Pink Tank, Big Table

Two weeks!

Two weeks without gaming.

This is a long dry spell for us.

The cracks are starting to show.

I know as I write this I am potentially cursing this weekend in the same way someone washing their car causes rain, BULLSHIT I say. The ick has left the house, Barb’s work schedule has cleared, and other obstacles to three days of gaming have been cleared.

The funny thing is long periods, in this case two weeks after months of gaming, really do affect all us in different ways. Moodiness, listlessness, and the constant talk about the games we could be playing “if this and that” weren’t in the way. To distract most of us, we have painted and planned. Lots of miniatures sit on shelves in rows waiting their chance to hit the tabletop and wage war for us.

We cannot wait to see them and show them to you. Sure there will be plenty of gray figures (those not painted yet), but the focus for us will be playing. To that end we have a laundry list of games to play and while I am positive not all of them will get played, we will do our damndest to game.

At this moment, our new game table has Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Rise of the Goblins set up, waiting for us to gather round tomorrow evening. The new table is almost as exciting as the thought of playing. For years we have tried to cram one game after another on a long diner table. Games require space and a diner table has space for food and feasts and no matter what size feast we have had just about every game takes up more space.

Frustration they name is when there is not enough space to roll dice without scattering pieces or needing a second table to hold other pieces. Frustration begone! Devil us no more, at least at the gaming table. That picture is our new gaming table, notice the space! I said NOTICE THE SPACE! Everyone has enough space for their character and the pieces necessary for play. Hot damn!

This table allows us to play miniature games, such as Warhammer 40k as they were meant to be played, with space to set up terrain, armies, and move them about without knocking just about everything around.

So here is the deal, I hope, starting sometime in the evening Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Rise of the Goblins. I think we are shooting for finishing the first Adventure Deck. Then a mini-game of Get Bit, Roll For It, or Oregon Trail. Something small and light to break up the long games of Pathfinder.

The next day, Warhammer 40k. I have to teach the rules to three people that I know of and they have been working on their miniatures to one extent or another and want to play badly. Which brings me around to a request from our daughter, a pink tank to match (match is used rather liberally) her pink Imperial Guard squad.

I have no problem at all painting miniatures anyway someone wants. I use the various and numerous army lists and images as reference only. I have painted armies solid black with anarchy symbols, another like KISS, another with pinstripes, another with bubblegum balls as camouflage, and so on. My paint jobs have driven many a purist into a frothy rage. Fine with me, I play better than I paint. So, over the last two weeks I have painted a lot of figures for play, tonight I finally got to her tank; right now base coat of pink, bright blue tiger stripes to come. 🙂

And after all of the above is done there is talk of Sushi Go Party! and Tokaido. If all goes well (knocking on wood) there will be several Games We Play. 🙂

Games We Play: Except We Didn’t Play

We, meaning myself and others (notably our  boy) have busted their butts for the past few weeks for this weekend. Busted their butts how?

  • Picking a Warhammer 40k army (space marines, tyranid, tau, imperial guard, and possible showing of chaos)
  • Painting much of their army
  • Pointing out their army (200 and 500 point chunks)

All to be ready to Play their army in a series of games this weekend.

We even got really lucky and found a 4×4 folding sides on wheels table for a great price. For the first time in ages, we have a gaming table. Terrain, not Lego, was assembled, some painted, and lovingly looked at by all players in anticipation of blowing the shit out of each other.

Plans, not that we plan much, instead an order was determined, smaller games 200 points to a side at most, no vehicles-think Kill Team without the specialist rules-where everyone not familiar with the rules could learn the rules, ask questions, roll fist fulls of dice, and make tweaks to their armies. Following a break with mini-games, such as the newly acquired Oregon Trail (a whole other post), bigger games, up to 500 points no limitations, on a side, slowly escalating the learning curve.

A whole weekend was set to go…

the first sign of something wrong, a sniffle. Oh sure, sniffle here sniffle there and soon sniffles everywhere. Sniffles lead to a runny nose, a cough, then…

worse this was not limited to the children. I am not implying that had only the children been sick the adults would have played, because I am not that kind of gamer…what I am implying is that had the disease been limited to them the adults could make up their own minds if they wanted to be around our sick kids, further what I hoped for was the miraculous recovery power that children seem to have. If you are a parent you are familiar with child sick one day and the next like nothing happened…

then the first adult succumbed to the disease…

then another.

Here I am, the only non-sick person, eating tons of uber spicy food to burn out any hint of disease, make my body not hospitable to any illness, and because I love spicy food, writing a post. Not a post celebrating our hard work and fun times. No a dirge to the illness that laid our group low.

There will be other times when we can get together for a three day weekend, I know this, but I hate to see so much effort and desire go unused, not wasted, just unused for now.

In a silver lining way, we have a gaming table and it is awesome. We have terrain built and now have time to make the terrain look awesome. Everyone has an army and knows what they need to paint to be ready. This means people have more time to paint, always a plus.

Soon enough everyone will be back on their feet, at the table, rolling fist fulls of dice, as war is waged in plastic.

Throwing My Brain At The Wall

Every now and again, I have to vomit forth the things on my mind to clear out the clamoring and often competing voices. Oh, nothing major or earthshaking that I am aware of, just a lot of stuff going on in one moment of time and I need to clear the space lest the various things cause me to stop working. Some people might call this venting, ranting, a primal scream, or whathaveyou…me, just part and parcel of my head.

To start, other than some family stuff (not Barb and kids) which depending upon who (m) I listen to may or may not be a major event now or down the road, when I find out which I will let you know, all is within the expected range. Barb is working. The kids are schooling. I am writing and taking care of everything not covered by the previous two sentences. There does seem to be some changing of the weather sinus funk going around, but honestly if you knew my history with my sinuses, sinus funk is pretty normal.

The weather, a minor thing to be sure, is very odd even for Michigan, take this coming week: start cold, warm up, rain A LOT, then back to cold. Around this time of year, in the past, cold no rain was normal. Now I have no idea what to plan for because…weather. 🙂

A commenter on this post has gotten me thinking a lot about the cost of digital tabletop gaming products. It hasn’t been something I have thought much about until recently, which made the comment timing nice. Why haven’t I thought about it, because we settled into a few games and purchasing games is always something I do carefully…most of the time. However, recently with writing progressing well I have begun to think about publishing which leads to cost and then I made the mistake of looking into digital copies of books for Warhammer 40k, this did not make me happy. A PDF, interactive being a buzzword, is not worth 40.00 to me. This is not an unusual amount to charge for a PDF. A physical book is another thing, but a digital book, and maybe I am an outlier here, but I am a cheapass.

In other words, if I can’t hold it and put it on a shelf, I am not paying full price for a digital version. Sure I get to “own” it forever (or at least until my device takes a shit or a new version of the software comes along rendering my digital copy moot) and yes, it may indeed be “interactive,” but it is not a real physical object it is a copy of an existing object. Maybe DVD’s and Blu-Ray have spoiled me, but one of the reasons I still purchase a physical copy is because I get a digital copy for FREE. Perhaps game companies should ponder that model of sales.

Related to the above, and always on my mind is writing. I would like to write more, unfortunately my writing space is under destruction once again. This is not conducive to sitting and writing. This is conducive to writing a sentence and wanting to clean. I am hopeful that the Spring/Summer plans for destruction/construction will fix and improve my writing space, but for now…I am surrounded by a mess and it is bugging the piss out of me.

Ah…I feel better. Sure there is more, but I don’t want to bother you with painting, the various plans of destruction around here, summer plans, con season, publishing, writing, bills, and so on…not yet.

All Night Destiny & I am Tired

When I was younger I used to stay up all night with friends playing role-playing games and later video games and later still back to role-playing games. I have many fond memories of being with friends playing games; bonding, socializing, having fun, and drinking a lot of pop. Why when doing an all night marathon we drank some of the worst pop in the land (Jolt anyone?) I will never know, but we did.

Game marathons continued, but never all nighters. All nighters were reserved for parties. I have no idea why all night games was replaced with all night parties, but for a while that was the way of things.

Now the pendulum has swung the other way and shall remain there again, although the all night portion may change after this weekend. Our weekends, have been filled with hours of playing Pathfinder Adventure Card Game as we play though each of the base sets in gleeful anticipation of the release of Mummy’s Mask. Since we near the end of Wrath of the Righteous we decided to take the weekend off and play Destiny.

Setting up the living room for all of us to play we set about seeing how close to level 40 we could get. I will spare you the details and skip to the “end.” Sometime around 5 am we realized how long we had been playing. The clock should have been the first clue, but the first clue was the empty pop cans and bowls of soup. Lucky for us the chicken soup I started early in the morning decided to be a butt and not finish cooking until late. When I say late, I mean midnight.

Did we have fun, yes we did. Playing Destiny as a team sitting in the same room was similar to playing a board or role-playing game; lots of socialization. We didn’t have to fight with the headsets to communicate, just turn to the right or left and talk. When there were breaks in the action we screwed around just like we would at the table top.

The downside, we are not teenagers anymore and there seems to be a requirement for sleep…well sleep for the other two. I ended up being woken up early by the children who were looking for food and being kids. Nothing like staying up all night to be woken up after two hours of “sleep.” Suffice to say I was/am hang dogging it all day.

Enough energy to play a round of Wrath of the Righteous, need to keep up those Pathfinder skills and enough energy to watch some football, but beyond that…whipped. Yep…all night gaming sessions will be for special occasions.

Return To Wrath Of The Righteous

I believe every Labor Day is a gaming marathon for us. I may have to go back thru posts to make sure, but I seem to recall playing games over long weekends. This Labor Day is no different, we are marathoning Wrath of the Righteous. In our last attempt we made it as far as Adventure Deck 2 before calling it quits. The whole experience being frustrating with a lot of scenario redos and changing of characters to cover deficiencies. So we quit with plans to come back later.

A lot later. Which is where we are now. Last night we finished up the last scenario for Rise of the Runelords without any major hassles. After everyone, but me archived their characters for potential later use, we moved onto character selection for Wrath. Why didn’t I archive my character, because Ostog is fun, he is cool, but he is a one-trick pony. A really good at his one-trick, dealing and taking damage, but not a character I wanted to carry on with pony.

People new to Wrath were warned about our previous experiences with the introductory set of scenarios. Particularly, Elven Entanglement, which we felt was particularly brutal. The gist of the warnings, Wrath of the Righteous is going to be difficult with a lot of unexpected surprises. And that is how we found ourselves with a Paladin, Hunter, and Inquisitor. The kids, who we thought would join in, declined citing our warnings and their memories of previous attempts.

How can I put this…it was cake walk. I have no other words. Instead of a sense of mounting frustration and irritation, we breezed through the introductory scenarios. I am typing this during a break between introductory scenarios and Deck 1. I did do some searching of the Wrath FAQ I found an answer to a couple of questions that had bothered us during our first play through. These answers, such as the one about Elven Entanglement, made our play through smooth.

So into the whee or wee or wei or…nevermind hours of night/dawn we played. The closest we came to dying was during scenario 3. Just a bad combination of Demonic Horde, followed by Demonic Horde, followed by Arboreal Blight or some three turn combination which caused a lot of damage to the Hunter and Inquisitor. The Paladin, due to a lucky break was on the location with the villain, a ton of armor, and worked through the location deck while the two wounded characters capped their locations.

I’m being called back to the table, before I go, Puddles and Whiskers along with the three shorts I posted earlier this week will all get some revision love. Have a good holiday.

Pathfinder + Munchkin = Pathfinder Munchkin

What do you do when you are supposed to move, but don’t, but packed away your favorite game and third favorite game? If you are me, you find a hybrid. Our favorite game, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Our third favorite game, Munchkin. The solution, Pathfinder Munchkin. Now until the unpacking is done, we have the best of both games…sorta.

Pathfinder Munchkin, is a Munchkin game with a Pathfinder skin. Not Pathfinder Adventure Card Game skin, Pathfinder RPG skin. For us, who play the card game there were plenty of familiar touchstones in the form of lots of goblins (some of the funniest cards), the Sandpoint Devil, and items. There are a lot of cards that while funny or punny, missed the mark with us because we didn’t get the original reference. Nothing wrong with that, just a note.

For those who have not played Munchkin, the goal is simple take your level 1 character to level 10 by killing monsters, selling loot, and card abilities. Along the way other players will help or hinder you, most often help if you give them something and hinder when you are in the lead. Every Munchkin game has the same core (level 1 to level 10), each has a different skin (fantasy, zombies, space opera, kung fu, cats, and so on…guarantee with a few minutes of searching you will find a Munchkin set for you) and something new, in the case of Pathfinder Munchkin, factions. All Munchkin games work together, some better than others.

Game play is quick, kick down the door meaning flip over the top card of the door deck. If it is a monster fight it. If it is a curse, suffer. If it is anything else add it to your hand. Didn’t encounter a monster, then you can look for trouble or loot the room. Look for trouble, play a monster from your hand for you to fight. Loot the room, draw the top card from the door deck to add to your hand. End your turn is charity, where you give excess cards over five to lower leveled players or discard if you are the low level player. Combat is simple comparison, each monster has a level, exceed that number with your character’s level and any bonuses from equipment or cards played.

Pathfinder Munchkin does not have race cards, which seemed odd, where are the dwarves or elves? Instead, there are faction cards, which seemed more like classes; Hellknight or Pathfinders for example. If I was more familiar with the RPG, perhaps they would make sense as factions. What they ended up being for us was a second class card, which can only happen with a special card, but in this case one class card and one faction card per player.

Pathfinder Munchkin was a fun diversion sitting amongst all of the boxes. The classes seem balanced, although watch the wording on the alchemist who can double one-shot items. The summoner was my favorite, the ability to use monsters in my hand as a bonus or to pull a monster from the top of the discard pile to use as a bonus later, fun. Given this is our third or fourth (I can’t check, packed away remember) Munchkin game you should be able to tell we enjoy it.

 

 

On the Cusp of Adventure Seven

Gaming had taken a back seat to a lot of stuff. A lot of stupid stuff. Thankfully, gaming has resumed. Our Rise of the Runelords game picked up right where we left off, Adventure Deck 5. For Rise of the Runelords Adventure Deck 5 is where the power of the characters can does get out of proportion with the banes.

Monsters are easy to defeat with the skills, powers, and equipment accumulated by this point. Barriers are a slightly mixed bag, with most of the barriers falling easily. The difficult barriers are only due to wrong character encountering them, such as the strength and constitution based barbarian encountering the arcane based magical deathtrap of doom. In my defense, on three six-sided dice with a +3 bonus I should have been able to reach 12 at least once. I did not. My character suffered.

The rewards which once kept pace with our characters now seem less than rewardy and more like, “Oh, this again.” Having a class deck tossed in the box, has increased the variety of loot pulled, but much of the class deck loot is less than appealing to the players who are not related to that class. Such as, the +2 sword of slicing and dicing for the mage. Well, I didn’t want your stupid spell of infinite ultimate destruction in magenta either.

We burned through the first four scenarios in a few hours, nothing gave us any pause or reason to slow down. Explore, encounter, and move on. Bam, bam, bam,..hmmm. The fourth scenario with three villains slowed us down. Nothing was overly difficult other than none of us could close a location without some major assistance and three villains. Villains who had to be chased down and cornered. Difficult when there are three of them and they have places to run too because we cannot temporarily close a location.

Strange thing, even though the locations were Wisdom heavy to close the villains were arcane and combat heavy to defeat. Defeating each villain, multiple times was not the issue, getting them to cooperate and stop running was the issue. But we did.

Tonight or tomorrow should see the end of Adventure Deck 5 and if I remember correctly, Adventure Deck 6 is pretty quick once again due to the power of the characters. In a way, I hope that is the case, because I really want to try Adventure Deck 7 or as it is otherwise known, Wrath of the Righteous 4, 5, and 6.