Friday, 24 February 2012

You can keep it!

I haven't gone away you know, but i have been very busy this week with....er.....stuff.  Lots I wanted to blog about and i have some guest articles to be posted.

So as an apology, I present you with ............

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Project Pandora - In space no one can hear you Squeak!!

Mouse traps, you say? eh? 

Well, the wonderful 8th Race from Mantic has appeared in their furry ferociousness floating through the ether of the interweb! For more tidbits of the game check out their blog, Facebook and Twitter

So what do they look like then? Below you can see the full cover of the boardgame with rather miffed space rats going head to head with the Corporation.


Armoured space rats with sharp claws and teeth. I like the look and feel of the picture, though i am now thinking about making a Skaven Blood Bowl team and i don't know why ;)

Beasts of War have a load more pictures as well, including 


Overall, they are not the most original and people may be a bit disappointed with the mystique of the 8th Race up until now.  There seemed to be a feeling of, well, a bit more to it than ratmen (or Veer-myn).

I have to say though it is quite interesting that for Mantic's 'not 40k' Warpath game they have produced two races that are not directly transferable into the 40K universe.  That of, to all intents and purposes, space Dwarfs and Rats.  Especially when you look at the Kings of War range which all fit neatly into Warhammer Fantasy Battle.  The Kings of War rulebook has army lists that you can fit your Warhammer army very easily into as well.  A number of people in Northern Ireland have the boxed set for Warpath, and i have played a couple of games.  To be honest i am still unsure about it.  I love Kings of War, again i have only played a couple of games so far - but i 'got it' almost straight off.

Even so I am looking forward to the release of this board game and having a go.


In Space no one can hear you Squeak!


Wee Ivor








Wee Gamers also hang out on Facebook | Twitter | G+

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Flames of War? On the Cheap? I Say!!

Flames of War or FOW, is currently the fastest growing war-game worldwide. 

t has just revised its rules and released FOW 3rd Edition to a fair bit of welcome from its fans.  So, now is a good time to pick up your battle kit and wage 15mm war like nobodies business.

However, unlike other popular game systems you are not limited in your choice of miniature supplier.  Of course, there is the 'official' FOW miniature company, but that is only a starting point.

The idea behind this article is to highlight what choices you have to make before you play FOW, and to spotlight the options available in an effort to keep the cost down. 

What nation and period? 
The first decision you have to make is what nation you want to use. The main choices are 
  • Britain
  • the Soviet Union
  • Germany or 
  • the USA. 
Obviously you are not limited to just these 4 options, you can re-enact the Polish defence of Warsaw in 1939 if you wish, but they give you scope to build a collection capable of covering the vast majority of the campaigns fought in or around Europe.

This leads on to the second question you have to answer: 

What period do I like?
Here you are spoilt for choice, and there is more to be covered. To date FOW covers the German invasions of Poland, France and the Low Countries, the Balkan states (including Greece and Crete), the early and mid periods of the Desert War, the Eastern front from 1942 to early 1945, and the Allied invasion of Normandy and the drive to Germany up to September 1944. 

These two decisions will have a direct impact on how expensive the hobby will be. 

Where to start? 
Your initial outlay will have to be either the starter set (currently unsure if a new one will be available for 3rd Edition), or the hardback rulebook.  The new 3rd Edition rule book has plenty of advice for the new player on building and painting an army. 

Next, you need an intelligence handbook, a codex by another name. These are period specific, and give you historic background on the major forces involved. The army lists included give you plenty of options from infantry based to reconnaissance only armies. Again, this hobby allows you more scope than many other systems when it comes to building your army. 

As the lists are historically accurate, you can build a specific unit from WWII and a sizeable collection which lets you field more than one list type at a time. These books can be expensive, around £30.00 in some cases, but I would recommend searching Amazon first.  Also check out FOW forums and the main website at Flames of War

Recruiting to your ranks. 
Before we look at what options are available, I would recommend having an army list to build to. Around 2000 points would be best to start with, as most games range from 1500 to 2000 points. I’ll discuss 5 companies in this section, and include links to the respective websites where possible. 

From the Battlefront 
Flames of War should be your first point of call. The website shows the complete range of products, from dice sets to box sets, and contains many interesting articles. The forum is a good place for beginners to get great ideas for their armies, and occasionally good advice as well.

This will give you a base price for most of the models you will need. These products are available from a number of websites at a discounted price. Currently, two of them Wayland Games and  Maelstrom Games are doing an offer for the new FOW rulebook and normally have a decent discount on Battlefront products.

Although buying the “genuine” models can be an expensive option, Battlefront products have a lot to recommend them. The quality of the models is superb and they produce almost every option currently mentioned in the intelligence handbooks, in some cases in box sets which give your either a complete infantry company or battery of artillery.

Forged in other factories 
Forged in Battle, Skytrex and Peter Pig are three companies who, while they don't have as large a range of products as Battlefront, do produce some kits that are unavailable elsewhere. They also offer good variation to add some individuality to your force. Check out the links below, and for Forged in Battle, check them out at either Wayland or Maelstrom Games.  
Not really much to say about these products, they are good quality and look as good on the table as a Battlefront equivalent. There are some problems with Forged in Battle, for example the vehicles are smaller than other 15mm models available, and the infantry come without bases. 

The Plastic option 
There are currently two choices here, Zvedza and the Plastic Soldier Company.  Both are available from the same site, and are readily available elsewhere on-line. The Zvedza range is superb for early war Germans and Soviet tanks, and I would highly recommend them. Not only are they very detailed and true to scale, they are very cheap and they produce aircraft for the Germans and Soviets. The only downside is that the range is currently very small. But there are plans to release British and late war Eastern front ranges soon. Rumour has it that Revel are planning on releasing 1:144th scale aircraft this year. This is the perfect scale for FOW, and they plan a large range covering all the major nations. 

The Plastic Soldier Company (PSC), is a new company which is constantly producing new kits, and is without doubt the best thing to happen in 15mm WWII gaming in years. Being the owner of a large number of their models, and regular opponent of the rest of their range, I have to recommend them to anyone thinking of starting this hobby. They produce highly detailed, easy to build kits in boxes of 5, with single models now available. This is great value as each box provides enough for a complete unit in the game. The range gives you the mainstay tanks for each of the four major nations, from PIIIs to T-34s, with the German Panther available very shortly. Their website has an extensive list of forthcoming products, including Tigers. 

There are some problems with the PSC though. The range currently covers 1942 to 1944, and is dominated by German kits so far. Ordering their products, either direct from them or from any other retailer, can be a slow process and availability is also a problem. However, the biggest problem in my opinion, is their infantry. If you buy no other infantry they are perfect for generic troops, especially when coupled to some of the upcoming kits. Unfortunately, they don’t make specialist troops like engineers or paratroopers, and they don’t look right when fielded alongside the metal versions offered by the other companies. But when all is said and done, if you plan on playing FOW, you’ll be hard pressed NOT to have some PSC models in your army. 

Debrief
As a hobby FOW can be done reasonably cheaply, but only with serious limitations. However, with the growing number of high quality plastic kits available, and the planned new releases, the cost of collecting a great looking large force will decrease. 

Take my collection for example. My 3000 point early war German Panzer company is 90% plastic, while my 5000 point mid/late war SS force is 80% metal and resin. Flames of War is not the most expensive wargame out there, but with a bit of effort you can save yourself a lot of money. 

To this end I have some tips which may be helpful. Do your research. Find the nation/period/force you want Buy the rules and intelligence handbooks first. Design your army before you buy anything Shop around before you buy.
_________
James Owens plays with little toy WWII soldiers and tanks along with his comrades in the Causeway Giants Gaming club - Website ¦ Facebook Group ¦ Facebook Page.  They are currently obsessed with Flames of War.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

GMS Magazine discusses Gay Gamers & Gender


GMS Magazine discusses a very interesting issue in their latest podcast is that of gay gamers.  Paco Jaen, a gay gamer himself, chats about gay gamers and straight gamers playing gay characters.  Not something i really thought about till this.  I have known gay gamers now I think about it, but it was never an issue.  You were a gamer, end off.

They also discuss D&D Next and Monte Cook's article which raises Gender Based Abilities.  It had been part of a poll for the public to vote on to see what should be kept for 5th Edition.  This had a massive reaction on the web and Wizards re-edited the poll with an explanation to clarify the situation
In our latest Legends & Lore poll, we asked what elements of D&D mechanics you wanted to see preserved. One of the listed elements was a limit on ability scores based on gender. There is no way such a pointless rule is going to end up in the game, whether in the core or as a rules module, which is why it was under the article header “Stuff to Leave Behind.” We never intended that as a serious option. We forgot that articles like Legends & Lore are an important window into the development process, one where something intended as a joke option can come across as an actual proposal. We ask you to take the time to read, consider, and vote on the issues we bring forward. The least we can do is respect your efforts and keep the polls focused on actual ideas we’ve entertained, rather than leave you guessing as to what we actually mean.
The podcast is well worth a listen as Paco also has a great interviews with Steve Kenson, creator of numerous games, including Mutants and Masterminds and worked at Green Ronin

So what do you think?  Leave your feedback. :)


Wee Ivor








Wee Gamers also hang out on Facebook | Twitter | G+

Monday, 13 February 2012

In Project Pandora no one can find the 8th Race (Yet)

Project Pandora: Grim Cargo is now up for Pre-Order.  It is a sci-fi board game pitting the Corporation against the mysterious 8th Race, who have boarded a Corporation Starship in attempt to steal its precious cargo – a cargo which the Corporation will do everything in it’s power to keep hold of.

Written by Jake Thornton (a top bloke by the way), author of the sell-out Dwarf King’s Hold series, the game features an innovative dice-driven combat mechanic and a scenario based narrative, allowing you to recreate the mission.

The set includes Project Pandora: Grim Cargo rulebook, 10 Corporation marines and 10 8th Race Scavangers miniatures, stunning new artwork depicting the starship,action counters, and dice.

All this week Ronnie and the team from Mantic Towers will be focussing on this new game so keep your eye out on the website.

I am looking forward to this one.  I really liked Dwarf Kings Hold.



Wee Ivor








Wee Gamers also hang out on Facebook | Twitter | G+

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Corporation three pronged attack!!

Mantic is at it again with fairly hefty deals on bulk buying.

They are producing a "Mantic Elite" package deal that incorporates a monthly release for three months.

So this new package contains all of the figures and games over the next three months. And if you buy in it also means that you get the package before it goes on general release.

It also fits in with Mantics 'Corporation Week' which starts this Monday 13th February.  Keep an eye on their site to see what is happening. 

So what's in this three month Mantic Elite package?
  • Month 1- March Corporation Major-General Corporation Army Set - 20 Marines 10 Rangers 10 Veterans 3 Heavy Weapons 
  • Month 2 - April Project Pandora: Grim Cargo - tiles, dice and 20 figures. 
  • Month 3 - May 8th Race Hero 8th Race Army Set Mantic Elite guarantees you will get the sets first and with a saving of over £20 on the sets individually, makes it incredibly affordable to get all of the upcoming figures! 
The pre-order sign up deal ends 29th February with more details about Project Pandora and the 8th Race to be revealed on the Mantic blog. 

And the price for this quite impressive package? £124.99

Not Bad.

Not bad at all.



Wee Ivor








Wee Gamers also hang out on Facebook | Twitter | G+

Ain't that a kickstarter!

This is an amazing Kickstarter project. Double Fine Productions and 2Player Productions were trying to raise $400,000 to produce a point and click game.

This was because when they took their ideas to the usual suspects within the computer gaming industrytThey were told that people did not want point and click adventure games any more.

Double Fine Productions thought there were plenty of people who still wanted to buy.  So they started with Kickstarter, the funding crowdsourcing site, looking for 400,000.

Within 8 hours they had hit their target and there was still 32 days to go.  as off today there were over 44,000 backers who have pledged over $1.5 million.  There are 31 days still to go.

The power of gamers is astounding.

 


Double Fine Productions was founded in 2000 by industry veteran Tim Schafer (Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango), the San Francisco-based company has established itself as a unique creative force with critically-acclaimed titles such as Pyschonauts, Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade, Once Upon a Monster, and Double Fine Happy Action Theater. 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Something for the (gaming) weekend?

Northern Ireland is really getting in the (unplugged) gaming groove.

This weekend kicks off with Nerdtopia (Facebook) and their Infinity Friday.  At least i suspect there is - double check before you go - though you could drop by and have a cup of coffee anyway.  Talking of Infinity, check out  Infinity Ireland (Facebook Group | Facebook Page

Lisburn Gaming Club (Web | Facebook | Twitter) are also having their Friday night opening from 7.30pm

Saturday sees a large number of gaming clubs and shops open including Lisburn Gaming Club, Nerdtopia, Arkham Gaming Centre (Web | Facebook | Twitter), Creative Destruction (Web | Facebook | Twitter), Replay (Web | Facebook) and Games Workshop Belfast (Facebook | Twitter) to note a few.

Big stuff for the weekend, Creative Destruction is running Battle of Kingdoms (Facebook), a big event for Yu-Gi-Oh players, in Portadown.  They will be having refreshments provided by a trained Chef, so whilst a curry stew can't be guaranteed (depending upon environmental health), sandwiches that rival a sub sandwich is highly probable. The top 4 finalists from this Yu-Gi-Oh Battle of Kingdoms 2012 Qualifier on the 11th February will receive invitations to play in the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG Battle of Kingdoms 2012 finals.

Obviously, there are others open at the weekend.  If there are let me know either in the comments or on the Facebook, Twitter or G+



Wee Ivor



Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The War Room is coming to Warmachine!


War Room, the first official utility app for WARMACHINE and HORDES, is coming to iOS and Android!


Matt Wilson, Chief Creative Officer for Privateer Press, said

"War Room represents the digital toolkit that we’ve wanted to make since apps first appeared in the mobile marketplace.  Thanks to our fantastic partners at TinkerHouse Games, that vision is now a reality.  Users of War Room can be absolutely assured of having the most up-to-date rules and model stats.  Official errata will be instantly updated in-app as soon as it’s available to the player community."

Lane Daughtry, President and Lead Developer for TinkerHouse Games, added

"As an avid WARMACHINE and HORDES player, I’m thrilled to be bringing something to my fellow gamers that will greatly improve their experience at the table."

War Room, which will be available on tablets and handhelds for both the iOS and Android platforms from Privateer Press this March, gives players access to a wealth of features intended to expedite the army creation process and facilitate faster in-game rulings. In addition, users will receive regular news and rules updates from Privateer Press straight to their mobile devices.

 Notable features include:
Army Creation Workshop: Players can select their faction and game size and then choose their warcasters and warlocks, warjacks or warbeasts, units, solos, and battle engines to create valid lists, all within the War Room application.

Full Card Display: Model stat cards are shown exactly as they are printed, so players can reference them easily and with the same confidence as printed cards.

In-Game Status Tracking: In-game damage and status tracking will give players immediate and easily accessible information on every fighting model in their command.

In-Game List Sharing: Lists will be sharable between every player using War Room in the same game so they can quickly access each other’s model status and abilities, allowing players to keep their focus on the tabletop action.

Turn Clock: This optional player-initiated feature allows players to keep individual turns fast but fairly apportioned. The base app is a free download and contains cards from all current WARMACHINE and HORDES starter products.

Full faction decks for both WARMACHINE and HORDES will be available as additional downloads for $6.99. Every deck will include all currently released stat cards for that faction as well as new model updates for the life of the current rules set.

There is also an FAQ giving you a run down on what to expect.

As a geek AND a nerd, i am excited!!



Wee Ivor



Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Special WarpCon 40K Tournament - Part the Last


Warpcon 2012: Day Three: Sunday:

Sunday Morning this year was marked by a lack of tiredness on my part, as I didn't for once, partake of the shananigans that usually revolve around any group of Cork Gamers and a bar. :) 

Game 4: Vs Emma Lynn (Skibbereen Wargamers) - Orks
My fourth game was against the lovely Emma Lynn from Skibbereen and her 2 wagon Ork List. We were playing a set 5 game objectives for primary and killpoints for secondary. without any kind of prompting we just went for it in the center of the table, as 2 Ork armies should. With little tips going each way: "The Big Mek gives troops a 5 up cover save, Emma." and "If you spead the 2 units of warbuggies amoung each other, they give each other a cover save." we had a really fun game, what ended up being the most fun game I had this year at Warpcon.

I concentrated my Lootas on Emma's and the broke, but rallied, out of line of sigh of anything. Emma broke squads of mine, and I made boys run back, but all in all, it was the painboy nabbing her deff dread that was the game changer. Emma has fantastic models, with the forgeworld Grot tanks standing in for her buggies and the Mega Dread standingin for the normal dread. It turns out, Ork Boys hate Grotzookas almost as much as othjer armies!

We ended with a straight 10-10 draw, with only a 26 point difference in Victory Points separating us. 

Game 5: Vs James Carey (Limerick Dice Chuckers) - Eldar
So the final game was Kill points for primary and 2 objectives each for secondary. I played against James Carey of the Limerick lads. I rolled first turn, James failed to seize and reserved everything. Keeping 2 squads of boys sat on my objectives, I proceeded to mosey along to get as much cover and to push towards his objectives, realising that Eldar play the late game objective grab.

James was unlucky with his reserve rolls and came on piecemeal, getting shot at by Lootas and boys. Eldar tanks don't like being shot at by Nob Bikers, then assaulted I've learned. Unlike my games against Arkham's own Sir_M1ke in Gaelcon, James didn't have flicker fields, so I was able to hit him this time!

Everytime James opened up with his weapons, I have to admit something died of mine! We ended up with my claiming both of my own objectives and one of his, with James conesting his. Kill points were primary though, and I was ahead by 4 at the end, thanks to Eldrad failing 2 3+ invulnerable saves and the squad he was with being wiped out also. The game ended up being 12-8 to me. 

So with 3 losses, 1 draw and 1 win under my belt, plus the list scores, I ended up on 47 points, drawing with club mate and fellow ork player Donal Casey. The top 3 were: Paul Quigley of the DGG in First, WAC's own Dan 'True Story' Ahen in Second and the Warhead's Alec in Third.
Additionally, funds were raised through various events for the Irish ETC team, and prize support was done by Gamer's World, The Gathering and the IGA.


*****
Anthony Sharpe is a gamer, IT Tech and Corkman. His ramblings can be occasionally be found at www.anthonysharpe.info.  He is a member of the Wargamers Association of Cork, whose members can be found on Wargaming Ireland, at www.w-ired.org.  Can also be found on @antonius_prime.

WAC can also be found (loudly) at many events (and bars) around the country with their sister club the Skibb Wargamers, who have a presence at www.skibbwargamers.blogspot.com

The Irish Games Associaction can be found at www.gaelcon.com


Warpcon is an Annual Gaming and Sci-Fi Convention, held in Cork's UCC for local charities and more information can be found at www.warpcon.com

Special WarpCon 40K Tournament - Part the Second


Warpcon 2012: Day Two: Saturday:

So, Saturday morning I rocked on up to the Student Center in UCC to get my pass and register. Due to delays with the openingof the center it was about 19.15 when I pitched up to the 40K
registration. This time, the delays were on UCC's side, not the WARPs Trolls.

Between IT hiccups and general Saturday morning confusion, the games kicked off around 10.30. Warpcon 2012 was being playe with the new ETC Primary and Secondary mission objectives.

Game 1: Vs Ryan McMullen (Warheads) - Space Wolves
Game 1 had a primary objective of Seize ground, with 3 objectives spaced evenly along the center line of table. The secondary objective was capture and control, with the control zones being each deployment zone.

First round, first game was up against the bane of Nob Bikers. Dual Jaws of the World Wolf Space Wolves list, played by Ryan McMullan of the Warheads. This list was something I nicknamed the "Tuna Can Delivery Service" with everything except the Long Fangs in Rhinos or Razorbacks.

Ryan had 1st turn and managed to get into line of sight with Jaws, taking my Warboss ona Stick- I mean- Bike, out of the game and the Waagh Banner Nob also, bringing the squad down a point of Weapon skill.

Next turn, the other Rune Priest took another 2 nobs, leaving one flamer nob and the painboy to zoom forward. All in all, I was playing definsively with my list, which is what I shouldn't be doing, as an Ork player. With the loss of my big scary unit of Nob Bikers, I was on the back foot from then on. Simple Saturday morning mistakes like forgetting the red paint job, meaning I couldn't Death Rolla both razorbacks in one turn, left me playing catch up.

Ryan walked away with a 16 to 4 win to him, with me being almost tabled with 81 points left on the table! 

Game 2: Vs Colin Murray (Dublin Gamers Guild) - Chaos
Second round objectives were primary: Annihilation (Killpoints) and secondary: Seize Ground. Colin and myself rolled 5 objectives. I had first turn and Colin failed to seize. Colin had a Dual Lash Prince list with 3 x 3 units of Obliterators, Khorne Berserkers, plague marines and rhinos and a Land Raider.

He promptly hopped the Berserkers into the raider, moved the plague marines flat out and hopped the princes out. He then shot at me. Where I rolled 4-ups like a boss, much to his chagrin. He lashed 1 unit of Lootas partially out of cover, where in my turn they blew the same price out of the water.

The second prince lashed the nob bikers back into terrain, where I sat them on an objective. More shooting followed, sniping and high strength taking its oll on the nob bikers. So I retalieated by doing what Death Rolla Orks do best. Crushing everything.

Highlight of the game was one of Colin's plague marines getting what amounted to moon-sized cajones and death-or-glory-ing and imoobilising 2 Battle Wagons. Thankfully, with grot riggers and a Big Mek, this wasn't so bad, but plague marines aren't bothered by 6 Strength 10 hits. (Yes, I forgot death or glory means 2D6.)

Overall, Colin won the killpoints primary, but I managed to draw on secondary, and victory points did't give enough away for a major drop. I lost 14 to 6 to Colin. 

Game 3: Vs Keith (Indie) - Grey Knights
Third round had me up against the current Codex-Du-Jour; Grey Knights. Thankfully it wasn't Drago-wing or Purifier Spam, but a Mordrak List. My one issue here wasn't Keith failing to seize or any issues on my part. Nope. It was Mordrak and 5 Ghost Knights dropping behind both Loota Squads, essentially taking my long range weapons out of the game. My Wagons getting wrecked on the halfway line meant I was only that far up, despite having first turn for Dawn war and getting the nobs set up for a turn 2 multicharge. I knew the nobs and boss were going to die horribly, but the point was deny Keith 2 turns of shooting at Wagons and hopefully get enough boys in his face to stop him getting secondary objective of Capture and control. Primary was kill points and I couldn't win that unless I tabled him. Game 3 ended in a 16 to 4 win for Keith. 

That was day 2, and the first 3 round of warpcon left me around the bottom third. I wasn't too worried, as this Warpcon had less personality and hungover clashes that have marked recent conventions around the country in the last 2 years. 


*****
Anthony Sharpe is a gamer, IT Tech and Corkman. His ramblings can be occasionally be found at www.anthonysharpe.info.  He is a member of the Wargamers Association of Cork, whose members can be found on Wargaming Ireland, at www.w-ired.org.  Can also be found on @antonius_prime.

WAC can also be found (loudly) at many events (and bars) around the country with their sister club the Skibb Wargamers, who have a presence at www.skibbwargamers.blogspot.com

The Irish Games Associaction can be found at www.gaelcon.com


Warpcon is an Annual Gaming and Sci-Fi Convention, held in Cork's UCC for local charities and more information can be found at www.warpcon.com

Special WarpCon 40K Tournament - Part the First


Hi There! My name's Tony and I'm a 40K Gamer from Cork. Wee Ivor and the lads here at Wee Gamers approached me to do a write up of this years Warpcon in Cork for them.

Just to get a few things out of the way: I'm in no way a Power Gamer or a WAAC kind of person. I'm currently (until the AGM at least) the Secretary of WAC (The Wargamers Association of Cork). And I tend to ramble a bit... :D

These next few posts detail my experiences at what has been my 7th Warpcon to date. Read on for more.Warpcon is my local convention and has been going, now, for 22 years. I first attended while being completely green behind the ears about the game. It's got a place close to my heart.

So this year, I was going to attend the Friday night to gather a bit of the ambience and the vendor fare on offer. Unfortunately, due to a combination of Gamer Laziness and traffic, I was unable to get there on time. This lead to the first 'ding' against Warpcon I've ever encountered. I got there at 5 past 9 on the Friday evening, and the ticket booth had closed. I hadn't seen any mentions to closing times on the website, save that some RPG's were finished at 9. I assumed there'd be someone there to take my pre-paid ticket, draw a line through my name and hand me a pass.

It took me 5 minutes and eventually tapping someone to get the attention of a Con staff member to be told that it was too late. This was an issue and I questioned this, and said I'd be back at 9 AM the next morning to get my pass. Aside from that, I've gone in prepared like Batman this year. Lists were in on time, army in its cases in the car, printed lists, printed rules pack, lunch as well as liquid refreshment.

This year as well, I'm trying electronic lists as well, thanks to the kindle. On that I've PDFs of all the army books (don't worry I own them anyway), FAQ docs and reference sheets as well as the army list and rules pack. Hopefully event organisers will start offering the pack in PDF so I don't have to convert it myself.

Lunch wise, I was healthy with sandwiches and light snacks. I had healthy drinks too. All in all I was the Batman of preparedness. All I needed was 2 days of 40K Gaming Goodness! 

*****
Anthony Sharpe is a gamer, IT Tech and Corkman. His ramblings can be occasionally be found at www.anthonysharpe.info.  He is a member of the Wargamers Association of Cork, whose members can be found on Wargaming Ireland, at www.w-ired.org.  Can also be found on @antonius_prime.

WAC can also be found (loudly) at many events (and bars) around the country with their sister club the Skibb Wargamers, who have a presence at www.skibbwargamers.blogspot.com

The Irish Games Associaction can be found at www.gaelcon.com


Warpcon is an Annual Gaming and Sci-Fi Convention, held in Cork's UCC for local charities and more information can be found at www.warpcon.com

Super Blood Bowl action - The Skarboyz are back!


Well, with the Super Bowl in the US getting under way, I slipped down to Arkham Gaming Centre for a little Super Bowl action between myself and my friend Gary.  Super Blood Bowl action that is.

I had not played Blood Bowl for such a long time and I had forgotten what a genius little game it was.

Gary brought his Deepest Dark Elf team while I rolled up with my Skarag's Skarboyz, meanest Orcs this side of the World's Edge Mountains.  After faffing about for a few moments, as we let our heads slip round the rules again (the boxed set rules), play began.  My Boyz trotted out onto the pitch only to find one of the Blitzers had been Press Ganged the previous night.  So a man... er, Orc down already for the first half at least.  I could tell this was going to be an interesting game.  The Deepest Dark Elves took a quick and early lead (by turn two they had a touchdown).  My Boyz had a touchdown of their own, only it turned out to be a Dark Elf's head and not the ball - oh well, looks like meat was back on the menu tonight.

Gary used the elves with gusto and had scored two touchdowns early in the First Half, though my plucky Boyz had a great time fouling the dirty elves AND even managed to score a touchdown.

Second half was a real slog on both sides.  The Deepest Dark Elves levelling the Skarboyz a couple of times giving as good as they got from the Orcs.  But with a last minute dazzling play the Orcs confuddled the Elves in order to score another touchdown and maim one of the Dark Elf linesmen.  The score result was 2 each, but my Boyz made me proud with one dead Dark Elf and another maimed.

I have to say I loved every minute of it.  It is such a good boardgame it is a huge pity Games Workshop decied to dump it in the Specialist Games section.  However, one good thing out of that is the development of the rules, after continued tweaks, have become free to download.  Which I shall be doing as soon as possible.

I think an informal league shall be started in Arkham very soon, to flush out all those team manager wannabes.



Have you played Blood Bowl? What team do/did you play? When did you start playing?  Tell me your experiences of playing Blood Bowl.

Watch this space for more Blood Bowl adventures.  If you are from Northern Ireland, or Ireland, then you should also check out NIBBL.

Also if you are thinking of getting back into Blood Bowl be aware the teams (of normally 11 to 16 players) can be around £30 to £40.  Slightly cheaper if you already have either Warhammer Fantasy or 40k figures knocking about the place.  Or indeed Comixininos have a fantastic range of minis covering all the teams.  I may review some of the stuff at a later date.



Wee Ivor



Sunday, 5 February 2012

Bolt Gun ammo in 40k? I'll have some now, thanks!

And you thought projectile bolts were only to be found in the 41st centuary?

Well, Sandia National Laboratories, a multiprogram laboratory operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, has beaten the Emperor to it.  Or maybe this is the first step to Space Marine technology.

Though bolts are more explosive and less self guided, Sandia has developed a self-guided bullet prototype that can hit target a mile away.  Maybe this is more a step towards closer to Judge Dredd and his own guided bullets??  Appropriate with the new film coming out soon.  Though it does look more like a bolt for a Bolt Pistol. :)


Sandia researchers Red Jones and Brian Kast and their colleagues have invented a dart-like, self-guided bullet for small-caliber, smooth-bore firearms that could hit laser-designated targets at distances of more than a mile (about 2,000 meters). A tiny light-emitting diode, or LED, attached to a self-guided bullet at Sandia National Laboratories shows a bright path during a night time field test that proved the battery and electronics could survive the bullet's launch.  Sandia is now seeking a private company partner to complete testing of the prototype and bring a guided bullet to the marketplace.

Researchers have had initial success testing the design in computer simulations and in field tests of prototypes, built from commercially available parts. 

Sandia’s design for the four-inch-long bullet includes an optical sensor in the nose to detect a laser beam on a target. The sensor sends information to guidance and control electronics that use an algorithm in an eight-bit central processing unit to command electromagnetic actuators. These actuators steer tiny fins that guide the bullet to the target. Most bullets shot from rifles, which have grooves, or rifling, that cause them to spin so they fly straight, like a long football pass. 

To enable a bullet to turn in flight toward a target and to simplify the design, the spin had to go, Jones said. The bullet flies straight due to its aerodynamically stable design, which consists of a center of gravity that sits forward in the projectile and tiny fins that enable it to fly without spin, just as a dart does, he said. The four-inch-long bullet has actuators that steer tiny fins that guide it to its target. 

Computer aerodynamic modeling shows the design would result in dramatic improvements in accuracy, Jones said. Computer simulations showed an unguided bullet under real-world conditions could miss a target more than a half mile away (1,000 meters away) by 9.8 yards (9 meters), but a guided bullet would get within 8 inches (0.2 meters), according to the patent. Plastic sabots provide a gas seal in the cartridge and protect the delicate fins until they drop off after the bullet emerges from the firearm’s barrel. The prototype does not require a device found in guided missiles called an inertial measuring unit, which would have added substantially to its cost. Instead, the researchers found that the bullet’s relatively small size when compared to guided missiles “is helping us all around. It’s kind of a fortuitous thing that none of us saw when we started,” Jones said. 

 As the bullet flies through the air, it pitches and yaws at a set rate based on its mass and size. In larger guided missiles, the rate of flight-path corrections is relatively slow, so each correction needs to be very precise because fewer corrections are possible during flight. But “the natural body frequency of this bullet is about 30 hertz, so we can make corrections 30 times per second. That means we can overcorrect, so we don’t have to be as precise each time,” Jones said. Testing has shown the electromagnetic actuator performs well and the bullet can reach speeds of 2,400 feet per second, or Mach 2.1, using commercially available gunpowder. The researchers are confident it could reach standard military speeds using customized gunpowder. And a nighttime field test, in which a tiny light-emitting diode, or LED, was attached to the bullet showed the battery and electronics can survive flight, Jones said.


In the meantime, something for a roleplaying setting??


Wee Ivor

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Flames of War stepping up to version 3

Phil Yates has put up an interesting post on the Flames of War site regarding the imminent arrival of Flames of War 3.

It relates to what many players will be asking themselves, "What has changed?" To help answer this question Phil has written up a quick summary of the changes between the old and new versions.   He says that the document 
Is aimed squarely at existing gamers, so it doesn’t make any attempt to explain how the existing rules work. Rather it focuses on what has changed. 
The biggest changes are the tables, summaries, diagrams, and index, with Battlefront making the distinction between tables in the rules and summaries clearer. The summaries are now at the end of each major topic, as well as a overall summary at the end of each step. There are nearly three times as many diagrams, and each diagram is larger and clearer than before. The index is now five pages long, making it much easier to find rules.

Battlefront also have a PDF version of the Third Edition Quick Reference sheets to download for free as well.

The great thing about this new version is that in order to get the mini softback book for free all, you have to do is bring in your old second edition hardback into a stockist, any stockist, get it stamped and viola! You get your new third edition  mini book to start playing.

11 February sees the start of the of the 3rd Edition Mini Rulebook redemption.

Do you play Flames of War? What do you think about the changes in the third edition?

Wee Ivor



Friday, 3 February 2012

Warmachine goes COLOSSAL!!!!!!!

Privateer Press have just announced a new expansion coming in July this year.  And to say its big is an understatement

WARMACHINE: Colossals introduces players to finely detailed super-heavy warjacks on 120 mm bases.

The Cygnar Colossal
Privateer Press Director of Business Development William Shick said,
"WARMACHINE: Colossals embody the next big step for WARMACHINE and Privateer Press. Colossals are the culmination of everything we’ve learned over the last ten years of making miniatures and represent a new pinnacle of WARMACHINE models. Not only are these models loaded with stunning detail, they tower over other models on the tabletop. What’s more, they open up a whole new range of tactics and strategies for WARMACHINE players, making for an even more exciting tabletop experience.” 
In addition to all-new colossals for every faction, the expansion features new warcasters representing the third incarnations of some of the Iron Kingdoms’ most iconic characters, plus fully compiled and updated Unbound rules, providing enhanced gameplay opportunities for large-scale games of 150 points or more.

For more information you can hear it from the Warjack's mouth in the video below.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Stitchpunk is coming from Tor Gaming

What is a softback with black and white interior and colour cover?

The never Print on Demand Relics rule book from Tor Gaming.

There is a free pdf of the rules already, but Tor Gaming have also set up a paid for pdf through Wargame Vault.  They explain on their site,
As you may already have seen, we have now made Relics available through Wargame Vault as a paid for PDF. Well, we are also working to have a Print on Demand (PoD) that if accepted (meaning we have formatted the files right….) will be available for purchase from Wargame vault from our publisher page for $22.50 We will have a special bundle deal on too so you can purchase both the PDF and PoD versionsat the same time for a $5 saving. But, if oyu buy the PDF version now, you miss out on that offer!! So, we thought we would do a super mega early bird deal!! If you purchase the PDF before the PoD is available, you will receive a $10 credit on the cost of a PoD copy (Normally $22.50) Once the PoD version is available, that offer ends and falls back to the ‘buy both Pod and PDF together for a $5 discount.’ This means that if you buy the PDF now, you effectively get it for free as we credit you the full cost when buying a PoD version! 
They also expect the softback to cost around £15.


I have had a few goes at the earlier version of Relics and it took a little getting used to. But in the end I really liked it.  I might have another run through and do up a review (if i get time and can be arsed)


Lifting a rock - Roleplay style


What happens when characters from different RPG Systems try to lift a rock? 

  • AD&D: If you're strong enough, you lift the rock. 
  • D&D 3.x: If you're strong enough, you lift the rock. If you like lifting rocks, you should check out this new prestige class based around rock-lifting. 
  • D&D 4: All classes can lift the rock. They just do it differently. 
  • Rolemaster: Roll to lift the rock. Now roll on the "rock lifting fumble table." Your arms fall off and bone shards impale two of your friends. 
  • GURPS: Calculate the weight of the rock, your carrying capacity, your own weight, and the modifiers for terrain. Then roll to lift the rock. 
  • Vampire: Roll to lift the rock. If you botch, you drop it on your foot and betray to the world the travesty of humanity you've become. 
  • Mouseguard: It's not whether you lift the rock; it's what you lift the rock for. 
  • Fate: If you're strong enough, you lift the rock. If you're not, maybe the rock killed your parents or saved your life. Spend a fate point and lift the rock. 
  • Mutants & Masterminds: If you're strong enough, you lift the rock. If not, use a power to lift the rock. Any power. Fish telepathy, maybe. Go crazy. 
  • Car Wars: Lifting a rock would entail getting out of your car. Don't do that. 
  • Apocalypse World: Roll Under Fire to lift the rock. If you fail, Spacedog and his gang shoot you in the face. 
  • Smallville: How much do you love the person trapped under the rock? Do you also love justice? Roll both those things to lift the rock. 
  • Leverage: Roll to lift the rock. You succeed. But you rolled low, now Carmichael's men are coming to investigate! 
  • Lady Blackbird: How badly do you want to lift the rock? Roll that. If you succeed, play out an emotional scene with the rock to get your dice back. 
  • Nobilis: You lift the rock and reveal the gaping maw that is the darkness beneath the universe. It takes your shadow from you, and you understand that nobody has ever loved you like your shadow loved you, but it is too late. A thing lifted can never be put down again. 
  • Danger Patrol: Do you want to lift the rock? Or do you want to lift a rock... in space? While it's on fire? And monkeybots are trying to pull off your head? And you're soaked in rocket fuel? Is that enough DANGER FOR YOU?? 
  • Legend of the Five Rings - Bent down to lift rock, rough and gray in crystal beauty, you don't notice death. 
  • Exalted - Before you can lift the rock, you have to go on RPGnet and discuss the best Charm build so that you're doing it right. Then you realize the mechanics are all broken. You eventually give up and move on to other things, but damn was that rock pretty. 
  • Cthulhutech - The rock tries to rape you. It's all brutal and dark and scary. You can't do anything about it. 
  • Paranoia - The other members of your team shoot you for trying to engage in unassigned activities with the property of the Computer. 
  • HERO Games (4ed) - Multislot: Rock - (5 points) * +1d6 HA (m10 points), 1d6 EB (m10 points). You go and check if your math is right, but give up. 
  • Rifts - You bend over to pick up the rock. The rock is made of MDC material! You throw it through at a barn. The barn collapses. You sell broken fragments of MDC road asphalt as weapons of mass destruction. 
  • Mage the Ascension - You pick up a rock. Were there witnesses? Were they Sleepers? The implications of each option boggle your mind. 
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay - You pick up a rock. You develop horrible mutations and an urge to worship the daemons whispering in your head. Maybe the events are related; it's hard to say. 
  • Shadowrun: Spend two hours with your team planning who will lift the rock and who will provide cover fire. Once the rock is engaged it turns out you underestimated its mass and the plan falls apart, so you just struggle and kick your way through. When you report your sloppy but successful execution of the mission to Mr Johnson, he screws you over. 
  • Fighting Fantasy: You lift the rock. Test your Luck. If you are unlucky, it falls and crushes you to the ground. Your quest ends here. 
  • Changeling: the Dreaming - You pick up a rock. It's a Chimerical rock, so nobody else notices it. You throw it at someone, but it passes through him. You crumple up like a character sheet in a game nobody wants to play. 
  • Mechanical Dream - You pick up a rock. Something something dreams, something something reality, something something psi-fi. It's really cool and pretty, but doesn't seem to really make any sense. Of course, you probably shouldn't be listening to rocks. 
  • 7th Sea - You pick up a rock because you're a pirate! You're not a pirate! You are too a pirate, there's a boat behind you and everything! You are not a pirate damn it! Are so! Are not! 
  • Unknown Armies - You pick up a rock. As long as you hold the rock, you have power. But once you let go of it, the power is lost. So who has the power, the rock or you? Meanwhile, somebody has invented a piece of technology that has been sold worldwide to everyone for decades if not centuries, making the rock obsolete. 
  • Over the Edge - You pick up a rock. It's a sentient time-traveler bent on conquering the Celebrity Poker circuit with your help. But that's really a cover, since it's really an acolyte of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu. Of course, once your realize that's a lie, the rock has already sold you out to the global Freemason conspiracy. 
  • Ars Magica - You pick up a rock. 187 years ago, this rock was a stone in the Covenant of your teacher. Let's explore the magical history this rock has seen. 
  • F.A.T.A.L. - You pick up a rock. You degenerate misogynist you. Creations End - You pick up a rock. It's basically the same rock as the AD&D or Palladium rocks, but with a few minor differences. It crumbles apart as you try to look at it though. No one notices. 
  • Scion - You pick up a rock. It's basically a kludge of that Exalted rock with that Aberrant rock. You throw it at a monster and hope it hits him before falling apart into pieces. 
  • Barbarians of the Aftermath - Before you can pick up a rock, first you have to roll on some tables. Then some other tables. Then some more tables. A few more tables. A lot more tables. A lot more tables. A few more tables. Go back and roll on some more tables. Now your rock is a tentacled chair singing praises to Shiva in binary. It's really kinda' awesome. 
  • Kult - You have a rock. God hates you. 
  • Kerberos Club - You roll to pick up the rock using your all-purpose Strange Skill. 
  • Trail of Cthulhu - You automatically pick up the rock because there is a clue underneath. You make a 1-Point Geology spend to realize the rock is a part of the world and part of something so much larger and more important than your pitiful human scale. Your mind shatters and you run gibbering down the streets of Massachusetts. Don't Rest Your Head - You roll to pick up the rock. Exhaustion succeeds, but Pain dominates. You reach for the rock but are overcome by exhaustion. In your hand, the rock becomes a poisonous rock crab. The street laughs at you, as your blood runs into a hungry gutter. 
  • Fiasco - You pick up the rock trying not to think about how bad this is all going to end up. 
  • Strands of Fate - Build the physics of the entire universe from the ground up. Once that's done, pick up the rock. 
  • JAGS Wonderland - Try to pick up the rock. Descend to the first chessboard instead. Pick up the rock's Shadow which drools on you. Meanwhile, back in the real world, your Reflection drools on the rock.
Please note I did not do this, but thought it funny enough to share.  Whoever first sat down to do this all up - I salute you.

Wee Ivor