Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The 40k Hibernation and My Other Gaming News

Hello all, welcome back to What To Play.

Spring has sprung (though you wouldn't know it here in chilly Wisconsin with reports of freezing rain scheduled for tonight) and that means it's time to pack up anything which isn't being used.  Sadly, that means my Warhammer 40k is about to get the box treatment.

This is both comforting and bittersweet for me.  I have enjoyed my time playing the game and building various models for it, but this hiatus from it has been a long time coming.  I do plan to keep a couple models close by just in case someone in my group gets the itch again.  We shall see!

Over the weekend I was able to play some fantastic games.  The first was the DC Comics Deckbuilding Game.  The set-up is fairly simple and the game's strategies become apparent very quickly early on.  The theme seems a little tacked on as there really is no connection between quite a few of the games cards and the abilities they possess.  Players can experience huge swings of good or bad luck in the game, though.  This can be extremely frustrating, especially if it is the player's first time playing the game.  Despite this, the game is fun and tends to be a fast play.

The next game was Legendary: The Marvel Deckbuilding Game, a game for 1 to 5 players.  Noticing a pattern?  I love this game and was able to get tons of plays in over the weekend, having just completed collecting all the expansions.  Where the DC Deckbuilder is competitive, the Marvel game is a cooperative game where you work together to defeat the mastermind.

The next game was Summoner Wars.  This is a 2 to 4 player game (but really, 2) where you go head to head with your opponent, summoning creatures to spaces on a board and playing tactic cards.  Each army is limited in movement and attacks, creating an interesting balance mechanism which allows the game to swing back and forth in regards to who is in the lead.  Since the goal of the game is to kill the opponent's summoner and that character tends to be the most powerful character, it's a double edged sword and hard to decide if you want that character to be kept safe or enter the battle.

When more people showed up, we decided to play Bang! The Dice Game.  A game for 3-8 players, everyone has a hidden role belonging to 1 of 4 groups, the sheriff, the deputy, the outlaws, and the renegade.  These groups have different goals and try to figure out who is on their side while avoiding arrows and bullets from neighbors.

Finally, we played two games of 7 Wonders.  This card drafting game for 3 to 7 players plays in about 30 minutes and is really easy to learn.  Each player has a location board and attempts to draft cards which will gain them points or create resources to gain points.  All in all a great experience.

Well, that's it for today.  Sorry there aren't any gameplay pictures, I forgot my camera at home (a frustrating habit I need to break).  Hopefully this weekend I remember to bring it with me and can share some game play pictures with you fine folks.  Till next time, happy gaming!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

X-Wing Battle Report

Hello all, welcome back to What To Play!  This weekend I was able play a second game of X-Wing, and wow was it a close one!

Our game consisted of 150 points a side on a 3' x 3' board, 4 players each controlling 75 points.  On looking back, I think the game is a little tight in those quarters.

The beginning of the game started with the Rebellion running Han Solo and a B-Wing on the upper left flank while the upper right had Wedge and Luke, each sporting Proton Torpedo's while Luke had R2-D2 (seriously, R2 is the best upgrade in the game, hands down).

The Imperials started with 5 Tie Fighters in a formation in the bottom left, Darth Vader, a Tie Bomber, and one of the new Imperial Aces on the bottom right.  The Tie Fighters shot forward to confront the Falcon and the Advanced/Bomber/Interceptor all shot in to assist.  The Falcon needed to turn to attempt to get away from the nightmare of the Tie's, but quickly fell to their might.

Meanwhile, the B-Wing flew forward doing damage to the Interceptor and to Darth Vader.  At this point the Falcon was down to 1 hull point, and things were looking pretty grim for the Rebellion.

The Ties flew forward and ended up crashing into the Tie Bomber, causing a mass pile up.  Wedge and Luke did their best to try to take down Vader, but he managed to escape their destruction.

The Tie Bomber managed to get in front of the Tie Fighters, while the Ties finished off the Falcon and prepared to make their way to the three remaining ships.  The B-Wing flew in front of Wedge, causing him to become fatigued when he crashed into him.  However, it was at this point the Ties started to take some damage.  Wedge took some hits and was left with no shields by this point as well.

The Interceptor made a critical error in the dial and flew toward the board edge instead of away from it, leaving him no choice but to fly off the edge of the board the next round after collecting a stress token.

It was at this point Darth Vader took a critical hit and went down, taken out by Luke Skywalker (which brought me much amusement!).  Things were still looking grim, however, as there were still 4 Ties and the Interceptor doing their best to destroy the B-Wing.  Eventually, the B-Wing took too much damage and was removed from the battle.  The Tie Bomber found itself in a similar position as the Interceptor and had nowhere to go but off the board.

The Tie Fighters kept dishing out hits, but R2-D2 kept giving him his shields back.  Still, he had taken 1 hull damage and there was a real possibility the Ties could come back and shoot him down.  The Tie at the bottom of the board, however, was destined to fly off into the void, never to be seen again.  This left Luke in a much better position than I had believed possible.

Lots of reversals and shots later, Luke managed to shoot the last two Tie Fighters in a stunning upset.  By all accounts the Imperials had the game, but due to a couple bad maneuvers (choosing the wrong direction) and some asteroid hits (the funniest being Darth Vader going over an asteroid with a loop de loop, only to fly over the same asteroid) and some hot dice to make up for my really cold dice in the beginning, the Rebellion managed a win.

Well, that's my account of the events, as best as I can remember them.  Hopefully you enjoyed this battle report and if so I'd love to hear some feedback on changes I could make in the future.  I had a lot of fun playing and the outcome surprised me as much as anyone.

Till next time, happy gaming!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Repainted X-Wings, Firespray, Tie Fighters

Welcome back to What To Play.  I don't know about the rest of you, but for me this is going to take a while to get used to!

In my last post I mentioned I had been working on repainting some X-Wing minis.  Below is the Firespray I've repainted.  I still have to paint the cockpit  but for the most part this is finished.

Three Tie Fighters, inked in black, highlighted with a grey/blue mix, windows given a sheen, and finished up with a painting of the ion engines.

And below we have Red 5 and Red 2 with better pictures than in the previous post.

That's about it for now.  My hope is to get a game in Saturday.  I plan to take pictures and report how it goes.  Till next time, happy gaming!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Blog Title Change, New Direction

Welcome back to What To Play... wait, what?!?

Well, that's the title I decided on.  After a lot of soul searching and advice from readers I have decided a more inclusive name for the blog was the best course of action.  I'm still planning on making scratch builds for 40k, but my interests have grown far beyond the scope of one game.  Not just miniature games, mind you, but also board and card games as well.

So, don't be surprised if I include information about games like Glory to Rome, Eminent Domain, A Study In Emerald, X-Wing, and Android: Netrunner.  Speaking of X-Wing...

I've been spending some time repainting the X-Wing fighters I picked up.  My collection of ships is slowly growing, however.  On the Rebel side I have 2 X-Wings, an A-Wing, a Y-Wing, and a B-Wing.  For the Imperial side I have a Firespray, 3 Tie Fighters, a Tie Advanced, a Tie Bomber, and a Tie Interceptor.

Painted as Red 2, Wedge Antilles

Painted as Red 5, Luke Skywalker
Of course, having all those ships means I need a transport for them.  Luckily, Plano makes a fantastic container which seems as though it was accidentally built for this purpose.

Nice how everything just fits in there, isn't it?

Well, that's it for today.  Now that I'm covering so much more in the hobby realm, hopefully I can maintain more updates.  Till next time, happy gaming!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Crisis of Game Faith, Contemplating a Change

Welcome back scratch build fans!  I'd like to take this time to be a little selfish and explain my current thoughts on the blog's namesake and what I'm currently debating with myself.  So hopefully you stick with me to the end and maybe give me your own thoughts on the topic at hand.

Two Chaos Land Raiders, built from scratch

When I began playing 40k around the year 2000, I had a lot of income to spend on whatever I wanted.  Everything was new and shiny, and gosh darn it if Warhammer Fantasy didn't scratch an itch I had!  That's right, 40k wasn't my first Games Workshop love.  I really loved the story behind the Lizardmen (and just about everything else) and had a blast playing it.

One of my first Fantasy models
However, the players of Fantasy started to dwindle and move on to other games, one of which was Warhammer 40k.  Again, we had a lot of fun playing the game, but it was pretty obvious which armies were stronger than others after a few months, but by then it was too late.  The lack of balance often caused arguments and frustration for the players.  Most of us put away our models at this time (4th edition) and happily stuck with console gaming.

The first army I bought for 40k, Iyanden Eldar

When 5th edition hit a group of friends were really excited to play again, building tables and bringing their armies out of storage.  We even played some Apocalypse games.  A few years ago, though, we started to realize people were getting frustrated again.  Some armies were left behind (Black Templars, Chaos) while others we owned were way ahead of others (Grey Knights).  Friends stopped having game nights and no one really wanted to get together anymore.

Warhound Titan I built from scratch, gave away as a SB40k Prize

So, I've been waiting.  Waiting for the game to rekindle their interest.  Waiting for that itch to need scratching.  I was certain eventually my main playgroup would want to dive back in again.  I've had a couple 6th edition games played, but for the most part it's only been hobbying, which I share here.

And while I understand a lot of people are excited by the changes which have come for 6th edition, I'm not really thrilled.  I don't want to play a game dominated by gun line armies.  I hate the idea of taking tons of screamers and heralds in the hopes of getting a 2++ reroll so I can survive against 140 shots.  To me, that's not fun, and I've seen a lot of others who feel the same way.

So many Daemons!  No reason, just wanted to add them

What this means, however, is my own joy in the game, and hobbying for it by extension, isn't what it used to be.  You may have noticed I've struggled to continue delivering posts on scratch building for 40k.  Posts are short and I don't put as much effort into the writing as I used to.  I'm just afraid the thrill is gone.

This is not to say I don't have joy in hobbying.  Far from it!  I've just felt my interests drifting toward board gaming and X-Wing in particular.  I began building a X-Wing game board and repainting the miniatures of the game.  To top it off, I've been playing Android Netrunner, Eminent Domain, A Study In Emerald, and tons of other games which my current board game group has been playing like crazy.

And what I've learned is this- I don't have to play and build for a game which has bad rules.  I don't have to wait 8 or 9 months for a FAQ which doesn't answer the questions the community wants answered.  In essence, I don't have to play a game where the company who makes it continues to blame players for not playing the game 'as they intended'.

Ok, so where does that leave Scratchbuilt 40k?  Honestly, I don't know.  I love blogging and sharing with you fine folks all the weird stuff I'm building and what I've done.  Most of all, I love talking about games.  The main problem is when I began this blog I sort of focused on a very narrow topic- building from scratch stuff for Warhammer 40k.  Right there in the title, fairly self explanatory.  But if I start blogging about other stuff here, I'm not being honest about the site and what I'll be providing to those of you who have stuck with me for so long.  And that's where I am now.

I haven't pulled the plug on SB40k yet, and I don't know if it will come to that.  I've done my best not to allow my negative feelings about 40k to seep into the blog, instead focusing on the hobby aspect.  For now, though, it feels a little overwhelming and I just don't know if I can keep up appearances.

Anyways, thanks to all for reading this far through my rambling novel.  You've all been great and given me so much inspiration to continue hobbying and blogging about my efforts in this crazy game.  While I don't know exactly what will happen, I'll be sure to let you all know what I finally decide in regards to Scratchbuilt 40k.  Till then, take care and keep hobbying.

(Brian Paasch)

P.S.  I'd be thrilled to hear from you fine folks on your own thoughts on the game.  Are you enjoying it more than ever?  Do you turn to other games in the meantime because you're not thrilled?  What would you do in my shoes?  I'd love to know and I'll happily respond to each one of you.