Bobby's Games

I will be posting monthly recaps of my gaming which I have been doing in GeekLists. I'll also be commenting on games on occasion, though I can tell you that I will be behind the curve because I just don't get to play the new games as soon as some people do.

Archive for Malifaux

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Awesome Terrain

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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I was looking for some neoprene mouse material to make myself some terrain to use for Guild Ball to represent rough ground or slick ground since most 3D terrain can make it hard to move figures or can eve make it impossible for some to stand on. Plus, the neoprene would be easier to transport.

Someone on the Guild Ball forums pointed me to the Neoprene Terrain and Zone Kit for Warmachine and Hordes Kickstarter which ends in about a month and they plan on shipping in November.

You can choose to order just the terrain or the zones, or combine them and save a little cash.

I just wanted to point it out for the more casual mini gamers who might not have heard it about it yet.

The terrain is pictured below.

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Wed Sep 2, 2015 3:46 am
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Assembling Deadzone and the rants that inspires...

Bobby Warren
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What started out as a post talking about building the figures for Deadzone and getting to play it soon turned into more complaining about Mantic's choices.

I've been building minis and playing mini games on and off for 20 years. In the past year I've built 12 teams for DreadBall, some of them more than once, which is probably nearing 200 figures now, four factions for Deadzone, which is about 65 or 70 figures at this point, as well as many figures for Warmachine and Hordes, Dystopian Legions (which we need to play, Mike!), and even a couple of Malifaux figures. I’m not exactly a rookie when it comes to putting figures together. I might complain, but I still like Mantic and have enjoyed the games they make. I just expected better from them than I’ve seen with the last couple of Kickstarter reward shipments.

So on to the free-form train of thought I like to call a blog post. This sure would drive any editor I worked with in college or while interning at a newspaper crazy, I’m sure. And let’s not who it to any English teachers, either, okay?

Over the last couple of weeks I have been putting together my Deadzone figures a few at a time. I started with the Enforcers, which are the faction I plan on playing first. I purchased an Enforcer army box for Warpath last year and I was really disappointed in the quality of those figures. The big problem was the metal bits that were used to enhance the generic “resin plastic” (a.k.a., “restic”) figures. For the most part, these bits did not go together well. Even some expert mufflers on Mantic's forums had a really difficult time making them work. I never finished assembling the figures and only got together one of the ones with metal bits, and even that one probably didn’t go together as intended. One of his arms looks like he’s got a double-jointed elbow and the tiny pistol bit never wanted to stay on the other fist.

I received some more of the plastic figures because Mantic was unable to finish the Enforcers as planned for the Kickstarter release. The plastics are okay but I was hoping for the all-new figures from them when I signed up for the Kickstarter. (They will be replacing these with new figures when they send out the planned second shipment in the spring.) Since I had a bunch of figures mostly built it was easy for me to finish building them and I have a really large force. I even managed to build the tactical flame metal weapon which I didn’t try to assemble last year, so now I have a trooper with a fusion gun which hasn't been released for Deadzone. Yes, even this took some bending and will need some putty to fill in the wrist.

The few new figures that were included are okay, but as with all the restic (and horrid metal) figures I've dealt with by Mantic, the keying for some of the appendages just doesn't work well. I ended up cutting the stems off a couple of the heads and just going them on top instead of trying to make them fit.

When I was just about done, I went back to the army box to look at the all-metal captain. That captain is a bitch to put together because there is no keying or slotting for the arms. Metal does not seem to be Mantic's forte, and their restic is a little better, but still not great. So I have one captain, two missile launchers (I ordered two extras and got one of them), a sniper, an engineer, the fusion gun trooper, seven assault troopers (using all the plastic assault bits from the army set and some extras), three burst lasers, and 10 regular troopers. Of course, being the elite fighting force of the universe, a standard game looks to be about five figures because the captain takes up 29 of the 70 standard points and a standard trooper is ten points.

Next I decided to build the Plague, which are the mutated zombie-like faction. These went together pretty well, though the arms on the level two Plague figures were supposed to be generic. They actually were kind of keyed for a specific body, though the keying was slight. When I tried matching them up to the bodies there would be some gaps if they weren’t matched up like the three in the picture. Other than one stupid pose that has one of the level two Plague figures leaping a barrier, these look pretty good. The leaping one really has no simple way to be attached to the barrier. They left one of the hand slotted, but it's too thin to fit over the barrier. So what are you supposed to do? This highlights one of the issues I'm having with all of their figures and I have had a little more when I get to the Marauders.

The Rebs were the next project. They were one of the two factions for which I ordered the extra booster, the first was the Enforcers. Because of production issues with the Enforcers, that extra booster will be in the next shipment so I have one extended faction.

These mostly went together fairly easily. Luckily we received two of the leader figures instead of the one that we were supposed to get and will come in the retail starters. This is because it was easier for them to pack the figures this way since she is part of one their various baggies that has figures that there are supposed to be two of in the starter. One of mine came with the bent gun, which is a problem with their restic. They cram all the figures and parts in those little baggies, then the baggies get stuffed into the box without any kind of padding or organization. This means that anything that is thin has a good chance of getting bent. I know Mike had some figures that were broke at the legs that he needs to get replaced. The other leader’s gun looks good.

The four flying sentry guns are another problem because they are supposed to sit on a thin stick of this flimsy restic and I just know they will break with even minimal use. I looked at some plastic modeling tubing and brass tubing at the hobby store to slip over the restic rods, but nothing was a good fit. I may try another store to see f maybe they have a better selection, or I might just have to bite the bullet and cut some brass and mount them on that before being able to use them in a game.

There is also a large rebel Teraton figure which has some long, thin blades extending off his weapons. This is on both arms of the figure. Both of my Teraton’s blades are bent and fragile and I suspect they will break off at some point. Other than that they went together pretty well. I was hoping to really like this faction and play them after the Enforcers, but comments I've read and feedback from Mike who has played using them indicates that maybe they need a better leader.

Finally I decided to put the Marauders together. Generally they went together fairly easily, though if you search for “Deadzone Marauder Pyro” online you will see quite a few complaints about how the figure does not go together. His right arm is too short and does not reach the gun. You would think that with plastic casting this wouldn't be an issue, but it is.

The one big issue I have with the Marauders, and with Mantic in general, is highlighted by the ripper gun suits. These are the big Orx that wear heavy power suits with either really big guns or really nasty close-combat weapons. This is the issue I mentioned earlier. You see, you get these figures with all these loose bits but no help in how they should go together. Even their pictures don't always give you a good view of the figures or how the bits go together. With the ripper suits, one of the guys in the picture has a satchel on one of the shoulders. I looked for that bit and it isn't there! With the original plastic Enforcers there is a bag of arms and weapons and the keying is so bad that it took longer to line up the arms on the ten heavy rifles with the troopers and various burst lasers than it took me to build everything in the two-player Warmachin box, which is two leaders, four heavy warjacks, one light warjack, and ten multi-part troopers.

The worst thing they did -- even more heinous than the vaulting Plague figure? It was the dancing Goblin sniper. What does he think he is, and prima donna NFL wide receiver? shake

There are several figures which really would be helped by having multiple angles of them on the website or even in the rules. There is nothing like that whatsoever. Heck, the only reason you know that some of the figures are what they are is because their packing and the baggies was so confusing that they had to post an update about it which told the backers which figures were packed together and how many of each they were supposed to get with the pledges. Up until that point they seemed more interested in spouting off how well they had done at making the deadline and publicizing their other projects than explaining things like changes in what they said we would get versus what we did get. The update indicating what came in which bag and how many of each bag meant it only took an hour, or so, to inventory the figures instead of several hours over seveal nights like the last two DreadBall Kickstarter pledge shipments.

Wow. This turned out to be more of an anti-Mantic rant than I intended. Sure, they’ve made some mistakes but they do try to correct them. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I think they are spread too thin to do things well and I also believe that maybe they are still trying to run like a mom and pop alternative to GW than a big-time player.* I wish they had focused more of their attention on their production issues and less on running more Kickstarter campaigns which will probably have the same issues when it comes time to ship them.

I still need to build the eight mercenaries that came with my pledge, but it might be a while before I get around to them. I just clipped the modular terrain from the sprues today and still need to clip the connectors as well. It doesn’t sound like terrain will really be modular as advertised, which is okay. The clips are supposed to be a little tight and I can’t imagine they will be any easier to work with once there are three layers of primer, paint, and sealer added to the mix. I hope I am wrong, because I want to order some extra terrain, but I suspect I will stay with what was included in the pledge because I just don't have the room to store a lot of assembled terrain.

Mike and I are going to play on Thursday and I hope to play with Nick on Saturday. The game looks like a blast and the figures do look nice once built. I ordered some d8s direct from Chessex. they shipped late last week and I hope I will have them by Saturday. I would have bought the dice from the Kickstarter, but they went with the swirled colors with gold number ink and I prefer solid colors with either white or black numbers. My FLGS sells individual dice, but getting eight to ten each of three or four different colors in a short time wasn't likely. There just hasn't been a call for bunches of d8s before now.

So that's my ramblings on Deadzone and Mantic. It was supposed be short and sweet. It wasn't...

Merry Christmas!

*Heck, they released new armies for Warpath last year and hinted that the second-version beta rules were close to what they were trying for. Now those plans have been delayed and the small-ish game I bought into when I picked up the Enforcers now sounds like it will be turning into a crowded-table monstrosity like the giant GW mess they look to want to emulate. Though at this rate those plans might change two or three times before they get around to actually producing a real version of the game. I was hoping for a game played on a 4' x 4' table with about 30 to 40 figures a side, which looked to be about what was planned with last year's releases. At least the figures will come in handy for Deadzone. (The 1000-point Enforcer army was 31 figures. Add in small, tactical vehicles and walkers and just about any army could fit into the smaller figure range.)

P.S. Where are the Veer-myn?!?! How can you have a planetary infestation with no sign of the rats?!?!?
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Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:48 am
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Why I choose to play one game over the other

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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Several years ago I gave up playing minis games. Sure, I was tired of creating lists, gathering and packing up large armies, unpacking them, playing, repacking, taking them home and putting them away. But the real issue was I tired of figures that didn’t go together well and made it it too much like work to play the games.

The final straw was the complexity and insane number of parts of the figures for Warmachine at the time. I hadn’t played yet and opened up the infantry I bought for the game that had way too many parts. I also was having a difficult time getting one of the warjacks to stay together.

I didn’t touch a minis game again until Malifaux a couple of years ago.

I bring this up again because of the experiences I have had with a couple of different companies and their figures.

The pain in the butt

First up is Mantic Games. I have been deeply sucked into DreadBall (and am impatiently waiting for my Kickstarter shipment), and because of that their other games grabbed my notice. I looked at Warpath and loved the look of the Enforcers. I had built some of their Warpath figures because I have Project Pandora and there are some Marines and Veer-myn in that game.

I picked up the Enforcers army box and have had a lot of frustration with them. These are mostly resin-plastic (restic) figures for the basic Enforcers with some parts for the special figures being metal.

I had a lot of problems with these figures, especially the ones that are both metal and restic. I made it through getting them mostly together, but putting together 40 to 50 problem figures which are harder to assemble than they should be has them sitting and waiting to be finished.

The opposite experience

Next up is Spartan Games with their foray into skirmish/man-level miniatures with Dystopian Legions.

It was something I wasn’t going to get into, but I really liked the look of the Prussian figures and my friend Mike was interested in the Brits, so we bought the starters.

Ten of the twelve figures in the starter are metal and the two larger figures are a mix of resin and metal.

Nine of the ten figures are one-piece and all of the poses are unique. They had a lot of extra flash on them and all their tabs needed to be trimmed so the bases would lay flat on the table. They took some time to get cleaned up, but there was no frustration. The one two-part figure had a mechanical fist which glued right on to the arm without any problems.

The resin Teutonic Knights went together fairly easily as well. I had some difficulty trying to decide on how to put the shoulder armor on and I don’t think the ammo belts will stay glued into the guns. Still, these took just a little time to assemble.

So guess which game is likely to get played in near future? Guess which one I am looking forward to buying additional figures for?

I am really disappointed in the Enforcers because the Marines were so easy to put together. It’s like someone had a “great idea” for them and it just wasn’t fully-developed. On the other side of the coin, Spartan went with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” ideology when creating the figures for their new game.

I’m not giving up on Warpath right now, but it will be a while before I pull the figures out and finish putting them together. I hope Mantic recognizes their mistakes and are able to correct them in the future because they seem like a company that you can root for. Their games look good and a lot of their figures are nice and go together well.

The one that started it

I find it amusing that the newer Warmachine and Hordes figures go together quite easily, especially their new plastics.

I say this at the same time I am cursing them for their Trollkin Runeshapers which have one figure that requires you to glue a thumb on one hand and the curled fingertips on another figure. Sure, the thumb went on easily, but I sure wish they had moved to all-plastic because these would go together a whole lot easier if they were.

The different games

Here are the minis games I am playing/interested in right now. This doesn't include DreadBall which is a board game with miniatures.

Warmachine/Hordes
Dystopian Legions
Malifaux
Warpath

Ben learned to play Warmachine this weekend and Nico has some Cryx figures so here's hoping they join Alex and I on the occasional Saturday.

Mike and I are planning on trying out Dystopian Legions in a little over a week, and we have talked about playing Malifaux again.

I suspect we'll play Warpath sometime after the first of the year.
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Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:34 am
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Games Played in September 2012

Bobby Warren
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Last month I played 20 different games a total of 49 times and six expansions a total 14 times. Four of the games and three of the expansions were new to me. I played four of the games and three of the expansions in August.

We broke out some of the D-Day Dice expansions for the first time. I also played both of my current miniatures games and was obsessed with the Kickstarter for DreadBall. I hope that game dominates my December game plays which will mean I was able to get several friends to play.

Here is what I played and some thoughts on the games.

7 Wonders
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 5/12
My Rating:: 8

Expansion Played: Cities for one of the games.

First up was our first playing with the new expansion. I liked that a limited mix of the cards is added into each age and the effects of the new cards and wonders. We'll see how this one holds up long term. I still really like Leaders, but it's popularity is hit or miss with other players in the group.

Later in the month, Michael, John, and I brought this out as a quick game to play while waiting on Kevin. To keep it quick we didn't pay with either expansion. I thought I had the game in the bag because I built so many of the blue buildings and had the Pyramids at Giza finished, but I ende dup five points behind both Michael and John, and John won the tiebreaker.


Colossal Arena
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 11/06
My Rating:: 7

I wanted to play Titan: The Arena, but found my unplayed copy of Colossal Arena first while rushing to get out of the door in time for a pre-gaming appointment. I was explaining the game while pulling out the eight creatures to use and mistakenly pulled the Seraphim instead of the Magus/Warlock.

I forgot how cheap the cards in theoriginal Silver Line box feel. Mine even are marked with a bunch of them having a small white mark on the backs of them. I will definitely use my copy of Titan: The Arena over the newer version whenever I have a choice.

It turned out to be a fairly close four-player game with my secret bet surviving the entire game to give me the victory.

I also got it played the next week with Katie taking Alex's place. This time Daniel won, using the power which let him bet in any open slot to add a bet to the Unicorn, which survived to the end. Well-played.


D-Day Dice
Times Played: 8
Last Month Played: 8/12
My Rating:: 9

Expansions Played: Operation Neptune for one game and Normandy for two games.

We broke Sword Beach. Badly. We stopped trying near the end and rushed the finish and the four of us had a total of well over 500 troops and 200 item points. We had spent courage on three or four awards, had pretty much every specialist, and rebought the Bangalore Torpedo almost every turn. It was a freaking awesome game! I just hope it doesn't happen again.

I also played one of the expansions for the first as Mike and I attacked the doubly-long, double-bunker of Operation Overlord. We zigged and zagged across the board because we wanted to set up a command post, which would make three other sectors easier to move through, made it to the first bunker, then charged up the heart of the map to capture the final bunker.

Mike and I also tried out the Gold Beach II map from the Normandy expansion. It beat us both times, which was actually kind of nice because I had won so many games recently that it had stopped being any kind of challenge.


Descent: Journeys in the Dark
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating:: 7

After playing Warmachine, Alex taught me how to play this new edtion. I was always interested in the game but the length scared me off of trying it out. The new edition did fix the length of the game.

I first played two heroes against his ettin and goblins in the introductory scenario. I did pretty well and managed the win.

After that, Michael joined us and we each played a hero against the Fat Goblin scenarios. Alex won both of them, though a lucky card draw let him escape with his big goblin and prisoner. That was right after my mage one-shotted the shadow dragon. Sweet.


DiceAFARI
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating:: 5

Mike picked this up and we tried it two-player. It felt kind of flat, though we both think it would be better with three or four players. Hopefully we will be able to try it again sometime when his wife is in the mood to play games.


Downfall of Pompeii
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 9/10
My Rating:: 7

Michael picked this up a while ago and hadn't played his copy. He broke it out for John, Kevin, and I and we played a game. Kevin had only played once a long time ago and John had never played. After we finished the first game, where skill reigned supreme (in other words, I won),


 
Dwarf King's Hold: Green Menace
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating:: 7

It's a really fun game in the same family of games as Space Hulk. The real difference is both sides have objectives in the game. In the first scenario we played the objective was to be the first to exit at least one of your figures off the board at your exit point before the enemy did the same.

The second was a treasure hunt, with the winner being the player which took the most treasure off the board.

For games with combat I have become more and more in favor of opposed rolls, so I knew I would enjoy this once Mike explained the rules. Everything in this game is resisted actions, with the chance of getting multiple successes possible for better results.

The figures used in the game look to be repurposed Kings of War figures. The elves are a little thin and I know I would break the spears on them, but they are nicely detailed. They are a little smaller than the standard GW mini size of today and felt like they were more of a true 25mm figure.

I've seen some complaints about the thickness of the board tiles. They seemed sturdy to me. Maybe they could have been a little thicker, but they are not so thin that they are bendy.


Elder Sign
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 7/12
My Rating:: 8

Photographer Darrell Simmons, Dr. Vincent Lee, Dr. Carolyn Fern and Sister Mary were pitted against the fiends of Shub Niggurath. They fought a long, hard battle to prevent Shub from shuffling on into Arkham, but the gate opened and they had to fight the old one. It was a long and hard fought battle, but shortly after Sister Mary succombed to the demon, the others rallied and defeated him.


Hansa
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 3/09
My Rating:: 7

We played a three-player game. Michael and I played this a lot, though not in a long time, and John was new to this game. I did a good job of collecting and selling goods early on and John thought he had to have the most tokens in a city to score it at the end, so he finished last.

Michael and I also played again later on with Kevin. This time I focused on getting out markets in every city and that made the different. The Magic Rat would be proud of how I'v eplayed these two times.


King of Tokyo
Times Played: 5
Last Month Played: 5/12
My Rating:: 8

Nico's "dice game of 2011" played the same day as we played his first and second favorite dice games of 2012. It was also played later in the month, which is no surprise.


Malifaux
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 9/11
My Rating:: 8

Mike and I played a game and we both had fully-painted crews!

Mine were the Showgirls which I paid to have painted and Mike was running McMourning. We haven't played in almost a year and were rusty on the game mechanics, plus neither of us were too familiar with our crews' abilities.

It took a long, long time to play. A large part of it was the need to refamiliarize ourselves with the game and the lack of familiarity we had with out crews. Another part was us just BSing about the game, the DreadBall Kickstarter campaign which would be ending the next day, and other games. Now that we've played again, I need to spend some time going over the rules and looking at what the various Showgirls can do so I will go into next game wiht a plan.


Modern Art
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/06
My Rating:: 8

We had a close finish in a five player game. I expected to do better than I did,but I still had a great time playing it.


Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 7/12
My Rating:: 8

I jumped out to a big lead against Mike, who then proceded to kick my arse.

The second game was a more balanced game, though Mike won that one, too.


Power Grid: First Sparks
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 6/12
My Rating:: 7

It was a three-player game with Kevin playing for the first time. I was in a position to buy Intelligence, but chose to pass on it so I could get "Speech". That turned out to be the game-winnning decision because it allowed me to spread to an extra area on the last turn with no food left.


Quarriors
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 8/12
My Rating:: 8

Expansions Played: Rise of the Demons & Quarmageddon for all games.

The Seraph is an awesome die! If this was a wild west game, we could say there is a new Seraph in town.


Race for the Galaxy
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 8/12
My Rating:: 8

Expansion Played: The Gathering Storm for all the games.

I dropped my rating another point. It's just too predictable when Michael and I play it. After a couple of turns, you see who has their engine churning and who doesn't, and I can predict what will happen at that point. Of course, we've probably played 300 two-player games so it shouldn't be a surprise that we know what each other are luikely to do in most situations.


Saint Petersburg
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 5/12
My Rating:: 8

We played without the expansion. Michael and I had played before, but Daniel and Alex hadn't played. The wisiest of the experienced players won. (Really, me. I am wise. Iam! I am! I am!)


Tournay
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating:: 7

This is a terrific two-player game! Mike and I played it a second time the first night we played it,and then played it two more times the following week.


Warmachine
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/11
My Rating:: 8

Alex and I finally had a battle. It was his Khador force led by Kharchev against my Rhulic Mercenaries led by Gorten Grundback. We had a fairly good battle which the newbie (me) made some mistakes and hopefully learned from them.


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 8/12
My Rating:: 8

There a dice game of Bohnanza? Who knew?
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Tue Oct 2, 2012 7:38 am
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Love/hate relationship

Bobby Warren
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Miniatures.

I have a love/hate relationship with them.

When I was playing Earthdawn I started painting minis because I really liked some of their minis and, after paying someone to paint a few of them, I decided to do it myself.

I then picked up some of the old Warhammer Fantasy halberdiers to use as generic city guard and got bit by the minis game bug. But I never got involved to be a modeler. I did it to play the game. Being painted didn’t matter, having fun did. I didn’t mind modeling figures when it was something I wanted to do, but when a figure required a lot of modeling I got quickly frustrated.

A few years later, after being ripped off and disappointed my Games Workshop’s insane price increases and their killing their best games to keep their money-makers in print, I was intrigued by Warmachine. It was then that I swore off miniatures and figured I was cured. Then I opened the Devil Dogs box and was completely put off by the number of pieces the troops were in. That, combined with having a heck of a time getting one of the merc warjacks assembled had me swearing off minis for good.

Falling off the wagon

A couple of years ago my FLGS started carrying Malifaux. My friend Mike, who was still playing all kinds of miniatures game said he heard good things about it and you only needed a few figures to play.

Well all right! This is something I could get into. I like the free-flowing skirmish games. Limited figures meant I only need to spend a little time building anything, and there would not be that much painting involved. Painting had become a chore. I was never happy with the results and could never get them as good as I wanted. Plus there was "new" technique called dipping.

I finished a few Malifaux figures and bought a whole lot more. We stopped playing in part because the rules were errataed to death, reprinted, and generally not well thought out at times. It’s a good system that seems to need editorial control. Plus the figures have so many special rules that it can be hard to keep track of which character can do what.

It’s still fun, but we weren’t playing much. I hope to play some more in the near future since I just paid someone to paint some figures for me.

Now I am really into playing Warmachine and Hordes, even though I have only played a few games. I also jumped into the Kickstarter for Relic Knights because it looks really fun. Mike and I kind of talked each other into it, and he has a friend who also jumped in so I will likely play some next year when it is released.

C’mon, man! Get to the point!

Okay, okay! I’m getting there.

I also Kickstarted DreadBall. Yes, I’m talking about that game again!

Because I was so excited about the game I wanted to see some of the Mantic figures up close, and Mike owns and has been a fan of their other board games. He's talked up the Dwarf King's Hold games. I asked him to show me either Dwarf King’s Hold or Project Pandora: Grim Cargo. We played Dwarf King's Hold: Green Menace and I really liked the figures in that one and the others, which he showed me. They are not oversized like the Games Workshop current standard and were still nicely detailed without being too crammed full of extraneous, pain-in-the-butt-to-paint little details.

I even started looking at their mass combat games, Kings of War and Warpath and wondered if I might enjoy playing those. Maybe I was woozy from excitement because I traded away those Devil Dog figures last weekend?

I picked up Dwarf King's Hold: Dead Rising this weekend. I opened the box knowing I would have to do some figure assembly. Half way through putting together the seven dwarves and their dog I was cured of any desire to ever get into one of the mass combat games. I was bored and done with the task after just a few dwarves, there is no way I could put together another 100+ figures for Kings of War of even half that for Warpath.

I’m not sure I will even want to get the other Dwarf King's Hold games or Project Pandora: Grim Cargo, which is a shame because it is a really good system. I bet that if they were repackaged with slightly bigger tiles with brighter art and one-piece figures that these games would be hits among the fans of dungeon crawlers and Space Hulk.

Some parting thoughts

I need to stick to games that have fewer figures with fewer parts. The DreadBall figures are going to be mostly one-part and will be playable with minimal work. I also want to play it NOW!

Mantic makes some nice figures at a really good price. If you are looking for some affordable figures for your RPG gaming, check them out. They require some modeling, but it isn’t hard. They go together pretty well.

I recently learned the second edition of Descent and believe if you like this you might like Dwarf King's Hold, and vice-versa.

Never pick the Cardinals, or against them, in a survival football league.

I love my new iMac. I am already getting retrained in the Mac way and am trying to do things the Mac way on my work PC. Soon I will be a total Mac zombie.

Dominion: Dark Ages is now sleeved. I think I may be done with getting expansions for the game because we just don’t play any of them that often. It could have reached critical mass for me.

Check out Bravey's blog to look at the Malifaux figures he painted for me. And also Michael Jordal's Painting for Profit and Pleasure for some Hordes figures he painted for me. I've come full circle, paying people to paint for me.

One of these days I need to rant against tournament players, but I'm off to check the DreadBall Kickstarter to see if we've got access to pre-order the insect Z'zor before heading off to bed.
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Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:23 am
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Put on a show and carry a huge stick!

Bobby Warren
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Once again, the miniatures games pop their heads up and end up on my radar.

First up is Malifaux. I finally got around to putting together all of Colette's Showgirls figures and got them shipped out to be painted. When I get them back I will have a fully-painted faction which I will then have to play. I've started painting so many figures but just haven't reached the point where I was inspired enough to finish painting that much.

I have actually decided that I am going to strip the paint off my Neverborn Nephilim and start over since I think dipping them would be better than what I was doing and I want to change the color of the skin I was going to have on them from a medium gray to a light gray with some human flesh tone highlights. Plus the dipping will shade in the areas I already used a wash on before I decided dipping would work.

Since they are metal miniatures, I am going to buy some acetone which will strip them clean as clean can be, but it also means I will probably have to re-build them because it can also dissolve super glue and make green stuff spongy (though it will harden back up when it dries).

Right now I am inspired to get a force for Warmachine/Hordes done. My FLGS is holding a Mangled Metal/Claw & Fang tourney next month. Simply put, it is a tournament format which has the leader figure and only Warjacks (for Warmachine) or beasts (for Hordes).

My Warmachine Rhulic mercenaries do not look like a good fit for that format, so I am leaning towards making a Trollbloods list. I already had the beasts I want to use and just needed to pick up the warlock, which I did.

I spent a lot of time the past couple of evenings building the the big beat stick (literally) of the force, Mulg the Ancient. I tried finding a picture which shows how big this figure is compared to most others, but was unsuccessful. As you can see from the official picture, he does tower over most human-sized figures. Heck, the club he's carrying is about 5" long! He is the second dire troll I've put together and will likely be the next to last metal one. They require a lot of work to fill gaps and align the pieces. It's a good thing there is now a plastic Dire Troll kit that will work as either a Mauler, Blitzer, or Bomber, in case I ever decide to build a Blitzer. If you would be interested in acquiring a Dire Troll Mauler unassembled and still in the box, contact me. I also have a built and primed Troll Impaler I'd be willing to sell or trade.

My list is going to be only three models, which might not work. Luckily, I will be able to test it out against Mike sometime this week and maybe a few more times before the tourney.

After I get the three figures prepped, I will try and get them painted. I also need to finish up some of the mercenary figures which I started late last year. I just need to add some final colors and then I can dip them and be almost done with them.

I also want to strip the paint off some of the Trolls I got in an auction, including some plastic Fennblade warriors, so I will get some Simple Green to remove their paint and will use the acetone for the metals. These are the models used in the Burrownomicon force I mentioned in a post last year. The person who I bought them from use black primer and I an not a fan. I've always preferred using white, so since I will have the tool available to strip them, I will get it done.

I probably should focus on finishing up the mercenaries before diving into painting the trolls, other than the ones for the tournament. This is how I manage to lose focus when I do the painting myself.

We'll see how things progress.
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Tue May 15, 2012 8:04 pm
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Happy 2012, "It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)"

Bobby Warren
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When all is said and done, I played 160 games roughly 698 times and 27 expansions roughly 416 times (including ones not logged). Some of the "games" played in those counts are ones which are both full games and expansions which is why the counts are rough. Including prototypes, I played 72 games and 18 different expansions for the first time, though I didn't log all the expansions.

If you at are all interested in the games I played in 2011 you can click here.

"We're going streaking!"
I only played one game every month in 2011 and it wasn't Race for the Galaxy, which missed being played in two different months. The game played the most consistently through the year was Thunderstone with its ever-growing number of expansions. I actually stopped logging the expansion plays each month during the year because it became cumbersome to mark them. Also played in just about every month was 7 Wonders, which was played every month but August. August was the month of all the new games Mike brought back from GenCon, which meant there was less time to play 7 Wonders.

Arkham Horror ended 2010 on a 10-month streak, which made it to 11 in January, but ended in February and it was played three more times in two more months until August, when Elder Sign came out. Since then, we've played the quicker game. I will probably sell my copy of Arkham Horror and the expansions sometime this year.

The king of the hill dice game, King of Tokyo finished 2011 on a six-month run which I see extending into 2012. When I first played the dice-pool-building game, Quarriors!, I would have been a little surprised if you told me it would end the year on a five-month streak of being played. However, it is a decent filler which doesn't take too long to set up and put away.

Eminent Domain also finished on a five-month streak. Let's call it the Race for the Galaxy deck-building game. I am still less sure about whether or not this will hang around. With some players it takes longer than it should, but I suspect it will speed up once everyone learns the game. I'm just not sure everyone will be willing to play it enough to reach that point.

Disappearing and missing favorites

Agricola has dropped off the radar and hasn't been played since June 2010. I have pulled it out to play a couple of times, but it just hasn't made it to the table.

Samarkand: Routes to Riches was played eight times last year and didn't make it out once this year. I thought about playing it a few times, but never made a real effort to play it this year. I suspect that Kingdom Builder will completely supplant it since it has some of the same feel with the placement of the pieces to make connections, and Kingdom Builder is just more re-playable.

Another one which I am surprised stopped being played is Cardcassonne. I really like it, but after getting played 10 times from the end of 2009 into 2010, it just disappeared. I see the box and think I should bring it along to gaming, but it still sits. I will make a concerted effort to play it this year.

All the iterations of Keltis were not played. The main game was played 15 times during 2009/2010, Keltis: Neue Wege, Neue Ziele was played eight times, and Keltis: Das Orakel was played three times after I got it in 2010. This is a case of being out of sight, out of mind.

Combat Commander: Europe and Commands & Colors Ancients were both neglected in 2011. I blame Mike and his membership in the Cult of the New and his gaming AADD (Advanced ADD) for this. It surely can't be my fault! I would be surprised if both were not played several times in 2012.

Speaking of the Cult of the New...

I already mentioned playing and liking 7 Wonders, King of Tokyo, Eminent Domain, Elder Sign and Quarriors!. There were a few other games which I really liked in 2011.

I first played Martin Wallace's London in January and ended up playing it 10 times. It is a cool card-driven building game about rebuilding the titular city after the great fire. There is a lot of depth and the scoring is not as complex as you might expect from him, though it would have been nice to have a cheat sheet which goes through the end-game scoring steps.

Just holding the cards for Tanto Cuore can make some people feel perverted and dirty. I think it is a terrific Dominion clone which adds a few small mechanisms to the original game which makes it different enough to both own and play. The real limit to the game is there just aren't enough different maid cards to allow it to be played as much as some of the other deck builders. So I picked up the second expansion, Tanto Cuore: Dokidoki Vacation from Japan and made paste-ups for the cards since it wouldn't be available for at least a year in English. The first expansion should be out soon in English.

Warmachine is a game I bought into seven years ago. I picked up some figures and started putting them together, and swore off minis games forever because of the complexity and insane number of pieces for the grunt models. Because I'd been playing Malifaux, I was more willing to try it again. I really liked it and have built up a Mercenary army for it and a Trollblood army for the sister game, Hordes. I've got all I need to play and really shouldn't need to buy any more figures for either Hordes or Warmachine and there are only a couple of figures which I will likely buy for Malifaux this year. I hope to play all three of these mini games at least 20 times in 2012.

Kingdom Builder was a late-year surprise. I wasn't willing to spend the $60 on it without trying it first. When I played it, I bought it the next day. Each game is a puzzle on how to score the most points based on the scoring rules for that game with the limited choices you have. Yeah, you can be screwed by the draw of the cards, but working around that is part of the challenge. Plus, the game plays quickly so it is possible to play again to get the bad card luck out of your memory.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue was the big surprise at the end of December. I wasn't thrilled by the first playing because things really plodded along, but we played the next night at the game was a blast. It's the best cooperative game since Pandemic. Both games fit their themes and there are many similarities to the games, but they play quite differently.

Stinkier than an outhouse in the summer

Commands & Colors: Napoleonics was the most disappointing game of 2011. I really wanted to like it and had high expectations, even when others complained about the shooting rules and results. But after playing it, I decided I did not like the rules for shooting and there was no reason any sane person would move their riflemen up and shoot at someone on a hill. Maybe it is historic, but it is not fun in a simulation. I quickly got rid of my copy.

I also had high hopes for Dungeon Lords and Nightfall. I had no fun playing Dungeon Lords and ended up trading my copy away before I opened it. Mike said he like it, but he got rid of his copy after the game I played, too. I also kept expecting Nightfall to grow on me, but it didn't. I bought Nightfall: Martial Law hoping the additional cards would help, but they didn't. It's just a below-average game for me and I am trying to trade it away.

It used to be Mike who bought anything under the sun, but he's scaled back his purchasing. Now Nico is the guy who buys everything. One of his purchases was Irondale which none of the participants, except Nico, liked. You play cards from your hand, but you have to have cards in your hand which are equal to the value indicated on the card and he only way to draw cards is expend what few victory points you have to draw them. The game is a chaotic mess, much like the worst game of the year...

Why change anything I said back in April when I first played Innovation? "Hoping to cause Armageddon, the designer came up with Advanced Fluxx. Except Fluxx can end at any time and everyone has a chance to win. In this turkey, you can get stuck with cards that never allow you to advance beyond a certain point while the others race to win the "game".

Unfortunately, I can't rank this a 1 because there is the skeleton of a game in this flawed design with crappy graphic presentation. (Checker board backgrounds on cards, really?)
" At least it looks like IELLO did a nice job with the graphic design for their new edition.

Excuse me for a minute while I go get some sanitizer to clean my keyboard.

More is always better

These are my ten most-played games in 2011:

1. 7 Wonders x74
2. Thunderstone x71
3. Race for the Galaxy x51
4. Dominion x26
5. King of Tokyo x26
6. Quarriors! x25
7. Tanto Cuore x20
8. Elder Sign x18
9. Nightfall x18
10. Eminent Domain x11

My bad!
Twice this year I made mistakes in my monthly comments that were caught by the designers.

First, in my August recap, I had it wrong about the expansion planets for being unavailable to everyone but Seth Jaffee corrected my inaccurate assumption. I hate being corrected by someone from Tucson. Hate it!

Then in my November recap I trashed Dark Minions and Al Newman came to the defense of the game and asked a couple of questions. We discovered that we played the game wrong and it sounds like it would have been fun if played correctly. Unfortunately, the copy we played with was sold because Mike didn't think it would ever be played again.

Bartertown

Here are the games I got rid of through trades this year.

1. Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer
2. Atlantic Star
3. Celtica
4. Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
5. Dungeon Lords
6. Goldbräu
7. Hansa Teutonica
8. Löwenherz
9. Malifaux (a set of minis I bought duplicates of when I couldn't find them)
10. Monsterpocalypse (trading armies from the two-player set and extra sets I bought)
11. Oregon
12. Pueblo
13. Railways of Mexico (trade away three copies I got for working on the card deck)
14. Resident Evil Deck Building Game
15. Samarkand: Routes to Riches
16. The 3 Commandments
17. Ticket to Ride: Switzerland
18. Tobago
19. Vegas Showdown

What to do before (according to the Mayans) the end of the world

Here are some resolution-like things I would like to accomplish in 2012.

1. As I already mentioned, play Hordes, Warmachine and Malifaux 20 times each. Plus, play some of the games with completely-painted armies.
2. Play both Combat Commander and Commands & Colors Ancients.
3. Sell some games. I've always hated the idea of the hassle of dealing with eBay, shipping, and Paypal as a seller, but I need to do it.
4. Get a lot of the games I like but didn't play in 2011 played in 2012. This is something I've been trying to do recently with my Game of the Week posts, so I will keep that up.

I hope everyone has a terrific 2012. May all of you be happy and prosperous.
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Tue Jan 3, 2012 1:05 am
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From 'bunnies' to The Burrownomicon

Bobby Warren
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I've been working on getting my Warmachine figures ready to play and managed to get in a game of it a couple of weeks ago, which I won when two of my gun "bunnies" managed to kill Mike's warcaster.

I had been looking at getting into Hordes and had been thinking about starting a Trollblood army. I could easily come up with a beast-heavy army which would mean minimal infantry figures, which is a plus in my book. Plus, I had a Troll Axer figure from back when Privateer pre-released it at GenCon a few years back.

I have been keeping an eye out on eBay for lots of figures, and ended up winning one. They are all assembled, primed, and it looks like some initial color was added to some of the models. It comes with a leader, a couple of beasts, two Trollblood units, one small mercenary unit, and five solo models. After I won it, I noticed it referred to it being built around the "Burrownomicon" article.

Looking that up, I was shocked at the level of utter cheesiness I had unwittingly joined. The suggested army list for using this example of extreme evil cheese?

● Calandra Truthsayer, Oracle of the Glimmerwood (in the auction)

● Troll Impaler (ditto)
● Dire Troll Bomber (ditto)

● Pyg Burrowers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (ditto)
● Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts) (ditto)
● Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt) (ditto)

● Fell Caller Hero (ditto)
● Stone Scribe Chronicler (ditto)
● Trollkin Runebearer (ditto)
● Trollkin Champion Hero (ditto)

Everything in the auction plus I also get another good solo figure to switch in if I want to try something slightly different while venturing down the dark side. Not that I won't enjoy playing the list while learning the game and the enemy models. I will revel in causing destruction from the little guys.

It'll be good to have a tried-and-true strategy to play, even though it is infantry-centric. I may still build a beast-heavy army list, though it seems I might be better served using a different leader to build around.

Hopefully, the figures will arrive soon and I can try the game out with them, especially since most of my Warmachine and Malifaux figures got buried as I packed things up for the home addition that is happening now.
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Tue Nov 29, 2011 12:20 am
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Super Malifaux Dorado! (Not Dorito, silly!)

Bobby Warren
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Kyle asked about getting together with Mike and I once in a while to play minis games. Mike has been interested in Hell Dorado and even has picked up a couple of factions, so we will try it out at some point, but I still voted for Malifaux. I would like to use some of the figures I have and am not going to get into another miniature game unless I know for sure I am going to both like it and play it.

Kyle is trying to figure out which faction to play for his first foray into miniatures gaming. We played a couple of weeks ago. I started out playing my Neverborn against Kyle who played Mike's gremlins. After that game, he and Mike played gremlins against Mike's Freikorps.

So I've been bitten by the bug again.

I started putting together some of my unassembled Malifaux figures last week. I also ordered the new expansion rulebook direct from Wyrd during GenCon so I could get the promo figure for this year. I have been thinking about getting a second Convict Gunslinger since I bought the the original sculpt, and the promo one looks awesome.

I am going to paint the figures, but am not going to worry about being too detailed. I just don't care enough anymore to spend the time on them. I am going to put on a single coat of paint and then use MinWax to shade them (called dipping them). I might do some subtle shading after the coating, but it likely will happen only on rare occasions, like with the black hair I plan on having on my two Lilitus.

One of the factions I really wanted to get together to play was Colette's Showgirls. They are essentially saloon showgirls (with their automaton mannequins) who are magic experts. How cool is that? When I went to put them together, I couldn't find the box. I found every other mini for the game I have purchased, as well as the occasional bit that had been loose for cleaning during my last surge of interest. After several days of looking, and cleaning, and organizing in my game room, I decided to order them again because I must have purged them. I went with a company on eBay who had them for about 25% off with free shipping. They arrived yesterday. Last night, while cleaning the figures, I found the sealed box on a shelf I checked many times when looking for them. So now I have a sealed Colette starter for trade.

I also discovered an upcoming dungeon crawl while looking at minis online. It's called Super Dungeon Explore and the figures are awesome looking. They are in a Japanese animation style which is not quite anime. They have big heads and small bodies. Until recently, you could get five of the characters and many of the kobold monsters in metal minis, but in this post it sounds like they may not be available. I had ordered a couple of characters from the company last week before they disappeared from the site. These I will take a little more care painting when they finally arrive.

There are demo rules for the game on the company's site and the game looks like it could be fun. There's a lot of plastic in it and it will cost close to $100, but it looks like it might be worth it.

Tonight I am priming a bunch of figures and hope to paint some this week. Patience has to be the word.

Patience...
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:30 am
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"Malifaux is back!," or "Is Malifaux back?"

Bobby Warren
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I really like playing miniature games. The freedom of moving your forces without a grid and using a true line of site to the enemy is better than most clunky rules for games with hexes or some other grid. The disadvantage for me has always been the transporting of the armies and the set-up and tear-down times.

Blood Bowl was a change because it was a limited number of miniatures, but you're on a grid. Necromunda eliminated the grid, but the amount of terrain needed meant you could spend more time setting up the game than actually playing it. Plus, it is a Games Workshop game so you know they were going to stop supporting it. I tried various other mini games over the years, preferring games with fewer figures. I really liked the new Chainmail, but it was killed in favor of making it a collectible game, and I also tried Warlord, but the rules were never just right.

I also dabbled in collectible miniature games over the years. I still have a lot of Mage Knight figures sitting in a huge plastic tub, some Mage Knight Dungeons figures, and a bunch of MechWarrior figures. I liked playing the games, but the rules were changed in mid-stream for two of the games, so I stopped playing.

I picked up some Warmachine figures a few years back because it looked like a fun skirmish game, but the figures were impossible to build and putting together a grunt unit which consisted of what seemed like dozens of small bits was not my idea of fun, so those figures sit in boxes on the shelves.

A little over a year ago, Mike introduced me to Malifaux. It is an awesome game that uses cards instead of dice to resolve chance in the game. The figures are nice and you can tell they have learned a lot about sculpting because the more recent figures are much better cast than the previous ones. The negative to the game is all the changes and errata in the game. The rules are a mess and unless you had a homemade compilation, the rules were hard to follow. Until now.

Wyrd has released a small rulebook which has the combined rules from the base game and the Rising Powers in one book. There is no fluff or character info, just the rules and the book costs a mere $15. They also are allowing players to send in their first edition miniature stat cards and get them replaced for free, but there is a deadline of March 15 to get the cards to them in a SASE. Even if you don't want to send in the old cards, you can download PDFs of the new ones from their site.

I haven't had a chance to go through the new rules, but a quick glance at them looks like they did a terrific job of compiling and illustrating the rules. Hopefully, this will spark the game getting played around here. Of course, this leaves me with the dilemma of painting my figures, which I really dislike doing these days, but I should still finish building the ones I have so I can use them.

Now I just need to track down my cards from the initial printings and get them mailed off before it is too late.
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Mon Mar 7, 2011 5:08 pm
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