Sunday 29 December 2013

Ogre Haul

Well this year was not one of over whelming wargaming goodies under the tree, but what was lost in quantity was made up for with quality.  Besides getting a copy of Risk: The Dalek Invasion of Earth I also got Charley's War: The End, the highly acclaimed Pat Mills story illustrated by the late great Joe Colquhoun.  The tenth and final volume of the story, which is a must read for everyone who has an interest in WW1, especially a this year is the 100th anniversary of the start of the war that changed the face of Europe, and the world.

Not a Xmas present as such, as I ordered some Ogre miniatures back in October, but due to the amount of Ogre Designer Editions that had to be posted by Steve Jackson Games there was a little bit of a back log at Warehouse 23 that meant delays on getting other stuff out.  Still I am very happy with my Doppelsoldner, Ninja, Mark 3, command post and spare Fencer turret arriving in time for Xmas.  So well done to all the staff at Warehouse 23 for doing such an excellent job, and  I do hope all the staff had a nice break over the holiday period.

Friday 27 December 2013

Dalek Invasion Earth

Well today I managed to persuade my beloved non-wargaming spouse to play a game of Risk: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, which I had been given for Xmas.  In the excitement to set-up the game board and play I had forgotten that there were already rules for two player games; after I had dealt three factions out, with the third being nominally controlled by the plush toy kitten's.  They represented a neutral Dalek faction that would attack with each of us controlling their forces on alternate moves.

What is nice about the new editions of Risk is that there are ways to end the game in a reasonable period of time.  In this case the game ends on the eleventh regeneration of the Doctor.  You track his regenerations by using a Clara token that progresses each time a player's turn begins, with some of the slots making you roll a D6 to see if he takes another regeneration if you fail the roll.  So games can theoretically be much shorter than eleven rounds.  Ours was over in two hours, which was mostly down to having to read the special rules, refreshing my memory on how the game plays and taking the pictures for the blog.

The other twist to this version of Risk is the TARDIS moving randomly around the board and wherever it lands no movement or fighting may occur.  Other bits of chrome are the Mission cards that give one bonus Daleks for conquering certain territories, and Power cards that can either reduce or increase the number of Daleks one gets at the beginning of your turn, on top of the usual amount that one is entitled to.  One of the Power cards allows you to move the TARDIS to another territory.  However, after counting the cards at the end of the game the odds are you will lose Daleks more often than you will gain them.

As usual every territory you successfully invade gets you a card that you save up and cash in for more Daleks, based not on sets, but on the number of stars on the card.  More stars equals more Daleks.  Our game ended with the plush toy kittens having the most territories, but if the Doctor hadn't regenerated then my partner was about to hand in a heap load of cards and sweep all who stood in their way off the board.

Of course I know that the rabid Dalek fans who are reading this really want to know if the miniatures in this game fulfill their need for 15mm scale Daleks for wargaming.  The answer is yes, but I would want to replace the plunger arms with pins as the moulded Daleks do not have plungers on the end of the arms.

As you can see above the small Daleks are very compatible with my old white metal ones from thirty years ago.  The mid-size ones appear to be a good match for 20mm games, and the large for 28mm wargaming.  However, do note that two of the five factions are mouldings of the New Paradigm Daleks and they suck.  More details on contents here and where to buy it here.

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Xmas Salutations 2013

May I wish all my readers a wonderful Xmas holiday and I hope that you all have a fun filled day tomorrow opening presents and eating good food with friends and family.

Friday 20 December 2013

Combine Forces Weathering


Last week I showed you all the basic colour scheme for my Ogreverse North American Combine force.  This week I've been suffering with the Red Dragon lurg, so called because the first person to have it came came from the RD lab at Imperial College.  So I've been feeling a bit under the weather and not sleeping well.

In spite of this I have managed to put three washes on my Combine miniatures, which is what I'm showing off today.  I've just started the next round of going back and highlighting the yellow, and hopefully I will get these finished by next weekend, even with Xmas being in the way.

These models are enough that I can now run a basic Mark 3 Ogre attack, if I had a Pan European Mark 3 Ogre, which I don't.  So much for that plan.  Still, if my parcel ever arrives from Warehouse 23 then I will be able to rectify this shortfall.  More importantly once these are done I will put the tray of Combine castings on my workbench and start cleaning them up and adding magnets for the turrets.  I'm also planning on building up that original Mark 4 I have too.  The excitement here is almost unbearable.  Soon I shall be able to roll my horde of Combine armour and infantry into Europe and sweep all away in front of me and here the lament of the women, or something like that.

Still it will be nice to be able to play Ogre/GEV games with miniatures on the new hex maps of the Designer Edition.  I'm also thinking about some mini-campaign rules to generate battles that auto-generate force choices and scenario victory conditions that goes outside of the Steve Jackson Games of making sure that the games are balanced, because sometime unbalanced games are more fun to play; as long as the victory conditions are satisfying and allow both players to feel that they have achieved something worthwhile.  More thoughts about this as and when I have them.

Saturday 14 December 2013

Combine Forces Expansion

This is an update to my entry that I posted back in September last year.  It has taken this long for me to get around to starting painting again.  This is partly down to being too immersed in my writing, and partially down to inertia, since I find that when I get out of the habit of doing something I find it hard to start up again.

Anyway, after last weekends demo games at Dragonmeet I felt inspired to start cracking on the above models and get the basic camouflage scheme down.  They are now ready for weathering and then finishing off.  Once I start that I will then move on to the next tray of unpainted Combine miniatures that I have put out to be worked on.

On Friday Roger came around and we played a couple of games of Ogre, which was really nice.  The first game was a basic Mark 3 attack, which he won.  The second game we played the two Mark 3s attacking with more defenders, which I won.  I played the Ogre both time, and I feel I'm actually a better defender than I am an Attacking Ogre player.  I suppose this is down to preferring not to have all my eggs in one basket.  Next time I play Roger I can ramp up the pressure on him by getting him to play with two less units as I did when I played the demo games last weekend, as I now think he has a good understanding of the subtleties of the game.

Hopefully, I will be able to show something next week.  Have a nice time, and I'll catch you all on the bounce.

Sunday 8 December 2013

Dragonmeet 2013

My second year at Dragonmeet as a MiB demoing Ogre, with an example of the 6th Designer Edition to show on display to overwhelm all those who passed the tables with its sweet Ogre goodness, and by sweet I mean wicked awesome contents.

I arrive toting my box of lead miniatres only to find that the new Ogre box weighs more than my collection of metal miniatures.  How extreme is that?  Totally extreme.  Roger had set up the orange map and I put out a force with three each of the GEVs, missile tanks and heavy tanks with one howitzer and command post and eighteen infantry for the demo games (I handicapped myself to make it easier for the new players to win, as last year I found it was too easy for me to walk all over the Ogre).

I was pretty much nailed to the chair throughout the day, apart from the necessary toilet breaks and going to get a coffee and a sandwich at lunch.  Didn't really get to look around the show as I was having way too much fun playing Ogre.  Roger spelled me for one game and I ran the rest during the course of the day.  All but one of the players I demoed the game achieved victory, with ironically the most experienced gamer losing to me, which was the only game I won, which I thought was a good outcome.

The highlight game was taken the two young lads who had played in a game with their father/uncle and treating them to a Mark 3 cybertank each and upping the defenders accordingly and letting them have at it.  They had to stop before finishing the game as they had to go off, but they were well on the way to winning and they appeared to have a good time.


Sunday 1 December 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

A bit of a belated post about Thanksgiving, because I've been far too busy doing other stuff including enjoying Thanksgiving.

As you can see we had a Turkey and all the trimming and I sat down with friends and family and had a most enjoyable evening.  On other fronts I finished the first draft of my third novel this week, which has kept me busy, went to a friend's book launch and attended a birthday party come Xmas party every year by three friends of mine who run a joint gathering together.  So the last few days have been a bit full on.

Now that is all dealt with I can start work on my review for Gruntz for Miniature Wargames and a review of Ogre 6th Designer edition too, which I'm over the moon about.  So I hope you all had a good holiday and I'll catch you all on the bounce.