Archives for April 2008

Nashcon PEL Updated

The PEL for Nashcon has been updated with new games and more free rules. Check it out. Nashcon is coming Memorial Day Weekend so there are just 3 more weeks to prepare.

Check out the PEL to see what is being run!

Zuzzy Mat finished for AT-43

I’ve finally finished the Zuzzy Mat and brought it to Las Vegas. It came out wonderfully. While it was a lot of work to paint it did look spectacular. To the left is a photo manipulation showing the surface of Damoclese as I envisioned it. You can see the large formation I made out of the intermodal boxes (very Halo 3 I might add) and the Wartorn Worlds terrain I also brought.

One thing to note about the paints I used, while the red looks quite glowy it is mainly because the camera can detect wavelengths of IR that the human eye cannot and this influences the final picture. I assure you the lava was not glowing as much as you can see in many of these photos!

Click photos for an enlarged view at picasaweb.


Almost Finished Mat


Lava Detail


Surface detail


Prior to painting


Therians in a defensive position


Sniper Tower


Sniper Hero shot


Red Block Defensive Line


“Hold Steady!”


“Watch the brass, we are going to be busy, boys.”


It is about to get ugly…


“It’s too horrible!!!”


Gauss Guns are effective, but not when the enemy has made contact with friendies. This AT gunner can’t get a clean shot on the Therian striders but can only watch the hapless slaughter.

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Samurai Gunslinger Blog added to Blogroll

How have I missed this feed? Its fantastic! This guy is like a long lost brother, we seem to have many of the same interests. I like what I read on his blog and if you like this blog you will like his as well. Go check it out!

http://samuraigunslinger.com/

Fighter Timeline @ The Aerodrome

Fighter Timeline – The Aerodrome – Aces and Aircraft of World War I

I love the game Wings of War. While not exactly the most accurate dogfighting game ever made, it serves up just enough flavor of flight to keep me interested. With the addition recently of the 2nd series of aircraft I thought I’d make a timeline of when the planes came into service so that they could be organzied properly in a campaign. A bit of we searching pulled up this really amazing site! It has beautiful pictures of the aircraft in columns for the years they were introduced. Absolutely great! I will do the same but with pictures of the plane cards from Wing of War.

Peruse the site, it is very well done.

Decent: Road to Legend

Rules for Decent: Road to Legend [pdf]Fantaasy Flight Games (FFG) has come out with a 3rd expansion to the game Descent: Journies in the Dark. The prior two expansions added new creatures, new maps, new map pieces, new effects, new props and new characters. I was kind of expecting more of the same with this release but to my surprise it is a very different animal. In fact this expansion is hardly an addon but more like a Master Game that Descent is the addon!

Road to Legend brings to the game a whole new way to play Descent. It has a map or the world of Terrinoth on which the party moves about. It is similar to the map in Runebound. In fact it is much like a mega-version of Runebound. Runebound takes about 4-8 hours to play. Road to Legend will take months to play. In RtL the players are involved in a great struggle against the Overlord who has an insideios plot against the land of Terrinoth. There are several Overlords to choose from and 3 plot lines to choose from. Our gaming group chose to start with the Dragon avatar and the Obsidian Shackles plotline. The Dragon gets the standard starting lieutenant (Sir Farrow) and starts in the Mountains to the South.

The players have three objectives in the campaign: Keep Tamilir, their home city, from being razed, prevent the Overlord’s plot from reaching a conclusion, getting powerful enough to face off the Overlord in his secret keep for the final battle. This is a tall order.

The new campaign system has “week” turns in which the characters travel, have encounters, explore dungeons and interact with cities (rest and recuperate, shopping, training, etc.) Each city is unique and offers different opportunities. There are even two secret training locations that offer the ability to improve a characters abilities (health and stamina).

A major change to the system is the concept of campaign level. There are 3 levels (copper, silver and gold) and just about everything is tied into this. Even the black power dice are now supplimented with silver and gold dice. This is huge. All the monster cards have been re-evaluated and there is one for each campaign level, plus there are “diamond” level cards. Needless to say, even “low-powered” diamond level creatures are kick ass. Imagine a beastman able to take on a green party – single handedly! If you’ve played Descent you know the standard beastman pretty much goes down in one swipe. In this game the beastman isn’t very different at the copper level. By the Diamond level though he is a commando of death.

One of the problems we had with Descent was that our gaming group tends to only have 2 1/2 hours of game play time. We play every other tuesday night. Since we all have work the next day we can’t play until the wee hours. So come 9:30 we are in final wrapup. The problem is the typical adventure map for Descent and its two other expansions require 3-4 hours to play. So we would usually stop just before the end or have to preserve the map and finish it two weeks later. That is no longer a problem. Dungeons are now divided into 3 levels and each one is easily playable in an hour. In our first game this past Tuesday we found the new dungeon layout and new spawning rules to be a lot of fun. It was clearly more enjoyable. The randomness of the dungeons is interesting too as they have some pretty specific storylines. They oddly don’t have much connection to each other. This isn’t a critisism yet. It will take some time to determine if that has an unsettling feeling or not.

There have been some changes to effects and to props but many are the same. The new rule book consolidates all of them into one place which is a very good thing.

The fact that your character starts out weaker than what a normal game of Descent provides is actually a benefit. You get to know your character’s strengths and weaknesses better. You are much more able to customize your character as time goes on. And since all the games are now connected you get to keep your loot, skills and other boosts. It is by far more interesting.

We played about a dozen times regular Decent over the past couple of months. We got a good feel for the game. To date the Overlord has tended to prevail about 3 out of 4 games but I think this time the game is much more balanced. Actually since the players will be getting more intimate with their characters I expect they will start to use their skills more and to better effect. Having a new character with new skills and so many options left many of them forgetting key things they could do. This is a much better way.

Overall we gave the new expansion a big thumbs up after our first go this week. I’ll report on future games as the campaign unfolds.

ConQuest Vegas – Quick After Action Report

Rohn and I survived Vegas. It was a blast. The city has a lot to offer and if you look hard enough you can find a lot of bargains compared to what you’ll pay on the Las Vegas Strip. Ok on to the convention. There were just over 200 attendees. I’m sure the ConQuest website will get updated after GAMA to reflect the final numbers. RPGs and boardgames were the most well attended games for the most part. There were some miniatures games that went off well. I only got one game off, the others just could not find attendees. There is a group of AT-43 players in Las Vegas but for whatever reasons none of them showed up at ConQuest which is a shame. I had a great mini-campaign laid out and it looked great. (Pictures will be posted later.)

I played a napoleonic game, the first I’ve tried in years and it was fun. The system is called “Grognards and Grenadiers“. We played a slightly modified game where the activation cards were replaced with card draws from a regular deck. Your corps commander (note the spelling!) draws a card and then all sub units try to draw cards that are less. For the French, who had division commanders, it was possible to get lucky and activate the entire division. The other side we were playing (Belgians?) did have those so they had rather spotty activation at times. It was a fun game. I won as the French though I have to say the other side had the more difficult time of it. They had to do a retreat over a river at two points. Very difficult to accomplish when you aren’t getting shot to pieces! The author, Rudi Guedens, states that his system was inspired by Battle Cry and Memoir ’44 and I can see that. The game play is different enough though that this is not a direct translation, but a new game. I suggest people try it out. Lots of fun.

When a game Rohn and i wanted to play did not go off we got roped into a late night Stargate role playing game. We decided to play it in the style of Galaxy Quest. It was run by Bob Johnston who runs or is involved with Polycon out in California. He had an elaborate set up that was quite nice. He has a great story telling style and we actually had a ton of fun. I’ve seen the Stargate movie but haven’t really watched the show at all. Apparently by accident I made an interesting allusion to their once a year spoof episodes when my military commander character had the option of leaving the secure dome and getting involved in a fight or staying and shoring up the defence. I said “I go out and fight. It’s what I do.” Anyway, look up references to “Wormhole X-Treme” to get an idea of what I am talking about.

All and all a fun convention. I could write a lot more about it and will when I finally get the photos off my camera.

ConQuest Vegas passes 150 individual pre-reg’s

Gabriel “Mondo” Vega has written to let the GM’s know that ConQuest Vegas has more than exceeded expectations. A target of 100-150 attendees were expected/desired. So far pre-registration numbers are north of 150! This is great. It means I have a good chance of having my games full which would delight me to no end. Imagine how big it will be once the turnstile is counted… I am going to guess right now 225 which would make this a pretty successful convention. I wonder if they have enough space. Too many people coming is a great problem to have as opposed to too few. You can fix the problem of too many. In my case I have more than enough figures to get many extra players in.

Much of the influx, however, is for board gamers. This is good because you can pack board gamers in much more tightly than miniature gamers or role players. I think the sky is the limit for this convention.

I’m very much looking forward to this convention! I leave tomorrow for it. Look for me if you read this blog!

ConquestVegas, Zuzzy and more

I got word today that ConquestVegas is confirmed for 2009 as well and that they will also be having a show in the Fall. ConquestVegas 2008 is this week and I am leaving for Vegas on Wednesday. I can’t wait. I finally got the Zuzzy mat painted. The key on the lava is to start with white, then neon red, mix in neon yellow while the red is still wet. Once all that dries then dry brush with black. Allow accidents of the brush to happen. Looks great! I am going to redo the older Lava flows after Conquest. Watch for pictures of the mat in my ConquestVegas photos coming later!

I found this on Boardgame Geek. It is a card from a set of game aids for doing dog fights in Star Wars using the WoW system. You still need “Famous Aces” to play. Pretty Entertaining. It is amazing what very bored people will put up on the Internet.

Make Millions Running your own Gaming Blog! Not!

So its been a while since I checked my adSense profile. adSense is Googles way of well raking in billions. I being the smart entrepreneur decided 3 years ago, hey, why not cash in on that and make millions? So the ads you see to the right are adSense ads. When you click on one you go to a merchants page and I make less money than the average bum gets in a hand out. Seriously. After 27000 page impressions only 173 clicks have been generated. It’s made the site $24 as of today. These are all your clicks. I studiously avoid clicking the links because I think that would be unethical. Anyway with such a low click rate the ads being presented are either uninteresting, repetative or both. So I’m adding a new class of add at the bottom of the page and may add more interesting advertisements in other spots. It’ll just be experimentation. If I can make the ads work that will help pay for the ongoing costs that are accruing for VictoryPoints.com, the new gaming resource site. That site will, hopefully, be totally ad-supported. TMP has ads which I’ve used. I could not justify using one for the blog because it would cost about $30 a month and given how much this site has made I’m better off with word of mouth.

Lately traffic has picked up as I have have many more interesting things to write about. I’ve been watching the logs closely to see what keywords are bringing people here and what they seem to do once they have found the blog. I’ve promoted other blogs and many of them have promoted me back. A big thanks to the Chicago Terrain Factory for having a wonderful site and for all of the referals. You can find them in my newly updated Blogroll.

I am getting hammered at work which has made getting ready for Conquest a bit tricky. However the Zuzzy Mat is almost done! Yay! So look for an article on lessons learned along with several nice photos of the final product. It is at the 90% mark and I have to say it is easily the best $50 I’ve spent for gaming in a long time. Again, highly recommended!

I am sure I’ve mentioned it before but I just want to say again bravo to Meeples and Miniatures, a find blog and podcast. He has an annoying habit of getting me interested in things I wasn’t interested in before. Check out their site at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/neil.shuck/

Well I am done building low level statistical analysis modules for NLP today. Tonight is Halo night though I doubt I have the strength for it. Thank God tomorrow is Friday, I don’t think I could take another day of this!