Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Blackstone Fortress: First Stronghold Assault - Part Two

Sunday afternoon Amanda and I sat down for another game of Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress. Our plan was to finish off the first Stronghold Assault we started the day before. If you missed that, you can read about it here:

Blackstone Fortress: First Stronghold Assault - Part One

Brief Recap:
Attacking the DESCENT Stronghold
6 Exploration Card Access Route
Played four so far: One Challenge, Three Combats
Drew the fifth card - ANOTHER Combat!
Janus Draik Dead

On Sunday we set up that fourth combat we drew the day before...

Pretty spread out. Ur-Ghuls up close - always a bad sign. Two groups of Traitor Guard. A single Spindle Drone...

A little plotting and planning.

Ur-Ghuls Charge!

And were incinerated by Vorne!

The nearer group of Guardsmen were also utterly destroyed as they rushed us!

Vorne also laid down some flames to block the Traitor Guardsmen coming from the other side of the cavern. Shadowguide danced about collecting up Archaeotech - only to be attacked by some Traitor Guard reinforcements!

Luckily she was in cover and had used her cloak - making her almost invincible against the newly arrived Guard - which would only shoot at the nearest visible target.

Vorne finishing off the last of the original Guard.

For a brief moment, we'd entirely cleared the area and thought we might be able to pick up Archaeotech and clues from the discovery locations at our leisure...

Then some MORE Ur-Ghuls showed up...

and some MORE Traitor Guard...

Force ran from the Ur-Ghuls, but then turned and burned three of them!

Shadowguide, likewise, just danced away from her pursuers... leaving that one discovery marker... undiscovered...

And then STILL MORE reinforcements arrived - ANOTHER group of Ur-Ghuls... and a Spindle Drone... AND MORE Guard!? WTF!? Every single reinforcement roll brought more on to the board - how many 1s, 2s, and 3s can one roll on a d20!? A LOT, apparently!!

After this we took a break and I ate my supper and Amanda got hers started (it required a bit more preparation!)

The final card we drew for the access route was a Challenge!

The three of us laid down some serious hurt on those maglev doors and we all collected a discovery card!

Then, onto the Stronghold!

This is the intitial set-up for the Stronghold - the maglev chamber rose up out of the ground and the walls folded away to reveal a large open chamber... with some terrifying new adversaries! Chaos Beastmen and Rogue Psykers - neither of which we'd faced before! There were also four Negavolt Cultists!

Behind each group was an exit location and ONE of them would reveal the stairs to the LOWER level of the stronghold

The lower level is where we needed to go to accomplish the goal - messing with some... thing...? someone had to stand on a specific location and expend three 6+ action dice... all the while hordes of Traitor Guardsmen and CHAOS SPACE MARINES could be piling in as reinforcements! Yikes!

The Rogue Psykers went first and... didn't do much. Locarno went next and moved into Vorne's space to prepare for the onslaught of the Beastmen - as they seemed the most threatening!

On came the Beastmen! Locarno actually took one out with some overwatch action.

Amanda's supper was finally ready, so she just ate it while we were playing...

Amallyn Shadowguide destroyed most of the megavolt Cultists on her activation at the end of the first turn...

Then danced over and slaughtered two of the Beastmen!

Locarno took out one of the Rogue Psykers and Vorne finished off the other one... level cleared... maybe this wasn't going to be SO hard, after all!?

Whoopsie! Not Dead Yet! One of the Rogue Psykers popped up due to an event...

the MORE megavolt Cultists came rushing out at reinforcements...

Seriously... it's supposed to be only 15% of the time... Could we have a reinforcement roll where reinforcements DON'T arrive!? Not feeling really positive about how things are going to go in the lower level...

dealt with those and all got stacked by the staircase, ready to take down the lower level Tier One Operator style!

Once any of us enter the lower level, we start checking for reinforcements arriving there - except those reinforcements arrive on a 1-10 (instead of 1-3 like regular reinforcements) and two of the reinforcement pools included a Chaos Space Marine leading five Traitor Guard!

Rolling our activation dice and destiny dice... Amallyn Shadowguide got two sixes and where was on in the Destiny dice pool... so we had her swap to go first and she just charged down the stairs and across the room and did the three actions that we needed to do! BOOM! Now all we had to do was GET OUT BEFORE ALL THE REINFORCEMENTS SHOWED UP!

First roll for reinforcements... Nothing!? I guess EVENTUALLY we had to fail a reinforcement roll... so glad it was on one of these!!!

Locarno ran down next and summoned the Maglev Chamber for us to escape in! Then we failed another reinforcement roll and Vorne ran down o join us... and then we failed the THIRD reinforcement roll!!! WOO!!! ANOTHER Rogue Psyker DID show up sue to ANOTHER Not Dead Yet(!) event!

On the last turn everyone rushed into the maglev chamber, and while the two reinforcement rolls for groups with Chaos Space Marines were failed, one last final group of reinforcements DID show up - but it was just Traitor Guard - and it was too late for them to do anything...

Stronghold #1: CONQUERED!

Our haul from this expedition - the black Destiny Dies on our cards was part of the bonus for conquering a stronghold - we each got to roll a die and had that much bonus spending allowance back at Precipice!

In the legacy step we drew New Threat: Rogue Psykers! As we discovered, the Rogue Psykers themselves weren't TOO bad - if dealt with quickly before they power up... but, looking at the Rogue Psyker Encounter cards that are added to the deck, they rarely come alone - there are almost always a group of Traitor Guard WITH them!

Vorne and Shadowguide pooled their recources and picked up the Thermoplas Cloak, Exodite Kriss and the Omni-Spectrum Retricies - all of which went to Amallyn Shadowguide. Locarno went to the Clarion to pick up the Cortex Enhancement and Bionic Muscle Fibres - so I can now run around at the same speed as Shadowguide and Vorne and the Cortex enhancement I'm hoping can mean I go earlier in the turn and can get to where my forcefield is most needed before the Hostiles go! All venire got out of it was the DOOM incantation... but she took what was left of all our Archaeotech.

What to bring along to replace Draik (and the Ratling Twins)...? Is anyone even going to WANT to join us, given our history of losing companions!? I think we're all leaning towards hiring that hulking robot, UR-025.

Next...? We have enough clues for ANOTHER Stronghold Assault... but I feel like maybe we should get a fourth Character tooled up first - the other Strongholds look pretty nasty!

I was also trying to convince Amanda we should try a little "Side Quest" to rescue poor Dorg "the Wall" Broggan so we can bring him (or his brother Gren) along as Retinue Characters! Of course, that would mean I really need to finish up the two Ogryn! I picked a box of three up when I picked up the Start Collecting Chaos Space Marines and assembled one a Gren and the other as Dorg. The third I tried to make into some kind of mercenary/pit-fighter for Necromunda... (Hmmmm... looking at the side quest again, I'd also have to paint up a couple of Cultists and the Cultist Firebrand from the Escalation expansion - as they show up in the scenario!)

I'd be interested to try running one of the solo one-off expeditions with either the Harlequin Solitaire or the Imperial Callidus Assassin! Keira has a Solitaire amongst her collection of Harlequins. Maybe it would be a way to get HER to play with me!

Coming Soon To Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Amazons for Dragon Rampant - I got a little distracted...

MORE Blackstone Fortress

Ogryn for Blackstone Fortress - the Broggan Brothers - and some Cultists from the Escalation Expansion!

March Games

Wow... we ended up playing a LOT of games in March! Part of that was because of ToonCon... part of that was because EVERYTHING ELSE GOT CANCELLED due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and we're all stuck hanging out at home with nothing much else to do!!

As I'm posting this BEFORE the end of March... and it is entirely possible that we may play a game )(or two!) this evening... there could be one or two not accounted for in this report (and on that calendar above!)

Sunday, 1 March 2020

The kids were busy being teenagers, so Amanda and I played through a second exploration expedition to the Blackstone Fortress all by ourselves...

I hope they join us to play it again - as both seemed keen to play before... but it seems unlikely, considering they really didn't have anything BETTER to do this evening - they both spent it on the computer, watching internet videos...

More pics and a full report of the expedition can be found here:

Return to the Blackstone Fortress

I'd hoped to have another run through both Blackstone Fortress and Hellboy during the week, before having to run them at ToonCon... but that just didn't happen...

Friday, 6 March 2020 - TOONCON 2020!

Friday evening was the beginning of ToonCon 2020 (ToonCon 9.5 they are calling it - there wasn't one in 2019 as they decided to shift from the fall to the spring - so this is the 10th year, but only 9th convention...?)

Neither of the kids were interested in going to ToonCon this year (lot of people were asking where they were!?). Amanda and I went, though, and I ran three games over the course of the weekend.

Friday evening I ran a game of Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress for four fun gentlemen (Well, five actually, one had to quit part way through and another fellow that had just been sitting and watchign stepped in and took over his character!).

You can find a full report of the evening with loads more pictures here:

ToonCon 2020 - Part 1 - Friday Night - Blackstone Fortress

While I ran my game, Amanda tried out Ecos and Innovation.

Saturday, 7 March 2020 - MORE TOONCON 2020! 

I'd signed up for Wingspan in the morning and Stone Age at noon, but decided to skip out on those to rest and save my energy and get a few things ready for Hellboy and Necromunda... I thought I'd wait for Amanda to get home and we'd go over together to play Architects of the West Kingdom (Which we'd both signed up for), but that didn't happen either...

A couple of Finnegan's friends came over for D&D.

When we finally did get there, Amanda and I set up Hellboy and played through the first beginner scenario.

After that was the ToonCon Auction.

We came home with a few new games.

In the evening I ran a couple games of Hellboy: the Board Game.

Amanda played Terraforming Mars.

More pictures and description of Saturdays games can be found here:

ToonCon 2020 - Part 2 - Saturday

Sunday, 8 March 2020 - STILL MORE TOONCON 2020!

Sunday Morning I ran a game of Necromunda at ToonCon.

Afterwards I PLAYED Power Grid.

Again, More pics and description of the events can be found elsewhere:

ToonCon - Part 3 - Sunday

Friday the 13th (of March 2020)

Despite the WHOs declaration of COVID-19 now reaching global pandemic, and health agency's across Canada recommending "Social Distancing", we went ahead with Friday Game Night

We didn't play Pandemic.

Originally, Other Tim had planned to bring over Orléans to teach it to us and we invited our friend Laura to come along. Then the concert Other Tim's new lady-friend, Treena, was planning to attend was cancelled, we suddenly had five players and had to look for a different game.

WE settled on Viticulture - Only Amanda and I had played before and everyone else seemed pretty excited to try it out. It's been a while since I played. I really like the game, though it requires some planning, which I'm not always good at... so I often don't do really well at this game... (according to BGG I won the first game I played with the family - because I was the only one who had a clue what was going on... apparently, and I won the last one...? Out of eight I'd previously played.

So I was pretty excited when I got a pretty good lead early in the game (I DID warn them about everything I was going to do - all those little points you can pick up here and there  - without even filling contracts - really add up! I wasn't sure I'd be able to hold that lead - Other Tim is REALLY GOOD at figuring out systems - and he DID jump ahead in the last turn...

But not enough to catch up. It was a glorious victory... but I think it will be the LAST I have with THIS group! (Other Tim is yellow, Laura is Green - neither had played before!). Amanda, strangely, was dead last? She said she was tired after a long week at work!

Saturday, 14 March 2020 

Finnegan's D&D also went ahead on Saturday... Despite one of the player's parents having travelled through Seattle earlier in the week!?

Sunday, 15 March 2020

In the morning I took Keira over to an extra rehearsal for dance - as there were competitions scheduled to be coming up in a few weeks. It seemed ridiculous to me. We have a friend on the crisis management team at the University (where Keira takes some of her dance classes) and on Friday they'd decided to shut down the Physical Activity Complex - where the dance classes take place. Also with eh restrictions being put on gatherings of 250 people or more "until further notice" it is only a matter of time before those competitions are cancelled - why were they even bothering?

It was over half an hour ride in fresh snow and when we finally got there I had Keira run in to check and make sure the rehearsals were still going on. She came back out and I asked if there was anyone in the studio - she said there was... but it wasn't anyone that's normally in her dance classes. I asked if it was a different group of kids or a bunch of adults - it was the latter. We tried riding over to another building just off campus where they sometimes have classes - to see if they'd been bumped over there - and no one was there, so we eventually made our way home.

It turns out, five minutes after we'd left the dance instructor had sent out a note saying she'd heard from four parents saying they weren't bringing their kids - and that's about half the class so she cancelled... an hour or so later another note went out explaining what we already knew was coming - dance classes cancelled until further notice. Keira was kind of heartbroken and wondering WHEN they might go back and, honestly, I had no idea and I don't really think ANYONE does at this point and explained we might very well be done with dance classes - and ALL of our activities for the rest of the school year.

So we did some tidying around the house and then actually PLAYED some games together! Well, Keira, Amanda and I played some games together - Finnegan was doing his own thing, but DID say he'd be totally down with getting in on a Blackstone fortress campaign when we get that going again.

We started with Blend Off...

This is one we picked up in the ToonCon Auction for a couple of bucks. It was one of Amanda's impulse buys - thinking it might be something Keira might be interested in. Keira DID actually read the rules on her own...

And explained it all to us....

And we went at it! It's a simple enough game - but it's simultaneous action we're all doing stuff at once and trying to be the first to get the right combination of fruit in our blenders to fill smoothie orders. In some ways if felt a little like Just Desserts - another of Keira's favourites - mashed up with... I don't know.. Set? No, maybe not. Anyway, you got different points for each order - depending on how "difficult" it was to make - things that needed one of a fruit were worth less than ones that required multiples of the same fruit...

Anyway, it was a couple dollars... we actually played it... it wasn't terrible - which is more than I can say for some things I'VE bought from the ToonCon auction, so I best stop complaining about Amanda's impulse buys...

Afterwards we played Kingdomino. We've played this lots, but it feel like it's been a LONG time!

All the games we played were simple and easy and quick and ones that Keira wanted to play. And that was just fine by me - I was just so happy to see her in a good mood and willing to play games with us again!

I totally thought I was doing pretty okay in this game - except for not getting any woodland points... Nice square with no discarded tiles and the castle in the middle - 57 points in total... not bad...

And then we counted up Keira's points... 72!? Just crushed us all!

Amanda decided to make some cookies (just as I'm trying to get back on the Keto diet - I swear she does this to sabotage me!), so I played a quick game of Firefly Fluxx with Keira.

I totally won that one... I'd had all three of those keepers - but then I got a card that allowed me to steal Mal from her - and he has an ability that moves creepers away - I was sitting on a goal that would allow me to win for a few turns while I moved one creeper away each turn, and then finally won as I got rid of the last one! Woo!

Monday, 16 March 2020

Teenager has achieved Willing to Play Games With Parents level of boredom - Like I'm not going to capitalize on that!

Keira and I played a couple games of Retro Loonacy. I totally won both. NOW I remember the game that Blend of Reminds me of - It's a mash up of Just Desserts and Loonacy! Maybe I should have let her win a few if I wanted to keep her playing...

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Spent the day figuring out how Roll 20 works so Finnegan can keep his D&D games going in this new age of Social Distancing!

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 

Finnegan successfully ran a D&D game for the group at the local High School... Mostly successfully.. Two of them he could hear their audio and see via video, though one was intermittent and the other was upside down. Of the other two - One he could hear, but she couldn't hear him... but could hear two of the others... the other, could hear Finnegan and the others, but could not sed video or audio and had to do everything via the text chat...? Not sure how that all works...? Not being all that computer savvy I was of no use, but they all seemed to have fun, so...

Friday, 20 March 2020

Played a couple games with Amanda in the evening..

Set up a game of 7 Wonders Duel.

Thought I did pretty okay... knew it was going to be close!

Wow! Was it EVER close!

Afterwards Keira joined us for a game of Splendor. According to BGG this is the 31st time I've played it. It was the first one that Keira's won - she was pretty damned excited about it (as she should be - it was a very well played game!)!! Not only won, but ended with 17 points - Amanda had 15, I had only 13...

Saturday, 21 March 2020 

Another Roll20 session - the first with the Saturday group. Less technical issues here, but, wow... Two of them kept screwing around with settings and and drawing stuff on their online maps and typing inane comments in the chat and making noises and just generally being irritating, it felt like Finnegan spent half the game SHOUTING at them to STOP DOING THAT! He's on the top floor, and I could hear him in the basement. I almost had to go and tell him to just kick them out of the game!

later in the evening Amanda and I played Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress. We decided to reboot the Quest for the Hidden Vaults and actually started with a little "prequel" scenario involving Pious Vorne and Thaddeus the Purifier on their first expedition to the Blackstone Fortress - before they met Jainus Drake and the events portrayed in the Core Box (and the novel by Darius Hinks).

There is a complete game report of this adventure (and loads more pictures) elsewhere on this blog:

Light in the Dark - Blackstone Fortress

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Didn't get to play Blackstone Fortress, as I'd hoped...

But we did dig out this little gem - Virulence: an Infectious Card Game - where you are viruses trying to gain viral components so you can create more viruses and spread. It seemed apropos, give the current world situation... and was all sciencey and learny. It took a few minutes to figure it out again, but one that was done it was dead simple and super quick to play.

I picked it up ages ago and had played it with the kids, once. We'd planned to get Amanda to play it when she got home from work... but, for whatever reason, that never happened and we never got around to playing it...

You collect sets of viral components like Helical Capsids or  Icosahedral Capsids or Spherical envelopes... or mutations that make your increase virulence... I thought I did rather well, but Keira ended up with 65, Amanda had 54 and I only had 45.

Monday, 23 March 2020 

Continuing on with Genius Games we've never played (or not played in a while), I convinced the family to try out Peptide: the Protien Building Game.

My completed chain at the end of the game. the cards are flipped when they are made permanent parts of the structure (which are worth more points - but you can't SEE how many points once they're flipped?)

Here's how many points they were worth - 22 in total.

later, Amanda and I played a quick game of Patchwork. She was really struggling along all game and had the oddest form going on, I was wondering how she'd ever fill in the holes... but she DID - had more of her board filled than me!

Despite that, I think this was my BEST GAME EVER! I won - by a point - and even had a POSITIVE score. (this is the one thing that bugs me about this game - so often the final scores are NEGATIVE - it's just too weird to win a game with a negative score!?)

Later, after supper, Amanda and I sat down to play Terraforming Mars. The kids weren't interested at all and Amanda was reluctant to play with just two, but somehow I convincer her.

We played on the Elysium board with Venus Next and Prelude - left out Colonies, as we didn't really remember how it worked... I'm not sure we really had a clue how it worked the one time we played with it... and that was over a month ago.

Amanda played Phoblog with Biosphere Support and Power Generation - she took the Generalist Milestone.

I played Celastic with Society support and Polar Industries. I took the Hoverlord and Ecologist Milestones - and had the requirements for the specialist... but forgot to pay for it... Also took first in Venuphoile, Estate Realtor and Desert Settler.

It was a really close game in the end. we were very close with the Terraforming Rating at game end. Then I surged ahead as we were counting up Awards... but Amanda, as always, had a TONNE of cards in play - many of which gave points, and she caught right up and passed me for a bit...  and it was only when we counted all the green and cities on the board that I snuck ahead in total points again...  SO CLOSE!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Finnegan playing D&D again - this time with his Tuesday Group - but they were using some Facebook chat thingie that I didn't even know existed!?

Keira was also trying to do some online stuff - a dance class practice.

Amanda and I sat down play Blackstone Fortress. This was our official REBOOT of the Quest of the Hidden Vaults... You can read the report elsewhere...

Quest for the Hidden Vaults - Redux - Blackstone Fortress

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Finnegan did play another online D&D game with his Wednesday group using Roll20.

Amanda and I started another expedition into the Blackstone Fortress. This second expedition was played over a few days, and I posted about it in two different blog posts - the links are below..

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Another evening game of Blackstone Fortress. The reports of the first two sessions were collected into one blog post:

Enter Janus Draik

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Finnegan did play his Saturday D&D game on Roll20...

Amanda and I finished off the expedition we were playing all week...

Adventures With Draik Continue

And then started ANOTHER Expedition - this time we decided to try a Stronghold Assault (four stronghold must be attacked and conquered before we can enter the Hidden Vaults - the object of the current campaign!)

Blackstone Fortress: Stronghold Assault

Amanda actually took a photo of ME playing Blackstone Fortress on Saturday afternoon... And now you know why all the pictures are of her and not me - who wants to look at this old goof!? (They're prescription reading glasses... I need them for painting now, too...)

She posted it to Facebook and someone commented that I was looking "skinny" - I assure you it is a visual illusion caused by the mark of Slaanesh - it's slimming, like vertical stripes!

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Sunday we finished off the first Stronghold Assault! Woo!

this is the Stronghold we came to at the end of the expedition - saw some things we hadn't seen before - Rogue Psykers, Chaos Beastmen... there were Chaos Space marines that COULD have shown up... but we dodged them...

You can read all about it (and see all the pictures) here:

Blackstone Fortress: First Stronghold Assault - Part Two

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

That's today! It's still morning and we've got a whole day ahead of us and... there MIGHT be some more games. I've been getting out for more bike rides lately... but this morning we have some freezing rain and it just looks AWFUL out there... so even MORE time indoors that games could be played!

Wow... that was a LOT of games...

If this keeps up, I might have to have fortnightly round ups... or weekly!?

Coming Soon to Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog:

There is still one game report forthcoming - Part Two of our Blackstone Fortress Stronghold Assault.

Then...? Probably MORE Blackstone Fortress game reports!

Maybe a painting update...? Work on the Chaos stuff has slowed, somewhat, and I've been... distracted by other things this last week... some of it is related to stuff I am doing (Blackstone Fortress stuff), others... completely out of the blue (reorganizing and rebasing old Hordes of the Things armies for Dragon Rampant!?)