Friday, August 13, 2010

Gencon - 2010 (LONG)

Last week was Gencon and again I went for all four days! It was a lot of fun and if you are any kind of gamer and in the area, I recommend it!

Wednesday – Day 0

Like last year, I decided to “Cull the Herd” and sell some of my games. In the end I had two containers full with 31 auctions. I had a mix of games that I was looking to sell and a bunch of old 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons. After a couple of hours of waiting in line (I pre-registered all my stuff this year), I got out of there happy that everything was in there.

My purchases started that day since I went and bought the Privateer Press Ram shirt like I have every year (it’s a tradition – like the hirstart mold). Once done, I headed to the Game Preserve (the local game store) for Urbie Wars! It’s a fun little pre-Gencon Battletech event that is a King of the Hill scenario. One of the guys had a bunch of Urbies – that’s Urbanmech for the masses – one of the crappiest mechs in the game and we tear about a heroscape board trying to kill each other. It’s a whole lot of fun (and very tongue in cheek). I managed to not be killed this year, but I able couldn’t hit anything so I probably was the most ineffective mechjock in the most ineffective mech (it’s a talent).

After the event, it was time to head to a friend’s house where I stay for the convention (he lives 15 minutes from the convention).

Spending: $20.00

Thursday – Day 1

I was helping at the Privateer Press booth most of the morning/afternoon so there isn’t much to tell here. I demo’ed all of the games since I was doing the break shifts. I like the break shifts since they are a bit shorter, but more importantly, I get to do all the games so I never get bogged down on any single table. It works for me and my style... The only downside is I have to keep current on all their games, but I got that so what can you do!

That evening, I had an obvious zombie event (it was called the Umbrella Chronicles). As fate would have it, the game system that we were played under was Ares (by Majestic Twelve Games - which was on the description, but I somehow missed it. Actually, the game itself was a mash of Ares and ATZ (from two hour wargames). It took a little time to get back into how the mechanics worked, but soon we were playing and keeping the game moving. In the end, I was surrounded by zombies in the middle of the field I was trying to escape) and was slowly mauled (normally you only get a +1/die if you are outnumbered, but zombies get to add an additional +1/die for each extra zombie in the fight – when my final models died, I had 4 zombies on both my remaining characters they were rolling +4/die or +8 – bloodbath). Still the game was a blast and I have played Ares with that GM at Origins a couple years ago. The refinements that he has made to the game have really made it work.

If you look closely, I'm in the middle of all those zombies near the yellow truck.

Friday – Day 2

Friday was jammed packed with events for me. I really loved being able to pre-reg for events. My first one was a Malifaux Demo. Both of us to play the demo had a basic understanding of the game, but we only got into the second turn before we had to stop. Still, it was a great little game and to be honest, any game that requires only 5 to 10 models is awesome! We didn’t get through much of it, but I really enjoyed the demo and the game system has some real cool concepts and ideas. I’ll have to put that on my watch list once the Great Painting is complete!

My Malifaux models line up for a picture!

I had about two hours in the dealer’s room and I spent that wondering about with Jarrod (and getting a Dr. Who cup for Meghan). We just combed through the hall and I was making a mental list of all the places that I wanted to stop on my larger shopping break on Saturday. I did manage to play a little bit of Claustrophobia before having to head to my next game (it wasn’t that bad, but it’s only for 2 players).

From noon to 4pm, I was scheduled to play in Battlestations – Bot Wars. Due to the number of players, both brothers ran a game and since I kinda knew what was going on in Bot Wars, I moved and played with Jason in a Deep Ones in Deep Space game. My returning character is a mad genius and get into trouble with sanity check more often than you would think! Still, the game was a blast and we barely made it out with our lives (go us).

Right after that, I moved to the main mini’s hall and played in a Star Wars – Full Thrust game. I played on the rebel’s side looking to destroy one (or more) of the Star Destroyers. We had the option in setting a trap for the Imperial players and it worked perfectly! We skirted out of our hiding place and got one of the smaller Star destroyers with minimal damage to ourselves. It was a lot of fun for us, but I’m sure that the Imperials (who were way out of position once we showed up and as a result got barely any shooting in) would say otherwise.

The trap works perfectly and the Star Destroyers are facing the wrong way!

Finally I had a Desperado game sponsored by 19 & 1 gaming group (they are based in Indianapolis and I used to hand out with them when I lived up there – heck, I was a member of the club for a while). Due to a scheduling issue, I had to leave after a single hour, but I did get a head shot in before I left killing a guy outright (thankfully, you got to come back in once killed). After the hour was up, it was time to run to the Press Ganger party at Jillian’s. I thought it started at 9pm, but it was really 8pm, so I missed the demo of the computer game that is coming out (heard from others that it was sweet).

Saturday – Day 3

My first game was a Song of Blades and Heroes game and it was a lot of fun (even if a bit one side – action-wise). The scenario was that the dwarves are looking to settle the score and reclaim their lost items. In my case (since I played the dwarves), I was looking to kill the Rat-man and take back an anvil that was stolen. My opponent had lower quality than me and really had a tough time keeping his warband together. Using my better quality (and thus more actions), I was able to take the battle to his flank and kill some of his rat-man and then slowly grinded away the middle until finished.

I actually had a game from noon to 4pm (Circus Magicus), but due to a major problem, I didn’t have any time to really check the dealer’s hall. Due to that, I had to cancel that event. In the end, I should have played in that cuz it looked great (and the home-brew rules were promising) instead of the SBH (since I’ve played a bunch of that). In any case, these four hours were the only time that was going to get to all my purchases done.

Without really slowing down to look at anything else, I went to ‘work’. I had a list of all the booths I needed to stop at and I quickly went from one side to the other getting all my stuff. I did get a ‘demo’ of Settlers of America and it was good game (and I needed it to complete my Catan good set and my 50% off a game). My only beef was that the demo lasted 45 minutes and was a bit too long for me (give me a 15 minute demo – I have stuff to do). Of course, once I got all my goods (did some serious trading – Ore for Wood, Grain for Clay and Clay back for Wood) and was looking to buy Settlers of America, the coupon was not usable for it so I picked up Nuns on the Run instead.

The buys: A battlefoam Warmachine bag ($145), the Iron Dynasty RPG book using the Savage Worlds Ruleset ($25) - I thought it was going to have more in the skirmish side of things in it, but that’s okay should be an interesting read regardless. Then a starter deck for World of Warcraft: the card game (Jarrod and I did get a game in and it was only 5 bucks with a coupon so what can I say – it was an impulse buy). Next was Deep Ones in Deep Space for Battlestations($20), a Devil’s Panties Comic - after all this time reading that comic, I finally got to meet the artist and I totally geeked out ($20). Lastly, the above mentioned Nuns on the Run game ($18).

At 4pm, both Meghan and I had a WEGS Old Skool (see )game called Tale of the Trojan Pig (ran by one of the ‘designers’ in the Table Top Gamers area – a great set of guys/gals based out of Ohio). The game was a basically a long-winded demo, but it was entertaining and that system is quite good for the quick ‘hack and slash’ game of old. Personally, I think it would be a lot easier to run it as a boardgame than say Descent (less prep, still a ton of options). Definitely need to get into the larger games for the next year. Did I just say I was going to move away from miniatures at a convention to play in a RPG???

See, a Trojan Pig!

Spending: $233 + $40 just now for the new edition of WEGS

Sunday – Day 4
The final day, I worked for Privateer Press. I started in the Iron Arena area, but due to a double booking, I actually found myself giving breaks in the dealer’s hall. Not a big deal, but I didn’t want to completely kill my voice. Thankfully, the hall was more subdued and I didn’t have to scream the entire time (like Thursday). Once the hall closed, I helped with some minor clean up and got to heading home! No buys and no ‘fun’ on the final day – just work!

Final Thoughts:

Of the 31 things I put up for auction/sale, all but 4 sold netting me just over $500. After the 15% processing fee, my total take home was around $420. Not a bad haul if you think about it. Now the remainder of the money from Gencon is going to probably get me a better Subbuteo setup.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Red Sand, Blue Sky

After reading all the battle reports on this game I went ahead and picked it up. After reading the rules for myself, it was time to get into the arena and finally play a game. So excited about this game, I made an arena for all my gladiator combats using a pizza pan (see previous entry). I don’t have any actual gladiator figures, but I have a ton of fantasy figures laying about so I grabbed a couple and placed them in the arena for the first contest! I have been thinking and talking about working a more fantasy spin on RSBS since I purchased it. However, since this is my first technical game of RSBS, I decided that I should use the regular rules and not add any specials, weapon or armor modifications into the mix.


In the early morning light, two gladiators face off for what could be the start of their glorious careers. Our first combatant is a lizardman Retiarius named G’agg and our second combatant is a human Secutor named Fetch. Both are REP 4 on the Fringes of the Empire (whatever that would be in my fantasy world)…
Both combatants are sent into the arena and the fighting (and betting) begins in earnest…

The first turn sees both move straight towards each other. Fetch closes the distance, but it looks like G’agg will still get to throw his net! G’agg lets it fly, but Fetch grabs it out of the air and causes a tug of war! Both gladiators fight with all their might, but in the end, the net is flung useless to the ground.

Both square off in the arena

Fetch moves in grabbing the initiative (again) and strikes at G’agg (not having enough movement for a bash). What looked like a telling blow turned to be a mere scratch on the left arm of G’agg. G’agg doesn’t opt to flank and attack and both exchange ineffective attacks. G’agg grabs the initiative, but both fighters fail to damage their opponent. Fetch seeing a possible opening attempts to flank and attack, but G’agg was ready for him and all Fetch does is tire himself out (G’agg passed one more die then Fetch). Wanting to conserve strength, Fetch backs down for this attack and it works. It looks like G’agg saw an opening that wasn’t there and wastes energy on nothing (Fetch rolled a single die, where G’agg rolled 3 – no successes for either however).

Current die pools:
Fetch at 12, G’agg at 11

G’agg retains the initiative looks to flank Fetch and end this, caught a bit off guard, Fetch wastes some energy and gets a spear shot into his upper Left Leg causing him to stumble back (G’agg passes one more die then Fetch and forces him to spend a 1d10 to keep G’agg to his front). On the attack, G’agg hits Fetch in the unprotected upper left leg and causes a wound that does a total of 3d10 and pushes him back an inch). Not to be outdone, Fetch rushes back in to attempt to win this battle, but G’agg is faster and stabs Fetch for a deep cut into his chest. Exhausted Fetch falls to the ground. G’agg is awarded his first (of many?) Laurel wreaths (and 4 AP). In the coming months both of Fetch’s wounds do not heal correctly and he is sold off never to combat again…

G'agg stands victorious over his foe!

Final thoughts: The game plays great. Between this and Fight Night Fights, I feel there is a lot more options available for the player to choose in RSBS than in FNF. Still, I can't wait to play again.

Gladiator Arena!

There have been a lot of people playing Red Sands, Blue Sky (RSBS) on the THW forum so I went ahead and bought the game while at Origins. After reading through the rules, it occurred to me that I was going to need a suitable gladiator arena for my combats. In a bit of inspiration, I realized that if I could find a decently sized pizza pan, that I could have a quick (and cheap) gladiator arena! A trip to Walmart netted me a 16” metal pizza pan for a mere 4 bucks.

I scuffed it up with some sandpaper and placed felt on the bottom to keep it for sliding (yellow was on sale).

Then, I glued down a mix of sand and rocks (I find that the best time to get my 'perfect' rock mix is to get some from roads during winter - my city uses sand instead of salt for the roads).

Next step was to spray painted the whole thing brown (I use the cheap spray paint for terrain. I think the can cost about 2 bucks).

A couple of lighter browns and a few tan colors later, I had a nice effect. Clear coated it with cheap matte spray and was ready to play! I found out later that the pizza pan that I bought is metallic and I can add terrain to the arena with a couple of strong magnets (talk about convenient)!