Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Source, May 30th, 2009 'Living Forgotten Realms' RPGA Play

So I went down to the Source for the two session LFR day yesterday. A decent crowd, with eight near full to full games.

The four afternoon sessions run were: CORE 1-3 (Core: 'Sense of Wonder', L1-4), DALE 1-2 (Dalelands: 'Blades For Daggerdale', L4-7), EAST 1-4 (East Rift: 'Darkness In Delzimmer', L1-4) & WATE 1-1 (Waterdeep: 'Heirloom', L1-4). I played in 'Heirloom' this session.

The four evening sessions run were: AKAN 1-1 (Akanul: 'The Rotting Ruins of Galain', L1-4), CORM 1-1 (Cormyr: 'The Black Knight of Arabel', L1-4), EAST 1-2: (East Rift: 'Marauder's Spear, L4-7) & TYMA 1-1 (Tymanther: 'Elder Wisdom', L1-4). I played 'The Rotting Ruins of Galain' this session.

This is a shot of prep for the first session. I played in WATE 1-1 (Waterdeep: 'Heirloom', L1-4), run by Victor (the guy at the end of the table). He did a good job as DM, and we had an interesting party. I played Sora, my L1 elf rogue. Angelica played Anias, her L4 druid. I think this was her last L1-4 with her, as she's moving her into the L4-7 sessions from now on. Tyler played Varim, his L2 swordmage, an interestingly RP'd character. He got us into a bit of trouble, but nothing we couldn't get out of. Unfortunately, his slapping of a NPC did cost us a story reward, but he did honestly RP his character. Lots of comic relief as well, though at times I think Anias (and Angelica) wanted to restrain him. ;) Brian played Tholamin, a 2L cleric. Steve played Bezoar, a L1 gnome wizard. Being a gnome did come in handy in an encounter, though I won't go into specifics as to not ruin it for future module players. I think we were one short this game as per the scheduled players.

This is a shot of our afternoon session, WATE 1-1 (Waterdeep: 'Heirloom', L1-4). Victor's running shop on the right. Angelica is on the camera side left in the green shirt. Tyler's in the black Bad Religion shirt on the right on the backside, followed right to left by Brian and Steve. I think the folks in the background are all Pokeplayers in the local Pokemon CCG group.

This is a shot of the afternoon session CORE 1-3 (Core: 'Sense of Wonder', L1-4), run by David (who I accidentally chopped partially out on the right side of the pic). I apologize to the rest of the players as I didn't get a good photo of everyone. You can also see part of Peter's DALE 1-2 (Dalelands: 'Blades For Daggerdale', L4-7) on the left.

This is a shot of Peter's afternoon DALE 1-2 (Dalelands: 'Blades For Daggerdale', L4-7). Aside from Peter (the guy at the back with sheets in hand) and Michael (the standing guy on the left), I have no clue to the names of the rest of the folks. Sorry guys!

This was Tyler's AKAN 1-1 (Akanul: 'The Rotting Ruins of Galain', L1-4). I played Sora (as usual). Amazingly, I didn't take a single HP of damage this session. Then again, I do play a rogue. Ranged weapons are your friend! I was tempted to create a L1 cleric for the second session, so I have two (eventually, hopefully) higher level characters as options. But, tradition reigns! Tyler's the guy standing at the end of the table. On the right are Nicholas in the yellow shirt and Jimmy in the rusty striped shirt. Nicholas ran the D&D Games Day a couple weeks ago at Village Games in Anoka, which can be seen in an earlier entry. Today he played Raa, a flaming redheaded 1L human wizard. Jimmy is from St Cloud. He played Kisthanis, a L1 eladrin warlord. He soaked up a ton of damage and had it not been for a well run cleric, he could very well have perished. Steve is the guy on the right, and also played in the 'Heirloom' game with me earlier in the day. He played Bezoar, as mentioned above in the 'Heirloom' game. Out of the picture next to him is Phil. Phil usually plays his rogue, but today played a L1 human cleric named Alek. Were it not for Alek, I'd wager Kisthanis (at the minimum) may have perished. Really, the party was fairly optimum as far as it's diversity in classes. We actually had an open slot in our session, and we probably could have used another meat shield (read: fighter). But we had massive ranged goodness, and I think it might have wonked the module a bit. I'd like to think, in hindsight, we could have played this one up, but I think at the very least Kisthanis would have gotten the chop. In the end, several of us leveled up to L2 this session.
All in all, a generally good day of gaming! I was a little tired in the evening, but I've been a little busy lately. I'm looking forward to the next LFR session, probably in mid June.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Village Games, May 26th, 2009 'Flames of War' Germans vs Soviets 6000 Point Battle

I swung by the Ville yesterday for 'Flames of War' day. I knew John was going to muster me into the game somehow, and of course the game keeps pulling me back in....

There were essentially four players in the game: John (on the left above), Bobby (the guy on the right in the foreground), Josh (in the background) and Herb (not shown). The game was played in 'The Cauldron' scenario format from the rules book. Herb and John played the Germans with 1500 points each, with Bobby and Josh as the Soviets, also at 1500 points each. The basic objective of the game is for the Soviet forces to hold their three objectives, which are shown (somewhat) in a pic farther down. Herb/John were pretty much a solid armor force and Bobby/Josh were a mixed force, with armor, infantry and air support.

The main objective for the Soviets was to essentially hold the area marked by the defensive works you see in the left center of the pic. The Germans job was to hold one of the objectives until the end of the Soviet's fifth or sixth turn if I remember correctly. The objectives were marked by pennies which can't be seen here, and later there was some confusion on the distance of the distance between the pennies during the placement. But we're all still learning the rules here, so...

This is a shot of the early placement/movement. John's forces are mainly in the upper portions of the table, while Herb's forces moved in from the bottom. Josh mainly operated in the area you see him in here, while Bobby more or less played the Soviet infantry/mortar/ATG guys in the center. You can see Herb's Tiger at the bottom center.

This is a decent shot showing the Soviet defence positions. Later I'd end up taking down much of the Soviet infantry and mortar positions, but most of his tanks seen in this photo would survive the game. In the rear center you see two Soviet SU-152s next to some of his tanks. In front of them is a Tiger and three Marders I believe. You can see some of Herb's armor rolling up on the right.

Well, eventually I was drafted by John to take over part of his force while he did rules checks. Mostly I was involved in the battle at the rear of the table, between Josh's and John's armor and some of Bobby's infantry. Two of Josh's SU-152s can be seen burning here, my first Flames of War kills. They were taken down by the Marders next to the Tiger.

The Tiger and the Marders would not survive the game. Soviet armor ultimately overwhelmed them and all four were lost. You can see one of the objective markers next to the white house below. The Soviet tank next to it was taken out not long after this.

This was pretty much the end of the game. Although the German forces had taken a bit of a pasting, all wasn't necessarily lost. The three German tanks next to the white house managed to survive until the end of the required Soviet turn, which was a required action for German victory. However, there were some questions about Morale checks or some such thing, and in the end the battle was declared a draw.

Everyone here is pretty much still learning the game, but it seems to be getting better. This was the first 'Flames of War' match I participated in, and I certainly enjoyed it. Once we all get the rules down, and I figure out what I'm going to play, it will be even better.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Village Games, May 23rd, 2009 'D&D Minis Arena'

After Game Day at the Ville, I stopped by the minis room for a few minutes to watch the D&D Minis Arena. Aside from the fact it's a D&D Minis, I honestly have no idea what the specifics were for this game. It seemed like they were playing in teams, or maybe there were just a few players ganging on others. Who knows.

Here's a pic I happened to snap. Sorry about the blurry hand; this was the only pic I managed to shoot of the game.

Village Games, May 23rd, 2009 'D&D Game Day'

On Saturday I attended D&D Game Day, a worldwide day of D&D gaming, at Village Games. It's a program run at game stores and other venues around the world celebrating the game.

This Game Day was themed around Monster Manual 2, and consisted of a prize quiz, a free novel introduction booklet and of course a game.

The game was called 'Journey Into the Silver Caves', and consisted of 5th level pregenerated characters. The object of the game was to retrieve a book stolen by a kobold wyrmpriest. As part of the game, we also used provided miniatures, and got to keep the minis we used.

I played Eomer (also known as Bob), a Dwarf paladin of Moradin.

Unfortunately, he was the only member of the party with heavy armor, and nearly drowned when he fell off a raft. Probably the closest he came to dying the whole adventure, though several other players had close calls. And we won't even get into the whole rust monster thing. In the end, everyone lived and we recovered the book. Yay for us!

Dwarves were not meant for the water though...

Below are a few pics of the day.

This is Nico, the bloke running the Gameday. Great guy and a future LFR judge to game with!

These are some of the guys during the game. The guy on the left is Grover, the DM.

This' part of the game being played out on one of the two mapsheets. The mini in the center with the white cloak is Eomer (aka Bob).

That's pretty much it for Game Day. If I remember anything else, I'll post it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Zuzzy Miniature Gaming Mats

I am seriously considering buying a "Zuzzy" or three gaming mats.

Probably either Despoiled Reaches or Ruined Land. I think Ruined Land would be great for a ton of different historicals, and it could be used for both fantasy & scifi mini action as well. It sort of screams WW1 "no mans land".

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pinnacle's 'Deadlands' Novel Release

Finally Pinnacle is releasing a full length novel based in their popular 'Deadlands' series. I've been a long time fan of the Deadlands system, so this is good news to me. Unfortunately, it isn't being released until GenCon. It's written by John Goff and set during The Flood. Appropriately enough, it's title is 'Deluge'.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Village Games, May 19th, 2009 'Flames of War' Germans vs Soviets 1650 Point Battle

On Tuesday evening, I stopped by Village Games, the closest LGS to my abode. I specifically went to watch a match of Flames of War, a 15mm based WW2 miniatures game. It's produced by a Kiwi company, Battlefront Miniatures. I've been reading about this game for awhile and decided to go watch a match.

I don't recall the specific setting, but as you can see it is Germans vs Soviets. It was a 1650 point game between John and Josh, with John as the Germans and Josh as the Soviets. It was largely an armor and artillery duel, although Josh's IL-2s tried to hack out John's forces on several occasions, but didn't fare too well.

The mission of the game was for Josh's Soviet forces to occupy John's German objective markers and hold them for a turn.

Here are some photos and commentary of the battle.

This was the table used. I don't have a great angle in this shot of Josh's forces, but you can see them a bit further down the page. You can see John's tanks fording the river in the upper left, his Elefant concealed in the trees in the center, and his command element in the lower left, consisting of a command unit, a Kubelwagon, a radio truck (John: "Useless!") and of course three Wespe (or is it Wespen in the plural?). Anyhow, these locations would pretty much be solid throughout the game. John also had forces in reserve to enter later in the game. I don't recall the exact numbers, but I believe it included three more Wespe and at least three other tanks.

In this shot you can see John's two objective markers in the form of the two black dice. The first is of course in front of the Elefant. The unit to the right of the Elefant are his artillery spotters. These guys seem to have played a big part in the game play for John, and survived a fair bit of the game despite Josh's best efforts to destroy them. But they ultimately fell to Josh's guns after a bit of hedge trimming. The other objective marker is the dice in the field in the background, which can better be seen in perspective in the first photo.

This is a better shot of Josh's forces in the back right side and back center of the table. Tanks, tanks and lots more tanks. In other words, Soviets. Very soon these tanks will be in...rubble. You can also see Josh's burning Katyusha rocket launchers in the rear.

Josh's IL-2s attacking John's artillery/command element. On this combat turn, Josh really laid it in on John's forces, but it did little more than scratch the paint. I think everyone at that table thought John's forces here were in for a load of pain, but miraculously they all survived. I don't think Josh was thrilled with the Sturmovik's performances, although late in the game I believe they did manage to destroy a tank or two.

John is the guy on the left, Josh on the right. At this point in the game, Josh was a hurting unit. Much of his force lay in ruin as you can see by the fire/smoke markers on the table (although some are also burning German tanks).
Eventually Josh had little choice but to try and take the objective marker in the field. Unfortunately for him, John's six Wespe plus the Elefant on the hill were waiting for him. The outcome could not bode well for Josh. That's one brave Soviet tanker (or crazy, depending on your feelings on such matters). Comrade tanker is hereby awarded the Order of Lenin (or at least an Order of Glory 3rd Class).

And this is pretty much the end of the battle. I think Josh had a few tanks left on the board plus one Katyusha and some ground personnel left. John had lost several tanks, mostly late in the game, but still retained a fair bit of his forces. In the end, Josh conceded to John.
I am new to this game, but there were a few things that really hurt Josh's game. The destruction of his Katyusha artillery, which occured right off the bat, undoubtedly hurt his game. They could have potentially rained a lot of fire down on John's forces. The inability of his IL-2s to cause any real significant damage also didn't help matters. But, as everyone here is still pretty much learning the game, the thing that really hurt Josh was probably the failure to capture the objectives in a timely manner. Josh's forces remained static too long, with his game objective being to take the dice marked objectives. John essentially sat there and picked off Josh's forces. In the end, all of these factors (and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting) led to the near demise of Josh's force. I smell a rematch though; shall comrade tankers perform better the next time around? Perhaps...
All in all, it was a good intro for me as a FoW newb. Both players were very accommodating to me as a newb and were good sports. Next Tuesday I'm going back, and will possibly take part in the fun. Until then!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Source, May 16th, 2009 'The Centurions Wargaming Gaming Group' 10mm Event

While I was waiting for folks from the RPGA to show up, I saw a couple of guys setting up what was clearly a historical wargame scenario in 10mm on The Source's sand/terrain table. The event was run by an affable guy named Elliott, a member of the Centurions Wargaming Gaming Group. They are a more laid back gaming group centered on historic wargaming. This event was a Napoleonic centered on the Austrians and the French. Also met an equally affable member of the club, Noel (I hope I'm spelling your name correctly). According to Elliott later in the day, the Austrians (if I remember correctly) did not have a good day.

Unfortunately, not all my photos of the table showed up; some were a bit blurry. I'm still working out the bugs with the camera. I've included a few below of the game and their table.

Did they ever find that MIA dice? It just upsets the whole applecart when you lose a new dice...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Source, May 16th, 2009 'Living Forgotten Realms' RPGA Play

Well, I finally decided to toss my hat into the RPGA Living campaigns. Currently, the only game in town is the Living Forgotten Realms, a network style play in the D&D Forgotten Realms setting.

I decided to make an elven L1 rogue, Sora the Swift, because I enjoy playing both elves and rogues. I considered making a cleric, which would probably have helped the groups as it seemed as if nearly everyone was playing as a Striker. I think I will draw up a cleric for the next round (on May 30th), just in case.

I've included a few shots below. I apologize for the size of the linked images (if they're linked), as they're quite large for some. Some brief explanatory info is at the bottom of each photo.

Below is a general scene of the crowd waiting for the fun to start.

This was part of our group, DM'd by Matthew, which is also coincidentally my first name. We played L1-4 AGLA 1-1, 'Lost Temple of the Fey Gods', an adventure into Aglarond to help some folks. The guy in the middle is Adam, who played a devastating fighter named Maladictus (or is it Malidictus?). He got caught up a bit in traffic on the way to the Source, but didn't miss too much. The guy to the right is Nathan, who played Funda, who IIRC was a halfling ranger. Well, he was a halfling anyways. To his right, out of frame, was Steve, aka Mortimer the Magnificent, or something to that tune. He played a halfling wizard I think, who had some interesting things up his sleeves. To his right was Justin, plating a paladin named Alexander. The insects, oh the horror! And then there was me, the lowly rogue. I did OK, but I did manage to nearly kill him during the course of the game. Overall, the module was so-so (average), but it had nothing to do with Matt's DMing. He did a very good job I'd reckon.
This group was the only L4-7. There were supposed to be two L4-7s, but apparently not enough people showed up for that level range.

This is Tyler's L1-4, BALD 1-1 "The Flames of Initiation" I believe. Tyler (the guy behind the DM screen) helped me flesh out my character, checked my sheets and so forth as I'm still a bit 4E newb, though I've been playing D&D for ages. I have a hard time separating the 3.5E & 4E rules sets in my cryo-sloshed mind, as I still play 3.5 with my usual partners in crime a fair bit. Anyhow, Tyler was a great help & a nice guy to boot. I was going to possibly play in his campaign, but the guy standing on the left was playing a rogue, and was a natural at it according to T. His brain was also unclouded from 3.5E to begin with. Maybe Jedi mind tricks are useful after all!

Overall, it was a good intro to the Living Campaigns for me, and a fun afternoon. What more do you want, besides a six demon bag?!


A hardy welcome to those visiting my blog for the first time. I've been online since the early-mid 1990s, and have seen a lot of different things come and go. I've finally gotten off my duff and decided to start my own blog, which will be centered around my "gaming life" (if there's such a thing as life outside of gaming). I have a wide interest of gaming platforms, from RPGs to miniature wargaming to electronic gaming to boardgaming. If you can name a style of gaming, I probably have played it and likely have a penchant for something in that area.

I've also recently (as in yesterday) started playing in RPGA Living Events, which will pop up from time to time along with convention stuff, tournaments, product reviews and so forth.

Game on!