Monday, October 20, 2014

Minis & Modeling Monday - Dwarven Fort Diorama Banners

The work on the Dwarven Fort diorama at continues apace with this installment showing some techniques for making excellent banners.  See more here.

A look at prepping and painting Miniatures,
crafting buildings and paper Models,
and other non-terrain stuff for the tabletop..
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Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Sunday Miscellanea - Conan: Hyborian Quests (2015)

Conan: Hyborian Quests (2015) is a game I am looking forward to seeing published.  It would appear it will combine some of the best elements of tabletop RPGing with miniatures skirmish gaming all wrapped up in a Howard-esque theme.  The Kickstarter is slated for January of 2015 with a general public release planned for Gen Con later the same year.

From the description on Board Game Geek:
Conan: Hyborian Quests, designed by Fred Henry and based on the Conan universe by Robert E. Howard, is a scenario-based semi-cooperative asymmetric miniatures board game. One player is the Opponent, playing the Opposition forces, and the other players (1 to 4) play Conan and his companions: Shevatas the thief, Hadrathus the Priest/Sorcerer, Belit the pirate queen, Valeria the warrior, etc. The game is based purely on Robert E. Howard's novels and short stories (and not the movies or other non-Howardian material). The publisher has hired Patrice Louinet, a Howard expert, to make sure the art and the scenarios are compatible with Howard's vision.
Each game is a scenario, played on a map. There will be several maps — Pictish Village, Underground temple, Tavern, Pirate ship, etc. — and each map can have several scenarios set on it. The game is fast, one hour approximately. It's possible to play several scenarios in a campaign, but you can also play each scenario individually. There will be a dozen playable scenarios in the base box.
At the beginning of a scenario, players choose their team (Conan and two or three other heroes). The Opponent gathers all the miniatures (picts, Necromancer, skeleton warriors, monsters, etc.), tokens, cards from the chosen scenario. The game usually plays in a limited number of turns (ten, for instance). Each scenario can have very different objectives: find the princess captured by picts and hidden in a hut and leave the camp before the pict hunters return; find the magical key to open a sealed door, steal the jewel and leave; kill the Necromancer by the end of turn 10; survive by the end of turn 10; escape the prison; etc.
During their turn, the heroes can activate or rest. If they activate, they can spend "gems" from their energy pool to do all sorts of actions: move, fight (melee or distance), defend, pick a lock, reroll, etc. If they rest, they can move a lot of gems from their "spent" pool box to their "available" pool box. When they take an action, they throw a number of dice equal to the number of gems they put in their action. There are three different kinds of dice: yellow (the weaker dice), orange (medium) and red (strong). Each character has a color based on their specialty: Conan throws red dice in combat while the Sorcerer throws yellow dice in combat; the thief throws red dice in Manipulation actions, while Conan throws orange dice; etc. Each player can have equipment cards (armor, magic potions, weapons, etc.) which give them bonuses on their dice rolls.
The Opponent plays differently. He uses a board with eight slidable tiles, plus his own Energy gems. Each tile corresponds to one unit (1 to 3 miniatures) on the game mat, and all of the miniature abilities are written on this tile (movement, armor, attack, special abilities). The tile position on the board corresponds to the numbers 1-8. The Opponent has a pool of energy gems and each time he activates one unit, he needs to spend a number of gems matching the tile placement: tile#1 costs 1 energy gem, tile#2 costs 2 gems, etc. Whatever tile the Opponent chooses to activate, he spends the corresponding energy cost (moving his energy gems from the available pool to the spent pool), then takes the tile out and moves it to the end of the sliding track: If he wants to activate this unit again, it will cost him 8 gems, because the unit is now on position 8. The Opponent can activate a maximum of two tiles, and he regains only a certain number of gems each turn (depending on the scenario).
In a typical scenario, the heroes need to accomplish something and the Opponent wins if the heroes fail to reach their objective — but in some scenarios, the Opponent has his own objectives and the Heroes win if they prevent him from accomplishing his goal.
The following is a Board Game Geek TV video shot at Essen with a company representative and uploaded to the BGGTV YouTube channel:

Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Systems Saturday - King of Tokyo (2011)

I've only played it a couple of time but I find the intuitive mechanics and fastplay of King of Tokyo (2011) to be quite charming.  It's theme is fun and the artwork well chosen.

From the description on Board Game Geek:
In King of Tokyo, you play mutant monsters, gigantic robots, and strange aliens – all of whom are destroying Tokyo and whacking each other in order to become the one and only King of Tokyo.
At the start of each turn, you roll six dice. The dice show the following six symbols: 1, 2, or 3 Victory Points, Energy, Heal, and Attack. Over three successive throws, choose whether to keep or discard each die in order to win victory points, gain energy, restore health, or attack other players into understanding that Tokyo is YOUR territory.
The fiercest player will occupy Tokyo, and earn extra victory points, but that player can't heal and must face all the other monsters alone!
Top this off with special cards purchased with energy that have a permanent or temporary effect, such as the growing of a second head which grants you an additional die, body armor, nova death ray, and more.... and it's one of the most explosive games of the year!
In order to win the game, one must either destroy Tokyo by accumulating 20 victory points, or be the only surviving monster once the fighting has ended.
Despite getting my butt handed to me and being knocked out of the game quite early, I still had a blast as much with the game as with the good company.

A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Tabletopper Friday - Asgard (2012) for Game Like a Viking Day!

For Game Like a Viking Day! yesterday, we opted to play Asgard (2012).  It's a delightfully complex game with some clever mechanics that presents options while requiring flexible tactics in the face of other players secret machinations.

Having watched some videos (linked below) on how to play the game, I found myself coming up with a few ideas about the best way to approach gameplay.  It seemed likely that ignoring the temple-building would leave someone in the dust and playing catch up in the latter stages.  After five turns of regular gameplay, there is also a final Ragnarok phase that requires some preparation to take full advantage of it.

From the description on Board Game Geek:
The end of days is close. Darkness and light will clash.
All Gods know what this means for them. Blood ties will no longer be respected, brother will fight against brother, and no man will spare another. Odin, Freyja, Týr, Loki, Hel, Thor, and Baldr forge their plans and promise great rewards to the ones who will help them prevail. Eventually Fenrir, Mímir, and Surtr will join the battle.
Ask for help at the right time, and the gods will grant you their powers. Will you ask Freyja to recruit the fallen warriors of Valhalla, or will you use the cunning of Loki and Hel to make an opponent's armies die or switch sides at a critical moment? Will you ask Týr to help win a decisive battle, or will you consult Mímir's wisdom in order to gain a tactical advantage?
In Asgard, you want to support the gods by erecting temples and by convincing brave warriors and mighty giants to side with them. You can influence which god will fight which during the final battle — Ragnarök — the outcome of which will depend on how well you strengthened their armies.
Beware, only a few of them will come out victorious. Will you side with the right ones? As a mortal, your place in the new world depends on it.
Our own game proved to me that not also spending some resources toward battles along the way cannot make up for simply dominating temple-building.  John, who best exploited ongoing battle was able to also dominate the Ragnarok phase and thus reap the lion's share of victory points and win the day.  We'll play this one again, hopefully on the next Game Like a Viking Day!

On Wednesday, I linked to the first video on the the Rahdo (Plays Through) YouTube channel but here is that video again, along with an extended play video from the same channel and a "Final Thoughts" video, the third in his series on Asgard.

Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nostalgia Thursday - Splendid Little Wars with Duke

Over on the Splendid Little Wars website, there is a great retrospective on tabletop miniatures wargaming titled "Uncle Duke's Napoleonette," which is also the totle of the ruleset they group pictured used while gaming with Uncle Duke.  See more here.

Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wargaming Wednesday - D&D Attack Wing

A YouTube video from Board Game Geek last month highlighted "D&D Attack Wing."  Enjoy.

A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Terrain Tuesday - 260 Dwarven Forge 6 inch by 6 inch tiles

Over on the Dwarven Forge website, there is a pictorial-thread featuring a layout with over "260 Dwarven Forge 6 inch by 6 inch tiles!"  Below, there is also a video from the MrRyanDevo YouTube channel highlighting the setup.  See more here.

For purposes here, the term Terrain is used broadly
to cover 3D and 2D maps, foam, felt, and such.
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