Wednesday, 31 May 2017

So, Bubble Chukka Rules got leaked...

I have always liked the idea of the bubble chukka, I feel it went great with the random nature of orks, but the old rules were never satisfying. You rolled a D6 and it gave you the strength and AP of the weapon. So you wanted a low roll if you wanted to crack armour... but then you'd struggle to wound. But if you got high strength, they'd make their saves. If only the two rolls were separate. Sure, sometimes you'd get str 1 AP 6, but other times you'd get str 6 AP1...

Now from the rules leaked, you roll 4 dice and assign one each to shots, str, AP and damage... the added randomness being you and your opponent take turns to assign the dice to the different options. A roll of four 6s could be devastating! Of course a roll of four 1s would be atrocious. But hey, that's Orks!

So, with that in mind, I have been scratch building something this evening...

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Project: Dangerzone - Complete

I feel the need... the need... for, well, sleep actually. Damn thunderstorms waking me up at 5 in the morning...

But before I go to bed, I shall show off what I have accomplished over the past couple evenings. The last few flash gitz and kaptin badruk are now complete, and join the compatriots.

I have looked at putting them all on my display board, but as that lead to the whole thing looking rather cluttered, what I shall probably do is place a few of each squad and the kaptin on strategic vessels, then keep the rest in the case. I'm not exactly planning to wow people with an astounding paint scheme anyway, it's more the ludicrous conversions and the awesome theme that I am aiming for.

So once again, here we are.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Project: Dangerzone - Nearing Completion

I am extremely pleased to say that I have almost finished project: dangerzone, just 5 flash gitz and kaptin badruk to paint... I reckon I can do those in the one week I have left :)

Here's a quick video showing my vehicles on their display board... keep the sound on ;)

Yes, that music IS coming from the Karrier... got an MP3 player hidden away in there.

I have several pilots scattered through the fleet, and have done helmets that kinda resemble Maverick, Goose, Iceman, Slider, Hollywood, Wolfman, Merlin, Cougar, Sundwon and Jester. That just leaves Viper, so I might have to paint up a loose deffkopta on a stand at some point just to round the collection off.

I have also made use of the forgeworld grots to make it look like a ship at work, from adding ordnance to a fighter about to launch, to keeping lookout, guiding aircraft to repairing the radar.

I have also thrown in a few little comedic references, such as a sneak peak of Red Orktober (don't plan to make one but you know me I probably will at some point)

and of course, the place where they keep the kaptins log...


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Board Game Corner: Star Wars Empire vs Rebellion strategy card game

One of my club members picked this up with a Waterstones voucher or something, so I thought I'd give it a try and see if it's any good.

This is a tactical card game where one side plays the rebels and the other (well duh) the Empire. You get a deck of cards each which include some standard cards, and a selection of 4 of 8 characters. You play rounds in a strange sort of blackjack where you try to get close to but not surpass a target score, as determined by the randomly drawn event. Whoever wins gets the event, and the first to 7 points worth of events is the winner.

Now it has to be said, you play first to 7 points, and there are 42 points worth of events in the deck, so there's a fair amount of replay value to this straight away. It's pot luck if you get lots of minor skirmishes or just a few big ones... someone could theoretically win 3 games and the whole title, whilst their opponent could win six and be still needing one more win. So it's a game that can be played many times.

Each side secretly chooses a strategy that will affect the outcome at the end (as long as you haven't gone bust) The event card has all relevant information... the score in the bottom left is the target, and the icons next to it the max amount of cards in play at one time. The numbers on the top right are the value of the card (towards that 7) and how many influence you earn for winning (influence let's you reset exhausted cards, which can be quite handy) The stuff in the bottom right is a reward/penalty for whoever wins/loses.

Each turn a player can do one of four things.

Play a card from the deck into their play area (as long as they aren't already at the maximum card level)
Exhaust a card to use the power written on it (basically tap the card similar to most card games, it then becomes it's side on value, which for most cards is identical but for character cards is a significant reduction)
Spend influence to reset an exhausted card

If both players pass, you cease and count score.

So for example the two sides have dealt a few cards out, they'll use a few powers to maybe upset their opponents score or refine their own, hell sometimes you may use a character power just so it is worth 1 point instead of the 6 that might make you go bust.

Having played through this, sometimes the cards go against you, and you find yourself in the situation where you're going bust, can't deal any more cards, and the only powers you could potentially tap are to mess with your opponents score or to prep your deck... neither of which matters if your opponent can take a 1 point for a win because you've gone bust.

Anyway, in the example above both players are at max cards and they're all tapped out, so unless someone has influence to spend to refresh a card, they both have to pass, and the round ends.

Looking at the scores, we can see it is currently a 17-17 tie. No one wins! But that's where the strategy cards come in.

Now what the imperial player doesn't know, is the rebels had this ace in the hole... an extra 2 points, putting them bang on the target of 19! A victory surely?

Except Palpatine still has a trick up his volumous sleeve... the winner is in fact the loser, and the Empire win the day!

Thus that event would score 1 for the imperials, the decks would be reset, and a new event dealt. You can't use the same strategum again so you will work through all the options, and as the game goes on, the rebel will know the Imperial player won't catch him out with that sneaky "the loser wins" trick again... at least, not till he's tried his other tricks first.

So, like I said, this game is quick, fairly easy, and has some good replay value to it. The sides are aso balanced, and that's where I start to have a bit of a grumble. The sides are perfectly balanced. As in, they have the same deck. You get different pictures on the cards, but the decks are the same. The Military card for the Empire and the rebels does exactly the same. They have different values, but we each have a 3, a 4, a 5 Recon somewhere in our deck. Even the characters each have an exact counterpart - Luke and Vader do the exact same thing.

After playing (and adoring) the assymetrical experience of Star Wars Rebellion, with it's overwhelming imperial military might against the sneaky guerrilla rebels, to have a perfectly balanced system now seems rather bland. For the bread and butter cards I could understand it but come on, at least make the characters and the strategies different! The strategies utilised by the Empire should not match the strategies utilised by the Rebels. They should have different strengths and weaknesses, which yes would make the game more complicated, but at least it would have some flavour. There is no point in there being Star Wars images on this... you could have Mr Men on it for all the in game effect it has! Which means the Star Wars is on there purely to add sales, and that I do not like. Machi Koro is a game of building a town, sounds boring but it plays well and is fun. Ticket to Ride is a game of trains, do we need them to be Imperial trains criss-crossing Coruscant? No, it's a good game, it still works and sells. This is a fun little card game that is a handy thing for the bottom of the bag how to kill half an hour at the end of a night or perhaps a "crap we're the first two here what can we do whilst we wait for the other gamers to arrive" sort of game. But I'd honestly rather they sold this with generic real world equivalents than try to pass this off as being even remotely connected to Star Wars.

Overall: Fun, simple, but absolutely nothing to do with Star Wars.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Project Dangerzone: More progress on the Karrier

I think this bad boy is now structurally complete... this is a dry fit, need to take it and paint it, then glue the superstructure and jet in place, along with various crew members and a few deffkoptas, but overall am pleased with my handiwork :)

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Friday Night Excitement

To be fair, I didn't get home from work till 11pm, so not like I'm missing much opportunity to socialise in favour of geekiness (got work tomorrow too) but managed to get a couple more hours put into the superstructure for my "karrier"

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Flash Gitz, Flash.

So I finished the first five flashgitz yesterday, of a planned 20 and kaptin I have to do before the beginning of June... these models took me a lot longer than I had expected, despite my usual quick rush "it'll do" arms length painting attitude. I'd best crack on with this lot, as while I should still have time to get them all done, at this rate I won't have time to finish the display board, which is half of what I'm looking forward to about this entire project anyway!

Now normally I photo my models in a light box but let the camera do the work, but as it has been said of late that the models are looking a bit dark (my current setup worked fine through my Bad Moons tribe, but suffice to say they were a little brighter than my typical orks) so this time I tried a few shots with the flash in the ready position.

I know the camera will bring the flash up automatically if it needs it, but I thought that may encourage things. Didn't seem to, but I'm guessing it's the white background, as when I zoomed in close I finally got it to take a few with the flash. I should probably learnt he camera better and find out how to make it use flash at my directive rather than it's own, but here's a few shots.

I'm not 100% convinced by this yet as it feels like a microscopic examination of a paintjob I have never expected to be looked at closer than arms length, the standard "If it looks good from the end of a GW measuring stick, it's good enough for me" approach I have used for my entire hobby career. For much the same reason I don't play skirmish sized games, I am a horde collector... I like grand spectacle. Details, kinda meh... One beautifully painted Leman Russ is nice, don't get me wrong, but show me a division of 16 painted to a tabletop standard and I'm far more intrigued.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes. I have another 15 that I will paint to this standard, I might take a little more care for the kaptin, but don't expect golden daemon 5 different shades of one colour painting (you know who you are) but I'll be honest I want to get them all done quickly so the pressure is off for the stuff I NEED for the tournament, and I can turn my attention to the conversions I WANT on the display board...

Monday, 1 May 2017

Whatever happened to those CATCH posts?

So I had a run of posts under the CATCH heading, about an ongoing Tale of Four Gamers style event, however I have gone quiet on this recently.

Personally, it was because I had other models I had to paint for a deadline and I wasn't getting as much painting time in as planned so I decided to focus on the stuff I had to get done for a tournament rather than the stuff that was just for a personal challenge.


Without me pushing and driving the other participants, it has seemed to have fallen flat. One of the participants messaged me to say he'd just made the deadline for the full points in painting. He is the only one to score so far this month. With four days left to score in the "late points" window, I am not expecting anyone else to get anything. This competitor has leapt up to second place, averaging 5 points per month... which means the 40 points I scored in months one and two looks fairly unassailable. Now this wasn't about competing with each other but with ourselves really, but at the same time I must admit, I work harder at it when others are driving me on.

The most disappointing part for me has been all my efforts to forge a narrative for us all to engage in has fallen flat. This was the key thing I was trying to recreate from my first (and still best) Tale, the participants getting involved in the story and coming up with fun little character quirks to reflect our battles and grudges. I have done many pots, leaving plot hooks and introducing the silent partners through my games, but so far only one person has joined in with the narrative element of it.

In all honesty, I'm not enjoying being the only kid in the imagination sandbox.

Plus, all anyone has been talking of lately is 8th edition, and to be fair that will likely have a dramatic impact on peoples army builds, so I suppose I can forgive them if painting the models they've currently got planned isn't their top priority.

So, I'm basically not pushing the catch any more. I'll let it run the planned time, and if any of the participants ask for details or let me know how they're getting on, I'll keep scoring it. Personally I'm focussed on project:dangerzone which will see me taking a small force of Orks to two tournaments in what looks to be the last hurrah for 7th edition, if the rumoured release date of June 10th is accurate.

As for Fred and Barney? I will continue with the CATCH series of articles and my own storylines to do with it, after the small danger zone hiatus. Potentially when 8th drops I may have to reshuffle my plans slightly, but I'm not exactly doing a competitive build anyway so can't see me changing too much, unless there is a dramatic drop in points cost for orks that sees me needing to do more units to fill out the standard size army.

So fear not, the CATCH story will continue, I just need to find that loving feeling first... hence project: dangerzone ;)