April is already over, and so it’s time once more to take a look back at the month and see what has been going on in my little corner of the internet. At least it seems to have been a bit more exciting than the month of March, which was a bit of a washout thanks to all the germs that were doing the rounds – although I was tragically struck down with some kind of bug over Easter, which then seemed to turn into some kind of sinus infection. We’re hopefully out of the woods now, of course, but I think overall the month has been pretty good!
My gaming had taken a little dip at one point, I think due to generally not feeling that great, but I’ve begun to get some classics to the table once again, including A Touch of Evil and Runebound!
I love playing this game. One of the best things about it, for me, is how it allows you to kinda role-play the game without the need for any kind of in-built timer forcing you to keep an eye on the clock. There are a couple of timing mechanisms, of course, but generally speaking you can just go around the board, playing the game, and enjoying the theme, without the need to worry about getting from x to y in a certain time, or whatever. I do understand, though, that some people tend not to like those sorts of meandering games, and along with the mystery card, The Hour is Late, the first web villain for the game, the Delion Dryad, brought a couple more ways to ensure the game is kept moving along at a pace.
I haven’t played with the Dryad for a very long time, indeed my boardgamegeek stats tell me it’s almost ten years since I played against her. While that isn’t perhaps a surprise, as the game in general went unplayed for so long until I got it back to the table last autumn, I am nevertheless eternally surprised at how long ago some of these games were last played.
The Dryad is an interesting villain, and you can read more about that here. I had expanded the game quite a bit, all told, also using stuff from Hero Pack One and the Allies supplement. The Allies is one of those web exclusive card packs where you have to pretty much pay a premium to get if you live outside of the US; I think when I last looked at this, I was paying around £40 to get a dozen cards and the rest was shipping. But A Touch of Evil is one of my all-time favourite games, so I didn’t really mind it at the time, of course! I think these days I am a bit more circumspect, of course – there are new card supplements that I want to get, but again, shelling out £40+ for a dozen cards, or whatever it is, isn’t really top of my priority list!
The game, though, was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed playing it a lot. The Scarlet Shadow hero (from Hero Pack One) has the very interesting effect of having to take a Cunning test if he ends up in town, or else he loses investigation (the currency of the game). It’s all very thematic, of course, with him being a highwayman, and it led to some very interesting game decisions because he couldn’t always cross the town safely.
In the final showdown, most of the elders turned out to be evil and I was lucky to get both Lord and Lady Hanbrook on my side. Sophie had actually joined the villain, though, and made things a bit more difficult, but I was able to prevail thanks to some lucky dice rolls and a couple of flammable torches, which I suppose I used to set the Dryad on fire. That’ll learn her…
I have also had a game of Runebound this month, using a couple of the small card expansions as well. I have actually talked about this game on the blog, but I just want to reiterate how much fun it can be when you play a magic user and are able to tool them up for magical combat. It’s also wonderfully thematic to play a game called Runebound and use magical runes when you’re playing!
I have noticed that I have procrastinated a lot over playing bigger board games like these of late. Given the choice, I’d much prefer to go for one of the living card games (heh, I’d much prefer to go for Marvel Champions, let’s be honest). It’s a bit daft, as well, because I think there is an expectation that a big board game is going to take a long time to play, plus set-up and clear-up time, whereas my game with A Touch of Evil didn’t really take that long at all. I suppose there’s also the fact that I used to take ages playing these games, because I had the time and the inclination, whereas nowadays it’s a case of just trying to find the time to fit in a quick scamper around Terrinoth, or whatever!
I’ve talked about this before, I think, as well, but the other thing at play here seems to be a slight unwillingness to deviate from my 10×10 list, as I feel like I have to play something from that list of games back in January for it to “count”. It’s funny really, because this is precisely the situation I wanted to avoid, but I’ve ended up in a place where I only want to play a game so that I can get that closer to my goal, and not because I’m in the mood for playing a game, if that makes sense?
I think I need to have a word with myself!
At any rate, I’ve been able to tally up a few more games for the 10×10 challenge, and have in fact reached my second goal on that list, with Lord of the Rings LCG now seeing ten games from me this year. After recently having been playing the Ringmaker quests, a cycle that broke me back in the day, I have found myself a little more tentative with coming back to this game, however I have now made it, so will probably continue with my various cycle play-throughs but at a more relaxed pace. Overall, though, I’ve played 41 games since the start of the year – so I’m ahead of schedule if you think that we’re only a third of the way through the year, but I’ve played more than a third of the games on the plan!
Marvel Champions continues to see play as well, even though I had reached my goal of ten games for that back in February. Indeed, my current tally for the game is 28 plays this year, which I find quite funny. It’s such a good game though, and with it being quite new to me still, I’m finding that it’s difficult to grow tired of it just yet. Marvel Champions was the game I played to mark my blog’s ninth birthday the other week, using the Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch decks. There’s always so much to enjoy about this game, I am forever impressed with how it plays.
To help increase that excitement, we finally had the announcement this month of the next campaign box, NeXt Evolution, which will bring X-Force to the game, starting with Cable and Domino. We’ve also now had a preview for Psylocke, who is our second Psionic hero and her deck looks like it could be very exciting indeed, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on all of that, from the late summer onwards! I think it’s very safe to say that it’s an exciting time for Marvel Champions, still!
Necromunda has seen a new Law & Misrule campaign begin, of course, with my Delaque vs James’ Venator Gang. Game one was a crushing blow for the House of Shadow, so we now need to figure out the next scenario while (hopefully!) my Delaque can survive it! Much like Marvel Champions, we’ve also had new stuff come out for Necromunda this month, principally the second part of the Succession Campaign, The Vaults of Temenos. I keep meaning to write a blog on the lore of this campaign, because it has been really quite amazing so far. I’ll have to try harder on that front! The book has got some very interesting narrative scenarios, anyway, which I might possibly purloin across for our campaign, even though we’re not doing anything in the Ash Wastes. We shall see!
Let’s move on to the hobby side of things now, then, and see how April has been going on that front. The short answer is, pretty damn well! I think I talked about this in a previous blog, but I’ve decided to give the White Dwarf “hobby bingo” a try, and see if it will work to help focus me on getting some projects done throughout the year. I know I have my 2023 resolutions, and we’ll get to them in a bit, but I would like to see if I could churn out some more units as the year goes on. I’ve adapted the White Dwarf grid, because a lot of the options I would just never do (how many lords of war do people generally paint in a year?!) so have a more personalised, achievable grid to work from.
In April, then, I have added three more squares to this grid, getting ten more Delaque fighters fully painted (mainly the Prospects and weird gribblies), then five Flesh Tearer assault marines as I embark upon a Space Marines army, and finally the three Canoptek Wraiths that I have had waiting for paint easily for the last five years.
I’m really pleased with the Delaque, as it has given me quite a lot of options ready to go, even if most of them aren’t in the starting gang. However, I did fall prey to the temptation of the weapons upgrade pack back in the day, so a lot of these fighters are built with improbably-expensive weapons, meaning I’m unlikely to be able to use them in the current campaign. That has actually required more building, so I have a couple more to paint up for the campaign soon! Luckily, I had more Delaque from the Hive War box, so have a lot of bodies to draw from to build my gangers.
The Space Marines force is a very slow-grow style of thing, and while my initial thoughts had been to get it ready for 10th edition in the summer, I’m now thinking of it more as a project for the year, so I don’t think it’s something that will be playable before Christmas. But you never know. Expect more to come on this topic in time!
Finally, the Wraiths are another of my Hobby Goals for 2023 that I can now check off! I’m actually doing really well insofar as those goals are concerned, getting the Crisis Suits and some Hellions finished up fairly quickly. I still have the Promethium Forge, five more Hellions, the Sisters’ Exorcist tank, and generally more Zone Mortalis scenery, but I think it’s still a solid start. Feels a bit like I’m at a proper checkpoint here, the more I’m thinking about it! Well, I guess we’re one-third through the year, so it makes sense to take some stock.
I’ve been tentatively starting to plan the approach to the Exorcist tank, after recently getting more in the mood for painting my Sisters again. While the infantry all have quite light grey armour, I’m thinking I might go for something a bit different for the vehicles, which might help to make them stand out while also tying-in with the rest of the force. Well, I’m sure having a massive pipe-organ missile-launcher on top of the vehicle will help it to stand out, of course! I’ve been thinking about it after building up three Paragon Warsuits, which I had bought as part of the Imperium magazine (saving quite a bit of money in the process!) I was thinking the warsuit would perhaps be of a different grey to the power armour that the Sisters themselves wear, so was considering a base of Dark Reaper rather than Mechanicus Standard Grey. I’m not sure yet, because it might be a really bad idea on the whole. I suppose we’ll see! The other thing, of course, would be go to very light for the tanks, but then I’ve not seen a nice looking pale grey tank, so It could be a terrible idea…
However, I want to try to finish the Promethium Forge before anything else on the list, because that is almost done, it’s just been floundering a bit for the last couple of months!