Archives for September 2007

Bill Garnere Tribute Video

If you like the series “Band of Brothers” and 40’s style music you will love this video. Hilarious! “Wild” Bill Garnere in the 40’s was a tough kid from the streets of Philidelphia.

Halo 3 – The Game

 

Halo 3… raked in $170 Million dollars in one day. It beat the top grossing film of all time.

Halo 3… started life at a macintosh-based game company that eventually moved to the XBox.

Halo 3… Has an interesting storyline that takes many hours to tell with game play. This is the final chapter.

The picture accompanying this article was taken in-game on my Xbox 360. The system lets you record whole games and review them from any angle and any perspective. You can learn a lot about how to play by watching yourself through the eyes of others. You can also take some “group photos” finally! The title link will lead you to the place where I store my in game photos. The content of the link is likely to change on a whim but it is a neat way of sharing the experience with those who were there and others.

Armor is customizable. In Halo 2 I had a wasp icon as my badge. In Halo 3 I have taken the Yellow Jacket to the full extreme! As I progress new armor bits will become available and I will be able to even more fully customize my character.

It is hard to relate the fun that one has when playing with a regular group of friends. I can’t think of any video game I’ve enjoyed so regularily as this. Some have come close. Ghost Recon has a totally different style of play and I love it. It is hard to keep the momentum up for the game beyond a few months though for some reason. Maybe Halo has more options to make the competitiveness of the games more interesting. Maybe it just has the right mix of elements that force the game into brutal conflict as opposed to carefully laid ambushes. I’ll still enjoy both games.

The group that I play Halo with is called the Buttermen – a name shrouded in mystery whose origins are long forgotten. Or so they tell me.

Posted by Picasa

Comparison of Halo Actionclix’ figures to others

Here you can see a Halo Spartan with Assualt Rifle,
A Copplestone Zombie
A Halo Marine (note that the “human” figures are smaller than the Spartans by about a head)
A DDD Marine
and finally a Halo Spartan with Partice Beam Rifle.

I adjusted the figures with coins to get it so they all had the bottoms of their boots at the same height.

In the background is the Warthog. The figs are nice. For cheap pre-paints they will do the trick.

eye surgery a success

Well the eye surgery was a complete success so far. It was by far less painful than it was last time. There are a new series of drugs that have made it much more comfortable. I won’t be able to see out of the eye for a few more days and I have to put drops in it every 15 minutes for the next couple of weeks. However I did see briefly after the laser treatment when the fried skin was removed and I could see the filaments in the aim point light. A good sign.

Overall I am extremely happy with the work Dr. Wang did for me. I should have many years of good vision following this final treatment.

Plus, I look cool in the eye patch!

Tannhäuser

Well, I have to say this is one of the wierder games I’ve played in a long, long time…

Set in 1949 it depicts a world in which World War 1 isn’t numbered because it isn’t over yet. The war has raged for 34 years and has gotten wierder. The Germans have come across obscure mystical weapons and powers and are using them to try and win the war. The Allies are also searching for super weapons to do the same thing.

Here’s a look at the game board. (click to enlarge)

The system uses marked spaces that you can move into. One really nice aspect of the board is that by looking at the color code of your space you can instantly tell if you have line of sight to someone else. We played a mission in the old mansion. A mission consist of objects that you have to reach as well as blowing away the enemy. There’s always that option. I believe it would be possible for both sides to avoid each other and make it a race to complete objectives but given how much gamers like to roll dice I am pretty sure that hypothetical situation would never occur.

Each character comes with a control card. By selecting special chits you can actually alter how the character is played in that scenario. There are several options to choose from. It makes for an interesting decision point in the pre-game and I kind of liked it. You get more mileage out of the figures that way.

The game pieces are rather interesting. They are pre-painted miniatures. The mold lines on some of the figures are pretty bad but not all of them. The paint jobs are… passable. I am not an artist but even a casual painter like me could do a better job. I’ve been ruined by the awesome paint jobs on the AT-43 miniatures. What can I say!

The important part is the game play. The game is very tactical requiring you to really think about how the enemy is going to react to your moves and what you can do about it. Some fights might take a while but some might be over in just a single round. You have to figure out what is it going to take to complete your mission without getting anihilated and that takes a lot of brains. It reminds me a bit of the harder mission in Space Hulk which really required a lot of deep thinking.

I’d definitely play it again and I look forward to it. I think the figures are the weakest aspect of the game require some X-Acto knife work and repainting. Game play is pretty quick with setup, play and take down all in about the span of an hour. Game play (after one game so YMMV) appears deep.

We have a theory on why they chose to extend WWI and that is that they wanted the look of German gear (let’s face it the Germans know how to make a fashion statement when engaging on a multi-front global war) but without Nazism being part of the product. I think it’s a good idea. It probably allows them to sell better in Germany.

So if you are looking for a game that follows the backstory of Raiders of the Lost Arc and some interesting game mechanics then give Tannhäuser a serious look at your FLGS.

Showdown! Cowboys vs. Outlaws using Legends of the Old West

(click on the photos for enlargements)

Well I got in my first game of LotOW today. My friend Jeff who also has the rules and was eager to try them out came over and we pitted the figures shown in an earlier posting against each other.

In this photo (which is unusual in that it is a gaming photo with me in it!) you can see the basic set up we used. It consists of a simple town layout with some high walls that had a few breaks in them. We don’t have much in the way of scenery yet so its not very impressive but it was good enough to do a duel between posses in the street. We did manage to make as much use of the cover provided by the corners and the hole in the wall so this ended up being a good thing.

This picture was taken about 5 turns into the game so one of the outlaws has already been dismounted and is behind the wall. What we learned is that having a horse is incredibly useful. Mainly because of the “In The Way” rule which allows for bullets to hit things other than your intended target. A shot at a mounted figure has a 50% chance of hitting the mount. All of my initial shots at riders ended up hitting horse flesh instead (and usually not causing damage but causing a control check by the rider.) So having a horse is a very good thing which explains why they are so expensive.

My Cowboys did manage to knock down the enemy to 50% and they did manage to fail their “Head for the Hills” test at that point which won the game but I have to wonder if I made a mistake in putting the posses together. I say this because there is a rating called infamy that is a measure of the skill of the figures and their number. You add up all of the accumulated experience of the posse, multiply the number of figures by five and add the infamy of any hired guns. In my case I had hired “The Unknown Fighter.” This put my infamy at 69. The Outlaw band had an infamy of 43. You get $200 to hire and equip your posse. So it is possible that I overspent on the Cowboys. I’ll redo the math and see what it comes out to.

Jeff had the worst luck during the game. He won initiative (known here as “The Drop”) once the entire game. He did use a heroic action to quickdraw on my guys but again his bad luck prevailed and he didn’t do enough damage to make a difference. My leader was wounded but not removed from the game. I lost two figures total by the end of the game.

It would have been worse had I gotten my “Uknown Gun Fighter” into the battle sooner. He has the abilty to be more accurate with fanning his pistol. I did get to use his ability to be cold and ruthless when an enemy engaged a friendly. Normally the rules don’t allow you to shoot when there are friendlies in the way but to the “Unknown Gun Fighter” life is cheap! He managed to hit the bad guy and avoided hitting the good guy using a point of fame.

The game system is pretty cool and definitely fun. The use of Heroes with Fame and Fortune points allows you to strategically change the game. These limited points allow you to change the result of die by one pip or avoid a wound. They also allow you to call for “Heroic Actions” which amount to allow the disadvantage player to go first in specified phases of the turn. It is something you have to plan for which makes the game very challenging. I can see how it would take some time to develop the skill to be good in this game.

Well next up will be a write up of my experience with the game Tannhäuser. It is one of the wierder ones I’ve tried in years!

Therian Attack at The Dead Refinery

[UNA SITREP – Capt. Louis]

We dropped onto The Dustball just 3 days prior to the attack. This section of the factory world was used up for the most part. The dust was from pulverized rock stripped of ore. The section we were in appeared to be some giant refinery/processing plant. The machines were dead. Leave it up to the brains at CENTCOM to send us on patrol here.

We established a perimiter defensive line by the third day. The complex was so extensive though that our line was incredibly thin. We actually got the drop on them first. We spotted them before they realized we’d set up a hard defensive position. They outnumbered us but I think it is safe to say we felt confident we could hold back the tide. Looking back… I am not sure where that confidence came from.

The came at us, often avoiding cover just so they could make the best possible speed. At long distance any effective shots were nullified by the EMI Grid – a Therian would go down an then a flash followed by a new or repaired Therian standing up. As they got closer and our fire became more accurate we did start to whittle them down.

That was when they brought in the big guns…

and…

and…

When the Hekat tore through the Star Trooper squad on our flank we knew it was only a matter of time. When it came for us, well, what can I say? No amount of courage could stand up to that. It was insanity. How Le Croix managed to stick his Volcano MG into just the right spot and pull the trigger we will never know. He survived the battle as did half my squad physically but mentally we were all shattered.

They destroyed everything in their path like locust. Wally in “01” was the most unlucky son-of-a-bitch I’ve ever seen. His Fire Toad was immobilied in short order by the Black Wraith but he stuck to his gun. He shattered that damn thing. But they kept coming. Then he lost Gun 2. Then Gun 1. He must have been welded in there because anyone would have punched out. He kept broadcasting and you knew they knew it. We tried to rush a mechanic up there to get his propulstion system back on line but withering fire kept us at bay. When they finally got to him they did him with flame. It wasn’t enough that he was immobilized and disarmed. They had to finish him off.

When I called the order to get back to the shuttle it was the right thing to do. The damn blips can keep their dead refinery. Our point had been made and honor served. It was time to head home.

Legends of the Old West – Progress so far

I got bit by the “Legends of the old West” bug just prior to Historicon. I am happy to say I have four posses painted up (Cowboy, Outlaw, 7th Cavalry and Apache) with more on the way. Again I am mixing ranges. The figures consist of mostly Artizen at this time. They have a great range of figures. Coming soon are some Black Scorpion Miniatures which I’ve shown earlier. I am ready to play with the figures I have now. One of the benefits of this system is to set up two sides you need about 14 figures total. Terrain and so forth can be cobbled together over time or borrowed of course.

Here is the “Circle K” Cowboy Posse (click for larger):

Here is the Hell Raisers Outlaw Posse (click for larger):

The Cowboy Posse came out ahead on “Infamy” points (a rating loosely based on the strength of the posse) so I am not sure if it is a balanced match for the Outlaw Posse but I hope to find out on Sunday.