Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Risk Legacy

A strategic board game that has been around since 1957, and which has been revamped many times over the years, including an online version available to play at, is now being published yet again but with a new twist that has caused some controversy.  Risk Legacy is planned to have a permanancy factor whereby some cards will be void for successive games and stickers will be included that are meant to be afixed to territories on the board, thus changing future games being played.  There will also be sealed packets with the game that are opened from time to time during one successive game or another.  From (as per the publisher) -
How will you shape your world? / In Risk Legacy, every game you play will change every future game. A decision you make in Game 1 could come back to haunt you in Game 10. The risks you take in Risk Legacy are not like those in any other board game. You and the other players will shape how your world evolves: its history, its cities, even its factions and how they fight. Cards and stickers will come into play. Cards will go out of play forever. You don't forget past betrayals – and neither does the game. / Unlock new rules and watch events unfold as you play more games. No two games will EVER be the same. / Play your game. Write your history
One of the designers, Rob Daviau, of the game has this to say about the sealed packets -
They are the other new twist on the game. This is actually a game with spoilers. Actual things that will make you think on your feet. / We’re going to ask reviewers not to talk about the hidden contents. I guess I’m asking all of you to be careful with this as well. Some are small things. Some bigger. Will the game work if you know everything that is going to happen? Yes. You can certainly go back and watch The Sixth Sense again. But that first time you saw it? That was special. / So if you are a person that really likes game with complete information? Read the spoilers. / Those of you who like your games a little bit more white knuckled and adventuresome? Avoid spoilers.

It all sounds like making a much larger campaign game from a single already replayable game.  I look forward to seeing more after its release later this year.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Sound Trouncing - Hordes of the Things Battle Report

Ouch!  I got seriously trounced in my recent battle of Hordes of the Things.  My Dwarf army was defening a territory wrested back from the invaders just last turn.  This is a pivotal region right on the doorstep of the Dwarven capitol.  It could have gone much worse but it was such a decisive victory for the opponents that it must be designated as a massacre.  My early set up felt strong but proved ineffective in the end.

I made a blunder with my Flyer in the early going, having misunderstood a rule about enemy troops being able to simply move under them, and it got worse from there.  I thought I had a pretty solid line but had my two Heroes too far left to react when he managed to get round the end of my Blades on my right with his Hero General.  Couple that with his their good command pips and me getting too few to respond efficiently, and he just chewed up my line one element after another.  The few desparate attempts I made at stemming the tide, and one shot I had at their General which might have gotten me back into the game, came to naught.  It really was as one-sided a battle of which I ever found myself losing.

I retreated my 3FP to my capitol, so that can be fairly secure for next turn, but the loss of its neighboring territory does present other problems strategically.  Fortunately, one of my allies was able to take another key territory and free up additional forces on the same front whilst threatening the capitol of a member of the opposing aliance.  Next turn could be really big for a lot of reasons!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Castle Carrying Case - Michaels Hobbies and Crafts

I saw a pretty neat carrying case and playset accessoriy at my local Michaels store last time I dropped in.  It was fashioned as a castle and was hinged so that the inside was revealed.  It included a working drawbridge, in that it opened, and numerous windows, plus a draw/box where miniature or toy figures could be stored.  This costs $19.99 but with their regularly available 40% off coupons, you could snag one for $12 plus tax.  I'll have to keep this in mind for a future project.  I'd imagine priming it in black then adding successive coats of lighter and lighter gray, begining with a dark gray of course, to make stonework.  It might even be useful to make a couple of stamps of stonework patterns using the crenulations as a guide for the size of the stones.  The interior would require a bit more work.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Multitouch Table

There are some great videos on how to build five types of multitouch table surfaces.  Check them out on YouTube -

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fold-N-Go: Castle Kit #1 from Rite Publishing

There's a really neat castle kit available from Rite Publishing that should be useful to both roleplaying gamers and wargamers alike.  It's called the Fold-N-Go: Castle Kit #1.  Here are some pictures of what you can build with this kit.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Clearcoat on Molded Dungeon Terrain

YouTube's wwwdungeonmastermark (not me!) has some thoughts on Clearcoat for his molded dungeon terrain.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Charles S. Roberts: The Father of Board Wargaming

Tomorrow marks one year since the death of Charles S. Roberts: The Father of Board Wargaming, (February 3, 1930 - August 20, 2010).  I recall with great findness getting my first board wargame in the very early Seventies.  It was Tactics II, Roberts revision of his original game Tactics.  It was a revelation.  I had played some chess and many boardgames, parlor games in gamer parlance, and the complexity involved in board wargames immediately captured my imagination and engaged me on levels I had previously not known.  I was lucky to pick up a nearly pristine copy of that original game earlier this year from Half Price Books and hope to break it out this weekend for a bit of old school wargaming fun.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hordes of the Things - Battle Report for the Dwarf Army

The Hordes of the Things Campaign has been less than stellar for the Dwarven army.  Several key losses and bad luck on the dice for my allied support has left me with my back to my capitol, even as I was striking toward the enemy capitol for most of the game.  Now in turn nine, a victory was needed today to stem the tide.

It was a 5FP on 5FP battle in Region A40 (steppes next to the lake) with Dwarven forces of attacking and Yaro's alien encroachers (4FP of Doctor Who-ites) and Rob's advisors (1FP of High Medievals) defending. They went without bad going but included a river, two gentle hills, and a crevasse as terrain choices. The attached picture shows that I opted to put them across the river and got my chosen side. They had set the river so that it was entirely within 575p of what became their edge. If they so chose, their front edges could be at 600p and just over the river. They might have hoped I would choose the river side and set up to eliminate it from play, but I did the opposite in an effort to limit their set up and movement options. The crevasse was perpendicular to the river and on my half, presenting no trouble for set up or command line of sight for my Dwarves.

They set their Stronghold to their right as far as able and kept that side sparse with a Horde, a Shooter, and a Knight. Their four Blades arrayed across the front of their Stronghold and beyond to their left with their Spear General to the middle left of that five element group. Their Flyer and Hero were held in the backfield and second rank respectively. Their additional Blade, Knight, and Shooter, as well as their Behemoth, the last being their farthest left element, made up their left flank. They stuck their second Horde out, nose across the river, to send forth to stymie my advance.

I set up my three Dwaven Blades to my left, one side of the crevasse, and my three Dwarven Shooters to the right. Behind the Shooters, I attached my Flyer and my Cleric General. The General was meant to move forward until surmounting the top of the larger gentle hill and give full command vantage. To my right, I grouped my two Heroes (and attached them to start on the right of the Shooter group. The Lurker and Dragon began off the board, as per the rules.

The first ten turns were played in less than a half hour by the store clock. Both sides rolled an abundance of ones and twos. On turn three I rolled a six and brought out the Dragon. I moved steadily forward, favoring my pips on the Shooter group but moving them only 200p so the Cleric General could keep up but also to give my opposition a chance to react to my set up. As I hoped, they spent most of their pips shifting their entire army over to their left by about 350p, one element at a time. Several turns in, they pushed their Horde out to get in my way but I angled my Shooters and popped the Horde on the first shot. This also played into my strategy because I wanted to find a way to shift my forces to my left by a couple of hundred paces.

Angling my Shooters to take the shot on the Horde allowed me to do so without drawing attention to the move, then also shifting the Blades over to my left to get around my Shooters seemed like a reaction rather than a plan. Once they were far enough forward to prevent a river crossing by the opposition, not that they would do so but I definitely wanted to prevent it anyway, I centered the Flyer and Dragon on the field to get them to waste pips in their back field setting up zones of control to keep my Dragon from dropping in behind them (a move they have seen me do many times and that I knew they would see coming).

Now they had spent their entire first eleven turns shifting their entire army to their left to ensure I could not cross with my Heroes and Shooters. They expected I would try to flank their left and get at their Stronghold form that side but that wasn't the plan. By their staying behind their river, they allowed my Dragon and Flyer to get within 1000p of their board edge, essentially threatening their entire line with possible aerial attacks. I shoved the Blades up to the river, and then the Shooters, still 201p, just, from their line because they chose a 200p river and neither of us was sticking our toe in yet. Then in the next three turns I ran my two Heroes right across behind to my far left, their weak right flank. At this point they had moved their right flank Knight over to the center leaving a Shooter and a Horde on their right flank to defend, but also spent the pips to send the Flyer over for support. As the photos shows, they were angling their Flyer, a Hero, and a Shooter behind their three groups to keep my Dragon from dropping in unannounced and unanswered. But this was never the plan.

I had a backup plan of forcing something on their right flank with my Heroes of necessary but the real plan had always been to bring my Shooter up across from their Spear General so all three could fire in concert and drop my Flyer down behind him so he'd recoil into one their Hero and shove it off the back of their edge, but now the Hero was angled. I was glad I hadn't rolled five pips in the previous four turns or I would have popped the Hero and then probably lost the Flyer, a fair trade but not a game winner. On turn sixteen, less than an hour into the game by the store clock, less than fifteen minutes off my time and about twenty minutes off of their time, I shoved the Shooters into the river, launched the Flyer behind their Spear General and beat them on the roll by one to claim the victory (and victory point!). They subsequently shot the Flyer out of the air with their nearby Shooter.

They rolled a three which lost Yaro 1FP, I rolled a four, avoiding any losses, and they retreated their 4FP to Region A39. Sixteen turns, less than an hour real time, about a combined forty minutes off the game clocks. I believe my allies called for alacrity? In a campaign with many battles, more lost than won, and all of them teetering on one or two die rolls, this was a victory I really needed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Terrainaholic Gencon Coverage

Terrainaholic's YouTube Channel has posted six videos of Gen coverage . . .

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wargaming: An Introduction (2005)

 I am often asked what would be a good entry level book into the miniatures wargaming hobby.  There are many games that serve as a good intro if someone has already set their mind to a particular period or style but for a great overview I would recommend a book by Neil Thomas called Wargaming: An Introduction (2005).  (It can be purchased from Amazon here but always check eBay for a better deal first.)

This is an accessible, straightforward guide to the hobby of miniatures wargaming.  It begins with an introduction to the term Wargaming and then includes some notes on how to get started.  The layout of most of the book includes trilogies of chapters on six types or periods of wargaming beginning with Ancient Wargaming, with separate chapters for Rules and Armies (army lists).  It also looks at Pike and Shot wargaming, Napoleonic wargaming, American Civil War wargaming, Skirmish wargaming (a distinctly different style, such as it is), and then Second World War wargaming,  There are a few dozen full-color photos in the center of the book of games in action.  If you haven't played and are looking for a complete overview of the hobby, this is a great place to start.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Foam Terrain

I ran across a very nice ten minute tutorial from epicfantasy's Storm the Castle YouTube site on how to make foam terrain.  It covers a lot of the basics including types of foam, tools to use, what to build, and tips on technique.  Check it out -

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

POP Display or Tech-Tower?

I'm not sure what this is but have some idea what it will become.  I left this out of my recent Garage Saling blog post because I wanted to discuss it here as a potential miniatures wargaming set piece.  It cost me a quarter (of a dollar!) and when I saw it I assumed it was a point-of-purchase display for something but I didn't bother to ask, lest the price become harder to negotiate.  It was the end of the last day of a local garage sale and I off-handedly said that I would give them a quarter for it.  They said that would be fine, so I paid and left with it right away.  When I first saw it, I also pictured it as some sort of technological tower for a miniatures wargaming tabletop.  It looked to me like it could be fashioned as a reactor of some kind.  Here's a front view . . .

Here's a top view . . .

And a view from the bottom . . .

It spins, though that aspect might be restricted.  Anyway, I liked it then and like it now even more as I consider the possibilities.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Terrainaholic GW Games Day Coverage

One of my favorite YouTube Subscriptions os of Terrainaholic's channel (subscribe!) and he recently uploaded some videos of all the great terrain and figures at GW's Games Day Chicago 2011.  Check em out!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The RPG Athenaeum Painting Tutorials Links

Just a quick note to mention a good list of painting tutorials over at The RPG Athenaeum.  Rather than poach them, just head on over there and bookmark that page to add to your list of painting tutorial sites.  One of the coments to that list also mentions Painting Mum.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Civilization from Avalon Hill (1980 Edition)

As with Kingmaker, another Avalon Hill wargame, that was also not so much a typical wargame, was Civilization (not to be confused with Sid Meier's Civilization). This is a game I played back in the days when it first came out and it has a reputation for being a game that requires a good amount of time ans skill to play.  Last summer, my regular group broke it out and gave it a shot, some as experienced wargamers and others very new to the genre.  It is a diceless game, so it requires excellent strategic planning and resource management to stay in the running and have a chance at victory.