Archives for April 2010

New Games in the House

I noticed that my favorite company was going out of business; Boulder Games. The owner was retiring. This was sad but I am happy for him. So my retirement present to him was to buy up some of games! I got the following:

Columbia Games Napoleon, Waterloo Campaign 1815: I opted for this as my first block game. I’ve played them before but never owned one. This is a subject I’d always wanted in an easy to play format. The complexity is fairly low but it is a well known battle and a good way to get new gamers started.

This is the third edition of the rules and I have heard they are quite good. Ultimately there are only a couple of actual strategies but I am not expecting to play this game dozens of times. Ideally it will give me a feel for the campaign and inspire me to consider doing something in miniature…

Next up was another Columbia game, Liberty, The American Revolution 1775-83. Again, for the same reasons. I am interested in the period but I don’t do any miniature gaming in it. I like a nice simple introduction to the whole period. Again with Columbia games, the Fog of War element makes the game play really engaging. The blocks make record keeping simple too.

I picked up Price of Freedom from Compass Games. This is a card driven game of the Civil War. It looks great. I tore into it first and the components are very nice and the cards are very interesting. You keep track of a lot of political states and have to choose when you change them. For example the emancipation of the slaves. In real life that was carefully timed for when the war was losing support in the North. I think this is brilliant and shows the game authors are quite well read on the subject.

I have had other, monster sized games of the Civil War. This is a lot more compact and faster playing. The appeal for me is I might actually get to play it. Most of the time it is hard to get interest in a boardgame in my circle of friends. However so long as they aren’t likely to take several sessions to play and can be explained in short order they can happen. 3 hours with 132 pieces seems just about right to me.

Finally I picked up Okko: Era of the Asagiri. This is a Japanese myth based game that is very miniatures like. I am not really sure how it plays but the figures are awesome and have colored high quality cardboard stands for use as well. I’m still waiting for the main game to show up. I got the supplement first, Yakuza Hazu Akai, which adds lawless and godless mercenaries to your clan. OK sounds good! The game is based upon a comic produced in France. I expect it to seem a little weird but in a good way. I love the AT-43 and Confrontation worlds so I know the French have what it takes to interest me. I like weird games in general. I thought once of doing an RPG set in Japan with a theme similar to “Delta Green” where the players are quasi-official forces combating the supernatural. This game seems to be more about clans fighting clans with supernatural forces. Check out the website for more details.

Morituri Te Salutant analysis of Attacks

I took a hard, statistical look at the attacks in the game Morituri Te Salutant which depicts historic gladiator fighting in the 1st century. My group has been playing it at Wargames in Nashville this year and have started a campaign this past Saturday. It did not go well for my school as I lost two gladiators in the two fights I was in. So I took a look at the complex combat matrix that determines the results of comparing attacks and what I found was eye opening and useful. In one game I chose a “kick” attack even though I had many others available to me. When looking at its level of difficulty and expected damage I found it is truely one of the worst attacks in the game! This kind of understanding will help me better choose my attacks in my next game.

Difficulty is an absolute number derived from the total difficulty of the manuever and it’s likely hood of being blocked. Damage looks at all possible damage outcomes and the likelyhood the attack will be damaging. This is an absolute number. Finally the best vs. is useful to see where the attack can get you an easy hit with greater damage.

This information doesn’t preclude you from knowing an opponents weaknesses and it only looks at attacks. For example if you are up against a Sagitarius with a bow your best bed is to block all of their incoming fire with a Shield manuever if you have a shield. The Sagitarius is going to be hesitant to close with a better protected gladiator such as a Samnite.

Attack Difficulty Damage Blocked Best vs.
Lunge 61 25 33% Getup, Charge, Cut
Swing 57 32 24% Cut, Getup
Slash 59 26 29% Ssmash, Lasso
Cut 61 26 33% Swing, Slash, Getup
Thrust 52 31 24% Cut, Charge
Jab 57 18 33% Move F/Stand
Charge 56 30 24% Cut, Getup
Sh. Smash 62 17 38% Cut, Getup
Butt End 64 16 43% Jab
Lasso 55 Special 14% Getup, Reclaim
One/Two 60 26 29% Jab, Swing, Getup
Riposte 64 16 43% Lunge, Charge, Entangle
Hook 67 17 57% Lasso, Entangle
Entangle 53 Special 14% Swing, Charge, Getup
Kick 73 10 62% Getup, Reclaim
Throw 49 38 5% Getup, Cut, Reclaim, Move Back
Shoot 46 29 5% Getup, Reclaim, Move Back