February 27, 2014

One and Two-Player Board Gaming

I've been working on a lot of Deadzone figures from my massive shipment before Christmas, and have made good progress. On the other hand, I've been too lazy to actually take pictures of said figures. So I'm posting this in lieu, until I get off my butt and take said photos. Enjoy or ignore. Or whatever.

Let's start with more Mantic Games stuff: Project Pandora - Grim Cargo.

I picked this up mid-week and was able to put the figures together Saturday afternoon. They're the same resin-plastic material that makes up most of Mantic's models. The Veer-myn figures were really quite easy to construct. The squad of ten came with three different bodies, which would result in two different troop styles, a toxic weapon dude and their leader. I did a few part swaps among the troopers and ended up with some decent variation among them that I was quite happy with.

The Corporation trooper squad was quite similar but took more work. These ten figures came with three different bodies, an assortment of heads and a sprue of three special weapons. I mixed up the arm and head combinations amongst the bodies, and chopped the basic rifle off of three of them in order to use the extra weapons. The material is a little tough to cut through with a hobby knife, but the location of the weapons meant that a saw wasn't going to be accurate enough. I wouldn't want to do a whole bunch of these conversions but they turned out to be a nicely varied squad.

Although they're not primed or painted yet I decided to give the game itself a dry run to see what I thought. I tried the first two scenarios in the book twice each. The tokens and boards are serviceable but thin, but overall the game is pretty solid, with better tactical depth than I'd expected.  I will be ordering some round bases for the figures to help their stability. I'm looking forward to trying the game with a real opponent. I do wish the box was more sturdy...because it's good looking, but thin, thin, thin!

Topic change!

Last week I had arranged to have several folks over to do a day of gaming on Sunday, but due to various work plans, scheduling and other people being flaky it ended up being just William and I as always. It was pretty disappointing in that sense, because I was quite looking forward to getting some larger games on the table like Spartacus and Risk Legacy. On the other hand we were still able to get a few new games on the table and have a good time.

We ended up playing a few rounds of Will's new game Dungeon Attack, that he'd received through a Kickstarter pledge. It was a decent game with two players, and is sort of a semi-cooperative game...NOT a fully cooperative game like it says on the package. I can see it being good fun with three or four players, but there will be some down time with that number.

Second on the agenda was a game of Arcana. I picked this up used at last September's Fallcon game auction, and had been waiting for a good chance to try it out. Being our first game we played the basic two-player rules, and found it a little frustrating that you'd often have cards in hand that couldn't be played to any good effect due to the major arcana on the face up stash cards. There are several extra options that can be added to the game, like guild leaders, deck clean up and a few other things. We both agreed that we'd like to try it again and add in a few of those more advanced options to see if it would improve the game experience.

As an aside, the artwork in the game is really outstanding. I also think that it would be more interesting with a third or fourth player. (Hm, I say that a lot don't I?)

I'll finish up with Okko: Era of the Asagiri. This is a game I'd long had on my wish list, and was able to procure the core set and first expansion (Era of the Karasu) as a used package deal from Starlit Citadel. In the interest of learning the basics I set up the introductory scenario to give it a try.

After the first play through I didn't really enjoy it, but I had missed a few rules about the inspiration dice, and was playing the forward movement incorrectly so I tried it again. The second play was much more interesting and I quite liked it. The artwork is very nice and, although quite simple mechanically, there is some good skirmish gaming to be had here. The inspiration dice add some chaos, but can prove to be very interesting as well. I'm glad I was able to pick this up and look forward to trying it with a real, live, opponent.

Hey, it could happen...

February 21, 2014

Gaming Round Up!

Man oh man I sooooo don't need to buy any new stuff, but I keep doing it anyway. On the plus side, I've actually been playing a bunch of my games.

Played my 2nd round exhibition match for our new Dreadball league. It was the Etherian Horde vs. the Broadstreet Bullies. Another game that went into OT, another win for me. I just can't earn enough cash to buy a seventh player, so I opted for another coaching die. Not a great investment, but it feels better than just having cash as part of my roster.

Wrapping up a week of work before the Family Day weekend, I wrangled some co-workers into a lunch-time game of Lords of Waterdeep. They all really enjoyed it, and I only won by 3 points! I'm looking forward to getting that game on the table again.

During the long weekend had the first game of AT-43 using my Cogs army box and a few boosters. We played 3000 points against Karmans. I'm considering adding a few more squads to my army, because having so many heroes in the two infantry units I do own makes for some really complicated mixed-unit planning.

Following the weekend I was able to meet up with Uncle Mike and James for a quick game of Kulten! My cult got their butts handed to them by James' deep one and retreated in the interest of survival. Uncle Mike will be posting a write up of the game over on Lead Adventure.

Also received my package of new stuff in the mail from Starlit Citadel:

- Okko base set and Karasu expansion
- Fortune and Glory
- expansions for Tsuro of the Seas and Escape: The Curse of the Temple
- the new Army Painter inks (blue, red, green and purple) and paint colours (Dragon Red, Hydra Turqoise)

I've been rather enjoying my work with constructing figures for Deadzone and Dreadball recently as well. I know a lot of people don't like the material but honestly I quite like it. It's very durable once glued together and I really don't feel like I need to worry about the figures when I tip them over. (I'll be posting my primed Enforcers and Plague figures soon...) The games themselves are also really good, so I started looking at more things in Mantic's catalogue.

It seems that the Dwarf King's Hold series had a very good reputation. The original box game, "Dead Rising", and the "Ancient Grudge" expansion are sadly out of print, so I had to resort to ebay for the first game but there was a (rather over-priced) copy of Ancient Grudge available at Sentry Box that I picked up the other day. I'll be submitting an order with Mantic's web store for "Green Rising" and the "Dungeon Monsters" expansions soon. (I need to pick up the Dreadball multi-player board anyway...)

On that same shopping trip I also acquired a copy of Mantic's Project Pandora (jeez everything that I've got from Mantic was created by that Jake Thornton guy). More stuff that'll fit in with Deadzone / Dreadball. Oh yeah...and Dreadball Xtreme just started up on Kickstarter this morning...so I'm in for that one too.

Finally I ran our Star Trek: Attack Wing event for Month 5 of the Dominion War. The venue hadn't yet received their event pack but we had four players and so played our games anyway. I ran a two-ship Federation fleet to try out my new USS Sutherland ship. The list was as follows:

USS Sutherland w/ Picard, Engage and Feint
- Montgomery Scott
- Quantum Torpedoes
- Secondary Torpedo Launcher
- Independent Flagship

USS Enterprise D w/ Data and Disobey Orders
- Photon Torpedoes
- Miles O'Brien
- Hikaru Sulu

Strike Force Admiral's Order

I was having trouble simply remembering all the stuff going on in my games, and thus neglected to snap any pictures whatsoever. There should be some more gaming going on during the weekend, so I'll endeavour to make up for it then!

February 20, 2014

SuperFigs Painted - Shredder and Foot Ninja

In the last year I have picked up a few items from the SuperFigs line from a local shop. They're inexpensive, generally characterful sculpts and overall quite easy to paint. There are two packs of ninja figures out there, but I was only able to find one locally. Being a child of the 80s I immediately wanted to make warriors from the Foot clan (that's from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for those not in the know) out of them!

As I've mentioned about some other figures, the sculpting isn't great, especially in the hands. However the detail is pronounced enough that it makes the models very easy to paint. They are also all one-piece sculpts which means no construction. I like figures that I don't have to put together!

The paint colours:

- 2:1 mix of GW Codex Grey and black for the clothes
- GW Elf Flesh for all of the skin
- Codex Grey for the handles of the weapons
- GW Fortress Grey for the undergarment sticking out of the jacket
- 1:3 mix of Liche Purple and Fortress Grey for the purple
- Gorthor Brown for the straps and belts
- GW Boltgun Metal for all the metal (shocking I know)
- GW Mephiston Red for the ribbons

Naturally these fellows would need a leader: The Shredder! While not an accurate representation, "Dark Avenger" figure suited the purpose well. He had some spiky bits on his armour already so I chopped up some spines from my Tyranid bits and glued them to his hands for the finishing touch. Once I painted him up to match the ninja warriors he definitely looked the part.

I did some looking around online for references for the Foot clan insignia and found two different versions. The one I remember is the actual foot print which was usually on the trooper's foreheads. The other one looks more like a stylized version of Shredder's helmet. Neither one of them really excited me, so I decided not to put the insignia on the figures at all. With the red ribbons I don't think they really miss out on anything for not having it.

I'm looking to pick up the Mantic coach figure that looks like Splinter but haven't seen one locally for a little while. I'm not sure what I'll use for April O'Neill and Casey Jones either, but I'm sure I'll find something.

Now if only I could track down the old Dark Horse 25mm TMNT figures!

February 10, 2014

I'm Still Alive, Just Busier Than I'd Like

I was away for a business trip during the second half of January and did very little gaming or hobby stuff during that time. During my trip I did however have a chance to meet a fellow gamer down in the Tampa, FL area. Patrick (aka styx) was kind enough to show a few of my co-workers and I around during some of our downtime. You should go read one (or all) of his blogs...

- Army of the Week
- Dice of Legends
- Strange Aeons Adventures

After I came back it took me some time to get back into my regular schedule. Actually, I may still be working on that. In terms of miniatures I haven't finished anything new yet, but I've got a batch of SuperFigs on the table that should be fun once they're finished.

I've received several more items from my Kickstarter-craze last year. Sorry for lack of pictures, all I have is a list of text.

- Incursion: buckets of blood level t-shirt. Pretty nice, and I had forgotten I was getting this!
- Hell Dorado, Inferno: complete shipment with my expansion book and almost 20 figures to add to my collection. Another reminder that I should finish my Lost and Immortals starter boxes.
- Achtung! Cthulhu: My miniatures arrived just before I left. Come to think of it I may have mentioned these already. They'll fit in beautifully with my collection of figures for Strange Aeons.
- Judge Dredd miniatures game: I got another small envelope with the elec cordons and boss sky-surfer guy. The models look good as per usual, but I'm tired of this project...I still don't have everything I should.

Lacking the energy to paint much or construct models I made a trip to get some board games. I made stops at several shops around town, and even placed an online order to add stuff to my collection.

- Deadwood: I picked this up used (but never played) at Anthem Games in Florida for a paltry $10. I've read the rules and it looks like fun, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.
- Cyclades Hades expansion: I love the original game, and need to play it more. With the way things start disappearing after a year or so of being printed I decided to grab the expansion just so I wouldn't miss out on it later.
- Serpents and the Wolf expansion for Spartacus: Same reason as the Hades expansion. Ironically (or stupidly) I haven't played the base game yet.
- Kragmortha: I bought this game several years ago for my brother-in-law and thought it was hilarious. Little did I know at the time that it was a limited-edition printing. When I found the reprint I couldn't resist picking it up.
- Tsuro of the Seas: A friend has the original game which is fun but not amazing. The larger board and addition of the dragons causing chaos put this one into my must-buy list. In the week since I bought it I've played it a total of seven times with three different groups and everyone loves it.
- Forbidden Desert: Forbidden Island goes over well with new or non-gamers, so I wanted to try the update. This adds enough new stuff to keep it interesting, without making it so hard that the same people who played Island can't keep up with Desert. Worth picking up for the family game night.
- Romulan Empire expansion for Star Trek Fleet Captains: I'm a sucker for Star Trek stuff. I have no idea when I'm going to get Fleet Captains back on the table, but the expansion is getting ever more difficult to find...so I grabbed it before it was gone.

An old friend dropped by town over the weekend and we ended up playing Caverna: The Cave Farmers (BGG link) for several hours on Sunday night. It was pretty interesting, but also difficult to wrap my head around in the first few rounds. There are so many different options each round of the game that it's complicated to know what choices to make. I'd play it again, but would likely not buy it due to the length. I doubt I'd get any of my regular gamer friends to sit down and play it.

I could keep going because there are more things on the way, but I'll stop here. Congratulations if you made it all the way through my wall of picture-less text!

February 03, 2014

Star Trek: Attack Wing - OP4 Prize Review

Flagship card set (Participation Prize) - Four double-sided cards and a black flagship base.

Let me just say that I love the flagship resource cards. The faction-specific ones are pretty good, but I'm most excited about the generic ones. Essentially each faction now has five extra options to round out a fleet with. Got a great list but just need that little bit of extra attack, one more tech slot or another defence die? These cards can really help you out.

The included black base is nice, but the cards...oh man the cards are what you want. So many great options.

USS Sutherland (Grand Prize)

Of all the prize ships so far this was the one I wanted the most. I love the Ch'Tang and its accompanying collection of cards, but I think I like the package that is the Sutherland more.

First off, I think this is the best painted Federation ship released for the game so far. The yellow applications on the hull are very clean and well placed, and there is a ton of detailing on the bottom. I love that it has nacelle detail, striping and Federation logos on it, it's just a shame that most of it is on the underside! I only wish that all the Federation ships had the names and registry numbers painted on them. I know they can be used as generics...but the named ships are what most players seem to use more often than not.

Data is the cheapest captain in the game that can take an elite talent; and it is a GREAT talent. This is one of the few ways to get a duplicate of a token. It's a single use because of the discard but doesn't require an action. That means you can do it at any time, even after all the dice for an attack exchange have been rolled. Lots of captains will be able to use this card. If Weyoun-6 had an elite talent slot he'd be a monster with this. Thankfully he doesn't.

Captain Data's ability is good but also extremely costly to pull off. If you're going to try to use it I think you need to build around it. De-cloaking the enemy isn't good enough on its own. You'll need to take some ships along that can finish things once you've dropped their drawers on them. It can be done but will be tough.

Secondary Torpedo Launcher is a spiffy weapon card, but it becomes expensive because it needs to be taken with another weapon in order to really use it. It's a hard choice of whether to put it on another ship, or leave it on the Sutherland to get the re-roll from the ship's ability.

Hobson is a pretty solid crew card but could be wasted points if you're not up against cloaked ships. I'll skip over the lame, over-priced tech upgrade. If you're going to use Data's ability take something else, something cheaper that can be useful against ships whether they're cloaked or not.

Here's a possible list I came up with that makes use of a lot of the Sutherland's anti-cloak stuff:

- USS Enterprise D w/ Picard and Attack Pattern Omega, Hobson, Sulu, Worf, Quantum Torpedoes and Secondary Torpedo Launcher
- USS Sutherland w/ Data and Disobey Orders, Spock, Positron Beam and Photon Torpedoes

If my math is right, this clocks in at 99 points. If Admiral's Orders are available you could use United Force to get another 10 points and kit one of the ships out with more upgrades or the other order. Or use that extra 10 points to make one of them a flagship!