Tuesday, July 27, 2010

25.7.2010 - Ropecon, Espoo

On Sunday I played a friendly game against Retribution of Scyrah, Garryth being the warcaster.

I was playing a following 35 point list:

epic Deneghra
- Nightmare
- Defiler
- Helldiver

10x Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
3x Soulhunters

Satyxis Captain
Ogrun Bokur
Orin Midwinter
Warwitch Siren

We were playing just for assassination.

My troops advanced only a tiny little bit. I went incorporeal with Denny and ran her right in front of Mage Hunter Strike Force. Nightmare came close by and Ogrun Bokur within 2" of both of them. I was planning a bit so that on the next turn I could catch whole Retribution army with my feat.

However, I didn't plan well enough. I got staggering losses on opponents turn. I had come a little too close with my Satyxis Raiders so that minifeating halberdiers cut something like 5 satyxis down, just enough not to cause a command check. Mage hunter strike force managed to damage Nightmare despite Ogrun Bokur shield guarding one shot.

After that one Mage Hunter Assassin charged in and gave 24 points of damage in to Nightmare. Wreck marker was put into good use.

Two of my soul hunters died too, one to fire from mage hunter strike force and another to a mage hunter assassin. Garryth came close by and tried to shoot one soulhunter but failed to kill it. Had he succeeded, mage hunter assassin could have charged my arc node.

All in all, if we convert my losses during that turn to points, it was something like 18 points.

Situation looked so bleak that I had no other choice than to attempt assassination next turn, I just wouldn't be able to win by attrition.

So, Deneghra cast Ghost Walk on her, advanced straight to the middle of my opponents army and used her feat, locking every model to their places for a round and giving them -3 defense.

Then she cast Curse of Shadows on halberdiers that were engaging satyxis.

However, that wasn't enough, because even if the curse allows me to move past affected models, I couldn't draw line of sight to Garryth with my satyxis.

Defiler sprayed three halberdiers away and warwitch siren another three.

Suddenly there was a lot more Line of Sight.

Captain gave Desperate Pace to satyxis raiders. Four of them managed to charge to Garryth, two of them to base to base contact. Two remaining charged Phoenix in order to cause a few extra damage points to Garryth because of their Feedback ability.

Both satyxis targeting phoenix damaged it, so that was two points in.

Then I made two combined melee attacks to Garryth. I had used Power Swell of course.

First combined melee attack did 12 points in. Garryth was camping two focus that added to his armor.

Next combined attack hit, and damage roll was something like 6, 6, 5, 5.

Enough to bring him down, yeah.

New game!

Okies, now that I've rested a bit I can reveal this huge secret.

As I was there at the Ropecon, I bought a new game called Small World

I also bought a mini expansion for it, Grand Dames of Small World, because it seemed so nice. Really nice approach to expansions.

I wanted a different type of a game that I already had. I already got two "adventure" games in the form of Touch of Evil and Talisman. Then I got Race for the Galaxy that's, well, a weird card-interaction-game or something, but I play it very rarely.

Then Thurn und Taxis and Mesopotamia are kind of a traditional games.

Small World seemed to fit into that group rather nicely and it has a nice art style too in that it isn't too "serious". A bit candylandish, if I may say.

So I'm waiting for my first game with this!

Monday, July 26, 2010

24.7.2010 Ropecon at Espoo, warmachine tournament

First of all, in that random and unlikely event that I happened to have an international reader, Ropecon is Finlands and I think whole Scandinavia's largest gaming convention. I has nothing to do, for example, lynching people.

Anyway, I was playing at Warmachine tournament there. I was playing Cryx, and it was a homebrew steamroller event. It had some scenarios from most recent steamroller format, as well as a few from earlier steamroller too.

And it had a requirement of having three army lists, all of which you had to play at least once, and all three had to have a different warcaster/warlock. Non-epic and epic versions were two different warcasters in this matter. 50 point lists.

My lists were:

List 1:

Epic Asphyxious
- Defiler
- Seether
- Slayer

10x Bane Thralls
6x Bile Thralls
3x Soulhunters
Withershadow Combine

Bane Lord Tartarus
Darragh Wrathe
Machine Wraith
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
Orin Midwinter

List 2:

Lich Lord Venethrax

- Nightwretch
- Stalker
- Corruptor
- Harrower

6x Bane Thralls
10x Bile Thralls
10x Mechanithralls + 1 Brute Thrall
Withershadow Combine

Warwitch Siren
Gorman diWulfe

List 3:

Witch Coven of Garlghast
- 2x Nightwretch
- Stalker
- Corruptor
- Harrower

10x Satyxis Raiders + Sea Witch
3x Soulhunters

Bane Lord Tartarus
Warwitch Siren
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall

I wanted to construct my lists that there was a no single model that was in all three lists.

So, on with the game reports!

Game 1:

Venethrax versus Krueger, scenario was Capture the Flag.

I decided I'd take some pictures but as it was a tournament with 15 minute turn restriction, taking pictures kinda... dropped off. But a few shots were taken for the first game.

Krueger's deployment about: (Egregore and Machine Wraith were flags in case you're wondering)

Megalith was proxying another woldwarden.

Anyway, this was my third game ever with Venethrax and under new edition of Warmachine, first game against Circle Orboros too. I do play Circle as my second faction, but I think only models I use from his list myself were Shifting Stones, Lord of the Feast and Druids of Orboros.

That wolf you're seeing was Warpwolf Stalker.

Anyway. My opponent played Circle totally different way than I do. It was a bit weird to see myself humiliated with my own faction. I advanced cautiously, which was a mistake. Woldwardens were spamming Chain Lighting to my easy to kill -forces and I couldn't, well, do anything to his army. I think I killed one Druid of Orboros early in the game when I had lost already way too much stuff.

I got Harrower too much up front and it was pulled close to enemy lines, a trick I do myself too, but I haven't used THAT trick which was Warpwolf Stalker with sprint up. It just charged in, thrashed my Harrower and sprinted back to safety.

I decided if I wanted to do, well, anything in the game I should try something insanely risky. Because it was a scenario game, I thought that even if I got a serious beating by running towards enemy army, he could not fall back because he would've lost by scenario.

But I made a tragic mistake. I had my Venethrax at armor 23 then. Gorman diWulfe gave a cloud effect. I ran to cloud effect with Venethrax. Defense 17 against shooting and armor 23 against anything. I was feeling self-confident, though I realized my risk doing so.

But my stupid stupid mistake was running my Corruptor to screen Venethrax. Obviously I haven't been slammed to ground enough. Druids would've hit only on 10's to pull Venethrax closer, and every warbeast that would charge in would've needed to boost their hit rolls.

But, Woldwarden combo-slammed my Corruptor to Venethrax, knocking both of them down. Then druids pulled my defense 5 Venethrax to killing range.

To be honest, though... If the world would be a fair place, it would have punished me for such a mistake. Venethrax got a full beating from Woldwarden. Didn't die. Then Venethrax took a full beating from Warpwolf Stalker. Didn't die, though he was left with 2 health. Opponent even used his Feat then to kill Venethrax. Didn't die.

I attached a picture for you to see.

Venethrax had Dragon Slayer on, and you can see three warbeasts, maxed on fury, all that close...

On my turn Venethrax moved a bit, so that all beasts were within reach. He took a free strike from engaging Druid of Orboros, though, and even with arm 24 that was a risk because of two health.

But then started some serious ass kickind. I had earlier on that turn charged the other woldwarden with my Bane Thralls so that I had arm debuff on those two, too.

Venethrax killed all three heavy warbeasts. Warpwolf Stalker and another Woldwarden were undamaged.

After that he was still sitting at arm 23. Too awesome. Venethrax killed by himself 28 points worth of stuff in a single round and managed to camp on 5 focus still. Ah well. That joy was not to last for very long. Next turn Krueger himself charged in and nailed Venethrax. I think the damage roll was something like 5,5,6 or 5,6,6.

Well, it was only justice. I would have felt bad had I won the match, because the beating Venethrax took from all the automatically hitting beasts should have killed him. Maybe even twice. But dice went totally wrong.

So, I lost the first game.

It's kind of depressing to lose the first game in a tournament, because you really can't compete for the higher places after that. Unless you win all the rest and no-one manages to run entirely undefeated.

But onwards...

Game 2:

Witch Coven of Garlghast versus epic Thagrosh. Scenario being Convergence.

I have always feared Legion of Everblight. Ditto.

I advanced quite boldly on the first turn. I started measuring my control area, though. And Carnivean that was standing on a hill was just outside my control area of 18 inches. I had one of my witches a bit closer to Carnivean than Egregore was (from where I was measuring my control area). Carnivean could charge somewhere there and spray my witch dead easily enough because Carnivean's spray with assault threatens anything within 19 inches.

Witches were activating last or almost last, so I couldn't really throw anyone to block carnivean, or anyone who my opponent could destroy easily enough.

I had to use my feat. On turn 1. Baaaah.

Next turn some legionnaires ran real close to me. Convergence was from the non-updated steamroller so scoring victory points would've started on my second turn. Typhon, Carnivean and blighted nyss swordsmen were sitting there on the convergence area.

Well, legionnaires weren't that much of a problem. Corruptor blasted a few, Harrower threshered and with the following souls killed the rest.

They weren't a problem at all. However, incubi markers were.

Anyway, I launched my Satyxis Raiders up there somewhere. They were taking potshots with Power Swell here and there. Anyone I managed to kill was a bonus. I really needed a distraction and someone to contest convergence area. I killed a few swordmen and did a little damage on Typhon and Carnivean. Really not anything to write home about...

Well, come opponents turn.

Five appearing incubi destroy my harrower and cripple my corruptor. Thagrosh the Messiah himself charges to the Satyxis Raiders, and they have to test because of his abomination rules. And yeah, they fail the test and don't contest convergence any more. There was some kind of another contester there, I don't remember what, but not anything whole Legion of Everblight army couldn't kill. So opponent gained a control point.

Thagrosh was at the center with Carnivean and Typhon in front of him.

On my turn I didn't know what to do... I had to bring enough stuff down to center not to lose the scenario. I killed all three incubi that were at the harrower's wreck marker. Then I attacked with all I could the big beasts. Tartarus first, but damage rolls weren't impressive and did little. But maybe Dark Shroud was what was needed.

Then my soulhunters charged in, managing very little against Typhon. I think some branch was destroyed from it's life spiral.

After that Stalker charged Carnivean and did damage, yes. Carniveans situation was looking grim, but what I would have wanted was a broken branch, because stalker's attacks deny healing.

Those things were what mattered.

Opponent was aiming for the scenario victory, though he had lots of stuff to kill. And, he managed. Soulhunters, Tartarus, Stalker all gone. Then at the outskirts of convergence area were a few contesting models.

Typhon charged to kill something, don't remember what. Necrotech was standing in its way, though, and Typhon provoked a free strike from him. Necrotech killed Typhon there and then, which was a pretty awesome. Half point model killing a twelve or eleven point one?

Well, then Carnivean was just close enough to get all contesting models into its melee range, so the game ended in my defeat.

Game 3:

Epic Asphyxious vs. Morvahna, scenario Killbox.

Here is where my picture taking ended.

I started the game way too carelessly. Morvahna is my favorite warlock with Circle and I have used her spell Regrowth to great effect, how can I forget that losses to regrowthed unit don't actually count? I charged my Soulhunters to regrowthed Druids of Orboros and it accomplished nothing. Absolutely nothing, except maybe for a distraction.

Terrain was a bit difficult to navigate for my forces, but Caustic Mist templates allowed my bane thralls to skulk to the middle. More importantly at last Admonia got close enough to Druids to get rid of the Regrowth.

Morvahna re-cast regrowth on druids and launched a woldwarden against Admonia. But dice went wrong and Admonia didn't die. Next turn she could get rid of Regrowth again.

Tartarus had gone to the middle to thresher druids, but he mostly failed. He did die, though, and that was what I wanted.

Oh I've broken the chronology with this report but I guess it's all the same.

Asphyxious charged against a tharn ravager white mane, killed him, used his feat and brought back lots of dead bane thralls and Tartarus himself, and then teleported away to safety.

Tartarus cursed Morvahna and charged in. She died to that one shot, didn't need any help from other bane thralls.

So, first victory for me.

Game 4:

Venethrax vs Mordikaar, scenario Destruction.

Mordikaar hollowed praetorian swordsmen and cast banishing ward on ferox.

Both of whom were a total pain in the... well.

Ferox were on my left flank and swordsmen on my right, beasts were coming to face my main army from the middle. I mostly just sat on a hill in my side in the middle. I had huge problems with the ferox who were jumping up and down on my lines. At last when I manage to kill a few, they come back from the void by Mordikaar. Just... horrible.

Also, early in the game I managed to purge what, six praetorian swordsmen with my bile thralls? But, it wasn't that grand because four of them came back too because of Mordikaar. Also a void spirit was harassing my right flank where there were lots of mechanithralls.

Almost all mechanithralls died when praetorian swordsmen used their minifeat and side stepped my poor little thralls to death. Three or four survived.

Also, an enraged Titan Gladiator charged my Harrower and destroyed it. Razorworm charged my Corruptor and broke its melee weapon.

Well, Admonia upkeeped Dragon Slayer on Venethrax.

Sadly despite whatever I tried, the ferow on the hill just wouldn't die.

So I got only Titan Gladiator on my melee range (and that ferox) instead of Gladiator and Razorworm.

Venethrax charged in, used his feat and killed both that ferox and titan gladiator, and after that he was still standing with full focus.

Then I purged some praetorian again, this time causing lots of cloud effects from Venethrax's feat. I did quick math that can prove wrong, but there were something like 13-14 cloud templates there, because both mechanithralls and praetorians were dying, as well as other stuff on the board.

Well that was quite fancy, though all in all, it was really useless. I think all it did was giving a little concealment for Venethrax himself and denied few praetorian swordmen charging the destruction objective on my right.

I decided I didn't want Molik Karn to mess with anything, so I sent Gorman diWulfe on a suicide mission to throw black oil on him to make him blind. Which succeeded.

I really don't remember what I or my opponent did next turn. I guess opponent didn't do much, and all I did was moping up the ferox and praetorian swordsmen.

But that seems odd.

Well, then Molik Karn charges destruction objective and, well, it is pretty much decimated. Then Molik uses his animus to come back near to Mordikaar.

Mordikaar came within 11" of Venethrax, but there was no straight charge line. Too much stuff were on the way, one beast handler, one standard bearer and there was a tyrant also, not in way but tying up my models who could clear the charge lane.

Stalker killed the tyrant that was engaging corruptor, then corruptor advanced and shot the standard bearer to back, using area of effect shot. And corruptor hit and killed both the standard bearer and paingiver. It was a nice thing, all in all. Because it was something that the Slayer couldn't have done.

Well, then there was a charge line to Mordikaar, who had only one fury for transfer.

Venethrax had allocated two focus for the stalker to do it's business, so he was left with five.

He charged Mordikaar, boosting to hit. Did loads of damage, which was transferred. But Venethrax still had four focus. It took three to kill Mordikaar, don't remember which boosts I took.

So, a second victory for me.

End of games.

I placed to shared 11th place, there were 24 participants.

After that I was exhausted, I had slept less than three hours the night before tournament.

I wandered around, now and then going back to gaming table where there was a final round between two top players to determine the winner of the tournament.

It was quite late when I happened to come around, my friend was playing Battlestar Galactica nearby.

Funny thing was that the tournament organizer saw me and said I was needed at the prize sharing.

I was, should I say, a "Wtf?" moment, in every sense of the word. I must admit I was a bit suspicious too.

It turned out I had won the painting contest.

I haven't really grasped that yet, I'm still thinking "there must have been some kind of a mistake", but I guess I won with style if not with technique? One of the reasons for nominating me the winner was "cartoonish style".

I did some other stuff at ropecon, too, but they'll have to wait, this was a long write.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pieces put together

A couple of days ago I finished all the currently released Talisman figures.

I'll try to mess around with pictures this time, too.

When I compare most recent Talisman pieces to the earliest, I'm amazed I can see some progress in my painting techniques. Or I'm not sure if that's progress, or have I started to pay attention to these "lesser" pieces more, not trying to rush them ready as fast as possible? Anyway, here are the painted characters of the Highlands expansion:

I also took a group shot of all the plastic pieces of Talisman and when I was putting them on the table I saw that yeah... there are lots of them. So here they are:

Monday, July 19, 2010

19.07.2010 Fantasiapelit Jyväskylä - Enter Skorne

I played my first two warmachine games with Skorne today.

Both were 25 point games and both had the same list:

- Bronzeback Titan
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea

minimum unit of Praetorian Swordsmen + Unit Attachment
minimum unit of Paingiver Bloodhandlers

Bloodrunner Master Tormentor
Ancestral Guardian.

I was facing Protectorate of Menoth and if I remember right the list was:

- Revenger
- Repenter
- Crusader
- Dervish

minimum unit of Exemplar Errants

Vassal of Menoth

So, game 1:

I won the starting roll and got a pretty solid plan of giving the arc node spell to my bronzeback titan and vengeance to my swordsmen.

I was a bit worried because exemplar errants were not good meat for my feat because of their special rules. I needed to kill a living enemy model with my attack to gain control of the slain model and go whack things up. But errants have a special rule to prevent such a death and get someone else killed instead. Thus their own special rule kills their unit members and not my attacks, so no use for my feat other than maybe paladin and vassal. Oh yeah?

Ah well, anyway. After first round the exemplar errants were scared of my bloodrunner master tormentor and had moved to flank me, far away from the bloodrunner. Warjacks, however, had run full speed towards me. So I decided I'd charge the tormentor to intercept a bit those warjacks. I failed to hit.

Then I tried to shoot Oblitetarion (area effect 4" spell) against Crusader through my arc-noded bronzeback, trying to snipe the vassal off with boosted blast damage. Well, almost there, vassal was left with one damage point.

Protectorate player managed to kill my praetorian officer with errants, so no side step or minifeat for me any more. Also, Dervish and the arc node jack Revenger I had engaged with my bloodrunner solo killed off my poor little distraction.

Krea gave a bit of a bonus around in form of its animus, failing to do anything impressive. Well, then the protectorate played decided to keep a little distance, which was wrong thing to do.

On my next turn basilisk Drake advanced forward as much as it could and sprayed the crusader. Kreoss was standing right back. I did do some damage points to crusader, but the main scoring was 9 or 10 points to Kreoss with boosted hit and boosted damage roll.

Next turn was a bit... well, not the best point in Kreoss' career. He took all focus points from wracks. And he was standing right besides one. And the wrack rolled double sixes as damage. End of Kreoss.

Game 2:

I won starting roll again and started exactly same, except this time I changed my deployment a bit.

Bloodrunner got a charge off against exemplar errants this time, but it wasn't really her best shot. I was trying to destroy a wrack close by to make it explode and kill a paladin nearby, as well as trying to kill three errants. Well, I rolled the dice to hit the wrack and double ones they were. Later I found out that wrack are immobile, so I could have decided not to roll and hit automaticall and deal one point of damage to it automatically due to my rules, so I could've made it explode automatically... well, next time I'll be wiser! Moreover, I managed to hit only two of the errants.

I had lined up my swordsmen behind a linear obstacle to gain bonus versus errants' shooting. This left the swordsmen pretty vulnerable to repenter's flame thrower. I moved my bronzeback titan close by, however, thinking that if repenter got too close I'd counter charge it. Which I did.

Dervish ran to flank me, but other warjacks were doing about nothing, but they were in a difficult position to charge or do anything to them.

On my turn I feated though I knew it'd do almost nothing.

Well, I managed to kill one exemplar errant that was too far away to get killed by their own rules, so I got one attack out of my entire feat during two games... yay...

Then one of my side stepping swordsmen killed the wrack and this time the explosion killed the paladin as well as my swordman.

I sent my basilisk drake to distract dervish a bit. I hoped I'd hit the dervish with boosted attack roll but no. Then bronzeback thrashed repenter, though on the hindsigh I should have taken a free strike out of it and gone off to kill bigger targets.

Because on my opponents turn I lost both bronzeback and basilisk drake as Kreoss feated. There was a moment of excitement on my part though, as Kreoss moved too close to my bronzeback and I wanted to counter charge, but checking line of sight showed that actually my beast didn't see him. What a shame.

I don't remember from where Kreoss had taken six damage points. But anyway.

I didn't find reliable enough assassination points from my situation then, so I decided to get Hexeris to safety, trying to whack up whatever I could with my remaining forces. Well, I think I did take a shield off of the revenger and a few random damage points to crusader. And then I lost my basilisk Krea too and rest of my... well... everything and was left with only Hexeris with full fury and two praetorian swordsmen, one of which was a standard bearer.

I moved Hexeris as far as I could and tried to kill Kreoss off with two Soulfires. First one was all good, I hit without a boost and boosted damage, giving 6 points more to Kreoss. I was left with four fury then so I thought I'd boost the hit of my next spell. And I hit. I boosted the damage. Kreoss was left with 2 health (I don't remember damage roll but it was low and gave only I think two points in or something?) so that was it. End of Hexeris.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

13.07.2010 - sealing the deal at Kuhmo

Last game of my board gaming spree was just played. It was a two player Talisman with random ending (proved to be Battle Royale)

Characters drawn were Amazon and Vampiress. And game started really fast!

Vampiress got beaten up all the time during first turns, even Craft 1 monsters drained her of life. So, her amazing healing abilities really paid off! She won, however, some tough Strenght monsters and managed to rise her Strenght pretty soon.

Amazon was the same, she actually won a strenght 5 monster without any kind of a help. From there she got a Unicorn and both players collected trophies around the board. Amazon got a teleport to middle region early on and didn't want to go away from there once she got the unicorn, because Vampiress could steal any followers.

Well, Vampiress got a Rune Gate early in the game to outer region and Amazon got a Phantom card in one of the runes space that granted a wish for an evil character. Vampiress tried many many many rounds to go to the rune gate and eventually succeeded. She teleported to runes space, got a wish and stole the unicorn from Amazon too. Fair game?

Well, Amazon had her share of luck, too. She drew both poltergeist and magic stream at the same time and managed because of that to take all four strenght points from stream.

Then Amazon proceeded to kill Eagle King with a Soul Shatter and teleported to Warlock's cave. Treasure she got was the Dreadwing (a follower). Vampiress got Soul Shatter herself because she had Spell Call -spell with her.

Vampiress stole Dreadwing too and rode to kill Lord of Darkness and got the Cloak of Feathers.

At that time Amazon with Poltergeist was slowly getting to Crown of Command, and didn't really botch any rolls during her journey in the inner region.

Random ending turned out to be Battle Royale, so then it was Vampiress versus Amazon. Amazon beat Vampiress' face during her turns with her strenght of 8 versus Vampiress' strenght 6. During Vampiress' turns she made a psychic combat against Amazon with craft 7 versus Amazon's craft 4.

Amazon had a Heal spell, so it kind of was Amazon's 6 life versus Vampiress' 9 (Vampiress had four followers she could drain in case of need) and barring amazing rolls game was clear for Vampiress.

And so it was. Vampiress won.

This game only strenghtened my opinion that Vampiress has one life too much.

Talisman: 8 games played.
- Characters played:
- Merchant: 1
- Knight: 1
- Gypsy: 1 (1 victory)
- Sorceress: 1
- Thief: 3
- Minstrel: 1 (1 victory)
- Dwarf: 1
- Fairy: 1 (1 victory)
- Highlander: 1
- Druid: 2 (2 victory)
- Valkyrie: 1
- Warlock: 2 (2 victory)
- Swashbuckler: 1
- Leprechaun: 1
- Elf: 1
- Warrior: 1
- Amazon: 2
- Troll: 1
- Vampiress: 1 (1 victory)

Character balance

Well, Talisman isn't actually a game where everything needs to be perfectly balanced.

But with my late spree of Talisman (within one month I've got tons of games in!) I've really thought that some characters should be addressed. There are few that are just amazingly crappy, and others that are just extraordinary.

Four absolutelty crap characters are the Elf, Philosopher, Thief and maybe even the Assassin.

Two of those, the Assassin and the Thief are much better when there are more players obviously, but even if there are they are still kinda bad. Both characters are difficult to "level up" because of medium statistics, and both are at the mercy of other players doing things. Thief needs to land on a character that has usable items and to truly shine he would need a mule also. And Assassin depends on other players drawing tough monsters early in the game so he can go and assassinate them.

But even 4 player games seem not to be enough for Thief at least.

So if I were into house rules, I'd give both characters... something.

Assassin could have some kind of a poisoned attacks, maybe that one where always when he rolls a 1 on attack roll he can roll an additional die and add it. Ad infinitum as long as you roll 1...

Surely you couldn't depend on something like that, but you wouldn't be so handicapped at least in, for example, two player games.

Thief would be much better with Fate value of 3 and some other rule. Thief's style isn't very brutish force so fixing him with combat abilities would feel wrong. Maybe some kind of a stealth ability would help him and keep in with the "character"? Evade monsters wherever they are drawn, that might be.

Then Philosopher... I'm not sure how or why did they make this bad a character? Okay, getting to choose spells a bit is a powerful ability, but as he has no innate spell gain ability it isn't that much of a skill. And the other skill is almost a non-factor.

All "powerful spellcasters" have a starting Craft value of 5, and all of them are much better at spell cycling than Philosopher. I see no point here. Raise Philopher's Craft to 5 and raise Fate to at least 3, why not even to 4. That'd make him a lot more playable, though for sure still not as strong as other spellcasters.

And the Elf... Well, he just has bad rules and nothing can help this character if we want to keep the Elf's character too. Well he jumps from woods to woods... if woods get hosed with bad cards, then Elf loses his ability altogether. And it's really not a good ability. And other rules aren't really good either, they just protect a bit. Yes, Elf's statistics are pretty good, but to be honest, they're not that spectacular.

I don't know... if we want to maintain his hippy theme, I'd suggest a following additional rule on his character sheet: Whenever Elf lands on Forest he may replenish his fate to maximum value.

Then there are these weirdly powerful characters that are just way over the top. In my judgement they are the Alchemist, Vampiress and Warlock. Of course many characters are too good, but all of these would be easy stat fixes.

Alchemist is totally broken character. He has innate ability to gain lots of gold, lives, fate and spells. If we want to keep all those powerful special rules and make game interesting for other players too, the Alchemist should lose one life. Life value of 3 would make Alchemist pretty interesting character actually. He would be very fragile, but the rules more than make up for it.

Vampiress is in the same vein. She's the about only Evil character with easy access to healing. And not bad stats either. All are really good rules on her, so why they needed to make her a top tier character with life value 5? Drop that to 4 and she's a good character still, but not that... cruel.

Then there is the Warlock. Many have said that the ability to start in middle region is too powerful. I'd disagree, and claim that the starting craft value of 5 is too much. He's a very effective spell cycler with a maximum spell draw of 3 per turn. Drop Craft value to 4 and he still stays effective at that, but not so horrible.

So, if I were into house rules and wouldn't feel bad when using them, I'd really make the following changes to characters:

Assassin: Poisoned attacks
Thief: Fate 3, can evade monsters
Philosopher: Craft 5, Fate 3 or even 4.
Elf: Replenish fate to full at forest.

Vampiress: Life 4
Alchemist: Life 3
Warlock: Craft 4

Monday, July 12, 2010

12.07.2010 - Pillars struck again!

Last four player Pillars of the Earth game for a while now. (I know I said last time it'd probably be last time for a while, but, well, it wasn't!)

This time around I managed to grab victory, though it was difficult. If I remember right, there were less than 10 points difference between winner and "loser".

Blue player lost (if we counted right) 22 gold coins because of the maximum of 30 coins. Two first rounds blue didn't have to pay a dime for his builders - he got first builders always when they were free. And all the events gave money too. So all in all. Bad luck?

Oh, then the event deck was a bit weird. First four rounds it gave benefits. Fifth round it did something bad - every player lost four coins. Last round there was a bad thingy too, but it would take effect only on next turn.

So, five rounds either benefits or "nothing", and only one negative effect.

I guess there's nothing more to tell or remember.

12.07.2010 - long road to Crown of Command

Long game of four players, Talisman it was this time.

We played Warlock Quests this time in order to play a quick game but it was not to be... I think the game took four hours?

Characters were Druid, Amazon, Troll and Thief.

Troll started rocking around, as is usual for a base strenght 6 character. For a long time Troll was most feared character on the board until Druid managed to snatch a Warhorse for himself. At that time Troll was messing around in dungeon and had cooked up pretty nasty situation: tons of Craft monsters around. I think he had strenght 8 at that moment, and then I think it was the Amazon who got Rod of Ruin. That meant strenght 6 Troll.

Druid was fighting battles with strenght 11-12 because of the Warhorse. But he managed to kill only one enemy with it. Then came the horse thief and discarded Druid's warhorse.

At that time Amazon was challenging for the most probable character to reach the crown of command. What befell her... oh, I'll tell a nice story of Thief now!

As I said we were playing Warlock Quests. About the first card Thief got was Glory Seeker, and he lost to him. He had a special rule to lose all warlock quests. And he couldn't win until he would've completed four quests.

Game over for thief?

Well, Thief bravely managed to collect all four quests required and even accomplish two of them.

Oh, what happened to the Amazon? Well... Thief got the Grim Reaper moving. Grim Reaper moved on Druid. Druid rolled a 5, that meant he could place Grim Reaper on any character. He choosed the Amazon. Amazon had no fate left. And rolled 1. That was it for Amazon and Warrior emerged next. Druid had Teleport spell at that moment and got all of Amazon's impressive stuff.

After that the victor looked pretty clear, and so it was.

Druid won, again.

And as a mental note, seven games played, five of which were won with a spellcasting character... can we draw some conclusions here? Hopefully not...

Talisman: 7 games played.
- Characters played:
- Merchant: 1
- Knight: 1
- Gypsy: 1 (1 victory)
- Sorceress: 1
- Thief: 3
- Minstrel: 1 (1 victory)
- Dwarf: 1
- Fairy: 1 (1 victory)
- Highlander: 1
- Druid: 2 (2 victory)
- Valkyrie: 1
- Warlock: 2 (2 victory)
- Swashbuckler: 1
- Leprechaun: 1
- Elf: 1
- Warrior: 1
- Amazon: 1
- Troll: 1

Sunday, July 11, 2010

11.07.2010 - Building a cathedral at Kuhmo

We played a three player game of Pillars of the Earth. And we're planning to play one tonight more, with four players.

I managed to grab the guy who gives additional point when I have a builder at the monastery on the first round of the game. So it was a high priority for me to get a builder there every round, and that scored me 2 or 3 points a turn.

That was nasty and probably the number one reason why I won the game. I didn't really have good artisans at my disposal.

So I guess when building up a cathedral, the major contribution comes from praying?

I'll update to this post the second game, if we get to play that.

Okies, four player game finished.

Apparently it seems that prayer isn't entirely enough when there are four people building a cathedral. I got the prior guy again and reaped tons of points with it - until people started to flock to monastery, leaving my builders weeping at the gates.

I got quite weak artesans again, but until round 6 I was either first on the leaderboard or second. But then on round 6 the player that was last scored amazing 18 points and got herself to second position - only three or four points short of victory!

But anyway, the game changed almost completely (okay, I'm exaggerating) when we brought the fourth player. Playing board was crowded and there was huge competition over certain areas. In three player games no-one would take the first player position, for example. But on four player game it was pretty critical status.

But now it'll probably be some time again until we play Pillars of the Earth again.

11.07.2010 - at the asylum

Today I managed to play my first game of Arkham Horror, and it was a blast!

It was a two player game, which usually means a bit harder game. Especially combined with the Innsmouth board. Our Ancient was Yibb-Tstll the All Seeing.

My "teacher" suspected that we'd defeat Yibb easily, because we drew amazing random possessions for our characters. (Who were, by the way, Dexter Drake the magician and Rita Young the athlete)

I (Drake) got an amazing sword that gave me +6 dice to combat and pretty good spells too.

Rita Young got a shotgun and a motorcycle. Which was pretty funny, as she rode around the town with the motorcycle, shooting off zombies and skeletons and a few other enemies also. And because the motorcycle gave a movement bonus and the athlete was fast anyway, it meant she had quite good evading skill too. It was funny imagining how she "sneaked" past enemies with a motorcycle.

My magician got an amazing combo of two spells that both gave +6 dice to combat. Drake didn't manage to get his personal quest done. If he had, he would've been able to fight with +12 dice without sanity loss. But it was not to be. We had some kind of an environment, that lessened the sanity cost of spells by 1, so I had my chances to kick some Deep One butt.

Well, it turned out that Yibb was actually pretty nasty ancient one for two players, because Yibb's combat modifier was the number of clue tokens on the board. Because there were only two of us, and Drake got also Lost in Time and Space and even got delayed at the library, we didn't collect enough clues from the board.

Also, the Innsmouth board was rather unforgiving in two player game. It spawned tons of monsters that went to those vortexes or portals or whatever they were and brought Innsmouth folk to the shores. If there were too many of them, Yibb would awaken.

There were plenty of ways for Yibb to awaken, but the fishmen were the ones who brought Yibb to destroy the world.

When the final fight started, we were having -8 modifier to our dice pool because of the clue tokens. Things looked grim. We had Blessings on, though, so we scored hits against Yibb on 4, 5 or 6 insted of 5 or 6.

That wasn't too grand, however. Rita had 9 basic fight dice, so she fought with one measly dice. Magician was the powerhouse, if he would've had more sanity or his personal quest completed, he could have whooped the arse of Yibb with 12 dice (20 total!) He had also Marksman skills, allowing him to reroll all dice if he managed to roll poorly.

Ah well. That's enough "if"fing, and truth be told: our brave investigators took off 2 doom tokens or what they are on the main villain. Our powerhouse, the magician, bit the dust on third combat round, didn't manage to roll a 4, 5 or 6 with two dice. So Yibb devoured him. Then Yibb was facing Rita, and Rita rolled one die every round... She bravely managed to hold off Yibb for many rounds, though!

In the end, Arkham Horror is terrific game! At least when there's a person who knows the rules... all the little things and rules that were there seemed a little bit daunting.

I'm not sure if I should give this game statistics. Probably yes, even if I get to play Arkham only once in a blue moon.

Games played: 1
Yibb-Tstll (1)
Investigators: (0)

Investigators seen on board:
Dexter Drake the Magician (1)
Rita Young the Athlete (1)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

10.07.2010 Kuhmo - Talisman continues!

We played a four player game here tonight.

As long cat is looooong, so was this game...

Playing characters were Elf, Thief, Warlock and Leprechaun.

And I really don't know what happened, but Warlock gained his craft up to... what... 10-11? While every other character had only one stat increase.

Thief bravely messed up Warlocks game whenever he could, but you can't steal base stats.

Also, Warlock was a lucky bastard. Thief beat him down to 1 life. Well, then next turn Warlock found the Druid staff (meaning he could decide his alignment at will) and the turn after that Warlock got a spell with which he could exchange places with another character. And, yes, there was a character at the Chapel at that moment. So he was healed back to full life.

The sad Elf spent whole game (you can guess which character I played ) teleporting through woods. And all he got was two stat increases during whole game, and three items. Two stats and three items!

Leprechaun was a bit confusing character though. I mean, as it should, the Leprechaun got tons of money. But as he found out, all of his gold was fool's gold! Leprechaun was actually cheated in money matters...

Also there was a funny moment when the Leprechaun challenged Eagle King. Eagle King was transformed into a toad. Result? The battle was still a standoff, because Warlock interfered with a spell of his.

Then the Warlock was a bit delayed and the Thief and somewhat even the Elf got the ball rolling in gaining stats. But alas, too late.

We had a random end condition again, and we figured out that only if the ending was Battle Royale, Warlock wouldn't win. Well, it wasn't. It was the Hand of Doom, and the Warlock had an item that he could use to decide the number he rolled. Only six games played and two endings like this?

Warlock won, again.

Talisman: 6 games played.
- Characters played:
- Merchant: 1
- Knight: 1
- Gypsy: 1 (1 victory)
- Sorceress: 1
- Thief: 2
- Minstrel: 1 (1 victory)
- Dwarf: 1
- Fairy: 1 (1 victory)
- Highlander: 1
- Druid: 1 (1 victory)
- Valkyrie: 1
- Warlock: 2 (2 victory)
- Swashbuckler: 1
- Leprechaun: 1
- Elf: 1

Monday, July 5, 2010

Some painting?

I thought I could write up a bit about some other stuff here too, related to gaming.

Today I finished Lich Lord Venethrax model for Warmachine.

I wonder if I can manage to get the pic here...

... and looks like I was succesful!

So, I'm determined to play this fellow in a tournament at Ropecon 2010 that's about three weeks away. And I had to finish his painting, of course. I'm not terribly happy with him... I tried my best, however, and tried a bit different take on the snow. In the picture the snow hasn't set yet, tomorrow I'll see what happens.