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Friday, April 28, 2017

Coming to Kickstarter - Alone

There's a new game coming to Kickstarter next week called alone.  At first glance, it looks like every other sci fi dungeon crawl ever.  At second glance, I'm super excited.  I don't know much yet, but I know that instead of being a cooperative game where multiple heroes fight a single bad guy player, this game is multiple bad guy players making like miserable for one player.

There isn't a lot of information about the game yet, but I'm seriously intrigued.  The models look pretty cool, if nothing else.  I'm sort of assuming that the core pledge will be $100, just like any number of other games.

I think this guy is the core hero.

That makes these next several your friends that you can find along the way.  I'm not entirely convinced that all of them are nice people.  The last two in particular seem pretty rough.  I'm guessing maybe that they're cultists or evil survivors or something.

There are also an array of monsters that the bad players can throw at the hero.

I'm really looking forward to May 2nd to see what this looks like.  Hopefully, they'll put up some game play videos.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Runewars Magnetized Trays

A guy on the FFG forum posted about how he magnetized his trays using little round magnets with holes in them and some washers.  I decided to give it a shot.  I ran to my local Home Depot and picked up a bunch of the below bits...

...and then spent a solid three hours gluing magnets to trays and washers to models.  This actually worked out really well.  I'm super happy that I spent the time and effort.

Super tedious, but I'm never going to have to deal with the models not sitting quite right in the trays again.  That's the only thing I didn't really like about the game.  Everyone should do this.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Warhammer 40k 8th Edition

Looks like Warhammer 40k 8th Edition will be dropping sooner than later.  GW announced it this week.

I have mixed feelings.  7th Edition became such a clusterf*ck of rules with almost no consideration for balance that you really had to be careful who you played with.  I've actually completely given up on the game at this point.

IF they're able to bring back a more balanced game, I'll likely give it a shot.  If the community isn't overwhelmingly positive about this change...  well...  I probably won't be either.

Based on the FAQ they published along with the announcement, we know or can deduce a few things...
1. "Every Warhammer 40,000 miniature we sell today will be usable in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000."  So, what about the miniatures they don't currently sell?  I'm just sort of assuming those won't have rules or really be supported in a meaningful way.
2. "The core rules for the game will be free, and you’ll have several options on how you get your hands on the full rulebook."  Hmmm...  free core rules are good, but they seem to be differentiating between core rules and 'the full rulebook'.  That tells me that we're all going to be buying rulebooks regardless of the fact that the core rules are free.
3. "The rules in our current range of Warhammer 40,000 codexes aren’t compatible with the new edition of Warhammer 40,000. These books will be going off sale very soon."  Things must be changing big time if every current rulebook is going off sale.  This is good and bad.  Good because the current ruleset is a convoluted nightmare.  Bad because it probably means that it'll be years before certain factions are fully updated to the new edition.  Age of Sigmar very much has this issue.  If your army has a recent Battletome, awesome.  If not, you're probably way behind the curve in terms of options.
4. "3 broad systems are covered in the new edition: 1) Open play is the most flexible, and easiest to get started with, allowing you to use any miniatures you like. 2) Narrative play is where you can refight the iconic battles of the 41st Millennium, or create your own campaigns and sagas. 3) Matched play is designed for more balanced and competitive games, ideal for gaming clubs, leagues and tournaments."  Yeah, so this is basically Age of Sigmar.  People who like competition and balance, i.e. every gamer I know, will stay away from Open and Narrative play.  Matched play is the only thing that will matter.  Hopefully they get it right.
5. "When can I have it! Really soon. You’ll be playing the new Warhammer 40,000 this year."  I'm guessing June or so.

Cautious optimism.  If they do free core rules and free datasheets for every unit, I'll try it.  If I'm expected to spend $100+ for the rules to field a single faction, there's no chance.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Arkham Horror TCG Campaign Reboot

My wife and I had been playing through the Dunwich Legacy with two of the FFG provided premade deck lists.  We decided that neither of us really liked the lists, so we scrapped the campaign and spent the evening building new lists.  After much debate, I took Rex Murphy and she took Zoey Samaras.  Rex is a great at investigating and Zoey is made to kill things.  Her special ability ensures that she'll always have resources for expensive weapon cards.

After building the decks, we decided to start playing through the core box campaign.  Luck wasn't with Zoey as she pulled Dissonant Voices two turns in a row.  Not being able to play any Events or Assets for two turns in a row was really challenging.  I think it was turn four before she had a weapon on the table.

I pulled and played Delve Too Deep on turn two.  That wasn't a popular choice.  Zoey failed at her encounter and took three damage.  Fortunately, she had First Aid available later in the game to heal up a bit.  Had she not, I think she would have died and taken a physical trauma.

Ultimately, we killed the Ghoul Priest who had taken up residence in Zoey's house and recruited Lita Chantler.  I think Lita is a great card for a combat oriented character.  She's really just an all around good force multiplier for combat.

We ended up killing the Ghoul Priest, clearing both the Attic and Cellar of clues and Delving Too Deep once.  That, combined with the 2xp bonus for not dying gives us 7xp to play with.  I'm considering the following two cards.  Disc of Itzama lets me straight up discard any non-Elite enemy that spawns at my location.  Higher Education ensures that I'll be able to investigate successfully (and probably by at least 2 or more, triggering Rex's ability).

Taking two of the Discs and Higher Education would use up my 7xp.  I'm not sold on Higher Education quite yet.  I need to look at my other options.

Monday, April 24, 2017

First Full Game of Runewars

My friend Steve and I met up over the weekend to play our first full game of Runewars.  I'd previously played a few of the smaller point Skirmish versions.  The feel is a little different.

We ended up playing Supply Raid as the mission and Careful Approach as the deployment zone.  Steve had initiative and picked Careful Approach.  It was a smart choice.  None of the missions were great for me, so I picked Supply Raid.  I thought it would be the least negative.  I was wrong.

I didn't take a picture of our deployments, but this one is only one turn in.  My big block of Reanimates (center of picture) really limited my deployment options.  The two Rune Golems across from me just ran foward and kept me occupied all game.  Rune Golems are ridiculously durable.  They officially suck to fight.

Here's another shot of what I was staring down.  Between the Rune Golems occupying my big block of infantry and the two 2x2 blocks of Cavalry, there wasn't much I could do to control the flow of the battle.  I rolled well and the Archers performed nicely, but ultimately, the mission did me in.  Steve took all 8 of the objectives...  4 of them on the last turn.  Had I rolled a little better, I could have tied or even won.  Losing 4 objectives on the last turn was brutal.

Overall impression is that I love the game.  I can't wait to play more.  Next time, I'll take more pictures.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Painting Started

I'm so tired.  Just finished up a little painting.  This isn't even remotely done, but tell me what you think.  The grass and the green slime in the mouth will both darken up a bit as the glue dries.  More pics soon.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ardus Ix'Erebus w/Custom Base

The standard sculpted hero bases aren't bad looking, but I wanted something a little better for Ardus.  I clipped the peg out of a hero tray and started in with some cork.  I also used an old banner from some old Warhammer kit I found in my bits box.  I'm pretty happy with the result.

If tomorrow is nice, I'll try to do some priming.  It would be awesome to have at least one painted mini in time for my game night on Friday.  I don't think these will be too hard to paint.

Cutting these guys off the bases is super easy.  Heat up a razor knife using a candle flame.  Once it's good and hot, it should slice through the feet like butter.  Obviously, be careful, wear eye protection, etc.  Also, the knife blade will be ruined pretty quickly by the melted plastic.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Runewars is Awesome!

I got to play a couple of 100 point (roughly half sized) games of Runewars over the weekend with my buddy Jon.  I took some photos of the start of each turn as well as game end so that I can show everyone how it works.

Apologies for the glare.  I should have taken the other seat.

I played the Waiqar dudes and Jon played the Daqan dudes.  Ardus, a big block of Reanimates with a Carrion Lancer inside and some Archers for me.  Kari, a big block of Spearmen and two Rune Golems for John.  Terrain placement sort of boned me, so I deployed in a "sit and wait" deployment.

Round 1 just saw lots of moving forward.  Kari jumped into the terrain piece.

End of Round 1
I took the bait and charged in to fight Kari in her terrain stronghold.  She wiped a tray when she fought me.

End of Round 2
Kari hopped out the back and I got flank charged on the one side by the Golems.  Ardus slammed into the Spearmen and killed a full tray between his attack and a morale check.

End of Round 3
The Rune Golems are devastating.  Between my Reanimates and the Archers, one Rune Golem went down.

End of Round 4
Round 5 was mostly ineffective fighting and the heroes running back into the battle.  Ardus had to turn around first.

End of Round 5
More ineffective fighting and heroes running.

End of Round 6
Getting closer. Kari took a pot shot and killed two Archers.

End of Round 7
Ardus successfully charged...

Middle of Round 8, before Ardus's and Kari's attacks
...and killed off the last Rune Golem.  Kari killed off the last of the Archers.

End of Round 8
We were playing the bounty mission.  I ended up with 114 points versus Jon's 113.  It was a narrow victory, but I'll take it.  I think with one more round, I could have wiped Kari.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I'm back!

Actual hobby content to restart tomorrow.  I just got out of the car from a 7 hour drive and I'm tired.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Trip to Boston Starts Today!

I'm just about to jump in the car.  When I get back, I'm going to have plenty of stuff to share.  The dude I'm going to see is a pretty serious gamer, so expect things like Runewars, Arcadia Quest Inferno, etc.

Also, I played a game of the Aturi Cluster with my friend and he's sold.  More to come on that front!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Heroes of the Aturi Cluster - Solo Play Test

I'm home sick right now.  Should I rest up?  Nope.  Sounds like a good time to try the fan made Star Wars X-Wing campaing, the Heroes of Aturi Cluster.  Quick verdict is that this is going to be great.

The campaign comes with an intro mission called Local Trouble.  It's designed to let the players get a couple of XP and to get used to the mechanics.  Each mission comes with a bit of story, a deployment map, victory conditions and special rules.  It might be hard to see in the image below, but the deployment map is broken into range 1 squares.  This lets you know exactly where to place things.  In the game I played, two TIE Fighters were deployed, one at each of the blue dots on the north end of the map.  I deployed in the red band.  Then, game play starts "as normal".

This is what my initial deployment looked like.  I'm the X-Wing in the corner, with my two opponents across the map.  If I'm alive at the end of Round 10, I win.  If not, the Empire wins.

In the Heroes of the Aturi Cluster, the Empire always has initiative.  The game work as normal in that the game round is identical.  You choose a maneuver and then ships activate in initiative order, followed by shooting.  The major difference is that there is obviously no Empire player.

Instead of setting a dial, an Imperial shop rolls on a special table when its turn to activate comes around...

Each ship picks a target using the "Select Target" logic.  It's different for every ship.  Then you roll off to select a maneuver.  Depending on which direction the target is, you roll on a different table above.  Red band if the ship is at Range 1 or Range 2 and coming towards the TIE.  Green band if the ship is at Range 3 or Range 2 and moving away from the TIE.  The card then tells you what action to pick.  Attacks happen as normal during the combat phase.

I was a little hesitant about whether or not this would work.  It does.  It overwhelmingly does.  The AI is pretty brutal.  I played twice.  The first time, they murdered me...

The second time through, I killed a TIE with a really solid single shot.  I wounded a second before an Interceptor flew onto the board behind me and took me out...

I ended up losing the mission, but gained 3XP in the process.  Because I died, I had to roll on an Eject Table, losing one of my upgrades in the process.  It was a net loss of 1 squad point.  Realistically, in a campaign situation, I would have just flown off the table, kept my upgrade and kept the 3XP.

This is super fun.  If you play X-Wing, try it out ASAP.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Runewars - Latari Elves Announced!

FFG announced the third faction for their Runewars game today.  The game is set to launch two days from now with the first two factions.  The third...  the Latari Elves...  should be released sometime this summer.  FFG isn't always perfect at hitting targets, but they're saying Q3, which would be July, August or September.

The format for this army release is a nice surprise.  The "Army Expansion" box comes with the same amount of stuff for the Latari Elves that you would find for either of the two factions in the core box.  The price is $60, which isn't as good of a deal as the armies in the core box, but is cheaper if you only want one faction.  "But I need the templates and tokens and whatnot", you say?  Keep reading.

On closer inspection, it looks like it also comes with stuff everyone can use...  namely, two double sided terrain tiles.  The terrain tiles are the big flat green things to the right in the picture below.  I'm also seeing at least one new deployment card.  I would imagine that this means people who aren't interested in the Latari Elves will still have a reason to buy the box.

The models are pretty snazzy.  I like them much more than the human faction.

Aliana of Summersong, the Latari Hero

2x Trays of Leonx Riders

4x Trays of Deepwood Archers

1x Tray of Aymhelin Scions

The Scion, in particular is very nice.  It's a different, more viney take on the sterotypical treant monster.  I'm looking forward to finding out more about these in the future.

FFG also announced a Gaming Essentials Pack.  It's basically everything that comes in the Core Set, without the models.  In other words, everything you'd need to make the above Latari Elves Army Expansion box viable without needing to get a Core Set.  It's priced at $25, which seems a little high, but probably isn't too bad given that it means you don't need to buy a core.