Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Slow Evolution in Gaming

People change over time, I think a lot of folks will agree with that statement. Be it the way you act, dress, or in my case the games I find myself playing. Change of course has some good and bad, worse thing one can do is go full tilt into something new, that almost always end up terrible.


When I started this blog, I was heavily into 'true' wargaming. Warhammer, WarmaHordes, ect all took center stage for me as I enjoyed those games above all else. I enjoyed the terrain, the tactics and strategy required for those types of games above all else. The last couple years though has seen this hobby explode onto the scene with some very entertaining, and casual games. There are more and more board games coming out like Super Dungeon Explore and Dwarf Kings Hold to scratch the dungeon romp itch. Deadzone is stupidly fun for taking up less than a table worth of space (Although the building and dissembling of the terrain is rather tedious).

I took a look back at the games I have funded on Kickstarter and saw an interesting trend. Kings of War was really my only wargame I have funding in the last couple years. After that I supported mostly board game style games that pit players against each other in some fashion. Sedition Wars, Dungeon Heroes Advanced, Dungeon Roll, Deadzone, and most recently Grand Tactics. Each had something that interested me, and almost every one of them can be played in under an hour from set-up to tear down. I have even gotten in a ton more Magic the Gathering games in the last three weeks than I have wargames in the last few YEARS. Sedition Wars being the exception, can't explain why but I just haven't brought myself to putting that set together and playing it.

I still have my Kings of War Minis, Heavy Gear Blitz minis (Although the new edition is going to be a complete overhaul for me), even my WarmaHordes minis. I still have them all, but the last time I played a wargame of that type has been nearly a year now. I think as I have aged, I have gotten... for a lack of a better word, impatient with the set-up times required to play tabletop wargames. A game of Drakon can be set-up and put away in thirty seconds for example. I will give that Deadzone does take longer to set-up if you make use of the build up and break down terrain, but I am very quickly coming to that point of just gluing together my building designs I like best in order to set it down and be ready to go, although traveling with the set becomes nearly impossible then.

Grand Tactics drew my interest for one reason. I saw Final Fantasy Tactics all over the core design, and FFT is one of the few video games I loved every aspect of. It still looks to be a fast set-up and break down, still has a miniature aspect to it, but again... does not take up a whole table to play. It may or may not make its funding requirement, but the idea of the game is still sound to me. Same reason I backed the other games. Dungeon Roll is a very addictive quick play game, as is Cthulhu Roll.

At the end of the day I find the games that get the most attention from others are games that have a low buy in cost, can be learned and played quickly, and not a huge loss if you stop playing. Nearly every game I have listed thus far fits those limitations. Everyone can agree that Warhammer is stupidly expensive to get into, more so if you pick a swarm force. Even Heavy Gear Blitz has a fairly hefty price tag to a first time buyer. If you told someone they could play Warhammer and only need to spend $400-500+ dollars to get into the game, versus getting into Deadzone and only having to spend $35, which game do you think will attract more overall attention in the end?

We are certainly living in an interesting time in regards to tabletop games. There are a ton of options out there for every player, and a variety of levels of games in order to draw new players into those games. It is perfectly fine to shift gears away from the more intimidating tabletop games to the more casual variants if that helps bring in new blood to your gaming circle.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Heavy Gear Alpha Rules

Long time, no post.

Been pretty busy with the new house, Deadzone, got back into Magic and a few other things and haven't really had the time to post anything. The Facebook post about the Alpha rules for Heavy gear 5.0 went live was enough to warrant something of a response though.

Overall I have a few things that, a quick read through, stuck out at me.

In terms of using dice, as much as I think having a different die system than D6 being used ( big point on the forums), the advantage of D6 will always be the accessibility. Deadzone, new game from Mantic came out, recently and I found that even though I've been a pen and paper RPGer and wargamer for years, I only had two extra D8s in my house, but somewhere around 100+ D6s.

The bases classification kinda irked me as everything was listed as round bases, with Large Gears and Infantry able to use both Hex and Round bases. The normal Gear though is stuck using only hex bases. I would like to see the system be round or hex for all miniatures. The rules shouldn't break in that regards just because of a miniature's size/base type. I much prefer the look of round bases to hex bases on all my HG minis, and having a mish mash of the two looks strange to me.

Infantry are a bit more protected now, making folks think about AI weapons, where as before a good AE weapon could easily wipe out an entire unit possibly. That is a good change and helps make infantry force more plausible. A giant Mecha game isn't a giant mecha without smaller infantry for scale.

The changes to movement brings HG more inline with what you see in other wargames including Warhammer, Deadzone, Kings of War, ect. Less clutter and far more straight forward.

Damage modifiers being changes is another one that helps streamline things, and also make the game feel more like other wargames on the market. The multiplication thing was a nice gimmick, but at the end of the day, people don't want to worry about MOSx8 or maybe x10 if you did or did not use RoF

Hot Potato... Great for keeping the action playing out almost like a movie, but is it really needed? How often do you see elite soldiers with years outside of bootcamp actually bone up a grenade throw bad enough to have the grenade blow up near them? Nearly every story I have heard like that happens to newbies in bootcamp, Haven't heard of a Seal Team, Ranger team or even basic infantry unit who lost a member in the field to dropping a grenade to close.

Melee changes were fairly minor, but important enough to make that Kodiak with the warstaff a very dangerous threat. Losing the 3" melee range is the biggest change that stuck out at me, and honestly I don't think there was that much really lost. The large range made working out melees rather awkward.

Command in general had a decently sized overhaul done to it to streamline things, and again get rid of the need to track yet another token system. Not horrible, will take some time to get used to the whole chain of command thing with CO, XO, CGL, ect. Will need to get some time to actually playtest and see how things pan out in the field however.

The force selection looks to have had a MAJOR change done to it. Really pushing that HG is supposed to be a skirmish game. A part of me feels as though it might get strange dealing with combat units in a skirmish game though, almost feel like all the gears should be looked at as one unit, all Infantry another unit, tanks.. ect. Again, I'll need to see how it actually playing out though.

Flamers seem like one of those weapons that should have the AI weapon trait by default, just to really make a point of how horrible getting hit by a Gear sized flamer would be. Flamers are terrible at man sized, let alone when the spout of flame can cover half a city block.

Heavy Gear is getting a massive change over. A number of the changes will make the game play feel similar to many other wargames out on the market, but that is a good thing to draw in folks who think HGB is current too complicated or badly written. The important points such as Weapon types, Command Points, and whatnot stayed and in the end mostly enhanced by the new rules. My current PRDF is completely mauled by the new rules, but I am fairly excited to get going on rebuilding it to work with the new system and see how things pan out on the field.

Monday, August 12, 2013

PRDF troubles


My last build of the PRDF went by fairly smoothly, but something with this new build is entirely different. Everything about it is coming along differently, although to be honest it is mostly my fault. Now while you are reading this, just keep in mind I am venting, so it'll be filled with more angst than normal.

First and foremost is the fact I primered my infantry the wrong base color. I don't know why I picked up the wrong primer, but I did, and of course instead of being the ultramarine blue smooth finish, it came out black and chalky. I tried to make it work, I really did, but at the end of the day I am not at all pleased with the outcome, which means paint stripping ahoy.

Next up is the fact I put enough effort into magnetizing my minis, but decided not to put the same effort into bracing the minis arms. Of course this means the minis bust apart if you so much as look at them funny. Of course that means I need to go back and pin the minis and hope the current primer holds up through the punishment it is about to receive.

Last, but the most annoying to me since it hounded me during my last build too, is the fact my Crusader IV axe busted off during travel. I can't figure out how to put the weapon onto the Crusader hands without completely clipping off the hand guard, and pin all the way through. I think I may end up going that route and just sucking it up no matter how much I don't like it.

Right now I am a bit disheartened by all these events. I know I can fix everything, but a part of me really just doesn't want to put that effort forward. Anyone out there in internet-land land have any ideas as to how to approach the whole axe issue? Am I more or less doomed to cutting off the hand guard?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Heavy Gear Rally

Long time no chat everyone. Move is finally over and things are starting to get back to normal around the house, which means I can start focusing on wargaming a bit more again.

To start that off is the latest news of Heavy Gear Rally that DP9 is going to release later on, and officially start showing off rules, minis, and whatnot at GenCon. This has not stopped DP9 from showing previews on their Facebook page the last few weeks. The game looks interesting in a few aspects, namely it is a board game that focuses on the scout gears like the Ferret, BullDog, ect. It is a game for 2-4 players according the the information released on Facebook this morning.

Of course until Gen Con some questions won't be able to get answered unless DP9 does it themselves. Questions which as what material is the minis made out of? Metal doesn't seem popular with board games, so could be restic or plastic from my guess. What is the price point? There really isn't much in the box compared to board game like Rune Wars or even Ticket to Ride, so anything above $50 seems questionable. There is also the questions of scale and if you will be able to use other gears from the Heavy Gear universe.

Unfortunately I don't usually attend GenCon so those tid bits of information will get leaked once the details become available.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Revamped Utopia

Since I had went through and revamped my PRDF to the latest GU5 and GU6 beta rules, figured I
would also run my wife's Utopian force through the same hoops since they also saw some changes, mostly point drops.

Just like originally, I started off with the core starter set for Utopians and worked from there, mostly because my wife isn't here at the moment to tell me exectly what she does and does not want. I worked under the impression of 'bring more guns to the table', so went for numbers rather then quality. Now her force was decent sized before, as you can guess from our battle report we posted a while back, and my way of working on her army list added even more to it. After I got done adding things to it though, I felt like I was looking at robotic version of Zerg/Tyranids. The drones in the list just seemed to go on forever. I won't lie, it intimidated me, and I built the list for crying out load.

UA, Utopian Army . 1000 TV, PL 2, 4 SPs, 4 CPs
Ruleset: Gear Up 5 Threat Values

N-KIDU Automaton SIN Cluster (Core) 105TV Add 5th N-KIDU [T], Add 6th N-KIDU [T], Add 7th N-KIDU [T]
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL CGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV

N-KIDU Automaton SIN Cluster (Core) 105TV
Add 5th N-KIDU [T], Add 6th N-KIDU [T], Add 7th N-KIDU [T]
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL CGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV
  • N-KIDU [T] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLAC VLAC APGL 15TV

Veteran Armiger Automaton Control Recce Troupe (Auxiliary) [Army Command Group] 410TV
  • Armiger RE-101 [2/3/3/2] (14/56 SLHC) AGM HGLC APGL HHG VB CGL, ArmyCmdr 170TV
    • Def +1 (AC) +10 TV
    • EW +1 (AC) +10 TV
    • Ld +1 (AC) +10 TV
    • Swap SLC for HGLC 0 TV
    • Swap MRP/9 for AGM(4) +15 TV
    • Add 2nd NAI Matrix +5 TV
    • Add 3rd N-KIDU [F] Drone +20 TV
    • Add 4th N-KIDU [F] Drone +20 TV
    • Satellite Uplink +5 TV
    • Stealth(2) +5 TV
    • Stealth(4) +5 TV

  • N-KIDU [R] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) LAC APGL 20TV
    • Swap LRF for LAC 0 TV

  • N-KIDU [R] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) LAC APGL 20TV
    • Swap LRF for LAC 0 TV

  • Armiger RE-101 [3/3/3/0] (14/56 SLHC) SLC MRP/9 APGL HHG VB 140TV
    • Att, Def 3 +10 TV
    • EW 3 +10 TV
    • Add 2nd NAI Matrix +5 TV
    • Add 3rd N-KIDU [F] Drone +20 TV
    • Add 4th N-KIDU [F] Drone +20 TV
    • Stealth(2) +5 TV
    • Stealth(4) +5 TV

  • N-KIDU [R] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) LAC APGL 20TV
    • Swap LRF for LAC 0 TV

  • N-KIDU [R] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) LAC APGL 20TV
    • Swap LRF for LAC 0 TV

  • N-KIDU [R] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLRP/32 LRF APGL (N-KIDU [F]->N-KIDU [R] 0 TV) 25TV
    • VLRP/32 [R] +5 TV

  • N-KIDU [R] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLRP/32 LRF APGL (N-KIDU [F]->N-KIDU [R] 0 TV) 25TV
    • VLRP/32 [R] +5 TV

  • N-KIDU [R] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLRP/32 LRF APGL (N-KIDU [F]->N-KIDU [R] 0 TV) 25TV
    • VLRP/32 [R] +5 TV

  • N-KIDU [R] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) VLRP/32 LRF APGL (N-KIDU [F]->N-KIDU [R] 0 TV) 25TV
    • VLRP/32 [R] +5 TV

Veteran Armiger Automaton Control Support Troupe (Specialist) 380TV
  • Armiger FS-101 [3/3/1/1] (16/64 SLHC) ATM LLC APGL VB RAM CGL 155TV
    • Add 2nd NAI Matrix +5 TV
    • Add 3rd N-KIDU [F] Drone +20 TV
    • Add 4th N-KIDU [F] Drone +20 TV
    • Att, Def 3 +10 TV
    • Swap VHAC for LLC +5 TV
    • Swap HGM for ATM(6) +45 TV

  • N-KIDU [F] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) MRP/9 APGL 20TV
  • N-KIDU [F] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) MRP/9 APGL 20TV
  • Armiger FS-101 [3/3/1/0] (16/64 SLHC) VHAC HGM APGL VB RAM 105TV
    • Add 2nd NAI Matrix +5 TV
    • Add 3rd N-KIDU [F] Drone +20 TV
    • Add 4th N-KIDU [F] Drone +20 TV
    • Att, Def 3 +10 TV

  • N-KIDU [F] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) MRP/9 APGL 20TV
  • N-KIDU [F] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) MRP/9 APGL 20TV
  • N-KIDU [F] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) AGM APGL 30TV
    • Swap MRP/9 for AGM(4) +10 TV

  • N-KIDU [F] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) AGM APGL 30TV
    • Swap MRP/9 for AGM(4) +10 TV

  • N-KIDU [F] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) AGM APGL 30TV
    • Swap MRP/9 for AGM(4) +10 TV

  • N-KIDU [F] [1/1/1/0] (8/24 LHC) AGM APGL 30TV
    • Swap MRP/9 for AGM(4) +10 TV

Now, I just threw this together to get an idea on how things changed, but it wasn't just a single drone here and there added. It was a whole SWARM of drones added. I believe the phrase is 'target rich environment' to be fitting in this particular situation.

I think the key to her force will be the drone linking ability. She will have to in order to make the lighter ranged weapons dangerous. I gave her AC and the other Armiger RE-101 Stealth to promote them getting closer in and dealing out EW as needed. The FS-101's are to remain back with their missile equipped drones and focus on unloading payloads across the field. The two packs of seven N-KIDU[R]s are there mostly for screening purposes. The longer the opponent has to hack through the trash drones, the more time the important Armigers and drones have to get into position.

Once again, this list could easily change once my wife actually sees it and decides if she wants to do a mixed Earth and Utopian force or not. She really does want a HHT-90 Overlord Hovertank after all....
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