Sunday, 28 February 2016

Masons coach finally equal to the task

Our monthly gaming day has been set as the final Saturday in the month. We meet at 8.30am and play through to lunch time. It is working out very well and leaves the rest of the day to do family stuff. Yesterday saw us back at the Guildball pitch and we were both looking forward to it very much. The Dark Templar had laid out his thoughts on his blog.

I had done some reading on my Masons and decided to take Brick for the first time. I dropped Tower. There is a lot written about Brick but I had figured out that his roll can be complementary to the overall team. I am playing him as a rumble strip. He sits in the middle of the board and can charge anything that comes in his 6" range. With 19 wounds he can be a pain for the opposition. I am not planning to give him influence and this will mean that I can stack it elsewhere. Flint and Harmony will be my runners and ball carriers. Honour and Mallet will be my beat sticks. Marbles will support in the middle of the board and cast Tooled Up on Mallet, adding plus one to his damage.

My plan was to stack Influence on Honour and Mallet and focus them on a single target to kill someone and get the player numbers working in my favour. I want to use Momentum to allow my guys to have the additional 4" dodge. This will increase my movement and make it hard to get to me. That was the basic plan.

So to the game.

It was fantastic. A proper dust up, a really great game that ebbed and flowed and had us breathless by the end.

We played Plots for the first time.

You deal 5 and pick 3 out of the five. I had Man Down, Knee Slide and Miraculous Recovery. Very handy especially against the Butchers.

I opted to receive the ball. This was a first but I figured starting with the ball would be a good thing for the Masons.  Brisket kicked off and the ball bounced very kindly to land in front of Harmony.

Harmony picked up the ball and then kicked it to Honour who kicked it to Mallet who kicked it Flint. This all generated lots of Momentum and gave me lots of 4" dodges. I was able to advance Mallet using Quick Time. Honour got stuck into Boar. Unfortunately the Butchers were wise to my tactics and managed to break line of sight so that Mallet could not double team Boar. As it was he was badly mauled. Mallet got stuck in to the rest of the Butchers team instead. My new dice were on fire. I am loving them.

The new tokens were brilliant too!! It is much easier to keep track of all the buffs etc.

Flint advanced up the right hand side of the field with ball.

The Butchers got to him and stripped the ball.Only for Flint to get the ball back and score. A great start. The Butchers were bloodied and we the Masons had scored. This felt like a very different game to those that we had played to date.

The Butchers recovered the ball.

They bunched together in the middle of the park to take advantage of over lapping pulse effects. They recovered their composure and began to do what they do best - dish out damage. They advanced the ball and quickly scored while taking out Honour, Harmony and Marbles. Ouch! I was able to use Miraculous Recovery to get Honour back into the game and try to defend against the score. To no avail. 10 - 4 to the Butchers.

However she was well positioned for the restart. I recovered the ball and ran down the right and kicked to Flint. I used Superior Strategy to allow Fint to immediately activate. He ran and used Where'd They Go and Super Shot to score. 10 - 8 before the Butchers could do anything about it. It was on a knife edge. Could the Masons get the ball back and score to win? Or would the Butchers finish off another Mason to claim the victory.

It was to be the Butchers day. They ganged up on Honour and took her out of the game. But what a game.

I have proved that the is much more to the Masons and the way to achieve this is to stack Influence. Brick works because he is not given any Influence. I am starting to understand how to use Influence to generate Momentum to give additional Movement. There is a lot to this game and each team has its own specific character. I think that the Masons are difficult to play because you have to think strategy and tactics and then use the Influence properly to deliver the plan. Bloody good fun though.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Zombicide - Black Plague

I have finally given in and opened the Zombicide Black Plague game, properly. I read the rules and did a bit of play testing. Took me a while to get things right. There are a fair fews differences to the Zombicide that I love so much.

The tutorial scenario is good and it is an opportunity to get used to the new weapons, spells, armour, enhancements and the vaults. You have to see the board differently and the noise tokens are good for keeping track of exactly which room is making noise. I played it three times.

I love the new character trays and counters. I think they work really well. A great way of keeping everything neat and tidy. The colour co-ordinated plastic also works. It ties the model base visually to its tray. Good thinking.

There are also a few quirks to get used to in the zombie phase with double activations on the second spawning point.

Anyway I like it.

It does seem to be less threatening in the early phases. Maybe this is because you have 3 wounds instead of 2 and there is the opportunity to use armour to save hits and there is also healing. I missed the sense of dread and manic searching that accompanied so many of the Zombicide games. There also appears to be less useless stuff. Most of the cards are useful weapons so that the team gets 'tooled up' early.

I moved into the first scenario confidently.

I hadn't read the rules properly and it was so funny. I miss read the Necromancer rules such that I had 5 of them in the game each with its own spawning point. I was soon completely over whelmed. It was a hoot. But then I read that you could only have one in the game at any time. Life became a lot easier after that revelation!

Always fun learning a new game and can't wait to play this with a group. Very worthwhile so far.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016


The girl is coming along nicely. I had to glue the cape to the base in the end. The foot alone was just too unstable. But that's OK.

I have gone for the purple and red look that is the Union. As a nod in the direction of the Masons I gave her a blue towel. Something to mop up all the blood that she will be spilling in the future ;-). A lovely model and some great detail.

I have had a look on the web and there are some stunning examples of paint jobs. Truly inspiring.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Branching out

No matter the purchase one always feels compelled to ensure that there is a miniature included in the pile. I have all the Masons models so this left me scratching my head. And then it hit me. The Union! I am allowed to field some Union models so I rushed off to have a look at my options.

High excitement as I did the research and had a look at the models.

Now it is a well known fact that I love a good female model and as soon as I saw her I knew the purchase that was meant for me. Snakeskin!

I think that the model a work of art. I love the dancing, flowing lines and the whirling cloak and well just everything about it. Obviously with all that metal and a tiny part of the foot touching the base there is plenty of room for problems. I drilled from the foot up into the ankle, it is tiny but with the clock touching there is just enough purchase. I added green stuff to the underside of the base to give it weight. I drilled the base, then pinned the foot to the base with a piece of paperclip. I used plenty of glue and some more green stuff. Initially I used a horizontal cocktail stick to keep the cloak off the ground. After a couple of hours I based the model with PVA and sand. There was still some movement so I left the model over night.

This morning it is quite solid and I happily glued the second leg and both arms into place. There were ball and socket joints which fitted beautifully and I am delighted with the result.

I didn't give much thought to her stats before making the purchase.  She looks interesting.

She is quick with a Movement of 6"/8" which is added to Shadow Like that gives her a 2" Dodge at the start of her Advance. She has a decent 5 TAC and Poisons. She can also Kick 3/6".

She doesn't have much health, only 12 points and no Armour. She has a DEF of 4+ which can be improved by spending Influence. Nimble gives her +1 DEF, Charmed Male gives her another +1 DEF. Clone also means that she can ignore the next Character Play or Playbook result against her.

I like that she has Tackle in her second damage column and a Momentous Tackle Dodge in her third damage column. She has no Momentous Damage ability so her role focus is mainly movement although the poison will be an annoyance for the opposition as it sustains through the rounds.

Plenty to think about.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Keeping track of things

We have had a few games of Guild Ball and one of the issues is that you need a wide variety of markers to keep track of things. Also small distances make a big difference and models have 1", 2", 3" and 4" ranges that are important and hard to really keep track of with a tape measure. So I have convinced myself that I 'need' the Masons Template Set, Dice and Token sets. The boys at Element Games sorted me out.

They arrived this morning and I am loving them. Each condition that the Masons can inflict is named separately on the curved counters and the idea is to place the counter next to the base of the model.  The Influence counters stack and can also be placed beside the appropriate model. All very neat and tidy.

The 'L' shaped measure is great for handling all those small distances and its sides are 1", 2" and 3". Perfect.

Up to now I had made my own scatter template and we were using a scatter dice for the 360 degree scatter. The plastic is much more professional.

I have some Batman tokens and we have been using them for Bleed and Poison effects. My own smaller blue dice had been drafted into service to serve as Masons team dice however I now think they will become my method of tracking Momentum. I have a black pouch somewhere with Blue gems. They would be the ideal Momentum counters but I have to find them first.

So there you have it.

Now do you think that I resisted the temptation to purchase anything else .... maybe a new model ...... I mean its not like I 'need' more models ...... but ..... now where is that hand drill. I feel the need to do some pinning :-)