Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Age Of Sigmar Interlude

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

There’s a contest on:  Visit the Age of Warhammer Blog and use their city generator to create a city. Deadline is Friday at midnight GMT so best hurry if you want to enter! Here’s my entry!

Mystport
The floating town of Mystport is famed for it’s Gunnery School, drawing applications from not just Duardin, but many of the forces of Order, and even a few others, though it is rare for anyone from any of the other Grand Alliances to be allowed enrollment. When they are it is generally due to a wealthy family making massive donations; the clan of Barak-Orirrak is as greedy as the next Kharadron clan, and it’s no surprise that for sufficient remuneration, and proper insurance almost anyone will be allowed to enroll.

Nigh on a decade ago a Realmgate opened in the vaults below the town, however it quickly became apparent that on the other side of the gate was only despair; no expeditions returned, and shortly after the last one, Daemons began to start coming through. After a hard fought battle that raged throughout the vaults and catacombs the Daemons were defeated and the Endrinriggers managed to build a containment vessel around the gate, leaving the gate quiescent for the most part. It still hums and sings a miasmic tune which plagues the dreams of the residents of Mystport. Many civilians have fled, but those who’ve stayed profit greatly.

Ancient Kickstarter Burning Suns

Tuesday, 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).

Keeper of Secrets Round up

Wednesday, 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

Tuesday, 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.

Keeper of Secrets #6

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

So last week’s keeper (from Creature Caster) is assembled:

And my Keeper problem might be worse than I thought. I complete forgot I’d backed Toughest Girls in the Galaxy 2. Well it came today, in addition to a ton of other beautiful miniatures is The Avatar of Shaah. Over 40 pieces of finely detailed resin. I spent about two hours working on it and only got a little over halfway through trimming the flash off (admittedly I was watching Game of Thrones so was a little distracted) but still, this is definitely one of the more complex kits I’ve assembled. Aside from on the legs the mold lines are nearly invisible… And the most obvious offenders are on the back of the legs, so I might paint them like stockings with a seam at the back…  Once I get them painted I’ll have to start giving them names as well. Eldritch emissaries of Slaanesh are people too right?

In addition to the Avatar of Shaah I also picked up some harpies to possibly use as

Slaaneshii Furies. That said I’m also thinking about converting them to be more Raptors or Warp Talons… I think they’d be pretty good Warp Talon stand-ins. That said there is also any hope that Emperor’s Children and Slaanesh Daemons will be getting some love soon. GW is just releasing a Start Collecting Slaaneshii Daemon’s box for Age of Sigmar and there’ve been rumours of a revised Fulgrim for quite a while now. And basically all three other ruinous powers have received love; it’s certainly Slaanesh’s turn if anyone’s.

Hobby advice: Before you paint

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Before painting a model, there are a few things you can do to increase the durability of your paint job and ensure your masterpiece isn’t ruined by banging around in a box with other minis or being dropped on the floor or mishandled by an opponent with greasy hands (and some things to do afterwards). However by far the most important aspect is priming your model. You’ll have folks tell you it’s not important, or to just brush on your base coat. If you’re going to always handle your models with utmost care and only keep them on the shelf that’s fine. If on the other hand, you plan to actually play your game of choice then your models are going to see use and abuse. They’ll tip over, get dropped, get stuff dropped on them, get handled, and bump into things. A good start can ensure your terrific or terrible paint job will last for years!

The first step is to wash your models… now with most GW plastic you can pretty safely skip this step. However it doesn’t hurt (aside from taking a bit of time to dry) and many other models, especially resin (including Forge World resin) this step is essential. Most of the time warm soapy water and a very light scrubbing with an old toothbrush is sufficient. Rinse and let dry, and you’re good to go.

The second step is to prime your models. If you’re painting a display model, then aside from basing coating it, this step isn’t that important… I’m going to assume you don’t want your models to chip, and you want your base coat to be able to go on in just one or two thin coats. There are a wide variety of paint on primers, and those all you really have to do is stick to the “multiple thin coats” adage and you’ll be fine. Another option is using an airbrush, which can work better than rattle cans, but for most of Spray primer is both economical and efficient, so I’m going to go into detail on how to get the best result when spray priming.

  • Never spray (primer OR varnish) if the humidity is over 55%. You might be able to get away with it as high as 65% but do a single test model (or a piece of sprue) and make sure… 50% or less and you should be safe. If it’s raining or snowing, don’t even bother. If you have access to a climate controlled area (garage w/ AC for example) you have a lot more leeway since Air Conditioning will draw a lot of the moisture out of the air. If you’re not positive, test on some sprue to make sure.
  • If the temperature outside (or where ever you are spraying) is warmer than inside, soak your spray can in warm water for about 5-10 minutes beforehand. Also if you haven’t used the can in a while, shake, soak, shake can make a big difference. I generally soak then spray every time.
  • Shake that can! Shake it good. For about 1-2 minutes. I’m serious, you think you’ve shaken the can enough, you haven’t. Shake it up and down. Swirl the can so the agitator rolls around the bottom. Hold the can upside and do the same thing. Any shaking that you do before the agitator starts rattling doesn’t count. If you are going to soak the can in warm water, shake before AND after the soak.
  • Start and stop spraying NOT aimed at your models. The initial and final bit of spray can clump up. I also usually do a test spray into the air to make sure it’s coming out smooth. If the spray seems clumpy or stringy or weird go check the weather, or if it’s a new can check your return policy.
  • Spray from about 8-16″ away. You might have to get a bit closer if it’s windy, but better to be too far away and have to do two coats.
  • Speaking of which go for light coats…. Always better to do 2-3 coats then one way too thick coat that you can’t undo without stripping.

Keeper of Secrets #5

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Keeper of Secrets needs a bath (most resin models do!) Click to Embiggen.

I might have a problem. No, GW has a problem. If they would release some new Slaanesh Daemons or Emperor’s Children models I’d give them my money. However they haven’t, and probably won’t for the near term future, so in my desire to expand my Slaaneshii army I end up turning to third party models. This, my 5th Keeper of Secrets, just arrived today. I was exceedingly pleased with the Creature Caster Spider Demon (the first of the 3 KoS I kickstarted, and the last to arrive) so when my friend Rick told me they’d made a new Demon I couldn’t resist picking up the Lady of Corruption. She’s a bit smaller so might be better as a Daemon Princess, though I don’t know how well Khaslillie would deal with competition.

If you are interested in alternate Keeper of Secrets models, I also highly recommend the Pleasure Demon from Mierce Miniatures. I also have two Lords of Lust from Titan-Forge. They are really much too small to be a good Keeper of Secrets, and they might be a bit big for a Herald. That said, the Banshees of Lust make excellent alternate Daemonettes, especially if you don’t like the aesthetic of the new models and can’t get your hands on any of the Diaz one.

Review: Trickster

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Latest Kickstarter arrival is Trickster… A trick taking game, except generally you want to have as few cards as possible instead of as many. There are 8 colors, and each game you pick 7 heroes (there are nearly two dozen different heroes to choose from). Each trick one person picks a card to lead with, and the second player (called the Trickster) picks a card to follow with, which sets the rule for that trick. If they pick the same color, the rest of the cards have to match color. If they pick the same hero, cards have to match that hero, if they pick neither, then no card can match color or hero of a previously played card.

If you can’t play a hero the trick is over, you bust (taking all the cards into your tableau) and start the next trick.

The really interesting thing about the game is each hero has a special ability that lets you change up the game. Many of them involve manipulating tableaus (the cards you have in play, that count against you at the end of the round), hands, the trash, deck or even the pot (the cards currently being played).

I’ve only played a few games and it definitely feels like there is  a ton of depth, but it also feels like the game that works best at 5 or 6 players. With four players it flows pretty well, but at 3 it definitely felt forced.

Pictures!

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

So, I’m afraid I’m going to be lazy, and just link to a G+ album.

PICTURES

magnetsAnyway, you can see a number weapons in this picture, and in the linked album there are some actual models that the equipment would be put on.

 

Objectively Awesome.

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

So I think I can objectively lay claim to being awesome. Admittedly, in the limited arena of Role-Playing, but still.

Today I got a standing ovation during a game. When was that last time you got a standing ovation for anything, much less the accurate portrayal of an uplifted dolphin dealing with the confusing messiness of human relations.

I suppose I should back up a few steps here and start from the beginning, or something vaguely resembling it. We are playing Apocalypse World (the Actual Plays should start going up on I Podcast Magic Missile soon) and if you keep reading, there may be minor spoilers, but I’ll be frank, it doesn’t matter that much. Unless you’re an absolute purest, forge ahead, spoilers bedamned!

Anyways, we’re playing AW, we have a Brainer, Gun-Lugger, Maestro’D and Skinner. Also, we have one of the weirder Kickstarter stretch goals, the Space Marine Mammal (played by yours truly).  One of the caveats our MC put in place was that if I were to choose the SMM I’d have to run it straight, and I am. That’s not to say some hilarity doesn’t ensue, but Susan has nothing on Man as far as silliness goes. And yeah, our Gun-Lugger’s name is Man.

So anyways, last time Man got poisoned, and didn’t really start to kick in until this session. Susan ended up picking up Man and flying him to his mom’s house, and then, when it became apparent she couldn’t actually help him, and might be totes crazy, flew back to Silver’s Goldmine to seek medical attention for him. Once there it became apparent that his employer might not have Man’s best interests at heart, and so Susan sought the advice of onboard AI. You’ll just have to listen to the AP to hear justice done, because I certainly can’t reproduce the scene here with sufficient accuracy. However my rendition of the situation, and Susan’s reasoning was enough to cause two players to stand up and clap.

Yeah, I’m doing it right. Now I just need to figure out how to make enough money to live RPing.