Sunday, December 30, 2018

Gameplay Summary of 2018

With the year winding down, and with there being a good chance I don't play any more games for the year, I wanted to look back over my year of gaming briefly.

First, let's look at the ten games I played the most this year:
  1. Splendor - 31 plays
  2. Magic: The Gathering - 30 plays
  3. Warhammer Underworlds - 23 plays
  4. Settlers of Catan - 16 plays
  5. Warmachine/Hordes - 14 plays
  6. Codenames - 14 plays
  7. Android: Netrunner - 13 plays
  8. Mutant: Year Zero - 13 plays
  9. Ticket to Ride - 10 plays
  10. Lost Cities - 8 plays
I played a lot of different games this year only one time, but these are interesting to look at.  A lot of my gaming lately is with friends who are new gamers, and with my wife becoming more interested in gaming, I am playing a larger amount of "light" games like Splendor, Catan, and Ticket to Ride.

For RPGs, my play this year was limited to those 13 sessions of Mutant: Year Zero, and a single session of Technoir.  Overall, it's kind of a shame.  I don't love Mutant: Year Zero- I dislike the setting, and I strongly dislike the system itself.  Yet, that's what Rob chose to run, so I'm playing through it.  Technoir is interesting, but I don't have enough experience to know how I like it long term.  I wish I had gotten a bit more variety here, maybe with some of the systems I'm actually interested in.

For card games, my gaming exposure this year was pretty limited.  Sure, Magic got a moderate amount of plays, but Netrunner basically died of, and we barely touched Arkham Horror this year.  I did play some Star Wars: Destiny, but after selling that off, I won't likely play it ever again.  I tried Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions for a bit, and I may give it more attention at some point.  Eric expressed interest in the Star Wars LCG, too, which also got on the table.  Overall though, the amount of different games I've played this year in this category is WAY WAY down.

Miniature gaming is finally picking up for me again.  Warhammer Underworlds is helping, as it is so quick to get games in that we can easily put it on the table.  I've rediscovered my love of Warmachine and Hordes as well, exciting me to get it played.  Kill Team, a recent release, also saw the table a few times.  But the others- Malifaux, Armada, and X-Wing- they did not get on the table nearly as much this year as I'd have liked.

For straight tabletop board wargames, not a single game had more than one play.  I did get a few played this year- Battle of Five Armies, Blitz!, Star Fleet Battles, and Strike of the Eagle.  This was hindered by limits to my time and inability to have a cat-safe space available.  Hopefully the near year will see an improvement here as well.

Finally, the board games that don't fit the above categories.  Overall, I think I've been growing here.  My wife's interest in board games really helps.  And what's more fun then sitting down to share something you love with someone you love?  The fact she has friends that are enjoying it just gives me more opportunities to play, and combine that with my friends?  The future for getting games in this category played is bright indeed!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Weekly-ish summary for week ending 12/29/18

This has been a pretty hectic month, with the holiday and all.  I did manage to get some work done on the basement, however! It is fully primed (twice!), and we've set up wire shelving in one part, where all of my card game boxes have started to get organized.  Progress is being made!

I want to make a brief mention of a friend's blog- Boardgame Strategist.  This is written by a local friend, Dan, where he discusses his thoughts on improving gameplay for a variety of boardgames.  Take a look!

Games Played
  • Warhammer Underworlds - Six games, all against my brother, Matt.  The first three games were basically teaching games, where Matt was able to get more experience with the game and the rules.  I used it to good effect, however, and managed to get a little bit of practice with the Thorns of the Briar Queen.  Matt then proceeded to get all of the available product, and showed up this past Wednesday to play.  Game one, I ran Spiteclaw's Swarm against his Sepulchral Guard.  Matt, having neither used the Guard, nor seen them in action, basically lost on setup- he put the Warden too far forward, and I was able to kill him before the first turn was over.  Unable to resurrect his Petitioners, he parked two of them on objectives, and sent the named guys forward.  I keep killing them, and end up winning 13-5.  Game two, I again run the Skaven, and Matt drops Steelheart's Champions.  He used a deck he found online, and came out playing aggressive.  I kill two of the members, losing a few myself, but then I pull my warband back away from his, and score a bunch of objectives.  I end up winning 10-6.  I point out to Matt that he is likely running a defensive deck- coming forward should be secondary to scoring his objectives, which are designed around keeping his guys healthy.  Final game, I switch to the Cursebreakers, and he keeps running the Champions.  He plays more defensively, but leaves one of his guys too far forward, and I kill it.  He attempts to enact vengeance, but leaves Stormsire on one health.  I manage to get Stormsire back, however, and pull everything too far away for him to do anything to me, and manage to win, 9-6.
  • Settlers of Catan - One game, against Marina, Christian, Megan, and Andre.  A pretty interesting game- Andre decided to go after Marina the entire game, which led to her trying to get revenge, and ended up with them unable to really compete for first place.  Christian and Megan race for the win, and Megan eventually gets what she needs to win.
  • KeyForge: Call of the Archons - One game, against Matt.  This was my first time trying this game, which has been extremely popular.  It has fairly common mechanics, with the distribution scheme being the most interesting draw.  Overall, it was fine.  I don't love it, but I suppose I could consider buying a deck in order to play it with interested people.  Maybe.  I end up defeating Matt in our game.
  • Warhammer 40K: Kill Team - One game, I take the Gellerpox Infected with three Nightmare Hulks and a Nurgling dude against Matt's Genestealer heavy Tyranids.  I take quite a beating, but I can't get models to the objectives, and Matt can.  Even though I do eventually kill quite a few of his models, he is able to outnumber me in quite a few battles, kill some Nightmare Hulks, and outscore me heavily.  He ends up crushing me, something like 19-4.
  • Mutant Year Zero - One session.  This is with Rob as our GM, and we had myself, Dan, and Mark as the players.  In this campaign, I am playing as Lug, a Bruiser.  This session, I manage to kill some spiders, and we make contact with a woman in the north, who will help us in our battle with the Singing Monolith. 
  • Hordes - One game against Joey.  I run my Maelok Blindwater Congregation list against Joey running his Ossrum Hammer Strike list.  I make a bad mistake, letting him score three control points on the bottom of turn two.  I respond by putting a unit of Gatormen Posse into each zone, and begin going for attrition.  We trade pieces, but in general, I'm getting good value out of my trades.  He is forced to commit Ossrum to try to clear the zone on my left, and when he does, I kill him, and win.
New Arrivals
  • Necromunda: Underhive.  My wife bought this for me as a Christmas gift, as I had been eyeing it for some time.  I played Necromunda in college, and am really excited to try the new version.
  • Saipan & Tinian: Island War Series, Volume I.  This is a re-release from Legion Wargames, a company I frequently by wargames from.  Small company plus a pacific theater wargame?  How could I pass that up?
  • Armies of the Hobbit, for the Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game.  I stopped playing the previous version of the game before all of the Hobbit material was released, so I'm pretty excited to have all the rules and point costs for the Hobbit-relevant models.  As I try to get back into this game, I'll eventually pick up an army from this book, I'm sure.
  • A Bog Trog Mist Speaker and a Gremlin Swarm for Hordes.  These are going to be additions to my Rask Will Work for Food list.  A support solo and a great flag-scoring solo.
  • Destroyers starter box for Monsterpocalypse.  I already had the Protectors starter, but I wanted the included map, and really- I played Lords of Cthul so much that I consider myself more of a Destroyers player anyway.
  • Deadpool vs the World.  This was another gift from my wife.  A bit random, but hey, more casual games is never a bad thing for when we have guests!
  • Buffy Battles for VS 2PCG.  Two new teams, ten new Main Characters, and a bunch of new cards to add the Photographic Universe.  I really wish I had chances to play this game.
  • Space Marine Adventures: Labyrinth of the Necrons.  I bought this because it looked like a fun game to play with my nephews and niece- it is a cooperative game that has miniatures I can have the kids paint, and we can all play together, and looks interesting enough that their parents would play.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • I finished the assembly of the Gellerpox Infected for Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team.  I put them on the table, as well!
  • Finished the December issue of White Dwarf.  What a fantastic issue- lots of new rules and variants in addition to all the regular articles.  The January issue is looking to be very impressive as well!
  • Continued reading Anna Karenina.  Finished part five of eight.  Fantastic book.
  • Finished the Overlight RPG core rulebook.  Seems pretty interesting, but I wish they had more content out, I have so many questions.  With that said, I may try running this next year!
  • Started Spear of Ultramar, a part of the Black Library novella series.  So far, it is unimpressive.
  • Started and completed The Blooded Rose, a part of the Black Library novella series.  I was very impressed with this- I haven't read very much fiction about the Sisters of Battle, and this was very good.  Well written with an interesting plot.  
  • Started and completed Auric Gods, a part of the Black Library novella series.  This one is a story dealing with the Adeptus Custodes, another group I've never read fiction for.  Once again, a very very interesting tale!  I'm really finding these novellas to be a great value, overall! 
  • Finally, started and finished Steel Daemon, another of novellas.  This follows the story of a Cadian tank regiment.  This, once again, was fantastic.  If you haven't tried the novellas, you should!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Kings of War: Vanguard Unboxing (from Kickstarter)

A bit delayed, as I've had this in my hands for some time and I've already seen these in the shop.  But for anyone interested, I figured I'd show a bit about the game and the components.  This is going to be part one of covering what was included, and I don't expect I will need more than a second article.

The rulebook has a nice look.
Came with a nice marker to identify me as a Kickstarter backer.  How nice!  The rules themselves seem pretty straightforward at first glance- you generate Power at the start of the turn in order to power special abilities, then take turns activating models for movement, combat, and the like.  There's an included campaign system that looks interesting.  Looks like it will be quick, and a lot of fun!  The challenge, of course, will be finding people to play against.

Other components included:
 A BUNCH of cards, for the various units in the game.  Many are for included models, some are for models not included (nor in the rulebook at the moment!).
 A sheet of counters.
A paper gaming mat, that looks to be 3'x3'.

And then we move onto the miniatures.  In this article, I'll show two of the warbands I've received.

First, we have the Basileans.
What came with my Basilean warband.  Dice, bases, a box with resin miniatures, and a bunch of other miniatures.

To start, I received two packages with these sprues:
I believe these make up the Men-at-Arms.

And I received three packages with these sprues:
These look to be the Sergeants, Paladin Defenders, Sisterhood, Sisterhood Scouts, and the Panthers.  Quite a nice collection of miniatures, although quite a bunch of the plastics are bent.  Shouldn't be too much trouble to fix, when I get there.

We come to the box:
Pretty clear what is included.
 A choice of heads and arms for the Ogre is a nice inclusion.
Overall, the resins look great!  A very nice level of detail on these, although they'll be significant work to get that far, I think.

Next, we have the Nightstalkers warband.
 As before, I received two of these sprues...
 Which are the Scarecrows and Spectres. 

I received three bags of these...
 Which are Phantoms, Horrors, Reapers, Buthers, and Shadowhounds.  Very interesting looking minis!

Another box happily telling me what is included.
 The Mind Screech:
 And finally, the Shade:

So there you have it- some pictures of the unassembled minis for two of the warbands.  I'll work to get the rest of the stuff photographed and loaded up early in the new year.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Weekly Summary for Week Ending 12/8/18

Alright, dog-sitting ended Tuesday, which means I started getting back into my gaming routine somewhat.  No work got done on the basement, which is a big limit on what and how much I actually do, but progress will be made shortly.

Games Played
  • Warhammer Underworlds - Three games against BK.  I built some new decks, and assembled some new warbands, and too them to the table against BK at Gritty Goblin Games, my first time playing at that store.  BK used Stormsire's Cursebreakers in all three games.  Game 1, I used Spiteclaw's Swarm (Skaven), with a primarily objective focused deck.  I get some early objectives, but after arming Skritch with Swirling Halberd (letting me attack multiple enemies), I spend the rest of the game missing every attack, and lose 9-14.  Game two, I feel like I play a bit better, my dice are better, and I actually do smart things like running away from fights that I can't win, and win 9-4.  Final game, I switch to Thorns of the Briar Queen.  I actually think I play pretty well, moving all of my Chainrasps up into position, aside from a turn where BK and I spend attack after attack to no effect.  BK's deck just proves to be better, and he turns what I think is a slight advantage to me into a massive advantage for him, scoring a bunch to end the game, depriving me of a bunch of pieces, and I lose 4-10.
    End of Turn 1 in our first game.  I end up losing.
  • Terror in Meeple City - one game against Christian.  This is a dexterity game of monsters destroying a city.  I end up losing, but we definitely do a number on the city.  Let me post a before and 'in progress' picture:
    Before the first moves of the game.

New Arrivals
  • December issue of White Dwarf magazine.  Lots of new content for some of their games, so I'm pretty excited to read it.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Assembled the Skaven and Nighthaunt warbands for Warhammer Underworlds.  Then played them in a game!
  • Worked on the Gellerpox Infected for Warhammer 40K: Kill Team.  Assembling two more Hullbreakers.  I might get a chance to play them next week.
  • Finished the November issue of White Dwarf.
  • Began reading the Overlight RPG Core book.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Weekly Summary for week ending 12/01/18

This was a week where I continued work on the basement (my eventual gaming den), and was given a surprise dog-sitting assignment, which has, once again, slowed me down in my hobby life.  With luck, maybe I can get a week where I have no abnormal commitments, and can get some stuff done!

Games Played
  • Massive Darkness - Two games.  Rob and I restarted the story mode that we had tried to play when MD first came out, some time ago.  With a re-read of the rules, integrating all of the expansions, and preparing properly, we had some pretty good games.  We played the first scenario twice, losing the first time, but replaying it with some slightly better gear, and finally succeeded.  I am going to be using Mila, who can leg swipe enemies, dealing non-action damage at times, and taking the Shadow Barbarian class.  So I'm great at dealing damage, and have decent defense without armor.  Rob is taking Ajax, the Dark Magician, who could resurrect friendly heroes (although it's a bit tough to do with only two players).  He is taking the Sorcerer class, giving him some bonuses to his Magic attacks. 
New Arrivals
  • The core rulebook and the GM Screen for the Overlight RPG. I am going to be running an RPG campaign some day, hopefully in the near future.  More on this when that gets closer to happening.
  • A unit of Black Ogrun Boarding Party for Warmachine.  I know there's a bit more doom and gloom the last two days, with Will Pagani announcing his departure.  I try to stay positive, and that means I'll continue buying PP models for the games I enjoy.
  • Mini Expansion #6: Professionals, for Millennium Blades.  We enjoyed the game the one time we played, so I wanted to make sure I have all the currently released expansions.
  • Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress.  My brother expressed interest in this.  I'm interested in this.  My friends have some interest in this.  I mean, how could I resist?  It looks like a ton of fun.  I still haven't opened it, but man, once that basement is set up, I'll be having some people over to play this.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • None
  • Read up through the halfway point in Anna Karenina.
  • Started reading the November issue of White Dwarf.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Post-Thanksgiving update (11/24/2018)

Sporadic still, as my wife and I worked most nights to get our house ready for Thanksgiving.  Now that it is done, I can get some more time to play, and hopefully work on my basement, where I'll FINALLY get some space and time to work on my hobbies again!

Games Played
  • Ticket to Ride: One game with my wife and her uncle and cousin. I decided to just go for the longest destination tickets I drew, and started with a Santa Fe-Vancouver one.  When I completed that, I drew again, and kept Montreal-Vancouver.  When I finished that, I added a few small paths to extend the longest route... and ended up winning, ending at 106 points.  Second place was Marina, at 102.
  • Settlers of Catan: One game with my wife and her uncle and cousin.  I put my initial settlements touching at least one of each resource type, with a second wood available.  My one settlement got blocked from expanding pretty early, but the one closest to me was able to create a lot road chain, and get some new settlements.  Those became cities in no time, and before I knew it, I was sitting at 10 points.  I think Kristina and Vaidas tied for second, at seven apiece.
  • Catan Dice Game: This was a game I played against Christian, as he tries to get into gaming, and I show off new things.  We played both versions, with him winning one, and me winning the other.  This was my first time playing this, and it was pretty fun- something fun and easy I could get for traveling.
  • No Thanks!: One game with Christian.  This is NOT a two player game, but we tried it out, because Christian was interested in the designer.  It ended up being still moderately interesting, but definitely not something I'd play with only two again.  I think I'd like it with three or more though, definitely.
  • Warhammer 40K: Kill Team: Two games with BK.  First game, I ran the Starstriders against the Harlequins... and was not ready for that matchup at all.  He didn't fail a charge all game, and the end result was I was forced into a Leadership test turn two, that I failed, and lost.  Second game, I ran Grey Knights against Necrons.  We shot at each other from behind cover.  I managed to fail EVERY armor save I took, and then failed EVERY injury test I take.  Seriously.  Every single one.  I roll box-cars on my Leadership test, and lose.  I still enjoy the game.  I definitely think the Starstriders kind of stink.... but I'm not 0-4 in this game.  Maybe I'm the one who stinks?
New Arrivals
  • Counterfact Magazine, issue 9, titled "War in the Megacity".  It will be an interesting one.  I remember discussions about the viability of invading a city with a population of 10+ million, and the challenges armed forces would face in this scenario.  This game examines some of those.
  • Kings of War: Vanguard. This is a skirmish miniatures game set in the Kings of War universe. I have never played the full game, but Mantic has done okay in the rulesets I have played with (Dreadball and Walking Dead).  This looks interesting.  I'll have a post about this in the future, showing what I ended up getting (looks like four warbands?).
  • The newest release from Privateer Press' mini-crate, Lady of the Feast.  Very nice looking model, but I don't play Circle, and likely won't for some time. 
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • None.  I assembled three beds, a dresser, several tables, and painted several rooms.  Does that count?
  • Actually, nothing gaming related lately- I've been working on reading Anna Karenina, by Tolstoy.  Probably the best chance I have of ever finishing a Tolstoy book.  On part three, of eight.  Has been very interesting so far. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Summary since my last update (11/6/18)

I am running a bit behind, and had a big gaming weekend this past weekend, so I wanted to take this chance to catch up on things before trying to keep this actually up to date through November :)

Apologies for the wall of text!

Games Played
  • One game of Warmachine - I played a 75 point game against Joey, using my Maelok Blindwater Congregation list against his normal Ossrum Hammer Strike list.  Big changes for me were that I swapped out my Bull Snapper and Totem Hunter for a Boneswarm and Boil Master and Spirit Cauldron, which worked out very well- my Bull Snapper frequently doesn't get a whole lot done other than the occasional use of its animus- this was a light beast which came out and swung like a heavy.  I also included a Bone Shrine, but it was killed before it could do anything.  I ended up winning by assassination, but I was winning the attrition battle as well, and could have eventually taken it through scenario, I think.
  • Played a bunch of games at our yearly gaming retreat in Deep Creek Lake.  This is where a bunch of us go out, drink some beers, and play a bunch of games.  I got to play quite a few new things, which I'll list out here.
  • One game of Cards Against Humanity- this was just a good relaxing time with a lot of crude humor.  My team (Rob and I) tied for first, and lost the sudden death round :(.
  • Two games of Warhammer Underworlds.  I taught the game to my brother, Matt, and used the Stormsire Cursebreakers both times, first against my Steelheart Champions defensive warband, and then against a starter deck with the Thorns of the Briar Queen warband.  I lost the first game, and won the second.  Matt seemed to enjoy it- he went out and bought Magore's Fiends, and we'll find Nightvault on sale for him to buy.  Success!
  • Two games of X-Wing 2.0.  I had played quite a bit of X-Wing 1.0, and loved it, but I was starting to see several problems as well.  I was quite happy to have a new edition come out, and was overall pretty happy with how they went about getting that new edition to us.  I played two games of this, both using a Boba Fett/Guri list (Guri was one of my favorite pilots in 1.0).  I lost against Ben, who took a Rebel list of Wedge, Luke, and someone else.  I struggled to get the separation I needed to maneuver, and he just took me apart. The second game, I played my brother and his Soontir/Darth Vader/Academy Pilot list.  Here, I managed to get some good positioning, and took the victory.  I think I'm definitely a fan of this game, although it still feels a bit clunky to me for the moment.  I think that's just unfamiliarity with the changes, so I suspect it will fade in time.
  • One game of Root.  This was a fun game where each player is an alliance or empire of forest creatures fighting for supremacy.  Each faction has different capabilities and a different path to victory.  I played as the Woodland Alliance, who use guerilla tactics to make combat very costly for their opponents, and try to sway the Sympathy of areas to our cause.  I started off pretty slow, but jumped to a lead near the end, almost winning.  This caused everyone to target me, which set me back a bunch, but gave Dan an easy path to victory, which he took.  Definitely a game I would play again.
  • Two games of 40K: Kill Team.  I was using my Rogue Trader kill team without the Rogue Trader herself (as we weren't playing with the Commander rules), which the internet has told me is a pretty underpowered set-up.  They were right, it turns out.  I played a game against my brother's Grey Knight kill team.  I killed zero models, and got tabled.   I then played a three player game with Dan's Deathwatch kill team and Rob's Genestealer Cult kill team.  I got tabled (although I did kill a single model), and lost.  Overall, I really really enjoyed the system.  I just need to buy one of the real kill teams until we actually play with Commanders, haha.
  • One game of Millennium Blades with Rob and Matt.  This is a game I have owned for some time, but have never sat down to learn the rules enough to play.  We finally did so at the gaming trip, and played a game!  This is a CCG 'Simulator' board game.  You buy cards which represent packs, sell them, build decks, and play in tournaments.  It abstracts the booster pack to just the best card in the pack, but does a very good job of creating that CCG 'feel'.  Took us quite a while to play, but I suspect more experience would make this a decently fast playing game.  In the end, I was leading basically the entire game, and won two of the three tournaments.  Unfortunately, Matt had saved his money most of the game, and bought the victory points he needed to snatch victory from me.
  • One game of Discover: Land Unknown. This is one of FFG's Unique Games, where no two copies of the game will be exactly the same.  Here, we are adventures on an island where we explore an attempt to accomplish certain objectives.  We managed to accomplish the objectives, but misinterpreted some cards and continued to play after we had actually won, haha.  Overall, the game was decent, and did a good job getting us engrossed in the exploration.  I'd probably give it another go.
  • One game of Salem 1692.  A game of hidden witches, voting into player elimination, and baseless accusations.  Honestly, not my favorite implementation of this, and we ended up having to get a moderator to handle the hidden action part, because it was so clunky.  The Witches ended up winning because one of the human players, while a human, targeted and eliminated another human player.  That makes the witch's job a lot easier, and when another player became a witch... well, that was good night.
  • One game of Codenames: Deep Undercover.  Four rounds, I think. This is the adult version of Codenames.  Pretty fun around a bunch of guys who are drinking.  Much immaturity and crudeness.  Would do again.
New Arrivals
  • Two new packs for VS 2PCG (New Defenders, Sinster Syndicate).  I wish I played this more.  I have an opponent lined up, but the timing hasn't worked out yet.
  • Eyes of the Nine and Echoes of Glory for Warhammer Underworlds.  New cards, and a new warband!  I'm really enjoying the magic system for the game.  They've struck a good balance between its power, utility, and making it a mechanic that's different than just the regular attack/defense part of the game.  Can't wait to make some decks!
  • 1066, Tears to Many Mothers.  This is a recent Kickstarter delivery- a card game about the Battle of Hastings.  No deckbuilding, I believe, just two decks that are meant to be played against one another.  Yet another inclusion to my unplayed pile :).
  • November issue of White Dwarf.  Because yes, I read it now, apparently.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Completed my Rogue Trader kill team.  Got about halfway through the Gellerpox Infected kill team.
  • Started Mutants and Masterminds Deluxe Handbook, 3rd Edition. About halfway through.
  • Started and finished Middle Earth Strategy Battle game rulebook.  This has always been one of my favorite miniature games.  The new edition has me so excited, I just couldn't wait to get it and get working on my armies again.  Once again, I just need to find opponents.  And time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Weekly Summary for week ending 10/20/18

Late, once again. I swear, I'll get back in the right schedule as soon as I can!

Games Played
  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game.  We played The Pallid Mask, and I was Ashcan Pete. BK gave a description on his blog. Basically, we lost :(
  • Settlers of Catan.  This was actually the reason I didn't post this blog on time, as this game was running into the late hours of Saturday, throwing me off.  Anyway, we went to a friend's house, and played the "Caravans of Catan" scenario from the Barbarians and Traders expansion.  I managed to get my roads and settlements decently around the center of the board (the oasis), which helped get me the longest road, and added points for my settlements and city.  I ended up winning.  Megan was close behind, and had I not won, she was in very good shape to do so herself.
New Arrivals
  • New Monsterpocalypse starter (Defenders, specifically)!  I can't even explain how excited I am about this!  Let me get this on the table already!  For a bit, I'll probably have to use my old models, just because these are resin, and on clear bases, meaning I'll need to do some work, and will want to paint them before gluing them.  I REALLY need to get back into painting!
  • New Minicrate!
  • X-Wing 2.0- I have the new Core Set, and the Scum Conversion Kit.  I figure I'm the only player in our group with a good chunk of Scum ships, only makes sense for me to run them for now.  Seems pretty interesting, and I'm super eager to play this, as well.  A likely candidate for our upcoming gaming trip.
  • Maori Wars from Legion Wargames.  Battling against foreign invaders, the Maori were outnumbered and outgunned.  Should be an interesting game.  I'm a big fan of asymmetric warfare in game form, and this is a situation that definitely fits.  Great looking components.  Don't know when I'll play :(
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • None, unforunately.
  • Finished October White Dwarf.  They are doing a very good job with these, making them interesting enough to want to read!
  • Finished Cibola Burn, part of the Expanse series.  As the pacing increased, the book got more and more interesting.  I can't wait to read the next one!
  • Finished Beasts of Chaos Battletome.   Seems pretty good.  I own exactly zero applicable models.  I just wanted to see how the mechanics looked for a non-Order army.
  • Finished new Monsterpocalypse rulebook.  A few differences from the previous game, all in the interest of action and simplicity.  Movement doesn't cost Action Dice, in general, which means stuff is going to get around the table more.  No more spending Action Dice in the power up phase.  No more Crush rule.  Fewer triggers.  Seems to have a lot less unit buffs from your monster, from the monsters I've seen so far.  I can't say any of these are bad (some are great).  I just need to play it and see how I like it.
  • Finished X-Wing 2.0 rulebook.  Pretty similar to 1.0, but enough changes to make it a brand new game.
  • Finished Kobolds and Cobblestones rulebook.  This one seems to have some serious issues.  I'm not sure how it would actually work on the table, I have to admit.  Pretty low priority to try it out, too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October MiniCrate arrived! [Warmachine/Hordes]

Got something fun in the mail today!  What could it be?
Oooh!  The new MiniCrate from Privateer Press!  I can't actually remember which one I'm getting, so despite the frequent spoilers and articles, these actually still manage to be a surprise when they get to me.  Let's have a look!
Two miniatures??

Let's look at the included cards, so we know what we are getting.
Very cool.  Alright, onto the miniatures.
And of course, they look great.  I'm really excited to get the current run of these miniatures.  Many, I can't use yet, but man they look great.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Weekly Summary for week ending 10/13/18

Back to a regular gaming schedule!

I want to make mention of the blog of a friend of mine: Massively Miniaturized.  Once upon a time, my friends and I ALL blogged.  For a long time, it was just me.  However, finally, one other returns to the world of blogging...

Anyway, please check it out!

Games Played
  • Played a session of Mutant Year Zero, a roleplaying game set in a post-apocalyptic future.  In this one, we planned for a potential conflict with the Singing Monolith, talking to the bosses in the Arc, and prepared to find some allies to drag into the fight.  We caught rumors of a group up north that we could try to get involved.  We'll see how that goes.  In this campaign, I am playing as Lug, a Bruiser.  I am actually pretty dang scary when I am in combat.  And definitely not, outside of it.
  • Played three games of Warhammer Underworlds with BK.  He ran his Magore's Fiends warband, I tried out the new Stormsire's Cursebreakers, and my Chosen Axes warband.  Went 0-3, and I wouldn't say any of the games were remotely close.  Ooph.  Some of this was just bad play on my part.  Some was just... the Chosen Axes seem to not be good.  It's too difficult to Inspire them in a world with so many enemy pushes.  I'll probably switch to a different warband for a bit before giving them another shot.
New Arrivals
  • Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault.  I love Shadespire.  Why wouldn't I grab the next big thing for that game?  Adds magic!  And new warbands!  Oooh!
  • October issue of White Dwarf.  Came with a free pack of Age of Sigmar: Champions cards!
  • Kill Team: Rogue Trader.  If they would stock the original box, I would have bought that, but I wanted some new toys, and picked this up.  I can't wait to get to work on this, and may have a chance to play it next month!
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Assembled my Stormsire's Cursebreakers warband from the Nightvault Core Set! First miniatures I've assembled in some time.  They didn't perform great... but it was just a starter deck after all.
  • Read nothing, unfortunately.  Wasn't any time this past week.  Plan to read a lot next week!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Weekly Summary for week ending 10/6/18

A bit delayed.  We did the final move into our new house, then immediately went on a week long vacation.  Since I've had a bit of a gap between last post and this, this won't be a 'weekly' log, but a 'what have I done since last post' log.  I will get back onto my correct schedule this Saturday.

Games Played
  • Amazingly, despite all of that, I did get some games in...
  • Three games of Magic: The Gathering.  These were all Commander games against my oldest nephew, Jonas.  I went 2-1, using his decks, playing only two player games.  Two were in an airplane, one was on a hotel floor.  We tried to rope Matt into a game but he declined.  Sigh.  Anyway, I used his decks, and clearly, we have some work to do.  He doesn't quite get card synergy, or how the mana curve works.  We'll get him there though.
  • Five games of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions.  I'm kind of cheating by listing this, but I did technically play.  In this case, I played all the games on the app.  I had bought a starter to learn the rules, and then used the app to actually see the game in action.  Since they were all starter deck games, I won them all, then put in the few cards I have into the system.  I like the game, although I don't know that I love it.  I'm not sure I get the feel of the Age of Sigmar universe from the game..  Units and spells behave the same, you do anything when it isn't your turn... I don't know.  We'll see.  I'll keep playing it for a bit and decide then.
New Arrivals
  • Twilight of the Gods: Age of Revelation.  This is the first season of expansions for the Twilight of the Gods card game.  Looks like a freaking FANTASTIC non-collectible card game, with a lot of interesting choices in the game.  I still haven't played it though.  That clearly didn't keep me from buying expansions (or at least, backing them on Kickstarter).
  • A Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions Starter deck.  I chose Order.  For now.
  • Mutants and Masterminds Deluxe Core Book.  My nephew Jonas had expressed interest in playing "Dungeons and Dragons superheroes".  This is as close as I could get I think.  If he wants to play, I'll see what I can do to get him to play and enjoy it.  Who knows, maybe my wife and brother will play too.  A man can dream!
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Nothing.  Everything is packed up, unfortunately.
  • Read the rules to Age of Sigmar: Champions.  Mentioned this above.
  • Read the September issue of White Dwarf.  Good battle reports.  Makes me wish my minis were accessible so I can get back to playing again! (sooooooon, soon).
  • Finished the Stormcast Eternals Battletome.  Very interesting read.  Lots of background, which was more appealing to me for the moment, and the rules for the models look fun, although it's hard to gauge that with no experience in the game.  I suspect I'll be playing them first anyway though, so definitely a valuable read.
  • Started Cibola Burn, the fourth book in the Expanse series.  This is a series I quite enjoy- fairly hard sci-fi, with a lot of subterfuge, and hinted at horrors.  Got about halfway through the book, and things are picking up nicely.  Look forward to finish this next week.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Weekly Summary for week ending 9/15/18

House work continues, but I move this upcoming weekend, giving me a deadline for when I'll be back to normal gaming.  The above picture is a good sign of the state of my hobby collection for the moment.

Games Played
  • Played in a session of Mutant Year Zero run by Rob.  I am playing an Enforcer named Lug who is basically the perfect bruiser.  I didn't get a chance to use my abilities in our game though, as we talked with a matriarchal-ish group, then returned to the ark to discuss options for dealing with the new group.
New Arrivals
  • September issue of White Dwarf.  Who doesn't want new stuff to read?
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Nothing, unfortunately.
  • Finished No Quarter Prime #6.  The last issue ever!  It was really interesting to read all of that information about the Crucible Guard, however.  Very much work it if you are interested in the faction at all.
  • Read the rules to Blitz Bowl.  I tried teaching Blood Bowl to my brother some time ago, and he complained the game was too complicated (as if!).  I figure this would be a good one to look into, in order to see if it's simpler, but still keeping the flavor.  It seems like it will do a really good job, so I borrowed a rulebook to check it out.  Something I may get in the near future.
  • Started the Stormcast Eternals Battletome.  When Age of Sigmar 2.0 came out, I grabbed this, figuring I'd see some details of one of the factions in the game.  Still a lot to read here, but VERY interesting so far.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Weekly Summary for week ending 9/8/18

Another slow week on the gaming front, as we are still doing work on the new house.  I am still going to find time for a little gaming though, have no fear!

Games Played
  • None!  I expect next week I will get at least a game of something in.  I spent my normal gaming days this week up at the new house, spackling and sanding.
New Arrivals
  • August issue of White Dwarf.  It has been.... well, several years since my last White Dwarf, and I was curious how the issues looked now.  I have to say, the material for the cover is amazing, and makes the magazine FEEL much more impressive.  The content is also really good, I have to admit- this issue had a lot of content about Adeptus Titanicus, which I appreciated, and the battle reports included were a very enjoyable read.  I may grab the next issue as well, and see if I continue after that.
  • The Realmgate Wars: Volume 1.  After reading the Age of Sigmar core rulebook, I am at least a little interested in the setting and the game.  What better way to satisfy wanting more information about the setting?  Getting some of the fiction, of course.  It's a hefty book that should give me something to read for a few days.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Pretty limited this week- I started filing one of the Cryx heavy warjack kits (the Malice/Corrupter/Reaper one).  Did not get too far, however.  I know some people magnetize these kits, but I can't decide if I want to do that.  I own a single (metal) Reaper, and can't really see a use for another.  I don't own a Corrupter, but they have never been great.  I'm considering just assembling this as the character warjack, Malice, who I also don't own, as it would be a fun addition.  I'll think about it a little more before I continue with the assembly work.
  • Finished reading the Adeptus Titanicus rulebook.  This looks extremely interesting- a bit meatier than I was expecting, which was a pleasant surprise.
  • Finished reading the Kill Team rulebook.  About what I expected, which was perfectly fine.  Eager to build some Kill Teams!
  • Finished reading August issue of White Dwarf (mentioned above).  Overall, pretty good.
  • Started reading No Quarter Prime #6 (Crucible Guard issue).  The last issue of No Quarter!  That is sad news, but like almost all issues of their in-house magazine, it has been very interesting.  I love reading the background/fiction for the factions/themes covered in NQP, and hope that their increased digital presence carries this forward.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Weekly Summary for week ending 9/1/18

I've seen other blogs do this (like The Old West Chronicle), and I figured writing up a weekly summary might be a good way for me to collect my thoughts/accomplishments/random gaming things for the week easily.  We'll see how I like it after a week or two of it.

This week was a bit slow on the gaming front, as I focused on house-related things.  I finished the settlement for the house on Thursday, meaning I'm a homeowner for the first time in my life!  There's already so much I need to do, but even with that, I still found time for some gaming related things.

Games Played
  • Ticket to Ride: Two games with my wife and two of our friends (Megan and Christian).  I came in 2nd the first time, and 3rd the second time.  Christian won both games.  The second game, I wanted to see what happened if I tried to block all the east-west routes in the central of the country (all the small 2 or 1-train routes).  I blocked them all off, except for the one that was a double route.  Doing so didn't seem to hinder anyone.  Clearly, this is not a good strategy, at least for this iteration of the game.
  • Star Fluxx: One game, teaching and playing against Christian.  I don't particularly care for Fluxx- it is far too random to be enjoyable at all, but he wanted to try some lighter games, and I figured it's a good fit for that criteria.  I got the cards in my and that I needed to win, but Christian knew, and was able to play the card that switched our seating positions, taking my cards and board state.  I had one turn to stop him, didn't draw anything useful, and he won.
  • Odin's Ravens: Two games, teaching (and learning) and playing against Christian.  I won the first game, using my Loki cards to great effect.  He won the second game, as I got to the second to last spot, but didn't draw what I needed to advance.  This is my first time trying this one, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  Seems like a game my wife would enjoy, meaning it's something I'll have to consider picking up in the future.
New Arrivals
  •  Tiny Epic Zombies.  I did an unboxing post here.
  • VS System 2PCG: Spider-Friends.  An expansion for the non-collectible VS 2PCG card game.  I have opponents for this game finally, so with luck, I can finally get in some real games of this. 
  • Privateer Press mystery box!  Mine ended up being Retribution.  Guess that means I'm starting a Ret army (after my Minions... and Cryx... and Cygnar... and Mercenaries... and Legion... and Skorne... armies are done).  I may, however, assemble this a bit faster to play against BK and his upcoming mystery box.
  • Kill Team rulebook.  Rob bought the starter box, which is awesome, and I'm excited to play, but I wanted to have some time to assemble my own Kill Team, and it makes for an extremely fun modeling opportunity.  So... yeah, I'm going to read up on the rules myself, so we have a couple of people prepped to play.
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • Finished assembly of my Swamp Horror for Hordes.  He'll be a nice addition to my Rask battlegroup if I play Will Work For Food (Overtake plus a meaningful strength plus good range?  Heck yes).  It didn't go together quite perfectly though- I'll have to green stuff around his mouth piece to create a better join.

Plastic Terrain Bundle [Song of Ice and Fire Miniatures Game]

This was a KS-exclusive add-on, that basically gave you a set of the different plastic terrain choices they were offering during the campaign.  It came in a quite large box:
And has everything nicely packaged.

Per the campaign, the contents are:
  • 1 Trees Set
  • 3 Hedges
  • 3 Palisades
  • 3 Stakes
  • 2 Ruined Walls
  • 1 Low Wall
  • 1 Bog
  • 1 Weirdwood Tree Set
  • 4 Corpse Piles
  • 2 Plateau
So for simplicity, I'll just follow this order to show the pictures.

Tree Set:
Ruined Walls and Low Wall:
Bog (this is flat on the board):
Corpse Piles:
And the Plateaus:
If I listed more than one of something up top, but didn't take a picture that OBVIOUSLY had more than one of the item in it, the duplicates are identical (for example, I have two identical plateaus).

The terrain is really nice, and the colored plastic will make them look quite nice on the table until they can be painted a little (really, just a little drybrushing would probably make these look amazing).  As a miniature wargamer, you can never have enough terrain- although this is a great set of stuff to help ensure I have some interesting tables to fight over.  Great quality, good size, and quite a good amount.