Sunday, August 12, 2018

Admiral Ackbar - Hero of the Rebellion (Star Wars: Rebellion Session Report)

The Rebels has just moved their base from Dantooine to Yavin. Then disaster. Preventing any retreat with their Interdictor, the Rebel Fleet (with two Mon Calamari Cruisers) was entirely destroyed over the planet Ord Mantell.  Then worse, Admiral Ackbar was captured (after that same battle) and held prisoner on Ord Mantell.  Luckily, just before his interrogation started, Han Solo mounted a rescue mission using the Millennium Falcon, preventing the location of the Rebel Base from being revealed....

With the location safe for now, the Imperials launched small scout parties across the galaxy. One such party was led by Tarkin and found the base on Yavin. Tarkin's small band was easily eliminated, but the with just two turns left for the massive Imperial fleet to travel two spaces and attack, the Rebel once again had to move it's base - this time to Hoth.

With having built-up loyalty across the galaxy, the Rebels reduced the game length one last time (those loyalty markers finally did come in handy). On the last turn of the game, the Rebels first action was to attack the only small Imperial fleet that could land on Hoth before game end. The first turn of combat was a disaster, but with Admiral Ackbar's leadership (and re-rolls), the Rebels escaped with a victory. With that victory, the galaxy was made safe for freedom.

So the Rebel base ended up being on Dantooine, then Yavin, then Hoth. Just like the movies.... But in this game Star Wars was the story of Admiral Ackbar - not Luke Skywalker. Admiral Ackbar's recruitment, capture, rescue, and ultimate victory explained the story arc, and also demonstrated the cinematic feel of the game.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Blitz Bowl Contains Cards (But Not Figures) for Five Additional Teams

Blitz Bowl releases on August 24th and with all the videos being released about the game, we now know that the game also includes cards (but not figures) for additional teams (other than Humans and Orcs that come in the box):
  • Dward Giants (Dwarfs)
  • Elven Union (High Elves)
  • Doom Lords (Chaos)
  • Skavenblight Scramblers (Skaven)
  • The Scarcrag Snivellers (Goblins)

This is a great move by Games Workshop that will encourage players to purchase additional Blood Bowl team sets and makes the game more extensible.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Games Workshop's "Blitz Bowl" Releases at Gen Con 2018 (and at Barnes & Noble on August 24th)

"Blitz Bowl - The Game of Gladatorial Sports Mayhem" is now available for pre-order from Barnes and Noble.  Its price is $44.95 and it releases on August 24th.  On the Warhammer Community website there is additional information about the game, including a Watch It Played video explaining the rules.

Blitz Bowl will also be available for purchase at Gen Con 2018, so I expect to see unboxing videos and further information about the game as early as tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

JeffCon 2018 Recap

We recently returned from our (six annual) JeffCon up at Lake Kachess.  We once again brought a mix of old classics and new games to try out. Here are some of the games we played this year:
  • Five Tribes - Although we had previously played Five Tribes more than half a dozen times, in our game we realized we had missed a critical rule that totally changes how the game is played and approached.  Previously we had played that you could end by placing a meeple in an empty square as a valid action, (which meant you could activate the ability of a meeple without a meeple of a matching color in the square).  The actual rules make the game much more mancala-like and I'm excited to find out how the game will play differently when the game is played as intended.
  • Kingdomino - I still find the Spiel des Jahres winner to be fast and fun.  I achieved my highest ever recorded total of 82, accomplished with a twelve space / six crown forest and a five space / two crown desert.  I was very fortunate to fly under the radar and be able to grab every forest crown domino....
  • Star Wars: Destiny - We introduced the group to Star Wars: Destiny using a home-brewed co-operative, four-player game.  Roberge and I also played a number of two-player matches against one another.  The overall group was turned-off by the collectible aspect of the game, but we emphasized that the starter sets and common cards provide a fully realized experience, (and we've had no desire to ever buy a booster pack).  I find the game to be quick and enjoyable, and also have had fun constructing my different decks. 
  • Stockpile - We played Stockpile once again, this time using the bond, commodity, and tax cards.  This added new aspects to the game that were needed to make it more enjoyable and different, as I think the original game is wearing a little thin after so many repeated plays.
  • Werewords - I brought up Werewords and we probably played it a dozen or so times due to its tiny playtime of roughly 5 minutes.  It is a game of Twenty Questions with some Werewolf-like roles and elements thrown in.  Most of the fun is the discussion and accusations after the timer has run out.
  • Unlock! The Tonipal's Treasure - We started this Unlock! game late in the evening and most of the group got through about half the mystery before heading to bed.  Juice and I finished it up and were able to complete it without needing more than a few clues, (although there was one clue where we were totally and completely lost).  We completed the final puzzle with just four seconds remaining on the clock, which made for an exciting finish.  I liked the adventure and would like to try out more of the Unlock! games.
  • 1889: History of Shikoku Railways - This 18XX game was brought up by Sund and took most of one afternoon and evening, but was well worth the time invested.  Most of the time was spent on learning the rules and getting all six players through the first few turns.  Once everyone was up to speed, the game pace quickened.  I liked all the decisions and choices to be made, along with the stock aspects and route mapping.  I would like to try this (or another 18XX game) now that I'm up to speed on the rules.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Games Workshop Announces "Kill Team"

Today Games Workshop officially announced Kill Team, a skirmish game similar to the recent Shadow War: Armageddon and past iterations of Kill Team.  This new Kill Team game is for two to four players and plays on a tight 22" by 30" board.

Each player leads a squad of warriors, consisting of about five to ten individuals.  The Kill Team box set will contain two factions - a Genestealer Cult and Skitarii (the military forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus).  Games Workshop also announced that additional, smaller Starter Sets for specific factions will be released, as well as new "Killzones" terrain set expansions.  It appears that Games Workshop is taking the Shadespire expansion approach to Kill Team and it will have a number of future releases and support.

There was mention of the Rogue Trader book in today's Kill Team Q&A.  It appears now that Kill Team: Rogue Trader will be a supplement to Kill Team that introduces Rogue Traders into the game, along with some RPG-type elements.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

New Games Workshop "Rogue Trader" Pictures

Some leaked pictures have appeared for the Rogue Trader rulebook cover.  This helps expand upon the Rogue Trader teaser video that Games Workshop released back in May.

Kill Team was originally designed as an asymmetrical game where one player took on the role of the Kill Team and the other controlled a much larger group of weaker enemies.  The Kill Team player would move and achieve an objective while attempting to not alert a sentry or trigger an alarm. 

Later, Games Workshop used Kill Team for the "skirmish" rules for 40K.  Without specifics, it's difficult to know what this version will be closer to.  It may be entirely different from all prior uses of the Kill Team name.

However, the upcoming Rogue Trader box set will likely contain the Nurgle and Rogue Trader models from the May video.  Along with that, perhaps the Kill Team: Rogue Trader supplement.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New Games Workshop "Blitz Bowl" Pictures

Back in March, Games Workshop announced an introductory game named Blitz Bowl, using many of the Blood Bowl rules and models.  Recently, additional pictures have been spoiled, providing a view into the rules, the dice, and some of the gameplay.

Based on the new photos, it appears that the game is more than just Blood Bowl on a smaller scale.  The actions are different and the block dice results are slightly different as well.  There are Challenge cards and Bonus Play cards which appear to bring in objective-type goals into the game.

I'm excited to see what additional photos and previews are shown as the game gets closer to release.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

15mm Superhero Gaming - Major Blasto Character Sheet

"One Man Army"...  "Death Incarnate"... "The Walking Armory"...  "Your Worst Nightmare"....  Major Blasto has been called many things, but this above all - "The Best Damn Soldier in the World".  This is the man who once killed four agents of Hydra with one grenade -- before the damn thing exploded.  His weapon of choice is his custom BREN gun - along with its Infinity Clip - which allows him to slow march, all while raining down an unending hail of bullets on anybody unfortunate enough to be considered his enemy.  Although he prefers to work alone, he has been persuaded by Nick Fury to accompany the Repulsers superhero team from time to time.  He feels the need to share some of the glory once in a while - just to be fair....

Saturday, June 9, 2018

15mm Superhero Gaming - When Aliens Attack Session Report

I finally ran a large 15mm Superhero gaming session for my daughters, nieces, and nephews.  It has been a year or two since our last two sessions - Rise of the Dead and Desert Rescue, and I was excited to use all my Team Yankee modern 15mm scenery for the scenario.  Below are the details for this new adventure....

When Aliens Attack

In a small rural town, aliens have landed. Glowing purple crystals have appeared near the landing site of their flying saucer. With the Avengers in disarray after the events of their civil war, Nick Fury sent Taffy Man to investigate, but the superhero has not been heard from since entering the craft. Recently, a group of aliens assembled around one of the glowing crystals. Nick Fury has now assembled the Repulsers superhero team to rescue Taffy Man and stop any threat the aliens may pose.

*America Girl
*Plasma Man (and Minions)
*Ice Princess (and Snowflake the ice golem)
*Star Flare
*Blue Raven
*Major Blasto

*Taffy Man
*United States Navy SEALs
*Local Policemen

*Aliens (Greys)
*Alien Guard-Creatures
*Alien Monster

Aboard the Quinjet, the team (led by America Girl) discussed the mission and split into task forces:
  • America Girl / Plasma Man - enter the flying saucer to rescue Taffy Man and research the aliens
  • Ice Princess / Star Flare - evacuate the town and protect its citizens
  • Blue Raven / Major Blasto - engage the aliens and eliminate any threat they may pose
Due to their military training, America Girl, Major Blasto, and Blue Raven were able to parachute down while the rest of the team aboard the Quinjet landed in a airfield outside of town.

America Girl defeated the two aggressive alien creatures guarding the flying saucer and entered the alien craft. She found the captured Taffy Man and defeated the aliens guarding him. Taffy Man then informs her about the aliens - they are evil and seek the town's destruction! The glowing crystals will spawn huge monsters that will destroy the town, unless the aliens are stopped. Taffy Man also found out a secret hidden deep within the ship's computer - the alien monsters will melt when exposed to water!

While American Girl is aboard the alien craft:
  • Major Blasto goes to a fast food restaurant and finds a group of US Navy SEALs, who he recruits to defeat the aliens,
  • Blue Raven assumes command of the local police force,
  • Ice Princess and Star Flare persuade the townsfolk to take shelter in a nearby building, and
  • Plasma Man races to the scene of the landed craft and summons his Plasma Minions.
Just then - one of glowing purple crystals explodes, and from the rubble emerges an alien monster!  The aliens head to the next crystal, ready to summon another alien monster.

Once America Girl emerges from the flying saucer, she shares the information she obtained while aboard the ship. The team focuses on new tasks:
  • America Girl and Taffy Man race to the scene,
  • Major Blasto and the US Navy SEALs take up a good firing positions and light up the alien monster from atop buildings,
  • Blue Raven and the police force engage the alien monster while on the bridge,
  • Ice Princess summons her ice golem Snowflake to fight the alien monster,
  • Star Flare destroys the remaining glowing purple crystals, preventing any additional alien monsters from being spawned, and
  • Plasma Man and his Minions defeat the remaining aliens, (other than the alien monster).
Snowflake fights the alien monster, but the alien monster lumbers past him and crosses the bridge.  Although missing the chance to destroy the two bridges over the river, the team inflicts heavy damage on the alien monster.

Then a plan emerges - Major Blasto and his Navy SEALS take positions atop the water tower and draw the alien monster toward them.  They set explosive charges, and after a slight delay setting the blasting cap, cinematically jump from the water tower (and into a nearby corn field) seconds before the explosive blast releases a rush of water which finally defeats the alien monster.

Best Moments:

*The superheroes direct townspeople to take refuge in the nearby building -- which turned out to be a chemical factory and the intended target of the large alien monster.
*The superheros firmly, but politely commandeer civilian's cars in order to drive to the action sooner.
*Major Blasto explains his plan to throw a grenade into the crowded melee of aliens and superheroes, (and only at the last minute is persuaded against taking that action)
*The team considers having Star Flare make a flame attack on Snowflake the ice golem (familiar of Ice Princess) to melt him into water and damage the alien monster.

The initial setup of the table....

The town and its people, going about their normal day...

The townspeople, unaware of the danger that awaits them.

The flying saucer, guarded by two alien creatures.

Behind the police barricade some citizens get a closer look at the aliens.

Major Blasto interrupts a group of dining US Navy SEALs and recruits them into his squad.

Ice Princess summons Snowflake - her ice golem - to engage the alien monster.

America Girl finds the captured Taffy Man aboard the flying saucer, guarded by some angry aliens.

The team and the police retreat while attempting to defeat the alien monster as it heads toward town.

Major Blasto and the US Navy SEALs fire at the alien monster, drawing him toward the water tower.

Explosives destroy the tower, releasing a deluge of water near the alien monster. 

The water - deadly to the alien monster - destroys the alien monster and saves the town.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

15mm Superhero Gaming - Doctor Who and the TARDIS

I recently painted up a suitable Doctor Who model for future superhero gaming. He is from Rebel Miniatures's 15mm Civilian Hunter's Pack 2.  I also painted up a TARDIS model that I took from the Risk: The Dalek Invasion of Earth boardgame, along with a number of Dalek miniatures from the same boardgame.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Star Wars: Legion - Boba Fett and Scout Troopers

Fantasy Flight Games has announced two new Unit Expansions for the Star Wars: Legion miniature game:
The biggest revelation is that Boba Fett is a new unit type called an operative.  Every army can have up to two operatives, (who work independently from an army's commanders).
Boba Fett Operative Expansion (SWL18) $12.95
Scout Troopers Unit Expansion (SWL19) $24.95

I'm looking forward to additional Unit Expansion previews over the next few weeks and am hoping for some operatives for the Rebel faction.

Friday, May 4, 2018

15mm Superhero Gaming - Aliens and Civilians

For future superhero gaming sessions, I bought some 15mm aliens ("15mm Science Caste (Greys) in Evaluation Mode" from Khurasan Miniatures) and painted them up recently.  I added a flying saucer (from the Mars Attacks: The Miniatures Game from Mantic), which seems to fit in nicely.  I also painted up some civilian miniatures from Rebel Miniatures to add to future scenarios using aliens, zombies... or other threats to humanity.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Team Yankee - Yugoslavian Army T-55s and BTR-60s

My quest to make a JNA (Yugoslavian) force for Team Yankee (using the rules for the East Germans) is getting closer as I complete the T-55s and BTR-60s.  I need to add tank commanders to a few command models and the armor component will be complete.

The T-55 tanks are from Plastic Soldier Company and the BTR-60 transports are from Battlefront Miniatures.  I primed them with Goblin Green from Army Painter, but primed the wheels black before gluing them on.  The tracks for the T-55s were first primed with the green, then hit on the top and bottom with black primer.  I hit each model with Army Painter Dark Tone that greatly muted the bright green.  I painted on the details before lightly drybrushing on dust and dirt using a light brown color.

When complete, the force will include 31 T-55s and 15 BTR-60s, and I plan on adding a number of infantry units to the force as well.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

15mm Superhero Gaming - Blue Raven Character Sheet

Blue Raven is the newest member of the The Repulsers superhero team.  Trained by Black Widow herself, Blue Raven is a master gymnast, acrobat, spy, and tactician.  Her Raven's Claw - which can deliver electric shocks up to 30,000 volts - is capable of incapacitating almost any foe, while her Needle Pistol can expel a flurry of poisonous darts.  Despite her advanced technological weapons, she prefers engaging enemies up close, relying on her martial arts skills for attack and her remarkable agility and dexterity for defense.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Leaked Pictures of Upcoming Free Nations Releases for Team Yankee

A post at the Team Yankee forum over at No Dice, No Glory contains some leaked pictures showing the next releases for Team Yankee.  Free Nations will contain army lists for Canadian, French, Dutch, and Australian forces.

The French Starter Force Box "Durand's Devils" appears to contain three AMX-30 tanks and two Aerospatiale SA342 Gazelle helicopters.

The NATO Starter Force Box "NATO's First Line" appears to contain three Leopard 1 tanks and two PAH-1 BO-105P helicopters.

The best guess is that we will see these all released sometime in June or July.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Star Wars: Legion Officially Released

Earlier this week, Star Wars: Legion was officially released by Fantasy Flight Games.  Many have been anxiously awaiting its release since it was first announced back in August at GenCon.

First reviews have been very positive around the rules, but there has been some criticism about the each model's lack of customization.  Nine products are now released for the game:
  • Star Wars: Legion Core Set
  • Star Wars: Legion Dice Pack
  • Star Wars: Legion Movement Tools & Range Ruler Pack
  • AT-RT Unit Expansion
  • Rebel Troopers Unit Expansion
  • 74-Z Speeder Bikes Unit Expansion
  • Stormtroopers Unit Expansion
  • AT-ST Unit Expansion
  • T-47 Airspeeder Unit Expansion
More unit expansions are to be released over the next few weeks and months. The Han Solo Commander Expansion and Rebel Commandos Unit Expansion have just been announced.  However, the previewed model for Han has been universally panned as not being representative of the character it portrays, and many of the Rebel Commando models appear to be simple modifications of the existing Rebel Trooper models.

The question now becomes how well will the game sell and how successful will it be at getting adoption by the community.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Team Yankee - Russians vs. British (64 Points)

I played Team Yankee against Strom a few weekends ago.  He used his Russians and I played my British FV432 Mechanized Company, along with some Chieftans.  Strom's airpower went unchallenged and it was a war of attrition with both sides taking heavy losses.  A few hours in we were considering calling it a stalemate, but we decided to give it a few more turns.

In the end, Strom captured an objective with his Hind Air Assault Battalion for the win.  The previous few turns he had slowly winnowed down my forces with his airpower and artillery.  He pinned the infantry unit guarding the objective.  When I failed my unpin roll there was no way I could contest his capture of it.