Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been in my xbox alot recently (if its constant appearance on the xbox live box above was no indication). I find the quick play of the rounds and the friends in my headset to be addictive, it rocks really, kind of like having adrenaline pumped into your head.

Well... not always. Alot of the time it's like having someone throw a dead dog at you. It doesn't really hurt you but it hurts your feelings and makes you angry.

But I digress. Last night I played a match on Wasteland that scored me the best record so far in either MW2 or MW1... a NINTEEN AND ZERO. I commonly average a 1 to 1, actually I think my K/D was 1.14 last time I checked. So I give a little better than I get. But my highest streak before last night was 13, which was pretty good for me. I do have a couple friends who suck and have a 30 and 36 streak which means I hate them in a sense but I do okay. I'm rarely a hindrance to my team mates.

WELL, the 19-0 was truly due to three things, in no particular order they are:

1) my own patience. Rather than run into the frontline over and over I sat back with a thermal scoped ACR and waited for the motherf*&rs to come around that big impenetrable hedge. They did so frequently (nineteen times) and I was pleased with that.

2) The GUY behind me. From the start of the match some dude say back with a sniper rifle, who he didn't kill I got and vice versa for much of the match. I owe him thanks and an apology for not seeing the sneaky S.O.B. that put it to him. I did get revenge right afterward though. If you're reading this (likely not), thank you muchly.

3) My Opponents. I really appreciate that they kept coming around the hedge, mostly the same side of the hedge, which made it easy to kill them. A couple got in me and my unknown buddy's perimeter but they got killed for it.

Now, astute MW2 players will realize I should have gotten some kill streaks, at least two, possible three. I did, these were: UAV (used immediately), Care Packaged (used later and got a UAV... thank you so much care package), and an AC-130. You would think a goodly number of those kills were from the AC-130 and you would be dead wrong. ONE of the kills was, because as soon as I got it they clumped in a corner I couldn't pan over to get them and they blew my shit out of the air. So, no help there really.

I would like to thank my team mates that game, whomever they are, as it was a great game for me. I would like to apologize to the enemy, whomever they were, for all the bullets I put into them. But you did blow my damn plane out of the sky so you had it coming.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Magic & Monsters

Is the name of Hackett's game, by the way.

I played a solo game to test run the system again, and these are the armies I used;

Good Forces~~~
13 humans with studded armor and spears (DF 8) for 143 points
10 elves with leather armor, bows and sword (DF 7) for 90 points
8 plate mail clad knights with swords and small shields (DF 11) for 168 points
Hero with +3 plate armor, small shield, and +3 lance mounted on a griffin (DF 11) for 147 points
Human wizard on flying carpet with magic amulet +3 and 15 MA of spells (DF 9) for 201 points
Warforged wizard with a +3 plate armor body and 5 MA of spells (DF 13) for 90 points

...which really totals 839 points, more than what I meant but I didn't feel any need to change that. The majority of the minis are from DDM but the knights are empire from GW and the griffin is an old BIG model from mage knight.

Ebil Forces~~~
20 orc warriors with chain armor, small shields, and maces (DF 8) for 200 points
10 hobgoblins with studded armor, bows and swords (DF 8) for 100 points
5 goblins on giant spider mounts with small shields and spear (DF 6) for 230 points
Orc warlord with +3 plate armor and +3 great sword (DF 12) for 69 points

Orc warlord with +3 chain armor, small shield and +3 sword (DF 12) for 69 points

Giant cyclops for 100 points

...mostly made up of DDM except the giant cyclops which is also and old mage knight large figure.

I played thi solo and added in a little mechanic that each unit had to roll the dice and not score doubles to act. This was basically a light mechanic to determine if the unit was under command correctly, confused, afraid, or what have you. Of interest was that no unit rolled doubles the entire match, so it effectively did nothing, BUT it could have done something...LOL! I played the game for four turns and didn't really worry about vicory. Each side wanted to try to exit a unit on the other side's deployment zone and wanted to defeat the other armies' heroes.

So, anyway, not to throw a turn by turn at you I will hit the highlights.

The orc warriors held their center the majority of the match as there was just so many of them. The spears hit them head on but it took the combined efforts of the archers and the spears to send them off by turn four.

The spiders attempted to make their way off the enemy's deployment zone but were intercepted by the knights, as you could guess, and put to. Only three knights survived though as the spiders had so many attacks one unit of five was actually like fighting twenty, if I'm doing it right that is. Each spider had four claws and one bite attack and then the goblins had one. I made that this was equivalent to thirty models, so three bouts of 10 were read on the chart.

The giant and Griffon mounted hero went to it immediately and I thought the griffon mounted hero would have the advantage (getting two hero rolls vs the giant's one) but the giant won out and slew his enemy in turn three.

The wizards should have dominated better but the magic I randomly rolled (it seemed the best way to do it) just didn't work out well. Plus the human wizard on the flying carpet took a hobgoblin arrow to the head with a lucky roll for the hobgoblins.

Over all I had fun, I know I was just playing with myself (huh huh) but it was action packed enough to keep me interested.

I'm really growing an appreciation for Hackett's rules. They have a freshness, to me at least, that is making me look at other wargame rules differently.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

AT-43 Divergence

I did play the Magic & Monsters game but I wanted to take a moment to comment on another game; AT-43 from Rackham.

This weekend I got to see the Cogs in action and I have to say, i'm concerned with the sanity of the guys at Rackham. I play an inadequate force of Red Blok and I do not believe they will hold up very long to the Cogs that my friend has. He has the new army box, 2,000 ap of kick ass, he it seems very kick ass. Each of the soldiers is capable of setting forth a withering hail of projectiles, to the point that is you combine it with their accuracy scores i'm starting to wonder if there is some nasty power creep going on. I have no problem with accuracy, I have problem with TABLE LENGTH accuracy.

I don't really have a problem with the power of the units, it is just that I feel there should always be a chance to fail and in AT-43 you can be close enough or using a powerful enough attack that you can automatically succeed. There are numerous stories of soldiers surviving impossible explosions unscathed and of eagle-eyed marksmen missing an easy target.

I believe THIS is actually the unbalancing factor of the game itself.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

HACKETTing again

Well, I find myself in a maelstrom of desires in regards to my hobby. Let me explain, no it is too long, let me sum up: confrontation, warhammer, hordes of the things, at-43, neil thomas (and all his works), battle lore, age of conan, rise and fall of the third reich, etc etc...

... and finally Martin Hackett's fantasy war game.

I have played a few games with the rules but unfortunately I did not either take photos or write any notes to report the events of the battle. I could recall spotty events but I think it probably serves the rules set better to discuss the over all feel of the rules and things that stood out to me and my opponent. As a disclaimer my opponent had never participated in miniature war gaming before and I have played hundreds of matches so you're getting a pretty spread opinion here.

1/ Writing Orders- this was the first time I had ever used this rule and I have to say in all games it was nice. Some players prefer the omniscient knowledge of seeing things unfold before making decisions. Having to commit my forces to action for the turn without any knowledge more than what happened so far in the game was refreshing. I think it would only truly work with players who enjoyed that though and I would recommend against trying to make it a regular rule.

2/ Combat- rolling only percentile dice to determine how effective your unit is in combat and how many your enemy loses is wonderful. I can totally see myself incorporating this into Warhammer Fantasy using a similar table based on weapon skill and toughness.

3/ Morale- Hackett recommends against using morale rules citing that the great fantasy stories how armies hold the field against insurmountable odds. Not accounting for morale changed the game for me as I could commit my large zombie unit into battle with a superior foe knowing they would not run (or crumble) and hold a position for a few turns allowed me to risk some daring tactical maneuvers.

4/ Magic- Hackett's magic is a little weird, mostly the names, but it is useable. some of the spells require you to have terrain to place but if you're willing to fudge some or be prepared I found that this could really create some exciting battles. Calling up a pit directly in front of an enemy heavy infantry unit really helped, they had to march their butts around it and that gave me time to get some support troops up.

5/ Heroes- I used this term to describe how by Hackett's rules any soldier with a high enough defense factor is not a unit soldier but fielded independently. This means that there can be numerous heroic solos moving about the battlefield meeting in single combat or engaging units on their own. This was really fascinating to see how they worked out.

Well, I can't think of more right now so what i'll do is make a promise. I promise to put together another match this weekend and photo it and take notes then get back to you with how it went and more observations.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Age of Conan

I don't think i've mentioned this before, which is odd considering...well...ME; but I am a MASSIVE Conan fan. Not a material fan, I don't need all of the busts and action figures and so forth and don't actually have all the writings but to me the writings by Robert E. Howard are the quintessential fantasy writings (above Mr. Tolkein even).

For Chrismas my wife, the amazingly lovely and intelligent woman she is, got me the Age of Conan board game from Fantasy Flight Games. I have wanted this game since its launch in 2008 and it is just a fabulous game. It is effectively a strategy game where player use war and diplomacy (in a mechanical sense) to become the mightest empire in (half) of Hyboria. Meanwhile, Conan wanders about on his adventures and may be used to aid or penalize player actions. The mechanics are fairly easy to grasp but the strategy seems deeper, especially effective use of the Cimmerian adventurer.

The most interesting mechanic imho is the fate dice, where the next seven actions are decided for the players. Effectively controlling their options while being flexible enough to let different strategies be formed to win the game.

I'm really looking forward to getting a few guys together to play and see how it works with four minds digging in instead of just one. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And Ettin and a Dragon...

... and a few others as well. I'm going to try to photograph and post some of my finished work in an effort to... to I don't know what... just to do it. So here goes...

First up is an Ettin (on a pool table with a storage box as back drop) from Reaper Miniatures. I got this at a now closed local comic book store and I painted it up about three months ago. On its back is a pig slung with rope, dinner I guess, and that made me paint the flesh very tan and dirty so the pink pig would stick out.

He will likely be used in a skirmish game as a boss monster or maybe added to some fantasy army ideas I have. I've been toying around with using the Warhammer rules but allowing for a greater diversity of models. I'm not sure on points but I'm sure I can rig something up.

Next is a dragon from an unknown (to me at least) manufacturer. I decided on a blue color scheme because I like blue, really thoughtful huh? I like the way pink tongue stands out from the blue and to me it looks like he just woke up and is yawning more than that he's roaring, but who knows. Again this will likely be either a skirmish piece or a smaller dragon for a Warhammer-esh game.

The skeletal centaur and rat riding goblin knights are from Rackham. None are based, simply because I haven't gotten around to it yet. Rackham miniatures are extremely detailed and to be honest I did not try to give these guys 'museum' quality paint work, I was just happy to have them painted for gaming. :)

Well, next up I hope to post some pictures of my Lizardmen army with all its 'classic' models.