A quick update. …

Sorry it’s been a quiet month on Tales From The Mancave….the girls have been excitedly preparing for Christmas and I’ve been kept busy with shopping, wrapping, chopping, cooking and playing games that sadly aren’t the kind I’d usually post about. So I’m going to give a quick update to keep your all advised of what’s been going down.  Let’s keep this simple. ….

I managed to grab three Star Trek Attack Wing Reinforcement Blind Booster Bricks for the forthcoming Temporal Cold War OP Series. I’ll be trying to post about each vessel and stick some pictures up as soon as I can.

Sticking with a space theme I’ll move next onto Star Wars.  I managed to grab a viewing of The Force Awakens on opening day and was like a child in a sweetshop with Daddy’s credit card!  Lol. Gaming wise I managed to pick up the last remaining ship I required to complete my Star Wars X-Wing collection. …the Tantive 4. Now onto Wave 8.  Being a massive Imperial fan I also wanted to get my dirty hands on the impressive Gozanti class Imperial Assault Carrier to swell the ranks of my Imperial Fleet.  I grabbed one for a very good deal of £39.67 (including P&P) from boardgameprices.co.uk which I was very happy about!

Sticking with Star Wars Christmas was very kind to me and I managed to get a whole heap of Star Wars Imperial Assault goodies from my girls.  I received Dengar to add to my wretched hive of scum in IG-88 & Boba Fett. I’m aiming to put together the whole line up of Bounty Hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. …so I need 4-Lom, Zuckuss and Bossk.  Then I’ll have then go toe to toe with my other games worth of hunters….the Predators from Prodos’ AvP.  I also got a copy of the latest expansion for SW:IA Return to Hoth. Finally I was given a load of Villain and Ally packs to build my SW:IA forces; – a Royal Guard Champion,  Kayn Samos, Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2 & C-3PO and Princess Leia. So I can now assemble the whole gang from the films.  Happy gamer!

I did post a while ago about me returning to the Judge Dredd fold at NAGA to have some games with Brent Jay and Co. Well I was watching some very good deals on EBay and add luck would have it I did manage to scoop up the whole lot for a very decent price of £37 (including P&P). I ended up winning auctions for gangs for Judge Cals Personal Retinue, Justice Dept. Mega City Judges and Specialist Judges. So they’ll go onto the gaming table for use at some point in January against Brent.

The Hairy Gamers (me and Tris) took a little road trip to Dragonmeet in London during December to collect our AvP Wave 2 pledges and boy was there a whole load to struggle through a busy convention with.  I now have 3x Alien Warriors, 2x Alien Queens, 2x Royal Guards, 2x Alien Crushers, 2x Predaliens, 2x Alien Eggs, 2x Berserker Predators, 2x Predator HellHounds, 2x USCM Powerloaders and 1x each set of Dice (USCM, Aliens & Predators). I also bought an extra two boxes of Alien Warriors from Asylum Wargames Online Shop for a great price of £10 each. You can grab some too by visiting them on http://asylumwargaming.tictail.com/ . These guys have great deals on all sorts of goodies residual if you’re interested in Macrocosm or AvP.

This takes me neatly onto Macrocosm. Despite the awesome Chris Nicholls being very busy with his adventure into fatherhood for the second time he managed to go above and beyond to send out my Macrocosm Malignancy pledge.  Once the chaos of Christmas has subdued I’ll try to take some pictures and post more about this! Thanks Chris.  If you too are interested in Macrocosm then you can find more details on the website at http://www.macrocosm.co.uk/

Whilst we were on our road trip I managed to teach Tris the rules for The Devils Run and we even managed to grab a couple of demo games on the stand the Word Forge Games team were using.  Both of us are mad keen for this game and with any luck I’ll be able to help Mark Rapson with some more play testing and reviewing of the game in the build up to shipping.  With so many ideas for this game, with me posting regular bat-reps and reviews and with Mad Max Fury Road available on Blu-Ray and DVD it was inevitable that others would be drawn into the TDR:R666 game. Recently Tris and I expanded the Hairy Gamers family by inviting Gareth Mosley and James Hall to join our ranks. Both have the R666 bug and are busy trash-bashing and scheming for when R666 drops.  James has been busy using any and all HotWheels and Matchbox cars he can get his busy hands on to bash together some cars to use.  I myself am waiting until my pledge drops to see what gaps I have in my collection before getting too busy with trash-bashing. My ideas are mainly for scenery and game tiles based on British Roads rather than the American ones in the game.

Guildball now. ….as some of my regular readers will recall I play in a local Guildhall league at Black Dragon Games in Hinckley. Sadlt this has not been going to we’ll for my Fishermen who have lost their opening two encounters against Craigs Mort-Union team (12-8) & Andy T’s murderous Butchers (12-4). This week I have a double header of games planned against David Mustin and Mark Southerd in store on Tuesday so watch this space for that.  I’ve gone in half’s on a Union Starter with David to get me a copy of Avarisse and Greede to add to my Union Starter of Blackheath, Decimate and Gutter. I also added a Harry “The Hat” Hallahan to my Union line-up this month as well as hopefully getting the miniatures I’m owed by Jay Finnegan in the form of Fangtooth and Hemlocke. At some point I’ll have to grab me a copy of Coin,  the Union Mascot, so I can play Union too. I’ll do a “Gaming on a Budget” post later to cover my Guildball activities.  Having seen a couple of demo’s at Dragonmeet and spoken to one of the brains behind Guildball, Rich, Hairy Gamer Tris had also picked up a great deal on a Masons team for Guildball so we’ll probably throw down at some point even if it’s just to teach him the rules.

Lastly im going to talk about Frostgrave. Not the game or any bat-reps or warband stuff but mostly terrain.  I managed to grab myself two of the old Games Workshop Mighty Fortress plastic kits from EBay as a starter for my planned scenery. I wanted to build the walls of Felstadt. I also picked up 84 Lemax Snow Covered Wintery Pine Trees, a Garden of Morr kit from GW and some rather large Amera plastic moulded kits for their F204 Large Hill Top Ruin (Fantasy Realms page) & Z236 Corner Ruined Building  (Future Zone page). You can take a closer look at thier range on the link below;-


Once I get the chance to do anything with any of the above I’ll post something.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all!

Mancave update

Apologies to everyone in Mancave-land as I haven’t posted in about a week a lot has happened.  Firstly its been the birthday of two important people in my life in the last week.  Last weekend it was my youngest daughter, Phoebe’s, birthday and this weekend just gone it was my better half, Lucy’s birthday.  Happy birthday ladies!

So what has been going on then?  Well firstly after nearly two years of waiting my copies of AvP:The Hunt Begins finally arrived in the Mancave following a haphazard and uncommunicative Kickstarter.  I’ve enjoyed limited success with Kickstarters and to be honest this entire experience has left a rather bitter aftertaste for me.  I’ve watched as “limited edition Kickstarter exclusive” copies of a game I and many other have funded and made possible made their way to retailers before we’d even been given a sniff of the game….so much for our Limited edition copies eh?   Everything that made our game exclusive is now anything but.  Regardless of that fact my two copies eventually arrived…only 9 days after I could have walked into a FLGS and bought it cheaper.  I’ll do a full review some other time as I’ve now punched all the card elements and started assembling models from one of my copies.  The other copy I gave to Hairy Gamer and long term geek-mance Tris who is still waiting to receive any semblance of notification for his AvP Kickstarter.

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Monday saw the monthly Imperial Assault campaign swing into action again.  Dave returned to the fold to pick up his sniper and get his kill on.  Recently we had enjoyed moderate success in the campaign picking up a few close but hard fought wins.  This session our objective was to attack and deactivate a secret Imperial Research Facility and achieve this within 5 game turns.  The Facility was heavily fortified with armoured doors and Stormtroopers defending it.  With no idea what was within we had to clear any resistance to us from outside and get through it as fast as possible.  To be honest we were not expecting success and thought Alan, our GM, may have some nasty surprises in store for us inside.  By the end of turn one our organised teamwork had allowed us to kill five Stormtroopers and Stun and destroy the Probe Droid guarding the door.  Next turn we blasted through the door and my smuggler stressed herself to race through the structure and see what was lying in wait.  Everything was going to plan as everything Alan deployed got very quickly destroyed by our Soldier with his Havoc shots.  Everything happened so fast I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures and for that I apologise again.  We were outrageously successful this month and I’m sure that next month Alan’s Imperial’s will come back stronger and nastier.  With only 3 sessions left until the end of the campaign I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed participating in it and will hopefully run one of my own once this is finished.  Dave Baxter and I were also chatting about the skirmish variant of the game so with any luck you may see some reports of that on the Mancave as things progress.  Watch this space!

Other things have been going on though…..it seems like pretty much everything I do is sponsored by the letter T.  So much like Sesame Street todays update will be sponsored by the letter T.

T stands for TIE-Advanced.  This week saw me finally get my dirty Imperial hands on Darth Vader in his TIE-Advanced for my Star Wars X-Wing collection.  I’ve been after a TIE-Advanced for a while as it was one of the few ships I was missing plus with the Imperial Raider inbound in August it was going to improve the Imperial Navy.  I may even get to use it next week in the NAGA X-Wing League match I have scheduled with Brent Jay on Wednesday.

T also stands for Terminator:Genisys.  Recently I deboxed and reviewed this game by RiverHorse Games in a blog post but hadn’t up until last night had the chance to do much more to it.  During the May trip to Salute 2015 Hairy Gamer Tris and I watched in awe as Warlord Games ran a competition to see who could assemble the Terminator Endoskeleton miniature from this game in the fastest time.  I don’t know what the final timings were but people were able to assemble these snip and clip miniatures in about 40-50 seconds each.  Armed with my snips, some files and a camera I set about assembling the 10 Terminator Endoskeletons, 5 Crawlers, 16 Resistance soldiers and 1 Limited Edition white metal Kyle Reese (athough it should be resin) in their varied configurations.  Sadly only 2 variants of the Terminators are supplied but the Resistance have a reasonable amount of customization with 4 different poses and 6 different weapon options.  .  I wasn’t really trying hard to do it quickly but a little under an hour later I had a full set of assembled miniatures that I was happy with and could game with.  I must admit that they were very easy to assemble and get to grips with.  Once assembled they do have the look of little green Army men about them.  They aren’t without their issues (some of the faces look a little like Nuclear disaster victims) and its nothing that a spot of glue here and there and maybe some green stuff filler cant fix but for a first pass they will certainly do.  Next will be to get some paint onto them.  I imagine painting Terminators will be as easy as painting Xeno’s from AvP and Resistance fighters will be similar to USCM Marines from AvP.  I can use similar techniques and styles for both although I imagine the results will be very different.  I posted pictures of my progress on my Facebook page last night.

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Lastly, my final T stands for Trek.  Tonight I managed to debox my last few ships – two copies each of the Federation USS Prometheus, Klingon IKS Ning’Tao and Bajoran Ratosha from Wave 15 of Wizkids Star Trek Attack Wing.  I had previously previewed these ships on Mancave so all that is left for me to do is post some pictures and total up the damage.  I would post the same pics in this blog post but for some reason WordPress is being a bit funny with me so I may use links instead:-

Bajoran Scout Ship, Ratosha.

Bajoran Scout Ship, Ratosha.

Klingon B'rel Bird Of Prey, IKS Ning'Tao.

Klingon B’rel Bird Of Prey, IKS Ning’Tao.

Federation Prometheus class, USS Prometheus.

Federation Prometheus class, USS Prometheus.

I find myself sitting on 287 ships now including at least 2 of every ship (some as many as 4 and one 15!!!) and 3 of every prize and Limited Edition release available.  I have 21 ships awaiting purchase of a new storage cabinet/display case so they can be put away properly.  So a little trip to Ikea may be required this weekend to buy another Detolf Display Case although I have been trying to source some spare shelves to mod my existing units.

Star Wars Imperial Assault Campaign aka If you go down to the woods today…….. (@ NAGA 08-06-2015)


Last night at NAGA saw the monthly Imperial Assault campaign return.  After last months absolute battering at the hands of the Empire we decided on a more sedate leisurely session…..no more doors, no more Transdosian traps.  Our party’s soldier character Fenn Signis had suggested a little walk in the woods and this seemed like a great idea….until we saw the setup.

The setup for our Imperial Assault campaign.  We are top left.

The setup for our Imperial Assault campaign. We are top left.

The mission was as follows……we, the Rebels, must disarm six explosives placed in the woods to halt the Rebel advance before the main forces can move in.  We have five turns to do so.  Each Explosive takes an Engineering action to disarm and if Mitch’s character, Fenn Signis is within 3 squares of the disarming character then we get to keep that explosive as a weapon to use.  We can use it by using an action to place it on an enemy.  It would be the ebst way to topple that ATST as it was hella tough!

Diala Passil - Rebel Jedi.

Diala Passil – Rebel Jedi.

Fenn Signis - Rebel Soldier.

Fenn Signis – Rebel Soldier.

Mak Eshka'rey - Rebel Sniper.

Mak Eshka’rey – Rebel Sniper.

Jyn Odan - Rebel Smuggler.

Jyn Odan – Rebel Smuggler.

Alan, the DM and Imperial Commander, had to stop us from disarming them all or force each character to be wounded or take enough damage to “flip” them.  To aid him in this task he had a Self Destructing Probe Droid (top right), an E-Web Heavy Weapon (bottom right), an Imperial Officer (bottom left), two Red Royal Guards (left) and an ATST (centre).



Imperial officers

Imperial officers

Royal Guards

Royal Guards

Probe Droid

Probe Droid



So with a simple plan in place to rush forward and disarm as many explosives as quickly as we could whilst avoiding the firing lines of the E-Web and ATST we set forth.  If we could use the explosive charges on the ATST then even better but it was of secondary importance.

The end of Turn 1.

The end of Turn 1.

Turn 1 – Worryingly the ATST was not only able to escape from the small area it was placed in but it was surprisingly fast too.  The Jedi pushed forward to meet any oncoming attackers as the smuggler grabbed the first explosive, the sniper positioned himself to lay down covering fire and the Soldier advanced to try and shoot at the ATST.

The Imperial troops rushed forward to block us from getting past and grabbing boxes, the same tactics we had seen last month.  If the ATST hadn’t blocked firing lines and movement we could have taken a lot of damage, although the fact it could now fire at any of us was a huge problem.  The E-Web advanced as ordered by the Imperial Officer without a shot.

The end of Turn 2.

The end of Turn 2.

Turn 2 – The Sniper rushed forward to disarm a second Explosive, he wasn’t close enough to the Soldier, Fenn Signis, to retain it as a charge for use later though.  This left himself in a good position as the ATST couldn’t target him.  The Sniper opened up on the ATST to try and damage it.  It had 15 health points and we could use our explosives to blast five points of damage onto it.  Facing the fire power of an ATST someone in our team was going to get hurt rather badly this round.   It moved aside to allow the Royal Guards to intercept and block the Jedi and Sniper stopping the faster more engineering minded smuggler from getting past.  As the Imperial Officer assessed his targets he felt the explosive carrying smuggler was a priority target and blasted at her.  She took seven damage and was in a bad way.  If the ATST continued to unload on us like that we’d get beaten very quickly.  My smuggler used her dodging abilities to retreat and moved back to regroup and attack the oncoming Royal Guards.  After being blasted the Smuggler dodged away.  The E-Web advanced again with no shot at the Rebels.

The end of Turn 3.

The end of Turn 3.

Turn 3 – It was beginning to look like another loss for the Rebels as we had yet again become boxed in by superior numbers and tough to shift Imperial opponents.  We would struggle to grab the remaining explosives if we continued to get bogged down in Imperial troops.  The Empire deployed some reinforcements in the form of three Jetpack wearing Stormtroopers.  They would become an issue as they had deployed protecting one of the explosives we needed.  We decided to go for broke and push forward.  With firepower concentrated on one Royal guard we opened up a gap and rushed through.  The Soldier engaged the Stormtroopers as the Smuggler ran forward and planted her explosives onto the ATST.

Both the E-Web and ATST maneuvered for better firing positions as the Royal Guards continued to plague the Jedi.  The sniper remained in his position of advantage and took pot shots at the Royal Guards and ATST.  Two Stormtroopers advanced on the Soldier and the cowardly Imperial Officer shot him in the back of the head.

At the end of the turn the thundering sound of twisted metal was heard through the woods as the Smugglers explosive charge ripped at the legs of the wobbly ATST.  Another 5 points of damage.  Only 5 more to kill it.

The end of Turn 4.

The end of Turn 4.

Turn 4 – The Jedi had been badly hurt, as had the Smuggler, if we were to win this we would need to disarm some more explosives as quickly as possible.

The Jedi used his force powers to throw the Stormtroopers backwards and damage them.  The Soldier rushed past and grabbed the explosives they had been protecting before they could reblock the corridor.    This plan of ignoring loot crates and focussing on mission objectives seemed to be working.  Like a well oiled Rebel machine we slipped past the Imperial guards and disarmed everything we could hopefully leaving us in a strong position for turn 5.  We had to grab or disarm all the explosives by the end of turn 5 or the Empire would win.  It had been a slow start but once we got our game faces on we did well.

The ATST turned and fired at the Soldier to damage him as much as possible hoping to “flip” him and stop him using his explosives on it.

Both the Sniper and the Smuggler rushed under the ATST and the Sniper grabbed a strong position away from the threat of being fired upon whilst my Smuggler disarmed and grabbed a second Explosive charge.  Now the Soldier and the Smuggler were carrying a charge each and the the ATST had used its attack so couldn’t target the Smuggler who was well placed to plant more explosives and bring down the lumbering damaged walker.

The E-Web fired at the Smuggler and caused her to be sufficiently damaged that she would “flip”.  She was the first player to suffer in this manner and if Alan, the Imperial DM could do the same to everyone else he’d win.  The smuggler jinked her way closer to the E-Web and remaining explosive using her skills to help the team disarm one of the last explosive charges.

Another Probe Droid was deployed as reinforcements and as  last ditch desperate play our DM, ALan, detonated one of the explosives being carried by the Soldier causing him enough damage to force a “flip”.  Now two of the team were in very bad ways.  Maybe the Empire could grab a win next turn if they could concentrate fire on the remaining fit and healthy team members.

The end of Turn 5.

The end of Turn 5.

Turn 5 – This turn was make or break for the Rebels, we had to grab two explosives and the Empire had to stop us from doing so or “flip” the Soldier and Sniper to win.

Forming a plan based on necessity it was agreed that if the E-Web and ATST fired on the Smuggler she’d probably end up dead so I should activate her first and grab an explosive if I could.  Having taken the opportunity to advance on the Explosive whilst under fire I was close enough to move into the difficult terrain water and make an attempt.  I rolled my engineering check and made it!  Stage 1 of our plan was complete.  Only 1 explosive left to disarm.  The Imperial Officer and remaining Stormtroopers tried to cause as much damage as possible to halt our advance but with our second activation the game would be over.  The decision was whether to allow the Soldier to attempt to blow up the ATST with hjis explosive charges and risk the Empire somehow stopping us or to simply take the win and disarm the remaining explosive charge.  After a small team debate it was decided.  We couldn’t lose again!  The previously uninjured and healthy Sniper leapt out from cover behind the ATST and charged across the woods to grab the last box which had been guarded by the Imperial Officer.

Win for the Rebels!  The Mai Tai drinking moonwalking heroes of the Rebellion were at it again!  Grabbing victory from the Imperial jaw(a)s* of defeat.  A strong team outing saw us do what was necessary.  Now onto bigger and better things.  We have XP to spend and credits to use to buy better gear.  Lets see what next month brings.

* A little Star Wars joke there…….see what I did?

Great work guys…Alan Mathieson, Ed King, Mitchell “Mitch” Dunton and Dave Baxter

Star Wars X-Wing “The Trench Run” Demo @ NAGA (13-05-2015)

Tonight at NAGA I was taking an old LARping buddy of mine who had recently moved into the area along to meet the guys and see what NAGA was like.  He’d expressed an interest in playing Star Wars X-Wing so with that in mind I booked a table and came up with an idea to show him the ropes.  Initially I consulted with fellow Hairy Gamer, Tris, who being a huge Star Wars nerd and all round X-Wing guy gave me some advice.  The plan was simple, two fleets using “big recognisable” names from Star Wars that  Wayne could choose from.  As the ships for both fleets were put on the table Wayne decided he’d take control of the Rebels which were as follows:- 

130 points ——

Han Solo (50) YT-1300 (46), Chewbacca (4)

Luke Skywalker (32) X-Wing (28), R2-D2 (4)

Biggs Darklighter X-Wing (25)

“Dutch” Vander Y-Wing (23)

That obviously left me with the Imperials to fly and my fleet to face those Rebel scum would be as follows:-

130 points ——

Darth Vader TIE Advanced (29)

“Howlrunner” TIE Fighter (18)

Backstabber TIE Fighter (16)

Black Squadron Pilot TIE Figfhter (14) x 2

Boba Fett Firespray-31 (39)

The idea was that most of the pilots in this battle participated in the Trench Run from Star Wars:A New Hope, so they would be something a fan of the franchise would understand and have “seen in motion”.  The only exception being Boba Fett, who wasn’t there but everyone loves Boba and I included him rather than spend those 39 points on more TIE Fighters.  At least this way Wayne would see the difference between high skill pilots and low skill pilots, big hull and shield ships versus no shield ships, hard hitting 360 degree arcs and 90 degree fwd arcs.

With our fleets decided we setup.  The first turn was quite slow as Wayne was new to the game.  There were some mistakes made and Actions forgotten but as we went along I reminded Wayne.  I was getting him into the habit of taking Actions even if he couldn’t do anything in the Combat Phase……so that later taking those Actions would feel like second nature to him.  The two fleets tentatively Advanced and I encouraged him to take at least one of each Action available in his fleet if possible so I could “learninate” him and explain what each action did.  With no Combat after turn 1 we had an opportunity to build up the learning turn by turn.  We took our time and I explained how the Maneuver Dial and templates worked.  It made sense to him.  I also covered some basics like crashing into other ships and obstacles such as asteroids.

We also had a number of named pilots with unique abilities so as we deployed and moved I explained how Wayne may way to use those abilities.  He was flying “Dutch” Vander with a wingman of Biggs Darklighter.  Biggs can take an attack if he could be targetted on behalf of “Dutch” and when “Dutch” takes a Target Lock action another friendly ship within range 2 can also acquire a Target Lock.

As we made our way through turn 2 the two fleets closed on each other.  Boba’s Firespray and Backstabber and Black Squadron Pilot TIE’s advanced on Dutch and Biggs on Wayne’s left flank.  My second Black Squadron TIE and “Howrunner” advanced into the asteroid field ready to take on his YT-1300 captained by Han Solo with Chewbacca.  Down Wayne’s right flank father and son advanced on one another as Luke Skywalker left the safety of accomanying Han and went for Vader in his TIE Advanced.

Now we were in a position to fire and we slowly made our way through this.  The process was explained that unlike maneuvering we now give the higher skill pilots an opportunity to go first.  Starting with our 9’s.  As we both had a pilot skill 9 captain the first shot was determined by Initiative.  The Empire always get Initiative in ties so Vader shot first.  At long range Hans’s YT-1300 gains an additional defense die.  We roll, we modify results and we compare final results.  This process continues until we finish the round.  I explain how Target Locks and Focuses work along with Evade tokens.

All in all a good game was had and Wayne picked it up very quickly.  In hindsight both Luke Skywalker with R2D2 and Han with Chewbacca were a little tough to break down and despite an impressive showing from a resilient Black Squadron Pilot I couldnt break down that YT-1300.  In the end after more than 2 hours of playing it ended up with a fully hulled and unshielded YT-1300 versus my 1 Hull point Black Squadron TIE.  If I could get close enough to fire Wayne would get the first shot and probably destroy me.  It was getting late and we were on opposite sides of the board so to finish the game off I displayed what happens when a ship lands “off the mat”.  My plucky TIE took one for the team and flew off the board so we could both get home.

I’d like to think Wayne enjoyed the game.  He was a little suprised at the cost of some of the components especially in the aftermarket such as EBay.  He seemed to like the fact that playing the game did not mean he had to invest as heavily as he would have to in other games such as Warhammer 40k or Warhammer FB and he could only buy 2-3 ships and play.  I’m thinking of doing a Star Wars Armada demo next week for Wayne if hes interested?

Its been a very Star Wars month in the Mancave as I did a review/deboxing of my Star Wars Armada, did a demo for Wayne of Star Wars X-Wing and yesterday my Star Wars Imperial Assault game arrived.  Im seriously considering running a campaign for a few mates at Chez Marden once a month.  I currently play in one at NAGA and really enjoy it.

Star Wars Imperial Assault Campaign aka How I hate Transdosians so very very much (@ NAGA 11-05-2015)

So tonight at NAGA we ran our monthly Star Wars Imperial Assault campaign.  Alan was GMing and playing Imperial Forces, Mitchell, Dave, Ed & I play Rebel heros.

Having had a small measure of limited success recently following my hiatus from gaming I returned to play Imperial Assault.  The scenarion didnt look or sound too bad and even Alan was complaining that it sounded like a cakewalk for the Rebels.  We had two objectives;-

1) Rescue a Rebel Captive and escort them from the facility (not timed)

2) Prevent a transmission of some sensitive Rebel data being made and disclosing the location of Rebel spies throughout the Empire. (4 Turns)

There were a number of locked doors between us and the location of the terminal for the Transmission but we could walk relatively unobstructed through the corridors to the location of the Captive.  Only 1 door stood between us and him.  Given my relative handiness with engineering based tasks I accepted the mission of stopping the transmission.  As luck would have it I have just bought some new gear that would allow me to re-roll a dice when performing an engineering check, my “Slicing Tools”.  So being the fastest Rebel and the best at Engineering checks I would race ahead and attempt to get through the sealed doors and stop the transmission whilst the heavies took out the Imperial forces and made their way to the Captives cell.  Sounds like a plan until the Empire got involved.  The two Royal guards advanced into the doorway between us and the rest of the facility and blocked it off.  They’re tough hombres to begin with but two together buffing each other makes for a really difficult to overcome obstacle.  This trapped me behind our lines for a turn making it difficult for me to get to the door i needed to get past.  Once Ed’s jedi had thrown one of them aside I could sneak past and make a run for it.  The coast was clear.

Ed’s Jedi, Dave’s Sniper and Mitchell’s Soldier fought off the two Royal Guards and got caught by an exploding Probe Droid before the Imperial reserves arrived.  An E-Web was stationed at the far end of the corridor and bitter experience has shown us to get rid of these horrible things as quickly as possible.  Luckily it was badly positioned and couldn’t do us much damage for now.  By the end of turn two I had made it to the doorway and performed my first engineering check, needing two “boons” to successfully override the doors locking mechanism.  I failed and used up my “Slicing Tools” to re-roll just about managing to open the door.  I could now take a shot at stopping the transmission but it would have to wait until next turn, giving me two full turns to stop the message.  The rest of the team were getting bogged down in the corridor facing the seemingly indestructible Royal Guards.  As the door opened within the  room stood two Transdosian Mercenaries with their devastating shotguns and an Imperial Officer, who now activated got turns before any of us could respond.

Sensing the threat from my Smuggler our GM Alan’s nefarious plan sprung into motion and I was targeted by both Transdosians.  I took a lot of damage from point blank shotgun blasts and was forced backwards into a corner where my “moonwalking” dancing skills would be wasted as they had penned me in.

Thankfully I had only flipped but was bleeding quite badly and this was stopping me achieving too much.  I was stressed and desperately needed a med-pack and rest.  We activated my Smuggler first and I had an attempt at stopping the transmission…..taking damage from a harmful effect for doing so.  Another smuggler fail as I failed to stop the message.  Again both Transdosians targeted the Smuggler and blasted her to pieces in the corner as the Imperial Officer joined in for fun.  I hastily applied a med-pack to remove the harmful effect and hopefully grant me a fourth turn to have another attempt at stopping the transmission.  Ed’s Jedi was badly beaten and stressed, Mitch’s Soldier had already flipped and was badly wounded and Dave’s Sniper was injured but doing ok.  It was looking bad for the Rebels.

Turn four began and I was fairly confident that I would not last the round unless some small miracle occurred.  I attempted to stop that transmission again and this time exhausted every re-roll I had trying to scrape a partial win but still to no avail as I failed again.  Unable to run away or dodge I had to simply stay put and let the Imperial Officer and Transdosians kill me.  Two shotgun blasts later a seriously wounded and unplayable Smuggler fell and crawled away into an air vent.  I was out of the game.  Mitch’s Solider followed suit rather quickly being taken out by some Imperial Reserves in the form of an E-Web….yes another bloody E-Web!!!

Dave and Ed forced onwards attempting to rescue some measure of success from an already failed mission.  The trasnmission had been sent and we couldn’t possibly win.  Now all that was left was to save face and escape with the Rebel Captive.

The Jedi and the Sniper managed to evade and get past the Imperial forces and sneak around to the corridor where the  Captive was located.  Having eventually forced their way into the cell they realised that escaping would not be easy as the captive could not help them attack in any way nor did he move very fast.  His move of 2 was almost half of my Smugglers normal movement of 5 and it wouldn’t take long for the Empire to close in around them and block the corridors making escape almost impossible.  Slow progress would have been better than no progress at all except that the Imperials blocked our Rebel heros into the cell and proceeded to beat and shoot them to death slowly.  Eventually both succumbed to the weight of imperial troops and died heroically, crawling off to fight another day.

Well its appears our celebrations in March were short lived as the Empire came back with a vengeance this month.  They certainly gave us a good kicking and taught us not to be so cocky.  We shall be back though!  Watch out Alan!!!!!

Geek Exile is over! Im back!

Ok folks, my geek exile is over.  I took the month of April off to have a holiday with the family and look after my daughter over Easter break.  I’m now back!

I did manage to sneak an appearance at Salute 2015 into my month off but mainly to support PRODOS and pick up my Imperial troops for Warzone Resurrection.  Thankfully whilst some of the items I really wanted were out of stock I did manage to pickup two Imperial Wolfbane Starter Boxes, a Morten Oakenfist, a set of Grey Ghosts, some Imperial Special Forces and the Freedom Forever Salute exclusive diorama. Lots to be done here.

The Cybertronic Voltigeur was also released during April and rather than miss out I ordered a couple to add to my Cybertronic forces.  These really need “the Matrix” treatment as I really think Voltigeur Drones need some awesome mechadendrites as they skulk and crawl across the battlefield.  I created a Pinterest board showing my inspiration for my Cybertronic:-


A slow by steadily increasing pile of awesomeness has been developing in the Mancave and I’m working my way through it.

Whilst at Salute I managed to grab some images of the models for AvP.  Anthony Evans aka Anton from the Blog The Anarchy of Anton was demoing a fantastic looking jungle temp table using AvP minis and a “homebrew” set of rules based off WZR rules.  I stepped in to run a demo whilst he was away and the minis are generating quite the buzz.  The same question kept popping up over and over again “When will I get my KS minis?”.  Poor Hairy Gamer Tris wasn;lt even volunteering or demoing and he still had to face these questions.  With final approval in the pipeline and only a matter of a signature from FOX to get things moving its an exciting and stressful time for the guys at PRODOS and for all us AvP KS backers at the same time.  It was commented that they hoped to have retail copies available for UK Games Expo at the end of May.  I’m going to cross my fingers for that!

I added an Oversized Borg Cube to my Star Trek Attack Wing as it was a peach of a deal from Tritex Games at £50.  I also managed to grab hold of 10 x IRW Praetus for my Romulans which adds 10 sets of cloaked mines to my 4 sets I already had.  Im seriously considering a very Cloaked Mine heavy build for something in the future.  I think it has to be done….maybe in a pre-TOS era game?

Wave 13 Star trek Attack Wing also arrived in the Mancave.  I added 2 x ISS Enterprise, Constitution class starship from Mirror Universe, 2 x Reklar, Galor Class Warship from the Dominion and 2 x Goranus, Gorn Ship from Independants faction.  With Wave 14 not that far away and my Peak Performance & Q-Continuum OP kits on their way I really need to pick up some new display cases from Ikea to house the huge amount of ships I now have.  I think I’m in the 270 region now.

I also have a few Star Wars X-Wing goodies to open up.  My YT-2400 arrived along with 2 x Z-95 Headhunters and a B-Wing for my Rebels.  The Empire was reinforced too in the form of a pair of TIE-Bombers.  Lastly my Scum and Villainy picked up a third M3-A Scyk Interceptor and a Starviper.  Happy days indeed and a good way to celebrate Star Wars Day (#maythe4thbewithyou).

More Star Wars goodies arrived in the form of Star Wars Armada and luckily Hairy Gamer Tris and I managed to squeeze in a quick game at Salute 2015 when we attended.  A minor victory was mine as his Rebel Scum were taught a lesson by the might of the Galactic Empire.  I just need to debox and review my Armada.  Better late than never eh??

So, I guess you can look forward to more content from me as the weeks go by now I’m back.  More battle reports from NAGA, more STAW OP events run by yours truly and Scott Young at Youngs Hobbies.  If you want to see anything please do let me know.

Star Wars X-Wing League @ NAGA 02-03-2015

Again I must apologise for not getting many pictures tonight.  Im sure Brent captured the final inevitable moments of the demise of my Imperials so check out the NAGA Facebook Page and look at the event for Monday Night Gaming (02-03-2015).

So having navigated my way past Owen for the right to challenge for 5th place in the League Mitchell Dunton and Alan Mathieson fought over 5th.  Once Mitch had been dispatched by Alan I was free to make my official challenge.  Alan accepted and last night we fought our league match.

I decided that as we weren’t timed I would spend the remaining points in my build on a third ship, so here’s the list:-

100 points Pilots

“Whisper” (44) TIE Phantom (32), Gunner (5), Fire-Control System (2), Veteran Instincts (1), Advanced Cloaking Device (4)

“Echo” (42) TIE Phantom (30), Recon Specialist (3), Sensor Jammer (4), Veteran Instincts (1), Advanced Cloaking Device (4)

Black Squadron Pilot (14)

Whisper, Echo & the Black Squadron Pilot

Whisper, Echo & the Black Squadron Pilot

Tonight's list;- Twin Phantoms and a TIE Fighter

Tonight’s list;- Twin Phantoms and a TIE Fighter

Alan in a bid for initiative went for the following, or something very similar:-

97 points Pilots

Rexler Brath (45) TIE Defender (37), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Veteran Instincts (1)

Kath Scarlet (52) Firespray-31 (38), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Veteran Instincts (1), Recon Specialist (3), Hull Upgrade (3)

We set up and got ready to go.  My twin Phantoms were positioned with a nice straight path through the asteroid field and my TIE was set-up to sweep in behind Alan’s ships and try to cause as much mayhem as possible.  Alan set-up Kath Scarlet in the farthest corner away and Rexler Brath just inside closer to my ships.

At the end of turn one his ships were skirting the edge of the asteroid field whilst my Phantons jinked between them trying to setup shots.  My TIE was advancing quickly down the opposite flank ready to sweep inside.

Alan wasn’t too familiar with some of the interactions of the cards used on my Phantoms so he got really rather scared when I took a Focus, a Target Lock and a free cloak after attacking Rexler Brath but as he had initiative and Higher pilot skill the superior firepower of his Heavy Laser Cannons began to take their toll.  Despite Cloak some really shocking rolling lost me Echo in turn 2 to focus firing.

Turn three wasn’t much better as both Alan’s Firespray and Rexler Brath were too close to Whisper to use their Cannons so used them against the TIE Fighter which crumpled in a heap and exploded leaving Whisper to go it alone.

The next turn of firing went just as badly for me.  I hit Rexler but the whole attack was evaded, so I took my Target Lock and Focus and enabled my Gunner who allowed me a second shot.  I spent the Target Lock and Focus and still couldnt manage to hit a barn door at five paces.  When i did manage to hit it was evaded.  It was not an evening for dice rolling as the gods of dice were against me.

By the end of Turn five both the Firespray and the TIE Defender had Whisper in their sights and duly finished her off for a slightly humbling and embarassing defeat for me.  I had fallen to one of the weaknesses of the Phantom, higher skilled pilots.  Lesson learnt!

Kudos to Alan for his build though, he was ready for some high skill Phantom shenanigans and whilst I own one of each of the ships he played with I’d never looked at either as a go to ship but I was very impressed with both.  He in turn admitted to being somewhat wary when two ACD Phantoms lined up against him and even more surprised when a third ship was possible for only 100pts.  I like the Phantoms I do, they suit my play style and are very “Romulan”.  I need to expand and try new stuff out especially some of the lesser known or underused ships.

Well done Alan!  I will be back.

Warzone Resurrection Demos at Overlord Games Show

So Sunday morning Team Coventry (Allan Powell & I) headed off to Abingdon in deepest darkest Oxfordshire with an ex-alumnus of Abingdon Games Club, Rob Alderman of PRODOS to run some demos and generate more interest in PRODOS’s fantastic game Warzone Resurrection.

It was a long day, a hard day but all in all I feel a very successful day.  There were a steady stream of visitors through the shows doors from 10-00am (opening) to roughly 3-00pm when the show started to quieten down.  The stall had a lot of visitors and people looking for demo games and Allan & I duly obliged.

I came away with the Cybertronic Mega deck and some new dice for demos.

I think all in all we ran 6 demos to new players of various ages and levels of experience.  A great day and we would definitiely do it again!

Same time next year chaps?

Lessons learnt as follows:-

Rob Alderman has an unhealthy addiction to jaffa cakes

when asking a younger player to roll small you mean numbers not how far the dice rolls *LOL*

children with a will to defeat their parents can miraculously pay very close attention, be very focussed and make amazing rolls!

for some reason I am considered a bit of an SME on Cybertronic (maybe I buy too much?)

I need to make so much more terrain than I currently own but not nearly as huge ideas as my current plans

There is always room for more dice!

I love demoing!

The demo table.  Dark Legion vs Imperials.

The demo table. Dark Legion vs Imperials.

The PRODOS stall.

The PRODOS stall.

A display case full of WZR minis. Top to bottom - Bauhaus, Brotherhood, Cybertronic and Capitol.

A display case full of WZR minis. Top to bottom – Bauhaus, Brotherhood, Cybertronic and Capitol.

A display case full of WZR minis.  Top to bottom - Dark Legion, Mishima, Imperial.

A display case full of WZR minis. Top to bottom – Dark Legion, Mishima then Imperial.

The PRODOS stock.  I thin k we only left with 3 starter boxes in the end.

The PRODOS stock. I think we only left with 3 starter boxes in the end.

Allan demoing to a new player

Allan demoing to a new player

The crowd gathers.  The little lad in the front then had a demo and won resoundingly.

The crowd gathers. The little lad in the front then had a demo and won resoundingly.

Some Imperial trenchers in a crater fire upon Dark Legion Undead Legionnaires.

Some Imperial trenchers in a crater fire upon Dark Legion Undead Legionnaires.

A wounded Razide emerges from the crater to attack the Imperial Trenchers holding the left flank.

A wounded Razide emerges from the crater to attack the Imperial Trenchers holding the left flank.

A WZR game in all its demoing glory.

A WZR game in all its demoing glory.

The game in progress as Rob sells on the stall.

The game in progress as Rob sells on the stall.

Deep in thought pondering his next actions

Deep in thought pondering his next actions

"Fire, Fire Fire!" orderd Brigadier Rist to the Trenchers as they open up on Alakhai, the Warlord from Dark Legion

“Fire, Fire Fire!” orders Brigadier Rist to the Trenchers as they open up on Alakhai, the Warlord from Dark Legion

Star Wars X-Wing League @ NAGA 11-02-2015

NAGA runs a Star Wars X-Wing league and last week I challenged Owen Cartwright (who was in 5th position) for his position on the Ladder.  Before I could battle Owen he was knocked off the table by another player.  So with the battle still arranged we decided that the winner of our battle would win the right to challenge the new 5th position player.  100pts Imperial vs Imperial.  The terms decided we embarked upon our game (and only my third ever X-Wing game).  I had already decided to take the same fleet as I had used against Tris on Mancaves Superbowl Sunday Gaming Bonanza.  My fleet was as follows:-

“Whisper” (44) TIE Phantom (32), Gunner (5), Fire-Control System (2), Veteran Instincts (1), Advanced Cloaking Device (4)

Commander Kenkirk (56) VT-49 Decimator (44), Predator (3), Ysanne Isard (4), Mara Jade (3), Dauntless (2)

As some of you may remember on Superbowl Sunday I used Lone Wolf, Darth Vader and Hull Upgrade on Kenkirk and an Intelligence Agent on Whisper.  Based on what occurred that game I decided to rejig my list and try to free up enough points for Gunner on Whisper dropping the Intelligence Agent.  I also felt that Darth Vader and Hull Upgrade weren’t necessary and forced by the loss of my Lone Wolf card I rejigged Kenkirk too adding Dauntless and Predator.  Ready to fly we setup.

I had Initiative as Whisper was a 9 and Kenkirk a 6 (the same as Owens highest skilled pilot Dark Curse).  He deployed Oicunn centrally and Nightbeast to his left flank.  We deployed our 6’s together and Kenkirk was placed ready to charge down the right flank to take on Nightbeast.  Dark Curse sat on the right flank of Oicunn.  Lastly I deployed Whisper who would face off against Dark Curse hoefully seeing him off before coming to support Kenkirk.  That was the plan at least!

Owen advanced all of his ships and was out of range of both of my ships so his actions were largely focuses and evades.  My ships raced forward quickly with Kenkirk Target Locking Nightbeast and Whisper Cloaking.  Oicunn turned towards Whisper and entered the asteroid field.

Kenkirk and Nightbeast traded shots but Nightbeast managed to evade all of Kenkirks shots.  Nightbeast managed to strip a couple of the Decimators shields away.

As Owens TIE fighter and Decimator closed on Whsiper she used her superior maneuverability and roll and evade both ships and passed between them turning sharply in the rear of Oicunn.  Both Owens TIES performed koorigan turns and gave chase.

The combined firepower of Whisper and Kenkirk promptly dispatched Nightbeast but not before Nightbeast managed to strip all the remaining shields from Kenkirks Decimator.  The lack of shields on Nightbeasts TIE Fighter came back to haunt him.  Neither of Owens remaining ships had either of my ships in arc.

Kenkirks Decimator arced round the asteroid field ready to face Oicunns Decimator head to head.  Dark Curse turned into the asteroid field.  Whisper koorigan turned and returned to the fray, her decloaking ability allowing her to close the distance quickly.

Oicunn attempted to turn infront of my Decimator and drop some Proximity Mines which Kenkirk narrowly avoided.  In doing so I crashed into the side of Oicunn and neither Decimator was able to target the other.  truth be told I actually enjoy being that close and had won from a similar position previously.

Both Kenkirk and Whisper fired on Dark Curse before either of Owens ships had a chance to respond.  the resultant damage destroying the TIE Fighter.

Oicunn fired back at Whsiper but again thanks to her focus token from firing and free recloak from the Advanced Cloaking Device she managed to avoid all damage.

Oicunn was now on the run as Kenkirk guessed almost every move perfectly and matched Owens Decimator move for move allowing Whsiper to get a better firing position.  Kenkirk shepherded Oicunn around the asteroids remaining in touching distance until Oicunn was forced into an error.  Whilst attempting to flee Owen had inadvertently flown towards his own Proximity Mines.  Faced with a choice of hitting an asteroid, which would have potentially destroyed the remaining hull point of the Decimator or flying through mines which would have almost certainly done the same or turning towards the table edge Owen chose to flee with his next to crippled Decimator.  Before he could flee the battle Whisper fired into the rear of Oicunn and destroyed him.

A rousing victory for my Imperials who only lost five shields and one hull point in total during the entire battle.  Third game, second win.  2-1 is my new record and I’ve won the right to challenge 5th position in the NAGA Star Wars X-Wing League.  Who will I eventually face?

Welcome to 2015

Uuurrrggghhhh…….so alarm clocks are ringing all over the country to signal a return to work for the masses.  Christmas and New Year are over and I sit here trying to formulate the first talesfromthemancave update of 2015.

Firstly I hope the Christmas holidays brought you all happiness and cheer and that Father Geekmas and his Elves (no not the High, Dark or Wood varieties) delivered you all sacks bulging with geeky goodness.  It certainly brought me more work to get cracking with over the next few weeks.

Starting with Necromunda…..well after a good rummage in the loft some 18+ year old scenery was discovered loitering in a stack and store box so I resolved to clean it up and take stock.  I now have 82 original Plastic Bulkheads and the scenery from two Necromunda boxes and an Outlanders box.  This should be enough to get a decent sized game going.  I do need to flatten out some of the cardboard components as some have warped slightly over the 18 years.  Not a huge problem though!

This also meant that other goodies were found.  A whole heap of older miniatures which will need a good clean up but can be used or will fetch a few pennies via Evil-Bay.  A 11 player Naggaroth Nightmares Dark Elf Blood Bowl Team, a full 5 man squad of Adeptus Arbites for Necromunda, three Catachan Imperial Guard troops which will sub in as Orlocks and join the Orlock Heavy with Heavy Bolter.  I also found some very badly painted Skaven Blood Bowl players, an original Commissar Yarrick model, two Eldar Warpspiders and some Dark Angel models (a Captain and a Deathwing Terminator).

Some old school boardgames were found in various stages of completion and to be honest the only salvageable ones were MB’s Battle Masters and Waddingtons Key to The Kingdom.  I’m going to try and get the kids to play these at some point.

Santa (courtesy of my girls) brought me some Star Wars X-Wing Minitaures to add to the Mancaves collection.  I was lucky and received a Starter/Core Box, an A-Wing and an E-Wing for the Rebels but knowing me very well the bulk of my goodies were Imperials.  I got a TIE Bomber, a TIE Defender, a TIE Phantom, a TIE Interceptor and the Imperial Aces Expansions.  So I was a very happy geek.  I also received some pennies to go and get a good deal on some other ships so I managed to add a Decimator (£23), a Lambda Shuttle (£18) and a further TIE Fighter (£9.50) expansion.

It seems that every geek who didn’t already own a copy got a copy of the game of 2014 left in their stocking too….Cards Against Humanity.  My stocking was no exception as it contained a copy of the core game and the first expansion.  Lessons have been learnt.  Played a couple of games and my only advice would be never play it with your parents and definitely never play it with a recently remarried parent.  I am going to need therapy.  Cheers Dad!

I didn’t manage to get a great deal done with regards to advancing the many projects I currently have but I certainly managed to expand existing collections and start new ones.  Courtesy of an Amazon Wishlist and relatives who cant decide what to get you I managed to end up with some X-mas pennies and some Amazon Vouchers.  Knowing that 2015 will bring me some PRODOS Crusading to be getting on with I invested some of these pennies in a Warzone Resurrection Starter Force Boxset (Cybertronic) and a rulebook which over the coming months I shall be adding to and bringing you reviews and more information on via this blog.  My aim is to add a unit every month until I have a well rounded force to use in demo games and against more experienced players who will be teaching me to play along the way.  More about this in a later entry.

I received a 3ft x 3ft gaming mat from Gale Force 9 from my better half and kids too.  So I will now be able to take some better pictures of the items I receive and update my Star Wars and Star Trek collections with so look out for that!

In terms of games played well we visited friends and had family visit so we managed to get a few games in.  The game of the moment Cards Against Humanity was played lots and provided me with a therapy inducing insight in my fathers private life.  We also managed to teach my Dad and his new wife Smash-Up.  We had Bear Cavalry Spies vs Magical Monstrous Creatures vs Vampiric Ghosts vs Zombie Ants.  After 4 hours of playing the Vampiric Ghosts came out on top closely followed by the Zombie Ants and leaving the Bear Cavalry Spies trailing in third with the Magical Monstrous Creatures in last place.

I attempted to teach my daughter (and Step-Mother) Family Fluxx and Munchkin.  Whether the gin made this prohibitively difficult or she genuinely didnt get the premise I dont know but Munchkin was a disaster.  Family Fluxx was easily taught and small enough to carry other places and take on holiday etc.  So that was successful.

Overall a happy restful and enjoyable Xmas break at Hairy Gamer HQ.  I feel refreshed and ready for the assault on my various gaming projects.

Bring on 2015, bring on AvP, bring on Warzone Resurrection, bring on the Necromunda and bring on Star Wars & Star Trek.  Happy gaming guys and gals!