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!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wednesday and Thursday Game Reports

Since I have a 1500 point Warhammer Goblin army to attempt to have some semblance of painting done for next week, I will make this brief.

Wednesday 9IN, Starfury, and myself went down to Sarge's. Stuff was purchased. Cars hiding behind trees were backed into. A quick game of Federation Commander had 9IN use a Klingon Battleship, while I took 3 Kzinti Frigates and a Cruiser. A frigate and the cruiser died, and the Klingon ship was swarmed with an unhealthy amount of drones. We called that fight then, though it looked as if neither side was gonna have anything resembling a major victory. A 2 on 2 1500 points per player 40K game happened next, with Starfury on my side and 9IN teamed up with the Chaos Demons player and his pile of unfair rending cheese. If nothing else, 5th edition 40K will take that down a peg into something more reasonable. At least I hope so. Admitted, it wasn't a giant loss, but once the Demons showed up units stopped existing.

Thursday it was over at Pico's with 9IN and Starfury along. A rather close fought game of Nexus Ops happened, with 3 out of 4 players being within striking distance of winning the game. Pico and I got into a really stupid duel over one bit of land which mostly sucked our forces dry, he eventually keeping the territory at great cost. This left Starfury to his own devices where he mostly stomped on 9IN and won. With this and Twilight Imperium as evidence, I would say making any sort of deal with Starfury in a victory points type boardgame should be AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS. It gives him the win every time. Then we did some Silent Death, with 9IN on my side. The other side had too many elite pilots and gunners in excellent Star Wars ships which mostly trounced us. While I had the largest single ship in the fight, a Star Raven, it was constantly over estimated by the opposing side who always got to shoot at it first, with a 360 degree arc weapon that basically nullified any armor advantage my ship had, the Star Wars only Ion Cannon. Of course, my awful damage rolls and bad damage control rolls didn't help any. I think we did make a mistake with missile rules. Its a High damage rating weapon, which means you roll X number of attack dice. In missile spreads you roll 5d6 or 10d6 to hit. This means if there are multiple high numbers (6s in this case) they add together. We did not do this. This probably would have killed off both Y Wings that were causing me so much trouble. Missiles are just as deadly as the Star Wars Ions, just in different ways.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday Game Reports

Had a 2500 point versus 2 1250 point forces game of Warhammer 40K at my house today. Here is the battle report in photocomic form. Some of the missing bits included me never bringing two ten man squads out of reserve because I was winning so damned well. In the final picture about 25% of what I had surviving isn't even seen because it wouldn't all fit in the picture. Hopefully yall enjoy the report!

Page_1

Page_2

Page_3

Page_4

After this battle we played some Magic where I got owned by my own decks in like 6 games. I guess I build some fair casual styled decks!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wednesday and Thursday Game Reports

Wednesday was another drive to Sarge's where another 750 point 3 way game happened, this time with massive amount of terrain, and Sisters of Battle and the brand new Daemon World army, Slaaneshi flavored coming out to play. My all infantry plus one deep striking Terminator Sorcerer did horribly, me forgetting to even roll to deep strike the Sorcerer on turn 2. Daemons being able to assault the turn they deep strike meant my all short range forces got blasted at range by the Sisters, and outfought by sheer numbers of attacks and initiative the Daemonettes and their Soulgrinder backup brought to the table. My Sorcerer took out nearly 3 squads of Sisters before we called it for time. The Sisters' Canoness put a serious hurt on the Soulgrinder, removing two of its weapon systems before being overwhelmed by Daemonettes.

At the end of 6 turns I was left with a 1 wound Sorcerer, and the Sisters had 3 of their members in combat with him. The Daemonettes had their commander and a squad or two that were clearly gonna wipe out whoever won our fight.

My suggestions for fighting Daemon World from my early experience? Find area cover and GET INTO IT FAST. Being assaulted out in the open is a virtual death sentence even for good close combat troops like Chaos Marines. In cover you have a chance for them to fail their difficult terrain tests, or at least have the charge be simultaneous. 4-5 attacks on the charge from Initiative 6 models with 4+ invulnerable saves are a scary thing, even at Strength 3 Toughness 3!

Thursday opened up with a Federation Commander game, using one of the scenarios from Briefing 1. 2 Light Cruiser Class ships each. I was running Kzinti, Pico had Federation, and 9IN had Orion, choosing Photon Torpedoes. The scenario had each of us out to kill one player, but not the same one trying to kill us. The Orions hit one of Pico's ships with an Overloaded Photon which basically put it out with one single hit. Follow up phaser and drone fire took it out. Having taken light damage, he moved his ships out to speed with a distance my Kzinti would never catch, though I might have been able to take out the damaged Orion ship if we were willing to play it for 3 hours of boring gameplay. You see, I have a HEALTHY fear of Photon Torpedoes and moved out and about as opposed to coming at the Federation head on, getting a missile spread out there in an attempt to reduce damage taken by them. Thus I was mostly out of the fight outside of minor long range phaser hits on the Feddies, and long range anti drone fire at the Federation drones.

I can heartily recommend Briefing 1 for any Federation Commander player. The amount of new scenarios, ships, and organized information on all currently available ships and scenarios and where to get them is invaluable. Well worth the 13 dollars retail.

We then did a little Rock Band and I managed to nudge Pico into getting out his Dwarves who I then proceeded to inventory and write up a 1500 point army list for him.

3 boxes of Skull Pass pretty much builds a NICE legal 1500 point Dwarf force on its own, and a little more makes for the 2500 point usual.

1 Maxed out Warrior squad. A nearly maxed out Miner Squad. (Missing 1 dude, bombs, and the Drill.) Maxed out Gunner Squad. 3 heroes (Standard Bearer with a 25 point standard. (Josef Bugman model) Thane leader, and clipped off antlers Thane as an Engineer Master for the edification of the 2 Cannons. The Gyrocopter I got for this army as a birthday present LAST year finishes it up.

Some extra gear for his guys, a few extra Dwarves to be Engineers to his cannons, some straws to turn the final cannon into an Organ Gun, his old 6th ed Warrior Boxset as Warrior Longbeards and an EM4 Dwarf plastics set (FIFTY CROSSBOWMAN FOR FIFTEEN BUCKS!), and he can easily rock a 2500 list. Use those Dragon Slayers too.

He had the minis, I built his list for him. He chose some options I gave him obviously. Magic? Bah. MORE CANNONS.

And now I have a LOT of Night Goblins. This weekend I built a 1500 point Goblin list and a seperate 1500 point Orc with minor Gobbo force. And I finally cracked open the wonderful and handy rulesbook. Its ON.

The third rulesbook from our 3 sets bought at a discount went to MagicDrew who is doing Vampire Counts but will probably never have anything built. Maybe if he reads this he WILL GET A MOVE ON ALREADY?!

Outside of one 6th edition 500 point game I haven't played it since the sucktastic Herohammer days. I am looking forwards to sending the Ladz or my Lizzies up against the massive blocks of Stunties.

I have also received some more Car Wars goodies. The original Arena book with the terrifying Boston Arena Starfury has taken us through, 2 more Autoduel Quarterlies with their interesting and helpful information for expanding the game, and an entire solo module, Mean Streets.

Since the one of the two Ebay dealers had free shipping, I also grabbed three SEALED Ghostbusters International RPG modules. Always handy to have more game modules, especially for such a rare game!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tales of Naval Stupidity

This was actually part of a post I made in a customers suck thread over on a rather large forum. As I am quite fond of how it turned out. As usual its long and meandering. But I like it so there. Not really gaming related, though there are a few gamer and nerd stories loosely connected I may bring up in the future.

(BORING BACKGROUND BIT)
In the early-mid 90s my just out of High School ass had the misfortune of having to go almost straight into the Navy. I think I had 2-3 weeks off beforehand. A job trade class I wanted opened up and I had like under a week knowledge of it. I endure a year of myself slowly going somewhat crazy and end up booted to the fleet. A year later we have our first cruise, to the Mediterranean Sea. 6 months of underway fun. Now as an unintended member of Deck Department many bits of stupid were to be had. However, I sort of lucked out/got screwed early on. You see, on board ship everyone had to do a good 3-4 months galley duty. Mess hall hell. Now, underway it meant LOTS more work as people ate on board ship pretty much constantly. But it also meant I was out of the overworked utterly mismanaged deck department and actually had a bit more free time than I would otherwise.
(BACKGROUND BIT OVER)

I ended up doing my mess tour as a server on the regular line. Officers had their own mess and servers who tended to be better looking or whatever silliness officers got. Which meant on our 1000 or so peopled boat, about 800 of them went through me to get fed. Some of them were morons. The most notable was this E5. Some red haired motherfucker who was infamous for always complaining the portions were too small. He was not alone in general, but was the loudest. After my tour his reign of terror continued, though being a ship mostly in port as our Destroyer Tender could do Tendery things for any other ship in port. Now he LOVED to complain. In many cases I actually agreed with what some of the other people said. He was a douche and from time to time I would actually fuck with him.

"What? You want more cheese?" Then I would give him like a string's worth. Because when the cooks gave me orders I tended to follow what the people above me said. Cuz its my job. Even being jokingly mouthy to them wasn't a good idea. (I found this out the hard way to some kid in the Navy 9 months sometime during this tour of dumb.) Well, one day about 5 minutes before the line closed for dinner an E6 comes into the line. We are out of quite a bit of stuff, it being underway and almost closing time. This E6 DEMANDS we cook him more of some Roast Beef or whatever the fuck it was. The ginger haired E5 complainer is in line too and joins him in being an ass. The low ranking cooks that were present were confused as to what to do. The E6 is now POUNDING on the metal shield that covers the line when not in use. Me being on the other side and it being closed now, I go talk to one of the higher ranking cooks in hopes of someone being able to shut this butthole and his enabling pal up. She pretty much tells me to go away and not bother her.

Fantastic.

One of the cooks gets a clue and says to just have the remaining people go around these two douchebags and then to close it up. Ok. Rock on. I go out there and hope that maybe if I try explaining we are all out nicely maybe it will help. It does not. I've been dealing with all sorts of shit just doing my job AS I AM TOLD BECAUSE ITS WHAT YOU DO IN THE FUCKING MILITARY and I am rather tired of it all. I pretty much tell the E6 now that he is acting childish and is utterly lacking in military bearing. Which he was. I close the line down then go find the galley Master At Arms because these fracksticks aren't responding to logic or reason.

The MaA was an E5 from Deck so I knew the guy. I start explaining what has happened and the E6 and the E5 come trotting along. The E6 goes into this spiel about how he has never written anyone up before yet is very close to writing me up. The MaA handles it and mysteriously no write up ever arrives. I'm sure that Captain's Mast (basically where mid level military infractions are handled on ship) would have been fun.

Mainly because that E6 would have been TOAST. Being a complete butt and acting like you own the joint doesn't really work in the service. Unless you are an officer with nobody paying attention to your antics anyhow.

It was probably before my ONE genuine attempt at being nice to the whiners in line. Folks are complaining they aren't getting enough Chicken Nuggets. I agree. It was early lunch for people who had duty stations to go to. After serving the early folks the servers ate then the regular line opened up. Well, we served ourselves. (Until this situation anyhow.) To be a nice guy, I pile a good 30 nuggets to hook my fellow shipmates up on the sly. Because I agreed with them and I want to help people till they frack me over. Before I could even walk the tray over to them, this one guy starts flipping out about how I am a hypocrite and blah blah. I try to explain and he and now a few others are having none of it. I shrug, and take the food where a few people from my department are and they get hooked up.

Oddly enough some complaints were lodged and we never directly served ourselves again. No good deed goes unpunished.

See its not just RETAIL customer service that is borked. Any time you have to do anything for any other human being they will do their best to make you hate them.

I guess the whole concept of "Do unto others as you would have done to you" is foreign to most people.

And that's the biggest problem right there.

Don't worry too much about the E5 complainer though. One of my fellow deck apes had some fun with him during the tour. Or at least frightened him into never bothering him again. He was out dumping garbage in the aft smoking area and the E5 spotted him and started getting onto him about the horribly low food portions (this guy DID NOT GET IT did he?). So this guy tells him "While you are out here at sea, someone is at your home killing your family". So he was one of the few servers the E5 never EVER complained to from then on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On multiple game systems..

I like learning new systems. I like learning new things. And unlike most of my schooling it can actually be a fun experience instead of one based on having my self esteem stomped on and having nightmares I am gonna fail something and have my mom flip out on me over it.

Its learning for the sheer JOY of learning something new. The sheer level of KICK ASS ideas that come to my brain when reading a new rulesbook, or even just learning about a new system. Of course my wallet tends to scream in pain, but I am a cheapskate so it mitigates that to a degree.

Its probably also why I tend to loathe new editions. If it already rocks, it can only go downhill. And it already is probably what I want. If it sucks, I might not care in the first place. If the first edition was a beta test I may not exactly be enthusiastic about playing Russian Roulette with my bank account a second time. Not to mention if I never got to run the previous version (hiya Paranoia 2nd edition and Runequest 3rd!) what makes anyone think a new edition will change anything.

I would much rather have a new experience, a new world, new characters to fall in love with rather than having say, THE BATTLE OF MACRAGGE repeated for the umpteenth time.

It also doesn't help that every monogame player I have run into over the years has generally been a tremendous douche, making their game of choice probably suckier than it actually is.

I understand people don't have a lot of time or money, and some folks like various games the way they like a certain worn in pair of shoes. I just find them to be.. well BORING. Unadventurous types who lack that "spark" that drives me to games.. hell to the entire genre of geeky goodness that gets so many people looked down on for no good reason. And most of their games, especially in the RPG genre tend to be the same uninspired drivel and tropes I doubt I found exciting the first time I ran into them, and certainly not the dozenth.

One Chocolate cookie is wonderful. But that's not all I want to eat. Gimme some Thin Mints, or a Vanilla Wafer, maybe an Oreo or a yummy homemade with love Sugar cookie.

I'll get back to the Chocolate eventually. And by that point I can fall in love with it all over again.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A quick Car Wars post of genius.

Saw this on Boardgamegeek.

In Car Wars, the biggest problem is counters not staying put. Well, someone solved it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As for blowing counters... buy a stack of magnetic backs for business cards, and mount counters on that. It is about 2mm thick. Makes for nice counters. Then tape down your map on thin sheet steel. Wind will not be an issue again!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BRILLIANT!

40K Necromunda. Enjoy my creation as it is.

Did this puppy back in 03-04 thereabouts and never finished playtesting it. Sharing it with y'all seems like a nice thing to do. If there is ever enough interest I will go back and add in my last 2 playtest session fixes to it or maybe even continue to work on it.

http://www.mediafire.com/?tn4nemzv9yl File one.
http://www.mediafire.com/?mdgzej39x1m File two.
http://www.mediafire.com/?3bjmiut0ejp File three. (Gangsheet page 1.)
http://www.mediafire.com/?gn1no9kfxam File four. (Gangsheet page 2.)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday, Tuesday, and Wednesday game reports!

This Thursday was no gaming, and next Tuesday looks to be no gaming, and the actual game reports are so short it can be compiled into one teeny little update!

THURSDAY: No actual tabletop gaming happened. Pico got his economic stimulus check and bought Rock Band. We named our group "Furioso" after the Blood Angels dreadnought, and proceeded to play it instead. Our characters look too neato after customization to the point I want to run them in some sort of RPG campaign, probably one involving ROCKING OUT. I just need to find the right fashion term for my Bassist. She sort of has the "Gothic Lolita" look going on, but its not that gothy, and the whole term lolita is tinged with 100 pounds of creepy in a 10 pound bag. Its not really Victorian or Steampunkish, but its got a tinge of it in there. Maybe I can get a photo of her and someone can give me a better term. She looks totally awesome though.

TUESDAY: A short Car Wars scenario, with the usual Tuesday suspects. 9IN and Rufus lost tires while interfering with an undercover cop being chased by a crimelord. We sort of shot at the wrong target since radio communication was a no go. Luckily the cop survived, the crook took a spin off the pier, and newschoppers got the whole thing on video. Rufus continued his loudmouthed tirades against evil, either going to be interviewed by the TV station, or sending an editorial to the newspaper. Justice will be done. That or every 2 bit crook where we are at is gonna be after our butts because Rufus keeps talking smack about them.

WEDNESDAY: A 3 way 750 point 40K game where it was mostly sit and shoot for my Chaos boys, causing a decent amount of antitank damage to an Ultramarines Land Raider, and making a Slaaneshi Chaos Lord go poof. Kind of a dumb game, but mildly amusing. Followed up by a little Magic play and some conversation. At least I bought some more comics trades to bring myself closer and close to having all my stuff current. But given I collect around 20 series in trades this is a rather difficult feat and will never totally happen. Even if I could afford it. (For the record it was Oh My Goddess Volume 8, Ultimate X Men Volume 17, and Girl Genius Volume 4. I passed on Ultimates 2 volume 2 for another time as it will finish off that series for me. Utimates 3 is a complete trainwreck no sane person would ever want to read. Nice to know Marvel wants to make the Ultimate universe suck as hard as the regular one. Saves me money anyhow...)

So not the greatest week and a half of tabletop gaming. Not the worst either mind you. It gives me more time to not figure out which RPG I will run next and for what group. I'm roughly undecided between Mekton 2 and DC Heroes, with D6 System coming in a semi close third.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On Nerd Stereotypes and Defending the Hobby Part 2

Back in February 08 I did an article with the above name. Over on the Fear the Boot Podcast's forums a thread has popped up about being "outed" as a gamer. As if its a terrible thing to be into geeky stuff.

Well, listening to people treat others negatively because of harmless things that don't hurt anyone REALLY ticks me off. I can't stand injustice. So I had another tirade. Here we go. I'm sure if I annoy some douchebag on the Internet and they decide to "Net Detective" me looking for ammo they will find lots to feed off of here.

CONGRATULATIONS DETECTIVE YOU FOUND MY SECRET LAIR. YOU CARE WHAT A RANDOM DORK ON THE INTERNET DOES AND THINKS. YOU FAIL AT LIFE.
(Seriously. You are the equivalent of people who read People Magazine. Why not care more about YOUR real friends, family, and community? If you have time to look up stuff on me, you have time you could donate to help the less fortunate.)

------------------------------------------------------------------
Go read the Feb 08 post.. this is the follow up here. Ba weep gra na weep ninny bong.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Yet I have to be ashamed of being a nerd? I have to feel bad about reading Sci Fi novels and comics? I have to pretend I don't like giant robot anime or enjoy owning entirely too many toy robots I paid for with money from my job after I paid bills and GASP! Even give some money to charity when I can?!

Because I could care less about multimillionaires playing sports but would rather read the rules to a new miniatures game instead I am the lesser person because the statistics and silly abbreviations I know aren't the RIGHT ones? The stats of Michael Jordan are honestly about as important as the stats of an Orc in Warhammer Fantasy Battle. NOT AT ALL.

I served a tour in the Navy. I pay my bills on time and am totally debt free unless something terrible happens (which should be any day now given my luck) where I have to use up all my emergency money. I do my job the best I can. I have been on a roughly 1600 calorie diet since December 06 and have lost 60 pounds doing so putting me into the correct height/weight ratio. I keep myself well groomed and even my teeth to the point my Dentist was totally surprised and my Doctor thinks my weight loss is more medical reasoned than anything I did. I treat people with as much decency and respect as I possibly can.

Yet I have spent most of my thirty and change years on this mudball being told by everyone either directly or indirectly that I suck. Perfect strangers, classmates, coworkers.. hell even my mother when she was still alive.

After a while when the only one who tells you they aren't right and you damned well know it; is you, you start to believe them.

And even with my friends' help, who are mostly gamers of some kind (and mostly married no less) its been a hard road to deprogram the lies everyone in general has decided is fact.

So I am who I am. And I want to be happy about doing things I like, being the person I want to be. And anyone who is stupid enough to believe stereotypes and hurt others who aren't doing anything hurtful just because everyone else says they should be treated poorly?

GO TO HELL.

And that's my view about being outed as a gamer. I'm tired of feeling worthless and alone because of idiots. Gaming and nerd stuff doesn't hurt anybody.

Dungeons and Douchebags: My Gaming Life Part 1

My longer term groups have had surprisingly normal people, though the odd drama bombs have happened.

However we had one fellow whose exploits are still mocked 7 years later as a warning to others.

The game was a 3rd edition D&D (Maybe another reason why I hate D20?) game set post War of the Lance Dragonlance. Cept with Warhammer 40K Tyranids, Deep Ones from Innsmouth, and other such things as I could reasonably fit into the game without making it blatant I would much rather be running a Sci Fi or Horror game instead of Elves and Dragons.

The problem fellow, who will be called Dumbass (or DA for short) for this tale had a Silvanesti Elf Paladin. A holy warrior of nobility and light mixed with Emo Elfness.

Well, that's how such a character generally would be expected to play.

There were many warning signs this was not to be. You know that Summoner Geeks Dead Ale Wives video? I made the mistake of showing it to the group. He quoted that 5 minute short ENDLESSLY. He was also known to go "DOOD!! SCHWEEET!! Like, WOAAH!!" as well. He also (currently) has 4 kids with 4 different women. I consider the fact 4 different women would even do this dumbsnot a cosmic slap to my face. At the time he merely had one, who he would sometimes bring to the game, who would be left unattended and would generally wake up the host's sleeping baby and wife by being noisy and as obnoxious as he was. (His wife of the time was also amazingly obnoxious. She would come to pick up the child or them both and annoy us, though thankfully she was there for a shorter period of time each session.)

However, it is his actions in the game that truely earned him our hatred.
The host ran a CN Dwarf Fighter whose chargen rolls were pure unbelievable heat. I saw him roll this heat. This character was vaguely the leader of the party, though mostly interested in his own skin and a personal vendetta with their archnemesis Galthik, an Aurak Draconian who somehow became the main villain after our 1 shot became a campaign.
The Dwarf tended to get into combat quickly where he mangled things about. However he tended to engage in combat alone.

Because our Paladin decided upon hearing of the FLANK BONUS that from there on out, he would merely flank anything the Dwarf charged or attacked. "ILL FLANK!! SCHWEET!!!" was heard on many a day.

Ok, so bad so far. But again, only mildly stupid.

It was during a horrific dungeon battle against the Comet Monsters 40K goons know as the Tyranids that his stupidity began to shine like a giant beacon of suck.

A player was leaving, and another had left after one session without bothering to tell anyone. (Many of our players are merely stopping by as one of our regulars is an extremely nice guy who tries to rope them into playing even though most of them REALLY aren't interested, but don't want to hurt his feelings. Thus we get short term people who muck up the works for a week or two then go away never to be seen again. But he does a better job of recruiting than myself and the host. The Internet has NOT been good for finding gamers. Sheeet, posts at game stores don't help. Of course when those folks our regular tries to get leave with no notice given I always feel like its my fault even though they were the rude ones, giving me an extra helping of I SUCK. Life does enough of that on its own.)

Thus I decided to have the drop out character killed gruesomely, and the leaving character captured to come back later as a hideous bioconstruct I let the leaving player know about since it would be a long time before he would ever come back. (Which turned out to be never, but he did become a gamer in other groups. He was also VERY protective of these little donut thingies he liked back then. But that is another tale.)

It went off swimmingly with the players investigating an underground complex connected to a well, and a splash as the leaving player's character was captured, and the droupout's killed with Genestealer claws slashing through his skull.

Naturally as an Aliens fan, when the bodycount starts, all hell breaks loose. They kill some lesser Tyranids, and meet a Tyranid Warrior, which is about 12 feet tall of chitin, 6 foot long scythe arms, and 2 other arms holding a giant gun of flesh dissolving explosive death. The surviving party defeats it, and I get ready to unleash the entire horde, causing a nifty escape sequence to the docks, where a leaping Tyranid type called Hormagaunts would jump onto their fleeing boats as their transport, a mutant shark, would be chomping through the lower hold.

This was put on hold however.

What could cause this band of bloodied adventurers to pause and not get to more of my (if I do say so myself) cinematic inspired awesome?

The Elf Paladin decided he wanted to take a victory piss on the giant monster of alien death they just beat.

I guess the only way he would attack something head on is if it was dead and he had his wang out.

Now, as a horror fan, this was too good to pass up, so I decided it had at least one good final claw swipe left in it, aimed right for the little flanker. I put a STUPIDLY high Reflex saving throw to avoid having him sing soprano, and of course he rolled a natural 20, instead merely getting a slash above the designated target and some hit point damage.

There was more stupid to come. Later on I turned Lovecraft's Innsmouth into an island town that was allying with Galthik. The party went to investigate, losing 2 more PCs, one of which was leaving for a time, the other just wanted to make a new character. They got back and reported on the nasty nasty fish people and their evil ways to the Knights of Solamnia, who were the PC's bosses. Thus they returned with lots of troops and multiple interesting missions to make sushi out of the townsfolk.

One team gets their asses utterly handed to them with a new player's PC learning the horror motto of DON'T GO ANYWHERE ALONE, and the other takes it on the chin, but holds out decently well. (The newbie would inspire new horror stories when the group had to switch to Saturday mornings for a while. Both his DMing failures and his bathing related ones.)

Enter Dagon, the 50 foot tall plus giant god leader of the Deep Ones, represented on the miniatures table by a 10 inch tall Godzilla toy that roared. (Sadly, the battery has since died out. The King of the Monsters, the Daikaiju of Daikaiju has been silenced. Till I crack him open and put in a new one.) He introduced himself by throwing down a severed bronze dragon head and throwing a ship halfway across the harbor. The surviving PCs and Knights of Solamnia set up down Main Street, bows and spells at the ready. I have an NPC on Dragonback ready to pull them out of the fire as I doubt they can handle it and the NPC who was rather beloved by the party (Doremon Ikari, the Halfling Ninja---err "security consultant" who was actually on his own agenda that would involve betraying them all in their darkest most WE ARE HOSED hour.) showed up from time to time since he was doing this and that. (Which in this case involved his other boss Galthik who he was also betraying who was in town.) (A horrible DM story involves the incredibly awful campaign Doremon came from. Another tale for another day.)

Our Elf mage goes to town with spells, the NPCs go bows and flintlock musket type guns, the Dwarf rips out the Mighty Composite Longbow. Our new thief decides to run the Hell away. What does the noble paladin do?

He bends over, drops trou, and MOONS DAGON.

Sadly he was saved yet again by a saving throw he should not have made, this time by our Elf mage. (Actually they would have both died, but I had to fudge the roll for the mage who did not deserve death for saving the dumbass. Plus he was the nice guy I mentioned above.)

The grand finale to 6 months of outstanding adventuring before a holiday break and a switch to a new game ruined by an Elf Paladin mooning a demigod.

(While the campaign will probably never be continued we have since retconned it where the Paladin became road paste under Dagon's giant fishy foot.)

It angered the host so much he wanted one final game so he could kill the everloving daylights out of dumbhead's character and we could all laugh at him before kicking him out the door. I intervened as he would be driving 40 minutes down the highway back home with his kid, and I feared for the child and other drivers' safety with a likely to be humiliated retard driving on the road.

(Oh yeah, this is another repost from another forum. Good content needs saving after all! Edits have been made in the interests of language, me never being happy with anything I do ever, and just updating since this post was made like 2 years ago.)

The challenges hobby gaming faces.

In handy bullet point format!

1: Increase prices!

My response? FRAAAACCK YOU. These books are already more expensive than equivalent page count books in the bookstore. I spend anywhere from 10-200 bucks a month on gaming stuff. Increasing prices means I will go from buying lots to buying little to NOTHING. When WoTC decided to raise their minis game prices I virtually dropped out of buying D&D minis. The last 2 expansions went from 3-6 boosters to.. 1.
People tried to sell World of Warcraft boosters for 7.50 or more a pop. Everyone I knew who wanted to play didn't even buy a starter. I took a risk on Castles & Crusades because it was 20 bucks. Its caused 2 other people to buy the book because its such a reasonable price. Every GW price increase just kills their market that much more. Their stock price just keeps slipping.

RAISING PRICES REDUCES THE AMOUNT OF PEOPLE YOU ARE SELLING TO. GAMING REQUIRES PEOPLE, AND LOTS OF THEM.

A lost customer in such a small industry is catastrophic. Because 1 lost customer really means closer to 10 lost customers in the long run.

I would also bring up the fact game companies should not go public and build their business around smaller audiences. WoTC has ZERO business being owned by Hasbro.

2: Getting an audience.

You know why Yu Gi Oh and Pokemon did so well? Advertised on TV, using the best kind of ad. A 30 minute TV show that was really a promotional vehicle. There is a reason Transformers and GI Joe are still around to this day. A hugely popular cartoon and comic line designed to make you want the toys.

Its half the battle right there.

You expect to make lots of money selling in the gameshop and comic shop you are pretty much outta luck! That's preaching to the already converted. And they have their own dispositions I will get to in another number. Even bookstores are dubious unless you get some endcap thing or some other form of promotion. Game fiction is the low end equivalency to a cartoon show. (And honestly they tend to have about the same quality..)

Once you get an audience, the product has to be popular enough to keep going. The more people you get the more people they introduce forming an endless supply, or at least enough to deal with the churn.

Games Workshop with their ever increasing prices and the VERY small window of people they target is part of what is hurting them. Keeping someone in for the 6-12 months they want (Drop your 300 bucks and get the fudge out kid!) simply isn't enough.

3: Accept that many people already have the game they want and aren't interested in yours anyhow.

I know on RPGnet a new edition or a new game gets everyone's hearts aflutter, filling RPG Open's frontpage with 10-20 threads on a game not even available for a month, but in the real gaming world this is NOT how things work. New editions cause old players to stop buying anything since they are happy with what they have.

But these types aren't the main thing.

Of course I have mentioned MANY times about the ONE GAEM TO RUELZ DEM ALL!!! types which seem to be about 75% of the gaming hobby.

Most Magic players are NOT gonna become Risus players. Most D&D players aren't the slightest bit interested in trying AT-43. Hell, most D&D players aren't interested in D20 Star Wars or Castles & Crusades!

Gaming is PACKED with people like this. Many games do their best to latch on to people so their perceptions are always skewed to "that's the way every game is".

Many D20 D&D players thing every other RPG is a 256 page per book over complicated megagame that requires massive effort to learn and master. Many Games Workshop players have bought into the long expansive and expensive art project elitism spiel White Dwarf blabs on about every issue. Many Magic players think every other collectible game REQUIRES nearly 1000 dollars a year to be competitive. (And the tournament play or NOTHING mindset many collectible games gamers have. I guess playing for the sheer joy of a FUN GAME is dumb to them.) Eurogames boardgamers think everything else is trashy and inferior.

Gaming is trying to sell new ideas to these people and for the most part IT JUST WON'T WORK. There aren't that many open minded gamers in my experience. And many of us just get tired of trying to open the minds of people who won't ever play anything without D&D or Game X on the cover. EVER.

4: Complicated games and ease of entry.

Gaming keeps selling to the same people instead of finding NEW people. A perfect balance would be to make things attractive to new blood while not annoying the old.

If you keep selling to the same crowd, its just gonna keep shrinking. Videogaming is a multibillion dollar industry. Yet one classic genre, SHMUPS are selling in numbers generally worse than D&D is in a much bigger market. Why? They kept selling to the same crowd who wanted everything tougher, more challenging, and more aimed at them. In the 16 bit days 2 or 3 SHMUPS came out every month. These days that's about how many come out per system per year. If that.

You can see the same thing in wargaming. ASL is the gold standard of hex n chit wargames. Even with the Starter Kits its not a huge game by any means. Yet the game that got most of these middle aged guys playing wargames and such was the original Squad Leader, a much simpler programmed instruction game. But these same people poo poo that old classic because they want MORE. You see the same in all gamer games. Would D&D be as huge as it is now without the 4 Basic Sets? No way!

Of course I could go into other topics like how gaming is considered nerdy and public perception keeps people from trying something fun even though its complete frigging hypocracy (hell we believe these lies ourselves in many cases!), but its enough for one post I think.

(This was originally posted on my long unused 1up.com blog. Expect more very soon. Like as soon as I find ones worth posting.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

A quick comment on the old game Clan War

For those of you who don't remember, in the late 90s AEG released Clan War, the Legend of the Five Rings miniatures game. It was a Warhammer Fantasy scaled game where Samurai and other Asian themed models fought in a fantasy world that took bits of medieval China and Japan as its main inspiration. Legend of the Five Rings, the CCG was (and still is!) the game where all the story and the basic fiction came from, and its also an RPG on its third or fourth edition. Not counting the D20 version.

What happened? Short version: The first version was effectively a beta test, with a later cleaned up edition afterwards. Games Workshop was still king of the hill at this time and it already had an upwards climb because of it. Customers effectively being beta testers did not help any. By the time the fixed edition came out, it was too late, and for a while you could find the figures which were really great in many cases (Oni no Jimen, the Elemental Terror of Earth has found a place in my Warhammer 40K Chaos Marine army as either a Chaos Spawn or a Greater Demon.) at dirt cheap clearance prices.

What follows is my initial thoughts on the game as inspired by a comment on the Bell of Lost Souls blog when Clan War was brought up as a superior to Warhammer Fantasy 5th edition game. (A hint: It was just as flawed and pretty much for the SAME REASONS.)

Clan War? The game that was more hero and magic centered than Warhammer 5th yet also added in buying packs of cards to make your armies do anything?

The game that actively PUNISHED people who didn't have expensive heroes because morale was so abusive losing a commander or failing a break test generally meant that unit was leaving the table?

Where a single wound left out of spells mage could chase a unit who lost 2 soldiers off the board merely by staying within 8" or so of it?

Where you could lose 20 models moving in to combat, but kill one guy and cause a daisy chain morale break where an entire ARMY ran off the board?

Where the infantry was pointless since getting into stupid commander duels was the whole point of half the armies?

Where the big bad EEEVIIILLL army was effectively the weakest army in the game since there were so many pieces of equipment, those dumb cards, and spells that ONLY screwed over that faction?

Clan War was one of the WORST miniatures games I ever had the displeasure of playing. And I am glad it fell apart for being a buggy betatest as first edition pile of garbage. As flawed as Third Edition 40K was, I vastly preferred it. A friend of mine and I actually stopped playing Clan War to go back to 40K, then the Clan War group pretty much fell apart as the two "boosters" of the game had to stop playing and the few remaining players finally realized nobody liked the stupid game.

A shame because it had a killer backstory and some fantastic models.

Yeah. Everything above is true. I saw all these things happen in actual games. And you needed to buy MULTIPLE packages of cards for special game effects, and each pack usually had 1 or 2 of these cards.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tuesday Game Reports

Well given that Wednesday was a wash thanks to useless pain medication interfering with my sleep, this week Tuesday and Thursday are gonna be the game days this week. On the upside, I finished a 477 piece model kit, the Alteisen from Super Robot Taisen, and I guess I saved gas money.

The model is very impressive, though I need to add in some more paint detailing here and there to bring it out to look as good as it can without doing the full glue, prime, and paint deal. Its done in 6 colors and over the last 2 weeks or so it took around 12 hours or so to build, probably more. The fit and instructions were pretty good even though it was in Moonspeak (Aka: Japanese). A few pieces worked best with a touch of model cement, but overall everything goes in solid and locks into place. As I don't have the little pen type batteries handy I cannot test it's LED lighting, but all it does is light a giant spike on its horn and the eyes. Its got plenty of articulation, and the prepainted figure of the pilot is rather nice too. I am not sure if it was worth the 55 dollars or so it cost retail, but its a damned impressive model and was a good project to do while listening to podcasts and trying to get my mind off my troubles. Depending on how I feel next week I might try to get through the 20 or so model kits I have still sitting in their boxes.

Tuesday was more Car Wars. A small country road where we encountered 2 more of the biker gang members. We chased them off a curved side road where a number of their buddies on foot tried to set up a roadblock. My character answered them by running 3 or 4 of them over. 9IN took the heaviest hits, knocking his car out, and MagicDrew's terrible Handling Class caused him to careen off the road and even skim off the side of 9IN's ride! Rufus continued on taking out the first damaged bike 9IN had worn down, and started trading shots with the lead biker. His front armor was blasted off and his Light Pulse Laser got scragged AGAIN, but a last minute desperation wheel turn to shoot his Light Laser Anti Tank Weapon worked and the final biker fell. It was a very lucky shot given how hard it is to hit Bikes and Trikes, but a little luck prevailed this time.

With our money debts were paid, and some upgrades to tires and such happened. Rufus' car now has 18 more points of armor, 10 of it on the front, with the other 8 spread about. MagicDrew now has more handling, and I am not quite sure what 9IN did to his ride, but he has a serious amount of cash to work with.

With our remaining time we played some Three Dragon Ante, a rather fun card game that mixes Spades, Poker, and a touch of a hobby card game. I'm not as in love with the game as many people are, but its a really solid card game I recommend to anyone provided you have some poker chips.

Followers

Blog Archive

About Me

My Photo
Southeastern CT, United States
I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/SECTRPG/ Say hi to me on Xbox Live with the same name!