Monday, 6 July 2015

Christmas In July

We went to visit our friends in Orange over the weekend, and because it's the middle of winter now and Orange gets suitably cold and frosty we did a small Christmas in July celebration. This, of course, eventually meant breaking out some board-games.

We played Thunder Road.

Mid-game congestion.

The winner - Catherine's juggernaut.

We finished off the evening with a few rounds of Tsuro, as this requires minimal effort to actually play. I forget who the winners were, but here you can see Jon taking his next move very seriously indeed.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Captain America For 'Supercrew'

Since it's the Fourth of July, where the inhabitants of one particular country celebrate an act of treason against their monarch by shooting fireworks into the air rather than guns at each other, I thought that I would post an appropriate Supercrew character write up.

Captain America

1 - Absolute peak of human physical ability
2 - Vibranium shield
3 - Inspirational leadership

Reroll (Inpirational leadership) - Patriotism
Change roll to '5' (Vibranium shield) - Throw shield
Effect 2 (Vibranium shield) - Defend others

Thursday, 2 July 2015

36AP HOTT Again

We tried some 36AP HOTT this evening, in advance of October's MOAB tournament which is probably going down that route. Simple setup - 36AP armies, but still one general, 1D6 PIPS and a 2' x 2' board (we are using 15mm figures). Would it work?

I knocked my Daleks into a 36AP army. Not really a combination I'd feel happy playing in a tournament though (although I have used them in the past) as the army I run has low mobility and striking power, relying on a long, slow grinding down of the enemy for a win. It's mostly Blades, backed up by some Artillery, aerials and Shooters.

I played Gary, who was using a Dwarven army with a similar structure to mine. Conceding the area of woods to him was a bad move, as it gave his Shooters a cover advantage over mine if I chose to engage them.

I attacked with the Blades (the ordinary Daleks) on my left; my aim was to engage his Blades in the long slog, whilst trying to take out his Artillery as well. My aerials were positioned in reserve (the Airboat flying saucer is the general as well), whilst the Artillery (Special Weapons Daleks) was positioned to prevent any sweeping moves by the Dwarves' ally giant or their bear-riding Hero.

The Artillery exchanged fire whilst the armies closed.

The Dalek attack goes in.

The Dwarven Hero posed impressively on a hilltop, having accounted for some of the Dalek army.

But he was shot down by the Special Weapons Daleks.

With the Hero gone it was safe to move the Command Saucer into a position to block the retreat of the Dwarf rank and file - which it did.

Gary made a valiant attempt to reorganise his line on the hill, and the Daleks were taking reasonable casualties, but a couple of bounds after this picture was taken they advanced on the giant and slew it with the aid of the saucer.

In another game Geoff used Barsoomians against an army of Evil Gong Squidmen and Elephantmen run by Dave, the man who designed the figures. I think the Barsoomians lost.

Caesar was using an Ancient Greek themed army with plenty of Behemoths and some wild warriors.

In their first game they made short work of JohnT's Wars of the Roses army.

They then went o to defeat Peter's Greek army, another force replete with monsters.

I think people enjoyed the format. Command and control is harder - you have more troops but the same PIPs, so you have to be more wary of breaking groups up. Also the armies deploy over a wider area, making command distance an issue. Deployment room didn't seem to be an issue, although the games took a little longer to play than a regular 24 P game which may be an issue for a tournament.

Bryan and Ralph played a small game of Hail Caesar

The figures are still being painted and based, hence the uncharacteristic unfinished look.

Monday, 29 June 2015


Several years ago I built a steampunk robot out of Lego. I do that kind of thing sometimes. Since I have been pondering the superhero roleplaying game 'Supercrew' over the past couple of days I thought that it would be an interesting exercise to write him up.

To be honest I haven't thought of a fully fleshed-out background for him (it seems to be a 'him'). The Supercrew games I ran a few years ago were set in an idealised, comic-book Victorian London, this this construct would fit right in there, as a member of The Impossible Club (the organisation which drew the characters together). I see him as a kind of Victorian version of Data from Star Trek; of unknown origin, discovered, reconstrcted and reactivated. An intelligent self-aware mechanical device trying to live in the world of humans and maybe become more like them.

He was originally designated the Steam-Powered Ambulatory Difference-Engine, but 'Babbage' seems a good name for everyday use.

I envisage him as a vast store of knowledge encased in robust humanoid mechanical frame. Powered by a small but efficient steam-engine he also generates and uses electrostatic energy to run his cognitive functions (because the term 'electrostatic cognition' is one I feel has to be used from time to time).

Here he is in Supercrew terms

Steam-powered Ambulatory Difference-Engine

1 - Repository of Knowledge
2 - Robust Mechanical Body
3 - Steam-Power

[ ] Reroll - Efficient Indexing (Repository of Knowledge)
[ ] Effect 2 – Steam Jets! (Steam-Power)
[ ] Change One Die To 5 – Built to Last (Robust Mechanical Body)
[ ] Anecdote Bonus

Hero Points: 0

Toughness: 3

The Repository of Knowledge ability represents Babbage's ability to access data on just about anything he has read (which is a lot). The Robust Mechanical Body means that he is resistant to damage, but it can be assumed that he's pretty strong as well. Steam-Power is the least-used ability, and I would see it as using the body's power-source in creative ways. 

Now all I have to do is encourage my daughter to run a game. Or break out the Mythic GM Emulator and do my own.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A Good Upbringing

Those who follow this blog, or who know me of old, will know that my family do participate in gaming activities. My wife has been playing games with me pretty much since we met, and my children from as soon as they were old enough - they both played in HOTT tournaments before they were ten years old for example.

I have run a couple of RPGs for the family over the years, but recently my daughter and her friends have been playing them online, via Skype. This week she did me proud, though, by running her very first face-to-face session as a GM. She ran a game of the rules-lite superhero game 'Supercrew' and apparently it went very well - I spoke to one of her friends afterwards, and she'd really enjoyed the game. Apparently her heroes ended up fighting baddies who'd invaded the Sydney Opera House, and turned it into a rampaging mechanical crab-monster. It all sounded utterly daft, but great fun, and she had obviously picked up basic GM tricks such as not being afraid to change her plans in order to make the game more awesome for the players.

I'm very proud of her, And it's nice to know that there's someone else in the house able to run a game; I much prefer being a player, but up until now no-one else has ever wanted to run the games.
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