Month: June 2019

Episode 350 – It’ a Wonderful Life

In which Mike and Matt make there long awaited return to the podcasting pool. Ok some people wanted us to come back. Well at least one person so this is for him. Yes after over a year away we’ve actually carved out some time to record something, even if it is basically what we have been writing on the blog for the past few posts. Its like an Audible version. Hope you like it and we are certainly planning on doing more but as with all these things it will be when it will be.

Direct Link: http://www.foolsdaily.com/fools_350.mp3

(Battle) Field of Dreams….

As some of you will know from reading Mike’s earlier blog and following us on Twitter, we really like Saga – Age of Magic.

There appears to be a lot of similar, like minded people out there so I thought I’d make a step to see if we can create a bit of an event scene for it.

I’m running my first Saga event on the 24th August at our old friends, Battlefield Hobbies to see if we can get a bit of buzz going. It’s called Here Be Dragons (it’s uncharted territory and, well……..dragons!!) and if there’s enough interest it’s one that we can take in the road to other venues too.

The aim is to create a friendly environment for people to come and play new people and show off their warbands under the guise of a vaguely competitive event. Much like the 7TV and Dragon Rampant days that we have attended at the excellent Board in Brum (go there if you are in the vicinity!!).

This link to the rules pack may or may not work, but it’s in the Saga FB group or ping me on Twitter if you are interested…….

https://www.dropbox.com/s/narr5zssijgota8/HBD%202019.pdf?dl=0

Over Invested??

Got another DnD session tomorrow in Birmingham and as I sit here watching the cricket I’m thinking about how my character has developed over the past year and wondering if other folks do the same sort of thing.  I mean I know I tend to over invest in the story aspect of miniature games but surely RPGs are different and everyone has the same sort of story thoughts.

Krunk started off as a typical thick Half Orc Berserker running every which shouting monster.  The rest of the party would continually make jokes about child reins for him as he would get them into (and fortunately out of) bad situations but as we went on he was becoming more and more one dimensional to play, after all there is only so much you can do with that sort of character.  At this point I didn’t really have a lot of background for him beyond some character traits that had developed over the sessions but after we rescued a wizard I decided that I would use the offered reward to increase my intelligence – so Krunk wrote the following letter (which brought a collective smile to our DnD Whatsapp group)Screenshot 2019-03-03 21.28.38.png

This increased my intelligence to 10 and I decided that what had actually happened was that the wizard repaired some previous brain damage that Krunk had sustained and that he would start to remember where he came from and his back story.   Combining this with starting to take levels in fighter rather than barbarian as if some previous knowledge was returned.  Of course this all meant that I needed to come up with some more backstory and more importantly communicate this not only to my fellow party members but also our lovely DM Joel so that if he wanted he could incorporate threads of the story into the ongoing campaign narrative – this is the mark of a great DM, they let the players direct the story rather than imposing their vision on the players.

To this end I came up with a 10 things that you didn’t know about Krunk list that sketches out in broad strokes the tragic story of his life

  1. Krunk was leader of his tribe and was married to his childhood sweetheart Kayala
  2. His brother was jealous and murdered Kayala framing Krunk
  3. Krunk was stripped of leadership by the tribal moot and made into a slave
  4. His brother was not satisfied with this and continued to humiliate Krunk at all times.  
  5. Krunk tried to escape but was chased by the tribal warriors and went off a cliff into the sea, smashing his head into a rock.
  6. He was washed up the coast of another island with no memory and reverting to his primitive instincts
  7. Dwayne was washed up with him.  Was it the rock that caused the brain injury?
  8. Inadvertently the wizard has repaired the brain damage so his memories and original personality are returning
  9. Who knows what that personality is?
  10. Krunk is vegetarian because Kayala is (was?) and he would do anything for her

This list gives Joel plenty of story hooks, lets my fellow players know whats going on and also helps me to have consistency of roleplay with the character (something I struggle with sometimes)

It also helps me formulate my next few game play options e.g. I know what my next few levels are going to be spent on and what sort of gaming direction the character is going in – one of the interesting things about playing 5e vs. when I started is that the rules prescribe much more you character development.

So I guess the question is, how much do you know about your DnD character?

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I’m confused

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m quite an old fellow (not Conrad old obviously) and maybe the brain doesn’t work as well as it used to but this week I’ve found myself getting very confused by what, on paper, should be a very simple game, Age of Sigmar (AoS for short), mainly around picking an army.  Not what army to pick, that was easy as I’ve gone for something that should be very simple to paint, but how to actually decide what models I am going to put on the tabletop.

Better go back to the beginning.

A friend of ours Ben Crowe was running an AoS Narrative event a couple of weeks ago and I had signed up to play in it along with Matt, Lee and the boy Rory.  The fact that it was AoS (which I’ve not really played) was irrelevant, it was a chance to get away with some good friends and push some toys around the table.  My plan was to take a load of old early 90s Empire models, mainly because I thought it would be fun to put models on the table that were older than my opponents and as there was no painting requirement the fact that I am a slacker didn’t matter.  In the end I was unable to make it due to family issues but the rest of the crew went and had a fantastic time with Matt assuring me that they were the sort of gamers that we like to play against – results very much a secondary consideration.

This of course means that we are going to be playing some more AoS in the future and for this I need a painted army.  Being honest, the Empire project is a long long term thing so I needed another army that I could get done very simply and wouldn’t be a huge amount of models.  Quick look at the GW website lead me quite easily to Deamons and specifically the Blades of Khorne.   Stick with the deamonic troops and its a quick red spray and wash job to get them to a tabletop standard, which is all I am going to be aiming for.  All i needed to do now is decide what I was actually going to put on the table.

To this end I took a quick!! (its not a quick drive from Norfolk) trip to Warhammer World  picked up the book and a start collecting box whilst having a lovely burger.  The unit cards were sold out but I quickly found a source on eBay (though firstly I did make the mistake of purchasing the previous edition – who knew that AoS codexes have 2 versions already) so thought I was ready to go.

Reading the book though just left me very confused indeed.  Not around troop types, those are all very straightforward but all the ancillary stuff around it. Battle Traits, Command Traits, Artefacts, Judgements, the list goes on and on and the explanations of what and where you use each is woefully lacking.  No nice ‘how to build an army’ section to help me out, just thrown in at the deep end.

Fortunately I already knew there was an online army builder available (Ayzr), so I was able to use that to answer some of my problems but if I hadn’t then I think I would probably have just given up.

I guess that most folks will either have a load of pre knowledge about how it all works or a group that they are playing in but I can’t help think that if you are just making your first steps into the game then it could be slightly easier for you to get into and understand,  even if its something as simple as a one page generic step by step guide which not only explains what the methodology is but also what the terms all mean – I’m still not sure what a Command Trait is, perhaps it is explained in another book.

The book itself though is a work of art and the hobby section is lovely indeed, no-one else makes gaming books as well as GW does from a production POV

Right better go ask Rory if I’m doing it right

 

Warhammer Chaosbane

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In a world ravaged by war and dominated by magic, you must rise up to face the Chaos hordes. Playing solo or with up to four players in local or online co-op, choose a hero from four character classes and prepare for epic battles wielding some of the most powerful artefacts of the Old World.

One of the things that has been keeping me from painting in the last few weeks has been my lovely XBox.  First Diablo launched a new season and then Chaosbane was released.  It’s a tough time being a gamer.

So I’m sure you know what Diablo is (if you don’t the rest of this article isn’t going to make a lot of sense) but you might be asking yourself what Chaosbane is.  Well easiest way to describe it is to say its Diablo in a Warhammer setting (Warhammer so the Old World, not shiny AoS goodness) which means a hack and slash arcade adventure with random loot drops, some RPG like elements with skill trees and a boat load of monsters (actually make that two boat loads).

The game is set at the end of the first great chaos incursion where Magnus has turned back the forces of the dark gods at Praag.  The invasion has been defeated but there are still a lot of chaos warbands to be hunted down and destroyed and this is where you come in.

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You can pick from four character classes (Empire Soldier, Dwarf Slayer, Wood Elf Archer,  High Elf Mage) and each plays very differently – the Imperial Soldier seems a little boring if I am honest but the other 3 are great fun.  Most of my playtime so far has been as Braggi Axebiter, Dwarven Slayer who chops up Chaos Deamons very efficiently indeed, building up his rage to unleash even more powerful swings with his axes.

You travel through various famous locations of the old world (Nuln, Praag etc.) hunting down Chaos Champions in pursuit of the mysterious figure of the Harbinger with each chapter ending in a classic boss fight against a great deamon of the relevent power.  So far a Great Unclean One and a Bloodthirster have fallen under my axes and given that I am currently in a Slaanesh based area I feel that it will be a Keeper of Secrets next.  It will die.

Loot is pretty much the same as Diablo (though drops are less frequent) with different rarity values.  So far I’ve seen 3 types but apparently after you have completed the game you unlock ‘heroic’ drops which again seem to be analogous to Diablos legendaries.

Skills are where the game gets more ambitious as you have a certain number of skill points to spend on your abilities, both active and passive.  Most abilities also have 3 levels, each level being more expensive than the previous, which means you have to make hard choices about what you are going to invest it.  I’m guessing that the hope was that players would be constantly switching points around to give different play-styles a go within the same character but for a player like me it just means that you are using just a couple of abilities as you know what they do and how to get the best out of them.  It’s possible that later level design might require some rethinking but I’m not really sure thats going to be the case.  You also have the God Power tree which is another way you can customise you character – note that the usage of this isn’t very well explained when you get access to it and its very easy to spend points (and other resources) on builds that won’t actually help you with the way you want to play.  You can reset the tree but whilst it will give you the skill points back it won’t refund the resources (gems called fragments) that you have used.  Bit of a miss there I think.

Graphically the game is great, the screens look like the old world, the monsters are instantly recognisable (assuming you know your Warhammer) and the special effects are suitably flashy.  For me the fixed camera is a little to far away, I’d like to see more of the detail of both my character and the things that I am fighting but its a personal preference thing.  I see why they have done it, its just not what I would have done.

Sound is the biggest issue with the game.  The incidental sounds are all fine but the voice acting is not great with accents going all over the place.  There are also some bugs where the conversations get muddled up with the subtitles which can be slightly jarring.  It’s not enough to ruin the game but it is enough to yank you out of the playing experience.  Teclis sounds very very manly as well, certainly not how I would imagine a high elf speaking, especially one with his health problems.

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The game supports 4 player co-op though I haven’t tried that out and once you’ve completed the main quest line you can unlock various multiplayer random dungeon type experiences – think Diablo Rifts and you aren’t far off.

Apparently we will be getting more content soon as well including another playable class – my money is on a witch hunter.

Overall I’d recommend the game and give it a solid 7/10, certainly the best Warhammer game I’ve played in a long time.  Its not Diablo but until we get a new one of those it certainly fills the gap nicely.

One and done

Sort of a catchup post this one, so bear with me as its all over the place.

I came to a very odd conclusion this week about 7TV.  Whilst it is a most fantastic game (as I’ve said previously probably the best set of character driven skirmish rules on the market at the moment) its going to prove expensive in both terms of time and money.  Why is this I hear you ask?   Well I didn’t because I’m not Alexa but if I was then I would have heard you.  As an aside is anyone really surprised that these smart devices are listening to you all the time?  I mean how do you think they know when you say ‘Alexa’

Anyway.

So yes, 7TV expensive.

Well its because for each event that I’m doing (and there are 3 this year) I’m painting a new cast – can’t take the same again – and lets be honest, I’m probably not going to use the figures for something else, even if I insist to myself that I am going to.

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So for the first event I went to I painted up my Johnny Chan cast but I can’t reuse that for the Pulp event next month so I’ve been working on Dr Möbius and his Robotic Legions.   3 more models to paint for that one.

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But then I’ve got another 7TV day towards the end of the year and I can’t take Möbius again – people will have seen it – so I’ll have to do another cast.

Fortunately of course I have plenty of models so its really just the painting that will need to be done – oh and coming up with a suitable concept (which I am still struggling with)

In other news Matt and I went to our first Dragon Rampant event at Board in Brum.  Was really good fun with lots of wacky events and scenarios playing out – numbers were slightly disapointing but it didn’t affect the gaming one jot, just means its less likely to run again 🙁  Also hell froze over and Matt won the event.  Yes you read that right and no, he hasn’t stopped going on about it. IMG_3725.jpg

Next month its 7TV Pulp along with Burrows and Badgers.  Oh and at the end of the month its MAGE.  Busy.

Finally I did a test last night to make sure all the podcasting plumbing is still working as I was harassed (harassed I tell you) at WHW yesterday to get recording again. Never one to upset people we are hoping to try and do something this week – its difficult as Matt is travelling a lot but we do still have a lot to say and as we get older we get even more opinionated.  You really don’t want to get me started on the amount of spoonfeeding that gamers seem to need these days.

Oh look out, I’ve started …

TTFN