What’s Going On ….

I’ve been meaning to write my blog post for the last 2 weeks but Mike beat me to it with his Bonescon post. Now that is a good start – why didn’t I go? Simple answer is that I am being very canny with the pounds and pence and will choose wisely what I attend this year. That didn’t mean that I as soon as I saw info being posted on tut social media about the con, I regretted not going. Just being able to hang with Mike and Spooner and/or go and do some gaming myself too – they played Wrath of Kings there for lards sake! Its also the camaraderie and bants and drinking. I spent a very memorable evening at Smogcon 2016 I think, with some great company at a local nearby pub. We had such a laugh and I drank far too much. When you first attend these cons, its all about the gaming. Then eventually that changes to hanging with buddies and perhaps getting a game in now and then. Hopefully there will be next year.

However on the event front I am attending an Epic Armageddon event in the shape of Full Scale Assault (and Pepper). This is an EPIC-UK event being run by the folks from EPIC-UK (unsurprisingly) in the manly form of Dave Bartley. If you want to know more about EPIC-UKevents go visit their events page.

So why EPIC? Well Nick and I have started to adopt the “game of the month”. January it was Bolt Action. February it is Epic Armageddon. So I have been playing and learning all about Epic and really enjoying the game system. I think it has a lot of tactical depth too and an elegance about it. Of course there is the fact that it is a GW game system and I’ve had loads of rules queried which have been able answered by a friend that play EPIC a lot more regularly than I do! I’m really looking forward to the event and very probably getting smashed off the table but I don’t care as I am going there to get some more games in. There is a down side to this as 4 of Tanelorn are attending this event which means the club wooden spoon is in play ie the lowest placing player from the club gets an entry in the club wooden spoon count for 2018. Who cares as I have won it a few times before any way – the wooden spoon that is, not an EPIC event!

Of course going to this event means that I have to have stuff painted. Everything has got some paint on it and I have been reliably informed that this is good enough. To get to this state I ended up putting paint on my two Warhound Titans, two Thunderbolts, a space ship (battlefleet gothic) and my objectives. Its nothing fancy, just some base coats and washes for now. I’ve also gone back and added a finer sand to the bases of all the troops that I am using. I would love to be able to go back to each stand and adjust the yellow to be more yellow than green and put a base colour on the base, but I am just not going to get the time to do this.

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What else has been going on? I’ve continued to build my 40k army up and have built my 3 destroyers, a metal enginseer and am in the middle of building by 2nd dunecrawler too. So some success there. I will be playing my 2nd campaign game at the club on the 25th against Iron Warriors. I had a game against them the Sunday just gone and I got shot off the board. After playing my opponent, I went away and starter to watch some Ad Mech youtube battle reports and have realised a few things about my army comp and style of play. I need to tune things up a bit but to do that means I will need to build more stuff. The 3rd campaign game will be a 3000pt game. I already have a knight that I need to build,  but this lasted 2 turns in the game that I just had so am wondering if what I in fact need to do is invest in another starter Skitarii boxed set to get me a 3rd crawler and the relevant troop kit models to make me some arc rifle armed troops to bolster my existing troops. I could then hold off on the knight build. I also need to build Belisarius Cawl as this character seems to be an integral part to any semi-competitive Ad Mech list. Yes it’s great getting blown off the board, but when you leave your opponent stating that perhaps he should tone down his list for our campaign game, I kind of thought that I need to do a bit more work on the army to actually give my opponents a game. Food for thought.

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What else? Well there is Gaslands. We’ve had a few games at the club including completing a whole Death Race with 5 players running a 25can team each. Immense fun. We’ve learned so much about the game in all our little “lets give this a try”, learner games where we never managed to even get past the 1st gate. We’ve managed to feed back in to the FAQ too. We’ve influenced the output of the Gaslands Vehicle Creation Tool allowing players who use this tool to print these out (when at 40-50% print size) at a size that these dashboards fit in to a plastic sleeved wallet. The last thing is one of our club members (Adam Bunn) has designed a brilliant vehicle dashboard card which is blank and universal enough for players to use and again will fit in a sleeved wallet. I’ve enjoyed every game of Gaslands so far and I can see a campaign in the future at the club.

Other things – I built a troll for LotR and have played a game of it at the club. I lost 5-3 but it was such an epic battle versus Rohan. I’ve managed to finish another piece of club terrain too.

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I’ve no idea what March will bring game wise, but I am looking forward to it!

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Bonescon 2018

Friday 16th February 2018.  Its 6am and I am waiting outside Matts house to drive to Birmingham from the first day of Bonescon.  As he lurches across the lawn like some sort of demented Quasimodo I tell him that if I ever suggest doing anything like this again then he should punch me in the throat.  Well I guess I’m going to end up with a crushed trachea because Bonescon 2018 was excellent fun and we will definitely be back in 2019

For me the weekend felt like the final cathartic release after the failure of Daffcon and the Butterfly House was definitely the spiritual successor to that event.  A place where you could come, hang out and get away from the hustle and bustle of the more competitive gaming spaces to just put some toy soldiers down on a table top and push models around whilst chatting away to old friends.  Over the weekend we had people playing Dead Mans Hand, Frostgrave, OGAM, Dragon Rampant and Open Combat and all seemed to be enjoying themselves – they certainly knew the rules better than I did.

Paranoid Miniatures ran demo after demo of Mythos and Gaslands was Uber (car joke there somewhere) busy from the get go. The lovely Gav Thorpe came as well, hanging out, swapping stories with people and giving demos of Big Stompy Robots.  I shall say nothing about how my demo of it went other than to say, four BSRs entered and only 1 left.  So suck it losers 🙂

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As many people predicted (I hate how well people know me sometimes) I didn’t get the 7TV game finished (one day) so we ran plenty of Zombie Run instead.  Indeed it was how much fun that proved to be that helped convince Matt that we will be back next time as he started to plan Zombie Run II.  Bigger, Better and just generally more dead things.

Which brings us nicely to next year.  As I write its still slightly up in the air if there will be a Bonescon 2019, but I’m pretty sure that if enough people say nice things to Jon it will run again and I didn’t hear a bad word about the event over the 3 days – hotel certainly should have been happy with us given the amount of booze we ran them out of.

Out plan for the Butterfly House is to take the whole chillax and push some toy soldiers around concept to the next level.  So no fixed gaming schedule but instead a shelf full of games along with the figures needed to play them.  Fancy a game of the excellent Burrows and Badgers you have heard about.  Take the box off the shelf – it contains rules, figures, dice etc. – find yourself a table and start playing.  Think board-game cafe but with miniature games instead – oh and two ageing fat men rather than a couple of hipsters.

We are also keen to incorporate other games in to the space as well so are thinking of running RPG one shots over the weekend.  If we do I will definitely be running a Paranoia one.

Participation games will remain, as I said above Zombie Run II will be a thing and we are also going to do a classic hack and slash dungeon crawl game.  How much treasure can you find before you have to escape.

Finally I hope that we will expand the number of smaller manufacturers that will come and hang out with us.   Gaslands and Paranoid have already said they will be back but I’d love to add a few more – Oathsworn I am looking at you.

With that, love and peace to you all, thanks for coming along and seeing us and making it a great weekend.  Here’s to the Butterfly House, long may it continue.

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Episode 345 – Swing and a miss

In which Mike is rejoined by Matt (sorry Conrad fans) to talk about whats been happening in the month of January. Its a tale of missed opportunities, possible futures and generally the usual sort of thing from a couple of old geezers who need to keep running to the bathroom every 5 minutes. It does contain a review of possibly the worst tabletop game that we have ever played though and it does get a bit ranty, so if you like that sort of thing then this episode is probably going to be right up your street. Overall grade for January though is pretty much could do better. That plan for 3 episodes a week is going swimmingly well after all 🙂

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Its a cat. In a box

Direct Link: http://www.foolsdaily.com/fools_345.mp3

Revenge?

Time for the second game in our small Dragon Rampant campaign, can Boris get away with the loot or is he going to learn that the Nipponese are not as much of a pushover that he thought?

Scenario Two – Wagons Ho!

Following the successful village raid, Boris’s warriors are transporting the results of their pillaging back to the main barbarian camp.  The wagons are slow however and from the hills surrounding the path, vengeful eyes look on.

Setup

The table should be set up so a road runs along the length of the table 6” wide.  Hills, woods, building etc. should cover the remaining table, the denser the better.

One wagon model per loot counter will be required

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Deployment

The winners of Scenario One deploy the wagon models on the road in a line, one wagon should be touching the edge and then a 3” gap between each wagon.  They then deploy their units so that each unit is within 6” of at least one wagon.

The ambusher deploys with their units touching a table edge on the second half of the table.

The defender has the same units they had in Scenario One.

The attacker has any units that were not destroyed in scenario one together with an additional 18 points of support.

Wagons will automatically move 6” forward at the start of the defenders turn unless an ambushing unit is within 1”

Ambushers can attempt to capture a wagon on an 8+ roll If a wagon is captured defender may capture it back by putting a unit in btb with the wagon – it is assumed a new driver takes over.

If a wagon is captured by the ambusher then it stops moving.

Victory

  • Ambusher gains 2 Glory for each wagon retrieved
  • Defender gains 3 Glory for each wagon that exits the far end of the table

Normal glory quests are also used in this game.

Game ends when either all the wagons have left the table or have been captured

Episode 344 – Pull up a chair and linger a while

In which Mike gets a classy cohost in the form of the wonderful Conrad. Its been a while since we last heard from him and this episode is a catch up on whats been going on in his gaming life and how he seems, for the moment at least, t have recaptured some hobby mojo. Now I can’t promise that we stay totally on topic for the 80 odd minutes of the show, just as I can’t promise that Conrad doesn’t get a bit silly in places (he is old and senile after all) but hopefully you’ll find it worth listening to.

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A cute puppy, cause frankly, puppies means clicks

Direct Link: http://www.foolsdaily.com/fools_344.mp3

What A Feeling ….

Take your passion
And Make It Happen

Parts of lyrics from Flashdance sung by Irene Cara and as far away from hobby as you have thunk!

“Get that man his frog pills!” shouts Spooner and Mike!
“No! It’s okay, I’m not having one of my moments … honest! says I.

What’s this all about you may ask – perfectly legitimate question. Well I appear to have the embers of my hobby mojo slowly returning. I’m excited about doing stuff. These last few months have felt a chore to be quite frank. Building for the club 40k campaign, trying to fulfil the painted BA army quest for 2017. It all just seemed like I had to do it because I was chasing that dangling carrot again. So what’s changed then? Well I’ve started 2017 playing Bolt Action. We’ve been playing a lot of 8th edition 40k and as much as I love the game, I’m playing my current 1500 pts with a few blank bases. That too me is as much a reminder and downer of the fact that I have not built the stuff. This should have a positive effect on me to spur me on and build, but it really hasn’t done that at all.  So Nick (my regular Friday gaming partner) and I have gone back to playing Bolt Action and it’s just so refreshing and surprising (still) how good the game is. Add to that the fact that all my models have paint on them but some are just undercoated , but it feels valid and complete playing with the army unlike my Ad Mech in 40k.

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However we are in the throws of the 2nd round of the 40k campaign and I have to build my 1500pts and preferably 2000pts. Playing the BA has helped me because the army has stuff painted and built. I’m even thinking about quick ways of getting some base coat and washes on the Ad Mech to at least have them there with some colour for later this year. The big thing is that I am slowly getting there. I’ve just finished building my unit of Infiltrators and they are absolutely gorgeous figures.

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Then along comes Gaslands. I’ve been longing for a good car game a la Mad Max. I played Car Wars, Battlecars and Dark Future in the past. Each have their issues and niche in my gaming past. Dark Future certainly came the closest for me in terms of being that game but the rules mechanics were very detailed – but still fun. At the end of the day you need to play these things regularly to ensure the lurv. I’ve been watching the buzz on the Facebook Gaslands group and seeing the pictures of people’s creations, and quite frankly its really inspiring to see this stuff. I had my first few games in the last week (25 cans only) and have got a real feel for the game and it has my juices going. There are a few interested parties at the club too as I demoed the game with some club mates 2 Sundays ago. We’ve got stuff wrong for the first few games but I’m fairly certain the next game which I will play this week will go to 50 cans.

But the big thing is that I grabbed my Route 666, Devils Highway cars which I had got from the Kickstarter and have prepped and undercoated and put paint to at least one vehicle. I’m so looking forward to completing this and I got to use my airbrush again and chipping fluid!

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I’ve also been using my airbrush on club terrain for the 40k campaign. Its all fairly basic MDF buildings but when you add some paint to them, it brings them alive. The building in first pic below is complete, and the 2nd are WIP. I need to highlight them, do some stencilled letters – both via the airbrush and then use weathering magic on them, varnish and then on to the next ones.

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I played Epic today at the club and realised how much I love this game and want to play it more. I’m seriously considering going to the one day Full Scale Assault EpicUK event which you can find more about here. It would mean just putting an undercoat, base coat and wash on 2 warhound titans, 2 thunderbolts, an imperial commander, a spaceship and 2 drop pods. I’d have to base stuff where appropriate but the army is yellow with a wash and is good enough to put on the table. I can go back to it to do any fancy stuff. I think I will okay the day out with SWMBO and go as the event will spur me on to put paint on the above models.

In painting the Gaslands car, I realised what the blocker was re finishing my BA stuff off. The batch of figures is too big. I need to stick to 2 or 3’s and I feel that I will achieve and see results quicker and that will spur me on to the next batch. Its worth giving a go!

Onwards and upwards, I feel energised and excited about getting stuff done!

Boris Smash

As you will have seen from Matts latest article we have kicked off our regular Monday gaming sessions with the first battle in our mini Dragon Rampant campaign.  As expected, Boris unleashed hell on the small unsuspecting village and his warriors, ably led by his wife, walked away with all the treasure, leaving a few battered and beaten defenders to face the wrath of their liege lord.

We decided that we would create 60 point armies and then pick units from that pool for each game that we played

Boris has the following pool to choose from

  • Boris BearRider (Elite Riders, Level Headed, Blessed Weapons)
  • Sons of Crom (Bellicose Foot)
  • Witches of Stygia (Bellicose Foot, Spellcaster)
  • Mamas Boys (Bellicose Foot, Fearful, Terrifically Shiny Armour)
  • The Jotun (Heavy Infantry, Offensive)
  • The Steeds of Nabol (Heavy Cavalry)
  • Thruds (Heavy Infantry, Offensive, Enchanted Weapons)
  • The Tribe (Light Missiles)
  • Hounds of Lod (Lesser Warbeasts)
  • Hruk (Greater Warbeast, Ponderous,Fear)

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and for this initial raid he used

  • Sons of Crom (Bellicose Foot)
  • Mamas Boys (Bellicose Foot, Fearful, Terrifically Shiny Armour)
  • The Jotun (Heavy Infantry, Offensive)
  • The Steeds of Nabol (Heavy Cavalry)
  • Hounds of Lod (Lesser Warbeasts)

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As I said above the game ended up in a victory for Boris’s forces but it was not without a cost as The Sons of Crom will enter the next battle Fearful.  They do have 3 Will of the God Points though as do the Mamas Boys so a couple more successful things could see them gaining a reroll.

The next scenario will see the treasures being taken back to the main encampment whilst the forces of Tetsuo try to redeem themselves for their previous failures and hope than their lords steely gaze doesn’t fall on them.

Boris SMASH!!!!!

Oh and if you ever thought that Matt had a slight Samurai obsession, then the table he was able to put together won’t disavow you of that 🙂

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A Warlord’s price

The village was still smouldering as the column of samurai approached through in the afternoon sun. Bodies were strewn through the pathways between the buildings and the wounded stood and bowed as the daimyo and his entourage made their way to the centre.

‘My lord, we were not expecting you so quickly’

The junior officer was shaking as he stood in the clearing, head bowed.

‘The gaijin approached under cover of darkness and fell upon us without warning. We mustered as quickly as we could but they came at us from all sides. Those that stood to first, were cut down. The rest of us barely were able to fend them off.’

Tetsuo looked around at the survivors. As his glance moved from man to man, they quickly looked down in order to not meet his his steely stare.

‘It seems that the officer in charge of this garrison was ill prepared and it was only that those animals had grabbed what they wanted that made them leave. Where is the leader of these men?’

The junior officer gestured to a corpse by the signal beacon.

‘Akita-san was killed trying to summon reinforcements, my lord’

Tetsuo shifted in his saddle to look back to one of his retainers.

‘Given his death, make sure that my displeasure is visited upon his family’, Tetsuo ordered through gritted teeth.

A lightly dressed warrior jogged into the village clearing and knelt in front of Tetsuo.

‘Lord, they are heading west with wagons. They seem to be making their way back to the border’

Tetsuo turned as was about to call for the wizard, but the wizened old man was already standing alongside the daimyo, where only seconds before there had been empty space.

‘Xin Loi, I will chase the barbarians down myself’, Tetsuo lowered his voice ‘Go to your…..allies and see if they will join me.’

The wizard’s voice was like cracking twigs, ‘You know the price they will ask?’

Tetsuo snapped back ‘Yes! I am not a fool, but they will earn their reward’.

The warlord turned his eyes to the west. These invaders didn’t know what they had started, the cost for his kingdom would be high but what was to come would mean that the army of Tetsuo Fujitaki would be feared across the whole world.

Chicago Way – Initial Thoughts

IMG_0633.jpgYou wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way! 

In an effort to get the pile on unplayed games reduced Matt and I were able to arrange an impromptu gaming session yesterday (thank the gods that our children get along so well) and we decided that we would break out Chicago Way.

We had been talking about playing this one for a while – Matt is a bit of a sucker for gangster games – and given that it is based on the Dead Mans Hand ruleset (one of our favourite cinematic games) we had high hopes for a fun afternoon.

The game has four different factions (Prohibition Agents, Police, Gangsters and Moonshiners) and Matt decided that he would play Prohibition Agents against my Gangsters led by the lovely and not at all psychopathic Dapper Dan.

As is usual for the first time that we play a game we didn’t actually read the rules beforehand so just picked what we thought we had cool models for.  This did lead to some stupid equipment mistakes on my part ($1500 for a Tommy Gun!!!!) and meant that we didn’t use the vehicle rules at all.  This was probably a mistake on our part given that the first sentence of the vehicle section is “Vehicles are a key part of The Chicago Way” but you live and learn and it gives us something new to try next game.

One of the big differences between this and DMH is that each game is just made up of a single scenario, rather than the 3 interlinked scenes of the earlier game.  To offset this, the game is very much designed around playing a campaign, similar to the campaign system in the second DMH book, Legends, which is focused around your gang gaining control of Chicago.  We ended up just deciding to have a straight shoot out type game so played the Massacre scenario with $10000 gangs.

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The table set up

I had Dapper Dan, Machine Gun Moll (Hitman) 3 Hoods and 3 Thugs.   Matt had Agent Smith, Tintin and a seemingly endless supply of Prohibition Agents.

At the end of the game Dapper Dan was in handcuffs (having been smashed in the face by the stock of a Tommy Gun) most of the crew were dead, Machine Gun Moll had fled the scene and I would have to put up with Matt endlessly crowing about smashing me.

As hoped the game had provided some excellent cinematic moments, my favourite being Moll opening up on 3 of the Prohibition Agents with her tommy gun.  I could just see the slow motion of the ejector port as the brass cartridge cases fell on the floor around her as she tried to rescue her man from the government lickspittles.  She failed, but that doesn’t make it less cinematic 🙂

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Dapper Dan and his crew down for the count

All in all it was excellent fun and we will be definitely playing a campaign of it later in the year.  If you like DMH then you owe it to yourself to give The Chicago Way a try, you probably won’t regret it.

You just fulfilled the first rule of law enforcement: make sure when your shift is over you go home alive. Here endeth the lesson.

Episode 343 – NYSOS

In which Mike and Matt record the first FD episode in 6 months. 6 months of peace and quiet ruined by a couple of middle aged old men blethering on about playing with toy soldiers. We have a very brief catchup on what happened in the second half of 2017 and then launch into discussion of plans for 2018. Hopefully those plans include more audio shows. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men…

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Direct Link: http://www.foolsdaily.com/fools_343.mp3