Thursday, October 8, 2015

Nostalgia Thursday - 30 Sided Assistance

Many of you are aware of the tragic circumstances now faced by our friends and relatives in South Carolina.  The flooding has been devastating from a storm that is being touted as a once-in-a-thousand-years event.  It's that bad.  In an effort to render some assistance, CMG's "30 Things Can Happen!" has been added to the "South Carolina 2015 Floods Bundle" spearheaded by Fat Goblin Games here.

As many may recall, "30 Things Can Happen!" was meant to be a tribute to the d30, the thirty-sided die.  It was also meant as a homage on the 30th anniversary of the publication of The Armory's "30 Sided Dice Gaming Tables."

Recently while at a Half Price Books in the area, I picked up a book I'd forgotten existed.  It is the sequel to the above book called The Armory's "30 Sided Character and Other Tales."  It came out a few years after the first and it might require me to make a sequel as well.  Since I focused on situations and locations in my first homage, I think my follow up should be all about characters, quirks, and backgrounds.

Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wargaming Wednesday - Napoleonics, Frostgrave, & Happiness

Over on AJ's Wargaming Blog, he's got a new post on "Napoleonic Austrian Artillery" here.

Also, on Fencing Frog, check out the recent posting on Frostgrave here.

Finally, I've adjusted a meme that's been around for a while to reflect how to buy happiness.  Enjoy!

A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Terrain Tuesday - Guard Tower, Styro Cutter, & Skeleton Bridge

Over on, they have a new "Guard Tower" here.

Also, on Amazon, there is a good deal going on a Styro Cutter here.

Finally, on the Halloweenville YouTube channel, check out the "Skeleton Bridge Tutorial."  Enjoy!

For purposes here, the term Terrain is used broadly
to cover 3D and 2D maps, foam, felt, and such.
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Minis & Modeling Monday - Dragon Fossils, Treemen, & Model Washes

Over on, learn "How to make your own Dragon Fossils" here.

Also, on, they show us "How to make a treeman using a 3D pen" here.

Finally, on the Todd Michalak YouTube channel, he fills us in on "Using Vallejo's Model Wash."  Enjoy!

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 4, 2015

The Sunday Miscellanea - Battlestar Galactica (2008) plus Expansion

After the last time we played Battlestar Galactica (2008) (blogged about here), we decided not to wait too long to get it back on the table.  Our next time playing, we added the Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus Expansion (2009).  Although the Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion (2010) was available to us, we opted not to add that into the mix.  We also did not add New Caprica.  We had a blast but screwed up in a significant way that I will detail later.

The description for the base game from Board Game Geek is as follows:
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is an exciting game of mistrust, intrigue, and the struggle for survival. Based on the epic and widely-acclaimed Sci Fi Channel series, Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game puts players in the role of one of ten of their favorite characters from the show. Each playable character has their own abilities and weaknesses, and must all work together in order for humanity to have any hope of survival. However, one or more players in every game secretly side with the Cylons. Players must attempt to expose the traitor while fuel shortages, food contaminations, and political unrest threatens to tear the fleet apart.
After the Cylon attack on the Colonies, the battered remnants of the human race are on the run, constantly searching for the next signpost on the road to Earth. They face the threat of Cylon attack from without, and treachery and crisis from within. Humanity must work together if they are to have any hope of survival…but how can they, when any of them may, in fact, be a Cylon agent?
Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game is a semi-cooperative game for 3-6 players ages 10 and up that can be played in 2-3 hours. Players choose from pilots, political leaders, military leaders, or engineers to crew Galactica. They are also dealt a loyalty card at the start of the game to determine if they are a human or Cylon along with an assortment of skill cards based on their characters abilities. Players then can move and take actions either on Galactica, on Colonial 1, or in a Viper. They need to collect skill cards, fend off Cylon ships, and keep Galactica and the fleet jumping. Each turn also brings a Crisis Card, various tasks that players must overcome. Players need to play matching skill cards to fend off the problems; skill cards that don't match hinder the players success. Fate could be working against the crew, or there could be a traitorous Cylon! As players get closer and closer towards reaching their Earth, another round of loyalty cards are passed out and more Cylons may turn up. If players can keep their up their food stores, fuel levels, ship morale, and population, and they can keep Galactica in one piece long enough to make it to Earth, the Humans win the game. But if the Cylon players reveal themselves at the right moment and bring down Galactica, the Humans have lost.

The description for the expansion from Board Game Geek is as follows:
The first expansion for Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, Pegasus adds two new supplemental game boards featuring the Battlestar Pegasus and the planet New Caprica, seven new characters, two plastic Basestars, as well as new Destination, Crisis, Loyalty, Quorum, Super Crisis, and Skill cards.
The new Pegasus board can be used by itself or together with the New Caprica board to create the game you desire – the Pegasus alone for the additional firepower she provides, or add the New Caprica board to simulate the rebellion on the new human colony, bringing the game to an epic level.
New rules introduce the ability to play as a new character type – the Cylon Leader, with a new Treachery Skill card type.
From the Box:
The arrival of the Battlestar Pegasus heralds a new era in the lives of the Galactica crew and the Colonial government, bringing badly needed manpower and firepower to humanity's ongoing fight against the Cylons. However, under the command of Admiral Cain there is no place for compassion or mercy. Now brutal necessity and hard choices erode humanity's moral compass. The Cylons, in turn, are changing as well. The more they are exposed to humans, the more their individual agendas begin to guide their actions. In a time of suspicion and desperate need, the line between right and wrong grows less and less distinct.
The Pegasus Expansion for Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game brings players the next chapter in the popular Syfy series. In addition to more Destination, Crisis, Super Crisis, Loyalty, and Skill Cards, this expansion introduces many new card types such as Treachery Skill Cards, representing the underhanded methods used to sabotage humanity's struggles. New characters in the expansion allow players to play as Cylon Leaders, who can win or lose based on their own mysterious motivations. New gameboards allow characters to explore both the Pegasus and New Caprica. Finally, with the New Caprica Objective Card and board, humanity will be subjected to Cylon rule, and must defend themselves from their oppressive overlords until Galactica can return to attempt a daring rescue.

Let me just say up front that the Humans never stood a chance.  In the first turn, there were so many Cylon attacks the game would have kicked the co-ops butt in short order anyway.  The fleet was limping by the second turn.  Food and fuel were low very quickly with population and morale even lower.  In the end it was the population that killed the game.  But, what really killed the game was having three skin-jobs.  Somehow we had left in the extra card that should only be used with more players.  Granted, only two of the traitors ever effectively did any damage, the third was a new player that played the game like a human anyway, thinking it was safer to blend in and not make any moves.  However, without him being much more pro-active and just the vibe in the air as folks were questioning one another, may well have confused things and made the Cylon victory even more probable.

Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Systems Saturday - Tiny Epic Galaxies (2015)

Recently, my friend Wendy busted out her Tiny Epic Galaxies (2015) game and we tried it out at Culver's.  It came with Tiny Epic Galaxies: Satellites & Super Weapons Mini Expansion (2015) but we stuck with the base game for the time being.  It was plenty enough.  There's a lot to learn for a game that fits easily into such a small box but it's all well-worth learning.  We had a lot of fun and even played it again at a subsequent gameday.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
A thirty-minute game of galactic conquest, Tiny Epic Galaxies is driven by an exciting dice-rolling mechanism that rewards thoughtful programming of the results. Players control a home galaxy and a fleet of space ships. As players upgrade their galaxies, they gain access to more ships and more dice.
Each turn, a player rolls a set of dice; how many dice are rolled is determined by the level of that player's galaxy. Each side of the six-sided die represents a different type of action: Movement, Colony Action, Harvest from Culture Planets, Harvest from Energy Planets, Improve an Economic Influence, and Improve a Diplomatic Influence.
After the roll, the player sorts the results of the roll (one selective re-roll is allowed) and organizes the dice in a desired activation order. Each die, in order, is then resolved and the results are immediate, which allows the player to pull-off unseen combos and surprise other players. Other players have the option to copy other player's a cost!
As players expand their galaxy by colonizing other planets through economic and diplomatic influence, they gain victory points AND the special powers brought in by those planets! In addition to galaxy upgrades, effective resource management provides luck-mitigating options that can sway the game in a calculated player's favor.
Whoever achieves the most points from acquiring planets and upgrading their personal galaxy wins!

Although it took us much longer to play the game than the box indicates, I do think we could come close to such game times once we've played a handful of sessions.  There is a lot to keep in mind and players are playing on each other's turns, with "Follow" moves if you are prepared with enough Culture resources.  It's one of the best features of this game, that players are engaged at all times and rarely waiting for a turn of their own, unless they've done so well that they accomplish their goals on their own turn and right afterward.  Still, being in good shape is hardly something to complain about.  Love this little game!

A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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Friday, October 2, 2015

Tabletopper Friday - Love Letter: The Hobbit (2015)

It only took a few minor changes to the standard game of Love Letter (2012) to make Love Letter: The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies (2015) but they do make for a new game experience.  They added a "0" numbered card designated as The Ring, renamed the rest of the cards for the various franchise characters, and changed what a couple do in minor ways.  The two Baron cards were replaced by Legolas and Tauriel and while the former works the same way, the latter has the opposite effect whereby the player with the higher card is out of the round.

The description from Board game Geek is as follows:
Love Letter: The Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies is a game of risk, deduction, and luck for 2–4 players based on the original Love Letter game by Seiji Kanai. The deck consists of 17 cards, with the Arkenstone being valued #8, Bilbo Baggins #7, and so on down to The One Ring at #0.
In each round, each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, using the power on that card to expose others and (possibly) knock them out of the round. If you're the final player active in the round or the player with the highest card when the deck runs out, then you score a point. In LL: The Hobbit, The One Ring does nothing during play, but it counts as a #7 when the game ends, possibly leading to a tie should someone else hold Bilbo.
In addition to the one extra card, LL: The Hobbit differs from the original game in that the Baron (#3) is represented by two separate cards: Tauriel and Legolas. When you use an elf's power to compare cards, Tauriel knocks out the player with the higher valued card while Legolas targets the lower valued card. (This change isn't in the German edition, where Legolas and Tauriel have the same text.)
Whoever first wins 4-7 rounds, with the number dependent on the number of players, wins the game!

We warmed up by playing a game of regular Love Letter before this, and I think that helped the two players who had only played the original once or not at all before jumping into the Hobbit version.  They both played quite well, but as roleplayers and regular boardgamers with bluffing game experience, this probably wasn't surprising.  I think that, as with Love Letter, any bluffing game is going to come down to how well you do at bluffing games in general.  I know we had a whole lot of fun, and it doesn't cost much to find out.  Pick it up, try it out, and if you don't lie it, wrap it up as a gift to another gamer.

Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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