Wargames, Board Games, Card Games, Computer Games. Take a deep breath...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

So, I created this blog and then forgot having done so.

7 years later I wanted to create a gaming blog and did so.

On Wordpress.

With the same name.


I update the new blog every week-end. Check it out at; https://scentofagamer.wordpress.com/

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I Also Read. A Lot.

I've set up another blog to record my thoughts on each book I read. I get through 60-70 books per year. You might see something you'd like.

I Can't Stop Reading

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Updates and Changes

The Lord of the Rings armies are finally being painted up. Here are some pics:

This is the 350 point easterling army. There will also be armies for 500, 650, 900, 1200 and 1500 points. I'll post the pics up as I paint the models. Don't hold your breath!

Rohan is also being painted up to the same points value. I'll be honest here, I haven't started them yet.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

State of Play

It's not all beer and skittles in wargaming right now. There's a reason months have passed since the last update. I simply haven’t been doing much.

I've given up my prior wargame of choice for the time being. Right now, Warhammer is just a confused, broken mess. The core rules are good, but the army books are seriously lacking in quality. No quality of design means poor play balance. Right now, three armies are able to taker across the board 5+ ward saves. Unsurprisingly, this puts them on their own platform of power, far above everyone else.

This unbalance results in a fair few rock/paper/scissors situations where it simply isn’t worth the effort to set your army up against certain opponents - you've lost on army choice. That isn't good for a game that demands its players spend hundreds of dollar and dozens of painting hours before they come to the table.

Also, there are simply too many armies. Business-wise I have no idea how they cope. Even if they had an even spread of popularity across their armies (which they don't) each new army release would appeal to a massive 1/13th of their gaming population. Bad design, bad business. Warhammer needs some serious fixing in the army department. So far I've not seen a recognition that this even needs to occur. So ta-ra Warhammer, see you when you get good.

Warhammer 40,000 is in a slightly different position. Right now it is less interesting to play than the computer game that's based on it. Enough said.

Right now, my gaming consists of:

Lord of the Rings - Games Workshop can make a lively, interesting, balanced, and above all fun tabletop wargame, and this is it.

Blood Bowl - another gem from Games Workshop. Blood Bowl events draw more players than events for Warhammer 40,000. No, really. Why they relegate this game to the shadows is simply beyond me.

Magic: The Gathering - design excellence in action makes this game a pleasure to play. It should be dull really, I mean just look at it. But get a reasonable group and you'll be apples.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Different Zombies

As I finalise the Vampire Counts army (just in time for the ne book next March!), I was faced with the task of filling out the zombie units. I wanted something that would take up a 40mm base, ie be 'worth' 4 zombies in a unit.

I didn't just want to cram 4 regular zombies onto a 40mm base, or do a 'scene' with 4 man-sized zombies. I've seen it before. I wanted to do something that I hadn't seen before.

I came up with two ideas. The first was the zombie shepherds. These (there are two) were made simply by adding a zombie torso, arm and head to the nurgle champion's steed. Simple yet effective. The shepherds sit in the middle of the zombie units, keeping them all moving in the right direction.

The second idea was zombie ogres. Let some big guys join in the fun. And by fun, I mean mindless shambling. A box of 6 Ogres = 24 zombies, which sounded like a great way to round out my zombie units. Painted up with pallid skin, these guys right right in. There's even a standard bearer, who has an excuse for being at the front!

These latest figures that I finished will feature in an upcoming battle report, assuming I do another Warhammer battle report this year.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Of Titans and Quests

I don't buy a lot of new computer games. I've been playing them now for well over 20 years, and I really don't feel I need the latest flashiest graphical experience. I want a game that's fun; everything else is secondary.

I also enjoy playing deep and sprawling strategy games; exactly the kind of game I don't have a lot of time to play. As a result, my progress through such games tends to be slow. A game for me can last months.

Titan Quest is something I just picked up. It's best descirbed as a successor game to Diablo 2. It repeats the formula in an ancient Greek setting. As with Diablo 2, the getting of items offers as much depth as playing the actual game.

I won't waste your time by trying to give this game marks out of ten. It's like Diablo 2. You know what that means.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Blood Bowl: New Version, New Game

Hmm, two months between updates. At least I've been busy - though not busy writing blog entries.

Legend Bowl, as the Blood Bowl League I am running is called, is progressing well. Seven stable teams, comprising Orcs, Humans, Dwarfs, Dark Elves, and Halflings are involved. I had hoped for a dozen entrants, but with competing calls on people's time, and only one chance to play per month, seven is what I could get.

The league has given me a good chance to get to grips with the new version of Blood Bowl. In short, it is excellent. Two years in development, and it shows. The changes make the individual matches and the league flow so much better than in the past.

The new version, known as LRB5 has made changes to some key parts of the game. While running, passing, blocking and throwing all remain the same, major changes to skills, team value, after match winnings, and equalising teams has really made the difference.

The new system of inducements, and journeymen players, means that league games do not become unbalanced between the haves and have-nots. Teams that suffer early injuries do not find themselves in a vicious circle with the journeymen rule, and teams of different values are made equal through inducements.

Team value is calculated differently, and is now a meaningful score of a team's ability and experience, rather than the rough guide it used to be.

The smoothness of LRB5 has appealed to old and new players alike, to judge from first hand observation.

This league will finish in October or November, and I'm going to start a second season soon after, and use Chaos Dwarfs in place of my current Orc team.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fun with Multiplayer Magic

I haven't blogged about magic: the gathering so far, because I haven't
had a good way of referencing the cards. Now that the excellent Magic Cards info site has appeared, I can start.

Magic is most often played as a 'duel' with one player striving to
overcome another. Most magic cards are written with the duel in mind.
However there are other ways to play, and the clues are in cards that
reference "each other player" or "each opponent" in their text.

I play in large multilayer games, featuring 6-10 players. This changes
the game quite substantially, as cards which are useless in duel become
valuable in multiplayer, and previously valued cards can lose their
shine. Some good cards just get better; there are so many players to
annoy with your Wrath of God.

Players sit in a circle and can only attack the player immediately to
their left. So you attack left and defend to the right. Also, spells and
effects have a "range" of two players either side of you. For example,
your Wrath of God will destroy all creatures of yours, and those two
players to your left and right, but someone sitting three places away
will be unaffected. Game-changing shocks are thus localised.

I won the last game, against 8 players, with the help of one simple
creature card. Kavu Predator. Irrelevant in a duel, this card becomes
gold in a multiplayer format where almost everyone runs some kind of
life gain. I used Spirit Loop to keep myself in there too, and it proved
a lifesaver later on.

There wasn't a lot of life gain around the table, or so it seemed. After
three turns, the Kavu Predator was a healthy 22/22 and the first player
to my left was dead. The next player tried to protect himself by gaining life. Cute.

To my right Eddie was playing some kind of artefact deck, but I was
playing green/white, so no threats there. To Eddie's right, Ado sat
nibbling his life total away with Mourning Thrull.

Jason stopped me for a while once the table was reduced to five players,
and we were all in each other's range. Reiver Demon killed all
non-black creatures (just mine). By this stage I had another Kavu
Predator and another Spirit Loop in hand. Before long it was just me and
Ado left. You may remember Ado from the Warhammer battle reports. My
Kavu was a 42/42 and my life total was 116 thanks to Spirit Loop. I
needed it too.

Ado cast Boros Fury Shield twice in a row to pull my life total right
back. Luckily for me I could kill him with Mystic Enforcer, so I did to
win the match and four boosters. Yay me! My green/white deck powered
through the table, dominated as it was by Black decks. Mystic Enforcer
was a great back up for the Kavu, especially once I hit Threshold.

The best part is that this is a league, where the player on the most
points at the end wins. I was the winner last time, which has made me a
bit of a target, or at least someone to watch closely. I played two
innocuous decks that didn't perform in the first two rounds, but after
killing four players and winning the match I am second in the rankings.
You get one point per player killed, and one point for winning the

There will be another multiplayer game on 20 May. I have resolved to
bring a different deck each time, since that get me using more of my
5000+ magic cards, and also removes the temptation to bring the same
deck match after match, which would get stale for me and for everyone

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