Friday, September 2, 2016

Tabletopper Friday - Conspiracy: Take the Crown

A big thank you to everyone who was able to participate in the Conspiracy: Take the Crown draft at the store last Saturday.  It was a huge turn out, almost to capacity, and it helped the store tremendously.  My blogs and Facebook will be (mostly) dark for the next couple of weeks so I leave you with some crowded store pics to tide everyone over.  Thank you!

Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Nostalgia Thursday - Early Dice

Polyhedral dice have been used in roleplaying games since the beginning and one of the stalwart suppliers of those dice has been Lou Zocchi of Gamescience Dice here.  Their precision dice are the envy of many lesser dice manufacturers and they take it seriously.

In 1983, the Dragonbone Electronic Dice wand hit the wider market but at $25 it wasn't embraced by everyone and, of course, trying to get gamers to trust an electronic dice or replace their actual dice wasn't going to happen.

In the early 1990s, Mayfair Games started selling a standalone Gemstone dice game using polyhedral dice sets for their Gemstone dice game that included one d20, one d12, one d10, one d8, and one d4, but no d6.  The rules for the game came right on the back of the blister pack.

Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wargaming Wednesday - 40K @ LGG

The excellent Mike Anderberg has asked Lake Geneva Games to set up some dates for 40K in the next four months including the second Sunday in September and October and the Third Sundays in November and December, from 1 PM to 5 PM.  For this, the "secret" game room has been set aside allowing for three tables of 40K for two or four players per table.

These are FREE events and Mike will host them, setting up the matches on the given day from among those who show up with armies and are ready to play.  In some cases, matches might be set up in advance by Mike in the LGG40K Facebook group here.

He has structured the events as follows:

The Basic Rules

Armies will consist of 750 points or less, and must be constructed using ONE of the following options:
0-1 Modified Combined Arms Detachment:
0-1 HQ
1-6 Troops
0-1 Elite
0-1 Fast Attack
0-1 Heavy Support
All trips in this Detachment gain the “Objective Secure’ special rule.
An additional supplemental unit 0-1 Elite, Fast Attack, or Heavy Support.
0-1 Unique Codex Detachment
Players MUST use the same army list throughout the tournament.
Codices, Codex Supplements and Warhammer 40K Campaign Supplements that are released prior to the day of the event will be allowed in this event. Apocalypse War Zone supplements, Apocalypse Formations, Forge World army lists and material from the Horus Heresy books WILL NOT be allowed in this event.
Unique units, Imperial Knights, Allied Detachments, Data Slates, Fortifications, Lords of War, Imperial Armor Units (Forge World) will NOT be in used in this event.
Rules Modification (Vehicles):
Vehicles with armor value facings over 12 are considered to be 12 for the duration of all games, but may be reduced further due to game effects.
Vehicles with more than 3 hulls points are reduced to 3 at the start of the game. Hull points may not be restored beyond their starting value.
Rules Modifications (Psykers):
All Psykers may only attempt to manifest ONE Warp Charge psychic powers.. Psykers may exchange powers as normal.
All models must be WYSIWYG.
Suitable conversions and/or stand ins are allowed.
Missions will comprise of objective based scenarios and will have 1 main objective and multiple secondary objectives.

A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Terrain Tuesday - Terrain Detail Levels

For wargaming, there can be varying levels of detail put into setting up the table with terrain.  Fairly typical of many gamers, over on, check out the "Wargaming terrain set by" here.

Also, on, you can find some examples of simple scatter terrain in the AtelesGamerCrafts shop here.

Finally, on, you might take inspiration from how an architect might portray terrain here.

For purposes here, the term Terrain is used broadlyto cover
3D tabletop pieces made from foam, felt, and other materials.
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Monday, August 29, 2016

Minis & Modeling Monday - Glowing Ember Sword, Slate Black, & Orboros Tanith

Over on the miniwargaming YouTube channel, we're shown "How To: Paint a Glowing Ember Sword."  Hot!

Also, on the miniwargaming YouTube channel, it's revealed "How To: Paint Slate Black."  I'm floored!

Finally, on Doctor Faust's Painting Clinic YouTube channel, check out the video on "Painting Hordes Circle Orboros Tanith the Feral Song."  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, August 28, 2016

The Sunday Miscellanea - Alien Frontiers (2010)

We've had another go at Alien Frontiers (2010) recently with just the basic set.  Of those of us who had played before, we agreed that having at least the Expansion of the Agenda cards would be a good thing to keep the final push of the game less of a foregone conclusion.  But we played two in a row and it highlighted some of what this game does well because the expansions were not available.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
Do you have what it takes to be a deep space colonist? An alien frontier awaits the brave and daring! This new planet will be harsh, but if you have the skills to manage your resources, build a fleet, research alien life, and settle colonies, the world can be yours.
Alien Frontiers is a game of resource management and planetary development for two to four players. During the game you will utilize orbital facilities and alien technology to build colony domes in strategic locations to control the newly discovered world.
The game board shows the planet, its moon, the stations in orbit around the planet, and the solar system’s star. The dice you are given at the start of the game represent the space ships in your fleet. You will assign these ships to the orbital facilities in order to earn resources, expand your fleet, and colonize the planet.
As the game progresses, you will place your colony tokens on the planet to represent the amount of control you have over each territory. Those territories exert influence over specific orbital facilities and, if you control a territory, you are able to utilize that sway to your advantage.
The planet was once the home of an alien race and they left behind a wondrous artifact in orbit. Using your fleet to explore the artifact, you will discover amazing alien technologies that you can use to advance your cause.
Winning the game will require careful consideration as you assign your fleet, integrate the alien technology and territory influences into your expansion plans, and block your opponents from building colonies of their own. Do you have what it takes to conquer an alien frontier?
Roll and place your dice to gain advantages over your opponent and block them out of useful areas of the board. Use Alien Tech cards to manipulate your dice rolls and territory bonuses to break the rules. Steal resources, overtake territories, and do whatever it takes to get your colonies on the map first! Don't dream it'll be easy, though, because the other players will be trying to do the same thing.

What I feel was noted when experienced players play the basic game on its own is the importance of the midgame and a need to keep all players in check lest one see find an inexorable path into the end game with an advantage.  Mind you, it will happen anyway, but that player will need to be more subtle setting it up, something I hadn't been aware was possible because the basic game is seemingly as transparent as any game could be.  There is no hidden player knowledge except for whatever strategy they have in mind.  If you have the game, even with expansions, try the basic game again with fresh eyes.

Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Systems Saturday - Roll Through the Ages - Iron Age (2014)

Here's one I hadn't played before but often wished I had (so many games, so little time!) called Roll Through the Ages - Iron Age (2014).  It's from a small but potentially growing line of similarly named Roll Through the Ages games and, from what I've heard, this does a great job of reimplementing the simple mechanics introduced in the Bronze Age version, adding some complexity though it sacrifices some time on the altar.  I'm fine with that.  I prefer a more complex game and don't mind a game taking more than a half hour.  I'm not often rushed for time to play a game and prefer a quick card game for when I am.  This is mainly a dice game but with the small resources board and reference sheets, it really becomes a board game as much as other wise.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age, a sequel to the highly-awarded Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age, lets you build an Iron Age civilization in under an hour! Do you build provinces, raise armies, and conquer barbarians or build ports and ships to gain trade goods? Explore the strategies of Greece, Phoenicia, and Rome as you erect monuments, fend off disasters, and strive to feed your people.
Roll Through the Ages: The Iron Age gives players different ways to build their empires: the Trade and Naval strategies of the Phoenicians, the conquests of Alexander the Great, and the engineering prowess and gradual absorption of new provinces by the Roman Republic.
Grab those dice — including the Fate die — and prepare to build the greatest empire as you continue to roll through the ages!

Build fast and strong is the strategy I adopted in this game, forgoing the comfort of my population to gain might and dominate militarily.  It's works pretty well but neglecting the monuments early on is unwise as a handful of points for getting one first can be the difference in the final scores.  This is a winner.  I'll be watching for more of these too.

A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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