Sunday, June 29, 2014

OGRE--Old School!

Had a chance to break in my Ogre Pocket Edition game this weekend.  It was a retro blast playing with the same old-school counters and hex mat that came out more than three decades ago.  It gave me flashbacks to the 1970s.
I have memories of playing this game as a kid on vacations with my brother.  So when we got together for a family gathering, he and I squeezed in a couple of matches (the Mark III attacking scenario).
I was the defender in the first game.  I took two howitzers, two heavies, two missile tanks, and four GEVs.  My brother came in down one side, and used both missiles to take out GEVs (although one hovercraft got disabled twice, it did survive for three or four turns).  However, I wasn't able to reduce his speed in time, and he took out the first howitzer, then the command post, then the last howitzer.
I talked my brother into a rematch, with me driving the Ogre.  He kept the two artillery units, but ditched the heavier armor for an all-GEV force.  He had some really good rolls attacking my treads, and got me down to a move of two hexes fairly quickly.  He didn't get his GEVs out of the way, though, and I was able to chew through them.  And since I still had all my weapons, I was able to dispatch his infantry fairly easily.  In the end, I had to make a run under his howitzer umbrella.  He got me down to one move, but I still managed to kill a howitzer, destroy his CP, then take out his final artillery piece.
So we each won a game with the Ogre, but he says he did better than I did, since his Ogre (down a main and a secondary, and reduced to a move of two) wasn't as chewed up as mine (still had all its weapons, but down to one move).  What do you think?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Look at what else arrived

My felt game mat arrived from Corsec Engineering.  This is some quality felt, thicker than the space mat I have.  I showed my brand new gaming mat to my wife, who asked to feel the fabric.  Then she exclaimed, "Blankie!" grabbed the mat from me and wrapped herself up in it because she was cold.  I eventually got it back.
This mat is 60 inches by 80 inches.  It has 15 rows of four-inch hexes across and is 22 hexes long--about the same dimensions as your original Ogre map, with plenty of space for the eponymous minis in this game.  The color gradients suggest clear terrain.
I won't just be using this for super-sized games of Kill the CP, however.  I picked this hex size because in addition to holding a cybertank with room to spare, it has room for plenty of terrain, like the buildings I'm using for the city of Monopolis.
I have in mind several scenarios (or maybe one big scenario) involving a large city.  I found some thin balsa wood strips that will make nice sections of road once painted, and forest (lichen) and rubble (aquarium gravel) hex overlays should be easy to make as well.  However, I'm wondering how I should model streams and rivers on this map.
My scenarios will involve cruise missiles as well.  Any suggestions for modeling craters?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Look what came in the mail today

Steve Jackson Games delivered (via the Postal Service).  My order of two copies each of Ogre Pocket Edition and Mini Car Wars arrived today.
This Ogre edition, with its rudimentary map and black-and-white counters, is a throwback to its microgame origins, but with updated rules.  Quite a contrast to the ginormous Designer's Edition.
And this version of Car Wars includes the rules and a sheet with road sections and tiny vehicle counters (in color) that you cut out. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play them both this weekend.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Monpolis city center

Some more skyscrapers for my OGRE city of Monopolis.  Most of them came from the Monopoly City game, but there are a few pieces from the Toob line of toys.  I plan on using these taller buildings for a few dense urban hexes. 
These urban hexes will have a defense of 8, instead of the 4 that town hexes have in OGRE, the theory being that late-21st century architecture uses a lot of BPC (the same stuff they use for OGRE armor). 
I didn't have to do much for the Monopoly structures, just paint the top and the base--the windows on the sides of the buildings are decals that came applied to the pieces.  I just added the appropriate colors to the roofs and ground floors.
And yes, some of those buildings may look a little familiar.  That's because urban designers in the 2070s and '80s get a lot of  inspiration from classical architecture.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why do we play?

This thread on The Miniatures Page (which subsequently devolved into the usual "Someone is WRONG on the internet!") has an interesting theory on how our reasons for playing games can be classified by four categories, as show in the diagram above, which came from that thread.  From the original post:
  • Immersion: The player enjoys being immersed in the game narrative, the pretending. They want to experience another time, cultural or challenge apart from real life.
  • Cooperation: The player enjoys the social aspects of playing games, the camaraderie. It may not matter what game is played as long as there is good company.
  • Achievement: This is about accomplishment, but not necessarily winning a competition. It can be mastering the game system, finishing that 2,000 figure army or setting up a beautiful table or painting an outstanding stand of miniatures.
  • Competition: This is about winning. Tournament play looms large in this quadrant, but simply playing the game to win is a large part of the enjoyment. This doesn't mean 'win at any cost' or 'rules lawyering', but simply playing the game as a competitive challenge.
I play different games for different reasons.  For example, with Hordes of the Things, its for both achievement (building a cool-looking army) and competition.  But there is also the cooperative aspect of getting together with friends for a  tournament or campaign, and campaigns also result in a bit of immersion.

My spaceship games, on the other hand, are more for immersion and cooperation, although the achievement of running games and campaigns (as well as assembling and painting fleets) is also a big draw--but I don't care about winning that much, as long as everyone has fun.

So what draws you into gaming?  Is it just one thing, or a combination?  And does it change with the game?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Monopolis industrial zone

Continuing my work on the City of Monopolis, my terrain for OGRE/GEV, I have spray painted various industrial buildings and other structures to add variety to the urban landscape.  These pieces came from (mostly) the Monopoly City game.
In addition to the factory buildings, there are water towers, stadiums, windmills, and waste disposal facilities.  There are even parks.
Those round things are supposed to be African huts from the Monopoly: Here and Now World Edition, but at this scale they will do nicely as chemical storage tanks.  There are also several power plants/reactors, which will make suitable objectives or targets for my OGRE minis.  Next up, the dozens and dozens of Monopoly houses...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Zombie hotel

My brother is working on his major gaming project, a 28mm town for All Things Zombie.  One of the centerpieces will be this no-tell hotel that he's building, called The Palms.  These photos are of the work in progress.
As he tells me: "Rates are by the hour and clean sheets cost extra."  I'm looking forward to gaming in Zombieville.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fixing an OGRE scenario

SJ Games has released a draft version of the errata and FAQ for OGRE Designer's Edition.  Besides fixing some typos and clarifying some rules, there was one notable change included: increasing the amount of defending units when playing the scenario with two Mark III Ogres attacking.
I think this is a good thing.  The last time I played the defenders in this scenario, my opponents were easily able to take out my command post, although I did kill one attacking Ogre.  By increasing the number of additional defenders from two more armor units to eight more armor units, and adding six squads of infantry, this scenario will be a lot more competitive--and against two cybertanks, you'll need all the help you can get.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Carnivoran fighters in Galactic Knights

Looking over the Carnivoran expansion for Galactic Knights, I noticed that there were not two sets of game stats and rules for fighters and missiles (Standard Rules and Command Rules), like in the core rulebook and the Entomolian supplement.  Instead, the Carnivoran book just offers what appear to be standard rules and stats.
Not only that, but the book doesn't specify how many fighters make a squad.  That's important because the original GK rules specify that fighters are costed, stored and launched in squads of three.  However, the Carnivoran book never explicitly states the number of fighters per squad.  In fact, it even mentions that the heavy fighters should be treated just like a ship, and provides a record sheet with five fighters instead of three.
I prefer the Command Rules, so I came up with my own stats for the Carnivoran fighters and missiles.  It's a work in progress, so it may get modified after some playtesting.
Name Type Move Profile Dmg Notes Intercept
Fang Missile 12 6 0 successful missile hit shorts out one shield generator none
Bobcat Light Fighter 12 2 2 not depleted until current target destroyed 2 dice
Leopard Heavy Fighter 7 6 4 fighter needs two hits to be destroyed def. die only

Anyone else have house rules for Galactic Knights?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Monopolis rising

I got a little work done on the buildings for some 3-D large-hex town terrain for OGRE
I took the various skyscrapers from Monopoly City and Monopoly: Here and Now World Edition and sprayed quick coats in various colors to make them look more like buildings and less like game pieces.
They need a wash and a drybrush to bring out the details, but they already are looking pretty good as table candy.
I'm far from finished--in addition to the buildings pictured here, I also have scores of houses in various styles, classic Monopoly hotels, and even industrial structures that I need to paint.
Once I'm done, I should have enough material to create a huge population center that will serve as a memorable objective (and as cover) for my OGRE minis.  I'm looking forward to gaming with this stuff.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Pathetic Aesthetic ...

... or Oldhammer and the OSR.

Because I don't have enough gaming projects, I'm thinking about getting into Oldhammer (using older versions of the Warhammer rules to play games for fun instead of with a tournament mindset).  I'd say it's the minis equivalent of the OSR.

This is from last year, but Andy Bartlett's post on The Pathetic Aesthetic from the blog Known World, Old World encapsulates a lot of great points about the OSR and the Oldhammer movement.  A very thoughtful article that I urge you to check out.  And see robotforaday's post with similar thoughts on Going Old School at Where the Sea Pours Out.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Planet concept art

I've started working on spaceship gaming again.  This is a preliminary concept sketch for the large Styrofoam planet I'm planning to paint for use with my starship battles.  The color scheme is courtesy of my wife, who was quick to break out the colored pencils when I asked for her input.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Spaceship names from Heavy Metal soundtrack

The tunes from the movie Heavy Metal include some song titles that would make great names for ships in your sci-fi game, whether roleplaying or wargaming.  For example, I can imagine some Free Trader or Dreadnought with one of these designations:
  • Heavy Metal
  • Radar Rider
  • True Companion
  • Queen Bee
  • Veteran of the Psychic Wars
What other song titles would make good starship designations?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The first transport ...

... has arrived at my house.  Now I need to find a place for it, since this ship is pretty sizeable:
I recently received this expansion to the X-Wing game from my brother as a Christmas gift (whether it should be considered very belated or extremely early I will leave as an exercise for the reader)--so thanks, bro! 

The Rebel Transport is a huge ship, and it comes with some new rules and even a series of campaign scenarios.  It also includes another X-Wing model, along with some new pilot cards.  I can't wait to play some games with this, even if I still haven't figured out where I'm gonna store it.