Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Flames of War Forgotten Photos


Doh!

These are from a game played back on 04/26/14. Forgot to post them right after the game due to Joe Vandeleur-induced rage.












Monday, May 12, 2014

Gary Con VI ...The Loot! DS and EE



It has been a month since Gary Con VI ended.  Emily, my buddy Justin, and I ventured out to Lake Geneva WI  on March 27-30th for our very first gaming convention, and I have to say it was an exceptional experience.  Gary Con is definitely an "old school" gathering that was started to celebrate the life of Gary Gygax and his contributions to games.  This Con may not appeal to everyone, but to those of us who started in the 70s, the nostalgic, and those interested in the roots of RPGs and old school games, it's a great chance to meet and game with fans of early RPGs.

I was initially going to do a quick write up of just the merchandise I bought from convention, but I have decided to break it into two parts.  Emily took some really great pictures of GaryCon that I am going to share soon, along with some of my experiences.  But first...the loot!


The Loot En Masse!  I had a budget, and I stayed in it.  Mostly.

The guide to the weekend's events.  Emily and I both picked up t-shirts that feature this design on the back.



A variety of foods delivered to your game.  Including interestingly named salads!


The Menu:  Order from, and delivered to your gaming table.  One word:  Civilized.  And "wow!"  The blue plastic cups were for pop, and could be refilled for $1.00US the entire weekend.  They also had a couple of differently coloured beer cups, similar design, that could be used for single day beer refills.  As we don't drink beer, I am not exactly sure the cost.


A nice dice bag and some GaryCon VI - six sided dice.  The 6 had the demon idol face from the original Player's Handbook on it.  Also the GaryCon VI challenge coin.


The miniature was designed for the con.



Bring a mining pick and ten foot pole, or you'll be sorry...


Greg Gillespie's Barrowmaze!  I was excited to see this, as I have followed a blog that uses it for the campaign backdrop.  Definitely a creepy crawl.  Solid.  I would have liked to pick up the oversized map for it, but they either sold out or didn't have any by the time I bought it.  No deep story behind this one;  it's a pure old school crawl. 



A pair of solo modules by Pacesetter Games. I have a fondness for small party or solo modules, as they bring me back to the days of Choose Your Own Adventures or Fighting Fantasy style books.  The modules are made for generic old systems.  I have read a bit of the first one and it seems pretty good.


Modules from Eldritch Enterprises...danger of the adventures are rated in skulls.


Frank Mentzer's module, The Case of the Missing Magic, was very interesting to me as it is a mystery.  I am a big fan of whodunnits with faves such as Poirot, Holmes, & etc., so I was excited to see this offering.  There are not too many fantasy mystery modules out there, as it is more challenging to write than hack, slash, and explore adventures.  Tower of the Scarlet Wizard (rated 6 skulls...eeep) was written by that rascal James M. Ward.  Jim reffed the all women's game on Saturday that Emily participated in.  He ran them through Monty Haul's Tower of Lesser Doom.  Emily had a very good time with it and picked up the module (signed by Ward) to run us through in the future.


G/P Adventures - Haunted Halls of the Beggar King

Ernie Gygax/Benoist Poire tourney mod.  I have not read it too closely but it seems pretty solid.  I really like the map artwork.

AD&D:  Still #1


1st/2nd edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons:  Still my favorite.  No edition wars back then, it was all AD&D.  The Book of Priest Craft was a nice find.  I think I now have everything the published for the Birthright setting.  For any fans of Game of Thrones, or gms wanting to introduce, politics, economics and religion into their game, it is a great background setting for having the players participate as regents and nobles of nations. 

Not pictured:  I got a couple of Players Options books:  Player's Options and Combat and Tactics.  It's when they started the heavy customization and design of characters.  The Options books were pretty inexpensive, at 6.00US each, so I picked up extra copies as I do use some of the stuff out of them in my game.  You can sort of see that the game was evolving (villainous-ly turning?) from AD&D to 3e with them. 

Also Fighter's Challenge 1&2!  These modules were designed for a Ref and one player in mind.  TSR came out with two modules for each class.  They are really good if you want to give one of your players a solo mission. 

Gygax Magazine!


Picked up all 3 issues of Gygax Magazine.  I was pretty lucky that they had one box remaining of issue #1 that arrived the second day of the con.  I was there Johnny-on-the-spot to pick it up when they came in.  This is a sort of reboot of the classic Dragon mag, and I would recommend them.


 
For those who have everything else for the Pathfinder card game!


Pathfinder mats on sale!  For use with the Pathfinder Card Game. They are not really necessary for playing the game, but Emily and I are big fans of gadgets and accessories.  When we play on the table pictured in the background, the cards are really hard to pick up off the table.  These mats help out a lot in that.  Basically, they are cool looking mouse pads of the "iconic characters" included in the base game.

The Pathfinder Card game is a great introduction to RPG style games.  Spouses and friends who would have no interest in a full RPG will find the scope of this easy to take.  Games are about an hour.  The Pathfinder Card game is a big hit in our gaming group.


Going on the wall in the computer room.


Emily had the convention poster framed (!!) for my birthday.  Epic.  Notice the dragons on the wood frame.  Much better than my idea to put it up using poster gum.



The improved RPG Cosmology poster.  Heading to the computer room!

Poster of Cosmology of  RPG games.  The first version of this was originally in an article in Gygax magazine #1.  It shows the relationship of various RPGs, starting with Dungeons & Dragons in the center, and other games radiating outwards from it by year, and vaguely grouped by relation (ex:  d20 games to the left.) 

This poster version has quite a bit more on it than the original one in the magazine.  After reading the Gygax mag article I was wondering why Villains and Vigilantes was not on it (picture nerd-rage!)  This improved full poster rectified this...but the original V&V was released in 1979, the second edition was printed in 1982.  It also does not include the original super game, SuperHero 2044, which was released in 1978 by GameScience. 



What a weekend!  And what a pile of loot to remember the experience by.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Call of Cthulhu LCG



Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game (formerly the Call of Cthulhu Collectible Card Game) is a card game produced and marketed by Fantasy Flight Games. It is based on the fiction of the Cthulhu Mythos, primarily the writings of H. P. Lovecraft and Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu role-playing game. In 2008, Fantasy Flight moved the game over to its Living Card Game (LCG) format, which retains the deck-building aspect of collectible card games, but without the random distribution.

It shares art and characters with FFG's other Cthulhu Mythos products Arkham Horror and Elder Sign.

Players attach resources (taken from the cards in their hand) onto blank placeholder cards known as domains, later "draining" them by putting a drain counter on them to play various cards. Both players compete to complete stories by winning success tokens. Five success tokens wins a story; three stories wins the game. Players typically assign character cards to stories, to win struggles and gain these success tokens. Additionally, the first player to run out of cards to draw from loses the game, making deck destruction another potentially effective strategy.

There are eight factions in Call of Cthulhu, as well as "neutral" cards (light grey in color) that are not part of any faction. A card may only be played if a domain with that faction attached is drained (neutral cards can be paid for using any faction).

    The Agency: This "investigator" faction comprises the Blackwood Detective Agency, law enforcement agencies, and others involved in criminal justice. Its symbol is a badge, and its color is blue.
    Miskatonic University: This "investigator" faction represents the academic prowess of Lovecraft's fictional Miskatonic University, as well as other academic groups. Its symbol is a scroll, and its color is gold.
    The Syndicate: This "investigator" faction represents the underworld element of human society, including mobsters, killers and journalists. It mainly focuses on Danny O'Bannion's gang and its contacts. Its symbol is a dollar sign in a triangle and its color is dark brown.
    The Order of the Silver Twilight: This "investigator" faction is a later addition to the game and centers a secret cabal of leading politicians, charismatic socialites, persuasive civic leaders, and successful businessmen who must pass through successive ranks of occult initiation and ritual to emerge into the inner sanctum of the Order, there to pursue their quest for ultimate earthly - and unearthly - power. Its symbol is a trident in a cross, and its color is silver grey. Their name may be a play on The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
    Cthulhu: This "mythos" faction includes Cthulhu himself, as well as his associated cultists and monsters (such as deep ones and shoggoths). Its symbol is a squid, and its color is green.
    Hastur: This "mythos" faction centers on Hastur, especially his King in Yellow aspect, as well as his worshippers and minions, largely human psychopaths and monstrous Byakhees, as well as werewolves. Its symbol is the Yellow Sign, and its color is yellow.
    Yog-Sothoth: This "mythos" faction centers on Yog-Sothoth, and the scholars who worship it, as well as various trans-dimensional beings including Nightgaunts and Star vampires; it also hosts several undead monsters. Its symbol is a key, and its color is purple.
    Shub-Niggurath: This "mythos" faction centers on Shub-Niggurath and the many, many monsters she is responsible for creating (notably Dark Young, ghouls, and Dholes). Its symbol is a goat's head, and its color is red.

We were able to play 3 games last night...
1. The Agency (Winner) vs. Cthulhu
2. The Order of the Silver Twilight vs. Miskatonic University (Winner)
3. The Syndicate vs. Yog-Sothoth (Winner)

The Order of the Silver Twilight is no match for the faculty of Miskatonic University





Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TSR's AD&D 2nd Edition BattleSystem Skirmish - Playtest

The Greyhawk Wars come to Tamilane.  Goblin scout occupy the ruins.
Saturday evening's game was our first run at TSR's BattleSystem Skirmish.  This is a bit of a change for our group's fantasy skirmish level game of choice has been GW's Lord of the Rings.    TSR's original BattleSystem game was aimed at army level battles.  Their Skirmish rules fill in a nice niche, where the battle might be too big to do in a traditional RPG combat, but are no where near a battle between armies.
A friendly ranger has warned the Froeghton militia -who now, after a hurried muster, advance on the ruins.

Are the goblins sleeping?

The force's of the Horned Society raiders are ready!  Goblin archers give themselves away with long range shots.

Capt Arak and a warrior priest lead the men through sporadic arrow fire.

A section of archers fires on goblins concealed in the ruins.  A mage awaits nervously, as the goblins in the tower move forward to engage.

The milita and warrior priest attack the ruins!

The melee at the ruins continues and casualties mount.

A brief melee occurs between the archers and goblin erupts.  A well placed sleep spell helps turn the tide against the Horned Society scouting force!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Revolting Peasants - JR

Here is another small contribution to the Blackwold Brigands (or perhaps some Archet townsfolk) for our LotR campaign. These miniatures are Old Glory's  Revolting Peasants with Sticks and Stones. They aren't the best miniatures but are a reasonable way to bolster numbers at ~$1.16 per miniatures (just watch out for shipping costs if you order from the manufacturer website).


I made a few modifications, swapping out clubs and rocks for spears, swords and daggers. I also added a couple shields.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

LotR's Arathorn - GF



Games Workshop's Arathorn model for Lord of the Rings. I think he'll be making an appearance in our games as a leader of the Blackwold Brigands. Maybe.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

LotR: Combe North Gate Playtest - GF, JR

Combe North Gate is a landmark within Archet Dale in Bree-land.

This location is a guarded gate between Archet Dale and Combe, where the only passage from Archet to the rest of the Middle-earth is as narrowest. The gate had been blocked by Blackwold brigands, letting nobody through.

Good Objective: Alert Combe of the Blackwold's plan to attack Archet. Two Good models must move off table behind the gate and fences.

Evil Objective: Prevent Good models from passing through to Combe.

Good Forces:
Halbarad
5 x Warrior of Minas Tirith with Bow
5 x Warrior of Minas Tirith with Sheild
6 x Warrior of Minas Tirith with Spear and Shield

Evil Forces (using orcs as sufficient brigand models weren't available):
Shagrat
8 x Mordor Orcs with Bow
8 x Mordor Orcs with Sword and Shield

The Battlefield featured a defended gate and several fences in the upper corner. The village of Combe lies beyond and this is where the forces of Good are headed.



Halbarad leads his melee troops forward while the bows provide cover fire. The Evil defenders wait patiently for the enemy to close. Orcs fire bows with little/no results. As with most of our LotR: SBG games, bows seem rather ineffective.


The Warriors of Minas Tirith and Halbarad reach the first line of defense. The orcs are clearly outmatched, but the added benefits of defending the obstacle helps spare a few lives.


Shagrat (using Arathorn proxy) reinforces the orc defenders and starts turning the tide against Good. Might points are spent liberally. Halbarad knows he cannot easily defeat Shagrat and keeps his eye on the objective. With a small group of warriors, Halbarad makes a dash up the hill towards Combe.


The orcs on the far left move towards the action in the middle of the battlefield in hopes of reinforcing the dwindling defenders.


Shagrat tries to chase down Halbarad but is too late. The hero and warrior of Minas Tirith dash past the last of the orc defenders to alert Combe of the impending attack on Archet.


Overall, a very enjoyable game. The heroes proved to be game-changing and at the end of the day, a priority roll or two made all the difference. Good game!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bastogne Church Fail - GF

I was excited to finally receive the Bastogne Church ordered from Battlefront so long ago. I opened the package and found it had arrived broken with neither of the missing pieces inside the box. Ugh. Hopefully Battlefront will fix this sooner than later.

Disappointed,
GF



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Red Box Games: Robert of Carlisle Wall - DS

aka Sgt. Freiderich the Halberdier:  ready for battle.

   
Red Box Games is sculptor Tre Manor's fantasy miniatures company.  I first became aware of, and was impressed by, his work with his Reaper Miniatures.  I was really blown away by his own Red Box line. His previous work has really honed his crafting skills to his present level.  The figures are detailed, the casts are crisp and clean.  The are a little bit slighter than most "heroic scale" fantasy miniatures and will be noticeable standing next to even his own Reaper sculpts.  When I first got them I was a bit taken aback by this, and not sure how I felt about the scale.  After cleaning one up and getting some paint on it I decided:  these figures are great.  I like the realism and detail, and Tre Manor and his Red Box line are among my favorite figures.

Red Box Games does not have items numbers.  The miniatures pictured is from his Aenglish line (fantasy medieval humans) and is name/ID  is Robert of Carlisle Wall.  I received it as a part of a Kickstarter Red Box had going. 

The figure is going to represent Sgt. Freiderich the Halberdier in some fantasy rpg games.  The character was originally a follower for a paladin character of mine.  The model really fits the character as it is a grizzled, no nonsense veteran fighter.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

SAGA Vikings - GF



Up next, Vikings for SAGA!


Gripping Beast Warlord, 4 Hirdmen (Hearthguard), 4 Berserkers (Hearthguard), 8 Bondi (Warriors), 8 Bondi (Warriors).