Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wargaming Wednesday - Glass Chess Set

I've mentioned before that I am looking to eventually pick up a set of chess playing pieces but I have found something extremely affordable to tide me over.  Recently, when stopping in a Goodwill Store to check for gaming and book bargains, I stumbled across a glass chess set for two dollars.  I've seen these before but had ignored them yet this time I looked more closely.  It was complete and intact, so I grabbed it and brought it home, setting it up on top of the board I already have, since it fits.  This isn't the set I plan to get eventually but it is something for the time being to have handy.

Although some sets of glass chess pieces can run $50 or more like here on Amazon.

A quick eBay search shows sets similar to the one I picked up running less than ten bucks apiece here.

A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Terrain Tuesday - Time, Money, & Longevity

Over on their page, enikesa shows us "When you have a bit of spare time on your hands" here.

Also, on, you can pick up some premade terrain along with all of the minis they have available here.

Finally, on the Black Magic Craft YouTube channel, they teach us "How to Seal and Protect Styrofoam Terrain (Episode 010)."  Enjoy!

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 22, 2016

Minis & Modeling Monday - Fencing Frog Painting

Since Adam has been so busy painting this last week, here's three minis painting posts from Fencing Frog to investigate further.  First, there's a "Reaper Giant" he posted about a week ago here.

Also, have a look at his paint job on a "Young Priest" here.

Finally, check out the work he did on "Three North Star Civilians" 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, August 21, 2016

The Sunday Miscellanea - Mystic Vale (2016)

I've had the chance to play a couple of games of Mystic Vale (2016).  It's got some neat components and ideas.  Once we played with three players and once with four, as pictured.  Everything I saw before learning the game made sure to mention it has a Card Crafting System.  I wasn't sure what to make of that idea.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
A curse has been placed on the Valley of Life. Hearing the spirits of nature cry out for aid, clans of druids have arrived, determined to use their blessings to heal the land and rescue the spirits. It will require courage and also caution, as the curse can overwhelm the careless who wield too much power.
In Mystic Vale, 2 to 4 players take on the role of druidic clans trying to cleanse the curse upon the land. Each turn, you play cards into your field to gain powerful advancements and useful vale cards. Use your power wisely, or decay will end your turn prematurely. Score the most victory points to win the game!
Mystic Vale uses the innovative "Card Crafting System", which lets you not only build your deck, but build the individual cards in your deck, customizing each card's abilities to exactly the strategy you want to follow.

It is a deck building game in which you can change your cards, rather than exchange your cards.  Kinda neat on its face but the Vale area whence come the overlays can be tricky for more than a couple of players to view, in practice, unless others don't mind leaning over the cards each time a new one is added or picking them up to read them, thus tipping your hand.  Plus, because they are transparent, one can look at the draw piles and see what's coming, in some respects.  I think the game design needs a bit of refinement but shows promise.  Once all players are familiar with all of the overlays and if the draw piles could be hidden somehow, this should mitigate the flaws I see with this design.  Other than that, it's an enjoyable race for victory points which can be had a number of ways.

Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Systems Saturday - Valley of the Kings: Afterlife (2015)

Having played Valley of the Kings (2014) a couple of times and now Valley of the Kings: Afterlife (2015) twice as well, I have a fair handle on how the games are meant to be played.The two have somewhat different playstyles thought the basics are the same.  They've done a nice job expanding on the original game, or rather extending its playability with a second set of treasure cards.  That the game can now be played with more players is an additional boon.  I'd like to try each out solo some time too.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
Take on the role of Egyptian nobles at the time of the pharaohs, preparing for their death and burial in the valley of the kings. Using an innovative deck-building mechanism with a crumbling pyramid, players fill their tombs with jewelry, chambers, weapons, tomb art and other treasures. The player who collects the most valuable artifacts in their tomb wins the game!
Valley of the Kings: Afterlife is a standalone game that can also be combined with Valley of the Kings to allow for play with up to six player

I think I might like some of the mechanics of this second set more so than the first.  It seems to make the game more interactive and bring the boneyard into play to a greater extent.  It's another solid game that should do well in any game collection.  Perfect fit card sleeves work well with these decks too.

A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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Friday, August 19, 2016

Tabletopper Friday - Alien Frontiers (2010)

Back to the basic game of Alien Frontiers (2010) but with four players, two of them new.  Worked out great and everyone seemed in the running until the end when someone made that final push.

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.

I love the basic game for teaching but don't think it is too much to add in the agenda cards if nothing else, even with new players.  We'll have to try this out going forward.

Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Nostalgia Thursday - Vintage Minis

Over on, they have put out a line of Barbarians, "classic 25mm / 28mm fantasy miniatures," they report are based of minis from "Tabletop Games and Asgard in the early 1980's."  See more here.

Also, on, the Lost Minis Wiki, someone recently pointed out an old favorite, a demon from the Dungeons Dwellers line, that a buddy of mine had and our group had to slay as a Balrog here.

Finally, on, from a year and a half ago, there is a wonderfully detailed article on Martian Metals here.

Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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