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dinsdag 28 februari 2012

"Monday" Morning Gamer 28/2

Hello and welcome to another edition of MMG. I’ll ignore the fact that it isn’t Monday, as per usual, and just move on to telling what I have for you today.

Firstly, a report of the start of our Blood in the Badlands campaign. We’ve officially started and already things are turning out grim and bloody. Good stuff!

Next up is some American Football related stuff that some might find interesting. I do, at least!

And finally, because can you really ever have enough, a look at a newish 40K expansion by Forgeworld, called Zone Mortalis. They made some awesome terrain pieces but you’ll see those later on.

Off we go!

Fantasy Campaign underway!

It has begun!
As of last Friday, we are officially underway with our Blood in the Badlands campaign! I’d bundled all the previous blog posts on the campaign rules (and some additional stuff) into a 11 page campaign document.  After spending a bit of time discussing the campaign and our expectations, clarifying stuff that needed clarifying and just getting a bit familiar with the Campaign Turn mechanic, we were off!

We each chose starting positions, which already had some scheming. As you might remember, Apophis, Jerroii, and myself had just last year played a Fantasy map campaign and, while it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, we each thought it would be nice if we weren’t clumped together on this map so that most battles we would fight would be vs. non-too familiar opponents. As it turned out, Jerroii, the undead lord, could choose first (he choose yellow, or tile 37), with me going second. I decided to pick the red Empire for three reasons. One, it was as far away as I could get from Jerroii (what? My Warriors of Chaos ain’t scared of nuffin’!); second, it’s conveniently located in the north, which kinda makes sense from a fluff perspective; and thirdly, it gave me access to Fester Spike (red number 7), which allows me to include Skaven allies. Of course, I have plenty of Skaven to choose from!

Next up was Shalen, with his beastmen. He decided to help form a Chaos Enclave in the north, choosing the turquoise empire around Barak Varr. Apophis and his High Elves could then, very elegantly, no doubt, settle in the pink Empire in the South West. The last two players, Balephon and Bra’tac, were then left with either the purple and the green Empires. Balephon picked purple and Bra’tac’s Ogres finally settled in the South East. We each placed a mine and a fortress in our Empire and we were ready for the first turn!

Fozzrik’s Flying Fastness drifted off to settle over the capital of the Ogres, who (true to form), then promptly rolled a double 1 for his very first roll on the Random Events table. For those without access to that table, it means you lose a complete army for the rest of the Season! And we hadn’t even started properly yet!

Being the nice lot we are, we allowed him a mulligan and let him roll again.

Other notable Random events were the discovery of two new mines, one by Balephon and one by myself. Of course, my mine then exhausted itself without ever having provided me with anything, while Balephon’s mine was stolen by Apophis! It wasn’t all bad, though, since Apophis’ own mine then got stolen by the Beastmen! (See that little turquoise hexagon in the bottom left corner?)

Next it was time to plan our moves. We decided to plan our moves in a separate step before moving our armies on the map as it is fairly difficult for us to all come together once a week/fortnight to physically move our armies over the map, one player after another. With planned moves we can just all email our moves to one player and then move the armies all at once.

Bra’tac, no doubt happy that he still had all three of his armies, wasted no time and sent two of his armies to invade Jerroii’s realm. Jerroii, meanwhile, had conquest plans of his own, and launched an attack on Stormhenge in Bra’tac’s territory!

Apophis was determined to fling the filthy beastmen out of his super-hygienic high elf enclave and launched an attack on the beastmen mine that had belonged to him.

That left me and Balephon without anyone to challenge, so we just decided to fight each other!

And that’s where we are at right now. Apophis and Shalen have already fought there battle (a report of which I’ve yet to receive, btw. Must have something do to with me not yet having properly finished the campaign page I promised…). Bra’tac and Jerroii I think are set to fight as many  of their battles as they can possibly squeeze into a Sunday, and I’m looking forward to their reports.

Don’t forget, final results have to be in march 20th!

Watching Big Men in Shorts Jump
Projected top 5 pick Kalil running like mad!
Something a little bit different. Occasionally I like to sneak in some American Football tidbits in here, even though this blog is really only about tabletop wargaming. What can I say? I like American Football and it’s my blog!

For those of you who don’t care about football, feel free to skip ahead.

For those few still here, one of the things I love about the NFL is the draft. You know, that big lottery-like event where each turn in order can pick one of the college players who will play as pros starting next season. The team that finished last (Indianapolis Colts) gets the first pick, while the team that won the Super Bowl will pick last (32nd, the Giants). There’s 7 rounds in total and each team tries to come away with the most promising players who can contribute to their team.

It’s all well and good to want to pick the best player possible when it comes round to your pick in the draft, but you need to find out about the available players and then project how you’ll think they’ll do once they turn pro. Obviously this “scouting”  is a very inexact science to say the least, because how can you really say anything about how someone will do in the future? The variables are staggering.

But that’s where the fun is.

Precisely because it’s such an inexact science, everyone can and has an opinion on the available players and who will be the best fit where.

This week is an important one leading up to the draft in April. The scouting combine is underway. The combine is basically an athletic event where most all eligible players (the new rookies) will get measured and do set athletic drills, like a 40 yard sprint, a high jump from stand still, a bench pressing drill, and all manner of other stuff. With this information (and obviously film study of the game tape and whatnot) scouts will determine who is good and who is not.

Now, the combine is by no means the most important event for a rookie leading up to the draft, but every year there are players who perform so well at the combine their draft stock is said to rise (which means they are now expected to get picked sooner than was thought pre-combine).

After all that you’d think I’d have a point to make, but really I’m just excited that the draft is slowly approaching and I think it’s fun the NFL is making more and more combine stuff available to see online. It’s fun to see Dontari Poe (defensive tackle) perform so well in the drills that people are actually raving over them. Good stuff.

Also, if you like American Football and want to learn a bit more in-depth info, you should check out this video and this video. It’s bit of film study on the most important defensive tackles and wide receivers who will be so-called free agents this offseason, i.e. players whose contract expires and who can sign a contract with another team. I especially enjoyed the defensive tackles video and I always love Greg Cosell’s insightful analysis. And if nothing else, the receiver vid shows some amazing Brandon Lloyd catches.

Zone Mortalis – “New” 40k System

 Seen these yet? Those are battle tiles for a different kind of 40k game. Yes, after Apocalypse, Planetstrike, City Fight, and Spearhead there is now yet another way to play the game! (ok, technically it isn’t completely new as such, since apparently it was already in Imperial Armour 9, but I never read that, and this is a revised version anyway, so I’ll just pretend it’s completely new!)

The rules (which you can find here) are very simple but sounds like a lot of fun. I especially like the optional rules for using blips counters for units that can’t be seen by the enemy.

So what exactly is it? Well, Zone Mortalis is a rules set that allows you to fight battles indoors. Indoors being inside a space ship, in the belly of the underhive, in a research station on a desolate moon, an Adeptus Mechanicus Factory, an Eldar craftworld and whatever else you can think of! Honestly, besides the fact that the tiles look great and the rules are fun, I’m most excited about the opportunities this presents for narrative campaigns. With the game now going on 5 expansions, there will be very few combat situations left that can’t be represented by a game on the table top using one of the rules sets. There’s already lots of storylines forming in my head for a campaign!
Don’t be deceived by the scale of the pic. See the pic with the dreadnought? Yes, that’s how big it is.

Honestly, go have a read through the rules. They’re dead simple and look like a bucket of fun. Well, I better get back GMing our Fantasy Campaign before I get too caught up with 40K again.

Until next time!