Friday, April 26, 2013

"It seems you feel our work is not a benefit to the public."

"Why do I steal fabricants?... because it’s the only well-paying job
in the city. In Hefei, you either serve food on the street, fix fabricants,
or steal fabricants. Besides, it is not really wrong. There are
10 million of them in the city. The companies won’t miss one or two..."

As a fan of the Four-Color Studios Goalsystem, I just raised my pledge to the Ghosts of Hefei kickstarter. Really, it would be worth it for those figs alone. And this is the kind of game for which Kickstarter was created. Consider coughing in a few bucks, or if you already have, finding a couple more to throw at it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

time to stomp Tokyo

Been a busy month out here, just not as much gaming filling the gaps. Sneaking in some painting, to be put up here soon, but wanted to add a quick note about another fun board game the wife and I tried out last week.

King of Tokyo is a fast and fun romp. You play one of the massive monsters/giant robots/huge aliens seeking to destroy Tokyo, but you have to beat the competition first. Each turn, a player rolls the dice up to three times, setting aside any dice they want to keep. You can roll hearts (to heal,) energy (to save up and buy special power cards,) victory points (to win!,) or attacks (to SMASH.) In true king-of-the-hill style, any monster outside the city can hurt the one monster inside the city, but the monster in the city can hurt ALL the monsters outside with a successful attack. One the monster inside the city takes damage, though, they can switch places with the beast that damaged them, leading to some tactical calculations. And if you start your turn as the monster in the middle, you get victory points. 

The game is quick and fun, and a great way to spend an hour or so. If/when I pick it up, the first thing I will do is replace the cardboard beast the game includes with some re-purposed Monsterpocalpse minis, because of course.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

League of steampunk skirmish? Yes please.

"It is 1895 and the world is in turmoil. In the decades to come historians will reflect upon the cause of this state of affairs and many will point at Charles Babbage. His perfection of his Difference Engine and then his Analytical Engine gave the new scientific establishments in the great imperial nations the tool they had so long needed in order to make a great leap forward. The ability to make huge and repeatable sets of complex calculations revolutionized the world. 
"Within twenty years we had the perfection of miniaturized steam engines, electric light and motors, Radium Bricks, Arc weapons, Hydrogen and latterly Helium Dirigibles, Road Trains, Calculating Artillery Engines, Sea and Land Dreadnoughts and, well, the list is almost endless. Nothing is impossible when the wealth of a great nation is coupled to the unlimited imagination of educated men of science and their engineers..." 
In the past I mentioned that while I was all over Empire of the Dead, in the end I didn't get in on the most recent Kickstarter, in favor of dumping money on Zombicide 2 instead. But just reading through it reminded me how much I love that convergence of steampunk and dark Victoriana and what have you. Fiddling with the idea of a 7tv steampunk game distracted me for a bit; that may still happen at some point, especially when our Blackwater Gulch figs come in. (See how my mind works? Just keeps going and going...)

But really, for me, it always comes back to the League. Even before I started branching out into pulp gaming, I had been keeping a list of figs to get to convert the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I loved the comics, and adored the concept and the setting, all the fiddly historical details and discreet references to obscure literature.* (And truth be told, even that goes back to Anno Dracula, which was written by one Kim Newman, bringing everything back to gaming. Full circle!) There's a definite allure to the anything-goes feeling of pulp adventure, and when you get to bring in excellent characters like that (or a pastiche version of them) it really strikes a chord with me. A cowboy game is good, but bring in a masked man in black with a bullwhip and a rapier, and I'm hooked.

So when I ran across In Her Majesty's Name by North Star, my curiousity was roused. Equal parts steampunk and AE-WWII-style historical revisionism, this is straight up my alley. I don't have any real experience with Osprey's rules, but this post on the development of the game definitely sounds like it's worth investigating. Other posts in that blog gave me even more confidence in the direction they were taking, and this thread notes some of the other companies and clues. They're running a pre-order, which is a not-Kickstarter, but will likely net you a couple extra figs if you order ahead of time. I'm already brimming with ideas.

* - I also... didn't entirely hate the movie? No, it was bad, but they did bring in a couple good ideas.