Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Shadow Wars Armageddon - Recycling the old

With Shadow Wars Armageddon coming onto the scene I've had a reason to pull out my old figures that have literally been gathering dust for a long time.  I have been previously using the figures for 2nd Edition 40K as I don't have a lot of vehicles; with the skirmish rules I can now have fun with so many of the army types I've collected... and I've done a few.

Out of the 15 listed in the book I can field 11, of the four remaining I would have to paint 1 (Genestealer Cult) and buy the remaining ones (Dark Eldar, Necron and Skitarii) which is at present and more than likely beyond my capability.  I know that GW is primarily about shifting product but small scale skirmish with a focus on kitting out and modelling would move just as much kit for some...

I'm using Battle Scribe on my old tablet (Android) to knock up and play around with teams and kitting them out.  At present this would appear to be the best option out there, it's free, portable and convenient.

Here is what I've cobbled together for my starting Kill Teams, sorry for the hit and miss photos, the camera in the phone seems to be somewhat remiss?

Chaos - Nurgle flavour

Chaos - Slaneesh tinge

Chaos - Tzeentch dust

Eldar -  went through a white phase many many years ago...

Imperial Guard or whatever they call themselves now...



Grey Knights

Orcs - Blood Axes, the only lads to have.

Space Marine scouts

Sisters of Battle



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Art of Listening Part II - Old Harry's Game

A while ago I waxed lyrical about the art of listening and how I think it's a dying art form.  I was digging through my archive of forgotten audio's and stumbled across this little gem by Andy Hamilton (I am a fan of his).  Old Harry's Game is truly brilliant on so many levels, offensive, satirical, witty something there for everyone, it almost makes me wonder why it hasn't been pulled and buried due to it now being so politically incorrect.

If you can lay your hands on this series I cannot but recommend it more highly than I can, it is well worth the listen to.  Maybe I've put more meaning into it, interpreted it differently, but to me I loved it for the humour and if for nothing else making me think about some of the issues floating about today.

Wikipedia Link for Old Harry's Game

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Blind Pig Games Club Day 27th May 2017

Lots of things happening today, the club being the primary focus.

One of the members popped along with some old games he did not want anymore.
I snapped up Xenoshyft!

Veteran EPIC 40K players in action.  Wish I could have played as well.
To many interests, so little time to play them at the club.

The new visitors playing my copy of Mystic Vale, I didn't get a chance to look
at the game they had brought along and played.  I was too caught up in my activities...
Addendum 28/5: Mare Nostrum was the game that the new chaps brought along.  Rated 7.8 on BGG.

The second game I played for the day was Unfair.  I played this last time at the club (see previous blog entry) and did a better job this time until a card was played that stripped me of my Blueprint victory points!  I was doing do well up to that point.  I am starting to warm to this game and will certainly be adding this to my collection.

Pat, James and Michael (out of shot) playing Unfair with me.
 A new game brought along and on display.

51st State I think this game was called, Jason and Leslie were playing this one.
 Jamie and Phil playing Batman the miniature game, not sure who won this game.

Lots of infinity happening, just found out that there is an Infinity tournament on the same day as the KoW Tournament I'm running. Not an issue, it will be great for the hall to be really packed to the rafters.

My second main game of the day was a truly epic five player game of Scythe.  Nice to have Rowan join us in this game, as he's been a watcher in the past. I hoped he enjoyed himself, he did well for his first game I believe.  I came last, but that's nothing new.

An olden goldie that reared it's head! I was very pleased to see this game being played today, should be more of these old games on offer.  If only I could clone myself...

Lastly I was able to buy myself a game from the Buy Swap Sell, Xenoshyft.  Regrettably I was unable to sell many of my items I had brought along, I'll not put much trust in people saying they will buy your goods from previous encounters...  Oh well, I did get a good game for a good price.

I was happy with the numbers at the club today, better than it has been for a while.  The turn out of 40K players was exceptional, the planned coup and reboot within the club is formulating and I hope that with the arrival of 8th and Shadow Wars: Armageddon a fresh new face will stimulate the community.

So till next...


Monday, May 15, 2017

GAME REVIEW: WARPWAR - from 1979 by Metagaming

I'm looking at video blogging soon, nothing exciting, but with a focus on the past.  I'm rather annoyed that the current generation think that games from the past are not worth playing (looking at The Dice Tower lot), they aren't trendy enough or represent terrible moments in history that is politically insensitive to certain people.  Poppycock I say... stop it old man before you put your foot in it, this is not the place to wax lyrical on issues that mean something to some and nothing to others, stick to the plot of this piece of diatribe (bitter critical attack?) more dribble perhaps.

So where was I going, ah yes... I was delving into my library of games and decided that I would as part of my grand experiment start a review by blog and then hopefully with the intention to video blog my summary. Does that make sense?  Well there will be this piece first, then there will be something on YouTube if I can master what I need to in under 3 minutes!

So my first game review from the past is!  Warpwar.

Yep that's it above, startling high stakes game publishing from 1979.  Today of course if would be far slicker, but this is where people fail to take into consideration the time differences, today is 2017, there has been a lot of water under the bridge since 1979.  Game companies have moved up a notch when it comes to production, the original (well I'm going by my copy and the one which you can see in the picture provided from BGG) was described as a microgame.  It was that!  The map was 21cm x 35.5cm (unfolded) printed on firm paper stock and folded into quarters to fit the box dimensions 8.2cm x 10.7cm.  The playing pieces were stock cardboard counters 42 in number, 21 of red and white respectively.  The counters are of the type where the counters are two part, the top printed surface being adhered to a card stock bottom.  I find that over time these do tend to pry apart and some of my older games have counters that have separated, which has left me wondering if they were left over pieces or if I've lost a counter! Very basic artwork for the time, no frills however some internal work by Winchell Chung was provided for the rule book, however it was not entirely necessary but does add some aesthetics.  The rule book is between A5-A6 (has to fit into box 8.2cm x 10.7cm), 16 pages in all.  Four pieces of artwork included for aesthetics. Only one pictorial example of game play. Some illustrations of playing pieces and map board sections.  The entirety is plain black on white print, nothing special or enhanced.

So yes compared to today, a very plain and no frills looking game, it's price was US$2.95 at the time, late 70's and early 80's.  Which doesn't sound like a lot of money by today's standards, possibly a US$10/15 equivalent (in my opinion) today.  Considering at that time my wage was AU$132/wk, these games were around the AU$10 mark, we were almost paying three times the US price for goods at times, double if we were lucky.

So BGG describes Warpwar:
Microgame #4 in the Metagaming Microgames series, Warpwar is a fast playing mini-game of interstellar maneuver and combat. You select the tactics and weapon power settings. No chance is involved in the diceless combat system. You must out-think your opponent.

You design your own spaceships with beams, screens, missile tubes and power drive. Ships move through space or jump along the warp lines connecting stars. To win, you must capture the enemy star bases. Advanced rules introduce system ships and technological advancement, which gives newer ships an advantage. Includes an introductory level for two players age 12 and up. Includes rules, map and counters.

So no chance involved... quite right as there is no die rolling in this game at all.  Combat is determined by a player being either the activated player or the other non-turn player.  Ship design and tech level determines how combat is determined as defined by three ship tactics of attack, dodge and retreat.  Weapons are either beam or missles and your defence options are screens or the dodge and retreat tactic. Ship combat is one on one, there is no multiple ship on one options in this system, so large scale battles with multiple ships may take a while but is unlikely considering the scale of the rule system.  The power drive is required to power up the systems needed when entering combat and to travel by warp.  The difference in power drive is also a determining factor with combat resolution. Damage is simple to apply, it did take me a while to get my head around working out how to understand the calculation of damage, but once I did it made sense.  Movement of ships, mainly those warp capable was simple.  The use of warplines was easy to understand for fast movement between star systems by warp ships.  System ships were also without ambiguity, they not being able to move to other stars except by being carried by warp ships specifically designed to carry them. Building ships was a simple process, there only being a limited number of systems to buy, unlike other games (such as Starfire).  This allows for quick builds in game time, which means that advanced scenario games can be played in an evening where players are familiar with the game.  

I would recommend that players start with the learning and basic scenarios before leaping into the advanced scenario which is where the game deign is primarily targeted. There are no designed ships in the rule booklet, which is a let down for those who might have liked a quick start to the game, certainly for the learning scenario it would have been advantageous. I would recommend that players keep records of ships types they have created that have been successful as an aid for future play as it will assist in speeding game play, again particularly with the advanced scenario.  Why they didn't just call it campaign play I have no idea because that's what it really is.
I think that this game has the potential for solo play, but will require the creation of opponent ships of various tech levels and such.  I'll most likely work on this in the coming weeks and tinker away, or more than likely though be distracted by another project.  Yet it does speak solo...

Rating: 7 (Good game, usually willing to play.)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Day of Board Games - Blind Pig 13th May 2017

Today was the first meet of two for the month of May at the Blind Pig.  As the Keeper of Keys I am the first usually there, and the one to open up.  Pat though beat me there this time and was waiting.

First game while waiting for the game board to arrive was:

Shortly after that James arrived giving us three people so we cracked out:

At this stage the hall started to assemble and games were in motion.  The 40K crew arrived, Infinity was in play and EPIC 40K was happening, board game wise we had progressed onto:

I sadly fared badly though I did start well leading for quite a while, probably mid-game before my usual run of bad luck took it's toll. Pat won this game on a massive 135 or 153 points can't quite remember but it was spectacular.

Next game on the block was:

I confess that I was sceptical about this game.  The review that Tom Vassal of The Dice Tower (as well as a few others) gave this game left me not particular favouring this game.  Well perhaps I should qualify that, I would not buy the game from his review without first playing the game.  Having now played the game I would be more than happy to own a copy, in fact I will more than likely do so when I have the opportunity.  Michael won the game, even after complaining severely about being targeted by other players, Pat and I both misread our Blueprint cards and lost the victory points we thought we should have won.  All up a game we would be happy enough to play again.

After that it was wind down mode, Paul the Boss Man wanted to get the Princess so we had a round of:

Paul the cagey bastard got the Princess in the end...

Last game of the day was:

So all up a good day of gaming at the Blind Pig.  Didn't get to play Captain Sonar, but find 8 players was going to be an ask on the best of days.  I did enjoy myself and hope that the next meet in a fortnights time is just as enjoyable and varied.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Captain Sonar - will it get a go at the club meet?

I've not been well of late, dealing with life many hurdles and I really should not be impulse buying to placate that rush which comes from getting a new game, but I did, I bought Captain Sonar.

In hindsight I have to wonder why I did, the  chances of me getting 8 people to play this game are about as likely as me reentering the workforce - slim but not impossible...  Yet thanks to the reviews of the game (mainly Shut Up & Sit Down) I could not help but see the potential this game has to offer and have added it to my always expanding game girth.

So this Saturday I shall take it along to my local club (The Blind Pig) and hope that I might entice some people to play the game.  I hope that there will be an addendum later in the weekend on the success or failure...


Cpt John "Mad Jack" McD

Monday, May 1, 2017

King of Razorbacks II - Kings of War Tournament - 10 June 2017

King of Razorbacks II
10 June 2017

Blind Pig Games Club
The Finnish Hall
62 Newnham Road
Mount Gravatt  QLD  4122

A 2000 pt KoW Tournament.
4 Rounds
08:30am arrive and register,
09:00am start of play.
09:00 to 10:30 - Round 1 - Scenario: Push
10:45 to 12:15 - Round 2 - Scenario: Dominate
Lunch Break
12:45 to 14:15 - Round 3 - Scenario: Ransack
14:30 to 16:00 - Round 4 - Scenario: Ocupy
Trophy Presentation Wrap Up 16:15 to 16:30 approx.
Maximum 16 Players
Entry Cost: $20
Trophy event only: 1st, 2nd, Best Painted

Building Your Army
This tournament uses the Kings of War 2ed rules.
Armies are to be 2000 points or less.
All standard rules of army composition as detailed in the Kings of War rulebook apply. Your Force list can be chosen from one of the official KoW 2ed Rulebook army lists, or, from Uncharted Empires Armies, or, Official Beta list for Twilight Kin, and, Heroes from Destiny of Kings KoW 2ed Rulebook.

Army Composition

  • All normal army selection rules in the Kings of War Rulebook apply
  • Unique Individuals, or “Living Legends” (ie. Those marked with a [1] after their name in the list) may be included in tournament armies – but not in any allied contingent should you have one.
  • You may take allies from one other army list, up to 25% of your total force and following the normal selection rules. 25% of 2000 means you can spend 500 points on allies. Please note that this includes all options (including magic artefacts) that you purchase for your Allied contingent.
  • Please Note the Special Event Rules below
  • We highly encourage players to use and save their lists in PDF format to construct their army lists.
  • Players should print out and bring two or more copies of their army list on the day. They should provide a copy to their opponents at the start of the game to allow them to look over your list.

Tournament Rules
  • This event will consist of 4 games, played on a 6ftx4ft Battlefield
  • Each game will consist of 6 Turns, die roll for turn 7 if you have time.
  • Each game will be 90 minutes, players will have 45 minutes each per game, Chess clocks (or similar) should be used, there’s plenty of Apps out there, if not, a stop watch will do.
Note 1: If you happen to run out of time (your 45 mins expired) during one of your turns, you must immediately put your dice down and make no further dice rolls for the rest of the game. If there are any unresolved Nerve Checks, assume they all are Double 1’s, if there are any unresolved combats, then all charging units bounce back 1” as if failing to rout the enemy unit. During the remainder of the game, the player may not issue any orders or roll any dice, including for rules such as Regeneration. Once the game has finished, work out the Victory and award TPs as normal. The timed-out player will also receive a -1 Tournament Point penalty.
Note 2: Whilst in the ideal world, this would mean that games would run as scheduled to the minute, reality is different. If you have a rules dispute, and require the TO to make a call, make sure you have paused your timer until resolved. Yes, the schedule says finish at 10:20, however, a ruling took 5 minutes to get, so, finishing at 10:25 is acceptable. What is not acceptable, is going over your 45-minute allotment of time, it’s there to ensure every single player has the same balance throughout the tournament.


All Scenarios and Victory conditions as per KoW 2ed Rulebook & Clash of Kings Organised Play Supplement Book, with exception of Special Event Rules below:
  • Round 1 – Push
  • Round 2 – Dominate
  • Round 3 – Ransack
  • Round 4 – Occupy

After setting up their forces, roll a D3.  Each player places that many Loot tokens within their set-up area, giving them to units to carry if they wish. Roll-off to see who begins placing their Loot tokens first, and the players take it in turns to place one Loot token each until they have placed them all. An additional Loot token is placed in the exact centre of the board.
Victory Points
Victory Points are awarded at the end of the game as follows:

  • 2 Victory Points for each Loot token you hold where your unit is entirely on the opposing half of the board 
  • 1 Victory Point for each Loot token you hold where your unit is at least partly on your half of the board

At the end of the game, add up the total Unit Strength of the units that each player has entirely within 12” of the exact centre point of the table. This is their total Victory Points.

Place Objective Markers as per Pillage. Before placing each objective, the player should roll a D3 and leave the result next to the objective The objective is worth that many Victory Points at the end of the game.
Victory Points
Victory Points are awarded at the end of the game as follows:

  • (n) Victory Point(s) for each Objective Marker you hold, where (n) is the value of the D3 rolled when the objective was placed

After choosing sides, place one Objective Marker in the centre of the board. Then the players each place an Objective Marker completely within 6” of the centre line, starting with the player who chose sides. These three Objective Markers are the Secondary Objectives Next, the players place another Objective Marker on their opponents half of the board at least 6” from any board edge and 9” from the centre line. These are the Primary Objectives.
Victory Points
Victory Points are awarded at the end of the game as follows:

  • 1 Victory Point for each Secondary Objective you hold
  • 2 Victory Points if you hold the Primary Objective on your opponent’s half of the board The Primary Objective on your half of the board is not worth anything to you

Special Event Rules 
Most of these appear in Clash of Kings Supplement but are included for completeness. In addition to the normal game rules and those tournament rules detailed above,  the following additions and modifications will be in effect for all games played at the Tournament.
  • Unit Entry Changes
    • Undead - Cursed Pharaoh – This unit is De5 not 6. Points value remains the same
    • Undead – Vampire Lord – This unit is De5 not 6. Points value remains the same
    • Empire of Dust - Ahmunite Pharaoh – This unit has De5 not 6. Points value remains the same
    • Night-Stalkers – Fiends - Nerve values reduced to the following:
      • Regiment: 12/15
      • Horde: 15/18
    • Night-Stalkers – Mind Screech - Nerve values reduced to the following:
      • Monster: 14/17
    • Varangur – Herja - Replace the rules for Judgement with the following: This is a ranged attack that can be used once per game. It follows the same rules as a Heal (5) that can be used on any friendly non-allied unit on the board, regardless of range or Line of Sight.
    • Ratkin – Death Engine - Defence is reduced to 4+ if the Vile Sorcery upgrade is chosen
    • Salamanders – Kaisenor Lancers, Fire Drake, Clan Lord, Clan Lord on Fire Drake – all these Units have “Vicious” 
    • Trident Realms – Placoderms, Placoderm Defender, Riverguard, Riverguard Captain, Nokken - all these Units have “Ensnare”
    • Orcs - Fightwagons, Morax, Krudger, Krudger on Slasher, Krudger on Gore Chariot, Gakamak – all these Units have “Fury”
  • Special Rules
    • “Fly” - While Disordered, units lose the Fly special rule including the Nimble that it grants. If the unit has Nimble via another method (e.g. Individual or Wine of Elvenkind) then they will remain Nimble while Disordered
    • Breath Attacks and Spells that target enemy units in cover, these attacks hit on 5+ instead of a 4+ 
  • Spells
    • Bane-Chant - This will only grant or improve Piercing, if two or more hits are scored from the same source
    • The 3 Spells from Mantic Clash of Kings Organised Play Supplement, are permissible in this Tournament, these are:
      • Weakness
      • Bloodboil
      • Soul Drain Page
  • Artefacts
    • Removed Artefacts, these are not permitted in this tournament:
      • Ensorcelled Armour
      • Brew of Keen-eyeness
      • Medallion of Life
    • The 10 Artefacts from Mantic Clash of Kings Organised Play Supplement, are permissible in this Tournament, these are:
      • Healing Brew
      • Sparkstone
      • Helm of the Ram
      • Blood of the Old King
      • Banner of the Griffin
      • Dragonshard Shield
      • Hammer of Measured Force
      • Lute of Insatiable Darkness
      • Zephyr Crown
      • Shroud of the Saint 
  • Army Composition
    • Players may only take the same hero, monster or war engine a maximum of 3 times.
      • For example, Elves could take a maximum of 3 Bolt Throwers
      • This limit includes units with artefacts or other upgrades, so an Undead player could only take a maximum of 3 Necromancers, regardless of what options or upgrades they take.
    • Allies If you include allies, you cannot select the same allied unit entry of type War Engine, Hero (all types) or Monster more than once. For example, in a goblin allied contingent, you could take a maximum of 1 War Trombone and a maximum of 1 Wiz hero.
    • In addition, magic artefacts cannot be given to any allied units you take 

  • For all Scenarios, the following applies:
    • Victory Points - Most scenarios award a certain number of Victory Points (VPs) for completing objectives. The player with the most VPs at the end of the game wins. If the players have an equal number of VPs then the game is a draw
    • Unit Strength - Each unit on the board will have a unit strength that is used in some scenarios to determine who controls different areas of the board. These are:
      • Unit Strength 0: Individuals, War Engines
      • Unit Strength 1: Troops, Heroes (without the Individual rule), Monsters, any unit with a Height of 0
      • Unit Strength 2: Regiments
      • Unit Strength 3: Hordes or Legions
    • Centre of the Board - A number of scenarios require you to place an Objective Marker or Loot Counter in the centre of the board. If you are unable to do so due to Blocking Terrain, they should be placed along the centre line of the table as close to the centre as possible
    • Scoring Units - Scoring units are any units that are not War Engines and do not have the Individual rule
    • Non-Scoring Units - Non-Scoring units are any units that are War Engines and/or have the Individual rule
    • Objective Markers - These follow the same rules as Objective Markers from the core rulebook, except only Scoring Units may hold Objective Markers
    • Loot Counters - These follow the same rules as Loot Counters from the core rulebook, except units lose the Fly and Nimble special rules while carrying them and Loot Counters may not be taken off the board
    • Bounty - Mark any units carrying a Bounty with a token of some sort. A unit may not have more than one Bounty on it at any one time and it may not drop or transfer it. The unit is otherwise unaffected by carrying the Token. If a player routs an enemy unit carrying a Bounty in melee, then the Bounty has been completed and that player keeps the Token until the end of the game as a reminder. If the unit is Routed by any other way, such as with ranged attacks, then the Bounty is lost instead.
Winning the Tournament
The player with the most TP’s will be crowned the winner. In the case of players having the same highest TP’s, the winner will be the player with the highest AP - ‘Attrition Points’.
By ‘Attrition Points’, we mean the total amount of points of enemy units routed by the player in the Tournament (excluding points for objectives – it’s routed enemy units only). Players will therefore have to record the score they get for each game in addition to the overall result.

Best Painted
Painted armies have nothing to do with winning battles (unless you’re superstitious like me and believe they help with fortunate dice rolling), to this end, there is no painting requirement for figures for the tournament, it is only preferred, to make it look pretty.
You can choose to enter your army (that you painted yourself) into a parallel Painting Competition, this will take place during breaks, where Armies should be arrayed, with their corresponding Player name, and all players choose their favourite army (can’t select your own!), the one with the most votes wins, in the instance of a joint winner, the TO will make the choice between the top armies.

This is not a dating site or a popularity contest, so no Sports Score, however, we expect all games to be played in an enjoyable manner. All players should be fair and respectful whilst displaying a fun and inclusive attitude to the game, not only for themselves, but for their opponent also.
It is expected that Players will not “take back” Unit moves once moved onto another Unit. Please be clear which Unit you are giving an Order too, carry out that Order, and declare that the Unit has performed that Order. Please do not move onto another Unit until you have declared the order is performed, do not go back to a Unit you have declared as having performed an Order.
It is expected that all relevant actions are performed in the relevant phase, in sequence, there should be no back stepping a phase once you have commenced a new phase, i.e. If you have started the melee phase, rolled dice to hit, you cannot then roll any Regeneration Rolls you forgot to do in the Order Phase, as you’ve also been through shooting phase as well (I always forget Regen, and have since stopped taking it, as it was a constant waste of points for me)
Please be courteous to each other when playing these rules, it’s only fair, seek the TO if there is a dispute, note, “My previous opponent let me” will not be a valid reason to justify

Battles will be fought on a 6ft x 4ft area, and all Terrain rules are as per the KoW Rulebook 2ed.
Difficult Terrain
Forests/Woods/Copses – Height 4 (Rules as per Rulebook)
Rivers/Streams/Ponds/Fields – Flat (Note – do not block Line of Sight, but do offer Cover if at least half the unit base in the river/stream, does not provide cover to Units that are behind the Terrain piece)
Blocking Terrain
Edge of Table
Buildings/Ruins – Height 3
(For purposes of Line of sight and movement, where Blocking Terrain is in play, all measurements, LOS, etc. Are taken from the Base of the Terrain, or if not based, the feature itself. Example, if a Building, and it is based, assume that the base edge is used for LOS, shooting, etc. the height of 3 is from the base edge, not the features on the base)
All Hills will be deemed Height 2. As per rulebook, a unit must have the majority of its base on a hill in order to be standing on it.
Please use the terrain as it is laid out on the table. If any terrain is moved during your game, we ask that you move it back to the original position.

Special Thanks:
Thanks to Ken from QNK for allowing me to pinch/plagiarise his players pack for this event.