Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gimme more 'shroom!

I was visiting a couple of friends... or a friend couple... or what they should be called? Anyway, the point here is that I was visiting friends and because I'm writing here, it means we played some sort of a board game.

Well, I thought we were going to play Smallworld, so I had taken the Tales and Legends event expansion set with me, trying to have a bit less to carry.

But as it turned out, the residing game was Smallworld: Underground.

I was sorely disappointed with this. I mean, I had made some sort of a promise that I wouldn't buy myself the Underground version of Smallworld. But now I had to witness all the nifty cool little extra things over the base game. After this it would take at least twice as much effort to resist the urge to buy Underground.

Enough complaining, about the game itself.

We had three players and decided to use Tales and Legends.

In turn order, race combos chosen were:
Vengeful Iron Dwarves & Their Silver Hammers, Immortal Lizardmen and Stone Drow.

Cards that were in effect at given turns were:
2. Greedy Gob
3. Bling-Bling
4. Blood Brothers
5. Wizened and Old
6. Barbarian Invasions
7. Wheel of Misfortune
8. Mercenaries
9. Baby Boom
10. Forbidden (mushroom) Forest

Vengeful Iron Dwarves proved to be a nasty combo, because other races seemed to be afraid of attacking them because of Vengeance tokens.

To put an insult to injury, Iron Dwarves found a tame Balrog for them to control. Suddenly Lizardmen weren't all that immortal any longer.

On 3rd round the Drow, harassed by Iron Dwarves that were just sitting peacefully at their borders, went in decline. On 4th round they emerged again as Vampire Will o' Wisps, when Blood Brothers were in effect.

4th round was where Iron Dwarves decided to fall in decline too.

On 5th round Iron Dwarves were exchanged for Reborn Mudmen that tried to do as much casualty on Vampire Will o' Wisps, because, really. They had the Killer Bunny's Sword, Stinky Troll's Socks and Flying Doormat at their disposal. And the Vampire -special ability.

Damage done was good enough so that Will o' Wisps went in decline, along with immortal lizardmen. Next round there was the Barbarian Invasions card in effect, meaning three extra race tokens in conquests for new races.

So Fisher Shrooms and Martyr Krakens carved a nice little empire. However, then we knew that next round there would be Wheel of Misfortune coming up, where every player needed to give their race combo to the person on their left.

- Iron Dwarves/Reborn Mudmen player received Martyr Krakens
- Immortal Lizardmen/Fisher Shrooms player received Reborn Mudmen
- Stone Drow/Vampire Will o' the Wisp/Martyr Krakens player received Fisher Shrooms

Last turns there was a hilarious war trend between Reborn Mudmen and Martyr Krakens. They threw the stinky socks of a troll over their borders. Then the other player conquered back the region where the socks were and threw them to neighboring region.

Anyway, final scoreboard was:

Vengeful Iron Dwarves/Reborn Mudmen -> Martyr Krakens: 107
Stone Drow/Vampire Will o' Wisps/Martyr Krakens -> Fisher Shrooms: 81
Immortal Lizardmen/Fisher Shrooms -> Reborn Mudmen: 78

I think the Stone Drow player went in decline with 'Shrooms on 9th round and beat up stuff with a fresh race in the last round, but I have forgotten which race combo it might have been.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

When Mummy Comes

Today I got to play a two-player When Darkness Comes.

As the two of us had earlier played the introductionish scenario where you kill five zombies, it was time for something new.

Scenario was the one where players hunted the mummy.

And it was a totally lame scenario.

First, there were no real enemies around, except for the mummy itself. And once a lucky "Woo Hoo!" -table roll revealed the building it was in, the players could avoid going there and focus on getting the students & mummy's orb to school instead.

Well, maybe scenario was less thrilling because of our characters. Both had lousy dexterity, which meant that it was a pain to get into buildings. Other attributes were okayish, but again the same thing happened that I complain about every time.

There was no hurry anywhere.

Because of crappy rolls the "heroes" spent 4-5 rounds trying to pick one doors lock, and eventually they had to resort in kicking down the door. It was a bit ridiculous, really.

So, as with the vampire hunt scenario, the mummy scenario requires more suspension to work out.

Anyway, I had shuffled some of the Nameless Mist security disks into the scenario, and they worked really fine. They brought some variety to encounters that the scenario lacked anyway.

About the game itself, it was quite entertaining at least.

My character seemed like the obvious winner for a long time, mostly because the other player had poor luck and collected a good share of Failure tokens and had to spend fortune to get rid of them.

However, if something good is to be said of the scenario, it must be the fact that it was really stingy on victory points. My character, who earlier had a lot more victory points, found the orb and almost all of the students. But still when the game ended she had only 14 victory points, which translated to only one skillpoint.

The other player, however, managed to snatch the victory at the last possible moment, really. When my character had found the last student, opposing player convinced that it was better to hang with her character. Then she rolled an additional turn from Woo Hoo! -table and ran way past for my character to persuade the student back to me.

Once opponents character dropped off the student at the high school, her character had 17 victory points.

After being frustrated enough at the vain attempts of lockpicking, she raised Dexterity of her character. Wise choise, really.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Smell of Hammered Fat

Last night I had a special treat of getting to play Warmachine twice against different factions. (Woohoo?)

Both games were a 35 point game.

Anyway, after having Scaverous fail me so badly I wanted to try out my Skorne now that I had some new painted models for them.

First I was against Protectorate of Menoth.

My list in both games was:

Dominar Rasheth
- Cyclops Shaman
- Basilisk Drake
- Basilisk Krea
- Rhinodon

Maximum unit of Praetorian Swordmen + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Paingiver Beast Handlers
Venator Flayer Cannon
Extoller Soulward
Ancestral Guardian
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor

Opponent had about following list:

Scrutator Severius
- Crusader
- Revenger

Minimum unit of Exemplar Bastions
Maximum unit of Temple Flameguard + Unit Attachment
Minimum unit of Exemplar Errants + Unit Attachment
Maximum unit of Choir of Menoth
Exemplar Errant Seneschal
Vassal of Menoth

Rarely enough, I won the starting roll.

It is somewhat of a custom that Bloodrunner Master Tormentor dies first. This game was no exception. Opponent sacrificed one Flameguard to cast Ashes to Ashes on him. And thus was the master tormentor dead again.

On my next turn I, in turn, sacrificed one of my Praetorian Swordman to black rituals to kill four flameguard members with a Breath of Corruption.

I didn't want another Ashes to Ashes anymore, so Rasheth cast Castigate too. It was funny to notice how Castigate was a good spell against this particular waracaster. Usually the spell is "nice" against Cryx and not much else.

Well, then it was opponents turn. Two bastions were in charge range to Rhinodon and took off most of its damage boxes. Exemplar Errants ran to engage my basilisk Drake. Temple Flameguard attempted pretty much the same, except one tried to be a sacrificial lamb to another Ashes to Ashes. But here Castigate saved a whole lot of my Praetorians.

Then the slaughter began.

Cyclops Shaman crafted a talisman for Rasheth, providing him with +2" range to spells. Then Rasheth spammed Influence on the farthest Bastion, who killed one of his comrades and a exemplar errant close by. Castigate was cast again.

Flayer Cannon killed a couple of errants and Ancestral Guardian came to help in trying to dislodge Basilisk Drake from melee. But really. Errants are an excellent "tarpit" in that if you want to engage something in melee, you can be pretty sure that it stays engaged. So it happened that Drake had to bite the last errant himself, meaning no 8" POW 14 spray this round for me.

Swordsmen used their minifeat and rampaged through opponents lines. Actual casualties were a bit on the low side, but praetorians nearly engaged Severius himself, so they should be at least a little headache for opponent.

Rhinodon tried to be cool, but failed miserably. All it ever did was to destroy one of the Bastions, and rest of the attacks missed or did little damage to the last Bastion, who survived.

Then it was opponents turn, and I got to taste how it feels like to receive an Ashes to Ashes in middle of your infantry with 6 secondary attacks.

Suddenly I wasn't all that self-confident any more, when six of my infantry models got killed. One survived just because it was officer and got damage boxes.

Crusader destroyed Rhinodon and Revenger finished the praetorian officer.

I guess that if I had not had Extoller Soulward and Ancestral Guardian on full souls there at the moment, I would have struggled to survive.

I skipped one turn in pictures, but what happened off-screen was that Rasheth cast Blood Mark on Crusader and Basilisk Krea was killed.

Now, when already pretty mauled Crusader came and tried to beat up Basilisk Drake, all my remaining models about ganged up on it. Extoller Soulward did pretty impressive job with a couple of souls she had, as well as Ancestral Guardian. In the picture the Crusader is beaten to a pulp, but Revenger is still standing.

Rasheth had not used his feat yet, so next turn it was time to unleash Plague Wind.

Basilisk Drake tried to spray the choir members out of Ancestral Guardians charge lane, but failed to do that. However, it did succeed in getting 8 points in to Severius.

Cyclops Shaman took an aiming bonus and stared Severius down.

And then game 2:

Because of a little bit of a hurry I played with same list (maybe it was good too, to see how exactly same list works against a totally different warcaster?)

Rasheth was now against Khador with following list:

Epic Vlad
- Marauder

Maximum unit of Man-O-War Bombardiers
Maximum unit of Man-O-War Demolition Corps
Minimum unit of Iron Fang Uhlans
Sylys Wyshnalyrr the Seeker

And damn was it a brutal game.

I won the starting roll. That's right, second time in a row!

Opponent had everything run forward. Enough forward so that Flayer Cannon could try and shoot down the approaching cavalry. Cannon did actually hit once and did some damage in, but not enough to bring down those crazy horses.

One praetorian swordmen had to sacrifice himself for Rasheth to get off a Breath of Corruption, which killed two of Uhlans. Cyclops Shaman tried to come and stare down the last horse, but was more interested in a seagull that flew over the board and missed his Evil Eye attack.

On opponents turn the Uhlan promptly charged in, but not before Vlad himself had activated. As Vlad had Seeker with him, he had +2" spell range.

He actually cast Razor Wind on Cyclops Shaman with the Seeker's guidance buff. Damage roll came out as 6, 6, 6, 1, with the 1 discarded. Ouch.

And then it was time for the uhlan to finish up the brave beast who had his single eye fixed to an already distant bird.

And then the brutality began.

Blood Mark was cast on Marauder, that was then nailed with as many shots as Flayer Cannon could produce.

Praetorians killed the lone brave Uhlan, and after that enraged Rhinodon with Amuck on charged into the middle of opponents lines. Two Man-o-Wars laid dead on their tracks and one was at one health box, but there was a slight problem after Rhinodon had been pounding on Marauder. It was almost broken, but still had both weapon systems alright, as well as cortex.

Drake sprayed one Demo Corp dead and walked then into melee. It had used its animus. Bloodrunner Master Tormentor killed the Demo Corp in question and sprinted to engage the last surviving member of the unit.

Then Krea charged to the Marauder, hoping to destroy it. Which didn't happen. But Krea managed to bite its cortex off, which was a good start.

On opponents turn Vlad himself charged to the Rhinodon and used his feat too. He nearly slaughtered uninjured Rhinodon just by himself - Rhinodon had only something like five damage boxes left. Juggling with Hand of Fate and other spells Rhinodon was combo-slammed to Basilisk Drake, who took some little damage in. But Rhinidon was killed.

Feat had been used on Man-o-War Bombardiers, who did their best to beat up the Basilisk Krea. They couldn't charge though, so Krea just didn't bite the dust. Yet.

On my turn it looked like I had to finish Vlad now.

After trying to kill Marauder with Venator Cannon Blood Mark was switched to Vlad himself, and Rasheth used his feat.

Basilisk Drake took aiming bonus and sprayed Vlad, dealing whopping 15 points in. Vlad was camping one focus here.

Not wanting to risk 4x free strikes with Krea, the other basilisk tried to scrape at what was left of Marauder. Damage roll was almost as excessive as it had been with Vlad, and so the Marauder was wrecked.

As Vlad had 3 health boxes left and had Blood Mark on, I guess I would've had the game safely under my belt, was it not for the newest rulings on Blood Mark.

Vlad started running away and the rest of his army beat up what was left of my army.

I lost all of my warbeasts and troops the next turn, except for one beast handler and Venator Cannon without a marksman. But there were enough keys for victory there.

The lone beast handler ran as much forwards as possible, and using Black Rituals Rasheth cast Sunder Spirit on Vlad.

Rasheth did hit and dealt two damage points in.


Yes, I'm a little bit bitter about that. But for every warmachineplayer out there - just camping one focus can save your arse and bring you the victory. Here is the sad last picture:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When Expansion Comes

I got two copies of When Darkness Comes expansions today that I had ordered through local gaming shop, Fantasiapelit.

I don't usually write too much reviews or things like that, but right now I'm in the mood for that.

As I said, I got two expansions. First was The Horror Within, and the second one was The Nameless Mist.

First, the packaging sucked. But I guess they had in mind keeping the expansion sets rather cheap. But still it just looked plain bad and messed up, when rulebook and expansion tiles formed a sandwich that had a pewter figure filling, all wrapped up in plastic and not in very neat way.

However, Nameless Mist looked a lot more professional, though still the packaging looked ugly. But at least there was a small, colored "paperback" covering up the insides.

But enough of that, you don't play with actual packaging.

Once you open up the expansion, you can actually see a huge rise in quality over the base game. Rulebooks both look a lot more durable than the leaflets that look like print-outs, which came with the base game.


What I specifically look into, is expandability and how things work together. As much as I'm a statistics freak, I'm a megalomaniac collector who wants the games to be a huge mess of rules that just happen to work together.

My dream is to have a good home-brewn non-GM run semi-campaign system for When Darkness Comes. And that in mind I looked into the scenarios, additional rules and additional disks.

Scenarios for non-GM run games in The Horror Within look both plenty and nice. Though I didn't read them thoroughly except maybe for the first one, they left a nice impression that they were nicely different. Which should read: totally different.

Line of Sight rules have no problem whatsoever in incorporating them into "the Big Game". Probably because they were designed to expang the basic rules, heh.

But things in the Nameless Mist expansion look a bit more difficult to fit into this collection of The Awakening + The Horror Within.

First, the disks that come with the set have a lot more refined graphics in them. But that's only a minor detail.

However, at the moment I lack the actual Willpower rules. Sure, I can download them from the official website which I probably have to do, but I'd like to have a physical copy of them in my hands too, with all the disks and whatnot that come with the expansion.

That much said, I'm sure it will be entertaining enough to use only partial willpower rules, it makes a couple of new adversaries interesting and different from the base game's adversaries!

Now, at least 3 of the 4 new allies look good enough to be put straight into the base game. But security and item discs pose a real problem... it makes little sense for these Cthulhuesque "security" members to wander around in towns, guarding a café of something. They might need some house-ruling not to break the "illusion".

Items, then. As of now they are kind of a waste. Once I'll get complete Willpower rules I'm sure they'll be usable, but as of now adding them to base game would just dilute meaningful encounters. One Elder Sign and both Black Lotuses could see some use if I take enough new adversaries and house rule some of the security disks into the game, but otherwise no-one wants Necronomicon when they can get the Shotgun.

But the book items have Search values of 3S, 3K and 4S, so they could be substituted to some scenario items instead of the uglyish numbered disks.

And last thing: the tiles. Nothing to say here, really. They all fit in and don't look too much "off" from the base games tiles. Miskatonic University campus with all the small buildings is a nice change of tile design and thus may look a bit weird in the middle of town, but really, nothing wrong there.

I guess this was all.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Kingdom of High (talisman)

Today, last day of my vacation, I got to play a game of Talisman.

It was a two player game with all the sideboard but normal victory condition.

Characters drawn were Alchemist and Highlander.

To put it nicely, my thoughts about Alchemist have been... reserved, at best.

However, early in the game it actually started to look like Alchemist's special abilities weren't that bad after all. But to be honest, it was pretty much because of horrible luck he had.

Highlander, on the other hand, started to get strenght early on and his character development looked astonishing.

In fact, when Alchemist was fooling around in the Highlands, at times losing his precious magical shields and spellswords to precipience (spelling?) tiles by picking up a lodestone from there, or losing all his followers to highland raiders, Highlander was already fighting his way in the Dungeon, with Strenght of about 8 and Craft of 5 (with wiseman and book of diablerie).

That was where Alchemist started to worry a bit.

In the meantime, a curious incident happened.

Think yourself a nice oasis in middle of a dry, hot desert. Now, what would you least expect to find there?

Maybe Ice Queen's Palace? Well... I guess Ice Queen had built it to a place where no-one would try to search it.

After a while Ice Queen's Palace was placed with a spell to Desert tile, just for the laughs of it. However, that place was too hot for even the mighty powers of the Ice Queen. A little later earthquake shaked the middle region, that could be easily interpreted as the palace melting away.

Now, that was a slight detour from the actual fight for Crown of Command.

Alchemist was a little bit luckier this time, finding himself a magic mace that provided him with +2 to strenght during battle. He had also found a Lucky Charm, so with that he had to go and challenge the Eagle King. There was a measure of hurry in the process, as Highlander had already beaten the Lord of Darkness and taken Cloak of Feathers with him, and next turn he got himself a talisman from a finished quest.

So, Alchemist had a combined Strenght of 8 with a spell, the mace, and his own strenght of 4. It was enough to beat the Eagle King, but since the spell was lost, there was no chance of beating Highlander, who had a strenght of 10 in battle or 12 if he decided to charge.

This is the point where my initial thought of Alchemist being a way too good character proved to be true.

At least in the normal game mode with other players losing life on 4+ when someone is at the crown game usually ends soon unless someone is just a few steps behind in the Inner Region, Alchemist can actually survive insanely long time.

When he exchanged lodestone and a hoard of trinkets to gold at Alchemist in the city, he got 11 gold.

And after that he was able to throw away magical objects or regular objects to patch himself up.

In the endgame, Alchemist must have been pretty woozy... he had been drinking his hastily self-made potions nearly every turn.

Alchemist had Gnome with him, so he could easily come to the Inner Region himself. The only problem was Highlanders strenght of 10 or 12, which Alchemists measly strenght of 6 had no hopes of winning. Well, he had all the time in the world to "level up" to strenght 8 and then go challenge the Highlander.

And when Alchemist was there at the Highlander, he still had no shortage of golden potions of health.

Now, Highlander was at 2 lives at the Crown, but he had 2 higher Strenght than Alchemist. Alchemist was at the Crown too, but he had... what... still at least about 10 "lives" or something, and even more because there were a couple of items that provided Craft that could be melted into coins.

Highlander gave a good beating, but eventually succumbed to the massive amount of health Alchemist could count on. I guess every wound Alchemist received didn't actually bleed blood, but healing potion.

So Alchemist came out as the victor, and so Alchemist was proved overpowered, all things considered.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"My Malice never fails" ... and neither does Gorman!

Today my internet connection was merciful enough to let me play a game of Warmachine on Vassal. I've spent a couple of last days painting a couple of Skorne models while visiting my parents. Once my friend left for his home town, I can pretty safely say that I doubt that here are warmachine hobbyists within at least a radius of 80 kilometres.

We played a 35 point game.

My list was:

Goreshade the Bastard
- Seether
- Malice
- Ripjaw
- Stalker

Maximum unit of Drudges
Orin Midwinter
Gorman diWulfe
Necrotech & Scrap Thrall
3x Scrap Thralls
Warwitch Siren

And opponent was playing with Protectorate of Menoth:

Amon ad-Raza
- 3x Dervish
- Repenter
- Templar

Minimum unit of Choir of Menoth
Maximum unit of Holy Zealots + Monolith Bearer
Allegiant of Order of Fist
Vassal Mechanik

And, needless to say, opponent won the starting roll, despite me rolling 5.

Action started right away on turn 2, when Templar combined with Mobility was just able to charge Seether. Two hits and Cortex was gone, the most important of Seether's systems to be honest.

Holy Zealots had spell ward on them and used Greater Destiny. They started flinging bombs, but scratched only Drudges a couple of times (heya, Mechanithralls wouldn't have survived those!) and killed one scrap thrall.

On my turn Templar was wrecked by Ripjaw and Seether that were affected by Shadowmancer again. Seether had been repaired by Necrotech, after which Warwitch Siren allocated a focus to it.

I tried to dodge Zealots' warding by launching Orin's lightning at the back of a Scrap Thrall that was parked close to Zealots, but managed to roll only 1 arc. It was kinda trade-off there too. Other than that, Drudges and one scrap thrall just ran to tie up zealots.

Then, Amon feated and choir sang hymns of battle to every warjack around.

Farthest Dervish tried to walz through Cryxian front line to start beating Malice, but missed second initial attack on Seether. Closer Dervish did the same, but attacked Ripjaw and tried to pull off side-stepping shenanigans to reach Stalker. But second initial attack missed again.

However, after Allegiant charged Seether, I had lost two of my warjacks.

Zealots had sunk to a battle with no end against Drudges and scrap thrall. Scrap thrall took three zealots with it though. Good use of 0.33 points I think.

On my next turn Gorman threw black oil on one of the Dervishes, who was attacked by Goreshade himself and focusless Stalker.

Malice took aiming bonus and tore the other Dervish to pieces and was left with two focus after that.

Drudges engaged more zealots and continued their tradition of missing every single attack roll in a game. Orin Midwinter rolled double 1's to attack roll with lighting.

But if one thing need to be said of Drudges this time - though they missed about every roll, they knew how to survive. Two out of three injured passed their tough rolls.

Amon spammed Mobility with the help of Hierophant again, and Reclaimer had helped to fully load Repenter too, and Amon had himself loaded up the remaining Dervish. Choir of Menoth sang battle hymns...

Remaining Dervish made a combo-strike at Stalker and one-shotted it. Eww. Then it side-stepped next to Warwitch Siren and with a lucky strike it killed her too.

Repenter advanced a bit short to start flailing at Malice, but as there were no reach enemies around, it opted to spray instead. It targetted Goreshade, but luckily the Cryxian warcaster was just out of range.

Then it looked like Goreshade was about to use Dark Summons. First Gorman threw Rust Bomb at Dervish that was engaging Goreshade, and then Goreshade used his feat. He advanced a bit and beat up whatever was left of the Dervish. Because he had a nice surplus of Focus, he cast Shadowmancer to ease up Malice's work at Repenter.

As the Allegiant had run up to engage Orin Midwinter, I tried to counter Allegiants high defense by running Deathwalker close by. It worked fine, but Orin did not. He missed horribly.

Also, Malice messed up his attacks against Repenter. Luckily he brought down its flame thrower, but the melee weapon at the moment posed a bigger threat.

Charging Bane Thralls dispatched last Dervish.

Then the game went weird.

Allegiant charged Deathwalker and killed it. Then what was left of Zealots charged Orin Midwinter, and killed him. Choir moved forward and sang battle hymns to Repenter, and Reclaimer filled it with focus.

Repenter started flailing at Malice, almost wrecking it. Only system that actually broke was Cortex, but that was enough to drop it out of game for next round.

Last but not least Vassal Mechanic and Amon ad-Raza charged Bane Thralls. Hierophant gave harmonious exaltation to Amon, who then cast Mobility on himself. He got five bane thralls under thresher attack, but rolled poorly and only three died. Vassal Mechanic then charged closest bane thrall, but didn't manage to kill it. Amon was left with five focus on him, which meant def 16 arm 19 elusive nut to crack.

I did, however, have undamaged Gorman diWulfe at my disposal.

Bane Thralls tried to beat up the monk, but all failed to hit.

After that Gorman threw black oil to the gathering and blinded whole melee. Then Goreshade with 7 focus charged in. It was quite amusing how difficult it proved for a MAT 7 p+s 14 caster to kill a blind monk without warcaster amor. Amon wasn't finished until Goreshade had only two focus left.

Hero for this match must be either Allegiant or Gorman diWulfe. Gorman diWulfe threw two black oils and one rust bomb at important targets during the game and didn't die, and even survived one epic flamethrower attack. However, Allegiant survived actual attacks directed at it and took risks, and in the end destroyed Seether and Deathwalker and tied up Orin Midwinter. So I think Allegiant risked more and achieved more. Hero badge goes to him!

However, what I noticed in this match was that... I don't want to see spd 6-7 protectorate warjacks buffed up with choir ever again. Or, of course I want, but it's scary as hell. Game fell to me pretty much by opponent being ignorant of Gorman diWulfe's most powerful attack and its autohitting nature when close enough. Had opponent been more careful in that, it would have been even tougher game. And even now it was awesome.