Games Sunday!

Hey everybody!
It feels like a while since I’ve been posting anything of substance here, apologies to all who have missed my sagacious words this past week! I’ve been feeling a bit rough, sadly, between one thing and another. I’ve also been working madly at an essay that’s due on Thursday – I managed to get about half of it done yesterday, eventually, but that’s been heavy-going. Additionally, I’ve been asked to produce a promotional video for a meeting in work, which has involved a steep learning curve on Windows Movie Maker, but I’ve managed to throw something together. That’s actually been lots of fun, and I’m hoping to make use of these skills for this here blog in the future! You have been warned!

However, due to all of these shenanigans, I’m more than likely only going to have time for another small-scale game day blog next week. It’s about two weeks until I’ve got some time off, however, so such meagre offerings will hopefully be mitigated then!

So what’s new in the world?

Not sure if you’ve seen the news, but FFG put up a preview for the first deluxe expansion to the Warhammer Conquest LCG, The Great Devourer. Tyranids are coming to the Traxis Sector! While I was hoping for Necrons, it’s still exciting to see!

The Great Devourer

I picked up the third war pack last week from the local games shop, and was taking with the manager there about how I’ve only actually managed to get in one game with this one, back when the core set released before Christmas. That needs to be remedied, and soon, I feel! I seem to remember that it is a really great game, with a lot of strategy and such, so I hope I can get it to the table more, anyway. The new deluxe seems to offer a lot of interesting options, anyway, so I can definitely see myself picking this up. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, but Tyranids would have been my army of choice had I not gone for Necrons.

Speaking of Warhammer, I’ve not painted anything for what seems like an age. Luckily, I’ve also not been buying things in a similar timeframe. Since I hit the wall, I’ve sold off a few of my kits on ebay to try to thin the ranks, but it hasn’t really helped! I’ve been pursuing more traditional tabletop gaming pursuits, such as Thunderstone, which helped to redress the balance in my life after Warhammer had been taking over. However, there are still odd moments where I find myself wanting to be more creative once again, so I think it might only be a matter of time before I pick up a brush.

Not before I finish the essay, however!

As far as Warhammer Fantasy goes, the fifth and final round of the End Times is currently raging, with Archaon the Everchosen coming down from the Chaos Wastes to wreak havoc among the shattered remains of the Empire. I pre-ordered the books on Friday, but haven’t gone for a Bloodthirster – it’s a nice model, but I still prefer the daemon prince!

Back to FFG, who have also announced another Reinforcements pack for Battlelore, the Razorwings. Still really excited for new stuff for Battlelore, though part of me is really concerned as to the expansion model we’re seeing here. While it is, of course, a tactical miniatures wargame, I was still hoping it would be expanded in the traditional manner of a boardgame, with a big box for more stuff. Instead, while they have announced boxes of army reinforcements, we’re seeing more of these smaller packs of just a couple of minis, and my wallet cries out in dismay! However, the Razorwings are something of an iconic Terrinoth monster, so it’ll definitely be fun to have these in the game.

Battlelore Razorwings

We’re currently looking at a similar situation for Imperial Assault, which has had another preview of the new ally packs that are expected shortly. I still haven’t been able to play Imperial Assault, unfortunately, so I’m currently hoping to abstain from buying these things. Yeah, right…

Back to LCGs now, and Escape from Mount Gram, the second adventure pack in the Angmar Awakened cycle for Lord of the Rings, has been announced. I’ve mentioned it before, of course, that I was a playtester for this cycle, and this adventure is just awesome. The preview article only hints at the actual quest, which I’m not going to spoil here, but suffice it to say, this quest is hard for solo play. The final pack in the cycle was my absolute favourite, with some awesome effects involved. I’m pretty sure a lot of people are going to be pleased with this one!

JSA crossover 1

Over to Cryptozoic now, where the DC deck-building game continues to expand! Crisis Pack #2 was released a couple of weeks ago, and that looks like more of the same from Crisis Pack #1, though obviously tailored to Heroes Unite rather than the base game. The JSA Crossover Pack #1 looks like a really cool way of expanding the line, too – more heroes, more super-villains, and a smattering of new main deck cards, all for £8! It gives it almost a LCG-like feel! Of course, a lot of people have been complaining that there is only one current actual expansion for the game, the Crisis Pack, as the other stuff released so far has been new core sets, with punches and kicks etc that are just superfluous if you only want more options for one game. Well, now you have them! As ‘Crossover Pack 1’, it means there’s a whole host of options for more in the future! According to boardgamegeek, Packs 2 and 3 are Arrow and Legion of Super-Heroes, respectively. I believe Pack 2 will have screencaps from the TV show, unfortunately, but even so, it’s always good to see games expanded! Pack 3 also links to a fourth core set that is expected sometime soon, Teen Titans. I’m sure I’ll keep buying these things, as it is an enjoyable game.

Ghostbusters

And speaking of Cryptozoic, there are just three days left on their Ghostbusters kickstarter!

I’m still pretty excited by this game, having been a huge fan of this IP as a child. A lot of negativity has surrounded the game, something I only vaguely touched on when I last looked at the campaign earlier in the month. It is currently 390% funded, and has seen twenty stretch goals to get there. Of these, seventeen are kickstarter exclusives. And there are some pretty iconic Ghostbusters characters among those exclusives. A lot of people have read this as a cash-grab, with the company wanting to just make as much money from a one-time deal as they can, then drop the thing, while recently some more level-headed arguments have been put forward.

The game is primarily based around the comics series from IDW publishing, with the ghostbusters themselves having this comic-book look to them. The game has barely scratched the surface of the universe that has been continued in this medium, so it’s entirely possible that the game is more comics-centric than movies-centric. While that makes a lot of sense in terms of the game itself, from a business point of view, it seems overwhelmingly short-sighted, as I imagine most people aren’t even aware of the comics. (If you’re one of these people, start here!) I’ve currently thrown $300 at this campaign, anyway, as I’m thinking I’ll cover all bases by getting the exclusives add-ons while they’re available, then if the game isn’t supported post-release, I’ll at least have plenty of options for a long time!

While I’m on the subject of comics…

Years ago, I was an avid comics collector. It became something close to an addiction, however, and I made the herculean effort of selling them all. I’ve still been a Star Wars comics fan, of course, but all my Marvel and DC stuff I got rid of. However, I can’t help feeling that I didn’t do the right thing, and playing games like DC and Marvel Legendary has shown that I still have a love of comic book universes. So I decided to get a couple of things at the end of last month, including the new Flash comics that are part of DC’s overhaul, the New 52. They’ve only just arrived, and I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but I’m looking forward to it. Flash has forever been my favourite DC hero, in part because it remains to this day the only computer game I have ever completed…

That’s right, kids – these are the kind of games I grew up with!

Ready for Conquest!

Well folks, it’s finally here!

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

I’ve been growing in excitement for this game since I first mentioned it, and now that it’s in my hot little hands, I have to say, I’m suitably pleased by it! Well, on a first-look basis, naturally.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

First of all, I’m surprised at the size of the box. It’s the size of the one of the “silver-line” games, such as Elder Sign or Blood Bowl: Team Manager, and not the usual LCG core set size. Whether that is meant to mean anything, I don’t know. Storage, however, will be a problem for me, as the game expands, as the War Packs are apparently coming in plastic clamshell packaging, so the cards can’t be stored in them once they’ve been cut open. But anyway.

As well as the usual good-quality cardboard chits, there are two rulebooks (in keeping with what seems to be FFG’s new policy of a fast-start rulebook, and a nuts-and-bolts follow up), and a whole slew of cards. As well as the standard-sized cards for the main body of the game, there are four decks of small ‘token’ cards associated with four of the seven factions present in the core box. These cards enter the game based on a variety of mechanics.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

FFG has spotlighted each of the seven factions in articles that were published leading up to the release, partly as a sort of player guide to making the most out of each:
Space Marines
Astra Militarum
Orks
Chaos
Dark Eldar
Eldar
Tau Empire

Unfortunately, my personal favourites – the Necrons – are to be released in a future expansion, along with the Tyranids. But anyhow, there’s a good, classic hunk of the mythos in this box, and with the four War Packs that have so far been announced, even more 40k goodness is on its way to us!
The Howl of Blackmane (bring on the Space Wolves!)
The Scourge (Nurgle in all his glory)
– Gift of the Ethereals (new Tau warlord)
– Zogwort’s Curse (new Ork warlord)
The Threat Beyond (new Astra Militarum warlord)
Descendants of Isha (new Eldar & Dark Eldar warlords)

I’m still a bit surprised by how quickly these packs have been announced – I suppose I’m still thinking in terms of the older LCGs, where there were six months or more between expansions. I suppose I should be looking forward to them, but still – let us enjoy the game first!! (Of course, that said, I still want that Necron deluxe expansion!!)

So the object of the game, as described, is to win control of three planets with a matching icon in the top corner of the card. This is reminiscent of the story cards in Call of Cthulhu, but having now played the game, the similarity is purely cosmetic! Each planet has a Battle ability that can be triggered when a player wins a combat there, but only the first planet in the line-up can ever be won.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

The core of your deck is your Warlord, who brings with him a sub-deck of eight cards that form his ‘signature squad’. Other cards in the deck can feed off the Warlord, such as the Tzeentch cards in the Chaos deck, and I’m sure as time goes on we’ll see Warlords that support pre-existing themes, and cards designed to work closely with pre-existing Warlords.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

The rest of the cards in your deck are primarily army units, which I suppose is a reflection of the source material as a tabletop miniatures game.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

I’ve played all of Fantasy Flight’s LCGs, and have enjoyed each one for its own merits. This game is definitely worthy of joining those ranks, I must say! It feels true to the source material insofar as players are fighting for control of an objective, and something I particularly like is the alternating gameplay. You don’t get to take your entire turn in one go, which means less downtime of course, but also makes it a lot more strategic than just putting down your heavy-hitters and making a mess of the battlefield. You really have to think about your moves, and plan out ahead what you’re going to do, while adapting to what your opponent is doing. It makes for a really enjoyable game, and makes me wish more of the LCGs were like this!

Of course, Eric Lang is one of my favourite game designers, responsible for such awesomeness as the Warhammer Invasion and Star Wars LCGs, among others. While I have indeed only played this game once so far, I can honestly say that it was a really enjoyable experience, and the game is definitely one that I can see myself coming to again and again!

Now, I am aware that I’ve been talking about Warhammer unto death on this blog lately – that’s just because it’s my new favourite thing. I’m not intending to keep on spamming you all like this, and more blogs are of course planned as time goes on, with updates on the various fascinating aspects of my life…

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

Ready for Conquest

Warhammer Conquest

Hey everybody!
I’m still kinda recovering from the banquet of awesome that was GenCon14 – if you haven’t already, take a look at my previous blog from the four-day weekend and what awesomeness came out of it! Today I’m going to have some preliminary thoughts on the upcoming Warhammer 40000: Conquest LCG, which I have mentioned before of course, but which is still to make it into my hot little hands.

It was released at GenCon, and the folks at Team Covenant very kindly put together the below demo video showing exactly how the game is played:

I must admit, I hadn’t been truly following this game’s announcements since the initial post in March, so didn’t have a real grasp for how the game worked. I was kinda intrigued, but I think any enthusiasm was tempered by the thought that Warhammer Invasion had been ended to make room for this. Being a massive Warhammer Fantasy fan, I was a little saddened! My initial thoughts had always been very much “Oh, this is just like Warmachine, then?”, but in actual fact it has a lot more in common with Call of Cthulhu, I would say.

Warhammer Conquest

The demo makes the game look awesome, so it’s definitely going to be something I’m going to pick up. I’ve never really thought of myself as interested in the 40k universe before, despite a brief flirtation with it about three years ago when I was looking at the various RPG modules FFG has released. However, since I have gotten into modelling, I have become enamoured of the Necron faction, and have been re-evaluating my thoughts! While Necrons are not one of the initial seven factions present in the core set, the In-Flight Report at this year’s GenCon did apparently come with the news that we’d be seeing two new factions for Warhammer Conquest at some point:

Hopefully Necrons will find their way into the game with a deluxe expansion, then!

Aside from anything else, however, the artwork is just beautiful. Take a look at the cards in this example of the combat phase:

Warhammer Conquest

How amazing! I do, of course, love Chaos, so will be looking to play these guys when the game is finally released. Either that, or Dark Eldar (Dark Elves are the other faction that I love!) I know not a lot about the factions in 40k, but FFG has provided a diagram of those included in the core set for their deckbuilding rules:

Warhammer Conquest

Basically, you can build a deck that includes cards from one of the factions to either side of your main faction, so a Dark Eldar deck can also include cards from Chaos or Eldar as allies. Looking at this in conjunction with the current army list on the Games Workshop website, it strikes me there are at least four factions that are currently not represented here: Tyranids, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, and of course my beloved Necrons. Just how integral to the game any of those are, I don’t know, so I can’t make any sort of guess as to which will appear. We’ll just have to wait and see!

But yeah, it looks like a really good game, so I’m looking forward to getting it. Once I do – and, of course, once I get some games played – I’ll be back with a proper look at it!

Warhammer Conquest

Until then, why not check out the rules on FFG’s site?!

New Games Round-up!

Happy Saturday, everyone!
Yeah, I’m back for another Saturday evening ramble! Oh, you love it. I want to talk about some new games that are either on the horizon or else just new to me, as I feel that I haven’t talked about new games for a while. Being off work invariably means I go out and look at history stuff, hence the promulgation of history blogs lately! So to restore balance, let’s go!

First up, some really left-field news from Fantasy Flight came on Monday, with the announcement that Dungeon Fighter is back in stock. What now? I didn’t even know what that game was, much less that FFG had published it?! Reading through the pages on their site got me desperate to play it, as I love a good goofy game like this every so often. So I snapped it up on amazon, and it arrived yesterday. So far, I’ve not actually played it, but hopefully that will change in the coming days…

Dungeon Fighter

And then they announced two expansions to it on Wednesday! How very FFG, to throw out expansions so quickly! The game looks amazing, as I said, and the expansions look equally hilarious, so I’m pretty sure this will be lots of fun!

DF expansions

And then, we have this!

Descent Heroes

Descent is a game that I haven’t really talked about at any length yet, but it is nevertheless a really nice game. Set in the Runebound universe of Terrinoth, it pitches a group of heroes against the Overlord, who kind of acts like a much more antagonistic Game Master in a RPG. I’ve barely played this game, but am nevertheless kinda hooked on it because of the fantastic fantasy setting. The game is currently in its Second Edition, which has streamlined a lot of the rules from what I can gather, and since January, FFG have decided to release heroes and monsters from the first edition game in these Hero and Monster Collections. A really nice idea, that, as the Conversion Kit to allow folks who already own First Edition to re-use their minis in the new game only has the cards, people who only own Second Edition can run with classic monsters in their games! However, these collections aren’t simply re-prints of existing miniatures, but there is also new content to be used in your games! A really fantastic idea, and yet more proof that the company is really supportive of this game. The fourth collection, Guardians of Deephall, has got some really cool stuff in it, and I’m looking forward to this one lots!

Warhammer Conquest

Onwards to the latest addition to the LCG stable, Warhammer: Conquest! Announced back in March after furious speculation as to the next LCG’s theme following the demise of Warhammer: Invasion last November, I was initially torn about investing into this, largely because of the theme. I’m a huge Warhammer Fantasy fan, but have never really been all that interested in Warhammer 40000 (despite owning Horus Heresy, the most expensive game I’ve ever bought!). I think the whole sci-fi theme it appears to have just doesn’t suck me in all that much. However, I have recently decided that I would, if nothing else, buy the core set of the new game, and see what it’s like.

I was, however, quite surprised by this week’s announcement of the first War Pack – I mean, the core set isn’t even out, yet! I suppose it goes to show the confidence that Fantasy Flight has in their LCG model, they don’t need to wait to see how sales of the core set do before deciding to expand the game. While, as I said, I think it’s a pretty foregone conclusion now that I’ll be getting the core set, I’m not as-yet sure I’ll be purchasing the expansions. Of course, I said that about Call of Cthulhu, then ended up buying every single thing for the game, so anything is of course possible!

Speaking of LCGs, a preview went up this week for the next cycle for Android: Netrunner, too. The game did phenomenally well when it was released nearly two years ago, and is currently looking at its third cycle of Data Packs. This was another LCG that I told myself I would limit myself on – this time, to the core set and first cycle – and have so far been snapping up the releases in fairly short order. The third, Lunar cycle has yet to actually be released, however, but I’m fairly sure I’ll be snaffling these guys as they come out, too…

Moving away from strictly ‘new’ games, now (and, indeed, from FFG), I’ve had a massive order of Pathfinder stuff delivered this week. I’ve been banging on about this for ages now, but I really find myself sinking quite easily (and heavily!) into the setting! My library of the things is looking pretty impressive now, so I’m very pleased for that, but even if I don’t find myself launching into a game anytime soon, it has been of tremendous help in inspiring me for my fantasy story that I want to start writing!

Pathfinder

Ah yes, the fantasy story. It’s slowly coming together! Rather than my usual modus operandi of just lurching headlong into writing something, I’m actually taking the time to plan things out this time, and have the ‘rules’ for my world written down before I actually put fingers to keyboard and type. But it’s getting there, and hopefully soon I shall be sharing some wonderful stuff with you all!

Finally, I thought I’d share with you some hilarious news: I am a Prince of the Forest!

Flying Squirrel

The Flying Squirrel game I mentioned to you a long time ago, in case you’re wondering!