Family Fun (Actual play)

Ran a game this week! AND I finally killed one of the bastards – even if the Cleric managed to save him shortly thereafter.

I was down in Oregon for my cousin’s wedding (glorious: the groom wore a Regency riding-coat, purple silk waistcoat and cravat, and pulled it off), and crashed at my sister’s place for a few nights.

We wound up with almost the entire family around a table for the first time in ages (missing 2 brothers due to work). It’s been a LONG time since I’ve had to run 8 people at once. Fortunately, we had a fairly sober table (‘cept for the drunken goat and his pet Irishman), which made things much easier. The game itself continues to run fast and clean. I tested out the LotFP fast-roll sheets (see the house rules link, above), which worked like a charm; the equipment lists continue to be a sticking point, however, and I think I may just need to set up some of my patented “Generic Adventuring Packs” on 3×5 cards again. More on that later. Still, I actually had players deliberately minimizing their gear to avoid encumbrance penalties, buying pack-animals, and using their remaining gear and weapons in much more creative ways. Guns continue to be a huge hit with the players, and a great deal of fun to manage; strategic misfires changed the outcome of several fights. I found a few minor points on the gun sheets I need to clean up and make clearer, so those will be addressed soon.   The players also continue to avoid spellcasting like the plague*, making me a sad monkey. Time to break out the wizards…

*Current total of characters rolled up for my games: 6 Specialists, 5 Fighters, 2 Savages (both shamans), 1 Cleric, and 0 Mages.

The players, in order of seniority:
• Malcom O’Maihle, Irish Whitesmith (Specialist). Notable items: cold iron dagger, tinsmithing gear, and Oliver the English Goat (“Called him that so I could beat him without feelin’ too guilty”) [Dad]
• Guysponge Fourpwood, Mighty Pirate (Fighter). Notable items: Fat sack of cash, Kettle Hat, Pig Latin proficiency. [Sister #1]
• Arturus Falconwrath, Dilettante and Upper-class Twit (Specialist). Notable Items: Elspeth the Camel-sheep (a pack-llama), Rifled carbine, attitude, disownment from family. [Sister #2]
• Giselle, Venetian whore Spy (Specialist). Kelptomania, hourglass, lockpicks, other tools of trade. History with “Arturus”. [Wife]
• Matahi, South-Seas Harpooner [Savage]. Taboos out the ass, shark-tooth sword, flensing knife, harpoons, the Arm of Zotz (God, I love that spell), assorted shaman’s tools. [Brother #2]
•  Kerwin, German Jäeger [Fighter]. Uniform, rifle, one of the only German-speakers in the party. Excellent character portrait. [Sister #3]
• Rajahan, Persian mercenary [Fighter]. One of the few players who brought shelter. Someone’s going to sleep way better than the rest.. [Sister #4]
• James, Cleric. Had Holy water and a good old “Holy-water sprinkler”. Only PC with a shield or armor heavier than a buffcoat. [Brother #4]

Plus one character who went unplayed due to its owner deciding that bed was the better alternative to math.

Scenario: Players are shipwrecked on the Isle of the Forgotten; items are what they’ve managed to salvage/lay claim on. The party were on two separate ships, both wrecked in the same storm, and of several differing religions, which I forsee making life interesting if we pick these poor bastards up again.  Mild spoilers for “Better Than any Man” below the cut, so if you still haven’t read it, go get it. (I re-skinned the Farmhouse complex from BTaM on the fly into a recently-raided Polynesian village.)



What I did this Weekend (Fallout, Crimson Skies, Borderlands)

Re-installed Fallout and Fallout 2 again on Friday (from actual factual disks! Yes, kids, I’m that old..), and spent the weekend in a happy haze blasting mutants. I’m playing with a crapload of patches, of course – raw, the games are playable but lovably buggy (like everything else from Bethesda/Black Isle). You can pick up most of the patches here (link). I recommend the High-res pack, 1.02 official, and 1.03 fan-patch for Fallout, and the “Restoration” mod plus the official patch and the high-res patch for Fallout 2. The restoration patch in particular has made this a much more enjoyable experience for me, what with all the things I haven’t actually played through like 15 times before – although it did bugger up a bit; little girls have been replaced with Mr. Handies. That gave me a bit of a pause: strolling into Klamath Falls the first time, and seeing like six sentry droids running for me demanding candy and hugs. Damned near earned the Child-killer perk a mite early.

On that note, Fallout inflamed my post-apoc gun-fest itch, so I’ve done some more writing on the Guns Guns Guns! Vault-Hunter’s Brochure, finishing off the basic character generation chapter and adding in some more critters to blast. It’s still not ready for release, but another couple of days of work and it’ll be ready for playtesting.

As if I didn’t have enough on the plate, visiting brother #3 (who may be becoming a permanent roommate? Time will tell) has also reignited my raging boner for Crimson Skies. It looks like a perfect candidate for Fantasy Flight’s Flightpath system (read: X-Wing/Attack Wing). Yes, I know there’s already a tabletop system. Two, in fact, but Clix still sucks donkey balls, especially for dogfighting.

Not just for PC and XBox, folks!

Not just for PC and XBox, folks!

But I like the feel of Flightpath. The point-buy system would need slight modification, however, to accommodate the Crimson Skies Ace/Wingman unit structure. I’m thinking certain pilot cards need to be labelled as “wingman” rather than forcing all wingies to be generic. Wingies would give the flight additional abilities, even if they’re not necessarily great buys; “Brooklyn” Betty, for example, could grant an additional evade die to her flight (her constant radio chatter, her own admittedly good piloting skill) despite her abysmal gunnery skills. Nate Zachary (Flight Leader) might get bonuses as long as there’s a female pilot in the sky (lowered evade, boosted attack) because he’s a hot-rodding ladies’ man. So on, so forth. Needs a lot of hashing out, and I need to get ahold of a few more of the plastics (I only have half the plastic airframes available, need a few more to horse around with). Still, I can do a playtest with what I have right now, and it should turn out well.

Star Trek Attack Wing: Wolf 359 Battle Report

I was nervy as Hell going into this. I’ve played many a fighter combat system in my day, and I know Trek and its ships like the back of my hand, but I’d never played this game before. I’d only ever watched X-Wing once, but I learn fast.

When I arrived, I verified whether the T.O. had spare counters/rulers (he didn’t), and was forced to change my purchase plans. As I mentioned last post, I’d wanted to grab an Excelsior and a Defiant, plus a pack of dice, and do a quickie Federation swarm list. As the tournament was rewarding the top single-Faction list (instead of best Sportsman..), I wanted to keep it straight Feddie. Ultimately I bit the bullet and bought a base set and a Voyager expansion, because I knew it had some nice cards in it, and the Intrepid is sexy – even if I hate Jayneway. I made a fast two-ship Macross Missile Massacre list, christened the Intrepid as USS Death Blossom, and turned in my list.
My blind booster pull was the B’Moth*. Not a bad ship, but the only one I wanted less was the Jem’Hadar Bug.
*(Does anyone else find it weird that a ship that shows up for like 10 minutes in one episode wound up becoming a chase fig in Clix and a tournament-exclusive in AW? There are so many other K’ting’A in the canon..)

Full list and breakdown after the jump.


Star Trek Attack Wing: U.S.S. Saratoga Conversion/Repaint

As I mentioned over on the Tumblr, an unexpected windfall left me able to play in the Attack Wing tourney today; AAR next post. I spent last night painting up my Saratoga conversion. The original intent was to stick Ben Sisko in his Saratoga (played by the “Miranda-class” card), Clark Terrel in a generic Excelsior, and Sulu or a generic in the Defiant. Yeah, I know, about as anachronistic as you can get, but it was what I could get out of the cheapest possible setup for the tourney..

I was originally going to compare paint jobs by basecoat, then convert up the Sara and use the best. I wound up simply blazing through the conversion and paintjob to save time – a full photoset would have kept me up until the wee hours.
Top -> bottom:
Original Attack Wing mini
Stripped/black primed Heroclix with a grey basecoat and a magic wash
Untouched white-primered Heroclix

The white primejob was shit (and somehow repelling the ink, while the black one had no issues.) So I stripped, washed, and converted the white mini. The side extensions are taken from a 1:144 ERTL Space Shuttle kit – the “wings” are cut from the LANDSAT’s solar panels (the texture sisn’t show up, alas), and the wingtip scanners are built up from one of the payload bay lab’s instruments.
Incidentally, the first model I ever put together was one of those shuttles, back in ’88. I still remember the heady stench of oranges and the huge number of fingerprints on the finished model. Played it to death. I got ahold of a pair more recently when a hobby shop went out of business and converted them into mini-Leopard dropships for Battletech..
This pic was taken right after the first, very dilute, wash.


IMG_20140809_235752_087The final product. Paint job was slightly improved after these pics were taken, adding in the port-side running lights and cleaning up the dome/base of bridge paint-job


Img copyright Christie's: no challenge intended, displayed under the Fair Use doctrine for educational purposes.

Image copyright Christie’s: no challenge intended, displayed under the Fair Use doctrine for educational purposes.

Compare to the “official” model for Heroclix/Attack Wing, and the original Reliant. The Saratoga mini was a re-dress of this miniature.

My apologies for waiting so long to update.

I’ve been struggling to come to terms with a major change in my health, and several family tragedies of varying scope. I just haven’t had the resources, mental or physical, to deal with the net for a while.
Regardless, my Battletech project is ongoing. Johnny Clavell’s Rifleman is basecoated, and I’ve got the minis chosen and basecoated for the Haseks, Santander’s Killers, and the Black Widows. Pics when I’ve got something worth showing off.

I’ve also been drawn in by Star Trek Attack Wing. Why do I always have to fall in love with the unsupported games? :b
The system’s got flaws, most glaringly in its field-of-fire rules and blatant Federation favoritism (although I suspect that’s Paramount’s fault – I have a whooole rant on that that’s fodder for another post). Still, based on my playtests it runs fast and fun, and it’s nowhere near as shitty as the Clix game (nor as abandoned as ACTA..). Cash and time permitting, I should be able to get into the tournament the LGS is having in two weeks. Here’s hoping for a Saber and a Constellation
I’ve also been rebuilding/painting/mounting Clix models, and kitbashing some of the more obscure Feddie ships together for my own purposes. I also have a master-list of the Trek ships and the wargame systems which have rules for them, with some proxy suggestions. That goes up once I’m done transferring it from my meatspace clipboard and clean it up a little. Finally, I’m in the middle of a comparative photoset of two Miranda-class Light Cruisers, one basecoated black and one white. Intermediate steps will go up on my tumblr.

To sum up: Life has sucked recently, but I’m sick of letting that run my life. Time to start moving forward again.

Even if that will be on crutches for the foreseeable future.