Friday, July 21, 2017

Blind Pig Games Club 22nd July Meet

Today was the meet for the club, after a month and a bit of no serious social gaming I was looking forward to catching up with my peers.  It was a rather chilly day today, not sure the temperature, but I really wasn't warm all day.  It's winter here in Queensland for those outside Australia, and while we don't have the severe winters other nations have it can get cold enough when the wind blows.  

I brought along a selection of games, Conquest of Planet Earth, Clank!, Star Realms Love Letter, Coup, Valley of the Kings: Afterlife, Bang the Dice Game, Welcome Back to the Dungeon, Card of the Dead, Naval War and Saboteur.  Two heavy games and lots of fillers.

While waiting for the trailer to turn up with the tabletops Pat and I had a game of Star Realms, Pat won making up for the loss he suffered at my hands from the last meet when we were also using this game as a filler.

I started the setup and was going to play Clank! but one of the regulars turned up and rather than have him hand on waiting I gave up my seat to act as rules guru (yes a joke I know) and the drawer of the dragons rage!  Poor Simon who played green, I swear the cubes must be lighter than all the others of my hand could sense colours!  Michael who I gave my seat up for actually won the game in the end.  The laughter and enjoyment people had over playing this game made the purchase all the more justified.  So I highly recommend game.

Michael who won Clank! had been asked by me to bring his copy of Viticulture, which plays up to six and we got the six people to play.  This is another game that went down well with those who played and everyone is looking forward to another chance to play now that they know the rules.

Valley of the Kings: Afterlife was the closing game for the day.  I managed a win, which is in itself highly unusual.

Paul the owner of Blind Pig and BPLaser brought along his latest project the Sailing Ship, and it is awesome!  I must have two when I can afford it, when I have no idea it all mounts up the bills, but I shall have to have two, just to have boarding actions and the like.

The clubs next meet is the 29th July which is a week away.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

40K 8th Edition in action.

Arab-Israeli War boardgame - AH game I believe.

Clank! in action.

BPLasers new release - the sailing ship.

Viticulture in play from my play board!

Viticulture in play!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My best friend - Pippin

Here is the chap who currently keeps me sane and on this plane of existence.  He's not feeling very well at present and is spending a lot of time on my lap asleep or next to me.  This worries me a lot, as a penniless pensioner I really can't afford to send him to the vet, I hope that as he's only just over 1 years old he'll improve.   I hope it's a cold or something similar.

His name is Pippen, he was a gift to my daughter from a past boyfriend.  Initially I did not like dogs, I am and still am a cat person, however this little fellow has wormed his way into my heart. He is now one of the family, I love him very much.  I hope you enjoy the photographs of my little chap.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Hello I've just had a bath and I look SHINY!

WOOF!  Who put my toy all the way over there?
I look like a bloody Ewok and Dad hates bloody Ewoks!

Am I gorgeous or what?

Play time.

Sleep time.

I'll just wake up the sleeping cat, honestly just what can go wrong...

Smile Dad I love you!

ADDENDUM: 19/07/17 Little man is well again, all is well in the world of dogs and men.  He has a nice bone to chew on and is chasing the cat around the house as if the period of melancholy was just an aberration.  Currently out in the yard doing a poo!  No I won't share photo...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Novel progress continues

"Stay on target", those words from Star Wars, well they call it A New Hope or Episode IV, but to me it was Star Wars before all the hype... yes where was I...  "Stay on target", yes no target lock here at present.  I'll start again with my novel progress which is going well, I've sat down and done the sums; I've done a rough sketch of the plot, but that's changing as I throw my ideas into the mix as I go along.


I writing anywhere from two to five thousand words a day depending on the mood and distractions.  I'm aiming at about 270-280,000 words for the initial novel, it can either stand alone or be part of a grandiose plot of seven books.  Now if I write on a good day the 5000 words I am doing at present that will mean in 56 days the lot will be done, just under two months.  I think three months is more than likely.  I think probably one month for revision and reworking.  At the rate things happen I'd think December is when it's likely to all come together.  Of course I need to see about the business of publishing and all the other foibles that come with this, but a friend of mine has told be about the publishing rout he took with Amazon.  Still early days yet, I may give up and find something else to be distracted by.  Who knows where this will lead?

As of 17:07:17 - 25,976 words (43 pages A4)

Till next time

The Hon. John

The 13th Doctor - Unlucky for some?

I woke up this morning (about 5am) to the news that the BBC in it's wisdom has chosen to regenerate the Doctor, one of my all time favourite Science Fiction characters into a woman!  What can I say I was aghast, appalled, flummoxed, then the apathy set in and the realisation that no matter how I felt it didn't make any difference in the long run.

It is appropriate perhaps that they chose the number thirteen as the regeneration number for a female time lord?  Certainly if it doesn't go well, then the augurs will say - well the stars were right.  I have no problems with let me say female actors in lead roles, persons of non-traditional sexes etc being given lead or roles in cinema or television.  

Getting back on track though, this move by the BBC which was aired at the end of the Men Wimbledon Final has according to one media source divided the community.  If I was the numbers man at the BBC and worried about sales revenue, I'd be worried.  If, and lets look at strict hypothetical, 50% of fans left, and if you pick up say 20% of feminists who are happy a woman has been chosen, say 10% for the looney left side of the political correct side of the world, then you are probably looking at a drop of 20% in sales merchandise, viewing and ticketing.  That's suicide by any shows future, so why have they done it?  Who knows?  Certainly you can always have the previous actors attend events promoting the DW universe, but the 13th?  Well, you've got controversy in a TARDIS.

As a conservative old stick in the mud I won't be watching the 13th Doctor.  If I do it will be under protest and only due to the fact I can't escape the room.  I will probably relate to this incarnation as the Paul McGann incarnation, one that is on the records, but no one really wants to remember.

Will this be the last season of Doctor Who?  Will there be such a back lash that the BBC back down and say April Fools, it's really the chap who's writing this blog! (Oh wouldn't that be a jest.)  Time will tell.

ADDENDUM: 11AM approx.  Good lord has the vitriol been flying to say the least.  This is almost as good as Julia Gilliard and her misogynist quote.  It's all to do about feminists now and how dare you have a say that against progressive television programming and the people?  A bit like Brexit and other popularist movements I guess?  I have no idea how the BBC will jump on this, I guess like the left wing body it is (like our ABC) it will ignore the old fart like me and go for the new age or vocal minorities, then I guess it will be down to the ratings in the long run.  Will Doctor Who survive, I have no idea.  Personally John Pertwee as the doctor I most enjoyed (as was Roger Delgado as the Master) as was time period, never really enjoyed the others after that, but that's just me.  Some are good, some are "bad" all by a persons personal taste.  As I think I stated somewhere, it's just a television series.  They come and they go, this one may be about to go...

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Solo Adventuring - Runebound 2nd Edition

See the previous post re my first play of Runebound 2nd Edition.  There were lessons to be learnt, i.e. I read the rules.  Yes I picked up on a number of things that were done wrong, quite a few, but in the end as long as we were consistent with our errors and had fun did it really matter!


I have used the Solo rules found on Board Game Geek the link can be found HERE

The tracker board I used can also be downloaded from the same site HERE

Almost forgot to include the most important photo of the day, the setup and play.
I decided I like Red Scorpion, the state line was good (in my opinion across the entire spectrum), I'd played her in the last game and wanted to see how she fared in the solo.  So here we go.


Above the the lady of action at her peak before she ran afoul of the Brood of the Blood Mother and lost everything, the armour game later, I just included it just to reflect how cool she would have been had things not ended the way they did.

Turn 1

Red Scorpion won, but was wounded.  The thing we did not pick up on in our previous game was that when wounded or exhausted you only roll 4 die when rolling to move.  Big difference that would have made, but I know now and in future games.
Using the solo rules from BoardGameGeek which introduces a Step 6 (now it did take me a while to get my head around Terror level, Terror Difficulty, Doom tokens pool etc, but I think I got it right in the end... I hope).  I rolled a 16 added 1 for the Doom token that had appeared, which resulted in 17.  A result less that the difficulty level of 20 (which I was starting on for new players) and the result was +1 Doom token added to the play board.  They say pool, which I am assuming means the map board, i.e. in play.
End of Turn: Terror Track 0; Doom 2

Turn 2

A double whammy.  First card drawn was harmless enough thankfully, some money down the track for when I needed it.  Next was the Mistress of the Ferrox.  Sadly Red Scorpion was proving not as agile or diplomatic as she should have been and failed the test, which meant I had to win any melee or I'd be taking 2 instead of the 0 as listed above.  In the end I won the combat though the damage was creeping up on my character, I'd have to visit a town soon.  The card was a keeper which meant that it did not go onto the track and trigger a Doom token placement.  However I still had to play Step 6.  Roll: 11 + 2 Doom = 13 less than 20 = + 1 Doom token to play.
End of Turn: Terror Track 0; Doom 3

Turn 3
Dashed into Tamalir and drew a card as the first action - Shield of Light one gold short damn. It was the only item I could buy (Tamalir being the starting city), Hire and Ally was not an option, Sell and Item - I wish, Buy Healing - yes please, which I did 2 gold to heal two wounds.
Step 6: 18 + 3 Doom = 21 more than 20 = +1 Threat Level remove all Doom tokens
End of Turn: Terror Track 1; Doom 0

Turn 4

Found a Nest of Bane Spiders and have come to the conclusion that I am not the best when it comes to testing for Before Combat tests.  Failed this one BUT Red Scorpion allowed me to use 1 fatigue to avoid 1 wound which I chose to use.  I live for the moment!
I fought my way through, I won I took the chance and was rewarded - yes I really was for those who may think as people do of those who play solo games (he cheated what are the odds of that happening), I drew an honor Sword Ally worth the 5 gold or less who joined me - yea!
Step 6: 19 + 1 Doom = 20 = +1 Threat level remove all Doom tokens
End of Turn: Terror Track 2; Doom 0

Turn 5

Wounded and exhausted movement was down to the four die again.
Dispatched.  Reward 2 gold. Finally enough experience for an increase, choose +2 bonus to Mind attribute.  Step 6: 20 + 2 Doom = 22 = +1 Threat level remove all Doom tokens
End of Turn: Terror Track 3; Doom 0

Turn 6

Defeated Lord Vorakesh.  Recieved the reward was not successful in obtaining an Artifact from the market, lightning does not strike twice in the same place...  Doom token placed.
Step 6: 16 + 1 Doom = 17 = +1 Doom Token
End of Turn: Terror Track 2; Doom 2

Turn 7
Decide I need that gold from the Hidden Treasure card and elect to stop in a forest hex.  Thankfully no encounter.  Gain 3 gold.
Step 6: 12 + 2 Doom = 14 = +1 Doom Token
End of Turn: Terror Track 2; Doom 3

Turn 8

Go to town of Forge. Buys Mirror of Shael.
Step 6: 18 + 3 = 21 = +1 Threat level remove all Doom tokens
End of Turn: Terror Track 3; Doom 0

Turn 9

The Artifact I purchased in the turn before came in very handy, allowing me to survive this encounter - just.  The way I worked the combat, winning the Mind, the ally winning the Body, and yes I did loose the Spirit taking 3 damage but with my ability I only lost 2 wounds, inflicted 1 from the artifact onto Lady Vorakesh and thus defeated her.  Gained 1 Gold and kept the card, a bonus.  The experience earned allowed me to gain +2 to Body attribute.
Step 6: 11 + 0 = 11 = +1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3; Doom 1

Turn 10

Yet again I failed a Before Combat test - can't swim this time, was this a taste of things to come?  I had become too cocky with my ability to fight my way of danger and it all came back to get me.  In the end I lost.  So what happens when you lose?  Well I discard all my wound and exhaustion counters - yea!  Discard all my gold to the bank - boo! Discard my highest cost Ally or Item, well there went the Artifact, damn it!  Move to the nearest town - Frostgate.  Undefeated challenge encounter stays awaiting me to return - not bloody likely...
Step 6: 14 + 1 = 15 = + 1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3, Doom 2

Turn 11

A fresh start, a least my stats had not been stripped and while I had lost my nice shiny artifact my loyal Ally was still with me.  I shall rename him Cannon Fodder.
A Watery Shortcut will more than likely be a watery grave for me seeing I can't make my tests these days.  However I did win the battle with the wasps, and took my 2 gold.
Step 6: 12 + 2 = 14 = + 1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3, Doom 3

Turn 12

On a roll here, the Razorwing was dispatched easily enough.  1 gold reward.
Step 6: 12 + 3 = 15 = + 1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3, Doom 4

Turn 13

Success Farrow's Outriders destroyed.  4 experience exchanged for +2 bonus for Spirit.  So at this stage I've spread it evenly across all three attributes. Doom track advances
Step 6: 10 + 4 = 14 = + 1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3, Doom 6

Turn 14

First Before Combat test past.  Managed to fight the plant and find a suit of Padded Leather Armour (3 gold).  This added a doom token making 7 in play.
Step 6: 12 + 6 = 18 = + 1 Doom token

END GAME!
I removed all the event and encounter cards from the red deck (hmmm 1, I only have the base set).  Shuffled the red deck... do you feel the tension building I do, there is no way in hell my pitiful character is going to survive against anything in the red deck with the advancements she has...
Draw the top Challenge card, you cannot escape (please!) - FIGHT TO THE DEATH, fight all challengers until your death at the claws of High Lord Margath, or if you are lucky and defeat him then you are allowed to go home.

I drew.... dum dum dum...

I shan't bore you with a blow by blow description but needless to say it was a very one sided battle.  I did manage to last to the second round of battle with the beastie before being roasted alive.

Addendum:  I forget to include - I LOST.  How could people not gather this?  Honestly!  Sorry in future I will make sure that I properly check my work to ensure you are not left hanging on a knifes edge as to whether or not I was alive or dead (my character that is), BUT I had thought it was rather obvious...  :)

SUMMARY
Did I enjoy myself - YES.
Will I play this again solo - YES, though more people the merrier.
Did I stuff up the rules and make a couple of errors - YES, but who doesn't, I'm sure someone will point out something I did wrong.  Just be nice when you do.

So there you have it.  I acknowledge the ownership by the way of the artwork of the original owners, etc etc.  I'll take down if directed, but seeing that the edition has now gone to 3rd I'm not sure what is or isn't still used.  It's purely for example of play and instruction.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Runebound 2nd Edition Game Day

Saturday saw my faithless family retainer come visit his Lord and master for a game of Runebound 2nd edition.  Sigh... he taunted me by wearing that Battletech jacket, one day I'll get it, petty it wouldn't fit me, he's too small!


My usual link to Board Game Geek for those wanting more information on the board game Runebound 2nd Edition is HERE

Anthony reading the fine print!
In my case, reading the cards...

My character Red Scorpion, chosen for the artwork and her huge tracks of land...

Anthony brought along a rather nice dice tower thingamajig...
We played with the Doom Track (page 9) and Travel hazards (page 10) variants.  The Doom Track certainly added the timer to the game, but the Travel hazards added additional time without moving the doom track.  We did a few things wrong, like taking the rewards from the cards during the hazard travel where we should have just been getting experience where applicable.  Oh well, I'll read the rules next time!  Still I had enough fun reading the rules, filling in the subtext of witty banter for the horrible outcomes or successes that it made the day.  You can look forward to a real Solo adventure report in due course.

To finish of my report, here's that jacket, sigh...

Till next time.

The Hon. John







Saturday, July 8, 2017

Becoming an Author

That's right, after many years of procrastination I have decided to take up the mighty pen and attempt penmanship.  As to how successful this will be, whether I shall succeed at this I have no idea, we shall see.

I have decided that rather than pick something I'm unfamiliar with I will stick with Australia as my setting.  If you have read any of my ripping yarns on my other blog site, go have a wander and a look, it will be those characters transferred into a modern world.

So as of this morning just over 2.8K words and I haven't even got past the drawing room.  Gosh this is fun.  I can see that this latest fancy will at least keep me entertained for a while, at worse it will give me plenty of material of Call of Cthulhu adventures.


Till next time.

The Hon. John