Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday Games and New Years

Greetings and Salutations!

So the new year is approaching rapidly and I find the urge to join the billion  bloggers that post up their hopes/resolutions for the next year.  With out further ado, here are my top hits first for gaming then with 'rest of life' aspects...

Gaming Resolutions
  • Blog here at least 4-5 times a month.  I enjoy the outlet so far as it takes very little to entertain me sometimes! :)
  • Continue the 4e D&D campaign for as long as the gang wants to continue.  I am having fun running the nights, even if the Saturdays are too few apart
  • Run a few more demo days for WARMACHINE and Hordes and MonPoc.  I've been pretty lazy over the last year.  I've done plenty of tournaments, but no demo days and we need to get some new fresh blood in to the mix.
  • Pick up Boltz-n-Voltz again.  TJ and I have a good product moving forward, but would like to get it to a spot were we can market it out.
  • More board game nights. I played Pandemic last night and it was a hoot.  Also got a 4 player Race for the Galaxy as well and I need to get more of those in as well.  
Rest of Life
  • Hit the gym...  Lets be honest, I could use to loose a dozen or five lbs.  Nothing over the top.  Average two days a week beats the current average of no days a week.  
  • Stop eating French Fries...  Fried potatoes in general.  Love them, but they ain't doing anything for svelte frame.
  • Drop the soda habit...  Again...
  • Be a nicer partner.  As The Other Half will tell you I can be an Asshole at times.  I'll try to be less an Asshole.
So that is the big list for jp.  To be honest I have a better chance on the Gaming ones then the Rest of Life...  Stupid life!

As I stated above I did get a chance to play a few games of Pandemic on Tuesday.  I should have been playing WM/HD/MonPoc, but the shoppe had an open copy of Pandemic and a few folks were interested in playing.   It is a cooperative game, which I enjoy, and it seems to have the right mix.  We played five games that evening.  The game won twice and the different players won three times.  This was at the easy setting.  

The players are a team of infection specialist working for the CDC.  Your either a medic (can treat more people faster), scientist (can find cures with fewer resources), dispatcher (can move other players on his actions), researcher (can short-change the card trade mechanic), or operations expert (can build research stations easier).  The evil viruses are in four flavors in different areas of the globe.  The players must slow the spread of the viruses while also researching the all out cure.  Players when if they find all four cures.  Game win if the players run out of cards, they can not stop eight major outbreaks, or on virus goes so big that it has no more virus cubes to deploy.  The two times we lost, it was due to the outbreaks.  Each city on the board can only have three of a specific type of virus before it 'pops' an sends more virus to the connected cities.  The problem is when one pops, forces another to pop, then another...  Chain reaction of death.

As a cooperative, it encourages discussion and in the easy phase, you play your cards face up.  Next time I think I want to play the the medium level that adds another epidemic card to the deck.

I ought to get back to the grind, so you all have a good and safe new year and catch you on the other side!

Breaker of Resolutions

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Adventure Continues...

On Saturday the remaining party members, Eldecar, intrepid Halfling recently returned from the dead, Zoltan the Reformed, Human Wizard with a panache for the creepy, Zarsthor, Dragonborn Warlord who's moral compass puts him in harms way, and Sliver, the elf ranger looking for revenge against those that murdered his family.

After a well deserved rest, leveling, and outfitting, the party followed up on some new job prospects. Seems the Lord Mayor of Winterhaven was interested in eliminating any threat from the 'Blood Reavers' as they would be bad for continued growth in both the local community and the Vale as a whole. Additionally, the local shop keep asked the party to transport a mysterious box to the seven pillar hall, deep in Thunderspire, the last hall of the Minators before their decent into madness.

The trip would take them to Fallcrest, and the Lord Mayor of Winterhaven requested a parcel be delivered to the Lord Mayor of Fallcrest that contained news of the Rift the party had secured as well as the situation with the slavers. To keep company, the party traveled the route with Barnaby, a bumbling old merchant that told tales of the destroyed city of Devonshire, the northern capital and trading city of the long disposed Allimar Empire.

On the trail and shortly after leaving, the players stumbled upon Splug. Still carrying Zoltan's lost rope, but with a few extra items, Splug was excited to be reunited with his old friends. The friends, less so. The party decide to try and pass poor Splug (now played by Mark) off as a scared Hafling.

Entering Fellcrest after a non-eventful trip, the party took up residence at the Ninter Inn, feed and bed and re-looked at the small town they had only briefly visited when they first met. Some exploring led Zarsthor and Eldecar to a smithy that promised to fashion a special weapon for the Dragonborn Warlord. Mean time the Lord Mayor's guards told Zoltan and Sliver that they would have to come again in the afternoon as he was busy. While leaving Sliver caught a shadowy figure following them and he doubled back while Zoltan earned a few copper doing magic tricks as a distraction. The shadow claimed to be looking for his lost cat, and swiftly returned to the Castle.

That afternoon, the party re-integrated, except for Splug left in the room, retuned to the Castle and this time were ushered into the Lord Mayor's council room. There the shadow figure sat at the Mayors side as a trusted aid. Sliver asked about his cat, which the aid simply reddened and glared. The Mayor read the letter and was astonished to see that the Blood Reavers had been heard of in Winterhaven as well. In fact a caraven had just been attacked on the trade road and taken captive. Only a handful escaped and were present. The Lord Mayor added an additional reward for the destruction of the Blood Reavers as well as a bonus for finding the lost caravan teams.

So off to Thunderspire the valiant team headed. The path was clear and entrance was uncontested. It was not the evil lair they had expected, instead an underground town controlled by a group of mages. The party rescued a young Halfing from the Halfmoon clan that had become entangled with the Blood Reavers. Using his family inn as a base of operations in the Seven Pillar Hall, the party set out for the non-secret hide out. They found the old temple with out issue and began to fight their way through.

The entrance of the hall was a large greeting room that had a double door headed into the main temple. After multiple stealth moves to get across, Splug found himself unable to climb the 15' wall to a balcony on the far side. After multiple attempts at scrambling up, both Sliver and Splug finally made it up to the upper level where they found an unlocked door. Both Sliver and Splug moved forward to investigate as the rest of the party tried to approach the double doors. Sliver and Splug spotted a Bugbear and two goblins in a sleeping quarters at the same time, the rest of the party could hear some conversation in an unknown language on behind their door. Splug used his sneak attack abilities and Sliver let loose arrows to get a surprise round started. Eldecar went to open the door to find they were locked! Time to get the tools out!

Zarsthor rushed the balcony and easily climbed up as Eldecar was working on the door. After taking serious damage, Splug ran for the rear and pulled out his trusty sling as the rest of the party engaged. The tight quarters paid off for the adventures as it kept the Bugbear and Goblins from getting combat advantage.

After a short rest, the party ventured further into the temple and found a group of humans, hobgoblins and goblins eating and gambling. The narrow entrance into the room caused a bit of panic as the party tried to fight its way in, Eldecar tumbled and positioned himself on the back side of the ranks, but that led to being the primary target of the goblin sharpshooters. Zoltan used his Flaming Sphere to help clear a path and the party finally prevailed.During the short rest the party discussed if they should move forward or take an extended rest.

Low on Surges and some daily powers spent it was a close decision, but they decided to press on to help get that second milestone to help Eldecar recover from his grievous wounds. Entering the next room, the Chamber of Eyes and heart of the temple, the party encountered the holding pin for the prisoners, but they were already gone. The chamber only held a Dire Wolf and three Hobgoblin archers, one which ran away to sound the alarm. The Dire Wolf didn't stand a chance and quickly fell, but the warcaster, two Druegers and Krand, the war chief made it difficult and the party began to back peddle as they thought they were in over their head. A few tricks and lucky rolls soon changed the flow of the battle. The last remaining Drueger tried to flee the deaths and Krand rushed into battle, only to be hacked at by Eldecar and Sliver. Zoltan used his 'Might Fist of Zoltan' to squeeze the Warcaster out of existence. The last remaining Hob could be seen fleeing the temple.

After a short rest, the party scouted Krand's offices to find the note of sale from the Drueger for the 12 prisoners as well as the cash for said sale.And that is where we ended up for the evening. A good clip of action and a bit of plot and story to boot. I was pleased, but am looking forward to getting Paul's new Dragonborn Paladin into the mix.Might be a week or two before we can hit it again. Rob is wanting to run his game next week. Not sure I can escape, but I'm going to try.

Have a great New Year (the gang is meeting to play games, but I have other plans… Stupid gang playing games without me! :) and I'll post about the New Years Eve Dinner next week!


PS: I might have messed up a few NPC names. I'll correct later if I did.

Error of names

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day Bash

On Friday, I had an opportunity to play a bit of WARMACHINE vs. Adam. It was a great game with a lot of ebb and flow and it came down to a pair of caster/locks in the end.

Kraye with Hunter x3
Striker with Cent and Ol' Rowdy
Trencher Cannon, Chain Gun, and min Unit
Sword Knights at nine
Lady Aiyana and Master Holt (A&H)
Jr. WC

Adam (to the best of my memory)
Epic Magnus with 2 Renegades
Tyrant Xerxis with 2 Cyclopes and 1 Rhinodon
Cataphract Cetratus
Cataphract Arcuarius
Extoller Soulward
2 units of Pain Givers

I had first turn. I had set up Kraye and his hunters to the left with Stryker and his 'Jacks to the center right. The Sword Knights were to the right with the Cent in the center. A&H went far left. Trencher Canon AD with the Chain Gun in the center with Finn in LoS. Trenchers too the hill edge to the right.

Adam put his Ferox on my left with Mangus and his two Renegades. The Venators took the center and the Cetratus and Arcuarius made a two row brick with the heavy armor Cetratus in the front. Xerxis was behind the brick with one Cyclopes and one Pain Giver unit. The other Cyclopes took my far right and the Rhinodon took the center.

My plan was to use Kraye and the Hunter's Light Cav to get up and shoot the big base guys using the 'Guided Fire'. But I missed judged my distance as well as my inability to roll. On the second turn, I made the mistake of moving them to close together and they got Renegaded and then pounced on by the Ferox.

Kraye's Feat was nice...
It allowed me to stand up the knocked down Hunters that survived
Hunter Charging 17" for free w/ three focus, trying to slow eMagnus down
Charge Ol'Rowdy and Cent into the Cetratus, then Rupert marched the Sword Knights into help.

Adam got a few good moves off as well.

In the end it came down to Styker and the Tyrant mono e mono. Xerxis was out of beasts with six wounds. He cut himself for five fury, but failed to seal the job vs. Stryker. Colemen shrugged off the Stagger and let the bald guy with the cricket bats get it.

It was a fun game, lots of drama. Thanks to Adam for the game, now how about a 500 pointer next time! :)

In Entrainment News:
On Christmas the Eldest and I went to see Adam Sandlers' Bedtime Stories. It was cute in its own way. Not a deep drama, definitely a kids movie, but it had a few good laughs. I would give it a 3.5 on the Hansel and Gretel scale.

Hope to get some more games on Saturday. Hope everyone had a good break!

Demolisher of Skorn

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And Orcus' representative in the plane of existence is banished...

We did it! After a few months of slow going, the party conquered the Keep on the Shadowfell! And I only killed four characters in the process, three in the last two battles. :) Sorry about that guys!

After finishing up the upper level, which included the battle of slimes and bugs, the party was ready to head back to the lower levels of the keep. A failed attempt to use a bad password taken from the elf ranger at the graveyard, led to a bloody battle with the new guards at the lower entry. This was quickly followed by an encounter with the reinforcements and ultimately the Hobgoblin boss. In the end the players were able to secure a room to rest and soon they entered a room with a statue of a Titan, two statues of dragons and some cherubs with vases. No bad guys... As our old friend Admiral Ackabar says 'It's a Trap!" The Titan swung his sword, the dragons belched fire, and the vases poured water. The triple threat traps kicked in and the party was soon arcane and thief checking for their lives. Luckily, it was the Eladrin that got caught in the pool trap and he simply teleported out. Stupid teleport!

In the next room (Saturday's session), the party encountered more Zombies and a Wight, what is it with Orcus and undead anyway? A short put expensive fight ended with the party heading in to the upper level of the actual rift. As they entered the room with blood flowing down into the lower level, they were set upon by many vampire minions, an underpriest of Orcus, and a handful of Human Berzerkers. This was a tough battle for the party, and Uhlk (Human Fighter) fell to the Berzerkers. The vampire minions held up 1/2 the party while the Berzerkers just beat the snot out of the rest of the team. In the end, the party needed to rest, but from their vantage point they could see that the barrier was ready to fall, so they heroically dropped down and took on Kaliel and his entourage. The party lost Elladen (Eladrin Sword Mage) and Eldcar (Halfling Thief), but was able to secure the rift for the time being.

With a bitter sweet victory, the three surviving heroes, Zoltan the Reformed (Human Wizard with Cleric Tendencies), Zarthor (Dragonborn Warlord), and Sliver (Elf Ranger), brought back the bodies of the fallen on a floating disk. Elladen and Uhlk, both had 'Do Not Resuscitate' orders on file, so only Eldcar was raised. Lord Pariag of Winterhaven, thanked the party and saw to their costs while proposing an additional task. Stop the slave trade at Thunderspire. Conveniently, the merchant of town also had some business that the party could conduct for them at the Spire.

The weakend party will shortly be joined by a Dwarf Fighter and Dragonborn Paladin and they will set forth into the hinterland.

Not quite a TPK

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Charity Con Update...

I'm about a week late on this post, but I spent the past four days in the DC area which included an extra night that wasn't planned due to a flight cancellation. Oh do I 'love' to business travel!

The Charity Con events I ran went very well. MonPoc had 10 players, which isn't too bad. We played three rounds and had a good set up games with new players adding into the mix which is also nice.

The WARMACHINE/Hordes event also was fun. I set up an odd ball format. 750 points, but with two casters and at least 15 VP in 'Jacks/'Beasts. These were quick and ultra brutal games with the fifteen minute timed rounds. We also had a few new players in the mix. Tried to express that these were on the 'odd' side and not the usual forces you would see in a game.

Overall the event raised over 2600 cans of food stuffs for the Bellevue Food Pantry. Not too shabby for a bunch of gamers. Not sure what our part was, but it was fun!

Last night the Eldest and I played a few hands of RftG and we broke Thurn and Taxis and introduced the best game of 16th Century German Postal System ever created. The Eldest won both of the RftG games and I took the Thurn and Taxis by one VP on the first game. I figure I won't be so lucky next time.

This evening, I'll be meeting the gang for another installment of the D&D adventure. Looking forward to getting in sometime for the game. I'll post that update soon.

On the entertainment front, the Netflix adventure continues.

The Other Half and I have started to watch Deadwood Series. That is pretty good so far. I like the feel and it has been entertaining. I'm also getting the Dexter Series off and on. As disturbing as the concept is of a mass murder protagonist, it has been a real interesting ride so far. I just finished Gotham Knight, the animated bridge between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. It was OK. I just not a huge fan of the different animated styles. Any hoo... The Other Half and I should be watching the next set of Deadwood this weekend.

I've got games to play!