Thursday, 26 September 2013

Think PINK

So, finally I've finished off the Forge Fathers team which for the moment will be going straight to case.

Following the previous poll, some time ago, I kept to the Pink & Purple for that slightly Slaneeshi feel. The numbering is googled nordic runes so I imagine them as slightly kinky, metrosexual, sado-pleasure dwarves of indertimante armour.....that like a speedy ball......... Thor's Thunder-Thighs.

So 20 Painting Points and that's all the current Dreadball figures completed and the entire project other than the MDF pitch which needs finishing off. Other than that it's Mordor Orcs up next!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

In Space no-one can hear you.....

.......well whinge, prevaricate and belly-ache mainly!

So with ManFlu+ locking s-foils and moving into attack position on Wednesday night the latest chapter of Dark Heresy opened upon us. 

Moving on at a fair crack we found ourselves summoned by Baron Harkonnen  into orbit upon one of the Emperor' cruisers. With some theatrical flare we found ourselves addressed in his state room overlooking a small fleet of similar vessels to be told about about the sudden and rather pesky in-system appearance of a space hulk that was headed straight for the capital world of Scintillia.

"Oh dear", we chimed," how lax of the local rear admiral. Maybe a restorative thrashing was in order while the pleasantly placed fleet bombarded it to pieces? Thanks for letting us know we'll be off to watch from a more rimward position!"

"Ah no", lilted our host, "this is no ordinary hulk. Scans detect the psychic presence of a Ordo Malleus colleague lost 600 years ago with the ancient sword of kick-ass".

"But wait", I suggest, "my Forbidden Lore: Warp tells me that even if it is her she's definitely a bad 'un by now. And what's that you say, 15 hours to impact? No time for the local Astartes then.....schuks :("

"Ahh", Harkonnen beams, "that's where you're mistaken, meet Brother Sergeant HardAsFeth of the Deathwatch to lend a guiding hand!"

In an inspired burst of ROLE-playing a great deal of knashing, wailing and doomsaying broke out. We did manage to each secure a set of borrowed carapace armour to go with our incredibly durable vacuum suits and an auspex for that Alien "they're in the room" moment. So despite several attempts to wander away as the group we were herded down to the launch bays and firmly installed onto an assault boat barely daring to say a word in case BS-HAT found one of the many possible reason to shoot us for heresy.

Strangely I convinced BS-HAT to allow me to pilot the assault boat and after several attempts at stalling the thing eventually set of as slowly as possible towards impending doom.

Suitably encouraged by a 2.5 6 metric tonne killing machine I eventually found 5th. Suddenly laser fire streaked towards us, I engaged defencive pattern Delta only to realise my Piloting (Space) skill wasn't the trained variety.................and failed by a massive 80%!!!

Once we'd stopped laughing ourselves hoarse and Mr C climbed down from the blamanche ledge BS-HAT shoved me sideways into the plexi-glass as he took the con. At this point I noticed the sleek dark shape of another ship racing us to the hulk.........

Finally boarding "The Twilight" we had a mapped route to wend out way along and set off as close to BS-HAT as he would physically allow, we would have ridden him into battle if he'd let us.

Encounter wise first up were a triumvirate of what turned out to be Warp-beasts which between fear checks and their shift ability proved confusing enough for a brief touch of friendly fire whilst BS-HAT waved around a Thunder Hammer to little effect. Eventually Rob's shotgun found it's point-blank mark which seemed to inspire BS-HAT to finally pulp his with a single hit. Collecting up one of the wee doggies spiky collars we moved on.

Second up was a ghostly floating little girl, who stumped BS-HAT in particular though she barely came up to his ankle guard. Unable to work out how she appeared we eventually reverted to just asking her only to be told that "they are coming" before she faded out....

Powering up the auspex, Charlie located a single 'blip' following us along and then lying in wait. Unslinging his now beloved Nomad sniper rifle Ryan suddenly got all keen and crept forward stealthy like! Finding that his prey was a humanoid in shiny black armour with male model looks and pointy ears he needed no encouragement to squeeze the trigger....and palpably shatter a leg. With our lad still squirming there was a short debate as to taking him alive...followed by a final shot to the chest.

Digging through his sharpened crystals and artful tattoo designs we came across an amulet with a sharpened sickle etched into it, as in that of the Serrated Quarry.

HANG ON A MINUTE...didn't we come across this lot mixed up with the Joyous Choir? Surely this isn't a LINKED ADVENTURE???

The lights went out :/ 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Pushing Plastic

Hello people, apologies for my apparent disappearance, for those of you who may have noticed, but I had last week off work an as such quickly succumbed to ManFLU+ which ate up four days.

Pre MF I did at least manage to get a bit of gaming in. Tuesday night at Enfield Gamers I "helped out" making up the numbers playing through a few games of Star Wars: Attack Wing as a few of the lads attended the day event at Dark Sphere yesterday.

It was one scenario on the day involving an attack on Deep Space Nine featuring an extensive number of particularly vicious minefields and the potential to beam aboard DS9 itself to activate it's weapon arrays.

I borrowed a mixed Cardacian / Breen fleet with just the one upgrade and only rank 1 captains so as to keep things as simple as possible and see if that was a viable fleet strategy.

First game was against Paul's Federation fleet of 2 Galaxy class and 2 Miranda class with both Picard and Riker about the place. It was first time out for Paul with A-Wing though he's a club regular in the X-Wing campaign.

As Paul edged through the minefields I charged for DS9 realising I wasn't loosing anything of a captain on the station as compared to Ol Slaphead or Beard-Boy.

In the end the additional firepower was too much for the Feds and I took a relatively comfortable win.

Second game of the night was against Mr C and his obviously maxed out Romulan fleet of close formation cloaked-firepower. Once again I charged for DS9 while I avoided his flying wedge as it made its way through the minefields.

Picking my moment I made my turn, lined up my loose one battle cruiser for no return. Running back to the cover of DS9, it's guns once again came to my rescue and spelt Mr C's doom much to his chagrin as in his first game he'd tried much the same only to have Rich J blow it out form under him!

In short I'm rather warming to X-Wing / A-Wing, especially playing with others figures. A-Wing seems the more "complete" game but Star Wars is still cooler despite its obvious factional limitations.

Meanwhile Rich J took a clean sweep to emerge victorious at Saturday's tourney with his Klingons. Mr C came home with one win........a bye....oh dear ;/

Monday, 16 September 2013

Mind Bullets??

Hello people,

We've moved Dark Heresy to a Wednesday and are lined up for our latest installment this week.
Finishing off last time we all picked up a decent lump of XP and set about the level up spend.

For Jynx this meant hitting Psy Rating 3 and pushing up my Willpower in becoming a big boy Psyker with access to major powers and something of a choice as to which specialism he wanted to follow. First thing was the branch in the career tree to go Militant or Savant. Thinking of the group as a whole, it does happen occasionally, I went Savant for the more thinking skills and bonuses as we do have a decent amount of grunt within the group.

After that it was which specailisation to go for which I pretty much decided by reading the fluff paragraph. Biomancy had been recommended to me and looked interesting but didn't fit Jynx's Skeletor like physique.

Pyromancy was all far too one dimensional, and I'm sure I know how to strike a match :) Telekenetics was a bit shooty in a different but then Telepathy......fecking with people's minds to get them to do what you want.....Dance Puppet, Dance!!

That'd be the one then!

So it's Teek-a-clock with just the one major power, Compel to play with for the moment. Thinking back to B5 telepaths seemed to have all the fun with a wonderful sense of superiority over the norms that I'm sure that Jynx would revel in. You never know it might even be a way out from under the puritan Inquisitorail brand or may deeper towards a more radical outlook.

I feel a whole load of fun coming on, possibly Blamanche coated.

Look into my eyes! :)

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Trials and Tribble-Ulations

That looks like a lot of upgrades!
Hello again chaps and possibly even chapesses.

Cutting straight to the point for once I had a game of Star Trek, the apparent X-Wing clone. Before I give my usual impressionistic review I feel the need to qualify it by stipulating that this was a larger points 4 way game with me plus 3 experienced X-Wing players.

For forces it was Klingons with Khan in an apparently borrowed Enterprise D versus a bunch of Romulans with a couple of Breen, for those who know what latex face-mask they feature.

One relative difference became clear quickly as each ship, 5-a-side, featured a bewildering array of captain, crew, weapon and upgrade cards many resulting in a couple of rather nasty combos. Seemed like quite a bit to keep track of and not everything got used.

The second thing is cloaking and this seemed BIG. Adding four defence dice meant a lot of missing early doors. The price is not being able to raise shields so when the inevitable extreme opposed dice results turned up they were decisive. Initially that seemed like luck over skill but first time out that's always going to be the way.

The mid range engagement didn't last long
The other big bonus is being able to "shift" sideways upto a 2 as an action as long as your shields are up. This turned out to be quite the manoeuvring bonus for those with a bit of imagination.

Overall I get the idea that this represents the idea that an opponent has to second guess where a cloaked ship might be and I really like the thinking but, first time out, it did seem to be rather powerful. With 6 of 10 ships on the board having the ability that was, again, probably always going to be the way.

This addition of other actions compared to X-Wing along with a few others does create a real and very welcome variation between the fleets and all accurate to the fluff I'm sure ;)

Another more subtle difference is that the manouvre dials for the bigger ships are more limited, representing thier more ponderous turning circles. There's also generally a couple of extra firepower dice about for those bigger ships as well. All this gives the game an appropriate feeling of "weight" as compared to X-Wing.

Otherwise it's pretty much the same game though not only the names have changed. General opinion was that it has a bit more going on tactically and more depth with the wider Star Trek universe covered pretty well and each fleet having access to different abilities. Concerns were raised over the potential to mix different ships and captains from different eras but thats an individual thing.

Kirk and Khan for me but we've covered that one already :)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

How to build a better....

Hello people,

After a number of false states and postponements we got back round to Dark Heresy last Thursday night and finished off our occasionally culinary adventure.

Following on from last time's entertainments this particular instalment was relatively tame. With many of the hive nobles answering some pointy questions about xenos-people-drug wine we headed back to casa Strophies for some well needed rest prior to our flight out to Ambulon, the ancient tech city that probably never sleeps and definately never stops mining.

Assigned our own guest wing we were, eventually once enough of passed Awareness checks, awoken during the night by a full on assault by some ex guardsmen types. Fighting them back to the breach in the wall of the apparently easy to access Strophies manor Fearful Aura did a better job of holding them back than anyone expected whilst we filled them with various types of projectile. The tipping point came when Lord Strophies himself appeared through a Scooby Do secret door and took down a couple to see the remainder flee. 
 As a couple of us set to interrogation our Assassin, against the odds and much to Mr C's chagrin, tracked the last couple across the apparently unguarded estate to the breach in the apparently unguarded outer wall at which point they scattered into the "winding" upper hive corridor beyond. Despite unlikely dice followed by no dice all the baked goods stayed put :)

Questioning went better as one lad spilled his guts about the merc firm he worked for and the employer, Doc Oc from earlier, for this overt assault on a noble house of the upper hive. At this point his works sci oxide device activated, all ISO 40'000 compliant I'm sure.

Strangely his Lordship was unperturbed waving away our plans to take these mercs down and secure the buckets of evidence they likely held. Taking the hint, for once we sighed and went back to bed.
Arriving on Ambulon we had been provided with cover stories and a contact who quickly pointed us in the direction of the local branch of the Joyous Choir and disappeared into the background.

In short we rocked up at the church found Doc Oc's evil People-Drug-Wine lab and quickly blew him to bits with a couple of critical shots to the face. We then went to rescuing our damsel in distress to find out that she'd been converted into a mindless servitor which was kind of a let down. 

Admittedly this last bit was somewhat hazy for me as I was having trouble staying awake, long week at work rather than Mr C ;). It turns out I wasn't really needed and upon failing my servitor fear check my hangover worsened to a minus 20 mod to everything and I soon discovered that the lab was a psychic null. I did try burning the place down, our habit, but nothing flammable could be found!

Winding down XP was dished out and Mr  C asked around for feedback as he always does, which is a good thing. The general feeling was a decent adventure with a strong enough start that ran somewhat downhill to a bit of an anti-climax

To his credit, he is actually a mate and we do appreciate him running the campaign for us, Mr C agreed as he hadn't realised the end would fizzle like that though lucky dice helped that along. He did however mention that he took out Doc Oc's minions because "we only had 40 minutes left and I wanted to finish tonight". Have to admit that's not my way of doing things but then I'm not the GM and need to respect that.....honestly! :)
 I've made various commentary about pre-written adventures. I think they can be a good core story that can always be altered and fleshed out to suit. I feel that you need to get off  the railroad every now and then  without it becoming an issue. That's what I see as the real skill of a GM. 

As much as Mr C gets a bit of stick from all of us he always does his bit and asks us what would gave improved things. Those golden GM skills are a learning process for all involved and maybe gaming groups should be a bit more aware and supportive of that.

Hug a GM week anyone?

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Back to (Old) School

Evening all,

Bit of a meander this one but last night down at Enfield Gamers I came across something of a revelation, though it may have come across me... I never seem to know with these things ;)

Rocking up with no definate game booked I wasn't required as standby for the X-Wing campaign so scoffed my Tursday night shish over Shaun's shoulder as they set up for a run out of the new Star Trek.

Now I'm far more Wars than Trek, especially next gen, and as previously mentioned I've decided to pass on X-Wing.

I'm also aware that the latter game is a close clone (pha-naar!) of the former and has caused Geek-Rage by muddling timelines into one single collective (ba-zinga!).

Being the curious type that I am I ignored the game itself and cut straight to the nub;
Q: Can I be Klingon and spend all game giving orders in said language, badly?
A: Yep
Q: Can I cloak?
A: Yep
Q: Are there tribbles?
A: Yep and they're a pretty cool event card.
Q: Can I be Khan?
A: Yep

All of these were damned good answers produced a reaction of "cool" that X-Wing simply couldn't force (groan!) from me ;)

I didn't stay on for a game playing a big old game of Space Hulk instead. Mission 10: Defend where I managed to snatch defeat from the saliva fanged jaws of seeming victory (enough yet?) but at some point I'm highly likely to. The main proviso will be that I'd much rather play Kirk and Khan rather than Picard and poncing about having solved all of humanity's evils.

So finally arriving at my point I seem to be a fairly old school Geek. I like a bit of grim, grit and, dare I say it reality, with my sci-fi or at least something credible in the character behaviour, I suppose I find that easier to relate to.

Don't get me wrong new isn't always bad, Enterprise did the job for me big time as well as the prequel movies. BSG was rapturous including the episode when they simply ran out of water.

Zombicide got backed big as a fresh new way to do the Zed thing and I'm all for innovation within the hobby but I do seem to go for the retro themes. Space Hulk? Blood Bowl? Oh yes indeedy!

At 38 much of this seems to hark back to my hobby youth and though I've enjoyed expanding my geek horizon over the years I've definately becoming more discerning with my D6. Nothing to be ashamed of just nice to know what sort of geek I am. 

So the question beckons, what sort of geek are you? ;)