Archives for August 2008

Let their blood rain from the skies! Advice on running Descent

Robb has written a piece on Descent that is interesting. Overall he suggests tough love to make for the best game. Basically it boils down to hammering the players’ weaknesses while educating them on their options. I think this is probably good advice. I am not sure how well I do at educating the party on their options. I have been working on a combined rulebook that takes the rules from all the other rule books and consolidates them with updates and faq info. I think once that is done then it will make it easier to educate the players.

I noticed in our last game that the players know the game much better. They are also thinking ahead about consequences of their choices. The game has become a lot more tactical which is great.

The advice Robb gives applies to both regular Descent and Road to Legend. It is worth reading if you are the Overlord of your gaming group. It can be useful if you are a player at least in as much to see that the advice given is honest.

Tanks and Flamethrowers and Kobolds

We had another game of Descent. I haven’t been writing about the game much mainly because we play so slowly! When the party enters a dungeon it takes a month of game play to get through the three levels since we have time to do one level per sitting and one sitting about every 2 weeks. We might do another sitting next week if nothing else is planned for Tuesday night. The main issue we encounter is when TOO many people show up. The game ends up being more in my favor as “special guests” tend to do less optimal things (it is a complex game so this isn’t unexpected) and end up making for more conquest for the Overlord. (One particular moment that illustrates how guests hurt was when a 4pt fighter rushed to a fountain to regain some health was hit by an arrow in the back from a skeletal archer and died in the fountain. It was a cinematic moment!)

This time we did a very tight level. I thought it was going to be a 2 hour game tops. I was mistaken it took 3 hours. I threw a lot of monsters at the party. I got to use a Golem which we haven’t used yet in all the games of Decent we’ve played.

While he was tough the wizards showed how much firepower they had in the game. I had him blocking a hallway all by himself and even with a falling block trap limiting access one of the 3 magical types in the party put on the hurt.

However while the magical types have the firepower they do not have any staying power. During one reinforcement phase I swarmed one of them with kobolds. “Kobolds ate my Magic User!” These guys were at the tail end of the party. The dilema was to pull back the front line or to push forward and let the wizardly types figure it out for themselves. What they ended up doing was smoking two kobold stands and then pushing forward setting up a rear guard. That was fine by me. I wanted to keep the Master Kobolds in reserve using their trickster ability to rig up new traps.

Towards the end of the game I was forced to rush the party with the kobolds in an attempt to get one last opportunity kill. Alas the wiz on guard duty had Immolation and “flamethrowered” the hallway turning the kobolds into crispy critters. Those that got in close could not get past his mighty “1” armor. My Kingdom for a Swarm.

I am currently pretty far ahead of the Heroes in terms of conquest. Once this dungeon is complete I might be as many as 15 to 20 points in the lead. Given that they were hurt by several guest visitors (which was only realized in hindsight) I will probably give them an 8 point boost simply to cover the massive shortfall they otherwise would not have had.

We are still having fun and now that all the players have gotten very familiar with the rules the games are playing better and are more fun. The party is making good decisions and doing a bang up job of “hoovering” the dungeon for gold and sweet loot!

Doc Holliday the Life and Legend

This is a short 10 minute video I put together taken from the book “Doc Holliday The Life and Legend” by Gary L. Roberts. I really have enjoyed the book for its writing. It has been very inspiring for me to get back into Legends of the Old West by Games Workshop. In order to give the viewer a feeling for the book I just simply read a couple of pages. I illustrate the action with some photos taken from the web. I hope you enjoy this. The book is great and I highly recommend it.

ISBN 978-0-470-12822-0
Published by Wiley

Game Theory – Doc Holliday vs. Ike Clanton

Egwald Operations Research – Game Theory – Introduction

This page is really interesting to the mathmatically inclined. I am about to produce a short video report on a book I am reading about Doc Holiday and came across this while doing image research on the web. I think some of you will find it very interesting. It is very educational. I definitely suggest giving it a look.

Worlds toughest reporter in Georgian conflict

She gets shot … and then continues her report! She seems mainly unfazed. Amazing.

Latest Project: Battlestar Galactica Miniatures

At Historicon 2008 I picked up several capital ships and nearly 100 different fighters for the Battlestar Galactica resin models that Ravenstar puts out. These are not perfect replicas but “pretty close” so I am not sure if they are licensed or even need it. I’ve never understood where the line is between fair use and infringement with regards to making similar looking models. I don’t know. I just know that these models are nice and they painted up easily. I am not a professional painter but I don’t think they really need a serious paint job. Just a few basic techniques to contrast the detail. Anyway, I am not here to talk about my lousy paint job but instead to discuss what I will do with this project.

I plan on making my own rules for it. I want something that is simple and allows several turns to be played out within 2 hours or less. I’d like to design the rules for a mini-campaign of around 6 games. It will be designed for 2 or 4 players. I’ve already got a lot of notes on it. Right now I am testing the dog fighting rules and trying to figure out how the turns will go. I’ve got the combat down pretty good so far. It leads to some great twisting and turning fight. Dealing with the capital ships will be another mechanic I’ll have to add in carefully to give it the right balance.

One thing I am thinking about is making it card driven so that it is possible to have some interesting events that occur in the storyline. TBD.

AT-43 Comic now availabe as T-Shirts!

The wonderfully well produced and funny AT-43 Comic is now available in T-Shirt form at Zazzle. Check out the store. I don’t have any connection to this other than having made a suggestion on ways to monotize the otherwise free comic. The comic is available on the blog roll and is quite good. Check it out. As for me, I got the shirt with the UNA soldiers talking about being in a tight fix with Therians closing in.

New Race Track – get it while it is hot!

CorpCommander’s Halo 3 File Share

I’ve uploaded the latest incarnation of RACE S Curves track for the RACETRACKS game varient. I’ve also uploaded a preliminary mod of that game as well. I tried to correct some things i thought were problems (assasination being one of them) but it seems the best solution there is to make killing worth negative points.

The new map tries something new: the goal is very hard to score twice given it’s placement. You really have to try hard to cheat at this one. I’ve also moved a few of the jumps and ramps around so it should be slightly faster racing. In particular you can hit the “man cannon” with your mongoose faster now – however still not at top speed if you wish to clear the obstruction.

As with all good rally races some parts of the track require slow, careful manuever and others demand fast flat out throttle.

Samurai Versus

Speaks for itself. Click to launch!

Halo Racing

If you know anything about Halo 3 you might know that the game is very configurable and that you can change both the maps and the game types to suit many needs. People have created a variety of games with Halo 3. I’ve been playing since October of 2007 and was pretty sure I’d seen everything until I came across until I came across a gaming type called RACING. This game type needs special maps where there is one flag and a fixed track. Making the maps, in a general sense is easy. There are several tracks that the author of RACING has produced. One is called Submerged that I like a lot. There is a whole community that consists of people interested in this kind of map tweeking.

I’m working on a map based on Rat’s Nest. I had it all tweeked and this weekend Buiscuit Boy gave it a try. He felt it needed polishing. I spent a few hours last night taking is critiques to heart and he was right. It requires a bit of work. However it is nearly finished and it is fun. I think one of the best things you can do is invite like minded people into your map via FORGE and get to editing. Also playing the maps a few times with people is of course critical. Put your pride in your pocket and listen to them bitch about the map. Then get back into Theater and see what they are talking about through their eyes! Theater plus multi-player forge is great. Get in on it. Make some maps!

And try RACING. It is a blast. It was descirbed as very “Mario Kart” like.