Saturday, September 23, 2017

First Crack at 40K 8th

Friday I tried to set up a quick game of 40K 8th Edition for the kids to play.

To start with we cranked some Bolt Thrower....

Okay so none of us are playing chaos... but Dark Millennium...? Eternal War...? Eye of Terror...? That's all 40K themed, right?

Then I set up some jungly terrain for them to play on (actually, I set up the terrain first, and initially I set it up thinking my jungle-fighting' Guaiacan Commandoes would be facing off against Finnegan's Ork Horde... but then I decided maybe it would be better if the two kids played their own forces against each other and I just played the Games Master...).

Both rolled out with forces at Power Level 17. I knew from the get-go that they would be horribly mis-matched (and warned The Girl that her pretty Eldar would likely be slaughtered...).

Finnegan took a Warboss named Garrnogg (Power Level 4) and a mob of thirty (30!) Boyz - lead by a Bossnob named Algor (Power Level 13). They're cheaper by the dozen those Boyz - a group of 10 is Power Level 5 and a group of 20 is Power Level 9. They have significant advantages in numbers as well - they can use the number of guys left in the unit as their Leadership value, and if there are more than 20 in the unit during the fight phase they get +1 attack (which is crazy because they start with 2 to begin with and already bet +1 if they're using choppas!?)

The Girl took her Farseer named J'Ade (Power Level 6), a unit of Howling Banshees - lead by Banshee named Threece (Power Level 4), and a Troupe of Harlequins (Power Level 7). The harlequins all had individual names. Unfortunately, in their native Aeldari, they're almost impossible to pronounce, but can be roughly translated as Jazzy, Emerald Lightning, Bubblegum, Stabpants, and Polkastripe... She can tell them apart. I have no idea...

We decided to quickly play one of the narrative scenarios out of the book. I'd suggested Patrol or Ambush. I tried to convince them to try ambush with the Orks ambushing the Eldar, which I thought might actually give the Eldar a chance, but for some reason they went with the Patrol. The patrol scenario is essentially a meeting engagement between two patrols which, if playing with larger forces, escalates into a larger engagement as reinforcements arrive. Both sides are to start with only three units on the table and the rest in reserve. As these guys only HAD three (or less) units, it basically just became a rather boring meeting engagement with no objective other than to kill the other guys... yawn-o... ah, well... we're just trying things out and learning the rules, right?

Anyway, sides were chosen, units were set up and The Girl took the first move.


The Howling Banshees and the Farseer flanked around one side of the ancient ruin in the middle of the battleground.

The Harlequins, always wanting to do their own thing, flanked around the other side - directly towards the massive mob of Orks.

On the Orks turn they surged forwards and let loose with some Dakka - one hit wounded a harlequin, but it was saved...


"Jazzy" led the harlequins out of cover in front of the Ork mob in preparation to shoot at them and charge them later in the turn.

J'Ade the Farseer couldn't see far enough to smite the Orks, but successfully manifested a Guide power allowing the harlequins to re-roll ranged attacks for the turn. The Harlequins then shot up the Ork mob, downing three of them.

In the Charge Phase they indicated their desire to charge the Orks.

The Ork overwatch fire took down two of them.

Then they failed their charge roll... So... No charging... No slice and dice...

Then the Orks went.

They surged forwards and unleashed another torrent of dakka at the Harlequins. 30+ shots, 8 hits, 6 wounds, 1 saved. When the dust cleared, there were no harlequins to be seen. Perhaps they were reduced to a fine red mist. Perhaps they just said "Eff this Shite" (or something to that effect in Aeldari) and scarpered along the webways to some place a little more pleasant to be. Perhaps we'll never know...


J'Ade the Farseer and the Howling Banshees advanced again. J'Ade crackled with arcane energy and blasted the Orks with a Smite and one of the Ork's head exploded with a "POP" and a bit of splattering of goo. The Banshees let loose with their Shuriken Pistols and chopped down a bunch of trees to clear the way for the Orks to charge them in the following turn. The Farseer then zapped a couple more with her Singing Spear...

All this really did was get their attention and they surged through the jungle towards the Eldar.

They unleashed some more dakka at the elder and took down one of the Howling Banshees.

Then they charged in. The Banshees overwatch fire did nothing. The only thing they really had going for them at this point was the fact that there were so few of them only 8 of the 20+ Orks could actually count as being in the fight... of course with 2 attacks to begin with, +1 for using Choppas, and +1 for having more than 20 in their units, and hitting on 3+... well... that was the end of the Howling Banshees...

The Farseer faired a little better. She was in combat only with the Warboss and they traded blows - each causing 3 wounds on the other... This was not really sustainable so the Farseer decided discretion was the better part of valour and split...

Ork Hordes are nasty... I'm not really sure how she could have dealt with them. the Harlequins and howling Banshees would have been nasty in close combat - if they'd ever been able to GET into close combat and have a chance to HIT the orgs, but even so, I'm not sure they could possibly have killed enough of them fast enough... I guess The Girl just needs to get some more long-range-shooty Eldar painted to beat them up a bit first and THEN charge in with the Harlequins and Banshees to finish them off...?

I was worried the game might have discouraged her, but it kind of did the opposite - she's now determined to get back to painting her Eldar and do exactly as I had figured - paint some of the long-range-shooty units! Although the only thing I think she owns that comes close is guardians (whose shrunken catapults aren't all THAT long ranged!? 12"!? that's the same as PISTOLS!?) but they do have a couple of heavy weapon platforms...?

This went better for the Orks than our last couple attempts (with 7th edition). Although Finnegan felt a little bad about utterly destroying his sisters forces and was worried they might be a little TOO good... I'm sure once we play a few other scenarios which don't just involved trying to overrun and kill everything he may find they're a bit of a one-trick-pony... thought for now it does seem like one REALLY GOOD trick!

I am interested to get my own Guard on the table - perhaps in slightly larger formations and see how they fare against the Green Tide!

But for now I probably need to get back to work on my Jet Bikes and other stuff I need to prepare for the games I am running at ToonCon just ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!

September Game-A-Day Challenge: Week Three

Into our third week and still going strong(-ish)

Day 15 - Friday, 15 September 2017 - Lords of Waterdeep

Having a bit more time on Friday afternoon (after finally submitting our Education Plans for the year!) we broke out Lords of Waterdeep! The Girl scooped the Harpers (which I usually play) so I ended up with the Red Sashes. My Lord was actually a Lady - and so was The Girl's - if only Finnegan's had been one then we could have been playing LADIES of Waterdeep! The Girl did a 25 point quest early on and kept her well ahead of the rest of us for most of the game. For the longest time I was fighting Finnegan for second place... then on the second last turn Finnegan played an intrigue card that allowed him to draw quest cards equal to the number of players, take one and pass them around for the rest of us to take one. Among those was a card that was worth FOURTY POINTS - and I just happened to have ALL of the requirements sitting in my tavern (or maybe I needed on or two things, but they were easy to pick up that very turn!). That suddenly put me into a commanding lead that neither of the kids could hope to catch up. 

I also ended up succeeding at TEN Piety and Arcana quests - each of which got me an additional 4 points, so... The Lieutenant I picked up in the first turn to two and having that one extra agent is a HUGE advantage! I had pointed it out and discussed it so no one would be shocked if I got it and cleaned their clocks with it. I wasn't even the first to go -and it wasn't even the first quest I picked up, so I didn't really fell all that bad about taking it and having that extra agent.

Day 16 - Saturday, 16 September 2017 - Race for the Galaxy

Originally I'd actually set up Agricola to play, but then Amanda and The Girl got back from running some errands over an HOUR later than I'd expected them, so we didn't end up having time to play... I'd left it out and hoping we'd get to play it on Sunday. As Amanda and I were heading out to a show at the Persephone Theatre Saturday evening, we needed to play a quicker game - so I busted out Race for the Galaxy - which we haven't played for a while (though according to BGG I've now played it 45 times!). For start worlds I'd had the Uplift Mercenary Force and Old Earth, but I had two Alien cards in my had - one of them being a 6-cost development that gave piles of points for Alien things, so I decided to go alien... and then Amanda played the Alien Research Team start world and is seemed we would BOTH be vying for alien things... I was a little worried I was going to do poorly as all the worlds and developments I was putting out were only 1-2 points each and I wasn't racking up the victory points from producing and consuming and I wasn't raking in even MORE victory points from prestige like Amanda and Finnegan were... 

More than winning, what I really like doing in the game is having a pretty solid THEM to my tableau, and I was pretty happy with the mostly ALIEN them - with a bit of terraforming on the side. IN the end the pair of six-cost variable victory point developments did okay for me and I ended up with 57 points... Finnegan had 63 (I think - damn I hate prestige...), Keira had 40-sonething and Amanda said she was in the high thirties...? 

I don't think she could have counted right - with those few big point cards and all the prestige she had...?

Day 17 - Sunday, 17 September 2017 - Agricola

We DID get to play Agricola on Sunday after all...  We didn't quite get done before the kids had to head out to Irish Dance - but we left it set up and finished it off after they got back. 

The game went as most of our games of Agricola go - Amanda carries on about how she is "Floundering" and "has no idea what [she's] doing" and how she's "going to do very poorly"... and then by about round five she's completely dominating the game. By round ten she had a six room stone house (yeah, SIX!) and five family members (and complained that it was stupid that the game didn't allow you to have MORE family members!?). Due to varied occupations she collects two food EVERY round and a clay (one of which, with an other occupation, can be turned into two food at harvest time), and she can convert as many stone as she likes into two food (per stone)... Oh and gets an additional wood every time she collects wood.... The rest of us had yet to build a third room in our pathetic little wood shanties. At the beginning of round twelve she's developed nothing else on her land (other than the sprawling mansion - I joked about her being a hobby farmer that lived on a sprawling average and just worked in the city). With five workers over the last three turns she filled that up pretty quick! 

This was my sad little farm at the end of the game... Never even got to expanding the house or family... But it DID get SEVEN fields ploughed - which is too many really - you don't get points for any beyond five (other than you're not LOSING points for not having the area developed. One thing I don't like about the game is it's so hard to get fields ploughed. I was DETERMINED this game to get more fields ploughed. 

I started the game with a couple occupations and improvements that I thought would work out for me - something involving going straight from wood to stone and a quarry that gave me 3 stone when I did day labour and... something else... I can't remember... but I just couldn't get them out. Part of the problem was I misread the card that allows Major improvements - I'd thought it said build major and/or minor improvement (as so many of the action cards do) - around the second or third round I had it ALL planned out and then when I went on that action card and realized I couldn't do BOTH it kind of screwed my whole plan and I was scrambling to refigure everything so I had food for everyone by harvest - had to make some less than optimal moves with put me further behind... ugh... 

Amanda admiring her end game farm. 

I have to admit, it was a pretty amazing farm...

And she totally destroyed us. Yeah - she had more points than then next two highest scoring players combined!? Clearly the way to go is to get lots of jobs in the city to support your farming hobby and build a big-ass mansion and family and THEN develop the rest of the farm! 

Ah well... fun was had. 

I'm not fond of the four player game - I recall the five player has WAY BETTER action cards - there are so many more options available.

Day 18 - Monday, 18 September 2017 - Love Letter

This week got a little busy again. We ended up playing a quick game of Love Letter in the evening after the kids got back from swimming lessons, just before we all went to bed. 

I swear I get this had EVERY SINGLE GAME.... 

Day 19 - Tuesday, 19 September 2017 - Monarch

I spent a good chunk of the day wrecking more of our kitchen and dining room... So I didn't feel bad taking a break and playing a not-totally-quick game... 

We played quick-ish game of Monarch while I was making supper. In Monarch we play at princesses building up the bestest court. Finnegan snapped up the scimitar before I could wrecking my plan to fly the Might Banner again, but I ended up getting the GET WISDOM CHEAP card (whatever it is called) and ended with a court full of wisdom cards.

This game I kind of just collected money and didn't bother buying cards - the than a few upgrades to the lands - to make MORE money and waited for an opportunity to pick up one of the BUY STUFF CHEAPER cards - and then blow all that money as fast as possible buying up cards of that type... worked out pretty good...

In the end Finnegan flew the Banner of Might and The Girl flew the banner of Culture... Fun was had...

Day 20 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017 - For Sale

There always ends up being a day where we don't get to playing a game earlier in the days and have to quickly get one in just before bed... and we end up playing For Sale...

Day 21 - Thursday, 21 September 2017 - Samarkand: Route to Riches

More wrecking of the old kitchen today - almost done with the demolition. Next week I have some preparing for ToonCon to do and then beginning the first week of October we start putting the kitchen back together.

I finished up early enough we had almost two hours to play a game so we got out Samarkand: Route to Riches. We've played this about 7 times now and are getting pretty quick at it. I think it took us over and hour - but it FLEW by. 

Finnegan ended the game by making an alliance (or trade agreement) with the Persians - the only group that hadn't yet made one (and I think it used up the last trade agreement token of the Levants...? which also ends the game). 

I managed to marry into five families (collecting up 5 wives in the process) - The Girl also managed to marry into five families (collecting five husbands in the process - although at first she considered collecting wives - or BFFs as she called them, "because they looked prettier"...). 

It was a pretty tight race. The Girl and I both had final scores in the 80s and Finnegan wasn't far behind with 70... He only had four wives, so...

The last few times I've played with four or five players and you only get a maximum of 7 or so cards. Playing with three was fun as you could have up to TEN cards - which made for a lot more possibilities.

Day 22 - Friday, 22 September 2017 - Warhammer 40,000 (8th Edition)

Technically this is getting into week four, but whatever... This evening we had our first go at 8th Edition 40K. I'd set the table earlier in the afternoon thinking we'd play with Finnegan's Orks and my Guaiacan Commandoes (the Astra Militarum's lesser known jungle fighters...). But then we decided it's probably work better if I just ran the game and the kids played and The Girl wanted to play with her Eldar. Unfortunately we got started later that I'd hoped and then it took us a little longer to get set up and going that I'd anticipated and we ran out of time. We'd only gotten through the first half of the second turn... Can't really say much about it... we knew going in it was a pretty miss-matched scenario. We did leave it set up and might finish it off on Saturday after The Girl gets back from dance classes...

What's Next...?

Well, hopefully we WILL get to finish the game of 40K and I'll get to post a brief after action report. 

After that I'll probably have a few jet bikes to post as I finish them off over the next couple days. I have some terrain I'm going to fix up and a few more things I need to do to prepare for ToonCon - which is ONE WEEK FROM NOW! 

I'll probably post post on Friday about the games we've played between Saturday and Thursday, and then on Sunday I'll hammer out a report of what went down at ToonCon! 

Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Finally, Some More Jet bikes!

With ToonCon less than two weeks away I figured it was time to ramp up the Jet Bike production. I finished two of the other day - which makes my total eight, so far. As I set the limit at 8 for the game at ToonCon that's really all I NEED, but I do have two more assembled and partly painted that I'd like to finish off - just in case there's a rush of late-comers and a couple more would like to play. Currently it looks like six are registered, but I've found - at least for my miniature games - half the people pre-registered for my games don't show up, but others will show up and ask if there is still room...

The two new jet bikes. These, as with MOST of the others were assembled from bits I received for backing the Ramshackle Games Jet Bike Construction Kit Kickstarter. I think the jet bike bits (or at least kits) are now available through Ramshackle's web stores.

The first of the Jet Bikes I finished this week.

Can anyone guess the source of inspiration for this one? Most of paint schemes for the Jet Bikes so far have been inspired by cars and bikes from TV or movies...

I was going to put a number 48 on this one... but there wasn't really a big enough area to put a number after I painted all those lightning bolts. Ah, well...

The second Jet Bike I finished this week.

Super bonus points if you can guess the inspiration for the scheme on this one!

Number 6.

the lot of them (so far!!)

"Gentlebeings, Start your engines!"

If anyone reading is local-ish, it does look like there are two spots open for FF3K!

After finishing up two more bikes I have a few other things to get ready - activation cards, some quick reference sheets, measuring sticks, and maybe a few more terrain bits...

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Another update on the progress of the 30-Games-in-30-Days Challenge for September.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

September Game-A-Day Challenge: Week Two

Another successful week of our 30-Games-in-30-Days Challenge for September - though as we got into evening activities and classes this week, we found ourselves short on time a few days and had to play some quicker games...

Day Eight - Friday 8 September 2017 - Set/A Study in Emerald

We were in a bit of a rush to get a game in today as we'd had a busy day doing things and found ourselves with only a few minutes before people came over to play D&D (which we didn't end up playing, but more on that in a minute), so the kids and I banged out a quick game of Set while Finnegan was still finishing up his supper. He got off to a slow start - perhaps being distracted by the fact that he was still eating! Though as the game went on it was only him spotting them and I'm sure the last four or five were all him - and they are crazy sets where there were more different than the same. He nearly caught up to me and The Girl who tied at 9 (Finnegan ended up with seven). Usually good for some quick fun. The kids certainly had fun today. Occasionally if they're a little distracted and they're just not seeing the patterns and other players are getting ahead, they can get pretty frustrated - but not today!

After that was supposed to be D&D - but the two players who were the hook for the adventure (on an errand for the thieves guild master, which involved chasing someone into a trap-filled dungeon, and the two rogues didn't show up...). So instead we played A Study in Emerald.

between trying to figure out what the hell I was doing and explaining and re-explaining rules I totally forgot to take a picture while we were still playing - so here's one of everyone hanging around while I  was putting it all away... 

In the end it turned out that Bruce, Brian and myself ended up as Loyalists and Amanda and Adele were restorationists. It was odd because of all the times I've played it I think only once before I played the Loyalist faction. I had pretty much everyone figured out early in the game as we got close to the end I had my next couple rounds all figure out - I was going to get the Vienna City card (which I think might have wrought me up to Bruce in the points race) and then play a couple victory cards for the Loyalists (ensuring our victory) and then assassinate a few of the Amanda and Adele's restorationist agents.... Then bruce dropped Cthulhu on Vienna and killed three or four of my agents!? Thanks a lot Bruce!? WTF!? We're on the same team!? Of course that "same team" is servants of the Great Old Ones... so I guess he was just playing "in character". He and Brian then played a couple cards to up the Loyalist victory point track and ended the game... 

Anyway, it was great fun. I love this game.  

Day Nine - Saturday, 9 September 2017 - Compounded

Today I introduced the kids to Compounded (and reminded Amanda how to play - we'd only played it once before a month or so ago at our friends place). Fun game. Amanda edged me out by a point in the final tallying by using her book to pick up a piece that gave her ONE MORE POINT....

I'd originally picked the game up to play when we're learning some chemistry... but we haven't really gotten much into that. So I'm not sure the kids were getting much of the chemistry angle - luckily the game can be played with no real knowledge of chemistry - you just have to match the colours. We'll be starting to cover more chemistry this year, so I expect we'll be playing this a lot more. 

Day Ten - Sunday, 10 September 2017

We all played a quick game of Kingdomino between me and Amanda watching episodes of Walking Dead Season 7. I could have just quit watching and played games all night, but once we start watching a season of something Amanda feels compelled to see it through... Why do I keep watching Walking Dead? Probably the same reason I keep reading the comics (despite every time I finish a collection I feel like that's it - I'm not going to read anymore...) - because they keep making them! 

The Girl CRUSHED IT she ended up with a HUGE forest with FIVE crowns in it. Her total at the end of the game was 102!? 

I also though Amanda was going to do really well as she had three mine tiles - each worth SIX, but the rest of her kingdom was only worth one point each. Still, she did better than me!! I actually ended up having to discard my last tile as it didn't fit with any of the surrounding tiles.... doh... That's the first time I've had to do that in a game... I don't mind losing the game - but the little closeted OCD part of my brain was seriously disturbed by the fact that everyone else had nice square kingdoms and mine was... well... WRONG! 

Day Eleven - Monday, 11 September 2017 - Smash Up

Monday we played Smash Up. I've kind of gone off Smash Up. In fact, I've been rather sick of it for quite some time actually and have been avoiding playing it whenever the kids suggest it... but it's September Challenge month and one of the kids had it on their list, so... 

This game turned out to be a lot of fun actually... Maybe I just need Smash Up in small doses - like once or twice a year? The downside of not playing regularly is I have NO IDEA what groups work well with each other... but the kids are in the same boat, so I guess it doesn't really matter. 

I ended up playing the Kittens of Innsmouth, The Girl had Ninja Princesses, and Finnegan played Magical Pony Pirates. It turned out the kittens had a lot of 2 power things and ALL of the Innsmouth minions are 2 - and the Innsmouth set had a few things that boosted anything per two or less - so it seemed like I could get something cool going on, but I just couldn't get my ducks in a row... or kittens in a row - Ah! Well that explains it - I was trying to herd kittens. 

I forget who won - I'm pretty sure it was one of the kids - but it was a close game and everyone had fun, so... 

Day Twelve - Tuesday, 12 September 2017 - Carcassonne

Tuesday we played Carcassonne with the Inns and Cathedrals expansion. For a bit I was blown away by the high scores compared to our last game, but then remembered we were playing with an expansion which essentially added half again as many tiles... 

The Girl had this clever idea of placing a farmer in this... little area - almost a courtyard, really as she would be the only one who could possibly end up farming this area. It might have been a little more clever if she'd done it earlier in the game and could guarantee she could finish off all four cities.

In the end I squeaked out a victory a couple points ahead of Finnegan - requiting myself a bit after the disastrous defeat the last time we played. At the start of the game, the kids totally thought it was going to be a repeat of said previous game as they had PILES of point before I'd even got on the board - I just could NOT get the pieces in needed to finish off a city... so it just sprawled and sprawled and when I finally did score it, it was HUGE and I bought right up with them...

Day Thirteen - Wednesday, 13 September 2017 - Retro Lunacy/Star Realms

This week was getting a little crazy - trying to get back into the groove of fall activities and lessons and finish up an Education Plan and keep the renovation moving forward and so on and so forth. We'd planned for some longer games this week, but ended up changing most of them up for shorter games... Wednesday was no different...

We started off with four rounds of Retro Loonacy - the first round we played - as soon as the cards were flipped to start the piles Finnegan just put one card down after another and emptied his hand before Keira and I played a single card!! There were lots of laughs. I think we all won a round. 

We had a little bit more time so we busted out Star Realms. for some reason I've tired of Hero Realms already, but I still like Star Realms...? I am keen to try the co-op campaign that is supposed to be coming out for Hero Realms. I actually have a pack that allows you to play solo and co-op games in Star Realms as well, but we haven't tried that out yet. Perhaps next time... 

We kind of distributed damage fairly evenly amongst everyone - no ganging up on anyone this time around. Then I finished them off with the hand above. That's a game-ending pile of BLOB hurt I'm about to lay on them!

Day Fourteen - Thursday, 14 September 2017 - Firefly Fluxx

Finally, today was our quickest game yet! We played a quick game of Firefly Fluxx just before going to bed. I kind of won, but really didn't 

I realized as I was looking at the pictures I had taken I couldn't have won because there was not one, but TWO creepers sitting in front of me!? DOOOH!!! Neither of the kids called me on it, so... I think we'd had our few minutes of fun playing it and it was wearing thin and everyone was just happy that it was over and they could go back to reading or whatever...

I do hope we'll get some longer games in over the weekend and next week! Well maybe NEXT week... I'm pretty sure Amanda's going to want to binge-watch the rest of Walking Dead Season Seven tomorrow night, Saturday afternoon I'll bet she's planning on running around to more tiles countertop and tile stores trying to figure out stuff that probably should have been figured out months ago BEFORE I started wrecking our kitchen, and in the evening we're going out to a show... Maybe Sunday evening...? Is it possible I can get them to sit down and try Pax Renaissance..? We shall see! 

In Other News... 

Haven't been much movement on the painting front, just too busy with other stuff... and playing games. I do have most of the Tallarn re-based, primed and tucked away into their storage drawers - ready to paint whenever the mood strikes (and I'm done a few more Jet Bikes!).