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Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Guild's First Adventure

A little inspiration was needed to continue painting the figures for Arcadia Quest. The Goblinoids are nearly completed (a later posting) as the first Needed adversaries for the heroes. The beast men and key baddies are left to do.

We tried a four player game with the first quest from the back selected. Characters are all basically the same except for a single skill. The characters are then modified by a set of identical starting equipment which you can distribute amongst your intrepid heroes.

We managed two games which Grandad won them both! The first game was the usual getting to grips with the basics. Initial feelings were that it was difficult to see a clear way of achieving victory. The second game felt more purposeful as characters were matched with more effective equipment, and the focus of achieving Guild victory leading clearer character actions.

Highlights of the game were William's portal 'hit and disappear" tactics, and Grandad losing three characters in two rounds. Thankfully the game system allows the characters to quickly rejoin the action, even if a little battered and bruised. Also the dice gremlins seemed to be sitting on Grandma's shoulders with swords being rolled instead of bows, and vice versa, when needed; definitely more dice rolling practice needed in the Orange Guild House!


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The last of the heroes

Finally got the last of the heroes finished. Painting them has required slightly different painting techniques as a lot of the detail is 'flat' on the figure, therefore the highlighting had to be painted on. I think that the figures therefore look better from a little distance (as the close up pictures show)

Finishing with a final shot of the whole team together. Next, onwards to the monsters.


Monday, 13 April 2015

Fresh Arcadia Guildsfolk

Just a quick posting to show three new members of the growing Guild...

Here's a quick piccie of how they come from the box...five more to finish.




Sunday, 12 April 2015

First Arcadia Quest Guild members

Still on a relative painting high from finishing my Super Dungeon Explore figures, so decided to have a go at some of the characters from the boardgame 'Arcadia Quest'. For me, the figures are superb, they are full of character, and represent well the personalities that they portray in the game. I particularly like how the faces have developed from the SDE figures. Personal favourite is Hobsbawn - don't cross him, or he will throw the book at you!




Saturday, 11 April 2015

Dungeoneering - Chibi style

In an attempt to try and 'close the gap' of unfinished projects, I have revisited a game nearly as old as the theme - 'Super Dungeon Explore' by Cool Minis or Not. I was so impressed by the styling of the miniatures in the game, and the fact that they were different to anything else around, I took the plunge and bought the base set.

My imagination was so fired, I also started to build a basic set of dungeon boards and walls to create my own dungeon set ups (the efforts of which, including the latest efforts) are seen in these pictures. Painting of the miniatures began with the usual gusto, with a a flurry of 8 or 9 miniatures being completed quickly. The brakes began when painting the player characters in the game. The Chibi heads lacked defined features, in keeping with the style of figure; the faces also have huge eyes requiring a steady hand to paint appropriately. So the initial flourish met the inevitable brakes, with the less than desired painting standard being achieved.

The box consequently languished, unfinished, on the shelf for a couple of years. Recently the same company has brought out another game with a similar style of minis; Arcadia Quest. Having read the reviews (and still liking the miniature style) I yet again plunged into the financial cliff dive, and bought the game. Certainly the level of complexity should suit our Sunday afternoon expeditions, and the miniatures are stunning too (another posting another time). So out from the dust and cobwebs came the old dungeon denizens, ready to be assaulted by my paintbrushes again!

I decided to aim to complete the remaining unpainted miniatures in a self imposed sweatshop. Locking myself to the kitchen table for several hours has just about completed the base set, with just 3 spawn points left to finish.

With a wave of enthusiasm, I played a quick game this afternoon with Will, Grandma and Grandad, initial responses were not positive of the rules, with the dungeon master initially appearing too strong. However after a couple of game rounds, with some interesting loot and treasure collected, attitudes became a little more positive, as the dungeon denizens fell quickly to fizzling magic or slashing blades. In the end, the mini-boss ( the beast in the first picture), easily fell to a combination of the Paladin's skills and a magic sword found in a treasure chest. A bit of an anti-climax. However I am sure that with a few more plays, the evilness of the dungeon master can turn up a few notches!

Whilst questing in Arcadia will catch the adventuring eye, you never know when the next set of mean creatures will appear...



Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Posting from Will - the convoy

This is a picture of the convoy which is double timing by the second! It has driven from from the spaceship that has come from the planet Krell. But some militia have tried to abruptly stop them. Will the militia be able to stop the convoy from making progress?

There are two groups of people in the picture above. The defending group (which are the robots) are demolishing the other army. But the other army have landed some experienced commadoes which are the smaller group in the top of the picture. Their name is 'Commando Troop Alpha'.

Even though it feels like the end of the battle,



First playtest of homegrown Sci-fi rules

I have always been inquisitive about how rules are written to provide a subtle balance between playability, enjoyment and 'realism' (an often trod discussion pathway). Having played many game systems from WRG 5th edition ancients through to Cold War commander, I have considered the multiple approaches to representing figures and scenery on the table.

A system that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and adapted in many ways, is the 'Command and Colors' system by Richard Berg. I love the tension created by not being in total control (the card system) and the simplicity of outcomes (the unique dice system).

From that basis I have tried to take those precedents and change them into what I feel is a playable, interesting experience where the rules support the story-telling in as simple and elegant way as possible. The picture above is my current, and no doubt, changeable set of tools to achieve this.

I am particularly fixated with the use of coloured dice and specific symbols. I first came across this mechanism in a boardgame called 'Doom' by Fantasy Flight Games. I have seen this repeated in several other games, including the 'War of 1812' by Academy Games. I really enjoy how the symbols quickly replace consulting number tables, as they immediately give value to a player in terms of gaming meaning. Anyway, enough blurting on about my whimsical mind thoughts, let's talk about the game...

The game had a simple premise, the 'exterminators' were to breach the defensive line and destroy the gunS behind the ruined buildings.

Facing them were five groups of trained troops in defensive positions. The exterminators were in a simple line, with some Mk1 gun tracks and mk2 exterminators.

The exterminator plan was simple; to destroy the troops in the central building and continue towards the guns. The first turn saw the gun tracks suppressing the troops in the building, with the exterminators moving towards the trench lines. The troops responded with some suppressive fire from their right flank, 'disrupting' a unit of exterminators in the open.

As I was playing this solo, I modified my initiative draws to random. Each playing card used gives the face value in action points. These action points are then used on specific orders which are placed down next to specific units. The player then decides in which order to play those actions. The units are varied by having different action point costs for different actions. Within that, some units are denied access to certain orders; for instance the exterminators cannot suppress, but only engage in direct firefights or assaults.

The human forces stole an early victory by wiping out a group of exterminators. The robots were first suppressed, reducing their attack dice, and then engaged in a firefight. Here both sides roll attack dice and compare their hits, suppressions, flags and resists. The soldiers also included some terrain dice due to their trench lines. Once compared, the exterminators could not withstand the hail of bullets in the open, whilst a combination of terrain and natural resilience saved the troopers.

The troopers continued to suppress another unit of exterminators in the open, meanwhile the troops in the building attempted to rally with partial success, removing 1 suppression, but falling back a hex. On the trooper's right flank the soldiers prepared for action by going on overwatch.

The robots replied by laying down some ineffectual suppressive fire from the treeline, and slightly reducing their disruption. Acknowledging their vulnerability, the exterminators in the open used a move and assault order to try and get into the trench line.

The initial assault was checked, with the melee not decided. The exterminators, gaining the next imitative with 8points, decided to take swift action, by giving all the orders to a unit of exterminators in the tree line.

The unit strode into the open and was engaged by an overwatch unit on the human right flank, to no avail (only that the troopers lost their overwatch status). The robots reached the trench line and began a new assault. The outcome was decisive...

After the dice had been compared, the troopers were forced to leave the safety of their cover, rather than sustaining casualties. At this stage I decided to call a halt to the game; this was a test game and the robots had pierced the human perimeter.

All seemed to go well with this first run. I liked that the robots initially seemed vulnerable, but when they made it into melee, their 'metal' really seemed to make the difference.

I have lots more ideas to incorporate, including different robot types (thanks Ground Zero Games) and human types. Also simple hidden movement, and the inclusion of driven events chosen by the players using the picture cards from the play deck. Time for some more head scratching!



Monday, 6 April 2015

A variety of German metalwork

A friend has just purchased a stack load of 15mm World War Two miniatures to recreate the Normandy campaign. As us all, Bruno needs a little 'inspiration' to start so I have included some of my WWII German armour.

We initially used the armour for Flames of War, however we found a lot of fun in using the miniatures for Blitzkreig Commander. At that time Bruno had amassed a considerable amount of Russian armour.

Bruno, if you are reading this, let me have any pictures of that armour, and I can give them to the 'target' below...


Friday, 3 April 2015

An afternoon game in 'Splendor'

Grandma and Grandad came over for the afternoon, as Good Friday is a relaxing time to spend with family. So another opportunity to get a game out! I thought it was time to get out a simple, quickish play of Splendor.

This is a game that age seems to be no barrier...William has won 14 games on the trot! I would love to say that players have been kind and charitable to him being a young player - but that would be a lie!

We had a 4 player game. Opening moves seemed to see the usual gem hoarding. Grandad seemed to hold the most; however, like myself, he is colour blind so some choices at times seemed odd at best! (Sorry Dad, I have been just as vulnerable as well!).

After about 5 rounds of play the scores were;

William 3pts

Grandma 1pt

Lucy 1pt

Grandad 0pts but all the money!

All the players seemed to be having a run on collecting blue, but the game was being strangled by a lack of Grandad spending. As you could imagine, a lot of 'polite comments' were aimed at him to START SPENDING!

Lucy was spreading her choices across several colours..


Finally, after much gentle persuasion, Grandad coughed the cash; suddenly the floodgates were open!


At this stage, after a flurry of buying, the scores were:

William 9pts - and he's off!

Grandma 5pts - a steady progress

Lucy 1pt - sthrottled by a lack of available gems

Grandad 3pts and still most of the money!

The end game seemed to be approaching with Will emerging as the leader, with select choices of single colour purchases and use of gold from reserved cards. Grandma's hand seemed to be blocked by reserving high value cards early in the game. The luck did not fall for Lucy as she had pursued diamonds (white) with decent white cards not being revealed. Meanwhile, Grandad continued to hoard the gems...

So, in the end the point scores were...

William 15pts

Grandma 6pts

Lucy 4pts

Grandad 6pts

As ever, the final game discussions were:

Lucy - Beep! Beep!

William - Sweet, sweet victory; fifteen games on the trot!

Grandma - Ban Grandad from next game - he killed the action

Grandad - I play better when I understand it more!

Next game...Scrabble