Monday, July 29, 2013

Dead Man's Hand Project - Update #4: More Buildings

I'm working to wrap up the remaining buildings I need to finish my old west town for Dead Man's Hand.  I have all the buildings assembled now --- I'm waiting on an order from 4Ground that has some bits for the bases ... and the building bases for the gallows and Marshall's office (since they didn't come in the base packs to my surprise).  I downloaded the additional building signs from the Dead Man's Hand website and will get those put on the yellow and red tow story buildings.  I snapped some pictures of the progress with my phone, see below.

I'll be putting on games of Dead Man's Hand at the upcoming CelestiCon game convention that takes place in my hometown of Fremont, CA.  I'm looking forward to a great time!

Very nice two-story building with balcony.  This adds
a new sign shape to the mix.

Rear view with stairs to second story.

County Sheriff's Office with jail inside for those bad guys!

The gallows.  I must say they outdid themselves here as
the trap doors actually work!


Excellent internal detail with the jail cells
(with working doors of course)

You can have a jail break by removing the windows!

They include a number of to-scale
wanted posters to put up around town.

My only complaint - surprise, you don't
have everything you need in this kit!??!
That's it for now. More to come.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Board games!

Hello all,

I've kept my posts on this blog primarily focused on miniature gaming, but I would be remiss if I didn't include some posts about board games ... besides, is there a single miniature gamer out there that doesn't also play board games?

One of the shows I really enjoy watching is "Tabletop" - which if you are not familiar with you must be hiding under a rock somewhere (in that case, come join me because that is where I live).  Given the number of board games out there it is difficult to find the ones that you'll really enjoy sometimes.  I generally dislike board games that take hours upon hours to play and favor the either "short" (call it 15-45 minutes) games or "normal" (call it 1-3 hours) games.

Here are some of my favorite games to play currently (I certainly enjoy many, many others, but these are easy to play games that don't get in the way of my other projects):

Zombie Dice by Steve Jackson Games.  This game plays incredibly fast --- and is a total hoot!  You are a zombie and you are trying to eat some brains.  Rolling brains is good, rolling shotgun blasts is bad.  First to 13 brains triggers the final round.  There are several other dice games along the same lines ... I also have Cthulhu Dice which plays even faster than Zombie Dice (most of the games I've played are about 5 minutes long).  You can see Zombie Dice played on Tabletop (click here).

Fluxx by Looney Labs.  This is a card game where the rules are constantly in flux (including how to win the game).  You can see Star Fluxx played on Tabletop (click here).  I have the Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail version of Fluxx ... much singing is involved.

Gloom by Atlas Games. A game where you are attempting to make your family as miserable as possible while making other families happier than yours.  Points are only scored once your family members meet an untimely death.  When one players family is completely deceased the game ends and he/she with the most points wins.  This is a game that many can enjoy --- you know what they say, you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family!  You can see Gloom played on Tabletop (click here).

Castle Panic by Fireside Games.  This is a great cooperative game that sees you defending your castle against advancing hordes or goblins, trolls, and more.  The expansion for this game, Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower, is a must have with this game.  Not only do you get a great monster bag (to pull tiles from) but it makes the game even better with lots of expansion bits (but it does not make the game over complicated like many expansions).  You can see Castle Panic played on Tabletop (click here).

Tsuro by Tom McMurchie.  I very much like this game since you have to truly think 3-4 turns ahead if you want to win.  The rules are very simple.  You are a dragon flying along a line.  You draw titles and place them to keep your dragon flying on the board.  Players get stuck and fly off the board and the last one standing is the winner.  Tsuro of the Seas is another version of this game.  Many recommend you buy this one since you can play both the original game and the new ship oriented game which is a little different.  You can see Tsuro played on Tabletop (click here).

And if you have kids --- aged 4-6, there are options for you too!  I hit a wall with my 37th game of Snakes and Ladders with my 4 year old ... since then I've reached out and found some games that both he and I can play, and that don't make me want to slip into a coma:

First off, believe it or not, my 5 year old absolutely loves to play Zombie Dice ... and he gets it.

Spot It by Denis Blanchot, Guillaume Gille-Naves, and Igor Polouchine.  This is a game where you have a card with some images on it and there is a deck of other cards with images on them.  You flip up a card and the first person to correctly call the image on the flipped up card that is also on their own card gets that card.  Rinse and repeat.  Great for teaching kids to think quickly.

Monster Factory by Rio Grande Games.  My son loves this game as well.  You have a big box of tiles with various monster parts on them.  You draw a tile from the box (they are face down) and start assembling your monster (and sometimes, minions).  When all players have completed their monsters, each tile used it worth 1 point ... he/she with the most points wins.

That's it for now ... I hope at least some of these games are new to you and inspire you to check them out.  If you already know about all of these games, you can make fun of me for living under a rock.  Lastly, if you have young kids (age 4-6), hopefully you can stop playing Snakes and Ladders now! :-)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Quar Action (SOA) - 7/13/13

In addition to wrapping up the basing of my Crusader company, Anthony Brown from ZombieSmith came down to my humble abode to play some Quar with me.  The Quar world has two rule systems - a "full sized" game is played using This Quar's War (TQW) whereas the skirmish system is called Songs of Our Ancestors (SOA).  We played two games of SOA and had a blast.

The pictures below are primarily from our second game.  The first game pitted a Crusader section against a Coftyran section (nothing fancy there).  The second game we used the following:

1 x Infantry Section.
1 x HMG
1 x Chyweethl light armoured tractor

1 x Infantry section.
1 x Sniper
1 x LMG
1 x Ailthean light armoured tractor

The first game went to the Crusaders while the second went to the Coftyrans (royalists).  Pictures of the games below.

The table setup - until I get my Quar terrain done I'm just using
my F&I terrain.

Coftyrans advancing

Crusader fire team with Is-Caerten.

Had a hell of a fight over the main building - it came down to
hand-to-hand fighting.

A Coftyran Chyweethl light armoured tractor advances
toward a waiting Crusader Ailthean light armoured tractor.

I hope to do more detailed battle reports in the future but until then, game more!

Quar - Crusaders

For those who may not be familiar with the Quar they are a race of ant eaters that live in a world consumed by the long war.  ZombieSmith created this universe and do all the models themselves - and spectacular world and just awesome miniatures.  I bought miniatures before they had rules for them ... they are that awesome (and of course, you can use them for many other rule systems if you want).  I have the benefit of living not to far from the home of ZombieSmith, so I've tracked their progress for a long time, and I've known the creators of ZombieSmith for some time as well.  They always have an excellent showing at the area conventions as well.  Probably most importantly is they have a unique set of rules - not just another cookie cutter approach - that offer a new gaming experience (for example, the 6/6 table dice mechanic).  I'll stop there since I could go on all day ... best to leave it that if you haven't looked at the Quar you should.

I recently finished up basing my company level army for my Crusaders.  I'm also working on my Coftyran (royalist) company level organization (about 1/2 done).  I just assembled all my armour as well - so the Crusaders are getting two x Baeliog armoured tractors and 2 x Ailthean light armoured tractors while the Coftyran's are getting 2 x Chyweethl - although I think I'll be adding a third very soon.  Once the armour is added to my infantry company below for my Crusaders they'll be fully complete.

Pictures below of the company.

The company arranged in all it's glory!

The command team (although technically short of
two pigs for the cook - they'll be added shortly).

First section (two squads of 10, four fire teams of 5).

Second section.

Command team.

Weapons support - two light mortars and two LMGs.

Cavalry support.
More to come on this front as I make progress.  I'm going to paint up the armour, and wrap up my old west buildings for Dead Man's Hand next.  I also have a custom Quar table in my plan and have plotted out how I will build that out.

Until next time - happy gaming! - or perhaps - given that I've been re-watching episodes of "Tabletop" - I'll actually agree with Will Wheaton's saying - play more games - and don't be a dick!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dead Man's Hand Project - Update #3: Progress

Progress is being made - and in fact - some exciting news recent from 4Ground.  They've just released another wave of pre-painted buildings for DMH!  This is going to save me a lot of time, as the three remaining buildings I have to assemble from BattleFlag all require painting and assembly.  Rather, I ordered the new buildings from 4Ground the moment I saw them and given that they shipped yesterday I should have them soon.  My town needs 8 buildings with a gallows - and with the three new buildings from 4Ground and the gallows from 4Ground that will complete my town.  I will still build and paint the BattleFlag buildings, but no before my next convention.  Pictures of the new buildings are below.

County Sheriff's Office

Main street building

Marshal's Office

Gallows (boot hill time!)

I've also delivered my four gangs to a very skilled local painter to have them all painted up before the US labor day weekend (first weekend of September).  That is the weekend of CelestiCon - at which I'll be running demonstration games of DMH on Friday night.  I should have the gangs delivered back to me well before then, but if not then all the more reason to DMH it up all Friday night long at the convention!

I'm excited about being done and able to play DMH with my new gangs!