Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Board Game Nights - Star Wars Rebellion and Scythe

Another reason I've not blogged recently is that I've also been indulging in some board games, namely Star Wars: Rebellion and Scythe. Both of which are in the top 10 on Board Game Geek and it's pretty easy to see why.

Rebellion is a lopsided (or asymmetrical if you're being fancy) two player game where unsurprisingly one of you plays as the Rebels and the other plays as the Imperium. I've had it since my birthday in April but only recently managed to get some games in. It was definitely worth the wait. It's got a fantastic mechanism for assigning heroes to missions that really builds the tension and somehow they've made both factions feel exactly as you'd expect them to. The Empire have a massive advantage when it comes to materiel but the plucky Rebels hamper their plans with daring raids and subterfuge. The Empire is trying to find the hidden Rebel base before the Rebels gain enough support in the galaxy to make their search impossible. We've only played a handful of games so far but for an asymmetrical game the balance is just right which is a difficult thing to achieve. They're also releasing an expansion for the game in time for Christmas!

Not our game. It seems I didn't take photos even though I thought I had!
Scythe is a totally different animal. I think you can have up to seven players but for our game we had four. Matt had read through the rulebook but none of us had played before. In spite of this we picked up the game really quickly and I don't think we had to refer to the rules once. That's pretty impressive for a game which is actually pretty complex when you get into it. I'm sure people who've played more board games will draw parallels to other games but this is the first time we've played something like this and it was a great experience. It obviously helped that I won but there's again a well designed scoring system that keeps things close to the end and there's a lot of gambling to do to make sure you don't end the game too early and not actually win it!

It's tough to pick which of the games I prefer. I think the decision would be pretty easy if one of them wasn't set in the SW universe though. Ultimately they're very different games that I'll hopefully get to play a lot more of.

I'm hoping to get more BB games in soon but also trying to start an SW Armada campaign against Matt and I'm actually playing some 40K on Tuesday against Dan. That will also hopefully be a campaign game as my Orks take on his Death Guard and we figure out a narrative from then on.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Never Mind The Blog Wars Update - First Turn, Ob Sec, etc.

Apologies for not posting this sooner but I haven't posted much of anything for a while now. With NMTBW just over a month away I thought I ought to clarify how the Chapter Approved updates will work at the event. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about please take a look before reading on.

Boots On The Ground
First off, Boots On The Ground will definitely be in use. Granted with the limited duplicates we won't see many (if any) flyer heavy lists but it's worth bearing in mind.

Objective Secured
We'll also be using the Objective Secured rule as below:

However, this will be used with the caveat that every unit in the detachment has the same faction keyword from the following list: Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Deathwatch, Astra Militarum, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Ministorum, Asuryani, Drukhari, Harlequins, Chaos Daemons, Renegades & Heretics, Thousand Sons, Death Guard, Necrons, T’au Empire, Orks, <Hive Fleet>, and Genestealer Cults.

Also note: Codex: Grey Knights, Codex: Chaos Space Marines and Codex: Space Marines are explicitly not covered by Objective Secured because their Codexes provide a similar rule (i.e. Defenders of Humanity).

I haven't seen the Death Guard or Astra Militarum books yet but I'd assume they would also be exempt. Please can someone clarify for me if they have anything similar in there.

First Turn
I think at this stage it's better to stick with the original rulebook version of things. I think this is the right call for several reasons:

  1. First and foremost, NMTBW hopefully won't feature the standard tournament mentality of shooting people off the table as soon as possible. Partly because the core group of regulars are a decent group but also because of the way tabling works with the Maelstrom points.
  2. The new +1 to first turn roll-off doesn't make much sense to me when your opponent can still Seize. You've already deployed at this point so Seizing afterwards makes the roll off seem a bit daft. You've deployed not really knowing who's going first after all.
  3. It's pretty close to the event so people will have written their lists and (hopefully) already have a sizeable chunk of their force painted. Changing the mechanic now might require people to rethink and there isn't long left before the army submission deadline (28th Oct).
A Few Other Clarifications
Few quick questions from the Double Trouble/NMTBW Facebook page and emails:
  • Warlord Traits and Psychic Powers can be picked or rolled for. It's up to each player to decide how they want to generate them. Players can change these before each game if they like.
  • The Astra Militarum book will be legal at NMTBW but please try to keep filth to a minimum (same goes for all armies mind you!)
  • You can enter a model into the painting competition that doesn't feature in your tournament army. However, the Best Army Award entries must all be armies that are competing at the event.

If there's anything else you want clarifying, comment, email or ask on the FB page but do so soon so I can inform everyone of anything significant.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Blood Bowl League at the Outpost

It's been quite a while since I posted here. I'll be posting about NMTBW straight after this (although I'll schedule it for Monday probably) but I wanted to update you on what I've been up to during my absence. My enthusiasm for 40K is at a low ebb at the moment. I'll go into more detail in another post but it means I've directed my attention to other games for a bit of a break. Absence makes the heart grow fonder or so I'm told....

I've always put off joining a BB league because I didn't think I could commit to playing games regularly enough. However, the latest one at the Outpost is pretty laid back. You can play as many (or as few) games as you like with the only limits being a maximum of two friendlies and two league games against each other coach. It's a typical TV1000 league but using the rules for Stadiums and Sponsorships from DZ2.

I've had five games so far so here's a brief rundown of each. Oh and I'm using a pretty standard Dwarf team consisting of 2 troll slayers, 2 runners, 2 blitzers and 5 blockers. You'll notice from the pictures that these are the old metal models (3rd edition I think).

Game One vs. Ashley Rogers' Skaven
I fully expected a baptism of fire in my first ever league game but Ashley was great to play against and patient when I was taking my time to make sure I wasn't doing something stupid as a rookie. He was also kind enough to get a couple of his rats knocked out when trying to dodge out of my tackle zones. I'm pretty experienced against Skaven as Matt uses them most of the time so I knew my Blockers' Tackle skill was important. He scored pretty quickly though and I fully expected to end up in a hole pretty quickly. Quite a few rolls went my way though and I somehow managed to equalise before the half and add a second shortly after half time.

On the ensuing kick off it started raining too which made it difficult for Ashley's players to get their hands on the ball. My players were able to capitalise on this and score a third touchdown to give me a 3-1 lead. Oh and kill a linerat in the process! When a Riot happened on the kick off and cost us both a turn, Ashley had pretty much no chance of getting back into the game, especially when he had something like 5 players left on the field! The game ended 3-1 (I caused 3 casualties too).

I managed to give one of my Blitzers the Guard skill and collected 50K which allowed me to add an Apothecary too.

Game Two vs. Mitch Henson's Undead
Well, it's safe to say this was more like the kind of league game I was expecting. Mitch was just as friendly but clearly a competitive player. I've never played Undead before so I did a bit of research beforehand. He'd only played a single league game so I'd hoped he'd only have a couple of Ghouls at this point and no skills. What I didn't realise what he'd played 4-5 friendlies first and had gained a couple of sponsors too. That game him plenty of cash to have all four Ghouls with skills on them and Guard on one of his Mummies (he had one killed in a friendly though - ouch!).

I never really felt like I was a contender in this game. Mitch got right down to just outside the end zone in his first drive but held off scoring as I had no-one in range. He proceeded to bash my team into the ground. I ended up with 3 players injured (though thankfully just two Badly Hurts and a Miss Next Game). The game quickly got out of my reach and despite a well caged attempt at a touchdown I never quite made it and the game ended 0-3 with Mitch also scoring two casualties (one of my injured players was the result of a Throw A Rock! kick off). Still, the Stadium gave us an extra D6 winnings so at least I got 50K gold.

Game Three vs. Steve Ashton's Orcs
Well, I say his Orcs, they're actually mine. I'd invited Steve down to join the league and gave him his first game. It was a pretty close game with the expected low number of touchdowns from a pair of bashy teams. My biggest problem was that three times in this game my Troll Slayer rolled a 1 for his Dauntless against a Black Orc (which costed me a re-roll) I then rolled a double skull (which I couldn't now re-roll). This pretty quickly made me regret giving me Troll Slayer the Mighty Blow skill instead of Pro!

Still, I managed to keep Steve out of the end zone and squeaked out a 1-0 win despite Steve's Orcs causing two casualties, one of which was the death of my Guard Blitzer after I'd already used my Apothecary to prevent a Troll Slayer from losing AG. In hindsight I shouldn't have cared too much about the loss of AG as it isn't like they dodge or touch the ball much!

Game Four vs. Dan Tolley's Chaos
With a fresh Blitzer in the lineup I moved straight into the next game against Dan and his Chaos team made up of Horrors as proxies for Beastmen and Warriors. This game was the story of the S4 Blitz from his Beastmen (Blue Horrors). There were several times when I had a runner through into a good position with the ball but then regretted leaving him so exposed when the two-dice block came in. I did at least manage to keep the game close and very nearly tied it up.

My Blitzer getting blitzed by a Beastman (Blue Horror). I still scored when I got back up though!
I managed to get a touchdown but Dan scored twice giving him a 2-1 victory. However, I did manage to make his victory bittersweet as with pretty much the final block of the game I killed one of his Chaos Warriors.

Game Five vs. Martin Collins' Skaven
Another game against those pesky rats and the forever irritating Gutter Runners. Martin had played three league games to my four so he'd managed to get the full four Gutter Runners and give them all Wrestle. This proved to be a pain!

He elected to receive first and quickly made it down to near the end zone. I had a choice between either trying a risky Blitz to take out the ball carrier or use my numbers advantage to smash up his team to make my life easier later. What swung was the decision was the though of him holding onto the ball and not scoring to run down the clock. That gave me most of the first half to try and equalise which I did within a couple of turns.

The problem was that I simply wasn't getting anywhere with my blocking game. I'd gotten through the rats' armour with reasonable ease but kept stunning them. When I did manage a couple of knock outs it was just before my touchdown and they came straight back. I scored on T7 which gave us a T8 where I tried to massacre the only three rats on the line of scrimmage. That proved fruitless as again I could only stun. I even fouled since we'd been given a bribe each from Get The Ref! earlier in the game but another stun! Fortunately for me Martin was having similarly bad luck with a couple of 1s re-rolled to 1s on his dodges.

Still, Martin managed to score again pretty easily in the second half and again I had to find a way to equalise. I ended up in the situation you can see above but still broke my way out and used a couple of GFIs to get into the end zone. That tied the game up at 2-2 but with 4 turns left it was still anyone's game. I'd considered holding onto the ball near the end zone to run down the clock and hopefully put some more rats out of action but I decided it would be more fun to play for the win, no matter how slim my chances were.

On the ensuing kick off I suffered another Riot (there'd been one in the first half too) which gave us both just three turns to score. My kick off was fortunate to stay in bounds on the right side of the field and when Martin continued to have some awful luck and couldn't get to the ball I spied my opportunity for an unlikely game winning score (see below).

I managed a Push on a two dice block to free up the Blitzer on the right of the picture to go and grab the ball. He needed a re-roll to pick it up but successfully passed on a 4+ to the other Blitzer in the centre who succeeded on his 3+ catch. I could almost taste victory but having burned my re-roll I knew what was coming. He needed two GFIs to get into the end zone and fell down on the first and ended up a square from home! So near but yet, so far!

Still I'd managed to score twice and almost a third time which isn't easy with Dwarves. It was a great game but mainly because both of us had some rotten luck. I think it's probably the first draw in the league too.

I've now got a TV of 1,270 with a smattering of Guard, both runners with Block and Mighty Blow on a Troll Slayer. Not only that but I've got both an Apothecary and a 12th man to give me some resiliency.

I'm learning something about playing Dwarves with every game and experimenting with different setups and tactics. I'm glad I took the plunge into league play and I only hope I can keep managing to get down to the Outpost for some games.


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