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!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let's Read (and maybe house rule) Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition! Part 2: Characteristics - Movement Phase

  I gave blood today so I had some time to read another couple of sections while a needle was sticking me in the arm.  Time to get down to the meat of the game.

  Characteristics is where we start and it is mostly like it is nowadays except we have a Movement (M) stat which is how far you move in inches.  Everything else is basically the same.  Three stats were dropped from Rogue Trader that were all basically smooshed into what Leadership (Ld) is.

  They actually explain in terms normal people would get what each stat stands for and what a high or low stat would be for with a comparison of a normal Guardsman (ok they say Man but its a IG profile!), and an Ork.  A bit of a quick overview of armor and the fluffy bits that actually CAN influence gameplay that Power Armor has in it.  We rarely used these rules but.. they were not exactly at the forefront in the rulebooks.  Much like Suspensors in Rogue Trader, these bits would be dropped in later editions.

  Now we move on to a page covering Squads.  For this, it is 2" from dude in a unit to another dude, with double that if you have the Dispersed Formation ability.  Generally unless you are in close combat you gotta stick to this and if you can't move back into normal coherency during the next Movement phase the smaller portion of the unit out of said coherency breaks and runs away unless they are in cover which they can stick to.  They automatically rally if you can bring them back together though.  Simple and logical!

  Cavalry gets a third of a page to itself with some eh artwork and one of those adorably atmospheric bits of in world fluff text, in this case saying how a planet is now lost to the Imperium and nobody is ever allowed to go there again.  I adore these little snippets of the universe!  Anyhow Cavalry, yes.  Basically it is the dude on the horsie or velociraptor whose stats you care about, though you use the animal's Move rating and add it's Attacks to the rider.  And your rider gains a +1 to his Armor save.  Mostly Warhammer Fantasy rules moved over.  Except it doesn't really matter as much in 2nd ed given the weird way Close Combats are fought so Cavalry aren't the huge bad asses they are in WHFB.  But still not bad by any means.  Moving faster and a buff to armor isn't anything to sneeze at!

  The Turn is up giving us another general overview of how game play goes, each player alternating doing the THING ZHU LI with all their dudes and then the other guy does and that is the turn!

Movement:  Duh, you MOVE?
Hand to Hand:  The part where both sides try to put sharp pointy things into squishy things that scream and bleed.  Who are generally trying to do the same.
Psychic:  Another part where both sides do thing so the side who spent most of their opponent's turn getting a beer or jamming a thumb up his or her ass in boredom can also do something maybe.  Dark Millennium turns this into a lot of nothing.  We will get to that maybe by May or so.  Possibly.
Rally: No this doesn't involve one of the Gunsmith Cats even if she drives a Shelby Cobra and shoots guns in Chicago.  It is when your dudes who were Broken in previous turns try to stop crying like Bill O R when he got caught lying just like Brian Williams and get back into the fight!

  The rest of this page is devoted to improvising and exceptions.  Basically DON'T BE A POWERGAMING DOUCHEBAG.  Roll a D6 if arguments come up or stuff is unclear then discuss it like a goddamned mature caring adult afterwards.  And it is also cool to come up with fun and neat stuff not in the rules with YOUR FRIENDS too.  With them.  WITH.  YOUR.  BROS AND BROSETTES.  Also sometimes stuff comes up that can be dealt with whenever with no real worries instead of being a massive sperg over exact timing.  This isn't Magic the Gathering with THE MOST HOLY STACK or anything!

  And this is a neat picture of fluffy goodness!  Leman Russ of the Space Wolves telling his furry alcoholic homies he will be back when Armageddonpocalypsepalooza happens.  Even if the picture basically looks like Ragnar Blackmane when he is qualified for the Space Marine version of AARP.  Rogue Trader fluff was still being sorted out and not really solidified into our unironic GRIMDARK in 1993.  It wouldn't really be until the middle of Third Edition that things would get locked down to what we know the setting to be these days.  There were a couple of novels that were already out of print and basically decanonized, but little else.  (PS I might be in the minority, but I love the Ian Watson Inquisition War series.  It got an omnibus reprint back in 2004.  Over 750 pages of whackadoodle Rogue Tradery madness.)

 Now the next five pages cover Movement.  And not the kind involving your toilet.  The ones where you move your wee mans about the field while your SO shakes their head at the (wo)manchild they made the mistake of dating.

  (Oh come on who are we kidding?  Women don't really play minis games.  And minis gamers don't have SOs.  Even if one terrible Something Awful poster says 40K comes up a lot on that Grindr thing and that he has gone to a dude on dude hookup and instead played Blood Bowl.)

  We start this section out with a basic phase overview.  Declare Charges.  Compulsory Moves.  Charge Moves.  Remaining/Normal Movement. 

  Charge declaration doesn't allow you to pre measure.  You cannot normally engage in close combat without charging first.  Otherwise your dudes and their dudes must stay at least an inch apart.  You will move double your M, and can't run through other models.  Chargers cannot shoot, not even if they are found to be out of range.  It is ok to move through terrain though you have to pay penalties.

  Compulsory moves are the first actual moves done in a turn so it can bugger up other movement.  You can be moved into close combat if such things happen but you aren't counting as having actually charged.

  I am not honestly sure I like the idea of having to declare the charges and then go through compulsory moves first.  Maybe its me just playing so much Warmachine as of late.  I am just used to doing one thing with a unit then moving to the next.  I get the point though.

  Now normal movement is made.  Mention is made of some weapons being unable to fire if the model moves.  The rules say you can move everyone else in the unit provided the HW guy doesn't move.  Turning doesn't count as moving though which is nice.

  Terrain is divided into four basic types: open which is normal movement, difficult which is half M, very difficult which is 1/4th, and impassible which DUH CANNOT PASS.  They give advice as to what basically counts for each terrain type and to bring up what is what before the game.  If I ever do make a new reference sheet for the game the terrain types will be listed as to what is what.  But trivia: Unlike most minis games woods and brush/scrub aren't considered difficult only really heavy woods and scrub.

  Obstacles come up next.  If it is no more than 1" high or thick it is ignored for movement purposes.  You can't end up on top of obstacles but you can not have everyone on the same side and its ok.  However if an obstacle is more than 1" but less than twice the height of the model it is that half M again.  This kind of could lead to modeling cheese of course, especially nowadays with the scenic bases.  Which makes the modern Warmachine THE BASE IS THE DIMENSIONS GUIDE obviously the way to do this while not punishing the art people.  Obviously its intended to allow things like Ogryn and Greater Daemons to not really lose much because they could kind of step over it.  Oh yeah, if an obstacle has a gate on it normally it is presumed to be OPEN.  And you can charge and have close combat across an obstacle provided you could normally move that distance even if the model is really stuck behind the obstacle.  You are still base to base.

  Then charging is mentioned.  The whole squad has to charge.  You may be shot in Overwatch on the way in and as mentioned you don't measure ahead of time.  Chargers have to go for the closest enemy model, but if the enemy is already engaged in close combat you can charge into a different model.  Like running charges are up to double your M.

  Running is like charging without the charge part.  You cannot run within 8" of an enemy and if you do run into it you stop at the 8" distance.  They helpfully recommend using those nifty counters.  Now I am pretty sure we NEVER used this rule and probably should have.

  The next page and a half of the section covers Hiding.  Oh yes.  This is where you will really need those counters of yours!

  You see, if everyone in your INFANTRY squad (No cavalry or Terminator units here!) who don't run or charge may go into hiding if they are behind cover or concealed by an obstacle that would be big enough to do so.   Yet again they helpfully remind the reader to use common ass sense.

  Once hidden, the models cannot be seen or shot at.  If any of the models move or shoot they lose their hidden status.  Models that stay hidden can go into Overwatch.  But this status requires two turns to do so, and no movement for the Overwatch status.

  To spot hidden units models must get within their I score in inches or to get into a position you they can clearly see them in like being on the same side of a wall or whatnot.  If they have communication devices which they say most units do they can inform their homies and the hidden counter is flipped over to Detected.  They bring up that some models have items to spot hidden units better and reiterate that friendly models with communicators will also be aware of the enemy location.

  I generally recall we never really played this correctly but the whole bits about who does and does not have communications devices is about as troublesome to look up as gas and light protection equipment.  

  To fire on such hiding units you can't normally fire directly.  Area of effect weapons in all their template y glory will hit our detected pals on a 4-6 d6 roll.  They mention this also applies to templates that scatter onto any hidden units.

  Oddly enough now they mention if a model starts hidden only moves concealing terrain like through woods or along a wall they can stay in their status.

  We get a really awesome picture of old school Tyranids fighting Eldar and then it is on to our next section, Shooting.

  Join me, won't you?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A quick bit of info on some of the Warhammer 40K boardgames.

My little current project to read and discuss 40K 2nd edition is also leading me to make a Something Awful Oldhammer 40K thread and of course the board games are going to come up.  So why not share some pictures and a little bit of info on three of them?

  The games I own are Space Crusade, Advanced Space Crusade, and Tyranid Attack.

  Space Crusade was my board game "holy grail" for many years until Ebay and a bit of money finally netted me a mostly complete and in decent condition copy of it.  I first learned of the game in Dragon Magazine when it and its' sister game (Hero Quest) were reviewed.  I am not sure I really even knew anything about 40K at that point but all the bits and gubbins in the box plus what the game was about sounded SO AWESOME OH SO AWESOME.  Sadly it never got released in the US nor did the two expansions bringing Eldar and Space Marine Heavy Weapons Platforms into it.  Which is honestly a tragedy because this game is great.  Not too complicated but with a lot of atmosphere and tension as your squad of Space Marines have to complete a mission and the Sergeant can level up and advance while doing so.  Unlike Hero Quest you control one of three squads of Space Marines.  The Ultramarines, Blood Angels, or Imperial Fists get to get stuck in and you can outfit your unit with various weapons that can be easily plugged into the models to fit your play style.  
  And of course another player takes control of the aliens on board the derelict space ship.  (A Space Hulk for you story nerds.)  And unlike that more famous board game, this one gives you Orks, Chaos Marines, Genestealers, and Necron units to fight against including a Dreadnought.  With more units to help and hinder in a couple issues of White Dwarf of course!  (And thanks to the Internet these rules are relatively easy to find now.  The expansions not so much.  Kind of like my efforts to get to play this game more than once every other year or so.)

(Click for bigger and apologies for the flash glare.  Detail over a bright spot.)
 One of the two English language box covers.  It had a couple of different names depending on where it was released with of course Germany being a killjoy and taking out the killing somehow kind of like an anime edited for US TV in the 70-90s.  (HFIL anyone?)

 LOOK AT THIS PILE OF RADNESS.  A massive board with doors and the like to make the ship variable in layout!  3d elements like bulkheads and said doors!  Hidden blip counters to keep you guessing!  Control tablets to record damage and battle honors!

One day I really do plan on giving this game a full review.  It is just so good!

And much like Hero Quest it got an Advanced cousin from GW themselves that used D12s and was a LOT more complicated of a game.  I passed this one up back in the day because it didn't have the toy value of what Space Crusade was.  The same with 1st edition Space Hulk.  Because I am stupid.
 Rogue Trader Tyranids and those silly poofy sleeve mohawked Marine Scouts!  

 More of that Oldhammer 40K art and the box back.  It has a simpler and funner game called Tyranid Attack which actually had a better variety of models in the box but both games have the same basic concept:  Squads of Space Marines (usually Scouts but both have rules for other forces.  GW gotta make that paper!  Except in a way where you want to give them money to make your game more fun and varied as opposed to obvious money grabs.  Also this is the kind of thing that got people playing the proper 40K game.  I mean you already have some models, why not go all the way?) enter a Tyranid ship in space and try to blow up critical elements of the ship that will break it so it is effectively crippled.  Both ASC and TA share map boards and some component pieces.  I have both games in the box as my TA was just the non minis components I got off someone in the mid 90s which means I could make mega hive layouts if I wanted to.

 On the left of each group of three scouts is the ones that came with these two games.  The middle metal guys are the late 90s metal scout models with the fellows on the right being the current plastics.  I think the metals are the coolest ones personally.  Sure they don't have the weapons loadout flexibility of the modern guys but they just look nicer to me.  I even modded two of them to carry the Heavy Bolters from their poofy sleeved ancestors so my set will be better looking.  (I am more than happy with the classic Tyranid Warriors though.  I love those models.)

 Using the same jigsaw styled lock on board connectors as Space Hulk (as far as I can tell my second and third edition copies of the game work with them.  Again, I don't have first ed SH.  Yet.) the board sections are generally geomorphic and can attach in a number of different ways to make different layouts.  The board art on the six layouts (with a 7th you could get from White Dwarf and glue to cardboard) are honestly a bit garish but it makes for some nice ooky corridors and rooms.  Sadly the designs can only be attached on correct side to side formations but a little finagling could maybe even split them into double corridors.  You just need to make a 1" or so connecting piece to fill in a gap.  There is quite a bit of flexibility though!  

 Even some info and paint advice on the sides of the box bottom.  

And a glamour shot of some of the other models available at the time, some of which I have never seen before like the Ancestor Lord and the Arbite with Power Maul!  I am loving that Chaos Squat in Power Armor too!

  I even have some of their electronic ports because my first experience with Space Crusade was a demo disk on a 1992 Amiga games magazine from the UK at a store that imported such things.  It is why I chose that issue!  Yet again it never got a US release but I did eventually get the PC DOS version imported on CDROM with Hero Quest's translation.  Have both of the PC Space Hulk ports of the old days though!

Not a bad game in the bunch here!  A couple that weren't perfect mind you but not a single bad title!

If you would like to see the Amiga port and maybe learn more about Space Crusade in a manner you can more easily play it well just go here and you can even see the other ports of the game:

(It doesn't seem as if the PC port got the expansion pack either.  Poopie!)

Here is an emulator screenshot of the Atari ST port.  The 68000 machine with normally 16 colors to the Amiga's 32 to the Genesis' 64 to the PC VGA's 256.  But ST emulation is generally easier than Amiga.  Also I wouldn't want to blind you all with the rather bright colors much of the DOS version I own uses.

Isometric view is mostly just for the limited animations in combat resolution.  Normally it plays top down.

  Now these are just some of the 40K boardgames made in the classic era.  I haven't shown 2nd edition Space Hulk here and sadly I don't own the hex and chit wargames they made, Space Fleet, Ultra Marines, or Lost Patrol even though I would love to own them.  I have the remake of Horus Heresy but I really don't count that as a classic era game even if it is a remake.  Much like 3rd edition Space Hulk even if it is an amazing game.

35 bucks for a 100 dollar game?  YES.

The back of the box.  Sexy!

  If you would like to see the same mission played in both of the editions of Space Hulk I own however, I have you covered:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Let's Read (and maybe house rule) Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition!

  Like my last Operation Game Collection post showed I have a lot of stuff and love for 2nd edition 40k.  But there were flaws, some of which were due to nobody playing it right, others just due to the non Internet era it was primarily played in.

  So we will read, discuss, and then maybe play test and tweak it.  The plan is for me to cover a couple sections a post, roughly ten or so pages worth at a time depending on size.  You see the 2nd ed rule books weren't really chapter or index set.  There is a table of contents with bold sections for topics but little else.  Given my goodie goodie nature and GW's rampant litigious nature I will only photograph at best two pages an update.

  Well, let's begin with the first three sections comprising pages 4-13!


  I'm not sure how readable this page is but... READ IT ANYHOW.  Stop getting your palms hairy and damaging your vision to Daemonette porn.  (Also try clicking for bigger.) The game is about playing with friends.  Not being a try hard win at all cost type.  Not an art project with a game attached.  It's a game with lots of things to make a greater whole, with different folks liking certain bits more than other.

  The included minis are 2-4 part plastics that are easily assembled.  No glue is even needed!  They give a little simple advice on taking them off the sprues and even painting them but it's not a hard sell.  They want you playing quickly.  PLAYING.  With the quick start book you could be playing mini games within minutes of opening the box!

  They even gave you a cardstock Ork Dreadnought so you could see how vehicles work in the game.   Good stuff!  

  Next they show how to assemble the card scenery and the Thudd Gun template.  After that they talk about the included dice and the specialty dice plus list what each die has on it which could be nice if you need to make your own with stickers.  A quick guide to the RPG dice and how to get by without them though in a slower way than just buying a set of polyhedrals.

  Next section is Starting the Game.

  They go over the basics of what you are doing with the included minis and they intend games to be one army list per side though with multiple players controlling various units as an option.   (Something few team games ever did.  Probably should have really,)  Point size is brought up with 1000 being Alan evening's game, 1500-2000 being a long afternoon or evening game, and 3000 being an all day affair. Which in reality is overdoing it but for new players it isn't exactly far from the mark.

  Table size is recommended to be a 5 by 3 kitchen table as the minimum with 6 by 4 or 8 by 4 feet being ideal.   Terrain is brought up and they encourage about half the table to be terrain which they say keeps the game fair and interesting.

  While there is some encouragement to buy more stuff or to get tutorials from you nearest GW store in general they are clearly writing to people playing home games with pals.  Some simple and cheap ways to get you by with terrain and even make your play space a touch bigger.  It isn't the modern hard sell at all.  It was about getting you gaming ASAP and encouraging you to expand and improve at your own pace.  

  Now we get into setting up the table with options for how to make the battlefield fair either by alternating terrain placement with limits to the amount in your deployment zone or for one player to set it all up, and then the other chooses which side he wants.  

  Again, more things to try to make a good and fair game.  Which is more fun for everyone outside of the try hard power gamer who needs to make up for their micro penis or something.  Who the hell wants to bother with a game if they just get crushed by bs?

  The actual deployment zone is on the docket, with 12" open on each side, and 24" between forces.  Meaning on average rifles are shooting at each other on the first turn unless you have lots of terrain and maneuver.  You know, what makes it a FUN BATTLE.  Watching your whole army die to Long Range guns is ass.  This way normal grunts have a purpose.  And also can get stuck in and make your camping wieners pay for being cowards.  

  Terrain set up is given a lot of text, with some options for random rolling and ideas on what sort of terrain you should have and in what quantities.  Andy and Rick keep saying that you should have an exciting game.  THEY CARE ABOUT THE GAME.

  Deployment and Strategy Rating (SR) is up next.  Basically take your SR and add a D6 roll.  They even cover what to do if you have allies and their SR.  Dudes can start in Hiding and vehicles at their Slow or Stop speeds.  My only issue is here is that it kind of contradicts itself a couple of times as to exactly what the order is.  Do you just use the SR?  SR plus the roll?  One paragraph says side with lowest SR must deploy first, while the previous one says "To determine which player deploys his models first and who has the first turn, different armies have what's called a Strategy Rating".

  So if I am understanding it correctly:  

1: Roll D6.  Side who rolls highest chooses deployment zone.
2: Lowest SR then deploys.
3: Roll D6 and add Commander's SR.  Winner goes first.  

(A bit badly worded.  We probably did this wrong all the bloody time I bet.)

If correct this means basically Space Marines with an SR of 5 will almost ALWAYS go before Tyranids with their awful rating of 1 since The Nids need a 5 to tie the Spammers' lowest possible roll of a 1 (which I presume would cause a reroll.  It isn't mentioned unless it was on the quick start booklet.), and win on a 6.  Plus the Marines get to see where the Nids are.  Of course Nid players knowing this will generally start their bugs behind cover as much as possible.

So fairly balanced I guess. The bold bit is me rereading something that I bet a ton of folks missed.  So even if you have a massively high Commander SR you still might not go first as it is just used to see who goes first.  I LIKE THIS.  It reduces the uber commanders a bit while still making them useful.

  Mention of Infiltrators is brought up.  Basically they can be placed in the Battle Zone provided the enemy doesn't have line of sight to them, and if behind cover or concealed they can start Hidden.  If BOTH sides have em you roll off on a D6.  Loser puts all of his down first.

  A quick overview of the game turns in the simplest manner explaining why the game ends after four turns (usually) and we are ready to go.  Ish.  

  The next chapter is Mission Cards.  Victory is determined by Victory Points. (VP)  You can get these based on killing and damaging units with the more expensive units being worth more than a smaller one.  (This could cause Tryhard Scum to try to game things with how they build units but honestly it is probably more of a pain in the tuckus than it would be worth for NORMAL WELL ADJUSTED PEOPLE.)  You also gain VPs through said cards.  You can randomly choose, select them, and even keep the choice secret though they recommend not because they say it makes it more fun.  I kind of agree.  I have six missions, with two different colors in the deck.  This could be one big group shuffle so there is a chance both sides would randomly get the same one or allow for both sides to secretly select.  A fair setup really.  Knowing the other side's mission can provide fun as you both try to succeed in your mission but deny the opponent and vice versa.  Keeping it secret adds in some tension however.  But the choice is YOURS.  

Again I am ashamed to admit we never really used them.  WE SHOULD HAVE.  

  They helpfully remind us that Spammer squads are worth 2 total VP per half squad as they tend to have their 10 man squads broken down into 5 bangers.  And a tank would be worth 2 as well with clarifications as to what makes a tank destroyed. (Generally one point for knocking something under 50% status, and another one for wiping it out.  Being Broken also counts as being eliminated.)

  They are then a little cheeky about winning with highest VP counting all of the stuff and then basking in glory and that having a lot of VPs means you really owned your opponent.  (1-2 is marginal, 3-4 good, 5+ LOL.)

  Game length is brought up with a couple options, four turns being default.  Options to play to time, score, or roll before the game for a variable 3-5 turn game are included.

  So far I am generally impressed by the rules and the writing.  It is a lot better than anyone gave it credit for.  The wording is a little odd in some cases but its a light and accessible style, almost like a friend is teaching you the game instead of some dry Avalon Hill styled rulebook for nerdlingers.

  Join us next time for Characteristics, Squads, Cavalry, The Turn, and Movement Phase.  About 10 pages of rules overall.  What other forgotten words or ancient memories will we discover?  Forget justice!  I want to find truth!

And I am slowly building up forces both to properly populate Advanced Space Crusade & Tyranid Attack as well as getting that Astronomican scenario some Orky ladz:

(Not shown: still sealed Rogue Trader blister pack of three Genestealer Hybrids.  I only paid 20 bucks for it but part of me feels BAD about opening it.  And some plastic Nobz I got online from a bitz seller.)

Friday, March 20, 2015

[Operation Game Collection] Rogue Trader Warhammer 40K Update and 2nd Edition

  Catching up with my collection was somewhat inspired by this picture from Facebook:

(Many pictures can be clicked for ultra larger if that's your thing.)

  Would you look at what a 2nd edition Warhammer 40K army was comprised of?  While a little hero heavy this is clearly a force that is easily bought and painted in a reasonable enough timeframe to get a new player active into the game instead of bored, broke, and just throwing it all up on Ebay.  Not even getting into the increasing price per model of modern 40K.

  It was a GOOD TIME AND A GOOD GAME.  I called 2nd ed 40K at that point The Game I Love and I meant it!

  Thoughts of these days are what get me buying dumb things to this day:

 I have actually completed three of these games.  Fire Warrior I haven't because once Chaos shows up the game gets too frustrating to continue.  But if you want to see most of my computer hobby games gone electronic heat:  http://wargamedork.blogspot.com/2012/11/game-collection-hobby-games-gone.html

My Space Hulk collection is STRONG.  I think I am merely missing 1st ed SH and expansions now.  Also depending on what you think of 3rd ed's minor rerelease and a novella.  

  But for those who may have missed it, my previous Rogue Trader collection posts:

  Now let's swiftly catch up on my Rogue Trader collection!

 I got this bad boy at around half the price it normally goes for, giving me the first real expansion book to Warhammer 40K.  It has an absolutely AWESOME campaign I am dying to remix for 2nd edition and run someday.  

Squats!  Hordes of lovely inexpensive lead Squats!  

And the Vehicle Manual!  This book is more a preview of what the vehicle system in 2nd edition would be, albeit much clunkier.  Though putting a clear plastic overlay over a silhouette of your target and aiming for a location does have some fun appeal to it.  Honestly Epic did it better and you didn't need the overlay.  

  This is honestly why I am happy to own Rogue Trader but am unsure if I want to PLAY Rogue Trader.  It is a mishmash of rules and tweaks from 1987 to 1993 that never really mesh well or make a whole lot of sense.  Things change for no reason and the developers seem to be trying to adapt to what the audience wants to do, with much of it still kept to issues of White Dwarf.  It is a little like Original 1974 Dungeons & Dragons.  And like that game there are MANY MANY things that weren't taken out in the first expansion that probably should have.

  (And as we will see, the follow up actually isn't as bad as people think it is provided one used all the rules.  Which I doubt anyone actually DID.)

 The dual format Siege book!  Do you like to fight complex battles for fortified bases?  You will love this book!  And Floor Plans 1 is one of two tile sets I need to run the campaign from Astronomican.

And the backs of them both.

  This means I need the Dungeon Rooms set and Waagh! The Orks to finish my Rogue Trader collection though I am already rules complete as Waagh has no actual RULES in it and the tile box can easily be just printed from the Internet though I want my own physical copy anyhow.

  Then because I HAVE A PROBLEM, I can work on getting the issues of White Dwarf with rules that weren't reprinted in the books and the RT era 40K universe board games.  I already have Tyranid Attack, Space Crusade, and Advanced Space Crusade in some form, plus the remake of the Horus Heresy game.  Luckily I am cheap and easily distracted so I keep bouncing around and don't go too nuts.  

  (I am currently in a looooooong process of populating my Advanced Space Crusade and Tyranid Attack game with good and complete models.)

  So let's finally get to 2nd edition 40K!

 In the 90s GW made most of their games in a certain format:  50-60 bucks for the core game box with the rules (above shown as the Rulebook, Codex Imperialis, Wargear, and a couple small booklets for getting started with a simple army list, tutorial campaign to use with the included models, and lots of cardstock scenery like the walls you see in this post:  http://wargamedork.blogspot.com/2013/03/warhammer-40k-rogue-trader-styled_21.html ), and then an all but ESSENTIAL expansion box for 35-40 in mid 1990s US dollars.  Dark Millenium is that book.

 They helpfully split up the rules into three books.  The main book is actually the RULES to play the game in a handy and mostly portable self contained volume.  The Wargear book is weaponry rules, and the Codex is something that was more or less a "Get you by" book until the Codex volumes came out.  However Squats never got one.

  The problem with this set up is you really couldn't buy the books separately meaning if you didn't want the selection of models in the box you did not own your own copy of the rules!  This lead to a lot of people not actually properly knowing how to play the damned game!  And given the core rulebook being shy of 100 pages, and then the supplemental book being another 40 or so it made things difficult.  And don't forget knowing your army Codex rules...

Given the new 115 dollar! plastic Bloodthirster kit that just came out, showing some Khornate demons in the Codex Imperialis seemed like a good example of how things were done.  A thing I never honestly liked and still don't.  Half the rules for a unit in a Codex being in one section, and the points and other bits in another!  Outside of the earlier small size 3rd edition books this has always been a thing which makes looking rules up during play slow and annoying.  Plus it makes the books larger and unwieldly.

 Dark Millenium added tons of extra cardboard bits plus the Psychic rules that replaced the shorter version from the main box.  Honestly I think this slows the game down.  So many games of 40K got slowed to a crawl as we barely accomplished anything at the end of each main turn of play.

 And very quickly over the 1993-1998 timeframe 2nd edition existed Codexes came out, giving us ten books and two more White Dwarf only armies.  (Legion of the Damned and a limited Necrons list.)  To be fair the Assassins book is mostly a mini booklet covering four uber powered characters however.

 It might be hard to see, but the price tag on the Eldar codex shows what these softback booklets that were mostly black and white cost back in the day.  Twenty Dollars.  So much better than these enormous 50 dollar hardbacks for 6-7th edition right?

 A printed copy and actual included cardboard showing the quick reference rules to the game.  I really want to find a reason to play 2nd ed again and make my own more comprehensive reference card like what I did for Battleforce:  http://wargamedork.blogspot.com/2010/01/ive-been-workin-on-imac-all-my-free.html

Dice, some of which are custom to the game!  Gobs and gobs of dual sided tokens!  Tons of templates!  Note that we have THREE sizes of flame templates.  I have the modern translucent flame and small blast template on top of their cardboard originals to show you that sometimes you can even use your new ones to make your old game better!  I gotta say I love my counter tray too.  Makes life much easier.  Also see how I have a marker to show how much further out the Heavy Flamer template goes.  And we cannot forget the Foot of Gork/Mork!  Sadly I don't have all the parts to the Thudd Gun template which is a bunch of 1" templates you connected with paper fasteners.  Yes, you roll a D12 to move them around.

 And the Turn card EVERYONE should have used when playing, right next to the Mission cards.  And then we have the Wargear cards!  Warp cards!  Power cards!  Vehicle Wargear cards!  Strategy cards!

  Looking back?  WE SHOULD HAVE USED MOST OF THESE ALWAYS.  I'll get into that at the end of the post.

 And Vehicle cards!  Most of them required photocopying your Codex or hoping White Dwarf printed them in lovely color like the Whirlwind above.  These cards had a lot of flavor and were a BIG improvement over the Vehicle Manual rules.  

 The article in White Dwarf made things like using the new Gorkamorka Ork vehicles in 2nd edition.  Sadly this was the days before the Internet meaning if you didn't get the issue you weren't going to be using these things.  And not everything got reprinted, especially in the 2nd ed days.  On the right is a ton of printouts I got from a UK site that was devoted to keeping 2nd edition alive with expanded army lists and rules for later era 40K units to be used.

 These little mini brochures also showed how GW cared about bringing in new blood and getting them PLAYING.  NEVER FORGET THE SQUATS NEVER FORGIVE FAT BLOKE.

 With some rubber bands and a bag for all your D6s and RPG dice for vehicle hits, the DM box can fit a ton of stuff making it an excellent travel box.

Mine shows how much it was used and loved.  I played a HELL of a lot of 2nd edition.

  But looking back?  WE PLAYED IT WRONG ALL THE WAY THROUGH.  While we had fun which is the most important thing, had we used all the rules many of the flaws might not have been quite so bad.  Just like the popular online consensus of why 1st and 2nd edition AD&D are not the utter disasters they think it is.

  There were just too many rules for everyone to keep track of and getting FAQs and the like were very tricky.  If you hadn't gotten the right issue of White Dwarf you would have never known to rip up The Virus Outbreak Strategy card.  You might not have known that most Wargear cards had LIMITS.  Didn't read the rulebook?  You might have missed that armor penetration was reduced at long range!  

  Characters too tough?  Well if you used Missions and Turn Limits characters were seriously nerfed as they simply weren't going to accomplish a ton in 4 turns of play.

  But now?  I want to start a journey of rediscovery.  Where I reread ALL of 2nd edition's rules and talk about them and maybe even play a few games and only then decide what needs to be fixed.

  If I do this expect me to talk a bit more about the generally accepted flaws of 2nd edition.

(And be out of more money as I get a hold of the remaining three army codexes and the Battles supplement book.)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

[Operation Game Collection] Car Wars/GURPS: The Steve Jackson Connection Part 3

I have been a bit late on this one eh?  Well if those few people who actually read my stupid posts actually commented here or any of the other places I link them maybe I would be inspired more to GIT ER DUN yes?

Anyhow I want to clean up my living room and I got a few pickups these last few weeks.

Let's dig in!

But first since it has been forever, links back to the first two installments:


(NOTE:  You can also click most images for larger ones if you want.)
Six more of the small format Autoduel Quarterlies, four of which have the fun mailing covers on them with their little cartoons and other nifty bits.  I am worried I might already own one of them but I haven't had time to properly inventory them yet.  And they were cheap so at worst it is collateral damage.

One of the big format issues I didn't have and the new retail rerelease edition of classic Car Wars!  Because the Ogre Kickstarter proved to SJG that HOLY SMOKES THEY CAN DO MORE THINGS THAN JUST CRAP OUT AWFUL ARSE MUNCHKIN GAMES ALL DAY LONG.  

For twenty US dollars it is a good value!  It even has precut counters as opposed to the sheets you had to chop up yourself back in the day!  Sadly it keeps to the older format record sheets as opposed to the more advanced look of the last Compendium release.

Something they tried also was a stand alone card game in an anime style given the time it was released.  Obviously they.. didn't exactly get the best art.  The game itself is quite a fun little card game however.  Just ignore their bad attempts at anime people.

The thing under it is that Fantasy Trip remake's one dollar intro product.  A little solo party adventure you can also run players through as a GM.  Has a battle map and some counters to cut.  Neat!

And the previous attempt at a Car Wars reboot.  Get rid of all the cruft, all the absurd levels of megarules and nonsense?  Make it cheap to hop in?  Sure! Even everything in FULL COLOR and toy car sized scale so minis fans can customize toy cars.

But.. are you noticing what 6 bucks got you?  Repeating the majority of rules per book.  No construction rules.  Two cars and two variants plus some minor options.

They broke it down and made things easier to get into but for existing fans it was clearly a giant longer term waste of money if you wanted everything.  And things like a vehicle design ruleset, larger cars and trucks/vans, no motorbikes.  In trying to slim it down they gutted it entirely.  And as it did not do well at all it hamstrung the game as even the vehicles they do have don't fit into a construction ruleset thus even making it a failure in the future had it done well.

Its still basically classic Car Wars just streamlined to the rules you CARE about in an easy to digest format and some lovely counters.  Its just even weapon rules are generally split per book that needs it, while 80-90% of the rules in each booklet are identical.  It could almost be considered a prototype of modern BUY OUR SUPPLEMENTS gaming.  Just.. it was cheaper per hit as opposed to nowadays with 50-60 dollar core rulebooks that still need three or four other books to actually be a properly complete game.  

The rules look lovely though.  Very well put together of products.  And it removes the grid from classic Car Wars meaning it is well suited for miniatures play.  If nothing else consider getting one of the Vs books for a miniatures rules supplement.

And some of the bought at clearance GURPS books I got.  As I have said GURPS itself I think is an ok system it just gets lost up its own ass with tons of extra rules most of the playerbase seems obsessed with.  But the books are fun for fluff if nothing else.

This could even be counted as a proper game system for the amazing Steampunk setting of Castle Falkenstein which is a very addicting and interesting world setting but was also one of the first uber rules light storytelling game styled systems which I am not too keen on personally.  I go for lighter middle levels of rules crunch myself.  Enough to be interesting but not so many as to be overwhelming, annoying, slow, and forgettable in play.

And we finish out with the stand alone Prime Directive GURPS game.  So you don't even need to buy the big ass GURPS Fourth edition megabooks.  Just get Prime Directive and play Starfleet Universe Star Trek with just the GURPS you need.  And the Klingon book is cool fluff for their empire.  Making them more than the silly NOBLE WARRIORS of Next Generation and more than their Original Series NOT SPACE COMMUNIST RUSSIANS YOU JUST CAN'T TRUST.  They are by no means angels but they are interesting antagonists you can play as!  I should really see if they released the Romulan book one of these days...

Keeping with Starfleet Universe and GURPS heritage the artwork is.. nothing special at best.  And given your leanings TOS women's wear in the Federation might be distressing or hot depending on how you feel about such things...  As complicated as GURPS can get I would honestly rather play Trek RPG using this game than using FASA Star Trek rules and ship combat.  I mean I have enough Federation Commander supplements to pretty much cover the entirety of the TOS-Animated era through the Andromedan Invasion...

The core book pretty much has the foundational rules to pretty much play any of the Starfleet Universe races.  It just so happens the SFU is full of furries.  For some people this is a good thing.  For others not so much...  I am in the middle.  Don't mind space animal people races but don't exactly think what most of the furry fanbase really wants out of playing them if you know what I mean..  (And if you don't count your blessings.  Lovecraft was right about ignorance sometimes being a good thing.)

  So as far as I know/remember these are my Car Wars and GURPS things.  I may have more but if I do I don't really remember WHERE they are.  I could have sworn I had a couple more books but if I did my record of it is gone.

 You see part of the reason for this long term collection posting thing I do is not only to show off what I have, and to share my love/like/dislike of various gaming things with others but its also to organize stuff, get it all in the same place so I can find it, and then be inspired to get more storage solutions for them.  In some cases it even makes me remember things I forgot I owned!  Or want to go back and enjoy them again.  I HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF.  So nowadays I am trying to be more responsible in my purchasing and realize how much I already have that I don't get to enjoy.  

  Saves me a hell of a lot of money on Steam sales I tell you what!

Though if I could get more folks to try some of this stuff out and hopefully LIKE IT I might use it more, eh?


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