Saturday, 13 May 2017

From Mars to Bowls of Blood

Today my good wife and I pushed on with some games from our "10 by 10" list.

Firstly a two player bash at the jolly little steampunk game Mission to Mars.  This is an interesting game where you choose a different action each turn to try to get your colonists to the right locations on Mars.  The player that does this best scores the most points from mining resources, and of course from their sneaky personal mission wins.

I managed a fairly convincing 80pt to 30pt win on that one.


We followed this up with a game of Games Workshops "sporting life", the jolly Bloodbowl.  My orcs dug in deep and played their usual ground game but lost 1:0 to the throwing game of the humans.

An afternoon well spent.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Firefly - You can take the sky from me...

This evening's game was one of our 10 x 10 boardgames, the excellent Firefly.  This is with the Blue Sun expansion which really amps up the Reaver threat!

Based on the utterly brilliant Firefly TV series, this game captures the essence of the source material perfectly.

My wife and I have included this excellent game in our list of 10 and currently we're honours even with this one.  

In this game we're playing "first to $15,000 to buy our way out of trouble" as the victory condition but had to abandon play for the evening with both of us around the $11,000 mark.  To be resumed tomorrow night...

The 'Verse

Border space out by the Rim is soon overrun by Reavers making travel here extremely hazardous.

Reavers also plague the Red Sun system making the much needed work here a risk too.

"If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing. And if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order." - Zoe Washburne


My wife chose to play Nandi, a companion who is so charming that she can hire crew for free!  A very powerful skill in the game, especially one where we're trying to gain cash and not spend it.

Nandi spent much of the game so far with a high churn of crew as she hires loads, and seems to lose them with alarming speed! 


I chose Corbin (boss of the Carrion House scrapper facility).  He's a tech specialist and can buy ship engines and upgrades at half price.  This too is a powerful skill as often an upgraded ship can be the difference between a win and a loss.  

Corbin spent much of the game flying solo or with a skeleton crew, but has a good mix of equipment which allowed him to succeed at quite a few jobs with minimal effort and outlay.  He concentrated on the high risk, high reward jobs from Niska and got lucky in pulling them off.

Niska is not a man with whom you want to be "not so solid"...
He even headed out to the Blue Sun system on the Rim to seek work from the smuggler-baron Lord Harrow.

The stand-out moment of the game so far was Nandi's high risk gambit to win the game.  Solid with Badger, carrying two Warrants for her arrest, she manages to fill her hold with contraband.  All she needs to do now is haul it from Osiris to Persephone and sell it to Badger.  

Two route options are available:
1. Take the longer more dangerous route around Alliance space, risking attack by Reavers; or
2. Take the shorter route through Alliance space and hope the authorities don't catch her.

Nandi took the shorter route through Alliance space...and...her luck ran out!  An Alliance cruiser caught her, confiscating the contraband and forcing her to pay the fines for the Warrants!  Nooooo!!!

A $7000 game-winning payday with Badger turned into a $2000 loss.

We'll hopefully be finishing this off tomorrow night.

Oh, and if you've never watched Firefly, do yourself a favour and watch it.  Its an utter joy.

EDIT: So we finished the game tonight and Corbin pulled off the win with a final job on St Albans pulling in $4000.  It was a close game all the way through and as ever with Firefly, tremendous fun!

As for Nandi?

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Warband - Taurians

I've got a fair few Warband armies sat in their bags, languishing in a bare metal state so I'm trying to push on and get them painted up.  The first on the table are the Taurians.  

These wonderful little chaps are an army of brutal mariors that love riddles, labyrinths, bright colours and patterns so I've tried to paint them with lots of brightly coloured body paint.

I've managed to finish the Minotaurs so far, and the Cantaurs will be next.

OK, so, here's the goodies...

Here are all the units together; the army's Chieftain, the Shamanic council, and 4 Minotaur warrior units.

Here's the chieftain with his personal guard and a couple of loyal shamans to back him up.


The shamanic council, drawing their mystical powers from the sacred bronze head icons.

And the warrior mobs.  These are wild, Bacchanalian, rampant and fierce war fighters daub themselves with flashy paint to lend a more fearsome aspect to their already pretty terrifying "stampede" war-tactic.

As ever these Pendraken miniatures are a joy to paint.  Clean with minimal flash, no miscasts, and crisp clear details that make a decent paintjob easy to achieve, even at the 10mm scale.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Elder Sign

Following on from Pandemic Cthulhu, this evening Lovecraft-based gaming concluded with an old favourite, Elder Sign.

I guess we're just gluttons for punishment!

When my wife and I "two-player" Elder Sign, we take two characters each as, well you can't put an Elder God back in its box with just two investigators.  Tonight's team consists of the redoubtable Wilson Richards, the amazingly useful Amanda Sharpe, Mark Harrigan (indeed a "one man army"), and the pious and extremely powerful Sister Mary.

The game is set up ready to go and tonight we shall be attempting to defeat the Crawling Chaos of Nyarlethotep.

Yeah, we're doomed...
Elder Sign is actually a simple game to play.  Each turn you select one of the "tasks" to attempt, roll some dice to try to match the sets of symbols.  

If you fail your character suffers a penalty (usually a loss of stamina, sanity, or both).  If you succeed you gain some bonus like extra equipment to use, or a coveted "Elder Sign".  While you are doing this, the game is racking up "doom" or the conditions needed to awaken the Elder God (at which point you typically lose the game).  If you can stack up enough Elder Signs before the Elder God awakes, you win!  Of course, every time it hits midnight bad things happen.

So, day one, three successes!  However, the Slithering Shadows stymied us and this would become a serious problem we struggled to deal with.

Midnight hit, and as the clock chimed nothing happens...although there is a looming feeling that monsters are lurking in those shadows...

Midnight chimed again and monsters appeared in abundance.  This was not good at all.

Also, having failed to investigate this quiet area is was discarded, denying us one of our six locations to investigate for Elder Signs.

Day three saw a good measure of success.  Mark Harrigan finally solved our Slithering Shadows problem, and managed to loot a good store of items and spells to help us.  He was also blessed which helps a great deal!  And we managed to succeed at The Key to Beyond, calling forth Another Time and giving us an easy option for next the next day's adventures.

Check out the bling!
Midnight brought more monsters.  things were starting to get out of hand.  We also knew that the ever increasing "Doom" would get worse at the end of the following day, and there were precious few Elder Signs stacked on Nyarlathotep.  Things were looking grim and we were facing a second defeat at the hands of the Elder Ones.

Day four brought us some serious successes.  Victory at Walking the Ledge and Another Time netted three of the eleven Elder Signs we needed.  The tide was turning.

Midnight hit and another Doom token racked up.  We were now four Doom tokens off Nyarlathotep waking up (very bad), and five Elder Signs off sealing the nightmare in (very good).  The Elder God definitely had the upper hand.

Day five saw us pull back two Elder Signs, so now we were just three away from victory.

However, midnight brought another Doom token.  This game was going down to the wire.

Day six was brutal.  We failed Transported by Magic, gifting Nyarlathotep another Doom token.  It was now just two tokens from waking up.  However, two more Elder Signs put us one away from sealing it in.  The next Doom or Elder Sign will decide the game. 

Midnight hit, and Wilson Richards took the sanity hit to avoid a Doom token...

And so, day seven, and Riot in the Streets was our only Elder Sign option.  If we failed though though, we would forfeit a Doom and Nyarlathotep would awaken.  Wilson Richards ventured out into the riot and nailed it!  The final Elder Sign secured from the crowd, he slugged down the whiskey in his hip flask to keep him sane.

And so, the world was safe once more.  Unusually we did it without losing a single character, and in this incredibly tight game we only just made it!  Any victory is Elder Sign is a rare thing to be savoured and its an excellent tabletop game with a solid mix of tactics and luck.