Friday, February 27, 2015

Surprise update!

I get home from work... what's this, a box from the USA?

Could it be... yes! My copy of Torn Armor has arrived!

High quality components and plastic insert :)

This is just one of the eight two-sided poster maps included with the game.

I am really happy this has arrived. After the problems with the plastic miniatures, the project has moved ahead and it is so cool to see it materialized. I certainly do not have issues with playing with paper miniatures and if/when the plastic ones come out, it will be a great bonus.

I will try to post some first impressions about the game soon. Given that the game is heavily scenario-driven, it might work well solo.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Rules for space combat?

While taking a look at my collection of rules, I have noticed two things. I have, over time, drifted towards modern/sci-fi skirmish, although when I started looking for miniature games I would get all sorts: fantasy, historical, sci-fi, skirmish, large scale...

Also, I have not played most (maybe none at all) of the starship combat rules in my collection. I think this is due, in part, to my insistence in trying to play them with miniatures and a game mat, while the poor results of my previous attempts put me off.

Having decided to use the virtual tabletop more often, I have already set up a map to start trying 5150 Fighter Command, using Wydraz starship counters and one of Dave Graffam's space battle maps.

Besides 5150 Fighter Command, here are the other space combat rules that I have, in alphabetical order:

Astral Empires: Nova Command
Astral Empires: Battleshift
Full Thrust
Starmada: the Admiralty Edition
Stellar Evolution
Tractus Bellica
USE ME Starship Battles

Does anyone have comments about them, suggestions about which ones to try first or even suggestions about other space combat games worth a look?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wasteland Rustlers

Only Steve [Q3+ C2, Sharpshooter, 1 frag grenade, 1 pistol] survived the first mission in the Wasteland Raiders campaign. Now it is time for the second mission.

Steve returned to King Harlan's settlement and joined another raiding team: Keith [Q3+ C2, Savage, NBC Suit, Flamethrower], Rhonda [Q3+ C2, Sharpshooter, Javelins], and Alex [Q3+ C2, HtH Specialist, Frenzy drug, Poison antidote].

The new mutationist party is: Pan [Q4+ C3, Allure, Steadfast, Herbicide], Ogre [Q5+ C3, Two-headed, Energy adaptation, Javelins], Demon [Q3+ C3, Leader, Flying, Danger sense, Sharpshooter, Shotgun], Cobra [Q4+ C4, Poison, Stealth], and Mick [Q4+ C3, Psychometry, Stealth, Photon grenade].

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tall Top-down Tokens

Today I have made another experiment with top-down tokens. It is nothing really new but I wanted to see what kind of result I could get with my monochrome laser printer.

The tokens are glued to a 2mm thick EVA ("foamies") sheet. I print out the tokens and also some templates to cut extra pieces and stack them to varying heights. This way, obstacles that grant cover are 1 layer tall, infantry uses 2 layers, vehicles use 3 layers and buildings are 4 layers tall (in the test building in the picture, there are additional bits glued on top of it.)

The result is not very fancy but the different heights are helpful in understanding what each piece is, and add some "three dimensional feel" to an otherwise flat board. I might make a portable set this way, only using black foam as green is a little distracting (especially on the buildings.)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday the 13th Solo Gaming

Today someone started a discussion about games that go well with Friday the 13th, in a Facebook group about board games that I follow. This spurred me to revisit some solo games related to the horror theme.

The first was good ol' Zombie in my Pocket, one of the first print and play games I have built. I had not played it in a while and surprisingly, I got my second victory ever! Here is the final game state: just one development card before game over, and saved from the four zombies (as I had only 3 health) by the oil + candle combination! I would rather have this kind of luck on the lottery but anyway... fun game.

The second was Dice of the Living Dead, another print and play game. I reached about 2/3 of the way to salvation, when my last (infected) survivor succumbed to a zombie attack. I was also pretty low on supplies and ammo.

Lastly, I played Elder Sign, pitting investigator Amanda Sharpe against Great Cthulhu... in the end, the ancient one awakened when I needed only one more elder sign (out of 13) to seal it off. As expected, she was defeated in battle, losing all sanity and almost all stamina. On the bright side, besides almost winning, I went through the whole game with a single investigator.

Some may argue that Friday 13th has more to do with bad luck than horror. Solo games often have a strong random element (to keep things unpredictable) and this is surely true of these three, so they match the day's theme in this case too.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Battle in the Orchard

Here we are for Week 1 of the Wasteland Raiders campaign. For the first game I rolled the "Battle in the Orchard" scenario.

The wasteland raiders are scouting mutant territory when they find a patch of healthy trees full of fruit. The bad news: some mutants are guarding the area, leading to a battle.

The mutant party consists of Mask [Q4+ C3, mind block, hero, radiation antidote], Goro [Q3+ C3 leader, fear of fire, hth specialist, powered sword], Patch [Q4+ C3 telekinetic shield, sniper, crossbow], Snake [Q4+ C3 energy adaptation, sharpshooter] and Lizzard [Q4+ C4 clinging, ambusher, savage, herbicide].

Here is a picture of the setup. Green circles are trees, green patches are bushes that block line of sight but do not hamper movement significantly. The raiders split into two pairs, while the mutants occupied the center of the table. Note that Lizzard starts concealed in a bush. This is a simple battle, in which the goal is to defeat the other warband by killing them or making them flee. [Note: on the following paragraphs, what I called a "turn" is actually a pair of turns, taken by each warband.]