Gaming on a budget – The Challenge (Month 4 – Part 9)

Just a short update today as last night saw my second game of Guildball.  I had Andy T over to the Mancave for some medieval low fantasy football as his tried and tested Butchers took on my rejigged Fishermen.  Previously I had a game against Mark Southerd at NAGA where my Fishermen beat his Alchemists/Union 12-2.  Last night I changed my team knowing that they’d face a far tougher prospect in the Butchers.  I couldnt afford to give away easy kills with some of the squishier members of my team so I swapped out Angel for Sakana.

Here’s a bit of a report of the game as it went:-

Well that was painful.

Four takedown and a goal versus a goal from me. Ouch! Fishermens team was Shark, Salt, Jac, Sakana, Siren and Kraken.

So I had only my second game tonight against a very tanky Butchers team managed by Andy Thomas.

Shark, Salt, Jac, Sakana, Kraken and Siren vs Ox, Princess, Tenderiser, Brisket, Boar and Shank.

I received and secured the ball first activation with Shark who passed to Siren generating momentum and my team swept from the right flank down across my goal towards the left flank. The Butchers were brutally taking down my guys removing three (Kraken, Shark and Sakana) before I could score. Shark was first being soundly ganged up upon and beaten by three Butchers including Boar, Shank and Brisket.  Butchers 2-0 Fishermen 6-0

I managed to bring Shark back who came back close to Jac and Salt, who was now carrying the ball, on the left wing.  In the melee in the middle both Sakana and Kraken were beaten by Ox and Boar allowing my other teama members to use the pitch and keep out of trouble. Now with Shark back and in striking distance I loaded Shark with influence.   Running to about 9 inches out he then used his Tidal Surge Character play for 3 INF to dodge rather than Advance into Tenderisers area of influence to stop him getting his free charge. Shark shoots with a clear line of sight, Shark scores before spending some influence to dodge back out of the arc. Butchers 6-4 Fishermen.

The ball was kicked off and Andy dropped it dead centre of the pitch with all of his Butchers between my team and the ball.  Very quickly after kick-off the Butchers secured the ball with Brisket whilst Sakana and Kraken were off field.

Jac and Salt were doing good work on the wing supported by Shark and Siren.   Brisket dodged away, ran, set-up the supershot and scored before Sakana could drop the Smoke bomb to hide the goal. Sakana and Kraken just returning to play behind thier goal. 10-4

The ball was kicked off and I was hoping for some luck.  I tried to kick it into an area that I could hope to recover quickly.  Whilst not the greatest kick distance wise it was close enough to Jac and Salt that one of them might be able to recover.  Siren was very close to getting removed so attacked Shank to generate a dodge and left his melee area.  Spending he last INF to run she moved around the back of Jac and Salt and come back into the centre of the field and attempt to get to the ball. Following kick-off the ball ended up with Jac who didn’t have the range to pass to Shark on the wing so punted the ball to open field for Shark to grab it he then spent his remaining INF attempting to Goad Ox into moving towards him rather than charging Shark. He whiffed his roll and failed. Before Shark could activate and fire off his legendary play Ox charged him and brutally chopped Shark up over 3 attacks doing just enough damage again resulting in a take down, Sharks second of the game. One less damage or a successful Goad roll and things may have appeared closer in terms of final score but alas it was not to be

Final score12-4 to the Butchers.

I think I have a handle on getting around Tenderiser. I wasn’t that impressed with Sakana and I certainly missed the goal threat of Angel but in terms of survivability Sakana was better than Angel and did a fair amount of damage to Ox.  My difficult choice is which one from three to use…..Sakana, Angel or Greyscales.  Based on his Unpredictable Movement, Where’d he Go? and Ball Gone! Character plays he may be a better option.  I lose the Supershot of Angel but gain a slower, tougher, harder hitter with a bigger melee area to boot.  So in terms of controlling the pitch and taking the ball Greyscales may be the best option for me.

I didn’t get to take any pictures as Andy T was playing photographer and commentator via his phone.  I’ll ask him to share his pics with me.

**EDIT – here is a gallery of T’s pictures from last night. **

The Devils Run: Route 666 – on the road with Mark Rapson

That Mark Rapson fella, one of the brains behind the recently funded The Devils Run:Route 666 Kickstarter run by Word Forge Games, has kindly taken the Tales From The Mancave interview test.  We chewed the fat about the The Devils Run, Word Forge Games, where the ideas come from and how it feels to be in the final furlong of his Kickstarter.  Plus he rather kindly brought a little sneaky peek at an exclusive render for the Brit Attack Beefeaters which you will see later.  With no further ado I give you that interview in all its unedited glory.
Mark Rapson of Word Forge Games

Mark Rapson of Word Forge Games


<JM> Today I’m chatting with Mark Rapson, one of the masterminds behind Word Forge Games, part of the team that will shortly be bringing us the successfully completed Kickstarter for The Devils Run:Route 666.
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions Mark.  I know you’re entering a very busy time for Word Forge Games and you want to get the Kickstarter delivered so I wont take too much of your time.  I really do appreciate you taking this time out.
<Mark> No problem Jason! It’s great to talk about the project.
<JM> So shall we begin with a nice easy one?  Would you like to introduce yourself and tell us all a little bit about you and your gaming background?  Where did it all start for you?
<Mark> Well gaming started for me when I was about 13 years old. My best friend’s mum asked my mum whether I liked toy soldiers as he had just been given a load of them and she thought we might like to play. Fortunately my mother said yes and the following weekend Stephen, my friend came round to my house with a boot full of papermache and chicken wire painted boards and lots of lead. This was not what I (or my mother) expected as we were all set for the plastic army men of WW2 grey Germans and green Brits. It all went from there..
<JM> Now Word Forge Games, who exactly are they?  Is there team of people working behind the scenes? How did it come about?  Was it something you had always wanted to pursue or did it fall into place in a very natural “right place, right time” kind of way?
<Mark> Word Forge Games is a group of very creative chaps that I pulled together for WFG’s first project Guardians of Eden (more on this later). Firstly there is our art director, Dominik Kasprzycki. I first met Dom when I was commissioning art for Warzone Resurrection for Prodos games. We work very well together and we generally align very well on a vision, it works really well. Next we have Rich Howkins, who I have now known for probably nearly 10 years. Rich and I work closely on the missions, we often bounce ideas around for hours and many of the unique ideas within DR are down to Rich. Paul Rist i brought in because he has a very complimentary experience to mine when it comes to gaming experience. He is an RPGer, and again for Guardians this is a likely route. Paul also helps us source a lot of the things we need. And finally there’s Matthew Edgeworth. Like Richard, I met him at our local gaming club, he at the time was completing his PhD at Warwick, which gave us something to talk about initially (as I had previously done the same). He was keen to help with Warzone Resurrection when I was developing the HOTSS and Imperial book, So I asked him to write. What I got back was sublime. So there’s the WZR ownership. We obviously have a number of other people helping us, such as Marc Langworthy of RedScar publishing, Paul Summerhayes, Tom Haswell, Kraig Koranda and Przemek Kozłowski, to name but a few, which have all contributed massively.
<JM> Was The Devils Run:Route 666 the first project WFG had tackled collectively or was it one of number of ideas bubbling around at the conception of WFG?
<Mark> See, I said see below! Guardians of Eden was our inception project, and is still in our plans. But when the idea of DR came along, it was so much bigger and had so much more potential, it eclipsed the GoE project. Also importantly, GoE is a big and novel concept, it doesn’t hook with anything else out there, whereas DR does. Hence DR became our first project. We have also licenced a couple of projects, the first of which is from the infamous Youtuber Andy Ransome (Andy 2D6). This will be our next KS. We have a number of other things in the pipeline too. Watch this space.
<JM> So you ran a Kickstarter to fund TDR:R666 launched in May this year and was successfully funded within 16 hours?  You must have been absolutely amazed and delighted with the reception the game received and the support of the backers from the get go?
<Mark> Yes we were. At the point of launch I just wanted to get the game out there, but it has taken a life of its own, and seems to really have captured the imagination of a number of people. I always wanted it to be a community project and it truely has been.
<JM> To finally achieve over £42000 worth of funding which is around 850% and around 500 backers did you ever imagine the game would be as popular as it appears to have been?
<Mark> To be honest no. I was hoping for £20 to 25k. But this is beyond all expectation, we are locking down the pledges now and a significant number of people have up-pledged, meaning we can expand on a number of our initial ideas.
<JM> As someone who has survived the horror of running a Kickstarter looking back did you find any of the pitfalls or mistakes others have made in the past?  What were the biggest dangers to TDR:R666 from a Kickstarter perspective?
<Mark> Well I am actually a veteran of 3 KS. I also handled the Kickstarters for Warzone Resurrection and AvP too. And as you can probably imagine I have learnt a lot from both. But for the first time, with DR, I was in the driving seat for the project, that is daunting. I have tried to learn from my mistakes in the earlier KS and as is often said, the wise man also learns from the mistakes and master-steps of others. I thank the Prodos team for all the post-KS the learning experience.
<JM> Now you’re almost in the final furlong is Kickstarter something you’d use again to run future projects for WFG?
<Mark> Yes we would. Cheekz will be a KS, and our future plans at the moment do not exclude KS involvement.
<JM>  As we both know Kickstarters can be massive successes but they can also be terrible failures.  As such I’m often asked by friends if they should invest in Kickstarter X or Kickstarter Y but my only experience of it as funding medium is at a customer level so my advice is always in the form of a friendly warning “Only invest what you can afford to lose and you can always pledge at the £1 level to get on board and increase it later”.  What advice would you, with you Project Initiator hat on, give to potential Kickstarter backers?
<Mark> I think the first thing to remember is that there are 2 types of KS. Firstly the big boys, the serial KS companies that may often make $M a time. There you are basically pre-ordering. The entire KS is preplanned, its gonna happen, the extras were preplanned etc. Then there is the KS where the community is being asked ‘Do you want this game to exist? And if so please help.’ DR would not be a thing if it wasn’t for KS. And a lot of these other games wouldn’t be either. As a gamer, if I want to see a game happen, I will pledge, but I will pledge for that reason, not because I want a crap-tonne of freebies. Pledging at a £1/$1 for these sort of games, doesn’t drive them to succeed. One also has to remember with these sort of games, that the individuals behind them are often new to the entire manufacturing process and or they may be let down. They often don’t benefit from the economy of scales. So they will often massively under-estimate the time to finished product. Add to that that some will overperform. Remember it difficult to predict the timescales for a small project that does X, but if it does X+50% or +1000%, then the pressure is on and the timelines can be well off.
But to conclude, my advice is if you want a game to happen pledge what you can to make it be so. Consider it a donation, but hope for the rewards you have been offered.
<JM> So for those less familiar with TDR:R666 and those who havent been following other posts I’ve made about it via my Blog “Tales From The Mancave” and on The Hairy Gamers Facebook page about it would you care to explain exactly what TDR:R666 actually is?
<Mark> Devil’s Run is a vehicular battle game involving Bikes, Trikes, Buggies and Cars. Set in a very near future post-apocalyptic America. The basic game is a pick up and play board game which is expanded significantly via an advanced rule set to a campaign based game with many more types of vehicles. People have said it reminds them of The Xwing miniature game crossed with Dark Future and Thunder Road with a big dollop of Necromunda/GorkaMorka.
<JM> 20mm eh?  After getting involved with this game I joined a number of groups on Facebook and found a plethora of games using all sorts of scales.  Did you ever consider going with a more popular scale in terms of the hobby or availability such as 28mm or even 1:32 (to use Scalextric cars and components)?  What was the driving rationale behind that decision?
<Mark> Economy of size was one reason. If we had moved to 28mm or above the models would have increased in cost (and hence price) significantly. (we also wouldn’t have been able to do Warrigs or big trukks). The second was that we really wanted to allow people to convert and use their toy cars. I’m a converter at heart and there is nothing better from my point of view than taking a model and converting it to something new. Its the nearest I am gonna get to being a sculptor.
<JM> So really whilst the game itself has beautiful components not actually having every miniature or any at all is not a limiting factor as you can easily use Matchbox or Hot Wheels toy cars and mod them?
<Mark> Thats it!
<JM> I’ve personally struggled to find reliable sources of 20mm scale weapons for my cars and even more so with people, passengers and gang members, especially outside of the US.  Thankfully, WFG are creating some add-on packs that contain a decent number of correctly scaled parts to add to your gangs vehicles.  Was it always you plan to go with the modding and model making side of things over a full and all encompassing range of miniatures?
<Mark> Yes. I think both is very important and hence we will support both forms of model creation for as long as we exist.
<JM> Maybe we think too alike but I recall divulging all my secrets to you about making a Brit Gang at UKGE 2015, then it got unlocked!  Yes I’m still looking for that Double Decker London Bus War-rig!  You’ve been really receptive towards fan-made fiction and models.  Some of the modded cars backers have been making have even made it into the game.  Thats a nice touch……was it always your intention to give the backers so much influence over content and look?
<Mark> Yes in one extent. We included a peldge level where people could get a model made (and art etc). But what we didn’t expect was that people would really get into it. A large chunk of these backers clubbed together to start their own faction (the Hunters) and then others really added a great back story which we in turn incorporated into the bigger picture. We then have a team of volunteer writers which with us have produced over a 100,000 words of prose. For a board game this is unheard of. But it just goes to show that when one hits a vein of creation it can affect a lot of people.
I remember our discussion well. As you were talking I remember ticking off in my head all of our ideas as you said then yourself. The only one we hadn’t thought of was the white van driver, and to be honest I wasn’t to keen on that idea at first. Then when Marc was writing up our ideas for the BritAttack he said…I’ve had an idea and added ‘The Chalkies’, based on the white van driver. Just goes to show you can’t keep a good idea down! When we release the fluff for the BritAttack you should really read that bit, there is a little in there for you!
<JM> I’m completely biased but I think the Brit Attack and the Hunters are the best minis in this game.  Of all the models currently rendered or produced which really stand out for you in terms of evoking the feeling you wanted to give in TDR:R666?  Whats your favourite so far?
<Mark> Great question..when it comes to envoking the core feel of the game it has to be the Haul’s Angel car and the Law Buggy. They represent the first two factions so well. As far as favourite model it does change almost as frequently as a render is completed, but I think Cadence and the Skinners Trukk. Both of these are so specific to DR. Ive not seen anything like them else where and both initiated their faction.
<JM> Which gang will be the gang you take to the road with when the time comes?  No fence-sitting now!  Back a dog in the fight!  Who’re your go-to guys?
<Mark> BritAttack, I really love their aesthetic and background.
<JM> Its the same for me!  I love the way they’re put together and the nods to the 60’s and the Mod’s and The Italian Job (in the Muggy’s).  Speaking of which you’ve brought me and the rest of the TDR:R666 community a lovely little exclusive.  We have the final render for the Brit Attack Beefeater revealed.  Where we only had card art previously we can now see the render for the model in all its glory.  Ready Mark?  Dum-da-da-dum-da-da-daaaaaaaaa! *insert fanfare*
Beefeater Render Reveal

Beefeater Render Reveal

<JM> The miniatures themselves really are stunning, who have WFG been using to produce them?  Drop some names for all those talented sculptors, renderers and casting houses that are bringing us this world.  Where else may we have seen the work of these guys and girls?  Why did you go with them over other options out there in the industry?
<Mark> We have 3 groups. Firstly the amazing Irek (who people will know as the man behind a lot of the Prodos miniatures), then the Clockwork Goblins guys, who are behind nearly everything good coming out of the UK gaming industry and finally a new team to the industry, which our Dom discovered.
<JM> We’ve all heard scare stories about or even been involved with Kickstarters that have suffered issues when it came to time to ship and distribute.  Was this in the back of your mind when building your Kickstarter?  Do you have contingency plans in place to ensure backers receive their goodies in a timely fashion?  Who do WFG use for all their shipping?
<Mark> When it comes to the actual shipping we have a logistics company in plan AND we will have offered a pick up for free option. But one of the key things we did was ensure that the postage was collected after the Kickstarter, which meant we couldn’t spend it up front, but also so it could reflect better the cost (as the KS couldn’t take a cut from it).
<JM> So once the Kickstarter is fully fulfilled are there any plans to keep expanding the range for TDR:R666?  What does the future of the game hold?
<Mark> Yes we have big plans for expansion with new factions, starting with the Jets. We are also in various stages with connected games, but I think its fair to say, if one really wants to immerse themself in a post-apocalyptic world then Devil’s Run will be the way to do it!
<JM> And retail?  Will you expect this game to be available via webstores and FLGS after the Kickstarter?  What kind of interest have WFG had from the wider industry about stocking and distributing this game?
,Mark> We have been focusing on our KS pledgers to date. But yes FLGS and our own website will all be pushed.
<JM> That covers the future of TDR:R666 but what next for WFG?  Do you have other irons in the fire?  What other ideas are you currently discussing at WFG HQ and what can we expect to see in the future?
<Mark> We teaser trailer-ed very recently ‘Cheekz’, a cheeky little game from Andy Ransome, where hamster battle to win the coveted ‘Roundest Cheeks’ trophy…its a lot of fun!
<JM> Thanks again Mark for all your time today.  In the final stages of a kickstarter you must be tearing your hair out chasing up people for their locked pledges.  I know I’ve had people messaging me asking what they should get…..its like I’m some kind of TDR:R666 Pledge Puppet Master or something.  I wont keep you much longer I promise… you have a final message for all the TDR:R666 backers out there?
<Mark> Well just thank you! And we hope the end result really exceeds everyone’s expectation…because that’s the aim!

Panzerfauste – the word from Rob and Steve

Panzerfauste Banner

Panzerfauste Banner

Recently I had the opportunity to pose some of my (and others) questions about Panzerfauste to the brains behind the new game, Rob Alderman and Steve Blease, of Hysterical Games.

Rob Alderman

Rob Alderman

Steve Blease

Steve Blease

So here goes, enjoy!

<JM> Today I will be talking to Rob and Steve from Hysterical Games about their new Kickstarter, Panzerfauste.

Hi guys.  Firstly let me thank you for your time today.  I’m sure you’re both really busy with the Panzerfauste Kickstarter so I won’t keep you both away from the updates too long.

<Rob> Not a problem, thanks for having us! But yes, things are mighty busy! 

<Steve> And tiring! I wasn’t expecting running a Kickstarter to be quite as draining as it is!

<JM> Lets start at the beginning shall we?  Would you like to introduce yourselves and Hysterical Games?

<Rob> My name is Rob, I am a hobbyist/wargamer with some 19 years of experience under my belt. I’ve been a fan of historo-fantasy wargames since I discovered Flintloque in 1997 and it has always been a dream of mine to release my own. So, with Steve Blease’s blessing, we decided to remake Panzerfauste under the banner of Hysterical Games (pun very much intended). 

<Steve> I’m Steve, I’ve been a wargamer for a very long time now, let’s just say my first box of Airfix soldiers cost 15p and the first rules I bought were Operation Warboard by Gavin Lyall when they came first came out! I’ve written for various magazines, freelanced and run my own small cottage industry company, Wessex Games, for over twenty years now.

<JM> Where did the idea for Panzerfauste come from for you guys?

<Rob> …Steve. 

<Steve> I first discovered the idea of historical fantasy over twenty years ago when a magazine called Games Review Monthly published a great article called Warhammer in the Age of Reason. The author postulated a continuation of the Warhammer Fantasy timeline into the historical equivalent of the Malburian period, using the (then) Citadel historical range and converted fantasy figures (such as 40K Grots with added tri-corns. I loved the core idea that fantasy did not have to be stuck in the medieval/early renaissance and things kind of developed from there…

<JM> Maybe you can tell us a little bit more about the game itself?  What is Panzerfauste?

<Rob> Although I could tell you, I think Steve would do a better job. 

<Steve> In basic terms Panzerfauste is a 28mm fantasy game set in a world were technology has advanced to early C20th levels. So instead of axes and spears, the fantasy races now use machine-guns and rifles. Whilst some people might think it is WW2 with funny races, it is more than that and although a lot of the imagery and background takes its inspiration from WW2 there is a lot more to it than that from both a world point of view and a game.

<JM> What makes Panzerfauste different to other options for people looking a new game?

<Rob> Well, it’s very simple to get into. For gamers that love small skirmishes, driven by stories, there is the Skirmish game. After that, there is the mass battle game, for those times where you have amassed a larger collection of figures. Basically, the game scales wonderfully, there is a tonne of character and I think it is very, very easy to relate to. We all have some kind of story with the history of early 20th century conflicts, be that a fascination, a family-member or even a computer game, film or book… We all relate somehow. Then, furthermore, bringing that into the realm of fantasy, well, that’s where your creative freedom comes in. 

<JM> Congratulations, by the way, on the funding of your Kickstarter.  It’s been flying through its stretch goals with more and more being unlocked daily.

I think I read somewhere that Rob anticipated a small but fervent following for this game but could you ever have anticipated it to be as wilder success as it has been so far?

<Rob> Absolutely. It’s one of the factors that has to be considered with such a niche (within a niche) sub-genre such as Historo-fantasy wargaming. It will always have a smaller fan base than most other genres, BUT we didn’t expect to reach quite these kinds of lofty heights with the project. It’s been awesome and a heck of a ride!

<Steve> I’m just gob-smacked at how quickly it funded. I expected many sleepless nights waiting for us to reach the target. Hitting it in just two hours was amazing (thanks to everyone for that).

<JM> How far do you think, realistically, this Kickstarter will go?  You’re currently between £17,000 and £18,000 with the funding achieved at £5,000.  I know from talking to Rob that you have plans all the way up to £26,000 at least.  Do you think you’ll hit those goals?

<Rob> I can only hope so. In fairness, other projects of a similar level at a similar time have ended up anywhere between £25,000 and £70,000. Let’s just wait and see – I’d rather not tempt fate. 

<Steve> Absolutely no idea!  I keep reminding myself that this is a brand new company introducing a game that, to many people, is a brand new period. It’s not like it is another SF game or another fantasy where people are inherently familiar with the basic settings so we are in unknown territory really…

<JM> The community certainly is excited for this.  I’ve seen shares, forum posts and interest from Scandinavia, Germany and down through Poland and Romania, not to mention here in the UK and the US.  Do you think Panzerfauste will be able to compete on the level of similar skirmish games already in the market?

<Rob> I’m a big fan of Skirmish games, and people know that quite publicly. I play Relics, Norsgard, Malifaux, Batman, Necromunda, Confrontation, Arcworlde and much more! I think Panzerfauste’s refreshing simplicity and characterful nature will allow it to sit on a similar playing field to some of those games. 

<Steve> Everyone I know who has tried the basic skirmish rules loves them, the core Guts mechanism Matthew developed is still pretty unique in the hobby, which does surprise me as it is simple, clever and effective. I’ve played historical skirmish games with the system and games in other periods, it is very adaptable. I encourage anyone reading this to get over to Wargame Vault, download the free Beta set and give it a spin using whatever figures they have to hand…

<JM> Speaking of further fields like Romania do Hysterial Games have any plans to support the launch into these countries?  With the bigger boys of GW and Warmahordes grabbing attention there it can be difficult to get other new games going.  Do you have plans for demo guys or materials at big events to generate the buzz a new game needs?

<Rob> Absolutely! Our focus will be on our home territory at first, in the UK, but we will of course try to expand beyond that. I’m keen not to explode too fast, but just grow at a slow and steady rate. Of course, I won’t deny sales! 

<Steve> I’m hoping that this will be a real community project, driven by players. When I was involved with Flintloque and the original Alternative Armies, we generated an incredible buzz with wargamers which saw the game explode in a very short period of time. Unfortunately Mac had to sell the company and the game due to financial issues that pre-dated the game which was a hell of a shame. I don’t think the new owners appreciated quite what they had in 1997/8… 

<JM> It would remiss of me not to ask about the elephant in the room…..PRODOS.  Great minis, probably some of the best on the market today, but do any of the issues they have had of late concern you with regards to Panzerfauste delivery and supply?

<Rob> Not particularly. Obviously, I do work for PRODOS at my day job, but I can see why all of their delays occur with AvP. I know for a fact that AvP has not delayed other products or work, in as much that in converse, other projects have not slowed down AvP. Of course, that is only with the knowledge that I have – I am by no stretch the puppet master there!

<Steve> As a backer of the AvP KS I can totally understand why some backers are pissed with Prodos – I’m still waiting for my copy of AvP too! That said they have a decent track record of supplying third party projects, most recently White Dragon, so I have no major concerns with Prodos’ ability on this score. Still want my copy of AvP though!

<JM> Do you foresee any other potential dangers to the Kickstarter?  And if so what are you doing to mitigate them?

<Rob> Only delays, however, I believe in open communication and trust. Therefore, as this Kickstarter is in our control, if there are any delays, we will be quick to tell people and explain exactly why. 

<Steve> Asteroid hitting Earth? 😉

<JM> How will hysterical Games be handling the distribution of the Kickstarters and latterly the retail product?  Is Panzerfauste based out of the UK or Poland?

<Rob> UK. We hope to ship from the UK, using UPS tracked service. I cannot find a better service that I trust more. Sure, it costs maybe 10-15% more, but it’s really worth it for peace of mind and speed of delivery.

<JM> What were the difficult steps in getting this venture off the ground?  I mean 18 years is a long time to keep a project bubbling along and waiting to catch a break?

<Rob> I think Kickstarter sort of expects to see a certain amount of development done already. I wanted to be sure that the project was very clearly deep into the design process and even partially manufactured. It has been 18 years since Steve first announced and released Panzerfauste at Wessex Games, but I’ll let him talk about that. 

<Steve> I don’t think it was difficult. Rob was the driving force behind the Kickstarter, I was happy pottering along releasing the odd few white metal figures with Wessex Games when I scrapped up a bit of cash with a view to devoting some more resources to this and some of the other Wessex Games projects once my son is through university and becomes a huge rock star!

<JM> What are Hysterical Games plans for Panzerfauste world domination post-Kickstarter?  Is there some **REDACTED** plan?

<Rob> Ha ha! Well, in this Kickstarter alone, we have concept art for 7 factions. Now that might not be feasible, so we will likely release the latter two (sub-factions, really) at a later stage and then move into the next Theatre of War in approximately 12 months time. Steve has a 5 year action plan that I think looks more like a 10 year one, but hey, at least he’s prepared!

<Steve> 8 factions Rob! Pretty much the whole world is mapped out, most of the races are pinned down and depending on how things go a five to six year history laid out. The game could be massive, you only have to look at a historical game such as Flames of War and all the theatres of WW2 they still haven’t managed to cover and think how that would look from a Panzerfauste point of view – epic just about covers it!

<JM> Will the Panzerfauste Quarterly become part of the new games resources?  A bit like CTC did for Warzone Resurrection and White Dwarf did for GW games?  Do you have plans to use it for player led content and articles?

<Rob> Absolutely! We would love to receive fan submissions, things like scenarios, new unit types, painting guides, conversion guides, short stories! Anything! It’s certainly a Hysterical Games publication, but it’s open to being an enjoyable read.

<Steve> Again I’m looking at this being a community driven resource rather than an internal one. With Flintloque I edited a small fanzine called Orc in the Hills that proved very popular and contained lots of player written content. I’m hoping to create something similar here…

<JM> When can the player base expect to see Panzerfauste in action at Conventions and industry shows?  When would you expect that players can get involved with demoing and testing, if at all?

<Rob> Yeah, I love the show circuit. It’s like some kind of freakish circus, where the same people attend and get to know each other as a sort of fellowship. We expect to get started showing people how to play the game very soon indeed, using our own collections of old figures. No harm there for now! 

<Steve> I’ve asked Rob to book us into some shows. Theoretically there is nothing stopping us running games using the old Wessex Games figures as I have in the past, but it would be nice to show off some of the new toys.

<JM> Speaking of the industry, has there been much feedback from the wider industry at large?  Robs other hat is obviously as Global Head of Sales for Prodos so we all know he’ll be rattling cages to get this game going in stores but will we be seeing Panzerfauste out there after the KS?  Have larger national chains or web stores begun to take an interest in stocking and distributing Panzerfauste yet?

<Rob> There has been more interest than I anticipated. Although my daytime hat is with Prodos, my fingers are in many pies and my network is pretty big! It seems that plenty of people can see the growth potential of the range. 

<JM> What do you think will be the model count difference between Skirmish scale games and Mass Battle scale games in Panzerfauste?

<Steve> Skirmish is a section level game so approximately ten figures a side, though you can play with less or more. I have played platoon level with Skirmish but employed some house rules, especially for movement, to not slow the game down. Mass Battle is your “Bolt Action” platoon level game so thirty odd infantry, plus support weapons, war-beast “tanks” etc. I hope one day we see some company level, 100 figure a side multi-player games on tables at shows etc.

<JM> Will the Skirmish game allow players to take the larger “Brute” models?

<Steve> Definitely – and war-beasts. There is nothing in Mass Battle that cannot be used in Skirmish one way or another…

<Rob> In fact, that is one of the major parts of re-writing the skirmish game – including rules for War-beasts and Brutes.

<JM> What are the recommended battle sizes?  Necromunda uses Credits, Blood Bowl Gold Coins, WH40K/WZR/WH uses points…..what will Panzerfauste use?  Is there some cool setting specific way this is done?  Warbonds?

<Steve> Skirmish is a bit old school in that it eschews points battles, everything is scenario driven with the scenario objectives being the key. It is more like an RPG in this respect and the game encourages you to run a section through a series of games, gaining experience, replacing casualties, awarding medals etc. 

<Rob> Mass Battle, on the other hand, uses Points values. Though, with the Skirmish game, I am sure we *could* come up with a points system, I somehow feel like it would defeat the purpose of having such a ‘fluffy’ game. Mass Battle is where competitive players should really go. 🙂

<JM> Lastly, thank you very much for all the efforts you’ve gone to to bring this wonderful rich world to us and thanks again for your time today.  If you want to send any message to the Backers or post any final comments please feel free to.

<Rob> I’d like to thank Steve for allowing me to help with this awesome project and also thanks to all of our fans – new and veteran!

<Steve> I’d like to thank everyone who has shown faith in us through the KS and to the small mad bunch of gamers who have been on this ride since the beginning – I hope they are holding on tight! J

Panzerfauste – a 28mm Historo-fantasy wargame of Gnomes, Dwarves, Orcs and many others fight a war of attrition across a mythical landscape.

Panzerfauste Banner

Panzerfauste Banner

Today I’m going to be taking a look at Panzerfauste, a recent successfully funded Kickstarter for Hysterical Games, the wargaming vehicle of Rob Alderman and Steve Blease.  Heres a link to the Hysterical Games website for you all to go take a look:-

And, for all the latest updates and news, please ‘Like’ Panzerfauste on Facebook:-

Players can also download the free, quarterly magazine from Wargame Vault!:-

So what’s it all about?

Welcome to The Land and the world of Panzerfäuste, our exciting game of mechanised warfare in a fantasy world. Enter a world where Dwarves, Orcs, Gnomes and a plethora of other creatures continue their millennia long struggles, but with modern advances of tanks, sub-machine guns and grenades. Fight on battlefields where death is impersonal and only a heartbeat away. March your troops across green fields, through muddy trenches, over snow-capped mountains or into dank caverns… Come fight in the world of Panzerfäuste and see if you can reign supreme in The Land!

Panzerfäuste is a fun ‘Historo-Fantasy’ miniature wargame setting, in which 28mm scale miniatures are used to depict the everyday struggles of standard ‘Tolkienesque’ fantasy races such as Orcs, Dwarves and Elves fight out battles with 20th century weaponry.

Ok so this game should appeal to the historical wargamers and fantasy wargamers alike.  If you’ve never played either the humour and setting may appeal to you on a comedic level as armies of “French” Gnomes, “German” Dwarves, “British” Orcs and “Polish” Troglodytes battle in a twisted fantasy world set in and around WW1 & WW2.

Firstly the game comes in two variants:- the Skirmish (think Batman/Judge Dredd/Malifaux/Necromunda scale forces) and the Mass Battle (think Bolt Action/KoW/WH scale forces).  This gives players an oppotunity to invest at a very manageable level.  They do not need to spend hundreds of pounds to get involved which is always a bonus!  The beta rules are available for Download so getting hold of rules is free, easy and couldnt be simpler!!

You can download the Beta rules for Panzerfäuste: Skirmish here: SKIRMISH BETA RULES
You can download the Beta rules for Panzerfäuste: Mass Battle here: MASS BATTLE BETA RULES

The game can be played using the Skirmish rules, with a Section of infantry or played using the Mass Battle rules which cater for collections at Platoon to Company level, with two or three Sections of troops, armoured support and a character or two making up the bulk of most games. This means that the average game of Panzerfäuste requires no more than 30 or so miniatures.

The miniatures for Panzerfauste will be manufactured in a high quality and resilient polyurethane resin material, perfect for miniature gaming figurines by PRODOS Games. Hard-wearing and capturing excellent detail, these miniatures truly pop.

I’m going to attach a Gallery of images so people can see just what the sneaky nefarious plans and scheming minds at Hysterical Games are plotting for this game.  Go take a look on the links themselves and let me know what you think.

This game is currently funded at 340% via Kickstarter but remains open until 08-11-18 at 8pm.  Its currently collected £17,000 worth of pledges and is smashing stretch goal targets on a daily basis.  I’d strongly suggest you go and pledge.

Pledges can be anything from £1, the “Private” level pledge which gets you in on the Kickstarter and grants access to the post KS goals and add-ons all the way upto £750 which grants access to “Field Marshall” level pledge.  This is a collosal pledge which is Limited to only 5 Pledgers (one per current planned race….hmmmm…mysterious 5th race!?) allowing you to design your own character and get yourself in the game! Hysterical Games will work with you to create a new, named character to fit into the setting and create a miniature of it. This figure will have a likeness to you, but mixed in with the race of your choice! Choices will be first come, first served, so if you absolutely MUST be an Orc, pledge soon!

You will also receive x10 of your custom character, as well as Two REINFORCED Infantry Platoons!

A total of:
6 x Section Sets
2 x Command Sets
2 x Support Weapons Sets
(from any of the unlocked races) plus a copy of ‘Panzerfäuste: Skirmish’ AND ‘Panzerfäuste: Mass Battle’ and get access to purchase any of the add-ons this project has to offer.

This is the pledge level for any serious Panzerfauste-a-holic looking to play huge games.  Pledge quickly before these pledges are all gone!

What are you waiting for?  Go get involved!

Crowdfunding – why gamble with your money?

As some of you may know I have backed the odd Kickstarter project in the past and even an Indiegogo project.  These are crowdfunded projects which rely on backers to take an estimated gamble to make them happen.  But what exactly is crowdfunding and most importantly how does it work?

Kickstarter and Indiegogo Logos

Kickstarter and Indiegogo Logos

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet.  Crowdfunding is a form of alternative finance, which has emerged outside of the traditional financial system.

The crowdfunding model is based on three types of actors: the project creator who proposes an idea and/or project to be funded; backers, individuals or groups who support the idea; and a moderating organization (the “platform”) that brings the parties together to launch the idea.  Moderating organizations include Kickstarter, FundAnything, ICrowdFund and Indiegogo.

In 2013, the crowdfunding industry raised over $5.1 billion worldwide.

Kickstarter is one of a number of crowdfunding platforms for gathering money from the public, which circumvents traditional avenues of investment.  Project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal. If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected, a kind of assurance contract. Money pledged by donors is collected using Amazon Payments. The platform is open to backers from anywhere in the world and to creators from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

There is no guarantee that people who post projects on Kickstarter will deliver on their projects, use the money to implement their projects, or that the completed projects will meet backers’ expectations. Kickstarter advises backers to use their own judgment on supporting a project. They also warn project leaders that they could be liable for legal damages from backers for failure to deliver on promises. Projects might also fail even after a successful fundraising campaign when creators underestimate the total costs required or technical difficulties to be overcome.

Indiegogo users/project creators can create a page for their funding campaign, set up an account with PayPal, make a list of “perks” for different levels of investment, then create a social media–based publicity effort. Users publicize the projects themselves—through Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms. The site levies a 4% fee for successful campaigns. For campaigns that fail to raise their target amount, users have the option of either refunding all money to their contributors at no charge or keeping all money raised minus a 9% fee. Unlike similar sites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo disburses the funds immediately, when the contributions are collected through the user’s PayPal accounts. Indiegogo also offers direct credit card payment acceptance through their own portal. Those funds are disbursed up to two weeks after the conclusion of a campaign.

So why would anyone in their right mind risk their money to use a crowdfunding website to back a project?  Well there are perks to be had.   Backers usually buy into a project using a “pledge”.  A pledge can grant access to restricted or limited edition products and more usually reduced prices on the final product being backed.  As money is raised “stretch goals” are achieved and more options are made available and more freebies on each pledge awarded.  Occasionally early backers can get favourable treatment by getting access to things even later backers cannot receive.

My experience of Crowdfunding is mainly in the gaming and terrain spheres.  Some of the big games companies such as Corvus Belli (Infinity), Mophidius (Mutant Chronicles), Mantic Games (Warpath), Battlesystems (Sci-Fi, Dungeon and Post-APoc Cardboard Terrain) and PRODOS (Warzone Resurrection and AvP:The Hunt Begins) have all used Kickstarter to generate funds to get a project going.  Some of these could have run projects without Kickstarter and use the service as a glorified pre-order service.  I’ll be honest….I’ve had a mixed bag when it comes to the results of Kickstarters Ive backed.  Some have been unmitigated successes and others have been a little questionable or badly managed, leading to delays and negativity.

Recently I’ve backed two Kickstarters run by friends of friends with good reputable backgrounds based off thier times in other companies…..The Devils Run:Route 666 by Mark Rapson (ex-PRODOS Games Ltd) of Word Forge Games and Macrocosm:The Next Races by Chris Nicholls (ex-Tor Gaming) of Macrocosm.

The Devils Run:Route 666


The Devil’s Run: Route 666 is a fast-moving and hard-hitting vehicular combat board game (for 2-6 players) set in a post-apocalyptic America.  Each player runs a gang of cars, trikes, trucks and characters racing on post-apocalyptic Americas highways to beat each other to resources and objectives.  Its very much a boardgame/wargame version of Mad Max

0bdd49de74b3a81699a220b0b045da26_original 0ca681d3dbba71d9567d2f0a43138091_original 6d62571fb3015b7f7ae5faf880904439_original 63a987d35a8bc6a51aed4cb43586031f_original 90f6e2ed46d8bcbb7d99a4769e3651d9_original e7fa458e59fd0758fcbb7c0cf148223a_original fdddba81447e375f94ab14fdd2884212_original

Macrocosm:The Next Races


Macrocosm is a 28mm Sci-Fi Skirmish game set in a future galaxy of excitement, rayguns, weird aliens and wonder.
Players take on the role of a group of adventurers and explorers, represented by a group of miniatures, where they play out scenarios and campaigns to determine the fate of the colonies and to further the glory of their chosen faction… and of course… to have fun!

11057996_592002130937842_3277183606329605281_o 11200888_567005240104198_8623304036347784640_n 11234911_556142771190445_4744575749679868397_n 11705191_567005256770863_1304851289890827576_n 12006602_592002127604509_1019495816729746330_o 12031481_592001777604544_3271796485604615148_o 12045592_592001937604528_5791250302159400284_o Malignancy £50 KS Pledge

I’m very happy that both projects have met their funding limits and are now fully funded so I can look forward to the goodies arriving through the door soon.  I need to select the extras my pledge credit bought in TDR:R666.  I’m due about £125 worth of goodies and think I’m going to buy into the Brit Attack Gang and maybe The Hunters.

I also really need to get my sh*t together and sort out my Macrocosm pledge and any extras I want to buy.  I backed the Malignancy and really really like the models offered in that range.  I think I will increase my pledge and buy more stuff.

In truth not a single project I’ve backed has failed to become funded and despite the negativity surrounding one of the projects I backed I’ve actually been treat very well by PRODOS and have had things delivered exactly as originally indicated,  Sure Im still waiting for Wave 2 but so are the vast majority of backers regardless of location or Backer number.  Im happy enough that AvP will fulfil as promised and I’ll receive what I pledged for.

So….what do I think about crowdfunding?  Well its a gamble, you could lose your money but for some truly awesome products I’m willing to take that risk.  Ive had mixed luck and you could argue I should quit whilst Im ahead but as an entry into a new game its always worth pledging £1 to become a backer.  I can always increase my pledge at a later date.  All I ask from Project Creators is that you talk to us, the Backers.  Yes its your vision but you haven’t spent the money to make it happen.  We are Customers and without us you have a failed crowdfunded project.  I can absorb a delay or even a change but you MUST MUST MUST give us the information we need to back and continue to back your projects.  If you expect a leap of faith you have to give us something to believe in.  Talk to us and keep us engaged and involved.  Your future in directly linked to the success of your games………it is a symbiotic relationship between Backer and Project Creator.  We are no bottomless pocketed cash cows to be milked as and when it suits you….we deserve better.

My final piece of advice is as follows and directed to Backers….if you cannot afford to lose the money do not Back the project.  No matter the success of a project your money can dissappear off into the sunset and I would advise checking out the company or people involved before you commit.  Worst case is pledge £1 to get involved and then upgrade the pledge later if necessary.

Tabletop RPG – to Hangout or not to Hangout?

Since leaving university many many years ago I’ve rarely found a good source of regular tabletop roleplaying games to participate in.  This usually means that I’ve either ended up running the session and not really getting to play at all or having no tabletop at all.  Bad times either way!  I see lots of systems out there and I buy the odd book with the intention of playing but never really find that regular group to play with.  Then I’ve gotten older, and so have my regular running buddies.   We got old, we got fat, we got lazy and we got kids.  All a barrier to regular gaming.  What to do?

Well in the 80’s and 90’s we saw the rise of the Play By Mail (PBM) game:-

Correspondence chess has been played for a long time between players linked by letter.  Each player maintaining a board showing the latest arrangement of pieces and the last move.  Then came the movement of Play By Post (PBP) Rolepaying, not to be confused with PvP which is an entirely different thing:-

With the advent of technology roleplaying games advanced too and now we are seeing I’ve heard a lot of whispers and talk of people using Play By e-Mail (PBeM) or Google Hangouts for running tabletop RPG sessions.  This could be the answer to all my problems.

One such way to get involved would be a website run by John Large dedicated to the games he plays and GM’s for others.  John runs games via Google Hangouts and uses Google drive to store and distribute gaming materials such as maps, character sheets, background information and even home-brew rulesets.  So what exactly is Red Dice Diaries?  Well John has kindly provided a brief biog to describe what it is he does:-

“What would eventually become the Red Dice Diaries started in February 2013 as a small blog called The House of Black; originally it was simply a blog for me to post write-ups of my Rogue Trader campaign, however as time went on I started to enjoy the writing side of it (and received some very positive feedback).  This lead to the blog being expanded to include other aspects of the hobby. Over the next year I discovered a wealth of tabletop RPG material on YouTube and, inspired by some of the characters and videos there, I decided to create my own channel.

Struggling to think of a name for the channel I stumbled across mention of an old TV program featured David Duchovny called ‘The Red Shoe Diaries’ and thought that, with a bit of alteration, that would make a great name for the channel (especially given that my favourite colour is red). Since starting up the channel I’ve uploaded over 200 videos (as of the time of writing this) and have written even more blog entries.  The support that I have received from various people (including members of the YouTube RPG Brigade) both encouraged me to set-up and persevere with the channel, through it I have met and talked to some great people and have gamed with others whom I would otherwise not have met.  I have also re-discovered my joy of both writing and drawing (long thought lost since my days at university).

Whether you are new to the Red Dice Diaries or have been with us for some time we hope you’ll be as excited about this next stage in our development as much as we are and that you’ll stick with us for all of the exciting content that we have to come.”

As John says he now has a thriving and popular YouTube channel broadcasting his games and other material for his 1400 or so subscribers:-

If you’re thinking of looking for anything RPG related you should definitely visit this YouTube channel as it contains tips of building the perfect RPG setting, character generation, fleshing out realistic and believable NPCs and DPCs and reviews of new systems.  Go take a look!

So I find myself wondering whether to get involved in something existing like John’s stellar efforts at running games for his geographically challenged followers or to attempt to do something myself for others or to try and convince someone else to run something I can play in.  For now I’m not so sure but I do know I need to get a fix of RPG.  I’ve so many systems and no-one to play them with.  Anyone reading this with ideas or suggestions of what to do please feel free to comment below.  The system to be played is open for negotiation but the ones I own include:-

oWoD/nWoD/MCWoD (World of Darkness):-

Vampire, Werewolf (and Dark Ages), Changeling, Wraith, Mage

AD&D 3rd Ed

Slaine d20 (using above systems mechanics but Slaine setting)


Men in Black

Star Trek TNG The RPG

The Babylon Project


I probably have more but at this moment in time I cant recall every book on the shelf.  I’d certainly like to give SLA Industries another go, maybe WHFRP (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game) or the 40K setting.

Guild Ball

A great first blog post about Steamforged Games Guildball by Andrew on Lead, Dice and Beers. Hopefully more content will follow soon!

Lead, Dice and Beers

This is my first proper foray into the Blogosphere and I thought I’d dedicate it to an amazing game called Guild Ball. Guild Ball is a game of mob football set in a low fantasy setting, loosely based on the medieval period with elements of Victorian gothic horror thrown in.

Each of the participating teams represents a Guild in the world that has its own political agenda and each team having a distinctive playstyle (more on this later).

The rules and paper version of the models are available here:, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t try the game!

I have been wargaming for the better part of 20 years having started with Games Workshop and then expanding into other areas. Skirmish wargaming (especially Mordheim) has always held a huge draw for me, in no small part due to the low model count of figures that need…

View original post 1,642 more words

Star Trek Attack Wing Wave 19 Reveal – IKS Rotarran

The second in the series of Wave 19 reveals by for WizKidsStar Trek Attack Wing sees the Klingons get some love. The IKS Rotarran, a B’Rel class Bird-Of-Prey, is added to the arsenal for all Klingon players fleets. Taken from the DS9 episodes “By Infernos Light”, “Soldiers of the Empire”, “Blaze of Glory” and “A Call to Arms” the recurring IKS Rotarran was a Klingon Bird-of-Prey that was in service with the Klingon Defense Force in the late 24th century. The Rotarran served with distinction during the Dominion War, with General Martok using the vessel as his flagship. It had developed an unfair reputation as a ‘cursed’ ship whose crew had all been dishonoured. In late-2373, General Martok was assigned command of the Rotarran by the Klingon High Council and dispatched to locate the missing IKS B’Moth. Joining him as his first officer was Lieutenant Commander Worf and Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax as science officer. Both were serving on detached duty from Starfleet at the time. Plotting course for the last known position of the B’Moth, the Rotarran was forced to circumnavigate the Tong Beak Nebula in order to avoid the Jem’Hadar. Martok’s wish to avoid a fight struck a sour chord with his weary crew. On the way, Martok reviewed his crew’s personnel reports, which included remarks such as: “Dishonorable conduct,” “lack of respect,” “dereliction of duty,” “inattention to orders,” “unmotivated,” and “insufficiently aggressive.” This did not go over well with Martok nor Worf, Martok likening the report to a prison record. Together they vowed to restore honor to the Rotarran and make it a ship worthy of the Empire.

The “IKS Rotarran” is a standard B’Rel Bird-of-Prey with the named version having stats of 4-1-3-3. It comes with 2 Crew, 1 Secondary Weapon and 1 Tech upgrade slots on its bar and Actions of Evade, Target Lock, Cloak and Sensor Echo. At first the Rotarran sought to “avoid conflict” with the Jem’Hadar. This is reflected in the Rotarran’s special ability that, as an action, allows the ship to perform a second maneuver on the maneuver dial with a speed of 1 or 2. After taking that action, the Rotarran gets an Auxiliary Token and cannot attack this turn. This is nicely thematic and whilst reflecting the defensive nature of the ship it also can be used to bank or turn into arc and fire upon an unsuspecting ship that it normally wouldnt be able to attack. I like this ability as it is very Klingon and in keeping with this expansions theme. The Named version comes in at 22 points whilst the generic loses a shield and costs 20pts.

Obviously it would be remiss of Wizkids to not include another version of Martok in this expansion given his link to this ship and we are not disappointed. “Martok is a CS7 Captain costing 4pts who comes ready to equip with an Elite Talent. As an ability Martok can reduce the cost of all other Klingon upgrades by -1pt. Additionally, when attacking, Martok allows the player to take an action to roll 2 less attack dice to add 1 hit result to his roll, if all upgrades on this ship are Klingon, you roll only one less attack die to gain 1 hit result instead. If you have the Action economy to use this ability then this can really help you, especially in the faction pure environment and its nice to see Wizkids acknowledging faction purity even if unofficially.

So Martok can bring an Elite Talent to his ship but what options do we have here? Well this ship has not one, not two but three Elite Talents! “The Day is Ours!” is a 4pt discard allowing a player to add one critical hit result to the roll during the Roll Attack Dice Step but only if it is equipped to a Klingon Ship with a Klingon Captain. This is ok and may see some usage between Martok, the Torpedo upgrade (which I’ll cover later) and this you might be hitting for at least 2 Crits and a guaranteed hit.

“Alert Status One” is another discard action costing 3pts in order to place a battle stations token next to your ship. Not sure how I feel about this in honesty…….3pts to take a BS? Its a significantly weaker version of Defence Condition One but for 4pts I could take the Action Crew Drex or N’Garen who are better BS converters.

Finally, “Supreme Commander” is another 5pts Action discard that allows the player to give another friendly ship within range 1-3 a free action from its action bar. If the targeted ship was a Klingon ship it may perform ANY action…….not sure what this means but if it means as read then potentially Klingon ships could take Battlestation, Scan or even Regenerate Actions. That could make for some very interesting combinations.

With no other captains to review lets look at crew upgrades starting off with yet another version of Worf. “First Officer Worf” provides a +1 bonus to your captain skill, which increases to +3 if you have a Klingon Captain. Simulating the near mutiny on Rotarran if your captain is ever disabled or discarded, Worf becomes the new captain with a skill level of 5. Worfs special ability to boost a Klingon captain cannot be used on himself so no shenanigans there although it does in theory allow the Klingons to now deploy a captain with CS of 14 (Ch’Tang Martok (9) + Admiral Gorkon (+1) + Klingon Fleet Captain (+2) + Rotarran Worf (+3) = 14).

Next up is Jadzia Dax who joined Worf on leave from Starfleet to serve as Science Officer aboard the Rotarran. “Jadzia Dax” allows you to spend a scan token to convert 1 battle stations result on your die into a hit or evade result. This is really in keeping with the idea of turning the tide of battle and thematically Klingon. Considered to be one of their own, Jadzia Dax does not pay a faction penalty when assigned to a Klingon ship so gets added to the list of options we can use when considering Penalty Pure fleet lists. At a hefty price of 5 points and given that the only Klingon ship with a Scan Action is the Somraw this may be an upgrade you simply cant afford to build around or include. You will almost certainly need to use upgrades and other crew to acquire Scan tokens. Not sure she’ll see much play as a Klingon crew so its a good job she has a Federation icon.

This expansion is very crew heavy. the ship itself only has two slots and we’ve already seen two crew but there are three more included to boost the options available to you. First up we’ll look at “Leskit” the helmsman of the Rotarran, who allows you to convert a red maneuver into a green maneuver. If your ship is cloaked when you do this, you can perform a sensor echo as a free action. Hes a 3pt discard crew but I like this ability! Given the way Klingons joust and come about to hit you again the ability to swap a red come about for a green come about is amazing! No Auxiliary Power Tokens for doing so… this worth 3pts? Yes I personally think so. I can see this upgrade seeing table time in many Klingon fleets.

“Tavana” the ships Engineering officer allows you to repair 1 shield token by disabling himself. If your ship is cloaked you may also repair one damage to your hull but you roll -2 attack dice on all attacks this round. If you’re out of arc this is a decent enough ability. The fact you can repair Shields and Hull at the cost of a reduced attack is nice, sure its situational but it could really save you if needed. Considering this is the usual 5pt Klingon crew upgrade the fact he is only a disable puts him above current options of Bu’Kah (4pt discard to repair 2 to hull if you performed a green maneuver) and Konmel (3 pt Action, not cloaked and repair 1 shield). The ability to reuse Tavana and remain cloaked elevates him in my opinion.

Finally the Weapons Officer, “Kornan” allows the player to take an action to place a target lock on an enemy ship within range 1-3 and then perform another action on the ships action bar as a free action but not the Target Lock Action. Ok thats nice but thats where it ends, he is a 5pt Action Discard….c’mon Wizkids, give the pastyheaded rageoholics some love!!!! Im disappointed by this.

So we have 5 crew for 2 slots. What about Secondary Weapon options in this pack? The Rotarran packs a punch with a new “Photon Torpedoes” that utilizes the new Time Token mechanic. Instead of disabling the weapon when it fires the players places 3 time tokens on the card. During the end phase one time token is removed. When no time tokens remain on the card the weapon is ready to fire again. This is a standard Range 2-3 5 Attack Dice torpedo that allows you to convert 1 Battlestations result into a Critical result. If combined with an all Klingon crew and Captain Martok then you could roll 4 dice and get 1 autohit plus the BS to Crit conversion. Meh…….I’d rather a boost to a B’Rel firing as that precedent has been set on Negh/Var and Vor’Cha classes.

Oddly whilst this ship comes equipped with a Tech slot no Tech upgrades seem to be included in the pack. More unseen upgrades may be included but are usually pretty good and would have revealed it. Such a shame.

So having reviewed everything Im going to try and build a Faction Pure vessel from this expansion built to Wizkids Suggested Rules Format limits of 50pts:-

IKS Rotarran – 22pts
Martok – 4pts
The Day Is Ours! – 3pts (4pts overridden to 3pts by Martok)
Worf – 1pt (2pts overridden to 1pt by Martok)
Leskit – 2pts (3pts overridden to 2pts by Martok)
Photon Torpedos – 4pts (5pts overridden to 4pts by Martok)

Total – 36pts

What do you think about how I built this ship? How would you build it? Go take a look and let me know….comment below.

‪#‎LLAP‬ ‪#‎qapla‬

Star Trek Attack Wing Wave 19 Reveal – RIS Talvath

So the last of the Star Trek Attack Wing Wave 19 retail reveals has been shared by and it is the RIS Talvath, a Romulan Science Vessel (or RSV) seen in the Voyager episode “Eye of the Needle”.

The RIS Talvath was an RSV that was in service in the mid-24th century. In early 2350, the Talvath, operating under the direction of Dr. Telek R’Mor of the Romulan Astrophysical Academy, began an extended three-year scientific mission. In mid-2351, the Talvath encountered a micro-wormhole in Sector 1385 of the Alpha Quadrant that led to the discovery of the Federation starship USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant, located in the year 2371. The Talvath was scheduled to complete its mission and return to Romulus in 2353. In the episode the Talavth communicated with USS Voyager via a 13cm micro wormhole too small for Voyager to pass through so signals and a test cylinder are sent through. Eventually it is discovered that the ships are actually communicating across space and time as the Talvath is in 2351 and Voyager is in 2371. In fact Dr telek R’Mor died four years prior to Voyager leaving the Alpha Quadrant. Now we know about the Talvath we can start looking at the ship and expansion itself.

Firstly the RIS Talvath is a standard RSV with stats of 1-2-2-2 for the named variant and 1-2-2-1 for the generic. It is significantly weaker than the Delta Flyer which is only a shuttlecraft and yet does not have the same limitations of requiring a “capital ship” to deploy it. Its never going to be used in a front line attacking role but it certainly does have uses. The named version has the following ability “ACTION: If you are within Range 1-3 of at least 1 enemy ship, roll 3 defense dice. For every Evade result place 1 Evade token beside your ship. You cannot perform any free actions this round.”. As a small evasive vessel this is a situational yet nice enough ability that allows it to be deployed and used without taking the serious hits from bigger vessels. Even if you were lucky enough to roll 3 Evades this ship could still be 1 shotted especially by something like a pimped out Enterprise-E, a Krenim Time ship or a Borg Cube at close range. With a primary weapon value of 1, agility value of 2, hull and shield value of 2, this ship is designed to get in and get out quickly without taking heavy hits. It comes equipped with 3 Tech slots to allow it to fulfil that primary function of scientific vessel. This also makes it an absolutely amazing Mine Layer for Romulans which ensures I’ll be buying enough to deploy the 16 sets of Cloaked Mines I have!!!

In terms of Captains in this expansion it was always going to include Dr Telek R’Mor, even Wizkids couldnt screw that one up! Conducting a three year mission of “Secret Research” Telek R’Mor is the Captain of the R.I.S Talvath. Telek R’Mor is a CS3 Captain costing a reasonable 2pts that allows your ship to roll one extra defense die if you have a scan token beside your ship while defending. Whilst Telek R’Mor is the Captain, you may also field the “Secret Research” upgrade even though he does not have an Elite Talent upgrade icon. We’ll cover more about this Elite Talent later. Firstly we’ll cover the second Captain in this pack, Alidar Jarok, or more specifically another new Admiral for the Romulans. We already have a version of this captain from the RIS Vo expansion. The previous version was a CS7 costing 4pts. This version is CS6 for the same price, both have an Elite Talent slot. Looking at the two abilities of each I think I prefer the newer version whose ability says “ACTION: Target a ship at Range 1 and remove 1 token (Evade, Scan, Battlestations or Target Lock). If you remove a Target Lock Token with this ability also remove the corresponding Target Lock Token”. As a Fleet Action for an Admiral I like this ability a lot. Fancy firing your Torpedos at me? Nuh huh, I’m removing that token. Fancy reducing my defence with a Scan? I don’t think so. Whats that Picard/Dukat, you have a Battlestations? Not any more you don’t. I think I’d take this version of Alidar Jarok over the other every day of the week. Great ability although we dont yet know what affect he will have on the corresponding Captain if deployed as an Admiral. We’ll have to wait and see for that!

Onto Elite Talents and this pack only has one “Secret Research”. Captain/Admiral Alidar Jarok can equip it as he has an Elite Talent slot but so too can Dr.Telek R’Mor whose ability allows his to equip just this upgrade. It is very thematic of the story of this ship. This Elite Talent adds the Scan Action to the Action Bar of your ship and the RIS Talvath doesnt have this Action already. In fact only the RIS Vo and Prototype Drone have the Scan Action so this is a great way to add this Action to your Action Bar on other Romulan ships. As a secondary affect during the Activation Phase you may also discard this card to perform a Scan Action as a free action. Ok, so thats kinda neat. The Romulans getting access to an Action they’ve previously not really had access to. It is situational because for the most part you’ll probably be Cloaking or Sensor Echoing so it has its uses but Im not sure how much play it will see. There may be combos that can be used to trigger off the previously unavailable Scan token you can now use. We’ll see.

As befitting a scientific vessel conduction secret experimental research with 3 Tech upgrade slots and no ability to equip Secondary Weapons or Crew this expansion is loaded with sneaky Romulan Technology. I’ll start with “Warp Core Ejection System”, every ship captain knows a Warp Core Breach is one of the most dangerous things you can face. Using this 4pt Romulan Tech Upgrade, you can take an action to repair 1 hull damage and flip any “Warp Core Breach” critical damage cards face down. For the rest of the game you cannot take any maneuvers with a speed greater than 1. However, you also cannot receive any more “Warp Core Breach” critical damage cards. If you do, you simply flip it over and treat it as a normal damage. Being able to eliminate the risk of losing your ship to a Warp Core Breach by using Warp Core Ejection System is something every captain will want to have at his finger tips, just in case. Its hugely situational and there are much better Tech upgrades for Romulans…..Cloaked Mines, Interphase Generators, Polarized Hull Plating, Advanced Cloak etc. These are my top tier Tech upgrades for Romulans.

Secondly we have “Test Cylinder” which allows you to take an action to target a ship at any range and disable this card, plus any crew upgrades on the targeted ship. Taking this action requires you to disable all remaining shields on your ship, but if done at the right time, disabling an opponent’s crew upgrade can be quite devastating. The fact that it can be done from any range gives you a very big tactical advantage over your opponent. At ANY Range so hide your little mine laying ship at the back before disabling one of those quirky undisabling cards the Federation have or remove those horrible Drex or N’Garen at a critical moment. There are plenty of Crew combos out there that could really wreck an opponents strategy by disabling one at the right time. This is nice but requires being used in a combo at the right time to really put the hurt on an enemy ship. It needs some experimentation to work well but could be a devastating strategy to deploy. This is a 3pt upgrade so not horribly priced.

“Temporal Displacement” yet another of the recent Romulan Technological advances, is the ultimate in Romulan defense. This upgrade allows you to discard this card to cancel ALL of the attacking ship’s hit and critical hit results. That’s right, cancel all hit and critical hit results! The attacking ship cannot make any other attacks during this round, but any cards used in the attack are returned to the state they were in prior to the attack, allowing the attacking ship to use them again in a different round. Think of this as a pimped out Interphase Generator that you do not need to be Cloaked to use. The ability to completely negate a whole attacks worth of Hits and Crits could swing a battle. Use a Chroniton Torpedo or Transphasic Torpedo against me? No fear I’ll discard this and bounce all damage. If youre using these little ships to lay mines then get up close, drop the mines and use this Tech upgrade to get away taking no damage. Thank you very much. Mine spamming fleets just got a little more solid, although for 5pts and a discard and the limitation of only working on RSV’s this is questionable as to whether you’d be able to make it const effective. Other attack negation strageties are equally as cost prohibitive so without doing some math I couldn’t honestly tell you if it was better than those on a case by case basis. the limitation of only RSV’s probably rules this out as a general widely used future upgrade.

“Advanced Scanning” allows you to add the Scan Action to your ships Action Bar. Whenever you perform the Scan Action you may place 1 additional Scan Token next to your ship at the cost of placing an Auxiliary Token next to your ship as well. Thats not too bad when you have a maneuver dial like an RSV which has no red maneuvers at all and quite a few greens. Double Scan tokens aren’t really so useful for this ship as its not a front line warship, its more of a support vessel so being able to reduce your opponents defense on a 1 or 2 dice attack might help but if its come down to using your RSV’s like that then you’ve probably already lost. Situational at best but can be used in conjunction with other Tech upgrades to really shine. Its another Tech that is best equipped to the RSV as it costs +5pts on any other vessel (+6 out of faction). When you stack this upgrade or the Secret Research Elite Talent with the next Tech upgrade is when things get a little interesting. Lots of scan tokens are nice but you have to be able to get mileage out of them and thats where “Signal Amplifier” comes in. Signal Amplifier is a 5pt discard that allows you to spend a Scan Token to either add +2 attack dice or +2 defense dice. Paired with Secret Research or Advanced Scanning, Signal Amplifier gives you the flexibility to choose a boost to attack or defense whenever it is needed most. At the cost of an Auxiliary Token you can take 2 Scan tokens, use 1 to boost your attack by +2 Attack Dice and the second to reduce defense by -1 Defense Dice. A little 1 Attack ship at range 1 out of arc is dropping 4 Attack dice against a ship with -1 Defense. Nice if expensive and dangerous!

Lastly we have our final Tech upgrade, the 5pt “Graviton Field Generator”. This is an action that allows you to either, disable this card and 2 Active Shields to immediately perform an additional forward maneuver with a speed equal to the number of shields you disabled with this action, OR if you performed a green maneuver this round, discard this card to place 2 Shield Tokens beside your ship. Ok so on a big beast of a ship like a Reman Warbird this can really make it super tanky! This is great, especially when you consider that this card is not unique so a ship can be equipped with more than one. Interestingly I cannot find any reference to removing these additional Shield tokens beside the ship. The End Phase rules do not mention the removal of Shield Tokens only Scans, Evades and Battlestations. So that could lead to some interesting abuse. Certainly worth further investigation.

So having seen this expansion and using the Wizkids Suggested Rules Format and Faction purity I’d probably build this ship as follows:-

RIS Talvath – 14
Dr Telek R’Mor – 2
Secret Research – 5
Alidar Jarok – 4
Advanced Scanning – 5
Signal Amplifier – 5
Temporal Displacement – 5

Total – 40

How would you build this ship? Comment with your build and let me know how you’d equip it.

‪#‎LLAP‬ ‪#‎jolantru‬

Gaming on a budget – The Challenge (Month 4 – Part 8)

Evening Mancavers!

So a few days into October and I can update the progress with my “gaming on a budget” article.  As followers of this blog will know I pledged to spend no more than £30 each month on a new game that I hadn’t ever played before.  I chose to invest in Guildball by Steamforged Games, a low fantasy medieval football game where each team is built up from Guild members.  The Guilds included the Alchemists, the Butchers, the Brewers, the Masons, the Morticians, the Engineers, the Union and the Fishermen.  I opted for the Fishermen a team all about movement and speed.

Last month saw Steamforged Games update their Season 2 information for Guildball and release information on some of the new players for each team.  My team, the Fishermen, will be getting Sakana.  Firstly he is a stunning looking render and with any luck when my Sakana arrives the miniature will be equally as impressive.



Sakana Card Front

Sakana Card Front

Sakana Card Back

Sakana Card Back

Looking at Sakana in detail;-  Pros:

– Fast, even without influence

– Relatively durable (similar to Shark, just good DEF/ARM/HP).

– Actual momentous damage (hurray!)

– That push/dodge in column 5 could be very strong- if you can get Gut And String or a Knockdown on a 2+ defense player (even one with armor) you could get 8 inches of push on them for 4 influence. Pity it isn’t momentous.


– Doesn’t really bring any control ability (knockdown, movement, debuffs)

– Poised means he’s gonna get knocked down a lot, which will probably get him killed

– Solves a problem that the Fish don’t really have in my opinion- I guess he can set up for a playbook result chain pretty well with Weak Point, but the best damage dealer the Fishermen can play at the moment is Gutter (Union) who already has Anatomical Precision and Fangtooth (also Union) could be pretty effective with it.

With all this in mind I was pretty much sold so Sakana was my first purchase this month.  He was £10-95 (in resin) and £8-95 (metal) directly from the Steamforged webstore but £8-05 from Element Wargames.  Both would incur me shipping of £2-95 so Element won out here.  Sure I’d love a resin version but as this is gaming on a budget I’d take the cheaper option.

Last month Andy Thomas and Mark Southerd put me onto a webstore called Blotz this website sold MDF scenery and had a rather good deal on some Guildball Goals in the form of some gibbets with a target hanging from them.  They looked fairly sturdy and nice little extras to add to my cheap pitch from a few months ago.  Looking at them I knew Id want at least 2 to paint up as basic goals and I;d also like to use one as the basis for a Fishermen specific goal to use with my team.

Blotz Gibbet with Target Guildball Goal.

Blotz Gibbet with Target Guildball Goal.

Blotz Gibbet with Target Guildball Goal with miniature for scale.

Blotz Gibbet with Target Guildball Goal with miniature for scale.

You too can grab yourself a couple of these by going to the Blotz webpage on the link below.  At a very reasonable £3 each I thought I’d jump in and grab 3 for the reasons set out above.  I have plans to make Fishermen specific goals to compliment my team.

Lastly, having bought the bare bones of a Fishermens goal for a team specific project I needed to start gathering some fishy accompaniments to build it up.  I’d seen various goals by other Guildball players and thought I;d try some similar sort of styles.  Using the Blotz goal I wanted to hang some kind of trophy from the gibbet.  I hunted around and found a source of 28mm sharks from the Reaper Dark Heaven range sold by Noble Knight Games in the US.

Reaper Dark Heaven 28mm Sharks

Reaper Dark Heaven 28mm Sharks

The shipping was a little steep though.  I looked locally and on EBay for a similar deal but couldn’t find one so eventually after some umming and oooing and aaahing I went for them.  They were $11-95 with $9-10 shipping which totalled to £13-87 after conversion.  I’d love some cheaper source of them so anyone who finds them please do let me know.

Thinking I was nearly at my budget I stopped there.  This months spend came to a total of:-

Sakana – £8-05 + £1-00 (Shipping*) = £9-05

Blotz Gibbet with Target x 3 – £9-00 + £2-80 = £11-80

Reaper Dark Heaven 28mm Sharks – £7-87 + £6-00 = £13-87

Total – £34-72

Yet again this month shipping has killed my attempts to stay on budget and mainly that shipping from the States for the Sharks.  Hopefully next month things will improve in that regard.  This month I will be scouring EBay looking for Guildball deals especially on the five Union Team members I am able to ally with my Fishermens team.  If a good deal comes up on a whole team then I might invest in that so I have two teams to play with at home.  Who knows eh….the world is my oyster (fishermens joke!)!

Im hoping to have my team ready for use in time for Mark Southerd’s upcoming tournament in January 2016 “The Heroic Play Open”.  A link to this to buy tickets can be found here:-

Happy gaming Mancavers!