Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Great Race for the Blimp

The big news of the week here in Pennsylvania was a NORAD Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (i.e. a blimp) that became untethered and floated through the Commonwealth, creating power outages and a media sensation.   Although it never got near my home, I was amused this morning to see my email at work covering protocols for department heads to submit claims to the EMA is they suffered any damage from the "rogue military blimp."
 

Despite thousands being without power and the conspiracy nuts having a field day, it was a great non-event for most Pennsylvanians. 

The question came up in water cooler discussions:  Could this be a game?

While this shouldn't generate a massed military response and lots of live fire, I can easily see a six players with different goals chasing a randomly moving balloon over a board with tons of obstacles. 

NORAD or general military:  Secure the blimp, keep others away, prevent a media frenzy, prevent another group from seizing it's secrets (It's an upgraded weather balloon powered by alien tech gone awry?)  Humvees and "Security Forces" minis

FBI/MIB(?):  Partially allied with NORAD, but discovering the secrets may open up a world of troubles.  Black Sedans, suits, and sunglasses.

Media:  Getting the big scoop!  Will ally with any willing side.  News truck and crew

Conspiracy Nuts:  Neutralize the tin-foil threat and expose the truth.  Conversion van with an airbrush fantasy scene....

Greys:  The truth is out there.  Ground the blimp, remove the tech, and stay out of sight.  Non-descript car that may/may not convert into a spacecraft

Clowns:  C'mon, clowns love balloons!   Should be able to cause as much chaos as possible (we'll need a flexible system to let them do the most damage, I mean, be as flexible as possible.)  Clown car.

Other groups of civilians or rival agencies could be added to create more havoc.    With four or five man teams, minis wouldn't be a big expenses, and there are plenty of lines available.  

The big question, gentle readers, is "What system do I use for such a game, or should I simply homebrew something?"

Talislanta The Savage Lands in 2016!

In a very pleasant surprise for me,  Nocturnal Media has announced Talislanta The Savage Lands (TSL) is scheduled for Kickstarter and eventual release for 2016.

Unlike all the other numerous editions of the rules, TSL will be set just a few years after The Great Disaster, a cataclysmic event only vaguely referred to in the older books.

From Nocturnal Media's press release.
In this post-apocalyptic fantasy setting, the great civilization of the Archaens is no more. The last kingdoms have fallen, and the sorcerer-kings have fled or been killed by their own creations. With them went all knowledge of spell-casting, leaving only primitive rituals and superstitions. In this milieu, Talislanta is truly a savage and dangerous land, ruled by wild tribes and beast-folk consumed by the constant struggle to survive.

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hunchback MkIs from Antenocitis Workshop Ltd

It's been awhile since an announcement on TMP has jump started my imagination.

Antenocitis Workshop has released the Meerkat Light Scout Vehichle, as well as three variants of their Hunchback Mk!

This one I really like

This one just looks neat.
Antenocitis seems to focus on miscellaneous wargame detail and terrain, with a big focus on Infinity.  These APCs, however, make me want to find some Bob Olley Scrunt Tank Crews to pop out of the hatches.

The Hunchbacks are £24.99.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #16 Winner, Winner, Finding Linnard

With the departure of Zorin, Whitey, and Corena, the Burning Trogs consisted of:
Cecelia Darkspruce - Half-Elf  Fighter Cleric of Sif.  "Hero of Celsior!"
Gwendalyn Lorax - Half-elf Druid
Brother Thomas - Human Monk
Marek the Learned - Human Double Invoker
Janus Redrock - Gnome Titan Cleric of Pangrus

To recap from last episode:

4th of DuoDec, 1134 Celsior, Kingdom of Marakeikos
A Woman showed up in nearby bar looking for the Trogs. She was a courier for noblewoman Dame Silver of Linnard and presents Cecelia with a fancy envelopes. The Trogs apparently rescued her niece on one of their adventures, and she would like to return the favor with hospitality and invite them to her estate to celebrate the Feast of Erinborg.

Time to buy some fancy duds!

The woman's appearance cause a buzz amongst the townsfolk and the Burning Trogs' fame grew instantly.  Dame Silver was apparently a big deal amongst higher classes and her parties were some of the biggest and best social events of the kingdom.  Free (high quality) drinks flowed and discounts were given for some of the finer fashions available in Celsior.  A few fame-seekers tried to tag along with the group, or have the Trogs pitch ideas or innovations, but they were quickly shot down.

5th of DuoDec, 1134 Celsior.
Janus announced that she too decided to leave Trogs, and catch up with Zorin and crew heading up to Frandor's Keep.

Gwen:  "There are a lot of horny men at war..."  

That evening, Baron Desmond Celsior and his entourage made it down to the side street were the Trogs' headquarters was located and demanded audience with Cecelia.  In their desheviled common room, the Baron granted Cecelia Darkspruce the court noble title of Lady.  He was very friendly to the other Trogs, but drew the line when he was invited to tavern-hop for late-night celebrations.

6th of DuoDec, 1134 Celsior
The Trogs slowly made their way to Linnard, via Mirros.

8th of DuoDec, 1134
The weather warmed up and the snow began disappearing.

9th of DuoDec, 1134 - Mirros, Capital of Marakeikos
Arriving in the capital, everyone got baths. 

Gwen: Even Brother Thomas who didn't even need it!

Additional  fine Garments were purchased for the feast.

Still more caravans were prepping for an extremely early to head south.

10th of DuoDec, 1134, Mirros
While galavanting through town, they discovered that a second book about the center of the world had been published.  This author, a halfling named Balthazar, claimed Halflings rule the center of the world, lording over Humans and other races.  He also claimed that Galganooza, a city in Mercadia was rumored to have a tunnel to access this land.

Later, they met Elrigano Madavank, who claimed a band of possessed dwarves attacked him and his friend, as well as and burned down his manor.

In another night-time soiree, the Trogs encountered an "army" of two dozen angry dwarves, who claimed Madavank was a liar and a deceiver.  No sign of Madavank anywhere.

11th of DuoDec, 1134, Mirros
Embarked for Linnard... slowly.

12th of DuoDec, 1134, On the Road
As they travelled north on the trade route, the warm, dry air of the Mer Kasp made the snow-covered journeys earlier that year look like a distant memory. 

As the sun was setting in a beautiful display, they came upon a pond, but before they could see who had congregated around it, they heard a halfling scream, and a diminutive fellow come racing at them.

It was a huge humanoid horde getting water.  Four columns of goblins, nearly two hundred greenskins, seemed unimpressed and unworried of the pudgy demi-humans screams, as a scouting party of bugbears, dogs, and goblins had surrounded them. 

Marek got hurt pretty bad early on and hid under the wagon.  Three bugbears and three dogs on all four sides pressed the party, with a small detachment of goblins worked it's way up the hill.  Brother Thomas ran away, Cecelia tried and failed.

Gwen cast  Insect Swarm chased off the goblins coming to aid the bugbears, and an Entanglement held the bugbears until the others could do something about it.  Marek finally mustered some courage and cast some fire spells at the entanglements, setting everything afire!

Gwen cast Precipitation to thwart the spread of the fire, but Marek cast another series of small fireballs!   By this time, the surviving bugbears had fled, as did the the columns of goblins around the pond.  Four men in robes finally emerged from the nearby wood. 

Gwen:  They called us stupid and made us put out the fire.

Artwork snagged from https://nerdnight.wordpress.com/
The Druids of the Traldaran Northlands had spoken. 

Janus' departure was for a similar reason as Zorin's.  Scott, Janus' player, needed to take a few certification courses, and the only ones available interfered with the only other night the other players could make it.  Another gnome titan going off to war made complete sense.

This mess of a combat was the first time we saw Gwen in all her glory.  She certainly couldn't hit the broadside of a barn with any melee weapons, but she had dodged the level-draining undead in previous adventures and had the most potential to become a powerful character... even if she was a druid. 

Still, a flurry of low-level fire spells from Marek could negate her power, or make it far more dangerous than they should be:

Next:  #17 - The Feast of Dame Silver

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wargaming Miscellany: I Have Been to Fortress Louisbourg

In the distant days of studying history in the scenic Poconos, my friend Hoyce perseverated over the impenetrable fortress at Louisbourg.  He went so far as to make it the subject of his Master's thesis, tenatively titling it "The Titantic of Forts."

Between then and now we had a few pie-in-the-sky attempts to make a pilgrimage to Canada to visit it, and perhaps do some more research, but the time and finances never matched up.

Apparently, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia is a stop of British cruises of Canada and America and Bob Cordery of Wargaming Miscellany recently took a tour.

From Wargaming Miscellany
Now when I hit my millions, I need to plan a gaming-focuses North Atlantic cruise, just to have a mandatory tour of Louisbourg? 

Sounds good to me!

Apathy of the New Releases (Nov '15)

At least for our monthly solicitations, Christmas is over.  With a November due date for orders, everything is slated for January-March 2016, the doldrums of gaming retail.  New stuff is pretty slim pickings, unless you like Wizards or WotC products.   A good month for a store to plan their post-Christmas strategy.  A nice holiday blow-out sale between Christmas and New Years, a quick yet thorough inventory for tax purposes, and a solid restocking all items, quick sellers, and long-term staples.  Dice, Battlemats, fantasy minis.  

Must-Have Want List
Nuttin'

Money-is-no-Object Want List
Pelgrane Press
NIGHT’S BLACK AGENTS RPG: DRACULA DOSSIER DIRECTOR’S HB HC ....... $49.95
NIGHT’S BLACK AGENTS RPG: DRACULA UNREDACTED HC ...........................  $34.95

Imaginary Game Store List (The Pegleg Gnome GameShack)

Alderac Entertainment Group
Love Letter: Letters to Santa Boxed Edition .......................................................... $9.99

Asmodee
Alhambra: The Dice Game .................................................................................... $19.99

Days of Wonder
Ticket to Ride:  Map Collection 5 United Kingdom (and Pennsylvania) .............. $39.99

Evil Hat Productions
Spirit of the Century:  The Pharaoh of Hong Kong PB .......................................... $15.00

Fantasy Flight Games
The End of the World RPG:  Alien Invasion HC .................................................... $39.95
STAR WARS IMP ASSAULT: DENGAR VILLAIN PACK ................................. $9.95
STAR WARS IMP ASSAULT: ECHO BASE TROOPERS ALLY PACK ............ $9.95
STAR WARS IMP ASSAULT: GENERAL SORIN VILLAIN PACK ................... $9.95
STAR WARS IMP ASSAULT: LEIA ORGANA ALLY PACK ............................. $9.95
STAR WARS IMP ASSAULT: RETURN TO HOTH CAMPAIGN EXP .............. $59.95
STAR WARS X-WING GAME: BASES AND PEGS   ........................................... $7.95 ea
(Available in Blue, Green, Orange, Purple, Red, and Clear).
STAR WARS X-WING : THE FORCE AWAKENS CORE SET ...........................  $39.95
STAR WARS X-WING:  THE FORCE AWAKENS T-70 X-WING ...................... $14.95
STAR WARS X-WING: THE FORCE AWAKENS TIE/FO FIGHTER ................  $14.95

GAMES WORKSHOP
Age of Sigmar Battletome:  Chaos Dreadhold ........................................................... $33.00
(A book on how to use terrain kits?) 
Age of Sigmar Chaos Dreadhold:  Malefic Gate ........................................................ $100.00
Age of Sigmar Chaos Dreadhold: Overlord Bastion ...................................................$130.00
Age of Sigmar Chaos Dreadhold: Skull Keep ............................................................ $75.00
Warriors of Chaos Khorne Bloodbound Blood Warriors ........................................... $62.00
Age of Sigmar Battletome Stormcast Eternals ........................................................... $58.00
Age of Sigmar Celestant Prime Hammer of Sigmar ................................................... $80.00
Age of Sigmar Celestial Warbringers Upgrades . ....................................................... $12.00
Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternals Knight Heraldor ................................................... $25.00
Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternals Knight Vexillor .................................................... $30.00
Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternal Knight Azyros ........................................................ $40.00
Age of Sigmar Stormcast Eternal Prosectors ............................................................... $60.00
Warriors of Chaos Battletome: Khorne Bloodbound ................................................... $58.00
Warriors of Chaos Khorne Bloodbound Might Skullcrushers .................................... $100.00
Warriors of Chaos Khorne Bloodbound Skarr Bloodwrath ........................................ $ 30.00
Warriors of Chaos Khorne Bloodbound Skullgrinder ................................................. $ 30.00
Warriors of Chaos Khorne Bloodbound  Slaugherpriest .............................................. $30.00
Warriors of Chaos Khorne Bloodbound  Wrathmongers .............................................. $57.00
Never before in my history of chronicling the monthly solicitations have I seen a collection of overpriced crap compared to this month's offerings from GW.  It's cheaper to play with vintage action figures I take out of the packaging!  And as usual, all the GW stuff was already released in August!

Hammerdog Games
Pathfinder RPG:  The Grande Temple of Jing ................................................................$59.95

Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh!  Clash of Rebellions Special Edition Box Display ....................................... $9.99 each

Koplow Games
Metal Dice (15mm) .................................................................................................... $10.00 each
Blue, Green, Purple, Red, Yellow Pips

Looney Labs
Firefly Fluxx ................................................................................................................ $20.00
Nature Fluxx ................................................................................................................ $16.00

Modiphius
Acthung!  Cthulhu RPG:   Shadows of Atlantis .......................................................... $46.99
Mutant Chronicles RPG HC......................................................................................... $61.99

Osprey Publishing
Armies of the War of the Pacific:  1879-83:  Chile Peru and Bolivia .......................... $17.95
En Garde!  Swashbuckling Skirmish Wargames Rules ...............................................  $17.95

Paizo
PATHFINDER ADVENTURE CARD GAME: ALCHEMIST CLASS DECK ............ $19.99
PATHFINDER AP: HELL’S REBELS 6 - BREAKING THE BONES OF HELL ........ $24.99
PATHFINDER CAMPAIGN SETTING: HELL’S REBELS POSTER MAP FOLIO .... $19.99
PATHFINDER LEGENDS: MUMMY’S MASK 1 - THE HALF-DEAD CITY (CD) ... $21.99
PATHFINDER PLAYER COMPANION: ARCANE ANTHOLOGY ............................ $14.99
PATHFINDER FLIP-MAT: NOBLE ESTATE ................................................................ $14.99
PATHFINDER MODULE: DOWN THE BLIGHTED PATH ......................................... $24.99
PATHFINDER PAWNS: GIANTSLAYER AP PAWN COLLECTION ... $24.99

Plastic Solider Company
The Great War ............................................................................................................ $59.95

Pokemon USA
Pokemon TCG:  XY Breakthrough  Boosters and Theme Decks

Solace Games
Pathfinder: Inhabitants of the Wood - Elves .............................................................. $11.95

Steve Jackson Games
Munchkin: Guest Artist Edition (Ian McGinty) ........................................................... $29.95
So I can get the same game I already own, just with different art?   I don't think it's going to sell like very expensive alternate covers from the comics boom of the 90's, but hey, what do I know?

Troll Lord Games
Castles and Crusades RPG:  Collector's Scree Set ......................................................$39.99
Forty bucks for a a two panel GM screen?  Oh, it comes with a copy of the C&C 6th Edition PHB.  Let's see how many store manager/owners miss that one.

Warlord Games
More slick stuff for Terminator: Genisys.  Too bad I don't know the pricing.

Wizards of the Coast
Magic the Gathering:  Oath of the Gatewatch

WizKids
This month's solicitations cover the massive February release for D&D Dice Masters, immediately followed up by March's DC Dice Masters:  World's Finest.    Buy in for a store looks big.

Star Trek Attack Wing:   Weapon Zero ........................................................................ $39.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:    ASSIMILATED VESSEL ................................................... $14.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:    KLINGON I.K.S. KLOTHOS ............................................. $14.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:    ROMULAN I.R.W. DEVORAS ......................................... $14.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:    Federation USS Mongolfier ................................................ $14.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:   IKS Amar ............................................................................. $14.99
Star Trek Attack Wing:    IRW Jazkal .......................................................................... $14.99
TMNT  Heroclix:  Mouser Mayhem  Starter Set . ........................................................ $24.99

Wyrd Miniatures
I don't usually look at Malifaux.  but the buildings they're releasing for the game have an interesting appeal to me, and the pricing isn't all that bad.  I'd just like to know what material everything is made out of.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Same Old Song and Dance

It's time for the bi-weekly "Oh woe is ViscountEric" post.  No real gaming, save a quick game of Zombie Dice with the girls, but let me commence the tale.

As I previously mentioned, it was my 9th wedding anniversary earlier this month.   My wife proceeded to get me another Spicy Shelf for use as a second paint rack.  Life was going to be good, as we had a day-trip up to Wellsboro planned without the kiddos. 

Then my mother-in-law (aka the babysitter) went to the hospital a week ago with a litany of heart and diabetes related issues.  Good news:  I'm picking up her up at the hospital in about a half an hour.  Bad news:  It's been a crazy October. 

Add in that I have succumb to the dread of toddlers everywhere.. an ear infection, that's driving me dizzy (I'm literally dizzy at times), and the fact that the furnace went out over the past chilly weekend, life for me has been juuuuuussst Peachy!

So, the short-short version of what gaming-wise has been going on.

Cthulhu:  Next game is still on for November 1st.  Investigators are ready.  I just need to type up a "what we learned in Egypt" cheat sheet to help speed up play.

Hackmaster:  The old Burning Trogs entries are entering a golden time, if you like to see the Trogs beaten and humiliated.  It is helping me tweak the "11 Years Later" storyline and a few copies at work and I'm recreating the map of Marakeikos in the year 1145-ish.

Yep, I went there.  I need to fill in the smaller towns and villages in the south (look at the key), detail the new territory Marakeikos annexed from Vlachia in 1136-ish, and remove all the annoying Google Map details. 
 
Minis:  With the furnace guy in to simply get a paycheck and tell me it would be easier and cheaper to do it myself, I did start base coating my jungle of palm trees that are the next project.    Of course $200+ for parts later and a reciprocating saw in a way too narrow area, I have a working furnace and a few extra parts, I'd like to convert into Industrial/Necromunda terrain.    Plastic spiders may be a weekend project (again) with the girls, but I need to gravitate from HVAC to general plumbing to pick up a few parts for the handyman to rip out a wall.
 
Fall-In!  Still a go, despite, the added expenses.  Games are still on, just trying to hammer out a budget with a little bit of wiggle room. 
 
FLGS:  I did drop off my list with Joe to give them another chance with the new storefront.  Compared to the kid who tried to force him to look at a list on his smart phone for his 100 Highlander (only of each card) deck, my double spaced typed list with stock numbers was manna from heaven. 
 
 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

(Kickstarter) Victorian/SteamPunk Terrain

Rennaissance Miniatures, known for their successful Medieval Town and Ship, Pirates, Wild West  Kickstarter, has unveiled their latest crowdfunding campaign,  Victorian/Steampunk Terrain


 
Starting with laser-cut cobblestone streets and small streams, the campaign expands into Victorian buildings, both classical homes and tennament housing.  It even includes airships, penny farthing bicycles and rail cars!

Prices seem resonable and it looks like a nice alternative to the "Euro-style" buildings that would be used much to early to fit into a steampunk game.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #15: The Search for Silver

Our active cast of The Burning Trogs:
  • Zorin Redrock, Gnome Titan Fighter. Veteran of the Barbarian Wars against the Gnomish City-States, Zorin had retired and has honing his skills for future glory in Marakeikos. Unfortunately, his near bloodthirsty disdain for humans was putting a crimp in his plans
  • Cecelia Darkspruce, Half-Elf Fighter Cleric of Sif, Valkyrie of Pre-Ragnarock Battles, Hero of the Barony of Celsior. 
  • Gwendylyn Lorax, Half-Elf Druid. Even a Druid of the native Rifflani Elves needed a moment or two in the dirty city for supplies and information.
  • Janus Redrock, Gnome Titan Priest of Pangrus. Zorin's cousin. Looking for brawling and booty (both financial and otherwise)
  • Brother Thomas, Human Monk. It was never ascertained exactly which monastic order Thomas originated from, only that he could indeed kick ass
  • "Whitey": War buddy of Zorin's. Pitiful albino halfling cook.  
  • Corena Ruddledater.  Young halfling girl.  Torchbearer.
28th of DecDec, 1133, Village of Verge, Kingdom of Marakeikos
The Trogs took a quick stock of their loot from Cloudland, healed up and headed back to headquarters in Celsior.    The poor weather stranded the caravan they had travelled with to get to Verge, so these merchants were far better off with supplies (and some cash to buy gems and minor magic items) that the local trading post.

Still in Verge, Zorin took the job of doling out the treasure to everyone without complaint.   He barks orders and his only main concern is getting back to Celsior for proper rest.  Gwen is forced into nothing but magic identification for a few days, not even given a trace of respite.

The most intriguing treasure was that of a magical cooking pot that purified and cooked all food that was placed within.  Of course, a magic word was needed to activate the device....

News and Rumors received while in Verge
* High demand for food in the Dwarven City of Jarred.  Humans caravans are leaving at the first break in the weather to beat out the Dwarven and Gnoll caravans.  Jarred is southwest of Verge, so this excite the current stranded merchants.
* Elven refugees from Agenmoor are disappearing all over Marakeikos.
*Orcs still control Frandor's Keep.  A brigade of Gnome Titan ex-pats are still organizing to march on the fort and retake it.
*Heavily armed desert nomads from Yarbay have finally been pushed back from the borders of Barthey.

31st of DecDec, Verge, Marakeikos.
Burning Trogs High Council is convened.
*Gwen was brought in as a Burning Trog
*Whitey was brought in as a Burning Trog
*Corena was brought in as a Burning Trog

"Corena got tired of holding the standard."

Brother Thomas suggested we need a magic-user.  They then debated in which direction they should go when the weather cleared. Jarred with a caravan?  Barthey?  Refugees and most adventurers were forbidden from entering the capital, and with Zorin's dogged determination, the group agreed to head back to Celsior.

34th of Decdec, On the road to Celsior.
Gwen's birthday was quietly celebrated before they departed Verge.  Not much in presents, but Whitey did get the magic pot to work!

The trail is barely navigable.  It's cold, it's wet, and there's way too much snow for the smaller member.  Still, they push on.

1st of Undec, 1134, Still on the cold road...
First day of Undec of the new year.  The clerics prayed for spells and received nothing... Whitey's pot is not working either.  It had happened last year, and it appeared to be becoming an regular occurance.

2nd of Undec, 1134.  Almost there...
Everything returns to normal.

3rd of Undec, 1134, Celsior
Early morning arrival at Celsior.  Cecelia's house/The Trogs' HQ is boarded up, but everything is fine.  Mutumbo set it up that way as a precaution from the refugees and ne'er do wells.  Nina and their little boy Takem are fine.  They all set forth to sell the remaining booty and look into some serious training.

28th of Undec, 1134, Celsior
An official banner of the Burning Trogs and a number of signet rings commissioned by Zorin have arrived and are distributed.  Cecelia requested an audience with Baron Desmond Celsior.  She informed him of the location and troubles around Cloudland Castle (Verge is little but an independent village with no leadership from the crown).

A few more drinks into the night, Zorin admits that he, Corena, and Whitey decided to join the Gnome Titan Legions heading to Frandor's Keep.  Control of the Trogs was transferred to Cecelia Darkspruce.

If anything happy came out of that night, it was from Brother Thomas' intoxication.  He was the last to come home from the tavern and come into the HQ with Marek the Learned, a snotty nerd.

Per Gwen: "He has two webbed hands!  He needs to spend more time with women and less time sleeping with books.  Does he know what to do with a girl?  Maybe Janus can teach him?"

29th of Undec, 1134, Celsior
Zorin and Company bid farewell to the other Trogs.  They left the magic pot with us, saying we'll need it more?

New rumors from the more "civilized" town of Celsior:
*Mirros is the most temperate of all the kingdom, but they are restrticing movement, preventing refugees from entering.
*Now the gnomes are trying to hurry and get the Spring caravans moving early.  War is in the air and moving to the east
*In was-ravaged Emron, there are not enough mages to freeze the canals for the famed Ice Skating Festival.
* King Valens wants to set up a school for mages, much like Hydincall in Crosedes or Barthey City.
* New book "Clarissa's Travels" sets the upper classes aflutter.  Rumors of a world within this world, full of a different sun and giant lizards.  Entrance is surrounded by a never-ending blizzard..

4th of DuoDec, 1134 Celsior.
After a few days of getting the solid bedrest they needed, after nights of heavy drinking, most of the Trogs were getting antsy
Winter in Celsior
Gwen  "Townspeople are getting sick of sleeping with Janus"

A Woman showed up in nearby bar looking for the Trogs.   She was a courier for  noblewoman Dame Silver of Linnard and presents Cecelia with a  fancy envelopes.  The Trogs apparently rescued her niece on one of their adventures, and she would like to return the favor with hospitality and invite them to her estate to celebrate the Feast of Erinborg.

Time to buy some fancy duds!

As it was time to move into the next storyarc, it was also time for Zorin to take a leave of absence as Hoyce, the player running him, needed to take a grad class.  To ease the storyline, his sidekick Whitey would obviously follow him, and he took full responsibility of taking their "adopted" torchbearer up to a warzone to help Whitey cook. 

Next:  #16 Winner, Winner, Finding Linnard


Friday, October 16, 2015

I Love My Wife

This week my wife and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary.   Real life and the kids' schedules have forced us to scratch any plans beyond a traditional quarterly "date night" this weekend, so we exchanged a few minor gifts and ate an awesome dinner of chicken, hot sauce and diced potatoes in a casserole dish covered with a layer of cheese and a layer of bacon.

While my wife got a little teak duck with some sentimental value, I got... another Spicy Shelf.

Is my wife great or what?

With a few minutes this evening, I assembled my second shelf, then realized I could expand my first for even more room!

The end result is way more than satisfactory...


The second shelf replaces a flipped over storage box that will now be designated for the girls' painting supplies, as well as extra bottles of Poodleskirt and Bubblegum Pink I currently have off to the left of the table.

In front of the shelves are the next projects in the queue:  two different types of Pegasus palm trees and a few cheap plastic spiders from Michaels, for the girls to paint, but leave a few so their old man can test a Martian spider paint scheme I'd like to use for not only the Savage Showdown game with them, but perhaps field some goblin spider-riders and other figs for another Kings of War game with Nichols.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Gnome-tallica

In my job, the 15th of October is the busiest sales day of the year. 
 
Today, I must rock!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #14: Freakin' Cloudland Castle

1st of Decdec, 1133, Mirros, Capital of  Marakeikos
After their extended foray into the sewers of the capital, the Trogs earned a well-deserved break. Outside of two trips back to Celsior to check on Mutumbo, Nina, and baby Takem, the majority of time was spent in Mirros, continuing their training, and acquiring rumors.

Despite the news of horrible snow in the mountains west of Celsior, the area around the coast had been spared bad weather, and with a stir-crazy druid in the party, the Trogs jumped on the opportunity to escort a very late season caravan to the village of Verge.

6th of Decdec, 1133, Village of Verge, Marakeikos
The caravan having arrived at Verge with some much appreciated provisions, the Trogs settled into the only inn in town and soaked up the stories and legends.  Only one stood out, Cloudland Castle, some twenty miles south of the village, deep within the mountains,   Rumors of a powerful warlock, an elf kings, and unexplained magical phenomenon were enough for the Trogs to investigate.

10th of Decdec,1133  Cloudland Castle, outside the Village of Verge
The castle itself was an impressive site.  The sheer walls were punctuated with five tall towers, and with all the land cleared for a quarter miles in all directions, its inhabitants could easily see visitors.

15th of Decdec
It took five days for the Trogs to completely access the castle the dungeons beneath.   Despite finding a breach in the wall on the far southern wall, they waltzed right into a three way war being waged by wild elves, orc-led humanoids, and a disturbing number of undead.  Everytime they found secure area, another side in the war would rear its head.  Additional allies were not welcome, even if the Trogs had offered (which they did not).  It took a magic teleporting sword to separate the group into the dungeon levels and find access back to the surface.  With the humanoid faction waning, the undead ranks growing, and the wild elves licking their wounds, the party formally descended into the dungeon.

18th of Decdec
Raiding the factions had restocked their supplies, but the first level of the dungeon was almost as daunting as the castle proper.  Better organized orcs, hobgoblins, and odd human cults fought over every inch of the four dozen mismatched room and caves.  To try to make sense of things they began a new concept to them:  mapping.

To do this properly takes time....Boy, I'd really like to burn this whole fucking place down.  I'd REALLY like it...    - Zorin Redrock

The second level of the dungeons was even worse.  Provisions were still ok, but everyone's armor was hanging on by random straps.  Trolls, orcs, even a wight assailed the group relentlessly.  The only comfort was the burning stench of the troll they killed.  It wasn't as bad as the piles of Trog bodies they had put to the torch, but it was comforting nevertheless.

They kept finding people imprisoned in the lower levels, most were near near, but even those who were injured but stable, like dwarf Copic Troll-Chopper drew a similar fate.  Although they hid in the upper stables with armor and a sword, in a few mere hours down below, they returned to find him slain as well, stripped of Zorin's spare armor.

They finally discovered the wizard cults, depraved specialists hunting for the secrets of the lower levels.  Their first encounter with a blood mage was memorable.  The robe of human skin was indication enough that he was going to be less friendly than before, but as the Trogs attempted to slay him, he floated to the ceiling and exploded into a spray of caustic blood, burning everything and everyone it touched.  s

Zorin Redrock:  "Found some ogres. Brother Thomas' backpack broke and he's got some kind of magical bag that holds a ton of shit, and it's all scattered around now (where'd he get that bag?)"


Not part of the loot they found.
19th Decdec, The bowels of Cloudland Castle
Janus Redrock:  "goddamed wandering weh are going to be done with this gods-forsaken place.  Hold on, even more ghouls!  Found wraith, killed wraith.  Set fire to large spider web."

The safe passages the Trogs had cleared were filling with undead!    Janus and Whitey, the two clerics of the party, could barely keep up with healing the wounds of the Trogs.  Many times, they would barricade themselves in side rooms just for a few hours of respite.

21st of Decdec, even further into Cloudland
Even further into the depths the Trog encountered an enclave of elven wizards, who, why not violent, deferred tremendous indifference to the party, and wielded sufficient power to handle this rag-tag bunch of wounded adventures.   Back when they had entered the castle, the Trogs had cleaned out the manor house and had met "Jeems"  the ancient wizard's butler... in ghost form.  He had been of minor help answering questions, as the majority of the groups around the castle had not been there before he died, but when confronted by news of the elven wizards, Jeems became much more forthcoming.  The elf wizards were, in fact, worshippers of the wizard and were willing to defend their master's lair till the death.    With that data in their minds, they ventured down once more to the fourth level, parlayed ineffectively with the elves, eluded some dwarves, and got lost for awhile in a maze.

22nd of Decdec, back to Verge
Upon emerging from the maze, they consolidated their supplies and made a mad dash out of the breach in the wall and headed back to Verge post-haste.

24th of Decdec
Arrived in Verge.


Cloudland was an adventure for "skill levels 1-4" created by Grenadier Models in 1984.  It had a definitive feel of a classic Judge's Guild product which was chock full of potential but offered little guidance.  

For Hackmaster, I simply added the twenty point hit point kicker, provided logical skills, talents, and stats, and most importantly, the different factions had self-sustaining tactics.   The elves would rather retreat to a more secure location than engage a superior (for the time) opponent. 

This went against most of the logic from the published modules that I had used up until then, but with this many groups interested in a slice of something, they had to be played smarter than that. 

The Burning Trogs hated Cloudland Castle, never returning there to finish the job.  Upon discovering other adventuring parties down in the lower levels, but in complete disarray, it appeared smarter to lick your wounds, make do with some gold and a plethora of miscellaneous magic items, and find adventure elsewhere.    Some of the players still use much more colorful language than this blog entry's title suggests.

Of course, the greatest item obtained from Cloudland was simply known as "The Magic Pot" which could cook and purify food placed in it simply by uttering the command word.  Whitey became a much better cook after that.  

Next up: #15 The Search for Silver 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday Afternoon... Armchair General

Another weekend, another weekend without gaming.   Although we did get in some non-gaming recreational painting, it looks as if the the biggest project will be the downstairs.   Paint samples are already scattered throughout the rooms.  Prayers are greatly accepted.

Between children's illnesses and house cleaning, I've had a good chance of going through the backlog of TV on the DVR and Netflix, here goes.

Fear the Walking Dead: Exactly what I expected.  I'll be happy to watch it next February.  To those who expected something different, just take a gander back to Katrina to see a botched response both civilian and military.

Walking Dead:  First episode of the season in and the world is back to a world of undead crap.  Without spoiling things, Jennifer Love Hewitt wept a little last night.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D:  Solving the the interplanetary adventures of Simmons in two episodes was a little disappointing, but Fitz is a wild card bad ass now.  I may be the only person on the face of the Earth who liked the superhero procedural format of the first season, but I hope it returns with everyone hunting down Inhumans, for good or for evil.

Gotham: Still too ridiculously violent for an 8pm show, but I broke down and watched the season finale from last year, and I still go, eh....    In fact the only reason I even went back to watching any of it was finding out that Alfred is Jon Pertwee's (a la The Third Doctor's) son.

Flash:  This is a lesson on why you shouldn't judge a show by the craptastic other shows on the network.   Being gravely disappointed in Arrow, I never gave Flash a shot and I now regret it.  A late-night binge of the the few episodes won me over.  From casting to special effects to cheesey comic book lines, everything fits a science fiction heavy modern day super hero series. 

The best part is the violence isn't over the top like Gotham, so I let the little ones watch it on Sunday afternoon.  Tom Cavanaugh barely gets through his mysterious last scene of the first episode, and Maja blurts out the entire storyline for the first season.  Not bad for six years old.  #proudgeekdad.

Other things of interests.
The Kickstarter for Tales of the Carribean by Golden Goblin Press  easily cruised into harbor with over $36,000.  Eleven stretch goals were hit, including the Office of Naval Intelligence campaign that really interested me. 

Chaosium has announced the pdf release of S. Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horror.  Originally one of the stretch goals for the 7th Edition Kickstarter, it's getting rave reviews just as a digital copy, so a hardcopy version might need to go on my shelf, once that's available.






 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

(Gnome Profile) The Red Count

After days upon nights upon days of barely getting down the painting bench (or getting distracted by binge watching Flash, damn that's good), the first figure for my 2016 painting season is done.  

I present the most terrifying gnome of the Thirty Beers Wars, Richard "Richie" Louis, The Red Count

His only weaknesses are wooden stakes to the heart and my line work.
Vampire legends are part of every gnome village, and probably have been since before recorded history.  

Despite a strong French king, a consortium of nobles had final say on most French policies.  The Red Count, known for his Cardinal-red capes, affinity for long afternoon naps, and unusually long life span, ruled them with an iron fist.  A shrewd diplomat and businessman, he wisely switched sides in the midst of the Thirty Beers War when he saw the strength of the other old powers wane.  

Despite him relinquishing his title to his illegitimate, idiot son and disappearing entirely from French court, rumors of his appearance surface every year during All Hallow's Eve, and at times when the French nation needs the leadership of someone who's out for blood.

What does he want with Zeke the Mouse, Maja Millie, and Rosalie of the Rosary...

Or is Rosalie a double agent?
To recreate the Red Count, Use the regular Vampire sheet, with these changes:

  • If the Red Count attempts to feed, he succeeds on a 1-4 on d6.
  • No wolves/wolf form, however he will field two additional mummies.
  • If all officers and NCOs are removed from a unit, they do not rout if the Red Count is within TWO feet of the unit and is in gnome form.  He "counts" as a leader and provides a +2 bonuses to morale checks for other units with leaders.   He can inspire most men, but death is a far more pleasant alternative than failing the Red Count.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gnomish Wedding Rights

This world has been a-changing this past decade, but let us not forget in certain parts of the world it's perfectly acceptable to snatch gnomes off the street....

But some do get early honeymoons...   link


Get on the Muuuuuule Train!

After a day and a half of business and sales meetings, I got to duck into the basement and assembled a quick pic or two of Lieutenant Donald Cornelius and his men of the California Imperial Guard escorting mule train to the nearest railway station for transport to the capital city of San Francisco.




Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Evolution of the FLGS

I manage a few minutes in between my work demands and those of home and visited the third location of my FLGS in the last year and a half.

Emerald Vale Games is no more.   Long live Evolution Games! 

For a Tuesday night, the place was packed with...twenty-something year old Yu-Gi-Oh! players?  Game play, card trading, and general business was jumping, so I certainly can't judge.  Joe, the owner, now controls three different sections of the first floor of the building:  The deli, the game storefront, and a weird bar-like room that they're converting to a role-playing room.

Stock seems better organized, the junk is hidden away in an office, and outside some Blood Bowl figures that are hidden from the shopkeep's eye, the store has a better flow than before.  

No update from Pop's e-commerce site, so I guess I'll try and re-place my order again. 

The most bonus points I'll give out.  They have signage.  Sure, it's decal window signage only, but it's better than the jazzy/scooter profile that they never took down at location #2.

Evolution Games
7 Lee Park Ave
Wilkes-Barre, PA

I guess an 18 month review of the "new" store is due...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

(TWERPS) Rescuing a Friendly Kangaroo

It's a sign of a good weekend in my house when (a) I don't wish to smother the kids with a pillow for three seconds of quiet (b) the house only looks like a gale force wind blew threw it, rather than a category 5 twister and (c) I get some form of gaming in on both days.

After learning Kings of War on Saturday, I broke out the checkerboard, and the kids tried a heroic rescue of a friendly kangaroo using TWERPS.

Despite Millie's ability to stay focused improving (she is 4 you know), I figures the hex-based movement would allow her the boardgame feel she likes, and the opposed rolls for attacks and defense meant she'd be rolling a lot of dice.

I was happy that Maja just focused on rescuing the Kangaroo.

Backstory:  The Gnome King has begun kidnapping creatures from across the land and making them his prisoners.   There has been no explanation for this, and some of the most prominent figures of the realm are trying to do something about it.

Our Heroes:
Izzy (Jake and the Neverland Pirates)  Strength:  6    Special Ability:  May fly up to five spaces instead of her normal move, once per battle, if not already engaged in combat.  May fly over opposing figures

Snow White (from Snow White, duh!)   Strength 5.  Special Ability:  Friends with Animals +2 (the standard TWERPS +1 just didn't seem enough).

As the duo poured into the checkered floor dungeon, Izzy immediately flew over the gnome guards to get to the kangaroo, leaving Snow White in a lurch.  Unfortunately for the pirate, she wasn't the friendliest of animals, and once she freed it, it wanted to scamper away.  In fact, it kicked Izzy, knocking her to the ground.

"Let me just fly over the gnomes and rescue them, Snow White.  
Lucky for Snow White, she seemed impervious to there attacks,  in fact two gave up in disgust and tried to detain Izzy and corral the Kangaroo.  The kangaroo eluded its gnome, but the other managed to jump on Izzy and pummel her before he narrowly fought him off.  

Snow White toyed with her gnome, before finally knocking it out with an amazing karate kick.  Then she barely reached the kangaroo before it escaped on its own, calming it down, and allowing everyone a chance to leave together.
Run to freedom, Kangaroo!
I've had a few requests over the years for some role-playing with the Gnome Wars figures.  I figured a good start was trying out TWERPS again with the girls, and it was a blast.  Not only did they both stay engaged, the dice mechanic for combat (Strength + d10 + modifiers for attack and opposing defense) allowed for a lot of basic arithmetic, perfect for a First Grader.

Perhaps more princess, or ponies, or combat-ready Shopkins can participate next time.  If the FLGS gets in battle mats again, I guess I'm investing in hex one.   It's been awhile (since I owned one and since the FLGS had a decent stock of them).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

(Hackmaster) Burning Trogs Rule! #13: Sundered Faith

15th of Hexdec,  1133  Sewers of Mirros, Capital of Marakeikos

Upon the return of Zorin, Tobias, and Cecelia, the Trogs took a job with the city administrators.

While the trio had been gone, a peculiar earthquake hit the capital, opening up a huge fissure in one of the neighborhoods.  Less than a day later, undead began pouring out of the of the fissure, as well as attacking city workers in the sewers. For 500 gold, they needed to stop the attacks. 

Entering through the sewers, they immediately found a ghoul eating a corpse.  While there weren't  many many undead in the sewers, once they discovered access to the older sewers and pre-Marakeikan catacombs, the  ghouls poured out to meet them. After one one pretty harrowing skirmish, there was a loud crack noise and the entire party slid down into a natural cavern and with an underground lake.

Between the fall and the cold water, Cecelia's armor gave her trouble and she couldn't surface.  It took the help of Tobias and Gwen to rescue her.

They pulled themselves up to the dark shore of the lake, only to be attacked by a giant snake!  Rushing with light spells and torches, they spotted a cave on the far side of the shore and ran to it for some hopeful sense of safety.

Once they had a chance to explore, they found a cavern the led into carved passageways. 

Zorin Redrock:  After being stuck in the dungeon for a while we finally forced our way into a door. Downa hallway we found a room with a weird symbol and glowing short sword on it.  Also more ghouls....  Tobias went for the sword and was nearly overwhelmed, but the others dispatched them. and moved on.  The next door we came to had gore, bones, and three more ghouls.  This time Tobias actually fought....

Even the most mundane of the undead they encountered seemed to grow stronger in power the further they ventured into this place.  Turning undead failed everytime, magical healing was negligible at best, and all magical lighting refused to work. 

It took days to navigate the dungeon.  The undead seemed to simply respawn in equal numbers that had been there the day before. 

With food and light sources dwindling, Tobias found a way back up into the ancient catacombs.  Once the Trogs made it out, their powers quickly regained full strength... and they promptly sealed the crack in the rock leading back down.  Another day or so in the sewers (and a few trips up top for drinks and much needed baths) and the undead threat was considered solved, and the Trogs took their money.  The real cause of the undead invasion was never discovered....

This module was Sundered Faith, an AEG mini-module produced in the early days of d20/3E.  For $2.49, it offered a lot of value, and tons of frustrations to the group.  It might be a bit ret-conning, but there was an odd sword in one of the chambers, and in our next installment is the first mention in the journal of Zorin Redrock's famed sword Fromm Tyre #479.  I'm going to say that this is the place where Zorin found it.  It also helped that Tobias acted like an ass and Zorin immediately laid claim onto it once Tobias was rescued. 



Stats for Fromm Tyre (called From Tyre in it's Hackjournal entry)
Fromm Tyre #479 (Short Sword +4 of Gnomish Battle Sense)
(spd -6, #att 5/2, dam 1d6+13/1d6+14/1d8+14  using Zorin's stats at 7th Level)
+4/+4. If used by gnomekind, grants +15% to Military Battle Sense, Military Leadership, Leadership Maintain Self Discipline, and Recruit Army

Next #14: Freakin' Cloudland Castle.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Kings of War

As I type this up, we're experiencing the first sunny day in recent memory.  The entire past week has slowly regressed from beautiful Fall weather to the cold, damp doldrums of Fall that no yoga-pant clad woman drinking a pumpkin latte can escape.  

In other words, it's perfect weather for my buddy Brian to take a weeks vacation.  

He came up Saturday to take a break from his stay-cation and crack open his next addictions, 3x3 felt cloths from Michael's and  Mantic's Kings of War. 

I haven't been into full scale fantasy battles since Warhammer Fantasy Battles nearly broke my bank with Skaven back in '94.  The GW core mechanics for their games are pretty simple, it's the twelve million special rules making units feel obsolete, if not useless that I dislike.  

After a perusal of the book and a quick game of dwarves versus lizard men it looks like you can play a game of basic units, mix in some variety and still keep the fate of the armies up in the air until the last turn.

I think this might be problematic...
The stat lines for KoW vs WFB are pretty similar.    The fact that the units rolled the same number of attack dice no matter what their casualties confused me.  The idea that a nerve test for one measly casualty could cause a unit with the worst luck to rout was intriguing.  I love the idea of just the current turn holder rolling all the dice for attackers and defenders.  It might be my first game jitters, but we communicated stats and special abilities better with each other than with a normal game.

I set up my dwarves horribly, forcing me be move them to get proper lines of sight.   Ranged attacks were pretty much neutrilized with either poor to-hit chances or tough defender armor.   We traded off units, Brian's giant lizard men dudes rampaging through my ranks, and my other dwarves charging his other units just to avoid the carnage.  By the end of the game, Brian's lizard men leader was killed by my king, and he's standard bearer blown up by a lucky cannon shot.   Brian just had the giant lizards and his triceratops crossbow weapon roaming the table.  Final score Dwarves 395 points left Lizard men 350, just enough for a (very) minor Dwarf victory.  
The Dwarf King distracts everyone...
The book is gorgeous (and only $40)  and it looks like I can already throw together 600 points of goblins with the future "Martians" I sagged on eBay long ago, especially with the unit customization rules.  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

(Kickstarter) Delta Green RPG

Arc Dream Publishing, in coordination with Pagan Publishing, has launched the much-anticipated Delta Green RPG Kickstarter

What is Delta Green?  I'll wait while you read....

It's great, right?  Ready to continue?  Awesome.

As of now, there are only three categories they're working on...
  1. The Agent's Handbook ($50 S&H included Stateside):  A revised Delta Green for 2015 with a new system that is still familiar to the old players, but has plenty of innovations to deal with being a modern agent.
  2. The Fall of Delta Green by Kenneth Hite  ($50 S&H Stateside)  A supplement covering the disastrous 1969 Cambodian operation which forced Delta Green underground.  System-wise its for the Gumshoe (Trail of Cthulhu) RPG, but should be more than adaptable to Call of Cthulhu and conversion details provided for Delta Green RPG.
  3. pdfs out the wazoo as add-ons. 
Right now I'm checking finances, but if things go well, the only thing I'm going for is Fall of Delta Green. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

(Savage Showdown) #3 The Treasure of the Millie Maja

For our third family game of Savage Showdown, we broke out the freshly painted mules, and two year old shoebox buildings to continue the saga of the yet-again renamed Millie Maja, Archaeologist.

In our last two episodes, Millie Maja uncovered some priceless Egyptian artifacts and escaped the evil clutches of some ne'er do wells, living and dead.  Only Millie and her friend, Swedish adventurer Nils Lingonberry had escaped the roadside stop near the dig site, with a truck full of antiquities.

Between sessions, the truck broke down, forcing the duo to find the nearest village and buy mules to transport the artifacts to the capital city (another vehicle was just too convenient to use).   They also coordinated the safe haven of the local constable in the next town with a telegraph. 

Unfortunately, some corrupt soldiers have heard of the constable's deal with the pair and plan on seizing the illegally obtained items outside the constable's jurisdiction.

Also hot on the tail of the treasure is famed soldier and explorer Lieutenant Colonel Thaddeus Ovaltine and his Rough and Ready Riders.  Millie had narrowly eluded his clutches at the roadside stop, but their disabled vehicle and stop at the village enable him and his men to catch up.

Our players:

Maja Millie, Nils Lingonberry, and 3 porters/mule handlers (run by Millie, age 4)
Objective:  Get the five mules full of treasure (and Oreo cookies) to town boundary and the safe protection of the Constable and his men. 

So close, yet so far
The Greedy Soldiers (run by Daddy, age too damn old)
Objective: Steal as many mules as possible.  May not enter town (they're corrupt and greedy, but do follow certain laws.)

Lt. Colonel Thaddeus Ovaltine and his Rough and Ready Riders (run by Maja age 6)
Objective: (1) Steal as many mules as possible (2) exact as much revenge on our heroes as possible.

Constable Pierre Plastique and his deputies (run by Dad.. again)
Objective: (1) Defend the town if attacked (2) Provide safety to our heroes if they make it into town. They may not leave the town, but may fire out of it.

Turn 1: Nils set-up the caravan in a close knit single-file line "for safety" and the other groups got into position.
"Vait, I zink dere's a trap oop ahead..."
Turn two:  The Constable drew a Joker, earning him an extra Bennie, but also unleashing the destructive force of... the Chupacabra!


Turn Three:  The figures in the town may have been cowboys, but the shoot 'me up belonged to Ovaltines men.   Maja had one charge the constable, two towards the soldiers, and the Lt Col and one approached the heroes.   I'm not sure how everyone else missed them, but the Rough and Ready Riders wounded the constable and set two of mules scattering off the table!   Lucky for the constable, he burned he's Bennies to keep breathing.

Millie's tactic for the heroes?
Scatter!!! They can't catch all of us!
Turn four 
The soldiers held form from the Rider's improvised charge and dispatched them easily, yet it was Nils Lingonberry who dove into combat with the two other soldiers.  The subsequent melee could only be described as a weak-wristed slapfest.


Turn five:  I finally remembered to draw a card for the Chupacabra and it seized the initiative.  It dove at one of the handlers, thinking it had surprised him, yet the handler easily sidestepped the attacked and countered with exploding dice and 39 points of damage!

Lowly Mexican beast of myth, you are no match for... a hired mule handler???
I have not seen such impressive dice rolling since I ran Hackmaster a decade ago.  Millie, rolling from a dice cup, could do no wrong, and even though the Chupacabra had Bennies to soak damage, it wasn't enough to survive. 

Turn Six:  Millie's Maja's plans began to completely unravel.  

First off: Ovaltine draws a Joker, which permanently increased his fighting from D6 to D8!  He wisely dashed towards a loose mule and led him away from the fighting.  (1 Treasure - Ovaltine)

Ovaltine leads his spoils away
Then the soldiers rounded up Nils, two handlers, and a mule and arrested them.  (1 Treasure - Soldiers)


Millie manage to work her mule away from the melee, and I called that she made it into town (1 Treasure - Millie)


For the constable?  No treasures, but Ovaltine's man finally ran away. If the deputies hate anything more than their leader getting shot, it's a coward.  They shot the running man exactly like they were the firing line for his execution.

Next:  Nils & Company are arrested!  What will Millie do to get them out of jail?
Perhaps it's time for the return of the Mexican!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gaming Plan for 2016

Another crazy, productive year is behind me.  What can I reasonably shoot for in 2016 (Which by my heretical ways runs October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016)?

Most of my goals fell flat this past year, and many that didn't were short lived.  Let's prioritze this list a bit better this year, shall we?

My Girls:  The whole reason I try to play as many games as I do.  Sure, it's not Squad Leader, but it's not (always) Candyland either.   Activities with the girls:
  • Savage Showdown:  We're still early in, but the ladies like their skirmish level game and I've got tons of scenarios.  Plus, it allows me to paint individual figures most of the time.
  • Role-Playing:  Between a Revival of Dungeons and Ponies, A Village on the Hill, TWERPS, T.I.A.R.A. and some Kids TV games based off of Scavengers, I have way too much potential here. Plastic Tanks and Princesses are mandatory.
  • Kid's Game:  My main failure at #30GamesAMonth, beyond scheduling, time, and energy.  Not enough quick kid/family games for ages 6 and under.  Time to start accumulating games for ages 9 and under, especially dice games.
Call of Cthulhu:  The game has sort of stalled, being in a long term campaign storyline versus the series of one-offs tied into a campaign can do that.  My goal is to progress through Cairo, maybe Kenya before the money dries up, and tie-up some loose ends before we turn our attentions elsewhere.  The group might make it the Shanghai (not this year at least), and we can keep going.   If I happen to grab Invictus, we might take a breather to recharge interest in the game and our batteries. 

Hackmaster:  The Burning Trogs are coming back, ten years later, and revenge is on their minds.   I'm definitely more enthused at the prospect of mega sessions of crunchy gaming than CoC at this second, but there's a lot of work to be done to get to the first session.

Emereon - AD&D, 2nd Edition:  As if that's bad enough, the return of the wise and and insufferable Hoyce to Pennsylvania has instill desire in him to restart his AD&D game.  My street ruffian made good is halfway finished, but I don't know where the time to game will come from.  #NerdWorldProblems.

Samoa:  I'm sticking with the first half of my Samoa goal from last year: The great thing about painting up all the Samoans is that I can pop them of the shelf and have a skirmish any time I want to. Village raids were commonplace, so a few huts and that's all I need.   I might add a few more figures and some paper huts and BOOM, there's my game for Cold Wars... without borrowing stuff from other gamers.

Conventions:  Fall-In! (Daddy-Daughter Weekend - Paying Attendee), Cold Wars (Guys Weekend - Gnomes and Samoa), Mepacon Spring 2016 (Birthday Weekend - To Be Determined).   That's it.

Gnome Wars: It's the original inspiration for the blog.  It shall never go away, even if I'm just doing the joust for Fall-In!  Perhaps I'll try to assemble enough material to run the Battle of Yellowstone for Fall-In! 2016, without borrowing stuff from other players.  I'd like the girls to be re-interested in them so I we can play another game or two of the Astro-Surfian War.    And after I recharge and get motivated by the Gnomes at Fall-In! I'll go back to writing.

Frostgrave/Mordheim: Frostgrave is reviving fantasy skirmish.  It might be worth a gander. 

Painting:  Nothing grandiose again... or perhaps... just a bit:
  • Gnomes:  still a LOT of touch up to do, and perhaps the Irish... or Germans... or Australian Cav get finally get finished
  • Martians:  the bin o' GW/Heartbreaker goblins I've snagged on the cheap is calling my name, and the paint schemes I have for them are fairly unique and inspiring.  I have some cheapo spider to practic on first (for the girls, of course).
  • Samoa:  Whatever I buy must go the front of the queue.
  • Terrain:  Palm Trees forever!  Must build up the jungle terrain.
  • Battletech:  I've got 18 more to go.   When the system was hitting all cylinders over the summer, it was fun to paint them up.
  • Operation Tom Sawyer II:  Keep mixing things up, prepping for the next Savage Worlds game, and just make sure painting isn't a chore.
  • Professional Painting:  I've said it most years, I'll finally have the UNE Pioneer and Behemoth painted up a la Planetstorm.  Get a quote at Fall-In!, drop them off at Cold Wars.