20141103

I'm Baaaack

Bet yall thought I'd disappeared. I have been busy with other areas of my life since the last post, though I have had a few games here and there. One of them being the registration of my company that will focus on laser cut models for 6, 10, and 15mm tabletops.

The real reason for the return though is that after much fiddling, I have completed assembling my first Regult battlepod from Palladium's Robotech RPG Tactics.  Here are some pictures of it and with a Dictator 60 and a 28mm fig for giggles.

20140504

Reapercon '14 Pics

So, I went to ReaperCon 2014 last weekend. HAD A BLAST!

Got to see several people I known, but haven't seen, in years. Got some games in. Got some cool new stuff to play with. Got some info on the next version of CAV. (Hint: Not as bad as I thought, but I still don't like it.)

What I didn't get was a lot of pictures. Here's what I have so far:

Demo material for CAV:SO



A Bonesium CAV to call my own


This was supposed to be the new Emperor, but will now be called something else

A wild west participation game I played in. I was one of the bad guys trying to stop the law dogs from taking our compatriot to the hangin' tree. I shot the Preacher.



The first eight CAVs to be done in Bonesium


New CAV designs. Some I like, others not so much.

Bolt Action participation game. Another gentleman (off screen to the right) and I played the Americans. Some amazingly lucky die rolls in this game. First a Sherman and a bazooka team took out the StuG on our left in the first turn. In turn 3 we got an airstrike. I rolled up a tactical bomber (I think that's what it's called, I rolled a six to determine the aircraft type if anyone cares to assist) which obliterated that Tiger on our right. In retrospect, we shouldn't have put the AT gun where we did.



I've known this fine man through message boards and Facebook for the past 10 years or so, finally got to meet him in person. We had a couple great games of Starmada:AE on Saturday (regular and SFU). Unfortunately we were having such a great time I forgot to take pictures of that. :(

And here's the loot (not including the swag bag). The box has three frames of German infantry, enough for 15 or 18 figures if I remember correctly.



These were acquired the week before the con. Adding about 20 (goblin math) miniatures to my collection.

20140412

Been A Long Time

Wow, hobby motivation hit an all time low there for a while, but with ReaponCon coming up and me actually going this year it's starting to return. Had a few games since the last post, tried out some tweaks for CAV2, but mostly painted all but one of the remaining JR Miniatures 6mm sci-fi buildings. The Comm Center is the last one, and I'm waffling on what colors to use. The upside though is that they are ready for whenever Robotech shows up. I did however start working on a figure I was supposed to have painted several years ago for someone else. Several excuses later I'm finally getting around to it and plan to present at the con. Also working on a CAV2 conversion that was the result of a kitbash competition on Mil-Net ages ago. The winners got stats for the game. This one is a Kahn with Dictator 60 gauss cannons. So a fast heavy hitter with next to no armor. I figure they'll make great flankers to finish wounded units off. I also bought Zombie Dice. The kids love it.

20140111

Kyra and Lavarath Done

I actually finished this up last weekend, but didn't get around to taking photos until today. This is the first dragon I've ever painted. It will probably be the last dragon I'll ever paint. I made that comment on Facebook and was asked why. My response is that I didn't enjoy painting it as much as other types of models and it just plain sat around on my desk for too long. Part of that is my fault, but there was just so much going on with this model that it took forever. Granted, it has more than more dragon figures do, like a rider, complex armor plating dynamic posing, etc etc. I'm going to go back to my sci-fi figures for a while I think.

The base is a wood award blank from Hobby Lobby that I stained with the stain I usually use for dipping my figures. Originally I was going to do a whole mountain top thing for the base, but now I've lost interest in that. The model isn't attached yet, and it may take me a while to figure out what I'm exactly going to do with this, so things may change later on.

In unrelated news, I finally added pictures to the year end update. See them here.

Here's the pics of Kyra and Lavarath. One of these days I'll figure out how to photograph metallics without the glare.














20140104

2013 Wrap Up

Well, what I had hoped to be The Year of Done turned into The Year of Minimal Hobby Activity. I didn't do lot of painting or gaming this year. The most played game was X-Wing due to the ease of set up and my childrens' interest in the setting. I received my copy of OGRE and love it and if it weren't for the fact that I expect to get my Robotech kickstarter box sometime in 2014 I would get some OGRE miniatures.

Painting total for the year is a paltry 22. Between getting ready to retire from active duty, starting the job, and a general downturn in playing time I just really haven't been motivated to paint anything.  Here's what was finished:

Running Total: 22
4 Orc Guards (Dreadball)
1 Rebel Minis Merka V
8 GZG UNSC Troopers
3 GZG Gun Spider Robot Drone Thingies
6 Goblin Jacks (Dreadball)

Mostly 15mm this time around, no terrain. I'll post the consolidated picture later as I don't like the way the mobile app formats photos for posting.

For 2014, who knows? I'm *this* close to being done with Kyra and Lavawrath and plan to finish them soon if only out of spite. Robotech, when it arrives, will hopefully spur some activity as I'll have an additional 100 figures to add to the To Do List. In the mean time I think I'll return to sci-fi figures. I've got some starships that need doing or maybe back to my pile of unassembled CAVs. Then of course there are the piles of 15mm figures...

Wishing you all an enjoyable and prosperous new year!

Edit: Finally got around to taking the pictures:



20131206

Full Thrust Cross Dimensions Trial Game

Having become increasingly disliking of the combat resolution system for Starmada: Admiralty Edition (S:AE) I finally looked up Full Thrust: Cross Dimensions (FT:XD). This variation of the Full Thrust rules combines the rules from the multiple Full Thrust books (available for free from Ground Zero Games) and adds some new weapons. I had looked at Full Thrust a while back but having the rules spread across multiple books with later books modifying some of the basic mechanics put me off somewhat.

What has been irking me about combat in S:AE was the iterative process for rolling each attack. Each attack with each similar weapon system requires a total of three die rolls with multiple dice. My issue isn't the number of dice rolled but the number rolls made. There is a roll to hit, a roll to overcome defenses, and a roll to determine damage allocation. This provides for a great amount of granularity for how different weapons behave allowing for the creation of one weapon that may be highly accurate with a high rate of fire but does not have much penetration or damage potential or another that has difficulty getting past defense but inflicts a great amount of damage on impact. It's actually one of the strengths of the design system within the game. The down side is that rolling a handfull of dice, sorting out which ones hit, rolling to see which ones penetrated then sorting those dice out, and then rolling for damage (sometimes with a multiplier) can begin to take time, especially with larger squadrons of larger ships mounting multiple weapon types. Individual weapons, engines, and shields/armor are potentially damaged from the first hit onwards. A battleship could potentially lose it's main gun in the first hit just as easily as a frigate.

Combat in FT:XD is much smoother. There are a limited number of types of weapons and there is only one roll that is modified by the target's defenses. This reduces the game's ability to closely replicate how weapons from specific books/shows/movies (which let's face it, generally falls into Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and occasionally Babylon 5) behave but does simplify gameplay. Roll to hit, typically hits are counted on 4, 5, or 6 and apply damage (applying half of the damage to armor if present) to the hull boxes. Systems are rolled for critical damage at the end of each of three or four rows of hull boxes, depending on the construction options used for the ship. A battleship's main gun won't be a candidate to be destroyed until after it has sustained enough damage to destroy a typical frigate.

I tried the sample scenario included with FT:XD using my GZG starship miniatures, this being the first time they were used for the game they were designed to be used with. The scenario is simple, each side has mirrored forces of two cruisers and three frigates. One side has to attempt to exit his ships off the opposite side of the table and are set up in a line abreast formation. The other side is to intercept and destroy the opposing player's force before he can get them off the table. This player deploys in two columns, one with the two cruisers and the other with the three frigate, in a corner on an approximately 60 degree bias from the table edge. My 9 year son Phillip played the interceptors and I played the blockade runners.

We both quickly picked up the basics of the game. Phil had no problems writing preplotted movement orders after I told him he could use left and right instead of port and starboard for indicating turns. Combat was quite smooth as I expected, slowing down only for the first couple threshold checks until we got the hang of the mechanic. By the end of the game I had lost my frigates and one cruiser had been effectively disabled while Phil had lost a cruiser to a containment breach in his power core and a frigate to weight of fire. His remaining frigates were heavily damaged but his remaining cruiser was untouched. My cruisers did manage to exit the board though. We called it a tie since I exited the board but had lost three of my escorts in the process. The upside is that we both managed to avoid the usual first game high speed pass that most FT players seem to experience since momentum is conserved turn to turn.

My impressions are that while I liked the faster combat I found that I prefer my starship games to be played on a hexmap for ease and speed. Turning and measuring, then turning and measuring again was a bit fiddly and moderately annoying with ships in close proximity and maintaining formation. So I'm left with something of a quandary. I like the combat resolution (though I have my doubts about adapting settings satisfactorily using the limited weapon options) but didn't like the movement mechanics with FT:XD. In S:AE I like movement on a hex (I use a modified movement mechanic rather than the one in the rules) and the differentiation between weapons but want a streamlined resolution mechanic. Majestic 12 changed the way combat works in their latest version, Starmada Nova Edition, but I'm not sold on it as it now uses a more complex defense mechanism though I suppose I ought to give a run using the sample rules in the interest of fair evaluation. I'm told Colonial Battlefleet may be what I'm looking for but don't really want to spend $15 + printer ink to find out it isn't what I want. I'm already invested with Starmada, both the base version as well as the licensed Starfleet Universe version, so will probably stick with it but the hunt continues. All this though has had me wondering if I still have the draft version of a starship game I had been working on about six years ago but never finished due to getting bogged down with figuring out how to assign point values.


20131124

My God, All The Counters

Finished punching out the counters for OGRE today. I lost count after I reached 'holy crap that's a lot of counters!'

First OGRE Games

Played the basic scenario three times yesterday after watching the awesome Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. The kids took turns as the Mk III, though the youngest got a Mk II due to time constraints, and I played the defense. I lost the first two games due to some bad die rolls and not fully understanding just how difficult it is to damage an OGRE. The kids loved it and want to play again today.  Thinking about a 2 on 2 game with everyone in a Mk III. I'll need to check the scenario book but I think there is one like that called Operation K or something like that.

20131119

KS OGRE Unboxing

Got this today while waiting for the plumbers to replace my water heater. Unfortunately pictures don't convey the enormity of the contents. I had watched several unboxing videos and looked at several photos done by those that received theirs before I did and I still wasn't prepared for just how much was in the game. Enough babble, time for picture. Alons-y!

The box

And it's almost all OGRE. Not much by way of filler.

Just the game box occupies a fair portion of my 6-seat dining room table.

Not that I'm complaining, but I think I was only supposed to get one of these.

Four packs of counter sheets, those on their own are fairly heavy...or I need to get back into a regular exercise routine.

Kind of hard to see, but there's a minor puncture in the lid. Didn't go all the way through so the contents were safe. Box did it's job.

Looks like the bottom of the box got creased in shipping. Guessing it was dropped.

Minor wear on one of the corner. Overall very little shipping damage.

Hand signed thank you certificate from Steve Jackson

The OGRE garage, for storing the assembled 3D counters, with labels

Map board in the box

bottom half of the original map

top of the original map

under the top set of maps are the books, record sheets, reference sheets and the eight GEV maps

Rules and sheets

stack 'o' maps

To give an idea of the size of one of the map sheets unfolded.

Look at all the STUFF!

PanEuro and Combine logo dice. These are pretty good sized dice, no mistaking what was rolled on these bad boys.

Bottom later of storage, mostly for counters and map overlays (additional pieces to modify the standard maps)

Tear in the side

Card board reinforcement for the walls of the tray. I don't recommend taking the bottom layer out, it was a pain getting those inserts to stay where they were supposed to when replacing the tray into the box

The names of the Kickstarter backers all around the box. Mine is easy to find, this side of the box, very lower left corner, first name on the bottom line.

The original map and four of the GEV maps. Still have four of the map boards stacked in the background.

Six of the maps won't fit on the table.
I'm going to need a bigger table.

tape reinforcement on the back side of the map boards

The GEV maps are four sets of two. They are geomorphic so you can mix and match boards for a large variety of gaming experiences.

The four counter packs. Not opening them tonight as I don't want them to get scattered.

armor unit counters (and a couple others)

some of the 3D counters

OGREs and Vulcans OH MY!

terrain overlays

MORE OGRES!

Same sheet, same bad photography. This is one of the KS sheets "Targets Go Boom"

Half tempted to take a couple sheets to work with me to get a start on punching them all out. Probably a sure recipe to lose one or two.

Next update will either be progress on Kyra or a status report on how many counters have been prepared. Until then, enjoy.