Thursday, 31 May 2018

UK Games Expo 2018

Yes indeed.  It is almost time for the UK Games Expo.  I will be travelling down later with some friends.  I booked a room at the Metropole this year, at great expense - the cost has been doubling each year I've been going.  I think next year the plan is just to rent an AirBnB for the weekend and we'll just split the cost of parking each day.  There has to be a point where the hotels stop raising their prices... but I doubt it's any time soon.

While at the Expo, the plan is to play as many different things as possible this year, pick up some more D&D goodies, and maybe flesh out my Prefecture purchases so we can begin testing for Risen Sun over the next few weeks.  I expect Jason and I will have a sit down and discuss fine tuning profiles.  We've already revised a few things for simplicity and did a little re-jigging so that things require less long term bookkeeping.  The most common problem we have is coming up with ability names that aren't terrible Google-translate misanthropes.  This is where my writing background actually comes in handy - or I discover I've managed to come up with  the same name as something in L5R... that's happened at least 3 times so far.

Bit of drama on the Facebook front, Aaron in the US had a bit of an issue with someone on Facebook and has since quit the game and ditched his volunteering Retainer-stuff.  Pity really, he did good work at Adepticon and was prepared to do all the groundwork for the game.

Back to the Expo however, I won't be playing in the tournament this year - as usual - so I'll be running things again.  I didn't enjoy playing the bye players at BonesCon, it was very much akin to how I think kicking puppies would feel like, and there were some truly odd ways some people were interpreting the rules.  This time I'll go back to full time Rules Guy, and I can patrol between the tables again.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Man With No Name

Had my first game involving Toshiro, the show special ronin, today.  And holy jeeblars he changes the game.  He's meant to, but even so, he does it in a really odd way.  Since everything with damage on it suddenly becomes Aggressive, the game turns into a bloodbath in a hurry.

After a few games against him, I think I've figured out how he changes the game.  As everything becomes Aggressive eventually, the game becomes focused on the alpha-strike.  Whomever attacks first has a distinct advantage.  This is probably why my Jung Pirates got destroyed, but my Ito Clan could just keep fighting.  The Ito Clan are really focused on being able to attack first, so Toshiro doesn't change the way they play too much.  Opponents of the Ito Clan might be the active player, but they rarely have the Initiative in a Melee Exchange.

My new Prefecture models arrived and I was busy gluing my fingers to bases and bits of metal while trying to put the miniatures together.  I do appreciate just how few pieces most of the Prefecture models are though.  Most of the starter box are single piece miniatures.  First up on the painting table will probably be Atsushi and Shinobu because they’re awesome miniatures.  I’m going to save Kioshi for quite late on since he’s my current favourite.  Hopefully I’ll have them all painted for just after the UK Games Expo so Risen Sun testing can commence proper.  I look forward to having 6+ pass tokens most turns.

There's been a lot of discussion about the new Death & Decay theme that was added, and I'm really surprised that people are having trouble with the basic Death & Decay.  It's not a hard warband to fight against, you just need to stop thinking you can kill kairai.  Simply use any special that lets you move them or your model and you end up shuffling them around the board.  The real problem is the Desecrated Grave, but that's already been sorted out in Risen Sun.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

No Tortoise, Just Hare

I was looking at my all-time most popular posts on this blog in its various incarnations, and I was somewhat surprised to see the old tactical advice I wrote a long time ago concerning things like threat range and board control for Warmahordes.  So I loaded up the old articles, and I'm still quite proud of how they were written.  I'm disappointed in myself for using actual people, especially to illustrate negative points.  Still, there was a lot of good information in those articles despite my person skew on a few things like netdecking.  Once the new edition hits, I'll have to rewrite the articles to keep them current.  I'll probably also write a few on specific factions while I'm at it.

Jason and I spent the better part of a day going through special cards in the next edition and tweaking a few other things while we were at it.  My favourite work of the evening was coming up with the Hare clan mechanics.  The Hare clan profiles - Kioshi, Iiju, and Atsushi - were very diverse, but we came up with a way to link them all, and it does so in a way that is highly complementary to the existing Prefecture identity.  Satou Kioshi may actually be my favourite profile at the moment.  The clan's surname also got fixed while we were at it.

I've ordered a fair number of Prefecture miniatures, so expect to see some reports on how they play in Risen Sun over the next few months.  My first warband test will probably be the Hare warband, and then I think I'll move onto the more traditional warbands for the Prefecture.  There's some interesting things I'd like to try out with Bikou too since she pulls in some tricks from the Kage Kaze Zoku, but those can wait.

Part 2 of the narrative is here: Blood of the Dragon.  I wasn't happy with the last page and a bit of this one, it felt a little awkward and I'd probably rework it if I had to.  But I don't!  So awkward it remains.  Okay, okay.  It irritated me enough that I rewrote the last page entirely.