Monthly Archives: August 2011

First crack at Hail Caesar

Tonight we will be trying out HC for the first time. My Celtic horde is presentable and itching to take on the Romans.

We’ve been looking forward to this for some time. Hope to get a report up later this week.

Shadowrun: Seattle 2072

So I was very happy last week to crack open the Shadowrun books and re-start our campaign.

Here’s a brief resume of the session:

After the events of ’emergence’ the Runners spent a year in Hong Kong’s shadows, bulding up rep and nuyen and keeping their ear to the ground for hints of Tinman. They learned that he was back in a military police prison in Seattle. It is now 2072, HK has settled down politically, and the runners returned to Seattle a few months ago, exploiting their contacts and cashing in favours. It led them to a meet in the Drunken Non-Com in Fort Lewis with Corporal O’Hanlon.

The UCAS military wanted to release TinMan covertly, prior to his formal release date, into the care of the runners. Wanted him to keep a low profile and ideally for him to leave UCAS terriories asap. Runners hired in some extra back up (Wraith, Tal) who observed the meet from a seperate booth in the bar.

UCAS wanted to do the handover that evening at Fort Lewis Zoological Gardens. Enigmo summoned a watcher spirit and Bob was at hand in the mystery mobile with his commlink. Kitsune and Alex met with Major Jones and Captain Smith, the other runners out of sight or poised at high vantage points, rifles ready, Corporal O’Hanlon brought a orange jump-suited, head-bagged TinMan and he was released. The UCAS militiatry left, All good.

TinMan enjoyed his new freedom – stretching his limbs, chatting to his firends, walking around a little. As he stepped near the dog pound, the security fence dropped, and TinMan rolled around out of sight behind the building. The runners were met by three furious Barghasts, that were dispatched by efforts of all runners whilst Bob hacked into the Zoo’s security.

TinMan then rolled back into view, pulling a heavy pistol, and began pumping shots into Brian as a hellhound leapt out, trying to cover Kitsune in fire. The session ended with the Hellhound being killed by Wraith after having been levitated by Enigmo, and Tinman being taken down by Brian and Kitsune, after he injured both.

Kitsune is currently stabilizing TinMan’s condition as the runners leave into the Seattle night…

Saga – gripped by the beast

Just got my pre-order in for the new Saga ruleset by Gripping Beast. Really looking forward to this one as have long fancied some unwashed hairy viking action.

However, true to my mothers’ roots I have gone for a welsh war band and also some Anglo-Danes for some border raiding and general clashing.

No doubt the Viking raiders will strike fear into both later.

More info at Gripping Beast towers.

How big’s that tank meant to be?

We still couldn’t quite work out how the figures were quite meant to scale relative to the terrain*, but frankly it didn’t matter as Dystopian Wars land forces proved to be just as much fun as their naval cousins.

Myself and Phil unleashed a starter set of Empire of the Blazing Sun (Japanese) against Kingdom of Britannia (British) equivalent, plus a couple of bombers for good measure.

It didn’t take long to transfer the core ‘naval’ rules to tanks, although it was tactically quite distinct and gave that unnerving feeling of something being the same but somehow different.  It also proved to be just as destructive – within 4 turns we’d reduced 900pts per side by about 2/3rds, with the remaining froces battered and fragmented.

No piccies due to me being a slouch and only having colour primered my models (plus I forgot to bring a camera anyway) but we will revisit shortly with full colour destruction.

* Apparently games scale is 1/1200 which appears to be 1mm scale in gamer speak? Which means our 6mm trees have suddenly all become redwoods…

ENnies results 2011

Results out over night for ENnie awards.

Looks like Paizo’s Pathfinder and Evil Hat’s Dresden Files did very well


Fans’ Favorite Publisher
Gold: Paizo Publishing
Silver: Wizards of the Coast

Product of the Year
Gold: Advanced Players Guide, Paizo Publishing
Silver: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat

Best Game
Gold: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat
Silver: Mutants & Masterminds Hero’s Handbook, Green Ronin Publishing

Best New Game
Gold: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat Productions
Silver: The Laundry, Cubicle 7

Best Supplement
Gold: Pathfinder: Advanced Player’s Guide, Paizo Publishing
Silver: Space 1889: Red Sands, Pinnacle Entertainment Group

Best Adventure
Gold: Pathfinder Adventure Path #43: The Haunting of Harrowstone, Paizo Publishing
Silver: Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity, Arc Dream Publishing/Pagan Publishing

Best Setting
Gold: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea World Guide, Paizo Publishing
Silver: Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Wizards of the Coast

Best Monster/Adversary
Gold: Pathfinder: Bestiary 2, Paizo Publishing
Silver: Monster Vault, Wizards of the Coast

Best Miniatures Product
Gold: Mousling Heroes, Reaper Miniatures
Silver: BattleTech 25th Anniversary Introductory Boxed Set, Catalyst Game Labs

Best RPG Related Product
Gold: Castle Ravenloft Boardgame, Wizards of the Coast
Silver: BattleTech 25th Anniversary Introductory Boxed Set, Catalyst Game Labs

Best Aid/Accessory
Gold: Hero Lab, Lone Wolf Development
Silver: D&D Essentials: Dungeon Tiles Master Set – The Dungeon, Wizards of the Coast

Best Electronic Book
Gold: Continuity, Posthuman Studios
Silver: Shanghai Vampocalypse, Savage Mojo

Best Free Product
Gold: Old School Hack – Basic Game, Kirin Robinson
Silver: A Time of War: The BattleTech RPG Quick-Start Rules, Catalyst Game Labs

Best Rules
Gold: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat Productions
Silver: D&D Rules Compendium, Wizards of the Coast

Best Writing
Gold: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat Productions
Silver: Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity, Arc Dream Publishing/Pagan Publishing

Best Production Values
Gold: Pathfinder: Bestiary 2, Paizo Publishing
Silver: The Dresden Files RPG, Evil Hat Productions

Best Cartography
Gold: Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Poster Map Folio, Paizo, Cartography Rob Lazzaretti
Silver: Bookhounds of London, Pelgrane Press, Cartography by Beth Lewis

Best Interior Art
Gold: Pathfinder: The Inner Sea World Guide, Paizo Publishing, Art Direction by Sarah E. Robinson
Silver: Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Wizards of the Coast

Best Cover Art
Gold: A Song of Ice and Fire Campaign Guide, Green Ronin Publishing, Cover by Michael Komarck
Silver: Shadowrun: Attitude, Catalyst Game Labs, Cover by Echo Chernick

Best Blog
Gold: Critical Hits
Silver: Gnome Stew

Best Podcast
Gold: Yog Radio:
Silver: Chronicles: The Pathfinder Podcast, d20 radio

Best Website
Gold: Obsidian Portal

Category: RPG

Box of goodness

My latest delivery from Warlord Games is sitting glaring at me at my painting table. It’s filled with:

ECW field army – to be painted for the Parliamentarians!
A box of plastic ww2 british.
A Cromwell tank, a Centurion tank and a deuce and a half truck.

All in 28mm.

The ww2 stuff will build on my existing commando troop and recon armour. I’d like to add some more transport options and other units – engineers and some artillery/anti tank options.

A lot of sticking and painting ahead!

Conflict of Heroes

Tried CoH last night, thanks Chris; have to say really enjoyed the mechanism and the two scenarios we tried required a lot of thought to get right if you wanted to win.

The first game I played Russians attacking some dug in German HMG’s across open corn field, needless to say it was a blood bath for the Russian, although I did manage to destroy the MG42.  Not sure if I could have done better given that Chris rolled 3-4 instant kills :(

The second game had me attacking Russians in a village with a mixture of Grenadiers and Panzer Grenadiers trying to recover secret document within five turns.  The Panzer Grenadiers are awsome able to destroy targets in buildings at long range, just managed to complete the task at the end of turn five without loosing a squad, a close run thing.

All in all a very enjoyable evening :)

My GM’ing recently

So I’ve been very happy with the opportunities I’ve had both to play lately and also to run some games.  One of my hopes for 2011 was to run some Savage Worlds and have managed to have 3 sessions of Savage Worlds Pulp using Triple Ace Games’ excellent adventures and pregens  So far we have played the free ‘rocket nazi’s on the orient express’ and the first adventure of Vol 1 of the adventure compendium, ‘to end all wars’.  I’d not GM’d Pulp before and, as a genre, it is great fun: not too serious, action-packed, cliches help, and everyone gets the references.  Lots of fun.  We ran a vote at the club, and the second-most popular Savage setting was sci-fi, so hope to run a one-shot for the Slipstream setting.  This is essentially 1950’s sci fi, so is pulp in space – bird men, bubble helmets, rocket ships and ray guns.  Here’s one of Kurt’s fun reviews on youtube

Down the line, want to see if Savage Worlds breaks with more serious, plot-focused games… love the Hellfrost setting and am enjoying the ideas coming out of Savage Mojo for the Suzerain meta-setting (realm hopping).

The other major highlight was running the beginnings of  a Legend of the Five Rings campaign for the new 4th edition.  The new releases are wonderul – beautiful books and streamlined rules from the previous 3rd ed.  We must have played 10 sessions and used some homebrew adventures, coupled with adapted adventures from 1st and 2nd ed, and  the excellent free RPG day release ‘legacy of disaster’.  For those who want a taster of L5R, this can be downloaded here and includes quickstart rules and pregens for easy samurai fun!  The Emerald Empire is out and hopefully ‘Great Clans’ is being released at GenCon.  Need to get this running again….

Finally, Shadowrun.  When I joined the club several years ago and offered to run something, this was the overwhelming answer I had.  For reasons that are unclear to me, your Warwickshire gamer loves a bit of ‘sixth world magic meets machine’.  We played this a lot a year or two ago and about to ressurect the group in the next fortnight.  See if my ageing brain can cope with the crunch, the dice pools. the hacking rules, the v quick and lethal combats…


Other hopes realized for me this year have been as a player I wanted to try some Wuxia-type RPGing and enjoyed my game of Feng Shui and Ninja Burger and also wanted to try out Fate.  Been lucky to have had a couple of sessions of Victorian Steampunk Fate and a prep session (character and city generation) for the Dresden Files RPG. Finally, and importantly, given the HBO ‘Game of Thrones’ show and the long-awaited release of Martin’s ‘A Dance with Dragons’, Bash’s excellent Song of Ice and Fire campaign continues.  My Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish clone, the Flint Targaryen Bastard, Lord Aemyr Snow, remains trying to survive combats and failing to be machiavellian enough,  Still, as we say in the North, Winter is Coming.


Current and recent RPGs

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition

Currently ongoing, the campaign focuses around the ruins of the city of Kirighast. The group are now heading up one of the major factions within the remains of the city, attempting to broker peace deals with other groups.

Feng Shui

A taster intro to the world of ShadowFist, the game saw the brave heroes taking on a group of ganger punks who were in the employ of the mysterious Eaters of the Lotus.

 Dogs In The Vinyard

The Dogs graduated from Temple Falls and headed out into the wild frontier. Heading into Pine Creek they routed out a bad apple, as Brother Isaac had taken up with his Brothers wife, fermenting all sorts of demons.


GM less game, the ‘Heroes’ were unwanted cast offs from a demonic invasion of Earth. The first session saw them struggle to save loved ones and fight for thier indepenance from ‘The Man’

FATE Steampunk

An excellent start for a group of Victorian Adventurers, they helped the erstwhile Vig Thorsonson, suffering from a curse – based on an ancient Artifact ‘The Tiger of Mysore’. High Society evening do, a superheated coal station and a snowbound train yard were the backdrop for the action.

Category: RPG

BKC Burma campaign

A couple of us at the club have been playing through the Two Fat Lardies campaign book Bloody Burma. Proph and I have been using the Blitzkreig Commander rules with 6mm Japs and Brits and it’s been a lot of fun.

So far we have played out 5 of the 24 scenarios and each game has been something of a corker. The scenarios played have been knife edge affairs with at least 3 of the games being decided on the final turn. Tonights game was no exception to that.

Japs overlooking the British defensive position

Japs overlooking the British defensive position

The scenario essentially played out an assault by Japanese forces into the rear of a prepared British/Indian line – a line set up to expect an assault across a river. The British objective was to exit as much of its force off the table edge furthest from the river, the Japs just needed to wipe out the defenders.

The table was typical for the games we have played so far – dense jungle restricting LOS and effective ranges meaning combat had to be up close and personal – lots of dice rolling for close quarters fighting.

Early turns saw a lot of movement with Jap forces heading down each flank with one unit covering the line of retreat up the road. The Jap right flank became too strung out, not helped by some epic command rolls from the British CO that saw a fair proportion of his troops merrily speeding up the table away from the advancing Japs.

At this point the Jap CO made his near fatal error, splitting his command in two. One group headed for the vacated trenches to attempt an assault on the command post. The other headed up the hill to try and head off the retreating Brits.

Some excellent shooting from the command post coupled with reduced command effectivness thanks to distance meant that big holes appeared in the Jap right flank. Spotting the opportunity the British attempted to take the hill overlooking the road, currently occupied by a small unsupported Jap force.

The Japanese position looked precarious. Luckily a plucky Jap officer was able to move his unit into an assault position against two British squads placed to protect the rear of the main force. The main British force was just out of range to support the unfortunate squads and they were wiped out in close combat. Despite this the main bulk of the British units successfully assaulted the Japanese infantry on the hill, driving them back and overrunning the CO, forcing him to flee into the jungle.

With holes opening all along the Jap right flank it looked like the British troops would escape with a crushing victory. That Jap officer had other ideas.

The japs moved quickly through the village to take the main block of british units in the rear, out in the open. Withering fire took out several squads and the success drove the infantry forward to assault the remaining British defenders.

The British survivors broke and ran into the jungle to try and regroup. The Japs were left in possession of the defensive positions having effectively wiped out any resistance.

This was a close game – lucky rolls on consecutive turns (double 1 in BKC allows you to issue two orders instead of one) saved the Japs. If that officer had not been so lucky the British would easily have overwhelmed the troops on the hill and made off into the Jungle for the victory. Had the Brits been able to exploit the collapsing Jap flank a turn earlier they probably would have made it. I was convinced as the Jap player that I was well beaten.

What has been great about this campaign series has been how close the gaming outcomes have been to the real word outcomes. They have been very well balanced games and great fun. Playing BKC with no armour on the table, using Jungle rules which force you to get up close and personal has been really interesting and proven that the rules are not just for major tank battles with infantry playing a poor second fiddle.

It’s also been refreshing to play BKC as a scenario/narrative game rather than as a points vs points game. It’s held up well to the narrative approach, thanks no doubt to the excellent balance achieved by Robert Avery.