Sunday, August 30, 2009

Moon Frenzied Halflings

Due to some trips, I seem to be in bachelor mode for a few weeks. I took early advantage and invited James over for a Rampage game of Warmachine. I played my Epic Magnus versus Madrak's trollbloods. It was a great game with both sides forcing death and destruction. On my right flank I had Alexia and Steelheads take on Troll Buffalo Riders and a Pyre Troll. I lucked out and the Pyre frenzied out of Madrak's control range and he ate one of the Riders. A few chargers later and a bunch of Risen later I cleared the edge. On the other flank, my Mangler and Lady A & Master H squared off against the Dwarf & Bear as well as the Trollblood warrior solo. The Mangler 'should' have taken the bear out, but failed on one of the attack rolls and some bad damage. That left the opening for James to move in and destroy the Mangler with the solo and have the Dwarf & Bear squish A & H. In the middle the chunks of the beast and jacks squared off along with the obligatory block of Champions. Magnus did his best and took out many of the Champs, but the last one, was able to finish him of in the end. Win for the Troll. It was exciting game!

That night, the gang got together for a great and long session of D&D. I didn't show up until 4 as I was taking care of the Dog, but we cranked out five tough encounters and I stayed up way past my bedtime to 2am.

The group is quickly approaching paragon path and it is showing in their ability to rather handily take care of the encounters. The group was able to motor through the five encounters without an extended rest, which is a good showing compared to some early outings.

The first encounter had the party facing foulspawn guards and their demonic faces allies. The sliding foulspawn and the biting faces put up a good fight, but in the end it was the party that was victorious. Moving to the south they encountered a series of gates... One would whisper others would try to munch you, others showed snakes and warned of blind dangers. After facing the doors, the players ran into a Medusa and her Ogre body guard. The party worked together to take the shots at the high point elites.

Afterwards, the party returned to the north and encountered a room of Eladrin, but they seemed to be living in freezing conditions. A tough battle ensued with the Blizzard Speaker harassing and teleporting around the board. It also brought out the Moon Frenzy in Eldacar who had a hard time controlling his urges and would randomly attack player or characters. Darn Werewolves!

Moving deeper into the ice caverns the party encountered an Adult White Dragon. Despite the dragon trying to have a conversation with the party, he became annoyed after a few failed stealth checks from those tyring to jump over the lake. The battle that ensued involved flames, fire, ice, snow, and a snot load of arrows. After defeating the worm, the party was able to find some treasure at last, plus the next shard belonging to Vyrellis disembodied head.

Break Break -- This brings up one of the issues that I have so far with 4E. The big guys, just can not stand up against an organized party. If the party cooperates, like ours does rather well, the sheer number of attacks that they can put out just out ways the abilities of the solo/elites to dish out damage.

The final encounter had the party going back to the south into what appeared to be a living cavern. The party encountered more Foulspawn and the creatures they controlled. After the party started to take the enemies apart, cavern's corridors started to grow shut, trapping the players with an acid atmosphere. The purple sludge 'blood' continued to flood out of a wound. Zolton, Eldacar, & Sliver took to the wound, while the others struggled versus the last of the monsters. It was close with Splug dropping several times and Eldacar going frenzied... Again... But Zoltan and Sliver took the damage to the heart of madness, ending the menace. The party decided they needed an extended rest. This will allow Sliver to move to 9th, Kaz to 8th, Splug to 8th, and Zarzathor to 9th.

Good Saturday of gaming, despite being up from about 4am to 2am... :)

Coming in the future Rampage continues and we have a Steamroller on the 12th.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Rampage Report

On Tuesday we continued our Rampage outings. We had four games played with five players.

750 point my Magnus the Warlord vs. Phillip's PoM Reznik. The scenario was to hold and defend to points in the center of the table. I loaded Magnus in the center with his jacks to the right (Mangler & 2 Renegades) with Dirty Meg and a Mule to the left. I also had Alexia with her Risen to the left and a small group of Steelheads in the center. For additional solos I had Gorman di Wulfe and the Master Gunner around Magnus, Eiryss and Kell to the far right in the woods, and Lady A & Master H on the far left. Phillip had a good number of 'Jacks to include a Devout and the Blessing of Menoth and two other heavy shooty ones. A full unit of Temple Flame Guard with attachment on my far right and Zealots on the far left. He also had (from memory) the Warcaster attachment, a Reclaimer behind the TFG, a large Choir, and a Vassal.

Phillip had the first turn and ran his troops up and brought his forces closer. I used Magnus' spell to increase the movement to +2 on my battlegroup to move the Renegades up a full seven inches then used the Master Gunner to increase the range and power. I made the mistake of also using Artillerist on both (can only use one... My bad, but they didn't deviate and I boosted the hits so the it really didn't matter). I got lucky and took out the movement of the Reckoner, effectively taking him out of his duties. The second Renegade hit the TFG and took out six of the 12 models. Kell and Eiryss took out another three, leaving the Capt guy, flag guy, & a shmoe... The Reclaimer collected a few soul tokens! :) On the left flank Alexia and the Risen were tangling with the Zealots and holding their own for the time being. I've always had troubles with Zealots & the Monolith Bearer. Phillip fire bombed most of the Risen while I pinged away at a few of them.

Phillip got his Vanquisher into combat with both Renegades and smashed one to bits while moving up with Reznik and the other 'Jacks. What remained of the TFG took retribution (get it?) on Eyriss. The Zealots performed Greater Destiny and made themselves invulnerable. On my turn Kell took out two more TFG, leaving only the Captain guy, Magnus charged the Vanquisher and made quick work with the Armor Piercing, then popped Kill Box to keep Reznik from the point. The Mule took shot across the lake at a Devout and clipped the Vassal. The Mangler came up and took a swing at the Capt of the TFG, clearing the zone. That left three zealots on one side that needed to be cleared. I got one with Gorman di Wulfe's Acid Bomb, one with a few risen, and I think Master Holt took one out as well. Which freed up the point and gave me the game.

Other then my one cheat move (Sorry again Phillip) it was a great game for me. Phillip saw some true synergy from Mercs for a change too.

In other games Erik played Mike (Khador vs. PoM) for a 500 pointer in the Glimmerwood, I played Erik a 500 point that was fought to hard draw and then we rolled for victory (Erik too that roll) and James played Mike (Trolls vs. PoM).

Not a bad night. We have one more week or Rampage then a 500 point Steamroller on the 12 of September.

Go Mags!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saturday Night Action

Greetings fellow gamers!

I met up with the gang for a rousing game of D&D on Saturday night. It was a good turn out with the entire gang present as they continued their adventures in the Pyramid of Shadows.

When we last left our band of adventures they had finished clearing a central sewer that hosted a few Sahuagin. At this point the party had two ways to move forward, and opted to move north. When they entered the room they encountered the Dragonborn Warlord Bandit Garash and his lackeys. Battle quickly ensured as Garash raised the alarm and decided to attack the 'heroes' that sent him to this location. With a half dozen lackeys and a few bowmen, the fight was looking solid in the adventure's corner, when the booming from the backroom let loose a werewolf to even up the odds more.

After short rest the party continued deeper into the final section of the first level of the pyramid. They next encountered a young and pretty lady that was entrapped in a chapel. When they attempted to speak with her, they found out that the halfling rouge, Eldecar, had become smitten to the lass. After trying and failing to deactivate the entrapment, the devil legion guards came forth. Spurned into action, the lady turned back to her true succubus self. Her kiss snared a few of the team from time to time, but the pain of reality would set in when damage would be intercepted.

The next series of rooms was taken from reverse. A strange device in the wall made of bronze and a dozen handles that was to tempting to Zoltan and he started pulling leavers. The noise of roaring fire behind a door sent the team of gang members in the opposite room into action. Three fighters and two crossbowmen kept things hoping as Zoltan continued to try and manipulate the leavers. Players and enemies got toasty but nobody got seriously burnt (4D8 fire can hurt if your caught in it!)

The final move forward was to tackle the stairs that lead higher into the pyramid. A harpy and a pair of gargoyles and two trapped stairs made the going ruff and the party nearly fell as ash blasts and fly-by attacks made it difficult. In the end an extended rest was in order. Five of the party members leveled up. Two to nine, one to eight and two to seven.

Good night and hope to get some more in next weekend!

DM in training

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You are not welcome here

Just got back from the movies and I must say that I really enjoyed District 9. Peter Jackson is the producer with Neill Blomkamp as the director. This is Neill's first full length movie and he does an outstanding job of bringing thought provoking science fiction to the big screen.

Like all good science Fiction, District 9 does a wonderful job of crafting the current issues with explosions and goo to make entertainment that when you sit and think, tells you something of the human condition. Yes, it could be a buddy movie and yes it could have been pure guts and guns, but setting the aliens within the confines of what was once the most repressive segregated cultures in the modern world, it help high light man's on ability to cause harm to those around them when the 'dehumanize' them.

The Other Half and I went at the matinee and I was surprised that she enjoyed the movie as much as I did. Some of the Boom! and Splat! might have turned her off, but the other items held her to the story. That is good science fiction, when you can get past those window dressings and enjoy the story, regardless of the trappings.

My hope is that they leave the setting with all the delightful questions that the show left open and not be tempted by box office success to create a District 10, Revenge of the Prawns! Please, please, please...

As for a rating, I would give it 3.75 alien tentacle fingers out of 4. Good job Mr. Blomkamp, keep up the good work.

but you are, please sit down.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My Sister goes to GenCon...

Pretty rainy day here in the Big O. We were suppose to go participate in a MS Run 5K, but it was down pouring all morning so being the fair weather walkers that we are we swung by, got the t-shirt, and grabbed some breakfast. :)

I played a few games of Race for the Galaxy solo version and did pretty well, far better then my average by taking 3 of 6 games. I've updated the scores since my road trip to Boston and they are in the same file for those that can't get enough math.

While at dinner at the Mediterranean Bistro, my phone rang from my little sister. We were just about to eat, so I let it go to voice mail, figuring I would give her a ring afterwards. I would recommend the Bistro by the way. Very good food, even for my little pouch. My sister said in her voice mail that they were having a good time at GenCon (they being her and my old college buddy Vern/Julian/JC) and that she missed me (ahhh!), and if I wanted JC's unpunched Axis and Allies game before he traded it off. I called back to let her know that I still have my old version of A&A, as well as the Shogun that JC and I purchased together while in college, so he could trade it away as needed. I'm sure I'll talk with her next week to see how the experience went for her, especially since she really isn't a gamer.

I'm going next year to GenCon. I'm making the commitment know so I can start the planning early. It is just the way its going to be! :)

...and I'll I got was a lousy phone call! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Water, Water, Everywhere,

Tuesday, my normal game night for Warmachine, was interrupted when I got a call from home only into turn two of my game with Erik. The Other Half called and asked if the front sprinkler should still be running. I responded, no, it should have turned off after the cycle was complete around 6am or so. Buttons didn't work... So, I pack it all in and drive the thirty minutes home to see what is a matter. First thing I notice is the long stream of water running down our street and into the storm drain... That's not good.

After a few minutes of tinkering with the buttons with no effect, in fact I could force the system to change zones, but the first zone kept running. I opt to turn the water off at the source to the outside and hopefully figure it out later. I'm sure the water bill is going to be stupid this month!

So... If anyone has any sprinkler experience or knows some one, drop me a note/comment and help a gamer out!

all running down the street

Monday, August 10, 2009

Warmachine Weekend Update

The Original Hot Carl (TOHC) has been posting updates for the 2009 WARMACHINE WEEKEND activities on a new blog. This year it is going to be part of the G.A.M.E. (Game Arts Media Expo) which will be a chance to see more then just Privateer stuff... Not that there is anything wrong with a ton of Privateer stuff. TOHC is doing a unique achievement system to add a bit of fun to the event which should be cool.

So far I've gotten hard confirms from seven folks including myself. Most of us have done this trip for the past two years, but we have also gotten one or two newbies as well. Should be good time. In my mind one of the best things is that we will be across the street from the convention center vice a 15 minute car ride. That should save tons of time and make it easier to get done on your own and not need transport.

I've booked the hotels (two rooms at the moment) and filled out my pre-register and paid. So get to it you guys if your interested in the road trip!

Pusher of Toys

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Thron, Dwarf Invoker

I made it back late Friday night and had a good training session, but still glad to be back. Saturday was quite as The Other Half had to work in the morning. I did go see her for lunch and she cut me loose in the afternoon go play some D&D with the guys.

Rob was running his campaign that he re-booted, so since I am only a part timer in that adventure, I re-booted as well. They have another controller on their team, but like me his is a part-timer, and since he created the atypical wizard, I decided to try another route.

I like the Invoker class. It has quite a bit of power to it, even at lower level, but the trade off is self inflicted wounds. One power caused 5 points of damage when used, but my favorite caused damage, and pulls the enemies toward you, but then your dazed, limiting your ability to follow up. Kind of tricky to play and really requires teamwork, which is good.

In the morning The Other Half and I did the big lake at Zorinsky. We got caught in a light shower about half way around, but it cleared quickly. Luckily the heavy stuff waited until right now to come down so I won't be mowing today. :)

Avoider of Lawn Work

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Boston Day IV - No Chowda for you

So, here I am in Boston and I haven't had any 'Chowda'. What is the world coming too? Wednesday Night I had dinner with The Other Half's sister and her husband. We went to the historic Union Oyster House, the oldest running restaurant in the US. The company was great. Had a wonderful conversation with the sister-in-law and her husband about the kids, their get away house in New Hampshire, the upcoming trip for The Other Half to Europe with their parents. Good stuff. The food... Well... It was OK, but not a WOW factor by any means. It was loud and the wait staff while polite was very slow. I made major blunder and ate either too fast or something didn't sit well and I did get sick for the first time. After we left the restaurant we walked for 10 minutes while I was in serious pain, but then I found a deserted trash can and let it go and felt 100% better. It was freaky. The three of us walked out to the harbor and continued talking. Other then getting sick it was a good evening.

Class today was a discussion on Intellectual Property and Risk Management among other topics. I pointed the teacher to, which is a great site on IP, privacy issues, and other geeky news. If you follow the IP discussion, regardless of your view point, it is worth having in your daily scans.

Dinner tonight I took the instructors advice and hit a a place called Kaze Shabu Shabu. I had not heard of a Shabu Shabu before, but being a sucker for Japanese cooking in general (Still waiting for an invite to Gyoze night at the Rief house... Hint, Hint!), I thought I would give it a go. Wow. This one was good. It is basically a Japanese version of fondue, but for me, just the good parts... A few tasty veggies and meat. Each person gets a personal pot to cook their meat. I had chicken with some seafood, mainly scallops, salmon, fish cake, and some white fish. You throw it into the pot to let it cook usually veggies first to let them cook the longest, then a piece at a time of the thinly cut meats. Great sauce as well that you could make spicy to taste. In the end you make a broth that is tasty after all the stuff you've ate has cooked. If I was staying another night, I would most likely do this one again.

RftG update on solo play. Robot 7, Me 3. Stupid Robot.

I got cleared to play some D&D on Saturday since I'm getting back early and I've made a Dwarf Invoker for the game since Rob is running his campaign. Should be interesting. I'll post later this weekend on Thron and his exploits.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boston Day II

The SANS course continues the fire hose approach. Today we discussed some delightful topics as attack vectors, Defense in Depth, and Access Control.... MMMmmm... Access Control... The good part it is Richard Northcutt that is teaching the class and the man is a very entertaining speaker.

Last night I went 1-3 with RftG vs. the robot. I'll update the stats later. I hate that robot.

For dinner I went down to China Town (Short walk) and had a very good spicy seafood soup. The fish, shrimp, scallops, tofu, and crab were all good. The squid was OK, but the octopus was a bit tough, especially for my pouch. I did sneak some kimchi, even though I shouldn't be having any leafy veggies at the moment, but it was good. We shall see what it does to my system.

To treat myself (not sure for what) I went to the biggest of corporate schmucks, Starbucks, and got a no nothing coffee for desert.

Looking forward to dinner tomorrow and getting home early.

MMMmmm... Access Control...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Greetings from Bean Town


Day one of the SANS course under my belt and talk about the fire hose. Each day has 125 page book that accompanies the lectures. Start at 9am, they bring in lunch, and we keep going until 5pm. The good news is that I don't have to test this weekend, in fact they won't let me, and I'll have to arrange the test for a later time within the next three months... Which is good. Trying to change the flights to get my butt home a tad earlier...

I walked down to Quincy Hall and got some food for dinner, some Indian food I've been craving lately. It wasn't bad, but not great. Looking forward to Wednesday when I go out with The Other Half's sister and brother in-law for dinner at a nice restaurant, The Union Oyster House. It looks like a great menu, even if it is a tad expensive, but hey, when your on the coast only occasionally, you go to try the seafood, besides, I'm on Per Diem. I know my eyes are going to be bigger then my stomach... I hope the family won't mind left overs! I'll post a review on my successful return.

That is about it for now. Not alot of gaming going. When I finish this up, I'll break out Race for the Galaxy, especially since I don't have to study for the exam right away.

Not as panicked

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Solo Race

I've been playing a ton of Race for the Galaxy solo... Well, if a single game is 1/16th of a ton, then I guess it is a ton. Using the new home worlds, I've been trying to beat the game's 'robot' on easy. I think I am missing something or I'm a bad player. I'm only winning about 1 in every 4 games versus the automatic opponent.

The updated stats can be found on the spreadsheet. It isn't real pretty. Don't think I have hit every combo of homeworlds, but some are just easier then others to win against (or loose against). I like Galactic Developers. The extra card every development phase is a great starting benefit. If you can get the other Development boosts, you can become a <6> card laying down machine. If you have Investment Credits, the <6> with a -1 Development and have the new Crash Research that allows you to discard it for a -3, then you can get the new <6> for free on your turn, actual +1 with the Galactic Developers in your hand.

I'm taking a training course next week. Thank you Department of Air Force. I'm taking RftG in tow to fill in the non-study times.

I'm going to miss gaming tonight as it is my last night home for a bit and next week as I have to take the cert exam on Saturday in Boston. On the 15th the guys are running a doubles Flames of War event so no sweet, sweet D&D action for me then either. I've placed by quarter on the table for the 22nd and hopefully that will work out.

Last Tuesday was great for Warmachine at the Shoppe. We had eight players (nine really) and quite a bit of action. Good times. Thanks to Dan and Adam for showing up on their vacation day. I'm still trying to place appropriate leverage on Adam to put in his PP application. When the store expands we should have enough room for a Saturday or Sunday event to complement the Tuesday event. Plus then we can tag team the tournament.s So Adam... How's that application going? :)

I'll try to update from Boston.

Developer of the Galactic