December 19, 2012
So … I got tired of trying to post on WordPress, so I’ve started to upgrade the site and move it under a Blogger account.
It’s nothing new or impressive right now, but it has some new Relic Knights stuff and should have some other things in the new year.
November 10, 2012
This just popped up on SPM’s facebook page:
“Kickstarter fans for Relic Knights, don’t want to leave you in the lurch… we have been hard at work finalizing a load of great new sculpting, artwork, and content for the upcoming release of Relic Knights: Darkspace Calamity – next year will be a great year!”
There’s a suspicion out there that this is more work for the SS Purifier whose concept was seen during the kickstarter (and has simply been renamed), but looking at the Purifier art (below), I’m not convinced.
November 5, 2012
Recently I’ve had the chance (or, more correctly, been forced) to play a couple of old staple systems in the wargaming world: FoW, WHFB and 40K.
It’s been a long time since I touched any of these games, so it was certainly an interesting diversion.
SYSTEM ONE: FOW
First up, a few weeks back I got dragged into a couple Flames of War demo-ish games using the new Tank Commander (??) box set.
I had no idea what I was doing, and the first game was brutal … good thing I’m used to losing. But I quickly picked up the basics and half-returned the favour in the next game. While I know the game at that level is a lot different from the full on battles 1500+ points delivers (with infantry, aircraft and all that other jazz), at that small level I feel I got a good feel for the system … and it is totally not for me.
I’ve always wanted to play FoW, and I’ve bought a mini or two in the past. More recently I’ve come to know a few guys who are or have been in the play-testing circuit for the game and their expressed views on the systems have kept me well clear of the game.
Having had an actual go at it though now, I really don’t like single dice systems. I’m no history buff or expert in WWII warfare, so it loses me there, and this might be completely misguided, but I really don’t see how applicable the “you hit, you wound, I save” type mechanic is to tank warfare … it seems more of a simplification to help trap GW-players (which I guess is the popular perception of the mechanics in this game).
I guess when it comes to this sort of thing, I either like the game a bit more up-close and personal (skirmish), or more abstracted and tactical (10mm? I don’t know?).
To be honest, coming out of the demo I was completely disinterested in FoW … it’s just not my sort of thing; Though I was thinking pretty hopefully towards Drop Zone Commander. DZC seemed a similar sort of thing, but without the fluff issues of appealing to the history buffs; it has beautiful minis; and while people moan about it being expensive, looking at the numbers I don’t see it – I’ve seen game reviews starting to appear on the web now that people have finally received their minis and started painting/playing and no one seems unhappy with it. But the more I’ve looked at it, the more it seems/sounds like similar game mechanics in a slightly different game setting.
SYSTEM TWO: WHFB
A fortnight later I decided to have a go at a 500pt Warhammer Fantasy Battles event at the local club. The only time I’ve tried this game was back in ~2001, playing WHFB Skirmish rules with Dwarves (versus High Elves and Vampire Counts) and we hardly new the rules back then. So … I’d be overstating my abilities if I said I went into this as a fresh faced noob.
With no skill and no army, I borrowed some club minis and took this list:
w/Warhorse, Shield, Lance, Gauntlet of Duel and Virtue of Confidence
5 Knights of the Realm
w/Gallant and Musician
8 Knights Errant
12 Men at Arms Archers with pikes
(T/O had ruled no banner bearer needed for Bretonnians, units were also limited to 150pts, which made the KotR cry a little.)
I had some naive idea of abusing the challenge/duel rules with my Paladin and Grail Knight and using that to win me some fights. And thought the Grail Knight acting as a solo would be great for preventing Marches/etc.
And that naive idea was a bad idea.
First game I went up against a Black Orc warboss on a Boar, sitting at the back of a Fast Cavalry Goblin army that was in my lines before I had moved a mini. I pulled off a great last minute charge into his general, with a Paladin that proceeded to do nothing but flail his lance around foolishly while the Orc cut him down. (My opponent went on to win I think)
The next game I upped the anti and tore into a Dark Elf army, before he killed my Paladin with a super-killy spell and my dice failed me. And I followed that up with a game versus Vampire Counts, where my opponent just kept raising more models than I was killing.
End of the day/afternoon I was sitting pretty at 22 out of 24; and it had been a pretty fun way to waste an afternoon. I was left with only three ‘gripes’: Magic is crazy at that points level, testing for Terror every turn/combat (despite passing/winning) and single minis can’t charge in any direction – I had a unit of DE Shade harrying my rear and had nothing in my force capable of stopping them as they simply walked out of my charge windows.
Overall, I don’t particularly rate the game though. Again, it’s probably just not for me. It felt like my opponent and I were just moving minis arbitrarily around the table then rolling dice for fun (like playing Connect Four and Yahtzee at the same time). However I can see how when it jumps up to a proper points value that it would provide quite a deep and tactical game … though I don’t see how some factions have any chance of competing at that level; and I don’t imagine thorough and intricate play does well under the common softscores (sports).
It was also quite apparent how well the system could (is) used to full a weekend of gaming, with fully painted lists and a level of immersion that few games seem to relish. It constant riles me that GW-players refer to their games as the hobby (and often ignore other systems), but in trying them it’s become clear they’re more than a hobby than a game … perhaps they have to be?
If I ever play this system I’m going Orcs and Goblins, for twice the entertainment value for the same entry price.
SYSTEM THREE: 40k
Following on from WHFB, I had my arm twisted into playing a 500pt Warhammer 40k event … not that I really needed much encouragement. 40K is the game I started out on, though I hadn’t played it in roughly 10 years … not that much seemed to have changed though, so at least I wasn’t a total nub.
A local offered to lend me a Space Marine army … and when I requested 2 Whirlwinds, a full Assault squad and maybe some Scouts he said he didn’t have any of that and made me another list.
And so like half the people there I ended up playing Space Wolves, because everyone knows that “In the Grim Darkness of the Future there is only Specialty Flavoured Space Marines”. It was a pretty decent list built for fun, and using some amazing models.
Wolf Guard Battle Leader in Terminator armour (Power Fist, Storm Bolter)
8 Grey Hunters with Power Fist and Standard, Meltgun.
10 Grey Hunters with two Flamers
2 Drop Pods.
It made for some fun games, I think the first game was a loss and the next two draws, vs Space Wolves, Space Marines and Orks respectively; but in the end I was only 12 out of 16. I think I could definitely do better next time.
Now this system, despite running on the same sort of format as the other two, is FUN.
Things happen, models die, individual models can be personalised, it happens in space, etc,etc, sure you need to hold objectives and stuff, but those don’t matter to the end of the game. So, much more fun than the other systems, though I didn’t find the individual games seemed as important/memorable.
Like WHFB I can see how things change as the game grows bigger. I can see how faction power levels swell, min-maxing becomes sensible, bigger/better/harder/faster models become necessary investments, etc … and with the level of investment you end up putting into the game; none of that is positive and I don’t see how the fun really matches anything found in this smaller level.
With that I don’t think I could ever play competition level 40K, but if the small events kept coming I would be tempted to pick up a small force … maybe, I would have to decide on a faction (or flavour of Space Marines) first, and that doesn’t sound like an easy task.
So … that was my brief recounting of playing the three ‘core’ gaming systems out there.
I have to say I didn’t meet a single bad/annoying/curse-word player any of this, everyone was swell, relaxed and extremely helpful; so again, I can see how this builds up to a nice immersive weekend-long tournament atmosphere (which is unfortunately not something I’m all that into – one day of gaming is enough for me).
Now I’m off to look at the prices of 40K minis with despair.
November 1, 2012
How Skarre was designed:
“Let’s give her pStryker’s feat!”
“No no, pStryker already has that feat.”
“Fine. Let’s give her a feat that cancel’s out pStryker’s feat. That’s kinda balanced”
What Jason Soles hears: Give Skarre both pStryker’s feat and a feat that cancels pStryker’s feat.
“But Cryx troops have crap MAT, how will they deal with high def models?”
*starts raining outside*
Some English guy in the building: “Bloody rain never stops! I’m going to go have a dark Guiness!”
What Jason Soles hears: Blood Rain is not enough, needs Dark Guidance.
*many years pass*
Jason Soles: “Wait, did I just lose a game with Skarre? How did I get KD? If only I hadn’t feated for 5….”
Jason Soles designs the Satyxis Captain so Skarre is never KDed ever again. Also, makes Necrosurgeons heal caster for D6 along with bringing cheap sacrifice models for D6 focus per turn extra for that little extra armour push past 20.
^^I read this the other day and thought it was pretty good, thought other people might enjoy it too.
November 1, 2012
So … I said a few posts back that I ordered some Malifaux. It turned up a little while ago, and spent some time sitting in the corner, now I’m slowly getting to it (finally).
What did I actually get?
A pretty decent Cult of December starter spread I believe (I don’t know for sure).
- Essence of Power
- 3 Ice Gamin
- Blessed of December
- December Acolyte
- 2 Silent Ones
- Snow Storm
I think the only things I’m missing are Hoarcats, an Ice Golem and the Avatar form or Rasputina.I didn’t pick up the starter, as I’m not all that keen on it. Like I said previously, I had been going to pick up Lilith, but she was out of stock; but I love the Snow Storm and alternative Rasputina miniatures and the purchases simply wrote themselves around that. If I really like how this all works I might fill out the other options, but we’ll see.
I ‘ve got the bases all cleaned, and half the minis prepped for assembly – I’m leaving the Gamin and Blessed til later – thin minis and horrible mold-lines/tattoos; and won’t be touching Snow Storm ’til last.
The metal is lighter (more bendy) than any I’ve dealt with recently, which isn’t a good comparative comment as I haven’t done much mini-related in recent months at all – I plan on a much more detailed review later.
I hope to process through these with reasonable speed (anything above snail-pace would be good), as there’s a 25SS event I wouldn’t mind playing in.
I have no real ideas about lists, but I’m thinking I’ll try build this one up to play:
- Essence of Power
Should be fast and spell-slingy.
Will be interesting to try all this out; I’ve played around the game before, but only a very minor amount.
It seems like something you can really invest in – knowing all the rules/minis, building diverse lists, etc, etc … which isn’t exactly something I’m looking to do; but it also seems like a great, small and creative character driven game where you can simply have a lot of fun if you want … and I’m down with that.
October 25, 2012
Calico Kate is the most successful pirate to ever ply space. Striking from her base deep within the Star Nebula her band of corsairs are the scourge of the Guild and a ceaseless source of frustration for the paladin orders of the Six Peers. Swarming her targets with hordes of lightning fast ships bristling with weapons, she audaciously strikes at fleets far larger than her own. Favoring rapid assaults the swift fliers focus on hull breaches allowing Kate and her relic to lead destructive assault actions. She has become infamous for her tendency to take a ship’s crew hostage and then blow up their vessel. With the assistance of her cypher, Skully, she often augments the explosions in spectacular fashion to emphasize her ransom demands. Her most notorious pyrotechnics burn as bright as a small sun, a blazing challenge to any who would dare oppose her.
Like any space pirate, Calico Kate is one cool mother …
But now she’s even better, as part of the Relic Knights whole Kick Starter and move to plastic/resin/whatever, she’s getting a resculpt. I haven’t seen it in person, but supposedly the legs and arm of the original metal sculpt weren’t too game-play friendly and looking at pictures I can imagine.
Regardless of that, the original is pretty awesome…
… But check out this new and improved awesome!
That’s one bad-ass sculpt to fit some bad-ass rules.
Check out the rules here: http://rk.sodapopminiatures.com/
October 15, 2012
Geez, nearly a month and a half since my last post … what happened.
Guess I should follow up on my last post – the Relic Knights Kick Starter finished strong with extra special edition minis (like the Chee above) and all that cool stuff … taking it to just over $900k. I had to catch’em all, and am now undertaking the long wait ’til their arrival.
In the meantime, a bunch of locals have been picking up Malifaux over the last year; and I’ve decided to join them (while I deal with my Warmachine faction “indecision”). A big motivation behind the decision to buy into the game was the realisation that for the price of a small starter collection of minis in Warmachine, I could pick up a pretty full on Malifaux force, including rulebook and card deck – WIN.
I picked up some Malifaux when it first came out, but no one else locally was all that keen and I moved it on to greener pastures. So I know a little about the game, but quite far from a lot. I had been looking to start with a Neverborn army focusing on Lilith&Nephilim before expanding to Zoraida and maybe Collodi – I really love their avatar sculpts, etc; but they were out of stock at my local store, so I went with my second choice and picked up a small Cult of December force – so I can take Snow Storm.
If I really get into the game and want a fuller competition force, then I might picking up the Neverborn, but until then this should keep me more than busy.