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, January 30, 2008

Warhammer 40K Battle Report

Wednesday 30, 2008 at Sarge's Comics.

The points: 1500 (Well, 1500 Ultramarines vs 1524 Ork. He had 2 Land Raiders. I felt justified!)

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The Orks include a Nobz mob with Eavy Armor, Cybork Bodies, and a Painboy. The blue walkers are Killer Kans, and the Demolisher is a Looted Vehicle.

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The Ultramarines contain 2 Land Raiders, 1 a Crusader type. Also included is a Captain, and the Land Speeders have Assault Cannons. One of the Dreadnoughts is a Venerable type. Both have Assault Cannons.

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Battle began with the Ultramarines getting the first turn.

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The Kannon crew was hit hard and broke. Ork return fire took out the Vindicator.

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Both Trukkboyz mobs would fall eventually. If I had remembered the Nob in the group who assaulted the Dreadnought would have had a glancing hit. I forgot about the Ork Furious Charge ability!

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The Warboss and Nobz used their armor and Painboy upgrades to survive impressive amounts of fire and take out the Land Raider Crusader. Mega Armored Warbosses make tanks go SPLAT. The big Shoota mob with the Weirdboy Warphead took massive casualties from the Land Speeders yet took them out in return.

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The Gretchin mob was ignored moving through the ruined building. They managed to kill most of the Ultramarine Tactical Squad in shooting, and finished them and the Captain off in close combat. Not the Runtherd. THE GRETCHIN.

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The Shoota Mob's Warphead used his power to warp them over to the Dreadnought where they shot apart the venerable Dreadnought and later charged the other one.

At the end of the fight the only remaining Ultramarines units were an immobilized, constantly stunned Dreadnought and a constantly stunned Land Speeder. My Boyz took out everything else. My Orks took some hits, but overall their speed and numbers made up for the massive quality and toughness of the Marine forces. Some dice luck helped too. Of course the Marine vehicles were an insane nut to crack.

Overall I am quite pleased with my Orks. I still need more Runtherds and one more Nob, preferrably of the Mega Armored variety, but otherwise they rocked hard. I was expecting to be slaughtered, but the early takeout of the Vindicator made up for that machine wiping out my Kannon teams. Red Paint Jobs on open topped transports are definitely useful. Being able to hop out willy nilly on a 13" move vehicle is HUGE.

My Orks showed up the Ultramarines for last week's battle. As far as my Orks are concerned, their defeat was the silly blue Humies' fault! :P

The question is now what to bring for next week. I still haven't won with Chaos Marines, yet my Eldar and Tau have both performed solidly.

Hmm.. maybe another week or two of the Ladz and perhaps a switch to the Tyranids or back to Chaos..

In purchase notes, I grabbed 2nd edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for 40% off thanks to a Borders coupon. Sadly they didn't have Dark Heresy in yet and the coupon was good for 2 days only. So now if nothing else I have the revised version of the old fantasy RPG and I can have more inspiration for Heroquest games.

Initial Heroquest Houserules

Told ya they were coming up next.

First off we added in rules to run out of the dungeon.

Basically you can leave as a party once all survivors are on the exit square one time per dungeon. Upon return, the majority sentient monsters in the dungeon (usually Orcs and Goblins) get 1d6 reinforcements the GM can place in any area by making a note of it beforehand. If the party is totally wiped out the new party only gets half the XP for completing the remaining part of the dungeon and may not search for treasure in any revealed room within.

XP you say?

Yes, now there are 4 experience levels to gain. For completing any dungeon the survivors gain 10 experience points(XP). For killing a monster the PC who did it gains a single XP.

The level gains require the following XP: (XP is how many points you need per level. Aka: 10 points from 1 to 2. 20 more points from 2 to 3, ect.)

Level 1 (Aspiring Champion)
Level 2 (Champion) : 10
Level 3 (Hero) : 20
Level 4 (Mighty Hero) : 40
Level 5 (Lord) : 80

At each level up, the character may add one point to any of the 5 stats (the 5th being Movement), but no more than 2 points may ever be added to any one stat. For Movement, its one extra point of movement, not an extra die.

That's what we have so far. The level system was created by me today, and the rest was either brought up or initially created by the group of us collaborating. (Multiple people make for better game designs.)

Pico is gonna work on some ideas of his own as will I, and we will then tweak to fit.

I've given him an initial mission of coming up with Ranger and Cleric of Sigmar classes.

My inital 2 classes will be the Bard and Halfling.

Info on those or anything else we come up with will be posted as it is made.

And a handy tip for extra Heroquest combat dice: The Marvelscape and current Heroscape all in one dice work perfectly (thanks to Pico noting it) in the game. The skulls and shields stay as they currently are, and the blank face counts as a "black shield" result.

Tuesday Game Reports

Last week it was Twilight Imperium. To make it quick since it was rather blah: Pico got attacked by MagicDrew on his borders multiple times and Starfury won by generally doing a little of this and a little of that while everyone ignored him. I had Turtle Land how I wanted it and watched a little Gamera.

Ok, gameweek done.

This week Starfury was out sick yet I had a backup ready even before the 1 hour forewarning.

Heroquest.

Since Pico is planning on running an RPG this summer I volunteered him to be the GM, aka Zargon.

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Lord Voldemo... I mean Zargon observes the party entering the dungeon.

Missme took the Barbarian, I took the Dwarf, and MagicDrew took the Elf.

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His first Elf falls, the victim of splitting up.

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Taking too much damage, the Barbarian and Dwarf run out of the dungeon.

As I will mention in a follow up post, we modified the rules a tad to allow for more depth.

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With a new Elf in tow, we make it to the Gargoyle's lair. Bloodied, we struggle against impossible odds.

Overall the game went over VERY well with Pico and MagicDrew both having fond memories of the game in the past. We went an hour over so I guess it did! Let's hear it for playing old games!

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The Dwarf and Barbarian dead, the Elf fights on against impossible odds.

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Thanks to GM fiat, the Elf survived and won, with 2 Orcs running away.

It looks like we will be expanding on the game and playing it some more next week.

I have enough various Warhammer Fantasy figures (which will pretty much be all I have since of the whole Dark Heresy debacle as mentioned in a previous post) to give us more types of monsters and classes to play. Having the Warhammer Quest game's components will help too!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The new 40K RPG is a sell out in days hit! LET'S CANCEL THE LINE!

Yeah.

Details here:
http://www.blackindustries.com/default.asp?template=BI&content=newslist&newsitem=350

A game sells out in a matter of days from distributors and shops. Gets HUGE press. So what does GW decree?
CANCEL IT.
Here is the email I sent to them to let them know how I feel.
Admitted, it probably won't get read by anyone and certainly nobody there will give a rat's patootie, but I had to say my piece. With how bad Games Workshop is doing every year you think they would be happy with ANY profit, but if GW has shown us anything, its that they are CLUELESS.

Here it is:
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I don't know if anyone will even read this message, but I have to say my piece as is.

I have been a long time purchaser of GW products, going all the way back to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader in 1991. I have multiple game lines and multiple playable forces in them.

I have been WAITING for this RPG for a good 16 years or so.

It sells out in THREE DAYS.

Now you tell me before I can even find a copy of it you guys will not be continuing the line past September? That there might not even be a second printing so those of us who don't blindly preorder things we do not have the money for won't be able to secure a copy?

WHAT THE HECK?

I was ready to spend a lot of money on this line as I love the 40K universe, but tend to find the novels silly and the other Black Library background releases to be high in price and low on the content I crave.

Now it looks like I won't be able to.

All I can do is vote with my wallet. The money I was going to spend on Games Workshop's main lines will now go to other companies who actually care and support me as a consumer.

The 50-100 dollars I was going to spend on Warhammer 40K Orks and Tyranids to bring those forces up in size?

I'll spend it on Steve Jackson Games' Ogre miniatures to flesh out those forces instead.

The 100 or so dollars for Apocalypse and the Forge World Apocalypse books? Rackham's AT 43 game.

The additional Goblin and Lizardmen figures I want for Warhammer Fantasy? Federation Commander products or maybe other manufacturer's fantasy lines.

I don't and have never played in a Games Workshop store so I don't have to use your companies' official products anyhow.

More Lord of the Rings miniatures? Hasbro's Heroscape lines.

All I can do to voice my displeasure with this tremendously boneheaded decision is to vote with my wallet.

And my wallet has just given Games Workshop as a whole a vote of "No Confidence".

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
(My actual name removed from this copy of the message.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now I have a preorder for the book and a supplement at Amazon that will probably never be fulfilled and me, a fan of 40K that likes books like this for the fluff if nothing else won't be able to get it.

This also means the two later core books planned, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch won't be done at all.

This bites!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Blast From the Past and my 3.0 D&D Character: LET ME SHOW YOU HIM

Today I wanted to see if my ancient Athlon 3200 XP machine with a Radeon 4400 would turn back on. (Its got issues with being turned off and on. Its why I gave up on it, went laptop, then went Mac!) To my surprise it did, allowing me to clean up the machine and empty its little 80 gig HD into merely Windows XP, Service Pack 2, and Nero Express.

It had a couple of files I missed having and a few I totally forgot about, like the free release of The Dominion War Sourcebook for the Last Unicorn Games edition of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. (Which is even nicer for Pico, who plans on running a DS 9 game using my copies of Savage Worlds and the DS9 RPG.)

So I am looking through pictures and folders and finding nice things and no porn whatsoever. (I am a goodie goodie after all. Probably too much of a goodie goodie. Sure as hell doesn't get me anywhere!) However in my D&D folder I found a little treasure from way back in the year 2000. The D20 character write up for a PC I played in a 2 years long campaign before I finally realized most modern D&D players are nitwits and most modern editions of D&D suck. (Ok, every edition besides Basic D&D sucks..)

Thus I shall share his writeup here. Not to mention its an archive of it so I can have it handy should he appear in my Basic D&D games in some form. (Its amazingly easy to plug AD&D 1st and 2nd classes into Basic with AD&D Hit Point values given to PCs and NPCs..)

Enjoy!

Name: Aaron Stewart
Race: Human
Class: Bard 2/ Psionic Warrior 2 (Most below info is 1st level stats.)
Alignment: Chaotic Good
STR: 10
INT: 12
DEX: 16
CON: 11
CHA: 16
WIS: 11

HP:
AC:
Weight: 160
Height: 5' 8"
Age: 16

Skills: (At 1st level)
Bluff 4
Climb 2
Concentration 4
Diplomacy 4
Innuendo 1.0
Intimidate 1.0
Use Rope 1.0

Feats:
Dodge
Point Blank Shot

Languages:
Common

Class Features:
Bardic Music
Bardic Knowledge
Spells
Simple Weapon Proficiency
Proficiency: Composite Longbow
Light Armor
Medium Armor
Shield

Spells: (All 0 level)
Detect Magic
Ghost Sound
Light
Read Magic

Items:
Backpack
Bedroll
Winter Blanket
Entertainer's Outfit
1 day of Firewood
Flint and Steel
Clay Jug
Common Lamp
Composite Longbow
Padded Armor
2 days of Trail Rations

Money:
2 Silver
6 Copper

Appearance:
Hair: Sandy Blonde/Light Brown
Eyes: Green

Family: None

About Aaron:

Aaron is a young man who is mostly out to do heroic stuff and have a good
time. Both of these things will lead him to cute girls, so he believes. He
was brought up in an orphanage where he tended to read anything he could get
his hands on, while trying to get the less intelligent kids there to do his
bidding. When he was 14 he managed to scrape up enough money to go to a pub
and listen to the musicians there. He had heard the street performers
before, but never could get into a pub to hear the REAL musicians and
storytellers like the ones in books.

It changed his life.

This beautiful, but sad young woman was playing songs of such complexity and
detail Aaron knew what he wanted to do: be a Bard. He was able to talk
this woman for a few minutes that night, and found out who she was. (Alys
Dreamchaser, NG Bard 11/Cleric of Bahamut 3) She took pity on this wide
eyed and charming kid, and gave him a letter and some money to get some
basic training with the local bards in the area who were willing to train
others in their craft. He has not seen her since that night, but hopes to
find her and repay her for her kindness someday.

While it wasn't a large amount of training, it was enough to give him
something to work off of. He took the knowledge he was given and spent alot
of time putting on shows for his fellow orphans, who usually gave him a
spare copper or two, though usually any candies or sweetcakes they might
have had. This is why he has a bit of a tummy to him. He also discovered
that girls really liked music.

To him this was the greatest thing ever.

Sadly, when one of his fellow orphans decided to show him just how moving
his music really was to her, the people running the orphanage chose to send
him out the door. On his ass. Instead of letting himself get down about
it, he chose this time to take what little money he had left and go
exploring, something the heroes and heroines of storybooks did. During this
time he played small pubs and inns, which gave him little money, but the
free room, board, and alcohol more than made up for it. He tended to spend
any money he made on charity and revelry anyways.

He mostly prefers to tell stories over actual singing as of late, and has
spent the last year getting some notoriety for this. Unfortuneately, not
all of it is good. Most of his stories tend to be on the dirty side, and
usually about self reliant women. This tends to get him a number of female
fans. Sadly for him, most of them are middle aged women whose husbands are
not very attentive to their wives, yet jealous and generally of foul
temperament.

Needless to say, young Aaron does not do many repeat engagements.

Currently he is travelling from the last town he was at, where his story
about a Drow Elf Sorceress, an inn, and 20 Paladins upset the local clergy
quite a bit.

(Rufus' Note: I actually made this song/poem back in the day on a chat RP site. It was a soft R in content IIRC. Sadly, its totally lost to the ether. But I do like I took something and used it somewhere else. Never let a good idea go to waste!)

When encountered, Aaron usually seems to be overly cheerful and
enthusiastic, though with a mouth that makes sailors blush at some of the
expletives that come out of it. He tends to try to do the right thing
without thinking of the consequences.

He prefers to talk his way out of trouble wherever he can, but is more than
willing to use tricks, traps, and the occasional shots from his Composite
Longbow when he has to, usually while telling his enemies how their sheep
will be widows when he is through with them.

To him, life is one big adventure from a storybook.

And with a little luck, he won't reach the chapter where thousands of women
grieve over his gravesite for a couple of decades!

He has since been konked on the head, which has awakened his latent psychic
powers he has honed into something useful thanks to a trainer in a town.

He still shoots his bow at things, he has just gotten MUCH better at it.

Wednesday Game Report

Last Wednesday was another Warhammer 40K game down at Sarge's. 4 players, 1000 points per player. I was playing my Orks under the new codex for the first time, and my teammate was Ultramarines pretending to be Tau (aka: not really moving). On the other side it was Vostroyan Imperial Guard (with 4+ armor saves and only ONE TANK), and Necrons.

My side lost, but it was a fairly good battle.

The highlights mostly came from my Orks. A Warboss got across the entire battlefield, eventually punched out a Leman Russ Demolisher and then died to Necron Destroyers that made things difficult for my side. I actually killed things with a small Gretchin mob and got them into the Vostroyan's deployment area. The battle was mostly decided by long range firepower with a few close combats, mostly with my Orks running willy nilly around the field. Well, one half of it anyhow. Sadly, my Kannons were in a terrible position which might have turned the tide. The Ultramarines mostly stayed still and shot, failed some morale tests, and had both Dreadnoughts elminated.

Thoughts on my Orks: They can be VERY effective with smart uses of cover to offset their mostly nonexistant armor saves. You can get a lot of guys on the field for very few points. In a 1000 point game I had 3 Rokkit Armed Buggies, Mega Armored Warboss, 5 Nobz with Eavy Armor and Trukk, a 20 strong Boys mob with Shootas, Nob, Big Shoota, Rokkit, Wierdboy Warphead, a 3 strong Killa Kans unit, and 3 Kannons. That's SMALL for an Ork force! 42 models on the field!

The Warphead Wierdboy came in very handy, though I never rolled the power I wanted most which allows the mob he is in to deepstrike anywhere he wants on the field. I did immobilize and stun the Demolisher with him though.

The Nobz mob needs some help though. I got an older Painboy for 10 bucks with Grot Assistant which should make them a bit more survivable and that leaves me 3 more spots on the Trukk for either 3 more Eavy Armored Nobz, a Mega Armored Nob and a Grot of some sort. I'll have to decide which works best.

This week I will most likely try the Looted Demolisher and my 2 Trukk Mobs and see what they can do.

Quote of the Game: Its getting late and I want to get to my game shopping before going to see Cloverfield. Its clearly over for us as there is half a marine squad, and the shambles of my units that somehow survived. The Ultramarines player says "Its never over!" Me: "Well my Orcs tell your Ultramarines 'Go f*&k yourselves! We're leaving!' "

It got a lot of laughs.

It was apparently quite Orky. But I was in rare Orky form as is that day with lame Ork accents and proper Orky getting stuck in and whatnot.

Can I be even Orkier this week? Do I even want to?

HELL YEAH!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A quick update and some thoughts on Cloverfield

I now have to update my continuing chronicles in Moo2, the game of Wizardry: Crusaders of the Dark Savant I started up, the Twilight Imperium game we finished Tuesday, AND the epic Warhammer 40,000 game we played Wednesday at Sarge's. (Preview: ORKS ARE GREAT FUN)

But I need to talk about a totally awesome Daikaiju (Giant Monster) movie I saw today, Cloverfield. In short form, its Blair Witch Project style of viewpoint mixed with what might happen should a giant monster attack New York City. (One of the 2 biggest targets in movies for anything horrible, the other being Tokyo.)

It was BRILLIANT. Somehow they made me care about a bunch of rich 20 something yuppies trying to get out of old NYC. They stick together and put it all on the line to save one another. The monster is creepy and impressive enough, seeming to be a lot like the Gryphon design for the mid 90s American Godzilla film that was never made. Its raw. It doesn't hold your hand or explain anything. Its brutal. I saw it in a nearly deserted theater near the Crystal Mall in Waterford as opposed to my superior local theater with the stadium seating. (Many people at Sarge's consider it worth the extra driving distance to go to the theater I am mentioning.) But I was closer if I wanted to catch it in time. (Had to pick up Advance Wars Days of Ruin and grabbed the new Warhammer 40K portable game at the same time. I got the PSP version for graphics fidelity.) Maybe 6 other people were in the theater, all behind me. (I tend to sit in the middle of the theater for THE perfect spot.) It made it all the more raw and intense, and the drive home in the post 11PM cold was a tad disturbing.

Even better is my iPod was on shuffle and the song that popped up when I started my car?
New York Minute. (The Eagles version on their Hell Freezes Over album.)

TOO PERFECT.

In the annals of Daikaiju films Cloverfield is either a little above or a little below the king of the genre, Godzilla. (The 1954 original. Japanese or Raymond Burr version.)

I'm not sure I will be able to watch the genre in the same way any more though. It has changed and transformed the genre.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Master of Orion 2: Battle at Antares

With the computer (mostly!) back up to snuff, I brought this lovely game over to it. The increase in speed is immense.
I run it under Dosbox and the Dapplegrey front end. As a late Dos early CDROM program its one of the nice ones that is happy to have the full CDROM transported over the HD in order to play it. (In fact you HAVE TO. It needs the original files for the copy protection check.)

Moo2 as it is known, is a 4X space game. EXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate.

This will be the chronicle of Lord Tigatron of the Cyber Mrrshan Empire. A custom race with Low G penalties to offset improved farming, income, and cybernetics.

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The race for the galaxy is going fairly well. I lost my first colony ship to a Space Dragon at Yen, but I have recovered nicely. I am the blue colored text planets.

Going from top to bottom on the right side of the screen we have Income, Fleet Capabilities, Freighters, and Science.

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As you can see, I am in a solid third place position right now.

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The GNN keeps us up to date with galatic events. The Psilons have taken the Gnolams out. I would rescue them to join my people, but it will be a long battle.

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My science officer, Mr Snugglewuzzykins reports on our newest bit of tech.

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What to learn next? They all look so tempting!

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Diplomacy is important too!

I attempted to have the other surviving races join me to take down the hated Psilons whose threat outstripped us all. Sadly, most everyone else only wanted me to help them pick on another weaker race. Wussies!

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The Galactic Assembly meets to vote on a leader. Its rather hard to get a 2/3rds majority.

Sadly, the Silicoids were defeated by the Psilons next and I would be in the running.

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Leaders who gain in skill may join you to assist in managing a star system or a single ship. Their help is invaluable, if the right ones offer to join you..

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Your colony screen. Each one looks different depending on size and what sort of planet you are on. The three rows of kitty people show Food, Production, and Science outlays. I am making extra food, focusing heavily on production, and have a bit of science. The figures at the bottom of the screen show ground forces.

With careful usage of Terraforming a leader gave me, my planets are utopias. And if they don't start that way, I make them so!

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Ship design screen. You build your own ships to battle with! Here I prepare to redesign the Panther class Battleship. As you can see, I can add more weaponry. The top box items are changed automatically as you discover that technology. The 2 bottom boxes are direct choices by you. Older weaponry becomes lighter allowing more of them, or you can switch to newer, better kinds.

I keep developing, working on keeping my Panther class Battleships in fighting form, readying them for the war against the foul Space Dragon that destroyed my first colony before I barely began exploring the galaxy. After that? Its time to fight some REAL foes!

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Old ships never die. They just get refit into your upgraded versions. When you have them in port and are able to spend the time anyhow.

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Sadly, I am unable to build Titan class frames, leaving this design unbuilt. I demand the Psilons give me the secrets to Titan construction, and they decline, declaring war at my impudence. My fleet is already inbound to one of their outlying planets. The war to liberate the galaxy begins!

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My fleet stands ready. A colony ship for the excellent planet guarded by the Space Dragon, 4 Panther "b" level refits, a pair of scouts, and a number of troop transports, carrying marines for planetfall against the other races.

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We go to battle! The Space Dragon dies easily to the might of my fleet. The planet that we dreamed of before we achieved warp capability is finally ours. The first colonists who dreamed so big yet died in helpless terror have been avenged.

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We attack the first Psilon planet, defended by a Starbase, and planet bound defenses. The superior technology of our foe keeps us from easily boarding and capturing the base. We have to destroy it fully, wasting so much time. Our missles head to the planet, giving us some early hits before our bombs are in range. Our fighters race ahead as well.

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We choose not to destroy the innocent civilians with planetary bombardment and send our marines in to secure the planet. They die so quickly our photo ops don't even get a picture of them. A number of marines fell in the process though.

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We find members of the once proud Silicoid race laid low. We immediately begin work on an Alien Control Center to bring them into our benevolent fold. Exterminating these people would be wrong. They will do far better under us than they would under the foul Psilons!

We continue our campaign further to the galactic south, winning the space battle against 2 battleships, and a fully defended planet with our reinforcements, but lose the ground assault and blockade the planet until more marines can arrive. The Psilons blockade our home system, but seem unwilling to actually fight any of my well defended planets.

We finally win this planet, only to find the remnants of the Gnolam people toiling for the bastards. They cheer at our final arrival on planet.

They even dare to offer a 10% tribute if we will cease hostilities. Not yet. Too many peoples live under their bootheels. They will be freed first. Only then will we talk terms!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Heroquest and Orky Update

Went through my miniatures boxes and found most of the remaining figures. Currently only 2 Goblins and 1 severed Skeleton Head (that currently resides on top of a Space Marine body and is known as "Mr. Skullhead") have not been reunited with their cellar worn box.

I have also decided my Orks get my Imperial Guards' old Leman Russ Demolisher to use as a Looted Vehicle giving me a handy 145 points of destructive goodness. Most of my IG aren't actual Games Workshop figures anyhow, and I hate the Imperial Guard. Cuz they dumb. Glue a couple bits to the tank and its off to the land of Waagh. I also won another Runtherd off of ebay which ought to give me another 45 points of dudes for a nice 1750ish points value. A couple Mega Armored Nobz and I should be set.

Its Waagh, its Waagh!
Its big its green its crude!
Its Waagh, its Waagh!
Its better than bad its good!

My Poor Mac!

In August 07 I got a shiney new 24" iMac of happy joy. I sort of transfer stuff over from the little Mac.

2 weeks ago the machine's hard drive decides to die on me, leaving me without everything that wasn't still also on the small Mac. (Which wasn't much. Outside of it being hooked up to the printer so my tabletop gaming stuff is mostly on it along with my older iTunes purchases its kind of barren.)

Now thanks to Applecare and a home visit my HD was replaced, but I now need to call Apple and get my songs back, and hope my goodie goodie nature and abject paranoia kept the evil of the Internet off the old drive should Apple or whoever decide its worth refurbishing and poke their noses into the drive. (Probably not as the tech said because these 200+ gig HDs seem to be very unreliable in general. Still the principle of the thing! ) Luckily I don't keep passwords or anything on it and I am not exactly a porn collector like most people seem to be. In fact, at most I had less than 1/3rd of a gig if I had any at all on the machine.

(I probably had more pictures of toy robots in data space taken up than in 1 video involving an elf and a pirate if it happened to be on the drive. And I actually paid for it. Yes, something is horribly wrong with me. On many, many levels.)

Not to mention the net is so full of scary people I tend to avoid the seedier side of it just because its well.. if you have been on the net you KNOW the horrors of humanity I speak of, if not personally, from bloodcurdling tales of other less fortunate souls. (Why are people so broken?)

A shame I couldn't have tested the drive in an enclosure to get the data off of it if possible, but oh well. Nothing on there was that important anyhow. I should be able to get my songs back from Apple if I bitch politely enough!

Sadly, I now need to buy the newest OSX revision to use Boot Camp again as the old beta has expired, which means I am Windows less for a few months.

I'll be checking on that next.

Currently to get this puppy back up to snuff I have to:
Re import my iTunes music from Little Mac and set up podcast subscriptions. DONE
Reinstall VLC player and Windows Media Player for audio stuff. WORKING ON IT.
Reinstall and patch Comic Life Deluxe.
Get my Widgets set up again.
Boot Camp and Windows XP if possible. NEED LEOPARD.
Cry a lot at all the time I have wasted so far. DONE
Getting the rest of my bookmarks set up. 40%
Setting up Dosbox, Flash, and any other of that sort of program I need to have on the machine. MOSTLY DONE. SILICOIDS CAN KISS MY ASS DAMN YOU!
Stuffit Expander. DONE.
Miss all my robot pictures lost to a dead hard drive. :( DONE.
Install/Patch World of Warcraft for whenever I go back.

Friday, January 18, 2008

40K Ork Codex first look and other ruminations

While wasting more time and money getting some tests done (again!) at the hospital I had some time to start reading the newest Ork codex for Warhammer 40K.

The good news is that its true to old school Orkiness, though nowhere near as hilarious as "Ere We Go!" was back in the Rogue Trader days. It also keeps the easy to build setup from the newest Chaos Marines codex and adds in handy page references for whatever fiddly bits that aren't located under this or that part of wargear and such. I built an army first time without having done much but browse the book (as mentioned on the last post) in under 30 minutes or so. According to the Codex, I can do about 1604 points total. I need to model wrecking balls on all 3 of my Trukks, but other than that its as shown.

Looking at my army, I need about 3 or 4 more Runtherds (need 1 per 10 Gretchin), another Trukk for one of my Boyz squads, some more 'Eavy Armored Nobz, and more of the cool WW2 German outfit inspired 2nd edition era Stormboyz to be a decently flexible force. With careful ebaying and such I can probably take care of it for well under 50 bucks or so. About 120 at current Games Workshop MSRP but I am not stupid and am also cheap. And broke. 2 for 1 in the NO WAY category.

I have also started looking to see what I need to replace in my Heroquest game. I recovered 4 goblins, the Gargoyle, and the Sorcerer who are now chilling with the Fmir and Chaos Warriors. The Skeletons are easily replaced with Reaper's Legendary Encounters line of prepaints. 5.50 MSRP for Orc and Skeleton prepaints is a good deal. Not to mention the 3 packs are gonna have improved paint jobs over the original single figure blisters. I can use a couple of the Skull Pass Night Goblin command extras for the missing Gobbos, and I should still have my mummies in my Blood Bowl kit someplace. I just need a couple hero figures, which I am sure I already have from various other miniatures games. Under 25 bucks should bring Heroquest into playable condition.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday Game Report and Other Stuff

Not a busy week for me gamewise sadly. Busy (and expensive!) lifewise however.
Another CT scan of cash wasting hell and my 24" iMac's drive deciding to stop existing in any form the computer can see made sure of that one. So now I get to take advantage of my Applecare Protection Plan and have a tech come over and fix the bugger.

Which then gives me another hard drive I need an enclosure for to make sure the drive doesn't have any personal information of mine on it. I'm a mega goody goody and use Google Safesearch and whatnot, but one can never be too careful. I can only imagine what the computer ignorant folks, the people looking for smut, and the folks who laugh in the face of international copyright laws have seen.. *shudder*

Tuesday's gameday was a fun time, but no actual gaming happened. Pico cancelled, and 5 minutes of me showing some videogames off turned into a couple hours of me playing through Resident Evil 4 and getting heckled. I really wish someone woulda told me to turn it off and get some game going! A good time overall though. And at least being on the controls kept me from eating the bag of cookies Missme brought. The other 3 folks ate the whole thing. Damn!

Wednesday at Sarge's brought a little 1000 point game of Warhammer 40K, Chaos vs Ultramarines. This week I went with 3 tactical squads, a Havoc squad, a bike Squad, my Terminator Sorcerer, and 2 Chaos Spawn. My Sorcerer fell to a Force Weapon in close combat. (Note to self: Force Weapons are EVIL) My Chaos Spawn proved their worth, being the big units on my side, and my Aspiring Champions did a fair accounting as well. Sadly, I failed a lot of morale tests and it cost me the game.

I finally got a Rhino for my Chaos boys, the Ultramarines player selling it to me for a fair price. (15 bucks, assembled but not painted) Given that Rhinos for Chaos are 35 points and my units are decidedly close ranged, its a unit I need more of. Too bad their regular MSRP is so high. Then again, so are Chaos Spawn, but just about any large monster base figure works as a proxy. (Today I used Pikachu from that Pokemon spinner minis game, and a mid 90s Chaos Spawn figure from when they looked more like an Alligator body thing. I call mine the Golden Backed Crocko Stimpy!)

I am getting better and better with my Chaos troops to be sure. And I am having fun playing them which is THE most important thing.

Of course my current 40K plan seems to be "Play army with new codex till I win then switch to a new one". The new Ork codex was available today so I picked it up. Overall Orks got a nice boost and the book looks to be filled with funny Orky bits. Sadly, Nazdreg and the Boarboyz are MIA, but the Shokk Attack Gun makes a triumphant return, and EXPLODING SQUIGS are in tow. My Gretchin mob now needs more Runtherds (1 needed for every 10 Grots), and EVERY Trukk now needs a Wrecking Ball. (S9 hit on a 4+ to a target within a few inches of the Trukk!)

Once I get some more time I will have more thoughts on the new codex.

*Sigh* I hate busy but not gaming busy weeks...

I'll hate hard drives even more if I can't recover the data off the iMac drive that is gonna be replaced..

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Wednesday Game and Trip Report

Went down to Sarge's today to hopefully get in a game of Warhammer 40K. Early on not too many people were there, or were already engaged in a game. (2 dudes playing a 40K game, 2 setting up Warmachine, the guys playing Guilty Gear on the PS2.)

A little while later a couple more folks showed up, the first 40K game ended with the Ultramarines taking out the Necron's Nightbringer all but ending that conflict in a painful manner. Great paintjob on the big guy though.

Thus a 2250 point per side game was set up. 750 each of Imperial Guard, Necrons, and Witch Hunters vs Chaos and Ultramarines. I did 1250 and the Ultrasmurfs got 1500. We set up in a wide line, with one flank being full of Khorne Berzerkers, Space Marines, Terminators, and characters. The other side had my 2 Chaos Dreadnoughts lined up to delay that flank before being destroyed or going crazy. The center was held by my Havoc Squad, a trio of Chaos Spawn, and another Berzerker Squad. The Necrons were arrayed mostly towards the center and Dreadnought side while the Witch Hunters and Captain Schaefer lead (all Heavy Support though only 1 tank, a Leman Russ) tended to cover the side of the board with the Terminators. (And sadly a river which slowed down our assault troops. And had an Inquisitor Orbital Bombardment targeting it. :( )

The Imperial Necron side got first turn which was largely uneventful. Our turn was just as useless, especially when my Lascannon equipped Dreadnought only rolled a 1 for effect on the Leman Russ, which was ignored due to armor wargear.

It continued on with the horde of Scarabs and this bug thing that makes them assaulting or being assaulted by my Chaos Spawn in the near center, eventually leaving all 3 Spawns victorious though heavily wounded. They would be attacked by an Imperial Guard elite unit of some kind who would then fall back into the woods with its 1 survivor getting Necron assistance that would eventually kill the monsters after heavy casualties.

The Leman Russ and Necrons made short work of the Dreadnoughts, and some Seraphim Sisters and Necron Wraiths assaulted the center Berzerkers and Havocs, eventually leaving only 2 Berzerkers and the Havoc's Champion to offer their own skulls for Khorne at the game's end. (The few Wraiths that fell kept getting back up. The Seraphim were mostly wiped out.)

On the other side of the battlefield the Space Marines made short work of the Sisters of Battle squad in cover, the Terminators leading the way across the river, mostly laughing at the ineffective return fire from the Imperial Guard Heavy Weapon teams.

Well, until an orbital bombardment wiped the entire group out, leaving my Khorne Berzerkers and Lord on a Juggernaut to fall to another orbital hit and a Sister's melta weapon respectively. (That Orbital Bombardment was THE game winner.)

The Ultramarines' Psyker on a bike used his power to send the Sister's leader into the warp, but the bombardments were too much to take and as Khorne demanded I go to the bookstore, the game was called. With the 3 aforementioned Chaos Marines being the only survivors on our side.

Overall I would say the river slowing down our movement mixed with the bombardment was the big killer of our side. Losing the 2 Dreadnoughts with NOTHING to show for it didn't help, but wasn't terrible overall. The Wraiths not staying down was a factor as well. My Havocs never really got to shoot anything of merit. On our side the Terminators, Chaos Spawn, and the Bike Psyker were our MVPs.

It was a fun game overall and I continue to learn how to use my Chaos Marines in this newest Codex. I really need to get some Rhinos. 35 points for troop transportation in an army built around close combat is a MUST HAVE. Its just the 30 or so the kits cost that gets me. Same with the Chaos Spawn, but almost any large base monster figure seems to work fine for that.

Afterwards I made a trip down to Target where Marvel Heroscape sets were on clearance for 12.50. now I have 2 more sets. More dice for actual Heroscape games, and more of its lovely interlocking hexagon scenery for dozens of different games. Depending on my cash situation next week I may buy more.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tuesday Game Report

But first: MY XENOMORPH HORDE!
screen-capture-1

If I ever see the sets cheaper I will probably buy more of em. Can't go wrong with more Aliens to kill Colonial Marines, Predators, and anything else.

TUESDAY'S GAME:
Thanks to me having to go to a doctor's appointment and a traffic accident slowing EVERYONE down getting here, we were delayed a little bit in starting, but luckily not too much. As most of us had forgotten a large portion of what the hell we were doing in Twilight Imperium the first time around, we started over with the same races, but a new galaxy layout. Also I have decreed at my house I play the Turtle People. Because Turtle People are awesome. (They have a proper name but I don't care what it is.)

100_0639
My Turtle People are the blue guys at the bottom of the galaxy. If you look carefully, you can see my commander, a Gamera figure sitting in the corner providing moral support in my goal to bring the galaxy together.

Missme is playing the yellow forces which are some insect dudes. Pico (orange) has the humans, MagicDrew (green) apparently got the ELVES IN SPAAACE, and Starfury (black) got some green snobby people.

The game went a LOT smoother this time around and we got through a lot more turns, though it was still slow going.
100_0640
Starfury attacks the Imperial planet so he gets more voting influence. Its not well defended.

Not too much combat occurred, but there was a little. Missme used a Point Defense thingie to shoot down one of Pico's ships in an adjacent sector. The Turtle people took some time out from building Turtle Land to assist the silly Humans in getting justice by sabotaging one of her PDs. (Master Splinter must have snuck in using his ninja skills.)

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Pico's ships begin their assault. Missme has a ton of nice ship upgrades...

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Missme didn't roll so hot and lost that sector's entire space fleet. Pico then fell back and the Turtle people considered justice done.

There was lots of fun politicking and mind games and we were a little more relaxed about minor rules gaffes than last time. I am actually becoming more and more impressed with the game designs as we play. Its almost like something I would come up with in the scope and restrictions the game builds in to keep things sane. I look forward to continuing this game next week!

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The galaxy at the end of whatever turn we stopped at. Tensions are building up. Was Pico and Missme's battle a limited war or the beginning of the end?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Aliens Inspiration Part 1: Aliens vs Predator 2 on the PC!

As I have mentioned, I am going through many of my Aliens related bits of merchandise for more ideas and inspiration for the Aliens Necromunda Total Conversion project I am blogging about here.

Well, why not play the PC originals? Sadly, AvP1 does not work correctly, giving me graphical tearing and tons of other visual errors so bad as to be unplayable.

Luckily, the sequel does not suffer the same fate, and can now be enjoyed on a 24" iMac screen at 1400 by 1000 or so resolution. (It can do 1600 by x which is the max the game can display, but the framerate is a little lacking. Of course if Apple hadn't put a mediocre videocard in a 2000+ dollar computer it would have been nice. ATI must have made one hell of a deal with the land of Jobs!)

Thus yall get some screenshots and commentary on the game!

I am replaying through the Marine section of the game as its the only bit truely inspirational for the Aliens game. (Though I may be adding Predators and Terminators, and more "Expanded Universe" things once the Aliens part is complete, working, FUN, and if my players want me to.)

The game's graphics still look pretty good as you can see:
AVP1

AvP3
(Hey! Frack you too pal!)

Sure, they don't equal games like Monolith's (the same guys who made this game) later Condemned: Criminal Origins, but its really solid. And makes me wish they would use that engine and make another AvP title..

Sadly, the game is pretty much a massive linear crawl, with in engine cutscenes, scripted events, and the now standard papers and PDAs with more fluff to find.

AvP2
(If those eggs hatch, I get a face full of Alien wing wong. My friend Mr. Shotgun will make sure that won't happen.)

AvP4
(I don't see why they had such a problem with the Predalien in Requiem. I capped this one with a clip of pistol ammo. Of course its not a QUEEN Predalien, but still!)

AvP5
(I think it likes me. Too bad it can't eat through the glass, and I can't destroy it. Dang 2001 FPS games!)

AvP6
(I like my Xenomorphs EXTRA CRISPY!)

AvP7
(The Praetorian Alien after eating a few hundred Smart Gun rounds. DEAD.)

AvP8
(The Combat Power Loader in action. Rechargeable laser rifle, flamethrower, minigun, and SADAR all on one frame!)


Overall its a decent FPS with a fair enough story, and compared to Alien 3 and later films, it really doesn't stomp all over established canon. About my only fiction complaint is it taking place in the 2230s when Aliens took place in the 2170s. The tech isn't that much further advanced. Some slight modifications to the armor and a modified power loader are about it. I really doubt they would STILL be using the same weaponry 60 years later. Even in the Aliens comics technology is more advanced in 2180 compared to what they had on Acheron. The Alien acid splash is minimal, and most of the times I died was more to cheesy scripted scare attacks than anything else. No terrain damage and no squadmates to fight with kind of lessen its impact. Its one of the better Aliens games, but its not flawless by any means. It wasn't in 01 and its not now.

I also took some time out to play a little deathmatch and had some fun as the Marine, emptying Smartguns into Predators and Alien alike, along with SADARing myself when a Predator captured me in a net. You can't have my head if we both blow up at point blank range, can you?

AvP9
(I had been playing the game less than 6 hours and less than an hour online and I was already in second place. For someone who isn't fond of FPS games, I am certainly not bad at them! Plus its a PC FPS and not the horribly overrated and unfun N64 Rare titles. THEY WERE NEVER GOOD PEOPLE. Mouse Keyboard, have you heard of it?)

For things to add to my Total Conversion I mostly see the Predalien which premiered in the first AvP PC game (to the best of my knowledge), the Praetorian (an evolved "Queen's Guard" warrior which showed up here in this form), and maybe the Combat Power Loader, though its bit too powerful and mostly based off one in the Dark Horse comics.

Its a fun little trip down Xenomorph Lane overall. I have one final level to finish in the Marine campaign and I can be done with it unless I want a little deathmatch. The fact there were multiple ACTIVE servers at 530AM EST shows the popularity of the game and the license.

A shame the movies can't keep up.

Expect my next entry to be more rules thoughts, or me talking about the Aliens comic books.

Why I don't buy many new videogames..

Over the years I keep buying games, either on hype or word of mouth. Many of them only get played for a couple hours. Some are lucky to just get the wrapping taken off.

This was the season when all the OMG MUST HAVE games come out, which as usual will barely get touched, or take my attention off whatever else I was playing.

That won't get finished or touched either.

Or would have if I had been stupid. I wised up!

Right now I have the following games as barely played or untouched that I bought within the last year or two that I can recall. Some were bought cheap, some not. All have gotten a sub 2 hours gameplay.

Arc the Lad Twilight of the Spirits
Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence
Silent Hill 3
Dynasty Tactics
Suikoden Tactics
Fatal Fury Battle Archives
Future Tactics
Paper Mario 1000 Year Door
X Men Legends 2
Zelda Twilight Princess
Metal Slug Anthology
Dragon Ball Z Wii "Holy cow this game has a lot of stuff in it and I was vaguely nostalgic at the time."
Timesplitters Future Perfect
Phantasy Star Online 3
Disciples 2 Gold
Divine Divinity
Dig Dug Digging Strike
Neverwinter Nights 2
TMNT (Came free with the movie. Supposed to be bleh, but it was free!)
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3
Railroad Tycoon 3
Roots: Gates of Chaos
The 2 N Gage Splinter Cell games
Lumines
Metal Gear Acid 2
Gripshift
Jeanne D Arc
Spectral Souls
Vagrant Story
Final Fantasy 9
Neverwinter Nights 2 and expansion (the expansion was the only new release I bought this holiday season!)

And that's just ones I remember and am not counting most retrocollection games. Nor am I counting any pre PS1 purchases.
I'm also not listing Virtual Console and XBLA titles.
If I was counting unfinished games I got more than 3-4 hours on the list could triple or quadruple. (Probably closer to a factor of 10 though.)
I haven't finished Dragon Warrior 8, or Disgaea 2, or some older games like Baldur's Gate 2 or the first Fallout, or one of my favorite niche games, Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land.
I have a metric buttload of games to play already! Some were bought on the cheap, but..

I really need to stop buying games!

And from the looks of it, I am doing well. I did buy Valkyrie Profile Silmeria out of enjoying the previous one (which was one of THREE PSP titles I finished in the last month and a half or so..), but it was a sub 30 price.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Aliens Necromunda, Part 3

Mostly just brainstorming and inspirational reading for this update.

Deciding on my switch to squares/hex based play means a few changes. For example, the Necromunda template weapons will need to be modified. For Flamers, I think I will keep things simple. Like the miniatures play rules, except the amount of fuel used (1, 3, or 5) equals the distance hit. Given my initial statline idea for the Alien Drone/Warrior (M6 WS4, BS 2, S4, T4, W1, I4, A3, LD10, Armor 4+, Leap Skill), I may either increase the fuel carried per Flamer, or improve the Strength of the Flamer. In the Leading Edge boardgame the Flamer was THE weapon, outside of the short range and inability to shoot through friendlies. I want to keep the basic "feel" of the original game intact. I most likely will go with the improved Strength and remove the burning effect Necromunda Flamers have. Using the 40K Hit/Wound/Armor Save/Damage Amount/Ganger Effect roll setup is MORE than enough die rolls as is. I am probably gonna try to streamline it to keep the tension up though.

For now, I am thinking 1 point fuel = 1 adjacent square, S4, D3 wounds. 3 points of fuel = 3 squares in a row, S5, D3 wounds. 5 points of fuel = 5 squares in a row or a 4 block (2 out, 2 wide to simulate a heavy sweeping motion), S6, D3 wounds.

Ill keep the utterly low and cruel 10 points of fuel per canister with 1 reload on hand though. The Flamer carrying Marines just became the biggest asset yet most fragile one at the same time.

Calculating range is easy: 4" = 1 square. Up to 2" more? Still one square. From 2.1-3.9"? Counted as an extra square. Its a loose abstraction, but more than adequate overall and faster than rolling a die for the extra distance. This also means that Aliens with a D6 leap only get an extra square of movement 50% of the time.

For Alien acid splash, my current thoughts are T+2 of the Alien hit in the square, and a T hit to every Marine in an adjacent square. Its fast, fearsome, and similar in number of rolls to the LE game. Of course no acid splash from the Flamer, but you need a clear LOS or a willingness to kill your fellow Marines...

More Alien rules will include grabbing hapless victims to take back to the hive (Aliens themselves will be immune to Pin, Down, Flesh Wound, and Out results. If they are wounded they are OUT. No pins at all. ) probably based on Flesh Wound, Down, and Out Results on Marines. (Flesh Wound works as normal, Down means incapacitated and ready to be carried off next Alien Move Phase, Out means.. well dead Marine. For Alien combat, number of attacks used means what they do. 3 normal attacks to try and grab a victim, 2 attacks to do an adjacent square tail impale (Down becomes killed. Not good for Marines OR the Hive.. I might drop this one), or 3 attacks for a 2 square Acid Spit strike.

Marines will have extra actions too. 1 move and a shoot. No moves and +1 BS to shooting (Perfect for making Marines die to save a buddy!), 1 move and a weapon reload/jam clear, no moves and use a medpack, device, ect.

I have plans, but these are brainstorms right now and not actual rules as of yet.

As to the inspirational reading I have done? I went and grabbed some of my Aliens related books I could easily reach. HR Giger's Retrospective 1964-1984 (mostly imagery, nothing too useful overall), Giger's Alien (lots of movie making stuff, though some nice images I can be inspired by for the game), Alien Resurrection making of/art book (haven't relooked through it. Probably not too useful for this situation! I'm dealing with the GOOD Alien movies here!),and a Cinescape Alien magazine released in 97. (About half the magazine isn't even about the Alien films. Stuff on Starship Troopers, the Borg, Species, and Alien knock offs and previous sci fi thrillers before Alien aren't what I dropped 10 bones in 97 for! The other half is stuff mostly repeated and expanded in the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set, which is one of the best Christmas gifts I have gotten as an adult.)

Still, its all given me some ideas for more scenarios and something to flip through casually in this cold cold week. Its so cold one of my car door locks is frozen, and the side that isn't is frozen shut! That's COLD. And I so wanted a Slush Puppie today..

I've also continued looking for useful miniatures. I found a decent Power Loader proxy, but its a Japanese Kubrick as part of a set with some also useful eggs, and 5 figures. Its not worth the 70-100 bucks it sells for. Especially given I have Kubrick sized Aliens, Queens, and a Ripley already from Mezco's short lived line that were WAAAAAY cheaper. Sadly, no Power Loader.

Maybe Ill just make one out of Yellow Legos. It doesn't need to be perfect, just something decent enough to get the point across.

My next update will probably be a loose set of thoughts for mission structure.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My top 20 electronic game list of all time.

Mostly posting it as because I was too lazy to go look up exact dates of release my votes aren't being counted in F13.net's Top 20 list thingie. I am not alone in this.

But, I might as well save the list for posterity and if I ever feel like popping it out at various forums. Yeah, its not a new tabletop games update, but I will bring up electronic games from time to time here. Just not as much. Its the reason my blog (also not read) at 1up.com died out. For videogames I generally can't make constant meaningful posts about them. At least not in any volume.

Note these are in no real order whatosever.

1: Wing Commander - Origin - PC
2: Warlords 2 - Strategic Studies Group - PC
3: Master of Orion 2 - Microprose - PC
4: Phantasy Star 2 - Sega - Genesis
5: Advance Wars 2 - Nintendo - GBA
6: Defender of the Crown - Cinemaware - Commodore 64
7: Ultima 5 - Origin - Commodore 64
8: Splatterhouse - Namco - Turbografx 16
9: Contra - Konami - NES
10: Castlevania - Konami - NES
11: Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries - Microsoft - PC
12: Card Fighter's Clash - SNK - Neo Geo Pocket Color
13: Pathway to Glory Ikusa Islands - Red Lynx - N Gage
14: Phantasy Star Online - Sega - Gamecube
15: Dragon Force - Sega - Saturn
16: Star Wars - Atari - Arcade
17: Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic - Bioware - X Box
18: Fallout 2 - Interplay - PC
19: Dragon Warrior 4 - Enix - NES
20: Wizardry Tale of the Forsaken Land - Atlus - PS2

New Acquisitions

Just a quick list of recent purchases not mentioned elsewhere!
(Plus it makes me look like I update more for my one reader who pretty much hears all this stuff from me ANYHOW.)

For Christmas my one whopping present that was good (my other present was a small tin of popcorn. Yeah. GOOD GIFT FOR A GUY ON A DIET.) was the Crossbows & Catapults (current edition) Tower Attack set which adds lots more stuff to the excellent main game. I supplemented this with the final small expansion on clearance from Wal Mart for 9 bucks, saving me 5 dollars. I now have the full set and if any of the small sets are left next week on grocery shopping day I will pick up some extras for more components.

Back in the days of the original edition I only had the main set which I played with properly and as a toy all the time. I never got any expansions. Now I have made up for it by owning the entire line. Put bricks on top of each other, line up rubber band powered weaponry, shoot the opposing player's fort! More sets means more bricks, ammunition, terrain, dudes to get hit, and more elaborate fortifications!

One of these days I plan on making a more advanced set of rules for the game as well, something to make it closer to the original US edition where the main goal was not to knock over dudes, but to "capture" the enemy's base.

With help from the local comic shop's 40% off anniversary sale I grabbed 4 boosters of the current World of Warcraft CCG expansion (cuz its like getting one free!) and the lonely Warhammer Battle For Skull Pass set they had sitting under a shelf all alone and unloved. They probably got it for free from Games Workshop trying to get them to carry their full line. (Which hasn't happened. They are pretty much a bastion of Magic the Gathering exclusive retardation with anyone trying to play or promote anything else there getting nothing but dirty looks and rude comments.)

Its my THIRD box of this set, 2 having already been split with Pico, and now this one split miniatures wise between he and I (Dwarves for him, Gobbos for me), and rules for Magic Drew who is beginning his Vampire Counts army.

It effectively cost us 10 dollars a person for the set. Hell, I woulda bought another if they had it in stock. An Extra copy of the rulesbook for myself and even MORE GOBBOS would be handy!

As it is, my Orc and Goblin horde is pretty well complete. Possibly a few more trolls and Night Goblin Fanatics, but otherwise I have a nice big army. Probably too big really... Goblins do NOT cost much in points!

I also got a 20 dollars with shipping steal. The Terminator CCG. Both faction starters and a sealed box of boosters. Its compatible with the Aliens Predator CCG I sadly have little more than the starters for, and its THE TERMINATOR. 26 9 Card boosters and 2 50 card starters isn't a bad deal. I'm not very impressed with the card design or the screengrabs used for most of the card art, but it seems like a pretty fun game.

Game Session Report: Gettysburg

The date 22 December 07.

The game: Gettysburg by Avalon Hill, 125th Anniversary edition.

So Pico called me up and asked me if I wanted to get in a game. As I am a no lifer I gladly said yes.
I had bought Gettysburg for 25 bucks from the same seller who I got Car Wars Deluxe from. (The version with 2nd edition Revised Compendium in it.)

As it only has 2 large pages of rules (Probably 4-5 pages of normal rules book sized text.) and a big booklet that's mostly historical information, scenario setup, examples, and a couple optional rules, it was perfect for a quick pick up and play. I had previously read the rules a couple weeks beforehand, but with the amount I read and watch, I had forgotten much of it. (The same thing happens with Squad Leader, a game whose rules I seem to read every 6-10 months.)

So when I got over Pico's I quickly reread out loud most of the rules, pulled the counters for the 1st Day scenario, rolled to see who was Confederate and who was Union (I would get the latter.) and we gave it a go.

Overall, its a VERY light wargame, even simpler than Ogre/GEV. Largely you just add together all the attacker values and add a D10 roll, and do the same for the defender. Depending on the difference and who is the attacker will tell you what results you apply. Nothing, push back, push back with flipped over counter, push back with 2 flipped over counters.

As the game uses a rather small but handsome 2 part mounted map on a 2 hours per turn, 700 meters per hex scale (as opposed to many Gettysburg wargames which are 100 dollar plus "monster" affairs...) this is really fine overall at the level played. Honestly it would make a good combat system for a grand scale Civil War game with a wider array of counters and additional maps.

Victory conditions are based on damage to enemy units, and objective hexes held on the map.

For our first battle Pico rolled VERY well and I did very poorly. The few good rolls I had were countered by his rolls, or just the sheer quality of Confederate troops on the map. It seems as if Day 1 Union strategy is mostly to run away and wait for reinforcements. Given the amount of units that show up in later turns and on later days, this would turn things around for the Union which is VERY hard pressed at the start.

Overall I enjoyed the game and look forward to playing it again sometime.

Given that Pico is a big fan of the Civil War and its a decent "Grab n Go" game while not being mindless drivel, we will almost certainly do battle again!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Aliens Necromunda, Part 2

With the busy holiday time, I haven't had as much time as I would like to work on this project.
Over the last week or two I have made up the Marine datacards for the Leading Edge Aliens boardgame much of this project will crib from (it was originally started as something without any connection to it, but with the Aliens boardgame flash version and me getting a copy of all the needed files to recreate the boardgame anyhow, it just gives me more to work with!) out of cardstock and glue. The cards are certainly not perfect, but they are nice enough. If nothing else, it will give players a picture of their marine.

My 5 pack of AVP Horrorclix Aliens came in from ebay, giving me 3 more ground sized Xenomorphs, and 2 on bits of scenery.

This makes my current Xenomorph collection as follows:
12 perfect for miniatures gaming Aliens.
2 on scenery bases with a figure attached.
6 on scenery bases.

I am torn on either converting the scenery bases which all basically have the Aliens on some form of wall down to fitting on their normal ugly Horrorclix base, using them for boardgame play only (requiring me to scale my maps to 1 square = 4"), or using them as counter figures for various effects.

Wall Aliens could handily be just arrived from vents and airducts, so the GM can tell which ones arrived this turn, and the 2 Aliens with a doomed victim on the base would represent grappled Marines soon to be taken away to host a Chestburster.

I will most likely do this as it requires no mangling of miniatures (even if Horrorclix is pretty much another Wizkids failure.. they should have started with movie liscenses. Its what almost everyone wanted in the first place!) and makes for easy to keep track of actions on boardgame style maps.

Going 1 square = 4" also keeps map sizes small. Mission 1, Reactor Escape from the original Boardgame is 25 by 14 in squares. Scaled to proper miniatures play, it would be 100 by 56. 8 1/2 feet by 4 1/2. That AINT HAPPENING.

I may scale the map to 1 1/4 inch per square though. That would provide plenty of room for the larger Horrorclix bases and be plenty compatible with all my other "Corridors of DEATH" game maps. (Space Hulk, Legions of Steel, Doom, Space Crusade, ect.)

The decision then becomes how to make the map. Print out the barebones map from the Aliens Yahoo group then draw the grid with pencils on big cardstock? Waste lots of ink and time by printscreening the electronic version mentioned above and printing it out, finally assembling it all with lots of tape and glue?

When I get more Ink I will have to decide. The harder work version will look better, and I can copy the playing pieces from that version as extras and backups. (Which will be needed, as my parts list below shows!)

I can get a decent Ripley, Deitrich, and Newt miniature set, but getting the entire group of Colonial Marines is either gonna require serious conversion work, or massive proxy mania.

I can get miniature Pulse Rifles, and finding a decent Gorman (Officer in fatigues with a ballcap), Bishop (Guy in coveralls), and Burke (Office Worker would do fine. Guy in outdoors vest even better!) shouldn't be too hard.

Its getting the rest of the gang that will be a pain. I can either buy a set of Warhammer 40K Cadian troopers and glue Pulse Rifles to them, or I can search for knock offs online.

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