Saturday, April 30, 2016

A session of FFG's Rebellion: Don't worry, I dealt with your Rebel friends soon enough!

I managed to squeeze one game of Star Wars: Rebellion from Fantasy Flight Games with my friend Jim today. I bought it when it first came out, but only now did I have the chance to try it out.

And it was worth it..

It took me a while to set up the game, and like most games today, Rebellion has a large footprint, taking space on my 6 foot table and more.

Nice production values all around.. Good thick 2 piece board, and nice sculpts on the minis. And there are lots of minis!

The minis looked great ..

Nice art on the board and on the cards as well..

The minis were in harder plastic than say, FFG's Runewars game, which I complained about in an earlier blog post. Both games had troops on triangle bases, but in Runewars, I found their minis fragile..Not so with Rebellion, which is good news.

A Triangle Base from RuneWars

Much sturdier Triangle Bases in Rebellion

Jim and I grew up with the original trilogy and traded quotes from the movies while we were playing, breaking into a lot of laughter. I greeted him at the door with "Governor Jim.. I should have recognized your foul stench when I set up the game..." for instance..

When I complained about Mon Mothma and Leia turning systems against me, and I complained the Rebels are like cockroaches, he gave me the Leia quote, but we both laughed.. "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.."

"You want a diet coke, Jim, then name the system!" (where the Rebel base is hidden, for those who don't get the Grand Moff Tarkin quote).

And on and on with the jovial quotes and barbs.

Yes, I played the Empire and Jim the Rebels. .

Where this game shines I think is it's strategy.. Leaders are very important in this game. You use them for missions such as diplomatic missions to sway systems to your side, but also for sabotage, intelligence, etc, and you can use your leaders to try and counter their missions.. It becomes a system of resource control as you have to constantly decide whether to use a leader for a mission, counter-mission or to move your fleets. You can't move your fleets without leaders, so if you allocate all your leaders to missions, you're basically telegraphing to your opponent that you can't move your fleet this turn.. You thus play your leaders like chess pieces..

Here for instance, I used General Tagge to move this Star Destroyer and troops to liberate Naboo from the Rebel yoke..

and here I used Grand Moff Tarkin to start construction of a Death Star in a nice safe isolated part of the galaxy..

You can see what leaders the other side is allocating to missions as you must place leaders on allocated mission cards, and you can try and guess your opponent's missions based on their skill sets on the card and so, plan ahead..

Leia and Mon Mothma were used a lot to spout lies about the Emperor and turn systems toward the Rebellion and away from the goodness and justice of His Majesty, the Emperor....

Accordingly, I had to on some occassions allocate a capture mission to try and capture them to keep them from spouting lies by planning ahead.. Of course you have to use up that leader to do so, taking him away from other important tasks..

The Rebel player can plan to counter my counter move by planning for rescue missions should that happen.. and so on..

I captured Mon Mothma once using Boba Fett and put a captured ring around her..

but Jim used Solo to rescue and free her..

So next time, I waited to see if Han Solo was assigned a mission to bag him from unbagging people I previously bagged.. and I did it.. I captured Han Solo..

and later put him in carbon-freeze to lower the reputation of the Rebels.. Jim sent a rescue mission, but luckily I stopped it with a great Dice Hall of Fame moment..

All the while though of this move-counter play between you and your opponent, both the Imperials and the Rebels have the clock ticking..The Reputation of the Rebels grow once the Rebels meet objectives, thus shortening the game for the Imperials to find the hidden Rebel base. However, the Rebels have to worry as every turn, the Imperials get probe cards that indicate where the Rebel base is not.. It's only a matter of time then for the Imperial player to figure out where the base is..

Two probe droid cards that tell me the Rebel base is not in Kashyyyk nor Rodia
Ship and troop construction is a snap in this game as it goes by symbols that you quickly can figure out and put on the build queue quickly..

My build queue in number of turns before going on the board..

Costs and colour-coded attack and health stats are neatly summed up in your alloted card..

Combat is colour coded so you need to bring the right forces to the right battles. You need to for instance, get hits on red dice to most capital ships in space battles and for AT-STs and AT-ATs in ground battles.

The Rebel's ion gun was thus a huge pain as it subtracted red die from me on several occassions..

Jim and I did a large battle for example, at Ord Mandell and his ion gun vexed me... 

but I finally had my ground forces knock out that Ion gun to finish off his cruiser.. I liberated the planet accordingly..

I never did get to blow up a planet with my Death Star as I had to waste my administrator leaders like Tarkin and Tagge in removing Jim's nagging sabotage missions that robbed me of some of my industrial capacity, rather than R&Ding my Death Star planet-buster laser..

However the Death Star on it's own is great as only 1 rebel mission card can destroy it and has 4 red attack dice in conventional attacks.. and it carries a huge load of troops.. Bear in mind that a half-constructed Death Star is vulnerable to conventional attacks, so you need to place it somewhere isolated and safe...

I finally stumbled upon Jim's Rebel base unprepared, at Kessel.. The funny thing is, I was looking at my probe droid cards and wondered outloud if Jim's base was on Kessel just before I went there by fluke.. When I said it, Jim had a poker face and I didn't think it was there, but it was..

We fought it out on Kessel..

 and finally overran it, winning the game..

Jim said he was planning this turn to move the base away from Kessel by using a Rapid Mobilization card he had allocated. I just happened to use a leader to move to Kessel first on my way to somewhere else..  If I allocated another leader by accident somewhere else, Jim would have had time to abandon Kessel this very turn just before I got there, with me none the wiser..

Anways, the war is over.... peace and justice prevails.. Long Live the Emperor!

Jim and I loved the game and promised to do another round next time! Another hit from FFG!

Two thumbs up!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Some gaming Kickstarters are a bridge too far

A week or so ago, I pledged 75 € (about $86 U.S) for a fantasy football game. Gorgeous minis and a box when folded out gives you a gorgeous stadium, scoreboard and pitch.

went to KIckstarter to see how it's going and I am stunned to find out my pledge level just gives me the cardboard stadium and pitch.

$86 for cardboard terrain?

The next level is 125  € that gives the above with one team. 

125  € plus shipping to Canada and I still can't even play the game, not with one team.


I say "game" but come to think of it, I don't see anything about the rules. Is this supposed to be a sly way to use the rules from Blood Bowl?

To get both teams, it's like 150 € (about $172 US) , over twice my initial pledge. Say with shipping and it's like $200 US

I couldn't back out, so annoyed, I switched my pledge to 1  € ( where I get nothing but I "support" that project).

What a waste.

I am to blame though as I should have read carefully what was offered. I should have known better after kickstarting over a dozen games.

The lesson is don't use an app when pledging!

I see the same kind of issue with the Blood and Plunder Kickstarter happening now. For $130, you get a great looking ship and crew, but what can you do with it without another ship and crew to fight? You need to pledge $230 just to get 2 ships and crew to fight it out..

A movie is what.. $30 with tickets and popcorn.. So my entertainment dollar for a movie is $15/hour.. A typical $50 boardgame played 10, 12 hours a couple of times is about $5/hour.. Assuming the fantasy football Kickstarter is bought with both teams and I use Blood Bowl rules, I can maybe convince my friend to play it once or twice in 2016, assuming I get both teams and paint them.. So, let's say 10 hours in 2016 and maybe another 5 hours in 2017. That's $200/15 hours = $13.33 an entertainment hour and I'm not factoring in storage costs.. Better to get 3 boardgames at that cost...

As much as I would love to get it, these kinds of Kickstarters are a bridge too far for me.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Brief update... Unboxing: Received my digitally customized 30mm "Jedi Knight."

I ordered 19 days ago a digitally custom-made 3D printed 30mm "Jedi Knight" from Hero Forge as discussed here.

Well, I received the package today.

A large box for such a small mini, but I appreciate the padding to keep the mini safe.

The mini is not what I was expecting material-wise. It's not soft plastic but it is transluscent, so it's hard to see how much detail was captured.

I primed it white ( a dab for now) to get a better look and yeah, the detail appears to be there.

Okay, definitely for my lead pile to paint in the near future. Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A day may come....

I'll be blogging less in April given I have new committments and a learning curve to jump over in my other non-gaming life..

Will return back in force hopefully in May..


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Trekyards Top 10: Federation FASA ships

The video brings back memories of 30 years ago playing FASA's Star Trek RPG and ship combat game.

Trekyards EP133 - Chandley Class (FASA)

Aaah, the Chandley-- a golden oldie and one of my favourite Starfleet ships from FASA's Star Trek RPG and ship combat game.

Long Live FASA Star Trek!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Digitally customized and ordered a 3D Printed 30mm "Jedi Knight"..

I talked before about how 3D printing is going to revolutionise things, and not just for gaming. Imagine in a couple of years "scanning" a mini and making an exact copy..

Anyways, I went to tonight, and made my own 30mm Jedi Knight and ordered it for $24.99 plus shipping.

I'm sure in a couple of years, it will go down to a couple of bucks, but in the interest of experimentation, I accepted the $25 for this..

Selected male, human..

I added a beard to give the Jedi some monk-like dignity

Threw some monk's robes on him to cover that half-naked look.

Though I removed the cowl..

I added some gear and weapons on his belt, including a holster just to make him look more sci-fi

Changed his cloak a bit..

I closed his left hand to a fist and added some sort of baton that looks like a lightsaber..

Gave him also a more dynamic pose, like he was deflecting blasters or something..

Put him on a metal deck plating..

 Chose the material and ordered it online.. Too bad it's not 28mm, but 30mm is close enough..

We'll see what it's like when it comes in the mail and when I paint him up..