Tag Archives: Review

No More Room in Hell

Morning to you all out there in internet land.  Today I’m giving my thoughts on a game that I picked up the rules for last month.  I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks, but you know what life is like.  The game is called No More Room in Hell and is a table top zombie apocalypse game.  This should not be confused with a recently developing mod for Half Life 2 that has the same name.

The game itself is a skirmish game (well sort of).  I’m not usually the fan of skirmish games I prefer larger scale, full army sized battles (hence the 10,000pts Tyranid army).  Each player has control of around 4-6 survivors that are trying to stay alive in a world full of brain-eating zombies.  You will also need about a 50 zombies – hence the ‘sort of’.  So why do I like the look of this game?  Well to be honest I’m just a fan of the whole zombie apocalypse genre.  I like many of the movies such as 28 Days Later and Zombieland and I’m a really big fan of the Left 4 Dead series of computer games (yes I’m one of those sad people who manged to get the 53,595 kills to get the Zombie Genocidest achievement – how did I ever get a girlfriend?).  So when I heard about NMRIH I picked up a copy of the game and have been slowly working towards getting the models and scenery together to start playing.  So this is a rules review, not a games review, I’ll let you know how it plays very soon.

The concept is very simple, as is the core mechanics of the game.  Each player has one or more groups of survivors and they have to work together to achieve the objective, such as boarding up all the windows or doors, reaching an escape vehicle etc.  There is however nothing stopping you from attacking survivors from other teams.  Your survivors have 4 attributes – Guns, Fists, Guts and Survive, essentially how good at shooting, melee, how brave they are and how many wounds they can take before the die.  You make up your own characters to form your survivors.  There are three types of survivors; Shot Callers, who are the real heroes of the game, Back Ups, who are reliable in a fight, and Sheeple who are there to protect your heroes by getting eaten.  Each has a different points allowance to make up your Guns, Fists and Guts scores (Survive is predetermined by the type of survivor).  Next comes survival skills which is a list of abilities that your survivors possess, such as Guns Akimbo (duel wealding weapons), Outdoorsman (ignore difficult terrain), and Badass Zombie Slayer (extra point of Survive).  There are also drawbacks such as Fat Bastard and Yellow Bellied Coward which reduce the points cost of the model and allow you to buy more survival skills.  The final layer of character construction is the weapons, I mean gear.  You have a nice choice of generic weapons such as pistols, rifles, flamethrowers and of course chainsaws, plus other gear like body armour, torches and first aid kits.

The game works on the alternating activation principle that starts with the winner of an initiative roll.  You can then move, shoot and/or fight a melee with one of your groups of survivors.  Then play passes to the next person and so on.  The whole system is based on the D10, and to be successful in all most anything you do, you have a score to get equal to or lower than on a single D10.  For example if you have a Guns score of 7 you need 7 or less to hit your target.  All weapons have an AP (attack person) and an AZ (attack zombie) score.  The idea being that zombies can only be killed by taking out what’s left of their brain, whilst a person can be killed in oh so many ways.

The zombies are the more traditional shambling, brain-dead variety rather than the rage infected sort seen in recent films such as I Am Legend and 28 Days Later, and of course the Left 4 Dead games.  There is however the option to have these types of zombies instead.  The zombies are not normally player controlled, though again this can be an option.  They roll for initiative as well, but will always go either first or last.  They automatically form up into groups (hordes) if they get close enough to each other.  For movement they automatically move towards the nearest survivor, thus making your survivors’ movement/position critical in the game.

The game also includes various tables for Fear reactions, what you find when walking into closed rooms, and more campaign based things such as the hunger effects and what happens to your survivors if they’ve been bitten.  There are also examples of scenarios and campaigns for you to play.

So what do I think?  Well if you hadn’t already guessed I am slightly biased towards NMRIH.  I like the genre, the simplicity of the rules and the customisation of survivors.  I also like the way the zombies work without a player, so if you’re really sad and lonely you could play my yourself.  It’s also allowed me to indulge my creative side as I’ve started making some basic buildings to use for the game.  That and I felt like a big kid again

What don’t I like?  Maybe I’m just thick but the odd rule could perhaps do with a bit more explaining or examples.  I would like to have seen some more survival gear options (light laser sites for the guns) but you could always house rule those.  My last down point is more to do with aesthetics.  I know that sticking to black and white reduces printing costs, but the rulebook is very, very grey.

All in all I’m looking forward to taking my zombiemania to the tabletop.


6 Inch Movie Review – “It’s A Trap”

You’d be forgiven for thinking that recently your beloved source of unbiased miniature gaming insights has become an off shoot of IMDB. However, it is nothing more than the New Year’s lull before we get back on with some proper gaming. Having my desk usable for modelling now means I have access to my computer so I slot in a DVD or fire up my iTunes.

Earlier this week I went shopping for a new pair of jeans (please, bear with me on this, it is relevant) and took a look round various stores for games/DVDs etc… I saw what is pictured at the start of this post, a single copy left of the Limited Edition DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital triple play version of the final episode in the Family Guy Star Wars trilogy. The difference between the normal Blu-Ray and the Limited Edition was a whole two pounds, you get the usual raft of collectibles, T-shirt, signed and illustrated script and some cards. For £2 it seems like a good grab. However, after having just bought the jeans I referred to earlier I thought I’d leave it for the moment and conserve my cash.

So, happy with my new-found sense of frugality I toddled off. The following day I go off to the Post Office to recover a couple of Signed For items that were delivered to my house while I was out at work. One of them was an innocuous looking envelope, inside was a gift card from my brother and his family as the DVDs they bought me for Christmas I already owned. The following day (yesterday as it happens) I took my lunch break and heading into the local shopping precinct armed with said gift card. A trip into the branch of His Master’s Voice availed me of the “It’s a Trap” limited edition set and a copy of “How to Train Your Dragon”, bolstering new things to watch while playing with my little toy soldiers.

After dinner I sat down to finish some fiddly construction pieces and slotted in Family Guy to give it a watch and following on from Servitob’s week of film critique thought I’d follow suit and offer my thoughts on the final piece of this particular parody trilogy.


Now, I am guessing that anyone who is watching this movie must have seen the original, otherwise it just won’t make sense and I’d watched “Something, Something, Something Darkside” again the night before. Right from the off in the opening crawl it tells you that they ran out of ideas and jokes and believe me that’s true. Overall there are a couple of things you will laugh at but overall it is nowhere near the quality of Blue Harvest or Darkside. Just like its predecessors however it does stick very faithfully to the actual story.

My main issue with the movie is that because of their admitted lack of ideas on crafting some humour in they have generally replaced dialogue where you’d expect there to be some jokes with a few choice pieces of heavy profanity. While I have a personal aversion to this kind of vulgar language anyway, the fact it is used quite frequently throughout the movie cheapens it. They don’t need to resort to coarse language in order to try to make something funny, I wish more writers would cotton on to this fact and rather than take the easy option of throwing a few F-bombs in would actually think about what they are writing and use their brains.

Anyway, with that particular bug-bear out-of-the-way, the cast of characters is expanded to cover the new introductions that come in Jedi/Trap. I won’t spoil them all here as there are some funny inclusions that you probably wouldn’t have guess at going in blind. While you do have to chuckle at the inclusion of some of them some of them don’t really work in context and considering that the pace of the film seems to be trying to cram in the whole of Jedi it does come across a little rushed. I still enjoyed it though and it certainly isn’t the worst piece of animation that I have ever seen, nor the worst Star Wars parody. If you take it on its own then Trap isn’t really anything special, luckily though it is part of a heritage of the previous excellent offerings. I know that in the Star Wars community there isn’t a whole lot of love for Episode 6, Empire being the widely accepted pinnacle of the saga and I think that is mirrored in the Family Guy send-up too.

It’s still worth a watch though, especially if you’ve seen the others but you are warned from the off it’s not as good as the others and it isn’t. Whether that pre-text is some kind of placebo to get you in the frame of mind that it isn’t as good we’ll see. I’ll watch it again anyway and see what I think the second time through.

Overall I’d probably give it a 3 out of 5, funny in places, not funny in others. The other two set a standard that this can’t live up too unfortunately, but such is the way with trilogies, inevitably by the third movie things take a turn for the worse and this holds true to that.

6 Inch Move Reviews 2010

Happy New Year from the floating citadel!

One of the features I like about WordPress is that I got an email from them in the new year telling us little things about our blog. I’m not a huge statistician overall but it’s nice to have a little glimpse into what has been recorded about our little corner of the Internets.

So, what happened in 2010?

Well, first off we had around 46,000 views which I am totally shocked by. From our humble beginnings of less than a handful of people stopping by to the 200+ per day we get now, it surprises me that people actually want to read what we write about. I just hope that regular readers actually enjoy what we put up.

We also wrote almost 300 posts, OK, so we only started in August 2009 so a whole twelve months of posting is going to allow us to really push the boat out in terms of the quantity of posts we’re able to make but I think we did some quality stuff in 2010.

The highest number of views in a day topped over 400 when Servitob stirred up a Nerdstorm by having the audacity to compare Firestorm Armada and Full Thrust and then offered a personal opinion that he liked Firestorm better. The furor stirred up by this is still a talking point in the floating citadel.

I hope that we can do more of the same this year, that we can continue to decry and belittle various games and gaming tropes. Call-out developers and publishers who earn our ire and hopefully put our own spin on gaming developments in general. 2011 promises to be an interesting year, hopefully you will join us for it.

Dystopian Wars – First Thoughts

Hope you’ve all enjoyed Christmas and have recovered from all the eating and drinking etc.  We here at 6 Inch have enjoyed spending time away from the floating citadel with the company of our loved ones.  This hasn’t ment however that the gaming has stopped.  A few weeks ago Spartan games released its third naval game – Dystopian Wars.  I picked up a copy from my local gaming store and have spent the past week giving the rules and good read and felt that I should share my thoughts of my first impressions, so here we go.

The Looks

Dystopian Wars is set in the Victorian Era, but not the one we’re familiar with.  It all starts off when a half mad-half brilliant scientist by the name of Sturgeon travels to Antarctica in search of the mythical Vault which contains many scientific goodies.  He finds it and decides to share this knowledge with the world.  Humanity being what it is decides that the best use for all this new stuff is to blow each other up.

There are four factions currently available; The Kingdom of Britannia, The Prussian Empire, The Federated States of America (FSA) and the Empire of the Blazing Sun (i.e. Japan).  The picture above is of the British sorry Britannian ships.  There are also four other factions mentioned by name that I’m assuming will be released at a later date; The Covenant of Antarctica, The Ottoman Empire, The Russian Coalition and The League of Italian States.  If you’re wondering where France is it was conquered by the Prussians in 1808 and is little more than a puppet state.

The whole look and feel of the models is that of something familiar and yet slightly different.  The technology is more advanced and has a good steam punk look.  There are shield generators and tesla weapons, aeroplanes and even a mechanical squid.  I like it, even if the Japanese cruisers have the look of choochoo trains.

The Rules

For anyone who is familiar with Uncharted Seas and Firstorm Armada this is more of the same.  The core mechanics of the game haven’t changed much; your ships have range bands for weapons telling you how many dice you get to roll, 4+ is a hit with a 6 counting as two hits and allowing you to roll again.  There is linked fire and split fire, boarding assaults and ramming that is all familiar.  So what has changed?

Point defence has been replaced with Ack Ack (AA) against rockets and planes and Concussion Charges (CC) for use against torpedoes and submarines.  It can also be used every time such an attack is made against your ship/squadron (unlike one of the glitches with Firestorm where you could only use it once per turn).  You can also use both in your own activation as a shooting weapon against the respective units.  Oh and you can’t link fire your AA or CC from multiple squadrons, only from the one that is under attack, so there is no point clumping your ships together for mutual point defence.  Other big changes include break tests which if you fail will reduce the squadrons effectiveness with such things as preventing you from link firing.  Aeroplanes have a more comprehensive rules section and they appear to be really quite effective.

Another big change is that Dystopian Wars can be fought on sea, land and in the air.  The original release includes the naval models with a few aircraft, but there will also be models for tanks and land ships, blimps and sky fortresses.  The same rules are used for pretty much all of the models though.

There is also now more variation.  The rulebook includes complete fleet lists for all 4 factions; including all their naval, land and aerial units as well as static fortifications and other buildings such as comm towers and landing strips.  You can also upgrade many units with different options.  For example the Prussian Battleship can be taken as it is with three gun turrets or you can replace one of these turrets with a UPG generator, a shield generator or a tesla generator – essentially giving you 4 variations for the Prussian Battleship.

What do I think?

On the whole I like it.  I like the look and the genre.  The rules are still fairly simple and I get the impression that Spartan Games has taken on board a lot of the feedback from US and FA and changed somethings for the better whilst still retaining the games uniqueness.  One of the things I really like is that your ships (etc.) have more options.  In the previous games you really didn’t have much variation.  For example if you wanted to take a second battleship in your fleet your only option was one that was identical to the battleship you already had.  At least now you can make some changes.  There is also more variation between the fleets with special rules assigned to specific models that are often unique to a certain faction.

So what don’t I like.  Well as far as the game is concerned not much (except maybe the stupidly high firepower of the FSA battleship). I have been a fan of both US and FA and really enjoy playing both games.  My only real issue is the construction of the fleet lists.  The whole rulebook was nicely put together until that point, then all sence of cohesion seems to have broken down.  The lists themselves are good; comprehensive and give you a full list of the rules for each model, but what gets to me is the pictures that they’ve put with it.  They’ve illustrated the lists (good thing) but often not put the image next to the unit’s entry in the list (ahh).  For example the entry for the Britannian MK II Tank is on page 90, yet for some reason the image of it is on page 92.  Whats even more classic is that on page 96 there are 2 images of the Prussian Bomber (why 2 I do not know) and their entry is on page 99.  I know that not all of the models will have been designed when the rulebook was released, but perhaps it would have been better to leave the space rather than randomly placing images of some of the units all over the show.  I know its only a petty thing, but it does kind of ruin the book a little.

The other concern I have is that of production.  With a new game out and new models to produce will US and FA be put on the sidelines?  And how long will it be before all of the models for each fleet are available?  Only time will tell.  I’m sure this wont be the last post from 6 inch about Dystopian Wars.

Book Review: Birdsong By Sebastian Faulks

This novel was first published in 1993, but I’m a slow reader. Really though my elderly neighbour loaned me her copy last Thursday and I couldn’t put it down.

The book, without going into too much boring detail is a fiction about the life and times of a soldier, Stephen, who fought in the first world war. It tells of times before, during and after and sometimes concentrates on other minor characters who are important in Stephen’s life. This book is excellent, it’s a real page turner. I have never before found the fear and emotion expressed by soldiers as they are about to go ‘over the top’ communicated so effectively as I have in this book. The chapter where Stephen is involved in the the first day of the battle of the Somme is especially memorable as one reads and can see the disaster unfolding even before anyone has jumped over the parapet.

Not all of the book is set in the war, and there are several chapters based in the 1910s and the 1970s, but these help to flesh everything out and make the characters even more believeable which draws the reader in deeper when they face certain annihilation in the horrors of the war.

The only downside I could see with this book comes right near the very end: it really could have done with being a little bit longer. The entire book builds up these fascinating characters, with their hopes and dreams, but their entire lives after 1918 are summed up by an old lady in a cafe literally in about 3 lines set in 1979. ‘Oh yes, he died here, she died there, he married her.’ I found this a real disappointment after seeing what everyone had gone through and I was hoping for something more. Maybe the characters in 1979 could have found out more details as part of their ongoing investigation into their ancestors (which is what these characters were doing anyway), or even there to have been some kind of epilogue chapter to tie things up smartly.

Overall, an excellent read despite the minor disapointment at the very end. Very emotional and very moving. Birdsong gets 4 chirps out of 5.

Warhammer 8th Edition – 2nd Game Findings

There are about three or four things I can think of writing a post for today, however, I really feel that I should follow up by telling you all about the second game of Warhammer we played using the new edition of the rules. This means, of course, that I will now forget the amazing topics I have selected for posting later in the week, no doubt they would have been chock-full or profound insights into the gaming world and its community, I apologise now for depriving you of such unbridled awesomesauce.

From the picture gracing the beginning of this post you can probably guess what I was fielding. I knocked up a 2000pts Daemons list while Gribblin penned a new Happy Tree Friends list. It wasn’t massively dissimilar from the list I took against against the Vampires but this one had a Treeman in it, not that Gribblin has the best of luck with Treemen in general (a trend to be repeated this time around). I came up with a list that used what I had to hand, it ended up being suprisingly effective, here is what I took;

Herald of Tzeentch with Master of Sorcery (Lore of Death) and Spellbreaker – General

Herald of Slaanesh Battle Standard Bearer with Standard of Sundering and Siren Song

Masque of Slaanesh

25 Daemonettes with Full Command and the Siren Standard

20 Bloodletters with Full Command and Icon of Endless War

10 Flesh Hounds

5 Flamers

3 Blood Crushers with Standard and Icon of Endless War

It was compact, with hindsight my spell lore choice was wrong and I might as well have not taken the banner because we totally forgot it was there for the whole battle. Our scenario was to kill each other (nice and simple) and the deployment was the random rolls. Luckily I ended up with my entire army either on my left flank or in the centre, so I naturally turtled my army together with only the Blood Crushers heading out towards the right of the centre protecting that flank around the Haunted Mansion in the middle of the table. Gribblin rolled for his stuff and everything pretty much ended up in the middle other than the Treeman who had to be delpoyed on my right flank far away from everything.

Through the course of the battle the Haunted Mansion did more damage to my troops than the Wood Elf shooting (D6 Str1 hits, I rolled average for hits but nearly every hit I rolled a 6 for the wound roll). I got off Purple Sun once which ended up clearing line of sight through a unit I wasn’t aiming for so the Herald got peppered by arrows in the following turn. The Bloodletters got flank charged by Wild Riders and sat there for a few turns before my rampaging Daemonettes arrived to help them out. To be honest the Daemonettes were the stars of the show, the Flamers didn’t do too badly as they rolled oodles of shots every turn, but the Slaanesh troops just tore things apart. Always Strikes First is really nasty and the fact I took a big block of 25 helped minimise the impact of casualties. They ripped apart Treekin, massacred the Wild Riders and then ate through Glade Guard. Sure they are only Strength 3 but the sheer number of attacks is ridiculous and then they are re-rolling their misses and dice just mount up, with Wood Elves having next to no armour to speak of, it just made things better for the Daemons.

I held back my Herald which kind of gimped him, Lore of Death has some pretty low ranges on its spells so didn’t get to make much use of the fact he knew all the spells. Overall magic can have a much bigger impact on the game but if things go wrong it can hurt you just as much, it’s a very risky business nowadays but if you have access to a level 4 Wizard I can’t see a hugely compelling reason not to take one. With the bonus to cast and dispel you don’t really need support either, sharing your pool dice with another wizard using smaller bonuses doesn’t see all that good. For armies like Daemons the Battle Standard bearer is now a must. Even though we forgot the banner I gave to mine the re-rolls on Instability tests was great, even when I rolled and eleven, re-rolled and got an eleven again. 8th really did give the BSB a boost and I expect them to be much more prevalent than they used to be. Certain armies always have benefitted from one but with the current changes I feel that almost every army will try and cram one in.

Little things like being able to move your units backwards provides you with options that were not really there before, this allows you to expand your thinking when moving your troops, there isn’t just the option of trudging forwards. If you think you might just be within range for something to charge you, now you can shuffle back a few inches and, barring a lucky dice roll, be odds on to avoid it and gain the bonus for charging yourself in the next turn.

I’m not sure about the new Terrain rules though, I like the random number of elements there are on the table as well as the new scenarios to play, however, not knowing if a wood is really a wood, or the chance that walking near that building could lose you half a unit just seems a mite too unpredicatable. I know they are trying to show off just what the Warhammer world is like, but these funnies and random elements do not translate to a game where you are trying to test each other. I’ll continue with it for a while but some of the elements (haunted mansion for instance) can have too great an impact on things.

Overall, two games in I am enjoying the new version of Warhammer, I pick up the rest of the models to make my 3ooopts army this Friday. Hopefully some hours of gluing various bits to my personal body parts will mean that I then end up with something I can chuck on the table and have a go properly with an aarmy list I’ve worked out and bought to with the new edition in mind. I can then play something while painting the rest of my War of the Ring units.

Final Fight Comes To Xbox 360 Live Arcade!

As I was casually strolling through Xbox Live Arcade earlier imagine my excitement as I noticed that Final Fight has finally crawled out of the woodwork and on to a popular console.

Ok, so maybe you can’t imagine. Maybe it wasn’t even excitement, maybe it was more of a raised eyebrow, but you must understand that over 20 years have elapsed since my excitement at first playing this game. Down to the local arcade we used to stroll in our inflatable shoes which seemed like a good idea at the time, and put our hard earned coins into the Final Fight arcade machine.

The premise of the game seems so simple now, but at the time it was groundbreaking. You, and a friend, got to beat the proverbial out of hordes of street villians in what proved to be one of the best beat ’em up games of the era. The storyline was suitably flimsy – the mayor’s daughter has been kidnapped by Mad Gear, a motley crime gang and not some kind of dutch mail order catalogue. Unluckily for the kidnappers the girl’s boyfriend is a badass street fighter, her best friend is a ninja and her dad (the mayor) happens to be a behemoth of a pro-wrestler. So rather than calling in SWAT, our heroes take to the streets to personally hand out the beatdowns. The gameplay was straightforward, no complicated moves to learn and the on screen characters were suitably large.

Fast forward many years of occasionally finding this gem in a seaside arcade and it finally comes to the mainstream and a new generation. The Xbox Live Arcade version is a superb remastering. The options available are excellent – you can choose original soundtrack or a remixed version. Graphically you can reproduce the arcade cabinet down the sides of your screen. You can even reproduce that unique arcade CRT screen glow. Unfortunately though this once king of beat-em ups has aged very badly indeed. Of course, I played it again and loved it, but this game has a certain novelty nostalgia value for me. Viewed from a neutral standpoint this game is nothing more than a button mash. The moves available are limited to basic punches, kicks and the occasional throw. Only occasionally do you get limited use of a weapon, and there’s no option to block. At the time this game was awesome, but it has now been surpassed by so many games in so many ways. But still, this little piece of gaming history was important in the development of the genre. Capcom, not long after making Final Fight released the legendary Street Fighter 2, and you can catch a few glimpses of Final Fight’s influences in that game.

Overall then, this game is worth trying if you remember and love the original. If this all seems like ancient history to you then steer clear, there are better beat-em ups out there nowadays. Personally though, this is a trend I would like to see continuing. A few of the things that would probably make me explode not including ZombiePirate actually fielding a fully painted army would be if beat-em ups such as ‘The Punisher’ and ‘Captain Commando’ were to get similarily re-released to Xbox Live. I wouldn’t have to face the trauma of scouring Margate seafront, dodging all the purple rinse grannies in kiss me quick hats for a game and end up spending my entire weekend surviving on candyfloss and chips in an arcade with seedily sticky carpets. I’m just to old for that kind of malarky now!