Monday, 30 December 2013

The Twelve Days of X-Mas - Day 4 & 5

Evening all,

Fairly lazy weekend BUT the deck clearing has paid off as paint has been applied to figures, in this case all vessels of the Imperial Klingon Empire. Nice paints, they were are all pre-highlighting and a wash of Baal Red and pretty much nothing else.

So that's the B'Rel, particularly pleased with the "feathered" wings and a pair of Old School'd D7s. The K'Tingas are following on nicely, with variants of the B'Rel scheme, to leave a pair of Vor'Chas and the Negh'Var to fit somewhere in between. One and a half PPs a piece feels about, hopefully all sorted for New Year.

Elsewhere I joined Mr C and Rich for the 3D IMAX mega-edit of Desolation of Smaug on Saturday night. I was highly entertained and re-enthused for some SAGA / Mordor action. All those Orc figures that have been staring at me for so many weeks may actually see something happen to them sooner rather than later.

Oh yes, I also pledged for HeroQuest 25 on Lanzanos, simply couldn't resist. I'm sure 2014 will see me needing to purchase very few figures....... Myself and Rich were having a chat in the queue Saturday about what actually qualifies as a "pure" wargame or boardgame versus all of the hybrids that seem to be populating KickStarter so heavily these days.

A thought for another post :)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

The Twelve Days of X- Mas - Day 3

So, Day Two, as Boxing Day involved stuffing my face with roast ham, though I did at least go for a run first!

Day Three, today, was a bit of a lie in and chores to clear the decks for action. Action itself comes in the form of Firefly - the boardgame this evening round at Rich's along with Mr C and Ian. In short there's an awful lot of cards and tokens to take in but a set of simple and intuitive mechanics that keep things flying along at a shiny pace.

Name of the game is running round the 'Verse doing jobs, legal, illegal or immoral to recruit crew and soup up your Firefly before attempting to complete the super-job for that session. A good crew and plenty of kit is essential to see you right as you plot you course through troubled time and space.

Board Game Geek says:
Players begin with a ship, and travel from planet to planet, hiring crew, purchasing ship upgrades, and picking up cargo to deliver (jobs) all in the form of cards. Some crew and cargo are illegal, and can be confiscated if your ship is boarded by an alliance vessel. Travelling from planet to planet requires turning over "full burn" cards, one for each space moved. Most do nothing, but you can also encounter an Alliance ship, have a breakdown, or even run into Reavers. Completing jobs gets you cash. First player to complete the story goals wins.

The publisher,  says: In Firefly: The Game – based on the popular Firefly television series created by Joss Whedon – players captain their own Firefly-class transport ship, traveling the 'Verse with a handpicked crew of fighters, mechanics and other travelers. As a captain desperate for work, players are compelled to take on any job — so long as it pays. Double-dealing employers, heavy-handed Alliance patrols, and marauding Reavers are all in a day's work for a ship's captain at the edge of the 'Verse. Firefly: The Game is a high-end thematic tabletop boardgame from Gale Force Nine (GF9) and the first in a series of tabletop hobby board games and miniatures games from GF9 set in the Firefly Universe.

Everything is there from the show, characters, kit, ships and missions. Starting off easy you need specific equipment and skills for the big scores, and could happily play in that mode without the bigger mission arc.

If you're even vaguely a fan then this is an AWESOME game, even if you're not it's very good indeed. SHINY :)

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

The Twelve Days of X-Mas - Day 1

Merry Christmass to one and all!!

Across the holidays I have twelve days off work and as always a plan / expectation / hope of painting up a big bunch of figures and playing a load of games.
This time round I shall be concentrating on Dreadball, Star Trek and prepping up stuff for the Star Wars EotE campaign, so mainly sci-fi type figures.

To that end one of my gifts from today were a selection of Hasslefree's Special OPs Modern Troopers, who I've been eyeing up for sometime. Going to paint them up as Mercs and temtped to put them on clear bases, just as long as I can work out how........ :)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

In Space, no-one can....

Turn 8 - KHAN!!!
....can hear you hack up snot balls! (Delightful I know)

With the Oddleg / Mr C household being a haven of man-flu its sort of impressive that we managed to scrape ourselves together for a game of STAW but somehow we managed it.

Playing next month's Wizkids Organised Play scenario (he made me Rich, honest!) Mr C took a couple of Valdores and a Prateus, he's addicted to mines don't you know. I worked out a four ship fleet of two K'Tingas and two D7s just because I wanted to try something different than all the three ship fleet builds I've seen. I deliberately picked captains with non ACTION text abilities as well as Khan Singh, just cos I'm a sucker for Wrath of Khan.

Avoiding spoilers we sorted the scenario stuff out in turn 1 and then set about blow the smeg out of each other. This mainly involved me sweeping around the starboard side of the planet a la wedge while the girly space elves ran away and attempted to hid behind their mines.

During the initial pass the dice went all one way, Klingon, not necessarily a good day to die just yet. To rub things in the first Valdore was down to one hull point and the second picked up to Criticals, both Warp Core Breach.

With both fleets pulling K-turns Khan pretty much settled the matter by managing to inflict four Criticals on the already smoking Valdore. After that it was moping up and home for tea.

With admittedly biased dice it was difficult to really assess the fleet but plenty more chances to run them out I'm sure. Time for a spreadsheet, a manly warrior like one that all Klingon warriors would be rightly proud of :)
Turn 1 - slow drift
Turn 3 - hide & seek
Turn 4 - flying wedge
Turn 5 - disengage

Friday, 20 December 2013

Turtle Soup?

Evening All,

Tuesday night at Enfield Gamers was our last club night of 2013 and with the Spirit of the Season in mind Ian's Judwan Land-slid a total of about 15 rushes.

My dice didn't help too much but then I did also make some dumb-ass moves, something of a habit against Ian. Several of my lads ended up rolling around for several rushes at a time, which is sort of impressive against a non-Slam team.

Twice, across the two games, I went for a Dash and failed, whilst also getting smacked in head several times by a ball launch. One of these came from failing to pick up the ball from DB1 but another couple of times it was all down to a few tactical Feints. One feels that most of these events were somewhat avoidable!

While my Gaurds did their bit in laying the Slam the Jacks simply didn't turn up for the party. My Coaching rolls being distinctly random didn't help otherwise. As such even beginning to challenge the Jud score-rate just wasn't happening!

Not horrifically unhappy. Learnt a few bits and recognised that some nights the dice just aren't with you. Ian's well known for keeping them to himself :)

Monday, 16 December 2013

Rising from the Depths

Evening all,

Just a quick, slightly fuzzy, one as I've finally made some Nameless progress, finishing Big Bo-Bo and the hitty gaurds. The real work came in settling on a scheme that works across all of the positions but it got there.

6 Painting Points so far with the Sticky Gaurds, Strikers and John Doe (repaint) to go. Numbering is likely to be on the bases unless I get assaulted by inspiration. Unfortunately I've also noticed that in cleaning up the Striker mounts they all now face the point of a hex whcih is an arse but not the end of the world.

Tomorrow night at the club sees the tradition of Pizza Night plus a mini bake-off between a few of us. Proper nerdy eh? Bit more Terraton action for me and possibly a side order of Klingon!

Throw another shrimp on the barbie?

Friday, 13 December 2013

Set Chain-Axes to (stun) FUN

Hello people :)

So, Thursday night was the final outing for Dark Heresy prior to our switch to EotE. This edition of the "sarky blog" is named at the request of Mr C as it was sort one of those evenings again.
With a pre-prepared map greeting our motley turnout we found ourselves magically transported just down the road , albeit a super twisting lack of decent town planning type one, from Arbite Central. This also included those of us previously on distant ledges or buried under several tons of rock! Accompanying us was Baron No-Ore, Arbite Captain Rottland and a couple of his boys.

Our trip down the brown dirt road was quickly interrupted by large numbers of zombies morphing out of the very rock itself. A number of accompanying Fear checks were failed which left Rob's Arbite a jibber-monkey and Charlie's Tech Priest about to launch himself at whoever was closest to him, Baron No-Ore.

Acting first I stepped up with a Dominate on Charlie to take control of him. Mr C seemed quite pleased by this,....until Charlie "mysteriously" started swinging his chain-axe at No-Ore. Needing less than 25% to hit his initial efforts missed quite badly. However No-Ore and his bodygaurd just let him get on with it preferring to try their best to get eaten by zombies who were tasting an awful lot of lead from Rob's combat shotgun.

Eventually Charlie hit No-Ore in the arm, causing him to drop his sword. Still nobody flinched, not even No-Ore, and carried on throwing themselves at zombies. Flesh wound? With No-Ore still standing Charlie eventually found his mark a second time only to split him in half three ways. Still no-one flinched, except for Mr C.
"You needed No-Ore to complete the mission! What a shame Steve's spoiled everyone's fun!"
Yes, that's right, Bad Steve has spoiled everyone's fun, he's solely responsible for the past 10 minutes?

Pushing on we soon devised a cunning plan for myself and Ryan's Assassin to shortcut our route by securing a rope ladder. Unfortunately that wasn't in scenario and with Watland and his chaps successfully martyring themselves it was backs to the wall all round.

At this point the penny dropped that the zeds were psychically morphing from the walls and that this was the purpose of the psychic bomb attacks. As nice as it is to work these things out its less useful when you couldn't have done anything about it.

 But no matter because Bad Steve has spoiled everyone's fun, he's solely responsible for the past 10 minutes and that's twice now we've been told that we can't win!
To top things off main bad-guy Assad Mor rocked up with Mr C happily giving it plenty of "Bwaa ha haa ha, only Baron No-Ore could kill me and now he's DEAD!! Bwaaa ha haa ha" (he regenerates quicker than Wolverine). Apparently revenge can be served petulantly smug as well as vacuum cold ;)

At this point another penny dropped that the reason Assad is scared of No-Ore is that his Baronial blood (blue?) acts like Kryptonite. Giving it a go I went running for Charlie's freshly blooded Chain-Axe while Ryan legged it for No-Ore's remains to roll his 50 Cal sniper rounds in his gore (despite being fully aware how the law of physics won't help thus one). 

Charging back up the hill it became clear that I had an 8% chance of actually hitting, with a 99% chance of showers of petulant smugness, for the dice to turn up 03........which sent MOST of the table into rapture.....until he passed his Dodge check.......
So Ryan just shot his head off with a gore shot and the zombies collapsed.......

SO,.. sarky blog post completed as is Dark Heresy for now. All good fun and many thanks to Mr C for running things. In the new yer it's my turn :)

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Confessions of a Gaming Pedant

Evening all,

It was round 2 of the Pudding Bowl, out pre-season Dreadball mini league, at Enfield Gamers Tuesday night at which time I persevered with my Terraton Wonnarua Warriors against Chris' Forge Fathers, Emerald Fury.

I also rocked up with my now pedantry packed Klingon Attack Wing fleet. Judicious investment of £50 plus various donations from Rich and Mr C see me with this little lot. Well pleased, Merry X-Mas to me! :)

Flicking through ships and crew cards I quite fancy going old school with the less crinkly Klingons and Khanto start off with and see where I end up.

Back at the club he game soon became something of a punch-up, often the case with myself and Chris, with both of us using our coaches for Attacking Plays as often as possible.

 Early doors a lot of my lads found themselves rolling around on their shells consistently failing to get back up. Not sure if that was down to a few too many stubbies before the match, or more worryingly too few!

Ganging up on the FF Strikers I managed to put both of them into the casualty bin, though Chris had taken the lead, at which point it became battle of the Jacks. Thankfully mine were somewhat more survivable with 3+ Strength and the ability to not be slammed in the back. Obvious really! Forge Fathers however CAN be slammed in the back, especially when you Teleport behind them!!

My star Jack, Steve-O, was soon toddling down the grid as fast as his little stumps would take him for a 4 pointer. Chris pulled back with a couple of 1 pointers until I paid proper attention and took a 3 pointer to go 5 up at the end of the 12th rush.

Weathering a final storm of FF fisticuffs I even manged a 2 pointer to take the game by a landslide, my first in a while, and my first win with the Wonnarua Warriors.

It did occur that a lot of that was down to an Attacking Coach, they make such a HUGE difference for a Jack team. After the first few rushes, rolling around on the floor, my dice did me proud, another big deal without cards or dice, though I did pick one up during the game.

For a tourney I know where my bonus MC are going. For a league I could see a slow start until that coach. I haven't run the Nameless yet but the Terratons are good fun so are definitely a contender for the new year league. We'll see!!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Set Phasers to FUN

"qoH 'Iv ngor legh HIv tel vup jIH!"
Evening all

Myself and the boys spent an entertaining day down in Hockley at TableTop Nation for some Attack Wing action. Rich was running the tourney with Mr C, Ian and Shado playing and myself making up numbers, which then became necessary.

So basically three tournament scenario games with Rich's Klingon fleet, otherwise known as a fairly steep curve!

My first two games I'm not going to mention too much other than to say I was fleeced by various "misunderstandings" which saw me awarded the first game by disqualification and a very close close loss in the second followed by a number of "revelations". Dolly back in pram, these things happen and some big points learned.

Final game of the day was against Ian's Romulans. A good clean fight with a mate was well needed. I did help out by playing like a chimp, concentrating on the scenario rather than my opponent, which quickly handed over the initiative.

Ian needed no second invitation, nor should he, and ran out deserved victor. As always we had a good chat throughout and both learnt plenty tactic-wise! See below for a flick-book!

I did, obviously, make a certain level of investment picking up a D9 Gr'oth and a pair of Kronos 1 Ka'tingas before we even got going. After game 1 I was half tempted to hand them back but added a second D9 and a Negh'var before the trip home.

I've also discovered that Bing Translator does Klingon!

Hopefully that tells you how keen I am on the game. Next event I shall be a fully paid up competitor :)
First Turn - OK so far
Turn 2 - Hmm, Br'el down!
Turn 3 - Errr, Mahk'tah go BANG!
Turns 4,5,6 - Run Kronos, RUN!!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Meta Gaming Matters

Hello again peeps.

As mooted it was the penultimate session of Dark Heresy last which in honesty has probably come around at the right time for all involved. I've waxed lyrical about our group "dynamics" on a number of occasions which at no point were intended as digs and that's the case again now :)

It's a matter of fact that Mr C, our GM, can be something of a meta-gamer. This is not a bad thing and is distinctly different to power gaming.

He is well known within our gaming group for constructing efficient, focused lists, armies, characters etc. Fluff and back-story are also present, with plenty of effort put in, but tends to follow on. Mr C has definite plans and strategies to his gaming and forces, tending to hold fast to them during the heat of battle.

No problem, that's his hobby, his enjoyment and he's entitled to that.

He's a good guy who'll give you a competitive game without spoiling yours. He has a decent win percentage without getting hung up about it. All good :)

So naturally as a GM he's also going to exhibit those traits. Fair enough.

As a gaming group the majority of us come from the other direction. We're looking for a bit of free choice with real consequence.

These two approaches tends to bring the group and GM into conflict producing Orange Blamangce moments :/
Last night we continued our stake-out of THE PLACE OF EVIL. A further side-plot was offered and refused, dispatching NPCs to do the job. We just wanted to get to the "inevitable" final showdown with the minimum of fuss.

The side-plot produced a couple of muties who recognised Baron No-Ore and proceeded to cough info. I insisted on corroboration by Mind Scan which Mr C made plain was unnecessary. I continued to insist. As such we go through an exercise of dice checks until I pass with questions and answers through gritted teeth :/

Eventually the bad lads turn up en-masse with three of them carrying a metal orb the size of a man.
Ryan starts blasting chunks from it whilst I go for a big Fearful Aura which sees half of the bad lads turn tail. Following further applied firepower I'm interested in a Spasm for the orb carriers. This sparks a "debate" about line of sight and pre-declaration of actions :/

Following a successful Awareness test a big Spasm drops two of three orb boys, which would seem to not be in the pre-write, and sparks another "debate" about whether the third orb lad would feel the effect. Orange Blamance all over the place!!

 Once dessert is cleared up a successful Strength check keeps him on his feet. At this point the bad lads arm the Psychic Bomb by palm-print and retreat. Asked for actions Ryan somehow works out that the bomb is glowing at "33% of what you would expect it to". Everyone takes the leaden HINT while I decide to go for the disarm, it's what I believe I'd do. 

Arriving at the bomb on 99% luminosity I'm asked for its password. Unfortunately Ryan took the head off the chap who armed it 15 seconds previously so a Mind Scan isn't an option. She go BANG!!

"You use a Fate point to survive the blast"
"I don't have any left, I've used them all"
"Oh, well ill give you one and you can use that "

Ermm.......okay :/ Thanks??

A few minutes later the blast sight is full of serfs, hammers at their belts, carrying Baron No-Ore aloft as the rebellion seems to be starting without us. As this was not a valid outcome per Baron Harkonnen's orders Ryan lines up a headshot from his perch above the throng.

"Just so you know killing No-Ore will likely see you lynched by serfs!"
"But I'm an assassin, they can't touch me!"
Just so you know killing No-Ore will likely see you lynched by serfs!"
"I'm on a ledge 30 metres above them in shadow!"
Just so you know killing No-Ore will likely see you lynched by serfs!"

Suddenly it's 15 minutes later. Rob and Charlie are with the Baron being carried to the surface toward the Arbite Central command. Ryan has magically appeared on a different ledge with excellent scope access. I'm unconscious in a Physic Bomb crater under rocks!

Through his scope Ryan overhears an old lady praising No-Ore for his glorious return and presents her sick son for his blessing. The boy's eyes light-switch to 99% luminosity at which point Ryan's superior initiative literally blows off his head at which point the lad beheads his mother with his hands! Cue screaming and hundreds of undead types emerging from any and every available crevice!

It being half 9 and Mr C reckoning that we can't fit in the final final encounter we generate some Star Wars EotE characters.....

Once again this isn't a dig, more a commentary / tale of caution. We've all played our part in this, we the group have got used to openly commenting about plot armour and Mr C's unwillingness to kill us. As such we have tended to goof off. Both "sides" fuel the other, if we'd felt empowered, challenged etc it would have been far less :/

Generally speaking its been fun, the occasional issue hasn't got in the way too much but we seem to have set the cycle and its time for something else...... :)

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Riding the Learning Curve

Hello people.

Whenever any of us pick up a new system, game, force or team there's normally an "initiation" period when you learn what works, normally by working out what doesn't work. I've always found that I've generally learnt more from losses than wins and is never anything I have a problem with.

Which is just as well as that was my evening last night down at Enfield Gamers. A good nights gaming it was too! Our pre-season Pudding Bowl Dreadball mini league kicked off. Standard teams plus coach with a few house rules to try out.

Though a seasoned DB coach I was running my freshly varnished Terratons, second ever game, against Rich C's Veermyn. An uphill incline was duly anticipated.

However....the game was very tight throughout, I lead for most of it and produced, but failed on dice, two clear landslide opportunities. Even on the final rush I had the chance to take the game but her Ladyship (luck) took offence to the fumes and claimed her price :)
Running three each Gaurds and Jacks on pitch I didn't suffer a single casualty whilst populating the Veermyn box on a regular basis. Remembering to go for offensive coaching plays was crucial, leaving the coach figure in my Away card with my activation tokens provided sufficient reminder, and produced a half field 4 pointer to set up a regular feed upfield. Teleport produced unrivalled mobility, especially out of threat hexes, and allowed a heavy beat-down to be applied with surgical precision. Even the Jacks got involved in that one!

Plenty learnt and I felt the affinity "click" that will see them on the pitch for the foreseeable.

Prior to the turtle love Mr C ran me through Attack Wing with a throw together Klingon fleet. Any lingering resistance IS now entirely futile (sigh) with a small fleet firmly locked onto my wallet.

I do find myself enjoying the game though with this particular battle, my third, it soon transpired that Mr C, tourney regular, had constructed his newly acquired Federation fleet as a tourney force. (Picard and Spock int the same fleet??)

Cue beat-down with her Ladyship also sticking in a size 9 stiletto! To rub it in at one point Mr C rolled one too many attack dice. Apologising he re-rolled for a better result rather than just taking the original minus a git! (Typo intended)

This act wasn't however unnoticed by her Ladyship who quickly changed sides and did her best to even things out with a couple of close range barrages which saw the Enterprise limp away as last ship standing.

Despite all the pantomime villainy I enjoyed the game and learnt plenty tactically with the interest to learn more. Selected purchases are imminent.

Meanwhile it's Dark Heresy tonight and apparently  REVENGE is a dish best served cold!!! (and possibly whipped)

Sunday, 1 December 2013

G'Day Cobber

Evening all,

Finally finished up the Wannarua Warriors. I had an idea for Aboriginal numbering but found out that various bodyparts were involved that made it somewhat impractical so plain old numbers it was. 16 PPs slipping into December after a 2 point November.

They did turn out last week at Enfield Gamers, though the Pudding Bowl was postponed until this week. Got in a game with Rich against his Terratons which turned into one almighty punch-up settled by the only Strike of the game in Rush 14 to see his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles victorious.

Rich did mention that the solid yellow made it difficult to pick out the Jacks so I've put their Launch Gloves into a bone which I think complements well.

I've also, horribly sensibly, numbered up the Z'Zor and Forge Fathers whilst the Nameless are coming along nicely. All the guards are basecoated though I still need to work out the Strikers. Their different forms make them much more interesting to paint in team colours.

So Pudding Bowl at Enfield Gamers, two games a night, across the next three Tuesday nights! Trial league rules for the New Year Champions League! You know where we are!