Monday, 20 October 2014

Hang Em High

Hello people.

Wednesday night was yet another quality session of Star Wars EotE love. This time out a few adventure threads came together,.....in a kind of noose type way.

Following on from last time out it was time to roll initiative as events warmed up. This in itself was an event as though each player makes a separate roll to establish an order relevant to the NPCs the players who takes which slot each round. Thus there's an element of cooperative management.
On this occasion the lads couldn't decide on a coordinated plan. 7s and Sin in particular held the opposed views of negotiation and shooting first. I'll leave you to work out the relative camps.

As a result I had the lads hold their individual results with the ability to with old their action. As such 7s acted first and attempted to make first contact with the Grey suited handover team. Meanwhile the Black suited combat team of four entered via all three bulkheads with lots of verbal including "get down" and "cover the droid". Anyone making a decent Perception check realised that they were zeroed in on 7s but not aiming at him.

Once he had the chance Sin blasted one of the Greys who lunged for the data slates on the floor despite his slightly ventilated state. He did manage to return the favour while his mate took cover behind him.
Meanwhile Perit took missed a Black with a stun dart to the neck, Tanner dived for the slates and 7s.....waved his arms about in the air. Whilst the boys in Black kept up with the shouted commands it became clear that they'd been sent in to recall Team Zeta, the lads, and had somehow tracked them in.....via 7s! 

The main catalyst for the firefight that followed, other than Sindori, was the arrival, with a brief burst of dark light, of a swirling cloaked figure shooting stun bolts from their hands. 7s happily made the connection back to the dead tramp in the alley while others tried to do something about it.
 
Meanwhile Agenai legged it along a tunnel. 

Through a storm of chod dice Sindori fired at everyone, mainly missing, Perit dropped the Black CO, Tanner wrestled for the data slates and 7s.....waved his arms about in the air. Meanwhile the Blacks had a go at Mr Cloak ineffectually until Sin shot one of their number to get some back. 

Meanwhile Agenai legged it along a tunnel. 

By the time Agenai turned up for the party two Black and a Grey were down and out while Sin and Perit were to ventilate Mr Cloak who was doing his best to grab the slates but making hard work of it.

In a final flurry of fire Perit found unconsciousness via stun-bolt while Mr Cloak threw the remaining Grey through the bulkhead door to follow himself. The boys were left with the remaining two Blacks and a variety of health levels. Trotting over to treat Perit 7s gleefully opened up his med-kit to find half of it taken up by a tracker. It really was that simple!

And thusly a Temporal Distortion (bed time) brought the session to a close with a potential tunnel chase in the offing.

I had thought we'd get a bit further but as discussed previously the narrative effect of the dice can slow things down a touch, though it's a price well worth paying!

Until next time Dungeoners,...don't have Knightmares!! ;)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Books and thier covers...

Alex gave me my best game of the day!
Evening people,

Myself and Mr C went down to Tabletop Nation in deepest darkest Essex today for their latest STAW event.

There was a bit of a back story as a few us who have been pretty regular down thee for a while now have experienced a few "issues" recently, that I won't go into, that have kind of soured things. Part of that has been poor attendances.

Myself and MrC had outstanding tickets that we wanted to get the use from so went along more in hope than expectation.

A recent change to the Organised Play scene was the format of a 90 point fleet plus a 30 point blind booster ship, that I felt was a really positive move to break the power players grip on events.

In the end we had eight players, which was reasonable. The difference was that I had three good games against three guys. Chatting to Mr C over a sarnie we came to the conclusion that no matter how many bods turn up it's the quality and attitude of the guys that you actually play that make or break your event. 100 guys and you catch all the idiots versus half a dozen similarly minded compatriots.

Today I avoided the two obvious power list / players and somehow still managed to take second place, which was two places higher than Mr C (again) by the way ;)

Another big positive was that over lunch all the players came together and agreed for all future events to be played with ship faction-pure lists i.e. a mix of ships from different factions which are faction pure in themselves. Again, this has been a major issue of contention that many, including myself, have felt have been blighting and otherwise excellent game.

At the end of the event, with plenty of spare boosters to go around, everyone walked away with three new ships for the price of their three games. Can't say fairer than that really.....can you?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Voice Over Internet

Hello people,

Wednesday night we once again gathered for a bit of EotE love. The twist was that this time out Ryan returned via Google Hangouts which, once Charlie had persuaded my laptop to behave, worked incredibly well. I also got a free PC check-up which was a bit of a brucey.

I've used Google Hangouts before when Rich was running a specific GH EotE campaign. It worked well enough, GH has an EotE dice App and Rich could put various screenshots, but the whole experience lacked the atmosphere of all being sat around the same table, which seems a fairly obvious thing to say!

Following on from last time out the boys brought Agenai up to speed, much to his consternation, before putting him to work sneaking their gear out of HI-HI, given that they were heading down to the lowest mining levels in their fancy gambling duds.
Arriving in Grey Sector the boys realised that other than knowing that their contact was the foreman of Grey-17 they hadn't gathered any other Intel and were doing a good job of standing out. In honesty it didn't take too much to work out that the HSE hadn't quite made it down here just yet. Run by Black Dogg Amalgamated Grey Sector is located close to the asteroids crust with each mine located in a number of clusters serviced by a dual mono-rail, a heavy version for ore and a lighter version for workers.

Making their way down to Grey-17 the lads worked out that is was pretty low tech, a few cameras, foreman and supervisors rather than full on security, no obvious HI-HI presence. All rather wild-west...under-ground....in an asteroid. The boys also noticed that the vast majority of workers were wearing a motley collection of old flight and pressure suits all of which with built in air supplies as a consequence of working so close to the crust.......squeeky bum time!

Hitching a lift to Grey-17 the lads strolled in to the local operation with a container crate doubling up as an office. Leaving Perit outside to cover their back and giving 7s direct instructions to disable his speech function the crate got a lot fuller as it already contained a Rodian and two Gammoreans, one of whom was sporting some interesting cranial furniture while the other mainly slobbered.

Agenai took the lead with the Rodian fireman, Guido, cutting straight to the point that they were here to meet their contact. Guido played things coy, very coy.....to the point of ignorance in fact leading Agenai to suspect that he was a stooge, foreman or not. Challenging him Guido got rather defensive and deciding that he needed to go and fore his men. Piling on the pressure Agenai stepped into Guido's path, Trandoshan vs Rodia, at which point the Gammorean with the cranial furniture introduced himself as Gonk.....with a cut glass accent reminiscent of Sir Ben Kingsley.

Assuming his muse Gonk explained that Grey-17 is sub-let from Black Dogg following their bulk mining of the area. The location close to steroids crust allows certain opportunities to be carved, quite literally, form the rock. Clandestine meeting points would be one of them. Mining the finer seams is both a cover and an almost profitable sideline. Much like Gonk himself!

Satisfied with their calibre Gonk lent them a selection of fetching third-hand pressure suits and Guido as a driver / guide.

Thrashing it through a network of  darkened sub-tunnels in an eight-wheeler the lads arrived at an overlit bulkhead door. It wasn't quite a neon sign saying TRAP but it was fairly close. Indicating that this was as far as he was going Guido revved up for the return trip. Agneai stayed on board refusing to get off.....so Guido floored it and took him with him.

Left in their dust Perit backed into the substantial shadows to cover the main tunnel while Sindori, Tanner and 7s edged towards the bulkhead which lead to deck-plated rock chamber. Moving in they were soon joined by two average height bipeds in in a couple of high-quality full-iridium-face-masked pressure suits.

Following their voice distorted instructions for the handover a pair of data-slates were placed onto the deck for a simultaneous handover....just as Perit picked up a couple of combat suited chaps tactically advancing toward the neon sign. Cue handover / contact in 3....2.....cliffhanger!!! :)

Winter is Coming

Hello people,

As mentioned previously I've recently finished reading the second Game of Thrones offering A Clash of Kings, which at seven hundred odd pages feels like something of a less than my minor achievement. 

I have to admit this was my second attempt. The first time round I struggled to find time but having made the effort to do so this time round let me get properly into it and then I was having trouble putting it down.

Browsing Amazon a little while ago to ensure that part three ran on seamlessly with, should I wish to do so I stumbled across Metro 2033 which is about near-future post-apocalyptic survivors fighting to exist in the Moscow Metro.
This ticks many boxes for me; near future, post-apocalyptic,  Soviet and potentially plunderable for EotE story-lines.


As I'm also a big fan of similarly themed first-person shooters I also picked up the X Box 360 game. The X Box hasn't seen too much gaming time recently in favour of the brushes but I could do with a little variation at the moment. As with my reading I do often look to flick between genres to keep things fresh.

In both cases I'm kind of experiencing the lull before the storm with various Dreadball and Heroquest KSs due at the end of the year along with Farcry 4 which will be a rare full price "investment".

Winter is coming but hasn't arrived just yet!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Orktober Prt II and the Weekend Workbench

Hello people,

I've had a particularly lazy weekend and it's been great. I have managed some hobby stuff, primarily organisational , as a backwater to last week's Commando Bonus Points.  With a major project moving to conclusion I've decided to finish off a few of those peripheral projects that have been knocking around for a while.

First up is my Orctober project. I've always fancied painting up one of the Black Reach Orc Warlords but stretched for a valid reason. As the idea of Orctober is to do something vaguely meaningful these guys have had a number of Kromlech's bionik arms grafted onto them and are likely to appear in a sci-fi roleplay campaign not a million miles away sometime soon.
This afternoon I've also put together another dozen pin markers for my Commandos, don't want to loose momentum, as well as prepping the Gates of Antares Hansa and Boromite Leader figures to join the ultra-modern / low sci-fi gang that has been sat on the painting tray for the last few months now.

I've also decided to go full Manganese pirate with my Scum & Villainy re-paints, starting with Firespray. Bone and crimson with a bit of black edging. Ork checks and dags with a few bits of Tau text. Probably a suck it and see thing.
On that note MrC dropped in Sat afternoon for a few games of X-Wing, mainly as he'd recently picked up his copy of Rebel Aces and was looking to give them a run out. I was more than happy with that as I wanted to try out a couple of Firespray lists I've been playing around with.

Reading a thread about using B-Wings as close-range brawlers I was thinking the same for Firesprays running Kath Scarlett with TIE Interceptor support. I'd also had a go at a twin Firepray list with Kath supported by a longer range Heavy Laser Cannon variant. MrC suggested I try the twin list, which three games later was proved not to work.

A further game later the following worked much, much better;

Sisters of Mercy;
Firespray - Kath Scarlett - Predator - Mara Jade
TIE Interceptor - Alpha Squadron
TIE Interceptor - Alpha Squadron
TIE Interceptor - Alpha Squadron

I've also finished reading GoT: A Storm of Shields and caught up on 2000AD.

Pretty decent weekend :]

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Are you not Entertained?

Hello people,

The recent Gladiatorial theme around Enfield Gamers has continued as Rich has recently picked up a copy of the Spartacus boardgame which sports the tag-line A Game of Blood and Treachery...which is highly accurate.

The blurb is also rather accurate;
In Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery, an exciting game of twisted schemes and bloody combats inspired by the hit STARZ Original series, each player takes on the role of Dominus, head of a rising house in the ancient Roman city of Capua. Each house is competing for Influence to gain the favor of Rome. Through a combination of political schemes and glorious battles on the arena sands your house will rise in fame and stature. As Dominus, you have a variety of resources at your disposal. Guards protect you from schemes launched by rivals. Slaves run your household and earn gold. Gladiators compete to bring glory to themselves and influence to their Dominus.

Three main phases occur in each game round of Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery.
The Intrigue Phase is when players launch their Schemes, hoping to raise their fortunes while undermining their rivals. Schemes and Reactions are represented by cards in the Intrigue Deck. Players wield their Influence to put their Schemes into play, often asking for (or bribing) another player’s help in hatching the most complex plots.

The Market Phase is when players buy, sell and trade Assets (Gladiators, Slaves, Equipment and Guards). Players also bid against each other to acquire new Assets at Auction. Wealth is not the only path to success as players bluff and bargain with each other to acquire the Assets they covet.
The Arena Phase is when the bloody games are held. Gladiators from two rival Houses are pitted against each other in a brutal fight for glory. The spectacles of the games are represented by miniature combat on the arena board. Fighters pit their Attack, Defense and Speed dice against one another to determine the victor. All players seek to increase their fortunes by betting on the outcome of the gruesome conflict. Fighters who emerge from the arena victorious gain Favor and their Dominus gain Influence.

The goal of the game is to become the most influential house in Capua, securing your family’s power for years to come. During the game, players will bribe, poison, betray, steal, blackmail, and undermine each other. Gold will change hands again and again to buy support, stay someone’s hand or influence their decisions. Will you be the honorable player whose word is their bond or the treacherous schemer whose alliances change with the wind?
 
Tuesday night we also cracked out The Serpents and The Wolf, the expansion allowing six of us to backstab, plot and occasionally do battle in the arena. Myself, Rich and Mr C had got a couple of games in a couple of Fridays back so had a bit of an idea what we were doing but it's not a difficult game to pick up.

The game itself is yet another high quality offering with good elements of resource management (gold does tend to talk though) and plenty of interaction between players. The combat system once onto the sands is quick, simple yet has enough to producing an engaging combat. Each house has its own special rules and abilities, flavoured to the series, and there are genuinely multiple ways to win the game, it's not an auto to build a stable of stone cold killers.

With the expansion the idea is for upto four Houses putting forward a combatant into the arena to fight in teams of two. We gave that bit a miss with three new players but it soon proved that it was otherwise too easy to sideline the more combat ready Houses. I'd made the early running, BIG mistake, only to be hauled back down toward the gutter. By mid-game a definite alliance had appeared between MrC and Rich. The rest of us weren't having that so when Ian had a chance for glory we backed him all the way!

Give it a go if you get the chance, well worth it for the quote opportunites alone :)

Monday, 6 October 2014

Bonus Points

Hello people,

As a result of twisting my ankle playing football yesterday I've been forced to have today off sick. It's been horrible.........obviously!!

The bonus, other than two posts in one day, has been an unexpected glut of brush-time, ankle appropriately raised. As such I've finished off painting A, B and D Sections for my Commandos as well as the vaguely converted flamethrower.

I've obviously got a few spares knocking about but that's pretty much about 1200 pts now so plenty for a while. Besides I'm not sure I want to paint another Commando backpack for a little while.

I also specifically use the phrase painted as I still need to put the the shoulder patch transfers onto all of these and the remaining weapons teams, about 40 figures in all. A fun filled night at some point :) Better photos as well!

Meanwhile that's 30 figures for a whopping 60 Painting Points. I still need to sort out the pin markers as well as smoke templates so not quite a completed project just yet but still a big lump of painting off workstation.

Anyway, back to work tomorrow and then the club :)