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.

Time to get Terminated!!!!! Terminator:Genisys first thoughts

download

Tonight in the Mancave I received Hairy Gamer Tris’s and my copies of Terminator:Genisys by Riverhorse Games.

Terminator:Genisys Box Front.

Terminator:Genisys Box Front.

Terminator:Genisys Box Back.

Terminator:Genisys Box Back.

Terminator:Genisys

Terminator:Genisys

I’m going to put down some first thoughts as I debox it and at a later point I will do a proper review with pictures etc.

Designed by, Alessio Calvatore, the brains behind some of Games Workshop’s recent successes and Mantic’s Kings of War this game is timed perfectly to coincide with the cinematic release of the same name.

Distributed by Warlord Games this skirmish game costs £70 which is towards the top end of most gamer budgets for a single game. The Hairy Gamers copies came in at around £54 each after scouring for a great deal online. The game is designed for 2+ players of ages 14 and up and is planned to take roughly 1 hour after setup. Due to many small parts it is not recommended for children under 3 years of age.

The game itself weighs in at a decent 1.25kg and is deceptively small at only 12″ x 9″ x 4″. Whilst its may be small it is certainly crammed full of awesome miniatures by Renendra Ltd and some nice components. The box itself is a little flimsy and given time and use will certainly suffer as a consequence.

Once opened the player is presented with:-

a glossy 128 page Rulebook,
a quick reference sheet of all the weapons and troops available in the game,
a “fast-play” 16 page reference booklet,
2 sheets of “punch and play” game tokens and range rulers
a folded full colour double sided gaming mat.

Box Contents.

Box Contents.

beneath this collection of goodies is a box containing the miniatures for the game:-

10 Terminator “Endoskeletons”
5 Terminator “Crawlers”
16 Human Resistance Soldiers
1 Exclusive Kyle Reese Resistance miniature
2 sets of polyhedral dice (2xd4, 2xd6, 2xd8, 2xd10, 2xd12, 2xd20)
1 Fate Dice

Game Miniatures.

Game Miniatures.

Overall I’m very impressed with the miniature quality. They are clean crispy miniatures with superb detail up there with other miniature manufacturers I have dealt with previously.

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Im really looking forward to getting the minis snipped off the sprues and doing some painting. Watch this space and my review page on Facebook, The Hairy Gamers, for further updates, a full review with pictures and a play through/game report.

#illbeback
#hastalavistababy

Demonic Caballists vs Fattie Stampede (Judge Dredd Playtest @ NAGA (12-01-2015))

So tonight four games of Judge Dredd were run at NAGA.  Most if not all of the players were new to the game but not the theme/setting or the idea of gang based games.

http://www.warlordgames.com/judge-dredd/

I was playing the Fatties, a group of gluttonous greedy fat-boys who’s main strength seemed to lie in their toughness, their charge and their close combat skills.  My gang was led by a Fattie Leader.

http://www.warlordgames.com/new-fattie-stampede/

I was playing against James’ Demonic Cabal, who were all about summoning demons to do their bidding or possessing enemy models, they were led by a Grand Warlock.

http://www.warlordgames.com/new-demonic-cabal-for-judge-dredd/

The scenario set out for us (and every other table) was about escaping the table from a central 12″ square area.  One model from each force must setup within that 12″ so both James and I deployed our gang leaders in that area.  All the other models start off the table and must traverse through that area before escaping off the opposite table edge.

Our little corner of Megacity One for the Fattie Stampede and Demonic Cabal to contest.

Our little corner of Megacity One for the Fattie Stampede and Demonic Cabal to contest.  The Fatties will be entering at the bottom and attempting to escape at the top.  The Demonic Cabal vice versa.

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My Fattie Leader (proxied by Jabba The Hut model) and James Grand Warlock deploy in the centre of the board.

My Fattie Leader (proxied by Jabba The Hut model) and James Grand Warlock deploy in the centre of the board.

here was no justice in our game although the scenario dictated that should one of us break the law the model would be removed from play and would not score for the purposes of winning the scenario.  Every model MUST pass through the central area and spend an action inside it.  With all that in our minds we tentatively set about the game under the watchful eyes of Scott and Brent.

First turn begins and I deployed a second Fattie on my table edge and used his two actions to run him under the scenery then charge into the centre zone to support my Fattie Leader.  Fatties have a special ability that means when you perform two move actions or two melee actions the second move is at an additional D10+2″.  So my normally slow 3″ Fatties can barrel into combat gaining huge bonuses from a minimum of 6″ but a maximum of 15″.  The downside is that the whole move MUST be in a direct straight line……

James deploys a second Demonic Caballist to the table and advances him forward in preparation to join his Grand Warlock in the centre of the table to prepare for the great summoning.  Each Caballist spending an action to to support the Grand Warlock adds to the summoning roll for his Demon so James is planning to summon once all his Caballists are near his Warlock.

My second Ordinary Fattie is deployed to the table on the opposite side and sprints across the table under scenery (to avoid the Demonic Caballists with pistols) and enters the middle of the table.  Now my three Fatties are positioned on the far side of the centre area patrolling whilst James continues to deploy Caballists.  At this point I realise that James wants to summon Demons and to do so he needs his Grand Warlock so screw the scenario Im going to learn the close combat/melee mechanics the old fashioned way by giving some jerk in a pointy hat waving his arms around a good wellying with an angry Fattie Leader weilding a cleaver.

Ordinary Fattie #1 enters the fray bottom left and Ordinary Fattie #2 from the bottom right (hidden under the walkway).

Ordinary Fattie #1 enters the fray bottom left and Ordinary Fattie #2 from the bottom right (hidden under the walkway).

Each turn you can either deploy a miniature or activate all your miniatures currently deployed.  Now all my Fatties are deloyed it seems prudent to activate them all, starting with my Fattie Leader.  I activate my Fattie Leader and move him into charge range of the Grand Warlock, as my second action I charge into him (a minimum of 4″ to ensure I get a bonus dice).  Totalling up the dice my Leader Fattie rolls 4 d10 attack dice (2 base + 1 for charging +1 for a special ability).  His attack goes through armour because he charged (Its called Bellywheeling I think) and so my four attack dice (9,9,7,5) beat James (9,7).  I use an ability to force James to reroll his two dice resulting in a worse result for me a 10 and a 9.  oh well.  I also use another ability to reroll one of my dice changing the 5 to a 4.  I then add my melee bonus on (+4) which ensures I defeat the Grand Warlock with two hits.  Each of my hits deals 2 damage ignoring armour (due to my bellywheeling charge) so a total of 4 wounds are caused on the Demonic Caballist.  Being a weedy demon botherer in robes compared to hungry tough angry fattie the Warlock folds like a bad poker player and dies in a bloody explosion of gore to some deft cleaver work.  Sadly now according to the scenario my Leader Fattie should be removed from play and he’s hiding from the fuzz, the 5-0, the po-po, the rozzers and therefore cannot score.  We determine that for the purposes of “having a laugh” and “dicking about” he stays in play but when he escapes the table he cannot score.

My Fattie Leader slams into James Grand Warlock and cleaves him in two as his two Caballists look on in shock.

My Fattie Leader slams into James Grand Warlock and cleaves him in two as his two Caballists look on in shock.

Also being rather unfair on James we also determine that in order to see a demonic summoning the Demonic Caballist that just died was an ordinary Caballist in disguise and not the Grand Warlock.  Rather pleased with his work my Leader Fattie pulls a bacon sarnie from his folds of blubberous skin and eats it in celebration.

My other two Fatties start running for the table edge and go into hiding under towers to escape being shot at.

Evading justice my Fattie Leader runs for cover and follows his Fattie friend as they hide from James shooting Caballists.

Evading justice my Fattie Leader runs for cover and follows his Fattie friend as they hide from James shooting Caballists.

James deploys the rest of his gang at once, including the recently un-deceased Grand Warlock and beings a rite to summon a Demon.  With four Caballists contributing James achieves his goal and summons a rather lacklustre mini demon within 10″ of his Cabal.  Each turn we must wrestle for command of the Imp and whoever wins controls the Imp on their phase.  James wins the roll off and gains control of the Imp for his turn.  This places the now angry Imp rather close to one of my Ordinary Fatties so he gets charged from behind.  Being a rather slow and lumbering beast of chubberiness my Fattie spins around and clobbers the poor sneaky Imp square in the face killing it outright in one blow.

James' Lesser Pact Demon Imp charges my escaping Fattie resulting a a squashed Imp.

James’ Lesser Pact Demon Imp charges my escaping Fattie resulting a a squashed Imp.

James Grand Warlock attempts to summon a Demon again as the little dead Imp isn’t considered a successful summoning.  Each Caballist spends its turn and actions supporting the rite and the Warlock begins his rite.  In total James manages to attempt a possession of the nearest enemy minion, which happens to be the Imp swatting Fattie hiding behind a bulkhead.  In a contested will roll the possession fails to take affect as the thought of a celebratory Bacon buttie is too much for the Fattie who has his mind on other things.  No successful possession.

Now its time for Team Chubbster, the Fatties again.  Both of my ordinary Fatties make double move actions and sprint off the opposition table edge scoring me a point each.

Fatties 2 – Demonic Cabal 0

My remaining Fattie, the Leader Fattie cannot score as he brutally murdered the false Grand Warlock earlier.  In an attempt to stop James simply walking his five remaining Caballists off the table and beating me 5 – 2 I begin to move the bulbous hulk up towards his Cabal.

James starts a new turn and again attempts to summon a Demon.  This time the dice are in his favour.  he scores a total of 13 on a table that goes upto 14.  That to both of us would seem a great success.  Upon reading the result, which is a successful summoning it appears that a medium level Demon has been summoned.  Just one problem, hes angry at being summoned against his will and sides with my remaining Leader Fattie.

In reality we should have continued but after some number crunching it was determined that even rolling badly it was likely that the movement 10″ flying demon and the Belly wheeling Fattie can easily catch and murder enough Caballists to leave James with not enough living Caballists to escape the table.

The game is called and despite ignoring the scenario the Fattie Stampede are winners!

Reviewing the game I would say it fulfils the criteria of a 28mm skirmish game.  It has a very dieselpunk feel to it.  Im not a massive Judge Dredd fan but I am aware of the setting and the miniatures do that setting justice if you pardon the pun!  Even accounting for the fact we used Necromunda terrain the game has a very Necromunda in Megacity One feel to it and I liked that!

The campaign settings seem a little over complicated compared to similar games and the scenarios have an element of roleplay to them which means even the less combat orientated gangs and mobs can compete.  However, in my opinion these types of games want to degenerate into pitched battles with cleavers and clubs and machine guns.  Maybe it was the scenario we played or maybe the gangs we had to use but something felt wrong.  I will definitely give it another chance with other gangs.

The rules are simple and it works very similarly to other turn based games such as Malifaux and Necromunda.  Phases are broken into turns, each team/gang going one after another in each phase.  The game is controlled by dice rolls, and only uses D10 dice.  So a 4D roll is rolling 4 D10.  Some rolls are contested such as Willpower checks and combat is a very simple.  The attacking minion rolls attack and compares results against an agility roll of a defending minion.  If you achieve more successes then you score wounds.  Wounds are removed from the minion and once reduced to zero the minion is removed from play.

Each model gets 2 actions per turn, this includes Move, Melee, Shoot, and Special Actions.  Want your model to run?  Move twice.  Want him to stand still and blast away?  Shoot twice.  If you win a round of combat, you can push the enemy away up to  2″, which means if you win combat with your first action, you can push the enemy away then blast them in the face with a shotgun.  Special actions vary from gang to gang and are fitting to the theme and flavour of each gang.

The starter sets of each gang/mob are competitively priced when compared to other similar styled games and a starting gang can be purchased for around £30-£35.  There is a similarity between the type of terrain required for this game and other similar games meaning those already invested in other games can easily get involved in this game.

The models are of a nice quality and the style of them invokes a nice sense of the setting.  The supporting documents such as campaign books and rules are finished well and reflect the cartoony style of the originating setting.

PROs – feel, theme, quality of miniatures, simplicity of combat, range of gangs/mobs, costs to get involved.

CONs – scenarios, campaign setting, difficulty of understanding certain elements of the ruleset.

OVERALL – 7/10