Saturday, February 13, 2016

Another Unboxing - Stones Dungeon Tiles

So today I got another Kickstarter rewards box.  Actually, thanks to Canada Post's ineptitude, I had no idea they tried to deliver my box until I did a tracking lookup.  Thanks, Canada Post, thanks for nothing.

So, Frontline Games had a Kickstarter for a set of Dungeon Tiles.  These are 2"x2" tiles that can be used to make rooms, halls, or other layouts primarily for roleplaying games.  Given that Pathfinder and D&D both use a 1" grid (and the tiles are marked in 1" increments), this looked pretty cool.  Well, they added other trappings such as columns, doors (which open) and other dungeon dressing, I threw some support at their kickstarter.  Nothing crazy, but I figured it would be a cool set, and maybe look at adding more as they ramp up production.

Today, I unboxed the lot.  Here's the sum total:

Inside the box is the hundred or so tiles, plus some single doors.

So far so good.  Everything is there as promised.  Nicely packed too, so no damage.  Opening one of the bags of tiles they look pretty decent.  You can readily see the 1" squares, cleverly integrated into the design.

The tiles are double sided as well, with the alternate side being more of an earthy look.  Not bad, and it continues the grid for ease of play.

Laying a few out, gives a pretty good looking play surface.

These are definitely going to need a scrub, as you can feel the mold release agent.  That's okay though.  No real surprises there.  I opened one of the bags of doors, and the doors come in two pieces, the door and the frame with the bottom lintel.  There are small magnets in the kits to glue in to the bottom of the door where it would pivot, which should make them much better looking and able to open to represent the progress of a party of adventurers.

As you can tell by the door frame, some boiling will be necessary to cure the bends and warping in the parts, but again, no surprises there.

So far, looking like a cool product.  For now, I'm leaving them packed up until I can get some scrubbing done.  In the bunch there's some columns, beds, tables, crates, chairs and other dungeon dressing.  Many of these will also be good for wargaming.  Once I get them out of their packages, scrubbed and ready for some paint, I'll post more on how they clean up and paint.  More to follow.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Firestorm Armada Scenario - Break the Conference

Here's a Firestorm Armada scenario we played a few weeks ago.  Written by me and playtested by myself, my daughter and stepson, we had a blast.  It started as an idea for how to have a three-way game that wasn't two-on-one, but had a real purpose as opposed to everyone just randomly blasting each other to pieces (not that that's necessarily bad).  We played it, and made some tweaks as we went, and the result is:

Break the Conference Scenario (by Rowan Wilson)

 A secret meeting in deep space between two rival powers has been discovered by a third.  Not wanting them to come to any kind of agreement, the third party plans to sabotage the conference and wipe out the attendees.  This should cause enough animosity between the two that any kind of accord will be impossible for years to come.

Number of players: 3

·         Two players are the defenders.
·         One player is the attacker.
·         Each chooses a fleet up to the agreed points value (for three players, recommend patrol fleets).
·         The defenders each have a civilian ship (stats given below) that holds their conference attendees, at no additional points cost.  If desired, the player may detach escorts from one of their capital ships to the civilian ship (choose at the start, the escorts stay with their new ‘parent’).

·         Each of the defenders chooses a corner of the battlefield.  That is their ‘home corner’ to which they must retreat.  Their ‘edge’ extends 12” from the corner on either side.
·         The attacker uses the middle of the opposite side as their table edge, and may enter over a 24” span.
·         The defenders’ civilian ships must be set up in the center of the board as shown.  The defenders’ fleets are set up in a 12” box, one side centered on the civilian ships but displaced 6” away from the center.  They may only leave up to 25% of their fleets in reserves, if desired.
·         The two civilian ships are in base contact, to facilitate their short range shuttles, however may face any direction.
·         The attacker enters the table as per the reserves rule, however the attacker begins rolling for reserves on Turn 1. 
·         Scale the battlespace proportionally for larger or smaller tables.

Game start:
·         Before anyone rolls for initiative, the attacker makes one attack on each civilian ship from the other one.  (i.e. make a 4 dice attack on each civilian ship), to represent their sabotage taking place.
·         The defenders may not fire at either transport in turn 1 as they do not wish to risk hitting their own ship.
·         Roll for initiative for each player, play for that turn proceeds as normal.  If two players tie for initiative, roll-off for that initiative choice.
·         The civilian ships act as a squadron on their own.
·         No ships may shunt in or out of the battlefield.  The location was chosen to prevent such surprise attacks.  Vessels must either leave the play field (count as destroyed), or depart their player’s table edge (do not count as destroyed).
·         Ships of either side may start the game halted (no minimum move, but will need to start moving to turn).

Victory Conditions:
·         Each player scores victory points as normal for destroying enemy vessels as well as losing their own.  Maintain battle tracks as normal, paying attention to which player destroys which vessel.
·         The following additions to the battle log are to be used:
o   Defender’s civilian transport escapes their own table edge: +5
o   Defender destroys other defender’s transport: +3
o   Attacker destroys any of the defenders’ transports: +4/transport
o   Losing your transport: -3
o   Attacker does not destroy any transports: -4
o   Capturing a transport: +5
·         At the end of the game, the winner is the one with the highest battle log.  The game is played until both transports are destroyed or removed from play.

Civilian Transports:
(Recommend use of Ares class luxury liner model)

We played with Terrans (me) as the attackers, Directorate (daughter) and Sorylians (stepson) as the defenders.  Initial surges by the Directorate and Sorylians led to some serious damage, while the initial Terran advance was obliterated the turn they arrived (just a squadron of frigates).  Later Terran arrivals were able to put paid to the transport ships after doing some serious damage to the other two fleets.  A fun game and having the scenario made it more interesting, as there was a clear goal to seek in the battle.

The only sad part was we didn't get any pictures.  I was more interested in crushing Directorate and Sorylian forces.

I recommend trying it out, if you play Firestorm Armada (and why aren't you?).

Let me know what you think of the scenario in comments.