Tuesday, June 28, 2011

House arrest

I started playing games created for the Board Game Geek Solitaire Print and Play Contest.
After several games that failed to scratch my need for solo gaming, I tried Inspector Moss II: House arrest by Rebekah B. Game is free, so go download it.
House arrest is a really fun dice allocation game.
Just like in every good crime novel, player takes a role of police inspector, who found himself accidentally at the scene of a murder. His goal is to find and arrest the murderer before the time runs up, using combination of clues and police methods.
All actions are performed by allocating specific number of dices. 8 dices are used in the game, and they can be rerolled up to three times in one turn.Additional strength of this game is great graphic. There is printer friendly version included, but I would recommend using full color, and printing 2 pages of tiles on one sheet of card-stock, just like I did on these photos.
In total, House Arrest is a fun game, one that I will be playing a lot once the competition is over.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Image World, Session 2

Session 1 can be found here.

Session 1 can be found here.

Warrior (MGE: Persecute Success): Event in Creation, after the event where gods created image world. As world started to shape, Imra, goddess of change began to disagree with the image. She started to shape the world differently, according to her own vision, and everything she touched turned even more beautiful than the picture in the Image world. But the other gods were jealous at her successes, so they tricked and imprisoned her into the same Image world she hated, where nothing is real, time stands still and changes are impossible (D)


Romantic (MGE: Celebrate information): Event in the Age of Enlightenment, after Imagist rise to power. Heraha, high priestess of Olhuna, goddess of nature, child birth and health, while praying on the twentieth day of spring, received vision of the garden in the Image World, where all plants had their healing properties written in front of them. Grateful for the new knowledge, Heraha order that great festival should be celebrated each year on the twentieth day of spring, which will from this moment on be known as the Day of the healing herbs.


Me:

1. Event in Creation - Imra escapes from the Image World (D).
2. Scene:

QUESTION: Have Image World survived Imra’s escape?

Setting the scene: Other Gods discuss Imra’s escape.

PICKING CHARACTERS

Banned: Imra.

Romantic (UNE: Optimistic steward, shepherd gluttony, compose riddles) Dubus, god of wine and entertainment.

Warrior (UNE: Obnoxious astrologer, construct intelligence, drive expertise) Guhernia, goddess of science and logic.

Me: Skallut, bisexual god of justice and right measure.

R (MGE: Return Attention) “The name that has been forgotten is back on every lip! End of all things is coming! Let’s drink and be merry!”

W (MGE: Adjourn Riches) “This is not a laughing matter, you fool! The knowledge Imra took from us is more precious than you can ever imagine!”

Me: “We have imprisoned Imra unjustly. So she is entitled for some compensation. Our time to pay had to come sooner or later. It came now.”

R (MGE: Proceedings Opposition) “I’ll sit with Imra by the glass of wine; let laughter wash all past away! And let all that now belongs to her be shared with all of us again! Let’s drink and be merry!”

W (MGE: Refuse a Representative) “You are a fool. You can not negotiate with yourself, and you want to negotiate with Imra! Even if she accepts your proposal, she will change her mind the minute we turn our back on her. That is her nature. We have to find some other way to deal with this problem.”

Me: “Maybe we can offer her something else in exchange? But first, are we positive she has not destroyed the knowledge we seek? It could be lost during her escape, or destroyed after it, having in mind Imra’s hatred for it?”

R (Arrive Nature) “Changer will change but not destroy! Ever-changing is her mind, so now she loves what she once hated! Let’s drink and be merry!”

ANSWER: Imra stole Image World from other Gods, but fell in love with it and could not destroy it.


LEGACY PHASE

R – Chose legacy (MGE: Dominate investment) Imra’s ownership over the Image World

R makes dictated scene:

Question (MGE: Inquire Disruption) How did Imra’s ownership of the Image World ended?

Description (MGE: Truce Investment)

The time has come, and Imra met with other Gods to offer them her proposition.

“Let’s all of us retire to the Image World, and leave the creation to the mortal races. This way, Image world will again belong to all of us” said she.

“The proposition is just” announced Skallut.

Other goods looked at each other. Finally, Guhernia spoke for all of them:

“If this is the way it must be, we accept. We will all move into the Image World, and make it our home. From now on, created world will stay in the hands of mortal races.”

ANSWER: All gods left creation and settled inside the Image World. (L)

Part 3 can be found here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Young Fathers in WFB Action

We are lucky to say that our little gaming community was exposed to a real baby boom recently. In little more then a year we have grown by two boys and one girl, and now another of our members is expecting to become a father.
This, of course, effectively reduced the number of our playing sessions.
Uncommon are occasions like this one, when no less then five of us finds time to join the game. We celebrated it with Warhammer Fantasy mega battle, with Daemons, Beastmen, Skaven, Ogres and Lizardmen.
We started around 4pm and the battle lasted until 8pm when it is time for babies to go to sleep. Therefore, we had to pack our miniatures at the middle of turn 3, but never the less, it was lots of fun... One of the experiences we used to have in our past, pre-fatherly life, and one of the feels we have almost forgotten...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New World - solo Microscope/Mythic game, session 1

I started solo Microscope session with help of Mythic GM Emulator. My plan is to create history of the world, take it to the edge of cataclysm, and then play few classical adventures with mythic and my favorite Chaosium Rune Quest 2 engine in this world, to see what happen next.
There would be 3 players, each with his or hers chaos factor, according to Risus Monkey’s idea.
Players are me (CF5), Romantic (CF 6) and Warrior (CF 7).

BIG PICTURE
Magical world raises, develops and comes to the edge of cataclysm.

START:
The world is created (L)
END:
Cataclysm is coming (D)

FIRST PASS
Me: Event in world creation period – gods awaken into the world already created, but unshaped and bare (L).
Warrior (MGME: Trick Home): Event in world creation period –gods create image of the shaped world. World itself is not yet shaped, it is just the image to work by (L) (hello Tolkien:)).
Romantic (MGME: Gratify Rumor): Period – Age of Enlightenment – scholars from all mortal races discover new things and seek the knowledge long lost. (L)

TURN 1
Me as Lance: Focus on Image World

1. Event in Age of Enlightenment – Imagists, order of scientist and mages of all races dedicated to discovering secrets of the Image World rise to power. (L)

2. Scene.
QUESTION: How does the real world differ from the Image of Gods?
Setting the scene: At first imagists were few, located in isolated houses. They worked in secret, afraid of what they might find, gaining knowledge through rituals, magic or researching old books.
PICKING CHARACTERS
Banned: Gods.
Required: Two scholars.
Romantic (UNE: Fickle Home maker, suggest vigilance, assist elite) Laila, first scholar, human female assistant and lover of main scientist, keeps his home and his notes in order
Warrior (UNE: glum servant, manage deprivation, defile enemies, depress vigilance) he will play Time, in the form of the rival group who tries to stop Imagists from publishing their discoveries.
I will play second scholar, Vuluche, elf male scientist.

R (MGE: Antagonize messages) “My Lord, we have to leave this town. Mob is gathering against you inspired by the whispers of our enemies!”
Will W pass this turn? Scene is just beginning, so Very likely – 65. Rolled 52, yes.
Me: “Nonsense Laila. We are respected citizens of this town, and most of the people here know me very well. They will not harm us in any way.”
R (MGE: Desert a project) “My Lord, I have the information that mob will attack tonight. If we want to live, we have to go now, and leave everything behind. I am begging you”.
W (MGE: Block Animals) Distant barking of the chase dogs can be heard. Mob is gathering, ready to pursuit the pair even if they try to run away.
Me: “I am confident that they will not harm us. Our equipment is too valuable to be left to the mercy of commoners. A little riot in front of our house is no reason to abandon all the knowledge we have gathered so far.”
R (MGE: Kill death, well opposite to death is birth) “My Lord I am pregnant with your child! For the sake of this new life, please come with me! “
Me (stepping in to answer the question!) “This can not be! Humans and elves are different species; they are unable to have common children! No document about Image World mentions such a creature!”

ANSWER: Mixed races were never part of Image World but started to appear in the real history. (L)
For Session 2 go here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Chronicles of Blood - racial special characteristic

The more I play The Chronicles of Blood, the more I am into the idea that each race should have it's own special characteristic. Here is what I have so far:

Undead (as written in the rulebook)
Mindless creatures that do not know fear.
Undead never test for morale, 3 points.

Dwarfs
Slow folks, but resistant to magic.
Dwarfs move 10cm. You can not cast Curse at a Dwarf regiment. If target of a Blast, Dwarfs get +1 to armor. Dwarf regiment can not have a wizard. 0 points.

Ratmen
Cowards, but there is so many of them.
Ratmen fail morale tests on 1 and 2. This special cost -0.5 points, which allows them to have more regiments than other races.

Elves
Fast, good shooters but fragile.
Elves are never slowed by terrain. They are the only race that can take archery 60cm for soldiers (other races have it for war machines). On the other hand, elves can not take armor better than 2. 1 point.

Goblins (thanks Ricardo!)
Cowardly but cunning.
When activated, roll a d20 and on a 1 the regiment deserts(they were just waiting for the right moment to get out of the fight.) On 20, closest enemy unit is Cursed (goblins managed to sabotage their equipment!) 0 points.

Let me know what you think. Also, I am interested in your opinion about specials for other races, like Orcs, Daemons....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Battle of the Old Temple

For my next Chronicles of Blood game, I decided to play a scenario oriented battle.

Army of Ratmen desecrated a temple of a long lost human empire. But long dead warriors left their graves as skeletons, trying to rescue their holly place.

There is a hill with a temple at the southern table edge. Regiment of Slingerrats is located on the hill, from where they can see (and shoot at) whole battlefield over the heads of other units, but can also be seen (and shoot at) by any unit.

In front of the hill regiment of Monkrats is located. All other Ratmen regiments should be placed by rolling, as per rulebook.

My undead warriors will be coming from the North.

In this scenario player has the first turn. Ratmen will not move (but will shoot and cast spells!) until their turn 2, when they will start behaving as described in the rulebook.

After turn 5, additional 5 victory points will be awarded for each unit within 15cm of temple.

Roosters (click to enlarge):

Me:

Enemy:

Elite champion – advanced special based on house rule from earlier post. Regiment can re-roll combat dice once per turn (either in your or enemy combat phase, not in both!), instead of once per game. Reroll must be done before enemy combat dice roll, never after. At the moment, I have set this special at 2 points.

I deployed my hard hitting chariots on the right flank, the majority of the forces in the center and light cavalry on the left. System responded by locating all of his heavy units to his left while Spearrats positioned themselves to the left and right of the Monkrats, to protect their flanks.

This way, I found myself tactically outsmarted at the very beginning of the game…. From time to time, based on their reaction to my moves, I am beginning to suspect that artificial intelligence systems like CoB or Mythic GM emulator are beginning to develop self consciousness :).

No unexpected events happened during the game.

Turn 1.

Both chariots and guards cast Enhance, raising their damage to d12. Other undead regiments moved.

Monkrats cast Blast, instantly killing my regiment of archers!

Turn 2.

Chariots cast Blast on Ogrerats, but rolled below armor and scored no wounds.

Guards cast Blast on Monkrats, scoring one wound. Monkrats passed morale test.

Swarm moved. Centaurs shot at Spearrats but missed.

Monkrats cast Blast causing 3 wounds on Swarm. Slingerrats shot at Swarm and scored one additional wound.

Turn 3.

Chariots cast Haste and charged Ogrerats, but lost combat end suffered 1 wound.

Guards cast Haste and moved. Swarm moved. Centaurs shot but missed again!

First Thunderrats charged chariot at the flank, won combat and scored 1 wound.

Monkrats cast Shielding on themselves.

Ogrerats charged chariots but lost combat and suffered one wound. They passed morale test.

Slingerrats missed.

Turn 4

Chariots charged Ogrerats but lost combat and suffered 2 wounds.

Guards cast haste and charged Monkrats, causing 1 wound. Monkrats passed morale test.

Swarm moved, Centaurs missed again.

Tunderrats charged chariots again, killing them.

Monkrats charged Guards, but lost combat and suffered 3 wounds. They passed morale test.

First Spearrats charged Swarm and killed it. Second Spearrats charged Centaurs and killed them also.

Slingerrats shot at Guards and caused 2 wounds.

After being left only with seriously wounded Guard regiment, I decided to admit the defeat. This is my third loss in the row, so I will have to seriously think about improving tactics with Undead army.

More scenarios can be found in second CoB expansion here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chronicles of Blood - impressions after the first game

Based on what you played when you first entered miniature wargaming, you either have 3 to 4 miniatures on a single base (DBA) or each model individually based and then mounted on movement trays (Warhammer).

For some time, the first type of gamers have their solo fantasy wargame in 2HW Rally around the King. For us with GW legacy the game needed too much rebasing to be played comfortably.

And then we got Shane Gavrey’s Chronicles of Blood solo wargame, published by Cristal Star Games.

Chronicles of Blood are a simple set of rules, taking only 16 pages booklet for all rules and sample army lists. These basic rules are free, so if you are reading this, go and download them. Paid premium content is expected in the future for those who will want to expand the game.

This is the solo wargame played with 28mm figures mounted on movement trays with 10cm frontage, so typical unit consist of 8 to 10 infantrymen, 4 cavalry or 2 ogre sized models with monster handler or a gnobler in the middle. Just what ex-Warhammer players were waiting for :).

And the best thing with this game is that it is open for modification. As Bard noticed on his blog game can easily be played as skirmish, (but, I have to say, 50 points game with regiments looks mighty on the game board).

Also, it is easy to adjust army lists to the models on hand. Basic book has only two sample army lists, but they are enough for player to deduct the way the point system works (with lowest value of each battle stats being worth 0 points, and then adding 1 point for each increase plus one point for each special characteristic). This allows player to easily create their own armies the way their want it, in accordance to the miniatures they have on stock. It is also easy to adjust some of the simple excel tools like Universal Army Creator to help create roosters for the game.

Therefore, for my first game I selected to play Undead (as my army) against Ratmen (system).

Undead

Chariots, cavalry, 25cm, Fd6, Dd8, A3, W6, Archery, Charge! , Undead, 12 points

Light cavalry, 25cm, Fd4, Dd4, A1, W5, Archery (50cm), Scout, Undead, 7 points

Archers, infantry, 15cm, Fd4, Dd4, A1, W5, Archery (50cm), Undead, 5 points

Guards, infantry, 15cm, Fd8, Dd8, A3, W6, Charge!, Undead, 10 points

Vultures, flying cavalry, 35cm, Fd6, Dd6, A1, W5, Fly, Undead, 9 points

Swarm, infantry, 15cm, Fd6, Dd4, A3, W6, Undead, 7 points

Ratmen

2x Thunderrats, infantry, 15cm, Fd8, Dd8, A2, Mo d6, W6, Charge!, Spears, 10 p

2xSpearrats, infantry, 15cm, Fd6, Dd4, A1, Mo d4, W6, Spears, 3 points

Slingerrats, infantry, 15cm, Fd4, Dd4, A0, Mo d4, W5, Archery (50cm), 1 point

Ogrerats, monsters, 15cm, Fd8, Dd8, A1, Mo d6, W6, Monster, 8 points

Monkrats, infantry, 15cm, Fd6, Dd8, A3, Mo d8, W6, 8 points

Hunterrats, infantry, 25cm, Fd8, Dd8, A0, Mo d4, W5, Scout, Thrown weapons*

*This is another example how open is the system. Thrown weapons is special rule added by me to represent throwing knives visible on models I used to represent Hunterrats. If a regiment with Thrown weapons is charged to the front, they are allowed to shoot at the charger with -1 modifier to the fight dice and using d4 as damage dice. If they manage to inflict any wounds, charge is unsuccessful; attacker will stop 2cm from target and take morale test.

The game itself was fun. Some rules are a bit unclear (for example, if regiment can charge the unit it can not see), but whatever interpretation one select it will not change the course of the game as long as the rule is applied identically to the both sides.

Table of unexpected events makes a fun addition to the rules.

Finally, after the first battle, Chronicles of Blood leave impression of a good game, and I am certain I will play more of it in the future.

It is worth noticing that Cristal Star Games published first of the planed additions to the game, called Heroes of the Battlefield.

It introduces 4 types of characters: Unit Champions, Banner Bearers, Wizards and Commanders. Unit champion and Banner bearer just increase some regiment's characteristics, and act more like a make up then a real need.

As a house rule, instead of playing as written, I will allow units with champions to re-roll combat dice once during the game, and units with banners to re-roll morale dice once in the game but with -1 modification.

Wizards introduce simple but effective magic system and can be really useful, as well as the commanders who allow player to re-roll unwanted unexpected events.

I hope that next expansion will introduce battle machines like catapults, ballistas and guns.

One other good thing is that CSG listen to it's players, and makes changes to the rules, so that rulebook was changed since this post was first written according to feedback from people who play the game...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On the road to Mordheim

Since my son was born seven months ago, I had no chance to play a single competitive game. Until last night, when I finally met Kgkid and his dwarfs for a game of Mordheim.
It was preparation game, for us to get back into the rules, since our gaming group is preparing GMed campaign during summer.Road to Mordhaim found skaven warband of assassin adept Rattus-Rattus Alexandrinus near the old farm. Ra-Ra planed to sneak by it, but he was out of luck. Group of Slayers used the farm as a place to have lunch, and they literary stumbled on one of Verminkins tails as they were leaving...
Both sides prepared for battle, knowing that this will not be an easy breakthrough....
Main battle took place on the bridge. Battle luck was going back and forward, until Seer SqickaBoom failed to cast his spell twice in the row, was charged by one of the troll slayers and blinded in one eye!From this moment everything went downhill in the center. Giant slayer made a critical hit on the Rat ogre, thing lost it balance, fell from the bridge into the river, and was taken by the current. Ogre's Black rat guardian jumped after it. Later, he will claim that he did it to save such valuable peace of equipment as rat ogre is, but Ra-Ra suspected that he too was helped by Slayer's axe.
On the left wing, Ra-Ra and Verminkins made their breakthrough, but seeing the center broken, assassin decided to back up and reconnect with his cowardly magician and hard hitting unit...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thermopylae - free Print and Play solo wargame / board game

Thermopylae is my second (but first finished) entry to a Solo PnP Contest at Board Game Geek.
In this game you will take the role of 300 Spartans who took their last stand against Persians at Thermopylae Pass, to protect retreat of the main body of Greek army.
Game can be played by using given board and counters, but if the player wishes, it can be played with miniatures on the game board, or even with chess figures on chess table (this might be a good way to find a new use for your miniature magnetic chess set while on the road).

If anyone is willing to playtest the game, link to rulebook is here.
Playing board is here.
Counters are here, but you can use any miniatures you have, just as I did in the photos above. Chad Mestdagh made a Vasal mode for those of you who want to use it, and it can be found here.
Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
As I already mentioned elsewhere, English is my third language. Therefore, rulebook might turn to be not understandable at some places...
If any of you native speakers could look through it, I would be grateful. E-mail me, and I will send a Word version to work on....
If you like it, please vote for the game on Board Game Geek game design competition forum starting from August the 1st!