MtC 7: Varbhor Antrix

August 18th, 2017

Varbhor Antrix never knew when to shut up. Even after taking a vow of silence he broke it in just over an hour, so he “volunteered” for a more permanent solution. Of course not being able to talk sometimes left him not being taken seriously so he picked up literally the biggest gun in the armory. While technically it is a hand held weapon that fires a projectile, it’s actually more of a man portable mortar launcher than a gun. Varbhor’s motto is “Walk softly and carry a big pipe and a bigger gun.”

It’s pretty obvious he’s practically dying to go on the next raiding party, probably because he hasn’t had a chance to fires his big ass gun yet. Any time there’s a hint of action he’s suited up and ready to go.

This is one of my first converted cultists. Blake had this big ass gun/missile launcher thing (I think it was from an Empire unit maybe?) and I knew some crazy ass cultist would have to haul this monster around.

Let’s Play: Tropico 4: Pt V

August 14th, 2017

November 56

In a bid to win the elderly demographic, which should also garner more respect from the older tourists, we’ve instituted a Social Security scheme. Right now there are so few qualified individuals it’ll only cost us about $12 a year…

January 57

Senator Crane is a smooth tongued devil… This “Freedom Tax”; well, we have little choice to pay, as there isn’t much we could do if the Americanos became angry with us. This is a great hardship as most of our current budget was to be spent on improved housing conditions for our populace… We have a tenement building and a condominium, but many are still living in shacks.

September 57

It’s been a fairly uneventful summer. The Llama Flu ban on immigration has been lifted, apparently enough people thought it was a hoax. Our housing situation is still fairly dire, and there’s been rumblings from our local priests that we don’t have enough religious support. We do have the third of four planned ranches is just being finished, which should be a nice dietary addition to the fish and corn that is the vast majority of local fare.

MtC 6: Mobus Ordelax

August 13th, 2017

Mobus Ordelax is one of the few cult  members who shows any sign of psychic ability. He attributes it to a combination of his faith in Slaanesh as well as following Seanan’s colloidal silver regimen. Unfortunately for him, his ability are rather lack luster compared to an actual sorcerer. At best he can do some impressive tricks, which really isn’t the best way to risk your eternal soul, but it does tend to be quite effective at recruiting new members into the cult and winnowing out inquisitors and undesirable rabble as well as finding folk who might be sympathetic to the cause, often before they themselves realize it.

Mobus is also responsible for the consecration of the Eye of Chaos rings. These small orange amulets have 8 spikes and are guaranteed to make great deeds more likely to be noticed by Slaanesh and her minions. Or at least so Mobus claims, regardless their popularity has skyrocketed after the last sortie and Mobus is starting to get sick of making them, complaining frequently that it’s “all he’s good for anymore.”

Let’s Play: Tropico 4: Pt IV

August 12th, 2017

January ’56

Ahh, the start of a new year. We’ve built a tacky little tiki bar since the tourists all seem to want to spend at least one night in the local dive. We’ve also nearly complete a second clinic, and just in time, we’ve been placed under quarantine due to an outbreak of the Llama Flu.

August ’56

The Llama Flu has finally run it’s course and tourism can resume, though immigration is still prohibited. We’ve offered considerable discounts to any tourist who has a significant social media following, this should help get the word out and hopefully really bring the numbers of visiting tourists up. On a more domestic front we’ve started working on an electrical infrastructure, and while it’ll be a while before we can afford to put in a proper hospital, we’re at least able to offer AC now which should improve everyone’s quality of life, event in the more decrepit tenements.

October ’56

A small earthquake cause the tenement to collapse. We were able to fund rebuilding easily, though that will delay the hospital a few months. Much worse, apparently many of the natives are unhappy and some of them are forming some kind of rebel organization. Some of the more violent minded of my advisers are suggesting we should raise a militia to deal with them, but I think if we can just raise their quality of life they’ll see what a great leader I am voluntarily put down their arms.

MtC 5: Vermora Guermayra

August 11th, 2017

Vermora’s unhealthy obsession with fire has been nothing if not fanned by the rest of the cult. Really though, is their reasoning that bad? She’s already fairly expert on the subject, so who better to haul around a huge tank of Promethium to lay waste to Khaslillie and Rheatrivix’s enemies?

When she’s not cleansing the world with fire, Vermora likes long walks in the underhive, worship Slaanesh, play cards and get drunk, however her favorite pastime is training her pet Chaos Spawn Cuddles. At this time a picture of Cuddles is not available, but we are given to understand it’s about knee high, and shaped mostly like a large cat, except with soft purple cilia instead of fur, and two pairs of tentacles on it’s shoulders that can meld together into rudimentary wings. It’s face is like that of a bull, but more flattened.

Cuddles is generally consider a sign of Slaanesh’s favor towards Vermora even though it’s not particularly good in combat the rest of the cult tends to consider it kind of like a mascot, and since Vermora is the only one who Cuddles is friendly with she is generally afforded higher status in the cult than she would other wise be granted.

Ancient Kickstarter Burning Suns

August 8th, 2017

Besides giant Slaaneshii Daemons another of my passions is humongous space battles, or as they’re commonly known by the more boring name 4x. If you’re not familiar with 4x games it stands for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate. In general you’ll fly around a galaxy, expanding your territory, fighting other players, and researching cool technology. Not all 4x games are space based, Civilization is one of the classics, both on the computer and table top. In my collection there is also Space Empires 4x (uncharitably called The Spreadsheet Game by some), Eclipse, EVE, Empires of the Void, Star Trek Frontiers, and Hegemonic. Plus, the not space themed, Mage Knight, Scythe (maybe only a 3x?!), and Tiny Epic Kingdoms (certainly the quickest of all of these).

Well, to these hallowed ranks is added Burning Suns. This is also one of the oldest games I’ve kickstarted, with a projected delivery date of September 2013! That’s right, the game arrived almost exactly 4 years late. That said the components are pretty decent quality. The cardstock is nice and thick, everything punched out super easy. The space ships aren’t the most beautiful but they’ll do, and the game seems pretty simple for also being fairly complex. I got in a two player game, and it was definitely very back and forth near the end, however I’m sure a lot of that was just due to neither of us really knowing what we were doing yet.

Each player gets a Race, Ideology and Framework. Actually you get two of each and pick your favorite until you have one of each, but the neat thing here is that since there are 10 of each there are literally a thousand different combinations, meaning every time you play the game will be a little different. Ideology determines whether you are Light, Neutral or Dark which affects a bunch of cards in the game. It will also give you some choices as your get closer to winning the game, and those choices again affect whether you are Light, Dark or Neutral. Your Race determines the cost and effectiveness of your ships and troops, plus how many technology upgrades you can get and where. Finally your framework affects a lot of your “limits”, eg how far your ships can jump, or diplomats can Diplomasize, how things you can construct in a turn, or how many of various rerolls you get.

There are peaceful and military based ways of taking over planets, though some are easier than others for various techniques. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the game, and I definitely think it’ll be more interesting to play with 3-5 players, or possibly even with 6 or more… I can sub in pieces pretty easy and the major issue will be the increased downtime (the creator has said as much).

Let’s Play: Tropico 4: Pt III

August 7th, 2017

Welcome back to Cara Libro. The first tour ship has arrived, bringing 10 tourists (who may have received some massive discounts on their tour package.) However apparently Monopolies are bad, and so the UN has suggested that we need a second motel, and have even given us a grant to help fund it’s construction.

March ’55

The second hotel is finished. My advisers suggest we may need to build a second Construction Office, as the number of buildings we have planned is getting quite extensive. Of course constructing a second CO would delay all of the other buildings.

May ’55

So the popularity of Social Media has given us a concrete goal. If we can get a million followers we’ll have made our mark on the tourism industry. So, all you twits, follow me #presidenteforlife.

August ’55

The First Church is finally finished, however I just found a report that 3 people died last year due to poor healthcare. This is unacceptable; so I’ve doubled the staffing of the clinic and we shall shortly build a second clinic. Sick citizens will lead to poor service for our tourists. It should not be too expensive to keep our workforce hale and hearty and we shall reap the rewards from the rich tourists!

September ’55

I just stumbled across a year old report about the possible danger of the Volcano. If I were to believe this report, should the volcano go off pretty much everything is going to be hosed in lava, so I choose the simple expediency of not believing the report. Obviously there’s something wrong here, so we will suppress all information about the volcano. Obviously it’s safe, I mean… it didn’t go off last year did it?

MtC 4: The Kyphus triplets

August 4th, 2017

The Kyphus Triplets are inseparable. They dress alike, fight alike, and talk alike. No one knows for sure if they are identical twins or not, as even during the most debauched orgies they refuse to take off their masks. Ostensibly Arxus is the oldest of the three by a few minutes and Kurron is the youngest. While they don’t claim to be telepathically linked, they frequently do that annoying twin thing where one of them (usually Kurron) starts a sentence and another (usually Arxus) finishes it. Still, the middle born Rurlan usually does the bulk of the talking even if the other two start and end the thoughts.

Recently they’ve been hoping to do a better job of garnering Slaanesh’s favor and so are eager to volunteer for any raiding party or warband which might afford them the chance to earn glory.

Keeper of Secrets Round up

August 2nd, 2017

Well, the Avatar of Shaah is assembled. Here you can see her with 3 others of my Keepers, the two Creature Caster ones on the left, and the Mierce Miniatures one which I’ve just started painting on the right. As well as the beginnings of her base made of plasticard and a yogurt lid. I’ve uploaded a small gallery of better pictures of the Avatar, as well as her completed base. For many of my more daemonic miniatures I’ve gone for a Giant’s Causeway effect on the base, and I went a little overboard on this one, adding a dozen tentacles as well. Turns out I only had 11 of them though so one I had to construct out of greenstuff. Overall I’m pleased with the base and very excited to start painting this model, as well as the other three.

Terraforming Mars

August 1st, 2017

This is now one of my favorite games. In some ways it almost feels like a cooperative game, in that you’re all working to (surprise) Terraform Mars and make it habitable for colonists. Of course it’s not really coop at all… Yes you all are working together to improve the oxygen content, heat up the atmosphere and seed oceans to turn Mars green. However whenever you accomplish one of these tasks it improves your Terraforming Rating which leads to higher profits, and of course the accolades over everyone who wants to move to your section of Mars.

One of the things I particularly love about this game is that there are a wide variety of routes to winning. Doing a thing better than someone else will likely lead to you contributing the most to that factor which leads both directly and indirectly to more victory points. Want to build cities? Cover the planet in greenery? Fund Science? Achieve milestones? Just be the richest? All of these things can contribute to victory. There are two decks of cards, the regular one (about 150 cards) and the Corporate Era expansion (about 80) and every card is unique.

 

Now rather than try and explain the rules I think it might be better to talk about some optional rules. One of them is actually in the rule book, and that’s draft the research every turn. If you’ve got anyone who has not played before you’ll definitely want to skip this… drafting requires a bit of knowledge about the game, and will give just way too big of an advantage to someone who knows how all the mechanisms interact. On the other hand once everyone has a game or two under their belt, it only adds a little time to the game, but improves the game greatly. For starters you have much less chance of getting straight up hosed by a bad draw (instead you get hosed by your neighbors hate drafting when there’s nothing they want) and second it makes it a lot easier to build towards the strategy you want instead of just having to take what the deck gives you.

However an additional optional rule I made up is drafting the initial cards. Again, don’t do this if anyone has never played before, but my suggestion is for the initial 10 cards do two 6 card drafts, discarding the last card of each. One draft left, and one right. Then you buy from those 10 cards as usual, except it’ll be a much more agonizing choice of what to buy because you’ll have had much greater choice in what to take. This also vastly decreases the chance that someone will get a terrible start. And when a game takes 2-3 hours to play you really don’t want to start the game hosed.

I understand the game has finally been reprinted, so if you can get a hold of copy for retail definitely pick this up. You might also want to look into some kind of third party player boards… There are some nice 3D printer files out there if you’ve got access, but you can also get some CNC acrylic or wooden boards. There are also a few DIY projects posted on Board Game Geek using magnets which works pretty well. I made some boards out of drywall corner (flattened) and thick cardstock with a printout glued on top and it works pretty well. Definitely you’ll want some kind of improved player board unless you have a very sturdy table and are careful not to bump things.