29 October 2015

Testing Mutant: Kriget skirmish game with Thomas

My buddy Thomas is writing a tabletop skirmish game for the RPG "Mutant: År Noll/ Year Zero" game to better simulate combat situations. The game is set in a post apocalypse world where most technology has been lost, imagine a more primitive version of Fallout and Mad Max. Most weapons are one-shot only and have to be reloaded before they can be used again. People live in isolated communities known as the ark and only venture out in the wasteland to scavenge stuff and food when needed.

The rules are fairly simple but he has managed to cram the best parts of games like Muskets & Tomahawks, Song of Blade and Heroes and other games we both like into his own creation.
We tried out the rules last weekend and I found them to work smoothly and thought they offered a both fast paced and very well balanced gameplay.

A card and action point based activation system is used just like in Muskets and Tomahawks, meaning that each faction has a number of cards with a total of 4 action points in the activation deck. Whenever a faction card is flipped over all troops belonging to that particular faction get to perform said number of actions. Actions range from moving, shooting, fighting in close combat, climbing obstacles, looting corpses, reloading weapons etc.

Movement per action is defined by the movement quality of a faction/unit type. For instance, the "Motor People" have very poor movement when on foot since they are lazy and love riding vehicles.
Movement is divided into 3 fixed range bands which are measured using 3 different sticks. 

The activation deck also includes cards that say "Something happens" which means rolling on the random encounter chart. This results in the appearance of NPC factions/monsters or random events that can help or hinder the action for the players. The deck then also includes cards marked as "The Zone" which activates all neutral units on the table such as Zone-Bies, neutral gangs etc.

12 October 2015

DeepCutStudio BloodBowl pitch review

I love BloodBowl, and I really wanted a pitch to play on of my own - without having to shell out  ridiculous amounts for used parts on Ebay. A friend ordered a custom made BloodBowl pitch a few years back but that option was too expensive for me, and as it turned out the squares on the board were slightly bigger than the original gameboard which made the throwing template inaccurate when reading the range bands.

So, an evening of browsing led to to DeepCutStudio and their array of gaming mats. Having weighed the pro's and con's I went ahead and ordered 3 gaming mats. One of them is this BloodBowl pitch which has its main play area mirror the original BloodBowl pitch from GamesWorkshop perfectly in terms of size (I compared with an original game that a friend brought over). Each square is 29mm wide.

The mat includes the pitch,  as well as a scatter template for both players, and areas marked out for the reserves, Knocked Out and Morgue. It also features a counter on both sides to keep track of the turns, which half of the match you play and number of re-rolls left. The only thing missing, oddly enough, is a score counter - I guess this was simply overlooked. You can keep score easily using pen and paper, dice or any other method.

The mat itself is made from durable vinyl with a high quality print. It is however like most vinyl gaming mats slightly glossy if a light source is directed straight at it from a sharp angle. On the other hand, you can roll it up and transport/store it easily 

Imo it was well worth the money.

And as I had the pitch I also needed a measuring stick and some Blood Bowl dice, these I acquired from the NobleKnight games store in the US (the manufacturer for both products is Impact Miniatures I believe). A local retailer also had these products in his catalogue but they were sold out so I had to buy them from the US which turned out a lot more expensive than I would have wanted - but at least the dice and the measuring stick are also perfect matches to the original deal from GW so in the long run money well spent.

Now to paint up the remainder of my Orc team so I can alternate between them and my Humans. Caroline also shows interest for the game and plays the PC version so she will most likely also want to play the tabletop version.

And as a small bonus, some pictures from the first game played on the new pitch against my friend Daniel and his Chaos Dwarfs. The game ended 1-1 after an intense first half where one of my linemen tackled one of the Bull Centaurs which got killed in the process. I then lost the initiative in the second half, and a mistake on my part opened a window for my opponent who scored a draw.

10 October 2015

Hobby room set up and ready

The biggest change from our previous crowded and tiny apartment is that all the hobby related material fit into one separate room. I also wanted the computer and a painting station to be in the same space, and to have all the miniatures on display in somewhat dust secure cabinets.

Having a dedicated painting station means a lot. The past two years I was forced to paint on the kitchen table and clean up all the stuff in between meals or the occasional boardgame session.
I also had my painting supplies and hobby material spread out over a dozen boxes and drawers. Now I have everything in one corner, all the paints and brushes fit nicely into two desk drawers, all the bits, spare miniatures/yet to be painted stuff is organized neatly in translucent plastic toolbox drawers with tags and everything else such as glue, sand, basing material is also located in a separate drawer.

I also found room for pretty much all my boxed 15mm and 28mm in our closet, where I also have all the gaming mats for X-wing, Blood Bowl etc.

Best part is that I still have room left in the new display cases for the remainder of my ongoing projects as well as future purchases :-D

We also managed to cram all of our boardgames into one shelf located in the living room. Though I foresee a purchase of yet another shelf in  the imminent future at the rate we buy games.

Still have some photos and paintings to hang up on the walls but overall the place is finished.

Oh, and with the new apartment we finally had room to hang the awesome paintings we bought in Warsaw last year (I stumbled across a painting collection in a book store that I cherry picked). I framed them and hanged them in the dining room (where there is plenty of room for both 6-player boardgame sessions as well as miniature wargaming at last!).

05 October 2015

Blog status update

The blog is not dead, but Caroline and I have spent the past two weeks moving to a larger apartment with a lot of work involved in repainting the walls, exhausting trips to IKEA and spending evenings building furniture and hanging up paintings....

I hope to resume the blogging once my computer/painting mancave is finished as we are still waiting for glass shelves and part of the drawers to arrive at the IKEA warehouse for pickup. Currently most of the hobby stuff is still packed down in various containers but I'm happy to have a dedicated painting station/desk now with room for all my paints and tools in one place.

The past two years had been a pain in the ass when it came to painting as I had to paint at our small kitchen table with poor lightning and pack up every time we were eating.

Just prior to the move I received some very nice 4Ground buildings for my French & Indian War games (they also work for Empire of the Dead, Wild West etc) and I bought a couple of gaming mats from Deep Cut Studio which I'm quite pleased with. I hope to post a review of that stuff soon!

08 September 2015

Chain of Command: German late war Sdkfz251's

Two Sdkfz 251 half tracks for my late war German Chain of Command platoon. These excellent models are from the Flames of War "Panzergrenadier platoon" plastic boxed set where you get some 30 infantry and 4 half tracks for a decent price tag.

Two more to be painted up as regular halftracks since I already built and painted the command vehicle. Anyway, the machinegunner is removable which is great for gaming purposes as you can remove him either as a casualty or when you empty the entire halftrack and there is no one left to mount a MG42.

I'm very pleased with the color choice, finally found a paint in my collection that works well as a worn "dunkelgelb" imitation - Vallejo Tierra Earth. I mix that with Vallejo Khaki color to get the highligts, and also wash the  vehicle with Warlord Games "Soft tone" in between those two layers. The antennas are made out of synthethic hairs from a broom.

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