Thursday, August 17, 2017

Friday Board Games - Outlive & Draconis Invasion

Continuing my week long adventure in board gaming I played another two games today, which for me is wonderful as I normally only ever get games at my club.


Link to BGG is HERE for those wanting more information.

First game of the day was Outlive and I was glad that there was a couple of YouTube videos to help me understand the game.  Watching it played sped up the setup and explanation of a new game to me.  The game mechanics were simple enough to master, the trick came in managing the resources needed maintain the rooms in your bunker and obtaining the pieces of equipment available.  The way in which you had to use your numbered meeples (they gave the action points allowed) was entertaining, the direction you could move and the fact you could not move onto a location with an existing meeple of your own... frustrating but fun.

I just managed to pull a victory on this game even though I only completed 2 of the 6 events - a 37 to 33 win.


Link to BGG is HERE for those wanting more information.

I've played this game before and it is a brutal and quick game once you have mastered the game mechanics of deck building.  The combination of terror cards being added to your deck, reducing the effectiveness of what you have to play with, and the fact that each terror card adds to a "clock" which resets after 6 but gives you a detrimental effect - though whether to you or your opponent is questionable.  Game ends when either a player kills six monsters of the event cards are exhausted.

This time neither of us managed to win against the terror!

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Massive Darkness - an OK dungeon crawl board game.


Link to BGG is HERE for those who want to know more about the game.

This week my old rebellious retainer appeared for some games (he said something about being on holidays).  He brought along with him Massive Darkness, and massive is an apt word for the game and its contents.

The game play is fairly standard for dungeon delving games.  What marked it as different was the player board - a hard plastic tray to show what your characters are equipped with and their experience points tracker.  I liked this purely for the fact that the options were all there for all to see, the experience tracker certainly beats having tokens by the dozen to spend when needed.

The dice are the game breakers in this game, you can never have more that 3 die regardless of how many extras may be generated by equipment cards.  Level 2 and 4 treasure cards were from what I could see the only ones where there were set collection equipment, level 2 had the Kings set (armour, weapon and item) where the level 4 had the Knights set (again I think it was armour, weapon and item or it may have been another piece of armour).  I obtained the Kings set and never really found another combination of items that changed my game play.  This was with my sorcerer who essentially acted as a warrior-mage, never used any magic!

The light and dark zone mechanic was an interesting concept with some abilities only working in either zone tile.

In a nutshell players would activate their characters in clockwise order.  This proved to be a pain, especially when you wanted a particular character to activate first to obtain an advantage in a certain situation.  Players could move, open doors, obtain chests, initiate combat and then spend experience. (Not in that order.)

What frustrated me until I started to see the mechanics of the game was that while you may finish a particular scenario with high level treasure items equipped, you had to have items that could be equipped at the level of the highest character in the group.  For example you may have worked your way through and obtained level 4 items, but the highest level character is 2 - when you start the next scenario you could not equip straight off the highest level items, you were restricted to level 2 only.  While during play you could hold as many items as possible, at the end and before the next game, you could only have the three pieces equipped on your player board plus up to 6.  We found that in our games we had to have and keep items of a lower level for when the circumstances required it.

The ability to use/equip items came from the board section that had activated.  Certainly racing to a board section to active your level 5 items might seem like a good idea, but it also means that the monsters activated are then level 5 and great roaming monsters than if you were still only on level 2 activation to start with.

All up the game had some game mechanics I liked and would incorporate into other home made rules, playing the scenarios as a story is by far the most rewarding way to play the game.  As this was the only way we played I couldn't comment on the other play mode.  What sold me on the game was the miniatures, I believe the set I was playing against was a Kickstarter set, so the monsters were plentiful.  The difficulty I had with the figures were that they literally could not fit onto the board sections when in play, especially if you had 8 of them!

If I were to get this game it honestly would only be for the miniatures.  The games replay-ability is limited in my opinion, there are cheaper dungeon crawl games out their.  The colour green and blue were poor choices when it came to printing on the cards, very hard to differentiate what colour was to be used.

Starting out, not even equipped yet with starting items.

The four adventures just manage to fit into a tile section
of the board, just don't add monsters!

Throw in some monsters and chests and the room tile becomes
very cluttered, and that's just one hero in there.

The EXIT, the most important place to get to to win the scenario.

Someone did not react well to the large monster, it was
I believe the largest game piece in the game

Fighting very large spider.

Another large monster.

Ajax the warrior-mage, he's supposed to me a mage but with the
equipment he was just better equipped to close combat.

Malleus the warrior-priest, favourite weapon a javelin.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Novel Update!

Writing has been fun, but slow and it's sadly going to get slower.  My lowly laptop is about to die, it's performance is fluctuating and as a penniless pensioner I've had to limit my time on the machine in the hope of getting it to last the distance.  I've been doing written notes and such, but I really hate reinventing the wheel - twice.

However with that aside my last recorded effort is 30, 460 words or 50 pages of A4.  My story plot has been developed, guidelines with an all too many deviation "set".  It's been fun to date, my index cards keep growing as I spend my time now creating my reference setting.  I'm finding that I need to update the cards as I write as there is nothing more infuriating than starting to write a section only to forget what it was you had written before and then searching (at this point of time) 50 pages.  Consistency is important, especially when you have a proof reader pointing out the anomalies you are creating.

Humid Queensland is the working title, though I'll probably change that when I'm finished.


Currently having a quiet drink with my ego, an appropriate drop "Angry Orchard", lovely bit of artwork on the bottle, so me.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Blind Pig Games Club 12th August Meet

A good day today, got in five excellent games with great people.  I got in a game of Epic Card Game, Stormweavers, Viticulture, Steampunk Rally and Machi Koro: Bright Lights, Big City.

The new game played with 7 players (can play to 8) and it's rare to find a game played where nearly all the regulars could get into the game.


Link to BGG HERE for details on the game.

Horus Heresy - the original from GW, wish I had a copy.

Players for Viticulture
Was really immersed in my games today and didn't get to check out or take photo's of other things happening.  There was 40K in play, Battle for Calth and Horus Heresy.

The next Blind Pig is September 2nd and will be an open day of fun and games with alcohol.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Blind Pig Games Club 29th July Meet

Was running late on the 29th, lost the internet with my provider on the 27th and was in conversation (read that as put on hold) about getting my service resumed.  My whole post code was affected.  However I made it to the club in time to open up just as the clubs owner arrived with the tables and terrain.

It was a good day at the club, around 20 people, possibly a few more turned up for games.  I got in six games on the day which I was very happy with. A game of Star Realms (which I just lost!), Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull, Clank!, Nightfall and two games of Downsize.  I only managed one win on the day and that was at Downsize.  First time I had played Nightfall, interesting game mechanics, will play again now I know how it plays.

The next club meet is 12th August.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

40K in play, not sure edition I'm guessing 8th?

EPIC 40K in play, the Orks won...

40K in play, 8th Ed

Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth - good to see being played.

40K 8th Ed in play.  Good to see Michael C up and about.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Blind Pig Games Club 22nd July Meet

Today was the meet for the club, after a month and a bit of no serious social gaming I was looking forward to catching up with my peers.  It was a rather chilly day today, not sure the temperature, but I really wasn't warm all day.  It's winter here in Queensland for those outside Australia, and while we don't have the severe winters other nations have it can get cold enough when the wind blows.  

I brought along a selection of games, Conquest of Planet Earth, Clank!, Star Realms Love Letter, Coup, Valley of the Kings: Afterlife, Bang the Dice Game, Welcome Back to the Dungeon, Card of the Dead, Naval War and Saboteur.  Two heavy games and lots of fillers.

While waiting for the trailer to turn up with the tabletops Pat and I had a game of Star Realms, Pat won making up for the loss he suffered at my hands from the last meet when we were also using this game as a filler.

I started the setup and was going to play Clank! but one of the regulars turned up and rather than have him hand on waiting I gave up my seat to act as rules guru (yes a joke I know) and the drawer of the dragons rage!  Poor Simon who played green, I swear the cubes must be lighter than all the others of my hand could sense colours!  Michael who I gave my seat up for actually won the game in the end.  The laughter and enjoyment people had over playing this game made the purchase all the more justified.  So I highly recommend game.

Michael who won Clank! had been asked by me to bring his copy of Viticulture, which plays up to six and we got the six people to play.  This is another game that went down well with those who played and everyone is looking forward to another chance to play now that they know the rules.

Valley of the Kings: Afterlife was the closing game for the day.  I managed a win, which is in itself highly unusual.

Paul the owner of Blind Pig and BPLaser brought along his latest project the Sailing Ship, and it is awesome!  I must have two when I can afford it, when I have no idea it all mounts up the bills, but I shall have to have two, just to have boarding actions and the like.

The clubs next meet is the 29th July which is a week away.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

40K 8th Edition in action.

Arab-Israeli War boardgame - AH game I believe.

Clank! in action.

BPLasers new release - the sailing ship.

Viticulture in play from my play board!

Viticulture in play!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My best friend - Pippin

Here is the chap who currently keeps me sane and on this plane of existence.  He's not feeling very well at present and is spending a lot of time on my lap asleep or next to me.  This worries me a lot, as a penniless pensioner I really can't afford to send him to the vet, I hope that as he's only just over 1 years old he'll improve.   I hope it's a cold or something similar.

His name is Pippen, he was a gift to my daughter from a past boyfriend.  Initially I did not like dogs, I am and still am a cat person, however this little fellow has wormed his way into my heart. He is now one of the family, I love him very much.  I hope you enjoy the photographs of my little chap.

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Hello I've just had a bath and I look SHINY!

WOOF!  Who put my toy all the way over there?
I look like a bloody Ewok and Dad hates bloody Ewoks!

Am I gorgeous or what?

Play time.

Sleep time.

I'll just wake up the sleeping cat, honestly just what can go wrong...

Smile Dad I love you!

ADDENDUM: 19/07/17 Little man is well again, all is well in the world of dogs and men.  He has a nice bone to chew on and is chasing the cat around the house as if the period of melancholy was just an aberration.  Currently out in the yard doing a poo!  No I won't share photo...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Novel progress continues

"Stay on target", those words from Star Wars, well they call it A New Hope or Episode IV, but to me it was Star Wars before all the hype... yes where was I...  "Stay on target", yes no target lock here at present.  I'll start again with my novel progress which is going well, I've sat down and done the sums; I've done a rough sketch of the plot, but that's changing as I throw my ideas into the mix as I go along.


I writing anywhere from two to five thousand words a day depending on the mood and distractions.  I'm aiming at about 270-280,000 words for the initial novel, it can either stand alone or be part of a grandiose plot of seven books.  Now if I write on a good day the 5000 words I am doing at present that will mean in 56 days the lot will be done, just under two months.  I think three months is more than likely.  I think probably one month for revision and reworking.  At the rate things happen I'd think December is when it's likely to all come together.  Of course I need to see about the business of publishing and all the other foibles that come with this, but a friend of mine has told be about the publishing rout he took with Amazon.  Still early days yet, I may give up and find something else to be distracted by.  Who knows where this will lead?

As of 17:07:17 - 25,976 words (43 pages A4)

Till next time

The Hon. John

The 13th Doctor - Unlucky for some?

I woke up this morning (about 5am) to the news that the BBC in it's wisdom has chosen to regenerate the Doctor, one of my all time favourite Science Fiction characters into a woman!  What can I say I was aghast, appalled, flummoxed, then the apathy set in and the realisation that no matter how I felt it didn't make any difference in the long run.

It is appropriate perhaps that they chose the number thirteen as the regeneration number for a female time lord?  Certainly if it doesn't go well, then the augurs will say - well the stars were right.  I have no problems with let me say female actors in lead roles, persons of non-traditional sexes etc being given lead or roles in cinema or television.  

Getting back on track though, this move by the BBC which was aired at the end of the Men Wimbledon Final has according to one media source divided the community.  If I was the numbers man at the BBC and worried about sales revenue, I'd be worried.  If, and lets look at strict hypothetical, 50% of fans left, and if you pick up say 20% of feminists who are happy a woman has been chosen, say 10% for the looney left side of the political correct side of the world, then you are probably looking at a drop of 20% in sales merchandise, viewing and ticketing.  That's suicide by any shows future, so why have they done it?  Who knows?  Certainly you can always have the previous actors attend events promoting the DW universe, but the 13th?  Well, you've got controversy in a TARDIS.

As a conservative old stick in the mud I won't be watching the 13th Doctor.  If I do it will be under protest and only due to the fact I can't escape the room.  I will probably relate to this incarnation as the Paul McGann incarnation, one that is on the records, but no one really wants to remember.

Will this be the last season of Doctor Who?  Will there be such a back lash that the BBC back down and say April Fools, it's really the chap who's writing this blog! (Oh wouldn't that be a jest.)  Time will tell.

ADDENDUM: 11AM approx.  Good lord has the vitriol been flying to say the least.  This is almost as good as Julia Gilliard and her misogynist quote.  It's all to do about feminists now and how dare you have a say that against progressive television programming and the people?  A bit like Brexit and other popularist movements I guess?  I have no idea how the BBC will jump on this, I guess like the left wing body it is (like our ABC) it will ignore the old fart like me and go for the new age or vocal minorities, then I guess it will be down to the ratings in the long run.  Will Doctor Who survive, I have no idea.  Personally John Pertwee as the doctor I most enjoyed (as was Roger Delgado as the Master) as was time period, never really enjoyed the others after that, but that's just me.  Some are good, some are "bad" all by a persons personal taste.  As I think I stated somewhere, it's just a television series.  They come and they go, this one may be about to go...

Till next time.

The Hon. John

Solo Adventuring - Runebound 2nd Edition

See the previous post re my first play of Runebound 2nd Edition.  There were lessons to be learnt, i.e. I read the rules.  Yes I picked up on a number of things that were done wrong, quite a few, but in the end as long as we were consistent with our errors and had fun did it really matter!


I have used the Solo rules found on Board Game Geek the link can be found HERE

The tracker board I used can also be downloaded from the same site HERE

Almost forgot to include the most important photo of the day, the setup and play.
I decided I like Red Scorpion, the state line was good (in my opinion across the entire spectrum), I'd played her in the last game and wanted to see how she fared in the solo.  So here we go.


Above the the lady of action at her peak before she ran afoul of the Brood of the Blood Mother and lost everything, the armour game later, I just included it just to reflect how cool she would have been had things not ended the way they did.

Turn 1

Red Scorpion won, but was wounded.  The thing we did not pick up on in our previous game was that when wounded or exhausted you only roll 4 die when rolling to move.  Big difference that would have made, but I know now and in future games.
Using the solo rules from BoardGameGeek which introduces a Step 6 (now it did take me a while to get my head around Terror level, Terror Difficulty, Doom tokens pool etc, but I think I got it right in the end... I hope).  I rolled a 16 added 1 for the Doom token that had appeared, which resulted in 17.  A result less that the difficulty level of 20 (which I was starting on for new players) and the result was +1 Doom token added to the play board.  They say pool, which I am assuming means the map board, i.e. in play.
End of Turn: Terror Track 0; Doom 2

Turn 2

A double whammy.  First card drawn was harmless enough thankfully, some money down the track for when I needed it.  Next was the Mistress of the Ferrox.  Sadly Red Scorpion was proving not as agile or diplomatic as she should have been and failed the test, which meant I had to win any melee or I'd be taking 2 instead of the 0 as listed above.  In the end I won the combat though the damage was creeping up on my character, I'd have to visit a town soon.  The card was a keeper which meant that it did not go onto the track and trigger a Doom token placement.  However I still had to play Step 6.  Roll: 11 + 2 Doom = 13 less than 20 = + 1 Doom token to play.
End of Turn: Terror Track 0; Doom 3

Turn 3
Dashed into Tamalir and drew a card as the first action - Shield of Light one gold short damn. It was the only item I could buy (Tamalir being the starting city), Hire and Ally was not an option, Sell and Item - I wish, Buy Healing - yes please, which I did 2 gold to heal two wounds.
Step 6: 18 + 3 Doom = 21 more than 20 = +1 Threat Level remove all Doom tokens
End of Turn: Terror Track 1; Doom 0

Turn 4

Found a Nest of Bane Spiders and have come to the conclusion that I am not the best when it comes to testing for Before Combat tests.  Failed this one BUT Red Scorpion allowed me to use 1 fatigue to avoid 1 wound which I chose to use.  I live for the moment!
I fought my way through, I won I took the chance and was rewarded - yes I really was for those who may think as people do of those who play solo games (he cheated what are the odds of that happening), I drew an honor Sword Ally worth the 5 gold or less who joined me - yea!
Step 6: 19 + 1 Doom = 20 = +1 Threat level remove all Doom tokens
End of Turn: Terror Track 2; Doom 0

Turn 5

Wounded and exhausted movement was down to the four die again.
Dispatched.  Reward 2 gold. Finally enough experience for an increase, choose +2 bonus to Mind attribute.  Step 6: 20 + 2 Doom = 22 = +1 Threat level remove all Doom tokens
End of Turn: Terror Track 3; Doom 0

Turn 6

Defeated Lord Vorakesh.  Recieved the reward was not successful in obtaining an Artifact from the market, lightning does not strike twice in the same place...  Doom token placed.
Step 6: 16 + 1 Doom = 17 = +1 Doom Token
End of Turn: Terror Track 2; Doom 2

Turn 7
Decide I need that gold from the Hidden Treasure card and elect to stop in a forest hex.  Thankfully no encounter.  Gain 3 gold.
Step 6: 12 + 2 Doom = 14 = +1 Doom Token
End of Turn: Terror Track 2; Doom 3

Turn 8

Go to town of Forge. Buys Mirror of Shael.
Step 6: 18 + 3 = 21 = +1 Threat level remove all Doom tokens
End of Turn: Terror Track 3; Doom 0

Turn 9

The Artifact I purchased in the turn before came in very handy, allowing me to survive this encounter - just.  The way I worked the combat, winning the Mind, the ally winning the Body, and yes I did loose the Spirit taking 3 damage but with my ability I only lost 2 wounds, inflicted 1 from the artifact onto Lady Vorakesh and thus defeated her.  Gained 1 Gold and kept the card, a bonus.  The experience earned allowed me to gain +2 to Body attribute.
Step 6: 11 + 0 = 11 = +1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3; Doom 1

Turn 10

Yet again I failed a Before Combat test - can't swim this time, was this a taste of things to come?  I had become too cocky with my ability to fight my way of danger and it all came back to get me.  In the end I lost.  So what happens when you lose?  Well I discard all my wound and exhaustion counters - yea!  Discard all my gold to the bank - boo! Discard my highest cost Ally or Item, well there went the Artifact, damn it!  Move to the nearest town - Frostgate.  Undefeated challenge encounter stays awaiting me to return - not bloody likely...
Step 6: 14 + 1 = 15 = + 1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3, Doom 2

Turn 11

A fresh start, a least my stats had not been stripped and while I had lost my nice shiny artifact my loyal Ally was still with me.  I shall rename him Cannon Fodder.
A Watery Shortcut will more than likely be a watery grave for me seeing I can't make my tests these days.  However I did win the battle with the wasps, and took my 2 gold.
Step 6: 12 + 2 = 14 = + 1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3, Doom 3

Turn 12

On a roll here, the Razorwing was dispatched easily enough.  1 gold reward.
Step 6: 12 + 3 = 15 = + 1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3, Doom 4

Turn 13

Success Farrow's Outriders destroyed.  4 experience exchanged for +2 bonus for Spirit.  So at this stage I've spread it evenly across all three attributes. Doom track advances
Step 6: 10 + 4 = 14 = + 1 Doom token
End of Turn: Terror Track 3, Doom 6

Turn 14

First Before Combat test past.  Managed to fight the plant and find a suit of Padded Leather Armour (3 gold).  This added a doom token making 7 in play.
Step 6: 12 + 6 = 18 = + 1 Doom token

END GAME!
I removed all the event and encounter cards from the red deck (hmmm 1, I only have the base set).  Shuffled the red deck... do you feel the tension building I do, there is no way in hell my pitiful character is going to survive against anything in the red deck with the advancements she has...
Draw the top Challenge card, you cannot escape (please!) - FIGHT TO THE DEATH, fight all challengers until your death at the claws of High Lord Margath, or if you are lucky and defeat him then you are allowed to go home.

I drew.... dum dum dum...

I shan't bore you with a blow by blow description but needless to say it was a very one sided battle.  I did manage to last to the second round of battle with the beastie before being roasted alive.

Addendum:  I forget to include - I LOST.  How could people not gather this?  Honestly!  Sorry in future I will make sure that I properly check my work to ensure you are not left hanging on a knifes edge as to whether or not I was alive or dead (my character that is), BUT I had thought it was rather obvious...  :)

SUMMARY
Did I enjoy myself - YES.
Will I play this again solo - YES, though more people the merrier.
Did I stuff up the rules and make a couple of errors - YES, but who doesn't, I'm sure someone will point out something I did wrong.  Just be nice when you do.

So there you have it.  I acknowledge the ownership by the way of the artwork of the original owners, etc etc.  I'll take down if directed, but seeing that the edition has now gone to 3rd I'm not sure what is or isn't still used.  It's purely for example of play and instruction.

Till next time.

The Hon. John