Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Warboss Tae's 2016 Painting Challenge - Days 25 & 26

I've finished a few more days of this challenge.

Day 25

Day 26

The last unit for this army.

General and wizard models that I painted a long time ago, but have been based to match this army.
I have completed painting all the goblins I set out to paint at the beginning of this challenge.  I can now feild a full 2,000 point army for Kings of War.  These models can also be used for Dragon Rampant and Age of Sigmar.  It is always nice to have options for your models.

With the goblins finished I will be working on the Firestorm Armada models I'm painting for the Toys for Tots auction.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Congo - First impressions of the rule book

My group plays a lot of games in the colonial period, but most tend to lean toward the VSF genre.  So, when one of my friends told me about Congo - Adventures in the Heart of Africa, my interest was peaked.

I decided to throw some money at the book (which seems to be fairly pricey) and see what I thought.

The book has been delivered and I've been reading through it's glossy, color pages and I like what I see.

I thought I would share my thoughts on the game before I get to play it and then see how that works after I actually get a few games in.

To start with, I want to say that this is a game about the stories of the adventures during this period.  It isn't a commentary on the actions taken by the Colonial powers and the abuses that were carried out in that period in this area of the world.

Book Quality
The book is very nicely printed.  It is full color throughout and it seems to be bound pretty well.

The artwork is great throughout.  Lots of pictures of painted models that look fantastic.

The cards are also nice and should hold up well over time.  I don't see a requirement to sleeve the cards, but I probably will regardless as I tend to sleeve most cards.

The tokens and measuring sticks are decent quality.  I'm hoping that someone makes custom wooden measuring sticks like are available for Saga.  They will hold up better and I can easily get extra sets that way.

Book Layout
Parts of the rules are written as if they were a letter/instructions from an early explorer of the African continent.  Some people may not like this, but I found it to add some humor to the rules and to help "paint the scene" of the game you are about to play.

Overall I feel like the book is laid out fairly well and the rules are presented in a logical way.

There is no index in the book, but there is a table of context.  The lack of an index will make it more difficult to look up specific rules during the game, but we shall see how big of an issue that is.

The game allows players to choose from 4 different factions: the White Men Expeditions, the Sultanate of Zanzabar, the African Kingdoms, and the Forest Tribes.  Each allows for a different selection of characters, auxiliary, and units types.

Unit Stats and Success
Each unit as a list of stats: Shoot, Combat, and Bravery.  These are represented by a die type from D6 to D10.  The unit also has a starting size, weapon type, and some units have special rules.

When taking some actions in the game (like shooting or combat), a unit will roll die based on their skill and the number of models in the unit and count successes.  You need a 5+ on each die for it to count as a success.

Game Mechanics
The game offers some different mechanics than I've seen in most other games and I like that.  I'm not sure how these mechanics will work in the game, but nothing seems to complicated, so I'm hopeful things will work well once I get a full understanding of them.

Actions are dictated by cards that you play.  This isn't a random draw of actions like Command and Colors, but instead you get a hand of seven cards (8 if you have magic) with various actions on the cards and an initiative number.  Each player, chooses 3 cards to play that turn and then chooses 1 for the first activation.  The first cards of each player are revealed together and whichever has the higher initiative number gets to go first.  That player carries out the actions listed on the card and then the other player takes their turn.  Each card has between 2 and 4 actions each and some allow different types of actions while others offer a single action to be taken multiple times.

The game uses stress tokens to represent moral.  A unit gets tokens in a couple of different ways during the game; going to ground when being shot at, Terror attacks by the enemy, close combat, and being shot at by units with certain weapons.  A unit is limited to having 4 stress tokens at most.  The stress tokens can have a specific effect on the unit as well.  Some reduce possible movement, reduce shooting or combat, or can make you more susceptible to Terror attacks.

Each unit can only be activated once in each action phase, but since there are 3 phases a single unit can get multiple activations during a turn.

The possible actions are move (which can get you into close combat), shoot, and influence (which can be used to rally or cause terror).

Moving allows a unit to make a normal move, but they can also pick up the pace as long as there are no enemies close by.  A unit can also use a move to engage an enemy in close combat.

Each unit in close combat will fight.  Both sides roll die for the number of fighting models in the unit.  The number of successes from each side are compared and a table is resulted to see the effects.  This can be retreating from the combat, taking wounds, and/or taking stress tokens.

Shooting allows a unit to fire upon an enemy.  This is done by rolling a number of dice for each model in the unit.  You roll the dice and look for successes.  The defender is given a chance to avoid the shot with a defense roll.  It is assumed that the open areas of the board still have bushes, trees, and rocks to hide behind, so the defender gets a D6 per hit to defend in the open (this gets better when in terrain) and can choose to go to ground by taking stress tokens which allows him to roll an additional D8 for each stress token taken.  Each success on the defense roll removes one success from the shooting.  Any hits not avoided cause a casualty.  If there is a character or auxiliary attached to the unit, there is a chance that they may be the casualty.

Finally, we have the influence action.  This can be used to either Rally your own units (hopefully removing stress tokens) or cause Terror on an enemy unit (hopefully adding stress tokens to the unit). When Rallying your troops you roll one die (of the appropriate type based on the units bravery skill) for each stress token the unit has.  Each success allows the unit to discard a stress token.  When making a Terror attack on a unit, you will automatically suffer one hit on the unit, plus one hit for every Terror stress token on the target unit.  The target unit will then take a die (based on their Bravery skill) for his hit.  They can avoid one Terror hits with each success rolled.

Totem Cards
Each player also has a deck of Totem cards that allow a variety of bonuses during the game.  The scenario will dictate how many cards the players start with and how they get additional cards.

These cards allow for things like an extra action card to be played or additional dice to be rolled during an attack, combat, or bravery test.

While these aren't game changing, they do offer a bit of added variety and possible surprises in each game.

The game is based around scenarios and there are 8 included with the book.  Each side puts together a force within the limits set forth in the scenario (probably around 30 models per side) and then sets up the table according to the scenario.  Each scenario provides conditions for victory points that can be earned during the game and a turn limit for the game.

The 8 scenarios provided should allow for quite a bit of play, but I think it will be easy enough to create additional scenarios for your games.

Overall Thoughts
My gaming friends already play a lot of games in the colonial era, so we have quite a collection of models between us that will work for this game.  Since we are already fans of the theme, this game seemed like a no brainer.  While the cost of the book is a bit high, in my opinion, our positive experiences with SAGA helped to convince us to give this game a try.  After reading through the rules, I feel slightly better about paying the cost, but would like to get a few games in before making a final decision on that front.

The rules and mechanics are interesting and different enough from other games that I am looking forward to trying this game out.

I've a game planned with Randy (he already has all the models we need painted and ready to go) and we will be playing the first scenario in the book.  I'll be sure to take pictures and post an AAR as well as my additional thoughts on the game once we've played.

Painting project for Toys for Tots charity auction - Update 2

I spent some time working on these ships again.  I completely finished the first ship and the bomber and fighter tokens.

I am pleased with the colors and like how they look so far.

I've got two more cruisers and the large dreadnought to paint yet.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Street level bill boards? Terrain idea

We got a box in the mail with some interesting packing material.

My wife gave me some and asked if I could use these for some kind of terrain piece.

Hmm?  What could these be?

15mm and 28mm models for scale.

My first thought (and only one so far) is to use them as billboards.  I plan to print out some signs and attach then to these.  

I think they would look good in an urban environment.

What do you think?

Any other ideas?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Warboss Tae's 2016 Painting Challenge - Days 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24

I have not posted an undate for a while, but I've got quite a bit done.

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

I've almost completed all the models I set out to paint in this project.  I'm very pleased with the looks of the models and can't wait to finish.

I'm kind of getting burned out with painting goblins, but since I'm almost done, I don't feel so bad about it.

After I finish the last batch of these goblins, I will be working on the Firestorm Armada models that I agreed to paint for a Toys for Tots auction.  Those should be a good break from the goblins even though they are green as well.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Legendary Encounters: Firefly - Unboxing

I'm a big fan of the show Firefly.  When I saw a copy of Legendary Encounters: Firefly at Gauntlet Games (my local game shop) I couldn't help but buy it.

I have the Aliens version of this game and find it to be a good game.  I'd not heard much about this game when I picked it up.

I decided to do an unboxing so people could see what you get in the box and to get a sneak peak at the artwork.

I'm going to sleeve all the cards before I play this, but I am looking forward to getting this game to the table.  The artwork has some pretty big misses, but I can look past that if the game play holds up.

Stay tuned for a review of the game.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dungeon Busters - Unboxing

I received my copy of Dungeon Busters by Mayday Games from a recent Kickstarter and thought I would share an unboxing video.

This is a light, bluffing card game for 3-5 players.  It is supposed to only take about 20 minutes to play so will be a nice filler game.

The art work is fun and I look forward to giving this game a try in the near future.

Warboss Tae's 2016 Painting Challenge - Day 19

I didn't get a ton done today, but even little bits add up over time.

I added talus to the bases of the models I had painted and I attached the bases to the rest of the gnoblars.

I love the look of a well painted model with highlights and shading, but I also really like painting models very quickly.  The rabble is going to get painted quickly without much in the way of highlighting.  A wash with agrax earthshade will do all the highlighting and shading on these models.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Warboss Tae's 2016 Painting Challenge - Days 16, 17, and 18

I made a lot of progress over the past few days of the challenge.

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

The trolls, spear chukkas, and giant are all completely painted and and based.  I'm happy with how they turned out and I am pleased they painted up more quickly than I thought they would.

I started on the gnoblars.  I've decided on a very simple paint scheme for these guys.  They will be a rabble unit so it is going to be a large group of poorly equipped troops so don't feel like they need much detail.  I sprayed them with a Krylon (camo) flat light brown.   I then picked out the skin in green and the wood and metal on the models.  After that I washed the whole model with agrax earthshade.  The results look nice and fit well with the army.  I still need to base these.  This is only about half of this unit.  I've got several more models that I need to get bases for before I can get started on them.

Using JB Weld to attach these models to the base.  The fancy cloths pins are decorations from my daughters graduation party, but they work.

I used lots of cloths pins so the base is seated well with the wooden base.

Spear Chukka


Warboss Tae's 2016 Painting Challenge - Day 15

I finished the squig hoppers right on target.  I'm still on track to hit my goals on this project.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Painting project for a Toys for Tots charity auction - update 1

I haven't actually spent a ton of time working on these models yet, but I have accomplished a little bit of work.

I've cleaned and trimmed all the models and primed them all grey.

I decided on a grey and green look so I painted green over some of the panels and then washed the model with nuln oil.  After that I started doing some highlighting on the green.

The grey will get highlighted as well and the engines will get painted blue.  I'm happy with the look so far and hope these are received well at the auction.

With the basic idea and colors put together the rest should paint up pretty quickly.

Warboss Tae's 2016 Painting Challenge - Days 11, 12, 13, and 14

Day 11

The unit of night goblin spearmen and unit of night goblin archers are now completely finished.

I have to say that I certainly had a smile on my face when I took these units off my paint table and added them to my collection of completed models.  It was a much bigger batch than I should have started with.

Next up is a unit of squig hoppers that will be a cavalry unit for the goblin army.  I've always liked these models and am looking forward to painting them.

I've only got 8 models in this unit so it should be a much more manageable group to paint.

Day 12

I started work on the squig hoppers.  These are fun models to paint and have a lot of character to them.

Day 13

I've made good progress on the hoppers and primed some ice trolls and painted a base coat on one. The trolls are an interesting model from the Reaper Bones line.  The only down side is that all three have the exact same pose.  Not a huge deal, but maybe I will look for some other models that can fit into the unit as well to give a little variation.

Day 14

The hoppers are complete now, other than the bases.  I'm happy with how they have turned out.  They were fun models to paint.

I finished base coating the trolls in blue and applied a blue wash to one.

It feels good to be a little bit ahead.