Tuesday, 31 May 2016

One-Off Season, Spring 2016

With Star Trek over, a short season of three one-off RPG sessions followed.  Molly had returned from her work abroad, so she joined us to play again and also to run a session.  As usual my goal was to run at least one game I hadn’t played before, as well as cleanse the palette somewhat between our longer running campaigns with some different tones, genres and rules-sets.

First up was a new game for us and one which has been on the to-do list for ages. Starchildren: Velvet Generation is a game in which players are rock-and-roll-fugitives in a totalitarian future where art is controlled by the government, music is an underground rebellion and hippy aliens from a distant star have to come to help free us from our nightmare.  My standard issue explanation is “Ziggy Stardust meets 1984” – and with the passing of David Bowie at the start of the year, it seemed like it was finally time to play the game.

Owned for years, finally using.
I made up half-a-dozen pregens, all members of the same band: the players ended up taking a singer, guitarist, bassist, drummer and manager.  (The keyboardist, alas, was left on the shelf.)  The Singer and Manager were the eponymous alien Starchildren, very much with a Man Who Fell To Earth-esque angle of mysterious wisdom and powers but a lack of savvy and a predilection for addiction.  The end result is that Humans are still very much capable as player characters and I didn’t feel like it was The Starchildren And Their Sidekicks in play.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Anachronista 40,000: Campaign Turn 1

So much prettier than my models... <sob>

Week one of our Warhammer campaign saw three games take place of which I was involved in two.  I missed the opener – a two vs one game in which my partner-in-darkness Jamie had to muster his demons to resist an assault by 40K Dave’s Sisters of Battle and Charles’ White Scars.

A bitter struggle in which daemon princes and Contemptor Dreadnoughts marched into war, the first victory went to the Imperials but only just.  The final score was 10 kill points to 9 and with it the White Scars claimed the command base on Acanthus from Chaos.  (Though the forests and hills are now laced with small bands looking to fight guerilla battles.)

We at least gave Dave's HQ Saint Celestine a thorough killerating.

A defeat, even a close one, was not a great omen and so I had to head into battle and regain some honour.  40K Dave invited me to his house for a small “Kill Team” style skirmish versus his Sisters, and a few days after that I would fight Doug and his Dark Angles for the first time in a battle hosted at my house.  I have hardly played 40K recently so two games on the trot would be challenging, especially when Chaos Space Marines are not exactly considered top of the power curve.

The nature of the board meant they could only claim one hex from me on the planet we all shared – Germanotta, an icy world of petrochemical drilling and blinding snowstorms – but we came to a way of making it work.  Inspired by rules form the Horus Heresy rulebooks which propose fighting small skirmishes before a main battle, and then letting the skirmish determine a boost for the victor when it comes time to set up the larger game, the skirmish would be a sort of set-up fight for the Imperials.

Victory would let them be the attacker in the next game as they sneak through defensive lines; failure would instead see my army having advance notice of their arrival and letting me choose a different scenario that might play to my strengths.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Anachronista 40,000: Campaign Premise

The Mungo Sector at the start of the Anachronista campaign.  Purple and Blue runes mark the Chaos squares; Yellow, Red and Green logos mark the forces of the imperium.
The first fortnight of our Warhammer 40,000 campaign is at an end and with it the first of six campaign turns.  We're doing pretty well, with a fair amount of new painting and terrain making happening and three games ensuring everyone got to play at least once in turn one.  Turn two promises to have at least four games.

I'll share the events of turn one soon, but first: for the people interested in the background to our campaign, I'm going to reproduce some posts from our Facebook group which were used to set the scene.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Silk Anniversary - What I Did In Edinburgh

Sister Superior has a lot in common with Lois Lane, but I'm way more of a Plastic Man than Superman.

April marked the 12th anniversary for Sister Superior and I being an item.  We didn’t do anything really big on the day – instead, we waited until the start of May then went to Edinburgh for the weekend for a wee adventure.  Accommodation was booked, entertainment arrangements were made and disgustingly coupley moments were had.

A new story from the day we first went out - April 18th 2004.

The missus was working last Saturday and so couldn’t come to Edinburgh until she’d finished work – I, on the other hand, was free all day.  I went in a few hours ahead of Sister Superior, then, as an advance scout party whose primary objective was to drop off the suitcase and pick up some little odds and ends in the shops.

Of course, releasing me into a city unsupervised inevitably leads to a secondary objective: Visit the nerd shops and hunt interesting things.  With hours to kill and no-one to question why I was walking so far just for a toy soldier shop, I set on my way.

Naturally, I wouldn’t spend all my money at the start of a romantic weekend when I was on my own and visiting geek shops, right?

"I can just tell her it was... um... a bargain?"


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Multiversity: A Reality-Hopping Superhero RPG Proposal

Cover Stars From Left To Right: Heroes from Earth 23, 5, 20 and 26

As part of my preparation for restarting my Justice League Beyond game, I’ve been re-reading some superhero comics.  I don’t buy many American comics anymore – I read a lot of DC comics between about 2003 and 2011, but I fell out of love following the New 52 reboot.  Still, I have a bookcase filled with graphic novels and individual issues so I’ve been getting myself into the mood by taking a stroll through masked mischief.

One series I re-read was the last DC comics series I followed: Multiversity, a universe-hopping tale in which characters from various alternate Earths end up drawn into a single plot and must ally together.  It’s told mostly in the form of one-shot comics set on alternate earths – so Mastermen is a single issue set on a world where the Nazis won the second world war, while Pax Americana is set on a Watchmen-esque world with only one true superhuman.   

Uncle Sam versus √úbermensch

Multiversity #1 and #2 serve as bookends to this concept, showing the setup and resolution of the problem including a lot of stuff about the nature of fiction and speculating that every reality’s story is told in fiction in other worlds, so characters in each comic are shown reading the other comics of the series.  And in at least one case, the actual comic they are currently in.

…Yes, it was by Grant Morrison.  How did you guess?

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Anachronista 40,000 - A Warhammer Campaign Begins

The Imperial Navy prepares to weigh anchor.

Sunday was the start of May and the start of a Warhammer 40,000 campaign being played with a few of my chums.  I haven’t actually played much lately so taking part was intended as a way to force me into getting some games in and hopefully recharging my Chaos Space Marine mojo.

40K Dave was the original organizer of this endeavour, inviting me and four other people to take part.  He sought my assistance at set-up because he didn’t know quite how he wanted the campaign rules to look – heavy or light, map or narrative – nor did he know how to justify it in story.  Being a roleplayer first and foremost this is something that he thought I would be able to help with, since he and I often swapped in-character messages before and after our games anyway.

Therefore I was asked to justify everyone using their armies, which included Space Marines, Chaos Marines, Chaos Demons, Sisters of Battle, Imperial Guard…

In the grim darkness of the future there are only bookmarks.

...and Horus Heresy Space Marion Legions.  Who only exist in a time millennia before the rest of the armies in question.

Nae pressure, eh?