Saturday, March 24, 2018

Conan 3D the Board- pardon the tabletop wargame

As a tabletop wargamer I have been toying with the idea to translate Conan to the tabletop with as little change as possible. I suspected it might yield a quite decent skirmish game that way. And it would look even better on a 3D tabletop! 

When replacing the board with a 3D environment one needs to replace the board’s funcionalities with environmental rules. Here's what I have thought up:

Speed & Movement
The figures’ speed is their Movement factor combined with the board’s areas. I don’t want to change anything in the use of the dashboards so the changes must happen in the translation from board to tabletop.

This is best accomplished by translating the Move factors to fixed Move distances on the tabletop. An average board area is about 5” across so this seems a good standard distance. I use CDs cut in half as pre-made rulers during play to avoid measuring tapes and such.

1 Movement Point equals a CDs radius. That means you can use a CDs diameter for the ususal 2 Standard Movement Points.

In the board game this is facilitated by the board areas. Figures can interact with all figures and objects in the same area and are Hindered by them.

Using similar distances as in Movement figures may interact with and are Hindered by all figures and objects within 5”/can be covered by a CD’s disk.

Measurements are taken from base edge to base edge. This gives large creatures a longer Range, which does not seem unreasonable or undesirable. When using very large creatures measurements are taken from the right front limb or edge, whatever is present.

Line of sight

This seems easy, as physical terrain pieces will block line of sight instead of the LOS dots. In the boardgame terrain is either Blocking or not. Not wanting to add any fundamental changes to the game this means that no rules are necessary regarding partial cover and such.

Since the dots are now replaced by the figures’ relative position to each other, LOS will become more complex and influential. 

Test games

We used The Amazon's Dragon from the Mythic Battles/Conan crossover set as a test scenario because the terrain could be easily represented with my own collection. It played perfectly and retained the exact same feel as the boardgame but with more freedom of movement. The scenario is a real cliffhanger so it went undecided in both test games up until the last turn. 

Care needs to be taken that the table doesn't get too big as Conan games need to be finished in a set number of turns and distances need to be covered in about the same time on the tabletop as on the board. Apart from that (and building copious amounts of terrain) it all went smoothly. 

So in building more terrain for this game there is even more fun to be had from this great game! 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

*****Stars Review! Pedal to the metal to get Gaslands!

Not for the first time on this blog will I sing the praise of the Osprey rulesets. One of their latest publications once more proves that, in the immortal words of Goethe: "Limitation shows us the master".

Despite their diminutive format, limited 64 pages and Not-Always-50+-Friendly fonts their choice for Gaslands is an excellent one!

Readers of this blog will know that I collect rulesets and am always on the prowl for that elusive combinaton of innovative rules, fast play and fun games. This is such a combination.

Gaslands is about racing in postapocalyptic cars. Think Mad Max meets Death Race 2000. The fluff is minimal (capitalistic Martian plutocrats enforce their dictatorial rule over Earth's population through racing games) but let's be frank: postapocalyptic car racing is its own fluff and doesn't need any other. The game's theme is actually the only thing that isn't innovative, since postapocalyptic car racing has been a love interest for a growing number of people ever since Roger Zelazny wrote Damnation Alley in 1967.

Enough about fluff. Let's get to the rules!

Gaslands is built up in turns which are in turn built up in 6 Gear phases. Players take turns (the First Player or player in Pole Position usually changing each turn) to move their vehicles. The higher the gear you drive in, the faster you go since you must move a vehicle in the Gear Phase that is equal or lower than your current Gear. So a vehicle in Gear 3 moves in Gear Phases 1 through 3 and a vehicle in Gear 6 moves in all of them. Once you complete the move of the vehicle, the vehicle may fire its weapons if it has any.

Shifting gears
A vehicle may roll 1 or more Gear Dice up to its Handling Factor. These dice give you either maneuvers or the opportunity to change Gear. The more Gear Dice you roll, the more options you will have and the more maneuverable you become. Or... the more risks you take to skid, slip & spin... Since you can cancel unwanted maneuvers with Shifts, but also need Shifts to accelerate and stay in the higher Gear Phases and never know how many Shifts you will roll, there are all sorts of choices to make.

The vehicles move along movement templates that differ with the gear you drive in. Your maneuvers can be spoiled in all kind of interesting ways with Slides and Spins, although these not always yield unwanted results. It's just a matter of whether that collision is desirable now, or a bit later....

Depending on the maneuver and the current Gear you get either bonus Shifts to enhance your maneuverability, or Hazard counters. Hazard Counters can be discarded with Shifts, but when not, stack up and as soon as you collect 6 your car will "Wipeout" as you lose control and the vehicle comes to a standstill in a cloud of swirling dust (when you are lucky) or a ball of flames (when you are not!).

You need higher Gears to stay in the turn, but also to acquire some maneuvers that are only allowed in higher Gears

Models and scale
Gaslands is essentially scalefree. However the author encourages to use Hotwheel scale (if there is such a thing) cars to play with. The advantage is that these are roughly 1/67 scale which can be combined with 20mm figures and terrain. As you can see you can really go to town building all kind of terrain.

Damage is caused by collisions, less succesfull wipeouts and enemy fire. This uses a simple system of chassis squares. Once they run out, you have been Wrecked!

Suffice to say this game is heartily recommended!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Batman Kickstarter. Or How I Caved In Completely....

In case you have missed it so far I will -utterly without any remorse or accountability whatsoever- point you towards the current Monolith Kickstarter for their Batman Boardgame.

Based on their Conan game engine -in itself a fantastic game- this game will usurp a lot of my 2019 painting and gaming time after its release around April 2019.

Needless to say I went all-in.... :) 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mythic Battles: Pantheon goodness, now with better and more pictures!

A month ago I received my Kickstarter of Mythic Battles: Pantheon. Another game I totally bought into because of the miniatures! And while it is a good game in its own right (I will get back to you on that one!) the miniatures really make it an exceptional one.

So I got to painting the Greek Gods that make up the pantheon. They are hardly miniatures, ranging between 60 and 100mm in height:


















Creepy Siren

And Scylla! 

Someone on Facebook asked my about my painting methods for the Poseidon figures. I wrote it all down and it seems a shame to just put it up on FB so here is the bit of text for painting the Poseidon figures as well:

Since I use all kind of paints I had to look up all the colours. I wanted to stay as close as possible to natural sea colours so I chose mainly greens and greys that naturally reinforce each other. It has become a bit of a long read I am afraid.

Let’s start with Poseidon since most of his colour schemes return in the other models.

Poseidons lower body was painted Modelcolour Extra Dark green, his upper body with ModelColour Steel Grey and his ornaments with Vallejo Brass. The trident shaft with Vallejo Dark brown Air (I find the consistency perfect even though it is made for airbrush.)

His loincloth is ModelColour Cavalry Brown and the netting GameColour Bonewhite.

His entire body is then washed with Games Workshop Nuln Oil. The ornaments were washed with strongly watered down and wiped off GameColor Jade Green to get that old bronze effect.

Once dry, the tentacles on the lower body are highlighted with a large brush and GameColour Goblin Green and (very lightly) Vallejo Yellow Green. The sucker pads are then highlighted with GameColour Squid Pink.

The light spots on the four main tentacles were inspired by a Moray Eel and are done with GameColour Ghost Grey. The little black spots are done with a 0.05 Micron pen.

The upper body was highlighted with ModelColour Light Sea Grey and once more (lightly) with ModelColour Ghost Grey. The gills in his ribs with some dark skin colour and washed with Vallejo Flesh Tone wash. His loincloth is highlighted with the same Cavalry Brown and lightly with some Red. The netting is highlighted with Bonewhite.

The glass balls (witch balls as they are called here) are Modelcolour Extra Dark green, ModelColour Jade Green “reflections” and a dot of white for light effect.

The ornaments are lightly highlighted with Vallejo Gold but not too much or the bronze effect will disappear.

All that is left then are the beach (some khaki brown undercolour highlighted with Vallejo Brown Sand and ModelColour Bonewhite) and the little details like the starfish and such. I picked them out in simple bright colours to make them stand out and added a piece of wooden coffeestick (black, highlighted grey and bonewhite) as driftwood.

The other figures are mostly done in the same way. With Scylla’s tentacles I used a lighter green for the top side of the tentacles and BoneWhite for the thorns at the side and the claw at the end but otherwise the same. Her hair is Jade green with Yellow Green highlights.

Where brown washes were used I used GW Agrax Earth Shade, which is called different these days I believe but still available.

The water effects on the Scylla base are the same colours as used for Charybdis: GameColour Imperial Blue undercolour for both. A bright blue colour (I don’t remember the name right now) highlight for Charybdis and smears in the same colour for Scylla’s base. Then lighter and smaller highlights and smears with ModelColour Ice Blue and finally White highlight on Charybdis and foam effects (more smears) on Scylla’s base.

As you can see there isn’t much fancy about my methods: applying undercolour, wash and highlight is basically it. I rarely blend any paints and haven’t done it in these figures as far as I remember. Although now I have written it all down it becomes clear why Poseidon took me so long  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

PolderCon 2018

Last weekend the annual PolderCon spectacle broke out. While no longer embroiled in the organisation I host a participation game each year. This year it was a Rogue Stars Mini Campaign in which pirates needed to find and steal a cargo and escape with a hijacked ship.

The players could choose from three different Pirate or Starcop crews.

There were of course many many more games. Since I was playing demo for most of the time I would sincerely like to thank all the people, known and unknown, who left me pictures for the next impression:

Bridge over the River Kwai

Bolt Action (I think)

Ghost Archipelago

Hans' fenomenal Barsaman game

The invasion of Breda including Peat ship

Dead Mans Hand Apocalyps

The battle of Kadesh in 2mm


Yours truly catching a breather in between games.

The spectacular Maas bridges game by May '40


Arena Rex

Black Ops WW2 demo-ed by its author

Imperial Assault 3D

It was a great gathering of games.