Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Vehicles for 15mm

I was at my local home store picking up some tile for my home renovation project and I saw some generic brand hot wheels on the shelf.  I thought these would work alright for my 15mm games so I dug through and found a few that would work delivery trucks and fuel trucks.

These work well as scatter terrain, mission objectives, troop transports, etc.  They only need a little paint and they will be ready for the tabletop.

I am going to spend some effort in the coming months on fleshing out my terrain for my 15mm games.  I hope to get a good number of vehicles for this purpose as these are easy to add and fit well into any terrain with buildings included and even some terrain that doesn't include buildings if they are the mission objective.

Monday, January 25, 2016

100 Swords - Game Review

I got another one of the games I backed on Kickstarter recently.  This time it was 100 Swords published by Laboratory Games.  It is described as a micro deck-building game.  My pledge to the Kickstarter project got me 2 game decks and 4 Dungeon Builder sets.

The idea behind the game is that you and your opponent (an imagined opponent if you are playing solo) are exploring a dungeon in an effort to find the most treasure.  The things you find in the dungeon are pretty much all worth something.  Some items are acquired by spending energy and others you have to fight to win their treasure.  The items that cost energy end up in your deck and help you to better explore the dungeon.  Defeated monsters just end up in your treasure pile to be added up at the end of the game.  A game plays in about 20-30 minutes.

I am not real picky when it comes to art.  The art in this game looks fun if maybe a little simple, but it fits the theme and depth of the game.

Component Quality
This game only uses cards.  The cards are of decent thickness and are printed well.  The images are clearly defined and I haven't noticed any bleeding of the colors.

Game Play
Players take turns using their hand of 5 cards to enter the dungeon and look around, fight monsters, or collect items.  At the end of your turn you leave the dungeon.  The fun thing is that just because you saw something in a room doesn't mean your opponent knows what is there.  When you enter a room, unless you encounter a monster or door, or you collect the card, then it stays face down.

Cards from your hand serve 3 functions; you can spend cards as energy to collect items in the dungeon or rent items from the shop, you can use cards to move you through the dungeon, or you can use cards to fight monsters.

Before entering the dungeon on each turn, you can use 1 energy from your hand and the shop to rent an item for the turn.  The available items help in your exploration of the dungeon.

The game ends when the boss monster has been defeated or if there are less than 5 cards in the dungeon and no more in the dungeon's draw deck.  Then both players total the treasure in their deck and treasure pile; the player with the most treasure wins.

Solo Game Play
I have been playing more and more game solo and this game comes with a solo variant built in.  The game doesn't change much for solo play.  After each of your turns, the leftmost and rightmost cards remaining in the dungeon are revealed (if they weren't already) and the high treasure value is collected by the AI.  If the cards have equal values, the player chooses which the AI collects.

The AI doesn't have to pay for any of these cards, it just gets them.  If some expensive cards pop up early if can be hard to win, but it is still a fun challenge to try to get a better treasure horde.

The dungeon builder sets offer a different variety of cards and new bosses to offer different challenges.  The Kickstarter came with 4 of these sets.  You can add several at once for longer and more varied games.

Overall Thoughts
This is definitely a filler game.  It has light rules and plays very quickly.  It is a little puzzly in that you need to use your limited hand in the most efficient way if you want to win, but the challenge isn't all that complicated.

I could see the game getting boring after a bit without the dungeon builder sets, but with those, there is quite a bit of variety that can be added.

I have enjoyed playing this game and think it fits well into my collection.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. in Randistan - 1-17-16 - The Queen's Own Randistany Cup

Randy put together a GASLIGHT game for our crew last weekend.  It was a little different than what we normally play, but turned out to be quite a fun time.

Instead of us breaking into opposing forces and battling each other with a few heroes and several squads of troops, we each took a single hero and ventured into a valley in Randistan (Randy's made up lost island) that has a wide variety of beasts that are extinct (and maybe some that never existed) in the rest of the world.

The Queen's Own Randistany Cup was organized to gather the best hunters from the Queen's empire to compete to determine who is the best hunter in the land.

Points were to be scored based on the size and threat of the beasts each hunter harvested.

I took the roll of Gunter, a former world fencing champion that has spent his retirement hunting the worlds largest game animals.

Gunter journeyed into the dense underbrush and managed to take down 2 smallish (man sized) reptilian carnivores, 1 reptilian carnivore larger than an elephant and as tall as a giraffe, 2 weird avian beasts the size of cows.  In addition to these beasts, he unfortunately had to defend himself from several odd looking native fellows that attacked him with absolutely no provocation.

While taking these beasts, Gunter suffered several wounds and was forced to retreat from the jungle lest he fall to the attack of another beast or native.

While Gunter didn't score the most kills, he honored is family name with the showing he made and helped a few of his fellow hunters out in situations that might have led to their demise.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

One-hour Wargames - Book/Game Review

I'm not sure where I first heard about the book One-hour Wargames by Neil Thomas , but after hearing about it, I decided I wanted to get a copy.

What drew my interest to the book was the 30 scenarios the author provides.  I'm always on the look out for different scenarios to use in the different games I play and I couldn't pass up on this collection.  The scenarios are written for the rules provided, but can easily be adjusted to fit most other games.

The Scenarios

The scenarios include the normal pitched battle and encounter options, but also include things like control the river, static defense, fighting retreats, and last stand scenarios.  The armies are not always equal in size with the standard army sizes being either 6, 4, or 3 units.  The army make up is also randomized, so even if you replay a scenario, you may end up with different army combinations so that multiple plays of the same scenario can feel very different.

Each scenario gives a brief description of the situation, the details on army sizes, deployment rules, reinforcements (if any), special rules, victory conditions, and a basic map of the battlefield.  In addition to this, each scenario has a brief section on the inspiration for the scenario and suggestions for further reading.  These can offer some insight into actual battles that the scenario was based on.

The Rules

The book offers rules for nine different periods from ancients through WWII.  Each set of rules uses four unit types that you would have seen as the core of the periods in question.  Some units are left out (such as chariots) and the author makes comment on why he makes some of those decisions.  Each rule set uses the same basic mechanics with minor tweaks, primarily to unit types.

The rules are very simple but that fits with the author's goal of a miniatures game that you can play in one hour without having to invest lots of time, money, and space into the hobby.

The simple nature of these rules and limited models and terrain allow even experienced gamers the chance to dabble in a period that they might not have tried before.

In addition, the author offers a chapter on solo gaming and how these rules can be used to play games when you are the only person available.

Many of the blogs that I have read regarding this book involve tweaks and modifications to these rules. Personally, I think it is great how so many people have taken the rules and added to them to fit with their ideas and miniatures.

Playing the Game
I join those other bloggers with my own tweaks.  I decided to use the rules for a sci-fi variant.  I gathered some of my Epic 40K models and put together some rules.

I would stick with the 4 unit options the author uses and decided on infantry, jump troops, walkers, and tanks.  I had thought about trying to make army specific rules for the different Epic armies that I have but decided to stick with the author's idea that there just isn't much difference in the skill and effect of different forces (I know the author was basing this idea on historical armies, but I wanted to keep the rules simple, so stuck with it).  

Infantry would have a -2 vs tanks and a move of 6".
Jump troops would also be -2 vs tanks but move 9".
Walkers are +2 vs infantry and jump troops and move 6".
Tanks were +2 vs other tanks and walkers and had a 12" move.

With these basic unit characteristics set out it was time to go to war.

I decided to play scenario 27 disordered defense.  I choose this scenario in large part because I don't have much terrain on hand as much of it is still packed from my move and this scenario only required a couple of roads.  The Eldar would be the red force with 6 units and the Marines would be the blue force with 4 units.  I rolled on the random units tables and came up with the following:

3 Infantry, 1 Walker, and 2 Tank2

2 Infantry, 1 Walker, and 1 Tank

I also rolled randomly to see which units would start on the table for the Eldar.  Lucky for them they started with one of their tanks.

I decided to scale the game down and played on a 1 foot square.  I used a single stand of infantry/walker/tank for each unit.  I adjusted the movement accordingly (until I forgot) so infantry and walkers would move 2", jump troops 3", and tanks 4".  Everyone's shooting range was 4".

I realized when I was reviewing the pictures after the battle that I moved everyone 4" at a go.  I will do my best to remember the correct movement ranges the next time I play and I don't think it really had much impact on this battle.

Deployment:  The Eldar put their tank on the crossroad as it's movement provided it with greater flexibility.  The Marines split up their forces to engage the two forward units (probably a bad choice).

Turn 1
The Marine infantry moved forward to attack the Eldar infantry.  The Eldar's tank moved forward and the other units opened fire.

Turn 2 and 3
Stand and fire by everyone.  The Eldar Walker and infantry are killed and the Marine's tank is knocked out.

Turn 4
One of the Marine infantry units moves so that it can fire on the Eldar tank. (Oops, I apparently got it in my head that movement for everyone was 4".  I don't think it affected the game's outcome, but I will try to move correctly in my next game.)  The Eldar tank decided to stand its ground and blasted away at the Marine walker.
Turn 5
The Marine walker fell from the fire from the Eldar tank.  The Eldar tank is shrugging off lots of shots.

Turn 6
More standing and shooting.

Turn 7
The Eldar tank finally takes enough damage to be knocked out.  
Turn 8
The Marine infantry move up to the crossroad (again at the incorrect speed).  The Eldar reinforcements come onto the table and prepare to retake the crossroad.

Turn 9
The remaining Marines open up on the Eldar with little hope of winning the engagement, but not willing to pull back.

Turn 10
The Marines take heavy damage from the barrage of fire and fail to offer much damage in return.

Turn 11
The final Marine units are destroyed, but they are able to take out an enemy infantry unit in their last stand.

Battle Summary

As previously stated, the rules are pretty basic, but I still had a good time with this game.  The Eldar had better dice throughout the battle and started with their tank on the table so were able to deal out +2 damage with each roll early on.  The reinforcements came on and mopped up the remaining 2 Marine units.

For a quick playing game, I can't complain about this.  The base rules don't allow for moving and shooting, but since this is a sci-fi variant, I might consider adding that in.  It will give greater flexibility to the units, but there may be some unintended consequences to that change as well.  A few more games are probably in order before I go down that road.

Overall Thoughts

I am very happy that I decided to pick up this book.  I got it off eBay for much less than the suggested retail price of $19.99 and I think it would be a good get even at that price.  The rules are simple, but offer a quick easy game to play with limited time and space.  The different periods represented offer something of interest for nearly anyone and I am already thinking about getting some models so I can try a period that I have not played in before.

The scenarios are also a great addition to any gamer's library and can be modified to fit other rule sets.  They offer basic details of the battle that can be added to if desired or played out as presented.

Fleet Admiral - Game Review

I recently picked up a copy of Fleet Admiral (published by Castle Games) at my FLGS.  I hadn't heard of it prior to seeing it at the game store and the artwork on the box drew my attention.  I read the description on the back and decided it was worth giving it a try.

The game is not affiliated with any particular intellectual property, but to me, it has a strong resemblance to Star Trek.  In addition, the game play involves you attempting to complete a mission on your turn and the games conclusion comes from solving a galactic crisis.  Doesn't that sound a lot like Star Trek.  Maybe not...

The artwork is interesting.  It is very basic.  I know some people are turned off by the style, but I think it works.

Component Quality
The game components are of reasonable quality.  There are 4 player boards.  Each of a different race.  The cards (which are the main component of the game) aren't as thick as they could be.  Many people will want to sleeve the cards, but they are square, so it will cost a little to get the sleeves for the.  No penny sleeves for this game.  The tokens included in the game are nice and thick.  There is a single die in the game as well.

Game Play
I will start by saying the game is pretty abstract.

On your turn you roll the die to see what kind of mission you are going to be going on.  There is an equipment deck and a crew deck.  Once you decide which mission you have, you will draw a card from that deck.  Each card has a symbol or symbols on the top.  If you have matching symbols on your ship, you have accomplished that portion of the mission; if not, you fail and pass the die to the next player.  If you succeed, you have a choice... do you want to stop or do you want to press your luck and try for another card.  If you fail any portion of the mission, you lose all the cards flipped this turn.  You have some opportunities to get help from other players, but then they get to choose a card to take for themselves.

The die has a symbol for each of the decks as well a pass and fail symbol.  These allow you to succeed at a mission even if you don't have the correct equipment and crew, or to fail and end your turn immediately.

As you get new equipment and more and better crew, you can upgrade your ship.  Once you get to a level 3 ship, a galactic crisis starts.  As more players get to level 3 ships the crisis escalates.  Not to worry though, when you succeed at missions, you can discard your rewards and work to solve the crisis.  The first player to 10 crisis points is the winner, but be warned if the crisis gets to far out of hand the everyone loses.  (This happens when more than 4 times the number of players is exposed.)

Overall Thoughts
I've played several games so far and have yet to win, but I want to try again and again because I am sure I can solve the galactic crisis next time.

The game plays fairly quickly, with each player's turn taking less than a minute.  The more players and the longer the game is, but it feels quick and there isn't much down-time between turns.

There is quite a bit of luck involved with the game, but since it plays fairly quickly, I'm not that worried about it.

If you are looking for a quick playing sci-fi themed game this might be a good one to pick up.  I've enjoyed it so far and look forward to playing it again.

Airborne Commander - Game Review

I received my copy of Airborne Commander in November.  This is a solo deck building game that I backed through Kickstarter.

I read through the rules and managed to play a few games and thought I would share my thoughts.

The Artwork
The art on the cards is very nice.  I love the look of it and I think it adds a lot to the game.

Component Quality
The game has 2 decks of cards; the Mission deck and the Allied deck.  The Mission deck represent the German forces that your will be facing off against.  The Allied deck represents the American forces that you will be able to use in your attack.

The cards are decent quality and thickness. I had one card that "stuck" to another and is slightly marked, but the rest of the cards look great.

Game Play
The game play is pretty straight forward.

There are 4 enemy cards placed in the battlefield.  These can be terrain cards, objective cards, armor, infantry, or static defenses.

You get a hand of cards that you can assign to battle any or all of the enemy cards.  Instead of using the cards to battle the enemy directly some cards can function in supporting roles by providing suppressing fire, fire support, or recruitment points.

Unlike most deck building games I've played, if you don't use all of the cards in your hand you can keep them and save them for the next turn.  This is an interesting mechanic that can bite you in the butt, but can also open up some interesting options.

To resolve the battle you will compare the attack value versus the defense value of the cards in each battle.  You have to beat the defense of the card with the attack value to kill it.  If your troops are killed, they are removed from your deck, so be careful, you don't want to lose to many of your troops.  You set aside the German cards that you kill and they are worth points at the end of the game.

Any enemy cards you don't defeat are removed from the battlefield (except static defenses that stay on the battlefield) and you get new cards in the next phase

If you decide not to engage any cards in the battlefield, then they run through your lines and cause havoc.  This forces you to add a disorganized card to your deck.  If you get to many of these cards, you will be drawing lots of these into your hand and you won't be able to get much done.

You lose the game in one of two ways:  if all the disorganized cards have been placed into your deck or if there are 4 or more Static Defenses in the battlefield.

You win the game if your reach the end of either the Allied or Mission Deck without losing.  You then determine how well you did by adding up the points you earned for cards you captured or destroyed and subtract for the disorganized cards in your deck.

Overall Thoughts
This is a quick playing game, but it is rather challenging.  I have not quite figured out the right tactics to achieve a victory, but I continue to try.  It is nice that the game plays so quickly because you can play several times in one session.

I have not gone to the web to seek out strategies yet, but I might have to do that soon.

Overall this is a fun game with some interesting options available.  If you are into deck building  or WWII games, you might want to check this one out.

Zombicide: Black Plague - Game Review

I got another game just before Christmas that I backed on Kickstarter.

Zombicide: Black Plague

This is a fantasy themed version of the very popular Zombicide system.

After a quick brush up on the rules, I set up the introductory scenario and played through it running 4 heroes myself.

The Artwork
The art is a similar style to the other Zombicide games.  Personally I like it, but I've heard that some don't.  The game boards, cards, rule book and models all showcase the same style and I think it gives the game a good feel.

Component Quality
The quality of everything is great.  The models are all well cast and look very nice.  The cardboard is thick and looks very nice.  The tokens are also thick and are well perforated so they punch out well.  The cards aren't the thickest, but they are okay and they look very nice.

Game Play
I have only played through the introductory scenario, so please forgive me if I miss anything.

Each hero gets 3 actions per turn.  There are a number of different things that each action can be used for: movement, attack, search, etc.  A hero must complete all his/her actions before the next hero goes.  After all heroes have acted, the zombies get to act, then you draw zombie reinforcements and then it is the heroes turn again.

There are lots of options and the order that you activate heroes can make a big difference on your tactics and how things play out.

Each scenario has a defined objective for the heroes to win.  There are several scenarios in the book and you will have a lot of good game play straight out of the box.

Overall Thoughts
I don't think this game is much different than the base Zombicide game.  That isn't to say it isn't a fun game.  I like the fantasy theme and I had a good time playing the game and look forward to playing it again. 

I will mostly be playing this as a solo game.  My big complaint for the game is that most of the scenarios want all 6 heroes to be used.  I wish that the game scaled for fewer heroes, but that doesn't really work with this.  I will muscle through this challenge and play through the scenarios.  I'm sure there will also be fan-made scenarios that I will be able to play when I get through the ones in the book.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Tale of an Epic Gamer December 2015 - Utterly Failed the Goal

The month of December has come and gone and I failed to paint any thing toward the Tale of an Epic Gamer project.  Those that read my blog will know this is because of a recent house purchase, but I still kind of felt like I blew my goal.  However, after sitting down and pulling out my Orks (the army that would have been on my paint table in December) to take some photos of all the models, I decided that I still put together a reasonable force.

I ended up with a painted force with lots of models that wouldn't really make a legal army for NetEpic Gold.  However, with some additions to my ranks of infantry, I will be able to use more of the vehicles.  This is a good sized army for NetEA, though.

Below are a few shots of the models that I painted up for this army during the year.  I like the look of the Bad Moons, but need to add in units from other clans per the NetEpic Gold army lists.

NetEpic Gold

**Note: This is not a legal army, but a detail of the points of the models I have painted.
Bad Moon Clan - 15 boyz and 4 nobz - 600 points
Bad Moon Clan - 15 boyz and 4 nobz - 600 points (not legal to have 2 of the same clan)
Gretchin Mob - 4 gretchin - Free
Gretchin Mob - 4 gretchin - Free
Stompa Mob - 3 Stompas - 250 points
Stompa Mob - 3 Stompas - 250 points
Gibletgrinda - 1 Battle Fortress - 100 points
Killa Kan Mob - 4 dreadnoughts - 100 points
Killa Kan Mob - 4 dreadnoughts - 100 points
Killa Kan Mob - 4 dreadnoughts - 100 points
Bonebreaka Squadron - 3 tanks - 150 points
Bonebreaka Squadron - 3 tanks - 150 points
Bonebreaka Squadron - 3 tanks - 150 points
Bonebreaka Squadron - 3 tanks - 150 points
Bonebreaka Squadron - 3 tanks - 150 points
Bonebreaka Squadron - 3 tanks - 150 points
Goff Gutrippa Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Goff Gutrippa Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Goff Gutrippa Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Goff Gutrippa Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Goff Gutrippa Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points
Battlewagon Squadron - 3 tanks - 100 points

Total:  4,500 points


'Uge Blitz Brigade - 12 gunwagons - 350 points
'Uge Blitz Brigade - 12 gunwagons - 350 points
'Uge Blitz Brigade - 12 gunwagons - 350 points
'Uge Blitz Brigade - 12 gunwagons - 350 points
'Uge Blitz Brigade - 12 gunwagons - 350 points
   +3 gunwagons, 1 gun fortress - 230 points
'Uge Warband - 6 nobz, 18 boyz, 6 grots - 500 points
Big Warband - 4 nobz, 12 boyz, 4 grots - 350 points
Big Mekboy Stompamob - 6 stompas - 400 points
    + 12 Dreadnoughts - 420 points

Total:  3,650 points

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tale of an Epic Gamer - November 2015 Goal Completed

I know this is a little late, but the purchase of a new house and the ensuing renovation has killed my painting time.

However, before I got started on the house projects, I did finish my November goal, I just never got around to taking pictures of the completed models.

Well, I finally found some time and set up the models for a photo shoot.

Imperial Guard were the subject of my work in November and below you can see my handy work.

I painted a full Abhuman Company... in this case Beastmen.

I also painted a full company of Leman Russ Tanks.

Finally, I painted up 2 squadrons of Sentinels.

Not a bad collection to add to what I had previously painted.

NetEpic Gold

Tactical Infantry Company - 33 infantry stands - 600 points
Abhuman Company - 33 infantry stands - 600 points
Leman Russ Company - 10 tanks - 550 points
Leman Russ Squadron - 3 tanks - 200 points
Sentinel Squadron - 5 walkers - 150 points
Sentinel Squadron - 5 walkers - 150 points
Sentinel Squadron - 5 walkers - 150 points

Total - 2,400 points


Infantry Company - 13 infantry stands - 250 points
Infantry Company - 13 infantry stands - 250 points
Infantry Company - 13 infantry stands - 250 points
Infantry Company - 13 infantry stands - 250 points
Infantry Company - 13 infantry stands - 250 points
Tank Company - 10 tanks - 650 points
Tank Squadron - 3 tanks - 175 points
Sentinel Squadron - 4 walkers - 100 points
Sentinel Squadron - 4 walkers - 100 points
Sentinel Squadron - 4 walkers - 100 points

Total - 2,375 points

The Imperial Guard are my smallest Epic force (points wise) that I painted this year.  I like the look of the army and look forward to adding more tanks and some artillery units.  There will also be more infantry added including some of the various specialist infantry options.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Gaming and Painting Goals for 2016

If you follow this blog you saw quite a few posts over the past year detailing my work on the Tale of an Epic Gamer project.  I got a lot done on that project and stuck with it throughout the year until I bought a new house and the renovation project killed my painting in December.

Because of the progress I made from taking part in the Tale of an Epic Gamer, I've decided to set a few goals again this year.

I'm a little burned out on the Epic stuff having painted up so much (about 20,000 points) in the past year, so I will be diversifying my painting a bit more in the new year.  I will also be putting smaller goals together as the work on the house is still in progress.  This also means I won't be able to do much painting for a few months yet, as I have no intention of breaking out my paints at my in-law's house.  To much chance of a spill.

Enough rambling, here are my goals.


  • Recruits in Lee's Summit, MO
  • Little Wars in Chicago, MO (this one is kind of tentative, but I'm hoping it will work.)


  • Continue with my regular Thursday evening game group.
  • Start a solo campaign using either a board game or miniature game and post blogs of my progress.  I would like to play at least 1 game per month.
  • Play at least a few games with my GASLIGHT friends during the year.  We don't always play GASLIGHT, but that is how I think of them.  :)
  • Get together with friends more often to play board games.
  • Set a monthly goal for painting/terrain projects to keep me motivated.  I hope that I can start these in February if the house progresses quickly enough.  Some ideas below:
    • Paint a new DBA army (probably Vikings)
    • Paint a 6mm Ancients Army (Celts)
    • Paint an army for Kings of War (Goblins)
    • Finish my SAGA army (this will involve repainting the models I accidentally painted silver instead of clear coating them)
    • Paint more BattleTech companies
    • Expand my Epic armies
    • Finish painting my Star Wars: Imperial Assault models
    • Build more 15mm terrain
    • Build more 6mm terrain