Last night was the monthly board game night that one of my friends hosts in the south-west. As I didn’t have any other events scheduled for the weekend so I was happily able to go. The event starts after dinner and goes into the early morning and while I wasn’t able to stay the entire evening I did stay long enough to get in a few games.
First off was a quick game of Heroes of Normandie. I was introducing the game to a new player so we tried one of the provided scenarios called Saving Private Rex. I played the Americans and my opponent picked the Germans. The goal of the scenario is for the Americans to find and rescue their General’s pet dog. The game was fun and it was easy to explain the rules but I was struck, yet again, that the true appeal of the game is in larger custom scenarios where you pick your own forces and have a larger number of available orders. The scenario we played was a quick win for the Americans as Private Rex randomly appeared in a space that was easy for me surround and keep away from the Germans.
I have an interesting relationship with RPGs. I used to play them a lot when I was in university but once I left I really got out of the habit. Despite an interest in them, especially the idea of world-building, the rules really leave me cold and the general amount of energy and time that you need to put in to them seems, to me, to be disproportionate to the amount of fun you get back.
That said, I also spend insane amounts of time building and painting miniatures and terrain for my games so…
I also am interested in RPGs because I know that Michelle likes them and I am always on the lookout for a game that both of us can play. Those are few and far between though so I was quite happy that I was able to finally pick up a copy of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.
Today was a Marvel Dicemasters event at the store and even though I wasn’t playing I was helping run it for Sentry Box. While I was there I asked Bill to come down and introduce me to the Warhammer Diskwars game from Fantasy Flight.
Diskwars is a product that I was intrigued by when it was first announced but I passed it by during its initial releases. The reason was that the promotional material that FFG released made it look very character focused and less about troops and war machines. It wasn’t until the release of the second expansion, adding the Vampire Counts and a smattering of Skaven and Dark Elves, that I was able to see that it was more troop oriented and had a very good range of units and factions.
I have been playing a lot of Hearthstone lately. It feeds a CCG itch that I always have and it does it via my iPad and computer which makes it easy to get in games. It also seems to have a much better matchmaking algorithm than a lot of online multiplayer games in that I am still using the default cards that come with the free download but still having challenging matches that I can often win.
My most recent set of games have been with the Rogue as I ramp her up to Lvl 10 and get access to all her basic cards. In the last three games I have won using the Sinister Strike card. Sinister Strike is a 1 mana card that inflicts three damage to your opponent’s hero. It doesn’t seem like a critical card and I often see it, and similar cards, being used for early first or second round damage to an opponent.
I can’t recall where I read it but I part of the success of playing Hearthstone is in knowing when to play cards effectively and for the most benefit and shepherding your cards until they can be used to deliver the best result.
Three damage is not a lot and there are many ways, over the course of a game, where an opponent can mitigate that damage. If I do three damage to my opponent on my first turn they can either heal it or plan around that damage. By withholding the card I can surprise my opponent and do more damage than they expect I can. If my opponent is at 15 health and I have 12 damage capacity on my available Minions then Sinister Strike pushes my damage capacity to the point where I can win the game.
In all three games that I won, I pulled Sinister Strike in my initial hand and held on to it until my final turn to use it to defeat my opponent by pushing my damage capacity over their health limit and if I had played the card early I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
My joints have been really bugging me of late so I haven’t been doing any painting. As odd as it might seem, painting is the worst thing for my joints so if I have any residual joint pain I tend to avoid painting. You can’t spell “paint” without “pain” :-) Thankfully I have a lot of figures to assemble and get ready for when I can paint so that is what I did today.
One of the tasks that I have been working on is assembling the figures from the Super Dungeon Explore core game. The twins are going to be helping me paint them and I finally got the last of them cleaned and assembled. The girls helped assemble the two Ogre figures and were quite pleased with themselves.
I have a real problem with staying focused on a project long enough to see it to completion. I suspect that I am not unique in this but the last month has been exceptionally crazy for hopping from project to project. So I think that to tame the beast that is my unbridled enthusiasm, I will be setting monthly painting and gaming goals so I at least focus on one or two things a month in hopes of getting them done.
Today, in addition to being a great day to lose at Dreadball, was the annual Bitz Trading Day at Sentry Box.
This is a yearly event that the store runs where they give over table space in the upper gaming area for people to bring in surplus miniatures and bitz to trade. Luckily I found out about it yesterday and was able to bring along a few random figures from the collection in the game room to trade.
As luck would have it I managed to parlay those minis into quite the sizeable number of figures
- A box of Wood Elf Glade Guard figures for Songs of Blades and Heroes
- Some Kobolds, (Hob)Goblins, Mummys and a Griffon from the Bones range (again for SoBH)
- Man O’ War including the two expansions and a ton of metal miniatures. Sadly no Chaos or Skaven vessels
To be fair the Man O’ War set cost me some cash but given that I walked in with a small box of figures it was a good day.
I also picked up the AT-43 Karmen figures from an earlier trade so I left the store with boxes of miniatures. More than enough to last me for quite some time.
For quite some time I have been interested in trying out the Song of Blades and Heroes fantasy skirmish rules from Ganesha Games. If you are not familiar with them, they are a very basic set of rules that strips the game down to a set of two statistics (Quality and Combat) and a few special rules to create a game that focuses on your tactics and not the peculiarities of the game system or the interactions of the unit abilities and stats. (more…)
Dave and I met up again last night for some Mage Wars gaming. We managed to fit in two games as our first game ended quite quickly.
Game 1 involved my tweaked Warlock against a new(ish) Force Master build that David put together. It was a fairly decent build (my Warlock was the standard Demon/Fire build) and he was able to exert some decent pressure on me but I managed to get two burn tokens on him that wouldn’t go out and between my Demons and the flames the Force Master quickly went down.
After suffering from this fate myself this is the main reason why some of my Mages have Geyser in their spellbooks. Nothing is quite as distressing as beeing cooked by multiple Burn tokens.
Dropped by Sentry Box last night to have a game of Mage Wars against a fellow, David, that I met last Sunday. I brought out an Air Wizard build that I haven’t used in a while and Dave played an interesting Warlord build that involved ranged attacks and Tanglevines.
The game went right down the the very end with David’s Warlord having two Life left after some very punishing attacks from a Gremlin and my Wizard left with the same Life remaining but sadly stuck in a Tanglevine.
I don’t know if it was deliberate or not but David had a Dwarven Panzerfaust creature in the same zone as the Tanglevine and with its Guard enabled I wasn’t able to attack the Tanglevine and free myself. My spell book only had a single Thunderbolt spell (range 0-3) and so I wasn’t able to effect David’s Warlord with spells other than a Chain Lightning spell that leapt across the table to hit him with a single dice. A roll of a critical 2 would have won the game but it was not to be.
I was able to survive in a zone with an Iron Golem and the Dwarven Panzerfaust due to a Force Sword, my Voltaric Shield and some armour but ultimately David took my Mage down with a well placed shot from a Goblin Slinger. A ignoble end if there ever was one.