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!

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.

Friday, September 28, 2018

[Operation Game Collection] Star Wars the Video/Computer Games!

  It has been a bit but my Star Wars gaming collection continues!  Where it was intended to be the X Wing Miniatures game given the utter insult of 2nd edition and their blatant money grab hose job removed all desire I have to play that game or anything else FFG makes.

  So instead I will cover the electronic games of the Warsing and the Starsing!

 Most of the Nintendo and really older console/microcomputer titles.  Sadly I couldn't find my silly fun little Amiga sound chip that came in the Star Wars box.  It played a tiny snippet of the Star Wars theme.  I actually preordered Rebel Strike just for the bonus disk even though it and the other two Atari arcade SW games are on the main title disk.  Sadly they don't control the best as getting the old arcade flight yoke controls working in any form of home system has been really iffy.    Lots of these games do have a theme.  BEING TOO DAMNED HARD.  Rogue Leader, the 32x SW Arcade (there are like multiple SW arcade games.  Atari and two Sega at least.), and most of the Super NES titles are all brutally tough.

 The first of the Atari 800 SW Atari Arcade ports that was done fully sprite type based where the later Domark ones ala the Amiga title above attempted vector styled looks.  But had numerous inaccuracies in them.  The Starfighter game is why I bought a Playstation 2.  Both of them are great and that PSP Battlefront game had a good solo campaign for what it was.  

 The non SW Disney Infinity figures I have.  Hidden completely there are Nick Fury, Elsa from Frozen, and Donald Duck.  Plus Judy Hopps.  I have never actually played Infinity outside a little bit on the PC port without the nifty base to bring your dudes into the game easily.

 The Xbox/360 titles I own and the actual SW Infinity figures.  Most of my Infinity stuff was bought at a super cheap price and mostly just because I wanted little cool statues that looked neat.  The two KOTOR games are amazing and possibly my favorite RPGs of that era.  Jedi Outcast might be the weakest of the SW FPS games though.

 Where the real magic begins, the computer games including the beloved but stupidly unfairly difficult X Wing combat sim series.  The bottom two things are kinda just multimedia bits nobody would really need these days thanks to Wookiepedia and Youtube.  At the time it was lots of cool info and even the cut scenes from the original Star Wars involving Biggs and stuff.

 More Lego Star Wars because I seemingly have most of that series.  And the infamous mistake that was the Star Wars Galaxies MMORPG.  I did play some recently on a fan server and it was a good bit of fun honestly.  But the people I was playing with more or less left super quick again even though it was free.

And the FPS and RTS section.  If you want to laugh I bought that Empire at War expansion thinking I owned the main game but apparently I do not and merely had Force Commander.  Searching for the main title I could swear I had caused me to clean the hell out of my kitchen/dining/computer room and still not find it.  A search of my upload images on new game pickups also failed to show the original so either I am losing my mind or I just misplaced it in a hell of a silly spot.  Some of these games do require fan patches to work on modern systems.  Is it worth it?  Well for Republic Commando it kind of is.  And Galactic Battlegrounds is more or less Age of Empires II which is a fantastic game.

Yeah not the most exciting of collection posts but its Star Wars games I can play which is good because I can't get people to play Star Wars RPGs, especially not the good one.  (D6)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Bringing Back the Rogue Trader Scenarios Part 3



Well I probably should just get the next installment done while the fire in my brainmeats is hot so as to not have a backlog from Hell.

(You know the drill click for larger.)
First off Ebay had a coupon for 15% off anything over 25 bucks (oddly enough they had one today but I had bills and stuff and like to be a GOOD BOY so I did not get to partake in savings today) so I did some mulling over but ended up not getting the Fangs of Ulfrich set but I did get the First Strike.  We will get back to that one.  While I waited a whole TWO OR THREE DAYS for it I did some inventorying of those boxes of scenery.

 Necromunda all still there and with the light spray painting I did to them.  Yeah a few of the cardboard pieces have seen better days and I need to figure out how to revive them, but otherwise it is all pretty much here.  Sweet.

 I had to collate my Gorkamorka sets however.  One set wasn't even in the box sadly and shamefully unpunched.  But I had no instructions to assemble either set.

But a little cleaning off of the box and some images from said box and online helped.

I assembled the unpunched set using my painted bulkhead sections and this time used white glue as opposed to tape and it looks quite pretty.  In taking this photo I did see some bits of my stove that needed a little cleaning.  It got done.  These blog posts help me both organize my silly nerd stuff AND show me what I ought to clean.  Helpful!

Sadly I am missing two plastic bulkheads and thus my older set done mostly with tape is currently only capable of being this.  Lame.  But for 20 or so bucks I can get a pack of bulkheads to take care of this and have double GORKAFORTS.  Which could be handy given the new Speed Freeks thing Games Workshop is releasing in ORKTOBER.  Maybe.

A little glue to put on some of the never put on fencing options and its more cover and looks neat.  I did the same to the partial fort.  The pamphlet is there for a reason and its not for this post.  (I need to do more cleaning however.  MAGIC ERASERS FOR THE MAGIC ERASER GOD!!)  I have some minis and that cool clear 6" measuring stick on the fort for scale.  Primaris Marines and Scouts look fine on the fort.  The old Gorkamorka Orks are like slightly smaller than the Scouts so it probably looked massive back then.

 And First Strike is here!  A nice cheap starter with a 40 MSRP I got for effectively 31 bucks.  

 With these contents its like I got two of the Easy Build standalone boxes and everything else in here for FREE.  A nice battle mat, the interior box flips over to be a terrain piece, a 6" measuring stick/ruler thingie, dice, rulebooks, and four Easy Build boxes.  

 Yay goodies!  I now want the other 80 dollar MSRP starter box for the 12" version of that cool transparent ruler thingie and a bigger terrain box and mat.  The minis are just an excellent bonus.  Soon I hope.  Maybe.

 The two new sprues I didn't already have.  I was trying to be ready for a game that didn't happen (mostly my own fault because I have assy time management) quickly so I didn't just use an initial KT force of all the models in the box plus those two Easy Build sets more or less.  So I mostly just cut out the simpler Plague Walkers I needed for the squad.  And used my already built Scouts over the normal Primaris dudes.

 Just a picture showing how even a nice wash and then a flocked base can give a good looking miniature for those with bad skills at painting.  Since these two front guys are armed and look exactly the same I chopped the spike off the top of one of them as a quick identifier.

 The two Kill Teams ready to go in the box for transport to my friend's house.  Sadly this time they just sat in the car.  Note I used a different wash for the Plaguewalkers.  I think it looks great on them.  I am not too thrilled with the flocking on the Marines however.  I used an older bottle of Goblin Green that wasn't a proper color mixture any more.  So I used a Camo Green around the edge to try to make it nicer.  It kind of looks weird together.

 My Nurgleman Kill Team.

 This was going to be the Marine Kill Team but again I wanted a force ready QUICKLY and honestly I felt like the Marines were kind of short changed on ranged weapons so no Intercessors but I ended up with four scouts two of which are rocking heavy weapons.

 Of course I end up buying more Tamiya terrain, especially since the plastic scenery that came with Gorkamorka seems to be somewhere else right now and I like having Tank Traps and Gas Cans/Exploding Barrels.

 Like a lot of Bandai Gunpla kits it seems Japan is realizing the rest of the world is buying their models so they might as well include English on them.  At least the Fuel set has.

 Oh GOODIE.  More bits to cut and glue and clean mold lines from.  

 Sadly the Barricade instructions were somewhat unclear (or I am a dumb ass) and my first two tank traps came out derpy as hell.  using Youtube I saw how they were supposed to go and the rest came out MUCH better though I have some gaps to fill with superglue or green stuff.  The lower right corner one shows you how it is supposed to go.  You put two straights across using the wee guide line in the middle of them.  Then glue with what super little flat parts on the straights are the triangles in a way the open bit is facing outwards and do this on the opposite side of the cross.  Then throw the other straight down the flat line the two triangles create.  Ideally if you want zero gaps to fill in use model cement and do it all at once while it is all still pliable.  The problem is the connection points can possibly be millimeters in size and you are trying to make FIVE pieces all be perfectly flush.  It can be a bit.. trying.  

I don't have any proper simulated barbed wire to make the barbed wire fences yet but I am slowly cleaning up all those plastic wooden poles.  

But I also do a THING of use.  I read and then make a rules summary outline of the core Kill Team rules so I don't forget major bits of it.  I now share my PDF with you thanks to the MAGIC OF DISCORD:  https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/359061996655607819/484235599482454016/Kill_Team_Summary.pdf 











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