Category Archives: Boardgames

Highway to the Deadzone


Ahhhh, the heady aroma of mercilessly butchering 80’s rock ballads! I originally started a draft blog post regarding Deadzone at the start of December when a rather large box arrived on my doorstep, but, as I was feeling like a puppy kicked off the side of a mountain, I never got around to finishing it. It seems a little silly, after all this time, to go back and try to pick up the threads I’d started there, so I figured I’d just start up a new post. Especially since I’ve actually been able to play the game since then!

We might even get to play another game, although, I imagine that Gribblin wants to flop his wad of Nids on the table first.

Deadzone was the first kickstarter that I really threw down some serious cash on. I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor with one of the Early Bird Strike Team pledges and after seeing how much stuff was crammed into Dreadball I thought this seemed a wise decision as Kickstarter would let me back out later on if I needed to. I’m very glad that I didn’t. My $141 got me 5 faction starters, twice the amount of terrain normally included, some extra dice, an extra playmat (so we can actually have two games going at the same time) and all the Mercenaries available at release. I bolted on a few extras, like a printed version of the campaign book, the acrylic tokens and a Rebs faction booster. There really was a lot of stuff in the box when I unwrapped it all. You can see it all in the picture I posted when it turned up.

So, the real important things are what you’re waiting for, how are the minis and what is the game like?

Let’s start with the miniatures.

This is the first time I’ve had my hands on Mantic’s stuff. I remember when they first started I saw their Elf line and thought it was terrible. I still think their Elves are terrible, but the stuff I saw on the Kickstarter was obviously enough to get me excited. As someone who is more used to the universal posable nature of GW kits the Mantic stuff does leave a little something to be desired. The sculpts are good and they do go together very easily, some don’t even need glue with the way the tabs fit together, but you’re not going to be getting away with the kind of poses you can do for GW, but then, this is a smaller game where you’re not going to be repeating the “same” models over and over gain. Also, Mantic have some issues with how they split their molds, often with mold lines going through major areas of detail, like the middle of a face. As the plastic that I am used to is GW’s obviously I’ve gotten used to what is, without doubt, the best in the business, therefore the Mantic stuff feels much harder to work with and tougher to clean up. That being said it’s not that hard of a process really but as it’s not what I am used to I thought I’d make mention of it.

Overall though I’m impressed. The models are crisp and well detailed, any bends you find (the material is softer than GW plastic) can be fixed with the traditional hot/cold bath method. There are some fiddly pieces (I’m looking at you Zee and Goblin heads), one of which I thought I’d lost until I found it lodged in the lining of my slippers, but no worse than you’d see anywhere else. As these models are much cheaper than what you pay for from GW I can forgive the (small) shortcomings I’ve come across, also, GW themselves seem to be moving towards mono-pose models. I know from the new Dark Elf stuff I have they are all labelled with numbered parts that cannot be mixed and matched as in days of yore.

Considering the success of Kickstarter we got a whole bunch of extra basic figures too. I’ll be getting the 5th faction (Asterians) sometime this year but in the meantime I’ve got my Rebs, Marauders and Plague to sort (I gave the Enforcers to a friend that fancied them and he bought a few add-ons himself). Most things are now built with a few Plague and some Marauders being left over.

What I would recommend is investing in some card protectors for the vast array of cards that the game uses. I did and put them into a snazzy deck box to keep them all safe. Even though I’ve done that there still isn’t enough room in it for all the cards you get in the box. I’ll have to get another one for the Asterians and I’d given a whole faction away so you can see you really do end up with a huge amount of stuff. The acrylic tokens are also a take it or leave it option. I find them quite nice but the card tokens are more than adequate for use in the game and you’ll be using quite a few to represent various things.

Overall I’d be giving the models a rating of 7/10. Good, not outstanding, but certainly fit for purpose, even if they do take a bit of getting used to after a lifetime of GW plastic.

You really cannot comment on the models without also factoring in the terrain. The terrain is a really large part of this game, so first off the bad. You don’t get enough connectors. Seriously, with the amount of terrain you get in the box a single connector sprue is about half of what you realistically need if you want to open up the full range of options that should be on offer. Luckily you can now buy single sprues for £2.50 a go which I think is more than fair value. I got 2 connector sprues to go with then 20 or so other terrain sprues. Also, don’t count on reconfiguring your terrain every game using the tiles and connectors to push together something new. The fit is very snug and popping them in and out is going to lead to some damage. I’ve already got a few snapped pins that I am going to superglue into place. I’ve got enough terrain to provide two full tables so I’ll have the option for what to use on each one that I’m not too fussed about the immutability of what I have.

The tiles are nicely detailed and also have in-game effects. It is possible to create some really nice multi-tiered pieces but you’re going to have to be either very frugal with those connecting pieces or grab some extra ones to make sure that your creations can come to life.

There are some really nice pictures on the Mantic forums of what folks have come up with and I’m really tempted to grab some more terrain when the second kickstarter survey drops at the end of the month. Overall I’d say it’s worth an 8/10.

That just leaves us to talk about how the game plays. Which I’ll deal with in a separate post.

Super Dungeon Explore Deeproot Druid


SDE Druid

Whilst looking for inspiration I stumbled upon this fine piece of work.

This is one of the best paint jobs I have seen in a long time; it took me a few glances to notice that it was actually a pair of miniatures and not a piece of drawn artwork. I especially love the non-metallic gold work on the bear, I hope you would agree!

The source can be found here: http://hard-liners.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/super-dungeon-explore-part-3.html

Super Dungeon Explore Royal Paladin


10-12-13 001

It’s been a while since I picked up a paintbrush so recently I spent a bit of time painting this up.

It all started last week when a friend a I went to Games Lore. SDE is a good fun game, so I was planning to pick it up at some point. I’d hate to be in the predicament of it going out of print and then having to fork out to pick up a shoddy copy on fleabay when the kids are old enough to play it. We got a tour of the place and I bought a copy for myself.

It’s been good fun getting back into painting. Normally I paint really fast using a black undercoat. This was the first time in about twenty years where I’ve painted off a white undercoat. The differences are startling. With a white undercoat the colours are much more vivid, however brush precision is essential as you have to cover every part of the mini to get a decent result. To aid this I used some flow enhancer which helped a lot. With a black undercoat colours are much more muted and often require several layers to get the correct colour, however any parts you don’t paint simply look shaded. Obviously all you long standing and reading googlespiders know all this already as there are loads of decent articles on mini painting out there on the internet, but nothing beats licking that brush tip and getting stuck in!

Entering the Deadzone


As may have been noticed from the picture that I posted yesterday I am in possession of the first wave of Deadzone stuff from the Kickstarter I backed earlier in the year. Since popping my proverbial Kickstarter cherry I’ve backed two other projects, one that was funded and that I am waiting on my loot and another that is still on its way but is hitting stretch goals left, right and centre.

To say that the 4.9 Kg box is a bit full would be an understatement and while folks may be wanting more pictures of just how things turned out, I’m afraid that you’re going to have to wait. I spent the better part of three hours last night just going through all the plastic baggies looking at what models they looked like they contained as well as getting my head around all the other stuff that came in the box. I’ve since sorted the factions out and know what I’ve got in each. There was just so much stuff that it really does need to be methodically pored over to understand what arrived.

There was of course the main Deadzone box itself, however, this really did contain only a small portion of the goodies I received for my Strike Team pledge level. I was surprised to get the paper gaming mat as well as the cloth one unlocked through the stretch goals. As Deadzone is a 2 player game this works out well as I’ll be able to have two games on the go at the same time. This is also made possible by the fact that I received two sets of the terrain, the one that is present for everyone in the main game box itself, plus a complete second set due to the stretch goals of the Kickstarter. What this will mean for me is that I can actually do a nice range of buildings, some larger, some smaller, in order to vary the terrain in each game and make use of the vast customisability that Mantic have built into their terrain system.

Currently everything is still more or less packaged up. I got a good start on reading the rules (I did get the digital download but there is nothing that really compares to having a book in your hand and being able to flick through it) and things look promising. I like the way in which the 3D space is used and the nice range of actions available. With all 4 starter factions and a 5th on its way next year I’ve got plenty to sink my teeth into. Hopefully over the weekend I’m going to be able to take a much better look and maybe even get some more (and better) photos online.

Watch this space.

It’s Tragic


magic_logoI know what you’re thinking “wow, these guys are still alive?” Yes it’s been a very long time since anything got posted here. As explained before, we’re not gaming as much as we have done previously, nor meeting up as often either. This of course, has the knock on effect that there’s less to blog about, despite the fact that the gaming world is still alive with all kinds of wonderful goings on and new games/releases that keep us all excited individually. I’ve found new gold in the likes of Godslayer, Star Trek Attack Wing and the X-wing miniatures game. Anticipation from pledging for Deadzone. As well as over the weekend, a revisit to an old classic.

 

Wikipedia reliably informs me that Magic: The Gathering came onto the scene in 1993, I can remember playing it from about 1995 and remember things like the Arabian Nights expansion, the Ice Age block and white bordered cards. Every now and again we trot out the cards for a few games and I occasionally purchase one of the premade decks as a little bit of fun.

After playing a game of Star Trek Attack Wing and a spot of lunch we had a three way game of Magic between yours truly, the always dreaded Gribblin and erstwhile gaming companion nBreaker. No-one else had brought any cards so I had to hunt around for my decks, cunningly hidden inside a Lorwyn fatpack deck box. I took a premade Green/Black guild deck, Gribblin took an older Ravnica Blue/Black deck which left nBreaker to suffer horribly with my pure White deck that I’d constructed myself from the 2013 Deckbuilder’s Tool Kit. nBreaker then proceeded to win both games we had. Hurray for the deckbuilder I say!

So, is this alone worthy of a blog post? Not really, what did pique my blogging interest was how simple and deep Magic can be. In the second game Gribblin had been swampwalking his way over my life total. While I was pretty safe behind some meaty creatures I was pretty badly mana starved considering the number of turns we’d played. My win condition was always going to be about removing enemy creatures and then pummeling the player to death but as it had taken me so long to get anything like a third of my land out the other players were suitably reinforced too. Gribblin was using his deck to burn through nBreakers library while he was waiting for a couple of spells to try to romp his own creatures through Gribblins defences. So it was that Gribblin had two untapped creatures left to defend after taking another chunk from nBreaker’s deck. In my turn I drew and had one of those lovely cards that lets you search through your graveyard and grab something from it. I’d been left on a single lifepoint from the swampwalkers so I was pretty much going to lose. I pulled the Murder card back from my Graveyard that I’d used to prevent some damage earlier. I killed one of Gribblin’s untapped critters, then used another card to remove his Belltower Sphinx which had been poised to block anyone all game and hurt their library to boot. Thus, with his defences gone and all his mana tapped, I sent EVERYTHING! Twenty-one points of damage everything. The look on his face was priceless. He’d gone from being a mere few turns away from glory to a single round of beatdown.

We all had a good chuckle about it and I think it did a bit to revive our interest in the old gal, especially considering how well my own constructed deck had actually worked against the others, in the end netting a win from both games. I might have to have another look and see if there’s something else I can come up with from cards that would actually be legal in a standard format now as I actually quite enjoy building my own decks and seeing how they do. The good thing is that this is a game that doesn’t require a whole lot of stuff, you can play with a standard bought deck, but the layers and complexity are there if you want it. I look forward to Gribblin getting his own back, but as he blew up my Klingons earlier, I thought it fair recompense.

 

Star Trek Fleet Captains


DSCF3775Sticking with my theme of Star Trek games from my last post a couple of weeks ago I thought I’d talk about the latest addition to my gaming collection; Star Trek Fleet Captains by Wizkids.  I came across this game a few weeks ago whilst sailing around aimlessly on the internet, it grabbed my like a well placed tractor beam and I duly sent the appropriate subspace communique and latinum deposit to purchase it.  It came last weekend and like a kid a Christmas I very quickly unwrapped it and started making “pew-pew” phaser noises with my new little ships.

So what’s in the box?  You get everything you need to up to a 4 player game.  You have two fleets; Federation & Klingon, each containing 12 ships.  The Federation come in a grey plastic, the Klingons green.  I have since started painting the miniatures, and so they no longer look like they do in the box, but here’s some pictures.

DSCF3759DSCF3772The Federation fleet consists of a wide variety of vessels all of which should be familiar to fans of the show and are named; Enterprise E, Enterprise A, Excelsior, Voyager, Defiant, Venture, Yosemite, Prometheus, Yeager, Sutherland, Reliant & Equinox.

The Klingon fleet has less variety in the models (as Klingons seem somehow unable to come up with as many ship designs as Humans & Vulcans – must be something to do with all that bloodwine).  But they’re all from the shows; 1 Negh’var, 2 Vor’cha, 4 K’tinga, 3 Birds-of-Prey and 2 Raptors, and are also named from ships in the show – the Negh’var, the Rotarran, the Bortas etc.  Each ship in the game is unique and has its own stats on both a ship card and on its base.  The ship’s stats are Weapons, Sensors, Engines and Shields.  In each case the number is the bonus to a D6 roll that the ship gets, with engines also being how far it moves in game.  The wonderful little Heroclix bases allow you to alter where you allocate power by twisting the bottom of the base around.  Each ship has 12 different power settings with different numbers on each of the 4 stats.  They are also colour coded (blue, white, yellow & red).  Blue is used when cloaked, white for undamaged, yellow when your ship has taken 1 damage and red when your ship has taken 2 damage.  After 3 damage your ship is destroyed.

DSCF3766Each ship also has a stats card with all of the power settings on it.  The card will also have any special rules the ship has (e.g. both the Enterprises have the Nine Lives special rule – when ever it was going to be destroyed roll 2D6 and if you roll a 12 its not destroyed and placed at your command post [deployment zone])  which adds some nice flavour to the game.  The ships also have a Size Stat, and 3 mission stats – Science, Influence and Combat that are used to determine the number & types of missions you get in the game.

In addition to the ships you also get 50 location tiles, 200 command cards, 50 encounter cards, 76 mission cards and a whole bunch of tokens.

So how does the game play?  Well after reading through the rules I have managed to play (and lose) a game.  Your victory goal is to collect victory points (VP) and all players decide before the game starts to the limit from 6-38.  The first player (or team if playing a 4 player game) to reach that number wins. The rules recommend starting off with 10 VP as a standard game.  Once the VP is decided, you then lay out the ‘board’.  This uses the location tiles and are placed out in a hex-board like fashion.  DSCF3776Again the rules recommend a 5×5 pattern for the board.  The tiles are placed face down and are only revealed if when a ship moves to it or scans it from an adjacent tile.  Some tiles have a ‘types’ such as star & planet classes as well as special effects.  They all have a size showing how much movement it takes to cross the tile and an encounter number which is the chance of having an encounter when you first move into the tile.  The encounters are a mix of god and bad events that can happen to your ship.  Some grant you VP if you survive/succeed, others are just one-off events.  Once you’ve placed the tiles you shuffle the Ship Cards and draw ships equal to the VP of the game based upon their Size.  For example the Enterprise E has a Size of 6, whilst the Equinox has a Size of 1.  If you exceed the VP, you replace the card and draw again until you get to the VP.  As said each ship has 3 mission stats; Science, Influence and Combat, and once your fleet is selected you add up all of these to give you a total number of mission cards, then you draw the appropriate number of mission cards to create your mission deck.  You then draw the top 3 mission cards and place them at your command post as your current missions.

DSCF3779Whenever you complete a mission or discard one, draw another.  Completing missions gains you VP (unsurprisingly).  You also gain VP from some encounters and, for the more aggressive players amongst you, you gain 1 VP for each enemy ship you destroy.

Once you’ve sorted out the mission cards you organise your Command Deck.  This deck contains cards that provide your ships with bonuses, or your enemy’s with negatives and can be played as the situation dictates.  This deck contains 40 cards chosen from 10 sub-decks available to each faction.  These sub-decks each contain 10 cards and are themed (Captain Kirk Deck, Klingon High Council Deck, Science of War Deck etc.), so you get to choose 4 sub-decks to make your Command Deck.  You always have 4 cards in your hand, replacing each card when you use one.DSCF3782

Now that that’s the set up out of the way, its game time.  The game uses an ‘I go, you go’ system in which each player can move all of their ships, adjust power once on each of their ships, play command cards and use up to 3 action points.  Actions include cloaking, combat, influence, reinforcement, repair, scan & transporter actions.  The game has a very strategic theme to it.  Due to the size of the board you cannot make a line of ships that your opponent cannot push through, so you really need to think about where your ships go, what power settings you put them on and where to gain influence and build colonies.  Many missions (especially science ones) require you to pass Sensor checks which means you need to put more power in the sensors, but this reduces your shields & weapons, making you move vulnerable to attack.  So you have to think about where you’re going and what you’re doing.  The ships can be grouped into fleets so you can put science vessels with a combat vessel to protect them.  In short, once the game gets going there are a lot of ways to win depending upon your fleet; building starbases, completing missions, turning your opponent’s ships into space dust.  And if you’re annoyed you didn’t get your favourite ship out, when one or yours is destroyed you can replace it with reinforcements.  Cloaking is fun with your ships being replaced by tokens and allowing you to place echoes to fool your opponent.  With the missions being tailored to your ships, each player is going to be after different things and with the abilities of your ships being different, it requires you to take on different gaming styles to win.  This all combines to give the game a lot of replay-ability so you’re not going to get board with it any time soon.

My thoughts on the game…9.5 out of 10.  A fantastic miniatures-board game.  The miniatures are nicely made, with a decent amount of detail and are good reproductions of the ships from Star Trek.  The cards are thick and of a good quality.  The images used on them are taken from all 5 TV series (not including the animated OS) as well as all the films from the Motion Picture to Nemesis.  The game play is fun and creative, not overly complicated yet allowing you to play out different styles & strategies, as well as forcing you to think tactically.  The rule book is nicely made, and the rules themselves are very comprehensive and full of examples, leaving little for uncertainty about what it means.

To be honest this game ticks all of the boxes; its classic sci-fi theme, miniatures that can be painted for those miniature gamers, a changeable board for the board gamers, plenty of strategy, uncertainty as to what your opponent is doing and multiple ways to win.  A game I’d recommend to fans of the show as well as miniature and board gamers alike.  What would I improve upon or like to see different? . . . urm . . . just trying to think of something . . . well for some reason there’s no Captain Sisko card, despite there being Kirk, Picard & Janeway (no Archer I can understand as the game is set more in the NG time), and with Odo & Quark in there.  More expansions.  They’ve done a Romulan one (which I’ll probably get next month), and Wizkids Heroclix already do Cardassian and Dominion ships so it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with a Cardi/Dom expansion.  My only real disappointment is no Borg . . . guess you can’t have everything. . . that and how they’d work in game I have no idea.  All-in-all worth getting.

6 Inch Move Review: Super Dungeon Explore


As you can probably tell from the dearth of things on the blog recently, the good folks at 6 Inch Move have been rather busy doing lots of things other than gaming. Yes there have things that could be blogged about, however, in the interest of keeping things civil I’ve refrained a lot from posting about how I’ve had to sell my wife and daughter to African organ farmers to afford the latest stuff from “Plastic-crack Peddlers of Nottingham” (TM).

Despite the excitement building up to the release of Dropzone Commander and then 6th edition 40k landing as well things have been very quiet in the gaming halls of the floating citadel. This is a situation that we all would like to correct as gaming is what we do and it’s nice to get together and throw down with some dice from time to time. With that in mind and the rather obvious title of the post here, one can no doubt work out what happened. Due to some rather fantastic aligning of planetary bodies, not to mention sacrificing many delicious virgins, we managed to put together two evenings of gaming over this past weekend.

Super Dungeon Explore has been on my radar for a while now, it’s certainly not the cheapest of boxes which is the primary reason why I’ve not tossed some cash at Soda Pop and grabbed a copy myself. Luckily for me though, nBreaker grabbed the box and its first expansion a while ago and I’ve been itching to try it out and see it it’s as good as it looks.

For those unaware of this particular dungeon-delving delight it’s offered by Soda Pop Miniatures authors of the recent Relic Knights Kickstarter (which due to shortage of funds I couldn’t support myself) and manufacturer of some really nice anime inspired models. Super Dungeon Explore (hereafter shortened to SDE) is a game inspired by Japanese RPGs of old. You can play with up to 5 players and a 6th plays the various dungeon denizens. There are various game boards that you use to construct the dungeon according to how many heroes there are in your party. Between the first expansion and the core game there is a hero for everyone. I’ve managed to play through the game three times over the weekend, trying a different hero each time and I have to say that I love the Rogue. Each hero has their own abilities and stat card and you really benefit off creating a varied party. We tried an all melee party once and it didn’t go so well, but I mainly put that down to Servitob playing as the dungeon and his dice never run cold so we were up against it from the start.

The purpose of the game is to kill the spawn points that allow the dungeon denizens to enter the dungeon and then try to kill you. There is one spawn point per board with the number of boards in play equal to the number of heroes you’re using. As the heroes make kills and get wounded by the bad guys there is a power track that allows the dungeon controller to bring in more stuff per turn or, at certain pre-determined points, spawn a mini-boss and then the main dungeon boss. In the core set, this would be Starfire the Dragon. There are treasure chests to plunder and loot that can be claimed by defeating the nasties assaulting you. Whether playing as a hero or the dungeon there’s stuff for you to get and chances for you to win the game. The dungeon player isn’t just a drone scripted into what he’s doing but a fully functioning player hellbent on the heroes destruction.

Each hero and dungeon nasty has a card that gives it a movement and action value. Movement determines how many squares you can move and action points are there for you to activate abilities or lay the smack down depending on your preference and situation. At the start of each turn one hero rolls off against the dungeon to see who gets to go first, if the hero wins then that hero has to go first, if he loses the dungeon inevitably brings the pain. The dungeon can only activate so much stuff at once before the next hero in line gets to go so you’ve got plenty of opportunity try to clear some trash out before you get swamped. What we did notice is that with a couple of heroes having area-of-effect abilities, these are very nice to have. There are natural choke points that happen in the game and while this quickly accelerates the power metre to spawn the boss it also provides a good way to quickly remove threats, we found them well worth taking if you like those heroes that have it.

In our first game we messed up some of the rules and this left everyone feeling a bit “meh” about it. However, after another read through and some forum trawling our second and third games went much better and everyone enjoyed it with our concerns banished. It takes a couple of hours to get through a 3 player game and it doesn’t take long before your heroes are going back and forth with Kobolds and Dragonlings, kitting themselves out in extra armour and weapons that boost their abilities before daring to try and get rid of the nasty Dragon.

The dice mechanics are nice and simple, providing the chance to heal yourself and others as well as crumping the enemies you face. Each hero has a potion (or two) that they can use either on themselves or others to increase their prowess. It really is worth noting that you want to communicate and act as a team. If people get greedy or selfish, going after treasure chests or over-extending, then the dungeon can really hurt you. In our last game I looted a Resurrection Charm on my Ember Mage. I kept it myself (loot can be handed out around the party) to resurrect another character should they die (we had all died in the previous game). However, what this meant was that the dungeon player *shakes fist at Servitob* sent everything my way as I was, rather stupidly, at the front of things as well. If the heroes play together then they can be really powerful and tough to take down, they are not invincible however.

There are three colours of dice that are used for making attacks or defending from them, as well as being used for various skills. Loot and treasure can boost the number of them you roll as well as giving you extra action points or straight up bonuses to rolls. The mechanics of this are wonderfully simple and very easily picked up. Because you don’t use the same tiles from game to game (you can if you want) and the heroes you use are likely to change (there are no must-take heroes) there is a lot of replayability, especially with someone taking the role of the bad guys, you can rotate that around as you want. The Dragon boss is suitably nasty but can be taken down with co-ordination and planning. It might take a few rounds too. While things seem really simple on the surface when you actually play it and start to think about the game there is a lot of veiled strategy involved with how you do things. Do you wade in and AOE all the bad guys, getting loot quickly but also accelerating the power gauge to bring in bigger and nastier monsters, or clear a path for others of your party to come in and do their thing?

The models for the monsters and heroes themselves are fantastic. Everything is done is a super-deformed chibi style which I really like. nBreaker is doing a good job of getting them painted too so we’ll end up with something that looks as good as it plays by the time they’re finished. If you’re looking for a fun game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and be played in an evening then you could do a lot worse than take a look at SDE, it certainly got a big thumbs up from all of us!

 

Monte Carlo Grand Prix In Miniature – Formula D


The smell of fuel, burning rubber and smoke, the sound of tire squeal and roaring engines, the glamorous semi naked women. But enough about Gribblin’s new place, we were there for some gaming.

Formula D was first to be played. We have played this a few times before and it never fails to bring some excitement to proceedings. This time was no different. ZombiePirate successfully led from pole position for most of the race, with Gribblin and servitob fighting a continued battle for second place. Meanwhile nBreaker cruised along, seeing the sights in last place. ZombiePirate was pushing hard to extend his lead, and exiting Loews on the final lap his tires gave up, lost grip and he spun out. Two corners later after exiting the famous tunnel Gribblin managed to push his car beyond it’s limit and also lost control. nBreaker made his move and by the final corner was in first place. Unluckily for him servitob still had the racing line and clinched a last moment victory in a battle right to the finish line.

Gaming wise it was very close, coming right down to the last throw of the dice which is always a good thing. Formula D is an enjoyable game. It’s pretty simple and straightforward and gets you to make calculated risks within the guise of a racing game. Personally I enjoy it because it requires no metagaming – all the cars are the same, there are no killer lists to devise and no opportunity to win by cheese. In addition it is competitive but not confrontational. By this I mean there are opportunities to win and lose and appropriate gambles to be made but the outcomes rarely affect other gamers in a negative way. Overtaking someone is exciting but doesn’t destroy their car and they have the opportunity to make a comeback. It’s a subtle difference from regular miniatures gaming and one I enjoy. The speed of game setup and tidy-up is an added bonus.

Formula D leagues are not uncommon. Personally I would like to acquire a few more circuits and make something akin to a racing season out of it. I am sure there are opportunities for introducing RPG type elements to tie the races together. Perhaps driver skill, car specifics, pit crew quality and the like. It would depend upon the willingness of other gamers, plus whatever advice can be sought from the internet regarding previous leagues.

Overall, a good game. Any advice? Comments below!

EYES-CREAM! EYES-CREAM!


Today’s post title is a blatant rip-off from one of my favourite blogs Fighting Fantasist; it made me laugh so I thought I’d steal it for my own nefarious purposes. Coop’s blog is great and I hope he doesn’t mind! It is of course a tangential reference to the The Other Nottingham Gaming Company’s upcoming release of Dreadball.

I’ve done some looking about and it seems like it could be quite a bit of fun. Obviously my first port of call was coop’s post mentioned above. Secondly I found some interesting tidbits over at Quirkworthy. I presume that this blogger has something to do with Mantic by the content of posts. From there you can link to some other decent sites at Boardgamegeek and then you can go pre-order it at Kickstarter.

So what’s my ever so non-influential opinion on these wispy morsels of facts and opinions expressed as facts? I think they could be on to something good here. The obvious comparisons with BloodBowl will abound but heck the big BB is one of the Sheriff’s best games full stop. More of the same without the need to buy hundreds of models and then the need to paint hundreds of models is no bad thing. In addition, a game like this is easy to transport and set up. The real selling point for me of games like this such as BloodBowl and Space Hulk and Formula D and the like is that they are played on grids so there’s no abiguity over measuring and distances. The whole experience is so much more precise; and I like that!