Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Joseph Dredd is a law enforcement officer in the dystopian future city of Mega City One in North America. He is a "Street Judge", empowered to summarily arrest, convict, sentence, and execute criminals. I have been following his exploits in comics, books, films and games (but not computer games) ever since he made his debut appearance. I still subscribe to 2000AD, which will celebrate its 2000th edition next month... and yes, I have every issue! In this article I'm going to take a look at the Judge Dredd boardgames and tabletop games that have appeared in the past 39 years.
TABLETOP SKIRMISH WARGAMES
Sunday, 21 August 2016
To play a game of Sails of Glory, you will need a flat surface, roughly 36 inches by 36 inches square. You won’t need terrain, as naval warfare tends to happened on the open sea (the most terrain you might need would be the odd wreck... if the scenario is set in shallow waters... or perhaps a coastline: so you can include some gun batteries, beach assaults, Pirate raids and smuggling excursions.... à la mode Poldark style).
Once you crack open the box, marvel at all the
fine and wonderful `toys` contained inside (you won’t be disappointed, this baby has an elegance to it which feels mature and graceful, like an expensive vintage wine), then you will no doubt eventually have a crack at the rules book. Here you will be delighted to learn the game is broken down into four parts: very basic, intermediate, leading all the way up to advanced, then with lots of optional extras at the end. Best still, it offers some truly excellent rules for playing the game solo. This means you can theoretically have the box open, read the rules, and be playing within an hour.
Once it is determined how the wind will influence the ship, the player’s select a manoeuvre card (or cards) from their card deck (each ship has its own unique deck of cards). If the attitude measure points to the orange or green boarders of their Ship miniature, the player can select any manoeuvre cards that has a blue dot. If the attitude measure points to the red, only manoeuvre cards with the red dot can be used. If the attitude points between two different colours, the player can always use either of the two, but it is their choice.
Once the manoeuvre card is selected, it is placed face-down on their Ship Log until it is their phase to move. At which point the card is used as a template for actually moving the ship on the battle mat. All very clever stuff really: unique in fact. Each ship card of course, has different instructions of movement depending on the speed the ship, the set of the sails, and wind direction and speed (most of this is covered in increasing depth, throughout the advanced rules, which you can add in at your own pace and leisure... everything is optional: allowing you to cherry pick what you want in your games and what you simply wish to ignore).
Friday, 19 August 2016
They did an amazingly lovely thing for me, even though I had, by now, stopped playing and left them both to it... the next Christmas, they both chipped in and bought me Super Dungeon Explore, which is how I ended up owning my very own boxed set, and developed such an intense love for chibi/anime gaming. It was so sweet of them and so very appreciated, and they should not have, but I thought it was lovely of them, and every time I get the game out and enjoy playing it, I think of those two lovely gentlemen. I still go visit them sometimes for “a game of Napoleon and Welly” as they both seem to call it hehe.
Pulp Fiction Narrative Adventure: Our Heroine Actress is just being told "And ACTION" as the camera man prepares to shoot. But suddenly an Intruder makes an unwelcome appearance though the jungle tree line.
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
But yeah I`m walking on a cloud today, planning my purchase and watching you tube videos all about it: unboxing, reviews, batreps, the lot, and the more I study, the more I long to get started.
Article by Stephen Gilbert.
And I`m utterly delighted to have found my way again, on (what could oh so easily have been) the thorny path of regret. Only for me, It’s become a sweet case of wooohoooo - ROCK ON GAMING!!!!!
Article by Stephen Gilbert.
Saturday, 13 August 2016
On the morning of June 1, the small troop set out, earlier than intended, and without the full escort (largely owing to Louis's impatience). Led by Carey, the scouts rode deep into Zululand... and by noon the troop was halted at a temporarily deserted kraal while Louis and Carey made some sketches of the terrain, and used part of the thatch to make a fire.
Sergeant Carey looks to his men, looks to the Prince, a small silhouette in the distance. He allows his eyes to move to the left and to the right. Zulus! He spies Zulus moving like the wind, and closing in swiftly on the Prince`s solitary position.
The lone Zulu sniper took aim and fired again! A soldier screamed in pain, and went down like a stone. He writhed on the ground, dark blood pumping from a nasty thigh wound.
At precisely this moment the loosely picketed horses (until now happy to remain standing dutifully by) decided to bolt onto the horizon.
Victorian, Pulp, & Sci-Fi Gaming
Rules For Solo Role Playing & Wargaming:
But this unique Mythic games engine thing didn't quite work for me in the way I wanted – far too many rules. But Oh golly yes... without having read this neat innovation to the hobby, I still probably wouldn't have had a clue where to start my own solo system. I guess all pioneers get copied endlessly, and this is no exception. But what I have done is totally altered the concept, made it my own; made the whole thing short and easy to learn - and came up with the In Game Random Action Decision Indicative Calculator: or IGRADIC for short!
Once I got started, I found my direction quickly; the rules fell into place and were written pretty much over night. Then by play testing I found the system worked, and the rest was easy. I did originally write this just for myself (and other solitaire gamers) to enjoy. But I discovered the system works just fine as a standard player to player game as well.
3+ Morale is fine - carry on as desired.
Uses a normal pack of playing cards: every 3 figures from the same unit draw 2 cards. Fractions below three also draw 2 cards (except Multi-Shot figures, which always draw 4 cards). Heroes, leaders, etc draw 3 cards: example, a single figure would still draw 2 cards; so would 2 or 3 men. A 4 man unit plus a hero would thus draw 7 cards: 2 for the first three figures and another 2 for the additional forth figure, and 3 more for the hero.
Bad Guys and Monsters hit when Clubs are drawn from the pack but picture cards are discarded.
Every time a hit card is drawn (numbered and picture cards apply: except to Bad Guys and Monsters), the target unit may attempt to negate the hit by drawing a card and placing it half over the hit card. If the save card (any suit) equals or exceeds the hit card, the attack for that hit card is ignored. Targets that are in cover against ranged weapons draw 2 save cards at a time against each attack. Targets over half range also draw 1 additional save card.
At the beginning of each turn, the sides involved each draw 1 card (the side representing "self" may draw 2 cards and use the highest one shown). Highest number goes first that turn. Draw fresh cards if the numbers are tied.
Next: both sides draw 1 card for every 3 figures (or/and fractions) in play. If only picture cards are drawn; no actions may be made by that side on this turn. The cards represent the number of actions (card points) that side may use during the turn Actions include movement: making ranged attacks: moving and making ranged attacks: melee: or Other Actions.
Beyond this, accurate sequence of play is left pretty open.
Human movement is usually 6 inches per turn (4 inches if slow). Very fast humans may move 8 inches per turn. Mounted figures, large animals move 12 inches per turn. Vehicles can move up to 20 inches a turn, and can accelerate/ decelerate 5 inches a turn. If a vehicle wants to make an immediate stop, it will skid 1 inch for every 4 inches of its current speed that turn. Passengers in a vehicle may place an additional save card against ranged attacks (counts as cover). A vehicle has 1 to 10 hit points (car 3: lorry 5: armoured car 10 etc). Ranged attacks against a vehicle must be nominated at the passengers or the vehicle - and declared before taking the shoot.
Units of men must try to stay within 5 inches of at least one other member of the same unit at all times. The Games Host must keep an eye open to ensure this discipline is always maintained where humanly possible. Single figure units also exist: e.g. a single armed guard with a multi shot pulse blaster. A henchman patrolling the grounds at night, etc.
This is similar to drawing cards for ranged attacks. The exact weapon type used is not important... the number of cards a figure or group of figures represents is what counts. When large close combat fights take place (with multiple base to base combatants), pool all the attack cards together... and lay them out in a line.
"Self " side hit when Hearts and Diamonds are drawn. Bad guys & Monsters hit when Clubs (Clubs & Spades if elite or huge) are drawn from the pack but picture cards are discarded.
In Melee, every 3 men get the number of cards indicated above. Fractions below three draw card like 3 men units do. In addition, Heroes draw 3 cards in melee. Side Kicks, Generals, Leaders (NCO`s), and Bad Guy Bosses draw 2 cards in melee.
Every time a hit card is drawn (numbered or picture cards apply), the target unit may attempt to negate the melee hit by drawing a card and placing it half over the hit card. If the save card (any suit) equals or exceeds the hit card, the attack for that hit card is ignored. Hits always remove 1 figure or one artillery crew... when all artillery crew are removed as casualties, the gun is inoperable. Should you need to give an artillery piece a hit rating during a scenario: give a gun 3 hit points.
Once hits and saves have been calculated, the good guys ("Self") always get to choose which enemy or enemies receive hits.
Get into the habit of doing this, to keep the game interesting. Every 3 men and of course fractions (or 1 artillery and crew) in cover get 1 extra attack card in melee.
In Addition: targets of melee attacks that are in cover occupying a building, or who are uphill of the enemy; and on the first turn of a melee if they are defending a wall, hedge, or in trees, etc. draw an additional save card each melee.
Five of Diamonds & Jokers
A Five of Diamonds always represents a fumble. It represents an automatic catastrophic failure or/and fumble. A Joker always represents a glorious success or/and lucky break. Only good guys get to use the joker card.
Hit Points for Heroes, Leaders, Bad Guys & Monsters
I suggest "Self " main characters start a game with 4 or 5 hits each: officers and side-kicks 3 each.
Bad Guy main characters 3.
The IGRADIC table is your friend, and will (if treated right) make all those awkward decisions for you without disrupting the flow of the game in any way. Once you decide an action you need to resolve: quickly determine the difficulty level you wish to apply, throw a couple of dice, and read off the result (there are only ever four outcomes so it's not confusing). Determining what happens using the result of the IGRADIC table - well that's up to you to decide using your imagination and how you think the game should go.
The following table is a catch all to cover any situation the solo player wishes to resolve quickly and smoothly. Use it wisely, use it often... but also know when not to use it and simply apply common sense instead.
Select Difficulty, Roll 2D6 Perfect Okay Fail Massive Fail
Impossible - but you just never know N/A 2-3 4-5 6-12
Very Unlikely - but this is fiction 2 3-4 5-7 8-12
Below Average - go for it 2-3 4-5 6-8 9-12
Average - fifty-fifty 2-4 5-7 8-10 11-12
Above Average – easy 2-5 6-8 9-11 12
A Dead Certainty - in your sleep 2-6 7-9 10-11 12
Impossible To Fail - no contest 2-7 8-10 11-12 N/A
Plot Aid Campaign Card Deck (Normal Playing Cards)
Once every so often (perhaps once or twice a game session), shuffle a normal playing card deck and pull three cards. Or if you simply want scenario ideas, use the cards in the same way to generate a set of random event ideas to spice up your scenarios.
The first card drawn is called "Self" and is always drawn for the good guys... the solo gamers’ personal favourite 'side'.
The second card drawn is "Influence" goes to the left of the "Self" Card already drawn, and represents recent events (leading up to the present), plus it indicates the growing schemes and machinations of the enemy.
The third card "Manoeuvres" also represents the enemy (or enemies); goes to the right of the central "Self" card and indicates current or very near future events. Combined with "Influence" and "Self" the three cards should suggest a current viable plot for the solo gamer to play out, either in his ongoing campaign, or on the current games table.