Sunday, August 14, 2016

More Challengers Emerge (I Wish)

I wish they were. This was my favourite part of this year's Gencon seminar. The name of the segment was "shameless market research." Infinity is the only game I've played in a while that I haven't been inclined to either tinker with or expand. Their rules and setting are just currently that good. Now, like GWs pretentious claim: Corvus Belli are definitely a miniatures company first. Amazing, and very expensive miniatures so I can see them managing to be the GW replacement some long for and achieve a level of quality that others so far have not managed with their Fantasy games. Combining background, tight rules, tournament support with pretty high-end models. I guess my only concern would be how I can continue to feed my family if they ever make this game... because could you imagine Infinity prices at mass battle scale? 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fantasy Renaissance: One year on

It's a bit over one year on now, since Warhammer Fantasy ended as an official thing. Games Workshop then relaunched a purportedly skirmish scaled game, Age of Sigmar. Immediately the crows then gathered over the slain hero - Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Initially, I could see quite a few contenders. However, I'd suggest two games in effectively open public beta have gone the distance. I mean, Kings of War is still there. However it is in desperate need of an Apostle Paul to rework what often looks like a bit of a narrow cult for the mass consumption (we are all ok with religious history analogies right? After all my 11 year old's favourite series of YouTube histories even does it https://youtu.be/E1ZZeCDGHJE ) Until that occurs, I'd say those who really want a company supported game, first and foremost, are getting more and more what they want via major changes to Age of Sigmar, proving it more of a Beta than a monolithic edition release. Those whose care not for an official imprimatur for their gaming, have Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age. Sure it also claims its full 1.0 release but there will be changes and like Age of Sigmar, this is a feature, not a bug. Edit: And in timely breaking news: Fantasy Flight Games now have a ranked battle Wargame. Title is Runewars: The Miniatures Game, and it's NOT preprinted. Looks interesting in that the movement trays are making me nostalgic for WOTR. I'm sure square based models can be saboted for it though. So two companies and a challenger emerges...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Battletech: The Raven Feeders

This is HQ to any available units; we have mechs down at nav gamma. Bravo Cadet reports four Suspects on site. Bandits are hostile, I repeat bandits are hostile. HQ this is Alpha Assault; I am on my way baring 025. Computer: ETA 34 seconds. Alpha Assault, this is Bravo Cadet I have bandits all over me -- get down here! Alpha Assault: Sit tight I have a visual. Bravo Cadet: I have hip actuators out, my targeting systems damaged; I am in bad shape. Computer: Enemy Detected. Bravo Cadet: Behind me beyond the rise. Alpha Assault: Acknowledged, I have them. Computer: Targeting. Bravo Cadet: It has a lock on me! It has a lock on me! Computer: Targeting. Computer: Warning, Ammunition levels critical. Computer: Weapon depleted. Alpha Assault, this is HQ, what is your situation? Alpha Assault, this is HQ, what is your situation -- please comply!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Battletech: Roll to determine face plant direction

I've been meaning to get this game for ages. I first encountered the universe in its 1980s heyday, when I was not very old, via an in-Universe novel about the Grey Death Legion. The setting seemed to have it all. Big Robots, obviously. But also back-stabbing, grounded military fiction, discoveries of ancient relics and a kind of Sharpe's Rifles atmosphere to it all. It didn't hurt either that one of the all time best PC games made is Mechwarrior 2, set around the time of the ongoing Clan Invasion and featuring a great into FMV piece with the my favourite mech in a starring role. For all that, I Got into proper wargaming after FASA imploded, so the miniatures game itself was off my radar until Catalyst came out with a new Box set.

Friday, June 10, 2016

This is not a Test: Snipe Hunting at Philpot Bog

Jason's new obsession is 'This is not a test' aka TNT, the post apocalyptic skirmish game. Long time readers may remember we did a demo game at NATCON 2011, last time it was in Christchurch. We (by which I mean Jason) were supposed to make the campaign half of our rules but that never took place. However, we still have all our stuff, my Scavengers / Settlers, Jason's Brotherhood of Steel, Andys Paramilitary forces. Jason and Andy also made amazing terrain, that Jason has accumulated by various wheels n deals. So when Jason wanted a game, there was zero barrier to entry. This was not least because this game is amazingly similar to what we had come up with: D10s, alternating activations with rolls, skirmish scale with customisable load outs, cards based encounters, a 2 AP order structure... The list goes on. What it doesn't really have is the same attempt to model friction (as with my stress markers) and far less reactions. So it is a bit different. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

WOTR: Workers and Peasants of Gondor vs Running Dog Lackeys of the Valar

Hundreds of Years after the Elven running-dog-lackeys of the Valar aided in the betrayal of the proud workers paradise of Carn Dum, the spirit of the revolution has not died. Every decade more Elves slink over the sea. King Elessar has died. Even the Dwarves have all found a very deep hole, under the Misty Mountains, and look set to make it deeper. Workers and Peasants of Middle Earth, the time is now. Our agents have made their way from the Red Fortress Ministry of Truth. We are ready to show the flailing men of the South the Light of the New Shadow and our glorious Revolution. Every giant ... presupposes a dwarf, every genius a hidebound philistine.... The first are too great for this world, and so they are thrown out. But the latter strike root in it and remain.... Now small and petty men rule the Reunited Kingdom and the Shadow shall rise once more. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Infinity / Next Plan / ...

I really enjoy homebrew campaigns and houserules. However it can be a lot of work so sometimes I like getting it all handed to me. I first got into Infinity because Sci Fi armoured guys are on the official Rough(WOTR) Wishlist. I stayed with the game when I realised how crazy deep the rules are. And now they are running a campaign. The campaign has got me quite motivated to play Infinity games. This in turn has got me motivated to get stuff done. This means there needs to be another Infinity project. First things first though, how is the Campaign going?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Star Wars Armada: Imperial Rearguard Action

Imperial Admiral Than (John) is withdrawing his forces from his home base here in the Outer-Rim to a temporary refuge the Colonies region. A sizeable (6mm Soviet 'Moderns' armoured) ground force was sold to local arms dealers. No doubt this will be on sold to the Rebellion... Much data, lore and intelligence (including the Westend SW RPG) was simply abandoned. Not all was to be left behind though and the Empire tarried in the Outer Rim on some purpose.... Then crucial Intel was located by Bothan spies being recovered from local asteroids by Imperial Agents. The Rebels got the jump on the fleeing Imperials. Did Imperial Admiral Than/Tarkin teach the Rebellion one last lesson before he left?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Infinity: Operation Flamestrike

Beasts of War and Corvus Belli have a joint global campaign going. Production quality is very high, including achievements, graphs, and regular YouTube updates. I have joined as PanOceania and so far have netted out as even: one loss and one draw. I've cross-posted the reports here. They can also be seen on the Flamestrike Website. Since that's not really searchable, direct links here: http://flamestrike.warconsole.com/battles/vs-andy-1457844205

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I actually built something

That's a box of Spartan Scenics rooms, and a box of corridors finally built. Two cans of black spray paint were almost, but not quite, enough to undercoat it all.

I like that these are modular and their roofs all come off. Better yet no windows so perfect for Infinity. I have a very, very, simple paint scheme in mind. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Campaign Turn 2: Dimlit Vale

Here it is, the YFirwald. So far the graveyard of one Human expedition. Recently. I wonder what the Sorrowfords may been named for... But new Leadership headed a new army, Mercenaries rather than Imperial troops, north through Deogol Fens. Meanwhile, The Mage Arcturus led his small band of treasure hunters to pick through half drowned ruins lining the sunken way to Dimlit Vale. Rumour had it that great earth-burrowing Wyrmms hunted there. However, none were seen and were mayhap just a rumour or Elven ruse to deter treasure seekers. The Elven Mage reprised his aggressive strategy and was caught alone, surrounded by Arcturus' elite Rangers. Somehow the wounded Elves all survived but the Humans bore off much treasure. Treasure enough to draw many hard bitten mercenaries  to our banners....

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bolt Action: One game 'Tournament'

Last time there was a Christchurch Bolt Action event, it was at the overpriced / Sales "discount" Event at Conquest. It didn't make numbers. Most of the Bolt Action players seem to play at the Woolston club. It got offered again at Warclouds, the Woolston club's annual main-event. The last time I went to a tournament was pre-three year old. So I've been a gaming hermit for a while. I decided that I'd definitely make this one, and even arranged for someone to watch my three kids on the Sunday.... 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Book of War as a D10 system: Combat


Most will be aware that the reason GW games used a D6 was that this is more common, and cheaper,  than  other dice. Their flagship games were conceived of a one die per model and the handfuls of dice this could lead to made other polyhedrons uneconomic. Though they made the decision when the model count of their games was much lower, I think it was vindicated by the number of games that used it (it's obviously not 'broken') and in what it allowed. My favourite GW game is War of the Ring, and the choice to go d6s was was perfect there. I remember facing Martin's goblin hordes, at a 1000pt tournament, and having him fill a beer glass up with the smaller size of d6, before rolling them all out. Very thematic. But I've drifted from one model per die in an effort to speed up play.... So what if the Book of War was reimagined as a d10 game?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bolt Action: To do list

This arrived in the post for me today. A seriously large 1/56 scale resin Soviet SPG. I foresee a lot of filing in my future to get it to the stage I can prime it. Then it has to be painted. I'm on a tight timeline. This beast is intended for Warclouds Bolt Action on Waitangi weekend so 1.5 weeks. I've seen some cool camo schemes on the net but I think time will permit Russian Green. Pretty cool model though, it's Warlord and has the barrels for 122mm and 152mm guns but no DShK. If I had more time, I'd order some magnets for the barrel but this one will be 152mm.

Then next on the to do list is finally some Finns. Baker Company still owe me (and heaps of others) our Kickstarter extras. I did get enough Rifflemen in summer uniforms to make up these guys. It's actually enough for true commander, three 8 man Vet squads and a Long Range Recon squad. Then I have a sniper team (the best in the game due to the ambush rule?) and a flamethrower. With either a T-34/85 or ISU-152 that's 1000pts. And I had just enough gale force 9 magnetic bases. These guys will not be for me. Jason will use them in all their grey-primed glory for my practice game on Saturday and the reason I got them out at all is my some wants to play.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Campaign Turn 1: The Sorrowfords

YF 262, My Lords, the The Imperial campaign to stem the incursions of the Winter King has been laid low by the basest Elven treachery. Rovere, the Cardinal Palantine, lies who knows where, most like in the hands of the enemy. Word has come that they didn't even make the crossing of the Sorrowfords. I regret my responsibilities to my master took precedence in the end but I will recount what saw there. It began with our discoveries in the ruins of LlanCastle.....

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Star Wars Armada Batrep

John has a brand new Imperial Star Destroyer and is doing the rounds, crushing the Rebellion one rag-tag flotilla at a time. I'm still waiting for my Wave two MC-80 to arrive, but we still gave it a go at 400 pts to play things properly. For John, thats the ISD with Screed, expanded Hangers, a Gladiator II with Assault Concussion missiles, and then same again with the Deolisher title. The fighter complement was four Interceptor wings and six TIE wings including Howlrunner. To get to 400pts without a big ship of my own, I had to go quite fighter heavy, for me. So I also had ten squadrons: two Y-Wings, two A-Wings, a B-Wing and five X-Wings. The ships were two Nebulon Bs (red headed step child but my favourite) Escort version with Yavaris and Salvation titles, Assault Frigate B with Gunnery teams and the flag ship was a Coevette A with General Riekeen in Command of the fleet. Did we last long against that Star Destroyer?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Frostgrave / 9th Age linked campaign


The Cardinal Palantine sallies forth once more. This time the guise is the 9th Age wargame rules. This is a fan-based successor to WHFB and since a. I'm all about the homebrew rules and b. I'm not so much about deciding my own rules are finished, these are what we'll be using for now. Jason then immediately complicated things all over again by saying we should do a campaign. And that campaign should incorporate a skirmish element via Frostgrave. Well I am on holiday so I wrote up the following draft campaign structure/background. Feedback welcome. We have already played game one of the skirmish. My Wizard is uses the Lore of Heavens, ie lighting bolts, so obviously a Frostgrave Elementalist. I also have laser sighted crossbow (Amirite Andy?) so actually all but eliminated Jason's entire band, Wizard, apprentice and all but one or two soldiers. But it turns out they survived their injuries and the risk was worth it as he got more objectives, more experience and a ring of magic resistance. We basically both got about the same amount of gold/extra army points: 190 for Jason, 200 for me. That's on top of 1000pts. Jason is (High) Elves and I am Imperial Humans. Now we just need to fight battle one, at the Sorrowfords. That was the short version - long version after the break:


Monday, December 21, 2015

Old Ben Kenobi

Two things:
1. The Force Awakens was a very good movie. What struck me was how much care and thought went into making it. It's a reboot, being called a sequel. 
2. If they'd have had the new T-70 X-Wing on sale I'd Own three right now. The bits on Takodana were my favourite parts of the movie. 

Oh and Ben B now has a blog, there is even a Starwars Armada report, check it out. https://mandollies.wordpress.com/

Monday, November 9, 2015

Working on stuff

I've hardly been posting but I've definitely been playing around with various things.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fantasy Renaissance II: The Book of War 0.7

It has been over four months now since a seismic shift took place in Fantasy Wargaming. While I've basically spent most of that time playing Infinity (there is even a Chch Facebook group now) and Star Wars Armada, there has been a lot of 'settling out' going on around the place. To the North, they seem to be getting Kings of War going. It doesn't seem to have been embraced locally, yet. However, it is the major local tournament next week and this will likely be the swansong of WHFB 8th edition here. It's a game I have not much played but I do see that, promisingly, the two leading community successors will both be including Pike that are actually worth taking. So progress there. Me, I've been looking at various things, I even tried reading Warthrone. I've looked more at Kings of War, and I've been following the 9th Age and WHFB Rebalanced pretty closely. Then one day, out came the word-processor on the Ipad while I was on the bus.Apparently I am back to tinkering with my own rules. This will probably only be of interest to the handful of people I play 28mm Fantasy with but, if you're like me and like to tinker with rules, comments are more than welcome.