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!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wednesday and Thursday Game Reports

Wednesday was a Sarge's trip. 1500 points of my Tyranids vs 1500 points of Space Marines. Things did not.. go well. I forgot the Move Through Cover rules, meaning my Genestealers got caught in a crossfire and did nothing but die. My Lictor pretty much had the same horrible luck for assaulting and cover, and was also vaporized. My Carnifex and Hive Tyrant survived till I called the game, but didn't exactly light the world on fire. Neither did my Biovores or Zoanthropes. When it came to vehicle armor penetration I mostly rolled 1s and 2s on the Glancing Hits table, outside of one full on destruction of a Vindicator. My Termagaunts did little outside of damaging a Landspeeder, and my Hormagaunts did minimal damage to an Assault Squad. Altogether it was a rather sad comedy of errors.

Thursday was Fantasy Flight Games' "A Game of Thrones" with Pico and Starfury. It was a learning game where I did horribly. Its a Diplomacy styled boardgame where combat is non luck based, and only various in game events are based on chance. (Card draws for various events such as getting more troops and whatnot.) While a fun and interesting game, it really does seem to be one of those games where if you start losing you might as well quit unless you have some sneaky plan or help from other players. For example. I didn't notice how many assist units Starfury had near a location I attempted to capture. I lost horribly, and suffered while given the game's ALL OR NOTHING combat (with minor exceptions), Starfury lost nothing. Then an event came up where one of the game's quasi currency units had to be used to stop raiding barbarian dudes. Starfury and Pico had nearly double the currency than I did at the time. We had to blind bid this currency and the combined value had to beat a target number to stop the barbarians. If this combined number isn't high enough, everyone loses troops, and the lowest bidder loses DOUBLE. Well, being in a bad place I risked bidding nothing. They didn't bid enough to make the value so I got hurt even worse than I already was, causing a nice death spiral. Next turn they both assaulted me in my weakened position and I conceded. The death spiral got further. I don't do good in losing positions, as I am forced to try ever riskier moves that inevitably fail putting me in an even worse position. Its why I do not gamble. I do not have great luck.

While its a fun game, the ALL OR NOTHING combat leaves me a bit cold and I certainly won't be clamoring to play it at all. From time to time its an interesting game, but the combat system is a deal killer for me. Perhaps the expansions mitigate this a bit. But it is a Fantasy Flight Games title and so far I have yet to play a single game from them (excepting maybe Twilight Imperium whose only problem is how LONG it takes to play) that hasn't had some flaw that turned an otherwise well crafted and clever game into a lower rung.

We then talked about the current game situation. It looks like it will be switching to Wednesdays, when I am playing 40K. I love 40K in spite of it being a silly game. (On an IRC thread I made a comment about 40K many folks found rather true: "40K is about as serious as a fart after a 6 pack of beer.") This isn't too bad as they want to run D&D 4th edition, which I am mentally, spiritually, and logically opposed to playing for reasons which are 50% sound, and 50% rabid fanboyism.

What is interesting is many of the reasons I won't play D&D 4th are the reasons Pico isn't fond (to put it nicely) of 40K past 2nd edition. In both situations we have a game we are very fond of and don't want to buy new rulesbooks and learn new rules that screw up what we already enjoy. It doesn't help that every book I have bought for 3.x is now useless. The 2nd edition AD&D and earlier editions all mostly work together and I love Basic D&D a ton so they have much use, but the 3.x stuff which was so powers and abilities heavy are now wasted. The new edition doesn't have Psionics, the Oriental Adventures classes are gone, all the extra races from Forgotten Realms have gone poof, ect, ect.

Outside of the FANTASTIC Dungeon Tiles sets I have a bunch of books that are pretty much useless, especially given how so many people are buying up 4th edition like its made of sweet candy.

All these rabid consumers willing to have their entire collection invalidated, but not willing to drop any coin for quality fantasy RPGs like Tunnels & Trolls, Runequest, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, or Castles & Crusades?

10 years ago I might have cared about how bad the RPG industry is doing. Now I don't think I mind at all. D&D players have reaped what they sowed. Maybe if they tried some new games instead of opening their wallets every time a new edition came out things might be different. But what do I know? According to RPGnet new editions are the best things ever!

Thus I am staying out of the game. Besides, even if it is a good game, I am so disposed to hate it I wouldn't give it a fair shot, and I would probably ruin it for the two groups that have invited me to play it already. And that isn't fair to them. Even if I do wish from the bottom of my heart they would hate it and play something else instead.

With luck Necromunda will still be played once a month at Sarge's to keep us hanging out a little bit though. But who knows? If nothing else, I at least gain some free time to attempt to accomplish things...

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