Thursday, 19 January 2017

Tuesday Gaming



Tuesday this week saw a couple of firsts.

It saw the first instalment of the resurrected Tuesday Gaming Night - something that fell by the wayside over ten years ago! - which was immense. It is something that I have wanted to try and implement for a long time, but it just hasn't been practical up until now. I may be talking this up too soon, but I'm very upbeat at the prospect of regular gaming - even if gaming every week is not possible, Tuesday night has been marked off on the family calendar as hobby night, so it's down to me to make the most of the opportunity.

Tuesday night also saw the first game of Blood Bowl played by myself and Bull in two and a half years. We were very rusty to say the least - my Dark Elves for some reason aiming for a 4+ roll for their dodges, Bull forgetting the fact he had re-rolls, and some key rules being forgotten completely.

It was a practice game in name only, using the larger pitch for the re-released box set. Bull (using his newly painted Human team) and myself (with the ever reliable Dark Elves) found ourselves strangely nervous throughout - the will to win... and in style... overwhelming at times.



I won't go into too much detail about the game, as it was calamitous from a rules perspective and took far too long - 12 turns in 3 hours (that's right, we didn't even finish). The highlights included: using some random special play cards that were overpowered but didn't seem to have much effect (except the one that hamstrung my runner for the entire game!); Bull managing to eventually score in the 8th turn of the first half after getting bogged down in the middle for most of the half; me nicking a very quick score early in the second, only for Bull to grab a second with the last roll of the dice. Towards the end of the evening chances were being taken quite liberally - I had one Blitzer attempt a move that involved two negative dodges, two normal dodges and to 'Go For It' rolls (the last of which he finally failed).

The conclusion was Bull remembering how much he loves this game, and me remembering my love/hate relationship it and how the randomness of dice rolling can ruin your evening, never mind best laid plans. It's all very exciting stuff, and we're hoping to rope in a few more people for practice games and maybe a bit of a league... for fun!


Oh, and the blog had a birthday this last week too - 7 years old!!

I don't count the visitor numbers anymore as the spambots have killed any hope of getting a realistic view. Despite not posting nearly as often as I used to I have tripled the traffic, it's just not valuable or genuine traffic. I'd like to think that with the re-invention of Tuesday Night Gaming I'll have more to post about, but we've been here before. I'll just promise to post when I have something genuine to show and tell!






Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodbye 2016… Hello 2017



What an eventful 12 months it's been!


The year started brightly with some Guildball action, laced with a handful of Frostgrave skirmishes. The latter had so much potential but I found the combat rules so frustrating and unbalanced that it made the game almost unplayable for me.


A game or two more of Guildball was had in the lead up to this year’s Salute - we even bought the Season 2 rule book. Then things just sort of evaporated. I was out of work at the time, on daddy-daycare duty, so rather preoccupied. When I finally started a new job in June I became very focused on that. Hobby time switched to Zombicide for ease and I speculated about a dream team for Black Plague - an interesting diversion when there was no hobby news to report.


Towards the end of the summer I tried a few things to get me back into painting, such as buying an entire Eldar army, but it was too big a project for such little spare time.


The only thing I found that I could focus on this year was writing my own rules again. I even joined an online group for advice and encouragement, but found them not very helpful and almost dismissive of my efforts. Having tired of all things medieval during the first half of the year, I went back to my sci-fi rules and Project Out Of Time in the autumn. I ploughed some serious hours into this and posted throughout November about various aspects of my draft rules. The end of the year was a bit of a washout. Several family birthdays, a funeral, two trips to Scotland, and then Christmas preparation all clogged up in a single month left no time to even think about hobbies

Outside of the hobby, first quarter of the year was pretty atrocious for us. The latter half of the year picked up amazingly and I have to admit that we’re in a much better position generally at the end of the year than the beginning. Dark clouds do have silver linings, you just don't often see them till later.

The hobby has declined dramatically for me this year. I may have acquired a new gaming cupboard in the house, but I've done less gaming or painting than ever. Aside from a few Eldar guardians I don't recall painting anything of significance this year.


THE YEAR AHEAD

It's difficult to lay out any plans for the new year given how little the hobby has featured in 2016. However, I thought about it over the holidays and have come to a modest conclusion. For 2017 I'd like to paint six models to a decent standard. That's one model every two months, so I'd like to think that even I can achieve that. I'd also like to play twelve games of something this year - that one game a month, but on game days we're likely to play a couple (or more), so that boils down to six game days I guess.

Hey, the ball still counts as a model!

My final hobby resolution for the coming year is that I would like to ‘finish’ one of my rulesets that have been bubbling along for some time now. When I say finish, I mean a first complete draft up online for fellow gamers to download. That will involve a lot of work and actually making a decision on combat rules and character abilities, so don't hold your breath just yet.

So, thanks to everyone who keeps dropping by the blog, despite the dwindling posts. I can't promise there will be any improvements but I hope to post something of interest in the next twelve months for you.

Happy New Year!!


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Blood Bowl Is Coming Back!!



Well, given GW's recent re-released boxed set it was kind of inevitable that everyone's favourite Warhammer football game would make a return to this and Bull's blog. Whilst I have absolutely no intention of purchasing the new stuff, Bull just couldn't help himself as the opportunity to acquire new Ork models presented itself so readily.

The last time we played Blood Bowl we got a good half dozen games in before things drifted on. Mr Awdry has already expressed an interest in adding his Lizardmen to the league, and 'Zombicide' Chris is also up for giving it a go (yet to decide on a team). I may even manage to get another regular player or two involved, so hopefully we'll get even more games in this time.


With everyone starting with a clean slate, this is the ideal time to make a good impression and get a solid opening game under the belt. I will be fielding my Dark Elves 'Darkblades' team from last time - I really enjoy the team mix, though need to try a Witch Elf or Assassin this time round.

It's unlikely that we'll see much action till the new year. I'd like to say that it gives me plenty of time to prep my team with new paint, etc. but in reality I doubt there will be much prep done.

Have to say I'm looking forward to it!



Friday, 25 November 2016

Project Out Of Time – Shooting

images from uk.pinterest.com


After my previous post about the proposed rules for melee combat in Project Out Of Time I had a lot to think about – I've even gone back and made some initial tweaks to the playtesting document. Today, I thought I'd have a quick look at shooting.

images from uk.pinterest.com
In this particular genre, shooting actions may well be the most dominant of combat actions – after all, why get up close to take someone out when you can blow them away from distance with a super exotic weapon?! As a consequence, ranged combat is in real danger of being game-changing. Having said that, I like the idea that any form of combat can be devastating should you get caught out. By its nature it is risk-free compared to melee (unless your weapons blows up in your face when you roll badly), so the natural preference unless you can stack a melee combat in favour of an overwhelming success.

Taking these thoughts into account, ranged combat in Project Out Of Time works in a similar way to melee. It makes sense from a players perspective to only have to learn one distinct process – familiarity puts people at ease and allows them to concentrate on the tactics rather than the mechanics involved.

++++++

A ranged combat action starts with an opposed dice roll, with characters rolling as many dice as their skill level dictates and choosing the highest (taking various modifiers into account for things like being in cover). Players then compare their scores on the ranged table below.



A result of 'O' is a miss whilst the arrows >> push the defender back. Results in the bottom left of the table all deal with actual damage inflicted – Light, Medium and Heavy, as dictated by the weapon being used.

images from uk.pinterest.com
Each ranged attack action costs a single Energy token (or more if a heavy weapon) and the active player is able to take as many ranged attack actions in a turn as the Rate of Fire of their chosen weapon. However, if the attacker has an attack roll result of 1 (so therefore a single 1 for Recruits, a double-1 for Grunts and a triple-1 for Veterans) then their weapon has jammed (or equivalent sci-fi orientated catastrophe) and cannot be used again this activation.

Some more exotic weapons will have additional special rules, yet to be defined properly. These will cover deviations to the normal procedure for things like heavy weapons, blasts, flame units, even energy-based lightening jumps from one enemy character to another adjacent enemy.

If you look at the table as it stands, things are below par for the shooter – only a 28 in 100 chance of inflicting actual damage. However, more skilled characters will have a better chance of hitting that sweet spot in the bottom left of the table and the pressure gets put on the defender to dodge the shot! Not to forget too that there will be operatives who have specialisms such as Sniper and Gunner (Heavy). These will also deviate slightly from the normal process for shooting and will gain all kinds of advantages.

Again, a lot of testing to do so we'll see how it all shakes down.

More soon!



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