Monday, October 25, 2010

The Fickle Fates of Dice and Cards

I organized my hobby station and found that it actually inspired me to get some models done. I finished off the 4 Space Marines that have been staring at me for the last year or so and it really didn't take that long. I believe in painting everything to a war game standard, so as long as it looks good from 2-3 feet it is good enough for me. That leaves very little unpainted SM left  for a 2000pt list, mind you that 2000pts isn't an optimized list but seeing as I'm not a tournament player and I usually make an army to some theme I have(locked away in my head) that's also OK with me.

The French navy is coming along after a bit of a delay(must be the strikes!). Two 74's are rigged and they just need the rat lines, pennants & flags and then based. One 74 is partially rigged and then on to the 1st rate.

I managed to get a few games in since the last post and thus the title for this post. The 1st game was Wings of War against my son. This is a great game. Quick, easy and  fun and the miniatures add the "cool factor". We had 2 planes each, a single and double seater each. On the first exchange of gun fire my double seater was shot down in a brilliant explosion(I picked the explosion damage card) after that I tried to concentrate on one of my sons planes to even the score but alas I could not cause enough damage before being shot down.
Win/Loss 0-1

Next I went over to a friends place and tried a couple of new games. The first was Summoner's War, a cool little card/war game. How many times can you roll a 1 on a d6 in a row? (when all you need is a 3+), well at least 5-6 times. My friend even grabbed the die, said "let me try" promptly rolled a 6 and gave it back to me so I could roll a 1 again(curse you for using up my 6). That turn was hard to recover from and though I enjoyed the the game it was another loss.
Win/Loss 0-2

So, lets try a co-op game. We tried Castle Ravenloft next. Guess what, I can roll badly with a d20 as well as a d6, and we pick a raft of heavy hitting monster from the monster deck. Another fun game and another loss to which my friend said "wow, I've never lost at this before". To him I say(he is a DM), my bad dice rolling isn't so funny when your on my side is it?
Win/Loss 0-3

Oh well, all the games were fun and at least I don't throw my dice in uncontrollable rage, hitting my friends in the neck with small pointy polyhedrons....well at least not any more.(sorry about that)

So maybe I will get to talking about Malifaux next time. It has a great card system  and doesn't use dice which helps to offset bad luck...but hey, my win/loss ratio isn't much better, what gives!
My Malifaux crews
The Ortegos                                                                        Nicodem

Monday, October 11, 2010

Picking Rules-Napoleonic Naval Gaming

My plan was to post every 2 weeks but seeing as it's the Thanksgiving long weekend and I am trying to digest the two turkey dinners I've had so far this weekend I thought I would do an extra one.

I haven't got much gaming in and it looks like October is going to be a write off for gaming between Thanksgiving(family time), a wedding(more family time) and all the other things life throws at you.

A couple of weeks ago I finished Dragon Age Origins which I really enjoyed playing and is probably the first RPG video game I have actually completed, mind you I dialed the combat down to easy. I was more interested in the story and nothing gets me frustrated more than being stuck trying to get past a combat to continue following the story and it still doesn't compare to playing a real RPG. So now I am starting to play Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising a FPS/Squad command game. A steep learning curve and one shot can kill you so you have to be careful. I like it so far but the squad command takes some getting use to.

Now onto "real" gaming. As I haven't actually played anything this is mostly some stuff I have been working on. The French fleet is coming along. There was a color screw up on the hulls so I had to do a repaint-agh, but I am back on track now. I have three of the 74's painted so now on to the assembly and rigging and then onto the 100 gun which I will work on between rigging the 74's as rigging can be tedious.

I said in the last post that a friend and I are planning on using the Trafalgar rules from Warhammer Historical, so let me tell you how we have come to this rule set.

First let me state what I want any set of rules to accomplish for me and this has changed over years.
1. I must be able to finish a game in an afternoon. When I say this that means the game is actually finished as apposed to the players saying "well if we played this out(for another 2+ hours) I think this army would win".
2. The turn sequence and mechanics must be smooth, which helps with #1.
3. It has to be fun, fun wins over historical accuracy though I do want a level of accuracy which hopefully is written into the core mechanics as apposed to extra add on rules.
4. Finally I want to be able to use tactics of the period so I know it's my fault when things go wrong (or the few times I get it right).

So back to Napoleonic Naval wargaming. I started years ago with Wooden Ships and Iron Men by Avalon Hill. This is actually a board game but can be used with miniatures. This was/is a great game that me and a friend played the crap out of but it does show its age by the number of charts used during play and really a player can only run 2-3 ships.

I then bought Close Action by Clash of Arm Games another board game that can be converted to miniatures. Very detailed game in which a player can run 1-2 ships at most. I only played a couple of times. I enjoyed it but it was a little to slow moving for me and I want to be able to command more ships. The scenario book I am sure will get some more use though.

I picked up a copy of Signal Close Action by Langton Miniatures which I am sure is a good game if you can learn it from someone who already knows how to play. The rules are very detailed and I could not get the flow of the game from reading through the rules and I probably need more knowledge of the fighting era to make sense of some of it. These were a no go for me after reading them a few times and much head scratching.

So now onto Trafalgar which I am sure is not the most historically accurate but is easy to understand, can be played to a resolution in a reasonable time and so far is fun. I've only played 1 solo game so I will report in later after I have smashed the French!( I love talking up my armies before the reality of a game shatters my hopes for my latest army list)

I actually was going to talk about Malifaux which I have been playing quite a bit of but I think I have gone on long enough so perhaps another time.
 The three French 74's
Close up of one of the 74's

Good gaming,
Rob H

Friday, October 1, 2010

The "Cool" factor

So I've just taken a look at my very crowded work center and seen the various projects I have on the go which gives a very quick sample of the way my mind wonders through the gaming hobby dabbling here and there and once in awhile actually finishing something. On the desk I have (insert drum roll) three 1:1200 Napoleonic ships, five Warhammer 40k Space Marines and a Chaplain, four 28mm British Napoleonic Rifleman, one 28mm ECW figure, and some other 40k terrain. All are in different stages, from just primed to almost finished and I know I have other projects on the go which have been put on the shelf that means "I will get back to you when my interest is re-ignited".

And that is what I like about the hobby I can bounce around as much as I like, as my interest is peaked by something I've read or watched or just seen in the store and gone "now that's cool"

So now let me tell you what has peaked my interest lately. Its the Napoleonic ships which I am actually building for a friend who has a similar habit of bouncing around the hobby, which is a bad influence to have around. We bought some Langton miniatures awhile ago now and after some time I got my small British fleet together, two 74's, a 100gun and a Frigate while his French fleet got lost among his various projects. We want to try out the Trafalgar rules published by Warhammer Historical and after some ribbing from me along the lines of the cowardly French not wanting to put to sea he suggested I could build them and perhaps he would help out on some future miniature purchase of mine. So here I am putting some French vessels together, hopefully I won't get distracted before I finish. I learned a lot putting mine together so these should get to sea with much less hassles as long as I remember everything I learned the first time.

Besides modeling I am hoping to get in a game of D&D this month with some friends and my son in one of my friends very irregular campaign , no fault of his, that would be me again.

And of course some video games in on the PS3, mostly racing which my youngest forces me to so he can watch and I picked up RUSE so I will play that when I can get time on the system between my oldest son and my wife, why did I buy Star Wars LEGO!

I think I am going to grab a beer now and kick someone off the PS3.

My crowded work station with my projects and some of my sons.
 The Royal Sovereign
 The British fleet
 One of the French under construction