Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Boardgames Round-up

Throughout this month I got to thinking a lot about role-playing  - largely because I was answering all the RPGaDay questions everyday…. And I DID actually get to run a few role-playing games! It's been too long since I ran a regular role-playing game, I do hope I'll get a campaign or two going in the fall. 

4 August 2017 – D&D5E/Primeval Thule

Didn’t really get going on the gaming until Friday the fourth. Bruce came by to run his bi-weekly (in theory) D&D5e/Primeval Thule game. We fought the Big Bad that was trying to summon an Elder God. This finished off the current adventure.

Bruce is planning to wrap up the campaign next month and then I’m going to be taking over as GM for a bit to run… something else… possibly Tales from the Loop or one of the 40K RPGs (Only War or Rogue Trader) or possibly a near future “Hard SF” campaign using some home-brew rules.

7 August 2017 – Painting/KingDomino/Loonacy

In the afternoon we had a bit of a painting party with some friends and got some miniatures painted!

Later in the evening we went over to my folks place for supper and played a few games afterwards

Finnegan and I introduced Amanda and my dad to Kingdomino. It was a oretty close game… I think I may have eked out a victory because I had five crowns on a forest of seven or eight squares?!

My mom and The Girl played a game of Loonacy while we played Kingdomino. After the game of Kingdomino they joined us at the table and we all played a few rounds of Loonacy together.

9 August 2017 - Set

The Girl got out Set to play and I joined her. I think we might be missing a card!? Dagnabbit!

10 August 2017 – ONLY WAR

Two friends of the kids came over for the day on Thurday and I tried running them through a game of Only War – using The Eleventh Hour a Free RPG Day quckstart rules and adventure I’ve had for years. The adventure focuses on a small group of survivors whose unit has been overrun by Orks and have to fight their way out from behind enemy lines before the Imperial Navy destroys everything in an orbital bombardment.

They came over just after 9am. By the time I’d explained the rules and the setting and started them off on their mission with the background of the assault on the planet and how they came to find themselves in the middle of an Ork fortress surrounded by heaps of slain Orks and comrades alike. We got through the second “scene” – their first encounter with the Orks – and I had to call it. This was around noon. The youngest was bored out of his mind. Well, he was totally into it and excited WHEN IT WAS HIS TURN, but as the slightest idle moment (i.e. when I was explaingin stuff or other people were having their turns) he started dancing around the room (literally) or climbing on the back of the couch, sitting upside down on the couch, sliding off the couch, playing with dice, playing with markers, losing dice and markers he was playing with under the couch… Finnegan and his older brother were severely disappointed as they were TOTALLY INTO IT!

I have high hopes that we’ll be able to play a campaign of this in the fall – well, at least with two older boys. The Girl seemed less interested, but suggested she’d have more fun if she got to make her OWN character (I was using pre-gens so we could just leap into the action) also she was sitting next to the younger brother and found his antics highly distracting...

11 August 2017 – UNO!?

The night before our summer vacation – Finnegan was heading off to D-Camp and one of the possible activities listed was boardgames and card games and I thought if it ended up raining and they spent a lot of time indoors surely one of the games they’d have would be UNO – so I thought I’d teach the kids to play, so Finnegan would know how to play if anyone busted out a deck (oh, he also took along a few of his own games – just in case! He even brought enough D&D books that he could set up and run and adventure, if the occasion arose!)

They thought it was okay. Finnegan thought it was “slightly boring” and there “wasn’t much to it”…

13 August 2017 – Just Desserts, Hero Realms, Black-Handed Henry’s Potion Party

Now well and truly on our vacation…

We a brought along a few games to play in the evenings or if any days got rained out. Moslty games The Girl picked out. The vacation was (mostly) ALL ABOUT HER. She had expressed earlier in the year that she felt like we only ever pay attention to Finnegan, which is often a complaint of siblings of kids with Diabetes (and its’ true – we do spend a LOT of time focusing on him – checking his blood-sugar levels, counting carbs in meals, making meals for him, figuring out insulin doses, etc, etc…). So we played a LOT of games SHE’s been wanting to play for some time – and didn’t really get to play some of the OTHER games we brought along...

The second night we were at the Ranch we busted out the gamee and played a couple games of Just Desserts. I have a feeling that I won one of them… I won a few games of Just Desserts over the week.

…and Black-Handed Henry’s Potion Party. I can’t remember who played which character… or who won…?

…and Hero Realms. I think I had the Fighter for this one, Amanda had the Cleric, and The Girl had the Wizard..? I’m not sure if we even finished this game…

14 August 2017 – Just Desserts and Hero Realms

We moved locations on the 14th, for Part Two of our Summer Vacation, taking up residence in a cabin at Waskesiu.

The first evening there we played some MORE Just Desserts.

…and another game of Hero Realms where the girls ganged up on me (beause I was doing “too well” the previous evening) – the picture was taken AFTER I was out of the game. I don’t remember who played which character or who ended up winning (other than NOT ME!).

While I really dig Star Realms as a quick competitive, card-drafting/deck-building game. I don't love Hero Realms - at least as a competitive game. I think it will be great fun when they release the co-op campaign... 

15 August 2017 – Just Desserts and Monarch

STILL More Just Desserts. Playing this really just makes me want to eat dessert... 

This evening we finally broke out Monarch. I got off to a pretty slow start, but ended up flying the banner of MIGHT – which was the first time I’ve done that. Being able to sweep the market for free every turn is pretty sweet and can really WRECK other people’s plans if there’s cool stuff there that they desperately need for their courts… I think I did pretty well… I might have even won – though I recall it being a fairly close game near the end. The Girl went with CULTURE and managed to drop a couple of unwanted guests in both mine and Amanda’s courts. Amanda went with Wisdom.

16 August 2017 – Just Desserts

We were all pretty tired from all the riding around we’d done the past few days and needed to pack up to leave early in the morning, so we only got in one quick game of Just Desserts.

17 August 2017 – Codenames: Pictures

We left Waskesiu pretty early in the moring and picked up Finnegan around 10 and we back in Saskatoon around lunchtime.

After unloading and decompressing a bit we got in a couple rounds of Codenames: Pictures. I don’t love this game. I should have got the original Codenames…

18 August 2017 – D&D

Our alternating Fridays D&D 5E Primeval Thule game was on the 18th – the night before Amanda had to get up early and head off to Seattle for a week.

I can never seem to get everyone in a single shot… This week we were tracking down a slavetrader that owed the Thieves Guild some money and had skipped town and made off into the jungle. By the end of the game we’d caught up with them at an ancient city full of degenerate little cannibal creatures...

19 August 2017 – Loonacy

We had supper at my folks on the Saturday and played about 5 rounds of Loonacy.

One round I just could not get any cards down and at one point had almost a dozen cards in my hand!?

20 August 2017 – Only War

The kids made some characters for Only War  They are probably only “practice” charcters – made just for the fun of making character and may or may not actually ever get used in a game… Finnegan made a Tech-priest Enginseer, The Girl made a Sanctioned Psyker… both support types… We used the Catachan Regiment for their background/regiment bonuses (just in case we decide to use these for The Eleventh Hour – when we have another go at it…). It seems a bit odd using the regiment that a support character serves with as their “background” as most support elements would have come from elsewhere and are simply attached to units as required….? Ah well…

24 August 2017 - Carcassonne

Another evening while Amanda was away we decided to play Carcassonne – which we haven’t played in a LONG time. Despite all the expansions, we just played with the base set. I totally got skooled by the kids. The Girl utterly crushed us, and Finnegan shot way ahead of me in the final scoring.

31 August 2017 – Only War

on the last day of the month we had another try at Only War.

The kids made some characters of their own and I tried running them through The Eleventh Hour again.

We pretty much played all day. Everyone had a great deal of fun. We didn’t get through the entire adventure, but I brought it to a close. The boys characters ended up dying in the orbital bombardment, but The Girl’s Sanctioned Psyker made it out of the zone – she was able to secure transport on boat across the Hellfen.

Everyone’s pretty excited about making new characters and starting a proper campaign for the fall… Now to figure out a time when we can all get together on a regular basis!?

Tomorrow starts off out annual Game-a-Day Challenge for September. I think I’ll post weekly updates through the month. ToonCon is also four short weeks away!! I need to get working on a few more Jet Bikes and do a bit more play-testing with some larger groups!!

Also Coming Soon:

Tomorrow I'm also going to be running a game of Tales from the Loop for some adult friends! I am curious to see how it goes. 

I have a squad of Astra Militarum Tallarn infantry I’m just finishing up and should be able to post pictures soon.

Just… don’t ask…

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Few More RPGaDay Questions

Question #28


I'd say it depends a bit on what group and what game we’re playing… Monty Python has always been a big one over the years (in particular the Holy Grail and maybe Life of Brian). I’d guess that was the single most-quoted source… perhaps ALIENS being the second…

Once a group has been together long enough and they have some good role-players, though, there tends to be a shift from movie quotes to in jokes and self-referential quotes. In my current alternating-fridays group we often joke about "excessive role-playing" because our GM Bruce told us one night that we'd be finishing up the campaign he'd been running for the previous year and a half. It took us three more months to finish it off. He later claimed it was due to our "excessive role-playing" and now we joke about that any time he says anything to do with how long something will take us or if someone really gets into the role-playing of a certain situation - someone will say "knock it off with all the 'excessive role-playing'".

In our current D&D campaign one of the Rogues traffics a product he calls "Sorcerers Squash" - a hallucinogenic that grows in the nearby jungles. He often misses sessions in the spring and fall due to farming (like the player actually farms and can't make it to games) so we started saying his character was hitting the squash or the "product". Now anytime someone misses a game - their character's been "on the squash"... I'm sure when we wrap up the campaign it will continue to be the excuse for missing characters!

Question #29


I can’t say I’ve ever backed a role-playing game through kickstarter. I’ve backed board games and miniatures and graphic novels. Of those I think the ones that were the best so far have been the Lead Adventure ones (Dwarven Gold Fever and Astropolis II), and Ramshackle Games Jet Bike Construction Kits - which I guess could be used with RPGs - the Astropolis miniatures are going to be perfect for Rogue Trader!

Question #30


I need to see LESS mash-ups. Sometimes I feel like everything “new” is just a mash-up of tired old settings – it’s like developers just say let’s take [this] and add [zombies and/or battlemechs and/or magic and/or aliens or alien technology] and that will be AWESOME!!!! (It's not really awesome).

Question #31 (a day early, but whatever...)


Gaming…? just gaming… and getting back to more role-playing. It's been too damned long since I've really run any role-playing games. I’d really like to do more role-playing with my kids – while they’re still actually interested in playing games with ME!? This week I actually have arranged to play a game of Only War with the kids and one of their friends tomorrow and I'm going to be trying out Tales from the Loop with some other friends on Friday evening (both of which I hope might turn into a campaign that I'll continue to run through the fall and winter). I'd also like to try out Rogue Trader and have another game I'd like to run with some home-brew rules (largely based on Song of Blades and Heroes)!

I'd also like to get playing some actual MINIATURE GAMES over the next year! I feel like I've hardly played any over the last year and a half since the Quest for the Skull Sword campaign last February. Sure, I've got in a game or two of The Pikeman's Lament... but it's not like previously where I was playing as many miniature games in a month as I've played all year! And there are a LOT of games I'd like to play - I'd like to get back to playing Song of Blades and Heroes or Song of Shadows and Dust - or any of the other Ganesha Games, I'd like to try out the new edition of Warhammer 40K and Dracula's America (which I just picked up!), and definitely get in some MORE game of The Pikeman's Lament (and Dragon Rampant and Lion Rampant and try out Men Who Would Be Kings).

In Other News... 

Tomorrow I'll hopefully get to posting my monthly Boardgame Round-up of all the games we played through the month of August. Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future I'll get to posting some new minis I've painted. Production has slowed in the mini painting department as we're finally getting moving on our kitchen/dining room renovation.

Yesterday I started wrecking the dining room. That wall is coming out (no, it's not load-bearing!) and a peninsula of cabinetry is going in there - to open up the area a bit. Plumber and Electrician are coming today to start 

Immortal Tim - Destructor of Kitchens. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

40K Harlequins

Below are some of the oldest painted figures I still have - with their original paint jobs. Others from the same era (or earlier) I purged years ago, or have stripped and repainted. yet somehow these Harlequins have remained.... I have recently repainted the bases and added some tufts of this and that to bring the bases up to a more modern standard, but the paint jobs are original (and over 15 years old!)

Conveniently The Girl also has some Eldar (or Aeldari, as they seem to be called now?) and she bought the new 8th Edition Index: Xenos 1 - so I've been able to figure out how to organize these guys as a force that could be played with the current edition of 40K.

I apologize for the not awesome photos - I'm trying to figure out both a new camera and a new photo editing program.

The entire force.

I worked it out to a Power Level of 37 and it could be fielded as a "Battle Forged" Vanguard Detachment of about 660 points. If I could track down minis for another two troupes I could field it as a Battalion Detachment for a few more Command Points and a force closer to 900 points... but it is unlikely I'm going to do that any time soon!

Leading the Troupe is the Troupe Master - armed with a Shuriken Pistol, Power Sword, and Prismatic Grenades. He also has a Flip Belt and a Holo-suit (are are all the Harelquins in this force). Power Level 4 - 64 points - HQ

Next is the Shadowseer - a powerful psyker - This fellow is supposed to be armed with a Shrunken Pistol, Halucinogen Grenade Launcher, and a Miststave....? Well... we'll just PRETEND he is! Power Level 7 - 134 Points - HQ

The Solitaire stalks the battlefield alone with his Harlequin's Kiss and Harlequin's Caress... (the figure is actually carrying a Kiss and a Neuro Disruptor... but that apparently isn't allowed with the rules anymore, so we'll just call it a Harlequin's Caress...). Power Level 6 - 114 points - Elite

Three Death Jesters provide some heavier firepower for the Troupe. These are three separate Character models that rove around the battlefield laying down pain. They are armed with Shrieker Cannons. Power Level 4 per model (12 total) - 75 points each (225 Total) - Elites

Finally the Troupe. Most are armed with a Shrunken Pistol and a Harlequin's Blade. One has a Fusion Pistol and a Harlequin's Kiss, another is sporting a power fist - which aren't allowed anymore so I called it a Harlequin's Embrace as it was close to the power fists stats... Power Level 8 - 123 points - Troop.

Looking at these photos, I probably could have touched up a few of the figures... ah, well..

Will we see these guys in action any time soon...? I have no idea.

In Other News... 

I have a couple of RPGaDay 2017 Questions to catch up on...

Question #26


I really liked some of the Savage Worlds Toolkits that just had loads and loads of sample npcs. Like the Pulp GMs Toolkit or the Science Fiction Bestiary Toolkit. 

Also all the old GURPS 2nd/3rd Edition setting books were amazing – I still use them for reference even though I haven’t ran GURPS in over a decade. I actually bought GURPS: ROME when I was thinking I’d run Cthulhu Invictus a while back – just as an extra resource, because I know they are always so well researched.

Question #27


Ummmm...? Good Players?

Seriously, without at least a couple of good players who are really into it, it's just not going to be a fun game.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

RPGaDay 2017 #25

Okay, I missed the 24th, but the question didn't really apply to me (it was: Share a PWYW publisher who should be charging more? and I don't think I've ever BOUGHT any PWYW items, so....)

RPGaDay 2017 Question #25


Root Beer? (Or other BRIBES!) Actually not root beer - I used to offer bonus bennies to anyone that brought me a good bottle of Root Beer back when we were playing Savage Worlds regularly. Stuff like Real Brew or Santa Cruz or Virgils... I drank so much root beer that I’m totally sick of it and don’t really drink it at all anymore. 
Actually, I think the best way to show your appreciation for your GM is SHOWING UP!! Nothing is more disheartening for me, as a GM, to spend a week (or weekS) crafting a fantastic epic adventure for a group that is challenging and fun and makes use of all the special talents of each member of the group… and then have more than half of the party not even show up… 
(and maybe bring some dice and your own damned PENCIL AND ERASER!?) 
But gifts and bribes are perfectly acceptable as well.... 
(hint, hint, hint!)

In Other News....
Most of the Astoropolis minis got based over the last day or so... not to get painting them! Or... not... perhaps I should really get working on the JET BIKES! ToonCon is just over a month away! (I could paint some of the Astropolis figures to use as spectators - which occasionally spill out onto the field!