Monthly Archives: September 2015

New Lego Day

So earlier today I just so happened to end up in Sainsburys and what did they have in? Yep the new minifig series from Lego, which this time has a Halloween theme. It would have been rude not to get the odd packet. Somehow at the same time a small box set of City Lego also somehow mysteriously ended up in the basket too.

Then this evening I ended up in my local Tesco, and somehow some more of the new Lego minifigs found their way into my shopping basket!

When I finally got home what was waiting for me? Yep even more minifigs. Two Batman figures (different torso designs, from two different sets) and a Joker polybag. Yes one of the Batmans was a double, but that was intentional, as was the Joker which I also have. The reason I got the doubles was because a group of my students for the digital media unit wanted to make a brick movie using Batman and the Joker. So these two doubles were got so they could be used for that.

Finally here is the City set put together. It gives me some figures another of that student group can use for their brick movie. They just wanted a generic Lego figure for their film. I got it because I wanted the toilet!

I really like the new minifig series. The mad scientist and zombie businessman love them. I'm really looking forward to using the figures for the header image of this blog later in October when they will be appropriate.


End of September 2015 Arrivals

In Sunday's post about the Memoir '44 games I played with Jonathan I mentioned that he bought along his newly arrived copy of Memoir '44 Tactics and Strategy Guide.

Well war is a terrible thing, as is the arms race it creates. So having looked at Jonathan's copy I decided I better get my own copy, just to keep things even.

My copy of this epic arrived yesterday. So the studying begins…

The first of two kickstarters arrived today. First up Tiny Epic Galaxies. I'm looking forward to getting this to the table, I like Tiny Epic Kingdoms, I'm looking forward to seeing what their Western themed game is like.
Secondly long over due Dead Drop. The posting of this game did not go smoothly. I'll detail the mini story of woe when I look at the game in more detail.

Oh nearly forgot these two little fellas also arrived today. Ok one was too late to celebrate his special day at the weekend. But better late than never.


SanSan Cycle Comes To An End

Regular readers will know that I received the last data pack in the SanSan Cycle The Universe of Tomorrow last week.

So it's about time I looked at the cards or goodies that make up this cycle. Let's start with the cards that have been added to my beloved Anarchs.

I'm not too impressed with the “Power to the People” event card. I can see its use as an econ card but I can't see it making it into my Windy deck. Now the next two cards “Surfer” and “DDoS” they are different stories.

I love the flavour text of these two cards, especially the “DDoS” card. Plus the art is fabulous. For me “Surfer” is a card I may find myself using. But “DDoS” is going straight into Windy. The card is a constant threat to a Corp player, once trashed if they have been foolish enough to protect their servers with just single ice, I'm hitting them big time. I just love that ability of stopping the corps rezzing the first piece of ice on each of their servers for the whole of my turn. Anarch running havoc, love it.

Criminals get a new identity “Laramy Fisk” and he also has an event card “Fisk Investment Seminar”. It seems to me that this new identity and the event are aimed at getting the corp player to go through their R&D deck quickly, forcing them to discard cards from their hand that they would have otherwise have liked to have kept around. Maybe getting them to hold a handful of agendas in HQ!

Those do good ear white hat shaper runners also get two cards. A program that helps a little with the economy, allowing the shaper to install a card for free. I'm not sure how useful this would be for a shaper. But it's not a card that I would think about spending influence on. However their other card is something I would consider. “Bookmark” is hardware that when installed allows me to store cards face down from my grip. Then at a time of my choosing spend a click or trash the card put them back in my grip. This is awesome. Instead of discarding cards put them on “Bookmark” and pull them back when you need them.

For me this is far more useful version of the Anarch “Street Peddler” card. However it does continue a trend of runners being able to put cards out without the corp player knowing what they are. Now the runners are getting to have hidden information. Love it, love it.

The neutral “Wireless Net Pavilion” doesn't excite me at all, sorry.

Jinteki gets a new identity “Chronos Protocol”, plus a new agenda “Ancestral Imager” which seem to be meant for each other. Dealing net damage, and allowing the corp player to see the cards in the runners grip before trashing one. That could be very useful in stopping the runner from getting his rig setup, and force them to hunt for another copy of that card, or remove that “DDoS” before it can be played. The “Genetics Pavilion” could also be a thorn in the runners side. It certainly slows down their game when they are drawing trying to find a particular card.

HB get two nice assets, that I could see me spending influence on to use, especially “Team Sponsorship”.

My favourite corp NBN. I can see “Franchise City” making it into my deck. I do also like the neutral agenda “The Future Is Now”, score and get a card you want, very handy.

I like the new Weyland cards, definitely a little push on assets for them. They all work very nicely together.

This has been the first cycle that I have bought as it came out. Well I only started playing earlier in the year, so it it makes sense as this one started up just after I started playing.

I've really enjoyed opening the new data packs, discovering new cards. Looking at new interactions, loving the art work and flavour text.

I'm looking forward to the new Deluxe expansion and the Munbad cycle.


An Epic Memoir Afternoon

Yesterday afternoon saw Jonathan and myself once more (well for the second time) facing off over the battlefields of Europe during World War Two in the game Memoir '44.

Jonathan had bought along the latest addition to his extensive Memoir collection, the Memoir '44 Tactics and Strategy Guide. This is an epic five hundred plus page book that as the title suggests takes an indepth look at how to play and win at Memoir by recommending various strategies etc for playing the game. The book has been on my radar since it was announced but it's hefty fifty pounds price tag has always put me off. Especially since I wasn't able to look it over before purchasing (draw backs of the interweb).

But Amazon have it at a more affordable price these days, still not cheap, but lighter on the pocket. I have to say this is a nice looking book. I love the clean layout, it's bright, colour pictures. It is a very comprehensive looking book.

Jonathan and I discussed the scenarios we wanted to play this time. Jonathan had wanted to try using a breakthrough scenario, while I wanted to try the Arnham scenario from the base set manual. So with our battlefields for the afternoon set it was time to start playing.

Arnham – Allies

The reason I had wanted to play the Arnham scenario was related to my dad. Dad had been in 2 Para in the late sixties. It was his regiment. Arnham is on the regiments list of battle honours. We all know the story, and seen the movie A Bridge Too Far (well apparently Jonathan hasn't, I'll have to fix that one, along with showing him The Longest Day which he hasn't also seen! Sometimes I forget that some folks have lives unlike me), so I won't go into the details here.
However for me when I watch, read or play something to do with the Paras I'm connecting with Dad, and honouring his memory. It's why even though I don't think I'll get to play Sergeants: Red Devils a World War Two miniatures games again (I've played it once with Nath). It won't leave my collection, it's Dads regiment, it stays.

While we are setting up the scenario I reveal my secret weapon for the afternoon. I had bought with me Captain America to inspire my forces!

Playing as the Allies with the positioning of the two artillery units you have such a commanding advantage. Their use was devistating. Any armour coming over the bridge was easily picked off, the three Axis troop units on our side of the river easily disposed of.

Jonathan wasn't getting the cards to enable him to move his elite units out of his right flank. Plus their movement was slowed by forests when he could move them. No pot shots from his troops over the river because it was too wide. This is a hard scenario for the Axis player.

Naturally giving the scenario I won as the Allies.

Arnham – Axis

My turn now to play as the Axis powers. Would I get better card draw? It seemed odd having Captain America command the Axis powers, the Red Skull would be proud.

My turn as the Axis was slightly different I had the cards to move the elite units, just not the cards to move units in the middle of the board. I did try keeping my units out of range of the Allied guns on my side of the river. Hoping to get the right cards. But to no avail, I was delaying the inevitable.

I did manage to destroy a token unit so it wasn't a complete walk over. A well deserved win for Jonathan.

After my loss as the Axis I decided to look up in the guide what it said about Arnham and tactics it suggested.

According to the strategy guide the Allies win eighty three percent of the games. The guide also said that Arnham is the toughest scenario in the base game. So Jonathan and I shouldn't feel too bad about not winning while playing as the Axis powers.

Now we did have an interesting little question that I came up with during the game. As the Axis forces if I blew up the Arnham bridge would I win? Historically the Paras dropped in to hold the bridge until Allied forces arrived, so if I blew the bridge it would put an end to their objective. However in this scenario the only objective is to score five victory points. I'd love to know what others think on this.

Battle of Abbeville (Breakthough map and scenario) – Axis

Wow the breakthrough map is massive! We even looked at it compared to the anniversary D-Day map or one section. The D-Day map was bigger. I'd love to play the complete massive D-Day scenario, but the amount of space and large tables you would need to play. Wow I can't even imagine them setup.
It took awhile to setup the game, it was almost a game in itself.
As the Axis player you look at the board and think “oh heck, how many tank units?”
I was soon down four units, which meant four victory points to Jonathan. This was going to be a walk over for the Allies. I was going to get thrashed.

Above photo courtesy of Jonathan. Captain America and me

I managed to knock out four Allied units, not only that they were tank units! Our scores were equal. Then Jonathan pulled ahead again knocking out three more units. I began retreating my forces back to the river and my two artillery units. The majority of Jonathan's troops were still near their starting positions. His remaining tanks kept pushing the attack, moving into range of my artillery.

When our scores were tied at six victory points each, I did offer Johnathan a chance to call the game a draw. I knew I was about to get the upper hand, well more like hoping it would play out that way. But it was also part mind games and bluffing. Naturally Johnathan turned down this offer.

As my guns picked off Jonathan's tanks, some of his soldiers started to get in range also. We exchanged fire, but the advantage was mine. My artillery and troops picked off Johnathans forces giving me the victory.

OMG! These breakthrough games are amazing! But boy they are also a lot longer to play. The scenario plays to ten victory points, your forces are much larger. If there was not the “On the move” ability on cards allowing you to move additional units to the ones you command it would take an age to play. I liked the blitz rule, as the Axis player I could use a recon card (I think that's the correct one) as an air power card. Which I did manage to do a couple of times during play.

We didn't have enough time to play the second half where we swap sides. But we have put the tiles we used aside separately so that setup is a lot quicker next time.

What an awesome afternoon playing Memoir '44. I'm so fortunate that I've met some-one who loves playing the game, and also has nearly everything for the game.

Thanks Jonathan for a great afternoons gaming. I look forward to the breakthrough second leg.


Happy Batman Day

Yep you read that right. Today is Batman Day.

So go play some Batman Love Letter, or DC Dicemasters using Batman characters to celebrate. I know there are some other Batman games out there, and a Batman miniatures game but I don't have them. Read some Batman comics/graphic novels, watch some of the cartoons and movies (but not Batman and Robin that was just dire).

Have a great Batman day.


A Surprise Kickstarter Arrival

A package arrived this morning, excitedly I opened it wondering if it was Epic the card game or Tiny Epic Galaxies. But it was neither but just as cool. My copy of The Story of U.S. Gold arrived plus all the extras I had paid for.

The book is awesome. But the highlight for me was a copy of Dropzone signed by the developer himself Archer MacLean. I had this game on the Commodore 64 when it came out. It was an instance classic. zzap64! (Definitely my favourite gaming magazine at the time) gave the game one of its exclusive Gold Medals. I think the only way I could top this in my collection is if I got some signed Llamasoft games by Jeff Minter.
Plus I also got a signed postcard of the loading screen also.

I'd forgotten about this bit of the pledge level, but there was also a cd of remixed C64 game chip tunes. I have to admit I love listening to the old game music on the C64. It's probably the majority of music I listen to, if I listen to music in the car (mostly its audio books or podcasts).

In the very top photo you will also see what looks like a U.S. Gold badge but is in fact a fridge magnet. That went straight on to my fridge ^__^

A really nice surprise this morning a great way to start the weekend.


Is Street Fighter Coming to Dicemasters?

In the latest episode of the Rolling Dice Taking Names podcast (number 76), Eric Lang co-creator of Dicemasters, and other really cool games is interviewed.

In his segment of the show they play a game where they have to list in order three items and say why they are in that order. One of the lists was Streetfighter, Mortal Kombat and Smash Bros. Eric and the show hosts discussed their ordering and the final host (forget his name) mentioned how cool it would be I'd Dicemasters did a Streetfighter version. After a threat of violence to the said host Eric could not confirm (or deny) anything.

So is Streetfighter coming to Dicemasters?

Listen to the episode HERE. What do you think?


Deck Boxes and a Futuristic Fair

Ok so I had some new arrivals this morning. Not the Kickstarter games that are still somewhere in the postal system however. Although on the Kickstarter front backers of the Thunderbirds game had some good news in the past couple of days. The base game is nearly with us. It's hitting the relevant shores and going through customs. Which means by the publishers estimate backers should be getting their grubby hands on the game by mid October.

On the Game of Thrones boardgame front, I got a refund on that. Somehow it got “lost” by myHermes. So the wait for a copy continues.

Right onto today's new arrivals.

First up is two Ultra-Pro Satin Tower Deck Boxes. I bought these to use with Ashes, to hold a deck and its dice. I have to admit these aren't exactly the model I was expecting. However it meets the main requirements I wanted from the model I thought I was buying, space for the deck I've built and the ten dice.

For a really bargain price from that addictive and expensive (only in the sense you spend so much) Facebook board game trading page I got this little card game called Race for the Summit. Which from its box art you can tell is all about climbing.

I've no idea what the game is like, and I'm curious to find out.

The last data pack in the SanSan cycle The Universe of Tomorrow also came today. I'm looking forward to cracking open this data pack and seeing what goodies are inside.

Android:Netrunner News

Yesterday FFG released floor rules for Android:Netrunner. The floor rules are for judges and organisers to help them with decisions that crop up during organised play, like a misplay or cheating.

I think this is great that FFG have done this, it shows that they are serious about organised play and making sure that there is a consistent experience and decisions no matter where you play. This can only be of benefit to the community.

You can get the floor rules from links in the official FFG news story announcing their release HERE