August 10, 2012

More Games That Interest Me

I thought I'd post up some thoughts on some other skirmish or boutique miniature games that strike me as interesting. It could prove quite boring, so feel free to skip this one if you already have enough unpainted lead and plastic on your workbench.

I've found Japanese history interesting since seventh grade social studies. There's something very interesting about it being the lone country in Asia to develop a feudal system resembling that of Europe in near total isolation. Bushido is not a historically accurate game, but rather a game inspired by Japanese history with a lot of fantastic elements from legend and mythology mixed in.

I haven't had a lot of opportunity to look into the game very deeply, but the rule book and character cards are available for download from their website. I really dig when companies do that. It gives me (or you) a chance to proxy up some models and give the thing a few test drives before laying out any cash.

From what I've seen of the models they look very good, and the starter sets seem like a good value. They come with the starting models for the selected faction, as well as a pocket-sized copy of the rules and some dice. If I do decide to splash out some cash for a few starters I'm not sure if I'll be able to get anyone to play this game. However, it would give me an excuse to build some Japanese-themed terrain pieces. I've got plenty of good photo reference after my living there for a few years!

Dark Age
Post apocalyptic religious nut cases, bio-engineered mutants and monsters, cast off dregs of human society and a world that technology left behind...sounds like fun. At least for a gaming setting. When I first heard of this game the interesting thing was that it uses a d20 rather than your ubiquitous d6. Oh, and your goal is to roll as low as possible. Generally speaking my luck with dice is shit, so this sounds right up my alley.

The game itself has been around quite a long time (nearly 10 years from what I gather), but the current Apocalype edition is relatively new. There are five factions, each available in a starter box, and two books (a core rules and a faction book that includes themed army lists for all the factions). The starter rules and cards are for the models are available for free, so one could proxy this game up to test drive too.

I tried organizing some demos with a local player that actually owns the book and some starters, but the plans kept falling through. I like the setting fluff quite a bit though, so I think I'll just try the test drive rules out myself.

Dead Walk Again
A cooperative, skirmish level, multi-player zombie apocalypse rule set. Oh and did I mention that it's free? This set of rules has been created by a pair of guys based in Europe and uses an Action Points system. While it is 28mm in scale, it stood out as being a little different by virtue of measurements being centimeters. The current version is 3rd edition, so it looks like it's been play-tested fairly significantly. On first glance, it looks like a similar feel to the print-and-play board game Zombie Plague, but with a little more meat to it.

In the core rule book there are several tables that one can use to randomize things like searching and zombie appearance, but if rolling on tables isn't your thing they have an interesting card mechanic that can be used as an alternative. There is also a campaign package, and a Left 4 Dead-themed rule mod for those of you who want to try that out.

I'm going to put together some materials for the basic campaign, using the cards and core rules to give everything a test drive. The nice thing about this rule set is that the miniatures don't matter at all. I already have over three dozen modern zombie figures, and can likely round up a half-dozen or so survivor figures. Terrain will have to be made or purchased, but modern terrain can easily be used in multiple game...

One last note: getting the rules can prove a little tricky as you'll have to sign up for the Yahoo group, which may be more work than a lot of folks are interested in doing. I'll post up thoughts on this rule set as soon as I can and let you know if it's worth you taking a closer look at.

Venice in 1600s, magic is somehow seeping into the world, people are going crazy, Dagon-worshipping fish people are rising from the waters, and everything has basically gone to shit. But it's Venice, so let's just keep partying like it's 1699!

The setting for this game is really intriguing, the models look great, the core rules are (once again) free to download, and you have action taking place across canals, market squares and rooftops. Vesper-On has got a great looking rule set here and models to match. Although from the price of the starters, you're definitely going to pay for the fun, at least in the beginning.

One of the things that some folks say detract from the game is the setting. Modeling Venice seems to be a big problem for some folks' imaginations, but I think some WWG Terraclips sets and a little imagination will take you a long way.

Even if I don't play this one, I'll likely try out the rules with proxies. And the Rashaar (that's fishmen to all you Cthulhu Mythos people) starter box will find its way to my house. Those models are great, and I can think of all kinds of things to use them for.

Heavy Gear
I downloaded their full, black and white rule book shortly before Beasts of War ran their Heavy Gear week series. It was interesting due to the fact that it's being produced by a Canadian company, and I do like to support those! Unfortunately, while the models look great, I decided not to bother with this one for two reasons:
1. They're a smaller scale than all the other games I have.
2. It looks crunchy enough that I don't think I could convince anyone else to play.

Pulp City
A super hero skirmish game. I downloaded the free rules quite a while back and have read through it several times.  It sounds a little bit more strategic than SuperSystem, but lacks the facility to create ones own characters. Being restricted to the pre-made characters may be a large enough negative strike on the game that I'll have trouble convincing people to play. On the other hand most of the characters that do exist are quite flavourful, and the sculpts are almost universally excellent!

Last month I was able to acquire a huge allotment of the models for the game (nearly the entire range) as well as the full hard cover rule book. I'll be posting up some images of some of those models as I finish slapping paint on them, so you can expect to see some of those soon.

So that's it for me for today. Nothing to see here...move along.


Eddie Kataishi said...

I picked up a whole bunch of Dream Pod 9 stuff years ago - the guys involved had been behind a number of great Cyberpunk and Mekton supplements. Getting people to play Heavy Gear and Jovian Chronicles was a pain - the biggest problem is that the books lacked any examples at all. If you didn't know someone who played, or hadn't taken part in a game before it was difficult to fully visualize how things worked. All my books eventually went to the local shop as trades. No idea if they ever fixed that example thing in latter editions....

Obsidian3D said...

That's the biggest problem I have in general with games actually. It seems to be either feast or famine.

For a while folks were showing up regularly for Thursday VS and Sunday board games, now people don't even respond to my invitations anymore.

I guess I'll just keep painting, at least I don't need anyone else for that.