Friday, December 19, 2014

Planetary engineering

It's been a long time since I've mentioned anything space-related on this blog.  Just to show you that I haven't abandoned the genre completely, here's another planet for use in my starship battles.
This world is made from a 12-inch Styrofoam hemisphere from a craft store.  I coated it in white glue to protect it from aerosols which can dissolve the material, then lightly applied about four different colors in a mottled pattern.
This massive object provides takes up a lot of room on the gaming table and can shelter even the largest vessels, like this Victory-class super galactic dreadnought of the Terran Transsolar Federation Navy.
It's noticeably larger than my other planet model, but too small to represent a gas giant at this scale.  Instead, it's a larger (but less dense) Earth-type world with a thicker atmosphere, no oceans, and lots of plant life.  I plan on using both of these planets, along with an airless moon, in a future convention game.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Speculating on Pocket GEV

When Steve Jackson Games ran that Kickstarter for Ogre Designer's Edition, one of the stretch goals was Ogre Pocket Edition.  This throwback to the 1977 edition came in a ziplock bag with two sheets of 70 half-inch cardboard counters each, an 8.5" x 14" map on heavy paper, and a small rulebook.
The current version of OGRE comes in a plastic bag.
The most remarkable thing about this product was that SJG kept the price at its 1977 level: just $2.95 for the game, even though all the components mean it should cost around $10 in today's market. 
An older edition of GEV came in a black plastic box.
So naturally there's been fan speculation about whether Steve Jackson will release a pocket version of the game's sequel, G.E.V.  (Frankly, I don't think it will happen; an SJG honcho said maybe if they sold all their Pocket Ogre copies by Oct. 1 of this year, but there's no indication that they did sell out of the game.  Still, it's fun to ponder.)

So what should be included in a new ziplock edition of G.E.V.?  I'm gonna presume that in order to keep costs down, the publisher will use the same die cut counter sheets, just with different printing.  So there are 140 counters to play with.  The rulebook will be about the same (or a little thicker) than the Ogre booklet, but this edition will require a larger, color map.  So it might end up costing around $12 or $13, instead of the inflation-adjusted $10 of Pocket Ogre.

But what units should be included with those counters?  The original G.E.V. introduced only four new vehicles: the light tank, the mobile howitzer, the Ogre Mk IV, and the train.  But the Designer's Edition also included units from other supplements, such as light and personnel carrier GEVs, superheavy tanks, missile crawlers, hovertrucks, and other models of cybertanks.

Me, I think a new edition of G.E.V. should have all the units that were in the original game, along with light GEVs and superheavy tanks--these types provide an interesting mix of combat vehicles, without having to get into special rules (like infantry riding in GEV-PCs or cruise missile detonation).  Also, this counter mix would still give players enough of each unit type to try out various strategies.

Like I said, this game will probably never go into production--but it's fun to think about.  And if it ever does go on sale, I'll be buying at least two copies. If Pocket G.E.V. does see the light of day, what would you like to see it have?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Terminator game at Millcon

The first night of Millenniumcon, I was able to play in a Terminator scenario put on by Coack K and his son, the same folks who ran Battle of Hoth and Predator games at previous conventions.
The setup was a post-Judgment Day ruined city; with the human resistance trying to mess up a Skynet facility before it gets a couple of Hunter-Killer tanks online. The scenery used battery-powered tea lights to simulate fires burning inside the ruined buildings.
I took the side of the machines, running a couple of squads of skeletal Terminators. 
There were several squads of resistance fighters, along with some vehicular support (a couple of Humvees and a mobile missile launcher.  They were easy to target, and easy to destroy.
Meanwhile, another squad of robots was working on getting the big tank running ...
While there was some talk of an aerial H-K and an A-10, air support, however, was absent for each side.

Sir not appearing in this game
Eventually, the Terminators did get the first tank operational.  This was after we had wiped out a couple of human squads, including one led by John Connor himself.
It ended up being a rough night for the humans, who lost several squads and had to deal with an infiltrator squad led by Arnie himself (not pictured).
A fun game as always, and I'm glad I had a chance to participate. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Finally beat the Ogre!

Game after game, introducing new players to Ogre, I always played the defender in the introductory scenario.  I've never been able to defeat the attacking Ogre, until a game last week.  My opponent had played a few games previously, so I didn't give him many hints as he charged his Mark III cybertank at my command post. 
I took out his main battery, and he ended up using his missiles to destroy a GEV and a missile tank.  I had some good rolling taking out his treads, and I was able to stop the Ogre far from the command post--and I still had a pair of GEVs and my two howitzers.  I'm proud of finally destroying the Ogre before it took out my CP.  Now to take on the Mark V ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Millenniumcon 17 photo dump (day 1)

Pics from first day of the game convention in Round Rock.  These are games I didn't play in; I just snapped some photos.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Loot from Millenniumcon

I managed to resist buying anything in the dealers' room this year at Millenniumcon (unlike last year, when I dropped way too much cash on gaming stuff).  I did end up with a few bargains from the flea market for attendees though.
The first thing I spotted was this vintage black box edition of GEV.  Although I have the new pocket edition of Ogre, it doesn't have the color map like GEV does.  There was even a copy of an older edition of Ogre itself in there as well.  And for five bucks, I couldn't pass it up.
I also got two sets of miniature port facilities for another five bucks.  Even though my Monopolis game is over, the city won't stop growing.  Besides, the city is on a river; it needs a port for water transportation.  Here's a closeup of the buildings, which I can't wait to add to my city:
Speaking of transportation, this tiny (1/500) airliner will make a nice piece of eye candy for the Monopolis airport.  I'll have to see if I can find some other really small planes to decorate the runways once I get them built. (Full disclosure: I didn't buy this at the convention, but at a hobby store I stopped at on the way home.)
Finally, I snagged a copy of Future War Commander, a game I've played once and wanted to take up again; now I have a chance to do so.
So what cool purchases have you made at gaming conventions?