Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Made my first Brawl deck! [Magic: The Gathering]


After hearing about the format, I couldn't wait to give it a try!  I finally sat down and built a deck, using Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun as my Commander.

I figure I'll try using it and God-Pharaoh's gift to recur a bunch of big scary creatures, like Zetalpa and Goring Ceratops, and a some control and search effects.  Figure it'll be a good intro to the format for me.  Hopefully I get to try it tomorrow!

I won't bother with a decklist right now, as it is probably garbage.  But hey, eventually if I find something that works, I'll post it up :)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Battle Report, Minions vs Mercenaries, 4/12/18 [Warmahordes]

Whew, took a long time to post this!  Lots going on in my life, so having time to sit in front of the computer has been tough.  But hey, finally have it written up and posted.

This game was against Joey again.  I wanted to put some new stuff on the table, and figured I'd try a caster I haven't used in MkIII- Jaga-Jaga.  To further my effort to try something new, I decided to finally try another Minions theme.  I don't own enough Farrow to actually do the Thornfall Alliance, so with a few last minute purchases, I went with a Will Work for Food list.


Minion Army - 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Will Work for Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
 - Blackhide Wrastler [16]
 - Bull Snapper [5]
 - Dracodile [36]
 - Ironback Spitter [14]
 - Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Croak Hunter [3]
Gatorman Husk [3]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [4]
Kwaak Slickspine & Gub, Croak Sorcerers [4]
Rorsh [15]
Thrullg [0(5)]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew [2]

Plenty of stuff new to me in this list.  Like I said, I have never tried Jaga-Jaga in any edition of the game, let alone the current one.  The Gatorman Husk was a new purchase for this game (as I needed to fill the final three points).  And Rorsh/Brine were a completely new model for me, also purchased the day of the game (you may notice the lack of assembly on them in pictures below).

I also bought new dice for this game.  I'm sick of my old dice.
Anything more exciting than a picture of DICE?

Joey took his usual list:


Mercenary Army - 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Hammer Strike

[Ossrum 1] General Ossrum [+28]
 - Ghordson Driller [10]
 - Ghordson Driller [10]
 - Ghordson Driller [10]
 - Grundback Gunner [6]
 - Grundback Gunner [6]
Hammerfall High Shield Gun Corps (max) [16]
 - Hammerfall High Shield Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [0(6)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [0(6)]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (min) [10]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (min) [10]
Tactical Arcanist Corps [7]
Hammerfall Siege Crawler [18]

Pretty solid, dependable list.

We rolled up The Pit II, and per the usual, I lost the roll to go first (and Joey elected to have me go first).

Minion Deployment

Mercenary Deployment
I had my Husk Ambush onto the board from my left (Joey's right) right next to one of his unit of Forge Guard.

Turn 1:
I run everything forward, trying to keep the Dracodile out of range of the Siege Crawler (I don't want to deal with Stagger quite yet).  Jaga-Jaga casts Battle Host, and casts Death Wind on the Wrastler, and advances forward.
Joey moves his Dwarfs ever so slowly forward.  I think they are running, but it's hard to tell *chuckle*.

Ossrum puts Fire for Effect on one of the Artillery, Snipe on the Battle Engine, and advances up behind the wall on his side of the board.  The FFE'd Artillery takes a shot at the Spitter, and deals four damage.  Joey then spends a few minutes thinking about how he's going to handle the Dracodile, who can really screw with his Siege Crawler (with the spray).  He decides that having the Siege Engine staying too far back isn't going to help him, and moves it forward to shoot at the Spitter as well, dealing an additional four damage, and Staggering it.

Turn 2:
The Husk ambushes on Joey's side of the board, on my left, and manages to kill a Forge Guard.  The Totem Hunter then kills another, and sprints behind the building where he can't be seen.

The Dracodile heads up, sprays the Battle Engine for 10 damage, as well as Blinding it.  One less thing to deal with on my next turn.  The Croak Hunter in the center begins to try to chip away at that High Shield unit, and kills one.  Thrullg deals a few damage to the Gunner who ventured up to the forest, and I put a smoke screen on my right with the Swamp Gobbers to get Rorsh and Brine a bit closer to the action.

Joey starts hit turn by dropping Snipe off the Battle Engine (who can't shoot anyway), and allocating two focus to a Driller.  Joey's primary goal this turn is to drop the Dracodile, and he juggles Fire For Effect onto the Artillery pieces, shoots at the Dracodile with both Artillery pieces, Ossrum, and charges a unit of Forge Guard and a Driller into it.... but it stays standing (although not by much).  Elsewhere, the High Shields and a Gunner attempt to handle Rorsh, but the killing shot causes him to go Tough, which keeps him alive and impossible to shoot, meaning Brine is going to be able to get into the action on my turn.

Realizing he can't kill the Dracodile with his remaining pieces, Joey attempts to handle some of the support pieces, shooting at Kwaak, but only dealing two, but managing to kill Thrullg with his other unit of Forge Guard.

Turn 3:
I get to work, since everything in my army is basically where it needs to be.  The Spitter kills two Forge Guard, The Wrastler kills a Driller and badly damages another, who the Dracodile finishes off (although critically, I can't get a spray off to blind anything).  Brine charges into the Gun Corps, killing a few.  The Totem Hunter gets to work on one of the Artillery.

Really, even with getting basically optimal work from everyone (thanks to Jaga-Jaga's Signs and Portents), I don't really feel like I've taken a big chunk from his army.  Ugh.
Ossrum upkeeps Fire for Effect, allocates a few to the remaining Driller, and the artillery takes a shot at the Dracodile, doing some damage.  That's enough for the one remaining Driller to charge it, killing it.  He has a few focus remaining, and uses it to attack the Wrastler, dealing a few damage.

His artillery attempts to clear the Totem Hunter off them, but are unable to, so Ossrum moves backwards to kill the Totem Hunter, then casts Bullet Dodger on himself.

The Gun Corps figure their best bet to handle Brine is large CMAs, and attempt one... but roll double ones and miss.  However, they are saved from stressing too much, as the nearby Gunner has no problem killing Rorsh (I think some unengaged Gun Corps shot at him first, to remove the fury he was holding).

With the Dracodile gone, the two Forge Guard in the left hand unit charge the Dracodile, killing it, and the game is basically over except for cleanup (which Joey manages to do next turn).

Minions lose!

I figured this would probably be an uphill battle, as I was running a caster I haven't used before (Jaga-Jaga), and a new theme.  But even with experience... I don't know how I could win against Hammerstrike with this theme.  It just doesn't seem to generate the volume of attacks I would need to handle all the bodies.  I suppose for this matchup, I'll need to stick with Blindwater Congregation for the Hammerstrike matchup, and try WWFF against other opponents.  It'd probably be better if I had some more lesser warlocks as well, which I'm working on ordering. 

I rolled well, didn't play too too terribly, I think, so I just got outplayed and out-attritioned, which I can live with.  I really liked Jaga-Jaga, even though she didn't really do all that much but cast S&P every turn.  But heck, I really loved having that available.  I don't know that I missed many attacks at all this game!

I've played two more games since this post, both against Rob, only one of which was played to conclusion (against Primal Terrors).  I am slowly getting my Minions 'tournament pair' fully completed, and once that's done, I'll work to getting a new army up and running- so look out for that in the near-ish future.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Netrunner done! [Android: Netrunner LCG]

Seems that the game hit an End the Run subroutine it couldn't break :(.


I'm pretty saddened by this, as I have been with all of their LCG deaths (Invasion, Call of Cthulhu, Conquest, Star Wars), but honestly, Netrunner is in a pretty interesting place.  With the rotation a few months ago, the meta still has a lot of unexplored space, and there are a lot of new cards that I haven't really had the time to figure out how to best use yet, plus a bunch of new IDs I've not used- with some new stuff coming out in the final deluxe that will definitely need some more play.

So, really- it's the end of new content, but not the end of the world.  There is so much out there to play with, I'll be good for several years.

Based on the evidence, and the somewhat slapdash 'State of the LCG' post they put out immediately following the news, they clearly weren't expecting this, and that sucks, but hey, it happens.  But really, I wonder what's next for them?  They have four current LCGs - Arkham Horror and Lord of the Rings, which are cooperative (and seem to be doing pretty well), and L5R and Game of Thrones, which are competitive (and also seem to be doing just fine).  Four is their lowest amount of active LCGs in some time, and two is a VERY low number of competitive ones, compared to their history.

I feel, and hope, we might see a new one in the near-ish future.  One idea I've heard that I really like is re-theming Warhammer 40K: Conquest in the Twilight Imperium universe.  This was a great, very popular game, and the mechanics are very solid.  They'd have full control over the IP, which allows them to work with it long-term without concern. They've started to work with the Terrinoth IP a lot more of late, with Rune Wars and the newly announced Heroes of Terrinoth.  Maybe they'll come up with an interesting LCG based off of that, too?

Anyway, I'm eager to see what they do.  I LOVE LCGs, and will get behind anything they come out with.  They'll bounce back from this blow, I have no doubt!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Early May Update [Random]

Well, managed to go over a month without a post. Unfortunately, that's more common than me actually posting frequently, so I won't pretend it will change any time soon.

First, I HAVE to talk about how excited I am about two upcoming games!

X-Wing Second Edition just recently announced? HECK YES. I love X-Wing currently- I do hear and know about the problems plaguing the current edition, but I don't play on a level where I really encounter them- but all the changes I've seen have me excited, and I really can't wait to play the new version!

And of course, I am even MORE excited about MONSTERPOCALYPSE! HOLY COW, IS THAT NOT THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER!?!?!?!? Rob and I used to play the HECK out of that game. And our excitement lead to us putting the old version on the table again (see below). I am going to invest heavily when this comes out- and everything I've heard so far just has me so incredibly eager to play!

Let's see, what have I been doing... well, I've played a decent number of games since my last post. I have a Battle Report for Warmachine against Joey coming up (if I can ever get the dang pictures to transfer). I also have been working on some miniatures, which I may or may not post about (if such a post looks at all interesting after I write it, haha).

I tried Star Wars Legion soon after it came out, with Rob. We basically just played the contents of the Core Set plus maybe one thing per side (whatever Rob owned at the time). I took the Rebels, as the freedom-loving man I am. Rob took the Imperials, as the tyrannical man he is. We learned the rules, set it up, and played. I didn't take notes or pictures, so I wouldn't slow down the game, but I ended up victorious, at the end.

It was a pretty fun time- I feel like the only real 'novelty' is the command system, which adds a layer of uncertainty to what's going to be available when, each turn (aside from the command cards), but I think it does a great job capturing Star Wars on the tabletop. And what great models! Plus, there should be enough stuff out soon that maybe I can proxy up an army for the West End Games Star Wars minis game!

Anyway, this will be a 'soon' purchase. Maybe after the Vegas trip this upcoming weekend, if I haven't spent all my budget.

Finally been playing Netrunner again, as well against Rob. We played back in April, and I ended up going 2-1. Kept a hand like this....
Three agendas, one piece of ICE? No problem for me! Rob did score 4 points in the first two turns though, so it wasn't a clean win. But I did get the win in this one.

I won't have a battle report about this, but Rob and I also played a game of Hordes- I ran gators again, taking Maelok out of Blindwater Congregation against his Khador list- Butcher3 out of Jaws of the Wolf. Butcher3 is a tremendously terrifying caster to me- he can kill so much on his own! Even my poor Gators can't really stand against that, even with the ARM bonuses from Death March, Unyielding, and the feat. Ugh.

I got ahead on scenario points early on, putting a lot of pressure on Rob to be aggressive and kill my army. He went for a shot at a caster kill, almost got it, and died for his troubles. A VERY close one.

I played Malifaux this past week, against Dan. I took Jakob Lynch out of Neverborn against Reva, out of Resurrectionists. I've played once against Dan's list, and although I killed Reva (with Lilith), I lost BIG TIME. I just couldn't handle the threat projection and the amount of scheme markers he could drop.

I decided to focus entirely on the Strategy and Schemes this game, to actually try to get the win. Each turn, I went into Defensive Stance if I could afford to (if there was nothing pertinent to kill). Our Strategy was the one where we got points for killing two models in a turn, a feat I accomplished three times in the five turns. When we finally scored it, I ended up at six points... but Dan ended up at seven. I actually am pretty happy with how the game turned out- I can't complain about a close loss!

Let's see... played a bunch of Splendor and Ticket to Ride with my wife, among others... played a bunch of games of Magic: The Gathering with my brother (and I'm working to build a Brawl deck, which seems like it'll be such a fun format, I can't wait).

Finally, I've been playing a bunch of Catan, since it's my wife's favorite game.
She decided to try out Catan: Cities & Knights, and ended up loving that as well!

And oh yeah, we played Monsterpocalypse!
I took Defender X, Rob took Gakura, and we played it out. We kept it pretty simple, given how long its been since our last game (almost EIGHT years!) and I ended up winning- we forgot how amazingly good healing is (on the Repair Vehicle, for GUARD).

With luck, we'll get another game or two in before the new version comes and invalidates our models!

Anyway, I'll make another small post about my new acquisitions, as I've had quite a number lately.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

New Arrivals [Boardgames]

Bunch of random things came lately, and since I don't have anything better to talk about, why not show off some random things?

First up is the most recent issue of Against the Odds Magazine, Arctic Disaster. This covers the battle that destroyed over two-thirds of the PQ-17 convoy to Russia during World War II. The magazine itself will have a bunch of interesting military history articles (most relevant to the main game's subject), so I have something to read when I have some time!
Cover of the magazine
The countersheet
Half of the map (other half not shown, because I'm lazy)
I already have one game on this subject (PQ-17: Arctic Naval Operations 1941-1943 from GMT Games). So now I have TWO unplayed games on the subject! And who knows when that will ever change.

From Legion Wargames, I received Picket Duty, a solo game where you're in charge of a Navy Destroyer in World War II, providing anti-air protection for the fleet against Japanese kamikaze fighters.
The map/game board
One of the counter sheets, showing enemy planes
This game, like many solo games of this style, involves digging through charts for much of the gameplay. You're really experiencing a brief story, almost, with your decisions hopefully providing a favorable outcome.

With luck, between the part-time job, and the hopefully upcoming house purchase, I'll have the time and cat-deficient space to play this in the near future.

Finally, I picked up the first game of the Nations at War series, White Star Rising (2nd Edition). As I mentioned, I bought Desert Heat at PrezCon, but I remembered how much I loved the series, and couldn't wait to grab everything that's out. I didn't buy the third title yet, but I will soon. This one covers battles in Western Europe including and post Normandy.
WSR box
Example of one of the counter sheets- a mix of AFVs, Infantry, and support assets.
The cover of the second game, since I didn't put one up before
This one, at least, I should get on the table in the near-ish future. The third game in the series covers Russian-German conflicts, and I expect I'll grab it in a month or so, getting me caught up on the series for the moment.

Anyway, lots of fun new games that I'll eventually play. Later today, I'm supposed to play Star Wars: Legion, which I'm pretty excited about, although I admit the rules have me concerned- I'll likely love it because it's Star Wars, but will it really be engrossing enough to stand as its own game? God, I hope so, but we'll see.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

PrezCon Day 3 [Boardgames]

I got a bit later start on Day 3, electing to sleep in instead of going to the gym in the morning. Ate some breakfast, read some rules, and I was ready to get to gaming!

Our early gaming was down one player, as a certain someone was still recovering from the night before. Truthfully, we all were a little bit, so we opted for something lighter, choosing to play Hero Realms.

We opted for a multiplayer format where everyone tried to kill the person to the left of them, while each person also had to protect themselves from the person to their right. First one to kill their neighbor won.

Going clockwise, we had me (Warrior), Dan (Cleric), Jesse (Thief, I think?), and Rob (Ranger). We get into it, buying our cards, throwing out attacks, etc etc.
In the end, even though I was able to hammer Dan time and time again, it ended up being Jesse who was victorious, managing to eat through Rob's defenses and bring him down.

Apparently there are other formats for this game- including a one on many (not really my favorite). Might bear looking into. I love the art (looks to be the same art from the Epic Card Game, which I love).

AJ rejoined us at this point, and we discussed different games we could play next, eventually settling on Rising Sun, recently released. I own this one, as you may have seen from a previous post, but I didn't bring it, as I knew Dan was going to.

We sat down to play, with me using the Dragonfly clan, who could move anywhere on the board easily. Jesse played the Turtle Clan, AJ was the Bonsai Clan, Dan was the Koi Clan, ad Rob took the Lotus clan.

I start the game by allying with Jesse immediately, figuring that getting into an alliance was vastly better than being out of one. The turn started with the following mandates: Recruit, Harvest, Train, Harvest (this was by Rob, who could choose whichever he wanted, regardless of tiles).  During this, I manage to get another Bushi on the board, and grabbed a Phoenix monster, who would gain me Honor and Victory Points every time he died. I planted him in the Bonsai home province, assuming that at the very least, he could kill me over and over again to my benefit. On my turn, I chose Harvest, grabbing some Ronin that I thought I could use to compete in some battles.
Afterwards, Marshal and Betray were chosen, the final one killing/replacing of my minis.

We begin the battle phase, and the only thing I manage to accomplish is to Seppuku my Phoenix for Honor and VPs.

Turning the second turn, I join into an Alliance with Rob.  With him sitting next to me, I figure there are good opportunities, if we can do some double Alliance actions. Mandate choices were Train, Marshal, Recruit. At this point, I'm pretty screwed, as everyone has multiple Strongholds on the table... except me.  That means everyone Recruiting is putting more minis on the board than I am, and that's bad for me.

On my turn, I choose Train, so I could get another Monster (and at least put SOMETHING on the board).
Then Recruit, Marshal, and Betray (by Jesse) were chosen to end the round. My battles once again go terribly, and my only accomplishment is to sacrifice the Phoenix again (although I'm now #1 in Honor!).

The final round starts, and Rob and I ally again... once again hoping to gain some sweet double actions. The choices were Marshal, Marshal (from Rob), Marshal (from me, giving me three strongholds!), Betray (by Dan), Recruit, Train, and Harvest.
At this point, it was pretty clear I was out of the game, but I still did my best in the battles, but failed to really accomplish a whole lot. I end up only getting 13 points, way in last place (Rob was second last, at 28 points).  Jesse won with 46 points, barely ahead of Dan, who it should be noted went the second and third round without an alliance. It's interesting to see that being out of an alliance didn't necessarily mean you had no chance!

At this point, we knew we had dinner reservations, so wanted to ensure we played something fairly short- Chariots of Rome was floated (yay!), but people settled on Sentinels of the Multiverse, instead.  That one, I didn't take pictures of, but suffice to say we had a great time. I was Tachyon, a speed based super hero, and as a group we fought against Grand Warlord Voss and his many minions. Through great teamwork, we prevailed, and I can honestly say that not only did I do plenty of things to help the group, but managed to spike for huge chunks of damage!  What a great game- I really need to buy it.

At this point, we went out to dinner at the South Street brewery, to celebrate Dan's upcoming nuptials.  Very good food, and some very interesting beers.
I couldn't decide what I wanted, so got some of each
After a nice time out there (aside from the pouring rain, yikes), we returned and tried to determine what we would do the rest of the night (we got back about 9pm). We decided to play one of the games I brought- Mansions of Madness.

We took our team of investigators and began looking into a case of buried dead rising up from their graves and terrorizing the area. Our investigations proved very fruitful, and we found the source, and moved to end this terror once and for all.
In the end, I bravely sacrificed myself to keep the tremendous Zombie Horde from going after everyone, but unfortunately, that put a strict timetable on everyone else. However, on the VERY LAST roll of the game, we managed to accomplish our objective, and get the win. Very tense!

And that basically ended our PrezCon, for gaming.

Outside of the games I've played, there's also a vendor hall that comes and sells games.  This year, I bought Nations at War: Desert Heat, 2nd Edition, which is part of the new version of the Nations at War series that I quite love. I also picked up some starters of the Munchkin Collectible Card Game. I hate Munchkin, but love cards games, and thing Eric Lang does a good job. I'll give it a try and hope for the best.

Overall, I had a great time. I only played 4-5 player games, which isn't my first choice, but I definitely got a lot of great gaming in, so I really can't complain. The hotel itself didn't seem to do as good a job this year accommodating us- for instance, they usually serve several meals in the main hall throughout the convention (for a generally fair price). This year, they actually served some pretty disappointing meals, and the costs felt worse. Plus, the entrance fee for open gaming felt significantly worse this year. Ugh.

I had a great time, but it remains to be seen if we'll return. However, we get plenty of gaming done here in the area, so even if we don't, I'll still have plenty to talk about in the future!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

PrezCon Day 2 [Boardgames]

For the first time in my entire history at PrezCon (8-9 years), I actually started this morning off getting up and going to the gym.
Some weird looking boardgames in here
Yeah, I was surprised too. Still, the hotel has a gym, and for those of us currently losing "The Battle of the Bulge", it is definitely good enough to give some hope.

After the brief time at the gym, a shower, and breakfast, we got up and got ready to start our long day of gaming!

First up today was Blitz: A World in Conflict. This was the big goal for Rob to play this convention, and with five of us available, it was definitely conceivable we could have an interesting fight. I was given the Americans, who don't have a whole lot interesting to do early on, but would be critical later (as in World War II). We set up.
Set up
Without a whole lot to do early on (build Lend-Lease units, wait for excuses for my War Entry number to raise), I decided to read the rules, so we had a second player super familiar with them. On the map, the game unfolded on its own- Japan began expanding, and eventually conquered China, Germany invaded a few countries.

Our game ended when Germany (Rob) attempted the invasion of France (Dan). The first thrust of the invasion stalled, which wasn't a big deal. The second thrust failed as well, however, and with France looking like it wasn't likely to fall, we ended up calling the game.

Despite not getting to actually play any of this game, it's hard to be too upset over that- I feel like many WWII games at this scale have this problem. If the Axis powers can't get their initial, historical, gains- they just don't have a good way to win. Time is against them to begin with, after all, and if they can't grow early... they are already behind the clock.

So anyway, we decide to switch to another conflict filled game, something that would ensure we all would have something to do- Scythe.

I was randomly assigned Saxony (black). I have played this game once before, at my Bachelor party, and I wasn't particularly impressed, but knowing a bit more about the rules, I was hoping I'd enjoy it better. We played with the Airship expansion, which was new to me.
First moves
End game
I didn't really take great notes for this one, opting to focus on playing the game, and not disrupting the flow (wanting to make sure I enjoyed and 'got' the game). In the end, I was the first to put my sixth star down, and managed to win a few battles to push people out of my area. I didn't quite realize how important popularity was to the final score (I don't remember that from the first time we played, and it wasn't re-explained to me), so I didn't raise it as high as I should've (I was maybe two Popularity away from hitting the next score threshold).

I ended up with 72 points, coming second to Dan (80), and ahead of Jesse (56), Rob (53), and AJ (48).  Not bad!  I definitely could've picked up a few more points had I come out and expanded a little more the previous turn or so. I had the military strength and the cards, I was just too timid for my own good, unfortunately.

I enjoyed this game a lot more than I did our first time playing this- I got it much better this time, and actually realized how to make good use of my faction board, something I bumbled about with the first time we played.

This game done, we decided to play some lighter games before dinner.  First up was 7 Wonders, a game with card drafting and combinations, and playable in like 20 minutes. I end the first age with the first two parts of my Wonder built, and end up with a total of 38 points. Winner was Dan, once again, with 55 points.
End of first age
End of second age
Game end
This was a lot of fun- I've since even played this with my wife, who enjoyed it decently well. Maybe something I grab some day, if she decides she likes it enough.

We followed this with another light game- Tortuga 1667. This one has hidden roles, really simple rules, and decent components. It's about trying to get the treasure into the most favorable place on the map, trying to screw over the people who you think are on one of the other sides (there are three sides- the Dutch, French, and British). We ended up playing this twice. I don't believe I won either time. Probably little too chaotic/random for my tastes.
After this game, we decided to grab some food, and went to the hotel restaurant, and had some good food.

Now with us properly prepared for gaming during the evening, we got down to the evening's games, starting with Mare Nostrum.

I remember this on Kickstarter, from Academy games. Unfortunately, I couldn't afford it at the time, but thankfully, at least one person in our group owns a copy, so I'll at least have opportunities to play this!

Anyway, in this game, you are one of the rulers of one of the ancient empires (I was Carthage in our game, with Rob playing Egypt, Dan playing Babylon, Jesse playing Rome, and AJ playing... Macedon, maybe?

Anyway, in this game, you're generating resources, building military units, expanding and trying to form alliances (mainly to let you build unimpeded), trading, and acquiring leaders/wonders in order to increase your various empire stats (culture, military, and something else), which will let you choose the order of various parts of the turn.

Anyway, early in the game, I'm able to arrange enough trades to allow me to buy one of the Leaders, who gave me additional dice in military conflicts, which was helpful in ensuring that I wasn't an easy target for invasion.  For the most part, I was left alone throughout the game, and maintain leadership in the Culture track, and eventually start doing pretty well, getting within one Wonder/Leader of winning, as well as putting together a pretty impressive military force (primarily my navy!). Dan had spent this time getting into good shape, winning a very favorable war against AJ, who was also getting beat up upon my Rome. Egypt had made some advances as well, but had mostly stayed out of the fighting.
The game end came suddenly. Rob looked like he was about to get to 12 coins, but Jesse responded to that by taking over some of the income generating places. Dan tries to go for a win soon after by taking over enough capitals- I respond to that, and also invade one of Rob's provinces, in an attempt to go for the win as well- all I need to do is generate enough different resources to buy the final Wonder I need.

However, Rob had planned accordingly, and leading in the appropriate track, he could determine the build order. He built first, built what he needed to win, and that was the game. I would've won on my turn, at least.

Overall, I really really loved this game, but I admit I might not buy it- I can't imagine not playing on that beautiful huge gaming mat!

We decided to finish the evening off playing Shadows of Brimstone. I chose the Jargano Native, because he was new and different. I won't go into great detail of this one because we basically got overwhelmed really badly in our second fight, and ended up having to call it early, because one of our party members had imbibed too much, and it was clearly affecting him.
With that, we packed up, and called it a night, and got to bed. I spent a bit organizing some games and reading a bit of rules before going to bed, in case we played anything I had brought.

Monday, March 12, 2018

PrezCon Day 1 [Boardgames]

Well, I'm only a few weeks late in getting this out, but I figured I'd finally get a write-up of my time at PrezCon!

For those who don't know, PrezCon is a boardgame convention that takes place in Charlottesville, VA, in the DoubleTree hotel.  This year, it ran from February 19th to February 25th, although I only was there from the Thursday (the 22nd) to the end.

There are a bunch of tournaments, auctions, and various other things going on, but in general, we just bring games and play what we feel like.

This year, I brought a slimmed down selection of games (normally I bring a ton!).  I limited myself to the following:
  • The Great Game (my newest arrival from Legion Wargames)
  • Chariots of Rome (a Chariot racing game from Victory Point Games)
  • Old School Tactical (WWII Tactical Combat, from Flying Pig Games)
  • Millennium Blades (a CCG Simulator game from Level 99 Games)
  • Mansions of Madness (exploring a haunted mansion, from Fantasy Flight Games).
Considering the fact I've brought over a dozen games before, I did pretty well.  I've learned- I almost never play anything I bring (this year, I played one).  Why bother?  Plus, it's much easier to carry in and out.
Literally, everything I brought
Rob, my normal PrezCon gaming partner, brought a bit more!
Every year, I take these pictures, haha

He also trimmed down significantly!

This year was different in that we knew other people who were coming who we were planning to games with (although normally we do play games with Mark, who also attends, but this time was a larger commitment). AJ, Dan, and Jesse were soon to be our frequent opponents, and we as a group were eager to get down and get to gaming!

We started the convention playing Blood Rage, from CMON/Guillotine Games.  This is a game where each player is a Viking clan, and you're attempting to gain VPs from various things- Pillaging, winning battles, having your guys go to Valhalla, among other things.

The game also involves drafting cards for abilities/upgrades, and takes place over three ages.

In Age 1, we draft, and not really knowing what I'm doing, I end with the following.
I decide to start with Frigga's Chosen, giving me a Mystic on the board that I can generally keep alive. I try to focus on the Yellow provinces, in order to complete my quest.
I end up winning two Pillages on the turn, both going to battle, gaining me a few Glory and two clan stats, but the second Pillage involved a player playing a card to steal my last Rage for the turn, and I don't have the action I need to play the quest (meaning I don't score it).  Curses!

I end the first Age with three guys in a Yellow zone, and at 14 total Glory, with Dan leading at 24.

We start the second Age, and draft.  I end up with the following.
I actually think I have a decent shot at all three quests, and begin by trying to Pillage, but the challenge by people causes me a Rage and Glory loss. I try to spread out to get in on some fights, but space is tough to find at this point. It clears a lot when Dan attempts to pillage the center, causing a large fight for everyone, but he ends up winning.
End of the second Age.  Valhalla is really filled up, if you can't tell (on the left)
I make way too many mistakes this turn, and end up completing zero of my three quests (I think I misread one, forgot about the ships for one, and messed up placement on the one?). Anyway, with no successes, this turn was tremendously disastrous, and I end with 20 total Glory.  The leader is Jesse with 65, and Dan is in second with 49.

The third Age is really rough for me- without the clan bonuses, I don't really compete in any arena, so I try to do what I can to grab a few points (with my Loki's Eminance upgrade).  The leaders kept rolling, others did a good job of keeping up... and I floundered.  End result was me in dead last with 47 point (Rob was 2nd last, at 57).  Winner was Dan, I believe, with 158 points. 

This was a pretty fun game! I don't think I'll end up getting it, but I like how they gave quite a few ways to go for victory, and how easy the game was to sit down and play. I'd definitely play it again.

We all took a break to go get some drinks before getting some more PrezCon in (it was about evening at this point). The hotel has beers in a size called 'half yard', which we couldn't turn down.
The first of... a few
We decided to set up and play Terraforming Mars next, a game that everyone really likes (and I freaking love). We got dealt our corporations, and I ended up being Inventrix, the corp that lets me be a bit more flexible in the Oxygen/Temperature requirements/limits for cards I play- an ability I used twice, all game.  We also played with the Venus expansion which.. was just okay, really (didn't really add all that much in our game).

I didn't really have anything exciting in my early cards, so I wended up going for a energy/heat generation strategy, moving to straight heat generation.  I actually do pretty good on this, raising the temperature pretty quick (which is worth some points), but I really didn't have a good end-game idea at this point.

I finally get a Development Center built, which gives me a way to turn some energy into card draw, which is great.  I then manage to get a card that lets me turn energy into points, and I decide to go heavy into energy, and hope for the best. I quickly get what I need to get that energy production up to seven.  Then nine...
Then fourteen.  However, I once again neglect putting pieces on Mars itself, which once again bites me some.
Still, I feel like I managed to get back into the game, which was an improvement for how much of the game felt!

We did the final scores, and I ended up dead last, again, with 57 points.  The winner was Dan with 82 points (the next lowest score was someone at 61).

Despite my poor showing, this is a game I love. And as I felt after the first time I played, I really want to try a new strategy, to see how it went. People ignored all the animal/bacteria cards again, for the most part. Maybe I can try using them next time?

At this point, we decided to call it a night- we had all traveled down here during the day, and I had worked in the morning. Determined to get an early start tomorrow, and getting nice and rested so we could get a lot more gaming in. Thus ended Day 1!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Battle Report, Minions vs Mercenaries, 2/8/18 [Warmahordes]

Managed to get another game of Hordes played (third this year!), this time bringing my Minions at 75 points, the most I've ever swung with this faction!

I played against Joey, who also managed to get his army up to 75 points, and was eager to play his first ever game at the points value.

I decided to try out Maelok, who I enjoyed in Mk2, and was eager to see how he'd play in Mk3. After weeks of working hard at assembly, I brought the following:

Minion Army - 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Blindwater Congregation

(Maelok 1) Maelok the Dreadbound [+28]
- Blackhide Wrastler [16]
- Bull Snapper [0(5)]
- Ironback Spitter [14]
- Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [4]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [4]
Thrullg [5]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers [10]
Gatorman Posse (max) [16]
Gatorman Posse (max) [16]
Gatorman Posse (max) [16]
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew [2]

My beast complement is basically unchanged from any other game, as these are the only beasts I have assembled. I realize I really need to get hold of a Blind Walker- Maelok and Calaban can really make good use of it, I think, but I didn't have time to grab one. I ordered one unit of Gatormen Posse from my local Game Store (Games and Stuff), but it didn't arrive in time (despite assurances to the contrary), so I'm also proxying a unit of them this game with Cryx miniatures.

Otherwise, my thought with this list is that 120 health of Gatormen Posse would be really tough to deal with, especially with the great armor from Unyielding and Death Pact. The Witch Doctors would be there to sacrifice Shamblers if I could find good targets, and speed up Posse units where needed. I figured that I could win by assassination (Mortality + Posse to the caster, or something), or grind down an opponent (and I could Revive Posse, if needed). So yeah, I'm pretty happy with this list.

Joey currently only runs Rhulic Mercenaries, but has been building and painting diligently, and was able to drop a 75 point army for the first time. He brought the following:


Mercenary Army - 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Hammer Strike

(Ossrum 1) General Ossrum [+28]
 - Ghordson Driller [10]
 - Ghordson Driller [10]
 - Ghordson Driller [10]
 - Grundback Gunner [6]
 - Grundback Gunner [6]
Hammerfall High Shield Gun Corps (max) [16]
 - Hammerfall High Shield Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [0(6)]
Horgenhold Artillery Corps [0(6)]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (min) [10]
Horgenhold Forge Guard (min) [10]
Tactical Arcanist Corps [7]
Hammerfall Siege Crawler [18]

More of the same, really... aside from the Siege Crawler. I didn't really didn't give it too much though- I figured that once I had to deal with it, I'd find some way to do so, with the Blackhide, the Posse, and Mortality in some combination. Regardless, this is a tough list to eat through- his army has a lot of staying power, and with Ossrum's feat, can get where it needs to be.

We rolled for scenario, and rolled The Pit II (the Championship Belt), and Joey won the roll to go first, and elected to go second, choosing the side that would ensure he had good shooting lanes.

Gator deployment
My deployment spread out across the board, with a Witch Doctor behind each of two units of Posse, one on my left, and one on my right. You can probably tell that on the right, I have that unit of Gatorman Posse proxied by Cryx minis. I actually was eager for them to get killed, just to have Minion only minis on the board, haha.

Dwarf Deployment
That Battle Engine sure does take up some space!

Turn 1
My turn basically involved running almost everything in my army but Maelok up, and casting Death Pact and Soul Harvester onto the unit of Gatorman Posse on my left.  I figured with two units of infantry staring at them- the Gun Corps and Forge Guard- they'd have ample opportunity to generate some souls for Maelok over the course of the game.
Mid Turn 1
Joey starts the turns by having Ossrum cast Fire For Effect on the Siege Crawler and Snipe on one of his Artillery, then advances forwards. The Battle Engine moves up, and with no better targets, shoots at the objective, dealing 11 damage to it.  The Siege Crawler also uses its Periscope ability to target the Totem Hunter, on the other side of the board, removing its Stealth.

The Snipe'd Artillery takes a shot at the Ironback Spitter, somehow misses, and scatters to no effect.  The other Artillery moves up, and decides to go after the objective, and finishes it off, giving him the first (and our only!) scenario point.

On my left, the Gunner moves up and kills my Totem Hunter, and the Gun Corps move up and Shield Wall, so they can threaten that left zone on the next turn.

The rest of his army runs forward.
End Turn 1
Turn 2
I have the Soul Slave start the turn casting Soul Harvester onto the rightmost unit of Gatormen Posse, who are able to charge and get a few attacks on his rightmost artillery.  I'm able to get attacks on two members of the unit, which manages to effectively remove the artillery (the piece isn't close enough to the last model in the unit for Take Up to trigger).  This gives two souls to Maelok.

I have the Spitter move up to get into the zone, and shoot at the Battle Engine, dealing three damage.  Honestly, I don't know why I bothered shooting at that instead of infantry.  Got distracted by the size, I guess?

I have the Swamp Gobbers move up and drop a cloud to give my left-hand unit of gators something to hide behind, move everything else up, and have Maelok cast Death Pact and Soul Harvester back onto that left unit of Posse.
Middle of Turn 2- blood beginning to flow

Joey allocates two focus apiece to his left-most and right-most Drillers, and upkeeps Fire for Effect.

He decides to activate the Siege Crawler first, with a lot of targets around. He gets 3 shots on the Quadcannon, and shoots, killing a Gatorman and one of the Shamblers.

The Gunner on my left activates, aims and shoots at the Gatorman in the cloud, and drops five damage onto it. His remaining artillery piece shoots at the Bokor, which ends up removing quite a few Shamblers.

Ossrum follows up by feating, advancing, and killing the last Shambler.

With the feat up, his models get a lot faster, and he rushes things into combat.

The Driller on my right charges the Ironback Spitter, leaving him at 4 health. Driller on my left charges the Blackhide Wrastler, and leaves him at 2.

The Gun Corps move up, shoot at a bunch of Gatormen, killing one, and causing another one to knockdown from Tough.  The Forge Guard on the left charge, killing a Gatorman, and killing the Bokor.

The Forge Guard on my right charge the Posse on my right, and kill two of them, and is joined by the Gunner, who shoots and kills a third.  With that, he ends the turn.
End Turn 2
Turn 3
Well, that went a little worse than I expected- I was hoping for fewer dead Posse members, and at least some of the Shamblers to be around.  Plus, both my heavies are pretty badly damaged, which is bad news.

I decide that there's enough of a chance for me to try to kill Ossrum that I go for it (more on this later). I activate Maelok, who moves up, pops his feat, cast Mortality on Ossrum, and heal my beasts so they have all of their aspects.

Going in for the kill, I have the Spitter move out of combat (Incorporeal), and shoot at Ossrum, dealing five damage.

I look around, and realize that I really can't get much else there- it's either too far, or can't draw a line of sight. Still, throwing some damage on him could be helpful anyway, so I have my left Gatorman Posse unit activate- one is able to see Ossrum and is in range to charge, and does so. I get decent rolls, and Ossrum ends at 2 health (two pips away from a glorious win!). The other Gators in that unit kill maybe three Forge Guard.

I don't have anything else really available to go after him though, and get to work on dealing with the rest of his army.  I use the Thrullg to disrupt one of the left Drillers, and have the Blackhide Wrastler destroy the other one (barely, due to Ossrum's feat). My right Gatorman Posse kill a few Forge Guard as well.

Overall, I did a bunch of damage to Ossrum, a bunch of damage to his Forge Guard, but I'm down to only a single Fury on Maelok (although I have a few souls).  If I survive the turn, I feel like I'm in pretty good shape.
Mid Turn 3
Joey sees an opportunity to go after Maelok here, with only one Fury on him, and decides that's a good path to go.  He starts by upkeeping Fire for Effect on the Battle Engine, allocating some focus on the Driller on my right, and begins the turn by activating his artillery to shoot at Maelok. The shot misses, and scatters to no effect.

The Driller turns around and kills the Ironback Spitter and one of the Posse members. The Disrupted Driller swings at the Blackhide Wrastler, but doesn't do any damage.  The Gun Corp move up and kill the Witch Doctor on my left.  The Forge Guard on my right activate, and kill a single Gatorman.

The Gunner on my left aims, and shoots at the Gatorman engaging Ossrum, hoping to clear him off.  He shoots and hits, and I pass my Tough check, but Ossrum then finishes him off with a melee attack.

The Battle Engine aims and shoots at Maelok, causing me to transfer quite a bit of damage to the Bull Snapper, and taking a bit, but it leaves Maelok alive, and Joey passes the turn.  Ossrum was camping two focus, I believe.

Turn 4:
I decide to keep going for the kill! With the souls generated last turn, I have 9 Fury.  I decide my best best is to start with a boosted Mortality, and then Venom twice (boosting damage on one).  I have another Gatorman Posse that can get to him as well, and that should be enough to do the job.

I start the turn, move Maelok up, boost on the Mortality, needing a seven... and roll a five (on three dice).  Crap.  I debate what to do, and decide to attempt the Venoms, hitting with one, and boosting it to do five damage (which Ossrum negates with Focus).

I activate the Posse, bringing the one member into contact with Ossrum... and miss both attacks.

I spend the rest of the turn killing models, but Maelok has no Fury, and I'm not on position to protect him.

On Joey's turn, the Corrosion expires, the Battle Engine activates, and finishes Maelok off.

Minions lose!

Overall, that was a fun game, and felt like it was a lot more dynamic and movement filled that our previous games. Scenario didn't really come up a whole lot, but we certainly were playing with it in mind.

I honestly feel like I was in great position to win- had that Mortality on the last turn hit, I certainly would've won the game, and if my Gatorman had rolled a tiny bit better on some of their attacks, that probably could've done the trick too.

Looking back, I have to wonder if I wouldn't have been better off ignoring the assassination attempt, and instead going for attrition. With the Forge Guard already committed, and with Mortality giving me a really good way to deal with them, I really think I could've waited the turn out, killing Drillers, healing my beasts, and maybe reviving a Posse member each of those last two turns, and eventually Joey would've run out of troops to win the game. Next time I'm in that position, I'll really consider that better.

I really liked Maelok- I love the threat his feat gives, and I love Death Pact's ability to really up the armor on my troops. Normally, that would give them a great chance to survive charges, I think, and then Mortality + the awesomeness of Posse would wear most armies down.

Definitely looking forward to trying him again, but first, I'm going to try Barnabas1. Hopefully before the end of the month!