Friday, September 29, 2017

September Game-A-Day Challenge: Week Four

The last week the game-a-day thing was wearing a bit thin - oh we made it, we've played a different game each day of the month so far!

The remaining two days are the first two days of ToonCon (which I'll have a separate post about on Sunday) where we will be playing another half dozen or so games...

But this last week, for various reasons, we pulled out all the super quick games and were trying to squeeze games in between different activities or just before bed...

Day 23 - Saturday, 23 September 2017 - Warhammer:40K/Timeline: Historical Events

In the afternoon on Saturday we finished off the game of Warhammer 40,000 (8th Edition) we'd started the evening before - a full report of that game can be found here:

First Crack At 40K 8th

Because, technically, that was a continuation of the previous day's game, we'd decided we should play another. Originally we'd planned to play through Pax Renaissance, but then got watching Heroes Season One and everyone seemed more interested in watching more episodes of that than playing Pax Renaissance...., between two episodes, we quickly got out Timeline: Historical Events and played a quick game of that. I won. I pretty much always do. We went back to watching Heroes.

I don't win the game because I know more about history that everyone else in the family... okay, I DO know more about history than everyone else in the family, and it is a significant factor in me winning all the time, but I also play smart - I always do the hardest ones first and leave the easier ones - the ones that I DO know the exact date for for last, which seems to be the opposite of what everyone else does. For example, I have no idea when the Mutiny on the Bounty was... I would guess between 1600 and 1800... so I'd try to get that our first before there are other 17th and 18th centre cards out there. When the only other cards out are the Roman invasion of Britain and the Beginning of World War One... well, it's going between those!

Day 24 - Sunday, 24 September 2017 - Pax Renaissance

FINALLY we got to playing through Pax Renaissance. I'm running a Learn-To-Play event for this at ToonCon this weekend and, while I've played it a fair bit this year, it's been a couple or so since I last played. So I wanted a chance to brush up on the rules and have them fresh in my head for this weekend. I also wanted an opportunity to try explaining the rules to people that had never played and, for the most part, weren't even really familiar with Phil Eklund games.

They've all actually played Pax Porfiriana - once, over a year ago. Both kids have played Pax Pamir as well - The Girl, again, once, over a year ago, and Finnegan played it twice. Finnegan has also played Pax Renaissance once, but it was a while ago as well. So they were pretty much like newbs.

Amanda was utterly lost, she looked like she was about to fall asleep through half the game -not from boredom, just from being very, very tired. She said it looked really interesting but was just too tired to figure it out. The Girl was actually really close to winning with a Renaissance victory - Laws and Republics, but a second comet showed up and Finnegan scooped a Imperial victory!

It was a really fun game! It seems like everyone would be willing to try it again sometime. Perhaps on an afternoon when everyone is still wide awake!

Unfortunately the following morning I remembered WHY we had originally planned to play it Saturday. I actually had a nagging feeling when I told the kids on Saturday it was okay to put it off until tomorrow that there was some reason why we couldn't play it on Sunday, but couldn't think of what it was. Amanda and I had tickets for a play at the Persephone Theatre Sunday evening... totally missed it... DOH!?

Day 25 - Monday, 25 September 2017 - Codenames: Pictures

We were out to dinner at my folks to celebrate my sister's birthday and then the kids had their swim lessons and when they got home they desperately wanted to watch more of Heroes... so we play ONE quick round of Codenames: Pictures. I teamed up with The Girl and Amanda played with Finnegan. Amanda and Finnegan got a bit of a head start when The Girl guessed wrong on my first clue and actually picked on of THEIRS. We got it back by the end and actually won! 

Day 26 - Tuesday, 26 September 2017 - Coup

Amanda and I had spent a long day out running around looking at countertops and tiles for our kitchen renovation. by the time we got back in the early evening, finnegan's D&D group had arrived and they were well into their game. After they left, we got in a super quick game of Coup before we all went off to bed. I don't love Coup, but we were running out of quick games to play. I actually ended up winning - mostly by NOT EVER bluffing!?

Day 27 - Wednesday, 27 September 2017 - Drakon

We actually had a bit more time today, but spent way too much time deciding what to play and ended up settling on a game of Drakon - which we played in, like, 15 minutes. The Girl suggested we play another round, but I was feeling a bit of gaming fatigue and said "no"...

 Day 28 - Thursday, 28 September 2017 - London

Today we had a bit more time on our hands - or at least we THOUGHT we did, so we broke out London. It's been a LONG time since we played but everyone seemed to have pretty fond memories of it and I was feeling like more Martin Wallace games play the same (sort of) and we've got A Study in Emerald down to just over an hour, so surely this wouldn't take us THAT long to play.. by the time we had a quick review of the rules and got it all set up and started playing the first turn, we realized we had less than an hour before Finnegan would have to leave to go play D&D (he's joined a group that plays after school on Thursdays and it just happens to be run by an old friend of mine that happens to teach there). But we left it out hoping to finish off the game after both kids get back from their classes at Persephone School of Theatre... which we did. 

Final score: 

Keira - 103 points
me - 73 points 
Finnegan.. 3 points... 

Seriously, he had 62 victory points accumulated at the end of the game, but Keira had managed to get rid of almost all her poverty and Finnegan was sitting on a pile that added up to -59 points!! He also did not get into the land buying and only had 4 stacks at the end of the game. Early in the game I thought his strategy of having only a few stacks would do well in reducing poverty, but whenever he ran the city he'd gain a bunch from cards in hand and didn't really get much out of each time he ran his city... I think it's more efficient to have about five stacks - that way it's a bit more efficient when you run your city, in that you at least get some stuff out of it each time you run it. Also - BUY LAND! 

I like London. It's been waaaaay too damned long since we last played it. I do feel like it's another  game that we should play, like, 4-5 times in one week and then the rules (and maybe a bit of the strategy) will be solid enough in our heads that in the future we can just pull this out and play it in an hour (like we can with A Study in Emerald - Second Edition - well, except Amanda she always has to be reminded of the rules... and then still kicks our butts...).

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

As I mentioned this weekend is ToonCon! We're all signed up for a lot of fun games. 

I think Friday night we're all signed up to play 7 Wonders and then I'm playing Dominion, but some of the others are playing Roll for the Galaxy (I know Finnegan is, and maybe The Girl...?). 

Saturday is a long day! I'm starting off with Castles of Mad King Ludwig and Finnegan is signed up for Sentinels of the Multiverse. I'm not sure what Amanda and The Girl are doing. After that I'm playing Scythe - so many people have raved about it, I thought I'd best check it out. Everyone else is playing Viticulture (which I'm kind of wishing I'd signed up for instead...). While I'm still playing Scythe I think some of them are playing 5 Tribes, or maybe Imhotep or Terra Mystica...? I can't remember. After that is the game auction (we had a pretty BIG HAUL from that last year!). Finally, in the evening I'm running my Faustus Furius: 3000 game while everyone else is playing... Small World..?  or Codenames...? I'm not sure... I know Nations is on in the evening, and despite everyone having played it and liked it, I don't think any of them signed up for it. 

Sunday I think I'm starting with Kingdom Builder and Finnegan is playing Dominant Species... Again, I can't remember what Amanda and The Girl signed up for...?! After that I'm running the Pax Renaissance Learn-to-Play game for the rest of the day. I have a feeling Amanda and the Girl are signed up for Castles of Burgundy and Amanda may have signed up for Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. I know Finnegan didn't sign up for anything in the last slot on Sunday because none of the games were of interest to him. The convention had a HUGE games library which you can just play pick up games with anyone who isn't doing anything, so I think he's planning to do that! 

Stay tuned for reports of the entire weekend and a separate report of the FF3K game! 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

One More Jet Bike!

Actually I have about 7 more to do (plus I have parts for another six that were supposed to be for the kids to assemble and paint themselves). But this is the last one I'll have ready for ToonCon which starts TOMORROW!! I had hoped to have ten ready - even though I'd set the event limit at 8 and only 6 are pre-registered. There always seems to be a few that show up on the day asking if there is space - and there usually is, because a few of the pre-registered people never seem to show up...? Is that normal for a convention or is it just ToonCon...? Or is it just ME!?

This bike, like most of the others, was made up of bits from Ramshackle Games Jet Bike Construction Kit Kickstarter.

This one wasn't inspired by any vehicles from any TV or Movies.

The fairing could have done with a bit more weathering... ah well...

Over the last week I've been preparing other stuff for the game.

First of all I made some new measuring sticks just for Faustus Furius: 3000. These are cut from 1/8" MDF and are a bit longer than standard Song of Blades and Heroes measuring sticks. I've also made these the same width as the jet bike bases - so when placed in front of the bike when they go to move it will show their exact path and if the stick covers the base of any other bikes - CRASH!!!

I also decided to make some fancy activation cards because I wanted something a little less bland than a number written on a card with a felt marker. I laid them out on some card stock I had - and planned to put them into some card sleeves - with some spare cards I had lying around to give them a bit more stiffness.

hand painting there with the same paints I used on the bikes themselves.

almost done.

All the bikes that will be available for use at ToonCon with their hand-painted, custom activation cards.

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Tomorrow I will probably post the boardgames we've played this past week.

Sunday I will have a post about ToonCon and probably a second one about the FF3K Jet Bike Racing Game.

So stay tuned!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

First Crack at 40K 8th

Friday I tried to set up a quick game of 40K 8th Edition for the kids to play.

To start with we cranked some Bolt Thrower....

Okay so none of us are playing chaos... but Dark Millennium...? Eternal War...? Eye of Terror...? That's all 40K themed, right?

Then I set up some jungly terrain for them to play on (actually, I set up the terrain first, and initially I set it up thinking my jungle-fighting' Guaiacan Commandoes would be facing off against Finnegan's Ork Horde... but then I decided maybe it would be better if the two kids played their own forces against each other and I just played the Games Master...).

Both rolled out with forces at Power Level 17. I knew from the get-go that they would be horribly mis-matched (and warned The Girl that her pretty Eldar would likely be slaughtered...).

Finnegan took a Warboss named Garrnogg (Power Level 4) and a mob of thirty (30!) Boyz - lead by a Bossnob named Algor (Power Level 13). They're cheaper by the dozen those Boyz - a group of 10 is Power Level 5 and a group of 20 is Power Level 9. They have significant advantages in numbers as well - they can use the number of guys left in the unit as their Leadership value, and if there are more than 20 in the unit during the fight phase they get +1 attack (which is crazy because they start with 2 to begin with and already bet +1 if they're using choppas!?)

The Girl took her Farseer named J'Ade (Power Level 6), a unit of Howling Banshees - lead by Banshee named Threece (Power Level 4), and a Troupe of Harlequins (Power Level 7). The harlequins all had individual names. Unfortunately, in their native Aeldari, they're almost impossible to pronounce, but can be roughly translated as Jazzy, Emerald Lightning, Bubblegum, Stabpants, and Polkastripe... She can tell them apart. I have no idea...

We decided to quickly play one of the narrative scenarios out of the book. I'd suggested Patrol or Ambush. I tried to convince them to try ambush with the Orks ambushing the Eldar, which I thought might actually give the Eldar a chance, but for some reason they went with the Patrol. The patrol scenario is essentially a meeting engagement between two patrols which, if playing with larger forces, escalates into a larger engagement as reinforcements arrive. Both sides are to start with only three units on the table and the rest in reserve. As these guys only HAD three (or less) units, it basically just became a rather boring meeting engagement with no objective other than to kill the other guys... yawn-o... ah, well... we're just trying things out and learning the rules, right?

Anyway, sides were chosen, units were set up and The Girl took the first move.


The Howling Banshees and the Farseer flanked around one side of the ancient ruin in the middle of the battleground.

The Harlequins, always wanting to do their own thing, flanked around the other side - directly towards the massive mob of Orks.

On the Orks turn they surged forwards and let loose with some Dakka - one hit wounded a harlequin, but it was saved...


"Jazzy" led the harlequins out of cover in front of the Ork mob in preparation to shoot at them and charge them later in the turn.

J'Ade the Farseer couldn't see far enough to smite the Orks, but successfully manifested a Guide power allowing the harlequins to re-roll ranged attacks for the turn. The Harlequins then shot up the Ork mob, downing three of them.

In the Charge Phase they indicated their desire to charge the Orks.

The Ork overwatch fire took down two of them.

Then they failed their charge roll... So... No charging... No slice and dice...

Then the Orks went.

They surged forwards and unleashed another torrent of dakka at the Harlequins. 30+ shots, 8 hits, 6 wounds, 1 saved. When the dust cleared, there were no harlequins to be seen. Perhaps they were reduced to a fine red mist. Perhaps they just said "Eff this Shite" (or something to that effect in Aeldari) and scarpered along the webways to some place a little more pleasant to be. Perhaps we'll never know...


J'Ade the Farseer and the Howling Banshees advanced again. J'Ade crackled with arcane energy and blasted the Orks with a Smite and one of the Ork's head exploded with a "POP" and a bit of splattering of goo. The Banshees let loose with their Shuriken Pistols and chopped down a bunch of trees to clear the way for the Orks to charge them in the following turn. The Farseer then zapped a couple more with her Singing Spear...

All this really did was get their attention and they surged through the jungle towards the Eldar.

They unleashed some more dakka at the elder and took down one of the Howling Banshees.

Then they charged in. The Banshees overwatch fire did nothing. The only thing they really had going for them at this point was the fact that there were so few of them only 8 of the 20+ Orks could actually count as being in the fight... of course with 2 attacks to begin with, +1 for using Choppas, and +1 for having more than 20 in their units, and hitting on 3+... well... that was the end of the Howling Banshees...

The Farseer faired a little better. She was in combat only with the Warboss and they traded blows - each causing 3 wounds on the other... This was not really sustainable so the Farseer decided discretion was the better part of valour and split...

Ork Hordes are nasty... I'm not really sure how she could have dealt with them. the Harlequins and howling Banshees would have been nasty in close combat - if they'd ever been able to GET into close combat and have a chance to HIT the orgs, but even so, I'm not sure they could possibly have killed enough of them fast enough... I guess The Girl just needs to get some more long-range-shooty Eldar painted to beat them up a bit first and THEN charge in with the Harlequins and Banshees to finish them off...?

I was worried the game might have discouraged her, but it kind of did the opposite - she's now determined to get back to painting her Eldar and do exactly as I had figured - paint some of the long-range-shooty units! Although the only thing I think she owns that comes close is guardians (whose shrunken catapults aren't all THAT long ranged!? 12"!? that's the same as PISTOLS!?) but they do have a couple of heavy weapon platforms...?

This went better for the Orks than our last couple attempts (with 7th edition). Although Finnegan felt a little bad about utterly destroying his sisters forces and was worried they might be a little TOO good... I'm sure once we play a few other scenarios which don't just involved trying to overrun and kill everything he may find they're a bit of a one-trick-pony... thought for now it does seem like one REALLY GOOD trick!

I am interested to get my own Guard on the table - perhaps in slightly larger formations and see how they fare against the Green Tide!

But for now I probably need to get back to work on my Jet Bikes and other stuff I need to prepare for the games I am running at ToonCon just ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!!

September Game-A-Day Challenge: Week Three

Into our third week and still going strong(-ish)

Day 15 - Friday, 15 September 2017 - Lords of Waterdeep

Having a bit more time on Friday afternoon (after finally submitting our Education Plans for the year!) we broke out Lords of Waterdeep! The Girl scooped the Harpers (which I usually play) so I ended up with the Red Sashes. My Lord was actually a Lady - and so was The Girl's - if only Finnegan's had been one then we could have been playing LADIES of Waterdeep! The Girl did a 25 point quest early on and kept her well ahead of the rest of us for most of the game. For the longest time I was fighting Finnegan for second place... then on the second last turn Finnegan played an intrigue card that allowed him to draw quest cards equal to the number of players, take one and pass them around for the rest of us to take one. Among those was a card that was worth FOURTY POINTS - and I just happened to have ALL of the requirements sitting in my tavern (or maybe I needed on or two things, but they were easy to pick up that very turn!). That suddenly put me into a commanding lead that neither of the kids could hope to catch up. 

I also ended up succeeding at TEN Piety and Arcana quests - each of which got me an additional 4 points, so... The Lieutenant I picked up in the first turn to two and having that one extra agent is a HUGE advantage! I had pointed it out and discussed it so no one would be shocked if I got it and cleaned their clocks with it. I wasn't even the first to go -and it wasn't even the first quest I picked up, so I didn't really fell all that bad about taking it and having that extra agent.

Day 16 - Saturday, 16 September 2017 - Race for the Galaxy

Originally I'd actually set up Agricola to play, but then Amanda and The Girl got back from running some errands over an HOUR later than I'd expected them, so we didn't end up having time to play... I'd left it out and hoping we'd get to play it on Sunday. As Amanda and I were heading out to a show at the Persephone Theatre Saturday evening, we needed to play a quicker game - so I busted out Race for the Galaxy - which we haven't played for a while (though according to BGG I've now played it 45 times!). For start worlds I'd had the Uplift Mercenary Force and Old Earth, but I had two Alien cards in my had - one of them being a 6-cost development that gave piles of points for Alien things, so I decided to go alien... and then Amanda played the Alien Research Team start world and is seemed we would BOTH be vying for alien things... I was a little worried I was going to do poorly as all the worlds and developments I was putting out were only 1-2 points each and I wasn't racking up the victory points from producing and consuming and I wasn't raking in even MORE victory points from prestige like Amanda and Finnegan were... 

More than winning, what I really like doing in the game is having a pretty solid THEM to my tableau, and I was pretty happy with the mostly ALIEN them - with a bit of terraforming on the side. IN the end the pair of six-cost variable victory point developments did okay for me and I ended up with 57 points... Finnegan had 63 (I think - damn I hate prestige...), Keira had 40-sonething and Amanda said she was in the high thirties...? 

I don't think she could have counted right - with those few big point cards and all the prestige she had...?

Day 17 - Sunday, 17 September 2017 - Agricola

We DID get to play Agricola on Sunday after all...  We didn't quite get done before the kids had to head out to Irish Dance - but we left it set up and finished it off after they got back. 

The game went as most of our games of Agricola go - Amanda carries on about how she is "Floundering" and "has no idea what [she's] doing" and how she's "going to do very poorly"... and then by about round five she's completely dominating the game. By round ten she had a six room stone house (yeah, SIX!) and five family members (and complained that it was stupid that the game didn't allow you to have MORE family members!?). Due to varied occupations she collects two food EVERY round and a clay (one of which, with an other occupation, can be turned into two food at harvest time), and she can convert as many stone as she likes into two food (per stone)... Oh and gets an additional wood every time she collects wood.... The rest of us had yet to build a third room in our pathetic little wood shanties. At the beginning of round twelve she's developed nothing else on her land (other than the sprawling mansion - I joked about her being a hobby farmer that lived on a sprawling average and just worked in the city). With five workers over the last three turns she filled that up pretty quick! 

This was my sad little farm at the end of the game... Never even got to expanding the house or family... But it DID get SEVEN fields ploughed - which is too many really - you don't get points for any beyond five (other than you're not LOSING points for not having the area developed. One thing I don't like about the game is it's so hard to get fields ploughed. I was DETERMINED this game to get more fields ploughed. 

I started the game with a couple occupations and improvements that I thought would work out for me - something involving going straight from wood to stone and a quarry that gave me 3 stone when I did day labour and... something else... I can't remember... but I just couldn't get them out. Part of the problem was I misread the card that allows Major improvements - I'd thought it said build major and/or minor improvement (as so many of the action cards do) - around the second or third round I had it ALL planned out and then when I went on that action card and realized I couldn't do BOTH it kind of screwed my whole plan and I was scrambling to refigure everything so I had food for everyone by harvest - had to make some less than optimal moves with put me further behind... ugh... 

Amanda admiring her end game farm. 

I have to admit, it was a pretty amazing farm...

And she totally destroyed us. Yeah - she had more points than then next two highest scoring players combined!? Clearly the way to go is to get lots of jobs in the city to support your farming hobby and build a big-ass mansion and family and THEN develop the rest of the farm! 

Ah well... fun was had. 

I'm not fond of the four player game - I recall the five player has WAY BETTER action cards - there are so many more options available.

Day 18 - Monday, 18 September 2017 - Love Letter

This week got a little busy again. We ended up playing a quick game of Love Letter in the evening after the kids got back from swimming lessons, just before we all went to bed. 

I swear I get this had EVERY SINGLE GAME.... 

Day 19 - Tuesday, 19 September 2017 - Monarch

I spent a good chunk of the day wrecking more of our kitchen and dining room... So I didn't feel bad taking a break and playing a not-totally-quick game... 

We played quick-ish game of Monarch while I was making supper. In Monarch we play at princesses building up the bestest court. Finnegan snapped up the scimitar before I could wrecking my plan to fly the Might Banner again, but I ended up getting the GET WISDOM CHEAP card (whatever it is called) and ended with a court full of wisdom cards.

This game I kind of just collected money and didn't bother buying cards - the than a few upgrades to the lands - to make MORE money and waited for an opportunity to pick up one of the BUY STUFF CHEAPER cards - and then blow all that money as fast as possible buying up cards of that type... worked out pretty good...

In the end Finnegan flew the Banner of Might and The Girl flew the banner of Culture... Fun was had...

Day 20 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017 - For Sale

There always ends up being a day where we don't get to playing a game earlier in the days and have to quickly get one in just before bed... and we end up playing For Sale...

Day 21 - Thursday, 21 September 2017 - Samarkand: Route to Riches

More wrecking of the old kitchen today - almost done with the demolition. Next week I have some preparing for ToonCon to do and then beginning the first week of October we start putting the kitchen back together.

I finished up early enough we had almost two hours to play a game so we got out Samarkand: Route to Riches. We've played this about 7 times now and are getting pretty quick at it. I think it took us over and hour - but it FLEW by. 

Finnegan ended the game by making an alliance (or trade agreement) with the Persians - the only group that hadn't yet made one (and I think it used up the last trade agreement token of the Levants...? which also ends the game). 

I managed to marry into five families (collecting up 5 wives in the process) - The Girl also managed to marry into five families (collecting five husbands in the process - although at first she considered collecting wives - or BFFs as she called them, "because they looked prettier"...). 

It was a pretty tight race. The Girl and I both had final scores in the 80s and Finnegan wasn't far behind with 70... He only had four wives, so...

The last few times I've played with four or five players and you only get a maximum of 7 or so cards. Playing with three was fun as you could have up to TEN cards - which made for a lot more possibilities.

Day 22 - Friday, 22 September 2017 - Warhammer 40,000 (8th Edition)

Technically this is getting into week four, but whatever... This evening we had our first go at 8th Edition 40K. I'd set the table earlier in the afternoon thinking we'd play with Finnegan's Orks and my Guaiacan Commandoes (the Astra Militarum's lesser known jungle fighters...). But then we decided it's probably work better if I just ran the game and the kids played and The Girl wanted to play with her Eldar. Unfortunately we got started later that I'd hoped and then it took us a little longer to get set up and going that I'd anticipated and we ran out of time. We'd only gotten through the first half of the second turn... Can't really say much about it... we knew going in it was a pretty miss-matched scenario. We did leave it set up and might finish it off on Saturday after The Girl gets back from dance classes...

What's Next...?

Well, hopefully we WILL get to finish the game of 40K and I'll get to post a brief after action report. 

After that I'll probably have a few jet bikes to post as I finish them off over the next couple days. I have some terrain I'm going to fix up and a few more things I need to do to prepare for ToonCon - which is ONE WEEK FROM NOW! 

I'll probably post post on Friday about the games we've played between Saturday and Thursday, and then on Sunday I'll hammer out a report of what went down at ToonCon! 

Stay tuned!