Thursday, 27 June 2013

Confessions of a Dreadball Coach prt VIII

A bit more DB action as last night at Enfield Gamers as I was schooled by the (in)famous Rich J and his disco dancing Judwan.

Not such a stinging experience as last time the intent was to learn a few techniques against these tourney terrors ahead of the upcoming DB National at TTN on the 27th. I took my Veermyn again and it was stock teams.

Two games, two losses the first a Rush 11 landslide with the second a one pointer where Rich was forced to spend his last two rushes hiding the ball in a disco cage, which felt very much like a moral victory :)

First game I was Home and set-up fairly loose not looking to defend the 3/4 zone and leaving a Gaurd on the bench to go Striker-tastic.

Rich locks out his 3/4 zone as standard and I simply couldn't prize it open early enough and missed the Strike when I did. Playing against a Jud 3 point game mutually appalling luck kept the score down in the early rushes but as Rich stretched away I simply couldn't compete.

Learning points;
- Defend your DB1 hex with Strikers as they're harder to feint.
- If you're going to Slam, Slam early and Slam hard. Take off two Jud and that backline has to open up.

Second game I was Away, went with both Guards and locked out my 3/4 zone thusly.
Speed 3+ and the Gaurd's ability to Slam back put Rich off enough to play for 1 pointers while I went for 2s. At that point it came down to net scoring rate and produced a very tight game.

So close that as I held the final rush of the game Rich ran and hid the ball at his end of the pitch for the last couple of rushes. I had a good go at digging the ball out but didn't quite manage it.

Learning Points;
- Veermyn are the closest team to Judwan in a lot of ways and likely best to take them on.
- Stock Judwan aren't that horrific and with a decent strategy and the rub of the dice can be beaten just as any other team.

Post game chatter was exactly that last point it's the tourney builds of skills and coaches that do the real damage. Using the Season 2 advance table or as one in three of getting +1 Skill while Safe Hands is a DB1 nightmare. A coach allowing the extra action or defence dice is just the icing.

So two defeats to the dreaded Jud without Dive-Caging or bitching just playing them at their own game. I actually ENJOYED playing both games,...fancy that :)...

Monday, 24 June 2013

Orange Blancmange!

Last Thursday we FINALLY managed to finish off the current adventure and all without a heart to heart, just a GM safety phrase "Orange Blancmange". Judge us as you will :)

Following on from last time we, the group, took some time to decide what we were going to do next........basically arrest Aristicus, whilst commanding the local Ecclesiarchary to assist, and see if we can get Lady Death-Singer to help us with some Vulcan mind-meld interrogation.

Once again we were heavily questioned by Mr C who was exceedingly uncomfortable with our plan, which simply convinced us of it's veracity. Once again justifying our suspicions we rolled up initiative and got stuck in. After getting Mr C to actually read the relevant rules it was surprisingly simple to grapple our man into unconsciousness whilst the local Ecclesiarchary did a good line in standing about and gawping.

Hurrying after Lady DS we produced an uncharacteristic amount of schmooze to secure her help, though we did spin it as a case of Aristicus under a malign influence rather than just wanting to fill him in a bit. I did go nicking pretty much all of his gucci kit though, depsite actually being allowed a roll, we weren't able to find his Imperial Tarot that I so obviously coveted.

Accepting Lady DS's invitation to sourjon to her encampment we were about to load up Arisiticus when the Abbot finally found his spine and didn't want him going anywhere. At something of an impasse and already feeling somewhat out on a limb we agreed to Lady DS's offer of leaving her A'Sheen hard-arse bodygaurd to keep him company and we set off.

Approaching camp we saw off a flock of overly manky crows a la sho-tgun before our charming host suddenly remembered some evil old bugger known as The Crow-Lord before digging out THE ANCIENT TOME which also mentions that the Cathedral is built on the 10,000 year old site of a battle between Saint Thingy and a Daemon infused bad-lad........shame no-one thought to mention that during the ten year construction project eh..........SIGH!!

Hurrying back to the Cathedral there were a number of vaguely crucified A'Sheen hard-arse bodygaurd on a stick amongst the burning buildings and distinct lack of any yocal. There were however a number of flickering lights and a bit of a high pitched sing-a-long to a heavy baseline coming form the Cathedral.

So no not a White Zombie concert but Aristicus hovering above the altar, with coveted Tarot cards spinning around his head, performing to a glassy eyed crowd of yocals as he provides the conduit for the Daemonic possession of Abbot who's just had his spine re-arranged!

Serves them right fecking gits, THEY'RE allowed to go all Deamonhost when they fancy....but me? NOOOOO, I get shot in the back of the head by Mr Traiterous Seer........Ahem ;)

A bit more Initiative and we get stuck into the Abbot who comes, quite literally, flying through the stained glass at us. I scooted round and tried to take down Aristicus to break the link whilst Charlie took on the role of Daemonic chew-toy while the Sho-tgun Bros went to work.
Proving to be rather heavy going we suddenly "remembered" Lady DS's prophecy about Crow-Boy "He most fears that which he most loves to inflict!"

What the FETH! The adventure on rails finally gets all obscure on our collective ass? A good five to ten and a bit more prompting later we decide to peck the Abbot's eyes out....with shotguns. Cue Daemonic death-scene number 3 whilst the Abbot and Aristicus burn in Warp-fire, YAAAAY!, along with my coveted Tarot, NOOOO!, followed by full party blackout, BOOOO!

Coming round just as a number of rather dark shuttles were unloading Arbites and loading yocals for "decontamination", probably with a heavy flamer, we dusted ourselves off and wondered what had just happened, mainly outside of the adventure itself.

No heart to heart and just the one "Orange Blancmange" is a definite success.
Spotting the inside-job bad-guy from almost the moment we met him feels like far less of one. Seriously, fair enough that this was one of a series of introductory adventures but we now know how the game mechanics work, how to ROLL now and, without trying to be high and mighty, we already know how to ROLE.

Don't get me wrong, we had fun, we generally do, but it would be nice to move on a bit.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Confessions of a Dreadball Coach prt VII

Otherwise known as a night of two games...

Rocking up at Enfield Gamers last Tuesday night Rich was running the latest bout of Fantasy Flight's dice-tastic version of Star Wars. Continuing with my tech dude for a bit we finally made our way out to a set off for a set of mines with indentured Twilek workers. Help free the workers and claim a percentage of future profits.....NICE!

My regular DB oppo, Chris, sat in for a bit to learn the novelty of the the weird and wonderful dice but with the vaguley spare Wookie spot being taken by Rob this time out declined the chance to roll or role himself. Once he'd had a taster we both dropped out and set up the DB board.

Initially intending to dig out the Orx and attempt to lay the SLAM-down Chris beat me to it so I went completely the other way and dug the Veermyn for thier first stint of table-time. Part of it was to force myself to play with Skill 5+ strikers to get a bit more insight into thier Z'Zor counterparts.

For the Star Wars action Rich has written it all up on his Star Wars blog.

As expected moving the ball around and getting the ATTEMPTED strikes wasn't too much of a problem, I generally didn't find picking up the ball too difficult and got a decent number of doubles. Actually SCORING strikes was a nightmare as I finally experienced the pain that I've only previously witnessed for my opponents. I often found myself trying to work out if I should go for the 3 point strike with the extra dice rather than the glory of the 4. As an experiment I went for the 4s and it didn't seem to cost me too much but I can see it being a more situational decision.
Away team defense formation

Other things I learnt that maybe I didn't expect;
- Veermyn Strikers are pretty good defenders given a 4 dice 3+ Dodge.
- Veermyn Gaurds are very mobile and can target opposition rear arcs pretty effectively.
- Doubling a steal gets you the ball but not an extra action, remember to hold one back.
- All Veermyn get around the pitch well to assist with threat hexes. Always stack the odds.

Having said all of that the game was extremely low scoring with a total of three successful strikes between us, personally I was 2 from 5, with Chris making another storming run in his last rush, only to miss his strike.....something of a theme really.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing Space-Rats re-affirming my DB affinity with flash rather than smash. Really rather keen to play my next league and / or tourney with them, definately more of a challenge than Corp in a manner that I enjoy immensely.....most of the time :)

Monday, 17 June 2013

It definately IS Heresy...but I'm not so sure about recanting!

Somewhat belated this one as last Thursday we had another attempt at finishing off the current Dark Heresy mission to consecrate the latest bastion of Imperial worship to the God Emperor .......on several fronts.

Having returned to the Cathedral we prepared for the arrival of the A'Sheen seer otherwise known as the Death Singer.....very cultural I'm sure. This mainly involved reviewing the security in a fairly paranoid manner as the obvious culmination of whatever ancient evil lurked. Highly suspicious of our accompanying seer, Aristicus, we felt sure that an inside job was brewing.

When the good lady arrived we didn't really get the chance to chat as after we ensured her escort was disarmed we were all ushered into the Cathedral for morning prayers. Aristicus initially declined to attend until the Abbot enquired and we dragged him from his bolt-hole, grump and all.
So intent were we on an inside job that the sounds of gunfire from outside almost surprised us as a group of 30 odd A'Sheen rammed their way into the compound with what seemed to be the only half decent vehicle on the planet.

Whilst Lady DS sent her escort into battle Mr C asked for actions. "Bolt the doors and find a fire-point". As has often been the case this wasn't the answer sought.
The Abbot jumped up and down a bit and then rushed out with his retainers.
"Bolt the doors and find a fire-point".
Then there was a group of women and kids stranded in the fire-zone, one of them was ginger and crying for Mum.
"Bolt the doors and find a fire-point".

Charlie relented whilst the rest of us set up on the gallery above the door while a Sapper party, who had obviously watched Helms Deep one to many times, brought up a black powder bomb. Throwing most of what we had at them we slowed their advance, despite poor marksmanship, and even took a couple out.

Having tried Fearful Aura to little effect I concentrated on chucking out as much Spasm as possible with a minor Perils of the Warp check jamming all our guns briefly. Continuing I then managed a major failure wondering with Black Hearted glee what weird and wonderful might kick off.

Rolling big I became possessed and turned into a Daemonhost.....oops!

Mr C who had been gently simmering away also had a mild episode declaring that I could "take a GMs 01 or Aristicus makes a miracle shot from wherever he is and executes you".

Once again buttons had been pushed and I briefly handed over my character sheet until cooler heads suggested that I could spend a Fate Point to re-roll, which instead caused me to Spasm most of the fire-team to the floor!

Eventually seeing the attack off our attackers turned out to a minor A'Sheen tribe from some distance away. We smelled a rat, surely they must have been under the influence of the same ancient evil that we'd been tripping over for days? Regrouping into the cathedral a captive attacker was brought in for questioning at which point Aristicus went a bit spasmodic shouted off a bit and shot Mr Survivor through the head at which point Lady DS denounced everyone as Imperial boot boys , stormed out and rode off with her boys and all of thier gear.......while we all just got to stand there and not do a thing :/

A quick straw-poll amongst the party reinforced our opinions of Aristicus and we decided that it was time to act. Charging up a Spasm I let it go to have little effect on Aristicus but plenty on Mr C......

Cue another heart to heart, the group feel that we are trying to play an investigative game where the scenario won't let us, coupled to a very rigid game system we get frustrated. Mr C feels that we're deliberately being difficult, which possibly we are at times, and gets frustrated. More buttons being punched than a Tomy toy! After a bit of back and forth we made some ground.

Next session is Thursday, so we'll see how much!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Copper Bottomed

Finally a proper bit of painting action as I've finished of my DB Robots.

Once again it was something of a suck it and see paint job especially as I was trying out a couple of new techniques. I wanted a rusty bronze look and fancied trying out some source lighting to go against that. Mr C later pointed out to me that bronze doesn't rust so I added a few boltgun bits which also helped balance the scheme.

Have to admit that I'm not used to painting outside of the lines so the source lughting thing felt wierd and wrong. Going gloss across those sections seemed to help. Let me know what you think.

What I am quite pleased with are the 6mm rubber gromets that, combined with a bit of blu-tack and some number transfers, provide with a interchangeable numbering system that is practical and clean. Pat on back :)

So 13 Bots, including DB-7 Firewall, for 26 Painting Points. Still not settled on a team name, Shado already has dibs on Error 404 which is inspired. Hopefully similar inspiration will STRIKE at some.

Jacks - Front
Jacks - Rear
Strikers - Front & Rear
Gaurds - Front & Rear

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Confessions of a Dreadball Coach VI

Found this one hanging around unpublished for some reason, better late than never........

Well I think it's part VI, can't remember who Rocky fought in that one but there you go.

The vague relevance of that particular remark is due to that myself and Chris had another heavyweight dust-up as I went with Z'Zor against his Orx.

As I have a Ludwig figure I proxied him as a Jack to take a book team rather than a make do and mend. Given our previous outing where the teams had been reversed and Chris had declined to field his strikers I was keen to try them out.

Finally pulling a home game I went for an aggressive setup and went for an attempted early slap-down. Very quickly the game polarised around all four Gaurds clubbing each other relatively ineffectively while the Jacks saw to the actual action.

Personally I was pretty happy with this as I had my Gaurd and a Jack tieing up all three Orx Gaurds giving me an extra ball handler.

Not sure quite what good it did me as I had my first experience of Skill 5+ Strikers. Along with some choddy dice they did everything to not win me the game. Running them round was no problem but constantly picking up the ball on one success was an arse along with a mere 50% Strike rate.

In honesty I think average dice would have seen me take the game but it wasn't going that way. I'm not the sort of geek to work out the percentages but was soon left wondering if I was better off with Strikers on 4 dice at 5+ or Jacks on 3 dice at 4+.

To confuse me further, not always that difficult, the tie brake was an extra dice to Dash versus Slide, which I found incredibly useful picking up a 3 point strike.

Chris' Goblins however played like absolute champs doubling pick-ups with ease. I did manage to put a bit of Jack-Slam on them to keep me in the game.

Entering Chris' final rush he had to sort this scrum out, having finally given up on squishing big bug, but produced the Orx / Gobs combined goods to take the game by a point!

Another excellent game which Chris soundly deserved and I enjoyed immensely. I can see Z'Zor as late bloomers in a league and needing advances in a one-dayer. Rather like them to be honest, not sure why but don't care!

Chris does tend to Slam more than I do and taught me a few lessons there too, thinking I need to try that one out a bit more myself.

So good stuff all round and just as well that I've got Buzzcut all done :)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Han Shot First.....again....

....but this time where no one can hear you scream, ...other than over the comm that is!

Last night at Enfield Gamers I had another run out with X-Wing in a four way with Rich, Shado and Mr C (geek housemate) all of whom are experienced players, Shado a Regional Champion no less!

As such I was always going to be on a steep learning curve which is no bad thing with such an intuitive game. Some might say basic, others elegant. Feel free to have a go, preferably with someone elses figures and then choose your own adjective.

Anyway, I had fun and learnt a few of the game's nuances. Nothing earth shattering, mutual support, concentrated firepower etc but a nice game that keeps you thinking thanks to its blind orders and its initiative system.

I do get the feeling that your list could be crucial and spam might occasionally be on the menu, along with some rather blocky formations, but its so damn cool to have Luke and Han on the table that you don't care. Lots of missions out there too once you've had your fill of dog-fights.

Mr C has gone pretty big on it and got a lot back from it too. Personally I won't be investing, as much as anything there's just not the space in my flight pattern, but am happy to play pick up games now that him indoors has enough for me to borrow and play at home, quite keen actually :)

On a sidenote we watch a variety of geek telly taking turns with the remote. Recording as a habit we can each follow our own preferences when the other is out. Mr C has introduced me to Grimm and Arrow successfully where others have failed.

As a point of, sort of, interest I'm cold on Revolution and pick at the plot-holes where I'm far more forgiving of Defiance, other than the cyborg assault early doors. Similar as they are I seem to give Defiance more latitude as its overt Sci-Fi and feel like that lets me smooth over the same type of cracks far easier. I so also like the interaction between the different races, conflict from within rather than from without all the time. Same reason I go for B5, BSG and Deep Space Nine when I can't play nicely with next Gen.

No big thing just something I noticed recently and it helps pad the blog inches much as X-Wing gives me a little bit extra geek to my gaming :)

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Playing the Role

Hello again people it's a  Dark Heresy / Star Wars role-play post attempting to make two half-ish posts into one quality item. With this one I'm kind of looking to compare and contrast the two.

Last Thursday week was the latest session of DH and involved plenty of Role as we spent most of the evening questioning the Abbot and his staff.....some would say interrogating....Mr C definitely would ;) We have our suspicions and we're not going to be parted from them easily.

Running through our list suspicious happenings we crossed off most of them as not possible to investigate until we got to the LIGHTS IN THE HILLS so off we trotted. We insisted on taking Aritsticus / Fisticus with us, despite his protestations and a local A'Sheen as a guide.

Wandering along we were soon attacked by a quadruped zombie beastie who immediately tore off the head of our local guide, much to my chagrin, and set about the rest of us. Spasming beastie to the floor I went all Vulcan on his mouldy ass and established some form of psychic link controlling it. Persuading the rest of the guys to wrestle beastie down while I tried a fuller mind meld and just as I was ranging in the connection went dead just as Fisticus was finally useful and spotted an female form along my track-line who suddenly winked out of existence.

Heading back to the Cathedral with beastie we confronted our Abbot to no real result other than the arrival of an A'Sheen "Death-Singer" the next morning. of our better sessions to be honest!

This Tuesday we hooked up at Enfield Gamers for our second run through with FFs new and updated Star Wars system, which personally I'm beginning to like more and more.

Searching around our recently liberated ride, from Capt Trex, we found a bunch of cash, an impressive Wampa rug, a couple of smuggling compartments (one full of illegal Wookie skins) and old Twilek chap in the brig.

Setting Mr T free, eventually, he told us his tale of woe and suppression ath the hands of our former employer and who doesn't want to get back at their boss, especially when there's a profit in it too!

In short there's a mine on Ryloth that's being squeezed by out Hutt chap via Trex's goons and Mr T is part of the resistance. Signing up for a percentage of the profits we did a quick bit of shopping and got down to planning our strike before we were interrupted by news of the return of the recently spaced Capt Trex at the space-port.

Using our Wookie as bait we set up an ambush and let Blaster-Boy loose on them, who turned out to be female, and let the dice loose.

As previously blogged the multi outcome dice system is one that's really interested me and it developed a bit more as Rich (GM) encouraged us to become more inventive with our use of Advantage, rather than just allocating boost dice i.e. disarm, knockdown, force out of cover etc.

So dragging you eventually to my point with Star Wars everything is very open, you can TRY to pull anything off, you just might not be very good at it or have much of a chance but you'll always A chance no matter how slim. LUCK! Freeform can be much harder work to get a full return, especially for the GM, and probably isn't the best place for a roleplay newb to start. Both sides can come up with curve balls and to me is at least half of the game, thinking outside of the box to create that illusion of choice.

DH is much more structured in every way, characters have much more specific strengths and weaknesses, there's plenty you can't do so easily. This does encourage the group to work together more, you need to cover the bases, skill gaps can't be plugged easily. Character development is far more defined and crucial and once you know how the system works you can make the most of it. At the end of the day everyone knows what page you're on.

I probably don't need to put up a poll for you to work out which end of the spectrum I prefer to play at but I think it's important to know where you are when you're playing together so as to play well with others........most of the time anyway ;)

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Back on the Brush

Hello again, another busy week doing real life stuff but I've managed to get in some decent brush-time this weekend making significant process with the DB escarpment, i.e. not quite a mountain :)

This evening I have two offerings for you, both of which were those developed by trial and error paint-schemes where I knew what I was aiming for but needed a few shots before I hit the target.

First up is my freelance coach, the highly regarded Cho-Syn-Wahn. Straight out of my Mantic Day freebie bag the games that day a few of my opponents deployed coaches and showed me their value. Wanting to combine him up with a freelance Cheerleader troupe I've gone for a black and white scheme that will follow through onto the girls. Had to play with the base for a while to get a decent contrast but got there in the end.

Second up is one of my favourite MVPs the almighty Buzzcut. I went for Tohn-Ghaa colours to match my Tongan Orx and with plenty of shirt to play with I'm happy with the detailing I've managed to get into him. Had to hold myself backing from trying too much and I'm happy that he's just the right side of too busy.

So, a lot of work for 4 Painting Points but the Robots are 90% done, I've just got to sort out the numbering but I have a plan for that......tiddlywinks and blu-tack! I also picked up an MDF pitch on an impulse and have started to work it into Tohn-Ghaa and New London WAR-SPs colours.

Until then, keep the Strikes and Slams coming :)