Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

Sure, my Command Post had a lot to deal with in 2019, so I didn't blog as much as I wanted, but I got to roll lots of dice and get plenty of miniatures on the table, like this pack of Ogres at MillenniumCon. Here's to more gaming in 2020!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Christmas present

I asked for (and received) the excellent board game Terraforming Mars for Christmas. It's a card-driven game that also uses a map of the Red Planet so players can track their progress in making the world suitable for human settlements.
Players act as corporations over a span of generations, accumulating resources and taking actions to increase three environmental factors (temperature, oxygen, and surface water) to Earth norms. This game is very thematic, with actions such as dropping a comet on the planet to add oceans or using orbiting mirrors to increase the temperature. It's a fun game, and I even got my wife to play!

What did everyone else get this holiday?

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Pics from MillCon day two

The first full day of this year's MillenniumCon had plenty of eye candy. There was the World War II game which spanned several tables (above) and this Wings of War setup with bombers and escorts (below):
There was a nice Stalingrad setup for Bolt Action:
And a western town for Fistful of Lead:
As well as this sci-fi terrain for Gates of Antares:
A great freighter centerpiece for modern-day Spectre Operations:
And some 3-D terrain for good old Melee:
I also ran my two games; more about that later.

Friday, November 15, 2019

MillCon loot

I was parsimonious at the game convention this year, buying just two items for myself: This scatter terrain from one of the vendors, Black Site Studios, and a Marvel Heroscape set at the flea market.
(Apologies for the upside-downiness, but I don't know how to fix that.) Anyone else make out with some good loot from a recent game convention? Did you spend a lot or a little?

Thursday, November 7, 2019

First day of MillCon

MillenniumCon began on a Thursday this year, with all the games immediately getting filled before I could register. I went anyway, just to hang out and see some gaming buddies.
This Napoleonics game was being set up, but it's not scheduled until tomorrow. These miniatures are some original lead minifigs.
There was also a gladiator game being run. I didn't know that they fought giraffes in the coliseum. Looking forward to playing some minis tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Ogres in progress

Some detailing for my plastic Ogres, which I may or may not use for my Monopolis game at MillenniumCon this weekend. They look a helluva lot better with just a wash, compared to right after I had basecoated them. Looking forward to some minis gaming at the convention. Anyone else on here going to be at the con this weekend in Round Rock?

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

GK replay

After reviewing feedback from my gaming group, I ran a refight of my Galactic Knights convention scenario, appropriately tweaked. By designating the starting points for all the ships, I took away a player decision point but enabled the action to start quicker. It also put forces in position where interesting things would happen.
So we had ships attacking transports, ships defending transports, and ships trying to capture other ships. The players tried to play to their assigned scenario objectives, which were at least in theory achievable.
In the full convention game, with individual players for each force (we doubled up in the playtest), the interaction between "allies" with disparate goals can produce some unexpected results--and as the game master, I love it when player surprise me.
I'm looking forward to running this at MillenniumCon, and let me again recommend that you playtest your convention scenarios.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Dusting off Hordes of the Things

Back in San Antonio, the folks I gamed with played a lot of Hordes of the Things. Here in Austin, not so much. In fact, I had never played this ruleset with my regular gaming group until recently.
I brought one of my favorite HotT armies: my Nightmare Legion. The other players brought old figures from their collections and used some bases I loaned them. I defended (a chance to show off my skull stronghold). My first opponent took a bunch of dwarves, mostly blades and shooters with a hero or two, who ended up making their way to my Magician general and winning that battle.
I also brought another favorite army: Surtr and the Sons of Muspel (this time showing off my volcano stronghold). My next opponent took a human army with knights, shooters, spears, and a hero. I was too impatient to let the enemy come to me, so I sent my fire giants forward.
Having to deal with the bad going led me to split my forces, especially as his mounted elements started trying to flank me on my left. I sent the beasts (wildfires) to try to hold them off--a bad idea as it turned out.
While the knights tried to stamp out the wildfires, I sent Surtr and his buddies against the shooters. However, since they were in the woods, they were hard for the fire giant to see, and the bowmen ended up recoiling one behemoth and then taking out my general.
Of course, I didn't mind losing either game, since I had a chance to demonstrate this ruleset and hopefully get my gaming buddies to dust off and rebase some of their old figures so we can play more Hordes of the Things.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Ogres assembled

I put together and basecoated three Ogres from the SJ Games plastic miniatures line: the Mark III, Mark IV, and Mark V. Now I just need to do some detailing so I can have these ready for MillenniumCon, where I'm running my usual Monopolis game (plastic minis using the boardgame rules with 3-D terrain on a large hex mat). I'm still not sure if I will use all of these models in my scenario, but I'm leaning that way. I need more time to think about it, but the game convention is just two weeks away. Am I the only one that commits to run a convention scenario and then waits till the last minute to get it ready?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Galactic Knights scenario playtest

For the first time in a long time, I'm running a spaceship game at MillenniumCon. Last week I took it to Dragon's Lair so our group could playtest the scenario. From the event description:
Operation Bug Tussle During the invasion of the Entomalian Empire, Operation Bug Tussle was an unremarkable skirmish until unexpected allies showed up, making this the first battle of the Fourth Interstellar War to involve all of the Five Galactic Powers. Play as the Terrans, Entomalians, Avarians, Carnivorans, or Aquarians in this spaceship miniatures game using vector movement on a hex grid.
The players noted some improvements that could be made to the scenario to make it more interesting for the players. I'm glad we had a chance to try it out before the convention. Hope to see you there.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Wrapping up Frostgrave

As September wraps up, let me share the wrapup of our Frostgrave campaign. We started the scenarios in the Forbidden Pacts supplement (lots of demons and barbarians), and my original warband, the tavern folk, lost its wizard when she failed a survival roll. So the next game I replaced the townspeople with my lizardman warband, led by the elementalist Topo Chiko (above).
In the final scenario in the Forbidden Pacts book, you encounter a barbarian lord on a rhino as kind of a final boss. We didn't have a rhino, so we used one of my barbarians on a Reaper Bones bulette-equivalent.
There was lots of back-and-forth with my opponent's warband, struggling to snag treasures as various barbarians joined the fray. The barbarian lord was tough, but several Elemental Bolt spells helped take him out.
After that, we set aside Frostgrave for a few weeks, but we shall return. It's a fun game, and the closest to an ongoing role-playing game campaign I've had in a while.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Drilling down to childhood memories

This week's game night featured not a miniatures game, not even a sci-fi or fantasy board game, but an old-school Milton Bradley game from the 1970s called King Oil. The object is to drill oil wells and make money. It's kind of like Monopoly in that you buy and build up properties with a lot of play money exchanging hands, but the uncertainty of whether your drilling attempt will be successful adds some tension to the game. I remember playing this with my cousins at our grandparents house back in the day. Growing up in West Texas among family in the awl bidniss (as Texans pronounce it), I appreciated the theme of this game.
The board is randomized at the start , so you don't know what result you will get when you pick a drilling site. There are three levels of successful well (such as the gusher pictured in the top photo) which cost certain amounts of money, or you could end up with a dry hole, which also costs money and forces you to cap the site. You draw cards to get royalties for each producing well, and maybe a chance to by more properties on which to drill. Once you have enough rigs on a piece of property, you can run pipelines to your opponents' fields, making them pay you a certain amount for each well on their property. It was a nice little nostalgia trip, but I'm wondering how widespread this game was outside the Lone Star State. Anyone else remember King Oil?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Recent & not-recent Ogre acquisitions

I recently received my copy of Ogre Battlefields, the long-awaited expansion to Ogre Designer's Edition that I purchased back in 2013. In addition to the new maps in ODE scale, there were plenty of counters added as stretch goals in the crowdfunding campaign--including some three-dimensional Ogre models in new color schemes.
And I didn't blog about it at the time, but several months ago I got my copy of Ogre Miniatures Second Edition. I have a couple of copies of the first edition from eBay, so this was more of a way to support the publisher than any real need.
In addition to the templates for running minis games, this product also came with some 3-D models--including rare units like the Vulcan and Ninja.
While all the counters are nifty, I'm more of a miniatures player these days, so I'm thinking about selling off the sheets--at least the faction reskins--which should go to someone who will get more use out of them. But whether you prefer miniatures or cardboard, it's a good time to be an Ogre player.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Running the gauntlet

My last Ogre game was over a month ago. I used my Monopolis setup and used the forces from the Mark V Attacking scenario in the original rules. But instead of killing the command post, the cybertank had to get all the way across the long axis of the map with four of its missiles.
I took the Ogre, while Wes played the defenders and tried to intercept me. However, I used the roads and terrain to make sure he couldn't get too many units in the same place--fighting them a few at a time is a lot easier.
Still, prying infantry out of a city is a rhymes-with-witch, and they were able to keep picking at the Ogre, slowing me down.
The defending armor units contributed to my misery, but by aiming at treads, they left me free to strike back. I conserved my missiles, using two of them to take out a howitzer and another long-distance shot (the remainder I needed for victory conditions).
In the end, the cybertank limped off the far edge of the map with two treat units remaining and the rest of the defenders in hot pursuit. It was a narrow victory, and seemed like a balanced scenario.
Speaking of Ogre, there's a crowdfunding campaign to get the two largest cybertanks, the Mark VI and the Doppelsoldner, in plastic miniature form. It ends in a few days, so go on over and take a look if you're interested in more Ogre minis.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

And then there's this ...

I can't remember the name of this critter, but it's a Reaper Bones miniature.
Ugly as all git-out, but fun for me to paint, using those color-shifting paints I got at Michael's craft store.
We have Lovecraftian organic alien-ness combined with Geigeresque biomechanical aesthetics. Works for me!
This is another creature to play the role of summoned demon in our Frostgrave campaign. Anyone know what this critter's called?

UPDATE: My thanks to joe5mc for IDing this mini as "gug, eldritch horror." I'm flattered that the author of Frostgrave stopped by the Dreadnought.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Sympathy for this devil

Another Wiz Kids mini, this time a Bone Devil from the Pathfinder line. He will come in handy in future Frostgrave scenarios from the Forgotten Pacts supplement.
A simple paint job: basecoat black, drybrush lighter shades of brown all the way to linen then vintage white. I then filled the eye sockets with color-shifting blue paint. The base is drybrushed gray, then white.
It's not gonna win any awards, but it looks decent enough on the tabletop--and it's the first non-terrain piece I've painted in quite some time, so I'm glad to get this done.