to play this mode..

The game came with the following:

  1. The box
  2. The rule book (which did a great job of explaining terms, how to play, etc.)
  3. 20 Location cards (4 each per level 1-5)
  4. 40 crystals
  5. 4 Spirit Crystal Cards (your “playmat”)
  6. 4 Energy tokens
  7. 5 Rune Dice
  8. 4 Player Markers
  9. 32 Damage/Spawn tokens
  10. 84 Nexus cards (Scrolls, Events, Spirits)


Mageling is listed as a 1 to 4 player game, at ages 12 and up, and runs from 30 to 90 minutes. We finished most of our games around 60 minutes. That takes into account that at that point all the players knew how to play the game.



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Mageling: The Journey to the Cloud Chamber begins!


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RET. SSG Jason L. Elliott (PaladinElliott)

Welcome to The home of PaladinElliott Productions. Let me introduce myself!

Hello everyone out there!

My name is Jason Elliott, and some of you are aware that on April 1st, 2016 I created PaladinElliott Productions. A company that would cover all things gaming. This would include Reviews, Teaching games, Demos, coverage of the Gaming Conventions I managed to attend, and much more.

I lost some friendships early on, as I was told that I was insane for even attempting this. I was told I wouldn’t last more than 1 month, I was told my friends were nothing more than playtesters. Well, 5 months later I have reached the point where I needed to have my own website, due to the amount of work that I have produced, which has been no small feat.

The name PaladinElliott came from my handle on Paladins were pretty much my go to class in games that included them. The Holy Knight that sets out to right wrongs, and deliver Justice. You all can guess the Elliott part of the name.

Whether is was board games, card games, dice games, live action roleplay, cartoons, books, etc. I always have loved all things Science Fiction and Fantasy. Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Battle Beyond the Stars, yep! A Wrinkle in Time, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, yep! The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Mega Man, Super Mario Bros., yep! Ticket To Ride, The Settlers of Catan, Risk, Axis & Allies, Yahtzee, yep! Ultima Underworld, King’s Quest, Baldur’s Gate, Colonization, Civilization, yep!

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RET. SSG Jason L. Elliott (PaladinElliott)