Sunday, November 27, 2016

Another try at Star Trek: Ascendancy

I sat down with my friend Jim again to play Star Trek: Ascendancy and we had our friend Jeff as well this time.

The three of us like 4X games in general, though Jeff is not a big Star Trek nut as Jim and I. Still, I hoped he would like it.

I was the Romulans again, Jim the Klingons and Jeff the UFP.

I won't bore you with too many details repeating how the game works as I covered the game before..

It starts off with wide open space and quickly gets crowded with space lanes as you go along as you'd expect....

Again, the mechanic of shifting space lanes was used as a tactic in the game by all three of us.. We would try to veer away from each other in order to keep nice juicy planets away from each other, as well as bidding for time to build up forces..

For instance, here Jim was inching toward me until he found a nice planet. Son'a Prime..

and then suddenly locked the space lanes away from me in order to have it all too himself..

For hours though, I noticed there was a widening gap between me and Son'a Prime and thought I was safe from attack, as I suspected he was hankering for Jeff's juicy production resource-rich Federation worlds.. I was resource poor throughout the game and not too tempting a target..

In fact, I had to rely on a trade agreement with Jeff to keep me going in building ships..

Jeff was awash in production resources and could build ships galore, while Jim was finding plenty of science planets.. I on the other hand encountered very little, so I was not too keen to start a fight..

I thought for sure Jeff and Jim were going to throw-down with their huge fleets, but then Jeff deliberately insulated himself, building space lanes that led to no where and he never did encounter Jim..

I taunted Jeff for being cowardly, but not too much, as I was dependent on his goodwill and his 3 resources a turn trade agreement... Jeff basically insulated himself from his biggest threat, Jim, while keeping one spacelane open to me knowing I was too poor to offer much danger..

Sure enough, Jim's massive Klingon fleet needed an outlet and the "Son'a Gap" as I called it was quickly closed up by Jim. He linked up with a Neutron Star hazard that in itself was linked not to one of my colony worlds, but directly to my home world Romulus..

This was very dangerous for me..

I prepared for the worst, and sure enough, a Klingon armada shows up...Jim was not there to conduct peace and diplomatic love of course so late in the game.

However, the neutron star decimated Jim's flotilla, so I took the initiative and attacked him there with a fleet of 9 ships, out of the 20 or so I had built up..

I quickly destroyed him using my first strike cloaking ability, but then disaster struck, as all nine of my ships could not navigate that neutron star hazard either and were destroyed....

Hoots of laughter by everyone of course, but now I knew any chance of holding off the Klingons was lost...

Sure enough, Jim was soon back knocking on my door with 2 fleets and I only had 11 ships left in those two fleets to protect my home world..

I complained this was a Rich Man's War (i.e. Jeff and his resource wealth) but a Poor Man's fight (i.e. me). 

His dice rolls however somehow destroyed not only my fleets but my nodes as well on the planet.. I feebly counter-attacked from an adjacent world but I was really out of the game..

All three of us reached 5 ascendancy points about the same time, but I could not win without controlling my home world..

Jeff won the game as he had the 5 points and controlled 8 planets vs Jim's 5 points but only 6 worlds.

I found this session did not have as many exotic encounters like last time, with less encounters with the Horta and Apollo and such, and more meeting up with pre-Warp civilizations.

Lots of these types of encounters this time.

which is okay, but I think for Trekkies, we need the more exotic ones to really enjoy the gameverse..

All in all, a good fun session. Thumbs up!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Unboxing the new 2016 Blood Bowl and Death Zone Season 1 expansion booklet

I have the old Blood Bowl of course, and played a game (however frustrating) with my painted team in May (as discussed here).

Still, I got the new Blood Bowl today as I enjoy the premise of the game.

First thing I see is this gray sprue which at the moment, I can't identify what is on it..  Perhaps a turn or score marker.

The Orc sculpts seem a bit busier than usual, probably influenced by the ostentatious Sigmar crap..

Human team looks good. It's too bad I already have a human painted team, but who is to say you can't have human vs human games.

 I can't identify at the moment what the big glove is for. Maybe a score marker of some kind.

Huge GW advertising insert..

The rule book. I am told it's unchanged from the Living Rules..

Nice card stock for the players.

Bases of course.


Really thick folded up board. A lot sturdier than the old version it seems..

The board measures 36 x 21 inches and has two different pitches, one green, one sand.

Nice large card stock for your team management..

Neat.. Decals for the players..

The Season 1 expansion, like the rule book, is on glossy paper with nice art.

Table of contents looks interesting.. Skaven, Nurgle, Dwarf, etc, teams.. and new official rules. I wonder if they are modifying the Living Rules?  Time will tell.

Glad they brought this beloved classic game back! Is GW finally getting it?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

My workbench: Painting up some Amera Plastic Mouldings islands

Came home tonight after work and decided to do some painting, but nothing too demanding. I bought these Amera Plastic Mouldings uncharted seas island set (I think from Nobleknight) a while back and decided to paint them up as islands are not too demanding to paint..

They seem to be vacuum formed very light islands, hollow on the inside. Cheap and detailed enough I think for naval gaming.

I cut them out and left some room for shallow water as some naval games make a distinction between deep and shallow water.

I primed them with some black and brown paint..

After that, I just highlighted from black to various shades of gray, ending in dashes of white..

Then I painted the beach and shallow water in a light blue..

I was undecided at first to paint some green but decided to flock it instead as I think it looks way better. I left some traces of brown or black primer underneath to make it look more realistic as if you were looking down flying overhead from a plane.

Boom. Finished in less than 2 hours, and that included the time for the prime paint to dry.

I'm a bit surprised how fast this took but am pleased with the results.