Wargame Dork

A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, October 11, 2019

[Review Corner] Battle Systems Outlands Delta Garrison Terrain Kit

  Yes I still function.  Kinda.  Ish.  Maybe.  I sadly haven't done a whole lot of gaming this year at all tabletop wise and not a massive amount of buying especially once a 6,000 USD plumbing bill hit me not counting all the time lost to it and what said issue damaged beforehand.

  But I have gotten to buy a few things here and there as my finances and brainmeats permit.  And one of those is a couple of cardboard terrain kits from Battle Systems out of the UK.  See a small indie game store opened up in the same small business park community center thing as a place I get my Warhammer 40K things from once in a while.  (They don't step on each other's toes.)  Looking into this new store it sadly is mostly Magic and other CCGs but they did have a huge amount of these terrain kits and its associated game. 

  I bought one of the cheaper sets, the Engineering Sector and I really enjoyed putting it together.  The kit needed some simple white glue to go together at its best along with sadly the instructions being linked videos on the company Youtube page.  Now this I DO NOT LIKE as I vastly prefer physical instructions that do not depend on the whims of the Internet to assemble a 20 dollar product. (Note on their website this 20 and the main 50 dollar product are listed cheaper but I presume after shipping the price is probably close to equal if not more given the hell of overseas shipping.  Plus this store locally has a buyer program that helps a touch.) 

  In my view if they cannot understandably afford to print out instructions PDFs or images on their website is vastly superior to having to watch and listen to someone tell you how to assemble it.  While looking at the box front and back helps somewhat a few of these parts are very odd and tricky to assemble.

(As always click for bigger.)
I assembled this initial kit relatively quickly as it was a small set made of quite thick cardboard.  Would have been faster with proper instructions. 

 And with a variety of miniatures and toys for scale purposes.

  Now much of the above can mostly be put together without glue it is made of cardboard thus it has some give to it and while it is all die cut or half cut in the case of parts intended to bend or fold on itself many parts are going to look MUCH better and be far more stable if glued with said basic white glue.  Some things are not quite as perfectly held together by friction or at the perfect angle otherwise.  However with some thickening agent ala "the wax trick" where some superglue, floor wax, or nail polish is used to tighten the joint you could make it easy to reassemble instead of leaving together saving space.  

  (And another trick to make it look even better involves colored markers.  Go with black on all the exposed cardboard centers for a cel shaded feel!  The same color for a more realistic feel!  Its your stuff.  Heck, I am sure some enterprising sorts might even figure a way to put some kind of plastic coating over it and make it practically invulnerable!)

  For veterans of 90s Necromunda I would say the cardboard is roughly twice the thickness or so from that game and its Gorkamorka Orky sibling.  So its not cheap junk.  

  Anyhow let us get on to the BIG SET.  (They sell bigger though.  But again money is a thing.  I would be lying if I said I won't ever get them though!)

 The box front.  You will need it for reference if you do not want to hover over a couple Youtube videos.

 The back.  Also shows another angle of the set plus another way to assemble it since its modular.  Also none of this is going back in the box afterwards.  Some sets like the Engineering one aren't even in a box.  Just a paper and some plastic wrap.

 Most of the cards in this set.  3 each of Outland Tiles and Ports.  2 Walls cards.

 The Crates & Barriers card was in the Engineering set as well.  You can see some assembled examples in the lower left.  This set also includes plastic connectors that they honestly don't quite give you enough of to be flexible in my opinion though you can buy more.

 The cards are double sided with one side generally intended to be say the interior walls or double duty as either floor or ceiling tiles.  I really like this flexibility although it means you won't be leaving it 100% assembled and thus it will be a little wobblier and less sharp looking than it might otherwise be if you pick a setup and leave it.  Some bits can be "Blu Tack"ed to be things like room cards above the doors or various little computer type displays.  The doors and windows can be left in or taken out.  The cardboard is thick enough that you can generally put them back in but I would say you might wish to use the joint tricks I mentioned above for these purposes long term.  

 For the glue I recommend a tiny tab into the female part of a join then slide it in.  Wipe off most of the excess or use a toothpick or whatnot to fill in any gaps that might appear.  Being this sort of glue gives you time to wiggle it into a proper position too.

 Yes all these bits form that one little vent.  I used glue on it and this one meaning I cannot easily switch between damaged and undamaged vents.  But it is more stable and means less I can misplace.  It is your call!

 The crates I choose to assemble in an open or closed manner.  There is a little piece you glue to the lid that helps it stay shut and flush with a little glue on the egg crate part! 

 The stairs are kind of wobbly and all but demand glue for long term use.  You will need to wiggle and jiggle and move the steps into proper position where the die cuts aren't perfect.  (You know, some will be deeper or wider or shorter than they should be.)  If you really want to get classy they recommend 2 colors of magic marker to get the hazard stripes on the unprinted center of the cardboard.  I don't know if I am quite that nutters but I appreciate their commitment to (Twilight) Sparkle Motion...

 And now we come to the building part itself.  You need to put in some L shaped plastic connectors at an angle to build it.  I used some glue up at the top to make it more stable as it doesn't particularly go together any other way but this.  Like other parts the plastic connectors do need some adjustment to be properly aligned.  You can also slide other parts on top of them or rest up against them as you will see later on.  

 These bulkhead shutters can be in or out just like the doors and windows.  With a little nudging and or glue/thickener they can even be raised.  Long term maybe a tiny bit of magnetization or velcro connecting the parts in an inconspicuous place would be great.

 There are 2 different shutter types as my flash is trying to hide.

 A little detail of an interior section with door and a closeup of a few other connectors.  Note the central divot there.  I will mention that next image.

 I do a little tweaking and install a small room.  Some of the walls demand to be assembled a certain way vertically as they do not have a connection slide point and merely a divot that can slide over the connectors.

 I spend a while and play with things and build this big outpost type building.

 My EFF THE BOX I BUILD WHAT I WANT leftovers.

 The inside of the building.  I smooshed it together a little bit better from this image.  The top comes off easily and the bottom stays on as well.  If I was willing to save connectors I could have had the bottom not directly connected to the rest of the structure.  I left the small front room sealed but it can be accessed from the front anyhow.

 An idea of what it looks like inside with some miniatures for scale.

 Scale on top.  Also shows that the front shutter can hold a few models while up just with friction.  Yeah my little 2nd floor walkways are not exactly current GW figure sized.  Oh well.  I would say in general it is best for 15-25mm truescale models though other scaled figures could be used without too much effort albeit with some things looking too small.  With some of the other sets obviously the chairs and tables and other such goodies they come with are not exactly gonna work for your Godzilla or Battletech games and won't be your Primaris Marine's favorite lounger.  The two sets I cover you can easily get away with using it for just about any sort of Sci Fi or Near Future type game and scale thankfully.

The extras.  I made a small 2 room building and half of another.  The interior wall is merely resting with friction and up against one of the connection pieces.  Some weird connection parts I used to make the roof of that building quickly and easily removable.  The rest of the stuff can either be glued on later where I want things like computer screens and all.  Or is general parts like ladders and crates.  Or maybe I will rip it up and build something closer to the box cover?  Or get more connection pieces and get creative?  Who knows?


  So overall what do I think?  If it was a little cheaper in price and came with some form of physical instruction or a downloadable one as opposed to watching some dude in a Youtube video it would be Good.  But those little annoyances mean I can merely give it an OK. I like it and its very fun to build but those little annoyances keep it from being as good as it could be.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

On the Matter of Abuse

  Well folks this isn't a thing I felt I would ever be posting at my mostly dead blog about nerd crap nobody reads but as someone who is messed up myself due to second/third hand abuse from awful people I think I have to speak up and spread the word so that others won't be hurt by similar things and maybe a little less pain and hurt are put forth in this world.

  Let's start with a very harrowing link about abuse that links to the reports of abuse by another on Facebook to read if you want and to also learn about the abuser who has long been known to harass others online whenever his name or possible behaviors come up:

https://m.facebook.com/VivkaCriesWolf/posts/2478145012257909

  Because of said stalking he is almost certain to have done which has also included outing people in the LGBT space I am not directly listing his name here though it is well listed by the brave women whose stories I have linked to above.

  Do not accept abusers or let them get away with it.  While yes it is very much a HE SAID SHE SAID deal nearly all evidence over the years points out to his awfulness.  And we should probably not purchase anything he creates and both believe and support the survivors who not only got away from him but were brave enough to come forth with what is all but certain to be the truth.

  These sorts of monsters need to be stopped.  Together we can and maybe show the world this sort of cruelty and evil won't be tolerated.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

[Operation Game Collection/Let's Play] Computer Games on Consoles, Construction Sets, and Themed Malarkey PT 2.

ITS TIME TO CHOOSE MY FATE DEAR READERS!

Yes last post was but the start of a silly idea.  You the reader get to first choose what theme I am going to play, then we will have another vote of what game(s) to do.

Last time I showed you three of the themes.

Computer Games on Consoles, Construction Sets, Some Barely Talked About Niche Games.

That is but three choices.  I have a few more for your consideration!

Rufus' Computer Games on Systems He Doesn't Own or the Machine Doesn't Work
This one will make me go through some C64, Tandy Color Computer, TI 99 4A, MSX, Amiga, and Atari ST games.  I don't have working machines for any of them except an Amiga 500 that may have a faulty disk drive or just every disk is faulty.  (Ignore non computer titles in the photos.)

Atari 8 Bit Computers Experience  That is a LOT of Atari!
I have a ton of Atari 8 bit software.  Like gobs of it.

  Ok I have given y'all five fine options of a retro computing bent to torment or tickle me.  Reasons for me to not only idiotically add more to these collections (I uhh.. just got a C64 game in today I have wanted since 1988-9.), but to put some proper time and effort into the bastards.

  Let's face it: when your collection gets large enough and your time gets more limited you both become picky at what to play and paralyzed at what to play.  You become a lazy snob griping about every little game interface issue or you get the electronic games version of Analysis Paralysis where you have so many choices you just can't decide AT ALL.  As kids unless a game was a completely unplayable war crime (LJN NES X MEN) you were gonna spend a lot of time at a game and would even give the most obnoxious games plenty of your attention as it might be your only game for a weekend rental or a gift or a borrowed game.  Or even your own allowance.  You made do with what you had.  Sometimes you would get stuck but a magazine or a book or a friend would give you the little push you needed to GET DOWN WIT YO BAD SELF and then the bad game became a personal favorite.

  So you folks now get to kick me in the ass and force me to play stuff and not just be a big whiny emo baby who stops playing a game that dares not have WASD for a first person title, or who won't bother to read the manual and figure out idiotic ass 80s game interfaces.

  This is what you vote on.  To start you get a vote.  For those reading this blog or a select forum or Discord group online you are the special ones who get to help me pick a theme.  The Let's Plays themselves will also be voted on in a Something Awful thread devoted to Casual Let's Plays as this is going to be depending on what actual theme is selected.  But those nitty gritty details can wait until sometime Sunday the 6th 2019.  Provided I get enough votes to show there is any interest in even continuing this little experiment.  (In case of a tie I get to break it.  Otherwise it is all on YOU fine folks as to what I am gonna be playing.)

  My game time in 2019 is now partially in the hands of the Internet.  Let's see what happens!

[Operation Game Collection/Let's Play] Computer Games on Consoles, Construction Sets, and Themed Malarkey PT 1.

  Happy 2019 everyone!  We are one year away from Neo Geo arcade classic Super Baseball 2020 becoming reality except Baseball is still boring and doesn't have landmines or robots in it.  But as always I have silly collection themes and a really silly idea to force me to actually spend some proper TIME with my stupidly huge collection of games I don't need or really have the proper amount of time or space for.

  But before my idea let us see yet another of my theme collections that just sort of popped out at me one year and I have sometimes added to intentionally but not really.

  Computer Games on a Console.  It is a sad fact that most people game on consoles and not their computers, or at least people won't admit to it or give computers of any sort any real respect.  (Outside of our European and United Kingdom friends.  Which apparently enrages the console fanboys of North America something fierce.)

  So many games got ported once consoles got big again because it was both an easy way to make a fast buck off a back catalog with little real effort needed and a way to get some older titles in front of a new audience.  To the point many games like Skate or Die and Tetris are more known for their NES versions than the computer originals.  Sometimes these games ended up better than their originals thanks to sometimes superior core hardware or the game effectively becoming a Director's Cut of the computer version, in other cases they are screwed up in numerous ways to become a complete embarassment.

  But either way as a computer retro type these ports have some upsides.  Being on consoles generally makes these games MUCH cheaper than their microcomputer counterparts as consoles being bigger platforms means more copies were made.  Add in that the classic era that my LP is gonna cover primarily has cartridges or CDs towards the end of it and the games are more reliable and easier to get running than temperamental floppy disk drives and the computers that tended to have single button joysticks and we at least have a recipe for interesting if not always GOOD ports of classic or niche titles that might have otherwise been forgotten and lost.

  Now what am I considering a port?  Its more or less FEELINGS.  Do I feel the game more or less started on a home computer of some kind and the console version was a later port and not just a window of time that was always intended to be a multiplatform release as so many games are these days?  Well that is what I am going by.  I could do things like look up release dates and whatnot but who really cares anyhow?  It is what I choose to consider.  Some of these could possibly be considered sequels and in fact might be so!  Anyhow, let us show what I have to my knowledge.  Note that as a fellow from the USA I am not counting MSX or NEC PC 88/98 type machines as computers for porting purposes as in general most of those titles stayed in Japan or had very limited releases in PAL territories.  Plus it would make things insane.  


We start off with 2 failed systems and the Game Boy which was more like one of the biggest consoles ever if you take the original pea soup unit up through the Color model.  That platform had a ton of sequels and ports of classic games when it wasn't becoming a dumping ground for terrible licensed dross designed to rip off children('s parents).  The Atari 7800 was a casualty of the US 1983-4 game console crash and was more or less brought out due to legal rules, full warehouses, and a notoriously cheap boss looking to make some fast ME TOO money.  So of course it would be easy to just port stuff over as the 7800 shared the same basic 6502 CPU as many big platforms of the day.  And of course the Turbografx 16 which was sold in the US hamstrung by both the hardball Nintendo was pulling at the time and how inept and clueless NEC was.  Oddly enough most of these ports are from the system's dying days in the US and are all quite good and sought after.  

I have already stated the basics of the Nintendo era.  It was also the biggest platform for two entire game console generations roughly owning the roost from 1983 to 1995 worldwide outside of a few notable regions.  So early on in Japan it was a quick way to get some software out the gate to a hungry audience once the JPN version of the NES was known to be a hit, and later on much of what I said above.  The SNES had a fair share of ports as well though not quite as many given how it didn't use the 68000 CPU most of the big home gaming machines had.  But in some cases Nintendo themselves handled a port giving us the best version of the original Sim City.  

Now Sega Master System using the 2nd most popular old system CPU (Z80) and it's follow up having the 68000 meant they both got a whole lot of ports, some of which are even BETTER at being definitive than Sim City above is.  (And far fewer disaster level ports compared to the NES.)  SMS era Sega needed software and a lot of it so it was easy to do ports and also get around Nintendo douchebaggery.  In the CD era it was easy to also take advantage of all that CD space to put those big massive multiple disk titles on a single CD.  

In fact I would say in many cases the Genesis is the cheaper alternative for retro gamers who would like to sample some of the bigger games from the Amiga and Atari ST.  While a few have issues thanks to PAL/NTSC speeds not being accounted for, by and large the Genesis could easily handle Amiga stuff of the time and normally a little bit better when enough cartridge space was alloted.

 And of course as an Ultima dork I have a lot of the better Ultima ports.  In some ways they are easier and more fun to play than their computer originals.  Although the Ultima 7 and Wing Commander SNES ports I merely have thanks to the PSP EA Replay collection are.. not definitive.  Perhaps the opposite in U7's case.


  Now let us get into the other part, Construction Sets.  (And a few things for the LP.  Hold on we are getting to that.)

  See for whatever reason I really haven't been able to have programming click in my head.  While I do still want to learn and think older computers might be a good way with all their novice level self teaching books and all, in general my brain hates programming.  But I have the urge to create.  And a Construction Set done right is a fantastic tool to at least dabble in making a game.  Done well a CSet gives you a relative amount of flexibility and freedom to create without having to code.  Done poorly they are either little more than scenario editors or so limited or so complex to use they are insults to the very idea of a CSet.  Like off brand Legos that are just giant pieces you really can't make anything but whatever was on the box cover.



Here we see a fair number of the sets I have although we may discover they aren't unlimited at all.  Or are ridiculously limited in use and scope.  Or are more or less just a scenario editor with illusions of grandeur. (Or are meant to be in an above image but were misplaced for a moment.  Yet somehow STILL FITS.)

Psychic War, War of the Lance, Roadwar 2000, Thunderscape, and Power Dolls are all options for the Let's Play.

  Ok cool huh?  I got a LOT of silly stuff.   Now it is the time for you the reader to rise up to my fate and help me not just have a hoard of games but to PLAY SOME OF THEM.  Join me swiftly along in Part 2 which will also have fun links to older posts of mine with other options to peruse!  

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

[Operation Game Collection] NES and Game Boy/GB Color Game Collection Update

  I have as always been busy as hell and working on important real life things plus you know working.  Which means things I want to do like paint Football playing Orcs have had to wait, merely mocking me from atop my printer while other things have been dusted and put away.

  But there is always time to reorganize and see exactly what I own in various game platforms.  And today it will be the NES and the Game Boy in its Pre Advance variations.


(As always click for larger if that is your thing.)
 We start off with my complete games.  Titles I have with both the manual/maps and to keep them together in the plastic dust covers mostly so dorkily organized my actual Nintendo published titles are in Nintendo branded dust covers!  Obviously some manuals were super big and thus they are resting above in the image.  How as a child I was seemingly the only person who always kept at least the manual with the games even if I threw away the box has always confused me.

 And the currently loose titles with the few boxed games I have, mostly titles bought late in the platform's commercial lifespan.

 And to finish up some of my theme collection titles.  Ultimas, Batman games, and a couple Japanese NES (known as Famicom) titles I have a convertor for but in most cases those games are either unplayable due to language or are COMPLETELY TERRIBLE.  But the NES Goonies 1 title has neither of those problems.

 My boxed Game Boy titles and the one NES game that doesn't fit in my properly aligned setup.  The shadows are mostly hiding my Arkanoid Vaus controller.

 My complete with manual titles and most of my Game Boy Color ONLY titles.  If you think finding NES games with their booklets is tough?  The Game Boy is WORSE.  But on the Game Boy there were more or less 3-4 different cartridge types.  Original grey cases ran on all models and was the default.  Black cartridges which had color modes on the Color model that came out in 1998 or so.  And the clear convex top cartridges that only ran on the Color.  A subset of the grey cartridges had special extras if played on the SNES Super Game Boy cartridge.  Some of the black cartridges had little extras if used on the Super Game Boy as well but in most cases it was inferior than playing it on the Color.  (The Advance and its player on the Game Cube also run all the Game Boy family cartridges but generally as if it was a Color Game Boy model and not any other one.)

And we finish up with all my loose carts including ones for some of my theme collections.  (Batman, Alien/Predator franchise, Transformers)  One thing that saddens me is how the early Game Boy titles were great games on a nearly unplayable machine even for the time it was released (1989) and at least in the USA it would be years before there was any way to play these great games in a decent manner, and even longer in a portable form.  There were so many enhanced ports and sequels to classic arcade, computer, and console titles over the lifetime of the non Advance Game Boy family of machines and many of us never even knew they existed, especially given all the licensed garbage that infested the machine in the later days.

So if you have a machine or an easy way to play any of your old 8 bit era Nintendo platform games do so in this upcoming holiday weekend!  Avoid idiotic political discussion with family members or the tedium of sports programming and enjoy some classics or hidden gems you might have missed out on!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bringing Back the Rogue Trader Scenarios Part 4

It has been a bit but I actually got in a pair of Kill Team games (ok 1 and a half...) and picked up a thing.

Let us investigate what I have done eh?

(As always click for bigger if you wish.)
 I got to play my first full game of Kill Team, my Nurgle build versus Space Marines of a generic type I think.

 The mission involved those objective points being represented by poker chips although it would be discovered only one is the actual point.

 It was a good and fun match that my opponent said I more or less had in the bag on Round One but I felt tense and worried all the way through.  But I mostly won in close combat, with THE SMEGMATIC CORRUPTOR sealing the deal by taking out a Marine Plasma Gun dude.


 I did a bit of organization in preparation for ORKTOBER.  And find I could make a larger fort without needing more Necromunda bulkhead bits.  Sadly some home repair things may keep me from partaking immediately in Orktober.  Or getting the new Commander Kill Team expansion.  Or the new side game scenario involving a Rogue Trader and her retinue onboard her ship.

 But I did buy a squad of Loota/Burnas for Kill Team.  With my Deadzone box and the Orks above I am at least set for Kill Team sans the new Commander character box anyhow.  

 My teaching game with a friend had some issues via MARMALADE THE PSYCHO KITTY.  She decided to sit in my dice tray.  And take swipes at myself and her owner going near the rulebook.  I ended up getting her to move on via laser line pointer leading into another room.

 One of my AT 43 starter box play mats are nearly PERFECT for recommended game map size in Kill Team.

 My terrain worked lovely for the battle.

 Time ran out but I was kind of losing with the Loyalists because I failed to hit and wound so many easy rolls.  It happens sometimes!

But Games Workshop just so happens to have released a pair of introductory, relatively low cost board games currently only at Barnes & Noble bookstores.  I bought the one below and then like a week later got the other one which I will probably talk about in another post.

 I went there for this 40 dollar game.  If it had been at Books a Million which is the bookstore chain I have a membership card thingie at I coulda saved a few bucks but that's ok.

 Its only got five miniatures taken from a blind box collection thing originally in Japan but it is against the Necrons and I play Necrons. 

 Yes it comes with a minor little promotional booklet to try to hook people into the big games.  But its not super in depth or anything.

 A couple sheets of cardstock including double sided map tiles.  Sadly the map tiles are VERY simplistic and generic and thus won't have the utility I hoped they might have for my Rogue Trader scenarios.  

 The game does have a nice vacuform tray that holds everything nicely.  The three Level decks are for the scenarios you can play by them singly or as a full campaign with some optional advanced cards to make it harder and more interesting.

 Our five Marines in all their push fit no tools required to remove from sprue glory.  plus the fabric bag you use to pull out Necron tokens to fight.

 Activation cards and special event type cards.

 Reference cards for a couple of the Marines and our Necron foes.

 Other side of some of the cards.

 The actual rules in the rulebook is like 9 pages total.

 The rules seem pretty well laid out and clear.  I won't know for sure until I get time to get a game or two in.

 Yes it does waste a page on sending people towards the full game's cheapest starter set and one showing our Marines painted.  But not HOW to paint them.

 Our quintet assembled.  They look well enough without even using any form of tool, not even a hobby knife!  Decent!

Our Space Wolf (although outside of plastic color these models could be used for any Marine faction.  I suppose you could easily use any weapon loadout Marine of the same gear to play it with.  Or paint these in any faction you want but maybe leave the base edges at the same color as the game's intended faction.  Note the Primaris in the center and the Scout on the right.  Scale creep is real my friends.

  Sadly I have been busy as heck as always and things needed to being done and money spent on keeping my home livable and the like keep me from playing as much as I want (if at all given my hours of availability) so I have not had the time I might like to play or buy new goodies.

  But in the next part we will see the other game Barnes & Noble stocked along with this one and maybe a play through of one or the other!  Or maybe even another Kill Team match?  

I can only hope.  I can only hope.

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