Tuesday, December 31, 2019

December 2019 Games - Part Two - The HOLIDAZE

Part The Second...

It kind of felt like the holidaze officially began on Saturday, 21 December (covered in Part One)- as that was the last scheduled activity for the year (Keira's last dance class and Finnegan's last D&D game in the campaign he's been running since September). But we're starting with the 24th...

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Amanda's last day of work for the year. They always let everyone go at noon, but Amanda ALWAYS stays a couple extra hours to get "just a few last things done!"?

The plan was to head over to my folks for the afternoon. We've always kind of done Xmas on the 24th - opening presents and all that - since I was very young. I think it was because they wanted to sleep in on Xmas morning... For years I didn't celebrate Xmas at all, but once you have kids... grandparents can be relentless... and you have to pick your battles... so we started celebrating along with them. somehow the tradition, for a while was Xmas eve at my folks... then Xmas day at my sisters... AND THEN they'd all come over to our house on Boxing Day... well... after going shopping for Boxing Day bargains... that only lasted a couple years before it was decided it was TOO MUCH! So everyone stopped coming to our place... then we stopped going to my sisters and all that remains is supper at my folks... which turned into snacks and hanging out and doing a puzzle and getting a few gifts... So that was THE PLAN, anyway...

But then this guy got sick and started puking. At first, when he was just feeling a little queasy, he suggested maybe he could just stay home and the rest of us could go... but then he started puking and up came his breakfast - Now Finnegan has a HUGE breakfast of oatmeal every morning - which contains a very large amount of carbohydrates for which he has to take a LOT of insulin (being Type One Diabetic) unfortunately, puking can cause a lot of trouble when you've just taken a lot of short acting insulin and then suddenly don't have the carbs on board for it to deal with. Blood-glucose levels can drop quickly and they did - like, to dangerously low levels. for a brief moment we thought we'd be heading to Emergency (the first time we'd have had to do that for this reason!) But then he managed to get some Powerade into himself and the blood sugar level crawled back up into not-so-panicky zone and we decided to stick it out here.

Meanwhile, Amanda had come home and My mother and sister bundled up all the food and presents and brought them all over here! Family gift exchange took place on the boy's bed - who was starting to feel better...

My mom and sister didn't stay long. They went back to my folks and had their meal and did a puzzle. We ate some of the food they brought over and then spent most of the rest of the day watching TV and movies (finished off Supernatural Season Three and... watched a movie...?)

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Had our own little gift exchange and the kids opened a few things Amanda's folks had sent.

Our Xmas haul. The Hellboy stuff was our collective gift to ourselves. Last year when we kickstarted it, we agreed it would be the only gift we got this year and that I would only open it when it arrived (earlier this year) so I could paint some of the miniatures. The Warscryer Citadel and Wrath and Rapture were from my folks (I'd said get ONE for Xmas and ONE for my birthday... but then they just gave me both NOW!?). CO2 was also from my folks - sort of for all of us. Amanda got the Terraforming Mars expansions from my folks. I got Amanda the 7 Wonders Duel expansion (Pantheon). and Pax Transhumanity Bios: Origins...? Well, they weren't really an Xmas gift - they just happened to arrive this past week and it FELT like a gift to myself, so I included them in the pic...

Finnegan also got a few things - the Expanse Role-Playing Game and The Expanse: The Board Game. He'd expressed interest in the series and the role-playing game a few months ago (when Dragon's Den Games was having it's anniversary sale!) so we'd pick that up for him... he seemed... less than 100% enthusiastic about recieving them... He was VERY excited about the pack of Graph Paper my mom got him!? (He's been playing - and play-testing - a lot of Four Against Darkness lately...)

He's what came in that big Hellboy Kickstarted box... or... at least... the FIRST of the TWO big Hellboy Kickstarter boxes. I haven't even painted HALF of the miniatures yet. I did sort it all out and figured out which were needed for the stuff that was THEORETICALLY for the CORE BOX - as OUR "core box" included the regular core box plus two or three kickstarter excuse expansions and a pile of extra minis!?

On the afternoon of the 25th we played our way through our first game of Hellboy.

You can read more about that here:

Hellboy - Game One - Eviction Notice

Later, in the evening, I played a few games with Amanda. She wanted to try out her new Pantheon expansion to 7 Wonders Duel

We started with just a run through the base game - because it's been a month or two since we last played... and more recently we've played regular 7 Wonders... so I thought it would be a good idea to play a game of Duel to remind ourselves of the rules and mechanics and how it all worked.

She utterly crushed me.

Seriously, she had ALL FOUR of her wonders built before I even got ONE done! Somehow I pulled it out of the fire enough with some last minute military and a PILE of money to make it Not-Quite-A-COMPLETE-Disaster... but she still won 63-54... It was very well played...

Then we tried with the new Pantheon expansion. It was really interesting. Added a whole lot of new stuff to the game - which DOES make it a fair bit longer as there is a lot more to think about and do...

I ended up winning with a Military Victory just part way through the Third Era...

Amanda was kind of annoyed by this and called it "anticlimactic"! She'd expected the pantheon to play a MUCH larger role in the victory. It did play a bit of a role in my victory. If I HADN'T won with military though, she would have won by a landslide - she had gods that gave her a pile of victory points and I think all of the grand temples were ones that she should have collected up and scored another 21 points for the three of them alone...

Thursday, 26 December 2019

The day started off with a trip to a medical clinic with The Boy. Would have gone the day before by all but ONE in the entire city was closed and they stopped taking walk-ins at noon because it was so busy. And it wasn't really EMERGENCY level of concern at that point, so...

After he got home I headed out to Dragon's Den Games for their annual Boxing Day Sale.

Here's what I hauled home from that...

Do you see a theme developing...?

(It's "CHAOS" - I'm kind of working on a Chaos force based around Slaanesh - daemons and maybe some Emperor's Children Chaos Space Marines, some Cultists, and backed up by some Chaos Knights.... I'm not buying any NEW Knights! Just modifying the ones I picked up last year and haven't even completed!?)

(wait... was it last year...? Or the YEAR BEFORE!?)

Later in the afternoon we sat down to play a SECOND game of Hellboy!

Finnegan also brought home a pretty HUGE pile - his was ALL D&D, though. three or four (or FIVE!?) books and a half-dozen packs of monster/encounter cards.

We all played the same characters. This time we were rescuing a missing agent from Rasputin's Ghost! You can read more about that here:

Hellboy - Game Two - Perils of the Job

In the evening Amanda and I played Terraforming Mars - and tried with her new Prelude Expansion. I can see why it's so popular... I've read a lot of comments that people "will not play without it"... I liked Terraforming Mars just fine... I like Prelude, but I wouldn't say that the base game is now, somehow, unplayable without it!?

I played Cheung Shin Mars with Early Settlement and Martian Industries. Totally had a Builder Theme going from the word "go". I think I snapped up the Builder Award by the Second or Third Round!? I had about FIVE cities built, before I remembered that they're really only worth points if you have GREENERY around them (snapping up the Mayor Award)! Spent the rest of the game trying to get out as much green as I could (and grabbed the Gardener Award - just before Amanda got The Planner - there might have been an f-bomb or two dropped at that point)! I also ended up with the Thermalist Prize... I ended the game with 114 points! My highest score ever... mind you it was the first time we played with just the two of us... as the same amount of work has to be done to Terraform Mars whether you're playing with two or five... with less players, each player, individually, WILL score more points...

Amanda tried out Point Lunar with Business Empire and Self-Sufficient Settlement. I swear she put out more than TWICE as many cards as me... and definitely scored about three times as many points as me from just cards. Despite all those cities and greenery and awards... I only JUST squeaked out a win, nine points ahead of Amanda's 105!

Friday, 27 December 2019 

Wow... feeling like the week was just FLYING by at this point!?

Didn't play any games.... went for a bike ride, stopeed by the library and picked up a few DVDs, watched a few episodes of Good Omens.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Again, no games... Another bike ride. Watched more of Good Omens. Keira was feeling sick, now too! Not flu sick... just sick.. and tired and maybe a bit of an earache and spent most of the day in bed.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

well... We FINISHED Good Omens... The only time Keira got out of bed was to watch the couple of episodes of Good Omens. Went to bed early with a fever.

Monday, 30 December 2019

And... then there was Game of Thrones Season Eight.... Keira's fever was gone and her ears weren't hurting so much.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

To start off Tuesday, Amanda and spent most of the afternoon running around doing errands... the evening we spent doing family stuff.

First we ordered take-out from Seasoned Fusion - a fantastic Asian restaurant in downtown Saskatoon with LOADS of Vegan and Vegetarian options! YUMMERS!

And then we DID finally play another game of Hellboy. There'll probably be a game report for that in the next day or two.

Afterwards we watched a few episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine - which we just started watching and could all agree on...

And that's the rest of our December games!

Didn't quite get to play as many games as we'd hoped this past week... but was a little hard with both kids feeling sick a good chunk of the week. The plan for tomorrow is to play games and watch movies all day! You'll have to read about that in the January game report!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Coming soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

A look back at 2019.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Hellboy - Game Two - Perils of the Job

On Boxing Day (after heading to The Dragon's den for their annual Boxing Day sale) we settled down to play a second game of Hellboy: the Board Game. We Played B.P.R.D. Case File #125414 "Perils of the Job". In it the team had received an S.O.S. signal from a fellow agent... who wasn't even supposed to be on a job. The Team had tracked him to a remote and ancient home and somehow figured out he was in the basement...


As I mentioned in the PREVIOUS GAME REPORT, the scenarios are sealed and are supposed to be a surprise when you play them... so if you ever plan on playing this and don't like spoilers... STOP READING NOW!!!

This scenario was listed as Challenge Rating: Medium, Duration: Short. (the Previous Game was Easy and Short). The set up was certainly a bit bigger...

Setting up the HQ board. This time we had six ticks of the Doom track before the Confrontation presumably took place. Instead of Insight markers being placed on the Imformation gathered track (to be picked up as the tracker passed over them, there was a marker placed on the third space and at that point and for every space moved along that track an Insight marker was gathered to a maximum of EIGHT (obviously these weren't going to give us universal upgrades... maybe it would be AN upgrade per Insight Marker spent...?)

The layout of the basement we were to search. The two farthest rooms had special specific encounter cards specifically placed in them.

Kicking open that first door - Frog monsters, BIG piece of furniture and a clue... AND the Encounter card said there was a Supernatural Gale blowing through this room and all adjacent rooms giving anyone using a Shoot Action a downgrade! Hadn't seen one of those before!

No matter, Hellboy sauntered in and punched one of the frogs across the room into the other frog - knocking the first one out and injuring the second one.

Rodger moved in and finished off the second one.

Johann then moved in and investigated the Clue Token, moving up the Information Gathered track two spaces.

Liz moved in and kicked open the next door. MORE Frog monsters, a clue token and a frog swarm.I think she shot one of the frogs straight off...

I think it was the first Deck of Doom card flipped said there was an angry Poltergeist in the basement with us... Everytime an Agent moved into an area with a piece of furniture they had to roll an orange die and if a "2" came up the poltergeist would attack and do damage equal to the size of the furniture!  That bookcase was size FOUR - that could be NASTY if the Poltergeist used that to attack! Luckily Liz STARTED in the spot and it's only when ENTERING a spot that we had to check.

One the Enemy Phase the two frogs moved up - the rampaging one moved into Liz's area and attacked. The Venomous one moved up and spat venom at her... She survived both attacks.

On the Agent Phase Liz backed up into the same spot as Hellboy, brining the Frog Monster with her....

... and Hellboy Punched the frog monster INTO the Bookcase - taking out the frog AND the book case!

Everybody else charged into the next rook and took out the frog monster within... Johann followed up and investigated the clue token - moving up the information Gathered track twice - adding two Insight Markers to our pile.

Next Room: MORE frog monsters - and a table... which DIDN'T attack Hellboy!

Moving on into the next room - MORE frog monsters a swarm and.... a POINT OF INTEREST - Points of interest can be "Interacted" with - by spending an action - no check is made (like investigating a clue token), you just have to be there and spend the action (there may have to be no enemies in the room... I forget now...). We represented it as a piece of furniture (that the poltergeist couldn't inhabit!)

People having fun... I think Amanda had made some comment about Rodger's butt. She'd noticed that all he was wearing was a BPRD vest and was kind of wondering what that was all about - she's the only one in the family that HASN'T read any Hellboy books (I have a rather large collection of them, and have read... MOST of them... Keira's read all of them at one point. Finnegan read all of them... and then requested all the ones that I DON'T have from the library and read THOSE!). The kids tried to explain he's a Homunculus... and then when the discovered she had NO IDEA what a Homunculus was, tried to explain that...

Having cleared out the room, Johann went in and Interacted with the Point of Interest... and it revealed a hidden room!

And in that room were more frog monsters, a SPECIAL clue token (that, when investigated, allowed the agent to draw an item from the bottom of the requisition deck), and ANOTHER Size Two Point of Interest. Finnegan guess that the Point of Interest would be the missing agent... which I thought was possible, but odd, as the Point of Interest was Size Two - taking up the space of TWO people...?

In we went... Frog monsters dealt with.. Clue token investigated - and I drew... Bud Waller!? Are Extra Agents supposed to be in the Requisition Deck...? We went with it and just said Bud Waller showed up... Johann also interacted with the Point of Interest and, just as Finnegan had predicted, it was the missing Agent - which we represented as Sidney Leech.

This also triggered The Confrontation!

The Boss turned out to be Rasputin's Ghost!

Keira thought it was odd that we were encountering Rasputin's Ghost when we haven't even encountered LIVE Rasputin and killed him, or anything... Maybe this is taking place AFTER Seed of Destruction - where they first encounter Rasputin... and kill him... but BEFORE he reappears whole again... He's like a bad case of Herpes... 

Anyway, Rasputin's Ghost is NASTY... and CAN'T BE DAMAGED!? The only way to win is to get the missing agent back to the starting space and have no other MINIONS left on the board...

HOWEVER! IF a player expends an insight marker when they make an attack they CAN damage Raputin, he was SUPER tough, though, and hard to take out... and IF he is taken out, he's actually only stunned and returns the following turn at full health... At first I wondered what the point of even attacking him was. But Finnegan figured that if he was taken out and stunned... he couldn't activate - as he spent the turn recovering, and thus a Boss Behaviour card was not flipped... giving the agents a brief reprieve from his wrath!

Johan made a run for it with Sidney and Bud... While the others faced the frog Monsters and Rasputin's Ghost.

Liz left the space with Rodger and Rasputin's Ghost - evading Rasputin and taking a damage point (raising her Living Fire thingie) and taking one Frog Monster with her... then evaded the Frog Monster on her second move, taking more damage...

... and then immolated the Frog Monster with her final action... FOOF!!!

I think Rodger managed to punch out Rasputin's Ghost and moved into the next area to help out Hellboy.

And then the fire spread...

Hellboy and Rodger finished off the last of the Frog Monsters... and the fire spread some MORE!? Yikes!

Liz and Hellboy put out some of the fires in their own areas and made a run for it - as did Rodger.... and then Rasputin stood up...

Amanda, pretty excited about... something...? I think it was the fact that Hellboy survived one of Rasputin's Ranged attacks without so much as a scratch - which are BRUTAL!

Almost out of there...

Johann made it out with the agent before Boss Behaviour cards generated any MORE minions! Whew!

Despite our original plan, we haven't played the last couple days... other things have come up... Not the least being the Good Omens TV series and the final season of Game of Thrones showed up on DVD at the library for me - along with a couple other movies.

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More Hellboy...? Or maybe a Necromunda game report...? Not really sure what the full plan is for today... Hellboy's been mentioned as a possibility. John has threatened, once again, to darken my doorway and play Necromunda this evening, but I'm at the point where "I'll believe it when I see it..." I guess I should get a game ready - just in case!

Hellboy - Game One - Eviction Notice

Yesterday we had our first crack at Hellboy: The Board Game from Mantic Games. We kickstarted the game over a year ago and kind of went ALL IN! We said it would be our collective gift to ourselves this holiday season and that we'd spend the week playing a "campaign" of it. There isn't REALY a "campaign" system, per se. So we're just planning to play a game a day all week.


The missions included in the game are in sealed packs and the rulebooks insists that these are to remain sealed and not opened until you are about to play and they they are to be put on the board without looking at or changing the order of the cards and just revealing them as the game progresses - so that it's all a "BIG SURPRISE" - so if you DON'T want the surprised RUINED - READ NO FURTHER!!!

(although the rulebook also insists that despite the fact that secrecy is vital... they are still "VERY REPLAYABLE"!?)

To start with we played the first introductory mission Case File # 126779 "Eviction Notice"

Our team had apparently cornered a large frog monster and had to chase it down into an underground crypt...

All set up and ready to go. Amanda played Hellboy, Keira was playing Liz Sherman, Finnegan played Rodger (technically from one of the expansions, but I'd painted him and his bust, so....) and I played Johann Kraus.

The HQ board all set up to play - Target Priority set up (the busts), Doom and Information Gathered markers at their starting points. A marker was placed on the V section of the Doom Track - which would trigger one of the IN PLAY mission cards to be flipped - presumably triggering the end game. There were Insight Markers on 2, 4, and 8 on the Information Gathered track - We had NO IDEA how very imprtant these could be!?

Starting Round One - opened that first door to find... Three frog monsters, a frog swarm and TWO clue tokens!

Hellboy stepped in first and, using his Big Rig Hook, punched one of the Frog Monsters across the room into one of the others at the other end of the room, seriously damaging both!

Yeah... this game is going to be AWESOME!

Liz entered the room. I think she just shot one of them...? She's a really good shot with the pistol and her flame isn't super awesome at the start and... well...starts FIRES - which can be really bad!

Rodger moved in and punched the lights out of a few froggies. He's pretty hard hitting to start, but his attacks get weaker - he is still a tank though - and can take a lot of damage before he gets hurt... I guess when you're magically animated mud and straw and have not respiratory system or vital organs... (He's a Homunculus)

Two froggies finished off, Johann wandered in and did some investigating of the two clues in the room.

Took down the last two rooms - and ended an Agent Phase with no enemies on the board so we took time - which would advance the doom track to where it would trigger The Confrontation. but it gave us a chance to investigate the last clue - giving us the last insight token - and for everyone else to heal up and charge up and to reorganize into one place.

This almost broke the game... as we were ALL in the same place - along with a piece of furniture that was size two, there was, literally - according to the rules, no room of any enemies to enter the space. Of course The Confrontation said the Boss (a Giant Frog Monster) was to appear in the same space as the current lead investigator... um... but... so we decided to just put it in the next one. Flipped a few Boss behaviour that didn't apply and got to one that said the boss tried to move into the space with the lead investigator - and if there were too many people in there, he would HURL investigators OUT of the space until there WAS space!

Turns out Investigating and Insight Markers are SUPER USEFUL!!! For each on we gathered (and eventually placed on the confrontation board) we got a die upgrade every time we made an attack on the Boss - Johann had gathered ALL THREE! Three upgrades is HUGE!!!

This was looking bad... Giant frog Monster on a rampage - all four of us stunned...

But Hellboy got up and gave the Giant Frog Monster a couple of hard-hitting punched with his Big Right Fist (of DOOM!)...

and down went the giant-assed frog! Even punched him into another space to knock down some other Frogs.

To deal with the last bunch Rodger ran into the next room and took two with him - to draw them off the rest of us... and they actually knocked him unconscious... but they were all in one place, so Hellboy chucked his grenade in there and finished them ALL off! WOO!

Fun game. Pretty simple and straightforward. Plays quick. Interested to try out the other scenarios...

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Hellboy - Game Two!