Friday, 28 September 2018

Extreme Sports

With MOAB on this weekend I wanted to brush up on my Munera Sine Missione, as Victor and I are returning to running gladiators again this year. Caesar was up for a try, so away we went.

I was actually late getting there, and a few of us spent a fair chunk of the evening recounting our adventures at the St Ives Medieval Fair, so we only managed two bouts. I'll admit that the games were also slowed by the fact that I'd managed to forget most of the rules, and had to look tons of stuff up. I'm sure it's not age. Oh no.

Anyway, here we are in the first game.

I took the sword-wielding Margareites whilst Caesar had the hoplite, Helena. He found the long spear a tricky weapon to handle (to be fair, it is) but put up a pretty hard fight before I was able to knock her down and force an appeal to the crowd. To be fair she almost took off Margareites' head with her shield as well. The crowd must have liked that, because they granted her mercy.

Our next fight was between two diminutive gladiators - the retiarius Titan and the murmillo Pugnax. This ranged up and down the arena, with Pugnax being trapped in the net early on, but deflecting attacks from Titan before cutting free. Titan took a nasty wound, but was proving agile and dangerous in returning hits with his trident. Eventually the referee called the match a draw.

Fired up by our trip to the medieval fair, Caesar was happy to give my 'in progress' jousting rules a go. We played two matches, each of three passes. In the first match Caesar scored an advantage in the very first pass by unseating my knight. I clawed back some points in the other two passes, but the final result was then never in doubt. The second match was closer, almost coming down to a tie-break in which the Marshal of the Field's opinion of the knights would have determined the victor, but I managed a shattered lance in the third pass to squeak a victory margin of one point and make the Marshal's opinion an irrelevance.

Surprisingly we found a couple of minor points in Munera Sine Missione that could probably do with clarification; inevitable when you tend to hold the rules in your head and assume it's obvious how they're played. The jousting game needs a few tweaks and changes but is, I think, almost ready for posting on my Free Stuff page. We certainly both enjoyed it, and found it was fast enough to reflect the nature of the sport, offering a few decisions and tactical choices offset by enough randomness to create some moments of drama.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

A Brace Of Mishkins

I completed these cars for Gaslands last week, and even used them in a game as well, but I thought it would be nice to show them off in their own blog post. They're the first 'team' I've done for the game; up until now I've just been doing generic vehicles and fitting them into the game's fluff. These were specifically designed with a Gaslands faction in mind - the super-science of Mishkin.

The weapon on this car is a piece from a printer-ink cartridge with a bead as the power-pack.

This is a Ramshackle bike. When cleaning it up it snapped off the base (a problem with resin), so I remounted it doing a wheelie, as it made the model more interesting.

The weapon was an addition; it's made from a cocktail stick, a piece of plastic tubing, some wire and some milliput.

I have two more vehicles on the painting table with the same colour-scheme, so together they should look quite impressive.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Surely You Joust

I went to the St. Ives Medieval Fair this weekend, which is the first time I've been to a reenactor event since we emigrated here ten years ago. It was a big affair, with a range of late Dark Age and medieval groups displaying their skills. The highlights were the working trebuchet (truly a sight to behold) and the jousting, which is part of what appears to be a thriving international competitive jousting circuit. The St Ives event is the only solid-point lance competition held in Australia. The lances are just that - solid wood, with a steel crown - there's no balsa or papier-mache breakaway parts. It's full on, and fantastic to watch.

Here's a few photos.

Anyway I felt inspired to try some tabletop jousting. Victor had pointed me to a set of rules he's planning on using at MOAB next Saturday, which are very quick and simple, but I fancied something with just a touch more depth. So this lunchtime I wrote my own, and Catherine graciously accepted the challenge of giving them their first outing this evening.

They still need a bit of work, but the core mechanism seemed to hold up OK. Each joust consists of three tilts, and knights score points for hitting their opponent or breaking their lance. They should score points for unseating their opponent, but I haven't quite sorted out that mechanism yet; in the St Ives event the scores a 1 point for a hit, 2 if you break your lance and 3 if you unseat your opponent. Some rules have unseating your foe as an automatic win, but for a game that seems a bit 'sudden death'.

Each 'tilt' consists of four rounds, at the end of which the knights are assumed to pass and their attacks are resolved. In each round the knight seeks to build up scores in three attributes - Balance, Aim and Force. These all start at '1', and can go up to '5'. At the start of the 'tilt' one attribute is declared as the 'focus'. In a round a knight rolls 3D6, and each dice that scores 4 or more allows one to be added to the total of an attribute. However the first point spent must be spent on the focus attribute. If there is a double in the 3D6 roll then after assigning points the knight can change the 'focus' to a different attribute. When attacks are resolved, each knight rolls a single D6 against each of their attribute scores, looking to get equal to or less than the value. Balance is resolved first, representing the knight leaning away from their opponent, parrying or deflecting with their shield. A successful Balance roll allows the knight t reduce either their opponent's Aim or Force score. Aim is used to determine if the knight scores a hit, worth 1 point. If a hit is scored, the knight can roll against Force to see if it breaks their lance, increasing their score to 2 points.

Most of the work now lies in balancing the numbers a little, as well as introducing more decisions, which I think will revolve mostly around how the doubles are used. In our games, as well as being allowed to shift focus,  a double could be used to gain a lady's favour, offering rerolls in future rounds. I also need a mechanism for unseating your opponent; again this could be something doubles could be used to increase the chance of.

Anyway, the game was quick, and relatively fun. Our first joust ended in a 2-2 draw; Catherine scored two hits to my zero in the first two tilts, but I saved face in the last tilt with a broken lance. In the second game Catherine won 4-3.

Obviously if I get it past the 'scribbled notes on a bit of paper' stage, I'll post the full rules in my Free Stuff section.

Friday, 21 September 2018

More Death-Racing

We played our first club game of Gaslands yesterday where each player brought their own vehicles. And, with one exception, they did their own designs as well. We also rolled for which scenario we would play (each scenario favours, or doesn't favour, particular team designs, so in their you need to optimise your builds). However the rolls are very much weighted towards the Death Race, and that's what we got.

We set up this circuit. (Sorry about the quality of photos; I'm still getting used to the camera on my new phone).

The starters. They were:

Jason, running two Miyazaki-sponsored cars.
Ed, running a single Miyazaki-sponsored monster-truck.
Dave, running two Slime-sponsored cars.
Caesar, running a car and two buggies, sponsored by Idris
Myself, running a bike and a performance car sponsored by Mishkin

Most of us made a clean getaway from the start-line. Caesar slipped up his activation sequence and ended up having his front-row Mini getting rear-ended by Dave's ram-equipped car. Dave sliced through the Mini, and then destroyed the wreck.

Ed's monster-truck and my performance car quickly got out in front.

Jason chased the monster-truck with an explosive ram, but ended up being destroyed by his own weaponry, whilst having little effect on his target.

I got through the first gate activating my weapons and leaving an inconvenient oil-slick for the other racers. Unfortunately I also wiped out, narrowly missing a shipping container.

With a lot of larger vehicles jostling off the start-line, I sent my vulnerable bike the long way around.

More vehicles approached the first gate, where their weapons would become hot.

As my car got back into the race (via reversing into a wall like a complete dill), Caesar brought his Freeway Fighter into action, and destroyed me with rockets.

My bike came into action at that point, damaging Caesar's car with a double-shot from its nifty laser-beam, before falling to a rocket attack from Caesar's surviving buggy.

Meanwhile the Freeway Fighter used more rockets on Ed's monster-truck, which ended up badly damaged.

Ed misjudged a slide, and the truck clipped an obstacle, taking just enough damage to destroy him, putting him out of the race for a turn.

Unfortunately the rest of us couldn't get ourselves organised to exploit Ed's brief departure. I got my car running again just long enough to fire one shot from its arc-lightning projector, before Caesar used more rockets to destroy it again. My shot did take out both Caesar and Dave's lead vehicles though.

Jason finally got a car across Gate 1, and launched a RC car-bomb at Dave's second vehicle, slightly damaging him.

In revenge Dave rammed Jason's car, setting off a trail of carnage that ended up with Dave navigating a field of wrecks.

Meanwhile Ed had got the monster-truck running again, and was so far ahead that we called the race in his favour.

This was a fun game, as no-one knew quite what everyone else would be using in advance. Ed made good use of the Miyazaki traits to dominate the racing, although was vulnerable to some extent to any vehicles that could get in a decent shot on him. Jason was unlucky with his early explosive-ram attack, that would have hampered Ed's chances before gate 1 had it done more damage. Caesar's rockets were deadly after the first gate. There's a lot of suggestion that, as a weapon-system, they're under-priced or over-powered, although their knock-on effects can cause unwanted chaos if not managed right. I was happy with my designs, which were packed with cheap, small weapon systems designed to trigger Mishkin's audience vote mechanism, whilst also making good use of the combat laser and the rather useful arc-lightning projector. My vehicles weren't built for a sustained rough and tumble though; I lost out when I failed to break away after the first gate with my performance car (due to wiping out), and also brought my bike into the race too early; I should have hung back a little more.

It would still have been nice to have a non-race scenario, though. Maybe next time  ...

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Return To The Mad Max Museum

In a previous post I promised a post about our return to the Mad Max II Museum in Silverton, NSW. And here it is.

We first visited this museum nearly three years ago whilst on holiday in the Broken Hill area. Since then the owners have expanded the collection and reorganised the display, so I thought it would be worth another trip.

So here's the sign telling you where to go. Although, to be honest, the museum is rather obvious on top of a hill.

Inside hasn't changed. The main part is a room full of memorabilia and ephemera, mostly concerned with Mad Max II, but now with some Fury Road stuff too. You can't take photos in that bit, so the only way to see the incredible collection of costume bits, props and production photos is to visit the museum.

Outside, however, are the vehicles, both actual and replicas. You can take photos of those. And here they are.

Anyone playing car-combat games wants a model V8 Interceptor, so I thought a few pictures of the extra fuel-tanks at the rear wouldn't go amiss for reference purposes.

To be honest blogger has mixed up the photos. I'm assuming that if you know the film you'll recognise the vehicles. And if you have any questions put them in the comments.

I rather like the idea of doing a car like this, with the bat design on the bonnet.

This is the original bus from the film, used as the gate to the refinery compound.

And this is the original gyrocopter from the film.

Catherine and I both posed with Mel Gibson, who was as wooden and two-dimensional as you'd expect.

I hope you found the pictures of use and/or interest.
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