Saturday, 31 May 2014

Aporaklypse Now Redux

Jamón serrano, tortilla, chicken skewers in sweet chilli sauce.... not your usual mid-game lunch
We broke for lunch in two separate groups.  The Ork team just wandered to a nearby fast food shop and got themselves a sandwich or a sausage roll - aptly Ork, I should think.  Out and back in five minutes, satisfied and ready to rumble.

The Non-Ork Team..... well, we ere in the West End of Glasgow surrounded by students and ponces so nice fare was available. When our first choice of Lebanese proved unavailable, we instead chose a little tapas cafe and has ourselves the sort of aesthete repast appropriate for Officers, high-ranking clergy and worshippers of a god of pleasure.

We ended up taking about half an hour, leading to much confusion.  But we weren't going to let our classy-repast-based culture clash get in the way of resuming our game.

The generals what aren't me survey the battlefield and prepare to restart proceedings.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Aporkalypse Now

Not A Small Battle Report

Despite my interests in politics, I have no intention of rambling here about European Parliament election results, the rise of the right wing and the collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote.  This blog was supposed to be a wargaming blog with occasional RPG forays and that it will stay, no matter how much I like rambling on other things.

So, let’s talk Warhammer 40,000. My chums and I chipped in to pick up an e-copy of the 7th edition rules.  Comments on this will need to wait until I’ve properly digested and played them.  However, before the new edition was announced we’ve previously agreed a meet-up on Sunday to hire out the basement of a café and play a 40K game together.  Not entirely intentionally, it ended up being a sort of fond farewell to 6th Edition by getting together for one last big game.

And by a big game, I mean a BIG game.  I mean a 12’ x 6’ table, 9000 points per side, 3 players versus 4 players big game.  I mean an Apocalypse game larger than my last one!  

Like, a game which requires many cases and bags to carry all the figures.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

That's F***ing TEEEEEAMWOOOOOOORK - Allies in Warhammer 40,000

Today's Allies Are Tomorrow's Enemies

With the upcoming arrival of a new version of Warhammer 40,000 much discussion is being had on what exactly will change.  A big talking point is the rules for allies: a concept missing from the past few editions but controversially reintroduced into 6th Edition.  Most people seem to want some sort of tweaking to the concept -whether it's minor "change who allies with who" or major "completely change how it works" - because as written it's got a lot of oddities. 

There's a big conflict here between more casual players and tournament players - are allies a fluffy way to make flavourful armies or are they are a gateway to broken combinations?  Would the rules work with gentleman's agreements and minor tweaks or would the game be better without them?

Leaked scans from the latest White Dwarf show a revised version of the ally table and scuttlebutt abounds on exactly what this means at the table for this rule.  So today's question is: can I write an article about that which is interesting both to the 40K nerds and the non-40K nerds that read this? 


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Proof Of Progress

The stout ones themselves.

My last post promised I had restarted the Chaos Dwarfs but didn't show any of my (admittedly minimal) progress.  So.... er, now I have.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The Chaos Dwarfs Return

Chaos Dwarfs have come a long way over the years.
Have no fear, Warhammer fans!  I have finally started some work on my Chaos Dwarfs after a long gap caused by cruising and... well.... other nerdity.  I enjoy painting but it can be a bit time-consuming and other things have stolen my attention of late.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil: The Enemies Of Phratil

I've undercoated some more Chaos Dwarfs so I'll return to wargaming soon, but here's another post as part of my designing of Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil

More than just faux-Europeans in plate mail wielding longswords: An adventurer outside the city of Habarga, in the land of Mu'Nahre.

The Dragon Pharaoh sounds an all-powerful being, almost a millennia old with mighty mystical powers to protect her and her own priests & army to carry out her will across the seas and void.  Various other lands are vassals to the Dragon Pharaoh: the Elven Princedoms, the Gnomish traders, the Dwarven strongholds and the strange peoples of the Reptilian South.  Beyond the sky, floating in the cosmic void, other worlds have inhabitants who send tithes and prayers to Cleopatra.  The teachings of Draco Deus say that every new soul that swears fealty continues the great plans of the gods, until one day all the world will call the Dragon Pharaoh their lord and it shall be as the gods command.

But things are not so perfect as Draco Deus would wish and there are threats both to Phratil the empire and it's ancient ruler.

Late Edition

Not the core rulebook for much longer, apparently.....

he Warhammer 40,000 fanbase is all a-fluter right now with gossip of a new edition of of the game.  Rumours, theories and scuttlebutt going around for the last few months have been full of 7th Edtion chat, but this grew in intensity over the last couple of weeks suggesting a new starter box at the end of May and now we have furtively swapped scans from the latest White Dwarf discussing what 7th edition will look like and that we can indeed expect it before the month is out.

Many of my readers who are not wargamers are still familiar with roleplaying games so the idea of an edition shift will not confuse them too much - they'll know what it's like when a new set of rulebooks for Dungeons and Dragons comes out and the powerful reaction, good and bed, this gets from the fanbase.  But there are several parts of this situation which may confuse them:

  • How do you keep a new edition secret until a few weeks in advance?
  • How frequently do new editions come out?
  • How big are the edition shifts?
  • How viable is not updating to the new edition and just playing the old?

Well, boys and girls, let's see if I can't answer some of these questions

Friday, 2 May 2014

Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil: Setting Basics

One of the earliest D&D rulebooks - though not the first.

So you've seen me ramble about the rules I'm considering for my D&D game.  But what is this setting that I speak of?   What do I have in mind under the title of Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil?

Definitely an influence.
My old D&D setting of Phratil was a fairly generic D&D setting.  Sure, we had some weird odds and ends - Humans with Egyptian gods, Arctic Norse Elves, monotheistic Romany-a-likes, master craftsmen orang-utans or what have you... but most of this was a pot pourri of bits and pieces nicked from other settings, either D&D or otherwise.  Pieces of Spelljammer, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Eberron were crudely welded to Doctor Who, Warhammer, DC Comics and Pokemon.  God help me, I ran an entire adventure around   I didn't so much "borrow" as "nick from so many sources that people couldn't quite keep up".

Similarly, genre varied wildly.  Dungeon crawls sat next to murder mysteries sat next to urban crime dramas sat next to comedy capers.  God help me, I ran an entire adventure themed around David Bowie songs.  (It started with an angel called Zhi'Chei who fell to earth.)  It was, in a way, the ultimate D&D experience - a mishmash of everything, D&D being not a perfect simulation of any one type of novel the sort of game in which Conan, Van Helsing, Fafhrd and Harry Potter are sent by Aslan to search for Excalibur in Mordor so they can slay Count Dracula and his army of Skaven.

Yeah, kinda like that (From What If Comics)
For Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil, I want something a little different - while set in the the same world it would be centuries into the future and a radically changed setting .  God Emperor of Dune is a big influence, and Warhammer 40,000 might not be a bad comparison either.

This is all very much beta, so opinions and suggestions are sought!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil: What System?

All hail Pharaoh Tineen Cleopatra, Daughter of Isis, The Serpent of The Aymans, She Who Is Opalescent Of Appearance, Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil.
Our Star Trek game restarted last night, and enjoyable session was had - one in which we used a recurring Star Trek enemy, the Borg, albeit in a very different way than previous.  This was intentional - the Borg were carefully rationed in Next Gen and made a big splash when they appeared in First Contact but in Star Trek: Voyager they seemed over-used and suffered somewhat from Villain Decay.

However, as alluded to a fortnight ago, I have been thinking about doing another short campaign in the near future.  The 12th of August will mark a decade of my RPG group existing and while the players have cycled over the years, there's still players playing today who have been playing since our group began - two turn up every week, and another two are currently unavailable but turn up when they can.  More than half of the existence of this group was spent playing a single D&D campaign, so for our 10th anniversary it seems only appropriate to return to Phratil.

On the question of the new Dragon Pharaoh of Phratil setting, I have pretty strong ideas of what I want to do - I've been pondering this for years and have a clear idea of something different than just "we start playing D&D again, like the old days" and I'm sure I'll be boring you all with more details.  But I find myself torn on the subject of mechanics - whether to run it with D&D 4th Edition or whether to go Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition instead.