November 20, 2015

SuperSystem 4th Edition Games

We've had a few games of SuperSystem 4th Edition over the past few weeks. The first of the two was a three-player custom scenario. I had created a fun board layout to play a scenario around my converted repainted Lex Luthor Heroclix figure wearing a prison jumpsuit.

The basic intro for the players was simple. Lex Luthor was being transferred to a maximum security underground facility in a remote location. Just as the agents transporting him arrived at the surface entry gate with their prisoner, they were set upon by teams either trying to rescue Lex, or stop him from being set free.

Brad was playing X-Men: Sunfire, Wolverine and Rogue. Seb was using Mister Sinister, Dr. Doom and Domino (no idea why these three were working together...), and I was using the Larcenous Legion: Kriegshunde, Elasti-Woman and The Wisp.

I had converted the profiles for my characters from the official 3rd edition profiles to 75 points and I think they worked out very nicely. As with any new game we missed and misinterpreted several rules but still had lots of fun. The LL were able to save Lex from a length imprisonment largely through the efforts of Elasti-Woman.

A few days later the X-Men were able to catch the Larcenous Legion in an ambush. The X-Men profiles had been tweaked slightly, and Colossus was along for the ride too. Rogue's injury from the previous game slowed her down a bit, and Sunfire's vow of vengeance on the Larcenous Legion proved to be largely moot while his enemies made good their escape.

I was able to add my custom character Zyklon to the game (he's a repainted 'clix Northstar). He was hard to capture with the 4th edition rules and might need a bit of a streamline. It's difficult to resist the temptation to give characters tons of powers rather than keep them focused and simple to play.

The game was again good fun and we are getting a handle on the nuances. Something to note about both games is that we did away with the single attack per character per round restriction. In 3rd edition it always felt artificial, and we all agree that so far, it helps speed up the game and avoids wasting AP when you are in base contact with an enemy figure.

These two games were also treated as 'campaign' games, going through the fame/infamy and experience acquisition for the teams and characters afterward. So far I've enjoyed it and I think everyone is looking forward to the next battle.

November 19, 2015

Strange Aeons 2nd Edition - Solo Deck Thoughts

If you're like me there are times when you'd like to play a tabletop game but there are no available opponents around. I helped a little bit with some of the play testing for the 2nd Edition of Strange Aeons, but really hadn't played much since the book went to print back in the summer. Uncle Mike was really busy with model production that there was little time for gaming. Summer is also a lot lighter in terms of game time, as I do *gasp* *shock* try to spend a bit of time outside while the sun is being friendly.

I've had my KS package from the campaign for longer than most, being able to pick it up locally rather than waiting for it in the mail. One of the add-ons I included was the solo deck. I didn't have much to do with this product at all, aside from providing some points about what I would like to see in a card-driven AI. With the product finally in my possession I thought I would give the solo deck a test-drive.

I wasn't expecting much out of the solo deck to be honest, as card-driven AI is a really tough thing to make fun. Pleasantly enough it had a few surprises in store for me. In my first game I rolled the "Bag Man" scenario. The Lurkers were able to take out one of my agents with a Major Injury, and the bag man with a Minor. I was able to win the game, but only with a "heroic" effort from my remaining character.

In the second game I realized I was playing something terribly wrong, but elected to continue through and see how it turned out. I misread part of the instructions and had been turning more cards over than I should have each Lurker turn. You still need Command models, as the number of nominations the Lurkers can make is how many cards are drawn per turn.

Despite the lurkers having extra activations I won the "Retrieve the Artifacts" scenario fairly handily, acquiring three scrolls and an advancement for my character. Something that contributed to my win were two immediate major injuries I scored against face down Lurkers. One addition to the solo rules is that the Lurkers get a free single state change at the end of their round and I had been missing that. You have to do some smart interpretation of some of the cards from time to time, deciding how the lurkers should best act.

For my third game I was much closer to correct the Lurkers had a 4-point advantage with my two consecutive wins. I selected a wolfman to go with a tommy-gun cultist, degenerate and cult leader. The cards brought the degenerate back onto the table not once but twice, and the werewolf made quick work of by dynamite toting agent Randolf Carter, who died from his horrific wounds.

Agent Moreau was a minor injury and my leader ended up infected by the wolfman's bite. The death of Carter allowed me to re-equip so I spent one of my two map pieces for a squad leader. He'll be joining me for the next four games.

I've enjoyed using the solo deck to get in a few games during a quiet, late evening. I can still tell the story of my Threshold list with it, which is where the real fun of the game is for me. I'd still rather have a real, live opponent, but it's nice to be able to play one of my favourite games in a pinch.

November 11, 2015

Productive Hobby Day

I spent a quiet Remembrance Day at home and observed a few moments of silence being thankful for the freedoms I enjoy, not to mention that I wouldn't exist if my grandparents hadn't been brave, brave folks.

The freedom I enjoyed on my day off was a relaxing breakfast with my girl and then a day of hobby time and conversation with a friend. I didn't get anything painted but it was a highly productive day in my opinion.

First up was a large batch of cultists from Pulp Figures for more games of Strange Aeons. These guys have been languishing in a box for a long while, and I figured it was high time they got some attention. I did some quick hand swaps and have four more dudes to add to my serpent man cult that I showed off years back.

There were another eleven cultists from the same order and decided to put those all together as well. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to do with these, but I'll keep that to myself for now. There is a Black Sun operative from the Reaper Bones line in there as well, but he just happened to get based along with all the rest of the figures.

Next I put together my Safe Boxes objective markers for Batman Miniature Game. These weren't terribly difficult to construct but I was very annoyed to realize that I had thrown away the metal rod that comes in the package. I didn't have any rod large enough to replace them so I had to resort to some toothpicks which don't look nearly as nice. They'll do provided I'm careful with them.

A few random bits got attention too. I rebased a pair of Heroclix figures (Lex Luthor and Black Mask) for some games of SuperSystem 4th Edition that will likely be coming up in the next weeks. The little guy with the sword is my attempt at creating a Usagi Yojimbo character to go with my TMNT project from early this year. He'll look good with a lick of paint I think.

The gallows in the background there just got a bunch of sand glued to it, like all the other models I'm talking about today. I don't usually do the basing the same day I build the I did.

Finally I constructed my new Poison Ivy starter crew box for Batman Miniature Game. Just the other day I found out that I had been accepted into the Knight Models program to support the game. I think the full term for it is a "sidekick in the Sons of Batman program." Yep, that's right, for anyone out there who has long suspected it I'm an SoB. Make of that what you will.

November 09, 2015

Epic, Infinity N3, LoToW

Had a chance to play several new games through late October and early November.

The first one was Epic Armageddon. Sean and Rick both graciously donated me pieces for a Space Marine army. We played a 4000 point game, with Rick running an Ork horde against Sean and I each playing 2000 points of marines. Since this was a learning game it took a LONG time, with us calling it after the second of four turns.

This was my first foray into a smaller scale, and it was pretty neat. Since the other fellows have plenty of terrain I am doubtful I'll make any for the game. I will have to paint up the figures I have at some point, which really shouldn't take too long if I actually sit down and do it. I'll be using the colour scheme for my "Obsidian Fists" chapter, because well, why not?

Next up were a few learning games of Infinity N3. Brad and I ran through the first three scenarios out of the the "Operation: Icestorm" starter book. There is a LOT of stuff to learn with Infinity and I know we made a lot of mistakes. It's strange to hear about a game that only last three rounds, but now that I have tried it, it makes total sense.

I built all of my Nomads and the corporate security unit figure over the course of Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. There is a frustratingly high amount of flash on the small parts like arms and heads, which is made even stranger by the fact that the main bodies for the models had almost no flashing, and just a tiny hint of a mould line. The models are pretty fiddly and feel a little fragile, but I like the look of them. (After our games I primed and sprayed the figures with a nice deep red colour to get started, but they await further attention at this point).

The third new game was Legends of the Old West. There are so many western-themed rule sets out that that it's difficult to even know what to choose. Rick really likes this one so we gave it a go. It's quite obviously a GW game, having similar stat-lines to Mordheim and 40k, and sharing the "I Go, You Go" turn structure. I still prefer Blackwater Gulch, which is an alternating model activation system so it feels a little more fluid. The weapons stats feel almost identical between the two games.

November 06, 2015

BMG: Law vs Arrow at 250 Rep

We played another game of Batman Miniature Game yesterday, finally adding in Strategies after having ignored them for quite a while. I played a new crew with Gordon, Catwoman, Bravo, Delta, Echo and GCPD detective against Green Arrow, Nightwing, Alfred and Policeman.

As usual the scenario set up and objective placement took quite a while. It's one of the things that I dislike about the game, although I know we are getting faster at. We played scenario 5, which made a point of saying at least one objective had to go in an opposing deployment zone...which caused us a bit of confusion as the objective rules already state that for most objective types.

Our 250 rep game took us a long time, over two hours. It was fun though. A few highlight points:

- Bravo is a beast for in-close ranged combat. The shotgun hurts when it hits, and I hit quite often, almost putting Green Arrow down single-handedly.
- Nightwing needed to find a group of henchmen to smash, but wasted his time on the detective, who survived far longer than he should have. I sort of wanted to see him trigger electric storm, even though it would have likely mean sure KO for any of my henchmen.
- Hidden and Undercover were nice to help me get closer to objectives or threatening enemy miniatures quickly.
- The split deployment hurt Gordon's effectiveness as I split my henchmen up too far. I wasn't able to take advantage of Inspire, Let's Go or Take Cover. Due to that, Gordon felt largely useless until I was able to get into position to finish off Green Arrow on round 7.
- Echo needs Titan. I just can't seem to cause damage with a 5+ strength model, even with the bonus from his weapon I think I only hit and damaged three times with something like 15 attack dice thrown.
- Catwoman shouldn't be attacking anyone. I stupidly put her in base contact with Alfred (thinking she could help Delta take him out), but it cost me 2 VP because I couldn't score the loot she was carrying that turn. Her 5+ strength also makes her sort of useless as a melee combatant (a lot like Batwoman), although I did forget about her retractable claws, which might have put Alfred down one round faster than I did. She's highly mobile, so it makes sense to head for the loot, grab it and then run and hide.

In the end I had lost my detective and Bravo and my opponent was down to just Nightwing. The victory point total was heavily skewed in my favour however, with a 32-14 win.

I feel like Green Arrow and Nightwing should be an effective duo to play, I'm just not sure who you would take with them as their options are limited at 250 rep. They'd probably perform well at 300 rep instead.

My crew had a lot going for it and I want to try them again. The henchmen are solid threats if they can get into a good shooting or scoring position. Sticking with Gordon will also beef them up. Being henchman heavy and lacking a heavy hitter however, they are certainly vulnerable to some of the big names like Bane or Batman.

November 04, 2015

From The Director's Office

Director Silver lowered himself down into the creaky, worn chair and tried to rub feeling back into his numb left hand. It never helped. He used to be a much fitter man, but the omnipresent, squeezing ache in his chest reminded him that the years were catching up to him. Years in the field, followed by more years behind this damned desk, while good men and women were out doing the job he yearned to do. But the reality, reality of horrifying beasts, daemons and fool cultists was too great for him to be running around out there. He was needed here.

Random images, sounds and even smells from the past still threatened to overwhelm him from time to time, when the nightmares and memories came to mind more clearly. He knew he was lucky, unlike most, he had survived beyond the extremely short life expectancy of an active field agent.

Silver raised his head from his hands, not realizing he had even moved, and noted a small sheet of paper in the middle of his cluttered-but-neat desk. Folded once, no envelope. A telegram then. Miss Thompson must have brought it in while he was visiting Special Branch this morning. Already suspecting what he’d find inside, he picked it up and snapped it open:

Selinger dead. Killed the damn thing but good. Saved our arses again. Will continue as able. JD.

‘So that’s it,’ thought Silver. ‘My best agent, my friend, is dead.’

Selinger had survived crippling injuries more than once, and yet had heroically pushed on while commanding one of the best field teams Silver had ever seen. A damn shame.

The Director rose from his chair and snapped off the light on the way out. Selinger had done his job; one less unnatural beast to fret over, one more file to close. Another widow to inform, another nightmare to try to lock away.

The door quietly latched closed.

Just another day on the job.

November 02, 2015

October 2015 Progress Report

October was a fair bit lighter in the realms of completed work, but not an entire wash.


- Cleaned, based and primed six new SuperFigs. This batch included the very first model from the line that came in multiple pieces. My copy of SuperSystem 4th Edition also arrived so I'll try my hand converting these character profiles over from 3rd Edition.

- Built and primed the last two (of three) western-themed buildings from PlastCraft. They are all quite similar in design, but mixed in with the rest of my buildings provide a nice amount of variety.

- With all of my western buildings finally finished I was able to lay them all out on the table and decide what each of them was going to be, and what colours I'd likely use. I'm going to aim for having a decent amount of colour, but still look worn and'll be an interesting experiment.

- Built and primed half of the Infinity N3 models I have from the "Operation: Icestorm" starter box. Putting together the 7 Nomads and the CSU figure took quite a bit longer than I'd expected, due to the extremely high amount of extra metal chunks attached to most of the pieces. It was strange, because the bodies for all the figures were very clean, requiring almost no clean up, whereas the arms and heads and the like had tons of flashing and chunks of metal on them that needed chopping off. Now that they're built I'm happy with them...but not looking forward to the PanO figures.

- Finally completed my water tower conversion and got it primed.


- I finished painting Catwoman and Batwoman for the Batman Miniature Game. I need to go back and touch up their faces very briefly this week, but I still consider them finished.

In other news I will confess that I was rather disappointed at the utter lack of response I garnered from posting my 500th item on the blog. After doing this for over 10 years and posting that much content, I was pretty excited about it. In the end, I do this for myself more than anything else, but I know there are folks out there that do read occasionally, and I really enjoy hearing from them.

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween!