The past few weeks have seen the denizens of the floating citadel and friends playing some stellar themed games.
First up were some games of Star Trek: Attack Wing. Gribblin actually has some trophies for this game so it was under his expert guidance that we set off. I’m not much of a trekkie but even i could see that there are plenty of ship variations available. Each ship is customisable with crew, weapons and captains. The actual game mechanics are loosely similar to the veritable ‘Wings of War’ biplane combat game, crossed with the combo-building elements of games like Warmachine. Overall a good looking game which is fun to play provided you know what you are doing in the fleet building part – knowing which crew combo works best with each ship is half the battle and for some people undoubtedly half the fun. I have played this game previously without guidance during the building part of the game and just found the whole experience frustrating. So if you’re going to play, play with experienced gamers who are willing to show you the ropes.
Next up saw me digging out my ancient Full Thrust rules and miniatures. Full Thrust is a pretty unique game in the field of spaceship games in that movement rules do not assume that space is full of custard. This game is really old, timeworn, and still popular. Probably because it’s simple and fun. Full Thrust seems to shine at the fleet battle scale, with more players and more spaceships making the game better without adding complexity. Whilst not the best looking game out there, it will keep gamers looking for more realism happy and the rules scale well if you fancy using your own miniatures.
Which then brings us on to the floating citadel’s previous favourite – Firestorm Armada. We talked about it, and how it was to a large extent a rip-off of Full Thrust, before discovering that version 2.0 is now available for free online! Hopefully our dusty fleets will be making a reprisal in the next few weeks as we try out this new and interesting version. Those miniatures still look fantastic!
Rules online here:
Saturday saw the denizens of the floating citadel descend upon servitob’s trash cans for a last minute arranged game of SDE. Turnout was good, folks were stoked but nBreaker had forgotten the cards to play the myriad of expansions in his possession.
Luckily servitob had a basic card set stashed at a trusty neighbour’s house and was able to collect said cards and neighbour for a four hero game with the evil mastermind gribblin playing consul.
In keeping with our hardcore masochistic SDE tendencies we played the five hero version of events and selected the heroes entirely at random. We therefore proceeded one hero down with a mismatched crew of hexcast, druid, barbarian and ranger.
Despite our best efforts gribblin managed total party kill before the big boss even spawned, much to his credit. First to be slain was the hexcast who was an obvious target given her possession of the resurrection charm. Second to be killed was the barbarian who was on a foolish solo jolly miles away from the rest of the team, then it was only a matter of time before the ranger and druid fell to the tide of denizens.
Overall, SDE remains a firm floating citadel favourite given it’s emphasis on teamwork and simple fun mechanics with very good visuals. We’ll continue to play for the foreseeable future; especially as nBreaker acquires more and more RL SDE loot.
Last night was the irregular meeting of the Floating Citadel Irregulars – a bunch of hangers-on who basically turn up at servitob’s house every once in a while in a vain hope that one day they may get a chance to publish on the almighty 6 Inch Move blog. Either that or they just need somewhere with appropriate snacks to go to when their wives kick them out for the evening like the feral flea bitten cats they are.
This meeting had board games in mind, and someone brought along Pandemic for a first time play through. We read the rules, assembled the pieces and were off in short order. Pandemic is a co-operative game where players must cure deadly diseases and stop outbreaks of apocalyptic plague. Each player is assigned a rules-bending role in this team of bug fighting heroes and must work with other team members against the clock to save humanity.
To be blunt – it’s a brilliant game. The co-operative nature means everyone loses or everyone wins, no-one has to play as the bad guys here. The rules are deceptively simple yet demand strategic thinking to achieve victory. At every point of the game the tension and excitement is just right; it’s a hard game but the challenge simply keeps you on your toes rather than being disheartening. The game also isn’t overly long – about 45 minutes to play through which is certainly a change over most other games. The fact that after we lost to the bugs in our first game yet everyone’s reaction was to play again is a sign of how good this game is.
Two thumbs up, way way up!
ZombiePirate and I managed to play an inaugural game of the Speedball2 40k Bloodbowl mash-up general GW trolling Dreadball yesterday. It was the not-quite-space-marine Trontek 29ers vs the not-really-sisters-of-battle Void Sirens.
Fortunately we had both looked at the pretty pictures in the rulebook which is always a plus when trying out a new system. There were naturally some high levels of rules lawyering and checking owing more to it being our first game rather than us being competitive twelve year old at heart.
Overall it was a positive experience. The game system seems very intuitive after a few goes, and the whole thing should flow very quickly after a few games. The game itself is very fast paced and good fun. Hopefully it can become a good staple game.
All pretty much ready to play ball!
Rules-wise I have yet to see any form of quick reference sheet, which could be incredibly useful. Let me know if you’ve seen one.
The Floating Citadel denizens made their annual pilgrimage to Salute – more on that in another post; to cut a long story short I am now a proud owner of Dreadball – a game I have been meaning to get my hands on for over a year.
In true servitob style, the test minis were up and painted within a matter of hours of the box being opened. The technique used here is apparently called “Greyscale Washing”, if any of you googlespiders want to know more details I can point you in the right direction.
The aim was to do something very quick to make the game playable in the shortest amount of time. Mantic stuff is so cheap that if I ever miraculously got enough quality time for actually giving a damn about multi-layer highlights and all that nonsense then I could simply buy new teams. For now, I consider 2.4 seconds a reasonable amount of time to spend per model.
I’ve also read through the rules – it looks like a very promisingly fun game!
Continuing on from last week’s console blurb I finally got around to getting a PS4. I’ve had my Xbox 360 for many years, and in retrospect I’ve been very happy with it and it’s been an amazing social gaming platform.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending whether you care I’ve never been much of a fanboy so my progression wasn’t directly on to the Xbone despite my excellent experiences with all things X related. I simply looked around at the early adopters – out of all my old Xbox gaming buddies only one has got an Xbone. The rest seem to have gone to PS4. So if I am to maintain my gaming buddies it seemed like the natural progression. It seems the only selling point of the Xbone at the moment is Titanfall, but I suck at those types of games so no personal loss there.
I’m happy with my decision, at least until Gears Of War 4 comes out!
Here’s a debate which has been raging for, well, not very long compared with say the history of cutlery, but it is relevant to those of a nerd persuasion ie everyone on the floating citadel.
Back in the mists of time this debate spilled across the playgrounds of the country albeit in a different guise. Back then PCs were crap and consoles weren’t much better. Kids would trade punches and fight real battles to defend the honour of the Sinclair Spectrum against the mere suggestion that the Commodore 64 was a better machine (it was and anyone who says otherwise deserves a slap).
Skip a few years and the rock throwing was between the Nintendo kids and Sega kids. The Atari ST owners looked on smugly, whilst the kids with the Commodore Amigas knew that they were the top of the pile. But any machine was a lot of pocket money and if Santa Claus was dumb enough to bring you anything but an Amiga then you knew you had to justify your choice; that you had an ST for its better midi output which was about the only reason to get one. Cue lots of kids trying to pretend to know what that actually meant in reality.
Moving on to current times and everything is a billion times better than previously. Go back and play a game from yesteryear just to see how bad things were. I installed a C64 emulator the other day to revisit some old classics. It was awful. Gaming now is great. No doubt we’ll look back in ten years from our matrix style immersion tanks and laugh, but for now we are in a golden age.
Significantly, there are no real losers in today’s market. You can buy any up to date gaming platform and get some great games. Sure there are market leaders and some shaky outliers, but its all generally quality stuff.
There are pros and cons to the whole PC versus console decision. A lot of it rides on game availability, the sheer number for the PC gives it a massive edge. Also the types of game, MMOs being a popular format and not widely played on consoles. Personally however I have not played much on my PC all year, choosing instead to spend my game time on consoles. For me currently its the ease of use that wins it, being able to switch on and get stuck in with mates without having to patch this or reconfigure that or upgrade this component to play. Having kids means my game times are few and far between and I want to get the most out of them.
No doubt most people will disagree as PC gamers can be such snobs!
A few weeks ago I introduced a gaming friend of mine to Speed Circuit. For the uninitiated, SC is a positively ancient racing car game (1971). It’s rather unique in that there are no random elements or dice rolling in the course of normal play. Instead, you have to get your car around the track and other drivers as fast as possible using tactics and a resource pool of wear points which are depleted when you push your car beyond it’s limits. If you deplete your wear points you can start rolling dice to keep pushing, but at that point your opponent generally starts heckling your imminent appointment with the barriers.
It’s a really great game so unsurprisingly my friend has decided to run a season of races on a regular basis at his house. He’s prepared some circuits and this week saw our inaugural race at the Australian Grand Prix. Gribblin and I managed an epic battle for third and fourth place with non-citadel denizens coming in first, second and fifth. To make things interesting the rules also accommodate car improvements which might be used next time to add some further tactical options.
If you fancy checking out this out of print game, the best resource on the net for rules and tracks is:
Also, the BGG entry is here: