Saturday, January 25, 2014

Jatacenje 2014 pictures, days 1 and 2

Jatacenje 2014 is over, and some things are obvious.
First of all, there can not be Jatacenje without snow. All our conventions so far happened on a snowy day. And yesterday we had 15 degrees in January. Today, it is snowing all day, with temperature around 0.
Second, and more important thing, is the fact that the number of games we play increase each year. While Jatacenje started 8 years ago as WFB convention, now much less people play it, and more and more tables each year are dedicated to Board games, RPG or other wargames.

So finally, here are some photos:





Monday, January 20, 2014

Jatacenje at the gates

Last weekend in January is traditionally reserved for Jatacenie convention.

Therefore, this year it will be held on January 25th and 26th.

So if you happen to be around the town of Kragujevac, Serbia, please drop by.....

(picture is old, but the new one is still to arrive :) )

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ogres from the Fiery Mountains - Microscope history

While Microscope RPG is meant to be played solo, it can also be played as a cooperative game. So few days ago, the 3 of us, Jeca, Njam-Njam and me decided to give it a try. So here is the result.

First of all, big picture: Ogres settling isolated island dominated by Fiery mountain.

Beginning: Ogres are coming. End? Ogres create Academy of Science! Yes, you reed it well :)

So, time for palette:
No volcano eruptions on Fiery Mountains. No high magic or high technology. And no other intelligent races on the planet.
Yes to afterlife and to influence of spirits to the world of living.

And the game begins. For those who love it in PDF version, here is the link.

Period 1:
Ogre tribe comes across the ocean and settles on isolated island dominated by Fiery Mountain.
Then Ogres discover that local 5 legged, 3 bodied and 2 headed  animal called Stupid-Stupid is tasty to eat. How they discovered that? During the fight, when one ogre wanted to bite another, he took a bite of one Stupid-Stupid instead.

After that, Ogres met with the mighty Spirit residing within the Fiery Mountain. They decided to start sacrificing something to him, but what? The ritual art contest was held in front the Spirit of the Mountain. One ogre artist and one Stupid-Stupid contested who will make a work of art more similar to the Spirit itself. Stupid-Stupid, although unintelligent animal, won the contest but Spirit of the Mountain decided that Ogres are such fun race that he had no heart to eat them. So, Stupid-Stupid was sacrificed.

Then, ogres finally settled on the island, opened a Stupid-Stupid farm and  the first cooking school....

Period 2:
Witch hunt
Ogre Humbaku is sentenced as first witch after deciding not to eat for the whole day. Why he did that? Well, it seems that the Spirit of the Mountain told him so...
Ogres had very few doubts what to do with the witches.  They started eating them, of course. But then, one day, one of the convicted witches was ill. The cook responsible for preparation of the meal from convicts actually noticed something, but inquisitor was persistent that all prisoners must be cooked. After the feast, all Ogres got sick, and many of them passed away during epidemic. After that, law was brought that witches should not be eaten but should be buried after execution.

Period 3:
Period of High Moon. During this period moon was so close to the surface that transition from one body to another become possible.
One special Ogre called Tozomir was born in the night of the highest moon. When he grew up, Tozomir reached the moon and found there the land of the dead. Tozomir spoke with the spirit of Humbaku and made plans for the future.
Back on Island, Tozomir convinced Ogres to make Stairways to the Moon, but Spirit of the Mountain stopped them from finishing the job. For as the moon is a afterlife world for the Ogres, so the island is afterlife world for living inhabitans of the Moon. As such before he become Spirit of the Mountain, he lived on the moon. And his wife who used to hit him with a broomstick still lives there….
But then, Humbaku kills Rovena, the wife of Spirit of the Mountain and breaks her broomstick "Husband-hitter" (+1 against husbands). Spirits of both Rovena and her broomstick arrive to the island. With few well measured hits, Rovena teaches Spirit a lesson for his behavior and takes his place as protector of Fiery Mountain. Spirit takes refuge among Ogres.

Period 4:
Time of Broomstick.
Rovena proclaims Humbaku a saint and first martyr.

Period 5:
Time of Academy of science (end period)
Tozomir opens first School of science. At first he has no pupils. But in time he manages to convince High Council of Ogres to open Academy of science. How did he convinced the high council? He promised them support for opening of the Academy of Sports.
So the academies were opened and first competition between schools was held. As expected, Cooking school was overall victor by far.
Soon after, archeologists from Hole digging university from Academy of science discover remains of Stairways to the Moon and take them to museum.
Finally, science started to gain popularity, and Spirit of the Mountain becomes proclaimed honorable PHD and first dean of "Saint Humbaku the first martyr" Academy of Science.

Conclusion: fun session with lots of humor. Evidence that Microscope can be played multi-player almost as well as solo. If you have good players, the history can become as weird as if dictated by random idea generator. And scenes are definitely more fun if role-played with the group while most of my scenes in solo games were dictated or used too many rolls.  All in all, it was nice experience, and we hope to repeat it very soon.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mantic crazy box

After success of last year Mantic crazy box, which offered more the 70 figures, I decided to order this years edition of the same.
Well the box arrived, and I have to say that I have mixed feeling about this year content.

First, this box contained only 38 figures. Also, according to the comment on Mantic page, it seems that content is not at all random as promised, but that all boxes have the same miniatures.
On the other hand, good thing is that only one sprue is repeated from last year box, while all other models are from ranges published in 2013.

So lets star from the oldest models. These are Mantic elf bowmen sprue containing 10 elf archers (links are leading to Mantic page with figures)

Unfortunately, these are the worst designed models Mantic ever did. All elves are molded with shield in left hand and bow in the right, and therefore all are completely unable to fire their weapons. Worst still, shields are mostly molded as part of the body, so no matter how good you are with the tools, you will not be able to convert them to anything logical. Totally useless figures that are going directly to local auction site with starting price below 1 euro.
So, 10 gone, 28 more to hope for.
The next item within the box were human men at arms. And here comes another disappointment, since box contains not one but TWO identical sprues, with 5 men each. All soldier san be assembled with swords or spears, all left hands hold shields. So ten men at arms? BOOOOOORING. I could accept one sprue with five soldiers, but two? Who needs that? More items to be resold as soon as possible.
So only 18 models left.

To finish with the fantasy range, there are 3 ogres that can be assembled with one-hand or two-hand weapons that can be swords or axes. Set comes with extra arms and heads, so lots of useful bits. Once I paint one of these ogres, I will compare it with the one GW model I have, but this will be separate post. Any way, I am finally starting to think that Mantic crazy box can be a useful investment, at least partially.
20 to 3
Still partially in the fantasy range is a king figure from the earth fraction from Mantic chess variation called Loka. While quite nice looking model, it very obviously looks like a chess peace, and is not very useful for wargaming or RPG. I am still thinking if I am going to sell it or paint it like granite and use it as a statue/part of the scenery.
The next figures come from futuristic sport game called Dreadball. Bith models are VIP players.
First comes the Big Mech. Mantic describes him as a ball player adjusted from combat walker. Well, I will have to adjust it back. Some cutting and green stuff will be required to move it from running into moving pose, and then with addition of some SF weapons it may turn into OK mini.
Anne-Marie Helder is a really interested miniature. She is sculpted as ancient Madonna of fertility, with  dominating pregnant-like belly and big breasts, and that leaves an impression. Properly painted to avoid SF features, it can find it's place within any Blood Bowl pitch as human Blitzer.
And therefore I am coming to the SF part of the box.
First, there is a set of  5 space dwarf veterans, consisting of one officer, 2 dwarfs with machine guns and 2 with flamers. SF dwarves are rarely produced, so this is a good catch.
My Mantic Crazy box brought me a good starter warband of Space orks. They actually came from 3 sets: infantry command sprue  (NCO and heavy weapon), raptor (note: it seems that not all boxes contain Raptor! Why mine had it while some don't is a mystery to me) and two models from Deadzone starter that is still in pre-order (commando and goblin sniper). Ork riding a heavy bike is not your first choice within skirmish warband, and may not be everybody's cup of tea, but it is not something I am going to complain about.
Of course, I was saving the best for last. Box contained two miniatures from pre-order of Deadzone rebellion starter: one goat-like and one lion-like alien. One can never have enough weird aliens for space skirmishers, so thumbs up to Mantic for including these.
Final score: 20:2:16. As I noticed at the beginning, mixed result.
Is it worth 20 GBP? I don't know. Decide for yourself :)