Friday, 31 March 2017

What I've Been Building This Week

Nope. Not Warhammer.

As last mentioned, I have moved rooms. In my new, larger room, I have space for a gaming table. I picked up some coffee tables that I thought would stand perfectly under said tables to increase my storage space. However, a diagonal cross strut I had forgotten was on my trestle tables screwed the pooch on that one, leaving me with four coffee tables I didn't know what to do with...

But then I had an idea...

Now for me, ideas are dangerous, as I have all the technical proficiency in diy that Jeremy Clarkson has. But I decided to give it a go anyway... what's the worst that could happen?

The flat has a very large living room, and with the departing flatmate taking some furniture with him, not all of which will be replaced, we had some space in the corner I wanted to make use of...

At this point I must admit my cutting of the wood for the base wasn't perfectly straight, and as such the whole thing isn't perfect, which is why I got the panelling cut by a professional... although now that is on a skewed frame it doesn't sit properly. It needs some cosmetic tidying, but right now I'm at the "It'll do" stage, and structurally I am quite happy with it. It may not be as neat and tidy as I'd hoped, but structurally it's more solid than I had thought I could produce!

That's a Stormtrooper decanter and a Darth Vader cookie jar on there, I am not planning to re-enact the party from the end of Jedi, but hell I suppose if I get more Trooper heads and fill them with different amounts of liquid there is potential there...

No plans for pumps I'm not a beer drinker. This is a cocktail bar. A fridge/ice bucket might be nice but I'll figure out if/how later. For now, I'm happy. With this done, I have a couple runs to the tip to do to get rid of an old couch, but then hopefully I'll be able to grab a brush and start painting again in my free time.

Friday, 24 March 2017

More Hobby Space

Some of you may be aware, most probably not, I live with a couple friends in a flatshare. Recently one of those friends moved out, someone else moved in, but in between that I took the opportunity to move to the bigger room.

I hadn't set foot in that room since we first moved things into the flat about 2 years ago... I hoped there *might* be enough room to maybe squeeze a gaming table at one end...

I was not disappointed.

This is the view standing a couple feet from the bed behind me. Out of shot on the left are 2 drawer units and a wardrobe for clothes etc. All the functional stuff of a normal bedroom.

I then have my desk/shelves storage drawers I had in my previous room...

The display shelves had also been in the previous room, but this time I have my orks on them rather than the previous eclectic collection of stuff/projects

I also have room for this card table, that I have always wanted to transform into a bloodbowl stadium, but for most of my time here it has been permanently covered in ongoing hobby projects and random tat...

The bar stools are a new addition, as I had the space...

Shelving that, again, in the old room had been covered in items I have now boxed up neatly and put under the massive gaming table at the top end of the room, clearing up so much shelf space to put models on.

The gaming table itself... the pics I still have to hang on the wall, I'm not completely finished settling into this room, but there is enough scenery in that big box to cover this 6x4 board. And as mentioned earlier, the random tat and projects that used to occupy all my shelf space is now tidily packed away beneath this table.

Finally in the corner I have a four shelf library of codices, rulebooks and campaign books. It's nice to finally get them all in one place, and within easy reach of the gaming table too.

Now I will say, the gap either side of the gaming table is a little tight... you can't sit on the stool facing the table. But you can stand watching over your battle and you can step to the side and take a seat to rest your legs, sitting side on watching the game unfold. There's a little bit of table leftover for drinks, dice, cards etc. And there is a large space between the gaming table and the card table for army cases to be left open for easy access.

So all in all I'm quite pleased with the place. Of course ideally I'd have this as a setup in a spare room in a place of my own, but that's bloody expensive and flat sharing saves me lots of money that I can spend on more toys, and it suits my life at the moment so I'm gonna roll with it. Still, always nice to have a little more space...

Next project, the guy who left took his crappy old sofas with him, and those of us who remain plan to replace them rather differently... we reckon we'll have space in the corner of our exceptionally large living room (the normal place I throw a gaming table up as and when but nice to not have the hassle of putting up and packing away) to build a bar... watch this space...

Friday, 17 March 2017

Pandemic: Legacy. What. A. Game.

Right, so for those of you who might ever play this game, I will warn you where you need to get off.

First off for those unfamiliar with the idea of Legacy, it is sort of like a campaign for a boardgame, with each game leading into and effecting the next. You alter the gameboard as you go along and things occur. You stick stickers to the game. You write on character sheets. You rip up cards. If this sounds horrific to you (one club member physically flinched every time we destroyed a Risk Legacy card while playing a game at the club once, he wasn't even playing, he was just at the next table, but it was still a serious distraction to him) perhaps this game is not for you. On the bright side, you can probably read this entire post!

Pandemic Legacy takes the cracking team based disease fighting game, and basically makes it into a story. Your random scientist becomes a character you actually care about, and you start to feel sorry for the characters who don't get selected for a few games in a row, almost like they're sat on the bench permanently hopeful yet disappointed.

As you play through missions it will tell you when to do certain things. There is a deck of instruction cards, it is stacked in order, and it is very specific about how it is to be handled. It even says if you drop the deck, the cards are numbered, please give them to someone who isn't playing and have them put them back in the correct order for you!

These cards reveal more plot points about your ongoing narrative, as well as changing the things you have to do each time you play to achieve your mission. They also instruct you when to open dossiers (these tend to be extra stickers to put into the rulebook as a game mechanic is introduced that lets you do more things as the story progresses) and open extra boxes (extra items to interact with usually)

Anyway, over the past couple weeks my friends and I have played this game through to completion, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Whilst with Risk Legacy the three of us regretted not playing with the full amount of people as we feel it would have made the game more interesting, Pandemic Legacy you can play with less than the required people, and it will still be a truly epic game. I feel like I have finished an excellent boxset, and am waiting for more... which is why I was pleased to stumble across confirmation that Pandemic Legacy season 2 is in development whilst looking for images to add to this post.

I heartily recommend this game to anyone who has played Pandemic and enjoyed it, and anyone who hasn't. You will play between 12 and 24 games, each of which takes about 45 minutes, so it is quite a time commitment and you may have to break it up over several sessions, but it is well worth it. I am considering playing through it again with different people, although if I do I shall very much be taking a back seat to their decisions so as not to spoil it for them. Act like a participating GM as it were.

So, how did we get on in our little campaign? Anything revealed from this point on will potentially reveal what you can expect from the game plot, so I really do not recommend reading further if you have any intention of ever playing this game.

Are you sure?

ok, fine, you were warned...

Alright, silly joke aside...

It started as a normal game of pandemic, and we were happy enough with how things were going... but then one of the diseases mutated. We could no longer cure it, or treat it. Now luckily, we didn't have to cure it to complete the mission, just cure the others. But that doesn't mean you can ignore it, as it spreads... and if it spreads into others, it changes them into it's colour too. Left unchecked, it would eventually turn EVERY city in the world into the untreatable disease, and you would swiftly lose every game were that the case, simply by not having enough disease markers to put on the board.

So we were throwing up road blocks and trying to stop the spread whilst treating the other diseases, but with every success the CDC decided we were clearly over funded and would reduce our funding for the next game. Now every funding drop meant that we lost a couple of tactically useful cards from the player deck, AND the player deck was smaller, meaning we had less time to complete the mission (although this was never actually a thing that killed us in our games if I recall correctly... running out of disease cubes happened sometimes, going over our outbreak limit happened a LOT, but time didn't seem to be our Achilles heel...)

On the other hand, given you suffer scars to your characters if you are around when an outbreak occurs, and our team spent most of the game unscathed, perhaps we weren't being heroic enough with our characters...

Our quarantine specialist, one of very few characters to actually pick up a scar...
As the plot progressed we started to have to search for various people, but we seemed to have developed a knack for that... As the people we were searching for were inevitably within the roadblocked wasteland we had created centred on Eurasia, it was great that I had a character who had the only way to fight that particular disease at his disposal. He went in, kicked arse, and found the info we wanted several times. However it came to October, and things started to go badly. We sent the General to search for a Paranoid soldier, but he got attacked and developed a case of paranoia... oh the irony. "Don't worry son, they aren't really after you... they're after ME" probably not the best pep-talk to give the poor lad. Also didn't help that he was seemingly searching the wrong continent, as one of my teammates checked somewhere else and found him... and the little fucker ratted me out. It turned out my general who I had come to love and used for several games, was an inside man working against the team... he quietly disappeared never to be seen again.

And THAT is one of the excellent parts of this game, I was GUTTED that my favourite character was gone. The story had made me really care about the characters we were using, they'd grown with us, developed with us, they had personality.

Anyway, it turned out we'd been duped by a sinister New World Order, and had to spend the last couple months basically undoing all the things we'd spent most of the year building up, whilst trying to save the world from the infections that had been loosed. We won our last game, did that mean we won? Well, maybe. It then gave us a scorecard.

We had to go back through our log and see how well we did. Winning months the first time got good points, winning at the second attempt some, not winning the month and moving on defeated... not good. Out of a possible 1000, we scored 550. It got us basically a C rating on our card... you've done all right, and human civilisation should recover within 20-30 years... go you. But hey, at least we didn't get our arse saved by the Bravo team (there is a 200 point deduction if they have to help you out, basically if you aren't revealing the plot because you can never win, they will eventually give you all the plot stuff at once in a big reveal of "you fuckwits you're working FOR the bad guys..." so all in all could have been worse)

Anyway, I am pleased to say we had a full game experience, including opening ALL the boxes (one of which was "Only open if you lose 4 games in a row" so perhaps not one we should be too proud of...) something which we never managed in Risk Legacy... not only did we have one unopened packet on the box lid, but tonight I found out there is a secret packet UNDER the sodding box insert. Now admittedly that packet says "Do not open. Ever!" on it, but given my compatriots wanted to cheat in order to open the last packet during our final few games, when there was a known mechanism for opening it in place, they just didn't think it likely we would achieve it... there is no way they would resist opening that packet. I shall have to save it for them, and not tell them, as they have expressed an interest in playing again with more people. It'll be my little surprise for them.

So yes, in summary, buy this game, and if you are determined NOT to buy this game, hence reading this far, then buy the bloody sequel when it is available.

Apparently both boxes are the same, just different cover art. Naturally, there are quite a few conspiracy theories about this...

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

CATCH 13: Well no one expected the sodding inquisition!

To get Jamie and his mixed bag of Inquisitorial/mech/skitarii stuff into the mix of the storyline, I left the plot hook of the possible jokaero sightings, as I know he plans to paint about half a dozen of those things at least. I felt this would give me an avenue to introduce him to the little world we are creating.

The downside was, and the reason he wasn't in sooner, was that his phase 1 included a knight... bit difficult to fight that for most of us. So at least with two months he has a bit more to work with... so I was up against a knight, an inquisitor, cawl, and two of those big robots with a datasmith. Right.

On the bright side, I at least now had models that could hurt the bloody things, with the introduction of the meganobz and warboss.

We set up four objectives on a four by four board, maelstrom mission cloak and shadows. I was expecting to run away with objectives while desperately trying to survive, but the game ended up going the opposite way. Jamie scored several objectives, whearas I got stuck with "Kill something in your turn" and "kill something in the assault phase" both of which should have been achievable... but I kept missing the mark and killing stuff in HIS combat phase, therefore not scoring the points. From the knight that survived 1 glance and 5 penetrating hits (damn forge world knight that has 7HP) one of which exploded to D3 but rolled a 1... The robots my warboss basically chopped in half but datasmith survived to be bisected the following combat phase. Even the inquisitor seemed hell bent on denying me the points, he'd lost two of his own wounds to perils of the warp before my commandos could get near him! Being stuck on those two cards for several turns really slowed me down, however I pulled it back with Linebreaker. Cawl was left alive, a failed charge away from going for my commandos (and given he had the final turn, and a maelstrom card of "issue a challenge" the odds are good he'd have won the game. So do I feel lucky? No! My meganobz should have beaten the knight leaving Fred to go Cawl hunting. Ah well, never mind.

Sadly I don't have the photos for this post as 1) I left my camera in the car and 2) I wasn't too keen on the photos as my opponent set up the table for us and included the usual 40k standard grimdark cityscape... which doesn't fit my background of a lush verdant world too well. So I'll let the pics slide for now.

It was of course, watched over, by Achtenburg for his Living Galaxy Broadcast...

As we consider the beautiful silence of this jungle utopia, the occasional birdsong and the hoot of what my producer will swear blind yet cannot prove is a Jokaero, we are slightly disturbed by the unmistakeable crump of a knight titan... which is a little unexpected to say the least.

As we investigate, we see inquisitorial hunting parties, trapping and bagging strange orange creatures that... yes yes, fine, you told me so David, now shush I'm trying to narrate here... all watched over by some pretty hefty security forces... I shall say this for the inquisition, they don't tend to do subtle.

We watch as a giant of a techpriest wanders over towards a clump of vegetation... something appears to be causing servitors in that area to go a bit fritzy. I have my team try to monitor the signals, one of the sound guys used to be a bit techy as he was younger, even learned some rudimentary binary, before he was kicked out for being too interested in "matters of the flesh" which I'm sure is just a phase we all go through and it's not like she got dropped from the sororitas, merely flogged a little, and from the way he tells it she'd just enj... I digress.

Suddenly from the trees burst two humongous beasts, with well armoured nobz clinging to the ramshackle howdah. Fred charges out too at the head of a massive mob of boyz. The security forces open fire and quickly bring the big beasts down, but it's not the beasts themselves that are the threat. The nobz charge at the biggest target and beat seven bells of hell out of the knight... in it's agony it thankfully steps on the last few, dispatching them for the moment. Fred meanwhile lead his boyz against the only target they could reach, the robots. The large techpriest looked like he was ready to intervene, until Fred swung his massive axe (that we still struggle to film without distortion) and split a robot in two, at which point the big techpriest quietly backed off. Fred then moved on to the badly injured knight, and while it stomped around in the mob causing horrific casualties, Fred was able to issue the coup de grace. However, in the resulting explosion, Fred was lost from view.

With no  sign of the inquisitor in charge of the expedition (the squad of blood angels who had attempted to extract him from the battlezone hadn't been quite what they seemed) the inquisitorial forces packed up their gear and decided to hunt somewhere else.

All we managed to catch from the monitored frequencies was a single blurt of binaric from the big techpriest, when Fred chopped the robot in twain.

The question now stands, who is Scott and what is so great about him?

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Well That Escalated Quickly...

So, went to geek club tonight, set up a table, one of the guys deployed his army...

I think the level of play might be increasing slightly beyond my ability to match...

On the bright side, I wasn't on that table. I took a guard list against a mechanicum player who wanted to test a tournament list (and wasn't running warcon) and we had a surprisingly good game under the circumstances. My plan was to ignore Cawl and the Cybernetica Cohort as being night unkillable, and work on killing the rest and outscoring him on objectives. And it mostly worked. I was leading for the entire game. I had ascendency and rolled a 1 for the points which was irritating, but was still sitting pretty on three objectives with him camped on two, and a big bundle between Cawl and a massive blob of commissar lord lead guardsmen on the edge of the final one. In the final round of combat of the final turn, Cawl got just enough hits to kill the last ten men, commissar lord included (doubling him out with his axe while rocking a str bonus, beating my 5++ save) He scored warlord for that, consolidated onto the objective, and then for the "kill the warlord" maelstrom card rolled a 6, tying the game! Irritating, but it was deserved as it was a very tight game, and I am glad my humble guard could go against a tournament army and ask so many questions of it.

The list, for those who are interested, was the following:

Commissar Lord
Inf Platoon, Command with 4 melta
squad w flamer
squad w flamer
squad w flamer
squad w flamer
inf platoon, command 4 melta
squad w flamer
squad w flamer
vulture punisher cannon
vulture punisher cannon
vendetta squadron (2)
Wyvern squadron (2) camo netting
wyvern squadron (2) camo netting
aegis defence line comms relay
Flyer wing - 2 Valkyries w multiple rocket pods

I was against corteaz, cawl leading the formation that has two squads of servitors and doesn't scatter when dropped within 6" of an objective, a cohort cybernetica, then another couple squads of servitors and a techpriest to make it a cad. I did nothing to cawl or the cohort, but I killed everything else bar two wounded servitors clinging to an objective after passing an obscene amount of 4+ saves over the last couple turns. Ah well.

Still, could have been worse...

(For what it's worth, I believe the Eldar player blew the titan up twice, of I'm not sure how many games...)