Monday, October 24, 2016

Original D&D play report

So I got to play some old-school Dungeons & Dragons over the weekend--I'm talking the original three booklets version (with house rules, of course, as that's the Old School Way). One of the folks on the OD&D Discussion forums mentioned an ongoing game here in the Austin area, and when I inquired, he was kind enough to invite me. Turns out their sessions were so popular, they started a second game with another DM. It was his first time behind the DM's screen, and my first time as a player in a campaign since I left the Hill Cantons.
There was a good crowd for this session: Seven characters, including the son of the DM and the son of one the players, and the DM. Character generation was quick and simple: 3d6 in order. I was thrilled to roll three 15s in a row for my guy's Strength, Intelligence, and Wisdom, but then was brought back down to earth with scores of 7 and 8 in Constitution and Dexterity, respectively. I named this character Clumsy Carp and made him a cleric. We started off in the village of Meadsville, learning of a threat to caravans and a separate threat in the nearby woods, which we investigated.
Long story short: Having a cleric came in handy, since we ran into a lot of undead, as well as a minion of the witch who one of the magic-users charmed. We came out of the dungeon with enough of a haul to get nearly everyone up a level. It was a good time, and I look forward to playing some  more.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Monopolis aerial photo

Here's a shot from a recon satellite of the greater Monopolis area. This photo was taken in winter, so the vegetation is not obvious (that is, I haven't added the forest and swamp yet). It looks peaceful now, but in a couple of weeks it will be under siege at MillenniumCon in my Ogre scenario. If you're interested in playing, last I checked there were still a few slots open.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Monopolis at MillenniumCon

MillenniumCon 19, the wargame convention in Round Rock, Texas, will take place the weekend of November 11, 2016. I will be running my Ogre scenario, the Siege of Monopolis, on Saturday the 12th. You have till the end of the month to register and sign up for games, including mine. Here's the description of my scenario, taken from the convention event list:
The peaceful City of Monopolis rises above the rubble of the Last War, a gleaming center of commerce and industry. But no peace lasts forever. Now invaders march to conquer the city while outnumbered defenders scramble to protect their home. This is a custom scenario for Ogre Designer's Edition, using the official Ogre miniatures (and a few original units) on a large hex mat with 3-D terrain. With room for up to 8 players, you and your friends can aid in the defense of the besieged city--or help the invaders conquer it. Fight in the Siege of Monopolis!
If you're interested in MillCon, you have till the end of the month to register for the convention online and sign up for games. But act quickly; all the events fill up fast, and half the spots in my Monopolis game are already spoken for. Even if you're not interested in Ogre, let me know if you're going to the convention. I would love a chance to meet some of the folks who read this blog.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The importance of playtesting

I had a chance to run the latest iteration of my Monopolis scenario for Ogre with some friends before I present it at MillenniumCon in November, and I'm glad I did. First, I was able to lay out all the terrain, and it looked cool. More important, however, I got some valuable feedback on my design.
The players were blunt about some problems with my setup: Mainly, that some objectives were too far for the attacking player to reach, and some parts of the map never saw any combat. I was told I went overboard with the terrain, and they're right. At the playtesters' recommendation, I am going to have the attackers come in closer to the city--and from more than one side of the map. I will also give the defenders some reinforcements.
Another thing they discussed were the objective cards I had printed out. They told me the cards needed pictures of the objectives (which I didn't have time to get for the playtest). I also realized that I forgot to mention that lasers can be used offensively as well as defensively, which I need to tell the players. This is something I will include in the player handout, along with other tips and hints that players unfamiliar with the rules as well might appreciate.
I enjoyed running the game, and even if the scenario wasn't perfect, I had a good time--and I think the players did too. Now, back to the drawing board!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ogre minis work in progress

Some of the miniatures on my painting table today in various states of completion. How's your weekend going?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My next gaming project

I won't start working on it until after Millenniumcon 19 in November, but I've decided what my next gaming project will be. More details later, but for now, here's a hint:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sunday Ogre games

This past weekend, I had a chance to meet up with a fellow member of the Steve Jackson Games Ogre and GEV message board for a couple of games.I brought my portable set (large-hex paper maps and 1" classic counters) to Great Hall Games for us to play.
We started out with the classic Mark III Attacking scenario from the original game. I played the defenders and set up with all my GEVs and most of my tanks forward. I kept my missile tanks, remaining heavy, and infantry at the back. Thanks to some good shooting at the treads, I managed to slow the Ogre down, giving my units a chance to keep up with it until I could immobilizing it.
Then we played the Raid scenario from the sequel. I took the attackers, concentrating on destroying town hexes and enemy units that I came across. The strategy worked for me until I got impatient and decided to send four of my GEVs into an overrun. I "won" that combat, if you can call trading three units for two a good deal. My force was much reduced, and I ended up sticking around too long and the defender was able to pick off all my GEVs, ending up with a marginal victory.

It was nice to find a fellow Ogre fan in the Austin area. We hope to make Ogre gaming a regular thing, and maybe even get some more players.