06 March 2015

BF&S: Deluge rulebook review

My Kickstarter package arrived this week and I've spent some time browsing the new rulebook called "Deluge: Northern war 1655-1660". This new tome is made up of 248 pages and filled to the brim with news. There are new scenarios, new nations to be played, new takes on core-rules, new additional effects, new recon effects and a major overhaul for the Polish-Lithuanian army as well as replacement lists for the Swedes.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the new content but let's stick with the major rule changes firsts:

The rules for charging have been rewritten to be more clear. Much effort has been put into guiding the player through each step of the charging process with all the different situations and options that may occur. These rules are covered on 4 pages.

Rules for ploughed fields, wheat fields and roads have been added - a much welcome addition (and they play pretty much like the guys at my club have been playing using house  rules.

Rifled weapons fire mode now have a 20cm short range! Better representing the accuracy of these weapons and making them even deadlier than before.

A major change has been written into the "Elite cavalry", which is now a hybrid formation that if formed like normal cavalry in closed order and moves like cavalry in open order. This will definitely speed up gameplay when using forces that have a ton of Elite Cavalry units, but also reduce the cheesy tactics available up to this point where you could exploit the insane maneuverability of saids units to envelope enemy units with a charge.

A completely new addition is the "Battalion rule" for Pike & Shot formations, in which you get a more coherent mixed arms formations of pikes, muskets and artillery that work together with great defensive bonuses. The Pike & Shot rules from the core rulebook have been re-written in such a way that troops have an easier time to pull off defensive pike walls against charging units with musketeers running behind the pikes. Artillery crews may now also benefit from the protection of pikemen should their  gun be charged. All in all this rule will make Pike & Shot regiments and battles against them much more dynamic and interesting imo.

26 February 2015

The Witcher Adventure Game [boardgame review]

I am crazy about everything Witcher related so I was initially super excited when I heard about a boardgame being made based upon the Witcher books. I got onto the bandwagon early with the digital version of the game released for tablets and had been playing it a bit but it didn't really satisfy me (never mind the online part playing with gamers suffering from acute ADD!).

Once the game was finally released as a proper boardgame my interest had cooled off a bit, I was no longer sure if it would be a good investment of money in relation to fun/depth/value. Following the release I was on the fence for a couple of days trying to read up on the game and what other people thought - the opinions were many and divided but generally the game seemed to fall into a average scores on review sites. It was really more a surplus of cash than anything that prompted me to buy this game in the end.

(What follows bellow will be my first review written in the reverse order with teh critique first and the positive aspects last)

So what exactly is the Witcher Adventure Game in terms of gameplay and style? Well, I would probably put it in the same category as such games as Talisman. It's a pretty casual game that is very easy to get into but does not offer too much in terms of depth. Basically it's a race for 2-4 people competing against each other. Every player attempts to finish a set number of quests before any other player and then you count the victory points. A "normal" game means finishing 3 "main quests", then there is the very long game that has 5 quests and you can play a shorter variant as well. 

23 February 2015

Star Wars X-Wing revival

Last time I wrote about X-wing, can't remember if it was on the blog or on a forum, I had grown tired of the min/maxing of lists, competitive oriented playstyles other people used and discussed and my own chaotic collection dispersed among several starter set boxes which always made the setup of the game take forever.

Since then, I have bought a ton of Star Wars X-wing miniatures (E-Wing, Z-95's, B-Wings, YT-1300, TIE Defenders, TIE Phantom, Imperial Aces, VT-49 Decimator and a collection of Wave 1 & 2 ships from a friend). The funny thing about this was  that my purchases were fueled by the idea of either using the miniatures for the Star Wars RPG "Edge of the Empire" to properly display space combat situations - or - to use the minis in a hybrid version of X-wing and the Axis&Allies: Aces 20 game using a hex based game mat.

Of course nothing came of those two plans. The  company that manufactures the gaming mats I was interested in (Hotz mats) didn't bother to answer to my email inquiry about product and estimated delivery time, and it had been a good while since I played Edge of the Empire with the guys due to various "choice of game to be played at the moment" and time related reasons.

So my closet was filled up with un-opened Star Wars toys for some good 2-3 months! Finally, this weekend my girlfriend said if I wanted to teach/show her the game that I had been talking about so much and in such frustrated terms lately. Alright I thought, and she added that the miniature wargaming demo of Empire of the Dead was fun. 

So I dusted off the game and we played a demo game where I went over the basic rules, using two TIE fighters and one X-wing, followed by a 100 point game of my already unpacked old fighters. This too went over very well. Triggered by this positive feedback I spent some 4 hours this Sunday unpacking all the new ships (sorry for not doing a proper review of any at this stage but that may yet come) and building boxes for transport and storage so that I could organize all the shit ton of tokens, cards and counters as well as come up with a more effective storage method than using the plastic containers for each individual ship.

The end result may not win any beauty prizes but I managed to squeeze my ship collection into two starter set boxes and the cards and counters into two cardboard boxes. All the flight stands and sticks are also in one plastic container.

We also had time left to play one more 100 point game and I built two lists that tried out a couple of the new ships, the E-Wing, Z-95's and the TIE Defender. Caroline wasn't keen on testing out the new big ships and I wanted to wait a little to use the TIE Phantom.

Finally I can enjoy the game with someone at a more casual level, playing for fun with a mix of ships in each list instead of facing a TIE horde.... Caroline can get competitive rather quick but it's more about winning a game than making the "killer list/strategy" (and I may add she won one out of the two 100 point battles).

So yeah, I guess I will be playing more X-wing in the future. The pictures on this post are from our Sunday battle, and you can spot the E-Wing, TIE Defender and Z-95 Headhunter ships on the table.

05 February 2015

Order of the Dragon: Blunderbuss thug

Things have been slow on the blog these past weeks due to real life stuff related to work, I have painted up a few things and have some boardgame reviews in the pipeline but have been pretty exhausted during the evenings when I get back home.

Anyway, work on the Order of the Dragon continues, with another member painted up. This is a conversion, using the blunderbuss from the Empire of the  Dead weapon sprue I bought through the kickstarter and one of the OotD thug minis.

Really like the mini and wanted to give him a different weapon option hence the conversion.

19 January 2015

Empire of the Dead: Order of the Dragon thugs

Next two miniatures painted up for Empire of the Dead. These two Order of the Dragon thugs have been slightly converted, I added the crossbow and club combo on one, and the bow on the other to give my vampire gangs a little medieval weapon support. Not that these weapons are super efficient (except for the club), but they add a lot of flavor and. I really enjoy painting the Empire of the Dead minis, they paint up quickly and the sculpting is great!

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