Monday, October 26, 2009


Added another list to the side keeping people up to date with what I'm playing at the moment. I hope the right side of the screen doesn't get too cluttered. I also tidied up the 'games I play' lists. These lists were originally supposed to be a definitive list of all the games I'm familiar with as opposed to games I regularly play, but I found that just showing off the number of rulebooks I own to be tantamount to douchebaggery. I kept the list at games I have fully painted armies for, and haven't forgotten to play/games I'm currently working on stuff for. For the roleplaying game list I settled on listing all the games I own rulebooks for as the list of RPGs is much smaller than the list of wargames, and I only really own RPGs that I actively play, or at least rotate through. My tastes for RPGs is much more focused than my indiscriminate wargame obsession.

Other than that, I'm still busy with school. Another two months and school will be much less stressful, and I'll be able to contribute to this site more often. Right now I should be reading five books and working on an essay instead of goofing around on Blogger® and listening to German hip-hop.

I recently received a fully-painted Warmaster Fantasy army. Hopefully I'll get a chance to use it one of these days. Right now, I'm searching for opponents for Grind, Arcane Legions, and Space Hulk.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Arcane Legions

So while I wait for my Corvus Belli figures to arrive and I start assembling my Roman Legions, I've dug up a bag of stuff from the back of my room that excited me so back at PAX. Arcane Legions is a fantasy/historical game pitting (for now) the Romans, Egyptians, and the Han (Chinese) in a magic-filled battle for the fate of the Ancient World. I'm doing Romans (natch'!).

At first I looked at Arcane Legions and thought, "nah." I mean, the guys that did the Clix games, now back in the seat doing a historical/fantasy game? Clix were collectible miniatures with lame bases, and historical/fantasy is kinda cheesy. I like historical gaming (well, now I do), and I like fantasy gaming, but together can be a tough mix. However I really came around when I saw the demos at PAX (not to mention that the guys that did the Clix games did do Battletech).

I wish I had taken part in the demos, but instead I just watched, and spoke with a very helpful woman who worked for Wells Expeditions. Two things I still don't understand: 1) How the hell are these things sold? I know that some stuff is collectible, and some of it is non-collectible, but I'll be damned if I know which boxes are which, and I'll be damned if the website descriptions would help me with this question. As regular readers of this blog, or my friends, will attest, I'm no longer a fan of collectible gaming (with the exception of MonPoc), and so I'd like to know how I can go about collecting my Roman force.
2) What is the Centurion Club? It appears to be a subscription-based fan club that allows you to do cool stuff à la D&D Insider, like create your own stuff, and gives you limited edition, exclusive, stuff, but it never tells me how much this costs before it asks me for my credit card information.

The game looks very interesting. The models are a soft plastic that's bendy like many collectible figures, but the majority of them are grey plastic on a sprue! I clipped off the Romans and the Egyptians, and removed the pre-painted command/special models from their packaging and affixed them to the bases. The bases are pretty cool. They're these black rectangles and squares pock-marked with holes. Over top of this base you place a piece of card stock that takes up the whole top of the base. In this card stock are empty spots which reveal some of the holes on the plastic base underneath. On this card stock are numbers, directions of facing, and starting positions for your soldiers. You stick your soldiers (bases of soldiers are numbered) into the revealed holes with their numbers next to them and those are your starting positions. You're allowed to move the figs around on the base once the game begins and that allows you to access different abilities or skills.

For instance, the starting positions are ringed with dice, numbers, and symbols which represent defence, movement, skills, and hitting power. During a game I can re-organize my troops on the base, and for ever symbol with a soldier next to it, allows me to use that symbol (again, which represents a skill, ability, or movement value). Therefore my units can (and will) change during the game. It is a regiment-based game like Warhammer, and that appeals to me, it's also played on a 4'x6' (120x180 centimeter) battlefield, which is also appealing to a wargamer such as myself.

Pluses: The rules look simple, but smartly so. They look like they'll offer me many tactical options, but wont have me referencing the rulebook every turn like anything from Rackham (wow! What's with the Rackham burn, jerk?). The base mechanic is spectacular, and I think the way they did historical/fantasy is well done, and appealing to someone like me, who finds them both satisfying separate, but very rarely good together.

Minuses: The measurement in the game is done using a movement tray. There's something about that that irks me. I want centimeters, or failing that, inches; but to take a movement tray and measure my ranges with that? I don't know. I mean, it doesn't seem like a lazy last-minute choice, or an innovative mechanic, it just seems odd, and I can see it messing with my perception of the battlefield, especially when the battlefield's measured in feet.

The models also seem a little strange. They say they're 25mm, but they seem much smaller (~20mm), and they contained alot of flash. However, the most troublesome factor could be the type of plastic used. I'm hoping the plastic will take well to primer, and wont remain damp with it for ages like the figures from Last Night on Earth (which a friend painted, and while they look good, they feel sticky, and that's due to the type of plastic used, and how it reacts to having model paint on it). I know it's not necessary to paint them, but I'm excited to give it a shot. I'd like to add this point as a plus (even though, technically, I'm writing in the minus section); but for a pre-painted, collectible, miniatures game to allow most of the figures to be sprue-cut grey figures just begging to be painted, I think that's very cool.

It's at this point that I'd like to introduce my new rating system. I often speak of new games (especially board games) in terms of how excited I am to play these games. For the most part, I review games before I've given them a true shot. Usually a review is done at the time of a purchase, or a demo, and I've yet to finish the figures, or play a true game, so I'm often excited to get deeper into the game. Even when I'm deep in a game, such as Warhammer or Warmachine, I still may be excited to use something, or play a new version of the game, or whatever.

Therefore on the Wargamer Excitement Scale*, I'd have to say that I'm Excited to play this game.

That's all for now, I'm off to bed, and tomorrow I do some relaxing painting with friends after my hellish 9-hour school day.


*The Wargamer Excitement Scale
(1=best, 5=worst)
1 -Very Excited
2 - Excited
3 - Interested
4 - Not Excited
5 - Not Interested

Warmachine/Hordes Campaign Mk1.0

The Warmachine/Hordes campaign I've been working on is finally finished! Well, at least version 1 is. It took me way to long to do this, but then again try juggling school, two jobs, and some semblance of a personal life, and you'll end up with a similar time-frame.

Here is the link to the file. If it goes away after a while, just let me know. This is version 1. Also, if you're not using a Macintosh, you might see the boxes on the Military Influence tracker, and the Homeland tracker as weird symbols. There's supposed to be 10 Boxes under each faction.

I'm very open to constructive criticism regarding this campaign, as it's untested as of yet. STRATEGIES Games & Hobbies is currently running it, so I'll be able to give you my impression, as well as changes in six-week's time.

As for the first day of the campaign, it sucked. There was one enthusiastic person who made his appearance only to wait an hour and a half for no opponent. No sooner should one appear, than the early-comer has to leave. Thankfully a third unsuspecting Hordes gamer popped in and the campaign was off to a humble start. A quick explanation and the game began without a hitch. Then the game tied at the end. A thorough tie. Even victory conditions, and even points totals. This was not supposed to happen, and as you'll see from the rules of the campaign, this pretty much evens out the benefits and penalties built into the mechanics. Essentially nothing happened. Both players were then left to contemplate ways to break a tie in the quickest way possible. Evidently this method resulted in them playing Pandemic.

I'm hoping the next week will be more solid. I worked surprisingly hard on the simple campaign and I hope it'll be somewhat of a success.

More news about non-campaign gaming in the next post down.


What's New?

Time keeps rollin' on here on the Internet. It seems to move faster than real life does. Therefore I lose track of the need to post.

Here's what I've been up to:
First off, I've ordered all the Warmaster Ancients stuff I'm gonna start with. We haven't figured out a definitive points value yet, but I'm sure the stuff I have will be a decent start, and allow me to get some painting done. In case I haven't mentioned it before, it's 15mm Warmaster Ancients gaming using forces from the Warmaster Ancients book, and the Warmaster Ancient Armies book. I'm just doing early imperial Romans, as I like that period in Roman history the best. All of the figs I'm using so far come from Corvus Belli 'cause their stuff looks incredible, and I don't have to buy 15mm weapons separately like some ancient ranges. Our goal is to have painted, playable armies by January.

Speaking of January, I've been roped into playing in a Blood Bowl league, which is weird. I don't really like Blood Bowl. Don't get me wrong, I think a game that combines American football and bloody, fucking, murder is awesome, especially in a fantasy setting, but it's the tension that gets to me. The tension in Blood Bowl is like nothing ever felt in any other game. When your blitzer runs down the pitch full-bore, only to fail a dodge roll, or a push or something like that, dropping the ball and ending your whole, goddamn, turn it's a little too much for me. Another game with this sort of tension, that's managable is Space Hulk. I like the tension in that game because at worst, I lose a terminator with a failed die roll, not the turn I've been waiting for. However, I have a fully-painted Elf team for Blood Bowl, and I just want to roll dice with friends. Still, I'd rather be playing Grind.

My Retribution of Scyrah marches onwards. I have some pictures to upload, which I'll do later today. It's going slowly, but that's because I paint just about as often as I post on blogs.

My quest to finish a Warhammer army has taken a different path. I was very, very, keen to do my High Elves, being an embarassingly large elf fan, however the clarion call of the dark gods is too much to ignore, and so I've moved onto doing a Warriors of Chaos (WoC) army. This is mainly because my elf army required the purchase of several things I don't have the money for right now, and then the painting of those things. My WoC army requires me to purchase 18 Chosen (a mighty feat, but still smaller than my elf list), and paint them. A more pleasing option. I'll get to my High Elves next, I just really want to have a fully painted Warhammer force.

I've been playing alot of the Fantasy Flight Living Card Games (LCG), and I now see no reason to continue playing collectible card games. You heard it here first, people; I officially quit the realm of collectible card games! It's been a mighty 15 year run, but all good things must come to an end. I highly value my Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, Doom Trooper, and Magic: the Gathering card collection, but when I don't have to drop $1,000,000 on boosters in order to get a playable deck I get excited. Not to mention the CCG crowds are questionable. Besides, CCGs are so '90s!

In Roleplaying news, I'm taking part in a Dark Heresy (DH) campaign. I will play an Imperial Guardsman Sergeant from the planet Krieg (using a Death Korp model I bought at German Games Day), and will be playing in the Haarlock's Legacy campaign. According to the GM, the campaign is so difficult, that despite its claim that 1st rank characters are appropriate, he has suggested we start at 4th rank. I hope I get a bunch of sessions in before my character meets a grisly death. I'm excited.

I also got the Rogue Trader Collector's Edition in the mail last Wednesday. As of now, it's my favorite Roleplaying Game, to say nothing of it being my favorite GW-based RPG. This mighty boast is based off of the fact that everyone in the game plays what equates to the 41st millennium's version of the Star Trek bridge crew, including a player who gets to be captain. And, in typical Kirk style, you lead dangerous away-missions while all the ratings in the ship fight a desperate boarding action in order that you may have a ship to return to. Not to mention that the characters are of a higher power than your Dark Heresy characters. Both games remain fully compatable, however, as your Dark Heresy characters will simply have to be of 6th rank in order to equal a 1st rank Rogue Trader character. There are some more weapons, and a few tweaks to the rules here and there, but I imagine it will lend itself greatly to DH players in the form of more character classes, weapons, adversaries, and starship rules.

That's all for now; I wouldn't want to overload you with all my gaming pleasures, while you sit and play WoW. Oh, by the way, I'm also going to be playing in a Warhammer Online (WAR) guild.