ACW is creeping along. I am getting ready to base the last brigade of troops I painted over two years ago. I do not like the color I painted the base, so the rebasing will take a bit longer to accomplish. I may also add a figure or two to each unit, as I guessed at a unit size as "standard" before the rules came out. Or I just will deal with it...
Board-, Card and Role Playing Games Played:
Christmas is just 20 days away...are you ready? I am not. I have started to shop and have made some headway. Normally, I am done by Thanksgiving and spend the December enjoying the season and looking for that odd, special gift. The most frustrating thing this year is is that I but keep finding things I should have put on my list...must resist, must resist.
Bret came to my place for an escape from the City. Saturday night we made an attempt at Mansions of Madness. It was too much game to learn on the fly. The look through just convinced us this is a MUST PLAY. The figures, the plot lines, the tiles all are fantastic. The system looks good. There is also a lot of replayability...is that a word? Each scenario has the Keeper answers three plot point questions; based upon the evil answers, it effects locations of clues, items, and other things (cue scary, ominous music). Minimum players are two (one investigator and one Keeper) but I suspect it will play even better with more people. As for the dreaded comparison to Arkham Horror, I think it is shorter in play time and it is not fully cooperative as one person is the bad guy. I think both games are winners hence they are both in my collection. I did get rid of the Witch of Arkham but only because we played that three times and Mansions of Madness finally came out.
Magnifico saw some Sunday action. The second play was even more satisfying. I can only imagine the game with the full complement of five players would be even better. Picture 16th Century Europe and Leonardo Da Vinci's invention work. Each player is the leader of a country striving to dominate the others. Each turn there is a bidding war for art, designs of war machines, improvements to inventions and architectural designs. Minor countries are gobbled up. Building projects abound. And War. But everything is expensive so it is less Risk and more real life as there is never enough money to do everything. The finals angle is the victory point track where countries gain prestige for art, having Leonardo working for you, building projects, expansion, etc. making the game having an interesting and finite experience. In our game, Bret's English isle based kingdom (Scotland was dominant) was on the ascension as he slowly gobbled up my Turkish Empire. I managed a win though he was definitely and methodically gobbling up the "sick man of Europe" as I had expanded too fast...but, I won through prestige and building. This game is a keeper. I had earmarked it for a possible culling but the second play has confirmed its place. Now to find some more players...
Friday came around finally and I managed to get to Mike's for a game hosted by Ron and his son Ben. The best way to describe it was 5150 meets 40K using FUBAR in Vogelsdorf (Mike's beutiful ruined city). Ron has boworred the races and parts of the first two games and converted them to the third. It worked and well. I was Hishen slavers using Grath and Orks to search ruins for valuable computer data. I had lost control of the Orks so they had disappeared into the sewers to lay spores (if you buy that revisionist GW junk on orks being Mushrooms). Weel, the good thing was that the Orks kept popping up and messing with the Marine forces. I suspect it made the marines a bit timid as only Mike's Assault troops and Ben's scouts pushed forward in the truly40K style. Ben's deadly sniper fire took care of the Hishen big boss. It was galling fire until he switched to the Grath which are tough, tough, tough. That's when I stopped worrying about the sniper. Unfortunately, Mike's fast moving assault marines wore down my Grath. Victory to the Marine force. The only bad thing was I was unable to get my Grath into melee and truly give the Marines the full experience...sometimes the mission precludes. It was a good, fun game. Kudos to Ron for a good game. Kudos to ben for the nasty shots, and kudos to mike for the board and the coup de grace.
Bret and I managed two games of Wrath of Ashdarlon, the sequel/expansion to Castle Ravenloft. we played the first team scenario( actually the second scenario as the first is solo). Since we played it wrong, the first time we played it a second time. wrong again, but at least we won. The reality was we made the game tougher as we played without treasure. It seems every turn that you kill a monster, you get treasure. We forgot the treasure. But really, in a true D&D game we never would have had time to loot the bodies of the monsters as we had not a single second of breathing room. We advanced (a cleric and a paladin) into the foul Dragon Ashdarlon's fortress to try to take some pressure off the local village. Within moments of entering the fortress we were under attack from monsters, snipers and traps. We fought until we were near death and retreated out having accounted for ourselves very well, but definitely requiring two more adventures to truly make an attempt... As for our mistake in the first game, we moved the monsters too much. This game is definitely harder than Castle Ravenloft but a great game. It gives you a fun fast dungeon crawl to satisfy the RPG desire without the huge time investment. The game was good enough that I am happy Legend of Drizz't is on the Christmas list. I have heard LofD takes you higher than second level and into the Underdark. Next up is rumored to be rules for taking your heroes of yore into the game system and using them instead of the pre-mades...I'm sold.
Sunday Morning dawned with Bret being railroaded into a game of Alien Attack(http://frontline-games.com/alienAttackMoreInfo.html). Actually, I'm not sure if he was railroaded, but I did not give him an option. The paint was barely dry and I had the set out. The game is a kid friendly micro-game style of sets from Reaper. I picked mine on on Monday, had it by Thursday and painted by Friday. You get one flying saucer (resin 5" diameter with flight stand); three 28mm greys, three boyscouts and one scoutmaster. The rules are simple. The figures are Reaper; thus good. The only criticism of the figures are tht the scoutmaster looks like a Canadian Mountie; but he works. If you want the boyscouts, though, you have to buy the game. We played a quick game in an hour or less which included set up and learning. The scenario, you ask: aliens land near a boyscout camp. While landing, one falls in a puddle and dissolves. The boyscouts need to fight their way off the board--best done before the saucer shows up and starts collecting. The aliens need to abduct three people. We played and Scoutmaster Wiggles and two scouts disappeared. With only one scout getting away, it is doubtful if the authorities will believe the story...perhaps the sequel over the holidays.
I started the week byWorking on touching up a camp set I had kicking around. Everything is done; except, I am reworking the flames. If anyone has a good way to do flames, let me know. I also have been toying around with building a trench terrain board for WW1 and Quar skirmish gaming. I think if I go this route it would be 3'x3' and have the trenches inset into the board so they look "right" instead of sticking up too far out of the ground...then again a nice resin trench would be a faster way to go.
Chaco has had some work. I am looking forward to reading the new Osprey. I also have been trying to determine if I am going to build one of the small forts. It would be a neat little poject; but it would not have much utility outside of the Chaco as they were pretty distinctive.
OGRE is alive. I finally found some great buildings that have all sorts of options form Angel barracks(http://angelbarracks.co.uk/Scenery/6mm/Buildings/buildings.html) so I am getting the itch to use the units I have done. The latest battle force is painted in the USSR Black Fleet camo pattern and it needs to see action.
Conan is progressing nicely. I dug through my diminishing lead mountain (now that it's smaller it's easier to find things) and shuffled various figures and small sets into a box. I am almost there. I just need a figure for Mako and for Subotai. I pretty much decided that the main action will be in 28mm and the army stuff will use my diverse 15mm collection. I heard Copplestone came out with a dead-ringer for Conan in 15mm, so this may be a reality. Pretty much the only army that I would need to do would be an Egyptian one for the forces of Stygia.
Colonialism/VSF is under a major re-think. I have been trying to figure out if I want to get rid of one of the scales here. I have 15mm for the battles and a small skirmish set for the up-front-and-personal end of things, kind of like my Wild West set...but I am unsure if this is the way to go. Why the re-think? All the cheap plastic out there in 28mm suddenly makes it possible to do hordes of Dervishes/Zulus...and they paint fast.
French Revolution continues apace. The last of the Fench are done and based. I only need to decide two things: do I replace the flags with Flag Dude; and, do I want to do some units for Egypt/Ireland/Haiti/Fishguard as these theaters had a few "different" colored uniforms. I also saw some Trent figures and thought maybe I should do a squad of various combatants for some 25mm Songs of Drums and Shako skirmishes.
Painting and Painters:
Painted Alien Attack boxed set by Reaper--three greys, one saucer, three scouts and one scoutmaster (see above).
Chaco War Infantry & Tanks continue. The troops are based but I need to attach some crubs to give them a better look. The tanks are finally built but need some painting.
Various Pulp and Darkest Africa figures are getting some love. They had sat languishing with little bits of work or basing needed. I have started to break them out in groups of ten or twelve and base them
French Revolution basing of the French is done.
Miniature Wargames Excellent article on V&B Samurai and Black Powder Culloden which incorporates some of the latest archaeological research; thus, turning some myths on their ears. Very interesting read.
My Apple Mail has failed and I can't figure it out; thus, it is impossible for me to find follow the blogs easily...it may be the end as I suddenly find myself with more time.
I did not listen to much other than the news and the Economist.