Friday, November 15, 2019

Star Wars LCG Progression, Part II


Well, it's been a bit since my last post on this, but I'm hoping to start playing this again with Eric, so I figured I'd finally sit down and get the next post up, and figure out a deck or two to build.  I focused on what I was playing with the Dark Side in my last post, so for this one, I'll look at the objectives I've not used yet, and build a deck using some.

As I've mentioned, I consider all of the Core Set objective sets 'played', as I played a decent number of games solely with them.  So I'm just considering the first deluxe and first cycle- so Edge of Darkness, and the Hoth Cycle.

Looking at the decks I put up in my last post, these are the objectives I've not used so far:
Imperial Navy:
A Dark Time for the Rebellion
Lord Vader's Command
The General's Imperative
Unstoppable Advance

Scum & Villainy:
Carbonite Transport
Hunt Them Down
Jabba's Orders
The Hunt for Han Solo
The Shadow of Nar Shaddaa

Sith:
Serve the Emperor
The Ghosts of the Dark Side
The Killing Cold
Vader's Fist

DS Neutral:
Across the Jundland Wastes
Asteroid Pursuit
Endless Reserves
Sabotage in the Snow
Shadows on the Ice

So still quite a few.

I am replacing my Imperial Navy/Sith capital ship deck with an Imperial Navy deck, and I see a bunch of walker cards, so I'm going to go with a Walker deck.

In the Core and first cycle, the following objectives seem to have Walkers and cards that work with Walkers:
The Endor Gambit- Two Walkers, and some cards that improve your Vehicles (shielding and focus removal).
Unstoppable Advance- Three big Walkers (with Shielding) and a cost reducer for them... and this one is Imperial Navy only.  Given that I am going to need to play IN to run all these walkers anyway... this is looking like a mono-affiliation deck.
The General's Imperative- A unit that buffs your Walkers (giving them another unit damage), two more Walkers with shielding.

Seems like I'm starting with two copies of each of these, and to make it even sweeter- two of them are objective sets I've not used.  Sweet!

Next, resources are going to be an issue, due to the high cost of some of the vehicles.  I'm already playing Imperial Navy, which has one of the best resource objective sets at this point- Imperial Command.  It's got Motti, after all.  So why not include two of those, as well.

For the last couple of slots, I'm a bit torn.  I want to include The Ultimate Power, as it provides good resources, and some crunch power for killing objectives.  I also want to include Sabotage in the Snow, since the Forward Command Posts provide resources AND buff my Walkers, who should be able to shields easy.  Another Hoth objective is nice, too, as it provides a bit of synergy with other cards.

Since I can't decide between them, I'll include them both for now, and go with 11 objective sets.  I'll trim after a few games.  So, that leave my Walker deck as follows:

Imperial Navy Walkers 
Total Cards: (55)

Affiliation:
Imperial Navy

Objective: (11)
2x Imperial Command (Core 26-1)
2x The Ultimate Power (Core 28-1)
2x The Endor Gambit (Core 31-1)
2x The General's Imperative (Assault on Echo Base 56-1)
1x Sabotage in the Snow (Assault on Echo Base 58-1)
2x Unstoppable Advance (The Battle of Hoth 63-1)

Unit: (34)
2x Admiral Motti (Core 26-2)
2x Duty Officer (Core 26-3)
2x Heavy Stormtrooper Squad (Core 26-4)
2x Heavy Stormtrooper Squad (Core 26-5)
2x Grand Moff Tarkin (Core 28-2)
2x Superlaser Engineer (Core 28-3)
2x Stormtrooper Elite (Core 28-4)
2x AT-ST Commander (Core 31-2)
2x AT-ST (Core 31-3)
2x AT-ST (Core 31-4)
2x General Veers (Assault on Echo Base 56-2)
2x Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base 56-3)
2x Blizzard Force AT-ST (Assault on Echo Base 56-4)
1x Snowtrooper (Assault on Echo Base 58-2)
1x Snowtrooper Vanguard (Assault on Echo Base 58-3)
2x AT-AT (The Battle of Hoth 63-2)
2x AT-AT (The Battle of Hoth 63-3)
2x AT-AT Assault Formation (The Battle of Hoth 63-4)

Enhancement: (12)
2x Orbital Bombardment (Core 26-6)
2x Control Room (Core 28-5)
2x Aft Armor Plating (Core 31-5)
2x Turbolaser Battery (Assault on Echo Base 56-5)
1x Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base 58-4)
1x Forward Command Post (Assault on Echo Base 58-5)
2x Orbital Resupply Station (The Battle of Hoth 63-5)

Event: (4)
2x Superlaser Blast (Core 28-6)
2x Aggressive Assault (The Battle of Hoth 63-6)

Fate: (5)
2x Target of Opportunity (Core 31-6)
2x Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base 56-6)
1x Battle of Hoth (Assault on Echo Base 58-6)

I've got a lot of bodies, including 14 Walkers, but very little that I can do to surprise my opponent... four Events and five Fate cards might make a lot of the game predictable.  We'll see.  Like I said, I'll take it for a go in its current state.

Also, this removes a few unused objectives, leaving me with the following unused:
Imperial Navy:
A Dark Time for the Rebellion
Lord Vader's Command

Scum & Villainy:
Carbonite Transport
Hunt Them Down
Jabba's Orders
The Hunt for Han Solo
The Shadow of Nar Shaddaa

Sith:
Serve the Emperor
The Ghosts of the Dark Side
The Killing Cold
Vader's Fist

DS Neutral:
Across the Jundland Wastes
Asteroid Pursuit
Endless Reserves
Shadows on the Ice

Next time, I'll write about what I'm doing with my Light Side decks.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Monthly Summary for October, 2019

I ended up missing posting about September, mainly because September was kind of a game-free month for me, mostly by choice.  Sometimes it's good to take a break from things, and get everything else in your life under control, you know? :)

Games Played
  • Doomtown: Reloaded - Two games against Joey.  We have been buying the new expansions as they come out, but haven't taken the opportunity to play the game at all, and finally decided to get it on the table.  I am trying to figure out Eagle Wardens, and won one and lost one... but my win likely came from him forgetting which starting posse he had, and having no income.  I don't feel like I have a great handle on the Eagle Wardens still, but hey, at least I got to play them some.
  • Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth - Two games with Mark and Rob, as we start a new campaign.  I am playing a... uhh.. healer, maybe?  It's been a while.  Anyway, two scenarios, and we are victorious in both.  Off to a good start!
  • Warmachine - Two games against Rob, both using my Cryx, both victories.  I'm working to expand my armies, and get to playing more.  This was my first 'real' game using Cryx in MkIII, and so far, I've been having a blast.  I really enjoy the Dark Host theme!
    Using Asphyxious1 into Old Witch3.  I fail to assassinate, then eventually win on scenario.
  • Zombicide: Invader - Two games with Rob and Mark.  I recently received this from Kickstarter, and was very eager to play.  Put it on the table, and had a blast!  We won the first mission handily, and then lost the second mission.  A big part of that is that I just mixed all the cards in, which had us get overwhelmed by the number of abominations, pretty badly.  I need to figure out the distributions, and tune the deck to be a bit more balanced and fun.  I'll get there.

  • Aeronautica Imperialis: Wings of Vengeance - Matt bought this, so we played it.  Seemed okay- a lot of dice rolling, and the normal aerial tactics were there, but only kind of.  Seems like a game that will be a lot more enjoyable with some scenarios/campaigns.
New Arrivals
  • MacArthur's Defeat: The Battle For Luzon - Recently arrived from Flying Pig Games, a magazine game dealing with WWII Pacific battles.  
  • Crowbar!: The Rangers at Pointe Du Hoc - Another one from Flying Pig Games, this one is a solitaire/co-operative game about the Rangers, as you can tell from the title.  I'm real excited about this one, and it came with an expansion- Vorwarts!  Once I clear my basement tables, this one could see play soon.
  • Oblivion - This is the new Warmachine/Hordes campaign from Privateer Press.  Looks VERY cool.  I am super excited to give this a shot.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • I actually started working on minis again, in heavy amounts.  I finished my unit of Bane Riders, finished the Retribution battle box, finished another Griffon, finished the repairs on my Minion models, and filed a bunch of new minis.
Reading
  • Honestly, I didn't get any reading done in October.  Maybe some rulebooks, but nothing worthy of note.
That's it for this month!  I'll work on getting back on schedule!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Fall gaming retreat recap

I am out at my yearly gaming weekend with my friends, and wanted to write a bit about what I've been playing and doing here.  We are over in Deep Creek Lake, with a building full of boardgames, drinking, gaming, and having a blast.

A look at the building from the outside.
Pretty nice.

After we spent some time unpacking into the house, choosing our beds, getting groceries and alcohol, and getting ready, we set down and got to gaming.

Our first game was Quartermaster General.  This is a World War II game, and we had the following players: Matt as Germany, Dan as the UK, Scott as Japan, Mark as the USSR, myself as Italy, and Ben as the US.

The game uses different action decks for each player, meaning that, although I have plenty of options turn to turn, my overall capabilities are going to be somewhat limited to somewhat emulate what Italy actually did in WWII.

The game started with the UK and I getting into a brief sea war over the Mediterranean/North Sea section, as I tried to expand into Africa and eastward.
I was successful enough that I managed to gain a foothold, and started to look for options.  I decide to play Impero Italiano, which would give me additional victory points for either German or Italian armies in North Africa or the Middle East.  I make a few forays into the Balkans, but the USSR destroys every army I put there, and I decide to continue on.

I draw and play Italian East Africa, which gives me a way to spread out and start getting us some points.
The Italian high water mark.
I start contributing to the war in Southern Asia, killing the army in India, which puts a lot of pressure on the UK to rebuild it, or lose their entire foothold in the region.

I play Mare Nostrum, which gives me points for every Italian fleet on the board, and start getting some points.  The UK puts another fleet in the North Sea, and I try to destroy it, but he plays a response that saves it.  From there, he is able to destroy my fleet.  The USSR destroys more of my attempts to build an army, and I am pushed back further and further.
The Germans do their best to go after the USSR, but end up slowing down too.... and then it all falls apart.  Pushes from the USSR, US, and UK manage to basically destroy the Japanese pieces on the board, and then the UK and USSR manage to bottle Germany and I up in our own area.  A few turns later, the allies have 30 more victory points than the allies, and claim the sudden death victory.

Overall, I liked the game well enough- it was a nice quick (very abstract) treatment of World War II, and showcased, in a very general sense, the capabilities of each of the major powers of World War II.  Not a bad game at all.

I followed this by playing the new LCG from Fantasy Flight Games- Marvel Champions.  My brother and I bought this right before this retreat, and we were both excited to play.  We took a bunch of starter-ish decks, and played against the intro scenario- Rhino with the Bomb Threat.  I took Black Panther, my brother took Captain Marvel, Dan took Iron Man, and Ben took Spider-Man.
Back and forth the game went- we actually got off to a good start, and we all felt pretty good.  Over time though, various challenges presented themselves, and I faced setbacks that continually kept my board state less than ideal... but in the end, we won.  Re-reading the rules, we did get a few things wrong, but nothing that would've destroyed our experience, I think.

This is one that I really enjoyed- I can't wait for more releases to this system, and I can't wait for there to be enough cards for meaningful deck-building, and heck, more scenarios would be great (even though I haven't played the three included in the core set!).

My brother and I followed this with another card game- Star Trek Customizable Card Game- 2nd Edition.  We both whipped out a Borg deck (I was doing a mega-teaming, and he was doing... something a bit more flexible).  I actually got a pretty good start, using my dilemmas effectively to cut out his unique personnel, and start solving missions.  He concedes after a few turns of this, as I've set him back so far that he was going to have a hard time catching back up.
After this, we decided to head to bed, so we could get a nice early start on Saturday.

We woke up early, showered, ate, and got off to some light gaming with a game called Welcome To.... This game can play up to eighty (!?) apparently, and is a game where you are building a neighborhood, and getting points for accomplishing certain things, like building a lot of pools, park, neighborhoods, and so on.  I've never played it before, but it was quick, fun and I ended up in 3rd place with 47 points.  Scott won with 51, so I actually did pretty well!
My final neighborhood
Rob had brought a game that he was dying to play, and we ended up playing it off and on over the rest of the weekend- War Room.  This is game in the same vein as Axis & Allies (indeed, designed by the same guy), where you are playing the second World War, and attempting to do better than our historical counterparts did.  We managed to get six players, in two teams: Myself as the USSR, Rob as the US, Scott as the UK, Dan as Japan, Mark as Germany, and Ben as Italy.

This game is interesting in that you plot all your moves for the turn ahead of time (although you can cancel the moves when they are about to execute).  Combat is more interesting than Axis & Allies, as each individual unit can usually choose one of two ways to fight (either offensively or defensively, usually).

I didn't take notes for this one, but basically what happened was that the British fleets on the board got mauled on the first turn, putting us on the back foot.  We struck back, but not hard enough, and everywhere around the globe, the Axis made great advances, expelling the UK from Northern Africa and the Middle East, cleaning out China, and finally landing in Australia.  On my western border, Germany stalled a turn before attacking me, and when he did, he basically decimated the forces facing him.  We had a brief moment where we managed to make some progress, as we finally destroyed most of the German ships in the Atlantic ocean, and other allied units landed in Karelia to help me out... but it wasn't going to be enough- I was in trouble, as we were all over the map.  They accepted our surrender, and that was the game.


During some breaks, we did play other games.

First among these was Rising Sun, a game I own and backed on Kickstarter, but rarely play.  Dan had brought it, so we set up and started playing, with me choosing the Turtle Clan (who get moving strongholds who contribute to battles!).  Dan, Rob, and Scott also played, but I don't recall who was playing as which clan.

Normally, I'm really lousy at this game, but for some reason, this time playing went really well.  I had a moderately cohesive strategy (get Ronin, get things that give me money at the start of the war phase, focus on different provinces each time).

I ended up with 44 points, which I believe was my highest score ever.  It was good enough for 2nd place, which I know was my best placement.  Dan finished first, with well over 80 points.  Ouch!

From here, my brother wanted to try out Arkham Horror, 3rd Edition, by Fantasy Flight Games.  I had played the previous edition, and enjoyed it, but it was a bit long for my tastes, and really really clunky at times.  This version was played by Matt, myself, Rob, and Scott, and we were involved in dealing with a gang war in town.  I played Agnes Baker, focused on ward actions (removing doom tokens from the map), but I ended up being a very strong fighter by the end of the game, and used that to start killing monsters.  Unfortunately, the foes were too great for the rest of my team (aside form Scott, playing Jenny Barnes), and they managed to get two of us down.  We got in position to win on the following turn, but then spawned monsters who pinned us down, and we ended up losing.  Still, very close!
At this point, it was getting pretty late, so we broke out some lighter games.  The first one we went with was Hail Hydra, a Marvel themed game with hidden roles, villains, and super powers.  I don't remember who I chose, and it was a bit late by this point, but I'm pretty sure the heroes were narrowly defeated by the villains, coming down to the final boss, with us just narrowly unable to defeat him.  I think?  Probably should have written that down.

Next up was Goodcritters, a game which I also played once on Sunday, right before my brother and I left to come home.  This is a game where a bunch of animals are deciding how to distribute loot, with the boss (the one in charge of creating the loot piles, and then some backstabbing, negotiation, and so on.  Ended up being a really good time, both times we played, although I did not win either time.
Ben and I played a quick game of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, the card game from Plaid Hat Games, which uses dice as its core resource mechanic.  We each played one of the deluxe expansions starters, with me taking the Music Magic, but I lost, sadly.  I did misread one of my summons, which may have helped keep me in the game longer, but I think long term I was going to lose, anyway.  Sigh :(.

The final game I ended up playing was Warhammer Underworlds.  I got into a three player game with Matt and Dan- I took the new Sylvaneth warband from the Beastgrave box, Matt took the Beastmen from it, and Dan took the Profiteers, I think they are called.  It was a three player free-for-all, with Dan in the middle, which was pretty brutal for him to start, but he managed to do enough each turn to stay alive, and actually ended up winning!
And that was basically it!  I played a bunch of games, had a good time, and came home.  I will say, I honestly could have brought nothing, and ended up playing the exact same games, which is a tad annoying (ie, why do I bring anything at all?), but that's my only (minor) complaint.  Otherwise, I had a great time, and I think everyone else did as well.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Monthly summary for August, 2019

What's my excuse this month?  Who knows.  I traveled, I worked, and I actually did good organizing my basement.  Not exciting, but things are moving towards me having more time available, FINALLY.

Games Played
  • Cat Lady - Three games, all against Marina, with me winning the first two, 48-31, and 47-42, focusing on the toys and Catnip.  The third game, Marina boxes me out of the toys pretty well, and she ends up beating me by about 12.
  • Magic: The Gathering - Three games against my college buddy Eric, all Commander format, with me basically using the 2018 Precon decks.  We tried a variant format for the first game where we each took two decks, and played them, with both of the decks under our control counting as enemies, but obviously not likely to go after one another.  The 2018 Enchantment precon ended up outlasting everyone in that game, and then dealing E another loss in a one-on-one game before losing another one-on-one game.  Deck seems to be a lot of fun!
  • Warmachine/Hordes - Four games.  First game was a 75 point game using Maelok in Blindwater Congregation against BK running Reznik2 in Exemplar Interdiction with the new theme rules and the new Steamroller rules.  I end up winning, but it was with a heavy asterisk, as BK had never used this list before, and forgot a few of his capabilities, which definitely would have aided him (say, putting up Spellpiercer so my guys would be -2 ARM effectively).
    Later on in the month, in an effort to grow our group again, we actually ran a zero point 'tournament'.  Our goal is to slowly grow our 'tournaments' into our full armies, so that we build some new stuff, play some games, and hopefully attract some new people.  For this event, I took Skarre1, a Slayer, and 2 Stalkers.  I lose the first game of the tournament to Matt S, who I was teaching the game to, running Trolls, who managed to get a shot onto my caster and kill her.  Oops! 
    I then played BK twice, as Rob and Matt's game went long.  BK was running Durst and 2 clamjacks, and he just didnt have a way to stop me getting Stalkers to his caster.
    Not a great photo.  Regardless, we talked about some options (primarily focused on using that well near the action) to force me into a disadvantaged engagement. Anyway, we'll reconvene in a few months to play some 25 point games!
  • Star Realms - two games by myself on my phone.  Gotta get my gaming in somehow :)
  • Ascension- Deckbuilding game - same as above, 1 game by myself on my phone.  Whatever!
  • Behold, A Pale Glider - One play, solo.  I'm not sure this game works.  It's a postcard game that came free with Against the Odds magazine, but it seems to have serious, basic, playability issues.  Is anyone trying these games out before sending them out the door?
  • Cataclysm - Rob, Mark, and I restarted our game (Dan having to miss this session) as we had been playing a few rules wrong.  I kept playing as the USSR, and we ended after three turns with the Axis powers in first place with 10 points, and the Allies and myself tied at 4.  I've moved south near Turkey, the Pacific is heating up, and Rob is dominating Europe.  Should be interesting, going forward.
  • Cthulhu Realms - One game, played against myself on my phone, as above.  Although I realize this is similar to Star Realms, I just didn't care for this, which is odd, giving that I do like the theme.  It just didn't work for me.
  • Nothing So Well Lost: The Siege of Rhodes - Another postcard game, which I played once, solo.  This one was over quick, as the Crusaders succeeded in only two to three attacks early, but that was enough to disrupt, and eventually completely crush, the Ottoman attack.  Again, these postcard games are pretty meh.
  • Surrender Unto Caesar - Same system as the Rhodes game above, only in my playthrough of this, the Barbarians made a few early successful attacks, and wiped the Romans out.
  • Warhammer Age of Sigmar: WarCry - One game against my brother as we sat down and learned this and played it with the warbands in the starter set.  I end up winning, but alas, I didn't take very good notes.  Game, overall, seems really interesting, and I'm sure we are going to play this more next month!
New Arrivals
  • A Sheer Butchery: Solferino 1859 - Came with the new issues of Battles Magazine.  Looks pretty cool, but honestly haven't really looked at it too too much yet.
  • Die Atombombe - Game that came with the 50th issue of Against the Odds magazine.  Looks pretty cool, actually.  Players are different factions in Nazi Germany trying to build an atomic bomb, while dealing with the politics of the country, the impending Soviet conquest, and attempts to stop the OTHER players from building the bomb.  Might be a really interesting study.
  • Dien Bien Phu: The Final Gamble - A second edition was released from Legion Wargames, so why wouldn't I pick it up?  This game covers the final battle of the French Indochina War, and is very highly regarded.
  • Fateful Days: The Marne Campaign - A postcard bonus game that came with Against the Odds magazine.  If experience has taught me anything, it's that this game probably won't be good.
  • Thunder in the East - I have been very excited about this series ever since the Kickstarter, but for various reasons, just never had the money to buy it.  I finally did, and finally bought it.  This is the first game in a series of games that will eventually encompass all of the European Theater of World War II.  Really cool components, really cool goals, and I'm really excited to find the chance to play this.
  • Riot Quest - New casual miniatures game from Privateer Press, where the models are usable in Warmachine.  Of course I was in!
  • Zombicide: Invader - Recently released as the result of a Kickstarter.  Of course, whenever you back a Kickstarter from CMON, you get a lot of stuff.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Repair work on my models, also started finishing assembly of my previous projects- the Battle Boar and Gatormen Posse.  I've been fielding them, but mostly with pieces missing.  Oops!
Reading
  • Battles Magazine, issue 13.  I have forgotten how amazing this magazine is.  The articles are almost scholarly in their analysis of wargaming as a hobby and as a way to model conflict.  I particularly want to call out the article by David Hughes on GMT's Holland '44 game, which he dissects in a way I've never quite seen before, and has caused me to consider how I examine conflict simulation games.  An excellent issue.
  • Hour of the Huntress.  One of the books from FFG related to their Arkham Horror card game (in that it comes with cards for the game).  It was a pretty short book, and I don't think it was great, but I enjoyed the writing, I enjoyed the story, and I think if the story was longer, it might have actually been a very good piece of fiction.  As is, it mostly just left me wanting more.
  • The Girl With All the Gifts, by M.R. Carey.  Let me just copy my review from Goodreads: " I really enjoyed this! I kind of figured out how everything was going to end about halfway through, but I think that's probably expected of the reader. The book moves really smoothly, the story is engaging, the characters are interesting, and the POV shifts add to the narrative nicely. A very fine read, and one that'd I'd happily recommend."

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Monthly summary for July, 2019

Another month past, another late update, and another month where I really didn't get as much done as I wanted.  My excuse this month?  Honestly, stress.  My dad and father-in-law had health scares, which actually saw me hit the gym more than usual, as I realized just how unhealthy I really was, haha.  Plus, my evening time is spent more working on practicing and relearning Java programming, as my employer wants me to coming more proficient in it.  Work is a bit more important, sadly.

Games Played
  • KeyForge - Three games against Frans.  I open up my new decks from the Age of Ascension set, and give them a go.  One of the decks just gets ANNIHILATED by Frans.  Seriously, I didn't stand a change.  The other one goes a bit better, and goes 1-1 against him.  So, overall, 1-2 on the month in KeyForge.
  • Lost Cities - Three games against Marina.  Scores were 114-57, 49-22, 36-54, giving a composite of 199-133.  That first game really carried me, as I managed to get enough cards to score the bonus points, which let me break triple digits.  Pretty pleased with myself.
  • Star Trek Customizable Card Game (Second Edition) - Two games against my brother, Matt, both using my newly constructed Klingon Battle deck.  Game 1, he takes his Hologram deck.  I flounder out of the gate, but he struggles to find a ship.  Once he does, I'm still not set up, and he steams right through his missions and wins.  Game 2, he takes a Romulan Deneb/Q Planet deck.  I get going pretty well this time, and manage to get him stuck in a few battles, killing quite a few personnel, and score some points (I am at 65 points with a completed space mission).  I decide to lay off to go and try to solve my final mission... but Matt uses the time to get what he needs, and gets through his missions, and wins.  I still have yet to win a game of this, haha.
    Matt onto his way to a win with his Romulan deck.
  • Star Trek Customizable Card Game (1st Edition) - Two games against Rob, both using the Coming of Age Romulan starter against him running the Coming of Age Federation starter.  I win both, although game two was very close.  We're getting the hang of this one.  Probably time to try some new decks :).
  • Cataclysm: A Second World War - Start of a new play with me as the Soviet player, Rob as the Axis player, Dan playing as the US/France player, and Mark as the UK player.  For me, there wasn't a whole lot to do, just trying to get my standing up to usefulness, and get my army built.  I have some options for the coming turns though, including an invasion in the south to my old nemesis, Turkey.  Action to continue soon.
    The view from the Soviet side.
  • Fallout: Wasteland Warfare - This is a game Dan and Rob have been playing and enjoying, so I asked to give it a try.  I played as the mutants, Rob took the survivors, and even though I had a minor setback early, I ended up winning comfortably.  Game seems okay- I actually think I'd enjoy the skill system if I played more.  The biggest hurdle for me is the setting, as Fallout isn't something I particularly care about.  We'll see, the core set goes on sale a lot.  Maybe I'll pick it up sometime.
  • Hordes - Played Rask Will Work for Food into a Reznik2 Creator's Might list that BK was running.  When we rolled for scenario, the scenario had two jack zones, and only a single infantry zone, which is probably the WWFF's best situation.  We set up, I ran up, feated, he came up, and then I came and cleared out the zones to win a very quick game.  Because only a minor change in his movement would've stopped what we did, we elected to pretend that movement had happened, and continued playing.  From there, he ended up assassinating me soon after.  I learned to respect (*cough*fear*cough*) the Judicator.  That things is pretty nasty.
  • Small World - Taught the game to Megan and Christian, and then proceeded to beat them, winning by about 18.  One funny moment came at the end of the game.  Megan, having gone into decline the previous turn, chose a new race/power combination... and then went right at Christian, even though I was likely in the lead (one can never be sure, as current score is hidden in Small World, but it was pretty likely even to her).  She knocked Christian out of contention, and let me win.  She just wanted to have some conflict with him, haha.
  • Temporal Odyssey - One game against myself just to try it out, as I bought it at a Kickstarter and wanted to see how I liked it.  It was okay.  Nothing that I think changes the gaming world at all, but I worry there may be actual problems with it, but I'd need to play against a real person to truly determine that.
  • Tribbles Customizable Card Game - Going for the Star Trek card game Trifecta, I gave this a try against myself to see if there's much potential to make some cards and play for real.  I definitely think there is, this game was a lot of fun!  Now to find some people to play with.
  • Warhammer 40K, Eighth Edition - Matt brought over some miniatures, and we threw it on the table and played it, with me eventually winning, 4-2.  It's been a long time since I've played 40K... but I could see myself doing so again in the future.  The ruleset seems to be really good, and the game was quick and action-packed.  Damn you Games Workshop!  Stop making fun games so I can keep hating you, please!
  • Xia: Legends of a Drift System - Played with Rob and Mark, starting with the ship that can recover Energy.  I hop to an early lead, and keep the pressure up, eventually winning.  This game was a lot of fun- I'd love to play again, trying a new ship, a new career path, and just a new everything.  Seems to be a lot to explore here!
New Arrivals
  • An early arrival from a Kickstarter without the full delivery- I received the R'lyeh Rising expansion for the Cthulhu: Death May Die game which I backed.  Of course, without the full game, it's kind of pointless.  But hey, it is dang impressive.
    Pretty big!
  • Some new purchases from Amarillo Design Bureau, replacing some of my old product that were in bad shape (module C4 and S1), and getting some new product to expand my collection (Romulan Armada and Captain's Log 53).
  • Lock n Load Tactical - Heroes Against the Red Star - this game is a tactical level game about a hypothetical 1985 invasion of Germany by the USSR.  I owned a game in the previous LNL system, and it was pretty good, so I was definitely interested in trying to get some games from the new system. 
  • X-Wing: Servants of Strife - A new faction, so I was definitely interested.  Now to grab the Old Republic one!
  • Tribbles card game.  Tried it out, as mentioned above, but I also received it last month.  TrekCCG supports it, so I was curious.
  • Last Hundred Yards - Bob and I played this once, and it seems like a game that might have a good amount of depth, and if so, I wanted to pick it up so that I could spend some time getting to know the system better.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Did some repair work on my Cryx and Minion models for Warmachine and Hordes.  Also, I finally got new super glue, as mine was almost done.
Reading
  • Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War - Finished this!  Overall, it was a very good, very interesting read.  My main quibble is that Hastings spends what feels like an inordinate and inappropriate amount of time and space assuring the reader that Germany is to blame for the outbreak of WWI. Perhaps this is relevant to someone, but honestly- I'm reading a book about history. Apportioning blame and responsibility isn't really important to me. The book is good, don't get me wrong, but it definitely left me wanting more, even from the restricted time span covered.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Monthly Summary for June, 2019

Whew, June just flew by.  I, once again, spent most of my time in the basement actually working on getting stuff organized and unpacked, and I actually made really good progress this month!  I feel confident that post-July 4th festivities, I'll actually have time to sit down there, and finally enjoy some of the benefits of having my own space :)  Take a look at my progress:
Showing my basement space from the door into the basement- a nice four by four table in
the middle lets me play most games easily, and I have shelves everywhere for storage. 
Plus a desk for working on some projects!



View from the other side of the basement.  Easily enough room for another table, and you can
see into the unfinished part, where I have a bunch of racks for storing games!

My birthday also occurred on the 21st- I'm 36 now.  Yay.

Games Played
  • Tsuro of the Seas - Three games against Christian.  I had played the original Tsuro plenty of times, but I had never played this version, and Christian had no experience playing either version.  We sat down, read the rules, played three games (I ended up losing twice), and I can say I don't really care for it.  The monster movement slows the game down (not much, but enough that the pacing is really disrupted), and the movement ends up being so random and chaotic at times that it really isn't much fun.  I think the expansion to this allows some way for the players to have some control over the monsters, but I have no experience with that, unfortunately.
  • KeyForge - Two games against Frans.  I use each of my two decks once, against a new Horsemen deck he had, and end up beating it once with each.  I am going to use some new decks next time- I think my decks might actually be pretty good!
  • Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra - One game against Christian, and I win by about 12 points.  This is a pretty good game, and we both played mostly cleanly (only one dropped glass apiece).  He crushed me on bonus points, but I managed to score my panes in the order that gave me the most points, and ended up victorious.
  • Batman Fluxx - My hatred of Fluxx is well known, but Marina had never played, and Megan and Christian decided to teach her.  I did as best I could, and mercifully the game was over quickly... with Marina as the victor.  She didn't love the game either (thankfully!).
    Early-ish game.
  • Catan Histories: Rise of the Inkas - One game against Marina, Christian, and Megan.  My streak of wins in this game comes to an end as Megan ends up winning, with the rest of us actually within striking distance (probably our closest game yet).  This is apparently Marina's favorite version of Catan.  I like it well enough (I prefer Cities and Knights).
  • La Garde recule!, The Gold Beach Landings, A Matter of Honor, Sire, The Omaha Beach Landings, Operation Cerberus: Channel Dash, The Toast of the Town, The Utah Beach Landings - One game of each, all solo.  These are all part of the Pocket Battle Games series by Against the Odds.  Basically, wargames that fit on a postcard.  Mostly, they weren't that good, aside from the two Napoleonic ones.  There are just serious issues with the design that I think detract from the enjoyment of them, even as a quick, casual experience.  I won't get into it here, but maybe someday I'll write some thoughts about how NOT to do attacker/defender scenarios (and a pretty popular game will get called out for it as well!).
  • Warmahordes - One game against BK.  I take my Rask WWFF list, and he takes his Harbinger list out of Faithful Masses.  I'm able to kill a bunch of stuff, including his Paladins in some places trivially, but I had a critical failure on a Frenzy test, and really just don't have the volume of models and attacks I need to win.  I really am just not sure what I can do with this WWFF list.  Maybe for Minions I need to look at an alternative list to pair with my Blindwater list.  The announced theme force changes will be a really big help, I think, as I can afford to take a few units of infantry even in a WWFF list, which would offset some of my issues.  Be a good time to experiment when that day comes.
    Early game, right before I send my army into his... and eventually get overrun by it.
  • The Last Hundred Yards - Newly released from GMT Games, I went up and played against Bob in Spring Grove, trying to wrap our heads around the system in the first scenario.  It seems really interesting, but we're going to have to play another couple of times to really figure out what we are getting into.  Definitely different than other World War II games at this level.  Very very different.
  • MBL Pocket Pro Tour - A quick little game that was in my Millennium Blades Set Rotation expansion box, surprisingly.  Tried it solo, and it seems fun.  Super quick, super easy, and probably enjoyable enough to break out once or twice more.
  • No Safe Harbor: The Raid on Darwin - A mini-game from Against the Odds, depicting the Japanese air attack on Darwin.  Used a very similar system to the above Pocket Battle Games (although mercifully, used a dice-based combat system).  Unfortunately, still just doesn't quite work.  Played solo, and the Australians won in a landslide.
  • Star Trek CCG, 1st Edition - Rob and I are trying to get into this game, so he printed off the Romulan and Federation TNG decks, and we sat down and played.  I ended up winning (as the Romulans), as he ended up bouncing hard against Do You Smell Something Burning? which really slowed him down.  This gave me enough time to get what I needed into space and solve enough missions to end up winning me the game.
    My MVP!
  • Star Trek CCG, Second Edition - My brother was interested enough in this game after learning that he went and printed out a deck (a TNG Federation Battleship deck) against my constructed Cardassian capture deck.  I end up getting ahead of him, and get to 85 points after capturing two of his personnel, really hindering his ability to get stuff done, but he ends up getting what he needs on the table, solves the two missions he needs, and get the bonus points need to hit 100, beating me.
  • Targi - As I mentioned last month, this is part of the Kosmos two player game series that people always recommend for non-gaming spouses.  This one has some of the best ratings for games of that series, so my wife and I tried it.  She ended up winning on the first tiebreaker, but said she would need to play it another time or two to really decide if she likes it.  
  • Tsuro - One regular game of Tsuro against Christian, so he could see how the base game played.  Game came down to the final three spots on the board, and he ended up beating me.
  • Warhammer 40K: Conquest - Taught the game to my brother, using my Necron deck against a Dark Eldar deck.  He ended up winning when I misjudged some of the battles (really out of practice), but sadly, he didn't leave loving the game.
New Arrivals
  • A few modules for Star Fleet Battles - Modules C1, R3, K, and the Lyran Master Starship Book.  I'm playing as the Lyrans in an online campaign, and all of my Lyran SSDs were basically ruined, so I figured it was a good time to replace a bunch of things, and see what my ships were capable of.
  • KeyForge: Age of Ascension two player starter set.  I seem to be playing the game enough that I decided I probably needed some tokens.  Two more decks are nice, too, as now Frans can play against something else.
  • Doomtown Reloaded: Out for Blood Expansion.  The latest release from Pinnacle Entertainment Group adds a bunch of new cards for every outfit in the game.  Organized all of these, and am getting ready to start building some decks to throw down with Joey.
  • Six expansions for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.  With news that the game is 'complete', there wasn't a better time to finally catch up on my collection, which I have now done.
  • Six total Pocket Battle Games, many of which I played above.  I renewed my subscription to Against the Odds magazine, and they rewarded me for it.
  • Gloomhaven... so yeah, my wife got me a really nice birthday present!  Now I just need to find people to play it with me :)
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Once again, I didn't get anything done in this area, as my normal time I would work on minis was instead spent working on getting my basement cleaned and organized.  I'm chomping to get back to work though.
Reading
  • Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War - borrowed from my dad, who enjoyed it, this book covers the lead-up to the First World War, and the events of the first year of the war.  So far, it's been a good read, although I do have some small complaints.  I'll save those for when I'm done, hopefully in a few weeks (I am about halfway done).