December 17, 2012

Pre-Christmas Gaming

Since I returned last weekend I haven't really done much hobby stuff, as my time has been occupied by holiday preparations, band rehearsals, work, and being sick. I haven't let that icky 'real world' stuff keep me completely away from the realm of geekdom however.

On Thursday night I made the trek down to Trilogy to play some games with Uncle Mike and James. It was their regular monthly night for Strange Aeons. Rather than just play a straight up game of Strange Aeons though, James and I ended up doing a play test game of Kulten instead. I was going to pit my lowly snake man cult up against his mighty Cobra army...but after looking at the massive point difference, we decided to try one of the Alert the Authorities options instead. So I opted for having my cult sit  out, and an elite Threshold team worth a whopping 60 points took their place.

Long story short James was able to achieve victory with minimal damages. We found a possible rule that needs some tweaking in the scenario setup phase, and I offered some input for text advice to go into that section of the book. The game was fun of course, and I certainly made some mistakes. The biggest one being a lack of Command for my army. If I'd had just one more command model I could have swung the balance I think...

I also found out that some models I'd ordered previously were in. Looks like some Ori troops for my Stargate projects can get underway immediately after I finish my Jaffa. The Ori army should actually be pretty easy to put together. I'm only planning on having two small squads of actual troops, as I'll make the two or three Priors quite powerful. They'll be led by Adria the Orici, who will be ridiculously powerful, and if I can find an appropriate model that I can tweak to look right, I'll also put the head Prior, the Doci. Now that I have my troopers, it shouldn't take too long to find the 4 or 5 other models I need to complete them.

Sunday I returned to the shop to play a few more demo games of DreadBall. There was a Warmachine tournament going on, so any of my demo candidates were already occupied. Seb had taken the store's two demo armies home over the weekend and gotten a lot of painting done on the Ork team. The game looked a lot better with two nearly-painted teams on the pitch.

The first game was a landslide victory by the Corporation under Coach Fontaine. They outscored the Orks under my command 7-0 on their fifth rush, forcing me to forfeit the match (thems da rulez). For our second game we decided to try out the stats for the Forgefathers and Veer-myn teams instead. Not having the models we used the Ork and Human team models as stand-ins, with the Veer-myn under my control.

It didn't look good for me as the Dwarves crushed and killed one of my two guards on the first action of the game! I was able to nab the ball shortly after with one of my speedy (but not that skilled) strikers. Amazingly I was able to put in a 4-pointer to open the scoring. The Forgefathers continued moving up the pitch and were able to reduce my lead to a mere two points at the halfway point.

With my opponent's slower movement I decided not to try bringing out my remaining guard and played several rounds with a full six strikers on the pitch. I did lose another one to a brutal seven-success slam...of which I saved exactly ZERO on my dodge and armour checks. After another three point strike the dwarves were hard pressed to keep up with my speed and I finished the game off on my fifth turn with another 3-pointer, forcing Seb to forfeit.

I actually quite enjoyed playing the Veer-myn team, but they are very fragile. On the whole after playing several games I think DreadBall is quite fun as a pick-up game, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how it stands up to league play.  I think that's where it will really shine!

December 11, 2012

Saltwater, Suntans, Pirates and...Futuristic Sports?!

Just returned home from a 4-day conference for work. Tons of information and lots to do now that I'm back, both at home and at the office. I'm actually glad to be back home, even if it is snowy, cold and nothing at all like Honolulu. Yes that's right feel sorry for me damn it!

Actually I wouldn't mind a little sympathy. Less than two hours off the plane and some infernal plague attacked my immune system and I'm now sick. I'm actually going to blame the air conditioning at the conference for that though... It was really cold in the meeting rooms, but 32 C or more outside on average. So I was alternating between sweating or freezing my ass off for those four days. Top if off with a lengthy dunk in the Pacific for some snorkeling, and then not sleeping on the flights home...I'm not really surprised that I'm sick!

Even under the weather I still soldiered on and went to Trilogy as I had promised, to run some demo games of DreadBall. The reception was positive from all the players and I think at least two of them have placed orders for teams of their own. Not to mention that I probably pulled off the greatest play ever: final rush, my ball, down by four points with two action tokens left.

I was able to pick up the ball in my own end zone with a human striker on my previous action, scoring a double and getting a free move. I couldn't play my last two tokens on him as well, which was what I needed to do in order to score. Gambling, I used a token to buy a card, and got "Striker: Any Action." I played the card to sprint straight up the pitch, getting me just within distance to use my final action token to move into the bonus hex of the 3-point scoring area. With one die I rolled...and scored a 4-pointer! The crowd went wild and the game went into sudden death. Which I had to concede anyway due to time constraints.


Right. So, now that I'm back I'm looking forward to the winter holiday season, putting up my Christmas tree, wrapping some presents and spending some time on my hobbies in the evenings. I see that I have a half painted batch of figures on my painting table, impatiently waiting for some attention. I started the Lycaon faction starter box for Empire of the Dead before I left, in hopes of getting them done but only got around 75% of the base colours done. If my cold cooperates I'm hoping to achieve 100% tonight after work.

I was pleasantly surprised to have a parcel card awaiting my return. Part of my reward from one of the more recent crowd-funding campaigns (the second one I've supported on IndieGoGo) actually arrived while I was away. Inside the deceptively small box was my starter stuff for Freebooter's Fate! What I received is essentially the starter deal from the freebooter website, but packed flat. It included the core rulebook, the cards required to play, and the Brotherhood of Assassins starter crew box. Nicely enough, the box, foam and cover sleeve for the starter box were all included, just packed flat to save space.

I haven't really had the time to do much other than flip through everything, but the book looks gorgeous. Very nicely put together, and from my brief scan, expertly translated from the native German. Another crew will have to be picked up so that I can actually try the game out but I'm looking forward to it.

Now if only the big boxes of Carnevale and DreadBall stuff would hurry and get here...