Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Terrain Tuesday - Polystyrene/Styrofoam Terrain with the Terrain Tutor

Over on the Terrain Tutor YouTube channel, from last October, there is a fairly complete beginners video tutorial on "A guide to using Polystyrene (Styrofoam) to make wargaming scenery."  Mel's been at making terrain videos about a year and this is an early one but quite useful.  He's got a couple dozen at this point and it's a good channel to add to your terrain making subscription list.  Enjoy!

Terrain Tuesday on MFWARS.com 
For purposes here, the term Terrain is used broadly
to cover 3D and 2D maps, foam, felt, and such.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Minis & Modeling Monday - Painting an Attack on Titan Warhammer Giant

What a wonderful painting tutorial put together by Doctor Faust of The Painting Clinic YouTube channel as he is "Painting an Attack on Titan Warhammer Giant."  Enjoy!

Minis & Modeling Monday on MFWARS.com 
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, July 20, 2014

The Sunday Miscellanea - A Grand Unified Theory of Boardgamery

Over on the Big Game Theory blog, there is a recent article on the pursuit of a "Grand Unified Theory of Boardgamery."  Read more here!

The Sunday Miscellanea on MFWARS.com 
Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on MFWARS.com
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Systems Saturday - Homesteaders (2009) Revisited

For the last two Fridays, I have had the chance to try out a game from 2009 called Homesteaders from Tasty Minstrel Games.  I've enjoyed both times I've played and have managed to improve my score from the first game to the second.  I blogged about this game last Saturday here and thought it might be nice to do a quick followup blog.

It is noteworthy that we had four players instead of three, so there was an additional auction block available.  This makes vying for them slightly different but neither easier nor more difficult, as far as I could tell.  There is a bit more competition for the various properties but there are so many of them I am not sure that makes much difference.  The Bank property which allows removal of Debt, as well as the Circus which is a 10 point card (there are also a couple of 8 point cards) seemed like a huge deal in my first game but I am thinking less so.  They can be the center of one strategy or another but need not be part of every strategy.

I stayed sheepish about Debt and managed to get rid of all but one (one victory point lost, compared to losing four points for two, losing nine points for three, etc.).  Debt, however, didn't feel as important this time around.  Perhaps my eyes weren't so wide, so I wasn't as anxious to purchase properties that might have incurred Debt.  Or maybe because I got a decent score in my first time playing and managed the Debt well enough I no longer felt compelled to worry.  I've played some games where I have pushed the limits of what can be done with taking on Debt and have yet to see a game where you can break that mechanic.

This time around I made a concerted effort to gain an average of four Victory Points per turn and wound up averaging nearly five VP per turn.  To do so, I decided to be snapping up VPs every turn I could, provided it didn't cause me to be doing absolutely no other things.  I still bought properties, I made trades sometimes when flush with Trade Markers, just to gain a VP or two.  In Kingsburg, folks know me as the player who rarely passes up the #1 spot for a victory point.  I played Homesteaders in a similar fashion and Tom even commented on my strategy immediately upon gathering a VP on the first turn.  "Leave it to Mark to do something different than the rest of us on turn one."  But perhaps that is how this strategy happened to win.  Maybe it isn't because it is such a good strategy on its own but only in conjunction with strategies from other players who are doing something that does not restrict it overly?  Time will tell.

All in all, I could see myself playing this game on a regular basis.  We'll see how I feel after a handful more times with Homesteaders (2009).

Systems Saturday on MFWARS.com 
A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Tabletopper Friday - Can't Stop by Sid Sackson

There is a wonderful dice game, called Can't Stop, that some friends of mine and I play fairly regularly.  It's a Sid Sackson design, has very simple rules, and has been under the banner of a nearly a dozen game companies over the decades, including Parker Brothers, Asmodee, and Gryphon Games.  It debuted in 1980 but, on eBay or Amazon, you'll still shell out $20-30 for a complete version of it, depending upon the condition.  I hear the industrious among us might luck out and find one at a thrift store for a couple of dollars.  I keep my eyes open.  The Board Game Geek description runs as follows:
In this Sid Sackson classic, players must press their luck with dice and choose combinations tactically to close out three columns. The board has one column for each possible total of two six-sided dice, but the number of spaces in each column varies: the more probable a total, the more spaces in that column and the more rolls it takes to complete. 
On their turn, a player rolls four dice and arranges them in duos: 1 4 5 6 can become 1+4 and 5+6 for 5 & 11, 1+5 and 4+6 for 6 & 10, or 1+6 and 4+5 for 7 & 9. The player places or advances progress markers in the open column(s) associated with their chosen totals, then chooses whether to roll again or end their turn and replace the progress markers with markers of their color.
A player can only advance three different columns in a turn and cannot advance a column which any player has closed out by reaching the end space; if a roll doesn't result in any legal plays, the turn ends with that turn’s progress lost.

We recently developed a variant on this old favorite whereby someone can use the dice in any combination, even utilizing several singularly to advance a progress marker three spaces.  We tried this to attempt a faster game but found it didn't play a whole lot faster though it did play differently.  Rather than the inside columns being claimed early, more focus was placed on outside columns.  This leaving aside the 2s column and 12s column which get claimed as quickly as possible in either game.

Keep your peepers pealed for this one round secondhand stores in your neck of the woods.  It's a fun game to play and a complete game one, even in standard-used condition, can turn a few bucks for you online, if you so desire.

Tabletopper Friday on MFWARS.com 
Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Nostalgia Thursday - Roman Dice

Over on the Met Museum.org website, there is a fine entry on Roman dice that span over three centuries.  Be sure to check out the "Related Objects" link on the site for more entries of ancient dice.  See more here.

Nostalgia Thursday on MFWARS.com 
Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wargaming Wednesday - Longbeard Dwarves and Fat Dragon's Ravenfell Core Set

Matthew Sprange recently published an article on his blog, A Tabletop Gamer's Diary, showing how easy it is to get drawn into a new GW clan.  But it doesn't take much to field a formidable army when you start with Longbeard Dwarves at the core.  Read and see more here.

Furthermore, Fat Dragon Games has released their Ravenfell Core Set of fold-flat paper terrain from their recently successful Kickstarter project.  They are also running a sale on many of their previous models as part of their Christmas in July sale.  See more here for Ravenfell and here for the rest of the sale.

Wargaming Wednesday on MFWARS.com 
A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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