Wednesday, January 30, 2008


A good few months ago I made my own copy of Dune. Unfortunately the source I used for the game components included parts for all of the expansions as well. So I ended up having a bunch of cards which were not covered by the rules. Doh!

So I was delighted to find recent thread on BoardGameGeek where the cards from the original game were highlighted.

To the games cupboard I ran! I've now marked the original cards with an orange colouring pencil so in future I'll be able to exclude those cards that dont belong.

I've also now started the third offical scenario for Doom : The Board Game. With the third player taking a turn at being the bad guys.

Learnt a major lesson from the second scenario. At one point we opened a door to a corridor that bent around a corner. There was a bunch of big monsters and we saw no tokens or markers on the map to suggest it was worth going down there and fighting those monsters.

My assumption was that everything was always shown on the map. Oh no. Only if you looked around that corner would you see the teleport! So we died. Invaders win again.

This third scenario appears to be a real time challenge. We have to find a bunch of scientists before a very short time is up. We havn't left the first room yet and three turns have gone! I feel another failure coming up!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another Heroscape session report

Here is another session report for Heroscape : Rise of the Valkyrie

I've just played against "him" again. If you've read any of my session reports you'll know that "him" is my boy-child that I'm now considering disowning.

Why am I thinking of depriving him of his inheritence? Well lets just say, tonight the score reached 102-1.

As much as I may blame that spawn of hell ( thats "him" by the way ) I feel I did make a few ... critical miscalculations.

I started laying out the map, while I was doing it I asked "him" how many points we had for our armies. He told me and we started picking army cards, I was distracted laying out the hexes and he mentioned that we start at one end of the map and had to get to the other end. I would have to make the run and he was going to stop me. We were playing the Durgeth Swamps Battlefield.

In my distraction I noticed the water and "being clever" I wanted to get my hands on the Marros, so I could do some cloning in the water as a holding action. "Him", being the spawny dice roller, got first pick and guess who he went for.

My second distracted thought was that I would be clever to fly over the water rather than try and slog through it. So... I picked Raelin. My second big mistake.

Second!?! What was the first? The first mistake was not reading the scenario properly! We carried on making our picks and then having completed the map/board I read the scenario while checking the start positions. No flying was allowed... Doh!

The Armies

Him : Airborne Elite, Deathwalker, Syvarris, Marro Warriors
Me : Raelin, Tarn Viking Warriors, Izumi Samurai, Krav Maga Agents

We set the figures up and got to move first.

The Agents went forwards, I was thinking of using them to shield Raelin who would go along the northern edge of the map. They moved forwards around the mesa and into the water as a blocking force. Followed by the Viking lads. Raelin went zipping along behind the shield.

Deathwalker came round the ruins and started to climb the steps to the mesa top. A couple of the Airborne tried an end around heading north towards my rear. Syvarris shot east along the southern edge and took a couple of pot shots at the agents.

Now the real fighting began. :(

I had the agents in the water spread out. The vikings stuck to the land and came around the mesa but came up short of being able to get into contact. The Airborne lobbed thier grenades and took out a Samurai and one of the Agents. Deathwalker mounted the mesa top and used his special attack to thin out the vikings and incidentally hurt Raelin.

Raelin made it to the island and this is where I made my third mistake. Well, actually I made the mistake in not understanding the system properly. I tend to play defensively and try to avoid risks. I should not have sent Raelin across the water but should have instead taken the risk of sticking to the land and shortening the water crossing. The mistake was in trying to keep Raelin as far as possible from the enemy, this meant a lot of time wasted in the open being shot at.

Syvarris was his usual sniper self, and between him and the newly arrived Marros the Agents started going down. The Vikings moved in to melee, I rolled the D20 to see if they could move again. Success! The Airborne they were meleeing with was dispatched, and the Vikings moved on and got into contact with the Syvarris and Airborne.

Meanwhile back near my the start area The Samurai were thinned but not down. They took out an Airborne and moved into melee with Deathwalker. This continued but acheived nothing, he just had too many defence dice.

Raelin was taking a series of single hits as she moved very slowly across the water.

The end came quickly. There was action scattered widely. The Vikings were in melee, the Samurai were likewise occupied but when Deathwalker took a long shot he got two hits on Raelin and it was all over, and she sunk beneath the water.

I particularly didnt look across at "him". He has that smile I hate. Its the "got ya" smile. The "ha ha" smile. The "loser!" smile. The "dads are weak, boys rule!" smile.

The chalk board now shows the score at around 102-1, not in my favour.

I however have learnt some lessons and intend to put these lessons into play next time.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Doom Report - Looking doomed!

The lunchtime game of Doom The Boardgame continued today. We are looking doomed.

The number of marine frags has climbed, we found the Yellow key, opened the yellow door and found nothing in there but monsters.

Opened the next door and found the red key, I was 1 turn from grabbing it, when the invader player played a card that allowed him to swap the position of two equipment tokens. Suddenly the Red key is swapped right back to the start room, and in the same turn the door of the room is jammed and my marine is stuck in a room with lots of monsters for a whole turn.

As I said we're DOOMed.

On a differn't tack Ive just heard about a Piecepack game of Baseball. How you use those pieces for Baseball, I have no idea, but I think I'll give it a try.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Heroscape Session Report

Here follows a session report based on a game of Heroscape : rise of the Valkyrie played last night...

Last night I decided to show my overall game mastery and general I'm-better-than-you-ness to my son hereafter known as "him".

If you've read any of my previous session reports you'll know than "him" pretty much has 100-1 winning rate. Yet last night I felt "good" I was smokin'.

We opted for the "Forsaken Waters" map and advanced rules with 400pt armies.

"Him" went first and we ended up with...

Him : Mimring, Tarn Viking Warriors, Syvarris and Agent Carr
Me : Raelin the Kyrie Warrior,Airborne Elite, Sgt Drake Alexander and the Marro Warriors.

I set up in the East and "Him" opted for the West.

I led off by advancing Raelin forwards. I wanted the high ground next to the Healing Glyph. The Vikings went for the same highground. Raelin got there first and was followed quickly by the Marro.

Meanwhile the Sarge was heading round the north of the water in a flanking operation. Carr was advanced to cover the Sarge.

The Marro opened fire and got a kill. The Vikings crashed against the highground and pinned Raelin and a couple of the Marro boys, one of whom was occupying the Glyph at the bottom of the bridge. The vikings laid in and took out the Marro boy on the Glyph and seriously hurt Raelin.

Mimring joined in as well and sent a blast across the water from the sandy isle to two of the Marros on the hill top.

The Sarge was also being duffed up, Carr took the high ground ahead of him and started letting out his blood!

Raelin bailed from the melee and jumped on the healing glyph and the Airborne dropped onto the table between the western ruins and the water. They poured thier fire into the Vikings.

One viking tried to break off from the Marro and attack the Airborne but died as he broke away.

About this time the Sarge took another hit and Syvarris leaped out from behind the ruins a took out one of the Airborne.

Raelin leapt back into action, leaping over the hill and going pointy stick to pointy stick with the viking now on the glyph.

The Airborne backed away as the Mimring came over the water.

The Sarge bought the farm without scoring a single hit.

A Viking took out another Marro despite the height advantage and was then taken out by an Airborne long range shot.

Syvarris ( damn him ) calmly pulled his bow and took out 2 of the Airborne, as Carr came over the bridge going for Raelin.

The odds were going against me. I desperately tried to get the Marros to clone but had no luck.

The last Airborne was stomped by the Mimring the dragon. And not finished yet, Mimring came over the water again. The last Viking went down. Raelin took another stomping and the last Marro made a sprint to the west.

Syvarris took a shot at Marro but missed.

The crowd around Raelin was too much, and "she went to a better place".

The last of a my troops a lonely Marro dived behind the ruins and tried to clone but missed by 1 on his die roll. Syvarris, Mimring and Carr were coming for him. He headed north and tried to get behind the heights, he made a last gasp clone attempt... but failed. Then Syvarris ( damn him ) took aim and killed my last troop with a headshot.

So I look across the floor ( too big for our table ) and "Him" is over there with that smug "I just beat my dad AGAIN" look on his face.

We're supposed to love out kids but you know... sometimes it's hard.

So we chalk that up to the scoreboard and he's now winning just about 101-1. It's enough to make you want to cry.

A little post game analysis on my part. I should have put the Marros into the water to help their cloning and should have parked Raelin near them to boost their poor defence. I also shouldn't have dropped the Airborn into the middle. With their range I should have kept them on the outskirts where they had room to move away from enemies and use their range to effect. One final thing is that I should of played with someone else, "Him" is just to good for me!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Playing Doom

I've owned Doom the Boardgame for a few months. I've played the invader ( monster player ) four times and still hadn't played as a Marine, until this week.

During lunch at work we have been squeezing in some very short play sessions. Fortunately the boss is letting us leave the game set up on a meeting table.

So this week one of the other players in the group has taken over and is playing the invaders. So far I'm really enjoying it. Its really nice to not know what is coming up and get to blow away the aliens rather being the one picking on the Marines.

As a Marine, the game does seem a lot of fun. It can seem like work at times when playing the invaders. Having to move so many pieces and try to keep on top of the cards and remembering when to play them can be quite draining.

Anyway. 2 frags and we've entered the 3rd area. I think it's going to be tight, we really have very little chance of winning. Its GREAT!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bargain Sunday

This Sunday I passed by TK Max which is a clothing store. I'd never been in there before but I remembered reading on BoardGameGeek stories by other BGGers that they had actually found games in there.

I couldn't resist, and in I went.

WOW!!!!!!! I found a copy of Heroscape for £15. Last time I saw this game it was going for £45 so down went the money and home came the box.

WOW!!!!!!! What a game. The box is actually jam packed with bits. It's a big box and and heavy with it.

The board pieces are excellent and fit together wonderfully. But the real treasure are the fantasy figures. There are about lots of them in many styles and all nicely painted. These are pre-paints and well done.

I've only played one game with the basic rules but I feel this game is already a hit. It will definitely be getting a lot of plays.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I was looking over the Piecepack today. This is a public domain set of game components. You can download and print your own set, or even purchase a set of them from various companies.

It's not a game in itself, but rather a set of components for which anyone can right a set of rules.

It's made up of Tiles, Tokens, Dice and Coins. These parts come in four suits, Crowns, Moons, Suns and Arms. The Dice, Tiles and coins are numbered NUll,1,2,3,4,5.

There are a lot of games that have been written that use these components. They have even started to make additional Piecepack components, such as cards and cups.

What do I think?

Eh. Not a lot of inspiration in the components themselves. My set are Print and Play and that may be why I find them lacking in inspiration. Perhaps if the Tiles were the same thickness as Carcassonne tiles, and the coins were actually wooden or metal then I would be more inspired.

Basicly I can take or leave the components. I have to hope that the games add a lot, as the bits come out pretty poor. I do a lot of Print and Play games and I think its that these bits lack the "theme" that I usually find in the printed games.

I have a bunch of rules sets that use these bits and I'm going to try many of them, so only the future can tell if this is going to be hit or miss.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Treasures and Traps

Tonight I managed to sneak in a quick ( very quick ) game of Treasures and Traps. Sadly my daughter is very ill at the moment and in-and-out of hospital and this has lead to our usual family gaming sessions being cancelled.

Tonight, with a spare 7.5 minutes we played a game of Treasures and Traps. It's a card game with a fantasy theme. There are 100 cards in the deck and they are all differn't with a loverly cartoony artwork on every one.

Each card has an "Entry" and an "Exit" number. To play a card you roll a die and if you match or beat its "Entry" number it come into play. The same process is used to "Exit" cards, either your own or an opponents.

Fun ensues as you try to gain the winning conditions, and as your evil opponents "Exit" all the cards you need to win!.

Good rules, good theme and fun. Tonight was the first game in about 50 that I've managed to beat my son. He's normally a demon winner at this. Lady luck was with me tonight so after winning, I had a little dance round the room.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My Popular Game

This weekend my personal web site BookRanger has come crashing down. Why? Because one of the free games I posted there got "Stumbled Upon".

The Stumble Upon website upped my daily number of hits from around 30 - 40 per day to 3000-4000. So my entire months bandwidth got gobbled up in a weekend!

So, what was this game thats so fantastic it draws gamers like flies to the honey pot? It is called Solo Dungeon Bash, and as the name suggests it's solotaire game where you work your way through a dungeon getting goodies until you come upon the big monster at the end.

I would put a link to the page here, except it wouldn't do any good because the sites down! Dont fret, you can get a PDF of Solo Dungeon Bash from BoardGameGeek.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Making Models

Tonight I spent half an hour or so making up one of the models from my copy of Robogear.

I got this game for birthday near the start of December. Ever since, every now an then I've gone back to it, to make up another model.

The game itself is a miniatures wargame, in the true sense that there is no board and you use rulers and dice.

It's a huge box, full of snap together miniatures and vehicles. They all come attached to the sprues and you have to cut them off and of course snap them together.

I think there is probably another couple of months worth of occasional model making and then... then... I'll actually play with them.

What I'm really looking forward to is the fact that the vehicles actually fire projectiles! Yes that right it actually fires! This game has not be PC'ed to death.

I'm looking forward to that happy day.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Family Games night

We had a bit of games night today. We played two games of Bubble and Squeak. It's a fun light game when played with the right crowd.

In this game you have hand of four cards. The cards have suits, simply represented by colour. Each turn the dealer shouts "Bubble and Squeak" and everyone passes a card to thier left.

Everyone quickly checks their new card and if they now have a hand of four cards in the same colour, and then makes a grab for one of the squeaky mice in the center of the table. As soon as one person makes a grab for a mouse, everyone can make a grab.

There is one mouse less than the number of the players, so all but one gets a mouse. They therefore score. For scoring you get a letter counter. These letters build up to spell the word "Squeak". The overall winner is the first person to finish the word.

It's a silly little childrens game, but tremendous fun when played with the children.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sherlock Holmes

We just played a family game of the Sherlock Holmes card game. Three hands played and the youngest member of the family coming out the winner.

I'm beginning to think that either he's supernatural in his game playing abilities or I'm losing "it".

Once again he is crowned "big cheese" and not by a small margin either. His score was zero mine was up in the 70's and the rest of the family close behind that.

How does a child do that? It doesn't seem to matter what game we play, he has the capacity ( or is it luck-capacitors ) to beat me, a full grown well-rouned man.

I'm not the only father to note this. Kids have something. Some "edge" some lever that they use when playing. Maybe it's their fairy god mothers or some such.

I just wish I could get my hands on a couple of bottles of whatever he using!

Ah ha! Now I know why minors arn't allowed to bet on the horses!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Have Chainsaw will Warrior

Todays games was a throwback to the eighties. I broke out my copy of Chainsaw Warrior. This is a "Games Workshop" book shelf game from way back.

I havn't had the game that long , it being an EBay purchase of recent vintage. But I remember it from a long way back. I remember seeing the adverts for it in White Dwarf magazine, even seeing it the games club I used to frequent in my more childish years, and oh how I longed to get my hands on it.

It finally came true only in 2007, when I saw and gained it for less than the original box price!

The theme of the game is that some infernal dark force has broken through the veil between the worlds and brings mutants and zombies with it. Only one man can take the fight to them and that is the Chainsaw Warrior of the title.

So its a solo game, you set the statistics for the warrior and equip him, then enter the two buildings killing everything before you until somewhere in the second building you find "Darkness" himself, then you have at most three chances to kill him.

The game is exceedingly hard. There is a lot of luck, a lot of dice and random card draws so if your unlucky you will not get anywhere. Its quite tantalising though becuase it is possible to keep finding yourself coming up just short of the goal, but then thats the mark of a good solo game isnt it?

If you want to see how todays game went see my session report.