April 30, 2013

Motley Crue, April 29th at the Calgary Saddledome

I've seen Motley Crue before. Several times. A lot of folks think it's cheezy or lame that I'd pay cash to go see these dudes. Washed up, too old, untalented...those labels and more have been levelled at Crue, by friends, the media and everyone on between. Fair enough, but in response I'd simply say "you just don't get it."

Motley shouldn't have survived past the early nineties, as a band or perhaps even as people. They were self-destructive in the extreme, just read "The Dirt" if you don't believe me. Whatever you might think of their music, or the members themselves however, they're far better at what they do, even now, than most people have ever given them credit for.

As a musician myself I think it's an important thing. People can listen to your music anytime, especially with digital ubiquity and all that. What you won't get from many bands is an experience you will remember.

This is the third time I've seen Motley Crue in concert and I'll tell you that it's been worth the money every time. I had tix for fourth row this time. Closest I've ever been. Sure, they're playing a lot of the same tunes and Vince uses that same lines, but what you're getting is a SHOW. The stage layout is different each time. The song order changes. Sometimes they have hot dancers, other times not. In the end though the SHOW is well rehearsed, and it's great. They wouldn't have been around for 30+ years if they weren't good at what they do.

If I were to level one complaint about this show it's that they took their bow and the house lights came up. No encore or even a suggestion of one. Every other time I've seen them we got at least three extra tunes after making a ton of noise. While a little disappointing, I still felt that I'd had a good experience. Unlike the Prince concert last year where he had no opening act, the show was short and generally boring, and he just quit after 80-something minutes.

People are paying to be there, so give them a show. And that's what we got last night from Motley Crue.

Here are some photos to prove it.

April 24, 2013

Aliens vs Terminators

Last winter I bought most of the then-available rule sets available from Ganesha Games. Recently they released Swatters which is a set of squad based rules for soldiers vs. alien bug creatures. I haven't bought them yet, but they got me thinking about Mutants and Death Ray Guns.

I love sci-fi and horror movies so naturally I've tried adding figures in that vein to my miniatures collection. Swatters' release reminded me that I had a bunch of converted Aliens (from Horrorclix) sitting in a box in the closet. They had never been used in a game and thus were probably sad.

Using the war band creator from Ganesha's website I put together four ~200 point lists: Aliens, Predators, Terminators and Zombies (wretched). In preparation for trying out my lists I also finished up a piece of terrain that had been sitting on my shelf for months! A few other pieces of terrain and the figures got dropped on the table and I was ready to go.

The terminators were outnumbered by a little over two to one, with no leader model. The aliens had a leader, who used a group action at the beginning to send all of his bestial minions racing towards the enemy.

The terminators spread out and fired their death ray guns at the speedy creatures, but their advanced targeting systems weren't up to the task. The poor condition of their weapons proved a problem as one weapon stopped working completely and the other two had to be reloaded.

Two robots get locked into close combat, swarmed as it were. Outnumbered 5 to 2, they both were quickly shredded by claws and teeth.

Can an emotionless machine be surprised? After finally landing a killing shot the creature kept coming Does the terminator reload his weapon or fight hand to hand? A poor activation roll with only one success means close combat is imminent. The wounded alien actually rolled two sixes (wounds reduce quality by 1) and pounced!

The last endoskeleton standing doesn't remain standing for long. Four to one odds are simply too much to overcome. Beast triumphs over machine!

This is the first time I've actually played through the Mutants and Death Ray Guns rules. I'm planning to use these lists for a four-player game in a few weeks, so I thought I should test them out first. The basic rules work well and the special rules give plenty of flavour to the setting. I liked having a leader for the aliens, and the group activations make the swarm a big threat due to their long move. I'm still struggling with a plot hook that would bring all four of these factions together in conflict, but I'm sure I'll think of something before the game.

The special rules I chose for the aliens worked perfectly, even though the poison rule didn't come into effect against the terminators. I think I'll change the weapon the terminators are equipped with though. I had chosen the death ray gun because lethal to living beings. Being outnumbered and having to spend an action to reload is just too much of a handicap. A machine gun or something a little less deadly, but more reliable will probably serve better. Although now that I think about it, would a tough model die when hit with a death ray gun, or does the tough rule still mean it's only wounded?!

If you want a good set of rules for sci-fi / post apocalyptic gang fights I'd recommend Mutants and Death Ray Guns no problem. I'll be trying the other two lists out sometime in the next week and will post my thoughts when I can.

April 22, 2013

I Haven't Forgotten About Board Games!

With all the painting and miniatures stuff I've been talking about it might seem that I'm not playing any board games. That's quite simply not true! While I have had some trouble getting people out to play with any regularity, there have been a few games played.

King of Tokyo

I bought this about a month ago after having looked at the box probably a half-dozen times previously. Since then it's been hauled out and played 9 times. NINE plays in less than a month is pretty impressive for any game in my collection. In fact I owned games for years that don't have anywhere near that amount of play time.

It's a quick, easy, and very fun dice game. My mom can play it, have fun, AND win! I'll be looking to add the Power Up! expansion to my collection soon.

Touch of Evil

Played a short two-player cooperative game of this a few weeks ago. The gf likes this game, so it must be good. I haven't picked up the second hero pack, or The Coast expansion yet. There's so much material in here already that I probably don't need more, but...naturally I want to get 'em all.


This one got dropped on the table unplanned yesterday. I had dragged it out of the closet to get another game out and we decided to play it instead. I have to re-learn the rules every time, but it's an awesome game with a stupid name. We still haven't tried a 4-player game...but I hope to soon.

William also brought a few of his games over and we tried them out as well:

- Space Fluxx: I've looked at a few 'fluxx' titles before but never played. I want to play more now.
- Munchkin Conan: Never been a big fan of the munchkin series. Despite my like of Conan, I'm still not. This game engine just leaves me with a big old feeling of 'meh.'
- Tentacle Bento: - Weird set collecting game. Anime artwork, lots of sexual innuendo, which will translate into a very limited audience. Not good with two players, but could be fun with three or more.

And finally, I picked up a game I've been waiting for a few months to try: City of Remnants. This one has a really cool sounding premise and the reviews have been all-round positive. We didn't have time to get into it though, which makes me sad. Into the pile of games-I-own-but-haven't-played-yet it goes.

April 21, 2013

Judge Dredd Zombie Horde Set Painted

Yup, more zombies.

I painted most of this set at the same time as the RAFM zombies box I posted earlier. The only additional figures here were the zombie judge and zombie mistress, which I'll talk about at the end of the article.

As I mentioned in my review of this set, the contents consist of two sprues of Mantic zombies with some custom metal bits mixed in, plus original sculpts for the zombie mistress and zombie judge in metal. I've already discussed the construction of the figures and components in that post.

Overall the figures turned out very well and were quite a lot of fun to paint. I do have another JDMG Zombie Horde set but when I build my next batch of zombies I think I'll add in some parts from my box of Wargames Factory male zombies too. There are plenty of parts to go around, and mixing them all together should provide me with some really unique figures.

Since all the metal torsos in the set were the same I didn't want to use them for every figure. There were some unique metal heads and accessories as well, which I also mixed in. Even with all those part options I still ended up with a few figures made exclusively of Mantic zombie parts.

The other half of the figures were made with using the Mantic lower bodies and left arms, the metal torsos and a mix of metal and plastic heads. There are also a few shoulder and elbow pads thrown in too. With a little modification of the attached metal left arms (ie: bending the crap out of them) I was able to get even more variety out of them. I think it'd be tough to tell without looking very closely that the torso is exactly the same on each one.

Unfortunately I ended up dropping not one but two of these on the floor after I'd done the base coats of paint. The result both times was an explosive separation of plastic parts from the metal parts. Luckily no actual parts breakage occurred, but I had to re-glue and re-paint around the broken joints which resulted in some seams that are more visible than I'd like. Since they're zombies however, I am not greatly concerned about them, and I'd challenge you to point out which figures they were, if only I could remember now myself!

At least neither of the ones I dropped was Johnny, the zombie-in-black. That would have made me sad.

I'll share a little secret with you all. There are eighteen of these zombie figures (including the RAFM ones) and I didn't even bother to clean off the mould lines, not on a single one! In most places you can't tell so score another point for lazy. Don't tell anyone though or I'll have to sick my growing zombie horde on you...I know where you live.

Any time I saved however was definitely eaten up by using the quickshade.

Like the RAFM figures, I used the Army Painter Soft Tone Quickshade on these, finishing off with two coats of brush on AP Matt Varnish. In all honesty, I'm not quite sold on the quickshade at this point. The result when contrasted against my standard workflow doesn't truly seem like a time savings, nor do I think the result is all that much superior. Perhaps it's simply the soft tone, as it's quite a dirty brown colour and I don't exactly love it. Maybe one of the other quickshades would prove more effective.

The zombie judge I saved until after I had done all the other zombies so that I had a solid plan for painting. He was also a good place to try out a paint scheme for my Justice Department set. I wasn't sure if I wanted to use the colour scheme from the movie or go for the brighter comic book blue, gold and green. Instead of doing the elbow and knee pads in the same green as the boots and gloves I opted for gold like on the shoulder pad. It might be a bit much but still turned out pretty well. Now I have a baseline to work from for future paint jobs.

His colours are AP Necrotic Flesh, GW Mordian Blue, GW Snakebite Leather, GW Goblin Green, GW Burnished Gold with some gray for the visor and a splash of GW Mephiston Red around the helmet border. GW Red Gore took care of the blood, and it was all finished with a generous wash of GW Gryphonne Sepia.

I was going to try something a little different with the zombie mistress and started painting her robes in blue and green, rather than the red and gold that I think of when I hear 'evil sorcerer'. After finishing the zombie judge however I felt that she would look too similar so I looked up the paint scheme on Mongoose Publishing's website. I really liked the red robes and black boots and pretty much just copied that.

For her patchwork skin I used GW Elf Flesh and Tallarn Flesh with a few spots of P3 Thrall Flesh, then brought it all together with some P3 Flesh Wash. A splash of GW Devlan Mud on the rest of the figure took the garish red down to earth. Finally I did a quick highlight of Mephiston Red over her robes again to help her stand out a bit more from her horde. With her base I tried making it look like the grass around her had died and a little farther away it was still living. It wasn't entirely successful, but it'll do.

I haven't decided if I'll give the judge and mistress a coat of the matte varnish as well. Right now I think they look fine. The brighter colours make them stand out a little bit, but not so much as that they're jarringly out of place with the rest of the set. I'm proud of these 10 figures.

"We need to play games...."

April 17, 2013

My First Wargames Factory Multi-Part Plastics

Received these 12 days after placing my order directly from Wargames Factory in the US. They responded quickly, the same day in fact, with a shipping confirmation. Strangely enough, and through no fault of WGF at all, the package ended up traveling all the way from Utah to Los Angeles, before finally being shipped up here to Canada (where it also passed through Richmond, BC). Not exactly effective logistics being exercised by the US Postal service there. Why would you send something 1000 km farther away from it's destination first!?

However, back to the topic at hand. I ordered four different boxes and after shipping and exchange they cost approximately $26 CAD each. One shop in town does stock a few of the WGF products, but not their full range. Were I to purchase them locally they would cost almost exactly the same price after taxes, but I wouldn't be able to get all the sets I wanted when I wanted them.

Either way really...order online and wait, or buy locally immediately but then have to order other stuff online anyway. As much as I want to support my local shops I also want my consumer experience to be relatively painless. So I'll probably be ordering online directly should I purchase more stuff from Wargames Factory in the future.

The first mix of stuff I bought was a little eclectic:
  • Shock Troopers (18 figures) - also marked as Greatcoat Troopers on the box
  • WWII German Infantry (30 figures) - late war Nazi troopers
  • Zombie Horde (30 figures) - male zombies
  • Zombie Vixens (30 figures) female zombies
I don't really have a need or use for the first two boxes from a rule or gaming standpoint. I've simply been interested in the world wars lately and thought they'd be interesting to add to my collection. Quite frankly I have no idea what I'm going to do with the Shock Troopers. The sort of remind me of Iron Army figures from the Sgt. Savage G.I.Joe line, so maybe I'll do something like that.

The Shock Troopers are great looking figures (and also have the best produced box). The sheer number of heads on each sprue is amazing. I'm going to be ordering the Heavy Weapons box very soon. Now that I have seen the basic shock troops I want to get that set so I can mix all the parts together.

The Zombie Horde I didn't really need at all, but thought the parts could come in handy for conversions. The more parts I can mix together, the more interesting brain-munchers I end up with! Of the four sets, this is probably the least well produced. Lots of good options, but the heads are very soft detail-wise.

I am currently working on a Pulp Figures gestapo squad and their accompanying mad scientist for Strange Aeons /  Kulten, but they are awaiting dedicated zombies for the scientist to experiment on! I still have a pair of unused Mantic zombie sprues and some Judge Dredd miniature game zombie parts so I thought I could bash together some actual Nazi zombie troopers by adding pieces from the German Infantry box parts. I know there are various nazombie kits out there, so this is more of a want-to-do thing than a necessity.

There is a set of 28mm Nazi zombie figures coming my way from the Achtung!Cthulhu campaign I supported this year, but they won't arrive until September at the earliest! From a tabletop point of view it'd look much more thematic to have Nazi zombie soldiers...but I rather think that the civilians make more sense. Why experiment on your own men when you have 1000s of slaves and prisoners to try it out on instead? Looking at the sprues for both sets I already have one kit-bash in mind...

Weapons Sprue
Figure Sprue

The German Infantry box is really cool looking. There are simply a ton of options for arms and weapon customization here. The detail is great, and they come with bases! Great amount of stuff for the price.

And finally, the Zombie Vixens box was my main reason for the purchase. Since working on the other zombie sets lately I realized there was only one female in the whole 18 figures...only one, and from two different sets no less! While I'm sure a lot of women are faster runners or better at hiding than us slow chubby dudes, it doesn't make sense that no women would be getting caught or bitten during the zombie apocalypse. So I wanted to add some female walkers to my collection.

At a quick glance just opening all of the boxes and examining the sprues I'd say that these figures are a good value for the price. A grand total of 108 figures (with LOTS of options) for $108. I think you can all handle the math on that one for yourselves.

Wargames Factory gets a lot of flak online for the quality of their stuff, but so far I'm happy with what I've seen. My opinion may change once I get into constructing and painting these figures. If it doesn't though, I'll definitely be adding some of their Japanese samurai figures to my collection...even though I don't need those either!

April 16, 2013

MotU: In Miniature

I'm obviously getting old. The grey hairs I keeping find in my beard seem to be an indication of my un-young-ness. However, I was a kid once and as a kid, I loved cartoons and toys. The first cartoon I actually recall was naturally He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. I recall quite vividly the Christmas morning that I received the original Castle Greyskull and a bevy of heroes and villains to wage war over it.

I felt so magnanimous and kind that I even remember telling my sister she could play with it whenever she wanted! Quite a gesture from a 7 year-old. Naturally she tested that promise and I wasn't nearly as gracious as I'd like to say I was...but shut up, I was only seven.

Fast forward...a while...and here we are now. A revival of the show has come and gone, itself now over ten years in the past. The redo provided another excellent cartoon and a top-notch toy line, but that came to a rather abrupt end. I do have a fairly extensive collection of said line however and they're way better looking than the originals. At least when it comes to display pieces!

So now here we are and I'm trying to recapture another happy childhood memory, by creating some MotU goodness in tabletop scale. I did some asking around on LAF about models for cartoon characters and was extremely surprised to find out that there were in fact some He-Man miniatures produced back in the 80s. One user happened to have a batch and kindly parted with them for a very reasonable sum. Here's what I ended up with for my cash:

Heroic Warriors
  • He-Man
  • Battle Cat w/ removable He-Man rider figure
  • Teela
  • Man-at-Arms
  • Orko (this is a Heresy sorcerer based on the 2002 series)
  • Man-E-Faces
  • Zodak
  • Wind Raider
Evil Warriors
  • Skeletor w/ sword
  • Skeletor w/ staff
  • Skeletor rider (he'd fit in the Wind Raider)
  • Beast Man
  • Trap Jaw
  • Mer-man 1
  • Mer-man 2
  • Weapons Rack
They're a little bit on the small side compare to today's more heroically scaled 28mm figures, but overall I think they're pretty good. A few characters are missing that I'd like and will somehow have to figure out ways to add via conversions or something. I can't sculpt at all so that'll be my only option.

One unfortunate thing is that He-Man is missing his sword. I've been trying to figure out a way to create one but as of yet I haven't come up with anything. The rider Skeletor figure has one but it's a little bit mangled. Worst case scenario I can make a press mold of it and clean it up from there!

Two of the figures, Teela and Zodak, were already painted but I intend to strip them and start on the entire lot from scratch. It's not that the paint work was bad at all, it's easily as good or better than I would do painting them. However, I don't think that the style would quite fit in with how I like to paint my figures so it's likely better to start fresh.

I've based all the rest of the figures on 30mm round lip bases, but Battle Cat got himself a 40k bike base. Granted it doesn't quite match up, but I wasn't sure how else to do it. He's pretty massive on that base and would stand alright without it so that is an option as well.

Eventually I'll have to create some terrain to go with them. A 28mm scaled Castle Greyskull would be awesome, as would a Snake Mountain. Someday, someday...

Once I get everything cleaned and primed I'll post some photos.

April 13, 2013

RAFM Zombie Horde Box Set Painted

Well folks, with all the zombies out there in games, on TV and in the popular media these days, you'd think I would have painted dozens of them by now. Amazingly enough however these are my first but I'm pretty sure there are going to be hordes more of them! (Ha ha, see what I did there?)

Here's my work with a box of RAFM zombies I bought late last summer at Sentry Box for $30. There were ten in the box, and I admit to being a little annoyed at getting duplicates of two of the figures inside. A little creative painting though and hopefully they won't be too obvious among a mass of undead flesh eaters.

Congratulations, you've just had twins...twice!

The lone female in the set is massive in stature. If she were standing upright she'd tower over top of the rest of the figures, and that right arm is almost as long as she is tall. The gore and wounds on her are well sculpted, but do think that she's rather over the top (as are her 'endowments'). Sadly, this figure is also the only female zombie I have in my collection. Are undead dudes just that much easier to sculpt than women?!

Greta the Amazombie

Each of these figures has some nice touches and characterful bits to make them unique, but they were obviously sculpted by different hands at different times so that is a strike against them. The price (in retrospect) was also a little high, as $3/figure is decent, but the sculpts are also only that. If they were all different figures I'd probably complain far less.

I particularly liked the chubby guy with glasses because it reminded me of my dad. Not that I think my dad is a zombie of course, but the resemblance was still there! I tried doing up a plaid pattern on the shirt, green over grey with a square of turquoise at each intersection. It turned out great, and now it's totally zombie-dad. Urgh...

"Dad is that you?!"

All of the figures were first painted with P3 Thrall Flesh for their skin. Clothing was painted on next on a figure by figure basis. I didn't have a plan before I started...I was just going with what seemed to fit the models. The internal organs, blood and exposed muscles were painted with some GW Red Gore and a few touches of P3 Carnal Pink. The bones were hit with GW Bleached Bone and an occasional touch of Skull White. After that was all done I used some Army Painter Soft Tone Quickshade to finish them off.

Sad, lonely, unloved, undead

This was my first time using the Quickshade varnish. I used the splash-on method, which takes some time and care to not over-apply. In a few cases I did leave a little too much. I'm also not sure that I like the colour of the soft tone. It's a rather gritty, dirty brown. That said it does work pretty well for zombies but I'd be cautious with using it for other figures, especially anything white or yellow that you want to stay bright.

Additionally, I think that the Quickshade isn't much of a time saver on small batches of figures. Doubly so considering that I had to apply two coats of brush-on AP anti-shine matt varnish to cut the gloss afterwards. They turned out well enough, but I don't know that I would repeat this process again unless doing the same number of figures or more in a single batch. And then, dipping and matt spray would be way faster of course!

Run, don't walk, to your nearest evacuation center!

What do you think?

April 12, 2013

Strange Aeons Game Night: Menace of the Depths

Uncle Mike and James dropped by Trilogy again last night, on their regularly scheduled 2nd-Thursday-of-the-Month visit for Strange Aeons. As per usual they brought along some beautiful hand-crafted scenery, as well as lots of lavishly painted miniatures.

Of particular note was the new giant fishman model. I had seen this figure before a few weeks back but we hadn't tried using it in a game until tonight. Also, as a member of the Cult of the Black Goat, I was very happy to receive my free submerged monster model. Mike brought a cast of the full-sized beastie for me as well, which looks amazing. It's huge, very well sculpted and the cast is super-clean. I have a feeling it will be jumping into my painting queue pretty soon.

With the Calgary Expo coming up in a few weeks Mike and I played through their demo scenario twice. I have to say, the board and scenery looked top notch, as per usual. Oh and the game scenario was pretty damn fun too.

The basic gist is that the Lurkers are trying to chisel away an artifact on the island, and once successful they can toss it in the water to summon the giant fishman creature. The Threshold agents, are naturally trying to stop these nefarious people from raising the monster from the depths. If they can place three dynamite charges and successfully detonate them, the fishman and any cultists (and possibly some agents) will be blown to hell, and victory will be assured.

The first game we played saw Uncle Mike controlling the Threshold. The agents rowed their canoes / boats up the center channel and a great round of shots splattered the small fishman on the docks into gooey fish paste. The nearest cultist frenzied and ran up to the dock hoping for revenge.

The cult leader commanded his sniper and the enraged cultist to open fire while he moved up and started chiseling away the totem himself. As the agents approached, choppy waters (and poor dice rolls) caused their shots to go astray. The cultists however continued firing and were able to wound two agents and cause two more to dive for cover into the water.

During the shooting the cult leader finished removing the totem and tossed it in the water himself. The stirrings of the giant fish creature came too late though, as the rifle and tommy gun-toting villains had already dispatched the agents to watery graves.

For the second game we switched roles and I took control of the agents. Once again Uncle Mike rolled to go first. His cult leader took a more direct approach and ordered two cultists in immediately to almost totally uproot the totem in the first turn.

In response I split my forces, bringing up three agents in their boat on the north side of the island, while the two in the canoe pulled around the south more slowly. As the boat pulled within range of the island some well aimed tommy gun and shotgun fire splattered the cult leader's brains on the island peak. Terrified one of the cultist fainted, and flopped down the cliffs into the murky waters.

The surviving cultist at the peak was able to finish the job and drop the totem into the ocean. Time was now of the essence for the agents! The canoe pulled within firing range of the south dock, but were unable to gun down the cultists, one weapon jamming due to the salty sea air. The swimming fishman capsized and destroyed their canoe quickly making lunch of one of the floundering agents.

The leader knew the stakes however and pulled his boat up to the western dock. His crew vaulted over the moored canoe and spread out, quickly shooting down the remaining cultists from behind to begin planting their dynamite charges.

The waters to the northwest began to roil and an unspeakable horror popped its ugly maw above the surface. It rapidly made its way to the west dock, destroying the remaining canoe and boat and thus any means of escape for the agents. Luckily the charges were set and everyone on the island began making their way to the eastern dock.

Floating in the water while trying to unjam ones weapon is a sure-fire (ooh bad pun) way to get filleted by a fishman. Trapped by the horrors offshore the last agent on the island was suddenly face to face with a huge, hideous, oozing beast. He held his ground however, and distracted the massive monster while the other two survivors dove into the water and swam a safe distance.

Diving underneath the scaly horror, the agent snorted bitterly as he pressed the detonator down. "One order of fried fish, coming up!"

A huge fiery explosion rocketed into the night air, silhouetting the swimming survivors. Three comrades were lost, but the world was safe a little while longer.

April 08, 2013

Wow, Some Pretty Impressive Stats...

I've had this blog for a lot longer than I realized, going on almost a decade now. In that time it's gone through periods of high output, sometimes over a dozen articles in a single month, and lows where I haven't written anything for several months at a time.

Over the past year I think it's taken on a life of its own and more often than not the articles seem to almost write themselves for me. In a sense that's pretty good thing, because if something isn't enjoyable to do, it becomes very difficult to stick with it. You all know what I'm talking about I'm sure.

So anyway, I was taking a quick look at my stats dashboard today and was surprised at some of the numbers for my little corner of the interwebs and wanted to share them with you.

Pageviews today: 43
Pageviews yesterday: 16
Pageviews last month: 1,205
Pageviews all time history: 19,757
Published comments: 503
Posts: 325
Followers : 10

Here's what I find interesting about these...

That's a lot of page views, both on a daily and all time basis. I mean...wow, almost twenty thousand views! Since I always set my browsers not to track my own views, that's a pretty high readership. I'm curious how long it'll take for that number to hit 20,000...?

Also, the number of posts I've made: 325. So over 9+ years, let's round to an even 10, that amounts to 2.71 posts per month. That's a fair amount of rambling.

On the other side of things, some of the lows. Almost 20,000 views and yet only 503 comments, about half of which are my own responses to other folks'. So let's say 275 of those comments are from visitors. That means around 1.4% of the people who stop by to read something actually take the time to leave me a comment about what they've read. I'd really love to see that number increase. What are people reading that they like? What don't they like? What do you hate or wish I'd do more or less of?

And finally, are you coming back regularly but not a follower? It seems I only have 10, at least half of whom are people I actually know personally.

That's all I've got for today. If you have ever dropped by and read something, but not left a comment...today would be the day to change that. I'd really like to hear from you, so leave me some feedback below!

April 05, 2013

First League Complete: My Thoughts

League Play

I wasn't planning on using the Avion Yellowhawks (Corporation humans) in the first DreadBall league I ran from January thru March. When assessing interest in the league it sounded as though we were going to have two Corporation teams and two Orx teams from our four coaches. Not having a single Veer-myn or Forge Fathers teams didn't sit well with me, so Sebastien volunteered to play the Veer-myn and I opted for Forge Fathers. In the end we ended up with six teams registered: 2 Orx, 2 Forge Fathers, 1 Veer-Myn and 1 Corporation.

After two rounds of play, our lone human player opted not to continue so we were human-less and sitting at an odd-number of players. I was already coaching The Royal Eternian Rams but also added my Yellowhawks in to round out the teams and provide a full representation of the core four teams.

League Finals

The top four teams were a good mix, with only the Orx going unrepresented for a prize. The third place game was between Seb's Veer-myn and my Forge Father team, the Royal Eternian Rams. This was a great game with a lot of scoring, swinging the lead back and forth several times through the course of the game.

Near the end it looked like the Rams had it all buttoned up with but a great rush by the Veer-myn strikers gambled for a bonus strike of two points. With the score at one point in the Veer-myn favour, and only one rush remaining to each team it was going to be close. I gambled away my first two action tokens in hopes of getting a card that would allow me to score, and did get one that I could use. I also needed to double my attempt to pick up the ball. Everything worked out except for the strike throw...

A well fought game that went down to the wire, Seb's Veer-myn take 3rd place in the Trilogy Cup!

The game for top place was played between Orrin's Funky Fathers and my Avion Yellowhawks. This was a very tight, low scoring game through the early stages. When we got closer to the end I was able to pull ahead by 5 points at the end of the 13th rush.

So after being a surprise entry into the league and an impressive run, the Avion Yellowhawks turned out to be the winners of the 1st Trilogy Cup!

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who played in our first league. It was a lot of fun, and I hope to do another one over the summer.

Closing Thoughts

I quite liked the provided league rules in the core rulebook, but they do feel specifically aimed at club play. By that, I mean a regularly scheduled repeating event where everyone shows up every time. The reality of things with gamers locally seems to be far less organized, and that simply doesn't seem to be possible for most players. Or perhaps it's simply a matter of desire, I don't know.

Regardless, I think a second round of league play would need some modifications in order to work. I'd likely try to do a round-robin schedule where all of the games for each team are set ahead of time, for each round. The games could be played at any time during each week (1 week per round?), and the results reported back.

I would still like to keep the MVP auctioning at the beginning of the rounds because I think that adds a really fun group dynamic to the game, as well as some extra drama to games that might otherwise turn out to be tough slogs for the underdog.