Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Dungeon crawler musings

Over the years I've played many different types of dungeon crawlers and am still on the hunt for that perfect game system to use that allows for GM run games, or randomly generated solo hackathons. I got part way through writing a history of all the crawlers that I've tried and discarded, but you probably don't care about that plotted history of gaming... so what is the point of this post I hear you say?

The point is for some random musings on what I'm looking for in a game to try and solidify things in my mind as the hunt continues. I really don't want to write my own from the ground up as that would require balancing so many things... I've tried in the past and could never get my head around the best approach to some of these things.

1) Solo play/randomness
I don't get to play with a group too often, so one of the important things for me is randomly generated adventures. Not just the layout, but events throughout the story and an actual end goal. The original Warhammer Quest did this well, as does Silver Tower, Shadows of Brimstone and, to some extent, Advanced Heroquest. This part is straight forward to fit into a system. I've been playing with the theory of ripping apart Hammerhal and seeing if the mission levels still work as random layouts and event triggers. More details on this when I finish putting together the figures.

2) Character selection and evolution
I really want the characters (and potentially key villains) to evolve over time in a structured way that makes sense, rather than some of the slightly suspect, abstracted methods used in things like Silver Tower or Hammerhal where characters forget skills between levels... because magic. Random or fixed stat/skill allocations are also a weird thing to imagine. Why, for example, would you suddenly know an archery skill if you're a close combat specialist?

3) Tough, varied adversaries
I like to theme dungeon crawls with adversaries that provide a suitable challenge to the adventurers. Warhammer Quest is really good at this. Others less so as they assume some sort of GM control. Shadows of Brimstone has some level options for the monsters, but can still end up under/over powered quite easily

I've tried to write some bits for points 2 and 3, but I don't really have the time or brainpower to deal with the creation of a whole ruleset. At present I'm trying to work out the best options to investigate further, so any suggestions would be gratefully accepted.

That time of year again

It is that time of year when the Secret Santa and Santa Clause projects start up again. These are some of my favourite parts of Christmas, especially SC due to the love and attention that goes into the painted figures.

Secret Santa has been kindly taken over by Roy from Colonel Bill's this year to give Ian and Cath a break. If you want to go sign up for it, see the details on: https://nevermindthejankers.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/secret-santa-2017-under-temporary-new.html. I've had some great stuff from these in past years that I keep forgetting to post pictures of!

Santa Clause has also opened up the doors for this year: https://cstoesen.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/2017-santa-clause.html

Monday, 18 September 2017

Season runup

In the run up to season one of the Bracknell Cup, I need to work out some colours for my Human Blood Bowl team. Like most players, I have gone for an Ogre in my starting lineup and as he is such a centre piece, I've started playing around with him as it is a much larger canvas.

The theory is to use some colours similar to the Miami Dolphins, so turquoise, white and oranges. The colours are a bit rough at the moment, but the final glazes should even things out a little. The intent is that the grey areas on there will become shiny whites, with very dark shadows. Hopefully this will transition well to the smaller figures without being a pain...

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Contagiousness abound

After a slight deviation via lots of house decorating and gardening, I managed to finish  the first two figures from the new(ish) 40k starter set. The detail on these are wonderful and pretty much paint themselves with some glazes and washes

Thursday was a good day for hobby post. We are starting a Blood Bowl league, so I have just received my first ever team. I remember playing second edition when it first came out, but it Evers really clicked, mostly because I am not really a sports fan. I hope this time it makes more sense as none of my colleagues are WAAC type players, unlike the regulars I learned with last time. You will start to see the team coming together over the next few weeks.

In addition to that, the long awaited Compendium has turned up for Heroes of Normandie. The original rule books were... ok? The translations were a bit ropey, going from French to English. Thankfully they have taken a step back, consolidated the rules from Shadows of Normandie in and released a properly translated and community reviewed rule book. I need to take some of this into the office as well for lunchtime games.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Experimental pestilence

After painting up all that AdMech stuff, I've had a bit of a red-overload and needed a bit of a change. Taking a step across the colour wheel, I started having a play with one of the new Plague Marines from the Dark Imperium box to see what could be done with some basic colours and washes.

This was a base of the Death Guard green and bone for the main areas, highlights of a lighter green on the armour, followed by a wash of browns and blacks. Final highlights were repeated with the same base colour and some orangey/rusty streaks. The horns and tentacle still need a bit of work, but overall I'm pleased with him for such a simple set of paints.

The rest are now stuck together and undercoated, in the painting queue along with some nurgle demons... including a giant demonic snail!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Embarrassing silence

Well, that wasn't planned. I was going to try and actually post lots this year, showing progress on the AdMech, the gaming room and general life stuff. That failed abysmally didn't it? Must do better!

Since the last update there have been a few additions to the AdMech forces.

We have the first of two Dunecrawlers. The other install in pieces under my desk at work. I kind of wish I'd remembered to put transfers on before weathering it... now I can't add the logos and numbers without having to re-weather it all :/

To accompany this, I've added a Datasmith, two robots and a load more skitarii of both types to bulk it out to 5 rangers and 10 vanguard. There are also two officer types just in case they ever return in the new codex.
The robots (Tik and Tok) had a few modifications to the base model... mostly covering up those godawful faces with some optics from the Dunecrawler kit and leaving off some of the armoured plates.

The most recently completed addition to the force is the start of a small allied Guard detachment to act as a cheap screen to the more expensive units. In the background, the AdMech have vast hordes of slaves who do the day to day grunt work of manning the factories. There are some stories that have these slaves also going to war, so I figured the Guard conscript unit would work well for these. To stop them running away, there is also a commissar equivalent to accompany them.

There are another 11 in the painting queue along with a load of other Skitarii, two more Dominus and some forge world robots. Now to decide if these are going to be painted now, or added to the challenge queue.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

4Ground Forums

Last night 4Ground opened up their new forums to support their growing range of terrain as well as their successfully funded game, Legends of Fabled Realms.

The forum can be found on http://4groundforums.com/

If you missed the Fabled Realms kickstarter, it is a small scale skirmish game with some interesting mechanics including a more detailed campaign system than we get in Frostgrave, allowing any of the heroes to improve and gain skills. Not only that, but your supporting squads gain xp and get stronger over time as well, so it does feel like your war band is growing in power as well as size. Go have a look at the kickstarter page for some better descriptions than I can give. The nice thing is that the world is from their D&D campaign and has been growing for over 10 years, so they have lots of background to go with it all and far too many ideas on what they could do.