Sunday, June 18, 2017

The FBI and TSR

In case you missed it, here is an FBI report mentioning TSR, Inc. from 1995. Long story short: Agents interviewed someone at the company about any connection between TSR and Fresno Gaming Association and Company--and that person slung some mud on Gary Gygax.

According to this blog post at Save Versus All Wands, the Feds were running down possible leads on the American terrorist known as the Unabomber. For some reason, they went to the Dungeons & Dragons publisher's headquarters, where they spoke to a company official (name redacted), who told the investigators "that the typical war gaming enthusiast is overweight and not neat in appearance." While there might be a grain of truth to that, the source provided a lot of inaccurate information regarding wargames.

There's more on TSR, wargamers in general, and D&D co-creator Gary Gygax in particular. All in all, the company honcho was dishing dirt on Gygax and expressing her disdain for gamers. As the Save Versus All Wands author states in this message board post, it sounds like the source was Lorraine Williams, the person infamous for ousting Gygax from the company he helped found.

Interesting tidbit from back in the day.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ogre minis game

As usual, I'm late in posting this game from last month. Jeff, another Ogre player who took part in my Monopolis scenario last fall, met me at Dragon's Lair for some Ogre minis action.
Jeff brought his nicely painted miniatures, both Combine and Paneuro. He also brought some wonderful city terrain from Japan, that goes by the name GEOcraper.
I played the city's defenders, and Jeff brought in an attacking force twice as strong. We got into a destructive battle here where the road passed by a lake.
But the attacking GEVs outnumbered my defenders, and they began to close in. Not pictured are the several Ogres approaching down the road (sorry, the photo came out too blurry to post).
I had to leave soon after this picture. But with the additional forces coming in, the defenders were sure to take a beating. I hope to play again soon.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

As the Wheel Turns (Frostgrave catch-up post)

Another game of Frostrgave, this time the Bone Wheel. Note the fancy paving for the gaming surface. One of our players, Yosef, cut and painted some blue insulation foam to make a nice cityscape.
He also constructed the bone wheel that gives this scenario its name: A rotating circular device with six bodies hanging from it.
There was also a couple of banshees that ended up not causing too much trouble for me or for Yosef. Of course, we could concentrate on the undead since we were not trying to kill each other this game.
Since this was a two-player scenario and we had four players show up, the other two participants played on another board with a second bone wheel. They might have beat up on each other a bit.
With this scenario complete, it's time to take on the Lich Lord itself!

Monday, May 8, 2017

The cauldron and the cultists

Time for another Frostgrave battle report. This time, in our Lich Lord campaign, my wizard stumbled across a group of death cultists atop a hill, performing an unholy rite around a dark cauldron filled with vile necromancy.
Of course, there was plenty of treasure laying around, and apprentice Vega Brewer sent Stout, Frick, Bowman, and Smith to secure a nearby pile of loot.
The Frozen City has many features, including this waterfall locked into ice.
Meanwhile, the wizard Spica "Spike" Brewer, sent her apothecary, Gertrude, to quickly get another treasure off the battlefield.
The apprentice ended up leading her soldiers close to the cultists' ceremony, then used a wall to isolate many of them as another wizard's party took them on in hand-to-hand combat while Smith fought a zombie summoned from the cauldron.
On the other side, a third wizard's group fought the death cultists as well, while my troops fired missiles or cast spells from a short distance away.
Soon after, the other wizard tipped over the cauldron (and got the experience points), with the cultists all out of commission.
Again, I managed not to lose any soldiers, as we marched on toward the penultimate scenario in the Lich Lord campaign.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Catching up with Frostgrave

I've been neglecting to document my Frostgrave gaming, so allow me to present this update from the Frozen City filled with fantastic treasure: 
As our Lich Lord campaign takes place on alternating Thursdays, a few weeks ago we played generic. non-LL Frostgrave scenario. I like the look of the table with all the ruins; it really conveys the feel of a fallen city.
There was a light of fighting over treasure in this game, and the fact that there were several multi-level structures gave us all a chance to try new tactics.
This was a three-player game, with a chance for treasure or random creatures when we took an action to search certain locations on the board, such as this dragon skull (that concealed a werewolf).
These large crystals also held monsters, posing a problem for my opponent (and keeping him distracted from me).
In the end, my wizard's band escaped relatively unscathed, with several more treasures and a lot more experience. More updates to come ...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Where'd these figures come from?

I stumbled across a bag of miniatures (presumably for D&D) in a secondhand shop recently, and for three bucks I had to scoop them up.
All the castings exude an old-school vibe. There's this dwarf on a throne:
And a pair of halfling scouts, that looks familiar, but I just can't place it:
As well as another dwarf, with spear and shield:
Along with two more short guys, dwarves or gnomes:
Any idea as to manufacturer or range? I'm curious about where these guys originated.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Structures for Zombieville

From last year, here are a couple of structures my brother and I are working on for his Zombieville table. 
As you can see in these before pictures, this church started out as a Christmas village decoration. 
Paint the snow green, touch up the stained glass windows, and you've got a building that isn't quite as seasonal, and can be used in a game with 28mm figures.
There's also this three-level parking garage from an MDF kit. As the top two floors are removable, this structure should make for some interesting battles.
We haven't actually playtested my brother's scenario yet, but the game will certainly have plenty of scenery to interact with.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mag Con report

A couple of weeks ago I took my brother and my niece to Mag Con, a gaming convention that serves as a fundraiser for one of the schools in New Caney. My brother was anxious to introduce his daughter to gaming, and I knew just the event to draw her in: Circus Maximus!
There were four of us old guys playing, along with my niece. Of course my brother and I tried to kill each other in this game, and the other two veteran gamers did the same.
But while we were all intent on knocking each other out of the race, the girl kept her eyes on the prize and ended up coming in first place in her first game at her first convention.
I knew another game she would like: Steve Jackson's Munchkin. They were demoing the Marvel version of the game, so it had some superheroes that she was familiar with, and the gameplay was simple for her and my brother to pick up. There were a total of six players, and while we all tried to stab each other in the back, my niece again won the game.
Some other games I saw but didn't play included this Lego whaling scenario, which I had seen at Millenniumcon. It looks like fun, and I will have to try it this fall if it's on the MillCon schedule.
There was also a Walking Dead game, but no one was playing when I shot this photo. Looks good, anyway. By this time, we had to go, but not before my brother--who went into the game thinking he would hate it--bought a copy of Munchkin. He and my niece had a good time, and I hope this means we have a new gamer.
As a bonus, the next morning my brother and I played a quick game of Ogre: Objective 218, an Ogre-themed card game. A nice way to wind down a weekend of gaming.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Frostgraving for fun and profit

My wizard and her warband came out with a good haul from last week's Frostgrave scenario. We played the Ghoul King scenario in our Lich Lord campaign.
We started out sealed underground with the Ghoul King on his throne in the center of the chamber. While my wizard and her apprentice led the soldiers toward some nearby treasure, Stout joined the warband's two shooters, Bowman and Quarrel, to go distract the undead monarch.
This plan turned out incredibly better than I expected, with the archer rolling a natural 20 to kill the Ghoul King where as he sat, leaving the treasures near his throne open for the taking.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What's a spaceship game doing on here?

Last week my Frostgrave group took a break from that game and allowed me to run a scenario for Galactic Knights instead. The players were new, so I kept the premise simple: A couple of Terran squadrons surprised a pair of Avarian carriers trying to fly past a planet in order to make another hyperspace jump.
John took the Terran white squadron of a galactic battlecruiser (Big Mo) and two stellar cruisers (Curley and Larry). I took the red squadron, with the galactic battlecruiser Aggravated Assault and the stellar cruisers Offensive Contact and Probation Violation.
Wayne and Yosef each took a galactic attack carrier, the Raptor and the Soarglide respectively. Sorry for the blurry picture, but it's all I got. The flattops' goal was to make it to the other end of the board. The Terrans' goal was to stop them.
The carriers immediately launched all their fighters, making an impressive sight as they soared past the planet.
To the left of the world, you can barely make out my battlecruiser's own fighter wings, trying to avoid the enemy attack craft so they could shoot at the carriers.
The fighters from both carriers converged on the cruiser Offensive Contact. Even with AA support from its sister ship and help from the battlecruisers' interceptors, the Terran vessel took way too much damage to survive. And our sides attack fighters didn't do much to the enemy.
The only positive to my stellar cruiser becoming a rapidly expanding ball of plasma was the fact that all those enemy fighters had to return to their motherships to refuel and rearm. Unfortunately for the attack craft from the Raptor, my side managed to destroy a few of that carrier's hanger/launcher systems, forcing some squadrons to land on the Soarglide and a couple of unlucky flights to circle until they had an open hanger.
Meanwhile, the carriers accelerated as the other ships closed into particle beam range. The Terrans concentrated their fire on the Raptor, taking out weapons and hangers before a beam tore into the carrier's jump drive, stranding it in the star system without faster-than-light capability. Now that we knew one of the ships wasn't going anywhere, we started to shoot up the other one as we drifted closer.
Our shots did pretty much only superficial damage to the up-till-now pristine Soarglide. At this point, the carriers were going to drift off the left edge of the map on the next turn, while the white squadron was headed off the bottom edge (with my two remaining red ships slowing down as the wreckage from the Offensive Contact drifted leisurely away from the battle).
We called the game a draw--one carrier escaped off the map, but its sister ship would be captured without a working hyperdrive, and one interdictor was destroyed, with negligible damage to the rest. Fun game, and they definitely want to play again.