Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Imperial Skies - Austria-Hungarian Fleet - Budapest Class Light Battleship

The next and final ship for Doug's Austria-Hungarian fleet is a Budapest Class Light Battleship.


I took a few progress pictures so you can see how these come together without watching the video.






The fleet has turned out very nice in my opinion.  Using the Imperial Skies rules, this fleet totals 510 points.


This fleet is a great example that you don't need a complicated paint scheme to make a decent looking fleet.  Just spend some time putting some paint on the models and in no time at all you will have a fleet ready for action.



You can step up the detail and shading or you can even go for a more simple paint job.

Paints Used:
Army Painter
    Greenskin
    Matt Black
    Deep Blue
Vallejo Game Color
    Scorpy Green
Vallejo Model Color
    Tan Earth
    Sky Blue
    Flat Red
Games Workshop/Citadel
    Agrax Earthshade

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Round of Fire - Play Through 1

Round of Fire is a game that is currently in development.  I have been given the opportunity to help a little with play testing the game.

The game does not have a specific period or genre attached to it, so you can play the game with lots of different models: Old West, Pulp, WW2, Sci-Fi, etc.  I'm not sure how well it would work with a fantasy setting, but you never know.

After a read through of the rules, I generally like what I see.  There are some interesting mechanics and I was very interested in the activation mechanic.



Each unit has a token on the turn wheel.  When a unit activates, it progresses on the turn wheel a number of "steps" based upon the action it has taken.  A walk (moving 2 grid spaces) costs 3 steps for most units, while a run (moving 3 grid spaces) costs 5 steps for most units.  Shooting costs 3 steps for an Elite fireteam, but costs 5 steps for a Regular fireteam.



I like how this sounded and found it to work well in the game as well.  I liked the idea that if you are taking quick actions, or are well trained, you can act more often than a team that is doing a more complicated/lengthy action.



The game also allows for use of suppressing fire to push units along the activation wheel.  With this action you can delay an enemy unit's activation.  This adds some interesting tactical choices and means that sometimes you will be shooting at another unit without the chance of killing anyone, but it still has a useful purpose.



After playing the game, I am not impressed with the combat mechanic.  It seems to be more complicated than it needs to be, but this is just my first game.  Your fire is based on the weapon you are equipped with the range to the target and if there is any cover.  That is straight forward enough, but then target gets a save and that is where the process starts to break down.  The target gets to roll 1 die for each hit made on them, but then can add dice for their toughness value as well as dice for their armor, but then the Armor Penetration of the weapon reduced the dice added from the armor.  A 5+ on each dice is needed to shrug off the hit.  In my game, almost every model had the same weapon (aside from a few machine guns, that didn't get to fired much) so it wasn't that difficult to keep track of this, but if you have a wide variety of equipment (and the game has a pretty wide variety of equipment available) this could become much more cumbersome.  If the models doesn't save from the hits, then they are wounded.  However, you have to calculate of how wounded they are so you can see their status from the fire.  When a model is knocked out, he can be killed, bleeding, or unconcious.  So know you take 3 die and add dice based on the models toughness, but you reduce that pool based on any excess wounds received by the model.  So if he failed to save 2 wounds and only had 1 wound to start with, he has taken 1 excess wound so reduced his dice pool by one.  You roll those dice and based on how many successes you get, you determine the level of injury.



These different levels affect the victory points for different factions (which is interesting and adds some character and variation to the different factions) but adds another level of rolling to each round of combat.

I'm not sure how to simplify the process and I will try to think of something to offer to the designers, but at this point, it just feels cumbersome and I would like to see a more streamlined process.

Overall, I did enjoy the game and think there are some very cool things going on in these rules.  I look forward to trying out the different factions to see how they work and using a bigger variety of troops and specialists.

The Reticulans took command of this battle field.  They eliminated all but one model of the Earth Alliance forces and managed to take control of most of the objectives.  They did all this with only the loss of a few soldiers.  The Earth Alliance will need to rethink their troop selection and equipment before the next engagement.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cold War Era in 6mm - Assembling Hedgerows

I wanted to add more terrain to my collection and was looking for something that I could easily put together and that would work in several different game periods.



So I broke out some clump foliage, tongue depressors, and flock.  A little work and ta-da, I've got a small collection of hedgerows.  


These can be used along roads, around fields, around houses, and where ever you think they would be appropriate.


These aren't really all that fancy, but they will be effective and I am please with how they turned out.


An added bonus is that these will also work with my 15mm gaming.  Terrain that works with multiple projects is always a good thing.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Imperial Skies - Austria-Hungarian Fleet - Prinz Eugen Class Destroyer

The next ship for Doug's Austria-Hungarian fleet is a Prinz Eugen Class Destroyer.


I've used the same paint scheme on this as I have all the other ships for this fleet and they are starting to look like a nice group of ships.



I have one more ship in my queue for this fleet and it will be complete.

Paints Used:
Army Painter
   Greenskin
   Matt Black
   Deep Blue
Vallejo Game Color
   Scorpy Green
Vallejo Model Color
   Tan Earth
   Sky Blue
   Flat Red
Games Workshop/Citadel
   Agrax Earthshade

Imperial Skies - Austria-Hungarian Fleet - Huszar Class Destroyers

Next up for Doug's fleet are a couple of Huszar Class Destroyers.  These are painted the same colors as the Danube class ships.


There isn't really anything fancy about the paint job, but I think they look good.



Paints Used:
Army Painter
   Greenskin
   Matt Black
   Deep Blue
Vallejo Game Color
   Scorpy Green
Vallejo Model Color
   Tan Earth
   Sky Blue
   Flat Red
Games Workshop/Citadel
   Agrax Earthshade

I've got a few more ships to paint for this fleet and will share them as I finish them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Imperial Skies - Austria-Hungarian Fleet - Dunabe Class Patrol Nefs

I am painting an Austria-Hungarian aeronef fleet for my friend Doug for use with Imperial Skies.  I'm trying to paint these to match the paint scheme found at Brigade Model's website for this fleet.



There really isn't anything too complicated about this paint job, but the great things about these models is that you don't need a complicated paint job to make them look nice.


I hull and super-structure is a basic green with some drybrushing to brighten it up.  I painted the guns and smoke stacks black and the deck boards tan.  A little detail on the tail fins and some paint on the windows and these are pretty much done.


Paints Used:
Army Painter
   Greenskin
   Matt Black
   Deep Blue
Vallejo Game Color
   Scorpy Green
Vallejo Model Color
   Tan Earth
   Sky Blue
   Flat Red
Games Workshop/Citadel
   Agrax Earthshade


I will share more videos as I continue to work on this fleet.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cold War in 6mm - Painting US M113 Transports

Next up for my 6mm Cold War project is US transports for my infantry.  

These are models from Heroics and Ros and while not as detailed as GHQs models, these aren't bad for the price.

I've used the same paint job on these as I've used on my US M1A2 tanks.  It is a pretty simple paint job, but it looks nice in my opinion.



There was a fair amount of flash on the back of these models that needed to be cleaned up, but once that was done, I primed them white and added a base coat of Vallejo Model Color US Dark Green.  Once that was dry, I washed them with Games Workshop Agrax Earthshade and then dry brushed with them with the US Dark Green that I lightened up with some white.



I based these on 40mm x 20mm metal bases flocked to match the rest of my force.



I'm working on the infantry that will be riding around in these models.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Rebel Minis - Animechs Unboxing

Rebel Minis ran a kickstarter for some Animech models recently.  The available models were robotic versions of a spider, a scorpion, and a wolf.  I backed the project and have received 2 scorpions and a spider.

I thought I would do a quick unboxing to show these off.



The models have nice detail and are well pretty detailed.  Assembly might be a little challenging, but John Bear Ross put together an assembly guide for these multi-legged monsters that should help with the process.  Click for Assembly Guide.

Scorpion Animech


Spider Animech


Turret Mount Stretch Goals


Overall, while there is a fair amount of flash to clean up, it isn't that bad and should be pretty straight forward to take care of.  I really like the look of these two models (I wasn't impressed with the wolf) and look forward to painting them.

Stay tuned to see a painting video at some point in the future.

Cold War Era in 6mm - Painting European Houses

Terrain is an important part of any miniature game.  I have some terrain for my 6mm Cold War project, but I have wanted to expand my options.  I ordered some buildings from www.6mmgaming.com (which when I checked today, redirects to www.gcmini.com).



As you can see, these are easy to paint and they come together quickly.  I'm very happy with how they turned out.  It takes a little time to paint all the wooden planks, but nothing to challenging.





Paints Used:
Light Tan Flat Camo Spray Paint
Army Painter
    Oak Brown
    Electric Blue
    Soft Tone Ink
Vallejo Game Color
    Earth
    Imperial Blue
    Beasty Brown


If you need to add some models for your table you should check these out as a possible option.  These will work for Cold War Era, WW2, and fantasy games.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Airfix Battles: An Introductory Game - Solo Battle Report 1

I had the chance to play a few games of a recent addition to my game collection recently, Airfix Battles: An Introductory Game.



As the name says, this is an introductory game and has fairly simple mechanics.  However, the game still offers some challenging decisions for the players.

The box comes with rules and scenarios, two double sided grid-based maps, dice, a deck of command cards, a deck of unit cards, and card board tokens to represent your troops.  They suggest you replace the tokens with Airfix models, but you can use any models you have, or just use the tokens provided.



I've made use of some Battlefront models that I already have painted for my Americans, and am using some 15mm robotic forces to stand in for the German forces.



This game uses a deck of command cards that offer special actions the players can make use of, interrupts so you can react to the enemies actions, or the cards can be used as a basic move, shoot or reinforce if you don't want to use the special action.  These add a degree of "fog of war" in that you don't know what you are going to be able to pull off from turn to turn.



The rule book includes solo rules with an AI that uses the cards drawn to dictate its actions.  I have found it enjoyable to play against and look forward to playing more games.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Kings of War Battle Report - 1500 points Goblins vs Dwarves - Kill and Pillage

Next up in my 6 X 6 Gaming Challenge is another Kings of War Battle.  Again I have played my Goblins and played against Bill and his Dwarves.  It was a fun game, but I didn't do very well in the battle.



We set up 1500 point armies and rolled for the scenario and got Kill and Pillage.  In this scenario, each player is awarded points for killing enemy units as well as holding objectives at the end of the game.  Each objective was worth 150 points in this game.


Bill focused on my war trombones and wizards early in the game and managed to take many of them out of the game fairly early on.  He also routed my trolls before they could get into combat.


Bill earned about 1000 more points than I did in the battle so we will call it a victory for the dwarves.  I might have to adjust my army a little before our next battle.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Great Plains Game Festival 2017

I was able to attend the Great Plains Game Festival here in Lincoln, NE about a week ago.  I actually managed to make it all three days and got to play quite a few games with some great folks.

The convention organizers have put together quite a massive (800+) game library that is open to attendees.  You can check out any of the games, gather some people, and play the game.  Or if you don't have the time to play all the games, you can at least open the box and check out what is included for any games that you might be looking to add to your collection.  I took a look at several games that I have been interested in.

The venue was pretty nice with a decent amount of space for gaming.  It got a little crowded at times, but that can be expected.

They had concessions on hand that weren't overly priced and were pretty tasty.

In addition to the game library they have a pile of games that are play to win.  You can check these games out, play them, and then you are entered into a drawing to win the game at the end of the convention.  I think they had about 70-ish games that were given away.

I played in a couple of organized games and several pick of games.  Below you can read about the games I played and a very brief review of each.

Star Trek Ascendancy
Published by Gale Force Nine



This was a fairly heavy game.  Not overly so, but there were quite a few rules to go over before we started playing.

Each player takes control of either the Federation, Klingons, or Romulans.  You start with a fleet of ships on your home planet and then you are able to explore and find new systems.  You can research new technologies and upgrade your ship's weapons and shields.  Once you connect your explored areas to another players, then you are able to engage in space battles or take over their planets (using culture or combat to take the planets).

Each faction seemed to play fairly differently so I think there will be good re-play in the box.  In addition, there are expansions for Ferengi and Cardassians and the other guy playing said something about a possible Borg expansion.

This game is only for 3 players out of the box.  Not 2.  Not 4.  Only 3.  That seemed kind of odd to me.  We only had 2 to play it and decided that we could learn the rules and get a feel for the game with just the 2 of us.  I'm sure the experience would have been different with 3, but for us it worked with 2.  I'm not sure if the expansions allow for more players or if you just swap out the factions in the core box.



Overall, I really enjoyed this game.  I would absolutely play it again.  I don't think I will be purchasing it, mostly because one of my friends already owns it.  I think I will try to get him to break it our for one of our game nights in the not to distant future.

Paranormal Investigation
Published by Touch Paper Press


This is a quick deduction game where each player takes a roll (each with a special ability and specific win condition) and is either trying to find evidence that the strange events happening are connected to their roll.  The Medium is trying to receive a message, the Believer is trying to reveal a phenomenon, etc.  Each player also takes an affiliation card that adds an additional special ability for that player.

The game played quickly and we played a couple of games in about 20 minutes.

It was interesting, but probably not one I will be adding to my collection.  I would play it again, though if someone were to suggest it on game night.

Legendary Encounter: An Alien Deck Building Game
Published by Upper Deck Entertainment



This is normally a co-operative deck building game where each player takes the roll of one of the characters from one of the Alien movies and you play through the plot points of the chosen movie.

There is an expansion however, that lets on player take the roll of the xenomorphs and plays against the crew.  We played the Aliens scenario and had two members of the crew facing off against the Queen.

I've played this game a few times in the past and it is a very challenging game.  I've never beat it.  I'm not sure that we needed to up the difficulty and have the players fighting the Queen, but it was still a fun game.  We did completed the first objective (of 3) and then were promptly killed.



This game is tense and the theme is very clearly presented in this game.  I enjoyed the game quite a bit and it made me want to play some more.

I already own this game and am glad it is in my collection.


Munchkin Marvel
Published by Steve Jackson Games

Image result for munchkin marvel

Who doesn't love a game of Munchkin.  I have 4 or 5 versions on my game shelf, but had not played this version.  I'm not a huge comic book guy, so I don't know many of the references and didn't know who a lot of the characters were, but I don't think that mattered all that much.

Each player takes on the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and we go about saving the city from evil doers.  You can acquire skills, equipment, allies, powers, etc that will help you as you fight off said evil doers.  The first player to Level 10 wins the game.



This is a quick playing game that allows players to work together or to work against each other.  In my experience, the players work together at the beginning  of the game and then turn on each other as players start getting more and more powerful.

I enjoyed playing the game, but a copy will not be joining my other versions of Munchkin.

Memoir '44
Published by Days of Wonder



We played one of the scenarios from the Sword of Stalingrad expansion.  The Germans were attacking the dug in Russian line.  We had 6 players and most of us had a fair bit of experience with this game.

The Germans made some headway early in the battle, but then their advance faltered a bit.  The Russians were able to regroup and push back a bit, but in the end, the Russians couldn't recover from the early losses.



I don't think I have every played using the overlord rules before.  It was a good time, though very frustrating when you couldn't get the cards needed to take advantage of a weak flank.



This was also my first game using the Russians.  They have some special rules that require them to pick the cards to be played next turn, this turn.  This makes it hard (impossible) to react to the enemy.  You kind of just have to make a plan and hope it works out.  I wouldn't want to use those rules in every game, but it does make for a different experience and fits with the Russian forces.



This is one of my favorite games and I have several copies of the base game and most of the expansions for it.  I get to play it quite a bit, but have not played everything as there is so much.  I'm glad I got to play this scenario and will be pulling out some of the big maps that I have for my game group to try out.

7 Wonders Duel
Published by Repos Production



This is a 2 player, small box version of 7 Wonders.  I had heard good things about this game and got to play it against a friend I ran into at the convention that I hadn't seen for a while.  So I got to play a fun game and I got to catch up with an old friend.  Win! Win!

In this game, players are advancing their nations through 3 ages and trying to develop the most advance civilization.  You can build wonders in the process that will provide rewards during the game and points at the end of the game.

Players have the option to focus on specific areas of advancement (science, military, etc) or work on a little bit of everything.



The game played very quickly, but was a lot of fun.  I think this is one that you will do much better in after a few plays as you need a few plays to develop a strategy.

I might add this one to my collection as I think my wife might enjoy it.

Cry Havoc
Published by Portal Games



This is a card driven war game with asymmetric forces trying to take control of areas on the map.  It had a lot of impressive art and miniatures in the box.



Each faction has very different powers and played quite differently.  I'm not sure how different the tactics of each faction will be from game to game, but there are some variations to the skills they can have so maybe there will be more variety than what I say in this game.

It was an interesting game and would definitely require at least a couple plays to build a solid strategy.



I won't be adding this one to my collection either, but would play it again.

Imhotep
Published by Kosmos



Each player takes the roll of a builder in ancient Egypt.  On your turn, you can take one action.  You can take up to 3 stones from the quarry and place it on your sled, load a stone on a boat, sail a boat (if it has enough stones on it) or play a blue card.  Not a lot of choices, but sometimes it is really hard to decide on which action to take.



There is a happy balance between making good plays for yourself versus making plays to block your opponents.  The game mechanics are simple, but I found it very enjoyable to play.

I was very impressed with this game and purchased it at the convention.  I'm pretty sure this one will get a lot of play with my group and with my wife.

Salem
Published by Facade games



This is a deduction game where the players are trying to determine who the witch is and kill them.  It reminded me of Werewolf, but not as well put together.

I really thought the rules were laid out poorly and we didn't enjoy this one all that much.  There are quite a few games that already exist of this type and I don't see how this one added anything that would make me pick it over the others.

I won't be adding this to my collection and I would not play this one again.


Castles of Mad King Ludwig
Published by Bezier Games



This is a tile laying game that also includes drafting, set collection, and pattern layouts.

In the game each player is building "an amazing, extravagant castle for King Ludwig II of Bulivia...one room at a time".  Each turn, the players can choose from the available rooms to add to their castle.  The available rooms at the start of the game a randomly drawn and as they are purchased, the newly available rooms are also random, however, the starting player each turn gets to set the value on the rooms and the players pay the starting player for the room they choose.

There are restrictions on how some rooms can be placed and various bonuses for which rooms are placed to which.  You get bonuses for completing rooms (connecting or covering all doors) that can allow for bonus points, extra money, an extra turn, a bonus points card for end game scoring, etc.

Once the draw deck is depleted, the players score bonus points based on the cards they got during the game and the directives from King Ludwig at the beginning of the game.

This game got a little crazy at times, but was fun.  I enjoyed this one quite a bit.  There are several rules about room placement that makes me thing you need a couple of plays to fully understand all the options in this game, but it is worth the effort.

It turns out I have a copy of this one at home, that I had forgot about.  Now that I have played it though, I will be opening my copy and taking to game night in the near future.

Colony
Published by Bezier Games



Each player is working to establish their colony after the world has gone through some sort of apocalypse.  You will have a number of buildings that can effect the supplies you gather each turn.

The supplies are represented by dice and the number on each die represents the type of resource it is.  Adding buildings allows you more/different supplies each turn and/or allows you to store more supplies from turn to turn.



There are lots of different cards in the box and you will only use some of them in each game.  Some cards you use in every game, but several are different from game to game.  Each card has an upgrade that improves its points and/or impact on the game.  Players need to use the supplies they find to construct new buildings and upgrade existing buildings.

I played this as a solo game as I got to the convention early on Sunday and wanted to give this one a try and there weren't many others there yet.  I think it would been have a very different game with multiple players.  As a solo, you are just trying to see how many points you can earn.  I used the basic game set up which includes quite a few cards that have player interaction, so they weren't really usable in a solo game.

There is a lot of luck in this game based on the roll of the dice each turn.  You can start to mitigate the luck factor as you start building up your colony, but one player can really get an advantage early and then hold that moving through the game.  However, as the game plays fairly quickly, I'm not that worried about the luck factor since the playing time is only about an hour on the top end.

As I said, this game has a post-apocalyptic theme, (which is what drew me to the game), however, the theme is very thin and I would call it more of an abstract game.

I'm on the fence about purchasing this game.  I think I need to play it again before making a decision about buying it, but I would like to play it again.

Arkham Horror
Published by Fantasy Flight Games



This is a co-op game set in the works of HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos in the mid 1920s.  In this world everything is terrifying and trying to destroy our world.  Each player takes the role of an investigator that is doing their part to stop the big, bad, terrifying monster from destroying the town/country/world.

Each turn the players can travel around town looking for clues, equipment, spells, allies, etc that will help them battle the monsters that are popping up around town and ultimately stop the Ancient One.  Hopefully.  Odds are you're all gonna die.



This is a challenging game that is very thick with theme.  It is easy to see yourself as your character and feel real sadness when your character gets beaten up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It seems like bad things are always happening in this game, but throughout you have chances to find artifacts, trinkets, weapons, etc that will help you along the way.

I like the variation of encounters that you run into in this game.  You can't just deck your character out for fighting and hope to win as you will run into and encounter that you need to sneak through, or have some luck for, even use your willpower in.  There is a constant balance of what stats you want to bump up, but you always have to consider what you bumping, because when one goes up another goes down.

I had a great time playing this game and would absolutely play it again.  I own two other games in this genre (Eldritch Horror and Arkham Horror: The Card Game) so I won't be purchasing this, but it is still a fun one to play when I get the chance.

Summary

I had a lot of fun at the convention.  I got to play a lot of great games, hang out with fun people, and see some old friends.  I'll definitely be making plans for next years convention as well at encourage you to stop by if it isn't too long of a trip.